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by Dr. John Thomas
God has always placed His name in His institutions.
Under the law He placed it in the Tabernacle, and afterwards in the Temple at Jerusalem; but, under grace, He has placed it in such a baptism as we have just defined, in conformity to which we can "worship him in spirit and in truth," without going to Jerusalem or Samaria.
Cornelius and his household were in Caesarea, and in a private house.
Peter did not require them to go to Jerusalem, or to a synagogue, in order to worship, or do homage, to God, in spirit and in truth.
They had believed the truth spoken by the Spirit through Peter; and they awaited the command of the Spirit as to the manner in which they might work the righteousness of God.
Peter, feeling his way with caution, because of his six brethren of the circumcision who accompanied him, inquired, "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be immersed, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we?
" From this question we learn that there were cases in those days in which the use of water was forbidden, or considered as Improper The apostles did not preach water to the people as the moderns do.
They permitted no one to have access to the water unless they believed he was a proper subject.
They were sometimes deceived, but that was not their fault; they did their best to discharge their duty faithfully.
If a man did not believe the gospel of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they would not immerse him; for it was commanded them that "he that believeth not should be condemned," ie., should not be unloosed from his sins in the name of Jesus.
The paidorhantists do well to refuse to be immersed; and the Baptists do wrong to urge it upon them.
For the sprinklers do not believe the gospel of the kingdom, and neither have they the spirit of the gospel; and therefore, they are not fit to be immersed.
The institution of God's name ought not to be desecrated by the immersion of such misbelievers into its formula.
Water should be forbidden them.
It is not water, but faith, they need at present -- that one, heart-purifying faith, such as Cornelius and his household possessed, and "without which it is impossible to please God".
It cannot be said that the paidorhantists (from paidev," infants, and rJantistaiv, sprinklers, that is, infant sprinklers) make too little of water; one great offence against high heaven which they commit, is making infinitely too much of it.
The efficacy the apostles put in the heart-purifying faith and conscience-cleansing name of Jesus, they place in a few drops of "holy" or common, water, and a physical regeneration of a hypothetic principle in the flesh!
They require no faith, no repentance, no confession to qualify their subjects for the water and formula of the Name.
They ask only a suckling of eight days, with godfathers and godmothers, whose characters are not even inquired into, to answer questions, which oftentimes they do not understand, and oftener have no intention to conform to the requirements of; or, dispensing with these godless gods, give them the infant with a proxy parental faith in the dogmas of a sect, and it will suffice.
Paidorhantist "ministers," with solemn mockery of the holy and august name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, will sprinkle the face of the mindless weakling, and impiously proclaim to the people that such is the "one baptism" of the religion of Christ!
Is it not wonderful, that God has witnessed this blasphemy for ages, and not rent the heavens with indignation upon them?
Great indeed, is the forbearance of the Most High; but the time shall at length come when His patience will have an end.
How astounding is the presumption of such!