What does infant baptism do for them?
(James Smith "Infant Baptism" 1858)
"But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Acts 8:12
"Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized." Acts 18:8
"So Philip proceeded to tell him the good news about Jesus, beginning from that Scripture. As they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, 'Look, there’s water! What would keep me from being baptized?' And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart you may.' And he replied, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him." Acts 8:35-38
The New Testament order appears to have been as follows:
the Word was preached,
the soul was quickened,
faith was professed,
the believer was baptized,
the baptized were added to the church, and
the church surrounded the Lord's table as one holy, obedient, loving family.
Such was the first church, and such were the first Christians, who continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayer.
But someone may be ready to ask, "What is to become of our children?" May I ask also, What becomes of them now? What does infant baptism do for them? Does it regenerate them? Does it give them a saving interest in Christ? Does it raise them one inch above, or place them one step above the unbaptized? It does not!
Then some may ask, "Why do we baptize them?"
Truly — why do you baptize them?
God has not commanded you.
His Spirit does not sanction you.
His Word does not command you.
Infant baptism has done a world of mischief — but it never did any good. It is doing incalculable mischief at the present time; may the Lord root it up, and root it out, of His church entirely and forever!
"But what are we to do with our children?" Do! bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Teach them that by nature they are without Christ, afar off from God, and exposed to everlasting misery! Show them that they form no part of the Church of God, which is composed only of His friends — but they are numbered with His enemies. Inform them of their need of the pardon which the gospel proclaims, of the sanctifying Spirit, and the finished work of Jesus to furnish them with a title of everlasting life. Teach them that they must repent of sin — or perish; that they must personally believe in Jesus — or be forever condemned. Set forth Christ in all His love and loveliness; and by a holy life, by frequent exhortation, by leading them to the house of prayer, and by endeavoring to render Christianity as lovely — strive to bring them to decision and salvation.
I cannot see that infant baptism . . .
gives a parent any assistance,
imparts to the child any blessing,
brings to the Lord any honor,
or does any party the least good!
But, it does appear to me . . .
to throw a stumbling block in the way,
to lead to soul-deception,
and to do much mischief.
Infant baptism is, in my view . . .
a pillar of popery,
the principal basis of corrupt religious establishments,
and one of Satan's strongest holds.
Infant baptism . . .
divides the Lord's people,
unites the world and the church together,
and leads thousands into mischief and misery!
It is to me truly astonishing, that a practice . . .
so destitute of all Scriptural authority,
so totally and entirely useless,
so opposed to the nature of the present Gospel dispensation
— should be practiced, approved, and defended by so many!