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Chapter XV.—Unity of Baptism. Remarks on Heretical And Jewish Baptism.

I know not whether any further point is mooted to bring baptism into controversy. Permit me to call to mind what I have omitted above, lest I seem to break off the train of impending thoughts in the middle. There is to us one, and but one, baptism; as well according to the Lord’s gospel86898689    Oehler refers us to c. xii. above, “He who hath once bathed.” as according to the apostle’s letters,86908690    i.e. the Epistle to the Ephesians especially. inasmuch as he says, “One God, and one baptism, and one church in the heavens.”86918691    Eph. iv. 4, 5, 6, but very inexactly quoted. But it must be admitted that the question, “What rules are to be observed with regard to heretics?” is worthy of being treated. For it is to us86928692    i.e. us Christians; of “Catholics,” as Oehler explains it. that that assertion86938693    i.e. touching the “one baptism.” refers. Heretics, however, have no fellowship in our discipline, whom the mere fact of their excommunication86948694    Ademptio communicationis. [See Bunsen, Hippol. III. p. 114, Canon 46.] testifies to be outsiders. I am not bound to recognize in them a thing which is enjoined on me, because they and we have not the same God, nor one—that is, the same—Christ. And therefore their baptism is not one with ours either, because it is not the same; a baptism which, since they have it not duly, doubtless they have not at all; nor is that capable of being counted which is not had.86958695    Comp. Eccles. i. 15. Thus they cannot receive it either, because they have it not. But this point has already received a fuller discussion from us in Greek.  We enter, then, the font86968696    Lavacrum. once:  once are sins washed away, because they ought never to be repeated. But the Jewish Israel bathes daily,86978697    Compare de Orat. c. xiv. because he is daily being defiled: and, for fear that defilement should be practised among us also, therefore was the definition touching the one bathing86988698    In John xiii. 10, and Eph. iv. 5. made. Happy water, which once washes away; which does not mock sinners (with vain hopes); which does not, by 677being infected with the repetition of impurities, again defile them whom it has washed!

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