Washing With the Water of the Word

I found the statement below by Charles Hodge to be fascinating for two reasons. First, he thinks Ephesians 5:26 refers to baptism. But second, and perhaps more surprising, is his view of church history. I agree with him on both accounts.

“Commentators, however, almost without exception, understand the expression in the text to refer to baptism.  The great majority of them, with Calvin and the other Reformers,  do not even discuss the question, or seem to admit any other interpretation to be possible.  The same view is taken by all the  modern exegetical writers.  This unanimity of opinion is itself almost decisive.  Nothing short of  a stringent necessity can justify any one in setting forth an interpretation opposed to this common consent of Christians. No such necessity exists.  Baptism is a washing with water.  It is the washing with which Paul’s readers as Christians were familiar, and which could not fail to occur to them as the washing intended. Besides, nothing more is here attributed to baptism than is attributed  to it in many passages of the Word of God. Compare particularly Acts 22:16.  There can be little doubt, therefore, that by ‘the washing with water’ the apostle meant baptism.” Charles Hodge Commentary on Ephesians, p. 233. Italics are his.