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James M. Pendleton on John Calvin's Comments About Baptism
      I shall aim to do nothing that is unjustified by the example of Paul. Pedobaptist concessions are of great value; for it may be said, in the language of another: “This testimony of theirs, to me, is worth a thousand others; seeing it comes from such as, in my opinion, are evidently interested to speak quite otherwise.” I ask the reader's earnest attention to the following extracts: I begin with John Calvin, a learned Presbyterian, who lived three hundred years ago. He was very decided in his opposition to Baptists, or “Anabaptists,” as he contemptuously called them - [however, he married an Anabaptist widow - Idelette Stordeur de Bure - jd]. He wrote in Latin, and I avail myself of Pedobaptist translations of the original. In his Institutes, Book IV, chapter 15, paragraph 19, he expresses himself thus: (I adopt Professor Stuart's translation:)
“It is of no consequence at all (minimum refert) whether the person baptized is totally immersed, or whether he is merely sprinkled by an affusion of water. This should be a matter of choice to the churches in different regions; although the word baptize signifies to immerse, and the rite of immersion was practiced by the ancient church.”
      This translation might have been made stronger. Professor S. might have said, “the word baptize” itself, or the very “word baptize,” etc.; for the original is “ipsum baptizandi verbum,” etc. So, also, as Calvin uses the word “constat” as an impersonal verb, the translation should be, “it is evident,” or “certain that the rite of immersion,” etc....

      [Bold emphasis added - jd. From Three Reasons Why I Am A Baptist, 1854, pp. 91-92. Google Books On-line edition.]


      Pendleton also quoted John Calvin on Acts 8:38: "Here we see the rite used among men of old time in baptism; for they put all the body into the water." [Calvin's Commentaries, "The Acts of the Apostles," p. 364.]

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