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uncharitable and unkind, because it does r fuit with the Temper and Difpofition of other People? Cannot we ftill keep our Charity for them, by Believing that God may difpenfe with the very want of the Chriftian Sacra ments, and beltow even the Supernatural Graces of them, to those who labour either under an Invincible Ignorance, or else an Impoffibility of Receiving thofe Sacraments, when they do all that lies in their Power to fulfil his Bleffed Will? Certainly we may; for God can dif penfe with his own Inftitutes, and give the Spiritual Graces annex'd to them, to whom he pleafes (by Astom 2790 ni nobiỏ tndì sché,
BUT as for fome among our felves, I fear their Cafe is very dangerous, becaufe, Aibundance of them feem to want fo farians Ex cufe, living under that Epifcopal Government which they refuse to acknowledge and fubme to: But God only knows their feveral Circumstances of Knowledge and Capacity, and the Strength of thofe Prejudices which fome of them may have contracted by their Edu cation. He is Infinite Goodnels it felf, and will never punish any for what they never could help. But as for the Slothful and Negligent, the Obftinate and Perverfe, we have no Authority from Divine Revelation to hope any thing for their Advantage. But to fum up my whole Anfwer to this Objection, in the Words of an Excellent Modern Author. Los
"THOSE who have been Baptiz'd by Perfons not lawfully Ordain'd, and confequently ἐσ they have receiv'd no Baptifm, having receiv'd ໄດ້ it from those who had no Commiffion to admi
nifter it, but who were guilty of the highest "Sacrilege in Ufurping fuch a Sacred Commiffion, not lawfully deriv'd to them by a Succeffive Ordination from the Apostles [as is the Cafe with us But yet, thro a General Corrup ] tion of the Times, fuch Baptifms are fuffer'd to pass, whereby the Perfons fo baptiz'd Swimming down the Stream, do think their Bap&tifm to be Valid, and therefore feek not for 66 a Re-baptization", [I had rather fay True Baptifm1" from those who are empower'd to "Adminifter it. I fay, where no fuch Re-baptization? [or rather True Baptifm]"is taught, and thereby the People know nothing of it; in fuch Cafe, their Ignorance is in a manper invincible, and their Sincerity and Devoti on in Receiving no Sacraments, yet thinking them True Sacraments, may be accepted by God, and the Inward Grace conferr'd. But this Cafe does not reach thofe who do, or may know and act better; and is the whole of my Charity in this Matter, and, I think, a fuffi cient Anfwer to the Objection,
V. Another Objection in Defence of the Validity of Baptifms adminifter'd by fuch as have not the Divine Commiffion, is the Example of Zipporah, Mofes's Wife, who circumH 4
cis'd her Son, and thereby faved her Huf band's Life; for God fought to kill Mofes and when she had circumcis'd her Son, he let him go; and therefore approv'd of her Act in fo doing, tho' fhe had no Right to do fo by the Inftitution.
Anfw. Whofoever will but look into the first Inftitution of Circumcifion, will find, That God did not fet apart a Particular Order of Men for this Purpose, but only requir'd, Gen. 17. 10. Every Man Child among you shall be circumcis'd, &c. to the 15th Verfe; Every Male must be circumcis'd: But the Perfons who fhould continually adminifter this Circumcifion, are not nam'd in the Inftitution.
Nay, tho' it fhould be granted, that Ci cumcifion was to be perform'd by the Mafter, as he was the Priest of his Family; yet it does not follow, that Zipporah did any thing more than what she had a Right to do; becaufe her Husband's Authority was devolv'd upon her in his Sickness, when he was unable to do it himfelf: Efpecially, confidering that this Sicknefs was inflicted upon him, because his Son had not been circumcis'd; and that he might therefore order his Wife to do it in his ftead; and confequently, 'twas inter pretatively done by himself, because by his Authority: As we find in the Iffue, by God's fparing his Life when the Circumcifion was perform'd; and by Zipporah's Words to Mofes, when he had cut off the Fore-Skin of her
Son, and caft it at his Feet, faying, A bloody Husband thou art, because of the Circumcifion, Exod. 5. 25, 26. which plainly implies, that fhe did it for his Sake, and by his Order, But what does all this avail to those, who knowingly receive, or acquiefce in Baptifm receiv'd, from fuch as have no Divine Com miffion; when they may be Baptiz'd by Chrift's own Minifters, whom he has particularly ap pointed, exclusive of all others, to Baptize? This is Acting even contrary to the Exam ple here objected; becaufe, by all that can be feen in the Text, the acted by a Divine Commiffion, even by Virtue of an Immediate Revelation to Mofes, her Husband, whom God doubtless acquainted with the Caufe of his Displeasure, and the Means of appealing his Anger by this Circumcifion of his Son: Which was an Extraordinary and Unusual Cafe, and not at all parallel to the Unauthoriz'd Miniftrations of those who act in Oppofition to that Divine Commiffion, which has been fucceffively handed down from Chrift and his Apoftles, in all Ages.
VI. Another Objection is a Maxim, which fome would perfwade us will hold good in Chriftian Baptifm; and that is, Fieri non debet; Factum valet: i. e. It is not lawful to be done; yet being done, 'tis Valid.
Anfw. Tho this Maxim may hold good in Circumftantials of fome Secular Cafes, yet it
does not therefore follow that it will fo in all or indeed in any of the Effentials of Worldly Matters, For Example: Tis not Lawful for me to make a Man Free of the City of Lon dan; and tho' I should be never fo ferious and formal in pretending, or fhould really fuppola my felf to have fufficient Authority to give fach a Freedom get'tis certain, tha that fuch a Freedom given by me would never be Valid, The Man muft receive a Legal Freedom, not withstanding the Counterfeit one he had of me, The like may be juftly affirm'd of the Naturalization of Foreigners, and many other great Concerns of this World And if this Maxim will not hold good in thefe,, and, As bundance of other Worldly Things, how much less in thofe of an infinitely higher Na fure, in the Divine Politive Inftitutions which God has made to be the Means and Pledges of Supernatanal Benefits, to be conferred on us by the Miniftration of his own particularly Commission'd, and Authoriz'd Ambaffadors? Especially when we remember, that this. Maxim was never appointed by him to be our Rule and Guide in any of our Affairs, much less in
thofe of a Rand Spiritual Nature as
without all d doubt Christian Baptism 1S Be fides, The Objection acknowledges that not Lawful, therefore 'tis Sinful: Tis a Sin against an Effential of the Inftitution; and how SUCH A SINFUL A& fhould be ¥ ALID for SUPERNATURAL PUR2.05 POSES,