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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
			
                BAPTISM-AN EXCURSUS.                  269

fiery, positive, and aggressive nature like his, would be apt
to make. Beyond all question, one and the same hand wrote:
"Press on unto perfection,"(Heb. vi, 1,) and "And after I have
been there, I must also see Rome."  (Acts xix, 21). Of the refer-
ence here made, it is to be said that the view of Baptism pre-
sented is quite similar to the view given in First Corinthians,
and already mentioned. It is, as it were, the non-essential view
--the view which puts Baptism with that that is the "letter"
of the Gospel, and not the spirit. Of the four views of Baptism
noticed, it is a little singular that two of them permit what we
might call the high church, or ritualistic view of the service, to
wit: Rom. vi, 3:4, and Eph. iv, 5; and two command the low
church or evangelical view, to wit: 1 Corinthians, i, 14, and He-
brews, vi, 2. As intimated, however, the difference between these
two views, as to the authority upon which they rest, is marked;
the one being simply permissive, the other mandatory, at least as
mandatory as categorical statements can make them. The high
church view rests upon a conclusion reached, it is claimed, by
unexceptional logical methods; the low church view upon direct
statements or commands. In view of this fact, the question
still presents itself: What is the meaning of Baptism? As
presented to us by the inspired theologian of the New Testa-
ment, it may be safely said that, whatever else it may mean,
it certainly means that its conference is to be upon those only
who claim and profess to walk in the newness of Christian life.
It is thoroughly Christian, both in letter and in spirit What
circumcision was and is to the Jew, Baptism was and is to the
Christian. While those who submit to it, "In the Name of
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost," in theory, are, and
can be, theoretical Christians-Christian in name only-those
who similarly submit to it, confessing Jesus to be Lord with
the mouth, and believing with the heart that God raised him
from the dead, are Christians in truth.
  And now, we come to Peter's one statement in regard to
Baptism.  It is found in his First Epistle (iii, 21): "  *  *  *
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 like-
ness doth now save you, even Baptism." No surprise need be
exhibited when we are told that the Roman Church, through
its authorized version of the Scriptures, ranks this reference
of Peter to the ceremony, among those of which it says: "Bap-
tismus salvat " (Baptism saves); also, " Baptismus  tollit omnia
peccata" (Baptism takes away all sins). More than a score num-
ber of such texts are given in the Vulgate before us. To our
mind, the strongest is this of Peter, and we are free to confess
that were not the strength of it broken by other Scriptural
statemen's, the doctrine of baptismal regeneration as believed
by the Roman Church, the Greek Church, and the ritualistic
wing of the Church of England, would be one of the accepted
beliefs of christendom.  The Common version was quite as




			
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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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