True Christian Religion (Chadwick) n. 677

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677. IV

The first purpose of baptism is to be introduced to the Christian Church, and at the same time brought into the company of Christians in the spiritual world.

There are many facts that establish that baptism is an introduction to the Christian church, such as the following.

(1) Baptism was instituted to take the place of circumcision, and just as circumcision was a sign of belonging to the Israelite church, so baptism is a sign of belonging to the Christian church, as was shown in the previous section. The sole purpose of the sign is to enable people to be recognised, like ribbons of different colours tied on babies of two mothers, so that they can be told apart and are not mixed up.

[2] (2) It is plainly established that it is only a sign of being introduced to the Christian church from the fact that infants are baptised, who are totally devoid of any powers of reasoning and are not yet any more capable of receiving anything to do with faith than new shoots on a tree.

[3] (3) Not only infants are baptised, but also all proselytes from other races who are converted to Christianity, both young and adult; and this too before they have been instructed, provided only they profess their willingness to embrace Christianity, to which their baptism is an inauguration. This too is what the Apostles did, as the Lord's words prescribed, to make disciples of all nations and baptise them (Matt. 28:19).

[4] (4) John baptised in the Jordan all that came to him from Judaea and Jerusalem (Matt. 3:6; Mark 1:5). The reason why it was in the Jordan was that this river formed the entrance to the land of Canaan; and the land of Canaan stood for the church, because that was where it was, and the Jordan the way in, see My APOCALYPSE REVEALED 285. But this is what happens on earth.

[5] In the heavens, however, children are by baptism brought into the Christian heaven, and have angels there allotted to them by the Lord to take care of them. So as soon as children are baptised, angels are put in charge of them, who keep them in a state in which they can receive faith in the Lord. But as they grow up and become their own masters and think for themselves, they abandon their angel tutors, and choose for themselves such spirits as are at one with their life and faith. These facts show plainly that baptism is being brought into association with Christians in the spiritual world too.

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