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THAT he who knows himself to have been invalidly Baptiz'd, by one who never had the DIVINE COMMISSION, can have no just Grounds to expect the Supernatural Graces and Benefits annex'd to the One True Chriftian Baptifm, till he has done bis utmost for the Obtaining of them, by endeavouring to procure That One Baptifm from the Hands of a divinely Authorized Minifter,
1. DEMON. For, however God may dif pense with the WANT of this Sacrament, (Axiom 2.) to thofe who know nothing of it; fuch as Infants, or others who think they have receiv'd it, tho' they have not, and would receive it, if they could be perfwaded that they had not; Or laftly, those who I know that they never receiv'd it, and are heartily defirous of it, but cannot poffibly at tain it; yet, as he who knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is Sin (Axiom 6.). So he who KNOW S that he ought to be Bap tiz'd by a Minifter vefted with the DIVINE AUTHORITY for that Purpose, and NEG LECTS to be fo Baptiz'd, incurs the Guilt of Sin; and confequently, while he continues in that Guilt, can (by Axiom 6.) expect none of the Supernatural Benefits annex'd to the due Performance of his Neglected Duty, of Re
ceiving fuch Valid Baptifm. This is fo clear and evident that there is no need to enlarge upon it: Only I would further add, That if he knows himself to be invalidly Baptiz'd by one who never had the Divine Commiffion, and who notwithstanding prefum'd to Baptize him, in Oppofition to, and Rebellion against, those who were truly Authoriz'd for that purpose; his acquiefcing with fuch a Baptifm, will be an Addition to his Sin; because he thereby makes himself a PARTNER in the other's REBELLION, and strengthens him and his Adherents in their Wickedness of Oppofing Chrift's Lawful Minifters; concerning whom our Bleffed Lord has pofitively affirm'd, That he who defpifes them, defpifes him; and he that defpifes him, defpifes him that fent him. And what greater Contempt can be offer'd to them, than to take part with fuch as oppofe them in all the Miniftrations of that Sacred Office, to which our Saviour has appointed them? This fhould make us exceeding careful, not to con cur with fuch Men in their Ufurpation; efpecially confidering, that by this our Concur rence, we involve our felves in the Guilt of Rebellion, even against God himself; The Confequence of which muft needs fall infinitely fhort of any the least Advantage, and, on the contrary, bring upon us the fevereft of his Wrath, inftead of thofe Supernatural Graces and Benefits which he has promis'd to those who duly obey his Holy Inftituteson s
AS for thofe who do not, but yet may know, whether the Baptifin they have receiv'd be according to Chrift's Inftitution, or no, and confequently, Valid or not Valid; it highly concerns them to make use of thofe Facul ties wherewith God has blessed them, that they may not be deceiv'd. in fo great an Affair as this is. For, wilful Ignorance, and Carelessnefs in Spiritual Things, will never excuse them at the Day of Judgment. Nor will it then ferve their Turns to plead, that they follow'd the Inftructions and Examples of their Teachers; for our Lord, who is Truth it felf, has faithfully affur'd us, that if the Blind lead the Blind, both ball fall into the Ditch: And the Unprofitable Servant, who improv'd not his Lord's Talent, but hid it in a Napkin, was for his Sloth and Idleness branded with the dreadful Name of Wicked, and caft into outer Darkness, to teach us Diligence in the most Important Things of another Life. And what can be of greater Importance to us, than to know, whether we are truly initiated into the Chriftian Church, and thereby entitled to all thofe infinite Benefits and Privileges, thofe ineftimable Graces and Bleffings which every Member of the Church has a Right and Title to? Certainly, it highly concerns us to know the Truth of our Claim to fuch vaft Benefits, fince our Saviour has told us, That except a Man be born of Water, &c. he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God; he cannot be a
Member of that Kingdom here in the Church Militant; the only known Ark of Salvation from the Wrath to come; nor in Heaven here after, in the Church Triumphant; if thro' his Careleffness and Negligence he has not been really initiated or enter'd thereinto, by that One Baptifm which Chrift has inftituted, and Com miffion'd his Apostles, and them only, with their Succeffors and their Subftitutes, to Adminifter for that Purpose to the End of the World.
AND now, having gone thro' all that I defign'd to fay about Invalid Baptism, I fhall conclude with my Anfwers to fome few Objections, that may probably be started against this Effay.
Obj. I. S Ch
Obj. I.OME may Object, That tho' Chrift bid his Eleven Apoftles difciple the Nations, Baptizing them, &c, yet he did not therefore confine Baptifm to their and their Succeffors Miniftration, fo as that one can Adminifter True Baptifm but they, and fuch only as they fhall authorize: For if he had, he would in exprefs Words have told us, that no others fhould have Authority to Baptize but they Mais > You PLAN HA Jacle db.T og AnfwerTiseuniverfally granted, that our Lord confin'd the Matter of Baptifm to Water, and the Form to In the Name of the Trinity,
merely by his faying thefe Words, Baptizing