« PreviousContinue »
6 was Real and Unavoidable, the Jews were í bound to think that God did, in Confideration
of that, difpense with bis own Precept. This may
be a Just Inducement for us to believe, " That whenjoever God (by his Providence ) “ brings Christians under a Visible Necessiry, of « being either without all Order and Joint-Wor
of Joining in an Unlawful and Defiled Worship, or Finaly, of breaking thro’ Rules and " Methods, in order to the being united in Wor"ship and Government ; That of these Three,
of which one must be choses, ihe last is the 6. least Evil, and has the feveft inconveniencies 65 hanging upon it, and that therefore it may
be Thus far the Expositor. After whom comes another Writer, and applies all this to the Positive Ministrations of the Chriftian Priesthood; and from hence would conclude, That the Baptisms of our AntiEpiscopal Dilsenters, and of some Foreigners who are deltitute of Epifcopal Ordination, ought to be efteem'd good and valid: And so great a Stress dues he lay upon our Expositor's Judgment in this Matter, that he gives us this great Encomium upon the abovelaid Para fage in these words: “This is an Argument ". urg'd, by the Good Bishop of Sarum, in his
Articles, in this very Case I am arguing upon; " and "ris SO FULL to the Purpose, that I do « not think it CAPABLE of an Answer.
Afv. Because this Objection is Authoriz'd by so great a Náine; and boasteď to be fo
very full to the purpose, I shall endeavour to refute it in a Double Respect. First, Upon Supposition, (tho' not granting) that all things asserted by the Expositor, concerning the Femish High Priesthood and Atonement, were exactly as He in his Articles has represented them. And Secondly, Upon account of the real Truth of those Matters of Fact related by the Expositor, concerning the Institution and Change of the High-Priesthood.
1. Thoall things concerning the Jewish High-Priesthood and Atonement, were exaétly as the Expositor has represented them, yet it will not follow from thence, that Uns authorizd Baptisms, such as those mention'd in the Objection,are Good and Valid. Because the Christian Church never was yet reduced to the supposed miserable State of the Jewish Church, and indeed never will be ; for the suppos’d Usurpation affected the whole Church of the Jews ; because, the Atonement by the
Jewish High-Priest could only be made in that One Place called the Holy of Holies, which was in the Temple at Jerusalem : Even a True High-Priest could not do it in any other part of the World; so that, when a Úsurper had got possession of the Temple, and was by force of the Civil Power maintain’d therein i The Jews, if they had adherd to the True High-Priest could have had no benefit by his. Ministration of an Atonement, because he could have made no Atonement for them, be
ing forcibly kept out of the Holy of Holies : But the Ministrations of the Christian Priesthood are not so confin’d to Place, they are equally Valid over the face of the whole Earth; fo that if wicked Civil Powers in one Country, should even Destroy Christian High Priests, the Bishops : Yet still God's Promile of being with his Apostles, his High-Priests to the End of the World, and that the Gates of Hades shall not prevail against his Church, fecures us thus much, that this Destruction, of Christian High Priests, shall not be Universal; some shall be found on Earth with Powers to give Valid Ordination: if they are Destroyed in one Dominion, they will be found in another; and the Ministrations of Baptisın by those who are Ordain'd by them, will be Valid in every place. Which is a very different Case from that of the Jewish Priesthood.
But further, the Objection does not come up to the point, in the Matter before
it is not sufficient to justifie the Anti-Episcopal Usurpations of Protestants who dare not communicate with the Church of Rome, by reason of her intolerable Corruptions in Doctrine and Worship; for, even in the worst times of Popery, they that reforni’d without Bishops to head them, might, if they would, have procured Ministers to be Ordain’d by REFOMED Bishops in England, if their own Corrupt Bishops refus’d to Ordain them. And 'tis not suficient to object, that the Labour
and Travel, &c. thus to obtain Valid Ordination, is excessive great, and in many Circumstances, next to impossible; for Men can easily remove these Obstacles; these mighty imaginary Mountains of Trouble and Danger, are no hindrance to them, when they are eagerly bent after Health, Pleasure, or Worldly Riches; then the remotest Indies are not too far for them to travel; the dreadful dangerous Wonders of the Deep do not terrify them; the fear of Robbers and Pirates, nay of mercilefs Murderers too, does not hinder their eager pursuit after perishing Treasures, and many times foolish Trifles : And is not a valid Ministry vastly preferable to these ? Are not the Divine Institutions unspeakably more advantagious, nay, 'Infinitely Richer, as they convey and Insure to us inestimable Treasures of Eternal Extent and Duration? Certainly they are; and therefore no Pains, no Industry, how great foever, can be too much, since 'tis no less than our Duty by all possible means, to procure and obtain them. So that, whatfoever Validity may be supposed to have been in the Ministration of the Jewish Usurping High Priest, the Church of the Jews, being by the Hypothesis, absolutely depriv'd of any Recourse to, or Dependance on the True One, can by no means be apply'd to Ufurping Laymen's Ministrations in the Christian Church; because, the Church, where such Lay-men pretend to Minister is not univerfally deprived
of any recourse to, or dependance on true Christian High Priests; they may procure Ordination from some or other of them ; they may have, consequently, Instituted Ministrations if they will take pains to obtain them; which upon the present Supposition, the Jews could not obtain with all their power, because the Atonement could be made only at the One Altar, in the Sanctum Sanctorum at Jerusalem, from which the Instituted High Priest was (by supposition) forcibly kept by the Secular Power of the Romansa And therefore the Baptisms here pleaded for, being not parallel to the supposed Case of the Atonement; because Baptism can be had as it was Instituted, (which the Atonement ( 'tis supposed) could not) must not be allow'd to be Valid, as the Atonement is suppos’d to have been. And much less can it from this Instance be inferr'd, that Baptism by our Anti-Episcopal Dissenters is Valid ; for, they Unauthoriz’d attempt this, even where Christian High Priests are in the actual Execution of their Office; and they aim at the Priesthood it self, in opposition to, and rebellion against the Vicarious Power of Christ, in those Christian Bishops to whom they owe Subjection; and from whose Hands they ought, and yet refuse to receive Authority for such Ministrations; which is fo monftrous an Attempt of Usurpation; and the persisting in, concurring with, and encouraging of it, so perverfly Impious, that the