Christian Science does not repudiate baptism, but accepts...

Shreveport (La.) Journal

Christian Science does not repudiate baptism, but accepts in its entirety what the Scriptures teach on this subject. It is said that Jesus was baptized by John, declaring, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." John was very much astonished when the Lord came to him, as he knew that Jesus and come to establish an order of baptism differing entirely from that which he himself practised; for John had said of the Christ, "He shall indeed baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."

It is said that Jesus himself baptized no man, that is, with water. It was his mission to lift the world entirely above material ordinances and to teach a purely spiritual method of regenerating mankind, a method which was entirely devoid of symbols; and yet he did not condemn those methods which were in vogue, realizing that they were essential stepping-stones for those who were unprepared for the advanced spiritual method which he came to establish. Later, Paul said: "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; ... and I baptized also the household of Stephanns: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." Paul realized the spiritual essentials of Christianity, and he was thankful to have been lifted above material forms. He was one of the most noted masters of the gospel, and yet he did not recommend water baptism.

It is the teaching of Christian Science that John's baptism should give place to the spiritual baptism which Jesus himself practised. In the latter part of Mark's Gospel is found the statement: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; ... And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." This points to the fact that those who are baptized in a spiritual way are endowed with the spiritual understanding requisite to the destroying of sin and sickness. It is said: "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with sings following."

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September 18, 1909

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