persons are always said to be baptized, the element never. If sprinkling meets all these requirements, that is the true scriptural baptism. If pouring meets all these requirements, that is the true scriptural baptism. If nothing but immersion meets all these requirements, then immersion, and nothing else, is the true scriptural baptism. The last particular named, though not so commonly noticed as some of the others, seems to us perfectly decisive of the whole question. If baptism meant sprinkling, then we should at least sometimes read that water was baptized upon persons. If baptism meant pouring, then we should of course always read that water was baptized upon persons. But if baptism means immersion, then we should always read that persons were baptized in water. We never do find either of the first two expressions; we always do find this last expression. Could the scriptural proof be more complete? We never even read, in the original inspired text, that persons were baptized with water; it is always in, or into, the element. The preposition is indeed sometimes omitted, but as no other preposition is ever used, we are not at liberty to supply any other.

“ The best judges are not those who write controversially, on either side, but the most learned and impartial lexicographers, commentators, historians, and antiquarians, of all ages, sects, and nations. And among these there is a remarkable unanimity in declaring that immersion is the primary meaning of the Greek word, and a very general agreement in affirm, ing that it is the only meaning. Exclude all partisan testimonies, on both sides, and the question ceases at

once to be debatable. Where is the church historian, of any scholarly reputation, who disputes that for more than a thousand years immersion was the only regular baptism throughout the Christian world, other and more convenient applications of water being allowed only in cases of sickness or infirmity, and avowedly as substitutes for the primitive rite? Is not the uniform and persistent testimony and practice of all to whom the Greek language is vernacular, of itself a demonstration of the meaning of the word? The Greek language has been the common speech of millions in every age since the New Testament was written; and all these, with one voice, declare, and have always declared, that the word means only to immerse; they all practise, and have always practised immersion; they all refuse, and have always refused, to admit the validity of any baptism but immersion.

“Just as, in consulting the Scriptures, the true sense is that which harmonizes and reconciles all the passages which speak of baptism, so also, in consulting the human authorities, the true verdict is that in which there is a general agreement of competent witnesses. And immersion is the only point in which the suffrages of scholars in regard to the meaning of the Greek word unite and are agreed.”

(Israel afterwards found these "words of another a paper among the files of the organ of the Baptist Church in New England.)

“Now !” exclaimed the clergyman, striking the pulpit desk emphatically, “I challenge any one in the whole world, learned or unlearned, to find a set of arguments that can match these, which I have just read to you."


“ They are remarkably clear,” responded Israel to himself, “and I don't see but I must submit to their practical conclusion."

The speaker now hastened to the consideration of his last general division, viz: the relation of the mind, when properly exercised, with nature. Nature was but another name here for all the external world. Everywhere and under all circumstances, the willing and the obedient eat the good of the land, in their souls. Examples of this were cited. Among the most forcible was the great Baptist, John Bunyan. In prison, when expecting separation from his beloved family by an ignominious death, he wrote, “I have been able to laugh at destruction, and to fear neither the horse nor his rider. I have had sweet sights of the forgiveness of my sins in this place, and of my body with Jesus in another world.” * * *

“I have often thought," said the speaker, “that the happiest people in the world were the faithful Baptists ; and perhaps the brightest of their earthly moments, save those which close their mortal career, are when they follow their Saviour into the watery grave, and are buried with Him in baptism. The reason of this is, that they are the beloved and protected of Heaven. The clouds seem to part over their heads, and we can almost catch the words, • These are my beloved ones in whom I am well

pleased.' ..

“ I never knew of the least physical injury to come upon a subject of baptism in consequence of the reception of the holy rite, although I have seen the fragile form of delicate woman moving through the water

with piles of newly-cut ice on either hand, and beneath the inclement skies of midwinter, while the chill of an approaching storm filled all the air. Yes! that same woman, when deep within the icy wave, broke forth in a melodious strain of sacred song!

“ All you,” he concluded, " who are about to complete the obedience to the requirements of your Saviour, by the acts of this day, will prove the truth of this sublime and beautiful promise - For ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. This name is the true disciple, and this everlasting sign is baptism by immersion.”



At the close of the sermon, the minister announced that the ordinance of baptism would be administered in the usual place, at half-past twelve o'clock.

Israel followed his new guide out of the crowded house. 66. We will make haste,” he said, “ that we may get a good place at the water, for you to see and hear." The place of baptism was called at a convenient distance from the church, yet it required a brisk walk of some ten minutes.

It was about the middle of June, and, but for the warmth, one of the “perfect days” of the loveliest period of the year. After walking some distance upon a retired street, they struck off from the ordinary route within a range of broad and beautiful pasturage, where was only an irregular path which had been made by the cows and sheep on their daily goings and returnings.

Fresh from a thickly populated place, Israel was more than pleased with the prospect which was now unfolding before him. Afar off could be discerned the soft outline of the distant hills, which seemed asleep in the purpled haze of the summer noon.

In nearer view, here and there upon the undulating stretch of lands, he discerned the white farm-houses, half em

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