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8-26 From Infant Baptism to Believers Baptism by Scriptural Study

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Justified, Aug 26, 2002.

  1. Justified

    Justified New Member

    Jul 14, 2002
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    This Day in Baptist History, E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins

    8-26 From Infant Baptism to Believers Baptism by Scriptural Study
    Scripture: II Timothy 2:14-26

    Benjamin Foster was born into a typical home of pious Congregationalist parents in Danvers, Massachusetts. After Foster received his early education in the town school, his parents was to it that he further prepared for the university by continuing to study at the town school. At the age of eighteen, he was placed in Yale College in Connecticut. He distinguished himself by his outstanding moral life as well as his success in classical literature.

    At this time there was much debate relative to the scriptural mode and candidates for baptism. Several tracts had appeared throughout the northern colonies, and there was no small disputation on the subject. Of course, baptism was debated often at Yale and was considered a proper subject for discussion. Because of his academic excellence and preparation, Foster was appointed to defend infant sprinkling. To prepare himself for the task, he endeavored to view the question in every light and from every angle. He carefully searched the Scriptures and studied the history of the church from times of the apostles. The result, to his own astonishment and surprise and chagrin of others, was very different from what was expected. When the day appointed for discussion arrived, to the amazement of the officers of the college, he avowed himself a decided convert to the doctrine of believers baptism, that only those who profess faith in Jesus Christ are to be the subjects of baptism and that immersion only is the mode of Christian baptism. He continued the rest of his life as a zealous and powerful advocate of these principles.

    Foster graduated from Yale around the year of 1772, and soon thereafter he was baptized and joined the Baptist church in Boston. Under the pastoral care of Samuel Stillman, Foster continued his study of theology. He soon became pastor of the Baptist church in Leicester, Massachusetts, where he was ordained. He continued to preach and write tracts and ultimately answered the call of a Baptist church in Newport, Rhode Island, where his sphere of usefulness expanded and his opportunities for study increased.

    In 1788 Foster received a unanimous call to the First Baptist Church in New York, where he continued in the pastorate until his death on August 26, 1798.(1) his death was brought about by yellow fever, which had reached epidemic proportions in New York in that year. When the dreadful disease began to prevail, Pastor Foster was frequent in his visits to pray and give comfort from God’s Word. He was always willing to visit those terrible scenes of affliction from which many of the best of the best men shrunk back with terror.

    As a scholar, particularly in Greek, Hebrew, and Chaldean languages, Pastor Foster had few superiors. On his tomb in a New York cemetery is the following inscription: “As a scholar and divine, he excelled; as a preacher he was eminent; as a Christian he shone conspicuously; in his piety he was fervent; the church was comforted by his life, and it now laments his death.”(2) EWT

    (1) Charles G. Sommers, ed., A History of the Baptists in New England, The Baptist Library, vol. 1 (New York: Lewis Colby and Co., n.d.), p. 297.

    (2) Ibid.

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, than to fall into liberalism" Justified Version [​IMG]

    ”Conservatives- Theology dictates morality/Liberals- morality dictates Theology” Justified Version [​IMG]

    [ August 26, 2002, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: Justified ]