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FORCE OF BAPTIZE INTO THE NAME."
TRINITY, a transfer of him from the dominion of Satan to Them, an insertion of him within Their blessed Name, and a casting the shield (to speak humanly) of that Almighty Name over him; that Name, at which devils tremble and are cast out thereby, "into which a man runneth and is safe." And this so much the more, since Scripture elsewhere attributes the efficacy of Baptism to His all-prevailing Name, "but ye were washed, "but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in (v) the "Name of the LORD JESUS, and by (v) the SPIRIT of our "GOD" (1 Cor. vi. 11.); where "the Name of our LORD JESUS" and "the SPIRIT of our GOD" are mentioned, as in the like way the efficacious causes of the holiness and righteousness imparted in Baptism. For where His Name is so named there is He. Or, since" the devils were cast out through His Name" (Mark ix. 33.) why should it appear a strange or (as men call it) a superstitious thing, to believe that now also a power or virtue has been annexed to the Name of the Blessed Trinity, when "that Name "is called upon the heathen" (Acts xiv. 37), or on our children on whom it has not yet been named? As says an ancient writer 1, "whereas this, which the LORD said, ' Go, teach all nations, and 'baptize them in the Name of the FATHER, the Son, and the "HOLY GHOST,' is true and right, and by all means to be ob"served, and has been observed in the Church; yet we must not "consider that the invocation of the Name of JESUS [only, in those
so baptized by heretics] is altogether useless, and that on ac"count of the majesty and might of the Name itself; in which "Name all works of might (miracles) were wont to be wrought, "and sometimes some even by aliens." It was not then mere glowing language, when the fathers spoke of the baptized being "fenced round by the Trinity" or the like; they would hereby only express the literal truth; and surely, in that they press the force of "being baptized into the Name of the FATHER, SON, and "HOLY GHOST," as something real 2, something efficient, an actual
1 De Rebaptismate ap. Cyprian. p. 358.
2 Hence St. Hilary, in the prayer quoted below, p. 78 and p. 74, and Jerome, p. 79 note, use the strong form, baptizatus in Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto, "baptized in the F."
74 CONSUBSTANTIALITY OF THE PERSONS OF THE BLESSED TRINITY
communion with the Blessed Trinity, they adhere more to the analogy of the faith, and the usage of other Scripture, and the literal meaning of the text, than they who would interpret it of the mere commission given to the minister of Baptism, and are withal at a loss to say what "to baptize into the Name of" can literally mean, or how they obtain the sense, which they vaguely attach to it. Of this efficiency St. Hilary speaks, when employing this text as the foundation-stone of orthodox doctrine on the Trinity'; "To those who believe, that word of GOD were suffi"cient, which was poured into our ears by the testimony of the "Evangelist, together with the very power of His truth, [sc. at "Baptism,] when the LORD saith, 'Go now and teach all nations, 66 6 'baptizing them in the Name of the FATHER, and of the "SON, and of the HOLY GHOST, teaching them to keep all things "whatsoever I command you; and lo, I am with you alway, even "to the end of the world.' For what of the mystery of man's "salvation is not therein contained? or what is omitted or left "obscure? All things are full, as from Him Who is Fulness, and "perfect, as from Perfection. For they comprise both the sig"nificance of words, and the efficiency of the things, and the order "of the offices, and the understanding of Their Nature." And again", "The following book in such wise teaches the mystery of "the Divine Generation, that they who are to be baptized in the "Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, should not be ignorant "of the truth of those names, nor under the words confound the "meaning; but so conceive the meaning of each, as it is, and is "called; acknowledging most fully that neither is the Name "without the corresponding truth, nor is the truth unexpressed "by the Name."
And in this way we may much more appreciate the force of the argument, which the Ancients, when vindicating the Catholic doctrine of the TRINITY, drew from the words of Baptism, but which to us has been much weakened and obscured; for if by these words were only meant that we thereby acknowledged "the "FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY GHOST," the co-equality and
1 De Trin. L. ii. init.
2 L. 1. § 4.
PROVED BY ANCIENT CHURCH FROM WORDS OF BAPTISM. 75
co-essentiality of the three Divine Persons will not thence be so evident, since in different ways we might believe in and acknowledge the underived authority of the Creator, and the derived authority of a created; but since the words (as Christian Antiquity understood them) further denote the power of Those in whose Name we are Baptized, as manifested in that Baptism, then the argument appears clear, that in this work of power He would not have joined the Creator with the created. "For "neither did He conjoin (argues St. Athanasius 1) an angel with "the Godhead, nor did He unite us with Himself and the Father "in one created, but in the HOLY SPIRIT." And again," They "(the Arians) risk the very fulness of the mystery-Baptism. "For since this perfecting is conferred into the Name of the "FATHER and the Son,' but these acknowledge not the true "FATHER because they deny Him Who is derived of Him, and "His consubstantiality; and deny again the true SoN, and feign "to themselves another, created out of things which were not, and name Him; how should not what they administer be wholly "vain and profitless, having a semblance, but nothing real as an "aid to holiness? for the Arians impart not Baptism into the "FATHER and the SoN, but into a Creator and a creature, a "Maker and a made. But as their created' is different from "the Son, so would that which they are thought to give, be from "the reality, although they affect to name the name of the "FATHER and the Son 2."
And this is throughout a remarkable difference between the ancient and modern way of viewing this text: the modern school sees only the three Persons or Beings are united therein, and infers that they would not be so united, were there any such disparity between them, as between the Creator and the created, or a mere energy or power. To this it has been answered, that in Holy Scripture other names are united with those of Persons, without implying that what is so united is a Person. As when it is written "I commend you to GoD, and to the word of His grace," or
Ep. 1. ad Serapion. c. 11. p. 660. 2 Orat. 2. c. Ariann. c. 42. p. 510. 3 Wolzogen. ad loc. F. Socinus Fratr. Polon. t. ii. p. 438.
4 Acts xx. 32.
when our LORD says, "I will write upon him the Name of My GOD, and the name of the city of My GoD, which is New Jerusalem and My new Name '." Or, again," My son, fear thou the LORD and the King." But this, which would not be satisfactorily answered by such as see herein only an acknowledgment, on the part of the baptized, of the FATHER, SON, and HOLY GHOST, has no weight whatever against the argument of the ancient Church, who saw that not only were there three Beings mentioned and acknowledged, but that they were named as cooperating equally in the same Divine work of our re-creation, the imparting to fallen man the Divine nature 3, and that this was wrought by Them, as One.
"Leave off," says S. Gregory of Nyssa, "your controversy "with men, and resist, if thou canst, the words of the LORD, "which laid down for men the invocation in Baptism. But what 66 says the LORD's command: baptizing them into the Name of "the FATHER, and of the SON, and of the HOLY GHOST?' How "into the Name of the FATHER?' because He is the Beginning "of all things. How 'into the SON?' because He is the Author "of creation. How into the HOLY GHOST?' because He per"fecteth all things. We immerse them to the FATHER' that
we may be sanctified; we immerse to the SoN' also for this 66 same end; we immerse also 'to the HOLY GHOST' that we may "be that which He is and is called. There is no difference in "the sanctification, as if the FATHER sanctified more, the SON "less, the HOLY SPIRIT less than those two. Why then dissect "the three Persons into different Natures, and make three GODS "unlike each other, when thou hast received one and the same
grace from all ?"
"If," says S. Gregory of Nazianzum ", " He "be not adorable, how does He deify (toi) me through
Baptism? And if adorable, how not to be adored? And "if to be adored, how not God? The one hangs on to the other,
2 Prov. xx. 21.
1 Rev. iii. 12.
3 2 Pet. i. 4.
IN FORCE, AS WELL AS GRATITUDE.
"and forms a truly golden and saving chain. And from the “Spirit, then, have we our re-generation; and from our re“generation, our re-formation ; and from our re-formation, the “ knowledge of the dignity of Him, who re-formed us ;” and, “would I prefer the Son to the Spirit, as being the Son, but " Baptism permits me not, hallowing me through the Spirit?." Or St. Hilary, not in an appeal to his flock, but laying out the plan of his work ?, "Nothing will then be wanting to the completion “of the whole faith, inasmuch as removing the irreligiousnesses “of faulty modes of speaking of the doctrine of the Holy SPIRIT “also, the Apostolic and Evangelic authority comprises within “that saving definition the mystery of the regenerating Trinity;
nor would any one then dare, following the devices of human
reason, to rank the Spirit of God among created beings, seeing “ that we receive Him as the earnest of immortality, and for the "participation of the Divine and incorruptible nature.” They could not speak coldly and abstractedly of what they felt so really; they could not abstract themselves from their faith, or the ordinance of God from the blessings they had received in it. Thus St. Hilary spoke of “the regenerating Trinity," and St. Irenæus, speaking of this same commission, says, " And again, “committing to His disciples the power of regeneration to God, “ He said to them, 'Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them "in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy ". SPIRIT 3."
It is good to see this same truth, presented on different sides, both in contrast to modern formalism, which can repeat it only in one way, and as exhibiting how vividly it was appreciated in those days, when it was looked upon, not as a “ Baptismal form” only, but as a reality, and as efficacious through Their might, Whose Name it bore. Let any one consider this concluding address of S. Gregory * to the Candidates of Baptism, and if he would not spontaneously have used the like words, let him lay to heart wherein the difference consists.
1 Orat. 40. de S. Bapt. $ 43.
2 De Trin. I. i. & 36.