anger of Jehovah was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.? Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part I, 2:4 ? ?Faith, I have been a truant in the law, And never yet could frame my will to it, And therefore frame the law unto my will.? As at the Reformation believers rejoiced to restore communion in both kinds, so we should rejoice to restore baptism as to its subjects and as to its meaning. To administer it to a walling and resisting infant or to administer it in any other form than that prescribed by Jesus? command and example is to desecrate and destroy the ordinance.
(b) From the nature of God?s command:
First, is forming a part, not only of the law but also of the fundamental law of the Church of Christ. The power, which is claimed, for a church to change it is not only legislative but also constitutional. Secondly, is expressing the wisdom of the Lawgiver. Power to change the command can be claimed for the church, only on the ground that Christ has failed to adapt the ordinance to changing circumstances and has made obedience to it unnecessarily difficult and humiliating. Thirdly, as providing in immersion the only adequate symbol of those saving truths of the gospel which both of the ordinances have it for their office to set forth and without which they become empty ceremonies and forms. In other words, the church has no right to change the method of administering the ordinance, because such a change vacates the ordinance of its essential meaning. As this argument however, is of such vital importance, we present it more fully in a special discussion of the Symbolism of Baptism.
Abraham Lincoln, in his debates with Douglas, ridiculed the idea that there could be any constitutional way of violating the Constitution. F. L. Anderson: ?In human governments we change the constitution to conform to the will of the people. In the divine government we change the will of the people to conform to the Constitution.? For advocacy of the church?s right to modify the form of an ordinance, see Coleridge, Aids to Reflection, In Works, 1:333-348 ? ?Where a ceremony answered and was intended to answer several purposes, which at its first institution were blended in respect of the time but which, afterward by change of circumstances were necessarily disunited, then either the church hath no power or authority delegated to her or she must be authorized to choose and determine to which of the several purposes the ceremony should be attached.? For example, at first baptism symbolized not only entrance into the church of Christ but also a personal faith in him as Savior and Lord. It is assumed that, entrance into the church and personal faith, are now
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