C. H. Spurgeon's View on the
Salvation of Infants

 

Below is a quote from Charles Spurgeon's sermon (April 11, 1861) titled "Misrepresentations of Calvinism Cleared Away," on the subject of infant salvation. We heartily agree with Brother Spurgeon on this subject, and have added an additional note at the end of this quote.

"Among the gross falsehoods which have been uttered against the Calvinists proper, is the wicked calumny that we hold the damnation of little infants. A baser lie was never uttered. There may have existed somewhere, in some corner of the earth, a miscreant who would dare to say that there were infants in hell, but I have never met with him, nor have I met with a man who ever saw such a person. We say, with regard to infants, Scripture saith but little, and, therefore, where Scripture is confessedly scant, it is for no man to determine dogmatically. But I think I speak for the entire body, or certainly with exceedingly few exceptions, and those unknown to me, when I say, we hold that all infants are elect of God and are therefore saved, and we look to this as being the means by which Christ shall see of the travail of his soul to a great degree, and we do sometimes hope that thus the multitude of the saved shall be made to exceed the multitude of the lost. Whatever views our friends may hold upon the point, they are not necessarily connected with Calvinistic doctrine. I believe that the Lord Jesus, who said, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven," doth daily and constantly receive into his loving arms those tender ones who are only shown, and then snatched away to heaven. Our hymns are no ill witness to our faith on this point, and one of them runs thus:

"Millions of infant souls compose
The family above."

Toplady, one of the keenest of Calvinists, was of this number. "In my remarks," says he, "on Dr. Nowell, I testified my firm belief that the souls of all departed infants are with God in glory; that in the decree of predestination to life, God hath included all whom he decreed to take away in infancy, and that the decree of reprobation hath nothing to do with them." Nay, he proceeds farther, and asks, with reason, how the anti-Calvinistic system of conditional salvation and election, or good works foreseen, will suit with the salvation of infants? It is plain that Arminians and Pelagians must introduce a new principle of election; and in so far as the salvation of infants is concerned, become Calvinists. Is it not an argument in behalf of Calvinism, that its principle is uniform throughout, and that no change is needed on the ground on which man is saved, whether young or old?

John Newton, of London, the friend of Cowper, noted for his Calvinism, holds that the children in heaven exceed its adult inhabitants in all their multitudinous array. Gill, a very champion of Calvinism, held the doctrine, that all dying in infancy are saved. An intelligent modern writer, (Dr. Russell, of Dundee,) also a Calvinist, maintains the same views; and when it is considered that nearly one-half of the human race die in early years, it is easy to see what a vast accession must be daily and hourly making to the blessed population of heaven."

 

 

Note.—We believe the above quotation expresses the view of the vast majority of Calvinists on this subject. We believe that all infants dying in the womb or out of the womb are saved, not because they are innocent, but because of the sovereign free grace of God, and that alone! It is obvious from Holy Scripture that though they have not personally sinned, they sinned in Adam, which accounts for the fact that they are subject to pain and suffering and are under the sentence of death. This is the clear teaching of Romans 5:12-21. (Click Here to read.) We believe that the triune God was under no obligation to save any member of Adam's fallen and condemned race, including infants, but that God the Father graciously included all dying infants in the election of grace, and in the atoning substitutionary sacrifice and blood-shedding of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on Calvary's Hill. (For an Old Testament example of infant salvation, see 2 Samuel 12:13-23—David's expectation that after death he would go to be with his child that died.) We also believe that dying infants, whether or not they were born the first time, must be born the second time! It is an absolute necessity, according to the words of our blessed Lord in John 3:3-8 (Click Here to read)—and therefore we believe that the Holy Spirit regenerates every dying infant which enters into Heaven and into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ who shed His own precious blood for them!

We therefore rejoice in believing that all dying infants are by the wonderful grace and mercy of our God included in that vast Heavenly Choir, "a great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues" (Revelation 7:9), who are singing praises to the triune God:

"Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 1:5-6)

Amen and Amen!