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greed, to pronounce Baptism Null and Void, when Administer'd without expressing the Names of all the three Sacred Persons; because such 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 Essential Parts thereof; I shall spend no time about the Proof of it; but proceed to Demonstrate, that the Divine Authority of the Administrator, is also an Essential Part of the fame Institution; or (which is the same thing) that the Divine Authority of the Administrator, is to be constantly observ’d by us, as long as the utmost Duq ration of the Force and Obligation of the Divine Positive Institution of Christian Baptism; And, that it is fo, will be evident,
1: From the General Consideration of God's making the Divine Authority of the Administra. tor, to be an Essential Part of his own Positive Institutions under the Mosaic Law,
2. By the Example of our Saviour's not ta, king upon him to Minister in such Holy Things, till he was particularly and externally Commissiond for that purpose.
3. From the Words of Institution of Chri, fian Baptism.
4. From the Design and Benefits thereof.
From the constant Practice of those who traly are, and of others who pretend to be the Lawful Ministers of the Christian Church.
6. From the Doctrine and Practice of the Church of England in particular.
First, I say the General Consideration of God's making the Divine Authority of the Administrator, to be an Essential Part of his own Positive Institutions under the Mosaic Law, will go a great way towards proving the like under the Gospel-Dispensation; because, 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 most excellently argued, almost throughout his whole Epistle to the Hebrews, wherein he makes the Comparison between the Mosaic Law, and the Gospel, and gives a vast preference to the latter before the former. ?Tis therefore worthy our Consideration, that in the Law, none could approach the Divine Presence in the Administration of his Positive Institutes, but those who were first Authoriz'de 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 swallow them, their Wives and their Children, and all that they had; and a Firę from the Lord consum'd
Two hundred and fifty Princes, Accomplices with 'em in the same. Crime; to make them a standing Example to future Ages, that none might Ulurp the Authority of Administring in his Positive Institutions without a Coma mission first receiv'd from him. Nay, so Jealous was God of this Honour, that he suddenly struck Uzza dead, only for putting forth his Hand to save the Ark (as he thought) from falling when it was shook; his Zeal was no defence for him, God would not pardon, but punish him for it, because 'twas none of his Bufiness to meddle in such Holy Things. So King Saul, notwithstanding his Plea of New cessity for want of a Priest, 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 presuming only to offer a Sacrifice himself, it being none but the Priest's Office so to do. More Examples of this kind might be broupht, but these I think are sufficient to fhew, that God set such a mighty Value upon the Commission he gave to fone 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 Commission to be an Essential Part of fuch Positive Institutions? Insomuch, that if any should have knowingly concurrd with those who ufurped it, they would have made themselves PARTA
KERS in the Sin, as well as the Punishment of the Usurpers, as we see was exemplify’d in the Case of Corab and his Company, for no less than Fourteen thousand seven hundred of them were destroy'd by a Plague, besides the great Number of those who were before swallow'd alive into the Earth, and burnt with Fire from the Lord : and if so, may we not justly infer that God is still as Jealous of This Honour under the Gospel, the Ministers whereof being of so much greater Dignity, by how much the Gospel is more excellent than the Law of Moses? It is certain that even now, in the Christian Dispensation, No Man can take this Honour to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron; and Aaron's Call was not by his great Gifts, and the inward Dictates of the Spirit, but by an EXTERNAL COMMISSION first given by God himself to Moses, and then by Moses, at the Command of Godo to Aaron. But,
Secondly, The Example of our Saviour's not taking upon him to Minister in Holy Things between God and Man, till he was particularly and externally Commission'd by God for that purpose ; is a further Advance towards proving, that the Divine Authority of the Administrator of Baptism, is an Effential Part of this Institution. For, notwithstanding he was full of the Holy Ghost, which was not given by Measure, but' entirely to him; notwithstanding his Manhood was inseperably united
to the Second Person of the most Glorious Trinity, whereby he was more than sufficiently, nay, infinitely gifted for such a purpose; and notwithstanding the great Necessities, and consequent Miseries of all Mankind, which were continually wanting his Undertaking to Administer for them in Things pertaining to God; yet he kept himself in his private Station for about 30 Years together, and never would take upon himself fo High an Office, till he receiv'd his Commission and Inauguration thereinto, from the Hands of a Prophet (John the Baptift] who Baptiz'd him, to fulfil this Part of Righteousness and Justice, vis. of not taking upon himself to be a Minister of the New Covenant; without a special, Warrant from Gød by the Mediation of one, who was by bim appointed to convey this Power and Authority to him: And then we find, that God himself, by the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon him in a visible Glory, and by an audible Voice from Heaven, saying, This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleas’d, confirm'd his great Commission, and that from thence-forward (and not before ) he proceeded in the Execution of it: From that time he, preach'd and taughit, gave his Apostles order to Baprize and Preach; wrought Miracles himself, and gave others Power to do fo like wise, for the Confirmation of liis Doctrine, 50. Now what should be the Reason of our Saviour's thus long defifting from the performance