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assumed the sense to purify or cleanse, than making it a synonyme of xadazifw. And the evidence is the more striking, as it is incidental and undesigned. It is as if we could stand on the plains of Judea and hear them interchange Battiduós and radaciouos as synonymous words.
But if this is the force of the word in one instance as a re- . ligious rite, then it is its force in all similar cases.
This view alone fully explains the existing expectation that the Messiah would baptize.
That the Messiah should immerse is no where foretold ; but that he should purisy, is often and fully predicted.
But especially is this foretold in that last and prominent prophecy of Malachi, ii, 1-3,) which was designed to fill the eye of the mind of the nation, until he came.
He is here presented to the mind in all his majesty and power, but amid all other ideas that of purifying is most prominent. He was above all things to purify and purge, and that with power so great, that few could endure the fiery day. Who may abide the day of his coming and who shall stand when he appeareth ?
Suppose now the word Bartifw to mean as I affirm—the whole nation are expecting the predicted purifier ; all at once the news goes forth that a great purifier has appeared and that all men flock to him and are purified in the Jordan. How natural the inference! the great purifier so long fore. told, has at last appeared, and how natural the embassy of the Priests and Levites to enquire who art thou ? and when he denied that he was the Messiah, or either of his expected attendants, how natural the inquiry, why purifiest thou then? It is his work-of him it is foretold, why dost thou intrude into his place and do his work ?
In view of these facts I do not hesitate to believe most fully, that the idea which came up before the mind of the Jews when the words Ιωάννης ο Βαπτιστής were used, was not, John the immerser, or John the dipper, but John the purifier a name peculiarly appropriate to him as a reformer-as puritan was to our ancestors, and for the same reason.
This view has to my own mind the self-evidencing power of truth, for there is not the slightest presumption against it; all probable evidence is in its favor; and it explains and har.
monizes the facts of the case as no other view does. Indeed I can never read the account of John's baptism, and his various replies without feeling that this passage from Malachi gives color to them all. This idea I shall consider more at large in the following section.
The contrast made by John between his own baptism and that of Christ, illustrates and confirms the same view.
This contrast exists in three particulars —the subject, the agent, and the means.
In the case of John, the subject was the body—in the case of Christ, the mind.
In the case of John, the agent was material, i. e, a man in the case of Christ the agent was the Holy Spirit. In the case of John, the means were water in the case of Christ the truth and the emotions of God.
Now the idea to purify is perfectly adapted to illustrate and carry out such a contrast, but to immerse is not.
This sense is never transferred to the mind, in any language, so far as I know, to indicate any thing like the effects of the agency of the Holy Spirit.
Where oppressive, crushing, painful or injurious influences are denoted, it is so transferred -as púgious ogóvtidi B:EARTIOμένος τον νούν. Chrysostom. βαρύταταις αμαρτίαις βεβαπτισμένοι Ιdem. –πολλούς κύμασι πράγματων βεβαπτισμένοι Ιdem - and in this sense the overwhelming and crushing of Christ by cares and ageny is spoken of as a baptism in the gospels. But this does not denote the peculiar and appropriate effects of the agency of the Holy Spirit.
But the sense to purify, can be with ease applied to body or mind, to human agents or to the Holy Spirit, to water or to the truth and divine influence.
How simple and natural the statement ! " I indeed purify you with water-but he shall purify you with the Holy Spirit. I perform an external and symbolical rite, by which the body is cleansed with water, but he shall perform a higher cleansing, or that in which the mind itself is purified by the Spirit of God.”
And how harsh, how forced, how unnatural to say, I immerse you in the Holy Spirit--and in fine, such a use of
the Indeednesis maut it m
language to denote such a thing is entirely foreign to all. the laws of the human mind.
Indeed so much is the force of this felt, that in this part of the antithesis many resort to a new modification of the idea, and maintain that it means to imbue largely, to overwhelm with divine influences.
But this destroys the whole symmetry of the antithesis. John does not mean to say I immerse you largely with water, but either, I immerse you in water, or I c!eanse you with it, and whichever sense we adopt in one part of the antithesis, we ought to retain in the other.
But when the agent is spiritual, the object spiritual, and the means spiritual, and the end purity, immersion is out of the question. Nothing but the most violent improbability of the sense to purify, can authorize us to reject it in such a case. But no such improbability exists; the probability is entirely in its favor. Purify, then, in any view of the subject must here be the sense.
This view is still further confirmed by comparing the language of John with the passage from Malachi already quoted. It seems to be at all times his great desire to lead them to apply those words to Christ, and not to himself. As if he had said, “Do not think that I am the great purifier spoken of in those words. After me cometh one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am unworthy to loose. He shall purify you with the Holy Ghost and with fire-whose fan is in his hand, and he shall thoroughly purge (daxadagisi) his floor," etc. But all the force, correspondence and natural illuminåtion of these passages, depends on giving to the word βαπτίζω the sense which I clairn.
$11. In 1 Cor. xii. 13, the Holy Spirit is directly said to baptize, and in this case all external acts are of course excluded, and purify is the only appropriate sense.
“For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
If any shall say that joining the church by the external rite is here meant, I reply, that is never performed by the Spirit, but by man. But this baptism is as much a real work of the Holy Spirit, as the causing to drink into one Spirit, which is not external, but internal and real.
But to immerse in water is not the work of the Holy Spirit, nor is it his work to immerse the mind, but to purify the mind is. Moreover, not an external union to the visible Church, but a real union to the true and spiritual body of Christ is here meant, and this is produced by the purification of the mind, not by the immersion of the body. Hence to describe the operations of the Holy Spirit in uniting us to the body of Christ, purify is adopted-immerse is not.
$ 12. βαπτίζω and καθαρίζω are so similarly used in connexion with the forgiveness of sins, as decidedly to favor the idea that they are in a religious use synonymous.
The purification effected by the Holy Spirit is of two kinds, (i.) a purification from spiritual defilement; (2.) a deliverance from the guilt of sin, i. e. liability to be punished, and from a sense of guilt, through the atonement.
It is through the atonement that pardon is given; and through the Holy Spirit conviction of sin is produced ; and by him also a sense of guilt is taken away in view of the atonement ; and in this sense he is said to cleanse from sin by tbe blood of Christ.
This kind of purification may be called legal, as it relates to guilt, forgiveness and an atonement. The other kind of purification may be called moral, inasmuch as it removes the unholy and impure feelings and habits of the mind and produces in their place those that are holy and pure.
Both kinds of purification are expressed by the same word xadapibw. Its use to denote legal purification or expiation is very extensive. It denotes, (1.) to make atonement. As in Ex. 29 : 37, and 30:-10. ^ Thou shalt make atonement for the altar," “ Aaron shall make atonement;". Sept. xabazilw, Heb. .
(2.) To forgive, Ex. 20:7. “The Lord will not hold him guiltless (où xadagisi) that taketh his name in vain.” Ex. 34: 7. “ That will by no means clear the guilty." Deut. 5: 11. Idem. In these and similar cases the Greek xadazifw corresponds to the Hebrew app to forgive, to absolve from punishment, and is used in a sense strictly legal, and does not refer to moral purity at all. So in 1 John i: 7. “ The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin;" and v. 9, He is faith
on a sense forgive, to abeek xadapibus ut: 5:11. Tai
ful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In these cases the idea of atonement and forgiveness by it, are involved in Kabapišu, and in Heb. the blood of Christ is said to purge the conscience from dead works, implying a deliverance from a sense of guilt and a sense of pardoned sin. Kayaciğw is here used; hence an atonement is called vabapiapós in Heb. 1: 3. When he had by himself purged our sins, (vabapio pòv 70.no huevos,) he sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high. In this case the atonement, kaaplouos, was made first, and then applied to cleanse by the Holy Spirit.
Nor is this usage confined to Scriptural Greek; we find that when Cræsus exempted Adrastus from liability to pun. ishment for killing his brother, it is said pevěxalips-he purified him--and when Adrastus requested such exemption, xo dappiou često he requested expiation-or exemption from liability to punishment. Among the Jews this kind of purification was indicated by its appropriate external forms of which the sprinkling of blood was the most common-if not the only one. Besides this, as all know, xabapilw is used abundantly to denote moral purification or its emblem ceremonial purification—of which no examples are needed.
Hence to a Jew the most natural word to connect with the idea of the forgiveness of sins was xadapouós, or some synonymous word.
Between immersion, and the forgiveness of sins no such associations had ever been established. For all the remis. sions of sin under the old ritual were by blood and hence Paul, Heb. 9: 19-23, after speaking of the sprinkling of blood upon the people and the book of the tabernacle and the vessels says, και σχεδόν έν αίματι πάντα καθαρίζεται κατά τον νόμον, και χωρίς αίματέκχυσίας ου γίνεται αφεσις.
Here the connexion of kalapiouds and apecis åpaoriun—"purification,” and “forgiveness of sins” are presented at once to
And there was no rite that involved immersion, which had any connexion with the forgiveness of sins.
Now if any word is found to sustain the same relations as kabapicuos to the same idea, forgiveness of sins, we have reason to think that it is used in the same sense.
But βαπτίζω and its derivatives do sustain the same relation. Mark 1: 4. " John preached the Baptism of repentance for the forgiveSECOND SERIES, VOL. III. NO. I.