I am continuing to highlight this book, which is just an outstanding series from IVP-Academic. For those of us who like Church History, to like to dig through the words of those who have come before, this series is a must. It takes the Creed of 381 and provides a commentary on it through the writings of early Christian writers, although many of them didn’t know the Creed.
But perhaps the hearers of the church may say, generally it was better with the ancients than with us, when pardon for sinners was obtained by offering sacrifices in a diverse ritual. Among us, there is only one pardon of sins, which is given in the beginning through the grace of baptism. After this, no mercy or any indulgence is granted to the sinner. Certainly it is fitting that Christians, “for whom Christ died,” have a more difficult discipline. Origen, Homilies on Leviticus 2.4
We who are baptized, having wiped off the sins that obscure the light of the divine Spirit, have the ye of the spirit free, unimpeded and full of light, by which alone we contemplate the Divine, the Holy Spirit flowing down to us from above. Clement of Alexandria, Christian the Educator 1.6
You, indeed, correctly state that the church is a people born again of the water and the Holy Spirit, free from denial of the name of Christ. Pacian of Barcelona, Letter 3.2
This bath does not merely cleanse the vessel but also melts the whole thing down again. Even if a vessel has been wiped off and carefully cleaned, it still has the marks of what it is and still bears the traces of the stain. But when it is thrown into the smelting furnace and is renewed by the flame, it puts aside all dross, and, when it comes from the furnace, it gives forth the same sheen as newly molded vessels. John Chrysostom, Baptismal Instructions, 9.21
There is, like in the previous sections, much more than could be represented here about the baptism in the early Church.