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Perverter of the Sacred Text he adduces, for the Validity of such Unauthoriz'd Baptisms.
Obj. XV. His Second Imaginary Argument to this purpose, is taken from i St. Pet.
are built up a Spiri“ tual House, an Holy Priesthood, to offer up
Spiritual Sacrifices, acceptable to God through Christ Jesus:
— But Te are a chofen Generation, a Royal Priesthood. St. John, Rev. ” i. 6. tells us, that Christ has made us Kings " and Priests unto God and his Father—. And “ he gives us the same Appellation, Chap. v. 10. This is apply'd to all Christians, " therefore all Christians are Priests, conse“ quently may Baptize—. That this is no Novelty he brings Tertullian's Authority to prove; « Norne Ege Laici Sacerdotes sumus? " Scriptum eft enim, Regnum quoque nos & Sa“ credotes Deo &o Patri fuo fecit. Differentiam “ inter Ordinem &3Plebem conftituit Ecclesia, & “ Honor per Ordinis concessum Sanctificatus : « adeo ubi Ecclefiaftici Ordinis non eft Concessus, “EO Offers & Tinguis, & Sacerdos es tibi solus. And presently after, " Igitur fi habes jus Sacer
dotis in temetipso, ubi neceffe eft, habeas opor"Stet ctiam Disciplinam Sacerdotis, ubi necesse
fit habere jus Sacerdotis. Exhor. Castit. The « least that these Words imply, is certainly, “ that in Tertullian's Judgment, the Lairy “ have a Righit to the Priesthood, and where “ 'tis a Case of Neceflity may exercise that Right. C!. And hence 'tis evident, that only Order
" and Regularity makes some Act, and re“ strains others from acting in that Capacity: To which add, what he calls his Third Argument, that in Gal. iii. 28. 'tis faid, “ In “ Christ Jesus there is neither Jew nor Greek, “ neither Servant nor Free, neither Male nor “ Female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. “ Therefore 'tis not absotutely necessary in it
self that Baptism should be perform'd by « an Episcopal Hand, because in Christ there " is no diftinétion of Persons.
Anfn'. This Gentleman should have taken into his Account the Promise of God to the Jews, “ Te shall be unto me a Kingdom OF « PRIESTS, and an Holy Nation, Exod. xix. 6. Upon a right consideration of which, he would have preferv’d himself from the mif chief, of so unsafe an Interpretation of the Parallel Texts of the New Testament, and his Readers too, from the Infection which some of them may draw in, from his Publication of it. That Text in Exodus never exalted the Common-People of the Jews, to be Proper Literal Priests, nor gave them any Right to the Positive Instituted Functions of the Priesthood; fo far from that, that those among them, who thought they might perform those Priestly Functions, upon their attempt to do fo, found to their Sorrow, that they were not fuch Priests: (King Saul is a standing Proof of this.) And the Judgments inflicted on them are recorded in the Sacred Oracles, to
warn us all to avoid such Falfe and Presumptuous Notions, and the Dangerous Practices consequent thereupon.
The Common Jews then were only Priests in a Figurative Sense of the Word, i. e. As God Selected and Consecrated his Proper Priests, and took them from among Men, publickly to offer such Gifts and Sacrifices to him as he had appointed them ; So, he took and separated to himself from among other Nations, the People of the Jews, that they might acceptably offer to him such Services, particularly Publick Ones, as he should appoint then also. Even God's Proper Priests were limited by him, what Publick Services they should perform to him, insomuch, as that none of them could Validly Minister in the peculiar Office of the High Priest who was their Head, and they were all dependant on him, So the Common Jews, the Figurative Priests were limited in their Publick Services; they were none of them to Minister, except jurė Prophetico in the Peculiar Offices of the Proper Priests, who were also their Heads and Governors, in the Publick Divine Services, It was a great Privilege for the Common Jews to be admitted by God, to offer him the Publick Services, or Figurative Sacrifices of Prayers and Praises, together with those of themselves, Souls and Bodies, to his reasonable Service; and to be accepted by him when they did this as he had appointed them, in
subordination to, and dependance on his Posi. tive Instituted Priests; and this was their Figurative Priesthood. They are called Priests, only in this remote improper Sense of the Word viz. because, they were separate from other Nations, and juch their Services were accepted of by God, as the Proper Priests were taken from among Men, and their Positive Instituted Offerings and Services were acceptable to him, upon the account of his thus Separating and Consecrating of them.
This Separation, and Confecration of his Instituted Proper Prietts by God himself, was nor (as the Objector would have it.) only for Order and Regularity, but also that they might be Shadows and Types of Christ, the Great High Priest which was to come, in whom alonę we can be accepted. They, and the Bloody Offerings and Sacrifices made by them for the People, were appointed to resemble HIM, and the Sacrifice he was to make for the Sins of the whole world, as St. Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews has abundantly prov'd. And this had infinitely more in it than bare Order and Regularity, 'twas an Instituted Method, of interceding with God by the Mediation of Jesus Christ, in behalf of fallen Man; 'twas an appointed way of executing Christ's Medie atorial Office, by visible Representatives of him, and Types of his Ministrations, to res concile us to God, and God to us,
'Tis the same now in our Christian Dispensation: The Apostles and their Successors are appointed not only for Order and Regularity, but also, and more especially, to Represent our Saviour, to be His Vicegerents and AMBASSADORS, to bear his Character and Authority; for says He, As my Father bath sent me, even lo send I you. Lo I AM with you! He that Hears you, Hears ME. This continues visible to us, His Mediatorial Office, and makes their Instituted Ministerial Acts to be His, and for thaç Reason acceptable to God for our Spiritual Benefit and Advantage. Hence we discover, that Tertullian's Notion concerning the Priesthood of Private Christians was a Montanistical Error; for their Priesthood spoken of in the several Texts objected, amounts to no more than that Figurative Priesthood which belong'd' to the Common Jews, as God's Segulah or peculiar People, for the Reasons I have given before concerning them. To which add, that the Text in St. Peter confirms this, by naming the Sacrifices they are to offer, for he says their Priesthood is “ to offer up Spiritual Sacrifices, i.e. those of Prayers and Praises, &c. As for the other Positive Sacri. fices, appointed by Christ to be made by his Instituted proper Priests, viz. the Dedication of Persons to God by Baptism ;, the offering of the Commemorative Sacrifice of Christ's Body and Blood in the Eucharift ; and presiding in all other Publick Divine Service to