From the book, Baptism the 1891 edition



Sprinkling and Pouring



The Question Settled

By David King

"Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." --- Acts 2:38.



This little work was first published some twenty-five years ago for the purpose of compacting into a few pages a body of facts, relating to Baptism, only attainable in large volumes, to which but comparatively few had access.

Its publication was consequent upon the conviction, that, in a work of its extent, the question could be settled, to say the least, so as to enable truth-seekers to arrive at a reliable conclusion as to the action, expressed by the terms used by the Saviour and His Apostles to designate the ordinance.

During the last few years it has been out of print, having, previously, been widely circulated. The present edition is issued with a view to meet frequent requests for its reproduction. Its author, notwithstanding frequent attempts to break the force of its conclusion, has found no occasion, after careful revision, to depart, in any important particular, from his first edition.

David King.
Birmingham, 1891.



Baptism - page 5

In the long past, with tongue and with pen, giants in learning and piety have disputed over this question. Is it, then, likely, that these few pages can satisfactorily dispose of a subject upon which the wisest and best of men have laboured in vain? If these words, dear reader, express your mind upon looking at our title page, we pray you to put away prejudice - suspend your judgement and go with us without concern as to the conclusion you may arrive at, and without care as to what you may have to give up or to accept. Seek only truth, and when you have gone over the entire ground, but not before, say whether the question is settled.

Of course we do not mean settled so that a partisan - determined to support his sect, by truth if he can, but without it, or against it, if need be - cannot quibble. We merely claim, that by the aid of these pages an honest truth-seeker, wishful to know and do the right, will arrive at sound and satisfactory conclusions. And why should it not be so? Can it be thought possible that the Lord has given a command connected with salvation, so indistinctly as to leave us unable to learn what that command is? Impossible! The very thought is a libel against God! There is then, at the onset, presumptive evidence that the subject can be understood and the question settled, so that the honest truth-seeker can know what the action commanded by the Saviour really is, and what it is not.

Neither is the controversy so broad, nor of such long standing, as many suppose. True, men now contend that the word used by our Lord to denote the ordinance signifies to pour, and that, therefore, they can administer baptism by sprinkling, but this conception is not of old. In the ancient time, and comparatively to a recent period, it had no existence. For centuries nothing was admitted but immersion as baptism. When pouring was contended for, the dispute was not concerning the import of the word used by the Saviour to designate the ordinance - no one alleged pouring as one of its significations - the only question was whether, in certain cases, where immersion could not be had, pouring might be allowed as a substitute. That this was the question in dispute and that the import of the word was undisputed, is as well attested as any fact in history, and this being the case, the controversy is not of that breadth, duration, and complexity which many suppose.

In the love and fear of God, with only one desire - that of knowing and doing His will - let us in prayerful prosecute the investigation.


The New Testament - page 6

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." - Mat. xxviii. 19.

"He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." - Mark xvi. 16.

Thus is expressed, in the Authorised Version of Holy Scripture, the commission, under which the Apostles instituted the ordinance which is now generally designated baptism. The word selected by the Redeemer to express the ordinance was not devised for the occasion, neither was it used in a new or peculiar signification. It was not a word which had been appropriated to expressed an action, or appointment, exclusively religious. It was a word, commonly in use - which, in every day life did duty precisely where, and as, we now employ the words dip and immerse. In the commission the word is not explained, because explanation was not needed, as in English there would be no need, in constructing a legal document, to explain a plain command to dip, or to immerse, a person, or thing, in water, or in any other element, stated or implied.

Baptizo, the word in question, is found in the New Testament some eighty times - baptismos, four times - baptisma, twenty-two times - baptistees, fourteen times, and bapto, its root (with its compound embapto), six times - in all one hundred and twenty-six times. In the Common Version these words are dealt with thus - Bapto and embapto are, without exception, translated dip. Baptizo (the word used in the commission to express the ordinance) is twice, improperly, translated wash and in the remaining seventy-eight instances it is not translated, but transferred - the Greek word, with an English termination, is retained. Baptismos is three times translated washing. Baptisma and baptistees are not translated but transferred - the one into baptism and the other into baptist. They are never translated sprinkle, pour, nor by any equivalent word. Why this family of words, occurring in the New Testament, over one hundred times, should, in two of its members, occurring jointly over thirty times, never be translated at all, and, why baptizo itself (chosen by the Lord to express a definite act connected with salvation) should in its eighty instances only have been translated twice, and then by an indefinite term, which does not express its meaning, would form a curious problem, did we not know that the translators were members of a church which used sprinkling for baptism and that they were called to the work by a monarch who restricted their liberty. It was utterly impossible to translate this family of words without giving a New Testament completely against the practice of the established church - hence they were left untranslated.

But from the Common Version, as it came from the hands of King James' translators, we shall ascertain the apostolic practise. Did the Apostles or other primitive preachers sprinkle or pour water when administering the Christ-appointed ordinance, or, did they immerse, dip, or plunge the subject into the water? In answering this question it is not requisite to bring forward every text in which baptism is mentioned, because the greater portion give no intimation, beyond that which is contained in the word itself. There are however a sufficient number which record attending circumstances, or express the action performed by words, which fairly indicate what that action was. To all instances of this class we shall ask the reader's attention, and when this part of the ground has been gone over, let him take a concordance and glance at the remaining occurrences of the word, that he may know, whether our induction is complete, or merely partial and in aid of a foregone conclusion.

"Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptised of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." - Mat. iii. 5, 6.

These multitudes were then baptised IN Jordan, or, as the Greek has it, in the Jordan - that is to say IN the river, known by that name.

"And Jesus when he was baptised went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him." - Mat. iii. 16.

Jesus then was baptised IN the water, after which he "went up" straightway "OUT OF THE WATER." To be immersed a man must be in the water. To have a little of the element sprinkled upon the face, or poured upon the head, not only does not require the persons to go into the water, but it can be much more conveniently done without doing so. No one in his senses would think of wading into a river for such a purpose, and yet into the river Jordan the multitudes went, and Jesus, and John, came up out of the Jordan. Jesus and the multitudes were then immersed.

"John did baptise in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptised of him in the river of Jordan confessing their sins. ...... And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptised of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him." - Mark i. 4-10.

Here, just as we learn that the Spirit came UPON Jesus and not that he was put upon, or into, the Spirit, so we learn that he was baptised INTO the river and not that the river was put, poured, or sprinkled upon him. He was IN the river, and he came up out of it, and the Spirit came UPON him.

"And after these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judea, and there he tarried with them, and baptised. And John also was baptising in Aenon, near to Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptised." - John iii. 22, 23.

Because there was "much water" - or, according to the Greek, many streams - they baptised there. Little water would suffice for sprinkling, but the place of streams would be the one selected when immersion is contemplated. At all events there were streams at Aenon, and on that account the spot was chosen. Into the Jordan we know the baptised went and none can reasonably doubt that those baptised in Aenon did the like.

"For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market except they wash they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and tables." - Mark vii. 3, 4.

The "American Bible Union" translate these verses - "For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they carefully wash their hands do not eat, holding the tradition of the elders. And coming from the market, except they immerse themselves they do not eat. And there are many other things which they have received to hold, immersions of cups and pots, and brazen vessels, and couches." This translation is undeniable. It has, however, been argued that the text proves that baptizo means to wash by pouring, it being alleged that men never after coming from the market could be required to dip themselves before eating, and that tables or couches could not have been immersed. But this text, like every other in which baptizo is found, shows that dipping is, and that pouring and washing are not, expressed by the word in question. In the first of the verses, both in the Common Version and in that of the American Bible Union, we have, very properly, the word wash, but in the Greek of that verse baptizo is not found, but a word whose undoubted meaning is wash.

In the following verse that word is not used but baptizo is made to do just the work for which it is fitted, the verses together being intended to teach that in ordinary circumstances the hands were washed before eating, but that after going to the market and consequent contact with the unclean, the whole person was immersed. Accordingly DR. HALLEY (who contends for sprinkling) says -"The Pharisees, as early as the time of our Lord, practised immersion after contact with the common people." GROTIUS remarks - "With greater care they purified themselves from contact with the market, not merely by washing their hands but by immersing their bodies." MAIMONIDES says - "Wherever in the law washing of the flesh or clothes is mentioned, it means nothing else than the dipping of the whole body in a laver; for if any man dips himself all over, except the tip of his little finger, he is still in his uncleanness." VATABULUS, a distinguished Professor of Hebrew at Paris, for whom the Jews of his acquaintance entertained high regard, says on the text in question, "They bathed the whole person."

The Bible Union's rendering of these verses has recently been submitted by a friend to G.R. LEDERER, a converted Jew and Editor of the Israelite Indeed. In reply he observes "Our interrogator is not mistaken in supposing us, as a Hebrew, well acquainted with the customs of the people we sprang from, ancient and modern. Jews, the orthodox of course, do still hold the traditions of the Elders respecting washings or immersions, as far as they deem it necessary and practicable. The mode of washing either vessels or their bodies is unchanged. They wash their hands when sitting down to their meals and they immerse their cups, plates, &c., when they purchase them from the shop. The mode of immersion is the same among modern Jews as it was among the ancients, plunging over head into the water. .... The tables were mere boards laid upon low blocks. The couches were but low cushions and sometimes only pieces of carpets or mats. The latter had to undergo washing (consequently immersion) only in cases where a person in a state of defilement had sat on them." More might be added but these suffice. These men who bound heavy burdens on the shoulders of the people did require an immersion after coming from the market and washing of hands after ordinary contact with home things, and in expressing this difference Mark used baptizo to indicate the immersion.

The above are those allusions to baptism in the four gospels which intimate the nature of the action. Excepting certain figurative applications of the word, the remainder do not indicate what baptism is, otherwise than by the use of the word baptizo. Passing to the Acts of the Apostles we come to the day of Pentecost and the first administration of baptism into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three thousand were that day baptised, but no mention is made of place or circumstance indicative of the action performed. The narrative might have been passed without notice in this place, but for the fact, that advocates of sprinkling have used, or rather abused it. Failing to find, in the New Testament, a single intimation of sprinkling or pouring they have claimed this text on the ground of alleged insufficiency of garments, time, and water.

A brief word will show the utter worthlessness both of this plea and of the cause which needs its support. As to garments. Change of raiment would not be requisite, and not sought, in any case when obtaining it would prove inconvenient. The clothing of an eastern clime would admit of throwing off the outer robe, leaving suitable under garments in which to pass through water, over which the outside garment would sufficiently protect the wearer in returning to the place of his abode. Then the converts of that day were deeply in earnest - with them it was a matter of life and death - they were in that condition in which fire would hardly appal and certainly an immersion in water would not keep back. Give us, on the bank of an English river, three thousand such converts - men pricked to the heart and filled with the deepest sense of their danger, and let them know from God that it is His will that they be immersed, and notwithstanding our less suitable clothing and more unfavourable climate we shall soon see that walking home in wet garments will not restrain those who cannot provide the required change.

A case illustrative of this is found in the memoirs of a venerable brother whose earnest preaching has made its mark on this and the last generation. Barton W. Stone wrote "We preached and baptised at Eaton for many days. No house could contain the people that flocked to hear. We had to preach in the streets to the anxious multitude. At night, the cries and prayers of the distressed in many houses around were truly solemn. Almost the whole town and neighbourhood were baptised and added to the Lord. It was a common thing for men, women, and children to walk six or seven miles to a night meeting - the darkest nights did not prevent them, for as they came they tied up bundles of hickory bark and left them by the way at convenient distances, which upon their return they lighted. Many I have baptised by the light of those bundles." ... "

On my way a gentleman who was returning from the meeting came up, and we rode on together. I urged him to turn to the Lord. His mind was vacillating and troubled. At length we came to a clear running stream and he said 'See, here is water: what doth hinder me to be baptised?' I instantly replied 'If thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest.' He said 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and I am determined hereafter to be his servant.' Without any more to do we alighted and I baptised him. We rode in our wet clothes till our ways parted."

The ease with which large numbers even now are baptised in the East is seen by reference to "Travels in the Holy Land" by Fredrika Bremer, published 1862. Wherein, without reference to Christian baptism, she says:

Below this little hill flowed the Jordan. We were soon on its banks. Its light grey waters flowed rapidly along from North to South, so rapidly indeed that it seemed as if it would be at the peril of life to swim across although the river was by no means broad. The water, however, was calmer and overshadowed by beautiful large trees at the bend of the river where we and a number of pilgrims had taken our stand, and this, in fact, was the place where the peculiar scene of the bathing or baptism of the pilgrims was going on. Beneath a shady tree, upon some elevated ground, near the bank of the river men and women removed their outer attire, and then went down in merely linen garments to the water's edge, where, beside an old dry tree-trunk which leaned over the water, stood an athletic figure with black, shaggy head and chest covered with hair - more like Hercules than a John the Baptist - naked to the waist and standing to his middle in water. This man received in his arms the pilgrims as they stepped down to the river, into which, by the help of an assistant, he gave them a hasty plunge. This was repeated three times to each person.

The baptised then mounted the hill again and resumed their garments in the shade of a large tree; women helping one another in so doing, and men performing the same good office for men. Beautiful young women, grey-haired old women, youths and old men, children of all ages, were thus plunged into the river. People here seemed to go into the bath as to some pleasant church-festival. The water also was so agreeable, so fresh and soft that I experienced a physical longing to have a dip likewise, but the great assemblage of people terrified me, so I merely bathed my forehead and eyes with the water of this river, rich in memories.

Touching the want of water in and near Jerusalem, it is humiliating to have to write. That any such want has been alleged can only be accounted for on the ground of gross ignorance on the part of those who affirm, or from a determination to support an unauthorised practice whatever truth may be sacrificed. The Rev. W. Thorn holds the immersion of John's disciples and those of the day of Pentecost as impossible. A Presbyterian minister, in a recent pamphlet, writes - "The difficulty that strikes every mind that has acquaintance with the place is, where was the water found? No river passes the city - the nearest lake is many miles away: the brook Cedron is only the dry bed of a little stream which only flows in winter, and Pentecost always occurred in the hot season of the year - only three wells are known to exist in or around the city, in two of which the water in the summer is more than 60 feet under the ground, and the third is only a little stream that trickles from the rock and is lost in the neighbouring gardens: and the inhabitants of the city are supplied from cisterns under the houses, into which the rain that falls in winter is conducted from the roof, and up out of which the water required for domestic purposes is drawn by a bucket and a wheel, as we do from a draw-well. In such circumstances, one cannot help asking, where were they dipped?"

But facts answer all such nonsense. God's own description of the land will be deemed good authority by all, save the most determined sprinklers, - "For the land whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs: For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills." Deut. xi. 10 and viii. 7. "All the Plain of Jordan was well watered everywhere, even as the Garden of the Lord." Gen. xiii. 10.

Dr. Robinson (Biblical Researches) says, "Almost every private house in Jerusalem of any size is understood to have at least one or more cisterns, excavated in the soft limestone rock upon which the city is built. The house of Mr. Lanneau, in which we resided, had no less than four cisterns. From the dimensions of these reservoirs, which he gives, this house alone would have supplied water sufficient for the immersion of the whole multitude at Pentecost. The water is conducted into these cisterns from the roofs of the houses during the rainy season, and with proper care remains pure and sweet during the whole summer and autumn. In this manner most the larger houses and of the public buildings are supplied. .... The same causes which led the inhabitants of Judea to excavate cisterns, induced them also to build in and around most of their cities large open reservoirs for more public use. Such are found at Hebron, Bethel, Gibeon, and various other places. With such reservoirs Jerusalem was abundantly supplied. Without the walls of Jerusalem, on the west side is the Upper Pool, 316 feet long, 200 broad; the Lower Pool, 502 by 260 (mean breadth) ... The Pool of Hezekiah, 250 by 144; Pool of Bethesda, 360 by 130; Solomon's Pools, viz., The Lower Pool, 582 by 177; Middle Pool, 423 by 205; Upper Pool, 380 by 232. Any one of these pools would have been amply sufficient to immerse the 3,000 at Jerusalem."

Mr. Noel (Bap. p. 96) shows, from Dr. Kitto's 'Palestine,' that, as Pentecost fell that year on the 28th May, the cisterns and reservoirs in Jerusalem must have been all nearly full with the rains, which had only ceased to fall at the end of March. Dr. Barclay (now in Jerusalem and with whom the writer is personally acquainted) has supplied a most interesting and reliable volume* concerning this so-called waterless region, which according to W. Thorn and others God gave to his people instead of the well-watered country promised. He confirms the testimony of Dr. Clarke, who says, speaking of the district between Sichem and Jerusalem - "A sight of it alone can convey any idea of its surpassing produce. It is truly the Eden of the East."** He refers (1.) to the King's Pool (Neh. ii. 14) or Solomon's Pool, as it is called by Josephus. He describes the water as rushing in abundance from many little cascades. (2.) The Mekhemeh Pool 84 feet long, 42 broad. Near it is quite a large pool of water kept well filled. (3.) Jeremiah's Pool, in which water is found till midsummer. (4.) Miryam Pool, which supplies the Turkish bath with water. (5.) The Natatoria, or Swimming place, (supposed to be the pool mentioned in Isa. xxii. 9, 11), 130 feet long, 130 broad. (6.) The Baths of Tiberias, and the so-called Bath of Bathsheba (2 Sam. xi. 2.) (7.) The Megara Pool. Its supply was formerly brought from a beautiful sheet of water that collects every rainy season in the cave of Jeremiah. (8.) Helena's Cistern, about 60 feet long and 30 broad. It has a constant supply of cool sweet water, said to be inexhaustible. (9.) The Hippic Cistern, said to be 100 feet in length. (10.) The Pool of Siloam, about 50 feet long, 16 broad. As in other pools, there are steps which lead down to the water in it, which is about three or four feet deep at present. (11.) The immense Reservoir underneath the area of the Temple, 765 feet in circuit and 42 in depth.

Dr. B. found the water in it at present about knee deep. This place, from its great size, has been called a subterranean lake, and Dr. B. Says, "According to the best estimate I could make, its capacity falls but little short of two millions of gallons!" He mentions several other supplies of water, and adds, "There are several large reservoirs and tanks within a mile of the city - some of them caves - all filled with water." "There are five or six bathing establishments in the city, and most of the better kinds of residences have private baths." "Besides these public reservoirs and tanks, every private house has beneath it one or more cisterns." He assured us (pp. 295, 560) that beyond the immediate environs, "within a circuit swept by a radius of seven miles, there are no less than thirty or forty natural springs."

In a valley about six miles from the city he found several fountains, one sending out a stream "capable of driving several mills." In various expansions of this stream were many pools, which he said would form the most delightful bathing-places he had ever seen. This retired valley he thinks was the Aenon where John baptised. The Upper Pool of Gihon, which Dr. Barclay describes, we are informed by Williams, gave water for the Crusaders and their horses in the time of the crusades. True it is some distance from Jerusalem, but Robinson records the discovery of an immense conduit which he considers is referred to in 2 Chron. xxxii. 30. "Hezekiah stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the City of David."

The water supplied to the temple was immense, and the Disciples on the day of Pentecost were in "favour with the people and had such possession of the temple, that they continued daily therein preaching and teaching." The baths of the temple are thus described - "A molten sea, ten cubits from one brim to the other" - "ten lavers of brass; one laver contained forty baths; and every laver was four cubits," 1 Kings vii. The lavers were "put five of them on the right hand and five on the left to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offerings they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in." 2 Chron. iv. 6.

In dedicating the temple Solomon sacrificed "two and twenty thousand oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep, and all Israel was feasting fourteen days." Let anyone say what quantity of water that immense slaughter must have required, together with the supply requisite for the people. Yet it was there, and why should we suppose deficiency in a "land of springs," so described by Jehovah himself, and in a country about half the size of Ireland, having the Jordan flowing through it for perhaps one hundred and fifty miles, the Jabbok sixty five miles, and Arnon for eighty miles - with the Sea of Galilee eleven miles in length and five in breadth, and Dead Sea thirty-nine miles long and nine broad, together with a coast line of above one hundred miles washed by the Mediterranean - "A land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, that spring out of valleys and hills." Deut. viii. 7.

As to the alleged want of time to immerse the three thousand. It is clear that either the argument is urged without calculation or in defiance of known results. Allowing Peter's sermon to commence at nine o'clock, and the discourse and going to the water to occupy three hours, there would remain six hours before sunset, at which time we will consider the baptising completed, though of course if requisite if might have continued later. Suppose only the Apostles to have administered the ordinance, and remember that with a large multitude waiting no delay would be experienced. Each administrator could with ease immerse, to say the least, fifty persons in an hour, which would give in six hours six hundred over the three thousand. But no one is justified in concluding that only the Apostles baptised. Indeed it is not unlikely they baptised but few, if any, of the number that day added to the saved. Even afterwards the Apostles seem not over forward to baptise. All the converts in Corinth were baptised, but Paul who planted that Church baptised but few of them. All the household of Cornelius were baptised, but it is not recorded that Peter, by whose preaching they learned the way of life, baptised them, but, that he commanded them to be baptised, no doubt leaving the six brethren, whom he had taken with him, to administer the ordinance.

On the day of Pentecost there were one hundred and twenty disciples, many of them most likely experienced in baptising, "for Jesus made and baptised more disciples than John, yet he, himself, baptised not, but his disciples." But say that some of those present on Pentecost were aged, some females, and some otherwise unfit. Then reckon fifty only as able to take part in the work. Each man would under these circumstances have but sixty to immerse, and he would have six hours for the accomplishment of his task. Where then is the difficulty, much less the impossibility?*


* A reviewer asks, Why the apostles, having been baptised with the Holy Spirit, by pouring, should change the action to dipping? They were not baptised in the Spirit by pouring. The Saviour Himself used baptizo to designate the action, and that expresses immersion, and is never translated either pouring or sprinkling.


Baptism is next found in connection with circumstances which indicate the nature of the action in Acts viii. 38, "And he commanded the chariot to stand still, and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the Eunuch; and he baptised him. And when they came up out of the water, the spirit of the Lord caught away Philip."

Those who have not been blinded by evasive subtleties necessarily see immersion in this text. It has nevertheless been objected that going into the water does not prove the immersion of the Eunuch, else were Philip also immersed, as he too went down into the stream. No man in his senses would argue that an intimation that two men went into the water proves the immersion of either one or both, and, therefore, it cannot be urged that the descent of Philip and the Ethiopian, considered alone, indicates anything of the kind. But we are informed that they went into the water for a definite purpose - that the one might be baptised by the other - and we are told that Philip baptised him. Now what sane man would ever think of taking another into water for the purpose of sprinkling a few drops upon his face or pouring a handful upon his head? Do priests and ministers ever subject themselves to universal ridicule by such folly? Can a man be found who has ever thought of so doing? Certainly not! But when a Baptist leads a believing penitent to the baptistery, or to the river, he generally goes into the water with the candidate, because he must, the immersion in almost every case being next to impossible without. Philip and the eunuch were rational men. They "came unto" the water, then they "went down both into the water," and they "came up out of the water." This they did for a purpose, or without one, and their doing so is recorded by the Holy Spirit for a purpose, or without a purpose. They did it because so doing was necessary to the immersion of the one by the other, and the Holy Spirit has given the record that we may know what they did and do the like.

It is, however, insisted by some, who are determined to get rid of immersion, that the words translated into and out of have not necessarily that signification - that eis (into) is sometimes properly rendered to and ek (out of) from - that, therefore, it is not certain that Philip and his companion did more than come to the water and after sprinkling or pouring go away from it. But the narrative specifies three stages - they come unto the water, they go down into the water, and the come up out of the water. Still it is said that we depend upon a preposition. But this is not the case, even so far as the prepositions are concerned. We rest not upon any word of doubtful application, nor upon any one preposition. We claim nothing in the slightest degree doubtful. Everything over which a shade of doubt can be thrown we give up. Let us see what remains that cannot be shaken.

That eis (in this text rendered into) denotes motion towards, terminating in or upon the place or thing intimated, is admitted. When we read that "these (the wicked) shall go away into (eis) everlasting fire" we doubt not that eis indicates their place within the fire. That this is its proper signification every one admits. If then it be replied, that there are a few instances, out of thousands of occurrences, in which conformity to English idiom, or expression of the literal fact, require to or for instead of into let it be freely admitted. But then it does not follow that the word becomes a nose of wax, to be pulled into any shape, and made to mean this or the other, to suit the temper, first of this, and then of that partisan. The universally admitted canons of interpretation require that the first and primary meaning of a word be ascribed to it in every case in which the context and known facts do not forbid. In the text under consideration their going into the water is in harmony with everything contained in the narrative, in keeping with the signification of baptizo and in unison with the admitted practice of apostolic times. To translate eis under these circumstances by any other word than into would be to cheat the unlearned without a shade of excuse, other than that of determination to support the dogma of a sect. But we do not depend upon this one word.

That they came up "out of the water" is as plainly and as properly asserted as that they went into it. And here we are bold to declare that ek never means less than out of. Its only use is to specify departure from within the element or place specified or implied. It therefore follows that if eis were as indefinite as some, who wish to get rid of immersion, would have us believe, that nevertheless, in the text under notice, and in every other, when the return is indicated by ek it must expressentrance within, as that which comes out must have been first within - he who comes up out of the water must have first gone down into it. True, it is insisted that though ek usually and primarily signifies out of, yet it is also used in cases where it cannot have that meaning. Could we admit this it must still have its usual and primary meaning in the case under notice, because the context and known circumstances do not require departure from its usual and proper signification. But the plea is not admitted.

Before us are the instances selected by the most competent of those who have taken in hand to show that ek is sometimes merely the equivalent of from, but without exception the departure intimated is really from within the point indicated. These instances would be given, but our plan is not that of demonstrating all that is demonstrable, but only so much as the case in hand demands. We shall then limit the affirmation to the use of ek in cases of actual departure. The affirmation then will stand thus -- No instance of the use of ek to denote the actual departure of any person or thing, from any element or place, can be produced in which the point of departure was not WITHIN the element or place indicated. In the common version ek is in such cases sometimes translated from, but in each instance it is clear that from does not express the whole truth - does not entirely fill the place of ek.

In illustration see the following - "There came a sound from heaven." - Acts ii. 2. Did not the sound come out of heaven? "Paul departed from Athens." - Acts xviii. 1. Did he not depart out of Athens? "There shone from heaven a great light." Acts xxii. 6. The light came out of heaven not merely from heaven. So Philip and the Eunuch came not merely from the water but out of it. But the Holy Spirit has still further guarded this narrative. We have to look at the eis and the ek not as isolations, but as parts of two complete sentences.


"Let him that is upon the house top not go down into the house." - Mark xiii. 15.

"Went down from Jerusalem to Jericho." - Luke x. 30.

"Went down to his house." - Luke xviii. 14.

"He went down to Capernaum." - John ii. 12.

"So Jacob went down into Egypt." - Acts vii. 15.

"The way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza - Acts viii. 26.

"Went down into Attalia." - Acts xiv. 25.

"Came down into Troas." - Acts xvi. 8.

"He went down into Antioch." - Acts xviii. 22.

"He went down into Caesarea." - Acts xxv. 6.

"Who shall descend into the deep." - Rom. x. 7.

"He descended first into the lower parts of the earth." - Eph. iv. 9.


"Joseph also went up from Galilee." - Luke ii. 4.

"And many went out of the country up to Jerusalem." - John xi. 55.

"And the smoke of the incense ... ascended up before God out of the Angel's hand." - Rev. viii. 4.

"There arose a smoke out of the pit." - Rev. ix. 9.

"The Beast that ascended out of the pit." - Rev. xi. 7.

"I saw a beast rise up out of the sea." - Rev. xiii. 1.

"Another beast coming up out of the earth." - Rev. xiii. 11.

"The Beast ... shall ascend out of the bottomless pit." - Rev. xvii. 8.


The reader has now in view the New Testament usage of these terms - not a selection to show that going down into and coming up out of may be thus expressed, but every instance of their use, whereby it is seen that such is their meaning in every single occurrence. The translation given is that of the common version. The translators have given in the last list, in one instance, from as representative of ek, but in so doing they have needlessly destroyed the uniformity of the original, as every one may see that "Joseph went out of Galilee" and not merely from it. A man may go from a country who has never been in it, but Joseph was in Galilee and therefore went up out of it. They have also taken a similar liberty with the first list. The man went down not merely to Jericho but into that region. His purpose was not merely to reach its confines, but to enter within. The man who went down to his house justified, went of course not to the outside of his house, but home - into it. We know that Jesus went not merely to, but into, Capernaum, precisely as, according to the same translators, others went into Egypt, Attalia, Troas, Antioch, and Caesarea. Here then, without a single exception in the entire New Testament, the verbs and prepositions used in this text to denote going down into and coming up out of the water are found to indicate, when used in combination, not merely approach unto but actual entrance - not merely removal from but departure out of.

In the next place certain incidental allusions to baptism command attention. Jesus and the apostles, it will be admitted, knew well the meaning of the word, and they have made such use of it as proves that it indicated immersion and not affusion. We may first cite the words of Jesus -

"Except a man be born of water and the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven."

"Born of water," is admitted by standard commentators and by critics generally to allude to baptism. The phrase is used, of course, metaphorically, and therefore indicates some connection with water which is analagous to a birth. But it is impossible to discover the faintest approach to such analogy in the application of water by sprinkling or pouring. It is absolutely necessary that we find in the action, whatever it may be, something like a birth, and this can be found only in the act of drawing the body out of the water, [1891 edition - only in the passing of the body out of the water] which takes place whenever one is immersed. This was evidently present to the mind of Jesus when he used the metaphor and to this the mind of the reader at once recurs. It is therefore certain that the allusion is not to pouring but to immersion.

Not less conclusive was the Lord's saying when he selected the word baptism to express his unequalled suffering, "I have a baptism to be baptised with."

Of course not a literal baptism. The term was used metaphorically to indicate the overwhelming agony of the garden and the cross. But this it could not have done had it been appropriated to express the sprinkling or pouring of a few drops upon the face or head. What the analogy demands, immersion supplies - a complete rush of water over the whole body as it sinks in the yielding fluid. This too is a clearly established Bible use of the metaphor.

When the Psalmist tells of deepest afflictions he employs the over-flowing waters to give force to the expression, and, with him, deliverance therefrom is a drawing out of the flood, "He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of the great waters," - "Surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him," - "I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me," "Let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters," - "Let not the water flood overflow me," - "Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul." These and like instances show, that complete overwhelming in water, which is inseparable from immersion, is appropriated by the Holy Spirit to express severe trouble, particularly so when it results from the animosity of the wicked. The Redeemer in this respect surpassed all others, and in view of his complete prostration, when even his Father would forsake him, he exclaimed "I have a baptism to be baptised with and how am I straightened until it be accomplished," in other words - the stream was about to go over his soul and the floods of great waters to overwhelm him. This settles the import of the word in the usage of the Saviour.

The Lord again used this word when he said to his Apostles, "Ye shall be baptised in the Holy Ghost not many days hence." - Acts i.

John had previously said "He shall baptise you in the Holy Ghost and in fire." - Mat. iii. The Common Version in both texts has with the Holy Ghost, but the Greek in each instance has in. As John immersed in the Jordan so would the Saviour immerse in the Holy Spirit. The promise was accomplished upon the day of Pentecost, when these events transpired which fulfilled the prediction of Joel and the promise of the Redeemer - the Holy Spirit was poured out and the Apostles were immersed in the Holy Spirit. Some persons, determined to catch at every straw in hope of keeping up their sinking cause, have laboured to confound the out pouring and the baptism, which are no more one than are the immersion of a believer and the previous pouring of water into the bath.

Joel had said "God shall pour out of His Spirit," and Jesus had declared that certain men would be baptised in that Spirit, both were accomplished in the same day, but the one was not the other. Of course the words pour and baptise are used metaphorically. The Holy Spirit, who is everywhere present, is not literally poured out, neither is there a literal immersion of men in the Spirit. But as Jesus had ascended and the Holy Spirit was his gift, the bestowment is metaphorically expressed by the word pour and the overwhelming results to those who the subjects thereof by the word of baptism - as we speak of pouring out wrath and plunging people into affliction. That the pouring was not the baptism is seen in the fact that the Disciples were to be baptised - "Ye shall be baptised in the Holy Ghost not many days hence." But what was poured? Were they? The Holy Spirit is said to be poured out. If then the pouring was the baptism, the Spirit and not the Apostles, was baptised, for the Spirit was poured and not the men. The two things are distinct - the pouring denotes the source from whence the gift of the Spirit emanated and the baptism the superabounding fullness of the bestowment. And to express metaphorically that fullness all the languages of the earth could not supply a more fit word than the one used.

What an ocean of infinitude is the mind of God! How insignificant that of the most intelligent of the sons of men. As no man "knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of man which is in him, even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." To this Paul adds "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him, but God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searches the deep things of God." On the day of Pentecost no man knew the great things of God which belong to our redemption, but the poor limited minds of the Apostles were to be enlightened from the infinite source of all light by the Spirit of God, and so complete, so ample, was the intended bestowment that they were promised an immersion into the Holy Spirit, not of their bodies but of their minds - to them Jesus had said "The Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things." How appropriate then, when it pleased the Lord to express this vast bestowment by the use of metaphor, were the terms selected - "Ye shall be immersed in the Holy Spirit."

Of this, too, there is a sort of public consciousness. Men without thinking of religious truth, aptly and constantly, speak of being immersed in business, politics, or pleasure. The figure is striking, and the Apostles were imbued by the Holy Spirit so as to receive the thoughts and purposes of the Spirit in all fullness - thoughts hidden in the mind of the Eternal - secrets kept from angels, patriarchs and prophets - purposes but dimly foreshadowed in types and shadows - all suddenly given to the men chosen of God, that they might, in the midst of the splendid insignia of the Spirit's presence and power, give them forth, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death." - Rom. vi. 4.
"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him." - Col. ii. 12.

The Apostles allude to the ordinance in perfect harmony with their Great Master. Baptism with Paul is a burial and suggests the burial and resurrection of Jesus. "Buried with him by baptism." "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him." Here is not merely an allusion, but a clear designation of the ordinance. It is a burial, and from the water there is a rising again.*


* It has been said that "burials are performed by pouring the earth over the dead." Yes, but with the result of covering. But who would sprinkle or pour water upon a living man till perfect covering resulted. The Greek commands the covering, or burial, to be effected by immersion. In that all the requirements are complied with.


The same Apostle twice substitutes for the word baptism the bath. "Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." Eph. v. "He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Titus iii. Now the mere sprinkling of a few drops can never be called a washing. But the Greek is stronger than the translation, for there we read "the bath of water," - "the bath of regeneration," thus clearly indicating immersion, and, by metonymy, expressing it. To the Hebrews Paul enjoined that they approach, having their hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and their bodies "washed in pure water" or rather as expressed in the Greek their bodies bathed in pure water, which is exactly what takes place in immersion - the body is bathed in water, but in sprinkling, on the contrary, it is generally untouched by the fluid. Paul has one other allusion to baptism which is claimed as making against immersion. "All our fathers were under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and were all baptised unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." - 1 Cor. x.

It has been said that in this case the Israelites were not immersed, but that the Egyptians were, and therefrom, they perished - that God's people were not in the water and were at most only sprinkled by the rain from the cloud, and that, therefore, pouring is baptism. But we reply that the rain from the cloud did not sprinkle them, because the cloud was not a watery cloud, but that cloud which led them as a pillar of fire by night and as a cloud by day. Neither were they, as some affirm, sprinkled by the spray, for Scripture informs us that the waters were congealed (Ex. xv. 8.). And the people went over on dry land. So, if they were not immersed they were not sprinkled, and water was not poured upon them. But they were immersed, covered, buried - not in water but "in the cloud and in the sea." The cloud was over the upraised and congealed walls, and they passed through this sea-cloud channel. But Paul's allusion in this case is not to the immersional aspect of the Christian ordinance, but to its transitional. This passage through the sea is not adduced as a type of the action performed when one is immersed, but as typical of the translation out of the kingdom of Satan into that of God's dear Son - the point of comparison being, that as they were baptised into a new relation to Moses, so baptism introduces into a new relation to Christ. The reference was not to teach what baptism is, but what it effects.

Thus have been brought into view those instances of baptism, recorded in the New Testament, in connection with circumstances which, irrespective of the use of the word baptizo indicate the action performed, and also the figurative applications of the word, all of which clearly testify to immersion as the proper and only signification thereof. The Israelites immersed in the cloud and in the sea - the immersion of the Apostles in the Holy Spirit - the burial and resurrection essential to Christian baptism - the impossibility of finding anything analogous to a birth in sprinkling or pouring - the Eunuch and Philip coming first unto the water, then into it, and then coming up out of it - the fact that the Pharisees did impose immersion upon the people before eating when they had been to the market - the ease and delight with which to the present day immersion in rivers is practised in the East - the fact that the multitude were immersed by John in the river Jordan, and that the Lord himself was also buried in its waters - these considerations all demonstrate, that in the New Testament, one action, and one only, is designated baptism, that he who is not immersed is unbaptised.




Lexicons and Versions, page 25

We may now advance to ascertain the judgement of lexicographers and translators as to the meaning of the word selected by the Redeemer to designate the ordinance. Some deem the original term so enveloped in thick darkness as to render hopeless all attempts to make it plain. They consider that the learned have opposed each other century after century, and that, therefore, we are not likely to come to any certain conclusion. But if the reader has fallen into this error we beg to correct him. Nothing can be more distant from truth than this view. Diversity of opinion does not exist to the extent supposed, and it never has. Lexicographers, translators, and scholars generally have exhibited remarkable uniformity in all that is requisite to a complete settlement of the question, and those who affirm the contrary, either use duplicity or speak of what they understand not. It is just as easy to determine the meaning of baptizo as to ascertain the import of any other Greek word - quite as easy for one who has access to the lexicons and literature of the Greek language as it is for an English scholar to determine the import of any well known and long used English verb or noun. Let there be a dispute as to the meaning of the word dip - the one party affirming that dip means to put, or plunge, a person, or thing, into some element, or condition, expressed or understood, and the other party insisting that it expresses pouring or sprinkling. In what way could they settle the dispute? By an appeal to English lexicons and to general usage. When it is found that every dictionary defines dip as meaning "to immerse," "to plunge for a short time," or by words of similar import, and that not one can be produced in which sprinkle and pour are ever named, and when it is seen that the dictionaries agree with our literature, then the dispute is settled beyond appeal. Precisely in this manner we settle the import of baptizo. Appeal to the Greek lexicons as a whole and unanimous testimony is found - they all give to dip, to immerse, to plunge, or words of similar import, and not in any one of the whole number is sprinkling or pouring once named. Of course ancient lexicographers are the more reliable, because they give the meaning of the word before the way of administering the ordinance was questioned - they give its meaning according to the common and everywhere accepted import. A modern lexicon, compiled in our day, or since the baptismal controversy has become rampant, might, if its compiler were an Episcopalian, Presbyterian, or Methodist, come forth with the word sprinkle interpolated, though such addition, unsustained by ancient lexicographers, would expose its author to contempt. It is, however, but just to modern lexicographers to say, that though, almost without exception, they belong to churches which practice affusion, they have not in any instance given sprinkle or pour as a meaning of baptizo. Only one of all the modern lexicographers, so far as we can discover, has introduced either the one word or the other in connection with any member of the bapto family. Rev. John Groves (Glasgow, 1828) has Bapto - to dip, plunge, immerse, to wash, to wet, to moisten; to sprinkle, to steep; imbue; to dye, stain, colour." But in this he is sustained by no other. All the ancient and standard lexicons are against him. Then, too, even he does not give sprinkle as a meaning of the word used to express the ordinance. Bapto, be it remembered, is never used when the institution of Christ, which we term baptism is alluded to. In connection with the word always used to express the ordinance Groves does not specify sprinkling. Against Baptizo he places to dip, immerse, immerge, plunge, but not an approach to sprinkling or pouring. So then, notwithstanding that party-feeling is often unscrupulous and willing to take out a word or put in a meaning, only one single instance can be found in the whole range of lexicography in which sprinkling has been foisted upon any word of that family of words from which the Lord selected the designation of his initiatory ordinance, and that one instance relates not to the word which is used to denote the ordinance, but to one which is never applied to it. Having thus cleared the path of the only piece of dead wood, the reader may advance to the united testimony of this class of witnesses, both ancient and modern.

HENRICUS STEPHANUS (1572). BAPTIZO - "Mergo, seu immergo, ut qu‘ tingendi aut abluendi gratia aqua immergimus - Mergo, submergo, obruo aqua; abluo, lavo." In English - to dip, immerse, as we immerse things for the purpose of colouring or washing - to merge, submerge, to cover with water - to cleanse, to wash.

SCAPULA (1579). BAPTIZO - "Mergo, seu immergo, item submergo, item abluo, lavo." In English - to dip, to immerse; also to submerge or overwhelm, to wash, to cleanse.

ROBERTSON - Thesaurus (Cambridge, 1676). BAPTIZO - Mergo, lavo - to immerse, to wash.

DONNEGAN (3rd Edition, London, 1837). BAPTIZO - to immerse repeatedly into a liquid; to submerge, sink (ships), Polyb. 1, 51, 6 & freq. to soak, to saturate, hence to drench with wine. Met., to dip in a vessel, and draw - Met., to overwhelm.

GROVES (Glasgow, 1828). BAPTIZO - to dip, immerse, immerge, plunge; to wash, cleanse, purify; to baptise; to depress, humble, overwhelm.

JOHN JONES, LL. D. (London, 1823). BAPTIZO - I plunge - plunge in water, dip, baptise, (John iv. 2.) - plunge in sleep, bury, overwhelm, initiate into a knowledge of the Gospel, (Mat. xxviii. 19.) - plunge in air or wind, purify (Mat. iii. 11.) - plunge in fire, consume or purify with fire.

PARKHURST (London, 1845). BAPTIZO - to dip, immerse, or plunge in water.

MALTBY (London, 1850). BAPTIZO - immergo, to plunge, to immerse.

LIDDELL & SCOTT (Oxford, 1861). BAPTIZO - to dip in or under water - of ships, to sink them - to bathe - Metph. - soaked in wine - over head and ears in debt.

DUNBAR (London, 1850). BAPTIZO - to dip, immerse, submerge, plunge, sink, overwhelm, to be immersed, to be drenched in wine.

TAYLOR (Dublin, 1850). BAPTIZO - to dip or immerse in water, to baptise - in the pas., to be baptised voluntarily - in the mid., to dip a person's self, to bathe, to wash.

ROBINSON (London, 1854). BAPTIZO - to immerse, sink, spoken of ships, &c. - 2. to wash, to cleanse by washing.

BASS (London, 1859). BAPTIZO - to dip, immerse, or plunge in water.

GREEN (London, Bagster). BAPTIZO - to dip, immerse; to cleanse or purify by washing.

GREENFIELD. BAPTIZO - to immerse, immerge, submerge, sink.

SCHREVELIUS. BAPTIZO - to baptise - dip, immerse, wash, cleanse.

The above Lexicographers, sixteen in number, were not selected, but taken from libraries to which the writer had access as they came to hand without passing over any. The first two are of world-wide fame. The Thesaurus of Robertson is in high repute. Donnegan, John Jones, LL.D., and Parkhurst are well known. Maltby, D.D., F.R.S., Bishop of Durham, is not to be despised. H.D. Liddell, Dean of Christchurch, and R. Scott, Master of Baliol College, are now largely appealed to. George Dunbar, A.M., was Professor of Greek in the Edinburgh University. The others are well enough respected to warrant their appearance in the witness box. To their testimony may be added that of Professor Stuart, the highest American authority.


"BAPTO, BAPTIZO - mean to dip, plunge, or immerge into any liquid. All Lexicographers and critics of any note are agreed on this."

Could we afford space to site the above authorities upon the bapto family of words generally their testimony would be rendered still stronger. Let it suffice to observe that baptistees is defined by Donnegan, "One who immerses" - By Liddell & Scott, "One that dips or bathes, a baptiser" - by Dunbar "He who dips or immerses." Baptisterion is defined by Donnegan "A bathing place, a bathing tub" - by Liddell & Scott "A bathing place, a swimming bath," and so with others, generally - clearly indicating that the one idea contained in baptizo is immersion.

Let it be kept in mind that these are not "Baptist authorities," but Paedobaptism, and that, though associated with communities which sanction affusion, yet no one of them gives any word denoting either sprinkling or pouring as a meaning of baptizo. Some of them, no doubt, were strongly prejudiced in favour of allowing the widest latitude, and consequently would have expressed pouring had it been possible so to do, but as scholars they knew they could not, and they did not. On the other hand, let it be observed, that without exception, they give dip, immerse, plunge, or words of similar import, to express its first and primary meaning. When, too, they give illustrations of metaphorical usage, each instance conveys the idea of immersion, or complete overwhelming - as to soak or saturate in wine. Wash is given as a meaning, because as Schleusner has it "for the most part a thing must be dipped or plunged into water that it may be washed." We do not admit that wash, cleanse, purify, and a host of meanings given in Lexicons belong to baptizo at all. How can a word mean to wash and to purify which is used to denote dipping without regard to the nature and substance into which the dipped thing enters? If we say that the cloth is dipped in soap and water we may know that it is thereby washed, but the word dip does not mean to wash. If a man dip his foot into a receptacle for filth we know that his foot is defiled, but the word dip does not mean to defile. If we plunge a candle into a furnace we know it will melt, but the word plunge does not mean to melt. Baptizo is precisely thus used, and it denotes to dip, immerse, or plunge, as the lexicons above cited, and all others declare, and it means nothing else. Even when used metaphorically it expresses dipping and nothing else, for though the thing said to be dipped is not dipped, yet the very nature of figurative language is to express what is done by affirming something that is not done, as when we say the room was plunged into darkness, meaning that suddenly the gas was turned off, in which case there was no plunging, and yet the word plunged in that sentence has its own and only meaning. Lexicographers in thousands of instances have needlessly and wrongly multiplied meanings, by taking the known effect of a given action for a meaning of the word by which that action is expressed. But into this we shall not further carry the reader, because it is not at all necessary, inasmuch as if we admit every meaning given by lexicographers no trace of sprinkling or pouring is found.

Reader! we have appealed to the lexicons. The jury are all agreed. The verdict is before you. They all affirm that the word chosen by the saviour to designate the ordinance, does, primarily signify to dip, immerse, or plunge, and not one ventures even to suggest as a third, or thirtieth, meaning sprinkle, pour, or any word of similar import.

Our next appeal shall be to translations of the sacred Scriptures. In what way do they deal with this word? The appeal shall be both to ancient and modern versions, made by men who favour the modern substitutes for immersion. Do they venture to translate in accordance with their own practice? Never! They sometimes leave the word untranslated, and in this way conceal the immersion, but they venture not to translate it by sprinkle, pour, nor by any kindred term.

Before numerous translations of the New Testament come into view we desire to glance at the results of a careful examination of the Greek Bible, (the Old Testament translated from the Hebrew into Greek by the LXX and the Greek New Testament,) in comparison with the Authorised English Version. After entering upon such an examination of the use of Bapto and Baptizo as would embrace their every occurrence we came across a still more complete analysis by President Shannon, embracing all the occurrences of dip, sprinkle, pour, and wash, with their equivalents in the original Greek. This we propose to substitute for our less extensive results. He says -

"While I filled the Professorship of Ancient Languages in the University of Georgia, I had occasion to compile the following table of passages where the words dip, pour, sprinkle, and wash, in their various modifications, occur in the English Bible, with the corresponding term used in the Greek of the New Testament, and the Septuagint version of the Old. To the unlearned it may afford some satisfaction. The learned need it not. They know full well that in Greek bapto or baptizo means immerse, as definitely as raino or rantizo means sprinkle, or as cheo, and its compounds mean pour.


Dip I found in 21 passages. In all of these, except one, bapto or baptizo was found in the Greek. The one exception is in Gen. xxxvii. 31, where Joseph's brethren took his coat, and dipped (emoluan - smeared or daubed) it in the blood of a kid. Mark the accuracy of the Greek here. The idea in this place is that of smearing or daubing, and the Septuagint so expresses it. The following is a list of the passages: Gen. xxxvii. 31; Exod. xii. 22; Lev. iv. 6, 17; and ix. 9; also, xiv. 6, 16, 51; Numb. xix. 18; Deut. xxxiii. 24; Joshua iii. 15; Ruth ii. 14; 1 Sam. xiv. 27; 2 Kings v. 14 and viii. 15; Ps. lxviii. 23;

Mat. xxvi. 23; Mark xiv. 20; Luke xvi. 24; John xiii. 26; Rev. xix. 13. In two of the preceding cases, viz., Lev. iv. 6, 17, bapto, to dip, is distinguished from raino, to sprinkle.

Sprinkle, in some of its forms, I found in 27 passages. In not a single instance was bapto or baptizo used in the Greek. In 20 of these cases I found some form of raino or its derivative rantizo. In three cases, where scattering of ashes (towards heaven, for instance) was intended, I found pao or its compound, the most proper word to express the idea. In three other cases, where pouring rather than sprinkling was designed I found proscheo, and in one instance I found the substantive proschusis. This occurs in Heb. xi. 28, to express copious dashing of the blood of the passover upon or against the door posts and lintels. Here again as in the former instance, we discover the superior accuracy of the Greek in the choice of words. List of passages: - Exod. ix. 8, 10; Lev. iii. 2, 8, 13; and iv. 6, 17; and xiv. 7, 16, 27, 51; xvi. 14; Numb. viii. 7; and xix. 13, 18, 19, 20, 21; Job ii. 12; Ezek. xxxvi. 25; Heb. ix. 13, 19, 21; and x. 22; and xi. 28; and xii. 24; 1 Pet. i. 2.

Pour, I found in no less than 119 instances; but in not one of them did I meet with bapto or baptizo in the Greek. In 97 cases, I found some form of cheo. Indeed, this word was used in every instance, where the idea was simply pour. In 8 cases, where the pouring out of a libation or drink-offering was intended, the Greek had the proper word to express that idea.


No other word occurred oftener than twice; and in every case the word used was the most appropriate, something different from mere pouring being intended. For example, in 2 Sam. xiii. 9, where cakes are said to be poured out of a pan, the Greek, with an accuracy worthy of all admiration, has katekenosen, emptied out. Take another example. In 2 Chron. xxxiv. 21, 25, God's wrath is said to be poured out; in connection with which we have this assertion, it shall not be quenched. Here we have the obvious incongruity of quenching, not fire, but something poured out as a liquid. The Greek, true to itself, has no such mixing of metaphors. It has the figure of wrath being kindled, as a fire, (exekanthe, from ekkaio) and thus quenched. List of passages:-

Gen. xxviii. 18; xxxv. 14; Exod. iv. 9; xxix. 7, 12; xxx. 9-32; Lev. ii. 1, 6; iv. 7, 12, 18, 25, 30, 34; viii. 12, 15; ix. 9; xiv. 15, 18, 26, 41; xvii. 13; xxi. 10; Num. v. 15; xxviii, 7; Deut. xii. 16, 24, 27; xv. 23; Judges vi. 20; 1 Sam. i. 15; x. 1; 2 Sam. xiii. 9; xxiii. 16; 1 Kings xviii. 33; 2 Kings iv. 4, 41; ix. 3; 1 Chron. xi. 18; 2 Chron. xii. 7; xxxiv. 21, 25; Job xii. 21; xxix. 6; xxx. 16; xxxvi. 27; Ps. xxii. 14; xlii. 4; xlv. 2; lxii. 8; lxix. 24; cvii. 40; cxlii. 2; Prov. i. 23; Cant. i. 3; Isa. xliv. 3 bis; lvii. 6; Jer. vi. 6, 11; vii. 18, 20; x. 25; xiv. 16; xlii. 18; Lam. ii. 4, 19; iv. 1, 11; Ezek. vii. 8; ix. 8; xiv. 19; xvi. 15, 36; xx. 8, 13, 21, 28, 33, 34; xxi. 31; xxii. 22, 31; xxiii. 8; xxiv. 3, 7; xxx. 15; xxxvi. 18; xxxix. 29; Zeph. i. 17; iii.8; Hosea v. 10; Micah i. 6; Zech. xii. 10; Mal. iii. 10; Amos v. 8; Mat. xxvi. 7; Mark xiv. 3; John ii. 15; Acts x.

45; Rev. xvi. 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, 17; John xiii. 5; Luke x. 34.


I found WASH in 32 cases, where reference was had, not to the whole person, but to a part, as the eyes, the face, the hands, the feet. In none of these was bapto or baptizo ever found but nipto invariably. In 2 Chron. iv. 6, this word is

distinguished from pluno and apokluzo, which properly signify to wash out filth, as from garments, &c., and hence metaphorically to wash out sin. In Mark vii. 3, nipto is distinguished from baptizo. The Jews eat not except they wash (nipsontai) their hands. But when they have been to market, lest they might have touched something unclean - in order to make sure work of it, they dip the whole person, baptizontai. List of passages referred to - Gen. xviii. 4; xix. 2; xxiv. 32; Exod. xxx. 19, 20, 21; Deut. xxi. 6; Judges xix. 21; 1 Kings xxii. 38; 1 Sam. xxv. 41; 2 Sam. xi. 8; 2 Chron. iv. 6;

Ps. xxvi. 6; lviii. 10; lxxiii. 13; Cant. v. 3; Matt. vi. 17; xv. 2; Mark vii. 3; John ix. 7, 11, 15; xiii. 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14;

1 Tim. v. 10.

I found wash with the signification of bathe in 28 cases; in every one of which the Greek had louo. In Lev. xiv. 9, and xvii. 15, this word is distinguished from pluno to wash garments; and in John xiii. 10, it is distinguished from nipto, which is here applied to the feet.

In 2 Kings v. 14, louo is distinguished from baptizo. Naaman is commanded to wash or bathe (lousai) himself in the Jordan. Here the Greek has lousai, from louo, which expresses both the act and the design with which that act was performed, viz. that of cleansing him from the leprosy. In this it corresponds precisely with bathe or wash, in its common

acceptation. 'Then he went down and dipped (ebaptisato) himself. Here the act alone is expressed, and therefore baptizo is used. -Exod. ii. 5; xxix. 4; Lev. xiv. 9; xv. 16; xvi. 4, 24; xvii. 15, 16; xxii. 6; Ruth iii. 3; 1 Kings xxii. 38; 2 Kings

v. 10, 12, 13; Job ix. 30; 2 Sam. xi. 2; xii. 20; Ezek. xvi. 4, 9; xxiii. 40; John xiii. 10; Acts ix. 37; xvi. 33; 1 Cor.

vi. 11; Heb. x. 22; 2 Peter ii. 22; Rev. i. 5.

In Luke vii. 38, 44 Mary is said to wash the Saviour's feet with tears. Here the Greek has neither bapto, nipto, nor louo, but the very word which is most appropriate, viz., breko to wet, or moisten. Properly speaking she neither washed nor dipped, but simply wet them, and so the original expresses it.

In Mark vii. 4, and Luke xi. 38, we have wash denoting simply dip, and here baptizo is found in the original. It must not be forgotten, that wherever we found dip in our version, we found bapto or baptizo in Greek, with but one exception, and that too, where not simple dipping, but daubing, was intended. In Heb. ix. 26, washings, the noun, is expressed by baptismos; and in Eph. v. 10, and Tit. iii. 5, where it denotes bath, it is expressed in Greek by loutron, the proper word to convey that idea. In Acts xxii. 16, 'wash away' (viz. thy sins) is expressed by apolousai which is here distinguished from baptizo. Again we perceive the usual accuracy of the Greek. Apolouo expresses the design of the act, - baptizo denotes simply the act of immersion itself. Ananias commanded Saul to wash away his sins in baptism; but he understood Greek too well to command him to baptise them away. Such a command would have been no less absurd than 'Dip away thy sins.' If baptise were synonymous with wash, the command to baptise away his sins would have been as proper, as that which Ananias gave him, viz., 'Wash away thy sins.'

History does not furnish a more visionary idea, or one more opposed to sober reason, and to the well established reputation and accuracy of the Greek language, than that it should, or could, express dip, pour, sprinkle, wash, and wet or moisten, by one word. Even the English does not do this; much less the Greek, which as we have just seen, is vastly more accurate and choice in its use of terms.

In short, baptise never means anything else than dip, except when used figuratively; and even then, it is obvious that dip is the basis of the figure. If this truth is not indisputable, then, indeed it never can be proved, that there is a single word in any language, which possesses a definite signification."

This examination refutes all the nonsense which some have sought to palm upon us, when, worsted in an appeal to lexicons, they have sought refuge in the plea, that though baptizo in classical Greek means to dip, yet in the New Testament it is otherwise. Here by a complete induction of all the occurrences of the terms translated dip, pour, sprinkle, and wash we find, that they are not used interchangeably - that the one does not mean the other, and that these terms in the Greek are as well defined by their general use as are their cognates in our own language.

Returning to the translations generally we shall reproduce a summary for which we are indebted to Dr. Gotch, of Trinity College, Dublin.

"With regard to the ancient versions, in all of them, with three exceptions, (viz. the Latin from the third century, and the Sahidic and Basmuric,) the word baptizo is translated by words purely native; and the three excepted versions adopted the Greek word, not by way of transference, but in consequence of the term having become current language.

"Of native words employed, the Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, Coptic, Armenian, Gothic, and earliest Latin, all signify to immerse; the Anglo-Saxon, both to immerse and to cleanse; the Persic, to wash; and the Slavonic, to cross. The meaning of the word adopted from the Greek, in Sahidic, Basmuric, and Latin,

being also to immerse.

"With regard to the modern versions examined, the Eastern generally adhere to the ancient Eastern versions, and translate by words signifying to immerse. Most of the Gothic dialects, viz. the German, Swedish, Dutch, Danish, &c. employ altered forms of the Gothic word signifying to dip. The Icelandic uses a word meaning cleanse. The Slavic dialects follow the ancient Slavonic; and the languages formed from the Latin, including the English, adopt the word baptizo; though, with respect to the English, the words wash and christen were formerly used as well as baptise.

"It may perhaps be acceptable to place these results together in a tabular form, as follows:-



Peshito, 2nd cent. amad, immerse.

Philoxenian, 6th cent. amad, immerse.


Polyglot, 7th cent. amada 47 times, immerse.

Propaganda, 1671 amada, immerse.

Sabat, 1816 amada, immerse.

PERSIC: 8th cent. shustan & shuyidan, wash.

ETHIOPIC: 4th cent. shustan,

Amharic, 1822 shustan, immerse.


Coptic, 3rd cent. tanaka, immerse, plunge.

Sahidic, 2nd cent

Basmuric, 3rd cent baptizo, immerse.

ARMENIAN: 5th cent. mogridil, immerse.

SLAVONIC: 9th cent. krestiti, cross.

Russian, 1519

Polish, 1585

Bohemian, 1593

Lithuanian, 1660 same root, cross.

Livonian or Lettish, 1685

Dorpat Esthonian, 1727

GOTHIC: 4th cent. daupjan, dip.

German, 1522 taufen, dip.

Danish, 1524 dobe, dip.

Swedish, 1534 dopa, dip.

Dutch, 1460 doopen, dip.

Icelandic, 1584 skira, cleanse.

ANGLO-SAXON: 8th cent. dyppan, fullian, dip, cleanse.


Of the early fathers, 8th cent. tingo, immerse.

Ante-Hieronymian, 3rd cent. baptizo, immerse.

Vulgate, 4th cent. baptizo, immerse.

FRENCH: 1535 baptiser, immerse.

SPANISH: 1556 baptisar, immerse.

ITALIAN: 1562 bapttezzare, immerse.

ENGLISH: Wicklif, 1380 wash, christen, baptise, immerse. ENGLISH: Tindal, 1526 baptise, (immerse in added by Keith Sisman)

WELSH: 1567 bedyddio, bathe.

IRISH: 1602 baisdim, bathe.

GAELIC: 1650 baisdeam, bathe.

"Our investigation, then, shows that it has not been the practice of translators, until quite recent times, to adopt the plan of 'transference' in respect to the word baptizo. The word has been translated, in most instances, by a term strictly native; or, where the term has been derived from the Greek, it appears to have become naturalised in the respective languages before the translation was made. There is no instance, until of late years, in which it can be shown that the translators made the word; and it well deserves the consideration of all who are engaged in translating, or disseminating translations of the word of God, how far such a plan is justifiable. It may, indeed, be said, that though the word baptizo has not been transferred, other words have; and that thereby the principle of transference is countenanced by former translators. It is certain that such words as proper names, and designations of things which are not known, and therefore have no word by which they can be expressed, must be so rendered: but what proof is there of translators, in general, carrying transference farther than this? Let it be remembered, that the Greek language was closely united to the Latin, to which the appeal has been frequently made; and that on this account, Greek words were continually naturalised in it. Such words we may expect to meet with; but to prove that translators transferred words in the modern sense of the term, it must be shown that words, the meaning of which might have been expressed in the language, were given, not only by terms derived from the Greek, but without meaning; - being made for the occasion, and purposely left without definition. It will not surely be said that the word baptizo has no meaning - that a command, involving, as most Christians believe, a thing to be done by or for every disciple, yet conveys no definite idea of what is to be done."

In the above table are found sixteen ancient versions - six of them in the second and third centuries, and the remainder completed by the end of the ninth century - all of them indicative of immersion. One, from the sign made in baptism by the Roman Church, is rendered cross. From the ninth century there are twenty others clearly expressing immersion. Thus together there are not less than thirty-six foreign, and many of them ancient, versions declaring that baptizo must, in their respective languages, be represented by words equivalent to immerse, dip, or plunge. In not one of the entire number do we find the original word rendered by any term expressive of sprinkling or pouring.

Were it necessary we might cite the English translations generally to show that they venture not to translate any word of the bapto family by sprinkle or pour. These would include the versions of Wycliffe, Tyndal, Cranmer, the Geneva, the Anglo-Rhemish with a host of others, as Doddridge, Campbell, Thompson, Wesley, the Common Version, &c.

These facts are without doubt unanswerable. Here are distinguished translators holding that baptism can be performed by pouring or sprinkling, yet not daring in any one of their translations, in any one of the numerous occurrences of baptizo, to translate it by any word expressive of their practice. The lexicons and the translations are, then, without a single exception, against any man who substitutes sprinkling or pouring for immersion.

Here our work might terminate, as we are bold to insist, that enough has been said to settle the question in the view of every readers who has carefully examined and understood the evidence adduced, being at the same time an honest truth-seeker, without determination or desire to defend this or that practice, but wishful to know only the will of God. to the partisan we gave no promise of settlement, well knowing that a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. From such men we expect nothing, but that they fight against God and truth till He take them away. Yet, as they distress and mislead many, we enlarge, so that, though they confess not, they shall be bound hand and foot, and left without a shadow of excuse.






The following examples of the common meaning and use of Baptizo are from every period of Greek literature in which it occurs. Not merely a number of examples selected for the purpose of showing that immersion is its signification, but nearly the whole of the examples cited by lexicographers and others who have written professedly upon the subject, so that the examples here reproduced exhaust those occurrences

of the word which have been appealed to in the entire controversy.* This section is largely indebted to T.J. Conant, D.D., who, for the American Bible Union, has gone over the entire ground and classified the results. His work contains not only a literal translation of the examples, but also the Greek text of each. If the reader desire to verify the renderings here given he may do so by reference to Dr. Conant's valuable work, the quotations in which have been, in each instance, copied by his own hand, or made under his own eye, so that nothing is taken upon trust. In the examples here given no foreign word appears. The translation of the word, the usage of which we seek to demonstrate, is indicated in small capitals followed by the word itself in its Anglicized form. The English reader will thus be as well able to judge of its meaning as the reader of the original.



1. Polybius, History, b. I., c. 51, 6. In his account of the sea-fight at Drepanum:

"For, if any were hard pressed by the enemy, they retreated safely, on account of their fast sailing, into the open space; and then with reversed course, now sailing round and now attacking in flank the more advanced of the pursuers, while turning and embarrassed on account of the weight of the ships and the unskilfulness of the crews, they made continued assaults and SUBMERGED (baptised) many of the vessels."

2. Same work, b. VIII., c. 8, 4. Describing the operations of the engines, which Archimedes constructed for the defence of Syracuse:

"Which being done, some of the vessels fell on their side, and some were overturned; but most of them, when the prow was let fall from on high, BEING SUBMERGED (baptised), became filled with sea-water and with confusion."

3. Plutarch, Life of Marcellus, c. XV. Describing the same operations, he says (speaking of the arms of the engines projecting from the walls over the vessels):

"Some [of the vessels] thrusting down, under a weight firmly fixed above, they sunk into the deep; and others, with iron hands, or beaks like those of cranes, hauling up by the prow till they were erect on the stern, they SUBMERGED (baptised)."

4. Aristotle, concerning Wonderful Reports, 136:

"They say that the Phoenicians who inhabit the so-called Gadira, sailing four days outside of the Pillars of Hercules with an east-wind, come to certain desert places full of rushes and sea-weed; which, when it is ebb-tide, are not IMMERSED (baptised), but when it is flood-tide are overflowed."

5. Eubulus (ancient comedy) says, with comic extravagance, of one whose vessel is wrecked in a storm and a prey to the engulfing floods:

"Who now the fourth day is IMMERGED (baptised),

leading the famished life of a miserable mullet." **

6. Polybius, History, b. XXXIV., c. 3, 7. In his description of the manner of taking the sword-fish (with an iron-headed spear, or harpoon), he says:

"And even if the spear falls into the sea, it is not lost; for it is compacted of both oak and pine, so that when the oaken part is IMMERSED (baptised) by the weight, the rest is buoyed up, and is easily recovered."

7. Same work, b. III., c. 72, 4. Speaking of the passage of the Roman army through the river Tebia:

"They passed through with difficulty, the foot-soldiers IMMERSED (baptised) as far as the breasts."

8. Same work, b. XVI., c. 6, 2. In his account of the sea-fight between Philip and Attalus, he speaks of a vessel as:

"Pierced and BEING IMMERGED (baptised) by a hostile ship."

9. Strabo, Geography, b. XII., c. 2, 4. Speaking of the under-ground channel, through which the waters of the Pyramus forced their way:

"And to one who hurls down a dart, from above into the channel, the force of the water makes so much resistance, that it is hardly IMMERSED (baptised)."

10. Same work, b. VI., c. 2, 9:

"And around Acragas are marsh-lakes, having the taste indeed of sea-water, but a different nature; for even those who cannot swim are not IMMERSED (baptised), floating like pieces of wood."




* The Greek versions of the Old Testament Scriptures are not here included. The former section supplies sufficient in that department to render their presentation unnecessary. A few instances from the early Fathers are omitted, because merely repetitions of others from the same writers.

** Mullet: a fish, fabled to be always found empty, when caught.

11. Same work, b. XIV. c. 3, 9. Speaking of the march of Alexander's army, along the narrow beach (flooded in stormy weather):

"Alexander happening to be there at the stormy season, and accustomed to trust for the most part to fortune, set forward before the swell subsided; and they marched the whole day in water, IMMERSED (baptised) as far as the waist."

12. Same work, b. XIV., c. 2, 42. Speaking of the asphalt in the lake Sirbonis, which floats on the surface:

"Then floating at the top on account of the nature of the water, by virtue of which, we said, there is no need of being a swimmer, and he who enters in is not IMMERSED (baptised), but is lifted out."

13. Diododrus (the Sicilian,) Historical Library, b. XVI., c. 80. In his account of Timoleon's defeat of the Carthaginian army many of the fugitives perishing in the stream swollen by a violent storm:

"The river, rushing down with the current increased in violence, SUBMERGED (baptised) many, and destroyed them attempting to swim through with their armour."

14. Same work, b. I., c. 36:

"Most of the wild land animals are surrounded by the stream and perish, being SUBMERGED (baptised); but some escaping to the high grounds are saved."

15. Same work, b. XI., c. 18:

"The commander of the fleet, leading on the line, and first joining battle, was slain after a brilliant conflict; and his ship being SUBMERGED (baptised), confusion seized the fleet of the barbarians."

16. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, b. XV. c. 3, 3. Describing the murder of the boy Aristobulus, who was drowned by his companions in a swimming bath:

"Continually pressing down and IMMERSING (baptising) him while swimming, as if in sport, they did not desist till they had entirely suffocated him."

17. Same writer, Jewish War, b. I., c. 22, 2:

"And there, according to command, being IMMERSED (baptised) by the Gauls in a swimming-bath, he dies."

18. Same writer, Jewish War, b. III., c. 8, 5:

"As I also account a pilot most cowardly, who through dread of a storm, before the blast came voluntarily SUBMERGED (baptised) the vessel."

19. Same writer, Jewish War, b. III., c. 9, 3:

"And many [of the vessels], struggling against the opposing swell towards the open sea (for they feared the shore, being rocky, and the enemies upon it), the billow, rising high above, SUBMERGED (baptised)."

20. Same writer, Antiquities of the Jews. b. IX., c. 10, 2. In his narrative of Jonah's flight, and of the events that followed, he says:

"The ship being just about TO BE SUBMERGED (baptised)."

21. Same writer, Life of himself, 3:

"For our vessel having been SUBMERGED (baptised) in the midst of the Adriatic, being about six hundred in number, we swam through the whole night."

22. Same writer, Jewish War, b. III., c.20, 1:

"And when they ventured to come near, they suffered harm before they could inflict any, and WERE SUBMERGED (baptised) along with their vessels; ... and those of the SUBMERGED (baptised) who raised their heads, either a missile reached, or a vessel overtook."

23. Same writer, Jewish War, b. II., c. 20, 1:

"Many of the distinguished Jews swam away, as when a ship is BEING IMMERGED (baptised), from the city."

24. Plutarch, Life of Theseus, XXIV. Oracle of the Sibyl, respecting the city of Athens:

"O bladder, thou mayest be IMMERSED (baptised); but it is not possible for thee to sink."

25. Same writer, Life of Alexander, LXVII.:

"Thou wouldst not have seen a buckler, or a helmet, or a pike; but the soldiers, along the whole way, DIPPING (baptising) with cups, and horns, and goblets, from great wine-jars, and mixing-bowls, were drinking to one another."

26. Same writer, Comparison of Aristophanes and Menander. In this abridgment (by another hand) of one of his lost compositions, speaking of Aristophanes' faults of style, he quotes from him the following example of punning or play on words:

"'For he is praised,' says he, 'because he DIPPED (baptised) the stewards; being not [Tamias] stewards, but [Lamias] sharks'."*

27. Epictetus, Moral Discourses (fragment XI.):

"As you would not wish, sailing in a large and polished and richly gilded ship, to be SUBMERGED (baptised); so neither choose, dwelling in a house too large and costly, to endure storms of care."

28. Lucian, Timon or the Man-hater, 44.:

"And if the winter's torrent were bearing one away, and he with outstretched hands were imploring help, to thrust even him headlong, IMMERSING (baptising) so that he should not be able to come up again."

29. Same writer, True History, b. II. 4. In this satire on the love of the marvellous, he pleasantly describes men walking on the sea (having cork feet):

"We wondered, therefore, when we saw them not IMMERSED (baptised), but standing above the waves, and travelling on without fear."

30. Hippocrates, on Epidemics, b. V. Describing the respiration of a patient, affected with inflammation and swelling of the throat (Cynanche), and oppression about the heart, he says:

"And she breathed, as persons breathe after having been IMMERSED (baptised), and emitted a low sound from the chest, like the so-called ventriloquists."

Describing the same case (b. VII.):

"And she breathed, as is breathing after having been IMMERSED (baptised)."

31. Dion Cassius, Roman History, b. XXXVII., c. 58 Describing the effects of a violent storm:

"The ships which were in the Tiber, and lying at anchor by the city and at its mouth, were SUBMERGED (baptised), and the wooden bridge was destroyed."

32. Same work, b. XLI., c. 42. Describing the defeat of Curio by Juba, King of Numidia:

"And many of them, who had fled, perished; some thrown down by the jostling, in getting on board the vessels, and others SUBMERGED (baptised), in the vessels themselves, by their own weight."

33. Same work, b. LXXIV., c. 13:

"And they, however much they might have desired it, were not able to do any thing; but attempting in one way or another to escape, some were SUBMERGED (baptised) by the wind, using it too freely,** and others were overtaken by the enemy, and destroyed."

34. Same work, b. L., c. 18:

"And even if any came near, how could he escape being IMMERGED (baptised) by the very multitude of the oars?."

35. Same work, b. L., c. 32:

"And if they hit them, they came off superior; but if they missed, their own vessels being pierced, they WERE SUBMERGED (baptised)."

36. Same work, b. L., c. 32:

"And hence they gained advantage each over the other; the one dropping within the lines of the ships' oars, and crushing the oar-blades, and the other from above SUBMERGING (baptising) them with stones and engines."

37. Same work, b. L., c. 35:

"And others leaping into the sea were drowned, or struck by the enemy WERE SUBMERGED (baptised)."

38. Porphyry, Concerning the Styx. Describing the Lake of Probation, in India, and the use made of it by the Brahmins for testing the guilt or innocence of persons accused. "The depth is as far to the knees;.. And when the accused comes to it, if he is guiltless he goes through without fear, having the water as far as the knees; but if the guilty, after proceeding a little way, he is IN IMMERSED (Baptised) unto the head." 

39. Heliodorus, AEthiopics (Story of Theagenes and Chariclea), b. V., c. 28. Of pirates, who had seized a vessel:

"And already BECOMING IMMERSED (baptised), and wanting a little of sinking, some of the pirates at first attempted to leave, and get aboard of their own bark."

40. Heimerius, Oration X. 2. Speaking (in a strain of rhetorical extravagance) of the pictorial representations of the battle of Marathon, in the Poecile at Athens, where Cynegirus was shown grasping a Persian vessel with his hands, he says:

"And I will show you also my soldiers; one fighting lifelike even in the painting, ... and another IMMERGING (baptising) with his hands the Persian fleet."

41. Themistius, Oration IV., (XXIII.):

"And neither can the swordsmith determine, whether he shall sell the sword to a murderer, nor the shipwright whether he shall build ships for a robber, ... nor the pilot whether he saves, in the voyage, one whom it were better to submerge (baptise)."

42. On the Life and Poetry of Homer, II. 26. Among other characteristics of Homer's manner, the writer mentions Emphasis; and after one example, adds:

"Similar also is that:

'And the whole sword was warmed with blood.'

For truly in this he exhibits very great emphasis; as if the sword were so IMBATHED (baptised), as to be heated."

43. Suidas, Lexicon:

"Desiring to swim through, they were IMMERSED (baptised) by their full armour."

44. Gregory, Panegyric on Origen, XIV. Describing him as an experienced and skilful guide through the mazes of philosophical speculation:

"He himself would remain on high in safety, and stretching out a hand to others save them, as if drawing up persons SUBMERGED (baptised)."

45. Chrysostom, Discourse on the paralytic let down through the roof. Comparing the Saviour's cures with those effected by human art, through the aid of the knife and the cautery, he says:

"But here, no such thing is to be seen; no fire applied, nor steel PLUNGED IN (baptised), nor flowing blood."

46. Same writer, on Eph., c. V., Discourse XIX. Showing that the visible heavens do not rest (according to the popular error) on the waters of the ocean, he says:

"For things borne on the waters must not be arched, but must be hollowed [downward]. Wherefore? Because, on the water, the entire body of that which is hollow is IMMERGED (baptised); ... but of that which is arched, the body is all above, and only the extremities touch."

47. Same writer, on David and Saul, Discourse III. 7:

"Even this was worthy indeed of praise and of greatest admiration, that he did not PLUNGE IN (baptise) the sword, nor sever that hostile head!."

48. Epistle to Damagetus:

"Shall I not laugh at him, who having SUBMERGED (baptised) his ship with much merchandise, then blames the sea for having ingulphed it full laden?."

49. Life of Pythagoras, 2:

"As, to enter into the ship, or not to enter, is in our own power; but the sudden coming on of storm and tempest, in fair weather, depends on fortune; and that the IMMERGED (baptised) ship beyond all hope is saved, is of the providence of God."

50. AEsopic Fables:

"One of the salt-bearing mules, rushing into a river, accidentally slipped down; and rising up lightened (the salt becoming dissolved) he perceived the cause, and remembered it; so that always, when passing through the river, he purposely lowered down and IMMERSED (baptised) the panniers."

51. Fable of the Ape and the Dolphin. The dolphin bearing the ship-wrecked ape to the shore, and detecting the attempted imposition of the latter, it is said:

"And the dolphin, angry at such a falsehood, IMMERSING (baptising) killed him."

52. Fable of the Shepherd and the Sea:

"But a violent storm coming on, the ship being in danger of BECOMING IMMERGED (baptised), he threw out all the lading into the sea, and with difficulty escaped in the empty ship."

53. Plutarch, On the comparative skill of water and land animals, XXXV. Speaking of the bird called the Halcyon and of her skill in constructing her nest, shaped like a fisher's boat:

"That which is moulded by her, or rather constructed with the shipwright's art, of many forms the only one not liable to be overturned, NOR TO BE IMMERSED (baptised) ."

54. Achilles Tatius; Story of Clitophon and Leucippe, b. III., c. 1:

"We all, therefore, shifted our position to the more elevated parts of the ship, in order that we might lighten that part of the ship that was IMMERGED (baptised)."

55. Same writer (ibidem):

"But suddenly, the wind shifts to another quarter of the ship, and the vessel is almost IMMERGED (baptised)."

56. Same writer, b. IV., c. 10. The heroine, Leucippe, having fallen down, apparently in a fit, the cause is thus explained:

"For the blood when quite young, and boiling up through intense vigour, often overflows the veins, and flooding the head within, WHELMS (baptises) the passage of the reason."

57. Same work, b. IV., c. 18:

"For their drinking-cup is the hand. For if any of them is thirsty while sailing, stooping from the vessel he directs his face towards the stream, and lets down his hand into the water; and DIPPING (baptising) it hollowed, and filling it with water, he darts the draught towards his mouth, and hits the mark."

58. Demetrius, the Cydonian, on contemning death, c. XIV., 4:

"For the dominion [of the soul] over the body, and the fact that, entering into it, she is not wholly IMMERGED (baptised) but rises above, and that the body separate from her can do nothing."

59. Polybius History, b. V., 47, 1. Speaking of a body of cavalry sent by Molon to attack Xenoetas, in a position where he was protected partly by the river Tigris, and partly by marshes and pools:

"Who, coming into near proximity with the forces of Xenoetas, through ignorance of the localities required no enemy, but themselves by themselves IMMERSED (baptised) and sinking in the pools, were all useless, and many of them also perished."

60. Epigram on the comic poet Eupolis; occasioned by his offensive allusions in a play called Baptae (Dippers?), to the title of which the epigram refers:

"You dipped me in plays, but I in waves of the sea IMMERSING (baptising) will destroy thee with streams more bitter."*

61. Strabo, Geography, b. XII., c. 5, 4:

"The water solidifies so readily around every thing that is IMMERSED (baptised) into it, that they draw up salt-crowns when they let down a circle of rushes."

62. Pindar, Pythic Odes, II., 79, 80 (144-147):

"For, as when the rest of the tackle is toiling deep in the sea, I, as a cork above the net, am UN-DIPPED (un-baptised) in the brine."

63. Archias, Epigram X. Among other implements of his art, which the old fisherman is said to have hung up as a votive offering, are mentioned:

"And fishing rod thrice-stretched, and cork UN-DIPPED (un-baptised) in water."

64. Plutarch, On Superstition, III. The superstitious man, consulting the jugglers on his frightful dreams, is told:

"Call the old Expiatrix, and PLUNGE (baptise) thyself into the sea, and spend a day sitting on the ground."


* It is related that on a sea-voyage, the soldiers of Alcibiades, by his command, gave the poet several immersions in the waves, a rope being attached to his body to insure his safety.

65. Same writer, Gryllus, VII.:

"Then bravely PLUNGING (baptising) himself into the lake Copais, that there he might extinguish his love, and be freed from desire."

66. Same writer, Physical Questions, X.:

"Fishermen received an oracle, commanding to IMMERSE (baptise) Bacchus in [or at] the sea."

67. Parallels between Greek and Roman History, III.:

"But in the depth of night, surviving a little longer, he took away the shields of the slain enemies, and DIPPING (baptising) his hand into the blood, he set up a trophy inscribing it."

68. Josephus, Jewish War, b. II., c. 18, 4:

"And stretching out the right hand, so as to be unseen by none, he PLUNGED (baptised) the whole sword into his own neck."

69. Same writer, Antiquities of the Jews, b. IV., c. 4, 6:

"Those, therefore, who were defiled by the dead body, casting a little of the ashes into a fountain and DIPPING (baptising) a hyssop-branch, they sprinkled, on the third and seventh of the [thirty] days."

70. On Diseases of Women, b. I.:

"Then dipping [the pessary] into oil of roses or Egyptian oil, apply it during the day; and when it begins to sting, remove it, and again IMMERSE (baptise) it into breast-milk and Egyptian ointment."

71. Homeric Allegories, c. 9:

"Since the mass or iron, drawn red hot from the furnace, IS PLUNGED (baptised) in water; and the fiery glow, by its own nature quenched with water, ceases."

72. Plotinus, Ennead I, b. 8. on Good and Evil. Of the condition of the soul, in the corrupt and vicious, he says:

"She dies, therefore, as the soul may die; and death, to her, while yet IMMERGED (baptised) is to be sunk in matter and to be filled therewith, and also when gone forth, to lie there still."

73. Same writer, Ennead VI., b. 9:

"As if one has the feet in water but with the rest of the body stands out above, towering up by what is not IMMERGED (baptised)."

74. Argonautic Expedition, line 512:

"But when Titan IMMERSED (baptised) HIMSELF into the Ocean stream."

75. Alexander of Aphrodisias, Problems, II., 38. In answer to the question, why fevers, etc., are more hard to cure in brutes than in men:

"Because they have their nature and perceptive faculty IMMERSED (baptised) in the depth of the body."

76. Same work, I., 28. In answering the question, why many foolish persons have offspring who are wise, and vice versa:

"They have the soul very much IMMERSED (baptised) in the body; and on this account the seminal germ, partaking in greatest measure of the rational and physical power, causes their offspring to be more wise."

77. Chrysostom, Select Discourses, XXIX. Speaking of David's clemency towards Saul:

"Sawest thou the nets of David stretched, and the prey intercepted therein, and the huntsman standing, and all exhorting to PLUNGE (baptise) the sword into the enemy's breast?."

78. Same writer, Expos. of Ps. VII., 14. Absalom and David:

"For he, indeed, desired to PLUNGE (baptise) his right hand* in his father's neck; but the father, even in such a case, exhorted the soldiers to spare him."

79 & Basil (the Great), On Baptism, B. I., c. 2, 10. On Rom. 6:3 :

80. "We were immersed (baptised), says he, in order that from it we might learn this: that as wool IMMERSED (baptised) in a dye is changed as to its colour; or rather [using John the Baptist as a guide, when he prophesied of the Lord, 'He will immerse (baptise) you in the Holy Spirit and fire'] ... let us say this: that as steel, IMMERSED (baptised) in the fire kindled up by wind, becomes more easy to test whether it has in itself any fault, and more ready for being refined; ... so it follows and is necessary, that he who is immersed (baptised) in fire [that is, in the word of instruction, which convicts of the evil of sin and shows the grace of justification] should hate and abhor unrighteousness."

81. Heliodorus, AEthiopics (Theagenes and Cariclea) B. I., c. 30:

"The others have greatly the advantage both in numbers and in the unexpectedness of the attack, and slaying some on land, and PLUNGING (baptising) others with their boats and huts into the lake."

82. Achilles Tatius; Clitophon and Leucippe, b. II., c. 14:

"And there is a fountain of gold there. They PLUNGE (baptise) into the water, therefore, a pole smeared with pitch, and open the barriers of the stream."

83. Same work, b. III., c. 21. Speaking of the sword used by jugglers, so constructed that, when a blow is given, the blade is driven back into the hilt:

"And they who behold suppose that the steel is PLUNGED (baptised) down the body; but it runs back into the hollow of the hilt."

84. Julian, Ode on Cupid:

"I found Cupid in the roses; and holding by the wings I IMMERSED (baptised) him into wine, and took and drank him."

85. Simplicius, Com. on the Manual of Epictetus, c. 38, 10:

"Beauty, in bodies, is in flesh and sinews, and things that make up the body, of animals for example; beautifying them, indeed, as much as possible, but also itself partaking of their deformity and IMMERSED (baptised) into it."

86. AEsopic Fables; The Man and the Fox:

"Having a grudge against a fox for some mischief done by her, after getting her into his power contrived a long time how to punish her; and DIPPING (baptising) tow in oil, he bound it to her tail and set fire to it."


87. Dion Cassius, Roman His., b. XXXVIII., c. 27:

"For, as being born along in a troubled and unsettled state of affairs, they differ little, or rather not at all, from those who are driven by storm at sea, but up and down, now this way, now that way; and if they commit any, even the slightest mistake, are totally SUBMERGED (baptised)."

88. Libanius, Epistle XXV.:

"And I myself am one of those SUBMERGED (baptised) by that great wave."

89. Same writer, Life of Himself. Speaking of the prudent conduct of the chief magistrate, during a scarcity of bread:

"He did exhort the body of bakers to be more just, but did not think it expedient to employ forcible measures, fearing a general desertion; whereby the city would immediately have been WHELMED (baptised), as a ship when the seamen have abandoned it."

90. Gregory of Nazianus, Dis. XL. 11. Urging his hearers not to defer their baptism, till they should be burdened with more sins to be forgiven:

"Nor let us take more lading than we are able to carry; that we may not be IMMERGED (baptised), vessel and men, and make shipwreck of the grace, losing all because we hoped for more."

91. Chrysostom, Discourses on Lazarus, I. 10:

"Consider how probable it was, that he WHELMED (baptised) the soul of the poor man as with successive waves."

92. Chariton of Aphrodisias, Chaerea and Callirrhoe, b. II., c. 4:

"Then, therefore, might be seen the conflict of reason and passion. For, although WHELMED (baptised) by desire, the generous man endeavoured to resist; and emerged as from a wave, saying to himself: 'Art thou not ashamed, Dyonisius, a man the first of Ionia for virtue and repute!'."

93. Same work, b. III., c. 4:

"But Dyonisius, a man of culture, was seized indeed by a tempest, and was WHELMED (baptised) as to the soul; but yet he struggled to emerge from the passion, as from a mighty wave."

94. Same work, b. III., c. 4:

"For I saw a vessel, wandering in fair weather, filled with its own tempest, and WHELMED (baptised) in a calm."

95. Basil (the Great), Dis. XIV., Drunkards 4:

"More pitiable than those who are tempest-tossed in the deep, whom waves receiving one from another, and over-WHELMING (baptising) do not suffer to rise out of the surge; so also the souls of these are driven about beneath the waves, being WHELMED (baptised) with wine."

96. Josephus, Jewish War, b. I., c. 27, 1. Relating the occurrence that led to the mock trial and condemnation of Herod's persecuted sons:

"This as a final blast, over-WHELMED (baptised) THE TEMPEST-TOSSED YOUTHS."*

97. Same work, b. III., c. 7, 15. The people of Jerusalem, expostulating with Josephus on his purpose to abandon the besieged city and its inhabitants to their fate:

"And that it did not become him, either to fly from enemies, or to abandon friends; nor to leap off, as from a ship overtaken by a storm, into which he had entered in fair weather; that he would himself over-WHELM (baptise) the city, as no one would longer dare to make resistance to the enemy, when he was gone through whom their courage was sustained."

98. Same work, b. IV., c. 3, 3. Speaking of the evils inflicted by the band of robber-chiefs:

"Who, even apart from the sedition, afterwards WHELMED (baptised) the city."

99. Himerius, Selection XV., 3. Of Themistocles:

"He was great at Salamis; for there fighting, he WHELMED (baptised) all Asia." **

100. Libanus, Declamation XX. On the same subject:

"The crowning achievement was Salamis; where thou didst WHELM (baptise) Asia."

101. Same writer, Epistle 310, to Siderius:

"But he who bears with difficulty what he is now bearing, would be WHELMED (baptised) by a slight addition."

102. Same writer, Epistle 962, to Gessius:

"For this is he who found the wretched Cimon WHELMED (baptised), and did not neglect him when abandoned."

103. Plutarch, on the good Genius of Socrates, XXIII:

"Such is the manner of the good Genius; that we, WHELMED (baptised) by wordly affairs, ... should ourselves struggle out, and should persevere, endeavouring by our own resolution to save ourselves and gain the haven."

104. Chrysostom, Expos. of Ps. 114 (116). Speaking of the believer's governing principle:

"For he who is controlled by that love, and sustained by the hope of that good, is WHELMED (baptised) by none of the present evils."

105. Same writer, on 1 Cor. Discourse VIII.:

"For if we were pained for sins, ... nothing else would grieve us, this pain expelling all sadness; so that with confession we should gain also another thing, not to be WHELMED (baptised) by the troubles of the present life nor to be puffed up by prosperity."

106. Same writer, Expos. of Ps. 141 (142). Commenting on the words, "I cried unto thee, O Lord, I said, thou art my hope," etc., he says:

"The evils did not WHELM (baptise) him, but rather gave him wings."

107. Same writer, Expos. of Ps. 111 (112):

"For it is impossible that a soul, abounding in mercy, should ever be WHELMED (baptised) by the annoyances of passion."

108. Heliodorus, AEthiopics (Theagenes and Chariclea), b. II:

"And Cnemon, perceiving that he was wholly absorbed in grief, and WHELMED (baptised) by the calamity, and fearing lest he may do himself some harm, secretly takes away the sword."

109. Same work, b. IV., c. 20:

"For Charicles, indeed, it shall be lawful to weep, both now and hereafter; but let not us be WHELMED (baptised) with him in his grief, nor let us heedlessly be borne away by his tears, as by floods."

110. Same work, b. V., c. 16:

"But for us your own wanderings, if you were willing, would best forward the entertainment, being pleasanter than any dancing and music; the relation of which, having often deferred it, as you know, because the occurrences still WHELMED (baptised) you, you could not reserve for a better occasion."

111. Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon, b. III.:

"What so great wrong have we done, as in a few days to be WHELMED (baptised) with such a multitude of evils?."

112. Same work, b. VII., c. 2:

"Misfortunes assailing WHELM (baptise) us."

113. Same writer, b. VI., c. 19:

"And he WHELMED (baptised) by anger, sinks."

114. Libanius, Funeral Dis. on the Emperor Julian, c. 148:

"For grief for him, WHELMING (baptising) the soul, and clouding the understanding."

115. Same Discourse, c. 71:

"But the remaining part, being small, was WHELMED (baptised) and the service rendered to the people terminated in beggary."

116. Same writer, On the Articles of Agreement:

"Especially if our public discourses had enjoyed an auspicious fortune, and it had been our lot to sail with favouring gales, .... but now, as you see, the business being WHELMED (baptised), and all the winds being set in motion against it."

117. Themistius, Oration XX. (on the death of his father):

"But whenever she observed me WHELMED (baptised) by grief, and moved to tears, she is angry, and threatens to do me some fearful and incurable evil."

118. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, b. X., c. 9, 4:

"Seeing him in this condition, and PLUNGED (baptised) by drunkenness into stupor and sleep."

119. Clement of Alexandria, Educator, b. II., c. 2:

"For drowsy is every one who is not watchful for wisdom, but is PLUNGED (baptised) by drunkenness into sleep."

120. Evenus of Paros, Epigram XV. Bacchus (the use of wine), when too freely indulged in, he says:

"PLUNGES (baptises) in sleep, neighbour of death."

121. Heliodorus, AEthiopics (Theagenes and Chariclea), b. IV.:

"When midnight had PLUNGED (baptised) the city in sleep, an armed band of revellers took possession of the dwelling."

122. Chrysostom, Admonition I. to Theodorus:

"Therefore I beseech thee, before thou art deeply WHELMED (baptised) by this intoxication, to return to soberness."

123. Same writer, Select Discourses, II., on prayer:

"If blessed David, therefore, being a king, and WHELMED (baptised) with ten thousand cares."

124. Libanius, Memorial to the king, on the neglect and abuse of the imprisoned:

"But if one asks your judgment of any of the greater matters, you are not at leisure but are OVERWHELMED (baptised), and the multitude of other affairs holds you in subjection."

125. Discourse on Zeal and Piety. Commenting on the words 'They walk on in darkness':

"Thus then, the congregation IMMERSED (baptised) in ignorance, and unwilling to immerge* to the knowledge of the spiritual teaching, God calls night."

126. Isidorus of Pelusium; On the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, b. II., epist. 76:

"Most men, therefore, IMMERSED (baptised) in ignorance, have their minds incapacitated for consolation with reference to afflictions." * This expression shows that he does not mean IMBUED WITH ignorance, but WHELMED, IMMERSED in it.

127. Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to Pagans, I. 3:

"But the foolish are stocks and stones; and yet more senseless even than stones is a man IMMERSED (baptised) in ignorance."

128. Same writer, Stromata, b. III., c. 18. Asserting the sanctity of the marriage relation:

"And we indeed 'were washed,' who were among these; but they who wash into this sensuality,* IMMERSE (baptise) from sobriety into fornication, teaching to indulge the pleasures and passions."

129. Chrysostom, Discourse V., on Titus:

"How were we IMMERSED (baptised) in wickedness, so that we could not be cleansed, but needed regeneration!."

130. Same writer, on Genesis, c. 13, Dis. XXXIV.:

"WHELMED (baptised) with ten thousand sins."

131. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with a Jew, LXXXVI.:

"As also us, WHELMED (baptised) with most grievous sins which we have done, our Christ, by being crucified upon the tree, and by water for cleansing, redeemed and made a house of prayer and adoration."

132. Diodorus, His. Library, b. I., c. 73:

"The second part the kings have received for public revenues; .... and on account of the abundant supply from these, they do not WHELM (baptise) the common people with taxes."

133. Plutarch, Life of Galba, XXI.:

"Knowing him to be dissolute and prodigal, and WHELMED (baptised) with debts amounting to fifty millions."

134. Same writer, On the education of children, XIII.:

"For as plants are nourished by a moderate amount of water, but are choked by too much, in the same manner a soul grows by proportionate labours, but is OVERWHELMED (baptised) by such as are excessive."

135. Plato, Euthydemus, or the Disputer, c. VII.:

"And I, perceiving that the youth was OVERWHELMED (baptised), wishing to give him a respite, etc."

136. Philo, the Jew (an extract in Eusebius, Preparation for the Gospel, b. VIII.):

"But those, on the contrary, who are always glutted with drink and food, are least intelligent, as though the reason were WHELMED (baptised) by the things overlying it."

137. Plotinus, Enead I., c. IV., On Happiness:

"But when he does not continue [happy] WHELMED (baptised) either with diseases, or with arts of Magians?."

138. Chrysostom, on Ps. 48: 17 (49:16):

"Such as was Job, neither WHELMED (baptised) by poverty, nor elated by riches."

139. Same writer, On the trials and constancy of Job:

"And if thou art in affliction, fly to it for refuge; and if in wealth, receive thence the corrective; so as neither to be WHELMED (baptised) with poverty, nor puffed up with wealth."

140. Theodoret, Eccles. Hist. b. V., c. 4:

"That Diodorus whom I have before mentioned, who, in a most difficult tempestuous sea, preserved the ship of the church un-WHELMED (un-baptised)."

141. Basil (the Great), On the martyr, Julitta IV.:

"As a pilot, skilful and undisturbed through much experience in sailing, preserving the soul erect and un-WHELMED (un-baptised), and high above every storm."

142. Philo (the Jew), On contemplative Life:

"And I know some, who, when they become slightly intoxicated, before they are completely OVERWHELMED (baptised) provide, by contribution and tickets, a carousal for the morrow."

143. Plutarch, Banquet, b. III., Question 8:

"For of the slightly intoxicated only the intellect is disturbed; but the body is able to obey its impulses, not being yet OVERWHELMED (baptised)."

He alludes here to the false teachers and corrupters of Christianity; who, instead of a doctrine that deters and cleanses from sin, taught the indulgence of it; and hence those immersed by them they 'washed' (as Clement expresses it) 'INTO sensuality' instead of washing from it.

144. Same work, b. VI.:

"For, truly, a great provision for a day of enjoyment is a happy temperament of the body, un-WHELMED (un-baptised) and unencumbered."

145. Same writer, On the skill of water and land animals, XXIII.:

"So, then, O Hercules, there is manifest strategem, with guile; for the worthy man, himself sober as you see, purposely sets upon us while still affected with yesterday's debauch, and OVERWHELMED (baptised)."

146. Plato, Banquet, c. IV.:

"For I myself am one of those who yesterday were OVERWHELMED (baptised),."*

147. Athenaeus, Philosopher's Banquet, b. V., c. 64:

"You seem to me, O guests, to be strangely flooded with vehement words, and WHELMED (baptised) with undiluted wine,

'For a man taking draughts of wine, as a horse does of water,

talks like a Scythian, not knowing even koppa;

and he lies speechless plunged in the cask.'"

148. Lucian, Bacchus, VII.:

"When an old man drinks, and Silenus takes possession of him, immediately he is mute for some time, and seems like one heavy-headed and WHELMED (baptised)."

149. Conon, Narration L.:

"And Thebe, learning the purpose [of Alexander], gave daggers to the brothers, and urged them to be ready for the slaughter; and having WHELMED (baptised) Alexander with much wine and put him to sleep, she sends out the guards of the bed-chamber, under pretence of taking a bath, and called the brothers to the deed."

150. Aristophon (Athenaeus, Philosopher's Banquet, b. IX, c. 44):

"Then WHELMING (baptising) potently, he set me free." **

151. Proclus, Chrestomathy, XVI.:

"And the IO-BACCHUS was sung at festivals and sacrifices of Bacchus, IMBATHED (baptised) with much wantonness." ***


152. Plutarch, Life of Sylla, XXI.:

"And dying they filled the marshes with blood, and the lake with dead bodies; so that, until now, many barbaric bows, and helmets, and pieces of iron breastplates, and swords, are found IMMERSED (baptised) in the pools."

153. Nicander, On Husbandry, b. II.:

"Cut turnip-roots and the rind before it is withered into thin slices; and having dried them a little in the sun, sometimes just dip in boiling water, and IMMERSE (baptise) many [together] in sharp brine."

154. Synesius, Epistle LVII.:

"For to do with compulsion, and with toil, and with pains, this is what wastes time, and IMMERSES (baptises) the soul in cares of business."

155. Same writer, On Dreams:

"Even the mind would be IMMERSED (baptised) in pleasure."

156. Polyoenus, Stratagems, b. IV., c. 2, 6:

"Philip did not give over DIPPING (baptising) IN A MATCH with the pancratiast, and sprinkling water in the face, until the soldiers wearied out dispersed."

* In this use, the Greek word corresponds to the English DRENCH. So Shakespeare, Macbeth i. 7 (speaking of the "spongy officers," plied "with wine and wassel"), "When in swinish sleep their drenched natures lie."

** The sense is well given in Younge's free translation: "And then, by steeping me completely in it, he set me free."

*** So Milton uses the corresponding English word: "And the sweet odour of the returning gospel imbathe his soul with the fragrancy of heaven."

157. Demosthenes, Against Aristogeiton, Oration I, 5. Showing what class of persons Aristogeiton was accustomed to harass, by false accusation and extortion, he says:

"Not the speakers, for these know how to PLAY THE DIPPING (baptising) MATCH with him, but private persons and the inexperienced."*

158. Chrysostom, Discourse on Gluttony and Drunkenness:

"For as a ship, that has become filled with water, is soon SUBMERGED (baptised), and becomes deep under the waves; so also a man, when he gives himself up to gluttony and drunkenness, goes down the steep, and causes reason to be whelmed beneath the waves."

159. Alexander of Aphrodisias, Medical Problems, I., 16:

"Why is it that some die of fright? Because the physical force fleeing too much into the depth [of the body] along with the blood, at once WHELMS (baptises) and quenches the native and vital warmth at the heart, and brings on dissolution."

160. Same work, I, 17:

"Why is it that many die, of those who have drunk wine to excess? Because again, the abundance of wine WHELMS (baptises) the physical and the vital power and warmth."

161. Alciphron's Epistles, b. II., Ep. 3:

"Are not also the Thermodon, the Tigris, the Halys, the Rhine among the great things? If I am to see all the rivers, life to me will be WHELMED (baptised), not beholding Glycera."

162. Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon, b. I., c. 3:

"For that which, of a sudden comes all at once and unexpected, shocks the soul, falling on it unawares, and WHELMS (baptises)."

163. Same work, b. II., c. 31:

"But Leucippe had another chamber-servant; whom having WHELMED (baptised) with the same drug, Satyrus ... comes to the third door, to the door-keeper; and him he laid prostrate with the same draught."

164. Origen, Comment on 'Many believed on him':

"And whom would they not move to believe the preaching of Jesus (and, verily, as if out of death and putridity), of those who were altogether WHELMED (baptised) by wickedness," etc.

165. Basil (the Great), Dis. XIV., against Drunkards:

"For wine WHELMS (baptises) the reason and the understanding. ... And what ship without a pilot, borne by the waves as it may happen, is not more safe than the drunken man?"

166. Eusathius (Eumathius), Hysmenias and Hysmene, b. VI.:

"And sleeping I was troubled in spirit with the strangeness of the report, and as to my whole mind WHELMED (baptised) with the affliction."

167. Same work, b. VII.:

"Thou, indeed, wast borne away by the swell and the rush of the wave; but my spirit thou didst WHELM (baptise), surging round, with whole seas of wailings."

168. Same work, b. VII.:

"Empties all his fury on the sea, and strives to WHELM (baptise) the whole vessel with the waves."




Thus are reproduced those examples of the use of Baptizo which have been appealed to in the controversy upon baptism, and, it appears, that the idea presented in every instance is that of putting into or under water (or other substance) so as to completely submerge or immerse. This is the case without exception, because even in its metaphorical use this idea is fully retained. It is true, that, when the word is used figuratively, the thing said to be immersed is not really immersed, but then it is an essential of figurative language to affirm that which literally is not. As, when it is said that a man is immersed in affliction there is no immersion of the man at all, yet, as the design is to express the overwhelming nature of the suffering, he is represented as immersed - that is, that in regard to affliction he is considered as occupying a position like that which a man sustains to water who is completely immersed therein.




* In this case the compound word is used metaphorically, and the sense is: For these know how to match him in foul language, - in the game of sousing one another.

It must, too, be remembered that the above numerous examples are taken from every department of literature and science, from writers of various nations and religions, Pagan, Jew, and Christian, belonging to many countries, and through a long succession of centuries. Not in the whole range of these examples, extending over two thousand years, is an instance found in which the word is used to denote a partial covering of the person or thing said to be baptised. Sometimes only part of the object specified is immersed, but in those cases the word is applied only to the baptised parts, as in Ex. 6. where the oaken part of the spear is said to be immersed and the rest buoyed up.

In a few instances things are said to have been baptised which were not, properly speaking, dipped, but which have been placed by the overwhelming waters in that position in which dipping would have placed them. But observe that in these instances, without one exception, the thing said to be immersed was wholly COVERED - COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED, so that not a shadow of an instance can be found in which the word is used to denote a partial application of water, or other substance, by pouring or sprinkling. If it be said, "but in these cases, in which it is admitted that the water came upon and overwhelmed the object and in which, therefore, there was no immersion, the word is used in another sense, and does not signify, or express, immersion," the answer is that the objector overlooks the use and nature of figurative language. From almost every book upon our shelves, certainly from every newspaper, we can select perfectly similar instances in the use of common English words.

Take two examples. The first from a Medical work - "The internal ear is a most curious organ, called from its complicated structure the labyrinth. Its channels and cavities are curved and excavated in the hardest mass of bone found in the whole body." Now observe - to excavate is to "dig out" or to "cut into hollows." Was the hard bone of the human ear ever a solid block? Have its channels and cavities been dug out? Have its hollows been cut into it? Certainly not - they were formed with the bone itself. Has the word excavate another meaning? Does any one say that it signifies to mould or form by natural process? Unquestionably not. Has the Medical Author used the word unwarrantably? No. What then? By a very common, and perfectly justifiable liberty, he has expressed the present condition of the bone by using the word commonly employed to represent the action by which such condition is most frequently produced. As hollows and channels are generally formed by excavating, he uses the term which represents the operation to express the known effect of that operation, notwithstanding that in the instances under consideration the effect was not thus produced. Still in the passage cited, the word excavate has its one and only meaning. It is used figuratively, but its one meaning is preserved. What the writer says is, that the bone was cut out, though in reality there was no cutting in the case.

The other illustration is from the 'Times' Newspaper, and is most directly to the point, as it relates to the word immersion. Just as baptizo is sometimes used when the effects of dipping are produced by other means, and yet retains its own signification, so with our word immerse. In everyday talk things are said to be immersed, plunged, or dipped, which are in the position usually produced by immersion, but which have not been immersed. The case selected is from a report of the opening of a new dock by the present Emperor of the French. The 'Times' alludes to it thus - "One of those cross accidents that will spoil even Imperial fetes intervened between preparation and execution. The long expected IMMERSION as a spectacle was a total failure. The water was to have been let into the excavation in a great sudden rush through one of the two locks that connect the inner basin with the smaller ones between it and the sea. But this was a failure - a subdued stream crept in and spread itself almost imperceptibly over the space, and hence the disappointment." Observe - the water was to be let in with a sudden rush and fill the dock as you would fill a cup by dipping it into the sea. Because the dock when filled is in the state in which it would be were it dipped in the sea, it is said to be immersed, and that rushing in of the water, in which, properly speaking there is no immersion, is represented by the word immerse. But note further, in the case cited the writer refuses to apply to the slow and partial filling of the dock the term immersion. "The expected immersion was a total failure." Did the water not come in? It did flow in, but that "great sudden rush" which would warrant the reporter to speak of the dock as dipped in the sea was not realised. Will any one say that our word immerse means to pour?

Surely not, yet it does so mean if baptizo signifies pouring, and in no other way can any word of the bapto family be made to look in that direction. Let it be remembered that the words have not figurative meanings, but only figurative applications, and that every good figure is explained by the proper meaning of the word used. "Immerse this bread in water" is a plain command to dip the bread in the fluid. "His joy was abounding, when suddenly he was immersed in affliction," denotes, that upon the person alluded to came suffering the most severe. Yet though there was no real immersion the word has precisely the same meaning as in the former sentence where in indicates the dipping of bread. The suffering came upon the man, but the word immerse does not mean to come upon, so neither does baptizo. It will also be seen by the above examples that the word in question cannot mean to wash, inasmuch as the things said to be baptised are dipped into wine, dye, blood, milk, ointment, oil, fire, brine, mud, slime, and into the human body. A word which is used to indicate immersion into all these cannot mean to wash. It may indicate washing when, by metonymy, the effect is put for the cause, but never otherwise.

The word immerse expresses the full import of baptizo. The idea of emersion is not included. It means simply to put into or under, without indicating whether object the sinks to the bottom, remains, or is taken out. This is determined not by the word, but by the nature of the object and by the design of the immersion. It is therefore in the foregoing examples applied to objects immersed to be presently withdrawn, and also to bodies immersed for the purpose of drowning. The words used in construction with baptizo most clearly indicate its import. With words which express sprinkling or pouring we find ON or UPON, but with the word in question IN or INTO are found. In the entire New Testament, where it occurs some eighty times, it is never found construed with ON or UPON, which would be requisite were the idea that of sprinkling or pouring. In the samples given, it is found with the preposition into before the name of the element into which an object is plunged. See 61, 64, 65, 67, 68, 70, 74, 77, 81, 82, 84, 85, 118, 119, 128, and also in its figurative use, as "PLUNGED by drunkenness INTO sleep" - "IMMERSE from sobriety INTO fornication." In a large number of the above examples it is found construed with IN, as "Immerse and sink us IN the pools." See 59, 72, 75, 79, 80, 129, 152, 153, 154, 155. Here, then, we may close this section, having thus incontrovertibly demonstrated that the word used by our Lord to designate the ordinance, commonly called baptism, signifies to IMMERSE, DIP, or PLUNGE, and nothing other or different.

This being the case whence arose the controversy? How came Christendom to substitute sprinkling for immersion? Is the meaning of the word only now discovered? Not at all. Sprinkling, as baptism, is completely modern. With, or after, pouring, it came into use not at all upon the supposition that the word used by the Lord had any such meaning, but as an ALLOWABLE SUBSTITUTE when the thing commanded by the Saviour could not be had. The early fathers of the Church, so called, knew nothing of sprinkling, and have left their unequivocal testimony that the baptism known and used from the days of the Apostles to their own time was immersion.

CYRILL (born about 315, Bishop of Jerusalem, A.D. 350). "For as Jesus assuming the sins of the world died, that having slain sin he might raise thee up in righteousness; so also thou, going down into the water, and in a manner buried in the waters as he in the rock, art raised again, walking in newness of life." "And in the same ye died and were born; and that saving water became to you a grave and a mother." "For the Lord saith: 'Ye shall be IMMERSED (baptised) in the Holy Spirit not many days after this.' Not in part the grace; but all-sufficing the power! For as he who sinks down in the waters and is IMMERSED (baptised), is surrounded on all sides by the waters, so also they were completely IMMERSED (baptised) by the Spirit."

BASIL (the Great, born about 330 after Christ). Initiating the burial of Christ by the IMMERSION (baptism); for the bodies of those IMMERSED (baptised) are as it were buried in the water." "The water presents the image of death, receiving the body as in a tomb.""Which we seem to have covenanted by the IMMERSION (baptism) in water, professing to have been crucified with, to have died with, to have been buried with, and so forth, as it is written."

CHRYSOSTOM (born about 347 after Christ). "For to be IMMERSED (baptised), and to sink down, then to emerge, is a symbol of the descent into the underworld, and of the ascent from thence. Therefore Paul calls the IMMERSION (baptism) the tomb, saying: "we were buried, therefore with him by the IMMERSION (baptism) into death." "Divine symbols are therein celebrated, burial and deadness, and resurrection and life. And all these take place together; for when we sink down in the waters as in a kind of tomb, the new man comes up again."

ATHANASIUS (born near the close of the third or beginning of the fourth century). "In these benefits thou wast IMMERSED (baptised), O newly enlightened; the initiation into the grace, O newly enlightened, has become to thee an earnest of resurrection; thou hast the IMMERSION (baptism) as a surety of the abode in heaven. Thou didst imitate, in the sinking down, the burial of the Master; but thou didst rise again from thence, before works witnessing the works of the resurrection."

GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS (born about 330 after Christ). "Let us, therefore, be buried with Christ by the IMMERSION (baptism), that we may also rise with him; let us go down with him, that we may also be exalted with him; let us come up with him, that we may also be glorified with him."

JOHN OF DAMASCUS (born about the end of the seventh century). "For the IMMERSION (baptism) shows the Lord's death. We are indeed buried with the Lord by IMMERSION (baptism) as says the holy apostle."

THEOPHYLACT (Archbishop of Achrida, about 1070) gives the views of the old Greek interpreters. "For one IMMERSION (baptism) is spoken of, as also one faith, because of the doctrine respecting the initiation, being one in all the church, which has been taught to IMMERSE (baptise) with invocation of the Trinity, and to symbolise the Lord's death and resurrection by the threefold sinking down and coming up." "The word BE IMMERSED (be baptised), signifies the abundance, and as it were the riches of the participation of the Holy Spirit; as also, in that perceived by the senses, he in a manner has who is IMMERSED (baptised) in water, bathing the whole body, while he who simply receives water is not wholly wetted on all places.""For as he having died, rose the third day, so also we, being typically buried in water, then come up incorrupt as to our souls, and receiving the pledges of the incorruption of the body."

TERTULLIAN (born about the middle of the second century). "Know ye not, that so many of us as were immersed into Christ Jesus, were immersed into his death?" "For by an image we die in baptism; but we truly rise in the flesh, as did also Christ." "And last of all, commanding that they should immerse into the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." "Then we are three times immersed, answering somewhat more than the Lord prescribed in the Gospel.""When entering into the water, we profess the Christian faith, in words of his own Law."

AMBROSE (Bishop of Milan born about 340. On the Sacraments, b. II, c. 7.) "Thou wast asked: Dost thou believe in God the Father almighty? Thou saidst, I believe; and thou didst sink down, that is, wast buried.""Yesterday, we discoursed respecting the font, whose appearance is, as it were, a form of sepulchre, into which, believing in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we are received and submerged, and rise, that is, are restored to life.""What then is a resurrection, except when we rise again from death to life? So then also in baptism, since there is a similitude of death, without doubt, whilst thou dost sink down and rise again, there is a similitude of the resurrection."

JEROME (born in the year 331). "And thrice we are immersed, that there may appear one sacrament of the Trinity."

ALCUIN (born 735. Epistle XC, to the brethren of Lyons). "To us it seems indeed, according to our feeble judgment, that as the inner man is formed anew after the image of his Maker, in the faith of the Holy Trinity, so the outer man should be washed with a trine immersion; that what the Spirit invisibly works in the soul, that the priest may visibly imitate in water."


It was intended to supply every known instance of allusion to baptism not only by the Greek fathers but also by the Latin - that is to say those instances which indicate the nature of the action. But when the passages were marked for that purpose they were so very similar (calculated rather to weary the reader) that it is deemed quite sufficient to present the above. The portions omitted are almost entirely repetitions by the same writers. This, however, may be safely affirmed, that not any of the remaining instances look more like sprinkling or pouring than do those here given.



It may be asked, how, in view of the above ample and undivided testimony, immersion has almost universally given place to sprinkling? Those who thus inquire are misinformed as to the extent to which sprinkling prevails. The Roman Church and those Protestant churches which have come from her have adopted it, but the Greek Church has never admitted the change and still regards "the sprinkled" as unbaptised. Hear Alexander De Stourdza (Greek Church), a work published at Stuttgart, 1816:

The Western Church has done violence both to the word and the idea in practising baptism by aspersion; the very annunciation of which is a ludicrous contradiction. In truth, the word baptise has but one signification. It signifies, literally and perpetually, to immerse. Baptism and immersion are identical, and to say baptism by aspersion is the same as to say immersion by aspersion, or any other contradiction in terms.

To this may be added the testimony of THE BISHOP OF THE CYCLADES, from his "Orthodox Doctrine," published at Athens in 1837:

Where has the Pope taken the practice [of sprinkling] from? Where has the Western Church seen it adopted that she declares it to be right? Has she learned it from the baptism of the Lord? Let Jordan bear witness, and first proclaim the immersions and the emersions. From the words of our Lord? Hear them aright. Disciple the nations, then baptise them. He says not then anoint them, or sprinkle them, but he plainly commissions his apostles to baptise. The word baptizo, explained, means a veritable dipping, and, in fact, a perfect dipping. An object is baptised when it is completely concealed. This is the proper explanation of the word baptizo. Did the Pope then learn it from the apostles? or from the word and the expression, or from the Church in the splendour of her antiquity? Nowhere did such a practice prevail; no-where can a scriptural passage be found to afford shelter to the opinions of the Western Church.




* The above it should be remembered spoke the Greek language, as their mother tongue, and wrote while it was a living language. Those who follow wrote in Latin.

The Papal church made the change, but let it be fully understood, that, neither the Papal church nor the Protestant sects which, coming from that church, have retained sprinkling, accepted it under the supposition that the word used by Christ to denote the ordinance means to sprinkle. They fully understood that the command is to immerse, and they clearly declare, not merely that the Apostles baptised by immersion, but that in the primitive church immersion was the only baptism. They avow, with Calvin, that, in the primitive church, baptism was administered by immersion, but that "The church did grant unto herself the liberty to change the rite somewhat." Not only so, but sprinkling was not admitted as complete baptism, but merely permitted as a substitute, in cases of sickness, when immersion could not be had. On these points we must hear the testimony of those who in practice are opposed to us. The Roman church changed the ordinance. What account do her writers give of it? BOSSUET, BISHOP OF MEAUX, says:

"We read not in Scripture that baptism was otherwise administered, than by immersion, and we are able to make it appear, by the acts of council, and by the ancient rituals, that for THIRTEEN HUNDRED YEARS baptism was thus administered throughout the whole church as far as possible. ....

"Though these are incontestable truths, yet neither we [Roman Catholics] nor those of the pretended reformed religion, hearken to the Anabaptists, who hold immersion to be essential and indispensable; nor have either they or we feared to change this dipping, as I may say, of the whole body, into a bare aspersion or affusion on one part of it. ....

[Again, defending the Roman Catholic practice of withholding the cup from the laity, in communion, he argues thus]: Baptism by immersion, which is as clearly established in the Scriptures as communion under two kinds can possibly be, has, nevertheless, been changed into pouring with as much ease and as little dispute as communion, under one kind, has been established; for there is the same reason why one should be preserved as the other. It is a fact most firmly believed by the reformed, (though some of them at this time wrangle about it,) that baptism was instituted to be administered by plunging the body entirely in; that Jesus Christ received it in this manner, and it was thus performed by his apostles; that the Scriptures are acquainted with no other baptism; that antiquity understood and practised it in this manner; and that to baptise is to plunge: these facts, I say, are acknowledged by all the reformed [Protestant] teachers, by the reformers [Protestants] themselves; by those who best understood the Greek language, and the ancient customs of both Jews and Christians; by Luther, by Melancthon, by Calvin, by Grotius, with all the rest, and since their time by Jurieu, the most ready to contradict of all their ministers. Luther has even remarked that this sacrament is called Tauf in German, on account of the depth; because they plunged deeply in the water those whom they baptised. If, then, there is in the world a fact absolutely certain, it is this. Yet it is no less certain that with all these authors, baptism, without immersion, is considered lawful, and that the Church properly retains the custom of pouring; and the Church, in supporting these two customs, which tradition proves are equally indifferent, has not any thing unusual, but maintained against troublesome persons that authority upon which the faith of the ignorant rests."

The following is a translation by Dr. Chase, of the first paragraph of a history of Baptisms, by Dr. F. BRENNAN (a learned Roman Catholic):

"Thirteen hundred years baptism was generally and ordinarily an immersion of the person under water: and only in extraordinary cases a sprinkling or pouring with water; the latter as a mode of baptism was, moreover, called in question; ay, even forbidden."

So much for Roman Catholic testimony. That church changed the ordinance, not at all supposing that Christ instituted anything other than immersion, not for one moment believing that the primitive church baptised otherwise than by immersion, but because it was convenient, and because the church claimed power to change the order and ordinances of the Church of God. Neither are we left in the dark as to the time and circumstances of this unwarrantable deviation from the Lord's command. EUSEBIUS records the first known instance of pouring water as baptism. This memorable case occurred in A.D. 252 or 253 and is recorded by this father of ecclesiastical historians thus - "Novatus, being relieved by the exorcists, fell into a grievous distemper; and it being supposed that he would die immediately, he received baptism being besprinkled* with water, on the bed whereon he lay (if that can be termed baptism), neither when he had escaped that sickness, did he afterward receive the other things which the canon of the church enjoineth should be received; nor was he sealed by the Bishop's imposition of hands."

Novatus, having recovered from sickness, became a candidate for the episcopate of the imperial city, and, some insist that he lost it because of the invalidity of his baptism. The presumption is that he might have been Bishop of Rome but for this unfortunate affusion in place of immersion. Certain it is that it did not satisfy the church and was a cause, if not the cause of his reprobation. Here we have the church allowing to a sick man a substitute for the action commanded by the Saviour - allowing in cases of sickness what was not permitted in health, and then prohibiting from the priesthood the persons who had availed themselves of the substitute. Nothing on earth could more undeniably demonstrate that those who changed not merely an alteration of the mode of baptism, but the substitution of a thing not commanded for the one authorised by the Lord: They considered it good when what Christ commanded could not be done to do something as near to it as might be, but never has the Lord called upon man to find substitutes for his positive commands. This clinic baptism, so called, grew slowly into favour - steadily advancing for thirteen centuries. Upon the progress of sprinkling the 'Edinburgh Encyclopaedia,' edited by Sir David Brewster, (Free Churchman) Article, "Baptism," contributed by a Minister of the Church of Scotland, gives the following:




* This word perichutheis, Rufinus very well renders perfusus, besprinkled, for people who were sick and were baptised in their beds, could not be dipped in water by the priest, but were sprinkled with water by him. This baptism was thought imperfect, and not solemn for several reasons. Also, they who were thus baptised were called ever afterward clinici; and by the 12th canon of the Council of Neocaesarea, these clinici were prohibited the priesthood." - Eusebius.



"The first law for sprinkling was obtained in the following manner: Pope Stephen II., being driven from Rome by Astolphos, King of the Lombards, in 753, fled to Pepin, who a short time before had usurped the crown of France. While he remained there, the monks of Cressy in Brittany, consulted him whether, in case of necessity, baptism performed by pouring water on the head of the infant would be lawful. Stephen replied that it would. But though the truth of this fact should be allowed, which, however, some Catholics deny, yet pouring or sprinkling was admitted only in cases of necessity. It was not until the year 1311 that the Legislature, in a council held at Ravenna, declared immersion or sprinkling to be indifferent. In this country (Scotland), however, sprinkling was never practised in ordinary cases till after the Reformation; and in England, even in the reign of Edward VI., immersion was commonly observed. But during the persecution of Mary, many persons, most of whom were Scotchmen, fled from England to Geneva, and there greedily imbibed the opinions of that church. In 1556 a book was published at that place, approved by the famous and godly learned man, John Calvin, in which the administrator is enjoined to take water in his hand and lay it on the child's forehead. These Scottish exiles who had renounced the authority of the Pope, implicitly acknowledged the authority of Calvin; and returning to their own country with John Knox at their head, in 1559 established sprinkling in Scotland. From Scotland the practice made its way into England in the reign of Elizabeth, but was not authorised by the Established Church.

DR. WALL, Vicar of Shoreham, in his History of Baptism, for which he received the thanks of the Convocation of Clergy in 1706, says:

"France seems to have been the first country in the world where baptism by affusion was used ordinarily to persons in health, and in the public way of administering it. It being allowed to weak children (in the reign of Queen Elizabeth) to be baptised by aspersion, many fond ladies and gentlemen first, and then by degrees the common people, would obtain the favour of the priest to have their children pass for weak children, too tender to ensure dipping in the water. As for sprinkling, properly so called, it was at 1645 just then beginning, and used by very few. It must have begun in the disorderly times after forty-one. They (the assembly of divines in Westminster) reformed the font into a basin. This learned assembly could not remember that fonts to baptise in had been always used by the primitive Christians long before the beginning of Popery, and ever since churches were built; but that sprinkling, for the purpose of baptising, was really introduced (in France first, and then in other Popish countries) in times of Popery, and that, accordingly, in all those countries in which the usurped power of the Pope is or has formerly been owned, HAVE LEFT OFF DIPPING CHILDREN IN THE FONTS, but that all other countries in the world which had never regarded his authority, do still use it; and that basins (to sprinkle out of) except in cases of necessity, were never used by Papists, or any other whatsoever, till by themselves." His. of Infant Baptism, Part

II., c. 9.

On another page he says:

"The way that is ordinarily used we cannot deny to have been a novelty, brought into this church (of England) by those who had learned it in Germany or Geneva. And they, not contented to follow the example of pouring a quantity of water (which had been there introduced instead of immersion), but improved it - if I may so abuse that word - from pouring to sprinkling, that it might have as little resemblance to the ancient way of baptising as possible."

And again:

"All the Christians in Asia, all in Africa, and about one-third part of Europe, are of the last sort (that is, practice of immersion,) in which third part of Europe are comprehended the Christians of Graecia, Thracia, Servia, Bulgaria, Rascia, Wallachia, Moldavia, Russia Nigra, and so on; and even the Muscovites, who, if coldness of the country will excuse, might plead for a dispensation with the most reason of any."

With these statements the English Church Service fully agrees. The first English Book of Common Prayer and administration of the Sacraments - the first book of King Edward the VI., 1549, reads - "Then the Priest shall take the child in his hands, and ask the name. And naming the child shall DIP IN IN THE WATER thrice ... saying I baptise thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. But, and if the child be weak, it shall suffice to pour water upon it."

The Second Book of King Edward VI., 1552, as also that of Queen Elizabeth, 1559, and that of King James, 1694, read - "Then the priest shall take the child in his hands, and asking the name, and naming the child shall dip in in the water, so that it be discreetly and warily done. ... And if the child be weak it shall suffice to pour water upon it." Thus is manifest the introduction of sprinkling - an allowance made in behalf of weak and sickly infants. In the earlier English church, immersion was the only baptism. A canon of the Council of Calchuth, A.D. 816, c. xi., reads - "Let the Presbyters also know, when they administer the holy baptism, that they may not pour water over the infant's head, but let them always be immersed in the font, as the Son of God furnished by himself an example to every believer, when he was thrice immersed in the waves of the Jordan."

The following is from Lingard's History and Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church (vol. I,

p. 347):

"The regular manner of administering it was by immersion, the time the two eves of Easter and Pentecost, the place a baptistery, a small building continguous to the church, in which had been constructed a convenient bath, called a font. When an adult solicited baptism, he was called upon to profess his belief in the true God, by the repetition of the Lord's Prayer, and the Apostle's creed; and to declare his intention of leading a life of piety, by making a threefold renunciation of the devil, his works and his pomps. He then descended into the font; the priest depressed his head three times below the surface, saying, I baptise thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

"In the baptism of children the same rites were observed with a few necessary variations. ... The priest himself descended into the water, which reached to his knees. Each child was successively delivered undressed into his hands, and he plunged it thrice into the water, pronounced the mysterious words, and then restored it to its sponsors." ... "Such were the canonical regulations with respect to the administration of baptism."

The following extract from Tyndale's "Obedience of a Christian Man," (edition of 1571, p. 143,) shows the practice of the English Church as late as the first half of the sixteenth century:

"The washing [of baptism] preacheth unto us that we are cleansed with Christ's blood-shedding, which was an offering and a satisfaction for the sin of all that repent and believe, consenting and submitting themselves unto the will of God. The plunging into the water signifieth that we die, and are buried with Christ, as concerning the old life of sin which is Adam. And the pulling out again, signifieth that we rise again with Christ in a new life full of the Holy Ghost, which shall teach us and guide us and work the will of God in us, as thou seest. Rom. VI."

Though this little history of the rise and progress of sprinkling might be much enlarged from ample material at hand, we close it here, being fully assured that enough has been advanced.

But one thing remains, and that is to ask what, in view of the multitudinous facts exhibited in these pages, the advocates of sprinkling advance in favour of their practice. What they say is of little importance, because nothing under heaven can gainsay the facts adduced. What some of them say shall, in conclusion, be given, and it will then be fully seen that many of our opponents know that immersion was the only action known as baptism in the primitive church, and, that this action, and none other, was commanded by the Saviour. Baptist writers have frequently published lists of those who while practising sprinkling admit that immersion was the prevailing baptism in the early church. The list which we are about to give goes beyond this - the names of those only will appear who affirm that immersion, in Apostolic times, was the one and only baptism:

CALVIN, on Acts viii. 38. - "We see from this instance, what was the baptismal rite among the ancients, for they plunged the whole body in water. Now it is the custom for the minister to sprinkle only the body or head."

GROTIUS, on Matt. iii. 6. - "That this rite was wont to be performed by immersion, and not by perfusion, appears both by the propriety of the word and the places chosen for its administration, John iii. 33; Acts viii. 38: and by many allusions of the apostles, which cannot be referred to sprinkling, Rom. vi. 3, 4; Col. ii. 12."

LUTHER. - "That the minister dippeth a child into the water, signifieth death; that he again bringeth him out of it, signifieth life. So Paul explains it (Rom. vi.) ... On this account, I could wish that such as are to be baptised should be completely immersed into water, according to the meaning of the word, and the signification of the ordinance, AS ALSO WITHOUT DOUBT, IT WAS INSTITUTED BY CHRIST."

BEZA. - "Christ commanded us to be baptised, by which word, it is certain, immersion is signified. Nor does baptism signify to wash, except by consequence; for it properly signifies to immerse for the sake of dyeing. To be baptised in water signifies no other than to be immersed in water, which is the external ceremony of baptism."


A.P. STANLEY, D.D., Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Oxford and Canon of Canterbury. - "There can be no question that the original form of baptism - the very meaning of the word - was complete immersion in the deep baptismal waters; and that, for at least four centuries, any other form was either unknown, or regarded as an exceptional, almost a monstrous case. To this form the eastern church still rigidly adheres; and the most illustrious and venerable part of it, that of the Byzantine empire, absolutely repudiates and ignores any other mode of administration as essentially invalid. The Latin church, on the other hand, doubtless in deference to the requirements of a northern climate, to the change of manners, to the convenience of custom, has wholly altered the mode, preferring, as it would fairly say, mercy to sacrifice; and (with the two exceptions of the cathedral at Milan, and the sect of the Baptists) a few drops of water are now the western substitute for the threefold plunge into the rushing rivers, or the wide baptisteries of the east." - "Eastern Church,"

p. 44.

WHITBY (Episcopalian). - "Baptism is to be performed, not by sprinkling, but by washing the body; and indeed it can only be from ignorance of the Jewish rites in baptism that this is questioned, for they, to the due performance of this rite, so superstitiously required the immersion of the whole body, that if any dirt hindered the water coming to any part of it, the baptism was not right, and if one held the baptised by the arm when he was let down into the water, another must after dip him, holding him by the other arm that was washed before, because his hand would not suffer the water to come to his whole body."

JOSEPH MEDE (Episcopalian). - "There was no such thing as sprinkling, or rhantismos, used in baptism in the apostles' days, nor many ages after them." "Disc. on Titus," III. 5.

BISHOP JEREMY TAYLOR (Episcopalian). - "The custom of the ancient churches was not sprinkling, but immersion, in pursuance of the meaning of the word baptise in the commandment, and the example of the blessed Saviour."

STACKHOUSE (Episcopalian). - "We nowhere read in Scripture of anyone's being baptised but by immersion, and several authors having proved from the acts of councils and ancient rituals that this manner of immersion continued as much as possible to be used for thirteen hundred years after Christ." "Hist. of Bible," pp. 1234-1235.

ARCHBISHOP TILLOTSON. - "'It (the sound from heaven, Acts. ii. 2) filled all the house.' This is that which our Saviour calls baptising with the Holy Ghost. So that they who sat in the house, were as it were, immersed in the Holy Ghost, as they who are buried with water were overwhelmed and covered all over with water, which is the proper notion of baptism."

Numerous other testimonies are to hand, but to give more would but increase pages by additions which are not needed. Two noted historians shall bring up the rear:

MOSHEIM, Church History. Century II. - "The persons who were to be baptised, after they had repeated the creed, confessed and renounced their sins, and particularly the devil and his pompous allurements, were immersed under water, and received into Christ's kingdom by a solemn invocation of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, according to the express command of our blessed Lord."

NEANDER, Church History. - Vol. I. - "In respect of the form of baptism, it was, in conformity with the original institution, and the original import of the symbol, performed by immersion, as a sign of entire baptism into the Holy Spirit, of being entirely penetrated by the same."

Perhaps we cannot better conclude than in the words of one who has carefully gone over the whole ground. "We have, then, but one case of pouring on record during two hundred and fifty years. The Messiah was gone to heaven more than two centuries before the sick and distracted Novatian, of Rome, had water poured all over him on a bed: if, indeed, as Eusebius says, that could be called baptism. Perhaps there may have been about that time, a few others but so few and so obscure (if there were any), that neither Eusebius nor any other historian names them. The Council of Neocaesarea, sixty-four years after this time, condemned such pourings, which being the first public notice of the affair, proves that it had not yet spread far, and, in the second place, was not then regarded by the bishops with much favour. The delicacy of infants, the fond and foolish tenderness of superstitious mothers, the notion of the deadly influence of original sin, the importance of baptism as an ablution, and the sick and dying invalids that could not endure immersion, one would think, would have earlier made larger inroads upon the apostolic law and ordinances, and prevailed more extensively than it seems they did. The facts then are, the whole world immersed, with these few exceptions, for thirteen centuries. The east half of Christendom still continues the practice. The Greek portion of the church never to this day has given up the primitive practice. This, too, is an argument of more weight than even the numerical magnitude of this immense section of the church. It is not merely the voice of many millions, but the voice of many millions of Greeks; - of men who knew what the apostles and the Greek fathers had written; who needed no translators, nor scholiasts, nor annotators, nor historians, to read them lessons on the primitive practice or on the meaning of Christ's commission. Some seventy-five or a hundred million of such vouchers on a mere question of fact, qualified as they were, on the mere principle of human authority, would outweigh the world.

"But even when the Council of Ravenna granted to France and the Papal territory the privilege of affusion, it is not to be concluded that the millions of Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and England immediately accepted of the indulgence. They did not. France herself did not. England held on for three centuries more to immersion; - so did some other portions of eastern Europe. We have, then a tremendous majority, if that is of any value: - the whole professing church for thirteen hundred years; the half of it for eighteen hundred years; and of the balance, some portions of it for fourteen hundred, and one large portion for sixteen hundred years.

"Concerning the magnitude of the Greek church, compared with the Roman, we learn much from the fact, that during the first seven general councils, the aggregate of Greek bishops was some twenty-two thousand, while that of the Roman bishops was less than thirty! But there is a very plain and tolerably accurate way of ascertaining the comparative number of those immersed and sprinkled in all time. We have, first, all Christendom for thirteen centuries, and half of it for five.

"Now, allow an average of one hundred millions every third of a century to have been baptised, which is certainly within the limits of the actual number, (but it will show the ratios just as well as the true number,) then we have for eighteen centuries in all, five thousand five hundred millions; of this number, four thousand millions were immersed during the first thirteen centuries. Then we have the one-half of five centuries, which is seven hundred and fifty millions, - giving an aggregate of four thousand seven hundred and fifty millions immersed, for seven hundred and fifty millions sprinkled, during all ages of Christianity; that is, in the ratio of seven immersed to one sprinkled. In making this estimate, we have given all that been immersed in the western half of Christendom for the last five hundred years, to compensate for all the clinics that were sprinkled during the first thirteen centuries. After making the most reasonable deductions which can be demanded, we have an immense majority of immersed professors, compared with sprinkled. This argument is not urged in proof of the truth of our positions, but as a refutation of those who would represent immersions as a small affair, in the esteem of all ages, compared with sprinkling."

Dear Reader! The Holy Spirit says "Repent and be baptised every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts ii. 38). Have you obeyed the command? Have you, by faith in his Son and in true repentance turned to God? Without faith you cannot be saved - without repentance you must perish. Baptism without these is never valid! None but Jesus can save you. Have you been baptised? The Lord commands it! He adds, "Those who love Me keep My commandments." You were perhaps sprinkled in infancy! In these pages we say nothing upon the question of infant baptism.* But could it be proved that infants are proper subjects for baptism, if only sprinkled, you are still unbaptised. You have not obeyed the Saviour's command. Remember the love which led Him to suffer and die for you! Neglect not any one of His commands! Keep in mind that:

"Not a broken brief obedience
Does the Lord of heaven demand;
He requires our whole allegiance,
Words and deeds, and heart and hand:
God will hold divided sway
With no deity of human clay."
Let your response be:
"Welcome, welcome, dear Redeemer,
Welcome to this heart of mine;
Lord, I make a full surrender,
Every power and thought be Thine:
Thine entirely,
Through eternal ages Thine."

May the Lord of his infinite mercy help you thus to resolve, and thus to live, and, when you have done and suffered his will below, bring you to his everlasting kingdom and glory.


* (Note from 1891 edition.) See "Why Baptise the Babes?" by the same Author.


Embracing every mention of Baptism found in the New Testament.


Baptism in the Spirit was foretold by John, administered only by Jesus, and included a full bestowment of powers not natural to man. It was not bestowed upon sinners in order to their conversion, but gifted to persons whose hearts were already turned to God. The work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart - "the renewing of the Holy Spirit" - is never confounded with Baptism in the Spirit, but is wholly another thing. Only two instances of Baptism in the Holy Spirit are upon record - one upon the day of Pentecost, the other in the House of Cornelius. Even the ministering of the Spirit by the laying on of the hands of the apostles is never termed Baptism in the Spirit - the phrase is reserved to designate those vast bestowments of supernatural power which the Lord bestowed directly from heaven, without the intervention of human instrumentality. The texts in which it is named are: Matt. iii. 11; Mark i. 8; Luke iii. 16; John i. 29-34; Acts i. 5; xi. 16.


It was administered by John (and probably by his disciples) IN the River Jordan, and IN the "much water" or "many streams" of Aenon. It was a "Baptism of Repentance for the Remission of Sins," and the persons who were subject to it were not infants, but Men and Women "Confessing their Sins." The texts in which it is mentioned are: Matt. iii. 6, 16; Mark i. 4-9; Luke iii. 7-21; vii. 29-30; John i. 25-33; iii. 22-26; iv. 1, 2; x. 37; Acts i. 5, 4; xix. 3-5.


The Lord after His resurrection instituted another Baptism, Matt. xxviii. 19, Mark xvi. 16. - Disciples baptised with John's Baptism were again baptised. - Acts xix. 2-5.

THE ACTION. - Believers were baptised IN water, INTO the river. In the Authorised Version, Matt. iii. 16; Mark i. 8; Luke iii. 16; and John i. 26, 31, 33, read WITH water, but the Greek, in every instance, has IN water. No trace of with water appears in the whole book. - Matt. iii. 6, 16; Mark i. 5; John iii. 23; Acts viii. 36, 39, indicate the action.

THE SUBJECTS. - Believers and none other. The commission reads, "Go teach [Gk. Disciple] all nations, baptising them" i.e. the disciples. Disciples are those who hear, believe, and thus become learners or scholars. The commission is to baptise such and such only. The pronoun translated "them" is masculine, and therefore does not apply to "nations" which is neuter, and can only represent disciples made out of the nations by teaching and preaching. Upon the same principle, it is recorded that "Jesus made and baptised more disciples than John" (John iii. 1, 2). The disciples were made by teaching, and the taught were baptised. The untaught, those who are not disciples, whether infants or adults, are not eligible, and, therefore, though the immersion of thousands is recorded in the New Testament, no instance of infant baptism can be found. "They were baptised both Men and Women." - Acts viii. 12; xviii. 8.


"INTO THE NAME" - "INTO CHRIST" - "INTO HIS DEATH." - The original of Matt. xxviii. 19 expresses "baptising them INTO the name," which implies that a new relation is entered into in baptism. But without faith none can enter into that relation, and, therefore, infants and all unbelievers are excluded from baptism. The baptism of a proper subject translates into "the kingdom" "into Christ," and "into His death." - John iii.5; Rom. vi. 3, 4: Gal. iii. 26, 27; Col. ii. 12.

"FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS." - Baptism, preceded by faith and repentance, is FOR (IN ORDER TO) the remission of "sins that are passed" (Acts ii. 38; xxii. 16), and thus, not alone, but preceded by faith and repentance, "baptism doth also now save us." (1 Peter iii. 21.) The following texts, with those cited above, contain every occurrence in the New Testament of baptizo and baptisma, translated baptise and baptism: Matt. xx. 22, 23; xxi. 25; Mark vi. 14; vii. 4; x. 38, 39; xi. 30. - Luke iii. 3; vii. 29-30; ix. 38; xii. 50; xx. 4. - John x. 40. - Acts ii. 41; viii. 13, 16; ix. 18; x. 47, 48; xiii. 24; xvi. 15-33. - 1 Cor. i. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; x. 2; xii. 13; xv. 29; xx. 29. - Eph. iv. 5.

"And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptised and wash away thy sins, calling upon the Name of the Lord." - Acts xxii. 16.

"If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." - Acts viii. 37.


"Let us seek out of the Book of the Lord and read! However sincere a man may be in a creed or worship of his own invention, or of other men's invention, it will profit him nothing! The faithful witness pronounces such a creed and such a worship "vain." May God, by the mighty power of His truth, overturn all the altars to human authority erected in Christian churches and Christian hearts; and in the implicit belief of Divine truth, because it is Divine - and in the cheerful observance of Divine Ordinances, because they are Divine, may the Lord alone be exalted. Of the Man of Sin it is said, 'And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and think to change times and laws.'" - DR. J. BROWN.

"All the will of God is to be done. Every part of Scripture is of the same authority. It is wrong to make a selection among the commands of God, to obey some and neglect others. Saul, King of Israel, was guilty of this sin, and God rejected him. You must therefore obey God in everything." - DR. EDIE.

"He claims to reign supreme in your hearts. Let His claims to our obedience be as cheerfully conceded as His claims to our faith; so that to our love of His glorious person and His saving worth we may be able to add, with David, 'O how I love Thy law.'" - DR. GUTHRIE.