Baptism

Quotes

Stephen Marshall – “Know then that whensoever thou findest thy selfe at a losse, sensible of thy undone condition, findest thy guilt, and filth, and bondage, through sinne, and flyest unto Christ, and thy conscience witnesseth with thee, that thou wouldest walke for time to come, according to the rule of the Covenant, in uprightnesse, to make God in Christ thy portion, and his word thy guide;  So often I say as thou doest this, maiest thou fly to the Baptisme, and plead it for thy comfort, as we may plead the Rainbow in foule weather against the worlds destruction by water” (A Sermon of the Baptizing of Infants, p. 58, 1644).

A poetic inscription on the Lateran Baptistery in Rome gives a wonderful series of theological metaphors for baptism. John F. Baldovin notes that the inscription is “often attributed to the mid-fifth century pope, Sixtus III.” The inscription reads:

Here is born in Spirit-soaked fertility/ a brood destined for another City,/ begotten by God’s blowing/ and borne upon this torrent/ by the Church their virgin mother./ Reborn in these depths they reach for/ heaven’s realm,/ the born-but-once unknown by felicity./ This spring is life that floods the world,/ the wounds of Christ its awesome source,/ Sinner sink beneath this sacred surf/ that swallows age and spits out youth./ Sinner here scour away down to innocence,/ for they know no enmity who are by/ one font, one Spirit, one faith made one./ Sinner, shudder not at sin’s kind and number,/ for those born here are holy” (The Oxford History of Christian Worship, pgs. 93-94, translated by Aidan Kavanagh).

Books

Beginner 

Peter J. Leithart – The Baptized Body

Leonard J. Vander Zee – Christ, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.  (Excellent irenic study.)

Advanced 

Hughes Oliphant Old – The Shaping of the Reformed Baptismal Rite in the Sixteenth Century.  (Mandatory reading for anyone wanting to understand what the Reformers actually taught about baptism.)

Stephen Marshall (most noted preacher at the Westminster Assembly) – “A Sermon of the Baptism of Infants

One thought on “Baptism

  1. Another mandatory read for those who want to understand 17th century Presbyterian views of baptism E. Brooks Holifield’s book, The Covenant Sealed: The Development of Puritan Sacramental Theology in Old and New England, 1570-1720.

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