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in its own endowments, instead of awaiting the return of its Lord. Not without reason, I think, has that blessed testimony of John Baptist been given us: “He that hath the Bride is the BRIDEGROOM.” We are too apt to mistake the friend of the Bridegroom for the Bridegroom Himself. It may be self in another shape.

I only suggest, further, when Israel returned from Babylon, was it with outward power in testimony, or God's almighty power and grace, supporting, helping, and cheering them in weakness?

G.

WRITTEN AS A SECOND PART TO THE HYMN GIVEN

VOL I. p. 478.

6. 0 Thou, who this earth as a lone pilgrim trod,

Thy Father our Father, and Thy God our God;
To Thee we behold the bright Seraphim bow-

Lord Jesus! all glory doth rest on Thee now!
7. And, Jesus, we know God's deep purpose to be

To empty—then fill us, with glory from Thee;
And now Thou dost wait Thy full wealth to impart,

That “day of espousals,” the joy of Thy heart.
8. Now, moment by moment, to answer our needs,

Thy blood, Precious Victim! in righteousness pleads;
And, shielded by that, how secure and how calm

Our souls, on God's bosom, are folded from harm!
9. We see Thee, Lord Jesus, with great glory crown'd;

And, waiting Thy coming, in peace would be found.
Thy visions of glory have turn'd all to dross;
Then give us, for Thee, to count all things but loss.

G.

“ Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."--James v. 7, 8.

NO. VI.

BAPTISM OVER THE DEAD.

1 CORINTHIANS XV. 29.

“O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?"

(1 Cor. xv. 55). “Man being in honour abideth not; he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly; yet their posterity approve their sayings. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning;

and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave : for He shall receive me” (Psalm xlix. 12-15). Such is the doom of the wicked: they go down to the grave: their memorial perishes with them. And hereafter, when the bright and beautiful morn of the kingdom shall break, they shall be ashes under the soles of the feet of the righteous (see Malachi iv. 3). In the words of the above-cited psalm, “ The upright shall have dominion over them” then. The rest of the dead (that is, the wicked distinguished from those who will have part in the first resurrection) we read, “ shall not live again until the thousand years shall be finished”; while others are reigning in life, they, and many of them kings of the earth in their day, will lie forgotten and uncrowned in the dust. While the righteous are feeding on the hidden manna above, death, the mighty destroyer, will be feeding on them. They shall be raised, it is true, but raised only for judgment—to be cast, after the millennium has ended, into the lake of fire for ever. How different this from our hope! “God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall receive me,” says the believer, in the above-cited passage, as he contrasts his own happy lot with the fearful condition of those who live and die without hope. “O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?" Such is his song, even now, in the midst of this death-stricken world.

Thus then, in accordance with this, standing, as it were, encircled by a vast cemetery, where the unregenerate dead of past ages lie mouldering beneath-the

very soil under his feet being almost composed, we might say, of their ashes--the saint (an exception himself to the general order of men), by a simple act on his part, declares himself to be a child of resurrection, to have passed from death unto life; expresses his union with, and, at the same time, his hope in Him who is “the resurrection and the life.” This act is that of passing through the waters of baptism. Others around him are dead, yea “twice dead," as the Apostle declares, dead both as to body and soul; and the day, as we have said, is at hand, when he shall have dominion over these lost ones. Hence, now, even now, in the anticipation of full triumph at last (while he mourns their fate, it is true, not willing, in one sense, to share such a victory), he stands over their graves as a conqueror: knowing that though death is their portion, and that they shall never see light, he himself has passed from the kingdom of darkness into the very regions of life, of light, and of glory. And there, as I have said, he is baptised-baptised in His name who has given him the victory. This seems to me to be a solution of that difficult passage, “ Else what shall they do which are baptised over the dead (υπέρ των νεκρών), if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptised over the dead?” (1 Cor. xv. 29). As an illustration of this, we may say of the elect in the days of Noah, that as the ark wherein they were sheltered floated in safety over the nations of those that were lost, that they were baptised over the dead. We have, I believe, sufficient warrant for this, inasmuch as the baptism of the Spirit is the anti-type (åvTITUTTOS) of both; namely, of the ordinance as we have it, and also according to 1 Peter iii. 20, 21,* of God's deliverance of Noah. Again, the

a In the passage here referred to, instead of the “ like figure whereunto," etc., it should be as follows: -“ The anti-type (avtiTUTTOV) whereunto (referring to the salvation of Noah and his

children of Israel, we read, were “all baptised unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” And, as they lifted up their voices in triumph over their Egyptian pursuers, now lying conquered and dead on the shore, is it too much to say, in like manner, that the baptism through which they thus passed, was a baptism over the dead?

Without saying that I feel assured that this is the true view of this passage, I beg to offer these thoughts, just by way of suggestion, to Christians, merely observing that this commends itself to my mind as a very probable interpretation of the Apostle's words Βαπτιζόμενοι υπέρ των vekpôv, “ Baptised over the dead" (1 Cor. xv. 29). In our translation, it is rendered “for," not "over, the dead.” But the primary meaning of the preposition úttep, the first indeed which presents itself in the Greek lexicon, and that moreover governing the genitive case, which it does in this

passage,

is “ over," or " above." The common interpretation which refers it to such as were baptised for, or instead of, those who, for Christ's sake, had suffered martyrdom, filling up the place in the ranks of those who had fallen, has, I suspect, never much satisfied even those who have held it, having, I venture to say (and this is a point which should never be lost sight of in the interpretation of Scripture), no moral connection with anything else which we find in the Word; whereas the above interpretation appears to my mind to be fully in harmony with the glorious prospect of those who hope to meet the Lord in the air at His coming, to attain unto “ the resurrection from amongst the dead" (eis TnvečaváoTaoiv TÔV VEKPôv) (Phil. iii. 11), and now, even now, are alive in the midst of a world where death has reigned from the outset.

Then there is another point. Knowing that they

house in the ark) even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Here observe, Noah's deliverance by water is the type, the baptism of the spirit the anti-type. With us, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Ghost are, one of them the type, and the other the anti type.

surely shall rise, the saints, in this 15th of Corinthians, are represented not only as passing through the waters of baptism, but also as willing, if needs be, to pass for Christ's sake through the fires of persecution, to die in His cause. “Why stand we,” says the Apostle, “ in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink : for to-morrow we die” (1 Cor. xv. 30, 32). Here we have a further, a second testimony, in the persons and acts of the saints, to the truth of the doctrine of resurrection. This, I believe, is needful to notice, because we may easily confound the act of being baptised over the dead, in verse 29, with that of suffering for Christ's sake spoken of in the above-cited verses; whereas, I believe, though closely connected, of course, they are distinct things altogether-the one being the first act of the saint in his course (at least, so it should be), the other the continuous suffering, the hourly jeopardy, the dying daily, the refusal to eat and to drink like the world, which, of necessity, follows the confession of the name of the crucified Jesus.

And here, in addition to the first part of this subjectnamely, what I have suggested with regard to verse 29– let me observe that this victory of the saints over death is in harmony with that which Christ Himself in the end will achieve. He triumphed, we know, when He Himself rose from the grave: He will triumph again when His Church shall be raised: but not till the last enemy,' Death, is banished for ever beyond the precincts of the new heavens and new earth, will His conquest be perfect. It was defilement in Israel to touch a dead body, a bone, or a grave (Num. xix); and hence, during the millennium, this earth, however pleasant and fair it may be, will not be perfectly pure. No; because Death, the sad witness of sin, will be there: they who shall have no part in the first resurrection, the nations of those who are lost, will continue still to pollute it. But, in the end, this death-defiled world will be wholly dissolved—not annihilated, I say, but

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