The following text is an excerpt from the First Apology, which wascomposed by Saint Justin the Martyr around A.D. 150.
A defense of the faith addressed to the Roman Emperor, it describes the rite of Baptism as the way in which new converts were brought into the fullness of Christianity, had their sins forgiven, and were spiritually “born again.”
61 I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; per paura che, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, e si impegnano a essere in grado di vivere di conseguenza, sono incaricati di pregare e supplicare Dio con il digiuno, per la remissione dei loro peccati che sono passato, abbiamo pregando e digiunando con loro. Poi si sono portati da noi dove c'è acqua, e vengono rigenerati nello stesso modo in cui siamo stati stessi rigenerati. Per, in nome di Dio, Padre e Signore dell'universo, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, e dello Spirito Santo (Opaco. 28:19), che poi ricevono il lavaggio con acqua. Per Cristo ha anche detto, “Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Giovanni 3:3). Adesso, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers’ wombs, is manifest to all. And how those who have sinned and repent shall escape their sins, is declared by Esaias the prophet …; he thus speaks: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from your souls … . And though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white like wool; and though they be as crimson, I will make them white as snow” (Isaia 1:16, 18).