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About this time comes in the Fable of the Boy Athanafius baptizing his Play-fellows in Sport, and the pretended Determination of Bifhop Alexander, that the Baptifm was Valid, refuted at large,
IV. Century. Nineteen Bishops in the Spanish Council of Eliberis, made a Canon, which [according to Mr. Bingham] vefted Some of their own Laymen, but not all, with Authority to baptize in want of the Clergy; but this with particular Limitations and
Reftrictions, P.58. So this Council is of no Benefit for unautho riz'd Baptifms, but the direct contrary. p.59. The Author of the Life of Athanafius in Photius, fuppofes that the Boy Athanafius baptiz'd his Play-fellows by a Divine Infina,
p. 72. And
Optatus, Bifhop of Milevis, if his Words are taken in their full Latitude] allows of Baptifm not only by ChriAian Lay-men, but alfo by Women, nay by unbaptiz'd Infidels, Jews, or Pagans, even in or dinary Cafes, p. 103.
And this he judg'd from Alexander's fuppos'd Determination about
it, p. 88. Therefore [in his Opinion] Alexander took it for a divinely Authoriz'd Baptifm, ibid. Mr. Bingham fays, It would be ftrange! if any Canon fhould be made in the Church for fuch ludicrous Baptifms, p. 90. Fifty Years after the Council of Eliberis; Hilary, the Deacon of Rome Witneffes, that Lay-men did not then baptize, P.97. Pacian, Bishop of Barcelona, teaches, that the New Birth cannot be effected but by Epif copal Baptifm, p.99. Optatus's Words candidly interpreted, speak only of Baptifm adminifter'd by the then ordinary Minifters of Baptifm, whether Catholicks or Schifmaticks; and they were Epifcopally Commiffion'd,
But Mr. Bingham acknowledges this Latitude was never allow'd by the Church; and that 'tis a Novelty of Popery,
St. Jerom reckons it frequently Lawful for Lay-men to baptize; but this when Neceffity compels, p. 120. He refers to no Law of God, or the Catholick Church for this, p. 121. His falfe Maxim where
on he founds this Power of Lay-men, p. 122. This Affertion of his, inconfiftent with his Dialogue against the Luciferians, P.131.
St. Bafil, Bishop of Cafarea, Nulls Lay-Baptifin, p. 109. St. Chryfoftom, Arch-Bifhop of Conftantinople, do's the fame, p. 114. The Conftitutions call'd Apoftolical do fo likewife, p. 117. St. Jerom, derives the Power of Presbyters and Deacons to baptize, from the Dginal Power of the Bishop, p. 120. If St. Ferom on the other fide, means that fome Bishops authoriz'd Laymen to baptize in Cafe of Neceffity, then 'tis plain his Evidence is only for what he thought were Epifcopally Authoriz'd Baptifms, He
ulls Lay-Baptifm in his Dialogue againft the Luciferians, in which he confutes their Affertion, that Arian Priefts were Laicks, by this Principle, "That if they were "Laicks, the Bap"tifms adminifter'd "by them ought to be rejected, p. 123,&c.
He fays, That without Priefts there is no Church; therefore fay 1,no Baptism, p.139. St. Auguftin, as quoted by Gratian, fpeaking of Lay-mens baptizing in Cafe of Neceflity, founds it upon Authority 02 Commiffion defcended by Bishops from the Apoftles, p. 144. Another Paffage of his as quoted by Gratian, which Nulls Baptifms by our Laicks, p. 146. St. Auguftin befitates about the Validity of ufurped Lay-Baptifm in time of fuppofed Neceffity, p. 151. He is not pofitive, but fuch a Ufurpation is a Sin. p. 153. Therefore 'twas not the general Senfe and Pratice of the Church,
And falfe, or rather no Arguments, p. 148, 151, 156. In expounding Scripture he follow'd a Path wholly new, p. 161.
p. 153, 154. He acknowledges that the Validity of LayBaptifm in ordinary Cafes [tho' his own Opinion] was not the Determination of any generalCouncil,con
Sequently 'twas not the general Sense of the ancient Catholick Church, p. 155. He calls fuch Baptifms unlawful Usurpations; and says,That the unlawful Ufurpation must be corrected by a fincere and affectionate Repentance, elfe the Baptifm will remain to the Punithment of the Giver and Receiver, p.154. This is in effect a Nulling of fuch Baptisms, p. 157.
VI. Century. Gratian makes fidore fay, That Baptifin by a Pagan is Valid.
V. Century. Gelafius, Bishop of Rome, reftrains the Office of Baptizing in ordinary and extraordinary Cafes to Perfons authoriz'd by Bishops, p. 162, 164.
VI. Century. Ifidore, Bishop of Sevil, in Spain, do's the like, p. 165. Mr. Bingham makes the Sum of his whole Evidence to be, that for the first Six hundred Years of Chriftianity,