Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

No tags yet.

William Attersoll's Badges of Christianity (5) - The Second Outward Part of Baptism (Words of In


The second outward part of baptism is the word of institution, which is as the form of the Sacrament, as Eph. 2:26. Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify it and cleanse it by the washing of water through the word. This also is expressly set down in Math. 28.19 Go, teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This both declares the use of the Sacrament, and promises Christ with all his benefits. For to be baptized into the name of the blessed Trinity, is to be made one of God's family which is his church, and to be partaker of the privileges thereof. This promise is contained under the commandment, as we may see by sundry testimonies of the Scripture as Gen. 48:16 Jacob said, The Angel that hath delivered me from all evil, bless the children, and let my name be named upon them, and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac: whereby he means, they should be joined to his family and accounted in the number of them. Now the uses remain to be considered.
The Uses of the Second Outward Part
First, hereby it is manifest, what a solemn covenant and contract, and what a near conjunction is made by the washing in baptism between God and the persons baptized: for God the Father vouchsafes to receive them as his children into favour, the Son to redeem, the Holy Ghost to purify and preserve them, to comfort and regenerate them, to protect and defend them from all evil. This is the staff and stay of our hope and comfort.

Secondly, consider on the other side, that the parties thus baptised, do promise and vow, to acknowledge, believe, serve, worship and call upon the name of no other gods but of the true God, which is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and consequently to renounce the works of the devil, the fashions of the world and the lusts of the flesh. Baptism is as it were a solemn oath taken in the sight of God and in the face of the congregation, whereby the person baptized binds himself wholly to God, three in persons, but one in substance. Indeed we deserve to be cast out of the favour and family of God, yet he vouchsafes to entertain us, to receive us, and to acknowledge us for his children: therefore we must in every estate depend upon him, honour him as our God, serve him as our master, obey him as our Lord, and look for salvation from him as from our redeemer. Again, as we have been baptised, not in the name of one person alone, not in the name of the Father alone, or of the Son alone, or of the Holy Ghost alone, but in the name of the Father, and of the Son, & of the Holy Ghost: so we must all believe and confess as an article of our faith, that the Trinity in unity, and unity in trinity is to be worshipped. For albeit here are three reckoned up as speaking of many: yet here is also mentioned their name, as speaking only of one, not of their names, baptise them in the name of the three persons. So many as deny the doctrine of the Trinity, are justly to be condemned of falsehood and heresy. Such is the religion of the Jews, Greeks, Turks, Persians, and in some sort the Papists, albeit in words these last acknowledge one God in three persons. The Greek church at this day denies the Godhead of the Holy Ghost: the Turks and Jews deny the deity both of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: the present Church of Rome more glorious in show, but not much more sound in sayings, has defiled the whole trinity with their imagery, and set up a false Christ, partly denying him to be God of himself, and partly repealing all his offices: so that howsoever they profess him in words, and leave him the name of a saviour: yet they make a mock of his sacrifice and have turned Christian religion into Antichristian. Wherefore, as we are baptized into the most worthy name of the blessed Trinity, let us hold fast the true profession thereof, and renounce all errors and heresies impugning our holy oath, and rob us of the sweet comfort we have therein.

Thirdly, are these words of institution baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, the outward form of baptism? Then we hold that manner of baptizing must be retained, this ought not to be changed, no other ought to be used than this, prescribed by Christ our saviour. We must not therefore let pass or leave out, any of the three persons in Trinity (as some heretics have done) though we shall understand the other by naming and speaking of one. If any say, that the Apostles baptized in the name of Christ, as Act. 2:38, and Ch. 10:48, and 19:5. To this I answer, the Apostles do not set down in those places the form of baptism, or the words of institution: but the substance and end, which is, to assure remission of sins in the name of Christ. They shew not the form, but the fruit: not how it should be ministered, but what spiritual grace is signified thereby. For why should the Disciples change the ordinance of their master, who delivered nothing to the churches, but what they received of the Lord? Again, it cannot be denied, but that the Apostles baptized in this form, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, as Act. 10:47. Can any forbid water that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? As if he should say, these have received the gifts of the Holy Ghost, therefore they may be baptized in the name of the Holy Ghost. And more plainly Act. 19, when the Disciples had answered Paul that they knew not whether there were an Holy Ghost, he saith, Unto what were ye then baptized? Whereby he shows, it was the manner and custom to baptize in the name of the Holy Ghost, and consequently of the whole Trinity. The Evangelists also teach, that at the baptism of John, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost were present. And as he baptized with the same matter, why should we imagine he observed not the same form, that Christ commanded expressly to his Apostles? Nay seeing in the baptism of John we have proved, there was the same promise, the same grace, the same virtue, the same sign, the same signification, which was in the baptism of the Apostles (as we have proved before) why should we only doubt of the words of institution? Wherefore, we conclude, that the Apostles would not alter any thing of the direct and express words of their lord and master, prescribed in Matt. 28:19, where he charges them both what to preach and how to baptise. For as he enjoins them to teach the nations, to observe whatsoever he commanded them: so he wills them to baptize in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And as they altered nothing in the matter of teaching: no more did they in the manner of baptizing, considering that as the doctrine they preached was the doctrine of God, so the Sacraments they delivered were the Sacraments of God, and they had no more leave in the one, then liberty in the other. If then, any should baptize otherwise than in the name of the Trinity, or should name the Son to be unequal to the Father, or should deny the proceeding of the Holy Ghost, or should baptize in the name of the Virgin Mary and the Saints, this cannot be the Sacrament of baptism instituted by Christ, but a ceremony made void and frustrate by our own inventions.