Page images
[ocr errors]

dii. Beatus qui lavacrum accepit spiritus sancti, et ignis lavacro non indiget. Miserabilis autem, et omni fletu dignus, qui, post lavacrum spiritus, baptizandus est igni.” A little after he speaks of "peccator qui ignis indiget baptismo, qui combustione purgatur.In his Comment. in Epist. ad Rom. Lib. 8, he says: “Ut ignis gehennæ in cruciatibus purget quem nec apostolica doctrina, nec evangelicus sermo purgavit, secundum illud quod est scriptum, purificabo te igni ad purificationem." Here, baptizo, purgo, purifico, and lavo (involved in lavacro) are all used as synonymous terms in describing the baptism of fire. If Gieseler is correct (Vol. 1., 119, note 14), this purgation of Origen is not to be confounded with the Roman Catholic purgatory, first suggested, as he says, by Augustine. Neither the opinion of Origen or of Augustine is correct; yet they show as clearly as if true, that by the baptism of fire, a purgation by fire, and not an immersion, was meant. Clearly they had in mind the words of Malachi : “he is like a refiner's fire," and," he shall purify and purge.These words gave rise to the expression in the gospel : “He shall purify you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Taking the word puntito in this sense, we can clearly see how the various and erroneous forms of the doctrine of purgatory grew out of it. Compare $$ 9, 10.

13. In speaking of the baptism of tears, the Fathers regard it as a purification by tears, and not as an immersion in tears. The very nature of the case shows that it must have been so, and the language of the Fathers proves that the purifying power of tears did not depend on having a quantity sufficient for an immersion. Says Nilus, a disciple of Chrysostom, Aovrīo iyaθος της ψυχής, της προσευχής το δάκρυον. « The tear of prayer”-not a flood, or river, or ocean of tears—“the tear of prayer is a good wash-basin of the soul.” For this use of Govine, see § 16, and the idea there given of washing the hands of the soul. So Gregory Nyss. calls tears aovzpov zazoizidior και κρόνους ιδίους δί ών εστί τάς κηλίδας της ψυχής απονίψασθαι, “a domestic washing place, and fountains of your own, by means of which you can wash off the spots, or pollution of your

[ocr errors]

14. The Fathers applied passages of the Old Testament commanding washing, or predicting purification, to the rite of baptism in such a way, as evinces a belief that Banríšo means to purify. In Is. 1: 16, is a command to wash and make clean-Heb. 12:17 1397, Sept. Hovouche, xa apoi yéveghe-Vulg. lavamini, mundi estote. Justin Martyr and Hippolytus regard this as an anticipation, or prophetic injunction of baptism. Hippolytus says: Propheta Isaias Baptismi vim purgativam prædixit, cum ait, lavamini, mundi estote.” Cyprian, Jerome and others apply to baptism the prediction : “I will sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be clean.” Now, if they regarded Pentico as a synonyme of xabupito all this is plain and natural; for in one of these cases purification is commanded, in the other it is predicted, but in neither is immersion mentioned. The only external act alluded to is sprinkling. I desire that here may be noted the use of yo7, in Isa. 1: 16. By this word all the commands for personal ablution in the Mosaic ritual are given, and to it, I remarked, § 14, Bantico would naturally become a synonyme. Here is proof that it did so become. And this word always denotes washing, without respect to mode, and never immersion.

15. From the time of the clinic baptism of Novatian down to the Reformation, there were cases of baptism by affusion or sprinkling, defended on grounds similar to those stated by Cyprian (No. 5), and totally inconsistent with the idea that they felt bound by the word Bantíšw to regard nothing as a baptism that was not an immersion. All this is plain, and easily accounted for, if they regarded Bantiguos merely as a purification, to be performed in common cases by immersion, and in extraordinary cases by affusion or sprinkling. It shows that their attachment to the mode did not depend on Bantito, but on a regard to general practice and its supposed significance. Constantine the Great was baptized by sprinkling on his bed. In 499, Clodovius, king of the Franks, was baptized by aflusion. Gennadius, of Marseilles, A. D. 490, savs, that the bapdeviation would have been resisted on philological grounds; but, though frequent and extensive deviations took place, they were never so resisted. The conclusion is inevitable—they could not be so resisted; it was universally known that Bantíšw, as a religious term, meant to purify, not to immerse.

16. To conclude, the idea of purification is, in the nature of things, better adapted to be the name of the rite than immersion. It has a fitness and verisimilitude in all its extensive variety of usage, which cause the mind to feel the self-evidencing power of truth, as producing harmony and agreement in the most minute, as well as in the most important relations of the various parts of this subject to each other. This is owing to three facts : 1. The idea of purification is the fundamental idea in the whole subject. 2. It is an idea complete and definite in itself in every sense, and needs no adjunct to make it more so. 3. It is the soul and centre of a whole circle of delightful ideas and words. It throws out before the mind a flood of rich and glorious thoughts, and is adapted to operate on the feelings like a perfect charm. To a sinner, desiring salvation, what two ideas so delightful as forgiveness and purity ? are condensed into this one word. It involves in itself a deliverance from the guilt of sin, and from its pollution. It is a purification from sin in every sense. See § 12. It is purification by the atonement, and purification by the truth,—by water and by blood. And around these ideas cluster others likewise, of holiness, salvation, eternal joy, eternal life. No word can produce such delight on the heart, and send such a flood of sight into all the relations of divine truth; for purification, in the broad Scripture sense, is the joy and salvation of man, and the crowning glory of God. Of immersion none of these things are true. 1. Immersion is not a fundamental idea in


subject or system. 2. By itself it does not convey any one fixed idea, but depends upon its adjuncts, and varies with them. Immersion ? 'In what ? Clean water, or filthy ; in a dyingfluid, or in wine? Until these questions are answered, the word is of no use. And with the spiritual sense the case is still worse ; for common usage limits it in English, Latin, Greek, and, so far as I know, in all languages, by adjuncts of a kind denoting calamity or degradation, and never purity. It has intimate and firmly established associations with such words as luxury, ease, indolence, sloth, cares, anxieties, troubles, distresses, sins, pollution. We familiarly speak of immersion in all these, but with their opposites it refuses alliance. We never speak of a person as immersed in temperance, fortitude, industry, diligence, tranquillity, prosperity, holiness, purity, etc. Sinking and downward motion are naturally allied with ideas which, in a moral sense, are depressed, and not with such as are morally elevated. Very few exceptions to this general law exist, and these do not destroy its power. Now, for what reason should the God of order, purity, harmony and taste, select an idea so alien from his own beloved rite, for its name, and reject one, in every respect so desirable and so fit? Who does not feel that the name of so delightful an idea as purification must be the name of the rite? And who does not rejoice that there is proof so unanswerable, that it is?

The philological argument is now closed. Whatever may be the interpretation of Romans 6:3, 4, and Col. 2: 12, the question of philology must remain untouched. All that they can prove, at most, is the fact that those to whom Paul wrote were immersed, and that he deemed immersion a significant act. Neither of these do they prove in my opinion ; for which I propose soon to give my reasons. But if they did, it is impossible, as we have shown, to settle the question of philology by early practice. Even if they did immerse, it was only a mode of purification; and it was baptism, not because it was immersion, but because it was purification.

[To be continued.]



By Rev. Albert Barnes, Philadelphia, Pa.

[Concluded from Vol. IV. page 328.] The natural sea-port of Western Asia, and the centre of the commerce of the East, was Tyre, or rather perhaps the ports of Phenicia, for Tyre was but one of them. Phenicia early grasped this commerce, and retained it until the rise of Alexandria. Sidon first rose to opulence; and then Tyre, her“ daughter," better situated for commerce, soon eclipsed her glory, and became the mart of the world. I must not detail its history, or speak of its splendor. Volney says:“ It was the theatre of an immense commerce and navigation, the nursery of art and science, and the city of perhaps the most industrious and active people ever known.” Travels, II. 210. I need scarcely speak of the voyages and discoveries of the Phenicians. They had no needle to guide them on the deep; but they were compelled to creep along the shore, or if they ventured abroad, they did it at their peril. Yet the influence of Phenicia was felt afar on the literature and prosperity of nations. From her Cadmus carried letters to Greece; and far in the west, colonies were founded that spake her language and that imitated her commercial enterprise. Carthage was a colony of hers; Carthage, that resisted the legions that conquered the world that sent her Hannibal across the Alps to thunder at the gates of the eternal city; Carthage, that built fleets almost as fast as winds, and storms, and Roman power could destroy them. The Phenician fleets paused not here. They passed through the straits of Hercules, now Gibralter,—and attempted to sail round the continent of Africa. Far down its coast they stretched their way, without chart or compass, until increasing difficulties and dangers compelled them to return. Not so, however, if we may credit the unbroken voice of antiquity, was it with another effort of the Phenicians to encompass Africa on the east. Herodotus (IV. 42, 43) says of Necho II. king of Egypt, that he fitted out a fleet of trireines in the Red Sea, and having engaged some expert Phenician pilots and navigators, he sent them on a voyage of discovery along the coast of Africa. They were ordered to start from the Arabian Gulf, and come round through the pillars of Hercules into the North Sea—the Mediterranean—and so return to Egypt. Sailing, therefore, down the Gulf they passed into the Southern Ocean; and when autumn'arrived they laid up their ships and sowed the land. Here they remained till harvest time: and having reaped the corn they continued the voyage. In this manner they occupied two years; aud the third having brought them by the pillars of Hercules to Egypt, they related, what to me appears incredible, however others may be disposed to believe it, that they had the sun on their right hand, and by these means was the form of Africa first known.” The fact mentioned by Herodotus, and which appeared so remarkable to him," that they had the sun on their right hand,” is one of those circumstances, explained by time, which go to demonstrate the authenticity of a narrative-circumstances with which both sacred and profane history abound. We know that if SECOND SERIES, VOL. V. NO. I.


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »