Imagini ale paginilor

1 Sam. 13. 11, 12, 13, 14. Here his En. deavour to obtain Mercy, by means of but Part of a mere Positive Duty, is, notwithstanding the Urgency of his Necessitous Circumstances, branded with the Name of a foolish wicked Action: And because 'twas not atten, ded with the other Essential Part, viz. the Ministration of the Priest, was so far from be, ing esteem'd à Valid Offering to God, that it prov'd (instead of a Means of Mercy ) a Judgment and a Curse to the Offerer and his Pofterity.

THUS we see, that tho God will have us sometimes extend our Mercy rather than offer Sacrifice; yet when MERCY is to be obtain’d FROM HIM by means of Sacrifice ; i. e. fuch mere Positive Duties as he has requir'd, he will not grant us the Mercy we sue for, by means of bút Part of such Sacrifice. No; we must either beg it of hin by our Observance of the whole Institution; or else, when we CANNOT have the whole, sit down contented' till we can, since he has declar'd his abhorrence of such Partial Sacrifices, and thereby taught us that they are no Sacrifices

, at all. 'Tis worth while to observé here, whar Samúci tells Saul, (after he had reprov'd hin for Breaking God's Commandment abçur Burnt Ofrings;). For pom (lays he) would the Lord have established thy Kingdom upon Flradl-for evet, 1 Sam. 13. 13. As much as if lie had said, "If thou hadft nct attempted

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

to gain the Divine Favour by so unwarrantable

an Action; if thou hadst been patient in thy Necessity, and not endeavour'd to render God a propitious othee by such an unlawful Method

; He is a God of Mercy, and would not have imputed Sin to thee for want of a Burnt-of

fering, when it could not be had according to his Institution; but on the contrary, would have eftecni'd thy not Medling therein, to be

Act of Obedience to his Command, and conSequently (tho' there had been no B.crnt-Offering « made to him ) would have been gracious and ". merciful to the and thy Children after thee; " and as a Reward of thy Faith and 'Ubedience, " would have establisb'd the Kingdom to thee and

thy Sons for ever." This, I say, is plainly the Scope and Meaning of Samuel's Words to Saul : Whereby we are also encourag’d not to distrust the Divine. Goodness, but constantly and patiently to wait and pray for it, without presuming to endeavour to obtain it by partial Sacrifice, when we are under fuch fad Circumstances, as not to be able to seek for it by whole Burnt Of rings; when we cannot have ENTIRE BAPTISM, according to the Inftitution; when there is no Priest to Adminifter it to us; then 'tis a greater Act of Faith and Obedience to refuse, than to accept of supposed Baptism from a Lay-Hand. Nay, for one who knows the Nature and Extent of the Institution of Christian Baptism, to accept of, or acquiesce in Lay-Baptism in Cases


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

of suppos’d Necessity,'tis a great Presumption:
Because, 'tis expecting God's Mercy to be con
vey'd by such Hands, as he has not appointed for
that Purpose, and to whose Miniftration he
never requir’d our Obedience: 'Tis the Super-
ftition of making that absolutely necessary to
Şalvation, which God has not made so. As
if when we WANT thofe Means which he
has appointed, he could not extend his Fa-
vours and Graces without them: As if there
were a greater Degree of Holiness in Water and
a Form of Words, than in the Institution of
the Christian Priesthood : As if none could
be saved without the former, but every body
without the latter : As if Water could be a
Means of Graces given, without the Mediati-
on of one who does truly personate God the
Giver. In short, 'tis Superstition, nay, and
Presumption too, to expect Mercy by means
of but PART of a Sacrifice, when God ap-
pointed that the WHOLE should be the
Means of obtaining that Mercy, And 'tis fo
exactly parallel to Saul's Cafe, and so infinitely
diiterent from the Design of the Text object-
ed, that we may very fairly conclude, that
Lay-Baptism cannot be Valid, even in Cafes
of Neceffiry. It cannot be suficient, 10 Jup-

ply the Spiritual Wants of thole who are Un

baptiz?d ; because there's ' no Comparison between the Natural Means of 'Adminiftring to the ordinary Wants of the Necessitous and Indigent,and the Supernatarat Appointed Means


[ocr errors]

of supplying the Spiritual Wants of the Un-
baptiz’d: For these latter are of so extraordi-
nary a Nature, than no less than Mercies Su-
pernatural are sufficient for so great a Purpose;
and therefore no other Method must be used
to obtain such Mercies, than what he who
is to bestow them has appointed. Obedience
(in this Cafe ) is better than Sacrifice, especi-
ally than such a falfe Burnt-Offering as Saul
(in the Instance above mention’d) presum'd
to offer to God. And may we all take warn-
ing by his Punishment, not to confine God to
our Will-Worship ; not to meddle in his Posi-
tive Institutes, and expect that he should con-
cur with our foolish and presumptuous Inter-
posing, in such Ministrations as he has confin'd
to the Authority and Administration of his
and his Christ's Appointed Priests and Mini-
Iters only.

. XIII. The Exposition of the 39 Ar-
ticles of the Church, which goes under the
Name of Gilbert Bishop of Sarum, has this
Remarkable Passage upon the 23d Article ;
Page 259, and 260. Viz.It is to be consider’d,
" that the High-Priest among the Jews, was the

Chief Person in that Dispensation ; not only
the Chief in Rule, but he that was by the Dia
vine Appointment to Officiate in the Chief Act

of their Religion, the yearly Expiation for the
"Sins of the whole Națion, by which Atonement

was made for the Sins of that people.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ NABLY SUGGESTED, That fonce none besides the High-Priest might make this Atone4. ment; then no Atonement was made, if any other besides the High-Priest should so Officiate, To this it is to be added, That God had by an “ EXPRESS LAW fixed the High-Priesthood in the ELDEST of Aaron's Family, and that " therefore, tho' that being a Theocracy, any Prophet empowerd of God might have trans ferr'd this Office from one Person or Branch of " that Family to another; yet withoat sach an Authority, no other Person might make any such Change. But after all this, (not 10 men« tion the MACCABEES, and all their Src

cessors of the Asmonean Family) as Herod had begun to change the High-Priest at Pleasure, Jo the Romans not only continued to do « this, but in a most mercenary manner, they set « this Sacred Function to Sale. Here were as great Nullities in the High-Priests that were « in our Saviour's Time, as can be well imagin’d

to be. For the Jews keeping their Genealogies fo exactly as they did, it could not but be well known in whom the Right to this Office rested; « 'and they all knew that he who had it, purchas'd

it ; yer these were in fact High-Priests : And since the People could have NO OTHER, the Atonement was still performi'd by their Mini

stry. Our Saviour owned Cajaphas, the Sacrilegious and Ufurping High-Priest,(Joh. xviii.

22, 23.) and as such he prophesied (Joh. xi: 6:51.): This foews, That where the Neceffity


« ÎnapoiContinuați »