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of such beneficial Offices? Was he not sufft: ciently gifted? Yes certainly he was. Did not the Extream Miseries of Man's Spiritual Bondage call loudly for relief? beyond alt doubt they did. Why then did not even Come paffion it self, the Blessed Jesus, then personally among them, undertake their speedy Rescue? Was it because his Hour was not yet come? Doubtlefs it was not come; but why? because he had not yet receiv'd his COMMIS. SION from his Father, So that, if our Lord's Example may be allow'd in this Case to be Conclusive, it is plain, that not all the Gifts imaginable, nor all the pressing. Necessities that may be pleaded, can ever of themselves give fufficient Warrant to Minister Authoritatively, for Men, in things pretaining to God, when those things are of such a Nature, as that a Commission from him must be first obtain'd by the Person who undertakes to Administer And that therefore such a Person ought to be duly Commission'd for such Adminiftrations. » Now that Christian Baptism is such an Inftitution as necessarily requires, and constantly supa poses the Divine Authority of the Adminiftratory I shall endeavour to Demonstrate,
Thirdly, From the Words of Institution : And in order thereto, 'twill be very well worth while to observe, that our Saviour, a lictle before his Ascension into Heaven, ap+ pointed the ELEVEN APOSTLES, and THEM ONLY (notwithstanding the vast
Numbers of other Disciples which he had at the same time,) to go to a particular Mountain in Galilee, which he had told them of, (St. Matth. 28. 16.) Where, when they were assembld, he came to them, and first áfferted his own Power and Authority,wherewith he was Invested, to Authorize and Commision them for the Great Office he was then going to confer on them, faying, All Power is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth, ver. 18. Whereby he sufficiently assur'd them, that they might rest secure and satisfy'd, that The Commission he was going to give them was of full Force and Virtue, and sufficiently Valid to impower them to act for the future according to the Contents thereof. And indeed the great things he was about to Authorize them to do, were of so uncommon a Nature, and of such vast Consequence to Mankind, that they might very well have doubted even of the jufficiency of their Commission, if our Lord had not thus fix'd their Faith in his Power and Authority to give it them: When therefore lie had thus prepar'd their Minds, he then proceeds to give them This Commission as the Consequent of that Power which was given him over all things; faying, GO YE THEREFORE and Teach (or rather) DISCIPLE ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I
have commanded you; AND LO I AM WITH YOU ALWAY, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD. These are the Words of Institution of Baptism, wherein 'tis clear at first sight, that the Eleven Apostles were the peculiar Persons to whom the Authority of Baptizing was committed [Go ye ) and not only they, but also all those who should fucceed them, to the end of the World; [Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the World] ; for our Saviour's Promife to be with them fó long, cannot possibly be meant of their particular Perfons which were not to live to the end of the World, and therefore it must signify the Apostles in another Sense, viz. those whom THEY and THEIR SUCCESSORS should Appoint throughout all Ages.
So that, by the Words of Institution abovefecited, it plainly appears, that as long as the World shall last, The Apostles and their Succesfors are the Perfons Commiffion’d to Disciple the Nations, Baptizing them; and hereby 'tis necessarily imply'd, that as often as this One Baptism is perform’d, so often 'tis done by One who has this Commiffion given to him; otherwise the Promise of being with furch Commission'd Persons to the end of the World, would have been in vain and of no necessity: And if it were not design'd by the Institution, that Baptizing should be performd to the end of the World by a Successor of the Apostles or his Subftitute ; it might for the very fame Reason be
faid, that teaching was not design'd to be by such a Successor to the end of the World, and so the whole Commission would be but Temporary, and consequently the MINISTERS of Christ, and BAPTIZING and TEACHING would be but Temporary; and Christ's Promise of being with his Apostles in these their Ministrations to the end of the World, would have been made without any design of fulfilling it, which is à Blasphemous Contradi&tion to the Infallible Veracity of our Blessed Lord; and therefore as long as the World shall last, there must be Baptizing, and as long as there shall be Baptizing, there must be such a One to perform it, as Christ has promis’d to be with, viz, a Successor to the Apostles or his Substitute, to the utmost bounds of that Duration.
For 'tis very remarkable, that Christ does not here fay, Lo I am with Baptizing, Lo I am with Teaching alway, &c. But, GO YE, Baptizing, Teaching, and LO I AM WITH YOU. The Promise (of his presence and Concurrence) is, to be with THEM, not with the Afts separate from them, but with THEM performing and doing those Acts; and because Pris to be with Them Baptizing alway even to the End of the World, and because their particular Persons were not to continue here so long, therefore THEY are necessarily TO BE in some other respect always, ' ESC. And this can be no otherwise than by Succession; and then the Succeffon must be such, as that it may be
justly called Them, otherwise Those to whome ihe Promise was made will in all respects cease to be, and consequently the Promise it self will be of no effect, which is absurd. This Succession then must be such, as that the Apostles must remain to the End of the World; and that can be by no other way than One of these Two, either First, by God himself miraculously interposing always to appoint their Successors, which he has no where promisd to do, and therefore this is not to be expected ; or Secondly, By the Apostles continuing thenselves in a Succession by fome Act of their own, viz. by a Spiritual Generation of such as may in one respect or other be themselves; that is, by their Ordaining, such as they were, and Vesting them, fome with the whole ordinary Apoftolick Authority, and others with,
part thereof; to the intent, that all who act in the Sacred Function of Baptizing, whether in a Higher or Lower Degree, may be justly Entituled to have this Promise verify'd and made good with respect to their Act, Lo I am with you [Baptizing] alway: For if he who Baptizes be not One of the [Toa] an Apostle or Sent of Christ, in a Higher or Lower Degree, to whom the Promise was made, his Ad can elaim no Right to the Promise, and therefore will be a Contradiction to this Sacred Inftituti
So that it must necessarily follow, that this Institution requires Baptism always to be Administred by One Vested with Apoftolick