Documenting the American South Logo
Loading

Page 11

PART ONE.

CHAPTER I.

        MY MOTHER, father and grandmother were all members of the A. M. E. Zion Church. I was converted in and united with the A. M E. Zion Church when I was seventeen years of age. I was born at Butler's Springs, Ala., November 20, 1861, and in my youth was taken to Wilcox County, near Snow Hill, where I was reared.

        I was licensed to preach in the A. M. E. Zion Church when seventeen years and six months old, and married Miss Mary J. Crum when eighteen years of age. From the day of our marriage until now she has proven to be a faithful and true wife. We have five children--Neander, Orenza, Eugene, Isadora and Bulah Carter--two of whom are boys. My baby is sixteen years old. All of my children are Christians.

        I have had under my pastorate the following charges in the A. M. E. Zion Church: Snow Hill, Ala., one year; Zion at the Hill, one year; Tallassee, two years; Talladega, two years; Asheville,


Page 12

N. C., three years; the First A. M. E. Zion Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., two years; Milton, Fla., one year; Pensacola, Fla., two years; Presiding Elder of the Memphis District, Memphis, Tenn., three years; pastor of the following churches after I ceased to preside: Franklin, Pa.; Cleveland, Ohio, and Selma, Ala.

        I was baptized into the First Baptist Church in Selma, Ala., by Rev. W. T. Coleman, B.D., in December, 1903. All of my family have joined the Baptist denomination. I was ordained to the Baptist ministry and was made state missionary in less than a week after having united with the denomination. I have been called to quite a number of churches since that time, and I am now pastor of the First Baptist Church in Evergreen and the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church at Charity, Ala.

        For quite a number of years I had been inclined to leave the Methodist Church and unite with the Baptists, but found it hard to leave the church of my mother and father, and life-long friends and associates. I knew if I should leave the Methodists and join the Baptists, that the former would abuse and slander me and quite a number of Baptists would question my motives, although my character during all the years I had been in the Methodist Church had never been assailed.

        It remained for me to go to Selma, the Athens of Alabama, the hotbed of the Baptists of the state, where I came in touch with Rev. R. T. Pollard, A. B., President of Selma University; W.H.


Page 13

McAlpine, D. D., Dean of the Theological Department of the University; Rev. W. T. Coleman, B. D., and Revs. J. U. Jemison, C. J. Davis, Prof. R. B. Hudson, T. B. Goldsby, Prof. Knight, and possibly a score of other strong, uncompromising, but affable Baptist brethren, and through them gained the courage of my convictions and united with the Church of Jesus Christ. Dr. A. N. McEwen, pastor of Franklin Street Church, Mobile, Ala., and Chairman of the State Mission Board, was among the first to suggest that I be made State Missionary when I united with the church.

        I have never seen any common sense nor Scripture in favor of baptizing infants. For quite a number of years I have fully believed that immersion and immersion only is baptism. The daring lordship that bishops exercise over the ministers and churches in the Methodist denomination led me to seriously consider the polity of the Church. It did not take me long to find out that the bishops are exercising undue and unscriptural authority in the Methodist Church.


Page 14

CHAPTER II.

        THE METHODIST Church is false in polity and ordinance.

         "Produce your cause, saith the Lord bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob." (Isa. 41:21.)

         "Your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand." (Isa. 28:18.)

        First. The Methodist Church is false in polity. (a) The church organized by Jesus Christ, and fostered by his immediate disciples and perpetuated by the early fathers was a Democracy, a church of the people, for the people and by the people. The Methodist Church is a monarchy and her bishops are almost absolute monarchs.

        (b) The Methodist Church has three orders of ministers. The early primitive church, the church of Jesus Christ (the Baptist denomination) has one order. The Methodist Church has the following order of ministers: deacons, elder and bishops.

        Some of the deacons of the first New Testament Church preached the Gospel, still they were


Page 15

not ordained for that specific purpose; but a deacon in the Methodist Church is ordained to the office as a minister of the Gospel. That this is contrary to the original design of the church, see the 6th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.

        "Now in these days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

        "And the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not fit that we should forsake the word of God, and serve tables.

        "Look ye out therefore, brethren, from among you seven men of good report, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business."

        What business? The business of serving tables; the business of looking after the widows of the church; to look after the temporal affairs of the church. Why do the Methodists ordain them to the ministry of the gospel?

        (C) The man called to the ministry of the Gospel of Christ in the early Church received only one ordination. Why do the Methodists hold and confer three? From whom do they get their authority? The Bible clearly teaches that elder and bishop are one and the same. Why do the Methodists make them separate and distinct offices?


Page 16

        There are two passages of Scripture which show that bishop, elder and pastor are one and the same officer:

        "And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to him the elders (presbuterous) of the church. And when they were come to him, he said to them," (Acts 20:17, 18). "Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20:28.) Take the oversight --pastor, shepherd, feed the flock.

        Verse 17 clearly represents these men as elders (presbuteroi), but in verse 28 they are called bishops (episcopoi) They are exhorted by Paul to guide and protect the flock. (See 1 Pet 5:12 ) "The elders (presbuterous) therefore among you I exhort, who am a fellow-elder (sum presbuteros) and a witness of the sufferings of Christ-- tend, shepherd, serve as pastor to the flock of God, which is among you, exercising, acting as bishops (episcopountes); taking the oversight of the church of God"

        We clearly see from these passages of Scripture, that bishop and elder were synonymous with pastor--bishop, emphasizing the function of the office, elder that of dignity, the shepherd and feed the flock. He was to preach the word.

        Why do the Methodists disregard the original order and have, Three distinct orders of ministers, viz.: bishop, elder and deacon?


Page 17

        (a) By what authority do the Methodists make their conferences superior to the church? The Methodist conferences tax the churches and force the members to pay whatever tax may be imposed upon the churches by the conference. The officers of the local church, the presiding elder and the pastor, make up the quarterly conference; several quarterly conferences formed in a district make the district conference. Several district conferences make up the annual conference. A large majority of the members of the annual conference are ministers of the gospel. When a minister in the Methodist Church becomes a full member of the annual conference he ceases to be a member of any church. The general conference is made up by representatives from the annual conferences.

        The law of the Zion Methodist Church provides that a majority of the delegates to the general conference shall be ministers. You will note the fact that since the ministers of the annual conferences largely make up the general conference, and they cease to be members of the individual churches when they become members of the annual conferences, a majority of the members of the general conference are not members of the Church, and therefore have no right to legislate for the Church. The bishops of the Methodist Church are elected and ordained by the general conference, and placed over the churches and ministers. These bishops appoint pastors to the


Page 18

different churches, and also appoint presiding elders over the pastors and churches. The power of these bishops is almost absolute. They appoint ministers to churches, whether they wish to go or not, and force churches to accept pastors whether they wish to or not. I have known churches to refuse to accept ministers sent to them by the bishop, and he would visit them and often find that the minister did not wish to be pastor of the church, and that the church did not want the minister. The bishop would say to the church and minister, "I am the bishop." To the minister he would say, "You must stay here this year;" and to the church he would say, "You must keep the minister, whether you want him or not!"

        In the Zion Church the law provides that any minister failing to raise two-thirds of the general funds, money out of which the bishop gets his $2,000 a year, shall be left without an appointment. The presiding elders constitute the bishop's cabinet, and meet with him when appointments are to be made. The pastors are passed upon by this cabinet. Often, members of the churches succeed in getting complaints before this cabinet against the pastors clandestinely. I need not tell you that such a system is calculated to encourage the members in opposing and changing the pastor without his knowledge; but, worse still, if the pastor differs with a bad man or a bad woman in the church, who happens to have


Page 19

influence with the presiding elder and bishop, he (the pastor) will be removed.

        The membership may be ever so anxious to retain a pastor, and he may be ever so anxious to stay; but if the bishop says, "Go," he must go. This man, the bishop, not a member of the church, bosses it completely. If the pastor fails to please the presiding elder in every respect, the presiding elder, through the bishop, will have him taken from a large charge where he is giving perfect satisfaction, and appointed to a smaller charge; and if he is not a prominent minister, often he is left without an appointment.

        The bishop often appoints a minister to a poor charge, hundreds of miles from his family, against his will and without his consent. Often the charge is too poor to pay the traveling and moving expenses of the minister and his family, and he is either forced to remain away from them or leave the work. If he leaves the work the bishop will not give him another appointment. If he remains away from home on the charge which will not give his family competent support, his wife will justly complain to the bishop, who will say: "I will give your husband a better appointment another year, provided he keeps the charge he has until conference." The minister writes the bishop to relieve him of the charge, but the bishop tells him that if he does not keep the charge until conference he will not give him another appointment. If the minister keeps the


Page 20

charge there will be a complaint against him in the next conference, charging him with non-support of his family. The bishop and conference will receive the complaint against this minister for doing what the bishop commanded him to do. The bishop roundly abuses this poor, unfortunate minister for not supporting his family, and often gives him the same or a poorer charge another year, and yet requires him to support his family, The minister's wife often has a number of children looking to her for support. They often get hungry and barefooted. The wife finally gives up her husband and takes another man, for which she is charged with being unfaithful; but the bishop has separated that husband and wife through that appointment.

        I have seen ministers stand up in conference and cry like babies as they received their appointments from bishops--appointments that they did not wish to accept. But they had to take what was given to them or have nothing, I have seen the church crying at the bishop's feet and earnestly praying him not to take their dear shepherd from them, but he would turn a deaf ear to their prayers, and remove them for no just cause.

        The prominent minister with a large charge must not only prove himself worthy as a faithful pastor and strong preacher, but he must get up big receptions for the bishop and make him large donations or he will be given a smaller charge.


Page 21

CHAPTER III.

        THE LAW of the A. M. E. Zion Church provides that if there is a balance due the bishop when he dies, the Church shall pay it to his family; but it makes no provisions for the pastor's family to get whatever the church may owe him when he dies. In fact, a contract between the pastor and church simply means that he has the privilege of collecting the amount set forth in the agreement, provided he can collect it before the bishop gets ready to remove him. When the bishop removes a minister from a church, whatever claims he may have against it are settled forever. If this system does not do the pastor a gross injustice, pray tell me what is injustice? The subordinate ministers and their families are simply the slaves of the bishops and their families. The pastor is required to collect from the church the salary of the bishop and presiding elder and get his own salary if he can. The presiding elder comes to him every three months and holds the quarterly meeting, and often receives for himself every cent that is raised during the meeting, leaving the pastor without a cent for himself and


Page 22

family. The greatest slavery that can be thought of grows out of this system, and the poor pastor is subject to the church, the presiding elder and the bishop.

        Any member becoming the least dissatisfied with the pastor, confers with the presiding elder (Boss No. 1), and if the elder does not agree with him against the pastor, he confers with the bishop (Boss No. 2).

        I cannot see how any lover of the smallest degree of personal liberty can remain in such a church, and particularly is it strange to me how I remained under such a system of slavery so long.

        Give me the grand old Missionary Baptist church--a church that believes in equal rights for all, special privileges for none; a church whose associations and conventions, whether local, state or national, are subordinate to the church. Associations, conventions and conferences of every description grow out of the church; they are creatures of the church. How can the creature, from the nature of things, ever become the equal of the creator? But the Methodist Church makes her conferences superior to the church in point of authority. The bishop, a man made by the general conference, a majority of whose members do not belong to any church, simply lords over God's heritage.

        A church may request the bishop to send a certain preacher, or let the present pastor be


Page 23

retained; but he is not bound to respect the request. There are members and ministers in the Methodist Church who are even in favor of not allowing the members to say anything whatever in regard to who shall be their pastor; but on the other hand, thank God, there are those in the Connection, both among the ministers and laymen, who are catching the spirit of the freedom of the brightest age of all ages, the progressive spirit of the brightest decade of all the decades gone by. Such will soon be found in our grand old church of individual liberty and personal freedom. My dear brethren of the Methodist Church, why remain slaves?

        "But be ye not called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren." How can a man have in him the mind that was in Christ Jesus, and enslave his brother either in church or state? On the other hand; how can a man having anything like a just conception of his rights submit to slavery in church or in state?

        The system teaches the pastors to depend upon the bishop, instead of depending upon themselves. One of the most important lessons for the Negro to learn is self-help, self-dependence. The cursed system of American Negro slavery taught him to look up to and depend upon the white man in all matters. What he needs now is that institution that will give him the clearest possible conception of his duty and his responsibility,


Page 24

coupled with a knowledge of his rights. For there can be no duty and responsibility without privileges in heaven, earth or hell. Nowhere in the vast universe of God can duty and responsibility only, be justly laid upon one.

        What I have said in regard to the outrages perpetrated upon the pastors of the Methodist Church by the presiding elders and bishops is intended to apply mainly to the Negro branches of Methodism, as I have seen it operated with my own eyes. I speak that I do know, and I am testifying to what I have seen. I believe that the Negro pastors in the white Methodist Church are treated better by the white bishops than the pastors in the Negro Methodist Church; but despite this fact, under all of the peculiar circumstances, I prefer a separate church for the Negro to a mixed church of Negroes and white people.

        (a) Because the Negro is on probation in this country the white man declares that the Negro is not capable of the highest development. He declares that he is inferior to the white man in every respect. It remains for the Negro to prove to the white man that all he needs is time and opportunity to show that he is a man like any other man. One of the best fields for the Negro to exercise his gifts and demonstrate his native and acquired ability is a distinct Negro Church. Therefore the Negro branches, of Methodism have done and are doing a great deal toward demonstrating


Page 25

to the world the fact that the Negro is fully capable of carrying on his own church work.

        (b) The Negro schools that have been planted and are being fostered by the Negro branches of Methodism are eternal monuments to the Negro business tact and excellent uniform ability.

        Let us continue, since we are put on probation, to do distinct church work cheerfully. But I would not have the world to believe that I accept the white man's theory of five races of mankind. I believe in the Bible fully, and believing in that blessed old book of books, I am forced to deny the statement of the white man that there are five races. I believe in the unity of mankind. The Bible gives us an account of one Adam and one Eve, from whom sprang all the human family.

        The "missing link" stuff set forth by some white men, is not worthy of respectable consideration. Some white men tell us that Cain went to the land of Nod and found a wife, and that there were no human beings in Nod until Cain went there, and they say that Cain was a white man, and took to himself a monkey, and that the union of Cain and the monkey produced the Negro, and therefore, the Negro, they say, is a mixture of man and monkey. If this is true it is very unfortunate for the Negro, and not a very high compliment to the white man; but this is not true.

        In Genesis 4:16, 17, we have this language: "And Cain went out from the presence of Jehovah,


Page 26

and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch." This passage of Scripture plainly tells us that Cain knew his wife, not that he found her in the land of Nod; but he knew her, and as a result of this knowledge she conceived and bare a son. But if we should agree with those who set forth such nonsense, the flood would wipe out this entire theory.

        We are taught in God's holy Word that the entire earth was submerged with a mighty flood of water, and only eight persons were saved in the ark, viz.: Noah and his wife, his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives; that the entire earth was peopled after the flood by this one family. From what quarter of the globe will the white man get his five races? He certainly will have to go outside of the Bible to find them. There is only one race; but the white man has made five, and in books that treat of the races, he makes it appear that the Negro race is lowest of the five. Since this is true, we must work out our salvation on distinct lines. This must be done so that the world can clearly see what we have done in the struggle to lift ourselves to a higher standard of civilization.


Page 27

CHAPTER IV.

        WE WILL now proceed to consider that the Methodist Church is false and unscriptural on the ordinance of baptism.

        "Produce your cause, saith Jehovah; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob." (Isa. 41:21.)

        "And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand." (Isa. 28:18.)

        There are so many people who tell you when you speak to them about the right church, that they are going to remain where they are, because their mothers and fathers belonged to that church, and died and went to heaven. There is little reason for the white man to give you such an excuse; and it is even a poor excuse for a white man. But for the Negro this is no excuse whatever.

        The Negro was brought to this country from Africa against his will by the white man. When he came here he was a heathen. He knew nothing of the true God. The white man has given him his knowledge of God, of literature, doctrine,


Page 28

and nearly everything else, good and bad. The Negro was enslaved in this country for, nearly two hundred and fifty years. During this time he was owned by the white man just as truly as a man owns any other property. White Methodists naturally made their slaves Methodists, and as a general thing, white Baptists made Baptists out of their Negro slaves, etc., and the same thing held good when applied to the members of other white churches. In matters of religion the master and slave were of the same faith.

        When the Negroes of the South were emancipated, the Methodist Church, South, organized those who were in their church into a separate body. This organization is called the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. It was organized in Jackson, Tenn. Bishop Miles was its first bishop.

        The A. M. E. Zion Church came from the Methodist Church (white) in the city of New York, in 1796, on account of the color line that was drawn on the colored members by the white members. Immediately after the emancipation of the Negro the A. M. E. Zion Church came South and began to gather the Negro into its Fold.

        The African Methodist Episcopal Church came from the white Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Pa., about the time of the formation of the A. M. E. Zion Church in the city of New York. This Church also came South immediately after the


Page 29

Emancipation and began its work here, and continues to gather all who will agree with it in doctrine, etc.

        When we look these facts in the face we clearly see we are in the church that the white man put us in. Why, then, should we talk about our mother's and father's church being good enough for us? It is time for the Negro to begin to think for himself. He should rise up to the true dignity of independent research and independent meditation upon God's holy Word.

        Since white men have given us ideas of doctrine, and since they differ on it, we should study the doctrine for ourselves from the New Testament Scriptures. You cannot afford to leave the white man to do all of your studying and thinking. Did he not teach our mothers and fathers during the dark days of slavery that slavery was right? Did not the white ministers preach to slaves that slavery was right? The Lord be praised that men differed on this question all through those dark and trying times for the race. Some held that slavery was right, while others held that it was wrong. Truth finally prevailed and we were declared free; but we are only partially free now. Let the Negro who is capable of reading search the Scripture and find out for himself the right way. Dismiss your denominational bias and prejudice and proceed with me in the study of God's blessed word on this all-important subject.


Page 30

        The Methodist Church is wrong on the ordinance of baptism.

        1. The Methodist Church is wrong on the subjects of baptism and those eligible to baptism. Methodists baptize infants, and infants are not fit subjects for baptism.

        2. It is unreasonable to baptize infants.

        (a) Baptism is a seal of covenant relations or an agreement between two or more parties. The party of the first part must agree to certain things for the party of the second part, on condition of the party of the second part doing certain things in consideration of the favor received or promised on the part of the party of the first part. It must be a mutual agreement between the parties contracting or it will not be binding on either party. God proposes covenant relations to man, but man must agree to enter into the relations proposed before there can be any mutual agreement between God and man. Certainly the infant is not capable of entering into any agreement with God, and therefore baptism as a seal will not fit the case of an infant. Since baptism signifies what cannot possibly exist between the infant and God, on account of the inability of the infant to understand and enter into any agreement whatever with God, therefore infants are not fit subjects for baptism.

        (b) Parents cannot legally stand for their children. If parents can stand for the children,


Page 31

why not baptize the parents in the name of and for the children?

        (c) The covenant must be made by the parties directly concerned.

        (d) Parents cannot stand for a child morally. The infant being incapable of knowing right from wrong, is not morally responsible to God. Therefore the parent cannot assume that for which the infant itself is not responsible. Salvation is personal, and therefore one person cannot take the place of another in the matter of salvation. Baptism is not only a seal of covenant relations mutually entered into by God and man, but it is also the outward sign of an inward purity. It says to the world that the person baptized is a new creature in Christ Jesus. But infants cannot become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It seems to me that this point is so very clear and conclusive that it would be a waste of time for me to say more on this particular subject. I shall, therefore, proceed to call your attention to our second general division in this discussion: The Baptism of Infants is Unscriptural.

        The following is the argument which we present for careful consideration.

        Christ Jesus in the Great Commission to his disciples commands them to baptize believers. "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he


Page 32

that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:15, 16.)

        The baptism of infants is not included in this great commission. The disciples were commanded first to preach the Gospel. Surely no sane man would undertake to preach to infants. Not only must the minister preach God's word, but those who hear the glad tidings must believe before they are fit subjects for baptism.

        The Methodist Church has had one hundred and sixty years in which to find one passage of Scripture in the New Testament that will justify them in baptizing infants. Hibbard and others of the Methodist Church, in writing on this subject, have spent no little time and labor in trying to prove that infant baptism is scriptural. But they have only been able out of all their research to give us inferences and implications on the subject. They are not able to show anywhere in God's holy book a command to baptize infants.

        The Methodist Church is the granddaughter of the Roman Catholic Church, which says that they baptize infants because there is saving power in the water. They also say that baptism produces regeneration. The Methodists are ashamed of the position of their grandmother on this subject, and have explained away this passage and that passage in the Bible to justify themselves in clinging to a thing that clearly has no place in the Scriptures.


Page 33

        Why do the Methodists spend so much time and labor on the old covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, instead of the new?

        If the new covenant does not justify them in baptizing infants, they should not baptize them. If the new covenant justifies them in baptizing infants, why do they spend so much time in trying to justify themselves? They seem to be members of the old Jewish Church.

        Hibbard, on "Infant Baptism," has spent much time in trying to prove that baptism has taken the place of circumcision; but neither he nor any one else has given any scriptural proof for such a position.

        Only male children and male adults were circumcised under the Abrahamic covenant; but now all believers are to be baptized--both male and female.

        Methodists take the position that infants should be baptized on the ground that they are fit subjects for heaven. They are fit subjects for heaven, provided they die before they grow to years of accountability. They are simply saved if they die, through the atonement of Christ on the ground of their innocence--not on the ground of their holiness. If we were certain that all infants would die, then it would not be wrong to baptize, them. All who grow up to the ages of responsibility become practical as well as natural sinners. If they are taken into the church in infancy


Page 34

we simply have a number of sinners in the church.

        If the baptism of infants signifies anything when they are baptized, it loses its significance as soon as they are capable of knowing good from evil. The infant can only be saved for one or both of the following reasons:

        1. It may be saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ on the ground of innocence growing out of inability to accept or reject the plan of salvation.

        2. The infant could be saved by believing the gospel, if it were possible; but it is impossible for the infant to believe.

        Therefore the infant cannot be saved by faith, and must be saved on the ground of innocence. But when the infant grows up to the age when he is morally responsible, he ceases to be innocent, and being born in sin, a sinner by nature, he will be an unregenerate, sinful being instead of a holy being.

        Now what does baptism signify or stand for in such a case. Plainly nothing. For truly the Scriptures plainly teach us that all are born in sin.


Page 35

CHAPTER V.

        THE GREAT and learned Apostle Paul says to the Gentiles: "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."

        That all are sinners by nature, let us hear David, the man after God's own heart, on this all-important subject: "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Where in all the world of literature can you find stronger language than this on any subject? It needs no commenting upon.

        Sin is in the very constitutional mechanism of man. It is deeper than the marrow in his bones. He is a sinner; not by choice, but a born sinner. He cannot keep from starting out a sinner. The first moral acts that he performs are sinful, and all of his succeeding moral acts will be sinful until he is born again--born of the water and of the Spirit. He cannot of himself have his sins blotted out, "Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be." Why baptize such a sinful being when baptism signifies purity?


Page 36

        Let us hear David again on this subject: "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies." (Psalm 58:3.) Upon what grounds can any sane man baptize such beings, except he takes the position with the Roman Catholic, that baptism in itself will give this very sinful being a new heart?

        The Methodists will not take the position of the Catholic Church, because such a position is so grossly absurd on its very face that it is not worthy of consideration. But why baptize such sinful beings if the water of baptism does not change their sinful state? With no direct command to baptize infants, the New Testament giving them no authority to do so, the Bible teaching them clearly that infants are great sinners by nature, why will the Methodists continue to baptize them? Let their conscience answer why.

        We come now to the Methodists' New Testament argument in favor of infant baptism, as given by Hibbard in his book on "Baptism," page 88, section 4:

        "But the New Testament is not silent on the subject of infant baptism, but makes just such mention of it as, in view of the state of opinion at that time, proves it to have been enjoined, and universally practised. It makes just such mention of the subject as the circumstances of the case required. It is not the ordinance of baptism itself that we now speak of, but it is the application of this ordinance to infants. The


Page 37

institution of Christian baptism required and received an express sanction from the lips of our Saviour; and this command is registered. But the application of this rite to infants is a point so obvious to the mind of the Jew, and to all who were conversant with the ancient usage of the church, as to require no direct precept, or, at least, that that precept should be recorded. The light of analogy and the force of ancient habit, precluded any such necessity. They had only need of being informed what was the initiatory rite of the new dispensation, and the fact of its applicability to infants, would follow as a matter of course, unless prohibited; or, at most would require only private direction. Under these circumstances, what mention may we suppose the New Testament would naturally make of this subject?

        "We answer: It is reasonable to suppose that it would merely recognize facts and principles in relation to it, in an incidental way, without any intimation of their being new or controverted, or doubted. And this we find to be the fact in the case. The New Testament makes just such allusion to infants--recognizes all those facts and principles in reference to them--as supposes them still to retain their ancient rights to the covenant and their ancient relation to the church. Infants are spoken of in a manner wholly inexplicable on any other supposition than that of their eligibility to baptism, and in a manner to


Page 38

clearly indicate that there was no controversy on this point in the New Testament times.

        "The reader will readily perceive, therefore, upon a little reflection, the proper distinctive character of our position. He will be at no loss to appreciate the distinction between a positive command, directing a certain line of conduct, and a recognition of principles and facts which imply such conduct; between an ordinance newly issued under sanction of positive authority, and an ordinance of ancient date, newly recognized in its principles, and in the fact of its existence."

        Proceed we then to the labor of proof :-- The reader will clearly see that the entire statement is nothing more nor less than supposition, but on an important subject like this a "Thus saith the Lord God," should be found somewhere in the New Testament. You can also see that because the New Testament is against the Methodists on the subject of infant baptism, they can by twisting the Scriptures, out of their natural order give us inferences and implications only. In fact, the Methodists seem to have adopted the rule to explain away everything in the Bible against their doctrine, and add whatever is lacking. Hibbard here proceeds to present what he regards as a New Testament Proof of infant baptism:

        "Infants are in a gracious state. By this I mean that they are included in the provisions of the Gospel, and receive a title to eternal life


Page 39

through the atonement. It is not our present intention to enter upon the proof of this point; if any man doubt it, we must leave him to his opinion, and address our argument to those who allow the statement. We do not, furthermore, wish any controversy respecting the manner in which infants are saved through the atonement. All we insist upon is the fact that they are embraced in the economy of redemption, and through the grace of Christ, entitled to, and prepared for eternal life. Now, this fact, which is so fully established by our Lord's words in Matt. 19:14; 18: 2-5, and by Paul in Rom. 5, and elsewhere-- this fact, we say, is one of primary importance; for unless infants are fit for heaven or have a title to heaven, it is evident they are not suitable to sustain any relation to the church.

        "All fitness for church relations must be primarily predicated of and based upon that moral state which constitutes a fitness for future happiness. The church militant, in its moral features, is designed to be an image of the church triumphant. In this respect the two kingdoms are but one. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward work of grace--a token of confirmation that the subject belongs to the spiritual family of God and is entitled to baptism. If they have the thing signified by baptism, they may and ought to receive baptism itself. This principle is fully carried out and established in the Scriptures."

        But how can Mr. Hibbard conclude that infants


Page 40

have the thing that baptism signifies in the face of plain Scripture teaching us that infants are born sinners? They are not in their natural state fit for heaven. Let us hear what the Lord says about the character of infants. "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies." (Psalm 58:3.)

        How can the Methodists explain away this passage on infant character? They are great hands at explaining away the Scriptures, but we will give them until the general judgment to explain away such strong, unmistakable language on infant character.

        The Methodists invite us to what Jesus says about children to the exclusion of everything else, and all other testimony on infant character; but we should see what Jesus says about infants in connection with other Bible testimony. This is the only way of finding out what the Scripture teaches on this subject: "Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should lay his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven."

        These very infants that Jesus says are fit for heaven, David says are "estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies."


Page 41

        How can we reconcile the two statements? By conceding the fact that infants are innocent, but sinful, and that they are innocent because of their inability to either accept or reject the plan of salvation, and that if they die they will be saved through the atonement; but if they live to grow up to years of accountability, they will be practical as well as natural sinners; and the baptism which they have received in infancy will lose its significance. For they will not possess that which baptism signifies. God simply changes their sinful hearts through the atonement if they die. In their infancy they are wholly incapable of performing any moral act, good or bad. Because of this fact God saves them if they die. They are not fit subjects for heaven without being born again; but will be born again if they die--not through any effort of their own, but wholly by the atonement.

        In order that adults may be born again, they must be passed upon by the Holy Spirit through the word; and having been passed upon, they must pass from death unto life. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life." He must be lifted up, and when he is lifted up, man must believe in order to be saved. But this does not apply to infants, because they are not capable of taking any part in their salvation. Should they die, God saves them wholly Himself,


Page 42

without their taking any part in their salvation. Why baptize them?

        Baptism signifies inward holiness: infants are sinful. Baptism signifies inward purity: infants are impure. Baptism is the seal of our covenant relation to God. Infants are not capable of entering into any covenant relation whatever, but are saved, if they die, through the atonement. God has peculiar compassion upon infants and wonderfully saves them without any effort whatever on their part.

        Negro Methodists throughout the country recognize and perform the rite of infant baptism, and also ignore and set aside the rite. They baptize infants, and when the baptized infants grow up to years of accountability and profess saving faith in Christ, and wish to be buried with him in baptism, they immerse them, thus ignoring and setting aside infant baptism themselves. "Consistency, thou art a jewel."

        A large number of Methodists do not believe in infant baptism, but they remain in the church, and will say to you, when you press them on this subject, "I don't believe in infant baptism, but it is a rule in our church." The Methodists have found infants in four families in the New Testament Scriptures, although the New Testament says nothing about infants in those families.


Page 43

CHAPTER VI.

        WE WILL now carefully examine household baptisms in the New Testament:

        1. Let us examine the case of Cornelius, the Roman centurion. By divine direction Cornelius sent to Joppa for Peter, to learn what he ought to do. Cornelius waited for the apostle in Cæsarea, and called together his relatives and friends to him. Peter preached the Gospel to them. It was the first sermon preached to the Gentiles, and was highly seasoned with grace and accompanied by the Holy Spirit to the hearts of the hearers. "The Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word * * * for they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God * * * and he (Peter) commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." This family all heard the word, believed, received the Holy Ghost, magnified God and were baptized.

        Nobody except a pedobaptist will, in the absence of testimony to the effect that Cornelius had infants in his family presume that there were infants in his family, and that they were baptized. Carefully examine Acts 10:2, 24, 44, 46-48.

        2. "I baptized also the household of Stephanas," says Paul (1 Cor. 1:16). Paul visited Corinth


Page 44

about A. D. 54 or 55, where he remained a year and six months, "teaching the word of God among them." (Acts 18:11.) During this time, he baptized Stephanas and his family. In the year 59 he wrote his first letter to the Church of God in that city. In the epistle he makes special mention of the house of Stephanas: "I beseech you, brethren," said he, ("ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have set themselves to minister unto the saints), that ye also be in subjection unto such," etc. (1 Cor. 16:15, 16.) Several points are worthy of notice in this text.

        The family of Stephanas were "the firstfruits of Achaia." This term is applied to the regenerate: "Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." (James 1:18. See also Rev. 14:4.) The word is never used, so far as we know, to denote unconscious or unregenerate infants.

        The family of Stephanas, in four or five years after their baptism, devoted themselves to the "ministry of the saints," whether in preaching the word or supplying the wants of the poor, we do not know. It was a benevolent, noble service, commended by the spirit of inspiration. If they were infants when baptized by Paul four or five years previously, they were the most precious children that we have read of; nor is this all.

        The apostle besought the Corinthian saints,


Page 45

renowned throughout the world for their spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 1:7) to submit themselves unto such as the house of Stephanas. They were not only the benefactors of the church, but fitted to bear rule in it. They were not infants; not children; nor were they at the time of their baptism. It ought in fairness to be conceded that the baptism of the house of Stephanas yields no support to infant baptism, but lends its full weight to the exclusive baptism of believers.

        3. We must now notice the baptism of the household of the Philippian jailor recorded in Acts 16:24-34. Paul, divinely guided, passed for the first time into Europe, and commenced his ministrations at a Roman post called Philippi. Here several persons were converted and baptized, and a great persecution was commenced against Paul and Silas. They were arrested, scourged, and committed to prison, to the hands of the jailor, under strict charge to keep them safely. He cast them into the dungeon and made their feet fast in the stocks. They were delivered from their bondage by divine interposition, and the jailor was saved from suicide by the friendly counsel of Paul. We shall notice the narrative only so far as it relates to the point under discussion. The jailor brought Paul and Silas unto his house, and "they spake the word of the Lord unto him, with all that were in his house" (verse 32). We might infer from the excitement and importance of the occasion, that all


Page 46

the jailor's family were present; but there is no room left for conjecture.

        The historian tells us positively that the word was preached "to all that were in the house." What was the result of this instruction? The jailor in the "same hour of the night * * * was baptized, he and all his, immediately" (verse 33). That there might be no possible plea for infant baptism found in this narrative, the inspired writer adds: "He (the jailor) brought them up (Paul and Silas) into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly with all his house, having believed in God" (verse 34).

        It is incomprehensible to us that any man of intelligence and candor should doubt that the jailor's family were converts to Christianity. There is precisely the same evidence of their con- version that there is of his. Did he hear the word of the Lord? So did they. Was he baptized? So were they. The whole narrative corresponds to the apostolic commission and practice in Jerusalem and Cæsarea. The ingenious reasoner who can derive authority for infant baptism from this narrative can find it anywhere.

        Only the baptism of Lydia's household remains to be considered (Acts 16:14, 15): "A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened to give heed unto the things which were spoken by Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household," etc.


Page 47

Were there infants in Lydia's family? The burden of proof lies on the advocates of pedobaptism, who would derive authority for their practice from this passage. We have shown incontrovertibly, as it seems to us, that in three baptized households there were no children, or they were not included among the baptized. Does not this fact create a strong presumption that there were none in Lydia's house? We will perform, however, a work of supererogation. While we cannot positively prove that Lydia had no infant children, we can show the extreme improbability that she had any. She was a dealer in purple goods, of the city of Thyatira, in the province of Asia, several hundred miles distant from Philippi.

        Lydia was probably an adventuress, with no permanent home, and, very likely, she had no husband. She said to Paul and Silas, "Come into my house and abide." If she had a husband, he seems to have been of no importance to the family; if she were married, there is no proof that she had children; and if she had children, there is no evidence that they were infants or minors. Her family probably consisted of her servants and helpers in her mercantile shop.

        When Paul and Silas were released from prison and forced hastily to leave the city, "they entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them and departed." (Verse 40.) Who were these brethren in Lydia's house? They were not infants or


Page 48

young children, but persons capable of receiving religious consolation and encouragement. If there were nothing to bias the mind it would be almost impossible to avoid the conclusion that the brethren referred to were Lydia's baptized household. If infant baptism has no better foundation than the probability that there were infants in the family of Lydia, and that they were baptized, it ought to be abandoned.

        Let us test the strength of the argument drawn from the baptism of households in support of infant baptism by a parallel case.

        "There were believing as well as baptized households; of the nobleman of Cana it is said: 'Himself believed and his whole house' (John 4:53). We read: 'Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house' (Acts 18:8). What would we think of the acumen of a logician who should reason after this manner: We read in the Scriptures of believing families; infants are found in most families; therefore, in the apostolic times, infants believed the Gospel. The conclusion is a manifest absurdity, an consequently nobody reasons in that way; but the argument is quite as logical and the inference quite as conclusive as that which attempts to deduce infant baptism from the baptism of households.

        "The argument in favor of infant baptism derived from household baptisms proves quite too much for those who employ it. If families are to


Page 49

be baptized on the faith of their parents, why should the baptisms be limited to infants? Are not adult children, as well as servants, as often found in families as infants? If families are to be baptized, why not baptize the whole of them? By what authority is the ordinance limited to infants and little children? 'The jailor was baptized, he and all of his.' if family connection is a plea for baptism, why should it not avail for adults as well as infants? Perhaps it will be said of adults that faith is required of them in order that they may be baptized. Certainly it is of those who act on their own responsibility; but households, according to the pedobaptist theory, are baptized on the faith and by the authority of the parents. If households are to be baptized in virtue of their relations to their pious heads, why should any portion of the family be excluded from the privilege?

        "The Israelites were required to circumcise all the males in their families, free and bond, at the age of eight days; but if from any cause, the rite was neglected, it was proper to perform it at any period of life. (Gen. 17:13, and Josh. 5:8.) Circumcision was a family institution, and all its male members were entitled to its benefits. Baptism is supposed by the advocates of the infant rite to be a substitute for circumcision. By what plea, then, do they limit the baptisms of households to the baptism of infants? That is not household baptism. It is the baptism of a part,


Page 50

usually a small part, and that, too, the least important part of the family; and the discrimination, so far as we can discern, is arbitrarily made."

ROBERT BAYLOR SEMPLE, D. D.


Page 51

CHAPTER VII.

        LET US see what Hibbard, a standard writer of the Methodist Church, in his book on "Baptism," page 153, says on the subject of Household Baptisms. "The New Testament recognition of infant baptism is obviously set forth in the mention of household baptisms. There are three different places where household baptisms are recorded, namely, Acts 16:15, 'Lydia and her household;' verse 33, 'the Jailor and all his;' 1 Cor. 1:16, 'the household of Stephanas.'

        "The scope of this argument may be comprehended in the two following propositions:

        "First. The language employed is such as may be fitly used to represent the baptism of children.

        "Secondly. The circumstances concur to establish a decided probability that pedobaptism is here intended.

        "1. Whenever we would understand the meaning of any author, our first effort should be to explain his words according to the common usage, and the obvious design of the particular writer. If it be an ancient author, we must ascertain


Page 52

what was the use of the terms he employed at the time of his writing, and among the people to whom he wrote. The question, therefore, which we are now to decide is, Does olkozoikos (translated 'household'), the word which is used in Acts 16:15; 1 Cor. 1:16, properly include infants? The sacred history informs us that certain persons, with their households, were baptized. The question is, Does the phraseology properly denote that infants were, or might have been baptized? I am fully apprised that the more informed reader will deem it wholly unnecessary and gratuitous for me to adduce formal proof of the affirmative of this question; but for the sake of those who may not readily appreciate how terms are used in the Bible, and also that the final argument may not seem to rest barely on assertion. or the mere authority of names, I cannot withhold a few statements. Olkozoikos primarily denotes a house, that is, a building or edifice, domus. But by a very common rule of language it also signifies, all that dwell in a house; that is, a family, including parents, children, domestics, etc.--all those persons whom we range under the general title of family or household.

        "The point to be ascertained is, whether infants are naturally and as a matter of course included in this phrase. The opponents of infant baptism take the ground that infants cannot be proved to have been included in the households which the apostles baptized, because they are not


Page 53

specified, and it is well known that there are households, or families, without infant children. We take the ground that, although olkozoikos does not specify children, yet children are properly included within the term, as much as parents, or servants; and the presumption is that they are always thus included, unless there is a specification to the contrary. The word 'family' does not necessarily specify parents--a family may be constituted, or subsist, without the relation of parents,--but does this authorize us to infer that parents are never included in this word unless they are specified by a distinct and appropriate appellation" The same may be said of servants. "The words olkos, familia, and household, include the idea of servants as constituting a part of those who live together in the same house; still neither of these terms is the proper one to denote a servant distinctively, and there may be families where there are no servants. But are we authorized to infer, hence, that servants are never included in these words, unless they are specified distinctively by some adjunct? For instance, it is said Lydia and her household were baptized. From this we argue that as children are properly included under the general term household, therefore the presumption is, children were baptized," etc.

        You will note the fact that Hibbard in this argument says there are three places in the Bible in which household baptisms are mentioned, but in


Page 54

truth there are four. Why did he leave out one? Let us examine the one he left out, and we will clearly see why he has left it out. Hibbard has left out the baptism of Cornelius and his family. Why did he leave it out? Because it is unmistakably against his unreasonable, unscriptural and absurd theory. (See Acts 10:22, 24, 44, 46-48.) Peter preached the Gospel to Cornelius and his household, and "The Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word," and "they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God;" and the apostle "commanded them to be baptized in the name of Christ Jesus." It is positively stated that the centurion (Cornelius) "feared God with all his house." Were there infants in his house? If we reason with Hibbard we are forced to say that the word "household" includes infants, and therefore there were infants in Cornelius' house, and they were baptized. But the narrative tells us that the whole house of Cornelius "feared God." Can infants fear God? Certainly not. We are told that the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word, and they spake with tongues and magnified God. Did the Holy Ghost fall on infants in the case we are considering? Did infants, or can infants magnify God? Certainly infants did not nor cannot magnify God. We clearly see that there were no infants in this household.

        The reader can see without the least shadow of a doubt why Hibbard leaves out the household of


Page 55

Cornelius in his account of household baptisms of the New Testament. It is against his pet theory. He leaves out or explains away whatever he finds in the Bible against his theories. If the basic principle of pedobaptists when applied to infant baptism is false, the final conclusion must naturally and necessarily be false. But this basic principle is not only laid down by pedobaptists, but it is also conceded by Baptists. The principle that I refer to is that the baptized individual must possess that which baptism signifies.

        1. Baptism signifies a seal, or is a seal of the covenant relation that has been made between the individual and his God.

        2. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward purity. But infants are not capable of entering into any covenant relation with God. This fact is so self-evident that we will not argue it further.


Page 56

CHAPTER VIII.

        LET US now consider the second thing for which baptism stands or signifies, viz.: An outward sign of an inward purity. Pond, a pedobaptist, in his book on "Christian Theology," page 394, says:

        "Infants have moral character from the first, and this character is sinful. We touch not the question here, On what grounds infants are to be regarded as sinners? But the fact of their sinfulness we hold to be susceptible of abundant proof. In support of it we urge--

        "1. That infants are the descendants of Adam, the father of us all. The Scriptures assure us that all the descendants of Adam, without an exception, are sinners. Through the offence of one 'the many are dead'--spiritually dead. 'By one man's disobedience the many are made sinners.' 'By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation.' (Rom. 5:15-19.) There is no evading the force of these passages. They represent the posterity of Adam, universally, as somehow sinners, dead in sin, and under condemnation in consequence of his first offence. We have only to ask, then, Are infants among the posterity of Adam? Are they his children?


Page 57

        "2. We put this argument in a somewhat different shape, and urge the sinful character of infants from the fact that they are human beings, and belong to the human race. The sinfulness of the entire human race, without an exception, is taught in the plainest terms in the Bible. Man's heart is evil from youth--not this man, that, or the other; but man in general--every man. 'The heart of the sons of men is full of evil.' This, too, is spoken of the sons of men generally, universally.

        "3. Paul says: 'We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.' This verse with those that follow it (Rom. 3:9-12), teaches as plainly as words can teach anything, that mankind universally are sinners. Not only is no exception made, but all exception is, by the very terms, excluded. 'There is none that doeth good: no, not one.' We have only to ask, then, as before: Are infants included among mankind? Are they of the human species? If so, they are by the testimony of the Creator, sinners.

        "4. There are many other Scriptures which teach the same doctrine,--some of which were remarked upon in my last lecture. 'That which is born of the flesh is flesh,' that is, fleshly, carnal, sensual, sinful. It is as certain from these words that infant children are sinful as it is that they are born of the flesh. David says: 'The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon


Page 58

as they be born, speaking lies.' (Psalm 58:3.) Does the Psalmist say here that the wicked are not estranged from God until they have learned to speak, and begin literally to tell lies? Or does he mean as he says: 'The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born;' possessing from the first an evil, deceitful, lying spirit? The latter is clearly the sense of the passage; and thus interpreted, it is decisive to our present purpose. We have a parallel passage in Isa. 48:8: 'I knew that thou didst deal very treacherously, and was called a transgressor from the womb.' Paul, speaking of himself and his Christian brethren, says: 'And were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.' (Eph. 2:3.) To be a child of wrath is to be a sinner; and such the apostle assures us, mankind are by nature. The passage obviously teaches that men are sinners by nature, from their birth, since whatever belongs to us by nature must be from birth. I quote but another passage. Paul says again, 'If one died for all, then were all dead.' (2 Cor. 5:14.) The word 'dead' here obviously means dead in sin, and such, the apostle tells us, is the state of all for whom Christ died. We have only to ask, therefore: Did Christ die for infants? Have they any interest in his death? If so, then they are sinners.

        "5. We infer from the sufferings of infants, that they are sinners. That infants suffer early and in some instances severely, there can be no doubt.


Page 59

And there are but three ways in which to account for their sufferings in consistency with the goodness and justice of God. They must either suffer as mere animals, or they must suffer as Christ did, by their own consent, or they must suffer as sinners and for their sins. The first supposition reduces infants to the condition of mere animals, which few persons will consent to do. The second no one will claim to support. We are shut up, therefore, to the last. The infant suffers for his sins. It may be said that he suffers for the sin of Adam. But those who say this will also say, that he is a partaker of the sin of Adam, and guilty of it; so that after all he suffers for his own sin.

        "6. That infants are sinners may be further proved by their death. We might infer as much as this from the mere fact of their dying, unless we will consent to place them in the same category with brute animals, even if we had no light from the Scriptures on the subject. But the Scriptures do afford us light. They assure us in the plainest terms, that, to all the sons and daughters of Adam death is a fruit of sin. 'By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned.' (Rom. 5:12.) It is as certain from this and the parallel passages, that infants are sinners, as it is that they are subject to death: for to all the human species, the posterity of Adam, death is a fruit and a proof of sin."


Page 60

        Pond, a pedobaptist, has proven conclusively that infants are truly sinners. Then baptism as an outward sign of an inward purity will not hold when applied to infants. Therefore infants should not be baptized.

        But hear what Pond says on how infants shall be saved:

        "And if any one now ask, How are such infants to be saved, I answer, In much the same manner as adults. The adult has a selfish, sinful heart, which must be changed by the Holy Spirit, if he is ever saved; and so has the infant. The adult must be forgiven through the atonement of Christ; and so must the infant. Both are saved, if saved at all, through the washing of regeneration and the sprinkling of atoning blood."

        But it will be observed that the New Testament Scriptures, without a single exception, declare that we must be regenerated and then baptized. The adult can and must take some part in his regeneration, but the infant cannot. He must be saved, if saved at all, wholly through the atonement. Then why baptize him? If salvation is personal and the infant can do nothing to secure his own personal salvation, why baptize him? If he dies, the atoning blood of the spotless Lamb of God will change his heart and save him. If he grows up to years of maturity and accountability, the atoning blood will change his heart and save him, provided he repents and believes and is baptized. 'But since he will be an unchanged sinner


Page 61

when he grows up to years of accountability, why baptize him and make him a member of the Christian church in his sins? Clearly it is wrong to baptize infants. It is wholly unreasonable and unscriptural.


Page 62

        

Illustration

THE POOL OF SILOAM.


Page 63

PART TWO

CHRISTIAN BAPTISM AND DOCTRINE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.

CHRISTIAN BAPTISM.

CHAPTER I.

        ["]PRODUCE your cause, saith Jehovah; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob." (Isa. 41:2.)

        "And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand." (Isa. 28:18.)

        Various views are entertained in regard to John's baptism. The pedobaptists have laid much stress upon John's baptism, not being Christian baptism. Evidently they have done this because no sane and unbiased mind can read the Bible account of John's baptism and not conclude that John beyond a shadow of a doubt, baptized by immersion.

        Let us see the third chapter of Matthew on this important subject: "In those days cometh


Page 64

John the Baptist (John the Baptizer) preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Verses 5 and 6 say: "Then went out unto him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan; and they were baptized of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins."

        John did not baptize any infants, for he baptized those who confessed their sins. Infants cannot confess their sins, therefore he did not baptize any. John baptized in Jordan, but a Methodist will explain "in Jordan" away by making "in" mean "at." Why don't they make "in" heaven "at" heaven or "near-by" heaven; and "in" hell "at" hell or "near-by" hell?

        The Bible tells us that Jonah was swallowed by the whale, and that he was in the belly of the whale three days. Why don't they make "in" the belly of the whale, "at" the belly of the whale? The Bible also tells us that Daniel was put in a den of lions. Why don't they make "in" the den of lions "at" the den of lions?

        From verses 13 to 17 we have an account of John baptizing Jesus. Read it prayerfully. "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John would have hindered him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized,


Page 65

went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

        Pedobaptists tell us John's baptism was not Christian baptism. Baptists are not particular about what they may call John's baptism; since we know that Jesus, the Redeemer of the world, came all the way from Galilee to Jordan, a distance of fifty or sixty miles, and doubtless he made this long journey on foot, to be baptized of John--not for the remission of his sins--for he had no sins; but to sanction John's baptism; to set his holy seal upon it; to tell us it was right; to approve not only of baptism itself, but also to approve of the mode practiced by John. Jesus, help us to see the truth. They tell us this was not Christian baptism; but whether it was Christian baptism or not, the Holy Trinity met on this all-important occasion. Christ Jesus when he was baptized "in" Jordan, comes up straightway out of the water, and the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove, approves of his baptism by lighting upon him, and the Father seals the whole transaction by speaking from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Surely both the subjects and mode of John's baptism must have been correct. How did John baptize? If the story of his baptizing in Jordan


Page 66

was told to you, and you had never heard of sprinkling, pouring or immersion, would you not naturally conclude that he baptized by immersion? Think of it, my friend: Jesus baptized by John in Jordan! "Jesus when he was baptized, cometh up straightway from the water." My friend, don't be deceived any longer. Be buried with Christ in baptism. One of the things that opened my eyes on this subject is the daring way of the Methodists in explaining away anything and everything in the Bible that contradicts their pet theories.

        Let us see Hibbard on this subject in the second part of his book on "Christian Baptism," page 11:

        "Various views are entertained in relation to the baptism of John. Some regard it as identical with Christian baptism, while others will deem an apology due for introducing it at all in the present discussion. The character of John's baptism will be noticed hereafter; at present we shall turn our thoughts to an investigation of the mode of his baptism. It is not greatly to be wondered at that the advocates of exclusive immersion should readily have imbibed the belief that John performed his baptism by immersion; but it is truly unaccountable that persons of the opposite sentiment should, in any instance, 'have conceded to them this ground on so slight investigation. Still whatever may be the final determination in regard to the mode of John's baptism, it can have no direct tendency to fix the evangelical


Page 67

mode of Christian baptism any further than to throw light upon the use and application of the word 'baptize.'

        "Before stating the arguments in support of our own views, we shall notice some of those which have been brought forward in defence of the hypothesis that John immersed. The argument of our opponents, derived from the word 'baptize,' we shall consider in a future number. We notice at present only those circumstances which stand connected with the notice of John's baptism, and which are supposed to favour the idea of immersion.

        "It is urged in favour of John's disciples, that he 'baptized in Jordan.' "

        Now see how he explains away "in:"

        "The force of the Greek particle en will be discussed in its appropriate place; but we introduce it here merely to give a logical cast to the argument. What, then, is the argument when logically stated? It is this viz.:--John baptized in Jordan; therefore he baptized by immersion. But it is further argued, in support of immersion, that John baptized 'in Ænon, near to Salem, because there was much water there.' (John 3:23.) The circumstance of John's choosing a place where there was much water is supposed to favour the doctrine of immersion. Hence the question is asked, with an air of argumentative triumph, Why did John choose a place of 'much water' if he merely sprinkled


Page 68

the people? And so, as if the argument were complete, it is inferred that John chose such a place for immersion only. Now we are not bound to show the real cause of John's choosing such a place. If any man assert that it was for the purpose of immersion only, why, the onus probandi lies with himself; let him prove it. We have not, like our Baptist brethren, taken upon ourselves any such responsibility."

        But he has taken it upon himself to explain away a plain and most obvious truth. John baptizing in Jordan helps to explain when he left Jordan, why he chose a place of much water. But the Methodists will explain away the river itself, if it becomes necessary to uphold their false theories. Hibbard goes on to say:

        "But mark the singular logic of the argument above alluded to. It amounts to this, viz.:--John baptized at Ænon, because there was 'much water there;' therefore John 'immersed.'

        But this is not the argument of the Baptists. Why did he not state our argument fully? This is the position of the Baptists, that since the word "baptize" primarily means immersion, and immersion only, and John baptized in Jordan, in Ænon, because there was "much water there," that the baptizing in Jordan, and where there was much water, all taken together, proves as conclusively as language and circumstances can prove anything, that John baptized by immersion. Hibbard says further:


Page 69

        "Doubtless this mode of reasoning proves satisfactory to some, but we cannot participate in a faith which rests upon such evidence."

        He simply ignores and sets aside evidence contrary to all rules of honesty and fairness. Lord, help the people to see the truth!

        Hibbard goes on to ask:

        "Where, then, is the proof that John immersed? We know of none. But observe:

        "1. Considering the vast multitudes that followed John, 'much water' was requisite for the convenience of baptism in any form. But as this will not obviate the point of difficulty with our opponents, we remark,

        "2. That as the history does not inform us whether the 'much water' was needed for baptism or for some other purpose, we are left to conjecture the necessity of its demand by the light of circumstances. Now, we know that baptism may be performed in a small body of water. But there were other circumstances, besides, simple baptism, for which John was to make provision. In that country the mercury ranges in winter from forty to fifty degrees, and, in summer from eighty to one hundred, and in the plains at Jordan, where John was baptizing, often much higher. Water, therefore, was in constant demand, not only for baptizing, but more especially for their uses and for their beasts. And the necessity of the people John must see and provide for, whenever he would fix


Page 70

his position for baptizing, unless he would endanger the lives of the people."

        But all of this argument in reference to drinking water for the people and beasts is simply assumed. The "much water" spoken of is mentioned in connection with John's baptizing. The Methodists will produce any kind of an absurd argument. This argument is an insult to the enlightened and progressive spirit of the age. My dear reader, accept the truth; unite with the Church of Jesus Christ. Follow Christ in baptism.

        

Illustration

THE BAPTISM OF JESUS.


Page 71

CHAPTER II

        LET US follow and expose Hibbard further in his strained hypothesis. The Methodists ought to plainly see from the groundless arguments of their own learned ministers that their position is false. They admit that "baptize" means immersion, but they say it also means sprinkling and pouring; and they take the position that all the baptisms of the New Testament were performed by sprinkling and pouring. How can we believe they are sincere? They are objects of pity. No amount of reasoning on the mode of John's baptism will cause an unbiased mind to believe that John did not baptize by immersion, If plain Scripture is to be twisted and strained according to Methodist rule on baptism, when we come to the great plan of salvation, in all of its other ramifications, we had just as well abandon the whole thing. We get more satisfaction and truth out of reading Col. Robert Ingersoll's "Mistakes of Moses" than we get out of these theories. But let us follow Hibbard further:

        "We shall now inquire more particularly into the facts recorded in connection with John's


Page 72

baptism, with a view to ascertain the practicability of immersion. In doing this our observations will necessarily become more extended. In constructing our argument we shall direct our inquiries to three several particulars: the population of Palestine, what proportion of the entire population John baptized, and what length of time John was employed in his public ministry.

        "1. The Population of Palestine.--The reader must not be startled to find a population in Palestine, in the commencement of the Christian era, vastly superior, in proportion to its extent of territory, to that of our own country, or most, if not any of the modern nations. Many circumstances contributed to the formation of a dense mass of inhabitants, among which may be reckoned the universal passion among the Jews for a numerous offspring, their religious predilection for their native soil, and their aversion to the manners and customs of all other nations; besides, their religion and their customs were so highly national, and so peculiarly their own, as to render all intercourse with other nations, either social or commercial, extremely difficult. These powerful causes checked emigration, and penned the Jews within the narrow confines of their own territory.

        "It was not until the disastrous consequences of the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions had torn them away from the land and the graves of their sires, that they first thought of planting themselves on heathen ground. Afterward,


Page 73

though they emigrated to different parts of the civilized world, still, the universal prejudice of the nation, and particularly of the Aramean party in favour of their own land, was expressed in the current maxim, 'Israel is Israel only in the Holy Land.' Hence, we are not surprised to find, in the days of King David, one million three hundred thousand 'valiant men that drew the sword,' exclusive of the tribes of Levi and Benjamin. And in this census was not reckoned any person from twenty years old and under. Now, if we reckon five persons to every warrior, which, considering otherwise disabled from bearing arms, together with all the female population, it is not an extravagant estimate; and if we reckon the tribes of Levi and Benjamin to number one hundred thousand each, which is not their proportion, we shall make the entire population of Palestine to amount to six millions seven hundred thousand. We might corroborate this statement by references to the population of other ancient countries, but our limits forbid such a digression.

        "We make these statements merely to show the probable correctness of the following account given by Josephus of the population of Palestine, A. D. 66. That author says:

        'While Cestius Gallus was president of the province of Syria, nobody durst so much as send an embassage to him against Florus; but when he was come to Jerusalem, upon the approach of the feast of unleavened bread, the people came about him


Page 74

not fewer than three millions; these besought him to commiserate the calamities of their nation, and cried out upon Florus as the bane of their nation,' etc.

         "Now this Florus was Governor of Judea; and when the Jews said he was the 'bane of the nation,' they intended that part of the nation over which he ruled, viz.: Judea; and hence it is probable that these three million Jews who complained to Cestius about their Governor, were mostly citizens of the single province of Judea."

        He finally concludes, after giving a great deal of matter that we shall omit, the entire population of Palestine at the time John preached in the wilderness, and baptized in Jordan, was six millions. All of this argument has been produced to show that John did not baptize by immersion.

        Every particle of this population argument is based upon strained and extreme hypothesis. Since he has shown this great population, and since John baptized nearly all of them, he could not have baptized them in the length of time he had to baptize in. John did what no other preacher ever did--he was the greatest of all preachers when the Methodists find it convenient to make him great. According to their theory, he baptized nearly all the people he preached to, and yet Christ found the large majority of the Jews to be cruel sinners. The Methodists will make the Bible mean literally what it says, when it seems to support their false doctrine, and when


Page 75

the literal meaning of the Bible is against them they will explain it away.

        Now see how Hibbard explains away even the possibility of John baptizing by immersion. He proceeds thus:--

        "2. We next inquire what proportion of the population of Palestine attended John's ministry and were baptized of him.--The reader will not look for great arithmetical exactions in our calculations when he considers that a few general facts constitute our only data; nor will he on the other hand, regard our conclusions as 'air built and baseless,' when he reflects that those general facts are the express declarations of Scripture. Previously to all direct investigation of the subject, it is important that we have enlightened views of the object of John's mission. John was sent to 'prepare the way of the Lord.' He was sent to no private sect or party, but to the Jewish nation--to the great Jewish family resident in Palestine. He was received by 'the Jews as a nation. There was no such division of public sentiment in regard to John as prevailed in reference to Jesus Christ. The Pharisees and Sadducees in general submitted to his baptism, ambitious of the distinction thus conferred, and all parties coalesced in the popular sentiment that John was a divine prophet. Indeed, nothing short of this general reception would have fully answered the intent of John's mission. 'He was a burning and shining light,


Page 76

and the Jews were willing, for a season, to rejoice in his light.' These considerations furnish a strong presumption that the major part of the people were baptized of John."

        All of his argument is presumption. If it is proper to apply the Methodists' rule of presuming on the subject of baptism, on all the other subjects of the Bible, we will presume away heaven, earth and hell--mortality and immortality.

        Hibbard continues with his presumptions:

        "In exact accordance with this presumption are the express declarations of Scripture. Matthew says, chapter 3:5, 6: 'Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.' Mark informs us, 1:5, 'that there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him.' Luke says, 3:21: 'And when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus himself, being baptized,' etc.

        "The province of Judea comprehended nearly one-half of the entire territory of Palestine west of the Jordan. The 'region round about Jordan' by 'which we are to understand the great valley of the Jordan, lies between the mountains of Israel on the west and those of Hermon, Gilead, and Abarim on the east, reckoning from the northern extremity of the sea of Tiberias, according to Burkhardt to the embouchure of the


Page 77

Jordan. This 'region' embraces most of the territories of Samaria and Perea, besides a large portion of Galilee. The description of Matthew, therefore, is found to embrace the heart of the Jewish population."

        After showing what the other New Testament writers say about all Palestine, Hibbard proceeds to presume. Read his next presumption: "How many others from abroad received his baptism, history does not inform us, but the number was, probably, not inconsiderable. The only difficulty that can arise in fixing the sense of the evangelists lies in the use and limitation of the general terms employed. The word 'all' in the several connections cited, must necessarily mean something. It cannot be argued, with good reason, that it here amounts to a mere Hebraism for a great multitude. There exists no reason why the word in the above connections should be understood in proverbial and not in a narrative sense. No impossibility or absurdity is necessarily involved in taking the word literally, or to signify a great majority which is a very common acceptation. Or if any absurdity be involved in such an acceptation, it can be so only on the principles of our opponents, and must therefore lie against their theory, which supposes that John immersed his disciples one by one."

        Hibbard continues until finally he decides to put the number that John baptized at three millions. He says:


Page 78

        "It would then follow that he baptized in all, three millions of persons. John may not have baptized, in fact, so many. Still, we think the words of the sacred history obliged us to understand something like the result to which we have attained, which certainly is far from being absurd, or impossible considered as a matter of fact.

        "3. We now inquire into the duration of John's public ministry. According to Luke, chapter 3:1, etc., John opened his ministry in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, reckoning the three years of his reign conjointly with Augustus, which, according to our most approved chronology, answers to the thirtieth year of John's life. It is generally agreed by chronologers that our Saviour was born December the twenty-fifth A. M. 4000. John the Baptist was six months older than Christ, and consequently was born the twenty-fourth of June previous. Allowing, then, John to have opened his ministry at the age of thirty, in the latter part of June, year of the vulgar era 26; and supposing, as Luke says, Jesus was baptized when he was thirty years of age, i. e. about December the twenty-fifth of the same year; it would then follow that John had been engaged six months in his public ministry at the time of Christ's baptism."


Page 79

CHAPTER III.

        THE GREEK CHURCH holds that Christ was baptized on the Epiphany, which is the sixth of January, New Style. But the difference of a few days, either way, cannot materially affect the weight of our argument. How long John continued baptizing subsequently to this period we are not definitely informed. But, from a careful collation of facts, we can safely limit the period of his after labors to four months. The last account we have of John, previously to his imprisonment, states that he was baptizing at Ænon near to Salim. (John 3:23.) This was immediately after our Lord had attended his first passover, which was celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan, which, as the Jews reckoned their years by lunar months, answers to the moon of our March."

        Hibbard here gives us a long argument to show that the entire public ministry of John lasted only ten months. Let that be as it may. Let us examine some more of his presumptions:

        "But here are several facts to be considered.

        "1. John could not have commenced baptizing immediately upon the opening of his mission, and


Page 80

the people be induced to receive his baptism. We will suppose, then, that he preached two weeks before he began to baptize.

        "2. John's term of public labour included one wintry season, wherein, though the climate in that country is much milder than in our own, still there would be an unavoidable loss of time, occasioned by foul weather. This, with those who are acquainted with the calendar of Palestine, will not be deemed an insignificant item. During the winter the inhabitants of Palestine often experience storms, especially during the rainy seasons, at which time there is little traveling abroad. This, together with the time occupied in moving from place to place, would require another reduction from John's time for baptizing, of not less than twenty days.

         "3. Forty-three Sabbaths are to be deducted, wherein, according to the Jewish observance of those days, it was unlawful for John to baptize. Thus we have left, in all, two hundred and twenty-seven days, in which we may suppose John exercised the function of his ministry. We next inquire, How many hours per day John was employed in the very act of baptizing. If he immersed his disciples, according to the modern mode, he could not have thus laboured more than six hours per day, pursuing his labours in the same ratio for two hundred and twenty-seven days. John was unsustained by any miracle, and must calculate his labours as we would those of


Page 81

any other man, according to a medium ratio of physical strength. And no man could rationally suppose John to have stood in three feet depth of water more than six hours in a day, and for the above-mentioned time, labouring at the top of his strength, without an iron-bound constitution or a miracle of aid. But according to this estimate, the whole number of hours in which John was employed in the very act of baptizing amounted to one thousand three hundred and sixty-two.

        "We are now ready for the argument.

        "1. John baptized in all, three million persons.

        "2. The whole time in which John may be supposed to have been engaged in the very act of baptizing did not exceed one thousand three hundred and sixty-two hours. Therefore John must have baptized in one hour, two thousand two hundred and two; in one minute, thirty-six, or a little over one in every two seconds."

        The argument presented here by Hibbard against immersion and in favor of sprinkling is not worthy of the notice of respectable thinkers. How does he manage to find out the exact number of months that John preached? The Bible does not give them. How does he know it was about two weeks after John began to preach before he began to baptize? The disciples on the day of Pentecost, preached and baptized the same day.

        When the time comes to baptize the season gets rainy and stormy, so much so, that there is little traveling abroad. But when he explains the


Page 82

word "all," out of which he gets his three millions for baptism, there is nothing said about this foul weather. How does he know it took twenty days for John to move from place to place? The Bible is silent on this point. How does he know that John's baptism was not accompanied by a miracle? The Bible does not tell him it was not.


                         "Is there a thing too hard for thee,
                         Almighty Lord of all,
                         Whose threatening looks dry up the sea,
                         And make the mountains fall?"

        Plainly pedobaptists are without a foundation. Lord, help them to open their eyes. The Baptists have in our favor John baptizing in Jordan, and in Ænon, near Salim, where there was much water. Christ baptized of John in Jordan. And when he "was baptized, went up straightway from the water." And the primary and original meaning of the word "baptize," means immersion and immersion only.


Page 83

CHAPTER IV.

        LET US see what Dr. E. Y. Mullins, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says concerning "Immersion:" "For one man to shout, 'It is!' and another to shout back, 'It is not!'--a reiterated affirmation on the one hand and a reiterated denial on the other --is a see-saw of contradictions, rather than a logical process. It must be confessed that the long-drawn baptismal controversy sometimes seems to degenerate into such a contradiction, issuing in little progress towards unanimity, or other fruits of the Spirit. The careful observer, however, will find evidences of an awakening conscience in many quarters on this subject, and it cannot be in vain for Baptists in all charity to continue to affirm their strong conviction on a matter which so large a portion of the Christian world seems determined to ignore.

        "'The case for immersion at present,' is the theme assigned to me. An adequate statement of the case will require some space, and some patience on the part of the reader. The meaning of word, 'immersion,' as based upon the meaning of


Page 84

the Greek word translated 'baptize' in our English Bible is as convincing as it is possible for evidence to make it. The purposes of this article require a brief presentation of this evidence.

        "Lyddell & Scott's Greek Lexicon is a universally accepted standard among scholars. It gives immersion, and immersion only, as the meaning of the Greek word 'baptizo.' This applies to classic as well as New Testament Greek.

         "Grimm's Wilke's Lexicon of New Testament Greek, says the word means 'to submerge, to wash by submerging.' In the New Testament the word means 'an immersion in water, intended as a sign of sins washed away, etc.' This lexicon gives no other meaning of the word.

        "Cremer's Lexicon says the word means 'submerged,' and in the New Testament, 'submersion for a religious purpose.'

        "Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, which is a translation revision, and an enlargement of Grimm's Wilke's Lexicon, gives an extended definition of baptizo in its various New Testament connections, and it is uniformly the same as in the lexicons named above--'to submerge,' 'to dip,' 'to plunge.'

        "The figurative uses of the word are all based upon the same meaning. Testimony from other lexicons might be given. I will only add that of Professor Sophocles in his Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine period, from B. C. 140 to A. A 1100. He gives the meaning which is


Page 85

found in all the standard lexicons--'dip,.' 'plunge,' 'submerge.' In addition he cites Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Gregory, Epiphanius, Origen, Cyril and others of the early fathers in proof of this meaning.

        "The testimony of the fathers is well-nigh universal in favor of immersion for over 400 years. Modern Greeks regard the translation of the word baptizo, 'to sprinkle,' as absurd.

        "Dr. Broadus quotes a modern Greek scholar as saying: 'The church of the West commits an abuse of words and of ideas in practising baptism by aspersion, the mere statement of which is itself a ridiculous contradiction.'

        "The above position is abundantly sustained on the authority of the reformers of the sixteenth century, as well as by evidence from great numbers of modern scholars.

        "Martin Luther advocated a return to immersion as the New Testament form of baptism.

        "John Calvin admitted that immersion only was the original mode, but that the form was a matter of indifference.

        "Dr. Doellinger, a Roman Catholic scholar of very high standing, has said that, as to the mode of baptism, 'the Baptists are from the Protestant standpoint, unassailable, since for their demand of baptism by submersion they have the clear Bible text.'

        "Innumerable modern scholars of all denominations maintain the position that immersion only


Page 86

was the New Testament form of baptism. In Germany two names of interest are Meyer, the great commentator, and Harnack, the great historian. The latter wrote some years ago, to Dr. C. E. W. Dobbs, in reply to questions about the meaning of the Greek word, especially as to whether a 'sacred sense' of the word baptizein is ever to be understood, allowing sprinkling instead of immersion.

        "Dr. Harnack wrote, in part, as follows: 'Baptizein undoubtedly signifies immersion. No proof can be found that it signifies anything else in the New Testament, and in the most ancient Christian literature. The suggestion regarding a sacred sense is out of the question. There is no passage in the New Testament which suggests the supposition that any New Testament author attached to the word any other sense than to immerse.'

        "Dr. Harnack wrote the above as a statement 'on the present state of opinion among German scholars.' Besides the above, practically all the great names of scholars of the Church of England, who have expressed themselves on the point might be quoted in support of the view that immersion, and immersion only, was the form of baptism taught by the New Testament. In view of the above array of evidence, it would seem that the 'case of immersion at present' is closed, if we confine our view to the meaning of the Greek word of which it is the translation.


Page 87

        "The 'Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.'--The above document revived interest in the baptismal controversy upon its publication, some seventeen years ago. Being a witness raised up out of its grave, so to speak, in the Jerusalem library, and dating from about the middle of the second century, its testimony as to baptism was examined with great eagerness by all parties. Both immersionists and anti-immersionists claimed the document in confirmation of their respective views. Baptists have every reason for the claim that in no degree does the teaching of the 'Twelve' weaken their position as to the teaching of the New Testament. Its instructions on the subject of baptism are pronounced in favor of immersion. In brief, it directs that baptism shall be in living water; and if this be not convenient, in other water; and if not in cold water, baptize in warm.

        "Finally, if water in sufficient quantity for immersion be not found, then 'pour water thrice upon the head, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.' It is perfectly clear from the testimony of the 'teaching' that its writer held to immersion as the original and proper mode of baptism. The fact that pouring as an alternative mode in certain contingencies is prescribed does not destroy the force of the teaching as to immersion. The only open question which is left by this document, is whether or not the direction about pouring was, in the mind of its author,


Page 88

based upon apostolic example and precept, or upon other considerations. The evidence in favor of the latter view is overwhelming. The following facts shed light on the point:

        "Cyprian, A. D. 200--257, wrote a tract in defence of clinical baptism, that is, baptism of sick people, against those who denied its validity. It commonly held about this time that, although in certain cases of sickness pouring was allowable as a substitute for immersion, it was defective baptism and disqualified for the priesthood. 'Moreover,' Schaff says, 'it was probably because Novatian had been baptized by aspersion, when on a sick bed, that he failed of re-election to the See of Rome, and that this fact became the occasion of a subsequent schism which attended his name.'

        "As to the existence in the age after the apostles of substitutes for immersion, Baptists do not make denial. But the very fact that the substitutes are never adhered to as resting on scriptural authority and the further fact that they are dealt with and treated as departures from the customary mode, and especially because it was necessary to defend them against many who rejected them, the conclusion is unavoidable that they arose after apostolic times. The adequate cause for their introduction is found in the exaggerated importance attached to baptism, and the supposed peril of unbaptized persons at the point of death. The Greek word employed in 'the teaching'


Page 89

to set forth the threefold pouring which is admitted as a last resort, is a word never once used in the New Testament in connection with baptism.

        "The Witness of History.--Let us glance at the case for immersion as witnessed by Christian history. The following are the facts: 'First of all, there is no shred of evidence that the New Testament form of baptism (immersion) was ever departed from in New Testament times. At an early date, however, clinic baptisms by pouring or sprinkling came into vogue. These clinic baptisms were not the rule, but the exception, and were never urged on direct scriptural grounds. Immersion continued to be the usual and preferred mode for over a thousand years.

        "In the Greek Church immersion has ever been and is still the practice. The longer catechism of the Russian Church declares that 'trine immersion in water is most essential.' Similar witness is borne by Professor Philaret Bapheidos, of the Russian Church, author of a Church History, and many other living writers testify to the same effect. In the Roman Church, immersion continued the rule until the thirteenth century. In the Anglican Church there is abundant evidence in favor of immersion as the ancient and biblical form of baptism. In theory the Church of England still holds to immersion, as is evidenced by the prayer book and other authorities. In the Rubric of the Church of England we read,


Page 90

as to the baptism of infants: 'Shall dip the child in water; but if they certify that the child is weak, it shall suffice to pour water upon it.' The witness of Christian history is, therefore, conclusive as to the original mode of baptism.

        "The admission of other forms was due to circumstances and expediency, and not to Scripture teaching. The Protestant world which practices sprinkling, therefore, must maintain it on grounds which are at variance with the fundamental principle of Protestants--the Bible alone the authority in matters of faith and practice.

        "Immersion viewed in its relations.--Baptism when viewed in its relations, strongly reinforces our contention for immersion, as distinguished from all other so-called modes of baptism. This ordinance is not to be viewed apart from its connections in the Christian system. For one thing, it is related in its very form to most vital Christian doctrine. Death, burial, and resurrection strikingly symbolized by the act of baptism! A complete purification and cleansing from sin are also thus set forth; a death to the old, a resurrection to a new life, are among the truths which receive graphic portrayal in the baptismal act of obedience to Christ.

        "Rev. William Sandy, D. D., LL. D., author of a very able recent Commentary on Romans, says in connection with Rom. 6:1-14: 'Baptism expresses symbolically a series of acts corresponding to redeeming acts of Christ: Immersion


Page 91

through death; submersion--burial (the ratification of death); emergence--resurrection.'

        "Now, so far from being unimportant, because a mere external form is baptism, its real importance arises from the fact that it is a form. Now, we do not exalt the ordinance of baptism over against the truth of the atonement, or other great doctrines, and declare them of equal importance. Such comparisons are unnecessary. To set forms against doctrines, or doctrines against forms, is a thing unwarranted by Scripture.

        "To arrive at an understanding of the importance of a form, we must inquire what use it subserves as a form, and what authority enjoins the form. As to the latter, Christ has spoken. This must suffice for all who accept him as Lord. As to the former, baptism as a symbol must remain unchanged in form.

        "Symbols, in the nature of the case, cannot save--they can only represent pre-existing spiritual life. As a symbol, form is everything. This is true because only forms can serve as symbols. Truths cannot be symbolized by other truths. Abstract teachings cannot be symbolized by other abstractions. The fitness of the form to shadow forth truth is the determinative principle in the institution of forms. The ritualistic system of the Old Testament illustrates this at every point. Hence it follows that in symbolics, form is all-important.

        "Understand me: I do not say that form is all-important in itself, or as compared with doctrine


Page 92

and life; but form, when employed as a means of setting forth truth--form utilized as a symbol-- is all-important. This is true because form as a symbol is a mould of doctrine. The doctrine is contained in the symbol as water is contained in a vessel. To mar the form is to destroy the doctrine, so far as the agency of the form is concerned, just as to break the vessel is to spill the water. Its utility as a symbol is gone the moment you alter its form. Then, too, to change baptism from immersion to sprinkling, when we remember the symbolic uses of the ordinance, is really to make less of doctrine than of form; for it is to make doctrine wait on form, rather than form on doctrine. If doctrine is important in comparison with form, then we should begin with doctrine, and make the symbol conform to the requirements of doctrine. When we alter the form, we compel the doctrine to take its chances for adequate representation in a mutilated form.

        "Doctrine is the jewel; form is the casket. Caskets are made for jewels; not jewels for caskets. Whoever heard of a dealer manufacturing a set of handsome jewel cases, and then casting about for jewels to fit them? Baptists desire that the jewel of doctrine shall abide in its pristine beauty, and that the casket of a symbol shall match it in form as in the beginning.

        "Another thought related to the foregoing is that Jesus always viewed things in their totality, and not in fragments. He enjoins truth and its


Page 93

expression. The tree is vindicated by its fruits; words are made good by deeds; life authenticated by conduct; so, also, faith ripens into expression. The internal and the external are required to complete the Christian act. Baptism is the outward expression of the inward change. Baptism by immersion is not only the fitting expression of inner life; it is the necessary complement to the Lord's Supper.

        "The two ordinances shadow forth the supreme facts, of the Gospel. Christ's death is symbolized in the Supper, his burial and resurrection in the ordinance of baptism. Thus, in their relations to the Christian system, baptism and the Supper occupy a position of unique value. They serve as a medium for the exhibition in striking form of the chief fundamental and vital facts as to Christ and the Christian. Was not this comprehensiveness a part of the design of Christ in instituting the ordinances? Is it not evident that he meant these forms to serve as visible instrumentalities for thus setting forth before the eyes of men a complete Gospel? If this completeness of representation was a part of Christ's original design, can we depart from the forms which are necessary to the symbolic completeness, without violating Christ's will? We must find Christ's point of view in leaving the ordinances to his Church, as well as seek to understand their significance; and having found his point of view, we must adopt it as our own.


Page 94

        "The owner of certain grounds devised a landscape gardener's services to lay them out with a view to a given effect from the portico of his residence, which stood on an elevation in the midst of the grounds. The gardener, during the absence of the owner, discovered what he regarded as a better effect from a different point of view, and laid out the grounds accordingly. But he was summarily dismissed upon the owner's return, because of his disobedience, and because his point of view left out of account the chief item in the owner's plan--viz., the effect from the portico of his residence.

        "The ordinances of baptism and the Supper constitute a ceremonial survey of the landscape of Christian fact and doctrine, comprehending the chief vital facts. To break the form of baptism is to eliminate a part of its doctrinal significance. sprinkling cannot symbolize burial and resurrection. The ordinance is thus left a mere fragmentary representation. Thenceforth the ordinances cease to give the completeness of representation which Christ designed. We thus lose his point of view. It thus appears that an ordinance even must be viewed in its relations before it can be understood. As a mere form it is nothing. As a form employed to symbolize vital truth, and as a supplement to another form symbolically setting forth other truth, and as a part of an arrangement for the complete exhibition of a group of truths, prescribed by a supreme will, it is much.


Page 95

A very minute wheel lying on a jeweler's table is an insignificant thing; as a part of the machinery of a watch, it is indispensable; for without the tiny wheel the watch would not run, and would cease to have utility as a timepiece."


Page 96

CHAPTER V.

THE OTHER SIDE.

        VARIOUS arguments and objections have been urged against the Baptist position. The old claim that the scarcity of water in Jerusalem must have prevented the immersion there of three thousand converted in one day by twelve men is met by the well-known fact that Jerusalem was amply provided with large pools and a water supply which sustained it through numerous sieges of several months' duration, and when the supply was exhausted on the outside it was abundant inside the city; and by the further demonstration, in the immersion of our Telugu converts, of the ability of twelve men to perform the above task. The claim is for a 'sacred sense' of the word baptizo in the Scriptures has never been made out and is distinctly negatived by the consensus of German scholarship, as represented by Professor Harnack, as well as the great mass of scholars of all Christian nations.

        "The plea for sprinkling on the ground that immersion is not always 'practicable' is met by the explanation that what is 'impracticable' is


Page 97

what cannot be done, and that what cannot be done is never commanded. The force of the argument based on the rigors of the colder climate is neutralized by the fact that in cold England immersion continued much longer than in Spain and some of the warmer climates of the South. The fact that many learned and good men have believed in sprinkling, which is a solace to some, should not stand a moment as an excuse for personal investigation on the part of all, and personal obedience to the commands of Christ.

        "Few of the errors of Christian history in doctrine and life are without learned and good men as their advocates. It was often thus that they originated. Over against this fact is another far more significant, viz.: That there is an increasing demand for immersion on the part of the common people, with their English Bibles in their hands. This demand is witnessed to a greater or less extent in every Protestant community. It has reached such proportions in the Church of England that more than one hundred baptisteries, according to 'The Freeman,' have been erected in recent years for the baptism of adults, and others are in process of construction.

        "The truth is that, although the word 'baptize' is not a translation, but a transference of the Greek original, thus obscuring its meaning-- nevertheless, the act of baptism as described in the English Bible, and as expounded especially in the epistles, is convincing in itself as to mode.


Page 98

The passages describing the baptism of Jesus in Jordan, and the baptism of the Ethiopian, as well as other Scriptures, leave no escape for the plain reader from the conclusion that immersion is the baptism commanded in the New Testament.

        "There are two really important arguments against our position--important not in themselves, but in their prevalence and power over men. The first is that the church has the power to alter the form of baptism. This is the view of the Roman Catholics. I need not delay to reply to it in detail. It raises the larger question as to the authority of the church. Baptists cannot admit that any church is co-ordinate in authority with Christ himself. The Protestant world is guilty of a gross inconsistency whenever it admits the principle for a moment. The Bible, and the Bible only, as Christ's revealed will is authority for Protestants in matters of religion. Hence the clear-cut deliverance of Dr. Doellinger, as given earlier in this article. Roman Catholics grasp this vital distinction better than some who claim to oppose them.

        "The second of these important arguments is that based on Christian liberty. Among the scholars and the well-informed laity of to-day in all denominations which do not practise immersion, this is the final and sufficient ground consciously or unconsciously held for adherence to


Page 99

another mode. The case for immersion as the original New Testament teaching and practice has been so completely made out that another position has become necessary. 'If you retain the essence,' they say, 'you are not obliged to do more in matters of form. Christian liberty relieves you from slavish obedience in externals.'

        "The sufficient Baptist reply is not far to seek. In the first place, Christian liberty never admits of departure from positive commands which are of permanent obligation. In the application of general principles to specific cases which may arise, it is true that Christian liberty sometimes allows room for variation in conduct, but in definite, positive commands. Now, those who practice sprinkling maintain that baptism is an ordinance of permanent obligation, and binding, because commanded by Christ. As a symbol it sets forth certain doctrines. To retain the 'essence' of the symbol, we must retain its form, as has already been shown. To alter the form so as to deprive it of power to symbolize death, burial and resurrection, is to rob it of a part of its 'essence' as a symbol.

        "If Christian liberty is to be pleaded in the case, the Quakers alone represent the consistent position; for liberty to alter a form implies liberty to reject it entirely. Indeed, in this case, to alter is to reject in part, because to alter the form is in part to destroy the meaning. To reject in part involves liberty to reject altogether. The


Page 100

Quakers do this. If to the Quaker it should seem allowable in the name of liberty to reject baptism as a symbol of purification, burial and resurrection, why should it seem allowable for a Methodist, in the name of liberty, to retain it as a symbol of purification and reject it as a symbol of burial and resurrection? Why split the ordinance into parts, and deal with one part on the principle of obedience, and with the other on the principle of liberty? There is no middle-ground between Baptists and Romanists on the issue as to the relative authority of the Scriptures and the church, and there is no middle-ground between Baptists and Quakers on the issue as to the principle of Christian liberty in the matter of baptism.

        "Our survey of 'the case for immersion at present,' brings us to the following conclusion: That, in view of the classical and New Testament meaning of the Greek word for baptize as learned from standard lexicons; in view of the testimony of the Christian fathers of the early centuries; in view of the 'teaching of the Twelve Apostles;' in view of the symbolic significance of baptism and the relation of its form to truth, to the Lord's Supper, to the will of Christ; and in view of authoritativeness of the Bible, and of any proper interpretation of Christian liberty, the case for immersion seems abundantly proved."


Page 101

CHAPTER VI.

        READER, have you obeyed your Lord in his appointed ordinance? Have you the witness of a conscience void of offence in this matter? Do you know the joy of obedience which is vouchsafed to all who take up their cross and follow their Lord into the experience which he knew as he entered the waters of Jordan, saying, "Thus it becometh us, to fulfil all righteousness?" Dr. Mullins' argument on this subject is full, complete and unanswerable.


                         "Wide as the world is thy command,
                         Vast as eternity thy love:
                         Firm as a rock thy truth shall stand,
                         When rolling years shall cease to move."
Read and think! To "obey is better than sacrifice." If you are a new creature in Christ Jesus, be baptized, and thus put on that externally which symbolizes the new life internally. Be baptized!

        Soon after the King of Glory arose from the dead, he gave his disciples the great commission.

        "Now late on the sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.


Page 102

And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow; and for fear of him the watchers did quake and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus, who hath been crucified. He is not here; for he is risen, even as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." (Matt. 28:1-6.)

        "And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matt. 28:18-20.) "Afterward he was manifested unto the eleven themselves as they sat at meat; and he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned." (Mark 16:14-16.)

        The language of the Master in the great commission to disciple and baptize the nations is too


Page 103

positive and emphatic to admit of any doubt. The creature who believes the Gospel must be baptized. It is not simply a privilege, but a most imperative duty after one has believed to be baptized. "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you." The disciples fully understood the great commission, and went forth preaching and baptizing.

        

Illustration

THE FORD OF THE JORDAN.

        On the Day of Pentecost a great revival broke out in Jerusalem. Peter preached the principal sermon, and three thousand souls believed and were baptized. "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.


Page 104

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of You in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:36-38.) Here we see that not only is repentance commanded, but baptism is commanded also. "They then that received his word were baptized:, and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls." (Acts 2:41.) Philip preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch, and the eunuch believed and was baptized immediately. "But an angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza: the same is desert. And he arose and went: and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship; and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some one shall guide me? And he besought Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this, He was led


Page 105

as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before his shearer is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: His generation who shall declare? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other? And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this scripture, preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on the way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch saith, Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch: and he baptized (immersed) him." (Acts 8:26-38.)

        How can pedobaptists be obedient to the command of the Lord and place a light estimate upon baptism? How can any unbiased and common sense mind read that Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and that Philip baptized the eunuch, without concluding that he baptized him by immersion? Dear reader, read and think for yourself. You have left this question to be settled for you, by the so-called wise men of your church too long already. God has given you the ability to think and act for yourself. Why not read the plain word of God and think? Why do Negro Methodists say that there are so many other things of such vital importance to the race that we have not the time to consider this all-important


Page 106

subject? It is simply because they know they are wrong on this great subject. We should be buried with Christ in baptism. Be baptized; immersion only is baptism. Methodists call themselves broad and the Baptists narrow, and yet the Methodists are not broad enough to do what Jesus says. They take away what suits their convenience, and add what they please. The Methodists put great stress on the Philippian jailor's baptism at midnight, etc., and declare the circumstances of the case exclude the idea of his having been baptized by immersion. But let us examine the case:

        "But, about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns unto God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison-house were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened; and every one's bands were loosed. And the jailor, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword, and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. And he called for lights, and sprang in, and, trembling for fear, fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house. And they spake the word of the Lord unto him, with all


Page 107

that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately." (Acts 16:25-36.)

        Where in these passages can you find infant baptism? Paul preached to "all" in the house and all were baptized. But did he preach to infants? Certainly not. Did he baptize any infants on this occasion? Certainly not; for he preached to all who were in the jailor's house, and baptized all of his house. The narrative shows clearly that the jailor's family were all capable of hearing preaching, and therefore all capable of believing; for all were baptized. Hence there were no infants in the jailor's family. This passage also tells us that the jailor "took them and washed their stripes." The washing of their stripes in connection with "took them" is plain. He "took them" to water and "washed their stripes," and he and his family were baptized.

        The Methodists say it is hardly probable that the jailor and his family were baptized by immersion, for they were baptized in the jail at midnight. The narrative does not say they were baptized in the jailor's house, or in jail; but it says, "He took them," and "washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his, immediately." Where did he take them? To water. Doubtless to a pool of clean, clear water. Reader, read and think! Holy Spirit, help pedobaptists to see the light and be baptized!


Page 108

CHAPTER VII.

        THE BAPTISM of Paul by Ananias is cited and emphasized by pedobaptists in favor of sprinkling or pouring. They claim that Ananias baptized Paul in the house, and that the most reasonable inference to be drawn from the narrative of Paul's baptism is that he was baptized By sprinkling or pouring. But let us examine this case. Let us put Paul on the stand and receive evidence from him instead of pedobaptists.

        "Brethren and fathers, hear ye the defence which I now make unto you. And when they heard that he spoke unto them in the Hebrew language, they were the more quiet: and he saith, I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as ye all are this day: and I persecuted this Way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also, I received letters unto the brethren, and journeyed to Damascus to bring them


Page 109

also that were there unto Jerusalem in bonds to be punished. And it came to pass, that as I made my journey, and drew nigh unto Damascus, about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me beheld indeed, the light, but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the 'hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Jews that dwelt there, came unto me, and standing by me said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And in that very hour I looked up on him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath appointed thee, to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth. For thou shalt be a witness for him unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name." (Acts 22:1-16) If Ananias meant to baptize Paul by sprinkling or pouring,


Page 110

why did he say to him not to tarry, but "Arise and be baptized?" The fact is, if Ananias meant to baptize Paul by sprinkling or pouring, for Paul to have been seated or kneeling down would have been the most convenient and natural way for him to have baptized him by sprinkling or pouring. But if he meant to immerse him in water, Paul necessarily had to get up and go to water, and stand on his feet to be immersed. Hence he is commanded not to tarry, but to "Arise and be baptized." The kind of baptism he was to receive symbolized a washing, for Ananias says, "and wash away thy sins." Sprinkling or pouring does not symbolize washing; therefore Paul was not baptized by sprinkling or pouring. Immersion in water symbolizes washing; therefore, Paul was baptized by immersion. The Bible does not say he was baptized in the house, but it says he was told not to tarry, but 'Arise and be baptized." When he ceased to tarry, and arose, he and Ananias went to water, and he was immersed in water, as a sign of the fact that his sins had been washed away.

        The pedobaptists have not only tried to prove that sprinkling and pouring are baptism; but they have endeavored to explain away immersion entirely. Take such passages as these and the pedobaptists in order to escape their irresistible force have endeavored to spiritualize them in such a way and to such an extent as to destroy their literal meaning entirely. Read the passages and examine them for yourself.--


Page 111

        "Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life." (Rom. 6:3, 4.) "Buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead." (Col. 2:12.)

        Pedobaptists have endeavored to explain away these plain passages of Scripture in favor of immersion by doing away with their literal meaning entirely. They make these passages refer to the baptism of the Holy Spirit simply because Paul in the narrative ascribes the act as being due to the operation of the Holy Spirit. Repentance and faith on the part of the baptized are due to the operation of the Holy Spirit, and yet the individual when operated upon must repent and believe.

        Mr. Hibbard says, in speaking on these passages:

        "Before taking our leave of the phrase 'baptized into Christ,' we may remark that it has given commentators and divines abundance of trouble. Professor Ripley prefers to retain the more common acceptation of the phrase, understanding it to mean, 'baptized into an acknowledgment of Christ. So also, to be baptized into Christ's death, is to be baptized into an acknowledgement


Page 112

of his death,' and the phrase, he thinks, may compare with Matt. 3:11; 'I baptize you into repentance, that is, into an acknowledgment of repentance.' "

        Mr. Hibbard goes on to say:

        "In order to present the true, unincumbered sense of this passage, we subjoin the following free paraphrase:--Eight souls were saved in Noah's ark by water; and in like manner the antitype, which is the ordinance of consecration (baptisma), doth also now save us (not, indeed, that mere outward purification, the putting away of the filth of the flesh; but that inward and real consecration of the soul, the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here the Greek noun, 'baptism,' is evidently used in the generic sense, signifying the effect of using water ceremonially upon the body; that is, it signifies purify or consecrate."

        But you will note the fact that not simply a part of the man is to be purified or consecrated, but the entire man. Therefore, sprinkling or pouring a little water on the head does not fitly symbolize a purification or consecration of the entire man; but on the other hand, immersion of the entire body in water symbolizes a complete, full and entire purification or consecration of the heart to God.

        Man in his sinful state is spoken of as being full of sores from head to foot. "From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness


Page 113

in it; but wounds, and bruises, and fresh stripes." (Isa. 1:6.)

        Since man in his sinful state is sinful from head to foot, and must be recreated from head to foot by the Holy Spirit, when he is recreated or born again of the Spirit, and since water baptism is to symbolize this recreation or new birth, why not baptize him from head to foot? Since he must be reborn all over, why not baptize him all over? He must be inwardly born anew, and John says he must also "be born of the water." The inward birth includes the entire inward, spiritual man, and therefore, the outward birth must include the entire outward man.

        Quite a number of Methodist ministers believe the Baptists are right in doctrine, but they have been looking to the bishop so long for an appointment that they have not the courage and self-confidence to come to a church of full-fledged liberty--a church that calls its pastors and keeps them as long as they can agree. Brethren, be men!


Page 114

DOCTRINE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.

CHAPTER VIII.

        CLOSE COMMUNION, as it is called by pedobaptists, in Baptist churches is one of the things that made it very hard for me to fully make up my mind to unite with the Missionary Baptist church; but, thank God, my eyes are now open and I see clearly. The communion of the Baptists is no closer than the communion of pedobaptists. The Baptists believe that only baptized believers should partake of the Lord's Supper, and so do pedobaptists. But the Baptists believe that immersion and immersion only is baptism; pedobaptists believe that immersion, sprinkling and pouring are all scriptural baptism. Hence the Baptists believe in close baptism.

        Baptists cannot reasonably and consistently commune with Methodists. Methodists and Baptists are too far apart on fundamental principles and cardinal doctrines to commune together at the Lord's table. Can we as Baptists commune with a church that makes the church subordinate to the conference, which is made up largely of persons who are not members of the church?


Page 115

That is just what the Methodists do. Can we as Baptists commune with a church that changed the order of the ministry of the early Primitive church entirely? That is precisely what the

Illustration

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT.

Methodist Church has done. The early New Testament Church instituted one ordination for the ministry of the church. The Methodist Church has instituted and is maintaining three. From where or from whom do they get
Page 116

their authority? Certainly not from God or his word. Methodists without anything like positive scriptural authority, and contrary to reason and comon sense, baptize infants. We cannot consistently commune with them. If they wish to commune with Baptists let them get right in polity and ordinances. We can never sacrifice distinct Baptist principles--principles which are clearly and unmistakably based upon and grow out of the New Testament Scriptures--to commune with pedobaptists. Let them accept the whole truth as it is clearly and plainly taught in the New Testament, and we will commune together. But until they obey our Lord we cannot commune with them.

        Mr. Hibbard, a standard writer of the Methodist Church, says that Baptists are consistent with the doctrine they teach in giving close communion. But he goes further than this: He says if the position of the Baptists on baptism is correct, that pedobaptists are not baptized believers, and therefore are not entitled to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. I here quote him for the benefit of those who have not read his book, "Hibbard on Christian Baptism," part second, page 173:

        "The question on the mode of baptism borrows all its importance from the question, 'Is Christian baptism itself essentially prerequisite to a scriptural participation of the Lord's Supper?' This latter topic has been treated adjunctively with


Page 117

the question of the mode, and lends to it an unspeakable interest. Divines have not entered the polemic arena to show their skill and tact at debate. The long and painful controversy on the subject of the mode of Christian baptism has not been merely a display of intellectual parts.

        "The Corinthians are justly censurable for wasting time and intellectual power, and brotherly charity, in a controversy concerning 'meats and drinks, and new moons, and holy days;' the school men have exhibited themselves to the ridicule of all succeeding generations, for their fruitless and eternal disputations on such points as whether there is any possible distinction between essence and existence; whether an angel or pure spirit can pass from one absolute point to another, without passing over the immediate space; and nearly allied to such topics must be the question of the mode of baptism, it if have no further importance than the mere convenience of fitness of an outward ceremony. But the case is far otherwise. The bearing which the mode of baptism is alleged to have on the validity of the ordinance, and the connection which it bears to the lawful approach to the Lord's table, and to the rights and immunities of church fellowship-- these invest it with a character of paramount importance.

        "The question no longer respects merely a ceremony of religion, but has assumed the bold and alarming aspect of church or no church. Every


Page 118

ordinance, every institution, every rite and privilege of visible Christianity is drawn along and merged into the bosom of this doubtful controversy. Within its ample folds are embraced the questions of true Protestantism and pure Christianity; while its capacious vortex has set in motion the very pillars of the visible church, threatening to whelm it in its troubled waters.

        "The issues of this controversy are to decide whether the pedobaptist churches are the true churches of Christ; whether their ministers hold their commission to administer the ordinances by a lawful tenure; whether their members have any right to approach to the table of the Lord; and whether the privileges of the church may be conceded to them without desecration.

        "Verily the question of the mode of baptism is a far-reaching subject. Without controversy it is a grave theme. Before entering upon the argument before us, it is but just to remark that in one principle the Baptist and pedobaptist churches agree. They both agree in rejecting from communion at the table of the Lord, and in denying the rights of church fellowship to all who have not been baptized. Valid baptism they consider as essential to constitute visible church membership. This also we hold. The only question, then, that here divides us, is 'What is essential to valid baptism?'

        "The Baptists in passing the sweeping sentence of disfranchisement upon all other Christian


Page 119

churches, have only acted upon a principle held in common with all other Christian churches, viz., that baptism is essential to church membership. They have denied our baptism, and as unbaptized persons we have been excluded from their table. That they err greatly in their views of Christian baptism, we, of course, believe. But according to their views of baptism, they certainly are consistent in restricting thus their communion. We would not be understood as passing a judgment of approval upon their course; but we say, their views of baptism force them upon the ground of strict communion, and herein they act upon the same principles as other churches; that is, they admit only those whom they deem baptized persons to the communion table. Of course, they must be their own judges as to what baptism is. It is evident that according to our views of baptism, we can admit them to our communion; but with their views of baptism, it is equally evident, they can never reciprocate the courtesy. And the charge of close communion is no more applicable to Baptists than to us, inasmuch as the question of church fellowship with them is determined by as liberal principles as it is with any other Protestant church, so far, I mean, as the present subject is concerned, that it is determined by valid baptism."

        Mr. Hibbard has conceded the fact in the remarks we have quoted from him, that if the Baptists are right on the subject of baptism, it


Page 120

would be inconsistent on their part to admit pedobaptists to the Lord's table. We know that Baptists are right on the subject of baptism, and therefore have no right to admit any one to the Lord's Supper who has not professed saving faith in Christ and put him on by baptism. If pedobaptists will not be buried with Christ in baptism, they cannot reasonably expect genuine, true and uncompromising Baptists to admit them to the Lord's table.

        Mr. Hibbard says that Methodists can consistently invite the Baptists to commune with them, but that the Baptists can never consistently reciprocate the courtesy.

        No genuine Baptist wishes to commune with pedobaptists. Let the pedobaptists get right, and all will be well.


                         "Wide as the world is thy command,
                         Vast as eternity thy love;
                         Firm as a rock thy truth shall stand,
                         When rolling years shall cease to move."


Page 121

WHAT BAPTISTS BELIEVE AND PRACTICE.

BY

REV. R. H. BOYD, D. D., LL. D.


Page 122

        

Illustration

REV. R. H. BOYD, D. D., LL. D.


Page 123

CHURCH COVENANT.

        HAVING BEEN LED, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge and holiness; to give it a place in our affections, prayers and services above every organization of human origin; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, towards its expenses, for the support of a faithful and evangelical ministry among us, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. In case of difference of opinion in the church, we will strive to avoid a contentious spirit, and if we cannot unanimously agree, we will cheerfully recognize the right of the majority


Page 124

to govern. We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to study diligently the word of God; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintance; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be kind and just to those in our employ, and faithful in the service we promise others; endeavoring in the purity of heart and good will towards all men to exemplify and commend our holy faith.

        We further engage to watch over, to pray for, to exhort and stir up each other unto every good word and work; to guard each other's reputation, not needlessly exposing the infirmities of others; to participate in each other's joys, and with tender sympathy bear one another's burdens and sorrows; to cultivate Christian courtesy; to be slow to give or take offence, but always ready for reconciliation, being mindful of the rules of the Saviour in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, to secure it without delay; and through life, amid evil report and good report, to seek to live to the glory of God, who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. When we remove from this place, we engage as soon as possible to unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's word.

ARTICLES OF FAITH.

        The Articles of Faith which should be adopted by Baptist churches at the time of organization:


Page 125

I.--THE SCRIPTURES.

        We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the centre of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried.

II.--THE TRUE GOD.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

III.--THE FALL OF MAN.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint


Page 126

but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defence or excuse.

IV.--THE WAY OF SALVATION.

        We believe that the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yea without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven, and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour.

V.--JUSTIFICATION.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him in justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood; by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God: that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and


Page 127

secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.

VI.--THE FREENESS OF SALVATION.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, but his own determined depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.

VII.--REGENERATION.

        We believe that the Scriptures teach that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.

VIII.--REPENTANCE AND FAITH.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of


Page 128

our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our prophet, priest, and king, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour.

IX.--GOD'S PURPOSE OF GRACE.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.

X.--SANCTIFICATION.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness;


Page 129

that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence, and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means--especially the word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.

XI.--PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that such only are real believers as endure to the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

XII.--THE LAW AND GOSPEL.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that the law, of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; that it is holy, just and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin; to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.

XIII.--A GOSPEL CHURCH.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized


Page 130

believers associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by his laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by his word; that its only scriptural officers are bishops or pastors, and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

XIV.--BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show, forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation; and to the Lord's Supper, in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.

XV.--THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that the first Day of the week is the Lord's Day, or Christian Sabbath; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations, by the devout observance of all the means, of grace, both private and public;


Page 131

and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.

XVI.--CIVIL GOVERNMENT.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interest and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.

XVII.--RIGHTEOUS AND WICKED.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.

XVIII.--THE WORLD TO COME.

        We believe the Scriptures teach that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day, Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave for final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the


Page 132

wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgement will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.


Page 133

CHRISTIAN BAPTISM.

J. T. BROWN, A. M., S. T. B.

        IT MAY be asked, Why do the Baptists, in their periodicals, conventional meetings and denominational books, keep the subject of Christian baptism so continually and forcefully before their own persuasion and the world ?

        The answer is, first, because it is necessary to teach the youths of our own great denomination, the fundamental doctrines of our denomination; and secondly, believing we are right, it is our duty not to desist until we have converted our pedobaptist brethren from the errors of their way.

        It is just as reasonable to ask why do the teachers of our land continue to teach the fundamental principles of arithmetic to the children who apply to them for a knowledge of the science and the art of numbers.

        There is a vital principle of life beneath the contention for the real "Christian Baptism,"--the principle of absolute obedience. Upon this principle hangs life eternal.

        The clear teaching of Jesus is: "Do this and thou shalt live: how can we escape if we neglect


Page 134

so great salvation." The principle of obedience holds good, whether the command is issued under the law or under grace.

        The chief difficulty of a question under debate rests in defining the meaning of the term containing the main idea controverted. The word which answers this description in the subject is "baptism." If we can reliably decide what is the authoritative and historical meaning of the word "baptize," we have virtually settled the controversy. A word is the sign of an idea. Frequently the idea essential to an argument is contained in the meaning of a single word. The subject of Christian baptism is such an one.

        The meaning of this word, baptize, once scholarly and historically defined, the debate is at an end. Some other reason or excuse must be found for the palpable and wilful ignoring of the evident and established meaning of the word.

        Baptists believe the Word of God is the only and sufficient guide for the world in matters of faith and practice. This belief is founded upon the presumption that the Bible is divinely inspired; that the God of Creation is also the author of the library of sixty-six books, called the Bible, and that while he used men as his instruments in the production of these books, without the destruction or suspension of their personalities, yet his omniscience and wisdom were used in the truth presented, and this omniscience and divine wisdom extended to the doctrine put forth and even


Page 135

the words selected to express these divine and ultra-human ideas. A careful study of the doctrine of God's providence has left us the conclusion that the Greek language seems to have been created by this specially gifted and endowed people for the purpose of preparing a most flexible and perfect vehicle for the carrying of the "good news and glad tidings" called the Gospel.

        When the Holy Spirit began the use of this language to convey the blessed truths of the Gospel, the supposition is fair and reasonable that he knew the import of each word in this language and the fitness of each one to convey certain ideas in His mind. Jesus Christ being divine, the very God, and John being sent to baptize, most likely knew the word appropriate to express the essential elements of baptism. The uniform and undeviating word is baptize.

        Ecclesiastical history seems to have providentially kept the word intact in the Bible record, for as all the world now knows, the word baptize is not translated in our English version of the Bible, but is simply transferred to the English with the final "o" of the Greek changed to the "e" of the English to give it an English form. Thus the meaning of this word is not to be found by consulting the English, but the Greek lexicons.

        Consulting them, the uniform and unexceptional meaning is found to be, "to dip, to immerse, to immerse in water." There is not a single scholar in Christendom whose reputation as such is worth


Page 136

repeating, who does not affirm the truth of our statement.

        The distinguished pedobaptist scholars seem to have held a convention for the express purpose of affirming the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in this matter and endorsing the Baptist position.

        In 1889, the writer had the privilege of receiving the introduction of a native Greek, who was studying theology in the famous Union Theological Seminary in the city of New York, and was bold enough to ask him the primary conception of the Word "baptize" in his language. Promptly he replied that the word "baptizo" in his language had no other conception than to dip, or immerse in liquid, and that other phases closely allied to this were expressed by other positive words; and that true to this idea the entire Greek Church had never considered baptism anything but immersion.

        Endorsing and corroborating this latter day witness we have the testimony of such eminent leaders of Pedobaptism as Prof. Thayer, of Harvard University; Moses Stuart, Wetstein Calvin, Luther, Campbell, and a host of others too numerous to mention.

        The place where baptism was performed and the plain declaration that it was performed by John in Enon, near to Salim, because there was much water there, carry upon their face such conviction of truth that may have always been


Page 137

renouncing the human substitutes for the baptism contended for by the Baptists. Who has ever in the history of his life read or heard of anyone, baptized as the Baptists demand, renounce his baptism and ask to be sprinkled or poured as the result of Bible investigation and conscientious conviction? Show us such an one and we will show you a leaf in the forest upon which the wind has never blown, as Dr. Stokes would say. Without effort to prove, we will simply state that the unbroken practice of the New Testament Church for 250 years was uniformly that of dipping or immersion, and that when the first innovation occurred in the case of Novatian, it was done over a written protest by his opponent, who claimed, Novatian "came not canonically to his orders, because it was not lawful for any one that had been baptized in his bed in sickness to be admitted to any order of the clergy."

        What is the design of Christian Baptism? The answer to this question will help us to determine the nature of the thing. As a rite it must have some religious significance, or we must accuse Christ of accepting, endorsing, and commanding a meaningless ordinance. This beautiful and simple ordinance was intended to teach, pictorially, the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior and the believer's relation thereto. As such, only the immersion of the candidate in water can do this: everything else falls; short of the great end for which the rite was evidently intended.


Page 138

        Sprinkling, pouring and other human devices fall far and utterly short of the ability to do this.

        Baptism is a public inaugural act, by which the candidate openly declares his allegiance to his new-found King and Master, and at the same time a sign of his severance of his relation with his former Master. This he can and must do in the way the King himself had it done to him; the way he did it and the way he ordered it done. If he refuses, then he is found recreant in the first public duty imposed upon him by his king. What does a king think of a subject who comes to him personally professing the greatest love and loyalty, but upon being ordered to perform his first public act of allegiance, refuses to do it? Who are the subjects of baptism? The answer to this question separates the Baptists from all the rest of the Christian world. The New Testament teaches that only intelligent and penitent believers are the subjects of baptism. The Bible contains God's remedy for sin--the plan of salvation. This Gospel is addressed as a proposition to the intelligent, sentient creatures of earth. If God has any positive plan of salvation for infants, as such, he has not revealed it to us in the Bible.

        The plan of salvation is an intelligent proposition of grace which Christ submits to man upon the strength of evident ability to reason, decide and regret. This is the general proposition; the special one with reference to baptism is that the Great Commission commands the church to preach


Page 139

and then baptize those who believe. Infants can't believe, and nobody being simple enough to preach to them, I never could see why anyone should claim reasonableness and be guilty of baptizing them. This was the condition of John's baptism, for the inspired record says: "Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him, confessing their sins." Every instance of so-called household baptism has a phrase magnifying the idea of personal, conscious faith in the person baptized. The air of the sacred Scripture is charged with this truth; this impression is spontaneous; the common sense of mankind rises up in rebellion against the idea of reading infant baptism into the Scriptures. It simply is not there by express command; it is not there by example; it is not there by necessary inference. The Romish Church claims the right to change ordinances; hence they decreed that sprinkling should be as valid as baptism. The pedobaptist churches have simply accepted this perversion of Christ's doctrine from Rome, the fountain and source of the world's spiritual errors. Baptists cannot and will not, claiming that all the laws necessary for the administration of his kingdom, Christ has made himself. Besides, the dangers of the kingdom are evident, since it admits unregenerate persons in Christ's kingdom as full members, thereby breaking a fundamental law which he taught to old man Nicodemus at the opening of his public


Page 140

ministry, viz., that except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

        The baptism of infants is a serious innovation in the things of God. It is said that the great Henry Ward Beecher used to say openly when sprinkling babies: "I practice infant sprinkling because I think it is a good thing, and not because the New Testament commands it."

        Herein he and the whole pedobaptist world differ from the Baptists. They believe in substituting their opinions for the plain Word of God. The Baptists believe in teaching the believers to observe all things whatsoever He has commanded us, and then stop. There is an idea prevalent among some Baptists who claim to be "liberal" that any one is qualified to perform the ordinance of baptism if he only holds membership and communion in some evangelical church. We hold the view most consistent with reason and denominational custom. We do hold that persons coming to regular Baptist churches who have been baptized by denominations that do not hold the same strict and close view about baptism as we, ought to be baptized. Why? Not because we consider the administrator, perhaps, essential to the baptismal act, but because we consider a proper administrator, one who has been baptized by one who believes in the form and spirit of the Bible baptism, necessary to preserve the soundness of the atmosphere around the act, to prevent the creeping in the church of Christ of those little


Page 141

inconsistencies that, like "the little foxes," gnaw and destroy the beauty, health and fruitfulness of the vine. We rebaptize the candidate on the same principle that we reordain the man who baptized him when he, as a Gospel minister, seeks a place in our pulpit--not because we doubt his essential knowledge of the Bible doctrine of salvation, but to find out if his knowledge and belief as a whole correspond to the doctrines of grace as the Baptists see them--to preserve that unity of faith and practice commanded by the Holy Spirit. If it is in the interest of truth to re-examine it and re-ordain the pedobaptist preacher who becomes a Baptist, we cannot see why it is hard or inconsistent to rebaptize his pedobaptist candidate. If we condemn the workman how can we endorse his work? We must either make the tree good and the fruit good, or else make the tree evil and the fruit evil. Thus we believe that the Baptists are impregnable in their positions respecting the doctrines, in spite of the tendency of some of our brethren to fly off into what the worldly minded scholarship calls "liberalism."

        Baptists are not one whit behind in that deep and broad scholarship that crowns the brow of genius, and because of this fact are more firmly rooted in the essential correctness and general consistency of our position. We are more careful to be scriptural than "liberal."

        There is not much doubt that these questions will continue to be agitated and discussed until they are


Page 142

settled right, for "nothing is ever settled until it is settled right."

        The drift of the matter, "the beginning of the end," is seen in the increasing readiness with which all denominations now baptize by immersion.

        Time was when it was an insult for a candidate to request a pedobaptist minister to immerse him, but now these same ministers in Baptist strongholds ask the candidates how they wish to be baptized--by immersion or sprinkling, etc. This is the result of the faithful and aggressive contending of Baptists for "one Lord, one faith and one baptism." May the Spirit of the Lord breathe upon the slain that they may stand up a mighty army, battling for the truth as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ, and as it lies mysteriously though powerfully concealed and revealed in the beautiful emblem of Christian Baptism, sacred enough for Christ to accept, sublime enough to claim the Spirit's presence and endorsement, dignified enough to cause the Father's voice to break the silence of eternity in his ratification, and righteous enough to extort from Christ our Master the last argument that can be made for rite--a necessity for righteousness.


Page 143

DOCTRINE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.

E. M. BRAWLEY, D. D.

CHAPTER I.

INSTITUTION AND PERPETUITY.

        THE RITE which we usually call the Lord's Supper was instituted by our Saviour on the night before his death, and he intended it to be observed by his churches until the end of time. "The Lord's Supper is that outward rite in which the assembled church eats bread broken and drinks wine poured forth by its appointed representative, in token of its constant dependence on the once crucified, now risen Saviour, as a source of its spiritual life; or, in other words, in token of that abiding communion of Christ's death and resurrection through which the life begun in regeneration is sustained and perfected. (Strong: Systematic Theology, pp. 538, 539). Notice in this definition the following propositions:

  • 1. The Supper is an established ordinance.
  • 2. It is to be observed by the assembled church.
  • 3. The elements used are bread and wine.
  • 4. It is commemorative of Christ's death.

Page 144

        Four of the sacred writers describe the institution of the Supper, namely, Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; and Paul 1 Cor. 11:23-26). From these accounts we learn that at the close of the last paschal supper which Jesus observed with the Twelve, he istituted this tender and impressive memorial. It was to be observed after his death, for only after his death could it be commemorative; and its observance was to continue until his second coming. Unlike baptism, which is to be administered once only to the believer, the Supper is to be taken at regular intervals in token of our constant dependence on Jesus, once crucified but now risen and exalted, who is the source of our spiritual life.

        Luke 22:19. "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." 1 Cor. 11:23-26. "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."


Page 145

        Acts 2:42, 46. "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. * * * And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart."

        Acts 20:7. "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them."

        The Lord's Supper is to be observed by the assembled church, for both the ordinances were committed to the entire church to be observed and guarded.

        Matt. 28:19, 20. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing 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."

        Luke 24:33. "And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them."

        Acts 1:15. "And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about a hundred and twenty)"

        1 Cor. 15:6. "After that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once."


Page 146

        These passages show that it was not to the eleven apostles alone that Christ committed the ordinances, it being remembered that the great commission (Matt. 28:19, 20) was not given on Olivet at the time of the ascension, when only the eleven were present, but on a mountain in Galilee at the great meeting which Jesus had appointed (Matt. 26:32; 28:7-10), when more than five hundred brethren were gathered, not counting the women who were probably also present and more numerous. For this reason, then, that the ordinances belong to the church and not to individuals, any number of pious people may assemble for prayer, praise, preaching and the promotion of education and missions, or for any other good cause, as at an association or a convention, but they cannot authorize the celebration of the Lord's Supper, since they do not constitute a church. Notice Paul's statement to the church at Corinth (I Cor. 11:2): "Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you." Since, therefore, Baptism and the Lord's Supper are strictly church ordinances, the latter to be observed only by assembled church, and neither to be administered at the discretion of the individual minister, it follows that the practice of some churches and Pastors in sending the bread and wine to absent sick members, and the administration of bread and wine by a minister on his own volition to a sick person when about to die, are both without the authority


Page 147

of Christ. Strong (Systematic Theology, page 505): "Baptism and the Lord's Supper, therefore, are not to be administered at the discretion of the individual minister. He is simply the organ of the church; and pocket baptismal and communion services are without warrant. (See Curtis, Progress of Baptist Principles, 299; Robinson, Harmony of Gospels, note S, 170.)

        The elements of the Supper were bread and wine, the former being unleavened, and the latter fermented. But we are not now required to use unleavened bread and fermented wine. Mere bread, whether leavened or unleavend, and wine, fermented or unfermented, are the things needed. Hence it is proper for us to use unfermented wine, and it is better to do so. Broadus (Commentary on Matthew, page 528): "It (the bread) was unleavened, of course, as required by the law at the passover; but our Lord makes no reference to this, and it is not wise to insist on using only unleavened bread in the Lord's Supper." Hovey (Systematic Theology, page 334) : "The bread was doubtless unleavened; yet this peculiarity is nowhere referred to by the sacred writers, or by Christ himself; and hence is not to be looked upon as significant." Strong (Systematic Theology, page 539): "Although the wine which Jesus poured out was doubtless the ordinary fermented juice of the grape, there is nothing in the symbolism of the ordinance which forbids the use of unfermented juice of the grape,--obedience to


Page 148

the command, 'This do in remembrance of me,' requires only that we shall use the 'fruit of the vine.' "

        At the institution of the Supper only the faithful eleven were present. Judas was not, as he had left the room toward the close of the paschal meal, BEFORE THE INSTITUTION OF THE SUPPER, and had gone to the chief priests for the purpose of betraying Jesus. It seems strange to us that Jesus did not invite Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna (Luke 8:1-3) and other faithful disciples to the Supper; but he did not do so, and doubtless had good reasons for his decision not to have them present.

         As to the freqency of the celebration of the Supper, it may be remarked that we have no uniform Scripture precedent. A sound discretion in this matter is to be exercised, The early church sometimes administered the ordinance daily, and then again weekly. Perhaps for us this would be too frequent. And yet, once in three months--the custom of some churches--is too seldom. Probably once a month may be frequent enough.


Page 149

CHAPTER II.

NAME.

        VARIOUS names are in common use to designate this ordinance. It is sometimes spoken of as the Lord's Supper, the Eucharist, and the Communion. The scriptural designation of the ordinance is THE BREAKING OF BREAD (Acts 2:42; 20:7), but this is seldom, almost never used. The expression-- Lord's Supper--is used once only (1 Cor. 11:20), but while we usually interpret these words as meaning this rite, yet it is not certain that they do refer to it, since some expositors think that they mean the love feast, which was celebrated in connection with it. However, the weight of present testimony is in favor of the current view; and if this be correct, then once, and once only, in the New Testament is the ordinance named. The Lord's Supper is an expressive phrase, since the rite was instituted by our Lord.

        The name "Eucharist" is sometimes used, but it does not occur in Scripture. It is derived from the Greek word eucharisteo, which means to give thanks, and refers to the thanksgiving which preceded the distribution of the bread and wine.


Page 150

If the thanksgiving were the principal thing in the celebration of the ordinance, then Eucharist would be a good name for it, but the essential thing is REMEMBERING JESUS, and some name should be used which will keep that fact steadily before us. Baptists very seldom use the word "Eucharist."

        Perhaps the name in most common use among us is "Communion," and it is the one with the least authority behind it. Burrows (Popular Objections to Baptist Principles, p. 29) says: "The Greek word koinonia, which we sometimes translate communion, occurs in just twenty different places in the New Testament; in twelve, translated 'fellowship'; in one, 'distribution'; in one, 'contribution'; in four, 'communion'; and in only two of all, both in the same passage, is it used with any reference to the Lord's Supper. The word Communion, in its proper signification in New Testament usage, is equivalent to agreement, fellowship."

        It thus keeps entirely out of view the great design of the ordinance, and presents as its chief idea the fellowship of believers. Now it is perfectly right to remember that believers are in Christian fellowship, but the Lord's Supper was not instituted for that end. And it is probable that this wrong use of the word "communion" is largely responsible for the very general ignorance which prevails concerning the design of the ordinance, and for the notion that all Christians


Page 151

should sit together at the Lord's Table. Broadus: "The Lord's Supper is often called the 'Communion' through a misunderstanding of 1 Cor. 10:16, where the word communion really means 'participation,' as in Rev. Ver. margin. This wrong name for the ordinance has often proved misleading." Substituting "participation," as the margin suggests, 1. Cor. 10:16 in the Revised Version would read: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?" Remembering now that twice only is the Greek word koinonia, which we ordinarily translate "communion," used in reference to the Lord's Supper, and that the two instances in the Greek verse just quoted, and that "participation" in both cases is the more correct translation, we conclude that the name "Communion" utterly lacks the support of Scripture, and is hence not a proper designation of the Sacred ordinance, and therefore should not be used at all. Baptists have nothing to lose and everything to gain by standing close to the Scriptures, and avoiding everything that savors of tradition. In this way they secured their great victories in the past, and in this same way they will make still greater triumphs in the future.


Page 152

CHAPTER III.

CURRENT VIEWS.

        THE DIFFERENCES existing among Christians as to their doctrines and ordinances are clearly set forth in their printed documents, and there is no possibility of mistaking any one of them for another; but it is not so in current belief and practice. The duties and amenities of social life, whereby people belonging to denominations of widely different views are daily thrown together in pleasant intercourse, cause a general mixing of religious views. It is not a strange thing to find a Methodist who associates with a Presbyterian holding Calvinistic views of the atonement, and the Presbyterian endorsing Arminian views of the same doctrine. And so, many Baptists who associate constantly with Methodists are practically Arminian on the great doctrines of grace. Hence it is not remarkable to find people who ought to have well-defined views as to the Lord's Supper, standing at all points between Transubstantiation of the Catholic Church and the simple Zwinglian doctrine as held by Baptists. True, this mixture of truth with error is due largely to a lack of thorough Bible teaching,


Page 153

but it is also attributable to the influence of personal friendships. And it must also be admitted that any system of religious truth is most radical and pronounced where there is least opposition to it. Hence Presbyterianism is clearest and strongest in Scotland, and Catholicism shows its true features in strictly Roman Catholic countries.

        We need not, therefore, wonder when we find Baptists tainted with sacramental notions concerning the Lord's Supper. It could hardly be otherwise. And for this reason there is great need of stating and restating the Bible teaching on this rite.

        There are four prominent views held and taught by Christians at the present time concerning the Lord's Supper.

        The first is the doctrine of Transubstantiation, held by the Catholic Church. It is "that the bread and wine are changed by priestly consecration into the very body and blood of Christ; that this consecration is a new offering of Christ's sacrifice; and that by a physical partaking of the elements, the communicant receives saving grace from God." This doctrine is, of course, unscriptural.

        1. It virtually denies the completeness of Christ's past sacrifice. Heb. 7:27: "Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself."


Page 154

        Heb. 9:26, 28. "For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. * * So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many."

        Hebrews 10:10: "By the which we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Christ thus offered himself a sacrifice once; and the act is final and will never be repeated.

        2. It makes the Lord's Supper a sacrament, which is a mysterious something, supposed to be the vehicle of grace. The English word "sacrament" comes from the Latin sacramentum, which means primarily an oath, and hence anything sacred. As used by Catholics, "A sacrament is something presented to the senses, which has the power, by divine institution, not only of signifying, but also sufficiently conveying grace." Episcopalians teach that "Sacraments instituted by Christ are not only the badges and tokens of the profession of Christian men, but rather they be certain sure witnesses and effectual signs of grace." Presbyterians, Methodists and pedobaptists generally, all teach substantially the same thing, namely, that the Lord's Supper is a sacrament. Baptists repudiate the notion that the Supper is a sacrament, for they find no authority in Scripture for regarding it as the vehicle of grace. And hence we should never speak of the Lord's Supper


Page 155

and baptism as sacraments, but only as symbols that powerfully teach truth. The Supper is a simple memorial devoid of all mystical and magical power.

        3. This error of Transubstantiation rests upon a false interpretation of God's Word. When Jesus said (Matt. 26:26), "Take, eat; this is my body," he 'spoke in a plain, common sense way, expecting the eleven to understand him, and they doubtless did. They knew that the bread was not the real body of Jesus, but represented it. So in verse 28, same chapter, Jesus said, "This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed." No one in his good senses could understand Jesus as meaning that the wine was literal blood, and was already shed, for he had not yet suffered death. This bread represents my body, and this wine represents my blood, is the Saviour's meaning, just as when Jesus said (John 15:5), "I am the vine," he meant to show that he was the source of spiritual life.

        The second current view is that known as Consubstantiation. This is the Lutheran view. It is "that the communicant, in partaking of the consecrated elements, eats the veritable body and drinks the veritable blood of Christ in and with the bread and wine, although the elements themselves do not cease to be material." Luther invented the name and doctrine in his reaction against Roman Catholicism and Transubstantiation. The following quotation is from his catechism:


Page 156

"Question: What is now the sacrament of the altar? Answer: It is the true body and blood of the Lord Christ, in and under the bread and wine which we Christians are through Christ's word commanded to eat and to drink * * * * * but how the body is the bread, we know not."

        This view, like the preceding, is also unscriptural. It is based upon a literal interpretation of language that Christ evidently meant to be figurative, and it leads to the grossest absurdity. Moreover, it contradicts the doctrine of justification only by faith, and converts a mere symbol into means of salvation.

        The third view is the new one held by Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists. It is, "that to the partaking of the bread is attached by divine appointment a special spiritual blessing, which is received by all who take the bread in faith, and which cannot be had without taking it." Thus it will be seen that these denominations also make the Lord's Supper a sacrament."

        The fourth view, the one held generally by Baptists, is that "the bread is simply appointed as a symbol or memento, which we take in remembrance of the Saviour's body, and that the natural effect of such a memento or symbol in vividly reminding of the Saviour, and kindling grateful affection toward him, is blessed to the devout participant. But the blessing thus received is not supposed to be essentially different in kind from other


Page 157

spiritual blessings, or to be associated by mere divine appointment with this particular means of grace." With this view of the ordinance, it is nonsense, rather a contradiction for Baptists to use the word sacrament.

        That there should be widely divergent views among Christians at the present time concerning the ordinance of the Lord's Supper, is but natural; for early in the history of the Christian church the ordinances were corrupted. The true Scriptural baptism, which was immersion only, was set aside by many Christians, and pouring and sprinkling substituted; and from being a mere symbol of the burial and resurrection of Jesus, Baptism was regarded as the instrument of regeneration.

        The Lord's Supper was similarly perverted and made a sacrament--the vehicle of bringing a certain spiritual blessing which could be obtained in no other way. The Reformers of the sixteenth century, while making wonderful strides as to the great doctrines of grace, particularly justification by faith, were hopelessly at sea as to the ordinances. Beckett (The Reformation in England, p. 136) says: "The great topic of doctrinal controversy among Protestants was concerning the Sacraments. Luther in most points the boldest, the most spiritual of the Reformers, on the subject of the Sacraments was most hesitant. In the water of baptism he believed an actual change to be wrought so that it was no longer water, but had the power of the blood of Christ. In the


Page 158

bread and wine of the Lord's Supper he taught under the name of 'consubstantiation,' a corporeal real presence of the body and blood of Christ, thus giving, as it has been observed, 'a fresh lease of life' to the old dogma of transubstantiation. To the clear-headed and intrepid Zwingli more than to any other of the Reformers is the Protestant Church indebted for a doctrine at once more rational and spiritual." Had the Reformers been as clear-sighted and as bold concerning the ordinances as they were concerning the great doctrines, baptism would have been restored to its rightful, scriptural place, and Protestant Christendom would not now be divided over the ordinance.


Page 159

CHAPTER IV.

IMPORT AND DESIGN.

        MANY things in Christ's life are supremely important, as his incarnation, baptism, temptation, preaching transfiguration; but the Lord's Supper has nothing whatever to do with any of them. It was given to be mainly a memorial of Christ's death, but it likewise shows the union of the believer with Christ in his constant dependence upon Christ for the sustenance of his spiritual life, and the future blessedness of believers in the presence of Christ at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

         1. It is a memorial of Christ. Hence it is not the real body and blood of Christ, nor yet a sacrament to bring grace.

        1 Cor. 11:24-26. "And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner, also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For


Page 160

as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye, do shew the Lord's death till he come." The emblems, though mere bread and wine, while not at all vehicles of grace, are nevertheless powerful reminders of what Jesus did to deliver us from the bondage and penalty of sin, just as the paschal supper of the Jews was a constant memorial to them of their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. And we know from experience how powerful are even the simplest memorials of departed loved ones to move our hearts and bring afresh to memory their words and deeds. It is important that we shall always keep in mind and teach the simple memorial character of the Lord's Supper, since so many Baptists have unconsciously received from their pedobaptist associates the notion that some spiritual efficacy attends the administration of this rite.

        2. It shows the union of the believer with Christ and his constant dependence upon Christ for the sustenance of his spiritual life. In regeneration the individual becomes united to Christ, and then receives spiritual life. But he is but a branch and Christ the vine; and "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." (John 15:4.) So also John 6:53: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." Christ is not here speaking of the Lord's Supper, but of spiritual union with himself


Page 161

symbolized by the Lord's Supper, and his language is, of course, figurative, as is shown by verse 63, same chapter: "The flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

        3. It also shows the future blessedness of believers in the presence of Christ at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Some theologians have doubted that the Lord's Supper symbolizes the future blessedness of believers, but that is the clear meaning of Matt. 26:29. "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth with this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." It will be remembered that we are to keep this ordinance only until Jesus returns, when his kingdom will be fully established. Then will come true the words of Rev. 19:7-9. "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." The language is highly figurative. The wife represents the redeemed out of every nation, often called the church universal, and the Lamb is Jesus Christ, now triumphant. "The elect church, the heavenly Bride, soon after the destruction of the harlot, is transfigured at the Lord's coming, and


Page 162

joins with him in his triumph over the beast. Perfect union with Him personally, and participation in His holiness, joy, glory, and kingdom are included in this symbol "marriage."


Page 163

CHAPTER V.

QUALIFICATIONS OF PARTICIPANTS.

        THOSE WHO desire to partake of the Lord's Supper must possess certain qualifications. About this there is and can be no discussion, for no denomination would admit to the Lord's Table men regardless of their character. Some qualifications are absolutely required, and it is worthy of remark that all Protestant Christians agree substantially in stating what they are.

        1. The first and fundamental qualification of the participant is the possession of saving faith. He must be a regenerate believer. If he is not, how can he "remember Jesus?" Or why should he be one of a company who take the symbols of bread and wine which show that these believers draw spiritual life from Christ, if he has no spiritual life? Or how can such a man "discern the Lord's body?" Clearly regeneration is the first qualification.

        2. The second qualification is baptism and church membership. Baptism is the door into the church, and it cannot otherwise be entered. Evangelical Christians generally insist on this second qualification, even though they charge us with


Page 164

what is called "close communion." The Lord's Supper being a church ordinance, it can be celebrated rightly only by a church; and since baptism is the act that admits the believer into a church, both baptism and church membership are qualifications. All Baptists insist on this, and that pedobaptists do likewise is proven by the following statements made by themselves:

        Dr. Schaff, the eminent Presbyterian, says (Church History, Volume 1, page 392): "The Communion was a regular, and, in fact, the most important and solemn part of the Sunday worship * * * in which none but full members of the Church could engage."

        Bishop Coxe, Episcopal, (Sermon on Christian Unity), says: "The Baptists hold that we have never been baptized, and they must exclude us from their communion table, if we were disposed to go there. Are we offended? No; we call it principle, and we respect it. To say that we have never become members of Christ by baptism is severe, but it is conscientious adherence to duty, as they regard it. I should be the bigot, and not they, if I should ask them to violate their discipline in this or any other particular."

        Dr. Hibbard, a very prominent Methodist scholar (Christian Baptism, part 2, page 174) says: "In one principle Baptist and pedobaptist churches agree. They both agree in rejecting from communion at the table of the Lord, and in denying the rights of church fellowship to all who have not


Page 165

been baptized. * * * The charge of close communion is no more applicable to the Baptists than to us (Pedobaptists), insomuch as the question of church fellowship with them is determined by as liberal principles as it is with any other Protestant churches--so far, I mean, as the present subject is concerned: i. e., it is determined by valid baptism."

        The Congregationalist, in an editorial, July 9, 1879, says: "Congregationalists have uniformly, until here and there an exception has arisen of late years, required baptism and church membership as the prerequisite of a seat at the table of the Lord. It is a part of the false 'liberality' which now prevails in certain quarters to welcome everybody who thinks he loves Christ to commune in his body and blood. Such a course is the first step in breaking down that distinction between the church and the world which the Savior emphasized; and it seemed to us it is an unwise and mistaken act, for which no Scripture warrant exists."

         These extracts from leading pedobaptist scholars might be multiplied. As to demanding baptism and church membership as qualifications for the Lord's Supper, there is remarkable agreement among Christians of all names. So that the thing called "Close Communion" as applied to Baptists, is a myth. But there is a difference, and that is concerning what is valid baptism. Holding as we do that immersion only is baptism, we cannot accept as baptized any pedobaptist who


Page 166

has been sprinkled. But they can accept us to their table because they recognize our baptism as valid. The entire difficulty now existing as to the admission of our pedobaptist friends to the Lord's Table is simply a question as to what is valid baptism. Standing squarely on God's word, we can accept nothing as baptism but immersion, for that, and that only, is the baptismal act.

        3. The third qualification for the Supper is an orderly and consistent Christian life. He whose life is morally wrong is, of course, unfit to partake of the Supper. Anyone guilty of creating divisions in the church, or teaching, heresy, or is guilty of covetousness, which is idolatry, is likewise unfit, for all such people deserve to be excluded from the church. But there are some Baptist people who have joined pedobaptist churches; are they qualified to commune? No; for by joining these organizations they endorse infant sprinkling and other errors, and hence are not walking orderly. It is not enough for a man to believe the truth; HE MUST LIVE IT, and an orderly and consistent Christian life demands that every force at his command shall be exerted against error.

        The following extract from Hiscox's New Directory for Baptist Churches, pp. 452, 453, is a fitting close to this chapter:

        "Baptists give the following reasons in justification of their course in the following cases:

        "a. They do not invite Pedobaptists to their Communion because they do not regard such persons


Page 167

as baptized; they have been only sprinkled. The fact that they think themselves baptized does not make it so. If they desire to commune, let them be baptized according to Christ's command.

        "b. They do not accept invitations from Pedobaptists to commune with them, for the same reason; they do not consider them baptized Christians. Therefore, their churches are irregular churches according to the New Testament standard, both in the misuse of the ordinances and in the admission of infant church membership. Therefore to commune with them would be disorderly walking, and would encourage them in this disorderly walking, by upholding a perversion of the ordinances.

        "c. They do not invite the immersed members of Pedobaptist churches to their Communion, because though such persons may be truly converted and properly baptized, they are walking disorderly as disciples, by remaining in churches which hold and practice serious errors as to the ordinances, as such persons themselves judge. These churches use sprinkling for baptism, and administer the ordinance to infants; both of which are contrary to Scripture, as such persons themselves allow. And yet, by remaining in these churches they give their countenance and support to uphold and perpetuate what they confess to be errors, and thus help to impose on others what they will not accept for themselves. This is not an orderly and consistent course for Christians to pursue."


Page 168

CHAPTER VI.

SOME POPULAR ERRORS.

        IN THE VERY beginning some wrong practices were indulged in at the celebration of the Lord's Supper, so all along the centuries errors more or less serious have clung to it. Some of these have already been mentioned. It is now proposed to mention a few current ones of a very popular character which are believed by even some good Baptists.

        1. The first one is this, that when a given quantity of wine has been brought into a church for the celebration of the Supper, every drop of it must be used. This error is the result of a wrong interpretation of Matt. 26:27, "Drink ye all of it." The word "all" is supposed to refer to the wine; but his is manifestly wrong, since the Greek Testament plainly shows that "all" is in the nominative case, and is in apposition with the subject of the verb. And so the meaning is, "All ye, drink of it." Hence we are not commanded to drink all the wine. Only so much of it must be used as is needed for a proper observance of the ordinance. This error is met in a great many places. The


Page 169

writer has seen many instances when, after the conclusion of the Supper, the deacons and a few leading brethren and sisters would assemble for the purpose of drinking all the remaining wine, and when, as a result, a condition of affairs was produced that closely resembled the serious errors that Paul sought to correct in the church at Corinth.

        2. Another popular error is that concerning "drinking damnation." Had this error been the truth, it would now be an exceedingly serious matter, for many people would be in torment. 1 Cor. 11:29 reads, "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." Many people believe that if they partake of the Lord's Supper when they are too unworthy to do so, they will be damned. First of all, this error grows out of the word "damnation," which is an old English word whose current meaning is condemnation, or better still, judgment. So it does not mean being consigned to hell. Great stress has been placed on the word "unworthily," which is an adverb and refers to the MANNER of partaking of the Supper, and it has been read as if it were an adjective and referred to the character of the participants. Now the truth is that the best Greek text omits the word. The Revised Version translates the verse: "For he that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern (discriminate) not the body." The Bible


Page 170

Union translation is: "For he that eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he discern not the body." It will be noticed that not only is the word "unworthily" omitted, but also the word "Lord's." This is in conformity with all the leading textual critics. Paul meant in this passage to say that as the Corinthian Church had practically failed to recognize the symbolism of the elements, bread and wine, and had treated the ordinance as a common meal, they were guilty of an unbecoming act.

        3. The third error noticed is that we shall eat the Lord's Supper in Heaven. It is founded on a false interpretation of Matt. 26:29: "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." The best interpretation of this figurative passage is that given by Broadus: "Jesus has gradually succeeded in making it plain to them that he will not establish a temporal kingdom, such as the Jews expected the Messiah to found. He is going to die; will soon leave them. But there will be a future kingdom of God, not a temporal, but a spiritual kingdom, in which all things will be new. In that NEW kingdom, founded on the New Covenant, he will meet them again, and drink with them a new kind of wine. This can hardly be understood otherwise than as a figure."

        When it is remembered that the Lord's Supper is given that we might always keep Jesus in remembrance


Page 171

after his return and we shall be "forever with the Lord," such a memorial will not be needed. And Paul expressly tells us that we are to keep the ordinance only "till he come." So there will not be any celebration of the Lord's Supper in heaven, for the necessity of it will have passed away when we shall permanently dwell with Jesus.


Page 173

NATIONAL BAPTIST PASTOR'S GUIDE.

BY
R. H. BOYD, D. D. LL. D.


Page 175

THE CHURCH.

        A CHURCH is a congregation of believers in Christ immersed on a credible profession of faith by a properly qualified administrator and voluntarily associated under special covenant for the maintenance of the worship, the truth, the ordinances and the discipline of the Gospel.

FORM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT.

        There are three distinct forms of church governments, the underlying principles of which are different. All of the forms of the various church governments may be grouped under three heads, as follows:

        1. Episcopal. Under this form the clergy is recognized as the church, and all ecclesiastical authority is vested in them. The clergy, or as it is sometimes called, the priesthood, has three ranks or orders within itself, viz.: Bishops, Priests and Deacons. These officials exercise supreme authority over the local congregation, the congregation having no authority of its own, save such as is permitted by the clergy. To this form of church government may be assigned the following: the


Page 176

Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, Church of England, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, Colored Methodist Episcopal Church and Roman Catholic Church. The last named church has one characteristic radically different from the others that are grouped under this form. The Pope belongs to the first order, (the Bishop's) but a supreme Bishop having authority over the other bishops. In this respect it differs from others of the episcopal form, to which form, however, it belongs, as the clergy are the ruling power and the local congregations void of all authority.

        2. Presbyterian. According to the Presbyterian idea the church consists of bodies constituted out of delegates sent from the various local congregations. Under this form no authority inheres in the local congregation, but is vested in these delegated bodies. These bodies are of different ranks. The lowest rank is the Session, composed of delegates from local congregations; the next is the Presbytery composed of delegates from the various Sessions; the next is the Synod composed of delegates from the Presbyteries; and the highest and supreme authority is the General Assembly composed of delegates from the various Presbyteries.

        3. Congregational. In this form of church government all ecclesiastical power whatsoever resides in the local church assembled as a congregation;


Page 177

and from their decision there is no appeal and no power of reversal. The ecclesiastical authority cannot be alienated from the local church, nor can it delegate its authority to any one. Governed under this form we find the Congregational Churches, the Christian Churches, the Freewill Baptists, the Primitive Baptists and the Regular Baptists.

THE DIVINE FORM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT.

        From records of the doings of the churches in New Testament times, we find that the apostolic and therefore divinely inspired method was to allow the local church to govern itself unfettered by external authority. The records show that each local congregation exercised the following sovereign rights:

  • 1. Received, disciplined and excluded members (see Matt. 18:17; 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 2 Cor. 2:4, 5).
  • 2. Elected its own officers (see Acts 1:15-26; Acts 6:1-6; 1 Cor. 16:3; Acts 14:23).

        In all the cases cited it will be observed that the choosing was done by the local church. If inspired Apostles refrained from exercising ecclesiastical authority over the churches, the divine method would certainly appear to be to let each church regulate itself. Such is a basic principle with the Missionary Baptists, taking their model from the churches of the New Testament period.


Page 178

DUTY OF A CHURCH TO ITS MEMBERS.

        Each member is a soul entrusted by Christ to the church to protect and develop and prepare for heaven. The church, therefore, is bound to furnish the best possible public instruction in the Gospel, to exercise a tender, loving, patient watch-care over the member, and to use the utmost diligence and effort for his enlightenment, sanctification and usefulness, with the view to present him at last "perfect in Christ Jesus." When a member falls into immorality or departs from the faith of the church, or otherwise violates or neglects church covenanted obligations, it is the right as well as the duty of the church to place him under discipline and deal with him according to the laws Christ has given in the New Testament. Upon sufficient proof of guilt, it may admonish him, may for a reasonable time suspend him from church privileges, or may withdraw the hand of fellowship from him.

DUTY OF MEMBERS TO THE CHURCH.

        Every believer in Christ is under obligation, if Providence permits, to unite with a church, since it is an institution ordained by Him; the neglect of it dishonors Him. As each church has, ordinarily, its own special field, it is entitled to the membership of all believers who live within its natural boundaries, unless either providential disability prevents a public profession or special reasons exist for membership elsewhere.


Page 179

Every member is required to fulfil, to the extent of his ability the covenant obligations assumed on becoming a member. The church, therefore, is entitled to the duties thus promised, together with his good will, his sympathy, his influence and such time and means as Providence may enable him to use for its advancement.

THE CHURCH AND ITS EXTERNAL RELATIONS.

  • 1. "Each church is complete in itself. Its decisions are subject to revisal by no ecclesiastical tribunal on earth."--H.
  • 2. "Each church, though independent of all ecclesiastical authority, is accountable to Christ as its sovereign head."--H.
  • 3. "Churches are interdependent; each church, therefore, has relation and duties to other churches."
  • 4. "The community of churches, so far as the character and acts of an individual church affect their common nature and welfare, have certain rights and duties in relation to each other."--H.
  • 5. The external relations of churches are maintained through associations, councils and benevolent societies.

ASSOCIATIONS.

        "An association is composed of pastors and delegates from churches occupying a particular district. Its purpose is twofold--the promotion of the welfare of the churches connected with it,


Page 180

and the spread of the Gospel, especially through the region occupied by it."--H. The association is a purely voluntary body; no church is compelled to join it. It has P o ecclesiastical authority.

COUNCILS.

        A council is composed of delegates from several churches, usually the pastor and one or two laymen from each called, ordinarily, by some church to give advice on a subject proposed.

        There are five different kinds of councils.

  • 1. A council for the recognition of a church.
  • 2. A council for the ordination of a minister.
  • 3. A council for the trial of a minister.
  • 4. A council for the settlement of difficulties in a church known as a mutual council.
  • 5. A council for the settlement of difficulties in a church known as an ex parte council.

        All councils are advisory, and none have ecclesiastical authority.

OFFICERS OF A CHURCH.

        The officers of a church, as provided for in the Scriptures, are pastors and deacons. They are elected by the church for such a period of time as the church may see fit. But it is the almost universal rule among Baptist churches to call pastors for an indefinite period of time.

POWERS AND DUTIES OF A PASTOR.

        1. To direct and supervise the public religious instruction of the congregation in the pulpit and all other departments of the church work.


Page 181

        2. To administer the ordinances within the church; to preside in all meetings of the church, whether for devotion or business.

        3. To watch over the personal experience and life of the members, exhorting, admonishing, reproving, rebuking, as those entrusted with the care of souls and expecting to give account.

DUTIES OF DEACONS.

        The duty of the deacons is to administer the temporal affairs of the church, such as the relief of the poor, the support of public worship, the care of the church property, and the provision for the due administration of the ordinances.

        It is to be borne in mind, however, that the pastor is the shepherd, the guide, the overseer of the entire church, and should always be recognized as the leader by the deacons, who are only his assistants, as well as the rest of the church.

HOW TO ORGANIZE A BAPTIST CHURCH.

        1. The parties desiring to form themselves into a church should assemble at an appointed time and place.

        2. If there are those in the number who have letters of dismission from other churches they are the ones to take the initiative.

        3. After the purpose of the meeting has been stated and divine guidance is sought in prayer, a moderator and clerk of the meeting should be


Page 182

elected. These are temporary officers. Only those having letters of dismission from regular Baptist churches should be allowed to vote.

        4. When the temporary organization is effected, those having letters should deposit them with the clerk. These letters should then be read. If any of the letters are found to be deficient or unsatisfactory the parties presenting them should take no further part in the preliminary organization.

        5. Those whose letters are correct may now proceed by vote to declare themselves organized into a Baptist church, adopting the covenant and the articles of faith.

        6. A faithful record of the proceedings should be kept.

        7. At as early a date thereafter as practicable, letters should be sent to the neighboring Baptist churches requesting them to send their pastors and delegates to examine into their organization, their faith and practice, and extend to them (the church) the right hand of fellowship. 8. If this recognizing council finds the organization correct in essential principles and deems the existence of the church helpful to the cause of Christ, it is customary to hold public exercises in token of their recognition of another member to the family of churches.

ANOTHER METHOD.

        Sometimes the parties desiring to organize a church, call a council first to discuss the advisability


Page 183

and necessity for such a step. If the vote of the council is favorable to the idea, the organization is proceeded with. If the vote of the council is unfavorable, the parties may or may not proceed, acting in the matter according to their own judgment. Though a church should, whenever possible, secure the co-operation and recognition of other churches through means of a council, yet recognition from a council is not indispensable. A church properly organized and correctly practicing the Baptist faith is a Baptist church regardless of the action or non-action of a council.

ANOTHER METHOD.

        Where there are no regularly dismissed members from other Baptist churches and the parties desiring to form the church are simply candidates for baptism, the services of an authorized administrator should be secured, who, after hearing their professions of faith, will immerse them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The parties thus immersed will proceed to organize themselves after the manner laid down above for members dismissed by letters, with the exception that no letters are required of them. This mode of organization is quite common upon mission fields, especially foreign fields.

AND YET ANOTHER METHOD.

        To some eminent authorities, the method just proposed for newly converted persons desiring to


Page 184

form a church, is objectionable. They hold that baptism is a door of entrance into a church and where there is no church behind the ordinance there is no baptism. Their plan is to have a candidate for baptism to communicate the fact and testimony of their conversion to some regular Baptist church. Upon this testimony, either transmitted in person or by letter, the candidates for membership are accepted, and authority is given by the church to an ordained preacher to administer the ordinances of baptism. When this is done the parties are members of the church communicated with, and may then receive letters of dismission and proceed at once to organize according to the plan laid down for them in the first method prescribed.

RECEPTION OF MEMBERS.

        A person desiring to become a member of a Baptist church customarily consults the pastor or some judicious member. He then appears in person before the church and makes application for membership, the church taking such action upon the application as it may see fit. There are three modes of admitting an individual to membership in a Baptist church: 1. By baptism. 2. By letter. 3. By experience of grace.

        The third mode only becomes necessary when the party desiring admission has at some previous time been baptized into a Baptist church, but


Page 185

for some cause is totally out of touch with the church and cannot therefore secure a letter of dismission.

        Very frequently churches lose names from their roll books when the members are long absent: and when applied to for a letter are ignorant of the parties applying. Occasionally, also, a church disbands, or changes its name, and all trace of it is lost. Again, clerks are sometimes negligent and fail to carry out the instructions of the church as to letters. In all such and similar cases, where parties cannot get letters of dismission, they should be received upon their relating a satisfactory Christian experience. Rebaptism in such a case is not necessary.

        When a person has been admitted to membership in a church, it is customary for the pastor, in the name of the church, to extend the right hand of fellowship as an expression of the welcome and fellowship of the church. In some localities the hand of fellowship is extended by the members present at the service when the act is performed. The hand of fellowship is usually given at the communion service, just prior to the administering of the ordinance.

DISMISSION OF MEMBERS.

        There are three ways in which a member may have his relations with his church severed:

        1. By Letter. A member of a Baptist church desiring to become connected with another church


Page 186

of the same faith and order is granted a letter of dismission, and when the letter of dismission is accepted by the church to which it is sent, the party thereupon ceases to be a member of the church granting the letter.

        2. By Exclusion. When a church withdraws the hand of fellowship from anyone he is no longer a member of that church.

        3. By Death. The death of a member severs his connection with his church on earth.

        Note 1. Any member has the right at any time to ask for and receive a certificate of his membership and standing. In case an improper use is made of it, the member subjects himself to discipline.

        Note 2. There is no such thing as the withdrawal of a member from his church by his own actions purely. It must be with the consent of the church if it is to be declared valid.

        4. No member may be properly excluded from a church without due process of trial and a reasonable opportunity to be heard in his own defense.

HOW TO ELECT AND ORDAIN DEACONS.

        1. The church should take the matter under prayerful consideration and invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit to the end that wise selections be made.

        2. Due public notice should be given that at a certain time the church would proceed to the election of deacons.


Page 187

        3. At a meeting called for the purpose, nominations may be made from the floor, if desirable, or a committee may be appointed to retire and bring in the names of parties to be voted on.

        4. The parties receiving the majority of the votes cast are declared elected deacons. However, no man should serve unless he had received three-fourths or at least two-thirds of the votes cast.

        5. Some churches place the elected deacons on trial for a period of time, and, if found acceptable, ordination follows. In such cases a vote to confirm is necessary.

        6. This polity is severely condemned by eminent authority who hold it a wise practice to thoroughly test a man along his whole Christian career and only elect him when fully satisfied of his worthiness. One vote is regarded as sufficient and final. [We incline to this view of the matter.--THE AUTHOR.]

        7. When duly elected it is customary to have public ordination services, when a sermon on the office and duties of the deaconship is preached and the hands of the clergy are laid on the heads of the candidates during the ordination prayer.

LICENSED PREACHERS.

        It has become customary for Baptist churches to grant a license or certificate of approval to young men whom they believe called to the Gospel ministry, but for the time are not ready to be


Page 188

ordained, or who are pursuing a special theological course, or who are waiting the call of some church or special field of labor. This does not impart any special ministerial rights to him, but is simply a certificate of approval to express the convictions of the church that he is called to the work. These licenses may be revoked at any time by a vote of the church granting them.

HOW LICENSES ARE GRANTED.

        When the pastor and members of the church have reason to believe one of their number is called to the work of the ministry, they should appoint a time in which to hear him, and if they approve of his gifts, the matter should be brought before the church at a regular meeting and voted upon and recorded in the books of the church for reference, and a written or printed certificate, signed by the pastor and clerk, given to him. (See certificate.)

PREACHER'S LICENSE.

         "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature."

        THIS CERTIFIES, That Brother . . . . . . . . . is a member of the . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church of . . . . . . . . . , State of . . . . . . . . . Being in good and regular standing, he is held in the highest esteem by us. Believing he has been called of God to the work of the Gospel Ministry, we do hereby give him our entire and cordial approbation in the


Page 189

improvement of his gifts by preaching the Gospel as Providence may afford him opportunity. We pray the Great Head of the Church will endow him with all needful grace and crown his labors with abundant success.

        Done by order of the Church, this . . . . . . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . 19. . . . . . . . . Pastor . . . . . . . . . Church Clerk.

HOW TO ORDAIN A PREACHER.

  • 1. The church of which he is a member calls a council to examine into his fitness for the Gospel ministry.
  • 2. While the laity may with propriety be represented on this council, yet when a vote on the question of recommending the candidate for ordination is taken, a majority of the ordained ministers present as members of the council should be in favor of it before the ordination is proceeded with.
  • 3. The candidate should first be examined (a)upon the question of his conversion; (b) call to the ministry; (c) mental equipment; (d) knowledge of the tenets of the Baptist church; (e) polity of the Baptist church; (f) systematic theology; (g) church history.
  • 4. If a majority of the ordained ministers favor the ordination of the candidate, a motion should be passed recommending the same to the church.

Page 190

  • 5. If the church accepts the findings of the council, it passes a motion authorizing the ordination of the candidate.
  • 6. A public meeting is set apart for the ordination ceremony.
  • 7. At this ceremony the following program is rendered.
    • (a) Devotional Exercises.
    • (b) Ordination sermon by a minister chosen by the council.
    • (c) Ordination prayer, during which hands are placed on the head of the candidate.
    • (d) Presentation of the Bible by a minister selected for the occasion.
    • (e) After appropriate remarks, the hand of fellowship is extended by fellow ministers and a written or printed certificate of ordination containing the names of the ordained ministers composing the council, and signed officially by the chairman and secretary, shall be given to him. (See certificate.)

CERTIFICATE OF ORDINATION.

        "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature."

        THIS CERTIFIES, That Brother . . . . . . . . . was publicly ordained and set apart for the work of the Gospel Ministry with prayer, and the laying on of hands by the ministers, according to the, usages of the Baptist Churches, on . . . . . . 19 . .

        


Page 191

That he was called to ordination by the . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church, of which he was a member, and which, after full and sufficient opportunity to judge of his gifts, were agreed in the opinion that he was called of God to the work of the ministry. That Baptist Churches were represented in the Council by . . . . . . . . . ministers, and laymen; and that after a full, fair and deliberate examination, being satisfied on all points, the Council did unanimously recommend his ordination. That our Brother . . . . . . . . . did accordingly receive the full, entire and hearty approbation of the Council in his officially entering upon the work of the Ministry, administering the ordinances of the Gospel, and performing all those duties, and enjoying all those privileges to which a Minister of Christ is called.

        And may the blessings of the Great Head of the Church attend him, crown his labors with abundant success, and make him an honored instrument of good to Zion and the world . . . . . . . . . Moderator. . . . . . . . . . Clerk. . . . . . . . . .

HOW TO CALL A PASTOR.

        1. A church that is without a pastor and is desirous of securing one, has need of much prayer. A pastor can do so much to upbuild a church or disrupt its membership, that great care should be exercised, and reliance upon mere human judgment and foresight should be discarded. The


Page 192

church should approach the subject in an attitude of prayer, believing in the power of the Holy Ghost to guide aright.

        2. A pulpit committee should be appointed to have charge of filling the pulpit during the interval between pastors. They should be men above reproach.

        3. This committee should put itself in touch with local ministers in whom it has confidence and find out the ministers of good repute that might be secured by the church. Valuable aid is often given by neighboring pastors.

        4. If suitable information is not obtainable from local sources, a correspondence might be commenced with men abroad that are able to give the desired information.

        5. When satisfied as to the record and ability of a minister, a letter should be addressed to him expressing the desire of the church to hear him preach and know him better, with a view to further consideration.

        6. If his exposition of the Word of God is found to be edifying, and his record in previous fields is what is desirable, it is then proper to extend a call, fixing the salary in the letter of call, and designating the time for an answer, which time should be as ample as the interests of the church will permit.

        7. Care should be taken to not lay too much stress upon the sermon or sermons preached by


Page 193

the prospective candidate. His record is a far more vital question.

        8. The church should not sit supinely down and wait for the pastor to come. Invariably irresponsible adventurers swarm around such a church. When a church seeks a pastor intelligently, it is more than likely to get the best possible material. When it yields itself up to be sought by the worthy and unworthy alike, the former are likely to be too modest to enter into such an undignified scramble, and the field is left to the unworthy.

        9. During the period of being pastorless care should be taken to prevent the coming of men who are self-seeking and not mindful of the welfare of the church. A regular supply, if possible, would be the best for the church.

        10. While it is the undoubted right of the majority to rule, yet in the matter of calling a pastor, the wishes of a respectable minority should be respected. The call should, if possible, be unanimous. Unless three-fourths of the members favor the party called, it is very doubtful as to whether he should accept. Good seldom results from a pastorate opposed at the beginning by a large minority of members.

PROGRAMME FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A PASTOR.

  • 1. Doxology.
  • 2. Invocation.
  • 3. Singing.
  • 4. Scripture reading.

Page 194

  • 5. Prayer.
  • 6. Singing.
  • 7. Installation sermon.
  • 8. Introduction of pastor.
  • 9. Singing.
  • 10. Charge to the church.
  • 11. Charge to pastor.
  • 12. Address of welcome from fellow ministers.
  • 13. The hand of fellowship by associate ministers.
  • 14. Benediction.

PROGRAMME FOR THE DEDICATION OF A HOUSE OF WORSHIP.

  • 1. Music.
  • 2. Invocation.
  • 3. Music.
  • 4. Scripture reading, 1 Kings, or some other appropriate Scripture.
  • 5. Prayer.
  • 6. Dedicatory sermon.
  • 7. Dedicatory prayer.
  • 8. Reading of the rules of the church concerning its house of worship.
  • 9. Dedicatory offering.
  • 10. Benediction.

        N. B. As many associate pastors as possible should be invited to participate in the exercises outlined above.


Page 195

PASTORAL VISITING.

        One of the questions surely to rise, giving perplexity to the pastor's mind, will be the question of visiting the members of his flock. Viewed from one standpoint, visiting the members has done great good, while viewed from another, it must be admitted that it has wrought great havoc. It has bred jealousies, given rise to innumerable scandals, and has been the sole cause of the failure of many a pastor. On the other hand, it has been the means of endearing many pastors to their people and thus extending the scope of their influence for good. The subject is one calling for much prayer and study. We desire to offer a few suggestions upon the important subject:

        1. Social visits, or visits purely for purposes of pleasure, are of very doubtful propriety. We admit frankly that a preacher, being a man, has a liking for the pure pleasures of good society, but we deem it best to sacrifice this form of enjoyment for the sake of the cause of Christ. If he chooses the more entertaining members to visit socially he displeases and loses his influence with the remainder.

        2. Religious visits--visits to give Christian consolation where such is needed, are highly in place.

        3. Visits to homes overtaken with a moral calamity are liable to do more harm than good. The action of the preacher in going is liable to be


Page 196

construed as condoning evil. Whenever sent for in such cases, the preacher might go and so demean himself in conversation as to exalt God and his religion in the matter, refusing, gently but firmly, to be in any manner compromised.

        4. Visiting the Sick. When disease has laid his heavy hand on an individual and brought him low, a visit from his pastor, the servant of God, has a cheering and consoling effect. The sick should never be neglected by the pastor. At such a time their hearts are likely to be humble through suffering, and, therefore, richly prepared for God's word.

FOR THE BEDSIDE OF THE SICK.

        In entering the sick room the pastor should guard against undue levity on the one hand and a too funereal sobriety on the other. A healthy cheerfulness will seem to brighten the afflicted, where levity would offend, or a look of deep melancholy depress. The pastor should turn to the Bible for his words of consolation as they would have a far greater effect than any of his own words, however eloquently spoken. We give herewith selections of Scripture suited to the needs of the various cases with which he is likely to be called upon to deal:

        God the Author of Afflictions. 1 Sam. 2:3-9; Job 5:6-19; Job 14:1; Ps. 102:1; Ps. 39:1.

        Sympathy for the Afflicted. Job 6:1-17; Prov. 17:17; Ps. 35:11-28; Rom. 11:14-21; Heb. 13:3.


Page 197

The Afflicted Upheld. Job. 5:19; 11-16; Ps. 18:2; 22:24; 23:45; 27:14; 30:5; 42:11; 46:12; 55.22; 71:20; 73:26; 145:14; Isa. 25:4; 49:13; 54:7; Jer. 16:19; Lam. 3:31-34; Micah 7:9; Nahum 1:7; Habakkuk 3:17-19.

        Sanctifying Purpose of Afflictions. Deut. 8:2, 3; Job 36:8-10; Ps. 78:34; 94:12; 119:67-75; Prov. 3:11; Zech. 13:9; Hosea 5:15; Rom. 5:3; Heb. 12:6-11; 1 Peter 1:7.

        Job's Afflictions. Job. 1:1-22; 2:3-13; 3:24, 25; 6:1-4; 7:3-15; 10:1-21; 42:1-12.

        Hezekiah's Afflictions. 2 Chron. 29:1-29; 30: 1-26: 2 Kings 20:1-6.

        Manasseh's Afflictions. 2 Chron. 33:12-16; 2 Kings 21:10-14.

        The Scriptures read at the bedside of the sick might well be read from the Bible of that home. When members realize that the pastor will be sure to call for a Bible, instead of using his own, they will be more likely to have Bibles in their homes. Again, when you read out of the home Bible you can mark the passages read, if so desired, and leave them easily to be found by the afflicted. After reading, prayer appropriate to the Scripture read and the condition of the patient, may be offered.

ADMINISTERING THE ORDINANCES.

        The ordinances of the church as arranged by Christ are impressive, having a value in themselves


Page 198

when solemnly and becomingly administered.

THE LORD'S SUPPER

        1. This should be preceded by a sermon calculated to arouse the deeper feelings of the people and prepare them for the solemn occasion. This sermon may be delivered at the same service that the ordinance is administered or at the preceding service.

        2. The bread should be broken and prayed over. It should then be handed around by the deacons while the church sits in solemn silence When all are served, the deacons return and are served by the pastor, who is also then served by one of them. At this juncture all might bow their heads in a moment of silent prayer.

        3. When the bread has been partaken of by all, the wine is poured out and prayed over and served as in case of the bread.

        4. In large churches where time is an important element it is customary to have the wine and bread served at the same time.

        5. It is customary in some churches to have the pastor and deacons to partake first, after the example of the Saviour.

        6. When all have been served, it is customary to take a collection for the sick and needy members.

        7. After the collection has been taken a hymn is sung, the parting hand is usually given and the


Page 199

communicants are dismissed without the customary benediction, the minister saying in accordance with the Scriptures: "And when they had sung a hymn, they went out."

BAPTIZING.

        1. A sermon on the ordinances of baptism would be appropriate prior to the administering of the ordinances.

        2. The preacher descends into the water, followed by the candidates for baptism, the women preceding the men. The audience will sing a baptismal hymn while the candidates are descending into the water. When there are only a few persons to be baptized the preacher may lead them into the water and return with them after they have received the rites of baptism. Sometimes the candidates are led into the water by the deacons.

        3. The preacher should stand with the side of his face to the audience, while the candidate faces it fully.

        4. The preacher's left hand should clasp the hands of the candidate folded across his (the candidate's) bosom, while his right hand is uplifted.

        5. He should then say the following or some similar formula: In obedience to his divine command and upon your profession of faith in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I indeed baptize you, my brother (or sister), in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.


Page 200

        6. At the conclusion of the formula, the uplifted hand descends to the back of the candidate's neck, and he is then submerged and quickly raised. The preacher passes his hand over the candidate's face if the water is causing a struggle for breath.

FUNERALS.

        Funerals are among the most delicate subjects with which a pastor has to deal. A text should be chosen fitting as nearly as possible the career of the deceased. The text should be faithfully and fully expounded. Comments upon specific deeds of evil committed by the deceased are of doubtful propriety. Let the chastisement come through the Word of God. Nor, on the other hand, when the career is exemplary should exorbitant eulogy be indulged in.

BUSINESS MEETINGS.

  • 1. Every church should hold business meetings at regular designated intervals.
  • 2. The meetings should be opened with devotional exercises much as other religious services.
  • 3. The pastor is the proper presiding officer of the meeting. This is a function which is not open to question.
  • 4. In the absence of the pastor any brother, by vote of the church, may occupy the chair. But no officer or brother of the church is the natural

Page 201

    successor of the pastor as presiding officer when he (the pastor) is absent.
  • 5. A proper order of business is as follows:
    • (a) Minutes of previous meeting.
    • (b) Unfinished business.
    • (c) Reports of committees (if any).
    • (d) Report of the deacons' board.
    • (e) New business.
    • (f) Adjournment.

DEACONS' MEETINGS.

        1. These meetings are to be participated in by the pastor and deacons, the pastor presiding in these meetings as in all others. No deacons' meeting is complete without the presence of the pastor.

        2. A deacons' board has no authority in itself. It can, simply do the bidding of the church and make such recommendations as it deem best to the church, which the church may either accept or reject at its pleasure.

PRAYER MEETINGS.

        One night in each week should be set apart for a prayer service led either by the pastor or some one designated by him. The singing should be congregational and spirited. A short talk by the pastor would be appropriate at either the opening or closing of the meeting.

COVENANT MEETINGS.

        At stated intervals an opportunity should be given to the members to give expression to their


Page 202

religious experiences. It quickens the pulse, stimulates religious activity, develops boldness in the truth, imparts a fervent glow to the whole church life. Members should be encouraged to tell in their own way the story of the Saviour's dealing with them. Short talks interspersed with the singing of brief familiar hymns render the meeting highly enjoyable.

THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.

        The pastor should recognize the Sunday school as one of the greatest agencies for good in his field. His attendance thereupon should be prompt and regular. While the immediate management of the school may be safely entrusted to other hands he is the ex officio, the head, and should keep a watchful eye over everything.

BAPTIST YOUNG PEOPLE'S UNIONS.

        The young people naturally have a hesitancy about taking hold of the work in which the ruling spirits are so much older than they. The differerence which they feel they owe to age steps in and destroys their boldness. Thus comes the necessity of getting them apart to themselves where their development will be free from embarrassment. Thus we have the Unions. The pastor is ex officio head of this also.

SOCIAL GATHERINGS.

        While a pastor may not do social visiting without danger, yet there is room for social enjoyment


Page 203

for both him and his people. Social reunions should be had from time to time, at which all may without propriety yield themselves to cheerful social conversation and such other forms of enjoyment as are legitimate for Christians.

DEACONS' VISITING.

        The deacons should aid the pastor in visiting and keep in touch with the membership of the church. Visiting due to the moral atmosphere of many places is highly injurious to a pastor. Let the deacons shield the pastor in this regard by taking from him the necessity of much visiting in such cases.

LETTER OF DISMISSION.

NASHVILLE . . . . . . . . . . 19. . . .

"The . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church of . . . . . . . . . to any regular Baptist Church:

Dear Brethren:

        THIS IS TO CERTIFY, That . . . . . . . . . is a member in regular standing with us, and at . . . . . . . . . own request is hereby granted the privilege of transferring membership to your body.

        If . . . . . . . . . is received to your membership, and the enclosed letter of acnowledgment is returned to us within . . . . . . . . . months, . . . . . . . . . membership with us will cease.

        Done by order of the Church.

. . . . . . . . . Pastor . . . . . . . . . . Clerk



Page 204

LETTER OF NOTIFICATION.

NASHVILLE . . . . . . . . . . , 19 . . . .

To the . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church:

        THIS IS TO CERTIFY, That . . . . . . . . . was received by letter from you to the membership of the . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church, this the . . . . . . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . 19 . . . .

. . . . . . . . . Pastor. . . . . . . . . . Clerk.


LETTER OF COMMENDATION.

NASHVILLE . . . . . . . . . . ,19 . . . .

        This certifies that . . . . . . . . . is a member in good standing in the . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church in . . . . . . . . . and is hereby commended to the confidence and fellowship of sister churches, wherever Providence may direct.

. . . . . . . . . Pastor . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church.



        [NOTE.--This form of letter is for members during a temporary absence from home, and given either by the pastor or by the church.]


CALL FOR AN ORDAINING COUNCIL.

NASHVILLE . . . . . . . . . . , 19 . . . .

The . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church of . . . . . . . . . To the . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church of . . . . . . . . .

DEAR BRETHREN:

        You are requested to send your pastor and two brethren to sit in council with us, July . . . . . at . . . . . o'clock, to consider the propriety of


Page 205

publicly setting apart to the work of the Gospel ministry, our brother, . . . . . . . . . .

        The Council will meet in . . . . . . . . . The following churches are invited: . . . . . . . . .

        By order of the Church,

. . . . . . . . . Clerk.


CALL FOR A RECOGNIZING COUNCIL.

NASHVILLE, . . . . . . . . . , 19. . . .

To the . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church in . . . . . . . . .

DEAR BRETHREN:

        In behalf of a company of brethren and sisters in Christ, you are requested to send your pastor and two delegates to meet in council at . . . . . . . . . July . . . . . , at . . . o'clock, to consider the propriety of recognizing said company of brethren and sisters as a regular and independent church of Christ.

        The following churches are invited: . . . . . . . . .

Affectionately yours,

. . . . . . . . . ,
Committee or Clerk.


CALL FOR AN ADVISORY COUNCIL.

NASHVILLE, . . . . . . . . . ,19 . . . .

The . . . . . . . . . Baptist Church,
To the Baptist Church of . . . . . . . . .

DEAR BRETHREN:

        You are requested to send your pastor and two delegates, to sit in council July . . . . .19, . . . . . , at


Page 206

. . . o'clock to advise with us concerning certain unhappy difficulties existing among us which are disturbing our peace, and threatening the most serious consequences to the welfare of the church.

         The council will be held at . . . . . . . . . The following churches are invited: . . . . . . . . .

        By order of the Church,

. . . . . . . . . Clerk.


MARRIAGE SERVICES.

I.

        The parties standing before the minister, the man at the woman's right; after a short prayer, the minister shall say:

        The ordinance of marriage is an institution of God. God saw in the Garden of Eden that it was not good for man to be alone, so he gave him a helpmeet. As it is an appointment of God, it is to be entered into soberly and discreetly, as in his sight. In his holy word you will find the counsel which you will need in this mutual relationship. The vows are to be broken only by death itself. In token therefore of having chosen each other as partners for life, you may join your right hands.

        The man taking the woman's right hand, the minister shall say to the man:

        Do you, A., take B., whom you hold by the right hand, to be your lawful and wedded wife? Do


Page 207

you promise to love, to honor, to cherish, to protect; forsaking all others, in sickness as well as in health, in adversity as well as in prosperity; to cleave only to her so long as you both shall live?

        The man shall say, I do. Then the minister shall say unto the woman:

        Do you, B., take A., whom you hold by the right hand, to be your lawful and wedded husband? Do you promise to love, to honor, to cherish; forsaking all others, in sickness as well as in health, in adversity as well as prosperity; to cleave unto him so long as you both shall live?

        The woman shall say, I do. The minister shall say:

        And now by virtue of authority vested in me, by the laws of this State, and as a minister of Jesus Christ (for this is civil and religious service), I pronounce you husband and wife. An what God hath joined together let not man put asunder.

        The minister shall then pronounce this benediction:

        The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. AMEN.


Page 208

II.

        The parties standing before the minister, he shall say:

        Divine Revelation has declared marriage to be honorable in all. It is an institution of God, ordained in the time of man's innocency, before he had sinned against his Maker, and been yet banished from Paradise. It was given in wisdom and in kindness, to repress irregular affection, to support social order, and to provide that, through well-ordered families, truth and holiness might be transmitted from one age to another. Earlier, therefore, than all laws of merely human origin, it lies at the basis of all human legislation and civil government, and the peace and wellbeing of the nation and land.

        We learn from the history of our Saviour that he honored a marriage festival with his presence, and wrought there the beginning of his miracles. And by his Holy Spirit, speaking through his apostle, he has selected the union thus formed, as an apt emblem of the union, endeared and indissoluble, that binds together himself and his own ransomed Church.

        A relation that is thus consecrated should not be formed thoughtlessly and irreverently; but advisedly in the fear of God, and for the purposes for which he, its Divine Author, ordained and blessed matrimony.

        And now, as in his sight, and as you will answer in the day when all hearts shall be made


Page 209

manifest, I charge you to declare if there be any cause that should prevent your lawful union.

        From your silence I presume there is none. Will the parties now join their right hands?

        Then he shall say to the man:

        Do you, A. B., take C. D., whom you now hold by the hand as your true and lawful wife; and, God helping you, will you love, cherish, honor, and protect her, cleaving only and ever unto her, until God by death shal separate you?

        He shall answer, I do. Then to the woman:

        Do you, C. D., take A. B., whom you now hold by the hand, as your true and lawful husband; and, God helping you, will you love, cherish, honor, and obey him, cleaving only and ever unto until God by death shall separate you?

        She shall answer, I do.

        Where a ring is used the groom is here to place it on the bride's hand; the minister adds these words:

        The circle, the emblem of eternity; and gold the type of what is least tarnished and most enduring; it is to show how lasting and imperishable the faith now mutually pledged.

        As the union now formed is to be sundered only by death, it becomes you to consider the duties you solemnly assume. If these be remembered and faithfully discharged, they will add to the happiness of this life, lightening by dividing its inevitable sorrows, and heightening by doubling all its blessedness. But if these obligations be


Page 210

neglected and violated, you cannot escape the keenest misery, as, well as the darkest guilt.

        It is the duty of the husband to provide for the support of his wife, to shelter her from danger, and to cherish for her a manly and unalterable affection, it being the command of God's word that husbands love their wives, even as Christ loved the Church, and gave his own life for her.

        It is the duty of the wife to reverence and obey her husband, and to put on the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in God's sight, an ornament of great price, his word commanding that wives be subject unto their own husbands, even as the Church is subject unto Christ.

        It is the duty of both to delight each in the society of the other; to remember that in interest and in reputation as in affection, they are to be henceforth one and undivided; to preserve an inviolable fidelity, and to see to it that what God has joined thus together, man never puts asunder.

PRAYER.

        Our Father, who art in Heaven, who hast, in thy wise and tender care for mankind, ordained and blessed the institution of matrimony, we pray of thee, graciously to regard thy servant and handmaiden, who have thus solemnly pledged themselves to each other, and sworn unto thee, that, through thy good care and guidance, they may evermore remember and keep these their vows; be kept themselves in unbroken concord and sympathy all the days of their earthly life;


Page 211

and be at the last, with all those most near and most dear unto them, gathered an unbroken household to thy right hand on the day of judgment, And may all of us here assembled, be of that blessed company who shall be called to go in to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. And this we ask only in the name and through the merits of Him, thine own Son and our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

BENEDICTION.

        In pursuance of your solemn pledges thus given, and in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, I pronounce you Husband and Wife; and may the God before whom you have thus vowed, look upon you, to make you blessed and a blessing in all your earthly ways; and grant you, when the snares and trials of this life are ended, a glad and eternal reunion in heaven. Amen.

THE EPISCOPAL MARRIAGE SERVICE.

        At the day and time appointed for solemnization of matrimony, the persons to be married shall come into the body of the church, or shall be ready in some proper house, with their friends and neighbors; and there standing together, the man on the right hand and the woman on the left, the minister shall say:

        Dearly Beloved: We are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this


Page 212

company, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy matrimony, which is commended of St. Paul to be honorable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate, these two persons present come now to be joined. If any man can show just cause why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.

        And, also speaking unto the persons who are to be married, he shall say:

        I require and charge you both, as you will answer at the dreadful day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment why ye may not lawfully joined together in matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that if any persons are joined together otherwise than as God's word doth allow, their marriage is not lawful.

        If no impediment shall be alleged, the minister shall say to the man:

        M. Wilt thou have this woman, to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?


Page 213

        The man shall answer, I will. Then shall the minister say to the woman:

        N.: Wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony. Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, honor, love and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?

        The woman shall answer, I will. Then shall the minister say:

        Who giveth this Woman to be married to this Man?

        Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner. The minister, receiving the woman at her father's or friend's hands, shall cause the man with his right hand to take the woman by her right hand, and say after him as followeth:

        I, M., take thee, N., to my wedded wife, to have and to hold From this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight my troth.

        Then shall they loose their hands; and the woman with her right hand taking the man by his right hand, shall, likewise say after the minister:

        I, N, take thee, M., to my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better,


Page 214

for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give my troth.

        Then shall they again loose their hands; and the man shall give unto the woman a ring. And the minister taking the ring shall deliver it unto the man to put it upon the fourth finger of the woman's left hand. And the man holding the ring there, and taught by the minister, shall say:

        With this Ring I thee wed, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

        After the man has put the ring upon the fourth finger of the woman's left hand, the minister shall say:

        Let us pray.

        Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.

        O Eternal God, Creator and preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life; Send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom


Page 215

we bless in thy name; that, as Isaac and Rebecca lived faithfully together, so these persons may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made (whereof this Ring given and received is a token and pledge), and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

        Then shall the minister join their right hands together, and say:

        Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

        Then shall the minister speak unto the company:

        Forasmuch as M. and N. have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a Ring, and by joining hands; I pronounce that they are Man and Wife, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

        And the minister shall add this blessing:

        God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you, and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace; that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.


Page 216

THE EPISCOPAL BURIAL SERVICE.

        The minister, meeting the corpse at the entrance of the churchyard and going before it either into the church, or towards the grave, shall say, or sing:

        I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die. --John 11: 25, 26.

        I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.--Job 19:25, 26, 27.

        We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can take nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord.--1 Tim. 6:7; Job 1:21.

        After they are come into the church, shall be said or sung the following anthem, taken from the 39th and 90th Psalms:

        Lord, let me know my end, and the number of my days, that I may be certified how long I have to live.

        Behold, thou hast made my days as it were a span long, and my age is even as nothing in respect of thee; and verily every man living is altogether vanity.


Page 217

        For man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain; he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.

        And now, Lord, what is my hope? Truly my hope is even in thee.

        Deliver me from all mine offenses; and make me not a rebuke unto the foolish.

        When thou with rebukes dost chasten man for sin, thou makest his beauty to consume away, like as it were a moth fretting a garment: every man therefore is but vanity.

        Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with thine ears consider my calling; hold not thy peace at my tears:

        For I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

        O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength, before I go hence and be no more seen.

        Lord, thou hast been our refuge from one generation to another.

        Before the, mountains were brought forth, or ever the earth and the world were made, thou art God from everlasting, and world without end.

        Thou turnest man to destruction; again thou sayest, Come again, ye children of men.

        For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday; seeing that is passed as a watch in the night.

        As soon as thou scatterest them they are even as a sleep; and fade away suddenly like the grass.


Page 218

        In the morning it is green, and groweth up; but in the evening it is cut down, dried up, and withered.

        For we consume away in thy displeasure; and are afraid at thy wrathful indignation.

        Thou hast set our misdeeds before thee; and our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

        For when thou art angry all our days are gone; we bring our years to an end as it were a tale that is told.

        The days of our age are threescore years and ten; and though men be so strong that they come to fourscore years, yet is their strength then but labor and sorrow; so soon passeth it away, and we are gone.

        So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

        Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

        As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

        Then shall follow the lesson, taken out of the 15th chapter of the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians:

        1 Cor. 15:20-58.

        Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man


Page 219

in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterwards they that are Christ's, at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father when he shall have put down all rule and all authority, and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is Death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

        Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? and why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Jesus Christ our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

        But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool! that which thou sowest is not quickened,


Page 220

except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory.

        So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body, it is raised up a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit, that was not first which was spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man was of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall bear the image of the heavenly.


Page 221

        Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

        So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality; then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

        Then, while the earth shall be cast upon the body, some standing by, the minister shalt say:

        Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God, in his wise providence, to take out of this world the soul of our deceased brother (or sister, or friend), we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to


Page 222

dust; looking, for the general Resurrection in the last day, and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ; at whose second coming in glorious majesty to judge the world, the earth and the sea shall give up their dead; and the corruptible bodies of those who sleep in him shall be changed, and made like unto his own glorious body; according to the mighty working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.

        Then the minister shall say one or both of the following prayers, at his discretion:

        Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of those who depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity, we give thee hearty thanks for the good examples of all those thy servants, who, having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labors. And we beseech thee, that we, with all those who are departed in the true faith of thy holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

        O merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life; in whom whosoever believeth, shall live, though he die; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in him, shall not die eternally; who also hath taught us,


Page 223

by his holy Apostle, St. Paul, not to be sorry, as men without hope, for those who sleep in him; we humbly beseech thee, O Father, to raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness, that when we shall depart this life, we may rest in him, and that, at the general Resurrection in the last day we may be found acceptable in thy sight and receive that blessing which thy well-beloved Son shall then pronounce to all who love and fear thee, saying, Come, ye blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this, we beseech thee, O merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer. AMEN.

        The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. AMEN.


Page 225

THE NEGRO'S PLACE IN ANCIENT HISTORY AND IN AMERICAN LIFE AT THE PRESENT DAY.

BY
NEANDER N. CARTER.


Page 226

        

Illustration

NEANDER N. CARTER.


Page 227

THE NEGRO'S PLACE IN ANCIENT HISTORY AND IN AMERICAN LIFE AT THE PRESENT DAY.


        [This is the last public paper written by my son, Neander N. Carter. He was a member of the 10th Regiment United States Cavalry, and died at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, June 24, 1905.--THE AUTHOR.]


        I HAVE been asked to contribute an article for a book written by my father, "Once a Methodist; Now a Baptist. Why?" I shall endeavor to trace very briefly the Negro's place in ancient history and in American life at the present day. Were I assigned to a subject in differential calculus, I could not more forcibly feel my inability to do justice to the matter.

        Writer after writer has written on "Industrialism," the "Negro Problem," etc., but the question of the Negro's place in history has been sadly neglected. Very few persons appear to know anything about ancient Negro history, yet it is an established fact that the Ethiopian race is one of the most ancient on the globe, extending back to a period of four or five thousand years before the Birth of Christ.

        The Ethiopian descended from Ham, and settled chiefly in Africa. When Greece was in her infancy, and long before Rome was founded, the


Page 228

chief city of the Negroes was along the Nile River. Its private and public buildings, its markets and public squares, its colossal walls and stupendous gates, its gorgeous chariots and alert footmen, its inventive genius and rare scholarship made it "The Cradle of Civilization" and "The Mother of Art." The learning of this people spread along the Nile to the beautiful and venerable city of Thebes--the city, I am told, of a hundred gates and a monument to Negro civilization and genius.

        Greece went to school to the Egyptians, and Rome turned to Greece for law and the science of warfare. England dug down into Rome for centuries to learn to build and plant, and how to establish governments and maintain them. The flow of civilization has been from the Eastern Continent to the Western Continent. Thus, you see, we belong to a race of which any nation might be proud.

        In following up my argument relative to the Negro's place in ancient history, I shall quote a speech delivered by Rev. C. F. Checlyzli, B. Sc., M. A., to Toronto University. Rev. Mr. Checlyzli is a native of Abyssinia, East Africa, and is a minister of the National Coptic Church. He ranks with the foremost scholars of the age, having been educated at the famous Oxford University, England, where he received the degree of Master of Arts. The subject of the address was,


Page 229

"Can the Ethiopian Race be Educationally the Indo-European's Equal?"

MR. PRESIDENT, PROFESSORS AND STUDENTS OF TORONTO UNIVERSITY:

        "I come to endeavor to advance an argument that seems to be causing, much uncalled-for selfishness and agitation--not because of its importance, but on account of conditions and circumstances. In arguments of scholarly foundations we look not on existing conditions; nay, but rather try to discover the cause of the same. The law of causation must not be violated.

        "Nature in her regulated orders offers no pretext of imperfecting individual, conscious or unconscious, specie of creation, for in demonstrating various orders she, though consummating embryos, pretended no sympathy to give in the transmittance of punishment for violating her laws.

        "You will permit me to follow ethnology for a moment. In the aspiration of conscious germs to physical beings, the Creator has had some attributes of vital importance mysteriously transcending apprehensive impulses to them. These peculiar attributes demonstrated through aleozoic, paleozoic and neozoic matters actual consciousness aided to develop to physical perfection the selected germs. These germs physicologically represented each other from incipiency, producing no varying character.

        "We know not how many years of unnumbered operations nature had been laboring in the usages


Page 230

of the laws of magnetism, chemical affinity and gravitation to aid physical perfection, but we will confine ourselves to ethnological investigation, after asserting that there was a singular oneness of the complexion, black. All the evidences as revealed by astronomical and geological researches, have established the unquestionable yea, should it not have been for the prejudice partly universal, regarded of the color black. The variations of color are due to climatic effects; for by established laws the human family was to have been separated, and after countless years to have purchased foreign colors, according to their habitations, from the original one, black.

        "Some so-called ethnologists, naked of the mantle of historical and traditional sciences, misrepresent the African people, ignorant of the fact that it was this grand and dignified Continent where the human race originally came from. Others (pardon me in tracing the institutions of learning and asserting that they were called phantasm, prejudice and blasphemy) have been heralding their pitifully and destructively ignorant doctrine, that the 'Africans spring of the monkey species;' that 'they became black from Ham, who had a curse from his father, Noah.'

        "I do admit that some of us are Hamitically conglomerated; yea, Shemitically, also. But it is not a fact that it was this same land, Africa, figuratively speaking, literally Ethiopia, Nubia and Egypt, Noah's descendants journeyed from and


Page 231

located themselves in Western Asia? Instead of Ham to have obtained the 'curse' that drunken Noah pronounced--bear in mind, it was not to Ham, but to 'Canaan,' his son--I say, instead of the curse to have befallen him (if it was a 'curse' to have been accepted by one of justice), it befell the sons or descendants of Shem and some of Japheth. Friends and citizens, I maintain emphatically that Ham has had the color of his father, and that Shem and Japheth were freaks of nature.

        "Whence came the father of architecture, Nimrod, grandson of Ham--Ham who had returned and established himself among his father's descendants in Ethiopia, modern Abyssinia? Whence originated the mighty founder and discoverer, Mizpeh, who founded Egypt and from whom all Egyptians sprung, varying physiologically characteristic from the Temperate Zone's effect, after centuries from other Africans. From whence came the Chaldeans in resistance, whose alphabetical discovery the English plagiarized? Is it not from the devout manifestations of Jethro the Ethiopian priest and the Chaldeans from whom the Jews through Moses, son of Amran, the Egyptian black, who the Jews try falsely--ethnologically to include in Levi's house, obtained a religion from? Whose sublime classics are now towering above others due to its heart-reaching effect consumed in all the important universities of the world. Is it not the Ethiopian--Grecian Homer, whose grandfather and mother came from


Page 232

the modern Abyssinia--who some try to rob from us on account of distinctive selfishness: Is it not a fact that the metaphysician, Plato, obtained his first metaphysical idea from the Ethiopians, who then with massive institutions of learning and scholars of enthusiastic principles, demanded potentates and nobles from afar to come and accept the essentials of civilization? Who was Copernicus, the first scholarly astronomer, whose broad and intellectual mentis enabled him to scan over constellations of the seventh magnitude, exalt his spectroscopic observations on towering summits beyond the ninth magnitude of stars, and grasp forth the hidden truth, demonstrating the immeasurable spaces and stupendous planetary system's size? I ask who was this mighty champion of astronomy, who discovered the inferiority of Nomo's habitation and instilled higher notions to man astronomically setting forth the possibility of other existing creatures of intelligence habitating the planets? I ask were he not an Ethiopian, ethnologically? Who was the father of proverbial technicalities, yea, marched forth gloriously triumphant through the stupendous ethereals, apprehended the number of fiery orbits and returned after scholarly investigations with an indubitable memoranda, and laid down ecclesiastical and psycological arguments, difficult for atheistical critics to comprehend; was he not Solomon, son of Beersheba, the Ethiopian whom the Jews fakely claim? Who first conceived the idea


Page 233

of developing military stratagem, loftier in his morals and ambition than Napoleon Bonaparte? Who was he but Hannibal, the dignified, black general of Ethiopia, modern Abyssinia, who scaled the dreary and oppressive climate of the Alps, after defeating the Indo-Europeans of Spain and Portugal, again to have subdued Rome at his mercy?

        "I say that it is a shame for facts to be hidden and slander and fake historical records be propagated among students, because a race retains the original color and some to have become physiologically variant. I admit that when we take into consideration the diverse tribes of Africa, difficulty seems to apprehend our ethnological researches; but we must not be perplexed in following up the investigation of lex causis.

        "Scientifically speaking, variations of species are produced by the effect of mysterious impulses in nature's operation of climate. The Torrid Zone, partly enshrouded with the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, have more than other small zones the most varying species, conscious and unconscious, of creation, due largely to climatic influences. These influences not only subject its inhabitants to physical uncomeliness, but also disastrously operate, on the mental Power. Yes, considering these countless ages since the various physiological characters now see" in parts of Africa have been, laboring under foreign conditions and circumstances, sympathy ought to be


Page 234

universally invoked, than uncalled-for selfish condemnation of their ignorant habits.

        "The greater part of the Ethiopian race has lost their ancient greatness, but history has recorded the facts of their forefathers' honorable actions and essential contributions to the world literally consumed, ethically speaking; they stained none of their characters; but instead made a government that stands unconquerable and conservative even until now, as Abyssinia, ancient Ethiopia.

        "The Creator demonstrated no barrier to stay the progress of any race; but nature in her operations, created physical and intellectual deterioration. The Ethiopians only desire to be left alone now in the rightful territories of their original habitation, and they will yet demonstrate to the Indo-European the profundity of their mental power. Assyria has no longer remained; Greece and Persia have lost the glory of their independence; Rome has become morally degraded; the Ottoman has to be protected by European nations; Spain has many a time been brought to the dust; Egypt, a colony of Ethiopia that afterwards rose independently and powerfully, is now under England's domination. But there yet standeth the mightiest chronological land, Ethiopia, where the scattered fragments of hers found all over the earth sprang from, that has never been conquered. Think not that it is because it is protecting a great number of conglomeric people it remains independent;


Page 235

nay, it is because the favor of Jehovah enshrouds it as an honor of its past civilization."


        With these argumental facts advanced, I resume my apologetic, introduction of this ancient race, and maintain that he can be the Indo-European's equal if justice be given him. Space will not permit me to trace ancient history any further; but I shall pass on and take up the other phase of the subject: The Negro's place in American life at the present day. That we have made remarkable progress since emancipation is a fact that will not admit of a possibility of a doubt.

        From the Census Bureau, we learn the following facts about the Negro in all the branches of industry he was represented; this was not true immediately after his emancipation. Our Negro teachers and college professors number 21,268 in the United States alone. We have 15,510 preachers; 82 bankers and brokers, 128 civil engineers and surveyors, 728 lawyers, 12,327 iron and steel workers, 54,980 railroad laborers, 186 electricians, 529 linemen, 55,328 railroad employees, 52 architects, designers and draughtsmen, 236 artists and teachers of art; 1,724 physicians and surgeons, 212 dentists, 210 journalists, 3,921 musicians and teacher of music.

        Without inflicting upon you any more figures, I will simply mention a few of the callings into which our people have entered: Undertakers, bookkeepers, clerks, commercial travelers, merchants, salesmen, stenographers, carpenters,


Page 236

masons, painters, paperhangers, plumbers, steam fitters, marble cutters, glass workers, fishermen, bakers, butchers, shoemakers, bookbinders, engravers, printers, tailors, photographers, etc., etc. Several members of the race have won distinction in the leading colleges and universities.

        The first colored man who ever won the distinction of being commencement orator at Harvard University was Robert H. Terrell, who was at one time Chief of the Division of the Treasury Department, and is now presiding in a Justice's Court in the National Capital.

        The first colored man who was ever elected class orator at Harvard was Clement G. Morgan, who is now successfully practicing law in Cambridge, Mass.

        The young colored man who won the Pasteur prize at Harvard about six years ago and was twice chosen one of three out of a possible 4,000 to represent Harvard in her debate--first with Princeton and then with Yale--the young man who, in addition to all this honor, was finally elected class orator by young white men representing the wealth, the culture and the brain of the United States, was Roscoe Conkling Bruce, son of the distinguished Senator from Mississippi, Hon. B. K. Bruce. Young Bruce is at present Dean of The Academic Department of the Tuskegee Institute.

        Napoleon Marshall, who distinguished himself on the athletic field as well as in the recitation


Page 237

room at Harvard, is now Deputy Collector of the city of Boston.

        The young colored man who won the celebrated Ten Eyck Prize at Yale University last year was William Pickens, now Professor of Greek at Talladega College, Talladega, Ala.

        The celebrated Townsend prize at Yale, two years ago, was won by George W. Crawford, young colored man, now engaged in the practice of law.

        Prof. Crogman, President of Clark University Dr. J. W. E. Bowen, connected with the Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Ga.; Dr. R. T Pollard, President of Selma University; Profs. J. Harvey Wigginton, A. M., LL. B.; M. N. M Bennett, D. D., B. S., of Selma University; Prof.Booker T. Washington, of the Tuskegee Institute; Prof. W. H. Councill, of the A. and M. College, Normal, Ala.; Prof. W. E. B. DuBois, of Atlanta University; Dr, James M. Henderson, of Payne University; Prof. Joseph Booker, of the Arkansas Baptist College; Prof. Kelly Miller, of Howard University, Washington, D. C.; and Prof. R. B. Hudson, who has been principal of Clark City School, Selma, Ala., for sixteen years, are some of our leading educators. The last named is Assistant Secretary of the National Baptist Convention.

        Some of the strongest writers of the race are T. Thomas Fortune, John E. Bruce, E. E. Cooper John Mitchell, Jr., John S. Durham, John W. Hubert, Lewis B. Moore, Archibald H. Grimke,


Page 238

Charles W. Chestnutt, Charles Alexander, George L. Knox, of the Freeman, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Charles Bertram Johnson, Roscoe Conkling Simmons, Fred R. Moore, Mrs. Booker T. Washington, Miss Eliza Gardner, Mrs. Frances E. W. Harper, Miss N. H. Burroughs, Mrs. Josephine B. Bruce, Mrs. Mary Church Terrell, Mrs. Ida Wells Barnett, and scores of others of whom space will not permit me to speak.

        Drs. R. H. Boyd, E. W. D. Isaac, C. L. Fisher, S. L. Martin, J. H. Eason, J. Harvey Anderson, E. W. D. Jones, S. F. Kingston, William Beckham, Bishops, B. W. Arnett, Alexander Walters, W. B. Derrick, Henry M. Turner and Dr. W. H. Pettiford are a few of our many able preachers. Possibly the best known lawyers of the race today are Judge D. Augustus Straker, T. McCants Stewart, James H. Hayes, and Wilford H. Smith, The Negro is represented in nearly every department of Government service; such as Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia; Registrar of the United States Treasury; District Attorneys, International Revenue Collectors, etc., etc.

        Without going further into details, we will conclude by saying: The Negro's place in ancient history and in American life at the present day entitles the Negro to all the rights of a real man. The Negro does not ask for more than the rights of a man, and he will never be content with less.