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  • Types of the Red Sea, and the Water from the Rock.

    Chapter IX.—Types of the Red Sea, and the Water from the Rock.

    How many, therefore, are the pleas8617

    8617 Patrocinia—“pleas in defence.”

    of nature, how many the privileges of grace, how many the solemnities of discipline, the figures, the preparations, the prayers, which have ordained the sanctity of water? First, indeed, when the people, set unconditionally free,8618

    8618 “Libere expeditus,” set free, and that without any conditions, such as Pharaoh had from time to time tried to impose. See Ex. viii. 25, 28; x. 10, 11, 24.

    escaped the violence of the Egyptian king by crossing over through water, it was water that extinguished8619

    8619 “Extinxit,” as it does fire.

    the king himself, with his entire forces.8620

    8620 Ex. xiv. 27–30.

    What figure more manifestly fulfilled in the sacrament of baptism? The nations are set free from the world8621

    8621 Sæculo.

    by means of water, to wit: and the devil, their old tyrant, they leave quite behind, overwhelmed in the water. Again, water is restored from its defect of “bitterness” to its native grace of “sweetness” by the tree8622

    8622 See Ex. xv. 24, 25.

    of Moses. That tree was Christ,8623

    8623 “The Tree of Life,” “the True Vine,” etc.

    restoring, to wit, of Himself, the veins of sometime envenomed and bitter nature into the all-salutary waters of baptism. This is the water which flowed continuously down for the people from the “accompanying rock;” for if Christ is “the Rock,” without doubt we see baptism blest by the water in Christ. How mighty is the grace of water, in the sight of God and His Christ, for the confirmation of baptism!  Never is Christ without water: if, that is, He is Himself baptized in water;8624

    8624 Matt. iii. 13–17.

    inaugurates in water the first rudimentary displays of His power, when invited to the nuptials;8625

    8625 John ii. 1–11.

    invites the thirsty, when He makes a discourse, to His own sempiternal water;8626

    8626 John vii. 37, 38.

    approves, when teaching concerning love,8627

    8627 Agape. See de Orat. c. 28, ad fin.

    among works of charity,8628

    8628 Dilectionis. See de Patien. c. xii.

    the cup of water offered to a poor (child);8629

    8629 Matt. x. 42.

    recruits His strength at a well;8630

    8630 John iv. 6.

    walks over the water;8631

    8631 Matt. xiv. 25.

    willingly crosses the sea;8632

    8632 Mark iv. 36.

    ministers water to His disciples.8633

    8633 John xiii. 1–12.

    Onward even to the passion does the witness of baptism last: while He is being surrendered to the cross, water intervenes; witness Pilate’s hands:8634

    8634 Matt. xxvii. 24. Comp. de Orat. c. xiii.

    when He is wounded, forth from His side bursts water; witness the soldier’s lance!8635

    8635 John xix. 34. See c. xviii. sub fin.


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