Disciple view); and per contra, Adkins, Disciples and Baptists, booklet pub. by Am. Bap. Pub. Society (the best brief statement of the Baptist position); Bap. Quar., 1877:476-489; 1872:214; Jacob, Eccl. Pol. of N . T., 255, 256.
(b) As the profession of a spiritual change already wrought, baptism is primarily the act, not of the administrator, but of the person baptized.
Upon the person newly regenerate, the command of Christ first terminates; only upon his giving evidence of the change within him does it become the duty of the church to see that he has opportunity to follow Christ in baptism. Since baptism is primarily the act of the convert, no lack of qualification on the part of the administrator invalidates the baptism, so long as the proper outward act is performed, with intent on the part of the person baptized to express the fact of a preceding spiritual renewal ( <440237>Acts 2:37, 38).
<440237> Acts 2:37, 38 ? ?Brethren, what shall we do? Repent ye and be baptized.? If baptism be primarily the act of the administrator or of the church, then invalidity in the administrator or of the church renders the ordinance itself invalid. But if baptism be primarily the act of the person baptized, an act, which it is the church?s business simply to scrutinize and further, then nothing but the absence of immersion or of an intent, to profess faith in Christ, can invalidate the ordinance. It is the erroneous view that baptism is the act of the administrator, which causes the anxiety of High Church Baptists to deduce their Baptist lineage from regularly baptized ministers all the way back to John the Baptist, and which induces many modern endeavors of pedobaptists to prove that the earliest Baptists of England and the Continent did not immerse. All these solicitudes are unnecessary. We have no need to prove a Baptist apostolic succession. If we can derive our doctrine and practice from the New Testament, it is all we require.
The Council of Trent was right in its Canon: ?If any one saith that the baptism, which is even given by heretics in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, with the intention of doing what the church doeth, is not true baptism, let him be anathema.? Dr. Norman Fox: ?it is no more important who baptizes a man than who leads him to Christ.? John Spilsbury, first pastor of the church of Particular Baptists, holding to a limited atonement, in London, was newly baptized in 1633, on the ground that ?baptizedness is not essential to the administrator,? and he repudiated the demand for apostolic succession, as leading logically to the ?popedom of Rome.? In 1641, immersion followed, though two or
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