24 January 2006

random baptism quote

Henry Hammond was a Anglican divine (1605-1660), a brilliant scholar, and well-known orator in his day. While nominated to the Westminster Assembly of divines, he did not participate, having just taken part in a rising in support of King Charles.

Regarding the baptism of infants he writes in "Sermon 27":
That makes a man to be truly regenerate, when the seed is sown in the
heart, when the habit is infused; and this is done sometimes discernibly, sometimes not discernibly...Undiscernibly God's supernatural agency interposes sometimes in the mother's womb...but this divine address attends most ordinarily till the time of our baptism, when the Spirit accompanying the outward sign infuses itself into our hearts, and there seats and plants itself, and grows up with the reasonable soul, keeping even their most luxuriant year within bounds; and as they come to an use of their reason, to a more and more multiplying this habit of grace into holy spiritual acts of faith and obedience; from which it is ordinarily said that infants baptized have habitual faith, as they may be also said to have habitual repentance, and the habits of all other graces, because they have the root and seed of those beauteous healthful flowers, which will actually flourish when they come to years. And this, I say, is so frequent to be performed at baptism, that ordinarily it is not wrought without that means, and in those means we may expect it...
Even if Hammond himself was not "Reformed" in a Dort-bounded way, such a perspective was a common one among various English Reformed divines, such as Cornelius Burges, Anthony Tuckney, Daniel Featley, and others.