All repentance of a baptized person is but
a return to God’s covenant-mercy, signed
and sealed in his baptism; and all hope of
remission of sin must rest on that covenant
mercy secured to him in that holy sacrament.

“It must not be supposed that Baptism is
administered only for the time past, so that
for sins into which we fall after baptism it
would be necessary to seek other new reme-
dies of expiation in I know not what other
sacrament, as if the virtue of baptism were
become obsolete. But we ought to conclude,
that at whatever time we are baptized, we
are washed and purified for the whole of
life. Whenever we have fallen, therefore,
we must recur to the remembrance of bap-
tism, and arm our minds with the conside-
ration of it, that we may always be certified
and assured of the remission of sins.

“If repentance be enjoined upon us as
long as we live, the virtue of baptism ought
to be extended to the same period. Where-
fore it is evident that the pious, whenever,
in any part of their lives, they are distressed
with a consciousness of their sins, may justly
have recourse to the remembrance of bap-
tism, in order to confirm themselves in the
confidence of their interest in that one per-
petual ablution which is enjoyed in the blood
of Christ.” (Calvin).

Thus all proper repentance of a baptized
person is a return to his baptism, as the sure
covenant ground on which he may confi-
dently sue for pardon. You may for a time
forget the sure foundation, wander from it,
act and live unworthy of it; but the cove-
nant, with its grace, is ever firm, and ever
present, as the strong arms of everlasting
love beneath and around you, upon which
you may ever confidingly fall back for par-
don and peace.

When your faith is weakest, when your
fears are greatest, when your sense of sin is
deepest, when your way seems darkest, when
your temptations are strongest, when the
powers of hell are fiercest, call to mind your
baptism, and God’s unfailing mercy in it.
Remember that God has made a covenant
with you which all the power of sin and
Satan cannot break. Cling to your covenant
Father; cling to Jesus, who has sealed the
covenant with His own blood; cling to the
Holy Spirit, who has been given to you in it
as your abiding help and comfort. Let no-
thing drive you from this strong refuge.
Heaven and earth may pass away, but the
mercy promised in the everlasting covenant
will not fail. Because God could swear by
no greater, he swore by Himself, confirming
His covenant by an oath, that you might
have strong consolation, and a hope which
is as an anchor of the soul, both sure and
steadfast; and which entereth into that
within the vail.


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