Изображения страниц

his cau

of the flesh, which is effected by water. He carefully puts those upon their guard, to whom he writes, lest they should consider John's baptism, or that of water, to be the saving one to which he alludes; for, having made a beautiful comparison between an outward salvation, in an outward ark, by the outward water, with this inward salvation, by inward and spiritual water, in the inward ark of the testament, he is fearful that his reader should connect these images, and fancy that water had any thing to do with this baptism. Hence he puts tion in a parenthesis, thus guarding his meaning in an extraordinary manner.

He then shows what this baptism is, and calls it “ the answer of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” In fact, he states it to be the baptism of Christ, which is by the Spirit; for he maintains, that he only is truly baptized, whose conscience is made clear by the resurrection of Christ in his heart. But who can make the answer of such a conscience, except the holy Spirit shall have first purified the floor of the heart ; except the spiritual fan of Christ shall have first sepa


2 A 2

[ocr errors]

But no

rated the wheat from the chaff; and except his spiritual fire shall have consumed the latter?

St. Paul makes a similar declaration : « For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ *.” man, the Quakers say, merely by being dipped under water, can put on Christ; that is, his life, his nature, and disposition, his love, meekness, and temperance, and all those virtues which should characterize a Christian.

To the same purport are those other words by the same apostle: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up

from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of lifet.” And again, “ buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him, through the faith of the co-operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead [.” By these passages the apostle Paul testifies, that he

* Gal. iii. 27. + Rom. vi. 3, 4. I Coloss. ü. 12.


[ocr errors]

alone is truly baptized who first dies unto sin, and is raised up afterwards from sin unto righteousness; or who is raised


into life with Christ; or who so feels the inward resurrection and glory of Christ in his soul, that he walks in newness of life.

The Quakers show, again, that the baptism of John could not have been included in the great commission, because the object of John's baptism had been completed even before the preaching of Jesus Christ.

The great object of John's baptism was to make Jesus known to the Jews. John himself declared this to be the object of it : “But that he should be made manifest ụnto Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water This object he accomplished in two ways: First, by telling all whom he baptized, that Jesus was coming; and these were the Israel of that time; for he is reported to have baptized all Jerusalem, which was the metropolis, and all Judea, and all the country round about Jordan. Secondly, by pointing him out personally t. This he did to Andrew ; so that Andrew left John

* »

* John i, 31.

+ John i, 40.


and followed Jesus. Andrew again made him known to Simon, and these to Philip; and Philip to Nathaniel: so that, by means of John, an assurance was given that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ.

The Quakers believe, again, that the baptism of John was not included in the

great commission, because it was a type under the Law; and all types and shadows under the Law were to cease under the Gospel dispensation, or the law of Christ.

The salvation of the eight by water, and the baptism of John, were both types of the baptism of Christ. John was sent expressly before Jesus, baptizing the bodies of men with water, as a lively image, as he himself explains it, of the latter baptizing their souls with the Holy Ghost and with fire. The baptism of John, therefore, was both preparative and typical of that of Christ. And it is remarked by the Quakers, that no sooner was Jesus baptized by John, with water in the type, than he was, according to all the Evangelists, baptized by the Holy Ghost in the antitype*. No sooner did he go up out of the water, than John saw * Matt. jii. 16. Mark i, 10.


the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. It was this baptism of Jesus in the antitype, which occasioned John to know him personally, and enabled him to discover him to others. The baptism of John, therefore, being a type or figure under the Law, was to give way when the antitype or substance became apparent. And that it was to give way in its due time, is evident from the confession of John himself. For on a question, which arose between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying, and on a report spread abroad, that Jesus had begun to baptize, John says, “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease *." This confession of John accords also with the following expressions of St, Paul t: “ The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present"_" which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.'

* John iii. 30.

† Heb. ix. 8, 9, 10.


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »