Chapter VIII.—Necessity of Baptism.
“But now I lead you to understanding by the same paths. For you see that all things are produced from waters. But water was made at first by the Only-begotten; and the Almighty God is the head of the Only-begotten, by whom we come to the Father in such order as we have stated above. But when you have come to the Father you will learn that this is His will, that you be born anew by means of waters, which were first created. 783 For he who is regenerated by water, having filled up the measure of good works, is made heir of Him by whom he has been regenerated in incorruption. Wherefore, with prepared minds, approach as sons to a father, that your sins may be washed away, and it may be proved before God that ignorance was their sole cause. For if, after the learning of these things, you remain in unbelief, the cause of your destruction will be imputed to yourselves, and not to ignorance. And do you suppose that you can have hope towards God, even if you cultivate all piety and all righteousness, but do not receive baptism. Yea rather, he will be worthy or greater punishment, who does good works not well; for merit accrues to men from good works, but only if they be done as God commands. Now God p. 155 has ordered every one who worships Him to be sealed by baptism; but if you refuse, and obey your own will rather than Gods, you are doubtless contrary and hostile to His will.
[There is no exact parallel to these statements in the corresponding chapter of the Homilies (xi. 26).—R.]