Abridged and Edited by

Jeff Paton

Editor’s Note: To the disappointment of many, my editing and abridgement of this work with be extensive. Originally, this is nearly a 400 page book; a length which few could endure to read on the internet. Secondly, the footnotes are, to say the least, extensive and excessive. They refer to many sources in which most people today would not have access too. Most of these will be omitted, for they consist of nearly a quarter of the book. Those that need references will have to refer to the original if they wish to document these resources. Thirdly, the language used is somewhat dated and archaic. It is a book published in England in 1831, and reflects older English that what most “Modern” readers today would desire to read.

This was without a doubt a thorough and academic work of immense research in its day. My abridgement is not a judgment of the value of this work as a whole, but a reflection of what modern day readers will tolerate, and what the internet age would see as an acceptable length for an online book. 

Perhaps the best and most unique part of this book is how Mr. Thorn exposes the tactics and misdirection of the Immersionists of his day. Bold claims are made for immersion, but in every case it is shown to be bold propaganda and ignorance at best, or slick deception at its worst. In many cases an argument is made for immersion and is claimed to be triumphant, yet when equal evidence of the same value is shown, it is dismissed as being an inadequate argument. 

On a positive note, this massive work on the subject does a very good job showing the arguments and methods of the Immersionists. Ironically, it is just as relevant today as the day in which it was written! Anyone who has listened or read the debate around the subject has seen these arguments, all of which are revealed to be applied in a predictable, one-sided way; or are proven to be nothing more than the wind of confident dogma! 

Take a look and see if you have not heard these very same arguments! Have you fallen for such dogma and flawed logic as the true Scriptural means of defining baptism?




These arguments may be arranged in the following order:—

i. The natural conclusions of common readers.

ii. The history of the Christian church.  

iii. The meaning of the Greek verb “baptize.”

iv. The import of four Greek prepositions.

v. The circumstances of the first N. T. baptisms.

 vi. Several allusions to this scripture rite.

vii. The immutable nature of scripture precedents.

This arrangement, it is presumed, will do perfect justice to the cause of our opponents, as it embraces a summary of all the arguments adduced in defense of their scheme. A few observations, however, must precede the more immediate consideration of them.

i. To render many of our future observation and pertinent, it will be requisite to bear in mind my opponents deny in toto the validity of affusion and aspersion baptism—whether administered to infants or adults— and, consequently, pronounce every denomination of Christians, besides themselves, un-baptized. The ultimate aim of all their publications on this topic is the establishment of this proposition. Pedobaptists, in general, have conceded the validity of dipping, either as one species of baptism, or as an admissible substitute for the primitive practice; at the same time contending, that pouring or sprinkling, was an Apostolic method; or is now perfectly consonant with the will of the Institutor. We believe, however, and shall attempt to prove, that modern immersion is no Christian baptism at all, and that pouring or sprinkling is exclusively right. A frequent recurrence to this statement will aid you in understanding and applying the ensuing remarks.

II. Our esteemed brethren, would fain make us believe that their practice is supported by positive precepts and the plainest examples. This, however, we deny; and contend that it is upheld only by conjecture and supposition—and defended only by vague statements and illegitimate deductions. It is represented to the world, by its panegyrists, as beauteous in form, and invulnerable to the boldest attacks; while, in truth, it charms but few, and when touched by the wand of demonstration, crumbles into dust. 'I do not ' remember,' says Mr. Elliot, in his ' Dipping not Baptizing,' ' it is any where said that the person baptized was covered ' with water, or put under it; and, had this been the case, ' I hardly think the scripture would have been entirely silent ' about it, but in some place or other it would have been expressly mentioned; especially if it be a circumstance of such ' importance as some persons suppose and contend for.' The whole system of immersion rests on perhaps and possibility; and, should we be able to adduce a much higher degree of probability against them, their cause, in the estimation of all candid judges, must be lost. For, as an opposing writer justly remarks, 'if in favor of a proposition, not within the ' limits of the strict sciences, a person should adduce a high probability, he would be thought to establish his conclusion.’

iii. In defending their mode, our opponents incessantly evade the principle of fair argumentation; and constantly support their notions of baptism by a species of reasoning inapplicable to every similar investigation. They pronounce, with unqualified assurance, the divine right of dipping; and behind the impregnable battlements of an unyielding positivity, are proof against every assault of rational investigation and indubitable facts. In other ceremonial matters, positive institutions are modeled or omitted to suit their country and age; but, in this, one iota must not be abated from their fancied form of apostolic order, though decency and health implore it with melting supplications. We feel no need of this inconsistent and ever-shifting method to maintain our cause. Fair, candid, and straight-forward interpretation of scripture, is all we desire—is all our system demands.

iv. The particular ground on which the more intelligent of our brethren erect their dipping hypothesis, is altogether contracted and sandy. The supposed primary meaning of a Greek generic verb, and of four Greek variable prepositions, are the chief, if not entire, basis of their system; as they repeatedly assert, and as will be hereafter verified.

We say the primary meaning, for they admit that the terms in question, are applied to other actions besides immersing. We say the supposed primary meaning; for they have not proved that the act of dipping is an inherent, original, and essential property of the words in dispute—as will also be established in our future observations. Now, we contend that these abstract terms can never settle the question. They tolerate both an application of the element to the object, and of the object to the element—admit of either dipping or sprinkling—but confine the rite to neither. The apostolic practice can only be gathered from circumstances, antecedent, collateral, and immediately following. This view of the case, we purpose not to overlook in any part of the discussion; believing it the only one which is truly legitimate, or properly calculated to bring this long litigated topic to a fair and amicable issue.

v. It will also be found that Baptists, especially in conversation, take a very contracted and partial view of the scripture testimonies respecting this topic. They collect a few isolated texts apparently in their favor, and dwell upon them continually—at the same time passing over, either purposely or ignorantly, a hundred others which form a part of the evidence to be examined by the candid enquirer. John's baptizing in Jordan and Enon—our Lord's coming up out of the water after baptism—Philip and the Eunuch going down into the water and coming up out of it—Paul's expression, ' buried with him by baptism into death,' and the like—are repeatedly adduced with all the exultation of a most signal triumph. But they forget to tell us how John baptized in the wilderness where Christ took up his abode— or how he performed the ceremony in the open air on vast multitudes of men and women, so as to consult decency and health—or how the three thousand were baptized in the city of Jerusalem in the afternoon of the day of Pentecost—or how we are baptized by the Holy Ghost—or how sprinkling under the law became designated baptism—or how baptism symbolizes with the crucifixion of Christ, &c. Let them look at the subject in all its parts and bearings, and then argue—but not before.

vi. It is sometimes, indeed, amusing, though mortifying, to debate with many of our opponents—for, say what you will, they are sure to be always victorious. If you adduce analogical illustrations, they pronounce them far-fetched and irrelative—if you contemplate the subject in detail, and pursue its various ramifications, they call it a childish splitting of hairs, and unworthy of so grand a theme—if you puzzle them by the production of facts and demonstrations they assure you that the plainest evidence may be perplexed and mystified by a subtle and disingenuous disputant—if you prove, that it was not likely that a system, so liable to affect the modesty and health of many pious people, should have been instituted by Christ, as a constant and universal sacrament in the church, they redden, and declare you are ridiculing a ceremony of divine appointment, and. therefore ought not to be reasoned with any longer—if they feel at a loss for reason or argument to establish any position in favor of their scheme, founded on some particular passage, recourse is immediately had to what we very naturally deem the erroneous expositions of certain Pedobaptists, whose opinions are of no greater weight in our judgment than their own—and if, perchance, they are for a moment foiled in debate, they arise with renewed vigor, encouraging themselves in the delightful thought, that greater men and wiser heads maintain, and, they doubt not, can defend, their practice.—But, we must hasten to investigate the first particular mentioned in our arrangement, viz :—



It is a common and favorite topic with our respected opponents, that the mode of baptism should be understood in the sense in which plain readers of the New Testament regard it—and that the scriptures would be sadly defective in amplitude and simplicity, if such persons could not, by this means alone, arrive at a correct and satisfactory conclusion about it. 'The round-about logic-labor,' says Mr. Booth, 'which the ploughman has to perform, if he would ' not pin his faith on the sleeve of the learned, is incredible. 'On this plan of proceeding, a plain unlettered man, with ' the New Testament only in his hands, though sincerely ' desirous of learning from his Lord what baptism is, and ' to whom it belongs, is not furnished with sufficient documents to form a conclusion. No. He must study the ' records of Moses, and well understand the covenant made with Abraham. He must study the antiquated rite of ' circumcision. He must know to whom it belonged, and ' the reasons why. Then he must compare it with baptism ' in this, that, and the other particular—after which, he must ' draw a genuine inference, respecting the point in hand, ' &c.'

1. This notion is constantly reiterated by the disciples of this sagacious instructor. 'Read, say our reverend brethren, to their flattering ears, read only the New Testament, and then decide for yourselves. You need no exposition of men on this subject.' You are as competent judges of its nature as the most learned and laborious researchers into the holy oracles. In this way multitudes have been convinced that we are exclusively right. Many of them have thus become Baptists even against their will. We must, however, examine this position.

I. This assertion of our opponent's makes nothing for their cause, but induces a result quite the reverse. It is plain beyond dispute, that if the judgment of the populous is formed by simply reading the New Testament in the vernacular tongue, their position is untenable; since a vast majority of common readers decides against their practice, by adopting a contrary one—nor is it fair to charge them with acting inconsistently with their creed, till unquestionable evidence of the fact be produced. If they are previously biased in favor of either system, as most of them undoubtedly are, it becomes very difficult, perhaps impossible, justly to say how they would have determined, if left entirely to themselves. Had all plain people, without being prejudiced either way, pronounced immersion baptism only agreeable to the word of God, there might have been some plea for the assertion; but, as the case now stands, there is certainly none. The truth is, that by merely reading the scriptures alone, one cannot come to a settled judgment in this or similar matters. They are first catechized by their private instructors, into the meaning of the word baptize, and then, attaching the communicated notion to the term, believe and act accordingly. May it not be asked, whether it arises solely from a simple and unbiased perusal of the scriptures, that the hearers of Baptist ministers, and the children of Baptist members, almost wholly and exclusively become Baptists? If they are not prejudiced by the expository lectures of their respective teachers, how does this phenomenon happen in the religious world? Of what value, then, is all this parade about the natural conclusions of common readers in favor of dipping? Nor is one at a loss to account for the prevalence of our opponent's principles and practice among those who, though really intelligent and pious, exclusively attend their ministry, or read only their publications on this subject— much less are we surprised that those “common folk” that only read their pamphlets, only hear their declamations, and often witness the important position of those that undergo the ceremony—should long to be equally religious, equally submissive, and equally signalized among their neighbors. If we were to see an opposite result, we would see this as far more mysterious and unfathomable. From such a positive and reiterated statement of how they prove this doctrine, thousands are fully convinced that immersion is proper, but by the same standard should be convinced that the heresies of Islam and Roman Popery are equally correct: this is what is proven by the logic of their approach to arriving at “truth.”

He must be a stranger to the church and the world, who is not fully convinced, that the generality of people read their Bibles with the spectacles of their teacher, and understand them in the sense which his sagacity or ignorance dictates.

II. It is manifest to the weakest capacity, that the conclusions of common English readers are founded entirely on the terms and phrases adopted by the translators of the sacred writings. This sentiment is, in fact, conceded even by the last-cited author. 'Let but the word baptismos be fairly translated into plain English, [namely, to ' immerse,] as the other words of the sacred statute are; and  the most illiterate person, if he can read his own language, may find both the qualifications for baptism, and the proper mode of administration, expressly contained in the law itself.

1. Now, on this principle, if in one country the original word baptizo is rendered to dip, in another to pour, and in a third to sprinkle, the plain illiterate ploughmen of those respective places would conclude accordingly, and dip, pour, or sprinkle, in conformity to the letter of their different Bibles. In like manner, if the prepositions, we shall subsequently investigate, in connection with the baptism of Christ and the Eunuch, were taken to and from the water, instead of into and out of the water, as they fairly might be—would they not conclude, that the baptized probably never went into the element at all to receive this rite? The translators of the authorized English version of our Bible were evidently biased in favor of immersion through their long association with the Romish church—' the ancient practice of which,' Messrs. Birt and Dore tell us,' was to dip,’ or, in consequence of their veneration for the fathers of the third and fourth centuries, in whose time immersion, with various other unscriptural rites of baptism, was practiced in many cases as, at least, a prefatory part of the ceremony; and they consequently gave the verb and prepositions the sense which accorded with, what we presume to designate, their mistaken sentiments. Of similar perversions, our opponents loudly complain in other notorious instances, ‘To those who would object to an examination of the original language of scripture for illustrating the subject before us, we would reply, in the language of Dr. Pye Smith—' It would seem superfluous to 'express a caution against arguing from any translation of the scriptures as if it were the original; but, it must be confessed, that not only unlearned Christians, but some men 'of respectable education, have fallen into this egregious ' error? '—It will be rendered apparent, that the most generally appropriate translation of the word baptize, as religiously employed in the New Testament, is to sanctify, consecrate, purify, initiate, or some other term of an equally indefinite sense. Supposing, then, the verb had been thus rendered, in the narratives of scripture-baptism, would the illiterate ploughman, in that case, arrive at the invariable conclusion, that it means always and only to dip or immerse the whole body ? Certainly not—especially if the prepositions were translated in harmony with such a general import of the verb. Hence it is evident, that the opinions of the illiterate depend on the words employed by the learned; and this argument in favor of dipping amounts to nothing.

III. If the decision of common readers be correct in one instance, why not in all  things in Scripture? Who is able to arbitrate all the doctrines of God precisely within the range of their unaided comprehension? And if every thing in theology be really so plain to the judgment of the ploughman and mechanic, as to render their decisions a criterion of biblical truth, on what pretence of necessity or advantage are all their lectures on divinity, or commentaries on the scriptures, or of what utility are all their volumes and pamphlets so industriously circulated on the baptismal controversy, or why do they support colleges and educate men to explain the Messiah’s Gospel? On the ground that the word of God is so very plain to the lower classes of our countrymen, all this bookmaking, academic tuition, and oral instruction, go for nothing—in fact, they do mischief—for as the learned and ignorant mostly see things in a different light, on the presumption that the latter are good judges, the former must be bad ones. The truth is that ignorance places a person in a state of mental dependence on the knowledge and integrity of his intelligent fellow-creatures. As one of our opponents judiciously remarks, 'an illiterate man determines on the matter from the testimony of others, whom, 'by his condition, he is obliged to trust.'

1. And if this be the case in the present day, how much more must it have been in former and feudal times, when a Bible would have cost the poor man the entire proceeds of fifteen years' labors —when barons and bishops could not, with few exceptions, write their names"—and when an ability to read, as late as in the sixteenth century, conferred on the greatest culprits pardon, or, in law phraseology, the benefit of clergy' But even admitting the mental competency of the poor for eliciting the mind of the Spirit with unerring precision, it must be conceded, that the time usually and necessarily consumed in providing for their temporal wants, and the tiredness of mind generally induced by their physical labors, almost entirely prevent their solving the difficulties found in the scriptures; among which, that involving the mode of baptism, is certainly not the least. It should be further remarked, that this capability of comprehending the scriptural mode of baptism, is not confined by our antagonists to persons of certain specific attainments in knowledge.

2. Any illiterate person, who can read the New Testament, or, which amounts to the same thing, who has ears to hear another read it, is perfectly qualified to form an unerring conclusion. Apparently piety is not requisite. An individual, seriously desirous of knowing the primitive practice, whatever his motives are, is, with the New Testament in his hand, a competent umpire in this controversy. Hence the poor illiterate Pedobaptist is every way as good a judge in this cause as Mr. Booth, or any of his colleagues or successors, however great their literary attainments, or deep their piety toward God!

IV. While every thing really fundamental in faith and morals may be easily gathered from revelation by pious, intelligent, and attentive readers in common life, the modes, customs, and ceremonies, to which constant allusion is made in the Old and New Testaments, must be matters of doubt, and frequently of inexplicable difficulty, to such persons. The Greek or Jew, who lived in the times and places in which the scriptures were composed, understood the references to rites and manners daily practiced before his eyes, much more easily than the abstract doctrines of inspiration. But plain, uneducated Englishmen, whose climate and customs are widely different from those of the east two or three thousand years ago, can comprehend the doctrines best. Indeed, without the assistance derived from early or contemporary writings, and the later researches of the enterprising and observant traveler—even ministers themselves must remain exceedingly ignorant of many expressions found in the holy oracles. Nor are our opponents backward in availing themselves of such auxiliaries, and that to the greatest extent, of which Dr. Gill's Exposition of the Bible affords us remarkable and splendid illustrations. Hence Taylor's ' Fragments to Calmet's Dictionary,' Harmer's ' Observations on Various Passages of Scripture,' and Burder's ' Oriental Customs,' shed more light over many obscure portions of inspiration, respecting ancient rites and ceremonies, than all the erudite conjectures of every schoolman in Europe. How absurd, therefore, is it to talk of the untutored ploughman construing the difficulties of the sacred volume with all the unerring judgment of infallibility.

V. To reply, as some of our respected opponents have done. That this obscurity of scripture, respecting the definitive forms of positive institutions, would, if true, greatly impeach the wisdom and benevolence of its author—is an objection void of the smallest weight, and made only amidst the desperate perplexities of an untenable, though darling, position. That there are inexplicable difficulties to illiterate minds, palpable facts have placed beyond the possibility of rational debate. And those who would presumptuously arraign the wisdom and benevolence of God, for not making his word otherwise, must contend with heaven, and marshal their notions against the knowledge of the Omnipotent. They might as justly reason, that Jehovah ought to have imparted human skill and information alike to every youth without parental or other tuition—or, that the superior bounties' of providence should have been afforded equally to mankind, though thousands exert greater energies of mind and body than others, to secure them. How would the objector have rebuked the Son of God for speaking in parables, that his audience,' seeing, might not perceive, and ' hearing, might not understand the mysteries of the kingdom!' (mark 4:11, 12.) Has not the Savior established a gospel ministry for instructing the ignorant—and afforded them minds capable of being thus educated in the revealed will of their Maker? And has he not thereby perfectly justified his procedure against the charge of wanting wisdom and benevolence in denying the idle and ignorant every advantage afforded to the industrious and cultivated portions of his rational creatures?

VI. When our opponents condemn as extraneous and improper any reference to human authorities, for elucidating the import of the Greek word baptize, or to the customs of the country in which the scriptures were written, for attesting the analogy of our proceedings with the intention of the sacred writers!—they display a very considerable degree of ignorance, or destitution of candor. They must know, one would suppose, that this is the only method by which, under certain provisions to be hereafter mentioned, all ancient and foreign writers can be fairly understood— and this is a principle adopted by all the compositors of lexicons designed to explain the New Testament. The slightest inspection of the valuable works of Parkhurst, Schleusner, and others, will evince the truth of our observation. They also involve in their censure some of the most eminent and holy men of their own denomination, "who have adopted this plan in hope of supporting their interest. Even these very objectors eagerly refer to writers Heathen or Christian, Popish or Protestant, whenever they discover the least plausible hint or argument in maintenance of their sentiments. A fair and rational investigation of the subject, is all we require, and the use of those legitimate means in our defense which our esteemed brethren employ in theirs, and in conducting and determining all similar enquiries. To deny us these, betrays a feeling which they can best explain. In fact, as one of their recent writers observes, 'every competent and impartial judge will admit, that the ' true signification of a Greek word must be determined by 'its current use among Greek authors, especially when that ' use of the word is supported by the universal consent of ' the most distinguished scholiasts and grammarians."

VII. There are some of our opponents who even object to any reference to the Old Testament, for illustrating the topic under discussion. They would make us believe, that Christianity is totally different from Judaism, and forms a new and distinct religion in the world, and that to go back to the ancient dispensations, in order to understand a Christian rite, is unnecessary, presumptuous, and ridiculous— and yet our reverend brethren, who are truly ministers of the gospel, frequently select texts from Moses and the prophets, and preach the gospel from them. They often refer to those writings to explain or confirm the sayings of Christ and his apostles—and laboriously investigate the Old Testament for the sake of enforcing the New. They, in fact, as frequently direct our attention to the institutions of the Old Testament, in supporting their views of baptism, as do the Pedobaptists themselves. Mr. Booth, whose sentiments on this head have been previously cited, stands foremost in adducing this species of referential argumentation. Such allusions are proper and requisite. For how is the epistle to the Hebrews to be understood without any knowledge of the Levitical economy? And how many other portions of the New Covenant are inexplicable without a reference to the prophecies of the old? Did the apostles never explain their rites, doctrines, and duties, by an appeal to the Scriptures of truth, before any part of the gospels or epistles were written? In 1 Cor. 5: 7, 8, the apostle says, ' Purge out ' therefore, the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump— 'therefore let us keep the feast—not with old leaven, neither ' with the leaven of malice and wickedness—but with the ' unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.' ' Who,' says a learned author,' can adequately understand this reference 'unless he has some acquaintance with the pains taken by the Jews to cleanse their houses from leaven! And how ' many things are there in Christianity, on which a plain 'unlettered man needs almost perpetual assistance! And, if it be an allowed practice in other matters, with what propriety could Mr. Dore assume, as in the place before quoted, that, 'in this case we have nothing to do with the Old 'Testament—as baptism is an ordinance, not of Moses, but of Christ.' Are our Baptist friends afraid of the light which the law and the prophets shed over this Christian ceremony? If not, why make that objection?

VIII. But, as the position we are combating, strikes at the root of all ministerial expository labors, it may be proper to enquire whether the illiterate ploughman would be the person selected by our opponents to lecture on the Song of Solomon—to unfold the mysteries of the Apocalypse—to establish the fulfillment of ancient prophecy—or to explain the numerous metaphorical expressions of the sacred writings. To reply, that the doctrine of baptism is of simpler solution, is also begging the question. Besides, the instructions of the pulpit are enforced by the strongest commands and the clearest examples in the word of God. When Christ gave his final commission to the apostles, he bade them teach all nations. (matt. 28:20.)

When he arose from the dead, he expounded the scriptures to his disciples in their way to Emmaus. (luke 24:27.) Paul went into the synagogue at Thessalonica, and reasoned with the audience out of the scriptures, opening and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered. (acts 17:3,4.) In the same manner he instructed his hearers, in his own hired house at Rome . (acts 28:23.) But, if the unlearned, who so often wrest all the scriptures to their destruction, (2 Peter 3:16,) are such competent judges in determining the precise import of inspiration, all these commands and examples are entirely nugatory. In a word, if our opponents were, in all cases, to act consistently with the objection we have now considered, they would, as before hinted, demolish their colleges, burn their theological books, the Bible excepted, and set aside the ministry among them. And, till this be done, we may fairly conclude that this pillar of their scheme, is a mere subterfuge, and is little better than a reed shaken with the wind, and broken by the slightest touch of the feeblest antagonist.



Our Baptist brethren assure us, that the plainest and most ample evidence is derivable from ecclesiastical history that dipping was the universal mode of administering baptism in ancient times. A triumphant reference is made to the Greek church, in which trine immersion is practiced; and to the rubric of the Church of England, which enjoins dipping as well as sprinkling. The validity of these allusions we shall now proceed to examine.

I. We would enquire, if our opponents are agreed among themselves, or have formed individual opinions, respecting the precise manner in which this rite was performed in the primitive churches, immediately succeeding the apostolic era? Let them answer, if they can, the following questions: —Were the people dipped only, or also sprinkled ?—Were they naked or dressed?—Was single or trine immersion practiced?—Was the ceremony administered in natural reservoirs of water or in artificial baptisteries?—If in fonts, how were they constructed?—Who officiated on the occasion—an ordained minister or acting deacons?—Let them also say, whether in the first two or three centuries after the apostolic age, the mode of baptism was the same at all times and in all places?—If not, which portion of Christendom preserved incorrupt the original institution?—And on what age of the period in question do they fix, as affording the purest model for the imitation of the present generation?— Before historical evidence can be pleaded with any degree of propriety, it is but fair to inform us, what history is meant, and what it teaches. This being settled, and, of course, conceded by us as indubitable truth, it is requisite that those who maintain their cause from the example of the ancient churches, should establish a precise conformity to the model they adduce—else their decisions must be vague and arbitrary. But the difficulty of this kind of argument will be seen from a remark of Augustine, who lived in the fourth century. He says,' that, in his time, ceremonies were grown ' to such a number, that the estate of Christian people was in a worse case, concerning this matter, than were the Jews; ' and he counseled that such yoke and burden should be ' taken away.' It is further evident, if Mosheim's observation be correct. He tells us that' there was such a variety 'in the ritual of the primitive churches, as to render it very difficult to give such an account of the worship, manner, ' and institutions of the ancient Christians, as will agree with ' what was practiced in all those countries where the gospel ' flourished.' Add to these testimonies that of Mr. Gibbs, who says, 'we know that the spirit which, in very early times, introduced innovation and will-worship, is gratifying to the depraved principles of human nature; and from this course has arisen that mass of error which has beclouded the moral hemisphere of Europe . During the second century, a variety of doctrines and ceremonies were introduced 'into the Christian worship by certain of the fathers, who claimed a personal acquaintance with the apostles, or with 'those who had been their intimate associates."

II. But, to prove that our opponents are as much at variance with the ecclesiastical modes of baptism, as with apostolic precedents, we will refer to a few particulars mentioned by Mr. Robinson, their own apologist and historian. He tells us,' there were no baptisteries within the churches 'till the sixth century'—when erected without, they were ' generally dedicated to St. John the Baptist—They were 'octagon buildings with cupola roofs, resembling the dome 'of a cathedral, adjacent to the church, but no part of it. 'All the middle part of this building was one large hall,' capable of containing a great multitude of people.—The 'sides were parted off, and divided into rooms, and, in some, ' rooms were added outside, in the fashion of cloisters. In 'the middle of the great hall was an octagon bath, which, 'strictly speaking, was the baptistery, and from which the ' whole building was denominated.—In Tertullian's time, 'the candidates for baptism made a profession of faith twice,' —once in the church, before the congregation, and then 'again when they came to the water.’—The primitive Christians were baptized naked!—or had only something wrapped round the middle—were rubbed all over with oil, and 'turned their face towards the east.'—The men were baptized apart from the women.—The Greek church baptized by trine immersion, or three dippings—and, after 'the immersion, water was poured on the head.—There 'were catechists to instruct the catechumens previous to 'baptism, and deaconesses to assist in baptizing females." '—The water was blessed and exorcised, and the candidates abstained from certain kinds of food forty days previously.—They also baptized children.—In the Romish church, the boys were placed on the right hand of the 'presbyter and the girls on the left. In the administration, 'there were crossings, prayers, burning of incense, singings, blessings, torches at midnight, exorcisms, and exorcised 'salt was given to the children.'—The administrator, if a 'pontiff, wore wax or oil-skin drawers and a surplice, and, 'if a deacon, he took off his shoes.'—Much more might be cited of a similar character—but this is enough to maintain our position. Where now, we ask, is the conformity between the practice of the ancients and that of our opponents ? Where shall we find such baptisteries as those just mentioned? Where shall we hear the double confession of faith common in the time of Tertullian? Who among our brethren are baptized naked? Where is trine immersion practiced? When are children baptized by our opponents? When do they exorcise the water and dress in wax or oilskin drawers?—To reply that, though all these things were mere circumstances and the superstitious devices of the age, yet that dipping was scriptural and apostolic, is a mere subterfuge and begging the question—for why might not that be a mere circumstance as much as pouring, or the confessions, or driving the evil spirit out of the water, or baptizing children, or a treble immersion? Let our brethren establish a perfect agreement between their mode of baptism and that of the early Christians, subsequent to the first century, and we will allow them all the advantage they can fairly derive from antiquity. Till this be done, their reference to the fathers amounts to just nothing at all.

III. If historical evidence may be considered a correct criterion of the scriptural mode of baptism, there can be no just reason for withholding a reliance on its decisions respecting the proper qualifications of the candidates. Now, will our opponents submit the issue of the controversy, 'about the proper subjects of this rite, to the practice of antiquity? Most assuredly not! When pressed, or, more correctly oppressed, with the testimonies of the fathers in favor of infant baptism, they endeavor to extricate themselves from the difficulty, by assuring us, that they place no dependence whatever on the practice of the post-apostolic churches. The following declarations of several of their best writers will demonstrate their views on this subject: —Mr. Dore;'What is not commanded by Christ, or practiced by his apostles, is virtually forbidden as will-worship; ' and they who introduce or practice it, do not in this respect, at least, hold the head.'—Dr. Gale—'Though I have a great respect for the primitive fathers, and all 'learned men, yet their loose expositions and misapplications of scripture, are not to be endured.'—' We should ' have no other rule of faith, or judge of controversies, be' side the sacred word of God—for, if once we admit of any 'other, we directly give up our cause, and expose ourselves 'to all the impositions and inconveniences which are the 'inseparable attendants of Popery's' If Mr. Wall should 'be able to make out his assertion, that the whole church,' after the apostles' time, did allow of affusion, we may 'nevertheless think ourselves obliged to understand it as an ancient corruption—for error should not be privileged by age.' —Dr. Gill' We, who are called Anabaptists, are 'Protestants, and the Bible is our religion, and we reject' all pretended apostolic tradition, and every thing that 'goes under that name, not found in the Bible, as the rule 4 of our faith and practice.—'There never was such a set ' of impure wretches, under the Christian name, so unsound in principle and so bad in practice, as were in the apostles' days, and in the ages succeeding, called the purest ages of Christianity."—Dr. Stennett—' We cannot know anything about the precise nature of positive institutes, their ' true design, the proper subjects of them, or the right mode of their administration, further than the scriptures teach.' —The primitive fathers were, it is true, pious men; but ' they were most of them very weak, injudicious, and credulous—miserable interpreters of scripture, and very ill informed as to many transactions before their own times.'— Mr. Gibbs—'Can any consistent Dissenter imagine that the great Founder of Christianity, who condemned the effects of tradition on the minds of the Jews, in turning them from the commandments of God, would himself authorize this method of instruction under the gospel dispensation, and thus prepare the way for the subversion of his own system?—The nature and consequences of traditional instruction, are arguments against its having 'originated with any inspired instructor.' —Mr. J. Stennett —'The pouring of the water only on the head of the person to be baptized, which Mr. Russen affirms to have been 'the practice of some of the primitive martyrs, confessors, 'and goodly bishops after the apostles, is no rule to us, un' less we could be sure these good men were infallible."— Even Mr. Robinson, the historian, declares, that the fathers are miserable evidence of the truth of facts, as 'well as incompetent judges of right.'—On these remarks no comment is necessary—especially after reading the following extract from the Appendix to Dr. Gill's Reply, &c.—'Admitting infant baptism to have existed, not only in the first century after the apostles, but in the time of the apostles, unless it could be also demonstrated that it was practiced by the apostles themselves, 'there could be no evidence produced that it was not a part of the " mystery" of Antichrist, which, even then, had " began to work," and the influence of which, even in the life-time of the Apostle John, had been widely diffused.—For our Baptist friends to appeal to history after this is preposterous—and Mr. Robinson's volume, at this rate, is only fit for waste-paper!

IV. But, the assertion that antiquity is in favor of dipping, any more than of sprinkling, is entirely without foundation. The practice of the early ages after the apostles, as far as hitherto developed, stands in direct opposition to this dogma. Any one has only to read Robinson's History of Baptism, and he will presently discover the difficulty the writer labors under, the shifts and contrivances he is obliged to make, and, as pronounced by competent authority, the perversions he sometimes displays, in order to present any thing like a precedent for the practice of his fraternity. In fact, he has indirectly established our view of the case. For, justly considering carved work and pictures of baptism, made at the time, the surest criterion of ancient modes and ceremonies, he has been at considerable pains and expense to procure engravings of several of them—and, what is very remarkable, all the sculpture and paintings of the greatest antiquity, represent the baptized (not as drawn in the frontispiece of his volume—but) as painted in the enameled window of the Baptist academy, at Bristol, standing up to the knees or middle in water, while the officiating minister pours a little of the element on his head. Let any person impartially peruse Walker's Doctrine of Baptisms," Taylor's Letters to a Baptist Deacon, and, the ninth chapter of Wall's History—and he will not hesitate to conclude that dipping was not the only, if ever the ordinary, method adopted by the churches after the first century. The narratives and monuments of antiquity, render it plain that when adults were proselytized to Christianity, if they were immersed at all, they immersed themselves, by walking into the water to a certain depth—after which, the minister approached, and poured water out of his hand, or some kind of vessel, on their heads. . This twofold mode is still practiced in the Greek and Abyssinian churches ''—the first, as a preparatory rite, and the second, as baptism itself. The former, indicative of putting off the old man, and the latter, of putting on the new—and answering to the bathing under the law, where the ceremonially unclean washed himself in or with water, and was afterwards affused or sprinkled by the priest, and pronounced sanctified. While we are on this topic, it may not be unimportant to remark, that our opponents have adopted a mode of baptism diverse from all other churches under the sun. This, indeed, is admitted by Mr. Foot, in passage previously cited. In fact, if Mr. Robinson's history can at all be relied on, and, if the testimony of competent judges may be received, pouring or sprinkling is a part, if not the whole, of baptism throughout the churches of Christendom. Even the Syrian churches, and those of St. Thomas, in Ceylon, and the East Indies, who appear to have lived separate from all other Christians, have no other fonts for baptism, than small basins capable of containing about a quart or two of water each.

V. After a careful examination of what the advocates of immersion have adduced from primitive history in support of their system, it appears that they have completely failed in making out a clear and substantial case. The following facts comprehend the substance of their researches:—

i. No clear case of immersion is given us from the Greek and Latin writers, till they mention the immersion of infants. Consequently, our opponents can derive no historical evidence in support of immersion, which is not equally relevant to infant baptism. The citations of Mr. Joseph Stennett and others, from the works ascribed to Barnabas and Hermas, who lived in the first century, are not only defective, but totally invalid—as may be seen by referring to Dr. Mosheim's account of those publications.

Ii. The advocates of dipping, have given us no authentic proof of immersion baptism having been adopted till about the close of the second century, when, as Mr. Gibbs assures us, 'numerous ceremonies,' of human invention, 'had inundated the church,' till the notion of baptismal regeneration had become pretty general, when fasting preceded the ordinance, which consisted in trine immersion, and was accompanied by the use of sponsors, oil, spittle, crossings, exorcisms, and other rites, since designated Popish. So that our antagonists have no better authority from primitive history for a single dipping, than for these superstitious appendages.

iii. They have adduced no Latin work of the second century wherein the word baptize is rendered, merge, immergo, submergo, demergo, or any other which unequivocally means to dip, or plunge under water in the ceremony, and as the act of baptism,—in the passages cited, it being generally translated by tingo, and sometimes by lavo and abluo. In their extracts from the Greek authors of this period, we find the original words and phraseology of scripture employed to express this rite—and, when others are used, they are so indefinite as to leave the mode quite indeterminate.

iv. Assuming that our opponents have brought forward all the available evidence from primitive history in favor of their scheme—and that our positions harmonize with the character of their citations, which we believe to be the fact, it may be inquired, what tenable argument can they derive in support of immersion from the post-apostolic generation of believers? To argue, that people were dipped, after the church of Christ was inundated with human inventions, after this very sacrament had confessedly lost its original simplicity, and had become clogged and clouded with numerous superstitious appendages, will go for nothing with any intelligent person—especially with those who declare that 'they reject all pretended apostolic tradition, and every thing that goes under that name'—who say ' the loose expositions and misapplications of scripture, by the fathers, are not to be endured'—and who aver that' they cannot know any thing about the precise nature of positive institutions, their true design, the proper ' subjects of them, or the right mode of their administration, 'further than the scriptures teach.'

VI. Here, perhaps, some man will say, How comes it to pass that so many critics and commentators have held that immersion was the primitive mode of baptism—was common in the post-apostolic ages—and became so prevalent in subsequent periods. That many great and good men of most denominations have made this concession, it would be disingenuous to deny—though not to the extent and in the unqualified manner our opponents would make us believe. To account for this sentiment, we have only to recur to the early introduction of dipping—the dark ages in which it originated—the veneration in which the authors of it were held by their successors—the uncommon stress laid on tradition—and the credulity of mankind, in considering that divine which has antiquity on its side. One generation has believed its predecessor; the error became ramified as the gospel extended, and took a firmer hold on the minds of the people the longer they cherished it—so that even now many good men believe that to have been practiced by the apostles, which evidently did not take place till  weak, injudicious, and credulous interpreters of scripture perverted the right ways of the Lord. Nor is the case of immersion alone in this predicament. Other notions are equally prevalent in the Christian world, which had no better origin.— As we remarked before, antiquity equally remote may be pleaded for baptismal regeneration, three orders of officers in the church, and various other things, which are deemed unscriptural by our opponents; though held by as many writers and people as have ever conceded the apostolic mode of baptism to have been only dipping.

VII. Though it is said the usual mode of baptism in after times was by immersion and affusion conjoined, yet there does not appear to have been any uniformity of operation. Comparatively, little is said by the fathers on this subject—but still enough to show that pouring and sprinkling simply, were valid administrations—and, for aught we know, a mere immersion might have occasionally been deemed sufficient. Though we lay just as little stress on the practice of the ancients in this matter, as our opponents do in another branch of this controversy; yet to meet their assertions, we shall make a few extracts from Walker 's Doctrine of Baptisms—a work every way entitled to your consideration and confidence. He tells us that,' in the first century 'after the apostles, a person sick on his journey, where water ' was not attainable, was baptized by an aspersion of sand; and that, though the pastor at Alexandria expressed his  disapprobation of the element, he sanctioned the mode.— 'In the same age, Tertullian speaks of baptism by sprinkling as a known and valid method.—In the next century, 'we read of prisoners baptized in a jail, which, being done 'by stealth, was evidently administered by perfusion.—An other person is recorded as having been baptized in his bed, which, we presume, was not done by dipping.—St. Lawrence baptized several persons with water out of a pitcher.—Lactantius calls Christ's baptism a perfusion.— 'In the year 313, the council of Neocesarea recognizes clinical baptism as valid; though it condemns deferring the reception of this sacrament till the season of sickness and  approaching death.—Athanasius speaks of baptism per' formed by sprinkling—as does the council of Laodicea in the year 364.—So also does Gregory Nazianzen, about  370.—Twenty years after, Aurelius Prudentius calls the “baptismal element the holy dew.''—In the following centuries, pouring and sprinkling are often mentioned as Christian baptism; and the terms, perfusion and aspersion, are frequently employed to express this Christian ceremony—as a reference to the above authority will sufficiently prove.— Further, Josephus, who was born only four years after our Lord's crucifixion, and who must have been well acquainted with the customs of the Hebrew Christians, and have seen their ceremonies performed every day, calls John's baptism washing and purification. Now, as a Jew and a priest, he must have understood the manner in which Moses washed and purified the priests, and how the priests washed and purified the people—which was always and only by sprinkling—and in no other sense could he, with any degree of propriety, have employed those terms.—For our opponents to say, the history of the Christian church is exclusively in their favor, and ' that no trace of any other mode [than immersion] occurs till the middle of the third century, is contravening the most palpable evidence—besides exhibiting a great inconsistency, in fleeing from scripture evidence, and resting for support on a rejected foundation.

VIII. Our Baptist brethren have toiled a good deal to ascertain when and why sprinkling was introduced as a substitute for immersion. Several dates have been fixed on, and various reasons assigned for this perplexing mutation. The enquiry, however, is founded on the assumption, that dipping was the original mode; but which ought to have been first satisfactorily established—a task, though frequently and zealously attempted, has not yet been accomplished. It is manifest, from all we know of the temper of former times, and the religious notions of mankind generally, that sprinkling or pouring was not likely to have been substituted for a total immersion. The corruptions of those ages consisted in doing things more largely and ceremoniously than previously instituted among the simple rituals established by Christ or his like-minded disciples. The least acquaintance with primitive manners, places this position in the clearest light. The fathers were for doing things effectually, with all the parade and significant pomp imaginable —and not for abridging the act or design of any original appointment. With them, as Dr. Campbell justly remarks, 'things always advance from less to greater.''—It is easily perceivable how dipping a person entirely under water once or thrice, with all the concomitant affair of dressing and undressing, blessing the water, applying salt, oil, and spittle, with the exhibition of torches, processions, and the like, so pleasing to semi-barbarous minds, should take precedence or the place of pouring a little on the head—but not how sprinkling should supersede immersion, except in the case of the sickly, the bed-ridden, and the delicate.

When the early fathers, whom our opponents describe as 'weak, injudicious and credulous, miserable interpreters of scripture, and incompetent judges of right,' read of ' being born of water and buried with Christ in baptism,' they thought it necessary to transform this sacrament into something like water bringing forth a saint, and a funeral procession with a subsequent interment, and, to complete the representation, a resurrection to a new and spiritual life. These 'miserable interpreters of scripture,' like the first English Baptists, as Mr. Robinson remarks, misunderstood the import of the texts, and instituted a rite in accordance with their own ignorance. This is one of the most plausible reasons to be assigned for the augmentation of a ceremony originally simple and easy. With them, as remarked before, all was enlargement, ostentatious, and imposing—to abridge or simplify a scripture institution, was not the order of their day, nor in consonance with their notions.—0r, probably, they reasoned in the following manner :—' If the Christian purification be a cleansing, the more general and complete,’ the better—therefore, a total washing, or even the putting of the subject under water, must be more complete and 'expressive' than sprinkling, pouring, or shedding it upon the candidate for this ordinance.—Or, finally, the early Christians, perceiving that the purifications of the later Jews was, as our opponents contend, by a total washing or immersion, thought it improper to be outdone in the extent of their lustrations, and were consequently dipped themselves —this would be the case with those especially 'who flocked ' to the church from the polluted embraces of heathenism; and thus dipping continued during those ages when, and ' because, externals made nearly the whole of religion; and still continues in the Greek church, there is reason to fear, ' from a similar cause.'

Can our opponents point out any other ceremony prevalent in the primitive churches, to which ignorance and superstition did not make many additions—in the performance of which, there was not a great deal more parade and ostentation—and to the design of which, they did not ascribe an unscriptural importance? In this very sacrament, we have the most decided proofs of our position. Our opponents believe, if their practice speak truth, that only one immersion was commanded—whereas, in many of the oriental churches—Mr. Robinson being judge—there were three, with a subsequent pouring. There was, also, the addition of oil, exorcism, consecrating the water, particular vestments, and so forth, almost without end. We have, therefore, no hesitation in saying, that dipping was prefixed to affusion or substituted for it 'in the second and third centuries, when a flood of superstitious ceremonies,' then deemed improvements,' inundated the church; and that aspersion was revived in the western world with the restoration of knowledge and the reformation of religion. Our brethren will establish the contrary, if it be practicable.

IX. The great stress laid on the immersions of the Greek church, seems to be founded on the erroneous supposition, that this extensive communion is composed entirely of the descendants of the inhabitants of ancient Greece, using precisely the same language which was current at Athens two thousand years ago.—' What,' says Mr. Pearce, 'seems most incontestably to prove, that, to baptize, means to dip, is the practice of the Greek church, whose members, reading the New Testament in the original and their maternal tongue, must certainly be better qualified to judge concerning the meaning of a term, than foreigners; and they have uniformly, from the apostles' times to this day, practiced baptism by immersion.' This plausible evidence is mere assumption in the first place, and contrary to fact in the second. To say that the Greek church has practiced immersion, and immersion only, as performed by our opponents, from the apostles' time to this day, requires proof which the esteemed author has not adduced—indeed, it is contradicted by the Baptist historian; and to contend that the Greek of the New Testament has ever been, and still is, the maternal tongue of, what we denominate, the Greek church, or the language of the nursery, is contrary to truth. As justly might a Baptist contend, that the Romish religion was professed only by the lineal descendants of the ancient Romans, speaking the pure Latin of the Augustan Age. Even the inhabitants of Greece, properly so called, are, in a great measure, unacquainted with the language of their forefathers, and are obliged to have the original New Testament translated into Modern Greek, before they can understand it.

Speech is ever varying, especially when spoken by several disorganized tribes. In the course of time, most languages are completely metamorphosed. Even from Spencer to Pope, a period of about one hundred and forty years, and, in an established government, a revolution has taken place in our own, which one would have hardly thought possible. 'It is well known,' says Dr. Jenkins,' that when a language is branched out into different dialects, those dialects may diversify the signification of words considerably from the strict and natural sense of the original' —'The scripture,' says Dr. Gale, 'is the rule, we know, of our faith and practice, and was designed for that; but not to be the standard of speech, which is continually altering, and depends upon custom.' Besides, if the practice of the Greek church is to settle this question, and if her ministers may give their opinion, then to baptize consists in three dippings and one pouring—a mode as much at variance with one dipping as with one pouring; and that communion may, with equal propriety, be referred to, in support of our mode, as of that of our opponents.—We say nothing of the subject, as it is notorious, that not only the Greek church, but every other on the face of the globe, except our Baptist brethren, baptizes infants as well as adults.

It is further observable, and relevant to our position, that most of the eastern churches, like the Roman, have both an ecclesiastical and a vulgar tongue. In that of Abyssinia , the Ethiopic is the ecclesiastical, and the Amharic the vulgar. In the Syrian churches of Mesopotamia and of Malabar, or wherever else there may be Syrian churches, the Syriac is the ecclesiastical tongue—while in Mesopotamia, the vulgar is the Arabic; and, in Malabar, it is the Malayalim; and, elsewhere, it is the vernacular language of the country. Among the Copts in Egypt , the Coptic is the church language, but the Arabic that of the people. In the Greek Church, the ancient Greek is still used in the offices, and the Old Testament read in the version of the Septuagint, and the New in the original text—while Romaic, or modern Greek, Arabic, or Turkish, is spoken by the people. In the Armenian church, the scriptures are read in a language but ill understood by the people—and this is the case in the Russian church.—Hence, we gather that the original language of the sacred volume is an unknown tongue to the great body of the people, and is studied and read by the priesthood, as by linguists of the present day—not as their maternal tongue, but as the subject of academic acquisition.

That our opponents lay a paramount stress on the conduct of the eastern churches generally—and of the Greek church in particular—may be further seen by the following remarks of Dr. Cox:—'This is an authority,' says he, 'for the meaning of the word baptize, infinitely preferable to that of European lexicographers—so that a man, who is obliged to trust human testimony, and who baptizes by immersion because the Greeks do, understands the Greek word exactly as the Greeks themselves understand it; and,  in this case, the Greeks are unexceptionable guides, and their practice is, in this instance, safe ground of action.'But we have shown before, that the Greeks use trine immersion with a subsequent affusion—that they baptize children, and give them the Eucharist—the water is exorcised, and so forth, as previously specified.—Here is, then, the 'highest authority in existence—an unquestionable guide— 'and a safe ground of action,' in almost every particular, at variance with the practice of our opponents.—If the Greek church, which, if possible, is more superstitious and corrupt than the Latin, be such a faithful and true witness in this matter, as the learned doctor declares, why do not our opponents dip their candidates three times, and then pour water upon them?—and, as the word oikos, rendered house and household in the New Testament, is as much a part of their maternal tongue as the verb baptizo; and as the Greeks understand it to include the children of a family —we ask, if this be not equally safe ground of action? This gentleman, however, might have known, that the avowed, and even current use of the terms in the Bible, is no infallible criterion of the practice adopted even among those who are designated Baptists. Our opponents in England say, that to baptize, is always and only to dip the 'whole body,' and yet they do less than is enjoined—as they only dip the upper part of the candidate—and more, as they raise it out of the water, which is not included in the act of dipping.—The German Baptists render the verb to baptize by tauffen, to dip—and yet they only pop the head of the person under the water—and the Dutch have translated it doopen; and yet the Dutch Baptists only pour water on the person baptized. So that if the practice of the Greek church were in accordance with the views of our brethren, it does not prove that they understand the word in the sense contended for by the Baptists—and might have some other ground of action for immersion.—Let it be also observed, that when a proselyte from Paganism or Islam, being an adult, is baptized in the Greek church, he is not dipped at all—but, as a gentleman, who had witnessed the ceremony, informed the preacher, he stands in the water, and has a trine affusion from the officiating priest.—He also remarked that, in the Greek church, sprinkling is perfectly valid—as those, who have been baptized in this manner, are never immersed on subsequently entering its communion.—How correct an exemplar of the mode adopted by our brethren!—and what excellent authority do they derive from this ancient establishment!— and what ‘safe ground of action' !

But, to use the language of the said divine, with a very slight alteration, we say, the eagerness with which our [Anti] Pedobaptist friends seize upon the most trifling circumstance, and press into their service the most obscure and remote signification, which can at any time, or in any instance, be found to attach to any phrase or monosyllable, when they are pushed for solid and fair evidence.

X. The reference to the rubric of the Church of England is equally unfortunate for our opponents. If the practice of that communion be at all good criteria of the proper administration of this sacrament, then the subjects are infants as well as adults, sponsors are necessary, the sign of the cross is indispensable, and the operation renders the baptized ‘a member’ of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the 'kingdom of heaven.' Besides, as in the rubric of the Greek church, there is an exception, even in the words of the prayer-book itself, for weak and sickly subjects who are to be sprinkled or affused—a consideration which never enters into the system of our respected opponents. 'By king Edward's first book, the minister is to dip the child in the 'water thrice—first, dipping the right side—secondly, the left—the third time, dipping the face towards the font.' Is not this good authority, and worthy of all acceptation? No, alas! our brethren regard the founders of our Episcopal hierarchy, as but half awakened from the slumbers of Popery, as having composed a liturgy loaded with Romish superstition, as being every way incompetent umpires in disputes respecting the revealed will of God, and practically erroneous, even in this rite, as to the mode and subject of baptism." And yet, when the least shadow of support can be obtained from this establishment,' the eagerness with which ' our friends seize upon it,' and the tenacity with which it is held, are surprising. Does not this manner betray a weakness in fair and solid argument, and a determination, at any rate, to maintain a favorite hypothesis'? When our brethren, with so much significance and complacency, point at a few antiquated fonts, in some of our old churches, as striking testimonies in favor of immersion, they seem to forget that none but infants, literally infants, could possibly be dipped in them.



Our Baptist friends assure us, in the most positive terms, that this word is always and exclusively employed so as to support their practice—as a few passages out of multitudes will evince.—Dr. Gale says, it signifies 'only to dip or ' plunge'—and that, after having extensively examined the subject, 'he did not remember a passage where all other senses are not necessarily excluded besides dipping.' — Dr. Jenkins says,'we maintain that baptizo always signifies to dip the whole body.—Mr. J. Stennelt tells us, that 'the word baptizo signifies, and only signifies, to immerse, 'or to wash by immersion''—and that 'to baptize persons signifies no more nor less than to plunge or dip them in water.'—Mr. Maclean assures us, that baptizo signifies 'properly to dip, plunge, or immerse; and that in distinction from every other mode of washing, as well as from sprinkling or pouring, which are expressed in the original by other words; and no instance has yet been produced, either from scripture or any ancient Greek writer, where it must necessarily bear another sense.'—Mr. D'Anvers says, 'baptizo, in plain English, is nothing else but to dip, plunge, or cover all over.''—Mr. Gibbs assures us, that 'the verbs bapto and baptizo are not generic terms, denoting the application of water in any way; but that they are confined to the specific mode, dipping, may be proved by a reference to their use in the works of classical Greek writers, who certainly understood their own language better than any other in later times—and the Pedobaptist cannot cite one authority from these writers in defense of his explanation of the terms.'—And Mr. Booth declares, ' that to immerse, plunge, or dip, is the radical, primary, and proper meaning of the word.'—In this specific sense, they contend, it must be invariably understood when employed to designate the rite under immediate consideration. They also pronounce the import of this term the pith of the whole enquiry.—Dr. Gill says, 'those that are baptized,' are necessarily dipped—for the word baptize signifies always to dip, or to wash by dipping.' —Mr. Anderson tells us, that' if we can ascertain the meaning of the term [baptize] that he employed [in Matt. 28:19] it will help us to a certain conclusion.'—Dr. Gale says,' the meaning of the word baptizo must be considered the main branch of our dispute.'—And Mr.Robinson tells us, that whether 'John baptized by pouring on water, or by bathing in water,' is to be determined chiefly, though not wholly, by ascertaining the precise meaning of the word baptize.'

With this view of the case, our respected opponents have made uncommon efforts to prove that its meaning is exclusively in favor of dipping, and ever stands as an impregnable bulwark of their system. They incessantly refer to the Greek fathers of the church, heathen writers, different translations of the scriptures, lexicons, the concessions of Pedobaptists, reason, analogy, inference, and the like—to make us sensible, that baptizo means only to dip, plunge, or immerse the whole body—or, that this is absolutely and unequivocally its radical, primary, or proper meaning. In this sense, of absolute immersion, it appears our opponents have translated the word baptize in their versions of the New Testament into the languages and dialects of the East. If, in this main branch of our dispute, they have failed to establish their point, their cause is hopeless—in fact, is entirely lost—and that they have completely failed, we feel confident of fully convincing you.—Should we be some what elaborate in our observations on this head, you will pardon the claim on your patience, and lend us your candid and serious attention.—We shall first dispose of Mr. Booth's never-failing phraseology about ' the radical, primary, and proper meaning' of the word baptize.

I. The terms radical, primary, and proper, as applied to the meaning of words, require a little explication. The radical import of a compounded term, embraces its meaning as gathered from its original component parts—hence the word to manufacture means to make a thing by hand. The radical import of a simple term, embraces its meaning when first employed to convey an idea from one man to another. The primary import of a word may refer to its original use, as distinguished from its present application— or to its literal sense, instead of its figurative—or to its common use, in opposition to an occasional one. The proper meaning of a word may signify, generally, the notion attached to it when first used—or the ordinary sense of it at some subsequent period—or the current import of it at some specific place—or, what is most correct, the idea attached to it by some particular author in a sentence or passage under consideration. Now, to ascertain the radical, primary, and proper meaning of a word is frequently very difficult; and especially to render these respective properties accordant with each other—since the radical meaning of a word often varies considerably from its proper and current use. For example—the elements of the word to manufacture mean to make a thing by hand; but the current or proper use of this verb is to make something by machinery. The primitive meaning may also differ from the present use of a term:—a villain originally meant 'an inhabitant of a village'—now it signifies 'a wicked wretch.'—To ascertain, therefore, the radical and primary meaning of a term is of little importance, unless we also find out its current meaning, and that meaning in the particular book or paragraph we are investigating—which must be determined by the connection and circumstances in which the word is found.— Consequently, when a writer pronounces this or that specific sense of a word to be its radical, primary, and proper meaning, and labors to build a system of religious ceremonies upon such a specific sense, it behooves him to be very certain that he has really discovered not only this original, principal, and current use of the word, but also the harmony of these respective properties, and the import of it in the chapter and verse of the author on whose dicta he erects his practice. —Mr. Booth, however, assumes that the radical, primary, and proper meanings of the word are precisely the same, as distinguished from some secondary import. However fallacious this notion may appear, we shall argue for the moment on the supposition.

II. Supposing then, what we do not grant, that the radical, primary, and proper meaning of the word baptize, (as distinguished from all secondary and figurative senses,) were to accord, and signified to dip, plunge, or immerse the whole body or thing spoken of; it does not necessarily follow, that the writers of the New Testament have used it in this sense, while describing the rite under consideration. If the word have secondary and subordinate meanings, as Mr. Booth's expressions certainly imply—how will our opponents prove, that the inspired penmen have not employed it in some inferior or figurative sense? As Dr. Williams justly observes—'What Mr. Booth has produced from Pedobaptist writers as concessions, no more regards the leading point in dispute than, I was going to say, the first verse of the first book of Chronicles, "Adam, Sheth, Enosh." For the immediate question is not what is the 'radical, primary, and proper meaning of the word baptism,' in a philological or etymological sense, but whether the 'legal, the ceremonial, or sacramental sense of the word, ' excludes, absolutely excludes, every other idea but immersion! No concession short of this is of any real service to our opponent's cause.' —It is well known, that words used in common conversation, or in books, about the ordinary affairs of life, and particularly in the writings of the heathens—whose ideas were widely different respecting morals, religion, and ceremonial worship, from those of holy and inspired penmen—assume a very different caste when brought into the vocabulary of the church. A mere allusion to the words light, angel, virtue, prudence, charity, church, sacrament, and similar terms, will place this doctrine in the clearest aspect. Therefore, to demonstrate even that the radical, primary, and proper meaning of the word baptize is to dip, plunge, or immerse a person or thing entirely, would by no means settle the dispute, unless it was also proved, that the writers of the New Testament, when describing the ceremony in question, employed it in this radical, primary, and proper sense. To ascertain this, devolves on our respected brethren. That this point has not been established by them, we shall presently show you; and that it is impracticable, we are perfectly satisfied.

III. But we take upon us to assert further, that the action of dipping, plunging, or immersing the whole body, is not the primary, radical, and proper meaning of the word baptize—that being an effect produced in the character of wetting, washing, coloring, consecrating, punishing, and so on—whether done by pouring, painting, sprinkling, piercing, or immersing. This irrefragable position our opponents have been driven to admit on many occasions, as will be shown hereafter.—One citation, at present, will serve as a specimen of the whole. Dr. Gale says, 'the word baptize, perhaps, does not so necessarily express the action of put' ting under water, as, in general, a thing being in that condition, no matter how it comes so; whether it was put into 'the water, or the water comes upon it.' But, to illustrate this sentiment, let it be observed, that the word primary, which, on Mr. Booth's principles, comprehends the other two, may either signify a priority of design, or a priority of execution—it may refer to the end or the means. Now, what we deny is, that the principal end or design conveyed by the word is to immerse.—The verb is employed, according to our opponents, as will be verified in its place, for bathing, besmearing, coloring, covering, daubing, infecting, imbuing, quenching, soaking, washing, and the like—and, if their previous assertions be correct, all this must be done by dipping—and which, for the sake of argument, we will admit. But what is the unavoidable result? If the primary end or the ultimate design of the verb be to dip or immerse, then a person is to be bathed, besmeared, colored, covered, daubed, infected, imbued, quenched, soaked, or washed, as an act or means for producing the end of dipping. Such is the inevitable consequence of their position, if immersing be the primary design of the word under review. And who does not instantly discover the sophistry of their reasoning? If the primary means, or the priority of execution, only be to dip, then the point in debate is conceded at once—since the direct and ultimate import of the word may be something else—unless we are willing to believe that taking up a book is reading it, dipping the pen in ink is writing, going to church is hearing a sermon, and opening the mouth is speaking; because these are primary means for such a design, or are prior in execution to the end intended. In accordance with this reasoning, Dr. Gale tells us, that 'immersion is before tinging, for things are ' tinged by it.'—And Mr. Booth says, 'it may be asserted ' [even] of our English term dip, that it no where signifies 'to immerse, except as a mode of, or in order to dyeing, 'washing, wetting, or some other purpose. —One fact is incontrovertible, that whenever the word baptize is employed to express an effect, state, or condition, as bathing, besmearing, &c, which may or might be accomplished by dipping—dipping is only the mode or means of producing it, and not the effect, state, or condition included in the term —and to suppose that a word, which expresses an effect, is to be considered as synonymous with others which merely designate the manner of accomplishing it, is every way improper; and, in the translation of books from one language to another, would produce consequences both erroneous and absurd. If the word in question signifies to bathe, besmear, color, cover, daub, infect, imbue, quench, soak, tinge, and wash—and if these, or any of them, can be effected without dipping, we have the clearest evidence, that to dip is not its primary meaning ; and that it may not be involved in the term even as a means of execution.

IV. Having made the preceding remarks respecting the stress laid on the supposed primary sense of the verb baptizo, and shown the impropriety of our opponents' reasoning; we shall next proceed to establish the variety of its import, in contradiction to their pre-cited assertions. The word baptizo is a derivative from bapto, and is a diminutive of it. Hence, according to the ordinary construction of the Greek verbs, if bapto signify to dip, baptizo means to dip less—or if bapto signify to pour or sprinkle, baptizo means to pour or sprinkle less. Now, the word bapto is never used to express the ceremony of Christian baptism, and it is reasonable to suppose this constant use of the diminutive was by design—and therefore not synonymous with its root, bapto. Hence we might fairly confine ourselves to the consideration of the derivative verb only—in this case, our labor would have been much less, and our triumph, if possible, more complete. But as our opponents contend that bapto and baptizo are synonymous, and as they constantly embrace both in their discussions of this rite, we shall, for the sake of argument, and to give them all the advantage they could justly claim, admit, at least for the present, that both words mean precisely the same thing in action, nature, and extent. Now, we contend that these words, so far from signifying one and the same action, in all cases and connections, have a great variety of meanings. This we shall prove from the unanimous consent of the best lexicographers, the translations of our opponents, the use of them in the Septuagint, Apocrypha, and New Testament—and by such other means as may be available and proper. Should our intention be realized to your satisfaction, the whole fabric of our opponents' exclusive scheme falls to the ground and crumbles into dust.

V. That the word baptize has a variety of significations and is of a generic nature, may be made to appear by an appeal to the best Lexicographers. The following have been consulted:—Hedricus, Leigh, Parkhurst, Schleuzner, Scapula, Stephens and Suidas. Reference has also been made to Montanus' Literal Version of the Apocrypha and New Testament, and of the Hebrew terms rendered baptize by the seventy translators. The result of the research is, that the word is deemed synonymous with the following Latin verbs—to which a translation is appended, and that chiefly taken from the Baptists:—


From these unexceptionable testimonies, it is evident that the word has various meanings, and that in general, if not invariably, it expresses the effect produced by an action, rather than the precise action itself. In fact, we might defy our opponents to produce a single lexicographer, of the least authority, who maintains that the word baptize means only one definitive act or end, much less that it means always and only to dip, plunge, or immerse the whole body or thing spoken of, under water or in any other element.— To say that it is sometimes employed in this sense, or that this is its primary import, amounts to nothing in the scale of evidence, as we have previously established.

VI. We proceed now to the translations of our opponents. Considerable pains have been taken by them to enlist the Greek Authors under their banners, for the purpose of aiding their cause. Five only of their most eminent and learned divines—Booth, Cox, Gale, Ryland, and Gibbs—notwithstanding their occasional opposition, and that of their brethren, to such a mode of reference, have cited numerous passages from different Greek writers to establish their position, that baptize means only to dip or plunge, and that they do not remember a passage where 'all other senses are not necessarily excluded.' —They have referred to nearly all the texts in the Septuagint, Apocrypha and New Testament, where the word occurs not in connection with the sacrament under immediate consideration.—That these gentlemen have not perverted the sense of their authorities to the prejudice of their cause, may be readily supposed—and what is the result ? That the word baptize, as employed by the ancient Greek poets, philosophers, historians, and divines, signifies only one and the same definitive action, and that to dip, plunge, or immerse? —Far from it.—The following list of translations presents the fruit of their laborious researches and philological acumen.—According to them it is used for

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Now, let it be put to the judgment of any sensible and unprejudiced person, whether a word which, according to our opponents' own showing, admits of so many different and even opposite explanations, can mean only one simple and specific action, and that to dip, plunge, or immerse in the manner of a modern baptism?—With those who could resist the force of this evidence, we would have no contention.

VII. By a cursory reference to the citations our opponents have made from Greek writings, for the express purpose of supporting their exclusive mode of baptism, we find that (omitting the Septuagint, Apocrypha, and New Testament) the following operations, conditions, or designs, are designated by the word baptize or baptism.

1. Staining a sword with blood or slaughter.

2. Daubing the face with paint.

3. Coloring the cheeks by intoxication.

4. Dyeing a lake with the blood of a frog,

5. Beating a person till red with his own blood,

6. Staining the hand by squeezing a substance.

7. Ornamenting clothes with a print, needle, or brush.

8. Imbuing a person with his thoughts, or justice.

9. Polluting the mind by fornication and sophistry.

10. Poisoning the heart with evil manners.

11. Involving a person in debt and difficulties.

12. Bringing ruin on a city by besieging it.

13. The natural tints of a bird or flower.

14. Plunging a sword into a viper or army.

15. Running a man through with a spear.

16. Sticking the feet of a flea in melted wax.

17. Quenching a flaming torch in water.

18. Seasoning hot iron by dipping it in cold water.

19. Plying the oars and rowing a vessel.

20. Dipping children into a cold bath.

21. Drowning persons in a lake, pond, or sea.

22. Sinking a ship, crew, and persons under water,

23. Sweetening hay with honey.

24. Soaking a herring in brine.

26. Steeping a stone in wine.

36. immersing one's self up to the middle, breasts, or bead.

27. Destroying ships in a harbor by a storm.

28. Filling a cup with honey.

29. Drawing water in a pitcher, or bucket.

30. Popping enpid into a cup of wine.

31. Poisoning arrows and presents like arrows.

32. Washing wool in or with water.

33. Cleansing the body wholly or partially.

34. Tinging the finger with blood.

35. Dipping birds or their bills in a river.

36. A dolphin ducking an ape.

37. The tide overflowing the land.

38. Pouring water on wood and garden plants.

39. Dyeing an article in a vat.

40. Throwing fish into cold water.

41. Dipping weapons of war in blood.

42. Overwhelming a ship with stones.

43. Oppressing or burdening the poor with taxes.

44. Overcome with sleep or calamity.

45. Destroying animals with a land flood.

Little comment is requisite on these allusions. It is clear as the light at noon, that the passages, which our opponents have selected from Greek authors as the best calculated to sustain their cause of exclusive dipping, have completely failed. That, so far from implying one, and only one, definite act, and that the total immersion of a person or thing, they express various and opposite actions, as applying the baptismal element to the object in the shape of painting, pouring, and overwhelming, as well as applying the object to the element in the form of a partial or total dipping.

VIII. But to proceed with this important branch of our discussion. We have no hesitation, then, in affirming, that had the passages cited by our learned opponents been fairly rendered, and the primary and proper design of the word given in all its various connections, without prejudice or partiality, the renderings would have been still more numerous and opposite—as a reference to the preceding catalogue of its connections will clearly evince. We shall submit the subsequent list of English words, as answering to the true import of the Greek verb baptize or the noun baptism, in the citations made by our respected brethren.


Supposing the preceding translations to be correct, and we fearlessly solicit investigation, we may appeal to any judicious and candid umpire, whether a word, which is capable of so many and such various renderings, can be consistently pleaded by our opponents as signifying always and only to dip—and whether the system they have adopted, and which rests, in the main, on such an exclusive construction of the term baptize, must not be destitute of a fair and solid foundation?

IX. But there are other passages in Greek writers, which our brethren have purposely or inadvertently overlooked— and where, in several instances, the sense of the word in question is, if possible, still more adverse to their conclusions.—Dr. Williams, Mr. C. Taylor, and the Rev. G. Ewing, have cited various authors, in order to prove, that the word does not signify always to dip ; but that it embraces many other modes of action. Without reading the passages at length, we shall, as before, give you their import in a few words.

1. Perfuming the head with precious ointment.

2. Injecting a force into the body.

3. Disguised by drinking too much wine.

4. Adorning the head with dress.

5. Dyeing the hair while on the head.

6. Pouring out broth.

7. Overcome by intemperance.

5. Staining a dog's mouth by eating a shell-fish.

9. Purifying at a small basin.

10. Sprinkling holy water.

11. Overwhelmed by calamity.

12 Tinging the body with various colors.

13. Filling the hand with flowing blood.

14. Embroidering a girdle with flowers.

Enough has now been said respecting the evidence derivable from Greek writers, as to the various meanings of the verb under consideration. And if, as Dr. Cox remarks, 'the signification of a Greek term is to be determined by the testimony of the best critics and lexicographers, in connection with the primitive and current uses by the most approved writers in the language; 'our opponents cannot support their position—that 'baptizo means always and only to dip.'

X. The deductions from this branch of our investigation are simple and easy:—1. That the word generally, if not exclusively, expresses an effect produced, rather than any precise mode of accomplishing it.—That to dye, stain, or impart a color or character to a person or thing, is its more ancient and prevailing import.—That when the action is discoverable, it is found to be various, up, down, forward, backward, and the like.—That our opponents have adduced no instance where it is used for the two-fold action of dipping and raising.—That the end proposed in the term may be effected by sprinkling or pouring, partial or total immersion, according to the circumstances of the case, and—That this point being established, the main support of our opponents' scheme has given way, and the others must speedily follow.

After this development of the various meanings of the word baptize, and which, one would suppose, must have been familiar to the mind of Mr. Booth, one should hardly have expected to read in his work the following sentence: —'Were the leading term of any human law to have ambiguity in it equal to that for which our brethren plead ' with regard to the word baptism, such law would certainly be considered as betraying either the weakness or wickedness of the legislator; and be condemned as opening a door to perpetual chicane and painful uncertainty. Far be it, then, from us to suppose that our gracious and omniscient Lord should give a law relating to divine worship, and obligatory on the most illiterate of his real disciples, which may be fairly construed to mean this, that, or the other action—a law which is calculated to excite and perpetuate contention among his wisest and sincerest followers—a law, in respect of its triple meaning, that would disgrace a British parliament, as being involved in the dark ambiguity of a pagan oracle.'

But, all this pious parade of language is in direct opposition to the most stubborn and incontrovertible facts—even facts which our opponents have largely and voluntarily adduced—facts which their own mouths have uttered and their own pens have transmitted to posterity.—This graph also proceeds on the principle of counseling the Almighty as to the degree of simplicity which should characterize his enactments—as if infinite wisdom could not best determine that point. It assumes, what we deny, that God intended dipping, and only dipping, to be the mode of operation which he designed to enforce by the term baptizo.— Conjoined with this presumption, is the inconclusive character of the reasoning—since it supposes, that when laws are enacted requiring some effect to be produced, not the least latitude of method is to be allowed in accomplishing it—or that the compliance required regards the minutia of forms as much as the intended results.—Or, to illustrate the absurdity of the position, when a law was made by queen Elizabeth, enjoining that all persons should repair to the parish church once every Lord's day, the parliament determined that the people were only to walk—or only to ride —or only to go through the queen's high-way—or only to wear such a dress—or proceed at such a pace!—Who does not discover the sophistry of Mr. Booth's argument? 

XI. We shall now proceed to examine the signification of the term baptize in the Greek translation of the Old Testament and in the Apocrypha, where it occurs twenty-six times—in four of which passages, the original word is baptizo, (2 Kings 5:14; Isaiah 21:4; Eccl. 43:25.) In the other twenty-two, it is simply bapto.—This enquiry is of considerable moment, as it will determine the sense in which the Hellenistic Jews understood it, and how it was applied by them in their ceremonial institutions. For it should be noted, that the Septuagint version was made by the Jews themselves about 277 years before the Christian era; and was in use among such of that nation as spoke the Greek language, till, during, and after, the time of our Lord's incarnation. To this translation the writers of the New Testament refer, and from it they frequently make their citations—employing the words of that version to convey a similar sense in their own inspired compositions. And here we are to look for the primitive ecclesiastical sense of the word baptize. And as the Apocryphal books, though non-canonical, and every way unsuitable to be read or circulated as the word of God, were written by Alexandrian Jews anterior to Christianity, and are calculated to elucidate the phraseology of the New Testament, they claim the frequent perusal of scholars and theological students, and will assist us in our subsequent enquiries on this subject. Dr. Pye Smith observes, that ' the proper authority for understanding the diction of the New Testament, is the Septuagint and Apocrypha, compared with the Hebrew text."—We feel no hesitation in saying, that the word baptize is here used to express different kinds of action and effect, as sprinkling, pouring, staining, washing, overwhelming, and partial, if not a total, dipping. But it is never employed for one person immersing another, nor for the two-fold action of dipping into water and raising someone out of it.

Before we come to the chief subject of investigation, it may be proper to premise—

i. That the original Hebrew words, translated into bapto or baptizo, are five, viz : Bahoth, Boah, Machats, Tsabang, and Tabal, and respectively mean—to affright—to come— to pierce—to dye—to cleanse.—The first three are thus translated once each—the fourth, three times—and the last, sixteen, in the Old Testament.

ii. That, in 2 Kings 5:10, 14, and Eccl. 34:25, baptizo and lavo, to wash, are used synonymously.

iii. That the English version has rendered them by the subjoined words: to affright—to color—to dip—to draw up—to dye—to plunge—to put—to wash—to wet.

Having made these preliminary remarks, we shall now examine the various places where the word in dispute occurs in the Septuagint and Apocrypha.

XII. The following are all the places where the term in question is found.—These passages we shall, for the sake of brevity, arrange and classify according to their aspect and connections. The separable prepositions will be modified to meet our views of the verb—for doing which, the most substantial reasons will be given hereafter.

i. In Lev. 4:6—4:17—9:9—14:16—the priest is commanded to baptize his finger in (or with) blood or oil contained in a basin, or in the palm of his left hand, and to sprinkle the blood, or oil adhering to it, on the altar, tabernacle, or before the Lord. It is evident, that whatever was the action here, the design was to wet the finger, so that some of the element should adhere sufficiently to admit of a subsequent aspersion. Total immersion was not essential nor intended—and, at least, in one instance (14:16) was impracticable. In the second and fourth cited passages, the preposition by which the word is, in a considerable degree, regulated, is apo, which our opponents contend (as will be shown hereafter) signifies out of. Consequently the texts, according to their rendering, would read thus:—'And the ' priest shall baptize his finger out of some of the blood,' and not into it—'and the priest shall baptize his right ' finger out of the oil that is in [the palm of] his left 'hand.' —Dipping, therefore, in these cases, is entirely out of the question—and, in the others, is exceedingly doubtful.

ii. In Exod. 12:22—Numb. 19:18—the people are commanded to take a bunch of hyssop and to baptize it in (or with) the blood or water that is in a basin or vessel, and to strike or sprinkle it. Here remarks, similar to the preceding, are appropriate. To saturate the bunch of hyssop with blood or water is the precise import of the word in this place. The manner of doing it being a matter of no consideration in the mind of the writer. Though the design might be affected by dipping, it could only be partial, as a portion of the hyssop was in the hand of the person, and not brought in contact with the adhering element. In the first passage apo is the governing preposition; and, according to the notions of our antagonists, should be read—'Ye 'shall take a bunch of hyssop, and baptize it out of the 'blood that is in the basin'—or pour the blood from the basin on the bunch of hyssop.

In Lev. 14:6-51—we read that a living bird, cedar wood, scarlet wool, and a bunch of hyssop, were to be baptized in (or with) the blood of a slain bird. Here you have only to consider, that the bird baptized was as large as the bird killed—and that this, with the cedar wood, scarlet wool, and the bunch of hyssop, were to be baptized in the blood of the slain bird.—Total immersion was, therefore, impracticable—and, if immersed at all, it could only be very partial, as a part of the things dipped were in the hand of the operator. It does not appear from the narrative, that the blood was mingled with the running water. It should seem, from the latter text, that the bird, wood, wool, and hyssop, were first baptized with blood and then with water.

iv. In Lev. 11:32, it is said, that a vessel, polluted by any unclean animal falling dead into it, was to be baptized in (or with) water for cleansing it. Now remark that this was a ceremonial purification; and without an explicit injunction, might be performed by sprinkling, as we learn elsewhere.—'And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it ' in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave. (num. 19:18.) Observe, also, that raiment, skins, sacks, or vessels of stone, brass, iron, used for any purpose, however large, or however pernicious a saturation with water would have been to it, were to be cleansed in the same manner. Sprinkling would injure none of them— would be convenient for the largest—and would answer every end the Legislator had in view. We therefore say, the vessels were merely rinsed or sprinkled by the proprietor.

v. In Deut. 33:24; Josh. 3:15; Psalm 68:23; it is said, 'Let him baptize his foot in (or with) oil.'— 'The feet of the priests were baptized in (or at) the brim of the Jordan .'—'That thy foot may be baptized in (or with) the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs. In these expressions it is evident that total immersion was not designed. Asher was to walk over a fat soil—the priests touched the edge of the water with their feet—and, the blood of David's enemies, was to splash his sandals, and to stain the tongue of his dogs. If there were any thing in the form of an immersion, it was very imperfect, and such as our opponents would deem very defective for even the feet of their converts.

vi. In Ruth 2:14; and 1 Sam. 14:27; we read of 'baptizing a sop in (or with) vinegar, and the end of a rod 'in (or with) an honeycomb.' Here the action, as we gather from the circumstances of the case, was dipping—but only partial, as the hand held part of the bread, and only the end of the rod touched the honeycomb. But, whatever was the incidental act, the intention was to moisten the bread and to secure a little of the honey. Hence, to wet and take up, are the fair and direct meanings of the term in these connections. Josephus says, Jonathan ' broke off a piece of ' a honeycomb, and ate part of it.’

Vii. In Judges 5:30, it is written, 'To Sisera a prey of baptized [attire], a prey of baptized [attire] of needlework—of baptized [attire] of needlework on both sides.' Here a garment is baptized by the needle—or embroidered by the application of figures in the form of modern tapestry. Here is nothing in the shape of dipping. To say, it was as if it were dipped, would only be a sophistry to overcome a stubborn fact.

vii. In 2 Kings 5:14, it is said, 'And Elisha sent a message to Naaman, saying, go and wash in (or at) the Jordan seven times, (v. 10.) And he baptized himself seven times in (or at) the Jordan. That this great and honorable man, (v. 1,)—this mighty general of the Syrian host, plunged himself from the river's bank seven times successively, when he was commanded only to wash, and that ceremonially, is exceedingly improbable. From the indications of his temper, recorded in the narrative, he was evidently not disposed to do more than the prophet required; and, that he did not, is plain—for he acted 'according to ' the saying of the man of God,' who commanded him simply to wash.—His disease was only local (v. 11), and only a local application of the water was necessary. How he was baptized we learn from Lev. 14:7, ‘And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy, seven times, and shall pronounce him clean.' This was the method God had appointed, and we can hardly suppose the prophet would have enjoined any other—at least, not till it is proved.

ix. In 2 Kings 8:15, it is written, 'He took a thick cloth ' and baptized it in (or with) water, and spread it on his face, so that he died.' Whether the cloth was wetted by dipping it into water, or by pouring water on it, is not certain—to pronounce either positively, would be begging the question. One thing, however, is plain, that the wetting of the cloth was the end intended by the term—the manner of accomplishing it, being an immaterial consideration.

x. In Job 9:31, it is said, 'Thou shalt baptize me in 'the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.' That he was not submersed in the mud, is palpable. He might be rolled in the mire till his clothes were polluted, and that is all intended by the figurative expression of the patriarch.

xi. In Isaiah 21:4, it is said,' My heart panted: fear fullness baptized me.' This passage is prophetic of Belshazzar's consternation and death, as recorded in Daniel 5:6, 10. He was overwhelmed with the wrath of heaven. —Lowth renders the passage, ' My heart is bewildered—'terrors have scared me.'—It is worthy of observation, that divine judgments are almost invariably represented by God's pouring out his wrath on the heads of his enemies.—See, for confirmation of this, Ps. 69:24; 76: 6—Is. 42:25 —Jer. 10:25 ; 14:16 — Lam. 2:4 —Ezek. 7:8 —Dan. 9:11, &c. &c.1—Hence this baptism was administered by the descent of the element on the object.

xii. In Ezek. 23:14, 15, it is written—'She saw men portrayed upon the wall, the image of the Chaldeans portrayed with Vermillion, girded with girdles upon their ' heads, exceeding in baptized attire upon their heads.'— Whether these head-dresses were dyed in a vat, or painted with a brush, as people lay on vermillion, or wrought with a needle, as ladies make their caps or embroider garments, as mentioned in Judges 5:30, we cannot determine.—Imparting a color or character in any of these ways, is evidently the design of the word in this place.

xiii. In Dan. 4:33; 5:21, it is said—'And his body ' was baptized with the dew of heaven.'—Nebuchadnezzar was not plunged into a reservoir of dew—it distilled gently or copiously upon him—or, in other words, he was wetted, more or less, with this nocturnal rain.—If the action be the thing we are considering, we have it in the clearest manner —and entirely adverse to our opponents' hypothesis and practice.—It is of importance to remark, that there are but two passages in the Septuagint and Apocrypha, out of two and-twenty, where the word bapto is applied to the human body or the whole person—and these both refer to the king of Babylon, who was wetted, or tinged, or baptized with the dew of heaven.

xiv. In Ecc. 31:26—'The furnace proveth the edge 'by baptizing.'—Here we gather from the circumstances of the case, that the instrument was dipped in the water to harden it. The intention of the passage, however, is to express the tempering of the tool; the manner of doing it being of no consideration.

xvi. We have now referred you to all the places in the Septuagint where the word baptize occurs A few observations have been made on each to place its import in a proper light.—From what has been said, it is apparent,

i. That the word almost invariably expresses the state in which a person or thing may be—no matter how it comes so —or an effect produced in some way or other—no matter what.

ii. That the effects said to be produced are various— wetting, ordinary cleansing, ceremonial purification, dyeing, polluting, overwhelming, hardening iron, and drawing water.

Hi. That these effects are produced by different modes of action—such as dipping into the element and applying the element to the object with a needle, by sprinkling, distilling upon it as dew, and by pouring.

iv. That the effect in many cases is only intended, becomes apparent from the fact, that it is dubious and undeterminable, without begging the question, what the action really was.—See Lev. 11:32—2 Kings 8:15.

v. That the word is no where used in the Septuagint or Apocrypha for one person dipping another—for an immersion followed by an immediate emersion—and not, without considerable straining, for a total dipping at all.

vi. Upon the whole, it is plain and demonstrated, from the preceding evidence, that the word has various meanings ; expressing effects produced by different and even opposite actions—and this is all we are now attempting to establish.

XIV. The general character of the term in debate, may be further developed by remarking that it is synonymous with the Latin verb, tingo, and the Hebrew verb, tubal. This position is admitted by our opponents. Mr. J. Stennett says,'that tingo and baptizo signify the same thing.' And Dr. Cox tells us, that' in the Septuagint, bapto is frequently 'introduced [16 times] as a translation of the Hebrew word tabal. Dr. Gill says 'tabal and bapto are of the same signification.' It is, therefore, only requisite to show that both the Latin and Hebrew words are of a generic character, to prove the assertion frequently made, that baptizo is generic also.—Passages might easily be cited to establish this point; but, for the sake of brevity, we shall, in imitation of our Baptist brethren, refer to lexicons.

We will begin with Tingo.—This word has a variety of significations ; and means, according to—

AINSWORTH, 1 To dye. 2 To color. 3 To stain. 4 To sprinkle. 5 To imbue (fill or permeate). 6 To wash. 7 To paint.

ADAMS , 1 To dip. 2 To immerse. 3 To moisten. 4 To tinge. 5 To stain. 6 To sprinkle. 7 To imbue. 8 To color. 9 To dye. 10 To paint.

HOLYORE, 1 To dye. 2 To color. 3 To dip in color. 4 To sprinkle. 5 To imbue. 6 To wash.

FACCIOLATUS, 1 To dip. 2 To immerse in any liquid. 3 To wet. 4 To moisten. 5 To bathe. 6 To stain. 7 To dye. 8 To color. 9 To paint. 10 To tinge. 11 To tincture.

We now come to Tabal, which is also of diversified application; and signifies, according to—

BUXTORF, 1 To tinge. 2 To intinge. 3 To plunge. 4 To immerse. 5 To infect.

CASTELL, 1 To tinge. 2 To intinge. 3 To dive. 4 To dip. 5 To baptize.

LEIGH, 1 To tinge. 2 To intinge. 3 To merge. 4 To immerge.

5 To plunge for the sake of tinging or washing.

PARRHURST, 1 To dip. 2 To Immerge. 3 To plunge. 4 To tinge. 5 To dye.

STOCRIUS, 1 To tinge. 2 To intinge. 3 To immerse. 4 To dip. 5 To baptize.

From this brief statement of definitions, it is palpable, that if baptizo is synonymous with tingo and tabal, its import must be of a very general nature, and such as precludes the possibility of our opponents maintaining their practice on the assumption that it signifies always and only to dip; —especially such a dipping as is performed by them, in what they call their pure apostolic baptism. Here it may be appropriate to remark, also, that the preceding references to the arrangement of definitions in the before-named Hebrew and Latin lexicons, corroborate an assertion made in our introduction, that the primary import of a term cannot always be ascertained from the arrangement of words in a dictionary—seeing, in the case before us, Ainsworth and Holyoke vary from Facciolatus and Adams—and Buxtorf, Castell, Leigh, and Stockius, from Parkhurst.

XV. We come now to notice the import of this word in the New Testament, on the precise nature of which, we are told, hinges in a great measure the whole of this controversy. The words baptize, baptism, and baptizer, occur about one hundred and twenty-four times in the New Testament.—The original term is bapto in the following texts: luke 16:24—John 13:26_rev. 19:13—in all the others it is baptizo.—In most cases it is not translated at all —when it is, the authors of our version have rendered it to 'dip or wash.'—The following places are all in which it is anglicized: Matt. 26:23—Mark 7:4, 8; 14:20— Luke 11:38; 16:24—John 13:26—Heb. 9:10—Rev. 19:13.—In these and the subjoined passages, the immediate allusion is not to the initiatory rite of scripture or Christian baptism: Matt. 20:22, 23—Mark 10:38, 39— Luke 12:51—1 Cor. 10:2.—Consequently the use of the word in these passages becomes a legitimate subject of enquiry—as, by ascertaining this, a light will be thrown over the object we are professedly examining.—We shall, as before, classify the texts according to their connection and aspect, and see if their applications are not various and opposite—the proof of which being the end we have immediately in view, as an evidence that the exclusive interpretation of our opponents is without foundation.

i. The word baptize is employed to express affliction in the following places: Matt. 20:22, 23—Mark 10:38, 39 —Luke 12:50—'Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with, &c? I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished !' Here we may observe that affliction and misery are the principal meanings of the word in question, and not any specific manner of its infliction. The cup or its contents, which were to be drank, and baptism, are evidently used synonymously, to represent distress.—(Compare Ps. 11:6; 75:8—Is. 51:17, 22—Zech. 12:2—Matt. 26:39—Rev. 16:19, &c.)—The almost invariable mode of expression in the Old Testament, and the exclusive one in the New, in reference to punishment from God on account of sin, represent it as being poured out upon the guilty; and, like every good and perfect gift, as coming down from heaven. (See Ps. 69:24; 79:6—Jer. 10:25—Ezek. 7:8; 21:31 —Hos. 5:10— rev. 14:10; 16:1, 2, &c.)— Lastly, the sufferings of our Lord were not in the shape of dipping or drowning, but of a crucifixion, in which he was baptized with his own blood, streaming from his sacred wounds and dyeing his immaculate body. Here the mode is pouring or applying the element to the object.

ii. In Matt. 26:23—Mark 14:20—Luke 16:24 john 13:26 — are the following expressions: — 'He that baptizeth his hand with me in the dish.—One of the twelve that baptizeth with me in the dish.—Send Lazarus, that he may baptize the tip of his finger in (or with) water, and cool my tongue.—He it is to whom I shall give the sop when I have baptized it; and when he had baptized the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot.'—In these citations, we have baptizing in a dish—baptizing the hand in a dish and baptizing the sop—meaning, also, in the dish.—The other passage is baptizing the top of the linger in water indefinitely.—In three of the above passages the word is embapto; and, in the other, the force of the like inseparable preposition may be fairly supplied—leaving the precise sense of the simple verb bapto indeterminate.—Here we remark,

1. That even this compounded word is employed for a partial dipping only—since all the body was not in the dish —nor all the hand—nor, in fact, all the sop.—2. That the moistening of the bread and wetting of the finger are the ultimate intentions of the several expressions, and not the precise mode of doing it;—3. That the smallest species of action is here designated baptism. Therefore, when Mr. Fuller says,'in all the applications of the term in the New Testament, I believe it will be found to contain the idea of plenitude or abundance' '—he must have overlooked the preceding passages, especially that respecting the tip of the finger.

iii. In Mark 7:4, 8—Luke 11:38—Heb. 6:2; 9:10—it is written—'And when they come from the market, except they baptize, they eat not.—The baptizing of cups and pots, brazen vessels and tables, or couches.—The baptizing of cups and pots.—The Pharisee marveled that he had not baptized before dinner.—The doctrine of baptisms.—Who stood in meats and drinks and divers baptisms.'—As these passages will be particularly considered hereafter, but few remarks are requisite here.

1. That they all refer exclusively to ceremonial purifications. The only one which could be considered otherwise, is Luke 11:38.—But, as we cannot suppose that our Lord would sit down to meat with natural dirt on his person, we must infer this to be of a similar description.—2. That the modes of Jewish purifications were diverse, as a person bathing or washing himself and his apparel, and the priest or a clean person pouring or sprinkling the cleansing element on him; which last was the only act analogous to a Jewish baptism, as will be proved hereafter.—3. That we cannot suppose, notwithstanding all our opponents have advanced, that the Pharisees and all the Jews plunged themselves entirely under water every time they came from the market with a pennyworth of vegetables, nor dipped their tables or couches absolutely under water, in order ceremonially to purify them.—4. That washing their hands is called washing themselves—and that nipto is synonymous with baptizo. In all these passages, the direct import of the word is to cleanse—the manner of effecting it being accidental and unimportant.

4. In 1 Cor. 10:2—Rev. 19:13—'And were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.—And he was clothed with a vesture baptized in (or with) blood.'—Let it be briefly noted, that the Israelites were not literally plunged into Moses nor into the sea—for they passed through on dry land, (Ex. 14:22, 29;) and, if baptized with water at all, it must have been by the clouds, which poured out rain upon them, (Ps. 77:16-20;) and the Son of God had not his vesture dyed in a vat of blood, but it was splashed with the streaming gore of his expiring victims. This text may be illustrated by Is. 63:2, 3— 'Their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.'

From this concise exposition of these passages—most of which will be more fully discussed in the sequel, it is manifest that the word baptize is employed in the New Testament for partial dipping, overwhelming, washing, coloring, pouring, and sprinkling—to establish which is the only thing we are here attempting.

XVI. We shall now proceed to notice several Miscellaneous Proofs of the equity of our position. The best way to ascertain the varied use of this word in the New Testament is, in imitation of our respected opponents, to translate it in different places by one and the same word.— And as our brethren have frequently rendered it to plunge, and have often designated their baptism plunging—and as this term is not much hackneyed, and conveys a precise and definite idea to the mind, we shall translate it in a few places by the verb to plunge..—This method will answer two purposes—it will attest the different acceptations of the disputed word, and show that the act of dipping or plunging is incompatible with its force in almost every place and connection.

Matt. 3:1. 'In those days came John the Baptist, preaching In the wilderness.'

7. 'Many of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to his plunging.'  

11. 'I Indeed plunge you with [or into] water. He shall plunge you with [or into] the Holy Ghost, and with [or into] fire'

20:22. 'Are ye able to be plunged with the plunging that I am plunged with.'

26:23. 'He that pIungeth with me in the dish.'

28:19. 'Teach all nations, plunging them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.'

Mark 1:4. 'John did plunge in the wilderness, and preach the pIunging of repentance.'

Mark 7:4. 'When they come from the market, they eat not, except they plunge.

'The plunging of caps and pots, brazen vessels and tables.'

16:16. 'He that believeth and is plunged, shall be saved.'

Luke 3:3. 'Preaching the plunging of repentance for the remission of sins.'

Luke 7:29. ‘And all the people justified God, being plunged with the plunging of

Luke 11:38. 'When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he was not plunged before dinner.'

Luke 16:24.  ‘Send Lazarus, that he may plunge the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue.'

John 1:31. 'Therefore I came plunging with [or into] water.'

John 4:1. ’Jesus made and plunged more disciples than John.'

John 10:40. ‘He went again beyond Jordan , where John at first plunged, and there abode.'

John 13:26. 'He it is to whom I shall give the sop, when I have plunged it.'

Acts 1:5. 'John plunged with [or into] water; but ye shall be plunged with [or into] the Holy Ghost.'

Acts 8:12. 'And they were plunged, both men and women.'

Acts 16:15. ' Lydia , when she was plunged, and her household.'

Acts 19:3. ‘Unto what, then, were ye plunged? and they said unto John's plunging.’

Rom. 6:3. 'As many as were plunged into Jesus Christ, were plunged into his death.'

Rom. 6:4. ' We are buried with him by plunging into death.'

1 Cor. 10:2. ‘And were all plunged into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.'

1 Cor. 12:13. ‘And by one spirit were all plunged into one body.'

Heb. 9:10. ‘Who stood in meats and drinks and divers plunging’.'

 Rev. 19:13. 'And he was clothed with a vesture plunged in blood.'

It must instantly strike even the most superficial observer, on hearing the preceding texts and renderings—1. That the notion of dipping, plunging, or immersing, in all of them, is inconsistent with propriety—and, in some, makes absolute nonsense.—2. That the radical, primary, and proper meaning of the term, is some effect produced in the form of sanctifying, wetting, cleansing, and coloring—and not the mode of its accomplishment.—3. That no word, but one of a generic nature, is adequate to express the ultimate and full design of the verb baptizo in connection with Christian baptism—as purifying, consecrating, initiating, or the like —4. That it cannot be inferred, without begging the question, that it is ever expressive of a total immersion— of one person dipping another—or of the two-fold action— sinking and raising.—5. That the position of our opponents, respecting its meaning 'always and only to dip,' is unfounded—as we have demonstrated in our preceding remarks.—6. That if the sense of this word be the main branch of our dispute—as we are told—the cause of our brethren stands on a very defective foundation.

XVII. What our opponents say, respecting the supposed more suitable use of the words clieo and rhantizo, had pouring and sprinkling been the modes intended by our Lord, amounts to mere nothing. For, had these verbs been employed, our good friends would probably have ransacked Greek authors, and discovered that, in a figurative or metaphorical sense, they meant to wet all over—and would have pronounced the action overwhelming, bathing, or washing—nor would that inconsistency have been greater than we find in their reasoning’s and declarations under present circumstances—as what we have adduced, and shall yet bring forward—must convince you. It is palpable beyond mistake, that the word baptize is employed to express effects produced by pouring and sprinkling—or, in more general terms, for applying the element to the object. Hence it answers our end as effectually as cheo and rhantizo. Besides, might not our opponents be asked in return—if the sacred writers understood baptism to mean a total dipping, why did they not employ words to express it unequivocally declarative of such a state or operation? Had bulhizo, dunu, dupto, epikluzo,pluno, or pontizo, been used, we might have considered the objections of our brethren more specious and tenable—and, when they have fairly answered our question, which completely neutralizes theirs, we shall consider that proposed by them, of sufficient importance to require a little attention—and not before.

XVIII. Here we will cite a paragraph from a learned divine, tending, indirectly, to corroborate our sense of the rite in dispute.—'Although the word baptize, which is a Greek word, occurs in the original text of the New Testament, it is not the word which must have been originally applied to the ordinance, which we are now to consider. 'The language spoken in Judea , at the time of our Savior’s ' incarnation, was called Hebrew, and was, in fact, a mixed ' dialect of Syriac and Chaldee. The Syriac translation of the New Testament is generally allowed to be the most ancient, which is extant, and is supposed to have been made in the first century. In this translation, all the words 'used for baptizing, baptism, and baptist, are taken from the Hebrew word Homad, which signifies,"to stand, continue, subsist—to cause or make to stand—to support as 'by a pillar—to set or raise up—to place, present, or establish," &c. It is the same word, also, which is used for baptism in the Arabic version. This word is, certainly, worthy of particular attention in the present enquiry, because, in the Syro-Chaldaic dialect, it was in all probability the very word originally used by John the Baptist, as the name of the new ordinance which he administered, when he came to prepare the way of the Lord—the very word used by the messengers from Jerusalem, when they asked his reason for dispensing this new ordinance, saying, why baptizest thou'? It is the very word used by Jesus when he gave the 'apostolic commission—the very word used by the apostles ' and evangelists, as long, at least, as they preached and ' baptized in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria ." The writer then proceeds to illustrate this term, and supposes that there is a reference to setting up of pillars, as Jacob's, which he anointed (gen. 28:18), and, as Solomon's, in the porch of the temple (1 Kings 7:15-22.) The church is called the pillar and ground of the truth, (1 Tim. 3:15;) and the saints shall be pillars in the temple of God for ever, (rev. 3:12.) This allusion would represent the baptized as standing, and being anointed in that position. It also explains the import of the expression,' arise and be baptized;' (acts 9:18; 22:16;) and gives an energy to the passage, 'for God is able to make his servants stand,' (rom. 14:4.) The idea of immersion is entirely excluded by this exposition. Let our opponents impugn this reasoning if they can.

XIX. The position we are advocating will be further confirmed, by examining the various expressions our opponents employ to represent this initiatory sacrament.

i. The baptistery they denominate—

'Blessed pool.' 'Swelling flood.' ' Crystal stream.'

“Sacred wave.' 'Liquid grave.' 'Mystic flood.'

'Holy laver.' 'Watery tomb,' 'Sacred stream.'

ii. The element is designated—

'Blood.' 'Tears.' 'Sweat.' 'Water.'

iii. The ceremony is pronounced emblematical of—

'Renovating grace.' ' Cleansing.' 'Passion.' 'Victory.'
'The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.'
'The dreadful abyss of divine justice.'

iv. The action is called—

'Bathing.' 'Interring and raising."

'Burying and raising.' 'Entombing and raising.'

' Cleansing.' 'Overwhelming.'

'Descending and rising.' ' Plunging.'

' Dipping.' ‘Planting.'

'Immersing and raising.' ' Washing.'

It need hardly be observed, that the above nomenclature is almost exclusively modern, and made, no doubt, for the purpose of giving variety and beauty to a scheme otherwise destitute of even nominal charms and attractions. But, as the notion is the only thing we are professedly investigating, we shall confine our remarks to the terms employed to designate that. Let the question, then, be proposed to our opponents—whether the words and phrases last recited express precisely and exclusively one and the same action? As they certainly do not, this constant use of different and even opposite terms to express one simple and unvarying act, is injudicious, and calculated to mislead the unwary hearer or reader. Let another question be proposed—do all these terms singly exhibit the baptism of our brethren? If this be the case, one would imagine that their modes must be unaccountably diverse from each other—or that the terms must mean exactly the same thing. Now, what we contend is, that the method of our respected friends is precisely and universally simple and the same—and that the words and phrases here used to set it forth, are widely different in meaning. Nor have we any hesitation in saying, that such loose and vague phraseology is employed to blind the eyes of the people, and to baffle the inexperienced disputant, while contending for the various significations of the verb in dispute.

XX. We shall, therefore, briefly examine the various terms used to express the first act of baptism—and prove that they materially differ from each other—and, neither singly nor collectively represent the action of modern immersion, as practiced by the Baptists. Bathing, according to Johnson, means, 'to wash as in a bath—to supple or soften by the outward application of warm liquors—to wash any thing.' This word does not determine whether the person bathes himself, or is bathed by another—whether the person is applied to the water, or the water to the person—nor whether, if one be dipped, he is pulled out of the bath by another person. It is, therefore, a very inadequate term to express our opponents' baptism, Burying, means 'to inter—to put into a grave—to inter 'with the rites and ceremonies of sepulcher—to conceal, 'to hide—to place one thing within another.'—This term and modern baptism disagree in two very material points. —In burial, earth is poured on the body, which is not then raised again.—In immersion, water is not poured on the body, and it is immediately raised out of the element. Cleansing, means 'to free from filth or dirt, by washing ' or rubbing—to purify from guilt—to free from noxious 'humours by purgation—to free from leprosy—to scour,' —to rid of all offensive things.'—This word is inadequate to represent the mode of our opponents—as it does not convey the notion of dipping at all—and expresses the idea of purification, by rubbing or scouring—acts not known to modern immersion. Descending, signifies ' to go downwards—to come from a ' higher place to a lower—to fall—to sink.' This word is defective in three things. As the person descends himself, and is not carried down by another does not determine whether the person descends in over his shoes or, his head— Dipping, means 'to immerge—to put into any liquid—to 'moisten—to wet.' This word does not determine whether any thing dipped is totally or partially immersed—nor does it express the second significant act of baptism, rising again.  

Editor's Note: They claim that we must be rigid with the meaning of Baptizo, which they claim can only mean to place under the water... yet the word never means to take out of the water. If we are consistent with this argument, one must remain under water in order to be baptizo (baptized). There is no Biblical warrant to take anyone up from the water, for no instruction or "Greek" word instructs us to do so! They have no Scriptural warrant! Such is the logical conclusion of their own argument!  

Entombing, means 'to put into a tomb—to bury.' This term does not express the idea of lowering the body into a grave—nor does it convey the notion of a resurrection—both of which are essential to represent our opponents' baptism.

Immersing, means 'to put under water—to sink—or cover 'deep.' 'This word, like some of the preceding, is defective, by not proving whether the person immerses himself; or is immersed by another—nor does it intimate that there must be a subsequent emersion.

Interring, is 'to cover under ground—to bury—to cover 'with earth.' This term, like entombing and burying, is a very incorrect appellation of modern baptism, as, among other discrepancies, it says nothing of an mysterious resurrection—which is significant in the rite of our opponents.

Overwhelming, is' to crush underneath something violent ' and weighty—to overlook gloomily.' This word is the very reverse of dipping—since we are not overwhelmed by lowering our bodies, but by the falling of superincumbent matter, or by too heavy a load on our shoulders.

Planting, means 'to put into the ground—to set—to cultivate—to fix. Planting a tree, or engrafting a scion, is a very different act from sowing seeds. To plant implies, at most, but a partial immersion, and excludes the idea of emersion.

Plunging, means 'to put suddenly under water—to put ' into any state suddenly—to hurry into any distress—to 'force in suddenly.' This word is defective, in not stating whether the person plunged is raised again—nor, in fact, whether there is an entire submersion. Washing, is 'to cleanse by ablution—to moisten—to wet, 'as rain washes the flowers, and the sea washes many 'islands—to affect by ablution.' This word does not specify any precise act of cleansing. We wash our feet by dipping—our hands at a pump by pouring—and our face by raising water to it.—' Washing,' says Mr. Maclean, 'is a general word, and includes various modes.' —When Dr. Gill says,' there is no proper washing but by dipping,' he contradicts the most palpable fact. How is a new-born child washed?— (ezek. 16:4.)—And how was Ahab's chariot washed in the pool in Samaria?— (1 Kings 22:28.)—How did Mary wash the Savior’s feet?—(luke 7:30.)—The same writer gravely tells us,' there can be no dipping without washing!'—so that we wash our pen whenever we dip it into the ink!

XXI. From this brief exposition of the English terms, employed by our opponents to represent their mode of baptism, we gather that their forms are various—that the words are of one precise import—or that they employ a phraseology calculated to mislead the unwary reader. We have twelve verbs to designate one simple action—neither of which represents their practice fairly and fully—nor are ten of them confessedly ever used in scripture for baptism —while the other two, burying and washing, are of doubtful disputation, the former, as to its application, and the latter, as to its sense. But they not only talk of' bathing, burying, &c.' We have, also,' raising, rising, emerging, ascending, &c.' as included in the verb baptizo. Taking out of the water is done by our brethren as a necessary consequence of putting into it. They have, however, produced no authority from all their researches for considering it an inherent part of the verb—which, at most, speaks only of putting into the water, but never conveys the idea of taking out again. One of their writers goes even further, and makes a three-fold action in baptism. He says, it' consists in immersion into the water, abiding under the water, and a resurrection out of the water." But in what author, sacred or profane, is the word thus employed? They can exhibit no such triple use attached to it in the whole compass of Grecian literature. Nor can our good friends discover in the Bible the word employed for one person dipping another. The only instance they pretend to have found, even in heathen writings, is the following, which Dr. Cox pronounces a decisive evidence in their favor:—' Certain 'Greeks, having enticed Aristobulus into a pool, where, under pretence of play, immersing or putting him under water, they did not desist till they had quite suffocated him.' Poor Aristobulus was drowned!—a lucid case in favor of our opponents' scheme! A similar instance occurred about twenty years ago on the river Hudson , in America. A minister baptizing a female, and letting her slip out of his hands, she drifted under the ice, was suffocated, and seen no more. This is equally decisive evidence in favor of our opponents.

The employment of terms as synonymous, which are in themselves dissimilar, does not arise from their want of penetration—for, when it serves their purpose, they can discriminate as well as ourselves. You have seen that they employ burying and washing as equally expressive of the simple act of baptizing—and yet the last mentioned author says, ' it would be putting Mr. Ewing upon a most perplexing ' search to require him to produce any passage in Hebrew or Greek antiquity, where washing means to bury.' They repeatedly assure us, that to baptize means only and always to dip or plunge. And the most laborious investigator of the philology of the question says, 'I do not remember a passage where all other senses are not necessarily excluded besides dipping.'  Consequently the word should express one simple act, namely—to dip. Hence, to talk of bathing, burying, descending, entombing, immersing, interring, overwhelming, planting, plunging, and washing; raising, rising, emerging, ascending, and the like, is superfluous, and calculated only to deceive the inexperienced auditor. Yet another of their writers, more ingenious than Dr. Gale, tells us, 'there is no one word in the English language which ' is an exact counterpart to the Greek word baptizo.' But this point, with numerous others of a similar description, we shall leave to our opponents, hoping they will settle it among themselves.

XXII. We, however, have not quite done with this part of our subject. The impropriety of such a diversified designation of their mode of baptism will be further apparent by bringing the terms to the test. This will prove that words are employed to represent the rites in question, which are quite incongruous with the notions generally entertained of baptism. Suppose, then, that some Baptist minister, about to have a dozen ladies added to his church by the solemn rite in debate, were to put the following notice into the hand of his clerk:—'You will be pleased to take ' notice, that on Wednesday evening next, at six o'clock, the Rev. Mr. Addington will bathe Mrs. Button, bury Mrs. Bennett, cleanse Mrs. Cooper, dip Mrs. Dore, descend' Mrs. Day, entomb Mrs. Edwards, immerse Mrs. O’Leary, ' inter Mrs. Jones, overwhelm Mrs. Orton, plant Mrs. Popjoy, plunge Mrs. Piper, and wash Mrs. Waters. The attendance of friends, to witness the ceremony, is earnestly requested'—would not most of the audience wonder what the good man in the pulpit was about to do? The following dialogue seems to accord with the occasion:—

A. ' Pray, sir, can you tell me what the minister is going ' to do to the women, next Wednesday ? It is a very odd 'notice.'

B. 'O dear, sir, he is only going to baptize the ladies.

A. ‘Only baptize them! What is the use of talking about 'burying, bathing, cleansing, washing, &c.'

B. ' Why, perhaps, you may not know it—but these 'words are all one in the Greek.'

A. ' Nonsense! Why not simply say baptize them ? What a foolish parade of terms!'

B. 'Our good minister knows better than we do, and no 'doubt it is all very proper.'

XXIII. We have now gone through all the evidence adduced by our opponents, to maintain their practice from the meaning of the word baptize. The points we have been laboring to establish, are—1. That this word, which is pronounced ‘the main branch of our dispute,' has various applications, and includes actions as opposite to each other as pouring, sprinkling, and overwhelming, are to sinking, plunging, and drowning.—2. That the primary import of the word, is not the act of dipping, or immersing, but the effect of some action, such as giving a color, distressing, wetting, destroying, consecrating, purifying, and the like ; the manner in which this is done being often various and incidental.—3. That if the primary meaning were absolutely to dip or plunge, we have no evidence that the apostles used it in this primary sense, while speaking of Christian baptism.—4. That our opponents have discovered no instance where it is employed for the two-fold operation of dipping and raising—nor a text in the Septuagint, Apocrypha, or New Testament, where it is used for one person dipping another.—5. That they have used many different and opposite terms to represent their own rite—which, while it sanctions our position, shows the weakness of our opponents', when attempting to establish their exclusive scheme from the supposed import of the word in question. And—6. That our brethren cannot maintain their cause, from the sense of this term, and, consequently, not at all. Some apology may be requisite for dwelling so long on this part of our discourse. For, to use the words of Dr. Gale,' a ' thing of this nature, and so evident, did not, indeed, need ' to have been so largely treated as it has already been—but ' the unaccountable tenacity of our antagonists, have made 'it necessary to be very particular.'



The arguments which our esteemed brethren found on the use of Greek prepositions are really so weak and frivolous, that they hardly merit a reply. Yet, as they are employed with overwhelming effect upon the unskillful and ignorant audience, it will be proper to pay them some little attention. The words alluded to are the following:— Apo , Eis, Ek, En. These are used in connection with the term baptize, and are supposed to determine its sense exclusively in favor of dipping. The subsequent texts are the most material:—

Matt. 3:6. 'And were all baptized of him (en) in Jordan.'

16. ' When he was baptized he went up straightway (apo) out of the water.'

Acts 8:38. ' And they went down both of them (eis) into the water.' 39. ' And when they were come up (ek) out of the water.'

These passages are cited with a vast deal of triumph by our opponents, as demonstrative proofs that Christ and the Eunuch, and, consequently, all other persons, baptized by John and the apostles, were absolutely plunged ‘over head and ears' in the water—and that John, while baptizing, actually stood ever so deep in the river or fountain to perform this rite. To prove that these deductions are unwarranted, we shall offer a few observations, to which your serious attention is respectfully solicited.

I. From what has been previously advanced, it appears that our opponents consider the verb baptize alone as signifying to immerse under water, and as warranting an emersion correspondent with the immersion. And yet they interpret the prepositions in question, when conjoined with the verb baptize, as meaning into and out of additionally— making, in fact, a double dipping and a double raising. According to their notions, the verb means to dip into, and the particle added is also into—so as to place the person or thing under the element. The verb means to raise out of, and the particle out of is also added. This, at least, makes a tautology—especially if both terms are applied to the action. Now, either the word baptize alone does not necessarily convey the idea of absolutely putting a person under the water, and of taking him out again, or the prepositions into and out of are useless and cumbersome appendages. To be consistent, our friends must give up this active sense in one or the other—and we presume, that, to be correct, must sacrifice their usual applications of both. That the verb baptizo does not of necessity, or through any inherent power, convey the sense of total immersion we have already established—and probably shall find little difficulty in maintaining that the dipping system can acquire no support from the use of the before-mentioned Greek prepositions.

II. After giving these words all the force which our opponents can possibly attach to them, it by no means follows that the persons said to be baptized were totally submersed. John was baptizing in Jordan , (matt. 3:6.) in the river of Jordan, (mark 1:5,) and in Enon, (john 3:23.) But might he not have been in the water without being under it? And might not his converts have been in the river or fountain without having been absolutely submersed? Is it imagined that John and Philip, who are said to have been in the water, were themselves under water? Might not a person stand in the water, in order to perform some act, such, if you please, as pouring some of it on another's head, without going entirely under? And might not this other person stand there to receive this affusion without being completely immersed? Christ is said to have come up out of the water—and Philip and the Eunuch are said to have gone down into the water, and to have come up out of it; but do these declarations vouch for the total submersion of any of them? Is it ungrammatical to say, we went down into the water, and then we came up out of the water, unless we have been 'over head and ears' in the water? When a person 'looseth his ox or his ass from the stall, and leadeth him 'away to watering,' (luke 13:15,) and causeth him to go into the pond or river to drink, doth he submerse him, or put him entirely under water? Our opponents admit that persons may go to their necks in water, and yet not be baptized—that is, be not entirely immersed. So that John and Philip might have been in the water to administer baptism, and Christ and the Eunuch might have stood in it to receive baptism, and after all might not have been more than knee or ankle deep. Hence the hypothesis erected on the passages previously cited is without foundation. It is all surmise and conjecture—and our opponents, who talk so largely about building their scheme on plain precepts or apostolic examples, without the process of inferential argumentation, are here laboring to establish their system on a vague and improbable supposition. It is said,' the children 'of Israel went into the midst of the sea,' (Ex. 14:22,) 'and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the 'sea,' (1 Cor. 10:2,) while they were absolutely on dry land in the channel of the departed waters. The Psalmist says, 'they that go down into the sea in ships, and do business in great waters, (psalm 107:23;) but did they go absolutely under water, and transact their concerns in the bowels of the deep? In 2 Kings, 6:4, it is said, 'the sons of the prophets came (eis) into Jordan to cut wood, but surely they did not go under the water of the river to fell timber.

III. We, however, contend that our Baptist brethren cannot adduce the least substantial evidence that John, our Lord, Philip, or the Eunuch, or any other person mentioned in scripture as baptizing or baptized, went into the water at all—at least they cannot prove it from the before-named prepositions. When it is said John was baptizing in Jordan and in Enon, we have no data for concluding that he was doing any thing beyond baptizing at those places, or under the waters found there—the word en, as we shall presently prove, meaning at, on, or with, as well as in. When our blessed Lord is said to have come up out of the water, the terms assure us of nothing more than that he came up from the edge or brim of the river—the legitimate meaning of the word apo being properly from. So when Philip and the Eunuch are said to have gone down into the water, and to have come up out of the water, we can gather nothing more than that they went down to the water, and came up from the water—the prepositions eis and ek signifying, chiefly, to and from. Should our opponents reply that the sense they give the words in dispute, is their radical, primary, and proper meaning, we might contend, first, that this requires proof, the production of which we earnestly solicit. And, secondly, if it were true, they must demonstrate that the inspired penmen have employed them in the preceding passages in their radical, primary, and proper meaning. This they have not done, and are unable to do. As they are used in various senses, it would puzzle them to verify the precise import they have attached to them in the places under consideration. In fact, all that they have affected, is boldly asserting the strength of their position— which is effectually neutralized by a fiat denial.

IV. As the case now stands, our opponents can derive no advantage to their cause from the terms under review, unless they can establish the assumption that they have each only one simple and definitive meaning throughout the New Testament, and that precisely the same as they attach to them in this controversy. If they cannot establish this, they can do nothing in favor of their exclusive system of immersion. And if we can prove the use of them respectively in different senses, we shall go far in effecting our immediate object, which is to show the invalidity of their arguments in defense of their exclusive practice.

In attempting this, we shall first refer to Schleusner's celebrated Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. In this work we are told that apo has twenty distinct senses—eis, twenty-six—ek, twenty-four—and en, thirty-six. Now, had these words one simple and unvarying import each—apo, being always and only out of—eis, exclusively into—ek, nothing more or less than out of—and en, totally submerged— what must we think of the intolerable puerility of a man who gravely asserts they have so many? We shall next refer you to the authorized version of the scriptures, wherein we learn, from a personal examination, that the translators have rendered them in the New Testament by various English terms or expressions. They have translated apo by twenty-four vernacular terms—eis, by thirty-six—ek, by twenty-three—and en, by thirty two. Let us now ask any unprejudiced persons, and particularly our opponents, who lay such stress on the common translation of the Bible, whether words, capable of so many versions, can be only of one precise and definite meaning each? And whether a communion must not be hard pushed for substantial evidence to support their cause, before they would lay the smallest emphasis upon such weak and dubitable assumptions?—Particularly so, after one of their most respectable writers has acknowledged that' eis is sometimes used in different senses'—that' en is [but] equally decisive'—and, we assume, that ek is no more. Having cited several instances involving the preposition apo, best adapted to uphold his notions, he subjoins, it might be rendered 'from in most of these passages.' Mr. Gibbs remarks, 'that the prepositions eis and ek do, in some instances, mean 'to and from, no one will deny."

V. But our argument admits of a still further and more convincing elucidation. We find, from a careful investigation of the point in dispute, that, in our version of the New Testament, the translators have rendered Apo, from, three hundred and seventy-four times—Eis, to or unto, five hundred and thirty-eight times—Ek, from, one hundred and eighty-six times—and, En, at, on, or with, (i.e. the water,) three hundred and thirteen times. The deduction from these premises is easy and disastrous to our opponents' system. When it is said our Lord came up out of the water, we learn no more than that he came up from the water, apo being properly from, and, as Dr. Ryland intimates, might be nearly always thus rendered. When it is said the Deacon and Eunuch went down into the water, we can fairly gather no more than that they went to or unto the water, eis being properly translated to or unto—and when it is added, they came up out of the water, it does not prove any more than that it was from the water's edge—for, if eis in this connection is employed for going to the water, ek can only mean coming back from it. And when it is said that John baptized in Jordan and in Enon, we are not obliged to conclude that he did more than stand by the side of the water and apply the element to the people in the form of sprinkling or pouring. Let our opponents prove otherwise, if they can—if not, the admission of our interpretations surrenders the main prop of immersion in the judgment of its more illiterate advocates.

VI. Our position will become still more evident by adopting the practice of our opponents, and by bringing the prepositions to the test—which may be done by translating several passages where they occur with the constructions our Baptist friends put upon them. This will be found, in many cases, to make absolute nonsense. We have tried the experiment in more than a "hundred places, and discovered the issue to be perfectly conclusive. All we can do at present is to cite a few texts, involving each preposition, as examples of multitudes more.

i. We shall begin with Apo , and render it out of.

Matt. 3:7. '0 generation of vipers! who hath warned you to flee out of the wrath to come.'

Matt. 3:23. 'Depart out of me, ye workers of iniquity.'

Matt. 21:43. 'The kingdom of heaven shall be taken out of you.'

Matt.27:42. 'Let him now come down out of the cross.'

Luke 1:38. 'And the angel departed out of her.'

Luke 9:5. 'Shake off the very dust out of your feet.'

ii. We shall proceed to Eis, and render it into.

Matt. 3:11. 'I baptize you with water into repentance.'

Matt. 12:18. 'Behold my servant, into whom I am well pleased.'

Matt. 12:41. 'Because they repented into the preaching of Jonah.'

Matt. 15:42. ‘I am sent but into the lost sheep.'

Matt. 18:29. 'And his fellow-servant fell down into his feet.'

John 9:7. 'Go, wash into the pool of Siloam.'

iii. We come to Ek, and shall translate it out of.

Matt. 12:33. 'For the tree is known out of his fruit.'

Matt. 20:2. 'He agreed with the labourers out of a penny a day.'

Matt. 21:25. 'The baptism of John, whence was it, out o/heaven or out of men?'

John 13:14. 'He riseth out of supper, and laid aside his garments.'

Acts 10:1. 'A centurion out o/the band called the Italian band.'

Rev. 9:21. ‘Neither repented they out of their murders, nor out of their sorceries, nor out of their fornications, nor out of their thefts.'

iv. We shall conclude with En, and render it in.

Matt. 5:34,86. 'Swear not at all, neither in heaven nor in thy head.'

Matt. 22:40. 'In these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'

Matt. 26:52. 'They that take the sword shall perish in the sword.'

Mark 1:23. 'There was in the synagogue a man in an unclean spirit.'

Heb. 9:25. 'The High Priest entereth into the holy place in the blood.'

1 John 5:6. 'He came not in water only, but in water and blood.'

We need hardly say, that every passage here translated according to our opponents' constructions, makes downright nonsense; and this will appear still more glaring, if you take into the account that by in and into, they must mean over head and ears; and by out of, an ascending from a state of total immersion.

VII. But the versatile character of these prepositions, and the futility of our opponents' assumption, will become still more palpable, by showing that these very prepositions are employed interchangeably, as well as indiscriminately with others, to be mentioned hereafter. A few examples will sufficiently illustrate our position.

i. Apo , which they contend must be absolutely out of, is so connected with the verb baptize, as to render submersion impracticable.

Ex. 12:22. 'And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop and baptize it (apo) out of the blood that is in the basin.'

Lev. 4:17. 'And the priest shall baptize his finger (apo) out of the blood and sprinkle it seven times.'

Lev. 14:16. 'And the priest shall baptize his finger (apo) out of the oil that is in his left hand.'

Dan. 4:33. 'And his body was baptized (apo) out of the dew of heaven.' See also chap. 5:21.

ii. Eis is employed in conjunction with the word baptize where an entire submersion is very improbable.

Lev. 14:51. 'As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and shall baptize them (eis) into [till submersed in] the blood of the bird that was killed.'

Acts 8:16. 'They were all baptized (eis) into [till submersed in] the name of the Lord Jesus.' See chap. 19:5.

Rom. 6:3. 'As many as were baptized (eis) into [till submersed in] Jesus Christ, were baptized (eis) into [till submersed in] his death.'

Rom. 6”4. 'We are buried with him by baptism (eis) into [till submersed in] death.'

1 Cor. 1:13. ‘Or were ye baptized (eis) into [till submersed in] the name of Paul?'

1 Cor. 1:15. 'Lest any should say I had baptized (eis) into [till submersed in] mine own name.'

1 Cor. 10:2. 'And were all baptized (eis) into [till submersed in] Moses.'

iii. Eis is used synonymously with Apo .

Ex. 12:22. 'And he shall take a bunch of hyssop and baptize it (apo) out of the blood that is in the basin.'

Num. 19:18. ‘And he shall take a bunch of hyssop and baptize it (eis) into the water.'

Lev. 4:6. ‘And the priest shall baptize his finger (eis) into the blood.'

Lev. 4:17. ‘And the priest shall baptize his finger (apo) out of some of the blood.'

Lev. 9:9. 'And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him, and he baptized his finger (els) into the blood.'

Lev. 14:16. 'And the priest shall baptize his right finger (apo) out of the oil that is in his left hand.'

iv. Eis is used synonymously with En.

Deut.33:24. 'Let Ashur baptize his foot (en) in oil.'

Josh. 3:15. ‘And the feet of the priests were baptized (eis) info the brim of the Jordan .'

Matt. 3:6. 'And were baptized of him (en) in Jordan .'

 Mark 1:9. 'And were baptized of John (eis) into Jordan .’

Matt. 26:23. ‘He that baptizeth his hand with me (en) in the dish.'

Mark 14:20. 'It is one of the twelve that baptizeth with me (eis) into
the dish.'

v. Eis is used synonymously with Epi.

Matt.28:19. 'Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them (eis) into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.'

Acts 2:36. 'Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you (epi) upon the name of the Lord Jesus.'

vi. En is used synonymously with Epi.

Judith 12:7- ‘Judith went out in the night into the valley of Bethulia , and baptized herself (epi) upon a fountain of water.'

John 1:25. ‘And John was baptizing (en) in Enon,' [a fountain of water.]

Vii. The word baptize is used in connection with Uper.

1 Cor. 15:29. 'What shall they do who are baptized (uper) for the dead? Why are they baptized (uper) for the dead?’

Viii. In some passages the prepositions are omitted.

Luke 3:6. 'I baptize you * * water.'

Luke 16:24. 'That he may baptize his finger * * water.'

Acts 11:16. 'John indeed baptized * * water.'

Rev. 19:13. ‘He was clothed in a vesture baptized ** blood.'

VIII. Upon the whole then, and without any additional evidence, it may be safely concluded that the prepositions, on the supposed import of which such uncommon stress is laid by some of our opponents, make not an iota for their cause. For conceding, what no Pedobaptist of judgment ever denied, that the words, in some connections, fairly convey the meaning which our Baptist brethren contend for—it may be enquired whether they have adduced any adequate evidence to show that such is their force in the texts quoted at the head of this section ? We answer, certainly not; and have no hesitation in saying that such evidence is not attainable.

A frivolous remark has been made by a reverend brother with respect to one of these prepositions, which shows that the good man had not fairly studied the merits of this controversy, or had written contrary to his knowledge, in order to make an affecting impression on the minds of his ignorant readers. He says, 'if eis does not signify 'into, then entering into heaven is only going to the gate 'of heaven; and entering into hell is only going to the gate 'of hell.'' But Pedobaptists never denied that eis sometimes signifies into. All they contend for is, that the Baptists cannot prove such to be its precise import in Acts 8:38, and in other passages narrating the act of scripture baptism. This point we have endeavored to establish—and this, indeed, is conceded by Dr. Ryland, when he says, 'eis is ' sometimes used in different senses' — so that Mr. Birt's observation amounts to nothing in the argument. In fact, the whole of our position is surrendered to us by two of the cleverest men among the Baptist writers. Dr. Cox tells us, that' the criticisms of opposing parties on these prepositions are comparatively immaterial, and in whatever 'manner adjusted, they must be deemed insufficient of themselves to determine the controversy.' And Mr. Robinson says, 'that Abraham's covenant, Greek particles, and 'a thousand more such topics, no more regard the subject, ' than the first verse of the first book of Chronicles, Adam, ' Sheth, Enosh.' Thus much then for the prepositions. That they make nothing for dipping any more than for sprinkling or pouring, must be evident to all who have carefully attended to the preceding remarks.



By the first New Testament baptisms, we mean those performed by John the Baptist. In connection with these, there are two circumstances noticed on which our brethren lay no ordinary stress. The one is his baptizing in Jordan , a considerable 'river,' and the other his baptizing in Enon because there was 'much water' in it. The kind of evidence adduced from these circumstances may be comprehended in the following syllogism:—'John could have had no occasion to preach and baptize where there was much water; had he not immersed his converts—but John preached and baptized in Jordan and Enon, where there was much water, therefore his converts were immersed.' This notion and argumentation pervade the whole denomination of our opponents—and it is questionable, if the above circumstances are not among the main supports of their cause, especially with the illiterate and unthinking part of its abettors. They consequently demand a distinct consideration. The ensuing remarks, however, will show the impropriety of laying any stress on the places where John baptized his followers.

I. It cannot escape your notice that this kind of proof is presumptive—and different from the plain example or positive precept which the Baptists require of us in support of our positions. They often declaim against reasoning, analogy, or inference, respecting positive institutions—yet are here employing them all in defense of their practice. They surmise and conjecture that John would not have baptized in these places, containing much water, had he not dipped his converts—but can adduce nothing more. They simply suppose that much water was required for baptism, and could be necessary for no other purpose. Now, when Senacherib invaded the country of Judea, he wanted 'much water,' (2 Chron. 32: 4,) but surely not for baptizing his army; and Christ, who, by his disciples, baptized more people than John, did not deem Jordan or Enon necessary for their performance of this rite; nor does it appear, from the evangelical history, that they ever required much water for doing it. Hence we may gather that much water might be necessary for the use of great multitudes of people who were not to be plunged or washed in it—and that still greater multitudes may be scripturally baptized where there is not, for ought the scriptures tell us, much water for the purpose.

II. It is plain and fully admitted by some of our most respectable and intelligent opponents, that the baptism of John and Christian baptism were materially and essentially different. Hence we read in Acts 19:3-5, of certain persons who had been baptized by John, being baptized with Christian baptism, about thirty years after, by the apostle Paul. The nature of their respective baptisms varied considerably. John, by birth, was a Jewish priest, (acts 13:25, compare with Luke 1:8,) officiating while the Levitical economy was in all its force and operation, performing a rite preparatory to the coming of Christ in the ministry— admitting to this ceremony persons who were ignorant of the existence of the Holy Ghost, who 'was not given in a way ' peculiar to the gospel dispensation during John's baptism, 'nor till Christ was glorified;' (john 7:39;) and receiving persons otherwise unfit for Christian baptism—at least, such as our opponents would not presume to immerse. (matt. 3:7-11, 11:7-9.) The apostles of our Lord, subsequent to his resurrection, were Christian ministers, baptizing the people in the name of the Lord Jesus, and admitting to a certain religious fellowship the adults they baptized only on an open or tacit avowal of their belief in the son of God as the true Messiah. Supposing, therefore, that John did actually baptize by immersion, his not being Christian baptism, it does not follow that the apostles of Christ dipped their converts also. We find our opponents repeatedly referring, not to the baptism of John as the institution of their baptism, but to our Lord's commission, delivered after his resurrection and recorded in Matt, 28:19, and Mark 16:15, 16. In fact, one of them says, 'these two passages are our only authorities for our baptizing at all.' And another tells us, 'they should ever be considered, respecting the mode and subject, as the rule 'of baptizing.' Therefore, to say that though the qualifications of the candidates and the formulary of the administration differed essentially, the modes were one and the same—is begging the question. Let them prove it if they can, or surrender the supposed evidence derived from the performance of this rite in Jordan and Enon as invalid and inapplicable. But, to save them a world of labor, we will concede this point—and yet expect to prove to your satisfaction that both John and our Lord's followers baptized the people by pouring or sprinkling, or, in general terms, by applying the element to the object. This accords with the description Josephus gives of John's baptism, who says he 'washed or purified the crowds that came about him," but never intimates that he dipped them into the Jordan or any where else.

III. But let us briefly notice John's baptizing at Jordan . From what has been previously advanced respecting the verb baptize and the prepositions eis, apo, and en, rendered into, out of, and in, no fair evidence can be adduced by our opponents to prove that our Savior’s harbinger dipped the multitudes, that came to him, into this celebrated river. It is impossible for them to maintain, except by bold assertions and bugging the question that John or his candidates for baptism went into the water at all. He baptized 'at,' 'on,' or 'with' the water of this celebrated stream. He probably stood in the channel of the Jordan, and might then be fairly said to be in the river, as the Israelites are said to have gone into the midst of the sea and to have been baptized in the sea, when we know from the narrative of the Exodus that they were only in the channel of the divided and departed waters. It should be also observed that John 'baptized in the wilderness,' commonly a waste, wild, and barren place, (mark 1:4.)  'In the country about Jordan, (Luke 3:3,) 'in Bethabara, beyond Jordan ,' (john 1:28,) and in the place where Christ took up his abode, (john 10:40.) Here are four places mentioned as scenes of John's ministry and baptism, where, for ought our opponents know, there was little or no water at all. Even, while in the vicinity of this river, he did not find it necessary to baptize all his people in it. He performed this ceremony in the wilderness, where we should not expect to find a great deal of water; and where Christ took up his abode, which was surely not in a brook, pool, or fountain. This last citation proves that little stress can be laid on the terms 'in Jordan .' For as John baptized only in the neighborhood or near the place where Christ took up his abode, so he might have baptized on or near the Jordan only. If the words 'in the place' mean only near the place, why should the words' in the Jordan ' mean more than near the Jordan? Let our opponents establish the difference of the expressions. As John's baptizing at Jordan will be a subject of after consideration, we must not enlarge further on it at present—

IV. And therefore shall proceed to his baptizing in Enon, (john 3:23.) It is said, he was baptizing there because there was much water. Now, you need hardly be informed, that this passage is adduced on the other side as asserting a complete victory! Let us then enquire whether our brethren can establish their dipping system from this narrative.

i. Enon, according to Parkhurst, signifies a fountain or spring—according to Schleusner, it is the 'name of a city, situated near the Jordan on the borders of the tribe of 'Manasseh, where it joined the tribe of Issii ' Salim, distant seven miles from Scythopolis. 'baptized (john 3:23), because there were many waters"; 'whence also it received its name—for Einon, as On, signifies metaphorically a fountain.' And the phrase hydata polla means literally many waters or several streams. But we must refer to the remarks of a learned and laborious investigator of this subject on the other side of the debate. Mr. Robinson tells us that 'Enon, near the Jordan , was 'either a natural spring, an artificial reservoir, or a cavernous temple of the sun.' The spring where John baptized 'was called the Dove's Eye. The prophet Nahum (ch. 2:6) describes waters running off in streams gurgling among stones, as doves that wander cooing; or, as the English 'version has it, laboring through the solitary grove. According to this, Enon was a cavernous spring, and such were of great account in Judea , especially in some seasons.' Hence Enon was not a place of much water, in the modern and occidental use of those terms; nor contained sufficient for those immersions which it is presumed took place in it. 'It is very probable, that Enon was a village or tract of land where there were many springs, which terminated in many rivulets of water. It is observable that the town called Middin, in Josh. 15:61, 'is named Enon by the seventy Greek interpreters of the Old Testament. They also observe, that in Judges 5:10, 'mention is made of those that sit in, upon, or near ' Middin—we read ' in judgment,' where the Holy Ghost ' takes notice of the places of drawing water, so that if any one would know why Middin is rendered Enon by the 'seventy Greek interpreters of the Old Testament, the thing is evident, because of the places of drawing water.'

ii. While the words much water, many waters, great waters, and waters, in the plural, in many places, mean large congregations of this element, particularly when used to express figuratively crime or calamity, we find them often employed when what we should consider little water is intended. A few citations will place this in a clear point of light. Many waters are used to express the moistening of the soil with rain. 'He shall pour the water out of his 'buckets and his seed shall be in many waters,' (numb. 24:7)—for several rills watering a vineyard. 'Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, placed by the waters; 'she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many ' waters,' (ezek. 19:10.) Great waters are used to express the streams refreshing and fertilizing the fields and gardens of Judea or elsewhere. 'He took also of the seed ' of the land and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters and set it as a willow tree,' (ezek. 17:5.) 'This vine did bend her roots towards him and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantations. It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine,' (v. 7, 8.) The 'great waters' in Gibeon, (jer. 61:12,) are called ' the pool of Gibeon ' in 2 Sam. 2:13, and by Josephus, 'a certain fountain in the city Gibeon .' So that these great waters are only a pool or fountain of water. Much water is used for a brook that might be stopped up and for wells that might be covered and hidden. 'So there was gathered much people together, who stopped ' all the fountains and the brook [or river Kedron] that ran 'through the midst of the land, saying, why should the 'king of Assyria come and find much water (2 Chron. 32:4.) The term Waters, in the plural number, is used to express several wells. 'And they came to Elim, where 'there were twelve wells of water and three score and ten 'palm trees, and they encamped there by the waters,' (exod. 15:27)—for a single spring or fountain—'and he 'went forth unto the spring of the waters and cast the salt ' in there and said, thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters: so the waters were healed unto this day, (2 Kings 2:21,22.) Maundrell visited this well or fountain, about which Josephus explains so complacently, 'and denominates it 'a spring issuing several small streams watering ' a field.' It is used for a cup of water—'waters of a full ' cup are wrung out to them,' (psalm 73:10)—for such a quantity as people drink—'drink waters out of thine' own cistern and running waters out of thine own well,' (prov. 5:15)—and for tears, 'that our eyes may run down with tears and our eyelids gush out with waters, (jer. 9:18.) The laver of the temple, which contained at most one thousand barrels, is called 'a molten sea,' (1 Kings 7:23.)

The above passages are adduced as specimens of many more. From this we perceive that many waters, great waters, much water, and waters in the plural, are terms employed to designate what, in this country, would be considered but a little of this element. When we hear our opponents talking of Enon with its much water or many streams as necessarily being little less than 'the confluence of the Tigris or Euphrates, the swelling of the Nile, or as echoing to the voice of many thunderings, the sound of a cataract, and the roaring of the sea'—astonishment overwhelms us. That the words many waters, great waters, much water, and waters, are sometimes expressive of rivers, lakes, and seas, no one can question—but to say such immense quantities of water are necessarily implied in the terms, Hebrew, Greek, or English, is to betray a cranium certainly less hard than adamant. Let our opponents tell us where these mighty floods are to be found, let them point out some ancient geographer who has described this celebrated sister of the Nile, the Euphrates and the Amazon. The fact is,' Enon, near to Salim,' as the phraseology implies, was a place of little notoriety, unknown as a village in early times, and unnoticed for its waters, save in the text under review, in the New Testament. Neither does Josephus ever say a word respecting Enon in any of his works, though he describes, or at least notices, almost every other fountain or water of any magnitude in the Holy Land —so insignificant was this roaring cataract in his day, though he was coeval with the apostles. And all that modern travelers have been able to discover as a vestige of its former magnificence, is only a well whither the virgins go forth to draw water for their flocks and their father's families. Dr. Gill justly remarks, 'there is great difficulty in determining where or what this Enon was.'

Iv. Let it be observed, also, that John could not have gone from Jordan to Enon or any other place merely for the sake of having ' much water.' He must have had some other motive for his movement. Jordan was a considerable river, and Enon, according to Robinson, a spring in a cave.

This latter place was probably more central and convenient for some of the inhabitants of the country—and the water was necessary for the refreshment of his numerous followers in that comparatively arid climate. 'Such a spring was of great account in Judea, especially in some ' seasons' of the year, when water was very scarce and the weather very sultry. He that congregated multitudes of people in such a country must, like Senacherib, have required much water; and if they attended John, as they did our Lord, three or four days successively (Matt. 15:32), the necessity of much water, for other purposes than immersion, must have been great. Thus John prudently took his station where the lives of his followers would not be endangered by the drought, and where the well-watered soil produced shrubs and trees, which proved a cooling shade amidst the scorching heat of a Summer's day in Palestine . Hence Christ often resided, and preached near the sea of Tiberias , Capernaum , and Galilee ; though there is not a word spoken of his baptizing in any part of this lake. Now, if there were other cogent reasons for John's baptizing in Enon, where there was much water, besides the operation of dipping his converts, we are at perfect liberty to conclude, that these alone influenced his proceedings. Besides, if this Enon were a fountain or spring in a cave, it, in all probability, supplied the people and their cattle with water to drink, as well as John for his washings or baptisms; and as his followers were numerous, many of them must have been bathed in this fountain previously to the drinking of others, and consequently must have been refreshed with dirty and ceremonially polluted beverage. Whether this was the case or not, you may easily determine. Such a proceeding would hardly be tolerated in our times, even by those who are so loud about taking up the cross and sacrificing delicacy to a compliance with duty. You will also remember that pure, fair, running, or living water, derived from perpetual springs, was requisite for purification or baptism; and when so many became the subjects of his ministration, it may easily account for his taking his station at Jordan, Enon, or other places -where there was a fountain or stream, great or small, of pure water adapted to his typical ablution or consecration.

V. But it may be argued further, that for the mere purpose of immersing one individual after another, John could have no valid reason for going either to Jordan or Enon. The former is a deep river, sometimes overflowing its banks (josh. 3:15), and, at certain seasons of the year, running with considerable velocity. Dr. Shaw computed it about thirty yards broad and three yards in depth, and states that it discharged daily into the Dead Sea about 6,090,000 tons of water. Viscount Chateaubriand, who travelled nearly a century after him, found the Jordan to 'be six or seven feet deep close lo the shore, and about 'fifty paces in breadth.' And our brethren suggest, that Enon comported with the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates, the swelling of the Nile , the voice of many thunderings, the roaring of the sea, and the rushing of a cataract. But could these have been convenient places for dipping either men or women in their light, loose, flowing dresses; or for a man, at most, six feet high, to stand in days and months consecutively, for the purpose of immersing them? Do our apostle-like opponents go in quest of such mighty waters for the purpose of dipping their people, though guarded with cloaks, and sometimes mud-boots, and all that the wit of modern ingenuity has contrived against accidents and exposures of the person? Do they not consider a baptistery, artificially constructed, with steps, pump, and sewers, and filled to a definite height with quiescent water, much more convenient in many respects? That such a congregation of this element was unnecessary, we may gather from the declaration of our opponents, who, being practical men, are of course the best judges in this particular. Mr. Robinson says,' the true depth of water 'for baptizing an individual, is something less than two' thirds of the height; but the tallest man may be baptized 'in the Lateran depth, which is thirty-seven inches and 'half.' If this be a fact, and we have no reason to question it, how unsuitable was Jordan , a deep rapid river? And Enon, roaring and foaming along, could not have been a whit better. 'In baptism,' says another eminent writer on the same side, 'it is the act of immersion, and not the 'quantity of water, that is contended for—so that there be 'sufficient after a prudent and suitable manner to dip or bury the person baptized in it. A third observes, that 'one single rivulet, having pools of fair and deep water, ' would have been as fit for John's purpose as if he had ' twenty.' Our friends, in accounting for the baptisms of the apostles, without going to natural water-courses, suppose that baths were very numerous in private-houses in Jerusalem, and bathing common among the Jews; 'and no doubt used for this purpose.' Conceding the truth of this assumption, it may be remarked, that as John was a great favorite with the public (matt. 14:5 ; 21:26), 'who were ready to do any thing he should advise,' he might have used these baths also; and surely it would have conduced much to the decent manner of this ceremony, and the feasibility of its performance, over the plunging of men and women into a deep, rapid, and powerful river, or a foaming cataract. But John did not use these baths—his manner of conducting this ceremony could be done with equal facility where there was much water or little—at or on the Jordan or fountain of Enon, or in the wilderness where Christ took up his abode. Consequently he did not baptize near these places for the sake of immersing his followers—some other inducements marked out his course and fixed on his stations.

VI. Upon the whole we conclude, that the great parade of our opponents about John's dipping in Jordan and in Enon, because there was much water in these places, amounts to no more than a feather against a millstone in the scales of rational investigation. Superficial minds may be caught by the sound of words; but persons of judgment will weigh their sense, and determine accordingly: and this has been our object in the present enquiry.



Our opponents often refer us, with a good deal of exultation, to various references made by Christ and his disciples, which, in their humble opinion, countenance their method of performing this initiatory rite, as— The baptism of the Israelites in the Red Sea, (1 Cor. 10:2.) Of Noah and his family in the ark, (1 Pet. 3:20, 21.)

The sufferings of Christ and his disciples, (matT. 20:22,23.) The sufferings of believers in Christ, as their federal representative, (rom. 6:5, 6 ; Col. 2:10-13.) These allusions are often brought forward and much dwelt upon by our respected brethren; but they do not produce in our minds any impressions favorable to their mode of baptism. A brief consideration of each will doubtless justify our sentiments. As the first three are not deemed very important, and as the fourth is regarded as an impregnable battlement about their cause, it claims, and shall receive, most of our attention.

I. 'And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and 'in the sea,' (1 Cor. 10:2.) This text, according to the literal construction of our opponents in other cases, should be rendered, 'And were all totally dipped (eis) ' into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.' The passage says nothing of their being dipped into the cloud and into the sea; but only while passing behind, under, and before the one, and between the waters of the other, they were baptized into Moses. But not to be too literal with our brethren, and to allow them advantages they have no right to claim, let us enquire if these Hebrews were dipped into the cloud or the sea in their transit from Egypt to the wilderness of Shur? Mr. Booth assures us, that ' the word baptize, in this dispute, denotes an action required by divine 'law, and the simple question is, what is that action? We reply certainly not dipping in the case before us; for the sacred historian assures us, that they all went through the channel of the departed waters upon dry land, (Ex. 14:22.) What was the action here?—walking between the divided flood. To retort, that the clouds were over their heads, and the heaps of water on each side of them, whereby they were as if immersed, has nothing to do with the matter in debate, which is about the action embraced by the verb and displayed by the event. The Baptists contend for dipping a person really and absolutely under water, in order to constitute a proper baptism, and ridicule the notion of any less or otherwise being baptism at all. If water-baptism were at all intended, it was effected by a shower. 'The clouds poured out water' (Ps. 77:17); and in this way they were baptized, like Nebuchadnezzar, with a copious sprinkling from above. The refuge of our friends in the supposed saturated state of the Hebrews, is a mere conjecture and a sophism—a conjecture, as they do not know that even the rain fell on the chosen tribes—and a mere sophism, since a person walking in the rain till wet to the skin would not, according to their notions, be properly baptized. On this principle, a copious shower-bath would be equally efficient with an artificial or natural baptistery. This would however be giving up the action in which the essence of the sacrament is said to consist. At all events, this allusion will not support the exclusive system of immersion.

II. 'Which sometime were disobedient, when once the 'long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while 'the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, ' were saved by water. The like figure, whereunto baptism 'doth now save us (not the putting away the filth of the ' flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), 'by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,' (1 Pet. 3:20, 21.) Now, if this text refer to any mode of water-baptism at all, and not to the influence of the Holy Ghost, it must be to the baptism of the ark, or of Noah and his family in it, or of both conjoined. Suppose it were of the ark, then what was the action here? Was the vessel absolutely dipped under water, or did the water descend upon it? Unquestionably the latter; and though, from the quantity of rain which fell, the vessel was at length partly in the water and partly out of the water, it was never dipped, nor ever entirely under the rising element. The baptism of the ark was much like some of the representations in Mr. Robinson's plates of ancient Christian baptism; where the converts are seen standing up to the knees or middle in water, while the officiating minister pours some of it on their heads.—Suppose it were Noah and his family in the ark, then they were baptized with a dry baptism for the water from above or below never touched them. The rain fell in torrents on the roof of their vessel, but they were not brought in contact with it. And if this were baptism, we are often baptized by our fire-sides, while a copious shower is falling on the tiles of our habitations; and the mariner in his cabin at sea is being constantly baptized when it rains on the deck of his ship, though not a drop of it reaches his person. At any rate, Noah and his family were not plunged, immersed, or dipped, in the waters of the deluge; and what may be said of the ark and the people separately, may be pronounced of both conjointly. To say that the Hebrews and Noah were, as it were baptized, only betrays the difficulties felt by our opponents in this case. If in this or the preceding instance there was a baptism analogous to their method, the Egyptians were the only subjects in the former case, and those who were shut out of the ark, in the latter; and who, as stated in the Baptist Magazine, were 'baptized to a general destruction.'

III. ' Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized 'with,' (matt. 20:22,23.) 'I have a baptism to be baptized with and how am I straitened till it be accomplished. (luke 12:50, see also Mark 10:38, 39.) Our Lord, in these passages, evidently alludes to his last sufferings and death. The Baptists tell us that Christ was plunged into affliction or overwhelmed with it. But these professed elucidations evidently obscure the subject—plunging and overwhelming being directly opposite acts. As to the former expression, it may be remarked that the phrase plunged into affliction, and particularly into a penal suffering for sin, is a mode of speaking, very rare, if ever, used in the New Testament. The punishments inflicted on account of sin— like every good gift and every perfect gift—are from above, and are represented as descending on us. As to the latter, it may be seen from our previous observations, that a person overwhelmed suffers from the pressure of a superincumbent weight—and is at complete variance with our opponents' hypothesis. It is perceivable that drinking the cup and being baptized are here used synonymously, and are both expressive of pain and punishment, without specifying any particular mode of inflicting them. 'To drink,' says Mr. Keach, 'denotes being overwhelmed with calamity,' (Is. 51:20 ; 63:6. Jer. 46:26. Ezek. 23:38. Rev. 14:10.) But let us come to historical facts. Had our Lord and his disciples suffered death, like Aristobulus, by drowning, our opponents might have had some basis for their conclusions. But neither Jesus, James, nor John, were martyred by dipping or immersion. Christ, as we all know, was crucified; James was killed with a sword, (acts 12:1:) and John, according to universal opinion, and which our opponents cannot gainsay, died in his bed a natural death. The analogy, therefore, between dipping under water and suffering in any of the preceding forms, is vague and inconsistent. To talk of their being baptized in their own blood, as an argument in favor of modern plunging, betrays a weakness too palpable to require correction. When we can conceive the dyeing of a person with gore issuing from certain bodily wounds, as fairly emblematical of dipping, our imaginations must have lost their sober direction and run wild amidst their vagrant reveries.

The frequent allusion of our brethren to the expressions of the Psalmist, 'he drew me out of many waters,' (Ps. 18:16.) 'I am come into deep waters,' (Ps. 69: 2,) 'and deliver me out of great waters,' (Ps. 144:7;) as if they referred to baptism in the sense of affliction, is perfectly gratuitous and inconclusive—as none of them are designated baptism by the inspired writers, and as there is no proof of David's being dipped by any other being. He speaks of 'waters overflowing' or coming upon him, (Ps. 69:2,) 'going over him,' (Ps. 42:7,) 'coming nigh unto him, (Ps. 32:6,) and 'coming into his soul,' (Ps. 69:2,) expressive of overwhelming calamity. (See also Ps. 22:14.) May we not conclude, then, with equal propriety, that these are baptism also? And as the quantity of the element is not the question at issue, but the act of its application, our inference must be deemed equally proper and tenable. In fact, the whole genius of the gospel is opposed to the interpretation of our opponents. Our Lord was a sinner by imputation, that is, God laid on him the iniquity of us all; and his sufferings were, in accordance with this view of the case, also laid upon him—that is, taken from us and applied to him, for it pleased the Lord to bruise him. Upon the whole the sufferings mentioned in the passage and designated baptism, will by no means and in no measure countenance the exclusive mode advocated and practiced by our respected antagonists.

IV. We come, now, to the most material allusion contained in the fore-cited passages, which we shall here quote at length. 'Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death—therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death—that 'like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 'For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin,' (rom. 6:3-6.)—' And ye are 'complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the 'sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him ' through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses,' (col. 2:10-13.)

i. In considering these passages, it is proper to observe that the apostle is speaking of the union of believers with Christ, and of their mutually suffering death, being buried and raised again in Christ. The Son of God died, was buried, and rose again as the representative of his people—and in him, as their federal head, they virtually died, were buried, and rose again. This sentiment is well expressed by a Baptist writer of considerable authority. He says, 'by a gracious constitution Christ sustained the persons of all the elect in his dying and rising again. They were so comprehended in and counted one with him, as to have  died in his death, being buried in his burial, and raised again in his resurrection.' The design of the inspired writer is to enforce holiness of life; and he is now urging their spiritual union with Christ, as a cogent motive to effect his purpose. This identification of the Mediator and his people is a prime doctrine of scripture, and the like practical use is made of it in various parts of the New Testament; as must be manifest to all who read the sacred volume with the least attention. In addition to this virtual death, burial, and resurrection of believers, in consequence of their federal union with Christ, he represents, in these passages, the spiritual operations of divine grace in our souls, which he designates circumcision, death, and crucifixion; planting, burial, resurrection, and ascension to newness of life: that is, he exhibits, in metaphorical language, the work of the Holy Ghost in our souls by those outward symbols, between which there is an instructive analogy, perfectly simple to those who were conversant with the customs of antiquity, nor unintelligible to us, with the whole volume of scripture before us.

Ii. An enquiry now arises, when this apparent and professional union with Christ and work of the Spirit were first recognized by the church. Few will question its taking place at baptism—at least, in the case of adults; for in the apostolic age conversion from Judaism or Heathenism to an acknowledgment of Christ as the Messiah and baptism, were effected simultaneously. Hence Mr. Robinson remarks, 'there was no intermediate state of scholarship— 'baptism was administered immediately on conviction of the 'truth of the report.' Hence the operation of the Spirit and the application of water to a believer in the Savior’s divine mission, are blended as concurrent acts. Wherefore we read,' born of water and of the Spirit,' (john 3:5)— 'the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost,' (titus 3:5)—'can any forbid water, that these should not be baptized which have [now] received the Holy Ghost?' (acts 10:47)—and much more might be cited of a similar nature: from which it is easily perceived, how a union of the renovated soul with the Savior became denominated baptism. Remark also, that in Rom. 6:4, we are said to be buried with him (dia) through baptism, or in consequence of it. And though in Col. 2:12, it is written, buried with him (en) in baptism, it by no means militates against our position, since en is often employed in a sense that favors our scheme—being rendered 'through,' 'by,' or ' because of,' one hundred and ninety-six times in the New Testament. Assuming the validity of this remark, both passages mean the same thing, viz: That our apparent union with Christ, in whom, as our federal head, we were buried and rose again, was acknowledged at our dedication by baptism. Our opponents admit that, in Col. 2:12, 'baptism is considered a principal medium of renovation or as signifying, outwardly, that they were dead to sin, 'but alive to God."

That this or a similar interpretation of the passages under review, accords with the intentions of the apostle, may be assumed from the incongruity of the exposition which our opponents are constrained to give them, in order to support their notions of baptism. To illustrate our position, let us paraphrase the texts in consonance with their assertions and sentiments.

' Baptized into Christ, dipped into Christ, immersed into Christ, plunged into Christ!

' Baptized into his death, dipped into his death, immersed into his death, plunged into his death!

' Buried with him by baptism into death, buried with him by dipping into death, by immersing Into death, by plunging into death!

'Buried with him in baptism, buried with him in dipping, immersing, or plunging!

Who does not instantly discover the impropriety of such a version, and look for something more analogous with scripture and common sense? Besides which, the ideas attached to these phrases in this paraphrased version, are, at least, literally erroneous; for the Romans and Colossians addressed were never, in respect of time or place, baptized with Christ. They were surely not dipped into Christ at their baptism, nor plunged into his death! The very attempt at a literal rendering of the passages, appears the height of absurdity. And yet if baptize mean nothing more or less than to dip, immerse, or plunge, such a translation is unavoidable. The simple intention of the writer is, that these converts were, through baptism, separated to a profession of discipleship—of being dead indeed unto sin and alive again unto righteousness. They were buried with him, not by being dipped under water at the same time, by the same administrator, and in the same place; but through baptism, however administered, were initiated into him as their federal and public representative; and through their covenant relation to him, they ' died in his death, were buried in his burial, and rose again in his resurrection'—not absolutely and ostensibly with him—nor, for aught the texts say, like him—but in him, through a virtual union with him, as their head and representative. All this is simple, in accordance with the method of salvation, and harmonizing with the general scope of the sacred writings—while the necessary constructions of our brethren are complicated, unscriptural, and even ridiculous. In fact, before our opponents can make these passages answer their purpose, they are obliged to construe the prepositions which, in some measure, govern the action of the verb baptize, in a manner perfectly novel and unwarrantable :—' Buried like him in baptism—buried ' like him through baptism'—meaning either that an ordinary burial with us, is like our Lord's baptism in Jordan, or that their baptism is like his burial in the sepulcher—neither of which, unfortunately for them, is true; nor for what the venerable Paul asserts, is even remotely intended in the fore-cited scriptures; which we shall now proceed to establish.

iv. We contend, then, that our Lord's baptism in Jordan , if he were dipped under water, as our opponents assert, is not like an Ordinary Burial in this country. On their principles, John baptized the Redeemer by plunging him entirely under water and instantly raising him out of it. But this operation is widely different from our usual interments in the following respects:—

First.—The actions are different. A person baptized by our brethren is merely dipped into the water. A person buried is covered with earth—the lowering of the body into a grave being an incidental circumstance — and not truly a part of the literal burying of it. This point is admitted by the Baptists. 'It is true,' say they, ' we do 'bury by casting earth on the dead body, but it is so much 'earth as covers the corpse all over, or it is not buried.' ‘The custom of raising tumuli or barrows over the dead ' was universal in the times of the remotest antiquity. Such 'a practice is sufficiently indicative of the original and most 'prominent idea of burial that prevailed in remote antiquity, 'namely, that of committing to the earth [or laying out on the earth] and covering with earth. The Greeks and Romans entertained the firmest conviction, that their souls would not be admitted into the Elysian fields till their bodies were buried or committed to the earth. Travelers, therefore, who happened to find a dead body, cast dirt upon it three times,' [that is, they buried it.] 'Burial, 'as every child knows, is covering the body entirely.' It is of importance to observe that the Jews held similar notions. 'Those whom they caught in the day time were ‘slain in the night, and then their bodies were carried out ' and thrown away, that there might be room for other prisoners—and the terror that was upon the people was so great, that no one had courage enough openly to weep for the dead man that was related to him, or to bury him; 'only in the night time they would take up a little dust and throw it upon their bodies; and even some that were the most ready to expose themselves to danger, would do it in the day time!' Consequently no two acts can be more opposite to each other than a submersion-baptism and an ordinary burial—the former being an immersion into the element—the latter, a pouring or casting of the element upon the object.

Secondly.—The periods of interment are different. When a corpse, with us, is definitively buried, it is to remain in that state till the end of the world. When our brethren baptize a person, he is kept in a state of baptism for an exceedingly small portion of time. Hence in this respect they by no means correspond. Dr. Ryland encourages the timid candidates for immersion to submit, in the following words: —'You are about to resign yourselves now into the hands of your pastor, who having immersed you for a moment in the name of the blessed Lord, will easily [if able] and 'instantly raise you out of the water.' Another Baptist writer says, 'I never heard of any who were continued half one minute in the water.' Now, who that had no particular end to answer would ever have raised a grave comparison between popping a person momentarily under water and covering a corpse with earth till the great day of a universal resurrection ?

Thirdly.—The subsequent operations are different. When our blessed Lord was, according to our opponents' ideas, baptized by John, he was first dipped under water and then instantly raised out of it. And this latter act of the Baptist was not a mere incidental and insignificant consequence of the previous immersion, but an inherent and expressive part of the ceremony. Hence we are told by Mr. Keach, 'that cannot be Christ's true baptism wherein there is not, cannot be, a lively representation of the death, burial, and 'resurrection of Jesus Christ." And Mr. Burt says,' baptism is designed to represent unto us things of the greatest ' importance and concern, viz: the death, burial, and resurrection of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.' But in a burial, this raising again is wanting; for though all of us shall be raised at the last day, yet a resurrection is not included in the act of burying; which might be performed, though men never left their sepulchers.

There are, therefore, three discrepancies in the case before us, which completely destroy the analogical arguments which our opponents so complacently erect on the allusions under consideration. In fact, those who fancy such a similarity as our opponents plead for, are entirely mistaken; for, as Mr. Robinson justly remarks, 'the first English ' Baptists, when they read the phrase, buried in baptism, 'instantly thought of an English burial, and therefore baptized by laying the body in the form of burying in 'their own country; but they might have observed that ' Paul wrote to Romans, and that Romans [at that period] 'did not bury but burned the dead, and buried nothing of the dead but their ashes in urns; so that no fair reasoning on the form of baptizing can be drawn from the 'mode of burying the dead in England.'

v. We next contend that our opponents' baptism is not like our Savior’s Burial. Mr. Butterworth assures us, that' it is the noble design of this ordinance to represent a 'buried and risen Savior.' But in this case the discrepancies are as great as in the preceding. When our opponents baptize a convert, he, as a voluntary agent, walks knee or middle deep into the water—then he permits the officiating minister to put the upper part of his body entirely under—then he is raised on his legs, and walks away to shift his dress. This is just as exhibited in practice— though somewhat at variance with the sense they give to the verb baptize. Now the dissimilarity between this ceremony and the interment of Christ is glaring. Christ did not walk into the sepulcher—Joseph of Arimathea did not lower his body into a grave, nor aid in raising him out of it afterwards. He, being entirely passive, was carried into, or up into, a room hewn out of a rock, in an elevated position!—laid on the floor, or rather on a side stone bench, as Dorcas was laid in an upper chamber, (acts 9:37)—a great stone was rolled against the door or opening of the sepulcher— and the people departed, intending after the Sabbath finally to inter his precious body. Before they arrived, however, the angel of the Lord rolled the stone from the mouth of the cave, and the Savior, without the aid of the Counselor, or his friends, left the mansion of death. Who that was not exceedingly blinded in favor of an hypothesis, and determined to maintain it at all events, could even fancy a likeness between two ceremonies so void of every feature of fair analogy!

A judicious writer remarks, that the sepulchers of antiquity possessed but little similarity to our graves. A large excavation was made in the side of a rock—the floor of the chamber thus formed not being at all below the surface of the soil without—and this chamber was a tomb. Of the grave of Lazarus, we are told it was a cave. That our Lord's sepulcher was of this kind, must be inferred from the phraseology used respecting it by the inspired historians. Matthew and Mark declare it to have been hewn but of a rock. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary are represented as sitting over against the sepulcher. We are informed that Joseph rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher. An angel of the Lord on the morning of the third day came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. The entrance, or door, was low, not much more elevated than was necessary to admit the corpse; therefore we read, that when the disciples era: of the body, they stooped down to look into the sepulcher.' Besides this, our Redeemer remained in this room at least, a part of three days and three nights: whereas, in modern immersion, the person is not (barring accidents) kept under water half a minute; and when emerged, it is by the minister either alone, or, in case he be heavy, with the aid of the deacons. In a word, so far from there being a proper similitude between the dipping of our opponents and the interment of Christ, the one is no more like the other than plunging a person into a pond and carrying a corpse into a chamber and stretching it on a bed. A further development of the discrepancy is not requisite.—We do not design by these observations, however, to insinuate for a moment that the predictions and declarations respecting the interment of our blessed Lord were not perfectly fulfilled as far as intended by the Holy Spirit, or that his precious body was not placed in a state which the Jews designated burial, and for a period which they accounted three days and three nights. It is, however, plain, that Christ was in the sepulcher only about thirty-six hours out of seventy-two, and subject only to a preparation for final interment, and not fully interred. This analogy between the time and the circumstances of our Lord's burial, as respectively predicted and detailed in the New Testament, throws a considerable degree of light on this subject, and materially favors our position.

vi. Perhaps the sense of the words to baptize and to bury, in the texts under review, is not so plain and settled as our opponents presume. Can they tell us whether the baptism of water or of the Holy Ghost is intended by the apostle? They suppose the former—but would feel some difficulty to prove it—as, also, to determine whether the body to be interred was that of sin, mentioned in the preceding verse, (col. 2:11,) and which is the simplest exposition of the passage, or of the Colossians themselves, referred to in the tenth verse of the same chapter. Nor would they be less perplexed in settling the import of the word to bury in the fore-cited text. That Christ was not definitively interred, is plain, from the fact that it was to be done on the first day of the week, and probably in some other place of sepulcher; therefore the term cannot mean 'covering the body entirely, which every child knows to 'be burial.' Depositing the body in the sepulcher was probably intended—but perhaps something else, or more, was meant. Parkhurst tells us that the original word signifies 'not only to bury or inter, according to its usual sense in 'the profane writers, but also includes the preparation of 'the body for burial, by washing, anointing, &c.' Schleusner renders it, ' the preparation of the body for sepulcher.' The same Greek word is used in the Septuagint, (gen. 1:26) to express the embalming of Joseph, who was not finally interred till hundreds of years after, (Ex. 13:19 ; Josh. 24:32.) The anointing of Christ before his death, is called his burial, (matt. 26:12 ;) and it is said, prophetically, to have been done on the day of his burial, (john 12:7.) Ananias and his wife are said to have been buried, when, from the short time employed about it, three hours, and the ignorance of their relatives, respecting the bereavement, nothing more than washing, anointing, and similar preparatory rites, as performed in the case of Dorcas, (acts 9:27,) and common among the Jews, (acts 5:1-10,) could be intended.

It is also remarkable that the word thapto, translated to 'bury,' in the passages under consideration, is only once used in the narrative of Christ's interment, and that for the preparation of the body for the subsequent burial, (john 19:40.) When the inspired writers speak of the action in debate, they all use another word, tithemi, rendered 'laid,' or placed in the sepulcher for the time, (matt, 27:60; Mark 15:46 ; Luke 23:53 ; John 19:42.) The question of the pious women that sought the body of Christ on the first day of the week, was, 'where have they laid him’ (john 20:2 ; 13:15.) The angels were sitting on the place 'where Christ had lain,' (john 20:12;) and said, ' behold where they laid him,' (mark 16:6 ;) 'come, see the place where the Lord lay,' (matt, 28:6.) Is it, therefore, not fair to infer that the angels, women, and the Evangelists, considered our Savior not buried definitively, and that the word in question refers only to the anointing, &c ! Supposing this to be the sense of the term buried, in the preceding passages, and which our opponents will feel it difficult to disprove, what becomes of all their boasted assertions and indisputable evidence in favor of dipping?

vii. Our brethren regard baptism as a sacramental representation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. 'That,' says Keach, 'cannot be Christ's true baptism ' wherein there is not, cannot be, a lively representation of 'the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.' But the same writer tells us in the same page, that' the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was ordained to represent his body was broke and his blood was shed. On this principle of interpretation both sacraments symbolize the death of Christ. Our opponents, we presume, can tell us on what ground they administer one of these sacraments once a month or once a week, and the other only once in a believer's life-time? Why is such a distinction made, if the design of both is one and the same! But there is another obstacle to their position and inference. The Lord's Supper fully comprehends the objects intended by the sacred Institutor—a memorial of his death and the communion of saints. But the baptism of our antagonists, under the notion of burying, is very defective, not representing a tithe of what the scriptures and themselves declare it to symbolize. For example, in Gal. 3:27, it is said, 'as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.' Here the design is general and full, the person being consecrated to the profession of all the doctrines, duties, and privileges, of the gospel. In 1 Cor. 12:13, Paul says, 'for by one spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles; 'that is, not only into a participation of the death of Christ, but into the visible church with all its advantages and obligations. Our opponents tell us, as we shall presently verify, that baptism is designed to represent 'a minister's washing a person'—'God's washing away 'his sins by the blood of Christ'—'an act of worship to God'—'an emblem of sanctification'—they also call it ' purification'—' a washing all over'—and 'abundant purification'—none of which effects are represented by baptism as a burial, which they assure us is quite a different thing from washing. The visible descent of the Holy Spirit, which is frequently designated baptism, is also totally neglected in a burial. Nor should it be forgotten that all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, of Judea, and of all the region round about Jordan, were baptized by John and our Lord's disciples when they entertained not the slightest idea of Christ's passion or burial—therefore they could not have administered this rite with a reference to his interment, nor have considered it in the least degree characteristic of a burial, previous to the crucifixion!—nor, for any thing we read, did they ever afterward contemplate such an allusion as our opponents plead for.

viii. On the expressions in the passages under review, our opponents endeavor to establish a rite in their churches representing, in their esteem, the burial of Christ and his resurrection from the dead. But their process of reasoning on the texts, obliges them to derange the order observed by the sacred penman and to omit a full compliance with what they must conclude to be his design. First, they derange the order observed by the sacred penman. They talk of, first, a death, secondly, a burial, and thirdly, a resurrection. Whereas, Paul speaks first of a burial, secondly of a planting, and thirdly, of a crucifixion. By what authority is this mutation of the divine arrangements? But our antagonists feel it necessary. To talk of, first, burying, secondly, planting, and, thirdly, crucifying, and to apply the order to their baptizing, was too absurd for their adoption or avowal. Had the Holy Ghost intended by the texts, to establish a system, such as we presume to say the Baptists have invented, his language—(on the natural order of which their scheme as to the proper subjects chiefly depends, Matt. 28:19 ; Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12; 10: 47)—is every way incorrect, and before they can even imagine, from these words, a shadow of resemblance, they are forced, contrary to their avowed practice, to torture the text and entirely derange the sacred narrative. Secondly, they omit a full compliance with what they must conclude to have been the apostle's design. He makes other allusions in the immediate connection which they totally disregard. 'Ye are circumcised with the circumcision of Christ.'—'Our old man is crucified with him.'—' We have been planted together in the likeness of ' his death.' Why are all these expressions overlooked? To be consistent with their profession they should, in some way include the represented acts of circumcision, crucifixion, and planting. Why is burying singled out before all the rest? Was it an after thought, and recurred to as a prop of a cause previously espoused? What we solicit is consistency—symbolize all, or none. The preference of burying to planting is remarkable, as the latter is expressly said to be in the likeness of his death. The apostle also speaks in another place of' being made conformable unto his death,' yet not to his burial, (phil. 3:10.) But the adoption of the principle further than positively established, would lead to the most superstitious results. 'We are commanded, ' to put on the Lord Jesus Christ'—to imitate him in ' washing one another's feet'—' to shine as lights in the world.' But where shall we find, among our friends, an ostensible and analogous exhibition of these actions? To be consistent with their principles, they ought, at least, to erect crucifixes —to use lighted candles in their chapels—or in some way to set forth these mental and spiritual allusions—or cease to plead the afore-cited passages as reasons for dipping. Hence, we conclude, that our opponents have failed to establish their exclusive scheme of baptismal immersion, from the allusions of scripture to this divine ordinance.



Our opponents, confidently assuming that their mode of baptism fully and minutely corresponds with that practiced by the apostles of our Lord, contend that we should, on no account, depart in the smallest matters from the primitive model.—Dr. Gale says, 'I think it is clear, that nothing can 'be baptism which varies from Christ's institution.'—Mr. Dore affirms, that 'what is not commanded by Christ, or 'practiced by his apostles, is virtually forbidden as will' worship."—Mr. Booth says, 'no additions should be made by human authority [or intervention] to the positive appointments of Jesus Christ; and it is not lawful, under any pretence, either to corrupt or depart from the primitive institution of those appointments.' 'Except it be maintained that positive ordinances are to be entirely governed by positive law and primitive example, it is impossible for the Antipedobaptists to stand their ground by fair argument in various cases, when disputing with Pedobaptists as 'such.'—Mr. Gibbs asserts, that 'the subjects as well as the 'mode must accord with the precept and practice of the New Testament: to alter either of these is to perform a new rite, and not the one which Christ has ordained. To plead for this practice, as some do, on the ground that what is not prohibited is lawful, is to open a wide door indeed for the admission of human inventions into the worship of God.'—Similar declarations might be cited from most Baptist writings. They assure us that a particular and unalterable adherence to what they denominate scripture precept and apostolic practice is essential to the maintenance of their system. After what has been advanced, a refutation of this evidence might have been omitted, had it not been resolved to give their views of the mode of baptism a full, as well as a fair, investigation. In contemplating this position, we shall argue on the principles of our opponents: and now solicit your attention to the following remarks:—Our opponents presume that they have clearly discovered the primitive practice and scrupulously copy it. But perhaps in this respect they display a little too much self-confidence. ' This ordinance,' says Mr. Burt,' is laid down ' so plain in the sacred rule of scripture that he who runs 'may read it. And it must be highly criminal for any man ' to say or suppose that the divine Lawgiver should leave ' that ordinance under any veil which must be administered ' in those awful names that are used in holy baptism. No 'serious Christian dares entertain so cruel a thought of Jesus, our dear Redeemer, as that he should have so little love and value for his ministers, as to leave them at uncertainty in this important case.'—All this is very plausible and pious; but can our friends answer the following questions, which are far from frivolous?—

i. Did the persons to be baptized walk into the water, or were they carried in by the baptizer? That is, did they partly baptize themselves, or were they wholly baptized by the officiating minister? For, in modern dipping, the minister never baptizes the feet and legs of the subjects— this being done by themselves.

ii. If the people walked into the water, to what depth did they go?—up to the ankles, knees, middle, or neck?—for now, many ministers dip little more than the head and shoulders of the candidates.

iii. Were the people baptized naked or dressed? If dressed, was it partially or fully? Were the men and women attired alike or differently? In their ordinary apparel, or in dresses made on purpose? If the latter, were the men in black and the women in white, or not? Had they weights at the bottom of their garments, to make them sink into the water?

iv. Were the baptized plunged backward or forward? Were they immersed once, twice, or three times? Were they dipped only, or also subsequently poured upon, as in the Greek, Abyssinian, and other eastern churches? Were they wetted only by a simple dipping, or washed by manual or other friction, as in some oriental communions?

v. Did the disciples attend to the literal injunction of our Lord, by baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, or only in the name of the Lord Jesus? If there be no instance where the rite was administered in the name of the adorable Trinity, how do our opponents, on their principles, justify the practice?

vi. Was there only one person employed to dip a convert, or was he assisted by others—especially when the minister was small and feeble and the candidate stout, tall, and weighty.

Vii. Did they ever warm the water in cold seasons or countries? Did they ever baptize the people privately? Did they ever construct baptismal fonts? Did the minister ever dress in a particular garb for the occasion? Did he ever wear under garments, to keep out the water from his legs?

viii. Was the mode invariably the same in all places and for all persons—males and females—the delicate lady of the court and the rustic ploughman of the field—the sickly and the hale—the bed-ridden and the active?— Were they all treated precisely in the same manner?

ix. When persons were affected under a sermon, so as to cry for mercy, or confess their belief that Jesus was the Son of God, were they all baptized immediately—whether provided with proper dresses or not—whether ignorant of religion as a system or not?—Were they ever kept as catechumens and candidates for baptism for a month, or a year, or at all?

x. Was the faith of discipleship or of salvation necessary? Was an individual confession made before the church or congregation previous to baptism? If so, in what did it consist? What was the nature and extent of the instruction required previous to receiving this ordinance? And who were the persons that judged in this case—the minister alone, or the people with him, or without him?

These questions might have been considerably enlarged, but can they be answered? If not, with what consistency can our opponents dilate so largely on scripture precedent, and the absolute necessity of a strict, individual, and undeviating adherence to it, for a legitimate performance of this ceremony—when, in truth, they confessedly know not how it was originally understood and observed. Having no means of information on this subject which we do not possess, are they inspired by Heaven to decide, at pleasure, what was formerly done and what now shall render their rite valid in the absence of sufficient data and unimpeachable credentials?

II. But though our opponents cannot answer the preceding interrogatories, they still persist that the manner is, or ought to have been, as definitively settled as the Jewish ceremonies or the Eucharist. Let us hear their own words:— 'Baptism is a positive institution of Christ, and, agreeably to his infinite wisdom and goodness, he has expressed himself in the most clear and explicit manner respecting both the mode and the subject of it.''—'Such laws admit of no commutation, mutilation, or alteration by human authority.'—'Baptism being a positive institution, as well as those ancient rites [of circumcision, sprinkling of blood, anointing with oil, and other Levitical ceremonies, what reason can be assigned, if water should be applied to a particular part of the body, why that part was not mentioned, either in the institution of the ordinance or in some apostolic example of its administration.'—'Circumcision ' was ordained, and every minutia of it expressly settled— 'so was the Passover—so the Lord's Supper. In like manner in baptism, every thing is clear, and we are not left to 'guess at the element to be made use of, or the form of words to be repeated on the occasion—all is express and explicit.'—On these assertions a few observations are requisite.

i. According to the above statements and deductions, the mode of baptism is expressed in the most clear and explicit manner; and which is unquestionably to dip the whole body of the candidate under water and take it up again. But to whom is this mode so plain? Not to one in ten of the inhabitants of this empire. But it is as plain as the Levitical ceremonies under the law. This we deny; since the Hebrews were, in many cases, restricted to specific rules unknown to the ordinance of baptism, as will be proved hereafter. But then it ought to be as plain? But how do our opponents know this? Surely God is the best judge how precisely he shall circumscribe his ordinances—whether the most ignorant and thoughtless should understand them as well as the intelligent and enquiring. Is not this presuming to dictate to Infinite Wisdom how to prescribe laws and relate passing events? Is it not' directing the Spirit of the Lord, and giving counsel to the Most High God?

ii. But we may enquire whether there are not other corresponding institutions of an equally positive nature, in which Christ is equally remote from restricting the hands of his servants to minute and unvarying rules of action? Several things might be referred to under the law, but we shall come to the gospel, and consider the duties of preaching and prayer. And we ask are these so expressly regulated by Christ in his commissions as to admit of no variety? Were all the apostles commanded to preach exactly alike, as to matter and form? Were they to preach only on stated days, or at any time? Were they to address their audiences in their ordinary apparel, or in some ministerial robes? Or might all these be diversified according to circumstances —such as place, time, audience, and opportunity? When they engaged in prayer, was it according to a particular form prescribed, in part or wholly; or were they left to begin, continue, and end, according to their own discretion? Were the character and the qualification of evangelists so settled that none but those minutely described should officiate? Were all those sent to preach, sent also to baptize? If not, wherein lies the difference between a preaching and a baptizing minister? Was the erection of chapels, excavation of baptisteries, and the like, enjoined or left to arise according as occasion should dictate? Let our brethren find, if they can, in these all-important institutions, the minute regulations which they plead for in respect of baptism.

iii. But they refer us to the Lord's Supper, as containing a specimen of explicit and immutable legislation. In reply, we ask them whether this sacrament is so verbally and positively fixed that all must observe it exactly alike, or become culpable for deviating from the revealed will of the Legislator. Hath Christ so specified the time, place, posture, guests, form of words, the quality and quantity of the bread and wine that no serious persons can ignorantly err respecting his intentions? Let our brethren also find, if they are able, in this sister sacrament, the minute regulations they plead for in baptism. Further, did the Son of God intend the Lord's Supper to be a symbolical or a pictorial representation of his sufferings and death? If the former, as Dr. Gill asserts, the precise mode must, in their view, be immaterial. If the latter, it is every way defective—for surely a stranger to Christianity, witnessing the administration of this sacrament for the first time would never conclude that the ceremony was just like a person agonizing in a garden or dying upon a cross. And why might not baptism be rather a symbolical than a pictorial representation of the great lessons it inculcates.

iv. From these references it is manifest that our opponents, with their notions, would find some difficulty in proving that the ordinance of baptism should be settled in every iota by the Institutor, or exemplified precisely by the apostles. When Dr. Jenkins talks of every thing being clear and explicit as the minutiae of circumcision, the Passover, purification, and the Eucharist, we naturally look for a confirmation of the sentiment; but behold, we are 'not left to guess at the element to be made use of or the form of words to be repeated on the occasion!' This is what we never disputed, and, therefore, the declaration merely serves to blind the eyes of ignorant people, by leading them to suppose that all other things are precisely settled in their favor by the Holy Spirit. When Mr. Booth asks, 'what reason can be assigned if water should be applied to a particular part of the body, why that part was not mentioned or exemplified in practice?'—we would reply, first, that our Baptist friends never apply water to the body, but the body to the water; and, secondly, we would employ the language of a Menonite Baptist, who says,'nor do 'I remember it is any where said, that the person baptized ' was covered with water or was put under it; and had this been the case, I can hardly think the scripture would have been entirely silent about it; but in some place or other it would have been expressly mentioned, especially if it be a circumstance of such importance as some persons suppose and contend for.'—Now, Mr. Booth wonders, if water was to be applied to a particular part of the body, why it was not mentioned; and Mr. Elliott wonders, if it were to be totally covered or dipped, why it was not recorded; and perhaps one wonder is tantamount to the other, which is all we require.

III. But let us for a moment suppose our opponents to be absolutely certain, that a mode similar to their own was generally or always observed by the harbinger and apostles of our Lord, is it necessary with an undeviating scrupulosity to adhere to it now, in this and every other country where the gospel is preached? -If so, it must arise either from explicit and positive enactments, or the inherent character of the ceremony. The latter we deny, and, being the topic in debate, it will not be received without competent evidence. If it follows from the nature of positive institutions generally, ought not all positive laws to be thus interpreted? But do our brethren observe this rule? Are they not continually neglecting the performance of positive injunctions and the plainest examples of scripture—quite as positive and plain as their particular and exclusive mode of immersion-baptism? We will prove this fact in several indisputable instances.

i. Christ washed his disciples' feet at the feast of the Passover and the institution of the sacrament, saying, 'If I ' then, your Lord and master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet,' (john 13:14.) But this is neglected.

ii. James, says, 'is any sick among you, let him call for ' the elders of the church—and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord,' (james 5:14, compare Mark 6:13.) This is neglected.

iii. Paul enforces the kiss of charity—'salute one another ' with an holy kiss, (rom. 16:16,) greet one another with 'an holy kiss, (1 Cor. 16:20,) greet all the brethren with 'an holy kiss,' (1 Thess. 5:26.) Peter, says, 'greet one another with a kiss of charity,' (1 Peter 5:14.) This also is neglected, as are the feasts of charity mentioned by Jude, (v. 12.)

iv. When the Lord's Supper was instituted and the model of its observance first given, it was on a Thursday evening, in a large upper room, with only eleven or twelve communicants, all of them males, after eating the Passover, with unleavened bread, and in a reclining posture, (luke 22:7-20.) Are these rules observed?

v. Our Lord and his disciples observed the seventh day of the week previous to his passion, and his disciples kept the seventh as well as the first afterwards. Nor .have we any command for making an alteration, (luke 4:16 ; Acts 17:2.) Do our opponents proceed in the same manner?

vi. We are commanded by the apostles, assembled at Jerusalem , to abstain from things strangled and from blood, (acts 15:20, 29.) But do not most of our brethren partake, more or less, of these prohibited eatables?

vii. The primitive Christians had all things in common, (acts 4:32.) Why do not the opulent members of the Baptist communion adopt a similar practice? Surely their poor communicants would highly approve of the plan!

viii. Poor Christian widows, when sixty years of age, were supported by the voluntary contributions of the church, and deacons were appointed to serve their tables and minister to their daily necessities, (acts 6:1-4; 1 Tim. 5:3-10.) But were is this law observed by our brethren?

ix. When people first heard the word of God, and confessed their belief in Christ as the true Messiah, whether truly converted or not, they were all baptized without the least delay, (acts 2:41—8:12, 37, 38—10:47, 48— 16:33.) Is this precedent followed?

x. Whenever the apostles baptized a person at the head of his family, they invariably baptized his (oikos) children also, (acts 16:15, 23, &c.) Do our opponents in England , India , or elsewhere, follow this apostolic example?

Whence then arises all the parade about an undeviating adherence to primitive example and positive law? Let our friends be consistent or silent, whichever they please; or, as one of them says on another occasion, 'if this is their ' supposed warrant, why do they not keep exactly to the 'rule of that commission?''

IV. -But our opponents are not only inconsistent by omitting many things they know to have been enjoined or practiced—they also perform various others of a sacred nature, or associated with their religious worship, for which they find no examples, nor can justly plead the least divine authority. Let us propose a few more appropriate questions, for the purpose of illustrating the truth of our assertion:—

i. What express precept or precedent have our opponents, in the New Testament, for erecting chapels, with pews and pulpit—for employing choirs and instruments of music?— for singing hymns of human and uninspired composition— and for their particular mode of ministering in holy things?

Ii. What express precept or precedent have our esteemed brethren for administering the Lord's supper weekly or monthly—for using leavened bread and port wine—and for admitting females to participate in this communion?

iii. What precept or precedent have they in the New Testament for uniting with the parents of a new-born child, in reading some portion of scripture on the occasion —returning thanks to the Giver of all good, and recommending the infant to God in earnest prayer?—in fact, for performing all the parts of baptism, except applying the water?

iv. What express precept or precedent have they for baptizing the adult offspring of parents who were Christians or believers at the time of their childrens' birth or infancy?

v. What command or example do they plead for digging baptisteries in their chapels or near them—for making them water-proof—with steps to descend—with wells,-pumps, and shoots, to fill them—and with sewers under, to drain off the water after baptism?

vi. What divine authority do they plead for making dresses peculiar to the occasion—black for the men and white for the women—with leads at the bottom, to make them sink, and thereby avoid an exposure of the person— or for deacons using wands, to press the floating clothes beneath the water?

vii. What precept or precedent is pleaded for the ministers using a different robe in baptizing than in preaching— for wearing, like the late Dr. Ryland, mud boots made of leather, water-proof, and reaching above the middle—or for singing hymns, praying, and delivering orations at baptism?

vii. What precedent have our opponents for employing woman with cloaks, to throw over the heads and shoulders of the ladies who come up out of the water, to hide the clinging transparency of their clothes from appearing to the crowd—or for standing between the baptized and the congregation, and hurrying them, breathless, into the adjoining rooms?

ix. What divine authority do they bring for warming the water in the baptistery—for having double vestries, with a fire in each—for placing tubs in them, to receive the wet clothes—and for giving the baptized wine or spirits and water, to cheer their spirits or prevent a chill?

x. What precedent have they for dipping a person once rather than thrice—or, when a first dipping is not absolute and entire submersion, for dipping him a second time till wholly under water?

Not to particularize further, we have shown you that our opponents do many things, even in the rite before us, for which they can plead neither precept nor example; and consequently, that their baptism, on their own principles, is invalid; for they assure us, that' nothing is or can be a part of Christian worship which is not recommended either by ' precept or example in the Holy Scriptures'—that 'to go beyond or come short of what is expressly noted in the  scriptures of truth, with respect to a positive institute, is to set aside the institution itself, and to practice a human rite' 2—that 'in the worship of God, nothing therein as worship is to be admitted without some plain and express word, by precept or practice, to warrant the same out of the New Testament'—and that 'as nothing should be excluded from the worship of God which Christ hath appointed, so nothing should be added by human authority: 'He alone, as legislator of his own kingdom, can alter or annul what he hath himself commanded. To interfere with the economy of things established in his church, is to be wise above what is written, and to invade the prerogatives of his office, who is head over all things to his church, which is his body, the fullness of him who filleth all in all.'

V. The only attempt at vindicating these innovations must be founded on one or other of the following propositions:—

i. 'That the manners and customs of our age and country require all those precautions and conveniences.' But while any denomination of believers, except the Baptists, might plead this argument—in their mouths, and following the fore-cited passages—it becomes inconsistent in the extreme; since they profess to act not on deductions drawn from scripture, but on a strict and unvarying adherence to its primitive forms and ceremonies. Besides, they make many additions, alterations, and omissions, which the change of climate and customs by no means renders necessary. For instance—what has the change of climate or manners of the people to do with the administration of the Lord's Supper, as to place, time, element, sex, or posture? What have the climate and customs to do with the kiss and feasts of charity, anointing the sick with oil, observing the seventh day of the week, eating blood or things strangled, having all things in common? What have the climate or customs to do with baptizing immediately on conviction—supporting aged Christian widows—and a dozen other things which might be enumerated? If they still contend that the climate and customs of the age and country make these alterations prudent and essential, we will answer in the language of Mr. Booth—'So, then, the voice of national decency is to be heard and the force of local customs is to be felt in the administration of a divinely positive rite, even though the will of the Institutor be the sole ground of this institution."—If our opponents consider any rite specifically enjoined by Christ or precisely administered by the apostles, on their own principles, they are bound to observe it exactly in the same manner. That they are inconsistent with themselves and act contrary to the professions they are constantly making, we have fully established: and if a deviation in many cases is allowable, as in preaching, and prayer, and the Lord's Supper, why not in baptism itself; and if our good friends make so many omissions, alterations, and appendages to this ordinance, how can they honestly complain of us for going, as they deem it, a little further than themselves? And with what propriety are they continually assailing us and their people with their doctrine of positive institutions and the immutable nature of scripture precedents?

Ii. It is answered, 'that the things enumerated above are merely circumstantial and indifferent. But how do our opponents know that the precise mode of applying water to the baptized, is not also a mere circumstance of baptism? That they have not proved the action of total immersion an essential and inherent part of scripture baptism, has been sufficiently demonstrated; and for ought they have adduced to the contrary, their dipping may be as much a circumstance as the other ceremonies invariably introduced by them, and which are requisite to the performance of this rite as administered in their communion. They first arbitrarily assume, and then fearlessly assert, that to baptize is to dip the whole body, and that dipping is the essence of the sacrament. Consequently, all the preparations, accompaniments, and appendages, are mere incidents varied at will. But let them verify the justice of their assumption, before they draw such a sheltering conclusion. Besides, how can they, on their principles of interpreting positive laws and institutions, prove that such circumstances are not objectionable in the sight of God. If 'what is not commanded by Christ or practiced by his apostles, is virtually 'forbidden as will-worship;' and 'if scripture forbids what it does not mention,' as our opponents contend, they are no more warranted in their additions or alterations than the Roman Catholics are in the most superstitious branches of their worship; and the latter might, with equal propriety, plead that all their ceremonies were but mere incidents and circumstances of their service: and if' to come short of ' what is noted in the scriptures of truth, with respect to a positive institution, is to set aside the institution itself, our brethren are as guilty, in many cases before mentioned, as they can conceive us to be for not dipping our converts: besides, acting in opposition to their avowed principles. Indeed, one of their most intelligent and respectable advocates says, 'that what is performed as an act of worship ' or a religious duty, if it has not the authority of scripture, 'is sinful and of a bad tendency.'

VI. We have now examined all the material evidence adduced by our opponents in support of their exclusive system of immersion, which they pronounce not only scriptural but the only valid mode of baptism. From what has been advanced, we consider it indubitably established, that they have not proved, and cannot maintain, their point—that their mode of baptism is supported by partial evidence, distorted facts, illegitimate deductions, and sophistical reasoning—and which, when fairly investigated, prove no better than the baseless fabric of a vision, that vanishes on opening our eyes and exercising our rational faculties. To conclude, in the language of the Rev. Mr. Watson, a Wesleyan minister of great respectability and penetration: 'it is satisfactory to discover that all the attempts made to impose upon Christians a practice repulsive to the feelings, dangerous to the health, and offensive to delicacy, is destitute of all scriptural authority, and of really primitive practice.'



It has been proven, we hope, to your entire satisfaction, that the testimonies adduced by our respected opponents, in favor of their exclusive scheme of immersion baptism, are fatally defective—and that consequently their cause is lost. Our object at present is to convince you that pouring or sprinkling, or applying the element to the object, is the only valid method of administering this Christian sacrament.

In the prosecution of our enquiry we shall be as plain and concise as the nature of the subject will fairly admit. Occasional repetitions, however, in controversies of this nature are often unavoidable; similar evidence and arguments are frequently necessary for the establishment of distinct and even dissimilar propositions. Hence, though our preceding remarks have been entirely devoted to the overthrow of our opponents' scheme, and our subsequent observations are chiefly directed to the establishment of our own; yet much that has been already advanced might have been arranged under this second head of our discourse—and a considerable part of what will yet be adduced might have been brought forward in the preceding discussion. In a subject of this extensive and diversified nature such a method could not be conveniently avoided.

We beg to remind you that the question at issue between us and our esteemed brethren, is not which of us performs the ceremony of baptism in the better or more scriptural manner—but which of us is only or exclusively right. For if our respective modes are as opposite as applying the person to the water, and applying the water to the person— both cannot be scriptural, and therefore not valid. 'If,' says Dr. Jenkins, ' the words of the apostle, (eph. 4:5,) 'are to be regarded, there can be but one baptism, as but one faith. So that dipping or sprinkling must be the true mode. Both cannot be true.' Our opponents assert that they are exclusively right, and that we are altogether in the wrong. 'I affirm,' says Mr. Burt,' without presumption, ' that sprinkling or pouring water on the face, is not baptism.’ Dr. Gale, says, 'they who are not duly baptized ' [that is, plunged under water] are certainly not baptized at all.' Dr. Gill, says, 'baptism must be performed by immersion, without which it cannot be baptism.' Mr. Keach, observes, 'that cannot be true baptism, wherein there is not, cannot be, a lively representation of the death, burial, and resurrection, of Jesus Christ.' We, on the other hand, feel no hesitation in asserting, with equal confidence, that dipping, plunging, or immersing a person into the water, is not scripture baptism, and that if a precise conformity to scripture precept and apostolic example be requisite to constitute a valid performance of a positive institution, as our opponents assert, it is not baptism at all— and that all our opponents, who have not been affused or aspersed with water in the name of the Trinity, are still un-baptized—nor will they have complied with the divine injunction till they have received the ordinance in this scriptural manner.

The terms, “circumstantial evidence,” employed in the present proposition, may be thought by some to concede a consciousness of invalidity in our argument. 'Give us,' say they, 'direct testimony in support of your practice and we will place confidence in the strength of your positions.' But, let it be remarked, that our opponents have adduced no direct evidence in maintenance of immersion—unless their mere assertions respecting the word baptize be of this description. Excepting these unfounded and gratuitous declarations, all the testimony they profess to bring is as much circumstantial as what we propose to lay before you. They have adduced no case from scripture, in which it is unequivocally said the baptized were totally put under water from head to toe, and taken out again in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They simply infer that if a person is 'baptized in a place of much water, he must 'be plunged into it.' They think it natural to suppose that the Eunuch was immersed, from the circumstances of the case; but they have no direct proof for it. John's baptizing in Enon, because there was much water there, is the plainest instance they can exhibit in support of dipping; and yet this is allowed to be only a presumptive proof. And so of every other case, and every other judicious opponent. The fact is, that no intelligent person, acquainted with the precise nature of this controversy, and supporting his respective opinion in a candid and feasible manner, can have recourse to any other species of argumentation. As there is no certainty obtainable, respecting the mode of this sacrament, but from the circumstances of its primitive administration, and as these, when fairly examined, will clearly settle the question at issue, we shall apply ourselves to these alone.

But before we come to the more direct discussion of our subject, it will be proper to observe that we are not contending for a circumstantially precise and unvarying mode of baptism. We have defined our method to be 'pouring, ' sprinkling, or otherwise applying the element to the candidate ’in opposition to ' dipping, immersing, or otherwise 'applying the candidate to the element'—modes as opposite to each other as light is opposed to darkness. We are not so supercilious as to argue that the water must be poured and not sprinkled, or sprinkled and not poured; or that some definite quantity must be used; or that it must be applied to some particular part of the body exclusively— because on these points the scriptures are unquestionably silent—and therefore it does not become us to be wise above what is written, nor to determine, respecting this or any other institution, what God has wisely and graciously left to the judgment or circumstances of his people. That the mode universally prevalent among our opponents is unscriptural, we conscientiously believe; and that the method generally regarded by Pedobaptists is true and complete, we are equally confident.

In prosecuting our future enquiries, we shall observe the following arrangement:—

i. The contradictions and difficulties of our opponents.

ii. The frequent application of the word baptize. m. The mode of baptism among the Jews.

iv. Several instances of scripture baptism.

v. The numbers baptized by John and Christ's disciples.

vi. The baptism of the Holy Ghost.

vii. The numerous difficulties attending immersion.

Viii. The danger of dipping in many cases.



Although this particular has not a direct reference to the point at which we are aiming, yet it will indirectly aid our cause, by weakening that of our opponents, and by meeting an objection they have frequently brought against us. They would make us believe that their doctrine is so plainly established, and the evidence by which it is upheld so simple and tangible, that he who runs may read it, and that the way-faring man, though a fool, will easily arrive at their conclusions. They also affirm, that in supporting our system, there is so much difficulty, labor, management, and contradiction displayed, that people of ordinary capacities cannot comprehend our arguments; while superior minds must detect our sophistry, and should disentangle themselves from the ensnaring influence of our communion. The author of Antipedobaptism and Female Communion Consistent,' has the following remark:—'On what principle, honorable to Pedobaptism, and to the literary character of its defenders, can any one account for the numerous inconsistencies that subsist among themselves? 'Another objection,' 'says Mr. Gibbs, 'to the theory of infant baptism, is the 'contrariety of opinion which exists among those who yet most cordially espouse its general principles. This implies a deficiency of scripture evidence to guide their decisions, as well as a want of scriptural law to regulate their practice:'nor is this an unfounded assertion; for though they all agree in the general conclusion, that infant baptism is necessary, it is well known that they differ materially as 'to the premises from which they draw this conclusion; ' and that they flatly contradict each other as to many particulars connected with this ceremony. So palpable is this difference of opinion in the history of the present controversy, that we frequently find the most expert and zealous defenders of Pedobaptism, not only admitting the great facts from which we reason, but strenuously opposing and  laboriously disproving the principles laid down by some of their own party.' This sentiment is frequently broached in the writings of the Baptists; and it proceeds on the supposition that their system is free from similar inconsistencies, and their writers from those perplexities which they find or fancy amongst us. Now we think it may be easily perceived, from what we shall lay before you, that our brethren have also a vast many difficulties, and that the writings, issued in defense of their scheme, are pregnant with contradictions and contrivances—sufficient, indeed, to prove that their cause cannot be upheld without a great deal of trouble. Their labored publications, some of which were not elicited by the attacks of Pedobaptists, display toil and research equal to any thing adduced against them, and develop contradictions unknown to our side of the question. A few specimens will place this assertion in a clear point of view.



From what has been previously advanced respecting the import of the word baptize, it might be thought needless to enter further into the discussion. It should, however, be observed, that the foregoing considerations were designed to prove merely that its applications were various and opposite. Our present intention is to convince you that it is frequently used in a sense perfectly consistent with our mode of administering this sacrament—by applying the element to the object in the shape of pouring, sprinkling, staining, and the like.

It, however, is proper to remind you, that the scriptural mode of baptism cannot be determined simply by the use of this word. After what has been said, it must strike the dullest apprehension, that a term of such vague and general import, can never of itself settle a question which has been so long and so ably litigated by contending parties. The circumstances of the New Testament baptisms must be carefully examined; and conclusions drawn from them fairly and ingenuously. By this means, one may arrive at the truth; and, in the exercise of an unprejudiced spirit, settle the dispute. To prove that the use of the word baptize perfectly harmonizes with our scheme is the design of the ensuing remarks, we shall refer you, first, to certain texts in the New Testament : being as concise as the subject will admit.



The circumstances to be examined unquestionably prove that the apostolic mode of baptism was not by dipping, immersing, or otherwise applying the person to the water.

From what has been advanced you are doubtless convinced that the terms employed to express this rite by no means prove, that any person was ever put under water in the administration of this ordinance by John the Baptist or the disciples of our Lord. You have, also, seen that the expressions used to designate this ceremony, are as much in accordance with pouring and sprinkling as with dipping and immersing. That Jewish baptisms, which were of constant occurrence before and during the days of Christ's personal ministry, were performed by pouring or sprinkling. We shall now adduce further circumstantial evidence to establish our position. This may be easily deduced from the administration of this rite in the primitive church, and even from those cases which apparently most favor the scheme of our opponents. We purpose, first, to offer a few preliminary considerations, and then to investigate those narratives of baptism, in which the circumstances afford us any intimations respecting the definitive action at issue between us and our esteemed brethren.

I. It may be observed, as a general remark, that in all the baptisms of the New Testament no delays were ever necessary or ever made. Whenever persons were brought over from a profession of Judaism or Heathenism to the adoption of Christianity, they were baptized immediately. We read of no postponements on account of numbers, sex, size, delicacy, health, dresses, want of water, or any thing of the kind. Wherever the apostles preached with success, then and there they baptized their converts—whether the season were hot or cold, wet or dry, day or night; whether the people were old or young, male or female, in sickness or in health. To the mode they adopted there arose no obstacles from time, place, audience, or circumstances. Hence Mr. Robinson justly remarks, 'there was no intermediate state of scholarship; baptism was administered immediately on conviction of the truth of the report.' Thus when many of the Samaritans of Sychar believed on our Lord (john 4:39, 41), and were baptized immediately on accrediting the truth of the report, pure water, though fetched from Jacob's well, which was distant and deep, was procured—but, whether for immersion, we leave you to judge. So when the three thousand were converted, under Peter's sermon, every requisite was then and there ready for an apostolic baptism, though water was exceedingly precious in the city of Jerusalem . Nor do we read of any changing of apparel, or laying aside of garments, as Christ did when about to wash only the feet of his disciples (john 8:4), nor of clothes made on purpose, with weights at the bottom to make them sink, nor of cloaks to throw over the shoulders of the baptized to hide their appearance on coming up out of the water—nor of wax or oilskin drawers, or leathern boots above the middle, for the minister. The people were baptized and went immediately to their friends or engaged in their ordinary occupations. But this is not the case with those whose method is immersion—nor, in fact, is it possible. Dresses must be manufactured expressly for the occasion—delicacy and sickness must be consulted—water of a certain depth and in a proper situation must be procured—apparel must be shifted—many preparations must be made—all of which consume considerable time and occasion delays unknown to the apostles. Does not this indicate a great difference between scripture baptism and modern dipping? And would not the New Testament narratives of baptism appear natural and easy on the principle that pouring or sprinkling was the original mode.

II. In the baptisms administered by John to the multitudes that followed him, and of the three thousand baptized on the day of Pentecost, we perceive insuperable obstacles to the system of dipping. Most, if not all, of these people were from home when baptized, many of them, indeed, at a very considerable distance, (acts 2:5-11.) When they went to hear these celebrated preachers, most of them, no doubt, prompted by curiosity, they could have had no intention of being baptized, as they had none of being induced to solicit it. And, surely, in the case of John the Baptist, they could not have anticipated being put under water, since it is universally agreed that such a thing had never been done before. Their conviction of the truth of the report and baptism were, as far as practicable, effected at the same time. In fact, most of those pricked to the heart, under the incriminatory sermon of Peter, were among the most ungodly of their kind, and were mere visitors in the city. Antecedent preparation for baptism with them was entirely out of the question. Neither do we read of their having second suits of attire with them—nor of their borrowing change of raiment from their neighbors, who, being themselves mostly unconvinced, were not likely to lend them three thousand suits, to be saturated in the water, or to be worn away by persons of whom they knew nothing personally, and whom they despised on account of their credulity. To dipping here, the obstructions are immense. But, on the supposition that affusion or aspersion was the mode, every difficulty is immediately removed.

III. As our opponents assume, that the people baptized by John and our Savior’s disciples, had change of raiment with them, we will, merely for the sake of argument for the moment, admit the assumption. But what must have been the consequence of using it in out-of-door dippings, and particularly in the wilderness, or on the banks of the Jordan ? Why, they must have taken off every article of dress they had on, first before they went into the water, and again after they came out—and so must have been naked twice before the multitude. To have removed part of their apparel, if their inner garments remained on, would have answered no end proposed in changing at all. This, you will observe, must have been the case with all the blushing damsels and portly matrons who came to John's baptism: and then, as they would not be very likely to bundle up their clothes, wet and streaming with water, we must next suppose that they, one and all, spread them on the ground or bushes to dry, and remained to watch them till the rays of the sun had absorbed the saturation. All this must have been the case with those who were baptized out of doors, especially in the desert by John the Baptist, and such as subsequently retired to rivers to receive this sacrament. The erection of a parcel of tents for shifting their clothes, is a mere fancy of our opponents, adduced to remove, if possible, an insuperable difficulty that stares every child in the face, and which our brethren can find recorded in the New Testament no more than the baptism of infants. We conclude, therefore, that John baptized out of doors—at least, by pouring or sprinkling—for this removes all difficulties.

IV. Should our friends, to remove the foregoing perplexities, argue that the people were immersed without bringing a second suit of clothes with them, we then reply that this by no means mends the matter. Many of John's converts came from Jerusalem , which was many miles distant from the Jordan , where he, we will suppose, immersed them all. Now, on this assumption, one or other of the following difficulties must have arisen. The people must have been dipped in their clothes or naked. If in the former state, then, of course, they must have had to walk or ride on their asses, or mules, or in their carriages, dripping with the water of Jordan, all the way back to the city, to the injury of their health and the amusement of those young people who were not believers or had never heard the preacher for themselves. But as we never read of the vulgar laugh at what must have been a curious novelty, according to our opponents' own showing, and as we have no account of the people contracting colds or rheumatisms from it, we conclude that this method was not adopted. If in the latter state, the mixed multitudes must have been plunged naked before each others faces—as private baptisms were then never practiced. If our friends contend for this we shall let them. Observing, however, that if it were true, it supposes an indelicacy, especially in the case of ladies, of which they find no precedent or account in the word of God. Besides, this result is inevitable, that to baptize people now fully dressed is un-apostolic, and, according to their principles, must be abandoned!

V. It is a remarkable circumstance, that in those baptisms which were administered in cities and houses (as nearly all Christian baptisms were), we never read that the minister or his converts went into, or down into, the water, or came out of, or up out of, the water—which would have been the case had they been submersed. When people were baptized in country places at rivers, brooks, or running streams, which are always in channels lower than the circumjacent land, it was necessary, for facilitating the operation, especially if many were baptized, or capacious vessels were not at hand to convey the element to a distant place, that they should go to, or down unto, the water for the reception of this rite—though they were only aspersed or affused with it. And thus much and no more the scriptures declare. But, if in house or city baptisms, the converts had been dipped, it would have been said they went into, or down into the pool, bath, or tank, and were submersed, and then came out, or up out, of the water—for going into, or down into the water, would have been as requisite for immersion in this case, as in the preceding, or as going down into a modern baptistery—yet this is no where recorded. Therefore, as the people must have gone down to the river for affusion—which they did—and as they must have gone down into the bath for immersion—which they did not— (the words of scripture being judge) we conclude that all were affused or aspersed, and none of them plunged. This exposition accounts for the different phraseology of the inspired writers, and harmonizes with the various narratives of scripture baptisms.

VI. It is also evident, that our Lord's forerunner and followers baptized all who were brought or made willing to submit to this sacrament. We read of no person being refused on account of age, sex, character, or circumstances. The Jewish nation, oppressed by the Roman yoke, and expecting a temporal deliverer in the Messiah, and supposing John to be this divine person (luke 3:15), they came to him and were consecrated unto his doctrine. John however, having assured them that he was not the Christ, but that he was soon to appear—when, therefore, the Son of God commenced his ministry, they hastened to him and were consecrated unto his doctrine, even more numerously than they had been unto John's. Now, it is said, that' all the ' people were baptized' of John (luke 3:21); and that Christ, by his disciples, baptized more than he, (john 4:1,2.) Of all the multitudes that applied, we read of none that were refused. Certain Pharisees and lawyers, indeed, rejecting the counsel of God against themselves, would not submit (luke 7:30); but none who were disposed to comply were rejected. We may, therefore, conclude that, with very few exceptions, all the Jews were baptized. The exhortation which John gave to the people generally, and to the publicans and soldiers in particular (luke 3:11-14), in no wise militates against this assumption, since, without even a promise of compliance with his injunctions, they were all baptized, (luke 3:16.) Nor does the case of the three thousand who, after hearing Peter's sermon, were pricked to the heart, and gladly received the word preached to them (acts 2:37,41); since it only proves how many were baptized and what means induced such a number to submit. There, however, is not a word about any being refused. Nor does that of Cornelius—since his first receiving, the Holy Ghost was evidently intended merely to remove the prejudice of Peter against admitting Gentiles into the visible church, (acts 10:44-48.) Here, again, none are refused. The only passage exhibiting the appearance of terms or restrictions in baptizing is the supposed question of the Eunuch and the answer of Philip, in Acts 8:37; but which is almost universally allowed, by competent judges, to be an interpolation—and, therefore, ought not to be in the sacred writings. In a word, we may defy our Baptist brethren to adduce a single instance where any persons applying for baptism for themselves, or for others, were refused. And as we have seen that all, with an inconsiderable exception, did apply—we say all, or nearly so, were actually baptized—some of them, probably, more than once or twice—first, by John (luke 3:21), then by our Lord's disciples, during his life-time (john 4:1,2); and again after his resurrection, (acts 19:3-5.) At least, a due consideration of these passages renders it likely. That all were not plunged under water appears to us unquestionable; and will be proved more at large under the next particular. We must now examine a few instances of scripture baptism, and we shall select those chiefly in which the circumstances of the administration are detailed, and on which the dipping hypothesis is mainly erected.

VII. The Ethiopian Eunuch, (acts 8:27-40.)— As this is a case on which our opponents lay the greatest stress in supporting their exclusive mode of baptism, and as it offers the only instance of Christian baptism in the New Testament, where the circumstances of the administration are largely noticed, we have placed it first in our enumeration. It is roundly and repeatedly asserted that Philip put the Eunuch entirely under water. The grounds of this assertion are the meaning of the terms employed, especially the prepositions eis and ek. In reply, we beg to offer the following remarks, to show that he was not immersed, but only affused or sprinkled by the deacon.

i. The Greek terms, as we have abundantly proved, are as favorable to our view of the case as to that of our opponents—the verb baptizo meaning to pour, sprinkle, or apply, the water, as well as to dip or immerse the body— and the prepositions eis and ek, implying no more than that they went to the water and returned from it. The first preposition being translated to or unto five hundred and thirty-eight times in the New Testament, and the latter from one hundred and eighty-six times—this point is placed beyond debate. Dipping, therefore, cannot be established from the terms employed; while the circumstances, when duly weighed, make such an action highly improbable.

Ii. The place where this rite was administered, leads one to conclude that sprinkling or pouring was the method adopted. It is called a desert, (acts 8:36.) Now, a desert, according to the definition of one of our opponents, 'is a part of the earth wanting in pleasant rivers, elegant trees, fruits, &c.' Hence the wonderful diffusion of gospel blessings, among heathen nations, is thus expressed by the prophet:—'In the wilderness shall waters break out and streams in the desert.' (Is. 35:6.) Had there been much water in this place, as the remark of Mr. Keach implies, it would have been cultivated, and not have remained a desert. We conclude, therefore, that the place was unfavorable to dipping. (See Ps. 63:1.) This is corroborated by an historical fact. When Cambyses was about to invade Egypt, in the year 627, B.C. and had to pass this very spot or near it, 'he contracted ' with the Arabian king, that lay next the borders of Palestine and Egypt, to supply him with water while he passed the deserts that lay between these two countries; 'where accordingly it was brought on camels' backs; without which he could not have marched his army that way.'  A parallel case is mentioned by the Jewish historian: When Caesar was marching his army from Ptolemais to Pelusium, through the land of Judea, and probably by the rout partly taken by the Eunuch, it being a dry country, Herod supplied it with water and other provisions thither and on its return, to the delight of Augustus.

ill. This water is also without a scripture name, while every material spring, fountain, or well of the Holy Land , has some significant appellation. The expression of the Eunuch is remarkable: 'See, water!' ('here is,' being in italics, and consequently not in the original), since it implies that it was approached without being distantly seen, and created a pleasing surprise in the traveler's mind. When we hear a Baptist bard chanting—'The silver stream ran fall in sight; we can only smile at the simple fiction of his partial muse. It was probably either a well with a stone trough provided, as was common, by some philanthropist, to prevent travelers from perishing in their journeys through this dry and desert land ;s or as Jerome, who lived many years in that neighborhood, says, 'This water was a brook at the foot of Bethsur, or Bethsoron. We often pass over such little 'brooks in our common road.'

iv. Let it be remarked further, that had Philip and the Eunuch gone down into the water and come up out of the water, it by no means proves that Philip immersed the Eunuch. Maclean says, 'we do not affirm that 'going down into the water is the same with baptism or immersing. Philip and the Eunuch might go to their necks in water, and yet not be baptized.' This is palpable, since Philip went into the water as well as the Eunuch, and yet was not baptized. This rite was something done while in the water, and perfectly irrespective of going into and coming out of it.

v. Besides, to say that they would not have gone into the water, had it not been for the purpose of dipping, is to base the immersion-scheme on a mere conjecture. We hesitate not to assert, that neither of them went into the water at all—let our opponents prove as well as assert the contrary, and then enlarge on the necessity of keeping close to the letter of scripture, and avoid all inferential reasoning. Further, might they not have gone into the water without either of them going under? Have not our brethren done so frequently? Is it not done every day of our lives? Might they not have gone into the water up to their ankles or knees, and then might not the deacon have poured or sprinkled some on the head or face of the Eunuch? Nor would this kind of consecration have surprised the Chancellor, as being an unscriptural or a new-fangled method. He had been reading just before this sentence: 'So shall 'he sprinkle many nations' (Is. 52:15):—a sprinkling, therefore, was what he might have expected—probably the very expressions led him to solicit baptism. With this species of purification also, as a proselyte of Judaism, he must have been perfectly familiar; whereas the action of one man putting another under water, was a thing he had never before seen or heard of, and what therefore he was very unlikely to solicit.

vi. To contend that the Eunuch had water enough in his chariot for a sprinkling, is all imagination.1 Our opponents might as well conclude he had enough for his numerous retinue, with which they are pleased to honor him, and for his several horses; and that he enjoyed the cooling gratification of riding amidst leathern bottles of this element —sitting as stately as Neptune upon the waves! There is no intimation that he had even any, and therefore if only a few drops were required, they must go where it was to be obtained—nor is there a word said about his having a jug to fetch any in. Our friends, who object to inference in other cases, are pleased to avail themselves of it here by wholesale. They also forget in this place what they have repeatedly told us, that pure, fair, or running water, or, as Josephus says,' water taken from perpetual springs, was always essential to Jewish consecrations and Christian baptism. Dr. Gill, however, tells us, that wine and water, mixed, was the usual drink of those countries ; and if this were mixed before-hand, as is most probable, it would have been quite unfit for baptism. Consequently, whatever he might have had in his warm leathern bottles was no more fit for this sacrament than if it had, by a miracle, been all turned into wine.

Vii. But there is another insurmountable objection to the dipping of the Eunuch—namely, the inconveniency and indelicacy of its accompaniments. This Chancellor must have been either dipped in his travelling dress and have rode on his way rejoicing, saturated to the skin, with the water running about his carriage, to the injury of all its appurtenances and to the endangering of his life—which no person in his senses will believe; or he must have been baptized naked before a large retinue of servants, which our opponents, as before remarked, are pleased to place about his highness; or, lastly, he must have shifted his clothes twice, and have been in a state of nudity twice before his attendants. Dr. Jenkins tells us, though not from his own knowledge, that his servants helped him 'to change his raiment, took notice of the whole transaction; and their 'curiosity excited enquiry about the liberties taken by Philip.' Now, that a black man—for he was an Ethiopian (acts 8:27)—and one of a nation celebrated for the darkness of their skin (jer. 13:23)—a gentleman, a chancellor—and, above all, a eunuch—should have done all this, and that we should be called to believe it, without the least scripture authority, exceeds all our credulity. We therefore unhesitatingly conclude, that he was not put under water, but that he was baptized by affusion or aspersion. The leading terms of the narrative are in perfect unison with this interpretation; and the circumstances of the case must place this view of the subject beyond all doubt in every ingenuous mind.

VIII. The Blessed Redeemer, (matt. 3:13-16; Mark 1:9, 10; Luke 3:21-23.)—It is strongly contended that our Lord was put under water by John the Baptist. This is advocated from the supposed sense of the word baptize, the meaning of a Greek preposition, and the circumstances of the case. A few considerations will show the fallacy of all these testimonies.

i. The terms will not prove it. Baptizo, as we have amply established, meaning either to dip or pour, immerse or sprinkle—and can be interpreted only by the connection. It is not said our Savior went into the water; but this is assumed by the expression he came up out of the water. It should, however, be remembered that the Greek preposition apo, in Matt. 3:16, is translated from three hundred and seventy-four times, and out of only forty-six times, in the New Testament; and that one of our most learned opponents has observed that it might be generally, if not always, thus rendered. Consequently, we can derive no satisfactory evidence as to the mode of our Lord's baptism from the leading terms of the narrative; and therefore shall not conclude that he was plunged under water until our brethren have adduced some more convincing evidence.

ii. But even admitting that our Lord did go into the water, and, while in it, was baptized by John, can our brethren tell us how it was done? A total submersion of the body does not necessarily follow a mere immersion of the feet and legs. The ancient carved and sculptured representations of baptism, as given by Robinson and Taylor, place the candidates sometimes in the water and sometimes not, while the officer appears pouring the element on his head, in the character of anointing or consecrating to office. This method, in respect of adults, is still adopted in the Greek Church. Nor would such a previous walking into the edge of a river be thought any thing very significant in a country where the people, as Matthew Henry says, 'went bare-legged' going into the water, or being put into it, as practiced by infants in the Greek and other eastern churches, is only a preparatory rite, in the form of ablution, and not baptism itself, which consists in a subsequent pouring or sprinkling. But we say there is not a particle of solid proof that our Lord went into the water at all—and consequently none that he came absolutely out of it. He went to the water necessarily; for John was baptizing with the running stream, and when some of it had been poured on his head, he immediately retired.

iii. But we have internal evidence that John baptized our Lord by pouring or sprinkling. 'The harbinger,' says Mr. Taylor 'was informed that Jesus baptized, and all men came to him, (john 3:34.) Part of his answer is, "He whom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God; for "God giveth not the spirit out of a measure (ek metrou) unto "him," as water is given at baptism by his forerunner to 'those upon whom it is poured. And this is fixed to the 'subject of baptism, by the occasion of the story, which was a question of debate between the disciples of John and certain Jews about ritual purification. To no other period of our Lord's life, than his baptism, could these words spoken by John refer in those early days of his ministry, when he had as yet done comparatively nothing; and what but the action of giving could recall, by association of ideas, the Baptist's mind to the recollection of pouring out water from above using a shell of cup as a measure. lv. It may tend further to confirm our view of the Savior’s baptism, if we remark that Aaron and his sons, being types of our Lord in his priestly office, were, as such, baptized by Moses. The elements employed were three— water (lev. 8:6), oil (v. 12), and blood, (v. 23, 24.) The mode of application, in the first instance, as we have already proved, was pouring or sprinkling—in the second, it was pouring only—and, in the third, it was staining, or applying a color. As the anti-type of all this, our Lord was baptized with water by John (matt. 3:13); with an unction by the Father (Is. 61:1; Luke 3:23) ; and with blood by his enemies, (luke 12:50.) In reference to this three-fold element of baptism, it is said, 'this is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; and there are three that bear witness in earth—the Spirit, (or 'unction,) and the water, and the blood—and these agree in one,' (1 John 5:6, 8.) Now, as the consecration of the type was, in every instance, by applying the element to the object, it is but fair to infer, without valid reasons to the contrary, that this of the anti-type was similar. Indeed, we are certain, that Christ was baptized with the Spirit and blood, by pouring or applying the elements—and have no hesitation in concluding that the water of baptism was brought in contact with his sacred person in a similar manner.

v. Moreover, as in the case of the Eunuch and of all others baptized in the open air, if the principles of our opponents are correct, our Lord must have been dipped naked, and stood exposed to the multitude present all the time—or he must have been dipped in his ordinary apparel, and, dripping with water, must have retired to his lodgings, which were probably distant—or he must have changed his clothes, and thereby have exposed his sacred person twice—before and after the immersion. And if this occurred in the month of November, as one of our opponents believes, and if the weather at that season of the year is sometimes as wet and as cold in Judea , as it is in this country;1 the evil must have been greatly augmented, and the probability of his being immersed very much diminished. These are difficulties which are insurmountable. The indelicacy of the case is so at all events. Besides it does not appear that our Lord had a change of raiment, at least, with him. In fact, circumstances lead us to conclude, he had only one suit in the world—and therefore the usual plea of taking a second dress is unavailing here. (See Luke 9:3; Matt, 27:35.) Upon the whole, we have no hesitation in saying that the Savior was affused or sprinkled by the Baptist, and not dipped at all.

vi. Presuming this deduction to be correct, it must appear evident, that for our opponents to be continually telling their ignorant hearers, who feel a little reluctant to be popped under water, that, unless they submit to it like Christ, they will not fulfill all righteousness—is to produce an inference without premises, and an argument without a foundation ; since Christ was never dipped at all in baptism. Besides, to fulfill all righteousness, the Son of God was circumcised when eight days old, regularly kept the Passover, and observed all the other Jewish institutions—to fulfill all righteousness like Christ, therefore our brethren should do the same. Even in baptism, the case, on their showing, was singular. He was baptized without saving faith, or repentance, or any recorded answer of a good conscience. To follow his example fully, none should be dipped till they are thirty years of age—and a river, if not the Jordan , should always be the place of administration. Perhaps, our opponents, who make the supposed immersion of Christ a topic of such universal application, can tell us into what name Christ was baptized, and what was the form of words used on that interesting occasion?

IX. Cornelius And His Family. The account is related in Acts 10: 44-48, on which we shall be rather concise.

i. We remark that there is something significant in the expression of Peter: ' Who can forbid water?' But is ever such language used in reference to dipping in a brook or a baptistery? It is, however, very appropriate, when applied to a servant's bringing some in a vessel, as is done in our administration of this rite. There is, also, another circumstance in this transaction of a most decisive character. When Peter saw the Holy Ghost descend in a visible manner, on the centurion and his family, as he fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, he immediately concluded that they might be baptized with water, (acts 11:15, compare Acts 2:3.) This ostensible outpouring of the Spirit brought to his recollection the words of Christ respecting the baptism of John. Hear his language:—'And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them as on us at 'the beginning: then remembered I the words of the Lord how he said, John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.' (acts 11:15, 16, compare Acts 1:5.) But whence could arise this instantaneous association in the apostle's mind, on the system of our opponents? What resemblance was there to create such an idea, if John immersed all the people? Are any two acts more directly opposite than the descent of the Spirit on the heads of a family, and plunging such a family into a river? That the Spirit descended, we know—it being a fact universally admitted; but what intimation was this to Peter that the people should therefore be dipped? Supposing, however, that water-baptism, as administered by John and the apostles of Christ, was by causing the element to descend upon them out of the hand of out of a cup, the whole narrative becomes consistent and natural? You will also observe that the outpouring of the Spirit and baptism by water are denominated one and the same thing, and are so blended in this narrative, that it is impossible to conclude that they were not precisely similar in action. Hence we conclude that both were by an affusion or an aspersion.

Ii. Here it may not be out of place to observe, that the case of Cornelius affords us the only instance where it is said the Holy Spirit was given to persons previous to water baptism. For this extraordinary method a reason may be found in the reluctance of Peter to receive into the visible communion of the church any who were recognized as Gentiles. Most of his colleagues were infected with a similar prejudice, (acts 11:1-3.) To remove this impression and to justify his proceeding, the Spirit was poured out in his presence, and fully satisfied his scrupulous conscience. Nor should it be forgotten, that the baptism of believers, as contended for by our opponents, and of believers and their seed, as advocated by many Pedobaptists, is no doctrine of the New Testament. That real believers and their seed were baptized, we do not question; but we do deny that it was confined to them. In the case of adults' conviction of the truth of the report' necessarily preceded baptism —since none would have been baptized without it. But that the apostle looked for real conversion or regeneration, as a necessary qualification for the reception of this ordinance, we deny—and, were it within the range of our present investigation, we could easily disprove. The New Testament baptisms were never deemed a test of character, but only an exhibition of grace and truth. The illustration and confirmation of this sentiment we trust soon to witness from the pen of a gentleman pre-eminently competent to do it ample justice.

X. The Samaritans, Paul And The Jailor. — These baptisms, to instance no others, are all so circumstanced, as to force the conclusion that they were not dipped, but simply affused or sprinkled. As these cases involve nothing very material to this part of our enquiry, we have placed them together, and shall treat them but briefly.

i. The Samaritans, (acts 8:10-12.) Of these it is manifest that a great number was baptized. It will also be recollected that pure or running water, or such as had not been polluted by natural or moral defilement, was necessary in every individual baptism. Now, if the candidates had been all dipped, at least three hogsheads of water were requisite for each full-grown person, and no small quantity for the little folks. Let it, however, be remarked, that the term Samaria , in the time of Christ and afterwards, meant a country and not a city. The words of Luke, in Acts 8:5, are literally, 'Then Philip went down to a city of Samaria .' This is supposed to have been the ancient Sechem or Sychar where, about five years before, our Lord and his disciples had spent two days, (john 4:5, 40.) Assuming this to be the truth, we may derive circumstantial evidence in support of our scheme. Now Sychar, like the city of Nahor, (gen. 24:11, 13, 43), Ramah (1 Sam. 9:11), and other towns erected in the neighborhood of wells or fountains, and generally on elevated ground, was supplied with pure water from Jacob's well, which was distant from the city and of considerable depth, (john 4:27.) That water sufficient for immersing all these Samaritans, 'from the least ' to the greatest,' was not fetched on this occasion, we may fairly infer, and therefore conclude that the people were baptized in the usual way by pouring or sprinkling. This assumption renders all the circumstances of the case feasible and consistent; and though the identity of this city may be disputed, yet there can hardly be a question that the many who believed in our Lord on his visit to this place, were baptized immediately on believing the truth of his report; when the difficulties of immersion would have been nearly as great as in the present instance.



Under the last particular it was observed, that none who desired to receive baptism by the forerunner or followers of Christ were ever refused—that no conditions were made likely to restrict the applicants to any considerable amount —and that several circumstances conspired to induce the people en masse to apply first to John for baptism and then to Christ. This being assumed, we purpose now' to show that the numbers consecrated by John during the period he preceded Christ as a minister of religion, and by the disciples of our Lord on the day of Pentecost and subsequently, were, on account of their numbers, not submersed, but simply affused or sprinkled. We shall begin with,—

I. The Baptism Of John.—'Then went to him Jerusalem , and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan . and were baptized of him in (or on) the Jordan, confessing their sins,' (matt. 3:5, 6. See Mark 1:5.) As you have repeatedly heard, it is a principle with our opponents, in positive institutions, not to reason, infer, or analogize on the Word of God, but to take it literally, and understand it as plain people do, in its grammatical sense and according to our vernacular translation—since they argue, that otherwise common readers of the Bible would be obliged to pin their faith on the sleeve of their teacher. To pass over the difficulties which such a mode of understanding the Holy Oracles would create at every step, and here in particular, and to take our friends on tolerably fair grounds, we will suppose with our plain fellow-countrymen, that all or nearly all the people, old and young of course, living in Jerusalem and Judea, and in the region or countries round about Jordan, were baptized of John by total immersion in the river of Jordan, just as it is practiced by our brethren in Great Britain. On this conjecture two or three enquiries may be raised:—

i. Whether John alone administered this sacrament, or whether he was assisted in it by his disciples? To this we reply, that there is no more express account of John's being aided in this operation by his followers, than there is of infants being baptized by him—nor yet half so much—for we may from the terms employed infer, that he did the latter, but no intimation is given of the former. There is not, however, any circumstance which indicates that John was aided in his work by his disciples; and unless our friends have recourse to supposition and induction, which they deny us in similar cases, because fatal to their scheme, they are forced to conclude, that he, single-handed, baptized all the multitudes that came to him, (luke 3:7.) Further, when the comparative numbers of those baptized by Christ and John are mentioned, it is said, 'Jesus baptized not, but his disciples.' And this is adduced to account for his consecrating more than John, (john 4:1,2) This reasoning, however, would have been invalid, had John been assisted by his disciples. Besides, what Mr. Booth says on another occasion cannot be inapplicable here. 'It is plain,' says he, ‘that this language (gen. 17:23,) ascribes to Abraham the whole performance of this rite, exclusive of any assistant; for it was the patriarch himself who took Ishmael and every male in his own house, and circumcised them. That all this was performed by Abraham in one day, we have no doubt, because the facts rest upon divine testimony.' This point we shall therefore consider established.

ii. The next question is, How long was John employed in baptizing this immense number? You will bear in mind that all these people are said to have been baptized prior to the baptism of Christ. 'Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, &c.' (luke 3:21.) In Matt. 3:5, 6, and Mark 1:5, it is expressly said that all the inhabitants of Jerusalem , Judea, and the region round about Jordan , were baptized before our Lord visited the Baptist. It should be further remembered that John was the son of a priest (luke 1:5), and consequently a priest himself, (numb, 16:40.) Now as such he could not have entered his priestly office, part of which, as we have seen, was baptizing, till he was thirty years of age, (numb. 4:3-47; 1 Chron. 23:3.) In this opinion we are supported by the declaration of a celebrated opponent, who says,' When John was about thirty ' years of age, in obedience to the heavenly call, he entered on his ministry.'' Now, as said before, all, or nearly all, these people were baptized previous to the baptism of Christ, who, when he began to be about thirty years of age (luke 3:23), was baptized by his harbinger. But John was only six months older than our blessed Savior (luke 1:36), therefore all this work was done in about the space of six months. This position we shall also deem valid.

iii. The third question is, How many did John baptize? This, indeed, cannot be answered precisely: but if we may avail ourselves of the best information to be obtained, as our opponents do in similar cases, John must have baptized an immense number: the inhabitants of Jerusalem , Judea, and the entire region round about Jordan were baptized. Now we learn, from good authority, that about forty years after, and subsequent to a long series of oppressions by the Romans, after much intestine warfare, and doubtless many emigrations to distant places, when Titus besieged Jerusalem, 1,100,000 persons were slain in this city alone, nearly 300,000 perished in other parts of the country, and about 100,000 were carried away captive by the conquerors; the Christians, who were very numerous, according to our Lord's direction (luke 21:21), escaped the catastrophe by a seasonable flight; and no inconsiderable number remained still in the land, and who in the reign of Adrian, on account of a furious revolt, were slaughtered to the number of 500,000; multitudes were sold as slaves, and others were banished from the land." Whence we may reasonably conclude, that at the time John was baptizing, Jerusalem , Judea, and the region round about Jordan , comprehended, at least, 2,000,000 of inhabitants. Nor is this computation taken from profane authors in any degree incompatible with the statements of scripture. In the time of David, there were in Israel 1,100,000 men of war above twenty years of age, and in Judah 470,000; the tribes of Levi and Benjamin not being numbered, (1 Chron. 21:5.) Jeroboam, king of Israel, brought 800,000 men against Abijah, king of Judah, who met him with 400,000, (2 Chron. 13:3); and Asa's army, composed of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, consisted of 580,000 soldiers, (2 Chron. 14:8.) And though these are the numbers before the captivity, yet when it is considered that not only a large portion of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin returned to Judea, but also of the other ten tribes (acts 26:7; James 1:1), we may fairly conclude, that after a lapse of five hundred years, the Jews, then so called, were as numerous as the tribes of Judah and Benjamin had ever been; and which, upon a moderate calculation, could not have been less than 2,000,000 of people, as before supposed. Indeed the Jews present at the Passover, in the year 65, were 3,000,000; and a little later, a still greater number had congregated in the metropolis on a similar occasion; which would make the total amount at least 4,000,000, double the number before assumed. However, as many of these probably came from distant countries, let us suppose that 2,000,000 of people came under the influence of John's baptism.

All these, then, according to the letter of the sacred historian, and according to the literal mode of interpretation adopted by our brethren, were baptized by immersion, during the space of six months, by the single-handed efforts of John the Baptist. We have said 2,000,000, for the sake of round numbers; the few individuals who would not submit, and others who might not have applied, or were baptized at Enon afterwards, are not sufficient to affect the argument founded on this calculation.

iv. Now, the fourth question is, Whether this was practicable You will observe, that John had to preach, travel, repose, and take refreshment, during this period, as well as to plunge the people. Nor have we any account of his being a man of more than ordinary vigor of constitution or muscular strength of body, neither do we learn that the people dipped were less robust or more than the generality of candidates for immersion in this present day. Suppose, then, we take the numbers for granted, and conclude that John actually baptized them all. In that case, he must have stood in the water up to his knees or middle, from morning till night, for the full space of six months, and must have plunged over head and ears and pulled up again about 12,800 every day, Sabbaths excepted—about 1,070 every hour, and nearly 18 every minute! That all this was impossible, we need not argue— every child present must perceive it.

v. But lest it should be thought we had formed our basis of argumentation on too large a scale, we will, with Dr. Cox, consider the language as expressive of an indefinite number, though comprehending' great multitudes.' We will, then, suppose that John baptized but the tenth of the probable inhabitants of the country; and surely this cannot be considered an extravagant calculation. We will also suppose that all were adults, men and women, giving themselves up to the discipleship of the Baptist. To have accomplished this, he must have stood in the water twelve hours every day for six months, Sabbaths excepted, and have dipped over head and ears and pulled up again 1,280 between the rising and setting sun—about 107 every hour—and nearly 2 every minute. The difficulty of doing this must be apparent on more accounts than one:—His garments must have rotted—his saturated flesh must have peeled from his bones—and the cold water must, without a miracle, have caused a fatal rush of blood to his head. But let us refer to numbers. Now, as this reasoning rests on facts and experience rather than theoretical calculation, let us hear the decisions of practical men:—Dr. Jenkins says, that 'any man of common strength and alertness might dip thirty-seven in two hours.' '—Mr. Burt is very bold and says, ‘I question not but one minister may, with the blessing of God, immerge in the sacred names used in baptism, and raise again from the water, fifty in an hour for five hours successively; and that he would find a vast deal of 'pleasure therein." Of course Mr. Burt means in this conjecture, for it is nothing more, that the blessing of God includes some extraordinary, if not miraculous, assistance. Nor did he probably contemplate that the minister might ever be a little weak brother and his subjects very large and weighty. But, after all, this would be only a trifle compared with the labors of 'poor John the Dipper!'

vi. We may, however, be questioned in return, Whether the baptism of so many people, in so short a time, by a single individual, would have been practicable on the supposition, that they were all baptized by affusion or aspersion, as administered by the great body of Christians in the present day ? We answer in the affirmative, for the case has been demonstrated. Dr. Robertson, in his History of America, tells us, that' a single clergyman, in one day, baptized 5,000 Mexicans.'—Mr. Robinson, in his History of Baptism, says, that' in the font of the Vatican Church at Rome, Pope Liberius, on a holy Saturday baptized, of both sexes and of different ranks, 8,810 catechumens.' —Pope Gregory says, as cited by the last historian, that' Austin baptized more than 10,000 persons in England on a Christmas day;' and, according to Mr. Booth, Francis Xavier, a missionary among the Indians, baptized 15,000 of them in one day. Admitting the truth of these statements, two things are manifest, our opponents being umpires of the question, that neither the clergyman, Liberius, Austin, norXavier, baptized by immersion; and secondly, that John could have baptized all we have supposed with perfect ease by pouring or sprinkling.

Vii. But we have said John was a Jewish priest, as Zacharias was before him. Now as our opponents positively deny the existence of proselyte baptism before his day, the only baptism which God had appointed under the law to be performed by the ministers of religion on the candidates for purification or consecration, was pouring or sprinkling, or applying the element—this we have proved from scripture and the declarations of our opponents. You have seen that the congregation was sprinkled en masse, or the water was aspersed upon them as a body. This mode our opponents affect to ridicule when advocated by modern commentators as likely to have been adopted by John in respect of the multitudes he baptized. But they should bear in mind that Aaron and every high, and probably every inferior priest, did the like at God's command, for a purpose avowedly similar to those of a New Testament baptism. Nor are we aware that there is any thing more laughable in it than there is in a young preacher of modern times dipping the folks by dozens in a river or baptistery.

Viii. It may be also proper here to notice, that we have, no fresh specification of the mode of baptism in the writings of the Evangelists; consequently we must infer that it was to be done as appointed by Moses. Nor could John, without injunctions unknown to us, and on which, of course we cannot reason, have acted differently from his predecessors; and yet he received the sanction of the Savior. The great numbers initiated by him, and the more full development of the original design of this institution, by no means affect the mode of his operations. This method was divinely appointed (heb. 9:10), and consequently came from heaven (matt. 21:25), with all the doctrines and duties which the precursor of the Messiah delivered and inculcated, and which, rather than the manner of his consecration, was evidently intended by baptism in the last-cited passage. If there were any alterations introduced, it devolves on our brethren to prove it: and as they talk and write so largely on positive precepts as well as apostolic examples, let them adduce their warrant for changing the mode of baptism current for at least fifteen hundred years. But as this is impossible, they must allow us to assume that it was never altered, and that John sprinkled the people as his forefathers had done in their generations.

ix. But still it may be objected that John's baptism was an entirely new ordinance peculiar to the age and occasion of his ministry, and that any reference to the Mosaic rites cannot fairly illustrate the manner of its administration. For this purpose Matt. 21:25, is cited:—' The baptism of John, whence was it, from heaven or of men? or is it an institution of God or the invention of mortals? This question the persons addressed were unable or unwilling to answer—so that the passage does not prove it to be of human or divine origin exclusively. We will, however, admit that this was from heaven. (See John 3:31.) But then the language does not determine whether it was the result of an entirely new revelation of God to John, specifying the subjects, mode, and design of the ceremony, or the adoption of a religious ordinance long before in use among the Jews. The doctrines he preached were as much from heaven as the rite he administered, and were probably included in the term baptism; but they had been revealed and promulgated during many preceding generations. The present ministry of the gospel is unquestionably from heaven, though instituted eighteen hundred years ago. The phrase from heaven, signifies only of divine origination. (See Rom. 1:18; Jas. 1:17; Rev. 3:12.) We have no positive precept or apostolic testimony that it was a new thing in the earth when John entered on his mission; nor is he said to have introduced it as a religious service among the Jews. And even had this been the case, it would not have disproved its prior observance. Moses is said to have given circumcision to the Hebrews (john 7:22), though it had been administered hundreds of years before among the progenitors of that chosen people. He merely, at the command of God, adopted it among his Levitical institutes as he found it among the Hebrew tribes. Consequently the question proposed— even conceding a reply, as before suggested—in no degree affects the arguments previously given. It might have come from heaven long before John was born—when administered by him so extensively, might be called his baptism, as sacrificial offerings are designated the laws of Moses; and, in its general design, the character of its subjects, and the mode of its performance, might perfectly harmonize with the typical purifications, initiations, or consecrations under the Mosaic economy.

x. Here it may not be irrelevant to our object to observe, that the Disciples of St. John the Baptist, a sect residing in the East, have perpetuated or adopted a plan of baptizing which corroborates our position—that John acted in conformity with the supposed customs of the Jewish priests. These people reiterate, in a solemn and public manner, the mode of John's baptism once a year. The following is Norberg's account:—'On the day when John instituted ' his baptism, they repeat this sacred ordinance. They 'proceed in a body to the water, and among them one who ' bears a standard ; also the priest, dressed in his camel's hair ornaments, holding a vessel of water in his hand, he 'sprinkles each person singly as he comes out of the river, 'saying, I renew your baptism in the name of our father and savior John, who, in this manner, baptized the Jews in the Jordan and saved them: he shall save you also.—Last of all, he immerges himself in the water for 'his own salvation."—Here we have the people in the water before their baptism and the priest after—while the only transitive act is sprinkling, which is alone designated the baptism. Mr. Wolfe, the missionary, found a people in Mesopotamia , who also call themselves The Followers of John the Baptist. 'The priests or bishops baptize child' when thirty days old. They take the child to the brink of 'the river—a relative or friend holds the child near the surface of the water, while the priest sprinkles the element upon it.'—We do not lay much stress on these customs. However, they may be considered as neutralizing similar evidence adduced by our opponents; and they prove, as Mr. Watson justly remarks, 'that we have, in modern times, river-baptism without immersion.'

II. The Baptism Of The Three Thousand On The Day Of Pentecost.—That these people were baptized by pouring or sprinkling, and not by dipping or immersing, will be rendered plain from the following considerations:

i. The time occupied in baptizing them was too limited. On the most liberal calculations, the apostles could not have begun to baptize till the middle of the day. Peter did not commence his sermon to the multitude till the third hour of the day, or about nine o'clock according to our reckoning, (acts 2:15.) His discourse, of which Luke has given us an outline in the second chapter of the Acts, was evidently protracted and elaborate. Then there was time employed in the subsequent enquiries and responses —in explaining the design of this ordinance and all the preparations for it—which would have consumed little short of three hours; and as night came on, about six o'clock in the evening, when we may suppose they would have been arrested in their operations, they could have had no more than about six hours in which to perform this ceremony; or, as Mr. Burt's calculations intimate, only five hours were consumed in the administration. For the sacred historian renders it plain, that they were initiated into the church on the very day of their conviction (acts 2:41); and as our brethren assure us, that 'baptism in scripture always preceded adding to a visible church,’ and that the 'apostolic churches were composed of baptized believers' and none ever admitted to their communion who had not been baptized'—we are necessitated to conclude that the three thousand were, in this manner, initiated into the church at Jerusalem in the afternoon of the day of Pentecost.

ii. Let us suppose, then, that all these people had been baptized by the twelve apostles alone—for this is the more probable interpretation—two hundred and fifty persons would have fallen to the lot of each administrator, who, on the principle of our opponents, must have immersed about forty-two per hour during six hours successively, or fifty per hour during five hours without intermission, at every immersion pronouncing the sacred names used in baptism — a task, no doubt, very laborious, and performed but with immense pains and assiduity. There must also have been twelve distinct places or accommodations for this baptizing, which we shall presently show you were not easily procurable in Jerusalem, especially by the disciples, who were almost universally detested, and whose converts, being mostly visitors during the feast of Pentecost (acts 2: 8-11), could have commanded no private or public conveniences for such an immersing.

iii. If it be asserted, though it cannot be proved, that the seventy brethren assisted the twelve apostles, we reply that while this proportionately diminishes the manual labor of each within the compass of practicability, allotting but thirty-six candidates to each dipper, it greatly enhances the difficulty in another respect, since not less than eighty-two convenient if not distinct places suitable to such an occasion must have been obtained under all the inauspicious circumstances mentioned before. That is, eighty-two places containing fair and pure water sufficiently large and deep for dipping men and women with such dispatch and delicacy must have been provided immediately, and on the spot, by the poor persecuted disciples and their equally detested, if not anathematized, converts, in the city of Jerusalem . The insuperable obstacles to the accomplishment of which must strike the dullest mind in this congregation.

iv. But this dipping of the three thousand was a small part of the business to be performed in five or six hours. If our opponents' prerequisites to baptism are scriptural, the apostles must have examined the fitness of all these candidates for the reception of this rite, and which, according to modern practice, must have consumed thrice the time requisite for their immersion. This labor must have been greatly enhanced by the circumstance, that the apostles knew little or nothing of their moral character previously, except that they had by their vote at least become the murderers of the Holy One and the Just; and which was no great recommendation in their favor. To reply that as a multitude thy gave sufficient evidence of genuine conversion to God, will avail nothing; since a crowd, exclaiming under a sermon from a Baptist brother, 'men and brethren what shall we do?' would not satisfy his mind that they were, according to his hypothesis of believers' baptism, proper subjects for this ordinance, nor would he know in the confusion of the outcry who had absolutely offered the supplication. No, he would examine them at length, one by one; and as he acts on apostolic example, he must conclude that Peter and his colleagues did the same. Nor would it avail our opponents to say that the apostles, because able to discern the spirits which influenced false teachers, (1 Cor. 12:10), were able to determine intuitively the spiritual state of these three thousand; since what they did in this respect, all believers are to do, (1 Jn. 4:I), since they were often mistaken, as in the case of Simon Magus, and since God alone can read the heart, (1 Kings 8:39.) In fact this point is conceded by our brethren." Consequently the apostles had to catechize these three thousand people individually and minutely on their change of heart, knowledge of the gospel, moral character, purity of motives, grounds of hope and the like, besides to dip them under water and take them up again in a solemn manner in five or six hours.

v. Then there is another obstacle to the immersion of the three thousand on the day of Pentecost—and in the time above specified. These people were baptized in their ordinary clothes—or they fetched a second suit for the occasion—or they were baptized naked. If they were dipped in the clothes they had about them while listening to Peter, they must have retired to their homes streaming with water, and as their garments were 'light and naturally loose,' their saturated state would have made them stick to the body of both the men and the women all the way to their lodgings. Or if they ran home directly after the sermon and fetched a second dress to be baptized in, they must have changed their apparel twice somewhere—our brethren suppose in the porches of the pool of Bethesda, where, as we have shown, sixteen persons must have been dressing and undressing in each at the same time—some pulling off their dry clothes and others their wet—and have been twice in a state of nudity before each other—and then the three thousand wet suits must have been bundled up and taken away to dry—or they must, in the last place, have been baptized naked, and if the pool of Bethesda were the place, all of them, men and women, before each other's eyes. One of these things, on the principle of our opponents, must have occurred. But as all of them are equally incredible, we conclude they were afiused or sprinkled only.

vi. Let it be further remarked, that in all ceremonial purifications, of which baptism was certainly one, pure, fair, clean, running or living water was required—not water simply free from natural pollution, but void of all moral contagion. This is intimated by the apostle, 'and our bodies washed with pure water,' or, as Josephus expresses it, 'water drawn from perpetual springs,' (heb. 10:22.) It is also acknowledged by our opponents :—Dr. Gale says, 'a fountain or running stream in the remotest times was always judged purest and most proper for purification.' Rees tells us, that ' the early Christians went to a river, brook, or pool of fair water, and there discharged a good conscience towards God.' Also, that 'a single rivulet ' having pools of fair and deep water would have been as fit for John's baptism as if he had twenty.' Therefore these three thousand must have been dipped into a running stream, and only one at a time, and the water must have been fair or pure; or each one of them must have been dipped into a separate tank or bath, and these vessels, if used repeatedly, must have been filled afresh for each candidate; since moral pollution was supposed to attach to the cleansing element.5 This is plain from the baptisms under the law, to which reference has been made already. As the priest, by placing his hands on the head of the scapegoat in the name of the congregation, he symbolically transferred their guilt to the victim, so purifying the person with water transferred the moral pollution to the element. Now if there were no running streams of fair and pure water in or near Jerusalem , sufficiently large and deep for dipping the three thousand people; and if these were not at the command of the apostles, or some of the baptized, then at least eighteen thousand hogsheads of pure water must have been procured and consumed on the occasion. Whether this is probable, we shall proceed to examine.

vii. That there must have been a great difficulty in obtaining water in quality and quantity adapted for such an extraordinary immersion is evident from the best accredited evidence of different and impartial writers. We are informed, that pure or fair water, and such as people might drink, was exceedingly scarce and precious in Jerusalem and its vicinity—what the inhabitants procured for use being preserved with the utmost care in domestic reservoirs, made at a great expense and filled chiefly by the rains and snows which fell in the wet and Winter seasons. (Compare 2 Kings 18:31; Prov. 5:15 ; Ecc. 12:6 ; Is. 36:16 ; Jer. 2:13.) 'There was no fountain to form a brook ' in the neighborhood of Jerusalem excepting that of Si' loam—as St. Jerome expressly affirms in his commentary ' on Jeremiah the fourteenth; and which the accounts of travelers of later ages have confirmed. And as for the fountain of Siloam, which was near, sometimes it had no water, and sometimes when it had, was not agreeable to drink. The Crusaders in 1099, when besieging Jerusalem , found the neighborhood a very dry un-watered soil, 'having scarcely any brooks, fountains, or pits of fresh water. And as for those distant fountains to which the army were conducted, there was such pressing and hindering one another from drawing, that it was with difficulty and with long delays, that they got a little muddy water in their leathern bottles, of which a draught could not be purchased but at an extravagant price.' Mr. Robinson admits, that ‘in the time of Jerome, who lived there, [about A.D. 400] Jerusalem was ill supplied with water and subject to great droughts—and that it is now desolate,' he says, 'must be allowed.'

Mr. Buckingham, who visited Jerusalem in January, 1816, says, 'at the southern extreme of this valley, we were shown a well bearing the name of the prophet Jeremiah, from a belief that the fire of the altar was recovered by him at this place after the Babylonish captivity, (mac. 1:19.) It is narrow, but of considerable depth, and is sunk entirely out of a bed of rock. Being lower than any of the wells at Jerusalem , it retains a good supply of water while the others are dry. We found here a party of twelve or fifteen Arabs drawing water in leathern buckets, by cords and pulleys, and from twenty to thirty asses laden with skins of it for the city. The Pool of Siloam is now a dirty little brook, with scarcely any water in it; and even in the rainy seasons is said to be an insignificant and muddy stream.—In the rainy season, this narrow bed is filled with a torrent which is still called the Brook Kedron, but it was, at the period of our visit, perfectly dry.'' —-The Brook Kedron, says Mr. Brown, 'though it receives all the rivulets about Jerusalem, is generally but small and sometimes dry; but amidst sudden and heavy ' rains, it swells exceedingly, and runs with great violence, and on such occasions carries off the filth of the city, 'which by the common-sewers is carried into it.'

It is further evident, that there was no natural spring or fountain of water in the city of Jerusalem itself; and as Jerom remarks, only one in the immediate neighborhood, which arose in the valley of Siloam, and this did not always run.'This water has several names, and was probably collected into different artificial reservoirs in its course down the valley. It is called the Pool of Siloam (john 9:11, compare with Neh. 3:15), which was divided into the upper and lower pools, (Is. 7:3; 22:9.) Mr. Keach says it was the same as that designated Gihon, (1 Kings 1:33, 88.) It is called the Dragon's Well, (neh. 2:3); and is said to go softly by Isaiah, (chap. 8:6.) Dr.Clark says, this water 'rose under the wall of Jerusalem , 'towards the east, between the city and the Brook Kedron.' Calmet thinks this is the same as Enrogel or the fullers' fountain, mentioned in Josh. 15:7; 18:16.' It is called Solomon's Pool, the Serpents' Pool, and the Pool of Struthius, by Josephus.—Tacitus says, 'the Jews had a  fountain of water that ran perpetually; and the mountains were hollowed under ground. They had, moreover, 'pools and cisterns for the preservation of rain-water.— Now, a plain countryman, reading of all these waters, would imagine that there were as many fountains as pools; whereas, all these, as well as the Pool of Bethesda, originated in one insignificant spring outside the walls of the city, or were in part reservoirs of rain water within. All the evidence obtainable on this subject fully corroborates our position. Josephus informs us, that when Antiochus besieged Jerusalem in the year 130 B.C. 'the Jews were ' once in want of water, which yet they were delivered ' from by a large shower of rain, which fell at the setting 'of the Pleiades;" about February, the time of the latter rain.

It is further confirmed by the same author, who tells us, that 'Pilate undertook to bring a current of water to Jerusalem , and did it with the sacred money, and derived the origin of the stream from the distance of two hundred furlongs. However the Jews were not pleased with what had been done [with the sacred money] about the water; 'and many ten thousands of the people got together, and made a clamor against him, and insisted that he should leave off that design." — Whether this was ever accomplished is uncertain—most probably not, as the work nor water is ever mentioned by the historian in his subsequent accounts of the city; but even if it had, it could not have been till long after the day of Pentecost, since it was not attempted till about the time of Tiberias' death, in the year 37, or at the earliest, not before the crucifixion of our blessed Lord. Our position is still further established by the speech Josephus made to the Jews, when Jerusalem was besieged by the Romans:—'And as for Titus, those springs that were formerly almost dried up when under your power, since he has come, run more plentifully than they did before: accordingly you know that Siloaro, as well as all the other springs that were without the city, did so far fail, that water was sold by distinct measures; 'whereas they now have such a quantity of water for your enemies, as is sufficient not only for drink both for them' selves and cattle, but for watering their gardens also. The same wonderful sign you had also experience of formerly, when the fore-mentioned king of Babylon made war against us, and when he took the city and burned the temple.

The pools of water, made by Solomon to water his vineyards and gardens (Ec. 2: 6 ; Song of Sol. 4:12), were at Ethan, a place six miles distant from Jerusalem ; nor have we any certainty as to the size of those which were supplied by the well or fountain of Siloam. The reservoirs shown to modern travelers, as the remains of the ancient structures, are unquestionably of an erection ulterior to the days of Pentecost. Nor let it appear strange that a city should be built where there was, what we should designate, a paucity of water, as many other instances are mentioned of a similar nature in the same country. Jotapata, a large city of Galilee , had no well or fountain of water in it—the people generally using rain water. Gamala, another considerable place, had only one spring in it, and this was inadequate to the wants of the inhabitants. Masada , when besieged, was in want of water. Josephus also mentions a city, Ostracine, where the inhabitants were obliged to fetch all the water they used from other parts. Sychar depended chiefly on rain for water; and an army, collected on Mount Gerizzim, just by, was obliged to surrender, on account of their dreadful thirst.' Pitts says he paid a gouger sixpence a gallon, for fresh water at Suez ." The uncommon aridity of many parts of the East, may be further illustrated by a reference to the Koran, in which Mahomet enjoins that sand be rubbed, poured, or sprinkled on his followers instead of water, when this latter element could not be obtained for their daily ablutions—a circumstance which he fully expected might frequently occur.

Thus much for the quantity of water obtainable for dipping the three thousand persons above referred to. Though we do not presume to say, in reference to recent observations, that waters, in the lapse of ages, may not change their course (see Ps. 107:33-35), yet in this case the narratives of modern researches are so analogous to what we find in the Holy Writings generally, and particularly to the conduct of Hezekiah, 'in stopping up the fountains and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, that the king of Assyria might not come and find much water' (2 Chron. 32: 4); that it was unquestionably the same on the day of Pentecost, as discovered by Mr. Buckingham in 1816. We have only to refer to a few passages of scripture, to perceive how different the East and Judea are situated, with respect to water, compared with us. Hence we find them—In distress, through want of water, (Ex. 15:22; 1 Kings 17 and 18; 2 Sam. 23:15; Is. 41:17.)

Nor is our argument affected by those frequent expressions of much water, many waters, great waters, waters in the plural number, and the like; since they are certainly hyperbolical, and can be interpreted only as referring to a comparative portion of this element in an arid climate, "where it is confessedly very scarce and precious. The like must be said respecting the language of Moses, in Deut. 8:7, where he tells the Hebrews that God would bring them, into good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, that, spring but of valleys and hills.', This description, must be understood in reference, to the great and terrible wilderness wherein was drought, 'and where there was 'no water.' The expression is highly-figurative; nor have we any right, with so many topographical illustrations before us, to understand it literally any more than to suppose that the Holy Land was actually 'flowing with milk and honey'—a description applied to it about a dozen times in the writings of Moses.

Viii. From the combination of circumstances now mentioned, we assume that the three thousand were not dipped at all. When we find that the words of the institution do not necessarily require dipping, and equally favor aspersion—when so many difficulties oppose the notion of immersion in the case now before us—when fair or pure water, was so scarce, and the preservation of it so essential to the existence of the inhabitants—when there was no river or running stream of pure water in the vicinity of Jerusalem suited to such an immersion—and when, on the lowest calculation, eighteen thousand hogsheads of this water of life was necessary for dipping the people on this memorable afternoon—when this must have been obtained of enemies for strangers, become detestable by changing their religion—and when the difficulty of being dipped decently and conveniently are added to these obstacles, we infer that their immersion was almost the last thing one could believe respecting them: We therefore conclude that they were not plunged into or under water, but that a small portion was poured or sprinkled upon them. This places the case within the limits of prescription and beyond.

III. The Numerous Baptisms Subsequently Administered.—The baptism of the three thousand mentioned before, was not all the apostles had to perform.

i. The sermon which Peter preached on a following day in Solomon's porch was still more successful—five thousand persons having believed his doctrine and conformed to his maxims (acts 4:4); and if the apostles did not depart from their usual method, of which we have no intimation— if baptism was administered immediately on conviction of the truth of the report,'—then they all immediately underwent this operation. But as Peter and John appear to have been the only apostles engaged on this memorable occasion, and our opponents cannot prove there were more, better than we can prove children were baptized, their task, according to the notions of our Baptist brethren, must have been overwhelming; and, agreeably to the time at present consumed in plunging adults, must have laboriously occupied these ministers, and kept them from preaching the gospel for the salvation of others, to accomplish which they were especially appointed (1 Cor. 1:17), more than a fortnight. There were then all the difficulties of doing it decently—of procuring water—of personally examining them—and the like, as noticed before; and which, after what has been already advanced, must have been enormous and overwhelming. We conclude, therefore, that these five thousand were baptized only by pouring or aspersion—then all obstacles vanish.

ii. In the following chapter (acts 5:14), we learn that 'believers were the more added to the church, multitudes both men and women.' We have no definite enumeration of the numbers; but we may reasonably conclude, from the general use of the expressions in the New Testament, that they were at least many thousands. Now, it is said of these that they were added to the church, and, from analogy, we may conclude that they were all previously baptized—' baptism in scripture always preceded adding 'to a visible church.'Consequently, on the hypothesis of our brethren, all these multitudes, men and women, were immersed publicly in Jerusalem under all the disadvantages and difficulties mentioned above. What labor— what work—what water required—what scenes—what excitement among the ungodly! In fact, from the myriads early added to the church in the apostolic age (acts 9:35 ; 11:21, 24; 21:20, Greek, for thousands, read myriads), and soon after, when most of the Roman empire was nominally converted to Christianity, the work of dipping such immense masses of people must have been sufficient to have occupied all the time and strength of the apostles and their successors, without any other avocation. Let those believe it that can. To us it appears incredible, and not being enjoined, is deemed impractical. We therefore conclude that the early Christians were all baptized by affusion or aspersion only. This would have preserved decency in the sacrament, and have made its administration every way feasible and significant.

IV. In opposition to all this evidence, and in order to remove every obstacle to the immersion of the three thousand on the day of Pentecost, Mr. Booth says, 'People, who are but little accustomed to bathing, either for amusement, for medicinal purposes, or with religious views, may wonder how such multitudes could be accommodated, if they were immersed in water; but when it is considered that this was done at Jerusalem, where immersion was quite familiar, and must, by the laws of Judaism, be daily practiced, not only there, but in all parts of the country, their amazement will cease.' — In reply to this statement we remark,-—

i. That it is mere assumption to say, that immersion was familiar and practiced daily at Jerusalem . It is probable the people purified themselves every day, and did what Moses enjoined in the wilderness, or that they purified each other. That bathing, or dipping the whole body in water was not enjoined by the Jewish legislator, we have rendered evident already. Nor have we any evidence that the tradition of the elders enforced such a mode of lustration.

ii. That some of the Jews had baths for amusement and medicinal purposes, we have no question. Herod the Great erected many—some at a vast expense—and even on the tops of high towers, supplying them with rain water. Nor is it a matter of the least moment how often the people bathed themselves for their pleasure or their health—as that is not the question at issue, though ingeniously blended with it.

iii. That the people and all of them bathed themselves by immersion every day, 'with religious views,' is what we very much doubt—though had this been the fact, it is no warrant for one person's dipping another—which is allowed by all our opponents, who have noticed this operation, to have been a perfect novelty, or till the time of John, never performed; and after what has been said respecting the locality of the city, must have been impractical.

iv. That water was very precious in Jerusalem , especially pure, running, or living water, which was requisite for a ceremonial ablution, we have amply demonstrated. Now, the regular inhabitants of Jerusalem , which was about forty furlongs in circumference, and densely crowded with houses and people, besides multitudes living in the immediate neighborhood, must have been immense; but of these we have no definite account. We learn, however, that at the festivals there were vast numbers, who came from all parts to be purified (2 Chron. 30:18; John 11:55 ; Acts 21:24, 26); or, according to Mr. Booth, to be immersed daily while they remained there, which was often a week or fortnight. There were three millions present at the Passover in the year 65 A.D.; and a little later on a similar festival, two hundred and fifty-six thousand five hundred paschal lambs were sacrificed; and allowing twelve persons to each lamb, which is no immoderate calculation three million and seventy-eight thousand must have been assembled. Now, all these must have immersed themselves daily, and, if they were accidentally polluted oftener, they as often must have been dipped under water! And really, if this had been done, there would have been little amazement at the bathing of the three thousand, though the people might have felt surprised at the novelty of seeing what they had never seen before—one man dipping another.

But as no person will credit the assumption of Mr. Booth, when thus investigated, we shall recur to our former inference, that the three thousand were not plunged into or under water, but that a small portion was poured or sprinkled upon them. This removes all amazement, places the case within the limits of prescription, and beyond the influence of the smallest difficulty. , , „



A brief review of this important subject will fully establish the doctrine we have been laboring to prove. It will show the sacramental sense of the word baptize—and demonstrate the manner in which water-baptism was administered in the first age of the Christian church, and, on the principles of our brethren, how it should be performed in the present day. This topic is so lucid in its nature, and the deductions arising from it are so simple and conclusive in our favor, that we need not be very elaborate in the discussion to substantiate in the firmest manner that Christian baptism consists in pouring, sprinkling, or applying the water to the person. Indeed, if there were no other evidence obtainable in support of our practice, this would be ample, and, to every unprejudiced, intelligent mind, convincing. We shall proceed, therefore, to make a few observations for the purpose of illustrating this interesting point. We remark—

I. That the baptisms of the Holy Ghost and of water are mentioned in such connections and under such circumstances as to lead every unbiased mind to conclude that both were administered in the same manner—our opponents, indeed, admit this position. But some of them seem disposed to assume that we are dipped into the Holy Ghost, and, consequently, that we should be dipped into water. Our ensuing remarks will invalidate the former assumption and induce an inference which must overturn the latter. Let us hear the analogous representations of the baptism of the Spirit and of water:—

Matt. 3:11. 'I baptize you with water; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.'

Mark 1:8. 'I have baptized you with water, bat he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.'

Luke 3:16. 'I baptize you with water, but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.'

John 1:33. 'He that sent me to baptize with water, the same is he that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.'

Acts 1:5. 'John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.'

Acts 2:38. 'Repent, and be baptized 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.'

Acts 10:37,38.  ‘And began from Galilee , after the baptism which John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.'

Acts 10:47 'Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?'

Acts 11:15. 'The Holy Ghost fell on them; then remembered I the word of the Lord: John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.'

Here you perceive that the baptisms of the Spirit and of water are associated in the evangelical narratives in such a way as constrain us to conclude that the mode of communication was the same in both cases. In fact, there would be a perversion of all consistent language if there existed any very material difference between them. To suppose that in the above verses the word baptize is employed for two such different actions as immersing and pouring, without any intimation to that effect, would be charging men who wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost and in words divinely inspired (1 Cor. 2:13). We, therefore, infer that the baptisms of the Spirit and of water were administered in the same manner. Now the only question for our consideration is by what mode of application were men baptized by the Spirit? Or, in other words, were they applied to the Spirit in the form of dipping, or was the Spirit applied to them in the shape of pouring or sprinkling? For it happens in this case that the manner was ostensible, and the expressions are as lucid as the light.

II. To give the subject a fair consideration, we shall refer you, in the first place, to the promises of the Old Testament, in which we shall discover that the manner of the Spirit's application to the people was to be by pouring or sprinkling only. A few citations here will suffice.

Isaiah 32:15. 'Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high.'

Isaiah 44:3. 'I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed and my blessing upon thine offspring.'

Isaiah 52:15. 'So shall he sprinkle many nations.'

Ezek. 34:29. 'I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel .'

Joel 2:28, 29. ‘I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy; and upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out of my Spirit.'

Zech. 12:10. 'And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplication.'

These passages render it plain that the promises of the Old Testament represent the Holy Spirit as being poured or sprinkled on the people, especially under the gospel economy. No instance can be found where it is said they shall be dipped, or even, as it were, dipped into the Holy Ghost. The promises which were announced by John, in Matt. 3:11, and by Christ, in Acts 1:5, assure us that the Spirit was to come upon the people under the Christian dispensation.' The same ideas are suggested in various other parts of the sacred writings.

III. We shall, secondly, refer you to the declarations of the Old Testament respecting the mode of application of the Holy Spirit—and the representation is universally in our favor. He—

i.                    Came upon Balaam (numb. 14:10), Jephthah (judges 11:20), Othniel (judges  3:10), Gideon (Judges 6:34), Samson (Judges 14:6, 19), Saul (1 Sam. 16:13),  David (1 Sam. 16:13), Poured out upon, Ezek. 39:29 ; Prov. 1:23. Put upon them, Numb. 11:17, 29; Is. 42:1. Put within them, Ez. 11:19 ; 36:27; 37:14. Given to them, Neh. 9:20. Resting upon them, Numb. 11:26 ; 2 Kings 2:15. Filled with him, Exod. 31:2.

From this reference you will perceive that under the Old Testament economy the spirit of God is represented invariably as coming to, into, and upon the people—while the people are never said to come to, or be dipped into the Spirit. Those passages in which the working or portion, since the mode of his communication is the only thing we are now investigating. He is said to lead, teach, enlighten, quicken, sanctify, comfort, and the like; but our object is only to consider how he comes into union with mankind, as the action only of baptizing now solicits a development.

IV. Having shown how the Holy Spirit was applied to the people under the legal dispensation, and the terms employed to express his future communication under the gospel economy, we shall proceed to examine the mode of his coming, as detailed by the evangelists and apostles.

i. Abiding upon them, John 1:32.

Ii. Anointing them, Acts 10:38.

 iii. Breathed on them, John 20:22.

iv. Coming upon them, Acts 1:8; 9:6.

v. Descending on them, John 1:32.

VI. Falling on them, Acts 8:16; 10:44.

vii. Filling them, Acts 2:4; 9:17.

viii. Given to them, Luke 11:13; John 3:34.

ix. Ministered to them, Gal. 3:5.

x. Poured upon them, Acts 1:17; 10:45.

xi. Received of the Father, John 7:39; Acts 8:15.

xii. Resting on them, 1 Pet. 4:14.

xiii. Sealing them, Eph. 1:13.

xiv. Sent from on high, Luke 24:49; 1 Pet. 1:9.

xv. Shed on them, Acts 1:33; Titus 3:6.

xvi. Sitting upon them, Acts 2:3.

In this list of expressions you will easily discover in what manner the Holy Ghost was given to the people—always by coming to, into, or upon them—but they are never said to be dipped into the Holy Spirit. And if you refer to some of the phraseology commonly employed by our opponents in reference to the action of baptism and apply it to the case before us—it must make absolute nonsense if not something much worse:—bathed in the Holy Spirit—buried in the Holy Spirit—descending into the Holy Spirit— dipping into the Holy Spirit—entombing, immersing, and interring in the Holy Spirit—planting and plunging in the Holy Spirit—and if to this you add the corresponding expressions, raising, rising, and ascending out of the Holy Spirit, the language becomes quite insufferable.

V. Here it may be right to show you that however our opponents may debate, as to the mode of baptism by water, they give up the point in most cases respecting the mode of baptizing by the Spirit. Their observations are worthy of your attention. Dr. Jenkins says, 'baptism may fairly express the state of the disciples when overwhelmed with 'the Spirit, though he fell upon them.' — Booth says, 'a  person may, indeed, be surrounded with subtle effluvia, a liquid may be so poured, or it may so distil upon him, that he may be as if immersed' [or baptized.] — Cox says, 'a person may be, indeed, immersed [that is baptized] ' by means of pouring." — Reach, 'though the baptism of the Spirit was by pouring forth of the Spirit, yet they were overwhelmed or immersed in it.' —'If you pour water' on a child until it is covered all over in water, it may be 'truly said that child was buried [or baptized] in water.' From these citations, out of many more, we gather that the word baptize is here used for pouring, since the baptism of the Spirit came upon the people, or fell upon them from above. Their quibble as to the quantity, we have noticed before and shall presently refer to it again. To talk of the condition being baptism is only an evasion, since the action by which that condition is induced, is the only point in debate, as our opponents have repeatedly told us, and as a fair consideration of the case renders unquestionable.

VI. Let it be further observed, that as the sprinkling or pouring of water on the ceremonially unclean, is said to sanctify (heb. 9:13), purge (Ps. 51:7; Heb. 9:21, 22), cleanse (ezek. 36:25), and wash them (heb. 10:22); so the Holy Spirit, being poured out or sprinkled on the morally polluted, is said to renew (titus 3:5), cleanse (ezek. 36:25), wash (1 Cor. 6:11), and sanctify them, (1 Cor. 6:11.) Hence we have not only an analogy between the modes of communicating the Spirit and water in baptism, but also between the effects produced by that communication. The one being the thing signified and the other the sign of it. This corroborates the position we have assumed, that the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit and the application of water to the object in the shape of pouring or sprinkling were designed to be like each other.

VII. It may be noticed, also, that the baptism of the Spirit is called the anointing of the Spirit. 'That word, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power,' (acts 10:37, 38.) Passing over the analogy between John's baptism and the anointing of Christ by the Holy Spirit; we remark that all anointings were administered by pouring precious oil on the heads of persons consecrated to office, and who are said to have been qualified for it by the reception of the Holy Spirit—whether kings (1 Sam. 15:1), or priests (Ex. 29:7), or prophets, (1 Kings 19:16.) Now the Jews were a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex. 19:6), and as such were anointed or consecrated to God (lam. 4:20); and the saints under the gospel dispensation being kings and priests unto God and the Lamb (rev. 1:6), are consecrated in the same manner. Hence they have an unction (or anointing) from the Holy One, (1 John 2:20, compare v. 27.1) But as water is employed to symbolize the Spirit, so it should be applied to represent the manner of the Spirit's anointing. Hence we arrive at a conclusion similar to the preceding, that the baptism of the Spirit, here called anointing, was effected by pouring out the Spirit, and that the baptism of water, which is an emblem of anointing, should be by pouring also. For, as before remarked, water being a cheaper article than precious oil, we can easily perceive why the element was occasionally varied; and, as sprinkling was a more expeditious method than pouring, there is no difficulty in ascertaining why the mode was altered, though the design of consecration remained the same. In fact, whatever be the design of the Holy Spirit—whether to purify, anoint, or instruct—the manner of his communication is the same—pouring, sprinkling, or coming to or upon the object; and therefore, whether we regard water baptism as a figurative purification, anointing, or mode of instruction, the action of applying it remains the same— pouring, sprinkling, or coming to, or upon the people.

VIII. The only material response of our opponents to this reasoning is an application to Acts 2:2:—'And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting'—in which they would fain discover something like a dipping into the Holy Ghost. They tell us the disciples were surrounded by the Holy Ghost, or, as it were, drowned or immersed in it. 'The apostles were as completely immersed in the Holy Spirit, as the body is immersed in water at baptism.' — But there are two or three circumstances which completely destroy their hypothesis on the passage.

i. This was not the Holy Ghost, nor even the wind, that filled the house, but a sound, a great noise, resembling the rushing of the wind. This might be said to fill the house, indeed, as the preacher's voice fills the chapel; but if our friends can find a scriptural precept or apostolic example for denominating the Holy Spirit a great noise, or can suppose a house crammed with sound, as a vessel is filled even with air, either quiescent or in motion, we shall give them credit for erudite researches and refined imaginations. This sound, however, was not the Holy Spirit. He descended and sat upon the beads of the apostles in the likeness of cloven tongues of fire, which were a symbol of its external manifestation.''

ii. But there is a second reply still more fatal to their objection. Supposing them correct as to the element, which we have seen they are not, it evidently came from above, and descended upon them, filling the room where -the disciples had previously assembled. It came from heaven. They were not plunged into it, for it fell upon them. As the whole question at issue turns on the action or mode of baptism, the quantity of the element can have nothing to do with solving it. Nor, indeed, would they so often recur to the quantity or condition, were they not perplexed about the mode of its communication.

iii. The disciples, moreover, were to be baptized with the Holy Ghost as they were with fire, which was a symbol of its external manifestation,' (matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16.) Now, what was the action here? Were they immersed, plunged, or dipped into the fire? No.—' And there appeared unto them cloven tongues as of fire,' (like a bishop's mitre,)' and it sat upon each of them,' (acts 2:3.) The promise refers alike to both elements, the Spirit and fire, and the application of both are equally called baptism. Hence, if they were dipped into the Holy Ghost, they were also dipped into the fire. But the fire came and sat upon them—consequently, the Holy Ghost descended upon them in like manner. This we must conclude, or imagine the Baptist speaking more inconsistently than the most blundering Pedobaptist in the country.

IX. From this concise view of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the following deductions appear legitimate:—

i. That the out-pouring of the Holy Ghost is really and truly baptism. It is repeatedly called baptism, and presented a visible and indubitable exhibition to the eyes of the spectator.- When our opponents call this a mere metaphorical baptism, they employ a misnomer, which proves that the subject is somewhat embarrassing to them, and that there is no method of extricating themselves, but by resolving the terms into a figure of speech. Their wisest authors, however, have occasionally conceded this point in an honest manner.

Ii. That the baptism of the Holy Spirit and of water are so conjoined and blended in the predictions, promises, narratives, and declarations of the Old and New Testaments, as to induce the inference, that both were administered in the same way. Indeed, it would betray a confusion of language, equal to that at Babel , were the baptism of the Spirit to be pouring on the people, and that of water plunging them into it.

in. That as the leading terms employed to designate this institution, are equally favorable to pouring or sprinkling as to dipping or immersing—as there is no instance found in the Bible where the word baptize is used for one person plunging another; nor any where in the Greek language, for the two-fold action of putting under water and raising again—as the circumstances of the early scripture and Christian baptisms demonstrate that pouring or sprinkling was the universal and invariable method—and as the baptism of the Holy Spirit is represented as being always effected in this manner, we come unhesitatingly to the conclusion, that dipping is not Christian baptism, and that affusion or aspersion is; and therefore, 'if what is not commanded by Christ or practiced by his apostles, be virtually ' forbidden as will-worship'! — if it be ' clear that nothing 'can be baptism, which varies from Christ's institution'"— then, on their own principles, the Baptists are all, what they designate us, an un-baptized body of people.



We have no hesitation in saying that such are the difficulties attending the system of our opponents—that it is not likely our blessed Lord should have enjoined it without an imperious necessity—and that we should not adopt it without the clearest evidence. We have, however, shown you that it was never instituted by Christ, that it was never practiced by his immediate followers, and that it is an invention of men who have endeavored to improve the appointments of the gospel. Our design is now to show you that the scheme we are combating ought to be immediately abandoned, not only as unscriptural, but also as presenting obstacles to its performance, which at once determine the line of conduct we ought to pursue. We are conducted to this view of the controversy by the repeated declarations of our brethren respecting the universal practicability of their mode, the pleasure of submitting to it, and the great significance and solemnity of its administration—at the same time treating pouring or sprinkling a few drops of water upon an unconscious baby out of a basin or porringer, as they express themselves, with ridicule and contempt—as being unscriptural and childish, and a profanation of the ordinance of baptism. 'Let us examine whether their scheme be really what they pronounce it, and whether pouring or sprinkling is not more like a New Testament sacrament, better calculated to preserve every delicacy of Christian worship, and to become universal with the extending empire of the Son of God, than that of submersion.

I.   Admitting that the original institution had been to dip the people in baptism, but which we have shown was by no means the case, if the practice were found in any age, country, or condition, to militate against health and decency, it might be changed for some other mode, which, while preserving the spirit of the rite, removed the difficulties- of a particular administration. Thus our opponents have repeatedly varied or entirely omitted several positive institutions of the New Testament. It is a principle of Christianity that, when moral obligations, the reasons of which fully appear, besides being divinely enjoined, conflict with mere positive laws, the reasons of which do not appear, or but very indistinctly, though also divinely enjoined, the latter are always to give place to the former. For example: it was a positive institution of God, that the priests alone should eat the shew-bread of the sanctuary. Yet when David, and the men adhering to his interest, went to Nob, Abimelech gave this very bread to them to allay their hunger—that is, he broke a positive law to perform an act of mercy; and our Lord sanctioned the act, and commended the principle, by adding, ' I will have mercy and not [or, rather than] sacrifice,' (lev. 24:6-9; 1 Sam. 21:3-6; Matt. 12:3.) It was a positive institution of the Almighty, that no work was to be done on the Sabbath day. 'Every one that defileth it, shall surely be put to death; 'for whoso doeth any work thereon, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.' But moral obligations, when operating against this enactment, are to have the entire preponderance. 'The priests profane the temple [by laboring] on the Sabbath day, and are blameless. What man 'shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, if it ' fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and [labor till he] lift it out? Now, to preserve female modesty— our health and our lives—are moral obligations—the reasons for which we clearly perceive, besides being commanded by God himself. But were immersion-baptism clearly a positive institution of Christ—the reasons of which our opponents do not even pretend to see—if it should appear that in any case or country, such a mode militates against these moral obligations—our sole Director in such matters has told us plainly how to interpret his will, and has assured us, that mere positive enactments, under those circumstances, are to yield to moral obligations; and though there might be cases in which the illiterate 'ploughman' would feel somewhat perplexed in determining between what is merely positive and what is moral-positive, and wherein the advice of a Baptist pastor might be requisite to direct his conduct—yet the principle of interpretation our Lord has given, will be found correct and universally available, perfectly harmonizing with the present subject of controversy. It is also admitted by our opponents.— Mr. Booth says, 'when positive appointments and moral ' duties cannot be both performed—when the one or the 'other must be omitted—the preference is given to the moral and spiritual duty.' — But this observation is made by the bye, and, with our view of the original institution, is not of immediate application. We shall, therefore, proceed to notice some of the difficulties of immersion-baptism, as a reason for supposing, after what has been adduced, that Christ would not have instituted such a rite in his church, and to show that it ought to be resisted by Christians with all their might.

II. The natural dread which most people have of being plunged under water by another person, presents a powerful difficulty in the way of immersion baptism; a dread which health, nerves, and piety, in nine cases out of ten, fail to dissipate. And while this assertion holds true, with respect to most of the male sex, it applies with peculiar force to the more timid and delicate sisterhood—who are by far the majority that submit to it. Nor do we wonder at their hesitation. For a female, modest and fearful, who, perhaps, was never under water, and scarcely ever up to the knee in it before, to be led into a baptistery or river—then to be taken hold of by a man in whose strength and skill she may have no great confidence, and to be plunged backward under water, without the least possibility of helping herself in case of accidents, which she knows have sometimes occurred, and consequently may still happen, must be a most formidable operation, especially to such as are timid and bashful, and when the crowd around is large and unconverted. Perhaps in all the lifetime of most Baptist ladies, nothing ever occurs so trying to their modesty or so appalling to their minds, as this dipping; for though their bodies are not truly overwhelmed with water. their spirits are with perturbation; nor is this an imaginary difficulty. Their confessions will attest its reality, and if these were withheld, how ample is the concomitant evidence?

III. The above may be considered as remarks of a general character. There are circumstances where the difficulties are greatly increased. In the case of people converted in old age, unless of very vigorous constitutions, the obstacles must be immense; for if they must be baptized subsequent to regeneration, and if it must be done by plunging the poor old creatures absolutely under water—in nine cases out of ten the rite must be foregone ; and these truly regenerated people, according to the constitution of most Baptist churches, must be deprived of the sacrament of the Lord's supper, and from being members of their societies.

IV. There are difficulties arising from what we hesitate not to pronounce the indelicacy of this ordinance, as administered by our opponents—at least, in the estimation of multitudes that witness its performance. We maintain that this is a good presumptive evidence against immersion, and as such only shall we adduce it. Our brethren fail not to say all in their power to oppose aspersion, and we are bound to advance all we can in opposition to dipping.

i. We say then that this rite, in respect of females removed above the lower classes of society, must be deemed a very great cross; nor can it be always administered in a way not to produce many misgivings in the minds of its most partial adherents. The following fact, among thousands more, will establish our assertion:—A gentleman was about to be dipped, and to join a Baptist communion; but before undergoing the operation himself, he went to witness the immersion of two or three women. The sight and the scenes disgusted him. He thought the Savior could not have enjoined such an indecent rite. He returned —examined the scriptures—altered his mind—and relinquished the honor of being dipped. He is now a respectable minister of the Independent denomination.

Ii. It is also clear, that if immersion-baptism had been the practice in the days of Christ and of his inspired apostles, and intended by them to have been so administered to the end of time; and if it be liable to abuse, as we have shown and shall further establish, that some grave cautions, respecting its performance, would have been given in the New Testament, That this rite is obnoxious to numerous difficulties in our day, with all the help of modern contrivance, cannot be denied. And we may fairly conclude, that when dipping one another was confessedly a new thing in the earth—when nearly a whole nation was baptized, probably twice over, in a short time—and when such facilities as our opponents enjoy were unknown and unavailable—numerous difficulties of various kinds must have arisen; and, having occurred, would be still naturally anticipated. And yet it is remarkable, that neither Christ nor his disciples, in their discourses or writings, ever intimate the existence of such accidents, or guard against them for the future. If it had been intended that all converts should be immersed, and conscious of a liability in the mode to indecorum and the injury of the health, would not the Savior or his followers have said something about doing it decently and in order, that the health might not be injured, nor modesty outraged by carelessness or precipitation ? And is not this inference corroborated by the injunctions of the apostle respecting the proper administration of the Lord's Supper (I Cor. 11:17-34), and the order of divine worship? (1 Cor. 11:1-16.) The very circumstance of there being no cautions, where so much needed, induces us to conclude, that immersion was not practiced in the apostolic age, nor intended to be performed afterwards.

iii. It however is frequently insinuated that what we designate modesty, was not in such high estimation among the Jews in former times, and consequently that our reasoning will not apply to New Testament baptisms. This reply however, is founded on a gross mistake. The greatest delicacy, especially in respect of women, was considered a virtue of no ordinary lustre. Look at the curse of Noah denounced against Canaan , for not covering his father's nakedness, and his blessing implored on Shem and Japhet for doing it, (gen. 9:20-25.) Look at the construction of the altar, and the extra garments made for the priests in offering sacrifices, that their persons might not be in the least degree exposed, (Ex. 20:26; 28:42.) Look at the threatening of God against the Chaldeans for their crimes, that their nakedness should be exposed, (Is. 47:3.) Many other cases, if required, might be adduced. It is certain that among the Jews female modesty was greatly inculcated. In the temple there was a court expressly for the women.—Paul would not allow women to speak in the assemblies of the men (1 Cor. 14:34, 35), nor to have their head uncovered, or their veil thrown aside in divine worship? (1 Cor. 11:5); but to adorn themselves in modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety.

He enjoined that every thing should be done decently (1 Cor. 14:40), as opposed to indecorum and impropriety, (compare Rom. 13:13, Greek.) To appear unveiled even in the streets was considered a mark of female immodesty.1All this being established, we hesitate not to say, that what would be regarded as immodest in our age and nation, would have been viewed as much more so among the Jews; and every argument we bring against immersion, founded on this data, applies with double force against the assumption of the apostles immersing the men and women either naked or dressed.

iv. Nor let it be supposed that when the gospel was received among the Gentiles, the dipping of married ladies, at least, in water by the other sex, would have been more in keeping with their notions of modesty.

vi. Upon the whole we ask whether it is likely that a mode of baptism should have been instituted by Christ, which would have shocked the modesty of most virtuous women with Jewish and Grecian prejudices about them— which would have aroused all the jealousy of their husbands—and which, as a consequence, must have been a most formidable obstacle to the progress of divine truth?

We answer no. And further we assert that it was not only unlikely but never attempted. We also contend, that the sooner it is abolished the better—that it has no foundation in scripture or reason, and was the invention of men laboring to enlarge and amend the institutions of Christ—and is now adopted and practiced by our opponents, no doubt, with the best of motives, but, we consider, in ignorance. It is a scheme which cannot become universal as to climate nor condition. Our opponents may talk of the meaning of the word baptize, the baptism of Christ and of the Eunuch, ns long as they please, the indelicacy of their rite is a valid proof to us that dipping is unscriptural.

IV. The next thing we shall mention, as a reason for believing that immersion baptism was never instituted by Christ and should not now be practiced by us, is, that it destroys all devotion in the minds of most candidates for its reception. The maxim of the apostle is that we should ' attend upon the Lord without distraction,' (1 Cor. 7:35.) But in this rite, as administered by our brethren, it is a thing next to impossible, particularly in the case of many timid and nervous females. Their mode is truly appalling to multitudes that ultimately submit: it is really 'passing through water,' and becomes a certain ordeal or test of their courage. It is formidable in prospect. Many anxious days and sleepless nights often precede this act of immersion. Our opponents may ridicule what they term baby-sprinkling as destitute of solemnity; but if we are not greatly mistaken their own system is a hundred times more so. Now, if such be the state of the case in our country, where the ladies have so many precedents and contrivances, how much greater perturbation of mind must have seized the first women, laid hold of by the harbinger of Christ, to dip them into the deep and rapid river of Jordan ? What sage and queer observations must have proceeded from the first spectators of such a dipping? If John actually immersed the people, he was the first that ever did so; 'for there never was any such thing as [immersion] baptism in practice before the time of John.'

V. But there are difficulties which particularly apply to the persons officiating—and those of various descriptions. Baptist ministers are subject to sickness and disease in common with other people—now for them to stand up to the middle in water while baptizing thirty, forty, or fifty persons, as is sometimes the case, and that after preaching a sermon on this animating topic, till heated and bathed with perspiration, is enough to cause their death. The fact is, men may be well qualified for preaching the gospel, administering the other Christian sacrament, be excellent pastors, and every way fitted for good ministers of Jesus Christ, and not be able to baptize their people by immersion. We infer, therefore, that dipping is not Christian baptism, and that pouring or sprinkling being universally feasible, is the only scriptural and proper mode.

VI. There are further difficulties arising from the state of the climate and the peculiar habits of a people. Our opponents sometimes speak of Judea as if it were always the most sultry province under heaven—and the manners of the Jews, as if they were like some amphibious creatures, living half their time in the water. We know, from the highest authority, that the winters in Palestine and the neighborhood are exceedingly cold—so much so, that people have lost their lives amidst its frosts and snows, and whole armies have been arrested and defeated by the severity of the weather. Even in the summer their nights are often severely cold, this must have rendered public baptism by immersion frequently impractical. Were a Baptist minister to visit the Hebrides at Christmas, and convert a hundred Highlanders, and, following what he calls scripture precedent, baptize them there and then, in the open air, plunging the lairds and ladies, the old and young, male and female, the sane and the sickly, in natural rivers, in one minute their clothes would be stiff with the frost and their bodies armed with icicles at every point. How would they carry their notions into effect at Hudson 's Bay, in the month of January? Warming water, or waiting till Summer, is a practice for which our opponents can plead no scripture precedent, and is done now, not as apostolic, but through policy, and becomes only a part of what they call 'will' worship.'

VII. We shall mention another difficulty arising from the impossibility of always ascertaining whether the person dipped is perfectly baptized. It appears requisite for them, that the people should be wetted all over or entirely—no part being exempted. Suppose but the top of the thumb or of the great toe were, per accident, not brought in contact with the water, the ceremony is valid, or it is not. If valid, then suppose the whole thumb and great toe, were to escape the cleansing touch, would the rite be still valid? If they answer yes, then we ask—suppose the hand and foot are unfortunate enough to escape, is it valid then? Here they hesitate—because they perceive 'whereunto this thing would grow'—since we naturally argue, if but a small part of the body may escape the water with absolute impunity, why not a trifle more? and if this triflle, why not another, till we came to merely dipping the head, or even to the foolish practice of pouring or sprinkling! —A Baptist minister gave a man a second plunge, because in the first a small part of his face, probably the protuberance called a nose, was not under the element! In one instance, a deacon applied to a lady, to have her dipped afresh, because he saw some of her clothes floating above the Water while her body was under!

VIII. Before we conclude this article, it may be proper to notice an observation frequently made by our opponents, and hinted at before in this discourse. They say that ' many Pedobaptists agree with them in sentiment, and yet, 'through shame or fear, refuse to take up the cross and 'submit to the operation.' — Mr. Gibbs observes, ' nor ' are there wanting many in communion with Independent ' churches, who are compelled to acknowledge that we are ' right; yet, from motives of policy or self-indulgence, they ' decline to follow the Lord through this despised ordinance. The number of these dry Baptists, as they may 'be called, is by no means inconsiderable—they are to be found in almost all societies of professing Christians."— In reply to these remarks, we observe—

i. That it is possible for many among us to make blunders similar to those of our antagonists, respecting the original practice of baptism, without feeling any powerful obligation to adopt the same in the present age and country. Of this changing or omitting what they think a primitive mode, our opponents have furnished them with several pertinent examples. Consequently, for the Baptists to claim as dippers all who suppose that Christ and his followers were plunged, is preposterous. Whatever ideas these 'dry Baptists' may have formed, respecting the action adopted by John the Baptist and the apostles of our Lord, they conscientiously regard the application of water to the body in any form, as the essence of the rite; and consider that it may be done in accordance with the will of God, in a way that shall be most seemly and convenient amidst the various habits and manners of mankind. These are, therefore, as much for pouring or sprinkling as ourselves.

ii. When our good friends talk of rejecting their baptism through 'self-indulgence,' and of its being 'a cross' too heavy for many pious and conscientious Christians to take up, they seem to forget that scripture baptism is never called a difficulty, nor designated a cross by the apostles, nor by any individual who was baptized in their day—no, not in the coldest season, nor in reference to any kind of person, the most delicate or fearful. We never read that any one, however nervous, sickly, unaccustomed to bathe, or ill provided with change of raiment, or surrounded by a ridiculing crowd, complained of baptism in any place as a difficulty or a cross. Whatever mode the apostles observed, it was perfectly consistent with the condition and feelings of all the people who submitted to it. What does this imply, but that, though modern immersion is a cross which comparatively few of the Baptists themselves take up without trepidation of mind, there was none as the rite was administered in the first age of the Christian church, when dipping would have been a ten-fold heavier cross than in the present day, and that the modes of the apostles and of our opponents are very materially different?

ii.                  That to be baptized by immersion is a cross, we readily admit; but of this we are persuaded, that no pious Pedobaptist refrains from carrying it merely on account of its weight. A person may indeed suppose that immersion was the primitive mode—he may even think it the better method now; but to imagine that a true follower of Christ considers dipping as the only mode and essential to a profession of the gospel, and yet will not submit, is what we are unwilling to believe—at any rate, none but those who are Baptists in principle, and consequently Baptists in reality, can be regarded as feeling the lash of our opponents' insinuation. But, alas ! as Dr. Campbell remarks, 'such is the presumption of vain man, (of which bad quality the weakest judgments have commonly the  greatest share), that it is with difficulty any one person can be brought to think, that any other person has, or can have, as strong conviction of a different set of opinions, as he has of his.'



The present branch of our subject is nearly allied to the preceding and may be regarded as a continuance of it. This investigation, besides being a fair subject of enquiry, where the circumstances of baptism are considered the only evidence of real importance in the debate, is forced upon us by various observations on the other side of the question. Our opponents repeatedly assure us, either that no person ever received the least harm from being plunged into the water in baptism—or that if he did, it must have been for want of skill in the baptizer or of faith in the baptized. A Baptist, speaking in defense of dipping, lately mentioned one person in particular who had been cured of some complaint by immersion. Recourse is often had to the benefit of bathing as an argument for dipping in baptism—at least, as an evidence of its harmlessness. Nor is this kind of reasoning confined to conversation. Mr. Keach tells us of 'an ancient women in Kent that was bed-ridden some time, 'who could not be satisfied until she was baptized—and 'baptized she was—and upon it grew strong and went about, and lived some years after in health and strength according to her age.'' We have no hesitation in admitting the veracity of the facts before narrated. We, however, decidedly object to the inferences as illegitimate and invalid. We do not deny that dipping some diseased people might, by the shock, produce restoration. But then this effect is merely incidental and fortuitous—what was not intended by the minister nor expected by the baptized. The question is, whether dipping people indefinitely into cold water, as done in immersion-baptism, has a natural tendency to benefit or restore their health? We answer, certainly not—for though in many cases, individuals may be dipped with impunity, and a few may even receive advantage from it, the probable result is pernicious to the human constitution.

Upon the whole we may fairly come to this conclusion, that the institution of a rite which endangers the lives of believers, was not likely to have been appointed by Christ, to be of universal and perpetual obligation—that he did not enjoin such a ceremony, we conceive we have, from a diligent consideration of the holy oracles, fully established. The mode observed in the apostolic age was not dipping, plunging, or applying the person to the element—but pouring, sprinkling, or applying the element to the person—and the mode to be scriptural and valid, must be performed in this manner in the present day, unless our opponents can show substantial reasons for its alteration.  

Editor's Note: Mr. Thorn gave a multitude of anecdotal examples of where people's health was negatively affected. I thought that the examples just connected with the obvious conclusion that immersing people in a cold stream in the winter-time was obviously not sensible, especially for the infirm. Basically, the argument stands in stating that the Baptism commanded by Christ could not be performed in many places at certain times of the year without a great potential for negative results if it were immersion. No universal command of God that could not be performed in an arid desert where there is not enough water to drink alone immerse in, or in frigid climates where water is frozen for long periods, and safety and health would be affected, could possibly be the universal command of baptism that Christ intended.   


In bringing these discourses to a close, we beg to make a few concise observations.

I. We shall offer a few remarks respecting the manner in which we have conducted this investigation.

i. We have been as concise as the nature of the subject would fairly admit—perhaps have, in some parts, injured the strength of our positions by a too great condensation of the arguments. With all this brevity, however, we are not aware of having omitted a single point of importance on either side of the question. Whatever our opponents have said, in favor of immersion, have been clearly stated, and few answers, adduced by Pedobaptists, in support of pouring or sprinkling, have been overlooked. We have presented you with a tolerably correct epitome of the debate on the Mode of Baptism.

ii. Though many things have been advanced that may be considered offensive by our opponents, we can assure them that nothing has been said which we do not consider fair and valid argument and relative to the subject. On the other side, all is brought forward, which immediately or remotely makes for their doctrine; and surely offence cannot be taken, if we conscientiously do the same. We should have acted unfaithfully in this dispute, if a single argument we have adduced had been kept out of sight. At all events, those who treat the affusion of infants with so much contempt, and oft times with asperity—who ridicule our practice as childish and unmeaning—will have no reason, consistent with their own conduct, to condemn any kind of treatment from Pedobaptists.

iii. We can most sincerely aver, that, in arguing this point, we are actuated by no disposition unfriendly toward the Baptists. We do regard them with unfeigned affection as the children of God; and if any expression has been dropped, which might indicate a different feeling, we are sorry for it; and hope our regrets will be construed into an ample apology. We debate with their principles, and seek only to correct an error, which, we imagine, they have fallen into. For this, we rather merit their thanks than deserve their censure. We have been candid and fearless in our statements and deductions—openly avowed our intention—and assiduously labored to carry it into effect. We despise any thing like maneuvering in matters involving our religious principles.

iv. In the diversified methods of contemplating and arguing the numerous topics which have come under our notice, not a species of debate has been adopted, for which our opponents have not afforded us ample precedents. Whether we have had recourse to history—classics—deduction—concession—Greek—Hebrew—Latin—or English—fathers—utility—inutility—or the like — we have either shown you, or might have shown you, from the principal authors on the other side, that such weapons are, used by themselves, or that the character of their reasoning obliged us to employ them.

v. We have been careful to avoid mis-stating the practice and sentiments of the Baptists, or to take any unfair advantage of their remarks. As our dispute is not with any one individual but with the system of our brethren, as portrayed in their writings, we have not been led into any thing like personalities; nor have we thought it worth our while to pay any regard to many things which too often fill the pages of polemical treatises. Our object has been to seize upon our opponents' arguments and objections, and to examine them to the best of our ability—to show what was not relative to the subject, and what was invalid. It is well known that, in most controversies, much is frequently introduced having nothing in reality to do with the question at issue—of which Dr. Cox has given us a curious example, in devoting two-and-twenty octavo pages in combating an etymological conjecture of Mr. Ewing, on which he professedly lays not the smallest weight in the course of his philological arguments.

vi. With respect to the plan of the work, and the style we have adopted, we would merely say, that they were the best we could devise and the simplest we could employ. We are aware that two or three sections in the latter part might have been placed in the former—and that many things said in the first might as well have been deferred till the second. But to divide the work as near as might be into equal heads, and to render the arguments increasingly interesting, we deemed our present arrangement the best. Repetitions will have been observed, but they were unavoidable; and the composition was intended to convey arguments, rather than display itself.

II. We shall briefly recapitulate the arguments adduced in these discourses to establish our position. These may be

classed under two heads—first, such as overturn the exclusive system of our opponents—and, secondly, such as maintain our own.

i. With regard to the former, we have endeavored to show you that all our antagonists have said respecting the natural conclusions of common readers—the concessions of numerous Pedobaptists—the history and practice of the Christian church—the meaning of the Greek word baptize— the import of certain Greek prepositions — the circumstances of the first baptisms—and certain allusions to this scripture rite—by no means prove their point. We have also shown that all the parade about scripture precept and apostolic example, amounts to nothing like tangible evidence. We have proved likewise that their writers are at issue among themselves on every material principle of this enquiry ; and that, from the various difficulties and dangers attending their mode, we have, a priori, evidence that immersion baptism is unscriptural and improper. Whether the force of the reasoning has satisfied all your minds, it is not for us to determine—to ourselves, it is entirely conclusive.

11. In establishing our own position, that pouring, sprinkling, or applying the element to the subject, is exclusively Christian baptism, we have shown—that this action is in accordance with the frequent use of the verb baptize —that the mode of ministerial baptism among the Jews, was only sprinkling or pouring—that the instances of the New Testament baptisms, in which the mode of administration is at all intimated, support the idea of pouring or aspersion — that the vast multitudes baptized by John, and by our Lord's disciples, on the day of Pentecost and subsequently, must have received the rite in this manner. The mode of baptism by the Holy Ghost was always by coming to or upon the persons baptized. We have, as said before, adduced the dangers and difficulties of immersion as auxiliary evidence in defense of our sentiment. Our assumption was, that the original mode of baptism could not be discovered by the import of isolated terms, but by the circumstances of its administration. These we have extensively investigated, and shown from evidence, anterior and collateral, that dipping one another was never practiced, and that pouring or sprinkling was the only mode observed formerly and is the only one valid now.

III. Deductions from the whole discourse :— i. We come now to the conclusion that immersing, dipping, or plunging one another is not baptism at all—and that those who have not received this sacrament by pouring or aspersion are yet un-baptized. That our opponents may not regard this inference as uncharitable, however they may deem it unscriptural, we have only to observe that this is precisely their assumption with respect to Pedobaptists. A few citations will prove this declaration.—Mr. Booth says, 'it appears to us, on the most deliberate enquiry, that immersion is not a mere circumstance or mode of baptism, 'but essential to the ordinance—so that, in our judgment, 'he who is not immersed is not baptized." —Dr. Roland says, ' Christian baptism is neither more nor less than an 'immersion of the whole body in water.' — Dr. Gale says, 'Tertullian's maxim will hold true: They who are 'not duly baptized are certainly not baptized at all." — Again, 'I think it is clear that nothing can be Christian 'baptism which varies from Christ's institution.'—Mr.Dore says, 'baptism is properly administered by immersion and only by immersion.' —' If,' says Dr. Jenkins, ‘ the words ' of the apostle (eph. 4:5) are to be regarded, there can 'be but one baptism, as but one faith. So that dipping or sprinkling must be the true. Both cannot be true." — Mr. J. SCennelt contends, that 'baptism ought not to be 'administered more than once.' After these assertions they may controvert our arguments, but must not question our charity. Now as we have proved that one person dipping another is not baptism, and that this rite was always performed by pouring or sprinkling, we must come to the conclusion that the Baptists are all wrong, in fact, are un-baptized ; and ought, without delay, in order to fulfill all righteousness, to receive this sacrament by affusion or aspersion—and that whoever is induced by persuasion to be immersed, will submit to a rite that has no foundation in scripture, but is the mere invention of men, and a part of will worship.'

ii. In closing these remarks, we beg to remind you that if it be of importance that water baptism should be scripturally administered, and that to comply with the injunctions of scripture is a duty we owe to God, of how much greater importance is it that we should be baptized or imbued with the Holy Ghost; without whose gracious influence all forms and ceremonies, however scriptural and proper, will avail us nothing in the day of judgment. Unless the Spirit be poured out upon us, and our hearts are regenerated by his energy, and our lives made conformable to his blessed will—unless we have sincere and saving faith in Christ, and holiness flowing from it, all our rites and sacraments will do us no real good. Let us never so occupy our thoughts and hearts about external ceremonies as to overlook or slight the internal operations of divine grace. Let us never give a secondary consideration to the renewal of our natures and moral sanctity of our conduct. While we contend for the faith once delivered to the saints in the exhibition of signs and symbols, let us never forget that the thing signified, inward and spiritual grace, must be the chief matter of investigation and the supreme object of our research and prayers—may we be right in both—and, above all things, may our consciences be sprinkled from all dead works to serve the living and true God.'—Amen.


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