THE FERMANAGH TIMES
Newspaper articles, Ireland
Data entry by T. Fortt, 1997
March 14, 1907, p. 2
We in no way identify ourselves with the sentiments expressed by our various correspondents
The Pilgrims at Ballycassidy
The Question of Infant Baptism
01 how could baptism and belief be simultaneous AMICUS VERITATIS
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
--I will not attempt to follow Mr. West in his mud throwing. I have been taught "to keep my tongue from evil-speaking, lying and slandering," and I know from observation a ball once started from top of the Hill of Rectitude accumulates in volume and increases in rapidity so quickly that long before it reaches the bottom it becomes highly destructive.
In my letter I appealed solely to God's word. I did not sneer or call anyone out of their (sic) name. I considered the subject too sacred to write for the gallery. These letters are written with the earnest prayer, that they may add light to some at least who are less advantageously situated.
I asked Mr. West "how could baptism and belief be simultaneous?" This he has not answered, why your readers can judge. That my interpretation was right is further proved. See John iii, 5. "Jesus answered, except a man be born of water and the spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven, "clearly placing baptism first. Mr. West should adopt our Lord's command, Matt vii, 1-2.
"Baptismal regeneration" is not the point at issue. Where did Mr. West get the phrase? I am sure it will be a revelation to both clerics and laymen if he would kindly give the information. The same may be said of "baby sprinkling." Things must be in a desperate way when imaginations has to be brought to the rescue.
Matthew xxviii, 19, does not read as Mr. West puts it, but reads "Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," clearly proving that the rite of baptism made disciples, and was administered when under tuition. Will Mr. West tell us the meaning of disciple?
I really, Mr. Editor, had to rub my eyes, when reading Mr. West's historical reference, to make sure I was making no mistake. Were it not for the seriousness of the question at issue, his attempts are laughable. It may be news to him to hear that infant baptism was not questioned for the first 1,100 years. The question was then raised by Peter de Bruvs, who taught that infants could not be saved, and therefore, should not be baptized, and he based his argument on latter part of Mark xvi, 16. Just the verse Mr. West makes the foundation of his propaganda. Does he believe the same? But infant baptism was not really attacked until the year 1521, when One Storch a German draper founded the sect of Anabaptists.
Probably Mr. West heard some one talk of Tertullian who some time about the beginning of the third century advised the delay of infant baptism because he thought that baptism washes away all sins previously committed. It ought therefore, he said, to be delayed as long as possible. Is this Mr. West's reason?
Thus for 1,000 years infant baptism was recognized throughout christendom.
What text in Scripture gives us the true meaning and application of baptism? In several places it has a truly distinct meaning. Thus in Luke xi, 38, it means to pour upon. In Matt iii, 2, it means to cleanse. In I Cor x, 1-2, it means to initiate into discipleship, while in Isaiah xxi, 4 it is used in the sense to frighten. In all these places the word baptism is in the original. Where does it mean to immerse or dip? Give a single text in which the word "embapto" is used. You can't!
Mark i, 5, They were baptized of him in the River Jordan, but not under the river as Mr. West would make us believe. Would they not be in the river if they only wet the soles of their feet, Acts viii, 36, "and they both went into the river, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him there." Did they both go under the water, they must if into means under. The word is "eis" and you can't find a single instance in the Bible where it is translated under. In Matt iv, 6, the devil asked our Lord for an unnecessary exhibition of his power. His answer was "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." In Mark i, 10 the word "straightway" is used, in verse 12 "immediately," so that no time elapsed between one act and the other. Would not this imply that our Lord committed an act which He already had condemned if he went the journey in dripping clothes? But fortunately there is no necessity for any surmising as the Greek word is "apo" and reads "When He was baptized He came straightway from the river" (RV).
Baptism as practiced by the pilgrims is no type of our Lord's death and burial, for he was buried above ground not under.
Moses was not sent but fled to the land of Midian--Ex ii, 15--and was 40 years in the service of the Priest of Midian, whose advice and teaching was afterwards followed--Ex xviii, 13. Elijah spoke only as personally directed by God. John Baptist spent 30 years in the wilderness--Luke i, 80. The fishermen of Galilee were three years under the direct tuition of our Lord before they were sent. The same may be said of the others. Paul was one of the best educated of the Jews. There is not a single instance of God using Ignorance for the furtherance of His Kingdom. To sum up I have proved
1--Mr. West would make our Lord contradict Himself.
2--Would make our Lord commit an act He Himself condemned.
3--He falsely quotes history.
4--Mr. West, for the purpose of raising dusts, coins phrases.
5--That in no part of the Bible does the word immersion occur.
6--That all God's ambassadors in both Old and New Testament received special training for their work.
7--That the texts quoted by Mr. West implies that baptism was administered by water being poured on the recipient.
The subject under discussion was--Dipping cannot be proved from Scripture. To this I will confine myself in future until settled. I am then ready to prove infant baptism to be in accordance with Bible teaching. That there is no such thing as believer's baptism. That Anabaptists deny original sin. That they believe part are destined to be saved and part lost. That the creed of the Pilgrims is a mixture of Truth and Error, and, therefore, dangerous. But one thing at a time.
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