« السابقةمتابعة »
and of the Holy Ghost:"-that the original is not in, but into the Name, which is frequently put for the Power.
I shall not insist on this criticism; as either of these prepositions will support our doctrine. For the preposition into is not absolutely necessary to convey the idea, even of immersion in the element, into which the subject is baptized. For we read in Matthew, iii. 6, that the hearers of John "were baptized of him in Jordan.” And the apostle Paul used them both in the same sense we contend for: "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." 2 Cor. v. 17. "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ." Gal. iii. 27. So that whether we take in or into, there will be no forced construction, in applying either to the Name, used figuratively for the Power, Influence, or Divine Nature. Thus; "Let them also that love thy Name, be joyful in Thee." Psa. v. 11. "The Name of the God of Jacob defend thee." xx. 1. "The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and is safe.” Prov. xviii. 10. "By what power, or by what name have ye done this?" Acts iv. 7. This question was put to Peter and John respecting the miracle of healing the impotent man. In reply, "Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost," let them know that it was "by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,...even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole." v. 8-10. And in their united supplication, they said; "And now, Lord,...grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the Name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they
were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost: and they spake the word of God with boldness." v. 29-31. "In His Name shall the Gentiles trust." Matt. xii. 21. Many believed in His Name," [that is, in his Divinity.] John ii. 23. "That believing, ye might have life through His Name." xx. 31. "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Cor. vi. 11.
It will not be denied that the expressions, "In His Name," are sometimes used to signify, under his authority.
This, however, is not less a figurative mode of expression than the other; and I believe it is not more frequently used in the Scriptures. That the apostles had this authority will readily be granted. But what is that to those who have not been endued with the Power? -will that warrant any one who pleases to use that Sacred Name? The seven sons of Sceva made such an experiment. Acts xix. 13-15. They took the Name in
å very literal sense; but they wofully found that they were destitute of the Power and Influence, with which the apostles were endued.
How then can it be supposed that dipping into water, or sprinkling, can be fulfilling the commission, to teach, baptizing in, or into, the Name? The question is involved in difficulty, which cannot possibly be removed. It is no support to the doctrine to argue, that allowing water baptism is making the commission easily practicable for men. It militates directly against it. For the disciples themselves were not qualified for this work, after all their experience, without the aid and pre
sence of Him who has "all power in heaven and on earth." Matt. xxviii. 18. They were specially com→ manded to " tarry at Jerusalem, until they were endued with Power from on high." Luke xxiv. 49. They did so
and thus "endued," they taught, baptizing "into" "the Power of an Endless Life." Heb. vii. 16. And this remains to be the commission down to the present day. They are to teach, baptizing into that Divine Power and they are also "to tarry" till they are themselves "endued with Power from on high." Then, and not till then, are they clothed with a baptizing ministry. And the promise remains to be fulfilled;-for the Divine Presence still goes along with all his true ministers.
It will not be pretended that all are baptized with the Holy Ghost that submit to the ceremony of water baptism; for some had submitted to it formerly, who had not so much as heard that there was a Holy Ghost. Acts xix. 2. From the manner in which the extent of John's ministry and baptism is mentioned by the evangelist, it would seem to have been generally received the Jews. For he says; among "Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." Matt. iii. 5, 6. But the history does not warrant the belief that the ministry of Christ, and his spiritual baptism, were as extensively received by the same subjects. And it is very certain, that some have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, who had not received that of water. Such was the case of Cornelius; and such has been the case with thousands since that day, who never have received the ceremony of water baptism.
No one can deny that the commission of the great apostle of the Gentiles was as full as that of any of the apostles. For he 66 he was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles." 1 Cor. xi. 5. and xii. 11. And yet, when speaking with reference to water baptism, he expressly declared he was not sent to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; and thanked God that he had baptized only such and such, whom he named. To suppose that he preached, and some other persons baptized, would be but begging the question; for the Scriptures do not warrant the assertion. Not only is it without support from Scripture, but it would contradict his own assertion, that he was "not a whit behind the chiefest apostles." Neither would it fulfil the commission; for teaching and baptizing are so intimately connected, both as to time and operation, that they are not to be separated, so as to be assigned to different persons. Allowing this latitude of construction, the apostle Paul could not teach, baptizing; he only taught and so but half fulfilled the commission-and then unaccountably thanked God that it had been so! These suppositions lead to conclusions which will not readily be admitted by the pious Christian, of whatever denomination he may be.
"He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved.” Mark xvi. 16. This is a very positive, unequivocal de claration. Here the case is not left doubtful; but to believe and be baptized is saving. And yet, we must admit that the very worst of men may, like "the devils, believe ;" and none can deny that they may be baptized with water: for we read "that the devils believe and tremble;" James ii. 19: and Simon Magus was baptized in water. Acts viii. 13. Therefore the baptism here
meant could not be that of water, or a "putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 1 Pet. iii. 21.
The baptism of water was a metaphor: and as it was, in its first institution, connected with the call to repentance, so it represented the first tendering impressions of Divine Grace; softening the obdurate heart into contrition, and at the same time cleansing it from a portion of its pollutions.
But as these first operations are represented metaphorically as effected by water; so the further purification of the soul is represented as being through the operation of fire. But in the Christian experience, the first is no more by material water, than the last is by material fire. "The washing of water" is "by the word." Eph. v. 26. And this is as purely a spiritual operation, as that of "the refiner's fire," Mal. iii. 2; by which "the dross, the tin, and the rebrobate silver are consumed." Isa. i. 25., Jer. vi. 30.
The types and shadows of the Legal Dispensation were not abrogated, to be succeeded by other shadows, equally outward and figurative with the first. They were not shadows of shadows-but pointed to the Living and Eternal substance. Heb. x.
The apostle bore testimony; "Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father! the Spirit itself bearing witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." Rom. viii. 15. "Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." Eph. i. 13. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby