is regarded as superficial. When Chrysostom returned to this theme, he was even more explicit:

The grace of God has entered these souls and moulded them anew, reformed them, and made them different from the way they were. It did not change the substance, but made over their will (ten proairesin metaseuasasa), no longer permitting the tribunal of the mind to entertain an erroneous notion, but by dissipating the mist which has blinded their eyes, God's grace made them see the ugly deformity of evil and virtue's shining beauty as they are.30

Serapion of Thmuis similarly describes the change as creating a fellowship with the angels and changing one's status from fleshly to spiritual.31

Considering how deep this change was thought to be, post-baptismal sin posed an acute problem for most of our authors. Gregory the Illuminator, the 'Apostle to the Armenians', spoke to the point: the one who has been baptised 'will not be renewed a second time'.32 Zeno of Verona, whose baptismal statements are surely the pithiest to survive from antiquity, urged his flock to 'drink with confidence while you may . . . Fill your vessels with all urgency and with much devotion, so that you will always have enough water, remembering this before all else that you can never spill a drop or come to fetch it again.'33 John Chrysostom was equally forthright in his message, though he did provide a clear option for remitting sins: repentance.34 In this, he was followed by the remarkable Coptic bishop and theologian, Rufus of Shotep (fl. c. 575-600), who exhorted his audience in the following terms:

Let the catechumen give thought to his rebirth through the washing of baptism, and the believer take care to wash away his sins through the tears of repentance and give thought to testing his soul through the spirit of mercy and if you reform yourself in this way and set your soul in order through repentance ... and adorn your mind through the practice of good deeds, your soul will be nourished from the storehouses of righteousness and then the holy spotless bridegroom will desire it.35

What is surely important here is the Pauline principle, 'One Lord, one faith, one baptism . . .' (Ephesians 4.5): sins are forgiven by baptism only once.

30 Chrysostom, Baptismal homilies 4.14 (SC 50:190; trans. ACW 31: 71-2).

31 Serapion of Thmuis, Euchologium 2.11 (TU 17: 3b).

32 Gregory the Illuminator, Teaching 454 (trans. Thomson, 102).

33 Zeno, Invitation 7 (CCSL 22); on Zeno, see Gordon Jeanes, The day has come!

34 Chrysostom, Baptismal homilies 3.23 (SC 50:164; trans. ACW 31: 63 (modified)): 'There is remission, but not a second remission by the laver [of baptism].' But repentance restores baptismal radiance to those 'who received this gift in the past' (Ibid., 5.24 (SC 50: 212; trans. ACW 31: 90)).

35 Rufus of Shotep, On Matthew 67 (trans. Sheridan, 162-3).

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