Matthew 3:11. I indeed baptize you with water I call you to repentance: and admit the penitent to the baptism of water, as a sign and token of their being washed from their past sins, and of their engaging to walk henceforward in newness of life. He answers the question put to him, John 1:19; John 1:25, by the priests and Levites sent from Jerusalem. But he that cometh after me That succeeds me in preaching and baptizing, is mightier than I Is endued with unspeakably greater authority and power; Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear That is, for whom I am unworthy to perform the humblest office of menial service: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire He shall not only administer the outward element, or sign, to his disciples, but the thing signified thereby, viz., the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, which, in their operations and effects, are like fire, enlightening, quickening, and purifying men’s souls, and kindling therein pious and devout affections; inflaming their hearts with love to God and all mankind, and with a degree of zeal for his glory and the salvation of sinners which all the waters of difficulty and danger, of persecution and tribulation, which they may be called to pass through, shall not be able to quench. And this baptism he will communicate in so abundant a measure, that you shall seem to be overflowed therewith. Now this promise was fulfilled, even with a visible appearance, as of fire, on the day of pentecost; and it is fulfilled without that appearance to this day, with respect to all that believe in Christ with a faith that worketh by love.
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