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of thefe, and comes to know it, be very apt to fays How can I reft fatisfied in a Baptifm declar'd to be Irregular, for want of a proper Adminiftrator, [i.e. One call'd of God] When the Uncall'd pretended Adminiftrator, will by God himself be call'd to Account as an Ufurper of the Prieftly Office, for Baptizing me? Will God judge him for fo doing? And fhall I escape his Judgment for knowingly concurring with, or acquiefcing in, his finful Act? By what means shall I extricate my felf out of this Difficulty? If 'tis Sin in him, 'tis fo in me too, by my approving of it; and yet (that this Scruple may cease) approve of it I must. But how can I approve of it, fince it was finful in the very Act? And thus I find no Relief from fuch a Declaration, which involves me in Sin, and prohibits my being extricated out of it.
The fuppofed Error it was defigned to oppofe, is this; That pretended Baptifm, Adminiftred without the Divine Authority or Commiffion; i.e. by One who has not this Commiffion, is not Chriftian Baptifm, but Null and Void. Is not this much Differing from the Real Error of Donatifm, which was, That the Donatifts Rebaptiz'd those who came over to them from the Catholick Church, tho' they had been before rightly Baptiz'd in or with Water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and by One in Real, Valid Holy Orders too? What has this to do with the Matter before us?
And as for Anabaptifm, its Error is twofold: First, It Nulls Baptifm in an Infant, howfoever and by whomfoever Adminifter'd. Secondly, In Grown Perfons, if they were not plung'd all over in Water; in both which they make the AGE of the Perfon Baptized, and the VERY GREAT
QUANTITY of Water fufficient to cover the Perfon, Effential to the Miniftration of this Sacrament; Errors fo infinitely Different from the Cafe before us, that One would wonder how Men could Invent the Notion, of their being not much Different from what is Afferted, and, I hope, fairly proved, to be a Great Truth in this Effay.
The Author of a Pamphlet, call'd, The Judgment of the Church of England in the Cafe of Lay-Baptifm and Diffenters Baptifm, has publifh'd what he calls The Second Part of the Judgment, &c. 'Tis an amazing thing to fee Men fo expofe themselves: For this Gentleman amufes the World with a Repetition of all that he had faid before; and gives his Reader the fame Things over again, but in other Words, and in a Method fomething diverfified from the former; putting People to an Unneceffary Charge, befides a Trial of their Patience, to bear with the Reading a fecond Time what they had read before; which is ftill the more aggravated by his Want of Argument; by his not fo much as endeavouring to confute the Reafons brought against his First Part, in the Answer thereto, call'd, Diffenters Baptifm Null and Void, (for he tells his Reader, that he does not defign this as a Reply to that Book ;) by bis unbecoming Language, in giving Ill Names to what he knows be cannot confute, and lastly, by his induftriously Evading the MERITS OF THE CAUSE; when he knows that the Church of England has concern'd Her Self therewith, that her Articles of Religion are built upon it, and that he is oblig'd in his own Defence to enter into it.
This Author mightily triumphs in Bishops confirming Children, pretendedly Baptiz'd by Diffenting Teachers, as if they therefore acknowledg'd thofe
Baptifms to be Valid. But I can tell him, that there are fome who fay, that thofe Baptifms, are not Valid before Confirmation, but made valid by Confirmation; this (tho' I abfolutely deny it) I can prove to be the Foundation upon which Confirmation has been given to Perfons fo pretendedly Baptiz'd; and our Author would do well to confider, whether thofe Bishops he fpeaks of, did not Confirm them upon the fame Foundation, before he fo pofitively affirms, that thofe Bihops allowed their Baptifms to be Valid: For, if tis true, that fome act upon this falfe Foundation, others may have done fo likewife; and this will Spoil our Writer's Suppofition, however infufficient to make thofe Baptifms Valid, as I have endeavoured to prove in this Efay.
I have in this Fourth Edition added fome further Arguments to prove the main Propofition, fo much avoided by this Author, and endeavour'd to Anfwer new Objections for the Satisfaction of fome who may be led away by them. I have nothing more to request of my Reader than Chriftian Juftice and Equity in bis Cenfures, and that he would beartily join with me in this Prayer to Almighty God, That it would please Him to bring into the Way of Truth, all fuch as have Erred, and are Deceived.
Letter to the Author, Pag. i, to lxx
A Preliminary Difcourfe of the Va-
rious Opinions of the Fathers, con-
cerning Rebaptizations, and Invalid
Baptifms; with Remarks, Page 1.
St. Cyprian and his Collegues Opinion of Heretical
The Opinion of Stephen Bishop of Rome, and his
Party, concerning fuch Baptifms,
The Arguments of the Stephanians for their Vali-
The Cyprianifts Reafons for their Invalidity, 3
St. Cyprian's Chriftian Humility and Charity to-
The contrary Temper of Stephen Bishop of Rome,
The Apoftolick Canons eftablish St. Cyprian's Opi-
St. Athanafius rejects Heretical Baptifm, 10
The Council of Eliberis allows of Lay-Baptifm in
Cafe of Neceffity, but with a particular Provifo,
The Council of Arles determines the famous Difpute.
"His Opinion of Heretical and Schifmatical Bap-
The Councils of Laodicea, Conftantinople, Capua,
The Third Council of Carthage difallows Baptifm
St. Chryfoftom against the Validity of Lay-Bap-
St. Auguftin's Argument against the Donatifts,
Nor his Arguments against the Cyprianifts, 20, 21
The Author's Cafe, and Diffatisfaction,
His Short Answer to fome who would perfuade
Bim, that the Baptifm adminifter'd to him in
Oppofition to Epifcopacy, was good, becaufe done
His Thoughts about the Dispute in St. Cyprian's
A Divine Pofitive Inftitution,
The Effential Parts of fuch an Inftitution, ibid.
Supernatural Advantages annex'd to fuch an Infti-