Page images

them was equivalent to being sanctified, or being saved ; and in looking at baptism, their minds were fixed on this idea. “Now," said they, “as in baptism water saves, so in the flood it saved, and so in the Red Sea it saved ; not by overwhelming Noah or the Israelites, but by dividing them from the enemies of God, and by overwhelming and immersing those enemies. And its similarity to baptism lies only in the fact, that it saves or purifies the people of God. Augustine (Sermo de Cataclysmo, Vol. 9, p. 320, Paris, ed. 1586) speaks of the Israelites delivered out of Egypt, as hastening to the Red Sea, “that they may be saved by water;" the Egyptians follow, the sea opens, the Israelites pass through, the Egyptians enter, then,“ Unum elementum aquarum, auctore totius, creatore jubente, judicavit utrosque ; separavit enim pios ab impiis. Nos abluit, istos obruit ; illos mundavit, istos occidit.“ One element, water, by the command of the Creator, judged both; for it separated the righteous from the wicked. The former it washed, the latter it overwhelmed ; the former it purified, the latter it destroyed.” He then speaks of Moses as a type of Christ, his rod as a type of the cross, and the Red Sea as a type of the waters of baptism, purpled by the blood of Christ. Now compare with this the anxious efforts of our Baptist brethren, to prove that in some way the Israelites were immersed. Augustine says, they were washed and purified, and the Egyptians overwhelmed (and of course immersed) and destroyed.

It is quite certain that no man, who believed and was anxious to prove that immersion was the sense and the only sense of Bantiquos, would ever have used this language. In like manner, comparing the salvation of Noah and his family to the salvation effected by baptism, he often calls the flood a sacrament; and compares its effects to those of baptism. He compares the church to the ark; and one out of the church, and unbaptized, to one out of the ark; and his fate to the fate of one so excluded. Concerning the one who perishes out of the ark, he says: submersus est diluvio non ablutus." Hence he regarded those in the ark, who were saved, as abluti, i.e. purified or saved, and those out of it, as sul mersi, i. e. submersed, or immersed and destroyed. All this he says in commenting on 1 Pet. 3: 20, 21. See Lib. 1. Cap. 21, Vol. 6. p. 253. Here then he opposes the righteous who were purified, but not inmersed, to the wicked who were immersed, but not purified; and regards one as saved by purification, and the other as destroyed by immersion. Would any modern advocate of immersion have ever written so ? For the true sense of 1 Pet. 3; 20, 21, see 18.

7. Elias is spoken of by Origen as baptizing the wood in the sense of purifying it. In this case I was misled by not noticing that Origen regarded the act of pouring on water as designed to purify the wood. Obviously this was not its end, but to drench it with water, so that when God should burn it by fire the miracle might be more undeniable. Nor did it occur to me that Origen could take any other view of the case. But I find that he did. Dr. Wall and others have quoted this as a case in which Barriţw means pour. But, being convinced that when it denotes an external act it never means pour or sprinkle, I resorted to the idea to envelope or overwhelm, as in § 3. That opinion I am obliged now to retract, having found evidence that Origen looked on the transaction as a purification of the wood, however strange and incorrect such an idea may be. The passage is this. Origen is commenting on John 1: 25: “Why baptizest thou, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet?” He is aiming to show that they had no reason to suppose that Elias would baptize in person when he should

The reason is this. Although the wood needed purification, yet he did not baptize, purify, it himself, but told others to do it. His words are: Ouds éri OvoiLOTKOLOV Eulu, κατά τους του 'Αχαάβ χρόνους, δεόμενα λουτρού ένα εκκαύθη επιφανέντος, εν πυρί του κυρίου βαπτίσαντος ; επικελεύεται γαρ tois iepɛvoi tovro noiñou. “Who did not baptize-purifythe wood upon the altar in the days of Ahab, although it needed to be purified, in order that it might be burned when the Lord should be revealed in fire; for he commanded the priest to do this.” In this case the words súla debuevo lovzpov, beyond all dispute, fix the sense, and show that he regarded the pouring as a rite of purification, and used Buntíča in its usual religious sense. In this view the passage remarkably falls in with and confirms the reasoning in 8 9; and proves that Origen underemblematical declaration of his voluntarily yielding himself up to his sufferings, with the confidence of emerging ;" because, “ to represent one as overwhelmed in the water was a wellknown figure to indicate deep allliction.” See Chase's Sermon on the Design of Baptism, p. 13. They do not try to answer the question : “Why was he immersed ?but solely the question:“ Why was he purified ?" And in those passages where Pentico really means overwhelm, they retain, as we have seen, the sense of purify. Various answers were given. In general they all denied that he was purified because he had any sin ; and most commonly they added, that he was purified in order to give to the water of baptism a purifying power. See $ 21, dirauir ivociou zabaotiv. Augustine says: “ Aquæ quæ cætera mundare consueverant, Domino nostro lavante, mundatæ sunt.” He also says it was to give an example of humility, and to honor the rite so that others should not despise it. Their difficulties were caused by the idea purify, as applied to Christ; to this their answers correspond; and they do not correspond with the views of those who believe that the word means immerse. Can we doubt, then, what was the general understanding of the word ? Had they regarded the word as our Baptist brethren do, would they not have given their solution of the question ?


9. In speaking of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they do not speak of it as an inward spiritual immersion, but as an inward spiritual purification. Gregory Nyss. calls baptism dirti xdong613. As we have a body and a soul, so we need a twofold cleansing, δι' ύδατος και πνεύματος τα βάθη καθαίροντος. Το denote the internal baptism here, he uses xabaigw, and calls the external and internal together dirty xéoupois, a twofold cleansing. Augustine says: Baptizatur a Joanne in carne ; sed ipse Joannem in Spiritu lavat. “He is purified by John in the flesh, but he washes, or purifies John in the Spirit.” So he says: “Quod enim dicimus ipse baptizat, non dicimus ipse tenet et in aqua corpus credentis tingit; sed ipse invisibiliter mundat et hoc universam prorsus ecclesiam." When that Christ baptizes, we do not say that he holds and washes in water the body of the believer, but that he invisibly purifies him, and not only him, but the whole church. Lib. lii. c. 49. In the Fathers, such passages are of constant occurrence ; but in none of them is found the strange, incongruous and modern idea of an internal and spiritual immersion into the Holy Spirit and fire. Comp. 10, Origen contrasts those who are loti aqua, with those who are sancto spiritu loti.

we say

10. In speaking of the dagógou Barriquòi, Heb. 9: 10, they invariably regard them as purifications of persons, not as immersions of ihings. See § 14. In an enumeration of the various kinds of baptism, often ascribed to Athanasius--an unexceptionable witness as to the usus loquendi of that century-it is said, as an explanation of the διαφόροι βαπτισμόι, πας γαρ úzódagros εloveto i dati. Theophylact says, more particularly, that a man was washed in water, and thus purified, zův vexpoū ήψατο, κάν λεπρού, κάν γον ορόυής εγένετο της. With this comp. βαπτιζόμενος από νεκρού, και 16. Macarius says: ήν παρ αυτούς βάπτισμα σάρκα αγιάζον, παρ ημίν βάπτισμα αγίου πνεύματος mai avpòs. In this he manifestly refers to Heb. 9: 13:“ the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the puritying of the flesh;" for his use of égıéco and odes is clearly taken from Paul. Of course, he regards this sprinkling as a Bintigua. Tertullian says: Judæus quotidie lavat, quia quotidie inquinatur: quod ne in nobis factitaretur, propterea de uno lavacro definitum est.

11. In s 16, following Jahn and others, I have admitted that washing, as well as sprinkling, was a part of the rite of purification from a dead body. But I find that not only Philo speaks of sprinkling alone, but Josephus, in a minute account of the same rite, does the same. Antiq. B. iv., C. 4. He accurately describes the heifer, how slain, how burnt, and how her ashes were used. No superfluous rites are added (as. Mr. Carson suggests might have been done before this time), but Moses is followed with minute anxiety. He not only omits washing, but so describes the purification of the people as to imply that Washing was no part of the rite-ερραίνον τρίτη και εβδόμη των ημερών και καθαροί το λοιπόν ήσαν. «They sprinkled them with it on the third and on the seventh day, and after that they were clean.” Now, if it was necessary to wash also, then it is not true, that after sprinkling only, they were clean-rò 201zov for washing still remained. But he says, xafaqoi honòv cav. Josephus was a Pharisee, a priest, and a man of learning. Have we not, then, the best reason to suppose that he is correct, and that washing was no part of the rite?

Paul also, Heb. 9: 13, says nothing of a washing, and speaks of sprinkling as the whole. If we reflect now that both Philo and Josephus, in professed and minute descriptions of the rite, say nothing of washing, can we hesitate to believe that no washing was involved? And if so, fannsóuevos must refer to the sprinkling alone; and no sense but purified is possible. If any one should ask: Who then is commanded to wash himself in Num. 19: 19? I reply, he who sprinkles the unclean person ; not the unclean person himself; he needs sprinkling alone. See Num. 19: 13, where it is clearly implied that sprinkling alone was demanded. See also Num. 19: 21, where it is said that he who toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean; and he that sprinkleth shall wash his clothes, and of course his body; for one involved the other, as the Jews testisy and reason shows. Observe also that this is in perfect analogy with all other parts of the transaction; for the priest who sprinkled the blood of the slain heifer, the man who burned her, and he who gathered her ashes, were all rendered unclean, and were obliged to wash both body and clothes. Num. 19: 2—10. A fortiori, would he be rendered unclean, who actually sprinkled the polluted person with the water? And were this conclusion less certain than it is, reasoning on Num. 19: 2–10 alone, yet this passage, taken in connection with the usage of Philo, Josephus and Paul, makes the case perfectly plain. And if no washing was involved, but sprinkling alone, then the argument on Bunricóueros enò vezooũ is decisive and complete; for a man can be purified by sprinkling, but not immersed. Here, as in the case of purifying the wood in Origen, the more minute the examination of all the facts, the more certain the conclusion that pentito, in its religious use, means to purify.

12. In speaking of the baptism of fire, the Fathers regard it, not as an immersion, but as a purification or purgation ; and from this use the idea of a future purgatory came.

A few regarded the fire spoken of in the words, “ he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire,” as referring to punishment, as some do even now. But most of them regarded it as the purifying fire of the Holy Spirit. Others believed in a literal fire of purification after death, particularly Origen. In Hom. 24, on Luke 3: 16, he speaks of Jesus as purifying in a river of fire, each one who, after death and before entering heaven, needs to be purged, “ qui purgatione indiget.” Hom. 2, on Jer., he says: "Forsitan et Jesus baptizat spiritu sancto et igne, non quia eundem in spiritu sancto atque igne baptizet: sed quo sanctus baptizetur spiritu sancto, et is qui post fidem et magisterium Dei rursum ad scelera conversus est, cruciatu purgetur incen

« PreviousContinue »