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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
264                   CHURCH REVIEW.

"Of the doctrine of baptism, etc." As to the signification or
meaning of these statements, we shall see further on.  The
single other Apostle, whose word may be acceptel as definitive
of Christ's command, is Peter (1 Pet. iii, 18:21): "Because
Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the un-
righteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to (leatli
in the flesh, but quickened in the spirit; in which also he went
and preached unto the spirits in prison, which aforetime were
disobedient, when the long suffering of God waited in the days
of Noah, while the ark was a-preparing, wherein few, that is,
eight souls, were saved through water; which also, after a
true likeness, doth now save you, even baptism, etc."  *  *  *
Of this statement, also, a brief exposition will be ventured, a
few pages further on. What we have been attempting to show
in the foregoing is that the ordinance, or, more properly, the
sacrament of Baptism was approved and ordained by the Lord
Jesus Himself, and that, on His authority, it was accepted by
the Apostles, and by them taught and administered in the
early Church. On Christ's authority, then, the Church of to-
day accepts and practices the sacrament of Baptism--of Bap-
tism, remember; not the rite of sprinkling; not the rite of
pouring; not the rite of immersion; but the sacrament of
Baptism.  Are we asked, by what method He would have it
administered? Our answer is: By whatever method or methods
that were practiced when the command was given. Christ Him-
self makes no mention of the method. He simply selected a
ceremony, and the selection of it carries with it the method
then practiced, where no word of His to the contrary can be
produed. As illustrative of our argument, we say that prayer
was in vogue when Christ was on the earth. He confirmed the
practice, and taught that men ought always to pray and not
to faint (Luke xviii, 1). But how? Manifestly in whatever at-
titude man were given to pray. Christ concerned not Himself
about methods, if the inspired writers of the New Testament
have reported Him fully; and, fully or not, they have reported
Him to the extent that the Holy Ghost deemed sufficient. He
commanded His followers to baptize as He commanded them
to pray; and to do each in the way generally practiced.  With
Him the incidental had but little weight, anywhere. As it
relates then to Baptism, many facts warrant the belief, indeed
the lately discovered pamphlet, "The Teaching of the Twelve
Apostles," affirm it--that as practiced in His day, and by His
immediate followers, no one method, to the exclusion of every
other, was employed. On the contrary, christendom is agreed,
Roman, Greek, Protestant, with the single exception of the
Baptist sect that, in ordaining Baptism, Christ ordained a cere-
mony with which the people were familiar in the method of
performing; and without intimating the least change in regard
to this method.  "As you understand it, perform it," is the bur-
den of His command.  That such libraries of literature could
ever have been written to becloud so plain a proposition, is one
of the marvels.


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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Serial Collection

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3

Volume:  06
Issue Number:  03
Date:  01/1890


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