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his Apoftles, who cannot be prov❜d to have been Baptiz'd in the Name of the Trinity before his Resurrection; and one of them, Judas Ifcariot, a Thief, a Devil in his Difpofition, to the Administration of Holy Things, as if he would thereby teach us, to look with Faith on HIS AUTHORITY ONLY, without confiding in any of the best Accomplishments of thofe on whom he has conferr'd it. And if we do but look back to the Condition of the Jewish Church, during their forty Years fojourning in the Wilderness, we fhall find that none of them were Circumcis'd in all that fpace of time; and tho' the Uncircumcis'd was by God's own Appointment to be cut off from among his People; yet the Miniftry of those Priefts and Levites, who were born in the term of those Forty Years, was not Null'd and made Void for their want of Circumcifion; which doubtlefs was as much neceffary to qualify them for Holy Orders, as Baptifm is now to qualify our Chriftian Priefts.
UPON the Whole; As neither the Baptifm, nor Perfonal Holiness of the Minifter, can mediately Baptize or make us Holy, but THE DIVINE AUTHORITY refiding in him; fo neither can the Baptifm or Perfonal Holiness of the Bishop confer Holy Orders, but THE DIVINE AUTHORITY from Chrift and his Apoftles, vifibly convey'd to and refiding in him: 'Tis by virtue of THIS ALONE that Holy Orders are given; and if either the Bi
fhop or Ordain'd Perfon, or both, have any Perfonal Incapacity, viz. of Wickedness,or want of Baptifm, the Fault is their own, and they must answer for it: But as for the Ordination, that must remain Good and Valid, by reason of the External Divine Commiffion de facto given to the Bishop, For, if every Perfonal Defect of what is requir'd, either in the Adminiftrator or Recipient, could Invalidate the Adminiftration, either of Baptism or Holy Orders, we fhould never have an End of Rebaptizations and Reordinations: Nay, we could never have any Certainty,either of Valid Baptifms or Ordinations, because we should always find but too many Occasions, to call in queftion the Sufficiency of the Preparations, and Perfonal Qualifications of both Minifters and People, who are all equally expos'd to the fame Human Frailties, and liable to be try'd with the fame innumerable Temptations.
AND therefore I humbly conceive, our best way is (I don't fay ONLY but) CHIEFLY to regard, and infift on the Visible Divine Authority and Commiffion, handed down from Chrift and his Apostles, by that ORDER of Men, who have always had power to convey it to others; this, with the Right Matter and Form of Adminiftration, are what we ought to esteem to be the only Effentials of Baptifm and Ordination, on the Part of the Admini ftration of them; and as for the reft, every one in particular muft do his part to the ut most
moft of his Power, to fecure those Perfonal Qualifications, which God has requir'd of both Minifter and People, under no lefs Penalty than that of Eternal Damnation, upon the wilful neglect of them.
THUS far I have prefum'd to declare my Thoughts, concerning the Uncertainty and (as far as I can fee) the Falfeness of the Foun dation, upon which this whole Objection is rais'd, humbly fubmitting all I have faid in oppofition to it, to the better Reasons and Arguments of my Superiors, the truly Ordain'd Minifters of Jefus Chrift, whether Bishops, Priefts, or Deacons; fincerely declaring, that if any thing has drop'd from me, that is contrary to the Truth of Chriftianity, I do hereby Recant it, and will do fo in a more particular manner, as foon as I can discover my Error.
AND now, whether what I have faid against Ordinations, and Holy Miniftrations being Null'd for want of Baptifm, be true or no; if the Invalidity of Lay-Baptifm be a Truth, let every one take care to keep himfelf from, or extricate himself out of, the mifchievous Confequences of it. And if the Nulling of Holy Orders and Miniftrations, be a real Confequence of this Truth, then there's no other Remedy, but that they who are involv'd in it, fhould extricate themselves out of it, by Epifcopal Baptifm and Reordination. It is not enough to fay, that "This will involvé
"the Church into the utmost Confufion; for, want of Baptism and a Valid Ministry is the most pernicious Confufion, and infinitely greater than what can proceed from fuch Perfons receiving Valid Baptifm and Holy Orders; and therefor, if the Premifes are true, the Risk must be run; for Truths of fo great Importance must not be ftifled, and made to give way to fuppos'd Confufions; because, whatfoever mischief may arife, can never be the Refult of Divine Truth (which is always Good and Beneficial) but of Mens Sins and Impieties, in ufurping thofe Sacred Offices, which they never receiv'd any Commiffion to Act in. So that, they who value the Order and Peace of the Church, ought not to dif allow of the Invalidity of Lay-Baptifm, upon the Account of this Confequence, but rather to enquire seriously, whether Divine Revelation gives us any Foundation to believe, that fuch Baptifms are Good and Valid; and if they are not, whether the Nulling of Holy Orders be a real Confequence thereof; and if it be, they should affert and maintain it to the utmoft of their power, nay even to Martyrdom it felf, if the defending fuch a Truth did expose them to it, rather than fuffer themselves to be deftitute both of a Chriftian Priesthood and Chriftian Baptifm.
Obj. XI. BUT others fay, that to avoid the fatal Confequences of adhering too rigoroufly to this Doctrine of Lay-Baptisms being
Invalid, the Authority of the "Powers Hierar"chical are very Divine, and the fame which "Chrift had, not to the violation of his Laws, but "to DISPENSE with them to EDIFICATI"ON, for which they may be impower'd to Relax 66 ftated Rules in cafes that appear necessary or "expedient. And that therefore, tho' Hereti“cal, Schifmatical, and Mimical Baptifms are "done without, nay, and against the confent of the "Hierarchy,and therefore are not entire, or valid "in themselves, yet they are made fo on the Poft"Fact, by the Spiritual Powers, fo far, as that "the External Rite shall not be Reiterated; but "as to any Spiritual Graces they are not to be had "thereby, till thofe defective and Irregular Acts are Jupply'd, Righted and Confirmed, by the "Chrifm of the Bishop, or Impofition of his Hands, "or fuch Right by which he shall fix the Perfon Baptiz'd into a State af Canonical Union with "the Church. So alfo, the Validity of Lay"Baptifm, as well to its Internal, as External "Privileges, ftands on the Authority of the "Church's Power to grant fuch License to Lay"men in Extremities. All which being confider'd, Lay-Baptisms ought now to be acknowledg'd Valid, efpecially to fuch as have been confirm'd by the Bishop.
~Anfw. THIS Objection is for the most part in the very Words of a Learned and Reverend Oppofer, of One of the most Poysonous Books, that, it may be, was ever fuffer'd to be Publih'd in the Chriftian World, falfly Intitul'd,