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ferred to; affirming that oikia denotes the servants of SEC'T. the family, but the other term (oikos) signifies the children of the family; and this idea has been adopted by the late Dr. Rice and some other divines on this side the Atlantic. It is ingenious, but untenable: the terms being both used of the same households, and having no more difference in them than in the terms “ brothers ” and “ brethren.” The household of Stephanas is called oikos in 1 Cor. i. 16, and oikia in 1 Cor. xvi. 15; and in many other places they are used promiscuously, so as not to leave the slightest foundation for the distinction to be entertained.
• The Rev. R. B. C. Howell, in his very able Sermons on Baptism, preached in Norfolk in 1838, observes :
“The difference between the families called oikos, and those called oikia, is by the friends of infant baptism, plead upon the allegation that oikos literally denotes the dwelling place of the master or father of the house, and that oikia denotes the house, cabin or kitchen in which the servants or slaves reside. In their figurative application they contend that the same difference exists; oikos signifying the children, and oikia the servants. In view of this explanation, we remark, that the house of the jailer is called (Acts, xvi. 31.) oikos ; in the very next verse it is called (32) oikia ; and again in the second verse from this (34) oikos. In the first instance quoted, it appears evidently to refer to the family; "thou shalt be saved,' and thy house (oikos). The second instance refers to the house literally considered, 'they spake the word of the Lord to all that were in the house,' (oikia). The last instance refers to the house literally considered, “he led them into his house,' (oikos). Subject the words to whatever fanciful, literal, or figurative mean, ing you choose, and as it begun, so it will end in fancy, and cannot therefore affect the point at issue.
“In the case quoted, the truth does, and ever must stand demon. strated, that the same house is called indifferently both oikos and oikia. Assume as correct, however, the pædobaptist criticism, and our authorised version in the place quoted, ought to be so rendered as to have something like the following reading : Paul and Silsa
CH AP. There is one circumstance connected with household III.
baptisms, on which a very erroneous opinion prevails in Household pædobaptist denominations; I refer to the idea enterbaptisms by baptist
tained by them that such occurrences are now very rare, ministers. if ever found to exist among baptist churches. If this
were true to the extent presumed, it would afford no solid ground of argument, when the different condition of society, and the miraculous powers with which the apostles were endowed, are considered; but the fact is, that during seasons of revival especially, the conversion and SECT. consequent baptism of a whole household are by no
went into the jailer's house and preached the gospel to him, and to his infant children; the servants (who it seems lived, not in a cabin or kitchen, but with the master,) believed; he did not, how. ever, baptize the believing servants, but proceeded to baptize the jailer's infants; his oikos, as separate from his oikia! Ridiculous as this must appear to you, my brethren, it is but the beginning of the chaos which this criticism would produce. Fully to explode the sophistry of this conceit of modern critics, we shall present a few more instances to show that oikos and oikia have identically the same meaning, and that, as such, they are used convertibly, or, in other words, in the place of one another, freely in the New Testament. The Centurion's house, whose faith was so famed, and whose servant the Saviour cured, is, by Luke, called (vii. 6) oikia ; and again, in the same chapter (10) he calls the same house oikia. (Matt. viii. 6.) The house of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, whose daughter the Messiah brought to life, by Luke (viii. 41) is called oikos ; and in the same chapter (51) he calls the same house oikia ; Mark (v. 38) calls the same house oikos. In the parable concerning the house being attacked by thieves, recorded by Matt. and Luke, Matthew (xxiv. 43) calls it oikia, and Luke (xii. 39) calls the same house oikos. We forbear to expose the contradictions which, according to pædobaptist critics, the evangelists here fall into, with themselves and with each other. Let it be observed that Luke (x. 5) calls the same house both oikos and oikia ; his words are, into whatsoever house (oikin) ye enter, say, peace be to this house (oikos ?)' That is, according to the pædobaptists' fond imagination :- When you enter a man's kitchen, say, peace be to the house in which the master and his children reside."-Howell's Sermons on Baptism, p. 39, 40.
VI. means unfrequent occurrences.d No attempt at impugning the mode of the administra- The jailer
and his tion of the ordinance has been made except in that of the
household jailer, which has been a source of much hopeful difficulty immersed. to the apologists for sprinkling. Lydia being converted on the brink of a river, renders her immersion too proable to afford ground for cavil; but that the jailer was immersed, in the middle of the night, seems incredible to some minds. But to those who will remember that in the warm climates of the East every public building was well provided with reservoirs of water, no difficulty will remain. It is also clear, that whether the jailer and his household were baptized in the adjacent river Strymon, or, which is more natural to suppose (and which is the opinion of the celebrated Grotius), in the bath connected with the institution over which he presided, they were not baptized in his house ;—" was baptized and all Acts xvi. 34. his straightway; and when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them.” So far, therefore, from the circumstances narrated rendering immersion improbable, it is the very reverse ; for had the parties
a It will be a kindness in the editors of pædobaptist periodicals, if they will not fail to extract these accounts as they appear, that the darkness which pervades the minds even of their professors of ecclesiastical history on this subject may be dispelled. .
• To any reader the least acquainted with ancient topography, this statement needs no proof; and he who impugns it may be readily convinced of his ignorance.
" I recollect well in a small jail in the city of Richmond, there was a large tank, so situated as to constitute an excellent baptistery; and I offered to immerse any of my presbyterian friends in the jail, and in the middle of the night.
CHAP. been sprinkled the rite would surely have been performed III.
in the jailer's house, which it was not.
Impossible Every word in the Sacred Writings relating to the bapfor babes to be included tism of households has been laid before the reader; and in the bap- is he not compelled to admit, that so far from its being tism of households. certain that any infants were baptized, that there is not
the slightest probability, yea, not even a bare possibility of it, on account of the acts and feelings in each case attributed to the households baptized being such as it is impossible for an infant to exercise. How weak must that system be which presents to the public mind, the history of the baptism of households, as one of its most powerful arguments in favour of infant baptism !
THE DISCIPLES AT EPHESUS.
Acts xix. 1 “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul,
having passed through the upper coasts, came to Ephesus; and 2 finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the
Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have 3 not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he
said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized ? And they said, 4 Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John, verily, baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, That they should
believe on him which should come after him, that is on Jesus 5 Christ. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of 6 the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them,
the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and 7 prophesied. And all the men were about twelve."
This passage has been much controverted, as to its affirming the fact that these disciples of John were again baptized by the direction of Paul. The solution of this difficulty depends wholly on the question whether the sect. fifth verse is part of Paul's speech, or Luke's narration.
VII. The scope and construction of the passage appears to me Question of
rc-baptism somewhat to favour the latter hypothesis ; while the fact of these of this being the only allusion (if it be one) to a case, disciples. which if it existed at all, must probably have occurred in numerous instances; and the relation which the baptism of John manifestly sustains to the Christian dispensation, would lead me to infer that the former was the correct view of the passage. Whatever be the decision Does not
affect the of this question, it has no bearing on the subject before
present When these persons were baptized by John, it was controversy by immersion, on profession of repentance and faith in a coming Messiah ; and if they were baptized a second time, they certainly had not then retrograded to a state of infancy, neither had the form of dipping been yet altered to that of sprinkling. It is only therefore an instance of the immersion or re-immersion of believers. Surely if it be a fact that Paul deemed it necessary these twelve brethren should be immersed a second time, it would be strange logic thence to argue that it is not necessary to be immersed at all !a
The only divinely authorized church history has now Admissions been fully searched, and not a solitary instance of sprink-baptist ling infants has been found either described or referred authors. to. Many pædobaptists are candid enough to admit this. Dr. DODDRIDGE, in his Lectures on Ethics and Divinity, observes : “Some have apprehended that they have been
a Calvin maintains that these disciples were not re-baptized. “For myself I grant that the baptism they had received was the true baptism of John, and the very same with the baptism of Christ; but I deny that they were baptized again.”-INSTITUTES, vol. ii. p. 433.