The Anglican Expositor is pleased to offer this reprint of Archibald Boyd’s classic treatise on Baptism and baptismal regeneration. This book might be little known but for its being mentioned in Ray Sutton’s Signed, Sealed, and Delivered. In fact, Boyd’s work underlies that of Sutton, who fleshes out in greater detail many of Boyd’s thoughts. Boyd was, himself, quite the controversialist in his day, writing extensively in defence of the Church of Ireland against the Presbyterians. This book, although written later in Boyd’s career, addresses many of the Presbyterian accusations against and critiques of the Prayer Book and its baptismal office. Boyd also addresses the criticism of infant baptism raised by the “credobaptists” who were on the rise in the 19th Century.
Boyd does an excellent job of demonstrating the soundly biblical nature of the Anglican baptismal office and of the effects and benefits of baptism, especially discussing at some length the proper and biblical understanding of baptismal regeneration—a concept condemned by many in his day (and ours) due not so much to a difference in doctrine, but to the evolving meaning of the term “regeneration”. Boyd closes the book with an excellent discussion of the Reformers and their understanding of the subject.
Originally printed in 1869, Boyd’s work is very readable and a very important contribution to our sacramental theology.