Anson West.

The old and the new man: online

. (page 24 of 26)
Online LibraryAnson WestThe old and the new man: → online text (page 24 of 26)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

dan ; and they were immersed by him in the Jordan, con-
fessing their sins. ... I indeed immerse you in water unto
repentance; but he that comes after me is mightier than I,

Or, Sin and Salvation. 299

whose sandals I arn not worthy to bear; he will immerse
you in the Holy Spirit and fire." (Matt. iii. 1, 5, 6, 11.)

The translations made of these Greek prepositions by this
version, which so summarily disposes of the whole subject
of baptism, claims immediate attention. This version ren-
ders sv in, among, at, with. "In (sv) those days." (Matt.
iii. 1.) "And every infirmity among (ev) the people."
(Matt. iv. 23.) " But I shall remain at (cv) Ephesus until
the Pentecost." (1 Cor. xvi. 8.) " But Trophimus I left at
(s>) Miletus sick." (2 Tim. iv. 20.) "Because, though I
made you sorry with (e>) the letter." (2 Cor. vii. 8.) This
version translates eis to, unto, among. " But Tychicus I sent
to (es?) Ephesus." (2 Tim. iv. 12.) "And they said, Unto
(s:c) John's immersion." (Acts xix. 3.) "But that it
spread no further among (er?) the people." (Acts iv. 17.)
And this version translates a-<> from, out. "And having
been immersed, Jesus went up immediately from (-) the
water." (Matt. iii. 16.) "And it came .to pass in those
days, that Jesus came from (-) Nazareth of Galilee."
(Mark i. 9.) "And straightway coming up out of (-") the
water." (Mark i. 10.)

These foregoing quotations may suffice to show how these
learned immersionists translate the Greek prepositions.
When they have put immersion in the Bible they care
nothing about the services secured to their cause by their
flimsy argument about prepositions; and when baptism is
out of sight they translate these prepositions, as their mean-
ing will always bear, and as their use in different places
demands, with different English prepositions. This con-
cedes all that is contended for by those who refuse to hold
the dogma of immersion.

If '.$, the preposition used in the twelfth verse of the
fourth chapter of the Second Epistle to Timothy, may be
translated to and this is the translation made by the schol-

300 The Old and the New Man:

ars of the "American Bible Union " then there can be no
reason why the same word, ere, used at the thirty-eighth
verse of the eighth chapter of Acts, may not be translated
to. Then the passage would read: "And they went down
both to the water, both Philip and the eunuch." If ev,
which is the preposition used in the eighth verse of the six-
teenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, may
be translated at and this is the way it is translated in the
version made in the interest of immersion then there can
be no reason why the same word, ev, used in the sixth verse
of the third chapter of Matthew, may not be translated at.
Then the passage would read : "And were all baptized of
him at Jordan." If ev, which is used at the eighth verse
of the seventh chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corin-
thians, may be translated with and this is the translation
made of it in this place by this version, which is so deeply
absorbed in immersion then there can be no reason why
the same word, ev, found at the eleventh verse of the third
chapter of Matthew, may not be translated with. And
common sense requires that it should be with instead of in,
the scholars of the "American Bible Union" to the con-
trary notwithstanding. But not to be further tedious:
"This Revised Testament" proves every thing which those
who hold that immersion is not essential to Christian bap-
tism have contended for on the subject of the prepositions.
No specific mode is essential to the administration of the
Lord's Supper, no more is any specific mode essential to the
ordinance of baptism. That mode of administering bap-
tism which best symbolizes the work of the Spirit, and
which is most conducive to order, and which maintains de-
cency and sobriety, is the mode to be adopted. If effusion
is in accord with the manner of bestowing the Holy Ghost,
then let effusion be the accepted mode in the use of water
in inducting persons into covenant with the triune God.

Or, Sin and Salvation. 301

Proper estimation should be attached to the sacrament
of baptism. Let it not be overvalued, let it not be depre-
ciated. Baptism is not to be administered to any individ-
ual more than once, but this baptism is a means of grace,
in the use of which a Christian may live every day during
his earthly pilgrimage. Symbolically baptism is a new
birth, typically it is a regeneration. While washing the
body with water cannot purify the conscience, and while
the Holy Ghost alone can renew the soul and cleanse the
heart, the words of Jesus are not empty words : " Except a
man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter
into the kingdom of God." (John iii. 5.) According to
the word of the Lord Jesus the Holy Ghost fell on them
who were baptized with the Holy Ghost, and likewise let
the water fall on those who are baptized with water.

It is essential to the ordinance of baptism that it be ad-
ministered in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost.

Every one entitled to salvation is entitled to baptism.
This includes every man, woman, and child. Every one of
human kind in all the world is entitled to the gospel of the
Son of God, for it has been provided for and sent forth to
every one. The apostles were sent forth fiy the crucified
and risen Saviour to disciple, baptize, and train in the way
of God's commandments all nations, every human creature.
The commission given these apostles is thus broad and com-
prehensive. "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, bap-
tizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you ; and lo, I am with you
alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matt, xxviii. 19,
20.) To disciple, baptize, and train in the commandments
of God, are but distinct parts of the same work, and each

302 The Old and the Nciv Man:

part is alike inclusive of and applicable to all human creat-
ures. Those to be discipled are to be baptized, those to be
discipled and baptized are to be taught the commandments
of Jesus. Each of these works is to be done upon every
one composing the nations. There is not an individual pre-
cluded. The process provided in the commission shows that
the teaching, baptizing, and training are to go on in their
due order, and in this order they are to go on together.
The baptizing is to be done pending the training, not de-
ferred until the training is consummated. Baptizing is in
the category of the* first principles. Baptizing is initial
work, training in the commandments is consummative and
terminal work.

A person rejecting the plan of salvation cannot, of course,
enter into its covenant stipulations. It would be prepos-
terous for a man with a profane speech on his lips to take
an oath of allegiance to the King immutable. The man
who receives baptism must recognize the scheme of redemp-
tion and the obligations of obedience to its requisitions.
The man who assumes the vows of the baptismal covenant
assumes the obligations of repentance for sin, of faith in
Jesus Christ, and of obedience to the law of God. The
man's desires and purposes should be in accord with hii
actions. The Sdult person who is in conformity to this
standard is entitled to receive baptism. The penitent who
is seeking to be saved from his sins, who is seeking the re-
generating power of the Holy Ghost, may receive baptism
as he .may receive any other assistance, and as he may use
any other means of grace which the gospel offers him. 1
In this view is seen the true meaning of the text: "Re-
pent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall ro-
ceive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts ii. 38.) The
Bible no more defers baptism until after the attainment

Or, Sin and Salvation. 303

of regeneration than it defers prayer until after that at-

INFANTS are entitled to receive baptism. Children under
parental authority may be dedicated to God and his service
in ,holy baptism. The position herein stated is assumed
with confidence; not the confidence which is born of cre-
dulity, or preconceptions, or predilections, but with the
confidence which is inspired by the inflexible word of God.
With reliance placed alone in truth, appeal is made to the
Scriptures. The evidence to support the position that in-
fants are entitled to receive baptism may be further un-

In every covenant which God made with men, in which
he instituted a covenant-making and a covenant-keeping
ordinance, he included, by special stipulation, the children
of the parties with whom the covenant was made. This
fact attests that children are entitled to receive baptism.

God made a covenant with Adam, in the days of his in-
nocence, of which covenant the tree of life in the midst of
the garden of Eden was the token. This covenant included,
by special designation, Adam's posterity: "So God created
man in his own image, in the image of God created he him ;
male and female created he them. And God blessed them,
and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and re-
plenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every
living thing that movcth upon the earth." (Gen. i. 27, 28.)

When the flood was past, and the Lord smelled a sweet
savor from the burnt-offerings presented to him by Noah,
God blessed Noah and his sons, and he made with them a
covenant, of which covenant the bow in the clouds was or-
dained the token. This covenant included, by special stip-
ulation, their children : "And God spake unto Noah, and
to his sons with him, saving, And I, behold, I establish my

304 The Old and the New Man:

covenant with you, and with your seed after you ; and with
every living creature that is with you, of-the fowl, of the
cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you ; from all
that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And
I will establish my covenant with you ; neither shall all
flash be cut off any more by the waters of a flood ; neither
shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And
God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make
between me and you, and every living creature that is with
you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the
cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me
and the earth." (Gen. ix. 8-13.)

In the roll of years and in the lapse of time God called
Abraham, and made with him a covenant, of which cove-
nant circumcision was instituted the token. In this, as in
the former covenants noticed, the children were specially
named: "And God said uuto Abraham, Thou shalt keep
my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in
their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall
keep, between me and you, and thy seed after thee: Every
man-child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall
.circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a
token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that
is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every
man-child in your generations, he that is born in the house,
or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy
seed." (Gen. xvii. 9-12.)

When the fullness of time in the great purpose of uni-
versal redemption was come, Jesus came forth and made a
covenant with the nations of the world, of which covenant
baptism was ordained the token. In this covenant Jesus
specially named and included the children : " Then were
there brought unto him little children, that he should put
his hands on them, and pray; and the disciples rebuked

Or, Sin and Salvation. 305

them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid
them not, to corae unto me ; for of such is the kingdom of
heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed
thence." (Matt. xix. 13-15.) When the apostles went
forth to proclaim this covenant of the Son of God, which
covenant is not to be superseded so long as the ages endure,
they made special mention of the children as embraced in
the promise and included in the covenant: "Then Peter
said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and
ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the
promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that
are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
(Acts ii. 38, 39.) That the children are included in the
promise is mentioned in immediate connection with the or-
dinance of baptism.

If God's purpose and grace are manifested in his cove-
nant transactions and most certainly they are then it is
the divine purpose to guarantee to children the promise of
covenant grace, and to have them inducted-into his Church
by holy baptism. Surely the God of eternal truth and love
would not so uniformly have included the children in his
covenant engagements were it his purpose to exclude them
from the ordinance of baptism. These conclusions are ap-
parent to any one of ordinary sagacity. This testimony,
gathered^from the stipulations of God's repeated covenants
to the rights of children in the economy of the gospel, cannot
be impeached, and the* con elusion that infants should be bap-
tized rests on scriptural premises. The wise, candid, and tract-
able will submit to evidence and accept demonstrated truth.

In conformity to and in recognition of the covenant stip-
ulations of Jesus that little children, infants, should be ini-
tiated as subjects of his kingdom, the apostles baptized the
children of those who accepted the gospel and brought

800 The Old and the New Man :

their children for the reception of the ordinance. Lydia,
of Thyatira, the jailer at Philippi, and Stephanas at Cor-
inth, are all mentioned as having their children bap^ed.
"And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of
the city of Thyatira, which worshiped God, heard us; whose
heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things
which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized,
and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have
judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house,
and abide there ; and she constrained us. . . . And he took
them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes;
and was baptized, he and all his, straightway." (Acts xvi.
14, 15, 33.) "And I baptized also the household of Ste-
phanas." (1 Cor. i. 16.) Had it been a fact that only
adult persons, the servants, or domestics, of Lydia, the jailer,
and Stephanas, had been baptized, the record could have
been conformed to the fact without the least difficulty. It
could have been stated that the stewards, or hired servants,
or under-officors, of the parties named were baptized. But
in each case the historical statement suggests that the chil-
dren of these families were baptized. The jailer " was bap-
tized, he and all his." "His" were persons under his con-
trol and authority persons for whom he acted. Lydiu
"was baptized, and her household." "Her household"
were persons under 'her control and authority persons for
whom she acted. t

One of the objections which the Baptists offer to baptiz-
ing infants, and which they enforce with the bluster of con-
fidence and with an air of triumph, they state as follows:
B<ipii*m cannot save an infant. An infant dying without
bapUiam would not, on that account, be lost. Why, then, bap-
tize an infant? What good can baptism do an unconscious

This objection must be fairly considered. No properly

Or, Sin and Salvation. 307

conducted investigation could possibly lead to the associa-
tion of the statements and questions embodied in this ob-
jection. They have no relation to each other whatever.
No sublime thought could ever suggest such a combination
of disconnected points. To dispose of this objection to the
satisfaction of any thinking mind is not a difficult task, for
it is really a frivolous objection. The reasoning presented
in this objection would discard the ordinance of baptism al-
together. It would do away with baptizing adults as well
as infants. It is granted at once that baptism, by itself,
cannot save an infant. It is conceded that an infant dying
without baptism would not, on that account, be lost. It
does not, however, follow from this that there is not a suffi-
cient reason for baptizing an infant. It does not follow
from this that baptism cannot do an unconscions infant any
good. Baptism, by itself, cannot save an adult. An adult
dying without baptism would not, on that account, be lost.
So, then, to meet the Baptists on their own ground, Why
baptize an adult? what good can baptism do an adult?
When the Baptists have answered these questions properly,
then they will have proper answers to the questions, Why
baptize an infant? what good can baptism do an uncon-
scious infant? In the meantime two other questions may
be propounded : Why, under a former economy, circumcise
an infant? what good could circumcision do an uncon-
scious infant? The answer to these questions will supply
the answer to the questions, Why baptize an infant? what
good can baptism do an unconscious infant? The reason
for circumcising an infant, under a former economy, is the
reason for baptizing an infant under the present economy.
As benefits were conferred on an infant by circumcision, in
like manner benefits are conferred on an infant by baptism.
This disposes of the objection so boastingly preferred against
baptizing children.

The Old ami the New Man :

By the Baptists it is said infants should not be baptized
because they have not the intelligence to comprehend the
nature of the ordinance, nor the faith necessary to secure
its benefits, nor power sufficient to render the obedience re-
quired by the divine law. All the objections herein con-
tained have been satisfactorily answered by what has been
said in refuting the objection above noticed.

The nations are to be baptized. Infants constitute an es-
sential part of the nations. They are regarded, protected,
and provided for as citizens of the commonwealth ; there-
fore, they are part of the population entitled to receive the
ordinance of baptism. To attempt to refute this position is
to expend labor in vain, and strength for naught. How
lovely and how beautiful the ordinance which initiates the
children into the Church of God on earth ! Hither come
the tribes which swell the ranks of Israel's hosts. By di-
vine statute the ministers of the gospel are authorized to
baptize infants. Ministers, overseers of the flock, are to
take into the fold the lambs, and feed them and nurture
them. " Feed my lambs."


sometimes called the Eucharist, was instituted in the city
of Jerusalem by the Lord Jesus, while eating, with his
twelve apostles, the passover supper at the feast of un-
leavened bread, the night in which he was betrayed. The
persons present and receiving this sacrament, at the time
of its institution, were the twelve apostles; perhaps Judas
Iscariot was excluded. Bread and wine, the elements em-
ployed in instituting this sacrament, were used with a serv-
ice of thanksgiving, and with a special formula of words.
The elements and words of institution give to this ordinance
a visible sign and ceremony ordained of God which consti-
tute it a sacrament. This is a sacrament, a covenant ordi-
nance. It is a memorial of redemption, a pledge of the

Or, Sin and Salvation. oOO

resurrection of the dead, and of a blissful immortality.
Having a prescribed form and a visible sign, it is a seal of
the covenant of redemption. It is absolutely essential to
this ordinance that it set forth the death of Christ, and per-
petuate the doctrine of redemption and remission through
his death. A recognition of the atoning merit and of the
divine efficacy of the death of Christ, in securing the for-
giveness of sins, is essential to the validity of this service.
.Bread and wine are also indispensable to this ordinance.
It must be administered in the use of bread and wine, and
in the use of the form of words setting forth to view the
broken body and shed blood of Christ for the redemption
of men and the remission of their sins. This sacrament is
administered to confirm in the covenant of redemption, and
to strengthen in the grace of remission, those who receive
it. It is to be administered and received repeatedly, to keep
the death of Christ as a sacrifice for sin visibly present to
his people, and to furnish them constantly the nourishment
which, as a memorial of his propitiation, it is competent to
supply. While it does not convey grace by its own opera-
tion, and while it is not a sacrifice, made by priestly ma-
nipulations, for completing the atoning sacrifice of Christ
made on the cross, it is something more than an ordinary
service for commemorating historical events, and for pro-
ducing good resolutions and moral effects. To all such as
eat and drink according to the meaning and intent of this
divine institution, Christ is spiritually present in this sacra-
ment. To such as in this sacrament show forth the death
of Christ as a sacrifice for sin, there is a partaking of the
benefits of that sacrificial death, there is a partaking spir-
itually of the body and blood of Christ, and there is a re-
ception of strength, and health, and life.

The doctrine of transubstantiation is contrary to philoso-
phy, to common sense, and to the Scriptures. It is not

310 The Old and the New Man :

true that the bread and wine are converted into the real
body and blood of Christ, by the words of consecration
used by the priest. That which is received by the com-
municant, in the sacrament, is not the body which was born
of the Virgin Mary, offered on the cross, and received up
into heaven. This body is in heaven, and not on the
earth, and is impassible, and cannot be divided, masticat-
ed, or digested. Though they have been set forth by the
friends of the doctrine as conclusive proof thereof, the
words of Jesus used at the time of the institution of this
sacrament do not establish the doctrine of transubstautia-
tiou: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and
blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and
said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup,
and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all
of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is
shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matt. xxvi. 26-
28.) In these words, Jesus said what he meant, and meant
what he said, but evidently he did not intend that the dis-
ciples should understand that in eating the bread they were
actually eating his literal body, and that in drinking the
wine, which was in the cup, they were literally drinking
his real blood. They could not possibly entertain such a
thought on the subject. His body was there before their
eyes, whole, and unmangled; his blood was in his veins,
not yet spilt. They knew they were not eating his literal
flesh; they knew they were not drinking his real blood.
They were clearly to understand him, and they did under-
stand him, as speaking of these, the bread and wine, which
they ate and drank, as pointing to his broken body and
shed blood; which body was to be broken, and which blood
was to be shed for the remission of sins. The disciples
were prepared, so far as they could be prepared under the
circumstances, to comprehend the Lord's meaning in his

Or, Sin and Salvation. 31 1

words, and in the entire institution, for he had taught
them before his betrayal, and before this hour's service,
that he was' to give his flesh for the life of the world, and
that men were to obtain life through his flesh torn, and
through his blood shed: "I am the living bread which
came down from heaven ; if any man eat of this bread, he
shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my
flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The
Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can
this mtin give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto
them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh
of the Son of maiij and drink his blood, ye have no life in
you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath
eternal life ; and I will raise him up at the last day. For
my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He
that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in
me, and I in him." (John vi. 51-56.) It is literally true

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 26

Online LibraryAnson WestThe old and the new man: → online text (page 24 of 26)