and Jerusalem (Matt. iii. 5, 6; Mark i. 4, 5); and from the fact that the Lord our Saviour Himself was baptized by John (Matt, iii. 13-17). He moreover commanded the disciples that they should baptize all nations (Matt, xviii. 19). (T. C. R. n. 668.)
The reason why the Lord Himself was baptized by John was, not only that He might institute baptism for the future, and lead the way by His example, but also because He glorified His Humanity and made this Divine, as He regenerates man and makes him spiritual, (ib. n. 684.)
The First use of Baptism.
The first use of Baptism is introduction into the Christian church, and then, at the same time, insertion among Christians in the spiritual world. . . . Baptism was instituted in the place of circumcision; and as circumcision was a sign that the circumcised were of the Jewish church, so Baptism is a sign that the baptized are of the Christian church. But the sign effects nothing more than that they may be known; as the swaddling-clothes of different colour placed upon the infants of two mothers, that they may be distinguished, and not changed. . . . Not only infants are baptized, but also all foreign proselytes, young and old, who are converted to the Christian religion, and this before they have been instructed, merely upon a confession that they desire to embrace Christianity. This too did the Apostles, according to the Lord's command that they should "make disciples of all nations, and baptize them" (Matt, xviii. 19). . . But this is done on earth. In the heavens, on the other hand, the infants are introduced by Baptism into the Christian heaven; and angels are assigned them there by the Lord, who take care of them. As soon therefore as infants are baptized, angels are appointed over them, by whom they are kept in a state to receive faith in the Lord. But as they grow up, and come to act of their own right and of their own reason, the guardian-angels leave them, and they draw to themselves such spirits as make one with their life and faith; from which it is plain that Baptism is also insertion among Christians in the spiritual world. (T. C. R. n. 677.)
The reason why not only infants but in fact all are inserted by baptism among Christians in the spiritual world, is, that in that world peoples and nations are distinct, according to their religions. Christians are in the centre; Mahomedans around them; after them idolaters of various kinds; and at the sides the Jews.
- The reader should not think of this as of an arrangement in space, but rather according to state. A little reflection will show an arrangement to some extent