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spiritual act -- the baptism, for example, of the three thousand at the Pentecost, and the baptism of Saul at Damascus; and, indeed, this baptism of the Holy Spirit, and not the ritual act, is that which is enjoined in the great commission. To this we submit the following reply: The assumption that baptizo, in religious usage, does not denote the outward act has already been shown to be false. When John "did baptize in the wilderness,” the act affirmed in the verb is clearly defined as outward by other passages. To translate John "did change the spir

“ itual condition in the wilderness” is to destroy the sense. When “the multitude” of Pharisees and Sadducees "came forth to be baptized of him," they certainly did not come to obtain "a thorough change of spiritual condition," for John calls them a "generation of vipers." When, in speaking of the baptisms under Christ's ministry, it is said, “Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,” it is impossible to understand the word of other than outward baptism; for surely, if baptism was change in the spiritual condition," it must have been effected by Christ, and not by the apostles. When Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, declares that he was not sent to baptize, and thanks God that he baptized none of them except Crispus and Gaius and the household of Stephanus, he certainly does not intend, as this theory would make him say, that "a thorough spiritual change" in

a them was not the object of his ministry, and that he thanked God because this “thoroughly-changed spiritual condition” had been wrought through him only in the persons named. Such a supposition is utterly absurd. The theory thus hopelessly breaks down when tested by actual New Testament usage, where baptizo often stands in relations such as to compel its expression of the outward act.

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It remains true, therefore, as all the ages have taught, that baptizo, in the New Testament as elsewhere, designates primarily the outward act of immersion; that this outward act symbolized a great change of spiritual condition and relation; and that the inward change thus symbolized is unspeakably more important than the outward symbol. All this is plain, and this we affirm with all emphasis. So potent is this conviction with us that we dare not administer the outward symbol, except in the presence of evidence that the higher spiritual reality it symbolizes already exists in the candidate, and that the outward sign is thus a real representation of the great inward fact signified. But surely this higher importance of the spiritual act is no ground for setting aside the ordinary force of language and restricting the word by which the Holy Spirit designates the symbol to the expression only of the thing symbolized.

Patristic baptism is the closing subject of these remarkable volumes. Here the main position of the author is that “Christian baptism is always represented by the patristic writers as a spiritual baptism.” He admitsindeed, as he needs must—that in the ritual act“ the bodies of the baptized, when in health, were momentarily covered in water in ancient times;" but he denies, with special emphasis, " that this momentary covering in water was believed to be Christian baptism, or, indeed, any baptism whatever.” It was not this outward act at all, but the resulting spiritual effect only, which the Fathers called baptism.

Such a proposition, however, has not the slightest support in patristic literature; indeed, the reverse is palpably evident. For the Fathers everywhere designate the outward, ritual act as baptism, and often sharply distinguish between this and the spiritual change it represents.

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Thus, Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with a Jew, says: “For what is the benefit of that baptism (baptismatos) which makes bright the flesh and the body only? Be baptized (baptisthētē), as to the soul, from anger and from covetousness, from envy and from hatred, and behold, the body is clean." Cyril of Jerusalem, in his Preface to Instructions, speaking of Simon Magus, says: “Simon, also, the magian, once came to the bath; he was baptized (ebaptisthē), but he was not enlightened; and the body, indeed, he dipped (ebapsen) in water, but the heart he did not enlighten. And the body went down, indeed, but the soul was not buried with Christ, nor was raised with him.” Certainly, Cyril here calls the outward act baptism and distinctly discriminates between it and "a thorough spiritual change;" for Simon " was baptized,” but experienced no spiritual regeneration. The same writer, in his Instruction VII., speaking of the baptism of the apostles by the Holy Spirit, says: “As he who sinks down in the waters and is baptized (baptizomenos) is surrounded on all sides by the waters, so, also, they were completely baptized by the Spirit.” Chrysostom, in commenting on First Corinthians, says: “For to be baptized (baptizesthai) and to sink down, then to emerge, is a symbol of the descent to the underworld and of the ascent from thence. Therefore, Paul calls the baptism the tomb, saying, “We were buried, therefore, with him by the baptism into death."" Here the golden-mouthed Father calls the outward act baptism, and affirms of baptism, not that it is the inward experience, but that it is the symbol of it. Such citations might be multiplied indefinitely, but it is needless to adduce more, for these passages clearly whow that the Fathers understood the outward act as a baptism, and distinguished between this and the inward change it symbolized. The main proposition of Dr.

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Dale thus wholly fails when subjected to the test of actual patristic usage.

This singular proposition, however, even were it proved, would not affect the form of the ritual act; for as to this the author admits that, in the Patristic period, "the bodies of the baptized were momentarily covered in water”-that is, were immersed. He declares that he has

no purpose to deny or to question or to shadow this fact, but, on the contrary, to give it the most unhesitating acknowledgment.” In this, then, he is in full agreement with us: the external form in that period was “a momentary covering of the body in water.” Whatever weight, therefore, belongs to the authority and example of the earliest ages of the church, as to the form of ritual baptism, is thus freely conceded to the Baptist position. Dr. Dale insists, however, that the Fathers, in practising immersion, departed from the New Testament and from apostolic example.

But the supposition that immersion was a patristic perversion of the apostolic rite is forbidden not only by the considerations already adduced showing that immersion is the only form of baptism in the New Testament, but also by the utter silence of history in regard to such a change in the rite. For such an hypothesis, if adopted, requires us also to accept the following incredible things: 1. That this important change was made by the Fathers in the form and reason of the initial ordinance of the Christian religion, and no record, or even trace, of the time and manner of the change has come down to us; for, confessedly, the ritual act was immersion at the earliest point of which we have knowledge next to the Apostolic age, and neither history nor archæology furnishes the slightest hint that it was a change from the apostolic form. 2. That this great change was made, not in one church only, but

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in all the churches of Christendom; yet among the vast multitude of martyrs and confessors of that heroic age of the church, not one was found to resist this impious perversion of a divine institution and defend its Heaven-given form and purpose; for, in the immense literature of the Patristic period, much of which was written by men who suffered and died for their faith, there is not a single objection raised against immersion as the ritual form of baptism. 3. That notwithstanding most of these Fathers spoke the language of the New Testament as their vernacular, as did also the churches to whom they ministered, they either strangely mistook the meaning of this word baptizo, belonging to their own mother-tongue, or they with one consent wilfully perverted it; and the whole body of Christian people, throughout the wide extent of the churches, failed either in intelligence to perceive the mistake or in courage to rebuke the perversion. Now, it is plain that Dr. Dale's hypothesis of immersion as a patristic perversion of the apostolic rite necessarily involves these propositions, the mere statement of which reveals their utter absurdity: no careful student of the Patristic period, therefore, could admit the supposition.

The fundamental positions essential to the Dale theory of baptism are thus seen to be without foundation when subjected to the careful test of facts in language and history; and it is certainly a matter of regret that so much learning and industry should have been wasted in defending a proposition which, while in itself thus without basis, is also, as already shown, in direct opposition to the highest scholarship of the Christian ages and to the united and holiest convictions of the church of God, ancient and modern.

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