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good for nothing before the end of the first day. After so particular an account of his dress, is it not singular that nothing was said of it, if he had also a baptizing dress? But we cannot suppose him to have possessed a change of raiment, for in his teaching he said, "He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none," Luke iii. 11; and no doubt he would exemplify his own doctrine. Nor would many changes of raiment have been sufficient to have made him comfortable.
I apply for aid here, to my respected friends, the ministers of the Antipædobaptist persuasion. They have the advantage of me on this point; for they know by experience something of the nature of this kind of employment. I say, they know something of it; for certainly the occasional immersing of one, two, or three, is not to be compared with the immersing of the mass of the people of a city, and of various countries in the surrounding region. But, from what they do know of preaching, and immersing, and conducting the worship on such occasions, I ask them, would they feel quite bold at the thought
"Of camel's hair," not of the fine hair of that animal, whereof an elegant kind of cloth is made, which is thence called camlet (in imitation of which, though made of wool, is the English camlet,) but of the long and shaggy hair of camels, which is in the East manufactured into a coarse stuff, anciently worn by monks and anchorets. It is only when understood in this way that the words suit the description here given of John's manner of life.
* Compare Matth. iii. 5. with Matth. xxi. 26. & Luke vii. 29, 30.
of going, single-handed, and accoutred as John was, to immerse from day to day such unnumbered multitudes?
I am told, that John baptized those multitudes in Jordan. But I am not told, and I do not believe, that, in doing this, his feet were dipped in the brim of the water. In the course of his ministry, he drew his illustrations, like his Master who came after him, from the objects surrounding him at the time. But he says nothing of the stream, of its depth, of its rapidity, of its strength, of its overflowings, of its billows, or of its qualities of purification. The only notice he takes of the element he used, is to direct our attention to the greater than himself, whose Baptism is the reality, of which Baptism with water is only the figure. As a teacher, you never find John in the river. You find him on the bank: on "the level strand" probably, which Maundrell speaks of,* exclaiming, "I say unto you, that God is able of THESE STONES to raise up children unto Abraham ;" and turning to "the second bank," which we are told is "beset with bushes and trees," which had been suffered to grow wild for ages, he adds, "and now also the axe is laid unto the root of THE TREES: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire," Matth. iii. 9, 10.
When I read, John iii. 22, 23. that, after Jesus and his disciples came into Judea, and there tarried
* See page 80. Note.
and baptized, "John also was baptizing in Ænon near to Salim, ὅτι ὕδατα πολλὰ ἦν ἐκεῖ, because there were many waters there;" I see nothing concerning immersion, but a plain reason why two large companies, which it was not the intention of God ever to unite together, except in the way of gradual transference, should nevertheless have been attracted to the neighbourhood of each other, where they might act without interference, while separately engaged in making the same religious use of water. "There were many waters there," is an expression which appears to me to refer, not to Enon only, but also to the land of Judah, probably the banks of the Jordan, where Christ and his disciples were baptizing. "John ALSO was baptizing in Ænon, &c. because there were many waters there:" many springs in all that part of the country. But it is fair to confess, that my friend Dr. Ryland has a different view of the expression ὕδατα πολλά. He alleges, that it does not mean small streams here; that this is evident from all the other places where it is used, in the New Testament; that it is evidently an Hebraism, because the word here happens to be plural, and the Hebrew word for water has no singular; that the corresponding Hebrew phrase occurs often in the Old Testament; and that we shall not be able to find an instance of it being used as synonymous with small streams.*
It would not affect my general argument, if the streams of non were as great and tremendous as
* See Candid Statement, P. xxvi. Appendix.
those of Niagara; but I have not a doubt of convincing my readers, that üdara Toλλà signifies small streams, in the passage before us, whether it occur, in this sense, any where else or not.* Is there no Hebraism in this passage except ὕδατα πολλά ? What says my friend to the name of the place Ænon? Is not aivov the oriental word y, from py, which signifies a fountain? And when we are told that there were 66 many waters" there, may we not understand the name of the place to be the Syro-Chaldaic plural, the termination of which (though the vowel be different) being long, might be naturally pronounced by the Greeks aivúv ?+ The place then was called fountains, because there were many fountains there; just as a city, at no great distance from my friend's
The corresponding expression in Hebrew, DD, evidently signifies small streams in 2 Chron. xxxii. 4. Num. xxiv. 7. and Ezek. xix. 10.
+ If however our conjecture be declined, consult Schleusner, where the meaning of the word as given above is asserted, and the opposite theory is exploded. His words are as follow, Hic baptizavit Johannes, John iii. 23. quod ibi multæ erant aquæ, unde etiam nomen suum accepit: nam 1y, ut ry, metaphorice funtem, notat, ut adeo male in Alberti Gloss. N. T. p. 54, legatur: aiváv anyǹ duváμews, quasi sit compositum ex y et y robur. "Here John baptized, John iii. 25. because there were many waters there, whence also it received its name: for my like y, figur atively signifies a fountain; so erroneous is the explanation in Alberti's Glossary of the N. T. aiváv a powerful fountain, as if it were compounded of y, and strength."-Dr. Murray mentions that in the Cymraig dialect which was spoken in Celtic Gaul, FFYNON, signifies "a fountain." Hist. of Eur. Lang. Vol. i. 147.
residence, is called "Wells," and is supposed to take its name from the many springs and wells that are near it. But what appears to me decisive on the question is this, that if Ænon were indeed a place of "many great streams, the sound of which resembles mighty thunderings, may resemble the sound of a cataract, or the roaring of the sea, but cannot resemble a tinkling rill," as my friend urges; it would be the most celebrated place in all the land of Canaan ; or even in the neighbouring kingdoms. Damascus, with its famous rivers Abana and Pharpar, would be nothing to it. I need not say that Ænon has no such fame. There is no such place from Dan to Beersheba.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) we cannot but admire the zealous testimony of John, on the one hand, and the retiring modesty of Jesus on the other.* He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. On this occasion he passed through Samaria, and came to Sychar. "Now Jacob's well was there." To this well the people of Sychar came for water. The well was deep; and unless a man had something to draw with, he could not have given drink to himself or to a neighbour. "Many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Jesus, because of the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. And many more believed because of his own word.”
• Compare the end of John iii. with the beginning of John iv.