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CATECHISM - Concerning Baptism, and Bread and Wine.

By Robert Barclay


      Question. How many BAPTISMS are there?
      A. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism [Eph. 4:5].

      Q. What is this Baptism?

      A. The like Figure, whereunto even Baptism doth now save us: not the putting away the Filth of the Flesh, but the Answer of a good Conscience towards God, by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is gone into Heaven, and is on the Right Hand of God, Angels, and Authorities, and Powers, being made subject unto him [1 Pet. 3:21-22].

      Q. What saith John the Baptist of Christ's Baptism? how distinguisheth he it from his?

      A. I indeed baptize you with Water unto Repentance; but he that cometh after me, is Mightier then I, whose Shoes I am not worthy to bear, he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire [Matt. 3:11].

      Q. Doth not Christ so distinguish it also?

      A. And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem; but wait for the promise of the Father, which saith he, ye have heard of me: For John truly baptized with Water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence [Acts 1:4-5].

      Q. Doth not the Apostle Peter observe this?

      A. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the Beginning; Then remembered I the Word of the Lord, how, that he said, John indeed baptized with Water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost [Acts 11:15-16].

      Q. Then it seems John's Baptism must pass away, that Christ's may take place; because John must decrease, that Christ may increase?

      A. He must increase, but I must decrease [John 3:30].

      Q. I perceive then, many may be sprinkled with and dipped and baptized in Water, and yet not truly baptized with the Baptism of Christ? What are the real Effects in such as are truly baptized with the Baptism of Christ?

      A. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his Death? Therefore we are buried with him by Baptism into Death, that like as Christ was raised up from the Dead by the Glory of the Father, even we also should walk in Newness of Life [Rom. 6:3-4].

      For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ [Gal. 2:27].

      Buried with him in Baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him, through the Faith of the Operation of God, who hath raised him from the Dead [Col. 2:12].

      Q. I perceive there was a Baptism of Water, which was John's Baptism, and is therefore by John himself contra-distinguished from Christ's: Was there not likewise something of the like nature appointed by Christ to his Disciples, of eating Bread, and drinking Wine in Remembrance of him?

      A. For I have received of the Lord that which also I have delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same Night in which he was betrayed, took Bread, & when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my Body which is broken for you; this do in Remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the Cup, when he had supped, saying, This Cup is the New Testament in my Blood; This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in Remembrance of me [1 Cor. 11:23-25].

      Q. How long was this to continue?

      A. For, as often as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do shew the Lord's Death till he come [1 Cor. 11:26].

      Q. Did Christ promise to come again to his Disciples?

      A. I will not leave you Comfortless; I will come to you. Jesus answered, and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my Words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our Abode with him [John 14:18,23].

      Q. Was this an Inward Coming?

      A. At that Day ye shall know, that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you [John 14:20].

      Q. But it would seem this was even practised by the Church of Corinth, after Christ was come inwardly; was it so that there were certain Appointments positively commanded, yea, and Zealously and Conscientiously practised by the Saints of Old, which were not of perpetual Continuance, nor yet now needful to be practised in the Church?

      A. If I then your Lord and Master have washed your Feet, ye ought also to wash one another's Feet, For I have given you an Example, that ye should do as I have done to you [John 13:14-15].

      For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no greater Burden than these necessary things, That ye abstain from Meats offered to Idols, and from Blood, and from things strangled, and from Fornication; from which if ye keep your selves, ye shall do well; farewell [Acts 15:28-29].

      Is any man sick among you, let him call for the Elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with Oyl in the name of the Lord [Jas. 5:14].

      Q. These commands are no less positive then the other, ye some of them are asserted as the very Sense of the Holy Ghost, as no less necessary then abstaining from Fornication; and yet the generality of Protestants have laid them aside, as not of perpetual Continuance: But what other Scriptures are there, to show that it is not Necessary, that of Bread and Wine to Continue?

      A. For the Kingdom of God is not Meat and Drink; but Righteousness, and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost [Rom. 14:17].

      Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in Drink, or in respect of an Holy Day, or of the New Moon or of the Sabboth Days: Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the Rudiments of the World, why, as though living in the World, are ye subject to Ordinances (touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the Using) after the Commandments and Doctrines of Men? [Col. 2:16,20-22]

      Q. These Scriptures are very plain, and say as much for the abolishing of this, as to any Necessity, as ought can be alledged for the former: But what is the Bread then wherewith the Saints are to be nourished?

      A. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that Bread from Heaven; but my Father giveth you the True Bread from Heaven; for the Bread of God is he which comes down from Heaven, and giveth Life unto the World. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this Bread? And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life; he that cometh to me, shall never Hunger; and he that believeth on me, shall never Thirst. I am that Bread of Life: Your Fathers did eat Manna in the Wilderness, and are Dead; This is the Bread Which cometh down from Heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not dye. I am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven; If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever: and the Bread that I will give him, is my Flesh, which I will give for the Life of the World. The Jews therefore strove amongst them selves, saying, How can this man give us his Flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, ye have no Life in you: Whoso eateth my Flesh, and drinketh my Blood, hath Eternal Life, and I will raise him up at the Last Day; For my Flesh is Meat indeed, and my Blood is Drink indeed. He that eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the Living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that Bread which came down from Heaven; not as your Fathers did eat Manna, and are dead: He that eateth of this Bread shall live forever. [John 6:32-35,48-58]

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