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Refresh'd, all sense of lassitude resign'd.
But whatever service might be given and received in the intercourse of hospitality, there never was any, in any kind of bath or ablution, whether by plunging or pouring, whether of the whole body, or of only a part of it, in the institutions of religious worship. To render such service was no part of the duty of Priests, or Levites, or Nethinim, or fellow worshippers, male or female, among the children of Israel, or the primitive christians, or even the grossest heathen idolaters. Now it is essential to Christian Baptism, that it be administered by another. The people came to John to be baptized. Even Christ came to John to be baptized of him. In like manner, the disciples were to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them. And this ordinance was administered, not only by another, but as frequently in public as in private. On both these accounts we are restrained from regarding it as an application of water, in any way, to the whole body, or, in the way of ablution, to even a part of it. It was merely the pop of a limited effusion, consistent with decency, yet quite sufficient for the purpose of a symbol.
But, on further examination, the scriptures will be found to give us still more interesting, and explicit intimations concerning the subject before us.
We are led to conceive of Baptism, as the pouring out of water from a cup on the turned-up face of the baptized ; and, whether he be adult or in infancy, it may thus not only wet the surface as a figure of washing, but be drunk into the mouth, as the emblem of a principle of new life and of continual support and refreshment, of a source of spiritual and heavenly consolation, and of a willingness given, or to be given, to the baptized to receive whatever may be assigned him as his portion. We are led to this conception of Baptism, by various passages of scripture which it will be found to illustrate. which I refer to, is the ,
cup of nature, that is, the hollow of the human hand. From this cup, the baptizer so pours out water on the baptized, that it shall run down his face, as the ointment did from the head to the beard of Aaron, and even to the skirts, rather to the upper border or collar, of his garment, Ps. cxxxiii. 2.
We must not take offence at the simplicity of Oriental manners. Drinking fluid poured out from the hand of another, cannot seem nauseous to those who are accustomed to the use of the cup of nature, in taking their own refreshment; and in the practice of their companions, even when eating together out of one dish. In Judges vii. 6. we are told, that of an army brought down to the water to drink, three hundred “ lapped putting their hand to their mouth."
“ The Arabs," says Harmer, “in eating their milk, use no spoons. They dip their hands into the milk, which is placed in a wooden bowl before them, and so sup it out of the palms of their hands. Le Bruyn observed five or six Arabs, who were eating milk together after this manner, on the side of the Nile, as he was going up that river to Cairo, and was astonished at it; but it is common in those countries : and D'Arvieux informs us, that they eat their pottage in the same manner.” Obser. xxxvii. As they feed themselves, we may be very certain they feed their children. Nor can we suppose it incongruous, in any state of society, that the penitent believer should be taught, by the very form of the first ordinance which is dispensed to him, that “as a new born babe, he should desire the sincere milk of the word, that he may grow thereby," 1 Pet. ii. 2.
The simplicity, and perhaps the humbling nature of that form, seem well calculated to remove all the distinctions of nation, rank, and condition, which might cherish pride and self-righteousness, and to confirm that common spirit of self-abasement, which unites all true christians in deriving their confidence from Christ alone.
The reader will now observe how far this view of Baptism illustrates the following passages of scripture, and is supported by them. 1 Cor. xii. 13. “ For by one Spirit are we all (sis &v owula 'EBATITI'SOHMEN) BAPTIZED INTO 'ONE 'BODY, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all (εις εν πνεύμα 'ΕΠΟΤΙΣΘΗΜΕΝ) MADE TO DRINK INTO ONE SPIRIT.” There is perhaps a more intimate
connection between a “Cup” and a “ Baptism,” as belonging to one allusion, than some readers of scripture have as yet remarked. Matth. xx. 22, 23. “ Are ye able (ΠΙΕΙΝ ΤΟ ΠΟΤΗΡΙΟΝ, και εγώ μέλλω πίνειν, και ΤΟ ΒΑΠΤΙΣΜΑ, και εγώ βαπτίζομαι, ΒΑΠΤΙΣOHẠNAI;) to DRINK OF THE CUP that I shall drink of, and to be BAPTIZED WITH THE BAPTISM thạt I am BAPTIZED WITH? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, (TO MEN HOTH'PIO'N ΜΟΥ ΠΙΕΣΘΕ, και ΤΟ ΒΑΠΤΙΣΜΑ, και εγώ βαπτίζομαι, BANTIZOH'SESOE) ye shall DRINK INDEED OF MY CUP, and be BAPTIZED WITH THE BAPTISM THAT I AM BAPTIZED WITH." Luke xii. 50. (ΒΑΠΤΙΣΜΑ. δε έχω ΒΑΠΤΙΣΘΗΝΑΙ, και πώς συνέχομαι έως ου TEAEZOH7;) “but I have a BAPTISM to be BAPTIZED with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished !” Dr. Campbell renders this, " I have an immersion to undergo, and how am I pained till it be accomplished !" I understand it thus, “ I have a cup to drink; and how am I straitened till it be FINISHED!” Referring to the very same thing, and under the same allusion, we are told, Matth. xxvi. 39.“ he fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, (παρελθέτω απ' εμού ΤΟ ΠΟΤΗΡΙΟΝ Torto) let This CUP pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” John xviii. 11, “ Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: (ΤΟ ΠΟΤΗΡΙΟΝ ό δέδωκέ μοι ο πατής ου μη πίω αυτό ;) the CUP which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it ?" Exactly corresponding with the iwc OŠ TEAE2OH, « until it be finished,"
of Luke xii. 50, mentioned above, is the triumphant TETE'AESTAI, “ IT IS FINISHED," of John xix. 30: The reader will have the goodness to read from the beginning of the 28th verse, and he will see that the meaning of, “ It is finished," is, the cup which my Father hath given me is finished.
In the Old Testament there are many passages, which represent the sovereign power of God as the Judge of the wicked, in assigning punishment as the portion of their cup; pouring it out on them; or putting it into their hand, and, in both cases, compelling them to drink it. “Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup." Ps. xi. 6. - For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red ; it is full of mixture, and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.” lxxv, 8. - For thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto me, Take the wine-cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations to whom I send thee to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send
among them. And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Ye shall certainly drink.” Jer. xxv. 15, 16–28. In the scheme of divine reconciliation proclaimed in the gospel, the punishment is laid on the Saviour which he voluntarily bears, while the believer thankfully receives, as his portion, the blessing of salvation, poured out