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says, that "
of others, but because they searched the Scriptures daily to see whether the things spoken by St. Paul were so. And in Romans, St. Paul
we cannot believe on him of whom we have not heard,” and that we " cannot hear without a preacher ;" and we find that the Eunuch, although he was reading the Scriptures that referred to Christ, knew not to whom they referred, until he had some one to instruct him ; likewise Cornelius and St. Paul, (and we have reason to think that each were familiar with the Scriptures,) had need to be instructed by others.
Whatever doctrine a person is educated in, or embraces in after life, he will not only believe, but he will also have a strong desire to have it true, whether it be Christianity, Infidelity, Mahometanism, Unitarianism, Calvinism, Arminianism, Universalism, or any other ism. Notwithstanding, however strongly a person (who believes the Bible to be true,) may become attached to any doctrine, by his simply obeying the command to " prove all things and hold fast that which is good,” if he hold to the truth, he will become the more confirmed in it, and if he hold to error he will be cleansed from it, when sufficient proof is presented to him, by being led into all truth. Whilst, on the other hand, those " that will not receive the love of the truth,” God says that he “will send them strong delusions, that they might believe a lie, and that they might all be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. And that “the” very“ prayer of those that turn away their ears from hearing the law, shall be an abomination.”
It may, however, be objected, that the believing of the following doctrine aright, is not necessary to our salvation. Admitting that it is not, yet if any, to favor their prejudices or preconceived opinions, refuse to prove any thing, however unimportant in itself, they are so far unfaithful to the command which says “prove all things ;” and as those that are unfaithful in that which is least, are unfaithful in that which is much, they also will fall under the curse, for it says that they all might be damned who ceived not the love of the truth, &c., and by parity of reasoning, if we love the truth in that which is greatest, we also love the truth in that which is least.
There are two classes of persons that fall under the curse;. the one class fall under the curse of “trusting in man,” by believing what they are taught, without examining the Scriptures to see whether the things taught them are so. The other class fall under the curse of not "proving all things," by lightly esteeming the teachings of others upon the Scriptures, and professing to take the Bible and the Holy Spirit to be their only instructors in divine truth, without paying any regard to the teaehings of those who differ with them on disputed points in doctrine.
If the scriptural rule of “proving all things” by“ the law and the testimony," were not only received by Protestants, but universally promulgated, and its importance duly insisted upon, their children, and all others within their influence, that had not become Roman Catholics, would become impregnable to Romanism, (for Romanism positively prohibits the proving all things from the Scriptures, whilst the Bible positively commands it !) and Protestants would then soon see eye to eye in all things, for they would no longer require one another to believe what the Scriptures did not clearly teach ; and what the Scriptures did teach, all would be very easily convinced of, by seeing it clearly proved from them. To be sure there would be many doctrinal right hands cut off, and right eyes plucked out, among the different denominations, but it would be great gain to the cause of Christ, for when the plants (or doctrines) “ that were not of his heavenly Father's planting, were plucked up,” his servants would then undoubtedly.spend the time that they once spent in teaching " for doctrines the commandments of men,”) in cultivating those plants that were of his heavenly Father's planting.
So far as any professed believer in the authenticity of the Scriptures refuses to prove all things “ by the law and the testimony,” he is in spirit a Romanist, whatever creed he may profess; and in inculcating his doctrines, if others should prove from the Scriptures that they were erroneous, he would find his heart filled with deceit, debate, emulation, strife, anger, hatred, and revenge, (and the Scriptures teach us that they that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God ;) and at other times
with every evil passion and lust that the word of God forbids. And he would, if outward restraints were taken off, promulgate his doctrines by compulsion, proscription and persecution, that should not be surpassed by the horrid cruelties of the Inquisition, torture, rack, and the stake!
Whilst, on the other hand, the person that proves all things from the Scriptures, and holds fast that which is good, (if he has living faith in the blood of Christ, although he may reprove the holders of error sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,) will, whatever error he may examine or oppose, find his heart filled with love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, meekness, goodness, &c., and the Scriptures say, that against such persons there is no law,
The proving all things from the law and the testimony, is the very essence of Protestantism; and the refusing to prove all things from the Scriptures, is the very essence of Romanism, and arises from the love of error, and a want of the love of truth. The one fills the earth with error, sin and misery ; whilst the other would fill the heart with faith and holiness, and the earth with OBEDIENCE AND HAPPINESS.
The first passage of Scripture that will be examined, in proof of the mode, and definition of the word Baptize, is Matt. iii. 16. It reads, “ And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water."
Our Baptist brethren conclude, that because our English translation reads that Jesus went up out of the water, that it is positive proof that he went in the water, and if in, that it is strong circumstantial evidence that he went in to be immersed ; for if he had only been sprinkled, he would have been more likely to have stood upon the brink of the river, and instead of the passage reading as it does, it would have read thus" and Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water."
In examining the Greek testament, we find that the Greek preposition (åmò) apo, which is translated in the English version up, "out of," is the same word that the Evangelist would have used, if he had wished to have said that Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway" from” the water. And thus the
Evangelist uses it nine verses previous, in the same chapter, where it cannot be rendered out of without doing violence to the context. It reads, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee apo, from the wrath to come." It is evident that they could not have fled out of wrath that was to come, simply because they were not in it.
In the five first books of the New Testament, apo, is translated from 235 times, and out of only 45 times."
The Greek prepositions apo and (£x) ek, which are translated from, of, out of, &c. And the prepositions (els) eis, and (fv) en, that are translated towards, near to, unto, to, at, by, with, on, upon, into, &c., are not confined in their meaning to any one of their different definitions, unless they are thus defined by their context. They do not fix the meaning of the context, but it fixes theirs. And when the context does not fix their meaning, for any person to attempt to build a doctrine upon them, shows either ignorance of their definitions or a conscious lack of a more substantial foundation.*
The Greek preposition (en) in the New Testament, is rendered at more than 100 times, with 150 times, and by about 100 times.
(iv,) “En," in the following passages, refers to the places where they were baptized, and not to the mode of baptism.Thus John baptized in the wilderness—in Bethabara—beyond Jordan-in Enon. And the expression he baptized in Jordan, means simply that he baptized by or at Jordan, or with the water of Jordan. In many places it is used to denote the instrument used, and not the manner of using it. Thus in Luke xi. 19, for example, it reads (šv Ben&Bowd-en Beelzeboul,)" by Beelzebub." 20, (iv daxtúl so—en daktulo Theou,) by or with the finger of God. It reads, “And if I (en) by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out ? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I (en) by the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you."And also where it reads he shall baptize you (en) with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
* Without in the least impeaching the integrity of the defenders of immersion, I would ask what dependence can be put upon their definitions of the Greek prepositions, and other words, when they have, in their zeal for what they conscientiously believe to be true, quoted the writings of Pedobaptist divines in such a manner that the uninformed reader is inevitably led to the belief, that those divines held that baptize meant only to immerse, and that they also believed that all the baptisms recorded in the New Testament were performed by immersion, i. e. that they held that the Greek prepositions eis, en, apo, ek, &c., meant nothing but within, into, out of, up out of, and not also at, to, with, by, from, &c., and that baptize meant nothing but immerse. See “Scripture Guide to Baptism,” pages 7 to 9, published by the Baptists,
The advocates of immersion assert, that the reason the Greek word Baptizo was not rendered immerse by the translators, was because the majority of them belonged to the Church of England, and therefore held to sprinkling; and that, in every instance in the New Testament, where the administration of the ordinance of baptism is mentioned, they have translated the context favorable to sprinkling.
But so far from this assertion being correct, the translators have, in every instance where the administration of the ordinance of baptism is spoken of, translated the context favorable to immersion. Although it might, with equal propriety, have been translated to favor baptism by sprinkling. For instance, in the baptism of Christ by John, the preposition apo, which they have rendered out of, as has already been shown, might, with equal propriety, have been translated from. It depended entirely upon the preconceived opinions of the translators, whether it should be translated to favor immersion or sprinkling, and not upon the meaning of the context, as will be shown when those passages are examined ; and as the English prepositions are far more definite in their meaning than the Greek, the translators were under the necessity of using English prepositions to favor either immersion or sprinkling; and as they had been educated to be. lieve in immersion, they of course used prepositions that would
+ The translation" with water," " with the Holy Ghost,” and “with fire ;" &c. &c., (although in some of the early translations were rendered “ in the Holy Ghost'—" in fire"-" in water," &c. &c.), is not an exception to the above ; for the context evidently refers the preposition to what was used, and not to the manner of using it. Therefore, although the translators held to immersion, yet they were, from the context, under the necessity of rendering it “ WITH," instead of "in."