The Gospel Increases Spiritual Privileges

Bishop J.C. Ryle on infant baptism:

“Children were admitted to into the Old Testament Church by a formal ordinance, from the time of Abraham downwards. That ordinance was circumcision. It was an ordinance which God himself appointed, and the neglect of which was denounced as sin…Now if children were considered to be capable of admission into the Church by an ordinance in the Old Testament, it is difficult to see why they cannot be admitted in the New. The general tendency of the Gospel is to increase men’s spiritual privileges and not diminish them.”

And Ryle, a little later, endorsing infant baptism but confronting baptismal regeneration:

“Baptism signifies a change of state, bringing the child within the realm of grace, but it does not signify a change of nature.”

-J.C. Ryle, quoted in J.C. Ryle: That Man of Granite by Eric Russell (Christian Focus, 2001), pp.132-133

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