True Baptism

Frequently the complaint has been made by those of other churches that the teachings of Christian Science do not insist upon the necessity of the rite of baptism. In answer it may be said that in so far as baptism is regarded and celebrated as a creedal rite or ceremony the objection is valid, but in the light of the teachings and practice of Christ Jesus, Christian Scientists maintain that this sacred rite is most truly administered and received by them, "with signs following."

In the third chapter of Matthew we read, "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judæa, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." John also made this acknowledgment: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." Furthermore, we are told that Jesus in his ministry asserted, "I am come to send fire on the earth ... But I have a baptism to be baptized with." In the teaching and works of the Galilean Prophet it was clearly made manifest that his baptism for the remission of sins included also restoration of the infirm to health, since he said: "For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house."

In early life the writer received the rite of baptism by the act of sprinkling. This ceremony is remembered by him today with veneration, for it was a sacred and solemn occasion; yet it entered not into the vital aspects of his life. It did not render him less susceptible to temptation nor free him from tendencies to sickness and disease, but remained in his consciousness only as a beautiful memorial. Years later, after having removed to another state and finding there no church of his own affiliation, he united with another church, and was required by its tenets to receive the rite of baptism by immersion. This, again, was a memorable incident, but it in no way entered into the vital aspect of his career and failed to effect any strikingly visible transformation in character.

Our Right Place
November 27, 1915

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