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ministers, but also immediately through the renovating power of the Holy Spirit operating upon it; whereby, being cleansed from its most secret corruptions, it is purified, and fitted for communion with the Father and with the Son. It was thus, without the medium of preaching, that the disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
Matt. iii. 11. He [Christ] shall baptize you witń the Holy Spirit, and with fire: 12. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner, but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Isaiah xliv. 3. I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring
John vii. 37. In the last day that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters, 39. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him, should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
1 Cor. xii. 13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whetherwe be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Gal. iii. 26. For ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ, See also Acts ii. 1 to 3, in the Proofs to the 87th Answer.
96th Q.-Was there not an outward baptism with water that was at one time practised by a commission from heaven?
See the Proofs to the 98th Answer.
97th Q.-Who received the commission to baptize with water?
A.-John, on that account stiled the Baptist, who was the fore-runner of Christ, the Elias that was to come to prepare his foretold by the prophets.
See the Proofs to the following Answer.
98th Q.-In what consisted the difference between the baptism of John and the baptism of Christ?
A.—John baptized the body with water; his baptism was therefore of an outward, elementary nature: whereas Christ baptizes the soul with the Holy Spirit, which, from its purifying and penetrating nature, is compared to the element of fire.
Luke iii. 2. The word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 4. As it is written in the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths strait.
5. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and bill shall
be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Mark i. 5. And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
Luke iii. 15. And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; 16. John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather his wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
John i. 33. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Spirit. 34. And I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God. - John iii. 30. He [Jesus] must increase, but I [John] must decrease.
Luke vii. 24. And when the messengers of John were departed, he [Jesus] began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? 26. A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. 27. This is he of whom it is written, Behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 28. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
Matt. xi. 13. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come.
See also the Proofs to the 87th, 94th, and 95th Answers.
99th Q.-Did Christ enjoin that Water Baptism should be practised as a gospel ordinance in his church?
A.-It does not appear that he did: Paul who, whether we consider his gifts or his zeal and labours in the gospel, was inferior to none of the apostles, says expressly that he was not sent to baptize, but to preach the gospel.
See the Proofs to the next Answer.
100th Q.–Did not the apostles baptize with water, and if so, are we to conclude from their practice that it was an institution of Christ?
A.-Though some of the apostles did baptize with water, that no more proves it to be an institution of Christ, than their adherence to the ceremonial law of Moses proves that his law was not fulfilled and superseded by the coming of Christ: for the apostle Paul acknowledges he had baptized some individuals, though he had not, according to his own confession, received any commission so to do.
John iii. 22. After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea, and there he tarried with them and baptized.
Johniv. 1. When therefore the Lord knew how the pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2. (Though Jesus hiinself baptized not, but his disciples) 3. He left Judea.
Acts viii. 36. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, Set, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest. 38. And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Acts xxi. 20. They (the Apostle James and others] said unto him [Paul], Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe, and they are all zealous of the Law. 21. And they are informed of thee that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles, to forsake Moses, saying, that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. 22. What is it therefore ? the multitude must needs come together; for they will hear that thou art come. 23. Do therefore this that we say to thee: we have four men which have à vow on them; 24. Them take and purify thyself with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing, but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the Law.
1 Cor. i. 14. I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius, 15. Lest any should say, that I had baptized in mine own name. 16. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 17. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.
101st Q.-Why did the apostles conform to ceremonial rites that were superseded and abolished by the Christian dispensation ?
A.-Not to mention, that as Jews it was