Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

A

the objection he made to baptizing him. It appears, however, that this sign was added to complete the evidence, on which the Baptist was to bear his public testimony. He therefore says, John i. 31–34. “ And I knew him not; but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John testified, saying, I saw the Spirit of God DESCENDING FROM HEAVEN LIKE DOVE, (ΚΑΤΑΒΑΓNON ώσει περιστερών 'ΕΞ ΟΥΡΑNor",) and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, UPON whom thou shalt see the Spirit DESCENDING and REMAINING UPON him ('EQ όν αν ήδης το Πνεύμα ΚΑΤΑΒΑΙΝΟΝ, και μένον επ' αυτόν,) the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw and testified that this is the Son of God.”

If it be said, these passages prove, that the Baptism of the Spirit and of fire only, is from above; if it do not seem enough that Baptism with water has the same name and is always classed with the other Baptism ; then let us observe what view is expressly given

n of Baptism with water, in consequence of the performance of the promise of Baptism with the Spirit. Acts ii. 16-21, 33, 38, 39. “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel : and it shall come to pass in the last days, (saith God, I will POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT Upon all flesh: ('EKXEN ÅTÒ TOŨ TIveúματός μου 'Επτ,) and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,--and it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,"—"Therefore, being by the right hand of

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

God exalted, and having received of the Father the ,
promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath POURED out this
('EZE'XEE FOŪTO) which ye now see and hear.”—
“ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be bap-
tized (with water) every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost: For the promise
(both of the Holy Spirit—and of salvation, ver. 17.
and 21.) is unto you, and to your children, and to
all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our
God shall call.” In Acts viii. 15, 16. we are told of
some who had believed, but were not yet endowed with
the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Since they
had believed, however, through grace, they had re-
ceived the ordinance which is the symbol, of his re-
generating influence.

“ And the apostles sent to them Peter and John, who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For as yet he was FALLEN UPON none of them : only (water had fallen upon them as yet) they were BAPTIZED in the name of the Lord Jesus." Ούπω γαρ ήν 'ΕΠ' ουδενί αυτών 'ΕΠΙΠΕΠΤΩΚΟΣ, μόνον δε ΒΕΒΑΠΤΙΣΜΕΝΟΙ υπήρχον εις το όνομα του Κυρίου 'Incoll.-In Acts X. 44, 47. “ While Peter yet spake these words, EΠΕΠΕΣΕ το Πνεύμα το άγιον 'Επι' πάντας τους ακούοντας τον λόγον, the Holy Ghost FELL UFON all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also, 'EKKE'XTTAI, was POURED OUT the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then answered Peter, Can

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

a

any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" And in the recapitulation, Acts xi. 15, 16, 17. And as I began to speak, ('ENIE'NESE 50 Πνεύμα το άγιον 'ΕΠ' αυτούς, "ΩΣΠΕΡ ΚΑΙ ΕΦ' ημάς εν ågxño) the Holy Ghost FELL on them, AS ON us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed, 'EBA'TITIZEN ύδατι, υμείς δε ΒΑΠΤΙΣΘΗΣΕΣΘΕ εν Πνεύματι αγίω, Baptized with water, but ye shall be BAPTIZED with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave

them the like gift as he did unto us who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I that I could withstand God ?"

Is it credible, that a word which signifies the mo tion of body upon body, in any DIRECTION, should, when applied to represent both the figure and the reality of a DESCENT FROM ABOVE, be meant to be understood of motion in an OPPOSITE DIRECTION; that the water, or the wind, or the fire, should, instead of DESCENDING FROM ABOVE, be understood to RISE FROM BELOW, till the subject was swallowed up by it? The whole form of the figure seems to be marked in the strongest manner, in the following description of the reality, Tit. iii. 5, 6. Κατά τον αυτού έλεον έσωσεν ημάς, διά ΛΟΥΤΡΟΥ" παλιγγενεσίας, και ανακαινώσεως Πνεύματος αγίου: or 'ΈΞΕ' ΧΕΕΝ ΕΦ' ημάς πλουσίως, δια 'Ιησού Χριστού του σωτήρος ημών. “ According to his mercy he saved us, by the WASHING of regeneration, even the renewing of the Holy Ghost: Which he POURED OUT ON us abundantly, through Jesus Christ

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

our Saviour.” Compare also Isa. xliv. 3. and Ezek. Xxxvi. 25-27.

Agreeably to these views of the meaning of the ordinance, and the form of administering it, Irenæus and Justin Martyr, and others of the oldest Greek Fathers, usually called Baptism, Regeneration, because it was the sign of Regeneration. Justin Martyr, explaining how the Christians dedicated to God those who were renewed by Christ, after mentioning certain instructions given, and exercises prescribed, says, έπειτα άγονται υφ' ημών ένθα ύδωρ εστί, και τρόπον αναγεννήσεως δν και ημείς αυτοί ανεγεννήθημεν, αναγεννώνται επ' ονόματος γάρ του πατρός τών όλων και δεσπότου Θεού, και του σωτήρος ημών Ιησού Χριστού, και Πνεύματος αγίου, το εν τω ύδατι τότε λουτρόν ποιούνται. « They are then brought by us to a place where there is water, and they are regenerated in the same manner in which we ourselves were regenerated : for they then observe the washing with the water, in the name of God the Father and Lord of all, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.”* That he did not mean to confound Baptism and Regeneration is evident, because he is describing how Christians dedicated to God those who were renewed by Christ,” καινοποιηθέντες διά τού Χριστού. And the phrase, το εν τώ ύδατι λουτρόν ποιούνται, is evidently an allusion to Tit. iii. 5, 6. quoted above, where “the washing of Regeneration” is explained to be, the “renewing

:

[ocr errors]

* 1st Apolog. p. 94. or 89. of Thirlby's Edition.

of the Holy Ghost, which he hath poured out on

us.

a

Because Milton speaks of Baptism as dispensed in a river, it has been supposed that he favoured the mode of Immersion ; but I am led to think this is a mistake. He says indeed of our Saviour's commission to his disciples

“ To them shall leave in charge
To teach all nations what of him they learn’d,
And his salvation, them who shall believe
Baptizing in the profluent stream, the sign
Of washing them from guilt of sin to life
Pure, and in mind prepar'd, if so befall,
For death, like that which the Redeemer died."

P. L. xii. 439—445. According to this account, Baptism is the sign of, not immersing, but washing, in a river. And when he speaks of the mode of baptizing with the Holy Spirit, he evidently understands it to be by effusion.

“ for the Spirit
Poured first on his Apostles, whom he sends
To' evangelize the nations, then ON ALL
Baptized, shall them with wondrous gift indue,
To speak all tongues, and do all miracles,
As did their Lord before them.”

P. L. xii. 497-502.

It has also been supposed that he despised, not only Baptism by effusion, but also Infant Baptism, in the following passage. In fact however he acknowledges both; but uses the phrase, “solemn sprinkle,” as expressive of his indignation at the prelates, whose practice he is describing. His complaint is, not that they thus baptize, and thus baptize infants, but, that while they are observing an ordinance of God, they presume to render it abominable, by adding to it the superstitious “ sign of the cross." “ Ye have been bold, not to set your threshold by his threshold,

« ПредишнаНапред »