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freely, and in sovereign mercy, on his guilty, polluted, helpless soul. In token of this glorious display of redeeming love, is the cup of Baptism poured out on the face of the baptized : * and, in remembrance of it, the cup of the Lord's Supper is thankfully drunk in the subsequent fellowship of Christian brethren.
We remarked that Bárow (bapto) was usually applied to operations on a small scale, and of a gentle nature. The same remark may be made on BarTilw, (baptizo,) when it is not used in a figurative and exaggerated sense. When applied to the ordinance of Baptism, the word has its usual natural signification. It consists merely in popping a handful of water on the face. This simplicity, and this littleness of the sign, mark its resemblance to all the other symbolical ordinances of God, and distinguish it from those clumsy and unseemly additions, which a superstitious dependence on means, or rather on the show of wisdom in will-worship, has rendered men so prone to adopt. I have as little faith in the compromise of copious pouring, as in the enormity of immersion Baptism.t A small quantity of blood sprink
* The reader may compare Isa. lxvi. 5–13.
+ Thus Parkhurst on Barrisw, V. says, after Stockius, but without any countenance from scripture,—"anciently the water was copiously poured on those who were baptized, or they themselves, were plunged therein."
And Newcome on Roni. vi. 4. says, “ See the Note on Acts viii. 38. and consider whether a partial covering of the body by water largely poured is sufficient for the comparison here pursued."
The Note on Acts viii. 38, to which he refers is as follows
led once a year, by the high priest with one of his fingers, on a little gold-plated seat, was, for ages, the sign to Israel, of the acceptance in heaven of the sacrifice of Christ for the whole church. A small morsel of bread, and a sip of wine, shall, to the end of the world, remind Christians of the Saviour's body broken, and of his blood shed for them, and shall, by being eaten and drunk, by his people at his table, show the Lord's death until he come. In exact accordance with these divine institutions, the handful of water on the face of the polluted sinner, confirms the good news of the washing of regeneration, even the renewing of the Holy Ghost.
This beautiful analogy may be further illustrated, and recommended, by the contrast which is presented to it in the melancholy details of ecclesiastical history. While scriptural symbols are unostentatious, and even slight, like a shadow" to which they are compared ; while they are of easy observance, of gracious application, and of obvious import ; the human corruptions of them are monstrous exaggerations, in bad taste, of stinted administration, and of studied, appalling obscurity. Thus, Baptism became Immersion, was
“ I do not see any proof that the Eunuch was baptized by immersion. He and Philip-stood in the water, [-he might have said, At the water,–] and Philip poured some of the water upon him. -Nor do I see reason to think that John the Baptist used ima mersioni ; but rather otherwise. It is contrary to decency, and to the respect we owe to one another. As for the baptism of Jewish proselytes, I take it to be a mere fiction of the Rabbins." Lardner. See Letters to Dr. Doddridge &c. p. 274.
withheld from the Believer's family, and was declined by many, from the mingled motives of superstitious confidence and dread, till the approach of death. And thus, the Lord's Supper became the Mass, the Cup was withheld from the Laity, and the theatrical mummery of a bungling Priesthood was gazed at, and adored, as an awful manifestation of the body, and blood, and soul, and divinity, of our blessed Sa. viour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the above attempt at illustrating Barrilw, we may see one reason why it has not been often successfully translated. The translators have generally rendered it wash, or immerse. But, if the view which we have taken of the subject be at all correct, the idea of washing is inadequate, and that of immersion erroneous.
In reply to the remark that Baptism is an application of the element from above, we are commonly reminded of those phrases in scripture, which speak of baptizers and baptized as going down to the water, and coming up from it, or, as some render them, going down into the water, and coming up out of it. To this objection the obvious answer is, that as all waters are to be found in hollow places; in wells, in pools, in rivers, which run in valleys among the hills, or within their banks through the plain; such phrases as have been mentioned must be used in all cases in which men have occasion to approach them, for any purpose whatever. In scripture, some baptisms are said to have taken place out of doors, and some in houses. It is worthy of particular notice, that the phraseology under consideration refers solely to the former, and is not used so much as once in regard to the latter. This phraseology is also applied to many uses of water perfectly different from Baptism. The mere circumstances, then, of going down to water, and coming up again from it, cannot inform us what was done at the water. In Gen. xxiv. 16. we are told that Rebekah “ went down to the well--and came up." Does this imply that she immersed herself? No. “ She went down to the well and filled her pitcher, and came up."
In Judges vii. 5. Gideon “brought down the people unto the water.” Was it to immerse them ? No; it was to give them an opportunity of drinking. In the Apocryphal book, Judith xii. 7. we have seen it is said, “that she (baptized) washed herself in the camp at the fountain of water." An expression like one of those now referred to immediately follows. Και ως 'ΑΝΕΒΗ, εδέετο του Κυρίου Θεού Ισραήλ. « And
" when she CAME UP, she prayed the Lord God of Israel,” &c. Her coming up from the fountain at which she washed herself, is surely no proof that she
immersed herself in it. Compare this last passage with the account of our Saviour's baptism in Matth. iii. 16. and Luke iii. 21.
The phrases which describe Baptism as an application of the element from above, immediately relate to the act of Baptizing ; whereas the phrases now mentioned, relate merely to the PLACE where that act was performed. If this fact be duly considered, it will enable us to determine which of the two classes of phraseology is to be applied for deciding the question before us. Let it be supposed, that the baptizer led the person to be baptized, not only to the water, but into it; the question returns, what did he do with him there ? I answer, that all the language of scripture which relates to the act of baptizing, informs me, that he took a handful of the water, and POURED IT OUT on his turned-up face. This was the act of baptizing. Going to the water and from the water, or if you please, into the water, and out of the water, was not the act of baptizing: it was the act equally of both parties; and we shall see, it was an occasional act, as, in other instances, namely, the cases of baptism within doors, instead of going to the water, the water was evidently brought to them.
If the act of baptizing had consisted of immersing the subject in water, there would surely have been some allusion to the lowering of his body in that supine direction, which is, I believe, commonly observed for the purpose of bringing it under the surface : some allusion also to that stooping attitude, which is at the same time necessary on the part of the im