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baptize by those who immerse, and those who pour, can prove that either of these modes was that originally designated by the Greek Battitw.
Notwithstanding the observations of Mr. Gotch, I must still be allowed to think it passing strange, that the verb Vee to dip, should have never been used to express Banticw, if such was supposed by the Syriac translator to be the meaning of the latter term. As to my authority for stating, that the Mendai Jahia, or disciples of John, baptize by pouring, I had the statement from the late Professor Norberg, the learned editor of the Liber Adami and other Zabian works. Whether, like the Syrian and Armenian Christians, they superadd immersion, I
like the Syriant that he affirmed:ons, little require
In regard to the Arabic versions, little requires to be said ; only it must be carefully observed, that the general signification of he is tinxit, imbuet, i. e. wet, moisten, stain, and that immersit merely expresses one of several modes by which the wetting or moistening may be effected. So far is the substantive cars from being restricted to baptism, that it also, among the Mohammedans, signifies circumcision. The baptism of a horse by perspiration is also denoted by the verb, and the Lexicons give, as the general signification of Conj. viii. “Semet lavit et abluit aquâ,” Mr. Gotch, p. 19. I only add, that, in reference to the subject in dispute, qulo can no more determine the acceptation in which das is to be taken, than the latter can determine that of the former. The selection of Juns, lavit, abluit, by the translator of the Polyglot Arabic, to express Bantisw, shows, that, in his opinion, the Greek term has the signification of washing, irrespective of mode.
The remarks upon the Persic modes of rendering require no obser. vation farther than to notice, that they are admitted to yield no support to the theory of immersion.
Respecting the specific meaning of the ETHIOPIC Togo : in reference to the ordinance of baptism, I must still express my doubts. The neutral passage, Josh. iii. 15, in which the word occurs, so far from yielding any support to the idea of immersion being conveyed by it, goes to prove the contrary. The moment the feet of the priests came in contact with the water of the Jordan, it receded, so that they “stood firm (1727* !) on dry ground,” ver. 17. All that 95303 expresses, ver. 15, is, that their feet were wetted by the water, and leaves upon the mind the impression, that there was not time to admit of their entire immersion. Accordingly, Ludolf himself translates, “tingerentur in parte
nep means the extremity or the utmost terminating point or margin of anything. The LXX., which the Ethiopic translator follows, has eBáongar éis pépos toll üdatos. Mr. Gotch candidly states, that the same Ethiopic verb is used in reference to Jewish purifications; and that in Luke xi. 38, Banrisw is rendered by the phrase, washing the hands.
In COPTIC, the words weec, orec, and euc are obviously employed with all the latitude of Battica from katatovtićw, to drown, to its appropriation to the Christian rite, which conveys a very different idea. That it means simply to wash, see Mark vii. 4; Heb. ix. 10.
Equally unsatisfactory is the alleged evidence from the ARMENIAN. In none of the passages adduced by Mr. Gotch, does it appear that either the Armenian verb, or Bantísw, for which it stands, signifies to dip. Father Paschal Aucher asserts, indeed, that whepunkių signifies “to baptize, to wash by plunging into water ;" but he gives no such word under the articles dip, plunge, immerse, and the like, in the AngloArmenian portion of his Lexicon ; and the substantive for baptism he simply renders by washing, act of washing, without expressing any thing indicative of mode. In point of etymology, the word is obviously related to Sippt, to wash, cleanse, purify. What confirms this view of the case is the circumstance, that in the administration of baptism in the Armenian church, the water is first dropped or poured three times upon the head of the child ; ON DOING Which, the priest repeats the express words of the institution, I baptize thee, &c. After this, the child is immersed and washed three times in water ; but that this is an addition to the ordinance, the NON-REPETITION of the formula "I baptize," &c. sufficiently shows. This fact is thus exhibited by Schröder in his Thesaurus, p. 328 :
"Eur. Si placet Tibi, Rev. Vir, breviter mihi exponas, quomodo vos infantes baptizetis
"Sacerd. Primo, infantem in ulnas tradimus susceptori, qui ejus nomine Confessionem fidei edit, et abdicationes (Satanæ,) postea nos a susceptore infantem accipiestes tenemus supra lavacrum, ter vertici capitis aquam adspergimus institutionis Ferba baptismi dicendo. Ter etiam submergimus sub aquam, et totam corpus lavamus. Deinde chrisma (confirmationem] damus, pro more Armenis proprio. Quare sic, tua jam non interest ut scias."
The same custom obtains in the Syrian church. Dr. Wolff, as quoted in the Baptist Magazine, describes it thus : The child is placed in the fountain so that a part of the body is in the water; then the priest three times takes water in his hand, and pours it out on the child's head, repeating at each time the name of one person in the Trinity ; after this the body is immersed.
The results of Mr. Gotch's investigations respecting the GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH, and Dutch renderings, do not, in the smallest degree, affect my statements relative to the meaning of the phraseology. I still maintain, without fear of contradiction, that “MIT wasser taufen,” “ dobe med vand," döpa MED vatn,” and “doopen MET water," mean to baptize with, not to dip in water.
To go at greater length into the subject is unnecessary; for though it might elicit many points of philological curiosity, it would lead to no practical issue. The charge of inconsistency, originally brought against the Bible Society, has not been substantiated. Such of its versions as do not retain the original word, express its meaning in terms which are generic and not specific in their import. And by this the Society must abide. It must not be guilty of the injustice of lending its sanction to any one-sided view of a word, the specific meaning of which has so long been, and still is matter of doubtful disputation. The very able articles now in the course of publication in this magazine, bid fair to place the verbal question on ground which it has not before occupied, and, if I do not greatly mistake, will convince most readers, that the real meaning of Barriów, or the thing signified by it, has most unwarrantably been merged in an all-absorbing mode or form. April 8th, 1841.
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HOME MISSIONARY SOCIETY. THE RULE OF CHRISTIAN PROPORTION, AS APPLIED TO THE PECUNIARY SUPPORT OF
RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS. There are few subjects more difficult, or more delicate, than the one now to be considered ; and yet, considering the varied, though not conflicting claims of religious institutions, few subjects are of more importance. Forty years ago, the rule of proportion was simple, and of easy application; for only one or two religious institutions claimed the regard of the Christian church. But now, the number of societies has so much increased, that, however willing a Christian may be to assist them all, it seems next to impossible to do so, unless he be possessed of resources more than ordinarily extensive. Even those to which he contributes can only receive their quota ; and it forms one of the difficulties of a thoughtful man, to apportion what his circumstances enable him to give, in such a manner as to satisfy his own mind that he is doing right, and turning his means to the best account, for the promotion of the one great cause.
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