Definitions of Credo and Paedo

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JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
While discussing this topic with someone last evening, I began to think of the various views on Baptism and the result was some questions I hadn't thought about before.

I to hold to paedo baptism out of my study of the scriptures on covenant theology. I became a paedo baptist for two reasons (very simply put, I know there is more to it):
1. As I see it (of course I may be wrong) sprinkling is the correct "mode" of baptism.
2. Baptising an infant seems to fit in with covenant theology.

In recent months, I have learned that some baptise infants by immersion. Also, I believe that if someone has not been baptised after they have come to the Lord, they should seek baptism. (I say by sprinkling)

I can think of at least four (possibly 5) circumstances under which someone might be baptised:

1. Infant baptism by sprinkling
2. Infant baptism by immersion (Greek orthodox)
3. Baptism after conversion when the person was not baptised as an infant (usually sprinkling)
4. Baptism after conversion only (immersion)
5. Baptism after conversion only (sprinkling) does anyone do this?

We classify those who perform the first 3 categories as paedo baptists and those in the last two (if there are two) as credo baptists. And this makes sense to a point.

Isn't circumstance 3 also credo baptism? I realize I might be splitting hairs here, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if the difference isn't more about "mode" than it is about baptism after conversion.

Any thoughts?
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
FYI: It has also been the Anglican view to baptise infants by immersion hence Wesley got into some bother in our Colonies.

The issue is whether we ought baptise upon a profession of faith only. Credo say "yes" whilst Paedos say "no". The mode is irrelevent.
 

Seb

Puritan Board Junior
FYI: It has also been the Anglican view to baptise infants by immersion hence Wesley got into some bother in our Colonies.

The issue is whether we ought baptise upon a profession of faith only. Credo say "yes" whilst Paedos say "no". The mode is irrelevent.

I agree. Even the early Anabaptists were not concerned with the mode so much. They were concerned with the subject (candidate) of baptism. They still practiced effusion (sprinkling / pouring).

I do however think that in modern times most (if not all) Credo ONLY churches are also Immersion ONLY but they are not necessarily connected.
 

jaybird0827

PuritanBoard Honor Roll
...
I can think of at least four (possibly 5) circumstances under which someone might be baptised:

1. Infant baptism by sprinkling
2. Infant baptism by immersion (Greek orthodox)
3. Baptism after conversion when the person was not baptised as an infant (usually sprinkling)
4. Baptism after conversion only (immersion)
5. Baptism after conversion only (sprinkling) does anyone do this?

...
Any thoughts?

Suppose a credo becomes convinced of paedo and moves his family to a church that practices paedo. His children are grammar-school age and not ready to profess faith. They were not baptized as infants because the parents were credo at the time.

The Session encourages the father to consider having baptism administered to the children and he agrees. Is that a 1 or 2 or would you consider that another circumstance?
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
...
I can think of at least four (possibly 5) circumstances under which someone might be baptised:

1. Infant baptism by sprinkling
2. Infant baptism by immersion (Greek orthodox)
3. Baptism after conversion when the person was not baptised as an infant (usually sprinkling)
4. Baptism after conversion only (immersion)
5. Baptism after conversion only (sprinkling) does anyone do this?

...
Any thoughts?

Suppose a credo becomes convinced of paedo and moves his family to a church that practices paedo. His children are grammar-school age and not ready to profess faith. They were not baptized as infants because the parents were credo at the time.

The Session encourages the father to consider having baptism administered to the children and he agrees. Is that a 1 or 2 or would you consider that another circumstance?

I think since the father is making the decision it would fall into 1 or 2, as I see 3 as being baptism as a confession of faith.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
FYI: It has also been the Anglican view to baptise infants by immersion hence Wesley got into some bother in our Colonies.

The issue is whether we ought baptise upon a profession of faith only. Credo say "yes" whilst Paedos say "no". The mode is irrelevent.

I agree. Even the early Anabaptists were not concerned with the mode so much. They were concerned with the subject (candidate) of baptism. They still practiced effusion (sprinkling / pouring).

I do however think that in modern times most (if not all) Credo ONLY churches are also Immersion ONLY but they are not necessarily connected.


I was not aware that the anabaptists sprinkled/poured. I was always led to believe that they were strict immersionists. When I was a baptist, the Anabaptists were always used as an example of why we shouldn't sprinkle/pour. Hmmm.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I was not aware that the anabaptists sprinkled/poured. I was always led to believe that they were strict immersionists. When I was a baptist, the Anabaptists were always used as an example of why we shouldn't sprinkle/pour. Hmmm.

Immersion was a second generation Baptist practice. The original concern was for the proper candidates, mode was clearly secondary. Today, most Baptist pastors with little knowledge of history confuse the two so that it is almost as if they are merged.
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
Yes, I am currently leaning this way....

Before Immersion was the norm among the English Baptist they all Sprinkled... All the Mainland European Baptist Sprinkle except the Dunkers... Those baptistic groups that sprinkle on Main Europe would include Mennonites, Amish, Brethren, German Baptist, Hutterites and other Anabaptist groups.......



5. Baptism after conversion only (sprinkling) does anyone do this?
 

Seb

Puritan Board Junior
...
I can think of at least four (possibly 5) circumstances under which someone might be baptised:

1. Infant baptism by sprinkling
2. Infant baptism by immersion (Greek orthodox)
3. Baptism after conversion when the person was not baptised as an infant (usually sprinkling)
4. Baptism after conversion only (immersion)
5. Baptism after conversion only (sprinkling) does anyone do this?

...
Any thoughts?

Suppose a credo becomes convinced of paedo and moves his family to a church that practices paedo. His children are grammar-school age and not ready to profess faith. They were not baptized as infants because the parents were credo at the time.

The Session encourages the father to consider having baptism administered to the children and he agrees. Is that a 1 or 2 or would you consider that another circumstance?

I think since the father is making the decision it would fall into 1 or 2, as I see 3 as being baptism as a confession of faith.

I just went through almost exactly this scenario. I've moved from credo to paedo in the past year and recently had my four-year-old baptized because of my convictions.

I think at this age and older it becomes a slightly different circumstance than those listed above.

Not only must the parent(s) have saving faith but the child must have not rejected Christ. It's not exactly credo for the child, but they can't be "anti-credo" for lack of a better word.

Don't we baptize our children because we presume they will come to saving faith in our Lord? That they are set apart from the world? If a grammar-aged child is adamant about not being part of it I don't see that you could proceed with the baptism. In my humble opinion.
 
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JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Suppose a credo becomes convinced of paedo and moves his family to a church that practices paedo. His children are grammar-school age and not ready to profess faith. They were not baptized as infants because the parents were credo at the time.

The Session encourages the father to consider having baptism administered to the children and he agrees. Is that a 1 or 2 or would you consider that another circumstance?

I think since the father is making the decision it would fall into 1 or 2, as I see 3 as being baptism as a confession of faith.

I just when through almost exactly this scenario. I've move from credo to paedo in the past year and recently had my four-year-old baptized because of my convictions.

I think at this age and older it becomes a slightly different circumstance than those listed above.

Not only must the parent(s) have saving faith but the child must have not rejected Christ. It's not exactly credo for the child, but they can't be "anti-credo" for lack of a better word.

Don't we baptize our children because we presume they will come to saving faith in our Lord? That they are set apart from the world? If a grammar-aged child is adamant about not being part of it I don't see that you could proceed with the baptism. In my humble opinion.

Though it might seem inconsistent on my part, I think I could agree with yout on this issue. In this similar circumstance, my husband and I would most likely not ask our child to be baptised is she was rejecting the gospel. Both my children were baptised as infants, though, because I came to this position before I had children.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
While discussing this topic with someone last evening, I began to think of the various views on Baptism and the result was some questions I hadn't thought about before.

I to hold to paedo baptism out of my study of the scriptures on covenant theology. I became a paedo baptist for two reasons (very simply put, I know there is more to it):
1. As I see it (of course I may be wrong) sprinkling is the correct "mode" of baptism.
2. Baptising an infant seems to fit in with covenant theology.

In recent months, I have learned that some baptise infants by immersion. Also, I believe that if someone has not been baptised after they have come to the Lord, they should seek baptism. (I say by sprinkling)

I can think of at least four (possibly 5) circumstances under which someone might be baptised:

1. Infant baptism by sprinkling
2. Infant baptism by immersion (Greek orthodox)
3. Baptism after conversion when the person was not baptised as an infant (usually sprinkling)
4. Baptism after conversion only (immersion)
5. Baptism after conversion only (sprinkling) does anyone do this?

I believe #5 was the practice of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who for most of his career pastored a congregational church, Westminster Chapel. In the authorised biography, Iain Murray says the Doctor early on abandoned the practice of infant baptism. But being convinced by the arguments by Charles Hodge and B.B. Warfield for sprinkling, did not become a baptist (immersionist) either. I don't have this book anymore but from what I recall he dedicated infants and would baptize those making a profession of faith. As far as I know he only spoke out once on the issue, and it can be found in Great Doctrines of the Bible.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I'd be happy to join in this discussion but I see too many land mines to step over.
 

Robert Truelove

Puritan Board Sophomore
When I was ordained as a Reformed Baptist I made my exception to the confession known that I did not believe that mode was essential to baptism. This did not pose much of an issue for the church because, since I had no problem with immersion, I agreed that I would baptize using this mode since that was the baptistic position.

Now I'm a paedobaptist, it is all moot. I still maintain that sprinkling, pouring and immersion are all valid modes of baptism. It is the element that is important, not the mode.

If anyone is interested, I gave a lecture on this subject and it is available as a free download at Christ Reformed Church - Audio Messages -
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
I think at this age and older it becomes a slightly different circumstance than those listed above.

Don't we baptize our children because we presume they will come to saving faith in our Lord?

If we presume our children will come to saving faith based on the promise of God found in His Word, why would our faith in that promise be shaken if our child denies the faith?

From another perspective, let's say that's not the reason we baptize our children. Rather, we baptize them because as a family we are incorporated into the visible Church. A child of 13 yrs of age may not want to be part of the Church...they may not want to clean their room either...tough. It is the parent's responsibility to train up the child in the fear of the Lord...even at that age.

As baptism is equated with circumcision regarding the entrance into the visible covenant community, we should remember that even adults who were under the authority of the believer were to be admitted into the covenant community by the sacrament...

[bible]Gen 17:27[/bible]
 

Seb

Puritan Board Junior
I think at this age and older it becomes a slightly different circumstance than those listed above.

Don't we baptize our children because we presume they will come to saving faith in our Lord?

If we presume our children will come to saving faith based on the promise of God found in His Word, why would our faith in that promise be shaken if our child denies the faith?

From another perspective, let's say that's not the reason we baptize our children. Rather, we baptize them because as a family we are incorporated into the visible Church. A child of 13 yrs of age may not want to be part of the Church...they may not want to clean their room either...tough. It is the parent's responsibility to train up the child in the fear of the Lord...even at that age.

As baptism is equated with circumcision regarding the entrance into the visible covenant community, we should remember that even adults who were under the authority of the believer were to be admitted into the covenant community by the sacrament...

[bible]Gen 17:27[/bible]

I hadn't thought of it from that perspective.

Still, as a parent it would be a tough thing for me to do if my child was fighting it. But I agree, the right thing would be to go ahead and if it's a boy, remind him that 2000+ years ago it would have been a lot worse. :eek:
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think at this age and older it becomes a slightly different circumstance than those listed above.

Don't we baptize our children because we presume they will come to saving faith in our Lord?

If we presume our children will come to saving faith based on the promise of God found in His Word, why would our faith in that promise be shaken if our child denies the faith?

From another perspective, let's say that's not the reason we baptize our children. Rather, we baptize them because as a family we are incorporated into the visible Church. A child of 13 yrs of age may not want to be part of the Church...they may not want to clean their room either...tough. It is the parent's responsibility to train up the child in the fear of the Lord...even at that age.

As baptism is equated with circumcision regarding the entrance into the visible covenant community, we should remember that even adults who were under the authority of the believer were to be admitted into the covenant community by the sacrament...

[bible]Gen 17:27[/bible]

This is a good point, and it clearly shows the inconsistency of my earlier comments about not baptizing a child who has openly denied the faith. Now you have me thinking :)
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I'd be happy to join in this discussion but I see too many land mines to step over.

Come on in, Bill. I really wasn't setting land mines, just voicing some thoughts.

Sister, I didn't think for one moment that you were setting land mines. Trip wires maybe, but certainly not land mines. :lol:

Seriously, I always proceed with caution in baptism threads. Never know where they're gonna go.

I can think of at least four (possibly 5) circumstances under which someone might be baptised:

1. Infant baptism by sprinkling
2. Infant baptism by immersion (Greek orthodox)
3. Baptism after conversion when the person was not baptised as an infant (usually sprinkling)
4. Baptism after conversion only (immersion)
5. Baptism after conversion only (sprinkling) does anyone do this?

We classify those who perform the first 3 categories as paedo baptists and those in the last two (if there are two) as credo baptists. And this makes sense to a point.

Isn't circumstance 3 also credo baptism? I realize I might be splitting hairs here, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if the difference isn't more about "mode" than it is about baptism after conversion.

Any thoughts?

I won't comment on the paedo position. It's well known and I don't believe the intent of your OP was to engage in a paedo vs. credo debate.

Believers baptism by sprinkling is a distinct minority among Baptists. To be sure, there are Baptist churches that practice sprinkling but they are few and far between. I believe in immersion for professing believers only. For this Baptist it is more than just mode. I would not recognize sprinkling as a valid credo baptism. I know, I know. This is where my paedo brethren would accuse me of advocating re-baptizing. That is a fair accusation coming from their theological position. I flirted with Piper's position a few months back. He proposed to his elders that paedo baptists who join Bethlehem Baptist Church would not have to be baptized by immersion. Upon careful thought and study I have rejected Piper's premise. It's either a valid baptism or it's not. Within the credo camp it is baptism by immersion as the only valid mode In my humble opinion. I would require someone who was sprinkled, even as a credo, to submit to the biblical model of baptism - immersion.

There, I just jumped right on a big ole bouncing Betty.

:lol:
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
If we presume our children will come to saving faith based on the promise of God found in His Word, why would our faith in that promise be shaken if our child denies the faith?

From another perspective, let's say that's not the reason we baptize our children. Rather, we baptize them because as a family we are incorporated into the visible Church. A child of 13 yrs of age may not want to be part of the Church...they may not want to clean their room either...tough. It is the parent's responsibility to train up the child in the fear of the Lord...even at that age.

As baptism is equated with circumcision regarding the entrance into the visible covenant community, we should remember that even adults who were under the authority of the believer were to be admitted into the covenant community by the sacrament...

[bible]Gen 17:27[/bible]

Good points, Larry.

So if I understand you correctly, you believe that adults who are under or put under the authority of a believer, like cognizant children, were not made to make a profession of faith when they were brought in and can deny the faith?
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
So if I understand you correctly, you believe that adults who are under or put under the authority of a believer, like cognizant children, were not made to make a profession of faith when they were brought in and can deny the faith?

There would be cultural issues that would have to be sorted out as slavery was one of the issues at the time of the OT passage that i quoted.

In general i think that as a believer it would be a mistake to put somebody within your household who wasn't a believer...just like you shouldn't marry an unbeliever.

I guess we would first have to find out what authority we have over those in our homes. With our children our authority is pretty clear, and God's promises are directed towards our children...so i see no problem with baptizing cognizant children regardless of profession of faith. Once they actually become an adult it may be a bit different. I don't know that we have the same authority over our adult children as we do before they are adults. I also don't think we have the same type of authority over our parents if they were to move in with us. In the OT the reference was to slaves, to which there would be full authority over.

It's late, i hope i'm making sense.
 

Mayflower

Puritan Board Junior
Did They Dip? by John T. Christian

CHAPTER III.
IMMERSION IN ENGLAND.

I have not space, nor has the busy reader time to read, a complete history of immersion in England. It began with Christianity in England, continued as the general practice till the seventeenth century and is even now the theory of the Established Church. France was the first country that tolerated sprinkling for baptism in the fourteenth century. Although the climate, in England was cold, immersion did not give place to sprinkling till long after. Scotland under the influence of Calvin and Knox, soon after the Reformation, began to practice sprinkling and pouring, but it had but little effect upon England. These facts are fully set forth by the historians, but I shall take space for the words of but a few of them.

Dr. Wall, an Episcopalian, says:

"One would have thought that the cold countries should have been the first that should have changed the custom from dipping to affusion, because in cold climates the bathing of the body in water may seem much more unnatural and dangerous to the health than in the hot ones (and it is to be noted, by the way, that all of those countries of whose rites of baptism, and immersion used in it, we have any account in the Scriptures or other ancient history, are in hot climates, where frequent and common bathing both of infants and grown persons is natural, and even necessary to the health). But by history it appears that the cold climates held the custom of dipping as long as any; for England, which is one of the coldest, was one of the latest that admitted this alteration of the ordinary way." (Wall's Hist., Vol. I., p. 575).

I will let Dr. Schaff tell something of the universality of immersion in England:

King Edward VI. and Queen Elizabeth were immersed. The first Prayer Book of Edward VI. (1549) followed the Office of Sarum, directs the priest to dip the child in water thrice: "first, dipping the right side; secondly, the left side; the third time, dipping the face toward the font." In the second Prayer Book (1652) the priest is simply directed to dip the child discreetly and warily; and permission is given, for the first time in Great Britain, to substitute pouring if the godfathers and godmothers certify that the child is weak." During the reign of Elizabeth," says Dr. Wall, "many fond ladies and gentlewomen first, and then by degrees the common people, would obtain the favor of the priests to have their children pass for weak children too tender to endure dipping in the water." The same writer traces the practice of sprinkling to the period of the Long Parliament and the Westminster Assembly. This change in England and other Protestant countries from immersion to pouring, and from pouring to sprinkling, was encouraged by the authority of Calvin, who declared the mode to be a matter of no importance; and by the Westminster Assembly of Divines (1643-1652), which decided that pouring and sprinkling are "not only lawful, but also sufficient." The Westminster Confession declares: " Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person." (Teach., pp. 51, 52).

Sir David Brewster says:

During the persecution of Mary, many persons, most of whom were Scotchmen, fled from England to Geneva, and there greedily imbibed the opinions of that church. In 1556 a book was published in that place containing "The Form of Prayer and Ministration of the Sacraments, approved by the famous and godly learned man, John Calvin," in which the administrator is enjoined to take water in his hand and lay it upon the child's forehead. These Scotch exiles, who had renounced the authority of the Pope, implicitly acknowledged the authority of Calvin; and returning to their own country, with Knox at their head, in 1559, established sprinkling in Scotland. From Scotland this practice made its way into England in the reign of Elizabeth, but was not authorized by the Established Church. In the Assembly of Divines, held at Westminster in 1643, it was keenly debated whether immersion or sprinkling should be adopted: 25 voted for sprinkling and 24 for immersion; and even this small majority was obtained at the earnest request of Dr. Lightfoot, who had acquired great influence in that assembly. Sprinkling is therefore the general practice of this country. Many Christians, however, especially the Baptists, reject it. The Greek Church universally adheres to immersion. (Edin. Ency., Vol. III., p. 236).

I shall give but one other authority in this connection and that is the scholarly Dean Stanley. He says:

We now pass to the changes in the form itself. For the first thirteen centuries the almost universal practice of baptism was that of which we read in the New Testament, and which is the very meaning of the word baptize; that those who were baptized were plunged, submerged, immersed into the water. That practice is still, as we have seen, continued in Eastern Churches. In the Western Church it still lingers among Roman Catholics in the solitary instance of the Cathedral of Milan; amongst Protestants in the numerous sect of the Baptists. It lasted long into the Middle Ages. Even the Icelanders, who at first shrank from the water of their freezing lakes, were reconciled when they found that they could use the warm water of the geysers. And the cold climate of Russia has not been found an obstacle to its continuance throughout that vast empire. Even in the Church of England it is still observed in theory. The Rubric in the public baptism for infants enjoins that, unless for special causes, they are to be dipped not sprinkled. Edward VI. and Elizabeth were both immersed. But since the beginning of the seventeenth century the practice has become exceedingly rare. With the few exceptions just mentioned, the whole of the Western Churches have now substituted for the ancient bath the ceremony of letting fall a few drops of water on the face. (Christian Institutions, pp. 17, 18).

Many events of English history show how deeply imbedded in the English mind was the idea of immersion. In the year 429 the Britons won a great battle over the Saxons. The following events then occurred;

"The holy days of Lent were also at hand and were rendered more religious by the presence of the priests, insomuch that the people being instructed by daily sermons, resorted in crowds to be baptized; for most of the army desired admission to the saving water; a church was prepared with boughs for the feast of the resurrection of our Lord, and so fitted up in that martial camp as it were in a city. The army advanced, still wet with the baptismal water; the faith of the people was strengthened, and whereas human power had before been despaired of, the Divine assistance was now relied upon. The enemy received advice of the state of the army, and not questioning their success against an unarmed multitude, hastened forward, but their approach was, by the scouts, made known to the Britons, the greater part of whose forces being just come from the font, after the celebration of Easter, and preparing to arm and carry on the war, Germanus declared he would be their leader." (Bede's Eccl. Hist., B. I. c. XX.).

One of the most notable events of English history was the baptism, A. D. 596, of ten thousand Saxons in the river Swale. Fabyan, the old chronicler, thus speaks of the success of the work of Augustine:

"He had in one day christened xm. of Saxons or Anglis in ye west ryur, yt is called Swale." (Fabyan's Chronicle, Vol. I., p. 96).

Pope Gregory in a letter to Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria, informs him of this great success of Augustine's. He says:

"More than ten thousand English, they tell us, were baptized by the same brother, our fellow bishop, which I communicate to you to announce to the people of Alexandria, and that you may do something in prayer for the dwellers at the ends of the earth." (Patrol. Lat., Vol. LXXVII, p. 951).

Gregory understood this baptism to be an immersion. He said:

"We baptize by trine immersion." (Patrol. Lat., Vol., LXXVII, p. 498).

Gocelyn, in his life of Augustine, says:

"He secured on all sides large numbers for Christ, so that on the birthday of the Lord, celebrated by the melodious anthems of all heaven, more than ten thousand of the English were born again in the laver of holy baptism, with an infinite number of women and children, in a river which the English call Sirarios, the Swale, as if at one birth of the church from the womb. These persons, at the command of the divine teacher, as if he were an angel from heaven, calling upon them, all entered the dangerous depths of the river, two and two together, as if it had been a solid plain; and in true faith, confessing the exalted Trinity, they were baptized one by the other in turns, the apostolic leader blessing the water. * * * So great a prodigy from heaven born out of the deep whirlpool." (Patrol. Lat., Vol. LXXX, p. 79).

It is also reported that Paulinus, A. D. 629, baptized ten thousand in the same river. Camden says the Swale was accounted sacred by the ancient Saxons, above the ten thousand persons, besides women and children, having received baptism in it in one day from Paulinus, Archbishop of York, on the first conversion of the Saxons to Christianity. (Britannia, Vol. III., P. 257).

Alcuin says of King Edwin and his Northumbrians:

"Easter having come when the king had decided to be baptized with his people under the lofty walls of York, in which by his orders, a little house was quickly erected for God, that under its roof he might receive the sacred water of baptism. During the sunshine of that festive and holy day he was dedicated to Christ in the saving fountain, with his family and nobles, and with the common people following. York remained illustrious, distinguished with great honor, because in that sacred place King Edwin was washed in the water." (Patrol. Lat., Vol. CI., p. 818).

Bede, referring to a period shortly following the baptism of the king, says:

"So great was there the fervor of the faith, as is reported, and the desire of the washing of salvation among the nations of the Northumbrians, that Paulinus at a certain time coming with the king and queen to the royal country seat, which is called Adgefrin, stayed with them thirty-six days, fully occupied in catechizing and baptizing; during which days, from morning till night, he did nothing else but instruct the people, resorting from villages and places, in Christ's saving word; and when instructed, he washed them with the water of absolution in the river Glen, which is close by." (Bede's Eccl. Hist., B. II. c. xiv.).

Bede also tells us of the baptism of the Deiri:

"In that of the Deiri also, when he [Paulinus] was wont often to be with the king, he baptized in the river Swale, which runs by the village Cateract; for as yet oratories, or fonts, could not be made in the early infancy of the church in these parts." (B. II. c. xiv.).

Bede says that a priest, A. D. 628, by the name of Deda told him that one of the oldest persons had informed him, that he himself had been baptized at noonday, by the Bishop Paulinus, in the presence of King Edwin, with a great number of people, in the river Trent, near the city, which is called in the English tongue Tiovulfingacestir. (B. II. c. xvi.).

Alcuin states that after the death of Penda, Osway the king of the Mercians caused them to be washed in the consecrated river of baptism. (Patrol. Lat., Vol. Cl., p. 824).

The Venerable Bede, A. D., 674-735, gives this testimony:

" For he truly who is baptized is seen to descend into the fountain—he is seen to be dipped into the waters; but that which makes the font to regenerate him can by no means be seen. The piety of the faithful alone perceives that a sinner descends into the font, and a cleansed man ascends; a son of death descends, but a son of the resurrection ascends; a son of treachery descends, but a son of reconciliation ascends; a son of wrath descends, but a son of compassion ascends; a son of the devil descends, but a Son of God ascends." (In John Evan. Ex. 3:5. Patrol. Lat., Vol. XCII., pp. 668, 669).

Alcuin tells of the baptism of Caedwalla, the king of the West Saxons, at Rome. He says:

"Whilst the happy king was deemed worthy to be immersed in the whirlpool of baptism." (Patrol. Lat., Vol. CL, p. 1310).

The Council of Cealchythe, held under Wulfred, A. D. 816, says:

"Let presbyters also know, that when they administer baptism they ought not to pour the consecrated water upon the infants' heads, but let them always be immersed in the font; as the Son of God himself afforded as example unto all believers, when he was three times immersed in the river Jordan." (Hart's Eccl. Records, p. 197. Cambridge, 1846).

Collier, the English Church historian, says of this canon:

"By enjoining the priests not to sprinkle the infants in baptism shows the great regard they had for the primitive usage; that they did not look upon this as a dangerous rite, or at all impracticable in those northern climates; not that they thought this circumstance essential to the sacrament, but because it was the general practice of the primitive church, because it was a lively instructive emblem of the death, burial and resurrection of our Saviour; for this reason they preferred it to sprinkling." (Collier's Eccl. Hist., Vol. I., p. 354).

Hastine, the Dane, A. D. 893, gave his two sons hostages to Alfred, king of England, with the as understanding if "he wished he might imbue them with the sacraments of faith and baptism," and the boys soon afterwards were "regenerated in the sacred font." (Roger de Wendover's Flowers of History, p. 228).

Fridegod, a monk of Canterbury, about A. D. 900, says in his life of Wilfred:

"He showed that those to be saved should be immersed in the clear waters."

And elsewhere he says:

Common people seeking holy baptism are immersed." (Patrol. Lat., Vol. CXXXIII., pp. 993, 1003).

The Constitution of the Synod of Amesbury, 977, was drawn up by Oswald and required:

"All children to be baptized in nine days after their birth."

Collier remarks upon this canon:

"It is plain, as will be shown further, by and by, that the English Church used the rite of immersion. It seems that they were not at all discouraged by the coldness of the climate, nor thought the primitive custom impracticable in the northern regions; and if an infant could be plunged into the water at nine days old without receiving any harm, how unreasonable must their scruples be who decline bringing their children to public baptism for fear of danger? How unreasonable, I say, must this scruple be when immersion is altered to sprinkling?" (Eccl. Hist., Vol. I., p. 474).

William Malmesbury, A. D. 979-1009, says of the baptism of king Ethelred:

"When the little boy was immersed in the font of baptism, the bishops standing round, the sacrament was marred by a sad accident which made St. Dunstan utter an unfavorable prophecy." (Patrol. Lat., Vol. CLXXIX., p. 1131).

Roger Wendover gives an account of Sweyn, king of the Danes, and Anlaf, king of the Norwegians, coming against London in 994. They were repulsed but over-ran the provinces so that king Ethelred had to pay them a bounty. Wendover continues:

"King Ethelred dispatched at this time Elfege, Bishop of Winchester, and Duke Athelwold to King Anlaf, whom they brought in peace to the royal vill where King Ethelred was, and at his request dipped him in the sacred font, after which he was confirmed by the bishop, the king adopting him as his son and honoring him with royal presents; and the following summer he returned to his own country in peace." (Flowers of History, p. 272).

Lanfranc, the thirty-fourth archbishop of Canterbury, 1005-1089, was born in Italy and came to England by way of Normandy. Commenting on Philippians iii:20 he says:

"For as Christ lay three days in the sepulcher, so in baptism let there be a trine immersion." (Patrol. Lat., Vol. CL., P. 315).

Cardinal Pullus, 1144, was born in England, became a professor in Paris, and was highly honored of the Pope. In his book on Divinity he says:

"Whilst the candidate for baptism in water is immersed, the death of Christ is suggested; whilst immersed and covered with water, the burial of Christ is shown forth; whilst he is raised from the waters, the resurrection of Christ is proclaimed. The immersion is repeated three times, out of reverence for the Trinity and on account of the three days' burial of Christ. In the burial of the Lord the day follows the night three times; in baptism also trine emersion accompanies immersion." (Patrol. Lat., Vol. CLXXXVI., p. 843).

The Synod of Cashel, A. D. 1172, was held under Henry II.:

"It was ordained that children should be brought to the church and baptized in clear water, being thrice dipped therein, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Roger de Wendover's Annals, p. 352).

We have an account of the baptism of Arthur, the oldest son of Henry VII. He married Catherine of Aragon, who after his death became the wife of Henry VIII. Leland says of the baptism of Arthur:

"The body of all the cathedral church of Westminster was hung with cloth of arras, and in the middle, beside the font of the said church, was ordained and prepared a solemn font in manner and form of a stage of seven steps, square or round like, an high cross covered with red worsted, and up in the midst a post made of iron to bear the font of silver gilt, which within side was well dressed with fine linen cloth, and near the same on the west side was a step, like a block, for the bishop to stand on, covered also with red saye; and over the font, of a good height, a rich canopy with a great gilt ball, lined and fringed without curtains. On the north side was ordained a traverse hung with cloth of arras, and upon the one side thereof, within side, another traverse of red scarsnet. There was fire without fumigations, ready against the prince's coming. And without, the steps of the said font were railed with good timber. * * * And Queen Elizabeth was in the church abiding the coming of the prince. * * * Incontinent after the prince was put into the font the officers at-large put on their coats, and all their torches were lighted." (Lelandi Collectanea, Vol. IV., pp. 204-206.London, 1774).

Leland also gives a description at great length of the baptism of Margaret, the sister of Arthur, 1490, and of Queen Elizabeth, 1533. The royalty were all immersed.

Walker says of baptism during the reign of Edward VI., 1537-1553:

"Dipping was at this time the more usual, but sprinkling was sometimes used." (Doctrine of Baptism, Ch. X., p. 147. London, 1678).

The prayer book of Edward VI. provides:

"Then the priest shall take the child in his hands and ask the name; and naming the child shall dip it in the water thrice. First dipping the right side; second, the left side; the third time dipping the face toward the font; so it be wisely and discretely done; saying, I baptize, &c. And if the child be weak, it shall suffice to pour upon it, saying the words." (Collier's Eccl. Hist., Vol. II., P. 256).

The Sarum or Saulsbury Liturgy, 1541, according to Collier, provides:

"Upon Saturday, Easter-even, is hallowed the font, which as it were vestigium, or a remembrance of baptism, that was used in the primitive church; at which time, and Pentecost, there was used in the church two solemn baptizings, and much concourse of people came into the same.

"The first was at Easter, because the mystery of baptism agrees well to the time. For like as Christ died and was buried, and rose again the third day, so by putting into the water is signified our death to sin, and the immersion betokens our burial and mortification to the same; and the rising again out of the water declares us to be risen to a new life, according to the doctrine of St. Paul. (Rom. vi.)

"And the second solemn baptizing, i. e., at Pentecost, was because there is celebrated the feast of the Holy Ghost, which is the worker of that spiritual regeneration we have in baptism. And therefore the churches used to hallow the font also at that time." (Eccl. Hist., Vol. II., p. 196).

We select a part of the ceremony omitting the explanations:

"Then follow the questions to the godfathers and godmothers, as representatives of the child. Forsakest thou the devil? Ans. I forsake him. All his works? Ans. I forsake them. And all his pomps and vanities? Ans. I forsake them. Satisfied with these, the minister then anoints the child with holy oil upon breast and betwixt the shoulders. Questions to ascertain the orthodoxy of the child- are propounded. Then follows another series: For example, to the child the minister says: What asketh thou? Ans. Baptism. Wilt thou be baptized? Ans. I will. Satisfied with these replies the minister calling the child by name, baptizes it in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (putting it into the water of the font and taking it out again, or else pouring water upon it.) Hist., Vol. II., Pp. 192, 193. Note A.).

In 1553 instructions were given to the archdeacons as follows:

"Whether there be any who will not suffer the priest to dip the child three times in the font, being yet strong and able to abide and suffer it in the judgment and opinion of discreet and expert persons, but will needs have the child in the clothes, and only be sprinkled with a few drops of water." (Hart's Eccl. Records, p. 87).

Watson, Bishop of Lincoln, 1558, says:

"Though the old and ancient tradition of the Church hath from the beginning to dip the child three times, etc., yet that is not such necessity; but if he be once dipped in the water, it is sufficient. Yea, and in times of great peril and necessity, if the water be poured on his head, it will suffice." (Holsome and Catholic Doctrine Concerning the Seven-Sacraments, Pp. 22, 23. London, 1558).

The baptism of James I., King of England was by immersion. He was born in the Castle of Edinburgh, 1556. Of his baptism it is said:

"At convenient time you are to present her the font of gold, which we send with you. You may pleasantly say that it was made as soon as we heard of the prince's birth, and then it was big enough for him; but now he being grown, he is too big for it. Therefore it may be better used for the next child, provided it be christened before it outgrow the font." (Turner, Vol. IV., P. 86, note).

James refers to "the font wherein I was christened." (Works, London, 1616).

Bishop Horn, of England, in writing to Henry Bullinger, of Zurich, in 1575, says of baptism in England:

"The minister examines them concerning their faith, and afterwards dips the infant in the water." (Zurich Letters, Second Series, Parker Society, P. 356).

The Greek lexicons used in England in the first half of the seventeenth century were Scapula, Stephens, Mincaeus, Pasor and Leigh. These all define baptizo as dipping or submerging.

Dr. Joseph Mede, 1586-1638, was a very learned English divine. He says:

"There was no such thing as sprinkling or rantism used in baptism in the Apostles' days, nor many ages after them." (Diatribe on Titus iii.2).

Henry Greenwood in 1628 published "A Joyful Tract of the most blessed Baptism that ever was solemnized." It is printed in black letter. When I first read it I was led to think that it was by an Anabaptist preacher, but after further examination I found that he was of the Episcopal Church. He says of the baptism of Jesus :

"The place where he baptized Christ was in the River Jordan * * * A duplicate River, so-called, because it was composed of two Fountains, the one called Jor, the other Dan, and therefore the river hath this name Jordan: In which River Naaman was washed and cleansed from his leprosy 2 Kings, 5.14; which River Elijah and Elisha divided with their cloak, 2 Kings, 2:8,13. In this Jordan did John baptize our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (pp. 7, 8.)

Daniel Rogers, 1633, published A Treatise of the two Sacraments of the Gospel Baptism and the Supper of the Lord. He was an Episcopalian. He says:

"Touching what I have said of Sacramental dipping to explain myself a little about it; I would not be understood as if schismatically I would instill a distaste of the Church into any weak minds, by the act of sprinkling water only. But this (under correction) I say: That it ought to be the churches part to cleave to the Institution, especially it being not left arbitrary by our Church to the discretion of the minister, but required to dip or dive the Infant more or less (except in cases of weakness), for which allowance in the church we have cause to be thankful; and suitably to consider that he betrays the Church (whose officer he is) to a disordered error, if he cleaves not to the institution; To dip the infant in water. And this I do so aver as thinking it exceeding material to the ordinance, and no slight thing: yea, which both Antiquity (though with some addition of a threefold dipping: for the preserving of the doctrine of the impugned Trinity entire) constantly and without exception of countries hot or cold, witnesseth unto: and especially the constant word of the Holy Ghost, first and last, approveth: as a learned Critique upon chap.3, verse ii, hath noted, that the Greek tongue wants not words to express any other act as well as dipping, if the institution could bear it." (p. 77. London, 1633).

It is a very significant fact that Daniel Rogers was quoted by the Baptists of 1641 as having upheld their opinion. This could not have been if the Baptists of that period had been in the practice of sprinkling.

Stephen Denson, 1634, says:

"Bee Baptized. The word translated baptizing doth most properly signify dipping over head and ears, and indeed this was the most usual manner of baptizing in the primitive Church: especially in hot countries, and after this manner was Christ himself baptized by John. Mat. 3:16.For there is said of him, that when he was baptized he went out of the water; Which doth imply that in his baptizing he went under the water, and thus all those that were baptized in rivers they were not sprinkled but dipped." (The Doctrine of Both Sacraments, pp. 39, 40. London, 1634).

Edward Elton, 1637, says:

"First, in sign and sacrament only, for the dipping of the party baptized in the water, and abiding under the water for a time, doth represent and seal unto us the burial of Christ, and his abiding in the grave; and of this all are partakers sacramentally." (An Exposition of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians, p. 293. London, 1637),

John Selden, 1584-1654, was regarded as the most learned Englishman of his time. He says: "The Jews took the baptism wherein the whole body was not baptized to be void." (De Jure Nat., C. 2).

Bishop Taylor, 1613-1677 says:

"If you would attend to the proper signification of the word, baptism signifies plunging into water, or dipping with washing." (Rule of Conscience, I., 3, c. 4).

The Rev. Thomas Blake, who lived in Tamworth, Staffordshire, A. D. 1644, says:

"I have been an eye witness of many infants dipped, and I know it to have been the constant practice of many ministers in their places for many years together." (The Birth Privilege, p. 33. London, 1644).

Alexander Balfour says:

"Baptizing infants by dipping them in fonts was practiced in the Church of England (except in cases of sickness or weakness) until the Directory came out in the year 1644, which forbade the carrying of children to the font." (Anti-PedoBaptism Baptism Unveiled, p. 240. London, 1827).

Wall is even more definite. He says of the Westminster Assembly of Divines:

"So (parallel to the rest of their reformations) they reformed the font into a basin. This learned Assembly could not remember that fonts to baptize in had been always used by the primitive Christians, long before the beginning of popery, and ever since churches were built; but that sprinkling as the common use of baptizing was really introduced (in France first, and then in other popish countries) in times of popery." (Hist. Inst. Bapt., Vol. II., p. 403). And in another place he remarks: "And for sprinkling, properly called, it seems that it was at 1645 just then beginning, and used by very few. It must have begun in the disorderly times of 1641." (Hist. Inst. Bapt., Vol. II., p. 403).

Sir John Floyer, one of the most careful writers, says:

"I have now given what testimony I could find in our English authors, to prove the practice of immersion from the time the Britons and Saxons were baptized till King James' days; when the people grew peevish with all ancient ceremonies and through the love of novelty and the niceness of parents, and the pretense of modesty, they laid aside immersion, which never was abrogated by any canon, but is still recommended by the present rubric of our church, which orders the child to be dipped discreetly and warily." (History of Cold Bathing, p. 61).

But dipping was not then left off, for Floyer further says:

"That I may further convince all of my countrymen that Immersion in Baptism was very lately left off in England, I will assure them that there are yet Persons living who were so immersed; for I am so informed by Mr. Berisford, minister of Stutton in Derbyshire, that his parents Immersed not only him but the rest of his family at his Baptism." (P. 182 London, 1722).

Walter Cardiac preached a sermon before the House of Commons at St. Margaret's, July 21, 1646. Among other things he said:

"There is now among good people a great deal of strife about baptism; as for divers things, so for the point of dipping, though in some places in England they dip altogether." (P. 100).

From the testimony introduced above we reach the conclusion from the introduction of Christianity in Britain to 1650 immersion was common in England, and was the prevailing practice among all Christian denominations. It is manifest that dipping was the prescribed order of

The Catholics. The Catholic ritual in use in England in 1641 was not opposed to immersion. In fact, the Roman Church never has been opposed to immersion.

The Episcopalians. The Episcopal prayer book and ritual prescribed immersion as the ordinary act of baptism then as now. But there was the difference that immersion was often administered in the Episcopal Church of that day, as is not the case now.

The Presbyterians. We have already seen that sprinkling, or rather pouring, was introduced in Scotland by John Knox and his followers from Calvin. But it did not prevail in England among Presbyterians until the Westminster Assembly excluded immersion by a vote of 25 to 24, Dr. Lightfoot, the president, casting the deciding vote. This was only done after the most heated debate. Dr. Lightfoot himself gives this. account:

Then we fell upon the work of the day, which was about baptizing "of the child, whether to dip him or to sprinkle." And this proposition, "It is lawful and sufficient to besprinkle the child," had been canvassed before our adjourning, and was ready now to vote; but I spoke against it, as being very unfit to vote; that it is lawful to sprinkle when every one grants it. Whereupon it was fallen upon, sprinkling being granted, whether dipping should be tolerated with it. And here fell we upon a large and long discourse, whether dipping were essential, or used in the first institution, or in the Jews' custom. Mr. Coleman went about, in a large discourse, to prove tbilh to be dipping overhead. Which I answered at large. After a long dispute it was at last put to the question, whether the Directory should run thus, "The minister shall take water, and sprinkle or pour it with his hand upon the face or forehead of the child;" and it was voted so indifferently, that we were glad to count names twice; for so many were so unwilling to have dipping excluded that the votes came to an equality within one; for the one side were 24, the other 25, the 24 for the reserving of dipping and the 25 against it; and there grew a great heat upon it, and when we had done all, we concluded upon nothing in it, but the business was recommitted.

Aug. 8th. But as to the dispute itself about dipping, it was thought safe and most fit to let it alone, and to express it thus in our Directory: "He is to baptize the child with water, which, for the manner of doing is not only lawful, but also sufficient, and most expedient to be by pouring or sprinkling of water on the face of the child, without any other ceremony." But this lost a great deal of time about the wording of it. (Works, Vol. XIII., p. 299. London 1824).

Sir David Brewster is regarded as high authority. He says: "In the Assembly of Divines, held at Westminster in 1643, it was keenly debated whether immersion or sprinkling should be adopted: 25 voted for sprinkling, and 24 for immersion; and even that small majority was obtained at the earnest request of Dr. Lightfoot, who had acquired great influence in that assembly." (Edinburgh Ency., Vol. III., p. 236).

All this took place three years after the alleged "invention"of immersion by the Baptists.

4. The Baptists. In this connection I only wish to say that if the Baptists between 1509 and 1641, in England, were not in the practice of immersion, they hold the world's record for dissent. Here are all denominations who recognize and practice immersion and the Baptists alone standing out against them all. As soon as the other denominations adopt sprinkling as their custom, all of a sudden, the Baptists change their practice from sprinkling to immersion. There is no reason for all of this. For my part I do not believe any such charge, and, I think, the following pages will demonstrate, that they did no such thing.
 

Mayflower

Puritan Board Junior
Did They Dip? by John T. Christian

CHAPTER IV.
THE ANABAPTISTS OF THE CONTINENT.

Dr. Whitsitt makes the broadest claims that all of the Anabaptists of Germany and Holland practiced sprinkling. His words are:

"But none of the Anabaptists of Holland, or of the adjacent sections of Germany, were immersionists. So far as any account of them has come to light, they were uniformly in the practice of pouring or sprinkling for baptism, excepting the Collegiants, who, at Rhynsburg, began to immerse in 1620." (Page 35).

Again:

"The Anabaptists of Holland appear to have been, without exception, engaged in the practice of pouring and sprinkling." (Page 42).

Here is the affirmation of a universal negative, which would require omniscience to prove. He would be compelled to know every circumstance of every baptism which took place among many thousands of persons scattered over many countries for more than one hundred years. If just one Anabaptist was immersed, his thesis falls to the ground. Beyond the impossibility of sustaining such a position, two considerations will answer all that Dr. Whitsitt has said in regard to the Anabaptists of Holland and Germany practicing sprinkling:

1. All who were called Anabaptists were not Anabaptists. It was a general name for many classes of people, and the true Anabaptists had to suffer much for the sins of others. Many who went under this name, were Lutherans and other Pedobaptists, who had embraced certain fanatical opinions, and were denounced as Anabaptists. In reality they never embraced the Anabaptist faith at all. Fuslin very properly remarks:

"There was a great difference between Anabaptists and Anabaptists. There were those among them who held strange doctrines; but this cannot be said of the whole sect. If we should attribute to every sect whatever senseless doctrines two or three fanciful fellows have taught, there is not one in the world to which we could not ascribe the most abominable errors." Beytrage Vol. II).

It is certain, that many persons who were called Anabaptists were never such in reality; and it is also certain that many such practiced sprinkling.

2. It must be remembered that this was a time of revolution. Men were constantly changing their minds. The opinion of a man yesterday would not be the opinion of the same man today. On no point was this more true than on the subject of baptism. The ranks of the Anabaptists were constantly augmented from the ranks of the Catholic and Reformed Churches. The investigation of the word of God was a new thing, and some arrived at the truth slowly. This was eminently true of the act of baptism. Men came out of the Reformed Churches and for a time held on to sprinkling and pouring, and they were termed Anabaptists, but this was not Anabaptist doctrine, any more than it is Baptist doctrine today. This may be illustrated by Grebel, one of the most noted Anabaptist preachers of his day. It is said of Mantz, to whom Dr. Whitsitt refers that "he fell upon his knees, and Grebel baptized him." (Cornelius, Geschichte des Munsterischen Aufrouhrs, Leipsig, 1860. Vol. II., s. 26, 27). And yet shortly after that Grebel became a full Anabaptist and only practiced immersion. This will explain some apparent cases where sprinkling seemed to be practiced among the Anabaptists. The normal mode of baptism among the early Anabaptists was immersion, and I shall point out an abundance of testimony to confirm this proposition.

Dr. Henry S. Burrage, very beautifully says on this point:

"The Bible was read, its divine lessons were earnestly and tenderly unfolded, and sinners were urged to flee from the wrath to come. It was a new gospel to thousands, and multitudes with tears of repentance asked the privilege of confessing faith in Christ, retiring to some mountain stream to exclaim with the Eunuch, 'See here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?' The solemn ordinance was administered, and coming forth from the water both the convert and the bearer of the glad tidings 'went on their way rejoicing."' (The Anabaptists of Switzerland, p. 108, Philadelphia, 1882).

We are not at all shut up to a negative view of this question. Fortunately we have much positive evidence that the Anabaptists did practice dipping. Luther was a firm believer in dipping, and understood the Anabaptists to be dippers. Indeed some charge that the Anabaptists took the cue for their immersions from Luther himself. Robinson says:

"Luther bore the Zuinglians dogmatizing; but he could not brook a further reformation in the hands of the dippers. What renders the great man's conduct the more surprising is, that he had himself, seven years before, taught the doctrine of dipping. * * * The Catholics tax Luther as being the father of the German dippers, some of the first expressly declare, they received their first ideas from him, and the fact seems undeniable, but the article of reforming without him he could not bear. This is the crime objected against them, as it had been against Carolostadt. This exasperated him to the last degree, and he became their enemy, and notwithstanding all he had said in favor of dipping, persecuted them under the title of re-dippers, re-baptizers, or Anabaptists. It. is not an improbable conjecture, that Luther at first conformed to his own principles, and dipped infants in baptism." (Ecclesiastical Researches, pp. 542, 543. Cambridge, 1792).

The translator of Luther's Controversial Works, speaking of Luther's sermon on baptism says: "The sermon and letters are directed principally against the Anabaptists, a fanatical sect of reformers who contended that baptism should be administered to adults only, not by sprinkling, but by dipping."

Zuingle, 1527, entitles his great work against the Anabaptists, Elenchus contra Catabaptistas. (Zuinglii Operum, Vol. II., pp. 1-42. Ed. 580).8o). He gives an early Confession of Faith of the Anabaptists. He upbraids his opponents as having published these articles, but declares that there is scarcely any one of them that has not a written copy of these laws which have been so well concealed. The articles are in all seven. In reality it is the Schleitham Confession of Faith. The first, which we give in full, relates to baptism:

"Baptism ought to be given to all who have been taught repentance and change of life, and who in truth believe that through Christ their sins are blotted out, and the sins of all who are willing to walk in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and who are willing to be buried with him into death, that they may rise again with him. To all, therefore, who in this manner seek baptism, and of themselves ask us, we will give it. By this rule are excluded all baptism of infants, the great abomination of the Roman pontiff. For this article we have the strength and testimony of Scripture; we have also the practice of the apostles; which things we simply and also steadfastly will observe, for we are assured of them."

Zuingle makes all manner of fun of the Anabaptists, calling them " immersionists, dying people, re-dying them, plunging them into the darkness of water to unite them to a church of darkness, they mersed," etc.

In 1525 Zuingle calls the Anabaptists "bath (I should have said) Baptist, companions." (Zuingle's Works, Vol. II., s. 240).

It will be seen from the above that not only does Zuingle declare the Anabaptists to be dippers, but he calls them Catabaptists. This term will be found in many places in this book, and so I wish to have a definition of the term. My first witness as to the meaning of the word Catabaptist shall be Dr. Whitsitt. When Dr. Whitsitt is writing under constraint and trying to establish a case, Catabaptist means "against baptism," but when he was writing without constraint the word meant "a dipper."

Dr. Whitsitt in The Independent, 1880:

The ceremony referred to was anabaptism, rebaptism by sprinkling and not "catabaptism," or baptism by immersion.

Dr. Whitsitt in his book, 1896:

It used to be said that the word Kata baptist, so often applied to Anabaptists by their opponents during the Reformation period, contained indisputable proof that they were immersionists. The preposition kata, in its primary or local usage, means down, and so, it was argued, Katabaptist must have been one who baptized downwards, that is, immersed. But just as ana, meaning primarily up,came to be used in the sense of again,so kata, in several technical terms, means against.


Which statement of Dr. Whitsitt shall we believe? The first of course, for that is in accord with all scholarship. Liddell and Scott, the great Greek lexicographers, in their seventh edition, say:



Katabaptizo to dip under water, to drown.



Katabaptistas, one who drowns.

Dr. K. R. Hagenbach says of the Anabaptists:

"'Since,' says Bullinger, 'kindness was of no avail with them, they were put into the high tower in the lower town, the one called the Witches' or New Tower. There were fourteen men and seven women of them. There they were fed on bread and water, to see whether it was possible to turn them from their error.' The threat of drowning was even administered in barbarous irony, for 'he who dips,' it was declared, 'shall himself be dipped."' (History of the Reformation in Germany and Switzerland, Vol. II., p. 33).

That the Anabaptists, or Mennonites, of Holland immersed we have many proofs. One of Dr. Whitsitt's principal witnesses is Baillie, and I show, in the chapter on English Baptists, that he admits that the Mennonites were dippers. Another one of Dr. Whitsitt's witnesses is Robinson. He is clear enough on this point. Robinson says:

"Menno, the father of the Dutch Baptists, says, 'after we have searched ever so diligently, we shall find no other baptism beside dipping in water (doopsel inder water) which is acceptable to God and maintained in his word.' (Mennonis Simonis, Opera, 1539, page 24). Menno was dipped himself, and he baptized others by dipping; but some of his followers introduced pouring, as they imagined through necessity, in prison, and now the practice generally prevails." (History of Baptism, pp. 694, 695. Nashville, 1860).

I now introduce an authoritative witness. It is Gerard Brandt, the brilliant historian of the Low Countries. This work was first published in 1671. He says:

"The Reformation exclusive of Infant-baptism, was set on foot in Switzerland about the year 1522, by the zeal of Conrad Grebel and Felix Mans, both men of learning, who fell out with Zuinglius, about the said opinion. Upon-account of this difference was the first Edict against Anabaptists published at Zurich; in which there was a Penalty of a Silver Park (or two Guilders, Dutch money) set upon all such as should suffer themselves to be Re-baptized, or should withhold Baptism from their Children. And it was further declared, That those who openly opposed this Order, should be yet more severely treated. Accordingly the said Felix was drowned in Zurich upon the sentence pronounced by Zuinglius, in these four words: *Qui iterum mergit, mergatur; that is, he that rebaptizes with water, let him be drowned in the water. This happened in the year 1526; but about the same time, and since, there were more of them put to death: A procedure which appeared very strange to some: The Zuinglians, they said, were scarce got out of the reach of Persecution themselves, and saw those fires in which their fellow-believers were burnt, still daily smooking most of them condemned the putting hereticks to death, where it came home to themselves, where they were uppermost. Thus doing to others what they would not have done to them. Others abused fire, they water. Those who knew better things ought to have done better. Neither



*Those who immerse again, shall be immersed.

were they acted by a good spirit, they could lead the Wanderer into the ditch, instead of setting him in the right way; they could drown the infected instead of washing and cleansing him; or burn the Blind instead of restoring him to the light.

"The first Anabaptists so far as I can gather from their own Writings, that were put to death for their persuasions in Holland, during the reign of Popery, were John Wadon, and two of his fraternity of Waterlandt; and all of these three were, with a slow fire, rather roasted than burnt to death in the Hague, in the year 1527. At Brussels the Dean of Louvain, Inquisitor of Brabrant, Holland, and the neighboring Counties, condemned partly and partly received as Penitents, about sixty persons. At the same time the Provost of the Regular Canons of Typres was Inquisitor in Flanders, and the parts adjacent, and the Provost of the Scholars of Mons in Hainault, was Inquisitor in that district." (The History of the Reformation in the Low Countries, Vol. I., P. 57. London, 1720).

Two things are evident from the above quotation from Brandt: First, the Anabaptists were dippers, and secondly the Anabaptists were of the same "persuasion in Holland."

On November 19, 1526, the Council of Zurich confirmed the edict of March 7, that Anabaptism should be punished by drowning, and that the man should be delivered to the executioner, who should bind his hands, place him in a boat and throw him bound into the water, there to die. (Fusslin, Beytrage, I., s. 271. Engli, Actensammlung, 5 14, Nr. 107). Mantz, who had become an immersionist, received this sentence January 5, 1527. It was carried into execution. Bullinger says: "As he came down from the Wellenberg to the fish market and was led through the shambles to the boat, he praised God that he was about to die for his truth; for Anabaptism was right and founded upon the word of God, and Christ had foretold that his followers would suffer for the truth's sake. And the like discourse he urged much, discussing with the preacher who attended him. On the way his mother and brother came to him and exhorted him to be steadfast, and he persevered in his folly even to the end. When he was bound upon the hurdle and was about to be thrown into the stream by the executioner, he sang with a loud voice: In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum. 'Into thy hands, 0 Lord, I commend my spirit;' and herewith was drawn into the water by the executioner and drowned." (Reformationsgeschchte, II., s. 382. Frauenfeld, 1838).

The reason for this punishment by drowning was that the penalty might be according to the offense. This is fully explained by many writers. The Anabaptists were immersionists therefore they should be drowned.

The senate of Zurich decreed that any one immersing a candidate in baptism—qui merserit baptismo—should be drowned is a significant hint. (Zuingli, Opera, III., s. 364).

John Stumpf, who during the period under survey, lived in the vicinity of Zurich and was familiar with the Anabaptist movement, says that generally the early Anabaptists of Switzerland were "rebaptized in rivers and streams." (Gemeiner Loblicher Eydgenossenschaft).

Gastins, sarcastically, used to say, as he ordered the Anabaptists drowned: "They like immersion so much let us immerse them."

In Appenzell, 1525, the Anabaptists had three places where meetings were held. The largest was Teufen, with a second at Herrisau, and the third at Brunnen. In all of these places the services were under the open sky, while the converts were baptized in the neighboring brooks and streams. (Burrage, p. 119).

Sender, an old historian of Augsburg, says of the Anabaptists of 1525-30:

"The hated sect in 1527 met in the gardens of houses, men and women, rich and poor, more than 1,100 in all, who were rebaptized. They put on peculiar clothes in which to be baptized, for in their houses where their baptisteries were, there were a number of garments always prepared."

Wagenseil, a later historian of Augsburg, says:

"In 1527 the Anabaptists baptized none who did not believe with them; and the candidates were not merely sprinkled with water but wholly submerged."

In the Bekenntniss von beiden Sacramenten, which at Minster, October 22, 1533, was subscribed by Rothman, Klopriss, Staprade, Vienne, and Stralen, and was made public on the 8th of November following, occurs this statement:

"Baptism is an immersion in water, which the candidate requests and receives as a true sign that, dead to sin, buried with Christ, he rises to a new life, henceforth to walk, not in the lusts of the flesh, but obedient to the will of God."

We have many instances of immersion at St. Gall's. It is said that Kessler, the pastor of the church in St. Gall, in 1523, was expounding the book of Romans. When he reached the sixth chapter, and was considering the significance of the ordinance of baptism, Hochrutiner interrupted him, saying, "I infer from your words that you are of the opinion that children may be baptized." "Why not?" asked Kessler. Hochrutiner appealed to Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved," and added that to baptize a child was the same as dipping in water any irrational creature. (Burrage, pp. 116, 117. Kessler, Sabatta, s. 264).

In March, 1525, Grebel baptized Ulimann by immersion. The account of the baptism is taken from Kessler, who says:

"Wolfgang Ulimann, on the journey to Schaffhausen, met Conrad Grebel, who instructed him so highly in the knowledge of Anabaptism that he would not be sprinkled out of a dish, but was drawn under and covered over with the waters of the Rhine." (Sabbata, Vol. I., s. 266). It is plain that immersion is here declared to be a distinctive view of the Anabaptists. He was "instructed" in Anabaptism, therefore he would not be sprinkled but was dipped.

"Wolfgang Ullmann, on his return to St. Gall, after his baptism at Shaffhausen by Grebel, gave a new impulse to the Anabaptist movement. Grebel soon followed—probably late in March, 1525—and on Palm Sunday, April 9, he baptized a large number in the Sitter river. The St. Gall Anabaptists now withdrew from the churches, leaving them almost empty, and holding religious services in private houses, and in open fields. In a short time the Anabaptist Church numbered eight hundred members." (Burrage, pp. 117, 118. Kessler, Sabbata, s. 267).

Dr. Howard Osgood, who was at St. Gall in 1867,says:

"A mountain stream, sufficient for all sprinkling purposes, flows through the city; but in no place is it deep enough for the immersion of a person, while the Sitter river is between two and three miles away, and is gained by a difficult road. The only solution of this choice was, that Grebel sought the river, in order to immerse candidates."

Kessler tells us that at St. Gall's the Anabaptists had a (Taufhaus), or baptistery. (Sabbata, s. 270).

Sicher, a Roman Catholic eye-witness, says: "The number of the converted (at St. Gall) increased so that the baptistery could not contain the crowd, and they were compelled to use the streams and the Sitter River." (Arx, Geschichte d. Stadt, St. Gallen, II., s. 500.

August Naef, secretary of the Council of St. Gall, in a work published in 1850, on p. 1021 says, speaking of the Anabaptists of 1525:

"They baptized those who believed with them in rivers and lakes, and in a great wooden cask in the butchers' square before a great crowd."

Dr. Burrage gives a resume of the subject in these words:

"Now we know that immersion was practiced among the Swiss Anabaptists two years before. How do we know? Not from the controversial writings of the period, but from the diary of John Kessler, the ZwInglian pastor at St. Gall, who, fortunately, one day recorded the immersion of Wolfgang Uliman by Conrad Grebel in the Rhine, at Schaffhausen, in April, 1525, and of others a little later, in the Sitter River, near St. Gall. And so the fact has come to us. Were it not for that diary, inasmuch as Zwingle did not publish his ‘Contra- Catabaptists' until 1527, and inasmuch as the decree of the Council of Zurich against the Anabaptists, in which occur the words qui iterum mergat mergatur, was not issued until 1527, the Independent might claim that the Baptists of Switzerland did not practice immersion before 1627." (Early English and American Baptists, by Henry S. Burrage, Independent, October 21, 1880).

It was claimed by the Baptists of the sixteenth century in most all of their controversies that the Dutch translation of the New Testament rendered the word baptizo by doop, which meant to dip. Many instances were given of the use of this word doop. I could well nigh fill a book with citations from Baptist authors on this point. I shall give a letter written to Dr. William Russell to this effect. He had made this statement in a public debate, and he presents this letter in confirmation of his statement. The letter reads:

"Sir, I have read your narrative of the Portsmouth Disputation with some ministers of the Presbyterians, and have also seen another book published by your adversaries intitled An Impartial Account of the Portsmouth Disputation by Samuel Chandler, William Leigh, Benjamine Robinson, wherein I find such unchristian reflections and wrong done you that suites not with the Profession they make of true Religion, but greatly demonstrates the badness of their cause. And I wonder at their Impudence in putting so plain a cheat upon the World as I find in pag. 79, in these words, viz., whether he might not have spared all his Dutch? Seeing Doop in that language signifies only to wash, and is used when they only pour on water. That this account of the word Doop is notoriously false appears from the common use of the word, and the account of it which is given in their Dictionaries. One I have by me, which I believe is the largest and best in that Tongue, it being a double Dictionary of Dutch and English, and English and Dutch, with Grammars to each of them: by Hendrick Hexham and Daniel Manly and printed at Rotterdam, 1675 and 1678, wherein the English word Dip is render'd Doop: as, to dip in a sauce, Doopen in een sausse; to dip to the bottom, Doopen tot den grondt Zoe: Dipped Gedoopt; a dipping, een doopinge; and Doop, Doopfel Baptism; Doopen to baptize, Dooper, baptizer, Doop dagh the day of Baptism; Doopen onder her water, to duck or dive under water. I also find that to wash or rinse is in Dutch, wasschen ofte sprolen; to sprinkle, stroyen spreyden sprencken; and also Besprengen is to sprinkle, besprinkle or to strow: to pour is in, Dutch Gietenor spocten; poured upon, Opgegoten ofte op Gestort. Now seeing that there is nothing of truth in what thae say in contradiction to you of the word Doop, but that it undeniably appears from the Dutch Dictionary to signify to dip, to duck or dive, and that it has nothing in its signification on either to sprinkle or wash by pouring water, which things are render'd by other Dutch words: I know not how they can clear themselves from the guilt of a wilful Lie to cheat the People of the true form of gospel Baptism which, in my opinion, is a greater sin than to cheat them of their money, and its greatly to be lamented that any professing Godliness should so grossly stain their Religion for the sake of Infant-sprinkling, a meer human Tradition, which has neither Command nor Example for it in the holy Scriptures. Sir, I was willing to communicate this unto you, that if you need the- Evidence of this Dictionary and have not already met with it, you may have recourse unto it, and so heartily wishing you the increase of true wisdom and Christian courage for the defence of the truth of Christ, which you are engaged in, I rest your loving Christian Friend and Brother.

Leominster, Nov. 17, 1699.



"ISAAC MARLOW."

This claim was urged as late as early in the eighteenth century. Thomas Davye says:

"And the Dutch Translators almost everywhere translate the Words Baptize and Baptism, to dip or dipping.Mat. 3-1. 'John the dipper.' And v. 6. 'Dipp'd in Jordan.' And v. 16. 'Jesus being dipp'd (climb'd or) came up out of Ike Water.' And Mat. 28. 19. 'Instruct all People, dipping them in the Name of the Father, etc. And Acts 8:36. 'What hinders me to be dipped?' And V. 38. 'And he dipp'd him.' And v. 12. 'They were dipp'd both Men and Women.' And Rom. 6.3. 'Know ye not that so many of us as were dipp'd into Christ Jesus were dipp'd into His death.' (The Baptism of Adult Believers, p. 113. London, 1719).

If the Anabaptists of Holland sprinkled it is strange that the Baptists of England knew nothing of it. Joseph Hooke, who wrote an able book on baptism, says:

"What Mr. Erratt hath placed in the margin concerning the Anabaptists so-called in Holland, I cannot credit; I never heard that they only pour water upon, or dip the head as he affirms, yet I was well acquainted with a Baptist Preacher that lived some years there, who never gave me an account of any such thing. Besides a credible author signifies that some tender persons of his acquaintance, being desirous to be rightly Baptized, have had water warmed for that use in the Netherlands." (A Necessary Apology for the Baptized Believers, pp. T12, 113. London, 1701).

I shall now introduce some general historians and writers Who have examined the subject, and they are unanimous in their opinion that the true Anabaptists were dippers.

Blackburn says:

"The Anabaptists (rebaptizers, generally by immersion) were of almost every sort, from the wildest fanatics to the later and more sober Christians, who came to be called Baptists, the Mennonites from the second race of Anabaptists." (History of the Christian Church, p. 4 16).

Gieseler says:

"They naturally disowned the name of Anabaptists, as they declared infant baptism invalid, they rather called themselves Catabaptists. (Fussli III., 229)." (A Compendium of Eccl. Hist., Vol. V., pp. 355, 356,).

William Robertson, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, says:

"The most remarkable of their religious tenets related to the sacrament of baptism, which, as they contended, ought to be administered only to persons grown up to years of understanding, and should be performed not by sprinkling them with water, but by dipping them in it; for this reason they condemned the baptism of infants and rebaptizing all whom they admitted into their society, the sect came to be distinguished by the name of Anabaptists. To this peculiar notion concerning baptism, which has the appearance of being founded on the practice of the church in the apostolic age, and contains nothing inconsistent with the peace and order of human society, they added other principles of a most enthusiastic as well as dangerous nature." (The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V., p. 246. New York, 1829).

Gregory and Ruter say:

They first made their appearance in the provinces of upper Germany where the severity of the magistrates kept them under control. But in the Netherlands and Westphalia they obtained admittance into several towns, and spread their principles. The most remarkable of their religious tenets related to the sacrament of baptism, which, as they contended, ought to be administered only to persons grown up to years of understanding, and should be performed, not by sprinkling them with water, but by dipping them in it. For this reason they condemned the baptism of Infants, and rebaptizing all whom they admitted into their society, the sect came to be distinguished by the name of Anabaptists."(A Concise History of the Christian Church, p. 345. New York, 1834).

Schaff very fully discusses the act of baptism among the Anabaptists. He says:

"The Anabaptist leaders, Hubmaier, Denck, Hatzer, Hut, likewise appeared in Augsburg and gathered a congregation of eleven hundred members. They held a general synod in 1527. They baptized by immersion."

Schaff makes it very clear that these Anabaptists, or Catabaptists, or dippers, were the same in Germany, Holland, and Switzerland, and were gathered by the same leaders. He says:

"All the Reformers retained the custom of infant baptism, and opposed rebaptism (Wiedertaufe) as a heresy. So far they agreed with the Catholics against the Anabaptists, or Catabaptists, as they were called, although they rejected the name, because in their view the baptism of infants was no baptism at all.

"The Anabaptists, or Baptists (as distinct from Pedobaptists), sprang up in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and organized independent congregations. Their leaders were Hubmaier, Denck, Hatzer, and Grebel. They thought that the Reformers stopped half way, and did not go to the root of the evil. They broke with the historical tradition, and constructed a new church of believers on the voluntary principle. Their fundamental doctrine was, that baptism is a voluntary act, and requires personal repentance and faith in Christ. They rejected infant baptism as an anti-scriptural invention. They could find no trace of it in the New Testament, the only authority in matters of faith. They were cruelly persecuted in Protestant as well as Roman Catholic countries. We must carefully distinguish the better class of Baptists and the Mennonites from the restless revolutionary radicals and fanatics, like Carlstadt, Munzer and the leaders of the Munster tragedy.

The mode of baptism was not an article of controversy at that time; for the Reformers either preferred immersion (Luther'), or held the mode to be a matter of indifference (Calvin).

"Luther agreed substantially with the Roman Catholic doctrine of baptism. His Taufbuchlein of 1523 is a translation of the Latin Baptismal service, including the formula of exorcism, the sign of the cross and the dipping." (History of the Christian Church, Vol. VI., pp. 578, 607, 608).

Dr. William R. Williams, one of our very best Baptist historians, very closely connects the Baptists of the Continent, and especially those of Holland, with the Baptists of England. He had no doubt that the Anabaptists of Holland and the Baptists of England practiced immersion. He says:

"But there were Anabaptists and Anabaptist martyrs in Holland before Menno himself had yet left the Roman communion. That some of these professed and practiced immersion, we infer from the fact that their persecutors, who delighted in fitting the penalty, as they cruelly judged it, to the fault, put many of them to death by full immersion, swathing the sufferers in large sacks with confined arms and feet, and then huddling the sacks with their living contents into huge puncheons, where the victims were drowned. So the Swiss Anabaptists, some of them at least, immersed in rivers. This appears from the work Sabbata of Knertz, a contemporary Lutheran. The Dunkers, too, on our shores, who were driven from a Swiss or a German source, are immersionists in their own fashion.

"A small, but in its day a very distinguished, branch of the Mennonites, too, were on principle immersionists. These were the Collegiants, or Rhynsburgers. * * *

"In times later than these, in the following century, this same community of Holland immer-sionists received the accession of Wagenaar, one of the historians of Holland, whose work, in numerous volumes, is still consulted. The body has nearly ceased to exist. Some funds for orphans that it possesses are still applied by the other branch of the Mennonites to youths, who have the choice of baptism by the method of the Collegiants or that of the Mennonites.

"Thus in people so distinct in some periods of their history, and so clearly allied at other eras, as the nations of Holland and Britain, it has been seen that God's free Bible, in the hands of a free church, has not been without its approximating effects in the judgments to which it has led its students." (Lectures on Baptist History, pp. 246-248).

Dr. J. B. Thomas, Newton Theological Seminary, says:

"Usually they insisted upon immersion as the only baptism."

In a recent and very ably written book, William E. Griffis, says:

"The Nederlanders who first claimed the right of free reading and interpretation of the Bible demanded the separation of the church and state, and filled their country full of ideas hostile to all state churches, were called the Anabaptists, or rebaptizers, because they believed in the baptism of adults only, and usually by immersion." (Brave Little Holland, p, 135. Boston, 1894).

This question, however, only incidentally con-cerns the Baptists of England. It has never been shown that all of the English Baptists received their baptism from Holland. It is absolutely certain that the English Baptists did not all originate with John Smyth, and according to Dr. Whitsitt's theory John Smyth baptized himself. His baptism was not therefore from Holland. And his contention is that Richard Blount's baptism was by immersion. Neither has it been shown that all of the English Baptists of the sixteenth century came from Holland, for we know from many sources that many of them were natives of England. And there is not a line of proof that the Dutch Baptists who did conic practiced sprinkling. Dr. Whitsitt is not only under obligation to prove that some Dutch Baptists were sprinkled, but that every one who came to England had been sprinkled. He has assumed a universal negative, and the best he has attempted is to show that some persons who were called Anabaptists, were sprinkled, and I have shown that some of these afterwards became immersionists.
 
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