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Bullinger on the Efficacy of Baptism

June 6, 2007

Baptised infants washed in the blood of Christ:


For why, I pray you, do we baptize our infants? Is it because they believe with their heart and confess with their mouth? I think not. Do we not therefore baptize them, because God hath commanded them to be brought to unto him? because he hath promised, that he will be our God, and the God of our seed after us? to be short, because we believe that God, of his mere grace and mercy, in the blood of Jesus Christ, hath cleansed and adopted them, and appointed them to be heirs of eternal life? We therefore, baptizing infants for these causes, do abundantly testify that there is not first given unto them in baptism, but that there is sealed and confirmed which they had before.

Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 7, vol 2, p, 312-313.


Again we defend and maintain that the same infants ought to be baptized, if it be possible, though by the right of the covenant they belong to the body of Christ and are sanctified by the blood of Christ.

Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 8, vol 2, p, 376.


But the catholic truth, which is delivered unto us n the holy scriptures, doth pronounce, that all they are to be baptized whom God acknowledgeth for his people, and giveth sentence that they are partakers of purification or sanctification or remission of sins. For in all this treatise concerning the sacraments I have already and do now shew, that baptism is a badge or cognisance of the people of God, and an assured token of our purification by Christ. Therefore since the young babes and infants of the faithful are in the number or reckoning of God’s people, and partakers of the promise touching the purification through Christ; it followeth of necessity, that they are as well to be baptized, as they that be of perfect age which profess the Christian faith.

Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 8, vol 2, p, 383.


The power of Christ is ever effectual throughly [thoroughly] to cleanse and wash away all the sins of them that be his. How often therefore soever we have sinned in our life-time, let us cal into our remembrance the mystery of holy baptism; wherewith for the wile course of our life we are washed, that we might know, and not doubt that our sins are forgiven as of the same God and our Lord, yea, and by the Blood of Christ, into whom by baptism once we are graffed, that he might always work salvation in us, even till we be received out of misery into glory.

Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 8, vol 2, p, 398.

Bullinger’s language is just about identical to that of Calvin’s and Vermigli’s.

I have posted these for interest’s sake.



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