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  • The Angel the Forerunner of the Holy Spirit. Meaning Contained in the Baptismal Formula.

    Chapter VI.—The Angel the Forerunner of the Holy Spirit. Meaning Contained in the Baptismal Formula.

    Not that in8584

    8584 Compare c. viii., where Tertullian appears to regard the Holy Spirit as given after the baptized had come out of the waters and received the “unction.”

    the waters we obtain the Holy Spirit; but in the water, under (the witness of) the angel, we are cleansed, and prepared for the Holy Spirit. In this case also a type has preceded; for thus was John beforehand the Lord’s forerunner, “preparing His ways.”8585

    8585 Luke i. 76.

    Thus, too, does the angel, the witness8586

    8586 Arbiter. [Eccles. v. 6; and Acts xii. 15.]

    of baptism, “make the paths straight”8587

    8587 Isa. xl. 3; Matt. iii. 3.

    for the Holy Spirit, who is about to come upon us, by the washing away of sins, which faith, sealed in (the name of) the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, obtains. For if “in the mouth of three witnesses every word shall stand:”8588

    8588 Deut. xix. 15; Matt. xviii. 16; 2 Cor. xiii. 1.

    —while, through the benediction, we have the same (three) as witnesses of our faith whom we have as sureties8589

    8589 Sponsores.

    of our salvation too—how much more does the number of the divine names suffice for the assurance of our hope likewise!  Moreover, after the pledging both of the attestation of faith and the promise8590

    8590 Sponsio.

    of salvation under “three witnesses,” there is added, of necessity, mention of the Church;8591

    8591 Compare de Orat. c. ii. sub fin.

    inasmuch as, wherever there are three, (that is, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, ) there is the Church, which is a body of three.8592

    8592 Compare the de Orat. quoted above, and de Patien. xxi.; and see Matt. xviii. 20.


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