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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From A Concise View of Christian Baptism, 1827
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ; teaching them t, observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the world." —Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19-20)
1. That baptism was divinely instituted as an ordinance of the Christian religion and administered by inspired apostles to both Jews and Gentiles is plain from the preceding remarks.
2. There is no intimation that the law of baptism was designed to be restricted to any nation or limited to any period of time. It is a general law, without any restriction, except that which refers to character—"he that believeth."
3. A divine law must continue obligatory until it is repealed by divine authority. There is no intimation in the Scriptures that the law of baptism has been repealed, and therefore there is no reason to suppose its obligation has ceased.
4. The perpetuity of this Christian ordinance is plainly implied in the promise: "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world." Matt. 28:20. This important promise was given at the time the ordinance was instituted, and it plainly supposes the continuance of baptism "even to the end of the world."
5. Baptism is connected with the most important doctrines, duties, and privileges of the gospel. The Saviour connects it with the doctrine of the Trinity; preaching and believing the gospel; fulfilling all righteousness; and the promise of salvation. (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Matt. 3:15) Paul connects it with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; with the believer's dying unto sin, living unto God, and putting on Christ. (I Cor. 15:3, 4; Gal. 3:27) He connects it also with "one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one God and Father of all." (Eph. 4:4-6) Peter connects it with the "remission of sins." (Acts 2:38) And also, with salvation, and a good conscience. (I Peter 3:21) To discontinue the ordinance would be to dissolve its connection with all these doctrines, duties, and privileges. And who, without authority from the divine Author of the institution, can do this with impunity?
6. Baptism answers all the purposes at this day which is answered in the first age of Christianity, and these are as needful now as they were then. No reason can be assigned for the observance of the ordinance in the apostles' days, which will not apply in all its force to believers in every age of the Christian church.
7. The above considerations afford incontestable proof of the perpetuity of Christian baptism, and shew that its observance is as obligatory at present as it was in the days of the apostles, and that it will continue to be so until the consummation of all things.
To suppose that the necessity of water baptism is superseded by the baptism of the Holy Ghost is manifestly erroneous. For supposing every believer were as truly baptized in the Holy Ghost as Cornelius was, this would in no wise diminish his obligation to be baptized in water. Did not the apostle Peter command the Pentecostian converts to be baptized? And is it not expressly recorded that they were baptized?
Did not the same inspired apostle command Cornelius and his friends to be baptized in water, and assign their being baptized in the Holy Ghost as a reason for their being baptized in water? "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" Is it not strange that what an inspired apostle urged as a reason for the observance of water baptism should be adduced by some professing Christians as a reason for their neglect of that baptism?