The Works of

Rev. Prof. Dr. F.N. Lee

Calvin’s Mode of Baptism

Most Baptists seem oblivious of Calvin’s 20th April 1556 Sermon on Deuteronomy 30:6. There, he clearly declared:1 “In Baptism…the water is poured upon the head of a little child…. We indeed do baptize with water….   The Minister lays the water on the child’s head.”

Baptists often quote from Calvin’s Commentary on John’s Gospel, where it says:  “John and Christ administered baptism by total immersion.”2   Yet they neglect to add that such ‘im-mersion’ is not the same as sub-mersion.   For all Presbyterian Ministers ‘put in’ or ’im-merse’ their fingers, (but never totally sub-merse) them under the baptismal water before sprinkling babies therewith.     Such Baptists also neglect to complete Calvin’s above sentence.   For he then soon went on to say “we must not worry overmuch about the outward rite, so long as it accords with the spiritual truth and the Lord’s institution.”   John 3:25f and 1:25-33 cf. First Kings 18:33f (q.v.).

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