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or Title to, but those who are duly admitted to them by this One True Chriftian Baptifm.
That it is a Pofitive Inftitution, is certain from hence; Becaufe, before the Divine Command enjoin'd it, we were never bound to obferve 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 wafh'd with Water, and at the fame time used the Words, In the Name of the Far ther, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft; for thefe Words being pronounc'd, could then have had no more Virtue than others. Neither would it have fignified any thing to us, whether we had been wafh'd either by our felves alone, or by fome other Perfon; or whether that other Perfon were a Common Man,
I or one fet apart by Confent 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 whatfo ever; nor could we have been oblig'd, in a Religious Senfe, to obferve any one of them because the Divine Command had not enjoin'd them. This, I fuppofe, all will acknowledge; and confequently, that our Obligation to receive Chriftian Baptifm, and from them by whom it is order'd to be adminifter'd, is wholly founded upon the Divine Command, on which alone depends the whole Force and E
nergy of a Divine Pofitive Inftitution of Religion; (according to Definition 1.) and that therefore the Adminiftration of Chriftian Baptifm in all its Parts, is no other than a mere Pofitive Inftitution, exactly agreeable to the faid Definition. This being premis'd, I proceed now to demonftrate what are the Effential Parts of this Great Inftitution of Christianity, on the Part of the Administration thereof..
That on the Part of the Adminiftration, The Divine Authority of the Adminiftrator, The Matter [Water,] and the Form of AdminiAtring, [In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft, ] are every one of them Effential Parts of the Divine Positive Inftitution of Chriftian Baptifm,..
DEMON. That the Water, and the Form of Administration in the Name of the Trinity, are Effential Parts of this Inftitution, was never difputed by any but Hereticks; and even thefe (except fuch as the Quakers ) never oppos'd against the Water's being fo, bur only against the Form of Adminiftration in the Name of the Trinity. I fhall not make it my business to endeavour their Conviction, who oppose the plain and exprefs Words of the Inftitution, and from whence All Sound and Orthodox Chriftians have unanimously as
greed, to pronounce Baptifm Null and Void, when Adminifter'd without expreffing the Names of all the three Sacred Perfons; because fuch 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 Effential Parts thereof; I fhall fpend no time about the Proof of it; but proceed to Demonftrate, that the Divine Authority of the Adminiftrator, is also an Effential Part of the fame Inftitution; or (which is the fame thing) that the Divine Authority of the Adminiftrator, is to be conftantly obferv'd by us, as long as the utmost Duration of the Force and Obligation of the Divine Pofitive Inftitution of Chriftian Baptifm; And, that it is fo, will be evident,
1. From the General Confideration of God's making the Divine Authority of the Adminiftrator, to be an Effential Part of his own Positive Inftitutions under the Mofaic Law.
2. By the Example of our Saviour's not taking upon him to Minifter in fuch Holy Things, till he was particularly and externally Commiffion'd for that purpose.
3. From the Words of Inftitution of Chri ftian Baptifm.
From the Design and Benefits thereof.
5. From the conftant Practice of those who traly are, and of others who pretend to be the Lawful Minifters of the Chriftian Church. 6. From the Doctrine and Practice of the Church of England in particular.
First, I fay the General Confideration of God's making the Divine Authority of the Adminiftrator, to be an Effential Part of his own Positive Inftitutions under the Mofaic Law, will go a great way towards proving the like under the Gofpel-Difpenfation; becaufe, 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 moft excellently argued, almost throughout his whole Epiftle to the Hebrews, wherein he makes the Comparison between the Mofaic Law, and the Gospel, and gives a vaft preference to the latter before the former, 'Tis therefore worthy our Confideration, that in the Law, none could approach the Divine Prefence in the Adminiftration of his Politive Inftitutes, but those who were first Authoriz'd by him for that purpose: 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 fwallow them, their Wives and their Children, and all that they had; and a Fire from the Lord confum'd
Two hundred and fifty Princes, Accomplices with 'em in the fame Crime; to make them a ftanding Example to future Ages, that none might Ufurp the Authority of Adminiftring in his Pofitive Inftitutions without a Commillion firft receiv'd from him. Nay, fo Jealous was God of this Honour, that he fuddenly ftruck Uzza dead, only for putting forth his Hand to fave the Ark (as he thought) from falling when it was fhook; his Zeal was no defence for him, God would not pardon, but punish him for it, because 'twas none of his Bufinefs to meddle in fuch Holy Things. So King Saul, notwithstanding his Plea of Neceffity for want of a Prieft, 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 prefuming only to offer a Sacrifice himself, it being none but the Prieft's Office fo to do. More Examples of this kind might be brought, but these I think are fufficient to fhew, that God fet fuch a mighty Value upon the Commiffion he gave to fome 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 Commiffion to be an Effential Part of fuch Pofitive Inftitutions? Infomuch, that if any fhould have knowingly concurr'd with those who ufurped it, they would have made themselves PARTA