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CHAP. and Woods before us, that the general meaning of bap

tizo, is to dip, plunge, immerse; and its secondary or occasional signification, to overwhelm, literally or figuratively. This is the precise position taken by Professor Ripley, in his lucid and satisfactory Review of Stuart; equally decisive, and more difficult to assail than the somewhat higher ground taken by Carson. It may further be added, that this term is never used, even in the Greek classics, for washing, except where the cleansing was performed by dipping; and that it is never ap

plied to the mere act of pouring or sprinkling., Metaphori- It has already been suggested that the figurative use

of a physical term, may illustrate indeed, but cannot define the meaning of the word. That nothing however which has been alleged to have a bearing on the subject be omitted, a few lines will be devoted to the metaphorical application of baptizo in the Greek classics. The

ancients use the term baptizo, when they desire to exHeliodorus, press "a city plunged in sleep.” Virgil speaks of a Ant. x. 9, 4. city “buried in sleep and wine.”

.” Josephus of one who was sunk into insensibility by excessive drinking." Diodorus Siculus, “ they do not sink their subjects with taxes.” To be plunged in debt, or to be immersed in pleasure, are phrases too well known to endanger any one mistaking the figure. Other quotations of a similar character may be found in Ripley's and in Judd's Replies to Stuart : in both of these works they are treated at once with great skill and fairness.—Were there any instances that among the Greek classics the figurative

IV. 117.

& There are clearly circumstances, however, in which overwhelm. ing is truly baptism; when, for instance, baptizing in the sea, or lake, as the candidate is laid down by the administrator, a wave rolls over him; by no means an unfrequent occurrence.

use of baptizo had been considerably extended from its SECT. physical or ordinary import, it would have been so utterly

II. destitute of any material bearing on the great question before us, that it is rather for the satisfaction of our curiosity, than for its argumentative support, that even this pains has been taken to prove that our opponents gain not even a nosegay of flowers, much less materials for war, by an excursion among the figurative regions of Greek

poesy: Before taking leave of classical authors, and confining Application

of general our observations to the Scriptures, let us examine how

principles. the case stands with baptizo, on the suggestions with respect to the meaning of words, made at the commencement of this chapter.

1. Primitive, or original—that of baptizo is to immerse or dip.

2. Ordinary—that of baptizo is to immerse or dip.

3. Figurative or metaphorical—that of baptizo is to immerse or overwhelm.

4. Technical-baptizo has no technical meaning; bapto was technically used for dyeing, colouring, and even gilding; but baptizo was never thus employed.

I am aware that pædobaptist readers will be amazed at this statement: they can examine whether Professor Stuart, President Beecher, or any other writer, has produced a passage from the Greek classics to the contrary.

As the usage of the word in Josephus is of considerable importance, I have extracted several quotations from Carson.

h“ But the language of no writer can have more authority on this subject than that of Josephus A Jew who wrote in the Greek language in the apostolic age, must be the best judge of the meaning of Greek words employed by Jews in his own time. Now this author uses the word frequently, and always in the sense of im






Naaman, 2 Kings,

“NAAMAN went down and plunged himself (ebaptisata) seven times in Jordan.” This is Professor Stuart's translation. The Prophet had directed him to “ go and wash seven times in Jordan;" and, as he had not the benefit of pædobaptist disquisitions on Greek preposi

v. 14.

Now, upon

mersion. He uses it also sometimes figuratively with the same literal reference. Speaking of the purification from defilement by a dead body, he says, “and having dipped (baptisantes) some of the ashes into spring water, they sprinkled,” &c. Here we see the characteristic distinction between baptizo and raino. The one is to dip, the other to sprinkle. Antiq. 1. iv. c. 4. p. 96.

“On this example, Mr. Ewing's friend remarks :looking into the Levitical law upon this particular point, (Numb. xix. 17.) we find the direction was, They shall take of the ashes, and running water shall be put thereto. Here, then, the putting running water into ashes, is expressly termed, baptisantes tes nephras. Let the gentleman look a little more closely, and he will see that his observation is not correct. It is true that Numb. xix. 17, and the above passage from Josephus, refer to the same thing; but they do not relate it in the same manner. The Sep. tuagint directs, that water shall be poured upon the ashes into a vessel ; Josephus relates the fact as if the ashes were thrown into the water. Now, this might make no difference as to the water of purification, but it was a difference as to the mode of preparing it. Nothing, then, can be farther from truth, than that the putting of the water on the ashes, according to Numb. xix. 17, is called by Josephus, the baptizing of the ashes. If Josephus speaks of the baptizing of the ashes, he represents the ashes as being put into the water, and not the water as being poured on the ashes. He uses the verb eniemi as well as baptizo. According to Josephus, then, the ashes were dipped or put into the water; though, accord.

tions, instead of standing on the bank " at Jordan,” he SECT. actually went and dipped himself seven times in Jordan.

III. It is certainly a literary curiosity that great scholars, even the candid Professor Stuart, should feel quite sure that the word in the Second Book of Kings means to dip in Jordan," while a misty doubt still hangs over their minds respecting the meaning of the self-same words in Matthew. Do these gentlemen themselves feel no apprehension that this is an illustration of the principle of moral philosophy, that it requires greater evidence to convince us against our inclinations or prepossessions, than where no mental bias exists?

This passage presents a suitable opportunity to show Wash, not that the favourite meaning which pædobaptist divines meaning of desire to fasten on baptizo, that of wash, is a meaning baptizo.

the true

ing to the Septuagint, the water was poured out into the vessel on the ashes.

“ Speaking of the storm that threatened destruction to the ship that carried Jonah, he says, ' when the ship was on the point of sinking, or just about to be baptized. What was the mode of this baptism ? l. ix. c. 10. p. 285.

“ In the history of his own life, Josephus gives an account of a remarkable escape which he had in a voyage to Rome, when the ship itself foundered in the midst of the sea : “For our ship having been baptized or immersed (baptizenthos) in the midst of the Atlantic sea,' &c. Is there any doubt about the mode of this baptism ?" Carson, pp. 91, 92, 93.

a Yet Professor Pond persists in bringing this case of Naaman, 'to prove that baptizo is equivalent to louo, and means to wash. Who denies that baptizo often means to wash ? It is affirmed, however, that in such cases it means to wash by dipping, which all the world knows was the case with Naaman.

b The three requisites which President Beecher insists as essential to the determination of the word, in which I cordially concur, utterly destroy all the previous attempts to pervert the term baptizo; while his attempt to find a new way of escape for his friends, is in my view, as utterly inefficient as all the efforts which he so


we do know at al

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CHAP. which never can be ascribed to the term itself; it quite I.

as truly signifies to defile, as to wash or cleanse. It is

candidly condemns. “ A view,” says this author, " which shall effectually do this, (give satisfaction and rest to an inquiring mind) will be found to have the following requisites:

“(1) That it shall be strictly philological.

“(2) That out of all the possible meanings of baptiso, it shall fix on ONE as the real meaning in the case in question.

(3) That it shall at all times steadily adhere to this.Bib. Rep. p. 46.

These three “requisites” necessary to "give rest,” certainly overthrow all previous attempts to affix wash, pour, or sprinkle, or all of them as the meaning to baptizo; for that neither of them can be “steadily adhered to at all times,” is too evident to require illustration. That the learned gentleman's fourth requisite should be necessary

to give satisfaction and rest to an inquiring mind," partakes of the marvellous, viz: " That this shall limit the performance of the rite to no particular mode.This really presents one of the most singular instances of absence of mind that has ever occurred in the field of theological controversy. The question in debate is, “Whether the term baptizo does limit the performance of the rite to any particular mode or not ?" and one of the Presi. dent's essential principles of investigation is, that the true meaning of the term must be one which “shall limit the performance of the rite to no particular mode!" All other attempts to find out such a meaning, having in his deliberate judgment utterly failed, he sets out, not to ascertain the true import of baptizo, but to find out (what he acknowledges has never been done) a meaning which will “limit the performance of the rite to no particular mode.” And with this object in view, he has succeeded to his own satisfac. tion; and stands, as imagined by himself, in the proud position of being the only individual who has ever had satisfactory ground for believing that the term baptizo limits the rite to no particular mode; for after having investigated and summed up the labours of his predecessors, he observes, “ None of these positions is, in my judgment, adapted to explain all the facts which occur in the use of the word, and to give satisfaction and rest to an inquiring mind."-Bib. Rep. p. 46.

It cannot but be expected that many will turn the deaf ear of pre

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