The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

“Untill faith appears”

with 2 comments

Jonathan Leeman can take care of himself. I will not pretend or imply that I know well enough to agree with everything, more plain or more nuanced, in Brother Leeman’s ecclesiology, though I know we have much in common. However, it is still worth reading his initial piece on the baptism of disciples in full in order to understand what he said and did not say. Not all of that comes across in Mark Jones’ response.

Indeed, Jonathan has himself responded to Mark’s critique (as have others), and readers can look at those matters for themselves.

I have been digging around in the 17th century recently, and have – not deliberately, but of necessity – found a number of treatments of the issue among the early Particular Baptists. In particular, there’s a lovely little piece by Edward Harrison called Paedo-baptisme Oppugned that I had the pleasure of reading. We’re also working in our adult Bible class through the Appendix to the 1677/1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, which raises and answers very similar questions. It really is refreshing how crisply and scripturally these Baptists worked through and addressed the issues.

However, in connection with this altercation, I came across the following in John Spilsbery’s Treatise Concerning the Lawfull Subject of Baptism, which I thought helped the discussion forward quite neatly. Spilsbery declares that

all that I intend by opposing Infants Baptism, is but onely to forbear and wait upon God in the use of means, untill faith appears to meet with God in his holy Ordinance, without which the same is voyd and of no effect; but prophaned, God provoked, and the party indangered.

Of course, Splisbery’s little “only” is quite weighty and far-reaching, but it does clarify the question.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 4 July 2015 at 21:00

2 Responses

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  1. Greetings Jeremy. I was interested in reading the discussion, but your link does not work. I tried searching on the Ref21 website and cannot find it. Is the discussion still available? If so, could you kindly provide an updated link?

    Many thanks. May the Lord bless you and your ministry.

    Your fellow labourer,
    Mike Davenport

    Mike Davenport

    Monday 6 July 2015 at 13:01

    • Thanks, Mike. There was not much more, so I have simply cut and pasted it here. However, you can at least follow the links.

      Jeremy Walker

      Monday 6 July 2015 at 16:58


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