« AnteriorContinuar »
αυτούς «he that is washed from (the pollution of) a dead body, and again toucheth it, what profit hath he by his washing ?” When this passage is compared with Νum. xix. 9-22. it will appear that βαπτίζομαι is used by the Apocryphal writer for the application of the ύδωρ ραντισμού, water of sprinkling, and obedience to the subsequent order λούσεται ύδατι, shall Wash himself with water; the neglecting of which application inferred the punishment of being cut off from Israel, &rı ύδωρ ραντισμού ού περιερρανσίσθη επ' αυτόν ακάθαρτός έστι. because the water of sprinkling was not sprinkled upon him, he is unclean. Comp. Ηeb. ix. 13.
There are many instances, in which βαπτίζω, signifies to immerse, that is, to pop in, to plunge or sink completely under water. Thus, ουδέ γάρ τους ακολύμβους βαπτίζεσθαι συμβαίνει ξύλων τρόπον επιπολάζουσι, « to those who are unable to swim it does not happen to sink under water, (Gr. to be baptized) they float like wood." Strabo, lib. 6. ούπω μέλλοντος βαπτίζεσθαι του σκάφους,
, . « the vessel not being at all about to sink.” Joseph.. Antiq. Weidman. Coloniæ. 1691. folio, lib. ix. ch. xi. letter F. page 318. in the account of Jonah's being cast into the sea. βαπτίσθεντος γαρ ημών του πλοίου κατά μέσον τον 'Αδρίαν δι' όλης της νυκτός ενηξάμεθα, « our vessel having sunk (foundered) in the middle of the Adriatic sea, we swam the whole night. Joseph. Vit. $ 3. Stephens quotes as an example of the word signifying to dip, the following from Plutarch de Superstit. την περιμάκτριαν κάλει γραϋν, και βάπτισον σεαυτον εις θάλασσαν και καθίσας εν τη γή διημερεύσον, « call an old woman skilled in baking, and baptize thyself
in the sea, and sitting down on the ground remain all day:"-but in this passage Bútrio evidently seems to mean no more than wash thyself. Josephus uses it twice concerning the death of Aristobulus the brother of Mariamne, who was drowned through Herod's instigation at Jericho, by certain Greeks, who enticed him into the water to swim, and then, under pretence of play, immersed him or kept him under water, till he died. Barri ovric, cox ävnaay iws nad TQVTÁTAON ÅToTvičai, Jewish Antiq. B. XV. chap. iii. Ø 3. Again, in his wars of the Jews, B. I. chap. xxii. $ 2. “ The young man was sent to Jericho, and there, according to his orders, being immersed in a fish pond, he came to his end :" Barriquévos év κολυμβήθρα.
These, I conceive, to be genuine instances of Immersion baptism. As in the case of Bártw, I have been obliged to go for them to Josephus, and to other writers of merely human authority, because I have not been able to meet with an instance of Immersion Baptism in the Holy scriptures. There is one point in which some of these instances differ from the example given, p. 38. of the same meaning of Bártw. In that, it was applied to what a man did to himself, Here, it must be confessed, that, in some of the cases, there are dippers as well as dipped, and the other cases also, are not those of voluntary plunging, but of fatal sinking. Is this the pattern of baptizers and baptized ? Shall we illustrate the office of John the Baptist and of the apostles and evangelists of Christ, by the work of providential destruction, or that of mur
derers ? But what else can we draw from sinking ships, or a youth betrayed to death by the hands of assassins ? These examples imply, not a mere dipping and up again ; an immersion immediately followed by an emersion : but a continued and permanent immersion; a remaining under water. And every thing, which is thus said to be made to sink, is understood to continue in that state, unless, like a bladder, it should rise again by its own buoyancy.* It is impossible, then, to apply such examples as a rule for Christian Baptism. Some may
think it was not necessary to use a word directly to express the emersion, because if immersion really was enjoined, the emersion must be understood to follow of course, from the necessity of the case. This is a perfectly natural thought, but it cannot help the cause of Antipædobaptists. According to their views, Baptism is a twofold symbol, representing two things, of distinct and equal importance. The immersion and the emersion are both of them
parts of this symbol: the first representing the death, and the second the resurrection of Christ. Now, if this be the case, the word Burritw is a name for the one half only of their ordinance of Baptism. It entirely fails them as to the other half. A word may have various meanings, but it cannot have two of them at the same time. If, therefore, this word pops them
• As in the old oracle, quoted from Plutarch, concerning the Atlienians, άσκος βαπτίζη, δύναι δέ τοι ου θέμις εστί. As a blad. der thou mayest be dipped (popped into waler) but canst not be made to go down."
down ; it certainly cannot give any warrant, or suggest any literal or figurative meaning, for their popping up again.
Before proceeding to the examination of the meaning of Barriţw, in the New Testament, I shall as a collateral proof that it signifies to pop, in any direction, mention its compounds. We have åvaßantilw, and καταβαπτίζω, εμβαπτίζω, and επιβαπτίζω. Of this last we have the two following examples in Josephus, in which, according to the figurative and exaggerated application, it plainly signifies to overwhelm by rushing or pouring upon. Jewish War, B. III. c. vii. $ 15. The inhabitants of Jotapata pleaded with him to stay there, and not “to leave his friends ; nor, as it were, to leap out of a ship enduring a storm, into which he had come in a calm : for the city must be ÈTIBATTide, epibaptized or overwhelmed, no one daring to oppose
its enemies, if he who kept up their courage should depart.” Jewish War, B. I. c. xxvii. 5 1. Speaking of the sons of Herod, Josephus says, “ This, as the last storm, TIBÚTrioev, epibaptized or overwhelmed the young men, already weather-beaten.”
MEANING AND FORM
We are now prepared to maintain, that Bantilw, although, as we have seen, it occasionally is used in
the sense of to immerse, in other writings, does not once occur in this sense in the New Testament.
The ordinance of Baptism is the pouring out of water from the hand of the baptizer, on the turnedup face of the baptized. It is connected with the preaching of the gospel under the gospel dispensation, and particularly relates to the work of the Holy Spirit, as then sent by the Father, in the name of the Son, according to the promises of the everlasting covenant. It is dispensed in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; the one only living and true God; the God of our salvation. It is a sign, that the promised Messiah is come; that his death is the atonement for sin ; that his resurrection has indeed taken place; that the gospel of pardon of sin, peace with God, purity, and life eternal, is preached with the Holy Spirit sent down from hea. ven ; that, in consequence of this good news, sinners are called to repentance and faith ; and that there is 110 case in which sin reigneth unto death, which is not now provided for, by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit in the soul. This work of the Holy Spirit is a new creation; a regeneration ; a purification of the heart by faith; a change of mind or repentance unto life; the bringing forth of fruits meet for repentance, or a change of conduct; in short, the whole of sanctification, consolation, and preservation, until the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is spoken of in scripture under the emblems of water, air, and fire, which are all considered in scripture as elements of Baptism; and, in this connection,