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and now show that water, without any respect to quality, is repeatedly mentioned in the Bible as an emblem and a means of purity.
"And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water." Lev. viii. 6.
"And the priest shall look on him (the leper) again the seventh day; and behold if the plague be somewhat dark, and the plague spread not in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean: it is but a scab; and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean." See also Levit. xiii. 34. Levit. xiv. 5, 6, 8, “Wash himself in water that he may be clean." 8. Levit. xv. 5th and 12th verses inclusive.
It is useless to multiply references in order to show that the performance of ablution by water was a Jewish rite.
Two additional cases will be mentioned-1st. that Naaman the leper, who by command of the Prophet, dipt himself seven times in Jordan and was made clean; and 2d. that of Pilate, who, when he saw "that he could prevail nothing (in the release of Jesus) took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it."
But further, our Saviour himself had respect to water as a physical agent in the work of purification. And here let it be remarked, once for all, that we do not look upon the act itself as a means of purification-as the cause why one becomes purified, or changed in any manner; but we do conscientiously believe that the ceremony of water baptism is an important one, and one with which no Christian community can dispense, without doing violence to the positive injunctions of holy writ.
The Saviour said to Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John iii. 5.
Now here are two distict means for bringing about regeneration1st. Water; and 2d. the Spirit. So said the Saviour to Nicodemus. But what says President Beecher? Man may be born of the Spirit without being born of water. We may dispense, indeed, altogether with water; and he might further say, We may dispense with a part of the Saviour's views upon this subject, as that part is altogether unnecessary. Time, customs, and fashions have all combined to do away the necessity of water baptism.
In thus endeavoring to convert the meaning of baptizo into something denoting purify, without regard to mode, means, or object, the author has, as we humbly conceive, violated the acknowledged rules of interpretation, his own principles of investigation and the positive command of our Saviour.
In the eighth section of this essay, on page 59, we are told that John the Evangelist, in his 3d cliapter and 25th verse, uses the words katharismos and baptismos synonymously.
"The facts of the case are these: John and Jesus were baptizingone in Judea, the other in Enon," &c. And there arose a dispute between the disciples of John and some of the Jews concerning purification, (zetesis peri katharismos, according to the Greek version.)
Now the author declares that the dispute here spoken of was a dispute concerning baptism itself; and further says, that instead of the
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Greek word here used to denote purification, we may substitute the word baptismos.
Our interpretation of the matter is this:-The disciples of John, in connexion with the Jews, raised the questions, Are the baptisms of John and Jesus both valid? Is one only valid? If so, which one? which one-which baptismos is for katharismos? or, in plain English, which baptism is for remission of sins? Which baptism will effect one purification?
To settle the matter they come to John and said, "Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold the same baptizeth, and all men come to him."
"John in reply, v. 27-31, disclaims all honor except that bestowed by God;" and the dispute was settled in favor of Christ.
After asserting that these words are used as synonymes, the author remarks that "this view alone fully explains the existing expectation that the Messiah would baptize. That the Messiah should immerse is no where foretold; but that he should purify is often and fully predicted."
Very true; but was it foretold how, by what means he should purify, or by what agent?
Did any prophet declare, as President Beecher would have us believe, that he should purify by means of "the truth and emotions of God, wholly and solely by the agency of the Holy Spirit? No: never was there such a prediction; never was there such an occurrence. Quite different from this, indeed-we find Jesus actually baptizing by means "f water; we find him cleansing the impure by means of water; we find him making the solemn declaration that a man must be born of water as well as of the Spirit in order to enter into the kingdom of God.
The next support to his peculiar view of this subject is drawn from 1 Cor. xii. 13., where the Holy Spirit is directly said to baptize;" and says our author, "in this case all external acts are of course excluded, and purify is the only appropriate sense." This has nothing whatever to do with the ceremony of baptisin. We are now fully prepared to make the assertion that President Beecher denies in toto the necessity of attending to the rite of baptism. In truth he would abolish the rite, the physical ceremony, relying upon the Holy Spirit to do all the work. We have only to ask the candid Christian, Can you desert your Master and follow after a man? Can you dispense with a positive command? Will you rebel against your Saviour? Will you say to the sinner, Believe, repent, confess-obey the injunction of the Redeemer, and be baptized in water that you may receive the remission of sins!
The next argument this:-"Baptizo and katharizo are so similarly used in connexion with the forgiveness of sins, as decidedly to favor the idea that they are in a religious use synonymous."
He then takes up the dogma of the influence of the Holy Spirit in the conviction and conversion of a sinner, and upon this makes several remarks which are altogether foreign to the subject of the ceremony under consideration.
In the same section, (12,) p. 65, he remarks that "to a Jew the most natural word to connect with the forgiveness of sins was katharismos, or some synonymous word, and that if any word can be found to sus
tain the same relation as katharismos to the same idea, forgiveness of sins, we have reason to think that it is used in the same sense. Baptizo. he contends, and its derivatives, do sustain the same relation; and for proof adduces Mark i. 4. "John preached the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;" and Luke iii. 3; also Acts ii. 38. "Repent and be baptized, every one of you for the remission of sins." But have we not already shown that these words are not synonymous? Have we not shown that in the 25th verse of the 3d chapter of John, the word rendered purification stands in relation to baptism as effect does to cause?
If further proof be needed on this point we think it may be readily given.
Two words, to be synonymous, must express the same thing, or the same idea.
We have given the definition of baptismos aud katharismos from the best lexicographers. We would ask the reader to compare them for himself, and see if he can make them express the same thing, or the same idea, with perfect clearness and precision, as applied to the ceremony of baptism; then the word katharismos must refer to the effect of this ceremony. It certainly does in the instance alluded to. I have an argument in support of the view that penitent believers alone are the subjects of baptism.
One word here, en passant, touching infant sprinkling-a simple query. If these words sustain the relation to each other for which we have contended, where must stand the ceremony of pseudo-baptism performed upon infants? Let candor, conscience, and truth give the
This closes the first number of President Beecher's series.
(TO BE CONTINUED.]
THE BEING AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD—No. II.
SHALL mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker? Behold, he puts no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly. How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before the moth? Job iv. 17, 18, 19. I would seek unto God, and unto God would commit my cause: who doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number. Who giveth rain upon the earth, and wa'er upon the fields: to set up on high those that be low, that those who mourn may be exalted to safety. He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprize. He taketh the wise in their own craftiness; and the council of the froward is carried headlong. Job v. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? Job viii. 3. I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? Who removeth mountains, and they know not; who overturneth thein in his anger;
who shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble; who commandeth the sun, and he riseth not, and sealeth up the stars; who alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea; who maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the South; who doth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number Lo! he goeth by me, and I see him not; he passeth on, also, but I perceive him not. Behold, he taketh away, and who can hinder him? Who will say unto him, What doest thou? Job ix. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9, 10, 11, 12. Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him? Job xi. 7, 8, 9, 10. With him (God) is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding. Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again; he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening. Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up; also, he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth. With him is strength and wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. H leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools. He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle. He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged. He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty. Job xii. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. Shall not his excellency make you afraid, and his dread fall upon you? Job xiii. 11. Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering. He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. He holdeth back the face of his throne, aud spreadeth his cloud upon it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astonished at his reproof. He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand formed the crooked serpent. Lo! these are parts of his ways; but how little a portion is heard of him; but the thunder of his power who can understand? Job xxvi. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Behold, God is mighty; and depiseth not any; he is mighty in strength and wisdom. Job xxxvi. 5. Behold, God is great, and we know him not; neither can the number of his years be searched out. ver. 26. Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth. He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard. God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. Job xxxvii. 2, 3, 4, 5. With God is terrible majesty. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice; he will not afflict. ver. 22. Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Deck thyself with majesty and excellency, and array thyself with
glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath; and behold every one that is proud, and abase him." Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together, and bind their faces in secret. Then will I confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee. Job xl. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. AN EVANGELIST.
A. CAMPBELL TO ELDER A. BROADDUS-No. III.
My dear Sir-THE postscript to your letter, republished in my last number, also demands a remark or two, superadded to those which I have most respectfully and benevolently submitted to your calm and conscientious consideration.
You admit that we both agree also in the main foundation of the Christian's hope-THE ATONEMENT. On this subject, indeed, I rejoice that we are so fully agreed. This is the sub-basis of the remedial system, the corner stone of the Christian superstructure, the grand central idea of the everlasting covenant, the focal point of all revelation, the Alpha and the Omega of our religion. To Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, be glory and honor, blessing and praise, dominion and majesty, forever and ever! Amen! and Amen!
You regret, however, our fraternization with Father Stone, and certain others of at least doubtful standing on this great subject, and tender to us some sage and benevolent counsel the all-important predicament in which you see us standing. For this favor we are, as a matter of course, much obliged to you: for should it have been tendered rather as a reproof than an advice; rather as an expression of our delinquency in practice, and in vindication of some part of your position to us; or even as a retaliation for our frequent calls to our Baptist brethren to come out of Babylon: I say, from whatever motive, it deserves our gravest consideration.
Well, then, be it observed, that on the broad foundation of Christian union, according to Paul, we must fraternize with all who practically own one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body, one Spirit, one hope, one God and Father of all. With all such we must maintain unity of spirit in the bonds of peace. So we are divinely commanded. A question may arise, however, on one of these seven points, viz.—on the one faith; or the one Lord. On these subjects there has been an interminable, international, sectarian speculative war, in which all parties have incorporated the language of Ashdod with that of Canaan.
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