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Chapter IX.—Types of the Red Sea, and the Water from the Rock.

How many, therefore, are the pleas86178617    Patrocinia—“pleas in defence.” of nature, how many the privileges of grace, how many the solemnities of discipline, the figures, the preparations, the prayers, which have ordained the sanctity of water? First, indeed, when the people, set unconditionally free,86188618    “Libere expeditus,” set free, and that without any conditions, such as Pharaoh had from time to time tried to impose. See Ex. viii. 25, 28; x. 10, 11, 24. escaped the violence of the Egyptian king by crossing over through water, it was water that extinguished86198619    “Extinxit,” as it does fire. the king himself, with his entire forces.86208620    Ex. xiv. 27–30. What figure more manifestly fulfilled in the sacrament of baptism? The nations are set free from the world86218621    Sæculo. by means of water, to wit: and the devil, their old tyrant, they leave quite behind, overwhelmed in the water. Again, water is restored from its defect of “bitterness” to its native grace of “sweetness” by the tree86228622    See Ex. xv. 24, 25. of Moses. That tree was Christ,86238623    “The Tree of Life,” “the True Vine,” etc. restoring, to wit, of Himself, the veins of sometime envenomed and bitter nature into the all-salutary waters of baptism. This is the water which flowed continuously down for the people from the “accompanying rock;” for if Christ is “the Rock,” without doubt we see baptism blest by the water in Christ. How mighty is the grace of water, in the sight of God and His Christ, for the confirmation of baptism!  Never is Christ without water: if, that is, He is Himself baptized in water;86248624    Matt. iii. 13–17. inaugurates in water the first rudimentary displays of His power, when invited to the nuptials;86258625    John ii. 1–11. invites the thirsty, when He makes a discourse, to His own sempiternal water;86268626    John vii. 37, 38. approves, when teaching concerning love,86278627    Agape. See de Orat. c. 28, ad fin. among works of charity,86288628    Dilectionis. See de Patien. c. xii. the cup of water offered to a poor (child);86298629    Matt. x. 42. recruits His strength at a well;86308630    John iv. 6. walks over the water;86318631    Matt. xiv. 25. willingly crosses the sea;86328632    Mark iv. 36. ministers water to His disciples.86338633    John xiii. 1–12. Onward even to the passion does the witness of baptism last: while He is being surrendered to the cross, water intervenes; witness Pilate’s hands:86348634    Matt. xxvii. 24. Comp. de Orat. c. xiii. when He is wounded, forth from His side bursts water; witness the soldier’s lance!86358635    John xix. 34. See c. xviii. sub fin.

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