Abbildungen der Seite

though I cannot fee it can without a very large stretch, it must be only in that part of it which concerns the teaching of the Gentiles by the ministry of the apostles, and not that which refpects the baptizing of them; for the word here rendered sprinkle, is 7 y expreffive of Speaking, as Kimchi on the place observes; and the meaning is, that Christ shall speak to the Gentiles in the miniftry of the gospel by the apoftles, with fo much power, majefty, and authority, that Kings themselves shall shut their mouths at him; that is, shall filently fubmit to the scepter of his grace, and to the doctrines of his gospel; for that which had not been told them, shall they fee; and that which they had not heard, fball they confider. Moreover, who, in the world, could ever imagine, that the ordinance of water baptifm, with the mode of its administration, should be intended here? a man muft have his imagination prodigiously heated indeed, and his mind captivated with a mere jingle of words, that can look upon fuch proofs as thefe, fetcht out of the Old Teftament, as demonstrative ones of the true mode of baptizing under the New. Thus we have had a taste, as he calls it, of his demonftrations of pouring or sprinkling water in baptism.


A vindication of Erafmus, and of his version of Acts x. 47.

THE author of the debate in p. 22. urges the impropriety of Peter's speech in Cornelius's houfe, when he talked of forbidding water in baptifm, if plunging was the right mode of its administration; to which I replied, that if there was any impropriety in the text, it was not to be charged, either upon the words or fenfe of the holy Ghost, but upon our translation; and urged, that the word water fhould be put in conftruction with the word to be baptized, and not with the word forbid, and the whole text be rendered thus, Can any man forbid that these should be baptized in water, which have received the holy Ghost as well as we? and produced the teftimony of Erafmus to confirm it. Now let us attend to Mr M's animadverfions upon it. And,

1. Within the compass of four or five lines, he tells two palpable and notorious untruths; for first, he affirms that I fay that the words in As x. 47. are not good fenfe, when it is he that infinuates an impropriety in Peter's manner of fpeaking, fuppofing plunging to be the mode of baptifin; what I fay, is, that


if there is any impropriety in it, it is not to be charged upon the words or "sense of the holy Ghost, but upon our tranflation;" and yet he would have it, that I affert that the words are not good fenfe; where do I fay fo? It is true, I think the words are better rendered according to Erafmus's verfion; and, for


what I can yet fee to the contrary, I fhall abide by it. Again, he says, that I think there is something wanting in the original. With what face can he say fo? Or have I attempted a fupplement to any part of it? How unfair is this? Yet this is the man that complains of rank injuftice, wrefting of words and wracking of fentences in polemical writings. He fays, he fears God; I hope he does; but he has given but very little evidence of it, in his management of this controversy.

2. He next falls foul upon Erafmus, calling him old Erafmus; and reprefents him as disapproved of by the learned; when almoft every body knows how much the learned world owes to that great man, and what deference is always paid to him; but why old Erafmus, and great Beza? Not that I would go about to diminish the praife of/Beza, yet I cannot but be of opinion, that to fet Erasmus upon a level with him, in refpect of learning, can be no leffening of him; but it seems to me, that the reafon of those different epithets which Mr M. has given to those excellent men, is only because the version of the one removes the foundation of his impertinent cavil, and the note of the other, as he imagines, fecures it to him.

3. He proceeds, in the next place, to find fault with my tranflation of Erafmus's verfion; but if he had had that candour which he would have the world believe he fhews in the management of this controverfy, he would have eafily overlooked this, which he thinks is fo much blame-worthy; especially when he could not but obferve, that in the very fame page, this text is rendered according to the tranfpofition of Erafmus, without the negative particle, which hurts the fense so that he might eafily have perceived that this did not arise from a want of knowledge. in tranflating, but from an inadvertency in writing.


4. As to what Beza fays of this trajection, that it is dura ac plane infolens; F fhall only say cum pace tanti viri, that the trajections in fcripture, which he himself approves of, for which fee his notes on John viii. 25. and Acts i. 2. are not more eafy or more usual.

5. The sense of the text requires fuch a tranfpofition of the words; for the meaning is not, as if Peter thought that any perfon would go about to hinder them of water convenient for the administration of the ordinance of baptifm; for fuch a fenfe of the words would be trifling and jejune, and yet this our verfion feems to incline to; but that there might be fome who would be displeased with, and to their utmost oppose, the baptizing of those Gentiles. Hence Peter Lays, Who can forbid that these should be baptized in water? Therefore, and what will further confirm this sense and reading of the words, he commands them in the next verse to be baptized: he does not order water to be brought unto them, but that they be baptized in the name of the Lord. To all which,

6. Might

6. Might be added, that this transposition of the words has not its confirmation only from the authority, judgment and learning of Erafmus, which is not inconfiderable, but also from others; for, as Cornelius à Lapide has obferved, both the Tigurine verfion, and that of Pagnine's, read the words the fame way: fo that however Erafmus may be difapproved of by the learned, as our author afferts, yet it seems this version is regarded by them.


The end of the inftitution of the ordinance of Baptifm, confidered.


S the ordinance of water-baptifm derives its authority from Christ, so it was inftituted by him for fome end or other, which may make for his own glory, as well as for the comfort, edification, and increase of faith in his people; and what that end is, we fhall now inquire.

6 99

Mr M. p. 33. fays, "the manifeft end of it is a representation of the dona"tion of the Spirit to us in the new covenant As for the former of these proofs, I need only fay, that an Old-Teftament-text can never be a proof or evidence of what is the end of the inftitution of a New-Teftament-ordinance : Befides, if it could be thought to have any reference to the affair of Baptism, it would only regard the mode, and not the end of this ordinance, for which he has cited it already, and to what purpose has been also shown. As for the two latter texts here produced by him, they only inform us, that the Spirit's grace is called a Baptism, and so are the fufferings of Christ, Luke xii. 50. the representation of which he will not own to be the end of baptifm, though every body will fee that this may be as strongly concluded from hence, as what he contends for; befides, the martyrdom of the faints is called a Baptifm, Matt. xx. 23. as alfo the paffage of the Ifraelites through the Red sea, 1 Cor. x. 2. yet no body ever thought that the defign of baptifm was to reprefent either of these. Now these are what he calls the plain proofs of the manifeft end of baptism, without any force upon fcripture. What fort of readers does Mr M. expect to have, that will be impofed upon by fuch proofs as these? But there are manifeft proofs which fully discover to us, that the end of this ordinance is to represent the fufferings, death, burial, and refurrection of Chrift Jesus.

Chrift has particularly inftituted two ordinances, Baptifm and the Lord'sSupper, to be observed by his people; and the end of the one is no less evident than that of the other. It is faid of the Lord's-Supper, As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do fhew the Lord's death till he come ". It is also faid

Ifai xliv. 3. Matt. iii. 11. 1 Cor. xii 13.

I Cor. xi. 26.

faid of Baptism, That so many of us, as were baptized into Chrift, were baptized into his death. Did Chrift say in the celebration of the Ordinance of the Supper? This is my blood of the New Testament, which is fhed for many for the remiffion of fins. His difciples in his name have alfo faid, Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jefus Chrift, for the remiffion of fins: that is, that their faith in that ordinance might be led to the blood of Chrift, by which remiffion of fins was procured; to the grave of Chrift, where they were left; and to a rifen Saviour, where they have a full discharge from them; all which, in a very lively manner, is reprefented in this ordinance of baptifm. There are many. other texts, befides thefe, which would lead any truly ferious and inquiring mind to obferve this to be the true end of baptifm, as Rom. vi. 4. Col. ii. 12. 1 Peter iii. 21. 1 Cor. xv. 29. but because thofe texts are excepted against by Mr M. it will be proper more particularly to confider them, and what he is pleased to advance against the commonly received fenfe of them.

ft, "Rom. vi. 4. Col. ii. 12. he fays, are not to be understood of water-bap"tifim, but of the baptifin of Chrift's fufferings, in which his people were con"fidered in him, and with him, as their head and reprefentative." I firmly believe the doctrine of Chrift's being a common head, reprefentative, and furety of all the elect of God; for which reafon, in my reply, I acknowledged his fenfe of thofe texts to be agreeable to the analogy of faith; on the account of which he triumphs, as if it fhone with an unconquerable evidence, as his expreffion is, p. 34. when I never owned it to be the true fenfe of the words; for a fenfe may be given of a text that is agreeable to the analogy of faith, which is foreign enough to the mind of the holy Ghost therein; as for inftance, if of Gen. i 1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth; a man fhould give fuch a fenfe as this, that God chofe a certain number of men in Chrift unto falvation, before he created the heaven and the earth: This is a fenfe that is agreeable enough to the analogy of faith, but none will fay that it is the fenfe of the text. But let us a little confider the expofition of thofe texts, fo much boafted of, and fee how well it will bear. As for Rom. vi. 4. it does not fay, that we are buried with him in baptism, but by baptifm into death: So that according to Mr M's expofition, it runs thus, "We are buried with Chrift reprefentatively in "the grave, by his fufferings on the cross, into that death he there fubmit"ted to;" in which, how oddly things hang together, every judicious reader will obfervee. As to Col. ii. 12. though we are faid to be buried with him in baptim, yet it is added, Wherein alfo you are rifen with him; but how we can be faid to be rifen with him in the baptifm of his fufferings, will, I believe, not be very easy to account for. It is better therefore to understand thofe texts, in the more generally received fenfe both of ancient and modern divines, who unani


К к


• Rom. vi. 3.

f Matt. xxvi. 28.

Aas ii. 38.

mously interpret them of water baptifm; in which the death, burial, and refurrection of Chrift are very evidently reprefented, when performed by immerfion.

2dly, He fays, Pet. iii. 21. is not meant of water-baptifm, but of the blood of Chrift fprinkled upon the confcience. That the blood of Chrift, as fprinkled upon a believer's confcience, is ever called a Baptifm, I never yet met with; and, I will venture to fay, can never be proved. Befides, the baptifin that Peter speaks of was a figure, avurumy, "an antitype" of Noak's ark, and of the deliverance of him and his family by water; which was a kind of resurrection from the dead, and did well prefigure our falvation by the refurrection of Chrift, reprefented to us in the ordinance of water baptifm.

3dly, The fenfe of 1 Cor. xv. 29. given by me, is also objected against by Mr M. p. 32. and another fubftituted in its room. Let the readers of the controverfy between us judge which is most agreeable. The text is difficult, and has employed the thoughts and pens of the moft able and learned men in all ages: Both the fenfes have their defenders. I fhall only refer the reader to the learned notes of Sir Norton Knatchbull, on Peter iii. 21. where both thofe texts are confidered by him; and where he has fufficiently proved, from fcripture, fathers, schoolmen, and modern interpreters, that the ordinance of baptism is a true figure, and juft reprefentation of the refurrection of Chrift, and of ours by him.


A confideration of the fignification of the Greek word Barlı?w, and particularly the ufe of it in Mark vii. 4. Luke xi. 38. Heb. ix. 10.


THA HAT the proper, primary, common, and natural fenfe of the Greek word Barla, is to dip or plunge, has been acknowledged by the greatest masters. of that language; and it is a rule which should be carefully attended to, that the first, natural, and common fenfe of a word ought to be used in the interpretation of fcripture, unless fome very good reafon can be given why it should. be used in a remote, improper, and confequential one. Now though the nature, end, and circumftances of the ordinance of Baptifm, manifeftly fhew that immerfion is the right mode of adminiftering it, and do abundantly confirm the sense of the Greek word, directing us to the proper and primary use thereof; yét fome have endeavoured to confine it to a more low and remote fense, but none have attempted to do it with more pofitiveness and confidence than our author. But what method does he take to effect it, and how does he fucceed therein ?


« ZurückWeiter »