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the greek aftop.os, a name given by the Greeks in the eleventh century, to the christians of


- DOBAPTISTS. [This denomination of christians is distinguished from others by their opinions respecting the mode and subject of baptism. Instead of administering the ordinance by sprinkling or pouring water, they maintain that it ought to be administered only by immersion. Such, they insist, is the meaning of the word 32Trišo ; so that a command to baptize, is a command to immerse. Thus, they say, it was understood by those who first administered it. John the Baptist, and the apostles of Christ, administered it in Jordan, and other rivers and places where there was much water. Both the administrators and the subjects are described as going down into, and coming up again out of the water. And the baptized are said to be buried in baptism, and to be raised again; which language could not, they suppose, be properly adopted on supposition of the ordinance being administered in any other manner than by immersion. Thus, they affirm, it was administered in the primitive church: thus it is now admi

the Latin church, because they use unleavened bread in the eucharist.*

nistered in the Russian and Greek church : and thus it is at this day directed to be administered in the church of England, to all who are thought capable of submitting to it in this manner. With regard to the subjects of baptism, the Baptists say that it ought not to be administered to children or infants at all, nor to grown-up persons in general; but to adults who profess repentance for sin, and faith in Christ, and to them only. Our Saviour's commission to his apostles, by which christian baptism was instituted, is to go and teach all nations, baptizing them : that is, say they, not to baptize all they meet with, but first to instruct them; and whoever receives the instruction, him to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost. This construction of the commission, they contend, is confirmed by the different words in which another evangelist expresses it: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature : he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. To such persons, and to such only, they say, baptism was administered

* Historical Dictionary, vol, i. See Azymitae.


by the apostles, and the immediate disciples of Christ : for they are described as repenting of their sins, as believing in Christ, and as having gladly received the word; and without these qualifications, Peter acquaints those who were converted by his sermon, that he could not have admitted them to baptism. Philip holds the same language in his discourse with the Eunuch ; and Paul treats Lydia, the jailor, and others, in the same manner. Without these qualifications, christians in general think it wrong to admit persons to the Lord's supper; and for the same reasons, without these qualifications, at least a prosession of them, the Baptists think it wrong to admit any to baptism.

They farther insist that all positive institutions depend entirely upon the will and declaration of the institutor; and that therefore reasoning by analogy from previous abrogated rites is to be rejected, and the express commands of Christ respecting the mode and subjects of baptism, ought

to be our only rule. The Baptists in England form one of the three denominations of protestant dissenters. They separate from the establishment for the same reasons as their brethren of

the other denominations do, with whom they are united, and from additional motives derived from their particular tenets respecting baptism. The constitution of their churches, and their modes of worship, are congregational, or independent; in the exercises of which they are protected, in common with other dissenters, by the act of toleration. Before this act they were liable to pains and penalties, as nonconformists, and often for their peculiar sentiments as Baptists. A proclamation was issued out against them, and some of them were burnt in Smithfield in fifteen hundred and thirty-eight. They bore a considerable share in the persecutions of the seventeenth and preceding centuries, and as it should seem in those of some centuries before : for there were several among the Lollards and Wickliffites who disapproved of infant-baptism. There were many of this persuasion among the protestants and reformers abroad. In Holland, Germany, and the North, they went by the names of Anabaptists, and Mennonites; and in Piedmont and the South, they were found among the Albigenses and Waldenses.” To those who make their history as a denomination to have originated in the turbu

* Rees's Cyclopædia, article Baptists,


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lent excesses of Munster, they answer, If it were so, it is no disgrace to the principle, unless it could be proved to favour such excesses; nor to those who hold it, unless they be guilty of the same things: but they deny that it is so ; for that the disturbances in question did not originate with the people called Anabaptists ; that those who bore this name practised sprinkling; and that antipaedobaptism was known many centuries before they existed. The Baptists subsist under two denominations; viz. the Particular, or Calvinistical; and the General, or Arminian. The former is by far the most numerous. Some of both denominations allow of mixed communion with paedobaptists; others disallow it: and some few of them observe the seventh day of the week as the sabbath, apprehending the

law that enjoined it not to

have been repealed by Christ or his apostles. A considerable number of the General Baptists have gone into Socinianism or Arianism, on account of which several of their ministers and churches who disapprove of these principles, have within the last forty years formed themselves

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connection with them; particularly as to changing ministers, and the admission of members.” The Baptists in America, and in the East and West-Indies, are chiefly Calvinists, and hold occasional fellowship with the particular baptist churches in England. Those in Scotland having imbibed a considerable part of the principles of Messrs. Glass & Sandeman, have no communion with the others. When the English Baptists engaged in a mission to the east, however, they very liberally contributed towards it, especially to the translating of the scriptures in the Bengalee language.t. For an account of them see Rippon's Baptist Register, vol. ii. p. 361.] BARDESANISTES, a denomination in the second century, the followers of Bardesanes, a native of Edessa, and a man of a very acute and penetrating genius. The sum of his doctrine was as follows: 1. That there is a supreme God, pure and benevolent, absolutely free from all evil and imperfection; and there is also a prince of darkness, the fountain of all evil, disorder, and misery. 2. That the supreme God created the world without any mixture of evil in its composition: he gave existence also to its inhabitants, who came out of his forming hand pure and incorrupt, endued with subtle etherial bodies, and spirits of a celestial nature. 3. That when the prince of darkness had enticed men to sin, then the supreme God. permitted them to fall into sluggish and gross bodies, formed of corrupt matter by the evil principle. He permitted also the depravation and disorder which this malignant being introduced both into the natural and moral world, designing by this permission to punish the degeneracy and rebellion of an apostate race; and hence proceeds the perpetual conflict between reason and passion in the mind of man. -4. That on this account Jesus descended from the upper regions, clothed not with a real, but with a celestial and aérial body, and taught man

wo. Baptist Register, vol. i. p. 172–175, it Gale's Reflections on Wall's History. Stennet's Answer to Addington. Booth's Paedobaptism Examined, second edition. M'Lean on the Commission.]

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kind to subdue that body of corruption which they carry about with them in this mortal life; and by abstinence, fasting, and contemplation, to disengage themselves from the servitude and dominion of that malignant matter which chained down the soul to low and ignoble pursuits. 5. That those who submit themselves to the discipline of this divine teacher, shall, after the dissolution of this terrestrial body, mount up to the mansions of felicity, clothed with etherial vehicles, or celestial bodies. This denomination was a branch of the Gnostics.” See Gnostics. BARLAAMITES, a denomination in the sixteenth century, followers of Barlaam. He was by birth a Neapolitan, and monk of the order of St. Basil. He maintained that the light which surrounded Christ on Mount Tabor, was neither the divine essence, nor flowed from it.f BASILIDIANS, a denomination in the second century, from Basilides, chief of the Egyptian Gnostics. He acknowledged the existence of one supreme God, perfect in goodness and wisdom, who

History, vol. i. p. 179, 180.

* Mosheim's Ecclesiastical

f Barlaam was op

asserted that the i. na] with God.

posed by Palamas, archbishop of Thessalonica, who t seen upon Tabor was an uncreated light, and co-eter* The word aion, o,

produced from his own substance seven beings, or aions," of a most excellent nature. Two of these aions, called Dynamis and Sophia, (i. e. power and wisdom) engendered the angels of the highest order. These angels formed a heaven for their habitation, and brought forth other angelic beings of a nature somewhat inferior to their own. Many other generations of angels followed these. New heavens were also created, until the number of angelic orders, and of their respective heavens, amounted to three hundred and sixty-five, and thus equalled the days of the year. All these are under the empire of an omnipotent Lord, whom Basilides called Abraras. The inhabitants of the lowest heavens, which touched upon the borders of the eternal, malignant, and self-animated matter, conceived the design

of forming a world from that confused mass, and of creating an order of beings to people it.t. This design was carried into execution, and was approved by the supreme God, who, to the animal life with which only the inhabitants of this new world were at first endowed, added a reasonable soul, giving at the same time to the angels the empire over them. These angelic beings, advanced to the government of the world which they had created, fell by degrees from their original purity, and soon manifested the fatal marks of their depravity and corruption. They not only endeavoured to efface in the minds of men their knowledge of the supreme Being, that they might be worshipped in his stead; but also began to war against each other, with an ambitious view toenlarge every

metonymy employed to signify the

only the duration of beings, was by a eings themselves. Thus the supreme

Being was called aion; and the angels were distinguished by the title of aions. All this will lead us to the true meaning of that word among the Gnostics. They had formed to themselves the motion of an invisible world, composed of entities, or virtues, proceeding from the supreme Being, and succeeding each other at certain intervals of time, so as to form an eternal chain, of which our world was the terminating link. To the beings which formed this eternal chain, the Gnostics assigned a certain term of duration, and a certain sphere of action. Their terms of duration were at first called aions; and they themselves were afterwards metonymically distinguished by that title.

t Basilides supposed this lower world to have been made by angels, Many embraced this opinion, because they thought it below the supreme Being to meddle with matter, in order to give it form and beauty. The judged it unworthy of him to make perishing and mortal beings. Above all, they could not endure the supposition that God is the author of the many

evils which are in the world. w

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