Baptism of Desire and Theological Principles by Fr. Cekada
It's curious to notice that, after admitting for the possibility of baptism of desire and blood in his early writings, St. Augustine's final position on baptism was that sacramental baptism by water is absolutely necessary for salvation.

Quote:St. Augustine: “How many rascals are saved by being baptized on their deathbeds? And how many sincere catechumens die unbaptized, and are thus lost forever!...When we shall have come into the sight of God, we shall behold the equity of His justice. At that time, no one will say: Why did He help this one and not that one? Why was this man led by God's direction to be baptized, while that man, though he lived properly as a catechumen, was killed in a sudden disaster and not baptized? Look for rewards, and you will find nothing but punishments!….For of what use would repentance be, even before Baptism, if Baptism did not follow?...No matter what progress a catechumen may make, he still carries the burden of iniquity, and it is not taken away until he has been baptized.” (The Faith of Our Fathers, Fr. Jurgens, bk. 3, 1496; On the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 13, Tract 7.)

St. Augustine: “Note that I speak now both to the faithful and to catechumens. What did I mention in connection with the spittle and the clay? This: the Word became flesh. The catechumens can hear this; but just listening to it does not accomplish that for which they were anointed. Let them hasten to the font if they seek the Light.” (The Divine Office, bk., p. 1620, from Fourth Week in Lent, Treatise 44 on John.)

St. Augustine: “What is the Baptism of Christ? A washing in the word. Take away the water, and there is no Baptism. It is, then, by water, the visible and outward sign of grace, and by the Spirit, Who produces the inward gift of grace, which cancels the bond of sin and restores God’s gift to human nature, that the man who was born solely of Adam in the first place is afterwards re-born solely in Christ.” (“On John,” 15:4, Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina, Fr. J. P. Migne, Paris, 1855, vol. 35.)

St. Augustine: “Or how can they fail to be saved by water…the same unity of the ark saved them, in which no one has been saved except by water. For Cyprian himself says, ‘The Lord is able of His mercy to grant pardon, and not to sever from the gifts of His Church those who, being in all simplicity admitted to the Church, have fallen asleep within her pale.’ If not by water, how in the ark? If not in the ark, how in the Church? But if in the Church, certainly in the ark; and if in the ark, certainly by water. …nor can they be said to have been otherwise saved in the ark except by water.” (On Baptism (De Baptismo), 5:28.)

St. Augustine, On the Soul and its Origin 3, 12: “As for the thief, although in God’s judgment he might be reckoned among those who are purified [ie., as in, a second time, that is, after baptism and his fall] by the confession of martyrdom, yet you cannot tell whether he was not baptized. For, to say nothing of the opinion that he might have been sprinkled with the water which gushed at the same time with the blood out of the Lord's side, as he hung on the cross next to Him, and thus have been washed with a baptism of the most sacred kind, what if he had been baptized in prison, as in after times some under persecution were enabled privately to obtain? or what if he had been baptized previous to his imprisonment? If, indeed, he had been, the remission of his sins which he would have received in that case from God would not have protected him from the sentence of public law, so far as appertained to the death of the body. What if, being already baptized, he had committed the crime and incurred the punishment of robbery and lawlessness, but yet received, by virtue of repentance added to his baptism, forgiveness of the sins which, though baptized, he had committed? For beyond doubt his faith and piety appeared to the Lord clearly in his heart, as they do to us in his words. If, indeed, we were to conclude that all those who have quitted life without a record of their baptism died unbaptized, we should calumniate the very apostles themselves; for we are ignorant when they were, any of them, baptized, except the Apostle Paul. If, however, we could regard as an evidence that they were really baptized the circumstance of the Lord’s saying to St. Peter, “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet,” what are we to think of the others, of whom we do not read even so much as this,--Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, Silas, Philemon, the very evangelists Mark and Luke, and innumerable others, about whose baptism we should never entertain any doubt, although we read no record of it?”

And, indeed, as I had pointed out earlier, it stands to reason that God makes sure His elect obtain all that is necessary for salvation, including baptism. St. Augustine agrees:

Quote:St. Augustine: “Not one of the elect and predestined perishes, regardless of his age at death. Never be it said that a man predestined to life would be permitted to end his life without the sacrament of the Mediator.  Because, of these men, Our Lord says: ‘This is the will of the Father, that I should lose nothing of what he has given me.’” (Against Julian 5, 4)
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Re: Baptism of Desire and Theological Principles by Fr. Cekada - by Vetus Ordo - 12-31-2011, 06:13 PM



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