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sins. The stick, according to him, is of course a type of the cross of Christ. So when Moses, by throwing in the branches of a tree, made the bitter waters of Maral sweet, Ambrose regards it as another kind of baptism, because as the branches made bitter waters sweet, so does baptism make sweet the bitterness of the human heart. Origen regards the passage of Elijah over Jordan, as he was taken up in a chariot of fire, as a wonderful baptisın, because he thus passed over Jordan and went to heaven; and baptisin does something like this for the pardoned soul. Passing through the Red Sea was a baptism, because it purified the Israelites and drowned Pharaoh by immersion, just as the rite of baptisin purifies Christians and leares Satan and the old man immersed and strangled in the baptismal pool. The flood was a baptism, because it purified and saved Noah and his family—and also purified the world-and iinmersed and strangled the enemies of God-just as the rite of baptism purifies all who come by it, into the ark, i. e. the church-and as the waters of the flood immersed, strangled and purged off the wicked, so will an eternal baptism of fire purge out the wicked from the kingdom of God. They are the chatf to be burnt up with unquenchable fire, when the Redeemer thoroughly purges his floor.
Hence, in the days of the Fathers, the narrow view that Bentíča means only to immerse had no being. The great idea before their minds was purification or absolution. This they applied to means of purification, or a systein of purification, or to the processes involved in being purified, or to the supposed result of these processes, or to the rites viewed as an ordinance of Christ, or to any supposed or real typical transaction producing what they deemed siinilar effects.
$ 64. General View applied.
By thus throwing off the shackles of arbitrary canons and leaving the mind perfectly free to watch the actual evolution of the facts of language in the writings of the fathers, we find ourselves enabled to solve without difficulty all their various modes of expression. For example when Photius says ai rezis αναδύσεις και καταδύσεις του βάπτισματος θανατών και αι άστασιν onpaivovoiv, we see at once that piéntiqua refers to the rite of absolution, and áviduals and xatúdions to acts involved in it. Thus “the three inmersions and emersions of the rite of purification (or absolution) symbolize death and resurrection.”
Again Τheophylact says, βάπτισμα ώσπερ δια της καταδισέως θανατών ούτω διά της αναδυσέως την ανάστασιν τύποι. « As the rite of absolution shows forth death by immersion, so by emersion it shows forth resurrection.”
Again he says, έν τρισί καταδύσεσι του σώματος έν βάπτισμα τους εαυτού μαθήταις παραδέδωκε λέγων πόρενθέντες μαθητεύσατε etc. Matt. 28: 19. He gave to his disciples one rite or ordinance of absolution, by these immersions of the body, saying, go ye therefore and teach all nations, etc.
I would here call attention once more to the fact, that to denote the act of immersion xarviduris is used, reserving to Bintis. ure the sense purification or absolution as the name of the rite. But inasmuch as Bienviouie could be used to denote the act of immersion, it was sometiines though rarely so used, of which in g 28. 4, I have given an example from the Apostolic Constitutions, Can. L τρία βαπτίσματα μιας μυήσεως three lininersions of one initiation. This was so clearly a leparture from common usage, that both Zonaras and Balsamon deemed it worthy of a note. That of Zonaras I have given in the section referred to. That of Balsamon is this, τα δε βαπτίσματα ενταύθα αντι καταδυσέων υποληπιεόν μοι.
This note is still inore remarkable and decisive than that of Zonaras—for he merely gives it as his opinion that Barriqueta means immersions bere-“ It seems to me that putriduita is to be taken for immersions here." Indeed! If it never means any thing but immersions, as Mr. Carson says, both the note itself and this modest expression of opinion are quite out of place. But Mr. Carson's theory of this word is entirely a modern invention. No one had ever dreamed of it in the patristic age. Balsamon well knew that in common usage púntioua ineant purification and not immersion.
It may be well here to notice the sophistical reasoning by which the author of this canon endeavored to make out the doctrine of trine immersion. It was this : Christ did not enjoin it upon them to purify into his death, in which case there would have been one immersion, but into the naine of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; hence it being assumed that immersion is the mole, ihere must be one act of iminersion for each person. In this reasoning, Bıcatiču in The coinmand retains its usual sense, but when froin the three persons the interence is drawn that there ought to be three acts of inmersion, it leaves its usual sense, and denotes to inmerse, and this usage was thought by two Greek commentators, to be so likely to mislead as to need an explanatory note to prevent confusion.
In Gregory Nazianzen occurs a striking passage, of peculiar interest, as showing at once that immersion was in fact the usual practice, but not the meaning of the word : Béatioua καλούμεν ως συνθαπτόμενης τώ ύδατι της αμαρτίας-« We call it (i. e. the rite) baptism, i. e.. absolution or purification, because our sins are buried with us in the water.” Whilst this clearly implies that in the rite they were in fact buried in the water, it no less clearly implies that it was not called baptism for this reason but because their siys were buried with them. The burial of sins in the baptismal pool, was a common mode of expressing absolution or purification from sin, taken from Micah 7 : 19, Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. So that the sense is plainly this, we call it purification, because when we are buried in the baptismal pool, our sins are buried with us, and we of course come out perfectly pure. If the word had meant immersion, he must have said simply: We call it immersion, because we are immersed.
We now come to a case of inconsistent usage, inconsistent at least with the present systems of philology. In a few cases Chrysostom uses the principle of a double sense in commenting on ibis word. Inasmuch as both meanings, i. e. purification and immersion coexist in the language, and immersion was the common mode; on this principle the word can be expounded as having both meanings in one and the same place, in order to give greater fulness to the passage. At this we need not wonder in the Fathers. A certain class of modern commentators have not hesitated to do the same thing. On this ground Chrysostom in a few instances gives a two-fold exposition of the passage in which Christ says, I have a baptism to be baptized with, etc.
One exposition is based on the sense purification. As in Hom. 65, al 66, on Matt.-Speaking of his death on the cross, he says he calls it baptism, Benzioua, indicating that a great purification xéo nopov should be made for the world by the ihings then transpiring.- De petit fil. Zebedai. Vol. I. p. 520.
. Again he says " he calls it baptism, because by it he purified the world, and not only so, but on account of the ease of his resurrection, for as he who is immersed Banni sóueros in water arises with great ease, being nothing hindered by the nature of the waters, so he having descended into death arose again with ease, for this reason he calls it baptism: and again, cn Mark, 10 : 39, “ he calls his cross baptism, for as we are easily immersed and arise again, so he having died, easily arose again when he would.” On
p. 34, Jan. 1841, I say, “ Nor have I found any evidence that the passages in Luke 12: 50, Mark 10: 37, 39, Matt. 20: 22, 23, were ever understood by any of the Fathers in the sense either of immersion or overwhelming." This usage of Chrysostom is an exception, and it is the only one that I have yet lound. He plainly uses the word in both senses, purification and immersion. And yet even in these cases the sense purification can be retained as the name of the rite, and the illustration be taken from the well known mode of its performance, though the view that I have taken seems to ine most likely to be correct. I have already twice stated that cases of inconsistent usage may exist, without at all destroying the force of my argument, $ 27, Jan. 1841, § 21, April, 1840, p. 371, yet after extended research, my greatest surprise has been that I have found so few such cases. I have been surprised, because when I considered how general was the practice of immersion among the Fathers, and how natural it was that their practice should react upon their language, and that immersion was in fact an existing meaning of the word, it seemed strange to me that this meaning should so rarely be given to the word Banrítw in speaking of the rite. But when I reflected that the great idea of purification, i. e. absolution, or remission of sins, was ever uppermost in their minds, and that iminersion, though the common mode, was not deemed essential to it, i saw a sufficient reason for reserving to puntiqua this great idea, and introducing the terms κατάδυσις and ανάδυσις to denote innmersion and emersion.
The real nature of this idiom will become clearer by a passage of Gregory Nyssen, in which he uses xó9 apois so as to show the force of βάπτισμα when used with ανάδυσις and κατάδυσις: : “omitting things beyond our power let us inquire tivos évexer δι' ύδατος ή κάθαρσις ; και προς ποιάν χρείαν αι τρεις καταδύσεις παραλαμβάνονται for what end is the rite of purification by water, and for what use the three immersions are employed ? All see in this case a usage of xá Tupois exactly equivalent to the use of Bennoure just illustrated. The use of the preposition dià after xá Japois and equivalent words illustrates ihe use of the same preposition after Bintiouc etc. I will by parallel columns still farther exhibit this similarity of usage to the eye.
. The following uses of κάθαρσις, The following are from Greάγισμός, etc., are taken from
gory, Thauin. AlhanasiusCyril of Alexandria :
Clemens Alexand. :
τον αγνισμόν δι' είδατος- βάπτισμα διά δάκρίων την κάθαρσιν δί ύδατος
βαπτίζειν δί ύδατος την διά πυρός κιθαρσιν βαπτίζειν διά πυρός του δι' αίματος αγνισμού- βάπτισμα δι αίματος ηγιάσμενοι διά πνεύματος βάπτισμα δια μαρτύριου την διά Χρίστου κάθαρσιν ή δι' βαπτίζειν διά πνεύματος ύδατος τε και πνεύματος βάπτισμα νοητόν διά πνεύματοςαγιάζων δί ύδατος
βάπτισμα αισθητόν δι' ύδατος This comparison of similar idioms could be extended to other prepositions, as iv taken in the instrumental sense as equivalent to die and also to the use of the dative in the instrumental sense after both words, showing by an extended induction of particulars such an exact similarity in the use of prepositions and cases after βάπτισμα and κάθαρσις, etc., as proves them at a glance to be synonymous, for the word κατάδυσις, immersion, is never followed by such prepositions and the dative case in such a sense. See also § 56, on the same point.
65. Commission to baptize. I will conclude this general view by noticing its bearings on a question relating to the cominission to baptize. It is this. Why is there a comunission given to baptize in Matthew and Mark, and none in Luke and John? This is a question for those to answer who deny the correctness of the view that I have given-for on this view it presents no difficulty at all. The reply is that a commission to baptize is in fact a commission to purify, that is, a commissi on to remit sins - and in Luke and John, the disciples do receive a commission to renit sins. Luke 24: 47, 48—“ That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations—and ye are witnesses of these things," that is, that repentance and baptism should be preached in his name among all nations, for according to Zonaras and the Fathers, baptisın is the forgiveness of sins by water and the Spirit.