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practice once established, its abettors, by whatever means they were led into it, naturally feel themselves in some sense pledged for its support; and, in the absence of sound argument, are frequently induced to vindicate it on such principles as, in other cases, they would blush to avowprinciples, which, if generally acknowledged and acted upon, would tend directly to subvert the whole fabric of visible Christianity. We should tremble at the thought of the least deviation from a Divine rule. If we once desert the written word, and yield ourselves up to the guidance of mere human reason, or the impulses of fancy, it is impossible to tell whither they will lead us. The prescribed path of duty is the only path of safety.
3. As the present diversity of practice in respect to these rites, originated, not in any ambiguousness or obscurity of the Christian commission, but in lax views of the importance of undeviating obedience to its requirements; so, we can look for uniformity of practice to be restored, only by promoting enlightened and correct views of the imperativeness of every Divine command. With respect to the literal import of the commission, and the uniform practice of the apostles, the great body of the learned of all denominations have always been agreed. Pedobaptists themselves, for aught that appears, had formerly no more thought of questioning the meaning of baptizo, than they had of disputing the signification of ἄνθρωπος, or εἰμί, or the simplest and commonest word in the language. The most usual and popular argument for sprinkling has always been founded on the supposition that we have a right to modify and alter Divine institutions, so as to accommodate them to our personal convenience, and to circumstances of time and place. On the very same principle, the Roman Catholics justify themselves, not only in relation to sprinkling, but in regard to the mutilation of the ordinance of the Supper, the adora
tion of the host, the sacrifice of the mass, and numberless other ceremonies equally foreign to the word of God. It is indeed the foundation of the whole anti-christian system. On this broad principle we might abrogate every Divine appointment, and remodel the entire fabric of Christianity. That the Romish church should adopt a rule of this sort, is not surprising: but it is surprising that Christians can even contemplate such a principle, with any other feelings than those of detestation and horror. It would be uncharitable to suppose that our Pedobaptist brethren, as a body, would consent to carry this principle beyond the ordinance of baptism; yet some of their churches have recently extended its application to the Lord's Supper, and banished the element of wine altogether. And surely, if the principle is a righteous one, it must be capable of universal application. If it is right to alter or dispense with the ordinance of baptism, it is right to alter or dispense with the ordinance of the Supper; and so of every other Divine institution. But this measure has already begun to awaken reflection among their churches; and there is reason to believe that it will lead to the conviction that the principle itself is radically wrong, and most pernicious in its results, and that the time is not very distant, when it will be thoroughly abandoned by all evangelical denominations. Indeed it would be difficult to reprobate it in stronger terms than has been done by a late writer (an eminent Pedobaptist) in The Literary and Theological Review; and though his remarks respect particularly its application to the Lord's Supper, they will bear, with equal force, upon baptism. Who sees not,' says he, that in regard to positive Divine insti tutions, our duty is equally plain and imperious: the duty of unqualified, implicit submission? Here all a priori reasonings are out of place; all objections are palpably fallacious; and every plan, and every thought of change, or
modification, ought to be resisted with horror.
that in regard to positive Divine institutions, our duty is equally plain and imperious; the duty of unqualified, implicit submission: that here, all a priori reasonings are out of place, and all objections palpably fallacious: that every plan, and every thought of change, or modification, ought to be resisted with horror,'-let these sentiments be universally acknowledged and acted upon by Pedobaptists, and from that time we are no longer twain, but cordially and emphatically ONE; UNITED IN THE TRUTH, the only bond of Christian union, in earth or heaven,
ETYMOLOGY OF ΒΑΠΤΙΖΩ.
Ir can scarcely be necessary to remark, that ẞarriw, baptizo, is a derivative of ẞánτw, bapto, formed through the verbal ßarròs, baptos. The etymological root, or radical syllable of these verbs, Prof. Stuart remarks, is ßan, bap, whose leading and original meaning, he says, seems to have been dipping, plunging, etc. As to the original derivation of ẞánrw, however, various themes have been proposed. Some suppose it to be a compound of Báw, bao, to go, or enter into, and Tínтw, pipto, to fall, or descend, as whatever is immersed goes into the water by descending. Others take it to be an uncompounded verb, formed simply from Báw. Others, again, choose to derive it from ßálos, bathos, depth, or Balùs, bathus, deep. If it be understood of the immediate theme of the verb, or the mode of formation, this last derivation seems quite probable, as it is supported by the general analogy of languages. Thus the Germans form the verb taufen, to dip, from the noun tiefe, depth. The English preserves the same analogy. Thus to dip any thing, is to deep it. In like manner, the Latin mergo, to immerse, to dip, according to Ainsworth, is formed from mare, the sea, the deep. It should not be supposed, however, that the primitive root is originally and peculiarly Greek. Gesenius, in his Manual Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, under the word y, after assigning the signification to immerse, to impress, etc. says, 'Vicinum est Heb.
טבל id. item *.טמע .Ethiop ,צבע .intinxit, immersit; Arab ,צבע
Syllaba enim primaria est, quæ etiam in linguis germanicis profunditatis et immergendi potestatem habet. Cf. Goth. diup, nostr. deep, tief; item doufan, taufen, stippen; Ital. tuffare. Græci
*For Letters of the same organ are frequently commuted; as Ethiop. 3p, for Heb. 3; Gr. Aμevadaμ for · Αμιναδὰβ.