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himself compelled, either to give erroneous ideas, or to transfer into Burmese, or Japanese, such words as "Archon," "Consul," "Prætor,"" Questor," "Censor," "Senator," "Dictator," "Tribune." "Who," says Campbell," considers these names" (as transferred into our language)" as barbarous?" "To have employed instead of them, 'Alderman,'' Sheriff,' &c., we should have justly thought much more exceptionable." "I have heard," says he, " of a Dutch translator of Cæsar's Commentaries, who always rendered consul, burgomaster; and in the same taste, all the other officers and magistrates of Rome." How could we have translated the Latin classics, and given the true idea, unless we had naturalized, in such cases, the very Latin words, and learned the ideas and the names together? Where would have been our English ideas of such a thing as a "libation," an "ovation," a “lustration," had we not imported, not only the names, but the very ideas, from the language and customs of heathenism? Whence comes our English word "triumph?" Whence comes the now English words, "Sultan," " Pacha," "Khan," " Bey ?" What limit is there to the transferring of the very words of the people who bring us new things and new ideas? Look at our military terms: almost all adopted and transferred from the French. Look at our terms of chemistry, botany, and zoology: how many of them have been recently compounded from the Greek?
Now, unless Baptism is already in use among the heathen, as a RELIGIOUS PURIFICATION, and expressed by a word of their own, having this precise idea, in distinction from the idea of any simple mode of administering water, or at least in addition to such an idea of mode, it must be
as inadequate and inaccurate a translation which shall use an old word of theirs, referring simply to the mode of applying water, as it would be to turn the Roman" Consul" into a Dutch "Burgomaster." The translation is inadequate; it is incorrect; it misleads; and that aside from the consideration that to translate Baptize, immerse, makes the Bible speak falsehood, even with regard to the mere mode. You may transfer the word Baptize; you may call Baptism, in Siamese (as the Baptist Bible Society say our missionaries have done), “ Baptectsamay," -conforming the shape of the word to the genius of the language, as in the Latin Baptizare, and the English Baptize; and it is correct. It is as easy to teach them the new word as it is to teach them the new idea-the positive and peculiar Scripture idea of Baptize. Or you may translate baptize into a word signifying to WASH; still better, if you can find a word which signifies a ritual purifying by washing; and you have given a most faithful translation. But to translate the word by the word immerse, is to give an inadequate, inaccurate, and, as we contend, a false idea.
MARTIN LUTHER'S VERSION.
Our Baptist brethren claim that Luther translated baptize by the word dip or immerse. Thus :
Mr. Woolsey says, p. 74, "Luther, one of the great reformers, gave the Bible translated to the Germans, that they might read in their own language, the wonderful works of God; and he rendered baptize into a word signifying to immerse." Again he says, p. 138,“ or as Luther, the great reformer, renders it in his German Testament," Johannes der Taufer,-"John the Dipper."
So the Baptist Bible Society in their report for 1840, p. 89, say, "Other translators may do as they please; Baptize may be twisted into all sorts of meanings except immersion-unless indeed in the case of old versions. Luther may say that it means to immerse, and his version shall continue to be circulated; but wo be to the Baptists if they say so; and what is the reason?"
Mr. Woolsey compliments Luther, as "this bold defender of the inalienable right of every man to become personally acquainted with the truths of the Bible FAITHFULLY TRANSLATED into his own vernacular tongue."
We all agree with Mr. Woolsey in venerating the courage, the honesty, and the piety of Martin Luther. But is Mr. Woolsey ignorant that the Germans and all Lutherans who use his translation baptize by sprinkling, as Luther practised and as Luther taught them? When a German minister takes water in his hand and sprinkles or pours it on the person baptized, saying, “ICH TAUFE DICH," does he mean I immerse you? Do the people so understand him? Most certainly not. When Martin Luther took water in his hand, and poured or sprinkled it on the head of a person, saying, "Ich taufe dich," did he mean "I immerse you?" Would the people so understand him? It is impossible. Luther could never have used that word in connection with such an action, had it in his day been equivalent to immerse. The words Taufen and Taufer, which Mr. Woolsey and the Baptist Bible Society translate "immerse" and "dipper," mean no such thing. They are used in German with specific and exclusive reference to the rite of baptism, which the Germans perform by sprinkling or affusion.
Thus, the English and German Dictionary by F. A.
Weber, of acknowledged and unquestionable authority, gives the following definitions of the words in question. I copy from the Leipzic Edition of 1833, by Tauchnitz: "Taufe, baptism, christening. Taufen, to baptize, to christen. Taufer, baptizer, baptist. Taufling, person baptized.
Taufname, Christian name.
Taufclein, certificate from the church register."
The same dictionary gives the following German words for the English words, immerge, immerse, and immersion. It will be seen that Taufen is not among them. "Immerge, eintauchen, versunken, vertiefen. Immerse, eintauchen, untertauchen, vertiefen. Immersion, untertauchung, versunkung."
BURCKHARDT, in his German and English Lexicon (ed. Berlin, 1823), gives the same definitions, both in the English and in the German.
From this it is manifest, that whatever might have been the etymology of the words Taufen and Taufer, they do not in German mean immerse or immerser. To gve a German an idea of immersion you must use other words, different both in their origin, their meaning, and their form.
The world will doubtless concur with Mr. Woolsey in his encomium upon Luther as "this bold defender of the inalienable right of every man," to have the Bible "faithully translated into his vernacular tongue." Doubtless Luther meant to give "the Bible translated to the Germans, that they might read in their own language the wonderful works of God." But the reader may judge whether Mr. Woolsey would not have spared his enco
mium upon Luther, had he not, in talking about Luther's translation, undertaken to talk about a matter concerning which he was not well informed. Because our English translators render the word baptize by the word wash in Mark vii. 4, and Luke xi. 38, Mr. Woolsey declares that they have been guilty of a "glaring perversion of this Scripture, by suppressing the word baptize, and substituting the word wash," p. 152. He contends, p. 153, that "the translators of our English Bible, for the sake of suppressing the true import of the words baptize and baptism, ""have not only concealed" the "instructions of the Holy Ghost," but "represented the Holy Ghost as using the most stupid tautology." But how does that 66 great reformer," and "bold defender," translate these passages? Mr. Woolsey declares that he has given to the Germans a Bible translated. How does Luther translate these passages? He translates them by the word 66 WASH," the pure old Saxon word, the identical mother of our good old English word "wash." "Und wenn sie vom Markte kommen, essen sie nicht, sie WASCHEN SICH denn;"-they WASH THEMSELVES. So in Luke xi. 38. "Da das der Pharisaer sah verwunderte er sich, dass er sich nicht vor den essen GEWASCHEN HATTE," that he had not WASHED himself."
THE PESHITO-SYRIAC VERSION.
Our Baptist brethren claim this version as evidence in favor of immersion. Thus, Mr. Woolsey affirms, p. 71, that "the venerable Peshito-Syriac version," which he thinks was evidently executed by the last of the first century," has baptize translated by immerse.
If this were so, I think we have shown from higher authority, even from the Scriptures themselves, that such