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all human power. But they went forth, and returned; saying, that they had accomplished these things. St. Paul says, that his commission to the Gentiles was in these words : "I send thee to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the government of Satan unto God; that they may obtain forgiveness of their sins, and an inheritance with those who are purified by trusting to me.” ηγιασμένους πίστει τη εις éué. Acts xxvi. 18. The commission given to the eleven apostles is similar to this. The work described in both, is such as men's efforts never could accomplish, and it is what elsewhere is attributed to a divine power. But there is no difficulty in either case. The apostles received their commission, and accomplished it. But they ever acknowledged their own weakness, and attributed both the physical and the moral miracles they wrought, to their Lord alone. The object St. Paul was directed to seek, was, that the Gentiles might be ýyraopévoi riotel. The object that the other apostles were directed to seek, was, that they might be BantiODÉVTES TLOTEVOartes. This correspondence confirms the conclusion that these are equivalent expressions, and proves, (if proof be necessary,) that the nature of the work is no objection to our supposing, that the apostles were directed to purify the minds of men. Through St. Paul's ministry men were purified by faith, and we may without difficulty admit, that through the ministry of the other apostles, men were purified believing. He who gave this commission preceded it by the declaration, “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me." He could properly say to his messengers, “Go forth, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, purifying them for the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, instructing them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you.” They went forth trusting to the assurance of their Lord, “I am with you always, even to the end of the world."*
III.“ What then shall we say ? Shall we continue in sin, in order that the mercy may be the greater ? Certainly not. How shall we who die by sin, also live by it? Do you not know, that such as are purified for Christ Jesus, are purified for his death? We are therefore buried with him through the purification for his death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the approbation of the Father, 80 we also should pursue a new
course of life.
For if we are associated with him, by a resemblance to his death, we shall also be associated with him, by a resemblance to his resurrection ; knowing this,
“Why is it said, For the name of the Father ? because he is the beginning of all things ; why for the Son ? because he is the operator in creation ; why for the Holy Spirit ? because he is the perfecter of all. We bow down to the Father that we may be purified, (lva dylart@uev;) we bow down also the Son, that the same may be effected; we bow down to the Holy Spirit that we may become such as he is, and is named. There is no difference in the purifying," aylaquoû. Greg. Nyss. Orat. in Bap. tom. iii. p. 372.
that our old dispositions are crucified, that all our sinful propensities may be destroyed, that we may no longer be in servitude to sin. For he who thus dies is freed from sin ; and if we die with Christ, we are confident that we shall also live with him."* Rom vi. 1-8.
The opinion, that this passage affords any support to the practice of baptizing by immersion, rests on two suppositions. In the first place, it is assumed, that the baptism here mentioned, is the baptism of the body, rather than the baptism of the mind ; and secondly, on the hypothesis that the baptism of the body is mentioned, it is assumed, that the apostle refers to the manner in which the rite was administered, rather than to its spiritual meaning. It is surely not to be taken for granted, that a Christian writer, and especially St. Paul, would use in his reasoning what is ceremonial and formal, rather than what is spiritual and real. This must be questioned and proved, before it can be reasonably admitted. We shall, therefore, inquire what evidence is furnished by the context and scope of the words βάπτισμα and βαπτίζω, , to show whether the apostle alludes to the baptism of the body, or to the baptism of the mind.
It should, however, be remarked, that whatever indication these verses may be supposed to afford, that the primitive practice was to baptize by dipping, they present nothing which can in the least favour the notion, that to dip is the meaning of the word. The immediate context is similar to that found in the passages already examined. It suits the sense to purify, and does not suit the sense to dip. To be purified for Christ Jesus—and to be purified for his death-are expressions obviously more proper and scriptural, than, to be dipped into Christ Jesus—and to be overwhelmed into his death ;--or these, to be dipped for Christ Jesus—and—to be overwhelmed for his death. A consideration of the whole context and scope of this passage, will
, we think, prove that the subject of which the apostle speaks, is the purifying of the soul, and not the dipping of the body. If this be evident, two conclusions will certainly follow : first, that this passage affords no indication whatever of the mode in which the rite was performed, there being no allusion whatever to the rite; and, secondly, that Barriţw means to purify, and not to dip or to overwhelm, since the former would be most proper ; but both the latter equally and utterly unsuitable to such a subject.
To ascertain what is the subject to which the terms Barriţw and BásToma are here applied, we must look to what is connected with them. Are the phrases associated such as agree with the supposition, that the apostles, in using these words, spoke of what is ceremonial and corporeal, or of what is real and spiritual in the religion of Jesns Christ. The following particulars are mentioned by the apostle in connexion
* Compare with απεθάνομεν τη αμαρτία, the similar phrases, τω του ενός παρα». τωματι οι πολλοί απέθανον, ν. 15 ; and τη αμαρτία απέθανεν εφάπαξ. vi. 10.
with baptism, and are sufficient, if carefully considered, to indicate the nature of the subject thus designated. 1. The object of Christian baptism is, that we may die with Christ. To be baptized for his death is explained in v. 5, to mean, “to be baptized that we may bear ar esemblance to his death.” 2. The effect of Christian baptism is, that we have a resemblance to the burial of Christ. If to be baptized for his death, is to be baptized that we may bear a resemblance to his death; to be buried with him by this baptism, must mean, to be brought thereby into a state resembling his burial. 3. The end of Christian baptism is, that we should pursue a new course of life; the burial of the Christian and this new life, having corresponding relations to the burial and to the resurrection of Christ. 4. It is called a crucifixion of the old dispositions of the mind. 5. The death thus associated with baptism is one which frees from sin. That all these expressions refer to the same subject, is evident from their agreement and dependence. What is spoken of in the 8th verse, as dying with Christ, is, in the 7th verse, spoken of simply as dying; in the 6th verse it is described as a crucifixion of old dispositions of mind; and in the 5th as being in the likeness of Christ's death. That these four expressions are of spiritual signification is evident from their own nature, and also from the four corresponding clauses-living with Christ-being freed from sin--not serving sin—and being in the likeness of Christ's resurrection. Now it seems quite evident that the 4th verse accords exactly with those which follow; “ being buried with Christ in the baptism for his death” agreeing with the former clauses of the following verses, and “walking in newness of life” agreeing with the latter.
The resurrection which is joined to the burial of baptism is a spiritual resurrection; it is the pursuing a new course of life; therefore the burial must be a spiritual burial. The crucifixion of the Christian which corresponds to the crucifixion of Christ, and the death of the Christian which corresponds to the death of Christ, are spiritual ; and therefore the entombment of the Christian which corresponds to the entombment of Christ must be also spiritual. The Christian's crucifixion with Christ is not corporeal, his death with Christ is not corporeal, his present resurrection with Christ is not corporeal, therefore his burial with Christ cannot be corporeal. The crucifixion spoken of, is a state of mind resulting from the crucifixion of the Redeemer. The death spoken of, is a state of mind resulting from the death of Christ. The resurrection spoken of, is a state of mind resulting from the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore we conclude, that the burial spoken of in connexion with this death and resurrection must be, in like manner, a corresponding state of mind. By the knowledge of the crucifixion and death of Jesus, we may be freed from the evil influences of the world, and, though oft by a painful repression of natural feelings, become as it were dead thereto. This state is not momentary, as the act of dying,
but it lasts for a time, during which the Christian is, as it were, buried with his Lord. But from this death and burial he is raised to a higher, purer, and happier life. The truths which repress natural propensities, are the means of awakening spiritual principles. As the Christian becomes dead to the world, he becomes alive to God. By the knowledge of the resurrection of Christ, and the hope it inspires of immortal holiness and joy to be obtained through him, the mind is encouraged to the pursuit, and attracted to the possession, of dispositions and habits heavenly in their nature, and heavenward in their tendency. Thus St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Philippians, expresses his ardent desire in reference to Jesus Christ, “ To know him, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death.” üz. 10. In his Epistle to the Galatians, he refers to the same subject ; " Far be be it from me to glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.” vi. 14. “ They who are the followers of Christ, crucify their natural dispositions and desires.” v. 24. Now as the effects produced in the mind by the Gospel are figuratively designated a crucifixion, a death, a burial, a resurrection, the immediate cause or some characteristic feature being indicated by these metaphors, we might have expected that these effects would be referred to by some simple appellation descriptive of their nature. The signification of Barricw, which has been deduced from other passages, exactly agrees with this. Those effects which are afterwards mentioned figuratively, as a crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection, are first represented simply as a purification; “Such as are purified for Christ Jesus are purified for his death. We are, therefore, buried with him through the purification for his death, that as Christ was raised from the dead through the approbation of the Father, so we also should pursue a new course of life.”
Neither immersion in water, nor any other mode of ceremonial cleansing can tend to lead men to pursue a new course of life. No form in which the rite of baptism can be administered has any resemblance to the crucifixion or to the death of Christ. But the purification of the soul does lead men to pursue a new course of life. It does resemble the crucifixion and death of Christ, and is often expressed by metaphors thence derived. We conclude, therefore, that reference is made here to the baptism of the mind, and not to the baptism of the body; and that by the words Battitw and Bártioua the apostle refers to a spiritual purification, and not to a corporeal dipping or overwhelming.
This conclusion is confirmed by a consideration of the scope of the reasoning of which these sentences form a part. In the preceding chapter men are said to die through sin : and in the 10th verse of this chapter Christ is said to have died through sin. The statement, chap. v. 21, that sin had been the occasion of the display of the mercy of God, naturally suggested the question, “Shall we continue in sin that the mercy of God to us may be the greater ?” That we should not, the apostle shows, first, by referring to the nature of sin, and, secondly, by referring to the nature of Christianity. The natural effects of sin are misery and death, and though it may be the occasion of good when taken away, it can only be the cause of evil while it remains. Sin produced death—it has the same tendency still, and never can have any other. If we continue in sin-what has been experienced of its nature shows, that we can expect from it only death. Nothing can be more clear and cogent than this argument. That which follows is of the same character, founded on facts. He who is a Christian, who is really purified for Christ, must, in conformity to the death of the Lord, become dead to sin, be freed from its dominion. If, therefore, we are Christians we cannot continue in sin. The apostle refers to the general history of man to prove, by facts, that, if we continue in sin, we must die. He then refers to the experience of real Christians, to prove by facts, that, if we continue in sin, we cannot be the followers of Christ. On the supposition that the baptism here mentioned is the purification of the soul, the reasoning of the apostle is plain, consistent, and conclusive.
The supposition that the argument is founded on the manner in which baptism was observed, is encumbered with many difficulties, and derives no support from scripture, whatever it may receive from tradition. The following are some obvious objections to this hypothesis. 1. There is no resemblance between the death of Christ, and the immersion of a person in water. But Christians are said to be baptized for the death of Christ, to be in the likeness of his death. To be buried with Christ by the baptism for his death, has the same meaning as to die with Christ by the baptism for his death. The phrase overápnuev αυτό appears to be used instead of συναποθάνομεν αυτώ, for the sake of varying the expression, of indicating some continuance of state, and of passing to the mention of the spiritual resurrection of the Christian. Whatever resemblance may be fancied between baptism and burial, none can imagine that any exists between baptism and crucifixion. 2. There is very little resemblance between the dipping under the water the body of a living person who has walked into the water, and the letting down a corpse into a grave. But this resemblance is much greater than any which could have existed between immersion into water, and the burial of the Jews. The body of our Lord was placed in a small chamber, cut out of the rock, which was entered by a door in the side. The bearing of a corpse through the door into such a sepulchre, has scarcely any resemblance to the depression of the body of a person who stands erect in the water, and for a moment is laid down. 3. This imagined resemblance is never referred to, directly or indirectly, by the sacred writers. We are never told that there is any relation between the mode of baptism, and the death and burial of Christ. The