SUMMARY OF BAPTISM IN THE NINTH CENTURY
This account begins with a sad lamentation, that nearly all the learned and celebrated men were corrupted through the Roman superstitions.
Immediately, however, a consolation follows, namely, that in this corrupt age there were still people who did not adhere to the Roman superstitions.
Then it is shown from Haimo, that teaching must precede baptism; that the candidate must first be instructed; that he must first be enlightened, etc. Thereupon, in the margin, A. S. 821, it is noticed that Christus Taurinensus wrote against the invocation of images, of the cross, of relics, of the saints, and against the power of the pope, pilgrimages, etc. In the margin, for the year 825, a certain council of Paris is adduced, against image worship. In .the same place, Gratian says that Christians must not oppose weapon with weapon, but flee before persecution.
Rabanus Maurus appears, A. D. 830, and teaches how in his time the catechumens were prepared for baptism. Of those who asked for baptism, and made haste for it. His exposition of Cant. 3:6, "Who is this that cometh up white as snow?" Again, that the candidate must previously be instructed in the faith of the incarnation of Jesus Christ; also, that in the sacrament of the Supper, the language is figurative.
Angelomus follows Rabanus, teaching that the sins which have been committed through the senses, are washed away (that.is, forgiven) in or through baptism; which is more fully explained.
Thereupon, A. D. 840, Bertram, Heymon, and Walafrid appear, who declare themselves against the Roman church, in various points, as in the matter of baptism, transubstantiation, justification, good works as practiced by the papists.
The council of the Christians at Paris, in .the time of Louis and Lothaire, is introduced; lamentation on account of the encroachment of infant baptism, and the neglect of the instruction once connected with baptism.
The conversion of the Slaves (of Slavonia) is stated; also, that they were baptized, though not
according to the Roman custom, nor in the Roman language. Marginal notice, for A. D. 843, that Christus Lupim at Ferrara refuted the new Roman doctrines, as purgatory.
A few good things respecting the baptism of adults are adduced, for the year 848, and explained in a simple manner. In the margin, for A. D. 858, it is stated of Gunther, Bishop of Cologne, that he calls the pope a tyrant, yea, a wolf.
Idiota declares that in baptism we accept Christ as our bridegroom. In the margin, mention is made of Ulric, Bishop of Augsburg, that he accused the pope of error.
Hincmar, Bishop of Landun, opposes the baptism of infants, and prohibits their being baptized; on account of which he is severely accused.
Paschasius advances three things which are incompatible with infant baptism.
Remigius teaches against the pope; likewise, Tergand, Bishop of Triers, who calls him antichrist, and Rome Babylon. Conclusion from P. J. Twisck and John Patrick.]
Jesus Christ our Saviour, speaking of the grievous times which should come after His departure, says, (Matt. 24:12), "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." This was experienced at this time; for with the growth and increase, through very many ungodly and unrighteous superstitions, of the iniquities of the pope of Rome and the whole Roman church, the true love for God's commandments decreased, so that but few were found, who, as bright lights, penetrated the smoke that came up from the Roman pit; yea, nearly all men of learning and celebrity were corrupt. O sad and lamentable matter 1*
Nevertheless, as Noah and his family served God in the first world; Lot, in Sodom; Daniel and the three youths, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in Babylon; Elijah and the seven thousand who were hidden and had not bowed their knees to Baal, in the land of Israel, where the prophets of the Lord were slain, and his altars thrown down; even so there remained some, though but few, at this time, who, living in the midst of popery, did not adhere to the Roman superstitions, but abhorred them.
However, in order to avoid prolixity, we shall confine ourselves, omitting, as has been our custom, other points to the article of baptism, except where it may be found necessary to add something else; and shall show when and by whom this article, with the rejection of infant baptism, was maintained salutarily and in the fear of God, according to His words. Hence we will begin thus.
A. D. 814-In the days of Louis the Pious, the first of this name, who began to reign with the
* A.D. 812, disputes began to arise in the Roman church, concerning transubstantiation, or the changing of the bread and wine into the sacrament; so that the custom of the holy Supper was converted into idolatry. P. J. Twisck, Chron., 9th book, page 279, col. 1, from Chron. Mich., 2d part, fol. 175, Zegh., fo. 245. year 814, there lived and wrote the celebrated Haimo, of whom various praiseworthy things concerning baptism upon faith are still extant.
Haimo, on Matt. 28:19, (Bapt. Hist. page 561,) writes, "In this place the order how to baptize aright is pointed out to us; in which it is ordained, that teaching must precede baptism, for he says
'Teach all nations;' and then adds: 'baptizing them.' He, then, that is to be baptized, must previously be instructed, that he may first learn faith, which he shall afterwards receive in baptism."
How could any one give clearer testimony concerning the true baptism of Jesus Christ? How, also, could anybody more plainly reject infant baptism, than by such a declaration? Every word emphatically says it.
He begins with Matt. 28:19, where the Lord says, "Go ye therefore, and teach," or, in other words make disciples of; which he explains thus
"that teaching must precede baptism;" for the Lord first says: teach, and then, baptize, and that therefore he that is to be baptized, must first be instructed, and learn the faith. Certainly, these are things which pertain only to the adult and intelligent, hence it would be sinning against the truth to apply them to unintelligent infants.
Haimo (Sean. Domin, 12, Trinit., page 564) says, "Since those who are baptized, must first be enlightened with the grace of the Holy Spirit, then instructed by the teachers, and finally called to confess the faith, hence arises the custom that," etc.
This accords fully with the preceding; fox he declares the same still more plainly, since here not only instructing is joined to baptizing, but the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the instruction of the teachers, and the confession of the faith are connected with, yea, required before baptism; which is so clear, according to the purport of the first declaration, that it is unnecessary to add another word; the impartial may judge. As to what he further says in the same place, concerning the touching of the tongue, the saying of the word Hephphatha,etc., we leave as it is, neither praising nor censuring it, since it is of little consequence, if the truth and the signification of the matter is rightly preserved.
Haimo, on Rom. 1 (page 542), writes, "At the time of baptism we confess that we believe on God the Father, and on the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Holy Ghost; likewise, that we renounce the devil and all his pomp and works. If we observe this thus, we belong to God in faith; but if we do not, we are convinced of unbelief."*
A little before, in his exposition of Rom. 6 (page 540), he makes mention of four different
* A.D. 821 (writes P. J. Twisk), that is, in the time of the Roman Emperor Louis, there lived Christus Taurinensus, who wrote and taught against the invocation of the images, of the cross, of the relics, of the saints and against the power of the Pope, and pilgrimages.-Chron., 9th book, page 280, col. 2, from job. Munst., fol. 132.
baptisms: 1. In the water only, as was John's baptism. 2. In fire and the Spirit, with which the apostles were baptized on the day of Pentecost. 3. In water and the Spirit, which baptism then obtained in the church. 4. In the shedding of the blood with which the Lord Himself and all the holy martyrs were baptized.
These four different baptisms can pertain to none but the intelligent and believing; for, as regards the first, namely, John's baptism, it is expressly stated that those to whom it was administered, confessed their sins and repented. Matt. 3:6, 8, 11. As to the second, namely, the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, which was administered to the apostles by God Himself from heaven, this did not at all relate to infants, seeing that all who were thus baptized, spake with tongues and magnified God. Acts 2:3, 4. Concerning the third, namely, the baptism in water and the Spirit, which then obtained in the church, this likewise could not be peculiar to infants, since the fruits of the Holy Ghost, without which the Holy Ghost cannot be, do in no wise appear in them. See Gal. 5:22. Respecting the fourth, namely, the baptism by the shedding of blood, this, according to his statement, is peculiar only to Christ and the martyrs; consequently it cannot be regarded as applying to infants, for these do not even know of confessing Christ, much less of suffering one's blood to be shed for His name's sake, and of dying in constancy.
Continuing, he shows in the same place (Rom. 6) that in him that is to be baptized, there must be three invisible things: 1. Faith. 2. The soul, which is washed from sin. 3. The Holy Ghost, by whose co-operation the forgiveness of sins is imparted. We would explain these things more fully; but since this is a passage expressed in almost the very words which Albinus, in the preceding century, for the year 792, wrote (on John 15), of which, we gave an explanation, we will, to avoid repetition, take leave therefrom, referring the reader to said explanation.
Haimo teaches, on Canticles 4 (page 544), that all who desire to become brethren must be baptized, saying, "Without the washing of baptism, no one can be a true believer."
What else is this than what the holy Scripture teaches, namely, that in baptism we put on Christ? and that by faith (which is professed in baptism) we become the children of God? Paul says, "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized have put on Christ" (Gal. 3:26, 27).
But someone may think: Haimo speaks of becoming brethren by baptism; whereas Paul speaks of becoming children of God, of putting on Christ, etc. True, beloved reader; but who, with only a little experience in the holy Scriptures, knows not that to be a child of God, or to be a brother of the church of Christ, is one and the same thing? Cer ainly, it is the same; for the same Spirit that make us children of God, also makes us brethren of Christ, yea, joint heirs with Him. Rom. 8:15-17. For this reason, Christ calls them both His brethren and His children, saying, "I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." And again, "Behold, here am I and the children which God hath given me." Hell. 2:12, 13. Who now shall say that Haimo, who calls the baptized, brethren, and Paul, who terms them children of God, contradict each other? Their accordance is sufficiently proved, and at this we will let it rest.
Of the dignity of baptism, Haimo, on Hos. 2 (page 547), says, "Baptism is sanctified by faith in the sufferings of our Lord.", "What doth hinder me to be baptized?" said the Ethiopian to Philip. Philip replied, "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest" (Acts 8: 36, 37); indicating that, in order to receive baptism worthily, sincere faith is required, by which baptism is sanctified, which is just what Haimo has expressed in the above words; and thus his words agree with those of the holy Scripture which we have quoted .*
The righteous, Haimo says, on Ps. 38 (page 548), "Live in baptism, in which they die unto sin and the . world."
Again, on Ps. 136, he says, "By the Red Sea we understand holy baptism, which (so to speak) is red, being sanctified through the blood of Christ," and a little further on, "By the impartation of the same, the believers begin (to proceed) in the way by which they come to God."
On Zech. 13 he says, "When we receive the faith, we are regenerated in Christ, and in baptism we are washed from all our sins; and they that through faith are regenerated in baptism, are made children of God.
Again, on Cant. 1, he speaks thus, "As Israel was preserved in the Red Sea, but Pharaoh drowned, even so the church of the Gentiles, by baptism, is delivered from the bondage of the devil, and led into the true land of promise, to the liberty of the Gospel; thus she who was formerly an handmaid of iniquity, is become a friendt [beloved] of Christ, cleansed and washed, by baptism, from the filth of sin."
These passages are like the jets of a fountain, which, though they shoot forth in different places, proceed from one source. In the first passage, it is said of the righteous, that they"live in baptism, yea, die unto sin and the world." The life spoken of here signifies a spiritual life, and is contrasted with death, which comes by sin; the dying unto sin and the world, signifies a forsaking and renounc-
* The following passages by Haimo from Ps. 38, to Cant. 1, are apparently quoted by Idiota.-Bapt. Hist., pages 547, 548.
* In the Dutch translation of the Bible, in the Book of Canticles, the word corresponding to"love, whenever this is applied as a term of endearment to the church, by Christ, is"vriendinne," i. e., friend; hence the allusion is not so apparent in the passage as translated here into English.-Translator.
ing of the same, which can be done only by those who previously adhered to, and loved, sin and the world.
In the second passage, baptism is compared to the Red Sea, and it is said that"by the impartation of the same, the believers proceed." But is not this the very thing which Paul spoke of the figurative baptism of the believing patriarchs, saying, "Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the (Red) sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (I Cor. 10:1, 2); which is not to be understood of infants that were wont to be carried, but of adult persons, who were able to proceed and walk.
In the third passage, faith, regeneration, baptism, and being made children of God, are joined together."They that through faith are regenerated in baptism, are made children of God," he writes. But how can this be interpreted otherwise, than with reference to intelligent persons, who, having attained to faith, by the hearing of the Word of God, are regenerated, and, in token thereof, baptized, and adopted as children of God into His church? Faith certainly comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Rom. 10:17. Regeneration takes place after the death of the first birth, or after the mortifying of the old man. John 3:4, 5; Rom. 6:4. Baptism is administered to the believing and regenerated, as a sign of faith,and regeneration. Acts 8:37; Tit. 3:5. Those are made children of God, who, through faith, have put on Christ, and, in proof of this, have been baptized. John 1:12, compared with Gal. 3:26, 27. Judge now, whether these are things that can be done by new-born infants. I am fully confident that you will say: No. Yet, these things are connected with baptism, not only by Haimo, but principally by God, in the holy Scriptures; yea, without them, baptism is of no value. Hence we say, "What God has joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matt. 19:6).
In the fourth passage it is said, that"The church of the Gentiles, by baptism, is delivered from the bondage of the devil," and that"she who was a handmaid of iniquity, is (thus) become a friend [beloved] of Christ." This certainly savors not at all of infant baptism, for it cannot be said of infants, that they are the church of the Gentiles, under the bondage of the devil, a handmaid of iniquity, nor that they, by baptism, are delivered from the service of the devil, and become a friend of Christ. Certainly, no one can be delivered from the service of the devil, but he who has served the devil; no other can be liberated from the servitude of iniquity except she who previously committed iniquity; she who previously blasphemed; no other can be adopted as a friend of Christ, than she who formerly, by wicked works, was at enmity with Christ; consequently it is indisputable, that this cannot be understood of infants, seeing these things can have no place with them; this even those who maintain infant baptism, must admit, and hence we dismiss the subject., "The adult (candidates) also made confession of their sins, and a penance was imposed on them, for forty, twenty or seven days." Haimo, on Heb. 6. (˘. 552).
Here adult and not infant candidates are spoken of, yea, such, upon whom, when they had made confession of sins, a penance (or amendment of life) was imposed; which are things pertaining to adults, and not to little children; this is too plain to be refuted.
Said baptism was so firmly maintained and thus valued by Haimo, that he held that it should never be repeated, if it had been administered according to the rule of the holy Scriptures; for, treating of the 6th chapter of Romans, he says, by way of exposition, "If we have once died unto sin in baptism, we may not be baptized again." Bapt. Hist., p. 543. This well accords with the custom of the Anabaptists of the present day; for, though they rebaptize such as have been baptized in their infancy, when they attain to the faith; regarding the baptism which is received in infancy as no baptism at all, because it is not according to holy Scripture; yet no one is rebaptized by them, who has been baptised aright, that is, upon faith.
NOTE. A. D. 825.-The council held at Paris, A. D. 825, decreed against image worship. Sam. Veltius, Geslacht-register, page 127. Gratian said to his contemporaries, "The Lord, in saying to His disciples: 'When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another,' teaches that Christians when persecuted, should not repel weapon with weapon, but flee therefrom." See Grondelijke Verklaringe Danielis ende Johannis, printed at Harlem, in the year 1635, p. 56.
A. D. 830.*-It is stated that A. D. 830, in the sixteenth year of the reign of Emperor Louis 1, surnamed the Pious, there shone forth as a bright light, and wrote, one Rabanus Maurus, residing at Fulda, who, among various things written by him against the Roman church, also speaks of baptism, in the discussion of which he throughout employs such language as pertains only to believers, and in no wise to infants; notwithstanding he at one time, it appears, had been a maintainer of infant baptism, and many other superstitions of popery, so much so that he had been an abbot. But passing this by, we shall show what he wrote of baptism, and how closely it agrees with the teaching of the holy Scriptures.
In Jacob Mehrning's history of baptism, various passages from Rabanus Maurus are adduced, some of which, it is suspected, have been attributed to him unjustly, or, at least, that, if he has written them, he wrote them before he was enlightened nr converted; as, among others, in lib. 2, de Proprit.
* The proper time for baptizing was still Easter and Whitsuntide.-Bapt. Hist.. page 550 num. 2. White garments were put on those baptized. which signified the innocence, salvation and purity of the Christian; that they should henceforth, all through life, keep themselves unspotted from iniquity.-Page 553, num. 14.
Serm., cap. 200; again,. lib. 4, cap. 10; of which we let the intelligent judge.
Nevertheless various things are found, which, we doubt not, are justly ascribed to him, as, for instance: Of the instruction of the catechumens before baptism, and how the novices ought to learn the faith before they are baptized. In Decretis de Consecrat. dirt. 4, cap. Ante Bapt., ex Rabalno, Bapt. Hist., page 560. Likewise, the quotation made by Vicecomes(lib. 2, cap. 40) from Rabanus (in lib. de instruct. Cleric.), which reads as follows, "The order according to which the catechumens are prepared for baptism, is this: First they are interrogated whether they renounce the devil," etc. Bapt. Hist., page 562. The rest we omit.
By this he indicates, that in his time, in the church of which he was a member, the custom of preparing the novices for baptism was still observed, inasmuch as first, the instruction of the faith, called the catechism, was presented and taught them; also, that they had to renounce Satan, &c.; which was observed not only at this time, but in nearly all the preceding times, as appears from this passage, "They are wont to renounce the devil with his works and pomp." Syn. Turon. Bapt. Hist., page 516, num. 7.
That in the time of Rabanus the instruction of novices extended not only to those of heathen descent, but also to such as were born of Christian parents, is declared by Jacob Mehrning, Bapt. Hist., page 560, contra Rulichium.
D. Vicecomes (lib. 3, cap. 9), quotes from Rabanus Maurus (page 562), "The fellow petitioners for baptism are those who, through the doctrine of the faith, and by refraining from disorderly conduct, make haste to receive the grace of Christ in baptism."
This confirms our former assertion, namely, that before baptism a preparation had to be made, in order that it (baptism) might be received worthily; which preparation is here called"the doctrine of the faith and refraining from disorderly conduct." In it are comprised both parts of the doctrine which John presented to those who came to his baptism, saying, "Repent ye, and believe," etc. Matt. 3:2, compared with Mark 1:15, and Acts 19:4.
Moreover, they are called fellow petitioners, and it is said that"They make haste to receive the grace of Christ in baptism," which are things that cannot be done by infants.
Hence he writes, on Cant. 3:6, (page 540): "Who is this that cometh up white as snow?" applying the same to the candidates, who, cleansed from their former sins, come up from baptism, and increase in virtue."This mystery," he says,"is not otherwise than under the invocation of the Holy Trinity, that is, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; thus the Lord says to the apostles, Matt. 28:19: 'Go and teach,"' etc. Hence, when he speaks of coming up from the water, and of the invocation of the Holy Trinity, as well as of the passage, Matt. 28:19, he sufficiently shows that he does not speak of the baptism of infants, since they cannot come up from baptism, nor invoke the Holy Trinity, nor fulfill the passage, Matt. 28; which is too clear to be refuted. We will therefore briefly conclude this accouat of Rabanus with that which P. J. Twisck records concerning him.
THE VIEWS OF RABANUS MAURUS CONCERNING VARIOUS OTHER ARTICLES OF HIS FAITH, ACCORDING TO THE AFORE-MENTIONED AUTHOR
He writes, A. D. 830: "Rabanus, an eminently learned man writes and says: 'The catechism, that is, the doctrine of the faith, shall precede baptism, so that the candidate (catechumen) may first learn the first principles of the faith.'"
He further says, "The Lord Christ first anointed the eyes of the man born blind, with clay made of spittle, before He sent him to the water of Siloam; therefore, the candidate shall first be instructed in the faith of the incarnation of Christ, and, if he then believes, admitted to baptism; that he may know what grace he obtains in baptism, and to whom he owes his service for it."
Again:."Rabanus writes also, that in the sacrament the language is figurative, and that Christ, having gone to heaven (in order that we being regenerated by faith, should long the more ardently for Him) left us this sacrament, as a visible figure and symbol of His flesh and blood, so that we the more abundantly, might apprehend in faith the invisible things." This language, Twisck writes, the Roman church now greatly curses., "He also taught contrary to the Roman. church, of the authority of the holy Scriptures, of justification, repentance, the state of the soul after this life, and against other* papal errors, as his books testify., "The same thing was done at this time, by Angelomus, who treated of the grace of God, good works, and the keys of the church, in opposition to the pope. Chron., 9th book, page 283, from John Munst., fol. 120, 133. John Boea., lib. 4, Grond. Bevijs, letter A. Chron. Seb. Franck, fol. 77, Casp. Swinck, fol. 115.
Same year as above.-This Angelomus just mentioned is referred to in Jacob Mehrning's History of Baptism, in which it is stated that, besides the afore-mentioned views held by him contrary to the Roman church, he left the following testimony with regard to the matter of baptism:
Angelomus (in cap. 7, lib. 3, Reg. 1, page 548), says, "From all that we have sinned with the, " Twisck might have used a less ambiguous phrase here, though we doubt not, that the intelligent reader will readily see what he means; but for fear that some one might misunderstand him, we will add a few words of explanation. The word"other," of course, implies that some errors have already been adduced; strictly speaking, however, he has not adduced the errors, but rather the articles of faith in regard to which errors were held, by the Roman church. -Translator.
sight, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling, we are redeemed through the grace of God, by the washing of the living fountain of water (that is, waterbaptism). But the forgiveness of previous sins is not enough, if we are.not diligent to lay up good works: for, otherwise, the devil who was gone out of the man, finding him empty of good works, returns, manifold, and makes the last state of that man worse than the first.
Hence, when Angelomus here speaks of the sins which before baptism were committed through the senses, as, through the sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling, he certainly indicates thereby, that the persons of whom he speaks, are not unintelligent infants, seeing these can neither use nor abuse their senses, and, consequently, as long as they lack the knowledge and power, they can not sin with them..
Hence it also appears that the baptism of which he speaks, is not infant baptism; for this can have no regard to sins committed previously through the abuse of the senses. The baptism in question, then, is such a baptism as is received by persons who can lay aside previous sins, and lay up good works; who also give no room to the devil gone out of them, that the last state may not be worse than the first; for of all this, Angelomus speaks. We will, therefore, leave this, and proceed to other testimonies serving the same purpose.
A. D. 840.-That at this time not only baptism, but also various other articles of Christian doctrine were maintained contrary to the belief of the Roman church. P. J. Twisek indicates, in his Chronijk., for the year 840, with these words, "Bertram, a courageous and learned man, now vigorously assailed the doctrine of transubstantiation, in a remarkable book, dedicated to the King of France. H.eymon, Bishop of Halberstadt, also contended against this doctrine, and wrote much of baptism, the Supper, justification, good works, and of the church and her office, in opposition to the opinion of the papists. Also Walafrid opposed the new doctrine of the Romanists very vigor -ously.* P. J. Twisck, Chran., 9th book, page286, eol. 2, and page 287, col. 1, from Joh. Munst., fol. 129, and 132.
A. D. 841.-It is recorded that at this time, in the reign of the Emperors Louis and Lothaire, a council was held at Paris, concerning which it is written (chap. 6), "In the beginning of the holy church of God, no one was admitted to receive bap-
* About this time, Bertram taught, in his book of the"Body and Blood of Christ," concerning the words, "This is my body," that this is to be understood figuratively, and that in the Supper, the faith is presented somewhat differently than the eyes externally see, and the taste perceives; also, that the bread and wine are figuratively the body and blood of hrist, and represent to, or keep before us, the remembrance of the sufferings and death of Christ.-Sam. Velt., Geslacht-register, pages 126, 127.
In the Scythian church, (A.D. 840), writes Valfrid Abbas, they used the common mother tongue, and taught that images should not be worshiped 4r honored; that the paschal lamb should not be consecrated; yea, that it was better to aid the poor, than to decorate the churches.-P. J. Twisck, Chron., 9th book, page 286, col. 2, from Casp. Grev., fol. 277. ism, who had not previously been instructed in the faith, and in the mystery of baptism, as is testified by the words of Paul, Rom. 6:3: 'Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?' which passage of the apostle has reference to the sacrament of baptism."
In the council of Laodicea (Tit. 46), it is also written, that"those who desire to come to baptism, shall learn the faith, and recite the same to the bishop or teacher, on the fifth day of the great week."
Again (Tit. 47), "That those who were baptized in sickness, shall, after recovery, diligently study their faith and know what great grace they have received; which words plainly indicate, that those who attain to the Christian faith, are also previously instructed concerning said faith and the mysteries of baptism. But now, sad to relate, also the infants of Christian parents are baptized, who, on account of their tender age, cannot comprehend this matter, which to learn even persons of understanding must exert themselves diligently, and which, owing to the negligence of some, has gone out of use in the Christian church. Oh, what great neglectl Oh, what great mischief." Jacob Mehrning, Bapt. Hist., page 538.
About A. D. 842.-It is stated that at this time a number of slaves who had become converted were baptized, yet not in the Roman manner, nor in the Roman language, as was customary with the Roman church, as well as with all other churches which adhered to the Roman see; but in a different manner and in another language; so that it appears from this occurrence that this church must hive been separated from the superstitions of the Roman church not only in forms, but also, as may be inferred, in faith and practice. To this, the following annotation (Bapt. Hist., page 552, nuns. 9), among others, has reference, "They (those of the Roman church) used the Roman language not only in Italy, but also in other regions that were subject to the papal power; but that baptism was administered also in other languages, is proved by the history of the conversion of the slaves."* Ex. Historia Sclav.
About A. D. 848.-That the instruction of novices, before baptism, obtained also at this time, Jacob Mehrning, Bapt. Hist., pag 550, informs us with these words, "The adults had (then) to be instructed in the faith, and were catechized before baptism, as has been proved above, from Rabanus, Haimo, and others; thereupon they had to confess the faith, as Rabanus(lib. 1, de Cleric. Institutione, cap. 27) relates. They were asked, whether they believed in God the Father, the Almighty, and on His only Son, our Lord, and on the Holy Ghost, a general (Christian) church, forgiveness of sins,
* A.D. 843.-Christus I,upim, at Ferrara, refuted the new Roman doctrines concermng purgatory, matrimony of priests, and other points.--'P. J Twisck, Chron., 9th book, page 288, col. 1, from Catal. Test., fol. 103.
resurrection of the flesh," etc.* Bapt. Hist., p. 550, nuln. 4.
These were good and salutary customs for the upbuilding of the church of God; by which the name of the Lord was praised, the church edified, the Word of God most strictly observed, and the salvation of many promoted. But the ancient saying, "Where God builds a temple, Satan builds one in opposition to it," was also verified here; for, at the same time that those who loved the truth, baptized believers, upon the confession of their faith, nearly all the others, who were called Roman or Greek Christians, baptized infants, who, as every one knows can neither believe nor confess the faith; this has been referred to above.
About A. D. 854.-It is stated that very near the time of Haimo, there lived and wrote Idiota. In I. Mehrning's History of Baptism is found a quotation by him, relating to baptism, which reads as follows, "In holy baptism we accept Christ for our bridegroom, and enter His chamber, which is ornamented with manifold graces and virtues." De Innocentia, cap. 3.
To accept Christ for one's bridegroom, to enter His chamber, is certainly not the work of children, but of believers. Those accept Christ for their bridegroom, who betroth themselves to Him by faith, and in token thereof, are baptized. John 3:26, 29. Those enter His chamber, who, through obedience, join themselves to His church; for they are no more"strangers and foreigners but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God." Eph. 2:18.
That which is further said of the chamber of the bridegroom, namely, that it is ornamented with graces and virtues, has reference to the spiritual ornament of the church of God, which latter is the true chamber of our heavenly bridegroom Jesus Christ. This church of God cannot be ornamented with graces and virtues by infants, seeing infants are ornamented with neither actual graces nor real virtues; hence, it has also respect to the believers, who, having come, through baptism, to the church of God, ornament the same with actual graces and real virtues. This concludes our exposition of the passage of Idiota.
NOTE. A. D. 859.-Huldricus or Uldoricus, Bishop of Augsburg, greatly complained of the violence of the popes, and said, "What will become of this flock, when the shepherds become wolves?" He openly maintained that the pope was fallible, and that it was lawful to admonish him for his error, and to reject his bad decrees. P. J. Twisck, Chron., 9th book, page 298, col. 1, from Merula, fol. 177. Jan. Crespin, fol. 211, 215, 216.
A. D. 860.-At this time, there departed from the belief and practice of infant baptism, Hincmar, at one time Bishop of Laudun, inasmuch as he
A.D. 858.-At this time, Gunther, Bishop of Cologne, wrote to Pope Nicholas, "Thou art playing the tyrant: under the guise of a shepherd we find thee to be a wolf. The title, indeed, is father, but virtually thou showest thyself a Jupiter."-Sm. Vetius, Geslachtregister, page 127. would no longer baptize children, so that they grew up without baptism, and many also, who did not attain the years of understanding, died unbaptized; on account of which he was then greatly accused by Hincmar, Bishop of Rheims, who to this end, wrote to him as follows, "And thou, who knowest that it is true what the Lord says: 'Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven;' hast nevertheless commanded, that infants shall not be baptized in thy church, not even when in peril of death, so that they should not be saved, though it is written: 'The Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.' Thou hast also acted contrary to the decrees of Syricius, Leo, Gelasius, and the African council, as I have informed thee now twice by writing." H. Mont. Nietigh., page 81, ex Bi6ioth, Patr., Tom. 9, past 2, page 137. Cent. 117agd., Cent. 9, cap. 4, pages 40, 41.
In another letter, the Bishop of Rheims with entreating, and not less earnest words, endeavors to draw him away from his belief, writing, "Desist from preaching this (namely, that infants may not be baptized), the mere thought of which is awful; desist from scattering the flock of Christ (meaning thereby, through error, the Roman church), lest the destruction of all the people come upon thee; and do not, from excessive love for thy belief, sever thyself from," etc. H. Mont., page 82, from Cent. Magd., Cent. 9, pages 157, 158. Also, Bapt. Hist.page 545.
From these two letters it appears that Hincmar, Bishop of Laudun, had not only departed from the doctrine of infant baptism, but also earnestly preached against it, so that many of the Roman church, particularly at Laudun, became his adherents; for, what did the Bishop of Rheims mean by writing, "Desist from preaching this," but to say that Hincmar of Laudun should cease preaching against infant baptism? What else does he indicate when he says, "Desist from scattering the flock of Christ, lest the destruction of all the people come upon thee?" Certainly, these words indicate that many had already left the Roman church on this account, yea, that the state of things was such that all the people at Laudun adhered to this doctrine.
Moreover, from the last letter we see, how firmly, and almost immovably, said Hincmar must have stood, at Laudun, in his doctrine and belief against infant baptism, seeing such great endeavors were made to draw him away; now by presenting his belief in the most odious light, as though he preached things the mere thought of which was awful; now by flattery, "And do not, from excessive love for thy belief, sever thyself from," etc. But whether through this he was in any wise turned away from his belief, we have not been able to ascertain; hence we will let the matter rest.
In reference to what he may have tau-,ht with regard to other points, we can, on account of the default of history, give nothing certain; it is sufficient for us, that in those perilous times he dared
oppose the common Roman church, by rejecting infant baptism, and that much people adhered to him therein, as has been shown above.
A. D. 867.-We have now come to the year in which an uncommon and quite unexpected matter is mentioned by ancient writers, of which we will forthwith give an account. Just now, for the year 860, we told of a certain champion of the Roman superstitions, especially of infant baptism, namely, Hancmar, Bishop of Rheims, who, once and again, by express letters, immoderately accused another Hincmar, Bishop of Laudun, because the latter refused to baptize infants, and would also not allow them to be baptized, though they were in danger of dying. This same person now, seven years after making the above accusations respecting the nonbaptizing of infants, opposed the pope, not only in one point, but in many, among which infant baptism may also have been. Concerning this P. J. Twisck, from other authors, writes thus, "Hincmar, Bishop of Rheims, opposed Pope Adrian II in many points, in defense of the truth. He charged him with innovation, saying that he could not be bishop and king at the same time; that he should have nothing to do with secular affairs." Chron., 9th book, page 305, col. 2, from Hist. Georg., fol. 314, Catal. Test., fol. 52.
It is a pity and to be lamented, that the ancients have not left us more information regarding the particular points maintained by Hincmar, Bishop of Rheims, against the pope, and, consequently, also against the Roman church.
It would not be very surprising, if among the points maintained by him against the pope, the denial of infant baptism was one; for, when he, seven years before that, accused Hincmar, Bishop of Laudun, for not baptizing the infants, the latter apparently, either from the holy Scriptures, or by conclusive arguments, demonstrated to him the groundlessness and vanity of infant baptism in such a manner that he may easily have attained to very different views, not only in regard to infant baptism, but also in other points which were maintained after the manner of the papists. But as this is not clearly indicated, we will not discuss it any further, but leave it as a probable conjecture. Moreover, it is not our purpose to justify said bishop in every article of religion, nor to declare him orthodox on the whole; but to show that the same person who had previously so stoutly defended the Roman church and the papal superstitions, especially in the matter of infant baptism, now dared attack not only the Roman church, but even the pope, who is called its head, and to oppose him in many points, as has been shown. With this we take our leave of Hincmar of Rheims.
A. D. 880.-At this time there lived Paschasius, a remarkably experienced and virtuous man, who wrote various things against the belief of the Roman church; but as the thread of our account extends only, or, at least, principally, over the matter of baptism. we will also here turn our special atten ion to the same, and, so as not to be encumbered with many testimonies, present but one passage of his belief with reference to this.matter, as recorded in Jacob Mehrning's history of baptism.
Paschasius (de Corp. and Sang. Dom., cap. 10, page 594) says, "In the sacrament of baptism the door is opened to believers, to enter into the sonship of God, that we, being delivered from evil through this regeneration, may afterwards become one body with the members of Christ; in which baptism, when the Holy Ghost is shed abroad in the souls of the regenerated, the whole church of Christ is quickened, and becomes one body, by one Spirit received by all."
Here he indicates three things incompatible with infant baptism. Firstly, when he says that"In the sacrament of baptism the door is opened to believers, to enter into the sonship of God." For, that this cannot relate to infants, appears from the nature of faith and of the believers; as to faith, it is a sure confidence of the things hoped for. Heb. 11:1. This faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Rom. 10:17. That neither this sure confidence, nor hope, nor intelligent hearing of the Word of God, can have place in infants, is quite evident, since neither their powers nor their knowledge can reach these things. See Deut. 1:39; I Cor. 13:11.
Secondly, when he says, "That we, being delivered from evil through this regeneration, may afterwards become one body with the members of Christ." For the word regeneration is no where in Scripture applied to infants, but to adults. John 3:3; Tit. 3:5. Likewise, to be delivered from evil, is applied only to such persons as, through evil works, were previously ensnared and held captive by sin. II Tim. 2:26. Hence, the second also does in no wise apply to infants.
Thirdly, when he, expounding the utility of baptism, says, "In which baptism, the whole church of Christ is quickened and becomes one body, by one Spirit received by all." For, when mention is made here of the quickening Spirit of God, which in baptism is imparted to the church, or, at least, to those who, by baptism, are incorporated as members into the church, it follows almost incontrovertibly, that this relates neither to infants nor to infant baptism; for, as regards infants, instead of becoming quickened by the Spirit of God, after baptism, that is, instead of becoming adorned with all divine and Christian virtues, we ,see, on the contrary, that they generally, from that time on, as their powers increase, are led by their own spirit, so that with the increasing years, perverseness also increases, yea, sometimes gains the ascendency; hence, those who have reached their years, are admonished, that they must be born again, that is, that they must lead another and better life; or that they cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3:5, 7.
This being the case, it stands fast, that Paschasius, in said passage, speaks neither of infants nor
of infant baptism. Leaving this subject here, we will conclude with the account of P. J. Twisck, who records of Paschasius, besides what we have stated above, that he mentions but two sacraments, namely, 1. baptism; 2. the Supper; or, as it was anciently called, the body and blood of the Lord; which militates against the seven sacraments of the Roman church. P. J. Twisck, Chron., page 310.
Same year as above.--"Remigius," he writes in the same place,"also taught much against the pope, saying, among other things: That we must address our prayers not to idols, but to the living God; and that the church must conform to the holy Scriptures." Chron., 9th book, page 310, col. 1, from John Munst., fol. 61, 131, 133. Perk., fol. 249.
In the meantime, the pious were exceedingly oppressed in this century, by the power of the pope and the Roman clergy; so that, on account of the smoke of the papistic errors, the fire of the pure doctrine could not burn freely, which was also the reason that not more learned and God-fearing men manifested themselves at that time, in defense of the truth of God.
A. D. 900 --That at this time, some dared oppose not only infant baptism and other tenets of the Roman church, but even the Pope of Rome, who might well be called the father of all superstitions, the example of Tergandus sufficiently indicates, who, at this time, dared designate him by the name of antichrist, wolf, etc.; concerning which, Samuel Veltius (from other authors) has noted the following for,the year 900, "Tergandus, Bishop of Treves, called the Pope of Rome antichrist, yea, a wolf, and Rome, Babylon." Geslacht-register, page 128.
NOTE.-We will close with the account of P. J. Twisck, in his conclusion to the ninth century, "In this century, the occidental or western, Roman Empire, which has been at a standstill now for 324 years, begins afresh. The clergy, through the folly of the Emperor, obtain power to elect popes and bishops. The Emperors are crowned by the popes, who will themselves to be the masters and lords and rule before and over others, as is evident from this, that some times, two, three, and four popes reign at once and seek to domineer over the others, expelling, driving away, exhuming, cursing, each other. Spiritual matters are still greatly on the decline, men seeking their salvation far more in so-called good works, in ceremonies and superstitions, than through justification by faith in Christ Jesus. Disputations about transubstantiation are inaugurated, though the Supper is still administered under both forms, that is, with bread and wine. The people, having been to the supper, offer money or something else."
What he further relates of exorcism at baptism; of the mass; of the power to canonize saints; of the worship of saints and images; of the ban of the bishops; of the punishment of heretics; of the consecration of temples; of purgatory; of soul-masses, to redeem souls from purgatory, etc., would re quire too much time to recount. See concerning it, Chron.., page320.
This has been told simply to show how and whereby the orthodox Christians were oppressed at this time in their worship of God; and why so few learned and pious people manifested themselves. We will now proceed to show what pious witnesses of Jesus Christ suffered as martyrs at this time.
NOTE.-A. D. 884.-John Patrick, a man well versed in the Chaldean, Arabian, and Greek languages, in the monastery of Mabelsbury, greatly opposed the doctrine of an offering for the living and the dead; on account of which he was stabbed to death with awls. See Geslacht-register, page 127.