J.A. Haldane - Reasons of a change of Sentiment and Practice (Baptism)

From the Preface: In the following pages the writer had endeavored to state the Scripture doctrine respecting Baptism. He has seen cause to change his views of this ordinance and has here given his reasons for his present practice.


We are naturally inclined to speak of ourselves, and fondly imagine, that whatever respects us will excite attention. Experience tends to correct this notion, and to make us sensible that our history is less interesting to others than we are apt to suppose. But without forgetting this or being justly chargeable with intruding ourselves on the public notice, we may sometimes be justified in referring to what has passed in our own minds; for as in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man. As the writer of these pages not only practiced for a considerable time what he now sees to be unscriptural, but also wrote in defense of infant baptism,[1] he trusts his brethren will bear with him while he relates the progress of his mind on this subject.


The first time I thought at all on baptism, was in company with two ministers of the Establishment, when the name of a certain person was mentioned. I inquired, is he not an Anabaptist? One of them replied, he has much to say for himself on that subject, while the other was silent. I afterwards thought a good deal on this, although no more passed. Those with whom I then chiefly associated were of the Established church. I occasionally heard them speak of Baptists as people who were exceedingly keen on the subject, who had paid much attention to it, and had much to say upon it. At the same time, I observed a degree of hesitation among them respecting the ground on which infant baptism rested, and that they generally evaded the question, by observing that circumcision availeth nothing nor uncircumcision, or by inquiring whether we should be more holy if plunged in water.


One thing which tended much to keep me from examining the subject, was my being informed, that when people became Baptists, they not only lost all zeal for the spread of the gospel but were in a great measure shut out from usefulness. I had also imbibed a thorough contempt for bigotry, or in other words, for attention to any part of the order established by Jesus Christ in his churches, and consequently my conscience was in a great measure seared against conviction on the subject. [1] View of social Worship, &c, 1st and 2nd editions.

J.A. Haldane - Reasons of a change of Sentiment and Practice (Baptism)

  • Author: J.A. Haldane (1768- 1851)

    Reasons of a Change of Sentiment and Practice on the Subject of Baptism - Containing a plain view of the signification of the word, and of the persons for whom the ordinance is appointed.

    80 lb. cover

    Paperback / Perfect binding

    186 pgs.

    Size: aprox. 5w x 7h

    Publisher: Crown & Cross Books

    ISBN: 978-1-64127-009-0

    Fresh typeset not a facsimile


    Source: Second edition published in 1809 with corrections.