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BOSES, is utterly inconceivable; nay, 'tis abomidable to affirmotvor dej

VIL Another Objection which I have heard of, is, That the Council of Eliberis, Anno 305.Vallow'd of Lay-Baptifm in a Cafe of Neceflity; That the Church of Rome does so to this Day; And that the Church of England did fo in the Reign of King Edward the VIth of Queen Elizabeth, and in the Beginning of King James the Hodas is plain, by the feves rad Common-Prayer Books in thofe Days, par ticularly King Edward's, Anno 1552, and King James's, 16211 to be seen at Sion-College L brary in London valits

Anf. I grant the Truth of thefe Matters of Fact; and yet affirm, That thofe Allowan cess be they of what Confequence they will, are not of any Validity for our Unauthorized and Anti-Epifcopal Baptifms,of con

As for the Council of Eliberis, I have cited it Pag. 11 and 12 of my Preliminary Difcourfe and made fuch Remarks thereon, as will utterly fruftrate the Defign of this Objection; and therefore I refer the Reader back to it, for his Satisfaction.

Next for the Church of Rome, her Allowances in this Cafe are no Rule to us Proteftants, who have feparated from her, for her many grofs Errors, both in Doctrine and Practice: She began to quarrel with St. Cyprian, and other Primitive Bishops, and carried it very unchriftianly against them, for not allowing


any Validity in Heretical and Schifmatical Baptifms, which they look'd upon as bad as Lay Baptifins and he has ever fince perfifted in this ill Humour, fo far as at laft to condemn thofe who do not believe the Valis dity of Baptifm Adminifter'd by Women, whofe Authoritative Acts in the Chutch-of God, are both contrary to the Law of Nature, and alfo forbidden by the Holy Ghoft himself. Nay for far have her Bishops proceeded, as to pronounce Baptifm Valid tho adminifter'd by an Unbaptiza Heathen St. Bafil in his 10th Epiftle, complains of the Western Bifhops, and particularly the Roman, Daod Veritatem neque Norunt, neque difcere fufti“nent! Cum iis qui veritatem ipfis annunci ant contendentes, hærefin autem per fedipfos * ftabilientes. That they neither know the Truth, nor care to learn it but they contend with them ← who tell them the Truth, and by themselves " establish Herefy: For which Reafon. their Authority ought not to be objected in this Matter by a Proteftant; efpecially confidering that fuch an Objector will not fubmit to their Decifions, even in things of a much more inferior Nature. 131513 vit xeb

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The Practice of the Church of England in this Cafe, would have been look'd upon as a formidable Objection, if She her felf had not anfwer'd it already by purging her Liturgy of fo Inconfiftent a Rubrick: I call it Inconfiftent, because, especially in King James the Firft's

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Reign, She had declar'd in her Articles of Religion, that it is unlawful, i. e. finful for any Man to Adminifter Sacraments until he be Lawfully call'd and fent; and at the same time allow'd by her Rubrick to Private Baptifm, that any one there prefent might Baptize the In fant (in a Cafe of Necessity.) This can be reconcil'd to her Articles of Religion by no other way, but by fuppofing that She, by her Rubrick, authorized and impower'd Lay-men for fuch Cafes, as much, as if She had Ordain'd them by Impofition of Hands. If any will af fert this, which will be odd enough if they do, yet ftill it will not favour the Baptism now difputed againft; for they are utterly deftitute of any fuch fuppofed Impowering and Authorizing Rubrick, as that was efteemed to have been; Tho' yet, even in that Common-Prayer-Book, upon the Prieft's Examination afterwards into the Lawfulness of the Child's Baptifm, it was requir'd, that this Queftion fhould be put to the Perfons who brought the Child to Church; viz. Whether they think the Child be Lawfully "and perfectly Baptiz'd, which ( confidering the preceding Questions," Whether 'twas Bap"tiz'd with Water, and in the Name of the

Trinity, &c.) Teems to be needlefs, and to no purpose, except by asking the Thoughts about the Lawfulness and Perfection of fuch a Baptifm, they meant to make it lawful or unlawful, as the Perfons they put fuch a Question to, fhould think it: Which is a very Atrange,


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and indeed a precarious and, uncertain Foun dation for us to build the Validity of our Baptifm upon, in fuch a Cafe of Neceffity, And therefore 'tis no wonder that the Church of England, afterwards expung'd this Question out of the Rubrick; and alfo, for very weighty Reasons took away the Liberty of Lay-Bap tizing, in her prefent Liturgy, by requiring, even in Cafes of Neceffity,that Baptifm fhould be Adminifter'd by "The Minifter of the Parif, or any other Lawful Minifter that can be procur'd; which is a fubftantial Anfwer to all Objections that may be rais'd from her for mer Practice. But if fuch a Cuftom had been ftill continu'd, St. Cyprian long fince laid it down for an Undoubted Truth, "That we are not to be determin d by any Customs of that Nature, "bat to examine whether they will bear the Taft

of Reafon And Bifhop Taylor fays, fpeaking of Baptifm by Midwives)"This Guftam came in at a prong Door, it lean d upon a falfe and Superftitious Opinion and they thought it better to Invade the Prief's Office, than to traft God with the Souls which he made with his own Hands, and Redeemed with his Son's Blood; but this Custom was not to be followed,

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if it had fill continu'd; for even then they "confefs'd it was Sin, Factum valet, fieri non "debuit, and Evil ought not to be done for a

good end, &c. This Custom therefore is of the Nature of thefe which are to be laid afide. No Man Baptizes but he that is in Holy Or




ders, fard Simeon of Theffalonica; and VĨ sthink he faid truly. Bist above all things Opimons are not to be taken up by Custom, and "reduc'd to Practice: Not only becaufe Custom is no good warranty for Opinions, &c. But befides this, when an Opinion is offer'd only by "the hand of Custom, it is commonly a Sign of aa Bad Caufe, and that there is nothing elfe "to be faid for it. Ductor Dabitantium, Fourth Edition, Page 638, 639. basAND in the fame Book, Page 198,* In “all Moral Actions, there must be a Subftantial Poteftative Principle that must have proportion'd Power to the Effect a thing cannot be done without a Cause and Principle in Mo "rality, any more than in Nature. If a 16 man goes about to Confecrate the Holy Sacrament, it is an ineffective Hand, fhe Sins for "attempting it and cannot do it afterwards; * and it were wifer and truer, if Men will think the fame thing of their giving Baptism, üûless they will confefs that to Baptize Children is a mere Natural and Secular Action, to which Natural Powers are fufficient, or that Women have receiv'd Spiritual Powers to do it, and 26 that whether a Priest or a Woman do's it, is no su difference, but matter of Order only. If an J Effect be Spiritual, the Agent must be fo'too; Thus far that Great Bishop: And if his 'ReaTons are good againt Womens Baptizing, as I think they are, they will be as good to all Intents and Purpoles againfta Man's prefaming

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