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be excluded,” and the grace of God by Jesus made exceeding glorious". For this being the proper work of Christ, the first entertainment of a disciple, and manifestation of that state which is first given him as a favour, and next intended as a duty, is a total abolition of the precedent guilt of sin, and leaves nothing remaining that can condemn; we then freely receive the entire and perfect effect of that atonement which Christ made for us, we are put into a condition of innocence and favour. And this, I say, is done regularly in baptism, and St. Paul expresses it to this sense; after he had enumerated a series of vices subjected in many, he adds, “and such were some of you; but
ye are washed, but ye are sanctifiedi.” There is nothing of the old guilt remanent; when “ye were washed ye were sanctified,” or, as the Scripture calls it in another place, “ Ye were redeemed from
5. For this grace was the formality of the covenant: “ Repent, and believe the Gospel'. Repent, and be converted,” (so it is in St. Peter's sermon,)“ and your sins shall be done away",” that was the covenant. But that Christ chose baptism for its signature, appears in the parallel :
Repent, and be baptized, and wash away your sins : for Christ loved his church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word ; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy, and without blemish.” The sanctification is integral, the pardon is universal and immediate.
6. But here the process is short; no more at first but this, “ Repent, and be baptized, and wash away your sinso;" which baptism, because it was speedily administered, and yet not without the preparatives of faith and repentance, it is certain those predispositions were but instruments of recep
h Rom. iii. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.
i 1 Cor. vi. 11. 1 Pet. i. 18. | Mark, i. 15.
m Acts, iii. 19. Acts, ii. 38. Mark, xvi. 16. Eph. V. 25, 26, 27..
ο Φαίνεσθέ μοι ου κατ’ άνθρωπον ζώντες, αλλά κατά Ιησούν Χριστόν τον δι' ημάς αποθανόντα, ένα πιστεύοντες εις τον θάνατον αυτού δια του βαπτίσματος κοινωνοί της åvaorácewg aúto yémo be. - Ignat. ad Trall.
Είσον δε, δι' ύδατος, και πίστεως, και ξύλου, οι προπαρασκευαζόμενοι, και μετανοούντες εφ' οίς ήμαρτον, εκφεύξονται την μέλλουσαν εσέρχεσθαι του Θεού κρίσιν. - Just. Mart. Dial. cum Tryph.
tion, actions of great facility, of small employment, and such as, supposing the person not unapte, did confess the infiniteness of the Divine mercy, and fulness of the redemption, and is called by the apostle," a being justified freely."
7. Upon this ground it is, that, by the doctrine of the church, heathen persons,“ strangers from the covenant of grace,” were invited to a confession of faith, and dereliction of false religions, with a promise, that, at the very first resignation of their persons to the service of Jesus, they should obtain full pardon'. It was St, Cyprian's counsel to old Demetrianus, " Now, in the evening of thy days, when thy soul is almost expiring, repent of thy sins, believe in Jesus, and turn Christian ; and although thou art almost in the embraces of death, yet thou shalt be comprehended of immortality.” “ Baptizatus ad horam securus hinc exit," saith St. Austin; a baptized person dying immediately shall live eternally and gloriously. And this was the case of the thief upon the cross; he confessed Christ, and repented of his sins, and begged pardon, and did acts enough to facilitate his first access to Christ, and but to remove the hinderances of God's favour; then he was redeemed and reconciled to God by the death of Jesus, that is, he was pardoned with a full, instantaneous, integral, and clear pardon; with such a pardon which declared the glory of God's mercies, and the infiniteness of Christ's merits, and such as required a mere reception and entertainment on man's part.
8. But then we, having received so great a favour, enter into covenant to correspond with a proportionable endeavour; the benefit of absolute pardon, that is, salvation of our souls, being not to be received till “ the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord':” all the interval we have promised to live a holy life, in obedience to the whole discipline of Jesus. That is the condition on our part: and if we prevaricate that, the mercy shewn to the blessed thief is no argument of hope to us, because he was saved by the mercies of the first access, which corresponds to the remission of sins we receive in baptism; and we shall perish, by breaking our own promises and obligations, which Christ passed upon us when he made with us the covenant of an entire and gracious pardon'.
P Acts, viii. 37; X. 47; and xvi. 15, 33.
9 Rom. iii. 24. * Eadem est ratio laborantium in vinea. quos dominus in parabola, Matth. xx. uodecimâ demum horâ conduxerat, omnes æqnalem sortem promerebantur. Ratio autem est, quia anteà vocati non erant: “ Nemo noś conduxerat,” verse 7. Θέλει δικαιοπραγήσαι ο ληστής, αλλά προλαμβάνει ο θάνατος. Cni respondet Christus, ού το έργον περιμένω μόνον, αλλά την πίστιν ασεδεξάμην.Cyril. Hieros.
s Acts, iii. 19.
9. For in the precise covenant there is nothing else described, but pardon so given and ascertained upon an 'obedience persevering to the end. And this is clear in all those places of Scripture which express a holy and innocent life to have been the purpose and design of Christ's death for us, and redemption of us from the former estate". “Christ bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead unto sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye are healedx.” (Exinde,) from our being “ healed,” from our“ dying unto sin,” from our being “ buried with Christ,” from our being“ baptized into his death ;" the end of Christ's dying for us is, “ that we should live unto righteousness.” Which was also highly and prophetically expressed by St. Zachariasy, in bis divine ecstasy: this was “the oath which he sware to our forefather Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” And St. Paul discourses to this purpose pertinently and largely: “For the grace of God, that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, (“ Hi sunt angeli quibus in lavacro renunciavimus," saith Tertullian, “ Those are the evil angels, the devil and his works, which we deny or renounce in baptism,”) we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world,” that is, lead a whole life in the pursuit of universal holiness; sobriety, justice, and godliness, being the proper language to signify our religion and respects to God, to our neighbours, and to ourselves. And that this was the very end of our dying in baptism, and the design of Christ's manifestation of our redemption, he adds“, “ Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus, who gave himself for us,” to this very purpose,“ that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Purifying a people peculiar to himself, is cleansing it in the laver of regeneration, and appropriating it to himself in the rites of admission and profession. Which plainly designs the first consignation of our redemption to be in baptism, and that Christ, there cleansing his church “ from every spot or wrinkle," made a covenant with us, that we should renounce all our sins, and he should cleanse them all, and then that we should abide in that state. Which is also very explicitly set down by the same apostle, in that divine and mysterious epistle to the Romans b: “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein ? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death ?" Well, what then? “ Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into his death, that, like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” That is the end and mysteriousness of baptism; it is a consignation into the death of Christ, and we die with him that once; that is, die to sin, that we may for ever after live the life of righteousness. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him ; that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sino;" that is, from the day of our baptism to the day of our death. And therefore God, who knows the weaknesses on our part, and yet the strictness and necessity of conserving baptismal grace by the covenant evangelical, hath appointed the auxiliaries of the Holy Spirit to be ministered to all baptized people in the holy rite of confirmation, that it might be made possible to be done by Divine aids, which is necessary to be done by the Divine commandments.
+ Licèt latro veniam meruisset in fine de onini suo crimine, non tamen dedit baptizatis peccandi et perseverandi auctoritatem. Tunc enim baptizatus est, qui tunc primiùm Christum in cruce confessus est. Pænitentia enim, si in extremo vitæ hiatu advenerit, sanat et liberat in ablutione baptismi. Illi autem qui, cùm potuerunt, nunquain converti voluerunt, confitentes cùm jam peccare nequeunt, non sic facilè acquirunt quod volunt.S. Aug. cap. Nullus de Pænit. dist. 7.
u Vide Part III. Consid. of Crucifix. of Jesus.
10. And this might not be improperly said to be the meaning of those words of our blessed Saviour, “ He that
• Titus, ii. 13, 14.
b Rom. vi. 2, 3, 4.
c Ib. v, 6.
speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but he that speaks a word against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him :" that is, those sins which were committed in infidelity, before we became disciples of the holy Jesus, are to be remitted in baptism and our first profession of the religion; but the sins committed after baptism and confirmation, in which we receive the Holy Ghost, and by which the Holy Spirit is grieved, are to be accounted for with more severity. And therefore the primitive church", understanding our obligations according to this discourse, admitted not any to holy orders who had lapsed and fallen into any sin of which she could take cognizance, that is, such who had not kept the integrity of their baptism; but sins committed before baptism were no impediments to the susception of orders, because they were absolutely extinguished in baptism. This is the nature of the covenant we made in baptism, that is, the grace of the Gospel, and the effect of faith and repentance; and it is expected we should so remain. For it is nowhere expressed to be the mercy and intention of the covenant evangelical, that this redemption should be any more than once, or that repentance, which is in order to it, can be renewed to the same, or so great purposes and present effects.
11. But after we are once reconciled in baptism, and put entirely into God's favour, when we have once been redeemed', if we then fall away into sin, we must expect God's dealing with us in another manner, and to other purposes. Never must we expect to be so again justified, and upon such terms as formerly; the best days of our repentance are interrupted: not that God will never forgive them that sin after baptism, and recover by repentance; but that restitution by repentance after baptism, is another thing than the first redemption. No such entire, clear, and integral, determi
a Vitia catechumeno non imputantur fideli, imò et polygamia ante baptismum sacerdotibus non ponebat obicem.-S. Hieron: in fin. Apol. Í. contra Ruffin.
De sacramento enim agitur, non de peccato.-S. Aug. de Bono Conjugali.
Nam in baptismo omnia peccata dimittuntur.-Can. Apost. 17. Concil. Eliber. cap. 30, 31.
Mundus post diluvium rursus delinquens igni destinatur: sicut et homo qui post baptismum delicta restaurat.-Tertul. de Baptis.
. Nunc hic dies aliam vitam adfert, alios mores postulat.