THE NEGRO BAPTIST PULPIT.
that the apostolic baptism was immersion, although they
seek to defend sprinkling by other than New Testament
Baptism is an external rite, but it is full of essential
gospel truth. It symbolizes truths upon which the salva¬
tion of every believer depends. It sets forth the resur¬
rection of Christ, without which no man could be saved.
(1 Cor. 15: 14.) Christ must rise from the grave for our
justification. Upon the resurrection of Christ hung the
validity of Christianity. That was the pivotal point.
That fact must be proveu, and it was. Witnesses of the
fact were abundant, and the apostles never failed, in
preaching, to proclaim it.
Christ's foreknowledge enabled him to grasp the fact of
his resurrection, and so he gave to his churches a beautiful
yet wonderfully expressive ordinance, which through all
coming time would teach men by symbol, that as he died
for our sins, even so he arose for the completion of our
But it must be remembered that we never baptize a man
to save him. We ascribe to baptism no saving power.
Christ alone saves us by his gracious work upon the heart,
and when we baptize a believer, it is on the ground that
he is already saved.
4. Another point to be contended for is, the baptism of
believers only. We are commanded to make disciples out
of all nations, and then to baptize them. (Matt. 28 : 19.)
We have no authority to administer the ordinance to anv
but those who make profession of saving faith iu the Lord
Jesus Christ. To unconscious babes and grown-up sin¬
ners alike we refuse the ordinance. This doctrine is vital.
Its destruction would mean the disintegration of every