Baptism has always been by Immersion
At Westminster in England on August 8, 1644, after another warm dispute, it was voted that “’pouring or sprinkling water on the face’ was sufficient and most expedient.” This event was reported by the historian, Dr. John Lightfoot, who was present. Out of this meeting came the Westminster Confession of Faith, “a creedal standard for all Presbyterian churches.” This conference was called on June 1, 1643. Some Episcopalians, Independents, and Puritans were present but no Baptists. Lightfoot’s entry for Aug. 7, 1644 tells of a “great heat” in the debate over the issue of baptism. Rabbi Coleman, a great Hebrew scholar and Marshall, a great pulpit orator insisted that the Hebrew word tauveleh – dipping, demanded immersion “overhead.” The vote was 24 for dipping, 25 against it. How did this Presbyterian body, without a Baptist in it, come to such a “great heat” on this subject of immersion if it were a novelty and among believers in England at that time? The answer is clear. Immersion was practiced from the days of the N.T. Dr. Philip Schaff, a member of the German Reformed Church, wrote: In England immersion was the normal mode down to the middle of the 17th century. The New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible with the imprimatur of Francis Cardinal Spellman states: “St. Paul alludes to the manner in which Baptism was ordinarily conferred in the primitive church, by immersion. The descent into the water is suggestive of the descent of the body into the grave, and the ascent is suggestive of the resurrection to a new life.” The ordinance of believer’s baptism has historical perpetuity from the days of the apostles until now.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 325-26.
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