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from facts. Both these considerations form, I acknowledge, only a presumptive argument in the present case; for God has an unquestionable right to require us to undergo this exposure, or any other, according to his good pleasure. But the presumption is a very strong one; and to be admitted in its full force, unless the practice, contended for, is expressed with indubitable clear
On the texts, alleged by those, with whom I am contending, as proofs of Baptism by Immersion, I shall make but a few observa. tions: because the discourse has already been long; and, particularly, because they appear to me, to furnish very little support to the side of the question, in behalf of which they are alleged. It is said of our Saviour, that after He was baptized, he went up straightway from the water, avsen amo se udaros, He ascended from the water : the word avabaww signifying to go, or come, up ; to ascend; in whatever manner. This passage appears to be descriptive, solely of Christ's ascending the banks of Jordan, after he had received Baptism. That this is not the meaning of the phrase cannot be shown; nor rendered probable. The preposition amo, is erroneously rendered out of in our translation. Its proper meaning, as every Greek scholar knows, is from; and can be out of, only by accident : as in Matthew vii. 4. Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye. Even here it would be much better rendered, Let me take the mote from thine eye. If Matthew intended to express Christ's rising out of the water; he has certainly used phraseology of a very peculiar nature.
Another passage, often triumphantly alleged for the same purpose, is Acts viii. 38, 39, And they went down both into the water, both Philip, and the Eunuch ; and he baptized him, and when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip. To the translation, here, no reasonable objection can be made. I will, therefore, not avail myself of what might however be justly alleged, to wit, that, sis, may with equal propriety signify to, and ex, from. Still I object to the construction of my Antagonists, for these reasons.
First; That we as naturally say that they went into the water, of those who went in to the depth of the knees, or even of the ancles, as of those who have plunged themselves.
Secondly; The declarations, here made, are made concerning the Eunuch and Philip alike. Of both it is said, that they went down into the water ; if we render the word eis, into. Of both, also, it is said, that when they were come up out of the water ; if we render the word ex, out of. Now let us see what will be the true import of the passage, according to this mode of construing the words in question. And they went down, both, into the water, both Philip and the Eunuch : that is, they were both plunged. And he baptized him; that is, Philip plunged the Eunuch. And when they were come up out of the water, that is, when they had both been plunged the second time, and risen up from their immersion, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip. In other words, both were plunged twice; and the Eunuch, the third time.
It is, I presume, unnecessary to comment on this version of the text under consideration. The only remark which I shall make upon it is; that the adoption of such a sense for the two words, avabauww and xarabarvw, by some learned critics, in the face of this construction of this text, is not a little surprising.
Thirdly; I conclude, as I think, with certainty, that these words have no reference to the immersion of either; but are barely descriptive of the fact, that they went down to, or into, the water; in which, perhaps, they waded a little distance.
Another text of the same nature is Romans vi. 4; Therefore we are buried with him, by Baptism into death. The word buried is here supposed to denote Immersion. In the next verse it is said, For if we are planted together in the likeness of his death. My Antagonists are bound to show, that this figurative expression, which refers to the same thing, does not as strictly signify the mode, in which Baptism is received, as the word buried; and, if it does, to point out the particular mode of administering Baptism, denoted by the word planted.
These are among the texts, most frequently alleged by those, with whom I am contending. I do not suppose, that they are regarded as being of any great importance to the controversy. Their principal strength lies, as I conceive, in their own view, in what they suppose to be the original meaning of the words βαπτιζω, and βαπτω; and these texts are pressed into the service, as auxiliaries. If, then, their principal support fails, as, if I mistake not, I have shown that it does; these texts will be alleged without success. The general conclusion, therefore, appears to me to stand on solid ground; to wit, that Baptism is in the Scriptures instituted as a symbol of the Affusion of the Spirit of God, upon the soul, in regeneration, and the cleansing of its sing by the blood of Christ; and that the Mode, in which it is administered, is not in the Scriptures exhibited as a subject of serious importance, and is no where declared to be Immersion. SERMON CLX.
THE EXTRAORDINARY MEANS OF GRACE.
THE LORD'S SUPPER;
ITS NATURE AND DESIGN.
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF COMMUNICANTS.
MARK xiv. 22–25.
And as they did eat, Jesus took bread and blessed, and break it;
and gave to them, and said, take, eat, this is my body. And he took the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them ; and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, this is my
blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives.
Having considered at length the Nature, Intention, and Subjects, of Baptism, and the Manner in which it is to be administered; I
now proceed to examine the other Sacramental ordinance of the Christian Church ; the Lord's Supper. In the progress of this examination, I propose to consider,
1. The Nature, and,
III. The Qualifications necessary for attendance upon it;
1. The Nature of this ordinance may be generally described in the following manner.
It is a symbolical religious service, instituted by Christ as a commemoration of his death. The symbols are Bread broken, and Wine poured out: denoting the breaking of his Body, and the effusion of his Blood, upon the cross.
The bread is to be broken, and the wine poured out, by a Minister of the Gospel only ; and, by him, both are to be distributed to every member of the Church, who is present. All these are to receive them both : the Romish doctrine, that the Laity are to receive this ordinance in one kind, and only the Clergy in both kinds, being merely a human invention, uncountenanced by the Scriptures. Before the administration of each of these elements, a prayer is to be made; in which the blessing of God is to be implored upon the celebration of the ordinance, and thanks are to be given to him, for his mercy, and goodness, generally, and, particularly, as displayed in the interesting event which is commemorated. The whole service is to be concluded with singing a psalm, or hymn, by the communicants.
This solemnity has been commonly styled a Sacrament, from the resemblance between the engagement, made to Christ by the communicants, and the oath of the Roman soldiery, by which, they pledged their fidelity to their general. This name, how. ever, it bears in common with the ordinance of Baptism.
It is also often called the Eucharist; Euxagısıa ; probably from the use of the word exagandas, having given thanks, found in all the accounts of this Institution, contained in the New Testament.
But the most usual name, which it bears among Christians, is the Lord's Supper; the origin of which needs no explanation.
The Time, at which this ordinance is to be celebrated, is of no material importance. It was instituted in the evening : it is, however, celebrated most commonly at noon. This fact seems to have been determined by mere convenience : and,