Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

without the Divine Authority they are quali, fy'd for such Ministrations, and consequently confirms us in this, that the Divine Commission 1 of the Administrator is an Esential Part of the Institution of a Sacrament. Nay, so very Cautious is she, not to allow the contrary, that Ne makes not so much as any Exception for Cases of absolute Neceflity; no, not tho? an un. baptiz'd Person were giving up the Ghost, sbé has not declar?d that any one may baptize him but the Minister of the Paris, or in his Absence any other lawful Minister that can be procur'd; as in her Office for private Baptism, which is the only Office she has provided for Cases of Necessity: And what the means in the Rubrick thereof, by lanful Minister, is easily de termin?d by her 26th Article of Religion, viz.

One wbo ministers in Chrift?s Name, -and by his © Commission and Authority.

But of this I have treated more largely in my Book of Dissenters Baptisms null and void by the Articles, Canons, and Rubricks of the Church of England: To whịch give me leave to add here, that in her Offices for Publick Bapa tism, she repuires the PRIEST to address co God in behalf of the baptized thus, Grant

that whosoever is here ( as in the Office för Infants); Or, . That they being here (as in the Office for those of Riper Years)" DEDICA" TED to thee by OUR OFFICE AND MI

NISTRY, may also be endued with heavenly | Virtues," &c. This Dedication of Persons to

God

65

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

God by Baptism, is plainly asserted here by the Church, to be, by the Office, of those who (in her 26th Article she says ) " Minister in s Christ's Name, and by his Commission and Au. thority; plainly Connecting the Divine Authority of the Administrator of Baptism, with the Baptism it self, and so closely too, that she no where in any of her Publick Ads, gives us the least encouragement to think that this Dedication can be by any other; and therefore, what God and his Church have so joyn’d together, let no Man put asunder.

AND now to sum up all that has been said under these Six Heads.

FORASMUCH as God under the Moo faic Dispensation, which was but the fore-runner of the Christian, made the Divine Authority of the Administrator an Essential Part of his then Positive Institutions, insomuch as: not to accept of the Performance of the latter without the former : Forasmuch, as Christ • himself, notwithstanding his own Personal Ex, cellencies and Perfections, and the presling Ne cefities of the whole World, which stood in need of his Ministrations, would not leave his privatė Station to take upon him so great an Office till duly Authoriz'd by the Divine Ex: ternal Commission: Forasinuch, as in the Words of the Institution of Baptism, our Lord Commiffion'd'no other than his Eleven Apostles and their Successors and Substitutes to Baprize to the End of the World: Eorasmuch as their

Com

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Commission (as all others are:) is Exclusive of all, but those to whom 'twas given; and the very Form of Administration of Baptism, in the Name, or by the Authority of the Trinity requires, and neceffarily supposes and implies the Divine Authority of him who Adminifters: Forasmuch, as the Words of Institution are an express Command to the Apostles and their Successors and Substitutes, to Baptize all capable Persons who have not been Baptized by them. Forasmuch, as the Benefits of Baptism are so great and SUPERNATURAL, that none can give or convey them by Baptism, but fuch as God has appointed; forasmuch, as Christ himself Baptizes us by the Ministry of those whom he has sent for that purpose ; and we cannot be faid to be Baptized by him, when 'tis done by one whom he never sent: Fora[much, asrl who call themselves the Divinely Authoriz’d Ministers of Christ, have

in all Ages claim'd the Power of Baptizing upon the Account of their Divine Commission : And Lastly; Forafmuch, as the Church of England by her Doctrine and Practice, gives fufficient ground to believe, that none can Administer Sacraments but those who are Divinely Authorix'd for that purpose, and that to pretend to do so, is contrary even to the very Institution of the Chriftian Sacraments, Seeing all these. Premises are true, and not to be deny'd, without running into unavoidable Inconsistencies and Contradictions, it mult

necesla.

neceffarily be granted, that the Divine Authority of the Administrator of Baptism is an Essential part of that Holy Institution, to be obsery'd as often and as long as Baptism shall be neceffary to be Administer'd, even to the End of the World.

PROPOSITION II.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THAT every Essential Part of Christian Baptism; (viz. The Divine Authority of the : Administrator, The Water

, and the Form of Administration in the Name of the Trinity) iş

of equal Obligation and Necessity to us. ed DEMON. This will follow from the first 1 Proposition of the Introduction; which I shall

apply to this Divine Positive Instituțion; For the very Nature of this Institution is such, that it had no Intrinsick Excellency, or Moral Virtue, either in the Person Baptizing, or in

the Water, or in the Form of Words wheredi with Baptism is given, to bind or oblige us to

observe the fame, till the Divine Command laid that

Necessity upon us, as indeed we find it did, so that now we are oblig?d to observe this Institution, purely and only by Virtue of this Divine Command ; which, forasmuch as it extends it self to every one of the said Essential Parts thereof (as has been prov?d in the preceeding Propofition, wherein 'twas Demon: Arated, That the Divine Authority of the Ad

ministrator

[ocr errors]

I

[ocr errors]

ministration of Baptism is an Essential Part there. of as well as the Water and the Form) will make them all of equal Authority, and consequently of equal Neceflity and Obligation to us; because, the Divine Authority of the Administrator, the Water, and the Form of Administration, are every one of them distinctly of the fame Na. ture (i, e. but meer Positive Institutes) as the whole Institution it felf. And again, being all Essential Parts (or such as are constantly to be observ’d as long as the Ordinance of Baptism fbal be obliging] 'tis evident, that for the same Řeafon as one part may be omitted, another may be so likewise, and confequently, that every one of them is upon all Accounts whatsoeper, of equal Obligation and Necessity to use h. E. D,

COROLLARY.

HENCE it follows, that as no Humane Authority can Dispense with the whole Institution of Baptism, where?tis binding and obliging (Axiom 3-) fo neither can they Dispense with the Omission of either Water,or the Form of Administration, in the Name of the Trinity, or the Divine Miffion of him who Admi nilters. Nor can any

Nor can any such Authority determine, that one of these Essential Parts of the Administration of Baptifm, is more excellent than another, because they have every one diftin&tly, the fame Authority Commanding,

from

« PreviousContinue »