« PrécédentContinuer »
go to the house of Cornelius ; and yet he was reproved by the brethren for so doing; therefore, it is no marvel, if they did not immediately lose their attachment to water baptism ; but I conceive that those instances of the apostles' using this ceremony ; or Peter's commanding it in a particular instance, no more perpetuates it, than James' command to “ anoint the sick with oil in the name of the Lord,” is perpetuated. Is not the determination of the apostles and elders, when assembled at Jerusalem, to consider of the important question relative to circumcision, still more binding on christians in all its parts, seeing it had the following sanction of this general conference ? " It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than those necessary things ;'' which are there enumerated ; but neither water baptism, the supper, nor the sabbath, was enjoined, or even named, for the observance of the Gentiles. Our Saviour saith, “ He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved."*
Now, as it is evident, from the declarations both of Christ and John, that their two baptisms are totally distinct; can any
· Acts, xy. 28:
k Mark, xvi. 16.
one imagine that our Saviour here meant the baptism of John with water, instead of his own, as being essential to salvation ? Nay! I conceive it derogatory to the mission of Christ, and the nature of his baptism--The one essential baptism must therefore necessarily be the baptism of Christ of whom it was expressly testified, " 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.”!
The sentiments of William Dell, a minister of the Episcopal church, who wrote on baptism, before we were embodied as a society, are very consonant to ours. After having clearly pointed out the distinction between the baptism of John, and that of Christ, he proceeds,“ By these things it is evident, that Christ's baptism and John's are distinct; and, therefore, as what God hath joined, no man ought to put asunder, so what God hath put asunder, no man ought to join ; as if the baptism of Christ were insufficient and incomplete, except we should add to it the baptism of John ; which is ex
( Mat. jii. 11, 12.
ceedingly to eclipse the brightness of the Son of God, and to draw a veil over the greatest glory of the New Testament, which is the baptism of the Spirit.” See Dell's Treatise on Baptism, page 9.
This inward spiritual baptism, therefore, is the only one we think consistent with the nature and spirituality of the Gospel Dis. pensation ; as it is the only one, which in its operation, is effectual to the sanctification of the soul. In page 34, Hibbard quotes a passage
from Barclay's Apology, and makes his comments on it in these words, as his sixth charge against us ; “ The Quakers declare that the “ apostles (and of course) ministers were "authorized to baptize with the Holy Ghost. “ Barclay's Apology, page 432,-his words
are, “Therefore the baptism commanded
by Christ to his apostles was not water " baptism. That baptism which Christ com
manded his apostles was the one baptism, “ id est his own baptism.” This affirma“tion of Mr. Barclay signifies that the min56 isters of Christ are authorized to baptize 66 with the Holy Ghost. Not in the name “ of, but with the Holy Ghost, i. e. a pow.
er to confer the Holy Ghost on whomsoever the minister chooses as an object 6 worthy of this blessing. Besides it im“plies a power to control or command as him.”
How any reasonable person could draw such unfounded inferences from this passage in Barclay, must, I conceive, appear unaccountable to every candid reader ; seeing there is nothing in Barclay's expressions, that leans, in the least degree, towards the minister's having a power to confer the Holy Ghost on whom he chooses, or to command him.
We are very far from the presumption which he charges us with ; but are well assured, that of ourselves we can do nothing ; and yet believe, that the true disciples of Christ can do all things required, or commanded, through his grace strengthening them : therefore, nothing can be justly ascribed to man, as the instrument, but all to Him from whom the power and virtue proceed.
In order that the reader may be enabled to judge of our sentiments on this subject, as stated by Barclay, I will here insert a short extract from his explanation, in his own words. He says, “ Baptizing with the spirit is somewhat further than teaching or informing the understanding; for it imports a reaching to, and melting the heart; whereby it is turned, as well as the understanding informed." again ; " Baptism with the Spirit, though not wrought without Christ and his grace, is instrumentally done by men, fitted of God for that
and therefore, no absurdity follows that baptism with the Spirit should be expressed as the action of the apostles. For though it be Christ by his grace that gives spiritual gifts, yet the apostle, Rom. i. 11, speaks of his imparting to them spiritual gifts. And he tells the Corinthians, that he had begotten them through the gospel." And yet to beget people to the faith, is the work of Christ and his grace, not of men. To convert the heart is properly the work of Christ ; and yet the Scripture oftentimes ascribes it to men as being the instruments. And since Paui's commission was to turn people from darkness to light (though that be not done without Christ's co-operating by his grace) so may also baptizing with the Spirit be expressed as performable by man, as the instrument; though the work of Christ's grace be needful to concur thereunto. So that it is no absurdity to say, that the apostles did
m 1 Cor. iv. 15.