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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part III: Of the Times Most Suitable for Baptism.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIX.—Of the Times Most Suitable for Baptism.

The Passover affords a more than usually solemn day for baptism; when, withal, the Lord’s passion, in which we are baptized, was completed. Nor will it be incongruous to interpret figuratively the fact that, when the Lord was about to celebrate the last Passover, He said to the disciples who were sent to make preparation, “Ye will meet a man bearing water.” 8737 He points out the place for celebrating the Passover by the sign of water. After that, Pentecost is a most joyous space 8738 for conferring baptisms; 8739 wherein, too, the resurrection of the Lord was repeatedly proved 8740 among the disciples, and the hope of the advent of the Lord indirectly pointed to, in that, at that time, when He had been received back into the heavens, the angels 8741 told the apostles that “He would so come, as He had withal ascended into the heavens;” 8742 at Pentecost, of course. But, moreover, when Jeremiah says, “And I will gather them together from the extremities of the land in the feast-day,” he signifies the day of the Passover and of Pentecost, which is properly a “feast-day.” 8743 However, every day is the Lord’s; every hour, every time, is apt for baptism: if there is a difference in the solemnity, distinction there is none in the grace.


Footnotes

678:8737

Mark 14:13, Luke 22:10, “a small earthen pitcher of water.”

678:8738

[He means the whole fifty days from the Paschal Feast till Pentecost, including the latter. Bunsen Hippol. III. 18.]

678:8739

Lavacris.

678:8740

Frequentata, i.e. by His frequent appearance. See Acts i. 3, δι᾽ ἡμερῶν τεσσαράκοντα ὀπτανόμενος αὐτοῖς.

678:8741

Comp. Acts 1:10, Luke 9:30: in each place St. Luke says, ἄνδρες δύο: as also in Luke 24.4 of his Gospel.

678:8742

Acts 1:10, 11; but it is οὐρανόν throughout in the Greek.

678:8743

Jer. xxxi. 8, xxxviii. 8 in LXX., where ἐν ἑορτῇ φασέκ is found, which is not in the English version.


Next: Of Preparation For, and Conduct After, the Reception of Baptism.

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