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want of one Effential Part of that Inftitution, ought alfo to acknowledge, that fuch an Act is as much Null and Void, when it wants but any other One Effential Part of the fame Inftitution.
DEMON. For he can reasonably judge that Act to be Invalid, only because it is unlawful, or contrary to the Inftitution; (Axiom 4.) So that, the want of that Effential Part being unlawful, he thence concludes the Invalidity of the Act: Now, forafmuch as all the Effential Parts of the Inftitution are of equal Authority and Neceffity to us (by the foregoing Propofition,) it muft neceffarily follow, that the Omiffion of any one of them will be equally Unlawful or Invalid; and consequently fuch a Deficient A&t, as wants any one of thofe Effential Parts, being by him juftly efteem'd Invalid, ought alfo for the fame Reafon to be efteem'd as much Invalid, when he knows it to want but any other One Effential Part of the fame Inftitution: Which was the thing to be prov'd.
HENCE it unavoidably follows, that there can be no fuch Thing as a Partial Invalidity, thro' the Omiffion of any Effential Part of à Divine Positive Inftitution: For, if the A& be wholly Null for want of one fuch Part, it must be also entirely Void for the want of any other
other, by reason of the Equal Authority and Neceffity of every Essential Part.
He who knows himself bound to conform to a Divine Pofitive Inftitution in all its Effential Parts, and is convinc'd that he has not fo far conform'd; can have no juft Grounds to expect the Supernatural Benefits annex'd to that Inftitution, till he has done his utmost for the Obtaining of them, by endeavouring an Entire Conformity to every Effential Part of the faid Institution.
Demon. This wants but little Proof: For thus entirely to obey the Inftitution, is certainly good; and he who knows this, and does it not, to him it is Sin; (Axiom 6.) which if he continues in, no Supernatural Advantage can accrue to him thereby, (by the fame Axiom) much less thofe Benefits annex'd to the Obfervance of the Inftitution; And confequently, he ought to do his utmost for the Obtaining of them, by endeavouring, c. as was to be demonftrated.
An ESSAY, &c.
HRISTIAN Baptifm, is a Divine "Pofitive Inftitution of our most Holy Religion; whereby 'tis appointed, that the APOSTLES, and their SUCCESSORS, to the End of the World, fhould [by Virtue of a Particular Commiffion which Chrift gave them for this Purpofe ] either themselves in Perfon, or by THEIR SUBSTITUTES, enter into Discipleship, or into the Church of Chrift, All Nations, Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft, &c. The Supernatural Privileges and Benefits annex'd to this Inftitution, are, The Pardon of Sins, the Gift of the Holy Ghoft, and Eternal Life after Death: Or, as the Church of England words it, "Being by "Nature born in Sin, and the Children of Wrath, "we are hereby made the Children of Grace, "Members of Chrift, Children of God, and In"heritors (or Heirs) of the Kingdom of Hea
ven: Which Vaft and Unspeakable Advantages none can ordinarily have any Right
or Title to, but those who are duly admitted to them by this One True Chriftian Baptifm.
That it is a Pofitive Inftitution, is certain from hence; Because, before the Divine Command enjoin'd it, we were never bound to obferve it, either in whole, or in part, Washing us then with Water, had no intrinsick, or moral Virtue, to give us any Spiritual Advantages: Nor would it have had any thing more of Efficacy for that Purpose, if we had been wash'd with Water, and at the fame time used the Words, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft; for thefe Words being pronounc'd, could then have had no more Virtue than others. Neither would it have fignified any thing to us, whether we had been wash'd either by our felves alone, or by fome other Perfon; or whether that other Perfon were a Common Man, or one fet apart by Confent of the People for that End. None of thefe Things could, by any Excellency in their own Nature, have convey'd to us any Spiritual Benefits whatfoever; nor could we have been oblig'd, in a Religious Senfe, to obferve any one of them because the Divine Command had not enjoin'd them. This, I fuppofe, all will acknowledge; and confequently, that our Obligation to receive Christian Baptifm, and from them by whom it is order'd to be adminifter'd, is wholly founded upon the Divine Command, on which alone depends the whole Force and E
nergy of a Divine Pofitive Inftitution of Religion; (according to Definition 1.) and that therefore the Administration of Chriftian Baptifm in all its Parts, is no other than a mere Pofitive Inftitution, exactly agreeable to the faid Definition. This being premis'd, I proceed now to demonftrate what are the Effential Parts of this Great Inftitution of Christianity, on the Part of the Administration thereof.
That on the Part of the Administration, The Divine Authority of the Adminiftrator, The Matter [Water, ] and the Form of Adminiftring, [In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft,] are every one of them Effential Parts of the Divine Positive Inftitution of Chriftian Baptifm.
DEMON. That the Water, and the Form of Administration in the Name of the Trinity, are Effential Parts of this Inftitution, was never difputed by any but Hereticks; and even thefe (except fuch as the Quakers) nee ver oppos'd against the Water's being fo, but only against the Form of Administration in the Name of the Trinity. I fhall not make it my business to endeavour their Conviction, who oppose the plain and exprefs Words of the Inftitution, and from whence All Sound and Orthodox Chriftians have unanimously a