Audio Video Library
General Beliefs Site Search Time Line
E-Mail Us Web Links Home
 

Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

Martyrs Mirror

SUMMARY OF BAPTISM IN THE ELEVENTH CENTURY

In the beginning of the eleventh century, the celebrated Anselm is introduced, who declares that baptism is the "fulfilling of all righteousness;" that the baptis~ of Christ is a"washing of water in the word;" that everyone, in his day, was baptized in the name and the faith of God; that believers were then baptized upon, or in the name of Christ; that the adults had first to be instructed in the Christian doctrine; that after baptism one must not again lay the foundation of repentance from dead works, Heb. 6:1-3; that believers are brought into the church of Christ (understand, through baptism); that the twelve Ephesian men (Acts 19) were rebaptized by Paul.

Algerus speaks of the power and operation of God in baptism; also, that the lasciviousness of the flesh is quenched or washed off in or through baptism.

Buchard of Worms gives an excellent explanation touching baptism, saying that the examinations in the faith were for the purpose of ascertaining whether the holy words of the faith confessed, were rooted deeply in the heart of the candidate, and whether he intended to continue steadfastly in the faith.

Lanfrancus opposed infant baptism.

The testimony of Bruno and Berengarius against infant baptism as well as against transubstantiation is presented and amply commented on; the time when they began their doctrine, and when they finished the same; also their death.

A certain book of ceremonies by the ancient Beroldus is introduced; what we read in it concerning baptism; namely, of the first address made to the novices at baptism, the way of wisdom and faith, being presented to them.

An account of Ado Trevirensis, and to what he admonished the candidates of his time; also, how he baptized the believing woman Syranna and her son, after previous instruction.

The last witness adduced about baptism is Juo of Carnuto, who, besides various other matters, makes this salutary and true declaration with regard to baptism, "That the novices would confess the creed before baptism; that they were then, while answering, washed from the old wickedness; that their baptism took place on the holy Easter Sabbath, and that they were first instructed; that those who desired baptism had to throw off, by prayers, the yoke of the devil; that they were asked: Do you believe on God," etc. Thereupon it is noted what said passages of Juo indicate. Finally it is shown that he also opposed monachism, discrimination as regards food. Conclusion.]

The thousandth year is finished; we have come to the years that follow it; which time is called the eleventh century. We will wander through it in our thoughts, and investigate how it then stood with the true church of God, whether the ordinances of Christ, especially in the matter of baptism; and its requirements, were rightly observed. In order to begin and finish this aright, we will turn to some of the ancient authors who wrote about the condition of said matters, at that time, or, at least, who subsequently made mention of what then occurred with regard to religion.

About A. D. 1010, or, as Jacob Mehrning puts it,"In the beginning of the eleventh century," there manifested himself, by various writings, the celebrated and almost universally known Anselm, who, having at one time, it seems, advocated infant baptism, with divers forcible, yet human arguments, now and also subsequently showed, that the opposite belief had taken root in him; concerning which, it is stated, that there have remained even to the present day, several excellent things, which cannot well be reconciled with infant baptism, yea, which, when viewed with spiritual eyes, militate against it. Of these we will present a few as ex-


Page 260

amples, confident that, if you judge impartially, you will concur with us, or, at least, assent to it.*

In Bapt. Hist., page 582, from Cent. Magd. XL, cap. 4, of baptism, Anselm teaches on Matt. 3, that baptism is necessary, and says, "Baptism is a fulfilling of all righteousness; a man may be never so righteous, pious, benevolent, abstemious, and chaste, yet, it avails him nothing, if he lacks the grace of holy baptism."

It is evident that Anselm has regard here to what Jesus Christ our Saviour said to John, when the latter refused to baptize him with water."Suffer it to be so now," the Lord said,"for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." Matt. 3:15; which took place, according to Luke 3:23, when Jesus began to be about thirty years of age, and the people, who came from Jerusalem, were baptized by John in Jordan.

It having been observed then that Anselm has regard to the baptism of Christ, and that Christ calls it the fulfilling of all righteousness, it is manifest, that he does not speak of infant baptism here, since in the same no righteousness at all, much less, all righteousness, can be fulfilled; which is the more obvious, when he says, in the same place, that however righteous, pious, benevolent, abstemious and chaste one might be, it would avail him nothing, if he lacked the grace of holy baptism: for, righteousness, piety, etc., are not exercises or works of infants, but only of intelligent, yea, of devout persons.

Oil the same page, Anselm, on Ephes. 5, says, "The baptism of Christ is a washing of water 'in the word; if you take away the water, it is no baptism; if you take away the word, it is likewise no baptism."

What else is indicated thereby, than that the Word of God cannot be separated from baptism? which Word of God, in baptism, does not consist simply in this, that a few words, of holy Scripture are pronounced in or over baptism, or over those who are baptized; but that the word of faith is preached to the candidates, before and at baptism. Xlark 16:15, 16; Rom.10:8.

On page 583, nunl.. 6. Anselm (Enarrat. in Evang.) says, "That the Father was heard in a voice; that the Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove; and that the Son, in His humanity, was baptized; this clearly indicates the Holy Trinity, in whose name and in the belief of which, everyone of us is baptized."

Here he again has reference to the baptism of Christ, concerning which the holy evangelists state, that, when He, being about thirty years of age, was baptized, the heavens were opened above Him;


* With regard to what is attributed to Anselm, concerning the suspicion in reference to infant baptism, namely, that he (on Eph. 4 and Heb. 10.) agreed with Meginhard (de Fide at Gunth.), we let those say, who can show more evidence of it, than we have yet met with. In the mean time, we have weighty reasons, which induce us to show the contrary concerning him. The same is true also with regard to what he is said to have written, touching said doctrine, on Matt. 15; I Cor. 7, and in"Concordia Gratia, and lib. Arbitrii," _tc.; which things as well as the above, we leave without comment, reserving our explanation of them to ourselves.

that the Holy Ghost descended like a dove upon Him; and that a voice came from heaven (or, from God, His heavenly Father) saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matt. 3:16, 17; Mark 1:10,11; Luke 3:22.

All this, as has been stated above, can serve only as a type of the baptism of the adult, intelligent, and believing followers of Christ; which Anselm plainly indicates, when he says, "In whose name and in the belief of which, everyone of us is baptized." Notice, when he says,"Everyone of us," etc., he indicates. each severally and all in general, namely, all who belonged as members to the church of Christ; so that, according to the language employed by him, each and all among them were baptized, not only in the name of the Holy Trinity, but also in or upon the belief of the same.

On page 585, Anselm, on Rom. 6, says, "We are baptized into the death of Christ, that we, believing in His death, and following it, may live as those who are dead; but since we, through baptism, are dead to sin, we must not again live unto sin, so that it is necessary again to die unto it; for, we are baptized into the death, that is, in the likeness of the death, of Christ; that, as He once died, and ever lives, even so we, having once died to evil, should ever live to the good; and, as a dead person can sin no more; thus also we, if we have died with Christ, shall not let ourselves be entangled again in mortal sins.

The sense of the words of Anselm is this: that we must be careful, not to live in sin again after baptism, since the former sins, in which we lived, have died through baptism, and have been laid in the grave as it were, through the death of Christ. Hence, said words can only be applied to the baptism of the believing and penitent, but in no wise to the baptism of infants; because it is certain that the things indicated as requisite for baptism cannot exist in infants. For, how can baptism be, in infants, a dying of their former sins, when they have never lived in sin? How can .they have their sins buried, through baptism, into the death of Christ, who never could nor need die unto sin?

Thus, Anselm, in the afore-mentioned passage, speaks only of the baptism of the adult, intelligent, and penitent Christians, who, having died unto their former sins, had them buried through baptism into the death of Christ, to rise to a new life.

Page 588, num. 6, Anselm writes on Matt. 3, "The adults had first to be instructed in the Christian doctrine." S. Clement and others imposed upon those who had lived in wickedness, and, becoming converted, desired to be baptized, a fast of seven days, and sometimes more, as a preparation; moreover, a considerable time, before baptism was also prescribed to the catechumens who were to be baptized."

N. B."Thus," says the writer who has noted this,"the light of the testimony of the truth shines forth brightly in the midst of the darkness of popery."


Page 261

We will not enlarge on what the writer has added here, but turn to words of Anselm, which we cannot view without plainly seeing that he treats of the baptism of, the believing and penitent;, for, when he speaks of the adults; of those who were first instructed in the Christian doctrine; of those who, having lived in wickedness, becoming converted; of those who desired to be baptized; of the seven days' fast imposed upon them; of the considerable time prescribed the catechumens who were to be baptized, etc., it is clearly expressed thereby, that the baptism of which he here speaks, is far different from the baptism of infants, since these things can in no wise be said of them.

On page 593, num. 5, D. Vicecomes quotes, lib. 2, cap. 4, the following language of Anselm on the words of Paul, Heb. 6:1-3:-"We will not lay again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of baptism, of doctrine, etc., that is, the doctrine which was delivered to you in the beginning."

He explains the words of the apostle (Heb. 6:1-3), which, as every one knows, were written to the believing Hebrew brethren, who, having accepted Christ at the beginning of their faith, had had the same sealed through baptism. They are here exhorted to constancy in the faith accepted, and that they should not return to the principles of the Christian religion, upon which they had been baptized, but must go on to the perfection of the same. This is what Anselm, from said words, sought to impress, in his time, upon his fellowbelievers in the faith, to the end, that they might observe their baptism and the confession of the same, to the honor of God, the edification of their neighbor, and the salvation of their own souls.

On same page, Vicecomes, lib. 5, cap. 35, Anselm, on Luke 2, says, "Even as Jesus, after the purification, was brought into the Temple, so those who become believers, are brought into the church of Christ."

When he speaks of those who, becoming believers, are brought into the church of Christ, he has respect to such as, having been baptized upon faith, are through this means, recognized and received as members in the Christian church; for this is the purpose for which this passage of Anselm is adduced in Bapt. Hist.

As to the twelve Ephesian men, of whom we read, Acts 19:1-5, who had been baptized with the baptism of John, he asserts in his explanation on Matt. 3, that they were rebaptized by Paul, assigning as a reason of this, that the baptism of John could not properly give remission of sins, because the blood of Christ which blots out sin, had not then been shed; again, because John, who was a forerunner of Christ's preaching, was also (according to his explanation) a forerunner of baptism.

About A. D. 1024, close to, or a little after, the time of Anselm, a place is given to one Algerus, who, though writing somewhat obscurely on bap ism, gives so much light on the subject, that an impartial Christian heart can readily decide from it, that, in said matter, he followed the evangelical truth, according to the doctrine of Christ and the practice of His apostles; in proof of which we will present a few examples.

In Bapt. Hist. page 583.-Algerus says (lib. 3, de Euchar, cap. 3), "Who can regenerate a child of the devil to a child of God, except God the Father? Who can justify sinners, except He who died for our sins? And, since everything which is done in baptism, is spiritual, who can perform it, except the Holy Ghost?"

He tells in the above place, whence baptism has its power, and whence its operations chiefly proceed; and certainly, he does not seek, find, or show it in the water, as is done by many who, at the present day, baptize infants, especially by the Romanists; but he seeks, finds, and shows it in the operation of God the Lord, whom he calls by the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. To God the Father he ascribes, that He regenerates the candidate from a child of the devil to a child of God. Of the Son he states, that He, having died for our sins, justifies sinners when they are baptized. Of the Holy Ghost he says, that, since all that is done in baptism, is spiritual, so all that is effected in baptism, is spiritually performed by the Holy Ghost. Now, let everyone judge, without prejudice, whether such operations can have place in infants, or in adults (when they are baptized); and we are confident that the instant reply will be, that not the former, but the latter, is conformable to the truth.

Page 585, num. 9. Of the power and benefit of baptism, Algerus says (lib. 3, de Euchar., cap. 4,), "In order that the grace of God may abound over us, it has reference, in the sacramental form (namely, of baptism) not so much to worthiness and respectability, as to their equal fitness'; for, as water quenches, cleanses and purifies, better than all other liquids, even so baptism quenches the lasciviousness of the flesh, and washes off the impurity of sin, of actual sins as well as," etc.

Here, again, several things are mentioned, which are not applicable to infant baptism, but speak sufficiently against it. For, in the first place, when it is here said of the grace of God, that it has reference, in the sacramental form (namely, of baptism) not so much to the worthiness or respectability, namely, of the persons to whom the sacramental form, or baptism, may be administered, as to their equal fitness; there is certainly indicated, in the candidates, some fitness to which the grace of God has regard; but what fitness can there be in the candidates, to which the grace of God may have regard, if it is not faith in Jesus Christ, true repentance, obedience to God's commandments, and such like things as are requisite to baptism?

In the second place, when it is averred in said passage"that baptism quenches the lasciviousness of the flesh, and washes off the umpurity of sin, of


Page 262

actual sin as well as," etc., it is evident, again, that he treats of such a baptism and of such candidates, wherein lasciviousness of the flesh, impurity of sin, yea, actual sins, etc., can be washed off;for, otherwise he would contradict himself. But what kind of persons these are, in whom such sins can have place, and who need to be washed from them, whether infants or adult persons are meant thereby, the intelligent may judge.

About A. D. 1042.-Or almost in the middle of the eleventh century, Buchard of Worms (in Germany) flourished, who makes mention, among other things, of the examinations in the faith, to which it was customary, either in his time or before, to subject the candidates, at baptism. Concerning this, D. Vicecomes (lib. 2, cap. 28), in his allegations respecting baptism in the eleventh century, gives the following account, which is also found in Bapt. Hist., page 592, mum. 1, "Buehard of Worms (lib. 6, de Sacram. Eccles.) says: 'The examinations are for the purpose of ascertaining whether he (the candidate), after renouncing Satan, has the holy words of the faith confessed, deeply rooted in his heart, and intends to continue steadfastly in the faith."'

This is certainly plain language concerning baptism upon faith and the confession of the same, according to the institution of Christ, and the example of the apostles and the first apostolical church; hence we need add not a word of explanation, and will therefore proceed to others who, in or about that time, taught the same doctrine, and, as much as lay in their ability, confirmed it in their deeds.

A. D. 1051.-This is the year in which the learned Lanfrancus, who also showed himself opposed to infant baptism, and dissuaded from it, is introduced by the writers. See P. 1. Twisck, Chron., page 383, col. 1, from Guitmundus, and Sebastian Franck, fol. 58.

A. D. 1060.-Two eminent, learned, and wellmeaning persons, who were greatly celebrated on. account of their great learning and boldness, at this time displayed their greatest strength in rejecting infant baptism and other articles of the Roman church. One of these was Bruno, Bishop of Angiers in France; the other, Berengarius, his deacon. They had begun to teach said doctrine as early as the year 1035, and continued therein for many years, yea, Berengarius, besides the article against transubstantiation, maintained it, as the chronicles show, until .the year 1079.

But, in order to sum up all this briefly, we will present what is recorded, concerning this matter, in the Introduction to the Martyrs' Mirror, page 48, col. 2, we read, "In A. D. 1035,Berengarius, arch deacon of Amgiers, in France, together with Bruno, the Bishop of said city, began to teach against transubstantiation and infant baptism. Their doctrine immediately spread throughout all France and Germany. Against it, Pope Leo IX held, A. D. 1050, two synods, one at Rome, the other at Versailles (Baron., A. D. 1050, mum. 1), in which the doctrine of these two men was condemned.

Afterwards, when Berengarius did not cease to promulgate his doctrine, another synod was held, A. D. 1055, -at Tours in France (Baron., A. D. 1055, mum. 4), in which Berengarius feigned repentance; but as soon as Hildebrand, who afterwards became pope, had gone away, he again maintained his doctrine., "Afterwards, Pope Nicholas II held a synod (Baron., A. D. 1059, mum. 3, 4), and summoned Berengarius before it, who, for the second time, either from fear or human weakness, pretended to recant, burning the writings of Johannes Scotus, from which he had derived his views respecting transubstantiation; but seeing immediately opportunity again, he returned to his old belief; and composed different writings concerning it, against which some others have written., "Subsequently, Hildebrand, who had now become pope, and was called Gregory VII, held a synod in Rome, A. D. 1079, where, as Baronius, who judges as a Romanist and papist says, Berengarius, again renounced his doctrine. But how true this is, we leave to God., "It is evident," says the author to theIntroduction, "that he maintained this doctrine for fortyfour years, and filled Germany and France with it; from which it can be inferred, that the same, even as it had itself proceeded from previously existing writings, in its turn left many disciples." Imtrod., page 48, col. 2, and 49, col. 1.

But though the doctrine of Bruno and Berengarius commenced in the year 1035 and ended about A. D. 1079, as far as these two persons are concerned (for, otherwise it is a doctrine that began with Christ and will end only at the end of the world), yet, said doctrine displayed its greatest power, through these two persons, and encountered the most opposition, about the year 1060, as appears from the account of Jac. Mehrning and H. Montanus, who unanimously state the following:, "A. D. 1060, Bruno, Bishop of Angiers, and Berengarius, his deacon, rejected infant baptism." See Guitmundus, Bishop of Avers, and Duramdus, Bishop of Luyck. These are their words, "Bruno, Bishop of Angiers, and Berengarius of Tours, annul the baptism of infants as much as is in their power; so that they, discarding infant baptism, counsel men to plunge themselves without fear into the deep abyss of all manner of wickedness; saying that they are not to be baptized, until they attain to years of understanding." Jac. Mehrn., Bapt. Hist., pp. 591, 592. H. Montan. Nietighd., pages 82, 83, from Guitm. in Principio Dialogi de Veritate Eucharistiae. Durand, in Epist. contra Brumom and Berengarium; also, Baron., A. D. 1035, mum. 1; also, Alan., lib. 1, contra Hceretic, sui Temporis, pages 103, 104, 105.

It seems that the matter of the accusation of these two men, Bruno and Berenearius, rose to


Page 263

such a pitch, that they were subjected to an examination, in order to ascertain the grounds of their faith, and to judge them accordingly.

The author of an anonymous manuscript found in the library of Baron Caraw. de Clepton., writes of the examination of said Bruno, saying, that he himself was present when Bruno, the defender of Berengarius, was interrogated in regard to his faith; and that they both, Bruno and Berengarius, said that infant baptism was not necessary to salvation. See also 1.Mehrn., Bapt. Hist., page 685.

About A. D. 1068.-D. Vicecomes quotes from a manuscript book of ceremonies, by Beroldus, which, treating of certain religious ceremonies of that time, makes mention also of baptism, and how it was administered then among those of whom he writes. But, to come to the matter; when, noting from this book, the first address made to novices (whom he terms children, according to the manner of Christ, who also called His disciples children, John 21:5), he says, that, the door having been opened, they were thus addressed, "Enter, ye children, into the house of God; hear your father (the teacher) teach you the way of wisdom." Bapt. Hist., page 592, mum. 3, hicecom., lib. 2, cap. 43.

He then relates what occurred when the doors were closed, and the novices were in the assembly; how the bishop or teacher then delivered to them the symbol, that is, the creed; and how he presented or repeated to them the faith, according to the language of the gospels, and then said, "Hear the faith: I believe on God the Father." Above page, hicecom., lib. 3,cap. 14.

The other circumstances related there we pass by; it sufces us to have seen that then the novices (before they were baptized), were taught the way of wisdom; that the faith was presented to them, and that they were instructed in it, which are things that cannot be done with infants, and, hence, prove, that in the church where this practice was observed, infant baptism was unknown, or, at least, was not practiced there.

About A. D. 1076, or right after Beroldus, one Ado, surnamed Trevirensis, a teacher of that time, is introduced; of whom it is stated that, in administering baptism, he admonished the candidates not only in the knowledge of the faith, but also to the practice of it, that is, to fast, to humble themselves. Of these matters an instance is given, which is related as follows inBapt. Hist., page 593, mum. 4, "When a certain woman, called Syranna, became a believer, he (Ado) thanked God for her, imposed a fast upon her, and fold her how she should humble herself, and having taus instructed her, together with her son, he baptized them." Vicecom., lib. 3, cap. 12.

A. D. 1090.-At this time lived and wrote, it is stated, the teacher and historian Juo, surnamed Oarnotensis, from the place Carnuto, where he resided. According to the testimony of ancient writers, he opposed common popery in various points of doctrine, teaching in such a manner concerning the only Mediator, Christ Jesus, church service, against monachism; against the difference of meats, and of the Supper, that the papists took offense thereat, and considered him a seditious and schismatical person.

NOTE.-Juo Carnotensis makes some mention also of the origin of infant baptism, how the same arose in the Roman church."The church," he says,"having now been sufficiently spread and gathered among the Gentiles; in order that her children, who departed this life before they had attained to the years of understanding, might not remain strangers to the communion of Christ, it was desired to provide them with this medicine of salvation (with baptism); and thus they were baptized with the sacrament of faith." Bapt. Hist., pp. 587, 588, from Cent. Magd. XI., cap. 6.

However, it is not our purpose to write here of all these things; partly, because this, through default of the authors, cannot be done circumstantially; and partly, because we only intended to write something of baptism, with regard to which we will also adduce the testimony of Juo. What he may have written concerning this subject, in other respects, while he was yet unenlightened, we pass by, and will only speak of that which he, when he had become enlightened and had attained to knowledge, wrote salutarily and correctly on this article.

Bapt. Hist., page 588, mum. 6, Juo writes, "To the hearers of the new life, the apostolic creed is delivered, which they publicly confess before baptism." Ex Meginh. de Fide.

Page 590, mum. 14, the following is quoted from Juo, "During the answers to the threefold question, the catechumen (that is, the novice who has learned the faith) is washed from the filth of the old wickedness (namely, through baptism), and puts on the new man."

Page 594, mum. 7. D. Vicecomes (lib. 1, cap. 25) quotes the following account from Juo, "Then those who were to be baptized on the holy Easter Sabbath, were led, in the fourth week of the forty days' fast, and on the fourth day of said week, to the church (or, to the assembly), to be taught and examined in the catechism (that is, in the instruction of the faith), and further instructed, how they should fight against spiritual wickedness; yet, their baptism was deferred till holy Easter Sabbath." Serm. de Saeram. Initiat.

Same page as above."On that day, those who desire baptism, come to the church (or, to the assembly), that they may be received into the order (or number) of the catechumens, and may throw off, by holy prayers, the yoke of the devil." D. Vicecom,., lib. 2, cap. 30.

Page 595.-Juo (from August.) adduces these words, "At the water of baptism, before we baptized you, we asked: Do you believe on God the Almighty?" D. hicecom., lib. 4, cap. 7.

From these five passages of Juo it is evident, virtually as well as from the circumstances, that he treats of no other baptism than that which is ac


Page 264

companied with instruction, faith, confession of the faith, and observance of the same; in short, that he speaks of a baptism which, as appears from his own words, cannot well, yea, not at all, be reconciled with infant baptism. For, in the first passage he makes mention of a creed, which the candidates had to confess publicly before baptism. In the second passage he speaks of the answers which the catechumens gave to the threefold question put to them before baptism; and that they were then washed from the filth of the old wickedness, and did put on the new man. In the third passage he relates how those who were to be baptized on the holy Easter Sabbath, were first examined in the faith, and further instructed, in the fourth week of the forty days' fast. In the fourth passage he says that on that day those who desired baptism, came to the church or assembly, to be received into the order or number of the catechumens, and to pray. In the fifth passage he mentions what the candidates were asked at the water of baptism, namely, whether they believed on God, the Almighty.

All these are things that pertain only to the adult and intelligent, and cannot be comprehended, much less practiced by infants.

We will conclude this with the account of P. J. Twisck, who, besides what he has mentioned concerning baptism, briefly notices several other articles which Juo taught contrary to the common belief of the Roman church. He writes, "Juo, Bishop of Carnuto, zealously taught of Christ, the only Mediator, of church service, against monachism, against the difference of meats, and of the Supper." Chron., page 416, col. 2, from Catal. Test., Tom. 2, fol. 346.

It is very probable, since we have never heard of his having recanted, that this Juo, who began his doctrine, or, at least, maintained it the most vigorously, in the year 1090, continued therein to the end, and thus concluded the eleventh century with it. Hence, we will close here, and see which pious witnesses of Jesus Christ suffered at this time.