Krauth - Infant Baptism and Infant Salvation in the Calvinistic System

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Krauth in his booklet on Baptism said some reasons why we Lutherans have problems with Calvinist teaching on Baptism, namely that it seems to both do nothing and seems to offer no hope for infants (pg 49).  He repeated this in his Conservative Reformation (pg 434).

Shortly after Conservative Reformation was published, Dr. Charles Hodge published his Systematic Theology, and nicely said in a footnote that he was not aware of any Calvinists who taught as Krauth said they did. (vol 3, pg 605)

And so Dr. Krauth wrote a book review in a theological journal that was expanded into an 83 page booklet, documenting his understanding of Calvinism which he was attacking, which, admittedly was NOT the understanding that Charles Hodge was teaching.

Spaeth's biography of Krauth includes this letter from Dr. Hodge about this booklet:

Princeton, April 15, 1874.

My Dear Sir:—I have to thank you for a copy of your article on Infant Salvation in the Calvinistic System.

I feel greatly indebted to you for the kind manner in which you speak of my theology, and for the more than kind manner in which you speak of me personally. I am very sensible of my obligations to you for your favorable judgment.

Your paper proves that you are far better read in Calvinistic Theology than I am. In preparing my book I determined to present the doctrines of the Reformed, Lutheran, Romish and Remonstrant Churches in the language of their acknowledged standards, and refer only for illustration to their theologians. The Reformed Symbols nowhere teach the necessity of Baptism to the salvation of infants. The Symbols of the Lutheran and Latin Churches do expressly teach that doctrine. This seems to me to make a great difference. The Reformed do indeed teach that none but the elect are saved; but their Symbols do not teach that children dying in infancy are excluded from the number of the elect. All Calvinists therefore may consistently believe in infant salvation, and I have never seen or known a Calvinist who disbelieves it.


I do not, however, intend to discuss the question, and regret that there is any point on which you and myself are constrained to differ.

Respectfully and affectionately,

Your friend and brother,


Charles Hodge


And so the controversy was concluded.  The main source for this edition is I took their epub and used Calibre to create a rtf document, and then manually inserted in page numbers and footnotes from the Internet Archive page scans.  In addition I tried to link in references to various confessions and other theological works.

With regards to the footnotes, in the original edition they were by special characters that could repeat every page.  This edition numbers them consecutively throughout the document.  I noticed a few cases where the footnotes did not seem to line up with the text, eg. on page 30 the reference to the Heidelberg Catechism which should be in note 72 was in note 73.  I did not try to correct any errors nor notate this.  I am sure I have some transcription errors, but thought it was best to try to preserve what was there.

I incuded the index at the back of the book, but did not take the time to create links for all the references.  Logos does a quite good job at indexing on its own...



Ken McGuire

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

L8 Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox Silver, Reformed Basic, Academic Essentials

L7 Lutheran Gold, Anglican Bronze

Posts 3690
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 9 2012 11:59 AM

Thank you!

Grace & Peace,

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Posts 178
DavidS | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 9 2012 12:02 PM

Thank you for the book.

Posts 149
Mark E. Ryman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 10 2012 4:35 AM

Thanks for the book!

Posts 149
Mark E. Ryman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 10 2012 4:50 AM

Makes me think... I have a few DOC books that I have made for classes over the years. Perhaps I should post them here. Jubillees and other more "obscure" titles. 

Posts 44
Schamma | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 10 2012 5:02 AM

Thank you! Smile

Posts 176
Gerald Rodgers | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 10 2012 5:07 AM

Hi Mark

Look forward to your contributions of docs ASAP. Thanks, Gerald

Posts 149
Mark E. Ryman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 10 2012 5:21 AM I have another project! 

Posts 149
Mark E. Ryman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 11 2012 2:46 AM

The Book of Jubilees is now in the Files section.

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