« PreviousContinue »
or Members of Christ's Church, are united and made one diverse waies; viz. by partaking of the fame Water-baptism, the influences of the fame Spirit, the same Faith, the same Hope of their Calling, the same Eucharistical Bread, &c. And each of these is really a Band of Union between all those who do partake thereof, for that very reason, because they partake of the same thing; as St. Paul declares particularly with respect to the Eucharistical Bread in this very Epistle.
But tho' a Man is united to the Church, or made a Member thereof, by each of these Ties or Bands of Union; yet there may be an order in these Ties and Bands; and God may so ordain, that the one may not be had before the other. Now I do not at present dispute, which is that Tie or Band of Union, which must be first made use of to unite a Man to the Church, or make him a Member of it; nor do I dispute which is the principal Tie, which Essential, which may be spared, &c. All that I assert is this, that the Participation of the fame thing with others, docs in the Apostle's judy ment unite a Man to others, and make him a Member of one and the fame Body with them; and that tho' he was a Member before that particular Tie, yet when that particular Tie is added, 'tis a real Band of Union, and he is joined to the Body by a new Obligation, and is thereby made (not a new Member, but) a Member upon a new Account, viz. because a new Tię is superadded to the rest that were before. And thus a Man who is actually a Member of the Church, is joined to it afresh by being endued with the Extraordinary Gifts of one and the same Spirit, which Christ and other Members of the Church partook of, R 4
I hope, that what has been faid will be judged a sufficient answer to this Objection, as supposed to be made by such as are not Qnakers. And as for the Quakers themselves, the same Answer may (in the Main) be applied to them also; tho' they will not allow, that the Bread mentioned, i Cor. 10. 17. is what we call the Lord's-Supper. For tho' they differ as to that particular, yet'tis plain, as I have already observed, that the Participation of that one Bread, whatever it be, makes Men one Body in the Apostle's judgment. And consequently, when the fame Apostle faies, there is one Body, and one Spirit, even as je are called in one Hope of your calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, &c. Eph.4: 4, 5, 6. it fol. lows, that the perfons there spoken to are one Body, not only because the Apostle expresly calls 'em so upon the account of their visible Communion, but also because they participate of one Spirit, one Hope, ớc. the Participation of each of which particulars makes Christians one, by that same way of arguing which the Apostle uses exprefly with relation to the Bread, i Cor. 10. 17. Now as it will not follow, that Men are not made Members of the Church, or united to each other as Chriftians, by partaking of one and the same Hope of their Cailing, because they must be Members of the Church, before they can partake thereof; fo neither will it follow, that Men could not be united to Christ and to thofe persons who enjoyed the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, because they must have been Members of the Church, before they could be endued therewith. Wherefore, tho' I am not now to determine, which is ordinarily the first thing, which unites Men to the Church, and makes them Members thereof; yet I allere,
that the Participation of one thing in Common with others of the Church, is in the Apostle's judgment a Band:of Union, and makes Men (not new Members, but) Members upon a new Account.
But it may be replyed (which is the second difficulty) that those persons whom the Apostle speaks of, were, by being endued with the Extraordi. nary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, united, (not to the whole Church, every Member whereof did not, as has been granted, enjoy these Extraordinary Gifts, but) to some particular persons only, who were endued with the same; and consequently those who were endued with the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, were not thereby made Members of the Church. Now ?tis true, that the Participation of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost was not a Band of Union common to all the Members of the Church ; because all the Members of the Church did not partake thereof even in the primitive Times: but yet all those that did partake thereof, were thereby united to Christ the Head, and to all such as partook of the fame. And he that is by the Participation of the very fame Gifts united to some Members, is thereby mediately united to all the rest, who upon other ai. counts are of the same Body. Even as the Fingers, tho immediately united only to the Hands, are notwithstanding mediately unired to the Legs, which make a part of the whole Body,
For it is not by any means necessary, that every particular Member Mould be united with the same fort of Tie or Band of Union, where with others are united to the Body. 'Tis sufficient to make it a Member, if it be united at all. Thus the Arms and Legs are immediately united to the Body by Bones, as well as other Ligaments; but the Ear;
and Eyes (tho' joined to Bones) are not united by Bones. Some particulars may be united more waies than one, others by one only; fome by three, 0thers by an hundred Ties. Thus, to resume my former Supposition of a Bundle of Sticks, one way or other all the Sticks must be tied together; and the whole may be tied by an hundred different Bands. But besides that, one parcel may receive a diftinct Tie, which unites them again in particular, and consequently joins them again to the Bundle, because each of 'em is thereby joined to others, which are already parts of the Bundle. Thus alfo in the Body of Christ the Church, the Clergy have a particular Tie to each other, arising from the Participation of the same Office and Mission, which Tie the Layety have not: and yet both the Clergy and Layety have in other respects the same common Ties to each other. And as he that is by this particular Tie peculiar to the Clergy, immediately united to the Clergy, (and consequently mediately to the Church, of which every Clergy, Man must be a Member) and by that fresh Band of Union made a Member of the Church, tho' he was (as a Christian) a Member thereof before ; even so he that enjoyed the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, was immediately united to Chrift and those others who partook of the same (and consequently mediately to the Church, of which Christ is the Head, and every one that partook of the Extraordinary Gifts was a Member) and by that freth Band of Union made a Member of the Church, tho' he was (as a Christian) a Member thereof before.
The next thing objeEred is, that if Men may become Members of the Church by being endued with the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost,
then there is no neceflity of Water-baptism upon
my own Principles; because Men may be MemLE bers of the Church without it. But to this I
Apswer, 1. That the Participation of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost never used to be granted even in the primitive Times, but to fuch
as had been baptized with Water. For the in tance T of Cornelius and his Friends is the only exception
that I know of. And consequently the Necessity of Water-baptism is not destroyed, but rather con. firmed by what has been said. 2. There may
be many Bands of Union to the fame Body, as has been shewn. Water-baptism I affirm to be one, and the Participation of the Extraordinary Gifts
of the Holy Ghost I have proved to be another. 1 Now a Man's being made a Member by the Pare
ticipation of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghoft, does not supersede the Necessity of his being baptized with Water, even tho' he were en
dued therewith before he was baptized with WaLe ter. Because, as I shall afterwards prove, Wam 3 ter-baptism is injoined by God; and God may , oblige those who are actually Members of his
Church, to receive as many new Ties and different
As to the pretence, that we are now made Mem-, si bers of the Church after the same manner as here, i tofore ; and consequently the Extraordinary Gifts
of the Holy Ghost are now necessary to make us
Members of the Church, which Gifts notwithstand. di ing are ceased; I say, the vanity of this pretence W will easily appear, if we distinguish between such
Ties as are effential and accidental, necessary and og unnecessary. Those Ties or Bands of Union to
the Church are essential and necessary, without which a Man cannoț be a Member of it. But I