By Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield
The duty which we set ahead of us during this short paper isn't really to solve the heritage of opinion as to the salvation of babies loss of life in infancy, however the even more circumscribed certainly one of tracing the improvement of doctrine in this topic. we are hoping to teach that there was a doctrine as to the salvation of babies universal to every age of the Church ;but that there has additionally been during this, as in different doctrines, a revolutionary correction of crudities in its perception, wherein the real that means and kin of the typical instructing were free of deforming accretions and its everlasting center delivered to purer expression. 1. it's basic to the very notion of Christianity that it's a remedial scheme. Christ Jesus got here to save lots of sinners. the 1st Christians had no hassle in knowing and confessing that Christ had come right into a international misplaced in sin to set up a country of righteousness, citizenship within which is the of salvation.
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The duty which we set sooner than us during this short paper isn't to resolve the background of opinion as to the salvation of babies loss of life in infancy, however the even more circumscribed certainly one of tracing the improvement of doctrine in this topic. we are hoping to teach that there was a doctrine as to the salvation of babies universal to every age of the Church ;but that there has additionally been during this, as in different doctrines, a innovative correction of crudities in its notion, in which the real that means and kinfolk of the typical educating were free of deforming accretions and its everlasting middle dropped at purer expression.
Extra resources for The development of the doctrine of infant Salvation
And many of the greatest English theologians, even among those not most closely affiliated with Geneva, from the very earliest days of the Reformation, have repudiated the "cruel judgment" of the Church of Rome as to the fate of infants dying unbaptized. But this repudiation was neither immediate, nor has it ever been universal. The second of the Ten Articles of Henry VIII. " The first liturgy embodied the same implication.  But there have never lacked those in the Church of England who still taught the necessity of baptism to salvation.
Accordingly there are many—adults and infants—of whose salvation we may be sure, but of reprobation we cannot be sure; such a judgment is necessarily unsafe even as to adults apparently living in sin, while as to infants who "die and give no sign," it is presumptuous and rash in the extreme. The above is practically an outline of the teaching of Zwingli. He himself worked it out in its logical completeness, and taught: 1. That all believers are elect and hence are saved, though we cannot know infallibly who are true believers except in our own case.
Men are not constituted members of Christ through the Church, but members of the Church through Christ; they are not made the members of Christ by baptism which the Church gives, but by faith, the gift of God; and baptism is the Church's recognition of this inner fact. The full benefit of this better apprehension of the nature of that Church of God membership in which is the condition of salvation, was not reaped, however, by all Protestants in equal measure. It was the strength of the Lutheran movement that it worked out its positions not theoretically or all at once, but step by step, as it was forced on by the logic of events and experience.