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I. Biblical Doctrine.
1. Origin and Practise.
2. Significance of Christian Baptism.
II. Church Doctrine.
1. Patristic Teaching.
Primitive Period (§ 1).
Fourth Century (§ 2).
Augustine (§ 3).
2. Roman Catholic and Eastern Teaching.
Scholasticism and Later Roman Catholicism (§ 1).
The Eastern Church (§ 2).
3. Teaching of the Reformers.
Lutheran (§ 1).
Reformed (§ 2).
Modern Developments (§ 3).
III. Liturgical Usage.
1. General Development to the Reformation.
Original Forms (§ 1).
The Subapostolic Age (§ 2).
In Tertulian (§ 3).
Lines of Development (§ 4).
2. Development of the Ritual in Various Parts of the Church.
Syria (§ 1).
Asia Minor and Constantinople (§ 2).
Egypt and Ethiopia (§ 3).
Rome (§ 4).
Spain and Africa (§ 5).
Milan and North Italy (§ 6).
Gaul (§ 7).
3. The Baptismal Service in the Reformation Churches.
Three Main Types (§ 1).
Later Development (§ 2).
4. The Minister of Baptism.
5. The Time for Baptism.
6. The Place of Baptism.
IV. Discussion of Controverted Points.
1. The Argument against the Necessity of Immersion.
Immersion, even if the Original Form, a Circumstantial Detail (§ 1).
he Apostolic Practise not Certain (§ 2).
Philological Considerations (§ 3).
Archeological Considerations (§ 4).
Considerations from Symbolism (§ 5).
The Mode of Applying the Water Unessential (§ 6).
2. The Baptism of Infants.
Arguments against Infant Baptism (§ 1).
Arguments in Reply (§ 2).
Origin of Infant Baptism (§ 3).
Patristic Testimony (§ 4).
The Schoolmen and the Reformation Period (§ 5).
3. The Baptist Position Concerning Immersion and Infant Baptism.
True Baptism a Burial in Water (§ 1).
The Testimony of Cyprian (§ 2).
Origin of Affusion (§ 3).
The Argument from Symbolism (§ 4).
Objections to Infant Baptism(§ 5).
I. Biblical Doctrine.
1. Origin and Practise:
Conybeare has tried to prove that the original text of Matt. xxviii, 9 did not contain the baptismal command or the Trinitarian formula, which were interpolated, according to him, at the beginning of the third century. But since the investigations of Riggenbach, the ordinary reading may be considered the original. Jesus, however, can not have given his disciples this Trinitarian order of baptism after his resurrection; for the New Testament knows only baptism in the name of Jesus (Acts ii, 38; viii, 16; xix, 5; Gal. iii, 27; Rom. vi, 3; I Cor. i, 13-15), which still occurs even in the second and third centuries, while the Trinitarian formula occurs only in Matt. xxviii, 19 and then only again Didache vii, 1 and Justin, Apol., i, 61. It is unthinkable that the Apostolic Church thus disobeyed the express command of the Lord, which it otherwise considered the highest authority. Occurrences like those of Acts xix, 1-7 ought to have shown that the prescribed formula of baptism could not have been shortened to “the name of the Lord Jesus,” if the character of baptism was to be retained as commanded. Judging from I Cor. i, 14-17, Paul did not know Matt. xxviii, 19; otherwise he could not have written that Christ had sent him not to baptize, but to preach the gospel. Moreover, had it been known at the Apostolic Council, the missionary spheres could not have been so separated that Peter was recognized as the apostle of the circumcision, Paul and Barnabas as apostles of the heathen (Gal. ii, 7-8); rather would the original apostles have claimed the universal apostolate for themselves. Finally, the distinctly liturgical character of the formula Matt. xxviii, 19 is strange; it was not the way of Jesus to make such formulas. Nevertheless this baptismal command contains the elements which constitute Christian baptism; for the activity of the Son in baptism implies the immediate cooperation of the Father; and from the beginning Christian baptism has been considered the mediating agency of the Holy Spirit. Therefore while the formal authenticity of Matt. xxviii, 19 must be disputed, it must still be assumed that the later congregations recognized as the will of their Lord that which they experienced as the effect of baptism and traced it back to a direct word of Jesus.
If Matt. xxviii, 19 can not be considered as a baptismal command, we have no direct word of Jesus which institutes baptism; for Mark xvi, 16 belongs to the spurious appendix of the Gospel and is dependent upon Matt. xxviii, 19. But from the very beginning the Christian Church has universally 436 practised baptism (Acts ii, 38; viii, 36, 38; x, 48; I Cor. xii, 13; Gal. iii, 27; Eph. iv, 5; John iii, 5), and must therefore have been convinced that it was acting according to the will of the Lord. The origin of baptism may perhaps be explained as follows: the word of Jesus in Acts i, 5 repeats John the Baptist’s prophecy of spiritual baptism (Mark i, 8). Moreover, the farewell discourses in John and the expression epangelia tou pneumatos, which occurs like a technical term in Acts ii, 33; Gal. iii, 14; Eph. i, 13, postulate an utterance of Jesus concerning the gift of the Spirit to the disciples. But Jesus had spoken of baptism as a symbol of the gift of the Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit was for him the antitype of the baptism of John. When the disciples, after the completion of the Messianic work, took up again the baptismal rite which they had formerly practised at his command (John iii, 22; iv, 1, 2) as a preparation for admission into the Messianic congregation, and the Holy Spirit descended upon the baptized, they came to the conviction that they were acting according to the will of their Master and now combined the above-mentioned words concerning the Spirit and Christian baptism. Christian baptism has its real root in the baptism of John, not in the sphere of mysterious initiations and lustrations of Greek religious societies, or in the great wave of Babylonian baptism which poured over the civilized countries of that time from the East.
2. Significance of Christian Baptism:
The Greek phrase baptizein en or epi tōi onomati Iēsou means that the act of baptism takes place with the utterance of the name of Jesus; baptizein eis to onoma Iēsou means that the person baptized enters into the relation of belonging to Christ, of being his property. All three formulas are alike in so far as the baptized are subjected to the power and efficacy of Jesus, who is now their Lord. According to Paul (Rom. vi, 1-11; Col. ii, 11, 12; Gal. iii, 26, 27; I Cor. xii, 13; vi, 11; Eph. v, 26;Tit. iii, 5), baptism secures purification from sins, the putting off of the sinful body of the flesh, mortification of sin, renewal of life, regeneration, the power of the Holy Spirit, communion with the life of Christ, incorporation into the mystical body of Christ, the Church. Everywhere baptism is represented as the mediating agency of real objective effects, with God as their cause, and not as a merely symbolical act. Paul’s teaching on baptism is not a transition from pagan cults, but his mystical doctrine concerning Christ and the Spirit are to be explained from his religious experience, which he objectifies in a manner conditioned by the history of his time. The Book of Acts does not contain theological reflections on baptism like those of Paul’s epistles, but simple views of the congregations, and the connection with the baptism of John is here plainer (Acts xxii, 16; ii, 38) than in Paul. It is true, we find also in Acts the relation of the gift of the Spirit to baptism (Acts ii, 38; viii, 13-17; xix, 6; in ix, 17-18; x, 44-48 the gift of the Spirit precedes baptism), but this connection is looser than in Paul, and in some passages (viii, 13-17; xix, 6) it is only external. Baptism is mentioned in the New Testament also in I Pet. iii, 21; Heb. x, 22; vi, 2; John iii, 5; xiii, 10. The act was often performed immediately after the recognition of the Messiahship of Jesus and the decision to join the Messianic congregation with out further preparation (Acts ii, 41; viii, 38; ix, 18; x, 33-48; xvi, 33). A detailed baptismal profession of faith was still wanting; but baptism in the name of Jesus was equivalent to such a profession.
II. Church Doctrine.
1. Patristic Teaching:
§ 1. Primitive Period
The expressions of the Fathers on the subject are very indefinite, the symbolical and realistic features not clearly distinguished. It is perhaps not to be taken seriously when Justin (1 Apol., lxi) compares regeneration by the water of baptism with natural generation as its proper counterpart; but with Tertullian speculation concerning the general cosmic signification of the water, its inner natural relation to the spirit of God (Gen. i, 2), goes so far that he undoubtedly thinks of some sort of real connection of the Spirit with the water of baptism. He probably imagines that the Holy Spirit after the invocation of God makes his “abode" in the water (De baptismo, iii-v). But it is not clear how God or the Spirit is supposed to act upon man through the water or out of the water, how far through the agency of the body or how far through will and thought.
Since the earliest days two ideas have been characteristic of the estimate of baptism the view that it forms the sure, and, as a rule, the only entrance to the congregation of Christ and its blessings, i.e., to salvation; and the belief that while its effects may be lost, it can not be repeated. To the former view there was only one exception, the belief that martyrdom, the baptism of blood, could replace baptism with water. Baptism of blood was even to be preferred in so far as it admitted directly and irrevocably into the heavenly congregation of Christ. Why it was considered impossible to repeat baptism with water is not quite intelligible. It is certain, however, that this view was soon felt to be a heavy burden. The more highly baptism was valued, the more was the loss of its grace dreaded, and thus a tendency grew up to postpone it to the end of life. None the less, as early as the second century the custom developed of baptizing children, if not infants in arms at least those of “tender age" (see below, IV, 2). Tertullian disapproved of this, being of the opinion that baptism should be postponed to the period of a fuller development. He is also the first to mention the institution of sponsors (see below, III, 7). All the blessings of the Church are brought into connection with baptism—forgiveness of sins, renewal of life (regeneration), reception of the Holy Spirit, proper knowledge of God ("illumination"), assurance of eternal life (incorruptibility of soul and body). In course of time, the different acts of baptism were separated—the immersion in water from the anointing and laying on of hands, which had been added, it is uncertain how early. It was then thought that immersion or ablution signified purification from sin, and the other acts equipment with the Spirit and bestowal of eternal life. In 437 practise, however, these theoretical distinctions were never strictly kept apart. Tertullian required that as a rule only the bishop, or a presbyter or deacon delegated by him, should perform the act of baptism; only in case of necessity was a layman authorized to perform it (De baptismo, xvii). Cyprian goes so far as to say that a priest (sacerdos) “must" (oportet) “purify and hallow" the water (Epist., lxx, 1).
§ 2. Fourth Century.
In the fourth century the doctrine of baptism was treated by Cyril of Jerusalem in his third catechetical lecture (MPG, xxxiii, 425 sqq.), by Gregory Nazianzen in his “Discourse on Holy Baptism" (Orat., xl, MPG, xxxvi, 360 sqq.), and by Gregory of Nyasa ("Greater Catechetical Oration,” xl, MPG, xlv, 101; and “Address to those who Postpone Baptism,” MPG, xlvi, 1). Both Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory Nazianzen desire an “early" baptism, at any rate no “procrastination.” Baptism is here spoken of as a power of prime importance as an aid to man in his temptations. It is so necessary that even a child can not be saved without it. Gregory Nazianzen “recommends" that a child shall be baptized in the “third year of his life.” That, in spite of the opposition to which Tertullian witnesses, baptism of children became soon more and more a general custom, is evident from the fact that Origen ("On Romans,” bk. v) considers it an apostolic tradition. The motive for its enforcement differs with different authors. In fact, the general notions as to the meaning of baptism vary so widely that there was evidently not yet any recognized “church doctrine" in the strict sense of the word. Not a few ideas from the analogous rites of pagan mysteries crept into the teaching of theologians.
§ 3. Augustine.
The first who developed a really dogmatic theory of baptism was Augustine, under the stress of his controversy with the Donatists (see Heretic Baptism). His most important early writing on the subject is the comprehensive work De baptismo contra Donatistas libri vii (MPL, xliii), with which may be coupled the smaller treatise De unico baptismo contra Petilianum (ibid.). He makes a sharp distinction between sacramentum and res sacramenti. It is possible, according to him, to obtain the sacramentum without the res, the grace of which the sacrament is a sign. He also taught originally that one might obtain the res without the sacramentum, but later he abandoned this view, at least in regard to baptism. The older he grew, the more firmly he was convinced that baptism was indispensable for salvation, since men could be saved only within the Church, to which baptism was the only entrance. It is true, he was thinking in this connection primarily of adults; but even in their case he was of the opinion that God would be gracious if by any chance a catechumen should die without baptism by no fault of his own. Later, however, he believed that even children dying unbaptized could not be saved, although they would meet only the smallest degree of condemnation (cf. De peccatorum meritis et remissione et de baptismo parvulorum libri iii, MPL, xliv). In the controversy with Pelagius, Augustine had frequent occasion to develop and justify his views on the baptism of children (cf. especially his Epist. ad Dardanum, Epist., clxxxvii, MPL, xxxiii). It was Augustine especially who developed the theory that baptism had reference to original sin. It is true he laid more emphasis originally on sin in general than on original sin as the obstacle to be removed by baptism. But the more the idea of, the baptism of children began to occupy his mind, so much the more original sin became the central point of his interest, coupled with the question of the importance to be attached to faith in connection with baptism. He taught not that the children themselves had faith, but that the faith of the Church benefited them. Since the Church presents the children to God in baptism, making a confession of faith in their stead, God grants them real forgiveness and power for a real “conversion of the heart" when they grow older (cf. especially his Epist. ad Bonifacium, Epist., xcviii, MPL, xxxiii). But at this point his views on predestination come in, and with them his distinctions within the sacrament, according to which baptism does not suffice for salvation if one is not predestined.
2. Roman Catholic and Eastern Teaching:
§ 1. Scholastic and Later Roman Catholicism.
Scholasticism on the whole only elaborated and systematized the doctrine of Augustine (cf. Peter Lombard, Sent., IV, dist. iii-vii, and Thomas Aquinas, Summa, III, quæst. lxvi-lxxi). The views expressed in the Catechismus Romanus (part II, chap. ii) and in Bellarmine’s treatise De baptismo (Disputationes de controversiis Christianæ fidei, II, ii, 1) rest upon the same basis. It became customary among the scholastics to explain the doctrine of the sacraments by the distinction of the conceptions materia and forma. Everything in the sacrament rests upon divine institution and therefore can not be altered even by the authority of the Church. The Church can not abolish a sacrament, and is bound to observe its matter and form, but may be assured of possessing and transmitting everything that the sacrament ought to contain and offer according to the divine will. If matter and form are properly connected, the sacrament produces its effects ex opere operato. The matter of baptism is water only; its form is the words, “I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” In baptism all sins are forgiven, in the child original sin, in adults actual sins also. With special reference to original sin Thomas teaches that it is taken away only reatu, i.e., in regard to its guilt (which is great enough to exclude one from the bliss of heaven), but not actu. The latter expression means that “concupiscence" still remains as a “tinder" (fomes) from which at any moment sin may be kindled into flame. Peter Lombard emphasizes the idea that natural concupiscence is “weakened.” The Council of Trent (Sessio V) teaches that it is not sin in the proper sense. Real conversion follows baptism, but rests partly upon the grace which it bestows and which only needs to be used by our free will. Great significance is 438 attached to the teaching of Thomas especially concerning the “character" which baptism confers. This also goes back to Augustine, who touches this idea briefly in order to establish the validity of the baptism of heretics. Baptism incorporates us with Christ under all circumstances. It confers the “character" of belonging objectively to Christ, to his “body,” the Church. This character is indelible, and depends only upon the due administration of the sacrament as to matter and form. Thus baptism brings every one into actual contact with the flow of grace emanating from Christ. Whoever “interposes an obstacle" by not receiving baptism in the subjectively right disposition (for instance, as a heretic) does not experience this immediate contact with grace as justification until he subsequently removes the obstacle (as, in the case supposed, by returning to the faith of the Church). The character conferred in baptism carries with it the right and capacity to receive the other sacraments, and at the same time involves the duty of obedience to the Church. In practise it is the sacrament of penance which subsequently makes the character of the baptized heretic or hypocrite efficacious for salvation. On the basis of its theory of character, the Roman Church acknowledges “in principle" the baptism of Protestants, but practically is often in doubt whether the Protestant Churches perform baptism with due regard to matter and form. Converts are thus, where any uncertainty exists, baptized hypothetically with the form, “If thou art not already baptized, I baptize thee,” etc. In one essential point scholasticism differed from Augustine, at least from the Augustine of the later, stricter period, by acknowledging not only the “baptism of blood,” but the “baptism of the Holy Spirit" or “of desire" as conveying grace. According to Peter Lombard and especially Thomas Aquinas, an adult may even before baptism anticipate in faith the effects of baptism upon the heart (conversio in the proper sense); he may so efficaciously desire salvation as to be incorporated with Christ mentaliter and possess the res sacramenti without the sacramentum, so that if he should die suddenly, the votum sacramenti would be sufficient to secure him salvation. The Roman Church still denies salvation to unbaptized infants; the whole tradition on that point was so firmly established that scholasticism did not dare to think differently. According to this doctrine unbaptized infants do not go to hell, but they do not get into heaven; they remain in a special place, the limbus infantium (see Limbus).
§ 2. The Eastern Church.
Not much need be said of Eastern teaching in medieval and modern times. The later Greek mind seems to have found other “mysteries,” not indeed more important, but more interesting and more in need of exposition. Of course, however, this sacrament could not be omitted from the considerations of mystagogic theology. From the time of Cyril of Jerusalem and the pseudo-Dionysius the baptismal ceremonies have had their fixed place in these discussions; but a much larger place is given, especially in the Byzantine period, to the Eucharist. The most exhaustive treatment of the subject after the Areopagite is that of Nikolaos Kabasilas, metropolitan of Thessalonica (d. 1371), particularly in his treatise “On Life in Christ.” The Greeks emphasize the ideas of regeneration and illumination, and conceive both under such aspects as are attainable by specific philosophical (Aristotelian) methods. The notion of a new birth is carried through by means of the terms “matter" and “form"; and the doctrine of a transference from the kingdom of darkness or sin into that of light or truth is easily illustrated by the relation long supposed to exist between darkness and matter, between light and form or the true “idea" or image of God in man. The conception of original sin was current also among the later Greeks. The theologians of the seventeenth century considered Protestant views a corruption of the truth, which they found in an unconditional realism as to the value of the baptismal ceremony. Baptism to them is not merely the forgiveness, but the abolition, the extinction, of sin—although it is sometimes hard to seize the precise shade of meaning intended to be conveyed by their rhetorical expressions. They require, in opposition alike to Rome and to Protestantism, a threefold immersion, although the Russian Church has formally abandoned the practise of rebaptizing Westerns. They teach that children dying without baptism can not be saved, although Mesoloras, for example, lays stress upon the lightness of the penalty in their case.
3. Teaching of the Reformers:
§ 1. Lutheran.
In order to understand correctly Luther’s attitude toward baptism, it is necessary to grasp his idea of grace, which forms the central distinction between the conception of the sacraments in Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Luther defined grace no longer in the sense of divine power (virtus), but as a sign or token of the divine disposition—in the older Latin sense as the divine favor. He also considered baptism necessary for salvation, believing unconditionally in the command of Christ, Matt. xxviii, 19. He did not seek for the reason of this command, for its “necessity" in a rational sense, seeing in it simply an expression of the love of Christ, who desires to convince us through baptism of God’s favor and thereby to awaken “faith" (fides in the sense of fiducia). In baptism we experience the actual bestowal of the favor of God, which, without it, does not, or at least does not indubitably, descend on man. Luther does not understand the necessity of baptism for salvation in the sense that the grace of God is included in the sacrament in an objective sense, but that while one can not be entirely certain of grace without the sacrament, in virtue of it one may be “always" assured of the grace of God in faith. The preaching of the gospel addresses itself too much to humanity in general; the sacrament applies itself to the individual as such, and thus gives him the assurance of grace, and in case of doubt it is the only full guaranty that he is in God’s favor. Luther does not follow the Roman idea of “character" as conferred by baptism, but applies his new definition of grace to the content 439 of baptism in order to establish the fact that baptism possesses validity for the whole life, validity as a real offer of grace. He seeks in baptism nothing but grace. Throughout the whole life that is realized which God in baptism makes known to us as his will through the signum, the act performed by means of water. Luther’s idea of baptism was identical with his idea of the sacraments in general that they make plain and confirm the “Word.” Like the Word, baptism can only be efficacious if it finds faith or establishes faith by its power. But in faith one can always look back on it, in order to know that he possesses God’s grace.
As in regard to Luther’s view of the sacraments in general, three periods may be distinguished in his exposition of baptism, which, however, are characterized by their mode of expression rather than by a development of thought. From the first period originated the “Sermon on the Sacrament of Baptism" (1519; “Works,” Erlangen ed., xxi, 229-244). Here he distinguishes especially between the “sign" and that which it “signifies,” to establish the fact that it is faith which appropriates to man what the sign signifies. Immersion in water in the name of God denotes death to sin and resurrection to grace. The second period begins in 1520 and is characterized especially by the work De captivitate Babylonica ("Works,” Erlangen ed., Opera varii argumenti, v, 55 sqq.). Here he puts all the emphasis upon the “promise" which the order of baptism contains. In reality, the Word is everything in the sacrament, immersion in the water is only the seal which confirms the Word and makes it fully certain. In the third period also, that of his controversy with the fanatics, Luther emphatically proclaimed that the Word is the principal thing in the sacrament. He maintained, at times almost in the spirit of the law, that baptism is based upon a “command" of Christ. On the other hand, he enthusiastically pointed to the fact that through the Word the water becomes a “divine, heavenly, sacred" element. This must be understood in the same way as his attribution of a divine character to parents and authorities. In the last analysis he only wishes to establish firmly and show plainly the unconditional authority of baptism as a representation of the divine will over us. His words are not to be understood in the sense of a theosophical speculation. To the last period belongs the Larger Catechism, the treatise Von der Wiedertaufe, an zwei Pfarrherrn (1528; “Works,” Erlangen ed., xxvi, 254 sqq.), and a number of sermons on baptism, especially that of 1535 ("Works,” 2d Erlangen ed., xix).
Melanchthon’s doctrine is identical with Luther’s. He says that God inscribes “by means of the water his promise" in a certain sense “upon our bodies.” The Reformers were convinced that children must be baptized in order to be saved; for on account of original sin they also need pardoning and renovating grace. But if baptism must awaken faith in order to save the children, it was a great problem, at least for Luther, whether that could really be said to take place. He believed that it might, in consideration of the almightiness of the Word of God, which could even change the heart of the impious, and a fortiori could bring a child to faith. The different representatives of Lutheranism differed in the form of their teachings concerning baptism, especially the baptism of children, but in the matter itself they agreed (cf. H. Heppe, Dogmatik des deutschen Protestantismus im 16. Jahrhundert, iii, Gotha, 1857). In the orthodox period of Lutheranism baptism was always understood as a kind of representation of the Word (verbum visibile), in accordance with the statement of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (vii) that the sacraments have no other content and therefore no other effect than the Word. But the doctrine was no longer sustained by the vivid intuition of Luther. When he spoke of the Word, he always had before his eyes the living personality of Christ as the incarnate Word of God; he “saw" in the Spirit how God graciously inclines to man. For the theologians of the orthodox period, on the other hand, the Word of God was simply the Bible, and the sacrament a constituent part of the Word because it represents a scriptural institution. They were sure that it was an especially powerful “word"; but they were no longer able to explain in what its power consisted and how it produced its effects. Quenstedt made regeneration and renovation, including that of children, dependent upon baptism. Regeneration was for him transposition into the state of adoption which is brought about by God’s bestowing in baptism the power of faith (vires credendi). Since the baptized person, in virtue of this power, turns to God, he is also enabled to assume the vires operandi and to enter thereby on the process of moral “renovation,” which continues throughout the whole life.
§ 2. Reformed
Zwingli and Calvin also devoted much of their thought to the question of baptism. Zwingli, who became interested in it especially through the Anabaptists, wrote several special treatises on it. According to him, it is not the function of baptism to mediate grace, since that could be accomplished only internally and immediately through the Spirit of God; but baptism has its value as a means of setting children apart for God, and as a sign for them that they belong to the congregation of Christ and are bound to his service. Calvin was influenced more than any other Reformer by Augustine’s distinction of sacramentum and res sacramenti, because, like Augustine, he always has predestination in mind, especially in connection with the baptism of children. In regard to the elect he believes, with Luther, in a real “bestowal" or “sealing" of grace through baptism. The sacrament signifies for them the beginning of the development of the “new life" in the Church. It is a peculiarity of Calvin that he rejects private baptism. The other Reformers hardly touched this subject; its position was established from ancient times. But Calvin thought that baptism, like all ecclesiastical functions, was a matter of the ministerium ecclesiasticum. A child, numbered among the elect, who dies without baptism, suffers no harm in God’s sight. It is evident that Calvin counts baptism only among the normal means of grace which bind the elect to the Church, as they undergo their development 440 on earth; but his reason can not be clearly seen. The orthodox dogmaticians of the Reformed Church continued the thoughts of Calvin (cf. A. Schweizer, Die Glaubenslehre der evangelisch-reformirten Kirche, ii, Zurich, 1847; H. Heppe, Dogmatik der evangelisch-reformirten Kirche, Elberfeld, 1861).
§ 3. Modern Developments.
The age of pietism and rationalism showed no interest in baptism. Schleiermacher (Der christliche Glaube, §§ 136-138) treats baptism as the solemn act of reception into the “community of believers,” in which alone the individual can attain real communion with Christ. Baptism of children, according to him, has no meaning unless Christian education follows, and it is only an “incomplete" baptism if it does not lead to a later act of confession of faith (confirmation). In the course of the nineteenth century the reawakened life of Lutheranism produced new, but on the whole not healthy tendencies in the doctrine of baptism. Scheel distinguishes three tendencies. The first is one which tries to give to the sacraments as a whole and to baptism especially a special import apart from the Word. Some small beginnings of this tendency may be noticed even in the old orthodoxy, especially in the teachings of Leonhard Hutter. In our modern time it is represented by Norwegian (Danish) and German Lutheran theologians, among the former especially by G. W. Lyng and Krogh-Tonning, among the latter chiefly by the Erlangen theologians Höfling, Thomasius, and others. Baptism is here explained as a natural power of the spirit which by means of the body renovates and “regenerates" the whole man. Theosophical speculations on the relation of body and soul form the background of this theory. Quite different is the second tendency, which is represented especially by H. Cremer of Greifswald and P. Althaus of Göttingen. In opposition to the former theory, the stress is here again laid upon the Word in the sacrament. Here also baptism is considered a bath of regeneration, but it is explained as neither natural nor “moral,” but as purely religious or “soteriological.” Baptism is a “transposition “into a new life, into the read life. It is assurance, of grace, and as such salvation from the judgment and death which we have deserved. Its moral effects follow as a natural result of justification. Faith is produced in the degree in which man becomes conscious of what God has done for him and assured him in baptism. In the child baptism denotes exactly the same thing as in the adult. It is necessary because the Lord has instituted it and made the effects of grace dependent upon it. The third tendency is chiefly represented by A. von Oettingen (Dorpat) and takes a middle ground between the two other tendencies. Here baptism is thought of as not only “convincing" like the preaching of the Word, but in an especial manner as both “generating" through assurance of grace and also, through a “realistic" transformation. of the nature of man, “regenerating.” Emphasis is once more laid upon the thought of Luther that baptism, as distinguished from the general preaching of the gospel, assures the individual as such of his salvation. It is true, in baptism it is the “Word" which produces all effects, but it produces them in a hidden and often mysterious manner.
Among recent works on baptism is that of Gottschick, who, impelled by certain events in Bremen, investigated the doctrine of the Reformers with a view to determining how far the Trinitarian formula is a constituent part of baptism. Scheel concludes his work also with a detailed dogmatic discussion. These writers, with M. Kähler (Die Sacramente als Gnadenmittel. Besteht ihre reformatorische Schätzung noch zu Recht? Leipsic, 1903), are nearly related to each other in their interpretation of baptism. They go back to the living intuition of Luther, who saw the whole Christ standing behind the order of baptism, thus considering it not merely as of legal authority. Scheel shows especially that the proper act or rite of baptism can not be fully appreciated dogmatically, but only from the standpoint of the psychology of religion. Dogmatically he considers baptism only as the presentation of the Word or gospel. All three regard baptism of children as an arbitrary, but blameless custom, which is removed alike from dogmatic justification and from dogmatic criticism; the empirical efficacy of the “Word,” they say, is incalculable.
III. Liturgical Usage.
1. General Development to the Reformation:
§ 1. Original Forms.
The origin of Christian baptism seems closely connected with the Jewish custom of baptizing proselytes, which was based on the wide-spread idea of attaining ritual purity by ablutions, found in practically all the ancient religions. Whether Christian baptism be founded on a specific command of Christ or not (see above, I, 1), there is no doubt that it soon became a universal Christian custom. If there had been no other reason, it would have seemed obviously fitting, in the interest both of the community and of the new converts, that their entrance should be marked by a special rite. As soon as definite sacramental ideas were connected with the rite—and this must have been very early—it spread throughout the Christian organizations. It is an attractive theory, supported by Cyprian’s express statement (Epist., lxiii, 17), that the Jews and the Gentiles in the apostles’ time had a different manner of baptizing; that among the Jewish Christians a single immersion was the rule, in the name of Christ alone, on the analogy of the Jewish proselyte baptism, while the threefold immersion in the threefold name, which had its counterpart in the heathen lustrations, was the rule among the Gentile Christians. It is uncertain whether the later rite with which Jewish proselyte baptism was performed (see Proselyte) was in existence at the foundation of the Christian Church; but if so, it is most likely that the Christian rite was a free adaptation of it. It is possible that the analogy of the reading of the commandments and the proselyte’s promise to keep them suggested the similar vow on the part of the Christian catechumen (Clement, Hom., xiii, 10; Justin, I Apol., lxi; Tertullian, De spectaculis, iv), although, of course, it may have originated independently.
The early course of the development made out of 441 a simple symbolic action a complex ritual consisting of various ceremonies, quite in accord with the natural tendency of a sacramental conception. The first step was to add the laying on of hands. Baptism must not only signify entrance into the Christian fellowship and communion with Jesus, the forgiveness of sins and liberation from the power of evil, but also confer the gift of the Holy Spirit, imparted, indeed, by baptism itself, but more surely and definitely by the imposition of hands. The Didache and Justin do not mention this rite, but that does not prove that it did not exist. The importance attached to it is shown by the fact that in the two places in the Acts where it is mentioned (viii, 16; xix, 6) it is performed by apostles. According to the entire mental attitude of the period, it was undoubtedly looked upon as not merely symbolic but sacramental.
§ 2. The Subapostolic Age.
For the subapostolic age the main authorities are Justin (I Apol., lxi, 2; 1xv, 1) and the Didache (vii), the former representing the practise of Rome, the latter that of western Syria. Yet they agree in all essentials. For both baptism is a complete immersion in the open air; if the Didache permits still water to be used in place of running, and affusion in place of immersion, the local conditions are obviously taken into account—the probably frequent scarcity of water in a Syrian summer. Both have the Trinitarian formula, which involves a threefold dipping or pouring. It is clear from the Didache and probable from Justin that laymen were authorized to administer the rite. Both agree in requiring the candidate to be fasting, in which other brethren specially interested are to join. It is a safe assumption from both that baptism was immediately followed by participation in the Lord’s Supper. Thus by the middle of the second century the administration of baptism would seem to have been alike in essentials throughout the whole Church. The laying on of hands may not have been universal (Heb. vi, 2 shows that it was known in places outside of Rome and Syria); and here and there a formal profession of faith may have been in use. Nothing is yet heard of any consecration of the water, or of fixed seasons for baptism.
§ 3. In Tertullian.
The first completely developed baptismal ritual appears in Tertullian. The forms already seen in Justin and the Didache are clearly to be recognized, but it is likely that not a few customs sprang up about the middle of the second century for which the earliest evidence is found in Tertullian. The most striking of these is the renunciation of the devil, which was a solemn ceremony full of meaning, and practically an essential feature in the territory of the Gentile Church. To judge from Tertullian’s most detailed account in the De baptismo, there was a period of preparation, marked by frequent prayers, fasting, vigils, and confession of sin. The baptism proper begins with the invocation of the Holy Spirit upon the water (see Epiklesis); next follows apparently the renunciation, and then the threefold immersion in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, with a profession of faith in the form of answers to the interrogations of the minister; then the anointing, and the laying on of hands with prayer. That the reception of the Eucharist still followed the baptism is clear from several passages; after this the newly baptized, clothed in white garments, join in prayer with the “brethren,” and milk and honey are given them. For a week after baptism they abstain from the usual daily bath (De corona, iii).
§ 4. Lines of Development.
Although this ritual gives the basis of the development of the next few centuries, it must not be forgotten that this development varied considerably in different parts of the Church. There is not space here to follow out the ways in which the East differed from the West, and one province from another. One main distinction between East and West is the greater richness of the rite in the former, while the latter held closely to primitive simplicity and even in course of time actually shortened the form—though later it was once more added to. This enrichment is to be explained along the lines of the preparation for the definite and final act of baptism by varied ceremonies of dedication and exorcism patterned after the ancient pagan mysteries (see Exorcism); The catechumen was considered to have crossed the boundary which divided the kingdom of darkness from that of light with the first of these initiatory ceremonies. It is thus easily understood how the lines separating these preparatory ceremonies from baptism proper were fluctuating. On the one hand, things which had originally been part of the main rite were pushed back into the preparation, as in Jerusalem and Rome the renunciation and profession of faith took place in the outer court or vestibule, while the baptism proper began with the blessing of the water in the baptistery. On the other, the process which had once taken weeks was now compressed into an hour, and thus such things as the recitation of the creed, the giving of the name, the administration of salt, etc., became part of the baptismal ceremony. The close connection between baptism and the Eucharist made it possible for large sections of the latter service to be fused with the baptismal in places, as among the Nestorians, Copts, and Armenians. Thus, once more, certain actions originally part of the baptismal function gradually separated from it into independent rites, as the blessing of oil and water, and the unction after baptism, which developed into confirmation under hierarchical influence. The decisive elements in the development may be summed up in the following points: the increasing prevalence of infant baptism; the gradual decay of the catechumenate through this and through the large numbers coming to baptism; the tendency to imitation which brought in new customs, especially those followed by a dominant church with a definite ritual like Rome or Antioch; and finally the abbreviation of the ceremonies for the benefit of parents and sponsors.
2. Development of the Ritual in Various Parts of the Church:
§ 1. Syria.
For eastern Syria (the territory of the Syriac language, with its center at Edessa in 442 Osrhoene), some information may be gained from the Acts of Thomas, which, although of heretical origin, probably do not differ from the orthodox rites on this point. These mention imposition of hands and prayer, anointing with consecrated oil, baptism in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (under certain conditions by immersion only), the service closing with the celebration of the Eucharist. This Syrian Church appears to have maintained its liturgical independence until Bishop Rabbula of Edessa (d. 435) introduced the customs of the Greek churches, especially of Antioch; but there may have been earlier influences from that source; the later Syrian Jacobites have essentially the same baptismal rite as is found in the Eastern Church at large, especially Constantinople.
Coming to western Syria (with Antioch for its center) and Palestine (Greek-speaking districts), the primary authority for Cœle-syria is the Syriac Didascalia (third century), from which the following order may be deduced: possibly first the renunciation and profession of faith; anointing with imposition of hands; baptism proper; imposition of hands by the bishop and further anointing. This agrees with what may be inferred for Antioch from the Apostolic Constitutions (middle or latter half of the 4th cent.), in which the seventh book, dealing with baptism and undoubtedly derived from an older source, is of especial value. According to this the order is as follows: in the anteroom, or outside the baptistery, the renunciation, the act of allegiance to Christ, the Trinitarian confession of faith, recited by the candidate, the consecration of the oil, and the unction; in the baptistery, a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing of the water, baptism in the threefold name, blessing of the balsam, imposition of hands and unction, Lord’s Prayer, and prayer of the newly baptized. In its essential points this ritual is found also in Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386); the main differences are that the first anointing takes place, according to him, within the baptistery, and that he does not mention the blessing of the water (though there is reason to think that he knew it), the prayer of thanksgiving, or the Lord’s Prayer. Thus it is clear that the type of baptismal rite in western Syria and Jerusalem was substantially the same in the fourth century, and relatively simple, which speaks for its antiquity. The next glimpse afforded by tradition, about a century later, is in Dionysius the Areopagite (De hierarchia ecclesiastica, ii-iii, MPL, iii, 393 sqq.). This is much more richly developed; the individual acts are in some cases repeated three times, the blessing of the water has more formality, and imposition of hands occurs after the profession of faith, while nothing is said of the second anointing.
§ 2. Asia Minor and Constantinople.
In the territory including Asia Minor and Constantinople, between 350 and 450 a baptismal ritual must have grown up and spread widely which did not differ essentially from the present Eastern usage. That of the Syrian Jacobites agrees with it, not only in general structure but even in the text of prayers—and since they separated from the Church in 451 (finally in 519), they must have had it before their separation. The oldest version of this liturgy, which the Jacobites traced back to James the Apostle, is probably that which bears the name of Basil the Great, and it is possible that it originated with this liturgically active bishop. Both types agree in placing the act of reception of catechumens and the last exorcism before baptism, and the reading of the Scriptures comes before the actual baptism. Here again, as in the Apostolic Constitutions and Cyril, the first act of the real baptismal ceremony is the blessing of the water. The Byzantine liturgy has only one anointing with oil before baptism, while the Jacobite forms have two before and one with chrism after. Little is certainly known of the Nestorian and Armenian liturgies, but both have much less connection with the Greek than has that of the Syrian Jacobites.
§ 3. Egypt and Ethiopia.
The Egyptian liturgy has peculiarities which mark it off from the Syrian. It may be reconstructed from the prayer-book of Bishop Serapion of Thmuis (c. 350) and in the following form: blessing of the water; prayer for the catechumens, renunciation, prayer before anointing, anointing, confession of faith, prayer; presentation of catechumens by the deacon to the bishop, prayer, baptism, imposition of hands with prayer, consecration of chrism, anointing with it. The main differences between this and the rite of the Apostolic Constitutions, which originated about the same time, lie in the different positions assigned to the blessing of the water of the first unction and in the fact that the imposition of hands after baptism is distinguished from the anointing in the Egyptian, and closely connected with it in the Syrian. The later approximation of the two is attributable to the influence of the Syrian upon the Egyptian. The sixth century liturgy known under Baumstark’s name places the blessing of the water (as well as of oil and chrism) within the main action instead of before it. Some later Egyptian liturgies place before the renunciation the anointing which formerly followed it. The Coptic liturgy ultimately had three unctions. That after the baptism separated into two—one by the priest immediately after baptism, the other by the bishop in the church (as in Rome). The later Egyptian liturgies (Baumstark’s Alexandrian, the Coptic, and the Ethiopian) have a section at the beginning which is clearly the earlier reception of catechumens, containing the giving of a name, unction with the oil of catechumens, imposition of hands and exorcism, and wholly free from the Syrian influence.
§ 4. Rome.
For the investigation of the Western development, Rome is of the greatest importance, as tending to influence the provinces, which at first had peculiarities of their own, though they agreed in general type. Unfortunately the information as to the early Roman development is very fragmentary. Justin’s testimony has been already referred to; but there is no doubt that a more formal ritual existed than his words directly cover. That the Roman 443 Church had an anointing after baptism is perhaps the only thing to be safely concluded from Hippolytus. Two centuries later, under Innocent I (402-419), this anointing had been divided between the priest and the bishop, whether the latter was present at the time or not, and the bishop claimed the right of consecrating the chrism and imposition of hands. From Leo I (440-461) the following order may be worked out: renunciation, profession of faith in God, blessing of the water, threefold immersion, anointing with chrism, and signing with the cross. From the sixth century the rite known as the scrutinies developed in preparation for baptism, taking place in seven special masses in the last weeks before Easter, to which the catechumenate period had now been reduced. At this time the Sacramentary of Gelasius and the first Roman Ordo show no essential changes from the order under Leo I. After the last scrutinies have taken place in the vestibule of the baptistery, including renunciation and profession of faith, clergy and people enter the baptistery singing a litany, and the blessing of the water follows; the “symbol" is recited at the time of the actual baptism in the form of three questions and answers; then the presbyter anoints the candidate with chrism on the back; the procession moves to the consignatorium, where confirmation or consignation is administered by the bishop, consisting of signing with the cross on the forehead and imposition of hands; and another litany leads to the eucharistic celebration. This form may have been used until the ninth century; but finally a tendency sets in to fuse the acts belonging to catechumens and competentes, in a shortened form, with the baptism, while the confirmation is more completely separated from it. By the fusion of the Ordo ad catechumenum faciendum with the actual baptismal ceremony is formed the present Roman rite, which in its final form dates from Paul V (1614). It has two different rites, one for infants and one for adults. The latter, representing more closely the ancient system, has the following parts: preparation by the clergy in the church, the candidates waiting without, including reading of Psalm xli, perhaps a survival of the ancient reading of Scripture; at the church door, the giving of the name, renunciation and profession of faith, threefold blowing in the face, signing with the cross on forehead and breast, prayer, more signs of the cross, imposition of hands, blessing and administration of salt, another imposition of hands, and exorcism—distinct traces of the old catechumenate ceremonies; in the church, confession of faith, imposition of hands and exorcism, symbolic opening of the ears, renunciation, and anointing—the ancient redditio symboli with its consequent exorcism; in the baptistery, baptism proper and confirmation. Rome endeavored constantly to spread its baptismal liturgy and customs through the other provinces. The scrutiny-masses were introduced into Gaul and the Frankish kingdom in the seventh and eighth centuries. In Spain the Synod of Braga (561) made the Roman rite binding on a whole province; it probably, though not certainly, spread into Africa, and Milan showed a tendency to accept it. The question as to what rites were used in these provinces before the Roman can not be answered completely, but some important points may be set down.
§ 5. Spain and Africa.
It would seem that the ancient customs survived longer in Spain than anywhere else in the West. The witnesses, however, are late, beginning with Isidorus Hispaliensis (d. 636), whose De officiis ecclesiasticis makes it possible to establish the following order: blessing of the water; renunciation, pronounced by the candidate standing in the water; confession of faith in three parts, probably in the form of question and answer; baptism in the threefold name, but probably by a single immersion; anointing with chrism and imposition of hands, performed only by the bishop. The rite is somewhat further developed as it appears in Toledo with the De cognitione baptismi of Ildefonsus (d. 667). Here the blessing of the water is more ceremonious (a wooden cross is used); the single immersion is clearly shown; and after the entire ceremony the Lord’s Prayer is recited and thus delivered to the new-made Christian, as it was among the Syrian Jacobites. Another ancient rite preserved in Spain was the foot-washing after baptism (attested by the Synod of Elvira, 306); and many of these old customs were retained in the missale mixtum of the Mozarabic liturgy. For Africa we get substantially the same account in the earliest witness, Tertullian, as in Cyprian, in Optatus of Mileve, and in Augustine, showing that little change had come about in two centuries.
§ 6. Milan and North Italy.
For Milan and North Italy, the principal source is the De mysteriis, still generally, though not certainly, ascribed to Ambrose. Here the order was: the symbolic opening of the ears and unction on ears and nose, in the antechamber; in the baptistery, renunciation, blessing of the water, profession of faith by the candidate standing in the water, in the form of three questions and answers, one immersion following each answer, unction on the head, foot-washing, clothing in white garments, probably imposition of hands, and the Eucharist. With this in the main agree the four addresses of Maximus of Turin to the neophytes (fifth century; MPL, lvii, 771), and the pseudo-Ambrosian De sacramentis. The latter, however, has an additional unction before the renunciation, which is retained in the later Milanese usage, as mentioned by Archbishop Odilbert (d. 814). This ritual is characterized by the combination of the ceremonies belonging to catechumens and competentes into one service with the baptism proper, and in general is closely allied to that of the Frankish Church of the ninth century and to the later Roman ordo.
§ 7. Gaul.
In Gaul, according to the sacramentaries which are here the first definite authorities, the service began with a solemn blessing of the water in the absence of the candidates; in the antechamber followed the renunciation; in the baptistery, threefold confession and immersion; in another place, confirmation by 444 the bishop, clothing in white, foot-washing speaking generally, a simple and very ancient form of service. It contained only one unction, with chrism; but in the Sacramentarium Gallicanum a second is added, before the renunciation, with oil, on ears, nose, and breast, following an exorcism. This ancient ritual was either influenced or replaced by the Roman. The development reached by the time of Charlemagne is visible in the instructions sent by him to the bishops of his dominions in the last years of his reign, not later than 812, and obviously based on the Roman ordo. No absolute uniformity was, however, attained, so that even in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it is impossible to speak of one single baptismal ritual for Germany or for France; but they agree fairly closely in the prayers and in the formulæ for exorcism.
3. The Baptismal Service in the Reformation Churches:
§ 1. Three Main Types.
The transition stage was marked by simple translation of the current older ritual with out essential alterations, as in the service put forth by Thomas Münzer in 1524, though made in the previous year, and that of Luther in his Taufbüchlein verdeutscht, also 1523. Luther omitted the exorcism of salt and the opening of the ears, shortened the initial exorcisms, omitted the profession of faith by the sponsors, and used the Lord’s Prayer as a prayer, instead of the earlier usage of reciting it in the hearing of the newly baptized for their instruction. This service, comparatively little different from the Latin forms, was widely used or imitated. The first thorough recasting of the service was made at Strasburg in 1525, and in the next year appeared a new edition of Luther’s book; these, with Zwingli’s order of 1525, form the three points of departure for the later development. Luther’s is divided into two parts. Outside the church or in the vestibule occurred an exorcism, signing with the cross on forehead and breast, prayers, another exorcism, reading of Mark x, 13-16, imposition of hands, and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. At the font: salutation, renunciation and profession of faith, request for baptism, also made by the sponsors, baptism by threefold immersion, giving of the chrisom-cloth. The exorcism, deliberately retained by Luther, aroused opposition and controversy even in the sixteenth century. The Strasburg ritual, drawn up under Butzer’s influence, left much less of the pre-Reformation service. It was composed of an exhortation ending with a prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, Apostles’ Creed, reading of Matt. xix, pledge of sponsors to bring up the child in the Christian faith, baptism by pouring, and final prayers. Slight alterations were made in 1537 and later, but the service has remained in this essentially evangelical form. Zwingli’s service consisted of an introductory formula, questions to sponsors, prayer, reading of Mark x, 13-16, request for baptism, baptism, giving of chrisom-cloth. It is thus obvious that the Zwinglian and Strasburg services differ from Luther’s in the omission of the exorcisms and renunciation, considered as in appropriate to the baptism of a child of Christian parents, and in the substitution of pouring for immersion.
§ 2. Later Development.
These three forms have had decisive influence on the development of the Evangelical Churches. Luther’s was the standard for the old Lutheran established Churches, with the omission here and there of the signing with the cross and the exorcisms. That of Strasburg had a powerful influence, through the cooperation of Butzer and Hedio with Melanchthon, on the “Cologne Reformation" of 1543 and a number of other German services, and more than the Zwinglian on that of Calvin, so that it gradually influenced the entire Reformed community with the exception of German Switzerland, where Zwingli was followed. The Church of England service has features of both Lutheran and Reformed types, the former predominating.
The baptismal formularies of the German evangelical churches remained more or less on the old model until the age of rationalism, when the exorcisms (to which Spener had already objected) were removed together with the meaningless questions to the child, and in many places the renunciation; immersion was also generally discontinued. Even where the old service-books remained officially in force, the ministers frequently disregarded them and made use of private compositions, composed in thoroughly eighteenth century style, and unsuited to the taste of the nineteenth. The movement for the reform of the services which set in between 1810 and 1820 showed an inclination to return to the older formularies, not indeed restoring the exorcisms, but frequently including once more the questions to the child and the renunciation.
4. The Minister of Baptism:
It would seem that the original system allowed any baptized person to baptize others; at least it is impossible to assert that only the apostles or those commissioned by them could administer the sacrament (cf. I Cor. i, 14-17; Acts vi, 5; viii, 12, 38). The same inference may be drawn from the Didache (vii) and Ignatius (Ad Smyrnæos, viii, 2). Tertullian allows lay baptism in the absence of a cleric (De baptismo, xvii), though the natural minister is the bishop—a view which became more and more prevalent, so that baptisteries were found only in episcopal sees. But the practical difficulty of enforcing this principle led bishops to commission others, especially presbyters. The natural right of the bishop was still expressed in the fact that it was he who consecrated the oils used, and gave the unction and laying on of hands after baptism. The scholastic theologians supplied a theory to fit this already ancient practise, asserting that the right belonged to the bishop, but that he might delegate it. The right of the priest was dogmatically declared, following Thomas Aquinas (Summa, III, lxvii, 2), by Eugenius IV: “the minister of this sacrament is the priest, who has ex officio the right to baptize" (Decretum pro instructione Armeniorum, 1439). The Catechismus Romanus (II, ii, 18) asserts that priests exercise this function jure suo, so that they may baptize even in the presence of 445 the bishop. Deacons, however, were only allowed to baptize by commission of a bishop or priest.
Yet, although thus the right to baptize was appropriated to officials of the Church, the old practise of lay baptism was maintained by the doctrine of the necessity of baptism to salvation. The validity of lay baptism is dogmatically asserted by Augustine (Contra Parmenianum, II, xiii, 29; Epist., ccxxviii), but only, of course, in the absence of a presbyter and in danger of death. The Synod of Elvira (306) decreed (canon xxxviii) that on a journey by sea or in any case where no church is accessible, a layman, so long as he had not lost his baptismal grace by apostasy or bigamy, might baptize a catechumen in mortal illness, though the bishop was afterward to give the laying on of hands, if possible. These principles (with the exception of the restriction as to the moral quality of the baptizer) became generally accepted. Both the Catechismus Romanus and the Rituale Romanum permit both men and women, even unbelievers or heretics, to administer baptism in case of necessity, provided they use the proper formula. The Lutheran Church recognizes lay baptism as permissible in case of necessity. The Reformed Churches, on the other hand, denying the necessity of baptism to salvation, forbid it as a usurpation of the ecclesiastical ministry.
The right of women to baptize has a separate history. There is no evidence that they baptized in the primitive age, though it is conceivable that the right was conceded to prominent women. Tertullian recognizes no such right (De baptismo, xvii), condemns the Gnostics who had the custom, and protests energetically when a woman appears in Carthage teaching and baptizing. In the acts of the martyrs, however, there are some cases of both teaching and baptizing by female martyrs, such as Domitilla and Chryse; and nothing but the existence of pushing women who claimed both this right and that of administering the Eucharist would explain protests like those in the Apostolic Constitutions (iii, 9) and Epiphanius (Hær., lxxix). That women, especially “clerical" women (widows and deaconesses) assisted at baptisms, especially in the unction of female candidates is evident from the Syriac Didascalia; but this did not involve the concession of the right to baptize. The modern Roman Catholic custom can scarcely, then, be a survival of ancient practise, as it is first sanctioned by Urban II (1088-99; cf. MPL, cli, 529). Thomas Aquinas justifies it on dogmatic grounds (Summa, III, lxvii, 4); but it is only permitted now in the absence of a man. The Lutheran Church retained the practise, Luther expressly declaring such baptism valid, and the Lutheran agenda giving the right especially to midwives.
5. The Time for Baptism:
No special season was observed in the apostolic age, nor is such limitation ever mentioned in the oldest Christian literature. But before the end of the second century Easter must have been recognized as the appropriate time. The fixing of a special season was the natural consequence of the great number of candidates and of the catechumenate system, which led up through common instruction to common reception of the sacrament. The choice of Easter was determined not only by the feeling that heavenly grace was more abundant at that time, but also by Paul’s connection of baptism with the death and resurrection of Christ (Rom. vi, 3; Col. ii, 12; iii, 1). The increasing number of candidates led to the addition of Pentecost, for which again there was an intrinsic appropriateness. These two seasons were widely adopted, and the popes enforced them zealously against innovators (e.g., Siricius, 385, MPL, xiii, 1134; Celestine I, MPL, 1, 536; Leo I, 429, MPL, liv, 696, 1209; Gelasius I, MPL, lix, 52; Gregory II, MPL, lxxxix, 503, 533; Nicholas I, Ad consulta Bulgarorum, lxix). The oldest of these papal utterances passed into the collections of decretals and thus gained universal sanction. The first break in the practise came from the East, where it became customary to baptize at the Epiphany also; Leo I asserts that in Sicily more people were baptized then than at Easter. The second Irish synod under Patrick (canon xix, Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, ii, 678) puts the Epiphany on a level with Easter and Pentecost. Then it became customary to baptize also at Christmas, the evidence for which goes back to the sixth century, and on the feasts of martyrs, apostles, and John Baptist. Infant baptism made it all the more impossible to adhere to the few ancient days. Even Pope Siricius had admitted that children and the sick might be baptized at any time. Attempts were made to enforce the old restriction in the ninth century (synods at Paris, 829; Meaux or Paris, 845, 846; Mainz, 847); but in the tenth it began to disappear. Thomas Aquinas, though he still prefers Easter and Pentecost for adult baptism, recommends that infants shall be baptized immediately after birth. The Rituale Romanum speaks of the vigils of Easter and Pentecost as the most fitting times for the solemn administration of the sacrament; but almost the only trace of the ancient custom is the blessing of the baptismal font on those two days as part of the regular ceremonies. From the eleventh century no more attention was paid in the East to the old seasons.
6. The Place of Baptism:
Primitive Christianity had complete freedom also in regard to the place. Running or sea water was, indeed, preferred; and the open air was the usual place (Victor I, d. 202, still presupposes this as the norm, MPG, v, 1485). But perhaps even while this was still the custom, the atrium was used for the ceremony which conferred entrance to the Church, until finally special baptisteries began to be built in connection with the episcopal churches (see Baptistery). The restriction of baptism to the ecclesiæ baptismales was frequently attempted, but with diminishing success. By the present Roman Catholic and Greek usage, baptism in private houses is permitted only in case of necessity. The same rule was laid down by the Reformers, but in the seventeenth century the custom of baptizing healthy infants at home came up, and in the eighteenth became the normal practise in some Lutheran communities, especially among the upper classes, who considered it a distinction of rank; and the Reformed and Roman Catholic practise was partially 446 influenced by this tendency. The Anglican Prayer-book requires children who have been privately baptized to be brought to their parish church as soon as possible thereafter for a solemn ceremony of formal “reception into the Church.”
The institution of godfathers and godmothers is not coeval with infant baptism, but originated in the custom of requiring an adult pagan unknown to the bishop to be accompanied, when he came to seek baptism, by a Christian who could vouch for him, and who was also bound to watch over his preparation and instruction. It is worth noting that in the Eleusinian mysteries the candidate to be initiated had a similar sponsor, known as mystagogos. The date of the Christian function is unknown. Since Tertullian is the first witness for sponsors at infant baptism (De baptismo, xviii), the custom must have been established before his time; and its existence may possibly be inferred from Justin (I Apol., lxi, 2). But the duties attached in modern times to the office of sponsor are rather those which would be connected with infant baptism. The sponsor was obliged to represent the child, since the oldest baptismal formularies, drawn up for adults, were used without change for infants, who could not answer questions, make the renunciation, or recite the profession of faith. This is clearly brought out in the oldest Egyptian baptismal ritual, where the parents are regarded as the most natural sponsors. Augustine takes the same view (Epist., xcviii, 6); but he also contemplates the bringing of children of slaves by their masters and of orphans or foundlings by other benevolent persons. Attempts have been made to prove that the sponsorship of parents continued the usual custom down to the eighth century, and that an innovation is represented by the Synod of Mainz (813); but it is usually the case that such synodal decisions have a long previous history and raise to the rank of laws things already established as customs. Thus the seventh Roman Ordo speaks simply of godfathers and godmothers, and mentions the parents only in connection with the oblation, and then in addition to the sponsors. Cæsarius of Arles speaks clearly of the spiritual relationship into which the sponsors enter with the child in a way which, taken in connection with Augustinian ideas, would soon tend to exclude the parents from this office. Another consequence of the notion of spiritual affinity was the prohibition of marriage between sponsors, which appears as early as the Code of Justinian (V, iv, 26). The Trullan Council (canon liii) absolutely forbids marriage between a child’s godfather and its mother. By the thirteenth century this view had extended so far as to prohibit marriages between the baptizer and the baptized or the latter’s parents, between the sponsors themselves, between them or their children and the baptized person, or even between a godfather’s widow and the godson or his natural parent. The Council of Trent diminished these restrictions, so that, according to the Catechismus Romanus (II, ii, 21), marriage is now forbidden only between baptizer or sponsor and the baptized person, and between the sponsors and parents.
The close relation between sponsors and child was considered to lay a grave responsibility upon the former. Having renounced the devil and professed the faith on the child’s behalf, they were bound to see that these vows were carried out. This is emphasized in the instructions of Cæsarius of Arles and in those issued for the Frankish mission, where Charlemagne insisted that the sponsors should know the creed and the Lord’s Prayer thoroughly. This insistence tended to diminish, though Thomas Aquinas still presupposed the instruction of children by their godparents (Summa, III, lxxi, 4); but the Catechismus Romanus complains that “nothing more than the bare name of this function remains,” and attempts to enforce its duties.
Originally there was but one sponsor, but with the admission of parents to the office this principle was broken through. A tendency to increase the number as much as possible is attested by synodal decrees of the early Middle Ages, which place the proper number at two, three, or four. The Council of Trent allows only one sponsor of the same sex as the candidate, or at most two of different sexes. According to Roman Catholic law, a sponsor must have been baptized and preferably confirmed; the Rituale Romanum excludes infidels and heretics, those laboring under excommunication or interdict, notorious criminals, the insane, and those ignorant of the rudiments of the faith; monks and nuns, since their separation from the world makes it difficult for them to perform the duties, are not supposed to undertake them.
The institution of sponsors was retained, with infant baptism, by the Evangelical Churches at the Reformation. Though parents were still excluded, the notion of spiritual affinity was dropped, and any baptized Christian is now, though it was not usual at first, permitted to take the office without regard to his creed—a latitude which would be illogical if the function carried with it the duty of religious instruction, as it does not at present. Some among those who recognize that it is practically an empty form are in favor of abolishing it altogether, while others would have it reformed and made once more a living reality. [The Anglican baptismal office (which contemplates two godfathers and one godmother for a boy, and vice versa) contains a solemn charge to them as to their duties, including spiritual instruction and bringing the child to confirmation at the proper time.]
IV. Discussion of Controverted Points.
1. The Argument against the Necessity of Immersion:
In the view of those who do not practise immersion, baptism is a “washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” in which the “dipping of the person into the water is not necessary;” but it may be “rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person" (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. xciv, and Confession, xxviii, 3). “We must bear in mind,” said Walafrid Strabo a thousand years ago (De rebus eccl., xxvi, MPL, cxiv, 959), “that many have been baptized not only by immersion but by affusion, and may yet be so baptized if necessary.” “Whether the person who 447 is baptized,” says John Calvin ("Institutes,” IV, xv, 19 end), “be wholly immersed, or whether thrice or once, or whether water be only poured or sprinkled upon him, is of no importance.” “The mode of applying water as a purifying medium,” says Charles Hodge (Systematic Theology, iii, 526), “is unessential.”
This is the position occupied also by Thomas Aquinas, Summa, III, lxvi, 7; Catechismus ex decreto Concilii Tridentini, Leipsic ed., 1853, p. 136 (Eng. transl. by J. Donovan, London, 1833, p. 155); Dominicus a Soto, Distinc., III, i, 7; Durandus, In sententias, IV, iii, 4; William Lyndwood, Provinciale, iii, 25; Giovanni Perrone, Prælectiones theologicæ, vi, 10; C. Pesch, Prœlectiones theologicœ, vol. vi, Freiburg, 1900, pp. 150-151; T. M. J. Gousset, Théologie dogmatique, vol. ii, Paris, 1850, p. 412; H. von Hurter, Theologiæ dogmaticæ compendium, vol. iii, p. 210, § 324; P. Minges, Compendium theologiæ dogmaticæ specialis, part ii, Munich, 1901, p. 45; J. Dalponte, Compendium theologiæ dopmaticæ specialis, Trent, 1890, VII, i, 814, p. 565; R. Owen, Dogmatic Theology, London, 1887, p. 405; Darwell Stone, Holy Baptism, Oxford, 1899, pp. 135 sqq.; H. E. Jacobs, Summary of Christian Doctrine, Philadelphia, 1905, pp. 329 sqq.; H. L. J. Heppe, Dogmatik der evangelischreformirten Kirche, Elberfeld, 1861, p. 441; B. de Moor, Commentarius in J. Marckii compendium theologiæ, 7 parts, Leyden, 1761-78, XXX, ix, vol. v, p. 413; J. J. van Oosterzee, Christian Dogmatics, New York, 1874, p. 749; H. Bavinck, Gereformeerde Dogmatiek, vol. iv, Kampen, 1901, p. 273; A. Grétillat, Exposé de théologie systématique, vol. iv, Neuchâtel, 1890, p. 493; R. L. Dabney, Syllabus and Notes, p. 764; E. D. Morris, Theology of the Westminster Symbols, Cincinnati, 1901, pp. 678 sqq.; R. V. Foster, Systematic Theology, Nashville, 1898, pp. 749 sqq.; W. B. Pope, Compendium of Christian Theology, vol. iii, London, 1879, p. 322; Miner Raymond, Systematic Theology, vol. iii, Cincinnati, 1877, p. 359; John Miley, Systematic Theology, vol. ii, New York, 1894, p. 397; N. Burwash, Manual of Christian Theology, vol. ii, London, 1900, p. 359; H. C. Sheldon, System of Christian Doctrine, Cincinnati, 1903, pp. 520 sqq.; J. W. Etter, Doctrine of Christian Baptism, Dayton, Ohio, 1888, p. 121; J. Weaver, Christian Theology, Dayton, Ohio, 1900, p. 250.
It is important to keep in mind the exact point which is in debate. This is not whether the Greek word which was adopted to designate this sacrament, and which has passed into English as “to baptize,” means “to immerse.” Nor is it whether the early Christians, or even the apostles, baptized by immersion. It is whether so slender a circumstance as the mode of applying the water can be so of the essence of baptism that nothing can be baptism except an immersion.
§ 1. Immersion, even if the Original Form, a Circumstantial Detail.
The contention that immersion alone can be baptism is usually based on the presumption that baptism was originally administered by immersion. It does not appear, however, that, granting the fact, the inference from it is stringent. Its assumption throws baptism out of analogy with all other Christian usages, with the sister sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and with itself in other particulars. Probably no one imagines that the validity of the Lord’s if the Supper depends upon painfully conforming in the mode of its celebration to all the circumstantial details of its first celebration. The Lord’s Supper was instituted at an evening meal, as a part of a household feast which was itself the culminating act of an annual festival, from which it derived deep significance; in a private gathering, of men alone, who received the elements in a reclining posture. No one seeks to reproduce any of these things in the manner of its celebration. Even the use of unleavened bread, which might be thought a more intimate circumstance, is treated as a matter of indifference by a large part of Christendom. If primitive baptism were by immersion, it will scarcely be doubted that it was administered to completely nude recipients. The Jews, in their parallel rite of proselyte baptism, insisted upon this to such an extent that “a ring on the finger, a band confining the hair, or anything that in the least degree broke the continuity of contact with the water, was held to invalidate the act" (C. Taylor, The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, Cambridge, 1886, pp. 51, 52). The allusions of the early Fathers imply a like nudity in their method of celebrating the Christian rite (Bingham, Origines, XI, xi, 1; DCA, i, 160). Few would demand that this usage should be imitated. In the midst of so much freedom in the circumstantials of Christian ordinances, it is not obvious that the mode of applying the water must be treated as of the essence of the sacrament.
§ 2. The Apostolic Practice not Certain.
Nor is it easy to be sure what the mode of applying the water employed by the apostles was; or whether indeed it was uniform. No mode of applying the water is prescribed in the New Testament. In the record the New Testament gives of acts of baptism, the mode in which the water was applied is never described. It is never even implied with a clearness which would render differences of interpretation impossible. Nor does what we may think the most natural suggestion seem in all instances to be to the same effect. If we are inclined to fancy the phrase “to baptize in water" (Gk. baptizein en hydati, Matt. iii, 11; John i, 26, 31, 33) suggestive of immersion, we can not fail soon to recall that it may just as well mean “with water" and that it is varied, even in parallel passages, to the simple dative of cause, manner, means, or instrument (Mark i, 8; Luke iii, 16; Acts i, 5; xi, 16). If “baptizing in the river Jordan" (Matt. iii, 6; Mark i, 5), varied even to what some unidiomatically render “baptizing into Jordan" (Mark i, 9), strikes us as intimating immersion, we are bound to bear in mind that both phrases may just as well be translated “at Jordan" (Thayer’s Lexicon, s.v. ἐν, I, 1, c; cf. esp. Luke xiii, 4, and F. Blass, Grammar of New Testament Greek, Eng. transl., London, 1898, p. 122); just as we are bound to bear in mind of those passages which, in our English Bible, speak of going “down into the water" to be baptized and coming “up out of the water" after baptism (Mark. i, 10; Acts viii, 38, 39), that they may just as well be rendered going “down to the water" and “coming up from the water"; and just as we are bound to bear in mind in the presence of all such passages that there are other manners of baptizing besides immersion, which require for their accomplishment going into and coming out of the water. If we read of a locality being selected for baptizing “because there was much water,” or, possibly better, “because there were many waters,” that is, numerous pools, or springs, or rivulets there (John iii, 23), we read also of the 448 administration of baptism in circumstances in which there is no likelihood that “much water" was available—for example, in a private house (Acts x, 47, where the water almost seems to have been something to be brought and expended in the act; cf. Acts ix, 18; xxii, 16), or even in the noisome jail at Philippi (Acts xvi, 33). Candor would seem to compel the admission that not only is there no stress laid in the New Testament on the mode of applying the water in baptism, but that all the allusions to baptism in the New Testament can find ready explanation on the assumption of any of the modes of administration which have been widely practised in the Churches.
In these circumstances it is not strange that appeal should be made to subsidiary lines of investigation, in the hope that by their means at least a probable judgment may be reached as to the mode in which baptism was administered in apostolic times. Of these, most frequent appeal has been made to these three: the philology of the term employed in the New Testament to designate baptism; the archeology of the rite as practised in the Churches; the inherent symbolism of the sacrament. It must be confessed that the results of this threefold appeal are less decisive than could have been wished.
§ 3. Philological Considerations.
It is of course true that the term “to baptize" goes back to a root which bears the sense of “deep" (cf. W. W. Skeat, Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, Oxford, 1882, p. 733, no. 89). Its immediate primitive, the Greek verb baptein, from which it is formed by adding the termination -izein, which gives it a repetitive or intensive meaning (cf. Jelf’s Greek Grammar, i, 331, § 330), naturally, therefore, has the sense “to dip,” while “baptize" itself would primarily mean “to dip repeatedly" or “to dip effectively" Even the primitive verb, baptein, of course, acquired secondary senses founded on its fundamental implication of “dipping,” but ultimately leaving it out of sight. Thus, as iron is tempered by dipping, when applied to iron baptein came to mean “to temper"; as garments are dyed by dipping, baptein came to mean, when applied to garments, “to dye"; and it soon passed on to mean simply, without any implication of the mode by which it is accomplished, “to temper,” “to dye,” “to steep,” “to imbue,” and the like. When, for example, the Greek bully threatened his fellow that he would “dye [baptein] him with the dye of Sardis"—a place famous for its red dye—he meant precisely what the English bully means when he threatens his fellow “to give him a bloody coxcomb,” and was as far as possible from implying that the effect would be produced by a process of dipping. So when we read in the common Greek version of Dan. iv, 30 (35); v, 21, that Nebuchadnezzar was “wet [baptein] with the dew of heaven,” there is no implication whatever of the mode of the application of the dew to his person. The derivative, baptizein, of course, lent itself even more kindly to the development of these secondary senses, because, as an intensive form, it naturally emphasized the effect. Accordingly it is rarely used more literally than of the sinking of ships by storm or by war, with the implication, of course, of their destruction; or of the bathing of persons (Eubulus, Nausicaa, 1), with the implication, of course, of their cleansing. It passes freely over into such metaphorical usages as when a drunkard is spoken of as baptized with wine, a profligate as baptized with debt, a city as baptized with sleep, a hapless youth as baptized with questions, or as when the prophet (Isa. xxi, 4, LXX) is made to say he is baptized with iniquity; the English equivalent in such cases being something like “overwhelmed,” “steeped,” or the like. Such a term obviously lay close at hand for application to the Jewish ceremonial lustrations, in which, not the mode, but the effect of the application of the water receives the stress. In the Greek Old Testament it has not yet, indeed, obtained the position of the technical designation of these illustrations. But the beginnings of such a usage are already traceable there (Ecclus. xxxi, 30 [xxxiv, 25]; Judith xii, 7; cf. II Kings v, 14); and by the time the New Testament was written it seems to have supplanted the term commonly employed in the Greek Old Testament [louesthai for this purpose (cf. Cremer, s.v., and J. A. Robinson, in JTS, Jan., 1906, vii, 26, 187-189). At least that term occurs in the New Testament only once of a ceremonial lustration, and then only in connection with baptizein as explaining its effects, while baptizein occurs quite naturally in this sense (Mark vii, 4; Luke xi, 38; Heb. ix, 10) and is the term adopted, probably from such a preceding use, to designate the symbolical washing proclaimed by John the Baptist, and the Christian rite which is called “baptism.” In these circumstances it seems very rash to assume that the word was applied to the Christian rite in its primitive meaning of “to dip"; or indeed that any implication of that primitive meaning still clings to it in this application. The presumption is very strong that even in its preliminary use of the Jewish lustrations, it had already “lost its earlier significance of ‘dipping,’ or ‘immersing’” and “acquired the new religious significance of ‘ceremonial cleansing by water’” (J. A. Robinson, ut sup.; cf. EB, i, 473; DB, i, 238). In any event the stress of the word in its application to the Christian rite is not upon the mode in which the water is applied in it, but to its effect as a symbolical cleansing. The etymology of the word, in short, throws no clear light on the mode of applying the water in baptism in the usage of the apostles.
§ 4. Archeological Considerations.
Nor does archeology lend much more aid. It is, indeed, true that the present divergences in the practise of the Churches are the result of growth, and that behind them lies what without much straining may be called a universal usage of at least theoretical immersion. And it is true that the earliest clear intimation which has come down to us of the manner in which Christians baptized, belonging probably to about the middle of the second century (found in the seventh chapter of the Didache), contemplates normal baptism as by immersion. But it is equally true that throughout the whole patristic period no one ever doubted the entire validity of baptism administered in other modes of 449 applying the water. The Didache makes provision for baptism by affusion whenever water in sufficient quantity for immersion is not at hand (cf. A. Harnack, Lehre der zwölf Apostel, Leipsic, 1884, pp. 23-24; F. X. Funk, Doctrina duodecim apostolorum, Tübingen,1887, p. 3); and Cyprian (Epist., lxxv [lxix], 12-14; ANF, v, 401) argues the whole case out with respect to the baptism of the sick by affusion. No contrary voice is ever raised; but in various ways a full body of testimony is borne to the unhesitating acceptance, throughout the early Church, of baptism by affusion as equally valid with that by immersion. And despite the consentient testimony of the literature of the period to immersion as normal baptism, the entire testimony of the monuments is to the opposite effect (cf. C. F. Rogers, Baptism and Christian Archælogy, in the Oxford Studia Biblica et Ecclesiastica, IV, v; also Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct., 1896, pp. 601-644). This monumental evidence comes, it is true, from only a single section of the Church,—that which had its center at Rome; but it makes it clear that from the second century down to a comparatively late date baptism as actually administered, in that region at least, was not an immersion but an affusion, although ordinarily apparently affusion upon a nude recipient standing in shallow water. When we realize that this was the actual mode of baptism in the early Roman Church, we catch apparent allusions to it in the literature of other portions of the Church also, and begin to suspect it may have been prevalent elsewhere too. Indeed, we are deterred from confidently ascribing it to the Apostolic Church itself chiefly by the gulf of a century’s width which separates the Apostolic Church from our earliest evidence, literary or monumental. This is not a century over which we may lightly leap. During its course the church usages for which we have both first and second century evidence changed greatly; and all the conditions for a development of new usages with respect to the mode of baptism were present in the circumstances of the times. Nor can we be helped over the gulf by the analogy of the Jewish proselyte baptism. For, in the first place, the points of departure of the two usages were different. The Jewish rite was rooted specifically in the bath preliminary to sacrifice; the Christian took hold through the command of our Lord and the baptism of John of the entire lustration system and tradition. And in the next place, the Jewish usage, just because a development of the presacrificial bath, owed its elaboration into a separate rite, to the cessation of the sacrifices, which threw the bath into an importance it could not have had in their presence; it is therefore too late in its origin to have served as a model for Christian baptism.
§ 5. Considerations from Symbolism.
We are left, therefore, to the essential symbolism of the rite to indicate how it must needs be administered, and how, therefore, the apostles must have administered it. If, indeed, it could be established that the essential symbolism of the rite is burial and resurrection with Christ, an application of the water in such a manner as to suggest this might well be thought necessary to its proper administration. There are many who take this view, and seek support for themselves in the connection instituted between baptism and dying and rising again with our Lord in Rom. vi, 3-5; Col. ii, 12. The Church Fathers from a comparatively early date (certainly from the fourth century—Cyril of Jerusalem, Basil, Gregory of Nyasa, Chrysostom) were accustomed to speak familiarly of the Christian enacting in baptism the drama of redemption through death and burial and resurrection. But the Church Fathers never lost sight of the fact that the fundamental symbolism of the rite was cleansing; to them it was before all else the bath in which sins were washed away. And certainly the passages cited from the New Testament can scarcely be fairly adduced as implying that in its very mode of administration baptism signified for the Apostolic Church burial and resurrection with Christ. Their reference is not to the mode of baptism but to its effects. So little does Paul depend upon the very mode in which baptism is administered to suggest burial and resurrection with Christ, that he actually labors to make his readers connect their baptism with the death and resurrection of Christ by the aid of another mediating thought; viz., that their baptism was with respect to Christ’s death for their sins. He repeats the heavy clause, “through baptism unto death" (Rom. vi, 4) in order to prevent them from missing a point which, if baptism in its very mode symbolized burial and resurrection with Christ, they could not in any event miss. This may not prove that baptism as known to Paul was not by immersion. But it seems to indicate that its symbolism to him was not burial and resurrection with Christ. And, indeed, it is hard on other grounds to maintain that this is the inherent symbolism of immersion as a religious rite. Few will maintain that this is the inherent symbolism of the Jewish lustrations. Few will maintain even that the baptism of John the Baptist, which most advocates of immersion as the only valid form of baptism will suppose to have been by immersion, was charged with this symbolism. It seems clear enough that baptism, the matter of which is nature’s great detergent, has as its essential symbolism just cleansing. And this being so, there seems nothing in the essence of the sacrament to demand one mode of applying the water above another, within the limits of this symbolism. And we can not forget that our Lord Jesus himself said on a memorable occasion: “He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit"; and that the Lord Jehovah declared through his prophet that he would “sprinkle clean water upon his people and they should be clean" from all their filthiness. From which we may perhaps infer that out of the circle of ideas of neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament would it be imaginable that a complete bath were necessary in order to symbolize a complete cleansing.
§ 6. The mode of Applying the Water Unessential.
It would hardly appear probable that the mode of applying the water in baptism can enter into the very essence of the sacrament, when it is so difficult to obtain certainty as to what that mode was 450 in the hands of the apostles. Each of us may properly cherish an opinion of his own as to what that mode was. The opinion of the writer of this article is that it was probably by pouring water on the head of the recipient, standing, ordinarily perhaps, but apparently not invariably, in a greater or less depth of water. But he would not like to insist that no mode of administering baptism but this is valid. Certainly the New Testament lays no stress on the mode of applying the water; and even were it established that it was rather by immersion that the apostles were accustomed to administer it, it is not apparent that no other modes of administering it are valid. It might even be granted that the term “baptism" means nothing but “immersion,” and that it was applied to this rite because it meant “immersion,” and just in order to describe it as a rite of “immersion"; and still it would not follow that the rite can be validly administered only by “immersion.” As in the case of the sister sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, in which the term “supper,” in its English form and in the Greek of the Lord’s time, means an evening meal and was given to this ordinance because it meant an evening meal and to signalize the fact that the feast at which it was instituted was an evening meal, so in the case of baptism, it may be altogether conceivable that the name of the ordinance is derived from a prominent external circumstance connected with its first administration, and yet as far as possible from forming an integral element of the sacrament itself. Whatever may have been the primitive meaning of the term which was adopted to designate it, and however the rite was customarily administered in the first days of its use, the thing is a washing with water for the sake of cleansing to symbolize the cleansing of the sinner by the blood of Jesus Christ. And the main matter is therefore not the mode of washing, but the fact of washing.
2. The Baptism of Infants:
§ 1. Arguments against Infant Baptism.
A large section of Protestant Christendom, especially in the United States, dissents from the practise of infant baptism. It includes the various denominations of Baptists, Disciples of Christ, the Dunkers, Mennonites, Winebrennerians, and other Christian bodies. These Christians and their sympathizers in pedobaptist denominations, ground their dissent (1) upon the absence of a positive command of Christ, or of any account of apostolic procedure which expressly favors the practise; (2) they hold infant baptism to be a violation of the very idea of baptism, since baptism presupposes conversion and an intelligent profession of faith, which can not be expected from infants.
§ 2. Arguments in Reply.
To these arguments it is replied in general that, while no positive command for baptizing infants is given by Christ or his apostles, the pages of the New Testament offer a strong probability that infants were baptized from the beginning; and the testimonies of Irenæus, Origen, and Tertullian confirm this impression. The argument in detail is as follows: (1) The general command to baptize all nations, naturally interpreted, includes the baptism of infants; and the mention of the baptism of whole households (Acts x, 48; xvi, 15, 33; I Cor. i, 16; xvi, 15) implies the presence of children; at least their presence in some households is far more probable than their absence in all. If to these considerations be joined the reiterated assertion that the promise of the remission of sins and of the Holy Spirit was to the believers and their children (Acts ii, 38; cf. iii, 25), we have a strong probability, to say the least, that infants were baptized by the apostles. (2) Christ’s treatment of children, whom he blessed and pronounced to be members of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. xviii, 3; xix, 14) shows that children are fit subjects for the kingdom of heaven; are they not then also fit recipients of the initiatory rite, which is baptism with water? All baptism is in idea an infant baptism, and requires to begin life anew in a truly childlike spirit, without which no one can enter the kingdom of God. (3) The analogy of circumcision, which began with adult Abraham and then extended to all his male children, favors the baptism of infants. Baptism is the initiatory rite of introduction into the Christian Church, and the sign and seal of the new covenant, as circumcision was the sign and seal of the old covenant (Rom. iv, 11). The blessing of the old covenant was to the seed as well as to the parents; and the blessing of the new covenant can not be less comprehensive. Infant baptism rests upon the organic relation of Christian parents and children (I Cor. vii, 14). It is a constant testimony to the living faith of the Church, which descends, not as an heirloom, but as a vital force, from parent to child.
§ 3. Origin of Infant Baptism.
No time can be assigned for the beginning of the practise of infant baptism. If it had been an innovation, it seems likely that it would have provoked a violent protest. No traces of this can be found except in Tertullian, who, alone in the early Church, denies the expediency of infant baptism. The requirement of repentance and faith, which the apostles made a condition of baptism, was to be expected when it is remembered that their exhortations were addressed to adults. This will always be the mode of procedure when the gospel is first preached to a people. Adult baptism always comes first in every missionary Church. Infant baptism, it is reasonable to assume, arose naturally from the very beginning, as Christianity took hold of family life and training.
§ 4. Patristic Testimony.
The three earliest witnesses to the prevalence of infant baptism are Irenæus, Origen, and Tertullian. The testimony of Irenæus, though not unequivocal, leans strongly in favor of the apostolic usage. Born probably between 120 and 130, a disciple of Polycarp, one of John’s disciples, he was surely an excellent witness. He says, “Christ came to save through means of himself all who through him are born again [regenerated] to God, infants, 451 and children, and boys, and youths, and old men" (Hær., II, xxii, 4). The phrase “born again to God" refers plainly to baptism; in Irenæus’s usage (cf. I, xxi, 1) baptism is “being born to God,” and (III, xvii, 1) “the power of regeneration unto God.” Origen, who was himself baptized in infancy, distinctly derives the custom from the apostles. “The Church,” he says (on Rom. v, 9), “has received the tradition from the apostles to give baptism to little children.” He also speaks of infant baptism as a “custom of the Church" (Hom., on Lev. viii, MPG, ii, 496). The opponents of the practise make much use of Tertullian (close of the second century). In his De baptismo (xviii) he counsels delay of baptism, particularly in the case of infants. But, when the passage is investigated, it is found that his motive is not the impropriety, but the inexpediency of infant baptism, on the ground that it involved the great risk of forfeiting forever the remission of sins in the case of relapse. The very argument proves not only the existence, but the prevailing practise of infant baptism. Tertullian does not even hint at its being a postapostolic innovation. His opposition is due to his peculiar theory of the magical effect of baptism in washing away the guilt of past sins, and is by no means antipedobaptist. Loofs (Dogmengeschichte, Halle, 1893, p. 137) sententiously sums up the early historic evidence in these words: “The rite of infant baptism can be traced in Irenæus, was contested by Tertullian, and was for Origen an apostolic usage.”
The practise of the third century is uncontested. Cyprian (d. 258) says (Epist., lxiv) an infant should be in no case denied grace and baptism. The Synod of Carthage in 252 rejected the opinion that baptism should, like circumcision, be deferred to the eighth day after birth (cf. Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, i, 115). But that the custom was not universally followed is evident from the cases of Augustine, Gregory Nazianzen, and Chrysostom, who had Christian mothers, but were not baptized till they were converted in early manhood; and Constantine the Great put off his baptism till his death-bed. Gregory Nazianzen recommended that the baptism of children be put off till they were three years old, unless there was danger of death. This delay was recommended by church teachers because of the prevailing doctrine of the effects of baptism, which was regarded as washing away original sin and all actual transgressions committed before the administration of the rite.
§ 5. The Schoolmen and the Reformation Period.
The Schoolmen, following the later Fathers, taught that children are proper subjects of baptism because they are under the curse of Adam, and baptism washes away the guilt of original sin. As the mother nourishes her offspring in the womb before it can nourish itself, so in the bosom of mother Church infants are nourished and receive salvation through the act of the Church. It is not a question of faith but of the definite sponsorial and fostering act of the Church; so Thomas Aquinas (Summa, III, lxviii, 9, ed. Migne, iv, 646: “Children receive salvation not of themselves but by act of the Church") and Bonaventura (Breviloquium, vii, ed. Peltier, vii, 320A). A child can not be baptized before it is born, but if its head appear it may be baptized, for the head is the seat of the immortal agent (Peter Lombard, Sent., IV, vi, 2; Thomas Aquinas, Summa, III, lxviii, 11). Thomas Aquinas (Summa, III, lxviii, 10) and most of the Schoolmen pronounced it unlawful to baptize the children of Jews and infidels without their parents’ consent, but Duns Scotus took the opposite view (cf. R. Seeberg, Duns Scotus, Leipsic, 1900, p. 364). The baptism of infants was expressly commended by the Council of Trent (Session vii, de baptismo, canon xiii). It was also commended by the Protestant Confession of the Reformation period. the Augsburg Confession (art. ix, with an anathema against the Anabaptists); the Second Helvetic Confession (xx, 3, also with an anathema against the Anabaptists); the Heidelberg Catechism (question lxxiv); the Gallican Confession (xxxv); the Belgic Confession (xxxiv); the Thirty-nine Articles (xxvii); the Scotch Confession (xxiii); and the Westminster Confession (xxviii).
It must be admitted that adult baptism was the rule and infant baptism the exception in the apostolic age, and not until the fifth century, when the Church was widely established in the Roman Empire, was infant baptism general. It continued to be the universal rule, with some exceptions, as in the case of the Cathari, until the Protestant Reformation, when “believers’ baptism" came to be insisted on by some leaders in Switzerland, Holland, etc. Infant baptism has no meaning apart from the Christian family and without the guaranty of Christian education. Hence the Church has always insisted on catechetical instruction, and most Churches practise confirmation as a subjective supplement to infant baptism. Compulsory infant baptism was unknown in the ante-Nicene age; it is a profanation of the sacrament, and one of the evils of the union of Church and State, against which Baptists have a right to protest.
3. The Baptist Position Concerning Immersion and Infant Baptism:
§ 1. True Baptism a Burial in Water.
The Greek word baptizein means “to dip,” “to submerge.” When we read in the Septuagint (II Kings v, 14) that Naaman went down into the Jordan and “baptized himself" (Gk. ebaptisato), we are compelled to understand a dipping; and there is cited from Greek literature not a single instance of the use of the word in which the idea of submersion is not involved. Wherefore it is held that the rite of baptism as spoken of in the New Testament was always a burial in water and that the command to baptize is a command to immerse. The burial in water has always been the practise of the Greek Church, its older patriarchates holding that there is no other baptism (Stanley, Eastern Church, Lecture i). The Baptists and some other bodies in Western Christendom hold rigidly to this view. Immersion is the only catholic act of baptism, the only one whose validity is recognized semper et ubique et ab omnibus. The burial in water continued to be the standard usage of the Roman Church for more than a thousand years. Thomas Aquinas speaks of it as “the more common" usage. It was 452 the practise in Britain till the reign of Elizabeth, and is still demanded in the order of the Church of England for the baptism of infants unless the parents shall certify that the child is weak. Though pouring or sprinkling is now employed rather as a matter of convenience, effusion was for many centuries resorted to only in case of necessity.
§ 2. The Testimony of Cyprian.
The first extended discussion of the question is found in the epistle of Cyprian to Magnus written about the middle of the third century. Being asked whether those can be deemed legitimi Christiani, “Christians in full standing,” who, being converted in sickness are non loti sed perfusi, “not immersed in the water but having it simply poured over them,” he gives an affirmative opinion but does so with the very greatest hesitation. His words are: “So far as my poor ability comprehends the matter;” and “I have answered your letter so far as my poor and small ability is capable of doing;” and “So far as in me lies I have shown what I think.” He disclaims any intention of saying that other officials should recognize effusion as baptism and even goes so far as to suggest that those who have thus received affusion may on their recovery from sickness be immersed. But, citing various sprinklings in the Mosaic ritual, he gives the view, that necessitate cogente, immersion being out of the question, those who have been poured upon may be comforted by being told that they have been truly baptized (Cypriani epist., lxxv, [lxix], 12-14; ANF, v, 400-401). This epistle makes it clear beyond all controversy that in the third century the ordinary baptism was immersion, and that even in the Latin Church there were those who declared it the only baptism. It further appears with equal clearness that affusion was never practised in the Apostolic Church, for had the apostles resorted thereto even in a single instance Cyprian would certainly have known the fact and would never have presented so mild an apology for a usage which had apostolic precedent, nor indeed would any one have taken exception to the practise.
§ 3. Origin of Affusion.
For a thousand years the resort to the use of effusion was justified only on the ground of necessity. And the supposed necessity existed in the idea that baptism was essential to salvation and so that when immersion, the established rite, was out of the question, something must be put in its place or the soul would be lost. The use of affusion would never have been thought of except for the idea that water baptism was essential to salvation. But those who deny that salvation is conditioned on baptism, who regard baptism as merely a token of a salvation already wrought, see no necessity for a resort to effusion. They will continue to administer immersion whenever it is practicable, and where it is not they will let the convert die without any water baptism whatever. They condemn the use of affusion not only as unnecessary but as based on a gross superstition.
§ 4. The Argument from Symbolism.
To the declaration that baptism is simply a washing, it is answered that Jesus’s baptism of suffering was not a washing but a submersion beneath the tide of wo and that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a whelming in the waves of divine influence, while many of the Fathers regarded the baptism of fire, not as a purification, but as a swallowing up of the wicked in waves of burning. And granting that originally the immersion was but a lustration, the apostles point out in it another image; viz., that of burial and resurrection. The act of affusion contains nothing whatever of purely Christian symbolism, for simple lustration is found in the Mosaic and even in heathen ritual. The burial in water is the only distinctively Christian baptism, for it alone sets forth the death and resurrection of our Lord, which is the central fact of the Christian system. To the idea that the purpose of the “apostolic" immersion was simply a washing and that this can be attained just as well by a pouring or sprinkling, it may be added that the purpose of the pouring is simply a profession of faith, which can be given just as well by word of mouth, and thus that all use of water may be dispensed with. Those who abandon the “apostolic" immersion simply on the ground of convenience leave the way clear for the adoption of the position of the Society of Friends, the abandonment of water baptism entirely.
§ 5. Objections to Infant Baptism.
As to the subjects of the rite, the Baptists hold that it should be administered only on profession of faith. There is found in Scripture no instance of the baptism of an unconscious infant nor will a fair exegesis discover in any text the remotest reference to such a usage. On the contrary, it stands in direct antagonism to the New Testament idea of the Church. The baptism of infants arose from the idea that in baptism one is regenerated and christened, that is, made a Christian. But, as they grow up, no difference appears between the baptized child of Roman Catholic or Episcopalian and the unbaptized offspring of the pious Quaker or the Baptist, or indeed of the unbeliever.
The Presbyterians baptize infants on the ground that the Church is to consist (Westminster Confession, xxv, 2), not of the converted alone, but of believers “together with their children.” The sons of believers, however, may grow up unbelievers, even atheists, and thus the Church, the bride of Christ, come to be made up in part, possibly the greater part, of the unregenerate, perhaps the immoral. When a child is “dedicated" to Christ, to baptize it without awaiting its hoped-for conversion is not only as unreasonable as it would be to ordain the infant to the ministry on faith that he will yet be another Jonathan Edwards, but it is also to introduce an impenitent element. into the Church. As well might the missionary baptize at the start the whole heathen tribe, who, he has faith to believe, will be converted.
If an infant may be baptized on the ground that it is pure and sinless, then, since the babe of Turk or pagan is as pure as the child of the Christian, there is no reason why all infants, even the whole race of man, should not be baptized into the Church. The Church is based on the idea that there is a 453 difference between the disciples of Christ and men at large. But there is no theory of infant baptism which does not freely introduce the impenitent into the Church, thus wiping out all distinction between the Church and the world. The burden of John’s preaching was that the new kingdom was not simply a continuance of the Jewish commonwealth, that though all could be circumcised and introduced into the latter who could say, “We have Abraham to our Father,” baptism and membership in the former were given not on parental faith but only on personal repentance. That baptism was given on different grounds from circumcision is seen in the fact that the believing Jews continued to have their infants circumcised (Acts xxi, 20), that Timothy who had been baptized was nevertheless circumcised, and that it was demanded that the Gentile converts be circumcised though they had all been baptized.
Bibliography: On I. H. Holtzmann, in ZWT, xxii (1879), 401 sqq.; J. H. Seholten, Die Taufformel, Gotha, 1885; E. Haupt, Zum Verständniss des Apostolats im N. T., pp. 38 sqq., Halle, 1896; A. C. McGiffert, The Apostolic Age, New York, 1897; P. Althaus, Die Heilsbedeutung der Taufe im N. T., Gütersloh, 1897; F. C. Conybeare, in ZNTW, ii (1901), 275 sqq.; W. Heitmüller, Im Namen Jesu, Göttingen, 1903; idem, Taufe and Abendmahl bei Paulus, ib. 1903; idem, in TSK, lxxviii (1905), 461 sqq.; E. Riggenbach, Die trinitarische Taufbefehl, Matt. xxviii, 19, Gütersloh, 1903; E. Yon Dobschütz, in TSK, lxxviii (1905), i sqq.; F. M. Rendtorff, Die Taufe im Urchristentum, Leipsic, 1905 (gives the present status of the inquiry); A. Seeberg, Die Taufe im N. T., Lichtenfelde, 1905; DB, i, 238-245; EB, i, 471-476; and the works on N. T. theology by Weiss, Beyschlag, and others.
On II-III, 1: The history of baptism includes as a section which has created a literature of its own the treatment of baptism in the frescoes, etc., of the catacombs. On this consult: G. B. de Rossi, Roma sotterranea, 2 vols., Rome, 1861-67, reproduced in Eng. by Northcote and Brownlow, London, 1878-80; R. Garruacci, Storia dell’ arte cristiana, 6 vols., Prato, 1872-81; Bullettino di archeologia cristiana, 1876; F. X. Kraus, Realencyklopädie der christlichen Alterthümer, Taufe, “Neophyten,” Freiburg, 1881-86; T. Roller, Les Catacombes de Rome, 2 vols., Paris, 1881; J. Strzygowski, Ikonographie der Taufe Christi, Munich, 1885; Archæology of the Mode of Baptism, in Bibliotheca Sacra, 1896, pp. 601-644; A. de Waal, Die Taufe Christi auf constantinischen Gemälden der Katakomben, in Römische Quartalschrift, 1896; J. Wilpert, Die Malereien der Sakramentskapellen, Freiburg, 1903; Le Pitture delle catacombe, Rome, 1903.
Further, on the archeology and the history of the rite consult: E. Martène, De antiquis ecclesiæ ritibus, vol. i, Antwerp, 1736; J. C. W. Augusti, Archäologie der Taufe, in Denkwürdigkeiten, vol. vii, Leipsic, 1825 (valuable, contains bibliography of older works); M. Schneckenburger, Ueber das Alter der jüdischen Taufe, Berlin, 1828; A. J. Binterim, Denkwürdigkeiten, i, part 1, ii, part 1, pp. 2-34, 7 vols., Mainz, 1837-41; J. W. Höfling, Das Sakrament der Taufe, 2 vols., Erlangen, 1846-48 (has great value, especially on the liturgical side); G. L. Hahn, Die Lehre von den Sakramenten in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwickelung, Breslau, 1864 (learned and useful); F. Probst, Sakramente und Sakramentalien der 3 ersten Jahrhunderte, Tübingen, 1872; S. M. Merrill, Christian Baptism, its Subjects and Modes, Cincinnati, 1876; J. Corblet, Hist., . . . du sacrament de baptême, 2 vols., Paris, 1882; M. Usteri, in TSK, lv (1882), 205 sqq., lvi (1883), 155 sqq., 610 sqq., 730 sqq., lvii (1884), 417 sqq., 456 sqq. (these worthful articles set forth the doctrine of Zwingli, Oecolampadius the Reformed Church Calvin, Butzer, and Capito); P. Althaus, Die historischen und dogmatischen Grundlagen der lutherischen Taufliturgie, Hanover, 1893; idem, Die Heilsbedeutung der Taufe im N. T., ib. 1897 (deals also with modern Lutheran orthodox doctrine); G. Anrich, Das antike Mysterienwesen in sienem Einflusse auf das Christantum, Göttingen, 1894; G. Wobbermin, Die Beeinflussung des Christentums durch das antike Mysterienwesen, Berlin, 1896; F. E. Warren, Liturgy and Ritual of the Ante-Nicene Church, London, 1897; A. Raschenbusch, Die Entstehung der Kindertaufe im 3. Jahrhundert, Hamburg, 1898; F. Wiegand, Die Stellung des apostolischen Symbols im . . . Mittelalter, vol. i, Leipsic, 1899; L. Duchesne, Origines du culte chrétien, pp. 294 sqq., Paris, 1903; V. Ermoni, Le Baptême dans l’église primitive, Paris, 1904; T. F. Fotheringham, in Princeton Review, 1905; O. Scheel, Die dogmatische Behandlung der Tauflehre in der modernen positiven Theologie, Tübingen, 1906 (learned and critical); the works on the History of Doctrine by Harnack, Seeberg, Loofs (4th ed., Halls, 1906); also W Heitmüller, ut sup., I.
On III, 2, §§ 1-7: Apostolic Constitutions, vii, 39-45 (latest ed., F. X. Funk, 2 vols., Paderborn, 1906); an anonymous form is reproduced in J. A. Assemani, Codex liturgicus ecclesiæ, i, 219 sqq., 13 vols., Rome, 1749-66, and in H. J. D. Denzinger, Ritus Orientalium, Coptorum, Syrorum, Armenorum, i, 267 sqq., 2 vols., Würzburg, 1863-64; the “Apostolic Baptismal Liturgy" of Severus of Antioch (Jacobitic), in Assemani, ii, 261 sqq., and in Denzinger, i, 302 sqq.; another ascribed to Severus of Antioch, in Denzinger, i, 309 sqq.; the liturgy of Jacob of Edessa, in Assemani, i, 240 sqq., ii, 226 sqq., iii, 152 sqq.; a liturgy translated into Syriac from Basil the Great, in Assemani, iii, 199 sqq., and Denzinger, i, 319 sqq.; Cyril of Jerusalem, in MPG, xxxiii, 331 sqq.; and Dionysius the Areopagite, MPG, iii, 393 sqq. For the Greek Orthodox liturgy consult: Assemani, i, 130 sqq., ii, 129 sqq., iii, 226 sqq.; H. A. Daniel, Codex liturgicus, iv, 492 sqq., Leipsic, 1854; J. Goar, Euchologion, pp. 274 sqq., 287 sqq., Venice, 1730; F. C. Conybeare, Rituale Armenorum, pp. 399 sqq., Oxford, 1905. For the Nestorians: Assemani, i, 174 sqq., ii, 211 sqq., iii, 136 sqq.; Denzinger, i, 364 sqq.; G. P. Badger, The Nestorians and their Rituals, pp. 195-212, London, 1852; Liturgia sanctorum apostolorum Adæi et Maris, Urmia, 1890, Eng. transl. in The Liturgy of the Holy Apostles Adai and Mari, London, 1893; G. Diettrich, Die nestorianische Taufliturgie, Giessen, 1903. For the Armenians consult: Conybeare, ut sup., pp. xxxi sqq.; Assemani, i, 168 sqq., ii, 194 sqq., iii, 118 sqq.; Denzinger, i, 384 sqq.; and for another version, Assemani, ii, 202 sqq., iii, 124 sqq.; Denzinger, i, 391 sqq.; and for the Eng. transl., Conybeare, ut sup., pp. 86 sqq. For Egypt and Ethiopia consult: for the Euchologium of Serapion of Thmuis, TU, xvii (1899), 3b; Brightman, in JTS, i (1900), 88 sqq., 247 sqq.; F. X. Funk, Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum, ii, 158 sqq., Paderborn, 1905. An Arabic liturgy is in Oriens Christianus, i, 32 sqq., Rome, 1901. The Coptic order is in Amemani, i, 141 sqq., ii, 150 sqq., iii, 82 sqq.; Denzinger, i, 192 sqq. The Ethiopic order is in MPL, cxxxviii, 929 sqq.; Denzinger, i, 222 sqq.; and the Baptismal Book of the same is in Trumpp, in AMA, Philosophisch-philologische Klasse, xiv (1878), 3, pp. 149 sqq.; cf. for another, G. Horner, Statutes of the Apostles, pp. 162 sqq., London, 1904. For the West: Sacramentarium Gelasianum, ed. Wilson, pp. 78 sqq., Oxford, 1894; Sacramentarium Gregorianum, J. Mabillon, Museum Italicum, ii, 26, sqq., 82 sqq.; Rituale Romanum Pauli V., Regensburg, 1881; Daniel, ut sup., i, 171 sqq. For Spain, Isidore of Seville, De officiis ecclesiasticis, ii, 25; Ildephonsus of Toledo, Adnotationes de cognitione baptismi, MPL, xcvi, 111 sqq. For Milan, Manuale Ambrosianum, ed. Magistretti, i, 143 sqq., ii, 466 sqq., Milan, 1905. The early French ritual is found in the Missale Gothicum, MPL, lxxii, 274-275; Missale Gallicanum, ib. pp. 367 sqq.; Sacramentarium Gallicanum, ib. pp. 500-501; consult further: M. Gerhart, Vetus liturgica Allemanica, i, 80 sqq., ii, 1 sqq., St. Blas, 1776; A. Franz, Das Rituale von St. Florian, pp. 65 sqq., Freiburg, 1904. For the period of the Reformation, E. Sehling, Die evangelischen Kirchenordnungen des 16. Jahrhunderts, i, 470 sqq., Leipsic, 1902 (for the form of Münzer); Daniel, ut sup., ii, 185 sqq.; F. Hubert, Die Strassburger liturgischen Ordnungen, pp. 25 sqq., Göttingen, 1900 (for the Strasburg form); and Daniel, ut sup., iii, 112 sqq. (for the Zwinglian form).
On IV, 1-2: W. Wall, Hist. of Infant Baptism, new ed., London, 1882 (an old classic); J. W. Dale, Inquiry into the Meaning and Usage of the Word Baptize, 4 vols., viz.: Usage of Classical Greek Writers, Philadelphia, 1867; Judaic Baptism, Boston, 1873; Johannic Baptism, Philadelphia, 1872; Christic and Patristic Baptism. ib. 1874; 454 W. R. Powers, Irenæus and Infant Baptism, in American Presbyterian and Theological Review, 1867, pp 239-267; W. Hodges, Baptism Tested by Scripture and Hist., New York 1874; J. A. Martigny, Dictionnaire des antiquités chrétiennes, “Baptême,” “Fidèles,” Paris, 1877; J. Corblet, Histoire dogmatique, liturgique et archéologique du sacrement du baptême, 2 vols., Paris, 1881-82 (contains a copious bibliography); H. M. Dexter, The True Story of John Smyth the Se-Baptist, Boston, 1881; A. P. Stanley, Christian Institutions, London, 1884; P. Schaff, The Oldest Church Manual, pp. 29-57, New York, 1886; C. W. Bennett, Christian Archæology, pp. 389-415, London, 1895; L. Duchesne, Autonomies ecclésiastiques, Églises séparées, p. 93, Paris, 1896; idem, Les Origines du culte chrétien, ib. 1898, Eng. transl., London, 1903; W. H. Whitsitt, A Question in Baptist History, Louisville, 1896; B. Dörholt, Das Taufsymbolum der alten Kirche nach Ursprung und Entwicklung, Paderborn, 1898; H. Marucchi, Eléments d’archéologie chrétienne, i, 282, Brussels, 1899; J. S. Axtell, The Mystery of Baptism, New York, 1901; C. F. Rogers, Early Hist. of Baptism, in Studia Biblica et Ecclesiastica, v, 4, Oxford, 1903; F. M. Rendtorff, Die Taufe im Urchristentum, Leipsic, 1905; Schürer, Geschichte, ii, 129 sqq., Eng. transl., II ii, 319 sqq. (deals with Judaic baptism); DCA, i, 150-178 (condensed, but lucid); the works on church hist. and hist. of doctrine; Schaff, Creeds, vols. ii, iii (for credal statements).
On IV, 3, the following may be cited: A. Carson, Baptism in its Mode and Subiects, Philadelphia, 1857 (an extended discussion with replies to various writers); T. J. Conant, Meaning and Use of Baptizein, New York, 1860 (an exhaustive list of passages in Greek literature); J. C. Chrystal, Hist. of the Modes of Christian Baptism, Philadelphia, 1861 (argues for trine immersion); R. Ingham, A Handbook on Christian Baptism, 2 parts, London, 1865-71; W. Cathcart, The Baptism of the Ages, Philadelphia, 1878 (citations from documents of different periods); H. S. Burrage, The Act of Baptism, ib. 1879 (collection from all the centuries showing the usage of each period); D. B. Ford, Studies on the Baptismal Question, Boston 1879 (reviews Dale’s works, ut sup.); N. Fox, Rise of the Use of Pouring for Baptism, in Baptist Quarterly Review, Oct., 1882; A. P. Stanley, ut sup., chap. 1; J. M. Frost, Pedo-Baptism, is it from Heaven or of Men? Philadelphia, 1889; A. H. Newman Hist. of Anti-Pedobaptism, ib. 1896; A. Rauschenbusch, Die Entstehung der Kindertaufe im 3 Jahrhundert und die Wiedereinführung der biblischen Taufe im 17 Jahrhundert, Hamburg, 1898.
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