Irenaeus:“He [Jesus] came to save all through himself; all, I say, who through him are reborn in God: infants, and children, and youths, and old men. (Against Heresies 2:22:4 [A.D. 189]).

Hippolytus:“Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them” (The Apostolic Tradition 21:16 [A.D. 215]).

Origen:“Every soul that is born into flesh is soiled by the filth of wickedness and sin. . . . In the Church, baptism is given for the remission of sins, and, according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants. If there were nothing in infants which required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous” (Homilies on Leviticus 8:3 [A.D. 248]).

“The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of the divine sacraments, knew there are in everyone innate strains of sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit” (Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]).

Cyprian of Carthage:“As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born” (Letters 64:2 [A.D. 253]).

“If, in the case of the worst sinners and those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been born, has done no sin, except that, born of the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he [an infant] approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another” (ibid., 64:5).

Gregory of Nazianzus:“Do you have an infant child? Allow sin no opportunity; rather, let the infant be sanctified from childhood. From his most tender age let him be consecrated by the Spirit. Do you fear the seal [of baptism] because of the weakness of nature? Oh, what a pusillanimous mother and of how little faith!” (Oration on Holy Baptism 40:7 [A.D. 388]).

“‘Well enough,’ some will say, ‘for those who ask for baptism, but what do you have to say about those who are still children, and aware neither of loss nor of grace? Shall we baptize them too?’ Certainly [I respond], if there is any pressing danger. Better that they be sanctified unaware, than that they depart unsealed and uninitiated” (ibid., 40:28).

John Chrysostom:“You see how many are the benefits of baptism, and some think its heavenly grace consists only in the remission of sins, but we have enumerated ten honors [it bestows]! For this reason we baptize even infants, though they are not defiled by [personal] sins, so that there may be given to them holiness, righteousness, adoption, inheritance, brotherhood with Christ, and that they may be his [Christ’s] members” (Baptismal Catecheses in Augustine, Against Julian 1:6:21 [A.D. 388]).

Augustine“What the universal Church holds, not as instituted by councils but as something always held, is most correctly believed to have been handed down by apostolic authority. Since others respond for children, so that the celebration of the sacrament may be complete for them, it is certainly availing to them for their consecration, because they themselves are not able to respond” (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:24:31 [A.D. 400]).

“The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned, nor is it to be regarded in any way as superfluous, nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic” (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 10:23:39 [A.D. 408]).

“Cyprian was not issuing a new decree but was keeping to the most solid belief of the Church in order to correct some who thought that infants ought not be baptized before the eighth day after their birth. . . . He agreed with certain of his fellow bishops that a child is able to be duly baptized as soon as he is born” (Letters 166:8:23 [A.D. 412]).

“By this grace baptized infants too are ingrafted into his [Christ’s] body, infants who certainly are not yet able to imitate anyone. Christ, in whom all are made alive . . . gives also the most hidden grace of his Spirit to believers, grace which he secretly infuses even into infants. . . . If anyone wonders why children born of the baptized should themselves be baptized, let him attend briefly to this. . . . The sacrament of baptism is most assuredly the sacrament of regeneration” (Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of Sin, and the Baptism of Infants 1:9:10; 1:24:34; 2:27:43 [A.D. 412]).

Council of Carthage VItem: It seemed good that whenever there were not found reliable witnesses who could testify that without any doubt they were baptized and when the children themselves were not, on account of their tender age, able to answer concerning the giving of the sacraments to them, all such children should be baptized without scruple, lest a hesitation should deprive them of the cleansing of the sacraments. This was urged by the [North African] legates, our brethren, since they redeem many such from the barbarians” (Canon 7 [A.D. 401]).

爱任纽:”他[耶稣]来,是要借着自己拯救众人;我说,凡借着他在神里面重生的人,包括婴孩、儿童、青年、老人。”(驳异端2:22:4 [公元189年])。



“教会从使徒那里接受了甚至给婴儿施洗的传统。教会从使徒那里接受了给予洗礼的传统,甚至是婴儿,使徒们向他们承诺了神圣圣礼的奥秘,他们知道每个人都有天生的罪,必须通过水和圣灵洗去”(罗马书注释 5:9[公元248年])。

迦太基的屈普良 “至于有关婴儿的情况。你[菲达斯]说他们不应该在出生后的第二或第三天内接受洗礼,必须考虑到旧的割礼法,而且你不认为一个人应该在出生后的第八天之前接受洗礼和圣化。在我们的会议上,我们觉得远非如此。没有人同意你们认为应该采取的方针。相反,我们都判断,上帝的怜悯和恩典不应该被拒绝给任何出生的人”(书信64:2[公元253年])。


纳西盎的贵格里:”你有一个幼小的孩子吗?不让罪有机会;让婴儿从小就成圣。从他最幼小的年龄起,就让他被圣灵圣化。你因为他本性的软弱而惧怕[洗礼的]印记吗?哦,多么轻率的母亲,多么软弱的信仰!” (《圣洗演说》40:7[公元388年])。




“屈普良并不是在颁布新的法令,而是在保持教会最坚实的信仰,以纠正一些认为婴儿在出生后第八天之前不应受洗的人。. . ……他同意他的某些主教们的意见,认为孩子一出生就能接受适当的洗礼”(书信 166:8:23 [A.D. 412])。
“靠着这恩典,受洗的婴儿也融入了他[基督]的身体,这些婴儿当然还不能模仿任何人。基督……也把他的灵最隐秘的恩典赐给信徒,这恩典,他甚至暗暗地注入给婴儿。. . . 如果有人想知道为什么受洗者所生的孩子自己也要受洗,那就让他简单地了解一下。. . . ……洗礼的圣礼最肯定的是重生的圣礼”(《宽恕和罪恶的公正荒漠,以及婴儿的洗礼》1:9:10;1:24:34;2:27:43[公元412年])。