ページの画像
PDF
ePub

antecedent probability of uniform agreement with classic usage, is supported by the other antecedent probability of accordance with a usage very influential on the language of Jews. It is most unreasonable to demand proof, that this word must necessarily have any other meaning which may appear to be its meaning in the New Testament, when all that can be said of dipping or overwhelming, prior to an investigation of the New Testament, is, that it may possibly be the sense of Bartita in the writings of Jews, who were the evangelists and apostles of Christianity, as is acknowledged to be the sense of the word in the writings of Greeks, who were heathen physicians and historians. The evidence to be brought forward on the subject, like that which belongs to every other portion of sacred truth, is not such as will compel the belief of those who are unwilling to be convinced. Not that it should be supposed, that they who may arrive at conclusions different from our own are less upright, humble, and pious in the prosecution of their inquiries than ourselves, for the wisest and best of men are liable to err. But it becomes every one to remember, that on this, and all similar subjects, the kind of evidence is such that it can never be duly appreciated by those who look at it merely to object. These reasonings are addressed to those who, not claiming for themselves infallibility, are willing to bestow upon them a serious and candid consideration. In morals and in religion there must be a preparation for the truth. It is given to those who have eyes to perceive, and hearts to understand.

Before considering what is the sense of Bantitw in Hebraistic Greek, it may be proper to notice its classical signification. It has been often asserted that this is to dip, that it has always, and only, this meaning. An examination of the passages which have been adduced will show that it very rarely has this sense. To dip, is to put into water, &c., generally for a short time, but Battico denotes to keep under water for a considerable time, and would be inappropriate to a transient dipping. This will appear, on reference to the instances brought forward by Gale and others. The cork which supports a net cast into the sea is unbaptized. It is dipped, but it does not sink; it is often covered with water, but does not continue so. #BATTLOTOS, Pindar, Pyth. ï. v. 139. Its nature is said by the scholiast to be unbaptizable, because however frequently it is pressed down, it always rises to the surface. A person therefore cannot be baptized, his nature is unbaptizable, if, when put under water, he will not remain there. It is said that a part of the coast is not baptized when the tide has ebbed. It is then left uncovered by the sea; it is covered with water twice every day, but is not always covered-un Battiteobal, Aristotle De Mirab. Auscul. Things which do not float in other waters, are not baptized in a lake near Agrigentum. They are like wood, which may be dipped, but will not sink-oude Bantiteodai, Strabo, Lib. vi. p. 421. Alexander's soldiers were baptized passing through a part of the sea. They were not dipped

ays covered it is covered tide has ebbedi

ke patunden water that he might be

in the water, but they walked in it the whole day—öny thy fuépay ex üdarı yevéodalBatticouévwv, Strabo, lib. xiv. p. 982. The same writer states, that if a man went into lake Sirbon, owing to the density of the water, he would not be baptized. He might dip himself, or be dipped into it, but he would not sink, even if unable to swim noe Bartiteodai, lib. xvi. p. 1108. Lucian introduces Timon as saying, that “if a winter's stream were to carry any one away, and he should stretch forth his hands imploring help, that he would push down the head of such a person, baptizing him, that he might be unable to rise again.” This person was not only to be dipped, but to be kept under water, that he might be drowned-Banricovta, vol. i. p. 139. “A pilot does not know but that he may save in his ship one whom it were better that he had baptized.” The meaning of the word here is obviously opposed to saving, it must therefore be not dipping, but drowning-Bantigai, Themistius, Orat. iv. p. 133. “Most of the land animals being carried away by the stream perished, being baptized.” They would not have been hurt by dipping ; they continued under water, and they were drowned-Batticoueva, Diodorus Siculus, lib. i. p. 33. “As you would not wish sailing in a large ship, adorned and abounding with gold, to be baptized,” i. e. to be drowned-Bantiteobal, Epictetus, lib. iii. p. 69. “Shall I not laugh at the man who baptizes his ship by overlading it, and then complains of the sea for ingulphing it with its cargo.” He not only dips his ship, he sinks itTolooi popriocol Barrícovra, Hippocrates, p. 532. Josephus, when he uses this word literally, in general employs it in the same sense. Speaking of the vessel in which Jonah was, when it was near destruction, he says, it was about to be baptized. It was in danger not of dipping, but of sinking-uéllovros Barriceo dai, Ant. lib. ix. c. 10. Men employed by Herod to put Aristobulus to death, are described as “pressing him down, seemingly in sport, while he was swimming in a bath, and baptizing him, not ceasing till he was quite dead”-BanticorTES, lib. xv. c. 3. In another place, referring to the same event, he merely says, “ being baptized in the bath, he died”—BaTTicóuevos, Bell Jud. lib. i. c. 22. He was not merely dipped, but he was kept under water till dead ; and this baptism is mentioned as obviously an adequate cause of death. The historian says, that the ship in which he sailed was baptized in the midst of the Adriatic. It was not only dipped, but it went to the bottom and remained there—Vita v. Where the word is used figuratively, it has a corresponding sense. He says of some persons, that they baptized the city, meaning not that they subjected it to any transient affliction, but that they brought it to complete and final ruin *. It should be remarked, that not only does it

* There is one passage, referring to the purification from defilement by a dead body, where the word accords with the New Testament usage.- Tous oův åtò ver

appear in these passages that the object baptized continued under water, but it is also clear that the writers direct attention to this point. This continuance is therefore not only a part of the object referred to, but it is a part of the signification of the term. If then it were necessary to abide by the common classical signification of the word, all persons baptized would certainly be drowned. Such immersion is classical and heathen, it is not Scriptural and Christian baptism.

We now advance to the consideration of the evidence furnished in the Old Testament, in the Apocrypha, and in the New Testament, concerning the meaning of Battito in Hebraistic Greek. We shall in the first place mention some important circumstances, which belong to all, or to very many passages, and then we shall proceed to examine some of them separately.

I. Our first general observation is, that the context of the word in the New Testament is never that which is used, both in the classics and in the Scriptures, to connect verbs signifying to dip, with that into which any object is dipped: but on the contrary, the context is always of a kind which proves that, literally, it means some effect produced by water. Where Bánow and Battico signify to dip, the context is eis, with that into which the object is dipped; as we should say, he dipped into water, &c.* But this construction does not once occur in the use of Baaritw in the Septuagint and the New Testament. Such a difference of context indicates a difference of meaning. The context of the word in the Scriptures is either év or some word in the dative case. Battićw

[ocr errors]

év üdarı or Barriów Ūdari.* The latter occurs, Luke ii. 16; Acts i. 5, 11, 16, and cannot be rendered to baptize in water. The common usage of the dative case determines that idati expresses the means employed for some effect, so that it must be translated by or with water. That év often has the signification of in, and sometimes that of into is acknowledged, but it has also very commonly in classic Greek and still more frequently in Hebraistic Greek, the signification of by or with. The preposition év is used in the following passages, and in many more, Matt. vii. 6, Lest they trample them with their feet. Matt. xxv. 16, He who had received five talents went and traded with them. Matt. xxvi. 52, All who take up the sword will perish by the sword. Mark vii. 6, This people honour me with their lips. Mark ix. 50, If the salt has become insipid, with what shall it by restored. Luke xxi. 34, Take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be oppressed by luxury and intemperance, and worldly cares. Luke xxii. 49, Shall we smite with the sword. John xiii. 35, By this all will know that ye are my disciples. John xv. 8, By this is my Father honoured. Acts xi. 14, He will speak to thee words by which thou and thy household will be saved. Acts xiii. 39, By him every one who believes is justified from all things from which ye cannot be justified by the law of Moses. Rom. ix. 9, If thou wilt confess with thy mouth. 2 Cor. i. 12, Not with natural wisdom but by the grace of God. Heb. ix. 22, And nearly all things are according to the law purified with blood, Heb. x. 29. The blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified. James iii. 9, With it we bless God, even the Father, and with it we curse men. 2 Pet. ii. 16, Speaking with a man's voice. Rev. i. 5, Who hath cleansed us from our sins with his own

* There is one passage where a construction apparently similar to the classical construction referred to, is employed, Mark i. 9. He was baptized by John, eis TÒY 'Iopồávny. But as this is the only instance in which eis is used, and as it is here connected with the name of a place, it is much more probable that it has the common signification of at, as in the following passages, where it is used, Luke ix. 61, those at my house ; xxi. 37, he lodged at the hill; John ix. 7, wash at the pool of Siloam ; xi. 32, she fell down at his feet; Acts ii. 39, to all who are at a distance; Acts xvii. 21, to keep the feast at Jerusalem ; Acts xxi. 13, I am ready not only to be bound, but to die at Jerusalem ; viï. 40, Philip was bound at Azotus ; xxiii. 11, as thou hast borne witness concerning me at Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. This passage is therefore not an exception to the statement made, it should be translated, He was purified by John at the Jordan. When év is construed with the name of any place, of course it cannot have the signification of by or with, but it does not follow that it means within. Matthiæ observes, sometimes év is used with names of places where proximity only is implied, e. g. év Aakedaiuovi, év Mare. Tivela, near Lacedæmon, Mantinea, vol. i. $ 577. The statements that John baptized év the Jordan, Matt. iii. 6, and that he baptized év Enon, show that the former no more means within the water of the river, than the latter within the walls of the town. The meaning, in both cases, is merely that of nearness, and should be translated, at the Jordan, at Enon. In the same manner, év desią, at the right hand.

overn them with stend against them: 8, she shall be crth these

blood; Rev. v. 9, Thou hast redeemed us to God with thy blood; ix. 19, With them they injure; 20, who were not destroyed with these plagues ; xvi. 8, to burn men with fire; xviii. 8, she shall be consumed with fire ; ii. 16, I will contend against them with the sword; 27, and he shall govern them with an iron rod.

The phrase év üdarı is so opposed to év trveúuati in many passages, that it is clear they are correspondent phrases, and that the prepositions indicate in both the same relation. As the latter cannot be rendered into the Spirit, for this is unintelligible, it must be rendered with the Spirit; and the reference, very plainly, is to certain effects to be produced thereby. So in like manner, the former cannot be rendered into water, it must be rendered, as it generally is, with water.* The word Bastico must, therefore, denote some effect produced by means of water, by means of water applied for the sake of real or symbolical cleansing. What can this effect be but purification ? When construed with év, or the dative case, it is most probable, from general usage, and the opposition to effects produced in the mind, that baptism literally denotes some effect produced by water. Other effects, such as oppressing, overwhelming, drowning, might be produced by water in some circumstances ; and there, to oppress, to overwhelm, to drown, might be the meaning of the word. But it is improbable, that the water used for purification should be employed to overwhelm persons therewith ; nor is it likely, if they were overwhelmed with water, that the rite of purification would be thus described. Apart from the supposed meaning of the word it cannot be known that the baptized were overwhelmed. It is certain, that they were really or symbolically purified with water.

* Where in the classics Bánow and Batticw are construed with the dative, or with imò, and where in the Scriptures the former is construed with anò, some effect la denoted, produced by means of what is thus associated with the verb. 'EBATTETO

diplari diurn, Hom. Batr. v. 218; the lake was stained with blood. Yuxn rois fuky ovppétpous averal móvous rois do ÚTrepßarlovou Barrietai, Plutarch; the soul is strengthened by proportioned labours, but is weighed down by excessive. Sátttovol Deppa, Aristoph. Eccl. 696; they wash with warm water. Tlúvovoi, Suidas, Pharorinus; Alkalogúvn Bebappévov els Bádos, Marcus Antoninus, v. 16; thoroughly imbued with integrity, aŭròs eiui Tôv Beßariouévwv ÚTÒ TOû peyarov Konatos, ékeivov, Liban. Epis.; I am of those who were overwhelmed by that mighty wave. ό δε μόλις ά νυν φέρει φέρων υπό μικράς αν βαπτισθείη προσθή175, Liban. Ep.; he who with difficulty sustains his present burden, would be pressed down by a small addition. kal årò rñs dpógov toll oúpavoû côua aŭtoù éBáon, Dan. iv. 30; his body was made wet by the dew of heaven. Where verbs denoting to dip, are construed with év instead of eis, according to a well known Greek idiom, the sense is to put into, and to leave in; σμύρνην και ρητίνην όμου μίξας και διείς

voive olovcov čußáttwv, mixing myrrh and rosin together, and putting them in wine, dip a piece of linen, Hippoc. éyè åtopté Mw pas ós apóßara év uéog hurwy, Matt. x. 16, I send you forth to be as sheep in the midst of wolves. ZOETO o pulakh, Matt. xiv. 3, he put him into, and kept him in prison.

N, S. VOL. V.

« 前へ次へ »