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- Submitted: Jul 15 2012 06:24 AM
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- Author: John Gill
- e-Sword Version: 9.x - 10.x
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Gill, John - Infant Baptism A Part and Pillar of Popery
9.x - 10.x
The main argument over baptism boils down to the Church’s desire to conform to Christ’s standards as best as humanly possible. Paedobaptists and Credobaptists firmly believe they are running closer to Christ’s standards, and in the best cases, but sadly not the most cases, their antagonism is a fair desire to see a pure church.
Unfortunately for those wishing to study the subject, both sides of the baptism differences seem to “infer” Biblical proof that is not always clear. Both sides claim the support of the early fathers, and both sides have strong ties to historical background. Even worse, there are those who chose to be antagonistic for the sake of antagonism, who only cause needless divisions amongst brothers. As a result, it is to the student’s advantage to pursue a Scriptural, objective, and compassionate book on baptism.
However, choosing an “objective” book on baptism is impossible, and a “compassionate” book is rare. Both sides employ convincing apologetical authors defending their views and attacking the opposite view. As a result, attempting a study necessarily involves an uncomfortable sensation of being accused of scriptural corruption by the author of the opposing treatise. It is a shame that the church is reduced to squabble over an important issue in a commonly childish fashion.
The baptism issue is important, as a Christian’s view of baptism will influence other areas of his theology. Coming to a conclusion on the controversy is essential.
Please realize that as the publisher of this module, I do not necessarily endorse the content, arguments, or perspectives of this module. I have undertaken this module because of my desire to understand the issue of baptism; I am still a student of the issue desiring to see Christ’s church closely conforming to His commands. Please do not view this module as representative of my opinions, but feel free to send me helpful articles on baptism!
John Gill’s Infant Baptism a Part and Pillar of Popery
John Gill is merely remembered today for his gigantic Commentary on the Whole Bible. Gill was a scholar of the first sort, reading and citing the entire Jewish Rabbinic writings in his works. No one since has had quite the same level of traditional knowledge. Gill pastored the church founded by Benjamin Keach, and was succeeded by John Rippon, James Smith, and a man named Charles Spurgeon.
Spurgeon himself writes rather critically of his predecessor. Like Keach before him, Gill had a bone to pick with his Paedobaptist brethren. Infant Baptism, a Part and Pillar of Popery was Gill’s stab at his favorite topic.
As the publisher, please realize that I cannot recommend this book. I hesitated to upload it because of its divisive nature. However, at the same time, after reading it for my own study, I realize that its historical and authoritative value cannot be forgotten. Gill feels strongly on this issue, and antagonizes greatly his opponents. This is no easy read! I must restate my disclaimer that I do not endorse the unloving nature of this module. If you choose to study it for the sake of its past significance, please be aware that Gill does not represent all credobaptistic authors in his stance and beliefs.
Please do not download this book to create division in the church; I have provided it for those who desire to study this issue, not for those who choose to antagonize.
From the Introduction:
“Having been called upon to maintain certain statements which, in a recent publication, I advanced with respect to infant baptism, or else to retract them, I readily undertake the former; and shall, therefore, in the ensuing treatise, endeavor to explain myself, and to defend the positions then taken. With this view, it will be proper first to recite the paragraph which has been so strenuously assailed. It is as follows: ‘The Pedobaptists are ever restless and uneasy, struggling to sustain, if possible, their unscriptural practice of infant baptism; although it is no other than a pillar of Popery; a corruption, by which Antichrist has spread his baneful influence over many nations; which forms the basis of national churches and ecclesiastical establishments; and which, uniting the church and the world, binds them together so firmly, that there can never be a full separation of the one from the other, nor any thorough reform in religion, until it be wholly removed. But, although it has so long and so largely obtained, and still does obtain, yet I believe, with a firm and unshaken faith, that the time is hastening on, when it will no more be practiced in the world; when churches will be formed on the model ordained by Christ, and observed by the Apostles; when the doctrines and discipline of the Gospel will be restored to their primitive purity and luster; and when the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper will be administered as they were first delivered, clear from all the superstitious admixtures with which later times have defaced them. All this, I am persuaded, will be accomplished, when the Lord shall be King over all the earth, and there shall be one Lord, and His name one.’
“The paragraph, thus cited, consists of several distinct propositions, which I shall endeavor, in the following chapters, to elucidate and establish. And if, in the course of the investigation, any thing should be said that may seem to savor of severity, let it be remembered that all my remarks are directed against infant baptism itself, and not against the individuals who practice it. For the evangelical denominations adhering to this custom, I cherish the highest regard. I recognize them as members of the body of Christ, and fellow heirs with the saints. I rejoice in their general advocacy of the doctrines of the Gospel; in their Christian spirit; in their unwearied labors to extend the kingdom of the Redeemer. But while I love and venerate them for their manly excellencies, I do not the less deplore the one error by which those excellencies are sullied. And I deplore it, not because it is fatal to their piety, and will ultimately bar them out of heaven; but because, however honestly held, it nevertheless dishonors the authority of the Savior whom they profess to obey, hinders the supremacy of His laws, and counteracts their own efforts to promote it. May ‘the Spirit of truth’ so enlighten our minds, that we shall all know and receive ‘the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.’”
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