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any Man by means thereof, and they could acquire no SUPERNATURAL ONE to do so, till Chrift gave them that Power by a particular Defignation; as we find he did, in the very Words of Inftitution; and therefore, fince the Apostles themselves could never have prefum'd to act in this great Miniftration, without a Particular Divine Commiffion; it being impoffible for even them to adminifter Baptifm valid, for fupernatural Ends and Purposes, without it; it must needs follow, that no others can do fo, but by Virtue of this, or fome other new Commiffion; and if they have no new one, they must do it by Virtue of the Old; and confequently he who adminifters Baptifm, valid for Supernatu ral Purposes (AND 'TIS NOT CHRISTIAN BAPTISM IF IT BE NOT THUS VALID) muft neceffarily be vefted with the Divine Commiffion, given at firft to the Eleven Apostles, and by their Succeffors convey'd down to him: And if fo, then all others are excluded from any Valid Miniftration hereof, because they are Deftitute of this Divine Commiffion, which was never once given to them for such a purpose.
Obj. II. Others may probably object, That at this Rate I confine the Efficacy of the Sacraments, and particularly of Baptifm, wholly to the Divine Authority of the Administrator and fo, if the Perfon who Minifters, has not been Commiffion'd by Chrift, he administers no real Sacraments at all,
Anf. When the outward Elements of the Christian Sacraments are rightly administer'd according to all the Effential Parts of their Ins ftitution, then, and then only, they become effi Gacious to the worthy Receiver of them; and this their Efficacy proceeds only from God's Concurrence with his Promise, made to fuch due 'Administration of them: So that, in Christian Baptifm, the Efficacy depends no more upon the Divine Commiffion of him who Adminifters, thani upon the Water, and the Form of Adminiftration; but upon God's performing his Promife, to bestow the Supernatural Graces thereof, by the Mediation of his own Minifter's applying the Water in the Name of the Trinity: And therefore, as the Church has conftantly affirm'd, that God does not give Efficacy to Water adminifter'd even by his own Minifter, without the use of these Words [In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft] because an Effential Part of the Inftitution is omitted; So, we have no Reafon from Divine Revelation (which is our ONLY GUIDE in this Cafe) to believe, that he will give Efficacy to Water adminifter'd with the pronouncing of the faid Form of Words, when 'tis done by one who has not the Divine Commif fion for fo doing, becaufe, this is also an Ŏ miffion of another equally Effential Part of the fame Inftitution, as I humbly hope I have fufficiently prov'd. 5.1
AS to the latter Part of this Objection, vix. That if the Perfon who Minifters has not been Commiffion'd by Chrift, he admi nifters no real Sacraments at all; I readily ac knowledge that my Difcourfe does imply fo much; and that the contrary ought upon no Account whatfoever to be affirm'd or believ'd; because, the outward Elements are not Sacra ments by themselves, nor made any ways Effi cacious for Supernatural Purposes,till adminifter'd as God has appointed in their Inftitution; and when they are so adminifter'd, then they become Sacraments, and are thereby made Means of conveying, and alfo Pledges to affure us of the Supernatural Graces which God has annex'd to fuch their Adminiftration. Now, who does not fee at firft Sight, that none can make any thing to be the Means of conveying Supernatural Benefits and Advantages, who have not the Power and Authority of a Supernatural Commission? That, no Perfon can make that, which before had no fuch excellent Quality, to become a Pledge or an Earnest of Affurance, that God will grant us fuch ineftimable Gra ces and Privileges (as Nature could never have entitul'd us to ) except he be firft fent, and thereby authoriz'd for that Purpose, by him who is to acknowledge the Pledge as his own, and for the fake thereof, is to perform all that was promis'd, and imply'd by the gi ving and receiving of it?
As for Inftance,
IN Chriftian Baptifm, Water, the outward Element, is no Chriftian Sacrament till ap ply'd as the Inftitution of Baptifm requires, and then, and then only, 'tis a Means of convey ing, and a Pledge to affure us of, the Mystical Walbing away of Sin; and how fhall we rest fatisfy'd and affur'd, that it is such a Means and Pledge, if it is not apply'd and given to us by GOD HIMSELF in the Perfon of his Reprefentative, Commiffion'd by him to give us this Affurance? "tis certain, that if Water be apply'd never fo ferioufly, it cannot be the Chriftian Sacrament of Baptifm, if it wants the true Form, In the Name of the Trinity,] appointed in the Inftitution; this every one will acknowledge; and why then should any plead for its being a Sacrament, when the very Truth of the Form it felf is deftroy'd, by the Adminiftration of a Non-Commiffion'd Perfon, who cannot really and truly, and with out a Lye, fay, I Baptize thee in the Name [or by the Authority and Commission of the Frther, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft; this his Ufurpation is as contrary to the Inftitution, as a truly Commiffion'd Perfon's leaving out the Form wou'd be; as I think I have prov'd; and therefore, if the one hinders the Water from being a True Chriftian Sacrament, the other must do fo too, because the Perfon Com miffion'd to Administer is as much appointed, as
the Matter and Form of Adminiftration: And this Perfon is AS MUCH the Reprefentative of God the giver, as the matter is the Reprefentation of the Graces given; infomuch, that we have at least as much reafon to omit the Sym bolical Element, as we have to leave out the Divine Authority or Commiffion, which repre fents no less than God himself; and therefore those Administrations of the former, which are deftitute of the latter, are no Christian Sacraments or (which is the fame) Means and Pled ges of Supernatural Graces.
Obj. III. But if this be fo, (others will fay) you have brought us to a fine Pafs, For 'tis well known, that this Divine Autho rity is very much controverted, and where to fix it, is not yet determin'd: So that, while we are in this Sufpenfe, we must be always doubting concerning the Validity of our Baptism; and thereby you put this Divine Inftitution upon a very Precarius and Uncertain Foundation...
Anf. That the Divine Right of who shall Minifter in things pertaining to God, has been, and still is very much Difputed by fome Ignorant and Foolish Men, and alfo by others of corrupt Principles and wicked Defigns, we find to be too true, by woful Experience; but what then, do's that argue that it is not to be determin'd who has this Divine Right? cer tainly no; for, tho' through Herefy and Schifm the Minds of many Men are fo dreadfully