James Bowling Mozley.

A review of the baptismal controversy online

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from it that this Sacrament is represented thereby as having this
effect upon all who partake of it ; because such general statements
refer to the case of adults, as well as infants ; and in the former
case it is admitted that faith and repentance are necessary to a
salutary reception of the Sacrament. Therefore some qualification
may have been held necessary in the latter case." Effects of Infant
Baptism, p. 190.

" In baptism, as Nowell says, regeneration ' effigiem suam tenet,'
or in the corresponding words of Calvin, ' Spiritualis regeneratio
figuratur ;' but, as both say, it is a figure or representation of such
a kind ' ut annexa sit Veritas,' because God does not deal with His
servants by empty signs. No ; wherever the party iA such as He
accepts (for whom alone the Sacraments were ordained at all) God
works with His Sacraments, and they not merely seal but give
grace." Ibid. p. 261.

" A conclusive argument no doubt may be derived from these

Digitized by


Note 28. 405

passages (in the Oateciusm) against those who affinn that the Sa-
crament of Baptism is a bare empty sign, to which even in the
case of the worthy recipient, no special grace is attached by Diyine
promise. Bat the question as to the character and qnalifications
necessary in those who receive the inward grace as well as the ont-
ward sign in baptism, both as it respects adults and infants, is not
touched by the statements here made as to the nature and effects
of baptism." P. 458.

The same assertion of the grace of the Sacrament, as distinct
from the conditions of receiving it, was made in court by the counsel
for Mr. Gk>rham, — " The acknowledgment of the blessings attached
to baptism is common to both sides ; but this leaves unresolved the
real question between us, viz. whether these are or are not received
in all cases. It is admitted by the other side that no one detracts
from the grace of the sacrament by saying that such expressions
do not necessarily apply to every individual adult who is baptized ;
and it must also be admitted that when Mr. Grorham affirms, in
respect of inj^nts, that such expressions do not necessarily and in
every case apply to them, he is not detracting from the grace be-
longing to the Sacrament of Baptism." Dr. Bayford's Speech,
p. 102.

Note 28, p. 244.

The application of the law of adult baptism to infant baptism
so entirely pervades the theology of the Reformation, that it is
unnecessary to cite passages. The Lutheran statements are given
in Notes 4 and 32. The statements of the other division of the
Beformation are as express. " Baptizantur in futuram poeniten-
tiam et fidem : quse etsi nondum in Ulis formatss sunt, arcana tamen
Spiritus operatione utriusque semen in illis latet." (Calvin, Instit.
1. iv. c. 16, § 20.) " Objici consuevit aliam esse rationem infantium,
et aliam adultomm. Quoniam illi qui provectss sunt setatis fidem
habere possunt, qua pertineant ad gregem Dei, qusB infantibus
non est tribuenda . . . Bespondemus quod fidem expressam et
actu requirimus, quoad illos qui sunt adulti ; in parvuUs vero Chris-
tianorum qui baptizandi offeruntur, eam esse dicimus inchoatam,
in suo, inquam, principio et radice . . . Quamobrem pajrvuH qui
vere ad electionem Dei pertinent, antequam baptizentur, Spiritu
Dei sunt instructi." Peter Martyr, Loc. Comm. pp. 683, 584. " Si
loquantur de fide actuaU, ilia Scriptursa loca quae hsdc requirunt
in baptizatis ad adultos esse restiingenda dicimus : ad infantes

Digitized by


4o6 Note 29.

aatem qaod attinet, quia peccatores sant non proprio acta sed
hsBreditario habitn, Bofioit qaod peocati moitifioationem e< fidem'
habeatU oon proprio acta seseexerentem, sed in habiiucUi prindjw
gratim indtuam, Spiritam aatem Christi priacipiam hoc habitaale
gratiffi in illis efficere posse et solere nemo sanns negaverit." Da-
venant, in Coloss. c. 2, t. 12. " Baptismas etiam in infante, non nt
ta aatamas, ex opere operato, sed ex fide solam recipientis gratiam
operatar . . . ' Parvalas,' inqait Latheras, ' fide inf asa matatar et
renovatar.' ' Eos virtate sai spiritas vobis incomprehensa renovat
Deas/ ait Oalvinas . . . Oredat necne infans, Eoclesiffi incertam
est, sed nisi credere infantem jadicio charitatis Eodesia jadicaret,
neo sponsores infantis nomine sic respondere mandaret, nee in-
fantem, nm sic responderet, baptisari vetaret." Grakanthorp,
Defens. EocL AngL Anglo-Catholio Library, p. 224. See Whitaker,
PrsBlect de Sacr. pp. 15, 285. Zanchias, Explic. Ep. ad Eph.
p. 222. Chamier, De Sacram. p. 128. Nowell's Oatechism.

Note 29, p. 250.

" An hypothetical sense/* says Mr. Davison, ^ seems admissible,
only when the Litargy is speaking first of individaals, and, secondly,
when their indiyidaal state is impossible to be known in those
respects in which it bears apon the tenor of the special service re-
lating to them ; and when also, thirdly, there can be no ambigaity
whether it be an hypothetical sense or not." * Of which three con-
ditions, the two latter, he says, are not fulfilled in the case of infant

But when Mr. Davison laid down these conditions of hypothetical
interpretation, he did not take into consideration that upon the doc-
trinal ground of one school in the Church, his second condition of ad-
missibility is unquestionably fulfilled in the case of infant baptism.
On the Calvinistic ground the state of the infant *' in those respects
in which it bears upon the tenor of the special service relating to them
is impossible to be known.'* It is not known whether the infant is
one of the elect or not, and upon his election depends his r^^nera-
tion. Mr. Davison says indeed, — *' The Church is in this instance
fully aware of the present state and condition of the subject to
whom the rite is to be applied. The infant is born in a state of
sin, and it is incapable of believing and repenting. This state i9

^ Bemains, p. 294.

Digitized by VjOOQIC

Note 29. 407

not unknown to the Chnrch, nor, since it pertains at the same time
to the application of the office to be administered, can it be disre-
garded by the Church in that office." But upon the Calvinistic
ground this is not a correct or sufficient description of the state of
the infant in relation to baptism, because in addition to these
hnovm circumstances, he is also regarded as the subject of an un-
known Divine decree upon which his exception of the grace of bap-
tism depends. The Calvinist, therefore, cannot admit Mr. Davison's
conclusion, " that the possible reasons of exception which might
exist in other cases can have no place here, and that, since the
actual subject is so definitely and universally known, the language
of the service cannot have a concealed reserve in regard to any
such cases of exception.** *

Mr. Davison's third condition, that there must be " no ambiguity
whether it be an hypothetical sense or not,** falls under one or
other of the two following alternatives. If by "no ambiguity*'
Mr. Davison means no ambiguity to the interpreter himself,— ihsit
he must not apply the hypothetical sense to a statement, unless it
is the only sense in which he himself can accept it ; the condition
is sound, but the case of the Calvinist fulfils it, because this is the
only sense in which he can accept this statement, and there is no
ambiguity about this point to him. If by the condition of ^* no
ambiguity ** Mr. Davison means that it must be the only sense in
which any person whatever can accept the statement, the condition
is not fulfilled in the present case, but then the condition itself is
an arbitrary and untrue one. There can be no reason why a state-
ment in a service should not admit of two interpretations, a literal
and an hypothetical one, according to different doctrinal grounds
taken by two persons, any more than why the language of an article
should not admit of two different meanings. A person ought not
to give an hypothetical sense to a statement unless it is the only
sense in which he can accept it; but he is not debarred from giving
it because another person can take it in the literal sense.

When Mr. Davison*s canons of hypothetical interpretation are
analyzed, they will be found to come to this, that the interpretation
in order to be admssible must be necessary. But necessary in
whose opinion P Mr. Davison assumes — in the opinion of every-
body. But for an allowable interpretation an unanimous ground
is not needed. It is enough if the doctrine upon which the neces.
sity arises is held by some, and if those, whether few or many, are

» Pp. 295, 296.

Digitized by VjOOQIC

4o8 Note 30.

allowed by the Church to hold it The whole Christian body inter-
prets the statement of the adnlt's regeneration hypothetically.
Why P Because the whole Christian body holds that the re-
generation of the adult is conditional. Some of this body interpret
the statement of the infant's regeneration hypothetically. Why P
Because some hold that the regeneration of infants is conditionaL
If the conditional rationale, then, of infant regeneration is not pro-
hibited, those who hold it, whatever proportion of the Church they
may be, have as much right to interpret this statement hypotheti-
cally in the case of infants, as the whole collective Church has to
do so in the case of adults. Mr. Davison's canons, while they
allow for cases of unanimous hypothetical interpretation, the
necessity for which arises from plain facts or universally admitted
truths, do not provide for this latter case of an hypothetical inter-
pretation, the necessity for which arises from a doctrine which is
simply allowed and held with consent of the Church. But this
latter case ought to be provided for, and its omission shows not
that the case itself is unsound, but that Mr. Davison's canons are

Note 30, p. 257.

Mr. Faber (Primitive Doctrine of Election, p. 374) has mistaken
the language of Melancthon. Melancthon, commenting on the
text of St. Paul, — ** Quos elegit, hos et vocavit," says, " Mox igitur
monet ubi electi qua^rendi sint, scilicet in codtu vocatorum." (T. i.
p. 154.) Mr. Faber understands this as meaning that the ** elect "
concide with the " coetus vocatorum,** or the visible Church, and
fixes upon Melancthon the interpretation of the phrase "the elect"
as meaning those who are elected to admission into the Visible
Church. But Melancthon does not mean by the above that " the
elect " coincide with the " coetus vocatorum," but only that they
are vn that " coetus," along with others who are not the elect. " In
hoc sunt electi omnes . . . nee fingamus electos esse qussrendos extra
coetum vocatorum." (Ibid.) ** Semper in hoc coetu sunt electi
aliqui, i. e. hsaredes satemsB vitas, etiamsi simul his admixti sunt
multi non sancti et runi electi" p. 158. Mr. Faber mistakes again
Melancthon's assertion of an " electa Ecclesia," for the assertion
that the Visible Church is the body of the elect, and quotes " Scitote
esse ecclesiam electam propter Filium ;" whereas Melancthon him-
self inmiediately adds, " Et hsec electa Ecclesia prsddicatione colli-

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Note 3 1 . 409

gitur, et fit justa, et omabitur sdtema gloria." Ibid. The " electa
Ecclesia *' of Melancthon is in the visible Gharch, bat as one body
within another body; being indeed that inner invisible body, /or
the sake of which the outward visible body exists, — " De Ecclesia
visibili scire necesse est, quia in hac tantum sunt e\ec\i, propter quo8
et hie visibilis ccstus a Deo colligitur et conservatur." Ibid. p. 169.

Note 31, p. 299.

Archbishop Laurence quotes as an anti-Oalvinistic statement of
Luther : — " Deus non est crudelis et immitis tyrannus ; non odit,
non abjicit homines, sed amat ;" but does a Galvinist say that God
is a cruel and harsh tyrant, and that He does not love but reject
mankind P (B. L. p. 159.) Again Luther says, *' Prsedicatio Evan-
gelii universalis et publica est, omnibus patens quicunque suscipere
volunt. Ac Dei voluntas Iosbq est, cum eam sic invulgat, ut omnes
credant et salventur " (B. L. p. 165). But no Galvinist denies that
" (xod will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge
of the truth," which is a simple text of Scripture, though he accepts
it with a reserve, which he thinks other statements in Scripture
render necessary. And he will agree with Luther that to reject
this statement of Scripture is both presumptuous and dangerous :
— •* Qui sentiunt Dei voluntatem non esse ut omnes salventur, aut
in desperationem ruunt, aut in securissimam impietatem dissolvun-
tur " (Postilla Dom. quoted B. L. p. 165). Galvin says, " Cum tUria-
que [piis et impiis] Bei misericordia per Evangelmm offeratur, fides
est, hoc est, Dei illuminatio, quse inter pios et impios distinguit. . . .
Impii autem non causentur sibi deesse asylum, quo se a peccati
servitute recipiant, dum oblatum sibi ingratitudine sua respuunt "
(Instit. 1. iii. c. 24, § 17). — '* In ezitialem abyssum se ingurgitant
qui ut de sua electione fiant certiores, seternum Dei consilium sine
verbo percontantur " (Ibid. § 4).

Nor again does a writer recant necessarianism, because he attri-
butes a real existence and a true motion to the human wilL Arch-
bishop Laurence finds some passages in which Jiuther attributes
conseTit and co'operaiion to the human will. '* Permtti(vnvu$ dun-
taxat Deum in nobis operari " (Op. vol. v. p. 692). " Smasque
Deum in te operari '* (voL iii. p. 172). " Sed non operatur in nobis
«me nobis, ut quos ad hoc creavit et servavit, ut in nobis operaretur,
et nos ei cooperaremur " (vol. ii. p. 470, quoted B. L. 284). But

Digitized by


4IO Note 31.

coDsent and co-operation belong to the will as such, without which
it would cease to be a will : nor therefore does a Calvinist deny
such functions of the will : — *' Fateor ergo expectandam esse fide-
libus banc Dei benedictionem, quo melius usi fuerint superioribus
gratiis, ut eo majoribus posthac augeantur. . . . Hac quidem [dis-
tinctione operantis gratisB et cooperantis] usus est Augustinus sed
commoda definitione leniens, Deum cooperando efficere quod ope-
rando incipit. . . . Quod dicere solent, postquam primse gratis locum
dedimus, jam conatos nostros subsequenti gratis) cooperari, re-
spondeo *. Si intelligunt nos, ex quo semel Domini virtute in justitise
obsequium adomati snmus, ultro pergere et propensos esse ad se-
quendam gratias actionem, nihil reclamo *' (Calvin, Instit. 1. ii. c 3,
§ 11). ** Quis enim ita desipit ut hominis motionem a jactu lapidis
nihil differre autumet P Neque vero quioquam simile consequitur
ex nostra doctrina. In naturales hominis facultates refenmusy
approbare, respicere ; velle, nolle ; eniti, resistere ; . . . Ubi regnum
in illis suum (Deus) erigit, voluntatem, . . . quo in sanctitatem et
justitiam propendeat flectit. . . . Admonet (Augustinus) actionem
hominis non tolli Spiritus Sancti motu . . . non destrui gratia
Yoluntatem sed magis reparari. . . . Nihil jam obstatquominusrite
agere dicamur, quod agit Spiritus Dei in nobis " (Ibid. c. 5, § 14, 15).
In one instanice indeed a statement gives offence to Luther which
would not offend a Oalvinist : — ** Alii sunt qui base verba sic inter-
pretantur : Multi sunt vocati, L e. Deus multis suam gratiam offert ;
pauci vero electi, i. e. cum panels suam gratiam communicat, nam
pauci salvantur. Yalde impia hssc sententia est. Nam quis non
Deum summe oderit, si de Deo non aliter sentiat, quam ejus yolnn-
tatis culpa fieri, ut non salvemur P " (Postilla Domestica, p. 57,
quoted B. L. p. 161.) But before we draw an inference from^an
insulated case, we should take into account the character of the
work in which this case occurs. The " Postilla Domestica " is not
a theological treatise, it is not even a work which was written hj
Luther. It is a collection of ** Home Sermons,** published by two
disciples from notes taken down at the time, and published with
Luther's sanction and under his eye, but still not his written com-
position. Nothing could be more natural than that Luther should
in a course of practical discourses protest against the abuse of the
doctrine of the De Servo Arbiirio, which had been great among some
sectaries, who had perverted it to license immorality. But the state-
ments of such a work have not the theolc^cal weight of the written
statements of a doctrinal treatise.

Digitized by


Note 2^2. 411

Note 32, p. 304.

The Augsbnrgli Confession lays down the universal propositioD,
fidii&m, in uau aacramentorum requiri, and condemns the ex opere
operato, without allowance for any exception in the case of infants,
Art. XIII. Luther says, " Nisi adsit aut paretur fides nihil pro-
dest baptismus :" and to the objection of infant baptism replies,
*' Farvulus fide inf asa mutatur, mundatur, et renoTatur.'* Op. t. ii.
p. 78. See Note 4, and p. 32.

** Deinde ejusdem farinas est quod sentit inf antibus, qui sunt ut
ipse loquitur incapaces fidei, non esse necessariam fidem. Quasi
vero ullus sit hominum qui cum sit capax imaginis Dei, non etiam
sit capax fidei : aut quasi infantes sine sua quadam proprie divi-
nitus collata fide, salutem consequi possent. Fieri enim non potest,
ut sive i^f<ms sive adultus placeat Deo absque Christo et fide in
Christum, eaque propria et divinitus donata. Non videmus infantes
credere, sed Deus qui suoe in omnibus creaturis gemitus quos ipse in
eis exciverat et quos hsB pro liberatione filiorum Dei, ut Faulus
testatur, emittunt, videt et audit, tarn acutos habet sensus, ut et
infantium fidem, qua eos pro sua dementia, et quodam singulari
modo ornat, intueatur et agnoscat." Brentius, Apol. Confess. Wir-
temberg. tom. viii. p. 386.

** Baptismus fidei signaculum est, et, cum sit fidei signaculum
etiam in iufantibus baptizatis, necesse est infantes credere." Major,
tom. iii. p. 345.

I must remark here upon a mistake of Bellarmine in the inter-
pretation of some later works of Luther, in which, he says, Luther
gives another scheme of infant baptism, and contradicts his former
statements as to the necessity of faith in infants. " Altera sen-
tentia inf antibus nuUam fidem in baptismo esse necessariam. Hanc
videtur etiam Lutherus docuisse. Nam licet antequam Anabap-
tistsa exorirehtur, ilia scripserit quee supra citavimus ; tamen pos-
teaquam illi apparuerant, scripsit librum contra eos anno KDxxvin.,
et ubi ad hoc argumentum venisset de fide infantium, dixit nihil
intereese sive credant sive non credant. Baptismum enim non
fundari super fidem dantis aut recipientis qus incertissima est, sed
super Dei mandatum et institutionem. Et similia habet in homiUis
de baptismo anno xxxvn. et xl. habitis.'' (Tom. iii. p. 253.) That
which Luther, in these Homilies and elsewhere, asserts to be
founded upon the Divine institution, and not upon faith, is
not the grace of baptism or justification, but the vaUdity of

Digitized by


412 Note i2>^

baptism; which even when received without fiiith, he asserts
' to be operative subseqaently upon faith existing. He says, indeed,
" BaptismuB rectus habendus est etiam non accedente fide " (Cate-
chism. Major, Op. v. p. 639); and condemns the Anabaptists
because they found baptism " non super Dei mandatum et instita-
tionem, sed, ut alind qnoddam opus humanumi super fidem et digf-
nitatem nostram, quasi non sat esset, Deum sic distribuisse et
mandasse, sed necesse esset primum per nos enm confirmari ; neo
ante baptiemum esse, ant enm vcUere, quam fides nostra accederet."
(Hom. de Bapt. Op. vii. p. 851.) But he is particular in adding
that he speaks here not of the beneficial virtue of baptism, but only
of its quality as valid baptism. '* Loquor autem nunc non de vir-
tute sive efficacia et usu Baptismi, sed de ipsa Baptismi suhstanHaJ*
(Ibid. p. 862.) " Alter potest salvari, alter damnari eodem bap-
tismo, sed id non pertinet ad suhstantiam sed ad virtuteni ef usum
baptismi" (Ibid.) *' Omnes enndem baptismum accipiuut, sed
non omnes ejus virtntem et ntilitatem accipiunt." (Ibid. p. 863.)
He only asserts that effect of baptism which takes place even in
the case of an unbelieving adult. ** Nam qnanquam hodiemo die
JudsBUS quispiam fraudulenter quapiam simulatione et maJitioso
proposito veniret se baptizandum offerens, nosque eundem omni
studio baptizaremns, nihil secus nobis dicendum esset Baptismnm
verum et rectum esse." (Gat. Maj. Op. v. p. 689.) He only speaks
of that validity of baptism which C3rprian denied in the case of
heretics. " Eodem errore capti sunt et isti qui putant baptismnm
ab hsBretico aut infideli administratnm, non verum esse Baptis-
mnm." (Op. t. vii. p. 849.)

Note 33, p. 326.

" Effusio Spiritus Sancti promittitur in Baptismo, nt in Epist.
ad Titnm diserte scribitur — 'qui salvos nos fecit per lavacnun
regenerationis.' " Peter Martyr, Loc. Gomm. p. 580. ** Nostra sen-
tentia utrique huic (Jnstificationi et SanctificatioDi)adhibitum esse
Sacramentnm Baptismnm, scilicet significandsa atque effioiendee.*'
Chamier, De Bapt. 1. v. p. 118. '* Baptismus est sacramentnm
regenerationis. . . . Ipse vos baptizaM JS^^vrUu Sancto et igne —
loquebaturde efficacitate Spiritus Sancti in regeneratione,qnem ipse
Ghristus conferebat Baptismo." Zanohius, Explic. Ep. ad Eph.
pp. 217, 218.

Digitized by


Notez^. 413

" M. Yenmi, annon aliud aquee tribuis nisi nt ablationis tan-
tom sit fignra P F. Sic fignram esse sentio, nt simal annexa sit
Veritas. Neque enim, sua nobis dona pollicendo, nos Dens fms-
tratoT. Proinde et peccatomm veniam et vitsB novitatem offerri
nobis in Baptismo et recipi nobis certum est." — Catechismns Ge-
nevensis. ** Baptismus nobis testificandsB nostrse adoptioni datus
est, quoniam in eo inserimar Christi corpore, et ejus sanguine
ablntiysimnl etiam ipsins spiritu ad vitsB sanctimoniam renovamnr."
— Confessio Gallicana. " Baptizari est inscribi, initiari et recipi
in foedas atqne familiam adeoqne in hssreditatem filiomm Dei ;
imo etiam nunc nuncupari nomine Dei, i. e. appellari filiam Dei,
purgari item a sordibus peccatomm, et donari varia Dei gratia ad
vitam noYam et innocentem." — Confessio Helvetica Posterior.
" Baptismus est sacramentum institutum ad significandam et con-
testandam intemam per sanguinem Christi a peccatis absolutionem,
sen eorum remissionem; simulque inchoandam per Spiritum
Sanctum renovationem sen regenerationem." — Declaratio Toruni-
ensis. "De Baptismate itaque confitemur, eo sepeliri nos in
mortem Christi, Christum induere, esse lavacrum regenerationis,
peccata abluere, nos salvare.*' — Confessio Tetrapolitana.

" The form of expression which the churches use is indefinite,
and it is necessary it should be so because they speak of bap-
tism, considered in the nature of it, when it is applied to those
within the covenant . . . yet well knowing that aU are not indeed
within the covenant, although born of parents that are within the
visible Church . . . yea, some propositions that are universally
propounded have yet their limitations implied that are discerned
by all rational men that either hear or read them. ... In like
manner then must the churches be understood, if they would de-
liver themselves in universal terms. Because, in the Sacrament,
by virtue of Christ's institution, ordinary grace is given to all that
are by election capable of it ; and it being known to none who they
may be that are not elected, it is more apt and proper to speak
indefinitely." Burgess, p. 147.

Notb 34, p. 341.

Peter Martyr. — " Promissio non est generalis de omni semine.
Bed tantum de illo in quo una consentit electio. Alioquinposteritas
Ismaelis et Esau fuerunt ex Abrahamo. Sed quia nos de arcana

Digitized by


414 ^^^^ 34-

Dei proTidentia et eleotione minime debemus curiosins inquirere,
ideo sanctornm filios sanotos judicamns, quoad ipsi per aetatem se
HOD declarayerint a Christo alienos . . . Neqne andiendi sunt qui
bac de re movent sornpaliim ac dionnt. Quid si minister fallatnr?
Quid si revera pner neqw eH filius promisaionis cUvitus electionis^
atque misericordiss f Quia idem cavillus esse poterit de adtUHe.
Nam de illis qnoqne ignoramns, ficte necne accedant, an vere ere-
dant, an sint filii prsddestinationis an perditionis, an Christi gra-
tiam Habeant an ilia sint destitnti, et mendaciter dicant se credere.
Quid tn illos baptizas P Scio dices, idcirco id facio, qnod seqaor
illorum extemam professionem, quam si mentis ntnr, mea non refert.
Ita nos dicimos, ecclesiam ideo complecti nostros pneros et bap*
tizare qnod ad nos pertineant. Idqne est illis divinsa voluntatis

Online LibraryJames Bowling MozleyA review of the baptismal controversy → online text (page 34 of 38)