"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.VI No.XII Pg.10b
July 1944

Jesus And The Children

Cled E. Wallace

Infant rantism [sprinkling] is a substitute for the personal obedience the Lord requires in commanding believers to be baptized. Maybe your dear mother did bear you gently to a priest or a minister and have your forehead touched with his damp finger when you were so young you cannot now remember. The Lord will not accept it in lieu of your personal obedience. There is not a command, example, or necessary inference in the New Testament justifying the sprinkling of water on even one infant. Infants cannot believe, do not need to repent, and not one scriptural reason has ever been offered for either rantizing or baptizing them. A postmaster in a Texas town, and a devout Methodist, cited me to the story of Jesus and the children as though the case were plainly made out in his favor. "Then there were brought unto him little children, that he should lay his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 19: 13-15.) It is quite strange with what facility religionists can find water where there is none at all, and cannot find any at all in such an expression as "born of water" in John 3: 5. When Jesus laid his hands on the children and prayed, they see clear authority for a preacher sprinkling water on a baby, although such a thing is not remotely implied in the text; but when they read that "we were buried therefore with him through baptism into death" (Rom. 6: 4), they cannot imagine even one drop of water. A strange perverseness has taken hold of the hearts of the people. We wonder if we are not justified in bringing the language of Jesus down to date: "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should turn again, and I should heal them." (Matt. 13: 15.) Religious bias can cause a man to see a thing in a text which is not there, and he ought not therefore to see, and it can blind his eyes to something which is there, and which he therefore ought to see. He ought to be able to see, for instance, that Jesus did not consider that these "little children" were totally depraved by birth. His language is most interesting when compared with that Calvinistic dogma. --CLED E. WALLACE.