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We laugh at the weakness and incredulity of a Roman Pontiff, armed with a secular sword, compelling the immortal Gallileo to fall for a moment on his knees to save himself and his philosophy from the indignant glance of a mitred ignoramus; and just as learnedly do we laugh at the grimaces of some would-be sceptics in revelation, who are ever and anon ready to bespaiter the fame of mighty Moses with their insolent ribaldry, because indeed he condemns their follies and would persuade them to look to a greater teacher than himselfon a subject, too, many millions of times more interesting than all that has been read or will be read from all the strata and fossil remains bid in the secret chambers of this terraqueous globe.
The older sceptics of the geological school rejoiced in the alleged great antiquities of the Earth, as furnishing a fulcrum rest for their infidelity, by which to hurl Moses along with the Egyptian astrologers into the bottom of the Nile. But a little sedate reflection saved some of them from the mud and mire of their own philosophy. It occur. red to them that the Earth has not revealed any thing older than man on this side of the lowest strata on which his remains have been found; and therefore on this side of the lowest impress of his feet there is nothing seen or read of greater antiquity than he.
And as for the rocky strata that have required so many ages of ages to mature, it ought to have occurred that Moses describes a creation, and not a progressive development of things created. 'l hese geologists are conversing with an Earth that grew, and Moses is describing an Earth that was created. They seem not to make a distinction between a perfect creation and a gradual advancement. I presume that had an oak been felled the second day of its existence, it would have indicated as many growths in its wood as we discover in a perfect tree that has advanced through tardy centuries to its highest perfection. Oaks produce acorns, and acorns oaks; but the first oak sprang from no acorn; and therefore to reason from an oak created to one that springs from an acorn, would indeed be preposterous logic. And yet I have read volumes of such learned nonsense from infidel geologistic philosophers It would require centuries to produce such an olive as shaded the summit of the celebrated mount of that name, and as many to mature the most towering cedar on Mount Libanus; and it would likely require a million of years for an earth like this to grow out of a terreno egg: but who infers from this that the first oak marked with the growths of three hundred years, and the first cedar engraven with the venerable marks of half a millennium, were so many springs and autumns coming to maturity, sins no more against good common sense. than he who argues the antiquity of the Earth from its stratafications.. I presume had God made two Adams instead of one, and the one had died the first day of his life and been duly interred in Mother Earth; and if in the course of centuries some virtuoso had been digging deep into the soil, and finding the body of the long deceased Adam, began to speculate upon his age and to debate the subject with his contemporaries, there might have been found some ingenious theorist who would have taken the side that the remains were those of one of five and thirty years at least. And what would have been his logic? Precisely that of a certain class of speculative geologists. He would have produced the bones, the vertebræ, the teeth, &c., as indubitably proclaiming the age of thirty years and five from all the laws of analogy, and would have appealed to universal observation and experience in proof of the fact that such bones are the well established product of 80 many years, and never found on yonder side of that well authenticated epoch of human existence.
Meanwhile, however, his more reflecting antagonist produces a well authenticated history of the liege proprietor of the aforesaid bones, on whose pages are inscribed the fact that the aforesaid Adam was never born and had never grown up to manhood; that he was in truth the adult product of Omnipotence; and though his teeth and bones had the usual criteria of a perfect man of the first half of three score years and ten, still he was but the son of one day and a monu, ment of the perfection of all God's creations.
His astounded opponent finding all his analogical reasonings silenced by this single fact, gathers up his musly records of decayed bones and the organic remains of hoary millions of ages, and, somewhat stultified in his curious speculations, craves the indulgence of another interview at a more convenient season, when he shall have still more maturely reflected on this voluminous fact. And here, my good brother, we shall leave our subject till another moon shall have filled her more propitious horns. Yours truly,
R E V I E W.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 164 ) We will now make some pretension to classical lore, and attempt a criticism of his remark that baptizo and katharizo are synonymous words; as likewise baptismos and katharismos.
We will first refer to the best lexicographers for the definition of these words:
Buptizo, to dip, immerse, kuhmerge, plunge, wash, perform ahlution, to make clean. Katharizo, to make pure or clean, to purify, heal, pronounce clean.
Baptizo, lo immerse, immerge, suhmerge, sink; in New Test to wash, perform ahlu. tion, to cleansc; Mar. vii. 4 , Lu. xi. 38, lo immerse, baptize, administer the rite of bap. tism; Ma. i. 4, et al; with the accessory idea of obligaiion imposed, to bind to the per. formance of some duty, to impose obligation by haptism; Mat. iii. 11., Lu. xxxii. 16 , John iv. et al; pass. to receive the rite of baptism, he baptized; Mar. xvi. 16; viii. 12, 13, 36; X. 47; xxii. 16; seq. eis, to ho baptized to any one, lo bind oneself to honor, obey, and follow any one; Ro. vi. 3; 1 Cor. x. 2 ; Gal. iii. 27.; seq. eis to onomu tonos, Acts xix. 5; viii 16; 1 Col. i 13; seg epito onomali lenos; Acis ii. 38; x. 48; wet, to overwhelm with any thing, to bestow liberally, imbue largely; Mat. iii. 1); Mar i. 8; Lu. iii. 16; pass. to he immersed in, or overwhelmed with miseries, oppressed with calamities; Mat. xx. 22, 23; Mar. x. 38, 39; Lu xii 50.
Katharizo, to eleanse, render; Mat xxiji 25; Lu. xi. 39; trop. and hy inapl to heal the leprosy, Mat. viii. 2. 3; x.8; wet, to cleanse from sin, purify hy an expiatory offering, wake expiation for; Heb. ix 22, 23; 1 John, i 7; to cleanse from sin; flee from the influ. ence of error and sin; Acts xv. 9; 2 Col. vii. 1; to pronounce clean, declare to be lawful; Acts x. 15; xi 9, et al
Greenfield. Baptismos, baptism, washing.
Scrcvilius. Baptismos, iminersion, baptism; Ieb. vi. 2; a washing, ablution; Mar, vii. 1,8; Heb. ix. 10.
Greenfield, Katharismos, purisying or cleansing, purification, expiation, remission of sins, e purifying by sacrifice.
Scrivilius. Katharismos, cleansing, purification, ahlution; Luke ii. 22; John ii. 6; spoken of baptism; Johu iii. 25; and of healing lepers; Mar. i. 44; wel, expialioa; Heb. i. 3; Peter i. 9, et al.
Greenfield Baptizo, to immerse repeatedly into a fluid, to subinerge, to soak thoroughly, to saturate, fc.&c.
Donnegan. Katharizo, to purify, cleanse, purge, to cleanse from the pollution of guilt hy expiatory macrifices, lo expiate.
Donnegan. Parkhurst and Grove give, in substance, the same definition to these words. The reader may judge for himself of the similarity which exists between them. The substance of President Beecher's idea is this:-Baptizo originally meant to immersemimmerse is the true legi. timate meaning of the word. The effect of this immersion was purification-a remission of sins. Hence the word has passed to the signification of kalharizo, to purify, to cleanse from sin, without any refer. ence to the mode at all.
Now, in opposition to this partial view of the subject, we shall con. tend that by this passage of the true literal import of the word to the sacrificial sense alone of purification, President Beecher has aimed 'to destroy the meaning of the word, and to nullify the designs of baptism as laid down in the Bible.
The next step in our investigation leads us to the adoption of certain rules of interpretation and controversy; and accordingly we shall adopt the rules of Doctor Hedge and President Beecher.
The first rule of controversy laid down by Doctor Hedge is this:
(a.) “The terms in which the question in debate is expressed, and the precise point at issue, should be so clear and defined, that there could be no misunderstanding respecting them.”
His third rule is (6.) "All expressions which are unmeaning, or without effect in regard In the subject in debate, should be strictly avoided. All expressions may be considered as unmeaning which contribute nothing to the proof of the question; such as desultory remarks and declamatory expressions. To these may be added all technical, ambiguous, and equivocal ex. pressions.
The following rules of interpretation are taken from the same excellent author:
(c) 'The interpreter of a written document must have a thorough knowledge of the language in which it is written."
(d.) “He must possess an intimate acquaintance with the subject of
the writings. Many words have different significations in different sciences and arts; and the particular meaning they were intended to convey in any instance must be agreeable to the nature of the subject on which they were employed.”
(e.) “The true interpretation of a writing often requires a knowledge of the character of its author," &c.
(f.) “When any word or expression is ambiguous, and may consistently with common use be taken in different senses, it must be taken in that sense which is agreeable to the subject of which the writer was treating."
The following rule of interpretation, which is in perfect unison with rules (d) and (f) as laid down above, is taken from the author's prin: ciples of investigation, p. 42:
However numerous the possible meanings of a word may be in its various usages, it has in each particular case but one meaning, and in all similar cases its meaning is the same.”—(Would it sound harsh to say that this "one meaning” should be specific and definite?)
Having thus laid down our guides in the discussion of ihis question, we proceed first to inquire, What is the precise point at issue!—The answer is readily given. The holy ordinance of baptism as instituted by Jesus Christ-its mode of administration as adopted by his Apos. tles and the purpose or purposes for which it was instituied.
If the subject can be better worded, I am incapable of doing it.
The necessity of applying to the subject the rule of controversy marked (6), is obvious.
We are now prepared to assert that President Beecher has violated this rule. And to the proof:
“After admitring,” says he, (p. 44, 45,) as a point of philology, that the word baptizo in its religious use means immerse, the mind seems to revert to the old habit of using the anglicised word baptism, without attaching to it any meaning."— True, the mind that has been trained to believe in the validity of infant sprinkling might fall into such thinking; but the mind who believes that baptism, as an ordinance of the Saviour, is immersion and nothing else, (in a ceremonial point of view,) will never be prone to such cogitation.
In pursuance of his mental inclination the au'hor has not only violated ihis rule, (b), but one of his own principles—the only one which we have laid down in connexion with the rules of Dr. Hedge.
This he does very clearly on page 48:-"I contend that as thorough purification or cleansing is often the result of submersion in water, so the word baptizo has come to signify to puri'y or cleanse thoroughly. without any reference to the mode in which it is done.” And what if it has? Have you not asserted, reverend sir, that the word must in a particular case have but one meaning? And is this generic defini. tion of yours attaching a definite, a "one meaning" to the particular case of performing the solemn ordinance of baptism?
Again, of what avail is it to talk of all the possible meanings” of this word, after asserting that they will be useless, on the ground of the necessity of "one meaning''? Why refer to the baptism of the word by Elijah; to "the oft-quoted passage in Diodorus, Siculus""the river borne along by a more violent current, overwhelmed (baptized) many;" to the baptism or sinking of the ship, as mentioned by Josephus? Cui bono?
The fourth section of this paper is taken up with a consideration of the change of meaning of the words bapto and baptizo; and the author makes a very tabored effort to show that they may signify to dye, and to purify by pouring, &c.; and for a confirmation of his view he refers to the action of a mouse coloring the lake with his blood, ebapteto ainato gimento passages in Hippocrates and Arian, authors who lived and flourished several hundred years before the advent of the Saviour-to the use of the Latin word lingo as a synonyme of baptoto Horace, Ovid, Virgil, Celsus, and others. But we conceive that all this labor is time lost, inasmuch as he has here merely contrived to gather up all "the possible meanings" of baptizo; while the meaning in the particular case" of baptism, as a rite, is utterly neglected.
We pass on to page 56, where, in the sixth section, it is asserted that “the Greek language was applied to a new subject of thought in the rite of baptism; and that subject is the peculiar operations of the Holy Spirit: for that the ordinance of baptism refers to these, is admitted by all.”
Not so fast, if you please. We admit no such dogma; and there are thousands-yea, tens of thousands who are ready to go with us. Yea, further, we believe that the New Testament admits no such view. We find there a John baptizing unto repentance; we find there a Peter proclaiming unto the Pentecostians repentance and baptism for the remission of sins; we find there an Ananias, “a devout man according to the law,” saying unto Saui of Tarsns, “Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins." We find this same personage, the subject of baptism by Ananias, saying to the Romans, "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death?"
The purpose of baptism is very clearly expressed by the Apostle in the next verse to the one we have quoled: “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." Rom. vi. 4.
So much for the design of the institution. To return to the idea in full which the author wishes to convey in this section: it is simply this, that as baptism has reference to the peculiar operations of the Holy Spirit, and that as no external act can in itself convey the idea of purification; and that as the Holy Spirit purifies the moral man, therefore baptizo must mean to purify. This is surely an original idea. Is there nothing in the material world emblematic of purity? Is there no act emblematic of purification? Any one who has read the Bible can have no hesitation in giving an affirmative answer to these queries.
In a material point of view we all know that pure water is a stand. ard of comparison for objects possessing material cleanness, and as a figure, water, irrespective of physical purity, is used indicative of an agent of purity. "If clean water is used,” says Mr. Beecher, the effect is purity: if filthy water is used the effect is to pollute," [pollution.] “Hence no external act has in itself any fitness to present to the mind the operations of the Holy Spirit.” We have already stated that there is no scriptural ground, in our opinion, for the position here assumed respecting the Holy Spirit; and as the writer has assumed the position without adducing any proofs whatever, we shall pass it by