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Jacob Kimedoncius (d. 1596) on the Efficacy of Baptism

September 4, 2007

1] But as once Christ died and death has no more power over him: so we are once baptized into the death of Christ, by the laver of regeneration, and renewing of the Spirit and it is impossible for us, if we fall by it renewed again unto repentance.

Jacob Kimedoncius, The Redemption of Mankind: Three Books: Wherein the Controversy of the Universality of the Redemption and Grace by Christ, and his Death for All Men, is Largely Handled, trans., by Hugh Ince, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kingston, 1598), 113-114.

2] Surely as for us, we have learned out of the divine Scriptures, and do constantly teach, that the use of sacred Baptism tends to this end and that principally, that it may seal and confirm unto us the promise of grace and eternal life. For take away the promise of grace from baptism, and thou shall take away the nature of a Sacrament, because according to the usual definitions of Augustine: “A sacrament is a visible form of invisible grace.” Hereupon are those promises: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved,” Mar 16” And in the words of Peter, Act. 2. “Repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Also, 1 Pet 3. “Baptism saves us.” And Tit. 3. “Of his mercy he saves us through the laver of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and such like, which are read in the Scriptures of the virtue of Baptism. Which things Basil in his exhortations to Baptism wittily seems to comprehend. “Baptism,” (says he) “is the releasing of captives and debt, the death of sin, the renewing of the mind, the shining garment, the way of heaven, the getting of the kingdom of heaven, and the grace of adoption. For holy Baptism is the seal of so many things to the faithful, as the Apostle speaks of Circumcision, that it was given to Abraham for a seal of the righteousness of faith, teaching that Circumcision was not given for righteousness, but for a seal of righteousness, which is by faith. And I say, (to the faithful) because neither the word nor Baptism promises anything or profits the ungodly and unbelievers. For it is a word of promise: “He that believes and his baptized, shall be saved: but he that believes not shall be damned,” whether baptized or not. And Ephes. 5. We read that the church is sanctified of Christ the bridegroom, and washed in the fountain of water in the word. Why in the word? Because even in the water the word cleanses and not the water itself, as Augustine Tract.80. upon John expounds. And the same man adds: “Whence comes so great force of water, that it touches the body and washes the heart, but by the word which does it? And that not because it is spoken, but because it is believed.” The same man upon the 77 Psalm, writes thus of the Jews: “Whereas the Sacraments were common to all, grace was not common, which is the virtue of the Sacraments. So now also the laver of regeneration is common to all that are baptized, but grace itself, whereby the members of Christ with their head are regenerated, is not common to all.” Again, lib. 5. cont. Donatist. cap. 24. he says that “Baptism may be without the Spirit: and that some of those that are baptized do put on Christ while they are receiving the Sacrament: others by continuing in holiness of life: That is common to good and eveil, but this is the proper to the good and godly…

Likewise David Chytreus, Tract. De bapt. printed at Wittenberg 1580, says, “That ministers do Baptize with water, pronounce the word, and give water, but Christ Baptizes with the Holy Ghost, and regenerates the believers.” Again, “many being washed in water, and not bringing to Baptism true faith, are Baptized not with the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, but with water only, as Simon Magus.

Jacob Kimedoncius, The Redemption of Mankind: Three Books: Wherein the Controversy of the Universality of the Redemption and Grace by Christ, and his Death for All Men, is Largely Handled, trans., by Hugh Ince, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kingston, 1598), 161-163, and 164.

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