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the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. It was this baptism of Jesus in the antitype, which occasioned John to know him personally, and enabled him to discover him to others. The baptism of John, therefore, being a type or figure under the Law, was to give way when the antitype or substance became apparent. And that it was to give way in its due time, is evident from the confession of John himself. For on a question, which arose between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying, and on a report spread abroad, that Jesus had begun to baptize, John says, "He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease *" This confession of John accords also with the following expressions of St, Pault: "The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present"-" which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation."
* John iii. 30. + Heb. ix. 8, 9, 10.
Quakers show that the baptism included in the great commission, which appears not to be the baptism of John, is the baptism of Christ, from a critical examination of the words in that commission -Way in which the Quakers interpret these words-This interpretation confirmed by citations from St. Luke and St. Paul.
HAVING attempted to show, according to the method of the Quakers, that the baptism of John is not the baptism included in the great commission, I shall now produce those arguments by which they maintain, that the baptism which is included in it is the baptism of Christ.
These arguments will be found chiefly in a critical examination of the words of that commission.
To enable the reader to judge of the propriety of their observations upon these words, I shall transcribe from St. Matthew the three verses that relate to this subject. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in hea
ven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in 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 *.”
The first observation which the Quakers make is upon the word "therefore." As all power is given unto me both in heaven and in earth, and as I can on that account, and as I will qualify you, go ye therefore ; that is, having previously received from me the qualifications necessary for your task,
The next observation is, that the commission does not imply that the Apostles were to teach and to baptize, as two separate acts; but, as the words intimate, that they were to teach, baptizing.
The Quakers say, again, that the word “teach” is an improper translation of the original Greekt. The Greek word should have
* Matt. xxviii. 18, 19, 20.
: + Διδασκω is the usual word for teach, but μαθητευω is used in the commission; which latter word occurs but seldom in the New Testament, and always signifies to" disciple."
been rendered, "make disciples or proselytes." In several of the editions of our own Bibles the word "teach" is explained in the margin opposite to it, by "make disciples or Christians of all nations," or in the same manner as the Quakers explain it.
On the word "baptize" they observe, that, because its first meaning is to wash all over, and because baptism with Christians is always with water, people cannot easily separate the image of water from the word, when it is read or pronounced. But if this image is never to be separated from it, how will persons understand the words of St. Paul, "for by one spirit are we all baptized into one body?" or those words of Jesus, can ye drink of the cup that I drink of, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" or, if this image is not to be separated from it, how will they understand the Evangelist, who represents Jesus Christ as about to baptize, or wash all over, with fire? To baptize, in short, signifies to dip under water, but in its more general meaning to purify. Fire and water have equally power in this respect, but on dif ferent objects. Water purifies surfaces. Fire purifies
purifies by actual and total separation, bringing those bodies into one mass which are homogeneous, or which have strong affinities to each other, and leaving the dross and incombustible parts by themselves.
The word "in" they also look upon as improperly translated. This word should have been rendered "into *." If the word "in" were the right translation, the words "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," might be construed into a form of words to be used at the time of baptism. But we have no evidence that such a formula was ever used when any of the apostles baptized. Indeed the plain meaning of the word is “into,” and therefore all such formula is groundless. "Jesus Christ did not," says Zuingliust, "by these words institute a form of baptism which we should use, as divines have falsely taught."
On the word "name" the Quakers observe, that when it relates to the Lord, it frequently signifies in Scripture his life, or
* The word in the original Greek is sis, and not ɛv. Lib. de Bapt. p. 56. tom. ii. Oper.