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Title: A Bible History of Baptism
Author: Baird, Samuel J. (John)
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Bible History of Baptism" ***

                          Transcriber’s Note:

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Italics are delimited with the ‘_’ character as _italic_.

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positioned to follow the paragraph in which they are referenced.

                          THE GREAT BAPTIZER.
                       BIBLE HISTORY OF BAPTISM.


                         SAMUEL J. BAIRD, D. D.

“He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.”—MATT. III, 17.

“This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to
pass, in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all
flesh.”—ACTS II, 16, 17.


                            JAMES H. BAIRD.

                            SAMUEL J. BAIRD,


Not only does the ordinance of baptism hold a position of pre-eminent
honor, as being the door of entrance to all the privileges of the
visible church, but it has been distinguished with a place of paramount
importance and conspicuity in the transactions of the two grandest
occasions in the history of that church,—in sealing the covenant at
Sinai, by which Israel became the church of God, and the grace of
Pentecost, by which the doors of that church were thrown open to the
world. Proportionally interesting and significant is the ordinance, in
itself, as symbolizing the most lofty, attractive and precious
conceptions of the gospel, and unfolding a history of the plan of God in
proportions of unspeakable interest, grandeur and glory. And yet,
heretofore, the discussion of the subject has been little more than a
disputation, alike uninteresting, inconclusive and unprofitable,
concerning the word _baptizo_.

The present treatise is an attempt to lift the subject out of the low
rut in which it has thus traversed, and to render its investigation the
means of enlightening the minds and filling the hearts of God’s people
with those conceptions, at once exalted and profound, and those high
hopes and bright anticipations of the future which the ordinance was
designed and so happily fitted to induce and stimulate.

Eighteen years ago,—in a catechetical treatise on “The Church of God,
its Constitution and Order,” from the press of the Presbyterian Board of
Publication,—the author enunciated the essential principles which are
developed in this volume. In 1870, they were further illustrated in a
tract on “The Bible History of Baptism,” which was issued by the
Presbyterian Committee of Publication, in Richmond, Va. The reception
accorded to these treatises has encouraged me to undertake the more
elaborate disquisitions of the present work. The questions are sometimes
such as require a critical study of the inspired originals of the holy
Scriptures; and occasional illustrations are drawn from classic and
other kindred sources. It has been my study so to conduct these
investigations that while they should not be unworthy the attention of
scholars, they may be intelligible to readers who are conversant with no
other than our common English tongue, the richest and noblest ever
spoken by man.

The circumstances and manner of the introduction of the rite of
immersion into the post-apostolic church presented a rich and inviting
field of further investigation. But the volume has already exceeded the
intended limit; the Biblical question is in itself complete, and its
authority is conclusive. To it, therefore, the present inquiry is

The fruit of much and assiduous investigation and thoughtful study is
now reverently dedicated to the glory of the baptizing office of the
Lord Jesus. May he speedily arise and display it in new and transcendent
energy; pouring upon his blood-bought church the Spirit of grace and
consecration, of knowledge and aggressive zeal, of unity and power;
baptizing the nations with his Spirit, and filling the world with the
joy of his salvation and the light of his glory.

COVINGTON, KY., Feb. 8, 1882.


 INTRODUCTION,                                                   Page 15

                                 BOOK I.

                         OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY.

                                 PART I.

                           _BAPTISM AT SINAI._

 SECTION I. _Baptism originated in the Old Testament._—It was
   familiar to the Jews when Christ came. There were “divers
   baptisms” imposed at Sinai,                                        21

 SECTION II. _No Immersions in the Old Testament._—None in
   the ritual. None in the figurative language,                       23

 SECTION III. _The Old Testament Sacraments._—1. Sacrifice.
   2. Circumcision. 3. The Passover. 4. Baptism,                      24

 SECTION IV. _The Baptism of Israel at Sinai._--Scene at the
   mount. The covenant proposed and accepted. A great
   revival. Baptism of the converts. The feast of the
   covenant,                                                          25

 SECTION V. _The Blood of Sprinkling._—It was a type of
   Christ’s atonement,                                                30

 SECTION VI. _The Living water._—A type of the Spirit. Living
   and salt water. The river of Eden. That of the Revelation
   and of the prophets. The Dead Sea. Rain and fountains.
   Their symbolic functions,                                          31

                                PART II.

                          _THE VISIBLE CHURCH._

 SECTION VII. _The Abrahamic Covenant._—It was the
   betrothal,—not the marriage. Its terms spiritual,
   everlasting, exclusive. The Seed Christ. It adumbrated the
   covenant of grace. No salvation but on its terms,                  37

 SECTION VIII. _The Sinai Covenant.—Its Conditions._—Moses’
   commission. 1. “If ye will obey.” 2. “And keep my
   covenant,”                                                         42

 SECTION IX. _The Sinai Covenant.—Its Promises._—1. A
   peculiar treasure. 2. “All the earth is mine.” 3. A priest
   kingdom. 4. A holy nation. 5. Palestine,                           45

 SECTION X. _The Visible Church Established._—The Church
   defined. Its name. Its fundamental law. Membership. Family
   and eldership. Ordinances of testimony. The relation of
   the ritual law,                                                    49

 SECTION XI. _The Terms of Membership._—Professed faith and
   obedience. The same to Israel and Gentiles. Separating the
   unworthy,                                                          56

 SECTION XII. _Circumcision and Baptism._—The former sealed
   the Abrahamic covenant. The latter alone sealed the
   ecclesiastical covenant of Sinai,                                  58

                                PART III.


 SECTION XIII. _Unclean Seven Days._—The meaning. Childbirth.
   Issues. Contact with the dead. Leprosy. Characterized by
   (1) inward corruption; (2) seven days continuance; (3)
   contagiousness; (4) requiring sacrifice and sprinkling,            60

 SECTION XIV.—_Baptism of a Healed Leper._—Seven sprinklings.
   The self-washings. Meaning of the rites,                           66

 SECTION XV. _Baptism of the Defiled by the Dead._—The
   ordinary seal of the covenant. The ashes. Manner of the
   baptism,                                                           68

 SECTION XVI. _Baptism from Issues._—The law seemingly
   incongruous. The water of nidda,                                   69

 SECTION XVII. _Baptism of Proselytes._—Talmudic traditions.
   Question between the Schools of Shammai and Hillel. The
   Levitical mode exemplified in the daughters of Midian,             76

 SECTION XVIII. _Baptism of Infants._—The principle of infant
   membership recognized. Evidence of the baptism of Hebrew
   children. Example of the infant Jesus,                             82

 SECTION XIX. _Baptism of the Levites._—Sprinkled with “water
   of purifying,”                                                     85

 SECTION XX. _These all were one Baptism._ The rites were
   essentially the same. Slight differences explained,                86

 SECTION XXI. _The Symbol of Rain._—Descent from heaven. Life
   and fruitfulness imparted. Testimonies of the prophets.
   Carson’s doctrine,                                                 88

 SECTION XXII. _It meant, Life to the Dead._—Men dead by
   nature. The Spirit shed down gives life to soul and body.
   Jesus at the grave of Lazarus,                                     92

 SECTION XXIII. _The Gospel in this Baptism._—(1) The red
   heifer. (2) Without the camp. (3) Blood sprinkled, and
   blood and water. (4) Seven times. (5) Seven days’
   defilement. (6) The ashes. (7) The water. (8) The
   sprinkling. (9) The third day and the seventh. (10) The
   self-washing. (11) Things defiled and sprinkled,                   95

 SECTION XXIV. _These were the “Divers Baptisms,”_—The
   argument of Heb. ix, 8, 9. The sprinklings were the theme
   of Paul’s argument. They were his “divers baptisms,”              103

                                PART IV.

                         _RITUAL SELF-WASHINGS._

 SECTION XXV. _Unclean until the Even._—From expiatory rites.
   From contact with the unclean. Self-washing,                      108

 SECTION XXVI. _Grades of Self-washing._—1. The hands. 2. The
   hands and feet. 3. The clothes. 4. The clothes and flesh.
   5. Shaving the hair,                                              111

 SECTION XXVII. _Mode implied in the meaning._—The
   self-washings meant the active putting off of the sins of
   the flesh,                                                        115

 SECTION XXVIII. _The words used to designate the
   Washings._—1. Shātaph. 2. Kābas. 3. Rāhatz,                       116

 SECTION XXIX. _Mode of Domestic Ablution._—By water poured
   on. The patriarchs. Mode in Egypt. In the wilderness.
   Story of Susanna. Purgation of a concealed murder. Washing
   the feet at table,                                                119

 SECTION XXX. _Facilities requisite._—The water drawn from
   wells by women. No vessels for immersion. The bath of
   Ulysses,                                                          126

 SECTION XXXI. _The Washings of the Priests._—Symbolism of
   the tabernacle. The laver. Priestly washings. The laver
   and river of Ezekiel. No immersions here,                         128

 SECTION XXXII. _Like these were the Self-washings of the
   People._—Designations and meaning the same. Immersion
   would have been without meaning,                                  134

 SECTION XXXIII. _Purifyings of things._—One case of
   immersion. Minor defilements cleansed by this immersion
   and by washings. The major, by sprinkling,                        136

                                 PART V.


 SECTION XXXIV. _Old Testament Allusions._—The rite
   everywhere, from Moses to Zechariah,                              139

 SECTION XXXV. _Rabbinic Traditions._—One heifer from Moses
   to Ezra. Eight thence to the end,                                 142

 SECTION XXXVI. _Festival of the Outpouring of Water._—Feast
   of tabernacles. The outpouring. The festivity. Its
   meaning,                                                          143

 SECTION XXXVII. _Hellenistic Greek._—Alexander’s favor to
   the Jews. Alexandria. Hellenistic Greek. Its literature.
   _Baptizo._ Dr. Conant’s definitions. _Baptisma_ and
   _baptismoi_,                                                      151

 SECTION XXXVIII. _Baptism of Naaman._ _Tābal=baptizo._—The
   law of leprosy. Office of Elijah and Elisha. Naaman was
   sprinkled seven times, according to the law,                      157

 SECTION XXXIX. “_Baptized from the Dead._”—Ecclus. xxxi, 30.
   The water of separation here called baptism. “Baptized for
   the dead.”—1 Cor. xv, 29,                                         169

 SECTION XL. _Judith’s Baptism._—Story of Judith. Her
   baptism. Mohammedan washing before prayer,                        172

 SECTION XLI. _The Water of Separation in Philo and
   Josephus._—Philo on the subject. Josephus’ description,           175

 SECTION XLII. _Imitations by the Greeks and
   Romans._—Diffusive influence of Israel. The stain of
   crime, and purgation for it, novelties in Greece.
   Purifying always by sprinkled water. Ovid and Virgil. The
   Greek mysteries,                                                  178

 SECTION XLIII. _Baptism in Egypt and among the Aztecs._—The
   libation vase of Osor-Ur. Aztec infant baptism,                   189

 SECTION XLIV. _Levitical Baptism in the Fathers._—Tertullian
   on the idolatrous imitations. Other fathers on the water
   of separation. They recognize it as baptism,                      192

                                PART VI.


 SECTION XLV. _Points established by the foregoing
   Evidence._—Twenty-one points of evidence enumerated,              196

                                BOOK II.

                         NEW TESTAMENT HISTORY.

                                PART VII.


 SECTION XLVI. _State of the Question._—1. Baptism by
   sprinkling,—fifteen centuries old,—the Jewish Scriptures
   full of it,—the Jewish mind molded by it. 2.
   Immersion,—new,—incongruous,—unmeaning. Carson’s double
   symbolism,                                                        201

                               PART VIII.

                      _THE PURIFYINGS OF THE JEWS._

 SECTION XLVII. _Accounts in the Gospels._—Purifying before
   the feasts. The marriage in Cana. Washings and baptisms,          208

 SECTION XLVIII. _Washing Hands before Meals._—Origin of the
   rite. The marriage feast,                                         210

 SECTION XLIX. _Baptism on return from Market._—Market
   defined. Jesus at the Pharisee’s table,                           214

 SECTION L. _A Various Reading._—Baptizōntai and rantizōntai.
   Care taken in transcribing the New Testament. These two
   readings,                                                         216

 SECTION LI. _Baptisms of Utensils and Furniture._—Their
   prototypes in the Levitical purifyings of things,                 219

                                PART IX.


 SECTION LII. _History of John’s Mission._—The accounts of
   it. John the herald of the Angel of the Sinai covenant,           221

 SECTION LIII. _Israel at the time of John’s Coming._—No
   longer idolatrous, but apostate. Prophetic warnings. They
   were excommunicate from the covenant,                             225

 SECTION LIV. _Nature of John’s Baptism._—Elijah the champion
   of the covenant, to the ten tribes. John the same to the
   Jews. His baptism renewed the Sinai seal,                         228

 SECTION LV. _Extent of John’s Baptism._—Testimony of the
   evangelists. Other evidence. A great revival,                     232

 SECTION LVI. _John did not Immerse._—The circumstances
   forbade it. It would have been unmeaning,                         237

 SECTION LVII. _John sprinkled with unmingled Water._—Why the
   prophecies speak of water only. “The kingdom” John’s
   theme. Hence, water only. It was sprinkled. Some may have
   stood in the water,                                               241

                                 PART X.

                   _CHRIST’s$1BAPTISMS AND ANOINTING._

 SECTION LVIII. _His Baptism by John._—Various explanations.
   It was part of his obedience. It sealed him Surety of the
   covenant, and certified to him triumph in his
   resurrection,                                                     247

 SECTION LIX. _His Anointing._—The Spirit given him, at his
   birth,—at his baptism,—and at his coronation. Meaning and
   purpose of his anointing,                                         254

 SECTION LX. “_The Baptism that I am Baptized with._”—Matt.
   xx, 20-22. The kingdom was to be after the resurrection;
   and upon condition of being worthy. “The regeneration” was
   typified by the Levitical baptisms. The baptism was his
   resurrection. Luke xii, 50,                                       257

                                PART XI.

                      _CHRIST THE GREAT BAPTIZER._

 SECTION LXI. _The Kingdom of the Son of man._—“The kingdom
   of heaven.” Destined to man at creation. Satan’s scheme.
   The kingdom in the prophets. John’s proclamation. Christ’s
   triumph and coronation,                                           267

 SECTION LXII. _Christ is enthroned as Baptizer._—His
   commission,—to purge the universe. Order of precedence in
   the Godhead. On earth, Jesus was “in the Spirit.” On the
   throne, the Spirit is in and subject to him. “The promise
   of the Father,”                                                   273

 SECTION LXIII. _Note on the Procession of the
   Spirit._—History of the _filioque_ clause. Objections to
   it,                                                               281

 SECTION LXIV. _The Baptism of Fire._—The Holy Ghost, and
   fire, two several things. Fire means wrath. The places
   cited against this view. The contrasted language of the
   evangelists. Grace and wrath inseparably connected. John’s
   theme and imagery are from Malachi. Arguments to identify
   the two baptisms in one. _Baptizo._ Mode of the baptism of
   fire,                                                             284

 SECTION LXV. _The Baptism of Pentecost._—The apostles must
   “wait for the promise.” The Spirit poured out,                    297

 SECTION LXVI. _Manner of the Baptism._—_Pnoē_,—a breath.
   _Pheromenē_,—borne forward,—impelled. “He breathed on
   them.” It was affusion, signalizing the height where Jesus
   sits,                                                             299

 SECTION LXVII. _The New Spirit imparted._—The Spirit no
   novelty. Peter’s explanation. Hitherto, the church’s
   office was conservative. Now the aggressive Spirit of
   missions given,                                                   304

 SECTION LXVIII. _The Tongues like as of Fire._—Not “cloven,”
   but “distributed.” Like the flame of a lamp. The
   candlestick. The seven stars. “Arise! shine!”                     310

 SECTION LXIX. _The Gift of other Tongues._—Signified the
   union of all people in God’s worship. The phrasing of the
   historian. History of the sign,                                   313

 SECTION LXX. _The Baptism of Repentance._—The firstfruits.
   John’s “baptism of repentance.” Jesus gives repentance and
   remission. His baptism unites to him and the Father. Its
   manner. The Spirit’s relation to it,                              318

 SECTION LXXI. _Paul’s Doctrine of this Baptism._—Titus iii,
   4-7. Meaning of _loutron_. 1 Cor. xii, 12-14. Eph. iv,
   4-16. Gal. iii, 27-29. Rom. vi, 2-6. Col. ii, 9-11. The
   doctrine of these places,                                         323

 SECTION LXXII. _Noah “saved by Water.”_—1 Pet. iii, 17-22.
   Peter and Paul. The theme,—the saints persecuted with
   impunity. Noah persecuted, and saved by means of the
   flood. Christ’s people saved by antitype baptism,                 333

 SECTION LXXIII. _Christ’s Baptizing Administration._—It
   covers his whole work on the throne. In the end, triumph
   complete, physical and moral. When he shall have purged
   earth and heaven, then will his baptizing office cease,           338

 SECTION LXXIV. _Argument from the Real to Ritual
   Baptism._—The real baptism has to do, not with abasement
   and the grave, but with exaltation and power. But
   immersion looks only to the grave. It is incongruous to
   all the phenomena of Pentecost. Immersed in “the sound
   from heaven,”                                                     343

                                PART XII.

                         _THE BAPTIST ARGUMENT._

 SECTION LXXV. BAPTIZO _and the Resurrection_.—Elements of
   the Baptist argument. Dr. Conant on _baptizo_. It leaves
   its subjects in the water. Dr. Kendrick’s admissions. A
   second meaning in _baptizo_,                                      347

 SECTION LXXVI. _The Prepositions._—_En._ _Eis._ _Ek._ _Apo._
   They indicate, not the mode, but the place of the
   baptisms,                                                         354

 SECTION LXXVII. “_Much Water there._”—Aenon=The Springs.
   Many waters. Why Jesus and John resorted to waters,               360

 SECTION LXXVIII. “_Buried with him by Baptism into
   Death._”—Rom. vi, 2-7.—“Buried with him by _the_ baptism
   into _the_ death.” Analysis of the passage. Spiritual
   baptism alone referred to. Immersion incongruous to Paul’s
   conception,                                                       364

 SECTION LXXIX. “_Buried with him in Baptism._”—Col. ii,
   9-13. The doctrine the same as the preceding. Union with
   the Lord Jesus the controlling idea. “Buried with him in
   (or, by) _the_ baptism.” The idea of immersion perplexes
   the exegesis,                                                     371

 SECTION LXXX. _End of the Baptist Argument._—Baptist
   scholars concede that _baptizo_ does not mean, to dip,
   only. It can not then decide the mode. They admit that it
   leaves its subject in the water. It knows then nothing of
   the resurrection. The prepositions and waters of Enon do
   not help the cause. Paul’s burial “in _the_ baptism,” does
   not allude to the ritual ordinance. In all its parts, the
   argument fails,                                                   374

                               PART XIII.

                        _BAPTISMAL REGENERATION._

 SECTION LXXXI. _Contrary to the whole Tenor of the
   Gospel._—The mystery of iniquity early developed. The
   gospel church viewed as the antitype of the Levitical. The
   Scriptures are not so. Treatment of baptism by the
   evangelists. Paul’s testimony,                                    377

 SECTION LXXXII. _Born of Water and of the Spirit._—John iii,
   4-8. Metaphor of water. “Water _even_ the Spirit.” John
   had already stated the way of the new birth,                      384

 SECTION LXXXIII. “_The Washing of Water, by the Word._”—The
   bridal bath. No formula of baptism. “Sanctify them through
   thy truth,”                                                       390

                                PART XIV.

                       _THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH._

 SECTION LXXXIV. _The Ritual Law is unrepealed._—Christ so
   left it. The apostles were zealous for it. The council of
   Jerusalem exempted the Gentiles only. James and Paul unite
   to show it still in force. Paul’s practice. He obeyed the
   law, but repudiated its righteousness. This view alone
   harmonizes the history,                                           393

 SECTION LXXXV. _Why the Gentiles were exempted._—Not because
   the law expired. But, unsuited to a world wide extension.
   Its chief end accomplished. What its survival implied,            406

 SECTION LXXXVI. _The Christian Passover._—Wine, and blood.
   The passover a type of Christ’s atonement. It is
   perpetuated in the Supper,                                        408

 SECTION LXXXVII. _The Hebrew Christian Church._—The
   synagogue system. The sects of Pharisees, Sadducees and
   Nazarenes. The number and diffusion of the Nazarenes. The
   Hebrew church after the destruction of Jerusalem,                 411

 SECTION LXXXVIII. _The Gentiles Graffed in._—Mixed churches.
   Gentile churches. “Out of Zion the law.” The Gentiles
   graffed in,                                                       418

                                PART XV.

                          _CHRISTIAN BAPTISM._

 SECTION LXXXIX. _History of the Rite._—The cotemporaneous
   baptisms of John and Jesus. Both were the same Christian
   baptism. Christ did not _institute_ baptism, but gave it
   to the Gentiles. Rebaptism at Ephesus. Note on rebaptism,         424

 SECTION XC. “_Baptizing them into the Name._”—1. Into the
   name. _En_; _epi_; _eis_. “Into Christ.” “Into the name of
   Christ.” 2. “The name of the Father and of the Son, and of
   the Holy Ghost.”—“The name of the Lord Jesus,”                    431

 SECTION XCI. “_He that Believeth and is Baptized._”—It
   refers to ritual baptism; and is a caution against trust
   in it. Faith is the essential thing,                              437

 SECTION XCII. _The Formula._—Ritualistic view. No formula
   prescribed by Christ, nor used by the apostles,                   438

 SECTION XCIII. _The Administration on Pentecost._—There was
   a baptism with water. Dr. Dale’s objections,                      440

 SECTION XCIV. _The meaning of this Baptism._—It could but
   symbolize the baptism of the Spirit. The two formulas thus
   reconciled,                                                       446

 SECTION XCV. _The Mode of this Baptism._—Immersion
   incongruous and impossible. They were baptized in groups
   with a hyssop bush,                                               448

 SECTION XCVI. _Other Illustrations._—The eunuch. The apostle
   Paul. The house of Cornelius. The jailer. None of these
   look to immersion,                                                451

 SECTION XCVII. “_Baptized into Moses._”—Moses and Israel
   were types. Dr. Kendrick contradicts the record. By this
   baptism Israel were brought into a new state of faith and
   obedience,                                                        457

                                PART XVI.

                     _THE FAMILY AND THE CHILDREN._

 SECTION XCVIII. _Christ and the Children._—A retrospect.
   Christ’s attitude toward the lambs. Peter’s commission.
   The Jews predominant in the church. The Sinai covenant
   recognized the children and made place for the Gentiles,          461

 SECTION XCIX. “_Now are they Holy._”—Unclean, and holy.
   Israel a holy nation. “The saints.” The Baptist exegesis
   of the language,                                                  466

 SECTION C. _Household Baptisms._—Not “infant,” but “family
   baptism.” Lydia’s house. The jailer and all his. The house
   of Stephanas. These, in the light of fifteen centuries
   preceding, and of the everlasting covenant,                       471


 Christ’s real baptism with the Spirit is the criterion of
   all baptismal doctrines and rites. Baptismal regeneration
   tried and rejected. The evidence against immersion
   cumulative and overwhelming,                                      476


The history of the ritual ordinances of God’s appointment is full of
painful interest. Passing any reference to the times preceding the
transactions of Sinai,—the institutions then given to Israel constituted
a system of transparent, significance, perfect in the congruous symmetry
and simplicity of the parts and comprehensive fullness of the whole, as
setting forth the whole doctrine of God concerning man’s sin and
salvation. Designed not only for the instruction of Israel, but for a
light to the darkness of the surrounding Gentile world, its truths were
embodied in symbols which spake to every people of every tongue in their
own language. Copied in imperfect and perverted forms into the rites of
Gentile idolatry,—although distorted, veiled and dislocated from their
normal relations, they shed gleams of twilight into the gloom of
spiritual darkness, and prepared the world for the dawning of the Sun of
Righteousness, when he rose upon the nations. To multitudes of Israel,
those ordinances were efficient means of eminent grace. With gladness,
they saw therein,—as through a glass, darkly, it may be, but
surely,—adumbrations of the salvation, grace and glory of the Messiah’s
kingdom. And, if the fact be considered that at one of the darkest
crises in Israel’s history, when the prophet cried,—“I, even I am left
alone,”—God could assure him,—“Yet have I left seven thousand,”—we may
possibly find occasion to revise our preconceptions concerning the
history of the gospel in Israel. Still, undoubtedly there were
multitudes in every generation of that people to whom the gospel
preached in the ordinances brought no profit, for lack of faith. In
their earlier history, indifference and neglect, and in the later, a
self-righteous zeal for the mere outward rites and forms, were equally
fatal. The splendor of the ritual, and the superfluous variety and
frequency of the observances, were a poor substitute for faith toward
God, and rectitude of heart and life. The result was that when Christ
came, who was the end of all the rites and ordinances of the law, those
who were the most strict and zealous in their observance were his
betrayers and murderers.

When the Lord Jesus ascended the heavens, assumed the throne, and sent
forth the gospel to the Gentiles, it was accompanied by two simple
ordinances, which were eliminated out of those of the Levitical ritual,
by the omission of the element of sacrifice. In them was symbolized and
set forth the whole riches of that salvation which was represented in
the more cumbrous forms of the Levitical system. By the supper, was
signified the mystery of his atoning sufferings, and of the nourishment
of his people by faith therein. By baptism, was shown forth the glory of
his exaltation, and the sovereignty and power with which he sheds from
his throne the blessings of his grace. But very soon, these ordinances,
so beautiful and instructive in their simplicity, were corrupted through
the misconceptions and ignorance of the teachers of the church. The
Mosaic ritual, instead of being recognized, as Paul describes it, as a
pattern or similitude of the things in the heavens, was regarded as a
type of the New Testament church and of the ordinances therein
administered. This one error became the inevitable cause of corruption
and apostasy. Respecting the impending defection, Paul assured the
Thessalonians, that the mystery of iniquity was already at work; and
forewarned the elders of Ephesus of the coming of grievous wolves to
rend the flock, and of apostasies among themselves, through the lust of
an unhallowed ambition.

We have not the means, from the scanty and corrupted records which
remain, of the age immediately following the apostles, of tracing the
process of defection. But when, at length, the church emerges into the
light of history, it is found to have realized a fatal transformation.
The pastors and elders of the apostolic churches, from being simple
preachers of the word, have become priests ministering at the altar, and
offering better sacrifices than those made by the Aaronic line. For,
while the latter offered mere animals, and the worshippers fed upon mere
carnal food, the former, in the sacrament of the supper, the supposed
antitype of those offerings, were believed to offer the body and blood
of the Lord Jesus, and the people, in those elements, imagined
themselves to receive and feed upon that very body and blood. So, too,
while the “type baptisms” of the ancient ritual accomplished a mere
purifying of the flesh, the baptism of water by the hands of the
Christian ministry was regarded as the antitype of these, and considered
effectual for accomplishing a spiritual regeneration, a renewing of the
heart of the recipient.

The same error which thus corrupted the doctrine of the sacraments, was
equally efficient in changing their forms. As they were held to be the
antitypes of the Old Testament rites, it was sought to develop in them
features to correspond with all the details of those rites, and to give
them a dignity, a pomp and ceremonial, proportioned to their relations
as fulfilling the things set forth in the splendid ritual of Moses and
David. The rite of baptism, particularly, was corrupted by alterations
and additions which left scarcely any thing of the primitive
institution, save the name. The Levitical purifyings were especially
observed in connection with the annual feasts at Jerusalem. In like
manner, the administration of baptism was discouraged, except in
connection with two of those feasts,—the passover, and the feast of
weeks, or of firstfruits,—transferred into the Christian church, under
the names of Easter, and Pentecost, or Whitsunday; the latter being
named from the white garments in which the newly baptized were robed.
The administration was connected with an elaborate system of attendant
observances. First, was a course of fastings, genuflections, and
prayers, and the imposition of hands upon the candidate. Then, he was
divested of all but a single under garment, and facing the west, the
realm of darkness, was required, with defiant gesture of the hand, to
renounce Satan and all his works. This was followed by an exorcism, the
minister breathing upon the candidate, for expelling Satan, and
imparting the Holy Spirit; then the making upon him of the sign of the
cross; anointing him with oil, once before and once after the baptism;
the administration of salt, milk and honey, and three immersions, one at
the name of each person of the Trinity. Such was the connection in which
baptism by immersion first appears. For its reception, the candidate, of
whatever sex, was invariably divested of all clothing, and, after it,
was robed in a white garment, emblematic of the spotless purity now
attained. The rite of baptism by bare sprinkling, however, still
survived. And the question is entitled to a critical attention which it
has not yet received, whether, always or generally, the more elaborate
rite consisted in a _submersion_ of the candidate. Against this
supposition, is the practice of the Abyssinian, Greek, Nestorian and
other churches of the east. In them, the candidate, in preparation for
the rite, is placed, or we may say, immersed, naked, in a font of water,
the quantity of which neither suffices, nor is intended, to cover him.
The administrator then performs the baptism, while pronouncing the
formula, by thrice pouring water on the candidate, once at the mention
of each name of the blessed Godhead.[1] To the same effect, is the
evidence of numerous remains of Christian art, which have been
transmitted to us from the early ages. Among these are several
representations of the baptism of the Lord Jesus by John; one, of that
of Constantine and his wife, by Eusebius; and others. The baptism of
Constantine precisely corresponds with the description above given. The
emperor is seated naked in a vessel, which if full would not reach to
his waist; and the bishop is in the act of performing the baptism by
pouring water upon them. In the representations of the baptism of Jesus,
he sometimes appears waist-deep in the Jordan, and sometimes on the
land. But in all cases, the rite is performed by the baptist pouring
water on his head out of a cup or shell. Such is, in fact, the
invariable mode represented in these remains of ancient art.

Footnote 1:

  My authorities are “A voyage to Abyssinia, and travels in the interior
  of that country, executed under the orders of the British government,
  in the years 1809 and 1810, etc., by Henry Salt, Esq., F. R. S., etc.,
  London, 1814;” and the personal testimonies of several of our
  missionaries to the east, who have related to me what they saw.

In this connection the analogy of the forms of religious purifying
prevalent throughout the east is worthy of special notice. The Brahmin,
before taking his morning’s meal, repairs to the Ganges, carrying with
him a brazen vessel. By hundreds, or by thousands, they enter the
stream, and while some take up the water in their vessels, and pour it
over their persons, others plunge beneath the stream, for the purging
away of their sins. Then filling the vessels, they repair to the temple,
and pour the water upon the idol, or as a libation, before it. The
Parsee, worshiper of the sun, goes, in the morning, to river or sea, and
entering until the waves are waist high, with his face toward the east,
awaits the rising of the sun, when, using his joined hands as a dipper,
he dashes water over his person, and makes obeisance to his god. On the
other hand, the Mohammedan, deriving his usage from the earlier
Pharisaic ritual, repairs to the mosque, and from the tank in front,
without entering it, takes up water in his hands with which to bathe
face, feet and hands, before presenting his prayers.

By the corruptions in the Christian church, before exemplified, the key
of knowledge was taken away from the people. The instructive meaning of
the sacraments was obscured and obliterated, by the idea of their
intrinsic efficacy for renewing the heart and atoning for and purging
sin. The preaching of the word was disparaged and ultimately set aside;
the preachers having become propitiating priests, working regeneration
by the baptismal rite, and making atonement by the sacrifice of the
mass. The corruption and tyranny of the clergy of the middle ages, and
the ignorance, slavery and spiritual darkness which for centuries
brooded over the people, were the inevitable results.

The reformation came, through the recovery by Luther of the golden
doctrine of justification by faith, which had so long been buried and
lost under the accumulated mass of ritualistic error. But even Luther
was unable to shake off the fetters of superstition and falsehood in
which he had been cradled, and to enjoy the full liberty of the doctrine
which he gave to the awakened church. In the dogma of consubstantiation,
he transmitted to his followers the very error which had corrupted the
church for more than a thousand years. And the result in the churches of
his confession has added another to the already abundant evidence of the
ever active and irreconcilable antagonism which exists between the
theory of sacramental grace, and the doctrine,—criterion of a standing
or falling church,—of justification by free grace through faith.

Our space does not admit of a critical tracing of the history of the
sacramental question in the churches of the reformation. On the one
hand, ritualists of every grade, misled by the erring primitive church,
and attributing to the sacraments a saving virtue intrinsic in them,
render indeed high but mistaken honor to the sacred rites; but fail to
enjoy them in their true intent and office, or to view and honor them in
their proper character. On the other hand, our immersionist brethren,
misguided respecting the form of baptism, by the same erring example,
and thus lost to the true and comprehensive meaning of the ordinance,
have failed to apprehend the instruction which it was designed to
impart, and to enjoy the abundant edifying which it was adapted to
minister; and, instead, have found it a potent agent of separation, and
an efficient temptation to the indulgence of a disproportionate zeal on
behalf of mere outward rites and forms.

Nor do those who have escaped these errors always seem to appreciate the
sacraments, in their true design and character, as ever active and
efficient witnesses, testifying to the gospel, through symbols as
intelligible and impressive as the most eloquent speech. The beauty and
rich significance of the supper have, indeed, been in a measure
apprehended, and made available in some just proportion, to the
instruction and edifying of God’s people. But baptism has not held the
place, in the ministrations of the sanctuary and the mind of the church,
which is due to its office and design, to the richness of meaning of its
forms, and to the sublime conceptions and the lofty aspirations and
hopes which it is so wonderfully adapted to create and cherish. One
efficient cause of this, undoubtedly, is, the reaction induced by the
aggressive zeal of immersionists, and the exercise of a false charity
toward their erroneous sentiments; as though the charity of the gospel,
as toward our brethren, consisted in an acceptance of their errors as
equivalents to the truths of God. While they have justly and
irrefragably maintained that nothing can be Christian baptism which has
not at once the form and the meaning ordained by Christ, we have been
weakly disposed to imagine ourselves patterns of charity, in admitting
the validity of immersion, while denying it to be the form or to have
the meaning which Christ ordained. As if such an ordinance, from the
great Head of the Church, could have in it any thing indifferent, or
subject to our discretion, whether in doctrine or mode! The immediate
and inevitable result is, a low estimate of the ordinance itself;
indifference alike to its form and meaning, and to the place it was
designed to fill, and the offices which it was to perform, in the
economy of grace. As a mere door of entrance into the fold of the
church, it is administered and received; with too little regard to its
beautiful and comprehensive symbolism; and, once performed, it is almost
lost sight of in the instructions of the pulpit, and meditations of the
people. Should this representation suggest a doubt, let the reader
reflect how often, in the ordinary ministrations of the sanctuary, he
has heard the significance of baptism dwelt upon, or even alluded to,
for illustrating the great truths of the gospel, on any occasion except
that of the administration of the rite; and how seldom, even then, the
richness of its symbolic import is unfolded,—its relations to Christ’s
exaltation and throne, and to all the functions of his scepter; the
meaning of the element of water, and of the mode of sprinkling; and the
office of the ordinance, as a symbol of the Spirit’s renewing grace, and
a prophecy and seal to the doctrine of the resurrection. As the initial
seal of the covenant, it is discussed and insisted upon. But of these,
its intrinsic and most interesting characteristics, but little is heard.
No wonder, therefore, that the privilege of its reception is so little
appreciated, and its appropriation by parents on behalf of their
children, so often neglected.

The recent researches of Drs. Conant and Dale have exhausted the
philological argument as concerning _baptizo_. The former, representing
the American (Baptist) Bible Union, and the latter, from the opposite
standpoint, have come to conclusions which, to all the practical
purposes of the discussion, are identical and final. Essentially, they
agree (1) that _baptizo_ never means, to dip, that is, to put into the
water and take out again; but, primarily, to put into or under the
water,—to bring into a state of mersion, or intusposition; (2) that it
also means to bring into a new state or condition, by the exercise of a
pervasive control; as one who is intoxicated is said to be baptized with
wine. The former of these meanings is all that remains to the Baptist
argument from the word. The latter is all that is desired by those who
repudiate immersion. The philological discussion being thus brought to a
practical termination, the occasion seems opportune for inviting
attention to the real issues involved in the question respecting the
form of the ordinance; and to the various and abundant testimonies of
the Scriptures, as to its origin and office, its mode and meaning, its
history and associations.

In the same line of investigation, it is the expectation of the writer,
should time and opportunity concur, to offer to the Christian public, at
some future day, a treatise, similar in plan to that now presented, on
the ordinances and church of God, historically traced from the apostasy,
and the renewal of the covenant in Eden, to the close of the sacred


                       BIBLE HISTORY OF BAPTISM.


                                BOOK I.
                         OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY.


                                PART I.
                           BAPTISM AT SINAI.

         SECTION I.—_Baptism Originated in the Old Testament._

At the time of Christ’s coming, baptism was a rite already familiar to
the Jews. The evangelists testify of them that, “when they come from the
market, _except they baptize_ (_ean mē baptisōntai_) they eat not. And
many other things there be which they have received to hold, as the
_baptisms_ (_baptismous_) of cups and pots and brazen vessels and
tables.”—Mark vii, 3, 4. On account of this rule of tradition, a
Pharisee at whose table Jesus was a guest “marveled that he had not
first _baptized_ (_ebaptisthē_) before dinner.”—Luke xi, 38. Hence, when
John came, a priest, baptizing, there was no question raised as to the
origin, nature, form, or divine authority of the ordinance which he
administered. The Pharisees, in their challenge of him, confine
themselves to the single demand, by what authority he ventured to
require Israel to come to his baptism, since he confessed that he was
neither Christ nor Elias nor that prophet. (John i, 25.) Their
familiarity with the rite forbade any question concerning it. Had we no
further light on the subject, we might suppose that this ordinance had
no better source than the unauthorized inventions of Jewish tradition.
But the Apostle Paul,[2] an Hebrew of the Hebrews, taught at the feet of
Gamaliel, and versed in all questions of the law, excludes such an idea.
He declares that in the first tabernacle “were offered both gifts and
sacrifices that could not make him that did the service perfect as
pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks and
(_diaphorois baptismois_) _divers baptisms_—carnal ordinances imposed on
them until the time of reformation.”—Heb. ix, 9, 10. The conjunction
“and” (“divers baptisms _and_ carnal ordinances”) is wanting in the best
Greek manuscripts; is rejected by the critical editors, and is
undoubtedly spurious. The phrase “carnal ordinances” is not an
additional item in the enumeration, but a comprehensive description of
“the meats and drinks and divers baptisms” of the law. Paul thus speaks
of them by way of contrast with the spiritual grace and righteousness of
the Lord Jesus. A critical examination of this passage will be made
hereafter. For the present, we note two points as attested by the

1. Among the Levitical ordinances there were not _one_ but divers

2. These were not merely allowable rites, but were “imposed” on Israel
as part of the institutions ordained of God at Sinai.

Footnote 2:

  I assume what I believe to be demonstrable, that Paul was the author
  of the Epistle to the Hebrews.

It may be proper to add that they were baptisms of persons, and not of
things. They were rites which were designed to purify the flesh of the
worshiper. (vs. 9, 13, 14.)

These baptisms were, therefore, well known to Israel, from the days of
Moses. This explains the fact that, in the New Testament, we find no
instruction as to the form of the ordinance. It was an ancient rite,
described in the books of Moses and familiar to the Jews when Christ
came. No description, therefore, was requisite. We are then to look to
the Old Testament to ascertain the form and manner of baptism.

           SECTION II.—_No Immersions in the Old Testament._

Says Dr. Carson: “We deny that the phrase ‘divers baptisms’ includes the
_sprinklings_. The phrase alludes to the _immersion_ of the different
things that by the law were to be _immersed_.”[3] Had this learned
writer pointed out the things that were to be immersed, and the places
in the law where this was required, it would have saved us some trouble.
In default of such information, our first inquiry in turning to the Old
Testament will be for that form of observance. We take up the books of
Moses, and examine his instructions as to all the prominent institutions
of divine service. But among these we find no immersion of the person.
We enter into minuter detail, and study every rule and prescription of
the entire system as enjoined on priests, Levites, and people,
respectively. But still there is no trace of an ordinance for the
immersion of the person or any part of it. We extend our field of
inquiry, and search the entire volume of the Old Testament. But the
result remains the same. From the first chapter of Genesis to the last
of Malachi, there is not to be found a record nor an intimation of such
an ordinance imposed on Israel or observed by them at any time. Not only
is this true as to baptismal immersion performed by an official
administrator upon a recipient subject. It is equally true as to any
conceivable form or mode of immersion, self-performed or administered.
There is no trace of it. But here is Paul’s testimony that there were
“divers baptisms imposed.” By _baptisms_, then, Paul certainly did not
mean immersions.

Footnote 3:

  “Carson on Baptism” (published by C. C. P. Crosby: New York, 1832), p.

The impregnable position thus reached is further fortified by the fact
that, in all the variety and exuberance of figurative language used in
the Bible to illustrate the method of God’s grace, no recourse is ever
had to the figure of immersion. All agree that the sacraments are
significant ordinances. If, then, the significance of baptism at all
depends on the immersion of the person in water, we would justly expect
to find frequent use of the figure of immersion, as representing the
spiritual realities of which baptism is the symbol. But we search the
Scriptures in vain for that figure so employed. It never once occurs.

              SECTION III.—_The Old Testament Sacraments._

As there are no immersions in the Old Testament, we must look for the
divers baptisms under some other form. Assuming that in this rite there
must be a sacramental use of water, we will first examine the ancient
sacraments. On a careful analysis of the ordinances comprehended in the
Levitical system, we find among them four which strictly conform to the
definition of a sacrament, and which are the only sacraments described
or referred to in the Old Testament.

1. _Sacrifice._—The first of these in origin and prominence was
sacrifice. Originating in Eden, and incorporated in the Levitical
system, it had all the characteristics of a sacrament. In it the life
blood of clean animals was shed and sprinkled, and their bodies burned
upon the altar. Thus were represented the shedding of Christ’s blood,
and his offering of atonement to the justice of God. But here is no
water. It is not the baptism for which we seek.

2. _Circumcision._—The second of the Old Testament sacraments was
circumcision, whereby God sealed to Abraham and his seed the covenant of
blessings to them and all nations through the blood of the promised
Seed. Here, again, no one will pretend to identify the ordinance with
the baptisms of Paul.

3. _The Passover._—The third of the Old Testament sacraments, the first
of the Levitical dispensation, was the feast of the passover. In it, the
paschal lamb was slain, its blood sprinkled on the lintels and door
posts of the houses, and the flesh roasted and eaten with unleavened
bread and bitter herbs. At Sinai, this ordinance was modified by
requiring the feast to be observed at the sanctuary, the blood being
sprinkled on the altar, and the fat burned thereon. And, to the other
elements appointed in Egypt, the general provisions of the Mosaic law
added wine. All peace offerings, free will offerings, and offerings at
the solemn feasts, of which the passover was one, were to be accompanied
with wine, and were eaten by the offerers, except certain parts, that
were burned on the altar. (See Num. xv, 5, 7, 10; xxviii, 7, 14.) This
ordinance, eliminated of its sacrificial elements, is perpetuated in the
Lord’s supper. In it was no water. It was not the rite for which we

4. _Baptism._—There remains but one more of the Mosaic sacraments. It
was instituted at Sinai. In it, water was essential, and by it was
symbolized the renewing agency of the Holy Spirit. It was “a
purification for sin,” an initiatory ordinance, by which remission of
sins and admission to the benefits of the covenant were signified and
sealed to the faith of the recipients. It occupied, under the Old
Testament economy, the very position, and had the significance, which
belong to Christian baptism under the New. Moreover, it appears under
several modifications, and is thus conformed to Paul’s designation of
“_divers_ baptisms,” whilst these, in their circumstantial variations,
were essentially one and the same ordinance.

             SECTION IV.—_The Baptism of Israel at Sinai._

The occasion of the first recorded administration of this rite was the
reception of Israel into covenant with God at Sinai. For more than two
hundred years they had dwelt in Egypt, and for a large part of the time
had been bondmen there. The history of their sojourn in the wilderness
shows that not only was their manhood debased by the bondage, but their
souls had been corrupted by the idolatries of the Egyptians (Josh. xxiv,
14; Ezek. xx, 7), and they had forgotten the covenant and forsaken the
God of their fathers. They were apostate, and, in Scriptural language,

But now the fullness of time had come, when the promises made to the
fathers must be fulfilled. Leaving the nations to walk after their own
ways, God was about to erect to himself a visible throne and kingdom
among men, to be a witness for him against the apostasy of the race. He
was about to arouse Israel from her debasement and slavery, to establish
with her his covenant, and to organize and ordain her his peculiar
people—his Church.

Proportioned to the importance of such an occasion was the grandeur of
the scene and the gravity of the transactions. Of them we have two
accounts, one from the pen of Moses (Ex. xx-xxiv), and the other from
the Apostle Paul, in exposition of his statement as to the divers
baptisms. (Heb. ix, 18-20.) As to these accounts, two or three points of
explanation are necessary. (1) The two words, “covenant” and
“testament,” represent but one in the originals in these places, of
which “covenant” is the literal meaning. (2) Paul mentions _water_ (Heb.
ix, 19), of which Moses does not speak. The fact is significant, as the
apostle is in the act of illustrating the “divers baptisms,” of which he
had just before spoken. (3) The word “oxen,” in our translation (Ex.
xxiv, 5), should be “bulls.” Oxen were not lawful for sacrifice.
Yearling animals seem to have been preferred. Says Micah, “Shall I come
before the Lord with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old?”—Micah
vi, 6. Hence Paul indifferently calls them bulls and calves. The goats
of which he speaks were no doubt among the burnt-offerings of Moses’s
narrative. Both “small and great cattle” seem to have been offered on
all great national solemnities.

The redeemed tribes came to Sinai in the third month after the exodus.
Moses was called up into the mount and commanded to propose to them the
covenant of God. It was in these terms: “If ye will obey my voice
indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto
me above all people, for all the earth is mine, and ye shall be unto me
a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”—Ex. xix, 3-6. This proposal the
people, with one voice, accepted. God then commanded Moses: “Sanctify
the people to-day and to-morrow, and let them wash their clothes and be
ready against the third day; for the third day the Lord will come down
in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai.”—Vs. 10, 11. On the
third day, in the morning, there were thunders and lightnings, and a
thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud,
so that all the people trembled. And Mount Sinai was altogether on a
smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire, and the smoke thereof
ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and
louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the Lord came
down upon the top of the mount; and the Lord called Moses up to the top
of the mount, and Moses went up.

In the midst of this tremendous scene, so well calculated to fill the
people with awe, and to deter them from the thought of a profane
approach, Moses was nevertheless charged to go down and warn the people,
and set bounds around the mountain, lest they should break through unto
the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. After such means, used to
impress Israel with a profound sense of God’s majesty and their infinite
estrangement from him, his voice was heard, uttering in their ears the
Ten Commandments, prefaced with the announcement of himself as their God
and Redeemer. (Compare Deut. iv, 7-13.) At the entreaty of the people,
the terribleness of God’s audible voice was withdrawn, and Moses was
sent to tell them the words of the Lord and his judgments. The people
again unanimously declared, “All the words which the Lord hath said,
will we do.”—Ex. xxiv, 3.

In this sublime transaction we have all the scenes and circumstances of
a mighty revival of true religion. It is a vast camp-meeting, in which
God himself is the preacher, speaking in men’s ears with an audible
voice from the top of Sinai, and alternately proclaiming the law of
righteousness and the gospel of grace, calling Israel from their
idolatries and sins to return unto him, and offering himself as not only
the God of their fathers, but their own Deliverer already from the
Egyptian bondage, and ready to be their God and portion—to give them at
once the earthly Canaan, and to make it a pledge of their ultimate
endowment with the heavenly. The people had professed with one accord to
turn to God, and pledged themselves, emphatically and repeatedly, to
take him as their God, to walk in his statutes and do his will, to be
his people.

It is true that, to many, the gospel then preached was of no profit, for
lack of faith; whose carcasses therefore fell in the wilderness. (Heb.
iii, 17-19; iv, 2.) But it is equally true that the vast majority of the
assembly at Sinai were children and generous youth, who had not yet been
besotted by the Egyptian bondage. To them that day, which was known in
their after history as “the day of the assembly” (Deut. x, 4; xviii,
16), was the beginning of days. Its sublime scenes became in them the
spring of a living faith. With honest hearts they laid hold of the
covenant, and took the God of the patriarchs for their God. Soon after,
the promise of Canaan, forfeited by their rebellious fathers, was
transferred to them. (Num. xiv, 28-34.) Trained and disciplined by the
forty years’ wandering, it was they who became, through faith, the
irresistible host of God, the heroic conquerors and possessors of the
land of promise. Centuries afterward, God testified of them that they
pleased him: “I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of
thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land
that was not sown. Israel was holiness to the Lord, and the firstfruits
of his increase.”—Jer. ii, 2, 3. Until the day of Pentecost, no day so
memorable, no work of grace so mighty, is recorded in the history of
God’s dealings with men as that of the assembly at Sinai.

And as on the day of Pentecost the converts were baptized upon their
profession of faith, so was it now. Moses appointed the next day for a
solemn ratifying of the transaction. He wrote in a book the words of the
Lord’s covenant, the Ten Commandments; and in the morning, at the foot
of the mount, built an altar of twelve stones, according to the twelve
tribes. On it young men designated by him offered burnt-offerings and
sacrificed peace-offerings of young bulls. Moses took half the blood and
sprinkled it on the altar. Half of it he kept in basins. He then read
the covenant from the book, in the audience of all the people, who again
accepted it, saying, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be
obedient.” Moses thereupon took the blood that was in the basins, with
water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all
the people, saying, “Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord
hath made with you concerning all these words.”—Ex. xxiv, 8, compared
with Heb. ix, 19, 20.

In the morning Moses had already, by divine command, assembled Aaron,
Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And no sooner was
the covenant finally accepted and sealed with the baptismal rite, than
these all went up into the mount, and there celebrated the feast of the
covenant. “They saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet, as
it were, a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of
heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of Israel, he laid not his
hand. Also, they saw the God of Israel, and did eat and drink.”—Ex.
xxiv, 1, 9-11. So intimate, privileged, and spiritual was the relation
which the covenant established between Israel and God.

Thus was closed this sublime transaction, ever memorable in the history
of man and of the church of Christ, in which the invisible God
condescended to clothe himself in the majesty of visible glory, to hold
audible converse with men, to enter into the bonds of a public and
perpetual covenant with them, and to erect them into a kingdom, on the
throne of which his presence was revealed in the Shechinah of glory.

Such were the occasion and manner of the first institution and
observance of the sacrament of baptism. In its attendant scenes and
circumstances, the most august of all God’s displays of his majesty and
grace to man; and in its occasion and nature, paramount in importance,
and lying at the foundation of the entire administration of grace
through Christ. It was the establishing of the visible church.

                 SECTION V.—_The Blood of Sprinkling._

In all the Sinai transactions, Moses stood as the pre-eminent type of
the Lord Jesus Christ; and the rites administered by him were figures of
the heavenly realities of Christ’s sacrifice and salvation. This is
fully certified by Paul, throughout the epistle to the Hebrews, and
especially in the illustration which he gives of his assertion
concerning the divers baptisms imposed on Israel. See Heb. ix, 9-14,
19-28. In these places, it distinctly appears that the blood of the
Sinai baptism was typical of the atonement of Christ. Not only in this,
but in all the Levitical baptisms, as will hereafter appear, blood was
necessary to the rite. In fact, it was an essential element in each of
the Old Testament sacraments. The one idea of sacrifice was the blood of
atonement. The same idea appeared in circumcision, revealing atonement
by the blood of the seed of Abraham. In the passover the blood of
sprinkling was the most conspicuous feature; and in the Sinai baptism
blood and water were the essential elements.

Peter states the Old Testament prophets to have “inquired and searched
diligently, searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ
which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the
sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.”—1 Pet. i, 10,
11. Of the time and manner they were left in ignorance. But the blood,
in all their sacraments, was a lucid symbol, pointing them forward to
the sufferings of Christ as the essential and alone argument of the
favor and grace of God. In it, and in the rites associated with it, they
saw, dimly it may be, but surely, the blessed pledge that in the
fullness of time “the Messenger of the covenant” would appear (Mal. iii,
2), magnify the law and make it honorable (Isa. xlii, 21), by his
knowledge, justify many, bearing their iniquities (Isa. liii, 11), and
sprinkle the mercy-seat in heaven, once for all, with his own precious
and effectual blood—the blood of the everlasting covenant. (Heb. ix,
24-26; xiii, 20; 1 Pet. i, 11.)

                    SECTION VI.—_The Living Water._

In the Sinai baptism, as at first administered to all Israel, and in all
its subsequent forms, living or running water was an essential element.
This everywhere, in the Scriptures of the Old Testament and of the New,
is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, in his office as the agent by whom the
virtue of Christ’s blood is conveyed to men, and spiritual life
bestowed. In the figurative language of the Scriptures, the sea, or
great body of salt or dead water, represents the dead mass of fallen and
depraved humanity. (Dan. vii, 2, 3; Isa. lvii, 20; Rev. xiii, 1; xvii,
15.) Hence, of the new heavens and new earth which are revealed as the
inheritance of God’s people, it is said, “And there shall be no more
sea.”—Rev. xxi, 1.

The particular source of this figure seems to have been that accursed
sea of Sodom, which was more impressively familiar to Israel than any
other body of salt water, and which has acquired in modern times the
appropriate name of the Dead Sea—a name expressive of the fact that its
waters destroy alike vegetation on its banks and animal life in its
bosom. Its peculiar and instructive position in the figurative system of
the Scriptures appears in the prophecy of Ezekiel (xlvii, 8, 9-11),
where the river of living water from the temple is described as flowing
eastward to the sea; and being brought forth into the sea, the salt
waters are healed, so that “there shall be abundance of fish.”

Contrasted with this figure of sea water is that of living water, that
is, the fresh water of rain and of fountains and streams. It is the
ordinary symbol of the Holy Spirit. (John vii, 37-39.) The reason is,
that, as this water is the cause of life and growth to the creation,
animal and vegetable, so, the Spirit is the alone source of spiritual
life and growth. The primeval type of that blessed Agent was the river
that watered the Garden of Eden, and thence flowing, was parted into
four streams to water the earth. This river was a fitting symbol of the
Holy Spirit, “which proceedeth from the Father,” the “pure river of
water of life clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and
of the Lamb” (John xv, 26; Rev. xxii, 1), not only in its life-giving
virtue, but in its abundance and diffusion. But the fall cut man off
from its abundant and perennial stream, and thenceforth the figure, as
traceable through the Scriptures, ever looks forward to that promised
time when the ruin of the fall will be repaired, and the gates of
Paradise thrown open again. In the last chapters of the Revelation, that
day is revealed in a vision of glory. There is no more sea; but the
river of life pours its exhaustless crystal waters through the restored
Eden of God. But the garden is no longer the retired home of one human
pair, but is built up, a great city, with walls of gems and streets of
gold and gates of pearl and the light of the glory of God. And the
nations of them that are saved do walk in the light of it. But still it
is identified as the same of old, by the flowing river and the tree of
life in the midst on its banks. (Rev. ii, 7; xxii, 1, 2; and compare
Psalms xlvi, 4; xxiii, 2; John iv, 10, 14; vii, 38, 39; Zech. xiv. 8.)
In Ezekiel (xlvii, 1-12) there appears a vision of this river as a
prophecy of God’s grace in store for the last times for Israel and the
world. In it, the attention of the prophet and of the reader is called
distinctly to several points, all of which bear directly on our present

1. The source of the waters. In the Revelation, it is described as
proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb. In Ezekiel the same
idea is presented under the figure of the temple, God’s dwelling-place.
The waters issue out from under the threshold of the house “at the south
side of the altar”—the altar where the sprinkled blood and burning
sacrifices testified to the Person by whom, and the price at which, the
Spirit is sent. (Compare John vii, 39; xvi, 7; Acts ii, 33.)

2. The exhaustless and increasing flow of the waters is shown to the
prophet, who, at a thousand cubits from their source, is led through
them,—a stream ankle deep. A thousand cubits farther, he passed through,
and they had risen to his knees. Again, a thousand cubits, and the
waters were to his loins; and at a thousand cubits more it was a river
that he could not pass over. “And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou
seen this?”

3. The river was a fountain of life. On its banks were “very many
trees,” “all trees for meat,” with fadeless leaf and exhaustless fruit,
“the fruit thereof for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” “And
there shall be a very great multitude of fish” in the Dead Sea, “because
these waters shall come thither.” For “it shall come to pass that every
thing that liveth which moveth, whithersoever the river shall come shall
live. Every thing shall live, whither the river cometh.”

4. By these living waters, the Dead Sea of depraved humanity shall be
healed. “Now this sea of Sodom,” says Thompson, “is so intolerably
bitter, that, although the Jordan, the Arnon, and many other streams
have been pouring into it their vast contributions of sweet water for
thousands of years, it continues as nauseous and deadly as ever. Nothing
lives in it; neither fish nor reptiles nor even animalculæ can abide its
desperate malignity. But these waters from the sanctuary heal it. The
whole world affords no other type of human apostasy so appropriate, so
significant. Think of it! There it lies in its sulphurous sepulcher,
thirteen hundred feet below the ocean, steaming up like a huge caldron
of smouldering bitumen and brimstone! Neither rain from heaven nor
mountain torrents nor Jordan’s flood, nor all combined can change its
character of utter death. Fit symbol of that great dead sea of depravity
and corruption which nothing human can heal!”[4] But the pure waters of
the river of life will yet pour into this sea of death a tide of grace
by which “the waters shall be healed.”—Ezek. xxvii, 8.

Footnote 4:

  “The Land and the Book.” Vol. II, pp. 531, 534.

In the prophecy of Joel (iii, 18,) there is another allusion to these
waters. Again, in Zechariah a modified form of the same vision appears.
“It shall be in that day that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem;
half of them toward the former” (the Eastern or Dead) “sea, and half of
them toward the hinder sea” (the Mediterranean). “In summer and winter
shall it be;” not a mere winter torrent, as are most of the streams of
Palestine, but an unfailing river. (Zech. xiv, 8.)

Such is the type of the Spirit, as his graces flowed in Eden, and shall
be given to the world, in the times of restitution. But, for the present
times, the symbols of rain and fountains of springing water are used in
the Scriptures as the appropriate types of the now limited and unequal
measure and distribution of the Spirit. The manner and effects of his
agency are set forth under three forms, each having its own

1. Inasmuch as the rains of heaven are the great source of life and
refreshment to the earth and vegetation, the coming of the Spirit and
his efficiency as a life-giving and sanctifying power sent down from
heaven are expressed by water, shed down, poured, or sprinkled, as the
rain descends. Says God to Israel: “I will pour water upon him that is
thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon thy
seed and my blessing upon thine offspring.”—Isa. xliv, 3. The Psalmist
says of the graces of the Spirit to be bestowed by Messiah, “He shall
come down like rain upon the mown grass” (the stubble, after mowing) “as
showers that water the earth.”—Psalm lxxii, 6. Of this we shall see more

2. The act of faith by which the believer seeks and receives more and
more of the indwelling Spirit is symbolized by thirsting and drinking of
living water. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the
waters.”—Isa. lv, 1. “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and
drink.... This he spake of the Spirit which they that believe on him
should receive.”—John vii, 37-39. “Let him that is athirst come. And
whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”—Rev. xxii, 17.
The intimate relation which this figure sustains, responsive to the one
preceding, is illustrated by the expression wherein God describes the
land of promise: “A land of hills and valleys, and _drinketh_ water of
the rain of heaven. A land which the Lord thy God careth for.”—Deut. xi,
11, 12. With this, compare the language of Paul: “The earth which
_drinketh_ in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs
meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing of God; but that
which beareth thorns and briars is rejected and is nigh unto cursing;
whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things
of you.”—Heb. vi, 7-9. The figure is further illustrated in the sublime
description given by Ezekiel of the destruction of Assyria, in which he
speaks of “the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that
_drink water_,” and so grow and flourish. (Ezek. xxxi, 16.)

3. The duty of the penitent to yield himself with diligent obedience to
the sanctifying power and grace of the Holy Spirit, to put away sin and
follow after holiness, is enjoined under the figure of washing himself
with water. “Wash ye; make you clean; put away the evil of your doings
from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to to well.”—Isa. i, 16,
17. “O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be
saved.”—Jer. iv, 14. So, James cries, “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners;
and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.”—Jas. iv, 8. In the rite of
self-washing, to which these last passages refer, the pure water still
symbolized the Holy Spirit given by Jesus Christ; whilst the washing
expressed the privilege and duty of God’s people conforming their lives
to the law of holiness, and exercising the graces which the Spirit

                                PART II.
                          THE VISIBLE CHURCH.

                 SECTION VII.—_The Abrahamic Covenant._

The interest attaching to the Sinai baptism is greatly enhanced by its
immediate and intimate relation to us. The covenant then sealed is the
fundamental and perpetual charter of the visible church. The transaction
by which it was established was the inauguration of that church. It was
the espousal of the bride of Christ, whose betrothal took place in the
covenant with Abraham. So it is expressly and repeatedly stated by the
Spirit of God in the prophets. (See Jer. ii, 1, 2; Ezek. xvi, 3-14;
xxiii; Hos. ii, 2, 15, 16.) It is true that this is controverted. It is
asserted that the relations established by the covenants between God and
Israel were secular and political, not spiritual; that the blessings
therein secured were temporal; that they conveyed nothing but a
guarantee that Israel should become a numerous and powerful nation, that
God would be their political king, the Head of their commonwealth, and
that the land of Palestine should be their possession and home. How
utterly at variance with the teachings of God’s Word are these
assertions a brief analysis of the record will prove.

The covenant of Sinai was the culmination of a series of transactions
which began with the calling of Abram from Ur of the Chaldees. “The Lord
had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred
and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee; and I
will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make thy
name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that
bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all
families of the earth be blessed.”—Gen. xii, 1-3. Respecting this
record, the following points are made clear in the New Testament: (1)
That under the type of Canaan, “the land that I will show thee,” heaven
was the ultimate inheritance offered to Abram; and that it was so
understood by him and the patriarchs. (Gal. iv, 26; Heb. xi, 10, 14-16.)
(2) That the blessings promised through him to all the families of the
earth were the atonement and salvation of Jesus Christ; and that this
also was so understood by Abram. (Gen. xvii, 7; Gal. iii, 16, John viii,
56.) Thus, in his call from Chaldea, and the promises annexed to it, God
“preached before the gospel unto Abraham.”—Gal. iii, 8. So far,
certainly, the transaction is eminently spiritual.

About ten years after the coming of Abram into the land of Canaan, the
promises were confirmed to him by being incorporated into covenant form,
and ratified by a seal. Respecting this first covenant, the record of
which is contained in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, the following
are the essential points:

1. The interview was opened by the Lord with an assurance so spiritual
and large as to be exhaustive of every thing that heaven can bestow.
“The Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram; I am thy
shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Whatever else was promised or
given, after an assurance thus rich and comprehensive of time and
eternity, must evidently be interpreted in a sense subordinate to it. No
minor particulars can ever exhaust or limit the treasury thus opened.
Henceforth God himself belongs to the patriarch.

2. An innumerable seed was assured to him, as heirs with him of the
promises; and he is told that not to him but to his seed should the
earthly Canaan be given. (Vs. 5, 18; and compare xvii, 7, 8.)

3. Abram’s faith was the condition of the covenant. “He believed in the
Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness.”—Vs. 6.

4. The promises thus made and accepted were confirmed by a sacrifice
appointed of God, and his acceptance of it was manifested by the sign of
a smoking furnace and a burning lamp, passing between the pieces. (Vs.
8, 9, 17, 18.)

5. It was an express provision of the covenant thus ratified that, so
far as it concerned the seed of Abram, its realization was to be held in
abeyance four hundred years. (Vs. 13-16.) It was the betrothal, of which
the marriage consummation could only take place when the long-suffering
of God toward the nations was exhausted and the iniquity of the Amorites
was full.

About fifteen years afterward God was pleased to appear again to the
patriarch, to renew the covenant, and to confirm it with a new seal.
(Gen. xvii, 1-21.) Of this edition of the covenant the principal
provisions were: (1) That he should be a father of many nations. (2)
That Canaan should be, to him and his seed, an everlasting possession.
(3) That God would be a God to him and to his seed after him. By the
first of these promises, as Paul assures us, Abraham was made the heir
of the world, and the father of all believers; of the gospel day, as
well as before it; of the Gentile nations, as well as of Israel. (Rom.
iv, 11-18; Gal. iii, 7-9, 14.) Hence the name given him of God, in
confirmation of this promise (Gen. xvii, 5), ABRAHAM, “Father of a
multitude,” Father of the church of Christ. But the central fact of this
transaction remains. The covenant was epitomized in one brief word: “I
will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee,
in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, _to be a God unto
thee and to thy seed after thee_.”—v. 7.

1. The covenant thus set forth is “an everlasting covenant;” no lapse of
time can alter or abrogate its terms.

2. By it the Godhead assumed toward Abraham and his seed relations
peculiar, exclusive, and of boundless grace. God, even the infinite and
almighty God, can do no more than to give himself. Christian can
conceive no more, and the most blessed of all heaven’s ransomed host
will know and enjoy no more than this, which was first assured to Abram,
in those words, “Fear not; I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great
reward;” and is now concentrated into that one word, “_Thy God_.” What
can there be, not spiritual, in a covenant thus summed? And what
spiritual gift or blessing is not comprehended in it? But this is not
all. Whilst Paul testifies that all who believe are the seed of Abraham,
and heirs with him of the promises, he also declares that Christ was the
seed to whom distinctively and on behalf of his people they were
addressed: “To Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith
not, And to seeds as of many, but as of one: And to thy seed, which is
Christ.”—Gal. iii, 16. It thus appears that the promises in question
were addressed immediately to the Lord Jesus, and they indicate all the
intimacy and grace of his relation to the Father,—the relation which he
claimed, when, from the cross, he appealed to the Father by that title:
“_My God! my God!_ why hast thou forsaken me?” It follows, that the
title of others to this promise is mediate only: “As many of you as have
been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.... And if ye be Christ’s,
then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—Ib.

It was with a view to this relation of the covenant to the Lord Jesus,
that circumcision was appointed as a seal of it. In that rite was
signified satisfaction to justice through the blood of the promised
Seed, and the crucifying of our old man with him, to the putting off and
destroying of the body of the flesh. (Deut. x, 16; Jer. iv, 4; Rom. vi,
6; Col. ii, 11, 12.)

Upon occasion of the offering of Isaac, the covenant was again confirmed
to Abraham in promises which do not mention Canaan, but are summed in
the intensive assurances: “In blessing I will bless thee, and in
multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the
sand which is upon the sea-shore, and thy seed shall possess the gate of
his enemies, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed.”—Gen. xxii, 16-18. What seed it was to whom these promises were
made, we have seen before. The assurance to him of triumph over his
enemies renews the pledge made to Eve, through the curse upon the
serpent, “Her seed shall bruise thy head.”—Gen. iii, 15. Of the same
thing, the Spirit in Isaiah says: “Therefore will I divide him a portion
with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because
he hath poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the
transgressors; and he bare the sin of many and made intercession for the
transgressors.”—Isa. liii, 12. Of it, Paul says: “He must reign, till he
hath put all enemies under his feet.”—1 Cor. xv, 25.

The covenant thus interpreted, was confirmed to Abraham with an oath (v.
16), of which Paul says: “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show
unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it
by an oath; that, by two immutable things, in which it was impossible
for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation who have fled for
refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. Which hope we have as an
anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that
within the veil, whither the forerunner is for us entered, even
Jesus.”—Heb. vi, 17-20. Here, again, it appears that the covenant with
Abraham comprehended in its terms the very highest hopes which Christ’s
blood has purchased,—which he, in heaven, as his people’s forerunner,
now possesses, and which with him they shall finally share; and that the
oath by which it was confirmed contemplated these very things, and was
designed to perfect the faith and confidence of his people, in the
gospel day, as well as of the patriarchs and saints of old.

It is thus manifest that while the Abrahamic covenant did undoubtedly
convey to Abraham and his seed after the flesh many and precious
temporal blessings, it was at the same time an embodiment of the very
terms of the covenant between God and his Christ; that its provisions of
grace to man are bestowed wholly in Christ; and that it is, therefore,
exclusive and everlasting. There can be no reconciliation between God
and man, but upon the terms of this covenant. There can, therefore, be
no people of God, no true church of Christ, but of those who accept and
are embraced in, and built upon, that alone foundation, “the everlasting
covenant” made with Abraham.

         SECTION VIII.—_The Conditions of the Sinai Covenant._

At length, the four hundred years were past. The probation of the
apostate nations was finished. The iniquity of the Amorites was full.
God remembered his covenant with Abraham, and sent Moses into Egypt,
saying to him: “I am Jehovah. And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac,
and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty; but by my name, Jehovah,
was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with
them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage,
wherein they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the
children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have
remembered my covenant. Wherefore, say unto the children of Israel, I am
the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the
Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem
you with a stretched out arm and with great judgments; and I will take
you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know
that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the
burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land,
concerning which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to
Jacob.”—Ex. vi, 2-8. In this initial communication we have the key to
the Sinai covenant, and to all God’s subsequent dealings with Israel. In
it three things are specially observable. (1.) The Abrahamic covenant is
designated, “my covenant,” in accordance with what we have already seen
as to the nature of that covenant, as exclusive and everlasting. (2.)
Its scope is stated in those all-embracing terms, “I will take you to me
for a people, and I will be to you a God.” (3.) The possession of the
earthly Canaan is specified as a minor particular, under this
comprehensive pledge.

With all this the Sinai covenant was in accord. Its conditional terms we
have seen, as propounded through Moses. “Thus shalt thou say to the
house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: Ye have seen what I did
to the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you
unto myself. Now, therefore, _if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep
my covenant_.”—Ex. xix, 3-5. The “voice” which they were to obey they
heard on the next day, when God spake to them the words of the law, from
the midst of the smoke and flame. Of it Moses afterward reminded the
people: “Ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain
burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and
thick darkness. And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the
fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude, only a
voice. And he declared unto you his covenant which he commanded you to
perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of
stone.”—Deut. iv, 11-13. Very great emphasis attaches to the Ten
Commandments, in their relation as thus the fundamental law of the
covenant. The first overture having been addressed to Israel, in the
terms, “If ye will obey my voice,” and by them accepted, the next day
that voice was heard uttering those commandments. Again the people are
called upon, and again respond in pledge of obedience. Moses then wrote
in “the book of the covenant” all these words of the Lord, and read them
in the audience of the people. And it was not till again they promised
obedience to the terms thus set before them that the covenant was
ratified, as we have seen. The Ten Commandments were then, by the finger
of God, engraved on the two tables of stone, which were thence known as
“the tables of the covenant.” These were placed in “the ark of the
covenant,” which was in the holy of holies, in “the tabernacle of the
covenant.” Both of these derived their names and significance from these
tables, which were the very center of the whole system of religion and
worship connected with the tabernacle. The lid of the ark which covered
these tables was the golden mercy-seat, with its cherubim of gold,
between which stood the pillar of glory, the Shechinah, overshadowing
the mercy-seat. It thus typified God’s throne of grace immovably based
upon the firm foundation of his eternal law—mercy to man only possible
on condition of satisfaction to that law. Therefore, when remembrance of
sins was made every year (Heb. x, 3), it was by the sprinkling of blood
upon the mercy-seat and the ark of the covenant. (Ib. ix, 7.) A proper
regard to the fact that the moral law was thus the fundamental condition
of the covenant, while the ritual law was no part of it, but a later
system of testimony, would have prevented much perplexing and erroneous
speculation on the subject.

But the covenant had a second condition, “If ye will _keep my
covenant_.” This second clause is implied in the first. But it is none
the less important and significant, as being a categorical statement of
the nature of the obedience required. We have already pointed out the
fact that by “_my covenant_” was meant the covenant with Abraham, so
interpreted by God himself in his first communication to Israel in
Egypt. The covenant thus defined had but one condition and two promises.
The promises were, to bring them out of the bondage of Egypt and give
them the land of Canaan, and to be to them a God. The condition was,
that Israel, in turn, would surrender themselves to be for a people to
God. (Ex. vi, 7.) This condition is the only thing that can be meant by
the phrase, “If _ye_ will _keep_ my covenant.” It was the only duty laid
upon them by that covenant. We thus find the two fundamental conditions
of the Sinai covenant to have been in the terms, “If ye will obey my
voice indeed”—the voice that spake in the Ten Commandments—and, “If ye
will keep my covenant,” to be a willing people unto me, and cleave to me
as your God. Such was the foundation-stone on which the church was

           SECTION IX.—_The Promises of the Sinai Covenant._

As were the conditions of the covenant, so were its promises altogether
and eminently spiritual.

1. “Ye shall be unto me a peculiar treasure above all people; for all
the earth is mine.” A treasure is a property, valuable, highly prized,
and cherished. It is riches to the owner; his enjoyments largely depend
thereon; and over it he therefore exercises a watchful guardianship.
Such was the relation which, by the covenant, God conferred on Israel.
The expression is strengthened by the qualifying adjective, “peculiar,”
which means, special and exclusive. “My own special treasure.” What was
thus implied may be gathered from a single Scripture. Says the Lord, by
Malachi: “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and
the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written
before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his
name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when
I make up my jewels” (“my peculiar treasures.” The word in the original
is the same), “and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that
serveth him. Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and
the wicked; between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him
not.”—Mal. iii. 16-18. By this clause, Israel became the object of God’s
assiduous watchfulness and constant care as his own peculiar treasure of

2. The parenthetic clause, “For all the earth is mine,” is of singular
interest. The covenant with Abraham conveyed the assurance that in him
should “all the families of the earth be blessed.” The clause inserted
in the Sinai overture was a reminder to Israel of that fact, to certify
them and the world that the purpose concerning the latter was unchanged,
that the peculiar relation now assumed toward Israel was not incongruous
to it; that, on the contrary, whilst Israel was first, it was not alone
in the obligations and promises of the covenant. “All the earth is
mine;” and the claim which, in such a transaction, God thus makes he
will surely vindicate, in his own good time, by taking his own to
himself, bringing them, also, within the pale of his covenant, and
gathering from them a revenue of praise and glory.

3. “A kingdom of priests.” Israel’s acceptance of the first condition of
the covenant, “If ye will obey my voice,” erected them into a kingdom,
of which God was the alone sovereign,—the kingdom of God. This promise
defines the character and function of that kingdom,—“a kingdom of
priests;” or, rather, “a priest-kingdom.” Israel was thus ordained to
the exalted office of intercessory mediation for the world, and of
testimony to it on God’s behalf. Had ten righteous men been found in the
cities of the plain, they would have been spared, for the sake of those
ten. (Gen. xviii, 32.) The angels of destruction could do nothing to
Sodom until Lot departed out of it. (Ib. xix, 22.) Had one righteous man
been found in Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah, the city would have
been spared for the sake of that one. (Jer. v, 1.) Aaron the priest,
with his golden censer—a type of the prayers of the saints (Rev. v, 8;
viii, 3)—standing between the living and the dead, stayed the plague in
the camp of Israel. (Num. xvi, 46-48.) So, Israel itself was now
ordained a mediating priest, to stand for the time then present, between
the living and the dead of the nations, in the ordinances at the
sanctuary, uplifting a censer of intercession which stayed the sword of
justice that was ready to destroy them; and appointed to become at
length the agent of the world’s salvation, through atonement made by one
of their nation, and the gospel sent forth from Jerusalem to all the
world, by the preaching of Israel’s sons. Thus was it a priest-kingdom,
set apart and sanctified of God, to be for salvation to all the ends of
the earth.

This priestly consecration of Israel, moreover, constituted her a
witness on behalf of God among the nations. It was the lighting of a
lamp to shine amid the darkness of the world. The office to which she
was thus ordained was not yet aggressive; for the times of the Gentiles
were not come. Yet was hers none the less a public and active testimony,
which, if they would, the Gentiles could hear, a gospel light which did,
in fact, penetrate far into the darkness, and prepared the nations for
the coming of Christ and the gospel day. For the time being, it was the
office of Israel to cherish the light, by keeping the oracles and
maintaining the ordinances of God’s worship, and transmitting them to
their children, until the fullness of time.

4. “A holy nation.” The word “holy” primarily designates the
completeness and symmetry of the moral perfections of God. From hence,
it is transferred to those attributes in the intelligent creatures which
are in the likeness of God’s holiness. And, as the distinguishing
characteristic of holiness in a creature is surrender and consecration
to God, the word is used to designate all such things as are his by
peculiar dedication to his service. Thus, the altar, the tabernacle, and
all the vessels and things pertaining thereto, were holy. So the tithe
of the land, of the flocks, and of the herds, was holy; and the
firstborn of men and of beasts. (Lev. xxvii, 30, 32; Luke ii, 23.) In
this sense of accepted consecration, and of appropriation to himself,
God here puts upon Israel the designation of “a holy nation.”
Henceforth, they were so named, and the obligation implied therein
constantly insisted upon, as demanding from them real separation to God,
and holiness of heart and life. Says the Lord: “Ye shall be holy men
unto me, neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the
field.”—Ex. xxii, 31. Moses exhorts them to abhor and destroy the idols
of the land, “For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord
thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all
people that are upon the face of the earth.... Thou shalt, therefore,
keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command
thee this day to do them.”—Deut. vii, 6-11. From this article of the
covenant, the New Testament designation of the members of the visible
church is derived. Says Peter, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, a _holy nation_, a peculiar people.”—1 Peter, ii, 9. Hence,
the name of “saints,” or, “holy ones,” which, familiar in the Psalms, is
constantly used in the epistles, as the distinctive title of the members
of the New Testament Church.

Thus it appears that in all the provisions of the covenant earthly and
temporal blessings are not once alluded to. That clause of the Abrahamic
covenant which concerned the possession of Canaan was, indeed, referred
to at Sinai, and Israel was assured of its fulfillment. (Ex. xxiii, 23.)
But it was then, and ever after, spoken of and treated as already and
finally settled by the promise made to Abraham. (Ex. vi, 3-8; Deut. vii,
7-9; ix, 5, 6; Psalm cv, 8-11.) Moreover, the bestowal of Canaan was in
no sense a secular transaction. Not only as a type of the better country
was it designed and calculated to awaken and stimulate heavenly
aspirations. (Heb. xi, 8-16.) But, like the fastnesses of the Alps, for
centuries the retreat and home of the gospel among the martyr Waldenses,
Canaan, planted in the very center of the old world-empires, and upon
the mid line of march of the world’s great history, was chosen and
prepared of God as a fortress of security entrenched for Israel’s
protection, in the midst of the apostate and hostile nations, while
tending and nourishing the beacon fire of gospel light which glowed on
Mount Zion, and shed its beams afar into the gloom of thick darkness
which enshrouded the world. As such, it was assured to Abraham’s seed by
the covenant with him and the seal set in their flesh.

         SECTION X.—_The Visible Church was thus established._

The Sinai covenant gave origin to the visible church of God. By the
visible church, I mean that society among men which God has called and
taken into covenant and communion with himself, and ordained to be his
witness to the world. Two points are essentially involved in the
definition. The first is the relation to God established by the terms—“I
will take you to me for a people; and I will be to you a God.” The
second is the office to which the church is thus called and ordained, to
be God’s witness, testifying on his behalf against the world’s apostasy.
Such is Peter’s declaration, quoting the terms of the Sinai covenant,
and applying them to the New Testament church: “Ye are a chosen
generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; _that
ye should show forth the praises_ of him who hath called you out of
darkness into his marvelous light; which in time past were not a people,
but _are now the people of God_.”—1 Peter ii, 9, 10. This privilege of
communion, and this office of testimony were implied and involved in the
whole covenant, and all its terms; but especially indicated by that
expression, “Ye shall be _unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy
nation_.” It is the privilege of priests to draw nigh to God, and their
office to testify on God’s behalf to men.

The manner and meaning of the designation by which, throughout the Greek
Scriptures of the Old Testament and of the New, the body thus
constituted is known as the _ekklēsia_, the church, is worthy of special
notice in this connection. The fact of God having met with Israel at
Sinai, and communed with them in an audible voice, is referred to by
Moses and emphasized as being a signal demonstration of relations
established of extraordinary intimacy. “What nation is there so great,
which hath God so nigh unto them as the Lord our God in all things that
we call upon him for?... Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul
diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and
lest they depart from thy heart, all the days of thy life; but teach
them thy sons and thy sons’ sons, specially the day that thou stoodest
before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me
the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may
learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and
that they may teach their children.... And the Lord spake unto you out
of the midst of the fire; ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no
similitude; only ye heard a voice.”—Deut. iv, 7-13. Again, he says: “Ask
now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day
that God created man upon the earth, and ask from one side of heaven
unto the other, whether there hath been any such a thing as this great
thing is, or hath been heard like it. Did ever people hear the voice of
God speaking out of the midst of fire, as thou, hast heard, and live? Or
hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another
nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a
mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according
to all that the Lord thy God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto
thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God;
there is none else beside him.”—Ib. iv, 32-35.

The presence of God with Israel, thus impressively manifested, was not
casual or transient. The fires and the terrors of Sinai were indeed
withdrawn. But the tabernacle of testimony was erected, and the
shechinah there revealed for the express purpose of being a testimony to
Israel that God was with them dwelling in their midst. Of the services
to be there established, he directed Moses that there should be “a
continual burnt-offering throughout your generations, at the door of the
tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord, where I will meet you to
speak there unto thee. And there will I meet with the children of
Israel, and the tabernacle” (or rather, as the margin, “Israel”) “shall
be sanctified by my glory. And I will dwell among the children of
Israel, and will be their God.”—Ex. xxix, 42-46.

Thus the gathering of Israel at Sinai was not a mere congregation or
assembling of the people to each other, but a meeting with God; and this
fact is very remarkably indicated in the Septuagint Greek. In the
description of the Sinai scene, given in Deut. iv, in that version, the
tenth verse stands thus: “The day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy
God in Horeb (_tē hēmera tēs ekklēsias_), _in the day of the assembly_,
when the Lord said to me (_Ekklēsiason pros me_), _Assemble to me_ the
people.” Previous to that occasion the word _ekklēsia_ is not found in
the Greek Scriptures. That day was, by Moses, habitually designated “the
day of the _ekklēsia_—the assembly” (Deut. ix, 10; x, 4; xviii, 16), and
the reason of the designation is thus, by the Greek translators, stamped
upon the face of that version. It was so called because the people on
that day met with God, in compliance with the command (_Ekklēsiason_),
“_Assemble to me_ the people.” In accordance with the special meaning to
which the word was thus appropriated it is used throughout the
Scriptures. In the Old Testament and Apocrypha it occurs nearly one
hundred times, and a careful examination fails to discover an instance
in which it is used otherwise than to designate Israel in their sacred
character as the covenant people of God. In that sense it passed into
the New Testament. In one place it is exceptionally used by the town
clerk of the Greek city of Ephesus, and by Luke, after him, in its
classic meaning, to designate an assembly of the freemen of the city.
(Acts xix, 39, 41.) But everywhere else it is employed in the same sense
as in the Septuagint. It is thus applied (1) to Israel in the wilderness
(Acts vii, 38), and at the temple (Heb. ii, 12); (2) to the religious
assemblies of the Jews during the time of Christ’s ministry (Matt.
xviii, 17), and ever afterwards, in the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation,
to the New Testament Church. According, therefore, to the uniform usage
of the Scriptures, the word is appropriated to designate an assembly
with God, and, in a secondary sense, the people as related to such an
assembly. Such is the designation given to Israel as the people of God
by covenant and fellowship, among whom he held the communion of mutual
converse, he with them in the words of his testimony and the
communications of his grace, and they with him in all things in which
they called upon him. (Deut. iv, 7. Compare Matt. xviii, 20; Acts x,
33.) In the assembly of Israel, the church of the apostles finds an
origin in no wise unworthy her own lofty character and office. Happy she
when with conscious experience she can take to herself the glad words of
Israel’s song, “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad
the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. God
is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and
that right early.... The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is
our refuge.”—Psalm xlvi, 4-7.

The following were the essential features of the constitution of the
church thus erected:

1. Its fundamental charter was the covenant, embracing the ten
commandments, in the reciprocal terms which have been considered in the
preceding chapter.

2. The persons with whom these terms were made, and who were
comprehended in the society thereupon erected, were all those, whether
of Israel or the Gentiles, together with their households, who made
credible profession of accepting the covenant, and were thereupon sealed
with its baptismal seal. To this point we shall presently return.

3. The radical principle of organization was that of parental headship
and family unity. The family is the divine original of all human
society, as the parental office is of all human authority. Upon this
basis was founded the Abrahamic covenant, and upon it was erected the
system of government for Israel. It was administered by the fathers of
families, of houses, and of tribes; the first-born son succeeding to his
father as head of his house, under the designation of elder. This system
was recognized in the first commission of Moses from God, and the
elders, or heads of houses, were united with him in his mission to
Pharaoh. (Ex. iii, 16, 18; iv, 29.) To them was committed the ordering
of the passover on the night of the exodus. (Ib. xii, 21.) At Sinai,
before the giving of the covenant, the system was perfected in its
details, at the suggestion of Jethro, with the sanction of God. (Ex.
xviii, 12-24.) Immediately upon the sealing of the covenant seventy of
the elders, who had been previously assembled by the command of God,
went up, as already stated, with Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, into
the mount, and there celebrated on Israel’s behalf the feast of the
covenant. “They saw the God of Israel, and did eat and drink.”—Ex. xxiv,
1, 9-11. Afterward, when the covenant was renewed in the plains of Moab,
the relation of the elders thereto, in their official capacity, was
expressly stated. “Ye stand this day, all of you, before the Lord your
God, your captains of your tribes, your elders and your officers, with
all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives.”—Deut. xxix, 10.

Such were the essential features of the constitution of the church, as
ordained at Sinai. To her, thus organized, were given ordinances of
testimony, concerning which a few points only are here necessary. Since
she was appointed simply to maintain, in her position in the midst of
the nations, the lamp of gospel truth ever shining, until the set time
should come for sending it forth through the world, the ordinances of
testimony which were intrusted to her were adapted expressly to this
office. They were: (1.) The oracles of God, his written word, from time
to time imparted through Moses and other holy men, who spake as they
were moved of the Holy Ghost. (Rom. iii, 2; 2 Pet. i, 21.) (2.) The holy
convocations of the Sabbath days. (Lev. xxiii, 3; 1 Kings iv, 23; Acts
xv, 21.) (3.) The priesthood and ritual service. (4.) The sanctuary
worship and festivals. (5.) Public professions of faith, occasional and
stated. (Deut. xxvi.) (6.) Poetic recitations and psalmody. (Ex. xv,
1-21; Deut. xxxi, xxxii; the book of Psalms.)

It was with a special view to the witnessing office of the church of
Israel that the ritual system was constructed. The covenant and the
ritual were testimonies to the better covenant and the heavenly
realities which belong to it. It is with this view that the word
“testimony” is so much used in designating them. Thus the Ten
Commandments, the fundamental law of the covenant, were frequently
designated “the testimony.” (Ex. xxv, 21.) The tables on which they were
written were, in like manner, “the tables of the testimony.” They were
kept in “the ark of the testimony,” which was in “the tabernacle of the
testimony.” In the same way the whole system of ordinances and laws
given to Israel is designated “the testimonies of God.” Of them, and the
office of the church concerning them, the Psalmist says: “He established
a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded
our fathers, that they should make them known to their children, that
the generation to come might know them: even the children which should
be born; who should arise and declare them to their children; that they
might set their hope in God, and not forget his works, but keep his
commandments.”—Psalm lxxviii, 5-7.

Respecting the ritual system, there are two propositions which are
believed to be demonstrable, but are here presented without argument.
The _first_ is, that these rites were not dark forms, veiling rather
than disclosing a new revelation; but were inscriptions in luminous
characters, setting forth the doctrines of a faith well understood by
the patriarchs and fathers from the beginning, and from them transmitted
and known to Israel. _Second._ The ritual forms in which the gospel was
clothed in the Levitical system were far more suitable for the purposes
of popular instruction and world-wide dissemination than would have been
any conceivable exposition of it in writing. The art of writing was in
its infancy. A written gospel would have been, even to Israel, a sealed
book; how much more to all other people! The history and laws were put
in writing and kept at the sanctuary for the direction of the priests
and magistrates in the performance of their duties, the administration
of justice, and the instruction of Israel. But the gospel, for the
people, was clothed in forms which required no interpreter, which meant
the same in every language under heaven, and which were calculated, by
their appeals to the imagination through the eye and the senses, to
stamp themselves indelibly upon the memory and the affections. Thus were
they eminently adapted to arrest the attention and impress the minds of
strangers, and of the young, for whom especially they were designed.
(Ex. xii, 26; xiii, 14; Deut. vi, 20; Josh. iv, 6, 21; 1 Kings viii, 41,

The fact is of an importance which entitles it to distinct and emphatic
mention, that the Aaronic priesthood and the ritual law were no part of
the constitution of the church, as it was established by the covenant.
They were not in existence when the covenant was made, but were
ordinances afterward given to the church, as already existent and
organized. They were bestowed as means of fulfilling her witnessing
office, means adapted to the times and circumstances of Israel, but
subject to be modified, as they were in the temple system, or to be
wholly suspended or set aside, without impairing the constitution of the
church or the completeness and efficiency of its organization. Not only
thus did the covenant precede the ritual law and the priesthood, but
when, forty years afterward, the covenant was renewed, and the parties
to it were enumerated in detail, the priests were altogether ignored.
(Deut. xxix, 10-12.) They were in no wise essential to it.

     SECTION XI.—_The Terms of Membership in the Church of Israel._

With some slight circumstantial differences, having reference to the
difference in the office of the church under the two dispensations, the
conditions of membership were essentially the same as propounded at
Sinai and as prescribed under the gospel. While the spiritual blessings
of the covenant were from the beginning conditioned upon true faith and
loving obedience, the privilege of membership in the visible church was
at Sinai bestowed upon those, with their households, who made credible
profession of these graces, and upon them only. On “the day of the
assembly,” all the people professed to take God for their God, and to
devote themselves to him as his believing and obedient people. And as on
the days of Pentecost, so on this occasion, the profession was accepted,
and their admission was sealed with baptism; although doubtless, in both
cases, there were false professors included with the true. With certain
exceptions, ordained for special reasons (Deut. xxiii, 1-8), the
conditions of membership were the same for the Gentile world as for
Israel. The law was explicit and most emphatic on this point. “One
ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation and also for the
stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance forever in your
generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord. One
law and one manner shall be for you and for the stranger that sojourneth
with you.”—Num. xv, 14-16, and 29; and see ix, 14; xix, 10; Ex. xii,
43-49; Deut. xxxi, 12; Josh. viii, 33, etc.

For eliminating unworthy members, the means provided in the Sinai
ordinances were as abundant as those now enjoyed by the church, and
would seem to have been as well adapted to the effectual securing of the
end proposed. They come under three heads. (1.) Certain offenses were
visited with the penalty of death or of utter separation from the
communion of Israel. (Ex. xxxi, 14; Num. ix, 13, etc.) (2.) The expenses
incident to a faithful performance of the duties required of members of
the church of Israel were large and continual. Firstfruits, firstlings,
and tithes, trespass offerings, sin offerings, freewill offerings, and
other oblations, made up an aggregate which can not have fallen short of
one-fifth of all the income of Israel, and probably went far beyond that
amount. The law provided none but moral means for enforcing these
requirements; and numerous facts in the history of Israel show that by
many they were entirely neglected. (Neh. xiii, 10-13; Mal. iii, 8-10.)
Those who thus withheld what belonged to the Lord were self-excluded
from the fellowship of the covenant society, and were “cut off from the
congregation (_ekklēsia_ from _the church_) of the Lord.” (3.) The
irksome and humiliating nature of the regulations concerning uncleanness
and purifying were very efficient means of separating between the
believing and the profane. As we shall presently see, occasions of
uncleanness were of almost daily occurrence, in every house. These
required a conscientious watchfulness and assiduity, in guarding against
defilement, and in using the appointed rites of purifying, which often
involved the interruption and expense of journeys to the sanctuary and
offerings there.

The communion of the church of Israel thus consisted of those only, with
their families, who added to the obligations of a public profession of
faith, a fidelity to all the requirements of the law, its moral
precepts, its ritual observances, its tithes and offerings, its rites of
purifying and its annual feasts. In a word, the account given of
Zacharias and Elizabeth describes the character required, in order to
fellowship in the church of Israel: “Righteous before God, walking in
all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”—Luke i, 6.
Such, and such only, were the _clean_, to whom the privileges of
Israel’s communion belonged. To them they were certified by the seal of

                SECTION XII.—_Circumcision and Baptism._

It is commonly assumed that baptism has come into the place and office
of circumcision. This I conceive to be a mistaken view, which involves
the whole subject in confusion. Circumcision is the distinctive and
peculiar seal of the Abrahamic covenant. While it is true, that in that
covenant, as relating to the terms of salvation, all believers were
accounted as seed of Abraham, and heirs of the promises, it is equally
true that, by its terms, peculiar blessings unspeakably great were
assured to the seed of the patriarch after the flesh. Not only was
Christ to come of his flesh; not only was the church to be for fifteen
centuries constituted of his offspring, but Paul moreover testifies,
that richer blessings than they have ever yet enjoyed are to be bestowed
on Israel and on the Gentiles through Israel, in the coming future: “If
the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them
the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness?... For if the
casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the
receiving of them be but life from the dead?”—Rom. xi, 12, 15. This the
apostle, futhermore, puts upon the ground that “the gifts and calling of
God are without repentance.”—Ib. 29. It was with a view to this relation
of the covenant to Abraham’s natural seed, that circumcision was
appointed as its seal. Said God: “I will establish my covenant between
me and thee and thy seed after thee, _in their generations_, for an
everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after
thee.”—Gen. xvii, 7. Hence, by circumcision, the token of the covenant
was set in the flesh of the males, through whom the descent is counted.
So long, therefore, as the church was, for the divine purposes,
restricted to the family of Israel, the rite of circumcision was
necessary as a prerequisite condition of admission to its privileges,
because it was the seal of incorporation by birth or adoption into that
family. But this did not constitute admission into the church. The Sinai
covenant had its own baptismal seal. The church consisted, not of
Israel, the circumcised; but only of the _clean_ of Israel. Of this,
baptism was the token and seal. It hence resulted that when the
restriction was removed, and the gospel was given to the Gentiles,
emancipated from the yoke of circumcision, baptism remained unchanged in
place or office, the original and only seal of actual admission to the
fellowship and privileges of the church of God. Of all this we shall see
more hereafter.

                               PART III.

                  SECTION XIII.—_Unclean Seven Days._

In the laws of Moses there were two grades of uncleanness
defined—uncleanness of seven days, and uncleanness till the even. The
former was a symbol of that essential corruption which is in us by
nature, to which are essential the redeeming blood of Christ and the
renewing of the Holy Spirit, without which no man can see God in peace.
Uncleanness till the even symbolized those casual defilements to which
God’s renewed people are liable by contact with the evil of the world.
The ritual, concerning the uncleanness of seven days, was designed to
signalize the light in which man’s apostate nature, and the depravity
and sin thence resulting, appear in the sight of a God of ineffable
holiness. To this conception the word _unclean_ was designed to give
expression, the intense meaning of which is liable to escape the casual
reader of the Scriptures. It signified, not the mere external soiling of
the living person, but death, corruption, and rottenness within the
heart, the fermenting source of pollution poured forth in the outward
life. To impress us with a just sense of the exceeding evil of this
thing the Spirit employs every variety of figure expressive of deformity
and loathsomeness. In the primitive faith, of which the book of Job is a
record, it is characterized in language which is a key-note to all the
Scriptures on the subject. “Behold he putteth no trust in his saints”
(his holy angels); “yea, the heavens are not pure in his sight. How much
more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like
water.”—Job xv, 15, 16. Says the Psalmist, “The Lord looked down from
heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did
understand and seek God. They are all gone aside; they are all together
become filthy.”—Psa. xiv, 3. Here the word “filthy” is in the margin
rendered “stinking.” It is the same in the original as in the above
place in Job, and means the offensiveness of putrefaction. David, in his
penitential Psalm, indicates his sense of this radical evil of his
nature. “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity and _cleanse_ me from my
sin.... Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother
conceive me. Behold thou desirest truth in the _inward parts_: and in
the _hidden part_ thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with
hyssop, and I shall be _clean_; wash me and I shall be whiter than
snow.... Create in me a _clean heart_, O God; and renew a right spirit
within me.”—Psa. li, 2-10. Isaiah and other sacred writers represent the
same evil by the figures of the vomit and filthiness of a drunken
debauch, and by every kind of abominable and loathsome thing. (Isa.
xxviii, 8; Prov. xxx, 12.) By the designation, unclean, the moral
deformity and offensiveness of Satan and the “unclean spirits,” his
angels, are described. And in the accounts of the riches of grace and
glory in store for the church, the crowning feature is the exclusion of
the unclean. “A highway shall be there, and a way; and it shall be
called, The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it.”—Isa.
xxxv, 8. The church is called upon for this cause to exult: “Awake,
awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O
Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into
thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.”—Ib. lii, 1. And again, John, in
the vision of the glory of the new Jerusalem, which crowns and closes
his revelation, says of her: “And there shall in no wise enter into it
any thing that defileth” (literally, “any thing unclean”), “neither
whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are
written in the Lamb’s book of life.”—Rev. xxi, 27.

For the purpose of inducing a profound sense of this evil and
loathsomeness of sin, as working in the heart, the ordinances respecting
the uncleanness of seven days were appointed, each having its own

1. The birth of a child was the actual propagation, from the parents, of
part in the uncleanness of the apostate nature. It was, therefore,
attended with natural phenomena, and marked by ritual ordinances which
characterized it, and every function connected with it, as unclean and
defiling. Emphasis was thus given to the challenge, “Who can bring a
clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.”—Job xiv, 4.

2. Running issues of all kinds were appropriated as symbols of the
corruption of man’s nature, festering within, and breaking forth in
putrescent streams of depravity and sin in the active life. (Ezek. xvi,
6, 9.)

3. Death is “the wages of sin” (Rom. vi, 23), and physical death is a
terrible emblem of its loathsome and accursed nature. And as sin and the
curse are diffused to Adam’s seed by the very contagion of nature, this,
their symbol, was ritually endowed with the same contagious character.
He that touched the dead was reckoned no longer among the living but the
dead. He was, therefore, cast out from the camp, from his family, the
sanctuary, and the privileges of the covenant. To them all he was dead.
He was unclean.

Thus, as the loving and bereaved stood by the couch of death, gazed upon
the face and form once blooming in health and beauty, and beheld the
sightless and sunken eyes, the ghastly features and cadaverous
hue—pledges of corruption begun—while the very air of the chamber seemed
to breathe the cry, “Unclean!” as they realized the instinctive recoil
which love itself must feel from the very touch of the departed, and
felt as Abraham, concerning the beloved Sarah, the constraint to “bury
his dead out of his sight,”—as, in all this, they knew that these last
offices even must be fulfilled at the expense of defilement and
exclusion from the privileges of God’s earthly courts and the society of
his people, for seven days, they and all Israel received a lesson of
divine instruction as to the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the wages of
which is death, its loathsomeness in God’s sight, its contagious
diffusion and power, and its curse, to which human speech or angel
eloquence could have added nothing.

4. No less impressive were the ordinances concerning leprosy. The name
designated a class of diseases, some of which would appear to have been
altogether miraculous in their origin, and peculiar in their symptoms,
while others were attributable to natural causes. The disease was
peculiar for the shocking and loathsome appearance of its victim, its
poisoning the blood and pervading the whole body, and its incurable and
inevitably deadly nature. It was, therefore, employed by God as, at
once, an extraordinary punishment of sin, and a most fitting symbol of
it, as seated in the heart and nature of man, and pervading and
corrupting his whole being. (Num. xii, 10; 2 Kings v, 27; 2 Chr. xxvi,
20.) The leper was accounted as one dead (Num. xii, 12), and, therefore,
excluded from his family, from the congregation and ordinances at the
sanctuary, and from the very camp of Israel, where the living God
walked. (Num. v, 2; xii, 14.) Thus, outcast from the abodes of men and
the house of God, “the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be
rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip,
and shall cry, Unclean! Unclean! All the days wherein the plague shall
be in him, he shall be defiled; he is unclean; he shall dwell alone;
without the camp shall be his habitation.”—Lev. xiii, 45, 46. How
dreadful the figure thus presented to the senses of Israel, of the
loathsomeness of sin in God’s sight, and of its ruinous effects upon the
sinner! The person offensive with scabs and sores, the rent garments,
the uncovered head, the wailing cry, “Unclean! Unclean!” while the
exclusion from the house of God, and from the abodes of men, and the
covered lip, proclaimed to Israel that the spiritual leper, yet in his
sins, brings danger to his fellow-men with his very presence, and is an
offense and loathing to God, before the eyes of whose purity he may not
venture to come, save through the cleansing blood and Spirit of Christ.
Hence, the cry of Isaiah, when he beheld the glory of the Lord: “Woe is
me! for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in
the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King,
the Lord of hosts.” And hence, the coal of fire from off the altar of
atonement, and the seraph’s assurance, “Lo, this hath touched thy lips;
and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”—Isa. vi, 5-7.

Thus, every way, under the idea of indwelling defilement, was sin and
its source in man’s corrupted nature held up to Israel as loathsome in
itself, propagated to the race and infecting all, defiling in its
contact, deadly in its indwelling power, and abhorrent to the eyes of

Four circumstances in the ritual on these defilements are peculiar and

1. The first of these exhibits a broad and fundamental contrast between
these defilements and those which continued only till the even. The
latter, as already intimated, presented the conception of an outward
soiling of the living person. But the uncleanness of seven days
exhibited the idea, not of surface defilement of the living, but of the
loathsomeness and pollution of the dead and decaying carcass, pouring
out its own corruption, and infecting all around with its unclean and
abhorrent presence,—a pollution which no extrinsic or surface washing
can ever cleanse.

2. The defilement was for seven days. God’s work of creation ended in
the rest of the seventh day. That day was hence appropriated as a type
of the final rest of Christ and his people upon the completed work of
redemption. Hence, the argument of Paul: “For he spake of the seventh
day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. There
remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God.”—Heb. iv, 4-9. “A
rest:” literally, as in the margin, “a keeping of a Sabbath,” or, “a
Sabbatism.” But the Sabbath thus reserved for God’s people, coincides
with “the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” Hence, a seven
days’ uncleanness was typical of such a corruption of nature as is
essential and, therefore, persistent to the end; and the exclusion of
the defiled from the camp and the sanctuary signified the sentence of
the judgment of the last day, when those whose natures are unrenewed,
and whose sins are unpurged will be excluded from the Sabbath of
redemption and from the new Jerusalem, and remain finally under the woe
of the second death: “He that is filthy, let him be filthy still.... For
without are dogs and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and
idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”—Rev. xxii, 11, 15.

3. The defilement was contagious. If the unclean for seven days touched
a clean person, the latter was thereby defiled until the even. For, such
is the inveteracy of this native corruption of the race that God’s
people are liable to defilement from every intercourse and contact with
the world,—a defilement, however, which they will leave behind them when
the day of earthly life is ended. Therefore, “Come out from among them,
and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and
I will receive you.”—2 Cor. vi, 17.

4. This seven days’ uncleanness could not be purified without
sacrificial rites, and water sprinkled by the hand of one that was
clean. For nothing but the atoning merits of Christ’s one offering, and
the Spirit of life which he sheds down upon his people, can enter and
cleanse our defiled nature, and fit us for admission to the presence of
God, or for part in the New Jerusalem. All this will more fully appear
as we proceed to notice the rites of purifying appointed for the several
kinds of this uncleanness, respectively.

             SECTION XIV.—_The Baptism of a healed Leper._

The rites appointed for the purifying of a healed leper come under two
heads,—those administered by the priest, and those performed by the
person himself. When a leper was healed, he was first inspected by the
priest, who went forth to him to ascertain that the healing was real,
and the disease eradicated. This being ascertained, the priest took two
clean birds, and had one of them killed and its blood caught in an
earthen vessel, with running water. He then took the remaining bird,
alive, with cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop, and dipped all together in
the blood and water; “and he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be
cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean,
and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.”—Lev. xiv, 7.

The rite which thus ended by the official decree of the priest, “_He is
clean_,” completed the purification, properly so called. The man is now
clean. The remaining ordinances were expressive of duties and privileges
proper to one who is cleansed and restored to the commonwealth of
Israel, and the communion of God’s house. First of these he was required
to “wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in
water, that he may be clean.”—Ib., vs. 8. He was now admitted to the
camp, but must not yet enter his own tent, nor come to the tabernacle
for seven days. On the seventh day he was again required to shave off
all his hair, wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh; and “he shall be
clean.”—Vs. 9.

Now, on the eighth day, he came to the sanctuary, bringing a sacrifice
of a trespass offering, a sin offering, and a burnt offering. The rites
attendant upon these offerings completed the ceremonial. Thenceforth,
the leper resumed all the privileges of a son of Israel, in his family,
in the the congregation, and at the sanctuary.

The general signification of these ordinances is evident. The priest, by
whom alone the cleansing rites could be administered, was the official
representative of our great high-priest, Christ Jesus. The two birds
were with the priest a complex type of him who offered himself without
spot to God, who was dead and is alive for evermore, and by the merits
of whose blood and the power of whose Spirit remission of sins and the
new life of holiness are given to men. The first self-washing symbolized
the duty of the redeemed to turn from their old ways and walk in
holiness. The continued exclusion, for seven days, from his house and
the sanctuary was a testimony that for the present we are pilgrims and
strangers, and that only at the end of earth’s trials and purgations can
we enter our “house which is from heaven.” The seventh day’s washing
indicated the final putting off of all evil in the resurrection; and the
offerings of the eighth represented the way whereby, in the
regeneration, God’s redeemed people shall have access to his presence
and communion with him, through the blood of Jesus.

We are now able to understand why the cleansing of the healed leper was
thus separately ordered, and not included in the provision which we
shall presently see was made, in common, for all other cases of seven
days’ uncleanness. The extraordinary and frequently supernatural
character of both the disorder and its cure rendered it proper and
necessary to take it out of the category of ordinary uncleannesses, and
place it under the immediate jurisdiction of the priests. This was
necessary, alike, in order to a judicial determination at first as to
the existence of the leprosy, and afterward as to the cure. And the
priestly administration of the rites of cleansing was equally important,
as constituting an official and authoritative proclamation of the
healing and restoration of the leper.

          SECTION XV.—_Baptism of those defiled by the Dead._

The purification of the leper must have been of rare occurrence. All the
facts and indications of the Scriptures tend to the conclusion that,
except by miraculous agency, the disease was incurable. The baptism of
Israel at Sinai was extraordinary in its nature and circumstances, and
could not have been repeated except in circumstances equally remarkable,
such as that when, in the plains of Moab, the covenant was renewed with
the new generation, which had risen up to take the place of those who
perished in the wilderness. (Deut. xxix, 1.) But of that transaction the
particulars are not recorded. In the water of separation, provision was
made for an ordinary rite, essentially the same, in its nature, mode,
and meaning, as the Sinai baptism; and so ordered as to serve as a
continual memorial and repetition of it, and reiteration of the promises
and instructions therein embodied. This rite was appointed for the
cleansing of defilements of daily occurrence, and was maintained through
all the after history of Israel, until the time of Christ, and the
destruction of Jerusalem. It was known to the Jews by the name of

In preparation for this rite, a red heifer without blemish was chosen by
the priest, and slain without the camp, whence the priest sprinkled the
blood toward the door of the tabernacle of the congregation seven times.
The entire heifer was then burned, while the priest cast cedar wood,
hyssop, and scarlet into the burning. The ashes were gathered and laid
up in a clean place, without the camp. (Num. xix, 2-10.) They were to be
“kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of
separation.”—Ib. 9. By the phrase, “water of separation,” is not meant a
water to cause separation, but a remedy for it. They were, as Zechariah
expresses it, “_for_ sin and _for_ uncleanness.”—Zech. xiii, 1.

The primary case for which they were provided was that of defilement by
the dead. (Num. xix, 17, 18.) Whoever touched a dead body or bone of a
man, or a grave, was defiled thereby, as was the tent or house where the
body lay, and the furniture and utensils that were in it. For the
purifying of these, some of the ashes of the heifer were mingled, in an
earthen vessel, with running water. A clean person then took a bush of
hyssop, and, dipping it into the water, sprinkled it on the persons or
things to be cleansed. This was done on the third day, and repeated on
the seventh. “And on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash
his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at
even.”—Num. xix, 2-19. Thus, as in the case of the leper, the rites for
defilement by the dead were divided into two categories,—those
administered by the priest or a clean person acting officially, and
those performed by the subject himself. The importance of the
distinction thus made between rites administered and those
self-performed is worthy of repeated and emphatic notice. The former
symbolized Christ’s and the Spirit’s agency; the latter, the active
personal obedience and holiness of the believer’s life.

It appears from the rabbins that, at least during the later period of
Jewish history, the purifying of persons was, whenever practicable,
performed at Jerusalem, by the hand of a priest, and with water drawn
from the pool of Siloam, which flowed from the foot of the temple mount.
For the purifying of houses and other things, the ashes were sent
throughout the land, and the rites performed where the uncleanness was

                 SECTION XVI.—_Purifying from Issues._

The remaining forms of major uncleanness are those of childbirth, and of
issues. (Lev. xii, 2; xv, 13, 19, 20, 25.) The places here referred to
in the book of Leviticus contain the only directions as to purifying
which specify these cases. Were our attention confined to those
chapters, we might imagine that for these defilements there were no
purifyings required, except in one single case, a self-washing for men
healed of issues. But there are several things which suggest the
propriety of looking farther before accepting that conclusion.

1. The instructions given in these places, if taken by themselves are
incongruous. Thus, a man cured of an issue was directed to “number to
himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe
his flesh in running water, and he shall be clean.” But of a woman it is
said: “She shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall
be clean.”—Lev. xv, 13, 28. In neither of the cases of female defilement
is there mention made of any purifying rites whatever, although the
seven days of purifying are specified in each of them. And yet if any
one had but touched the bed, or the seat of a woman so defiled, he must
“wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh, and be unclean until the
even.”—Vs. 19-23. I do not here account as rites of purifying the
offerings which in each case the parties, after being cleansed, were
required to make at the sanctuary. In those offerings they claimed and
exercised the privilege of communion at his table with the God of
Israel—the highest privilege of the clean. Admission to it was,
therefore, a formal and conclusive attestation to them as already clean.

2. The manifest analogy between these defilements, and those arising
from leprosy and contact with the dead, indicates the necessity of
analogous rites of purifying for them all. The intimacy of relation
between their several meanings we have seen. It is attested by the whole
tenor of Scripture. The same period of seven days marked them all—a
period emphasized, even where the uncleanness was prolonged to
thirty-three and sixty-six days. (Lev. xii, 2, 4, 5.) They all were
included in one decree of exclusion from the camp, except for manifest
reasons—women in childbed. (Num. v, 2.) At the end of the seven days of
purifying, when they were clean, offerings were to be made at the
sanctuary by the leper, the Nazarite defiled by the dead, and all the
others, except those purged from the ordinary defilement by the dead.
And the offerings were in each case essentially the same. The leper, if
able, brought three lambs, one for a trespass-offering, the second for a
sin-offering, and the third for a burnt-offering. If he was poor, he
brought one lamb for a trespass-offering, and two young turtles or
pigeons, one for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering.
This offering of a lamb and two turtles was the same that was required
of a Nazarite, defiled by the dead, after his cleansing. (Num. vi, 10,
12.) The two turtles, or pigeons, were alone required of those defiled
by childbirth, or by issues, one for a sin-offering, and the other for a
burnt-offering. Thus, the only difference in these observances was the
trespass-offering which was, for evident reasons, required of the
Nazarite and the leper, and of them only. The Nazarite, although by an
involuntary act, had trespassed in profaning the head of his
consecration. (Num. vi, 9.) As to the leper, his disease seems usually,
if not always, to have been a special divine retribution for some
specific and aggravated offense, for which, therefore, upon his
cleansing, a trespass-offering was required. (Num. xii, 10; 2 Kings v,
27; 2 Chron. xxvi, 19.)

3. The supposition that these defilements all did not call for rites of
purifying essentially the same in each case, would involve incongruity
and contradiction in the testimonies uttered by them severally. That
they all were typical of human depravity in its different aspects can
not be questioned by any one who will candidly study the Scriptures, and
especially the Levitical and prophetic books on the subject. But, upon
the supposition in question, their several representations as to the
remedy are irreconcilable. For leprosy, and those defiled with the dead,
the rites of purifying declare that there is cleansing for man’s moral
defilement nowhere but in the blood and Spirit of Christ. But the rites
for cleansing a man defiled with an issue would proclaim our own works
and righteousness all-sufficient; whilst the silence of the law as to
any rites whatever for women, in any form of issue, would declare no
cleansing necessary, but that time and death would purify all. Thus,
three several testimonies, each contradictory to the others, are
incorporated in the ordinances, if complete in those chapters.

The key to these difficulties is found in the general character and
intent of the law concerning the water of separation. That law was the
latest that was given on the subject of purifyings, and is, therefore,
not expressly referred to in the earlier regulations which have been
under examination, although the divine Lawgiver intended the later
statute to fill up and supplement those which had gone before. Of this
there is a very plain indication in the ordinances respecting the
Nazarite. “If any man die suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head
of his consecration, then he shall shave his head in the day of his
cleansing; on the seventh day shall he shave it.”—Num. vi, 9. Here the
defiling effect of contact with the dead is not declared, but assumed;
although the law to that purpose was not yet given. It is left to the
subsequent ordinance (Num. xix) to prescribe the rites of cleansing,
which are here, as in the rules concerning issued, alluded to, but not

Those rites might seem to relate only to the case of defilement by the
dead. But among the directions as to them, there is one which is
unequivocal and comprehensive. “The man that shall be unclean and shall
not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the
congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the Lord; the
water of separation hath not been sprinkled on him. He is unclean.”—Num.
xix, 20. Here is no limitation nor exception of any kind. “The man that
is unclean;” unclean, from whatever cause. Of all such, we are here
certified that no lapse of time will bring cleansing. He must be
purified before he can be clean. Till that is accomplished, his presence
is a profanation of the sanctuary. It is, moreover, here declared that
the one only mode of cleansing for all such was the water of separation,
sprinkled according to the law. That this is a true interpretation, is
confirmed by the testimony of Philo, of Alexandria, a Jewish writer of
the highest reputation, contemporary with the apostles. Giving an
account of the Levitical law, he distinguishes between defilements of
the soul and of the body; by the latter meaning, ritual defilements. Of
them, he says, in unrestricted terms, that the water of separation was
appointed for purifying from those things by which a body is ritually

Footnote 5:

  Below p. 175.

We shall presently see one notable example of this comprehensive
interpretation of the law, in the case of the daughters of Midian. Their
need of the rites of purifying did not arise out of any of the
categories specified in the laws which we have examined. They were
unclean, because they were idolatrous Gentiles (Compare Acts xv, 9); and
were purified with the water of separation, because that was the general
provision made for the unclean. This is further illustrated in the fact
that all the spoil taken at the same time was also purified with this
same water of separation. (Num. xxxi, 19-24.)

A fact remains, which is conclusive of the present point. It is the
remarkable name by which the purifying elements are designated. “It
shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water
of (_nidda_) _separation_.” This word, _nidda_, occurs in the Old
Testament twenty-three times. Its radical idea is exclusion, banishment.
Hence, the name of the land to which Cain was driven. “Cain went out
from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod,” that is,
“the land of banishment.”—Gen. iv, 16. Under this general idea of
exclusion, the particular form, _nidda_, is appropriated to the
separating or putting away of a wife from her husband, and to the
uncleannesses which gave occasion to such separation. And inasmuch as
God is the husband of his church, the same word is used to designate
those apostasies and sins which separate her from his favor and
communion. (Lam. i, 17; Ezek. xxxvi, 17, etc.) In the two chapters in
Leviticus, which present the law respecting defilement by childbirth and
by issues (Lev. xii and xv), the word occurs no less than eleven times.
Those who were thus defiled were, _nidda_, “put apart,” “separated.” Six
times, in the directions as to the ashes of the red heifer, the water is
called “a water of _nidda_.”—Num. xix, 9, 13, 20, 21, 21; xxxi, 23.
Once, again, the word is used in the same way by the prophet Zechariah.
(Zech. xiii, 1.) “A fountain for sin and for _nidda_.” Elsewhere it
always has distinct reference, literal or figurative, to the causes of
separation here indicated; whilst it is worthy of special mention, that
it never designates defilement by the dead.

The conclusion implied in these facts becomes a demonstration when we
observe that in the figurative language of the prophets, the defilement
of _nidda_ is expressly referred to as requiring the sprinkled water of
purifying. In Ezekiel (xvi, 1-14) God’s gracious dealings with Israel at
the beginning are described under the figure of the marriage tie. “I
sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, and thou
becamest mine. Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed
away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.”—vs. 8, 9. “I
thoroughly washed away.” The verb in the original is _shātaph_, which
will be critically examined in another place. It signifies such action
as of a dashing rain. In another place (Ezek. xxxvi, 17-26), the Lord,
under the same figure, describes the subsequent transgressions of
Israel: “Their way was before me as _nidda_.”—v. 17. Because of this,
God declares that he scattered them among the nations. But, says the
Lord, “I will take you from among the heathen and gather you out of all
countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle
clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness
and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give
you, and a new spirit will I put within you.”—vs. 24-26.

So, says the Spirit by Zechariah: “In that day there shall be a fountain
(a flowing spring) opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants
of Jerusalem, for sin and for _nidda_.”—Zech. xiii, 1. _Nidda_, then,
signified a defilement for which that fountain was necessary; and to
imagine the ritual uncleanness of _nidda_ to have been healed without
ritual water of purifying, would be to suppose the ordinance to
contradict the doctrine of the prophets.

From these passages it appears: (1.) That the defilement of _nidda_ was
a figure representing the sins and apostasies of Israel, viewed as God’s
covenant people, his married wife. (2.) That the sprinkling of water is
the ordinance divinely chosen to represent the mode of the Spirit’s
agency in cleansing from these offenses. (3.) That this defilement and
the water of _nidda_ were so intimately associated with each other in
the usage of Israel as to serve the prophets for a familiar illustration
of the gracious purposes of God, indicated in the texts. If the figure
of speech used by the prophet is the proper one for illustrating his
doctrine in words, the water of _nidda_ sprinkled on the unclean was the
appropriate form by which to express it in ritual action. When,
therefore, in the light of these facts, we read the law that the ashes
of the heifer “shall be kept for the congregation of the children of
Israel for a water of _nidda_,” the conclusion is irresistible, that
those defiled with _nidda_ were to be purified with that water. And when
to this we add the further declaration concerning “the man that is
unclean,” and is not sprinkled with it, and see it illustrated by the
case of the Midianite children, the further conclusion is equally
evident that, except the peculiar case of the leper, the water of
separation was designed for all classes of seven days’ defilement. To
all others who were in a state of ritual separation from the communion
of Israel, it was essential in order to being restored.

               SECTION XVII.—_The Baptism of Proselytes._

Maimonides was a learned Spanish Jew of the twelfth century. He wrote
large commentaries upon the institutions and laws of Israel. Concerning
the reception of proselytes, he is quoted as saying: “Circumcision,
baptism, and a free-will offering, were required of any Gentile who
desired to enter into the covenant, to take refuge under the wings of
the divine majesty, and assume the yoke of the law; but if it was a
woman, baptism and an offering were required, as we read, ‘One law and
one manner shall be for you and for the stranger that sojourneth with
you.’—Num. xv, 16. But what was the law ‘for you’? The covenant was
confirmed by circumcision and baptism and free-will offerings. So was it
confirmed with the stranger, with these three. But now, that no
oblations are made [the temple being destroyed], circumcision and
baptism are required. But after the temple shall have been restored,
then also it will be necessary that an offering be made. A stranger who
is circumcised and not baptized, or baptized and not circumcised, is not
called a proselyte till both are performed.”[6] Various similar
statements are frequently quoted from the same writer, and from the
Talmud. Respecting them the following points are to be noticed:

Footnote 6:

  Maimonides, Issure Biah, Perek 13, in Lightfoot, Harmonia Evang. in
  Joan i, 25.

1. The Hebrew word which is used by Maimonides and the Talmudic writers,
and is here translated, to baptize, is _tābal_, a word which in the
books of Moses is never used to designate rites of purifying of any

2. The _tābalings_, or Talmudic baptisms, were self-performed, and not
the act of an official administrator. The reception of the person must
be sanctioned by the consistory or eldership of a synagogue, and
attested by the presence of three witnesses. But it was performed by the
person’s own act. Being disrobed, and standing in the water, he was
instructed by a scribe in certain precepts of the law. Having heard
these, he plunged himself under the water; and as he came up again,
“Behold he is an Israelite in all things.” If it was a woman, she was
attended by women, while the scribes stood apart and read the precepts:
“And as she plungeth herself, they turn away their faces, and go out,
when she comes out of the water.”[7] It is perfectly evident that the
rite thus described is wholly foreign to any thing to be found in the
Mosaic law, and that it belonged to the category of self-washings, and
not to that of the sacrament, in which an official administrator was
essential to the validity of the rite.

Footnote 7:

  Maimonides, as above, in Lightfoot, on John iii, 23.

3. This baptism is an invention of the scribes, of post Biblical origin.
Our sources of information are (1) the Scriptures and Apocrypha; (2) the
writings of Philo and Josephus, authors, the former of whom was
contemporary with Christ, and the latter with the destruction of
Jerusalem, both of whom wrote largely of the institutions and history of
the Jews; (3) the Targums of Onkelos and of Jonathan; (4) the Mishna;
(5) the Gemaras.

The Targums are Aramaic versions of the Old Testament. The Jews, at the
return from the Babylonish captivity, had lost the knowledge of the
Hebrew language. It was, therefore, necessary that the public reading of
the Scriptures should be accompanied with a translation into the Aramaic
dialect, which they now used. (Neh. viii, 2-8.) The translations thus
given were, no doubt, at first extemporaneous and somewhat variable. But
they gradually assumed fixed forms, more or less accurate, as they
received the impress of different schools of interpreters. At first
transmitted orally, they were at length committed to writing, the Targum
of Onkelos soon after the end of the second century, and that of
Jonathan a century later. The former, as a rule, keeps closely to the
text. The Targum of Jonathan indulges more in paraphrase. The Mishna is
the text of the Oral law, the traditions of the scribes. It was reduced
to writing by Rabbi Judah Hakkadosh, about the end of the first century,
and is believed to be a faithful exhibit of the traditions of the Jews,
as they stood at that time. The two Gemaras, with the Mishna, constitute
the Talmud. They are collections of interpretations and commentaries on
the Mishna, or oral law, by the most eminent scribes. The Jerusalem or
Palestinian Gemara was compiled in the third and fourth centuries, and
that of Babylonia one or two centuries later. The former represents the
great rabbinic seminary at Tiberias, in Galilee; the latter that of
Sora, on the Euphrates.[8]

Footnote 8:

  According to Etheridge, the final revision of the Babylonian Gemara
  was completed by Rabbi Jose, president of the rabbinic seminary at
  Pumbaditha, on the Euphrates, in the year 499 or 500.—_Jerusalem_ and
  _Tiberias_, pp. 174-176.

From these sources of information, the indications are conclusive that
Talmudic baptism came into use after the destruction of Jerusalem. We
have seen already part of the evidence, which will be more fully
developed in the following pages, that no such rite was ordained in the
law, observed by Israel, or recognized in the Scriptures. The Apocrypha
are equally silent on the subject. The writings of Philo and Josephus
ignore such a rite; as do the Targums and Mishna. In the latter, the
word, _tābal_, which is commonly translated, to dip, is used constantly
to designate the self-washings of the law, which, as will presently
appear, can not have been immersions. In fact, there is sufficient
evidence that this word, in addition to its modal sense, was also used
to express a washing or cleansing, irrespective of the manner. That it
was so employed to describe the cleansing of Naaman, will hereafter
appear. It is not until we come to the Gemara of Babylonia, dating at
the close of the fifth century, long after the destruction of Jerusalem
and cessation of the temple service, that we meet with any distinct
account of proselyte immersion. After that it is found everywhere.

4. Whilst it is thus evident that the baptisms of the Talmud are wholly
without divine warrant, they are nevertheless valuable as constituting
an authentic rabbinic tradition that a purifying with water was
requisite in the reception of proselytes. A key to the truth on this
subject presents itself in a statement found in the Mishna. “As to a
proselyte who becomes a proselyte on the eve of the passover” (that is
the evening before the day of the passover), “the school of Shammai say,
Let him receive the ritual bath” (_tābal_), “and let him eat the
passover in the evening; but the disciples of Hillel say, He that
separates himself from his uncircumcision is like one who separates
himself from a sepulcher.”[9] It thus appears that between the two
schools of Jewish scribes there was a division on this subject. The one
party taught that the uncleanness of the Gentiles was of such a nature
as to require seven days of purifying with the water of _nidda_,
according to the law for one defiled by the dead. The others held them
subject to that minor uncleanness which ceased with the close of the
day, upon the performance of the prescribed self-washing. We shall
presently see that the former were correct, according to the explicit
testimony of the Scriptures. But here we have a clue to the later
history of Jewish practice on the subject. Upon the destruction of
Jerusalem and the termination of the sacrificial services there, the
rites for purifying with the water of _nidda_ were of necessity
pretermitted, as the ashes of the heifer were no longer obtainable. The
rabbins were, therefore, induced to substitute the self-washing which
the looser school of scribes had already espoused. At what precise time
the self-washings of the law became the self-immersions of the Gemaras
does not appear. But at the beginning of the Christian era, causes had
been already for centuries at work which were abundantly sufficient to
account for the change. From the times of the captivities, the vast
multitude of Hebrews who never returned, dwelling in Babylonia and the
farther east, had been exposed to the influences arising from the
religions of the lands of their dispersion, as embodied in the Zend
Avesta and the Shasters, the teachings of Zoroaster and of the Brahmins,
and from the related manners and customs and religious rites which have
their native seats upon the banks of the Indus and the Ganges. The
profoundness of the operation of these influences is seen in the
pantheism of the Kabala, traceable as it is to the kindred doctrines of
the Zend Avesta and the Vedas.[10] How conspicuous the place held by
self-immersion in the religious customs of the people of the East, from
the earliest ages, every one knows. The Hebrews dwelling among them were
not restricted by the law to any defined mode of self-washing in
fulfilling its requirements. It was, therefore, natural and inevitable
for them to adopt the mode which was daily practiced before their eyes.
The relations between the Jews of “the Dispersion,” and those of
Palestine, were of the most intimate kind, sustained through attendance
upon the annual feasts at Jerusalem (Acts ii, 9), and afterwards by
continual correspondence and travel, and by the intercourse of the
school at Tiberias with those of Sora and Pumbaditha. If to these facts
be added the tendency by which the rabbins would seek to compensate for
the absence of the water of _nidda_, by expanding and magnifying the
self-washings which were still practicable, there remains no ground of
surprise or perplexity in finding self-immersion installed among the
imperative observances set forth in the Gemaras. Of the disposition to
supply the place of the now impracticable rites by the enlargement of
others, the Talmud affords more than one example.

Footnote 9:

  Tract Pesachim, cap. viii, § 8.

Footnote 10:

  This is clearly shown by Etheridge, in “Jerusalem and Tiberias.” Pp.
  339 et seq. The same thing is largely illustrated in Blavatsky’s “Isis

I have said that the Scriptural mode of purifying for proselytes was by
sprinkling with the water of _nidda_. Of its use there is a conspicuous
example. On account of their licentious wiles against Israel, Midian was
doomed to destruction. In the campaign which followed, none were spared,
except the female children. These were reserved for bond servants. (Num.
xxxi, 18; and compare Lev. xxv, 44-46; and Deut. xxi, 10-14.) But, from
the days of Abraham, all bond servants had been by divine authority and
command endowed with an equal right and share with their masters in
God’s favor and covenant. And as Israel itself had been purified from
the defilements and idolatries of Egypt, and ordained as the peculiar
people of God by the baptism of blood and water at Sinai, so these
children of licentious Midian, spared from the destruction incurred by
their parents, and about to be joined with Israel as God’s people, must
be cleansed and admitted in the same manner.

During the expedition, many of the army had become defiled by contact
with the slain, and were therefore to be cleansed with the water of
separation, according to the law. Moses, therefore, issued orders to the
men of the army: “Do ye abide without the camp seven days; whosoever
hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, _purify_
both yourselves and your _captives_ on the third day, and on the seventh
day.” In these directions as to the third and seventh days, we recognize
the exact requirements of the law, with respect to the water of
separation for the purification of sin. But the narrative is still more
specific. “Eleazer the priest said unto the men of war which went to the
battle, This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord commanded Moses.
Only the gold and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the
lead, every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through
the fire, and it shall be clean. Nevertheless, it shall be purified with
_the water of separation_, and all that abideth not the fire ye shall
make go through the water. And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh
day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye shall come into the
camp.”—Num. xxxi, 19-24. “The water of separation,” here, is, in the
original, “the water of _nidda_,”—the water, that is, in which were
mingled the ashes of the red heifer. With this, therefore, it was that
these daughters of Midian were baptized and cleansed. There were
thirty-two thousand of these captives, thus rescued from the destruction
incurred by the licentiousness and crimes of their own people, purged
from their uncleanness, engrafted into the family of Abraham, and
endowed with the blessings of the covenant. All were “women children”
(Num. xxxi, 18); and, undoubtedly, many were mere babes; the first
recorded example of distinctive infant baptism.

                SECTION XVIII.—_The Baptism of Infants._

We have seen that in the Abrahamic covenant,—the betrothal of the
church,—the infant sons were expressly included on equal terms with
their fathers; and that in the Sinai espousal the infants of both sexes
were joined with their parents in the bonds of the covenant, and in the
reception of its baptismal seal. We have seen the young daughters of
Midian purified and admitted to the covenant and church of Israel by the
same sacrament. By these unquestionable facts, the principle of infant
membership in the church, and the mode of its certification by baptism,
are both alike clearly established. The Scriptures contain conclusive
evidence that the children of after generations of Israel were received
to the covenant and the church in like manner, by baptism with the water
of separation.

1. The law of God was explicit that “one ordinance shall be both for you
of the congregation and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you,
an ordinance forever in your generations; as ye are so shall the
stranger be before the Lord. One law and one manner shall be for you and
for the stranger that sojourneth with you.”—Num. xv, 14-16. From this
law, it results as a necessary conclusion, that inasmuch as the
Midianite children were baptized, the same must have been the rule for
the infants of Israel.

2. Circumcision was the seal of the Abrahamic covenant, but not of that
of Sinai. So long as the church was confined to the family of Israel
after the flesh, this rite, as being the proof and seal of membership in
that family was essential as a condition precedent to the enjoyment of
the privileges of the church; but did not, of itself, seal or convey a
right to them. Otherwise, every circumcised person would have been
entitled to those privileges; whereas they were reserved exclusively for
the clean.

3. While such was the case, it was a fundamental article of the faith
from the beginning, that men are all natively unclean. Job, Eliphaz, and
Bildad, each severally states it as an unquestionable proposition that
man born of woman must be so. (Job xiv, 4; xv, 14; xxv, 4.) David cries:
“Behold I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive
me.... Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be
whiter than snow.”—Psalm li, 5-7. He not only recognizes the radical
nature of his moral corruption as born in him, but indicates the remedy
under the very figure of sprinkling with the water of _nidda_, to which
the hyssop refers. The Lord Jesus, speaking at a time when the Old
Testament ordinances and system were still in full force, testifies,
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the
Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born
again.”—John iii, 6, 7.

4. To signalize this native corruption of man and the remedy, the
ordinances concerning the defilement of _nidda_ and its cleansing were
appointed. In them the new born infant was regarded as the product of
overflowing corruption, and as a fountain of defilement to the mother,
who thus became unclean, until purified with the water of separation.

5. The child was identified with the mother in this uncleanness (1) as
being its cause in her; (2) as being subject to her touch, which was
defiling to the clean; and (3) as being bone of her bone and flesh of
her flesh, born of her body.

6. In accordance with the doctrine of man’s native defilement, above
illustrated, it was characteristic of the law that it recognized none as
clean, unless purged by water of sprinkling. The infants at Sinai were
so purified and admitted to the covenant, as well as their parents. So
it was with the daughters of Midian; and no other principle was known to
the law,—no other practice tolerated by it. “The man” (the person) “that
shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut
off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary
of the Lord: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him;
he is unclean.”—Num. xix, 20.

7. It is a very remarkable fact, that while we have in the Scriptures
but one single example specifically mentioned of the purifying of an
infant from this ritual defilement of birth, that example occurs in the
person of Him respecting whom the angel said to Mary, “That holy thing
which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”—Luke i, 35.
In the same gospel in which is this record, we read, respecting Mary, in
the common version, that “when the days of _her_ purification, according
to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they brought Jesus to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord.”—Ib. ii, 22. But it is agreed by critical
editors that this is a corrupted reading, which is wholly without
authority from any respectable manuscript. Instead of “the days
(_autēs_) _of her_ purification,” it should read (_autōn_), “the days
_of their_ purification;” that is, of both mother and child. Beside all
the other authorities, the three oldest manuscripts, Sinaiticus,
Vaticanus, and Alexandrinus, unite in this reading. How the mothers were
purified, we have seen; and, from these facts, we know the children to
have shared with them in the baptism.

               SECTION XIX.—_The Baptism of the Levites._

The case of the Levites, in their cleansing and consecration, was
peculiar. They had already enjoyed with the rest of the congregation the
purifying rites and sprinkled seal of the Sinai covenant; and were thus,
in the ordinary sense of the Mosaic ritual, clean, and competent to the
enjoyment of the ordinances and privileges of Israel. But when they were
set apart to a special nearness to God, in the service of the sanctuary,
they were required to undergo additional ceremonies of purifying. Moses
was instructed to “take the Levites from among the children of Israel
and cleanse them. And thus shalt thou do unto them to cleanse them.
Sprinkle water of purifying upon them; and let them shave all their
flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.”
They were then to bring two bullocks; “and the Levites shall lay their
hands upon the heads of the bullocks, and thou shalt offer the one for a
sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering, unto the Lord, to make
an atonement for the Levites. And thou shalt set the Levites before
Aaron and before his sons, and offer them for an offering unto the Lord.
Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel;
and the Levites shall be mine.”—Num. viii, 6-14.

               SECTION XX.—_These all were one Baptism._

The baptism of the Levites was official and peculiar. Its analogies to
the other examples will readily occur to the reader, as we proceed. As
to them, there is a common identity in all essential points, in form,
meaning, and office. The design of the first administration at Sinai,
and of all the attendant circumstances, was to impress Israel with a
profound and abiding sense of the evil of sin, and of their own utter
vileness and ruin as sinners in the presence of a God of infinite power,
majesty, and holiness; and to illustrate to them the manner in which
grace and salvation are given. In accepting that baptism, Israel
professed to submit themselves to his sovereignty and accept him in the
offices of his grace, as symbolized in the baptismal rites. On God’s
behalf, the transaction was an acceptance and acknowledgment of them as
his covenant people. The laws of defilement and the rites of purifying
were continual reminders and re-enactings of the Sinai transaction, and
for the same essential purpose,—the restoring to the fellowship of the
covenant of those who came under its forfeiture. In each several case,
sacrificial elements—blood or ashes—were applied by sprinkling. In each,
those elements were mingled with running water, and the instrument for
sprinkling was a bush of hyssop, and in each, scarlet and cedar were

The meaning of the scarlet, cedar, and hyssop is unexplained in the
Scriptures. Expositors have wandered in conjectures, leading to no
satisfactory conclusions. One result of their use is manifest. To us,
devoid of meaning, they more distinctly mark the essential identity of
the rites, in which they occupy the same place, and perform the same
office. This may have been one design of their use.

The essential identity of these rites is altogether consistent with the
minute variations in their forms. These had respect to the diversity of
circumstances under which they were administered. The inferior dignity
of a single person, a leper, as compared with the whole people, explains
the acceptance of lambs or birds for his offerings, while bulls and
goats were sacrificed for the nation. In the case of ordinary
uncleannesses, the circumstances rendered special provision necessary.
Sacrifice was lawful only at the sanctuary, which was the figure of the
one holy place and altar where Christ ministers in heaven. But death and
other causes of uncleanness were occurring everywhere. The ashes of the
red heifer were, therefore, provided. They presented sacrificial
elements in a form incorruptible and convenient for transportation. They
were a most fitting representation of the “incorruptible blood of
Christ.” And, as the proper place of the priests was at the sanctuary,
and their presence could not be expected on every occasion of
uncleanness elsewhere, it was appointed that any clean person might
perform the sprinkling. This was, in fact, a mere ministerial sequel to
the sacrificial rites, performed by the priest, at the burning of the
red heifer. The probability of the circumstances, and intimations from
the rabbins, lead to the conclusion that, as the priests multiplied and
were released from the necessity of constant attendance at the
sanctuary, they were commonly called to sprinkle the water of purifying.
In fact, the Talmud indicates that in the later times the
administration, when practicable, took place at Jerusalem, by the hands
of the priests, with water from the pool of Siloam, which, flowing from
beneath the temple, was recognized as a type of the Holy Spirit.[11]

Footnote 11:

  Compare Ezek. xlvii, 2; John ix, 7. “Go wash in the pool of Siloam,
  which is by interpretation, Sent.”

The minute variations traceable in these rites only make it the more
clear that essentially, in form, meaning, and office, they were one

         SECTION XXI.—_This Symbol was derived from the Rain._

We have seen, in the prophecy of Isaiah, the source whence the figure of
sprinkling or pouring is derived. “I will pour water upon him that is
thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon thy
seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring; and they shall spring up as
among the grass, as willows by the water courses.”—Isa. xliv, 3, 4. It
is the descent of the rain from heaven, penetrating the earth, and
converting its deadness into life, abundance, and beauty.

Herein the rites in question stand in beautiful contrast with the
self-washings of the law. The latter accomplished a surface cleansing,
by a process which neither could, nor was designed to penetrate the
substance, or to affect its essential state or nature. They indicated to
God’s people the duty of conforming the external life to the grace
wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit. But the rite of sprinkling
represented the rain of God, sent down from heaven, penetrating the
soil, pervading and saturating it, converting its hard, dead, and
sterile clods into softness, life, and fertility, and causing the plants
and fruits of the earth to spring forth, saturated with the same
moisture, and thus possessed and pervaded with the same spirit of life.
Thus was typified the work of the Spirit, entering, pervading, and
softening the stony heart, converting all its powers and faculties as
instruments of holiness to God, and causing the plants of righteousness
to spring up and grow in the life and conduct.

The two words, _sprinkle_, and _pour_, are used throughout the
Scriptures with reference to the same figure of rain, the only apparent
difference being that the word, pour, expresses the idea of abundance.
No phenomenon of nature is of greater manifest importance, or more
pervasive and vital in its influences than the rain of heaven, and none
more suitable to illustrate the method of grace. The land from which the
rains are withheld is without fruit, or beauty, or attraction. It is
given over to barrenness, death, and cursing; and, in the language of
the Scriptures, is accounted unclean, as being shut out from the favor
of God, whose favor is life. Hence, the word of God, to the prophet,
concerning Israel: “Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is
not _cleansed_, nor _rained upon_, in the day of indignation.”—Ezek.
xxii, 24. Similar is the significance of our Savior’s words: “When the
unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places”
(_anhudrōn topōn_, “waterless places”), places congenial to him because
unblessed with the Spirit’s presence. (Matt. xii, 43; Luke xi, 24.)

Illustrations from the Scriptures might be multiplied, showing this
origin of the form of baptism. Isaiah says of the blessings to be
bestowed on Israel in the latter days, that the times of desolation
shall continue “until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the
wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a
forest.”—Isa. xxxii, 15. In another place he cries, “Drop down, ye
heavens from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the
earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness
spring up together; I the Lord have created it.”—Isa. xlv, 8. Hosea says
of him: “His going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come
unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the
earth.”—Hosea vi, 3. And again, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness,
reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the
Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”—Ib. x, 12.

The whole conception thus unfolded is assailed and repudiated by writers
who assume that physical phenomena can not be used to set forth
spiritual realities. Dr. Carson insists that “Baptism can not be either
pouring or dipping, for the sake of representing the manner of the
conveyance of the Holy Spirit, for there is no such likeness. Pouring of
the Spirit is a phrase which is itself a figure, and not a reality to be
represented by a figure.”[12] The learned doctor has confounded himself
with his own subtlety. On the day of Pentecost, there was a blessed
“reality” of some kind experienced by the apostles and converts. There
is no absurdity, such as he imagines, in the supposition that the
pouring or sprinkling of water may be an appropriate physical
representation and symbol of that spiritual reality, and that words
descriptive of that symbol may be appropriate for the verbal designation
of the thing signified. If the assertion of Dr. Carson is to be
accepted, it is fatal not to baptism only but to the other sacrament
also. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye
have no life in you.”—John vi, 53. Shall we be told that this language
of our Savior “is itself a figure, and not a reality to be represented
by a figure.” Then, we may not eat the bread and drink the wine, to
represent this very thing, the feeding of the soul, by faith, on Christ.
To do so is absurd if Dr. Carson’s position is sound. It is true that a
figure of speech _of_ a figure of speech, would be nonsense. But it is
equally true that it is the beauty of a metaphor,—the figure in
question,—to be susceptible of physical representation. Nor is there any
absurdity in the supposition that a spiritual act may be represented by
two co-ordinate figures,—the one a figure of physical action, and the
other a figure of speech, descriptive of that action.

Footnote 12:

  Carson on Baptism, p. 167.

Besides, the assertion that “baptism can not be either by pouring or
dipping for the sake of representing the manner of the conveyance of the
Holy Spirit; for there is no such likeness,” is not merely an assumption
of knowledge concerning the invisible things of God which no mortal can
possess. But, if the language is to be understood in any sense pertinent
to the purpose of Dr. Carson, it is a plain contradiction of the
testimony of God himself on the subject. True, there is no _physical_
outpouring predicable of God the Spirit. It is as true of the Doctor’s
own word;—there is no physical “conveyance of the Holy Spirit.” Does it,
therefore, follow that there is _no_ conveyance, _no_ outpouring? He
might with as good reason quibble as to the exaltation of Christ,
because height and depth are mere relative terms, which change their
direction, at every moment of the earth’s motion on its axis and its
orbit. His objection equally applies to the entire ritual of the
Scriptures, robs it of all spiritual meaning and renders the whole
utterly inane and worthless. And yet, if Paul’s testimony be true, the
tabernacle and all the vessels of ministry were “patterns of things in
the heavens.”—Heb. ix, 23. Are those heavenly things not spiritual?
Jesus himself was “the Lamb of God,” the forerunner, John, being
witness. Is there any incongruity between this language, and the fact
that the sacrificial lambs of the ritual law meant the same thing? If
Dr. Carson is right, all this is absurd. Or, is there no spiritual truth
involved in these figures? Either the physical analogies to which the
Word of God constantly appeals, in figures of speech and similitudes,
and upon which the whole ritual system is built, do so correspond with
the spiritual realities as to assist us to true conceptions of them,
however inadequate,—either the Scriptural figures, forms, and rites were
selected because best adapted to convey and illustrate the spiritual
ideas designed, or we are mocked by a semblance of revelation which
reveals nothing. The assertion cuts us off from all knowledge of the
spiritual world. Nay, it leaves us ignorant of the very existence of
angel or spirit. For, what is spirit, but the _spiritus_ or breath of
man, the air or wind? How, then, upon the theory in question, can the
word acquire or convey any idea of immaterial things? Until the
portentous position of Dr. Carson shall have been established by
something more conclusive than mere assertion, the contrary will stand
as the truth of God. Moreover, the assertion, even if admitted, does not
affect in the slightest degree, the argument against which it is
directed. The fact still remains, conspicuous and unanswerable,—that,
whatever be the reason, sprinkling and pouring are, in the Scriptures,
constantly used, both in ritual forms, and in figures of speech, to
signify the bestowal of the Holy Spirit, by the Mediator, from his
throne on high.

        SECTION XXII.—_This Ordinance meant, Life to the Dead._

The manner of these rites, and the style of the Scriptures in connection
with them are based upon the fundamental fact of man’s spiritual
condition as by nature dead, by reason of the apostasy and the
curse,—“dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. ii, 1, 5); “being alienated
from the life of God” (Ib. iv, 18), so that they are incapable of
exercising any of the activities of true spiritual life unto God, and
are, therefore, outcast as were the leper and the unclean, from the camp
and society of the clean; being “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,
and strangers from the covenants of promise.”—Ib. ii, 12. In short, the
death which by sin, through one man, entered the world was the death of
the soul. With reference to it, Jesus says,—“I am the resurrection and
the life: he that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he
live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”—John
xi, 25, 26. But inasmuch as a dead soul can not sustain life in the
body, the latter too died with the soul, in the day of its death. For a
little time, through the mercy of God, in order to salvation (2 Peter
iii, 15), an expiring struggle is maintained; but it is with bodies ever
stooping to the grave and irresistibly drawn downward into its yawning
gulf. It is in view of these facts that Paul describes the old man, the
carnal or inherited nature, as “the body of this death,” or “this dead
body;” and its works as “dead works” (Heb. vi, 1; ix, 14) which he
represents to be “all manner of concupiscence,” or evil desires, and
consequent evil deeds. (Rom. vii, 8-24.) Hence, the seven days’
uncleanness, signifying the deadness of the soul, and the offensiveness
of its works. Coincident in meaning was the defilement of things by the
contagion of death. For man’s sake, the ground itself is cursed (Gen.
iii, 17), and every product of the earth and every possession of man
upon it is involved in the curse, and until delivered from it, is
unsanctified to man’s use. Hence, the house, the bed, the furniture and
utensils, were defiled by the presence of the dead and unfitted for the
use of the clean, the living.

Such were the conceptions with reference to which the rites of Levitical
baptism were ordained. They were designed to answer the question: How
can these dead be made alive, this defilement be cleansed, and the curse
lifted from man and the earth? They announced life to the dead, and the
healing of their corruption. They proclaimed Christ’s atonement made to
redeem us from the curse, and his Spirit given to implant in us new life
and purge us from dead works to serve the living God. As the descending
rain not only penetrates the soil and instils life into the clods and
hardness, but washes and purges the surface, and gives freshness and
beauty to the scenes of nature, cleansing the face of the impenetrable
and barren rock,—so the Spirit sent down not only penetrates the heart
and creates new life there, but pervades the outward life and conduct
and purifies the whole. Thus, in the one figure of the sprinkling or
pouring of rain, are identified the two ideas of new life and cleansing;
and hence, thus taught, the cry of the psalmist, in which he identifies
both with the sprinkled baptism. “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.... Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be
clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.... Create in me a clean
heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”—Ps. li, 2-10. The
same relation is recognized by Paul, who ascribes our salvation to “the
_washing_ of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he
_shed_ on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior.”—Tit. iii, 5,

In the promise of life signified in this baptism, two things were
included under the one essential conception. These were, renewing to the
soul, and resurrection to the body. These are as inseparably related to
each other as are the death of the soul and of the body; and that,
because of the essential relation between those two parts, as identified
in the one person. Christ gave himself, body and soul, for us, to
satisfy justice; and bought us unto himself in our whole being, body and
soul. If the Spirit of life be given us, it is given both to renew our
dead souls and to make our bodies his temples. And, says Paul, “If the
Spirit of him that raised up Christ from the dead dwell in you, he that
raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by
his spirit that dwelleth in you.”—Rom. viii, 11.

That this doctrine of the new life was the meaning of the baptismal
rite, appears from many Scriptures. We have just seen the significant
language of the psalmist. By Ezekiel, the Lord says to Israel: “Then
will I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be clean; from all
your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart
also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will
take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart
of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you.”—Ezek. xxxvi, 25-27.

This view of the work of the Holy Spirit is exhibited very clearly in
Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones, and the promises therewith
addressed to Israel respecting the latter days. “Behold, O my people, I
will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and
bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord,
when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of
your graves, and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live.”—Ezek.
xxxvii, 12-15.

In the same sense Paul interprets the Levitical baptisms. Having
designated the ordinances of which they formed a part as figures of the
heavenly things, he says: “If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the
ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying
of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ ... purge your
conscience from dead works, to serve the living God.”—Heb. ix, 13, 14.
Here he contrasts the dead works of the unregenerate with the living
works of those who, as they are alive unto God, serve in newness of life
him who, being the living God, “is not the God of the dead, but of the
living.”—Matt. xxii, 32. Of this he recognizes the sprinklings to be a

The doctrine thus involved in the water of purifying sheds a beautiful
light on one of the most interesting facts in the life of our Savior.
Upon the death of Lazarus, Jesus so timed his coming as to reach Bethany
on the fourth day. On the previous day, or, more probably, on that very
same day, the sisters and household of Lazarus had been baptized with
the water of purification. And now, as He stands by the sepulcher, the
resurrection, in its highest sense, as including both soul and body, and
rendering both superior to death, is the theme of his discourse. “Thy
brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall
rise again, in the resurrection, at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I
am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he
were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me
shall never die.”—John xi, 23-26.

        SECTION XXIII.—_The Gospel in the Water of Separation._

Much of the spiritual significance of these rites has already appeared.
But in order to an adequate appreciation, they should be viewed in

1. The red heifer was a sin-offering. This is denied by some, who would
draw a fine distinction. Says Bishop Patrick: “Though this was not a
sacrifice, it had something of that nature in it, and may be called a
_piaculum_, an expiatory thing, though nothing was called _korban_, a
sacrifice, but what was offered at the altar.” But, (1.) _korban_ does
not mean a sacrifice, but a gift, a dedicated thing; and is used, not
only to designate sacrifices and offerings at the altar, but even the
wagons and oxen which the princes gave for transporting the tabernacle
and its furniture. (Num. vii, 3.) (2.) The blood of the heifer was
sprinkled by the priest toward the door of the sanctuary. It was thus
brought into a relation to the altar and the mercy-seat, typically as
manifest and close as though it had been actually sprinkled on the
altar. (3.) The law itself expressly declares it to be a sin-offering.
“It is a purification for sin,”—Num. xix, 9. The original, here, is the
same that is in other places literally translated, “It is a
sin-offering.”—Lev. iv, 24; v, 9, 11, 12. In this, its character as a
sin-offering, lay the meaning of the rite as a purification. It
represented atonement for sin, at the price of blood,—the blood of
Christ. Hence its use in purifying those uncleannesses which typified
moral corruption in its forms of intensest malignity and deadliness.
Hence the appeal to this meaning of the rite which the psalmist makes,
in his penitence and sorrow for his crimes. “Behold, I was shapen in
iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.... Purge me with hyssop,
and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.... Hide
thy face from my sins and blot out all mine iniquities.”—Ps. li, 5, 7,
9. The Targum thus paraphrases this place: “Thou wilt sprinkle me, as
the priest which sprinkleth the unclean with the purifying waters, with
hyssop, with the ashes of an heifer, and I shall be clean.” The same
conception is apparent in God’s language of grace to Israel, and to the
nations. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be
clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse
you.” And, “So shall he sprinkle many nations.” In a word, in every
instance in which this rite is appointed, or figuratively alluded to, it
will be found to indicate a typical impeachment of sin; and the design
and effect of its use was the removal of that impeachment, the cleansing
of the subject. It was _baptism unto the remission of sins_.

2. The heifer was offered without the camp. In the detailed ritual of
the tabernacle and temple service, the holy of holies, the holy place,
and the surrounding court, typified, respectively, God’s heavenly
presence chamber, the church, and the world. In a wider scheme, the
whole sanctuary was representative of God’s house, whilst the camp and
afterward the city of Jerusalem were the figure of the church, and the
outside region stood for the world at large. Hence, the unclean were
excluded from the camp and the city. (Compare Rev. xxi, 27; xxii, 14,
15.) And hence, the red heifer was offered without the camp, to signify
the reproach of Christ, who suffered without the gate, excommunicate and
accursed. (Heb. xiii, 11-13.) The blood of the heifer, sprinkled from
without toward the sanctuary, intimated in a very affecting manner, the
distance to which Christ came from yonder sanctuary in the heavens, to
shed his blood, and therewith to sprinkle the throne of justice on high.

3. Blood only was sprinkled toward the sanctuary, whilst it was water
mingled with the blood or ashes, that was sprinkled on the unclean. For,
his own unmingled blood, offered by Christ himself before the throne on
high, and that alone, makes satisfaction to justice for sin. But the
Holy Spirit is the sole channel and agent through whom Christ bestows on
his people, or they can in any wise acquire, the virtue of that blood in
justifying grace and holiness. Water, therefore, was the vehicle for
communicating to Israel the blood of sprinkling.

4. The blood was sprinkled seven times, to show the complete and
exhaustive efficacy of the sufferings of Christ to satisfy justice,
sanctify the soul, and make an end of sin forever.

5. He that touched the dead was defiled seven days. This tactual
defilement typified not only the guilt and depravity which _we_ derive
from Adam, but, especially, the contagion of man’s guilt which came on
the Lord Jesus, by becoming the Son of man, born in our nature. Though
he knew no sin, yet was he laden with our curse. He signified this very
thing, when in the days of his flesh, he defiled himself by touching the
lepers and the dead, that he might restore them to soundness and life,
at the price of his own life;—“That it might be fulfilled which was
spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and
bare our sicknesses.”—Matt. viii, 17. The same thing was set forth by
the fact that the priest that sprinkled the heifer’s blood, each
assistant at the burning and gathering of the ashes, and he that
sprinkled the water of separation, all became thereby unclean until the
even. They, together, represented the Lord Jesus, in the exercise of his
mediatorial office, which involved his taking his people’s curse upon
him, to free them. The seven days of this defilement have been already
explained, as typical of our native condition of depravity and guilt,
which, if not purged, involves continuance and condemnation in the
seventh, the last day, when the sentence will be uttered, “He that is
filthy let him be filthy still.”—Rev. xxii, 11.

6. The ashes of the heifer were as familiar to the religious life of
Israel as was the blood of sacrifice. But the significance of the blood
is so much more familiar to us, that a pause is here proper, to call
attention to the wonderful propriety and instructiveness of the ashes.
In the blood we see the penalty of sin paid, and justice satisfied. But
it is satisfied at the price of life, and leaves death in possession.
But, in the ashes, Israel saw the sacrifice come forth from the
exhausted fires of justice, unconsumed and unconsumable. On them, the
fire could no more take hold; but, mingled with the living water, they
represented Christ—the law satisfied and the curse exhausted in his
blood—coming forth by the Spirit, from the expiring flames, robed in
life and immortality. “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains
of death, because it was not possible that he should be holden of
it.”—Acts ii, 24.

7. The ashes were mingled with running water. Prior to the baptism of
Israel at Sinai, we hear of no sacramental rite setting forth the office
and work of the Holy Spirit. But the living water, then ordained in the
divers baptisms of the Mosaic system, became thenceforward the standing
representation and type of the Third Person of the Godhead, as the
Spirit of life, shed down from heaven by the Mediator.

8. The sacrificial elements and water were _sprinkled_ on the unclean.
Two ideas were thus symbolized; the _bestowment_ by Christ from his
throne of the virtues of his blood and Spirit; and, their effectual
influence upon the heart and conscience of him to whom they are given.
As the rain descends from heaven, penetrates the soil, and makes it
fruitful, so Christ’s Spirit shed down from him takes possession of the
inmost heart, purges it from the guilt of past sins, and produces
newness of life and the fruits of holiness. With reference to the mode
thus employed, and its symbolical relation to Christ’s administration of
grace, the fact is worthy of special emphasis, that in every rite or
figure by which was represented the exercise by Christ of his office as
administrator in the Father’s kingdom, the mode is affusion, whether it
be blood, water, or oil, expressive of grace bestowed on the people of
God, or indignation and fire poured down upon his enemies.

9. The water of separation was to be sprinkled on the unclean on the
third day and on the seventh. “And if he purify not himself the third
day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean;” for, Jesus who died
under our curse, rose again the third day. And “Know ye not that so many
of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as
Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so
we also should walk in newness of life. For, if we have been planted
together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness
of his resurrection.”—Rom. vi, 3-5. If we do not participate in the
resurrection of Christ on the third day, by rising from the death of sin
to the life of holiness, we can have no part in the resurrection and
life of glory. So, Paul testifies to the Ephesians, that the same mighty
power which raised Christ from the dead and set him far above in the
heavenly places, is at work in all his people, and by it they who were
dead in sins are quickened together with him, and made to sit with him
in the heavenly places. (Eph. i, 20; ii, 6.) Hence, Paul’s earnest
desire and labor for himself,—“That I may know him, and the power of his
resurrection, ... if by any means, I might attain unto the resurrection
of the dead.”—Phil. iii, 10, 11. “Might know the power of his
resurrection,”—by realizing within, the steady vigor of the new life in
Christ Jesus, working holiness and grace.

Of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, Paul says, that “he rose again
the third day, according to the Scriptures.”—1 Cor. xv, 4. But where, in
the Scriptures, is the third day thus specified? The Lord Jesus makes a
similar statement, which goes far to answer the question. “These are the
words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things
must be fulfilled which were written in _the law of Moses_, and in the
prophets and in the Psalms concerning me. Then opened he their
understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto
them, Thus it is _written_, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to
rise from the dead _the third day_.”—Luke xxiv, 44-46. In another place,
there is a remarkable allusion to the same thing. When Jesus, in
response to the Jews demanding a sign, said, “Destroy this temple, and
in three days, I will raise it up,” the disciples did not understand.
But “when he was risen from the dead, they remembered that he had said
this unto them; and they believed _the Scripture_, and the word that
Jesus had said.”—John ii, 18-22. It would thus appear that the
resurrection on the third day was _written_ in the Scriptures, and the
reference to the law of Moses, and statement as to the opening of the
understanding of the apostles, as though the matter were not patent on
the face of the record, both lead us to look in that direction for the
prophetic anticipation of the third as the resurrection day. The other
Scriptures will be searched in vain for any thing to fulfill the
requirements of these statements of Christ and of Paul. The law
concerning the sprinkling of the water of separation contains the only
intimation on the subject; and the allusions above cited appear
undoubtedly to have had this typical prophecy in view.

In the design of this ordinance, as a prophecy of the resurrection, we
have the reason of its peculiar relation to that particular form of
defilement which arose from contact with the dead. Although designed as
has been seen for the cleansing of other defilements, also, it was
ordained in immediate connection with this particular uncleanness,
because that is the connection in which this distinctive meaning shines
forth most clearly.

10. He that was purified with the water of separation was required to
follow it with an act of self-ablution. “On the seventh day, he shall
purify himself, and wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and
shall be clean at even.”—Num. xix, 19. It has been asserted that this
rule was meant for the administrator of the rite. But the exposition
afterward given by Eleazar, the priest (Num. xxxi, 21-24), shows this to
be a mistake. The propriety and beauty of the requirement, in the
connection, are apparent. It was a perpetual monition to Israel that
those who have been redeemed with precious blood, and raised up to new
life by the Holy Spirit, should walk worthy of their calling, and keep
themselves from the evil that is in the world, in the blessed assurance
of being freed from all corruption and evil, and made partakers in the
perfection of holiness and life, on the great Sabbath day of redemption.

This thought was more fully developed in the rites concerning the leper.
Immediately upon his baptism, he was required to shave his hair, wash
his garments and bathe his flesh. The hair and the defilement adhering
to the garments and flesh were evident types of the outgrowth and fruits
of his leprous life. Of the shaving and cleansing thus appointed, Paul
may give the interpretation—“That ye put off concerning the former
conversation, the old man which is corrupt according to the deceitful
lusts.”—Eph. iv, 22. After this, the meaning of the like shaving and
washing on the seventh day is apparent. It sets forth the final and
complete putting off of the old carnal nature, in the resurrection of
life, when our bodies themselves also shall be transformed into the
likeness of Christ’s glorious body, and be reunited to our souls,
perfected in holiness.

11. The defilement from the dead, and the purifying use of the water of
separation were not only incident to persons; but the tent or house
where the dead lay, and every thing that was in it, became defiled, and
must be cleansed by the water of separation, sprinkled on the third day,
and on the seventh. (Num. xix, 14, 18; xxxi, 20, 22, 23.) Thus were
Israel taught that the curse of sin is on the earth, also, and all that
is in it, as well as on man; that, only as sanctified to him through the
atonement of Christ, can the productions and possessions of the earth be
blessed, and that in the regeneration, the earth and the creatures
themselves, also, shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into
the glorious liberty of the sons of God, and “_Holiness to the Lord_,”
be written on the very bells of the horses. (Zech. xiv, 20.) “For,”
saith the Lord, “behold I create new heavens and a new earth.”—Isa. lxv,

Thus, all the great truths of the Gospel, were set forth and symbolized
in this ordinance, the last, the consummate and crowning sacrament of
the Old Testament.

            SECTION XXIV.—_These were the Divers Baptisms._

That the sprinkled purifyings were the theme of Paul’s argument is

1. He distributes the whole ritual system under two categories. His
statement (Heb. ix, 8, 9), literally translated, is, that “the first
tabernacle,” erected by Moses, was “(_parabolē eis ton kairon
enestēkota_), an illustrative similitude, unto the present time (_kath
hen_[13]) _in accordance with which_ (similitude), both gifts and
sacrifices are offered, which, as to the conscience, can not perfect the
worshipers; depending only on meats and drinks and divers
baptisms,—righteousnesses of the flesh, imposed until the time of
reformation.” The word (_dikaiomata_) “righteousnesses” (from _dikaios_,
righteous), is repeatedly so translated in our English version (Rom. ii,
26; v, 18; viii, 4), although in some other places beside the text it is
rendered,—“ordinances.”—Luke i, 6; Heb. ix, 1, 10. The latter rendering,
however, fails to develop the true idea of the word, which
is,—ordinances imposed, _in order to the attaining of righteousness by
obedience_. So it should be in the first verse of this chapter. “Then,
verily, the first covenant had also righteousnesses of worship,” (ritual
righteousnesses), “and an earthly holy place.” By the phrase,
“righteousnesses of the flesh,” the writer indicates the contrast
between the outward ritual righteousnesses of the law,—its circumcision
of the flesh, its offerings of bulls and goats, and its washings and
sprinklings with material elements,—and “the circumcision of the heart;”
“the offering of Jesus Christ,” and “the washing of regeneration and
renewing of the Holy Ghost.” The ritual observances fulfilled the law of
carnal commandments, and were thus righteousnesses of the flesh, and
figures of the true, the righteousness of Christ.

Footnote 13:

  This reading is attested by codices Bezæ, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus,
  Sinaiticus, and is fully sustained by the internal evidence.

Paul distributes these observances into the two categories of offerings
and purifyings. The law required each sacrifice to be accompanied with a
meat offering made of fine flour mingled with oil, and a drink offering
of wine. For the altar was God’s table, where he as a Father fed and
communed with his children. It must, therefore, be furnished with all
the provisions of a table. (Num. xv, 3-5, 7, etc.) Thus, the offerings
upon the altar were all comprehended under the two heads of meats
(_brōmasi_, solid food), and drinks,—nourishments for _the body_. Paul’s
other category is, the divers baptisms. These, of necessity, are the
purifying rites of the Levitical system. For, he describes the whole
system as including “_only_ meats and drinks and divers baptisms;”
whereas all were actually comprehended under the two heads of offerings,
which symbolized atonement made, and purifyings, representing its
application, to the purging of sins. That it is of the purifyings that
he now speaks, is evident not only from the meaning of baptism, itself,
but from the whole tenor of his argument, which is directed exclusively
to the two points just indicated, atonement made, and purification

2. The baptisms of which the apostle speaks were purifyings of persons
and not of things. They were righteousnesses of the flesh, upon which
men in vain relied for the purging of their consciences, (vs. 9, 14.)

3. There were but two ordinances to which Paul can possibly refer.
Except the sprinklings, and the self-performed washings, there was no
rite in the Levitical system in which water was used, or to which the
name of baptism is, or can be, attributed, with any pretense of reason
or probability.

4. The self-washings will be examined presently. As compared with the
sprinklings, they were of minor importance. Separately used only for
superficial defilements, they purged no essential corruption. They were
without sacrifice, administrator, or sacramental meaning. They
symbolized no work of Christ, signified no bestowal of grace, and sealed
no blessing of the covenant. In all this, they stood in eminent contrast
with the sprinkled rites. To suppose that Paul, in a discussion which
has respect to the cleansing efficacy of Christ’s blood and Spirit, and
the Levitical types of it, should refer to the minor rite of
self-washing, which did _not_ symbolize those things, and by an
exclusive “_only_” reject from place or consideration the sprinklings
which did, is absurd; as it is, moreover, to suppose that, in such an
argument, the latter would not, of necessity, have a paramount place and

5. This conclusion is fully confirmed upon a critical examination of the
connection of Paul’s argument. The “meats and drinks and divers
baptisms” he characterizes as “righteousnesses of the flesh,” in
confirmation of the assertion just made, that they could not “perfect,”
or purify the conscience of the worshiper. He then, immediately,
presents in contrast the atonement of Christ. “They,” says he, “depended
only on meats and drinks and divers baptisms, righteousnesses of the
flesh imposed until the time of reformation. But Christ being come, ...
neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he
entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption
for us. _For_ if the blood of _bulls_ and _of goats_ and the _ashes of a
heifer sprinkling_ the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the
flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ ... purge your
conscience.” Thus, in immediate exposition of his statement as to divers
baptisms, the apostle specifies the two most conspicuous forms of the
sprinklings of Sinai, that of the whole people, upon the making of the
covenant, and that administered with the water of separation—the one
being the original of the ordinance, and the other its ordinary and
perpetuated form. For, that there may be no mistake as to his reference,
in speaking of the blood of bulls and of goats, he proceeds, a little
farther on to describe particularly its use in the Sinai baptism: “For
when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the
law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet
wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all the people, saying,
This is the blood of the testament (the covenant), which God hath
enjoined unto you.”—Vs. 19, 20. As we examine Paul’s argument throughout
the chapter, we find his attention directed, from first to last, to the
sprinklings of the law alone, while the self-washings are not once named
nor alluded to. This, afterwards, very signally appears in that
magnificent contrast of Sinai and Sion, in which he sums up the whole
argument of the epistle. The crowning feature in the attractions of Sion
is “the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of
Abel.”—Heb. xii, 24. In the presence of it the self-washings are not
counted worthy to be named.

6. The manner in which, in the next chapter, self-washing is at length
introduced is a singular confirmation of the view here taken. So long as
the writer is occupied in the argument as to Christ’s work of expiation,
he makes no allusion to the self-washings. But when he proceeds to urge
upon his readers the practical plea which his argument suggests, he does
it by referring to the two rites, in the relation to each other which we
have indicated. “Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the
holiest, by the blood of Jesus, ... and having a High Priest over the
house of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of
faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our own
bodies washed with pure water.”—Heb. x, 19-22. To an unclean person,
desiring to claim the privileges of the sanctuary, the requirement of
the law was, Let him be sprinkled on the third day and on the seventh,
to set forth Christ’s and the Spirit’s grace; and then, let him wash
himself, in token of the maintaining of personal holiness. From the
rites which he has been discussing, Paul’s exhortation takes form, and
in them finds interpretation.

The conclusion is evident. Had Paul meant by the phrase in question to
designate the self-washings, they were by affusion, and it would follow
that that is the mode of baptism. But that his reference was
distinctively and emphatically to the sprinkled rites is beyond candid
contradiction. We, therefore, plant ourselves upon this impregnable
position, and challenge assault. _For fifteen hundred years of the
church’s history, baptism was uniformly administered by sprinkling._ It
was so administered down to the time of Christ. It was so administered
in the time of Paul. The word does _not_ then mean to dip or to immerse;
for, Paul being witness, the rite was not so performed. Had we no
further evidence, this should be conclusive.

                                PART IV.
                       THE RITUAL SELF-WASHINGS.

                 SECTION XXV.—_Unclean until the Even._

The clean, that is those who had been purified by sprinkling, were
liable to contract certain minor defilements, which were characterized
by continuing until the even. Of these there were two classes. First,
were those which resulted from participation in expiatory rites. Among
the most conspicuous examples of this class were the uncleanness of the
priests and assistants by whom the red heifer was sacrificed, the ashes
collected and the water of separation sprinkled on the unclean. These
all were, by participation in those rites, rendered unclean until the
even, and were required to wash their clothes, and bathe their flesh, in
order to their cleansing. (Num. xix, 7, 8, 10, 21.) The meaning of this
is evident. The red heifer was a sacrifice of expiation, “a purification
for sin.”—Ib. 9. In it, the priests and assistants and he that sprinkled
the ashes, with the heifer itself, together, constituted a complex type
of the Lord Jesus, offering himself a sacrifice to justice, sprinkling
the altar in heaven with his own blood, and applying it with his Spirit
to his people for the purifying of their uncleanness. The defilements
for which the ashes of the heifer were provided were typical of our
native depravity and death in sin and the curse. From these, Christ
freed his people, by being himself made a curse for them (Gal. iii, 13),
dying in their stead, that they might live. To represent this the
priests, assistants, and administrator of the water of separation,
became defiled, by participation in the cleansing rites. The same
explanation applies to the defilement which the high priest and others
incurred by participation in the observances of the day of atonement.
(Lev. xvi, 24, 26.)

The curse under which the Lord Jesus came exhausted itself on his
natural life, and expired as he rose from the dead. Of the period during
which he bore its burden, and fulfilled his atoning work, he himself
says: “I must work the works of him that sent me, _while it is day_; the
night cometh, when no man can work.”—John ix, 4. And on the night of the
betrayal he said to the Father, “I have finished the work which thou
gavest me to do.”—Ib. xvii, 4. It thus appears that a day is a symbol of
the period of man’s natural life, the period during which the Lord Jesus
was under the curse. Hence the typical uncleanness of the priests and
assistants was limited to the even of the day on which it was incurred.
It was removed by self-washing; for it was by his own power and Spirit
that Christ threw off the curse and rose from the dead. (Rom. viii, 2,
11; John x, 17, 18.)

2. The other class of uncleannesses until the even arose from the more
or less intimate contact of the clean with persons or things that were
unclean in the higher degree; or from other causes essentially similar
in meaning. Defilements resulting from expiatory rites symbolized the
putative guilt incurred by the Lord Jesus, in making atonement for us;
while he ever remained, in himself, “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate
from sinners.”—Heb. vii, 26. But the forms of uncleanness now under
examination resulted from contact with things that were typical of the
debasement, corruption, and depravity of the world. The uncleanness
hence arising signified the spiritual defilement to which God’s people
are liable from contact with evil. Hence, the grades of defilement,
consequent upon the closeness and fellowship of the contact, and the
nature of the uncleanness with which it took place. These were designed
to teach the lesson with which James crowns his definition of pure
religion and undefiled. “To _keep himself_ unspotted from the
world.”—James i, 27. The same idea is presented by the beloved John. “We
know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten
of God _keepeth himself_, and that wicked one” (that “unclean spirit,”
the representative and source of all moral evil) “toucheth him not” (to
defile him, as would the touch of the leper or the unclean). “And we
know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.”
Literally,—“lieth in that wicked one,”—in his bosom, and the defilement
of his contact and communion. (1 John v, 18, 19.) And, again, “Beloved,
now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be;
but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we
shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him
_purifieth_ himself, even as he is pure.”—1 John iii, 2, 3.

From many such Scriptures, the meaning of these uncleannesses and of the
self-washings is easily gathered. The defilements which they symbolized
are not of a radical nature, but extrinsic and superficial. They
represented those spiritual defilements,—those soilings of heart and
conscience to which God’s people are subject through contact and
intercourse with an ungodly world. It is postulated only of those whose
hearts have already been quickened and sanctified by the blood and
Spirit of Christ, “once for all” (Heb. x, 10); and who are “the
habitation of God through the Spirit.” They do not require a new
atonement and renewing of the Spirit, but the exercise of the graces of
that Spirit which is already in them. For their cleansing, therefore, no
new sacrificial rites nor official administrator were appointed; but
they were required to wash _themselves_. This did not prohibit the
employment of any customary assistance in the washing; as, for example,
that of a servant pouring water on the hands. But such assistance, if
employed, was merely ministerial, and not official. The washing, however
performed, was the duty and act of the subject of it, and therein lay
its significance. Its language was that of the apostle; “Having,
therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from
all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear
of God.”—2 Cor. vii, 1.

The termination of the defilement, upon the performance of the appointed
self-washing, with the going down of the sun, certified the deliverance
of God’s people from sin and corruption, with the end of this present
life, in the coming rest of the believer’s grave, awaiting the seventh
day of resurrection and glory.

            SECTION XXVI.—_Gradation of the Self-washings._

There was a noticeable gradation in the self-washings.

1. First was the washing of the hands, alone. This was required of the
magistrates expiating a concealed murder. (Deut. xxi, 6.) It is also
indicated in Leviticus xv, 11. It will be further examined hereafter.
The figure of washing the hands, as expressive of innocence and purity,
occurs repeatedly in the Scriptures; and as the hands are the ordinary
instruments of the actions and labors of life, the meaning of the figure
is very manifest. Says Job, in his complaint to God, “If I wash myself
with snow water, and make my hands never so clean, yet shalt thou plunge
me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.”—Job ix, 30, 31.
That is, “Though I give the utmost heed to conform my whole life and
conduct to the requirements of thy holiness, yet, in the severity and
penetration of thy judgment, thou wilt discover and reveal me to myself
as utterly unclean.” The psalmist has recourse to the same figure, in a
happier spirit. “I will wash mine hands in innocency, so will I compass
thine altar, O Lord; that I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving,
and tell of all thy wondrous works.”—Ps. xxvi, 6, 7.

2. Next in the order of these observances was the ordinance requiring
the priests to wash their hands and feet in preparation for the duties
of their ministry at the sanctuary. This will be discussed hereafter.

3. In certain milder forms of uncleanness till the even, the person was
required to wash his clothes, merely. This rule applied to such as he
that ate or slept in a house shut up on suspicion of leprosy (Lev. xiv,
47); and he that carried an unclean carcase, or ate unclean flesh. (Lev.
xi, 25, 28, 40.) From the time when our first parents, in the conscious
nakedness of guilt, made themselves aprons of fig-leaves, which the Lord
replaced with coats of skins, the garments had a recognized
significance, which is traceable long before the giving of the law; and,
running through all the Scriptures, gives form to the imagery of the
last book of all. When Jacob, on his return from Chaldea, was required
by God to go to Bethel and erect an altar, he called on his household
and followers to be clean and change their garments (Gen. xxxv, 2); that
is, to put off their soiled garments and put on clean. So, at Sinai, in
preparation for its transactions, Moses was directed to “sanctify the
people to-day and to-morrow, and let them wash their clothes.”—Ex. xix,
10, 14.

A few other Scriptures will develop the meaning of this symbol. In the
vision of Zechariah: “He showed me Joshua the high-priest, standing
before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to
resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan;
even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: Is not this a
brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua, was clothed with filthy
garments and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake to those
that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him.
And unto him he said, Behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass from
thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.”—Zech. iii, 1-4.
“Others save with fear,” says Jude, “pulling them out of the fire;
hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”—Jude 23. With this
compare the definition of “pure religion and undefiled,”—“to keep
himself unspotted from the world.”—Jas. i, 27. “Thou hast a few names
even in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments; and they shall
walk with me in white; for they are worthy.”—Rev. iii, 4. In his
visions, John saw the souls of them that were slain for the word of God,
and a great multitude out of every nation, “clothed with white robes.”
And the angel told him, “These are they that have washed their robes,
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”—Ib. vi, 11; vii, 9, 14.
“Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his
garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”—Ib. xvi, 15. To
the bride, the Lamb’s wife, it “was granted that she should be arrayed
in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness
of saints.”—Ib. xix, 8. Literally, “is the righteousnesses of the

From these Scriptures, it is evident: that clean or white garments
primarily and essentially mean, the righteousness of the Lord Jesus
Christ, in which his people are robed, so that the shame of their
spiritual nakedness may not appear (Rev. iii, 18; vii, 14; Phil, iii, 8,
9); that keeping them clean, or unspotted, means, the maintaining of
that watchful holiness of heart and life which is becoming those who
have been bought and robed as are Christ’s people; and that washing the
garments signifies recourse to the blood and Spirit of Christ, as the
only and effectual means of making and keeping them free from

4. In certain cases, the unclean until the even were required to wash
their clothes and bathe their flesh. The characteristic examples of this
observance, are those who had carried or touched any thing on which one
defiled with an issue had sat or lain. (Lev. xv, 5, 6, etc.) A careful
examination of this class, in comparison with the preceding, proves them
to be essentially one in meaning, the difference being mainly if not
entirely in degree. The defilement in the present case was aggravated by
the fact that its cause was symbolical of man’s depravity, breaking out
in active corruption and transgression. On the other hand, the unclean
animals, from which the milder form of this uncleanness was contracted
represented the evil of man’s nature, simply as native and indwelling,
without the active element of outbreaking depravity and wickedness.
Hence, the difference, in requiring the washing of both the flesh and
the garments, was designed to give emphasis to the admonition conveyed;
and to teach the additional lesson, that whilst all contact with the
ungodly and the world is dangerous to the purity of Christian character,
and renders necessary a continual recourse to the sanctifying power and
grace of the Holy Spirit; especially is this requisite in case of
intimate relations with it, in its active forms of ungodliness and
corruption, dissipation and riot.

5. The only other class, to be enumerated under this head, consists of
those who, in addition to other rites of purifying, were required to
shave off their hair. Such were lepers, in their cleansing (Lev. xiv, 8,
9); the Levites, upon their consecration (Num. viii, 7); a Nazarite,
defiled, before the completion of his vow (Num. vi, 9); and a captive
woman, chosen as a bride (Deut. xxi, 12). With these may be compared the
Nazarite, at the completion of his vow, although this did not belong to
the category of purifying. The Scriptures contain no formal explanation
of this requirement. But the nature and circumstances of the cases as
compared with each other, and the general principles of typical analogy,
indicate the interpretation. The hair of the leper, for example, was the
product and outgrowth of his leprous state, and must therefore be put
off and repudiated, with his entrance on the the new life of the clean.
The same principle applies to all the other cases, except that of the
Nazarite, upon the completion of his vow. His hair was the product of
the time during which, by the consecration of his vow, all belonged to
God. It could not, therefore, be retained, but was shaved off and
offered upon the altar, as holy. (Num. vi, 18.) In the other cases, it
was cast away as unclean. Thus, as in all the preceding regulations, the
same lesson is repeated, which is so needful, and to our stupidity, so
hard to learn;—the lesson of putting off the old man and putting on the

       SECTION XXVII.—_Mode implied in the Meaning of the Rite._

The instructiveness and utility of types and symbols consist in an
appreciable analogy between them and the spiritual things which they are
appointed to symbolize. In the case of the Old Testament self-washings,
I suppose it has never entered the imagination of any one that they were
types of the burial of the Lord Jesus. Of such an interpretation there
is not a trace anywhere in the Scriptures. On the contrary, such meaning
is there attributed to them that, in order to a sustained analogy, the
subject of the rite should, by a voluntary and active exercise of his
own powers take and apply the water to his members and person, for their
cleansing. In this respect, they stand in emphatic contrast with the
sprinkled water of purifying. That was designed to concentrate the
attention of Israel upon the active agency of the Mediator, in bestowing
the baptism of his blood and Spirit, for the renewing and quickening of
dead souls. In it, therefore, the subject was the passive recipient of
rites dispensed by the hands of another. But the activity of the
Christian life and warfare were symbolized by the self-washings.
Christ’s grace is given his people, not to sanction supineness and
indolence; but to stimulate to activity in the pursuit of holiness. As
the Spirit is now to them an opened fountain, they are to have recourse
to it, to seek and obtain, day by day, more grace, for the purging of
the flesh, for overcoming the world, for bringing forth the fruits of
the Spirit, for fighting the good fight of faith and laying hold on
eternal life.

This, which comprehends the whole matter of practical religion is urged
in the Scriptures, not only by direct and continual admonitions, but in
the use of every variety of figures and illustrations. It was the lesson
taught, under the figure of self-washing. Pure water is alike adapted to
quicken the soil, to quench the thirst, and to cleanse the garments and
the person. But, as the water of life will not quench the thirst of the
soul, unless we _come_ and _drink_, neither will it purge away the
defilements of evil, unless we take it and apply it, with diligence and
labor. “Wash ye! make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from
before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment,
relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”—Isa.
i, 16, 17. The Spirit thus clearly indicates that self-washing signified
an intense and life-pervasive activity,—an activity applied, in detail,
to each particular relation and duty, so as to purge out every principle
of evil, and conform every act to the law of holiness. To correspond
with this meaning of the rite, its form should be such as to call forth
the active energies of the subject, by the application of the water to
the appointed parts and members of the person in detail; and by such
successive manipulation as is proper to secure a thorough cleansing. The
ordinary mode of washing, among Israel, as we shall presently see,
perfectly met these requirements; whilst immersion would have been
wholly inadequate, not to say directly contradictory to them, since it
indicates a mere passive recipiency, and not an active appropriation and
use of the means of cleansing.

      SECTION XXVIII.—_The Words used to designate the Washings._

The discriminating use of words on this subject, in the original
Scriptures is very noticeable, and is susceptible of being brought
within the comprehension of any intelligent reader of the English
version. There are three which are worthy of special notice.

1. _Shātaph_ means, to overflow, or rush over, as a swollen torrent or a
beating rain. Thus,—“Behold the Lord hath a mighty and strong one,
which, as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty
waters _overflowing_,” shall beat down the crown of pride. (Isa. xxviii,
2.) Again,—“Say unto them which daub with untempered mortar that it
shall fall; there shall be an _overflowing_ shower,” beating it down.
(Ezek. xiii, 11-14.) From this, the radical meaning of the word, is
derived its use to signify the act of washing or rinsing, by means of
water dashed or flowed over the object. It is employed in application to
vessels of wood and of brass (Lev. vi, 28; xv, 12), and to the hands of
the unclean. (Ib. xv, 11.) In all these places it is translated, to

2. _Kābas._ The radical meaning of this verb is, to tread, to trample.
The participle from it is used to designate the craft of the fuller, who
fulled his goods by treading them with the feet. Hence its use to
signify the thorough cleansing and whitening of clothing and stuffs. The
word occurs in the Old Testament forty-six times, with this uniform
meaning. It is used whenever the ritual washing of clothes is spoken of.
From it a very striking figure is derived, which appears twice, to
indicate the most thorough self-cleansing, under the idea of a garment
scoured, with “nitre and much soap” (Jer. ii, 22; iv, 14), and twice, to
indicate a like thorough cleansing wrought by the Holy Spirit. “_Wash_
me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.... Purge
me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: _wash_ me, and I shall be whiter
than snow” (Psa. li, 2, 7), white, as a garment is made by the fuller’s
art. (Mark ix, 3.) These passages indicate the essential idea of the
word. It is expressive of a scouring, or washing, which searches the
very texture of the fabric. It is, however, worthy of notice that in the
Targum of Onkelos, on Numbers xix, 19, it is rendered, “to sprinkle.”
“The clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean, on the third day and
on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall be clean; and he
_shall sprinkle_ his raiment, and wash with water, and at even he shall
be clean.“ This rendering is very noteworthy, as it indicates the manner
in which the law was understood on this point. In fact, as we have
already seen, sprinkling signified the most thorough cleansing.

_Rāhatz._ While _kābas_ indicates a purifying of the substance, _rāhatz_
signifies a washing of the surface. This is the word which is invariably
used to express the ritual self-washings or bathings of the hands, the
feet, and the person. It is sometimes assumed that, like the English, to
wash, _rāhatz_ is strictly generic in its meaning—that it signifies to
cleanse with, or in, water, without any regard to mode. This is an
error, as a single fact shows. It is never used for the cleansing of
skins, clothes, or garments. Nor is this an accidental omission. Such
washings are mentioned nearly fifty times, and in nineteen places they
are brought into connection with the bathing of the person. But in no
one place is the word in question used either generically, as
comprehensive of both the person and garments, or specifically for the
latter. In every place where the two processes come in the same
connection, the language is accurately discriminated. The directions
are, to _wash_, or scour (_kābas_), the clothes, and to _bathe_
(_rāhatz_) the flesh. This word occurs over seventy times. In five or
six places, it applies to the washing of sacrificial flesh, before it
was placed on the altar. (Lev. i, 9, 13, etc.) In every other instance
it refers to the human person. It expresses cleansing with water
actively applied to the surface. Thus, when Joseph ”_washed_ his face,”
to obliterate the traces of tears (Gen. xliii, 31), and when the Beloved
is described, “His eyes, as the eyes of doves by the rivers [rivulets]
of waters, _washed_ with milk and fitly set” (Cant. v, 12), the
reference is clearly to the familiar mode of washing the face with water
applied. When the Lord, by Isaiah, speaks of the time when he “shall
have _washed away_ the filth of the daughters of Zion” (Isa. iv, 4), and
when the Preacher describes “a generation that are pure in their own
eyes, and yet is not _washed from_ their filthiness” (Prov. xxx, 12),
the idea presented is the same—that of water actively applied to the
surface, so as to detach and carry off the dirt. In another place this
definition is even more imperatively indicated. “Then (_rāhatz_) washed
I thee with water; yea (_shātaph_), I thoroughly washed away thy blood
from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.”—Ezek. xvi, 9. Here three
things unite to determine the meaning of _rāhatz_. 1. It is explained by
_shātaph_, the signification of which we have seen. 2. The defilement
from which the washing is promised, is that of _nidda_, for which
expressly the sprinkled “water of _nidda_” was appointed and named. 3.
The construction is precisely the same in the two clauses of the verse,
“I washed thee _with_ water,” and “I anointed thee _with_ oil.” Of the
mode of the latter there can be no question. In both clauses the element
named is the _instrument_ of the action specified. The ideas of washing
and of immersion are not merely different, but sharply contrasted with
each other. Where there is an immersion, there may also be a washing.
But it must be by additional action. _Rāhatz_ expresses the latter. It
neither expresses nor implies the former.

             SECTION XXIX.—_The Mode of Domestic Ablution._

The customs of Israel as to personal ablution would, it is evident,
decide the manner of these self-washings, in the absence of explicit
directions. The indications in their history are very decisive on this

1. The patriarchs were keepers of cattle, dwelling in tents. The
circumstances of such a mode of life forbid the supposition that they
were accustomed to the use of the immersion bath. The possession, the
transportation, and the use of the requisite vessels, are wholly foreign
to that mode of life.

2. Facts in the history of the patriarchs confirm the correctness of the
inference thus indicated. Although in later ages, after Palestine had
been pierced with wells, water was abundant for all the uses incident to
the mode of life of the people, the contrary was true, in earlier times.
Surface streams are of rare occurrence. The substratum is a cavernous
limestone, into the cavities of which the rains quickly percolate. Hagar
and Ishmael were in danger of perishing of thirst, when sent away by
Abraham. (Gen. xxi, 15.) Abraham and Isaac relied on digging for water;
and the scarcity and value of the element were indicated by the violence
with which the other inhabitants of the country seized wells digged by
each of those patriarchs. (Gen. xxi, 25; xxvi, 19-22.) These were
usually deep, and all the water used for personal washings, as well as
for drinking and for culinary uses, must be laboriously drawn and
carried by the maidens of the camp. We can thus see the bearing of the
phraseology of Abraham in tendering his hospitality. “Let a _little
water_, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet.”—Gen. xviii, 4.

3. We may safely conclude that Jacob and his family did not take with
them into Egypt the habit of bathing by immersion. But may they not have
acquired it in the land of their bondage? It happens that we have very
interesting evidence as to the custom of the Egyptians on this subject.
Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson, in his splendid work on “The Manners and
Customs of the Ancient Egyptians,” gives an engraved copy of the only
pictorial illustration on this subject found by him among the abundant
remains of Egyptian art. It is taken from a tomb in Thebes. In it, a
lady is represented with four attendants. One removes the jewelry and
clothes which she has put off; another pours water from a vase over her
head: the third rubs her arms and body with open hands; and a fourth,
seated near her, holds a flower to her nose, and supports her, as she
sits. “The same subject,” says Wilkinson, “is treated nearly in the same
manner on some of the Greek vases, the water being poured over the
bather, who kneels or is seated on the ground.”[14] The Greeks were
colonists from Egypt, with which country their relations were always
intimate. And the fact, which will hereafter appear, that this was the
only mode of domestic or in-door bathing, in use among them, is very
significant, as to the customs of Egypt on the point.

Footnote 14:

  Wilkinson, vol. iii, p. 388; Abridged edition, ii, 349.

4. It is hardly necessary to insist on the utter impossibility of the
Hebrew bondmen having acquired in Egypt more luxurious habits than those
of their Egyptian taskmasters,—habits, too, requiring much more
expensive appliances, such as would be necessary for immersion-bathing.
And, when they left Egypt, “their kneading troughs being bound up in
their clothes upon their shoulders” (Ex. xii, 34), the supposition that
they had with them a sufficient supply of bath tubs to serve for the
continual immersions which, upon the Baptist theory, the Levitical law
demanded, does not need to be controverted. In fact, the customary mode
of washing, among Israel, as traceable in all their history, was
precisely that which we have seen in use among the patriarchs and the
Egyptians. It was, with water poured on, and the necessary rubbing by
the bather himself, or by an attendant. This custom was universal in
Israel, and throughout the east, from the earliest ages. At first, the
only utensil used was a pitcher or jar, out of which the water was
poured. A case before referred to in the history of Abraham illustrates
the circumstances and manner of this usage. As he sat in his tent door,
in the heat of the day, he saw three men approach. He ran to salute
them, and said, “Let a little water be fetched, and wash your feet, and
rest yourselves under the tree.”—Gen. xviii, 1-4. The washing was done
in the open air, and the earth received the flowing water. In the same
region, the Dead Sea expedition found the same custom among the
tent-dwelling Arabs. On one occasion, “having as usual submitted to be
stared at and their arms handed about and inspected, as if they were on
muster, water was brought and poured upon their hands, from a very
equivocal water jar; after which followed the repast.”[15]

Footnote 15:

  Lynch’s Dead Sea Expedition, p. 206.

So long as the simplicity of tent life was maintained, this was
all-sufficient. But, afterward, the convenience of a bowl or basin was
added, which was so placed as to catch the water, as it flowed off, in
washing, thus preventing the wetting of the floor. The water, once used,
was not applied a second time, but rejected, as being defiled. The
examples of Bathsheba and Susanna indicate that, in bathing the person,
even in the later times, the primitive custom still so far survived that
resort was sometimes had to a retired place outside the house; no doubt
because of the inconvenience of flooding the floor with the water, as it
was poured over the person. “The History of Susanna,” (one of the
Apocryphal books), dates as far back as two centuries before Christ. The
heroine is described as an eminently modest and virtuous woman. Her
husband, Joachim, “was a rich man, and had a fair garden adjoining his
house.” His house was a place of resort to the Jews, and the magistrates
commonly sat there, to exercise their office. It was Susanna’s custom to
walk in the garden at noon, after the people had left the house. Two of
the elders are described as plotting against her. “And it fell out, as
they watched a fit time, she went in as before with two maids only, and
she was desirous to wash herself in the garden; for it was hot. And
there was nobody there save the two elders, that had hid themselves and
watched her. Then she said to her maids, Bring me oil and washing balls,
and shut the garden doors, that I may wash. And they did as she had bade
them, and shut the garden doors, and went out themselves at private
doors, to fetch the things that she had commanded them.” Her purpose is
prevented by the appearance of the two elders, from whose false
accusation she is in the sequel rescued by the famous “judgment of
Daniel.” The same custom is illustrated by the case of Pharaoh’s
daughter at the finding of Moses, and by the Egyptian picture, from
Wilkinson. A signal proof of the prevalence of the custom of washing
with water poured on by an attendant, presents itself, in the fact that
the designation of a body servant, or personal attendant, was derived
from it. Elisha the prophet had been the minister or attendant of
Elijah, before the translation of the latter. Of this relation, king
Jehoshaphat was informed by the statement that it was he “which poured
water on the hands of Elijah.”—2 Kings iii, 11.

The circumstances render it certain that this was the form of washing in
the expiation of a concealed murder. The elders of the nearest city were
required to take an unbroken heifer down into a rough and uncultivated
valley or gorge, and there, in the presence of the priests, strike off
its head, wash their hands over the carcass, and call God to witness
their innocence in the matter. Thus, the water flowing from their hands
upon the carcass, transferred to it and the barren spot where it lay the
putative guilt of the crime. (Deut. xxi, 3-9.)

From this ordinance, the form seems to have become a familiar mode of
protesting innocence of crime, and is memorable for that occasion when
Pilate “took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I
am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.”—Matt.
xxvii, 24. Two primitive representations of this scene, in sculptured
relief, have been found in the catacombs at Rome. They date from the
first centuries of the Christian era. In them the wife of Pilate appears
in the background, with averted face. An attendant holds a vase or
pitcher in one hand, and in the other a bowl: while Pilate sits rubbing
his hands. The position of the bowl shows it to be empty. “The mode of
washing implied in the empty bowl is characteristic. In the east, the
water is still poured from the vase over the hands, and caught in the
bowl, so that it should not pass over them twice.”[16]

Footnote 16:

  Maitland’s “Church of the Catacombs,” p. 261. Also, Withrow’s
  “Catacombs,” p. 333.

The manner of washing the feet is illustrated by a fact in the life of
our Savior. At dinner, in the house of Simon, the Pharisee, a woman that
was a sinner “brought an alabaster box of ointment and stood at his
feet, behind him, weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and
did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and
anointed them with the ointment.”—Luke vii, 37, 38, 44. But how was it
possible for the woman, coming behind him at table, to get access to his
feet: which, according to our custom, would be concealed under the
table? The ordinary mode of sitting, in the east, then as now, was, on
the ground or floor, squat, cross-legged, or reclining. Chairs were not
in common use, but were reserved for purposes of state, and used almost
exclusively by dignitaries. In later times a bench or settee was
introduced, which was without a back. Whether on it or the floor, the
usual position, in eating was the same. The guests reclined on the left
elbow, leaving the right hand free. The person next on the right thus
leaned toward or against the breast of him who was at the head. (John
xiii, 23.) The feet were drawn up behind. Persons who wore sandals,
always, on entering a house, left them at the door. These were not
ordinarily worn by the common people, but only upon occasions of special
travel; and our Savior, therefore, forbade his disciples to take time to
provide them, in the haste of the mission on which he first sent them to
preach. (Matt. x, 10; Luke x, 4.) They poorly protected the feet from
the soiling and roughness of the way.[17] Decency, therefore, and
comfort both,—especially in the case of guests coming from a distance,
required that the feet should be washed, immediately upon entrance, and
the addition of oil or ointment was not only agreeable, for the perfumes
commonly mixed with it, but very soothing and grateful to the weary and
excoriated feet. It was one of the first obligations of hospitality to
provide for this washing of the feet of guests. (Gen. xviii, 4; xix, 2;
etc.) Where special respect was intended, the office was sometimes
performed by the master of the house, or his wife. As the guest
reclined, his feet projecting over the edge of the seat behind him, a
basin was placed beneath, so as to receive the flowing water, as it was
poured over them. To this mode there is an allusion in the language of
our Savior, to Simon the Pharisee, upon the occasion just referred to,
which is lost in our translation. “I entered thine house. Water _upon_
my feet thou didst not give.”—Luke vii, 44.[18] So, the night of the
betrayal, Jesus took water and a towel and washed and wiped the
disciples’ feet, as they reclined; and thus the woman came behind him at
the table, and bedewed his feet with her tears. To this customary rite
of hospitality Paul refers, when he describes a widow—“if she have
lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet.”—1 Tim. v, 10. To
it, Abigail alludes, when, in response to David’s offer of marriage, she
replies,—“Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant, to wash the feet of
the servants of my lord.”—1 Sam. xxv, 41. If the ritual bathings of
Israel were immersions, the mode was without precedent in the domestic
habits of the people; as it was without prescription in the law.

Footnote 17:

  “Several of them [Arabs of the Jordan] wore sandals, a rude invention
  to protect the feet. It was a thick piece of hide, confined by a thong
  passing under the sole at the hollow of the foot, around the heel, and
  between the great toe and the one which adjoins it.”—Lynch’s “Dead Sea
  Expedition,” p. 282. These thongs were the “latchets” of Mark i, 7.

Footnote 18:

  “Ὕδωρ ἐπὶ τοὺς πόδας μου οὐκ ἔδωκας.” The preposition, επι, with the
  accusative, means _upon_, with the idea of previous or present
  motion,—to wit, (in this place,) of the water, poured and flowing upon
  the feet.

                SECTION XXX.—_The Facilities requisite._

Not only was the rite of immersion without precedent in the domestic
customs of Israel. It was wholly impracticable as an observance to be
fulfilled with the frequency of the ritual washings of the law. On this
point, delicacy forbids unnecessary detail. But an examination of the
various requirements on the subject of uncleanness, and especially as
contained in the fifteenth chapter of Leviticus, will establish the fact
that recourse to those washings, was a matter of constant,—almost
daily,—necessity, in every household, and for both men and women. In
order to fulfil these obligations, the supposition that immersion was
the mode would render two things imperatively necessary in every
family,—a very large supply of water;—and a capacious bath-tub or tank
in which the immersions might be performed. As to these points, but few
words are necessary. The people of Israel did not usually live on their
lands in the country; but, like all other populations of the east, were
gathered in towns and villages, to which they resorted at night; going
forth in the day-time to their labors in the field. This mode of life
was rendered necessary to avoid exposure to the depredations of bands of
wandering marauders; and was equally congenial to the social disposition
and habits of the people. The population of each village was accustomed
to depend, for the supply of water, upon a well to which all resorted,
and which was usually near the gate of the village. From this source,
each household was supplied; the water being carried in pitchers, or
jars, on the shoulders of the females of the family.[19] It is
unnecessary to protract argument. The facts are of themselves
conclusive. The washings can not have been immersions.

This conclusion is confirmed by the absence of vessels of any kind
suited to the performance of such a rite. Neither in the Old Testament
nor the New, neither in the Apocrypha, Philo, nor Josephus is there any
mention of such facilities, or such a rite, nor allusion to them. In
fact, with all the advantages and appliances of modern civilization,
there is not, and there never was a people on the globe of whom one in a
hundred could comply with the law of Moses, if interpreted in the
Baptist sense. And it is certain that no primitive people ever adopted
that mode of domestic bathing—a mode which implies a very great advance
in luxury and its appliances. The Greeks themselves did not use it,
except as they sometimes resorted to rivers and streams. In their
arrangements for bathing, domestic and public, the immersion bath was
unknown until introduced with the luxury of imperial Rome. In Homer’s
description of the bath of Ulysses in the palace of Circe, the hero is
described as seated in a vessel which contained no water, but was
designed to receive that which was poured over him; and the bathing was
performed in a manner identical with that which we have seen practiced
in Egypt. In the remains of antique Greek art, the bath is frequently
represented. But the mode is invariably the same. The bather is placed
_beside_ the vessel containing the water, which is taken thence in a
dipper or jar, and poured over him.[20]

Footnote 19:

  Gen. xxiv, 13.—; Ex. ii, 15-19; Judges v, 11; Ruth ii, 1-4; 2 Sam.
  xxiii, 15; 1 Sam. ix, 11; John iv, 7; Matt. xx, 1-7.

Footnote 20:

  See Wilkinson, above quoted, and Smith’s Greek and Roman Antiquities,
  _article_ “Balneæ;” and below pp. 200, 207.

Homer’s description of the bath of Ulysses is thus rendered by Bryant:

                              A nymph—“the fourth
            Brought water from the fountain, and beneath
            A massive tripod kindled a great fire,
            And warmed the water. When it boiled, within
            The shining brass, she led me to the bath,
            And washed me from the tripod. On my head
            And shoulders, pleasantly, she shed the streams
            That from my members took away the sense
            Of weariness, unmanning body and mind.”[21]

Footnote 21:

  Bryant’s Odyssey, Book X, 429-437.

              SECTION XXXI.—_The Washings of the Priests._

Writers upon the types and symbols of the Scriptures too often fail to
recognize or appreciate their unity, symmetry, and completeness as a
system, and the just proportion and propriety of each several part in
its relation to the whole. That such must have been their character was
impressively intimated to Israel by the emphasis with which Moses was
admonished to “look that thou make them after their pattern, which was
shewed thee in the mount.”—Ex. xxv, 40; xxvii, 8; Num. viii, 4. The
reason of this particularity is stated by Paul. “Who serve unto the
example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God
when he was about to make the tabernacle; for, See, saith he, that thou
make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the
mount.”—Heb. viii, 5. The tabernacle and its appurtenances were a
systematic and luminous exposition of the plan of grace. Approaching it
from without, the first object that presented itself was the brazen
altar of burnt-offering, exhibiting the price of redemption. Between it
and the door of the tabernacle stood the laver, the pure water of which
symbolized the Holy Spirit, through whom is the washing of regeneration
and renewing of the Holy Ghost, the essential condition precedent to
admittance to the fold of Christ. Entering the tabernacle, the first
apartment represented the church on earth, the fold of the covenant. In
it the light always shone from the seven branched golden candlestick,
the lamps of which, continually replenished with oil by the priest,
symbolized the church shining as the light of the world, through the oil
of grace, the unction of the Holy One, ministered by our great High
Priest. The table of show bread always supplied with twelve loaves,
according to the number of the twelve tribes, set forth that Bread of
life ever abundant for all, which nourishes the people of God in the
earthly church, in preparation for the heavenly. Immediately before the
veil, and before the ark of the covenant in the holy of holies stood the
altar of incense, the fire of which, kindled with coals from the altar
of burnt-offering, set forth the prayers of God’s people, made
acceptable and fragrant before the throne, by virtue of the atonement
and intercession of Christ. Within the veil,—thin curtain between the
earthly and the heavenly house,—the mercy seat covering the ark, and the
tables of the covenant law enclosed therein, represented the throne of
God’s grace resting upon the firm foundation of his eternal law, thus
showing that mercy to man is conditioned upon satisfaction to that law
by the blood of atonement sprinkled there. All the other features of the
system, its rites and ceremonies, were constructed and ordered in a
strictly symmetrical and congruous relation to these. A recollection of
these points will aid in a just appreciation of the points involved in
the present discussion.

Of the form and dimensions of the laver, the Scriptures give no account,
except that it stood on a foot or pedestal. (Ex. xxx, 18.) It was,
however, of such size and proportions as to be carried about with Israel
in their journeyings, probably with bars, borne on the shoulders of the
Levites, as was the altar. In preparing facilities for the purpose of
immersion, our Baptist brethren invariably sink the font to such a level
that the minister and the subjects of the rite may descend into it. And
this arrangement is a dictate, not of convenience only, but of decency,
in the performance of the service. But, to suppose the laver
sufficiently large and deep to serve as an immersion font, and then
place it upon a pedestal, involves an elevation which must have rendered
it, practically, inaccessible for such purposes, and precludes the idea
that it was intended to be so used. In fact, the laver was not a bath
tub, nor ever used as such, but a containing vessel from which was drawn
water for all the uses of the sanctuary. The engravings which appear on
pages 200, 207 below, precisely correspond with the Mosaic description
of the laver, and probably give a very closely approximate idea of its
form, size, and proportions.

In the temple of Solomon, the one laver of the tabernacle was replaced
by a “sea of brass,” and ten lavers. The sea was appropriated to the
washings of the priests, whilst the lavers were used for washing the
sacrifices. That they were used as fountains of supply, and not as
vessels in which the sacrifices were washed, appears from the fact that
they rested on bases four cubits square, by three cubits high, and were
of the same proportions. (1 Kings vii, 27, 38.) The Hebrew text gives
the length, breadth, and height of the bases, but only the length and
breadth of the lavers. The Septuagint and Josephus give the former
dimensions, and add the height of the lavers—three cubits. Thus, the
bottoms of the lavers were four and a half feet above the pavement on
which they stood, and their brims, nine feet above it. They were,
moreover, provided with wheels, so as to be removed from place to place,
as occasion required. That the sacrifices were not immersed in them is
evident. The Talmud states that they were washed upon marble tables; and
this is the mode for which provision is made in the vision of Ezekiel.
(Ezek. xl, 38-43.)

The sea of brass was ten cubits in diameter, and five cubits high; that
is, about fifteen feet by seven and a half. It was elevated on twelve
brazen oxen, the height of which is not given. But if we allow them no
greater height than the bases of the lavers, the whole height was about
twelve feet; a height not suggestive of convenience for immersions.

2. The brazen sea was no part of the tabernacle furniture when God
directed Moses to “bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the
tabernacle of the congregation and wash them with water.”—Ex. xl, 12;
comp. xxix, 4. “And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing
which the Lord commanded to be done. And Moses brought Aaron and his
sons and washed them with water.”—Lev. viii, 5, 6. Respecting this, the
facts are so evident as to admit but one conclusion. (1.) The command
given was not to immerse Aaron and his sons, but (_rāhatz_), to wash
them, according to the proper meaning of that word, as already shown,
and after the ordinary manner of ablution. (2.) The transaction is
thrice described, in the places referred to above; but the laver is not
once mentioned, nor any means of immersion. (3.) The place of the
washing is so described as to exclude immersion. Thrice repeated, it is
still, “_at_ the door,” of the tabernacle. (Lev. viii, 4.) If the
priests were immersed, on this occasion, the laver was the only vessel
in which it can have been done; and, not only was it so constructed as
to render its use impossible, but the language of the account is such as
to conceal the fact. But here was no immersion. As commanded, Moses
_washed_ Aaron and his sons.

3. When Moses was ordered to make the laver, its purpose was stated:
“Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat; when
they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with
water, that they die not; or, when they come near to the altar, to
minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the Lord. So they shall
wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a
statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their
generations.”—Ex. xxx, 19-21. Not only were the priests thus to wash
their hands and their feet, but also certain parts of the
sacrifices.—“The priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head
and the fat in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the
altar; but his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water; and the
priest shall burn all on the altar.”—Lev. i, 8, 9, 13; viii, 21; ix, 14.

Should we set aside the arguments arising from the meaning of the word
employed,—from the customs of the people as to personal ablutions,—and
from the form and elevation of the laver, the present facts discover an
insurmountable objection to the idea of immersion. Or, will it be
insisted that the priests as they came into the sanctuary at the
appointed times of service, successively, climbed to the top of the
laver and, balancing on its brim, immersed their hands and feet; and,
then, in fulfillment of their official duties, immersed in the water
thus fouled, the inwards, or bowels and intestines, and the pieces of
the sacrifices, about to be offered to God? The supposition would be
indecent and profane. And yet, this is the unavoidable result of
demanding immersion, in this case. For, the same language is used in
requiring the washing of the priests and of the sacrifices, and there
was but one laver, to supply all demands for water at the sanctuary.

4. But, again: On the day of atonement, the high priest was required, at
a certain time in the order of observances for the day, being alone in
the sanctuary, to “wash his flesh with water in the holy place.”—Lev.
xvi, 24. Here, at least, there is no room for controversy. The laver was
outside the door of the tabernacle. The priest was within, “in the holy
place.” In it, there was no vessel in which an immersion could take
place. Immersion was not merely improbable.—It was impossible. The
circumstances compel us to accept the language of the place, just as it
stands; and to believe that the high priest, on this occasion _washed_
himself, and that he did so, as all washings of the person are
performed, “_with_ water,” as an instrumental means; and that it was
applied with his own hands to his own person.

5. Living or fresh water is the most familiar Scriptural symbol of the
Holy Spirit. This is fully considered elsewhere. In the symbolism of the
tabernacle and temple, the water of the lavers and sea of brass was the
appointed symbol of that blessed Person, as the source of all cleansing
and sanctifying influences. In this view, the fact is instructive, that,
in the temple of Ezekiel’s vision, (Ezek. xl-xlviii) there was no laver;
but, instead, the waters of the river of life flowed from the spot on
which the laver should have stood. Jewish tradition states the laver to
have stood on the south side of the door of the tabernacle, which looked
toward the east. That was the position of the brazen sea. “He set the
sea on the right side of the house, eastward, over against the south.”—1
Kings vii, 39. “On the right side of the east end, over against the
south.”—2 Chron. iv, 10. In Ezekiel, “the forefront of the house stood
toward the east, and the waters came down from under, from the right
side of the house at the south side of the altar.”—Ezek. xlvii, 1. Nor
is it unworthy of consideration, that, if the laver was designed as a
baptistery or immersion font, the living stream described by Ezekiel was
wholly inadequate to such a purpose; being, at that point, but a
rivulet, not ankle deep. (Ib. 3-5.)

6. The meaning of the water, taken in connection with the relation which
Moses, by divine appointment, sustained to Aaron, suggests the
interpretation of the washing of the latter by Moses. Moses was to Aaron
“instead of God” (Ex. iv, 16); and since Aaron’s priesthood was typical
of that of the Lord Jesus, it follows, that the action of Moses, in
washing his brother, and then robing him in the holy garments of the
priesthood, was typical of the agency of the Father, in endowing our
great High Priest, through the Holy Spirit, with a sinless humanity,
(Heb. x, 5-7) and in it, investing him with the eternal priesthood which
he now fulfills. This washing of Aaron is to be discriminated from his
official anointing. The latter signified the official gifts and
qualifications of Christ, whilst the former had respect to his birth and
growth in personal holiness. (Luke ii, 52.)

7. The significance of the feet, in the figurative system of the
Scriptures, appears in the proverb, which, among the things that the
Lord hates, enumerates “feet that be swift in running to
mischief.”—Prov. vi, 18. On the other hand, the Psalmist says,—“I turned
my feet unto thy testimonies.”—“I refrained my feet from every evil
way.”—Ps. cxix, 59, 101. The hands and feet, together, represent, fully,
the active energies of man. And the priests washing their hands and
feet, when they came to minister at the altar was typical of the active
righteousness of the Lord Jesus. This is the more apparent, when
associated with the other fact, that in fulfilling the office for which
they thus washed themselves, they were required, as already stated, to
wash the inwards and the legs of the burnt offerings, (Lev. i, 9, 13;
etc.); the inwards, or bowels representing the affections, and the legs
the active powers. Thus, the priests and the sacrifices together
typified the essential holiness and the active obedience of the Lord
Jesus, “who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself, without spot,
to God.”—Heb. ix, 14. In all this, there is still nothing to demand, to
suggest, or allow, the idea of immersion. The significance of the rites
accords perfectly with all the other irresistible indications, which
lead us to the conclusion that under no circumstances was immersion ever
used in the washings of the priests, or the rites of the tabernacle and
temple service.

      SECTION XXXII.—_Like these were the Washings of the People._

The conclusion just indicated as to the washings of the priests, carries
with it a like decision respecting all the self-performed washings.

1. The word _rāhatz_, to wash, is used in the same manner, in the
directions given with respect to all the various cases, of hands, feet
and person,—of priests and people, and of the sacrificial pieces, alike.

2. The self-washings imposed on the people were of the same essential
nature and meaning as those of the priests. In both, the idea was that
of holiness and purity of heart and life, maintained by personal
watchfulness and efficiency through the grace of the Holy Spirit. If
this idea was properly symbolized by the priestly ablutions without
immersion, the conclusion is unavoidable, that among the people
immersion was unknown. To them, the mode used by the priests would be
the standard of propriety.

3. It is impossible to elicit any consistent meaning out of the supposed
immersions. The ritual system was characterized by congruity in all its
parts, and meaning everywhere. What else upon Baptist principles, can
the immersions be thought to mean, if not the burial of Christ? But how,
then, are we to understand the grades of washings, of the hands, and
feet, and garments, as so carefully distinguished from each other, and
from that of the person? What means the fact, which is so clearly
marked, that these washings were self-performed? Did Christ entomb
himself? How are we to explain the washing of Aaron by Moses? If
immersion is typical of the burial of the Lord Jesus, what pertinence
could it have to his birth and inauguration as priest? What mean the
peculiar times at which the self-washings were to be performed,—the
priests being required always to wash _before_ offering sacrifice or
ministering at the altar; whilst, the unclean for seven days performed
the same rite at the end of the seven days, _after_ they had been
restored from typical death? Was Christ buried _before_ he had made of
himself an offering and a sacrifice? Or, again, was it _after_ he had,
by the Spirit, risen from the dead? On the immersion theory, the facts
can not be reconciled.

Whilst all these considerations point decisively to one conclusion,
there is not a fact nor a circumstance to occasion even a moment’s
embarrassment in its acceptance. Assume the washings to have been
immersions, and confusion and perplexity invest the subject. Recognize
them in their true character as ablutions and not immersions, and all is
clear and congruous. The customs of the people,—the circumstances in
which the rites were performed,—the words used to describe them,—the
ritual relations in which they occur,—the analogies of the whole
system,—the examples of the priests, and every casual incident and
allusion,—all find, in this view, a center around which they cluster and
shine, in perfect harmony, clearness and congruity of meaning.

The conclusion is impregnable. Immersion, as a rite of cleansing or
purifying, was utterly unknown to Israel. And, particularly, there is
nothing whatever to be found, in all the records of the Levitical system
to which the advocates of immersion can point and say,—“Here are the
ordinances of which Paul speaks, wherein divers immersions were imposed
on Israel, until the time of reformation.” It is therefore certain that
_in the vocabulary of Paul_, BAPTIZO _did not mean, to immerse, and
baptism is not so performed_.

        SECTION XXXIII.—_Defilements and Purifyings of Things._

Things, as well as persons, were liable to defilements, both the major
and the minor, and the law made correspondent provision for their

1. To the class of minor defilements belonged those of wooden vessels,
and bags of cloth or skin, which had been touched by the dead carcase of
an unclean animal. “It must be put into water,” and be unclean until the
even. (Lev. xi, 32.) Here, at last, is an immersion; the only one found
in the entire law. The case is of great interest as illustrating the
ease and clearness with which immersion is expressed when it was
intended. We search in vain for any corresponding directions, in the
case of persons:—“They must be put into water.” This rule moreover is of
great importance, as constituting a standard of reference by which to
ascertain the divine estimation of the value of immersion as a ritual
purifying. Of certain animals, the ordinance was that “whosoever doth
touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even. And upon
whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be
unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack,
whatsoever vessel it be wherein any work is done, it must be put into
water, and it shall be unclean until the even;—so it shall be
cleansed.”—Ib. 31, 32. Thus, it appears, from both examples,—of persons
and of things,—that the uncleanness described was of the minor grade,
which continued only till the even. In fact, it seems to have been the
lightest form of this grade. For, while the law provided that he that
bore such carcase must “wash his clothes,” (vs. 25, 28) and be unclean
until the even,—it directed, concerning the present case of mere casual
and momentary contact by touching it, that he shall be “unclean until
the even,” without any prescription of cleansing rites. (Compare also,
v. 29.) The meaning of this may be gathered from a comparison of 1 Cor.
v, 9-13. In the Levitical system, unclean beasts seem to represent
unregenerate men. To God’s people, a certain amount of contact with them
is inevitable; from which, therefore, and its defiling influences, the
only remedy is to be looked for in the ending of this life, and the
entrance upon heaven’s rest. The emphasis of the ritual warnings was,
therefore, directed, not against involuntary and casual contact with the
evil, but against dalliance with it, expressed by carrying and eating
the unclean. The immersion which we have found to be prescribed, was
appointed, not for persons, but for things,—and for things tainted with
this slightest of all the defilements known to the law. On the other
hand, as we shall presently see, for major defilements of things,—by the
dead and by leprosy,—the same sacrificial rites, and sprinkling of water
were ordained, as in the case of persons. Such is the divine testimony
as to the relative ritual value of immersion and sprinkling. I will not
wrong the intelligence of the reader, by discussing the possibility of
this immersion, being what Paul meant by the “divers baptisms” of the

Other minor defilements of things were, (1.) Brazen vessels used for
cooking the flesh of the sin offerings. They were to be “scoured and
rinsed in water.” If the vessel was of earthenware, it was to be broken.
(Lev. vi, 28. Compare 1 Cor. xi, 24.) (2.) “The vessel of earth that he
toucheth, which hath an issue, shall be broken; and every vessel of wood
shall be rinsed in water.”—Ib. xv, 12.

2. Things defiled by the dead, were to be sprinkled with the water of
separation, on the third day and on the seventh. (Num. xix, 14, 15, 18.)
In the case of the spoil of Midian, there was a further
purifying.—“Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go
through the fire; and it shall be clean; nevertheless it shall be
purified with the water of separation; and all that abideth not the fire
ye shall make go through the water.”—Num. xxxi, 23. The word “go
through,” here, is the same that is used when Jesse is said to have
caused seven of his sons to “pass by,” and to “pass before” Samuel, (1
Sam. xvi, 9, 10); when Jacob caused his household to “pass over” the
brook, (margin, Gen. xxxii, 23); and when God promised to make all his
goodness to “pass before” Moses. (Ex. xxxiii, 19.) The alternatives here
of fire and water seem to have reference to the two great facts of
purgation in the world’s history, of which Peter speaks. (2 Pet. iii,
5-7.) The deluge was a purifying of the earth, defiled by sin, and so
will the fire be, in the final day.

3. A house infected with leprosy, when cured, was treated in a manner
essentially the same as was a person so afflicted. (Lev. xiv, 34-53.)

                                PART V.

               SECTION XXXIV.—_Old Testament Allusions._

The rite of purifying with the ashes of the red heifer was one of the
most familiar and impressive of the Mosaic institutions. That its
observance was maintained through the whole course of Israel’s history,
is evinced by the frequent allusions of the sacred writers. King Saul
found in the ordinances on this subject an explanation of David’s
absence from his table.—“Something hath befallen him. He is not clean:
surely he is not clean.”—1 Sam. xx, 26. The words of David himself have
been referred to already, as he cries,—“Purge me with hyssop, and I
shall be clean.”—Psa. li, 7. This was written about five hundred years
after the giving of the law. Three centuries later, the Lord says to
Israel by Hosea,—“Their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of
mourners,” (that is, bread made or touched by those that were defiled by
the dead), “all that eat thereof shall be polluted.”—Hosea ix, 4. Isaiah
began his prophecy about twenty-five years later,—about B. C. 760-698.
In his time a great revival took place, under the hand of King Hezekiah,
in connection with which the laws of purification came into prominent
notice. It began with the exhortation of Hezekiah, to the priests and
Levites.—“Hear me, ye Levites; _sanctify_” (or, cleanse) “now
yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers; and
carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.”—2 Chron. xxix, 5.
When this was done, the king appointed a service of dedication. In it
“the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt
offerings; wherefore, their brethren the Levites did help them, till the
work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves:
for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than
the priests.”—vs. 34. Immediately afterward the king kept a great
passover, gathering the remnants of the ten tribes, with Judah. “And the
priests and the Levites were ashamed and sanctified themselves, ... for
there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore
the Levites had charge of the killing of the passovers for every one
that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord. For a multitude of
the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had
not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it
was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon
every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his
fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the
sanctuary. And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the
people.”—Ib. xxx, 15-20.

In Isaiah, occurs that prophecy of God’s grace for the Gentiles, “Behold
my servant, ... as many were astonied at thee, his visage was so marred
more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men; so shall he
_sprinkle_ many nations.”—Isa. lii, 13-15. There are two words in the
original Hebrew, meaning, to sprinkle. That which here occurs is used to
describe the purifying of the leper, and of those defiled by the dead.
The priest, with the scarlet wool, cedar wood and hyssop, “shall
_sprinkle_ upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy, seven
times.”—Lev. xiv, 7. “A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the
water, and _sprinkle_ it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and
upon the persons.”—Num. xix, 18. The Jewish translators of the
Septuagint, have rendered the passage, “so shall he _astonish_ many
nations.” But this only shows how willingly those writers would have
obliterated from the text the promise of salvation for the Gentiles,
which it contains. We know that the Gentiles were by the law, held to be
unclean—“dead in trespasses and sins.”—Eph. ii, 1, 11; Acts x, 14-16,
28; xv, 9. We have seen baptism by sprinkling to have been appointed for
the purifying of every kind of uncleanness, and witnessed its use in the
reception of the children of Midian. Moreover, the word here found in
the original is everywhere else used in the sense of sprinkling. With
one exception, it is invariably employed as descriptive of the ritual
purifyings. The exception describes the sprinkling or spattering of the
blood of Jezebel, when she was hurled from the height of the palace. (2
Kings ix, 33.) There is no conceivable reason for making the text an
exception to the meaning thus invariably indicated. Christ, the
Baptizer, will sprinkle many nations. He “will pour out of his Spirit on
all flesh.”—Acts ii, 17; Joel ii, 28. Of this it is that Isaiah speaks
in the place in question.

The same grace was promised to Israel by the prophet Ezekiel (B. C.
595-574), in language which we have already quoted, “Then will I
sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean.”—Ezek. xxxvi,
24-27. In this prophet’s vision of the future temple, he says of the
priests: “They shall come at no dead person to defile themselves: but
for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or
for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves. And
after he is cleansed, they shall reckon unto him seven days. And in the
day that he goeth into the sanctuary, unto the inner court to minister
in the sanctuary he shall offer his sin-offering, saith the Lord
God.”—Ezek. xliv, 25-27.

About fifty years after the close of Ezekiel’s prophecy Haggai was sent
to Judah (B. C. 520). He inquires of the priests, respecting “bread, or
pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat,” “If one that is unclean by a
dead body touch any of these shall it be unclean? And the priests
answered, and said, It shall be unclean.”—Hag. ii, 13.

Except the brief testimony of Malachi, Zechariah was the last of the
prophets. His ministry closed, about B. C. 487. In his prophecy occurs
that promise of “a fountain opened to the house of David and to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.”—Zech. xiii, 1.
The word, “fountain,” in the original means a flowing spring, “opened,”
as was the rock in the wilderness; of which the Psalmist says, “He
opened the rock and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places
like a river.”—Psa. cv, 41. The language of Zechariah seems to be an
allusion to this.

We have thus traced the baptism of purifying with the water of
separation through the writings of the prophets for a thousand years,
from the time of its institution to within less than five hundred years
of the coming of Christ. We shall presently follow it down to the time
of Christ and to the destruction of Jerusalem.

       SECTION XXXV.—_Rabbinic Traditions as to the Red Heifer._

According to Jewish tradition the burning of the red heifer took place
but nine times, from the beginning, until the final dispersion of the
nation. The first was by Eleazar, in the wilderness. (Num. xix, 3.)
This, they say, was not repeated for more than a thousand years, when
Ezra offered the second, upon the return of the captivity from Babylon.
From that time, until the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus was about
five hundred years, during which they report seven heifers to have been
burned—two by Simon, the just, two by Johanan, the father of Matthias,
one by Elioenai, the son of Hakkoph, one by Hananeel Hammizri, and one
by Ishmael, the son of Fabi. Since then, it has been impossible for them
to fulfill the rite according to the law, as the altar and temple are no
more. The tenth they say will be offered by the Messiah, at his
coming.[22] Lightfoot finds in the increased frequency with which the
heifer was burned, during the later period of Jewish history, a
circumstantial illustration of the growing spirit of ritualism, which
multiplied the occasions of using the ashes. It is, however, impossible
to accept the account, at least, as to the earlier period, as authentic
history. It is probably mere conjecture, suggested by the silence of the
Scriptures, and is most improbable in itself. But the later tradition is
more reliable; as, at the time when it was put upon record, the Jews
were undoubtedly in possession of abundant historical materials, for the
period subsequent to the return of the captivity under Ezra. According
to this account, seven heifers served all the purposes of that form of
purification, for five hundred years. In that time, over fifteen
generations, or not less than fifty millions of Jews were consigned to
the sepulcher, and the consequent sprinkling administered to the
families, attendants, houses, and furniture. If we ignore all other
applications of these ashes, to those defiled by the slain in battle,
and to those subject to other causes of defilement, it is still evident
that the sufficiency and virtue of the rite were not held to depend upon
the quantity of the ashes employed, and that the amount actually used
was so minute that it can not have been perceptible in the water. The
manner of administration was thus true to the nature of the ordinance,
as having no intrinsic virtue, in itself, but only in its significance
as addressed to intelligence and faith. And it prepared the minds of the
people to witness without perplexity, the change from water in which an
inappreciable quantity of ashes appealed to the imagination, to that in
which, while no ashes were used, the association of ideas and meaning
remained the same.

Footnote 22:

  Juchasin, fol 16, in Lightfoot.

       SECTION XXXVI.—_The Festival of the Outpouring of Water._

Not only are the Old Testament Scriptures full of the doctrine of the
outpouring of the Spirit, under the figure of living water; but one of
the most remarkable of the institutions observed by the Jews from the
days of the prophets here last quoted, had immediate relation to the
same thing. It was called “The festival of the outpouring of water.” Its
origin was by the Jews attributed to the prophets Haggai and Zechariah,
under whose ministry the temple was rebuilt, and the ordinances
restored; a tradition which is confirmed by internal evidence. The
festival was incorporated with the feast of the ingathering, or
tabernacles. That feast seems to have been the pre-eminent type of the
prosperity, the rest and gladness of the kingdom of Messiah. By the law,
the people were required to gather “the boughs” (in the margin, “the
fruit”) “of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of
thick trees, and willows of the brook, and ye shall rejoice before the
Lord your God seven days.”—Lev. xxiii, 40. They used the fruit of the
citron or lemon, with branches of the palm and the myrtle, and willows
from the brook Kedron. These tied together in one bunch were called, the
_lulab_. Early on the morning of the first day of the feast, the people,
clothed in holiday garb, assembled at the temple, each having a lulab in
one hand and a citron in the other, and each carrying a branch of
willow, with which they adorned the altar round about. As soon as the
morning sacrifice was placed on the altar, a priest descended to the
fountain of Siloam, which flowed from the foot of the temple mount,
bearing a golden vase or pitcher, which he filled with water. As he
entered the court, through that gate which was hence called “the water
gate,” the trumpets sounded. He ascended to the great altar of burnt
offering, where were placed two silver bowls, one on the east side of
the altar and the other on the west, one of which contained wine. Into
the other, he poured the water from the golden vessel, and then mingling
the water and wine, slowly poured it on the ground, as it would seem, to
the east and to the west, as the bowls were placed. (Compare Zech. xiv,
8.) In the mean time the temple choir sang the Hallel to the
accompaniment of instruments of music.[23] Then, the people who thronged
the court marched in procession about the altar, waving their lulabs,
and setting them bending toward it, the trumpets sounding and the people
shouting, “Hallelujah!” and “Hosanna!” with ejaculations of prayer,
thanksgiving and praise, selected from the Psalms. In this service, even
the little children, as soon as able to wave a palm branch, were
encouraged to join. After this they went home to dine, and spent the
afternoon reading the law or hearing the expositions of learned scribes.
In the evening commenced the festive joy of the outpouring of the water.
The water was drawn and poured out, at the time of the morning sacrifice
and in connection with it,—a solemnity in the presence of which any
hilarious demonstrations were inopportune. The festivity was therefore
reserved until the evening. The multitude then assembled in the court of
the women, that being the largest court, and the nearest approach that
the women as a body could make to the holy house. On this occasion they
occupied the galleries which surrounded the court, whilst the men
thronged the open space. At suitable places, in the court there were
great candelabra of such size and height that they overlooked the whole
temple mount. A ladder stood by each, by means of which young priests
from time to time ascended and replenished the oil, of which each bowl
is reported by the Talmud to have held seven or eight gallons. Many of
the people also carried torches, so that the whole mount was flooded
with light. The festivity was begun by the temple choir of priests, who,
standing in order upon the fifteen steps that led down from the court of
Israel to that of the women, chanted some of the “songs of degrees,” to
the accompaniment of instruments; whilst such of the people as were
skilled in music joined their voices and instruments. Then, the chief
men of the nation, rulers of synagogues, members of the sanhedrim,
scribes, doctors of the law, and all such as were of eminent rank or
repute for gifts or piety laid off their outer robes, and joined in a
joyous leaping and dancing, in the presence of the multitude, singing
and shouting Hosannas and Hallelujahs, and ejaculating the praises of
God. Thus a great part of the night was expended, each one emulating the
others in imitation of the humility of David, at the bringing up of the
ark (2 Sam. vi, 15, 16); for, the excitement now indulged in, the
leaping and dancing, were, at other times, accounted unbecoming the
dignity of the nobles of Israel. At length, two of the priests, standing
in the gate of Nicanor, which was at the head of the stairway, sounded
their trumpets, and descending the steps continued to sound as they
traversed the court, until they came to the eastern gate. Here they
turned around toward the west, so as to face the temple. They then
cried,—“Our fathers who were in this place, turned their backs to the
temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east.[24] But as for us,
we turn to Him, and our eyes look unto Him.” The assembly then
dispersed. With slight variations, the same order was observed each of
the seven days of the feast.[25]

Footnote 23:

  Ps. cxiii-cxviii, were known among the Jews as, the Hallel, that is,
  Praise, being sung at the temple on the first of each month, and at
  the annual feasts.

Footnote 24:

  See Ezek. viii, 16.

Footnote 25:

  Lightfoot on this Feast and that of Tabernacles. Lewis’s “Origines
  Hebraeæ.” Pool’s “Synopsis,” etc.

The joy of the people at the ingathering of the harvest and the
prosperous end of the labors of the year,—the gay and festive appearance
of the city, every housetop and open space, and even the sides and top
of the mount of Olives, covered with the green booths,—the extraordinary
services at the temple, where more sacrifices were offered during the
week than in all the other feasts of the year together,—the green
willows adorning the altar and daily renewed—the processions around it,
the branches carried by the people,—the trumpets, songs, and
Hosannas,—and, at night, the flaming lights, the jubliant concourse, the
waving of the lulabs, the music and dancing, the shoutings, songs, and
trumpets, must have presented a scene of exhilaration and gladness hard
to conceive. It was a saying of the rabbins, that “He that has not
witnessed the festivity of the pouring out of the water, has never seen
festivity at all.”

The rabbins are obscure in their explanations of the observance here
described. Some would represent it as a thanksgiving for the rains by
which the soil had been fertilized and the harvests matured. But with a
better appreciation, Rabbi Levi is reported in the Talmud, “Why is it
called the drawing of water? Says Rabbi Levi, Because of the receiving
of the Holy Spirit, according to that which is written,—With joy will we
draw water from the wells of salvation.”—Isa. xii, 3. That the
outpouring had reference, not to the receiving of the Spirit by Israel,
but to its outpouring upon the Gentiles, in the days of the Messiah, is
confirmed by the tenor of the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah, the
authors of the observance, and by language of our Savior, which
expositors agree in referring to this rite. Both of those prophets
encouraged Judah in rebuilding the temple by the assurance that “the
Desire of all nations should come” to it.—Hag. ii, 7. Said the Lord, by
Zechariah, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of
Jerusalem; behold thy King cometh unto thee: he is just and having
salvation: lowly and riding upon an ass and upon a colt the foal of an
ass.... It shall come to pass, in that day, that I will seek to destroy
all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the
house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace
and of supplications, and they shall look upon me whom they have
pierced, and they shall mourn for him.... In that day there shall be a
fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of
Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.... And it shall be in that day,
that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem: half of them toward the
former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea. In summer and winter
shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: In that day
there shall be one Lord, and his name one.... And it shall come to pass
that every one that is left of all the nations which came against
Jerusalem, shall even go up, from year to year, to worship the King, the
Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”—Zech. ix, 9; xii,
9, 10; xiii, 1; xiv, 8, 9, 16.

To all this, reference is evidently had in the incident related by the
evangelist, John, as occurring at this feast.—“In the last day, that
great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man
thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth in me, as the
Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should
receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was
not yet glorified.”—John vii, 37-39. These words of Jesus, as will
hereafter appear, had distinct reference to the giving of the gospel to
the Gentiles. A few additional facts will shed a clearer light upon the
meaning of the festival.

The feast of tabernacles, strictly so called, was of seven days’
continuance; during which the people dwelt in booths. On the eighth day,
they removed the booths and re-entered their houses. They observed that
day as a distinct and peculiar festival. “On the eighth day shall be a
holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire
unto the Lord; it is a solemn assembly.” (Lev. xxiii, 36; Deut. xvi,
13-15.) During the seven days the offerings upon the altar had a very
remarkable order. On the first day, they were “thirteen young bullocks,
two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year,” and one kid of the
goats for a sin offering. These were in addition to the ordinary daily
offerings. On each successive day, the number of the bullocks was
reduced by one, whilst the other offerings remained the same. But on the
eighth day the offering was one bullock, one ram, and seven lambs, and
one goat for a sin offering. (Num. xxix, 12-38.) On this peculiar order
of sacrifices, the explanations of the scribes are various. In the
Talmud, Rabbi Solomon states the bullocks, whose aggregate number for
the seven days was seventy, to have represented the seventy idolatrous
nations; that being, as the Jews supposed, their number. These must be
continually diminished, while Israel, represented by the other
offerings, remains.[26] Says Pool,—“The eighth day was the great day,
not by divine appointment, but from the opinion of the Jews, who
regarded the sacrifices and prayers of the other days as made, not so
much for themselves as for the other nations; but the eighth, as being
solely for themselves.”[27] Hence the Targum,—“_The eighth day shall be
holy_. Thou seest, O God, that Israel in the feast of tabernacles,
offers before thee seventy bullocks, for the seventy nations, for which
they ought to love us. But for our love, they are our adversaries. The
holy blessed God therefore saith to Israel, Offer for yourselves on the
eighth day.”[28]

Footnote 26:

  Rabbi Solomon on Num. xxix, in Lightfoot on this feast.

Footnote 27:

  Pool’s Synopsis, on John vii, 37. He refers to Grotius.

Footnote 28:

  Lewis’s Origines Hebraeæ, p. 606.

The gospels render us familiar with the religion of the scribes. By the
help of tradition it sought to divest the law of God of its claim upon
the allegiance of the heart, to obscure and set aside the spiritual
meaning of its rites, and to substitute a system of minute outward
observances, and a fanatical pride in the blood of Abraham, which looked
scornfully down on all other nations as unclean and accursed. This
system was embodied in the Talmud, and culminated in the compilation of
that work, several centuries after the destruction of the temple and the
downfall of the nation. When, therefore, among the idle traditions which
fill the pages of that work, we come upon occasional traces of a
profounder spiritual exegesis, and sentiments respecting the Gentiles
more in harmony with the spirit of Old Testament prophecy, we may
confidently recognize them as precious vestiges of truth, which have
escaped obliteration, as they were transmitted through that uncongenial
channel, from a distant and purer antiquity.

Such is the conviction which will result from a careful comparison of
the traditions above cited with the accounts of the rites in question,
the language of the prophets, and the words of Jesus to which reference
has just been made. By the light thus concentrated, we see, in the
ingathering of the harvest of the holy land and the festivities
following, a type and prophecy of the ingathering of the nations into
the fold of Israel, under the scepter of Messiah, and the songs and joy
that hail their coming. Then the solemnity of the eighth day may have
anticipated the time when, opposition withdrawn, all nations “shall go
up from year to year to worship the King the Lord of hosts, and to keep
the feast of tabernacles,” when “the Lord shall be King over all the
earth, and there shall be one Lord, and his name One.” In this light,
Israel appears in her lofty character and office as the priest-kingdom,
standing as mediator for the nations, and making for them offerings of
atonement and intercessions. Nor less significant was the drawing of the
water from

                         “Siloah’s brook that flowed
                   Fast by the oracle of God,”

and its outpouring by the priest upon the earth, mingled with wine. From
that same fountain, during the same period of Israel’s history, it was
the rule to draw all water that was used at Jerusalem for purification
with the water of separation, especially for those who came to the
annual feasts. To this, Zechariah alludes in his prophecy of that day
when “there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.”—Zech. xiii, 1.
By her great High Priest, was to be dispensed to Israel and through her
to all the earth, the Spirit’s grace, conveying to the nations of the
Gentiles the virtue of the blood of Calvary. Jerusalem and the temple
were to be the source of those healing waters which were to flow to the
east and to the west, “toward the former sea, and toward the hinder
sea,” to gladden the world. (Zech. xiv, 8.)

                SECTION XXXVII.—_The Hellenistic Greek._

After the close of Old Testament prophecy, the conquests of Alexander of
Macedon, the consequent diffusion of the Greeks, and the favor which
that prince and his successors showed to the Jews, introduced an
intimate intercourse between them and the Greeks. By him Alexandria in
Egypt was founded, designated by his own name, and intended to be the
western capital of his empire. In this new Greek capital, its founder
assigned the Jews an extensive section, and equal privileges with the
Macedonians. After the death of Alexander, and the subdivision of his
empire, the Ptolemies, the Greek kings of Egypt, continued to favor the
Jews, treating them on terms of equality with the Greeks. During the
same period, the persecutions suffered by the Jews of Palestine from the
kings of Syria, drove multitudes into exile, many of whom were attracted
to Egypt, so that the Jewish population of Alexandria was at one time
estimated at nearly a million of souls, occupying two of the five
districts of the city; and at least, for a time, governed by their own
ethnarch, or superior magistrate. Among these Jews, and those elsewhere
scattered in the Greek colonies, their own language was gradually
superseded by the Greek, into which, at length, the Old Testament
Scriptures were translated, in a version known as the Septuagint. Of the
precise time and circumstances in which this version was made, there is
no reliable information, except that it was done in Alexandria, within
the first quarter of the third century before Christ. In the time of
Christ, the Greek had become the language of literature and of commerce
for the civilized world. Among the Jews dispersed everywhere, it was
prevalent, and was extensively used even in Palestine itself, and thus
became the divinely prepared channel for communicating the gospel to all

But the language thus employed—the Greek of the Septuagint, the
Apocrypha and the New Testament—was not what is known as classic Greek.
The Jews did not learn it in the schools of Greece, nor from a study of
her poets, orators, and philosophers. It was the product of social and
business contact and intercourse of the one people with the other, in a
land foreign to both.

Already the purity of the Attic had been lost, by the commingling of the
Macedonians with the various tribes of Greece proper and her
dependencies, in the armies from which Alexander’s colonists were taken;
and still further by the mixed multitude which flocked to their new
settlements. In the process of adaptation to the expression of Jewish
thought, it was inevitably subjected to further modifications, in
definition, in syntax, in order and construction—in the very tone and
spirit which pervade the whole. By these modifications, the language,
which had grown up as the native and coeval expression of the idolatrous
religion, the arts and philosophy of pagan Greece, was adapted to become
a repository for the system of divine and saving truth, contained in the
Scriptures. Those Jews who resided in Alexandria and other Greek cities,
who spake this Greek language, and were more or less conformed to the
manners of the Gentiles among whom they lived, were known among their
brethren, as Hellenists, that is, Greek Jews, and hence, the Greek
dialect used by them has acquired the designation of Hellenistic Greek.

The authors of the New Testament adopted this as the language of their
writings, and, in their references to the Old Testament, their
quotations are mostly made, not from the Hebrew, but from the
Septuagint, or Hellenistic version. It was ordinarily used by the Lord
Jesus himself in his discourses. It thus appears as the source and
standard of the language of the New Testament.

Together with these Greek Scriptures of the Old Testament, there have
been transmitted to us several other Jewish documents of the same
period, written in the same Hellenistic Greek. They are invaluable for
the light which they shed upon the history, customs, and modes of
thought and language of the Jews of that time; although the attempt of
the church of Rome, to exalt some of them to an equal authority with the
Scriptures, has tended to fix a stigma on them, as known to us under the
name of Apocrypha. Incautious recourse to the rules and definitions of
classic Greek is liable to deceive and mislead us in the critical study
of the New Testament. But conclusions intelligently deduced from the
language of the Septuagint and of the other Jewish writers of that age,
are to be respected as of the highest authority on all questions of the
New Testament language. On the subject of our present investigation,
these authorities shed a flood of light. In them, we first find the
verb, _baptizo_, used to designate rites of religious purifying. Once in
the Septuagint, and twice in the Apocrypha, it is applied to Hebrew
rites of this nature.

That the use of the word to designate religious observances is peculiar
to the Hellenistic, as contradistinguished from classic Greek, is
indisputable; and it is worthy of consideration, how it came to be
selected from the Greek vocabulary for this purpose. The Hebrews of
Egypt, in their exile from the land of their fathers, had not abandoned
but rather augmented their zeal for the institutions of Moses. A
circumstance in their own history, which at first might have seemed to
threaten a dissolution of the ties that bound them to the temple at
Jerusalem, operated in fact to renovate and strengthen them. This was,
the erection by some of their number, of a temple at Onias in Egypt, in
imitation of that at Jerusalem. Here, the Levitical rites were
punctually observed under priests of the Aaronic line and Levites of the
sacred tribe. For this they claimed warrant from the prophecy of Isaiah,
xix, 19.—“In that day, shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst
of the land of Egypt.” The adherents of this movement do not seem to
have been numerous, and its effect was rather to increase the devotion
of the people to the temple at Jerusalem, and the ordinances there
maintained. Among them, was developed the same disposition which was
prevalent in Judea to give undue importance to multiplied rites of
purifying; and hence an increased and constant necessity of finding, in
the Greek language which they were now adopting, some word suitable to
designate these rites. In that language was the verb, _bapto_, meaning
(1) to dip; (2) to wet by dipping; (3) to wet, irrespective of the
manner; (4) to dye by dipping, and thence, to dye, without respect to
mode—even by sprinkling. But, as we have seen, the rites in question
were not dippings, nor were they dyeings, and the word was never used by
the Jews to designate them. From this root, the Greeks derived the verb
_baptizo_. (1.) Its primary meaning, as used by them, was,—to bring into
the state of mersion. This meaning had no respect to the mode of action,
whether by putting the subject under the fluid, pouring it over him, or
in whatever manner. In other words, it expressed not _im_mersion, but
mersion,—not the mode of inducing the state, but the state induced,—that
of being embosomed in the mersing element. From this primary
signification, was derived a secondary use of the word. As any thing
that is mersed is in the possession and control of the mersing element,
the word was hence used to express the establishing of a complete
possession and controlling influence. As we say that a man is
drowned,—immersed,—overwhelmed, in business, in trouble, in drunkenness,
or in sleep; having, in these expressions, no reference whatever to the
mode in which the described condition was brought about; so the Greeks
used the verb _baptizo_. They spoke of men as baptized with grief, with
passion, with business cares. An intoxicated person was “baptized with
wine,” etc. In such use of the word, the essential idea is that of the
action of a pervasive potency by which the subject is brought and held
in a new state or condition. On this subject, no authority could be
better or more conclusive than that of the Rev. Dr. T. J. Conant, a
scholar of unquestioned eminence and whose researches on this subject
were undertaken at the request of the American (Baptist) Bible Union.
The result of his investigations he thus states. “The word, _baptizein_,
during the whole existence of the Greek as a spoken language, had a
perfectly defined and unvarying import. In its literal use, it meant, as
has been shown,—to put entirely into or under a liquid, or other
penetrable substance, generally water, so that the object was wholly
covered by the enclosing element. By analogy it expressed _the coming
into a new state of life or experience_, in which one was, as it were,
inclosed and swallowed up, so that temporarily or permanently, he
belonged wholly to it.”[29] Dr. Dale has been at the trouble to list and
enumerate no less than forty different words which Dr. Conant employs in
his translations of this word of “perfectly defined and unvarying
import.” It is, however, enough for our present purpose, that this
distinguished scholar here expressly admits with Italic emphasis, that
“by analogy,” the word “expressed the coming into _a new state of life
or experience_, in which one was, as it were, inclosed and swallowed up,
so that temporarily or permanently he belonged wholly to it.”

Footnote 29:

  “The Meaning and Use of _Baptizein_, Philologically and Historically
  investigated for the American Bible Union. By T. J. Conant, D. D.,” p.
  158. The italics are by Dr. C.

Now, here was the very word required to designate the Mosaic rites of
purifying. Of dippings and immersions, Israel had none; and, if these
had been found in their ritual, the verbs, _bapto, to dip, and kataduo,
to plunge into, to immerse_, and the nouns, _baphē_ and _katadusis_,—_a
dipping, an immersion_, were at hand and specific in meaning. But they
did want words to express that potency by which the unclean were, in the
words of Dr. Conant, introduced into “a new state of life,”—a state of
ritual cleanness, typical of the spiritual newness of life in Christ
Jesus which God’s people receive, by the baptism of the Spirit. To
express the working of that change, they appropriated the word _baptizo,
to baptize_; that is, to cleanse, to purify. Then, to give name to the
rites by which that change was accomplished, they formed from it the two
sacred words, _baptisma_ and _baptismos_, words wholly unknown to
classic Greek literature. They are, as to etymology and meaning
identical. By grammarians, the termination, _mos_, is said generally to
indicate the act signified by the verb, while _ma_ indicates its effect.
But the rule is neither absolute nor universal; and the sacred writers
do not maintain the distinction. By them _baptisma_ is used alike to
signify the act of baptizing, and the effect, the new state produced by
it. In their writings, the distinction seems to consist in the
employment of _baptismos_ generically, as designating divers kinds of
purifying rites; while _baptisma_ is specifically applied to the baptism
of John and of Christ. It is found in no other writings of that or
preceding ages. Outside the Scriptures, _baptismos_ occurs once, in the
works of Josephus, who thus designates John’s baptism.[30]

Footnote 30:

  “Antiquities of the Jews,” XVIII, vi, 2.

               SECTION XXXVIII.—_The Baptism of Naaman._

In the Septuagint or Greek Scriptures, _baptizo_ first appears in the
account of the healing of Naaman. “Elisha sent a messenger unto him
saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come
again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.... Then went he down, and dipped
himself seven times in Jordan according to the saying of the man of
God.”—2 Kings v, 10, 14. It is asserted that here is clearly an
immersion.—“He went down and _dipped_ himself seven times.” Respecting
the question thus raised, it is, in the first place, to be distinctly
noticed, that the decision, whatever it be, can not in any way
neutralize or diminish the force of the argument already developed from
the divers baptisms of the epistle to the Hebrews. Were we to allow that
Naaman was immersed, that fact would constitute no reply to the
demonstration that no immersions were “imposed on Israel,” although
divers baptisms were imposed. But, that there was no immersion in this
case, will appear in what follows.

1. The word upon which the immersion argument here rests, is the Hebrew
_tābal_, which is translated, “he dipped.” As to its meaning in this
place, there are several available sources of information. First, is the
manner in which the word is employed elsewhere in the Scriptures. It
occurs, in all, but fifteen times. It is evident, that while these
places are sufficient to establish the fact that the word was used as
they illustrate, they are wholly insufficient to constitute a basis for
the assumption that it was never used in a sense not there found, or in
a sense not there doubly illustrated. For example, Gesenius gives, “to
immerse,” as one of the meanings, and appeals to the text of Naaman as
the only example. Without pretending to emulate the learning of that
great scholar, I venture to assert that, although the definition be not
illustrated by other examples, there is abundant and various evidence
that the word is here used as the equivalent of _rāhatz, to wash_,
according to the proper sense of that word as already ascertained. The
primary and essential idea of _tābal_ appears to be contact by touch, a
contact which may be of the slightest and most superficial kind, as when
the priest was directed to dip the finger of his right hand in a few
drops of oil held in the palm of his left hand (Lev. xiv, 15, 16), and
when those who bore the ark dipped the soles of their feet in the brim
or edge of Jordan and the waters instantly fled away. (Josh. iii, 13,
15.) Again, it is used to describe the staining or smearing of Joseph’s
coat with the blood of the kid. (Gen. xxxvii, 31.) In this case, there
can have been no immersion, since the blood of a kid would have been
wholly insufficient, and the uniform stain thus induced would have
detected the fraud of Joseph’s brothers, as the violence of a wild beast
would not have produced such a result. How the word, in this place was
understood by the rabbins of Alexandria, is shown by the Greek of the
Septuagint, in which it is represented by _moluno_, to soil, to stain,
to smear. “They stained or smeared his coat with the blood.” The same is
no doubt the meaning of Job, when he says to God, “Yet shalt thou
_plunge me_ in the ditch and mine own clothes shall abhor me.”—Job ix,
31. Not the mode of action, but the soiling contact, was the thought
present to Job’s mind. The usage of the word in the Scriptures does not
justify the belief that it is ever employed in the energy of meaning
expressed by “_plunge_.” “Yet shalt thou _soil_ me in the ditch.”

Another source of information is the direction given to Naaman by
Elisha. He dipped himself seven times “_according to the saying_, of the
man of God.” What was that saying? Did Elisha direct him to be immersed
seven times? Elisha sent to him, saying “Go, _wash_ in Jordan seven
times.” The verb, _rāhatz_, to wash, we have examined. It means, to
perform ablution _with water applied to the person_. It does not mean,
to immerse, nor can the action expressed by it be accomplished by
immersion. It is, moreover, observable, that, as though to emphasize the
employment of this word, it is twice repeated in the narrative. Upon
receiving Elisha’s message, Naaman exclaims,—“Abana and Pharpar.... May
I not _wash_ in them and be clean?” And his servants reply,—“If he had
bid thee do some great thing, ... how much rather, when he saith to
thee, _Wash_, and be clean.” Manifestly, the thing which the Syrian was
commanded, was not, to immerse, but, to _wash_ himself. And when to the
meaning of that verb, we add the facts already developed as to the
customs of ablution in those lands, the conclusion is manifest. Naaman
was not directed to dip or immerse himself, but expressly, to wash; and
if he was in fact dipped, it was not “according to the saying of the man
of God,” but in express contravention of it. It may be objected, that a
sprinkling is not a washing. But the Psalmist gives a different
testimony. “_Purge me_ with hyssop, and I shall be _clean_. _Wash me_
and I shall be whiter than snow.” Here, the word, “Wash,” which is made
parallel and equivalent to “Purge me with hyssop,” is not _rāhatz_, but
the yet stronger term, _kābas, scour me_. The very designation of “the
unclean,” for whose “cleansing” those rites were appointed is conclusive
on the point. That the sprinklings thus ordained were, in the law
everywhere, viewed as washings, is undeniable; and in fact, to wash with
water applied, which is the meaning of _rāhatz_, is the very action of
sprinkling. Moreover, in Ezek. xvi, 9, the cleansing of the defilement
of _nidda_, for which sprinkling was the ritual remedy, is described as
a washing of the most vigorous and thorough nature. “Then (_rāhatz_)
_washed_ I thee with water; yea (_shātaph_), _I thoroughly washed away_
thy blood from thee.” How the sprinkling of water can be expressive of
such thorough cleansing, we have already seen. It is very strikingly
illustrated by the language of the Lord to Israel by Ezekiel. “Then will
I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be clean; from all your
filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you.”—Ezek. xxxvi, 25.

The usage of the Scriptures, as to words equivalent to _tābal_, will
shed further light on the present question. The word is ordinarily
represented in the Septuagint Greek, by _bapto_. Of this verb, we have
already stated that it means to dip; to wet, by dipping; to wet in any
mode; to stain or dye by dipping; to dye, even by sprinkling. In the
Chaldee of the book of Daniel, the word equivalent to _tābal_ is
_tzeba_. It thrice occurs in the description of the calamity of
Nebuchadnezzar, when he was cast out with the beasts of the field, and
“his body _was wet_ with the dew of heaven.”—Dan. iv, 23, 25, 33. In
each of these places, the Septuagint has _bapto_, an illustration of the
fact that the latter word, even, does not “always mean, to dip.” If
_tābal_ followed the analogy of these its Greek and Chaldee equivalents,
we are to expect among its secondary meanings that of wetting by
affusion. In the place concerning Naaman, the word by which _tābal_ is
translated into the Greek is _baptizo_. This fact of itself makes it
certain that the Septuagint translators did not understand Naaman to
have been dipped, or immersed; else they would have expressed the fact
by _bapto_, or _kataduo_, instead of _baptizo_, which, in their
vocabulary, as we shall presently show, was used to express purification
by sprinkling with the water of separation; as we have already seen Paul
to employ it in the same way.

2. While these facts, of themselves, make it certain that Naaman was not
immersed, there remains evidence even more conclusive, in the relation
which Elisha himself and this whole transaction sustained to the
covenant law, as given to Israel at Sinai. In considering this case,
there are certain fundamental facts to be held ever in view. (1.)
Leprosy was, at once, a disease and a ritual uncleanness; and was
distinctly recognized in these two several aspects, in the law of God;
and hence the leper could not but be ritually unclean, whilst the mere
healing of the disease left him still unclean. He must be purified as
well as healed. (2.) The ritual law was not a scheme of arbitrary or
unmeaning regulations, but a system of accordant symbols, each of which
had its own distinct meaning, and all of which together constituted a
complete and intelligible exposition of the doctrine of sin and
redemption. Particularly had the ritual respecting leprosy a meaning at
once manifest, impressive, and profound. So important was it, in the
estimation of the divine Lawgiver of Israel, that the strict observance
of all its requirements was enforced by a new and special admonition
addressed to them on the banks of Jordan, after the forty years
wandering in the wilderness. “Take heed, in the plague of leprosy, that
thou observe diligently and do according to all that the priests the
Levites shall teach you; as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do.
Remember what the Lord thy God did unto Miriam by the way, after that ye
were come forth out of Egypt.”—Deut. xxiv, 8, 9. (3.) This law had now
been in operation for six hundred years, whilst its regulations were
such as to arrest and fix the attention of all observers. (4.) To
Naaman, a Syrian, of a country immediately contiguous to the land of
Israel, and belonging to a people of kindred blood, language,
traditions, and customs, the Hebrew ideas on this subject, so
interesting to him, can not have been unknown or strange. Even had he
been otherwise ignorant, he could not but have been informed by the
Hebrew maiden at whose suggestion he undertook his journey to the court
of Israel, in quest of healing. That hers must have been a character of
both intelligence and piety, is evident from the whole narrative, and
especially from the fact that it inspired such confidence as led the
Syrian, at her suggestion, to obtain from his king letters to the king
of Israel, and to go to that court, in the hope of cure, bearing with
him rich gifts, designed as tokens of gratitude. (2 Kings, v, 2-5.) (5.)
The whole history shows this episode in the life of Elisha to have been
any thing but a casual incident. It bears every mark of a special and
extraordinary providence, designed to bring home to the Syrians and to
Israel a signal testimony to the power and grace of the true God. The
peculiar relation which Elijah and Elisha bore to the Syrians is
illustrated by the fact that, at this very time, the latter held a
commission from God through Elijah to anoint Hazael to be king of Syria,
instead of the reigning king Benhadad; by Elisha’s subsequent presence
in Damascus, in fulfillment of that commission, and by the application
which Benhadad made to him, to inquire of the Lord as to the issue of
the disease which was then upon him. (1 Kings xix, 15-17; 2 Kings viii,

3. Elisha treats the case of Naaman as typical in its nature, and as
coming under the provisions of the law for the cleansing of leprosy.
This is manifest from three things which appear in the very brief
narrative. (1) In his message to Naaman, he distinguishes between the
physical healing, and the ritual cleansing. “Thy flesh shall _come
again_ unto thee; and, thou shalt _be clean_.” Thus each is separately
promised. (2.) He requires Naaman to “wash _seven times_.” The meaning
of this seven times we have seen. It symbolized a radical cure of the
evil of heart leprosy, the native corruption of sin—a cure by which the
sinner will be presented pure and sanctified in the seventh, or judgment
day. The mode of this cure was represented in the law by sprinkling
seven times. The priest “shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed
from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean.”—Lev. xiv,
7. (3.) He must wash in the river Jordan, and nowhere else. But why
there? Because the cleansing of the leper, according to the law must be
by sprinkling with “running water.”—Lev. xiv, 5, 6, 50-52. For the
self-washing, no such prescription was given. The Jordan was appointed,
because healing to the leper meant life to the dead. It meant the
renewing grace of the Holy Spirit, and for this none but the water of
life that flows in the river of the heavenly Canaan will suffice. And
inasmuch as the land of Israel was typical of that better country, no
water so proper for the present occasion as that which flowed in the one
river of Israel. If Palestine was made a type of heaven, the one river
of Palestine at once became the proper type of that “river of God, which
is full of water.”

4. Naaman recognized the significance of the directions given by the
prophet, and was offended at them.—“Behold, I thought, He will surely
come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and
strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and
Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I
not wash in them and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.”—2
Kings v, 11, 12. Here (1.) Naaman sharply distinguishes between the
healing and the cleansing. For the latter purpose, the waters of Abana
and Pharpar were sufficient for him,—better than all those of Israel.
All he wanted was, that the prophet should heal him; and for this he was
ready to reward him liberally. But, instead of being treated with the
consideration due to a lordly patron, he feels himself insulted, by
being expected to take the position of an unclean and humble suppliant;
and that, too, at the feet of the God of Israel. For, (2.) he indicates
his understanding of what was meant by the prophet’s message. If Elisha
had come out and healed the leprosy, as Naaman expected, it would have
been perfectly consistent with the idolatrous religion of the Syrian to
recognize Elisha as a great prophet, and the God of Elisha as one of the
great gods; although entitled to no exclusive worship from the Syrians,
whose tutelary deity was Rimmon. But, when the prophet, instead of this,
sent him to _Jordan_ to be _cleansed_, and that by washing seven times,
the Syrian recognized that he was thus required to own allegiance to the
God of Israel, and to humble himself, as utterly unclean in His sight,
and look to him, as alone able to heal his leprosy, or cleanse his sins.
In a word, he was, by the message of the prophet, brought face to face
with the glad but humbling word of the gospel, as it spake so clearly in
the rites of cleansing for leprosy. That, in the result, he accepted the
good tidings thus announced, may not be asserted with confidence. But,
that he professed to do so, the narrative assures us. “Behold, now, I
know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel.”—vs. 15. By
this profession of faith, and by his application to Elisha for two
mules’ burden of the earth of Canaan, with which to make an altar to the
God of Israel, the Syrian showed his intelligent appreciation of the
issues involved in the observances required by Elisha, and of the
typical meaning of the land and river of Israel. The purpose of the
earth for which he asked was to make an altar, after the manner of those
appointed in the law; which appear to have been frames or boxes filled
with earth on which the fire was kindled. (Ex. xx, 24.)

5. The attempt of some writers to derive countenance to the idea of
immersion, in this case, from the Levitical rites of purifying for
leprosy, is wholly futile. They refer to the self-washings which were
required of the cleansed leper, and assume, without a pretense of proof,
that they were immersions. We have seen that they were not immersions,
but affusions. But, that it was not to them, but to the sprinklings of
the law that the directions of Elisha refer, is unmistakably indicated
by the seven times required. The self-washings were to be performed but
twice. On the first day, the seven sprinklings were administered, and
the person was then, by the priest, officially _proclaimed to be clean_.
(Lev. xiv, 7.) It was after this, that the man thus clean, was required
to perform the first self-washing. This was repeated once only,—on the
eighth day. This distinction between the sprinklings which cleansed the
leper, and the self-washings which were required of him as being clean,
is not casual, but essential, and intimately involved in the difference
of meaning between them. By no system of interpretation, therefore, can
seven supposed immersions of Naaman be identified with the two
self-washings required by the law. To imagine the Syrian to have been
directed to seek cleansing by means of the latter, and not by the seven
sprinklings, would be to suppose him instructed by the prophet to seek
to his own outward righteousness as the means of purging away his sins,
and not to the virtue of the blood and Spirit of Christ, penetrating to
his heart and renewing the inner man. Self-washing, as dependent upon
and subordinate to the sprinkling of the water and blood, is beautifully
significant of that evangelical obedience and holiness which believers
cultivate, whilst resting wholly on the righteousness of Christ; and
which is acceptable only thus. But a self-washing, without the
sprinkling, or even magnified to equality with it, can mean nothing else
than a disparagement and rejection of Christ’s blood and Spirit, and a
trusting to our own works of righteousness,—to a cleansing and holiness
self-attained. It would be a denial of the need of the Spirit’s renewing

6. Israel and the ordinances given her were appointed to be a gospel
beacon to the nations. In furtherance of this purpose, the rites and
ordinances with which she was endowed were clothed in forms of
transparent significance, selected by divine wisdom as best adapted to
set forth the gospel for men’s instruction. To suppose Elisha, on this
occasion, to have ignored or essentially modified those respecting
leprosy, would imply him to have deliberately veiled the light which God
had kindled for the Gentiles. If any ritual observances were required of
Naaman, the alternative was inevitable, that they be those appointed in
the law, or that by neglect these be dishonored. No motive for the
supposed change can be suggested that will not imply a disparagement of
the neglected rite.

7. The distinctive office successively filled by Elijah and Elisha was
that of prophet to the separated kingdom of Israel, to whom they were
sent to vindicate the repudiated covenant of Sinai against the
apostasies and sins of that people. (1 Kings, xix, 8, 10, 14-18.) They
were appointed to keep alive in Israel the knowledge and faith of the
covenant God and King whose worship and ordinances at Jerusalem they had
wickedly abandoned. In the extraordinary circumstances of Naaman the
offerings which the cleansed leper was required to make at the temple on
the eighth day after his purifying, may have been omitted. But the
supposition that the rites proper to the purifying, itself, were changed
without necessity or apparent motive, so that instead of being
_sprinkled_ seven times, Naaman was seven times _immersed_, would imply
that Elisha not only thus publicly repudiated the authority of the
Levitical law, but at the same time and in so doing gave direct sanction
to the conduct of Israel, in separating themselves from the temple at
Jerusalem and the ordinances and worship which, by divine command, were
there observed. The rites of purifying were part and parcel of the
system of ordinances given to Israel and concentrated at the
sanctuary,—a system, in all its parts, congruous and interdependent;
each shedding mutual light on all the rest. If Naaman was sprinkled
seven times, according to the Levitical order, that fact would of itself
have referred him to the Word and ordinances of God, for light and
information, as to the vastly important questions suggested to him by
the nature and manner of his disease and cleansing. But, if he was
immersed, the observance was without authority in the law; without
example in the Word, then possessed or afterward given to Israel;
without point of contact or principle of congruity or connection with
the system therein unfolded; without explanation anywhere, and without
conceivable motive or meaning, unless it was, to repudiate the authority
of the Levitical law. Instead, therefore, of the ordinance being a guide
line, to lead Naaman to the Word and worship of the true God, the
natural effect of such a change as is supposed would have been to deter
him from any such inquiries. The facts would have certified him that the
God of Elisha was not the same that reigned at Jerusalem;—that the
doctrine of the one, set forth in the rite of sprinkling, was manifestly
different from that of the other expressed by immersion,—and that,
therefore, the Word and ordinances of the God who dwelt in Zion were
likely to mislead him, rather than to shed a true light upon the
character of the God of Elisha, by whom he had been healed. The snare
thus presented to the mind of Naaman would have been the more insidious
and fatal in proportion as he should still have recognized an intimate
relation, or even a kind of identity, between the God of Israel and the
God of Judah. It was a general characteristic of the ancient idolatries,
that the same gods, as worshiped at different places, were supposed to
be endowed with different attributes and affinities, and to require
different rites of worship. Thus, Zeus Olympius, Jupiter Capitolinus,
and Jupiter Amon, were looked upon as the same deity; but revealing one
character, as on Olympus he was worshiped by the tribes of Greece;
another, as, on the Capitoline hill he presided over the destinies of
mighty Rome; and yet another to the dark tribes who assembled at his
temple in Thebes in Upper Egypt. Such was the idolatry which the
supposed rite would have tended to confirm in the mind of Naaman. To all
this we are to add the fact that the very purpose of the miracle wrought
by Elisha was to let the Syrian “know that there is a prophet in
Israel.”—2 Kings v, 8. Not, certainly, that Elisha thus proposed to
glorify himself: but to announce himself a prophet and witness, for the
only living and true God, the God of Israel, whose sanctuary was in
Zion. (Compare Ib. 15-18.)

8. The fact that no administrator is mentioned, but Naaman is said to
have “baptized himself,” is no embarrassment to our position. The
self-baptism implied by the phrase, in the English translation, is not
required by the form of the Greek nor of the Hebrew. The same kind of
expression is used, in the directions originally given as to the water
of separation. “If he purify not _himself_ the third day, then the
seventh day he shall not be clean. Whosoever toucheth the dead body of
any man that is dead, and purifieth not _himself_ ... the water of
separation was not _sprinkled on him_; he shall be unclean.... A clean
person shall _sprinkle on the unclean_ on the third day and on the
seventh.”—Num. xix, 12, 13, 19. The form of expression is intended to
emphasize the responsibility of the person in the matter of his own
cleansing, and is equivalent in meaning to the phrase,—“cause himself to
be sprinkled.” Although he can not cleanse himself, he is not therefore
irresponsible. He must seek to the cleansing, if he would enjoy it. The
same form is used by Paul, who speaks of Ananias as saying to him
(_Anastas_, _baptisai_), “Rising, baptize thyself, and wash away thy
sins.”—Acts xxii, 16. In the parallel account, we are told that “he
arose and was baptized.”—Acts ix, 18.

It has been shown already that, in the epistle to the Hebrews,
_baptismoi_ means the sprinklings ordained in the law for defilements of
which leprosy was one. In our next section, it will appear that the
sprinkling of the water of separation, upon those defiled by the dead,
was familiarly known as a _baptizing_. And as to the case of Naaman, the
considerations here presented render it certain that _baptizo_ is there
used in the same sense. He was not immersed, but sprinkled seven times,
according to the law. _Tābal_ is here used, not in a modal sense, but to
express a cleansing, without defining the manner of it.

               SECTION XXXIX.—“_Baptized from the Dead._”

The book of Ecclesiasticus, or “The Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach,”
is one of the Apochrypha. It was written by Joshua ben Sira ben Eliezer,
a priest, at Jerusalem, about two hundred years before the coming of
Christ. “The original Hebrew, with the exception of a few fragments in
the Gemaras and Midrashim, is no longer extant, but we have translations
in Greek, Syriac, and Arabic. The work has been always held in high
esteem, by both Jews and Christians, and was judged by some of the
Talmudists to be worthy of a place among the canonical Scriptures.”[31]
In this work, the priestly author has written this proverb, “He that is
baptized from the dead, and again toucheth the dead, what availeth his
washing?”—Ecclus. xxxi, 30 (xxxiv, 25 of the English version). Here, it
is unquestionable that reference is had to the cleansing of those who
were defiled by the dead. Such persons were “baptized from the dead,”
that is, purged from the defilement, incurred through the touch of the
dead, by the sprinkling of the water of separation. It has been said, by
Baptist writers, that the author of the proverb meant to designate the
self-washing which was required of those who had been thus sprinkled.
But, in the first place, we must again repeat it, the self-washings were
not immersions. In the second, they were not the purification from the
dead. On that point, the law was express. “The man that shall be
unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from
among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the
Lord: _the water of separation_ hath not been _sprinkled_ upon him; he
is unclean.”—Num. xix, 20. The self-washings are never called
purifyings, nor alluded to by that name. Besides, as before remarked, on
another point, the pre-eminence thus assigned to those washings, as
compared with the sprinklings, is contrary to the whole spirit and tenor
of the law, and would imply a preference given to our own righteousness,
which the former symbolized, over the blood of sprinkling of the Lord
Jesus, and his renewing Spirit, typified by the latter. Moreover, upon
this view, we are to suppose that the author of the proverb, himself a
priest, ignored that official sprinkling which must be performed by a
clean person, acting in priestly capacity, and which, in his days, was
performed almost invariably by the priests, and falsely attributed the
consequent cleansing to the self-washing, which was a private personal
duty of the cleansed. On the relative position of the two ordinances,
the prayer of the Psalmist, in his deep sense of guilt and defilement is
very significant. “Purge me with hyssop. Wash me.” He does not once
think of self-washing, but looks up to the great High Priest for all. It
was unquestionably of the sprinkled water of separation that this writer
says, “He that is baptized from the dead, and again toucheth the dead
what availeth his washing?” Here again we have an impregnable
demonstration. We have before seen that Paul testifies that the
sprinklings of the Mosaic system were baptisms. We now have the added
voice of the son of Sirach certifying the same thing. By the mouth of
two or three witnesses shall every word be established. These witnesses
are ignorant or false, or else _baptizo_ does not here mean, to dip, to

Footnote 31:

  J. W. Etheridge, in “Jerusalem and Tiberias.” P. 105.

This conclusion is yet farther confirmed by the light which the above
proverb sheds upon a passage in the writings of Paul, which has greatly
perplexed expositors. “Else what shall they do which are baptized for
the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for
the dead?”—1 Cor. xv, 29. Paul is discussing the doctrine of the
resurrection. As elsewhere in the epistle, so here, he assumes his
readers to know the law of Moses. (Compare 1 Cor. ix, 8-10; x, 1-10.) To
it, he, therefore, appeals.—“You know that there is in the law an
ordinance for the ritual restoration of such as, by contact with the
dead, have become ritually dead. But what means this rite? If the saints
shall not really be raised up, to what intent is this ritual
resurrection?” That such was the meaning of Paul, will hardly be
questioned by any who consider, (1.) That the law of defilement by the
dead, and of purification with the water of separation, was a statute of
universal obligation to Israel, at home, and in foreign lands: (2.) That
the ordinance and its observance were so familiar that, two hundred
years before Christ, it was made the ground of the proverb above cited.
As we shall presently see, it is mentioned by Philo and by Josephus as,
in their days, universally observed: (3.) That it was known to Paul by
the name of baptism: (4.) That it meant the giving of life to the dead:
(5.) That, hence, whatever might be Paul’s allusion, it was a fact,
throughout the dwellings of Israel, that, whenever death visited a
house, it involved the consequent necessity of the baptism of the family
and attendants,—a baptism which signified the resurrection of the dead.
It is, therefore, beyond question that Paul meant to refer to that
Levitical purification. Such were the facts that his readers could not
but so understand him. Moreover, his expression here, and that which we
have heretofore examined concerning the divers baptisms of the law,
mutually illustrate each other and confirm all our conclusions on the

Thus, starting with the “divers baptisms” of the epistle to the Hebrews,
we have identified them with the seal of the Sinai covenant and the
water of separation. We have traced the ordinance in the historical
books, the Psalms and the prophets; have found it, in the time of the
son of Sirach, familiarly known as baptism, and have recognized it in
the New Testament itself, referred to by the same name, by that Hebrew
of the Hebrews, the apostle Paul. We may add that the same apostle again
refers to imitations of this ordinance in his dissuasive against
“doctrines of baptisms.” (Heb. vi, 2.) Here, he alludes to those
Pharisaic rites which under the same name were condemned by the Lord
Jesus, who reproved them as “teaching for doctrines the commandments of
men,” concerning their baptizings. (Mark, vii, 7, 8.)

                    SECTION XL.—_Judith’s Baptisms._

Returning to the Apocrypha, the next example of baptism occurs in the
book of Judith. The book dates from the period of the Maccabean kings of
Judah, between one and two hundred years before Christ; is a historical
fiction, and is designed to present, in the person of Judith, an ideal
type of female piety, courage, and virtue, as conceived by the Jews of
that age. According to the story, “Nabuchodonosor, the king of Nineveh,”
being incensed against the Jews, had doomed them to destruction. He
therefore sent Holofernes, with a large army to execute his vengeance.
This army being re-enforced by the Ammonites and the sons of Esau, the
mighty host, enters on the siege of Bethulia, a frontier city of Judah.
Surrounding the city and filling the whole country, they seize “the
water and the fountain of waters,” upon which Bethulia depended for its
supply. Soon, “all the vessels of water failed all the inhabitants of
Bethulia, and the cisterns were emptied, so that they had not water, to
drink their fill, one day; for they gave them drink by measure.”—Judith
vii, 12-21.

In this extremity, the elders of the city yield to the clamor of the
famished populace, and promise that if succor should not come within
five days they will surrender the city to the Assyrians. It is now that
the young and beautiful widow, Judith, appears on the scene. Rebuking
the elders, for their lack of faith and courage, she decks herself and
goes forth to beguile Holofernes, whom, in the sequel, she slays, in his
drunkenness, with his own sword, and so delivers her nation. When she
came to the Assyrians, “the servants of Holofernes brought her into the
tent, and she slept until midnight, and she arose at the morning watch,
and sent to Holofernes, saying, Let my lord now command that thy
handmaid be allowed to go out for prayer. And Holofernes commanded his
body-guard not to hinder her; and she remained in the tent three days,
and went out nightly into the valley of Bethulia and _baptized_ in the
camp, at the fountain of water. And as she returned, she besought the
Lord God of Israel to direct her way to the raising up the children of
her people”—Jud. xii, 5-8.

Judith’s _baptism_, was evidently not one of those required by the law.
It was performed statedly every night, as a preparation for prayer, and
was, no doubt, one of those washings which Jewish tradition was, at that
time, multiplying, and which were so rife in the days of our Savior.
Judith’s maid was with her, and this baptism was no doubt performed in
the ordinary mode of washing, with water poured on her hands. As to the
place of her baptism, the language is explicit. It was (_en_) _in_ the
camp, but (_epi_) _at_ and _not in_ the fountain. Not only does the
language thus forbid the supposition that she was immersed in the
fountain, but the circumstances were equally conclusive. She was a young
and beautiful woman, in the midst of a host of rude and licentious
soldiers and followers of the army. They held the fountain with jealous
care, both for the convenience of their own supply, and as the sure
means of bringing Bethulia to surrender. Judith could not there be
private for a moment, even at midnight, and such exposure as is imagined
would have been an invitation to certain violence, even though there had
been no question of defiling the very fountain whence the camp drew its
supply of water.

Baptist writers, to prove that Judith, nevertheless, immersed herself,
cite the fact that “as she _went up_ (_anebē_), she besought the Lord
God of Israel to direct her way to the raising up of the children of her
people.” But Dr. Dale has pointed out the fact that the very same
language occurs in a parallel place in the Septuagint Greek, where no
one ever pretended to find an immersion. Rebekah “went down to the well,
and filled her pitcher and _went up_ (_anebē_).”—Gen. xxiv, 15, 16. The
fountain of Bethulia was in the valley, to which Judith had to go down
from the head-quarters of Holofernes, which would be in an elevated
position, so as to command a view of the situation. To suppose the
_going up_ to be out of the water, would give her a time for prayer so
brief and in circumstances so peculiar as to give the suggestion an air
of ridicule.

It is well known that the impostor Mohammed was assisted in constructing
his institutions by renegade Jews, who early became his proselytes. The
following precept of the Koran will illustrate the practice of baptism
before prayer: “O true believers, when ye prepare to pray, wash your
faces and your hands unto the elbows; and rub your heads and your feet
unto the ankles; and if ye be polluted ... wash yourselves (all over).
But if ye be defiled, and ye find no water, take fine sand, and rub your
faces and your hands therewith. God would not put a difficulty upon you.
But he desireth to purify you, and to complete his favor upon you, that
ye may give thanks.”[32] This regulation by Mohammed is remarkable in
relation to that request of Peter,—“Lord not my feet only, but also my
hands and my head.”—John xiii, 9. Both he and the prophet of Mecca would
seem to have had in view the same custom of the scribes.

Footnote 32:

  Sale’s “Koran,” chapter v.

From the passages thus examined it appears that in Hellenistic Greek the
word, _baptizo_ was employed to designate two classes of cleansings,—the
sacramental sprinklings of the law, and the self-imposed washings of
tradition, the mode of which, whether performed by affusion or
sprinkling, is not clear. As to the former: the proverb of the son of
Sirach is clearly a reference to the sprinkled water of separation. To
the same class, the arguments adduced entitle us to refer the baptism of
Naaman. To the rites of self-washing the case of Judith is to be
assigned,—not to those appointed by the law, but those imitations of the
scribes which obscured the meaning of the ordinance, as appointed of

     SECTION XLI.—_The Water of Separation in Philo and Josephus._

Philo, commonly called Judæus, was a Jew of Alexandria, who was
cotemporary with the apostles. He thus expounds the laws of

“The law requires him who brings a sacrifice to be clean in body and
soul;—in his soul, from all passions, disorder and vices, whether in
word or deed; and pure in body, from such things as ritually defile
it.[33] And it has appointed a purification for each of these; for the
soul, by animals suitable for sacrifice;—for the body, by (_loutrōn kai
perirrhantēriōn_) ablutions and sprinklings.... The body is purified, as
I have said by washings and sprinklings; nor does the law allow a person
washed and sprinkled once to enter immediately the sacred courts; but
requires him to wait without, seven days; and to be sprinkled twice, on
the third day and on the seventh; and after these, having washed
himself, it admits him to enter and share the sacred rites. It is to be
considered what judgment and philosophy there is in this. For, nearly
all other people are sprinkled with mere water, the most drawing it from
the sea; some from rivers, and others again out of vessels of water
replenished from fountains. But Moses, providing ashes from sacrificial
fire (and in what manner will be shown presently), directed that some of
these should be put into a vessel, and water poured upon them; and then
dipping twigs of hyssop in the mixture, to sprinkle those who were to be

Footnote 33:

  ἀφ’ ὡν ἔθος αὐτο μιανεσθαι.—“From those things which custom causes to
  defile it.” Ἔθος, commonly means a custom grounded in law. (Compare
  Acts vi, 14; xv, 1; xvi, 21; xxi, 21; xxv, 16; xxvi, 3; xxviii, 17;

“It is now proper to explain the suitableness of these ashes. For they
are not bare ashes of wood, consumed by fire, but of an animal suited to
such purification. For it is required that a red heifer which has never
borne the yoke be sacrificed outside the city, and that the high priest,
taking some of the blood, shall seven times sprinkle with it toward the
front of the temple, and shall then burn the whole animal with its hide
and flesh, its viscera and dung. And when the flame declines, that these
three things be cast into the midst of it;—a stick of cedar, a stick of
hyssop, and a bunch of cummin. And when the fire has wholly expired, it
is required, that a clean person collect the ashes and deposit them
outside the city, in a clean place.”[34]

Footnote 34:

  Philonis Judæi Opera omnia, Frankofurti, 1691, De Victimas

Josephus was a Jewish priest, who was made prisoner by Titus, in the war
which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem. He afterward, at Rome,
wrote his Jewish “Antiquities,” and his “History.” He thus describes the
manner of purifying with the ashes of the heifer. “Any persons being
defiled by a dead body, they put a little of these ashes and hyssop into
spring water, and _baptizing_ with these ashes in water, sprinkled them
on the third day and on the seventh.”[35] This is a literal translation
from the Greek of Josephus; but differs from the popular version of
Whiston. He renders it,—“They put a little of these ashes into spring
water with hyssop, and dipping part of these ashes in it, they sprinkled
them with it,” etc. But this is a very incorrect translation, is
incongruous to the ordinance as described by Moses, and converts the
account into nonsense. According to it, the ashes are in the first place
put into the water, and then part of them “dipped in it!” How they were
recovered from the water, in order to the dipping, and how the ashes
could be _dipped_ in the water at all, we need not inquire, as the
translation is incorrect. “Baptizing with these ashes-in-water,” truly
represents the original.[36] “Baptizing,” was the action; the mixture of
“ashes in water,” was the element; “sprinkling,” the mode; and “the
third and seventh days,” the time. In fact, in using the water of
separation, according to the law, there was no dipping of any sort,
except of the hyssop bush, with which the water was sprinkled. The only
action to which Josephus can refer,—that to which he does undoubtedly
refer,—by the word, “baptizing,” is the purifying rite, of which he
immediately states the form to have been a _sprinkling_.

Footnote 35:

  Josephus, Antiquities, IV, iv, 6.

Footnote 36:

  “Βαπτίσαντες τε καὶ της τέφρας ταύτης εἰς πηγὴν.” Τῆς τέφρας ταύτες is
  the partitive and instrumental Genitive, and indicates the
  ashes-in-water, as that with which the baptism was to be performed.
  (Compare John ii, 7.—“Fill the water pots _with_ water.”)

To get rid of the force of this passage, Baptist writers have proposed
an arbitrary alteration of the text, by the erasure of the entire clause
(_te kai—pēgēn_) “with these ashes in water.” The change thus suggested
is purely gratuitous. The reading which they propose is without the
pretense of sanction from any manuscript of Josephus, and is sustained
by no sound principles of criticism. Its only warrant is the necessities
of the Baptist position. On the contrary, the rendering which we have
given is, in some of the manuscripts of Josephus, enforced by the
preposition (_meta_) _with_, after the word, “baptizing.” According to
this version, the passage can be read no otherwise than as we have given
it. “Baptizing _with_ these ashes in water.”

In the writings of Josephus there is another and very characteristic
notice as to the use of the water of separation. Speaking of the funeral
rites, he says, “Our law also ordains that the house and its inhabitants
shall be purified after the funeral is over, that every one may thence
learn to keep at a great distance from the thought of being pure, if he
hath once been guilty of murder.”[37] We are not to suppose that the
spiritual meaning of these rites had been so utterly lost by the Jews,
that Josephus, a priest, a Pharisee, a man of extensive learning and
reputation, imagined this to be a true account of the nature and meaning
of the ordinance. But he was speaking in defense of Judaism, against the
assaults of Apion, a Greek philosopher of Alexandria, at the bar of the
pagan philosophy of Greece and Rome. He affects, for himself, a
profoundly philosophic style and spirit, and aims to vindicate a similar
character for the laws and institutions of Moses. Knowing that the
truths of God as committed to Israel would be foolishness to the wise,
to whose applause he aspired, he sets them aside in favor of his own
“philosophic” inventions. He seems to have taken the suggestion from
certain heathen observances, of which we shall see more further on.

The foregoing extracts not only illustrate the law as to the water of
separation, and the use of the word, _baptizo_, with reference to it,
but indicate the place held by the ordinance among the observances of
Israel, down to the time of Jerusalem’s desolation.

Footnote 37:

  Josephus against Apion. Book ii, 27.

  SECTION XLII.—_Imitations of these Rites by the Greeks and Romans._

Placed as was Israel in the very center of the civilization of the
ancient world, and on the direct line of communication between its
peoples and empires, her influence upon the institutions and religious
rites of other nations must have been very great, and is traceable in
every direction. There is reason to believe that Greece and its colonies
in Italy, from which sprang the republic and empire of Rome, derived
from Israel the first great impulses of their civilization, as well as
continual subsequent contributions to its maintenance and growth. Israel
had dwelt in the land of Canaan about three hundred years before the
supposed era of the siege of Troy, and seven hundred before the reputed
date of the great poems of Homer, from the silence of which it is
evident that to him letters were wholly unknown. According to the
earliest Greek tradition, Cadmus, “the man of the east,” coming with a
colony of Phœnicians settled in Greece, bringing with him the art of
alphabetic writing. But at what age he lived, or whether he was not, in
fact, wholly a mythical character is a matter of conjecture. The
tradition, however, distinctly points to Phœnicia as the land whence the
art was introduced into Greece; and the circumstances accord with this
supposition. That the Greek letters were derived from those called
Phœnician is an undoubted fact. The extensive commerce maintained by the
ships of Phœnicia was a constant and efficient means of disseminating
the seeds of her advancing civilization; and besides, the sages of
Greece were accustomed to travel to Egypt, Phœnicia, and the east, in
search of knowledge; and returned thence with acquisitions of which all
Greece was the beneficiary. About four hundred years before Christ,
Plato himself was in Egypt in search of knowledge, a student of the
priests of On. At this time, Egypt was full of Jews, and it is not to be
imagined that such an inquirer would wholly fail to catch some glimpses
of the light which shone in the institutions and literature of Israel.

Many things concur to show that neither Egypt nor Phœnicia was the
original fountain of much that was thus disseminated to Greece. In some
instances, the attendant circumstances, and in others the internal
evidence, unmistakably indicate an Israelite origin. Phœnicia was a
strip of sea-coast, ten or twelve miles wide, lying between the northern
part of the land of Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. Tyre and Sidon,
its two chief cities, were the only practicable sea-ports on the coast
of Palestine. They were distant, the former, about one hundred and
twenty miles, and the latter, one hundred, from Jerusalem. Their
supplies were derived largely from the fields, the vineyards, and the
olive groves of Israel. (2 Chron. ii, 10; Acts xii, 20.) Except slight
provincial differences, the language of the two people was the same; and
the intimacy of the relations is seen in the fact that the drift of
dialect in the two closely coincided. Hiram king of Tyre, was David’s
intimate friend, and Solomon’s faithful and efficient ally, in the
erection of the temple and his own palace, in adorning Jerusalem, and in
commercial enterprises. His relation with David, and his message of
salutation to Solomon (2 Chron. ii, 12) argue him a professed worshiper
of the God of Israel. Thus, whilst the Phœnician territory was a mask by
which Israel was concealed from the Mediterranean countries, the
Phœnicians, themselves, can not but have realized a profound impression
from the wonderful system of religious rites and the testimonies of
religious truth which were maintained in Israel and centered around that
temple on Mount Sion, which was a monument of Phœnician skill in
architecture and the mechanic arts. The ideas thus communicated and the
impressions thus produced must have been borne abroad by every wind that
filled a Phœnician sail, and disseminated to every land that was touched
by a Phœnician prow.

The art of alphabetic writing is an illustration of this. It did not
originate in Phœnicia, but, as internal evidence demonstrates,—with the
Arameans, of whom Israel was a branch. The Phœnician characters were the
same as the Old Hebrew. Once acquired by that maritime people, the art
was diffused to Greece, to Rome, and the world. The Egyptians no less
than the Phœnicians were idolaters, having lords many and gods many.
When, therefore, the sages of Greece returned from their explorations,
prepared to whisper to their confidential disciples the sublime doctrine
of the divine unity, and even to erect an altar “_To the Unknown
God_,”[38] we are justified in the conviction that at some point in the
course of their travels, they had caught an echo of that voice which
spake to the twelve tribes in the wilderness,—“Hear, O Israel: the Lord
our God is one Lord.”—Deut. vi, 4. To the same originals undoubtedly are
to be referred many of the ceremonials of their religion. Of this, the
rules of uncleanness, and rites of purifying are remarkable

Footnote 38:

  That this altar was the expression of a blind though real groping
  after the true God, is distinctly attested by Paul.—“Whom therefore ye
  ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.”—Acts xvii, 23. To suppose
  as do some that the altar was erected by one who was uncertain which
  of the tutelary deities he should propitiate, implies Paul to have
  resorted to a weak pretense, founded on the mere jingle of words,
  which, so far from constituting an appropriate and impressive basis
  for his argument and appeal, would have invited the derision and
  contempt of his skeptical audience. He adopted no such artifice; but
  appealed to a recognized and affecting fact.

Of the various forms of purification among the Greeks, Plato makes an
enumeration.—“The _purifications_ (_katharmoi_) both according to
medicine and vaticination, both the pharmacial _drugs_, (_pharmakois_),
and the vaticinal _fumigations_ (_peritheiōseis_) as also the _washings_
(_loutra_) in such rites, and the _sprinklings_ (_perirrhanseis_);—are
not all these effectual to one end,—to render a man pure, both as to
body and soul?”[39]

Footnote 39:

  Plato, in Cratylo, xxii.

On this subject, the historian Grote makes some noteworthy
statements.—“The names of Orpheus and Musaeus (as well as that of
Pythagoras, looking at one side of his character), represent facts of
importance in the history of the Grecian mind, ... the gradual influx of
Thracian, Phrygian and Egyptian religious ceremonies and feelings, and
the increasing diffusion of special mysteries, schemes for religious
purification, and orgies (I venture to Anglicize the Greek word, which
contains in its original meaning no implication of the ideas of excess
to which it was afterward diverted), in honor of some particular god,
distinct from the public solemnities, and from the gentile solemnities
of primitive Greece.... During the interval between Hesiod and
Onomakritus [B. C. 610-510], the revolution in the religious mind of
Greece was such as to place both these deities [Dyonisus and Demeter,
the Bacchus and Ceres of the Latins] in the front rank.... From all
these countries [Egypt, Thrace, Phrygia and Lydia], novelties unknown to
the Homeric men found their way into the Grecian worship; and there is
one amongst them which deserves to be specially noticed, because it
marks the generation of the new class of ideas in their theology. Homer
mentions many guilty of private or involuntary homicide, and compelled
either to go into exile, or to make pecuniary satisfaction; but he never
once describes any of them to have either received or required
purification for the crime. Now, in the times subsequent to Homer,
purification for homicide comes to be indispensable. The guilty person
is regarded as unfit for the society of men, or the worship of the gods,
until he has received it; and special ceremonies are prescribed whereby
it is to be administered. Herodotus tells us that the ceremony of
purification was the same among the Lydians and the Greeks. We know that
it formed no part of the early religion of the latter, and we may
reasonably suspect that they borrowed from the former.... The
purification of a murderer was originally operated not by the hands of
any priest or specially sanctified man, but by those of a chief or king
who goes through the appropriate ceremonies in the manner represented by
Herodotus, in his pathetic narrative respecting Crœsus and Adrastus.[40]
The idea of a special taint of crime, and of the necessity, as well as
the sufficiency of prescribed religious ceremonies, as a means of
removing it, appears thus to have got footing in Grecian practice
subsequent to the time of Homer.”[41]

Footnote 40:

  But Herodotus does not “represent” the manner of the purifying of
  Adrastus. Moreover, the legend of Crœsus and Adrastus, is fabulous, as
  appears from internal evidence (see Rawlinson’s note on the place);
  and with it, the theory of Grote, as to the Lydian origin of the Greek
  purifying rites falls to the ground. See Rawlinson’s Herodotus, Hist.
  I. 35.

Footnote 41:

  Grote i, 29-35.

Again he says,—“Herodotus had been profoundly impressed with what he saw
and heard in Egypt. The wonderful monuments, the evident antiquity, and
the peculiar civilization of that country acquired such preponderance in
his mind, over his own native legends, that he is disposed to trace the
oldest religious names or institutions of Greece, to Egyptian or
Phœnician original, setting aside, in favor of this hypothesis, the
Grecian legends of Dyonisus and Pan.”[42]

Footnote 42:

  Ib. 530.

In these statements, the eminent historian seems studiously to avoid a
recognition of the direction to which all his facts so distinctly point.
All the countries mentioned by him border on the Mediterranean, and were
in constant and intimate communication with Egypt and Phœnicia, the
relations of which with Israel are too well known to need emphasis. They
were, in fact, the channels through which Hebrew ideas must ordinarily
pass, in order to gain access to Greece and the continent of Europe. To
whatever source the Greeks may have been immediately indebted for the
novel ideas of a special stain or defilement, resulting from crime, and
of ritual purifying from it, we know that they were incorporated in the
laws and ritual of Moses ages before there is a trace of them in any of
the countries mentioned. The disposition of Herodotus to refer them to
Egypt and Phœnicia is therefore entitled to more respectful
consideration than our author gives it. That the Gentile rites in
question, however grossly corrupted, were derived from divine originals,
must be manifest to any one who will compare the significance and beauty
of the Scriptural rites as connected with the spiritual truths of
revelation, which they symbolized, with the bareness and absurdity by
which they are characterized, in their distorted Gentile forms, detached
from the spiritual connection to which they natively belonged.

On the matters of which it treats, no authority is higher than Dr. Wm.
Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. As to the present
subject, it testifies that their purifyings, “in every case of which we
have any certain knowledge were _connected with sacrifices_ and other
religious rites, and consisted in the _sprinkling of water_, by means of
a _branch of laurel or olive_; and at Rome, sometimes by means of the
_aspergillum_, and in the burning of certain materials the smoke of
which was thought to have a purifying effect.”[43]

Footnote 43:

  Smith’s Greek and Roman Antiquities, _article_, “Lustratio.”

Of the Greek heroes the Abbe Barthelemi says,—“They shuddered at the
blood they had spilt, and abandoning their throne and native land, went
to implore the aid of expiation in some distant country. After the
sacrifices enjoined them by the ceremony, a purifying water was poured
upon the guilty hand, after which they again returned into society and
prepared themselves for new combats.”[44]

Footnote 44:

  Travels of Anacharsis, Introduction.

Of the Romans, Ovid says:—“Our fathers believed purifications to be
effectual for blotting out every crime and every cause of penalty.
Greece was the source of the custom. She believes the guilty, when
purified with lustral rites, to be freed from the guilt of their evil
deeds. Thus Peleus purified the grandson of Actor; and thus Acastus,
with the waters of Hæmus, cleansed Peleus himself, from the blood of
Phocus.—Ah credulous people! who suppose that the dreadful crime of
murder can be obliterated by (_fluminea aqua_), running waters.”[45]

Footnote 45:

  Ovidii Fast. ii, vs. 27-46.

The same poet describes the festival of Pales, the tutelary goddess of
shepherds. Some days before her festival, cows were sacrificed and the
unborn offspring torn from their bowels and burned with fire by the
eldest of the Vestals, “that their ashes may purify the people on the
day of Pales.” On the festival day he sings: “I am called to the
Palilia.... Often, truly, have I carried in my full hand the ashes of
the calf and the bean stalks, hallowed purifiers. Truly I have leaped
over the fires kindled in three rows, and the dripping branch of laurel
has scattered the water.... Go, ye people, seek the fumigation from the
altar of the virgin! Vesta will give it. By the grace of Vesta, you
shall be purified. The blood of a horse shall be your fumigatory, with
the ashes of the calf, and third the empty husk of the hard bean.
Shepherd, purify your full fed flocks in the early twilight. Water
should first sprinkle them, and a twig broom should sweep the
ground.”[46] Again, he tells of “a fountain of Mercury near the Capanian
gate. If we choose to believe those who have tried it, it has a divine
virtue. Hither comes the merchant with purse-girdled tunic, and being
purified, draws water which he may carry away in a perfumed vase. In
this, a branch of laurel is moistened, and with the wet laurel all
things are sprinkled that are to have new owners. He sprinkles his own
locks, also, with the dripping bush, and with a voice familiar with
deceit offers his prayers. ‘Wash away my past perjuries,’ says he: ‘Wash
away the falsehoods of the past day. Whether I have called thee
(Mercury), to witness, or have called upon the great majesty of Jove,
wishing him _not_ to hear; or, if I have been false to any other god or
goddess, let the swift zephyrs carry away my dishonest words, and let my
perjuries be obliterated by to-morrow. Let not the superior powers give
heed to what I may say.’”[47]

Footnote 46:

  Ib. iv, 633-640; 731-736.

Footnote 47:

  Ovidii Fast. ii, v, 673-688.

In Virgil, Æneas, preparing for flight from the overthrow of Troy, says
to his father,—“Do you, my father, in your hand take the consecrated
things and the ancestral gods? To me, just returned from such and so
recent a battle and slaughter, it were sacrilege to touch them, until I
shall have washed in a living stream.”[48] In another place the closing
rites at the funeral pyre of Misenus are thus described,—“The same
(Chorinaeus) passed thrice around his companions with water, sprinkling
them with a gentle spray, and with a branch of the auspicious olive
purified the men and uttered the parting words.”[49]

Footnote 48:

  Æn. ii, 717.

Footnote 49:

  Ibid. vi, 229.—The (novissima verba) last or parting words, were
  addressed to the deceased,—“Vale! Vale! Vale!” Farewell! Farewell!

Of funeral lustrations at Rome, Adams in his Antiquities, gives this
account: “When the remains of the dead were laid in the tomb, those
present were, three times, sprinkled by a priest with pure water, from a
branch of olive or laurel, to purify them.... The friends when they
returned home, as a further purification, after being sprinkled with
water, stepped over a fire.[50]... The house itself also was purified
and swept with a certain kind of a broom.” The classic writers
frequently refer to similar observances among the Greeks. Thus, in
Euripides, the people are perplexed as to the death of Alcestis, king
Admetus’ wife, because “they do not see the lustral water before the
door, as is customary at the doors of the dead.”[51]

Footnote 50:

  Compare above, p. 138.

Footnote 51:

  Euripides in Alcest. 398. See, also, Aristophanes in Eccl. 1025.

The census of the population of Rome was taken every five years, and was
followed by a lustration of the city. From this custom the word
_lustrum_ (a lustration), came to signify a period of five years. There
was also a lustration for new born infants, when their names were given.
For boys it was usually on the ninth day after birth; for girls, by
some, on the eighth day, and by others, on the fifth, or the third day,
while some performed it on the last day of the week wherein the child
was born. “On the lustral day, a feast was prepared, over which the
goddess Nundina was supposed to preside. The assembled women handed the
child backward and forward around the fire burning on the altar of the
gods; after which they sprinkled it with water, in which were mingled
saliva and dust.”[52]

Philo Judaeus, was a resident of the Greek colony of Alexandria. He was
a man of learning, and especially versed in the religious doctrines and
rites of the Gentiles, as well as of Moses, of which he wrote largely.
We have seen that, in contrasting the purifying rites of other nations
with those of Israel, he says that “nearly all other people are
sprinkled with unmixed water, mostly drawing it from _the sea_, some
from rivers and others again from vessels replenished from
fountains.”[53] This preference of the water of the sea, probably
originated in a desire to differentiate the Gentile imitations from the
divine originals as observed by Israel. Of it an illustration appears in
Euripides. Iphigenia speaks of Orestes and his companions, defiled with
dreadful crimes,—“First would I (_nipsai_) _imbue_ them with holy

Footnote 52:

  Rees’s Encyclopedia, article, “Lustration.”

Footnote 53:

  Above, p. 175.

KING THOAS. “From springs of waters? Or, from spray of the sea?”

IPHIGENIA. “The sea spray (_kluzei_[54]) washes away all the crimes of

Footnote 54:

  Κλυζω (klyzō) to besprinkle, to water, to rinse, to dash over. “The
  sea, besprinkling, washes away all the crimes of men.”

Footnote 55:

  Iphigenia in Taur. 1192-1194.

The rites used in the Greek _mysteries_ illustrate the same subject.
“The benefits which the initiated hoped to obtain were security against
the vicissitudes of fortune and protection from dangers both in this
life and in the life to come. The principal part of the initiation, and
that which was thought to be most efficacious in producing the desired
effects, were the lustrations and purifications, whence the mysteries
themselves are sometimes called _katharsia_ or _katharmoi_.”[56]

Footnote 56:

  Smith’s Dictionary, _article_ “Mysteria.”

Those of Eleusis were a manifest imitation of the Levitical feast of
ingathering or tabernacles. They were celebrated at the same
season,—immediately after the bringing in of the harvest; and were in
honor of Demeter, or Ceres, the patroness of agriculture. The
celebration proper, continued for seven days, after which there was an
additional eighth day, appropriated to the initiation of those who had
been too late for the regular observances. This, again, was followed by
a ninth day, which was named _plēmochoai_, from a vase called
_plēmochoē_. “Two of these vessels were on this day filled with water or
wine,” (Should it not be “water _and_ wine?”) “and the contents of one
thrown to the east, and those of the other to the west, while those who
performed this rite uttered some mystical words.”[57] From the
appropriating of a ninth day to the outpouring of the water and wine, it
seems probable that the mysteries were originally imitated from the
Levitical feast before the festival of the outpouring was instituted;
and that when the latter rite was introduced, an additional day was
appropriated to it, so as to avoid any change in what had become the
established and consecrated order of the preceding days.

Footnote 57:

  Smith, _article_ “Eleusinia.” Compare above, p. 144.

These mysteries were of two orders. The less were celebrated at Agræ,
and were essential as a preparation for the greater at Eleusis. In the
preparatory rites, the candidates were required to keep themselves
continent and unpolluted for nine days; and were purified with water
sprinkled on them, by an officer who was thence called the
_hydranos_.[58] At Eleusis they offered sacrifices and prayers, wearing
garlands of flowers; and, standing on the skin of a sacrificial animal,
were again purified by the sprinkling of water by the _hydranos_.

Footnote 58:

  “Ὑδρανος (hydranos), a waterer, a sprinkler with water; from ὑδραινο
  to water, to sprinkle any one with water, to pour out
  libations.”—Liddell & Scott’s Greek Lexicon.

That the observances thus illustrated were corrupted forms derived from
the rites and institutions of Moses, is apparent. So manifest is this,
that in the third and fourth centuries it was made the ground of a
specious theory by means of which the advocates of paganism sought to
stay the progress of Christianity. “Among those who wished to appear
wise, and to take moderate ground, many were induced to devise a kind of
reconciling religion, intermediate between the old superstition and
Christianity, and to imagine that Christ had enjoined the very same
things which had long been represented by the pagan priests, under the
envelope of their ceremonies and fables.”[59]

Footnote 59:

  Mosheim, Eccl. Hist., Book II., Part i, § 18.

There was, no doubt, an element of truth in this conception. The rites
of Gentile idolatry were, it is evident, corrupted forms derived from
divinely appointed institutions, partly, it may be, by tradition, from
the parents of the race; but chiefly by imitation of the ritual of

        SECTION XLIII.—_Baptism in Egypt and among the Aztecs._

I am indebted to the courtesy of W. H. Ryland, F. S. A. Secretary of the
(British) Society of Biblical Archæology, for a copy of the proceedings
at a meeting held on the 4th of May, 1880. From it I make the following
extract including part of a communication read from M. Paul Pierret. It
is descriptive of “the Libation Vase of Osor-ur,” preserved in the
Museum of the Louvre (No. 908), an inscription on which has been
deciphered by M. Pierret.

“The vase, of the Saitic epoch, is of bronze, and of an oblong form,
covered with an inscription, finely traced with a pointed instrument.
The text has been published, by M. Pierret in the second volume of his
‘Recueil d’Inscriptions du Louvre,’ in the eighth number of the ‘Etudes
Egyptologiques.’ The goddess, Nout, is represented standing in her
sycamore, pouring the water which is received by the deceased, on one
side, and by his soul, on the other. ‘Saith the Osiris, divine father
and first prophet of Ammon Osor-ur, truthful;—Oh, Sycamore of Nout! give
me the water and the breath [of life] which proceed from thee. That I
may have the vigor of the goddess of vigor; that I may have the life of
the goddess of life; that I may breathe the breath of the goddess of the
respiration of breaths; for I am Toum. Saith Nout;—Oh the Osiris, divine
father, etc., thou receivest the libation from my own hands; I, thy
beneficent mother, I bring thee the vase, containing the abundant water
for rejoicing thy heart by its effusion, that thou mayest breathe the
breath [of life] resulting from it, that thy flesh may live by it. For,
I give water to every mummy; I give breath to him whose throat is
deprived of it, to those whose body is hidden, to those who have no
funeral chapel. I am with thee. I reunite thee to thy soul, which will
separate itself no more from thee, never.’”

The Saitic epoch, to which this vase is referred, began with the
accession of Psammetichus I, about 664, B. C., and closed with the
conquest of Egypt by Cambyses in 525. The parallel period of Jewish
history extends from the closing years of Manasseh’s reign to the time
of the machinations by which the decree of Cyrus for rebuilding the
temple was suspended. But, although the date thus given is such as might
suggest the idea of derivation from the institutions of Moses, it seems
highly probable that the inscription presents a vestige, in a greatly
corrupted form, of the primitive faith touching the resurrection, as
held by Noah and the patriarchs of the old world, and transmitted to the
founders of the Egyptian empire. Whatever the view adopted on that
point, the relation of the inscription to the subject of the present
treatise is manifest and very interesting. Not only does it very
strikingly illustrate the doctrine of life to the dead, as symbolized by
the effusion of water, but it brings together the two symbols of water
and the breath of life, in such a manner as presents a very remarkable
analogy to the similar association of ideas presented in the scene of
Pentecost, as unfolded hereafter.

Very remarkable was the rite of infant baptism, as it was found by the
Spanish conquerors among the Aztecs of Mexico.[60]

Footnote 60:

  As this work goes into the hands of the printers, the newspapers
  announce that “the Rev. Professor Campbell of Montreal has discovered
  that the Hittite and Aztec alphabets are identical, and by applying
  the latter to the former, he has been enabled to read inscriptions
  belonging to the ninth century before Christ.” Should this
  announcement prove true, it brings the Aztecs into a relation to
  Israel which the reader will at once recognize.

“When everything necessary for the baptism had been made ready, all the
relations of the child were assembled, and the midwife, who was the
person that performed the rite of baptism, was summoned. At early dawn,
they met together in the court-yard of the house. When the sun had
risen, the midwife, taking the child in her arms, called for a little
earthen vessel of water, while those about her placed the ornaments
which had been prepared for the baptism in the midst of the court. To
perform the rite of baptism, she placed herself with her face toward the
west, and immediately began to go through certain ceremonies.... After
this she sprinkled water on the head of the infant, saying, ‘O, my
child! take and receive the water of the Lord of the world, which is our
life, and is given for the increasing and renewing of our body. It is to
wash and to purify. I pray that these heavenly drops may enter into your
body and dwell there: that they may destroy and remove from you all the
evil and sin which was given you before the beginning of the world;
since all of us are under its power, being all the children of
Chalchivitlycue goddess She then washed the body of the child with
water, and spoke in this manner: ‘Whence thou comest, thou that art
hurtful to this child; leave him and depart from him, for he now liveth
anew, and is born anew; now is he purified and cleansed afresh and our
mother, Chalchivitlycue, again bringeth him into the world.’ Having thus
prayed, the midwife took the child in both hands, and lifting him toward
heaven, said,—‘O Lord, thou seest here thy creature, whom thou hast sent
into the world, this place of sorrow, suffering, and penitence. Grant
him, O Lord, thy gifts, and thine inspiration, for thou art the great
God, and with thee is the great goddess.’ Torches of pine were kept
burning during the performance of these ceremonies. When these things
were ended, they gave the child the name of some one of his ancestors,
in the hope that he might shed a new luster over it. The name was given
by the same midwife or priestess who baptized him.”[61]

Footnote 61:

  Sahagun. Hist. de Nueva Espana, vi, 37. In Prescott’s “Conquest of
  Mexico.” Vol. III, p. 385.

How like, yet how different, the Græco-Roman, the Egyptian, and the
Mexican rites, from each other, and from those of Israel and of Christ,
appears at a glance.

    SECTION XLIV.—_The Levitical Baptisms in the Christian Fathers._

The writers of the primitive church distinctly recognize the Old
Testament sprinklings, and especially the water of separation, by the
name of baptism. By the same name, they designate the idolatrous
imitations above described. Tertullian was born about fifty years after
the death of the apostle John. In allusion to the renewing efficacy
which he attributed to Christian baptism and the futility of the Gentile
rites, he says,—“The nations, strangers to all understanding of true
spiritual potencies, ascribe to their idols the self-same efficacy. But
they defraud themselves with unwedded waters; for they are initiated, by
washing, into certain of their sacred mysteries—as for example of Isis,
or Mithras. Even their gods themselves they honor with lavations.
Moreover, everywhere, country seats, houses, temples and whole cities
are purified by sprinkling with water carried around. So, it is certain
they are imbued (_tinguntur_) in the rituals of Apollo and Eleusis; and
they imagine this to accomplish for them renewing and impunity for their
perjuries. Moreover, among the ancients, whoever was polluted with
murder, expiated himself with purifying waters.... We see here the
diligence of the devil, emulating the things of God, since he even
administers baptism to his own.”[62]

Footnote 62:

  Tertull. de Baptisma, chapter v.

Here, Tertullian expressly designates these rites of the Gentile
idolatries by the name of baptism, and represents them as imitations of
the divinely appointed ordinance. Some he distinctly describes as
sprinklings, and among them evidently refers to Ovid’s representation of
the dishonest merchant, sprinkling himself to wash out his “perjuries.”
He does not allude to immersion, and in fact that form of rite was not
found among the Greek and Roman superstitions. The only difference which
Tertullian recognizes between the idolatrous rites and Christian baptism
is indicated by the phrase (_viduis aquis_), “unwedded,” or “widowed,
waters,” by which he designates the element used in the pagan rites. His
meaning, here, is to be found in the doctrine of baptismal regeneration,
which already prevailed in the church; according to which, it was
believed that, in baptism, in response to the invocation of the
officiating minister, the Holy Spirit descended upon the water,
imparting to it a divine potency to produce a new birth in the recipient
of the rite. Thus, the waters of Christian baptism were married waters,
as being capable of generating life; whilst the others were
unmarried,—unendowed with any “spiritual potency.”

It is further worthy of special notice, that Tertullian here refers,
among other Gentile imitations of baptism, to that purgation for murder,
by affusion of water, from which evidently Josephus derived his
preposterous explanation of the sprinkling of the water of separation,
for defilement by the dead. The probability is great that the Greek
purgation was derived from that appointed for the elders of Israel, in
the case of a concealed murder.

Jerome, living between A. D. 340 and 420, comments thus upon Ezekiel
xxxvi, 25-27.—“I will pour out or sprinkle (effundam sive aspergam),
upon you clean water and ye shall be cleansed from all your defilements.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a right spirit within
you.... I will pour out the clean water of saving baptism.... It is to
be observed that a new heart and a new spirit may be given by the
pouring out or sprinkling of water.” Again, he paraphrases;—“I will no
more pour out on them the waters of saving baptism, but the waters of
doctrine and of the word of God.”—Jerome v, 341.

Ambrose, bishop of Milan from A. D. 374 to 391, thus expounds the 7th
verse of Psa. li.—“He asks to be _cleansed with hyssop_, according to
the law. He desires to be washed according to the gospel, and trusts
that if washed he will be whiter than snow. He who would be purified by
typical baptism was sprinkled with the blood of a lamb, by a hyssop

Footnote 63:

  Ambrosii Opera, in Psa. li.

Again he says, “He (the priest), dipping the living sparrow, with cedar,
scarlet and hyssop, into water in which had been mingled the blood of
the slain sparrow, sprinkled the leper seven times, and thus was he
rightly purified.... By the cedar wood, the Father, by the hyssop the
Son, and by the scarlet wool, having the brightness of fire, the Holy
Spirit, is designated. With these three, he was sprinkled who would be
rightly purified, because no one can be cleansed from the leprosy of
sins, by the water of baptism, except through invocation of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit.... We are represented by the

Footnote 64:

  Ibid., in Apocal. cap. 6.

Again, addressing the newly baptized, he says,—“You took the white
garments, to indicate that you cast away the cloak of sin and put on the
spotless robe of innocence; whereof the prophet said: ‘Thou shalt
sprinkle me with hyssop and I shall be clean, thou shalt wash me, and I
shall be made whiter than snow.’ For he that is baptized appears
cleansed both according to the law and the gospel; according to the law,
since Moses, with a bunch of hyssop sprinkled the blood of a bird;
according to the gospel, because the garments of Christ were white as
snow, when, in the gospel, he showed the glory of his resurrection. He
whose sins are forgiven is made whiter than snow.”[65]

Footnote 65:

  Ibid. Lit. ad initiandos. c, 7.

Cyril lived in the next century. He was bishop of Alexandria, A. D.
412-444. In his exposition of Isaiah iv, 4, he says, “We have been
baptized, not with bare water, nor with the ashes of a heifer,—We are
sprinkled [with these] to purify the flesh, alone, as says the blessed
Paul,—but with the Holy Spirit, and fire.”

Thus, from the translation of the Old Testament into Greek down through
the time of Christ and the apostles, and to the middle of the fifth
century, the Levitical sprinklings were known and designated as
baptisms. Further we need not trace them.

                                PART VI.

      SECTION XLV.—_Points established by the foregoing Evidence._

A review of the preceding pages will discover the following points to
have been established.

1. Baptism was a rite familiar among the Jews at the time of Christ’s
coming, and not a new institution then first introduced.

2. Paul being witness, it was an ordinance imposed on Israel at Sinai,
as part of the Levitical system.

3. There is no trace, in the Levitical law, of an ordinance for the
immersion of the person, in any circumstances, or for any purpose

4. There is not, anywhere, in the Old Testament an allusion to immersion
as a symbolic rite, nor a figure derived from it, although those
Scriptures are full of allusions and figures referring to the symbolic
import of the pouring and sprinkling of water.

5. There was an ordinance for the immersion of certain things very
slightly defiled; which at once illustrates the ritual value of
immersion as compared with sprinkling, and the plainness of the language
where immersion was meant.

6. The baptisms, therefore, to which Paul refers as having been “imposed
on” Israel, could not have been immersions, and the word, _baptizo_, did
not in his vocabulary mean, to immerse.

7. The only institutions to which he can have referred are comprehended
under the two heads of, administered rites, and self-performed washings.

8. The self-washings were not sacraments, or seals of the covenant, but
monitory symbols of duty.

9. The gradation of these washings, the frequency and circumstances of
their observance, and the limited facilities available, render it
impossible that they can have been immersions.

10. Their symbolic significance, the words used to describe them, the
customs as to ablutions, and the washings of the priests in the court of
the sanctuary, and of the high priest in the holy place, concur to
demonstrate that they were ablutions performed by affusion.

11. The administered rites were sacramental seals of the covenant. They
were essentially one in meaning, office, and form; and were invariably
performed with a hyssop bush, by an official administrator, sprinkling
the recipient with living water, in which was the blood or ashes of

12. In the Hellenistic Greek, the language of the Septuagint, the
Apocrypha, and the New Testament, these purifications by sprinkling were
called _baptisms_, and they were known and designated by that name by
the primitive fathers of the Christian church.

13. These sprinklings of the law were the “divers baptisms” of Paul. So
far, therefore, from _baptizo_ meaning to dip, or, to immerse, and
nothing else, it is an indisputable fact that for at least fifteen
hundred years after the first institution of the rite, baptism was
always performed by sprinkling.

14. The ordinance was first instituted to seal the covenant by which the
church of God was founded in Israel; and that form of it in which the
ashes of the red heifer were used was divinely appointed as the ordinary
rite for the reception of applicants to the privileges of that covenant
and church.

15. Its symbolism set forth all that is recognized in the Scriptures as
meant by Christian baptism. Especially and distinctively was it the
sacrament of the purification, or remission of sins.

16. The figure presented in the form of sprinkling or pouring is derived
from the rain descending out of heaven, penetrating the earth and making
it fruitful; and it signifies the Spirit of life from God imparted to
the dead, entering the heart, purging its corruption, and creating new
life. To the case of indwelling corruption, with reference to which this
rite was appointed, no external washing, such as immersion is supposed
to represent, can be of any avail.

17. Affusion is the constant form of action in the ritual law, whether
with water, blood, or oil, to signify the efficient agency of the Lord
Jesus, in all the functions of administration in his mediatorial office.

18. The recipients of the Levitical baptism, were, at its first
institution, the whole congregation of Israel, old and young, thus
purified from the defilements of Egypt, sealed unto the covenant of God,
and installed as his church. Afterward, they were all, without
distinction of sex, age, or nation, who having been suspended for any
cause from the communion of the church of Israel, sought in the
appointed way restoration; or who were received into it, as infants or

19. While this rite was the door of admission to the privileges of the
covenant, at Sinai, and so long as the Levitical system survived, it is
appropriated by the Spirit, as the chosen figure by which is set forth,
in prophecy, the bestowal of the grace of Christ upon the Gentiles, in
the gospel day, and upon Israel, restored. “So shall he sprinkle many
nations.” “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be

20. The figures of speech corresponding to the forms of sprinkling and
pouring appear everywhere in the Old Testament. Pervading and
determining the entire structure of the ritual law, they reappear
continually, in the historical records, in the devotional and penitent
utterances of the Psalmist, the discourses of the Preacher, and the
expostulations and warnings of the prophets, and in their glad
anticipations of the grace of the coming Messiah. With one and the same
spiritual meaning everywhere, these figures pervade and control the
whole texture of thought and mode of expression of the sacred writers.

21. This rite of purification by sprinkling was not only thus familiar
to Israel, but, under corrupted forms, it had been disseminated
throughout the civilized world; so that when the apostles went forth to
carry the gospel to the nations, the ideas of sin and guilt, defilement
and cleansing, thus nourished, were a very important element in the
providential preparation of the world to appreciate and accept the
salvation of Christ. While such was the case, the fact is equally
significant that among the nations contiguous to Israel there is no
trace of ritual purification by immersion,—a form of observance which,
had it existed in Israel, could not have failed of imitation by her
idolatrous neighbors.

Thus assiduously and multifariously were the people of Israel taught,
and trained—by instructions, by warnings, by promises, by rites and
ceremonies, enjoined and observed at the sanctuary and at home, which
laid hold upon them in every relation of their being and every function
of their lives—to conceive of themselves in all their sinfulness and
need, and of the coming Messiah in his offices of grace, in the light of
this ordinance, and according to the similitude embodied in it. For
fifteen centuries these influences were continually at work, until the
very bent and tendency of their thoughts and conceptions, in so far as
they yielded themselves to the divine agencies thus applied, were
moulded to the forms of those rites.

In view of the facts thus developed, two questions present themselves
for thoughtful consideration as we proceed with our inquiry. (1.) Is it
to be imagined that John and Jesus, in coming to fulfill the prophecies
of the Old Testament, which were embodied in sprinkled baptism, would
ignore that ordinance, and silently substitute in its place the rite of
immersion; thus bringing to naught and repudiating the products of the
divine discipline so assiduously pursued through all those centuries,
and dissolving every tie of association between the gospel of Christ and
the hopes and expectations which the saints had been taught to cherish,
by the unanimous testimony of the law, the prophets, and the Psalms, all
speaking in the language of the repudiated rite? (2.) Since the name of
_baptism_, was, beyond question the designation used for the Levitical
sprinklings, how else can we understand John, Christ, and the apostles,
than as meaning the same thing, in the similar use which they make of
the same word?


  THE GREEK BATH.—From Sir. Wm. Hamilton’s
  vases, in Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman
  Antiquities; article “_Balneæ_.”

                                BOOK II.
                         NEW TESTAMENT HISTORY.

                               PART VII.

                 SECTION XLVI.—_State of the Question._

Before entering upon an examination of the New Testament, it will be
well to notice distinctly what, at this stage of our inquiry, is the
precise state of the question to which our attention is directed. In a
word, two rites present themselves, each claiming to be the true and
legitimate ordinance which Christ commanded to be dispensed to all

On the one hand is the ritual sprinkling of water. In this rite, we
have an ordinance instituted at Sinai by divine command, with specific
directions as to the mode of observance, and abundant exemplification
in the history of Israel and the writings of the Old Testament,—an
ordinance by which the tribes of Israel and the Gentile children of
Midian were both alike received and sealed unto the covenant of
God,—its rites replete with the richest gospel meaning, as expounded
by poets and prophets, and constituting in connection with the Lord’s
supper, a clear and symmetrical representation of the whole plan of
grace. In this ordinance, the sprinkling of water for the ritual
purging of sin, is a lucid symbol of the very baptizing office which
is now fulfilled from the throne of heaven by Him whom John
fore-announced as the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost. That the doctrine
which the New Testament identifies with Christian baptism was
symbolized by the ordinance, in its Old Testament form, can not be
successfully questioned; nor that there was a beautiful symmetry,
congruity and significance in each several part and feature of the
observance. It thus stands forth, luminous with most precious gospel
truth. Appointed of God at Sinai, as the most fitting form under which
to figure the first act of His grace, in the bestowal of salvation on
sinners,—honored as the rite by which the church was at the beginning
consecrated to her exalted office, as God’s witness and herald to the
nations,—it comes to the New Testament church, hoary and venerable
with a history of fifteen centuries,—embalmed and hallowed by
commemoration in the poetic strains of the psalmist and the brightest
visions of the prophets, and fragrant from association with the
profoundest and most precious experiences of God’s people, in all
those centuries, and with every beam of hope for a better life beyond,
which shone into their stricken hearts, in the times of bereavement
and mourning. It comes, its image indelibly stamped on the face of
God’s word, and its conceptions therein transmitted to blend with the
clearer visions of hope revealed to the gospel church, by Him, in whom
life and immortality are brought to light.

On the other hand is that form of observance in which the person of the
subject is immersed in water, as a symbol of the burial of the Lord
Jesus. For this rite, no higher antiquity is claimed, by its advocates,
than that involved in its supposed institution by the Lord Jesus, after
his resurrection. It has no precedent in the Levitical ritual, nor place
among the figures employed by the Old Testament writers. The prophets
did not foreshadow it in their imagery, nor the psalmist in his strains.
All other rites of divine authority, are distinctly described, both as
to office and form. But, of the rite of immersion, there is neither
description nor explanation anywhere in the Scriptures. Its evidence
stands wholly in definitions, contrary to the unanimous testimony of
lexicographers, unsustained by any broad inductions from the facts and
analogy of Scripture, and at variance with the conclusions which such
induction demands.

And when we examine the relations and details of the rite, we find
incongruity and contradiction conspicuously displayed. If the rite be
regarded as a typical seal of the covenant of grace, as are all
sacraments, it follows that the administrator represents the Lord Jesus,
administering the true baptism, the real seal of that covenant. But, if
baptism is by immersion, to represent the burial of the body of the Lord
Jesus, we are reduced to the alternative that the office of the
administrator means nothing, in which case we have a burial with no one
to perform it;—or, that he represents Joseph of Arimathea, and
Nicodemus; by whom the body of Jesus was laid in the sepulcher.

Again, in the Scriptures everywhere, and especially, and in the most
express terms, by the Lord Jesus himself (John iv, 14; vii, 37-39),
living water is recognized as the divinely appointed symbol of the Holy
Spirit, as the Spirit of quickening and life. How beautifully and richly
appropriate to this purpose it is, we have seen. But, according to the
immersion theory, the dipping of the person in this element,—that is,
mersion in water of life, represents the consigning of the body of Jesus
to the grave, the den of corruption and death!

Besides, the supposed resemblance of this rite to the burial of Christ’s
body is a transparent misconception. It results from the transfer to
Palestine of ideas derived from the wholly different western method of
interment. In the sense required by immersion, Jesus never was “buried.”
The sepulcher of Joseph, in which his body was laid was not a grave, but
a spacious above-ground chamber. Such were its dimensions that, at one
time, on the morning of the resurrection, there were present in it “Mary
Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and other women,” at
least five or six persons, and with them the two angels before whom they
fell prostrate. (Luke xxiv, 1-10.) To this day, the hillsides around
Jerusalem and throughout Palestine are pierced with innumerable such
chambers, excavated horizontally in the rock, and frequently used as
dwellings by the present inhabitants. Such was the sepulcher of
Jesus,—an artificial chamber with a perpendicular door, so that Peter
and John and the women could by stooping walk into it.—John xx, 5-8. The
entombing of Jesus was no more a burial, in the sense required by the
immersion theory, than was the laying of the body of Dorcas in an upper
chamber. (Acts ix, 37.) The supposed similitude of immersion in water is
a figment of the imagination, in entire disregard of the real facts.

But, even should we allow the ordinance to be a true and fitting symbol
of the burial of Christ, it remains void of all spiritual significance.
Study it as we may, it teaches nothing,—it means nothing. In all other
sacraments the plan of salvation, in one or other of its grand features,
is lucidly represented. The Lord’s supper is the acknowledged symbol of
Christ’s atonement and death, and of the manner in which he imparts to
his people the benefits of that death,—while they by faith feed upon his
broken body. According to the immersion theory, baptism represents and
shows forth the burial of the dead body of Jesus, contradistinguished
from his death, as symbolized in the Lord’s supper. But that burial is a
thing wholly unimportant and insignificant, in itself, whether viewed as
to the fact or the mode. No emphasis is ever in the Scriptures put upon
either, nor spiritual meaning attributed to them. Thus, if we admit
immersion to a place among the ordinances, it must remain a mere form,
shedding no ray of divine light,—an opaque spot among the luminaries in
the instructive constellation of Scripture rites. The result moreover of
accepting this ordinance is, to strip the New Testament church of all
sacramental knowledge of the power and glory of Christ’s triumphant
sceptre. In Levitical baptism, the Old Testament church had a most
beautiful pledge of his triumph over death and a symbol of his grace
shed down from the throne of his glory. But, upon the immersion theory,
all this is utterly ignored in the New Testament ritual, and all
attention directed to the humiliation, sufferings and death,—one
sacrament setting forth his death, and the other his burial; whilst both
are left void of meaning; since the intent of the abasement can only be
found in his exaltation, and the baptizing office exercised from his
throne. We are to believe that at the very moment when his exaltation
became a glorious reality, and his baptizing office an active function,
and when these facts had become the very crown and sum of the gospel
thereupon sent forth to the world, all trace of them was obliterated
from the sacramental system, to the marring of its symmetry and the
utter destruction of its completeness and adequacy as a symbolical

Moreover, it is the office of the rite of baptism, to seal admission to
the benefits of the covenant, in the bosom of the visible church.
Appropriate to this office, the Old Testament rite was a symbol of that
renewing and cleansing which the Lord Jesus by his Spirit gives, in the
bestowal upon his people of the benefits of the better covenant, and the
fellowship of the invisible church. The same import is attributed to
baptism throughout the New Testament. But in the rite of immersion, as
symbolizing the burial of the Lord Jesus, not only is this meaning
excluded, but the ordinance has no conceivable congruity to the office
which it fills. Dr. Carson attempts to evade this difficulty by the
assumption that there are two distinct emblems in baptism,—one, of
purification by washing; another of death, burial and resurrection, by
immersion.[66] Then, we are to understand that in baptism, the
administrator represents at once, the men by whom the body of Jesus was
laid in the sepulchre, and the Lord Jesus himself, dispensing the
baptism of his Spirit! The water symbolizes both the grave which is the
abode of death and corruption, and the Holy Spirit of life! And the
immersion of the person of the baptized represents at one and the same
time, the placing of the body in the grave, and the bestowal of his
Spirit by Jesus, for quickening and sanctifying his people! Manifestly,
the two sets of ideas thus brought together, as involved and represented
in the one form, are wholly irreconcilable. They are not merely
incongruous, but mutually destructive. To assert water, in one and the
same act, to signify the Spirit of life, and the corruption of the
grave; or an immersion to symbolize, at once, the burial of the dead
body, and the quickening of dead souls, is to deny it to have any
meaning at all. The rite may be labelled with these incongruous ideas.
But they can not be made to cohere in it. The theory ignores and
contradicts the true nature of the rites of God’s appointment; which are
not mere mnemonical tokens, but representative figures, ordained as
testimonies, which convey intelligible expression of their meaning by
their forms; and are therefore constructed upon fixed and invariable
principles, and characterized by definiteness and unity of meaning.

Footnote 66:

  Carson on Baptism, pp. 265-268.

Are these difficulties evaded by falling back to the position of the
first Baptist confession,—that baptism “being a sign, must answer the
thing signified, which is, the interest the saints have in the death,
burial and _resurrection_ of Christ; and that as certainly as the body
is buried under the water and risen again, so certainly shall the bodies
of the saints be raised by the power of Christ, in the day of the
resurrection?” This is, to abandon the very citadel of the cause, which
consists in the position that the form and meaning of the ordinance are
to be determined by a strict interpretation of the classic meaning of
the word _baptizo_. That word _never_ means “burial and
resurrection,”—the immersion and _raising up_ of the subject. It
_sometimes_ means a submersion; that, and nothing more. This is now
distinctly admitted by the ablest representatives of the immersion
theory, as we shall see abundantly evinced before we close.

Such are some of the considerations that present themselves, as, at this
point in our inquiry, we view the two diverse rites which assume the
name of Christian baptism. Their claims are now to be judged, by a
comparison of the New Testament evidence, with what has been already
concentrated from the law, the prophets, and the Psalms;—writings all of
them equally authoritative and divine.


  THE GREEK BATH.—The god, Eros, presides. From
  Sir. Wm. Hamilton’s vases, in Smith’s Dictionary
  of Greek and Roman Antiquities; article “_Balneæ_.”

                               PART VIII.
                      THE PURIFYINGS OF THE JEWS.

           SECTION XLVII.—_Accounts of them in the Gospels._

The fact has been referred to already that at the great passover, in the
days of Hezekiah, to which the remnant of the ten tribes were invited by
the king, “a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh,
Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the
passover otherwise than it was written,” not being “cleansed according
to the purification of the sanctuary;” that, thereupon, a plague was
sent among them; but at the intercession of the king, the Lord healed
the people. (2 Chron. xxx, 17-20.) In the law, it appears that, at the
entreaty of certain persons, who, at the regular time of the passover,
were defiled by a dead body, provision was made for a second passover,
to be kept a month later, by such as, by reason of defilement, or
absence at a great distance, could not keep it at the appointed time.
(Num. ix, 6-11.) These facts illustrate the statement of John respecting
a certain occasion when the “passover was nigh at hand; and many went
out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify
themselves.”—John xi, 55. The self-washings could all be performed by
the people at home. But, in the later period of Jewish history, the
ashes were kept at Jerusalem, and the sprinkling of the unclean usually
performed there by the priests alone. Hence, the coming of these Jews to
Jerusalem for purifying before the feast. It is thus evident that at all
the annual feasts, the preparatory purifying of the people must have
been a very conspicuous feature of the occasion, a fact of no little
significance, as bearing upon the observances in the Eleusinian
mysteries, already referred to.

We have shown the name of _baptism_ to have been used to designate both
the Levitical rite of sprinkling with the water of separation and the
ritual purifyings invented by the scribes. With the growth of
ritualistic zeal, the occasions for the latter observances were
multiplied. The earliest allusion to them, in the life of our Savior,
appears in connection with his first miracle, wrought in Cana of Galilee
at the marriage feast. “There were set there six water pots of stone,
after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three
firkins apiece.”—John ii, 6. That this provision for the purposes of
ritual purifying upon such an occasion was absolutely necessary, in
obedience to the traditions of the scribes, will presently appear.

The next occasion on which these rites come into notice, is recorded by
Luke. In the course of our Lord’s second tour through Galilee, after
having preached the gospel to a vast concourse, “a certain Pharisee
besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. And
when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first _baptized_
(_ebaptisthē_), before dinner. And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye
Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your
inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he
that made that which is without make that which is within also? But
rather give alms of such things as ye have; and behold all things are
clean unto you.”—Luke xi, 37-41.

The next incident is mentioned very briefly by Matthew (xv, 1-9), and
more fully in Mark. The apprehensions of the rulers at Jerusalem seem to
have been aroused by reports of Christ’s ministry, and the excitement
caused by it among the people of Galilee. And as they had formerly sent
messengers to challenge John, so, now, scribes and Pharisees from
Jerusalem were on the watch to find occasion against Jesus. And “when
they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say,
with unwashen hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the
Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition
of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they _baptize_
(_ean mē baptisōntai_), they eat not, and many other things there be
which they have received to hold, as the _baptisms_ (_baptismous_), of
cups and pots, brazen vessels and tables” (or “beds.” So the margin and
the Greek.)—Mark vii, 1-4.

These are the only places in which the ritual purifyings of the
Pharisees are so mentioned as to shed light upon the subject of our
inquiry. In them, we trace three distinct observances. These are
enumerated by Mark, who represents them as common to “the Pharisees and
all the Jews.” They are, (1) Washing the hands, before meals; (2)
Baptism, after coming from the markets; (3) The baptisms of utensils and

           SECTION XLVIII.—_Washing the Hands before Meals._

It appears to have been a custom, enjoined by tradition and observed by
all the Jews, always to wash the hands ritually before eating. The
origin and meaning of the tradition may probably be inferred from a few
Scriptural facts. (1.) Flesh was used for sacrifice, before it was given
to man for food. Compare Gen. i, 29; iv, 4; viii, 20; ix, 3. It was thus
transferred from the altar to the table. (2.) One essential idea in the
Levitical system as to sacrifice, was communion of Israel with God at
his table. Of this, the passover was but one among many illustrations
which the books of Moses contain. (Deut. xii, 17, 18, 27, etc.) (3.)
Hence, all eating of flesh was treated as sacrificial in its nature,
and, therefore, the prohibition of blood—a prohibition perpetuated in
the church by the apostles. (Gen. ix, 4; Lev. xvii, 3-14; Deut. xii,
20-27; Acts xv, 20, 29.[67]) If, to these facts be added the rule which
required the priests to wash themselves before entering upon their
official duties, one of which was the eating of the sacrificial flesh in
the holy place, and the words of the Psalmist,—“I will wash mine hands
in innocency, so will I compass thine altar, O Lord” (Psa. xxvi, 6), we
will have the probable foundation of the ritualistic structure.

Footnote 67:

  This is not the place to enlarge upon the present obligation of this
  law. In the above places, the reader will find it, as at first given
  to Noah, as expounded and perpetuated under the Levitical
  dispensation, and as again re-enforced upon the Gentile churches by
  the apostles. When and why was it abrogated?

As to the mode of these washings, the rules given in the ritual law are
very significant. But two cases in which the washing of the hands was
required are there found. One of these is the washing of the hands of
the elders in expiation of a concealed murder. (Deut. xxi, 3-9.) Here
the circumstances render it certain that the water was poured on the
hands. The other is mentioned in Lev. xv, 11, where the English,
“rinsed,” represents the Hebrew, _shātaph_, to dash, or pour on with
violence. If the Jews imitated the Levical rites they did not immerse
their hands. Mark throws but little light upon the mode of the Pharisaic
washing. In the expression, “except they wash their hands _oft_,” the
last word of the original (_pugmē_,—“oft”), probably had a technical
meaning, by which the mode was designated. But if such was the case,
that meaning has been lost. By some writers, it is interpreted, “to the
elbows,” “to the wrist,” “with closed fist,” etc. But all this is mere
conjecture, as is the opinion of Dr. Lightfoot, that it denoted a
certain form of the affusion of water upon the hands.

The account of the marriage feast affords ground for surer deductions.
There were set six water pots of stone, holding two or three firkins
apiece. Whatever were the rites referred to by Mark, under the two
designations of “washing the hands,” and “baptism,” it was necessary
that sufficient water should be provided for all occasions of both kinds
which were likely to occur, in the large concourse of wedding guests, of
whom Christ and the apostles were but a small proportion. For, whilst
the guests, generally, were expected, of course, to make use of the
ordinary rite, by washing their hands, there might be numbers who had
incurred such exposure as to require the appointed _baptism_. What,
then, are the indications as to the nature of the rites thus provided

The capacity of the water-pots, according to the most probable estimate,
was not more than ten gallons each. The highest supposition sets them at
about eighteen. They were, therefore, altogether too small to have been
used as bath-tubs, for the immersion of the guests. The possibility,
therefore, of such a necessity, did not enter into the calculations of
those who provided for the occasion. Were the waterpots, then, used for
immersing the hands? The customs of the east, then and to this day,—the
fact that Jesus and his disciples evidently appear as but a small
proportion of the guests,—and the quantity of wine miraculously made by
Jesus for their supply, unite to certify that the great body of the
community of Cana was present at the feast. The first suggestion,
therefore, that presents itself is, that the supposed process must soon
have rendered the water disgusting, from its use in the manner supposed,
by a succession of persons. Another and conclusive fact is the use made
by our Savior of these waterpots. The feast had been some time in
progress, so that the guests had “well drunk,” before the exhausting of
the wine. All had been purified, and the pots, appropriated to that use,
stood with the remaining water, as thus left. When, Jesus said to the
servants,—“Fill the waterpots with water,” “they filled them to the
brim,” and immediately carried the wine to the governor of the feast.
The servants were ignorant of the purpose of Jesus, and, as the
narrative shows, simply did as they were directed. There was no emptying
of foul water. There was no cleansing of the waterpots. There is no
consciousness, manifested in the narrative, of occasion for it. Nor was
there time. It was in the midst of the feast; and the wine was already
exhausted, although the ruler of the feast and the guests were unaware
of it. (V. 9.) The account of the transaction was written by John, an
eye-witness, for the information of cotemporaries who were familiar with
the rites of purifying, whatever they were. And had they been performed
_in_ the water, in any way, an explanation was necessary, or the
inference became inevitable that the vessels were used just as they
stood. In these circumstances, is it to be imagined that the waterpots
already contained the washings of the guests; or even that they were
emptied of these and then appropriated as recepticles of the wine, which
was immediately served to the very persons who had just washed in them?
Clearly, the facts compel the conclusion that “the purifyings of the
Jews,” here provided for were not done _in_ the waterpots, but with
water taken from them, and poured or sprinkled on the guests.

This conclusion is confirmed by the explicit testimony of the rabbins.
Rabbi Akiva was a doctor of the law of the most eminent reputation, his
disciples being numbered by thousands. He was president of the
sanhedrim, less than one hundred years after the death of Christ. Being
made prisoner by the Romans, upon the suppression of the insurrection of
Bar Kokeba, of which he was an active promoter, he was thrown into
prison awaiting execution. When food was brought to him, the jailer
thinking the supply of water too liberal, poured the greater part on the
ground. The rabbi although famishing of thirst, directed what remained
to be _poured upon his hands_, saying, “It is better to die with thirst
than to transgress the traditions of the elders.”

            SECTION XLIX.—_Baptism upon return from Market._

Another point in Mark’s statement is, that, “When they come from the
market, except they _baptize_, they eat not.” Here, it would seem that
Mark means something different and more important than the ordinary
washing of the hands, to which he has just before referred. It is an
additional statement, of other rites employed on special occasions. The
word, _agora_, which is translated “the market,” has a much more
extensive signification than the English word. Its primary meaning is, a
concourse, an assembly, of any kind. And while it was used among others,
to designate the assemblies for traffic, and hence the places of such
assemblies, it is not, in the text, to be understood in that limited
sense; but as comprehensive of all promiscuous assemblages of the
people, in which a person was liable unwittingly to come in contact with
the unclean. It was upon occasion of our Savior’s coming from such an
assembly, that the Pharisee of whom Luke informs us was surprised that
he had not first _baptized_ before dinner. He had been preaching in the
midst of a multitude “gathered thick together” (Luke xi, 29), when he
received and accepted the invitation to dine. He had thus been exposed
to a contact which the Pharisees would have carefully avoided, as liable
to involve them, unaware, in the extremest defilement, and to render
necessary special rites of purifying. This was undoubtedly the cause of
the surprise of the Pharisee at the conduct of Jesus.

As to the mode of the baptism here referred to, the gospels are silent.
In favor of the supposition that it was immersion, there is nothing
whatever in the Scriptures. It rests wholly upon the assumption that
that is the meaning of _baptizo_. The circumstances all very strongly
favor the conclusion, that as the major defilements of the Mosaic law
were all purged by sprinkling, so this, the major defilement of
Pharisaic tradition was cleansed in a kindred way. Among the indications
in favor of this conclusion are, the fact that the provision made for
purifying at the marriage feast excludes the idea of immersion;—the
entire silence of the Scriptures as to any facilities for that
purpose;—the incongruity of the supposition to the circumstances of
Jesus, in the act of sitting down at the Pharisee’s table;—the absence
from the narrative of any allusion to means provided by the Pharisee for
the performance, in that mode, of a rite by him so highly esteemed, and
for which special provision was necessary;—and the improbability of such
a form gaining prevalence among “the Pharisees and all the Jews,”
involving, of necessity, both expense and labor, to an intolerable
extent. If, on the contrary, as we may reasonably suppose, the house of
the Pharisee was provided with appliances, “after the manner of the
purifying of the Jews,” they would consist of water pots set at the
door, as at the marriage feast, out of which the guests, as they
entered, could take water for pouring on their hands, or baptizing their
persons by sprinkling, without inconvenience or delay.

We have formerly seen that the self-washings of the Mosaic law,—in which
alone its advocates have ever pretended that immersion may be found in
the Old Testament,—were of continual recurrence in every family. We find
in the time of Christ the rites supplemented by those now in question,
which were of even more frequent occasion. If they were performed by
self-washing, by affusion, or by sprinkling, such provision of vessels
as thus indicated was all-sufficient. But if they were immersions of the
person, the almost daily necessities of every family would have required
not only an extraordinary supply of water, but a capacious bath tub in
every house. Without such a vessel and supply, at home, immersion of the
person, with the frequency required, was not merely improbable; it was
impossible. But such arrangements would have involved an amount of
expense and of labor which no people could endure.

If we open the Scriptures to inquire what is their testimony on this
point, on which, if the system of immersion was in operation, some hints
could not fail to appear, we find that the one only statement or
allusion is contained in the account of the six water pots at the
marriage feast. They were set “after the manner of the purifying of the
Jews.” This expression, alike in itself, and in the attendant
circumstances, as already considered, is exclusive of the supposition
that any purifying rite was observed among the Jews, for which the water
pots were not a sufficient provision. In short, all the evidence concurs
to determine that “the purifying of the Jews,” however performed, was
not by immersion of the person.

                    SECTION L.—_A Various Reading._

There is a various reading, in the Greek manuscripts, which is full of
meaning with reference to our present inquiry. Whilst many manuscripts,
including the Alexandrian, which is referred to the fifth century, read
_baptisōntai_,—“except they _baptize_ they eat not,” (Mark vii, 4); the
two oldest and of the highest authority, the codices Sinaiticus and
Vaticanus, both dating from the fourth century, and with them numbers of
a later date, read, _rantisōntai_, “except they _sprinkle_ they eat
not.” The presumption is very strong in favor of _rantisōntai_ being the
true reading. Its bearing on the logical connection of Mark’s statement
is worthy of note. According to it, he describes three classes of rites.
He specifies, first, _self-washings_ of the hands, as always used before
dinner; second, certain _sprinklings_, resorted to upon supposition of
more serious defilements; and third, _baptisms_ of pots and cups, etc.,
the modes of purifying, for which, prescribed in the law, were various.
The relation of these purifyings to those appointed by Moses is
apparent. They coincide with the self-washings, the sprinklings, and the
purifying of things prescribed by him. The various readings here involve
considerations of great importance. As before stated, _rantisōntai_ is
the reading of the two oldest and most highly esteemed manuscripts,
dating back to within about two hundred and fifty years of the death of
the apostle John. These manuscripts are recognized by critical scholars
as being so far independent of each other that their various readings
indicate the gradual divergence which would progress from copy to copy
through several generations of manuscripts; so that the reading on which
they unite must have originated, if not with the evangelist, at least
very soon after the first publication of his gospel. On the other hand,
the reading, _baptisōntai_, first found in the Alexandrian codex, of the
fifth century, appears in the great majority of extant manuscripts. We
may confidently conclude that there must have been earlier copies of
high authority in which this reading was found. It thus appears that at
a time but little if any removed from the age of the apostles, these two
readings existed side by side in the received copies of the gospel.

This fact is the more significant in view of the jealous care with which
the purity of the New Testament text was guarded. So long as the last of
the apostles survived, his inspired authority was an available resort on
all questions of controversy, arising in the churches. (2 Cor. xi, 28; 3
John 9, 10.) During this period, the importance of an absolutely pure
text of the writings of the apostles and evangelists was not fully
appreciated. The work of transcription was left to the zeal of private
individuals, who were often wanting in the necessary qualifications;
whilst there was no system of responsible revision. It was probably
during this period, closing about fifty years after the death of the
apostle John, that the most important variations and errors crept in.
About that time, the importance of a pure text, as an authoritative
standard of appeal on questions of controversy, began to be felt; and,
thereafter, great vigilance was exercised by the officers of the church
in securing correct copies. The transcriptions were made from the best
and most accurate manuscripts. And when a copy was made, it appears to
have been subjected to a critical revision, after having been first
collated usually by the scribe himself, with the copy from which it was
taken, for the purpose of correcting any clerical errors, that might
have occurred in the transcription. The manuscript was then handed over
to “the corrector,” whose business it was to revise the text by a
comparison with other available manuscripts. In this office the services
of the most learned and able men in the church were employed; and it was
not until sanctioned by such revision that a manuscript was accepted as
an authentic copy. Beside the process here described, the ancient
manuscripts abound in changes made by subsequent critics. The codex
Sinaiticus exhibits alterations “by at least ten different revisers,
some of them systematically spread over every page, others occasional or
limited to separate portions of the manuscript, many of them being
cotemporaneous with the first writer; far the greater part belonging to
the sixth or seventh century, a few being as recent as the twelfth.”[68]

Footnote 68:

  Scrivener’s Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus, Introduction, p. xx.

In view of the diligence of the criticism thus systematically exercised,
the fact is very remarkable that the two readings, _baptisōntai_, and
_rantisōntai_ should have been transmitted side by side, and traceable
back nearly to the apostolic age. And it is further remarkable, that no
one of the ten successive critics whose revisions are traceable on the
codex Sinaiticus has corrected the place in question so as to read
_baptisōntai_, although it is certain that reading did extensively
prevail. Nor is the variation alluded to in the writings of the fathers.
It is immaterial to the present argument which is the true reading. If
it was _rantisōntai_, the language of Mark explains the meaning of Luke.
What the Pharisee expected was that Jesus should have _baptized_ himself
by _sprinkling_. And, whichever is the true reading, this fact is patent
that at an age so early as to be undistinguishable from that of the
apostles and evangelists, so intimate was the relation between
sprinkling and baptism that the one word was inadvertently substituted
for the other, in transcription; and the alteration received by the
ablest men in the church, without question or protest, then or
afterward, or the betrayal even of a consciousness of change; despite
the watchfulness of a criticism systematic in its exercise and jealous
for the purity of the text. If the primitive church understood baptism
to mean immersion, if the rite was administered in that, as the only
Scriptural mode, the occurrence of the case here presented would have
been plainly impossible. It could only happen where the two words were
identified as designating the same rite. How easily the words might be
confounded will appear by a comparison of them as written in the
primitive Greek, known as uncials, or capital letters:—



Were the first and third letters dimly written, or blurred, the one word
might readily be taken for the other.

           SECTION LI.—_Baptisms of Utensils and Furniture._

Another point in Mark’s statement is the baptisms of cups and pots,
brasen vessels and tables. It is unnecessary to insist upon the argument
which is deducible from the practical impossibility of the immersion of
these things; nor to notice the theories which have been devised to
overcome the difficulties which it interposes to the Baptist mode. The
reader who has followed the course of this history will recognize, in
the Levitical ordinances respecting the purifyings of things, the source
whence was derived the hint of these supererogatory rites. And a
comparison of the various Mosaic regulations on the subject will satisfy
the candid reader that the list here given is not designed to be
exhaustive, but an exemplification merely of the observances in
question. This is further evident from the fact that the enumeration, as
made by the Lord Jesus (v. 8), was of pots and cups, only; which Mark in
his subsequent account amplifies by the other additional examples.
Respecting them, the ritual of Moses provided modes of purifying varied
both with respect to the nature of the things to be cleansed, and the
character of the defilements; as we have formerly seen. We may well
suppose that the scribes did not fail to imitate every form of the legal
purifyings, in their additions to the law of God. It is not only
possible, but very probable that some of these inventions were in the
form of immersion. For, as we have formerly seen, that was one of the
forms appointed in the law, for the purifying of things. But the
evangelist speaks, not of one, but of various rites; which he designates
by the plural and generic name of (_baptismous_),—baptisms. The word
thus selected is the very same which is used by Paul as the
comprehensive designation of the purifying rites of the Mosaic law,—the
“divers baptisms,” imposed at Sinai. The conclusion is therefore
irresistible, that whilst Paul used the word in a generic sense, as
comprehending the various forms of legal purification, among which the
immersion of person is not to be found, Mark uses it in a like generic
sense as comprehensive of the various forms for the purifying of things,
among which immersion _may_ have been one, although, if such was the
fact, the proof is yet to be produced.

The result of our examination is, that among the Pharisaic rites, no
trace of the immersion of the person is to be found.

                                PART IX.

             SECTION LII.—_The History of John’s Mission._

The account of John’s ministry in the evangelists, is invariably
introduced by an appeal to the prophecies which foretold his coming and
office. A remarkable passage from Malachi is alluded to by the angel
Gabriel, in announcing to Zacharias the birth of the forerunner (Luke i,
17), and by Mark in his introduction to the gospel. (Mark i, 2). A
prophecy of Isaiah is cited in all the gospels; as is also John’s own
account of his commission and office. It will be convenient for the
purposes of the present discussion to bring these passages together.
Says the Lord by Malachi, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he
shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye seek shall
suddenly come to his temple, even the Messenger of the covenant whom ye
delight in; behold he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may
abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth? For
he is like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap; and he shall sit as
a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi,
and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an
offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and
Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in
former years. And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a
swift witness against the sorcerers.... Remember ye the law of Moses my
servant which I commanded unto him in Horeb, for all Israel, with the
statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet,
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he
shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of
the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth” (the
land of Israel) “with a curse.”—Mal. iii, 1-5; iv, 4-6.

The citation from Isaiah (xl, 3-5), together with John’s exposition of
it, is thus given by Luke. “John came into all the country about Jordan,
preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is
written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The
voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every
mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made
straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall
see the salvation of God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth
to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to
flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth, therefore, fruits worthy of
repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to
our father; for I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise
up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of
the trees; every tree, therefore, which bringeth not forth good fruit is
hewn down, and cast into the fire.... I indeed baptize you with water;
but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not
worthy to unloose; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with
fire; whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor,
and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn
with fire unquenchable.”—Luke iii, 3-17. In John’s gospel, some
additional points are given. “John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and
saith, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.
This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred
before me; for he was before me. And I knew him not; but that he should
be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven,
like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not, but He that sent
me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt
see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he which
baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record, that this is
the Son of God.”—John i, 29-34.

The title by which, in the prophecy of Malachi, the Lord Jesus is
designated,—“the _Messenger of the covenant_,” carries us back to the
scene at Sinai, when the covenant was made and sealed. In the close of
the prophecy, our attention is expressly directed to that occasion.
“Remember the law of Moses, which I commanded unto him in Horeb, for all
Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” The intimations thus given
lead us up to the originating occasion of John’s testimony.

Immediately after the coming of Israel to Sinai, among the
communications which expounded the covenant, preparatory to its sealing,
the Lord said to them, “Behold I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee
in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
Beware of him and obey his voice. Provoke him not, for he will not
pardon your transgressions; for my name is in him.”—Ex. xxiii, 20, 21.
This Angel is by the Lord elsewhere called “My Presence” (Compare Ex.
xiv, 19; xxxii, 34; xxxiii, 2, 14, 15), and by Isaiah, “the Angel of His
presence.”—Isa. lxiii, 9. He is thus announced to Israel as sent to be
God’s servant in the fulfilling of the Sinai covenant, and is hence by
the prophet called “the Messenger of the covenant.”

Another line of facts leads in the same direction. When, at the mount,
Israel was overwhelmed with the terror of the great fire and of God’s
audible voice, and entreated Moses, “Speak thou with us, and we will
hear; but let not God speak with us lest we die” (Ex. xx, 19; Deut. v,
22-27), their proposal thus to accept Moses as Mediator between them and
God was graciously approved. “They have well said, all that they have
spoken.”—Deut. v, 28. Moses was accepted in that office, and Israel
dismissed from the assembly at the mount. (Ib. 28-31.) But, afterward,
Moses revealed to them how much more richly their abasement and prayer
had been answered than they had asked or imagined. “The Lord thy God
will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy
brethren like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; according to all that
thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb, in the day of the assembly,
saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let
me see this great fire any more that I die not. And the Lord said unto
me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them
up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my
words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall
command Him.”—Deut. xviii, 15-18. Compare John xiv, 31; xvii, 8, 14.

We are thus brought to the relation which Moses and the Sinai covenant,
sustained to the Lord Jesus, and that better covenant of which he is the
Mediator. (Heb. viii, 6.) The covenant of Sinai as formally accepted by
Israel and ratified through the mediation of Moses, was of unspeakable
moment, as being the installation of the visible church. But it was, at
the same time, an outward type, a manifestation and announcement of the
covenant of grace made with the invisible church. Of the one, Moses was
the Mediator;—of the other, the Lord Jesus. The one is founded upon the
public professions and promises of Moses and the assembly of Israel (Ex.
xxxiv, 27);—the other on the engagement of the Lord Jesus to fulfill all
righteousness. The former was graven on tables of stone; the latter is
written in the fleshly tables of the hearts of Christ’s people. (Jer.
xxxi, 33; 2 Cor. iii, 3; Heb. viii, 10.) The former was sealed with the
blood which was partly sprinkled on the Sinai altar, and partly mingled
with water and sprinkled on Israel; the latter, with the blood of
sprinkling of Jesus Christ offered in the holy place in heaven, and the
baptism of the Spirit which, through the merits of that blood, he gives
his people.

We can now see the bearing of certain memorable words uttered by the
Lord Jesus. When Moses sealed the covenant, he sprinkled the book and
the people with the sacrificial blood and water, saying, “Behold, the
blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all
these words.” At the table, the night of the betrayal, the Lord Jesus
took the cup, and having given thanks, gave it to the disciples, saying,
“This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many, for the
remission of sins.”—Matt. xxvi, 28. He thus signified the typical nature
of the transaction in the wilderness, as relating to him, and announced
himself about to fulfill all that it foreshadowed. Particularly did his
language, by appropriating that of the Sinai baptism, recognize both it
and the supper as symbols and seals of the remission of sins, of which
his own blood bestows the reality.

To the same relation between the Sinai transactions and Christ’s office
and work, Peter bears witness. A few days after Pentecost, upon occasion
of the healing of the impotent man, he reminded the wondering assembly
of the promise made by Moses to the fathers.—“A prophet shall the Lord
your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me.... Yea and
all the prophets, from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as
have spoken, have likewise foretold _of these days_.”—Acts iii, 22-24.

          SECTION LIII.—_Israel at the Time of John’s Coming._

When John came, the Jews had been for four hundred years without a
prophet, or any sensible token of God’s presence among them. The
captivity and return from Babylon and subsequent circumstances in their
history had effectually and finally cured the inveterate tendency to
idolatry, which had characterized them from the days of the Egyptian
bondage. But this change did not bring with it an awakening of true
spiritual devotion to the service of God. Instead thereof an intense
zeal of self-righteousness was cherished, under the two forms of a
fanatical pride in the blood of Abraham, and an ardent devotion to the
external forms and rites of religion, to tithes and offerings, to
fastings and purifyings,—to “righteousnesses of the flesh,”—whilst the
spirituality and power of the divine law were obscured and set aside by
the glosses and interpretations of the elders. Such was the religion of
the scribes, who “sat in Moses’ seat,” as the instructors of the people.
The great mass of the nation, led by these blind guides, were with them
hastening to destruction; while the few who still sought after the God
of their fathers were as sheep without a shepherd. In the meantime,
Jerusalem and Judea had been the prey alternately of the Ptolemies of
Egypt, the Seleucidæ of Syria, and factions among themselves. After the
successful revolt of the Maccabees, a brief time of peace and prosperity
was enjoyed under the sceptre of that family. But the rivalry and
seditions of its members brought in the Romans, under whose patronage
the Herodian family, of Edomite origin, had come into power.

During the progress of these events, the whole land had been polluted
with crimes and atrocities of every kind, and of the deepest dye. The
high priesthood was habitually subject to barter and sale, one possessor
of the office giving place to another in rapid succession, as the
respective aspirants were able to purchase the office from the kings of
Syria, or of Judea, or to seize it by violence or the favor of the
rabble. The temple itself had been desecrated by being formally set
apart to the worship of Jupiter Olympius. And as though that was not
enough, it had been yet more horribly defiled by fratricidal blood; an
aspirant for the high priesthood having secured and held the office by
the murder of his own brother, in the very precincts of the temple. The
entire social system was rotten, and the nation was fast ripening for
the developments about to be witnessed, in the denial and crucifixion of
the Son of God, the rejection of the gospel, and the crimes which
precipitated society into a chaos of anarchy and a reign of terror,
ending in the destruction of the temple, the desolation of Jerusalem,
and the dispersion of the nation to this day.

Thus, when John began his ministry, the land of Israel, the city, the
temple, and the nation were lying under the burden of the unexpiated and
unrepented crimes of many centuries. (Matt. xxiii, 29-36.) The covenant
was forfeited and trampled under foot, and the land and the people were,
in every sense, moral and ritual, utterly unclean. At the beginning of
the declension, the prophet Haggai had been sent to the priests with a
lesson out of the law.—“Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,
If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt
do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be
holy? And the priests answered and said, No. Then said Haggai, If one
that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean?
And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. Then answered
Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me,
saith the Lord: and so is every work of their hands, and that which they
offer there is unclean.”—Hag. ii, 11-14. After the cotemporaneous
ministries of Haggai and Zechariah, the Spirit of prophecy was withdrawn
for about one hundred years. Then suddenly, a trumpet note from Malachi
broke the silence, with a brief and startling call.—“If ye will not
hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name,
saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will
curse your blessings. Yea I have cursed them already.... From the days
of your fathers, ye are gone away from mine ordinances and have not kept
them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of
hosts.—Mal. ii, 2; iii, 7. But they did not return. Thereupon, God their
King withdrew from all communication with them as a people, for four
centuries following.

Such was the situation of that people at the coming of John. They had
the oracles of God, his ordinances, and his temple; of which Haggai had
said,—“I will shake all nations; and the Desire of all nations shall
come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of
hosts.”—Hag. ii, 7. But all this was as a piece of holy flesh in the
skirt of a garment. It did not purify the nation, while their
uncleanness defiled these and all their hallowed things.

          SECTION LIV.—_The Nature and End of John’s Baptism._

Whilst Israel was thus apostate and excommunicate from God, the
Messenger of his covenant was about to appear, in that character the
aspect of which, as toward the rebellious and unbelieving, had been
especially emphasized in the prophecies above cited; and the exercise of
which resulted in the desolation of the land, and the dispersion of the
nation a byword and a hissing in all lands. “Beware of him and obey his
voice. Provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions; for
my Name is in him.”—Ex. xxiii, 21. “Who may abide the day of his coming?
And who shall stand when he appeareth?”—Mal. iii, 2. So, John announced
him.—“Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor,
and gather his wheat into the garner, but he will burn up the chaff with
unquenchable fire.”—Matt. iii, 12. His coming was, to Israel, the great
crisis in their history. Therefore the mission of John. Said the angel
to Zacharias, “He shall go before Him in the Spirit and power of Elias,
to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to
the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the
Lord.”—Luke i, 17.

When the ten tribes had forsaken the worship of God on mount Zion,
abandoned his covenant, and devoted themselves to the worship of Baal
and Ashtoreth, Elijah was sent to them as the vindicator of the forsaken
covenant, and messenger of grace, of warning and of judgment. His first
work was to demonstrate the sovereignty and Godhead of Jehovah, and the
imbecility of their false gods, by the famine of three years and six
months, and by the fire from heaven consuming both sacrifice and altar
on Carmel. He then executed judgment upon the prophets of Baal and
Ashtoreth, the seducers of Israel, eight hundred and fifty in number. On
this occasion, Israel professed to recognize and do homage to the God of
their fathers. But Elijah saw too clearly, that it was a conviction
without root in their hearts and affections. When therefore he received
Jezebel’s message of vengeance, his faith failed, and he fled to the
wilderness, where he was fed by an angel and led forty days and forty
nights “to Horeb the mount of God,” the spot where the covenant was made
and sealed with the twelve tribes. (1 Kings xix, 8, 9.) “And he came
thither unto a cave and lodged there; and behold the word of the Lord
came to him, and He said to him, What dost thou here, Elijah?” The
interview held at that place exhibits the prophet as the ordained
champion and avenger of the covenant. To the foregoing question twice
proposed, he twice responds,—“I have been very jealous for the Lord God
of hosts: for the children of Israel have _forsaken thy covenant_,
thrown down thine altars; and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I,
even I, only, am left; and they seek my life to take it away.”—vs. 10,
14. Thereupon, he was commissioned to anoint Hazael, king over Syria;
and Jehu king of Israel, and Elisha to be prophet in his stead;—“And it
shall come to pass that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu
slay; and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.
Yet I have left seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not
bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”—vs. 15-18.

The office thus fulfilled by Elijah, as a messenger of grace, calling
Israel back to the allegiance of the abandoned covenant; and of wrath,
announcing and inflicting its penalty upon the transgressors, is the key
to the closing words of the book of Malachi.—“Remember ye the law of
Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel,
with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the
prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord;”
the day, to wit, of the coming of “the Messenger of the covenant;” “and
he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of
the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a
curse.”—Mal. iv, 4-6. The same characteristics of John’s ministry were
the occasion of the statement of the angel Gabriel to Zacharias, before
cited, “He shall go before Him, in the Spirit and power of Elias.” In
the points here noticed, we have the explanation of the scene of the
transfiguration, in which Moses, the mediator of the Sinai covenant,
Elijah its vindicator against apostate Israel,—and Jesus, the mediator
of the new covenant, talked together “of his decease which he should
accomplish at Jerusalem,” on behalf of the true Israel, and in
fulfillment of the terms of the new covenant, typified in that of Sinai.
(Luke ix, 31.)

The same office, of warning and testimony on behalf of the forsaken
covenant, which Elijah exercised toward the ten tribes, John fulfilled
to the Jews. To understand the full force and significance of his
mission, the fact must be distinctly appreciated that Christ’s
humiliation and sufferings, however momentous in themselves, and however
transcendently important to us, were a mere transient incident in the
work undertaken by him. His coming into the world was a coming to the
throne, to which the cross was a mere stepping stone,—a means to his
exaltation, and to the achievements of his sceptre, in purging the
Father’s floor. In those achievements, justice and judgment are as
conspicuous as grace; and if the latter witnessed a first signal and
glorious display in the scenes of Pentecost, the former was as signally
illustrated in the destruction and desolation of the city and land that
rejected their King. It was with a view to the crisis thus created in
the history of Israel by the coming of Christ, that John was sent as his
forerunner and herald. John did not ignore that abasement of Christ
which was the antecedent condition and means of his exaltation and
glory. But his distinctive theme, the subject which filled his heart and
inspired his tongue, was the throne, the kingdom, the power and justice.
Of it he was the official herald, and from it his preaching and baptism
took their form and significance. His commission was threefold; (1) To
announce the kingdom of heaven at hand, and herald the coming of the
King, the Messenger of the covenant, the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost
and with fire; (2) To identify and point him out in the person of Jesus;
(3) To prepare the way before him. In fulfillment of the first and
second of these functions, John preached the coming of “One Mightier
than I,” who should baptize Israel with the Holy Ghost and with fire. He
pointed out and announced the Lord Jesus as that coming One,—“the Lamb
of God that taketh away the sin of the world,”—“the Son of God.” And by
connecting this testimony with his proclamation and baptism of
repentance for the remission of sins, he anticipated the preaching of
the apostles, and summed and published the gospel of atonement and
remission through the blood of Christ. By this preaching and by the seal
of baptism to those who received his testimony he fulfilled the third
function above mentioned, and “made ready a people prepared for the
Lord.”—Luke i, 17.

There were two termini to which John’s baptism sustained peculiar and
intimate relations, and from which his ministry derived all its
significance. The first was that “day of the assembly” at Sinai, when
Israel entered into the covenant by which she took God as her King and
received the baptismal seal sprinkled by the hand of Moses. It was the
office of John to announce the personal coming of the King of Israel; to
warn them of the penalty of the violated covenant; announce the
remission of sins and restoration of the covenant, to those who should
repent and return to their allegiance; and to certify this by the
renewal of the broken seal.

The second terminus to which John’s baptism looked was that day when the
covenant King of Israel should appear in person, assume his throne, and
enter on the functions announced by John, under the figures of the
baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the baptism of fire. Of the former, so
conspicuous in the prophecies, the baptism of Israel by Moses, and that
now administered by John, were alike typical. The grace of the Holy
Spirit, administered by the enthroned Baptizer, was the end and
fulfillment of both.

              SECTION LV.—_The Extent of John’s Baptism._

The public ministry of John commenced about six months before the
baptism of Jesus, and was terminated by his imprisonment soon after that
event. (Mark i, 14; Luke iii, 20, 21.) At first, his preaching was
peripatetic. “He came into all the country about Jordan,
preaching.”—Luke iii, 3. But as his fame extended and the throng of his
hearers increased, he took his station at Bethabara (or, Bethany, as the
critical editions read), on the eastern side of the Jordan, and
afterward at “Enon, near to Salim,” where he seems to have been, when
arrested by Herod. During the brief period of his ministry, there “went
out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about
Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their
sins.”—Matt. iii, 5, 6. The facts as to the extent of John’s ministry
and baptism, are stated in terms equally strong by Mark and Luke. (Mark
i, 5; Luke iii, 21.) Of these statements, we are asked to believe that
they are extravagant hyperbole,—that they only mean that there were some
present from every place in the regions specified. As “if I should say
that in the political convention of 1840, all Tennessee was gathered at
Nashville to hear Henry Clay, I would not mean that every man, woman,
and child in the State was there; but only that there were some from
every part. Just so, Matthew says Jerusalem came,—that a great many
people from Jerusalem and Judea and the country round about Jordan came.
That is to say, the country as well as the city was fully represented in
the crowd. Besides, John did not baptize all who came. He positively
refused the Pharisees and Sadducees, who composed a great part of the
Jewish nation.”[69] This explanation forgets that the language in
question is not the exaggerated statement of excited and partisan
newsmongers; but sober history dictated by the Spirit of God, and
reported to us by “two or three witnesses,” in concurrent language. As
to the assertion concerning the Pharisees, every thoughtful reader of
the gospels knows that in comparison with the whole body of the people,
they were very few. In all their conspiracies against Jesus they were
constantly embarrassed by fear of “the people.”

Footnote 69:

  Theodosia Ernest, Vol. I, p. 79. Published by the Baptist Publication

Of the vastness of the multitude who were baptized by John we have not
only the express testimony of the evangelists, but certain incidents
related by them remarkably confirm it. The first is, that Herod was
restrained, for some time, from the murder of John, by fear of the
people, “because they counted him as a prophet.”—Matt. xiv, 5. Another
is, the use made of the same popular sentiment, by the Lord Jesus. A few
days before his betrayal and death, upon occasion of his second purging
of the temple, the rulers came to him demanding by what authority he did
these things. Jesus answered, “I will also ask you one thing; and answer
me: The baptism of John, Was it from heaven, or of men? And they
reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will
say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the
people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And
they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.”—Luke xx, 3-7;
Matt. xxi, 24; Mark xi, 29. Such and so strong and universal was the
conviction of the people, that John’s commission was from God, that
neither Herod nor the whole united body of the priests, scribes and
elders,—the great council of the nation,—dared to antagonize it. This,
too, was three years after the close of John’s ministry.

It may be said that no intimation is here given that the people spoken
of had been baptized of John. But, in the first place, the evangelists
had already expressly stated the universal fact, in their distinct
account of his ministry, and did not, therefore, need to repeat it; and,
in the second, the issue involved in his ministry was too vital and
sharply defined to allow any to profess, even, to recognize his divine
authority, and yet neglect his baptism. But there is yet further
testimony on the point.

Jesus had been preaching about two years, when John from his prison sent
two of his disciples to ask,—“Art thou he that should come, or do we
look for another? On this occasion Jesus uttered a testimony concerning
John, of which it is said that, “all the people that heard him, and the
publicans, justified God, _being baptized with the baptism of John_. But
the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God against
themselves; being not baptized of him.”—Luke vii, 29, 30. This occurred
in Galilee, which district was not included in any of the statements of
the evangelists, respecting the attendance on John’s ministry. He does
not seem ever to have preached in Galilee. And yet, from that
comparatively distant region, the people had so flocked to his baptism,
that two years afterward the evangelist could state that all the people
had been baptized of him, the lawyers and Pharisees excepted, and find
in this the explanation of the universal acceptance of Christ’s
testimony. The exception here greatly strengthens the former clause of
the statement, and establishes the fact of the universal reception of
John’s baptism by the common people.

In fact, this conclusion is involved in the very nature of the
circumstances of Israel. However viewed, the ministry of John created a
most momentous crisis in the history of God’s dealings with that people.
John came to them, the fore-announced,—the last,—the greatest, of all
the prophets. He came on the loftiest mission that had ever been
entrusted to man,—to act as the immediate personal messenger and herald
of the coming King. He came to Israel, excommunicate from God, to call
them individually, and as a people, to repent and return to the fold of
God’s longsuffering mercy; and to seal the offered grace, by baptizing
those who professed to obey his call. The alternative which his ministry
set before them was plain and imperative. To absent themselves, or to
attend on his preaching without receiving his baptism, would have been
an open act of treason to the coming King, an express and aggravated
rejection of his authority and of this extraordinary and final overture
of grace to the nation. John’s ministry thus compelled a decision by
which a broad and public line was drawn among the people. On the one
side, were those who professed to repent and return to the forsaken
covenant and God of their fathers, and to own the authority of the
promised King of Israel; and whose profession was sealed by the
reception of John’s baptism;—on the other, those who, in rejecting
John’s testimony and turning their backs upon his baptism, repudiated
the coming King and spurned his overture of mercy. Of the significance
and importance of all this, the evangelists were fully aware. To suppose
them in such circumstances to have indulged in a loose and exaggerated
style of statement, asserting that Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the
region round about Jordan were baptized, when, in fact, not one in a
hundred of the people received the rite, would be a contradiction of the
divine testimony, which nothing but ignorance and lack of consideration
can excuse or palliate. It is further to be considered that every class
of the people, and both men and women resorted to John’s baptism, the
lawyers or scribes, that is, the Pharisees and Sadducees, only excepted.
(Matt. xxi, 31, 32; Luke vii, 29; xx, 6.)

5. His rejection of the Pharisees is adduced as proof that “though great
multitudes came to John and followed Christ, yet comparatively few
brought forth fruit to justify their baptism.”[70] But how is it
supposed that John could know any thing, ordinarily, as to the fruits
manifested by those who sought his baptism? It is perfectly evident
that,—as at Sinai, on the day of Pentecost, and on every other occasion
that is on record in the ministry of the apostles,—so, in the case of
John’s hearers,—a good profession was the sole ordinary condition of
baptism. Is it asked,—How, then, came John to refuse the Pharisees? That
he did, in fact, refuse them, is an assumption, without proof or
probability. He warned them; and that is all we are told of the matter.
As to the occasion of such warning,—the ruling sin of that sect was
self-righteousness. The pride of it found expression in unmistakable
tokens. Says Jesus, “All their works they do for to be seen of men. They
make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their
garments.”—Matt, xxiii, 5. The phylacteries were parchments on which
portions of the law were written. They were folded in the form of a
cube, and bound to the forehead or the arm, with ribbands. The borders
were fringes and ribbands of blue, which God directed Israel to wear on
the skirts of their garments, as a memorial of their covenant relations
to him. (Num. xv, 38, 39.) These the scribes and Pharisees made broad,
so as to be seen of men. The first step therefore toward a true
repentance, on their part, would have been a putting off of these badges
of self-righteousness. And their being worn by any of John’s hearers was
to him an instant and evident token of vain glory and self-righteousness
unabased; whilst putting them off would have been a manifest fruit and
evidence of repentance.

Footnote 70:

  Theodosia Earnest, vol. i, p. 80.

The facts, therefore, as set forth in the gospels, clearly indicate that
the ministry of John was attended by an apparent revival of religion,
but little short of that which occurred at Sinai, when the covenant was
first made. And although, like the tribes in the wilderness, many of
those who received John’s baptism failed to profit, for lack of true
repentance and faith,—many brought forth fruit out of good and honest
hearts. Of such, the college of the apostles was formed; and of such, no
doubt, largely consisted the firstfruits of the gospel, in Judea and
Galilee,—as we see repeated traces of it in the ministry of Paul, among
the far off Gentiles. (Acts xiii, 24, 25; xviii, 25; xix, 3.)

                  SECTION LVI.—_John did not Immerse._

As to the mode of John’s baptism, there are several circumstances which
interpose insuperable objections to the supposition that it was by

1. That form would have been utterly incongruous to John’s office as the
herald of the covenant. No rational account can be given of the origin
and meaning of such a rite, in that connection. The Levitical law was,
in all its ordinances, a testimony to the covenant; and of it John was a
minister. But in that law there was but one _administered_ baptism, and
that by sprinkling, whilst there were no immersions of persons,
whatever. It therefore furnishes no trace of the origin of the supposed
form. On the other hand, it certainly did not originate with John.
Baptism,—the rite which he administered, was in his day, no novelty
among the Jews. The only remaining supposition, if we assume John to
have immersed his disciples, is, that it may have been borrowed from the
inventions of the scribes. But, in the first place, there is not a trace
of evidence nor of probability that such a rite was _then_ included in
the ritual of the scribes;—and in the second, it is preposterous to
suppose that, in such circumstances and on such a mission, John would
have turned his back on the ordinances of God’s law, by which for
fifteen centuries the covenant had been sealed, and chosen for the
characteristic and seal of his ministry one of those inventions by means
of which that law was made void and God’s people led astray. (Mark vii,
6, 8, 13.) This too, when he in the most open and decisive manner set
himself in opposition to the inventors of those rites, whom he denounced
as a generation of vipers!

2. The meaning of the rite, in supposed connection with John’s ministry,
is as inexplicable as its origin. Neither the law nor the Old Testament
Scriptures anywhere give a clue to it. John in his ministry is equally
silent. Or, rather, his statements are altogether incongruous to the
supposed form.—“He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and
gather his wheat into the garner, but he will burn up the chaff with
unquenchable fire.”—Matt. iii, 11, 12. Thus, John, announced the Lord
Jesus, not in his character of humiliation and death; but in his
exaltation and royalty, as he appeared at Sinai, the covenant King of
Israel,—as he is now, the enthroned Baptizer, dispensing his Spirit and
grace to his people, and pouring out the fire of his justice on his and
his Father’s enemies. In such circumstances, and in connection with such
a preaching, what meaning could the disciples of John have discovered in
the rite of immersion? Respecting it, they ask no questions, and John
makes no explanation. If it be supposed to have meant the burial of
Christ, this much at least is certain, that the resemblance was not so
close as to have been self-evident to the people. And even though
understood by them in that sense, it would have been so far aside from
the immediate intent and end of John’s ministry, and so defective in its
testimony, since it knows nothing of the resurrection, that it would
have been calculated to distract and perplex his hearers, rather than to
serve the object of his preaching. But John was explicit as to the
meaning of his baptism. _Whatever its form, it meant—not the burial of
the Lord Jesus, but the baptism of the Spirit by him dispensed. “I
baptize you with water, but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”_

3. The great discomfort, and the gross indecency which are inevitably
involved in the supposition that John immersed his followers are
decisive against it. Neither had John a water-proof suit in which to
officiate, nor were his auditors supplied with “immersion robes,” nor
change of garments, so needful, now, to obviate the discomfort and
danger of the dripping attire. But this, even, is a less consideration
than the indecent exposure which the supposed rite would have involved.
The garments of the Jews were of two patterns. That next the person was
in the form of a sleeveless shirt, descending to the knees. A second
garment was of the same shape, but usually of more costly materials,
which reached to the ankles. Over all were thrown one or two shawls or
blankets, large enough to enwrap the entire person. Beside sandals,
which were not ordinarily worn, except by those in easy
circumstances,—these were the only articles of apparel. Those of the
women were of nearly the same shape; the distinction of sex appearing
mainly in the materials and ornaments. When at rest, the garments were
left free. But in preparing for labor or for travel, they were drawn up
to the knees, and fastened with a girdle at the loins, thus leaving the
lower limbs unencumbered. That, with such clothing indecent exposure
must have been a constant incident to the extemporaneous and hasty
immersions which the Baptist theory requires, is manifest; and the
weight of the consideration needs no enforcing.

4. The number resorting to John was such as to preclude the possibility
of their having been immersed. When Israel came out of Egypt, they were
“about six hundred thousand on foot, that were men, beside children; and
a mixed multitude went up also with them.”—Ex. xii, 37, 38. When about
to enter the promised land, the census was six hundred and one thousand,
seven hundred and thirty men, from twenty years old and upward, beside
the Levites, who numbered twenty-three thousand males from a month old.
(Num. xxvi, 51, 62.) Upon this basis, the whole number of the people was
between three and four millions. In the days of David, in the
enumeration from which the tribes of Levi and Benjamin were omitted, the
number of fighting men was one million five hundred and seventy
thousand. If we make a proportional addition for the omitted tribes, it
gives a total of one million, eight hundred and fifty-five thousand
seven hundred and fifty-four. These would represent a population of
seven or eight millions. From two independent statements occurring in
Josephus, it appears that the population, just before the destruction of
the nation, was at least as much as four million souls.[71] If we
suppose John to have stood in the water three hours a day, during the
six months of his ministry, and to have administered the rite at the
rate of one per minute, during the entire time, the total results of
such miraculous labors and endurance, would have been about thirty-two
thousand seven hundred and sixty persons baptized, that is, one in every
one hundred and twenty-two of the people. Without the intervention of
miracle—and John did no miracle—even this was utterly impossible. And
yet, how entirely it falls short of the statements of the evangelists,
upon any candid interpretation of them, is evident.

Footnote 71:

  Jewish war. II. xiv, 3; and VI. x, 3.

That the theory of immersion is encumbered with difficulties of the most
serious nature must be evident to every candid reader.

   SECTION LVII.—_John Baptized by Sprinkling with unmingled Water._

We are now to consider an important feature in the history of this rite,
which has not yet been brought into distinct notice. It has appeared how
thoroughly the sprinkled baptisms of the Levitical system are identified
in their meaning and office with the prophecies concerning the
sprinkling of Israel and the nations, and the outpouring of the Spirit,
in the days of the Messiah. The point of present interest concerning
those prophecies is, that in all the expressions referred to, the figure
is that of water alone,—the sacrificial elements never being alluded to
in that connection. A coincident fact appears, with relation to John’s
ministry. In his own announcement he uses language which seems to be
emphatic and exclusive,—“I indeed baptize you _with water_.”—Matt. iii,
11; Mark i, 8; Luke iii, 16; John i, 26. So, Jesus says,—“John truly
baptized _with water_.”—Acts i, 5. And Peter refers to it in the same
terms. (Ib. xi, 16.) This form of expression constantly used, and the
antithesis always stated, between his baptism and that of the Holy
Spirit, to be administered by the Lord Jesus, render it certain that
John baptized with water alone, without any sacrificial elements. A
careful examination of the prophecies above referred to and a
consideration of the subject matter of John’s preaching, may furnish the
explanation of these facts. The Mosaic ritual was constructed with a
view to a very full and systematic exposition of the gospel, in the
symmetry of its parts and proportions. In the baptisms of that ritual,
therefore, provision was made for showing forth, not only the power and
grace of the Lord Jesus in the bestowal of the Spirit, but, also, the
virtue of his blood, which was the procuring cause of the Spirit’s
grace. But that blood is the token of humiliation and sufferings. On the
contrary, the theme of the prophecies here referred to is, the
exaltation and glory of Christ’s throne, and the conquests of his saving
scepter, after the days of humiliation and sorrow shall have been
forever ended. This was the distinctive meaning of the water of the
Sinai baptisms, and by the figure of the sprinkling or pouring of bare
water, the prophets represent the same thing.

So, when John came in the spirit and power of Elias, he did not, indeed,
ignore the office of Christ as the atoning Lamb of God. But his
distinctive commission, and the controlling function of his ministry was
to herald the coming of their covenant King, in his exaltation and power
to an apostate and rebellious nation—to warn them of the office which he
would fill, and the judgment which he would execute, who should baptize
them, not with the Holy Ghost only, but with fire also. As appropriate,
therefore, to this, his office and message, he dispensed a baptism of
water alone, which spake of authority, power, and royal grace, and
omitted that element which signified humiliation and death.

Whilst the rite was thus modified—its nature and significance remained
the same. As already indicated, the quantity of ashes used in dispensing
the Levitical baptism was so small as to be wholly inappreciable to the
senses. The instruction therein conveyed was dependent upon the
association of ideas, and not upon the quantity of the elements used.
The bestowal of the Spirit by the Lord Jesus, of necessity, presupposes
the sacrifice of himself as the condition and price of his exaltation
and power, by which the Spirit is sent and salvation bestowed. What the
Levitical blood and ashes of sprinkling expressed the baptism of John
implied. The two rites thus conveyed the same instruction, and filled
the same office. They were essentially one and the same baptism. The
latter form anticipated the immediate sending forth of the gospel to the
Gentiles, divested of the sacrificial system and the burdens of the
ritual law. That they were the same in mode will not be questioned by
any who have candidly traced the foregoing line of investigation. With
an enumeration of some of the points therein involved, we will close
this branch of our subject.

1. Hitherto the Baptist argument has been entrenched in the definition
of _baptizo_. After the same example we now plant ourselves on the
ascertained meaning and use of the word, as illustrated in the foregoing
pages. We have found it to be the accepted designation for the
administered rites of Levitical purifying, which, in all their
circumstantial variations, were performed always by sprinkling. The rite
dispensed by John was an administered baptism. It was, therefore,
administered after the example of the Levitical system, by sprinkling.

2. John was the herald and champion of the covenant, and the messenger
of the Lord Jesus as its surety and king. His commission, as announced
by Malachi, was, in God’s name, to admonish Israel to “Remember the law
of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all
Israel, with the statutes and judgments;”—Mal. iv, 4.—“The law of
Moses,”—that covenant law by the acceptance of which Israel became the
people of God. His ministry derived all its significance from the terms
of that covenant, and from the office of its Surety, in purging his
floor with the baptisms of the Holy Ghost and of fire. This was the
whole theme of his ministry, as it was the whole substance of the
prophetic terms of his commission. To seal such a testimony, no rite
could have been so appropriate as the perpetuated and familiar form of
the Sinai baptism, the original seal of the same covenant, by which its
scope and intent were so luminously set forth.

3. John preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, in
the name of Him whom God was about to exalt “to be a Prince and a
Savior, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”—Acts
v, 31. In the Levitical baptism the administrator represented the Lord
Jesus in this very function of his grace, and the sprinkled water
represented the Holy Spirit shed by him upon his people, by whom that
repentance is wrought, and remission conveyed. It was the “purification
for sin,” the symbol of remission. It was thus a visible representation
to his hearers of the very things which John was commissioned to utter
in their ears.

4. At the time of John’s coming, all the thoughts and conceptions of
Israel on the subjects involved in his ministry, except as perverted by
the traditions of the scribes, had been molded by the Mosaic ritual
respecting the purifying of the unclean, and by the testimonies of the
prophets, uttered in the language of that ritual. John was sent, not to
ignore or obliterate the impress thus made by the instructions and
discipline of fifteen centuries, but to confirm and build upon it, to
reiterate and seal the same testimonies. To this end, no other rite was
appropriate or congruous, but the old familiar baptism by sprinkling,
the interpretation of which was so abundant in the prophets, and the
meaning of which was known to all Israel.

5. The baptism administered by the Lord Jesus is never known nor alluded
to in the Scriptures under any other form than that of affusion. It is
the antitype of the ritual sprinklings of the Old Testament, the
fulfillment of all the prophecies of the sprinkling of Israel and the
nations, the outpouring of the Spirit upon them; and its fulfillment is
in the New Testament invariably spoken of in the same style. To
symbolize this, John’s baptism must have been by affusion.

6. In the use of this rite, all the difficulties which embarrass the
hypothesis of immersion disappear. As, at Sinai, all Israel were
baptized at once, so, under John’s preaching the number to be baptized
would involve no embarrassment, exposure, or exhaustion. As many as were
assembled at one time could be baptized in one group, with the hyssop
bush. Thus, no excessive fatigue was involved; no time was consumed in
mere manual labor; no danger to the health, nor liability to indecent
exposure was incurred. The meaning of the rite was familiar to all, and
in its use congruity and symmetry were maintained in every part and
relation of John’s ministry.

The view thus presented is not inconsistent with the supposition that
many of John’s disciples may have received the rite while standing in
the waters of the Jordan. The law requiring the use of running water,
the propriety of the one river of Palestine as a type of the river of
the heavenly Canaan, and the necessities of the multitudes who waited on
his ministry, united in bringing him to the river. And the rite would be
performed by the baptist dipping a hyssop-bush into the stream, and
therewith sprinkling those who presented themselves around him. That, in
these circumstances many of the people would enter the water is beyond
question. The suggestion is to be considered in the light of eastern
habits and modes of dress. The people were clothed in loose garments,
with no covering to the feet except sandals worn by a few. Coming, the
most of them, from a distance on the rocky roads of that country,—the
feet sore and lacerated, and the climate hot,—no impulse would have been
more natural or more congruous to custom, than to step into the water,
for the sake of its refreshing coolness. A curious illustration of this
occurs in the Phædrus of Plato. He describes Socrates walking in the
environs of Athens accompanied by Phædrus:—

SOCRATES. “Here; let us turn aside to the Illyssus, and, where you
prefer, we can recline in quiet.”

PHÆDRUS. “For the occasion, as it seems, I happen to be barefoot, while
you are always so. Thus it will be quite convenient for us, wetting our
feet in the shallow stream, to walk not without enjoyment, especially at
this season of the year and of the day.”[72]

Footnote 72:

  Platonis Phæd., v.

It is altogether supposable that Philip and the eunuch stepped thus into
the water, as the most convenient way of access to it; and it is equally
possible that such may have been the case with many of John’s disciples,
and that Jesus himself may have been thus baptized. Nor is this a mere
fanciful conjecture. Among the remains of Christian art which have been
transmitted to us from the third and fourth centuries of our era, there
are several representations of the baptism of our Savior, some of them
in bronze bas-relief, and some in Mosaic. In them all, John pours water
on the head of Jesus. In several, Jesus stands in the Jordan, and John
from the bank administers the rite. In others, both are on dry ground.
In no instance does John appear in the water. At the date of these
representations, immersion is supposed to have been almost universally
prevalent in the church. They, therefore, the more forcibly demonstrate
the strength and prevalence of the tradition which still survived,
representing John to have baptized in the Jordan, by affusion. In them
the idea of immersion is doubly excluded,—by the direct representation
of the water poured upon the head of Jesus; and by the fact that the
invariable position of John, out of the water, renders immersion
physically impossible, as administered by him.

                                PART X.
                   CHRIST’s$1BAPTISMS AND ANOINTING.

          SECTION LVIII.—_The Meaning of his Baptism by John._

“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of
him. 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 fulfill all righteousness. Then he
suffered him.”—Matt. iii, 13-15.

Several theories have been advanced, and much discussion had as to the
nature and intent of the baptism of Jesus by John. Archbishop
Thomson,[73] supposes it to have been, (1.) That the sacrament by which
all were hereafter to be admitted into His kingdom might not want his
example to justify its use. (2.) That John might have an assurance that
his course as the herald of Christ was now completed by his appearance.
(3.) That some token might be given that he was indeed the anointed of
God. Dr. Dale thinks that it was a public and official announcement of
his entrance upon the work of fulfilling all righteousness. He
strenuously denies that Jesus was baptized with the baptism of John. “It
is one thing to be baptized by John and quite another to receive the
‘baptism of John.’ The ‘baptism of John’ was for sinners, demanding
‘repentance,’ ‘fruits meet for repentance,’ and promising ‘the remission
of sins.’ But the Lord Jesus Christ was not a sinner, could not repent
of sin, could not bring forth fruit meet for repentance on account of
sin, could not receive the remission of sin. Therefore, the reception of
the ‘baptism of John’ by Jesus is impossible, untrue, and absurd.” But
this baptism was his inauguration into the office of fulfilling all
righteousness. “No one could share in such an inauguration with a
fitness comparable with that of the great Forerunner. And to this
fitness of relationship, reference is had in the words—‘Thus it becometh
us.’ ‘Thus,’ by baptism, ‘us,’ administered by thee, my Forerunner, to
me the Coming One proclaimed by thee; ‘now,’ entering upon my covenant
work, which I now declare and am ready to begin,—‘to fulfill all
righteousness.’ Can there be, in view of the persons, the time, and the
circumstances, any other satisfactory interpretation of these great

Footnote 73:

  In Smith’s Bib. Dict. article, “Jesus.”

Footnote 74:

   Dale’s Christic Baptism, pp. 27, 29.

According to another theory, it is held that as the consecration of
Aaron was by baptism, anointing, and sacrifice, so all these were
realized in the priestly consecration of Jesus. First, He was baptized
by John. Then, the heavens were opened unto Him, and the Spirit of God
descended upon Him, and He was thus “anointed with the Holy Ghost and
with power.” The sacrifice was not till the end of His earthly ministry,
when he offered up Himself.

This latter is perhaps the most commonly received theory on the subject.
And yet, a more perplexing and unsatisfactory exposition could hardly be
devised. According to it Christ’s consecration to the priesthood was a
confused imitation of that of Aaron, was partly ritual without meaning,
and partly real, and took place, part of it in the beginning of his
public ministry, and part at its close, so that until his very death his
priesthood was inchoate and incomplete. Upon this explanation, the
baptism of Jesus was a mere unmeaning form, in supposed imitation of
something in the consecration of Aaron. But Aaron and his consecration
and priesthood were, in every part and aspect of them, figures of the
true,—of the realities which are in Christ. Aaron’s anointing is
admitted to have been a symbol of the real anointing of the Holy Spirit,
shed upon Jesus. The sacrifices offered at the consecration of Aaron,
although by this theory misconceived, are so far correctly spoken of as
that their fulfillment was had in Christ’s one offering of himself. What
then could be meant by Aaron’s so called baptism, if its antitype is to
be found in the ritual baptism of the Lord Jesus? One rite representing
and setting forth another, which is nothing but a defective imitation of
the first!

In fact, the washing of Aaron by Moses was not a sacramental baptism at
all—a rite, that is, by which blessings of grace are represented and
sealed to the recipient. It was as we have already explained a
symbolical act setting forth the endowment of the Lord Jesus by the
Father with a sinless humanity.

It is not, however, to this washing of Aaron, that reference is usually
made by the exponents of this theory. It is said that the priests
entered upon their official duties at thirty years of age, and were then
set apart by baptism, and that hence Jesus, when “he began to be about
thirty years of age,” came to be baptized, and enter upon his official
work; and reference is made to Num. iv, 3; viii, 7. But the places thus
referred to are directions respecting the Levites, the priest’s
servants, and not concerning the priests at all. Moreover, twenty-five
years was the ordinary age of entrance upon the Levitical service. (Num.
viii, 24.) The age of thirty seems to have been prescribed with
reference to the special labor and responsibility incident to the
carrying of the tabernacle and its furniture from place to place, during
the sojourn in the wilderness. (See the whole of Num. iv.) Upon such
slender foundations are theories built. The law set no limitation to the
ages of the priests. The rabbins say that they could not enter on the
office until twenty years old. But Aristobulus the son of Alexander was
high priest when less than seventeen years old.[75] On the other hand,
while the definition as to the Levites was, “from thirty years old and
upward even until fifty years old,”—Eli was high priest when he died at
ninety-eight. (1 Sam. iv, 15.)

Footnote 75:

  Josephus’ Antiquities, XV, iii, 3.

Christ’s baptism was not his inauguration to the priesthood. His
priesthood was neither Aaronic nor earthly. For “if he were on earth, He
should not be a priest; seeing that there are priests that offer gifts
_according to the law_; who serve unto the _example_ and _shadow_ of
heavenly things.”—Heb. viii, 4, 5. If any part of the ceremonial of
Aaron’s investiture was a rule of conformity to Jesus, the whole of it
was equally so. But he was made a priest, “_not_ after the law of a
carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he
testifieth, Thou art a priest forever after the order of
Melchisedec.”—Heb. vii, 16, 17. Christ’s consecration to the priesthood
and exercise of its functions belong to that “true tabernacle which the
Lord pitched and not man.”—Heb. viii, 2. He was not installed by human
hands. “For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity. But
the word of the oath which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is
consecrated forevermore.”—Heb. vii, 28.

Dr. Dale understands the Lord Jesus in the above place to mean,—Thus it
becomes us, by a united and public act, to announce “my entering upon my
covenant work which I now declare, and am ready to begin, ‘to fulfill
all righteousness.’” But, in the first place, that was not the time of
Jesus’ entering on the work of fulfilling righteousness. Had it been so,
it was too late. He was “made of a woman, made under the law.”—Gal. iv,
4, 5. From the hour of his birth, he was fulfilling righteousness,—in
the obedience of his childhood, as truly as in the sufferings of the
cross. The work on which he entered, after his baptism and anointing by
the Spirit, was his prophetic office, in which he announced and offered
himself to Israel as her promised King and Savior. So he himself
testified in the synagogue in Nazareth. (Luke iv, 18-20.) But this
office will not fit into the above exposition. Moreover, it would seem
that if any words can express the idea of a thing done as a duty of
righteousness those of Jesus do so. Dr. Dale says,—“It can not be
claimed that the Lord Jesus was under obligation to undergo this baptism
as a part of ‘all righteousness;’ (1) Because there is no righteousness
in it; (2) Because what there is in it is just what he did not come to
do. He did not come to repent for sinners, nor to exercise faith for
sinners.” The latter argument has the fatal fault that it proves too
much. Upon the same ground the Lord Jesus should not have been
circumcised or purified with his mother. He should not have kept the
passover, nor any of the Levitical feasts and ordinances. All these
implied and required in others a state of heart and mind and exercises
of repentance and faith which were foreign to the holy nature of the
Lord Jesus.

But is it so that there was no righteousness to be accomplished by Jesus
in complying with John’s baptism? The answer depends wholly upon the
response to be made to the question which Jesus proposed to the
Pharisees,—“The baptism of John, was it from heaven; or, of men?” If
from heaven, it came with the sanction of the first clause of the Sinai
covenant,—“If ye will obey;” and was entitled to obedience from every
soul. John’s baptism,—Is it necessary to say it?—washed away no sin.
Like all ritual baptisms, of the Old Testament and the New, alike, it
affected the ritual and outward status, alone, of the party, as toward
the church, and the ordinances. Moreover, his ministry was not addressed
to the ungodly only. But, if there were any of the people still looking
and praying for the Consolation of Israel, they, as much as others, were
called upon, as being defiled by the contact of the unclean nation, to
receive this baptismal seal of the covenant renewed, and their
acceptance in it with God. Pre-eminently was it true of the Lord Jesus,
that he was defiled by contact with the sinful nation. To ritual
uncleanness, he was as liable as any man, and became thereby subject to
the same obligation of ritual purifying, by which others were bound.
Jesus, therefore, as a true Israelite, came to John’s baptism, as being
an ordinance of divine authority; and in his answer to John indicates
the fact that his omission of the duty thus resting on him as “made
under the law,” would have derogated from his perfect righteousness.

Nor is this all. John was the herald of Jesus in his distinctive
character as “the Angel of the covenant,”—the Mediator of that “better
covenant” which was enclosed in the outward form of that of Sinai. (2
Cor. iii, 3-6.) In that better covenant, and Christ as its Surety, all
the transactions relating to the Sinai covenant had their significance
and end; as they were also the end of John’s ministry. The repentance
which he preached was a call to apostate Israel to return from
transgression to the obedience required by the covenant, and his baptism
was a seal to its promises, upon that indispensable condition of
obedience. In coming to John’s baptism, therefore, Jesus formally and
publicly came under the bond of the covenant for obedience, and thus
presented himself to Israel as her Surety therein. The baptism which he
received from John sealed to him its promises on condition of his
obedience, and the descending Spirit and the voice from heaven announced
the Father’s approval and acceptance of him as Surety for his people,
the true Israel of God. It was with a view to this office of Christ as
the Messenger and Surety of the covenant, and to his own relation as the
herald of Christ in that capacity, that John says, “That he should be
made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water;”—John
i, 31—that he should be made manifest to Israel, as her covenant Surety
and King; as the Lamb of God and King of Israel.

The distinction drawn between “the baptism of John” and “baptism _by_
John,” overlooks the profounder aspects of the subject here indicated.
It is true that John’s baptism addressed to sinners a call to
repentance, and announced remission, on that condition. But this special
form of its message, is no more than the call to _obedience_, in terms
adapted to the particular case of transgressors. And the significance
and propriety of the baptism depended upon its own essential meaning as
heretofore unfolded. In the Levitical institutions, the ordinary form of
the rite had its primary relation, as we have seen, to a ritual
uncleanness by contact with the dead, which symbolized the judicial
defilement of the Lord Jesus by contact, through birth of a woman, with
our dead nature, and his consequent death under the curse. The baptism
symbolized the resurrection of Christ, and of his people with him, in
the renewing of their souls, and the final quickening and rising of
their bodies. Both of these are identified by Paul with the resurrection
of Christ. (Eph. ii, 5; and i, 19-ii, 10; Rom. vi, 2-5; viii, 11, etc.)
It is by virtue of union with him, by the baptism of his Spirit,
bestowed upon and dwelling in us, that we are enabled to “know the power
of his resurrection” (Phil. iii, 10), by our own death to sin and life
to holiness. This was the signification of John’s baptism. To the Lord
Jesus it was a symbol and pledge of his own triumph over the exhausted
power of the curse, in his resurrection; and of the deliverance of his
people, in him, from the bondage of sin and death, by his Spirit
bestowed and dwelling in them. Through this they receive repentance and
remission of sins. The same meaning precisely was signified and sealed
to the people by their believing reception of the same rite.

Thus, on the one hand, Jesus, as being the Son of man, one of the family
of Israel, was as much bound to come to the baptism which, by the
authority of God, John dispensed, as he was to obey or observe any part
of the law, ritual or moral; as much as was any true son of Israel. On
the other hand, by coming and receiving that baptism, he announced
himself, the Surety of the covenant which it sealed, and was so
certified and accepted by John, by the descending Spirit and by the
Father’s voice.

            SECTION LIX.—_The Anointing of the Lord Jesus._

The Scriptures inform us of three distinct bestowals of the Spirit, upon
the Lord Jesus, by the Father. The first, was that whereby he was
begotten through the Holy Ghost, and his humanity so invested with the
Spirits influences, as to be born and live in perfect holiness, so that
he was designated by the angel, “that holy thing.”—Luke i, 35. The
second was the anointing bestowed at the time of his baptism by John.
And the third was that endowment of the Spirit, which was conferred on
him, at his ascension to the throne. The intimate relation of his
anointing to his baptism by John, and the close analogy which is
traceable between baptism and anointing, bring the latter within the
purview of the present inquiry.

Immediately after his baptism, as he was praying, “the heaven was
opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon
him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved son:
in thee I am well pleased.”—Luke iii, 21, 22. The Baptist adds some
facts:—“I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it
abode upon him. And I knew him not. But he that sent me to baptize with
water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit
descending and remaining on him the same is he which baptizeth with the
Holy Ghost. And I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God.”—John
i, 32-34. This anointing of the Lord Jesus with the Holy Spirit
fulfilled a three-fold purpose.

1. It was a manifestation to Israel of the long-expected Messiah,—a
confirmation from heaven of John’s testimonies respecting him, and a
designation of him, the coming One, as being Jesus of Nazareth. From the
whole account given in the first chapter of John, it seems evident that
the Baptist and his disciples had distinctly in mind the language of the
second Psalm, which determined the form of their conclusions, deduced
from the scene at the baptizing. “Why do the heathen rage ... against
the Lord, and against his Anointed?... Yet have I set my King upon my
holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto
me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” The glorious
personage here announced is, thus designated by three titles,—as the
Lord’s Anointed, his King, and his Son. It was as herald of this King
that John came preaching, the kingdom of heaven. And when, with his own
eyes he saw the anointing Spirit descend upon Jesus, he identified the
Anointed with the Son. He saw and bare record “that this is the Son of
God.” So, John’s disciple Andrew says to his brother Peter, “We have
found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ,”—the
Anointed. Not only so, but, at the same time and by the same token, John
recognized in Jesus “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the
world!” Thus fully, by this anointing, was Jesus certified to Israel;
and therein the chief intent of John’s ministry was accomplished.

2. The anointing was an attestation and seal to him of the Father’s
favor, in view of the spotless righteousness of his character as already
proved in the life which he had lived, as a private person, the
carpenter of Nazareth. Of his earlier youth, it is said that he
“increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”—Luke
ii, 52. And now, in the fulness of his manhood, in connection with his
anointing, a voice from heaven testifies, “This is my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased.”—Matt. iii, 17. To this, the Psalmist refers his
anointing. “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the sceptre of thy
kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness and hatest
wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of
gladness above thy fellows.”—Psa. xlv, 6, 7. “The joy of the Lord is
your strength” (Neh. viii, 10), said Nehemiah to Israel; and in the joy
of his Father’s favor, testified in the anointing, Jesus fulfilled his
ministry to the close.

3. It was his endowment for the prophetic office, as he himself
testified in the synagogue of Nazareth. “He found the place where it was
written, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me
to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the
brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovering
of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.... And
he began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your
ears.”—Luke iv, 18-21. From the same source he derived the miraculous
powers, which attested his word. (Matt. xii, 28.) “God anointed Jesus of
Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.”—Acts x, 38. Of the
relation of his anointing to the fulfillment of his priestly office, in
view of which John called him “the Lamb of God,” Paul says that he
“through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God.”—Heb.
ix, 14. His anointing was not his consecration to the priesthood, but
his endowment with grace, by which he was qualified to perform that
priesthood, to prepare and offer an unspotted, sufficient and acceptable
sacrifice on the altar of justice. And, having completed that work, by
the same Spirit was he raised from the dead. (1 Pet. iii, 18; Rom. viii,

Such and so signal was the meaning and intent of that fact from which
Jesus derived the name of, the Christ. Its close relation in many
respects to the doctrine of baptism, is apparent. As to the question of
mode, a few points may here be noted.

1. In it the Holy Spirit was given to the Lord Jesus, as an indwelling
fountain of all gifts for his ministry.

2. It came by a descent from the opened heavens.

3. It was in the form of a dove,—beautiful symbol of the kindness of
God, and the “meekness and gentleness,” the “grace and truth” of the
Lord Jesus!

4. It abode on him.

5. As the result, he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke iv, 1),
brought under his active control and guidance, and endowed with his
extraordinary gifts, for the fulfillment of his ministry.

6. The symbol which by divine appointment represented it was the pouring
of oil upon the head and person. (Lev. viii, 12, 30; 1 Sam. x, 1; xvi,
1, 13; 1 Kings i, 34, 39; xix, 16; 2 Kings ix, 6.)

          SECTION LX.—“_The Baptism that I am Baptized with._”

It was his resurrection from the dead. We have seen that the Mosaic
baptism was a symbol and seal of the imparting of life to the dead. We
have seen it so referred to by Paul in his argument in proof of the
resurrection. The fact has been pointed out that the Lord Jesus in
receiving the baptism of John, not only fulfilled the law of
righteousness as a faithful Israelite, but received, therein, a symbol
and seal of his own resurrection and triumph over death and the curse,
under which he was already held. Twice, in the course of his ministry as
reported by the evangelists, did Jesus refer to his resurrection under
this figure of baptism. Matthew thus records one of these occasions,
“Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons,
worshipping him.... And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto
him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand,
and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said,
Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall
drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink
indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized
with; but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give
(_all’ hois ētoimastai_), _save to those for whom it is prepared_ of my
Father.”—Matt. xx, 20-23. Luke records a similar expression. “I am come
to send fire on the earth; and what will I if it be already kindled? But
I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be
accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell
you, nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five
in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The
father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father;
the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother;
the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law
against her mother in law.”—Luke xii, 49-53. Of these expressions,
expositors have proposed two interpretations. According to one, the cup
and the baptism are equivalent figures meaning the sufferings and death
of the Lord Jesus. Hence, Baptist expositors would explain it as an
immersion in sorrow; but they do not show by what example or argument
the word “_baptism_” can be made, thus, of itself, to signify _such_ an
immersion. A conclusive objection lies against this interpretation. In
both the gospels the distinction between the cup and the baptism is
carefully preserved, in Christ’s original question, and in his
rejoinder. “Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and
to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” “Ye shall
indeed drink of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am
baptized with.” It can not be admitted that a second clause, so
particular and detailed in statement, and so carefully repeated in the
rejoinder, is a mere blank, adding nothing to the meaning already
expressed. But it is agreed that the figure of the cup indicates all
that suffering by which the Lord Jesus made atonement for our sins.

The other interpretation proposed is but a modified form of that here
given. It discriminates between the cup and the baptism, by interpreting
the latter of Christ’s sufferings viewed as “consecrating
sufferings—sufferings by which he was to be separated unto God’s service
as a royal priest.” “That the reader may understand how Christ could use
such language in the sense which we give it, let him consider such
passages of Scripture as these: ‘Unto him that loved us and washed us
from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us _kings_ and _priests_
unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever,
Amen.’—Rev. i, 5, 6. ‘And Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you,
that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man
shall sit on _the throne_ of his glory, ye also shall sit upon _twelve
thrones_, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’”—Matt. xix, 28.[76]

Footnote 76:

  Armstrong on the Sacraments, pp. 48, 49.

The Scriptures cited by this respected author do certainly prove that
the royalty and priesthood of the saints in heaven are the purchase of
Christ’s blood and the gifts of his love. But they do not even hint at
the idea, much less prove it, in support of which they seem to be cited;
to wit, that the sufferings and death of Christ were his consecration to
the priesthood. On the contrary, they are in harmony with all the
Scriptures, which testify that those sufferings were an offering for our
sins, made by a priest already consecrated. “For every high priest is
_ordained to offer_ gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity
that this man have somewhat also to offer.”—Heb. viii, 3. Here, it
appears that, inasmuch as he was a priest, he must have an offering; the
very reverse of the theory that his offering was in order to his
consecration to the priesthood. This man who by the word of the oath,
was consecrated a priest forevermore, needed not, like those priests to
enter often into the holy place with blood. “For then must he often have
suffered since the foundation of the world,” the original date of his
priesthood. “But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to
put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”—Heb. ix, 26. Of Christ’s
sufferings, in their _atoning_ character, the Scriptures are full and
explicit. And, of them, the cup is the undoubted symbol. But of
“consecrating sufferings,” and especially, of such contradistinguished
from the others, as here supposed, we fail to find a trace. Is it
asserted that although they are the same sufferings, yet are they viewed
in a different light? Still the distinction is without warrant in the
Scriptures. But, even conceding that point, can it be imagined that the
Lord Jesus, in the circumstances of the case as relating to James and
John, would pause upon and emphasize that distinction, by separate
definitions, requiring distinct consideration and answer, by them, when
at last the sufferings in question were one and the same? Nothing but an
absolute necessity could justify such an interpretation.

In order to a right solution of the question here considered, let us
ascertain what were the facts and conditions necessarily present in the
mind of the Lord Jesus, in making his answer to James and John.

1. Their application immediately followed, and was no doubt suggested by
a statement made by our Lord, in reply to a question from Peter. Upon
occasion of the sorrowful turning away of the young ruler, Peter said to
Jesus, “Behold we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we
have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye
which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall
sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”—Matt. xix, 27, 28. Here are
several indications of the time of enthronement. (1.) It is the time
“when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory.” This phrase,
“the throne of his glory,” is not used in the Scriptures to designate
the invisible throne of majesty and power in the heavens, now occupied
by the Son of man; but that revelation to men of his glory, of which he
said to his disciples, “the Son of man shall come in the glory of his
Father, with his angels.”—Matt. xvi, 27. To this time he expressly
refers that throne. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory and all
the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his
glory.”—Matt. xxv, 31. So Paul declares that the Lord Jesus “shall judge
the quick and the dead at his _appearing_ and his _kingdom_;” and in
view of his own finished course, exults in the fact that, “Henceforth
there is laid up for me a _crown_ of righteousness, which the Lord the
righteous Judge shall give me _at that day_; and not to me only, but
unto all them also that love _his appearing_.”—2 Tim. iv, 1, 8. (2.) It
is the time of the judgment. The apostles shall sit with him, judging
the tribes of Israel. (3.) It is the period of “the regeneration.” Some
expositors, indeed, refer this word to the preceding clause, which they
read, “Ye which, in the regeneration, have followed me.” According to
this reading, the regeneration means, the introduction of the gospel, as
being the beginning of a new life to the world. But others understand,
by it, the resurrection of the saints which precedes the final judgment
of the world. According to this, which I take to be the true
interpretation, the resurrection is called the regeneration, because, in
it, the quickening power of the Holy Spirit, first experienced, in the
renewing of the souls of believers, and in making their bodies his
temples, will then take full possession of the whole man, quickening and
transforming our vile bodies into the likeness of Christ’s glorious
body, and reuniting soul and body in glory. In like manner, and at the
same time, the work of “restitution of all things, which God hath spoken
by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts iii,
21), will be accomplished. Beginning, as it does in the spiritual world,
in the preaching and triumphs of the gospel, it will be consummate in
the regeneration of the physical system, in the new creation, the new
heavens and the new earth. That the thrones promised to the apostles
could only be possessed after the resurrection, is evident from the fact
that, physical death being an element of the curse, the blessedness of
the saints may, indeed, be unspeakable, even in a disembodied state; but
there can be no properly royal triumph, so long as the bodies are in the
bonds of corruption and the grave.

2. While the time of the kingdom of the saints is thus clearly defined,
there are also certain conditions precedent, revealed with equal
clearness and emphasis. “Ye which have followed me,” says Jesus.
Elsewhere he explains more fully. “He that taketh not his cross, and
followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall
lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”—Matt.
x, 38, 39. The following must be a bearing of the cross, with the life
in the hand. A pertinent illustration appears in the life of the apostle
Paul. He thus states the motives and policy which governed his
course.—“I have suffered the loss of all things, ... that I may win
Christ, and be found in him; ... that I may know him and the power of
his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made
conformable unto his death, if by any means I might attain unto the
resurrection of the dead.”—Phil. iii, 8-11. Paul’s meaning in the phrase
to “know the power of his resurrection,” elsewhere appears. He prays for
his readers, that they “may know,”—that is, may realize by a blessed
experience,—“what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who
believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought
in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right
hand in the heavenly places.... And you hath he quickened who were dead
in trespasses and sins, ... together with Christ, ... and hath raised us
up together.”—Eph. i, 16-20; ii, 1, 5, 6. In another place, Paul, in
view of his finished course and assured reward raises the triumphant
shout,—“I have fought a good fight! I have finished my course! I have
kept the faith! Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge, shall give me at that
day;”—the day, to wit, of “his appearing and kingdom.”—2 Tim. iv, 1, 7,

It thus appears that the time of the kingdom is the resurrection;—and
that the condition of its possession is not physical sufferings and
death, which are common to all men; but a conformity to Christ’s
sufferings and death, by being, in him, crucified and dead to the world.
With this condition is inseparably identified the possession of a part
in the resurrection and life of Christ. “If we be dead with Christ, we
believe that we shall also live with him.”—Rom. vi, 8. “I am crucified
with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in
me.”—Gal. ii, 20. We can be dead with Christ, dead to sin and the world,
only by being alive to God.

Not only is the resurrection of the saints the time of their kingdom,
but worthiness of part in the resurrection is stated with emphasis, as
the final and conclusive condition precedent to the throne. “They,” says
Jesus, “which shall be accounted _worthy_ to obtain that world and the
resurrection of the dead.”—Luke xx, 35. “If, by any means,” says Paul,
“I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” Herein is the
propriety of the form of the question put by Jesus to the two
brethren:—“Can ye ... be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized
with?” That is, “Are ye ready to endure and to do all that will be
required of those who would be counted worthy of that world, and of the
resurrection of the dead?”

3. The same word (_palingenesia_) _regeneration_, which Jesus employs,
is used by Paul, who describes God’s mercy as saving us, “by the washing
of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us
abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior.”—Titus iii, 5, 6. It is the
very grace, therefore, of which, under the Old Testament as well as the
New, baptism with water was the appointed symbol and seal. And
particularly was it true of the sprinkling of the water of separation,
that it symbolized the resurrection of the Lord Jesus on the third day,
and of his people on the seventh, the day of the Lord. Add to these
considerations the fact that from the time of his tour in the region of
Cæsarea Philippi, where he was transfigured, Jesus had been earnestly
endeavoring to impress on the reluctant minds of the apostles the fact
that “he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders
and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed and be _raised again the
third day_.”—Matt. xvi, 21. We have already seen that Jesus and the
apostles distinctly recognized and referred to the third day’s baptism
with the sprinkled water of separation as being a prophecy the
fulfillment of which required his rising from the dead on the third day.
“These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you,
that all things must be fulfilled which were written in _the law of
Moses_, and in the prophets and in the Psalms concerning me.... Thus it
is written and thus it _behooved_ Christ to suffer, and to _rise from
the dead the third day_.”—Luke xxiv, 44-46. In the law of Moses,
concerning the water of separation, and there only is the third day thus

Footnote 77:

  See above, p. 100.

The points suggested in these considerations are intimately and
inseparably related to the matter involved in the petition of James and
John. They are constantly so treated by the Lord Jesus himself, in his
personal teachings, and by his Spirit in the writers of the New
Testament. And yet, we are to suppose that, in his response to the
brethren, Jesus absolutely ignored all this, which he had, just before,
emphasized in his reply to Peter; and that he directed their attention
solely to the sufferings which he was to endure, and in which they were
to share! The alternative is, that on the contrary he referred to
baptism, in the meaning in which unquestionably it was used throughout
the Old Testament, as a type and figure of the resurrection, and thus,
by that single word, suggested all that was involved in the vastly
important considerations above mentioned, as connected with the
subject.—“Ye know not what ye ask. Ye neither appreciate the true nature
of the honors which ye seek, nor the time and circumstances of their
enjoyment, nor consider the conditions precedent. Are ye able to drink
of the cup that I shall drink of,—the cup of the crucifixion of the
flesh and the world; and to be baptized with the baptism that I am
baptized with, doing and enduring all that is involved in attaining to
the resurrection of the dead? For it is not till the resurrection that
the thrones which you seek can be possessed; and only by those who are
found worthy of that world and of the resurrection.”

That such was the meaning of our Savior would seem to be certain. This
is confirmed by the words already cited from Luke xii, 49-53. “I have a
baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be
accomplished.” The matter present to the mind of Jesus, as the occasion
of this utterance, was that discrimination which he was to exercise and
separation which he was to make, in purging his floor and dividing
between the wheat and the chaff, bringing division into families and
dissolving the closest and tenderest ties. It is of this that he says,
“I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I if it be already
kindled?” That is, Why should I wish to restrain it? “But I have a
baptism; ... and how am I straitened!” He thus indicates a straitening
of the full exercise of that function which he has just described. The
cause of it is an unaccomplished baptism. What then were the facts out
of which this language is to be explained? (1.) Christ was under
judicial condemnation for us from his birth, under the curse and
sentence of death. (2.) While in that condition, a servant to the law
and the curse, he could not fully exercise the prerogatives proper to
his royalty. (3.) Especially must his office as personally the Baptizer
with the Holy Ghost and with fire,—as the dispenser of grace to his
people and wrath to his enemies,—be in abeyance, till his resurrection
and assumption of the throne. Thus, he was from the beginning straitened
and looking forward to his resurrection as the time and means of his
enlargement. And, hence his saying,—“I have a baptism.” That baptism was
the bestowal upon him, by the Father, of the Spirit of life, raising him
from the dead to the throne, whence he now dispenses grace and judgment
to the world.

                                PART XI.
                       CHRIST THE GREAT BAPTIZER.

             SECTION LXI.—_The Kingdom of the Son of Man._

The phrases, “the kingdom,” “the kingdom of heaven,” etc., have primary
reference to that throne and kingdom to which the Lord Jesus was
exalted, when he rose from the dead, and was set at the Father’s right
hand. It is that militant kingdom of the Son of man, the establishment
of which Daniel saw in vision; the law of which is, “conquering and to
conquer” (Rev. vi, 2); and the history of which is that “he must reign,
till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”—1 Cor. xv, 25. The phrase
is sometimes used to express the efficiency of Christ’s saving sceptre
in the hearts of believers, as when Jesus says,—“The kingdom of God is
within you.”—Luke xvii, 21. It is applied to the visible church, as
being that society which by public covenant and profession owns Christ
as her King and his Word as her supreme law. So, it is used to designate
the millennial dispensation, when “the Lord shall be King over all the
earth,” when “there shall be one Lord, and his name one.”—Zech. xiv, 9.
Its duration is by Paul said to be, until “he shall have put down all
rule, and all authority and power. For he must reign till he hath put
all enemies under his feet.” “Then cometh the end, when he shall have
delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father.”—1 Cor. xv, 24-28. Of
this end and change of administration Jesus says, “Then shall the
righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”—Matt.
xiii, 43. Of it, he teaches us to pray,—“Thy kingdom come.”

Thus, in all the variety of connection in which it occurs, the phrase in
question derives its propriety and significance from that dominion with
which man was endowed in his creation, that royalty which is enjoyed in
the throne and sceptre of the Son of man,—its authority that of God the
Father,—its extent the whole universe of God,—its object the
manifestation of the glory of the divine perfections, and the rectifying
of the disorders introduced by Satan,—and its end, that work
accomplished and the sceptre resigned to the Father, “that God may be
all in all.”

His coronation and kingdom were the consummation of triumph for the Seed
of the woman; toward which, from the beginning, the Spirit of prophecy
ever pointed and hastened with ardent desire. Its realization begun with
the ascension and the day of Pentecost,—its full meaning of grace, of
wrath and of glory, will only then be fully realized in fruition, in
that day when the mighty angel shall, with uplifted hand, proclaim the
end of the mystery with the end of time. Of its significance, I will now
attempt an indication.

Sin is, in its very existence, an insult to the holiness and sovereignty
of God. Its unclean and evil aspect is a disgust and abomination in his
sight, and a pollution and deformity on the fair face of his creation.
In its first beginning by Satan, it was an immediate assault upon the
very throne in heaven. Its introduction into the world was a Satanic
device to mock God’s proclaimed purpose of favor to man, and to insult
His love by rendering its object unworthy of His regard, and loathsome
to His holiness. At the creation of man, God had said, “Let us make man
in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the
fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and
over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the
earth.”—Gen. i, 26. In the eighth Psalm, this decree is anew rehearsed.
(Psa. viii, 4-8.) Again, in the epistle to the Hebrews, Paul transcribes
it from the Psalmist, and expounds it. “For unto the angels hath he not
put in subjection the world to come whereof we speak. But one,” that is,
the Psalmist, “in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that
thou art mindful of him, or the Son of man that thou visitest him? Thou
madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory
and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands; thou hast put
all things in subjection under his feet.”—Heb. ii, 5-8. From this
language of the Psalmist, Paul proceeds to argue the extent of the
dominion thus given to man. He insists, (1) that the decree is
unlimited. “In that he put _all_ in subjection under him, he left
nothing that is not put under him;” (2) that man does not now have such
dominion. “_Now_, we see _not yet_ all things put under him;” (3) that
the decree is already fulfilled in the throne which Christ now fills.
“But we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor;” (4) that to that same
glory the Father is now “bringing many sons,” the brethren of Christ and
co-heirs with him of the kingdom. Vs. 10.

In another place, Paul completes the view, in this direction. “For he
must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy
that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his
feet. But when he saith, All things are put under him, it is manifest
that He is excepted which did put all things under him.”—1 Cor. xv,
25-27. It is a legal and common sense rule of interpretation, as to
deeds of grant or conveyance, that an exception on one point proves the
intention of the grant to be otherwise unlimited. So it is here. The
apostle, in excepting God the Father from the grant of dominion to the
Son of man, leaves all else in the universe under his subjection. It
thus appears that, in the decree of man’s creation, a dominion was
assigned him which in the purpose of God comprehended all the power
which Jesus, the Son of man, now exercises, over the whole creation of

How far this extent of the purpose of God was understood by Satan, we
are not informed. But it is evident from the whole tenor of the
Scriptures that the fulfillment of this decree was the subject on which
the serpent joined issue with God, in the seduction of our first
parents, and his policy toward our race. The issue thus on trial since
the foundation of the world is this: Shall God fulfill his announced
purpose, by exalting man to the promised throne? Shall he, thereby,
vindicate his own wisdom, sovereignty, truth, and grace, and reveal and
glorify all his perfections? Or, shall Satan triumph over God and man,
thwarting God’s decree, through man’s ruin and bondage? Shall he succeed
in the impious attempt to array the very attributes of God against each
other, so that his justice and holiness shall forbid the performance of
the purpose which his sovereign love determined and his wisdom and truth
proclaimed? This has been the problem of the ages: This, the question
which has roused intensest interest in all heaven’s hosts, “Which things
the angels desire to look into.”—1 Pet. i, 12. This is the key to the
fact, that, amid the scenes of human sin and ruin which fill the pages
of God’s word, the doctrine of the kingdom gradually dominates amid the
gloom, looming up into proportions of grandeur which overshadow earth
and heaven. “I beheld,” says Daniel, “till the thrones were cast down,
and the Ancient of days did sit; whose garment was white as snow, and
the hair of his head like the pure wool; his throne was like the fiery
flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came
forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten
thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.... I saw in the night
visions, and behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of
heaven and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before
him. And there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all
people, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an
everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that
which shall not be destroyed.”—Dan. vii, 9-14.

At length, the fullness of time drew nigh when the mystery of the ages
should be disclosed, and the promised kingdom given to the Son of man.
John came, the herald of its advent, crying, “The kingdom of heaven is
at hand.”—Matt. iii, 2. Soon, Jesus himself went forth uttering the same
announcement, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”—Ib. iv,
17, 23. And lest his voice should fail to reach every ear, he shortly
sent the twelve, and then the seventy, to fill the land with the cry.
“As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”—Ib. x, 7;
Luke x, 9.

But before the kingdom could be established, before the Son of man might
assume the crown, there was a work for him to do. That crown might not
be a gift of God’s arbitrary grace—a mere assertion of purpose
unchanged. It must be a reward of manifest and glorious merit. Nay, not
even so is it to be a gratuitous endowment; but as a trophy won by
battle and conquest is it to be received and worn. The Seed of the
woman—the Son of man—must give proof, in presence of all intelligences,
both holy and apostate, of his worthiness of that favor which God, from
the beginning, so openly bestowed. He must display the mystery of a man
walking in the flesh among men, in the glory of a spotless and
untarnished righteousness, amid the reign of abounding sin. He must be
seen—this glorious man—taking upon his mighty shoulders the vast incubus
of the curse, with which Satan’s malicious fraud had burdened the world,
and bearing it away to a land not inhabited. He must meet the great
enemy himself, whose impious challenge has raised the issue of the
fitness of God’s choice, and man’s competence to reign—the enemy who, in
insolent contempt of God’s purpose, has chosen this earth as the seat of
his own empire, and here usurped dominion over man. He must subdue
Satan, break his scepter and lead him captive in the train of his
triumph, before he may claim and assume the kingdom and the glory.

Satan saw, with dread the coming of the champion, and proposed a
compromise.—“Behold the kingdoms of the world and their glory! Do homage
to me, and all shall be thine!”—Matt. iv, 8, 9. It needs not to trace
the manner of the triumphs of the carpenter’s son, ending in the
resurrection from the guarded sepulcher, and ascension to the throne in
heaven. As the time of the kingdom came to be immediately at hand, he
entered Jerusalem, amid the exultant Hosannas of his followers,
proclaiming him the King of Israel. He was betrayed and brought to the
council. And when the high-priest adjured him whether he was the Son of
God, his answer, whilst attesting that blessed fact, held up to equal
prominence his royalty as the Son of man.—“Thou hast said; nevertheless,
I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the _Son_ of _Man_, sitting on
the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.”—Matt. xxvi,
63, 64. And so, they crucified him, with the accusation written in
letters of Hebrew and Greek and Latin,—“THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

He had already foretold his apostles that they should live to see his
kingdom established with power. On the morning of his resurrection, he
said to Mary, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But
go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your
Father, and to my God and your God.”—John xx, 17. The word, “I ascend”
(properly, “I am ascending”), indicates his immediate ascension and
reception of the throne, on the very day of the resurrection. And it is
worthy of notice that John who relates this does not mention that
subsequent public ascension which was made in the presence of the
apostles, as Christ’s official witnesses. He had already recorded the
essential fact. Between these two events, the first and the final
ascension, on the occasion of one of his appearances to his disciples,
he expressly told them that he was now already in possession of the
throne. He “came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me
in heaven and in earth.”—Matt. xxviii, 17, 18. On the day of Pentecost,
Peter testified of the supreme authority now vested in Him. “Let all the
house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus whom
ye crucified, both lord and Christ.”—Acts ii, 36. Paul more fully states
the extent of his dominion. God “raised him from the dead and set him at
his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality,
and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not
only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all
things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to
the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in
all.”—Eph. i, 20-23.

          SECTION LXII.—_Christ is enthroned as the Baptizer._

The announcement of the coming of the Lord Jesus as King was made to the
Jews, in a very striking and impressive manner. Clothed in sackcloth of
hair and subsisting on locusts and wild honey, John came in the
wilderness of Judea, crying to an apostate people,—“Repent ye; for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand.... He that cometh after me is mightier
than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He shall baptize you with
the Holy Ghost and with fire; whose fan is in his hand, and he will
thoroughly purge his floor and gather his wheat into the garner, but he
will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”—Matt. iii, 2-12. The
baptizing office of Christ, as thus set forth, was the objective point
toward which the Old Testament baptisms directed the faith and hopes of
Israel; and the theme, as we have seen, of some of the most exultant
strains of prophecy. And to it, the baptism of the Christian church ever
looks up and testifies.

The intent of Christ’s enthronement is here stated to be that he may
“thoroughly purge his floor.” So Jesus himself explains the parable of
the tares. “The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and shall gather
out of his kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity;
and shall cast them into a furnace of fire.”—Matt. xiii, 41, 42. The
dimensions of his kingdom, to be thus purged, we have seen to be
coextensive with the universe of God; over which Paul declares that “he
must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”—1 Cor. xv, 25.
The same apostle further states that “it pleased the Father that in Him
should all fullness dwell; and having made peace through the blood of
his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, whether
they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”—Col. i, 19, 20.

In the execution of a work so vast and so momentous, the baptist states
two means to be employed,—the baptism of the Holy Ghost; and the baptism
of fire. By the one, Jesus gathers his wheat into the garner; by the
other, he will burn up the chaff. We will first consider the baptism of
the Holy Ghost.

In the blessed Triune Godhead there is one nature, one mind, and
purpose, and will; so that all concur, equally, and freely in the
eternal origination of the divine plan, and in every step of its
administrative fulfillment. Yet is there an essential and native order
of precedence and operation clearly traceable in the Scriptures. In this
order, the Father is the first, of whom the Son is begotten, and from
whom the Spirit proceeds. So, in the executive administration of the
sacred scheme, there is an order of precedence in the manifestation of
the Godhead, revealed with equal clearness. In it, the Son was sent by
the Father to humble himself under the law, in the form of a servant;
and he so performed the Father’s will as to be designated by him “my
righteous servant.”—Isa. liii, 11. In it, the Father put the anointing
Spirit upon the incarnate Son. (Isa. xlii, 1; Matt. xii, 18.) And, by
the Spirit thus given, was he directed in his entire ministry, until he,
“through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God,” a
sacrifice for sin. (Heb. ix, 14.)

But, upon the enthronement of the Lord Jesus as God’s great Baptizer,
there was a change in this order of administration. With the sceptre and
kingdom of the Father, the dispensing of the Spirit was given to the Son
of man. In this endowment, two great ends were accomplished. (1.) As the
third Person of the Godhead is essentially the _spiritus_, or breath, of
the Father (2 Sam. xxii, 16; Job iv, 9; xxxii, 8; xxxiii, 4; Matt. x,
20), “which proceedeth from the Father” (John xv, 26), so now, being
given to the Lord Jesus, and mediatorially subject to and sent forth by
him, as his Spirit, our Savior is thus constituted a likeness and
revelation of the Father, in that respect also; as he is, in being robed
with the Father’s glory, sitting on his throne, and swaying his sceptre.
This was signified by the Lord Jesus, when he came to the disciples
after his resurrection, and breathed on them, saying, “Receive ye the
Holy Ghost.”—John xx, 22. Thus, “in him dwelleth all the fullness of the
Godhead bodily.”—Col. ii, 9. (2.) This investiture with the Spirit, was
an essential qualification, without which it was impossible that the
Lord Jesus should have fulfilled the work assigned him, of purging the
Father’s floor and gathering the wheat into his garner. Among the
Persons of the Godhead, it is the office of the Spirit to be the author
and source of life, by whom only, therefore, dead souls are quickened
and dead bodies raised to life. Hence, Jesus, in announcing his
prerogative respecting these things, attributes it to the gift of the
Spirit of life conferred on him by the Father. “The Son can do nothing
of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever He
doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.... For as the Father raiseth
up the dead and quickeneth them: even so the Son quickeneth whom he
will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment
unto the Son; that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the
Father.... Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming and now
is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that
hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he
given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority
to execute judgment also, _because_ he is the _Son of man_.”—John v,

In his last discourse with his disciples, the night of the betrayal,
Jesus was very explicit on this subject. Fully to appreciate his
statements on that occasion, it is necessary to keep in view the general
features of the divine economy which were about to culminate in Christ’s
exaltation. Inasmuch as Satan, in his insolent scorn of the human race,
sought, through its weakness and ruin to cast contempt upon God, and to
involve his government in chaos, God in the mystery of his glorious
love, saw fit, in honor of the human race, to place his government upon
the shoulders of the child of that very woman whose weakness Satan
betrayed, and to appoint him to redeem her and her seed from the
usurper’s power, and avenge her wrong upon the betrayer’s head; and
ordained him, _because_ he is the Son of man, to rectify all the evil
that Satan has done,—to baptize this earth and yonder heavens from the
defilement and dishonor that he has wrought, through sin, and to
“reconcile all things to the Father, whether they be things in earth or
things in heaven.” It is manifest that in the fulfillment of such a
plan, the Son of man must take actual possession of the scepter, before
full entrance can be made upon its manifested execution. It is further
to be remembered that the entire discourse in question was addressed to
the apostles, with distinct reference to their commission and
qualification to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom. The statements and
promises therein contained do not, therefore, have immediate respect to
the ordinary graces of the Spirit, in the hearers of the word, but to
his comforting, enlightening and directing influences in the

“I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter that he
may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth.... These things
have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter
which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall
teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance
whatsoever I have said unto you.... When the Comforter is come, whom I
will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth which
proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.... It is expedient
for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not
come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you. And when he is
come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of
judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness,
because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because
the prince of this world is judged. I have many things to say unto you,
but ye can not bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is
come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of
himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he will
show you things to come. He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of
mine and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are
mine; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine and shall show it
unto you.”—John xiv, 16, 17, 25, 26; xv, 26; xvi, 7-15.

In these passages, there is a very remarkable order of progress in the
statements concerning the mission of the Spirit. “I will pray the
Father, and _he_ shall give you another Comforter.” “The Holy Ghost,
whom _the Father_ will send _in my name_.” “The Comforter whom _I_ will
send unto you _from the Father_.” “If I go not away, the Comforter will
not come unto you: but if I depart _I will send_ him unto you.” As the
Spirit essentially proceeds from the Father, so, primarily, in the
manifestation of the Godhead, he is sent forth by the Father, and in all
his work of grace to man, is sent through the mediation of the Son.
Hence the form of the first statement:—“I will pray the Father, and he
shall give.” In the next passage, he indicates that whilst, in the
concurrence of the Godhead, the Father is the primary source of the
Spirit, the mission spoken of, is in the name, and for the purposes of
the Son, namely,—to remind the apostles of his words, and interpret them
to their understandings and hearts. “Whom the Father will send in my
name,”—that is, to do my commission,—to utter my words. In the next
clause he assumes to himself and asserts the prerogative conferred on
him, and says,—“When the Comforter is come, whom _I will send_ unto you
from the Father.” And since the mission thus promised was to be a
testimony on his own behalf, he goes on to mark that the testimony of
the Spirit is that of the Father, also, since essentially and eternally,
he proceedeth from and is the Spirit of the Father. “Even the Spirit of
truth which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me; and ye
also shall bear witness because ye have been with me from the
beginning.” Compare John v, 36; Heb. ii, 4.

Next, since the triumphs of the gospel were reserved to honor the
scepter of the Son of man, Jesus declares that he must ascend to heaven
and assume that scepter, before the apostles could receive the gifts
which would qualify them for spreading those triumphs.—“If I go not away
the Comforter will not come unto you, but, if I depart, I will send him
unto you.” He declares the Spirit’s offices, toward the world and toward
them, whom he “the Spirit of truth” should “guide into all truth;” and
emphasizes the fact that in fulfilling these offices, he will act
strictly as an interpreter. Christ is the Word of God; and the Spirit
sent by him, “shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear,
that shall he speak.”—“He shall glorify me; for he shall take of mine
and shall shew it unto you.” And lest the unlimited purport of this
declaration should not be fully appreciated, he adds, “All things that
the Father hath are mine; therefore said I that he shall take of mine
and shall show it unto you.” As essentially the Father’s, but given to
the Son;—such is the aspect in which the Spirit shall reveal them to the
glory of the Son.

Such were the testimonies with reference to which Jesus, after his
resurrection, commanded his apostles to “wait for the promise of the
Father, which ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water;
but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”—Acts
i, 4, 5. Of it, on the day of Pentecost, Peter said, “Being by the right
hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of
the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear.”—Acts
ii, 33. What the promise was, Peter, here distinctly indicates. It was
fulfilled in giving the Holy Spirit to the Lord Jesus, that he might of
his royal prerogative shed down that Spirit upon his people.

The relation thus existing between the enthroned Mediator and the Holy
Spirit, was very remarkably intimated by Jesus the night after the
resurrection. He came to the assembled disciples with the
salutation,—“Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send
I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto
them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”—John xx, 21, 22. Thus by anticipation,
he interpreted the gift of Pentecost, as an imparting to them of the
Holy Spirit, which was now given to and dwelt in him, as his Spirit, the
breath of his life.

Dr. Dale, in his invaluable treatises has overlooked the distinction
here pointed out, between the endowment of the Spirit which Jesus
enjoyed in the performance of his earthly ministry, and that which
belongs to him as Baptizer on the throne. Discussing John i, 33,—which
he translates,—“This is he that baptizeth _by_ the Holy Ghost,” he says,
“He upon whom the Holy Ghost descended and on whom he remained, ‘without
measure’ was thus qualified for his amazing work, and qualified to be
[_‘o baptizōn en Pneumati Agiō_] the Baptizer who was himself _in_ the
Holy Ghost, and being _in_ the Holy Ghost was thereby invested with
power to baptize _by_ the Holy Ghost.—The Lord Jesus Christ—_‘o baptizōn
en Pneumati Agiō_,—is ‘the Divine baptizer, _being in_ the Holy
Ghost.’... The passage is to be understood as announcing the peculiar
character of the Lord Jesus Christ as baptizer. This is done by
exhibiting him in a two-fold aspect: 1. As being personally _en Pneumati
Agiō_. 2. As a consequence of being _en Pneumati Agiō_, being invested
with the power of baptizing by the Holy Ghost.”[78]—In another place he
says,—“The original author of this baptism is the Lord Jesus Christ; the
executive Agent is the Holy Ghost; the giver of the Holy Ghost is the
Father.... Does not the Dative and _en_ announce the Agent in whom the
power to baptize resides?”[79]

Footnote 78:

  “Christic Baptism,” pp. 53, 56, 57.

Footnote 79:

  Ibid, p. 76.

1. The anointing of the Lord Jesus at his baptism did not qualify him as
Baptizer. Else, neither He nor the apostles need have _waited_ “for the
promise of the Father,” which was fulfilled at the ascension, and
demonstrated on Pentecost. (See Acts i, 4; ii, 33.)

2. As the water is the immediate efficient cause of the cleansing, in
washing, so the Spirit is the immediate efficient cause of the grace
wrought in the spiritual baptism. But to describe him as the executive
Agent of that baptism, is the same error which should represent the
water in that capacity, in ritual baptism.

3. Jesus was “in the Spirit,” that is under the pervasive influence and
control of the Spirit, during his entire earthly life. But it was
precisely herein that he filled the character of being God’s “righteous
servant.”—Isa. liii, 11. It was characteristic of his humiliation, to be
thus subordinate. But upon his exaltation, the order was reversed. It is
no longer Christ in the Spirit, fulfilling the service and work
appointed him. But it is the Spirit in Christ, subject to his control,
speaking his words and doing according to the will of Jesus, the Lord.
And Jesus does not baptize _by_ the Holy Ghost doing it for Him, but
“_with_ the Holy Ghost,” as his Spirit and instrument; as he so clearly
intimated, when he breathed upon his disciples and said, “Receive ye the
Holy Ghost.”

      SECTION LXIII.—_Note, on the Procession of the Holy Spirit._

In the year 325, the council of Nice condemned the heresies of Arius
concerning the Son, and formulated the orthodox doctrine on the subject
in what is known as the Nicene creed. In 381, the council of
Constantinople, being assembled on account of the errors of Macedonius,
concerning the Spirit, inserted into the Nicene creed a statement of
doctrine concerning the Third Person, in which occurred the phrase,
“which proceedeth from the Father.” About the year, 434, the council of
Ephesus, being the third general council, as the before mentioned were
the first and second, determined that no further addition should be made
to this creed. Disregarding this decree, and without the sanction of any
general council, the western or Latin church, about the end of the sixth
century, silently interpolated the formula of Constantinople, so as to
make it read,—“which proceedeth from the Father _and the Son_.” The
resulting controversies became one cause of the division between the
Latin and Greek churches. At the reformation, the Protestant churches
generally, without discussion, accepted the Romish doctrine on the
subject, and incorporated it into their doctrinal formularies.

In the foregoing discussion this theory is ignored, in favor of the
primitive doctrine; for the following reasons:

1. The point in question is the essential and eternal procession of the
Spirit. If there is one Scripture, referred to by any writer, or
contained in the sacred volume, which even seems to describe _such_
procession from the Son, it has not been my privilege to meet with it,
in the course of a careful and long continued inquiry. The texts usually
cited are, all of them, statements explicitly referring to the voluntary
and temporal mission of the Spirit, coming into the world; and _not_ to
his essential procession, which is involuntary and eternal. They are
John xv, 26; xvi, 7: Gal. iv, 6. “When the Comforter is come whom I will
send unto you from the Father.”—“If I go not away, the Comforter will
not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. “Because
ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts,
crying, Abba, Father.” Will any one pretend that these passages refer to
the eternal procession?

2. The language in which Jesus speaks of this procession as being from
the Father seems designed to be adequate and exhaustive. “When the
Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the
Spirit of truth _which proceedeth from the Father_, he shall testify of
me.”—John xv, 26. That the Father, specifically, is the one essential
and peculiar source of the Spirit, is here doubly asserted, by the
phrase, “whom I will send unto you _from the Father_;” and by the
further expository statement, “which proceedeth from the Father.” Should
James and John unite in writing a book, any one who in speaking of James
should say that he wrote it, would be justly chargeable with
carelessness of statement. But if the book itself and its authorship and
origin are the subject of discussion, it could not be said, with any
regard to truth and accuracy that “This book was written by James.” And,
if the subject of the book were the life of John, and the statement were
made that “This book was written by James, and gives the story of John’s
life,” the omission, which previously might perhaps be accounted an
inadvertence, assumes a character of falsehood and deceit. This, it
seems to me, is a just parallel to the case which is made by the
insertion of the _filioque_ clause, making the procession to be from the
Father _and the Son_. In the place in question, Jesus is speaking
expressly of the Spirit, whom he describes with reference to his
qualification to be a witness, on behalf of the Son. Had the whole
thought of the passage been concerning the Father, and in describing him
Jesus had said, “From him proceedeth the Spirit,” the declaration would
seem scarcely reconcilable with a coincident procession from the Son.
But when the Spirit, himself, and his qualification to be a witness on
behalf of the Son, is the distinct subject of discourse,—the statement
that “He proceedeth from the Father, and will testify of me,” utterly
excludes a like procession from the Son. This conclusion is strengthened
by the remarkable language on the same subject, uttered by the Lord
Jesus upon another occasion. “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is
not true. There is another that beareth witness of me, and I know that
the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.... The works which the
Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do bear witness of
me that the Father hath sent me.”—John v, 31-36. Peter declares that
“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who
went about doing good.”—Acts x, 38. Jesus here expressly certifies that
the testimony thus by the Spirit given to his ministry was distinctively
the Father’s testimony and not that of the Son,—a statement wholly
irreconcilable with the supposition that the Spirit of witness who was
the efficient author of those miracles proceeded alike from the Son and
the Father.

3. The phrase,—“which proceedeth from the Father,”—is explanatory of the
language immediately preceding. “When the Comforter is come whom I will
send unto you _from the Father_.” But why “from the Father,” since it is
Christ that sends Him? Why not “from the Father and the Son?” Jesus
gives the reason,—“Which _proceedeth_ from the Father.” Either this
indicates something peculiar and exclusive, or words are without

4. There is undoubtedly a voluntary and temporal bestowal of the Spirit
by the Father upon the incarnate Son, a bestowal in virtue of which, he,
as the Spirit of the Son, is by the Mediator breathed or shed upon his
people. But if the doctrine in question is true, the Spirit, proceeding
from the Father and the Son, sustains essentially and eternally the very
same identical relation to each, and it would be just as impossible that
he should be given by the Father to the Son, as on the contrary, by the
Son to the Father. The fact that he is given to the Son shows
conclusively that his relation to the Father is not only primary, but
peculiar, a fact which is the express contradictory of the theory in
question. In fact, by that theory the voluntary, temporal, and
mediatorial mission of the Spirit, by the Son as incarnate, is
necessarily and inextricably confounded with the eternal procession,
which is essential and involuntary, the Scripture testimony on the
subject is distorted and set at naught, and the whole subject involved
in perplexity and confusion. These considerations, and especially the
fact that there is not even a plausible pretense of Scriptural authority
for the doctrine, lead me to its rejection.

                  SECTION LXIV.—_The Baptism of Fire._

Christ’s baptizing office is not all of grace. “He shall baptize you,”
says John, “with the Holy Ghost and _with fire_.” John thus, in harmony
with the Old Testament writers, from Moses to Malachi, sets forth two
distinct functions to be exercised by the coming One; the one, of grace,
the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the other, of justice and wrath, the
baptism of fire. As this interpretation of John’s language is denied,
and the two baptisms interpreted as signifying essentially one and the
same thing, it is necessary to consider with some care the evidence on
the subject.

1. John, as the context shows, is addressing himself in terms of earnest
admonition to the Pharisees and Sadducees, and to the Jews, as infected
with their leaven. (Compare Matt. iii, 7, and Luke iii, 7.) He warns
them of the discrimination which the Lord Jesus was about to use, in the
purging of his floor. He begins with the expostulation, “O generation of
vipers, who hath warned you to flee from _the wrath to come_?” He
proceeds to indicate that the time then current was one of threatening
portent. “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees.” The
safety of the righteous he leaves to silent implication; but emphasizes
the doom of the wicked,—“Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit
is hewn down and cast into the fire.” He then modifies the figure, with
reference to his own baptizing office. “I indeed baptize you with
water.... But he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire;”
and lest there should be any doubt, as to his meaning, he completes the
sentence with an expository detail,—“whose fan is in his hand, and he
will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner;
but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” It is certainly
very improbable that in a Scripture so closely knit together and
consecutive, so pervaded with one spirit and intent, the baptist should
have used the word, fire, at the beginning and end, as a vivid figure of
the judicial wrath of Christ, and in the middle, change it, without
notice or explanation, into a figure of his grace; and this, too, when
the first and third clauses present every appearance of being parallel
to, and expository of the second. The supposition that the baptism of
fire, means an exercise of grace is, in fact, irreconcilable with the
purpose of John’s whole announcement, and renders the passage
contradictory to the context, and false to John’s mission and Christ’s
office and work. This is the only clause in the connection in which John
states in direct terms, to the Pharisees and Sadducees whom he is
addressing, the office of Christ, as toward them distinctively. And if,
while proclaiming in general terms, His judicial and executive
functions, consuming the evil trees and burning up the chaff, he is to
be understood as saying,—“He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and
with his gracious influences,” the only justifiable conclusion would be
that those self-righteous sectaries were the favorites of heaven, and
had no reason to fear that day that should burn as an oven.

2. It is a mistake to suppose the figure of fire to be, in the
Scriptures, arbitrary and variable in its signification. On the
contrary, while constantly resorted to, as a figure of speech, and as a
symbol, both real and ritual, it stands out with a meaning, fixed and
invariable,—a meaning which springs out of its essential nature and its
familiar phenomena and effects, and is incorporated in the language and
institutions of the Word, by express divine sanctions. The two most
conspicuous phenomena of fire are its consuming power, and the torture
which its contact inflicts upon sentient beings. Hence, with constant
reference to the final fiery day, it is everywhere employed as the
appointed symbol of the divine wrath, arrayed against sin. In this
character, it appears in such real symbols as the flaming sword of the
cherubim, at Eden’s gate,—the fire of God which was rained down upon the
cities of the plain, thus “set forth for an example, suffering the
vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7), and the fire in which God descended
on Mount Sinai. In the same sense was the ritual use of fire which
continually burned on the altars of the Old Testament, from the
beginning of man’s history, to the desolation of Jerusalem. Thus, as
conspicuous as were the temple, and the altar, and incorporated in the
very heart of the ritual system, was this symbol of God’s avenging
wrath, the fierceness of fire. As a figure of speech, it is constantly
used to express the inflicted wrath of God. And, in fact, it is never
employed in any sense incongruous to this. It is true, that processes
which are dependent on the use of fire are sometimes employed as symbols
of the manner in which the divine grace is exercised. Says Malachi,—“He
is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap; and he shall sit as a
refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi,
and purge them as gold and silver.”—Mal. iii, 2, 3. But, even here, the
fire is not the Spirit, but the inflictions which the Savior employs and
which by the Spirit he sanctifies to his people. Of this we have the
divine certificate. “I have refined thee; but not with silver; I have
chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”—Isa. xlviii, 10. But, while
the figure is thus used, and while it is further true, that phenomena of
fire, such as light, and heat, are used as figures of particular graces,
it may with confidence be asserted that fire, itself, is never employed
to represent the Spirit or his fruits.

3. It is impossible, here to examine all of the multitude of passages in
which the figure occurs. It will be sufficient to notice those which are
most commonly appealed to in proof of such use as is here denied. On the
words of John, Dr. Addison Alexander thus remarks:—“_With fire_,—not the
fire of divine wrath, as in verse 10; but the powerful and purifying
influences of the Spirit; so described elsewhere. (See Isa. iv, 4; lxiv,
2; Jer. v, 14; Mal. iii, 2; Acts ii, 3.)[80] Other writers add Isa. vi,
6; Zech. xiii, 9; 1 Cor. iii, 13, 15. These are the most pertinent
passages referred to, in support of the exegesis given by Dr. Alexander.
How entirely perfunctory and really inapposite these references are,
appears in the fact that of the places cited by Dr. Alexander two occur
in the prophecy of Isaiah, and one in the Acts of the Apostles, on which
books the church is enriched with commentaries from the pen of that
distinguished divine; and that in those commentaries he, in every
instance, ignores and excludes the interpretation implied in his
above-cited references. Thus; Isa. iv, 4,—“the spirit of judgment and
the spirit of burning,” he explains as “the judgment and burning of the
Holy Spirit, with a twofold allusion to the purifying and destroying
energy of fire; or rather, to its purifying by destroying; purging the
whole by the destruction of a part, and thereby manifesting the divine
_justice_[81] as an active principle.” In Isa. lxiv, 2, the figure of
the ebullition of water, represents the agitation of the ungodly nations
in the presence of God’s justice, delivering and avenging Israel; and so
it is expounded by Alexander. “O that thou wouldst rend the heavens,
that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy
presence; as when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters
to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations
may tremble at thy presence.” In Isa. vi, 6, the cherub takes a coal of
fire from off the altar, and applies it to the lips of the prophet,
saying, “Lo! this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken
away, and thy sin purged.” It would seem evident, that, by the coal from
off the altar, is meant the atoning merits of the Lord Jesus, of whose
sufferings the fire of the altar was the appointed symbol. Or, if the
language be interpreted of the golden altar of incense, the fire of
which was kindled from the altar of burnt offering, the meaning is the
sweet savor of Christ’s intercession grounded on the merit of his
sufferings. By no legitimate exegesis can it be made to mean, the Spirit
of God. Jer. v, 14 needs only to be recited. “Behold I will make my
words in thy mouth, fire, and this people, wood; and it shall devour
them.” The destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and the captivity
of the land, in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy, sufficiently expound
this language. Remarks already made are sufficient as to the next
citation:—Zech. xiii, 9. “I will bring the third part through the fire
and will refine them, as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is
tried.” With this, the interpretation of Mal. iii, 2, is identical. The
reference to Acts ii, 3, looks to the “cloven tongues like as of fire,”
of the day of Pentecost. But, we shall presently see that not burning
but brightness,—illumination as of a lamp was the phenomenon of that
day. Says the Psalmist, “The entrance of thy word giveth light.” The day
of Pentecost was, to the nations, the entrance of God’s word,—the
beginning of the gospel; and its appropriate symbols were tongues of
light and voices of praise in many languages. As little pertinent is the
next passage: 1 Cor. iii, 13-15.—“Every man’s work shall be made
manifest, for the day shall declare it; because it [the day], shall be
revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort
it is.... If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but
he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (_dia, through_) fire;”—that
is,—“so as passing through the fire, with a bare escape.” That fire here
means the judicial and punitive agencies of the last great day, in the
discovery and punishment of sin, is clear.

Footnote 80:

  Alexander on Matthew.

Footnote 81:

  The italics are his own.

Such are the most pertinent Scriptures to which I find reference made,
to prove that, by fire, John meant, the Holy Spirit, or his gracious
influences. That they wholly fail to establish the point, is evident;
and a further independent examination induces the conviction that no
others more pertinent are to be found.

4. A comparison of the four evangelists on the language of the baptist
strongly confirms the interpretation here maintained. Mark and John, in
giving account of the baptist’s preaching, direct attention more
particularly to the gospel aspect of his mission; as he was the herald
of the atoning Lamb of God. Neither of them, therefore, mentions his
impressive warnings to the Pharisees and Sadducees, respecting the trees
cast into the fire and the threshing floor purged by burning. And, while
they both record the testimony of John concerning Jesus, as he that
should baptize with the Holy Ghost, they are both silent as to the
baptism of fire. (Mark i, 8; John i, 33.) But Matthew and Luke enter
more into the sterner aspects of John’s office, as coming in the spirit
and power of Elias, to announce judgment as well as mercy. They both,
therefore, report his words of warning to a generation of vipers, words
which the others omit. They both tell of the axe laid to the roots of
the trees, and the threshing floor purged with fire; and both of them
interpose between these passages the announcement of the two baptisms,
“with the Holy Ghost, and _with fire_.” The omissions of Mark and John,
and the harmony of Matthew and Luke show that the baptism of fire
belonged to the judicial and avenging aspect of Christ’s mission, as
emphasized by the latter evangelists, but only lightly touched by the

5. The inseparable relation of these two functions of Christ’s office as
the enthroned Son of man is certified in all the Scriptures. It is
prominent in those which had immediate relation to the coming of John,
and the purposes of his ministry. We have seen this, as to the first
announcement made of the Angel of the covenant, to Israel at Sinai. On
the one hand, he was described as the Guide and Deliverer, who should
bring them into the promised land. On the other, they were warned to
“Beware of him.... Provoke him not; for he will not pardon.”—Ex. xxiii,
20, 21. In the second Psalm, the terrors of the Son are almost
exclusively signalized, in warning to the rebellious nations. “Thou
shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like
a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, O
ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with
trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way
when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put
their trust in him.” Especially does Malachi emphasize Christ’s two
contrasted functions. A careful examination of the third and fourth
chapters of that prophecy, particularly the latter, will satisfy the
intelligent reader that not only do they contain John’s commission, as
the forerunner of Christ, but give the keynote and substance of his
preaching. He is there announced as the Lord’s herald, to go before the
face of the Messenger of the covenant, who is described as coming to
execute two opposite but inseparable functions. On the one hand, he is
to be the refiner and purifier of the sons of Levi; on the other, a
swift witness and avenger against the wicked. (Mal. iii, 2-5.)
Particularly did John have in his mind the fourth chapter, the first
verses of which are thus given in the admirable translation of Dr. T. V.
Moore. “For behold! the day comes! burning like a furnace! and all the
proud, and all the doers of evil are chaff! and the day that comes burns
them, saith Jehovah of hosts, who will not leave them root nor branch.
And then shall rise on you the sun of righteousness, and healing in his
wings; and ye shall go forth and leap as calves of the stall. And ye
shall trample down the ungodly; for they shall be ashes under the soles
of your feet, in the day which I make, saith Jehovah of hosts.”[82] The
“stubble” of Malachi and the “chaff” of John refer to the same thing.
The threshing floor was a spot in the field which was beaten hard and
smooth. The grain was threshed by the treading of cattle, or by dragging
over it “a sharp threshing instrument with teeth.” The process of
winnowing with the fan separated the grain into one heap, and the broken
straw or “stubble” and “chaff” into another. To clear the floor, the
latter were burned. From this custom was derived the vividness and
beauty of the prophet’s imagery. He represents the wicked as thus
separated and consumed, and the righteous, like calves let forth from
the stalls in the brightness of the morning, skipping over the fields
where the threshing floor lay, and thus treading among and trampling
under foot the ashes of the wicked. Compare Rev. vi, 10; xi, 18; xv, 3,
4. It was with a view to the portentous character of the day thus
described, that Malachi announces the commission of John to preach
repentance to Israel. “Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before
the coming of that great and dreadful day of the Lord.” From the
prophecy, which sets forth in such vivid colors, the tremendous issues
depending on his ministry, John derived the imagery of his own warning,
which is, in fact, a running paraphrase of Malachi.

Footnote 82:

  The Prophets of the Restoration, by Rev. T. V. Moore, D. D.

“Behold,” says Malachi, “the day cometh.” “It is now immediately at
hand,” says John. “It shall burn as an oven,” says the prophet, “and all
the proud and all that do wickedly ... the day that cometh shall burn
them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root
nor branch.” John responds: “The axe is laid at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down
and cast into the fire.” Says Malachi, “All the proud and all that do
wickedly shall be chaff, and the day that cometh shall burn them up.”
John repeats and develops the figure. “Whose fan is in his hand, and he
will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner;
but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Thus thoroughly are the thought and language of John imbued with the
conceptions and imagery of the prophet, concerning “that great and
dreadful day of the Lord,” the description of which derives all its
vividness and terror from the manifest and accepted meaning of fire, as
an intense figure of God’s consuming wrath. In the presence of these
facts, the supposition is at once incredible and revolting that, into
the very midst of the prophet’s tremendous portraiture of that fiery
day, with the awe and dread of which he had so successfully striven to
fill the imaginations and the hearts of his hearers,—John should have
injected, abruptly, and without the shadow of explanation or reason, a
phrase, in which the same figure is employed in a sense wholly foreign
to that in which it is used by Malachi,—foreign to its ordinary meaning
in the Scriptures, and to the whole spirit and tenor of the connection
alike of the prophet, and of the baptist.

The words of John are, in themselves incapable of being forced into
coincidence of meaning. “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and
with fire.” Here are two distinct affirmations connected by the
copulative, “and.” The latter, uttered through the inspiration of the
Holy Spirit, purports, upon the face of it, to be additional to the
former. And the more critically it is examined, the more thoroughly it
will be found to vindicate that character. It can not be a mere
repetition. It can not be explained as interpreting the first clause.
What then does it mean, but to announce a baptism of fire, in addition
to the baptism of the Holy Ghost?—a baptism of justice and wrath, as
well as one of renewing and grace?

Appeal is sometimes made to phraseology employed by the Lord Jesus, in
his interview with Nicodemus, as being similar in construction.—“Except
a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into the
kingdom of God.”—John iii, 5. But the resemblance disappears, upon a
moment’s examination. With Nicodemus, our Savior first employs the
ritual figure of water, which was or should have been familiar to the
Jewish ruler. But then, to avoid the possibility of mistake on a point
so vital, he explains himself literally by naming the Holy Spirit, of
whom water was the symbol. But, in the words of the baptist, the Spirit
is first named, in literal terms, which neither needed explanation, nor
could be made clearer by it. But the second clause is a supposed
explanation of that which needs none; an explanation less intelligible
than the words to be explained,—an illustration by a figure, used in a
sense directly the reverse of its familiar meaning in the Scriptures,
the meaning in which it is used in the same immediate connection, both
before and after the clause in question,—an illustration, therefore, at
once obscure and embarrassing, shedding no ray of light upon the
subject, but involving it in darkness, and turning to weakness, not to
say, platitude, the stern energy of the baptist’s warning cry. “He shall
baptize you with the Holy Ghost, _and_ with his gracious influences.”

Whilst the interpretation in question is without precedent or authority
in the Scriptures, the arguments in its behalf are of no appreciable
force. First, it is said to be “harsh” to understand the baptism of fire
to mean Christ’s judicial administration as toward the wicked. As I must
confess myself unable to understand the meaning and force of this
argument, if argument it be, I leave it without note or comment. Another
plea assumes the form of assertion that “the idea of baptism does not
admit of any reference to punishment.”[83]

Footnote 83:

  Ebrard, in Olshausen, on the place.

It may be allowed that _baptizo_ would not admit of such interpretation,
if found alone and disconnected from any modifying or explanatory word
or expression. But, that, in such connection and with such modifying
words and statements as occur in the text of John, it can not be so
interpreted, is by no means self-evident, and is supported by no
sufficient or probable argument. The fact has already been indicated
that the Hellenistic use of the word was predicated upon its employment
among the Greeks to express a condition changed by a pervasive and
controlling influence. It remains to be proved that the Jews had
entirely forgotten this, which was to them the radical meaning of the
word; so that, in their vocabulary, it could never have been used in
that sense. In fact, however, a remarkable proof remains to us that the
reverse of this is the truth. Says Isaiah, the prophet,—“My heart
panted; fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he
turned into fear unto me.—Isa. xxi, 4. Alexander, with the later
Germans, understands this as a personification of Belshazzar, the king
of Babylon, on that night when the handwriting on the wall proclaimed
his judgment and doom. This, however, is unessential to the present
purpose. Whether the prophet spoke of himself or of some other man, the
fact of present interest is, that in the Septuagint Greek, the phrase,
“Fearfulness affrighted me,” is rendered, “My iniquity baptizes me.” By
this language, the Jewish translators express the agonies of remorse
seizing and controlling the speaker, and turning the pleasure of the
night into fear. Thus he was _baptized_, by sudden terrors by which he
was controlled and brought into a new state of anguish and despair. So
will the judgment of the final day seize upon the wicked and control and
bring them into a like new condition by the baptism of fire.

Moreover, the connection in which John uses the expression in question,
is such as to constitute abundant ground for the vindication of his
language, even though baptism were restricted to the sense of
purification. The purpose of Christ’s mission, as set forth by John,
was, to “thoroughly purge his floor;” by “his floor,” meaning, primarily
the people and land of Israel; but, in its ultimate intent, the world
and the universe. In order to accomplish this object, not only must the
wheat be garnered, but the chaff must be burned. And, as washing with
water is none the less a purifying, because it does not cleanse or
transform the filthiness, itself, but only removes it,—so, none the less
is the baptism of fire a baptism, because it does not cleanse, but
punishes the wicked. In so doing, it will purge the race, and cleanse
the world, which it inhabits. That the baptism with the Holy Ghost is a
real baptism, and that to it in the strictest and most peculiar sense
the word belongs, can not be denied. But in that baptism we see the
separating of the righteous and the wicked. It is as much the exclusion
of the latter as it is the reception of the former. If the one is taken,
it means, separation; it means that the other is left. Neither in
conception nor in realization, is it possible to separate these two
things, nor to eliminate the rejection and punishment of the wicked from
that function by which the righteous are called and saved. By both
alike, and by the one as much as the other, is the commission of the
great Baptizer fulfilled and his floor purged.

Not without a significant bearing upon the present question is the
language in which the Lord Jesus himself speaks of the discrimination
which he is to exercise and the judgments which he is to inflict in the
exercise of his royal authority. “I am come _to send fire_ on the earth;
and what will I if it be already kindled?... Suppose ye that I am come
to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay, but rather division.”—Luke xii,
49, 51. That fire, here, is no symbol of grace, is manifest; as it is,
also, that the theme of Malachi and John is the subject of these words
of Jesus. Nor is the fact to be forgotten that, in the Levitical system,
fire was distinctly recognized, along with water, as a purifying
element. See Num. xxxi, 10; and compare Isa. xlviii, 10, and Mal. iii,
2, 3.

From all this it is evident that the baptism of fire is the exercise by
the Lord Jesus of his judicial function, in the separation and
punishment of the wicked.

Whilst it may be admitted that no absolute conclusion concerning ritual
baptism, is to be deduced from the facts set forth in the Scriptures, as
to the manner of this baptism, yet are they not unworthy of
consideration as one element in the mass of evidence. (1.) The diluvial
purgation of the world, in the days of Noah, was by means of rain. “The
fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven
were opened; and the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty
nights.”—Gen. vii, 11, 12. (2.) Sodom and Gomorrah suffered a
destruction, typical in its intent, and “are set forth for an example
suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”—Jude 7, and 2 Pet. ii, 6. Its
manner is thus recorded. “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon
Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.”—Gen. xix, 24.
(3.) The final destruction of the wicked is predicted under the same
form. “Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a
horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.”—Psa. xi, 6.
(4.) More than thirty times the figure of outpouring is used in the
Scriptures to indicate the infliction of God’s wrath. It is a pouring
out, of wrath, of indignation, of vengeance, of anger and fury. Thus, in
the Revelation, the seven last plagues are inflicted by the outpouring
of cups or bowls (_phialas_) of wrath from heaven upon the earth. (Rev.
xvi.) (5.) The final destruction of Gog and Magog, is described as being
by fire which “came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.”—Rev.
xx, 9.

The analogy of all these facts and expressions with those concerning the
baptism of the Spirit, as designed to indicate the exaltation of the Son
of Man, and point to his throne as the source of the indignation poured
out, is apparent. On the other hand, the fact is to be observed, that
the eternal state of those wicked is represented under the figure of
dwelling in the lake of fire,—a figure which corresponds with the
primary classic meaning of _baptizo_, in that there is no resurrection.

                SECTION LXV.—_The Baptism of Pentecost._

Before his crucifixion, Jesus had assured his disciples that they should
see the kingdom of God come with power. After his resurrection, in
visits manifestly preternatural, “he was seen of them forty days,
speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God; and being
assembled together with them, he commanded them that they should not
depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which
saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but
ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence.”—Acts i,
3, 4. He moreover told them, “Ye shall receive power, after that the
Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost
parts of the earth.”—Ib. 8. For ten days after his public ascension they
awaited the promised baptism. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully
come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there
came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all
the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven
tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them, and they were
all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues,
as the Spirit gave them utterance.”—Acts i, 1-4. They were inspired with
divine courage, zeal, and power, and in presence of those who had cried,
“Away with him!” and of the rulers, who had condemned him to the cross,
proclaimed the kingdom and glory of the man of Nazareth. And, on that
day, three thousand, a few days afterward, five thousand, and daily
multitudes of believers added to the church, were the trophies of the
power of Christ’s baptizing scepter,—the firstfruits and pledge of the
baptism of his Spirit which still continues to pour from on high its
floods of salvation upon the world.

Such was our Savior’s entrance on his office, as the royal
Baptizer,—such the first administration of his baptism of grace. There
are four things concerning it which demand attention. These are,—the
manner in which the baptism was dispensed,—the new spirit then given to
the church,—the accompanying signs,—and, the baptism of repentance,
which then and thenceforth accompanied the preaching of the gospel.

          SECTION LXVI.—_The Manner of the Pentecost Baptism._

In all the expressions and statements concerning the baptism of
Pentecost, there is a prominence given to the manner of it which can not
be casual, nor devoid of special significance. The attendant phenomena
are described as “a sound _from heaven_, as of a rushing mighty wind,”
which “filled all the place where they were sitting.” “Cloven tongues,
like as of fire, sat upon each of them.” “And they were all _filled_
with the Holy Ghost.” The facts are by Peter described as a fulfillment
of the prophecy,—“I will _pour out_ of my Spirit _upon_ all flesh.”—vs.
17. He further tells the assembly, that Jesus “_shed forth_ this which
ye now see and hear.”—vs. 33. Of the similar scene in the house of
Cornelius, it is stated that “the Holy Ghost _fell on_ all them which
heard the word,” and that “_on_ the Gentiles was _poured out_ the gift
of the Holy Ghost.”—Acts x, 44, 45. Peter also, in giving account of
this scene to the church at Jerusalem, stated, with reference to these
facts, that as he began to speak, “the Holy Ghost _fell on them_, _as on
us_ at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how he
said, ... Ye shall be _baptized_ with the Holy Ghost.”—Acts xi, 15, 16.

After the same conception is the language of Paul.—“According to his
mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the
Holy Ghost, which he _shed on us_ abundantly through Jesus Christ our
Savior.—Tit. iii, 5, 6. “Hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of
God (_ekkechutai en_) _is poured_ out on our hearts (_dia_) _through_
the Holy Ghost given us.”—Rom. v, 5. In these places, the words, “shed,”
and, “poured,” which are interchangeably used in the translation,
represent one in the original.

The first point, here, is the manner in which the phenomena of the
occasion were introduced. “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of
a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were
sitting.” That this was designed to be a significant sign, would seem
certain in the presence of all the other significant features of the
occasion. And its meaning is not obscure. From the Greek verb, _pneo_,
to blow, are derived two nouns, _pneuma_ and _pnoē_. These words are
nearly identical in meaning, except that _pneuma_ is by the sacred
writers appropriated to designate the Holy Spirit. It, and the Hebrew
_ruagh_, which is appropriated in a like manner, both mean, primarily,
the air, the wind; and hence, the breath, the soul of man, a spirit, the
Spirit of God. In all these significations, they are found, the one in
the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament, and the other in the Greek
of the Septuagint version. We have seen how largely the figure of water
is used as a symbol of the Spirit. Its chief propriety as thus employed
appears in its effects upon the earth and the creatures, penetrating and
fertilizing the soil, washing away defilement, and refreshing the
thirsty; while as rain from heaven, it traces the descent of the Spirit
from the throne of God. In wind, or air in motion, or the breath, we
have another symbol, familiar in the Scriptures, and equally interesting
and significant. Its peculiar fitness consists in its relation to its
source, as representing the Third Person as the _Spiritus_ or breath,
“which proceedeth from the Father;” and in its nature, as essential to
sustain life in the animate creation. Says the Psalmist, “By the Word of
the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath
(_tō pneumati_, by the Spirit) of his mouth.”—Ps. xxxiii, 6. The word,
_pnoē_, is that which designates the “rushing, mighty _wind_” of
Pentecost. It is used in the Septuagint in the sense of wind, stormy or
violent wind, the breath, the soul, the spirit. Its relation to _pneuma_
may be seen in such places as follow.—“He that giveth _breath_ (_pnoē_)
to the people upon it and _spirit_ (_pneuma_) to them that walk
therein.”—Isa. xlii, 5. “The _spirit_ (_pneuma_) should fail before me,
and the souls (_pnoēn_) which I have made.”—Ibid. lvii, 16. “At the
_blast_ (_pnoēs_) of the _breath_ (_pneumatos_) of His nostrils.”—2 Sam.
xxii, 16. “All the time my _breath_ (_pnoēs_) is in me, and the _Spirit_
(_pneuma_) of God is in my nostrils.”—Job xxvii, 3. “The _Spirit_
(_pneuma_) of God hath made me, and the _breath_ (_pnoē_) of the
Almighty hath given me life.”—Job. xxxiii, 4. In the New Testament, we
have the words of Jesus to Nicodemus,—“The _wind bloweth_ (_pneuma pnei,
the Spirit breatheth_), where it listeth.”—John iii, 8. And in this same
book of the Acts, is the testimony of Paul to the Athenians that—“He
giveth to all, life and _breath_ (_pnoēn_), and all things.”—Acts xvii,
25. Significant to the same purpose is the word, _theo-pneustos_ (_God
breathed_), which describes the Scriptures as the dictate of the Spirit
in the prophets. (2 Tim. iii, 16.) Turning now to another word,—says Dr.
Alexander, “The word (_pheromenē_) translated rushing, is a passive
participle, meaning _borne_, or _carried_, and is properly descriptive
of involuntary motion, caused by a superior power; an idea not suggested
by the active participles, _rushing_, _driving_, or the like; which seem
to make the wind itself the operative agent.”[84] Compare 1 Peter i,
13,—“The grace that is to _be brought_ (_pheromenēn_) unto you;” and 2
Peter i, 21.—“Holy men spake as they (_pheromenoi_) _were moved_ by the
Holy Ghost.” With these notes, let us compare that action of Jesus, in
which he _breathed_ on his disciples, and said to them, “Receive ye the
Holy Ghost.”—John xx, 22. This we must understand as designed by him for
an interpretation of Pentecost. It can mean nothing else. For not till
then was the Spirit to be given.

Footnote 84:

  Alexander on the Acts, _in loco_.

The same figure is fully developed in the prophecy of Ezekiel (xxxvii,
1-14), of the valley of dry bones. “There were very many in the open
valley; and lo, they were very dry.” At the divine command, Ezekiel
prophesied to them,—“O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus
saith the Lord God unto these bones, Behold, I will cause breath to
enter into you, and ye shall live.... And as I prophesied, there was a
noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his
bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them,
and the skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them. Then
said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind.... Come from the four winds, O
breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I
prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them and they
stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.” The vision is
interpreted to the prophet. “These bones are the whole house of
Israel.... Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open
your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you
into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I
have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your
graves, and shall put my Spirit in you and ye shall live.” Ezek. xxxvii,
1-14. Throughout this passage, the words, “wind,” “breath” and “Spirit,”
are in the original the same (Hebrew, _ruāgh_, Greek, _pneuma_), and the
word, “breathe,”—“Come from the four winds, O breath, and _breathe_ upon
these slain,”—is the same that describes the action of the Lord Jesus,
just referred to. If now, in the light of these illustrations, we return
to the account of the Pentecostal scene, we read that “suddenly there
came a sound from heaven as of an outbreathed, mighty breath, and it
filled all the house where they were sitting.... And they were all
filled with the Holy Spirit.” Thus was signified the Spirit of Christ,
as the breath of His life, by Him breathed into His disciples. So
distinctly and profoundly was this idea impressed on the mind of the
primitive church, that it became the occasion of one of the unwarranted
forms which were at an early age added to the Scriptural rite of
baptism. After the interrogation and immediately before the baptism,
there was an exorcism, with an insufflation or breathing in the face of
the person baptized; which Augustine calls a most ancient tradition of
the church.[85] It was meant to signify the expelling of the evil
spirit, and the breathing in of the good Spirit of God.

Footnote 85:

  Augustinus de Nupt. et Concup. II, 29.

In the outbreathing of Pentecost we have the only phenomenon of the day,
that was expressive of the actual performance of the baptism by the Lord
Jesus. It was the specific symbol of the manner of it. Comparing it with
the various other statements above quoted, it appears that of that
baptism, the element was the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus; the
administrator was Jesus seated on the throne of glory; the manner of it
was an outbreathing from him; its coming was by descent,—a shedding down
from the height of his throne to his disciples in Jerusalem; in its
reception, it was a falling upon them; and the result was that they were
all filled with the Holy Spirit, as the breath of their lives. For, in
the symbol as described, they were surrounded as it were with an
atmosphere of the Spirit. “It filled all the house where they were
sitting;” so that they could breathe no other breath.

In this account, the chief interest centers on the source of the
outpouring. And, in fact, the very purpose of the forms of expression
used and of the sensible phenomena which they describe was to direct the
attention of all, upward to that source. To the same effect, was the
whole argument of Peter’s discourse to the multitude. Each position in
it, has this as the end.—“Ye men of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth ye know,
for him ye crucified. Him God raised from the dead and exalted to his
own right hand, and gave the Spirit in all fullness to him. That Spirit
hath he shed down upon us, as ye now see and hear, and thus is shown his
exaltation and power. Therefore let all the house of Israel know,
assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye crucified both
Lord and Christ,—both sovereign over all and that Anointed One who was
promised to David, and heralded by all the prophets, as he that should
sit on David’s conquering throne.”

We have seen how Paul labors to exalt our imaginations to some
proportionate conceptions of the unapproachable height of the throne of
Christ’s glory. And now, in our times, from the day of Pentecost unto
the end, it is signalized in the exercise by him of that highest
prerogative of God, the sending forth of the infinite Spirit. It is shed
down by him from yonder height to this low earth,—down to us worms in
the abyss where we lay, strown in the upas valley of death, to breathe
life into the dead and give salvation to the lost. And to signalize that
height of his exaltation, the depth of his condescension, and the
measureless immensity of his matchless love, the Baptism of Pentecost
was given, its miracles were wrought, and its myriad trophies of
salvation gathered. All these point upward and cry,—“Behold! on high!
Far above all powers and dominions, Jesus fills the throne! Thence he
breathes forth the Spirit of God! Thence he sheds down salvation!”

         SECTION LXVII.—_The New Spirit Imparted on Pentecost._

The previous announcements which heralded the baptism of Pentecost, and
all the attendant facts and statements unite to indicate that in the
very nature of the gift then conferred there was something essentially
new and different from any previous endowments bestowed on the
church,—something by which peculiar honor was reflected on the baptizing
office of the Lord Jesus, upon this its first assumption and exercise.
It is a question to be considered,—What were the new characteristics of
grace now first imparted to the church?

The Holy Spirit was no novelty, now first bestowed. At the coming of
Christ, the Jews were familiar with the doctrine of the personality and
offices of the Third Person of the Godhead. Of this the evidence is
conclusive,—in the story of John’s birth,—in the theme and style of
John’s preaching,—in the facts stated as to the birth, anointing, and
ministry of Christ,—in His manner of reference to the subject in his
teaching,—and especially in his warning as to the sin against the Holy
Ghost, which is only explicable upon the supposition that the doctrine
of the Spirit was familiar to the Jews. The knowledge thus evinced had
its source in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. So full are they on
the subject that there is scarcely an aspect in which it appears in the
New Testament which has not its counterpart in the Old. In them his
agency is distinctly and fully recognized, both in the inspiration of
the prophets, and in the gifts and graces which have been common to
God’s people in all ages. See for example, Psa. li, 11-13; cxliii, 10;
Isa. lxiii, 10, etc. The graces which Paul testifies to be the fruits of
the Spirit (Gal. v, 22; Eph. v, 9), and which are in the above cited
places, by the Old Testament writers referred to the same source, were
abundantly displayed in the saints of the former dispensation, insomuch
that Paul holds them up as ensamples to us. (Heb. xi and xii, 1.) The
Psalms, which gave expression and nourishment to their graces, are never
exhausted by the profoundest attainments of Christian experience. And
with all the lamentable facts of unfaithfulness and apostasy which
darken the pages of Israel’s history, there were periods of fidelity, in
which the church shone in the beauty of holiness, fair and comely in the
eyes of God. In fact, with all the disposition which we sometimes
realize to dwell on the unbelief and apostasies of the twelve tribes,
and lamentable as they were, it is certain that the New Testament church
is in no condition to boast herself against Israel. If we survey the
nominally Christian church, in its various sections—the communions of
Rome and of the east, and of the various Protestant churches in Europe
and America—a just judgment will pronounce them, on the whole, scarcely
less unfaithful and surely more inexcusable than was Israel. Assuredly,
there is no such difference in our favor as to indicate the absence of
the Spirit from the latter, and his peculiar presence with the former.

In what then did the peculiarity of the day of Pentecost consist? To
this question, Peter in his discourse on the occasion, gave an explicit
answer. “This is that which is spoken by the prophet Joel:—And it shall
come to pass, in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit
upon all flesh.”—Acts ii, 16, 17. In this citation of prophecy, and in
the discourse which followed, Peter defined the peculiarities of the
occasion as consisting in three things: First, that the outpouring of
that day was made by the Lord Jesus in person. Second, that the
miraculous phenomena attending it were designed to attest the fact that
He, being risen from the dead and exalted to God’s right hand, was
endowed with supreme and universal authority. Third, that the gifts of
salvation by him dispensed were adapted and designed not for Israel only
but for “all flesh,”—for the world. Thus was implied a change in the
whole aspect of grace, in the hearts of God’s people.

We have formerly seen that God’s entrance into covenant with Israel, at
Sinai, implied a temporary withdrawal of his overtures from the
nations,—“suffering them to walk in their own ways,” (Acts xiv, 16), but
with a distinct assertion of a reserved right, inserted in the covenant
itself,—“For, all the earth is mine.” So long as God “winked at” the
wickedness of the Gentiles, the church had neither commission nor call
to labor for their salvation, nor impulse of grace to look for it. The
doors of salvation and of the church were held open to all, and the word
and ordinances maintained in Zion were an invitation to the world to
enter freely. But, beyond that Israel was not called to go. On the
contrary, she was discouraged from all active or intimate contact or
intercourse with the apostate nations. Her primary and paramount office
and obligation it was to keep her own self pure, and to preserve and
transmit the oracles and ordinances of God faithfully, until the time of
the Messiah. In the meantime, since the operations and graces of the
Spirit can not but be in harmony with the will and purpose of God, his
influences in the hearts of Israel, corresponded with the purpose thus
indicated concerning the nations. For, grace is nothing but harmony of
affections and will with the character and will of God. Grace, in
Israel, was therefore without disseminating zeal or power, as toward the
Gentiles. It contained no impulse to seek their salvation. But, knowing
them as apostate and enemies to God and to his people, and as the
objects of his indignation and wrath, it concurred in that indignation,
and at times gave expression to it, in forms which offend a shallow and
unsanctified criticism. Yet are they no more incongruous to the active
enjoyment and exercise of the profoundest and most abundant measure of
the Spirit’s graces, than is the absence in heaven’s blest inhabitants
of zeal for the welfare of Satan, and their adoring approval of God’s
justice in his doom. All this was rather confirmed than modified by the
fact that the Spirit of prophecy constantly indicated that a day was
coming when all the ends of the earth should see and share in the
salvation of God. The more distinctly it was revealed as the purpose of
God for the future, the more clearly was it seen to be not of the

But, now, the time had come. The Son of man, the Prince Messiah, to whom
was reserved the ingathering of the Gentiles (Gen. xlix, 10), had
assumed the scepter and received the Spirit of life for the nations. The
sanctifying grace of that Spirit must be essentially the same in all
ages and times. But there was now a change in its aspect to the
Gentiles, coincident with the change of the divine attitude toward them.
Instead of the old passive sentiment concerning the world’s
ruin,—instead of the former ardor of indignation against its
ungodliness,—the apostles and the church were now inspired with a divine
pity and beneficent love,—with an active and aggressive zeal for the
conversion of men. While the enclosed water of the laver at the
tabernacle was the symbol of the Spirit’s influences, under the former
dispensation, the increasing river of Ezekiel’s vision is their
representative in the New Testament times. Flowing forth out of Zion,
with a widening and deepening current, it pours its living waters into
the dead sea of our apostate humanity, to the healing of the waters.
This difference in the nature of the Spirit’s influences, now, and of
old, is beautifully exhibited in two figures employed by our Savior, the
distinctive features of which should not be overlooked because of the
points of analogy. Speaking to the woman of Samaria of the personal
blessings which the Spirit bestows, he tells her,—“Whosoever drinketh of
the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I
shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into
everlasting life.”—John iv, 14. A well, within; living, active, but
confined. But, at Jerusalem, at the festival of the pouring of water,
which anticipated the giving of salvation to the Gentiles,—“In the last
day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any
man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as
the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living
water.”—John vii, 37, 38. “_Out_ of his belly shall _flow_.” Here is
grace, not enclosed and restricted in its sphere, but outflowing and
aggressive, disseminating itself without stint or limit. Hence the
explanation which the evangelist adds:—“This spake he of the Spirit
which they that believe on him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was
not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”—Ib. vs. 39.
Hence, also, the selection made by Peter, in explanation of the
Pentecostal scene. Among the prophecies, there are many in which the
outpouring of the Spirit is spoken of. But of them all the apostle
selected that which, in the briefest and completest manner, indicates
the breaking down of the wall of partition. “I will pour out of my
Spirit _upon all flesh_.” This he afterward explains. “For the promise
is unto you, and to your children, and to _all that are afar off_, even
as many as the Lord our God shall call.”—vs. 39.

But there was another point, equally important, in the endowments
bestowed on that memorable day. Heretofore, not only had commission to
the Gentiles been withheld from the church, but gratuitous labors by her
in that behalf would have been necessarily futile, for lack of power
accompanying the word. But, said Jesus to the apostles, “Ye shall
receive _power_, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye
shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”—Acts i, 8. What was
the nature of the power thus given, Paul tells the church of Corinth.
“God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in
our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in
the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”—“And my
speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom,
but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should
not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”—2 Cor. iv, 6,
7; 1 Cor. ii, 4, 5. This illuminating, convincing, and converting power
of the Spirit of God attending the word, remains the perpetual endowment
and authentication of the Christian ministry. In addition to the zeal
and power thus conferred, the apostles were by this baptism invested
with those gifts of courage, wisdom, inspiration, and miracles, which
had been promised by the Savior, and were requisite to qualify them for
their special office and to attest their ministry. (Mark xvi, 17, 18;
Luke xxi, 15-19; John xiv, 26; xvi, 13-15.)

Such was the change wrought by the baptism of Pentecost; such the new
gifts by it conferred. With the coming of God’s set time of mercy to the
world, it awakened in the hearts of his people a zeal for souls of every
class and nation. And it imparted to the word of the gospel a
demonstration and power of converting grace, correspondent to the
breadth of the new commission, and to the saving purposes of our blessed
God, toward an apostate race. In proportion as we, in these latter days,
have part in the baptism and Spirit of Pentecost, will we share in the
same ardor of zeal for the spread of the gospel and the conquest of the
nations to the banner of Christ.

             SECTION LXVIII.—_The Tongues like as of Fire._

Jesus had foretold his disciples that miraculous signs and wonders
should accompany and attest the word of the gospel published by them
(Mark xvi, 17, 18), and the subsequent history gives abundant
illustration of the fulfillment of this promise, in the healing of the
sick, raising the dead and other miracles of power. But the only signs
mentioned on the day of Pentecost are the “rushing mighty wind,” the
“cloven tongues like as of fire,” and the gift of “other tongues.” The
first of these has been already considered. We will now inquire into the
“tongues like as of fire.” “There appeared unto them cloven tongues,
like as of fire; and it sat upon each of them.” Says Alexander,
“_Cloven_ should rather be, _distributed_, so that one sat on each of
them. (Vulg. _linguæ dispertitæ_.) The common version, which implies
that each tongue was divided into two or more, is at variance with the
usage of the Greek verb (_diamerizomenai_), which sometimes denotes
moral separation or estrangement (Luke xi, 17, 18; xii, 52, 53), but
never, physical division. Its usual sense of distribution, or allotment,
may be seen by a comparison of Matt, xxvii, 35; Mark xv, 24; Luke xxii,
17; xxiii, 34; and Acts ii, 45.”[86] “There appeared unto them
distributed tongues like as of fire, and one sat on each of them.” Such
is the literal meaning of the evangelist. These tongues “_appeared_,”
“_like as_ of fire.” Not burning, but brightness or illumination was
their characteristic. They had thus the appearance of burning lamps, and
seem evidently to have been symbols of that divine illumination which
through the ministry of the gospel was about to be given to the
Gentiles. In the tabernacle and temple stood the seven branched golden
candlestick, with its seven lamps, which were by the priests daily
replenished with oil, and kept burning continually. In the opening of
the vision of the Apocalypse, John saw seven golden candlesticks, or
lampstands, in the midst of which was one like the Son of man, in whose
right hand were seven stars. These stars were the burning lamps of the
lampstands. (Compare Rev. i, 12, 13, 16, 20; iii, 1; and iv, 5.) They
were explained to him. The candlesticks were the seven churches of Asia,
and the stars were the angels of the seven churches. There has been some
question among expositors, as to the form of church government
contemplated in this vision. But the most are agreed that, whatever was
the form, the angels were the ministry, conceived as lamps of light
upborne by the churches. By this interpretation, we are led to the same
understanding as to the golden candlestick in the tabernacle and temple,
since the scenery of the Revelation is a recognized transcript from the
temple, which was a pattern of the heavenly things. The seven lamps
shining as stars in the darkness of the sanctuary, through the continual
supply of oil ministered by the priests, were a beautiful type of the
ministry and ordinances of the church of God, shining amid the moral
darkness of the world, through the gifts and graces of the Spirit poured
upon them by Jesus, the great high Priest. The day of Pentecost had been
predicted of old, as the time of the shedding of light upon the Gentiles
by the awakened church. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come and the
glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold the darkness shall
cover the earth and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise
upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall
come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”—Isa. lx,
1-3. By Zacharias, at the birth of John, and by Simeon, at the
presentation of Jesus in the temple, He had been described in this
character,—“The dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to
them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death; to guide our feet
into the way of peace.”—Luke i, 78, 79. Says Simeon, “Mine eyes have
seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all
people,—a _Light_ to lighten the _Gentiles_, and _the glory_ of thy
people Israel.”—Ib. ii, 30-32. John, in the beginning of his gospel
speaks in the same manner,—“In him was life and the life was the Light
of men, and the Light shineth in darkness.”—John i, 4, 5. Jesus had
described the ministry of John, under this figure. “He was a burning and
a shining light.”—John v, 35. He had distinctly foretold his disciples
that they were ordained to be the light of the Gentiles. “Ye are the
light of the world. A city that is set on a hill can not be hid. Neither
do men light a candle (_luchnon_, a lamp), and put it under a bushel,
but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the
house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good
works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”—Matt. v, 14-16. And
now, upon them waiting and expectant, He sheds down the oil of the
Spirit’s grace, kindles a light upon every brow, and inspires them to
utter God’s praises in the tongues of every land; thus, to them
signifying that the time was come to “Arise and shine,” and to others
announcing that the Light of the Gentiles had risen upon the world.

Footnote 86:

  Alexander on the Acts.

               SECTION LXIX.—_The Gift of Other Tongues._

The nature of this gift, and all the circumstances attending it unite in
investing it with a character of peculiar impressiveness, significance
and propriety among the miracles which attested the gospel. Devotional
in its nature, and exercised in celebrating “the wonderful works of
God,” it was an indication of the reception and enjoyment by those on
whom it fell of a large measure of the sanctifying graces of the Spirit.
The report of it, spreading over Jerusalem, was the attraction which
assembled together that vast company, of whom three thousand were
converted that day. The prophetic nature of the sign demonstrated the
identity of the occasion with that predicted by Joel. And the
significance of the scene,—God’s praises uttered in many languages,—as
the anticipation of a world-wide acceptance of the gospel,—brings this
sign into intimate accord with the new spirit of missionary zeal, and
the tongues as of fire, which were the other principal phenomena of the
day. It exhibited, in a figure, all the tribes and tongues of men, till
then immersed in idolatry and darkness, uniting with sudden harmony in a
glad burst of praise to God for the wonderful works of his grace.

The conspicuous position occupied by this gift amid the scenes of
Pentecost and the relation which it sustained to the outpouring of the
Spirit, as being the most observable gift thereby bestowed, occasioned a
manner of expression on the subject in the book of the Acts, which has
led to some misconception and error. It consists in the use of the name
of the Holy Spirit, and of phrases respecting his falling on the
disciples, being received by them, etc., when the subject spoken of is,
not his renewing and invisible graces, but the sensible phenomena which
attested the preaching of the apostles. Thus, Peter, on the day of
Pentecost, having assured the multitude that what they saw and heard was
the fulfillment of the promise, “I will pour out of my Spirit on all
flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy,” and explained
that Jesus having received of the Father the promised Spirit, had shed
forth this “which ye now _see_ and _hear_;” exhorted his hearers to
repent and be baptized, “and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost. For the
promise (by Joel), is to you and to your children (‘your sons and your
daughters’), and to all that are afar off (‘all flesh’).” Here, the
assurance of receiving the Holy Ghost, upon condition of repentance and
baptism, as well as the quotation from Joel, shows that Peter did not
speak of the renewing gift of the Spirit; which precedes and gives
repentance, but of the miraculous gifts which followed, and which they
saw and heard.

Again, upon the mission of Peter and John to Samaria, it is stated that
they prayed for the Samaritans, “that they might receive the Holy Ghost.
For as yet he was fallen upon none of them; only they were baptized in
the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they
received the Holy Ghost.”—Acts viii, 14-17. Here, no distinct mention is
made of miraculous endowments. But the manner in which the gift was
imparted, the fact that they were already believers, and especially the
proposal of Simon magus, on the occasion, show that it was miraculous
gifts that were conferred. The sorcerer would have offered no money for
the invisible renewing and sanctifying graces of the Spirit. “Simon
_saw_ that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost
was given.” And what he saw was what he sought to purchase. These
perceptible and miraculous signs were therefore the things intended in
the expressions used, as to the receiving of the Holy Ghost, and his
falling upon the disciples.

The same manner of expression is seen in the account of Paul’s interview
with certain disciples of John at Ephesus. (Acts xix, 1-7.) Paul asked
them, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost, since ye believed?” So reads the
common version. But it should be,—“(_Elabete, pisteusantes_), Did ye,
upon believing receive the Holy Ghost?” The question had reference to
the time of their first reception of the gospel. The apostle predicates
his question upon the assumption that these men were believers; and he
elsewhere testifies that faith is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is
thus evident, as the sequel also shows, that it was not the ordinary
graces of the Spirit of which Paul inquired, but his extraordinary
gifts. Such being the purport of his question, the answer is to be
interpreted in accordance with it. “They said unto him, We have not so
much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” That is, We have not
heard of the miraculous gifts. “And he said unto them, Unto what then
were ye baptized? And they said unto him, Unto John’s baptism.” So
intimately was Christian baptism related to the baptism and miracles of
Pentecost, that Paul could not imagine any one to have received the
former, and yet remain ignorant of the latter. To suppose, as do some,
that these disciples of John meant to declare themselves ignorant of the
existence of the Third Person of the Godhead, is little short of a
contradiction in terms, in view of the essential place which was given
to the Spirit in John’s teachings,—even were we to ignore the Old
Testament testimonies, of which John’s disciples can not have been
ignorant. What they meant, is manifest from the whole tenor of the
narrative. In the result, the Holy Ghost was bestowed on them by the
laying on of Paul’s hands, “and they spake with tongues, and
prophesied.” That was the subject of Paul’s inquiry,—the subject on
which they were ignorant. And the form of expression is another example
of the style of language which we have seen running through the pages of
the Acts on the subject.

In striking coincidence with the relation of this sign, as representing
the dissemination of the gospel to the nations of the Gentiles was the
order of its manifestation. The command of Jesus was that the gospel
should be preached “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and
unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” Precisely this was the order of
manifestation of the gift of tongues. First, it was given to the
disciples assembled in Jerusalem and representing all Judea, on the day
of Pentecost. Then Philip having preached in Samaria, to the conversion
of many, Peter and John were sent thither; and by the laying on of their
hands, the gift was conferred upon the Samaritans. (Acts viii, 12-17.)
Afterward, Peter was called to the house of the Gentile, Cornelius, and
upon his preaching, “the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the
word,” and they spake with tongues and magnified God. (Acts x, 44-47.)
Beside these, there is but one other account, in which the manner of the
gift is indicated. It is the case already mentioned, of the disciples of
John in Ephesus. Respecting this sign, the following points are to be

1. As to its nature, it came under the general designation of prophecy,
being an inspired utterance of the praises of God (Luke i, 67, 68), in
which in the beginning at least, all the assembly, men and women united.
(Acts i, 14; ii, 1, 4, 11; 1 Cor. xi, 5.) As such, Peter declared it to
be a fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel. “Your sons and your daughters
shall prophesy.... And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour
out of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.”—vs. 17, 18. In this
exercise, while the hearts and affections of the speakers were edified
by the Spirit, in connection with the utterances thus inspired, their
understandings did not ordinarily apprehend the meaning. (1 Cor. xiv, 2,
4, 13, 14, 18, 19, 28. Compare Rom. viii, 26, 27.) It was in “another
tongue” than that which was native to the speaker, and usually to him an
“unknown tongue.”

2. It was not, therefore, designed to facilitate the labors of the
apostles, by enabling them to preach in foreign languages; and there is
no reason to believe that it was ever so used. The Scriptures are silent
on the subject, and the traditions of the primitive church to that
effect are worthless. Its design seems to have been two-fold,—the
edifying of those upon whom the gift was bestowed;—and, for a sign to
the hearers. (1 Cor. xiv, 22.) Of what it was a sign, intimation has
been, already, given. It was a token that henceforth the Spirit of all
grace would be bestowed as freely, and work as effectually, in the
hearts of Gentiles, as of the Jews; and that God’s praises thus inspired
would be equally acceptable to him in every tongue and from every

3. Being intended as a sign of the ingathering of the Gentiles, it seems
at first, and until the minds of the disciples had become fully imbued
with that idea, to have been very abundantly bestowed, and especially at
Jerusalem, the centre whence the healing waters, were to flow. In fact,
its value as a great public sign depended materially upon the abundance
of the gift, whereby, as on the first occasion, it presented a figure of
all nations uniting in the worship of the true God and our Savior. But
as the idea became familiar to the mind of the church, and the churches
of the Gentiles multiplied, this gift seems to have fallen gradually
into a subordinate place, among the many with which the church was
endowed. (1 Cor. xii, 1-10.) The occasion of its importance as a public
sign having passed away, its chief value now consisted in the spiritual
edification which was ministered to the possessors themselves, in its
exercise (Ib. xiv); and it gradually disappeared from the church.

4. As the apostles were the official witnesses, appointed by the Lord
Jesus to testify of his resurrection and exaltation to the baptizing
throne, this sign was at first given in immediate connection with, and
confirmation of, their personal testimony. It was also, with a like
intimate relation to their witnessing office, conferred by the laying on
of their hands, upon disciples who had been gathered in by the ministry
of others. Apart from the personal presence and ministry of the
apostles, in one or other of these forms, there is no Scriptural
intimation, nor reason to believe, that it was ever bestowed.

  SECTION LXX.—_The Baptism of Repentance for the Remission of Sins._

We have yet to contemplate the chief and crowning glory of Pentecost.
The endowments conferred on the apostles, and the new spirit infused
into the church, were but subsidiary means; glorious indeed; but only as
they ministered to a more glorious end. The signs and wonders of the day
were but an index hand which pointed away from themselves, and directed
all interest and attention to that end. It appears, in the baptism of
repentance, then first administered by the ascended Savior from his
throne; the first fruits of which were the three thousand converts of
that day, and the harvest of which still coming in, will only then be
complete, when all his redeemed shall have been gathered from every
nation and kindred and people and tongue.

The baptism of John is called “the baptism of repentance.”—Acts xix, 4.
But it was so, only as the rock in the wilderness was Christ; only as
the bread and cup of the supper are the body and blood of the Lord. “The
baptism of repentance, for the remission of sins” which he preached
(Mark i, 4), was not his own. He preached “saying that they should
believe on him that should come after him, that is, on Christ
Jesus.”—Acts xix, 4. He confessed his own weakness, and the emptiness
and futility of his own baptism, which was only a symbol, calling men to
repentance, but without power to confer it. “I, indeed baptize you with
water, unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I,
whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy
Ghost.”—Matt. iii, 11. Jesus, after his resurrection, told his
disciples,—“Thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ to suffer,
and to rise from the dead the third day; and that _repentance and
remission_ of sins should be preached in _his_ name, among all
nations.”—Luke xxiv, 46, 47. A few days after the baptism of Pentecost
had been received, Peter, in the presence of the rulers of Israel,
testified.—“Him hath God exalted with his right hand; a Prince and
Savior, for to _give repentance_ to Israel, and the _forgiveness of
sins_.” Acts v, 31. “The forgiveness of sins,” here, is the same in the
original, as “the remission of sins,” in the other places, and
especially in the statement concerning John’s preaching. This identity
of language is undoubtedly designed to indicate identity of subject. The
baptism which John preached,—that of which his own was the figure,—was
the true baptism of repentance and remission, which Jesus was enthroned
to dispense,—the baptism which, on the day of Pentecost, he bestowed, by
the outpouring of the Spirit, whose office it is to work repentance and
to seal remission. The doctrine concerning this baptism, may be thus
briefly summed. By it, as given by the Lord Jesus, the Spirit is
breathed into the subjects of grace, entering them as a Spirit of life.
This is regeneration, the immediate effect of which is a new nature
formed after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness. The
indwelling Spirit and the new nature, inspired by him, lust against the
flesh and loathe sin; and by consequence induce a true repentance and
turning from it, and a pursuit after holiness. At the same time, the
Spirit with which they are baptized, being in Christ as the head and
source of life to all the body, and in them as members, unites them to
Him by such a tie,—the tie of the one infinite Spirit common to both; so
that they are, with him, one body, and therefore, in him, partake in the
merits of his righteousness, and in it are justified.

In that last discourse of our Savior, to which we have already so fully
referred,—that discourse which was an immediate anticipation and
prophecy of Pentecost,—this subject is presented in a form of great
interest and prominence. In fact, the thoughtful reader will find that
entire discourse to center upon the two correlative ideas of the unity
of the Persons in the Godhead, and the unity of believers, in Christ.
Moreover, these two doctrines are presented as sustaining the most
intimate relation to each other. In answer to Philip’s request, “Lord
show us the Father,” Jesus emphasizes with reiteration his own unity
with the Father, and exhorts the disciples, “Believe me that I am in the
Father and the Father in me.” Then, having promised to secure for them
the presence and illumination of the Comforter, he says, “Yet a little
while and the world seeth me no more, but ye see me; because I live, ye
shall live also. At that day, _ye shall know_ that _I_ am _in my
Father_, and _ye in me and I in you_.”—John xiv, 8-11, 19, 20. This he
illustrates by a parable. “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that
abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for
without me (severed from me) ye can do nothing.”—Ib. xv, 1-8. In the
wonderful prayer which closed that discourse, Jesus recurs to this
theme, in language which from any other lips would have seemed profane,
so closely does he identify us with the glory of the Godhead. “Neither
pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me
through their word, that they all may be one; as thou Father art in me,
and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may
believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I
have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them,
and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world
may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved
me.”—Ib. xvii, 20-23. The “glory” which the Father gave the Son and
Jesus gives his people, “that they may be one,” is the Holy Spirit, who
is called “the Spirit of glory and of God,” who rests on his people (1
Peter iv, 14), and “the glory of the Father,” by whom Christ was raised
from the dead. (Rom. vi, 4. Compare viii, 11; and 1 Peter iii, 18.)

Such is the relation which by the baptism of the Spirit is established
between Christ and the Father and believers. Touching the manner and
process of it, the following are the most important points.

1. Each Person of the Godhead severally co-operates in this work of
grace. The Father is its Author and source, by whom the Son was
commissioned for its execution and the Spirit given him to that end.
Hence, this gift of the Spirit to the people of God, whilst made through
the Son, is constantly referred to the Father, as being primarily and
essentially his gift. The Son, having purchased salvation through the
blood of his cross, is commissioned as sovereign administrator, to
dispense it to the redeemed,—“to give eternal life to as many as the
Father hath given him.”—John xvii, 2. In fulfilling this office, he, as
the Father’s representative and likeness, “can do nothing of himself,
but what he seeth the Father do.” And as the Father, having life in
himself, has given to the Son to have life in himself, and to quicken
whom he will (John v, 19-30), he bestows his salvation and quickens his
people, by shedding on them that Spirit of life which the Father shed on
him. The Spirit, thus given, dwells in the believer in his own proper
character, as being the efficient cause of life and holiness.

2. All is postulated upon the fact that the Spirit, as given to and
dwelling in all fullness in the Lord Jesus, is the principle and spirit
of his life; by which he was born of the virgin; by which he lived in
holiness, and offered himself a spotless victim to justice; by which he
was quickened and rose from the dead, and which, as his Spirit, the
breath of his nostrils, he now breathes into whom he will.

3. In baptizing his people, he imparts to them the same Spirit which is
thus in him, to be in them the Spirit of life, making their bodies his
temples and instruments (1 Cor. vi, 19; Rom. vi, 13); and their souls
the subjects of his pervasive and transforming power. (Rom. viii, 4, 5.)

4. In this baptism, the Holy Spirit is not sent as an outside messenger
or agent,—a third party coming _from_ Jesus to the objects of his grace.
To impress us with the height of his throne and the exaltation of his
majesty, he says, “I will _send_ him unto you.” But, in the same
discourse, he also says, “At that day ye shall know that I am in my
Father, and ye in me and I in you;” and moreover promises, that “If a
man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and
_we_ will come unto him and make our abode with him.”—John xiv, 20, 23.
The Father and the Son are just as nigh the believer as is the Holy
Spirit, whose office it is to attest their presence and interpret their
communications to the soul. Since the Spirit is “the Spirit of
Christ,”—is given to him and remains in him in all fullness, it follows,
that only in him, can any one receive or enjoy the indwelling and graces
of the Spirit. Hence, the style in which, in the narrative of Pentecost,
the baptism is spoken of, not as the sending of a person, but the
shedding down of an element. “He hath shed forth _this_.”[87] Hence the
manner in which, in Peter’s quotation from Joel, it is repeatedly said,
“I will pour out _of_ my Spirit.”—Acts ii, 17, 18. And hence the
interpretation which Jesus, by anticipation, gave to the Pentecostal
baptism; when he breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive ye the
Holy Ghost;” and the sign of the outbreathed mighty breath. Hence Paul’s
testimony,—“Your life is hid with Christ in God;” and his declaration as
to himself,—“I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Christ and his
people breathe one Spirit and live one life. Baptized by that one Spirit
into one body, and all made to drink of that one Spirit, they are thus
one with him, “members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones.”—Eph.
v, 30. This union is only less close and intimate than that of the
Father and the Son. (John xvii, 21.) On it depends the whole process of
justification and grace.

Footnote 87:

  Τουτο, in the neuter gender.

            SECTION LXXI.—_Paul’s Doctrine of this Baptism._

Paul, in one brief sentence gives a comprehensive view of the manner and
results of this Baptism. “After that the kindness and love of God our
Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have
done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us
abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by his
grace, we should be made heirs, according to the hope of eternal
life.”—Titus iii, 4-7.

Here, an amendment is proposed, in the fifth verse, so as to read,—“the
_laver_ (_loutrou_) of regeneration. Bishop Ellicott declares this
rendering to be “indisputable.”[88] Other expositors favor it, and the
Committees of revision of the New Testament have honored it by inserting
the word, in the margin of the Revised Version, here, and in Eph. v, 26.
A rendering thus importunate and intrusive, necessitates a critical
examination. The first point to be noticed is that the word, laver, is
ambiguous; and in the sense which is assumed in its insertion in the
text, is without warrant in the Greek language or customs. “We know very
little of the baths of the Athenians during the republican period; for
the account of Lucian, in his Hippias, relates to baths constructed
after the Roman model. On ancient vases, on which persons are
represented bathing, we never find any thing corresponding to a modern
bath, in which persons can stand or sit; but there is always a round or
oval basin (_loutēr_ or _loutērion_), resting on a stand, by the side of
which those who are bathing are represented standing undressed and
washing themselves, as seen in the following wood-cut, taken from Sir.
W. Hamilton’s vases.”[89] The vessels used by the Greeks in bathing
were, (1) the _asaminthos_, in which, sometimes, the bather sat, while
the water was poured over him, as we have seen in the bath of Ulysses;
(2) the _loutēr_, the _laver_, a vessel neither in size nor proportions
adapted to the purposes of immersion, nor ever so employed, but designed
and used as a containing vessel for the water; (3) the pitcher or dipper
(_arutaina_), with which water was taken from the laver, and poured over
the bather. There was no bath tub, nor provision of any kind for
immersion. The mode of bathing appears in the story, in Theophrastus, of
one who entered the bathroom (_balaneion_), and not being promptly
waited on, dipping the ladle, (_arutaina_), poured it over his own
person, and declared himself bathed, “no thanks to you.”[90]

Footnote 88:

  Ellicott’s Commentary, on Eph. v, 26. On the mode of baptism,
  circumstances detract greatly from the authority of divines of the
  English church. The doctrine of that body on the prerogative of the
  church to ordain rites and ceremonies has a double effect. On the one
  hand, it takes away the motive to a thorough study of the Scriptural
  evidence on the subject. On the other, it induces a sense of
  satisfaction in admitting that the apostolic mode of baptism was by
  immersion, and then pointing to the contrary form now in use, as an
  illustration of the exercise of the church’s authority over the
  matter. When to this is added the veneration cherished for “the
  primitive church” of the third and fourth centuries, in which
  immersion had gained extensive footing, and the recognition of that
  form in the rubric for baptism, hereafter quoted (below, p. 354), we
  will be justified in looking farther before accepting, as conclusive,
  the judgment, however pronounced, of divines of that church.

Footnote 89:

  Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, _article_,
  “Balneæ.” The engravings referred to, will be found on pages 200, 207,

Footnote 90:

  Βάψας ἀρύταιναν, αὐτος ἑαυτον καταχέασθαι, καὶ ειπεν ὃτι λέλουται.
  Theophrastus, Char. 16 (9).

The word _loutron_ was used, (1) for the _water_ of the bath. In
Athenæus, the question is asked, why _hot springs_ (_therma loutra_),
appearing out of the ground, are by all declared sacred to Hercules, if
warm bathing was an unmanly luxury, as some asserted.[91] To the same
point, in Aristophanes, the question occurs,—“Where did you ever see
cold Heracleian _baths_ (_loutra_)?”[92] In Sophocles, Œdipus directs
his daughters “to bring a _bath_ (_loutra_) of running waters.”[93]
Homer represents the curly headed Hecameda heating a warm _bath_
(_loetra_).[94] And Euripides describes Antigone pleading to be allowed
“to pour _waters_ (_loutra_) over the corpse” of Polynices;[95] that is,
to bathe it for burial. In this use of the word, together with the mode
of bathing by the pouring of successive dippers, or waters, over the
person, is explained the fact that the word is very rarely found in the
singular number, and in Homer, the oldest of the classics, never;
although in its plural form (_loetra_, contract, _loutra_), it
frequently occurs in his poems. This fact is very strongly against the
supposition that the word contained any allusion to the bathing vessel,
which would demand the singular number.

Footnote 91:

  Athenæus, Deipnosoph. xii, 6 (512).

Footnote 92:

  Aristophanes, Nub. 1051.

Footnote 93:

  Ἡνώγει ῥυτῶν ὑδάτων ἐνεγκεῖν λουτρὰ. Soph., Œd. Col. 1598.

Footnote 94:

  Εἰσόκε θερμὰ λοετρὰ ἐϋπλόκαμος Ἑκαμήδη θερμήνη.—Iliad xiv, 6.

Footnote 95:

  Σὺ δ’ ἀλλὰ νεκρῷ λουτρὰ περιβαλεῖν μ’ ἕα.—Eurip., Phoen. 1667.

The word designated (2.) the _washing_ which was accomplished by the
water. In the comedies of Aristophanes, the women in revolt, warn the
men who threaten to assail them,—“If you happen to have soap, we will
give you _a bath_ (_loutron_);” which they do, by dashing buckets of
water over them. Thereupon, the men run to the police, complaining,—“Do
you not know what a _washing_ (_loutron_) these have washed us, just
now, and that in our clothes, and without soap?”[96] The idiomatic
expression here (“to wash a washing”), indicates how very close is the
relation between the verb _louo_, to wash, and its derivative,
_loutron_, a washing. The one expresses the action, or doing; the other,
the thing done. The same idiom presents itself in Antigone’s account of
the obsequies of her slain brother Polynices. “Washing it a pure washing
(_lousantes agnon loutron_),” they gathered leaves, and burned “the poor

Footnote 96:

  Οὐκ οἶσθα λουτρὸν οἷον αἵδ’ ἡμᾶς ἕλουσαν ἄρτι.—Aristophanes, Lysist.
  377, 469.

Footnote 97:

  Sophocles, Antigone, 1201.

As bathing was performed by the outpouring of water on the person, the
word was thence used (3.) to designate libations, performed by a like
outpouring of water, in honor of gods or heroes. Thus, Agamemnon having
been murdered at the instigation of his wife Clytemnestra, Orestes pours
(_loutra_) _libations_ at his father’s tomb;[98] and Electra dissuades
her sister Chrysothemis from fulfilling her mother’s commission, to
offer (_loutra_) _libations_ at the same place, as a means of averting
coming vengeance.[99]

Footnote 98:

  Πατρὸς χέοντες λουτρά. Sophocles. Elect. 84.

Footnote 99:

  Οὐδε λουτρὰ προσφέρειν πατρί. Ib. 434.

The word designates (4.) a bathing place. Plutarch describes Alexander
as speaking of “having washed off the sweat of battle (_loutrō_) _with
the bath_ of Darius.”[100] In such passages, the controlling idea is not
a supposed bathing vessel, but the cleansing water of the bath; as is
here indicated by the form of the participle “(_apolousamenoi_), having
washed off;” and by the instrumental dative “(_loutrō_), _with the
bath_;” which show that, whatever the construction of the bathing place
of Darius, the Greek mode was present in the mind of Alexander. The idea
of _loutron_ is further illustrated by its compounds. At Athens, before
a marriage, the bride was bathed with water brought from the fountain of
Callirhoe, by a young girl, who was hence called (_hē loutrophoros_),
“the bath-water carrier.” So, the fee for the privilege of the bath,
was, _epiloutron_,—_for the bath_.

Footnote 100:

  Ἰῶμεν, ἀπολουσάμενοι τόν ἀπο τῆς μαχῆς ἱδρώτα τῷ Δαρειοῦ λουτρῷ.
  Plutarch, Alexand. 20.

The voice of the classics is clearly against the rendering in question.
The fact that the Greeks are entirely silent as to a washing by
immersion, or any vessel for the purpose,—the distinct name of _loutēr_
given to the only vessel that contained water,—the bathing performed by
pouring,—the use of _loutron_ to express such bathing, and to designate
the water itself, where there was no vessel, and libations, in which
there was water poured out, but no laver, nor bathing,—the primitive and
peculiar employment of the word in the plural number,—and the
derivatives formed from it, all inure to the one conclusion. At least,
in classic Greek, _loutron_ does not mean, a _laver_, but _water_ for
washing, and the _washing_ accomplished by it; and that, with intimate
reference to its affusion on the person.

Nor does the Hellenistic Greek utter a different testimony. In the Song
of Songs, it is said,—“Thy teeth are like a flock, shorn, which came up
_from the washing_ (_apo tou loutrou_).” So reads the Septuagint. From
Ecclesiasticus (above, p. 169) we have the proverb, “He that is baptized
from the dead, and again toucheth the dead, what availeth his _washing_
(_loutrō_)?” Here, cleansing by the sprinkled water of separation is
called _loutron_, a washing. So Philo (above, p. 175) describes the
purifying rites, the _washings_ (_loutra_) and the sprinklings, of the
Jews. Josephus says of the two springs of Machærus, near the Dead Sea,
the one hot, and the other cold, that “when mingled together they make a
most pleasant _bath_ (_loutron_).”[101] And Paul, himself, writes that
Christ gave himself for the church, “that he might cleanse it, purifying
it with _the washing_ (_tō loutrō_) of water.” Here the new version must
either make nonsense of the passage, or do violence to the Greek. Either
it must read, “purifying it _with_ the laver,” that is, with the bath
tub, not the washing; or, “_in_ the laver,” a rendering forbidden by the
instrumental dative (_tō loutrō_.)

Footnote 101:

  Jewish War. VII, vi, 3.

On the other hand, in more than a dozen places,—wherever the lavers of
the tabernacle and the temple are mentioned, the Septuagint is
_loutēr_,—the same word, in the same sense in which it was used by the
Greeks to designate the containing vessel. In a word, neither in the
classics, nor in Hellenistic Greek, is _loutron_ ever found in the sense
of a laver, or bathing vessel. Or, if it is so used, the Lexicons ignore
it; Stephanus, in his great Thesaurus, knows nothing of it; and the
advocates of that rendering do not adduce it. And were such example
found, it would be wholly insignificant as to the interpretation of
Paul, in presence of all these facts.

If now, we ask for the evidence in favor of the new version, the answer
presents two points,—_first_, that certain versions of the New
Testament,—the Vulgate, Claromontanus, Syriac, and Gothic,—have so
translated _loutron_; and _second_, that in accordance with Greek usage,
the termination, _on_ (loutr_on_), justifies the assumption that the
word designates an instrumental object. As to the first
consideration,—it may be asserted with confidence that we are as fully
possessed of the means of determining the question as were the unknown
authors of those versions; and the growing prevalence at that time, of a
ritualistic spirit in the church, and the consequent introduction of the
form of immersion, sufficiently account for the rendering, apart from
any critical considerations. Respecting the termination, _on_, the
number of examples in which it is found in words that designate
instrumental objects is too few to establish a rule. But were it
accepted as decisive, the whole weight of its authority is against,
instead of being in favor of the proposed amendment. A laver, and
especially a Greek laver, is no instrument of bathing. Perhaps the
_arutaina_, the dipper, might be so called. But the _water_ and the
_washing_, each are instrumental causes of _the cleansing_, the
salvation; of which, in the text, the apostle says,—“he saved us (_dia
loutrō_) _by means of the washing_.” Nor do the classics ignore this
relation. Plato (above, p. 181) asks concerning “the _washings_
(_loutra_) and sprinklings,”—“Are they not effectual to one end, to
render a man pure, both as to body and soul?”

In the text, _loutron_ means, the washing, but with intimate reference
to the water as the means,—a sense which we have just seen illustrated
from the classics. Strictly, the regeneration is the washing, of which
the water is the instrument. The figure thus used, the apostle
immediately explains. “The washing of regeneration, even the renewing of
the Holy Ghost.” As water is the instrument of washing, so the Spirit
shed down by Jesus Christ is the instrument of that spiritual work which
is indicated alike by the two identical words, regeneration, and
renewing. Paul then proceeds with the pronoun “which,”—equally
appropriate, in the construction of the original, to the water
(_loutrou_), or to the Holy Spirit, as its antecedent; and, in fact,
referring to both, as identified in one,—“which water, even the Spirit,
he shed on us abundantly (_dia_) by the hand of Jesus Christ.” Orestes
speaks of himself and companions “(_cheontes loutra_) pouring water” of
libation at the tomb. So Paul speaks of “(_loutrou hon execheen_) the
water of cleansing which He shed forth on us.” In the latter case, the
prefix, _ex_, emphasizes the source of the outpouring, but otherwise the
conception and action of the two passages is the same. By the hand of
his Son, God the Father from on high sheds his Spirit, and baptizes us
with his renewing power. Thereby united to the Lord Jesus, we are thus
invested with his righteousness, and so, says the text, “are justified
by his grace.” And since by the same union we share his relation as
Son;—“if sons, then heirs,” “according to the hope of eternal life.”

This baptism of the Spirit is the theme of frequent discussion in Paul’s
writings. He particularly dwells on it as being the instrumental cause
of that intimate unity which exists in the body of Christ, and of
equality in privilege among all the members, Jews and Gentiles. “As the
body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one
body, being many are one body, so also is Christ. For, by one Spirit are
we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether
we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink one Spirit.... Now
ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”—1 Cor. xii,
12-14, 27. Here, the figure of baptism is followed up by the expression,
“have been all made to drink one Spirit;”—literally, “have been all
watered with one Spirit.” The preposition, (_eis_) “_into_ one Spirit,”
is rejected by the critical editors as spurious; and the verb (_potizo_)
means, to _apply_ water, either externally or internally,—to water, to
cause to drink. Compare in the same epistle, 1 Cor. iii, 2, “I have _fed
you_ (_epotisa_) with milk;” and 6-8,—“Apollos _watered_ (_epotisen_).”

The same point is set forth in another epistle—“Endeavoring to keep the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one
Spirit; even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one
faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and
through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace,
according to the measure of the gift of Christ.... That we henceforth be
no more children, ... but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into
him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ, from whom the whole
body, fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint
supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every
part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in
love.”—Eph. iv, 3-16.

That the “one baptism” here spoken of is that wherein, “by one Spirit we
are all baptized into one body,” is manifest from the connection and the
analogy of the other passages here presented above and below. To suppose
it to be water baptism, would be to make the apostle exclude that
spiritual and real baptism of which water baptism is the shadow, and to
which, in all his writings, he constantly gives so much importance as
the means of the union which he here discusses.

In another place, the apostle represents this baptism as merging all
other relations in the one tie of identity with Christ. “As many of you
as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither
Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor
female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then
are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—Gal. iii,
27-29. Here, again, it is clear that the baptism spoken of is that of
the Spirit. The oneness with Christ, thus complete by this baptism, Paul
uses as a powerful argument of the duty of his people to be dead to the
world that crucified him, dead to sin and all the works of the old man,
and alive only to God. (Rom. vi, 3-6; Col. ii, 9-11.) These passages
will receive special consideration hereafter.

The unity of conception which pervades these Scriptures is manifest, and
makes it evident that they all contemplate one and the same baptism,
that in which by one Spirit all Christ’s people are baptized into one
body, the spiritual body of Christ.

Touching the nature of this baptism, the following are the chief

1. The entrance of the Spirit shed down by Jesus is regeneration, or the
new birth. It is the imparting of new life to the soul,—the introduction
of a principle of grace, “the new man,” which, like its source, the
eternal Spirit, is immortal and supreme wherever it exists; and which,
sustained and nourished by the indwelling Spirit, will grow and expand
until it gains full and exclusive possession of all the faculties and
powers, making the soul its seat, the body its temple, and the members
its instruments.

2. Coincident with this is the death of the old man, the destruction of
the controlling principle and power of evil in the soul. Hitherto, it
reigned supreme. But now, slain; and, cast out, it remains, a “body of
death” in the members; offensive in its corruption, and by its
loathsomeness acting as a stimulus to the opposing principle of grace.
(Rom. vii, 24.)

3. The result is, that whereas, formerly, the sinful affections “did
work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death,” “now, being made
free from sin and become servants to God,” his people have “their fruit
unto holiness.”—Rom. vii, 5; vi, 22.

4. The Spirit thus given is not a transient influence; but is within the
believer, a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life;—a
well, from which it is his privilege at all times to drink of that one
Spirit. Thereby, “to every one of us is given grace according to the
measure of the gift of Christ;” so that we “grow up into him in all
things which is the Head, even Christ.”—Eph. iv, 7, 15. Thus grace is
nourished, in preparation for glory.

5. While such are the effects of this baptism on the spiritual condition
of the redeemed, equally important are its influences on their external
relations. The first is their justification. United to the Lord Jesus,
as members of his body, the consequence is that their sins are laid to
the charge of their Head, and satisfaction for them credited to the
blood of his cross. On the other hand, his righteousness is recognized
as theirs, and in it they stand, not only pardoned, but justified;
approved, and entitled to the inheritance of glory. They are “accepted
_in_ the Beloved; _in_ whom we have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace.”—Eph. i, 6, 7.

6. Another result is their reception to the relation and privileges of
children of God. Born of the Spirit,—born of God, they are thus by
inheritance children. Members of Christ,—the first-born, the eternal
Son,—they share in his relation, and are in him sons; and if sons then
heirs;—heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.

7. The final result is the resurrection unto glory. “If the Spirit of
him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up
Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his
Spirit that dwelleth in you.”—Rom. viii, 11.

Such is the one baptism, of which all ritual baptisms are mere shadowy
symbols,—the baptism which Paul proclaims,—“One Lord, one faith, one
baptism” (Eph. iv, 5), a baptism, one and alone from its very nature, as
dispensed by the one only Mediator, in the bestowal of that one Spirit,
which belongs to and is therefore imparted by him alone. Thus have we
the perfect antitype of the baptisms of the Old Testament,—the
administrator, Jesus the great High Priest; the element, that living
water, the Holy Spirit; the mode, his outpouring upon us from heaven;
the effect, washing to the corrupt,—life to the dead. By this means,
does our Baptizer bestow on his people all grace for the present time,
and the resurrection and glory in the end.

                 SECTION LXXII.—_Noah Saved by Water._

Beside the places before cited, one remains to be noticed. It is 1 Peter
iii, 17-22. There are some various readings in the MSS., although none
that materially affect the interpretation. Adopting what seem the best,
the passage is as follows:—“It is better, if the will of God be so, that
ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ, also, once
suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to
God, being put to death as to the flesh, but quickened as to the Spirit.
By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison, formerly
disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah,
while the ark was preparing, in which few, that is, eight, souls were
saved by water. You also now antitype baptism saves (not the putting
away of the filth of the flesh, but [conformity to] the demand of a good
conscience toward God); by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead; who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels
and authorities and powers being subjected to him.”

Both Peter and those to whom his epistles were addressed, were familiar
with Paul’s writings. (2 Peter iii, 15, 16.) In the passage here cited,
the preacher of the day of Pentecost speaks of that Spirit baptism the
beginning of which he had then witnessed, in a style which constantly
reminds us of the language and manner of Paul, on the same subject. If
Peter speaks of Christ as having been “quickened by the Spirit,” or
rather “quickened as to the spirit,” Paul tells us that thus he became,
“a quickening spirit.”—1 Cor. xv, 45. If Peter states that “antitype
baptism now saves us,” the baptism, that is, of the Spirit, of which
water baptism is the type,—Paul says that “He saves us by the washing of
regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us
abundantly through Jesus Christ.”—Tit. iii, 5. Peter represents this
baptism as saving us “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead;” and Paul, to the same effect, testifies that “even when we were
dead in sins God hath quickened us together with him and hath raised us
up together” (Eph. ii, 1, 4-6); and that we are “buried with him in the
baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him, through the faith of the
operation of God who hath raised him from the dead.”—Col. ii, 12. To the
account which, on the day of Pentecost, Peter gave of the exaltation of
the Lord Jesus to God’s right hand, he here adds,—“angels and
authorities and powers being subject to him,”—language in which we
recognize the style of Paul’s repeated descants on the same theme. (Eph.
i, 20, 21; Col. i, 16; ii, 10.) As Peter’s language is so thoroughly
imbued with the style of thought and expression of Paul, we need not
hesitate to interpret the passage by the doctrine of the great apostle
of the Gentiles.

The design of Peter is, to encourage the people of God in the endurance
of injustice and persecution for righteousness sake. His first argument
is the example of Christ, who suffered patiently the just for the
unjust, “being put to death as to the flesh,” that is, “as to his
natural life,” “but quickened as to the Spirit,” inasmuch as his death
was to him the exhausting of the curse under which he died, and was,
therefore, the release of the Spirit of life which was in him, from all
restraint upon his quickening energies, by which, therefore, he rose
from the dead. Thus, the very sufferings of his death were his door of
entrance into life. Unexpressed, but latent in the apostles’ argument is
the fact which, on the same subject, he states, in his second epistle,
that “the longsuffering of the Lord is salvation” (2 Peter iii, 15),
that having so pitied the ungodly as to die for them, praying for his
enemies on the very cross, he now spares the persecutors of his people,
if possibly they may repent (2 Peter iii, 9), and that, in the end, “the
Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations” (or
persecutions), “and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be
punished.”—Ib. ii, 9. This, he illustrates by the case of Noah and the
old world. The question as to “the spirits in prison” (Vs. 19), does not
belong to the present inquiry. The point of interest is the eight souls
“saved by water.”—Vs. 20. To understand this, it is necessary to keep it
distinctly in mind that the point to which the apostle’s argument is
directed is,—the righteous suffering persecution, and the persecutors
spared. He assumes what can not but have been the fact, that during the
one hundred and twenty years of the building of the ark, Noah, “a
preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter ii, 5), was exposed to bitter
persecution. If we consider that “the earth was filled with violence”
(Gen. vi, 11-13), that Noah’s preaching could not but be exceedingly
offensive to those whose wickedness he reproved, and that his holy life,
as “he walked with God,” and his building of the ark, by which he
“condemned the world” (Heb. xi, 7), combined to intensify the hostility,
it must be evident that nothing but the almighty protection under which
he was sheltered could have saved him and all his from speedy
destruction. It also seems to be implied by the language here, and by
the connection in which Peter elsewhere introduces the same matter (2
Peter ii, 5-9), that when the flood came, the enmity and hatred had
reached a crisis; so that the call to enter the ark was like the
bringing of Lot out of Sodom, a rescue from present destruction by the
wicked. Thus, the very waters which purged the world by sweeping away
the ungodly, were the salvation of the eight persons, who shut up in the
ark, were upborne upon their bosom. They were “saved by water,” while,
as it rose, the world ready to perish would, in mad and impotent
despair, have wreaked a blind vengeance upon the prophet and his family,
for the terrible judgment of God; like Ahab with Elijah, in the days of
the famine. But “the Lord shut him in” (Gen. vii, 16), and the waters
bore them up, safe amid their perishing enemies.

Peter next points out that analogous to this is the salvation of
Christ’s people,—that as the waters of the deluge were the destruction
of the old world, but life to the new, to Noah, and his house,—so the
baptism of the Spirit is death to the old man, but life to the new,
through union with the Lord Jesus and participation in his life. “You
also, now, antitype baptism saves, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the
flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in
the flesh” (that is, as stated immediately after, he that hath become
“partaker of Christ’s sufferings”), “hath ceased from sin.”—Ch. iv, 1,
13. Here we recognize perfect identity of thought and argument with what
has already appeared in Paul’s writings. “So many of us as were baptized
into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death. Therefore, we are
buried with him by the baptism into his death, that like as Christ was
raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also
should walk in newness of life.”—Rom. vi, 3, 4.

The conclusion of Peter’s argument is found, a little farther
on,—“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is
to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice,
inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that when his glory
shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”—1 Peter iv,
12, 13. So Paul says, “If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be
also glorified together.”—Rom. viii, 17. It is evident that the two
great apostles are perfectly united in their testimony concerning this
baptism and its relations to the plan of salvation.

In the foregoing exegesis, I have regarded both forms of the pronoun in
the beginning of the twenty-first verse, as alike spurious; at the same
time that the language of that verse is understood as containing a
reflex allusion to Noah and his family “saved by water.” The phrase
“antitype baptism” does not, it is true, necessitate the previous
mention of a type baptism. But it certainly does invite us to look for,
and expect such mention, an expectation confirmed by the presence of the
particles, “_also, now_.” “You, _also, now_, antitype baptism saves.”
Here seems to to be an allusion to something in the past, corresponding
to the antitype baptism of the present. And when we find the immediately
preceding mention of the salvation by water of Noah and his family, we
can not be mistaken in recognizing this as the type to which, in the
phrase “antitype baptism,” Peter refers. The salvation, therefore, of
Noah by the waters of the deluge was a baptism. Dr. Dale asserts the ark
and not the water, to have been the instrument of the salvation, and
quotes examples to justify the translation of _dia hudatos_, by
“_through_ the water,” as a medium and not an instrument. But (1.) it
is, of course, true that this is one meaning of _dia_. (2.) One of his
examples, “faith tried by fire” (1 Peter i, 7), shows that it may also
express instrumental relations. (3.) More pertinent would have been a
citation of the parallel clause which immediately follows the phrase in
question. As Noah is stated to have been saved “by water” (_dia
hudatos_), in the typical baptism, so “antitype baptism saves us _by the
resurrection_ (_dia anastaseōs_), of Jesus Christ.” The parallel, here,
between type and antitype, requires that in both clauses, the
preposition should be understood in the same sense; and, as in the
antitype, _dia_ certainly points out the resurrection of Christ, as
being the instrument or means of our salvation, so in the type, must we
understand it to designate the waters of the flood as the means of
Noah’s deliverance.

          SECTION LXXIII.—_Christ’s Baptizing Administration._

Thus Jesus fills the throne in the heavens, and possesses all power and
prerogative for accomplishing the purposes of the Godhead, concerning
the human race—the redeemed and the lost; concerning Satan and his
angels, and the whole universe of God, moral and physical, as
inseparably connected with the moral history and destinies of these. And
thus, in every aspect of his work, as it progresses, from the day of
Pentecost to the final consummation and glory, he is in the exercise of
that office wherein he was announced by his herald John, as he that
should baptize with the Holy Ghost, and with fire,—that office of the
gracious aspects of which as toward his people, the baptism of water has
been, for all ages, the symbol and seal. For, on Pentecost, Jesus only
began to fulfill the prophecy and promise,—“I will pour out of my Spirit
on all flesh.” Not even yet is the breadth of its meaning accomplished.
He will continue to breathe his Spirit into his people, till all are
gathered in. So, of them, individually, the purifying, although assured
by the first baptism which they respectively receive, is brought to
fruition only through the daily breathings of Christ’s life in them, the
influences of his Spirit quickening them continually; as the leper was
not cleansed by one affusion, but was sprinkled seven times. And while
the idea of baptism has special reference to the first act of grace in
bestowing the Spirit, it views that act as comprehensive of the whole
process of grace, which is potentially involved in, and secured by it.

It is not for us to know the times and seasons “which the Father hath
put in his own power.”—Acts i, 7. But, respecting some things of vital
interest as to the order and issue of coming events, in the history of
Christ’s baptizing office, we do know by the testimony of God.

1. Whatever, to our limited and carnal apprehensions, may be the
mysteries of the past history of the gospel in the world, there has been
no lack of power in the baptizing scepter of Christ, nor mistake in its
exercise. The Baptizer is that Son of man in whom dwelleth all the
fulness of the Godhead bodily, and who is the personal Wisdom of God,
and the Power of God. His blood paid the price of salvation. His arm
overcame and his heel crushed the serpent, during the days of his
humiliation in the flesh. And now, enthroned in power, he doeth in his
wisdom according to his pleasure. If the heathen of old could say, “The
mills of the gods grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine,” well may
we confide in our King, that he need not make haste, in the fulfillment
of his purposes. “Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one
day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one
day.”—2 Pet. iii, 8. Four thousand years rolled by, before the promise
made to the fallen woman in the garden was fulfilled, in the virgin
birth of the babe of Bethlehem. And now, “the vision is yet for an
appointed time; but at the end it shall speak and not lie; though the
promise tarry wait for it; because it will surely come; it will not
tarry.”—Hab. ii, 3.

It does not fall in with the purposes of the present discussion to enter
into the prophetic question, as to the time and manner of the future
developments and glory of the Redeemer’s kingdom. Respecting it, one
thing is certain. The past has been a time of the hiding of his power;
but the light of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will yet cover
the earth as the waters cover the sea. The Branch of Jesse “shall stand
for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest
shall be glorious.”—Isa. xi, 10.

2. Every soul to whom the grace of God has come, from the day of
Pentecost to this hour, has received it from the immediate hand of
Jesus, baptizing him with the Holy Ghost. And so it will be to the end.
Thus, each one so redeemed is a new proof and pledge that Jesus fills
the throne,—that Satan and all the powers of darkness are under his
feet; and that the hearts of men are in his hands, to give eternal life
to as many as the Father hath given him.

3. When the end shall come, and the mystery of God shall be finished, it
will appear that in every aspect of the issues joined with Satan,
triumph and glory crown the head of the Son of man. Nor will it be the
mere force of physical omnipotence crushing the feebler powers of Satan.
But the glory of perfect righteousness, of wisdom and understanding, of
counsel and might, of knowledge and fear of the Lord, in the Head and
leader of the salvation,—a perfection, not merely of moral excellence
but of all gifts and endowments, tried and proved, first, in the form of
a servant under the law, in obedience and sufferings, amid the
temptations of the world and the flesh, the wiles of the devil, and the
inflictions of God,—a perfection then shown upon the throne of glory, in
administering with perfect wisdom and perfect skill the vast and various
affairs of God’s boundless empire, thwarting and turning to confusion
the plots and policies of Satan and his angels, rectifying the disorders
wrought by the enemy, and vindicating God’s glory impeached through man.

It will be a moral triumph revealed in each one of the redeemed, once a
prostrate slave of Satan and sin, baptized and quickened, and aroused to
struggle for liberty, and made more than conqueror, in the conflict,
through the grace and Spirit of Christ, over Satan and all his powers
without, and indwelling sin and corruption,—each one scarred with the
wounds of battle, but all—the crushed serpent writhing beneath their
feet,—wearing the white robes of triumph and waving the palms of
victory;—all clothed in the righteousness of One, and each grown to the
stature of Christ, in the perfection of holiness and beauty, after the
image of God.

It will be the moral triumph of the whole ransomed host, by one Spirit
baptized into one body, her garments of wrought gold and needle-work,
received and revealed, spotless and complete in all divine
perfections,—the bride of the Lamb, the glory of her husband, as he is
the image and glory of God. (1 Cor. xi, 7.) In them shall the
principalities and powers in the heavenly places behold and study and
admire the reflected likeness of the unapproachable glory of the
infinite Invisible.

It will be the triumph involved in all this revelation of glory and
blessedness in contrast with the spectacle of Satan and his followers
and work, exposed before all intelligences, in shame and everlasting
contempt;—his achievements seen in discord and darkness, in sin and
suffering and sorrow, in lamentation and woe, in the loss to him and to
his of all the divine perfections in which they were created, and in
distortion, deformity and discord, possessing and pervading them all;
his confident wisdom and power turned to imbecile folly, and his
conspiracies and wiles made the occasions and means of fulfilling God’s
plan which he opposed, and crowning the Son of man with glory.

The true dignity and significance of the rite of baptism can only then
be adequately realized when we appreciate this comprehensive extent and
grandeur of the baptizing office of Christ, signified by it. In the
fulfillment of that office he now orders all things; and its exercise
must be continuous to the end. The Great Baptizer must breathe the
Spirit of life into all that mighty multitude, out of every generation
and race, whom the Father has given Him. He must send fire upon the
earth, and divide between his people and his enemies, and vindicate the
Father’s sovereignty and grace in all his dealings with the wicked. He
must, at last, by the quickening virtue of the baptism of His Spirit,
raise up his saints,—their bodies glorious as his own glorious body, and
their souls perfect in holiness,—and place them on the throne of
judgment with himself; judge and cast the wicked out of his kingdom;
confirm the holy angels in rectitude and blessedness, and cast
Satan,—thwarted, defeated and bound in chains of darkness,—into the gulf
of fire,—him and his angels and followers. He must purge the earth and
heavens with fire, from the defilement which Satan and sin have wrought,
and out of them create and adorn the new heavens and the new earth, the
abode of righteousness, the home of the holy and the blessed,—where the
many sons shall dwell with God and the Lamb. He must make all things

Then may the triumphant Son of man proclaim his work accomplished, and
his office ended. Then may he,—not now from the cross, but from the
throne,—cry, “It is finished!” “The former things are passed away, and
behold I have made all things new.” Sin and the curse are
abolished;—tears, and death, and sorrow, and crying, and pain are no
more; and in life and immortality the earth-born sons of God possess the

“It is done!” The floor is purged; the garner filled; and the chaff
burned. The baptism is accomplished. Then shall the Son, his commission
fulfilled, deliver up the kingdom to God even the Father, and shall
himself also be subject to Him that put all things under him, that God
may be all in all. (1 Cor. xv, 24, 28.)

       SECTION LXXIV.—_Argument from the Real to Ritual Baptism._

Thus is Jesus revealed in characters of unspeakable grandeur, as the
true and only Baptizer,—his the real baptism, of which all others are
mere shadows. His baptizing office is the very end of his exaltation,
the peculiar and distinguishing characteristic of his throne and
scepter. As the cross of Christ is the symbol of the whole doctrine of
his humiliation, sorrow and death, so his baptizing scepter represents
the whole doctrine of his exaltation his kingdom and glory. And, as the
sacrament of the supper shows forth his abasement and atonement for sin;
so, that of baptism proclaims the glory and power of his exaltation, and
the riches of salvation and grace which he sheds on his people from on
high. The ritual ordinance therefore if true to its office, must be true
to the similitude of the real baptism,—must represent and proclaim those
very things which are realized in the office and work of the great
Baptizer. But what has the real baptism to do with the humiliation of
Christ, in any of its aspects? And, especially, what has it to do with
the burial of his dead body? With the throne of his power, the
prerogatives of his scepter, the grace, the grandeur and the glory of
his achievements to the end, its relations are intimate and from them
inseparable. But with humiliation and shame, with death and the grave,
it holds no relations but those of boundless distance and infinite

Here then, at the culminating point in the history of baptism and the
plan of God’s grace, as identified with it, the divergence of the
immersion theory from the statements, conceptions and principles of the
Scriptures on the subject interposes between them a widening and
deepening gulf, broad, profound and impassable. Whilst the Scriptural
rite points exultingly upward to Christ’s high throne, and calls us to
lift up our heads and admire and adore the height of his majesty and the
grace and grandeur of his baptizing work,—the immersion theory
constrains its votaries, with bowed heads and stooping forms, to grope
among the graves, in the vain endeavor to trace some fanciful
resemblance between the rite which they espouse and the form and manner
of the burial of the dead,—a burial, too, which, as thus imagined, the
crucified One never received!

The doctrine of the real baptism is thus utterly incongruous to that of
immersion. Equally irreconcilable with that form are all the phenomena
and expressions used in connection with the administering of Christ’s
baptism. The sound from heaven as of an outbreathed mighty breath poured
down, and filling all the place, was the only phenomenon of Pentecost
indicative of form or mode. And its mode was affusion, or outpouring,
and descent from above. The language in which the transaction is
everywhere described and referred to is equally specific and invariable.
It was a shedding down—a pouring down—a falling upon—a filling of the
disciples;—a style of expression used, not on the occasion, only, but in
every subsequent allusion to the subject. So, the prophecy cited by
Peter is an express definition of this as the mode. “I will pour out of
my Spirit.” But, more than this, it identifies the outpouring of
Pentecost with all those Old Testament prophecies, in which the gift of
the Spirit is spoken of in terms of pouring and sprinkling. All these,
again, as we have formerly seen, are intimately associated with the
baptisms of the Levitical system. Those baptisms represented in ritual
form the things which the prophets set forth in analogous figures. If
Christian baptism departs from the Old Testament mode, it to the same
degree departs from the form in which the grace of Pentecost is
uniformly predicted, represented, described, and referred to.

The attempt is made to evade the force of these facts by the assertion
that the “sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind,” “filled all
the place where they were sitting;” and that the disciples were immersed
in it. But (1.) the immersion thus imagined is, an inversion of the
Baptist theory. The result of an admitted affusion, it is an application
of the element to the person, and by a sustained analogy, on Baptist
principles, would require that the grave should have been brought and
put about the body of Jesus, and that, in water baptism, the element
should be poured over the subject, until he is covered, although
drowning would be the inevitable result. (2.) There is, in fact, no
analogy, except in the jingle of words, between an immersion in water,
which is immediately and inevitably fatal to life, and an immersion in
the vital air, which is the very breath of life, the withdrawal of which
is fatal. (3.) If Christian baptism sustains any real relation at all to
the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which Christ administers—as it assuredly
does—it is that of type to antitype—of a similitude to the reality. Both
the form and the meaning of the rite must be derived from the nature of
the reality, of which it is the symbol. If then the immersion of the
disciples in the wind or breath of Pentecost is the antitype symbolized
in the outward form of baptism, the ordinance means, not the burial of
Christ’s dead body, but the imparting of his Spirit of life to his
people. Thus the Baptist theory of the form and meaning of the ordinance
is exploded, since the two ideas can not stand together. They are
mutually destructive and the incongruity is fatal to the whole scheme,
which can not stand without an immersion on Pentecost; and can not
endure the crucial test of the only immersion which they can pretend to
discover there.

The alternative is inexorable. If that which Christ dispenses is the
normal, the antitype, baptism, then by it the ritual baptisms of both
economies are to be interpreted; and their signification is to be found,
not in the sepulchre, but on the throne—in the Spirit thence poured out,
and the life and salvation thence dispensed;—and the form of the
ordinance must needs correspond to its meaning. If, on the other hand,
immersion in water is the normal baptism, and the burial of the body of
Jesus, its meaning, then the baptism of Pentecost with all its phenomena
and doctrine is to be struck from the record, as no baptism at all. _If
that which Christ dispenses is baptism, immersion is not._

                               PART XII.
                         THE BAPTIST ARGUMENT.

             SECTION LXXV.—_Baptizo and the Resurrection._

The argument in proof that the disciples of John and of Christ were
immersed comprehends four essential propositions. (1) That _baptizo_
means, to dip, to plunge, to immerse, to submerge,—one or other of
these, and _nothing else_; (2) That the prepositions, _eis_, _en_, _ek_,
and _apo_, as used in the New Testament, in connection with _baptizo_,
require and enforce that meaning; (3) That the resort of John to the
Jordan, and to Enon, “because there was much water there,” is conclusive
to the same effect; (4) That Paul, in saying that we are “buried with
Christ in baptism,” refers to the form of immersion; (5) It is,
moreover, held that the account of the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch
shows it to have been by immersion. The last point will be considered
further on.

As to _baptizo_, enough has already appeared to render it certain that
the definition heretofore insisted on by Baptists is untenable, and that
the word, in itself, determines nothing as to form. It was formerly
maintained as unquestionable, that _bapto_ and _baptizo_ are strictly
equivalent; and that the meaning is, “to dip, and nothing but dip.” This
assumption may now be considered obsolete. It is definitely abandoned by
the ablest representatives of immersion. Dr. Conant having been
appointed thereto by the American (Baptist) Bible Union entered into an
elaborate investigation of “The Meaning and Use of _Baptizo_.” In a
treatise published under that title, he thus states the result. “The
word, _immerse_, as well as its synonyms, _immerge_, etc., expresses the
full import of the Greek word, _baptizein_. The idea of emersion is not
included in it. It means simply to put into or under water; without
determining whether the object immersed sinks to the bottom, or floats
in the liquid, or is immediately taken out. This is determined, not by
the word, itself, but by the design of the act, in each particular case.
A living being, put under water without intending to drown him, is of
course to be immediately withdrawn from it; and this is to be
understood, whenever the word is used with reference to such a case. But
the Greek word is also used where a living being is put under the water
for the purpose of drowning, and of course is left to perish in the
immersing element.”[102] It is of the primary meaning of the word that
Dr. Conant here speaks. As we have already seen, he also recognizes a
secondary meaning, the importance of which he entirely ignores. As to
the former, the admission here transcribed is conclusive, although
obscured by ambiguous and impertinent explanations. No verb can
“determine” any thing subsequent to the completion of its own proper
action. The healed paralytic, “_departed_ to his own house.” “Paul
_arose_ and was baptized.” “John _came_ baptizing.” He that should
explain that “departed” does not of necessity imply that he never
returned, that Paul may have sat down again; and that for all the
meaning of “came” John may afterward have gone away, would be held
guilty of puerile trifling. Of course, _baptizo_ determines nothing but
its own action. The explanation of Dr. C. that the word does not
determine whether the object sinks to the bottom or is immediately taken
out, is not trifling, because open to a more serious charge. It is a
diligent, although undoubtedly unconscious obscuring of the subject,
induced by the instinctive recoil of the author’s own mind from the
picture drawn by his definition. He is therefore impelled to retire it
into the background and veil its nakedness in the drapery of
explanations, by which he is as much confounded as are his
readers,—explanations wholly impertinent to the question in hand, which
is the meaning of _baptizo_. That word, in its primary classic sense, as
here defined, expresses a definite and _completed_ act. When by one
continuous process a person or thing is put into the water and
withdrawn, it is not a _baptizing_, in the classic meaning, but a
_bapting_, a dipping. It is true the word does not determine “whether
the object immersed sinks to the bottom or floats in the liquid, or is
immediately taken out,” provided that by “immediately,” is not to be
understood, instantaneously,—provided that by the baptism, the object is
deposited in the water and left there. The emersion, if it take place at
all, must be a distinct and subsequent act, and can not be performed as
_a part of the baptizing_. This, Dr. Kendrick, professor of Greek in the
Rochester University, and a member of the American Committee of Revision
on the New Testament, in his review of Dr. Dale, most emphatically
concedes, with italics and emphasis none the less significant because of
the intense irritation which breathes in his article. “Granting that
_bapto_, _always_ engages to take its subject from the water (which we
do not believe), and that _baptizo never_ does (which we readily admit),
we have Mr. Dale’s reluctant concession that it interposes no obstacle
to his coming out.” _Baptizo_ “lays its subject under the water; it does
not hold him there a single moment. Its whole function is fulfilled with
the act of submersion. It offers no shadow of an obstacle to his instant
emergence from his watery entombment. We have the utmost confidence in
the kindly purpose of _baptizo_, and of Him who has made its liquid
grave the external portal to his kingdom. Neither it nor He intends to
drown us. We let _baptizo_ take us into the water, and can trust to
men’s instinctive love of life, their common sense, their power of
volition and normal muscular action, to bring them safely out.” “The law
of God in revelation sends the Baptist down into the waters of
immersion; when it is accomplished, the equally imperative law of God in
nature brings him safely out.” “As between the two [_baptizo_ and
_bapto_], _baptizo_ is the appropriate word, partly from its greater
length, weight and dignity of form, and still more from its distinctive
import. It is not a dipping that our Lord instituted, but an immersion.
He did not command _to put people into the water_ and _take them out
again_; but _to put them under the water_, to _submerge_ them, to _bury_
them, symbolically, in the grave of their buried Redeemer; like him
indeed, not to remain there, but with him to arise to newness of life.
This arising, though essential to the completeness of the transaction,
could not be included in the designation of the rite, any more than the
rising of the Redeemer could be included in the words denoting his
crucifixion and burial.” “We repeat with emphasis, for the consideration
of our Baptist brethren; Christian baptism is no mere literal and
senseless ‘dipping,’ assuring the frightened candidate of a safe exit
from the water; it is a symbolical immersion, in which the believer
goes, in a sublime and solemn trust, into a figurative burial, dying to
sin for a life with Christ; and just as far as Mr. Dale’s distinction
holds good (which even thus far _he_ has not established), _baptizo_,
and not _bapto_ is the only suitable designation of the baptismal
ordinance. The early Israelites were baptized to Moses in the cloud and
in the sea. They emerged indeed, and were intended to emerge at last.
But it was in their wondrous march, through that long and fearful night,
with the double wall of water rolled up on each side, and the column of
fiery cloud stretching its enshrouding folds above them,—it was in this,
and not in the closing emersion that they were baptized into their
allegiance to their great Lawgiver and Leader.”[103]

Footnote 102:

  The Meaning and Use of Baptizein, p. 88.

Footnote 103:

  Review of Dale’s Classic Baptism, in the _Baptist Quarterly_,

Of the baptism of Israel, we shall take notice hereafter. In these
passages, it is evident that the distinguished professor 1869, pp. 142,
143. is as much disturbed at the apparition of his own raising as is Dr.
Conant. At first he seems determined to face it squarely, and calls upon
his Baptist brethren to look and see that it is nothing dangerous. But
suddenly, he crosses himself, and starts back in a hurried talk of the
resurrection of Christ and the rising of his people to newness of life;
all of which is very true and precious, but, has no more to do with the
question in hand, himself being witness, than has the doctrine of
original sin. The question is, the meaning of _baptizo_, and the
professor admits that it has no part in the resurrection. The very
perplexing position in which he found himself, is some apology for the
confusion of ideas and the incongruities which appear in his statements.
He is discussing the relative merits of the two words _bapto_ and
_baptizo_. The former, in its primary and ordinary meaning, he can but
acknowledge, engages both to put its subject into the water and take him
out again; while _baptizo_ only puts him in. The latter, says the
professor, was chosen because of this its distinctive import, because
the command was, _not_ “to put the people into the water and take them
out again; but to put them under the water,—to submerge them.” But
before he is done, we are told that the coming out, “though essential to
the completeness of the transaction _could_ not be included in the
designation of the rite.” Does “the transaction,” here mean the life
saving operation which he confides to the “instinctive love of life,
common sense,” etc? Or, are we correct in supposing it to mean that
baptismal rite which he is discussing? And if the latter be the design,
how is the statement to be reconciled with the reason just before given
for the employment of _baptizo_, because it does _not_ take the subject
out of the water, while _bapto_ does? Waiving this difficulty, the
question occurs,—Why the rising “could not be included in the
designation of the rite,” seeing _bapto_ was ready to add that very idea
to the meaning of _baptizo_? The question is anticipated by the
professor, and the answer given. It is because the latter word has
“greater _length_, _weight_, and _dignity_ of form!” The meaning of the
words was a secondary consideration! _Bapto_ has but two syllables,
while _baptizo_ has three. It has the advantage, therefore, in a greater
length, and a buzzing zeta, to add to its “weight and dignity of form!”
Or, perhaps, the superior “weight” of the one word over the other
consists in the fact that while _bapto_ accurately expresses the hasty
resurrection which the instinct of life and other influences specified
so happily, though not invariably, connect with the administration of
the rite, _baptizo_ maintains a dignified silence on that part of the
subject. But the professor drifts back again to his first position. He
insists that the baptism of Israel into Moses was received in their
“wondrous march” enclosed between the walls of water, and enshrouded in
the cloud, “and _not_ in the closing emersion.” And yet, even here, his
protest that _bapto_ itself would not have given absolute assurance of
exit, looks like a disposition to weaken the force of “the distinctive
import” of _baptizo_.

However these “dark sayings of the wise” are to be interpreted, the
facts remain, that, confessedly, the word chosen by the Savior to
designate the rite of baptism does not include in it the idea of
emersion, typical of resurrection,—that it was chosen in preference to a
kindred word which does distinctly express that idea,—and that the best
reasons suggested by Baptist scholarship for this remarkable fact are,
that _burial_ and _not_ resurrection was the doctrine symbolized; and
that _baptizo_ sounds best! Such are the results of the elaborate
researches of the scholarly Conant, confirmed by the eminent learning of
Kendrick, divines than whom the Baptist churches have had none more
zealous or more competent. Essentially the same is the definition
reached through the exhaustive studies of our own departed Dale.

Thus, according to the Baptist rendering of the gospel commission, we
are to go into all the world and _submerge_ every creature,—a command
which neither contains nor implies authority in any one to neutralize it
by a systematic rescue of its subjects from the “liquid grave.” A result
of the most serious import to our Baptist brethren follows from these
facts. The definition, to dip, for the sake of which they have so long
separated themselves, in translating the Scriptures into the languages
of the heathen, is demonstrably and confessedly false, and the result is
a corrupting of the word of God.

The force of these facts against the very foundations of the immersion
fabric is utterly destructive. But the matter does not rest even here.
Dr. Conant recognizes in _baptizo_ a second meaning. The word does not
even limit itself to “submerge and nothing but submerge.” It also
“expressed the coming into a new state of life or experience, in which
one was, as it were enclosed or swallowed up, so that temporarily or
permanently he belonged wholly to it.”[104] Thus, the man who is brought
under the control of a passion of anger, fear, or love, or who is
overcome with wine or sleep, was by the Greeks said to be baptized with
these things. So, in the Scriptures, he who is under such control that
he is “led of the Spirit,” is said to be “baptized with the Spirit.”
This meaning of _baptizo_ no candid scholar can deny; and in it we have
already seen abundant relief from all the perplexities of the immersion
theory. Respecting it, however, a caution is necessary. A mere momentary
impulse or influence by which one is seized, but, instantly, released,
is not a baptism, in the classic sense. The word expressed a control
which not only seizes but _holds_ its object. It brings him “into a new
_state_ of life or experience.” This use of the word flows from the
primary meaning, to _submerge_, as expressive not of comprehensive
control, only, but of continuance. Nothing analogous to a momentary
dipping was known to the Greeks as a baptism.

Footnote 104:

  “Meaning and Use of Baptizein,” p. 158.

                   SECTION LXXVI.—_The Prepositions._

In the common English version of the New Testament, the translations
which occur in connection with baptism are such as to show an evident
bias on the part of the translators in favor of immersion. In fact they
were, all of them, immersionists, if not by personal conviction, then,
by constraint of law. They were members, and with a few exceptions
clergymen of the church of England, by law established. That church had
originally incorporated among its ordinances, baptism by trine
immersion. By the parliamentary revision during the reign of Edward VI,
the book of prayer was so altered as to require but one immersion. The
rubric for baptism was and is to this day in these words:—“Then the
priest shall take the child in his hands, and ask the name; and naming
the child, shall dip it in the water, so it be discreetly and warily
done, saying, ‘N., I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.’ And, if the child be weak, it shall
suffice to pour water upon it, saying the aforesaid words.”[105]

Footnote 105:

  “The Two Books of Common Prayer,” set forth by authority of
  Parliament, in the reign of King Edward VI, edited by Edward Cardwell,
  D.D., Principal of St. Alban’s Hall, Oxford, 1852.

As to the bearing of the prepositions on the present argument, a brief
illustration may make it clear to the English reader. In the following
citations, the words in italics answer to the Greek prepositions under
which respectively they are cited.

1. _En._ “And were all baptized of him (_en_) _in_ Jordan.”—Matt. iii,
6. “John did baptize _in_ the wilderness.”—Mark i, 4. “John was
baptizing _in_ Enon.”—John iii, 23. “These things were done _in_
Bethabara, beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.”—John i, 28. “The
tower _in_ Siloam.”—Luke xiii, 4. “Elias is come, and they have done
_unto_ him whatsoever they listed.”—Matt. xvii, 12. “Turn the
disobedient _to_ the wisdom of the just.”—Luke i, 17. “Lest they trample
them _with_ their feet.”—Matt. vii, 6. “Sanctify them _through_ thy
truth, thy word is truth.”—John xvii, 17. “They that take the sword
shall perish _with_ the sword.”—Matt. xxvi, 52. “There is none other
name ... _by_ which we must be saved.”—Acts iv, 12. “He will judge the
world ... _by_ that man whom he hath ordained.”—Ib. xvii, 31. “Now
revealed _by_ the Spirit”—Eph. iii, 5. “That _at_ the name of Jesus
every knee should bow.”—Phil. ii, 10. From these illustrations two
deductions are manifest (1.) _En_ does not always mean _in_. It may mean
_with_ or _by_, instrumentally. “_With_ the sword.” “The name _by_
which,” etc. It may mean _by_ a mediate agent. “Revealed _by_ the
Spirit.” “He will judge the world _by_ that man.” It may mean _at_,
_by_, or _in_, locally. “_In_ Enon.” “_At_ Siloam.” It may be used in a
yet more general signification, as, “_At_ the name.” Other meanings
might be stated, but these are sufficient (2.) If, by reason of the
phrase “_in_ Jordan,” we must understand that John immersed his
disciples _into_ the Jordan, it of necessity follows that he also
immersed them “_into_ Enon,” and “_into_ the wilderness.” In short, the
expression indicates that the Jordan was the place _at_ which the
baptizing was done:—this, and this only. Why it was done there, we shall
presently see.

2. _Eis._ “Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized of John
(_eis_) _in_ Jordan.”—Mark i, 9. “They went down both _into_ the water,
both Philip and the eunuch and he baptized him.”—Acts viii, 38. These
passages mutually illustrate each other and show that the going _into_
the water was not the baptizing. “He came and dwelt _in_ a city called
Nazareth.”—Mat. ii, 23. “He cometh _to_ a city of Samaria,” but he
remained outside, at the well, while the apostles went “_into_ the
city,” whence the Samaritans “went out of the city and came to
him.”—John iv, 5, 8, 28, 30. “He loved them _to_ the end.”—Ib. xiii, 1.
“I speak _to_ the world.” Ib. viii, 26. “If thy brother trespass
_against_ thee.”—Matt, xviii, 15. “_Therefore_” (Literally, _to_ this)
“came I forth.”—Mark i, 38. “What are they _among_ so many.”—John vi, 9.
“The Son which is _in_ (on) the bosom of the Father.”—John i, 18. “He
went up _into_ (_to_, or, _on_,) a mountain.”—Matt., v, 1. “Depart
_unto_ the other side.”—Ib. viii, 18. “Fell down _at_ his feet.”—Ib.
xviii, 29. _Eis_ is even used in express contrast with entrance into.
“The other disciple did outrun Peter, and first (_ēlthen eis_) _came to_
the sepulchre, ... yet went he not _in_. Then cometh Simon Peter
following him and (_eis-ēlthen eis_) _entered into_ the sepulchre.”—John
xx, 4-6. This illustrates a usage concerning _eis_. When entrance _into_
is to be expressed by the mere force of the word, it must be doubled.
See Matt. vi, 6; x, 5, 12; Luke ix, 34, etc. The same remark applies to
_ek_, in the sense of _out of_. But neither of these words is ever used
in duplicated form, with reference to baptism. It is evident that the
word of itself determines no more as to the mode of the baptism of Jesus
than does _en_. The ordinary office of _eis_ is to point to the terminus
of a preceding verb of motion. When it is said that Jesus came and dwelt
(_eis_) _in_ a city called Nazareth, _en_ would have been the proper
preposition to express the in-dwelling; but _eis_ is preferred because
the city was the terminus of the coming “He came (_eis_) _to_ a city.”
So Mark above uses the same word, not because of its appropriateness to
the baptizing, which is always elsewhere expressed by _en_, but because
the Jordan was the terminus (_eis_) to which he came from Galilee.

3. _Ek._ “And when they were come up (_ek_) _out of_ the water.”—Acts
viii, 39. In his gospel, Luke the author of this account thus uses the
preposition. “Saved _from_ our enemies.”—Luke i, 71. “Every tree is
known _by_ its own fruit, for _of_ thorns men do not gather figs; nor
_of_ a bramble-bush gather they grapes.”—Ib. vi, 44. “He cometh _from_
the wedding.”—Ib. xii, 36. “All these have I kept _from_ my youth
up.”—Ib. xviii, 21. So far as this word determines, Philip and the
eunuch may have come up _from_ the water, without having been _in_ it,
at all.

4. _Apo._ “Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway (_apo_) _out
of_ the water.”—Matt. iii, 16. _Apo never_ means, “out of,” as here
translated; but, “from,” “away from.” “When Jesus was come down _from_
the mountain.”—Matt. viii, 1. “_From_ whom do kings take tribute?”—Ib.
xvii, 25. “Cast them _from_ thee.”—Ib. xviii, 8. “Beginning _from_ the
last unto the first.”—Ib. xx, 8.

From these illustrations, which might be multiplied indefinitely, it is
evident that the prepositions will not bear the stress put upon them by
the Baptist argument. Not only are they, in themselves, insufficient to
constitute a reliable basis for the conclusions sought; but the
statements to which they belong have respect, _not_ to the _mode_ of the
baptism, but to the places of it. They are defined by the phrases, “_in_
Jordan,”—“_in_ Enon,”—“_in_ Bethabara.” Recent Baptist writers have had
the courage to follow their principles to the result of translating
John’s words,—“I immerse you _in_ water, but he shall immerse you _in_
the Holy Ghost and _in_ fire,”—a rendering from which the better taste,
if not the better scholarship, of the translators of King James’s
version revolted. The thorough consideration already given in these
pages to the baptism of the Spirit justifies an imperative denial of the
correctness of this translation. If any thing in the Bible is clear, it
is that the baptism administered by the Lord Jesus is not an immersion,
but an outpouring.

On the question of the prepositions in this connection, light is shed by
an expression of the apostle Paul. “By one Spirit are we all baptized
into one body, ... and have been all made to drink one Spirit.”—1 Cor.
xii, 13. Of this passage we have already indicated that “into,” as found
in the last clause, in the common version (“to drink _into_ one
Spirit”), is spurious, and that _potizo_ (“made to drink”), properly
signifies, to _apply_ water or other fluid, whether externally or
internally, to water, to cause to drink. In this passage, we have both
the prepositions, _en_ and _eis_, each dependent on the one verb,
_baptizo_, but each having its own distinctive subject. “Baptized
(_en_), _in_ one Spirit (_eis_), _into_ one body.” Into which of these
media does the immersion take place? Shall we follow the Baptist
interpretation of the words of John, “He shall immerse you _in_ the Holy
Ghost?” But in the first place, we have seen that this is false to the
real manner of the baptism in question; which consists in a shedding
down of the Spirit. In the second, how then, in harmony with Baptist
principles, are we to understand the other clause of the
passage,—“Immersed _in_ one Spirit, _into_ one body?“ Are there here two
immersions by one act? the one subject put at one and the same time into
two different media? Moreover, the language with which the apostle
closes the passage, while it is in perfect accord with the true mode of
the baptism of the Spirit, is altogether incongruous to the Baptist
interpretation. If we are baptized with or by the Spirit, shed upon us,
we may consistently be said to drink (or, to be watered with) the
Spirit. For, the earth and its vegetation drink the rain that falls upon
them. But if we must be immersed in the Spirit, Paul’s language implies
that in order that men be caused to drink they are to be immersed in the
water. “Immersed in one Spirit, and all made to drink one Spirit.”

But the phrase, _en heni Pneumati_, does not mean “_in_ one Spirit.” As
we have seen, the preposition may and often does mean “_with_,” or
“_by_,” the Spirit, as the agent or instrument. Especially by Paul, the
writer of the passage in question, is the phrase so used,—“Through Him
we both have access (_en heni Pneumati_), _by_ one Spirit unto the
Father.”—Eph. ii, 18. Here is the very phrase in question. Through the
Lord Jesus, the Mediator, _by_ his Spirit as the instrument, who, being
sent by him helpeth our infirmities, in prayer (Rom. viii, 26), we have
access to the Father’s presence. Again,—“On whom,” as the chief corner
stone, “we are builded together, for an habitation of God (_en
Pneumati_), _by_ the Spirit,” who is the efficient builder of the
spiritual temple. Again, the apostle tells of the mystery which is “now
revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets (_en Pneumati_), _by_ the
Spirit” (Eph. iii, 5), and exhorts us, “Be not drunk with wine, wherein
is excess, but be filled (_en_) _with_ the Spirit” (Ib. v, 18), and to
“pray with all prayer and supplication (_en_) _by_ the Spirit.”—Ib. vi,
18. So in the text,—“_With_, or, _by_ one Spirit,” the instrument and
agent of grace shed on us abundantly by Jesus Christ “are we all
baptized”—brought into a new state of incorporation “into one body,”
which he pervades and controls as the Spirit of life. Into it we are not
immersed; but, united by his common in-dwelling power, are made daily
“to drink of that one Spirit,” which is in us, “a well of water
springing up into everlasting life.”—John iv, 14.

It is not necessary to the present purpose to dwell further on the
signification and bearing of the prepositions. The moment _baptizo_
ceases to mean, to dip, and nothing else, the prepositions lose all
determining force upon the questions at issue. If John’s disciples were
dipped or submerged in Jordan all is plain, and discussion is at an end.
But if John _baptized_ in Jordan, the question still remains,—_How_ did
he baptize? This is very clearly illustrated by the case of the
Ethiopian eunuch, if we accept the immersion rendering of the
prepositions. “They went down both into the water, both Philip and the
eunuch.” They have now reached the place, _in_ the water, if you will.
But the baptism is yet to be performed.—“_And_ he baptized him.” But
_how_ did he do it? The baptism is now ended; but both are still in
position “_in_ the water;” out of which they are then stated to have
come. (Acts viii, 38, 39.)

            SECTION LXXVII.—“_There was much Water there._”

Appeal is made to the fact that John baptized “in Enon, near to Salim,
because there was much water there.”—John iii, 23. Enon (_Aenōn_), is
the plural form, a word which means a spring or fountain. In a few
places it is translated, a well of water. But it signifies a flowing
spring. The name, therefore, means, The Springs near to Salim. All
attempts to trace a town or city of that name have failed; and the whole
manner of John’s ministry and statements of the evangelists indicate him
to have selected a retired spot, rather than a town or city, as the
place of his preaching and baptism.

The phrase, “much water,” is not a correct translation of the original
(_polla hudata_), which means, many waters,—that is, many springs, or
streams. The phrase occurs nine times in the Greek of the Old Testament,
and four times in the New, beside the place in question. It is never
used in the sense of unity,—“much water,”—but invariably expresses the
conception of plurality. In several places, it designates the waves of
the sea in a tumult. Thus, Psa. xciii, 3, 4,—“The floods have lifted up,
O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their
waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of _many waters_;
yea, than _the mighty waves_ of the sea.” See, also, 2 Sam. xxii, 17;
Psa. xviii, 16; xxix, 3; Isa. xvii, 12, 13; Ezek. xliii, 2; Rev. i, 15;
xiv, 2; xix, 6. In these places the noise of many waters, is the sound
of the waves, as they toss in the fury of a storm, or thunder upon the
shore. Again, it is used to designate many streams, and even the
rivulets which for the purposes of irrigation were carried through
vineyards and gardens. Thus, “Thy mother was as a vine, and as a shoot
planted by a stream, by waters; the fruit of which, and its sprouts were
from _many waters_.”—Ezek. xix, 10. See, also, Num. xxiv, 7, and Jer.
li, 13. In the last of these passages, Babylon is described as dwelling
“upon many waters,” meaning, not the Euphrates, only; but the four
rivers, Euphrates, Tigris, Chaboras and Ulai, and the many canals of
irrigation, vestiges of which continue to this day, to which Babylonia
was indebted for its fertility, and the city for its wealth and power.
Compare Psalm cxxxvii, 1, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down,
yea we wept, when we remembered Zion.” In the text of John, the phrase
coincides with the name of Enon, to indicate that the peculiarity of the
place was a number of flowing springs. The bearing of these upon the
question as to the mode of John’s Baptism is inappreciable; as, for the
purposes of immersion, he did not need more than one.

But, we recur to the challenge, so confidently urged. If John did not
immerse, why his resort to the Jordan, and to the “much water” of Enon?
We reply by another question. Why did the Lord Jesus concentrate his
ministry upon the shore of the Sea of Galilee? Why did he, after the
close of his labors in that part of the land, take up his abode at that
very “place where John at first baptized?”—John x, 40. A comparison of
the evangelists shows that, as did John (Luke iii, 3), so Jesus began
his ministry by journeying through the country and villages preaching
the gospel. But, as his fame spread abroad and the concourse of his
hearers increased, he was accustomed to resort to the shores of the Sea
of Galilee and the slopes of the mountains which enclose it on the west.
A comparison of the evangelists shows the sermon on the mount to have
been uttered from one of those mountains. (Matt. v, 1; Mark iii, 7-13.)
In the brief narrative of Mark, that sea is six times spoken of as the
scene of his labors; and these are evidently mere illustrations of the
habit of his ministry. Thus, the first such mention states that “he went
forth _again_ by the sea side, and all the multitude resorted unto him
and he taught them.”—Mark ii, 13, and see iii, 7; iv, 1; v, 21; vi,
31-33; vii, 31; viii, 10. Here, he fed the five thousand men, beside
women and children, with five barley loaves and two small fishes; and
here, the four thousand, with seven barley loaves and a few small
fishes. Afterward, when his ministry in Galilee was finished and he
would preach in Judea, he found himself beset, before his time, by the
machinations of the scribes and rulers. He therefore withdrew beyond
Jordan, to “the place where John at first baptized, and there he abode,
and many resorted to him, ... and many believed on him there.”—John x,
39-42, and Mark x, 1. It is evident that the facts here referred to were
not casual nor fortuitous. They constitute one of the most prominent
features of the story of our Lord’s ministry. It is also manifest that
these and the facts concerning the places of John’s ministry belong to
the same category; so that no explanation can be sufficient which does
not account for all alike.

The Baptist theory is not thus adequate. They will not pretend that it
was to immerse his disciples, that Jesus resorted to the lake and to
Bethabara. We may, therefore, conclude that the explanation of John’s
places of baptism is to be sought upon some other principle. A candid
consideration of the circumstances will discover it; and customs
peculiar to this country may confirm the solution. The assemblies that
attended on the ministry of John and of Jesus were essentially similar
to our camp-meetings, with the only difference, that the simpler habits
of the people of Judea and Galilee rendered any preparation of tents or
booths unnecessary. On one occasion we casually learn that the people
remained together three days (Mark viii, 2); and the circumstances
indicate that generally they were “protracted meetings.” For example, at
one time, Mark states that “Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to
the sea; and a great multitude from Galilee, followed him, and from
Judea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and from beyond Jordan, and
they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what
great things he did, came unto him.”—Mark iii, 7, 8. Luke in one place
speaks of “an innumerable multitude of people (_tōn muriadōn tou
ochlou_, the tens of thousands of the throng) insomuch that they trode
one upon another.”—Luke xii, 1. See, also, the descriptions of John’s
audiences. In choosing the place for a camp-meeting, three things are
recognized as of the first necessity. These are, retirement,
accessibility, and abundance of water. Why these are essential, needs no
explanation. As to the last, food may be brought from a distance; but if
abundance of water, for the supply of man and beast, is not found on the
spot, its use for such a purpose is manifestly and utterly

The argument applies with double force to the thirsty climate of Judea.
As heretofore stated, there are very few running streams in the land.
The requisite supplies for the people in the towns and villages in which
the population was concentrated were obtained from wells. There is
scarcely a single perennial stream flowing from the west into the
Jordan, in its whole course from the sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. Its
affluents are “mere winter torrents, rushing and foaming during the
continuance of rain, and quickly drying up after the commencement of
summer. For fully half the year, these ‘rivers,’ or ‘brooks,’ are often
dry lanes of hot white or gray stones; or, tiny rills, working their way
through heaps of parched boulders.”[106] In a word, the banks of the
Jordan, the shores of the sea of Tiberias, and some such exceptional
spots as The Springs near Salim, presented the only sites in Palestine
in which the three requisites above indicated were to be found united.
Suppose the multitudes that were gathered to our Savior’s ministry,—four
and five thousand men, beside women, children and cattle; and those of
John’s preaching were, without doubt, as numerous,—to have been
assembled with an improvident forgetfulness of the prime necessity of
water! The alternative would have been a vast amount of suffering and
the dispersion of the assembly, or miraculous interposition. But this
does not meet the case of John’s congregations; for “John did no

Footnote 106:

  Mr. George Grove, in Smith’s Bible Dictionary, _article_, “Palestine.”

It is plain that we need no immersion theory, to account for the places
chosen by John and Jesus for fulfilling their ministry. The necessities
of their numerous audiences were decisive, and were in harmony with the
requirement of the law that the sprinkled water of purifying should be
living or running water.

      SECTION LXXVIII.—“_Buried with him by Baptism into Death._”

The principal remaining Baptist argument is derived from two expressions
of the apostle Paul which are supposed to show by implication that
baptism was administered by immersion. These are;—Rom. vi, 4,—“Buried
with him by baptism into death;” and Col. ii, 12,—“Buried with him in
baptism.” In our common English version as here quoted, there is a
repeated neglect of the definite article, where it occurs in the
original, which obscures the meaning. This defect being rectified, the
first passage reads thus:—Rom. vi, 1-11. “What shall we say then? Shall
we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that
are dead _by_ sin live any longer therein? Know ye not that so many of
us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore, we are buried with him by the baptism into the death; that
like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,
even so we also should walk in newness of life. For, if we have been
planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the
likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man
(_sunestaurōthē_) _was_ crucified with him, that the body of sin might
be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For (_ho
apōthanōn_) _he that died_ is freed (_dedikoiatai_, _is justified_) from
sin. Now, if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with
him.... For in that he died (_tē hamartia_) _by_ sin he died once: but
in that he liveth he liveth (_tō theō_) by God” (that is, “by the power
of God.”—2 Cor. xiii, 4.) “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead
indeed by sin, but alive by the power of God, through Jesus Christ our

In the present state of our argument, it might seem almost needless to
discuss this passage. But this and the parallel text sustain relations
to the subject, which clothe them with an importance in the discussion,
such as attaches to no other Scriptures whatever. In them is contained
and exhausted the entire evidence in behalf of the assumption that the
form of baptism represents the burial of the Lord Jesus. Confessedly,
that supposition, if not established by these two phrases of Paul, is
without warrant anywhere in the Bible. But to prove the _interpretation_
of the rite, they must of necessity, first, establish its very
existence, which as yet is more than problematical. That they are not
likely to prove adequate to the task thus laid upon them, will be
apparent to the reader upon a moment’s consideration. It is evident, and
admitted by all, that the immediate subject of discussion in them is the
baptism of the Spirit, and not ritual baptism, in any form. If the
latter is referred to, at all, it is by mere allusion. That, this is
true, as to the text to the Romans, is indicated alike by the form of
expression, “baptized into Jesus Christ,” and by the phenomena and
results which are attributed to that baptism. It will hereafter appear
that the two phrases, “baptized into Jesus Christ,” and “baptized into
the name of Christ,” are those by which, in the Scriptures, the real
baptism, and the ritual, are discriminated from each other. The one
unites to the very body of Christ, the true, invisible church. The other
unites to the _name_ of Christ, and to that visible body which is named
with his name. That it is of spiritual phenomena, and not of ritual
forms, that Paul speaks, is moreover evident, from the purpose and tenor
of his argument. His object is to repel the suggestion that free grace
gives liberty to sin. His fundamental point in reply to this is, that
God’s people “are dead _by_ sin,” in such a sense that it is impossible
they should “live any longer therein.” To prove this, is the whole
intent of his argument. First, in designating the subjects of his
statements, he uses phraseology which emphasizes the difference between
a mere outward relation to Christ and the church, and that which is
established by the baptism of the spirit. “Know ye not that _so many_ of
us as were baptized _into Jesus Christ_.” It is those who are truly one
with Christ by a real spiritual union, and only those, whom he
describes, and of whom he predicates what follows.

“Baptized into Jesus Christ.” This is the one only baptism of the
passage, the effects and consequences of which the apostle proceeds to
set forth. Or, are we here to recognize three baptisms,—into Jesus
Christ,—into his death,—and into his burial? The first effect of the
baptism into Christ Paul indicates by the phrase, “baptized into his
death.” In the baptism into Christ, “by one Spirit are we all baptized
into one body,” the body of Christ, “and are all made to drink one
Spirit.” But it was by that Spirit that he offered himself without spot
to God, and “died by sin,” it being the meritorious cause of his death;
and that Spirit being in us by virtue of the baptism, will cause the
same hatred of sin, and induce in us a sense of its demerit and
condemnation, so that we can no longer live in it. Such is the meaning
of the apostle’s expression, “baptized into his death,”—so united by the
baptism into Christ, that as he died for sin to destroy it in us, so we
will be dead to it in the same hatred and zeal for its destruction,
inspired by the same Spirit. To intensify this conception, the apostle
pursues the figure yet farther.—“Therefore, we are buried with
him.”—How? By immersion in water? or, By any thing of which such
immersion is a symbol? No. But (_dia_) through, or, by means of the
baptism just spoken of; “the baptism into the death” of Christ. That the
expression can not possibly mean any ritual form of baptism is certain
every way. The illative, “Therefore,” forbids it. It shows the burial to
be, not a physical phenomenon, real or ritual, but a consequence which,
by virtue of the relation of cause and effect, logically results from
something which either precedes or follows. But the boundaries in both
directions are the same.—“_Baptized into his death._ Therefore buried
with him, by the _baptism into the death_.” The baptism into Christ, by
which we are baptized into his death, is thus the instrumental cause of
the burial; a fact which utterly excludes any form of ritual baptism
from the purview of the passage. But what is here meant by being buried
with him? In order to an answer, it will be necessary to ascertain
precisely who it is that dies and is buried with Christ. The answer
comes promptly. “_We_ are buried.” True; but the words are to be taken
in the light of the apostle’s own interpretation. It is not we, in the
entirety of our persons, but our old man, of which this is said.
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of
sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”—Vs. 6.
It is, to signify the utterness of this death and destruction of the old
man,—its obliteration out of our lives, so that we can not “live any
longer therein,” nor “serve sin,” that the apostle represents it as
buried, and hidden away in a resurrectionless grave. The old man buried,
so that the new man may unimpeded “walk in newness of life.” In this
doctrine and these words of the apostle, we have the very baptism which
Dr. Conant admits to be expressed, “by analogy,” by the word
_baptizo_;—“_the coming into a new state of life or experience_.” Into
the conception of the passage, when critically appreciated, it is
impossible to introduce the idea of immersion, in any congruous or
intelligible relation.

The apostle illustrates his subject with another figure, which has been
sometimes pressed into the service of immersion. “For if we have been
planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the
likeness of his resurrection.” It has been assumed that the planting of
a tree is here associated with immersion in water (“buried by baptism”),
as representing the burial of the dead. Thus, “the likeness of his
_death_,” which was by crucifixion, is confounded with the form of
_burial_ of the dead. This is recognized by Dr. Carson, whose exposition
of the figure is essentially correct. Of _sumphutoi_ (“planted
together”) he says,—“It might, I think, be applied to express the
growing together of the graft and the tree; but this would be the effect
or consequence of grafting, and not the operation itself. It denotes, in
short, the closest union, with respect to things indiscriminately. There
is no need, then, to bring either planting or grafting into the passage;
and as neither of them resembles a resurrection, they should be
rejected. When we translate the passage,—‘For, if we have become one
with him,’ or, ‘have been joined with him, in the likeness of his
death,’—we not only suit the connexion, to both death and resurrection,
but we take the word _sumphutoi_, in its most common acceptation.”[107]
This witness is true. The phrase has no reference to the form of ritual
baptism, but to the intimacy of the union which that of the Spirit
establishes. The two expressions,—“Baptized into his death,” and
“Coplanted with him in the likeness of his death,” are coincident,
meaning essentially the same thing. It is, however, a fundamental defect
in Carson’s conception, that while he earnestly insists on the closeness
of the union, by which Christ and his people are one, he fails to
recognize the essential fact that it is effected by the baptism of the
Spirit. In his conception and vocabulary, it is a “_constituted_ union.”
A ray of light entering his mind on this point would have transfigured
his whole system.

Footnote 107:

  Carson on Baptism, p. 251.

But what means our being joined with Christ in the likeness of his
death? Here and elsewhere, Paul explains abundantly. “He died by sin,”
our sin, as being the meritorious cause of his death. “He was crucified
through weakness,”—the weakness of his humiliation, under the law and
the curse. (2 Cor. xiii, 4.) He died by the cross, the agonies of which
he voluntarily assumed. And he lives again, by the power of God who
raised him from the dead. So we also, if truly baptized into him, “are
weak (_en autō_) in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God
toward us.”—2 Cor. xiii, 4. We are weak in him, in a realizing sense
imparted by his Spirit in us, of the desert and condemnation of sin, and
of its prevailing power, which renders our emancipation from it a
crucifixion of the flesh, the agonies of which we voluntarily incur. And
we live with him, in the present life of the new man after his image,
created by the baptism of his Spirit in us, as we shall finally live
with him in the life of glory. Thus we are joined with him in the
likeness of his death, and also of his resurrection.

From this analysis, it is evident that the assumption of allusion to a
supposed ritual burial is wholly unnecessary to the exegesis of the
passage. In fact, the supposition of such allusion is altogether
incongruous and confusing to the argument of the place. (1.) The real
baptism and its effects are the alone subjects of the discussion; and
any exegesis which ignores this must lead to error. (2.) The burial of
which the apostle speaks is spiritual, as well as is the baptism. The
two are in no sense identical; but the one is, by the apostle distinctly
and sharply discriminated from the other. The baptism is the primary
cause, of which the burial is _one_, and but one, of the results. The
baptism is the shedding upon us of the Holy Spirit of life in Christ
Jesus. The burial is the putting away, and obliterating of the old man
out of our lives. It follows, that in any parallel figurative or ritual
system, each one of these spiritual realities must have its own
analogue, as distinctly defined and discriminated, each from the other,
as are the realities which they are designed to represent. And, in fact,
such is the figurative system of the Scriptures, which represent the one
by the figure of the outpouring of water, and the other by the burial of
the dead. To interpret, therefore, a ritual _baptism_ as symbolic of the
spiritual _burial_, is as incongruous to the Scriptural conception, as
would be the employment of the burial of the dead to represent the
outpouring upon us of the Spirit of life. And to understand the apostle,
by the expression, “buried by the baptism” to mean directly the
spiritual phenomenon which the phrase designates, and at the same time
to convey an allusion to a ritual _baptism_ as being a symbol of the
_burial_, is an absurdity which does violence to the whole conception,
to the destruction of its propriety and significance. For, not only are
the two thus sharply discriminated by Paul, but he attributes to each
its own relations and predicates, and assigns to each its own place in
the scheme of grace and in the argument which he states. To neglect,
therefore, the distinction, and confound them together, as is done by
the Baptist interpretation, destroys the whole logical force and
sequence of the argument, and dissolves the connection between the
premises and the conclusions.

Moreover, were it even allowable, as it is not, thus to confound things
that differ, there still remains a point of difficulty in the way of the
immersion exegesis which, for its removal, demands something more than
the mere assumption which has heretofore been put in the place of proof.
The apostle speaks, not of immersion, but of burial. “Buried with him.”
That the two ideas are not identical does not need to be proved. Nor is
the difference so slight that the one would readily suggest itself as a
figure of the other. But in order to sustain the Baptist conclusions
which depend on this language, it would be necessary to demonstrate that
the rites of sepulture with which the writers of the Scriptures were
familiar, and in conformity to which the body of Jesus was entombed,
bore a resemblance to immersion in water, so close and manifest, that
the one was a recognized symbol of the other. But there is certainly no
such resemblance as to justify the gratuitous assumption that such a
figure was employed; and of its actual use, the Scriptures contain not a

Is it still insisted that, nevertheless, there is an allusion to the
rite of immersion? Such an allusion must be supposed to shed light or
beauty upon the presentation of the spiritual theme of the passage; or,
it is an arbitrary impertinence. Let us then view the suggestion
squarely, in the light of the realized observance, thus forced into
critical notice. The theme of the apostle is the calm majesty and power
of the Savior’s three days’ rest in the sepulcher, and of the silent and
unseen mystery of his rising on the third day; and the tranquil energy
of the same mighty power in the believer (Eph. i, 19, 20; ii, 1), by
which he is quickened and raised up to the life of holiness. The figure
which is intruded, to illuminate and adorn this conception, calls up
before us the apprehension and haste of the ritual observance, and the
agitation, the gasping and sputter of the dripping subjects of the rite,
as they struggle up out of the “watery grave.” Is it possible to
conceive that master of rhetoric, the apostle Paul, to have called up
these, the essential and inseparable features of the rite of immersion,
as a means of shedding light or beauty on his exalted theme?

             SECTION LXXIX.—“_Buried with Him in Baptism._”

Col. ii, 9-13.—“In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and
power. In whom, also, ye are circumcised with the circumcision made
without hands, in putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision
of Christ (_suntaphentes autō en to baptismati_), _having been buried
with him by the baptism_, wherein also ye were raised up with him,
through the faith of the operation of God, who raised him from the dead.
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
did he quicken together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.”
Here, in the phrase,—“the body _of the sins_ of the flesh,” which is the
reading of the common version, the critical editors unite in rejecting
(_hamartiōn_) “of the sins,” which was undoubtedly a gloss inserted from
the margin, in careless transcription.

It is evident that the doctrine and argument of the passage just
examined from the epistle to the Romans, and this to the Colossians are
essentially the same. In the former, Paul shows that the child of God
can not live in sin;—in the latter that he ought to walk in Christ. The
controlling motive of the apostle’s argument, here, is, to free his
readers from the bondage of ritual ordinances and human devices of
religion. He begins with the admonition,—“Beware lest any man spoil you
through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after
the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”—vs. 8. To this, he
again recurs as the conclusion of his argument.—“Therefore, if ye _be
dead_ with Christ, from the rudiments of the world, why as though
_living_ in the world are ye subject to ordinances, ... after the
commandments and doctrines of men?”—vs. 20, 21. It is with a view to
these things that the exhortation is written,—“As ye have _received_
Christ Jesus the Lord, so, walk ye in _him_, rooted and built up in
_him_, and established in _the faith_,” as contrasted with these
traditions of men. Thus, as in the parallel plea to the Romans, so here,
the determining idea is union with the Lord Jesus,—that spiritual union
of which the baptism of the Spirit is the efficient and only cause. The
dignity and glory conferred by it are emphasized by the declaration that
“in Him dwelleth all, (_plērōma_) _the fullness_ of the Godhead bodily.”
In the person of Jesus, the Son is incarnate; the Father’s glory and
power invest him, and the Spirit is his and dwells in him. “And ye are
(_peplērōmenoi_) _made full_ in him.” “Made full in him” by virtue of
that mutual relation which Jesus describes;—“You in me, and I in
you.”—John xiv, 20. Thus, made full, with all the graces of his
indwelling Spirit, and so needing no recourse to the rudiments of the
world. With this fullness of grace, the apostle then contrasts the
coincident emptying of the old man. “In whom ye are circumcised with the
circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the flesh,
by the circumcision of Christ.” Circumcision signified the cutting off
and destruction of the corrupt nature derived by generation, the old
man, through the blood and sufferings of the promised Seed of Abraham.
This operation is here called “the circumcision of Christ,” as it is
that spiritual reality of which ritual circumcision was the type. The
apostle holds it up to view, as the substance, in contrast with the
emptiness of the ritual shadow, against dependence on which he dissuades
his Colossian readers. This circumcision of Christ he proceeds to
explain farther. “Putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision
of Christ, (_suntaphentes autō_) _having been buried with him_ in the
baptism.” In the conception and argument of the apostle, emphasis rests
on the definite article, which here, and in the parallel place, already
examined, is ignored in the common English version, and in the Revised
version. Paul’s aim in this place is to hold up the spiritual realities
of the gospel in contrast with the emptiness of ritual forms. He
coordinates “_the_ baptism” with “the circumcision of Christ,” in
producing the spiritual phenomena of which he is speaking. Or, rather,
he postulates the baptism as the ultimate cause of the circumcision and
its results. That, by the phrase, “the baptism,” he designates the same
thing as in Romans vi, 4, is evident, as it is also that as in that
place, so here, the baptism is not the burial, but is related to it, as
the cause to the effect.—“Buried with him _by_ the baptism.” How the
baptism effects the burial, has been shown in that place. The
distinction between the two, which is there so strongly marked, is in
this passage equally clear and important; and the consequences there
traced are here as legitimate and pertinent. The supposition of an
allusion to immersion in water, in either place, is utterly groundless,
and in both alike incongruous and destructive to the apostle’s
conception and argument. Certainly, this place no more than the other
necessitates recourse to the supposed rite of immersion, in order to a
rational interpretation. And it is equally certain that at the touch of
a discriminating exegesis the supposed allusion to such a rite vanishes
utterly away.

              SECTION LXXX.—_End of the Baptist Argument._

The Baptist position rests on two assumptions. The _first_ is, that
_baptizo_ means, to dip, to immerse, to submerge,—one or other of these,
as the different advocates of the cause may select,—_and nothing else_.
The _second_ is, that on account of its resemblance to the laying of the
body of Jesus in the sepulchre, the rite of dipping, immersion, or
submersion in water was appointed as a symbol of his entombing. The
first of these assumptions is essential to vindicate the mode in
question, and the second to establish its typical significance. If
_baptizo_ does not mean as defined, or if that is not the only meaning,
the whole immersion fabric falls to the ground. And if the second
proposition is not established, the rite becomes an unmeaning
absurdity.—On these vital points, the following are the results of the
evidence thus far developed in these pages.

1. While the Scriptures everywhere, in the Old Testament and the New,
are full of the doctrine of the baptism of the Spirit,—while the divers
baptisms of the Mosaic ritual were unquestionably typical of it, and the
prophecies abound in references to it under the figure of affusion—the
sprinkling of water, and the outpouring of rain,—the rite of immersion
does not pretend to any better evidence than is found in a definition of
_baptizo_, which is now admitted to be erroneous, and a few expressions
in the New Testament which are at best of questionable interpretation.
Aside from these, it is foreign and uncongenial to the whole tenor of
conception and language of the New Testament as well as of the Old.

2. Not to insist on the special conclusions of Dale,—the admissions of
Dr. Conant, confirmed by the authority of Prof. Kendrick, prove that the
word does not mean, to dip, to put in the water and take out again; but
to put under the water, to submerge. The rite, then, consists in
submerging the subjects. In that action the baptism is completed. There
is therefore in it no symbol nor suggestion of the resurrection.

3. The elaborate researches of Dr. Dale, and the results established by
the investigations of this volume, are confirmed by the distinct
admission of Dr. Conant, that the primary is _not_ the _only_ meaning of
the word. It not only means, to submerge, but also, “the coming into a
new state of life or experience.” Thus, the citadel of the immersion
position is definitely abandoned. The word is _not_ limited to one
meaning. The mere fact, therefore, that it occurs, in any given place,
decides nothing as to the form of action expressed by it; since the
question always arises,—In what sense is the word here used? a question
which, in every instance, must be decided by evidence outside the word.
Until so decided, any inference from the word is mere assumption.

4. To re-establish the crumbling structure of immersion, the
prepositions avail nothing; since they are as congruous to the
supposition that the rite was performed by affusion.

5. The many waters of Enon prove nothing to the purpose; since abundance
of water was necessary to John’s congregations, had he made no ritual
use of it whatever.

6. Equally futile is appeal to Paul’s “buried by the baptism,” as the
imagined allusion is unnecessary to the interpretation, incongruous to
the argument, and destructive of the distinctions which the apostle
draws, and the conclusions which he deduces.

7. As to the remaining argument, from the baptism of the eunuch, we
shall see hereafter, that while the facts recorded decide nothing, they
create a presumption which distinctly indicates affusion.

Thus, the rite in question,—foreign to the whole style of the Old
Testament, its ritual and prophecies, and equally so to the language and
doctrines of the New,—is left without a vestige of evidence, anywhere,
whether as to mode or meaning, even in those particular words and
passages which have been the reliance of its advocates.

                               PART XIII.
                        BAPTISMAL REGENERATION.

SECTION LXXXI.—_The Doctrine is Contrary to the Whole Tenor of the Gospel._

Paul was yet in the meridian of his strength, and the most active period
of his ministry, when he wrote to the Thessalonians that “the mystery of
iniquity doth already work,”—the mystery out of which was to be
developed “that Wicked, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of
his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”—2 Thes.
ii, 7, 8. There is nothing more remarkable, nor more humiliating, in the
history of the church than the rapid defection from the simplicity of
the gospel which is apparent in the early remains of patristic
literature. The transition from the apostles and evangelists in the New
Testament, to the writings of the fathers, is like that from the
splendor of the noonday sun to the deepening twilight of the evening. It
was the precursor of “the black and dark night,” by which the gospel was
obscured for so many ages, and which still enshrouds the churches of
Rome and the East in a mantle of gloom. Of this defection, the
all-powerful cause was a false and mischievous interpretation of the
Scriptures concerning the relation of the covenant of Sinai to the new
covenant. They were interpreted as teaching that the visible church and
its ordinances under the New Testament economy, was the antitype of the
Levitical church and institutions,—that the rites and ceremonies of the
latter were the shadow, of which the ordinances of the Christian church
are the substance. Hence the Christian ministry became a priesthood,
ministering better sacrifices and more effectual purifyings than those
of the Mosaic ritual; for in their hands and by virtue of their
consecrating prayers, the Lord’s supper became a propitiatory sacrifice
of the very body and blood of the Lord Jesus, and baptism administered
by them became a spiritual regeneration,—a purging of the
conscience,—the true baptism foreshadowed by the “type baptism” of the
Old Testament. Thus, Didymus Alexandrinus, having quoted Ezek. xxxvi,
22,—“I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean from
all your sins;” and Psa. li, 7,—“Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be
clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow;” says,—“For the
sprinkling with hyssop was Judaic purification; which is continued by
them to the present time; but ‘whiter than snow,’ denotes Christian
illumination, which is baptism. And Peter, that he may show in his first
epistle, that if baptism, which was formerly, _in shadow_ (_en skia_)
saved, much more that which was _in reality_ (_en alētheia_)
immortalizes and deifies us, wrote thus;—‘Antitype baptism now saves
us.’”[108] So Ambrose, as already quoted, says of the Psalmist,—“He asks
to be cleansed by hyssop, according to the law. He desires to be washed,
according to the gospel. He who would be cleansed by typical baptism was
sprinkled with the blood of a lamb, by means of a bunch of hyssop.” Of
the doctrine of baptism, as thus conceived, Tertullian says,—“All waters
in virtue of the pristine privilege of their origin,[109] do, after
invocation of God accomplish sanctification; for the Spirit immediately
comes from heaven and rests upon the waters, sanctifying them by his own
power; and they being thus sanctified, therewith acquire the power of
sanctifying.”[110] Derived from this is the modern doctrine of baptismal
regeneration, according to which, it is only in and through the baptism
of water that the renewing grace of the Spirit is imparted to men.

Footnote 108:

  Did. Alex. xxxix, 716. In Dale’s Christ. Bapt. p. 342.

Footnote 109:

  He alludes to a relation to the Spirit, supposed to be indicated in
  Gen. i, 2.

Footnote 110:

  Tertullianus, De Bapt., ch. iv.

It is manifest that if this doctrine be true, baptism is the “one thing
needful;” and the church of Rome, and ritualists everywhere are right in
the unanimity with which they reduce the preaching of the word to a
secondary place, and count the progress of the gospel by the numbers who
have been subjected to the life-giving rite. If it be true, then water
baptism should be the theme of the New Testament; and the apostles and
Christian ministry must have been commissioned and sent forth, _not_ to
preach the gospel; but _to baptize_. What says the Word of God on these

1. As to the gospel commission, and the instructions connected
therewith, we have accounts from each of the four evangelists. John
confines himself almost entirely to those, of such supreme interest,
which Jesus uttered at the table, the night of the betrayal. Matthew,
Mark, and Luke record the essential facts which occurred after the
resurrection. The first thing that presents itself in examining these
accounts is, that of baptism, as connected with the last instructions
given the apostles, neither Luke nor John say one word. Thus, if the
doctrine in question be true, these two evangelists are guilty of
leaving out of their record the very heart and essence of the whole
matter. This is the more remarkable, if we consider the character of the
writers who are thus chargeable. Did we forget the Spirit which guided
their pens, it is yet impossible to imagine that Luke, “the beloved
physician,” disciple, and companion of Paul, can have been unaware of
the just proportion to be preserved in his narrative; so as to ignore a
matter important as this. Or, John, the kinsman of Jesus, the beloved
disciple, who in the privilege of a perfect confidence and love, lay on
his bosom, and who received from the cross the legacy of the stricken
mother,—John was not ignorant of the mind of his Master, on a subject
like this, upon which depend the whole results of the work of
redemption. The silence of these writers was not inadvertent, and it is
fatal to the theory in question. What they do not report can have no
place among the essentials of the plan of salvation. It still, however,
remains to account for their silence respecting the ritual ordinance of
baptism; which, apart from the unwarranted theory in question, all agree
to be of divine authority. To this point we will return hereafter.

If, now, we turn to the other evangelists, the record of Matthew is as
follows: Matt. xxviii, 16-20. “Then the eleven disciples went away into
Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they
saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake
unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go
ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them (_eis to honoma_),
_into the name_ of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost;
teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and
lo! I am with you alway even unto the end of the world.” Here, it can
not be pretended that there is any thing to countenance the idea of
baptismal regeneration. The administering of the rite is enjoined on the
apostles. But no hint is given of its being necessary to salvation; and
no such stress is laid upon it as to imply such necessity.

Mark records the language of Jesus on another occasion. Mark xvi,
14-16,—“He appeared to the eleven, as they sat at meat, and upbraided
them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed
not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them,
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not
shall he damned.” Here, is no more of baptismal regeneration than we
have found in Matthew. Emphasis is, indeed, given to baptism, by the
connection in which it is introduced. But at the very point on which all
depends the evidence gives way. “He that believeth and is baptized shall
be saved; but he that believeth not—shall be damned.” Thus explicitly
Jesus utters sentence of perdition against unbelief. But he as
explicitly omits baptism from mention on that side of the alternative,
and thus expressly limits the condemning sentence to unbelief. Either
this language is designed to represent baptism as important but _not_
essential; or, it is a snare which must take men at unawares, and
involve them in danger of destruction from ignorance of the necessity of
the rite. Here then is no baptismal regeneration. The same inference
follows from the silence of the other evangelists on this point. The
eleven were all present and heard these words. If they were meant to
imply baptismal regeneration, they were of the very highest moment. They
could not, therefore, be ignored, but must have been the very center and
controlling principle of all their writings and teachings. And yet, the
other gospels ignore them; and the epistles are equally silent. It is,
therefore, certain that the apostles did not understand the expressions,
in the supposed sense. The true principle of harmony for the
interpretation of all these facts will be presented in another place.

2. If now we examine the position of the great apostle of the Gentiles,
we shall find him give place by subjection to this doctrine,—no, not for
an hour. His is an independent testimony; for he was not with the eleven
under the personal ministry of Christ. It is also fuller than any other;
running through his thirteen epistles. First, we find that it was not
his habit to baptize the converts of his own ministry; and that, upon
principle. He says to the Corinthians,—“I thank God that I baptized none
of you but Crispus and Gaius; lest any should say that I had baptized in
my own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas. Besides, I
know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me, not to
baptize, but to preach the gospel.”—1 Cor. i, 14-17. He moreover states
the reason of his special devotion thus to the preaching of the
gospel,—because “it pleased God by the foolishness of _preaching_ to
save them that _believe_.”—v. 21. Here be it observed, the apostle
speaks of preaching, not abstractly considered, but in immediate
contrast with baptism. He does not baptize; but preaches, because
_preaching_ is the means which God has chosen for the salvation of men
_through faith_. Thus, baptism is, in the plainest terms denied the
place assigned it by the theory in question. But the evidence is even
more direct and conclusive. To these same Corinthians whom Paul thus
reminded that he had not baptized them, he addressed a second epistle,
in which he distinctly asserts that through his personal ministry the
Spirit of God had been given them and new life wrought within them. “Ye
are our epistle written in _your_ hearts,[111] known and read of all
men; forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ
ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the
living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the
heart.” He goes on to assert his ministry to be “of the new covenant;
not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth; but the
spirit giveth life.”—2 Cor. iii, 2, 3, 6. It needs no words, here, to
show that thus the apostle overturns the very foundations of the theory
of baptismal regeneration. Paul did not baptize the Corinthians. But he
ministered to them the Holy Spirit of life and grace,—the true baptism
of which he speaks so largely in his epistles.

Footnote 111:

  That ἡμων, the reading of the Textus Receptus, should be ὑμῶν, “_your_
  hearts,” is testified by a number of MSS., among which is the
  Sinaiticus, and is imperatively demanded by the connection.

It is not necessary to go farther in tracing the doctrine of Paul on the
subject. He is everywhere consistent with himself as thus presented. It
is however worthy of express notice that in his three epistles to
Timothy and Titus, in which he sets forth the qualifications and duties
of “the man of God,” he does not once name or allude to the ordinance of
baptism. Had the apostle believed the doctrine of baptismal
regeneration, it is not possible that he could have been thus silent.
But what need is there of thus inferring the sentiments of Paul? His
favorite doctrine, excludes and condemns this theory as an intrusive
heresy. “Being justified _by faith_, we have peace with God, through our
Lord Jesus Christ.”—Rom. v, 1. “By grace ye are saved, _through faith_,
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”—Eph. ii, 8. “O
foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you?... This only would I learn of
you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law or by the _hearing
of faith_?”—Gal. iii, 1, 2. How is it that by no accident does he ever
say,—“by the hearing of faith, and _by baptism_?” It is almost needless
to add that the other apostles in their writings are in perfect accord
with Paul. In fact, ritual or water baptism is not once named in their
epistles. The word, itself, occurs in them all only once,—in the
statement of Peter respecting “antitype baptism,” which has been already
examined. If the apostles and evangelists are true witnesses as to the
mind of Christ, the doctrine of baptismal regeneration is contrary to
his teachings and subversive of the gospel.

This heresy is to be regarded with peculiar detestation and abhorrence
because of the disparagement which it does to the sovereignty and glory
of Christ’s baptizing scepter. In any and every form of it, it divides
the work of grace between Christ and the human administrators of the
empty sign. It subordinates and limits the sovereign exercise of his
saving power to the discretion of their wisdom and will, to the measure
of their fidelity and ardor of their zeal. Whom they baptize,—upon them
his grace may be bestowed, and upon them only.

We shall not examine in detail all the Scriptures which are appealed to
in support of this theory. There are two which are the chief reliance of
its advocates, an examination of which will be sufficient. If not in
them, the doctrine is not to be found in the Bible. They are, John iii,
5, and Eph. v, 25-27.

          SECTION LXXXII.—“_Born of Water and of the Spirit._”

Said Jesus to Nicodemus,—“Except a man be born of water and of the
Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.”—John iii, 5. Dr.
Pusey asserts that “The Christian church uniformly for fifteen centuries
interpreted these words of baptism; on the ground of this text alone,
they urged the necessity of baptism; upon it they identified
regeneration with baptism.” If the position thus maintained by the
churches of Rome and the east for so many centuries be the truth, it
presents the Savior, the apostles and evangelists, and the Scriptures
written by them, in a most extraordinary light. In the very beginning of
his ministry, in a private interview with the Jewish ruler, Jesus
imparts to him this doctrine, on which confessedly the salvation of
every man depends. But, from that hour, neither he nor his apostles ever
name it. In his public instructions to the people,—in his private
interviews with his disciples,—in those particular and assiduous
teachings by which, as his own ministry drew to a close, he put them in
possession of his whole mind concerning their ministry and the world’s
salvation (John xv, 15), he is persistently and entirely silent on this
vital point. “Still,” says Dr. Pusey, “the truth in holy Scripture is
not less God’s truth, because contained in one passage only.” The
principle is sound; but its application here is a mere begging of the
question. That question is, What mean these words? And the above axiom
is no more true, and much less pertinent to the present occasion than is
the rule of interpretation laid down by Paul. “Having then gifts
differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy,
let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.”—Rom. xii, 6. An
_interpretation_ which takes a passage out of all congruous relation to
the rest of the Scriptures, and overturns the very foundations of the
faith therein set forth, is false. And such is the interpretation in
question. The circumstances and connection indicate the true meaning of
the passage.

That Nicodemus, although perhaps lacking in courage, was an honest
inquirer after the truth, is evinced by the circumstances of this
interview and by his subsequent history. He came by night, for fear of
the Jews. He came not to cavil but to be taught, as appears alike from
his own language and the manner of Christ’s dealing with him. John had
been for some time causing the land to ring with his warning cry; and
men’s hearts were in expectation because of it and his baptism. After
this interview of Nicodemus with Jesus, we incidentally learn that in
connection with Christ’s preaching his disciples also baptized. And
their baptism was assuredly of the same intent as that of John,—to
prefigure the office of the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost. We may,
therefore, conclude that their baptism was from the beginning associated
with Christ’s ministry. Of these facts, a man of the rank and
intelligence of Nicodemus, and in his state of mind, could not be
ignorant. He therefore comes for instruction as to the way of salvation.
At the beginning of the interview, he places himself definitely at the
feet of Jesus, as a disciple to be taught of him. “Rabbi, we _know_ that
thou art a _teacher_ come from God; for no man can do these miracles
that thou doest except God be with him.” To an application thus so
precisely in accord with Christ’s own testimonies as to himself and his
miracles (John v, 36; x, 25; xiv, 10, 11), he responds by entering
directly upon the question which was agitating the ruler’s heart,—that
great question,—How to be saved? “Jesus answered and said unto him,
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can not
see the kingdom of God,”—that kingdom of which the cry then was, “The
kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The figure of the new birth was strange
to Nicodemus; for, while the doctrine of renewing by the Holy Spirit is
familiar to the Old Testament writers,—the figure of a new birth is not
found in them. He therefore asks,—“How can a man be born when he is old”
Here evidently the ruler views the matter as of practical and present
interest to him personally. “How can I, Nicodemus, at my age, be born
again?” The purpose of Jesus, in using this new illustration was thus
accomplished. Old truths in new forms often develop a power which
otherwise they lack. Jesus therefore, now answers, by a figure, familiar
to his hearer, in the Old Testament Scriptures, and in the baptisms of
John and of Christ’s disciples, “Except a man be born of water and of
the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.”

From this view of the connection and circumstances, it is evident that
the passage is to be interpreted in the light of the Old Testament, and
of the baptisms administered at the time of this interview, several
years before the ascension and day of Pentecost; and not by any thing
peculiar to the time subsequent to that event. But it is an essential
feature of the theory of baptismal regeneration, that it holds the New
Testament church to have this eminent advantage over that of the Old
Testament, that the grace of regeneration is peculiar to the former, and
to the ordinance of baptism as administered subsequent to the ascension
of Christ. But the words of Christ to Nicodemus were no abstract setting
forth of phenomena of grace to be enjoyed by the church in a coming
time, but an explanation of the way in which the ruler must be saved,
then and there, under the old economy. Viewing it in this light the
following are the facts essential to the exposition of the passage.

1. The figure of metaphor was especially congenial to the Hebrew mind.
To its abundant use, the Scriptures are largely indebted for the energy
and clearness with which the profoundest thoughts are there presented.
“Lord, thou hast been our _dwelling place_ in all generations.”—Ps. xc,
1. “Moab is my _wash pot_.”—Ps. lx, 8. “In the hand of the Lord, there
is _a cup_, and the _wine_ is _red_; it is full of _mixture_; and he
poureth out of the same; but the _dregs_ thereof, all the wicked of the
earth shall wring them out and drink them.”—Ps. lxxv, 8. “Unto you that
fear my name shall _the sun of righteousness_ arise with healing in his
wings.”—Mal. iv, 2. Who would imagine the necessity of pausing to
explain that these expressions are not to be understood literally?

2. Among these metaphors, no one was more familiar to the Jews than that
of water, signifying the Holy Spirit. “I will _pour water_ upon him that
is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour my Spirit upon
thy seed and my blessing upon thine offspring.”—Isa. xliv, 3. This
figure has been already illustrated abundantly in these pages. It is
only here important to emphasize the fact that upon it the whole
significance of John’s and the Old Testament baptisms depended,—which
were, at that precise time, so earnestly pressed upon the attention of
the Jews.

3. This very figure was repeatedly used by our Saviour in the course of
his ministry. To the woman of Samaria he says, “thou wouldst have asked
of him, and he would have given thee _living water_.... Whosoever
drinketh of _the water_ that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but
_the water_ that I shall give him, shall be in him _a well of water_
springing up into everlasting life.”—John iv, 10, 14. Again, “In the
last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If
any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me,
as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of
_living water_.”—Ib. vii, 37, 38. It is, moreover, to be remarked that
both of these places occur in the same gospel of John in which is found
the interview with Nicodemus. Nor is it without significant bearing on
the present point, that in the Revelation, by the pen of this same
writer, the metaphor of water is conspicuous, in this same sense. “The
Lamb ... shall lead them unto living fountains of waters.”—Rev. vii, 17.
The Lord Jesus says,—“I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain
of the water of life freely;”—Ib. xxi, 6. John sees the “pure river of
water of life clear as crystal proceeding out of the throne of God and
the Lamb;”—Ib. xxii, 1. And the volume of revelation closes with the
invitation,—”Let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him
take of the water of life, freely.”—Ib. 17.

4. The Greek conjunction, _kai_, (“and,”) does not always express
addition; but sometimes indicates an expository relation between two
members of a sentence, and is equivalent to, _even_, _to wit_, _namely_.
Thus,—“For blasphemy, _even_ because that thou being a man makest
thyself God.”—John x, 33. “Hath made us kings and priests unto God,
_even_ his Father.”—Rev. i, 6. “A golden cup, full of abominations,
_even_ the filthiness of her fornications.”—Ib. xvii, 4. “But ourselves,
_even_ we ourselves, groan.”—Rom. viii, 23. “God, _even_ our
Father.”—Phil. iv, 20. Three of these examples being from the writings
of John again illustrate his style. It is evident that the phrase in
question may be translated thus;—“Except a man be born of water, _even_
of the Spirit.” In fact, such must have been the sense in which it was
understood by Nicodemus. (1.) The phrase is professedly _explanatory_.
It is in reply to the perplexity of Nicodemus, at the primary statement
of Jesus,—“Except a man be born again,”—an expression the meaning of
which is abundantly illustrated, in all parts of the New Testament. (2.)
The explanatory clause thus introduced, having performed its office,
immediately drops out of the discourse, which subsequently dwells upon
the new birth of the Spirit alone. “Except a man be born of water, even
of the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God. That which is
born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born _of the Spirit_ is
spirit. The wind bloweth where it listeth, ... so is every one that is
born _of the Spirit_.” It is impossible to account for the manner in
which, after the one explanatory phrase, the water is thus ignored and
excluded, upon any other supposition than that by which it is viewed as
an interpretation of the previous expression, a metaphor for the Spirit.
(3.) The fact that in the circumstances, it was impossible for the ruler
to have understood the language in question as referring to a water
baptism, which, upon the theory of baptismal regeneration, was not to be
administered until after the day of Pentecost; and that he was therefore
shut up to regard it as a metaphor, rendered explanation necessary, if
that theory is true. The absence of any explanation makes it certain
that such was not the meaning of Jesus.

5. The author of this narrative had, already, in the beginning of his
gospel given an account of the manner of regeneration, which must be
accepted as governing the whole of his subsequent record on the subject.
“As many as received Him to them gave He power to become” (_exousian
genesthai_, “gave He _the prerogative of being_”) “the sons of God, even
to them that believe on His name; which were born, not of blood, nor of
the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”—John i, 12,
13. Here, it is not sufficient to say that baptismal regeneration is
ignored. It is absolutely excluded. The born of God are described in
terms both exclusive and inclusive, by the phrase, “_As many as_
received him, ... that believed on his name.” These, all of these, and
none but these, were born of God. The addition of baptism makes this no
more sure; nor does its absence affect the result. As many as receive
Christ,—As many as believe on his name, to them it is given to be the
sons of God.

It is evident that the record of the interview with Nicodemus, all of
which may be read in two or three minutes, is a mere abstract of leading
points of our Savior’s discourse. The intent of the words in question
may be thus expressed. “You do not understand how a man can be born
again. But you are familiar with the rite of baptism, and you are
acquainted with the Scriptures of the prophets, and the interpretation
which they give to that rite as a symbol of the renewing work of the
Holy Spirit. It is that of which I speak. Except a man be born of water,
even of the Holy Spirit, who is the true water of life, he can not enter
into the kingdom of God.”

         SECTION LXXXIII.—“_The Washing of Water by the Word._”

To the Ephesians, Paul thus writes. Eph. v, 25-27. “Husbands love your
wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it;
that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the
word; that he might present it to himself, a glorious church, not having
spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and
without blemish.” It is asserted that here baptism with water, and its
effects are described. The “washing of water” is the baptism, “the
word,” is the formula of the ordinance and unblemished holiness, the
effect. But

1. The subject of Paul’s discussion is the relation of husband and wife,
and the reference to the church is incidental, and by reason of the
analogy of the subjects. The conception which runs through and controls
the passage is that of a bridal, and each particular of the language is
suggested by this conception. Thus, in the phrase, “a glorious church,”
rather “a church gloriously adorned” (compare Luke vii, 25, “gorgeously
apparelled,”) the apostle seems to have had in his mind (Psa. xlv,
3),—“The king’s daughter is all glorious, within; her clothing is of
wrought gold.” So, the washing of water is expressly stated to be in
order to his presenting her to himself “not having spot or wrinkle.” The
immediate reference, therefore, of the language is to the washing and
decking of the bride, before marriage; and the original of the whole
conception is to be found in Ezekiel xvi, 9-14. “Then washed I thee with
water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed
thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee
with badger’s skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I
covered thee with silk. I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put
bracelets on thy hands and a chain on thy neck.” It will hardly be
pretended that in this language of the prophet, the washing with water
implies any mixture of the natural element with that process of grace
which is there described. And that the prophet and the apostle refer to
the same thing is manifest. There is no direct allusion in the passage
to ritual baptism. The water is the familiar metaphor of the Spirit, and
the washing is the expression for his renewing and sanctifying
influences on the soul.

2. The assertion that (_rēma_) “the word,” here means the formula of
baptism, is an assumption, wholly indefensible. In the first place,
there is no formula of baptism ordained by Jesus, or recognized or used
by the sacred writers. Of this, the evidence will hereafter appear.
Moreover, in the New Testament, and especially in the writings of Paul,
the word in question, _rēma,_ is invariably used in the sense of the
testimonies,—the doctrines,—_the word_ of God,—the gospel. Thus, the
angel said to the apostles,—“Go, stand and speak in the temple, to the
people, all (_ta rēmata_) _the words_ of this life.”—Acts v, 20. Peter
tells the house of Cornelius,—“That _word_ (_rēma_) ye know ... how God
anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power,” etc.—Ib.
x, 37, 38. Paul, in this very same epistle, tells the Ephesians (vi, 17)
that “the sword of the Spirit” “is the _word_ (_rēma_) of God.” And
Peter declares that “the _word_ (_rēma_) of the Lord endureth forever;
and this is the _word_ (_rēma_) which by the gospel is preached unto
you.”—1 Peter i, 25. No word in the Scriptures is of a more unequivocal
meaning than this.

3. The interpretation of _rēma_ as meaning the baptismal formula, is a
recognition of the unquestionable fact that “the word” is made by the
apostle the instrumental cause of the sanctifying. Literally translated
the passage reads,—“That he might sanctify it,—having purified it by the
washing of water,—by the word.” Thus, the word is the instrument of the
sanctifying, and the parenthetic clause states the figure by which the
analogy of the bride is sustained. The sanctifying and the purifying are
the same spiritual phenomenon, the one phrase being conformed to the
idea of the church, the other to that of the bride. And, whether the
common English version be accepted, or the construction of the original
be literally followed, as above, the result remains the same, that “the
word” is distinctly stated to be the instrument of the process described
by the two words, “sanctify” and “cleanse.” In what sense the word is
sanctifying, let Jesus testify. “The words (_ta rēmata_) that I speak
unto you” (_literally_, “that I have spoken unto you,” that is, in his
preceding discourse), “they are spirit, and they are life.”—John vi, 63.
“Now ye are clean, through (_tou logou_) _the word_ that I have spoken
unto you.”—Ib. xv, 3. “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word
(_logos_) is truth.... And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they
also may be sanctified through the truth.”—Ib. xvii, 17, 19. “Chosen
unto salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the
truth.”—2 Thes. ii, 13. The word is the means and the Spirit the
efficient author of grace.

                               Part XIV.
                       THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH.

           SECTION LXXXIV.—_The Ritual Law was not Repealed._

In the entrance of the church upon her new commission, her constitution
was unchanged. But the ordinances of testimony with which she was
entrusted received an essential modification. The nature and the manner
of this were alike remarkable; and as the subject has not received the
attention due to its importance, it requires here the more careful
consideration. In the course thereof, it will appear that the Hebrew
Christian church remained with its institutions all unaltered, as they
were received from Moses, and the ceremonial law in full authority and
operation, down to the close of the New Testament canon. But the Gentile
element, which was by the preaching of the gospel gathered in and
incorporated with the church, was, by express statute, exempted from the
obligation of that law.

1. The Lord Jesus was “a minister of the circumcision for the truth of
God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers; and that the
Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.”—Rom. xv, 8, 9. He lived and
died in the full communion of the church of Israel, in so far as his own
action or will was concerned; although he was in the end excommunicated
and betrayed by the rulers of that church. He assured his disciples that
he came not to destroy the law but to fulfill. (Matt. v, 17.) Neither by
example nor by precept did he set aside or abrogate it; but, on the
contrary, having himself obeyed every precept and observed every
ordinance, he left it, at his ascension, in full and unimpaired

2. The apostles and the church over which they presided in Jerusalem
were not only zealous in their observance of the law; but were not
altogether exempt from the influence of some of the most obnoxious of
the traditions of the elders. Of this, the case of Peter’s visit to the
house of Cornelius presents a signal illustration. To prepare him to
listen to the message from the Roman centurion, a miraculous vision was
shown him. And, when the disciples in Jerusalem heard of the matter,
they accused him, for having gone in to men uncircumcised and eaten with
them. And yet there was not a syllable in the laws of Moses to justify
such extreme reserve. It was wholly based upon the traditions of the
elders. So powerful and prevalent was the sentiment among Jewish
Christians, on this subject, that it subsequently became the occasion of
a very singular dereliction on the part of Peter. Says Paul,—“When Peter
was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be
blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the
Gentiles; but when they were come, he withdrew, and separated himself,
fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews
dissembled likewise with him, insomuch that Barnabas also was carried
away with their dissimulation.”—Gal. ii, 11-13. Respecting this it is
not enough to say that Peter and the Judaizers were all wrong. True. But
such a state of things could not have existed, had the church or the
apostles understood the law of Moses to be, in any manner, abrogated or
set aside.

3. The calling and decree of the council of Jerusalem are very important
facts, as bearing on this subject. The occasion of the council was the
attempt of Judaizing teachers to impose circumcision and the ritual law
upon the Gentile converts. (Acts xv, 1-5.) Hereupon, “the apostles and
elders came together to consider of this matter.”—v. 6. Here, at once,
it is impossible that such a question could have arisen, had the
abrogation of the Mosaic law been a fact known to the church in
Jerusalem; and assuredly in that case, there would have been no room for
the apostles and elders to “consider” such a question, the very raising
of which would have been the erection of a standard of open rebellion
against Christ. The discussions and decree of the council were equally
conclusive. No doubt was suggested, in any quarter as to the continued
authority of the law. No one hinted at the idea of its repeal. The
discussion turned entirely on the privilege of the Gentiles to be
specially exempt from its requirements. The evidence of such exemption
was found in the fact that God had, in a special manner, shown his
acceptance of them, outside the law. Upon this point, the whole issue
turned; and the proof respecting it was formally given by Peter, in a
rehearsal of the facts concerning the house of Cornelius (vs. 7, 8); and
by Paul and Barnabas, in an account of “the miracles and wonders which
God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.”—vs. 12. Moreover, the
conclusion reached (vs. 14-19), and the decree issued, had express
relation, to the Gentiles, only, and not to the whole body of the
church. In a word, it was a decree recognizing and proclaiming the
exemption of the Gentiles from the obligation of the existing law.—“The
apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which
are _of the Gentiles_, in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia. Forasmuch as
we have heard, that certain which went out from us, have troubled you
with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised and
keep the law, to whom we gave no such commandment.... It seemed good to
the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these
necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from
blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which, if
ye keep yourselves ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”—vs. 23-29. Such is
the only rule or decree found in the New Testament, respecting the
ritual law. It exempts the Gentiles from its obligations; but otherwise
leaves it in unimpaired authority.

4. With this view, the whole subsequent history of the apostolic church
agrees. Paul was the great apostle of the Gentiles. He was prompt and
decided in asserting and vindicating their liberty from the obligations
of the law; but was himself conscientious in the observance of all its
requirements, and fully recognized their obligation upon himself and his
brethren of Israel. These facts were brought into question, and publicly
established in the most signal manner. When he came to Jerusalem after
his third missionary tour, in an interview with James and the elders of
the church, they said to him “Thou seest, brother, how many thousands
(_muriades_, how many tens of thousands,) of Jews there are which
believe; and they are all zealous of the law. And they are informed of
thee that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to
forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children,
neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? The multitude
must needs come together; for they will hear that thou art come. Do,
therefore, this that we say to thee. We have four men which have a vow
on them. Them take and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with
them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those
things whereof they have been informed concerning thee are nothing, but
that thou thyself also walkest orderly and keepest the law. As touching
the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they
observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things
offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from
fornication.”—Acts xxi, 20-25. To this suggestion Paul agreed, and was
in the temple in fulfillment of it, awaiting the time when “an offering
should be offered for every one of them,” when a tumult was raised by
the unbelieving Jews, and his imprisonment took place, which resulted in
his being sent, in chains, to Cesarea, and to Rome. (Acts xxi, 26, 27.)

Respecting this matter, the first point to be noticed is the fact that
the myriads of Jewish Christians were unanimous.—They “were all zealous
of the law.” The imagination of Conybeare and Howson and others that the
proceeding was the work of a Judaizing faction and was consented to for
the sake of peace, is not only without warrant in the record, but is in
contradiction to its whole tenor, and spirit. In fact the entire
conception of the first named writers on the subject is characterized by
a strained and perverse ingenuity, rather than by the simplicity of a
sound criticism. And yet they have to admit that the law continued in
unimpaired authority over all Jewish believers. Why then labor to
stigmatize the church in Jerusalem or an imaginary faction therein for
being zealous in its maintenance?

The purpose and intent of this transaction as expressly avowed by James
and the elders was to draw a broad line of distinction between Jews and
Gentiles in relation to the law. In their very suggestion to Paul, they
refer to the former council and decree.—“As touching the Gentiles which
believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing.”
Thus, avowedly, the course proposed was designed to interpret that
decree, and to limit its purview to the Gentiles. It was, moreover, a
transaction taking place in circumstances which imparted to it the very
highest moment. It was in Jerusalem, the center whence Jesus had
commanded his apostles that the gospel should go forth. They were to
preach in all the world, “beginning at Jerusalem.” There, consequently
the first labors of the twelve were expended; there, some of them were
almost always found; and to that church the Gentile churches looked as
the fountain of their faith and authoritative exponent to them of the
will of Christ. Such had been the prophetic anticipation long before
respecting this very time.—“Out of Zion shall go forth the law; and the
word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”—Isa. ii, 3. Already had that church
sent forth the law concerning the relation of the Gentiles to the Mosaic
institutions. And now the question to be decided was equally important,
and the action proposed, although different in form, was equally
responsible and decisive. A decree of confirmation of the law, which had
stood unimpeached for fifteen centuries would have been inappropriate
and calculated rather to awaken doubts than to strengthen conviction.
The course proposed and adopted was more appropriate and effective. Paul
was the great apostle of the Gentiles, the recognized and world-renowned
champion, not only of the freedom of the Gentiles, but of the liberty of
the gospel, the liberty of all Christ’s people. The spectacle,
therefore, of this great apostle, performing Levitical rites of
purifying and publicly appearing at the temple, in order to the offering
of sacrifices, in completion of a Nazarite vow, would constitute a most
decisive demonstration and announcement of the continued obligation of
the law, over all Israel. It was not a case, therefore, in which a
privilege might be waived for the sake of peace. Submission to these
proposals, if they were unwarranted, would have been treason, at once to
Christ and to the liberties of the apostle’s own people. How likely it
was that Paul, having already vindicated with firmness and success the
freedom of the Gentiles from the bondage of the law, should have
conspired to betray the liberties of his own beloved Israel, on the very
same point, in the interest of a time-serving policy, may be judged from
his whole history and writings. The alternative presented by the facts
is of itself conclusive. Either the law remained in unimpaired
authority, over Israel,—or, Paul and James, the elders, and all the
myriads of believing Jews, were united, without dissent or exception, in
a conspiracy to repudiate the authority of the Lord Jesus, and
re-establish a law repealed by him.

5. The action of Paul upon this occasion was not an instance of mere
occasional conformity, but was expressly designed by the apostle as a
testimony to the Jews that he did not repudiate the law, but “walked
orderly and kept it.” And an examination of his manner of life and
ministry will show that this testimony was true,—that he was constant
and conscientious in his own observance of the law, and recognition of
its authority. Wherever he went, his first recourse was to the
worshiping assemblies of the Jews, to which he joined himself as one of
them, withdrawing only when rejected from their company. (Acts xvii, 2;
xix, 8, 9, etc.) One incident in the story of his ministry affords us a
glimpse into the inner chamber of his sentiments and the spirit of his
personal life, as toward the law. On his second missionary tour, leaving
Corinth, he sailed into Syria, “and with him Priscilla and Aquila;
having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.”—Acts xviii, 18.
Some expositors have explained this vow as taken by Aquila and not by
Paul. Olshausen, who, however, rejects this theory, says that “those
learned men who deny the reference of the words to Paul, suppose that
the statement can not be applied to him, because it would have been
inconsistent with his principles regarding the abrogation of the
ceremonial law of Moses, to have taken upon him a vow.” Conybeare and
Howson, who hesitate between the two views, say that “the difficulty
lies not so much in supposing that Paul took a Jewish vow (see Acts xxi,
26) as in supposing that he made himself conspicuous for Jewish
peculiarities while he was forming a mixed church at Corinth.” But all
admit that the Greek in this place points as distinctly to Paul as does
the common English version. We already know enough, certainly, to
caution us against forcing an interpretation, on the ground that the
ceremonial law was abrogated. We have seen the apostle take upon him
such a vow, in the most public and demonstrative manner. And, as to the
difficulty made by Conybeare and Howson, it is founded in a palpable
mistake of the facts. The vow may have been made in Corinth. Of that we
know nothing. But the shaving of his head, to which alone the suggestion
as to “making himself conspicuous” could apply, took place in Cenchrea,
after leaving Corinth and when in the act of sailing for Syria. So that
the facts as recorded look rather to the avoidance of notoriety than
seeking it. So far as the record indicates, the vow being connected with
Paul’s own private religious life, was only known to his personal
attendants, in connection with the fact of his shaving his head, and the
diligence with which he sought to reach Jerusalem in time for the feast.
(Vs. 21, 22.) This was no doubt connected with the fulfillment of his
vow, which of necessity required offerings at the temple. It thus
appears that not only did the apostle maintain an outward and formal
observance of the law; but that his private devotional life and
experience took its form from the ordinances of that law, and found
expression in them; a fact utterly irreconcilable, as was his whole life
and teachings, with the assumption that he looked upon them as being
abrogated or obsolete.

On this and other occasions, there are intimations that as often as was
consistent with the duties of his ministry, he was accustomed to resort
to Jerusalem, in observance of the annual feasts, and for the purpose of
making offerings at the temple. “I came,” says he to Felix, “to bring
alms to my nation, _and offerings_. Whereupon certain Jews from Asia
found me _purified_ in the temple.”—Acts xxiv, 17, 18; comp. xx, 16.

Another important fact appears in the record. With a significant
discrimination, Paul circumcised Timothy the son of a Jewess; although,
his father being a Greek, he might have claimed exemption as a Gentile
(Acts xvi, 1-3); “But, neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek was
compelled to be circumcised; and that because of false brethren,
unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we
have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we
gave place, by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the
gospel might continue with you.”—Gal. ii, 3-5. Thus, in Timothy and
Titus, Paul’s favorite disciples and constant attendants and helpers in
his later ministry, he carried with him exemplars and representatives of
the opposite relations to the law, which he recognized in the Jews and
the Gentiles.

Moreover during his imprisonment, in reply to the charge of being a
contemner of the law, the apostle repeatedly and unqualifiedly asserted
that he had been constant and faithful in observance of it. In the
presence of the council of Israel, he announced himself a Pharisee. Of
the same thing he writes to the Philippians, that he had “no confidence
in the flesh, Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any
other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I
more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe
of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness
which is in the law blameless.”—Phil. iii, 3-6. It is true that the
description here given by the apostle has especial reference to the past
time of his unconverted zeal. But it is also true, that his introductory
comparison with others, as to grounds of self-righteous confidence, is
in the present tense, and indicates a conscious fidelity to the law down
to the time of his writing. When accused before Festus, “he answered for
himself,—Neither against _the law of the Jews_, neither against the
temple, nor yet against Cæsar, have I offended any thing at all.”—Acts
xxv, 8. And when at last he was taken to Rome, he there called the chief
of the Jews together, and said to them, “Men and brethren, though I have
committed _nothing_ against the people or _customs of our fathers_, yet
was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the
Romans.”—Acts xxviii, 17.

Is it asked, how all this is to be reconciled with the doctrine of the
epistle to the Galatians, and other testimonies of Paul respecting
circumcision and the law? I answer,—Paul nowhere utters a syllable in
disapproval of the observance of the law by the Jews, as a rule of life.
What he assails is, a trusting in it, for themselves, or imposing it on
others, as a rule of righteousness unto salvation. While he proclaimed
salvation by grace, through faith alone, without the works of the law,
moral or ritual, he with perfect consistency not only himself kept the
law, but enjoined it on his brethren after the flesh. His principle of
action in this respect, he states explicitly, “Is any man called, being
circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in
uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and
uncircumcision is nothing, _but the keeping of the commandments of God_.
Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou
called being a servant? care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free
use it rather.”—1 Cor. vii, 18-21. Thus distinctly does Paul recognize
circumcision as still being, to the Jews, a commandment of God; as
exemption from it was to the Gentiles. And it need scarcely be said,
that circumcision here stands for the whole law. It is to be considered,
moreover, that this language of Paul is not a mere recognition of
circumcision as still existing by the providence of God; but it is an
express and unreserved re-enforcement of the law, by his whole
authority, as an apostle of Jesus Christ,—a re-enforcement broad and
unlimited as to time or circumstances as was the law itself. This
unlimited character of the apostle’s decree, is emphasized and
strengthened by the exception which he appends to the general form of
his enunciation;—“Let every man abide in the calling wherein he was
called.” Lest any should interpret this rule as designed to apply to
cases outside the theme in hand, he adds,—“Art thou called being a
servant? Care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it
rather.” So far from moderating or weakening the force of the apostle’s
previous language, this adds greatly to it; showing as it does, that the
question of exceptions and limitations was present to his mind. Then was
the time, if ever, for him to have intimated the doing away of the
ritual law; or, at least, to so guard his language as to harmonize it
with its ultimate abrogation, had such been the purpose of God. The
fact, therefore, that neither here nor elsewhere does he allude to such
a purpose, but on the contrary gives the above unreserved injunction as
a permanent part of the written word of God, leaves us but one
alternative,—to reject the authority of Paul, as an inspired apostle, or
to recognize circumcision and the law as being, to the Jew, the
commandment of God, unrepealed.

If, we further examine the epistles, we shall find that while they all
are unanimous in repudiating the _righteousness_ of the law; they do
not, anywhere assert or imply its repeal, as toward Israel. It will
moreover be found that any inference as to the abrogation of the law,
which may be deduced from the doctrine of grace, as taught by all the
apostles, applies as directly to the moral as to the ritual code; both
of which are by them commonly comprehended together under the
designation of, “the law.” Upon their principles, reliance on a
righteousness of works is just as much to be reprobated in the one form
as in the other; and the doctrine of salvation by grace is as consistent
with the continued obligation and observance of the ritual, as, of the
moral law.

6. It is no slight argument in proof of the view here presented, that it
alone exhibits the apostolic history as consistent and harmonious, based
upon definite and inflexible principles, unanimously recognized and
obeyed by the apostles and elders. That such must have been the case, is
involved in the manner in which the apostles were appointed to preside
over the transition period in the history of the church, and the Spirit
given for their guidance therein. Many writers have assumed without the
trouble of proof, that the ritual law could not any longer possess
legitimate authority—that the coming of Christ, and his one offering of
himself, of necessity, superseded and set it aside. They are, at once,
involved in the necessity of treating the whole history of the apostolic
church as one of compromising policies and timeserving expedients. We
are told of the extreme Judaism of James, the more moderate conservatism
of Peter, and the free evangelical spirit of Paul. Their principles and
parties are represented as maintaining a continual struggle, and the
various facts of the history are explained as the prevalence of one or
the other set of opinions, or the result of compromise. On the contrary,
there is not a trace of the least diversity of sentiment on these
questions between the parties named, or any of the apostles or leaders
of the church. Some “false brethren, unawares brought in” (Gal. ii, 4),
attempted to create division; but only developed harmony. The decree of
the council of Jerusalem was no compromise, but the expression of
unanimous sentiments (_‘omothumadon_, “with one heart,”—Acts xv, 25),
and was, moreover, dictated by the Holy Spirit. “It seemed good _to the
Holy Ghost_ and to us.” The so-called partisans of James, the Judaizing
zealots, who troubled Paul’s ministry, were expressly repudiated in that
decree, which was moved in the council by Peter and James, and
apparently drafted by the hand of the latter.[112] The reason why the
labors of James and Peter were mainly confined to the circumcision in
Judea, while Paul preached among the far off Gentiles, was precisely the
same in both cases,—the will of Christ. Says Paul,—“When they saw that
the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of
the circumcision was unto Peter; (for He that wrought effectually in
Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me
toward the Gentiles;) and when James, Cephas and John, who seemed to be
pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and
Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the
heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”—Gal. ii, 7-9. No. The
blood-bought church of Christ, was not left, at this critical time, to
the mercies of the passions and prejudices, the narrowness and factions
of fallible men. It was under the direction of the Lord Jesus, and the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The prayer “that they all may be one,”
was not unheard, nor unanswered of the Father; and the promise that the
Spirit should guide them into all truth was fulfilled.

Footnote 112:

  The “_Greeting_” (_Chairein_) Acts xv, 23; is found nowhere else in
  the New Testament, save in James i, 1.

From this careful survey, it appears, that the New Testament contains no
evidence of the abrogation or passing away of the ceremonial law,—that
its unimpaired authority over Israel was fully and universally
acknowledged and asserted by the apostles and the churches over which
they presided; while the exemption of the Gentiles from its requirements
was recognized as exceptional, and secured by formal consultation and
decree;—that this condition of things continued unchanged to the close
of the New Testament canon;—and that as a necessary consequence, that
law never has been repealed, to this day. As once before, during the
seventy years of the Babylonian captivity, Israel was providentially
precluded from its observance, so at present, it is one of the most
afflictive features of the divine dealings with them, that the law,
which they idolized and so grievously perverted, still binds them; while
the destruction of the temple, the disorganization of the nation and the
obliterating of the priesthood renders its fulfillment by them

      SECTION LXXXV.—_Why the Gentiles were Exempt from the Law._

The exemption of the Gentile Christian church from the authority of the
ceremonial law must be accounted for upon some principle which will
harmonize with all the facts. The common theory assumes it to be of the
very nature of a type to perish and be abrogated by its realization in
the antitype. Thus, it is supposed, that the sacrificial system of
necessity expired with its fulfillment by Christ’s one offering of
himself. But, as we have seen, the law was not in fact abrogated, but
continues in unimpaired authority over Israel. Why, then, are the
Gentiles exempt from its obligations?

The reason was briefly intimated by Peter. “Why tempt ye God, to put a
yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we
were able to bear;”—literally, “neither (_ischusamen_) _were strong_ to
bear.”—Acts xv, 10. This verb means, _to be strong_, and is sometimes
used with a negative particle, as here, to indicate a labor of great
difficulty, not amounting to an impracticability. Thus, in John xxi, 6,
it is said of the net of fishes,—“They _were not able_” (were not
_strong_) “to draw it, for the multitude of fishes.” And yet,
immediately after, when their force had been reduced by Peter casting
himself into the sea and swimming to land, they came “dragging the net
with fishes,” and Peter himself drew it to land. (vs. 8, 11.) The ritual
law was a burdensome, although not impossible institution, for Israel,
when dwelling in their own land. But, as a system of worship for a
world-religion, it was unsuitable. Essential to it was the one temple,
altar and priest, at Jerusalem, typical of the one sanctuary and service
in heaven. Hither must all males repair statedly, three times a year,
and both men and women upon many special occasions beside, of a personal
nature. To a population of four or five millions, dwelling in the narrow
limits of Palestine,—a territory the extreme dimensions of which were
about 100 miles by 150,—this was possible, although burdensome. But, to
the distant millions of the world’s inhabitants, manifestly it would
have been utterly impracticable.

Moreover, to the race at large, the ceremonial law had already fulfilled
its most important and essential offices. Undoubtedly, it could still
have been used by the grace of God, as it had been for ages before, as a
mode for the effectual transmission and dissemination of the gospel
testimony, kept in unimpaired purity by the agency of unchanging forms.
Nor is the fact to be everlooked, or lightly regarded, that
representations to the eye and the physical senses have a peculiar power
over the affections and the heart, a power often greater and more
influential than any appeal to the intellect through the organs of
hearing. Had such been the will of God, the ritual system was certainly
susceptible of being made a powerful auxiliary to the dissemination of
the gospel, by its relation to these principles of man’s nature.

But, when the gospel was given to the Gentiles, the system of elementary
ideas which were embodied and exhibited in the Mosaic ceremonial
possessed a world-wide diffusion. The art of writing had been developed
and disseminated. The Old Testament Scriptures were already written and
widely distributed, and the gospels and epistles were soon to follow.
Thus the cardinal importance of the ritual ordinances as a mode for the
recording and perpetuation of the gospel was obsolete,—replaced by means
more appropriate to a religion now destined for the world. And the
“demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” which now accompanies the
preaching of the gospel among the Gentiles, is abundant compensation for
the ritual system, as an appeal to the affections, through the senses.

It is thus apparent that the discrimination, in the beginning made
between Jew and Gentile respecting the ceremonial law,—its obligation on
the one, and the exemption of the other,—was neither arbitrary nor
unmeaning, but alike reasonable and susceptible of full and beautiful
realization in practice. It implied the continuance of Israel as a
priest-kingdom among the nations, maintaining at Jerusalem, as a
standard of faith to the world, that system of rites which so
beautifully, so clearly and impressively set forth the gospel to the
eyes and senses of men; whilst, the world over, the same gospel should
have been published, by the written and printed word, by the living
voice, and by the simple ritual of Gentile Christianity, practicable
everywhere. But such was not the purpose of God. At the beginning, our
first parents by sin forfeited the Eden which might have been theirs.
So, Israel forfeited her offered privilege. Jerusalem was destroyed, and
the gospel and the church were given to the Gentiles,—“until the
fullness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all Israel shall be
saved.”—Rom. xi, 25, 26.

               SECTION LXXXVI.—_The Christian Passover._

To the church among the Gentiles, two simple ordinances remain, an
inheritance from the ancient church,—a memorial and link of connection
and identity between the two; and a continuous sealing of the same
covenant, transmitted from the one to the other. That the Supper is thus
derived from the paschal feast, can not be denied. As early as Jacob’s
prophecy of Shiloh, “the blood of the grape” was appropriated as a type
of Christ’s sufferings. (Gen. xlix, 9-12.) Afterward, in the Levitical
system, a meat or bread offering made of fine flour mixed with oil, and
a drink offering of wine, were made essential parts of all sacrificial
offerings. (See Num. xv, and xviii.) Of the festival offerings, to which
the passover belonged, a part only was offered upon the altar; the rest
being appropriated to the worshippers. They thus enjoyed communion with
God, at his table; and hence the proverbial description of “wine which
cheereth God and man.”—Judg. ix, 13. Thus, in the passover and all the
Levitical sacrifices, two distinct elements were typical of Christ’s
sufferings; but in wholly different aspects. The blood signified the
satisfaction demanded by justice; and it was, therefore, utterly
prohibited that men should eat of it. (Lev. xvii, 10-14.) It was poured
upon the altar. But the wine expressed the virtue of that satisfaction,
imparted to believers and received by them, to their spiritual
nourishment. Thus, the wine of the supper is not a substitute for the
blood of sacrifice, but is a distinct and co-ordinate type, transmitted
from the passover, and other sacrificial rites, and unchanged in its
meaning. The unleavened bread always symbolized the Bread of life that
came down from heaven; and the cup always represented the blood of the
new covenant.

That the passover was from the beginning a type of the atonement of the
Lord Jesus, is certain. (1.) The ordinance was a feast upon a sacrifice.
From the foundation of the world, sacrifice signified one thing,—the
satisfaction to be made to justice by the Lord Jesus. Such being the
case, the feast of Israel upon the pascal lamb could have but one
meaning. That meaning was set forth by Jesus, who having been announced
by John as the Lamb of God, himself says, “If any man eat of this bread
(_artou_, “of this food”), he shall live forever, and the food that I
will give, is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the
world.”—John vi, 51. (2.) The deliverance of Israel from the bondage of
Egypt, was an exercise of the same redeeming function, which is
displayed in the salvation of men; and was a type of that salvation.
Hence the preface to the ten commandments.—“I am the Lord _thy God_
which have brought thee _out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of
bondage_” (Ex. xx, 2); which the Westminster catechism explains that
“because God is the Lord and our God and Redeemer, therefore, we are
bound to keep all his commandments.” (3.) Jesus himself at the very time
when he eliminated the Lord’s supper out of the passover, declared the
latter to be a type of his sufferings and death. “With desire I have
desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer. For I say unto
you, I will not any more eat thereof, until _it be fulfilled_ in the
kingdom of God.”—Luke xxii, 15, 16.

How plainly the Lord’s supper was an epitome and perpetuation of the
passover, will be understood, by reference to the manner of observance
of the latter in the time of Christ. It was required of those who
partook of the feast, that they should not sit, but recline at the
table, as expressing liberty and rest. When they were thus disposed,
wine was distributed, and after thanks given by the presiding person,
each one drank a cup. The master then explained the nature and occasion
of the feast, and distributed a second cup. He then brake the unleavened
bread, gave thanks, and gave it to the company, with the bitter herbs
and other provisions that were on the table, and afterward the flesh of
the lamb. When all had eaten and the supper was ended, he that presided
took another cup of wine, and, after blessing God, all drank of it. This
was called “the cup of blessing,” because of the blessing on it, which
ended the feast. Thus the order of the feast was, (1) Thanksgiving; (2)
A cup of wine; (3) The commemorative discourse; (4) A second cup; (5) A
second thanksgiving; (6) The broken bread; (7) The flesh of the lamb;
(8) The closing blessing; (9) The cup of blessing. So, at the beginning
of the supper, Jesus took the cup, and gave thanks and said, “Take this,
and divide it among yourselves.” After discourse, and washing the
disciples’ feet, “he took bread, and gave thanks and brake it and gave
unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you; this do in
remembrance of me. Likewise, also, the cup after supper, saying, this
cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”—Luke xxii,

The Lord’s supper was not, therefore, a distinct ordinance, instituted
after the passover was ended, by the use of remaining elements. But it
was a perpetuation of the passover, itself, by appropriating and
interpreting portions of the elements, from time to time, during the
progress of the feast; the bread being that which was broken and eaten
before the paschal flesh, and the wine that which closed the feast;
which was known to the Jews and described in the Talmud, as the cup of
blessing, and which is designated by that name by the apostle Paul, in
speaking of the Lord’s supper. (1 Cor. x, 16.) The particular number and
order of the cups of wine and of the thanksgivings were regulations of
the scribes, promotive of order and propriety in the observance; but not
included in the divine requirements of the institution, and therefore
not essential to it. This fact being taken into account, it will appear
that the paschal feast remains to us entire, except only the sacrificial
flesh of the lamb. Of it Paul says, “Christ our passover is sacrificed
for us; therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither
with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread
of sincerity and truth.”—1 Cor. v, 7, 8.

            SECTION LXXXVII.—_The Hebrew Christian Church._

We proceed to trace the order and process of the development of the
Christian church, as it took place under the Sinai constitution, with
the ordinances modified as we have seen. The synagogue system had grown
up long before the time of Christ. In it provision was made for
fulfilling those injunctions of the law which insisted so much on
instruction and study in the word of God, and which set apart the
Sabbaths as days of holy convocation. (Lev. xxiii, 3, etc.) In the
organization of these societies, respect was undoubtedly had, at first,
to the ties of consanguinity; so that the members of a given cluster of
families, living in the same vicinity and originally descended from one
head, were constituted a synagogue, under the direction and government
of those who by the right of primogeniture were the family elders. But,
in the time of Christ, the whole system of the distribution and
inheritance of the land, and of the family organization, as appointed by
the law of Moses, had been broken up by the repeated captivities, the
dispersion of the ten tribes, and the vicissitudes of war and peace. The
synagogue system was therefore more artificial in its structure, and
more characterized by the voluntary principle. Indications of voluntary
association and elective affinity are plainly seen in the names of the
synagogues members of which were active in the persecution of
Stephen.—“The synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and
Alexandrians.”—Acts vi, 9. It is indeed evident that in the general
circumstances of the Jews at that time, in Judea and elsewhere, the
worshiping assemblies must usually have been the products of voluntary
association, more or less influenced by congeniality of sentiments among
the members. Pharisees and Sadducees severally would seek the worshiping
assemblies in which their respective views were favored. Those of the
same foreign nationality would naturally gravitate toward each other.
And, in general, congeniality, from whatever cause, would be potential
in these associations.

The existence, at this time, in the bosom of the Jewish church of the
two sects, or parties, of the Sadducees and the Pharisees, was a very
important fact in preparing the way for the gospel. These parties are,
in the original Greek, designated by the generic word, _hairesis_, which
is commonly translated, “sect,” as “the _sect_ of the Sadducees” (Acts
v, 17), “the _sect_ of the Pharisees” (Ib. xv, 5), “the _sect_ of the
Nazarenes,” (Ib. xxiv, 5). In one place, it is, “the way which they call
_heresy_.”—Ib. xxiv, 14. Neither of these words, however, is a happy
rendering of the original; which has nothing of the idea of doctrinal
error, now attached to the word, heresy; and nothing of the odium
involved in the designation of “sects;” nor, of the denominational
separations which are expressed by it. The word, as used in Luke’s
history signifies, a party, or rather, a society having a distinctive
organization more or less complete, for certain special purposes; but
continuing in the enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the
Jewish church and the temple worship. Such was the position at once
assumed, by the apostles and the converts of their ministry. They were
organized in separate synagogues. They observed the first day of the
week, as a day of assembling for worship and the breaking of bread. They
received their converts by the familiar rite of baptism. But they were
all zealous of the law, and faithful, therefore, even above others in
the observance of its requirements. Thus, despite all the odium which
Pharisees and Sadducees might seek to cast upon them, it was impossible
to impeach them of apostasy from Judaism, or unfaithfulness to Moses.
Hence, the result recorded by Luke. “They, continuing daily with one
accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat
their meat with gladness and singleness of heart; praising God, and
having favor with all the people.”—Acts ii, 46, 47.

Such was the aspect of things in Jerusalem and Judea for a quarter of a
century; from the first dissemination of the gospel to the times of
anarchy which preceded the desolation of the land. In the bosom of the
Jewish church, beside the great body of the people, were the three
societies just mentioned. The Sadducees were comparatively few in
number, but influential, by reason of their social position and wealth,
the party being composed almost exclusively of the priests and
aristocracy. The Pharisees were more numerous, and in greater favor with
the people; for, while the Sadducees were chargeable with lax opinions,
the Pharisees were “the straitest sect of the Jews’ religion,” including
all those who hoped to secure the favor of God through the righteousness
of the law. Beside these was “the sect of the Nazarenes,” far greater in
numbers than either of the others; and, at first, more in favor with the
mass of the people,—a favor which they seem to have retained till the
growing corruption and disorder which heralded the catastrophe of the
nation, rendered them odious, alike by the contrast of their lives with
the prevailing licentiousness, and by the rebukes and warnings which
they could not fail to utter.

Whilst the number of the Christians, as compared with the whole nation
was, no doubt, small, the mistake is to be avoided of regarding it as
insignificant. A comparison of the various statements on the subject
will lead to the conclusion that the company of the believers must have
been so large as to constitute one of the most conspicuous features in
the aspect of the nation. On the day of Pentecost “there were added unto
them about three thousand souls.”—Acts ii, 41. A few days afterward,
“many of them which heard the word believed, and the number of the men
was about five thousand.”—Ib. iv, 4. Soon after, it is again recorded
that “the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to
the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.”—Ib. v, 13, 14. Again, it is
stated that the high-priest demanded of the apostles,—“Did not we
straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? And behold,
ye have filled Jerusalem with your _teaching_ (_didachēs_), and intend
to bring this man’s blood upon us.”—Ib. v, 28. Such was the progress of
the gospel that these rulers were alarmed lest they should be called by
the people to account for the death of Jesus. Soon, again, we read that
“the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied
in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient
to the faith.”—Ib. vi, 7. Immediately after this Stephen was martyred,
and “there was a great persecution against the church which was at
Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of
Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.”—Ib. viii, 1. By the dispersed
believers, the gospel was carried through the land and to the Gentiles.
(Ib. xi, 19.) And in Jerusalem itself the word of the Lord was not
bound. The persecution, in its active form, soon ceased, and when the
converted Saul retired from Jerusalem to Tarsus, we read that “then had
the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were
edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the
Holy Ghost were multiplied.”—Ib. ix, 31. Such was the new growth of the
church in Jerusalem that when Paul made his last visit to that city,
James could say to him,—“Thou seest, brother, how many (_muriades_) ten
thousands of Jews there are which believe.”—Ib. xxi, 20. To the
inference which naturally follows from these representations, the
objection has been raised, that there is no accounting for such numbers,
in the after history. Alexander suggests, that many were false
professors, who “afterward apostatized or separated from the church, as
Ebionites, or Judaizing heretics.”[113] So dark a view, however, is not
required by the facts. Doubtless there were some defections. But there
is no reason to suppose them to have been of the extent here implied.
The circumstances in which they united with the persecuted followers of
the man of Nazareth, were not such as to present attractions to false
professors. The patristic tradition that none of the Christians perished
in the siege of Jerusalem, they having all retired to Pella, whilst it
may possibly be true, concerning those who lived in Jerusalem, is by no
means probable. And so far from Jesus having taught the disciples to
expect such a result, the reverse is the case. That the churches of
believers which had been flourishing for a quarter of a century in
Judea, Galilee and Samaria must have suffered greatly, from the
disorders and anarchy which preceded the final catastrophe, is certain,
and of it Jesus expressly forewarned them.—“Ye shall be betrayed both by
parents and brethren and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall
they cause to be _put to death_. And ye shall be hated of all men for my
name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish” (even
though ye be put to death). “In your patience possess ye your souls. And
when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the
desolation thereof is nigh.”—Luke xxi, 16-20. See, also, Matt. xxiv,
9-13; Mark xiii, 9-13. As to what afterward became of the Christians of
Judea,—in view of the scanty remaining records of the time, and of the
manner in which they were identified with their brethren of Israel as
being none the less Jews because they were Christians,—it is not
surprising that we can not distinctly trace their subsequent history.
One fact, however, is patent on the face of the scanty record, and is
sufficient to satisfy all the demands of the occasion. It is, that as
the Christian churches, at a later period, emerge into the light of
history they everywhere bear the broad and indelible impress of Hebrew
Christian influences.

Footnote 113:

  Alexander on Acts, xxi, 20.

The subsequent history of the Hebrew church in Jerusalem itself very
signally confirms the view here presented. As soon as the city began to
be repeopled, a church was re-established, under the presidency, as
Eusebius reports, of Simeon the son of Cleopas. Of his successors, that
historian says,—“We have not ascertained, in any way, that the times of
the bishops of Jerusalem have been regularly preserved on record. For
tradition says that they all lived but a very short time. So much,
however, have I learned from writers, that down to the invasion of the
Jews under Adrian there were fifteen successions of bishops in that
church, all which, they declare to have been Hebrews from the first, and
received the knowledge of Christ pure and unadulterated, so that in the
estimation of those who were able to judge, they were well approved and
worthy of the episcopal office. For, at that time, the whole church
under them consisted of believing Hebrews who continued from the time of
the apostles until the siege that then took place.” The historian gives
a list of the succession of fifteen bishops. “These are all the bishops
of Jerusalem that filled up the time from the apostles until the above
mentioned date,—all being of the circumcision.”[114] The list ends with
the name of Judah, who perished by the sword of the impostor, Simon,
surnamed Bar Kokeba, “the Son of the Star.” This adventurer, originally
a robber chieftain, had announced himself as the expected Messiah of
Israel. The Jews, groaning under the oppressions of the Romans, rushed
to arms and rallied to his standard, to the number of more than 200,000
men. He would brook no neutrality. The Gentiles of Palestine had to
choose between his service and the sword. His demands, repelled by the
Hebrew Christians, brought on them his exterminating vengeance, and
Judah, the last of the Hebrew succession of the bishops of Jerusalem,
perished, with a multitude of his church, under the swords of the
Jews.[115] Thus closed in blood the history of the Hebrew church in
Jerusalem, in the year 132. As for Simon,—after successfully defying for
two years, the whole power of Rome, he and his forces were finally
cooped up in the town of Bethar, which was taken by storm. The impostor
perished, with a multitude of his followers, and the remnant glutted the
slave markets of the world. “The numbers of persons who perished by
sword, flame, and hunger, have been stated as high as 700,000, by
others, 580,000. As to Judaism and the Jewish people, the land might be
said, for some time, to be a solitude. The native inhabitants who had
escaped the butchery of the war were expatriated either by banishment or
flight, or sold into bondage. No Jew was now permitted to come within
sight of Jerusalem, and Gentile colonists were sent to take possession
of the soil. Jerusalem in fact became a Gentile city.”[116]

Footnote 114:

  Eusebius iii, 11; iv, 5, 6.

Footnote 115:

  Etheridge’s Jerusalem and Tiberias, p. 71.

Footnote 116:

  Etheridge, Ibid. p. 72.

Says Mosheim,—“When the emperor (Adrian) had wholly destroyed Jerusalem,
a second time, and had enacted severe laws against the Jews, the greater
part of the Christians living in Palestine, that they might not be
confounded with Jews as they had been, laid aside the Mosaic ceremonies,
and chose one Mark who was a foreigner and not a Jew, for their bishop.
This procedure was very offensive to those among them whose attachment
to the Mosaic rites was too strong to be eradicated. They therefore
separated from their brethren, and formed a distinct society, in Perea,
a part of Palestine, and in the neighboring regions; and among them the
Mosaic law retained all its dignity unimpaired.”[117] These Jewish
Christians, known as Nazarenes, are traceable for several centuries,
orthodox in their faith and embraced in the fellowship of the Catholic
church, but strict in the observance of circumcision and the law of
Moses, as far as practicable in the circumstances of the Jews.

Footnote 117:

  Mosheim, Eccl. Hist., Cent. II., Part II., Ch. v, 1, 2.

              Section LXXXVIII.—_The Gentiles Graffed in._

While such as we have described was the constitution of the church in
Jerusalem and Judea, in the days of the apostles, it elsewhere presented
a different aspect. At Antioch, Ephesus, Philippi, Thessalonica,
Corinth, Rome and other places, Jews and Gentiles were associated
together in the churches. Where such was the case, the Jewish members,
like their brethren in Judea, maintained the ordinances of both the
Levitical and Christian liturgies. They kept sacred alike the Jewish
Sabbath and the Lord’s day. They were circumcised, and observed all the
requirements of the law of Moses, and maintained all the services of the
synagogue system. At the same time, they on the Lord’s day, united with
their believing Gentile brethren, in observing the ordinances of the
gospel church, and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper.

On the other hand, the Gentile members of these churches were
uncircumcised and free from the bondage of the ritual law. They kept
holy the Lord’s day only; on which they united with their Jewish
brethren in the ordinances of Christian worship and religion. At the
same time these Gentile converts were more or less in the habit of
frequenting the synagogue services, to hear the reading of the
Scriptures and join in the worship of the God of Israel. In these
services their position was similar to that held by the class of persons
who were known as “devout persons,” or “proselytes of the gate.” In
fact, it was usually from these that the first Gentile converts to
Christ were gathered. The strong tendency, which the circumstances were
calculated to induce in them, to embrace the entire system of Judaism as
it was maintained by their Jewish Christian brethren, elicited from Paul
those expostulations which have been misunderstood as implying the
absolute abrogation of the law. His earnestness therein was induced by
the fact, that the voluntary assumption of the yoke of the ritual law,
by those upon whom God had not laid it, was a manifest apostasy from the
doctrine of grace,—an attempt to fulfill a righteousness of works.

Of the mixed state of these churches, the first epistle to the
Corinthians presents constant illustrations. In it, Paul indulges in a
frequency of allusion to Old Testament facts which presupposes his
readers to be familiar with the sacred books of the Jews. In one place,
he addresses them as being of the stock of Israel, “Brethren, I would
not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the
cloud, and all passed through the sea, and were all baptized unto Moses
in the cloud and in the sea.”—Ch. x, 1-11. On the other hand, the
apostle alludes to disorders and offenses, in the church, which were
evidently committed by the Gentile members (vi, 9-11; xi, 20-22), and
moreover, says expressly,—“Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away
unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.”—xii, 2. He also, as we have
already seen, gives express instructions for continuing the distinction
between Jew and Gentile, in the church. “Is any man called being
circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in
uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.”—vii, 18.

But there was yet another class of churches, which may be exemplified in
Lystra, Derbe, and Galatia,—churches where there were no Jews, or in
which their number was so small as to constitute an unappreciable
element. In them, the Christian Sabbath and ordinances were alone
observed, the assemblies and services on the Lord’s day being precisely
the same in their nature and manner as those maintained where Jews and
Gentiles were united.

Of all these churches, whether of Jewish, mixed, or Gentile elements,
the local constitution and form of government was the same; being that
of the synagogue. This the circumstances rendered inevitable; and to it
all the statements and intimations of the Scriptures testify. In fact,
in the epistle of James they are expressly designated by that name.—“If
there come unto your _synagogue_, (_sunagogēn_) a man with a gold
ring.”—Ja. ii, 2. It is true the epistle is inscribed, “to _the twelve
tribes_ which are scattered abroad.”—Ib. i, 1. But it is to the
Christians of those scattered tribes, that he addresses himself. With
them Gentile believers were always to be found united; and no one will
pretend that there were two forms of organization; one for the Jews, and
another for the Gentiles. These churches were self-governed, so far as
internal order and discipline were concerned. But with relation to the
fundamental laws of their existence and rule of their faith they were in
a state of recognized and entire dependence on the church in Jerusalem.
This relation was indicated and expressed in a very peculiar and
conclusive manner. The vital question concerning the relation of the
Gentiles to the law of Moses arose in the church in Antioch, in which
there were not only certain prophets (Acts xiii, 1, 2), but Paul the
great apostle of the Gentiles. Naturally, we should have expected such a
question to be brought to an immediate decision, by prophetic
revelation, or by the authority of the apostle, confirmed by signs
following. And, in fact, there _was_ an immediate divine interposition.
But it was an interposition by which the question was remanded to
Jerusalem to be decided there. Paul says to the Galatians,—“I went up to
Jerusalem, with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up
(_kata apokalupsin_) in accordance with a revelation.”—Gal. ii, 1, 2.
Again, when he came to Jerusalem, there were present John, the beloved
of Jesus, and Peter, the chief of the apostles; beside James, the
brother of the Lord and head of the church in Jerusalem. (Ib. ii, 9.)
But not by either or all of them was the question decided, but referred
to the council of the church, and, under the direction of the Holy
Spirit, was there determined by deliberative consultation and vote; and
the decree was drawn up and sent forth in the name of “the apostles, and
elders and brethren.”—Acts xv, 22, 23, 25. The relation of that council
to the Jerusalem eldership and church is indicated by the manner in
which at a later date those elders referred to it, in conference with
Paul. “As touching the Gentiles which believe, _we_ have written and
concluded.”—Acts xxi, 25, 18. Upon Paul’s return to Antioch, and
resumption of his missionary labors, after the council, he and his
attendants, “as they went through the cities, delivered them the decrees
for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles _and elders_ which were
at Jerusalem.”—Ib. xvi, 4. It would thus appear beyond question, that
this business was so ordered by the Head of the church, as to
demonstrate the fact of the organic dependence of the Gentile churches
everywhere,—not upon the authority of the apostles, as such, but upon
the ancient church of Israel, in the councils of which the apostles sat
as elders, with the elders. (1 Peter v, 1.) It was an indication to the
Gentile churches that their privilege was that of _partakers_ with
Israel in _her_ spiritual things. (Rom. xv, 27.) Believing Israel was
thus presented, as not only the source whence the gospel flowed to the
Gentiles, but as ordained to be to them the authorized exponent of that
gospel. The principle here involved, is appealed to by Paul, when in
repressing the arrogant assumptions of some in the Corinthian church, he
demands of them,—“What! came the word of God out from you? or, came it
unto you, only?”—1 Cor. xiv, 36. In this relation of the Jewish church
to those of the Gentiles, there was a fulfilment of the prophecy of
Isaiah (ii, 3) reechoed by Micah:—“In the last days ... many nations
shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways,
and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”—Micah iv, 1, 2.

Thus, while the great body of Israel after the flesh rejected the Angel
of the covenant, who was promised at Sinai to their fathers (Ex. xxiii,
20), and in so doing forfeited and were cut off from its fold, their
believing brethren remained in full possession of its rights, and
privileges; and the Gentiles, receiving Christ, became with them
partakers therein, according to the proviso which from the beginning
reserved room for them;—“For all the earth is mine.”—Ex. xix, 5.

It was at a time when the condition of things here described, in Judea
and among the Gentiles had attained to its completest realization, that
Paul addressed the Romans in a figure which is in beautiful accord with
the literal facts; as they had been already realized. “If some of the
branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree, wert graffed
in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the
olive tree,—boast not against the branches. But, if thou boast, thou
bearest not the root; but the root, thee. Thou wilt say, then,... The
branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well: because of
unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not
highminded but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches, take
heed lest he also spare not thee.... And they also if they abide not
still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in
again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree, which is wild by
nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree; how
much more shall these which be the natural branches, be graffed into
their own olive tree.”—Rom. xi, 17-24.

The Christian church is not a new institution, nor its constitution a
new organic law. But it is, in the strictest and most absolute sense,
lineally and organically one with that of Israel, founded and
perpetuated upon the covenant of Sinai.

                                PART XV.
                           CHRISTIAN BAPTISM.

                 SECTION LXXXIX.—_History of the Rite._

But two of the evangelists, Matthew and Mark, mention baptism in
connection with the last instructions of Jesus; and of these, Mark
introduces it in an incidental way, as though it had been a matter
already understood. (Matt, xxviii, 19, 20; Mark xvi, 15, 16.) The reason
was that the apostles were not then first commissioned to baptize. On
this point, Calvin speaking with reference to the arguments of the
Anabaptists says, “It is a mistake worse than childish to consider that
commission as the original institution of baptism,—which Christ had
commanded his apostles to administer, from the commencement of his
preaching. They have no reason to contend, therefore, that the law and
rule of baptism ought to be derived from those two passages, as if they
contained the first institution of it.”[118] Upon this, Dr. Dale
says,—“Calvin is right in dating Christian ritual baptism from the
ministry and authority of Christ, and not from that of John, even if
they were entirely identical, which they are not. The baptism of John is
Christian baptism, _as far as it goes_; but it is Christian baptism
undeveloped in the blood shedding of an atoning Redeemer, in which
shedding of blood, ‘for the remission of sins,’ ritual baptism has its
exclusive ground.” Again, speaking of the words of Peter, on the day of
Pentecost,—“Repent and be baptized,”—he asks,—“What was this baptism?
Was it a Jewish baptism, a ceremonial cleansing of the body, merely? Was
it John’s baptism, a spiritual baptism (_baptisma metanoias_) in which
no Holy Ghost was yet ‘poured out,’ no _crucified_ Redeemer was yet
revealed? Was it Christian baptism, the baptism of Christ, the
crucified, the Risen, the Ascended, the Pourer out of the Holy
Ghost?”[119] In these passages we have a statement of differentia upon
which the lamented author insists earnestly, as distinguishing the
baptisms named, from each other. As to the Jewish baptisms,—those which
were appointed by the divine law, they were, as we have seen, spiritual
in the same sense precisely as were the baptisms of John and of Christ;
and the latter were and are “a ceremonial cleansing of the body,
merely,” in the same sense as were the baptisms of the Jews. To this
day, “the letter,” or outward form of Christian baptism is a ceremonial
cleansing of those who are ritually unclean. No otherwise could it show
forth “the spirit” of the ordinance, which is the real purging, by the
Spirit, of those who are spiritually defiled. From the beginning to the
present day, the ritual baptisms always signified the very same
spiritual truths. And they were all alike devoid of any spiritual power
in themselves.

Footnote 118:

  Institutes, Book IV, chap, xvi, §37.

Footnote 119:

  Dale’s “Christic Baptism,” pp. 430, 431.

But let us trace the line of connection between them. Very early in the
ministry of Jesus, before the imprisonment of John, while the latter was
baptizing in Enon, “Jesus and his disciples came into the land of Judea;
and there he tarried with them and baptized.” But “when the Lord knew
how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples
than John, (though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples), he
left Judea, and departed again into Galilee.”—John iii, 22; iv, 1-3.
Here, be it observed, (1.) that John was the intelligent, faithful and
inspired forerunner and herald of the Lord Jesus. The gospel which he
preached was that which the Spirit of Christ gave him, and the baptism
which he administered set forth that gospel in ritual figure. His
preaching was summed in one word. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is
at hand.” (2.) The Lord Jesus preached the very same word, and gave it
to the apostles and the seventy to proclaim, when he sent them abroad
through the land. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (3.)
There is not an intimation in the Scriptures, nor suggestion to justify
the idea, of the least difference in the form and nature of the baptisms
at this stage of the history, administered by them respectively.
Certainly if there were differences, they must have been characterized
by a minuteness and subtlety, fit rather to exercise the ingenuity of
hair-splitting schoolmen, than to instruct the common people of Judea;
who, upon the supposition of diversity, were called to _choose between
the rival baptisms_. John’s baptism was at first into the name of “the
coming One,” “the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Of that
baptism his was proclaimed to be a symbol. When Jesus came, John at once
identified him as the coming One, and thenceforth his baptism was into
the name of Jesus of Nazareth. I do not mean that John made use of those
phrases. To this point we shall come presently. But “John verily
baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that
they should believe on him which should come after him; that is, on
Christ Jesus.”—Acts xix, 4. The rite which he dispensed sealed upon the
recipients their profession of repentance and faith in Jesus, the Son of
God, the atoning Lamb, the King Baptizer. In a report of one of his
discourses, which occupies seven verses of the gospel of John, each of
these titles and the things implied in them is brought out with perfect
distinctness. (John i, 29-36.) That John was ignorant of the precise
form of crucifixion, as that in which atonement was to be made, is
possible; although even there the facts do not warrant the confidence of
Dr. Dale’s assertions. But that he was not ignorant of Christ’s atoning
office, his own words distinctly testify. “Behold the _Lamb of God_,
which taketh away the sin of the world.”—John i, 29. (4.) The whole
manner of the narrative from which we learn the fact that Christ’s
disciples baptized, indicates the identity of the ordinance as
administered by them with that of John. The fact is not mentioned for
its own sake, but as introductory and explanatory of the testimony of
John respecting Jesus. (John iii, 22-30.) In fact, we have no
information whatever of the nature and meaning of Christ’s baptism, as
thus originated, except in its justly assumed identity with that of
John. This, the language of John’s interlocutors implies (Ib. 26), and
upon the basis of this assumption the whole narrative rests. This remark
applies also to the subsequent statement,—that “the Lord knew how the
Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than
John; though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.”—John iv, 1,
2. Here the one word, “baptized,” without qualification or
differentiating phrase, is applied to both Christ’s disciples and John,
and plainly identifies the rite administered by them as one and the
same. That such was the case can not be successfully questioned.

And now, what have we, in the ordinance thus dispensed by the disciples
under the eye, and as a seal to the preaching, of Christ, but Christian
baptism? True, the disciples were ignorant at that time, of the doctrine
of the cross, which in fact they refused to believe, till their Master
was crucified before their eyes. But while the baptism was administered
by their hands, it was in Christ’s immediate presence, by his authority,
and as a seal to the gospel which he preached. How then could their
ignorance and hardness, or that of John, if he be so impeached, change
the nature of the rite which by Christ’s authority they both
administered? And, especially, how could this be, when in fact that
baptism, while it presupposed Christ’s atoning sufferings, yet had no
immediate relation to them, but to his kingdom and glory,—the theme of
John’s preaching,—the one thing in Christ’s instructions which the
apostles gladly received?

To what extent this baptizing function of the apostles continued in
exercise during the subsequent ministry of Christ, we are not informed.
But, the manner in which, first and last, the subject is treated by the
evangelists implies that it never was in abeyance. Hence, in his final
interviews with them, Jesus does not speak of the ordinance as a
novelty, nor as a rite to be reintroduced; but alludes to it as to a
familiar subject. In fact, his only recorded references to it, have in
view, not the ordinance, in itself considered, but _its bestowal on the
Gentiles_. “Go ye, disciple _all nations, baptizing them_.”—Matt.
xxviii, 19. “Go ye into _all the world_ and preach the gospel to every
creature. _He that believeth and is baptized_ shall be saved, but he
that believeth not shall be damned.”—Mark xvi, 15, 16. By this decree,
the ordinance, which, as we have seen, was already divested of its
sacrificial elements, was released from its peculiar and restricted
relation to the Jewish people. Heretofore, only the circumcised could be
admitted to baptism; and the rite, when administered to them, was
received as a certificate of title to the privileges of the covenant, in
connection with the Mosaic ritual and the temple service. But, by this
decree of Christ, it was appropriated to the use of the Gentiles, also;
as certifying to them a part in the same covenant, relieved of the
encumbrance of the ritual law. That its administration to the converts
of Christ’s ministry is not mentioned, presents no just occasion of
surprise, in view of the familiarity of the ordinance and the emphasis
already given to it in connection with John’s ministry. That Christ’s
disciples baptized at all is only known to us by the incidental mention
in the last of the evangelists.

The facts here developed are of immense importance in their bearing upon
our present inquiry. The Lord Jesus did not _institute_ baptism, at any
time. He recognized it as an ordinance of God given to Israel ages
before,—accepted it personally from the hands of John,—immediately
appointed his disciples to administer it to the Jews in conjunction with
John, and then, after his resurrection and assumption of the sceptre,
commanded them to dispense it to the Gentiles also.—“All power is given
unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations
baptizing them.”

The rebaptism of the twelve disciples of John, by Paul at Ephesus (Acts
xix, 1-7), may be thought inconsistent with the assertion of the
identity of the baptisms of John and of the Christian church. But when
the facts are considered in their true relations, they will appear in
perfect harmony with all that have been heretofore adduced, and entirely
consistent with the conclusions thence derived. John was the herald of
Christ. His preaching and baptism had neither significance nor value,
except as they directed the attention and faith of his disciples to the
coming of Christ and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which He should
administer. To the great mass of those who received his baptism, no
profit resulted, because it was not followed up by a waiting for
Christ’s coming, and a devotion to him when he was revealed. It effected
no actual separation of such disciples from the unbelieving mass of the
nation. When, therefore, the crisis came and the Saviour was crucified,
they sustained no relation of identity with him and his cause; but were
an undistinguishable part of the nation, whose rulers betrayed and
crucified Him. The baptism which they had received was no magical rite,
leaving an indelible impress on the recipients; but a rational
ordinance, designed to mark and seal a separation and consecration unto
Christ. Precisely here, was the point of Paul’s testimony to these
men.—“John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto
the people that they should _believe on him which should come after
him_, that is, _on Christ Jesus_.” Where this intent of John’s baptism
did not follow,—where no separation unto Christ was actually effected,
the parties remained unclean, with the unclean nation. In them was
fulfilled the proverb of the son of Sirach.—“He that is baptized from
the dead, and again toucheth the dead, what availeth his
washing?”—Ecclus. xxxi, 30. Such was the case with any of the converts
of Pentecost, who had been John’s disciples. And such evidently were the
Ephesian disciples. They were believers in the Messiah of prophecy, as
heralded by John. But their faith was weak and supineness prevalent.
They had not followed up the line of John’s testimony, with the zeal of
a living consecration. The baptism which they had received had effected
no separation unto Christ. When, therefore, under the ministry of Paul,
they were prepared to begin a new life, their consecration was sealed by
a new administration of the same baptism.[120]

Footnote 120:

  See Alexander on Acts xiv, 5.

That this is a just view of the case in question farther appears from
the manner in which it is presented in immediate connection and contrast
with that of Apollos, whose story closes the eighteenth chapter of the
Acts, as that of the twelve opens the nineteenth. Of him it is stated
that he was “an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, instructed
in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and
taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of
John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue; whom, when Aquila
and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him
the way of God more perfectly.”—Acts xviii, 24-26. The silence, here, on
the subject of baptism, and the emphasis given to its statement
immediately after, in the case of the twelve, is pregnant. For, all
occurred in the same city of Ephesus, where Apollos was instructed and
preaching just before Paul’s coming, and the baptism of the twelve.

NOTE.—How can we consistently restore excommunicated persons without
rebaptism? Is not the prevalent practice a relic of the _opus operatum_
heresy? “If any one assert that in the three sacraments, baptism,
confirmation, and orders, there is not a mark imprinted on the
soul,—that is a certain spiritual and indelible token, whence, it may
not be repeated,—let him be anathema.”—_Council of Trent, Sess._ vii.
_Canon_ 9. Is this the faith which we hold?

             SECTION XC.—“_Baptizing them into the Name._”

“And Jesus came and spake unto them and said, All power is given unto
me, in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and (_mathēteusate_)
_disciple_ all nations, baptizing them (_eis_) _into_ the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe
all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway
even unto the end of the world.”—Matt. xxviii, 18-20.

Here are two things to be considered:—(1) The phrase, “into the name;”
(2) “The name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

1. “Into the name.” The phrase, “in the name,” as found in the common
English version, represents three distinct forms of expression, in the
original, which are essentially different in their meaning, and should,
therefore, be carefully discriminated. They are “(_en_) _in_ the name;”
“(_epi_) _for_ the name,” and “(_eis_) _into_ the name.” The essential
idea expressed by the first of these is, representative union, as a
person who speaks or acts “in the name” of another, identifies himself
with that other. Thus,—“Whatsoever ye shall ask _in my name_.”—John xiv,
13, 14, 26; xv, 16, etc. “Ye are justified _in the name_ of the Lord
Jesus.”—1 Cor. vi, 11. “Giving thanks _in the name_ of the Lord
Jesus.”—Eph. v, 20. “Do all _in the name_ of the Lord Jesus.”—Col. iii,
17. Hence the use of the expression, as signifying, “by the authority
of.” Thus, “I am come _in my Father’s name_, and ye receive me not; if
another shall come _in his own name_, him ye will receive.”—John v, 43.
“_In the name_ of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”—Acts iii,
6. “I command thee, _in the name_ of Jesus Christ, come out of her.”—Ib.
xvi, 18. There is but one passage in which this form of expression is
used in connection with _baptizo_. Acts x, 48,—“He commanded them to be
baptized, _in the name_ of the Lord.” The analogy of the phrase
elsewhere, would require us to understand it here as meaning, “by the
authority of the Lord.” The codex Sinaiticus reads,—“He commanded them
(_en to ‘onomati Ju Xu baptisthēnai_), _in the name of Jesus Christ to
be baptized_.” Cyril of Jerusalem quotes the passage in the same
order.[121] Not only does the form of the phrase in itself call for this
rendering, but the connection is equally clear, in the same direction.
The case was the baptism of the house of Cornelius. Peter demands,—“Can
any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, which have
received the Holy Ghost, as well as we?” The point at issue was the
admission of the Gentile world to a part in the salvation of Christ.
Peter had on the day of Pentecost testified that it was the Lord Jesus
by whom the Holy Ghost had been poured out. He had been admonished by
Jesus in a vision that the Gentiles were not to be excluded from the
blessings of the gospel. He now calls the attention of his six Jewish
companions (Acts xi, 12), to the fact that the house of Cornelius was
baptized by the Lord Jesus himself, with the same Spirit which had been
poured upon the Jews on Pentecost; and with an emphatic pause,
challenges objection. There being none, the apostle, then, in the name
and by the authority of Christ, proclaims the doors of salvation thrown
open to the world. He “in the name of the Lord Jesus, commanded them to
be baptized;” and afterward vindicated the action by the demand, “What
was I, that I should withstand God.”—Acts xi, 17.

Footnote 121:

  In Dale, Christic Baptism, p. 205.

_Epi_, in this connection, has the general meaning of, because of,—on
account of,—with reference to,—_for_; and the phrase as thus constructed
means, “for the sake of.” Thus, “Whoso shall receive one such little
child (_epi ‘onomati mou_), _for my name’s sake_.”—Matt. xviii, 5; Mark
ix, 37. “They called him Zacharias (_epi_), _for the sake of_ his
father’s name.”—Luke i, 59. “That repentance and remission of sins
should be preached (_epi_) _for his name’s sake_.”—Luke xxiv, 47. “That
they speak henceforth to no man (_epi_) _for the sake of_ the
name.”—Acts iv, 17. From these illustrations, it will be seen that in
connection with baptism, the rendering, of _epi_,—“_in_ the
name,”—altogether misses the idea of the sacred writer. It occurs but
once. On the day of Pentecost, Peter, in reply to the cry,—“What shall
we do?” answered,—“Repent and be baptized every one of you (_epi_), _for
the sake of_ the name of Jesus Christ (_eis_), _unto_ the remission of
sins.”—Acts ii, 38. Jesus had said, “He that believeth and is baptized,
shall be saved.” Peter, therefore, tells the multitude, “Repent and be
baptized. Do this, in honor of the Lord Jesus; and unto the remission of
sins; since repentance, and obedience shown by receiving baptism, are
pledges of remission.”

In the text of Matthew, which stands at the head of this section, the
word is, _eis_,—“Baptizing them (_eis_), _into_ the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” This is the preposition
ordinarily used with relation to baptism, both real and ritual. In
connection with the baptism of the Spirit, its signification is so fully
explained and illustrated as to admit of no doubt or question. They that
are “baptized (_eis_) _into_ Christ” (Gal. iii, 27; Rom. vi, 3), are
united to him,—“by one Spirit baptized (_eis_) _into_ one body,” “the
body of Christ.”—1 Cor. xii, 13, 27. Those who are “baptized (_eis_)
_into_ his death,” are thereby “dead with him.”—Rom. vi, 3, 8. So, it is
said of the children of Israel that they were “baptized (_eis_) _into_
Moses, in the cloud and in the sea,” as the passage of the Red Sea, the
destruction of the Egyptians and the deliverance of Israel by the hand
of Moses released them finally and forever from the Egyptian yoke, and
united them to Moses in subordination to his mediatorial authority.
“They believed the Lord and his servant Moses.”—Ex. xiv, 31. This is
viewed by the apostle as a figure of the work of grace by which the
people of Christ are released from Satan’s bondage and brought under his
saving scepter; and he, therefore, uses the same form of expression,
“Baptized _into_ Christ,” “Baptized _into_ Moses.”

The style in which the real baptism is thus spoken of is a key to the
meaning of the Lord Jesus, in his language concerning the ritual
ordinance. The visible church is the representative and type of that
invisible body of Christ, the members of which are incorporated therein
by the baptism of the Spirit. Baptism with water is a symbol, merely, of
that spiritual grace. The recipient may be truly united to the Lord
Jesus. But such union is not produced by the ritual ordinance. The
effect can ascend no higher than the cause. A symbolic baptism can
accomplish no more than a symbolic union, a union in outward semblance
and name. Its ground is _profession_ of the name of Christ, and the
characteristic designation of those who have received it is,—that they
“have _named the name_ of Christ”—(2 Tim. ii, 19), that is, they have
professed to take hold of his covenant, and have thereupon had his name
named upon them. They are Christ’s. If, therefore, baptism “_into
Christ_,” by the Spirit, means spiritual union with Christ, and with his
invisible body, then, manifestly, baptism with water “_into the name of
Christ_,” can mean nothing else but ritual identification with his name,
and with that visible body which is known by his name, and embraced by
profession in the bonds of his covenant. To effect such union is all
that Christ’s ministers can do. It is what they are commissioned to do.
The rest remains with the Great Baptizer himself. Intimately related to
this subject is that remarkable word of God which instructed Aaron and
his sons to bless Israel with that threefold benediction which is
believed to refer to the doctrine of the glorious Trinity. “The Lord
bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be
gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give
thee peace,”—and then adds,—“And _they_ shall _put my name_ upon the
children of Israel, and _I_ will bless them.”—Num. vi, 23-27.

The form of expression used by the Lord Jesus,—“baptizing them into the
name,” is a perpetual rebuke of every doctrine or pretense which would
attribute to the rite, in itself, any higher or other efficacy than that
of changing the outward and professed relation of the baptized to Christ
and the Godhead. The view here presented is further involved in the
relation between baptism and discipleship, intimated in the words of
Jesus,—“Disciple all nations, baptizing them into the name.” Christ came
as the revealer of the Godhead, the Prophet of Israel, as well as her
royal Priest. The preaching of the gospel is the fulfillment of his
prophetic function, and those whether Jews or Gentiles, who accept it
are to be enrolled as disciples of Christ, by being baptized into the
name or profession of the faith of the triune Godhead, as revealed by
him, in the gospel. It will thus be seen that the translation invariably
given to the phrase in question, in our common English version, entirely
fails of exhibiting a true idea of the meaning of the original. See
Matt, xxviii, 19; Acts viii, 16; xix, 5; 1 Cor. i, 13, 15. Baptizing
“_in_ the name,” can only mean, dispensing the rite by the authority of
the Persons named. The command is, to “baptize _into_ the name.”

2. “The name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” In
other places, baptism is said to be “into the name of the Lord
Jesus.”—Acts ii, 38; viii, 16; xix, 5. Nor are the other Persons of the
Godhead ever mentioned in such connection with the real baptism. That is
always described as being into Jesus Christ. Rom. vi, 3; 1 Cor. xii, 13,
27; Gal. iii, 27. How is this diversity of expression to be explained?
It is abundantly plain, as respects the real baptism. In it, each Person
is signally present, in appropriate relation. In it, Christ, the Royal
Administrator, by whom the Spirit is poured out, is also the Head into
which by that one Spirit all are baptized as members. The Spirit appears
as the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the Renewer and Sanctifier. And
as to the Father, “Ye are all the children of God, by faith in Christ
Jesus; for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on
Christ.”—Gal. iii, 26, 27. “As many as received him to them gave he
power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on his
name.”—Joh. i, 12. In a word, thus is fulfilled the petition of Jesus.
“As thou Father art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in
_us_.... _I_ in them and _thou_ in me, that they may be made perfect in
one.”—John xvii, 21, 23. By the real baptism, therefore, the believer is
united to each Person of the Godhead,—a fact, nevertheless, expressed by
baptism into one, Jesus Christ.

The same principle governs the forms of expression used with reference
to ritual baptism. Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and can not be truly
apprehended except in that relation. “No man hath seen God at any time.
The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath
declared Him.”—John i, 18. He came to make known the Father. He returned
to impart the Spirit. And, as he was thus apprehended by the apostles, a
baptism into his name was a baptism into the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Spirit. It only ceases to be so, when Jesus ceases
to be appreciated as him in whom “dwelleth all the fullness of the
Godhead bodily.”—Col. ii, 9.

It is an illustration of the essential deficiency of the theory of
immersion that it has no explanation for the diversity of expression
here considered.

          SECTION XCI.—“_He that believeth and is baptized._”

In the great commission, as recorded by Mark, Jesus said to his
disciples, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every
creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that
believeth not shall be damned.”—Mark xvi, 15, 16. Dr. Dale denies that
ritual baptism is here referred to.—“We accept the real baptism by the
Holy Spirit as the sole baptism directly contemplated by the passage; in
general, because it meets in the most absolute and unlimited manner, _as
a condition of salvation_, the obvious requirement on the face of the
passage, having the same breadth with belief, and universally present in
every case of salvation.”[122] To this view the objections are obvious
and conclusive. (1.) The clause which the author has emphasized with
Italics, is inaccurate. The baptism with the Holy Ghost is not “_a
condition of salvation_;” but is the very salvation itself. It is the
casket in which are bestowed repentance, faith, remission of sins,
justification, adoption, sanctification, the resurrection and eternal
life. (2.) The interpretation would not only make this baptism a
condition of salvation, but puts it in the position of a co-ordinate but
secondary condition with faith.—“He that _believeth_ and is _baptized_.”
Whereas faith, as just remarked, is one of the immediate phenomena of
this baptism. (3.) The text as thus explained represents the Lord Jesus
as commissioning his ministers to offer salvation to sinners _upon
conditions_ one of which is to be performed by them; but the other
belongs to his own peculiar prerogative, to which, in no circumstances,
can they assume an efficient relation. It interprets the message to be
preached thus: “Whoever believeth shall be saved; _provided_ I, Jesus,
shall see fit to baptize him!”

Footnote 122:

  Christic Baptism, p. 393.

The text is a statement to the apostles, and through them to the
ministry in all ages, of their duties and the results of their labors.
With baptism as a ritual ordinance of the gospel they had been familiar
from the beginning of John’s ministry, and of Christ’s in coincidence
with it. They had been fully instructed, as to the baptism of the
Spirit, which Christ was about to dispense, and which they were to
await; and as to the typical relation to it which the ritual ordinance
sustained. They are now commanded to go forth and preach that gospel;
not, as heretofore, to Israel, only, but to every creature, in all the
world; and whereas, until now, none could be baptized,—none could
receive the token of the covenant, except those who were, by
circumcision, identified with Israel after the flesh,—he indicates the
removal of that restriction,—“Go teach all nations, baptizing them.”
Baptizing them with water, which, only, they could administer; and in
token of that _profession_ of faith, of which only they could take
cognizance. It is in view of these things, that the declaration is made,
“He that _believeth_ and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned.” The repetition shows that the emphasis
of the passage rests on believing. “You are to preach, and baptize those
who _profess_ to believe. But let all, both preachers and hearers,
beware of trusting in the baptismal shadow. He that _believeth_ and is
baptized, shall be saved. But he that believeth not,—his baptism will
not avail,—He shall be damned.” Assuredly, had the Lord Jesus been
stating conditions of salvation, as concerning baptism, he knew how to
set it on both sides of the alternative.

                SECTION XCII.—_The Formula of Baptism._

It is proper and necessary that such words be used in the administration
of Baptism, as shall give an intelligent announcement of the nature and
intent of the ordinance. For this purpose nothing can be more
appropriate than the formula in universal use, in all the churches. But
the question arises whether the words thus employed were given to be
uttered as a formula necessary to the rite.

1. There is nothing whatever in the language of the Lord Jesus, on the
subject, to give countenance to the suggestion in question. “Go ye, and
_disciple_ all nations, _baptizing_ them into the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; _teaching_ them to observe all
things whatsoever I have commanded you.” We have already seen that
“baptizing into the name” means, not the utterance in the baptism of any
words or formula; but instruction and consecration to the faith and
service of the Triune God, identified with the baptismal rite and
signified by it. But if such be the meaning of our Savior’s words, it
excludes the idea in question. “Baptizing them into the name,” then,
means something very different from “uttering the name.” In fact, the
more carefully the language in question is examined, in itself, in its
immediate connection, and in its relation to the general scope of the
gospel and its history, the more evident will it appear that it was not
_words_ that were present to the mind of Jesus, or by him put into the
mouths of his ministry, but the great doctrine of baptism, in which the
whole gospel is summed,—that doctrine which was heralded by the baptist,
and expounded by the Lord Jesus in his discourse and prayer at the
supper. One who should teach that the Holy Spirit is not a coequal
Person of the Godhead, or that the Lord Jesus is not the eternal and
coequal Son, might administer the rite, in the use of the formula. Yet
would it not be baptism in the intent of Jesus as here set forth.

2. The silence of all of the evangelists except Matthew as to the words
in question, is wholly inconsistent with the supposition that they were
given as a formula. The importance of the rite is of common agreement.
And resting as it does as an obligation on every soul that hears the
gospel, it is the first and foremost of all the practical duties of
those who receive it. If, therefore, the formula was now given as an
element in the administration of the ordinance, it is of the first and
universal moment. How then is it possible for three of the evangelists
to have ignored it, in their several versions of the gospel. Evidently
they attached to it no such significance as obtains with those who hold
it as of the essence of baptism.

3. The fact that it is not once used or alluded to, in the whole
subsequent history and epistles, is conclusive. Those records are a
testimony;—as much by silence, often, as by utterance. But, on this
subject, they are not silent. On the day of Pentecost, Peter calls upon
the inquirers to be baptized “(_epi_) for the name’s sake of Jesus
Christ.”—Acts ii, 38. The Samaritans and the twelve disciples of John at
Ephesus were baptized “into the name of the Lord Jesus.”—Acts viii, 16;
xix, 5. And Paul distinctly implies that the Corinthians were baptized
into the same name. “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or,
were ye baptized into the name of Paul?”—1 Cor. i, 13. How these facts
are consistent with obedience to Christ’s command we have already seen.
The only interpretation which will harmonize the record is deduced from
that doctrine of baptism which has been unfolded in these pages. He that
is spiritually baptized into Jesus Christ, thereby receives the Spirit
and is united in Christ to the Father. He is baptized into the Three.

Here, the doctrine of immersion is radically defective. The form may be
administered with the utterance of the names of the Trinity. But its
doctrine contains no testimony to the Triune, nor recognition of any
Person of the Godhead. It relates altogether to the humanity of Christ,
whose burial it represents.

           SECTION XCIII.—_The Administration on Pentecost._

On the day of Pentecost, in reply to the cry of the repentant
multitude,—“What shall we do?” Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every
one of you (_epi to ‘onomati_), _for the name’s sake_ of Jesus Christ
(_eis_) _unto_ the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of
the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to
all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call....
Then, they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day
there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”—Acts ii, 37-41.
Dr. Dale denies this baptism to have been ritual, and demands,—“Was
there a visible Christian church in existence at Pentecost? Was there
any one competent to organize a Christian church before Pentecost? Did
not the divine Head of the church himself furnish the materials for a
church organization, officers, and members, ‘that day?’ Was there a
Christian organization effected, as well as a tri-millenary baptism
administered ‘that day?’ Were they organized and then baptized, or
baptized and then organized?”[123] These questions, coming with the
authority of the learned writer, are entitled to respectful
consideration. And although they have, in effect, been answered,
already, a few words will here be added, in direct response. The Jewish
church, as organized, according to the law of Moses, under the ministry
of the elders, was the Christian church, on the day of Pentecost. But as
that church had become largely corrupt and apostate, and its rulers had
betrayed and crucified the Lord Jesus, her King, a separation had become
necessary, and the preaching and baptism of the apostles was the means
appointed by Him for eliminating the apostate elements. The one hundred
and twenty who remained together in Jerusalem after the ascension were
but a small part of believing Israel, even then; for the Lord Jesus was
seen of above five hundred brethren at once, after his resurrection. (1
Cor. xv, 6.) But they, or the apostles alone, or one of them, would have
been abundantly sufficient as a center for gathering the believing from
among the apostate. They stood precisely as did Moses in the midst of
the congregation of Israel, at the time of the apostasy of the golden
calf, saying,—“Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me.”—Ex.
xxxii, 26. Hence the style in which the historian of the Acts writes of
the converts of Pentecost. “Then they that gladly received his word,
were baptized; and the same day there were added about three thousand
souls.”—Acts ii, 41. They are not said to have been “added to the
church;” for they were the church, obeying the call of her Head,—“Come
out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not
the unclean thing.”—2 Cor. vi, 17. They are, therefore, said to have
been “added (to them),”—that is, to the apostles; or more literally
“associated together,”—joined in one body. By that act, they stood
forth, the church of Jerusalem, divested of the unbelieving elements.
Accordingly, we read, immediately after, that “the Lord added to the
_church_ daily such as should be saved.”—Vs. 47. For all the purposes of
the occasion, on the day of Pentecost, there was no farther organization
necessary than that which existed in the sanhedrim of the apostles, men
inspired of the Holy Ghost, and endowed by the Lord Jesus with authority
for presiding over his church in this transition period of her history.

Footnote 123:

  Dale’s Christic Baptism, p. 162.

The baptism of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost has been already
illustrated fully. That there was also a ritual baptism, with water, I
venture to regard as equally certain. (1.) We have just seen that the
apostolic commission contained a command to baptize the disciples.
Peter, therefore, in inviting his hearers to repent and be baptized, was
simply following the literal terms of his instructions. And had he
omitted baptism,—that ritual baptism which alone the apostles could
administer—he would have been acting in direct violation of his
commission. (2.) In his exhortation, the baptism is secondary to
repentance. This is the proper order of ritual baptism, which is
predicated on profession of repentance. But it is the reverse as to the
real baptism, which precedes repentance and is its cause. (3.) The
language used in describing the result of the exhortation is
conclusive.—“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized.” The
glad reception of the word is stated as the antecedent ground of
receiving the baptism; the reverse, again, of the order in real baptism.
(4.) In the case of Cornelius and his house, Peter based their baptizing
with water upon the fact that the spiritual phenomena were identical
with those of the day of Pentecost. “The Holy Ghost fell on them as on
us at the beginning.”—“Can any man forbid the water, that these should
not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost, as well as
we?”—Acts x, 47; xi, 15. This argument would have been wholly
inappropriate had there been no water baptism on Pentecost.

But Dr. Dale urges another objection.—“While the reception of these
thousands that day into the church by dipping into water, is improbable
to absurdity, for reasons both moral and physical, their reception by
any ritual form whatever, is, for moral considerations mainly, not
without embarrassment. These thousands were all personally strangers to
the apostles, mostly from foreign lands, Parthians, Medes, Elamites,
Mesopotamians, Cretes, Arabians, etc. An hour before, they were mockers
of the work of the Holy Ghost, and declared the apostles to be drunk.
Now, is there moral fitness in the reception of such men into the
church, by a rite without any personal intercourse, to learn their moral
condition? But the passage states that the baptism was grounded in the
‘glad reception of the word’ preached. If the baptism was the work of
the apostles, then this knowledge must also be the knowledge of the
apostles; and if so, then it must have been obtained, either by divine
illumination, or by personal intercourse touching repentance and faith,
the knowledge of Christ and the duty of baptism; then, how could the
addition of three thousand be made ‘that day?’”[124] The theory that,
the baptism here in question was spiritual and not ritual, is, here,
self-condemned, by the statement which truly represents it to have been
“grounded in the glad reception of the word preached.” That word was,
“Repent and be baptized.” Its glad reception, therefore is equivalent to
the exercise of repentance, which is the immediate fruit of the
spiritual baptism, and therefore of necessity follows, but can not
precede it. The baptism, therefore, which was “grounded in the glad
reception of the word,” can have been no other than ritual baptism. The
fundamental fallacy of the argument lies in the assumption, which we
have before noticed, that the Pentecostal transactions were incident to
the organizing of a new church; instead of being, as we have shown, the
separating of the existing church from the corrupt and ungodly elements
which had taken possession of it.

Footnote 124:

  “Christic Baptism,” p. 158.

It is asserted respecting the three thousand that, “an hour before, they
were mockers of the work of the Holy Spirit.” A kindred statement is
frequently heard, in illustration of the fickleness of the
multitude,—that those who yesterday filled the air with shouts of
“Hosanna!” to-day cry, “Away with him.” Both representations are
erroneous, and tend to obscure the true state of the case. In the
Pentecostal scene, there were “some” mockers, and possibly, nay,
probably some of these were made trophies of grace that day. But to
represent the assembly as characteristically of that class, involves an
utter misconception of the case as expressly stated by the sacred
historian. He represents them as “Jews, _devout men_, out of every
nation under heaven.”—Acts ii, 5. It was they, who came thronging to the
assembly of the apostles. It was characteristically they who gladly
received the word and were baptized. Nor is the language of Peter to
them incongruous to this view. “Him ye have taken, and by wicked hands,
have crucified and slain.”—v. 23. Their rulers had done it, and the
whole people were responsible and polluted with the crime of his blood,
until they purged themselves, by separation and baptism. So, the
multitude who cried, “Hosanna!” were “the multitude of the disciples,”
from Galilee. (Luke xix, 37; compare Ib. xxii, 59.) For fear of the
people, the conspirators seized Jesus by betrayal, by night; and the cry
against him was uttered, at the instigation of the rulers and priests,
by their retainers and dependents. (Mark xv, 11.) “It was early,” when
they brought Jesus before Pilate. (John xviii, 28.) And it is probable
that the sentence was already passed and Jesus in the hands of the
executioners, before the Galileans who were accustomed, at the feasts,
to encamp on Olivet, had any knowledge of the fearful tragedy of that
day. These facts are all of importance, in order to a just conception of
the real nature of the separation which began in Jerusalem on the day of
Pentecost, and ultimately extended throughout Judea, Galilee, and
Samaria, and to all parts of the world, where a synagogue of the Jews
was to be found. We do no service to the truth, by underestimating the
number of those who in that day, were waiting for the consolation of
Israel, and “gladly received the word” of the rising of the Sun of
righteousness, in the person of the Lord Jesus.

From the foregoing considerations, we conclude it to be certain that the
three thousand converts of the day of Pentecost were baptized with
water. The order of occurrences, as it appears from the record was this:
The preaching of Peter was accompanied with the promised power, the
baptism of the Spirit being bestowed upon his hearers, by the Lord
Jesus. By that baptism was given to them repentance and remission of
sins. (Acts v, 31.) Upon their correspondent profession, they were
baptized with water; and thereupon, they received the gifts of tongues
and of prophecy, in fulfillment of the promise of Christ (Mark xvi, 17),
and in accordance with the assurance given them by Peter;—“Repent and be
baptized, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the
promise is to you and to your children,”—the promise, to wit, which he
had before quoted from Joel, in explanation of the Pentecostal signs.

           SECTION XCIV.—_Symbolic Meaning of this Baptism._

The rite of immersion is inseparably identified with the theory that
ritual baptism is designed to symbolize the burial of the Lord Jesus. By
the advocates of this theory, the baptism administered to the converts
of Pentecost is held to have been the original of the institution. By
all, that baptism must be recognized as a most conspicuous and normal
exemplification of the rite. We are perfectly willing to stake the whole
issue upon the question of the symbolic meaning of the ordinance, as
determined by the Scriptural statements concerning that baptism.

It has been shown that the Old Testament baptisms symbolized the gift
from on high of the Spirit of life from God. We have seen that John
administered his baptism as an announcement and symbol of that which the
coming One should dispense,—the baptism of the Holy Ghost. We have heard
the Lord Jesus appropriate to himself the testimonies of John, and
promise their fulfillment, in terms by which the baptism to be
administered by him was distinctly identified as the antitype of that of
John. “John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the
Holy Ghost.”—Acts i, 5. We have seen the promise fulfilled, and heard
the testimony of Peter, that therein was accomplished the prophecy of
Joel,—a prophecy in which and the kindred language of the other
prophets, the baptisms of the Old Testament were so clearly interpreted.
We have seen that his baptizing office was the great end of Christ’s
exaltation, and the consummate function of his scepter,—that by which he
begins, carries on, and accomplishes the salvation and the glory of his
people; and that this, his exaltation and saving power, were, on the day
of Pentecost, preached as the express ground of the call to repent and
be baptized, for his name’s sake. In view of these facts, how is it
possible, by argument or by sophistry, to avoid the conclusion that the
ritual baptism to which Peter’s hearers were thus called, was designed
to signify that real baptism with which it was thus so closely
identified? But the evidence is more specific.

1. The sum and substance of the preaching of John and of Jesus was the
same, and reported by the evangelists in the same words:—“Repent, for
the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

2. In both cases, this preaching was accompanied with a ritual baptism,
which was as identical as was the preaching. Else, have we a house
divided against itself,—the one doctrine, attested by two rival rites,
which, under one and the same name, competed for acceptance with the

3. Of this baptism, Paul says, that “John verily baptized with the
baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe
on Him which should come after, that is on Christ Jesus.”—Acts xix, 4.
Of it, Mark and Luke state that “John did baptize in the wilderness and
preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”—Mark i, 4;
Luke iii, 3. And John himself declares,—“I indeed baptize you with
water, unto repentance: but He ... shall baptize you with the Holy
Ghost, and with fire.”—Matt, iii, 11. It thus appears that this baptism
was identified with a doctrine the cardinal elements of which are (1)
repentance, and (2) faith in the Lord Jesus; as the conditions
precedent; and (3) the remission of sins, as the result. These were what
the ordinance meant. From them it took its name,—“The baptism of
repentance for the remission of sins.”

4. On the day of Pentecost, this, precisely, was the preaching and
baptism of Peter. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you, for the
name’s sake of Jesus Christ, unto the remission of sins.”—Acts ii, 38.

5. Peter had already proclaimed that the Lord Jesus, “being by the right
hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of
the Holy Ghost, hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”—Ib.
33. A few days afterward, he explained more precisely to the rulers, the
significance of this great fact.—“Him hath God exalted with his right
hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for _to give_ to Israel _repentance_
and (_aphesin hamartiōn_) _remission of sins_.”—Ib. v, 31.

From these things it irrefragably follows, (1) that whereas, Christ’s
baptizing office is fulfilled by shedding down his Spirit upon his
people, the baptisms of John and the disciples prior to the day of
Pentecost, as well as that administered by Peter and the twelve on that
day, were all proclaimed symbols of this the great reality; (2) that,
while the intent and end of Christ’s baptism is, through the bestowal of
the Spirit, to give repentance, faith, and the remission of sins—the
other baptisms and conspicuously, that of the apostles on Pentecost,
were designed to signify and bear witness to that very thing. Not only
are these conclusions manifest and incontrovertible; but by them and the
facts on which they rest the idea of the burial of Christ, as included
in the symbolism of baptism, is not merely ignored, but utterly
excluded, as incongruous and unmeaning, in that connection.

This impregnable conclusion is further fortified by the fact already
shown, that in this meaning of the rite and in it only can be reconciled
the two forms of expression, “Baptizing into the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;” and,—“into the name of the Lord
Jesus.” Baptism shows forth the Triune Godhead united in the salvation
of man, and uniting the saved with that blessed Godhead.

      SECTION XCV.—_The Mode of the ritual Baptism on Pentecost._

As to the mode of the baptism of that day the evidence is not doubtful.
The assembled throng were “Jews, devout men out of every nation,”—men
whose cherished faith and hopes all centered on Moses and the covenant
made and sealed with their fathers at Sinai. The baptismal seal of that
covenant, perpetuated in the sprinkled water of separation, was familiar
to them everywhere. They were conversant with the prophecies which
assured them that in the latter days God would “sprinkle clean water
upon them,”—that the Messiah would “sprinkle many nations,” and “pour
out of his Spirit upon all flesh.” They are now told by the apostles
that these prophecies are announcements of the baptizing office of the
Lord Jesus,—that he, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having
received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, had, in the
exercise of his baptizing office, shed forth this, which they saw and
heard. And, in response to their penitent cry, they are required to be
“baptized for the name’s sake of the Lord Jesus.” Is it possible to
avoid the conclusion that the baptism thus propounded was the sprinkled
baptism which was familiar to them all? Or, are we to accept the
opposite assumption? Then must Peter have explained to the
multitude.—“Our fathers, at Sinai, were sealed to the covenant with the
sprinkled blood and water. In all generations of our race, the same seal
has been familiar, in the same office; as it is, this day, to you. The
prophets have explained the affusion of water as being a symbol of the
official work of the Messiah. In that office and work, the reality of
the Sinai rite is to-day fulfilled. And now, ye are to be baptized into
the name of the Lord Jesus; but with another baptism,—a baptism
dislocated from all relation to the past,—a baptism severed from all
analogy, even, or association of ideas with that of the Spirit, which is
this day dispensed by the Lord Jesus. He baptizes by outpouring; but ye
must be dipped. He baptizes by a pouring out of the Spirit, of which, in
the prophecies, and in the baptisms of our fathers, living water was the
constant symbol; but to you, dipped in that living water, it is to
become the symbol of the sepulchre of Joseph, in which the body of Jesus
was laid. His baptism gives repentance and remission of sins; and the
baptism to be received by you might seem to mean this very thing; for it
is conditioned upon repentance and is ‘unto remission.’ But it means not
that; but the burial of the dead body of Jesus.”

And now, where shall the water be found, for the immersion of these
thousands? And by what miracle shall the rite be performed, “decently
and in order,” within the hours of that day? For, not only is the record
specific, which limits the time,—but the supposition of a delay implies
the encumbrance of after time, of which each day had its own duties and
labors, its own converts and baptisms. It is demonstrably possible for
the twelve apostles to have baptized the entire multitude by sprinkling
in the ordinary manner in which we administer the rite within four or
five hours. But such was not, as I conceive, the manner of the
administration. No mere rite could without disparagement endure such
repetition for hour after hour. The reiteration must obscure and
obliterate the spiritual significance of the rite. The attention of the
witnesses would become exhausted and diverted, and the monotony of the
form would inevitably become a weariness and an offense. By such a
manner of observance, the very intent of the ordinance would be lost,
and this as much in one form, as in another.

But we are not reduced to the necessity of encountering these obvious
embarrassments. We have seen the millions of Israel baptized by Moses,
in the hours of one morning, they receiving the rite either collectively
in one body, or by tribe-families or tribes. It is very probable that
this was the manner in which the rite was ordinarily administered by
John to the throngs that attended on his ministry, and by the disciples
of Christ, when he “made and baptized more disciples than John.” The
Jews were familiar with the use of the hyssop bush as appointed in the
law, for administering the rite. There was nothing in the nature of the
ordinance, nor in the circumstances of the occasion, to render
inappropriate or improbable a resort to that mode. On the contrary,
every consideration, of convenience, of dignity, propriety and
edification, united to commend it as the most suitable way, the water
being sprinkled with a hyssop bush, and the recipients of the rite
presenting themselves in companies of suitable size, by scores or by
hundreds. Thus was set forth by a joint baptism the doctrine of Paul.
“By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.”—1 Cor. xii, 13.

Such is the conclusion to which the analogy of the Scriptures points.
Such, I doubt not, was the form of administration that day. For the
present purpose, however, this much is clear and sufficient,—that the
record of Pentecost contains nothing incongruous to the previous history
and doctrine of baptism,—that on the contrary, the Spirit-baptism of
that day and all the circumstances, concur to the same conclusion which
the foregoing history indicates. “_Not immersion; but affusion_”—is the
unambiguous voice of Pentecost.

           SECTION XCVI.—_Other Cases Illustrating the Mode._

The next case that illustrates the mode, is the baptism of the eunuch.
“As they went on their way, they came unto a certain water. And the
eunuch said, See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?...
And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down both
into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And
when they were come up out of the water.”—Acts viii, 36-39. To what has
been said already concerning this passage, one or two points only need
be added. Dr. Dale has pointed out the fact that the verb (_katebēsan_),
“they went down,” has primary reference to the chariot, out of which
they descended. He refers to the Septuagint of Judges iv, 15, “And
Sisera (_katebē_) _stepped down_ from his chariot;” and to Matt. xiv,
29,—“Peter (_katabas_) _stepping down_ from the boat walked on the
water, to go to Jesus.” The essential point, however, is that the
descent was not the baptism,—that, with the style of clothing, then as
now, worn in the east, nothing would have been more natural and
convenient than that they should have stepped into the water, as the
most convenient way of access, even though the baptism was to be
performed by sprinkling or pouring. “The place” (_periochē_, the
section), which the eunuch was reading, begins with Isa. lii, 13, and
includes the whole of liii. It is a continuous prophecy of the Messiah,
under the designation of God’s servant. In the fifty-third chapter, down
to the eleventh verse the pronoun “_he_” is used to designate the
subject of the account. It refers back to lii, 13, to which we must look
for the theme of the prophecy. “Behold _my servant_ shall deal
prudently.” When, therefore, the eunuch read liii, 7, 8,—“He was led as
a sheep to the slaughter,” and asked, “Of whom speaketh the prophet
this?” Philip must of necessity have turned back to the beginning of the
section, for the answer. In so doing, he finds this among the first
things said of the person described:—“As many were astonied at thee, his
visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons
of men, ... so shall he _sprinkle_ many nations.”—lii, 14, 15. This
prophecy, thus coinciding with that of Joel, which was the text of
Peter’s Pentecostal discourse, could not be overlooked by Philip, in his
instructions to the eunuch. The latter, although himself a Jew, was
identified with a Gentile nation. He was chamberlain, or treasurer, to
Candace, the queen of Meroe, in upper Egypt.[125] The prophecy,
therefore, “So shall he _sprinkle many nations_,” could not fail to
arrest his attention and elicit the story of Pentecost, as the beginning
of redemption to the Gentiles. That, with Christ’s baptizing office
brought thus into view, his ordinance concerning ritual baptism should
be announced, was not only a necessary result of the circumstances, but
was an essential part of that office which Philip was to perform.
“Disciple all nations, baptizing them.” In favor of the hypothesis that
the eunuch was immersed, there is nothing but the fact that they went
down to, or into the water. On behalf of his being sprinkled, is the
explicit testimony of the prophet as to the manner of the real baptism,
of which the ritual ordinance is the symbol.

Footnote 125:

  Pliny (Hist. Nat. vi, 35) states this kingdom of which Meroe, on an
  island in the Nile, was the chief city, to have been “now for a long
  time,” governed by queens, who transmitted to each other the name of

2. The baptism of the apostle Paul next presents itself. Of it we have
two brief accounts which are mutually supplementary. (Acts ix, 10-20;
xxii, 12-16.) After his vision of Jesus, on the way, he had lain for
three days in the house of Judas, in Damascus, blind, fasting and
prostrate. To him Ananias was sent and said to him—“And now, why
tarriest thou?” Why liest thou thus prostrate and desponding? “Arise,
and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the
Lord.”—Acts xxii, 16. Literally “(_Anastas, baptisai, kai apolusai_),
_Rising, be baptized, and let_ thy sins _be washed away_, calling upon
the name of the Lord.” Says Alexander, “Be baptized, is not a passive,
as in ii, 38, but the middle voice of the same verb, strictly meaning,
‘baptize thyself,’ or, rather, ‘cause thyself to be baptized,’ or suffer
(some one) to baptize thee. The form of the next verb [_apolusai_] is
the same, but can not be so easily expressed in English; as it has a
noun dependent on it. This peculiarity of form is only so far of
importance as it shows that Paul was to wash away his sins in the same
sense that he was to baptize himself; _i. e._ by consenting to receive
both from another. As his body was to be baptized by man; so, his sins
were to be washed away by God. The identity, or even the inseparable
union, of the two effects, is so far from being here affirmed, that they
are rather held apart, as things connected by the natural relation of
type and antitype, yet perfectly distinguishable in themselves, and
easily separable in experience.”[126] The exhortation, “Let thy sins be
washed away,” is intimately dependent upon the next clause,—“calling
upon the name of the Lord.”—Calling not as a mere reverential
invocation; nor as a mere profession or act of faith. But “calling on
him to purge away thy sins with the washing of regeneration, and
renewing of the Holy Ghost; and accepting the baptism of water as the
symbol and pledge of the other.”

Footnote 126:

  Alexander, _in loco_.

In the parallel account, it is stated that “he received sight forthwith
(_kai anastas, ebaptisthe_) _and rising up, was baptized_.”—Acts ix, 18.
Thus, in both of these accounts, the same form of expression is used as
to the manner of the baptism,—a form which indicates that the
administration was immediate, upon his rising from his couch. “Rising
up, be baptized.” “And he, rising up, was baptized.” In the original,
the force of the expressions is even stronger, to the same effect. The
circumstances coincide with this interpretation. The prostration,
resulting from the vision by the way, from the blindness, and the three
days in which he was “without sight, and neither did eat nor drink”
(Acts ix, 9), must have been very great; and it was not until after his
baptism that “he received meat and was strengthened.”—Ib. 19. There is
no intimation of leaving the place. There is no word of such preparation
as an immersion would require. But the whole case stands in the
expression twice employed, from which but one meaning can be
deduced,—that he was baptized immediately, in his chamber, as he rose
from his couch, and stood before Ananias. Whatever the mode, it can not
have been immersion.

It has been asserted that Paul’s baptism was not ritual but spiritual.
The supposition is encumbered with the same difficulties which attend
the like idea respecting the baptism of Pentecost. The occasion of
Ananias being sent to him was the fact attested by the Lord
Jesus,—“Behold he prayeth.”—Prayer so attested lacked neither repentance
nor faith. He had, therefore, already received the baptism of the
Spirit,—that is his renewing grace; although not his miraculous gifts.
Moreover, the baptism which he received in his chamber was something to
which the ministry of Ananias was requisite, and for which his rising
from his couch was preparatory. None of these things harmonize with the
idea that it was the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Nor was it implied in
the language of Ananias,—“That thou mightest receive thy sight and be
filled with the Holy Ghost.”—Acts ix, 17. With this is to be compared
the previous statement concerning him, made in vision by Jesus to
Ananias, “He hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming and
_putting his hand upon him_, that he might receive his sight.”—Ib. 12.
It was through the laying on of the hands of Ananias that Paul’s sight
was restored and the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost conferred upon
him. Such was the ordinary manner, as we have already seen, of the
imparting of those gifts; which was undoubtedly the nature of the
present endowment of Saul of Tarsus.

3. The baptism of the house of Cornelius is equally unfavorable to the
idea of immersion. (Acts x, 44-48.) The words of Peter admit of but one
construction. “Can any man forbid (_to udōr_) _the water_; that these
should not be baptized.”—Acts x, 47. We have already pointed out that
this language means that the water, as an instrument, was to be brought
to the place, in order to the baptism. Moreover, the baptism of this
company, thus, with water, was by Peter expressly predicated upon the
fact that they had been already baptized with the Holy Ghost, by his
outpouring upon them. “The Holy Ghost fell upon all them which heard.”
“On the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.” “Can
any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, which have
received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”—Acts x, 44, 45, 47. And lest
there should be any possible doubt about the meaning of all this, Peter
explains himself to the church in Jerusalem,—“Then remembered I the word
of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water, but ye
shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.”—Ib. xi, 16. Here again the facts
are decisive in favor of affusion.

4. The Philippian jailer and his family are the only remaining instance
in which illustrative circumstances are recorded. (Acts xvi, 25-34.) As
bearing upon the mode, these are, that at midnight, in the jail, upon
his professed repentance and faith, the jailer was baptized, “he and all
his straightway.”—Acts xvi, 33. This too was before he had taken Paul
and Silas out of the jail proper, into his own apartments. The
impossibility of the rite, administered in such circumstances, having
been immersion, would seem evident. Nor is it admissible, as proposed by
Baptist writers, to suppose that the jailer and his family with the
prisoners went out to the river and were there immersed. The suggestion
is not only contradicted by the record, which describes the baptism as
having been (_parachrēma_) “straightway,” with neither time nor action
intervening. But it would have been an act of official dereliction,
involving peril to the jailer’s life, and rendering the message of Paul
to the magistrates, the next day, an impudent pretence. They sent the
sergeants to the jailer, saying, “Let these men go.” “But Paul said unto
them, They have beaten us openly, uncondemned, being Romans, and have
cast us into prison. And now do they thrust us out privily? Nay, verily,
but let them come themselves and fetch us out.”—Ib. 37. Is this the
language of men who had already stolen out of the prison, by night?

We have thus passed in review every instance of Christian baptism
mentioned in the New Testament, in which any particulars are given. The
only other cases named are the Samaritans (Acts viii, 12, 13, 15), Lydia
(Ib. xvi, 15), the Corinthians (Ib. xviii, 8; 1 Cor. i, 14-17), and the
twelve disciples of John at Ephesus (Acts xix, 1-5). Of them we are only
informed that they were baptized. As to the cases which we have examined
it is certainly remarkable and significant that with the exception of
the eunuch, they each present physical difficulties in the way of
immersion, serious if not insurmountable; and that in the excepted case,
the utmost that can be said is, that nothing appears to render immersion
physically impossible; while the connection of the occasion points
distinctly to a sprinkled baptism.

The cumulative argument arising out of these baptisms is overwhelming.
They can not have been by immersion.

                SECTION XCVII.—“_Baptized into Moses._”

The baptism of Israel into Moses, is pertinent here, as illustrating the
apostolic style of conception and language on the subject. “All our
fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were
all baptized (_eis_) _into_ Moses, (_en_) _by_ the cloud and (_en_) _by_
the sea.”—1 Cor. x, 1, 2.

We have already seen the typical relation which Moses and Israel, and
the covenant with them sustained to the Lord Jesus and the true Israel,
and the better covenant, as expounded by Paul to the Hebrews. The
language here cited from the same apostle derives its form from the same
conception. Israel in the bondage of Egypt,—Moses sent to them as a
deliverer,—the passage out of the land of bondage, through the Red
Sea,—the destruction of Pharaoh in the sea and the cutting off thus of
Israel from all dependence or subjection to him,—their consequent faith
in Moses and submission to his authority,—the covenant made with them
through him as Mediator,—their nourishment in the wilderness on the
bread of heaven, and the water from the Rock,—and their final passage
through the Jordan and entrance into the promised land,—are the elements
of a typical system the antitypes of which are to be sought, not in the
visible church and its ritual ordinances, but in Christ and his body,
the invisible church, and the spiritual and heavenly realities which it
enjoys. According to this conception, the “baptism into Moses” finds its
antitype in the baptism into Christ, by which his people are emancipated
from the bondage of Satan and brought under the yoke of Christ. And as
that baptism is instrumentally accomplished by the Spirit, whereby they
all are baptized into one body of which Christ is the Head, so the
baptism of Israel was instrumentally effected “_by_ the cloud and _by_
the sea;” they being by the cloud protected from the Egyptians and
directed through the receding sea; while “the Lord looked unto the host
of the Egyptians, through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and
troubled the Egyptians, and took off their chariot wheels,” and the
returning sea swallowed them up.—Ex. xiv, 23-28. Here was an immersion.
But it was of the Egyptians. Here was a baptism,—of the children of
Israel,—into Moses,—not into water,—not into cloud, or sea or both
together. There were not two baptisms, but one, and in order to make it
an immersion “in the cloud and in the sea,” the baptism “into Moses”
must be obliterated. The Baptist figment which we have seen stated by
Dr. Kendrick, of the “double wall of water rolled up on each side, and
the column of fiery cloud stretching its enshrouding folds above them,”
is not merely an idle imagination. But it is an imagination in direct
and palpable contradiction to the record of Moses. The Israelites were
indeed under the cloud. But it was _before_ they entered the sea, and
not during their march through it. “The Angel of God which went before
the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the
cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them. And it came
between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a
cloud and darkness to them; but it gave light by night to these; so that
the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses stretched out
his hand over the sea ... and the waters were divided. And the children
of Israel went into the midst of the sea.”—Ex. xiv, 19-22. Thus, before
the sea was divided, Israel were “under the cloud,” as it passed back
from their front, to become an intercepting barrier between them and the
pursuing host. But, during the march through the sea, the cloud was
_between_ the two hosts, and not “enshrouding” Israel above. Thus, as by
the touch of Ithuriel’s spear, the figment of immersion vanishes in the
presence of the word of truth, and in its stead appear the ransomed
tribes marching upon the sands between walls of water, miles apart, the
open heavens above them and the cloud moving as a protecting curtain, in
their rear. The attempt to find immersion here, is futile.

That the preposition, _en_, is rightly here translated, _by_, as
indicating the instrumental cause, in the baptism, is illustrated by an
example a little farther on in the same epistle. “_By_ one Spirit, are
we all baptized _into_ one body.”—1 Cor. xii, 13. Here, Christ is the
Baptizer, the Spirit is the instrument, and union with Christ and his
body the result. So, of Israel, Jehovah was the Baptizer, the cloud and
the sea were the instruments, and union with Moses the result. Just
before, they had been in a state of open mutiny. (Ex. xiv, 11, 12.) But
now, says the record, “the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of
the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-shore. And
Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians, and
the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and his servant
Moses.”—Ib. 30, 31. Their changed state of mind was attested by the song
of their triumph which rang out over the unconscious and now peaceful
waters. “Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the
horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”—Ib. xv, 1-21. Thus
have we a signal example of such a change of state or experience as even
Dr. Conant admits to have been designated by the word, _baptizo_. From
under the power and fear of Pharaoh, they came into the trust and
obedience of Moses. They were “baptized into Moses.” The only intimation
of instrumental mode in this baptism, to be found in the Scriptures,
occurs in the Psalmist’s vivid description of the scene. “The clouds
poured out water, the skies sent out a sound, thine arrows also went
abroad.”—Ps. lxxvii, 17.

                               PART XVI.
                      THE FAMILY AND THE CHILDREN.

               SECTION XCVIII.—_Christ and the Children._

At this stage of our inquiry, we note the following points which have
important bearings upon the relation of the children to the church. (1.)
We have seen that, in the establishing of the covenant with Abraham,—the
promises of which were blessings to the natural offspring of the
patriarch, and through them, salvation to the world,—its seal was set
upon all the males of his household,—through whom the descent was to be
counted,—at the age of eight days. (2.) We have seen that in the Sinai
covenant, by which in fulfillment of the promises to Abraham, the church
was constituted in the family of Israel, the same fundamental principles
of family unity and parental headship were recognized and incorporated
in the constitution of the church; and that in accordance therewith, the
children and bondservants, both male and female, were included in its
terms, with the family head; endowed with all its rights and privileges;
bound under its responsibilities; and sealed with its baptismal seal.
(3.) We have seen that it was into this church, as thus constituted and
existing, and without change in its constitutional principles, or form
of organization, that through the ministry of the apostles, the Gentiles
were graffed; thus fulfilling the promise to Abraham, that in his seed
should all families of the earth be blessed; a promise fulfilled not
only in salvation accomplished through the promised Seed of Abraham, but
in the reception thus of the Gentiles into the bosom of the church of

It now remains to be ascertained whether there is any thing in the
principles of the gospel, as set forth in the New Testament, in the
practical rules therein recorded, or in the facts of its history, to
require or justify the extruding of the children from the place and
privileges hitherto enjoyed;—whether there is any thing to lead us to
the conclusion that the coming of Christ has straitened the grace of
God, and withdrawn from the babes of us Gentiles that privilege of
acceptance which was enjoyed by the little ones of Israel, from the day
of the covenant at Sinai.

1. As the place of the children was originally conferred and secured by
express statute and repeated enactments of confirmation, we have a right
to expect the abrogation of the privileges thus established to be
accomplished in terms as specific and imperative as were the laws by
which they were conferred. But no one has ever pretended to produce such
a statute of abrogation. Confessedly the New Testament is absolutely
silent as to such an act,—a silence fatal to the theories which deny a
place to the babes in the family of God.

2. The facts and principles set forth in the New Testament supply no
argument for the exclusion of the children. First, is that touching
incident which is recorded with more or less fullness in each of the
synoptical gospels. In reply to the question who of the apostles
should be greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus, being in a house
in Capernaum,—probably in the house of one of them, several of whom
lived there,—he “called a little child unto him and set him in the
midst of them,”—“and (_enagkalisamenos_) _having folded it in his
arms_, he said unto them,” “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be
converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the
kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this
little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso
shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”—Matt.
xviii, 1-5; Mark ix, 36; Luke ix, 46-48. With this is to be connected
that kindred fact which occurred a few days afterward, and is also
recorded in each of the three synoptical gospels. “Then were there
brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them
and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer
little children and forbid them not to come unto me; for of such is
the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed
thence.”—Matt. xix, 13-15. Mark and Luke add that he said, “Verily I
say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a
little child, he shall not enter therein. And (_enagkalisamenos_)
_folding them in his arms_, he put his hands upon them, and blessed
them.”—Mark x, 13-16; Luke xviii, 15-17. Of these little children,
Luke tells us that they were (_brephē_) _babes_. That these incidents
in the life of our Savior were of special significance is indicated by
the fact that they are both given by each of the evangelists, Matthew,
Mark, and Luke. As to their meaning,—(1.) These children all were, at
the time, actual members of that visible kingdom of God the church of
Israel, in the bosom of which Jesus himself lived and died. (2.) That
church was the type and representative of the invisible church and
kingdom. (3.) Of all members of the visible church, Jesus selects the
little child of the first incident and the babes of the second, as the
fittest types or representatives of the temper and spirit which will
have admittance and honor in the heavenly kingdom. (4.) He was much
displeased, that his disciples should attempt to prevent their being
brought, in their unconsciousness and helplessness, into his personal
presence, for recognition and a blessing from him. (5.) Both the child
in the house, and the babes brought to him, he folded in his arms, and
upon the latter he laid his hands and blessed them. He was the great
Shepherd, as himself testifies,—“I am the good Shepherd.”—John x, 11.
Of him the prophet wrote,—“He shall gather the lambs with his arm, and
carry them in his bosom.”—Isa. xl, 11. And we ask,—Can any one venture
to deny that, by these acts, so distinctly referring to the prophecy,
Jesus designed to recognize and claim the babes as lambs of his fold?
As before remarked, these babes were undeniably members of the church,
at the time of these occurrences. If the Lord Jesus designed to leave
them in undisturbed possession of the rights and privileges heretofore
enjoyed, with his benediction added thereto, all this is clear and
intelligible. But, if they were to be deprived and excluded, how are
these things to be reconciled?

Another incident, in circumstances even more significant, presents
itself. After his resurrection, Jesus met with his disciples at the Sea
of Galilee. “When they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son
of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord;
thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.”—John
xxi, 15. Peter was present in the house in Capernaum, when Jesus took
the child in his arms. Nay, it is not improbable that it was Peter’s
house, and Peter’s child. He was present when the babes were brought for
blessing, and saw and heard all that then occurred. He was a Hebrew of
the Hebrews,—the chief apostle of the circumcision. When he received
this charge from the Master, in which were commended to his love and
care, _first_, the lambs, and afterward the sheep; and when he pondered
this charge and legacy, in the light of the fifteen centuries during
which the place of the children had been unquestioned and
unquestionable, and in remembrance of those demonstrative facts which he
had seen and heard,—would he understand it as implying a command to
purge and renovate the fold, by the exclusion of the lambs? And when, a
few days after, or, possibly on this very same occasion, he as the
apostle through whom the doors of the gospel were to be opened to the
Gentiles, with the rest, received that great command,—“Go disciple all
nations, baptizing them,”—are we to conceive it possible that he
understood it to mean that he must be very tender of the Jewish lambs,
bringing them into the fold and school of Christ, but must drive out the
children of the Gentiles as unclean?

3. Under the ministry of the apostles, the Gentiles were called and
graffed into the church of Israel. In the church, thus constituted as
already shown, some congregations were composed of Jews alone, some, of
Gentiles, and some, of the two classes associated together; but in them
all Jewish influences were pervasive and paramount. Now, is it to be
imagined that without a word of command from Christ or the apostles, the
Jewish believers would unanimously, gratuitously, and in silence,
surrender the place of their children in the church, just at the moment
when the privileges thereto incident had become so much more manifest,
by the coming of Christ, and the brightness, by his rising, shed upon
the gospel day? And even if such a thing could be imagined possible,
what else would it have been but a wicked apostasy and rejection of the
grace given them? But, that no such apostasy did take place, is
assuredly testified by the silence of the record, and by all the
circumstances. That, in the churches of the circumcision, and among
Jewish believers everywhere, the children occupied their old status is
beyond controversy or question. Of this, their circumcision is of itself
conclusive proof. And as, from the days of Abraham, that rite certified
them seed of the patriarch and heirs of the promises,—and at Sinai they
were introduced, by baptism, into the pale of the church and the
privileges of that covenant,—so their continued enjoyment alike of the
privileges and the seals must stand forever certain, till some prophet
shall arise to tell us when, and how, and for what cause, they were
divested of rights once bestowed by Him whose “gifts and callings are
without repentance.”

And if, by a special clause in the very covenant of Sinai itself, grace
to the Gentiles was reserved, in harmony with abundant grace to Israel,
the baptism of Israel’s babes into the fold of that covenant, that day,
was a foretokening and pledge of the same grace to the children of the
Gentiles, when the times of the Gentiles shall have come. They are not
the seed of Abraham, and therefore receive not the seal of his covenant
in their flesh. But baptism is theirs,—the seal of the Sinai covenant,
in which, now, the rights of the Gentiles are equal. “For there is no
difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is
rich unto all that call upon him.”—Rom. x, 12.

SECTION XCIX.—“_Else were your Children unclean but now are they Holy._”

We have the express testimony of inspiration, to the children’s right
within the pale of the church. Says Paul to the Corinthians,—“The
unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife
is sanctified by the husband. Else were your children _unclean_; but now
are they _holy_.”—1 Cor. vii, 14. The significance of this declaration,
as concerning the children, depends upon the meaning of the words,
_unclean_ (_akathartoi_), and _holy_ (_hagioi_). Both of them come into
the New Testament, from the Septuagint version of the Old. In the Greek
of that version, the word (_akathartos_) does not appear in the books of
Moses until we come to the laws of ritual uncleanness and purifying,
which have been so largely discussed in these pages. Then, beginning
with the fifth chapter of Leviticus, it occurs in that book in about
eighty-seven places, in all of which it designates the ritually unclean;
being applied alike to things and persons. In Numbers and Deuteronomy,
it appears about thirty times, in the same sense. In the entire Old
Testament, the word is used about one hundred and forty times; and with
the exception of half a dozen passages in which it indicates the moral
offensiveness of sin, it is invariably employed in one and the same
sense,—to designate persons and things that by virtue of ritual
defilements were excluded from the pale of the covenant and the
sanctuary. If we add to this the related noun (_akatharsia_) the force
of these considerations is greatly increased. It, in like manner, first
occurs in Leviticus, as the designation of the _uncleannesses_ which
were described by the adjective (_akathartos_), _unclean_. It occurs
about fifty times, and with a few exceptions in which it describes the
vileness of sin, is constantly used in the ritual sense.

The other word (_hagios_) _holy_, has a history and meaning, equally
clear and well defined. It has primary reference to the sum of the
divine perfections, in view of which God is designated, the _holy_ One.
Thence, it is transferred to designate those moral attributes in men
which are after the likeness of God’s holiness; as, in the admonition
which is often repeated in the books of Moses, “Be ye holy, for I am
holy.” Again, it is used to denote the relation sustained to God by
things devoted to his use or service. Thus, the tabernacle and all its
parts and furniture were holy. In this sense, the word was used in the
covenant with Israel. “Ye shall be unto me a _holy nation_ (_ethnos
hagion_.”)—Ex. xix, 6. The acceptance of this covenant, and the seal of
baptism by which it was confirmed established Israel as “holy” unto the
Lord. Prior to that covenant the word had never been applied to men. But
from that transaction forward Israel was recognized in that character.
Thus, alluding to the covenant, Moses says to them,—“Thou art a holy
people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a
special people unto himself above all people that are upon the face of
the earth.”—Deut. vii, 6. Upon this title and the covenant ground of it,
Moses insists with great emphasis, recurring to the theme again and
again. (See Deut. xiv, 2, 21; xxvi, 19; xxviii, 9.) It is in view of
this covenant provision that the distinctive appellation of Israel in
the prophets is, “the holy people;” and to the same source is to be
referred the familiar designation of “saints,” that is, holy ones, which
is constantly employed, especially in the Psalms. Thus, the Lord says in
Ps. 1, 5,—“Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a
covenant with me by sacrifice.” Here, not only is the title used, but
the ground of it is stated. It is that public profession and covenant of
which sacrifice was essential as a seal, and incorporated as such in the
baptismal rite.

Such is the testimony of the Old Testament, respecting these words. The
church of Corinth was composed largely of Jews, who as we have seen
still maintained the ordinances of the synagogue after as well as before
their conversion to Christ. In those assemblies, James declares that
“Moses of old time hath in every city, them that preach him, being read
in the synagogues every Sabbath day.”—Acts xv, 21. The Corinthian
disciples, therefore, never attended those services without hearing the
words in question used; and used in this continual sense of ritual
uncleanness and ritual purity.

In the New Testament, the words in question are employed in strict
accordance with the Old Testament usage. But as the ritual law here
sinks into comparative obscurity, _akathartos_, more frequently means
the loathsomeness of sin. Of the twenty-eight places in which it is
found, it in twenty, describes “_unclean_ spirits,” or demons. But when
the question arises of the right of the Gentiles to a part with Israel,
in the covenant and the church, the ritual meaning of the word, again
comes forward. Peter in his vision pleads that he had “never eaten any
thing common, or _unclean_.”—Acts x, 14. The lesson which that vision
taught him was, that he “should not call any man common or
_unclean_.”—Ib. 28. And he afterward said of the house of Cornelius that
God “put no difference between us and them, (_katharisas_) _cleansing_
their hearts by faith.”—Ib. xv, 9. Except the place in question, in
which the relation of the children to the church is in view, and that of
Peter, concerning the like relation of believing Gentiles, the word is
invariably used in the New Testament to designate that moral character
of which ritual uncleanness was the figure.

So, too, as to (_hagioi_) “_holy_,” or “saints”—it is the peculiar and
distinctive appellation in the New Testament, as in the Old, for those
whom we would call “members of the church.” In the Acts of the Apostles,
some half a dozen times, the title of “disciples,” is used; once, Peter
employs the name of “Christian” (1 Pet. iv, 16); and Paul once speaks of
“the believers.” (1 Tim. iv, 12.) But, with these exceptions, the
appellation universally used is (_hagioi_) “saints.” It thus occurs
about fifty-six times, of which forty are in the epistles of Paul, the
author of the passage in question. In fact, this is the designation
which he uniformly employs in this very epistle and his second to the
same church to designate the members of the church. “Dare any of you,
having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust and not
before the _saints_?”—1 Cor. vi, 1. “As in all the churches of the
_saints_.” (Ib. xiv, 33.) “Paul ... unto the church of God which is in
Corinth, with all the _saints_ which are in all Achaia.”—2 Cor. i, 1.
The source of this title, moreover, as derived from the Sinai covenant,
is indicated by Peter, who quotes the terms of that covenant and applies
them to the New Testament church. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, a _holy nation_ (_ethnos hagion_), a peculiar people.”—1
Peter ii, 9. As in the Old Testament, so in the New, the word, _hagios_,
invariably means, either, that holiness which is essential in God, and
which, in his creatures is a bond of consecration to him; or, the
characteristic of persons and things separated by a peculiar dedication
and appropriation to his use and service.

The alternative to which the facts reduce us, is this:—that Paul, master
as he was of the Mosaic system and of the language in which it is
recorded,—in his reference to the children, used the words,
_akathartoi_, and, _hagioi_, in their familiar ritual signification; or
that he meant to deceive his readers. For, that the heirs of the
covenant were in fact a holy people to God, was an express and
fundamental specification in the covenant. And that the children were
comprehended in this provision was no more questionable than was the
existence of the covenant itself. Whatever therefore the meaning of
Paul, his readers could not possibly understand his language in any but
one way:—“_Else were your children excluded from the pale of the
covenant; but now are they embraced in it._”

The attempt is made to evade the overwhelming force of the facts, on
this point, by a most extraordinary interpretation. It is asserted that
Paul means,—“Else were your children illegitimate, but now are they
legitimate.” The doctrine thus attributed to the apostle, is in the
first place, false and abominable in morals. It is an assertion that no
child is legitimate, unless one or other of its parents be a Christian.
In the second place, it is an interpretation false to the whole
testimony of the Scriptures as to the meaning of the words. In all the
multitude of places in which they are to be found, there is not one to
give the slightest color of sanction to it. It is nothing less than a
desperate and unscrupulous attempt to silence the voice of God’s
testimony because it is in terms of grace to our children.

Paul’s language is, in fact, an application to the children, of the same
general principle of divine grace, which governed him in the
circumcision of Timothy. The Hebrew blood of Timothy’s mother was held
to entitle him to part in the Abrahamic covenant, although his father
was a Greek. So, Paul pronounces the children of believers, Gentiles and
Jews, to be _clean_, as comprehended in the Sinai covenant, and the
gospel church, even though one parent should be an unbeliever.

It is only to be farther considered, that as those only who are baptized
of the Spirit are spiritually clean, so the Scriptures know nothing of
ritual cleanness, except by baptism with water; and that the command,
“Go, disciple all nations, baptizing them,” makes the baptizing
co-extensive with the discipleship,—that is, with admission to the
school of Christ, and pale of the covenant.

                    SECTION C.—_Household Baptisms._

We have seen the grace of God expressed toward the children of his
people, under the Mosaic economy, by their being embraced with their
parents in the terms of the covenant. We have seen their admission
thereto announced and confirmed by the seal of baptism. We have seen no
token of the withdrawal of that grace by the Lord Jesus when in person
on earth. We have heard, on the contrary, his confirmation of it in
terms as strong as language can furnish. We have seen that same
covenant, its terms unchanged, and its seal the same, thrown open,
through the ministry of the apostles, to the Gentiles, and heard the
testimony of the apostle, that our children are not unclean,—offensive
to God, but holy,—acceptable before him. We now proceed to consider the
facts and principles involved in the household baptisms, which are
described in the New Testament. First, however, it is proper to make an
important correction in the aspect in which the subject is commonly
viewed and discussed. The principle which the Scriptures set forth and
establish is not that of the baptism and membership of _infants_, as
such. The fundamental element of the visible church, as conceived and
set forth, in Scripture, is not the individual, but the family. As God
planted the earth in families, so in the covenant with Abraham he laid
down the family society as the foundation stone, on which, at Sinai, the
church was builded; and hence the organization of the church of Israel
upon the family principle, and its government by the eldership, the
representatives of its families. Under this constitution, the infants,
were of course included. But the designation and discussion of the
subject, under their name, as if it were a question of _infant_ baptism
and _infant_ membership, distinctively, does injustice to the subject,
as it leaves out of sight and practically excludes the fundamental
principle involved. That principle is, parental headship, and the
consequent grace of God bestowed on the _families_ of his people,—their
children and bond servants,—as identified in and represented by them.

1. The first case of household baptism mentioned is that of
Lydia,—“whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things
which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household,
she besought us saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord,
come into my house and abide there.”—Acts xvi, 14, 15. Here, the
essential facts are, (1.) that the house of Lydia were by the inspired
historian, recognized in no other capacity than as being (_oikos autēs_)
_her house_. Their number, their names, their ages, their distinctive
relation to her, whether as children or servants, their several or joint
sentiments toward the gospel,—on all these points he is silent. The one
single fact to which he directs our attention is Lydia’s property in
them. (2.) Of Lydia alone it is said that the Lord opened her heart; and
upon this fact exclusively is predicated her baptism and that of her
house. Should any surmise that her house also believed, we do not
object, provided the surmise is not to be made an essential part of the
record. If it be insisted that they believed and therefore were
baptized, we reply that had such been the conception of the sacred
writer, it would have been as easy, and far more important for him to
have stated their faith, as he has recorded their baptism. The
supposition that they did in fact believe, only renders his silence on
that point the more significant. (3.) These facts occurred in the
ministry of that same Paul whom we have just seen to testify that the
children of believers are holy. In a word Luke states the fact of the
baptism, and the ground of it. Lydia believed, and she was baptized and
her house. Because of her faith, to her and to her house the old, the
everlasting, covenant was fulfilled,—“to be a God to thee and to thy
seed after thee.”

2. The baptism, which soon followed, of the jailer and his house is
equally explicit on this point. He said to Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what
must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word
of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the
same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he
and all his straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he
set meat before them, and (_ēgalliasato panoiki, pepisteukōs tō Theō_,)
rejoiced with his house, he believing in God.”—Acts xvi, 30-34. Here,
again, we have a construction which remarkably ignores the question
whether his house, as well as he, believed. It may he assumed that they
were all of an age to hear and understand the gospel. It may be assumed
that they, so understanding, believed also. But it may not be assumed
that such knowledge and faith were the ground of their baptism, because
the sacred writer puts it upon a different ground. It was as identified
with him—as belonging to him, that they were included in the rite. “He
was baptized,—he and all _his_.” Thus their relation to him is the
defining term. “He and _all_ that were his.”—He and _none but_ his; and
they _because_ they were his. Such is the force of the expression as it
stands. In the same direction looks the closing expression. “He rejoiced
with all his house,—he believing.” That his house did not believe we
neither assert nor deny. The point of importance is, that their faith is
no element of the case, as stated on the record, upon which was grounded
their baptism. The alternative is clear and inevitable. Either he, only,
of all his house did in fact believe; or, if his household shared in his
faith, the remarkable manner in which, in the narrative, they are
associated with him in his baptism and joy, but omitted from the
statement which describes him alone, as believing, was an express and
designed intimation that his personal faith was the controlling element
in the case, according to the terms of the everlasting covenant,—“to be
a God to thee, and to _thy seed_ after thee,” and the assurance given
him by Paul,—“Believe, ... and thou shalt be saved and thy house.” He
was recognized and dealt with as the head of his house, precisely as was

3. Paul declares that he “baptized (_ton Stephana oikon_) the house of
Stephanas.”—1 Cor. i, 16. Here, again, there is no discrimination of
individuals. The characteristic upon which he predicates the baptism is
the relation which he indicates. It was the house of Stephanas, as such,
whom he baptized.

Respecting these cases, it may be admitted that if taken separately,
they would constitute no conclusive evidence to the present purpose. But
such is not their position. They stand as one element in a series of
facts and principles which together present a cumulative argument
conclusive and unanswerable. These begin with the Abrahamic covenant and
the family principle there established. They include the Sinai
constitution, in which the same principle was ineffaceably engraved.
They comprehend the opening of the doors of the church thereon founded,
to the Gentile world, with this principle unimpaired. They reveal the
love of Christ to the babes, in the history and instructions of his
personal ministry, and in his parting commission to Peter. They hold up
the testimony of Paul, that the babes of believers are “saints.” It is
in the presence of these great facts, inscribed in letters of light upon
the records of fifteen hundred years; and in the absence of any thing
whatever to contravene their testimonies, or to set aside the
conclusions thence following, that the household baptisms in question
are to be considered. The children and household were once
unquestionably embraced in God’s covenant with his church.
“_Everlasting_,” was by His finger written on the face of that covenant.
(Gen. xvii, 7.) In its terms, as announced at Sinai, place for the
Gentiles was expressly reserved; and upon their ultimate admission, no
trace of change, in these respects, appears in the record. On the
contrary, in the cases just examined, we have the most conclusive
evidence, in view of the foregoing facts, that the position of the
family has not been changed by the coming of Christ, and the giving of
the gospel to the Gentiles. It still continues a unit under the parental
head; and the same grace which blessed the seed of Abraham because of
his faith,—the same which, at Sinai, embraced the children with their
parents, in the covenant and the fold, still extends those privileges to
the children of Gentiles who believe. They are holy.


And now, at the goal, we turn to survey the broad field of our
explorations, and to note the accumulated results. From this vantage
point, many things appear in a light of peculiar instructiveness and
beauty. But one feature stands out in proportions of loftiness, and
glory, which cast all else into the shade of insignificance. As with
rapt spirits, we gaze, the high throne is revealed where sits the Son of
man,—his human form robed in the Father’s glory,—his countenance
blending the infinite majesty of God, with the fullness of grace and
truth,—his brow adorned with a diadem of many crowns, and all power in
heaven and earth, in his hand. The heavens are astonished at the
presence of his glory, and the adoring angels, prostrate, await his
bidding. The fullness of the Spirit is his; and his office thus exalted
it is, to baptize us sinners with that Spirit,—to give us thus,
repentance and remission of sins and sanctifying grace, and to raise us
up from the dead and make us sit with him in the heavenly places where
he reigns. This is the central sun of the system which we have explored.
From this baptism of the Spirit all the ordinances here examined, derive
their instructive light and beauty. It is the original,—the heavenly
pattern whence their form and office were divinely transcribed. It is,
therefore, the rule and standard to which all baptismal rites and
doctrines must be brought.

Tried by this rule, the figment of baptismal regeneration stands exposed
in naked falsehood and dishonor; arrogating to men a share of the
sovereign prerogatives of our glorious Baptizer; subordinating the
functions of his grace to their will and wisdom, their fidelity and

The rite of immersion too,—already discountenanced by the united voice
of the Scriptures,—when brought to this supreme and final test, is
utterly wanting.

It is discountenanced by the transaction at Sinai, in which the church
was separated out of the world and consecrated to God by a baptism of
sprinkled water and blood.

It is discountenanced by the rites which certified and sealed the
restoration of the healed leper to the communion of Israel.

It is discountenanced by the water of purifying with which the Levites
were sprinkled, in their consecration to the service of God’s sanctuary.

It is discountenanced by the ordinance which appointed the water of
separation, to be sprinkled as the ordinary and perpetuated form of the
Sinai baptism, for sealing admission to the benefits of the Sinai

It is excluded by the declaration of the son of Sirach that the
sprinkling of the unclean with the water of separation was a baptizing.

It is discountenanced by the sprinkled baptism of the thirty-two
thousand infants and youths of Midian, whereby they were received into
the fold of the covenant and the church.

It is condemned by every voice in the Psalms and the prophets which
breathes a sense of the sinner’s need, or anticipates the blessings of
Messiah’s grace, in the language of these ordinances.

It is excluded by the explicit testimony of the apostle Paul, that these
ordinances were baptisms.

It is condemned by the implacable war which it of necessity wages
against the identity of the church from the day of the assembly at
Sinai,—by its repudiation of the Old Testament church—the church of
Moses and the prophets, which was for fifteen centuries a lone beacon
light among the nations, God’s only witness amid the gloom of thick
darkness which enshrouded the world.

It is discountenanced by the voice of John’s baptism which heralded and
symbolized the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost; and is excluded by
all the circumstances of his ministry, which show that he could not have
immersed his disciples, and that he would not have done it, though he

It is discountenanced by the whole style of the evangelists and
apostles, who speak of baptism and its relations in the language of the
Old Testament, and recognize it as a symbol of the outpouring of

It is excluded by the records of Christian baptisms as given by Luke,
which, beginning with the three thousand of Pentecost and ending with
the jailer of Philippi and his house, present an array of difficulties
in the way of immersion, which are severally inexplicable, and together

It is condemned by its association with the kindred denial of the place
which God has assigned to the family and the children in his fold and
his covenant; and by all the facts which demonstrate their God-given and
inalienable rights therein.

It is utterly condemned by the fact that it maims the symmetry and
completeness of the sacramental system of the Christian church. Whilst
the Old Testament sacraments exhibit in just proportions every part and
feature of the plan of grace, and whilst the genuine ordinances of the
New Testament, in like proportions, abbreviate the whole, exhibiting in
the holy supper the sacrament of Christ’s humiliation and sacrifice, and
in baptism that of his exaltation and glory, his power and grace,—the
system in question, recognizes indeed, with us, in the Lord’s supper,
the memorial of Christ’s suffering and death, but in baptism can see
nothing but the symbol of his burial, and so leaves him and all our
hopes shut up and sealed in the sepulchre of Joseph.

It is signally discountenanced by the remarkable fact that in every rite
and every figure in which the Scriptures represent the active exercise
by the Messiah of his official functions, the form of action is
affusion, whether it be with the blood of atonement at the sanctuary of
Israel,—the water, mingled with ashes or blood, which sprinkled the
unclean,—the anointing oil poured upon the head; or the fires of justice
rained down from heaven.

But why dwell upon minor particulars! The rite in question is condemned
and excluded by the whole tenor of the Scriptures, which demonstrate
that _baptizo_ as there used _does not_ mean, to immerse, and which
reveal no vestige of other testimony in behalf of the rite, but
everywhere show evidence abundant and conclusive against it.

But the capital and paramount consideration still remains, in the fact
that this rite will not assimilate with, nor recognize the baptism which
Christ dispenses from his throne. It ignores the exaltation whence that
baptism descends, and refuses to testify of its outpouring of grace. And
hence, although administered with the use of the words, it is not in the
sense intended by the Lord Jesus, baptism “into the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost;” for its doctrine has no relation
to those blessed Persons, nor to our union with them. It is wholly
occupied with another theme. Whilst the true baptism exultingly points
upward to the throne of Christ’s glory, this rite looks downward ever to
the grave.

To our readers we leave the question,—What one trait or characteristic
of Scriptural baptism is traceable in this rite of immersion, in
doctrine, or in form?

In entire consistency with a spirit of true Christian love and
fellowship toward our brethren of the Baptist churches, we can not but
realize an indignant revolt against this rite, so imperious in its
claims, so devoid of evidence, so hostile to the true baptism of the
Christian church, so efficient in creating division therein,—this rite
in the zeal of which, those who reject it have been denied any part in
the church of God, or place at his table, or portion in his covenant.
Not such the ordinance which her glorious Head has bestowed upon his
church, nor such the principles which he has taught her to cherish;—an
ordinance in which is shown forth and celebrated the glory of his
exaltation and his grace,—an ordinance which baptizes us into his name
and that of the blessed Godhead, by setting forth the doctrine of that
Godhead and of our union with it in Christ by the Spirit,—an ordinance
which seals upon the brows of our babes that same blessing which they
received in His own arms and from His own hands, in the days of his
flesh;—and principles which teach us to recognize and embrace in the
bonds of love and the fellowship of the covenant and of the church all
those who in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,
both their Lord and ours, even though they may grievously err respecting
outward rites and forms.

Now to Him, the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be
honor and glory, for ever. Amen.


   — i, 26, p. 268;
   — ii, 10, p. 32;
   — iii, 15, p. 41;
   — xii, 1-3, p. 37;
   — xv, 1+, p. 38;
   — xvii, 1-21, p. 39;
   — xvii, 7, p. 59;
   — xxii, 16-18, p. 41;
   — xxxvii, 31, p. 158.

   — vi, 2-8, p. 42;
   — xix, 3-5, p. 43;
   — xix, 3-21, p. 27, 43, 45;
   — xix, 5, p. 45;
   — xix, 6, p. 46;
   — xx, 24, p. 164;
   — xxiv, 5, 8, p. 26, 29;
   — xxv, 21, p. 54;
   — xxv, 40, p. 128;
   — xl, 12, p. 131, 133.

   — i, 9, p. 134;
   — xiii, 45, 46, p. 63;
   — xiv, 7-9, p. 66;
   — xiv, 8, 9, p. 114;
   — xxiii, 36, p. 148.

   — vi, 9, p. 114;
   — vi, 18, p. 115;
   — viii, 7, p. 114;
   — xix, 1-22, p. 96;
   — xix, 2-19, p. 68, 73, 96;
   — xix, 12, 13, 19, p. 168;
   — xxix, 12-38, p. 144;
   — xxxi, 19-24, p. 82;
   — xxxi, 23, p. 138.

   — iv, 10, p. 51;
   — xvi, 13-15, p. 148;
   — xxi, 3-9, p. 123;
   — xxi, 12, p. 114.

   — iii, 11, p. 123;
   — v, 10, 14, p. 157.

   — ix, 30, 31, p. 111, 158.

   — viii, 4-8, p. 269;
   — li, 2-10, p. 61.

   — i, 16,17, p. 116;
   — vi, 5-7, p. 64;
   — xix, 19, p. 154;
   — xxi, 4, p. 295;
   — lii, 15, p. 140.

   — xvi, 8, 9, p. 74;
   — xxii, 24, p. 89;
   — xxxvii, 1-14, p. 301;
   — xxxvii, 12-15, p. 94;
   — xlvii, 1-12, p. 32, 33.

   — ii, 11, 14, p. 227.

   — xiv, 8, p. 34, 148, 151.

   — iii, 2, 3, p. 287;
   — iv, 1-4, p. 291;
   — iv, 4, p. 243.

   — iii, 5, 6, p. 233;
   — iii, 11, p. 241, 284;
   — iii, 13-15, p. 247;
   — xvii, 3, p. 230;
   — xviii, 1-5, p. 462;
   — xix, 13-15, p. 463;
   — xx, 20-23, p. 258;
   — xxvi, 28, p. 225;
   — xxvii, 24, p. 123;
   — xxviii, 19, 20, p. 380, 424, 431, 435, 439.

   — i, 4, p. 318;
   — vii, 1-4, p. 210, 216;
   — vii, 3, 4, p. 21, 210;
   — ix, 4, p. 230;
   — ix, 36, p. 462;
   — x, 13-16, p. 463;
   — xvi, 15, 16, p. 380, 424, 437.

   — i, 17, p. 228;
   — ii, 22, p. 85;
   — iii, 16, p. 284;
   — iii, 21, 22, p. 254;
   — vii, 37, 38, 44, p. 124, 125;
   — ix, 31, p. 230;
   — ix, 46-48, p. 462;
   — xi, 29, p. 214;
   — xi, 38, p. 21, 209, 214;
   — xii, 49-53, p. 265;
   — xviii, 15-17, p. 463;
   — xxiv, 44-46, p. 100.

   — i, 33, p. 280;
   — ii, 18-22, p. 101;
   — iii, 5, p. 384;
   — iii, 23, p. 360;
   — iv, 14, p. 308;
   — vii, 37, 38, p. 308;
   — ix, 4, p. 109;
   — xi, 25, 26, p. 92, 95;
   — xiv, 16,17, 25, 26, p. 277;
   — xv, 26, p. 277, 281;
   — xvi, 7-15, p. 277;
   — xvii, 22, p. 320;
   — xx, 17, p. 272.

   — ii, 2, p. 299;
   — ii, 3, p. 310;
   — ii, 4, p. 313;
   — ii, 38, p. 433;
   — viii, 36-39, p. 451;
   — ix, 18, p. 454;
   — x, 47, p. 455;
   — xv, 10, p. 406;
   — xvi, 14, 15, p. 472;
   — xvi, 30-34, p. 473;
   — xvi, 33, p. 456;
   — xviii, 18, p. 399;
   — xix, 1-7, p. 429;
   — xix, 2, p. 315;
   — xix, 4, p. 318, 447;
   — xxii, 16, p. 453.

   — vi, 1-11, p. 364;
   — vi, 4, p. 320;
   — xi, 17-24, p. 418, 422.

   — i, 16, p. 474;
   — vii, 14, p. 466;
   — x, 1, 2, p. 453;
   — xii, 13, p. 357;
   — xv, 4, p. 100;
   — xv, 25-27, p. 269;
   — xv, 29, p. 170.

   — iii, 2, 3, 6, p. 382.

   — iv, 3-16, p. 330;
   — iv, 5, p. 333;
   — v, 25-27, p. 390.

   — ii, 9-13, p. 371.

   — iii, 4-7, p. 323.

   — ii, 5-8, p. 269;
   — iv, 4-9, p. 65;
   — vi, 7-9, p. 35;
   — vi, 17-20, p. 41;
   — ix, 8, 9, p. 103;
   — xiii, 11-13, p. 97.

   — ii, 9, p. 469;
   — iii, 17-22, p. 333.

 1 JOHN.
   — v, 18, 19, p. 110.

   — i, 12, 13, p. 311;
   — xxii, 1, 2, p. 32.


 Ablution, Mode of domestic, page 119.
 Abrahamic covenant, p. 37.
   “My covenant,” p. 43.
   Everlasting, p. 40, 43.
   Circumcision, its seal, p. 40, 58.
   An adumbration of the covenant of grace, p. 40.
 Administration of the great Baptizer, p. 338.
 _Agora_,—the market, p. 214.
 Akiva, Rabbi, p. 213.
 Alexander, Dr. Addison, quoted, p. 287, 301, 310, 453.
 Ambrose on Levitical baptism, p. 194.
 Angel of his presence, p. 223.
 Anointing of Christ, p. 254.
 Apocrypha, their value, p. 153.
 Aristophanes quoted, p. 186, 325.
 Armstrong quoted, p. 259.
 Ashes of the red heifer, p. 68, 98.
 Ashes of calves, at Rome, p. 185.
 Assembly, Day of the, p. 51.
 Athenaeus quoted, p. 325.
 Augustine quoted, p. 303.
 Aztec baptism of Infants, p. 191.

 Babylonian Gemara, p. 78.
 Babylonian rabbinic schools, p. 78, 81.
 Baptism—Argument from the real, p. 343.
   And circumcision, p. 58.
   Originated in the Old Testament, p. 21.
   Of Israel, p. 25, 29.
   Levitical, p. 25.
   Of Naaman, p. 157.
   History of Christian, p. 424.
   On Pentecost, p. 440.
   Its symbolic meaning, p. 92, 446.
 Baptism of fire, p. 284.
 Baptism of the Holy Ghost, p. 273, 277, 299, 322, 331.
 Baptism of Repentance and remission, p. 318, 331, 447.
 Baptism of Jesus by John, p. 247.
 “Baptism that I am baptized with,” p. 257.
 _Baptisma_ and _Baptismos_, p. 156.
 Baptisms, Divers, imposed on Israel, p. 22, 103.
 Baptisms of things, p. 136, 219.
 Baptismal formula. There is none, p. 438.
 Baptismal regeneration, p. 377.
 “Baptized for the dead,” p. 170.
 “Baptized from the dead,” p. 169.
 Baptized into Christ, p. 321, 332, 368.
 Baptized into one body, p. 357.
 Baptized into Moses, p. 350, 457.
 Baptizing administration of Christ, p. 338.
 Baptizing office of Christ, p. 273.
 _Baptizo_, p. 153.
   Conant’s definitions, p. 155, 347.
   Kendrick’s admissions, p. 349.
   It sounds best! p. 352.
   It knows not the resurrection, p. 347.
 _Baptizōntai_ and _rantizōntai_, p. 216.
 Barthelemi, Abbe, quoted, p. 184.
 “Believeth and is baptized,” p. 437.
 Blood of Sprinkling, p. 30.
 Blood and water, and blood alone, p. 97.
 “Born of water and of the Spirit,” p. 384.
 Brahminism the source of ritual immersion, p. 80.
 Breath of Christ—the Spirit, p. 299.
 Bryant’s Odyssey quoted, p. 127.
 “Buried by baptism,” p. 364.
 “Buried in baptism,” p. 371.

 Calvin on the baptizing commission, p. 424.
 Canaan, Office of the land of, p. 48.
 Candlestick, Seven-branched, p. 311.
 Carson quoted, p. 23, 89, 205, 368.
 Charter of the church, p. 53.
 Childbirth uncleanness, p. 62.
 Children and Christ, p. 461.
 Children clean, holy, p. 466.
 Children of Midian baptized, p. 81.
 Christ did not institute baptism, p. 428.
 Christ and the children, p. 461.
 Christian baptism one with John’s, p. 424.
 Christian fathers on Levitical baptism, p. 192.
 Christ’s baptism by John, p. 247.
   It sealed him Surety of the covenant, p. 252.
 Christ’s “baptism that I am baptized with,” p. 257.
 Christ’s baptizing office, p. 273.
   Its two functions, p. 274, 284, 297.
   His administration, p. 338.
 Church defined, p. 49.
   Origin of its name, p. 51.
   Its charter, p. 53.
 Church and children, p. 461, 466.
 Church of Israel, p. 49, 411, 441.
   The Gentiles graffed in, p. 418.
 Circe, Ulysses’ bath in her palace, p. 127.
 Circumcision. Its office, p. 24, 58, 373.
 Circumcision and Baptism, p. 58.
 Common Prayer Book on baptism, p. 354.
 Conant on _baptizo_, p. 155, 347.
 Converts of Pentecost. Their character, p. 444.
   Were baptized with water, p. 440.
 Cornelius’ baptism, p. 432, 455.
 Council, of Ephesus, p. 281;
   of Jerusalem, p. 394;
   of Nice, p. 281;
   of Trent, p. 431.
 Covenant, Abrahamic, p. 37;
   of Sinai, p. 42.
   Its champions, Elijah and Elisha, p. 166;
   John, p. 230.
   It was the marriage, p. 37, 49.
   It and the better covenant, p. 224.
   The Messenger of the covenant, p. 223.
 Cyril of Alexandria, on Levitical baptism, p. 195.

 Dr. Dale quoted, p. 279, 441, 443, 451.
 “Day of the assembly,” p. 51.
 A day, a symbol of a lifetime, p. 109.
 Dead. Defilement by, p. 62.
   The rites of cleansing, p. 68.
   The meaning, p. 96.
 Dead Sea, as a type, p. 32, 34.
 Didymus Alexandrinus, p. 378.
 Divers baptisms imposed on Israel, p. 22.
   What were they? p. 103.

 Ebrard quoted, p. 294.
 _Ecclēsia_. Origin of the name, p. 51.
 Egypt and Israel, p. 179.
 Egyptian bathing, p. 120.
 Egyptian baptism, p. 189.
 Elders. Their origin, p. 53.
 Eleusinian mysteries, p. 188.
 Elijah and Elisha, champions of the covenant, p. 166, 229.
 Elijah and John, p. 229.
 Ellicott (Bishop) on _loutron_, p. 323.
 End of the Baptist argument, p. 374.
 England, Church of—Baptistic, p. 323, note; 354.
 Enon, The Springs, p. 360.
 Etheridge quoted, p. 78, 80, 169, 417, 418.
 Ethiopian eunuch, p. 451.
 Euripides quoted, p. 186, 187.
 Eusebius quoted, p. 417.
 Evidence of O. T. summed, p. 196.

 Family and the church, p. 53.
 Fathers of the church, on Levitical baptism, p. 192;
   on the old covenant and the new, p. 377.
 Feet. Their typical meaning, p. 134.
   Their washing, p. 124.
 Festival of pouring water, p. 143.
   It and the Eleusinia, p. 189.
 Figure of immersion not in the Old Testament, p. 23.
 Fire, The Baptism of, p. 284.
   The manner of it, p. 296.
 Formula of Baptism, p. 434, 438.
 Furniture and utensils baptized, p. 136, 219.

 Ganges. Immersion thence, p. 80.
 Gemara of Babylonia, p. 78;
   of Jerusalem, p. 78.
 Gentiles, place reserved in the Sinai covenant, p. 46.
   Israel’s intercession for them, p. 47, 147.
   Graffed in, p. 418.
 Gentile purifyings, p. 8, 181, 189, 191.
 Godhead. Order of precedence, p. 274.
 Gospel in the Old Testament baptism, p. 95.
 Greek bath, p. 121, 127, 200, 207, 324.
   Their purifyings, p. 181.
 Grote, on Greek purifyings, p 181.

 Hair shaved, p. 102, 114, 399.
 Hakkodesh, Rabbi Judah, p. 78.
 Hebrew-Christian church, p. 411.
 Hellenistic Greek, p. 151.
 Herodotus on Greek purifyings, p. 182.
 Hillel and Shammai on proselyte baptism, p. 79.
 Homer quoted, p. 127, 325.
 Household and church, p. 53, 461.

 Imitations of baptism by the heathen, p. 8, 178, 189.
 Immersion. None in the Old Testament ritual, p. 23.
   None in its figures, p. 24.
   Not by the priests, p. 128.
   Nor by the people, p. 115, 116, 119, 134.
   Nor by the Pharisees, p. 208.
   The facilities unavailable, p. 126.
   Its incongruities, p. 202.
   Its origin, p. 80.
 India. Immersion thence, p. 80.
 Infant baptism,
   — in Israel, p. 81, 82,
   — among the Aztecs, p. 191,
   — among the Romans, p. 187,
   — in the Christian church, p. 461, 466, 471.
 “Into Christ,” and “into the name of Christ,” p. 365, 434.
 “Into the name,” p. 431.
 “Into the name of Christ,” and, of the Three, p. 435.
 Israel a priest kingdom, p. 46.
 Israel at John’s coming, p. 225.
 Israel compared with the Christian church, p. 305.
 Issues. Unclean by, p. 62.
   The cleansing, p. 69.

 Jailer of Philippi, p. 456.
 Jerome on Levitical baptism, p. 194.
 Jerusalem council, p. 394.
 Jerusalem Gemara, p. 78.
 Jesus, baptized by John, p. 247;
   his anointing, p. 254.
   “The baptism that I am baptized with,” p. 257.
   The great baptizer, p. 267, 297.
 John and Elijah, p. 228.
 John’s mission, p. 221.
   His baptism no novelty, p. 21.
   Its nature and end, p. 228.
   Identical with that of Christ, p. 425.
   Its mode, p. 237, 241.
 Josephus quoted, p. 156, 176, 178, 240, 250, 327.
 Judith’s story and baptism, p. 172.

 Kabala, whence derived, p. 80.
 _Kābas_ defined, p. 117.
 Kendrick on _baptizo_, p. 349, 458.
 Kingdom of heaven defined, p. 267.
   Christ’s coronation, p. 273.
 Kingdom of priests, p. 46.
 Koran quoted, p. 174.

 “Lambs in his arms,” p. 463.
 Laver of the Tabernacle, p. 129.
 Laver (_loutron_) of Paul, p. 323.
 Leprosy, unclean, p. 63, 161.
   Rites of cleansing, p. 66, 163.
 Levi, Rabbi, quoted, p. 147.
 Levites baptized, p. 85.
 Levitical baptisms all one, p. 86.
 Lewis’ Origines Hebraeae quoted, p. 146, 149.
 Libation vase of Osor-Ur, p. 189.
 Life to the dead, meant by baptism, p. 92.
 Lightfoot quoted, p. 143, 146, 149.
 Living water. Its meaning, p. 31, 133, 387.
 Lord’s supper is the passover, p. 408.
 Lynch, “Dead Sea Expedition” quoted, p. 122, 125.

 Maimonides on proselyte baptism, p. 76.
 Malachi, and John, p. 291.
 Manuscripts of New Testament. Care in their transcription, p. 217.
 Maitland, “Church of the Catacombs,” p. 124.
 Market. Baptism after, p. 214.
 Marriage feast, p. 209, 211.
 Messenger of the covenant, p. 223.
 Metaphor of water, p. 89, 386.
 Midianite children, baptism, p. 81.
 Mishna described, p. 78.
 Mission of John, p. 221.
 Missions. The new spirit imparted, p. 304.
 Mode implied in the meaning of self-washing, p. 115.
 Mohammedan washing before prayer, p. 174.
 Moore, T. V., on Malachi, p. 291.
 Mosheim quoted, p. 189, 418.
 “Much water there,” p. 360.
 Murder, expiation, p. 123.
   Among the Greeks, p. 182, 184.

 Naaman’s baptism, p. 157.
 New Testament Greek, p. 151.
 New Testament Church, how organized, p. 393, 411, 418.
 _Nidda_, Water of, p. 74.
 Noah saved by water, p. 333.

 Old Testament evidence summed p. 196.
 Onkelos, Targum of, p. 77.
 Order of precedence in the Godhead, p. 274.
   Mediatorial order, p. 275.
 Ordinances of testimony in Israel, p. 54.
 Osor-Ur. Libation vase, p. 189.
 Ovid on purifyings, p. 184.

 Palestine. Central position, p. 49, 178.
   Its geology and water, p. 120.
 Palestinian Gemara, p. 78.
 Passover described, p. 24, 410.
   Perpetuated in the supper, p. 408.
 Pentecost, p. 297.
   The Spirit baptism then given, p. 299, 304, 313, 318.
   The gifts imparted, p. 313, 318.
   The Spirit of missions then given, p. 304.
 Pharisees. The sect, p. 236, 412.
   Their purifyings, p. 209.
 Philip and the eunuch, p. 451.
 Philo Judaeus on the Levitical baptism, p. 77, 175, 187, 327.
 Phœnicia and Israel, p. 179, 183.
 Plato quoted, p. 181, 245.
 Pliny quoted, p. 452.
 Plutarch quoted, p. 326.
 Pool’s Synopsis quoted, p. 149.
 Pouring of water. The festival, p. 143.
 Pouring water—in ablutions, p. 119, 124.
   among the Greeks, p. 324.
 Pouring water in ritual washings of the hands, p. 123, 173.
 Prayer. Washings before, p. 173.
   In the Koran, p. 174.
 Priesthood of Aaron, His inauguration, p. 131, 248.
   It was no rule to Christ, p. 248.
   Age of office, p. 249.
 Priesthood of Christ not after Aaron’s pattern, p. 250.
 Priest-kingdom, Israel, p. 46, 150.
 Priests’ self-washings not immersions, p. 128.
 Pumbaditha rabbinic seminary, p. 78.
 Purifying of Jesus and Mary, p. 84.
 Purifyings of the Jews, p. 208.
 Purifyings of things, p. 102, 136, 219.

   Akiva, p. 213.
   Hillel, p. 79.
   Judah Hakkodesh, p. 78.
   Maimonides, p. 76, 79.
   Shammai, p. 79.
   Solomon, p. 149.
 Rabbinic baptism of Proselytes, p. 76, 81.
 Rabbinic Schools, p. 78.
 Rabbinic traditions of the red heifer, p. 142.
 _Rāhatz_, defined, p. 118.
 _Rantizōntai_ and _Baptizōntai_, p. 216.
 Rebaptism. Note on, p. 430.
   of John’s disciples, p. 429.
 Red heifer. The ashes, p. 68, 69.
   In Philo, p. 175.
   in Josephus, p. 176.
   Rabbinic traditions, p. 142.
 Remission. Baptism of, p. 96, 244, 318.
 Resurrection symbolized by baptism, p. 92, 257, 265.
 Resurrection and _baptizo_, p. 347.
 Revised Version on _loutron_, p. 323.
 Revival at Sinai, p. 28.
   Baptism of the converts, p. 29.
 Revival under Hezekiah, p. 139.
   Purifying them, p. 139.
 Revival under John’s ministry, p. 232.
 Revival of Pentecost, p. 297, 318.
 Ritual law. Its office, p. 54.
   Its relation to the Sinai covenant, p. 56.
   It had no immersions, p. 23, 115, 116, 119, 128, 134.
   It remains in force, p. 393.
   The Gentiles exempted, p. 395, 406.
   Paul kept and enforced it, p. 396, 402.
 Rushing mighty wind of Pentecost, p. 299.

 Sacraments of the Old Testament, p. 24;
   of the New, p. 408, 424.
 Sahagun quoted, p. 192.
 Sacrifice defined, p. 24.
 Sadducees. The sect, p. 412, 413.
 Saints. Origin of the title, p. 47, 469.
 Scrivener on the Greek MSS., p. 218.
 Sea of brass, p. 130.
 Sea water. Its meaning, p. 32.
   Idolatrous use of it, p. 187.
 Self-washings, p. 101, 108.
   Their relation to the sprinklings, p. 164, 105, 136.
 Separation. Water of, p. 68, 73.
 Septuagint. Its origin, p. 152.
 Seven candlesticks, p. 128, 311.
 Seven days uncleanness, p. 60, 64, 98.
 Seven sprinklings, p. 67, 98.
 Seventh day. Symbolic meaning, p. 64, 98.
 Shammai and Hillel on proselyte baptism, p. 79.
 Shasters, p. 80.
 _Shātaph_, defined, p. 117.
 Shaving off the hair, p, 114.
   By Paul, p. 399.
 Sinai. The scene, p. 27.
   The covenant, p. 42, 45.
   Relation of the Gentiles, p. 46, 53, 56.
   Place reserved for them, p. 46.
   Its conditions, p. 42.
   Its promises, p. 45.
   The revival there, p. 28.
   The baptism, p. 29.
 Smith’s Dictionary quoted, p. 127, 184, 188, 247, 324, 363.
 Socrates and Phaedrus, p. 245.
 Solomon, Rabbi, quoted, p. 149.
 Son of man. His kingdom, p. 267.
   His administration, p. 338.
 Sophocles quoted, p. 325, 326.
 Sora rabbinic school, p. 78.
 Sprinkling represents rain, p. 35.
   Its meaning, p. 88, 99.
 State of the N. T. question, p. 201.
 Susannah’s story, p. 122.

 _Tābal._ Its meaning, p. 79, 157.
 Tabernacle. Its symbolic structure, p. 128.
 Tabernacles. The feast of, p. 144.
 Talmud described, p. 78.
 Talmudic baptism, p. 76.
 Targums described, p. 77.
 Ten commandments, the eternal law of the covenant, p. 43.
 Tertullian quoted, p. 193, 378.
 Theodosia Earnest quoted, p. 233, 236.
 Theophrastus quoted, p. 324.
 Things purified, p. 102, 136, 219.
 Third day. Its typical meaning, p. 100.
 Thomson. The Land and the Book, p. 34.
 Tiberias rabinnic school, p. 78.
 Tongues as of fire, p. 310.
 Tongues. Other, p. 313.
 Transcription of the N. T. Care in it, p. 217.
 Transfiguration of Jesus, p. 230.
 Trinity. Order of precedence, p. 274.
   Procession of the Spirit, p. 281.
 Typical structure of the tabernacle, p. 128.

 Ulysses’ bath, p. 127.
 Unclean. Its meaning, p. 60, 466.
 Unclean seven days. The meaning, p. 60, 98.
   How cleansed, p. 65.
 Unclean till even. Two causes, p. 108.
   The meaning, p. 109.
 Union wrought by baptism, p. 322, 332.
 Utensils and furniture baptized, p. 136, 219.

 Various reading of Mark vii, 4, p. 216.
 Vedas, referred to, p. 80.
 Virgil quoted on purifyings, p. 186.

 Waldenses referred to, p. 49.
 Washing. Before prayer, p. 173.
   Mohammedan, p. 174.
 Washing, the hands, p. 111.
   the hands and feet, p. 111, 124.
   the garments, p. 112.
   the flesh, p. 113.
 Washings of the people. Domestic, p. 119.
   Ritual, p. 134, 210.
   Of the priests, p. 128.
   Before meals, p 210.
 “Washing of water by the word,” p. 390.
 Water, fresh and salt, p. 31, 32.
 Water, Metaphor of, p. 387.
 Water. Festival of outpouring, p. 143.
 Wilkinson’s Manners and Customs of the Egyptians, p. 120.
 Wind, Rushing mighty,—of Pentecost, p. 299.
 Witness. Israel’s office, p. 47, 54.

 Zend Avesta, referred to, p. 80.
 Zion. Out of her the law, p. 420.
 Zoroaster referred to, p. 80.


                           Transcriber’s Note

Spelling and punctuation, where printer or editorial errors were
obvious, has been corrected.

Some idiosyncracies should be noted. In several captions, there is a
period following the word ‘Sir’, as ‘Sir. Wm. Hamilton’, implying an
abbreviation. This also appears once in the text, and once without the
period. All are given here as printed. The variant spellings ‘sepulchre’
and ‘sepulcher’ are both used frequently, and are all retained.

The following table summarizes the resolution of any other errors.
Errors in the formatting or punctuation of the index entries were
corrected with no further comment here.

 95.34    But in order [?] adequate appreciation        _sic_: missing

 121.20   And, when they left Eg[py/yp]t                Transposed.

 130.31   about fifteen feet by seven and a half[,/.]   Replaced.

 172.20   they s[ie/ei]ze                               Transposed.

 189.23   it may be, by tradit[i]on>, from the parents  Added.
          of the race

 192.7    [the goddess of water].[’]                    Added.

 211.24   it is interpreted, “to the elbows,[”]         Added.

 220.21   whilst Paul used the[ the] word               Removed.

 224.24   Heb. viii[i], 6.                              Removed.

 226.35   or the favor of the rabble[,/.]               Replaced.

 235.5    that two years afterw[e/a]rd the evangelist   Replaced.

 263.4    I have kept the  faith[?/!]                   Replaced.

 276.19   to involve his government in[./,] chaos, God  Replaced.
          in the mystery

 326.16   [(](_loutra_) _libations_                     Removed.

 334.16   “quickened as to the spirit[./,]”             Replaced.

 340.12   and his rest shall be glorious.”—Isa. xi, [1, Removed.

 344.27   So, the prop[eh/he]cy cited by Peter          Transposed.

 348.31   obscuring of[ of] the subject                 Removed.

 365.5    [“]Likewise reckon ye also yourselves         Added.

 354.9    That church had or[i]ginally incorporated     Added.

 392.27   I have spoken unto you.[”]                    Added.

 401.12   the apostle repeat[a/e]dly and unqualifiedly  Replaced.

 410.16   and distributed a second cup[,/.]             Replaced.

 420.7    Let him not become uncircumcised[.]           Added.

 431.13   to observe all things whatso[e]ver            Added.

 436.13   that believed on his name.”—J[no/oh]. i, 12.  Replaced.

 464.12   signif[inif]icant                             Removed.

 466.21   _unclean_ (_akathartoi_), and _holy_          Replaced.

 474.24   They [in-]include the Sinai constitution      Removed.

CHECK ON 466.21 & 326.16 if the inline pm can be fixed.....

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