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building,” i Cor. iii. 9.; that it is holy, 1 Cor. iii. 16, 17.; that it is the pillar and ground of the truth,” 1 Tim. iii. 15.; that God is able “ to make his servants stand,” Rom. xiv. 4.; and that Christ hath said Rev. iii. 12. “ Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God : and I will write upon him my new Name?" If any shall say all this is conjecture, I answer, As conjecture only have I suggested it. The queries however are nevertheless worthy of consideration. And I do not know that the word, to which they refer, has yet received that attention to which it is entitled.
But the Greek word Baptize, although a substitute for the word originally used to signify the dispensing of the ordinance in question, is of equal authority with that word, because it is used by the inspired penmen of the New Testament. Does not the word Baptize then signify to immerse ?
I am persuaded that the word Baptize has never yet been properly analyzed. The acceptations in which it actually occurs have been carefully collected; and most, if not all of them, established beyond all doubt. But it has not yet been shown how they have severally arisen, and how they are consistent with one another. For example, the word Baptize has been shown to signify pouring out. But it does
not appear to me to have been yet shown, how it has come to have this signification. The general understanding seems to be, that immersion is its original meaning ; and although authorities are given, and examples are quoted, to prove that it must be sometimes taken in the sense of pouring out, there remains the difficulty of conceiving, how so extraordinary a transition should have taken place, as that of the derivative pouring out from the primitive plunging in. It is admitted perhaps that there is no arguing against facts; and that therefore there may be passages, in which pouring out must be supposed to be the meaning of baptize. But still the other is thought to be the more natural interpretation; and therefore, when other words, in a passage, do not compel to admit the meaning of pouring out, the meaning of immersing is preferred of course.
This supposition is favoured by another. Bansila (baptizo) is derived from BÓTTW (baplo); but BÚTTW (bapto) is thought always to signify immerse; or at least always to imply immersing in its signification. Hence, it is alleged, we ought to understand Batti(w (baptizo) as properly implying the same idea.
I have been led to question these suppositions. Neither Bártw nor Barriţw signifies to immerse, more than to pour out. Nor are the circumstances of the connection more needful to affix to baptizing the idea of pouring out, than the idea of immersing. The words are one, and their meaning one.
Let us ven
ture to analyze them. The following are admitted as general rules for reducing words to their first principles. Let those letters and syllables, which are merely the signs of derivation and inflection, be cut off. Let intermediate vowels, employed for the purpose of enunciating consonants, be disregarded, or considered as easily changeable into one another. Let those consonants also, which are pronounced by the same organ of speech, (as the lips, the teeth, or the palate,) be freely interchanged, as we find them actually to be, in the practice of speaking. That part of the word, which remains unvaried after these operations, falls to be considered as the radical term. No individual has a right to alter a single letter of a word, for the sake of making a meaning. But any individual has a right to remark the same word, and the same meaning, under all the varieties which are found to be in use.* Apply these rules to the words in question. Discard the terminations, and you have the syllable, bap; change the intermediate vowel a into o, and the labial consonant b into the labial p, and you have the term pop, which is the root required*
*“ It is a matter of universal notoriety, that all men in a social state have used articulate language, and that they have used it, not by instinct, but imitation. The language thus acquired has not been stationary, but advancing to perfection. As men become civilized, and exert their ingenuity, their wants increase and their ideas multiply; new terms are invented, and new modes of expression adopted.”
“ When tribes, who have thus improved their original language, separated and lost intercourse with each other, their language would suffer still further changes. These changes would chiefly be made by letters or syllables prefixed, inserted, or added; or by throwing away the various terminations of nouns and verbs ; and they would be governed by no law but the practice of the majority
It is not always, that the analysis is of so easy and satisfactory a nature. In some words, the root is found remaining in part only, and the rest must be restored, to show the meaning. I am far from asserting that every stump of a cut down word is
who spoke the language, or dictated to the rest the manner of speaking it."
“ As this method would be common to all the tribes thus separated, various languages would arise. The radical parts would be the same in all, but the modifying or changing parts different in: each. The connection of them all would be discerned by scholars, but unnoticed by the vulgar.”
“ By carefully marking all the steps by which the compound and derived words of any language have been formed, by stripping them of all the letters or syllables prefixed, inserted, or added ; and by restoring to their places those that have been thrown away; the simple elements of speech may be discovered, and a probable notion formed of that language which lies at the root of various dialects, spoken at a later period, and evidently related." [Editor's Preface to Dr. Murray's History of the European Languages, p. viii.]
* This root may be, by the same rules, pronounced BOB, or BAB; and thus my analysis will coincide with Dr. Murray's explanations of it, in his History of the European Languages, just published ; and whose work I did not see till my manuscript was finished, “ Bab," says he, "to beat little strokes, to Bob,” Vol. i. page 72. Again, “A small globular portion of water was Drop, from the preterite of Drib, to squeeze; or Bob, from Bab,
of course the root. But, when, in the stump of a cut down word, a signification appears, and that signification is found, upon trial, to account for the ramification, and the actual produce, of the various branches of the whole tree : in other words, for the meanings of the word in every instance of its occurrence ; I conceive, the root is discovered in its entire state, and its discovery is sufficiently proved.
On this ground, I feel myself supported in affirming, that the term pop is the root of the words, which we have proposed to analyze. Will the reader, then, have the goodness to accustom his ear to the following sounds ? Pop-to, pop-tizo, pop-tistes, pop-tos, poptismos, and pop-tisma. In this identical form, the root occurs in Greek, in Latin, and in English. In
to blow; or Guta, froin Gut, to sprinkle, cast," Vol. i. page 98. · Also,-Bag, to supple, soften, and its derivatives Bap and BATH, were anciently in much use." Vol. i.
129. Again, our root may be pronounced VAP; and thus it will meet with another corroborative illustration from Dr. Murray. " In Latin,” he says, “ Vap, waff, blow, ventilate, cool, dry by wind, or produce evaporation by exposing to the air, produced VAP-or, in Greek Atmos, from At, blow. It is singular that the Latins called a serpent that blows, VIPERA, from this verb; the same reptile being named by the Celts, BUAFARE, a blower, from Buf, blow, a term common to their dialect, to the Latin, and Teutonic. From Bag, move rapidly, drive, blow, came Bus, or BAG-BA, blow, puff, from wbich Bus, a blast, is found in Gawin Douglas and other old writers. The Latins called the toad Buying or Buro; the Celts called it Buar, and a viper BUAFARE, an adder, BUAFATHAIR, and virulent Buarach, -all from the idea blowing poison." Vol. i. page 407.