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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Baptism

  BAPTISM   noun
A sacred rite of such efficacy that he who finds himself in heaven without having undergone it will be unhappy forever.  It is performed with water in two ways -- by immersion, or plunging, and by aspersion, or sprinkling.
  But whether the plan of immersion
  Is better than simple aspersion
      Let those immersed
      And those aspersed
  Decide by the Authorized Version,
  And by matching their agues tertian.


Devil's Dictionarydefinition from:
The Devil's Dictionary
by Ambrose Bierce, 1911

Regular definition:
?bŠpt?zm n. 1 a the religious rite, symbolizing admission to the Christian Church, of sprinkling the forehead with water, or (usu. only with adults) by immersion, generally accompanied by name-giving. b the act of baptizing or being baptized. 2 an initiation, e.g. into battle. 3 the naming of ships, church bells, etc. °baptism of fire 1 initiation into battle. 2 a painful new undertaking or experience. °°baptismal adj. [ME f. OF ba(p)te(s)me f. eccl.L baptismus f. eccl.Gk baptismos f. baptizo BAPTIZE]

Last updated: 9/3/2011 12:48:30