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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
			
            BAPTISM--AN EXCURSUS.                 263

its origin becomes one of moment. A word as to its univer-
sality. * * * * * * * * * * *
  In the face of such facts, as has been said, the question of the
origin (of Baptism as a religious rite becomes one of moment.  Is
it of man's device or of God's command? * * * * It is suffi-
cient, however, for us to know, that in so far as this rite per-
tains to the religious associations of christendom, it finds its
authority in the command of Jesus, as given by two, if not three
of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and John, possibly.
  As  recorded by Matthew  (xxviii, 19), Jesus  says:  "All
authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.
Go ye, therefore, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost."
  As recorded by Mark (xvi, 16), Jesus says: "Go ye into
all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He
that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that dis-
believeth, shall be condemned."
  What John says (iii, 5), is as follows: "Jesus answered.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water
and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
  That the baptism here mentioned and required was the re-
ligious rite then in vogue among the people, and was so under-
stood by them, is clearly apparent from the fact that the Apos-
tles so understood him, and, in turn, ordained the same.  What
say these? and what did these?
  Luke, who, by the way, makes no mention of Christ's com-
mand to baptize in his Gospel, in the Acts of the Apostles
(ii, 38), makes the following  record:--"And Peter said unto them,
Repent ye, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of
Jesus Christ, unto the remission of your sins, and ye shall re-
ceive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Also, "They then that re-
ceived his word were baptized, and there were added unto
them, in that day, about three thousand souls." The account
Luke gives us of the understanding the Apostles received from
the teaching of Christ upon the subject, embraces the baptism
of many of the people of Samaria (viii, 12); of Simon (viii, 13);
of the eunuch (viii, 38); of Saul (ix, 18); of Cornelius (x, 48);
of Lydia (xvi, 15); of the jailor and his household (xvi, 33);
and of those of Ephesus (xix, 5).
  Paul, who may be looked upon as, in a special sense, the
authorized exponent of Christ's teaching, makes His purpose
in the selection of this rite, as well as the understanding His
disciples had of it, clear beyond all doubt. To the Romans
(vi, 3), Paul says: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were
baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death."  To
the Corinthians (1 Cor. i, 14): "I thank God that I baptized
none of you, but Crispus and Gaius." To the Galatians (iii,7):
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have
put on Christ" To the Ephesians (iv, 5): "One Lord, one faith,
one baptism."  And lastly, to the Hebrews (vi, 2), he says:




			
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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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