Five Types of Baptism

There ought to be also worshippers on earth, that all things may be filled with the glory
of God…. Therefore, man was created and honored with the hand and Image of God….
Christ is illumined, let us shine forth with Him. Christ is baptized, let us descend with Him that we may also ascend with Him. Jesus is baptized; but we must attentively consider not only this but also some other points. Who is He, and by whom is He baptized, and at what time? He is the All-pure; and He is baptized by John; and the time is the beginning of His miracles.

What are we to learn and to be taught by this? To purify ourselves first; to be lowly minded; and to preach only in maturity both of spiritual and bodily stature. Jesus is purified, and dost thou despise purification?… Moses baptized but it was in water … John also baptized; but this was not like the baptism of the Jews, for it was not only in water, but also “unto repentance.” Still it was not wholly spiritual, for he does not add “And in the Spirit.” Jesus also baptized, but in the Spirit. This is the perfect Baptism …

I know also a Fourth Baptism — that by Martyrdom and blood, which also Christ himself underwent: — and this one is far more august than all the others, inasmuch as it cannot be defiled by after-stains. Yes, and I know of a Fifth also, which is that of tears, and is much more laborious, received by him who washes his bed every night and his couch with tears; whose bruises stink through his wickedness; and who goeth mourning and of a sad countenance; who imitates the repentance of Manasseh and the humiliation of the Ninevites upon which God had mercy; who utters the words of the Publican in the Temple, and is justified rather than the stiff-necked Pharisee; who like the Canaanite woman bends down and asks for mercy and crumbs, the food of a dog that is very hungry.

St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration on the Holy Lights, NPNF2.7, pp. 355-358, para. 10-16

This entry was posted in St. Gregory Nazianzus and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.