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door of baptism, that he might hallow the entrance, which himself made to the house he was now building.
2. As it was in the old, so it is in the new creation; out of the waters God produced every living creature : and when at first “ the Spirit moved upon the waters,” and gave life, it was the type of what was designed in the renovation. Every thing that lives now,“ is born of water and the Spirit ;” and Christ, who is our Creator and Redeemer in the new birth, opened the fountains, and hallowed the stream: Christ, who is our Life, went down into the waters of baptism ; and we, who descend thither, find the effects of life; it is living water, of which whoso drinks needs not to drink of it again, for “ it shall be in him a well of water, springing up to life eternal a.”
3. But because every thing is resolved into the same principles, from whence they are taken; the old world, which by the power of God came from the waters, by their own sin fell into the waters again, and were all drowned, and only eight persons were saved by an ark: and the world renewed upon the stock and reserves of that mercy consigned the sacrament of baptism in another figure; for then God gave his sign from heaven, that by water the world should never again perish ; but he meant that they should be saved by water: for “ baptism, which is a figure like to this, doth also now save us, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ b."
4. After this the Jews report that the world took up the doctrine of baptisms, in remembrance that the iniquity of the old world was purged by water; and they washed all that came to the service of the true God, and, by that baptism, bound them to the observation of the precepts which God
gave to Noah.
5. But when God separated a family for his own special service, he gave them a sacrament of initiation, but it was a sacrament of blood, the covenant of circumcision : and this was the forerunner of baptism, but not a type; when that was abrogated, this came into the place of it, and that consigned the same faith which this professes. But it could not properly be a type, whose nature is, by a likeness of matter or ceremony, to represent the same mystery. Neither is a ceremony, as baptism truly is, properly capable of having a type; itself is but a type of a greater mysteriousness. And the nature of types is, in shadow to describe by dark lines a future substance : so that, although circumcision might be a type of the effects and graces bestowed in baptism, yet of the baptism or ablution itself it cannot be properly, because of the unlikeness of the symbols and configurations, and because they are both equally distant from substances, which types are to consign and represent. The first bishops of Jerusalem, and all the Christian Jews for many years, retained circumcision together with baptism ; and Christ himself, who was circumcised, was also baptized ; and therefore it is not so proper to call circumcision a type of baptism: it was rather'a seal and sign of the same covenant to Abraham, and the fathers, and to all Israel, as baptism is to all ages of the Christian church.
a Jolin, iv. 14.
bi Pet, iji. 21.
6. And because this rite could not be administered to all persons, and was not at all times after its institution, God was pleased by a proper and specific type to consign this rite of baptism, which he intended to all, and that for ever: and God, when the family of his church grew separate, notorious, numerous, and distinct, sent them into their own country by a baptism, through which the whole nation passed; for “ all the fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea," so by a double figure foretelling, that as they were initiated to Moses's law by the cloud above and the sea beneath, so should all the persons of the church, men, women, and children, be initiated unto Christ by the Spirit from above and the water below : for it was the design of the apostle in that discourse, to represent that the fathers and we were equal as to the privileges of the covenant; he proved that we do not exceed them, and it ought therefore to be certain, that they do not exceed us, nor their children ours.
7. But after this, something was to remain, which might not only consign the covenant, which God made with Abra
c Umbra in lege, imago in evangelio, veritas in cælo.- S. Ambr.
1 Cor. x. 1, 2.
ham, but be as a passage from the fathers, through the synagogue, to the church, from Abraham by Moses to Christ : and that was circumcision, which was a rite which God chose to be a mark to the posterity of Abraham, to distinguish them from the nations, which were not within the covenant of grace, and to be “ a seal of the righteous. ness of faith,” which God made to be the spirit and life of the covenant.
8. But because circumcision, although it was ministered to all the males, yet it was not to the females, although they and all the nation were baptized and initiated into “ Moses in the cloud and in the sea;" therefore the children of Israel, by imitation of the patriarchs, the posterity of Noah, used also ceremonial baptisms to their women, and to their proselytes, and to all that were circumcised; and the Jews deliver, that Sarah and Rebecca, when they were adopted into the family of the church, that is, of Abraham and Isaac, were baptized : and so were all strangers that were married to the sons of Israel. And that we may think this to be typical of Christian baptism, the doctors of the Jews had a tradition, that when the. Messias would come, there should be so many proselytes, that they could not be circumcised, but should be baptized. The tradition proved true, but not for their
But that this rite of admitting into mysteries, and institutions, and offices of religion by baptisms, was used by the posterity of Noah, or at least very early among the Jews, besides the testimonies of their own doctors, I am the rather induced to believe, because the heathens had the same rite
many places, and in several religions : so they initiated disciples into the secrets of Mithra o ; and the priests of Cotytto were called Baptæ, because by baptism they were admitted into the religionf; and they thought murder, incest, rapes, and the worst of crimes, were purged by dipping in the sea or fresh springs 8; and a proselyte is called in Arrianus Beßaurévos, Intinctus, a baptized person.
9. But this ceremony of baptizing was so certain and usual among the Jews, in their admitting proselytes, and adopting into institutions, that to baptize and to make disciples are all one; and when John the Baptist, by an order from Heaven, went to prepare the way to the coming of our blessed Lord, he preached repentance, and baptized all that professed they did repent. He taught the Jews to live good lives, and baptized with the baptism of a prophet, such as was not unusually done by extraordinary and holy persons in the change or renewing of discipline or religion. Whether “ John's baptism was from heaven, or of men,” Christ asked the Pharisees. That it was from heaven the people therefore believed, because he was a prophet and a holy person : but it implies also, that such baptisms are sometimes from men, that is, used by persons of an eminent religion, or extraordinary fame for the gathering of disciples and admitting proselytes: and the disciples of Christ did so toob; even before Christ had instituted the sacrament for the Christian church, the disciples that came to Christ were baptized by his apostles.
· Tertul. de Præscript. c. 40. Scholiast, in Juv. Sat, ii. lib. 1.
8 O nimiùm faciles, qui tristia crimina cædis
Tolli flumineâ posse putatis aquà.
10. And now we are come to the gates of baptism. Al these, till John, were but types and preparatory baptisms, and John's baptism was but the prologue to the baptism of Christ. The Jewish baptisms admitted proselytes to Moses, and to the law of ceremonies; John's baptism called them to believe in the Messias now appearing, and to repent of their sins, to enter into the kingdom which was now at hand, and preached that repentance which should be for the remission of sins. His baptism remitted no sins, but preached and consigned repentance, which, in the belief of the Messias, whom he pointed to, should pardon sins. But because he was taken from his office before the work was completed, the disciples of Christ finished it: they went forth preaching the same sermon of repentance, and the approach of the kingdom, and baptized, or made proselytes or disciples, as John did; only they (as it is probable) baptized in the name of Jesus, which it is not so likely John
h John, iv. 2.
i Audi quid Scripturæ doceant: Joannis baptisna non tam peccata dimisit, quâm baptisma pænitentiæ fuit in peccatorum remissionem, idque in futuram remissionem, quæ esset postea per sanctificationem Christi subsequutura. — Hicronym, adv. Luciferum.
did. And this very thing might be the cause of the different forms of baptism recorded in the Acts k, of “ baptizing in the name of Jesus !,” and at other times“ in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost m;" the former being the manner of doing it in pursuance of the design of John's baptism, and the latter the form of institution by Christ for the whole Christian church, appointed after his resurrection; the disciples, at first, using promiscuously what was used by the same authority, though with some difference of mystery,
11. The holy Jesus having found his way ready prepared by the preaching of John, and by his baptism, and the Jewish manner of adopting proselytes and disciples into the religion, a way chalked out for him to initiate disciples into his religion, took what was so prepared, and changed it into a perpetual sacrament. He kept the ceremony, that they, who were led only by outward things, might be the better called in, and easier enticed into the religion, when they entered by a ceremony which their nation always used in the like cases: and, therefore, without change of the outward act, he put into it a new spirit, and gave it a new grace, and a proper efficacy; he sublimed it to higher ends, and adorned it with stars of heaven; he made it to signify greater mysteries, to convey greater blessings, to consign the bigger promises, to cleanse deeper than the skin, and to carry proselytes farther than the gates of the institution. For so he was pleased to do in the other sacrament: he took the ceremony which he found ready in the custom of the Jews, where the major-domo, after the paschal supper, gave bread and wine to every person of his family; he changed nothing of it without, but transferred the rite to greater mysteries, and put his own spirit to their sign, and it became a sacrament evangelical. It was so also in the matter of excommunication, where the Jewish practice was made to pass into Christian discipline: without violence and noise “ old things became new," while he fulfilled the law, making it up in full measures of the Spirit.
12. By these steps baptism passed on to a Divine evangelical institution, which we find to be consigned by three evangelists" : “ Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations,
k Vide supra, Sect. ix. n. 1. | Acts, viji. 16. Acts, ii. 38. m Matt. xxviii. 19.
n Matt. xxviii, 19.