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particular mode of sprinkling,-never necessarily in the mode of immersing.
So again in Mark vii. 4, there is a talk about BAP'TIZING ; and whatever was done, Mr. Woolsey justly maintains was done by the use of the "water-pots.” But John ii. .6 speaks of these water-pots as set “after the manner of the PURIFYING of the Jews. Here, too, baptism is not an immersion in fact; much less in the idea. The idea of baptism here is not a mere mode of applying watercertainly not the mode of immersion,—but a PURIFYING.
So again in Luke xi. 38, 39, upon the Pharisee's wondering that Jesus had not been baptized before dinner, our Lord took occasion to say to him, “ Ye Pharisees make clean (in the original, PURIFY) the outside.” Here neither the Saviour nor the Pharisee considered the essence of the baptism as lying in the mode, but in the intent and in the effect. Baptism, in their view, was a washing or purifying.
So again in the Apocrypha, Judith xii. 7, it is said that Judith went out into the valley of Bethulia and washed (Sept. baptized herself) in the camp (8-1-1 ins anys) AT (not in) a fountain of water in the camp. The context shows that the object of this baptizing was to remove a ceremonial uncleanness. “She without doubt strictly obeyed the law, and did what the law intended that she should do. But the law in such cases simply commanded washing (Lev. xv.'). The narrator does not intend to signify that she went beyond the law, but that she obseryed it: and in his view wash is synonymous with baptize in denoting a religious ordinance-a ceremonial purification.
Co in Ecclesiasticus xxiv. 25, the words baptize and wash are used interchangeably as purely synonymous : “ He that baptizeth himself after the touching of a dead body, what availeth his washing ?” The allusion is to Numbers xix. 11, &c., where the law simply required washing, or purifying. The essential thing in that purifying was performed by sprinkling; and of him who should fail in this, it was said, “because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.”
If we therefore follow the Scripture pattern, or the pattern of the Greek of the Apocrypha, in fixing the prcper idea of the word“ baptize” as used to denote the sacred use of water in a religious ordinance, we shall entirely omit all reference to mode, and fix our thoughts upon the intent and the effect of baptism ; the substance and not the shadow. Baptism will not be a dipping, or an immersing, or a pouring, or a sprinkling, but a WASHING, a
The word being thus used in the New Testament, to denote a ritual washing or purifying (which it never signified in classic Greek); being used moreover where the mode of purifying was either sprinkling or pouring ; and being, still further, so used that to make it read immerse would make the Bible speak what confessedly is not true; I think we have clearly,--and established beyond the possibility of a successful denial,-a generic and peculiar New Testament use of the word; in which use baptize primarily denotes a ritual purifying by some manner of application of water, which is called “the WASHING of water :” and secondarily it denctes an inward purifying by the Floly Ghost, called “the WASHING of regeneration.”
These things being so, how idle it is for our Baptist
Brethren to ask, as they often do, “ If any application of water, washing, sprinkling, pouring, &c., means baptism, why did not the sacred writers sometimes use the Greek word which means to wash, sprinkle, and pour ?"
The reason is plain :
1. Baptize is used with a peculiar but generic reference to this purifying, without any reference to mode. But the words “sprinkle” and “ pour” are not so used. Their use, in the New Testament, is not limited to the sacred use of water; and they refer to a mode; while the word baptize in the New Testament refers to none. They cannot therefore be interchanged with“ baptize” as though they were synonymous with it. The word“ wash” is so interchanged, because it so far accords with baptize as not to refer to any particular mode.
2. It is not true that the words, wash, sprinkle, pour, are not used in the New Testament with reference to baptism. As often as anything is said in the New Testament in allusion to a mode of baptism, these words are invariably used. As to the word wash, the Scriptures refer to baptism as the “WASHING of water ;” and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, they call “the WASHING of regeneration. As to the word sprinkle, the prophets describe the purifying which they foretell, as a sprinkling : “so shall he sprinkle many nations :” “ Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean." As to the word pour,
the mode of ihe Spirit's baptizing is spoken of as a pouring, a shedding forth, a falling upon. But where do you read of the immersing of (with) “water," or of the immersing of many “nations," or of the immersing of regeneration," or of the immersing of (in) the blood of Christ ?" Nowhere in the word of God: nowhere, even in figure. The very idea is strange and preposterous. We may retort the question, if it be so, that baptism is nothing but immersion, and that immersion is all-essential to it; why is it that we never read of the immersion of “regeneration”-or of a promise, then I will immerse you in “clean water and ye shall be clean:"—or of the immersion of the blood of Christ ?
Our English translators employed the words baptize and baptism, which had been for
to denote the ordinance, and which had become vernacular in the English tongue. Of Greek origin these words undoubtedly were, but they were as well understood as the words geography, astronomy, biography, rhetoric, grammar, and history, are now; which are as truly of Greek original, and as purely Greek, as the words baptize and baptism. I have proved, as I think, with regard to some passages, that immerse could not have been the sense of baptize, and that the word could not have been so translated consistently with truth. But had such been its meaning, the word immerse could not have been better understood than the word baptize. Immerse is as purely Latin as baptize is Greek. Baptize became an English word as soon as the Gospel was preached in England ; and our Baptist brethren contend that baptism was then performed by immersion. Had this been the
case, and had the old Britons been taught to consider Immersion the essence of baptism, the word baptism in their language would have signified immersion; and the Greek word baptizo would have as truly expressed he idea as the Latin word immerse. At all events, as our Baptist brethren claim that the Gospel was first preached in Britain by immersers, and that immersion was the exclusive mode of baptism till near the time our translation was made, they ought for very shame to give over their abuse of our English translators as though they had transferred the word instead of translating it. Either the claims of our Baptist brethren are idle and false, or the transferring was done by immersers; and then their accusations against Pedo-baptists, as though they had transferred the word baptize for the purpose of " concealing its true import," are idle and false. Our Baptist brethren may choose which horn of the dilemma they will : either their claims are idle and false, or their accusations are idle and false. The word was, indeed, originally transferred into our language : but our English translators did not make the transfer; they gave a proper translation-employing THE VERY word that had been exclusively employed to denote the ordinance, ever since the day that the Christian religion was first planted in their native land. Baptize was then as much an English word as almost any word in the English language, most of the words having been as much derived from a foreign source as the word baptize.
But neither of the words, immerse, sprinkle, pour, nor any other word that relates merely to the mode of the ordinance, could express the idea of baptism. Baptism is a sacred rite, of peculiar signification and design. Whatever be the mode of performing it, such a mode of applying water may be a very familiar thing with any people on earth. Such things as dipping, immersing, sprinkling and pouring, are very common among all nations wherever there is water; and of course every language must