Book: THE OBEDIENCE OF A CHRISTIAN MAN & How Christian Rulers Ought to Govern

BAPTISM hath also his word and promise, which the priest ought to teach the people, and christen them in the English tongue; and not to play the popinjay with ‘Credo say ye,’ ‘Volo say ye,’ and ‘Baptismum say ye;’ for there ought to be no mumming in such a matter. The priest, before he baptizeth, asketh, saying: ‘Believest thou in God the Father Almighty, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost, and that the congregation of Christ is holy?’ And they say, ‘Yea.’ Then the priest upon this faith baptizeth the child in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, for the forgiveness of sins, as Peter saith, Acts 2.

The washing without the word helpeth not: but through the word it purifieth and cleanseth us: as thou readest, Ephesians 5, how Christ cleanseth the congregation in the fountain of water through the word. The word is the promise that God hath made. Now as a preacher, in preaching the word of God, sayeth the hearers that believe; so doth the washing, in that it preacheth and representeth unto us the promise that God hath made unto us in Christ. The washing preacheth unto us, that we are cleansed with Christ’s blood-shedding; which was an offering, and a satisfaction, for the sin of all that repent and believe, consenting and submitting themselves unto the will of God. The plunging into the water signifieth that we die, and are buried with Christ, as concerning the old life of sin, which is Adam.

And the pulling out again signifieth that we rise again with Christ in a new life, full of the Holy Ghost, which shall teach us and guide us, and work the will of God in us, as thou seest, Romans 6.