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§. XXI. I am now come to what our Author calls his fecond Proof, Page 23; and to it I fhall tack his third and Laft, page 36, being both alike Subftantial; and to be overthrown by the fame Arguments. His fecond Proof, That the Church hath by no Publick Act of hers, made or Declar'd Lay-Baptifm to be Invalid, is taken, "from the filence of the Church of Eng

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"land in this particular, that he has "in no Publick Act of hers, Order'd fuch as have been Baptiz'd by Lay Hands, to "be Rebaptiz'd by a Lawful Minifter; "But that the Bishops ever fince the Reftoration confirmed fuch Baptiz'd Perfons, as well as thofe that were Baptiz'd by Lawful Minifters. That most Peo"ple will conclude from hence, that a Bi"Shop who so confirmed, held thofe Baptifms "to be Valid, and he thinks this is as plain 66 as if it were deduc'd from Definitions, "Axioms, and Propofitions, page 27, "&c. This laft is a pretty Rub upon the Author of Lay-Baptifm Invalid, but how good the Argument is, Let the Intelligent Reader judge. His third Proof as he terms it, is fetch'd" from the Si "lence of the Preachers, and the Writers of "the Church of England in this Point " from 1660, to the Year 1700,' and. "s from

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"from my Lords, the Bishops giving no "Charge to their Clergy, in their Vifitati ons, &c. That all Lay-baptiz'd Perfons must "be Baptiz'd a-new; and he fays, page 66 37, 38, If this Silence of the Ecclefia"ftical Governours; of the Parish Priefs; "and of the Writers of Controversy, be not "a Proof of the Church of England's "Judment in the Matter; I muft Despair "of knowing what can be One." this Reason, because he knows in his Confcience that his whole Book is built upon no better Foundation, than this pretended Silence; he infifts upon it; that "the Bi

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Shops Confirmation [of Lay-baptiz'd Per"fons] in 1661, and fince; and the "Church's ordering none of them to be Re"baptiz'd, is a good Proof, page 29." I fuppofe he here means the Church's not Ordering any of them to be Re-baptiz'd for, the Church's [Ordering none of them] has another meaning than I believe he de fign'd.

But in Anfwer to all this; I have alrea dy endeavour'd to prove, that the Church in Convocation, whofe Voice we may ftill hear if we pleafe, in her Articles, Canons, and Rubricks; is not Silent, but speaks loudly enough to us concerning this Matter; and I know of no other Voice of the Church of

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England but that. If any would obtrude upon us the Practice of particular Members how Great and Numerous foever; and call that, the Principle and Doctrine of our Church; before we give him Credit, he muft allow us to Compare their Practice, with the Church's Written and Publish'á Articles and Laws, and if we find Practi ces Inconsistent with thefe, we must prefer the latter, and reject and bewail the former. Who tells this Author, that the Bishops Confirm'd Lay-baptiz'd Perfons as rightly Baptiz'd; that their Lordships did it with a particular regard to the Validity of fuch Baptifms? I can tell him of Confirmations in our Days, perform'd upon this Principle, that the Baptifm receiv'd by the Confirm'd Perfon, from the Hands of Diffenting Teachers [who are Laicks,] was not Good and Va lid before Confirmation, but made Valid by Confirmation; this (tho' I abfolutely deny the Principle) I can prove by living Witneffes, to be the Foundation upon which Confirmation has been lately given to Persons so pretendedly Baptiz'd; and how can our Author prove, that the Bishops fince the Restoration went upon any other Principle than this, in their Confirmation of Diffenters Children, who were only Baptiz'd by Lay Hands? But further,

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What if I fhould affirm, that, tho' during the time of the long Unnatural Rebellion, when the Epifcopal Minifters were thrown and kept out of their Livings, yet they perform'd their Spiritual Functions, and Bap. tiz'd the Children of the Members of the Church of England; and that almost all the Teachers, who got into their Benefices by complying with the Wickedness of the Times, had before been Epifcopally Ordain'd, and fo were impowered to Baptize; and that upon thefe accounts, the Bishops when they Confirm'd after the Restoration, might not fuppofe that any were brought to be Confirm'd by them, but fuch as had been Epifcopally Baptiz'd; and that they did not expect any of our Anti Epifcopal Diffenters Children who were otherwife Baptiz'd, fhould be brought to them for Confirmation? What if I fhould infift upon these things? Can our Author prove to the contrary? If he can; then,

How do's he know, but, the Bishops of that time, fubject to like Failings and Paffions with other Men, were loth by fuch Difcriminating Acts to rouze the Turbulent Spirit of Rebellion, then but hardly lay'd afleep, by the Reftoration? What if the Experience they had had of Arch-Bishop Laua's Fate, who was brought to the Block

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by Phanatick Fury, only for endeavouring to Reftore and Eftablifh much fmaller Matters in the Church; might make them not willing to expofe themselves and the Church, to the infatiable Rage of fuch Merciless Perfecutors; by their openly and in direct Terms Proclaiming Anti-Epifcopal Diffenters to be, not Incorporated Members of Chrift's Church? Is it any new thing for good Men, to be thus Intimidated? Is not the great Apoftle St. Peter, an Inftance of this frailty of Humane Nature? See his Behaviour with refpect to the Jews and Gentiles, for which St. Paul withstood him to the Face, Gal. ii. 11, 12.St. Bar nabas alfo was carried away with the fame Fault, to Temporize with the Jewish Chri ftians, for which, St. Paul loudly Proclaims, that "They walked not uprightly, according to the Truth of the Gospel. Indeed the very best of Men, without any Affront to their Character, yea, and very great Bodies of Men too, have been, ftill are, and always will be, in this World, liable to Infirmi ties; and must Practices confequent thereupon, be us'd as Arguments against the known Laws of that Church whereof they are Members, and even Governors? Muft thefe be call'd fuch Proofs fo clear and fo evident! that we must defpair of Proofs E 3 if

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