“But perhaps some one will say, What does it contribute to piety to be baptized with water? In the first place, because you do that which is pleasing to God; and in the second place, being born again to God of water, by reason of fear you change your first generation, which is of lust, and thus you are able to obtain salvation. But otherwise it is impossible. For thus the prophet has sworn to us, saying, “Verily I say to you, Unless ye be regenerated by living water into the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” 1134 Wherefore approach. For there is there something that is merciful from the beginning, borne upon the water, and rescues from the future punishment those who are baptized with the thrice blessed invocation, offering as gifts to God the good deeds of the baptized whenever they are done after their baptism. Wherefore flee to the waters, for this alone can quench the violence of fires. 1135 He who will not now come to it still bears the spirit of strife, on account of which he will not approach the living water for his own salvation.
Altered from John iii. 5.290:1135
[Comp. Recognitions, ix. 7.—R.]