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himself:-“ About this time King Henry was beset by malicious spirits, raised by the magic of the Duchess of Burgundy, who conjured up from hell the shade of Edward IV. to come and torment King Henry. When the Duchess had instructed Perkins, she began to deliberate in which region of heaven this comet should appear, and resolved that it should first illuminate the horizon of Ireland.” It seems to me, that De Thou deals but little in this style of bombast, which was formerly mistaken for the sublime, but which is now rightly denominated jargon.
BANISHMENT. BANISHMENT for a term of years, or for life;-a penalty inflicted on delinquents, or on individuals who are wished to be considered as such.
Not long ago it was the custom to banish from within the limits of the jurisdiction, for petty thefts, forgeries, and assaults; the result of which was, that the offender became a great robber, forger, or murderer, in some other jurisdiction. This is like throwing into a neighbour's field the stones that incommode us in our own.
Those who have written on the laws of nations, have tormented themselves greatly to determine, whether a man who has been banished from his country can justly be said still to belong to that country. It might almost as well be asked whether a gambler, who has been driven away from a gaming table, is still one of the players at that table.
If by the law of nature a man is permitted to choose his country, still more is the man who has lost the rights of a citizen, at liberty to choose himself a new country. May he bear arms against his former fellow-citizens? Of this we have a thousand examples. How many French protestants, naturalised in England, Holland, or Germany, have served, not only against France, but against armies in which their relatives, their own brothers, have fought? The Greeks in the armies of the King of Persia fought against the Greeks their old fellow-countrymen. The Swiss in the service of Holland have fired upon the Swiss in the service of France. This is even worse than fighting against those who have banished you; for, after all, drawing the sword in revenge does not seem so bad as drawing it for hire.
* If it is contrary to good sense to banish from one jurisdiction into another, banishment from the realm may be regarded as an infraction of the law of nations,
We do not speak of baptism as theologians; we are but poor men of letters, who shall never enter the sanctuary.
The Indians plunge, and have from time immemorial plunged, into the Ganges. Mankind, always guided by their senses, easily imagined that what purified the body likewise purified the soul. In the subterraneous apartments under the Egyptian temples, there were large tubs for the priests and the initiated.
O nimiùm faciles qui tristia crimina cædis
Flumineà tolli posse putatis aquà ! Old Baudier, when he was eighty, made the following comic translation of these lines :
C'est une drole de maxime,
Qu'une lessive efface un crime.
Pump-water thus should cleanse a soul, Every sign being of itself indifferent, God vouchsafed to consecrate this custom amongst the Hebrew people. All foreigners that came to settle in Palestine were baptised: they were called domiciliary proselytes.
They were not forced to receive circumcision, but only to embrace the seven precepts of the Noachides, and to sacrifice to no strange god. The proselytes of justice were circumcised and baptised: the female proselytes were also baptised, quite naked, in the presence of three men,
The most devout among the Jews went and received baptism from the hands of the prophets most venerated by the people. Hence it was that they flocked to St. John, who baptised in the Jordan.
Jesus Christ himself, who never baptised any one, deigned to receive baptism from St. John. This custom, which had long be an accessory of the Jewish religion, received new dignity, new value from our Saviour, and became the chief rite, the principal seal of Christianity. However, the first fifteen bishops of Jerusalem were Jews. The Christians of Palestine long continued to circumcise. St. John's Christians never received baptism from Christ.
Several other Christian societies applied a cautery to the baptised, with a red-hot iron, being determined to the performance of this extraordinary operation by the words of St. John the Baptist, related by St. Luke_“I baptise you with water; but he that cometh after me shall baptise you with fire.”
This was practised by the Seleucians, the Herminians, and some others. The words “ he shall baptise you with fire,” have never been explained. There are several opinions concerning the baptism by fire, which is mentioned by St. Luke and St. Matthew. Perhaps the most likely opinion is, that it was an allusion to the ancient custom of the devotees to the Syrian goddess, who, after plunging into water, imprinted characters on their bodies with a hot iron. With miserable man, all was superstition; but Jesus substituted for these ridiculous superstitions, a sacred ceremony-a divine and efficacious symbol.*
In the first ages of Christianity, nothing was more common than to postpone the receiving of baptism until the last agony. Of this the example of the emperor Constantine is a very strong proof. St. Andrew had not been baptised when he was made bishop of Milan. The custom of deferring the use of the sacred bath until the hour of death, was soon abolished.
* These stigmata were imprinted chiefly on the neck and on the wrist, in order that, from these apparent marks, it might be the better known that the individuals were initiated and belonged to the goddess. See the chapter on the goddess of Syria, written by one of the initiated, and inserted in Lucian. Plus tarch, in his Treatise on Superstition, says
this goddess punished such as ate forbidden meats with sores in the calves of their legs. This may bave some relation with Deuteronomy, which, after forbidding the eating of griffon, camel, eel, &c., says-If thou dost not observe these commandments, "cursed
Baptism of the Dead. The dead also were baptised. This is established by the passage of St. Paul to the Corinthians.-" If we rise not again, what shall they do that receive baptism from the dead?” Here is a point of fact. Either the dead themselves were baptised, or baptism was received in their names, as indulgences have since been received for the deliverance of the souls of friends and relatives out of purgatory,
St. Epiphanius and St. Chrysostom inform us, that it was a custom in some Christian societies, and principally among the Marcionites, to put a living man under the dead man's bed; he was then asked, if he would be baptised; the living man answered, yes; and the corpse was taken and plunged into a tub of water. This custom was soon condemned. St. Paul mentions it, but he does not condemn it; on the contrary, he cites it as an invincible argument to prove resurrection.
Baptism by Aspersion. The Greeks always retained baptism by immersion. The Latins, about the close of the eighth century, haying extended their religion into Gaul and Germany, and seeing that immersion might be fatal to infants in cold countries, substituted simple aspersion, and thus drew upon themselves frequent anathemas from the Greek church.
shalt thou be.
The Lord shall smite thee in the kuees and in the legs with a sore that caugotbe healed."* Thus was the Syrian falsehood the shadow of Hebrew truth, which has itself given place to a truth still more lumiuous.
Baptism by fire-in other words, these stigmata, were everywhere practised. We read in Ezekiel"Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little childreu, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark;"'t and in the Apocalypse-" Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the tree, will we have sealeel the servants of our God in their foreheads. And there were sealed a hundred and fifty-four thousand.
* Chap. xxviii. v. 35. † Chap. xi. v. 9. # Chap. vii. v. 4,5.
St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, was asked, if those were really baptised who had only had their bodies sprinkled all over. He answers, in his seventy-sixth letter, that several churches did not believe the sprinkled to be Christian; that, for his own part, he believes that they are so, but that they have infinitely less grace
than those who have been thrice dipped, according to custom.
A person was initiated among the Christians as soon as he was dipped ; until then he was only a catechumen. To be initiated, it was necessary to have sponsors, to answer to the Church for the fidelity of the new Christians, and that the mysteries should not be divulged. Hence it was, that in the first ages, the Gentiles had, in general, as little knowledge of the Christian mysteries as the Christians had of the mysteries of Isis and the Eleusinian Ceres.
Cyril of Alexandria, in his writing against the Emperor Julian, expresses himself thus—« I would speak of baptism, but that I fear my words would reach them who are not initiated.” At that time there was no worship without its mysteries, its associations, its catechumens, its initiated, and its professed. Each sect required new virtues, and recommended to its penitents a new life—“ initium novæ vitæ,”—whence the word initiation. The initiation of Christians, whether male or female, consisted in their being plunged quite naked into a tub of cold water, to which sign was attached the remission of all their sins. But the difference between Christian baptism and the Greek, Syrian, Egyptian, and Roman ceremonies, was the difference between truth and falsehood. Jesus Christ was the high-priest of the new law.
In the second century, infants began to be baptised: it was natural that the Christians should desire their children, who would have been damned without this