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why tarriest thou ? ARISE, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord ;" and when it is said in the parallel passage, Acts ix. 18, 19, “ And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales; and he AROSE, and was baptized: and when he had received meat he was strengthened.” In these passages, there is neither going down to the water, nor coming up from the water ; nor are such expressions ever used when Baptism is said to have been administered within doors. It is also observable, that, after a fast of three days, Paul was baptized before he had received either meat or strength, see ver. 18, 19. Would this have been done had his Baptism been immersion ?
When Lydia was baptized, and her house, Acts xvi. 15, I no more believe that she and her family were immersed in the river where Paul and Silas went out to preach, than that the jailor and his family were immersed by Paul and Silas while yet in the prison. I say while yet in the prison ; because, although the jailor, at the first alarm, is said, Acts xvi. 30. to have “ brought them out;" it was evidently out from the inner prison, into which, ver. 24. he had thrust them. He brought them from the inner prison into his house, where they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house; and where he washed their stripes, and was baptized, and where he set meat before them. The jailor's house, in which, on waking out of his sleep, he saw the prison doors open, was evidently connected with the prison,
and it is accordingly said, for the first time, at ver. 40. "
they went out of the prison.” I by no means think it incredible that there should have been a bath in the jailor's house at Philippi ; (as some of our Antipædobaptist brethren allege we do,*) but there is not a hint in all the Bible about the use of a bath for the purpose of baptizing, more than about the use of a basin. Water was brought (I know not in what vessel) to wash their stripes, and water was brought to baptize the family. Every house-baptism supposes water to be brought, and the baptized to receive the effusion on his face from the hand of the baptizer. The argument that “there was a bath in the jail at Philippi, because there is a very fine tank in the jail at Calcutta, and always is one to be found in an eastern jail,” may be illustrated in this manner: there was a stove in the jail at Philippi, because there is a very fine one in the jail at St. Petersburgh, and always is one to be found in a northern jail.
Among other efforts to persuade us that immersion is baptism, I have seen the quotation of the apostle's words, in 1 Cor. x. 1, 2. “ Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea.” I should have understood this, as an argument for immersion, and felt its
* See · Candid Statement,' Preface, p. xxii.
force, had the apostle said that the Egyptians were all baptized; for they were undoubtedly all immersed. I should also have understood and felt it, had he said that all their fathers had been, not only under the cloud, but under the sea ; for had they'been all under the sea, they also must have been all immersed. Unfortunately, however, for the argument, the history was expressly written to commemorate the glorious fact, that they were not immersed. Exod. xiv. 21, 22. “ And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea DRY land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the DRY ground : and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left.” Heb. xi. 29. “ By faith they passed through the red sea as by 'dry land; which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.” Here, there is believers' baptism inclusive of their infants ; but no immersion, except that of the subjects of capital punishment.
Is the other clause, then, supposed to sanction immersion? “Our fathers were all under the cloud”. " and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud.” We have confessed, that it would have been immer. sion to have been under the sea ; but to be under a cloud, supposes being under its shadow, if there be no rain ; under its sprinkling, if there be a little rain ; and under its Effusion, if there be much rain. In none of these cases is there any immersion. The scriptures seem to intimate that the last case was ex
emplified, when the fathers were baptized unto Moses, in the cloud. But whether the example included themselves, as far as the effusion of the copious rain, or was only exhibited before them in the tempest of lightning, and thunder, and rain, which assailed the Egyptians, when the Lord looked unto their host through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled their host, previously to their immersion, I leave for the consideration of the reader. Alluding to the awful scene, the Psalmist
Ps. lxxvii. 16-20. "The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid : the depths also were troubled. The clouds POURED OUT WATER; the skies sent out a sound : thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven ; the lightnings lightened the world ; the earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. Thou leddest thy people, like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
In Zech. xiii. 1. it is said, “ In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.” In this passage, which received the first fruits perhaps of its accomplishment on the day of Pentecost, but which contemplates a future turning of Israel to the Lord, there is an evident allusion to the ONE SPRING which flowed from Gihon to the upper, and then to the lower pool, for the use of “the house of David,” and of “ the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” That fountain was shut up for their use alone, and answered all the temporal purposes of outward
ablution, and bodily refreshment. But, “ in that day,” in which they shall be led by the Holy Spirit to believe in Christ, and to turn from sin to the ser. vice of God, “ there shall be an opened fountain," for the spiritual purposes of purifying the conscience from guilty fear, and the mind and life from polluted thoughts and corrupt practice. It shall be for “ the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem,” but not for them exclusively. While it shall be for high and low ; to the Jew first, it shall not be “ stopped up against those that are without, but be “opened” for the Gentiles also; for to all who believe, it shall be said, " ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” Eph. ii. 19.
It is very proper to connect this prophecy with the atonement, which Christ made for sin when he shed his precious blood; to think of the remarkable issuing of blood and water from his side, which John so solemnly declares he witnessed, John xix. 34-37, and which he seems to have understood as certifying both the expiation of guilt, and the removal of defilement, 1 John v. 6–8; and to observe the superiority of the blessings of the new covenant to those of the old, as stated at large in Heb. ix. 13—23.
But, although mention is often made of fountains, and streams of water, we never read in scripture of a “ fountain of blood,” as a means, or an emblem, of purification.-Christ “ hath washed us in (rather, with) his own blood,” Rev. i. 5, 6. His people have “washed their robes and made them white, in (with)