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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

Charles Coffin's The Baptism of Infants Sermon

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0709

In this sermon, titled "The Baptism of Infants," Charles Coffin argues that because infants have a sinful nature through the instrumentality of their fallen parents and because God desires infants to be saved, a visible or manifest interest in the covenant entitles infants not less than adults to a regular membership [in the visible church] properly sealed [i.e. by baptism]. Coffin further asserts that if an infant's parents are church members, the child is a member as well because in all public covenant transaction with men God has uniformly included children in their parents, as branches in their stock or root; and admitted them to the same covenant seals and privileges as far as their capacity would allow.

Dates

  • undated

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

0.1 Linear Feet

Abstract

In this sermon, titled "The Baptism of Infants," Charles Coffin argues that because infants have a sinful nature through the instrumentality of their fallen parents and because God desires infants to be saved, a visible or manifest interest in the covenant entitles infants not less than adults to a regular membership [in the visible church] properly sealed [i.e. by baptism]. Coffin further asserts that if an infant's parents are church members, the child is a member as well because in all public covenant transaction with men God has uniformly included children in their parents, as branches in their stock or root; and admitted them to the same covenant seals and privileges as far as their capacity would allow.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Coffin was born on August 15, 1775 in Newburyport, Massachusetts, to Charles and Hepzibah (Carnes) Coffin. He graduated from Harvard College in July of 1793 and later received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Williams College. He was licensed to preach the Gospel on May 14, 1799 and ordained an Evangelist on September 11, 1804. Coffin moved to the southeast in 1799 and became Vice-President of Greeneville College in 1801. He married Susan Woodbridge Ayer of Maine on October 9, 1802 and the couple had twelve children: Charles Hector, James Ayer (1805-1805), James Ayer (born 1806), Eliza, John McKinney, Samuel Spring, Daniel Little, Susan, Margaret McKinney, Harriet Newell, Cornelius Worcester, and Mary Farnham. The family moved to Tennessee in 1805, where Coffin continued his work with Greeneville College (becoming President in 1810) before assuming the Presidency of East Tennessee University in 1827. To induce him to leave Greeneville College, the Trustees offered a generous annual salary of $1500 and a president's home. Coffin resigned five years later, having concluded that public opinion in Tennessee was not sufficient to support a college. He died in Greeneville, Tennessee on June 3, 1853.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

James L. Getaz, Jr. donated this sermon to the University of Tennessee's Special Collections Library in March of 1973.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480