Friday, March 12, 2021

Maurice: the eternity of baptism

Friday, March 12, 2021
    ... this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
    —1 Peter 3:21-22 (NIV)
    They, looking at Baptism as an act done in an instant, and accomplishing its purpose in an instance, and not rather as the witness of an eternal truth, the sacrament of constant union, the assurance of a continual living presence, are driven to this conclusion: that the moment after it has been performed is a period of ideal purity and excellence, from which the future life even of a saint is a deflection, and which those who have wandered far into sin cannot hope to recover. These must be content, by much prayer and fasting, to seek for God’s mercy, which may, perhaps, though there is no certain promise to uphold the flattering expectation, once again redeem them out of sin and hell... Where is the minister of Christ in London, Birmingham, or Manchester, whom such a doctrine, heartily and inwardly entertained, would not drive to madness? He is sent to preach the Gospel. What Gospel? Of all the thousands whom he addresses, he cannot venture t o believe that there are two who, in Dr. Pusey’s sense, retain their baptismal purity. All he can do, therefore, is to tell wretched creatures, who spend eighteen hours out of the twenty-four in close factories and bitter toil, corrupting and being corrupted, that if they spend the remaining six in prayer—he need not add fasting—they may possibly be saved. How can we insult God and torment man with such mockery?
    ... Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), The Kingdom of Christ: or Hints on the principles..., letters, by a clergyman of the Church of England, 1837, p. 96 (see the book)
    See also 1 Pet. 3:18-22; Isa. 53:4-6; Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:11-14,20-23; Heb. 9:26; 1 Pet. 4:1
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have purchased Your people from slavery.
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