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be saved," saith Christ; and St. Peter called out to the whole assembly, “ Repent, and be baptized, every one of youf.” Concerning this, Justin Martyrs gives the same account of the faith and practice of the church; “Όσοι αν πειθώσι και πιστέυωσιν, &c. “ Whosoever are persuaded, and believe those things to be true, which are delivered and spoken by us, and undertake to live accordingly, they are commanded to fast and pray, and to ask of God remission of their former sins, we also praying together with them, and fasting. Then they are brought to us where water is, and are regenerated in the same manner of regeneration by which we ourselves are regenerated.” For in baptism, St. Peter observes, there are two parts, the body and the spirit: that is, caprès åródecis putoü, “ the putting away the filth of the flesh"," that is, the material washing; and this is baptism no otherwise than a dead corpse is a man: the other is συνειδήσεως αγαθής επερώτημα, “ the answer of a good conscience towards God,” that is, the conversion of the soul to God; that is the effective disposition in which baptism does save us.
And in the same sense are those sayings of the primitive doctors to be understood, “ Anima non lavatione, sed responsione sancituri," the soul is not healed by washing (viz.) alone, but by the answer, the ÉTegórnua in St. Peter, the correspondent of our part of the covenant : for that is the perfect sense of this unusual expression. And the effect is attributed to this, and denied to the other, when they are distinguished. So Justin Martyr affirms : “ The only baptism that can heal us, is repentance, and the knowledge of God. For what need is there of that baptism, that can only cleanse the flesh and the body? Be washed in your flesh from wrath and covetousness, from envy and hatred ; and behold the body is purek.” And Clemens Alexandrinus, upon that proverbial saying, "Io9o un aoutpão årà vów ragapòs, “ Be not pure in the laver, but in the mind,” adds,
I suppose that an exact and a firm repentance is a sufficient purification to a man; if judging and considering ourselves for the facts we have done before, we proceed to that which is before us, considering that which follows, and cleansing or washing our mind from sensual affections, and from former sins.” Just as we use to deny the effect to the instrumental e Mark, xvi. 16. | Acts, ii. 58.
& Apol, ad Anton. Cés. h i Pet, jii. 21.
i Tert. de Res. Carn. * Ad Trypbon. Jad.
cause, and attribute it to the principal, in the manner of speaking, when our purpose is to affirm this to be the principal, and of chief influence. So we say, it is not the good lute, but the skilful hand, that makes the music : it is not the body, but the soul, that is the man : and yet he is not the man without both. For baptism is but the material part in the sacrament, “ it is the Spirit that giveth life;" whose work is faith and repentance, begun by himself without the sacrament, and consigned in the sacrament, and actuated and increased in the co-operation of our whole life. And therefore baptism is called in the Jerusalem creed, ev Bántioua μετανοίας εις άφεσιν των αμαρτιών, « one baptism of repentance for the remission of sins :” and by Justin Martyr', aoutpòv tñs μετανοίας και της γνώσεως του Θεού, και υπέρ της ανομίας των λαών του
yeyovev, “ the baptism of repentance, and the knowledge of God, which was made for the sins of the people of God.” He explains himself a little after, το βάπτισμα το μόνον καθαρίσαι τουτο μετανοήσαντας δυνάμενον, « baptism that can only cleanse them that are penitent.” “In sacramentis Trinitati occurrit fides credentium et professio, quæ apud acta conficitur angelorum, ubi miscentur cælestia et spiritualia semina; ut sancto germine nova possit renascentium indoles procreari, ut dum Trinitas cum fide concordat, qui natus fuerit seculo, renascatur spiritualiter Deo. Sic fit hominum Pater Deus, sancta fit mater ecclesia,” said Optatus. “The faith and profession of the believers meets with the ever-blessed Trinity, and is recorded in the register of angels, where heavenly and spiritual seeds are mingled; that from so holy a spring may be produced a new nature of the regeneration, that while the Trinity (viz. that is invocated upon the baptized) meets with the faith of the catechumen, he that was born to the world, may be born spiritually to God. So God is made a Father to the man, and the holy church a mother.” Faith and repentance strip the old man naked, and make him fit for baptism ; and then the Holy Spirit, moving upon the waters, cleanses the soul, and makes it to put on the new man, who grows up to perfection and a spiritual life, to a life of glory, by our verification of our undertaking in baptism on our part, and the graces of the Spirit on the other. For the waters pierce
| Dial, dum Tryph.
m Lib. ii. adv. Parm.
no farther than the skin, till the person puts off his affection to the sin that he hath contracted; and then he may say,
Aquæ intraverunt usque ad animam meam," “ The waters are entered even unto my soul, to purify and cleanse it, by the washing of water, and the renewing by the Holy Spirit.” The sum is this : Βαπτιζόμενοι φωτιζόμεθα, φωτιζόμενοι υιοποιούμεθα, υιοποιούμενοι τελειούμεθα, τελειούμενοι αθανατιζόμεθα “. Being baptized we are illuminated, being illuminated we are adopted to the inheritance of sons, being adopted we are promoted towards perfection, and being perfected we are made immortal.”
Quisquis in hos fontes vir venerit, exeat indè
28. This is the whole doctrine of baptism, as it is in itself considered, without relation to rare circumstances or accidental cases: and it will also serve to the right understanding of the reasons, why the church of God hath, in all ages, baptized all persons that were within her power, for whom the church could stipulate, that they were, or might be, relatives of Christ, sons of God, heirs of the promises, and partners of the covenant, and such as did not hinder the work of baptism upon their souls. And such were not only persons of age and choice, but the infants of Christian parents. For the understanding and verifying of which truth, I shall only need to apply the parts of the former discourse to their particular case, premising first these propositions.
Of baptizing Infants.
1. BAPTISM is the key in Christ's hand, and therefore opens as he opens, and shuts by his rule: and as Christ himself did not do all his blessings and effects unto every one, but gave to every one as they had need ; so does baptism. Christ did not cure all men's eyes, but them only that were blind;
o Clem. Alex. lib. i. Pædag. c. 6.
“ Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance:" that is, they that lived in the fear of God, according to the covenant in which they were debtors, were indeed improved and promoted higher by Christ, but not called to that repentance to which he called the vicious Gentiles, and the adulterous persons among the Jews, and the hypocritical Pharisees. There are some so innocent that they “ need no repentance," saith the Scripture; meaning, that though they do need contrition for their single acts of sin, yet they are within the state of grace, and need not repentance as it is a conversion of the whole man. it is in baptism, which does all its effects upon them that need them all, and some upon them that need but some: and therefore, as it pardons sins to them that have committed them, and do repent and believe ; so to the others, who have not committed them, it does all the work which is done to the others above or besides that pardon.
2. Secondly: When the ordinary effect of a sacrament is done already by some other efficiency or instrument, yet the sacrament is still as obligatory as before, not for so many reasons or necessities, but for the same commandment. Baptism is the first ordinary current in which the Spirit moves and descends upon us; and where God's Spirit is, they are the sons of God, for Christ's Spirit descends upon none but them that are his : and yet Cornelius, who had received the Holy Spirit, and was heard by God, and visited by an angel, and accepted in his alms, and fastings, and prayers, was tied to the susception of baptism. To which may be added, that the receiving the effects of baptism beforehand was used as an argument the rather to administer baptism. The effect of which consideration is this, that baptism and its effect may be separated, and do not always go in conjunction; the effect may be before, and therefore much rather may it be after its susception; the sacrament operating in the virtue of Christ, even“ as the Spirit shall move:” according to that saying of St. Austin, “ Sacrosancto lavacro inchoata innovatio novi hominis perficiendo perficitur in aliis citiùs, in aliis tardiùs ;" and St. Bernard“, “ Lavari quidem citò possumus, sed ad
3 Acts, X. 47. b Aug. de Moribus Eccles. Cath. lib. i. c. 35,
sanandum multâ curatione opus est.” “ The work of regeneration, that is begun in the ministry of baptism, is perfected in some sooner; in
may soon be washed; but to be healed is a work of a long cure.”
3. Thirdly : The dispositions, which are required to the ordinary susception of baptism, are not necessary to the efficacy, or required to the nature, of the sacrament, but accidentally, and because of the superinduced necessities of some men; and therefore the conditions are not regularly to be required. But, in those accidents, it was necessary for a Gentile proselyte to repent of his sins, and to believe in Moses's law, before he could be circumcised : but Abraham was not tied to the same conditions, but only to faith in God; but Isaac was not tied to so much; and circumcision was not of Moses, but of the fathers : and yet, after the sanction of Moses's law, men were tied to conditions, which were then made necessary to them, that entered into the covenant, but not necessary to the nature of the covenant itself. And so it is in the susception of baptism : if a sinner enters into the font, it is necessary he be stripped of those appendages, which himself sewed upon his nature, and then repentance is a necessary disposition: if his understanding hath been a stranger to religion, polluted with evil principles and a false religion, it is necessary he have an actual faith, that he be given in his understanding up to the obedience of Christ. And the reason of this is plain ; because, in these persons, there is a disposition contrary to the state and effects of baptism ; and therefore they must be taken off by their contraries, faith and repentance, that they may be reduced to the state of pure receptives. And this is the sense of those words of our blessed Saviour, “ Unless ye become like one of these little ones, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven;" that is, ye cannot be admitted into the gospel covenant, unless all your contrarieties and impediments be taken from you,
be as apt as children to receive the new immissions from heaven. And this proposition relies upon a great example, and a certain reason. The example is our blessed Saviour, who was “nullius pænitentiæ debitor;" he had committed no sin, and needed no repentance; he needed not to be saved by faith, for of faith he was “the author and finisher,' and the great object, and its perfection and reward : and yet