An examination of my opponent’s arguments, with respect to the one true, essential baptism, &c.
In my treatise I proved, that there is but one baptism, according to St. Paul: ‘One Lord, one faith, one baptism,’ Eph 4, 5 ; and then observed, that such as teach two baptisms in the church, roundly contradict the apostle. On this Mr. M. observes p. 42, “Mr. H. has either forgotten, or has not attended to that saying of St. Paul, in Heb. 6, 2:’The doctrine of baptisms,’ in the plural: which certainly proves that there must be more baptisms than one, or else how could he have spoken the truth? Thus to the Ephesians, he says, ‘One baptism’—to the Hebrews he says. ‘The doctrine of baptisms,’ which means more than one. Now as St Paul did not mean to contradict himself, it will devolve on Mr H. to reconcile Paul with Paul; to show how Paul to the Hebrews, did not contradict Paul to the Ephesians. When he does this, I think we shall get clear of the heavy charge he brings against us, viz: “How roundly such men contradict the apostle, when they speak of two baptisms.” “Were I to undertake it, I would say, 1 There is John’s baptism of water unto repentance. 2. There is the Christian baptism performed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 3 There is the baptism of the spirit, administered by Christ himself, according to the prediction of John. Viewing it in this light, we may say with Paul to the Hebrews, ‘The doctrine of baptisms.’ But as the spirit is the thing signified, and is the only one which is essential to salvation, we may, with Paul to the Ephesians, say, ‘One baptism,’ i.e. one true essential baptism, which alone is sufficient to save us. & the others are only a sign or emblem of this. But as the sign, and the thing signified, both agree in one, both designed to bring us to the same end, viz. the regeneration and salvation of the soul they are not considered two, but one; i. e. one in agreement, design and end; as St. John says: ‘There are three that bear record on earth, the spirit, the water and the blood: and these three agree in one.’ 1 John v. 8 So we may say in this case—the spirit and the water agree in one.— But as the natural water is not the spirit, nor the spirit the natural water; and as they are not connected together, but applied separately, the one externally, the other internally; and also, as people may be and often are baptised with water, who never receive the baptism of the spirit; they may, in that sense be considered baptisms. Hence viewing it in this light, I think we may, with propriety, say with the apostle to the Hebrews, ‘The doctrine of baptisms.’ without contradicting Paul to the Ephesians,—and with Paul to the Ephesians, ‘One baptism’ without contradicting the apostle to the Hebrews.”
Answer. Those two texts may easily be reconciled, without having recourse to a plurality of baptisms, agreeing in one design. The writer to the Hebrews in this text, does not say one word with respect to baptisms, as being in use under the gospel dispensation; but he simply mentions the doctrine of baptisms. Where does he say, there are baptisms, the same as the apostle to the Ephesians declares, there is one baptism? “There is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called, in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, &c ” Eph. 4. 4-6. This text does not say, the doctrine of one body, and one spirit; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; but positively, there is one body, one spirit, &c. There is a considerable difference between saying: “there is one baptism,” and “the doctrine of baptisms.” The same as there is one body, i.e. the church, and one spirit; one Lord, and one faith ; so there is also one baptism. But the phrase, “the doctrine of baptisms,” does not necessarily imply, that baptisms must also really exist; for such although, formerly in vogue, may have been abrogated ; and yet, it may be expedient to teach the doctrine relative to such, in pointing out their former uses, the same as when St. Paul taught the Romans and Galatians the former use of circumcision; although, it was then already abolished. Whenever Mr. M. shall have proved, that the baptisms, of whose doctrine the writer to the Hebrews had spoken, are all yet in vogue in the Christian church, then only can he argue, a plurality of baptisms, agreeing in one design. St. Paul to the Ephesians attributes the same oneness to baptism, as he does to body, spirit, Lord, faith, God, and Father. Hence as it would be inconsistent to seek for a plurality of bodies, spirits, faiths, Lords, Gods, and Fathers, agreeing in one ; even so little ought we to contend for a plurality of baptisms; and then seek their oneness in agreement
Is it possible, that Mr. M. can believe, that John’s baptism is yet in vogue among Christians? since he so confidently asserts, “1 There is John’s baptism of water unto repentance — 2d, the Christian baptism, &c.” in order to establish a plurality of baptisms. He ought to have said, there was, and not there is John’s baptism. Surely he cannot be so ignorant as to believe, that John’s baptism, together with the Christian, performed in the name of the Holy Trinity, are both to be used in the church? If John’s baptism be yet in vogue, then we must be baptised twice with water. My opponent ought certainly to know, that there is but one baptism with water, even it he contends for another, without it. If so; why does he introduce John’s baptism? What has that to do with the point in question? If even he had proved, that once there had been many more baptisms, it would be nothing at all to this argument. The question is, how many baptisms are now in the church ?—and not, how many washings (called baptisms) there were under the law ? or, how many there were with John’s baptism? As a rational expositor, he cannot suppose two water baptisms ; hence I understand him, that he contends for two baptisms, the one consisting of water, and the other of the spirit, which are one in agreement. Bu how does he prove it? What — By Heb. 6. 2? because it speaks of the doctrine of baptisms, which is in the plural number? This is not only groundless, for the reason already assigned ; but also, because this text does not speak of the doctrine of baptisms, in the dual number. According to the idiom of the Greek language, two, do not amount to a plural number. There are three numbers : the singular, the dual, and the plural. The singular expresses one ; the dual two ; and the plural, any number above two ; so that nothing less than three, can be plural. The text has βαπτισμῶν, the genitive case, and plural number. βαπτισμοιν is dual ; hence expresses two baptisms. But as this text does not express “the doctrine of baptisms,” in the dual, but in the plural number, which necessarily requires at least three ; hence also, upon this ground it is in vain, to urge this text to prove two baptisms. He must either admit, that there are three, or more baptisms ; or else the baptisms were abrogated. There certainly cannot be three, or more baptisms ; and as this text, even to force it to mean baptisms, as existing now, cannot possibly allude to two baptisms; because it is plural, it is evident, that by all the uncouth sophistry it cannot, without detection be prostituted to prove two baptisms.
In order to prove that there is a distinct baptism of the spirit, from that of water, Mr M. proceeds page 41, “We will first take a view of the testimony that John the Baptist gives on this subject. ‘I indeed baptise you with water ; but he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and fire.’ Matth. 8, 11. Also Mark 1,8 ‘I indeed have baptised you with water ; but he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost.’ Thus you may see that John makes a clear distinction between his water baptism, and the baptism of the spirit, with which Christ was to baptise. In Mark, it is stated, I have baptised you with water, (past tense,) but he (Christ) shall baptise you, (future tense ; ) which indubitably proves, that the water and spirit were not connected together, but were received at different periods of time. This testimony of John is confirmed by Christ, Acts 1, 5. ‘John truly did baptise with water, but ye shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days hence ;’ which makes it evident that they were not connected together. See also Acts ix, 16. John 1, 38.”
Answer. What are these texts to prove? That regeneration is effected by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and fire? They say not one word of regeneration. Neither, that the baptism of the spirit is the internal, and the only true, essential, baptism. Where in all the sacred scriptures is it said, Except a man be born again of the Holy Ghost and fire, or by the baptism of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God? There is nothing of this in the scriptures. Our blessed Saviour said, ‘Except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ John 3, 5. In this text, as well as in many others, which speak of the baptism performed with water, regeneration is mentioned as the result ; whereas, this is no where said of the spirit & fire. Why then is the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and fire introduced, when it is no where shewn, that it is the means of regeneration? The question in this controversy, is not whether there ever was a baptism of the spirit, and fire? but whether regeneration is thereby effected? The texts which my opponent has quoted, only prove the infallible prediction of such a baptism, but say nothing of regeneration. It seems, that because such an extraordinary baptism was predicted, Mr. M. immediately concludes that therefore, it must be the only baptism by which souls are regenerated, when there is nothing said of regeneration ; as if this baptism of the spirit could not have been administered for any other purpose. Such reasoning is fallacious.
The text in St. Matth 3, 11, positively connects fire with the Holy Ghost. See also Luke 3, 16. Whether this fire alludes to the fire, which is mentioned as a threatening in verse 12, which is to burn up the chaff; or, to the coven tongues as of fire, which appeared on the day of Penteeost, Acts 2, 3, is not material to the question debated. In either case it was a baptism, which consisted not of the spirit alone, but also of fire ; and in either case it could not be a means of regeneration. A baptism of fire would equally be external, as well as a baptism of water, for it is one of the four elements ; but where is the person in our time,, who has ever seen fire descending on him, for the purpose of effecting regeneration? Nevertheless some say, the fire in this text, does not mean fire, but the fire of divine Love, with which we are to be baptised. But how do they prove it? By nothing; unless an arbitrary assertion be considered a proof. If the word fire in this text, is to signify divine Love, I would then ask, is not the Holy Ghost himself divine Love ? He is God; and God is Love. I John 4, 8. According to this, divine Love would be mentioned twice in this phrase. Hence the text would have to read, ‘He shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost, and divine Love.’ What!—he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost, who himself is divine Love, and with fire, which is divine Love! What a ridiculous tautology this would be ! Yet, it seems the inspired writers must have this nonsense attributed to their language; so that those fanaticks may explain away the meaning of the word fire, because otherwise, it would prove hostile to their scheme.
The text Acts 1, 5, parallel with Mark 1, 8, is a part of our Saviour’s address to his apostles, when he was about to ascend to heaven. See v 2, 8, 4. That they should be baptised with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence, alluded to the period of ten days, the day of Pentecost, or fifty days after Christ’s resurrection. He told them, v. 8, ‘but ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea. and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ The text does not say, ye shall be regenerated, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you ; but ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea. &c This indicates the supernatural qualification, which they should receive from the miraculous descent of the Holy Ghost, to enable them to bear the gospel ministry. Hence they were commanded not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the father. v. 4. In the 2d chapter the fulfilment of this promise is described : “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance.” v. 2. 8, 4. And v. 6-11, we are informed that of the different nations, such as Partians, Medes, Elamites,&c who were assembled in Jerusalem, heard them speak every man in his own tongue. Thus it is evident, the baptism of the Holy Ghost is nothing else, than the miraculous effusion of the spirit. If Mr M’s doctrine be true, that the baptism of the spirit was the only one essential, and necessary to effect regeneration, it would follow that the apostles had not been regenerated till after Christ’s ascension to heaven; as this baptism was only then promised them, and hence, that their faith previously, had been a vain imagination. But this is not true, for they before followed Christ in the regeneration. “Then answered Peter and said unto him, behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee ; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matth. 19, 27, 28. This conversation between Christ and his disciples, as the order of the history shews, took place before his death and resurrection. They who had followed him in regeneration were the apostles ; hence, they must have been previously regenerated. Whereas this text beyond all dispute proves, that the apostles were already regenerated, how inconsistent it mast be, to apply the text Acts 1, 5, ‘ye shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence,’ to the doctrine of regeneration!
Mr M says, “We will secondly view the testimony and conduct of the apostles after Christ’s resurrection, under the present dispensation. Peter said, ‘Repent and be baptised, in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of sin, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.’ Acts ii, 38. Here the receiving of the Holy Ghost was distinct from their being baptised with water in the name of Jesus Christ. Which evidently proves that the Holy Ghost was not connected with, nor contained in, nor conveyed by it, but was received immediately from God himself, unconnected with the water. The case of the people of Samaria will fully establish this point. See Acts viii, 12. It is said, ‘They were baptise! both men and women.’ But they did not receive the Holy Ghost until some time afterwards; not until Peter and John went down from Jerusalem, prayed with, and laid their hands upon them. See verses 15, 16, 17. Also, the case of the twelve disciples whom Paul found at Ephesus, clearly proves this point; for they were baptised twice with water, 1. with John’s, then with the Christian baptism, before they received the Holy Ghost. See Acts xix, 1, 7. From the above quoted scriptures, it is manifest and clear, that there is a scriptural baptism spoken of in the word of God, entirely separate and distinct from the water. This is the one true essential baptism, which alone is able to regenerate the soul, cleanse it from sin, and prepare it for heaven ; and water baptism is a visible sign or emblem of this internal grace.”
Answer, There are the ordinary gifts of the spirit, which are necessary to effect repentance, and also, the extraordinary, which manifested themselves in miraculous operations. In the apostolic age, miraculous gifts were common. My opponent has not proved, that the gift of the Holy Ghost, which the Jews were to receive after being baptised was an ordinary gift to effect regeneration. When the question is put, whereby should they receive the remission tor sins ? the answer is, they should repent, and be baptised in the name of Jesus ; as the text says “repent and be baptised tor the remission of sins.” Thus the pardon for sins, was the result of repentance, and baptism. It does not say, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost for the remission of sins, because this was an extraordinary gift, which they were to receive after they had pardon for sins, through repentance and baptism.
As it respects the people of Samaria, it is to be observed, that they were not only baptised, but they also “believed Philip, preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ,” Acts viii, 12 ; before they received the Holy Ghost, by the hands of Peter and John. If they were believers before, they must have been regenerated before Peter and John came to them. For “he that believeth, and is baptised shall be saved :” — “whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God.” 1 John 5, 1. But how did they receive the Holy Ghost? By the laying on of the apostles’ hands. “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” v 17. The Holy Ghost came upon the people by the laying of the apostles’ hands, in a visible, external manner. In verse 16, it is said the Holy Ghost as yet was fallen upon none of them ; which indicates a visible descent. Hence it is said, v. 18, that “when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” v. 19 Had this gift of the Holy Ghost, been an invisible operation in the heart, to effect regeneration, how could Simon have seen it, and thus be induced to offer money, to obtain the power to convey this gift by the laying on of his hands? Blind must be the eye, that cannot discover, that the gifts, which the apostles conveyed by the laying of their hands, were visible and miraculous. Hence how erroneous is therefore, Mr. M’s assertion, that this baptism is an internal baptism to regenerate the soul, when the very texts, he has produced to prove it stare him in his face, and loudly proclaim, that it was an external, visible, miraculous descent of the spirit, which was even conveyed by the external act of the laying on of the apostles’ hands! Is it possible, that any person could be blinded with such barefaced sophistry?
Neither does the case of the twelve disciples. Acts 19,1-7; whom St. Paul found at Ephesus prove, that the baptism of the spirit they received, effected their regeneration. For we are informed, that “when Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them ; and they spake with tongues. and prophesied.” v. 6 Thus we see, they received the Holy Ghost by the imposition of St. Paul’s hands in a miraculous manner ; for they spake with tongues, and prophesied Now if my opponent will apply this to his argument, he must also prove, that Christians at this time receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands in such a manner, as to enable them to speak with tongues, and prophesy. But as this is out of the question, his argument is without a foundation.
As it respects Cornelius, and the men who were with him, Acts x, 44, 48 ; which case my opponent has also introduced, I simply answer, they were the miraculous gifts of the spirit, they received, before they were baptised with water. For they were heard “to speak with tongues and magnify God.” v. 46. But suppose, the baptism with water is not essential, and this baptism of the spirit, they received separately, supplied every thing that was necessary, was it not astonishing, that they should have received the non essential baptism with water? It would be abominable to think, that they should have been baptised merely for the sake of a useless custom. It is evident, that the gifts of the spirit, which they had received were miraculous, and that other gifts were given by the baptism with water. To work miracles is one thing, and to receive the spirit, so as to be regenerated, is an other.
Mr. M proceeds, p. 43, “I will just observe in the last place, that some are of opinion, that the baptism of the spirit includes only the miraculous gifts, and not the common and ordinary operations of the spirit in the work of regeneration. Therefore, when the miraculous gifts ceased, the baptism of the spirit was likewise done away. To which I would observe, that the scriptures in several places, clearly refute this idea. But I think St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians, will be sufficient. See 1 Cor. XII. 18 ‘For by one spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, bond or free: and have been all made to drink of one spirit.’ Hence St. Paul evidently proves that the baptism of the spirit, includes the common gifts in the work of regeneration, as well as miraculous gifts. For we know that the whole body of Christians did not receive the miraculous gifts; but Paul says, ‘By one spirit, we are all baptised into one body,’ &c. This agrees with what our Lord said to his disciples Mat xxviii. 20. ‘And lo, I will be with you always, even unto the end of the world;’ which was not in his body presence, but in his spiritual presence. This then, is the one true essential baptism, which alone is sufficient to regenerate the soul, cleanse it from sin, and prepare it for those pure and spiritual delights at God’s right hand above. Without which, all our water baptism** will avail nothing, as to the salvation of the soul; we shall still continue servants of sin, and will at last eternally perish, just as though we had never been baptised with water.”
Answer. It is evident, that the baptism of the spirit consisted in miraculous effusions ; hence, as miracles have ceased, this baptism does no more exist. That the scriptures in several places, clearly refute this idea, is an arbitrary, incorrect assertion.
**The following fragments are selected from some manuscripts, written by the rev. Philip Henkel, residing in Tennessee, and who is the Author’s brother.
Upon reading a pamphlet, called strictures on a piece, written by Mr. David Henkel, entitled Heavenly flood of regeneration, or a treatise on holy baptism: by Mr Joseph Moore, I deem it my duty to make some observations on this subject. If only, it concerned David Henkel, I should have paid no attention to it. But since the word of God, and the sacred institution of baptism, have been attacked by misconstruction, it seems too important to pass over it in silence. Whereas I understand, that Mr. Moore is a minister of the Methodist connexion, and as the Methodists in sundry places bold out the idea, that their doctrines do not essentially differ from those of the Lutherans, by which means they succeed in proselyting some Lutherans, I deem it my duty to unmask this imposition, by shewing how Mr. M has condemned the doctrine of Doct. Luther.
1. Mr. M. page 5, denies that we are regenerated by the baptism, performed with water. In order to prove, that baptism is not the means of regeneration, he quotes Eph 4, 22, 24 ; and Col 1, 13, 14. This indeed, is a strange method of proving. I might with equal propriety say, that a child is not a child, and that it must seek to be born such , because his father said, you must walk circumspectly. Although, the apostle admonished the Ephesians, ‘To put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, &c.’ but he does not say, tor the purpose of being regenerated. He did not direct this admonition to unregenerated persons, which is evident from ch 2, 1,13.
The text in Col. 1, 13, 14, reads thus : “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” This text proves, that the Colossians had already been regenerated; and says not one word for, nor against baptism.
Neither does the text, Rom. 12, 2, prove that regeneration is not effected by baptism. It reads thus : ‘And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ It is to be remembered, that the apostle addressed Christians, as the 1st verse plainly shews, ‘I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.’ Astonishing, that the apostle should have called a body of unregenerated heathens, or infidel Jews his brethren! This text confirms the following words of Doct Luther : “A child must not act that he may be born, but because he is born.” So the Romans were to act, not to be born; but because they were already born anew.
2. Mr. M. proceeds, “Now is it not evident, that if regeneration implies such a deep and radical change of heart, that water baptism, nor any thing external can effect ? Can any thing short of the mighty power of God, or operative energies of that almighty spirit, which raised the body of Christ from the dead, and breathed into the nostrils of the first man, and he became a living soul, effect such a change? such a death to sin, and new birth unto righteousness? I think it is evident that it cannot” But I wish to know who denies, that it requires the power of God to effect regeneration? Or who says, that a mere external thing can effect it? I do not see that either Luther, or David Henkel, denies the first, nor affirms the latter.
3. He says, p. 6, “Water is a natural thing, therefore cannot produce a spiritual birth.” This every person knows. But is baptism simple water only ? Or, does it consist of something more important ? Mr. M. it seems, calls the institution of Christ a natural thing, and speaks as if D. Henkel had instituted water baptism. See p. 9, 36. But he ought to consider, that he is here treating God’s own institution with the utmost contempt. Remember Mr. M. you do not vilify D. H. but almighty God ! How dare a sinful mortal say, that holy baptism, the positive institution of Jesus Christ, is a natural thing ! We know that water is a natural thing. But baptism as Luther says, is not simple water only, but with the word of God it constitutes a Christian baptism, and gracious water of life, &.c. It is performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ; nevertheless Mr. M. calls baptism a natural thing. He also considers baptism a corruptible thing when he says “Thus we are born again from above, by a spiritual birth ; not of corruptible things, such as silver and gold, [nor by the natural water in baptism] but by the precious blood of Christ, &c.” What a burlesque this is upon Christ’s own institution ! to compare it with corruptible things, such as gold, and silver ! Neither Luther, nor D. H. say, that we are regenerated by natural water. Mr. M. knows to the contrary, for they tell him again, and again, that baptism is not simple water only but the word of God and his name connected with it. Surely Mr. M. argues, as if D H. was the author of baptism ; if so, I would agree with him, that it would be a corruptible thing. But he is not the author ; but Jesus Christ, who instituted no corruptible sacraments. Now Mr. M. it devolves on you to prove, that the word of God, which is the essence in baptism is corruptible; and until you do it, we shall consider you a scoffer of holy things, and an enemy to our blessed Saviour.
4. Mr. M. p. 6, compares the spiritual with the natural birth. And p. 7, he says we have to go through the painful travail of repentance, before we obtain deliverance. Most sublime logick! I never knew, that the child, that is born has to undergo the travail of the mother. Neither has he proved, that repentance is a travail. Every man of common sense, easily perceives the absurdity of this assertion.
5. He attempts to prove, that baptism cannot effect regeneration ; because Paul thanked God, that he baptised none of the Corinthians, but Crispus and Gaius, and the household of Stephanus ; and because he was not sent to baptise, but to preach the gospel. See p. 8. Why does not Mr. M. tell us the reason why St. Paul thanked God, that he baptised so few at Corinth? In v. 15. (1 Cor. 1. 15) the reason is assigned : viz. “lest any should say, that I had baptised in mine own name” Thus it appears, that some of the Corinthians might have prostituted baptism to support a party ; provided, the apostle had baptised a goodly number, which is the reason he thanked God, that he baptised but so few. Who could possibly infer from this, that the apostle considered baptism as an unimportant institution, when he so highly extols it, in his epistles to the Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians? See Rom. 6—Gal. 3—Eph. 5. Although St. Paul himself, did not baptise all the Corinthians; yet, what reason have we to believe, that they were not baptised? And though he was sent to preach the gospel; yet he no where speaks contemptibly of baptism; or like Mr. M compares it with corruptible things. Again, we find in sundry texts, that Paul himself baptised people, in other places : for instance see Acts c. 16, ch. 19
Mr. M. argues very incorrectly, when he concludes, that if Paul had baptised them with water, it might have led them to have depended upon what he had done for salvation. St. Paul confesses, that he had baptised Crispus and Gaius ; and also the household of Stephanus. Now if Mr. M’s conclusion be correct, then St. Paul acted like a deceiver, and a villain for baptizing Crispus, and Gaius, and the household of Stephanus ; thus leading them to depend upon, what he had done for salvation! Why did Paul not lead those poor people out of this dangerous situation? Why leave them thus deluded ? But who, except he be a deist, can possibly believe this to be St. Paul’s character? As St. Paul was a faithful apostle of Christ, the reason assigned by Mr. M. must be ridiculous.
6. Mr M. falsely accuses D. Henkel, with having written, that baptism is regeneration itself. D. H. said no such thing, but he indeed, has proven, that baptism is the ordinary means of regeneration.
7. Mr. M has spoken most shamefully of baptism, when p. 32, he compares it to a broken staff. He says, “And I could venture to say, that if Mr. H. and his people depend on it (baptism) for salvation, they will depend on a broken staff.” What! is the holy institution of Jesus Christ like a broken staff? We wish Mr. M. that you would prove this by the scriptures. O ! horrid beyond degree, to compare God’s own institution, to a broken staff! Poor! proud ! self-important, sinful dust, repent of your vile, abominable work ; flee to the Saviour of the world, lest eternal damnation be your portion ; for you have not simply spoken against D. H. but you have spoken against Jehovah himself, by comparing his own institution to a broken staff!
8. Whilst the Methodist connexion do not bring Mr. Moore to an account, for his misrepresentations, and the disrespectful language, he has employed to degrade the institution of holy baptism, we shall consider them as conniving at his conduct, and foes to this blessed institution.
The reader’s humble servant
Why did my opponent, not point out those several places? The text, 1 Cor. xii, 13 ; “for by one spirit are we all baptised into one body,” &c. does not prove, that they were regenerated by this baptism. There is nothing said in it, nor its context, with respect to regeneration. Why introduce a text, which says nothing of regeneration? This is another erroneous assertion : “we know that the whole body of Christians did not receive miraculous gifts.” The contrary is not only evident, from the general practice in the apostle’s days in convoying miraculous gifts by the laying on of their hands ; but also, the context of this passage shews, that the Corinthian church generally had such gifts, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. And there are differences of administration’s, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the spirit the word of wisdom ; to another the word of knowledge by the same spirit; to another faith by the same spirit ; to another the gifts of healing by the same spirit; to another the working of miracles ; to another prophecy ; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues ; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we be the Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free ; and have been all made to drink into one spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body ; is it therefore not of the body ? &c.” verse 6 -15. Without any comment, this context shews to every intelligent reader, that the Corinthians as a Christian church, had those extraordinary gifts of the spirit in common. See also ch. 14. The text Matth. 28, 20, does not say any thing with respect to the baptism of the spirit; but it simply contains a gracious promise, of Christ’s perpetual presence. We do not believe, that Christ is visibly present with us, and are therefore, not of the opinion, that we can see him, as some pretend at the camp-meetings. Nevertheless, we believe him really, invisibly present. As Mr. M. has not produced any arguments relative to our Saviour’s presence, and as it is not the subject in question ; I therefore do not deem it expedient, to say more upon it in this little work. It is a subject of vast importance, and cannot be handled very briefly ; hence it would require a separate volume.
Supplement to section XI.
Although my opponent has quoted sundry texts to prove, that there was a baptism of the spirit separate from that which is performed with water ; (this is not denied 😉 nevertheless it is by no means pertinent to the subject in question, because he has no where proved,that this baptism has ever effected regeneration. It has been sufficiently proved, that the apostles received this promised baptism of the spirit on the day of Pentecost, whose descent was signalized by a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and accompanied by the phenomenon of cloven tongues as of fire. Immediately without any previous study, they were gifted to speak the different languages, which then were prevalent ; and thus the gospel could easily, in a short time be promulgated among all nations. Our blessed Saviour’s prediction, John 7, 38, 39, was also fulfilled. “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this he spake of the spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” For they by the laying on of their hands healed the sick ; they cast out devils, and raised up the dead. It has also been shewn, that Christians in common, during the primitive age, received miraculous gifts of the spirit by the imposition of the apostles’ hands ; for they could speak with tongues, and prophesy. In this it manner the divine authenticity of the religion of Jesus was established, and confirmed. What would it have availed, if the apostles had preached the crucified Jesus, to the world, which was a new doctrine, if they could not have proved it by a testimony greater than their own? Who would have believed them? Hence ”God also bore them witness, both with signs, and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gilts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will ” Heb. 2, 4. From all this we learn, that such a miraculous effusion was called the baptism of the Holy Ghost. But this baptism ceased. ‘Charity never faileth : but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail : whether there be tongues; they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.’ 1 Cor. 13, 8. In the preceeding chapter, the apostle had discoursed upon the divers, miraculous gifts of the Corinthian church, and then concludes, by shewing them a more excellent way; and in this he extols charity above all ; because tongues, and prophecies shall fail, whilst she like the green of heaven, shall live and reign for ever. For after the Christian Religion was sufficiently attested by signs, and wonders, their continuation became unnecessary. What need is there, to continue proving by signs, and wonders, a religion which already has been infallibly established? It is sufficient, to convince any person of its truth, by exhibiting the original testimonies.
Such as pretend to have received this baptism of the spirit, the same as the apostles, and primitive Christians, let them manifest those miraculous operations. Let them speak the languages of the different nations ; predict future events ; heal the sick, by the imposition of hands, and raise the dead. But whilst we see no such works, all the pretensions of having received this baptism, are nothing but idle dreams.