Infant Church-Membership - Or, the Relation of Baptized Children to the Church
by William A Stearns (9781408623534)

Infant Church-Membership - Or, the Relation of Baptized Children to the Church
William A Stearns
Release Date: 01 October 2007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 168
Category: Christian Life
ISBN: 9781408623534
ISBN-10: 1408623536

INFANT CHURCH-MEMBERSHIP, OR THE RELATION OF BAPTIZED CHILDREN TO THE CHURCH - If temporal estates inay be conveyed Gy covenants, on condition, To men and to their J eirsb, e not afraid, My soul, to rest upon The covenant of gracc, by mercy made. Do but thy duty and rely upont, Repentance, Faith, Obedience, Vlienever practised truly will amount To an autlientic evidance-Thougii the deed were alztidotecl at the font. -- P R E F A C E . -- THIS tre atise is presented to the churclles under a deep sense of religious responsibility. It was not prepared in a controversial spirit. Nor was it intended as an attack ul on that large ant1 respectable denoinination of Christians who cliffer most iclely from the leading sentiments i t contains. It has been the authors tlesign simply to reaffirr l and establisli one of tllosc grca t doc trines of puritan and primitive Christianity on nr11icl1 he belicvcs, the perpetuity, stability, and rogwssivpeie ty of the New-J n, nlund congregational cl urcliesg reatly depends. file was led to the undertalting by providential circu nstances, and without the rnost distant expectation of naltingh is views public. Infant baptisni, and the relation of baptized children to the cliul cll l a d beell escitins increased attention for several years. Pastors and parents deplored the fact, that t l c seed of the church should be accounted, and educated, in so many instances, as those who are confessedly aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. The subject had often been conversed upon, and discussed, by clergymen in their private meetings, and especially by the Suffolk nortll Association, with which tlie author is pleasantlyconnected, and to the members of which lie would take this opportunity to acknowledge himself indebted for many valuable suggestions. At their request, more tllan three years ago, he was induced to undertalie a Biblical investigation of tlie question, llow did our Saviour ancl his Apostles treat the infant children of believers in reference to church-membership The inquiry was commenced, as an assigned duty which ought to be faitlifully perforn ed-but wirhout prejudices in favor of one theory or another, or any special interest at that time in the subject. It was prosecuted with a simple but determined desire to discover and establish the truth. As the result of this inquiry, a dissertatioi was presented to the Association, which succeeded, somewhat unexpectedly in harmonizing the views of all the members present. After the lapse of several months a vote was passed, requesting its publication. In reviewing the manuscript for this purpose, it appeared to the author that a fuller developenle lt of the principles it contained might be profitable to the churches. For this reason, he was led to exanline the whole subject anew, and prepare the treatise tvliich is now given to the pblic. The writer has no desire to attach undue iinportance to the mere externals of religion. He has no high church principles to sustain, nor any predilections for a n ore stately ivorship. IIe professes to be a o n r e a t i o n a liins t church government of tlie old school, -as nearly a PURITAN of 1648 as the changes of t11e times will allo v...

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