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tychs, as they are Registers and Records both of Church and State, and I think both Deprivation, and the Pillory, to be just Punishments for that Minister, who dares do so great and mischievous a Wickedness, or suffer it to be done.
I say, I should be tempted to suspect any Clergymnan, that should write in the Manner you mention, against you, to be one of that corrupt Sort, or at least of another, who to court the Favour and Applause of the Disenters, either never preach in Defence of the Church against them, or if they do, they do it no otherwise than barely to shew, that the Church of England is a Safe Communion, and that those, who thro Mistake separated from it, would be in no Danger of Damnation if they returned to it. But to shew that Şeparation from it is Schism, and by Consequence a damning Sin, and that the Separatists of all forts from it, are, without the extraordinary Mercy of God, in great and apparent Danger of Damnation, these Gentlemen loye not to touch upon that Point, nor rise to that Heighth, which long before the Revolution occasioned the Distinction between High and Low Church-men, and the former to be called by ill, or ignorant Men, High-Flyers, Tantivies, and other such ppprobrious Names. It was, I suppose, a
upon these Men, and the Indignation he had against their double Practices, which Provoked a Divine not very many Years since, to utter a Sarcasm upon them from the Pulpit, in Words to this Purpose, That fome (at the Time he spoke it ) were become Fathers of the Church, who never were her true Sons.
Sir, I wish all Clergymen, who are concerned in either of these Remarks, would seriously consider your pious and seasonable Address to us in the Conclusion of your Appendix. Weare all concerned, (as you beseech and conjure us to do,) to consider our high and holy Calling to the Priesthood, and to vindicate our unalienable Rights to administer the Holy Sacraments, and to let the People understand, that the Ministration of them is ESSENTIAL to our Office, and our Office essential to the Ministration of them; and that our long and general Silence in not asserting, and defending this great Iruth, hath, as you observe, been the Occafion of much Ignorance among the People, of the Nature of Schism, and the direfül Consequences of it, which some of our Order, still are, as I am sure some have been, fo averse (contrary to their Trust, and the Duty of it) to set before the People. I remember, when some of the London Clergy, resolving to do this, as you now beseech us,
would be cenX A Letter to the Authori. and for the fame Reasons; it was opposed by the free-thinking Divines, especially by one of them, whom I will not name, for sured as preaching up our selves; a Reason; whereof the Weakness and ill Consequencès are shewn by an excellent Person, in the Preface to his Companion for the Festivals and Fafts of the Church of England; where, to oblige the Clergy to instruct the People in the great Truth of Sacerdotal Million, and Authority to administer the Sacraments, he wishes the Catechism of the Church might be continued, in a few Queftions and Answers, to shew, who only have Power to administer the Holy Sacraments. I need not name this worthy Gentleman, whom God raised up out of the People before you, to defend the Rights and Authority of the Priesthood, and who thinks it no more Dimunition, or Dishonour to him, to be thought one of the People with respect to the Church, than one of them with respect to the State.
In your Appendix to your Book, I think you have solidly and satisfactorily answerd all the Objections that have been made against the useful Subject of it, since the first Edition, taking in your Second Thoughts, and the Explanation of your Design, and Meaning in some Passages of
it to prevent Offence. This, Sir, is an Argument of your great Humility, as well as of your Zeal and Prudence; and
your humble and truly Christian Temper and Declaration, encourage me to make a few Remarks upon your
Appendix, of which you have the Liberty to judge as you please. You have well observed, that our Church hath provided no Office of Confirmation for those who receive Baptism from Lay-Baptizers. And indeed it would have been strange, that she, which allows of no Baptism but by a * lawful Minister, should have provided such an Office to confirm, or ratifie the Baptism of those, who, truly speaking, were Sprinkled or Washed, but not baptized. But I think, you might with Reason enough have farther observed, that, the hath provided an Office very proper for baptizing of them, I mean, Sir, THE MINISTRATION OF BAPTISM TO SUCH AS ARE OF RIPER YEARS. This new Office was made prefently after the Restauration, and is Part of the Liturgy that now is confirmed by Act of Parliament. And the general Title of it is: The Ministration of Baptism to such as are of riper Tears, and able to answer for themselves; And of which it is said in the Preface before the Book of
* Rubricks in the Miniftration of private Baptifm.
Common-Prayer, Which although not fo ne! cessary when the former Book was compiled, yet by the Growth of Anabaptism, through the Licentiousness of the late Times crept in amongst us, is now become necessary, and may be always useful for the baptizing of Natives in our Plantations, and others converted to the Faith. Here, Sir, the Church declares the Occasion of making this Office, viz. the Growth of Anabaptism; and then also obferves how useful it is for the baptizing of Converts to the Faith. But I must observe, that there were other Occasions for making that Office, as well as the Growth of Anabaptism; as the Growth of Quakerism, upon which Account it is also necessary: And none of your Adversaries will deny, but in Parity of Reason it is as useful, and is accordingly ordinarily used, for the baptizing of Converts from that monstrous Heresy; and for the same Parity of Reason it may be said, that the Office was also intended for such. The Preface also, tho’it mentions the Growth of Anabaptism, doth not fay whether it was intended for Anabap: tits not yet dipped, or Anabaptists dipped in Water, in the Name of the Father, bc. Tho'I am of Opinion, it was intended for them, as well as the others; because their Ministration was null and void. There are many other Cases, in which this Office is