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plunge, or bury in water, with religious solemnity, and for initiation into the church of Christ. We use the accompanying phrase, religious solemnity, and for initiation into the church of Christ, with special design,-because so much is necessarily implied in every true definition of baptism. The author or authors of the Vulgate being, therefore, unable to convey, in any single word in the Latin tongue, the full sense of the original, contented themselves with the Italian modification of the Greek word. The production of one authority, in proof of the prevalent signification of the word in the period to which we refer, shall suffice. It is the declared judgment of one who will not be suspected of any partiality towards Baptists,—whose testimony must be regarded as founded upon a thorough knowledge of all the facts in the case, and who is impelled, by a due sense of truth and candor, to give utterance to the sentence which he has left on record. The authority to which we refer is that of the celebrated author of the History of Infant Baptism, William Wall, D. D.

He says, when writing of the times to which our attention is now directed :

“ Their general and ordinary way was to baptize by immersion, or dipping the person in the water. This is so plain and clear, by an infinite number of passages, that as one cannot but pity the weak endeavors of such Pedobaptists as would maintain the negative of it; so, also, we onght to disown and show a dislike of the profane scoffs which some people give to the English Anti-pedobaptists, merely for their use of dipping. It is one thing to maintain, that that circumstance is not absolutely necessary to the essence of haptism, and another to go about to represent it as ridiculous and foolish, or as shameful and indecent, when it was, in all probability, the way in which our blessed Saviour, and for certain, was the most usual and ordinary way by which the ancient Christians, did receive their baptism. I shall not stay to produce the particular proofs of this. Many of the quotations which I brought for other purposes, and shall bring, do evince it. It is a great want of prudence as well as honesty, to refuse to grant to an adversary what is certainly true, and may be proved so. It creates a jealousy of all the rest that one says."--History of Infant Baptism, page 462.

The paragraph quoted above is a most considerable document, and one the more valuable, because it is manifestly extorted from the author by the naked force of truth and honesty. Then it is undeniable, that when the Vulgate was first brought into use, the general understanding was, that to baptize meant to immerse or dip, as a religious solemnity for initiation into the church of Christ. We thus have the history of the Christian church brought in to settle and determine the meaning of the word; and surely there never was a word in any vocabulary, whose signification was more limited and unequivocal. The most celebrated writers, both in Greek and Latin, continued to bear one uniforin and decided testimony for ten centuries from the apostolic age, that to baptize was to immerse in water, for the exbibition of a Christian rite. It is true, that some of these writers contended that affusion, or the pouring on of water, was sufficient to answer the purpose of baptism. This ground, however, they assumed, not because there was any double meaning in the word, expressive of the ordinance, or any doubt as to the ancient and apostolic practice, but because of an insolent dogma, which obtained an early extension, namely, that though immersion was the primitive way, yet the quantity of water applied was a matter of indifference. Cyprian appears to have been one of the first advocates and promoters of affusion in baptism. But he pleads for it, not on the pretence that the word may mean to wash, to pour, or to sprinkle, for he knew better ; but upon the ground of necessity. He says, in bis letter to one Magnus, a countryman, who sought to know whether those who were baptized in bed, as Novatian was, must be baptized again, if they recover, “ In the sacrament of salvation, when necessity compels, the shortest ways of transacting divine matters do, by God's gracious dispensation, confer the whole benefit.” Cyprian here sets up the plea of necessity, and trusts in God's gracious dispensation, to obtain a sanction for affusion, or pouring. Had he resembled some of our modern doctors, he would have put forth the plea of ambiguity in the word ; and in defiance of all principle in pbilological disquisition, would have said, that the word baptism means affusion as well as immersion,-in the sense of the language of the New Testament.

The strong plea of necessity, together with the venerable authority of Cyprian, was not enough to render pouring and sprinkling fashionable in Italy for a long term of years. For, to quote from Wall, “ In the times of Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventur, immersion was in Italy the most common way. Thomas thus speaks (3. q. 66, art. 7), · Baptism may be given not only by immersion, but also by affusion of water, or sprinkling with it. But it is the safer way to baptize by immersion, because that is the most common custom. By immersion, the


burial of Christ is more lively represented, and therefore this is the most common and commendable way.' Bonaventur says (l. 4, dist. 3, art. 2, q. 2), • The way of affusion was probably used by the apostles, and was in his time in the churches of France and some others; but the way of dipping into the water is the more common, and the fitter, and the safer." Walafridus Strabo, in the year 850, Rupertus and others, 1120, represent immersion to have been the general custom in Germany at those respective periods.

Wicliff's translation of the Scriptures was made in the year 1380, and may be regarded as the oldest English version extant. It lay rusting in manuscript, however, until 1731, when the New Testament was published by Lewis, and more recently a new and revised edition has appeared, under the authorship of the Rev. Henry Hervey Baber, with a life of Wicliff prefixed. This very ancient translation, and the first, too, ever made into English, is a most literal rendering from the Vulgate. The word to baptize, with all its kindred terms, is, accordingly, transferred and not translated. What Wicliff understood, therefore, by that word, must be collected from history. Both Neale and Crosby have reported Wicliff to have been an ti-pedobaptist. In this they are manifestly wrong, since his works afford proof to the contrary.

See Baber's Life of Wicliff, xxxii. But it appears, that immersion or dipping was understood by him to constitute baptism. Like others who had preceded him, and in accordance with the rule of a church which had declined from pristine simplicity, he admitted, in cases of necessity (the old pretence of Cyprian), pouring or sprinkling. Another paragraph from Wall will cast light on this point. See page 469. “Some do prove from Wicliff, that it was held indifferent in England, in his time, whether dipping or pouring were used, because he says at one place, Nor is it material whether they be dipped once or thrice, or water be poured on their heads. But it must be done according to the custom of the place where one dwells.' But we ought to take the whole context as it lies in his book. He had been speaking of the necessity of baptism to salvation, from that text John 3: 5, and then adds, Et ordinavit ecclesia quod quælibet persona fidelis in necessitatis articulo poterit baptizari [baptizare) nec refert, &c. · And the church has ordained, that in a case of necessity, any person that is fidel, or that is himself baptized, may give baptism. Nor is it material

whether they be dipped, &c. Such words do not suppose any other way than dipping used ordinarily.

We here meet the very fact in history which substantiates our position. While the English language was as yet in its crude elements, trunca membris, like some “ half formed reptile on the banks of Nile,” to baptize meant ordinarily to immerse or dip. At the same time, the offices or liturgies for public baptism in the church of England, did uniforınly enjoin immersion, without any mention of pouring or sprinkling. The “ Manuale ad Usum Sarum,” printed 1530, 21st of Henry VIIIth, directs the priest to take the child, and, paming it, to dip him in the water. John Frith, in a treatise on baptism, 1533, styles the external action, “the plunging down into the water, and the lifting up again.” In all the books of common prayer, during and after the period in question, as far down as the beginning of the eighteenth century, the formula always directs dipping, before pouring, in baptism. It is conceded, that the baptism of infants was one of the tenets of the several periods to which we have resorted for proof of our point. As, however, our purpose is simply to establish a uniform meaning for the words baptism and baptize, it matters not whether the parties be infants or adults. Our object, so far, is attained, provided they were dipped or immersed. For we are not settling a question about the proper subjects of baptism, but one respecting the mode, as that mode is presented to us by a particular word in the common version, which we would not have altered.

We shall now pass on to investigate the established sense of the word at the very time when the present authorized translation was made. It is the opinion of some, that the translators of our present version were laid under restrictions by James I., -at whose instance the work was undertaken, -as to the rendering of certain words. And it cannot be denied, that the instructions of the king to the translators have some restrictive clauses. These, however, are not of such a nature as to interfere, in the least, with their general freedom of translation, as will be seen in the instructions themselves, copied from Thomas Fuller's Church History of Britain.

See book X., p. 46, 47.

“1. The ordinary Bible, read in the church, commonly called the Bishops' Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the original will permit.

“2. The names of the prophets and the holy writers, with the other names in the text, to be retained as near as may be, accordingly as they are vulgarly used.

“3. The old ecclesiastical words to be kept; that is, as the word church, not to be translated congregation, &c.

“ 4. When any word bath divers significations, that to be kept which hath been most commonly used by the most eminent fathers, being agreeable to the propriety of the place and the analogy of faith.

“5. The division of the chapters to be altered, either not at all, or as little as may be, if necessity so require.

“6. No marginal notes at all to be affixed, but only for the explanation of the Hebrew or Greek words, which cannot, without some circumlocution, so briefly and fitly be expressed in the text.

“7. Such quotations of places to be marginally set down, as shall serve for the fit reference of one scripture to another.

“8. Every particular man of each company to take the same chapter or chapters, and having translated or amended them severally by himself, where he thinks good, all to meet together, confer what they have done, and agree for their part what shall stand.

“9. As any one company hath despatched any one book in this manner, they shall

send it to the rest, to be considered of seriously and judiciously. For his majesty is very careful in this point.

“10. If any company, upon the review of the book so sent, shall doubt or differ upon any places, to send them word thereof, note the places, and therewithal send their reasons, to which if they consent not, the difference to be compounded at the general meeting, which is to be of the chief persons of each company, at the end of their work.

“11. When any place of special obscurity is doubted of, letters to be directed by authority, to send to any learned in the land, for his judgment in such a place.

“12. Letters to be sent from every bishop to the rest of his clergy, admonishing them of this translation in hand, and to move and charge as many as, being skilful in the tongues, have taken pains in that kind, to send his particular observations to the company, either at Westminster, Cambridge or Oxford.

“13. The directors in each company to be the deans of Westminster and Chester for that place, and the king's professors in Hebrew and Greek in each university.

“ 14. These translations to be used when they agree better with the text than the Bishops' Bible, viz., Tindal's, Mathews', Coverdale's, Whitchurch's, Geneva.”

The learned persons to whom the foregoing instructions were sent, were all members of the Established Church of England, and forty-seven in number. Their commission from the king bears date Anno Domini 1607, being the fifth James 1. They were forbidden the translation of proper names and of certain ecclesiastical terms, as church, &c. They were also required to conform as nearly as possible to a

year of

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