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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
               BAPTISM-AN EXCURSUS.                    267

On the contrary, we quote: "Does not the truth of the Gospel,"
we are taught to ask in our Disciplinary Catechism, "lie very
near both Calvinism and Antinomianism?  Indeed it does;
as it were within a hair's breadth," is the answer. So here, in
regard to that that is true of Baptism; and that that is deemed
  Paul's next reference to Baptism is found in his First Letter
to the Corinthians, first chapter, and verses fourteen and seven-
teen, inclusive: "* *  * or were ye baptized in the name of
Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus
and Gaius; lest any should say that I baptized in my  own
name. And I baptized, also, the household of Stephanas; be-
side, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ
sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.  *    *    *"
What does Paul mean, when he says: "Christ sent me not
to baptize, but to preach the Gospel," for it is this that gives
point to the present discussion?
  Again, we must beg to decline listening to the interpreters.
We do this largely in the interest of brevity, to say nothing
of originality. In so far, however, as this last is concerned,
it is not out of place to say but little, if any, is claimed. As
we understand (Paul, he simply means to say that he was not
sent to "harp on methods," but rather to preach that which was
substantial and living. Aside from the fact that, in refusing
to put a premium  on form, and therein imitate the spirit and
example of the Master, of whom we have already had occasion
to say: "Christ concerned not Himself about methods," Paul's
character itself points to the interpretation to be put upon the
significant words:  "Christ sent me not to baptize."  His was
a consistent, well-rounded character, as any will soon discover
who makes a study of it. He was the last man in the world
to standi on any red tape order, save where a principle was at
stake. Hear what he himself says as to his manner of admin-
istering the Gospel of God: "That, when I preach the Gospel,
I may make the Gospel without charge, so as not to use to
the full my right in the Gospel. For though I was free from
all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might
gain the more.  And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I
might gain Jews; to them that are under the law, as under
the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain
them that are under the law;  to them that are without law,
as without law, not being without law to God, but under law
to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law; to the
weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak; I am become
all things to all men, that I may by all means save some." And
he winds up this magnificent defense for what might seem a
flagrant disrespect, both to custom and law, by saying: "And
I do all things for the Gospel's sake."
  His whole life bears happy confirmation to the course here
outlined. Witness how he withstood Peter to the face (Gala,
tians ii, 11). Witness his really withdrawal from Barnabas


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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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