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bis Conscience, or night know, that this was in the Second Edition of Lay-Baptism Invalid, for be refers to that Edition in his abusive Pamphlet. He cannot deny, that in the fame Edition, P.155. I use these very Words, viz. “When IT CAN BE “ PROVED, That Christ has vested his Church “ with such a Power, it will necessarily fol“ low, &c." He might have known, that this was in Answer to an Objection which affirm'd, that the "Validity of Lay-Baptism stands on “ che Authority of the Church's Power to 66 GRANT SUCH LICENCE to Lay-men in Extrei mities." He cannot chufe but be conscious to himself, if be read the Book, that I in the same Edition, P. 155, 156. Thew'd the Danger of the Church's making use of such a supposed Power'; these Pasages are in p. 148, 149, and 150. of this prefent Edition. His Conscience must also tell him, that in p. 83. of Sacerdotal Powers, (which he pretends to quote, tho' he does it very unfairly) I say concerning Baptisms Administer'd by virtue of the Canon of the Council of Eliberis, these Words, 6 IF ANY THING CAN BE SAID for the Vali“dity of those Lay-Baptisms." And p. 85. concerning Midwife-Baptism, allow'd by the Church of Rome, I say thus, “ So that upon Supposition,

which I DARE NOT GRANT, that those Mid66 wife-Baptisms could be defended as Valid, “ upon the Account of their Bishops having « first granted them fuch Power,&c.”Laftlig to let the World see a little more of the Integrity of - this Writer, he cannot be ignorant that he is very unjust in his Quotation, from p. 6, and 7. of Difsenter's Baptism Null and Void; for in p.7. before the Period is finiflod, I say, concerning the Church's Power to Authorize her Laymen 16


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Baptize, thus, “ Which, whether RIGHT OR

No, is no ways applicable to our Laymen and « Disenters, who are utterly destitute of any " such Plea, &c.By all which Paffages the Impartial Reader may easily see, that I do not affirm, that Bishops have Power so to Authorize Laymen; but that, if Bishops could be supposid, or prov'd to have such a Power, yet even then our Disfenters Baptisms are Null and Void notwithstanding. The whole Argument runs upon [if they had Power] [whether Right or no, &c.] But these necessary Connections he purposely mitted, because he knew that if he had inserted them 'twould bave discovered the Falfeness of his Charge, and have spoild bis Design, of endeavouring to render a Person odious, when he was not able to confute that Truth which he bad afserted. How aukwardly foever I may have defended. it, that must be left to more impartial Judges than this Gentleman has shew'd himself to be; bowever, tous much He and his Friends have discovered by their Attempts hitherto, that they dare venture no farther ihan to nibble at such little things, as are wholly foreign to the MAIN Matter disputed; and this they do without any Argument at all, while the Merits of the Cause lie neglected by them, as being in their opinion, either not worth their Regard, or else, because the Invalidity of Lay-Baptism is too great a Truth for them exprefly and directly to endeavour to o

verthrow. This Writer calls upon me to anfwer him positively, whether I will hold and maintain, that “Bishops can Authorize Laymen to « Baptize." I hereby afure him, that I will give him no positive Answer to this Question. I will not Declare my Velf absolutely, either for or egainst that Power for Cases of Extremity, but leave it as I found it, and will keep my own Prie vate Opinion about it, to my self; which I am sure I have a Right to do, without

any Obligation to publish it for the sake of such unreasonable and ill-grounded Challenges, as this angry Gentleman bas made me; and this shall be all the publick No tice that I will take of bis unhandsome Performances; (and which indeed is more than due to them) after I have told him, that some Great Men hold, that Bishops, by their Apostolic Authority, can Authorize Laymen to Baptize in Cafes of Extremity, i. e. in want of a Priest: that it is with these Gentlemen I have treated in my Three Books (giving them Argumentum ad hominem) upon their own Principles. That there are others who affirm, that Bishops have not such Power; and that 'tis my Asertion, that whether they have or have not this power, my Principles ftand firm, that Perfons not Commission'd, not Authoriz'd, i.e. not really Authoriz’d, (for 'tis not Authority, if 'tis not real) do not Minister Valid Baptism; And this is the Case of our Dissenters Baptisms, let what will become of that other Question. For, if Bishops have not such a Power, then 'tis plain, that the Ministration of Baptism is an Incommunicable Function of the Standing Priesthood; and So, no Lay-Ministration whatsoever can be Valid, by being allow'd, tolerated, licens’d, approv'd of, ór authoriz'd by Bishops. This effeitually ruins the Cause of Neceflity, which our Author would plead: Because, if Bishops cannot Authorize Laymen, validly to Baptize in Want of a Priest ; it musi be, because Lay-Christians (as such) have not a CAPACITY to Receive the Divine Commision for such an Exigence : And if they have not this

Capacity, Capacity, then the Exigence it self cannot empower or authorize them; except a Negative bas more of Potentiality than the Positive Power of the Bishops; which is absurd. And therefore our Dissenters (upon this Supposition) are utterly'excluded from Ministring Valid Baptism; as they would also, if Neceflity could empower Laymen: For they are under no Case of Neceflity, where Priests are to be had. And again. If Bishops bave such a Power to Authorize their own Laymen, as before specified; our Bishops bave not so Authoriz'd their Laymen: And if they had, our Dissenting Teachers are not THOSE LAYMEN; but Laymen Anti-Episcopal, in Rebellion against Episcopacy it self; who intrude into other Men's Provinces, and wickedly attempt (Uncallod and Unsent) to Minister where there is not so much as any Pretence of Necesity for their Intrusion. And therefore, in both Cases, our Disenters cannot Minister Valid Baptism.

This, concerning their dear Friends, the Dissenters, the Adversaries know they cannot get over, and therefore it is that they make such a Buftle, to raise a Dust that Men's Eyes may be blinded, and so binder'd from seeing this great Truth. To obstruct which, they endeavour to persuade the World, that the Priesthood it self is in New Dangers from those very Doctrines, which are the only Support of it; while they themselves are such Enemies to the Priesthood, that they are endeavouring effe&tually to destroy it by their pernicious Principles, opposing the Churches Spiritual Independency, the Christian Altar, and Sacrifice, Abfolution, and the Ministration of Baptism, as Christ himself appointed it. And this puts me in mind of a late very dangerous Step, that was going to be



made, and which if it had taken Effeet, might, without an extraordinary preventing Providence, in a little time have destroy'd the whole Sacerdotal Power and Authority with us, and this was an

Attempt to establish a strange, and before to us unbeard-of Declaration, that

(as those who indited it say). « In Conformity with the Judgment « and Practice of the Catholick Church, and of " the Church of England, in particular. o Such Persons as have already been Baptiz'd, « in or with Water, in the Name of the Father, « Son, and Holy Ghost, (Altho' their Baptism

was IRREGULAR FOR WANT OF A PROPER " ADMINISTRATOR) ought not to be Baptiz'd a

The plain English of which is, that such Perfons as have already been, contrary to the Law of Christ, Wasd. or Sprinkled with Water,' by any One whatsoever, whether Un-authoriz'd Man, Woman, or Child, Christian, Jew, or Heatben, nay, whether they wash'd themselves, or let one of those others do it, provided it was but done with these Words, [In the Name of the Father, &c.] ought not to be Baptiz'd by a Proper Administrator whom Christ has appointed. For in all these Cases, the Washing is Irregular for want of a proper Administrator, and therefore not, what deserves the Name of CHRISTÍAN BAPTISM; tho' the Declaration begs the Question that it is so, by saying [sach Persons as have already been Baptiz'd, &c.] For this Irregularity is an Efentia! Irregularity, because contrary to the. Positive Inftitution of Christian Baptism; and 'tis Irregular for no other Reason, but its being without, or contrary to that. Rule; as this book is defignod to prove. An Endeavour to make the World believe,



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