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Law, because, that, requires the Form in the Name of the Trinity: So, Lastly, where does the Sacred Scripture in Direct, Plain, Pofsitive Terms, say, that Baptism by One not Commission'd' is Void, and of no Effect? This is a Question will please the Adversary, and I assure him, that I know of no such positive, direct Text; and yet such a Baptism is Null and Void by Christ's Inftitutis on; because, that Law of his requires, That Baptism should be perform'd by a Commisli, on'd Person. And I Challenge our Author to prove that the Law of Christ lays a greater strefs upon either Water or the Form, in the Name of the Trinity, than it does upon the Commiffion, and if it does not, then the fame Law that Nulls a Baptism donc without either Water or the Form, does necessarily Null a Baptism perform'd without a Commission. And consequently our Church's Articles,, Canons and Rubricks, asserting and requiring this Commission, as the Original Law it self does, muft neceffarily Null and Void a Baptism perform’d without this Commission, tho' fhe dces not exprefly do so, any more than the Original Law of her Saviour does.
S. XVII. Our Author's Relation of the Conference at Hampton-Court, is nothing to the purpose ; for the Opinions deliver'd there, Page 6, 7, 8 and 9. do not amount to any Publick A&t of the Church of England. King James dislik’d the former allowance of Women and Laicks Baptizing. Arch-Bishop Whitgift affirm'd, that then it was not allow'd, but censur’d by the Bishops in their Visitations. The Bishop of Worcester, Babington; That the first Reformers made the Rubrick in King Edward's Book ambiguously, because otherwise perhaps the Book would not then have pass'd the Parliament,
-Bishop Bancroft; That the Rubrick in. tended a Permission of Private Persons to Baptize in a Case of Necessity ; that it was agreeable to the Practice of the Antient Church and for this appeals to Acts ii. where mention is made of three thousand being Baptiz'd in a Day, which cou'd not be suppos’d to be done by St. Peter himself-But the Answer to the Baptizing of so many in so short a time is eale, without supposing unauthoriz'd Lay-Baptizers; for all the Apostles were then at Jerusalem; and if each of them had taken his share, it would not have amounted to above 250 Persons to be Baptiz’d by an Apostle in a Day, which might casily have been compass’d by him, in
a much shorter time, namely, in two or three Hours at most [considering that in our Days one Bishop can Confirm above five Hundred Persons in less than three or four Hours time, with a much longer Form of Words, than the Form us'd in Baptism is; as we fiod by Experience; and that two Clergy-Men, can in two or three Hours time, administer both Bread and Wine, to above five Hundred Communicants, and at the Delivery of each Element use a much longer Form to each Communicant, than the Form of Baptism] If there had been any need for every A poftle so to Baptize, as I think there was not, because the Apostles might Authorize by their Power, and consequently have with them a sufficient Number of Persons authoriz'd to do the Work, as we find upon the occasion of Cornelius and his Company's Baptism; for the Scripture tells us, that Peter commando ed them to be Baptiz'd &c. Afts X. 48. they were not baptiz’d by unauthorizd Persons, but by such as acted by the Apostle's Command: As here also, 'tis plain that the three Thousand were not baptiz’d by Persons who acted without, much less in opposition to the Authority of the Apostles, for they contin“ ued stedfastly in the Apostle's Doctrine and “ Fellowfhip, which they could not be said to have done, if they had acted without,
or in opposition to their Authority and Commission, and therefore their Case is no ways applicable to our Disenters, who act in opposition to the Apostolic Authority and Power now lodg'd in Christian Bishops.
But to return to the Hampton-Court Conference King James press’d the Necessity of Baptism if lawfully to be had, i. e. from lawful Ministers, by whom alone, and no private Person in any Case, it may be administer'd (says the King) tho' (continues his Majesty) I utterly dislike all Rebaptizat ion on those whom Women or Laicks have baptiz'd.--The Bishop of Winton-- Bilson, said, that, To deny private Persons to baptize in Case of Necessity; were to cross all Antiquity, and the common Practice of the Church, it being a Rule agreed on amongst Divines, that the Minister is not of the Essence of the Sacrament. King James answer'd, Tho' he be not of the Essence of the Sacrament, yet is he of the Ellence of the Right and Lawful minitry thereof, & Co to which that Bishop made no Reply. Now, what can any one learn from all this, concerning the Judgment of the Church of England ? We have here only Five or Six Members of the Church debating this Matter; some for, and others against the Rubrick in King Edward's Book ;
but in this whole Conference, nothing that can be brought so much as to Countenance our Diffenters and other unauthoriz'd Lay-Baptisms; for the Question was upon the whole, only whether the Church, i. e. the Bishops thereof, could or should Authorize Lay-Men or Midwives to baptize in Case of Necessity ; Whatever may be the result of such a Dispute, our unauthoriz'd Baptisms can gain nothing by it, for, if our Bishops could (as our first Reformers bred up under the Church of Rome seem to think they could) give Lay-Men such Authority; yet'tis Fact, that as our Church's Laws now ftand, the Bishops have not so authoriz'd Lay-Men, for the Old Rubrick was altered upon this Conference, and afterwards the Alteration was Confirm'd by Convocation, on purpose to keep out Lay-Baptizers, even in Times of Neceflity ; whereby the Church's former A&t of allowing Lay Members of her Communion to Baptize, was Repealed, and therefore our Dissenters Baptisms are unauthoriz'd Baptisms; they are also void of the least Prerence to Necessity, being a deliberate and wilful Choice of their own, in opposition to the Authority of the Church : And by what Rule they can be Valid, is not to be imagin'd, since they are mot fo by any Law either of God or of