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rating themselves from the Communion of the Church) AS EXCOMMUNICATE, and consequently to have lost all Valid Power and Authority for the Administration of Christian Sacraments,being themselves out of the Church: Whereas the Conceald Heretick and Evil Minifter, not having separated themselves from, nor been excluded out of the Church, cannot, during this their Secresy, lose that VI. SIBLE AUTHORITY wherewith they were at first invested; and we have no OTHER Authority to trust to, except we had the Gift of discerning Spirits. So that the Reasons against the Validity of Baptism administred by KNOWN Self-Éxcommunicate Hereticks and Schismaticks, will not equally hold good against the Validity of Baptism conferr'd by UNKNOWN Hereticks and Evil Priests, who still continue in external Communion with the CHURCH, because the former were by the Cyprianists supposed to have not, but the latter have that VISIBLE AUTHORITY and COMMISSION, which Christ gave them to administer his Sacraments, as is plain from the Example of Judas Iscariot, whom our Saviour vested with the divine Commission, notwithftanding his great Wickedness.
Leo Bishop of Rome in his 18th Answer to several Questions put to him by Rusticus BiShop of Norbonne, Anno 442, says, “ Íhat it is # fufficient to lay Hands upon, and call upon
the Holy Spirit, over those that do remem
" bes true.?
« ber that they have been Baptized, but « know not in wliat Sect.”
Gennadius, a Priest of Marfeille, affirms, $. That there is BUT ONE BAPTISM, and “ that we must not baptize them again who “ have been baptized by Herericks, with the " Invocation of the Name of the Trinity; " but they who have not beer baptized in " the Name of the Trinity, ought to be re
baptized, because fuch a Baptism is not
The second Council of Arles, Canon 17, says, “ The Bonosiaci, who baprize as well as " the Arians, in the Name of the Trinity ; it " is sufficient to admit them into the Church 6 by Chrism, and Imposition of Hands??
St. Gregory, about the latter End of the 6th Century, speaking about the Return of feveral Sorts of Hereticks into the Church, fays,
That they are Baptized when they RE « ENTER into the Church; the Baptism ! which they have received, not being true, s fince it was not given in the Name of the 54. Trinity, When it is UNCERTAIN whe
ther a Person has been Baptized or Con
firined, we must Baptizę or Confirm them, “ rathei; than suffer thein to perish in this 6. Doubt.
Gregory II. a little after, Anno 700, in his Decretal Epistle, answering several Questions put to him by Boniface, Article 8.“ forbids to & Re-baptize those who liave been once Bap
“ tized in the Name of the Trinity, altho'it
were by a wicked Priet.
" Gregory III. Orders that they shall be 56 Baptized again in the Name of the Trinity, ct who have been Baptized by Heathens. And
also that those shall be Re-baptized, who " have been Baptized by a Priest that hath “ Sacrificed to Jupiter, or eaten Meat offer'd " to Idols. Thus far I think may suffice to have Collected what has been said about Rebaptization.
And I should not have given my self, or the Reader, the Trouble of this Account of Men's various Judgments and Opinions in this Case; were it not that I expected to hear from fome, that I had wholly neglected to search into Antiquity, concerning the Sense of the Primitive Fathers about it. To Obviate which Objection, and because I have been told, that “ it becomes me to reft fatisfied in the Deter56 minations of the Christian Church about " this matter, I thought it not amiss to enquire into them thus far ; to the intent, that Į might see whether I could procure any WELL-GROUNDED Satisfaction from their Authority; and indeed I must acknowledge, that if this had been a Thing Indifferent in its own Nature, and not DETERMINED by the Word of God, but left to the Wisdom and Prudence of the Church to Decree as she Thould think convenient and neceffary, I ought to have acquiefc'd with her Determinations ;
If she liad in General Council made any about Unauthoriz’dand Anti-Episcopal Baptisms, which in Truth she has not; nor any Provincial Council neither, as it plain by the foregoing Collection.
The Church of Rome has indeed assum'd to herfelf a pretended Power of declaring all Baps tisms in or with Water in the Name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by whomsoever administerd, whether by a Woman or Layman, Heretick or Orthodox, Communicant or Schifmatick, of what fort foever, to be Good and Valid: But this Her Determination ought to be brought to the
Test, and weigh'd in the Ballance of the Sanctuary...vi.
Baptism, and all things Essential thereto, are Fundamentals of Christianity; 'tis ( in the Apostles Stile) a Principle of the Doctrine of Chrift; ?tis. a Positive Institution made by God Himself; and the Holy Scriptures as interpreted by the Doctrine and Practice of the Primitive Catholick. Church, are CLEAR ENOUGH for the Determination of all the Necessaries thereof, as well as of all other Fundamental Points of our Religion ; and therefore the Decrees of some Particular Fathers and Councils have no more weight with me in this matter (of Lay-Baptism) than what they receive from their Conformity to those Divine Qracles, which are the only Original Rule of our Faith and Practice in Fundamentals, as all found Proteftants have affirm’d.
If any shall ask me, who must be Judge between you and the Councils ? I answer, The same that must be Judge between the Contradictious Canons of Different Councils; the same that must be Judge between me, and a Council that Commands me to Worship Saints and Angels, &c. Now who this is upon Earth, I cannot tell ; a Living Infallible Judge we have none; and therefore I must look for a Rule or Guide, i. e. the Holy Scripture; and if the Councils and I Differ about this Rule, I must have recourse to the BEST and PUREST Ages of Christianity, and see what the Apoftolick Fathers, and the Councils next after them, understood by that Rule. After all, I must be allow'd a Judgment of Discretion for my self; in Conjunction with these, and a JUST DEFERENCE to the Canons of that particular Church whereof I am, or ought to be a Member; and by all these Methods, I am brought to conclude
for my self, that Lay-Baptism, BY ONE IN OPPOSITION to the Church, can never be Good and Valid.
'Tis by this Rule that I reckon the Councils of Carthage, Iconium and Synnada, together with the Customs of the Asiatick and African Churches, confirming St. Cyprian's Doctrine, have as much (if not more) Authority to sway, my Judgement in the Matter of Heretical and Schismatical Baptisms; as the Council of Arles, and the After-Determinations of other Coun