Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Q.9. What good will it do children to baptize them?

A. It will do them as much good to baptize them under the gospel, as it did to circumcise them under the law. It will do children as much good to baptize them, as it does adults. In either case the duty does not follow principally from the good which results, but from the command of God. Children ought, therefore, to be baptized; and no parents can neglect this duty without incurring the displeasure of Heaven. The baptism of a child is the duty and act of the parents, and not of the child. To ask the question, therefore, What good can it do to baptize children, is to reply against God. When He commands, men should obey. To treat infant baptism with contempt, is to hold the command of circumcision in contempt. The baptism of children binds them with peculiar obligations to obey the gospel, as circumcision bound the circumcised to keep the whole law.

Besides, God is pleased to bless His own ordinances. This we see peculiarly illustrated in the revivals of religion in the present day. A very great portion of those who have experienced religion, were dedicated to God in infancy or childhood. Here, then, is the good which results from infant baptism.

Q. 10. Do parents, who dedicate their children to God in baptism, take upon them any special obligations ?

A. They do. *They solemnly promise, in the presence of God, angels and men, sealing the engagement with the seal of God's covenant, that they will bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and that they will cultivate solicitude for their salvation, teach them to read the Bible, explain to them its doctrines and duties, pray with and for them, and strive by every means in their power to bring them to a knowledge of Christ, wbich is eternal life.

Q. 11. What is the proper mode of baptism?

A. There is no particular mode specified in the Scriptures, as immersion, plunging, dipping, or sprinkling. The command is to baptize, not designating

the mode. The Greek word, Bantiļw, Anglicised, or translated into English, baptize, in the New Testament, signifies to wet with water partially, as well as totally, and by sprinkling, as well as by immersion. The words immerse and immersion are not to be found in the Bible. The word plunge is used but once in the Scriptures, and then has no reference to the ordinance of baptism. The words dip, dipped, dippeth, and dipt, are used in the Bible twenty-one times, but have not the least relation to the ordinance of baptism. The words sprinkle, sprinkled, and sprinkling, are used six times in the Old and New Testaments in reference to spiritual baptism, which is represented by water baptism. The mode, therefore, is not essential, or, if it is essential, it would seem that sprinkling is the proper mode. Sprinkling, pouring, and immersion, are each of them, it is presumed, valid, and may be practised, and probably were practised in the days of primitive Christianity. (;)

Q. 12. Was the baptism of John Christian baptism?

A. Certainly not. John did not baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; but he baptized unto repentance. John baptized Christ as an induction into the Priestly office. He could not baptize Him in the name of the Trinity, for he was one of the Trinity, nor unto repentance, for He had no sins, of which to repent. But he bap

(i) Isaiah lii. 15. So shall he sprinkle many nations.-Ezek. Xxxvi. 25. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean.-Heb. ix. 13, 14. For if the blood of bulls and of goals, and the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. - Heb. x. 22. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. -Heb. xii. 24. And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.—1 Pet. I. 2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.

tized Him as a Priest; hence He was not baptized till He was thirty years of age. All the Priests under the law were baptized, and thus inducted into office at this time of life. John was the last prophet under the law. He was the Forerunner of Christ. The gospel Church was not established till after the resurrection of Christ. John's baptism is not, therefore, gospel baptism, and the baptism of Christ is no example for us. This, too, is the opinion of the Rev. Dr. Robert Hall, a very distinguished author, of the Baptist denomination. (j)*

Q. 13. Do the phrases, in the English translation of the New Testament, 'went down into the water,' and went up out of the water, prove anything in regard to the mode of baptism?

A. They do not. The prepositions in Greek translated into' and out of' are much more fre

(i) Acts xix. 2, 3. He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized ? And they said, Unto John's baptism.-Mark i. 4. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance, for the remission of sins.Matt. i. 14, 15. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me ? "And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.—Matt. iii. 1, 2. In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.—Exod. xxix. 4. And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt

wash them with water. -Gen. xxx. 19. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat.-Numb. iv. 3. From thirty years old and upward, even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.

* The denomination of Christians, usually called Baptists, are more appropriately called Anabaptists, because they rebaptize, or baptize again those who have been baptized in infaney; or Antipedobaptists, because they oppose and reject the baptism of chil-dren. There is, strictly speaking, no more reason for their being

called Baptists, than any other denomination being called so, for the meaning of the word Baptist is a baptizer, or one who baptizes. In the Scriptures the word Baptist is applied to John the harbinger of Christ only. Neither were His disciples, nor the Apostles, called Baptists, nor any other persons, till 1500 vears after Christ.

quently translated in the New Testament, “to' and from,' as every one, acquainted with the original language, must know. No evidence, therefore, for immersion is to be derived from this circumstance of English phraseology; for these phrases would be better rendered went down to the water,' and went up from the water. And no doubt the translators of the New Testament viewed this subject in much the same light, as they all practised baptism by sprinkling.* Besides, if going into the water was baptism, then Philip was baptized as well as the Eunuch, and John as well as Christ; but if it was not, the question then arises, how did Philip baptize the Eunuch and John baptize Christ, while they were in the water? From what is said in the Scriptures, we know not whether it was by immersion, pouring, or sprinkling.

Q: 14. What is meant by the phrase "buried with Christ by baptism into death,' found in the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans ?

A. It is similar in meaning to “planted together in the likeness of his death, and crucified with him," phrases used in the same chapter. They are figurative expressions, and mean that believers are, or should be, dead to sin, and all carnal affections, pursuits, and expectations—as much so as one, buried, planted, or crucified, would be to the affairs of this life. The apostle alludes to the effects of baptism by the Holy Ghost, which are spiritual regeneration; but has not the least reference to the mode of the external ordinance. Indeed, there is not the least resemblance between the death of Christ, and baptism by immersion. Had Christ died by being drowned, there might have been a likeness to his death in the mode of baptism by immersion; but as Christ died on the cross, there can be no likeness whatever.

* Many persons, unacquainted with the original Greek, lay great stress upon the present English version of the New Testament in these cases, and seem to think that this is an infallible guide in relation to the mode of baptism. In order to consider it in this light, they must acknowledge, that the translators knew what was the meaning of the original words, for if they did not know, they might translate them wrong, ignorantly, and also that they were good persons, for if they were not good, they might translate them wrong, purposely. In either case, that is, if they were ignorant, or bad persons, the translation would be no proper guide. In the view of these individuals, therefore, the translators knew what was right and were good persons, and if so, they would do what was right. But what did they do in the case before us? They observed infant baptism, and baptism by sprinkling, for they were of the Church of England. The inference then is, that they believed sprinkling to be a valid mode, and taught in the word of God.

Q. 15. Which is the first instance of Christian baptism, recorded in the Sacred Scriptures ?

Ą. The baptism of the three thousand, who were converted by the Apostle's preaching on the day of Pentecost. (k)

Q. 16. În what mode were they baptized ?

Ă. By sprinkling, or affusion, it is altogether probable. They were in the city of Jerusalem, which stands on a hill, near which there is no pond, nor river, nor sea; and no watering place except one small spring, or pool, called Siloam. It is not to be supposed that they had a change of raiment, for when they came to hear Peter preach, it is presumed they did not think of their own conversion. How, then, could they be properly prepared for immersion ? Besides, it would be impossible for the Apostles to baptize them by immersion in one day.

Q. 17. How was the apostle Paul baptized ?

Å. He must have been baptized by sprinkling, or affusion;

for it would seem that he was baptized in the house of one Judas in the city of Damascus. (?)

Q. 18. How was the Jailer and his fainily baptized ?

Å. Without doubt by sprinkling; for they were baptized at midnight, and in the outer prison, or dungeon, and nothing is said of their departing from the house. (m)

(k) Acts ii. 41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls,

(1) Acts ix. 11, and xxii. 16. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire of the house of Judas, for one called Saul of Tarsus; for behold he prayeth. And now, why tarriest thou ? Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

(m) Acts xvi. 30. 33. And brought them out, and said, Sirs,

« ZurückWeiter »