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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. VIII:
De Spiritu Sancto.: Against those who assert that the baptism in the name of the Father alone is sufficient.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XII.

Against those who assert that the baptism in the name of the Father alone is sufficient.

28.  Let no one be misled by the fact of the apostle’s frequently omitting the name of the Father and of the Holy Spirit when making mention of baptism, or on this account imagine that the invocation of the names is not observed.  “As many of you,” he says, “as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ;” 944 and again, “As many of you as were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death.” 945   For the naming of Christ is the confession of the whole, 946 shewing forth as it does the God who gave, the Son who received, and the Spirit who is, the unction. 947   So we have learned from Peter, in the Acts, of “Jesus of Nazareth whom God anointed with the Holy Ghost;” 948 and in Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me;” 949 and the Psalmist, “Therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” 950   Scripture, however, in the case of baptism, sometimes plainly mentions the Spirit alone. 951

“For into one Spirit,” 952 it says, “we were all baptized in 953 one body.” 954   And in harmony with this are the passages:  “You shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost,” 955 and “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” 956   But no one on this account would be justified in calling that baptism a perfect baptism wherein only the name of the Spirit was invoked.  For the tradition that has been given us by the quickening grace must remain for ever inviolate.  He who redeemed our life from destruction 957 gave us power of renewal, whereof the cause is ineffable and hidden in mystery, but bringing great salvation to our souls, so that to add or to take away anything 958 involves manifestly a falling away from the life everlasting.  If then in baptism the separation of the Spirit from the Father and the Son is perilous to the baptizer, and of no advantage to the baptized, how can the rending asunder of the Spirit from Father and from Son be safe for us? 959   Faith and baptism are two kindred and inseparable ways of salvation:  faith is perfected through baptism, baptism is established through faith, and both are completed by the same names.  For as we believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, so are we also baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; first comes the confession, introducing us to salvation, and baptism follows, setting the seal upon our assent.



Gal. iii. 27, R.V.


Rom. vi. 3, with change to 2d person.


cf. note on p. 17.


τοῦ Χριστοῦ προσηγορίαδηλοῖ τόν τε Χρίσαντα Θεὸν καὶ τὸν Χρισθέντα Υἱ& 232·ν καὶ τὸ Χρίσμα τὸ Πνεῦμα.”


Acts x. 38.


Is. lx. 1.


Ps. xlv. 7.


No subject occurs in the original, but “Scripture” seems better than “the Apostle” of the Bened. Tr.  “Videtur fecisse mentionem,” moreover, is not the Latin for φαίνεται μνημονεύσας, but for φαίνεται μνημονεῦσαι.






1 Cor. xii. 13, loosely quoted.


Acts i. 5.


Luke iii. 16.


cf. Ps. ciii. 4.


cf. Deut. 4:2, Rev. 21:18, 19.


cf. note on p. 17.

Next: Statement of the reason why in the writings of Paul the angels are associated with the Father and the Son.