674. III. BECAUSE CIRCUMCISION OF THE FORESKIN REPRESENTED CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART, IN THE PLACE OF CIRCUMCISION BAPTISM WAS INSTITUTED, IN ORDER THAT AN INTERNAL CHURCH MIGHT SUCCEED THE EXTERNAL, WHICH IN EACH AND ALL THINGS PREFIGURED THE INTERNAL CHURCH.
It is well known in the Christian world that there is an internal and an external man, and that the external is the same as the natural man, and the internal the same as the spiritual man, because man's spirit is in it; also, since the church consists of men that there is an internal church and an external church. And when churches are viewed in the order of their succession from ancient times to the present, it will be seen that the former churches were external, that is, that their worship consisted of externals which represented the internals of the Christian church which was founded by the Lord when He was in the world, and which is now for the first time being built up by Him. That which primarily distinguished the Israelitish church from the other churches in Asia, and afterward from the Christian church, was circumcision. And because, as before said, all things of the Israelitish church, being external, prefigured all things in the Christian church, which are internal, so the especial sign of that church was interiorly like the sign of the Christian church; circumcision signifying the rejection of the lusts of the flesh, and thus purification from evils, and baptism having the same signification; from which it is clear that baptism was commanded in the place of circumcision, in order that the Christian church might not only be distinguished from the Jewish, but also might thus be more clearly recognized as an internal church; which is clearly seen from the uses of baptism, of which presently.