« PreviousContinue »
sprinklings of the Mosaic ritual, whether with blood or with the ashes of a heifer. Indeed, one passage from Ambrose, of itself, were there no other, would be enough to settle this
. Apol. David, § 59: “Per hyssopi fasciculum adspergebatur agni sanguine qui mundari volebat typico baptismate.” He who desired to be purified with a typical baptisin, was sprinkled with the blood of a lamb, by means of a bunch of hyssop. Compare now with this other similar cases in $ 53, Jan. 1813, and all occasion for doubt must cease.
These are the leading and most important points in the biblical argument, and on them all, the testimony of the Falbers is as full and explicit as could be desired.
I was peculiarly struck with the commentary of Theophylact on John 3 : 25. Í had not read it when I gave my view in $ 8, Jan. 1840. And yet the coincidence is nearly as perfect as if I had taken his exposition as the basis of my own. It was peculiarly gratifying to me to find the argument from this passage so clearly and fully sustained by the Fathers. as it was by means of this passage, that the Holy Spirit, as I humbly trust, first gave me an insight into the true meaning of this word. Mr. Carson's only argunent against this view is a series of unproved assertions; that the question about purifying was not a question about baptism, and that it had no reference to the claims of Jesus or John; and that the disputants said nothing to John as to the question about purification, but stated one entirely different. In all this not only are the Fathers against Mr. Carson, but the most mature results of modern criticism are against him. Schleusner, Wahl, Valer, Rosenmüller, De Wette, Bretschneider, Kuinoel, and even Professor Ripley himself, are against him on these points. They all agree that baptism was the subject of the question; and Rosenipüller, Vater, Kuinoel, and Schleusner give baptism as the translation of xainglounū. Doederlin takes the same view. The following translation of the passage will present the true sense and the argument at once to the eye.
“ After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea, and there he tarried with them and purified. And John was purifying in Ænon, near Salim, because there was much water there, and they came to him and were purified. THEREFORE, there arose a question concerning purification between some of the disciples of John and the Jews, and they came unto John and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with
thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold the saine purifieth, and all men come to him! As if Christ was improperly drawing men away from John's purification. In reply to all this John clearly avowed the superiority of Christ to himself, and justified his course.”
Having considered the chief points, let us now review the remainder.
6. As to the baptism of couches, in Mark 7: 4, we have seen that the Fathers not only speak of this, but of baptizing men on couches; so that all possibility of evading the sense to purify is taken away. Moreover, in the Apostolic Const. 6:6, a certain Jewish sect is spoken of concerning whom it is said, "unless they baptize themselves daily they eat not, still further, unless they purify-xalapãoin—with waier their couches, and plates, and cups, and goblets, and seats, they will not use them at all.” That the author of these words did not believe in the immersion of couches is plain froin the fact that he obviously takes pains to use καθαίρω in place of βαπτίζω. That in this passage there is a direct reference to Mark 7: 4, is too plain to need proof. It is no less plain that in Luke 11:38, the Fathers regarded the baptism required of Jesus as a purification, and not an immersion, for Theophylact says of Christ, that he was deriding their foolish custoin of purifying themselves before they ate, and takes particular pains to substitute xalagita in place of βαπτίζω. . Deriding their foolish custom, I mean their purifying-xufupiteritu—themselves before eating, he teaches that they ought 10 purify their soul by good works." He then adds, for washing the hands-vinted 0 d—by water purifies the body only, not the soul. This use of vinteoin clearly denotes that Theophylact regarded the baptism expected of Jesus as a washing of the hands. More proof could be added, but surely this is enough.
No one can any longer doubt what is meant by baptizing from a dead body, in Sirach 31: 25, after reading in Cyril of Alexandria of a baptism by the ashes of a heifer. Cyril also uses xić0 uuris in the same relations. Ashes with water is a purifiration-stopoig- to the defileil. Here, too, I remark, in passing, is an idiom of the same kind as that noticed in $ 52, in which purifying agents are called baptisms. Here ashes with water is said to be a purification, i. e., a baptism. Mr. Carson's objection from hoūrpov I have fully answered.
Nor is there any reason to doubt the sacrificial sense alleged by me in Acts 22 : 16, and 1 Peter 3:21. Arise, be purified or expiated is the import of the command, and refers manifestly to the rite. Wash away thy sins, refers as plainly to the result prayed for when the name of God was invoked, and which is shadowed forth by the rite, and in true believers comes to pass, i. e., the purification of the mind from sin. Mr. Carson says, this makes the pardon of sins to be confirmed at baptism. So it is if forgiveness is prayed for in faith. Sins are wasbed away by calling on the Lord for pardon, and the same is true of sins committed after baptism. We need forgiveness of sins daily, and daily we pray for it and receive it; and at the hour of baptism sins are no less forgiven, if the prayer of faith is offered, than at any other time, and the external rite is designed to announce and show forth this fact. This is not baptismal regeneration, nor any thing like it. The usus loquendi is plainly on my side. Mr. Carson's philosophical and theological objections are of no weight. As to 1 Pet. 3: 21, the Fathers are decidedly against Mr. Carson. He says, “ Noah and his family were saved by being buried in the water of the flood; and after the flood they emerged as rising from the grave.” Now it is not true in fact that Noah and his family were ever buried in the waters of the flood, nor that they emerged from them, nor did the Fathers ever so regard it. The wicked were buried in the waters of the flood. Noah and his family, according to the Fathers, were purified and thus saved. See $ 28, 6. So also Cyprian says
56 Qui cum Noe in Arca non fuerunt, non tantum purgati et salvati per aquam non sunt, sed statim illo diluvio perierunt." Those who were not in the ark with Noah, not only were not purified and saved by water, but perished at once by that deluge. According to the Fathers, those in the ark were saved by purification, those out of it were destroyed by immersion. All this perfectly accords with the usus loquendi of Póntigua which I have clearly established, and with the obvious import of the passage. $ 68. Mr. Carson's reply to the arguments from the Fathers.
Mr. Carson's mode of meeting my arguments from the Fathers (in $ 21.) next demands notice.' " Well, how.does Mr. Beecher bring out his proof? If the writings of the Fathers prove that they understood this word in Mr. Beecher's sense,
must not Mr. Beecher prove this by alleging examples of the use of the word in this sense ? Common Sense, What do you say? But Mr. Beecher attempts no such thing. He does not appeal to the use of the word by the Fathers, but to other words applied by the Fathers to the same ordinance." And yet my argument stands thus. 1. The earlier Christian writers do not so often use the word Bunridw, as some synonyme derived from the sense to purify e. g. Avayevvcw, as before stated. 2. They often use Bantiopòs in the legal and sacrificial sense so as to exclude any idea but na improuos. 3. They sometimes in describing the rite use xalaíow or safapito alone. How then does Mr. Carson dare to say that I attempt no such thing as alleging examples of the use of the word? Do not the three examples from Chrysostom and Theophylact each contain the word Beariouos? And do I not argue to prove that it means purification? All this was before Mr. Carson's eyes. Nay, after six pages,
he refers to it and tries to answer it. Mr. Carson may be able to explain all this. I frankly confess I cannot. After this false statement of my argument he proceeds: “Now I do charge my opponent with dishonesty in the use of this argument. I do him the justice to believe that he is the dupe of his own sophistry. But it is a sophistry childishly weak. I have already disposed of this argument. It assumes as an axiom that words that apply to the same ordinance are identical in signification.” To this I reply, I make no such assumption. My argument is moral and cumulative. If Bantico means to purify, we should expect to find xalapíto and other synonymous words used in its place. It would be strange if we did not. It could be used as an argument against us if it were not so. If we do, then this class of facts is as we should reasonably expect to find them. And this in its place and relations is a true and powerful part of a cumulative argument. Another view of the matter is indeed possible, for I never denied that one word could be used in the place of another, and yet not be synonymous with it. Thus in arguing on John 3: 25, there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. I first prore by the context that this dispute related in fact to baptism; and inasmuch as xai apiouoő is used in its place, I infer in view of all the facts of the case, that κάθαρσις and βαπτισμός are synonymous-because all probabilities tend this way. I then remark, “ It is of no avail to talk of possible senses. The question is not what is possible, but
what is a rational inference from a fair view of the facts of the case; and this I do not hesitate to say is that Buntiquos and nalulons are synonymous.” In this language I plainly intimate that another view is possible, but not probable. Hear now Mr. Carson: "I could admit that purification here refers to baptism specifically and still defeat President Beecher. He has labored in vain. He builds on a false first principle. He assumes that if two words refer to the same ordinance they must be identical in meaning. Nothing is more unfounded palpably unfounded. There are situations in which two words may be interchanged at the option of the writer, u hile they are not perfectly synonymous. They may so far argue that they may be equally fitted to fill a situation while each has a distinct meaning. This is so obvious a truth, that I am perfectly astonished that it should lie bid from the President of the College of Illinois,” pr. 5 and 8. To this I reply, I had well weighed the principle before writing iny articles. It is simply the second of Mr. Carson's canons of trial as I have numbered them. No man who had ever noticed the pomp and authority with which Mr. Carson introduced it in his work on baptism as a profound discovery, could ever forget it again. I shall not pretend to decide whe’her a profound truth had laid hid from the world until Mr. Carson arose. I shall not dare to affirm that I had ever i bought of such a thing before reading the pages of Mr. Carson. But surely after a repeated examination of his work on baptism, my ignorance must have been dispersed. And yet in full view of this canon I did dare to affirm, and do still affirm, that a rational inference from a fair view of the facts of the case is, that βαπτισμός and καθαρισμός are synonymous in John 3: 25, and parrica and xan api w in the passages from the Fathers. I was not trying to render any
other view impossible but highly improbable, and this I did accomplish; and I have since shown by other evidence that what is announced as highly probable, in view of all the facts, of these cases is certainly true.
The l'act is that, through my whole argument, I arowedly reject Mr. Carson's demands as to the degree of proof needed, and claim deridedly and earnestly that I have proved the sense which I assign to ihe word, alıbough another view is possible. I refuse to be cut off from using the lower grades of moral evidence. I refuse to give up the aid to be derived from a sense of propriety, beauty, harmony, and verisimilitude. I refuse to