Charles Henry Mackintosh

Christian Baptism: What Is It?

A Scriptural Inquiry

C. H. Mackintosh*

Objections AnsweredConclusionFootnotes

"We are buried with him by baptism unto death: that like Christ was raised up from among the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."  (Romans 6:4).

Perhaps there is no subject on which there is among Christians, and godly Christians too, such diversity of judgment as on that of Baptism; and this diversity is surely productive of evil fruit.  We find some Christians altogether neglecting the subject, as if it were a thing of no moment; while many are content with the most vague ideas respecting it, seeming to have settled it in their minds that nothing is plainly revealed, and it is of little importance what is held.

In the face of all this, may not a Christian, nay, ought not a Christian to take the Scriptures, and, in humble dependence upon the Holy Spirit, seek to discover what has been revealed—willing to give up all previous thoughts and opinions, and desire only God's truth, be it what it may?  Can any one say that he has done this, patiently and submissively, and yet been obliged to come to the conclusion that God has revealed nothing clearly on the subject, but that He has left it all so dubious and obscure, that each is at liberty to think what he pleases, or to neglect it altogether?  Surely not; such a thought is altogether unworthy of our God and Father.  We are expressly told that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, [or, complete,] thoroughly furnished unto all good works."  (2 Timothy 3:16,17.)

In the spirit, then, of teachable children—willing, yea, anxious, to be taught, and to obey, anything our Father may please, let us examine His word.

The first mention of Baptism in the New Testament is when John began to preach the baptism of repentance.  "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for [or, unto] the remission of sins."  (Mark 1:4.)  "Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins."  (Matthew 3:5,6.)

One can scarcely but be struck with the way in which the baptism of John is introduced.  There is no explanation given as to the import of the act itself, but it is spoken of as though it were a thing with which the Jews were familiar.

Jewish writers, it is true, tell us that, after the return from the captivity it was usual for them to baptize proselytes as well as circumcise them—indeed, that baptism was essential before they could be received.  But this has been much questioned by others, as it does not appear that we have any such statement by Jewish writers earlier than the second century.2  Still, is it not strange how they arrived at the practice even in the second century, seeing it is not probable that they adopted it from the Christians, whom they hated?  However, we find no such use of baptism in the Old Testament.

In the Jewish ritual there were certain ceremonial washings and the bathing of the whole of the body; and in case of neglecting it, the offender had to bear his iniquity.

For instance, "Every soul that eateth that which died of itself, or that which was torn with beasts ... he shall both wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even; then shall he be clean.  But if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh [or, his body], then he shall bear his iniquity."  (Leviticus 17:15,16.)  Of course the Jews were familiar with these washings and bathings—and it was to the Jews that John preached (Acts 13:24).  Thus, though baptism might signify something very different from these bathings, yet the Jews would very easily learn what it signified.

Now, it is designated a3 baptism of repentance (Mark 1:4), and those who professed to take this ground were baptized by John, confessing their sins.  (Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:5.)  But simple as this was, he had to rebuke some and demand of them that they should bring forth fruit meet for repentance.  (Matthew 3:7,8; Luke 3:7,8.)

In looking further at John's baptism, we find that though a baptism of repentance, this was only a means to an end.  It was, in reality, to make known and introduce Christ.  John clearly states "that he (Christ) should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water."  (John 1:31.)  So that when Christ had been made manifest, John's work was so far complete; he said, "He must increase, but I must decrease."

It is important to notice that Christ partook of John's baptism, as to which He said, "Thus it be cometh us to fulfil all righteousness" (a subject which is not within our present inquiry).  But here a most interesting question arises, viz.:  Did the baptism of John continue during the ministry of Christ, and until the commission was given by Him in Matthew 28?  Now, there seems to be no passage that with certainty decides this.  In Luke 7:29, we read, "and all the people that heard [him], and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John."  At first sight this might appear to be, that as they heard Christ they glorified God, and were then baptized with the baptism of John; but on closer inspection this will be seen to be incorrect.  It seems to be rather a record of what had previously taken place.  Thus it is—having heard ['him,' John, or 'it,' John's message] they justified God; having been baptized with the baptism of John.  The verses 29 and 30 have also been, by some, placed in a parenthesis.

Again, John 4:1, says that the Pharisees heard that Jesus (by his disciples) had baptized more disciples than John; but this throws no light on the character of the baptism.

But we have no record of any other baptism being introduced during Christ's ministry, and perhaps the case of Apollos favours the thought that disciples, during the ministry of Christ, were baptized with the baptism of John.  He was a Jew, but had been born in Egypt; he was "instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in the Spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord:" yet he knew only the baptism of John.  (Acts 18:24,25.)  Take the case also of the disciples at Ephesus (Acts 19:1) who had been baptized with John's baptism.  And this was perhaps as late as A.D. 54.  Would it not, in both these passages, be difficult to account for their knowing only the baptism of John if another baptism had been introduced?  Still there seems to be nothing revealed that with certainty decides the queetion.

However, it is clear from other passages that John's baptism was not intended to be perpetual.  Thus, we read of this same Apollos—he who knew only the baptism of John—that "he began to speak boldly in the synagogue; whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."  (Acts 18:24-26.)  And, again, in Acts 19, those who had been baptized only unto John's baptism were re-baptized; clearly shewing that John's baptism had then been superseded by another.

It concerns us then to know what is this other baptism, when it was instituted, and what is its import.

We find it instituted by Christ Himself.  The parting commission He gave to His disciples is thus recorded in Matthew and Mark:

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."  (Matthew 28:19,20.) "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."  (Mark 16:15,16.)

Here then we have christian baptism introduced—called christian, because instituted by Christ, and to distinguish it from that of John; and the apostles were commissioned to carry it out.  Its signification is not here given; for that we must search in the Acts and the Epistles.

At our very starting point a difficulty presents itself.  In the Acts we read again and again of persons being baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Our inquiry is, Were they not then baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, according to the commission in Matthew?  And, if so, why is it said that they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus?  We observe,

  1. That christian baptism being then a new thing, was it not necessary that it should be distinguished from John's baptism by some such appellation as "the name of Jesus Christ?"  In one passage we find the two put in contrast.  In Acts 19, Paul asks, "Unto what were you baptized?  And they said, to John's baptism."  And they were then baptized "in the name of the Lord Jesus."
  2. It should be noted that the expressions "in the name of Jesus Christ" are not the same in the various passages in the Acts.  Thus, in 2:38, it is "upon (Strong's #1909) the name of Jesus Christ"—upon that foundation.

    Chapter 8:16 and 19:5, it is "into (Strong's #1519) the name of the Lord Jesus"—into responsibility and obedience to the Lord Jesus.

    Chapter 10:48, it is "in (Strong's #1722) the name of the Lord"—in or by His authority.

    Would not these differences indicate that they were not the words actually used in baptism, but that it had these various aspects towards Jesus Christ?

  3. The commission in Matthew is very clear, that persons were to be baptized to or unto the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and we cannot suppose that this command was immediately deviated from, and that, too, by the apostles and their co-workers.

    May we not then conclude that, in the cases mentioned in the Acts, persons were baptized according to the commission in Matthew, and not in the name of the Lord Jesus only?

To proceed with our inquiry.  There is the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  "John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."  (Acts 1:5.)  This was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when they were all assembled in one place, as far as the Jews were concerned.  In Acts 10, 11:15-16, the Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles also, which is also said to be the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  Then in 1 Corinthians 12:13, we read, "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles."  On comparing this with the commission in Matthew, the two things appear to be quite different.  The baptism of the Holy Ghost is doubtless perfectly distinct from what we have called christian baptism in water.  It is by the Holy Ghost, not by the apostles—and it is into one body.

What then is christian baptism?  We have seen that it starts from the commission in Matthew, at which we must look a little closely.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations."  It has been argued that the "therefore" is because all power is given unto Jesus in heaven and in earth.  (Verse 18.)  He has the hearts of all men in His hands—He can convert whom He will.  It was not left to the persuasive power in the disciples, or to the goodwill in man; all power was in Christ's hands, and he said, "Go therefore and teach all nations."  It is true such a use of power is mentioned in John 17:2:  "Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him," and, being always true, there may be a connection between Jesus having this power and the disciples being sent forth.  Nevertheless, the best authorities say that the word "therefore" should not be in the text.

Is not the "all nations" contrastive here, seeing that in Matthew's gospel, and in this gospel only, the disciples were charged, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not?"  (Matthew 10:5.)  But now, after the resurrection, they were to teach all nations—every nation.  In Mark, it is, "Go into all the world."

But what is it to teach or disciple all nations?  Is it to admit as disciples, all who will listen to the gospel message, and their children, or must it be restricted to conversion?  One thing is clear, that whatever made them disciples, also made them the subjects of baptism—it is "disciple all nations, baptizing them," etc.

The word, "disciple," seems to imply no more than a 'pupil,' or 'follower.'  Thus the Pharisees had their disciples.  But here it must mean Christ's disciples; it could not be that the evangelists were to consider the taught as their disciples.  This is altogether condemned in 1 Corinthians 1.  What then would constitute a person a disciple of Christ?  In Luke 14, when they came to Him in multitudes, he did not call them all disciples, and order them to be baptized, but He said, "Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."  (Verse 27.)  Again, "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."  (Verse 33.)  Such language would surely imply that they must be born again to be really Christ's disciples.

Thus far for testimony from the Gospels:  let us now look through the Acts of the Apostles, to see how the commission was there carried out.  This may help to determine who were considered disciples, and who were baptized as such.

In Acts 2, we read, "they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."  (Verses 37, 38.)  Again, "They that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfast in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers."  (Verse 41, 42.)  Here none seem to have been baptized, but those pricked in heart—those that received the word—who repented.  And it is joined with "remission of sins" on the one hand, and "breaking of bread" on the other.  Do not these passages imply that only such as were converted (or believed to be converted) were baptized?

Again, Acts 8:12. "When they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women."  Here it is "when they believed ... they were baptized."

Acts 8:37, will not assist us, as that verse is not considered to be in the true text.

Again, Acts 18:8.  "And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized."  Here it is "believed and were baptized."

Acts 22:16. "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."  Here, being "baptized" is joined with "wash away thy sins."

It is believed that none of these passages will admit of the thought that baptism was administered to any but those who professed to believe on the Lord Jesus; while we have failed to discover any one passage that states or implies that it was administered to the unconverted, be they adults or children.

The commission, too, in Mark, only speaks of baptism in connection with believing.

Further.  What would be the practice of any godly evangelist in this day in a heathen country?  While he preached the gospel far and wide, and might have many hearers, who could he call disciples and baptize except converted persons?  Surely, none but the most corrupt churches would think of discipling a nation as such, and baptizing them en masse—or even a whole congregation of "hearers" merely, and their children.

Then, we draw the conclusion that those only who are believed to be converted are to be baptized.

To return to the commission in Matthew:  "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"—into the responsibility of relationship with, and obedience to, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—a relationship which we should ardently desire to understand and appreciate, while it surely demands of us a loving and grateful obedience.

But here, again, it may be asked, How can this apply to unbelievers?  Man, as man, may have to do with God, and with the Son of man; but "No man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him."  (Luke 10:22.)  May we not conclude that if unconverted persons were included in baptism, that it would not have been in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost?—names not appropriate, it is judged, to be pronounced over the unbeliever.

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world [or, the age]."  If this applies to Christians, it is clear:  they are to be taught all that Christ has commanded; but how can the unconverted be set to keep the commandments of Christ before they believe on His name? and yet those who are disciples are to be baptized, and then taught to observe all things that Christ commanded.  In Mark, it is simply "preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."  It contemplates none but the two classes—believers and unbelievers.

"To the end of the age" is important, for it tells us that the commission was not restricted to the time of the apostles, but runs on to the end of the age.  Notice, too, that the eleven are not commissioned here as apostles, but simply as disciples—which all Christians are—"Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee."

This, then, is the commission instituting christian baptism.  We do not enter here into the question of how this commission may be carried out after the Church is taken away, our inquiry not going beyond the present application of baptism.  We have seen in the Acts of the Apostles the place baptism then had—various passages in the Epistles now demand our attention, wherein doubtless we shall obtain still fuller light and advanced teaching on the subject.

"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."  Colossians 2:12.  This clearly teaches that baptism is typical of death and resurrection:4  we are buried with Christ, and we are raised with Christ, through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.

Other parts of Scripture bear testimony to this great truth—that Christians have died with Christ and have risen with Christ, and are thus brought out of their old Adam standing altogether, and brought into a new standing in resurrection life.  This is now the fundamental doctrine of baptism, and is beautifully typified by the believer being buried under the water and raised up again.

And this is not merely a doctrine, but has also a great practical bearing.  For baptism is thus used by the Holy Ghost:  "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."  (Romans 6:3,4.)  The question had been asked, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?"  Part of the answer is, Do you not know that to be baptized is to be baptized into Christ's death?  And we were buried with Him THAT ... we should walk in newness of life.  Could the practical bearing of any subject be put in a more forcible manner than baptism is put here, "that we should walk in newness of life?"  Thus baptism is not an institution to be gone through once and then be forgotten—not an institution, too, remark, that a Christian, living in manifest worldliness, is called to pass through merely, putting on the same worldliness after it as before!  This may be done, but it is certainly not God's way.  His intention is that it should typify our death with Christ—and if dead, how shall we walk as men alive in flesh?  It cannot be unless we practically deny our baptism.  Further, besides being dead with Christ, we are raised with Him, and if raised with Him, we ought to walk as raised ones in newness of life; and if we do not, we are practically denying our baptism.  Solemn truths these for the saints of God who are walking after the flesh.  What about your baptism?  God says to you, "Know ye not that ye have been baptized into Christ's death?  Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into His death ... in order that ... ye should walk in newness of life."  May God bring His own word home in power to all our consciences!

1 Peter 3:21.  "The like figure [water] where unto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Here notice that baptism is again connected with resurrection, and doth now save us—it is a type of that which saves us—the water of death, and life again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is not the putting away the filth of the flesh, or the ceremonial cleansing which can be done by mere water; but that which affects the conscience as before God.  In what way it affects the conscience is not so clear.  Our authorized version gives it "the answer of a good conscience toward God," in which case it naturally signifies the response which a good conscience makes to God.  He says, we are dead and buried with Christ:  we answer in our baptism, 'I am dead and buried with Christ.'  God says, we are raised with Christ:  we answer in our baptism 'I am raised with Christ.'  And we are enabled, by the grace of God, to give these answers with a good conscience—a conscience purged by the blood of Christ and which must not be defiled by known and allowed sin, or seared by accustomed worldliness.  Solemn thoughts these for the saints of God!5

But the passage has been thought to be more correctly rendered "the request as before God of a good conscience."  Thus it may be what a good conscience asks or demands.  There is nothing that it can possibly ask or require but what is met and fully answered by the death and resurrection of Christ for us; and this is typified in baptism.

Or it may be a request or challenge to a conscience, whether it is good.  Have you taken your place with Christ?  In dying with Him, and being raised with Him, are you assured that all has been met and answered?  Have you a good conscience, even before God?

Or it may be the request for a good conscience.  You confess to God in your baptism, that you take your place with Christ in death and resurrection, and now you request more than the putting away of the filth of the flesh—yea, even a good conscience before God.

Thus have good and holy men of God differed on this passage, and it is not our province in an "inquiry" to decide which, if any, of the above is the true interpretation; but one thing is clear from the passage, that in baptism there is having to say to God, and that too in respect to a good conscience.  It is not merely a matter between myself and my fellow Christians, but it is before God—to Him I speak—to Him who knows me altogether, and before whose eye any other conscience will not pass as "good."  May God give this solemn matter its due weight on all—both on those already baptized, and on those about to be baptized.6

Galatians 3:27.  "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ."

Here again a great truth is brought out in connection with baptism.  "Ye [Gentiles] are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." No matter what a man's standing in nature—surrounded with the highest privileges like the Jew, or in the darkest state of ignorance; high in life, or a poor slave—he loses it all the moment he truly confesses Jesus dead and risen:  he now belongs to another, and of course he ought to walk as one connected with Christ, "for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

1 Corinthians 15:29,30.  "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?  Why are they then baptized for the dead? and why stand we in jeopardy every hour?"

Baptism is here brought in to strengthen the argument in favour of the resurrection.  It would be strange indeed that any should be baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not.  May not the thought be of an army, in which no sooner is one cut down than another steps forward and takes his place?7 but who would be willing to stand in such a place, knowing not how soon they too might be cut off—if the dead did not rise?8  They could afford to reckon their lives of little value, and be baptized to fill up the ranks, knowing that they would rise again to immortality.

1 Corinthians 10:1,2, "Moreover, [or, for,] brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea."

The word for (the best accredited reading) clearly connects this passage with the remarkable one at the close of chapter 9:  "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection:  lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."  In the Israelites we have persons with high privileges—baptized unto Moses—they did all eat of the same spiritual meat—did all drink of the same spiritual drink—yet with many of them [or, most of them] God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  Now these things happened as ensamples or types to us, that we should not follow in their footsteps.

Solemn connection this.  How many have professed faith in Christ—been baptized, have eaten of the Lord's Supper; but where are they now?  The apostle adds, "Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."  (Verse 12.)  Baptism and the Lord's Supper will not save us.

It will have been noticed bow often the name of Christ has come before us in connection with baptism; and surely it is of deep importance; for we hear of persons being baptized into such a church, and in the apostles' day it was said, 'I am of Paul,' and another, 'I am of Apollos,' and he thanked God that be had baptized but few of them, [not because it was wrong for them to be baptized, but] lest they should say be baptized them in his own name (1 Corinthians 1:14).  All were to be baptized into Christ, and no other is christian baptism; for there is "One Lord, one faith, one baptism."  (Ephesians 4:5.)  Is Christ divided? and yet saints, who profess to be baptized into Him, are divided!  Would that Christians were content with this oneness, for it is a oneness in Christ.9

As to the mode of baptism, very little need be said.

  1. It is acknowledged on all hands, that 'to dip under water' is the primary meaning of the Greek word preserved in our English translation, though, doubtless, it has other derived significations, as sinking, soaking, bathing, and drawing water.
  2. We read that John was baptizing at AEnon "because there was much water there," (John 3:23,) or, "many waters there," neither of which would have any force if sprinkling was the mode adopted.
  3. Nothing but immersion will answer to being buried—the figure used for baptism—whether it be in a modern grave, or in a tomb as among the ancients.
May we not, therefore, conclude, that baptism should be by immersion?  The word never seems to mean sprinkling.


To sum up—Christian baptism is typical of death and resurrection—of my death and resurrection with Christ:  into His death—losing my old Adam standing altogether; into His resurrection, whereby I rise with Him into an entirely new life.  It is having to say to God in respect to a good conscience; it declares that I put on Christ; it calls on me to know what God has declared is involved in my baptism, and to walk in correspondence therewith.  We are baptized into Christ.  There is but one baptism.

Objections Answered

But there are some objections to the foregoing that demand our attention.
  1. May not baptism be merely such an introduction into the kingdom, as admits the children of christian parents, and in which they have also protection and blessing, conversion not being essential? 
    Baptism might have had this use had God so intended it; but is it so represented in Scripture?  While there are, as we have seen, a number of passages that speak of baptism in such a way that can only apply to Christians, we have failed to find any that speak of it in connection with the unconverted be they children or adults. 
    Take one passage as an illustration.  In Acts 2 we read, "They that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."  Is it not reasonable that these three thousand persons had children? yet there is not a word respecting them or their baptism; those that received the word were baptized, and those baptized continued in the breaking of bread.  Clearly they were all Christians, or believed to be such. 
    Take, too, the parable of the wheat and the tares.  It was while men slept that the enemy sowed the tares.  The servants could not understand it.  The master had only sown good seed—the enemy had sown the bad.  And if evangelists knowingly baptize unconverted persons, children or adults, and introduce them into the kingdom, would they not be doing Satan's work?  In John 3, we get God's way of entrance into the kingdom:  "Except a man be born again, be cannot see the kingdom of God."  "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." The water here does not refer to baptism;10 but could these terms be used of any but converted persons?  This, then, is God's way of entering the kingdom; how, then, can you bring in unconverted persons, children or others?  True, there is another way, but as we have seen in the parable of the wheat and tares, it is Satan's way.
    Then as to protection and blessing, we cannot see what baptism has to do with it.  We are exhorted to bring up our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, and no christian parent can consistently neglect it, and surely he is warranted to expect blessing thereon.  We tell them of Christ and of His work, we also take them to the preaching of the gospel and all other meetings suitable for them, and we reckon upon the grace in our brethren to speak an occasional word of exhortation and encouragement to them, etc.; but surely all this can be as fully carried out if they are not baptized as if they were; and we see no warrant from Scripture to reckon more on God's favour if they are baptized than if not, failing as we do to find a single passage that tells us to do it.
    Thus we cannot find any Scriptural warrant for baptizing the children of saints as unconverted persons into the kingdom.
  2. But has not Christendom become a great house into which the children of Christian parents may consistently be introduced by baptism?
    We read of a great house, in which are vessels to dishonour as well as to honour.  (2 Timothy 2:20.)  Some of these vessels to dishonour may be unconverted persons, but the question really at issue is—are we intentionally to bring them in?  That unconverted persons are connected with the house of God is too true, but we are told to separate ourselves from such; an instruction entirely at variance with deliberately bringing them in.  In Jude 4 we also read of the ungodly, but it says of them, certain men crept in unawares, clearly implying that we ought not knowingly to let them in.
    But is it right to say, that 'Christendom has become a great house,' unless the expression be qualified?  Should it not rather be, that 'the house of God has become a great house?'  The term Christendom has often a much wider range.  Thus persons born in what is called a christian country, such as England, are born into Christendom!  And the Church of England Prayer Book says, "Every parishioner shall communicate at the least three times a year."
    But is the term 'house' ever used in this wide sense in Scripture?  You could not say of every one born in this country, that he is a vessel in the great house; nor, that he crept in unawares; nor, that (like the wood, hay, and stubble) he is built upon Christ.  The term 'house,' then, must have a more restricted sense, and would seem to embrace all who in any way connect themselves with Christians, or who profess in any way to follow Christ.  The term 'house' implies a 'being built;' not a something into which persons fall incidentally.
    Then, if you take Christendom in its widest sense, persons are born into it, and need not baptism to introduce them; and if they do need it, we have failed to discover any authority in Scripture for such a use of baptism.  And as to the great house, it is still the house of God, and no unconverted person ought to be there.  The foundation is Christ, and "let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon."  This is our instruction.  The Church of Rome and others may not have heeded it, and may have let in multitudes of the unconverted; but we see not their warrant from Scripture, nor the application of baptism, to any but the converted.  "The Lord added to the church (or assembly) daily, such as should be saved."  (Acts 2:47.)
    Besides, does baptism merely introduce into the great house, or to the professing church?  We have failed to find any passage that puts this feature upon it.  If it does, see what is the result:  The house must then include many avowed infidels, hundreds of sceptics, and thousands of all sorts of openly profane and wicked persons, simply because they were baptized in infancy; while it would exclude some true believers in Christ, who may not have been baptized.
  3. Does not Scripture say, that the children of a believing parent are "holy;" (1 Corinthians 7:14;) and if so, are they not fit subjects for baptism?
    It does say they are holy.  If a Jew married a Gentile, he defiled himself, and had, when wishing to come into blessing, to put away his wife and his children, according to law.  (Ezra 10:8.)  So a Christian is told to come out from among the unconverted, and be separate.  But in the case of marriages under the gospel dispensation, the unbelieving partner is "sanctified," and the children are declared to be "holy," so that they need not separate—they can dwell together without sin.  Notice how the passage is immediately connected with the thirteenth verse.  "And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.  FOR the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife."  They were not to separate, and for this reason.  Their children also were not unclean, but holy.  They, too, were not to be left or put away.  But the right to live under the same roof is a totally different thing from bringing them into the house of God.
    But if the children were holy in any such sense as to make them fit subjects for baptism, the unbelieving partner was so too, for he or she is said to be "sanctified."11  But who would not hesitate to baptize an unconverted man or woman simply because his or her partner was converted?  Surely all would recoil from it.  Yet why?  They are "sanctified;" and if the children being "holy" renders them fit subjects for baptism, the partners, being "sanctified," should also be baptized.
    Then, again, the children—at what age do they cease to be "holy?"  One can easily see it is an interesting thing to baptize mere infants; but suppose a man or woman is converted at middle age, having children,12 at eight, ten, twelve, fourteen years old, or more, dwelling with their parents—perhaps notoriously wicked, Scripture says they are "holy:"  will you baptize them?  Surely not.  Yet, why not, if their being thus "holy" renders them, without conversion, fit subjects for baptism?
    Further, if the holiness in the passage renders children fit subjects for baptism, would it not also render them fit for the Lord's Supper?  This question was asked in the early stages of the Church, and answered in the affirmative.  "From the period of the general introduction of infant baptism," says Gardner, "the Lord's Supper continued to be administered to all who had been baptized, whether infants or adults.  The custom of infant communion prevailed for several centuries."  It is now discontinued, except, perhaps, by the Greek church and the Nestorians.  But why?  Those who insist that the holiness in the passage renders infants fit for baptism, must answer. 
    We cannot then see that the passage at all sanctions the baptism of infants.
  4. But does not Christ say of believers' children, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God."  (Luke 18:16.)  And, if of the kingdom of God, why not baptize them? 
    1. Christ did invite the little ones, but the narrative in no way hints that they were the children of believers; indeed, it is not probable that the apostles would have hindered the disciples from bringing their children to Christ.  Doubtless, the parents believed that our Lord could bless the children in like manner as they believed He could heal all manner of diseases, but nothing more is implied in the passage.  If our Lord were on earth now, and in a heathen country, could He not invite the pagan children precisely as He then did the Jewish children?
    2. If Christ had meant infants to be baptized, would not this have been an admirable opportunity to have introduced it?  He blessed them, but not a word as to their baptism.
    3. The passage does not say that these children were to come because they were in the kingdom of God; but, "for of such [(Strong's #5108) of such sort,] is the kingdom of God."  Had they died in infancy, they would doubtless have been saved, as thousands of others before and since, heathen as well as Christian, so-called;13 and, further, Christ adds, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall in nowise enter therein."
    We can see no sanction from the passage for the baptism of infants.
  5. Do we not find, in the Epistles, certain exhortations to children, and could these exhortations be given if the children had not been baptized, and by this means placed under responsibility?
    But were these exhortations addressed to unconverted children?  Let us see.  They occur in two of the epistles:  one is in Ephesians 6:1, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."  Surely the words "in the Lord" point it out as intended for converted children—none others could obey "in the Lord."  The other is in Colossians 3:20, "Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord."  But this was addressed "to the saints and faithful brethren which are at Colosse," and not to all their families; and was to be read "among them," and "to the church of the Laodiceans."  Then why suppose unconverted children addressed?  Without doubt, there was not an assembly then, that had been standing any length of time, in which there were not young persons in communion who owed due obedience to their parents; and it would, perhaps, be difficult to find an assembly now in which there are not those in communion who are so young as to need such exhortations.  Therefore we cannot take these exhortations as any proof of the baptism of children who were not converted, though, doubtless, if any unconverted children read the Scriptures and understand them, they are so far responsible to receive and obey them; but heathen children so doing would be also responsible.  Besides, surely the exhortation, "Children, obey your parents," may be addressed to all, entirely apart from the question of the children being converted or unconverted.
  6. Did not Peter, when preaching and exhorting to baptism in the Acts, (2:38,39,) declare that "the promise is unto you and to your children," and ought they not to be baptized under this promise? 
    The promise is as to the gift of the Holy Ghost and is not only "unto you and your children," but also "and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."  Doubtless, 'you and your children,' referred to the Jews; and ' those afar off,' to us Gentiles.  So that in this passage there is no promise to our children, though christian parents are elsewhere exhorted to bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," (Ephesians 6:4,) and in so doing they may, doubtless, fully count on God for blessing.
  7. But were not whole households baptized in the days of the apostles, and is it not reasonable to suppose that they contained unconverted children?
    We do read of households being baptized.
    1. Of Cornelius and his friends.  (Acts 10.)  But here we expressly read that "the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word," (verse 44,) which implies they were all converted.  He and his house feared God.  (Verse 2.)
    2. The Philippian jailor and his household.  (Acts 16.)  Here also we read, "he set meat before them and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house."  (Verse 34.)  Then all his house believed, and this can not include unbelieving children.
    3. Crispus and his household.  (Acts 18.)  But here again it is added, "Crispus the chief ruler of the synagogue believed on the Lord with all his house."  (Verse 8.)  No doubt they were baptized, though it is not so said expressly.
    4. Stephanas and his household.  (1 Corinthians 1:16.)  No particulars are here given even of the conversion of Stephanas, but we read, (chapter 16:15,) "Ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints;" implying that his house were not only converted but engaged in ministering to the saints.
    5. Lydia and her household.  (Acts 16.)  From the narrative, it would seem most probable that Lydia was not a married woman, though nothing is stated definitely.  They may have been her servants, or assistants in her trade.
    These, then, are the households mentioned in Scripture; and, in four out of the five, words are added which assert or imply that the whole households were converted, and in the other nothing is said of children.  And it would not be difficult now to find thousands of households in which there are no children.  Therefore it cannot be concluded that there were unconverted children in any of these households.
  8. But will it be contended that the children of Christian parents are on no better ecclesiastical standing in God's sight than the children of the heathen, and if so, why not have them baptized? 
    There was a nation, the Jews, that was chosen out from all the nations to be God's favoured people, the privileges of which extended, doubtless, to children as well as parents.  But the wall of separation has been broken down by Christ, and where and when has another been erected?  Who can say that any nation or people have now any ecclesiastical preference or precedence before others?  Doubtless, wherever God's word and gospel reaches, it carries responsibilities with it, and if children hear it, they, too, are responsible; the more the light, the more the responsibility.  But who can say that a child of christian parents, in England, has a better standing, in God's sight, than a child of the darkest heathen?  He has far higher privileges, and far greater responsibilities; but farther than this, God has brought all the world in guilty, and concluded all in unbelief, so that all boasting is excluded, as we read in Romans 3.  And I see nothing in Scripture to warrant an evangelist having more faith that God would bless the preached word when it is addressed to a number of children born of christian parents, than when addressed to a school of Hottentots.  He is told to preach the gospel to every creature, (Mark 16:15,) and he cannot possibly go beyond this commission; and God has said, His word shall not return unto Him void.
    We cannot, then, see that children of christian parents have any better standing, in God's sight, than the heathen; and if they had, where is the authority to baptize them?
  9. Is it not requisite that there should be a marked distinction between nominal Christians, and Heathens and Jews?  If we were in an heathen country, would it not be necessary that our children should be thus distinguished from the children of the heathen; and is not baptism the appointed means for this distinction? 
    Let us see. 
    1. If it is desirable that the children of Christians should be thus distinguished, is it not quite as desirable that adults should be so too?  If you go to a heathen country, and take with you a servant from this so-called christian land,  is it not as necessary that this nominally christian adult should be distinguished from the heathen as you say the children should be? and yet who would not hesitate to baptize unbelieving adults in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, for any such purpose?
    2. Where is the Scripture warrant for any such use of baptism?  We have seen it is a type of death and resurrection for the Christian; that it is speaking to God with respect to a good conscience; that it, in a figure, saves us; that it is a token that we should walk in newness of life:  but where is one passage that states or implies that it is to be done before the heathen as a testimony of a higher position than they?  And would it really tell them this?  Though a christian parent baptize his children, yet, as they grow up, they might manifest their evil nature just as those around them!  Of what use telling the heathen, your children are baptized in the Christian religion—they are not heathens—when they see them acting precisely as their children,—lying, cheating, etc.?  Instead of a testimony for Christ, it would surely be the greatest dishonour!  Scripture says a child is known by his doings, not by being baptized.
    3. Then, as to adults, would it not do, nay, has it not done, immensely more damage to the cause of Christ than if all who had left these shores had confessed themselves heathens?  I speak not of converted persons, but of nominal Christians, for that is the point at issue.  They go to the heathen and tell them they are Christians, baptized Christians it may be; and yet what testimony have they invariably borne?  Who was it that trafficked for years in slaves on the African coast? and who is it that have enriched themselves on slavery, with all its horrors, in America?  Who is it that have most oppressed the Jews, and made the very name of Christ stink in their nostrils?  Who is it that have taught the heathen in many places to use intoxicating drinks to excess?  Who was it forced the opium trade in China? and who was it provoked the awful mutiny in India?  Baptized Christians!  Tell me, has their baptism been a testimony for Christ, or would it not have been far more to His honour to have been able to have said—These men are heathens?
    Hence we cannot see from Scripture any warrant for such a use of baptism; and where this use has been, it has done the name of Christ the greatest dishonour, and caused it to be blasphemed.
  10. Does not baptism take the place of circumcision; and as the latter certainly included children, may we not conclude that baptism does also?
    The wide difference between the two dispensations must be kept in view, which may be illustrated in various ways.  Thus, "The law and the prophets were until John:  since that time the kingdom of God is preached."  (Luke 16:16.)  Under the law, children were circumcised and introduced into the former dispensation, altogether independent of their conversion; but now we are expressly told, that, unless a person be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God—conversion being absolutely necessary.
    Therefore, because unconverted children were introduced into an earthly dispensation, this is no reason why they should be introduced into that kingdom where conversion is necessary.  As we have seen, Satan has introduced the tares with the wheat, but Christians are not told to follow his example.  Does Christ authorize it?
    Further, notice that in the council held at Jerusalem (Acts 15.) on the subject of circumcision, there is not a word as to baptism taking its place.  It doubtless would have been mentioned had such been the case.
  11. It is most probable that the apostles were not baptized. 
    What is the force of this argument?  Whether they were baptized or not, does not touch the authority for baptism nor its import.  But what foundation has any one for saying they were not baptized?  It has been asked, who was to baptize them?  They could have done what any dozen Christians on a desolate island could now do, whose attention might be called to the subject for the first time—baptize each other.  If the objection is raised simply because it is not recorded, there is no force in it; for it is quite certain that numberless things took place that are not written down, even respecting our Lord Himself, (John 21:25,) much less of all His apostles.  We are sure they were sent to baptize others in the commission in Matthew; and is it consistent that they were sent to do this if they had not been baptized themselves?  Certainly, none can say they were not baptized.  Besides which, we are sure that Paul, "the apostle of the Gentiles" (Romans 11:13) was baptized.
  12. But did not Paul say that he was not sent to baptize, but to preach the gospel?  (1 Corinthians 1:17.) 
    He did; but what are we to infer from this?—that Paul was not to baptize at all, or that this was not his special work?  If he was not to baptize at all, how comes it that he was running without being sent? for he tells us that he baptized a few at Corinth, and he only thanked God that he had baptized no more there, lest any should say he had baptized in his own name when they were making divisions.  We cannot suppose that Paul did wrong in baptizing those few, nor does the passage seem to imply more than that his special work was not to baptize, but to preach the gospel; while others, who seldom or never preached, might have baptized his converts.  We find precisely the same thing now.  Some who preach the gospel do not feel led, or sent, from weakness of body, and other causes, to baptize; but they solicit others to do it, and they might as truly say, 'I do not believe I am sent to baptize, but to preach the gospel.'
    But one word more; what would those who raise this objection, draw from it?  Would it be, that because Paul was not sent, none were sent, and that there ought to be no baptism now?  What, then, becomes of the commission in Matthew, which has the promise that Christ will be with them to 'the end of the age?'  And how comes it that we find repeated allusions to baptism in the Epistles?  We are quite sure that persons were baptized then.  Paul, writing to the Romans, says, "So many of us as were baptized," (Romans 6:3,) doubtless meaning all.  It is also mentioned in the Epistles of 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and 1 Peter; and no one passage throws the least doubt upon its then being a usual and an established practice.  (A weighty consideration this for those saints who are now neglecting it.)  If they had baptism, surely we must have it.
  13. There is no command to Christians to be baptized:  the commission in Matthew is to the evangelist to baptize, and not to the disciples to be baptized, therefore it is not disobedience in any not to be baptized?
    But is there no disobedience except to that which is given as a command?  A dying man may call his children around him and tell them his wishes, and those wishes ought to find in the children as willing a compliance as would the sternest command.14  So Christ has given to His saints the two institutions of baptism and the Lord's Supper, and no obedient child will despise or neglect either.  They may differ as to the signification of them, or as to the subjects to receive them, or in the mode of administering them; but they will not despise or neglect them.  Call them, if you please, the expressed wishes of our Lord, they shall be as fully binding on us, and it shall be our earnest desire to understand their import, and our happy privilege to obey them, as though they were given in the shape of stern commands.  May we each "stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." (Colossians 4:12.)


In conclusion, we seem to have gathered from Scripture:
  1. That John's baptism was to introduce Christ and to cease at His death.
  2. That Christ, after His resurrection, instituted christian baptism.
  3. That baptism brings us into relationship with, and obedience to, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
  4. That baptism is binding as the expressed will of Christ on all Christians.
  5. That only the converted, or those believed to be such, ought to be considered as disciples, and only these, therefore, are to be baptized.
  6. That baptism is a type of death and resurrection—a type wherein we are dead and buried with Christ, losing our old Adam standing altogether, and wherein we are raised with Christ into an entirely new life.
  7. That Christians, in baptism, answer to God in respect to a good conscience.
  8. That baptism has a great practical bearing, calling on us not to walk as men in the flesh, but as risen ones, in newness of life—to put on Christ.
Still this is an inquiry—an attempt to arrive at the mind of the Spirit as revealed in the word.  But should anyone have more light, the writer will be glad to be set right on any point where he may have erred.  Any such communication sent to "INQUIRER," care of the publisher, will be carefully considered.
"If any man will do His will,
he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God."
(John 7:17.)


1 It seems right to say that this tract has in no way emanated from the recent discussion on this subject; it was under consideration before that controversy arose.

2 The following dates are given for these Jewish writings:  "The Misna, A. D. 150 [perhaps 210]; the Jerusalem Talmud, A. D. 250; Gemara, A. D. 500; and Maimonides, A D. 1100."  Bloomfield says, "We find no mention made of it in Philo, Josephus, the Targum Onkelos, or in the Misna."

3 It is "a baptism of repentance" wherever it is mentioned.  Does the absence of the article signify that, there being other baptisms, or bathings, this was "a baptism of repentance?"  In Hebrews 6:2, we read of Jewish "baptisms," or bathings, or washings, that they were to leave.

4 It has sometimes been maintained that 'baptism is not a type of resurrection, but only of death,' with the thought that the unconverted may be baptized unto death, and this passage has been made to read, 'Buried with Him in baptism; in whom also ye are risen,' etc.  But then baptism would leave us in death, which would not at all agree with other passages, which speak of it as a type of that which saves, etc.  Thus, 1 Peter 3:21:  "Baptism doth now save us ... by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."  And here, it will be remarked, that baptism is again connected with resurrection.

5 This passage has doubtless given rise to the practice of propounding certain questions to those about to be baptized, and demanding answers.  While admitting that all ought to be instructed before baptism, the response here should be "toward God."  And then it might well be asked, how can this passage in any way apply to infants?  The Church of England gets over the difficulty by having sponsors.  The child is made to answer in the sponsors.  They are thus addressed, "This infant must also faithfully, for his part, promise by you that you are his sureties," etc.  And again, "Forasmuch as this child hath promised by you, his sureties, to renounce the devil and all his works," etc.  But how can any godly man and woman promise for a child that which they dare not promise for themselves?  And where is there, in the New Testament, the least sanction for this acting by proxy, or making vows at all?  Then with those who baptize infants without sponsors, where, we ask, is the "answer of a good conscience toward God?"

6 Would not this passage throw some light upon the question, whether persons ought to be baptized in public or private?  It is before God.  It may be alone in a desert, as the eunuch (Acts 8:36); or publicly, as in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41).  It is speaking to God.

7 The sense would thus be "baptized for, or in place of the dead."  Ellis quotes what seems to be an apt illustration from Dionysius of Halicarnassus.  "They decreed to enlist other soldiers [for, or in place of] those who had died in the war."  - Macknight.

8 The change of the pronouns will be noticed in this passage, "What shall they do—Why are they baptized," etc.  It might not apply to the Corinthians, who were not, as far as we know, under persecution, but it might refer to such as the Thessalonians of whom we read, "So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure."  (2 Thessalonians 1:4.)

9 Christ being the true and the only centre of union, if you join anything with Him, you scatter at once.  And, as they did in 1 Corinthians 1, where it was Christ and Paul, and Christ and Apollos, they were so full of their own additions that they seem to have forgotten Christ, and one said, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," without naming Christ at all.  But the apostle at once brought them back to the true centre, and said, "Is Christ divided?"  In like manner, do not the Baptists err by making Christ and believers' baptism the centre of union? and here again their own addition takes prominence, for they seem to pride themselves in the name of Baptists rather than that of Christians.  While, at the same time, it scatters instead of gathering.  Not to mention the thousands of Pedobaptists from whom they are separated, among themselves some have further added certain views of truth, and others forms of government, till they are divided into some dozen different and distinct denominations!  Christ, then, and Christ alone, must be our centre of union.  Holding this fast, I can calmly search into what is revealed in Scripture on the subject of baptism, and can be baptized too without being a Baptist.

10 Will not the following passages throw light upon the "water" in the text?  "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth."  (James 1.18.)  "Being born again ... by the word of God."  (1 Peter 1:23.)  "He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost."  (Titus 3:5.)  "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."  (John 15:3.)  Christ gave Himself for the Church, "that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word."  (Ephesians 5:26.)  It cannot be admitted that any of these passages gives support to the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, as they are often said to do.  Nor that baptism by water is necessary to salvation, as is asserted by the Church of England.

11 Bengel says that the difference between the parents being sanctified and the children holy, is only as "to 'become holy' differs from 'to be holy;' but the holiness itself of the children and of the unbelieving parent is the same."—Gnomon.

12 There is nothing in the word used for children in the passage under consideration (Strong's #5043) to limit it to infants, or even young children.

13 The Church of England says, "It is certain by God's word, that children which are baptized, dying before they commit actual sin, are undoubtedly saved," seeming to imply that they are not saved if not baptized; and many an anxious parent has hastened to fetch a minister to baptize his child before it died, in fear it should otherwise be lost.  But is it not shocking to suppose that God's grace would not flow out if any should fail to perform this supposed duty?  Christ said, of the little children, "of such is the kingdom of God," and He came to save that which was lost, (Matthew 18:11,) His work on the cross being the basis of salvation.  But not a word about their baptism.

14 Christ knew His Father's will, and did it most fully.  He came to be baptized of John.  Philip preached Jesus unto the eunuch.  And the eunuch said, "See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized."  He did not want to be excused because there was no command.

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A scanned facsimile of the original published article can be found on this Brethren Archive web page subheaded "The Year 1865":
Christian Baptism, What is it? A Scriptural Inquiry.
(Register on the Brethren Archive website to access the article.)
The article can also be found here on the Google Books website:
Christian Baptism: what is it? A Scriptural inquiry.
(The subheading reads, "G. Morrish, 1865 - 32 pages".)

* This lengthy article was published anonymously (as were a number of other articles attributed to CHM), but the preponderance of evidence points to CHM's authorship.  The evidence is fivefold:
  1. The title, consisting of a topic followed by the text "What Is It?" is characteristic of CHM.
  2. The style of writing is consistent with other papers known to be authored by CHM.
  3. The last page lists other available pamphlets "By C. H. M.".
  4. The pamphlet is written in the form of an inquiry, and CHM draws the same conclusions about baptism in his letter extract "On Baptism", datelined "Bristol, Dec. 22nd, 1871".  In that paper, he writes, "I have for thirty-two years been asking, in vain, for a single line of scripture for baptizing any save believers or those who professed to believe. Reasonings I have had, inferences, conclusions, and deductions; but of direct scripture authority not one tittle".
  5. In "The History and Teaching of the Plymouth Brethren", J. S. Teulon, a contemporary critic of J. N. Darby and C. H. Mackintosh, writes, "Mr. Mackintosh in his 'Christian Baptism, what is it? A Scriptural Inquiry,' regards it indeed as an ordinance of Christ ..." (page 83).
Others can assess for themselves whether this evidence is sufficient to establish CHM's authorship.

Christian Baptism - What Is It?