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jioni THAT he who knows himself to have been invalidly Baptiz’d, by one who never had the DIVINE COMMISSION, can have no juft Grounds to expect the Supernatural Grace's and Benefits annex'd to the One True Chriftian Baptifm, till he has done his utmost for the Obtaining of them, by endeavouring to procure That One Baptism from the Hands of a divinely Authorized Minister, 1: DEMON. For, however God may dilpense with the W ANT of this Sacrament,
(Axiom 2.) to those who know nothing of t it ; such as Infants, or others who think they i have receiv'd it, tho' they have not,' and . would receive it, if they could be perswaded
that they had not ; Or laftly, those who know that they never receiv'd it, and are heartily defirous of it, but cannot possibly attain it, yet, as he who knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is Šin (Axiom 6.). So he who KNOW $ that lie ought to be Båptiz'd by a Minister vested with the DIVINE AUTHORITY for that Purpose, and NEG, LECTS to be fo Baptiz’d, incurs the Guilt of Sin; and consequently, while he continues in that Guilt, can (by Asciom 6.) expect none of the Supernatural Benefits annex'd to the due Performance of his Neglected Dutys of Re
ceiving such Valid Baptism. This is so clear and evident that there is no need to enlarge upon it: Only I would further add, That if he knows himself to be invalidly Baptiz’d by one who never had the Divine Commission, and who notwithstanding presum'd to Baptize him, in Opposition to, and Rebellion against, those who were truly Authoriz’d for that purpose; his acquiefcing with fuch a Baptism, will be an Addition to his Sin ;, because he thereby makes himself a PARTNER in the other's REBELLION, and strengthens him and his Adherents in their Wickedness of Opposing Christ's Lawful Ministers ; concerning whom our Blessed Lord has positively affirm'd, That he wha despises them, despises him; and he that despises him, despises him that ferit him. And what greater Contempt can be offer'd to them, than to take part with such as oppose them in all the Ministrations of thąc Sacred Office, to which our Saviour has appointed them? This should make us exceeding careful, not to con cur with such Men in their Usurpation ; especially considering, that by this our Concurlence, we involve our selves in the Guilt, of Rebellion, eyen against God himself; The Coinsequence of which must needs fall infinitely Thort of any the least Advantage, and, on the contraty, bring upon us the feverest of his Wrath, instead of those Supernatural Gracés and Benefits which he has promisd to those Who duly obey his Holy Inftitutos 11 50
As for thofe who do not, but yet máy know, whether the Baptisın they have receiv'd be according to Christ's Inftitution, or no, and consequently, Valid or not Valid; it highly concerns them to make use of those Faculties wherewith God has blessed them, that they may not be deceiv’d, in fo great an Affair as this is. For, wilful Ignorance, and Carelessa nefs in Spiritual Things, will never excuse them at the Day of Judgment. Nor will it then serve their Turns to plead, that they follow'd the Instructions and Examples of their Teachers; for our Lord, who is Truth it felf, has faithfully affur'd us, that if the Blind lead the Blind, both fall fall into the Ditch: And the Unprofitable Servant, who improv'd not his Lord's Talent, but hid it in à Napkin, was for his Sloth and Idleness branded with the dreadful Name of Wicked, and cast into outer Darkness, to teach us Diligence in the most Important Things of another Life. And, what can be of greater Importance to us,
than to know, whether we are truly initiated into the Christian Church, and thereby entitled to all those infinite Benefits and Privileges, those inestimable Graces and Blessings which every Member of the Church has a Right and Title to? Certainly, it highly concerns us to know the Truth of our Claim to such vast Benefits, fince our Saviour has told us, That except a Man be born of Water, &c. he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God; he cannot be a
Member of that Kingdom here in the Church Militant ; the only known Ark of Salvation from the Wrath to come; nor in Heaven hereafter, in the Church Triumpbiant ; if thro? his Carelessness and Negligence he has not been really initiated or enter'd thereinto, by that One Baptison which Christ has instituted, and Com. million'd his Apostles, and them only, with their Succeffors and their Substitutės, to Administer for that Purpose to the End of the World,
AND now, having gone thro' all that I defign’d to fay about Invalid Baptism, I shall conclude with my Answers to some few Objections, that may probably be started againft this Elay.
OBJECTIONS Obj. I. COME may Object, That tho'
Chrift bid his Eleven Apostles difciple the Nations, Baptizing them, &c, yet he did not therefore confine Baptism to their and their Succeffors Miniftration, so as that one can Administer True Baptism but they, and fuch only as they shall authôrize: For if he had, he would in express Words have told us, that no others should have Authority to Baptize but they
.) **te de I only Answer. 'Tis universally granted, that our Lord confind the Matter of Baptism to Watering and the form ta In the Name of the Trinity
merely by his saying these Words, Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft, So that no other Matter or Form can be introduc'd for the Adminiftra, tjon of Valid Baptifm, the Christ has not in express Words forbidden us to introduce them, Even so, tho' he has no where said in express Words, That none but his Apoftles, and their Successors, and such as they fhould appoint, might have this Authority; yet I afirm, that he has confind true Christian Baptism to their Mimi ftration only; because, he has done as much as if he had said fo in express and positive Words; for, he gave that Commission PARTICULARI LY to them, and to no others, and promis'd con, ftantly to concur with, and support them in the Exercise thereof, to the End of the World; and he has made no such Promise to Lay Bapti zers; and this is as full and express, as his appointing no other Matter than [Water, ] and no other Form than [In the Name of the Trinity) as is very evident to all, who give them selves leave to think justly, and adequately on the Words of Institution. Besides, this Com, mission is of such great Moment, that the Apostles themselves could neyer have lawfully undertaken to Minister in it, if Christ himself had not particularly authoriz?d them fo to do, because, Baptism is, by Virtue only of Christ's Institution, made a Means of conveying ŞU. PERNATURAL BENEFITS, which they had no NATURAL RIGHT to confer