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J. W. Höfling, Lehre von der Taufe, Erlangen, 1846. [E. B. Pusey, in Tracts for the
Times, No. 67, 3d. ed., 1840. Chronological Catena on Baptism, Lond. 1852. Tracts for Times, No 76: Testimony of writers in the English Church to the Doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration. W. Goode, Doctrine of the Church of England as to the effects of Baptism in the case of Infants, Lond. 1849, 2d. ed., 1850.]
Among the doctrines in which Roman Catholics and Protestants preserved a certain agreement, in opposition to the minor religious sects, was that concerning baptism. For though the baptismal
' ritual itself was different with the Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists ;' though differences of opinion obtained respecting the efficacy of baptism, as regards original sin, and the fate of those children who die unbaptised,' and as to the capacity of faith in the baptized and the degree of grace conferred in the rite;" yet Protestants and Catholics entertained essentially the same view of the nature of baptism, asserting, 1. Its general necessity, in opposition to the Quakers ;* 2. Its sacramental character, in opposition to the Socinians ;' and chiefly, 3. The necessity of infant baptism in opposition to the Anabaptists (Mennonites).' And, lastly, the Roman Catholics, in accordance with their view of the baptism of heretics, were compelled to acknowledge the validity of Protestant baptism, while, on the other hand, the Protestants always regarded Romish baptism as a Christian ordinance, and never thought of re-baptising those who were converted to their own faith. [Some Anglican divines denied the validity of any baptism administered in opposition to “the divine right of apostolical succession."]*
Of all the sacraments, that of baptism is the one respecting which Roman Catholics could always unite most easily with Protestants, and would have had the least reason for framing particular canons, in order to keep up any difference in respect to points of secondary importance." Marheineke, Symbolik, i. p. 149. The reformers also declared, that of all the sacraments, that of baptism was least corrupted, and that this ordinance had more than any other been preserved from the addition of heterogeneous elements. Lutheri Opp. Lat. Jen. T. ii. p. 284 (in Marheineke, I. c.)
On the use of chrisma (ointment), of salts, the lactis et mellis degustatio, and other cereinonies common among Roman Catholics, the formulas of exorcism used by Lutherans, etc., as well as on the usages of the Greek Church, see the works on archæology. “As regards the water," said Zwin
, gle (Von der Taufe, Works, ii. p. 299), “ it should be taken good, fresh, and pure; for as John baptised in the river Jordan, we ought not to allow the bishops to attach so much importance to the salt." Yet there still remained
in the Protestant church many superstitions in respect to the baptismal water. Comp. Gerhard, Loci Theol., xxi. c. 8, 8 170.
Comp. 8 246. According to the Roman Catholic doctrine, original sin being removed by baptism, all that remains in the baptised is the concupiscentia, which is lex fomitis, but not sin; in the opinion of the Protestants, original sin still remains in the baptised (as they regarded concupiscence itself as sinful), but is no longer imputed. Comp. Conc. Trid. Sess, 5, 5, and on the other side Apol. p. 56: [Hic flagellant adversarii etiam Lutherum, quod scripserit, peccatum originis manere post baptismum. ... Sciunt enim adversarii, in quam sententiam Lutherus hoc dictum velit, quod peccatum originis reliquum sit post baptismum. Semper ita scripsit, quod baptismus tollat reatum peccati originalis, etiamsi materiale, ut isti vocant, peccati maneat, videlicet concupiscentia. Addidit etiam de materiali, quod Spiritus Sanctus, datus per baptismum, incipit mortificare concnpiscentiam et novos motus ereat in homine.]—For further passages, see Winer, p. 64, and especially Calvin, Institut. iv. c. 15, $ 10: [Hæc itaque duo distincte observanda; nempe quod sic omnibus naturæ nostræ partibus vitiati perversique, jam ob talem duntaxat corruptionem damnati merito, convicique coram Deo tenemur, cui nihil est acceptum nisi justitia, innocentia, puritas. Atque adeo infantes quoque ipsi suam secum damnationem a matris utero asserunt; qui tametsi suæ iniquitatis fructus nondum protulerint, habent tamen in se inclusum semen. The baptised, he adds, obtain justitia, sed talem in hac vita obtinere populus Dei potest, nempe imputatione duntaxat, quia pro justis et innocentibus eos sua misericordia Dominus habet.) -Concerning the condemnation of unbaptised children, sec Winer, p. 131, ss.
• While the Lutherans, after the precedence of Luther (see Schenkel, i. 140, 89.), assumed an actual faith on the part of the children, and thus viewed the baptismal grace in an objective way; the Reformed contented themselves with the statement, that children by baptism were received into covenant with God, even though there was no faith on their part. Compare on the Lutheran side Gerhard, Loci Theol., xxi. c. 8, § 222: Quamvis Tekuńpia et effectus fidei in infantibus non ita in oculos et sensus externos incurrant, ut fidei in adultis, non tamen ob id omnes fidei fructus in infantibus sunt negandi, cum Scriptura ipsis tribuat Dei laudem (Ps. viii. 3), Dei cognitionem (1 John, ii. 14), victoriam mundi (c. v. 4), quos esse fidei fructus et bona opera nemo inficias iverit..... Arbor bona in media hieme non destituitur proprietate bonos fructus proferendi, quamvis exterius id non appareat: et nos fidem infantibus ex eo negabimus, quod externos ejusdem fructus non proferant? Ut in seminibus et surculis arborum res se habet, quamquam non ferunt fructus, tamen inest eis vis et natura, ut fructus suo tempore producant: sic infantum fides évépyelav exteriorem suo tempore exserit et fert fructus Deo placentes.-On the other hand, the Reformed took the ground, e. 9., Musculus, p. 336 : Infantulos habere fidem, non probare possumus, nec satis est occultam habere fidem, sed fidei professio requiritur, quæ certo illis tribui non potest. Vitringa, Aphorism, p. 250: Baptizandi sunt fidelium infantes, quia juste præsumtio est, quod a Spiritu Sancto vt hæreditas Christi
occupati sint et suo tempore vere sint credituri. Comp. Schweizer, Glaubens lehre der reform. Kirche, ii. 620.
[The divines of the Church of England taught the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, yet with cautions. Bishop Jewel, on Sacraments, p. 253: “We are not washed from our sins by the water, we are not fed to eternal life by the bread and wine, but by the precious blood of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, that lietb hid in these sacraments.” “For this cause are infants baptised, because they are born in sin, and cannot become spiritual but by this new birth of the water and the Spirit.” Richard Hooker, Eccles. Pol., Book v. 60 : “Unless as the Spirit is a necessary inward cause, so water were a necessary outward means to our regeneration, what construction should be given to those words wherein we are said to be new born, and that ěž üdatos, even of water ? Baptism is the door of our actual entrance into God's house, the first apparent beginning of life, a seal perhaps to the grace of election before received : but to our sacntification here, a step which hath not any before it.” Jackson on Christ's Priesthood, ch. i. (vol. iii. p. 271): “ It is no part of our Church's doctrine or meaning, that the washing or sprinkling infants' bodies with consecrated water, should take away sins by its own immediate virtue. ... The meaning is, that if the sacrament of baptism be duly administered, the blood, or bloody sacrifice of Christ, or (which is all one) the influence of his Spirit doth always accompany, or is concurrent to this solemn act. ... This sacramental pledge hath a virtual presence of Christ's blood, or some real influence from his Body, concomitant, though not consubstantiated to it, which is prefigured or signified by the washing or sprinkling the body with water.”—Jeremy Taylor, Life of Christ, section 9: Baptism “ does not heal the wounds of actual sins [in infants], because they have not committed them; but it takes off the evil of original sin : whatsoever is imputed to us by Adam's prevarication, is washed off by the death of the second Adam, into which we are baptised.” Pearson on the Creed, Art. ix. : Baptism" is infallibly efficacious as to this particular, that is to the remission of all sins committed before the administration of the sacrament." Waterland, of Regeneration, 2: “ Their [infants') innocence and incapacity are to them instead of repentance, which they do not need, and of actual faith, which they cannot have.... They stipulate, they enter into contract, by their sureties, upon a presumptive and interpretative consent." See Tracts for Times, No. 76.]
Comp. $ 258, note 7, in the sacraments. • Zwingle may herein be considered as the forerunner of the Socinians, so far as this, that his statements on baptism are much behind the later definition of the Reformed church, and are essentially different from those of Luther. In his Confes. ad Carolum V., baptism is viewed as having only the significancy of being received into the church : Non quod baptismus rem præstet, sed ut rem prius præstitam multitudini testeter. Zwingle Vom Touf (Werke, ii. 1, p. 301): “No element or external thing in this world can purify the soul, but the purification of the soul is only of the grace of God. So it follows, that baptism cannot wash away any sin. As it can not wash sin away, and yet has been appointed of God, it must be a sign of dedication of the people of God, and nothing at all else." So, too, the Socinians view
baptism as merely a rite of consecration. It has not an effective, but only a declarative, significancy. F. Socinus, De Baptismo Aquæ Disput. (in Bibl. Fratrum Polon, i. p. 709 sq.) p. 720: In nomine Jesu Christi aqua baptizari nihil aliud est, quam publice Christo nomen dare, ejusque fidem, quæ in corde latet, palam testari ac profiteri, uta ut non Christianum ulla ex parte baptismus efficiat, sed indicet atque declarat. Comp. the symbols in Winer, p. 128, and Fock, p. 582 sq. Similiar views were entertained by the Arminians and Mennonites, who regarded baptism as a symbolical communication of grace, ibid. p. 129. Luther expressed himself very differently in his Postille, iii, 34, Walch, xii., p. 714: “And thus the blood of Christ is so intimately mingled with the water of baptism, that we should neither regard it as merely clean water, but look upon it as water beautifully colored and reddened with the precious rose-colored blood of our dear Saviour.” (The circumstance of water and blood flowing out of Christ's side, he referred to baptism, others to the Lord's Supper.) Comp. also his Catech. Major : “Perceive ye now that [the water of ] baptism is very different from all other kinds of water, not on account of its nature, but because something higher has been added-viz. the glory, power, and might of God himself. Therefore it is not only natural water, but Divine, heavenly, holy and blessed water, and what other praise may be bestowed upon it, all on account of the Word, which is a holy, heavenly Word, which can not be too highly spoken of.” John Gerhard, however (Loci Theol. xxi., c. 7, § 122), speaks against a merely physical (magical) union of divine grace with the water : Nec dicimus, quod aquæ vis regenerandi tamquam subjecto Avolkās inhæreat, aut quod naturali quacunque ratione et vinculo quodam insolubili gratia Spiritus Sancti ei sit adligata, sed sacramentali mysterio vim illam huic sacramento ex ordinatione divina οργανικώς et υπερφυσικώς ad salutem credentium conjunctam esse credimus.*
'The Anabaptists, like the reformers, rested their opinion on the formal principle of Scripture. Their assertion that infant baptism was not commanded in Scripture, was combated by the reformers, who in support of their opinion, appealed to Mark x. 15; 1 Cor. xvi. 15; Acts xvi. 15; but these passages do not hold good. See Zwingle's work “Vom Touf, vom Widertouf and vom Kindertouf" (edit. of Schulthess, ii. 2, p. 230), which may be compared with his Latin treatise; “ In Catabaptistarum Strophas Elenchus." (Zwingle made a distinction between spiritual baptism and baptism by water. The more he regarded the latter as an external rite, the less he would hesitate to administer it to infants.) He, as well as Calvin and the successors of Calvin in general, compared infant baptism to the analogous rite of Circumcision under the Old Testament dispensation. Zwingle, 1. c., p. 297: “Cir
l, . cumcision was a sign of faith (Rom. iv. 11), and applied to children. Now we have baptism instead of circumcision; therefore it ought also to be administered to children. They (the Anabaptists) cannot well digest the syllogism, because it is so strongly supported by the Word of God." Comp. Calvin, Inst. iv. 15 sq. (where however the proofs hardly all hold good). For the symbolical books of the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed Churches, see Winer, p. 130. [Apol. Confess. Aug. p. 156 : Et cum plerosque alios errores Anabaptistarum damnamus, tum bunc quoque, quod disputant Baptismum parvulorum inutilem esse. Certissimum est enim, quod promissio salutis pertinet etiam ad parvulos. Neque vero pertinet ad illos, qui sunt extra ecclesiam Christi, ubi nec verbum, nec sacramenta sunt, quia regnum Christi tantum cum verbo, et sacramentis exstitit. Igitur necesse est baptizare parvulos, ut applicitur eis promissio salutis, juxtam mandatum Christi (Matth. xxviii. 19), ubi sicut offertur omnibus salus, ita offertur omnibus Baptismus, viris, mulieribus, pueris, infantibus.]. ... Luther's Catechisin Major, p. 544 : Puerorum baptismum Christo placere et gratum esse, suo ipsius opere abunde ostenditur, nempe quod Deus illorum, non paucos sanctificat, eosdemque Spiritu Sancte impertivit, qui statim a bis partu infantes baptizati sunt. Sunt etiam hodie non parum multi, quos certis indiciis animadvertimus Spiritum Sanctum habere, cum doctrinæ eorum, tum etiam vitæ nomine ; sicut et nobis gratia Dci datum et concessum est, nosse Scripturas interpretari, et Christum cognoscere, quod citra Spiritum Sanctum nullo modo fieri posse, nemo dubitat. At si puerorum baptismus Christo non probaretur: nulli horum Spiritum Sanctum, aut de particulam quidem ejus impertiret, atque ut summatim, quod sentio, eloquar, per tot sæcula quæ ad hanc usque diem elapsa sunt, nullus hominum christianus perhibendus esset. Quoniam vero Deus baptismum sui Sancti Spiritus donatione confirmat, id quod in non Patribus....non obscuris argumentis intelligitur, neque sancta christianorum ecclesia usque ad consummationem sæculi interibit : fateri coguntur, Deo baptismum non displicere. Neque enim sibi ipse potest esse contrarius, aut mendaciis et nequitiæ suffragari, neque huic promovendæ gratiam suam ac Spiritum suum impertire. Et hæc fere optima et firmissima est pro simplicibus et indoctis comprobatio. Neque enim hunc articulum : Credo ecclesiam catholicam, communionem sanctorum, etc., nobis eripient aut subvertent unquam.) For the views of the later Lutheran and Calvinistic theologians (concerning the faith of infants, according to Matth. xviii. 6, and the responsibility which the godfather and godmother take upon themselves), see De Wette, pp. 179, 180.- [In the form of the Church of England for the baptism of infants, it is said, “ this infant must also faithfally, for his part, promise by you that are his sureties (viz., the godfathers and godmothers), until he come of age to take it upon himself, that he will renounce the devil and all his works," etc. And after the rite the priest says: “We yield thee hearty thanks, most mercifal Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy church." In the Westminster Conf. (ch. xxviii.), baptism is declared to be “not only for the solemn admission of the party baptised into the visible church, but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins," etc. 6. “The efficacy of baptism is not tied to the moment of time wherein it is administered ;
* Osiander interprets the significancy of the water in a peculiar way. It is to him a symbol of the law. As the word of the law discloses to man the wrath of God, so too the water. Man's body trembles and shivers with the cold when he comes to the water, as in his soul he is terrified and made to tremble by the law. But as the law does not de stroy man, so baptism is not administered to drown man; but he is drawn out of the water and lives (Romans vi. 3, 7). See Heberle in Studien und Kritiken, 1844, p. 408.