Paul, Rom. 4. stands much upon this to prove that justification by faith is not conferred by the sacraments. And from the circumstance of time he gathers that Abraham was first justified and afterward received circumcision, the sign and the seal of his righteousness. Now we know that the general condition of all sacraments is one and the same and that baptism succeeded circumcision. And what can be more plain then the example of Cornelius (Acts 10). who before Peter came to him had the commendation of the fear of God and was indued with the spirit of prayer. And afterward when Peter by preaching opened more fully the way of the Lord, he and the rest received the holy Ghost? And after all this they were baptized. Now if they received the holy Ghost before baptism, then they received remission of sins, and were justified before baptism.
William Perkins, A Reformed Catholic, 611.