675. That circumcision was instituted as a sign that the men of the Israelitish church were of the posterity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, appears from the following:
God said unto Abraham, This is the covenant with Me, which ye shall keep between Me and you and thy seed after thee. Every child male among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin that it may be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you (Gen. 17:9-11).
This covenant, or its token, was afterward confirmed by Moses (Lev. 12:1-3). And as that church was distinguished from others by this sign, so before the sons of Israel had passed over Job they were commanded to be circumcised again (Josh. 5); and for the reason that the land of Canaan represented the church, and the river Jordan introduction into it. And furthermore, in order that they might remember that token even in the land of Canaan itself, it was commanded them:
When ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruits thereof as their uncircumcision; three years shall they be as uncircumcised unto you, and not be eaten (Lev. 19:23).
 That circumcision represented and therefore signified the rejection of the lusts of the flesh, and thus purification from evils, the same as baptism, is evident from the passages in the Word where they are told to circumcise their hearts, as in the following:
Moses said, Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and harden not your neck (Deut. 10:16).
And Jehovah thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, that thou mayest love Jehovah thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live (Deut. 30:6).
And in Jeremiah:
Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, to take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest my anger go forth like fire, because of the evil of your doings (4:4).
And in Paul:
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love and a new creature (Gal. 5:6; 6:15).
 From all this it is now clear that baptism was instituted in place of circumcision, because the circumcision of the flesh represented circumcision of the heart, which also signifies purification from evils, for all kinds of evil arise from the heart, and "the foreskin" signifies its filthy loves. Because circumcision and baptism have a like signification, it is said in Jeremiah:
Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, to take away the foreskins of your heart (4:4);
and a little after:
Wash thine heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem, that thou may be saved (verse 14).
What circumcision is, and the washing of the heart, the Lord teaches in Matthew (15:18, 19).