Below is a partial transcript of a letter preached in 1816 and published in Concord in 1817 from Stephen Blanchard to Ethan Smith, The Congregationalist Minister In Hopkinton, N. H., taken from Rick Grunder’s Mormon Parallels (which includes commentary and additional document information). For commentary, see Grunder. I have added headings to organize the content, following roughly after Grunder’s commentary.

Arguments against Infant Baptism

To me it seems strange, that you can see … absurdities in the Episcopal plan relative to infant baptism and confirmation … and not see, that the doctrine of infant baptism itself is the very foundation of all those inconsistencies … I contend, that no one can have a right to the outward and visible sign, unless he possess the inward and spiritual grace… . I cannot see the least ground to administer it [baptism], unless, in the judgment of charity, the subject is a spiritual child of Abraham. [pp. 25-26]

Sometimes it is said, that infants are to be baptized for the remission of sin; that they are polluted with original sin…

… Sometimes it is said, that male and female children are to be baptized, because males were circumcised of old; and baptism comes in the room of circumcision… . from what page of the sacred book can these ideas be drawn? [p. 28]

… that baptism is a substitute for circumcision is as destitute of proof; as that the bishop of Rome is a substitute for the Jewish high priest. In reading the bible, I presume, that such an idea never arose in the mind of any person, who had never been taught it from some other source. [p. 30]

… Does the New-Testament furnish evidence, that infants are to be baptized, if one of the parents is, in the judgment of charity, a spiritual child of Abraham? … “ It is worse than in vain, it is impious to pretend, we must believe the affirmative, while yet it is not clearly ascertained in the New Testament… .” [p. 31]

[Blanchard contends that the Catholic Church is forced to resort to apostolic tradition to defend infant baptism,] because infant baptism is not revealed in scripture, but … unwritten tradition, which, they say, is handed down from the apostles. This comports very well with the character of a corrupt church… . Here appears to be a doctrine concerning the church, which is new indeed, when compared with what was taught or practised by the apostles … [p. 32]

Informal Bibliography against Infant Baptism

Blanchard provides an informal textual bibliography of writings against infant baptism which were popular at the time:

Without going into the elaborate productions of Dr. Gill against Clarke, Booth’s pedo-baptism examined, Baldwin against Worcester, or Merrill’s seven sermons; if we take a candid survey of Foot’s letters to bishop Hoadly, P. Chapin’s letter to N. Worcester, and Baldwin’s letter to a Friend; we find, these short essays contain the sum of the arguments, and are sufficient to convince every rational and unprejudiced enquirer of the futility of all, that has been said in favor of infant sprinkling And these had been entirely unnecessary, if nothing had been published attempting to establish that, which is not found in the bible. [pp. 27-28]

No True Apostolic Order

There is no doubt, but that the order of the gospel was much perverted in the dark ages; and it is not probable, that, since the reformation, the true apostolic order is restored in any of the Protestant churches. Therefore we may conclude, that the visible church is in an imperfect state. [p. 33]