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This view of the passages in Luke and John occurred to my mind before reading the Fathers, as furnishing a test of the soundness of ny views, and on reading them I found that they did in fact regard the commission to reinit sins in Luke and John as a com'nission to baptize as really as that in Matthew anil Mark. They regarded it in short as merely another mode of expressing the same idea. In John the phraseology is different from that of Luke: “ Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained,” John 20:23. In short, Christ died as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world, and the great business of the apostles was to publish to the world the great doctrine of the remission of sins, through his death, and the terins on which it could be obtained, and to establish the rite by which this purgation from sin should be shallowed forth and coinmemorated in honor of the Trinity, and especially of that Spirit by whom this atonement was made effectual to purge the conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Go ye therefore, teach all nations, purifying them (that is remitting to them that repent and believe their síns) into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
§ 66. Mr. Carson's dissertation on hovo.
A few worils ought here to be said on the meaning of the words Louw and lourpor. I have affirmed that by their own force they denote simply washing or purification, and not bathing. To prove this I referred, in $ 16, to the fact that the vessels for washing the hands in the vestibules of ancient churches were called Lovrney as well as raznors. Mr. Carson sees fit in view of this, to devote nearly nine pages to a dissertation on λούω. . He opens his dissertation as follows: p. 66, “ The philosophical linguist, Dr. Campbell, of Aberdeen, in distinguishing the words ovo and vinto, makes the first signify to wash or bathe the whole body, the last to wash or bathe a part. This distinction has been generally received since the time of Dr. Campbell. Mr. Beecher calls it in question, yet he does not touch the subject with the hand of a master. He merely alleges an objection which he thinks calculated to bring confusion into what is thought to be clear; but he gives no additional light by any learned observations of his own. I shall endeavor to settle this question by evidence founded on the
SECOND SERIES, VOL. IX, NO. H. 13
practise of language as well as the practise of the New Testament.” Parturiunt montes! Mr. Carson is about to touch the subject with the band of a master-and to settle the question !
Let us look at his results. He proves abundantly that doúc can be applied to bathing, which I never denied. Does he prove that it cannot be applied to sprinkling ? Not at all. He asserts it, but nowhere proves it. I assert the contrary, and this is my proof: Porphyry asserts, in libel. de antro Nympharum, that it was customary for married women to purify maidens by sprinkling or affusion, before marriages, with water taken from fountains and living springs. Photius tells us that the water used for this purpose at Athens, was brought in a pitcher from certain fountains which he specifies, by the oldest male boy of the family. Here bathing is excluded, and yet the water ihus used is called λούτρον, or λούτρα νυμφικά, and Zonaras defnes λουτρα thus, τα είς λύσιν άγόντα της ακαθαρσίας. Those things which produce the removal of impurity, that is, means of purišcation. The boy who brought the water was called dovtpógopos.
Again, Basil applies the term 20vrgov to a clinic baptism by sprinkling or affusion. The prætor Ariantheus, converted by his wife, was also baptized by her on his dying bed. Of this Basil says, letter 386—He washed away all the stains of his soul at the close of his life by the washing of regeneration Louro nahiyyevésias. There was no bathing nor immersion; but sprinkling or affusion.
Again, in Corpus Hist. Byzant., Nicephoras Gregoras, Lib. 24, p. 573, Venice, 1729, uses lourpov to denote the complex rite of purification, including unction and the influence of the Holy Spirit
. Since it is customary with men to wash themselves with water and to anoint themselves with oil, God has joined to the oil and the water the grace of his Spirit, and made them (i. e. oil, water and spirit,) the cleansing of regeneration, λούτρον παλιγγενέσιας-anointing with oil is a part of the process of purification—it is no part of bathing, and here lourpov must be taken in the most generic sense given to it by Photius, that is, a system of means of purification or a process of purification.
Mr. Carson hints that the loviñees in the temples might be for bathing the hands, and the victimes for washing them! p. 73. Here is the force of theory with a witness. Let us then listen to Julius Pollux, Leg. 46, Lib. 10, Cap. 10. The caption is, concerning vessels used in washing hands and face, περί των εν τω νιπιέσθαι σκεύων. .
It is necessary, he proceeds, for one arising from sleep to wash his face το πρόσωπον απονιπτίσθαι-here is no bathing as yet. Let a boy, he proceeds, bring an ewer or pitcher, and pour out fresh water, κατά λέβητος ή λουτήριου τίνος, in a vessel or wash-basin. He justifies himself in using outígiov in this sense by quoting a line from Anaxilas, in which he says, in baths τοϊς βαλανείους there are no wash-basins, λουτήρια, i. e. vessels for washing hands and face. Can hoúw mean to bathe by its own force, when Lovrhprov is thus used to denote a vessel in which to wash (vinteiv) hands and face, and not only so, but is placed in pointed antithesis to bathing vessels ? for in baths surely there are vessels for bathing, though there are none for face and hand-washing. Pollux also gives loving, (the word quoted by me from the Fathers), as a synonyme of Lovrigios to denote a wash-basin, for washing hands and face. All idea of face and hand bathing is therefore excluded.
Mr. Carson says, p. 67, that “lovo, like our word bathe, applies to aniinal bodies only-we do not speak of bathing cloth."
Nevertheless Origen applies dovzpov to wood, and Gregory Nazianzen applies hova to clothes and to a couch-and Eupolis, see Pollux, applies å hovoia (i. e. want of washing) to a cloak. Surely these are not animal bodies.
Again, Mr. Carson says, p. 67, in order to justify the application of vinrw to the whole body it must be all successively washed—as vinto involves friction or hand-washing. And yet Euripides applies it to bathing a whole herd of oxen in the sea, where friction, band-washing, etc., are all out of the
question. Strabo 100 applies it to the bathing of Diana in a river, where there was no probability of hand-washing.
Perhaps I have said enough to illustrate the nature of “the learned rerparks of his own,” which Mr. Carson has added, and his mode of "touching the subject with the hand of a master." I could add much more, did my room permit, and the patience of my readers allow. I will not complete the quotation with which I began, by adding “Nascitur ridiculus mus," but only state that I see no reason either to add to or take from my statement, after all of Mr. Carson's effort to settle the subject.
Mr. Carson says, I added no learned observations of my own. I answer, the case seemed to me too plain to need any. Nothing
is easier than to make a useless parade of learning. But it is of no use to waste time by needless citations to prore points which no one denies, and at the same time to deny points without proof, on which the whole question bangs.
I conclude then by saying, that doúw of its own force denotes to wash, or to purify; that in fact it is more generally used to denote a washing or purifying of the whole body, whether by sprinkling, affusion, or immersion—but that it is also applied to washing hands, face, and feet-also to wood, clothes, couches, cloaks, etc., though but rarely in this last sense.
Ninto applies generally to washing of hands, face, and feet, also sometimes, but more rarely, to bathing the whole body, in the case of both men and animals. It is also often used by the Fathers, with its compounds, to denote the cleansing of the mind from sin, excluding the idea of hand-washing. Sometimes also it is applied to the washing of cups, vessels, (oxeur) and tables.
Illúra is generally applied to clothes—but also to the body and all its parts, also to cups, metals, and various animal substances. Proof of all these statements is at hand and could be produced if needed. But I think that the case is clear enough as it is.
Mr. Carson's principles and general assertions, as to the Fathers, have passed under review: let us now briefly notice his application of them to the details of my argument. I shall now consider the manner in which he has assailed the Biblical argument.
$67. Mr. Carson's attack on the Biblical argument.
The Biblical argument is contained in gø 8—18. The course of the argument is this: (1.) In John 3 : 25, the expression, a dispute concerning purifying (xalapiquoù), proves that xatagiouos and pantiouns are synonymous, when applied to the rite of baptism. (2.) This view explains the expectation that the Messiah would baptize, for it was foretold that he should purify, but not that he should immerse. (3.) In the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the subject, the agent, the means, and the effect, demand the idea to purify, and exclude the idea to immerse, for the subject is the spirit of man, the agent the divine spirit, the means spiritual, and the effect purity; and in such relations the idea to inmerse is absurd ; purify is the only reasonable sense. (4). The end of baptism is to indicate sacrificial purification, i. e. the remission of sins. We should naturally expect to find this idea in its name, and we do find it so used as clearly to indicate that it has the sense xalapiouós, i. e. sacrificial purification or remission of sins. (5.) In the expression, divers baptisms, in Heb. 9: 10, the word Bántiquoi is obviously taken in a generic sense to denote Mosaic purifications of any kind. (6.) The baptism of couches in Mark 7: 4, 8, and the baptism expected of Christ, in Luke 11: 38, were obviously purifications merely, and not immersions. (7.) In speaking of the nightly baptisin of Judith (Jud. 12:7) in the camp of Holofernes, no doubt a mere purification is spoken of without respect to mode, and not an immersion. (8.) In referring to a baptism from a dead body (Sirach 31: 25) no doubt the word is used in the generic sense to denote purification. (9.) The account of purification froin sin in the baptisın of Paul (Acts 26: 16), and Peter's effort to guard the mind against the idea of mere external purification, and to direct the mind to the purging of the conscience by the atonement, show that purification was the usual religious sense of the word. (10.) In that part of the Greek language in which alone we ought to look for decisive evidence on this subject, there is no opposing evidence to be found; hence the case is decided in favor of the sense to purify; and against the sense to immerse.
In weighing the force of this argument it is necessary to remember, that whatever the practice was in fact, even if it was immersion, it does not in any sense disprove this argument as to the meaning of the word; but only shows that under a command to purify, they did in fact purify by immersion. But I do not at all concede that in the Apostolic days it was cus. tomary to baptize by immersion. The fact I am persuaded was directly the reverse. But I mention this consideration, that no illogical imaginations or associations of ideas may entangle the mind or break the force of the argument.
Let it also be borne in mind that the argument is strictly cumulative, and that its force is to be tested by the coherence and accumulated force of its parts.
How, then, does Mr. Carson attempt to answer it? First, by attempting to break it up into disconnected fragments; then, in each fragment trying to prove that the highest possible evidence of my position is not given; that the sense immerse is possible ; and then bringing in what he calls the testiinony of the word βαπτίζω. .