Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Turretin on the Faith of Infants (Reasons - Part 1)

XIV. Rationes cur ita statuamus sunt: 1. Quia promissio Foederis non minus ad Infantes, quam ad Adultos pertinet; siquidem Deus pollicetur se fore Deum Abrahami, et seminis ejus, Ge. xvii.7, et, Act. ii. 39, promissio dicitur facta Patribus et Liberis. Ergo et beneficia Foederis, qualia sunt remissio peccatorum, et sanctificatio, ad eos pertinere debent, ex Jer. xxxi., xxxii., et pro statu ipsorum a Deo ipsis communicantur. Quo sensu juxta quosdam fidelium liberi dicuntur sancti Paulo, 1 Cor. vii. 14. Licent hoc melius referatur ad sanctitatem externam et foederalem quae illis competit, secundum quam, quia nascuntur ex parentibus foederatis et Christianis, saltem ex altero, censentur etiam in sanctitate geniti, id in Christianismo, et non in Ethnicismo, qui status erat ἀκαθαρσἱας et impuritatis.



XIV. The reasons are: (1) the promise of the covenant pertains no less to infants than to adults, since God promises that he will be "the God of Abraham and of his seed" (Gen. 17:7) and the promise is said to have been made "with the fathers and their children" (Acts 2:39). Therefore also the blessings of the covenant (such as "remission of sins" and "sanctification") ought to pertain to them (according to Jer. 31 and 32) and are communicated to them by God according to their state. In this sense (as some think), the children of believers are called "holy" by Paul (1 Cor. 7:14). This may with more propriety be referred to the external and federal holiness which belongs to them, according to which (because they are born of covenanted and Christian parents—at least of one) they are also considered to be begotten in "holiness" (i.e., in Christianity, and not in heathenism, which was a state of uncleanness [akatharsias] and impurity).
(source for English, including the other paragraphs of this question)

The above is taken from Turretin's Institutes, Volume 2, 15th Topic, 14th Question, 14th paragraph. One unfortunate error in Dennison's edition of Turretin's Institutes (in English) is that "Patribus et Liberis" has been placed in quotation marks (see English version above), when - in fact - it is not a quotation from Acts 2:39, but rather the sense of the text.

This is mostly being posted for a friend who wants the Latin, rather than to spark conversation (although, of course, if someone wants to comment on the faith that infants can have, they are welcome to do so).

-TurretinFan

9 comments:

Coram Deo said...

(although, of course, if someone wants to comment on the faith that infants can have, they are welcome to do so)

Where is it in the Bible?

In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

CD:

It's deduced from a variety of Scriptures including, for example, Genesis 17:7, Acts 2:39, Jeremiah 31-32, and 1 Corinthians 7:14. (and that's just in this section, there are several more sections)

-TurretinFan

louis said...

"... you made me trust you at my mother's breasts. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God." (Ps.22:9-10).

Coram Deo said...

I see.

Presumably the faith you deduce that is ascribed to infants in Scripture is a living, saving faith, correct?

Assuming the affirmative at what point does one deduce from the Scriptures that this living, saving faith is actually and really imparted to infants?

louis' prooftext would seem to assert that it's at some point in utero.

If so, then might one rightly conclude that living, saving faith does not come by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God after all, but by another mysterious providence?

In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

CD:

That is addressed in Turretin. See the link I added to the post.

-TurretinFan

louis said...

WCF, Ch.10. The elect are effectually called by word and Spirit, but there are "other elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word," such as infants and those lacking mental capacity. Those are "regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth."

natamllc said...

I find great comfort in the story of Ruth. Boaz marries her by right of redemption!

The power of "blood" cleansing is a fact and the need for one to be cleansed is as Louis points too from his citation of WCF, Ch.10.

Another testament to this is found, in my view, from Numbers 14.

Also, Peter clearly grasped what Moses understood when we read what he wrote, here:

1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
1Pe 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1Pe 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1Pe 5:9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
1Pe 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1Pe 5:11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.


It seems to me as the day draws nearer, the fierce nature of the fallen will make things very clear and easy for the Elect to take their stand against them; and, quite possibly, to their own peril?

The promises of God we hear about in this Life are not a promise of things going well in this life, but in the next life!

Let infants beware!

Coram Deo said...

Thanks for referring me back to the link, TF.

I now see clearly that Dr. Turretin was busily building upon the edifice of paedobaptism.

This same group of interlocutors has traveled this road before, so I'll let sleeping dogs lie.

In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

Thanks.

I hope that the link provided the answers you were looking for.

-TurretinFan