100th Q.–Did not the apostles baptize with water, and if so, are we to conclude from their practice that it was an institution of Christ?

A.—Though some of the apostles did baptize with water, that no more proves it to be an institution of Christ, than their adherence to the ceremonial law of Moses, proves that his law was not fulfilled and superseded by the coming of Christ: for the apostle Paul acknowledges he had baptized some individuals, though he had not, according to his own confession, received any commission so to do.

John ïïi. 22. After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea, and there he tarried with them and baptized.

John iv. 1. When therefore the Lord knew how the pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2. (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3. He left Judea.

Acts viii. 36. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized ? 37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest. 38. And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Acts xxi. 20. They [the A postle James and others] said unto him [Paul], Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe, and they are all zealous of the Law. 21. And they are informed of thee that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles, to forsake Moses, saying, that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk aster the cus. toms. 22. What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together; for they will hear that thou art come. 23. Do therefore this that we say to thee: we have four men which have a vow on them; 24. Them take and purify thyself with them, that they may shave their heads : and

all may know that those things whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing, but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the Law.

1 Cor. i. 14. I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius, 15. Lest any should say, that I had baptized in mine own name. 16. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas : besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 17. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.

101st Q.—Why did the apostles conform to ceremonial rites that were superseded and abolished by the Christian dispensation ?

A.-Not to mention, that as Jews it was difficult for them at once to break off all observance of the ritual Law, in some instances they were induced from the early state of the church, to be in those respects, as weak to those who were weak.

1 Cor. ix. 19. Though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as un the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ), ihat I might gain them that are without law. 22. To the weak became I as weak; I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

See also Acts xxi. 20 to 23, among the Proofs to the 100th Answer.


102nd Q.—What was the Supper which Christ ate with his disciples, the night before his crucifixion?

A.—The Jewish Passover instituted by Moses, and was typical of the spiritual nourishment the soul receives from a participation of the body and blood of Christ purchased for us by his death.

Luke xxii. 7. Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. 8. And he [Jesus] sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. 13. And they made ready the passover. 14. And when the hour was come he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15. And he said unto them, with desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer. 16. For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in ihe kingdom of God. 17. And he took the cup and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18. For I say unto you, I will not drink of ihe fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19. And he took bread, and gave thanks and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you : this do in remembrance of me. 20. Likewise also the cup aster supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for

you. Matt. xxvi. 26. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it: 28. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remis. sion of sins. 29. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. See also Mark xiv. 12 to 25. 1 Cor. xi. 20 to 26.

See also the Proofs to the 107th Answer.

103d Q.-When our Saviour brake the bread and said “Do this in remembrance of me," did

he perpetuate the Jewish Passover as an ordinance of the Christian church?

A.-Such a conclusion is not authorized by the Scriptures: the disciples to whom Christ addressed these words were Jews, who were therefore desired by him, whenever they ato the Jewish Passover, to do it in remembrance of him the true paschal Lamb and bread of life. *

1 Cor. xi. 23. For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread; 24. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take eat; this is my body, which is broken for you : this do in remembrance of me. 25. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it; in remembrance of me. 26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.

104th Q.-What further reason is there to conclude, that our Lord's injunction respecting the bread and wine, is not to be understood as of universal obligation ?

A.—The following reason may be assigned : the apostle John informs us that after the Sup

* That the injunction was not designed to extend beyond the disciples who were of the circumcision, (though others might unite in the practice,) appears most probable from the time being limited, or at least so understood by the apostle Paul, to the coming of Christ; which may, consistently with the opinion of the best commentators on the Sacred Writings, advert to. his coming to end completely the Jewish polity by the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.

per was ended, our blessed Lord washed his disciples' feet, and commanded them to follow his example and wash each other's feet; yet this command, though more strongly enforced than the other, is not considered by Christians in general, as obligatory at the present day.

John xiii. 4. He [Jesus) riseth from supper, and laid aside bis garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5. Aster that, he poureth water into a bason, and began 10 wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet ? 7. Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but ihou shalt know hereafter. 8. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part

12. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13. Ye call me Master, and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ‘ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done

with me.

to you.

105th Q.-Why is it not obligatory?

A.-Because, as our Saviour's former command referred to a Jewish rite, now superseded, so this referred to an Eastern custom that does not prevail in the West; and therefore though his immediate followers whom he addressed, might literally obey his command, the spirit of it is all that is considered obligatory to the Christian church, namely, a readiness to do the most humble offices of love for our brethren.

« ElőzőTovább »