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meaning. No lexicographer gives it any literal signification which does not involve an immersion; nor do the passages quoted in this work sustain the author's position. Baptizo has a marked and rich range of figurative usage; but, unlike bapto, it has no secondary literal usage. A sleeping man is represented, by a beautiful figure, as "baptized”—that is, immersed, enveloped-in sleep. A man's iniquities" baptize"—that is, overwhelm-him, presenting an image of the multitude and greatness of them. To confound in this manner the figurative and the secondary use of words, and make the figurative a literal sense, is to confound all language and to destroy all certainty as to its meaning. There is hardly a word in any language which, if one may insist that its figurative uses must be treated as literal, will not be rendered wholly uncertain in import. Human speech, under such a process, would cease to be a reliable vehicle of thought. The author, it seems needless to add, here stands alone. All linguistic authority, German, English, and American, is arrayed against him.
The above propositions constitute the basis of Dr. Dale's theory of baptism. They appear and reappear throughout his work, either as formal statements or as underlying assumptions. With them the whole elaborate structure he has erected stands or falls.
We now proceed to consider his method in applying this theory to the use of the word in the New Testament. Here his fundamental position is that baptizo, “in religious usage, neither expresses dipping nor any physical baptism of any kind,” but always denotes a thorough change of spiritual condition, and the receptive element after baptizo is never water or other material element, but is always the new spiritual conditions and relations into which the baptized pass. When ritual or outward baptism, therefore, is intended, it is not indicated in the word baptizo, nor in the words expressing the receptive element, but by accessory words, such as en hudati," with water;"> and these words, he affirms, express, not the receptive element, but simply the instrument, and in no instance imply that the ritual act was an immersion, but the contrary. Here three points are to be noted :
1. He insists that the prepositions and cases used with baptizo do not indicate that the ritual act was immersion. The preposition en, in, when used with water or with the Holy Spirit, is, in his view, not a proper Greek idiom, but is a Hebraism equivalent to the simple dative of instrument or means, to be translated by or with. Hence, the form of the act is not indicated; all that is indicated is that the water or the Spirit is the instrument by which the baptism is effected. But in this the author, while making a mere assumption as to the Hebraistic use of en in such cases, is again refuted by plain facts in the language. For, (a.) The preposition en is often used by Greek writers to indicate the element in or within which the action of baptizo takes place; when, therefore, it is used in the New Testament in such relations, it cannot be treated as a Hebraism or as expressing merely the instrument. For example, Polybius represents a body of
. soldiers, when attempting to cross a morass, as immersed (baptizomenoi) and sinking in (en) the pools."* Plotinus describes the corrupt and vicious soul as “yet immersed in (en) the body.”+ Basil speaks of steel as “immersed in (en) the fire."| Here en with the dative plainly does not denote merely the instrument, but, as often elsewhere, points to the element within which the act takes place. (6.) The simple dative, without a preposition, is also used where the instrumental sense cannot be supposed, and where it must denote, as the simple dative often does, * Hist. lib. v.
† Ennead I., book viii. Ion Baptism, book i., ch. 210.
the sphere within which the act is performed. Thus, an ancient medical writer, Alexander of Aphrodisius, speaks of the soul as "much immersed in the body (baptisomenēn to somati).” Chrysostom, in expounding the seventh Psalm, describes Absalom as desiring “to plunge his right hand (the weapon it held) into his father's neck (to laimo baptisai to patriko).” Another writer says: "A mass of iron, drawn red hot from the furnace, is plunged in water (hudati baptizetai), and the fiery glow, by its own nature quenched with water, ceases."* Now, in these, as in frequent instances, the dative is used without a preposition where it clearly denotes the sphere within which the act is performed. To translate here as the instrumental dative would make nonsense. The author, therefore, entirely fails to show that the preposition or the case used after baptizo does not define the form of the act; the reverse is evidently the fact.
2. Dr. Dale affirms that baptizo, in its primary use as implying an intusposition, never is, nor can be used of the ritual or outward act, because it makes no provision for the withdrawal of the intusposed from the enveloping element, and therefore, if applied to the ritual act, it would involve the drowning of the baptized. In its religious usage, therefore, the word implies intusposition only when used of the inward spiritual act, and in this case the receptive element—that is, the new spiritual condition into which the soul has passed—is put in the accusative with eis. Thus, John baptized (eis) into repentance; Christians are baptized (eis) into Christ—that is, they experience a thorough change of spiritual condition by passing into the new relations and conditions involved in being "in Christ," and this spiritual change is expressed in the word " baptized,” which is here used, not
* Homeric Allegories, ch. 9.
figuratively, but literally. This position of the author, however, is fully refuted, not only by the arguments before adduced against this literalizing of figurative language, but also by the following considerations : (1.) If the spiritual act is, as he affirms, an intusposition, or the placing of the soul within the relations and conditions implied in being in Christ," then evidently the ritual act, the outward symbol of the spiritual, must, in order to symbolize it, also be an intusposition; otherwise, the symbol does not set forth the thing symbolized. Submersion, if not emersion, would, according to the Dale theory, be essential to ritual baptism. (2.) According to Scripture, “as many as were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death,” and were, “therefore, buried with him ” by means of the baptism. But, though thus intusposed into Christ's death, they were not, as Dr. Dale's theory supposes, left intusposed there; for the apostle says: “Buried with him in baptism, wherein "—that is, in baptism-"ye are risen with him, through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” Plainly, then, to be baptized into Christ, according to Paul, involves not simply an intusposition into his death, but also a rising with him, a resurrection; and the ritual act, as symbolizing the whole transaction, must needs be not a submersion only, but also an emersion. The author is here at utter variance with the apostle, for he represents the baptized as remaining for ever intusposed, whereas Paul represents the baptized as in baptism not only intusposed, but also raised out of that intusposition. It is evident, therefore, that this theory wholly misconceives baptism, alike as a spiritual and as a ritual act. (3.) The simple and natural view, however, which in all the ages linguistic authority and common sense have sanctioned, regards baptizo in such passages as
figuratively used, the word denoting the outward symbol being employed figuratively to denote the inward act it symbolizes. Any other interpretation of necessity leads to some such absurdity as that just pointed out; for we are said to be " baptized into Christ," " baptized into his death," "risen with him," because baptism is the divinely-appointed symbol of union with Christ in his death and resurrection. This construction of baptizo as denoting primarily the outward, not the inward, act is required not only by its constant use for ritual baptism in the New Testament, but also by its common usage in Greek literature, where the element of it is ordinarily material, not ideal. Josephus says of Simon: "He plunged (ebaptise) the whole sword into (eis) his own neck." Plutarch speaks of Agamemnon as bravely "plunging himself (baptizān eis) into the lake Copais.” Chrysostom speaks of persons “exhorting to plunge (baptisai) the sword (cis) into the enemy's breast.” Dr. Conant, to whose admirable work, The Meaning of Baptizein, we are indebted for many of these citations, gives no less than fifteen examples from Greek writers in which baptizo is thus followed by eis with an accusative, and in most of these the receptive element is material, not ideal. It is in accordance with this well-known Greek usage that Mark, in describing the baptism of our Lord (chap. i. 9), says: He "was baptized in (eis) the Jordan by John," where the preposition eis is the exponent of the action of ebaptisthē, the immediately preceding verb.
3. This theory also requires that baptizo, in religious usage, must always be understood of the inward, spiritual act; it is the context only which by some added expression can indicate that it was accompanied by the outward symbol. Hence, several of the New Testament baptisms, ordinarily accounted ritual, are in reality instances of the