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or Title to, but those who are duly admitted to them by this One True Christian Baptism.
That it is a Positive luftitution, is certain from hence; Because, before the Divine Command enjoin'd it, we were never bound to observe it, either in whole, or in part. Washing us then with Water, had no intrinsick or moral Virtue, to give us any Spiritual Advantages: Nor would it have had any thing more of Efficacy for that Purpose, if we had been wash'd with Water, and at the famę time used the Words, In the Name of the Fap ther, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft; for these Words being pronounc'd, could then have had no more Virtue than others. Neither would it have signified any thing to us, whether we had been wash'd either by our selves alone, or by some other Person ; or whether that other Person were a Common Man, or one set apart by Consent of the People for that End. None of thefe Things could, by any Excellency in their own Nature, have convey'd to us any Spiritual Benefits whatfoever ; nor could we have been oblig'd, in a Religious Sense, to observe any one of them; because the Divine Command had not enjoin'd them. This, I suppose, all will acknowledge ; and consequently, that our Obligation to receive Christian Baptism, and from them by whom it is order'd to be administer'd, is wholly founded upon the Divine Command, on which alone depends the whole Force and E
nergy of a Divine Positive Institution of Religion ; (according to Definition 1.) and that therefore the Administration of Christian Baptism in all its Parts,, is no other than a mere Positive Institution, exactly agreeable to the faid Definition. This being premis'd, I proceed now to demonstrate whatare the Essential Parts of this Great Institution of Christianity, on the Part of the Administration thereof,
PROPOSITION I. That on the Part of the Administration, The Divine Aucliority of the Administrator, The Matter [Water, ] and the Form of Adminiftring, [ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft, ] are every one of them Essential Parts of the Divine Positive Institution of Christian Baptism. :'.
DEMON. That the Water, and the Form of Administration in the Name of the Trinity, are Essential Parts of this Inftitution, was never disputed by any but Hereticks; and even these (except such as the Quakers ) ne ver oppos'd against the Water's being so, buf only against the Form of Administration in the Name of the Trinity. I shall not make it my business to endeavour their Conviction, who oppose the plain and express Words of the Institution, and from whence All Sound and Orthodox Christianş have unanimously as
greed, to pronounce Baptism Null and Void, when Administer'd without expressing the Names of all the three Sacred Persons; because such Baptisms are directly against the Institution it self.
Taking it therefore for granted by all, who have any value for this Holy Ordinance, that the Water and the form of Administration in the Name of the Trinity, are Essential Parts thereof; I shall spend no time about the Proof of it ; but proceed to Demonstrate, that the Divine Authority of the Administrator, is also an Essential Part of the fame Institution; or (which is the same thing) that the Divine Authority of the Administrator, is to be conftantly observ?d by us, as long as the utmost Duration of the Force and Obligation of the Diyine Positive Institution of Christian Baptism; And, that it is so, will be evident, s. 1. From the General Consideration of God's making the Divine Authority of the Administrator, to be an Essential Part of his own Positive Institutions under the Mosaic Law.
2. By the Example of our Saviour's not taking upon him to Minister in such Holy Things, till he was particularly and externally Commission'd for that purpose.
3. From the Words of Institution of Chriftian Baptism.
From the Design and Benefits thereof.
From the constant Practice of those who traly are, and of others who pretend to be the Lawful Ministers of the Christian Church.
6. From the Doctrine and Practice of the Church of England in particular.
First, I say the General Confideration of God's making the Divine Authority of the Administrator, to be an Essential part of his own Positive Institutions under the Mosaic Law, will go a great way towards proving the like under the Gospel-Dispensation; because, the Things that were then written, were not written for their fakes only, but also for our Example ( as the Apostle has told us ) and as he has most excellently argued, almost throughout his whole Epistle to the Hebrews, wherein hę makes the Comparison between the Mosaic Law, and the Gospel, and gives a yast preference to the latter before the former, ?Tis therefore worthy our Consideration, that in the Law, none could approach the Divine Presence in the Administration of his Positive Institutes, but those who were first Authoriz'd by him for that purpuse: And therefore we find that when Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, exceeded their own Bounds no farther, than the Offering of Incense, there was no less than a Miracle wrought, the very Earth was made to open its Mouth and swallow them, their Wives and their Children, and all that they had; and a Firę from the Lord consum'd
Two hundred and fifty Princes, Accomplices with 'em in the same Crime ; to make them a standing Example to future Ages, that none might Ulurp the Authority of Administring in his Positive Institutions without a Coma mission first receiv'd from him. Nay, so Jealous was God of this Honour, that he suddenly struck Uzza dead, only for putting forth his Hand to save the Ark ( as he thought) from falling when it was shook; his Zeal was no defence for him, God would not pardon, but punish him for it, because 'twas none of his Business to meddle in such Holy Things. So King Saul, notwithstanding his Plea of Necefhty for want of a Priest, and the Danger of falling into the Hands of his Enemies before he had made his Peace with God, had his Kingdom rent from him, for presuming only to offer a Sacrifice himself, it being none bus the Priest's Office fo to do. More Examples of this kind might be broupht, but these I think are sufficient to shew, that God set such a mighty Value upon the Commission he gave to fonee Orders of Men, that he would not accept of, even his own Appointments, when they were prophan'd by UNHALLOWED, UNCOMMISSIONED Hands: And what is this, but to make the Divine Commission to be an Essential Part of such Positive Institutions ? Insomuch, that if any should have knowingly concurr'd with those who usurped is, they would have made themselves PARTA