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Sir, From these Observations, I think ! may conclude, First, That the absolute ins difpensible Necesfity of Baptifm, is not the Doctrine of the Church of England. Sew condly, That fhe approves of no Baptism; or thinks no Baptism duly and validly Ad. ministred, but what is Ministred by duly, Authorized and Lawful Ministers; and consequently, that she rejects all Lay-Baptism. Thirdly, That she cannot count those duly Authorized and Lawful Ministers; who take upon (them the Ministry within the Pale of her Jurisdiction, in Contempe of, and Opposition to her Episcopat and Episcopal Mission, or Power of Ordination; and by Consequence, that she must. look upon Baptism Administred by such Ministers, as Null and Void, from the Beginning. From these Conclusions, and the Consequences issuing from them, I have further Reason to think, that the Office of The Ministration of Baptism to such as. are of Riper Years, ought to be applied to Persons invalidly Baptized by such unlawful Ministers among us, as were never duly Authorized, as well as to Anabaptists and Converts to the Faith, or to the Disciples of such modern Manichæans, and Seleucians amongst us, as hold it unlawful to be baptized with the Baptism of the Church.
And, as you have justly observ'd, that the Learned Author of the Passage you cite, could not design that any thing he faid in it should favour Lay-Baptism;
so I darę say for him, that upon" Second Thoughts, he will not affirm, that it is in the Power of the Church to confirm Ludicrous, Histrionical, or other Mimical Baptisms; or that any Church or Bishop did ever confirm any of them by Chrism and Imposition of Hands. The Opinion of Ludicrous Baptism not to be reiterated, was occasioned by a fabulous Story of Atha nafius ; who, when a little Boy, with others, playing at Ministers, as our Children call it, by the Water-side, Athanasius act. ed the Bishop, other Boys Priests and Deacons ; and in their Play, baptized several Children, who represented Catechumens and Competents in Form. Alexander, BiShop of Alexandria, happening to see this, as the Story is told, sent for the Boys; and understanding from their own Relation, that their Ludicrous Baptism was performed by them according to the Rites and Orders of the Church, was of Opinion with other Bishops present with him, that the Children so christned, were not to be Re baptized; whereupon he confirmed them with Chrism, and Impolition of Hands:
formation, which her Εργοσ γεγομένω
5: This * Hear fay Story is told by Sozamen from Ruffinus, and from him again at farge by Petrus Damianus, in his Book Entitled, Gratifsimùs, and mentioned be fore him by Watafridus Strabo, in his Book dé Divinis Officiis, and reckon'd by Antonius Muretus"in the oth Chap of his 13tli Book of various Lections, among the Pre
of things that have happened, as Boys' have 'acted them in Play. Lastly, Şuch Reception this Story of Athanasius hath had in the World, that it is cited as true by Dr. George Abbot, in the Lecture which he read in the Divinity-School at Oxford, de Circumcifione & Baptismo, 1997, which Lecture he made to excuse the First Practice of Church after the Rewith great Latitudeor Indulgence for fome time tolerated the Baptism of Lay-men and Women in abfolute Neceffity, for the Ig. norance of the People, and Hardness of their Hearts. This Story favoured the loose Doctrine of St. Augustin, as to the Miniftration of Baptism, and therefore we i need not wonder that + He spoke so favourably of Ludicrous, and yocular, as well 51 sec89'.
αυτώ 'Éçct. Hift. Lib. 2. Ch. ig. + De Baptifmo contra Donatistos, Lib. 7. Versus finem Libri in Tom 7:
as well as Mimical and Histrionical Bap cisms. But as current as by Misfortune this Story hath been, and as many as it hath milled into Error, it is now exploded for very good Reasons by Learned Men; as by Dr. Cave in his Historia Literaria, by du Pin in his Notes on Athanase in his Nouvelle Bibliotheque, and by the Learned Benedictins in his Life, p. 11 printed before his Works, whither I refer you.
As for Histrionical Baptism by Heathens, that also is urged by the Patrons of Lay. Baptism in favour of their opinion. '* OF this they cite this Story out of the Cronicon Alexandrinum; that in Mockery of the Christians, the Heathen-Players Baptized one of their Companions in warm Water, upon the Stage, and then put upon him a White Garment, upon which he immedi, ately cried our that he was made a Chriftian, and would die as such, The Spectators hearing him declare this, flew upon the Stage, and taking him from thence, ftoned him to Death. † Ado Viennensis tells another Story in his Martyrology of Auguft. 25. of St. Genesius, who being Bap. tized by Heathens to ridicule Christian Baptism, also became a Christian: But
* Voffius de Baptismo, Disp. u. Sect. 29.
then fuppaling the Truth of these Stories, they are as perfettly miraculons, as the con version of- fome Pagan Executioners of Martyrs, who declared themfelyes Chrifti ans at the Place of Execution, and there fuffered Death with them, and were Bap, tized in their own Blood. And therefore, the miraculous Manifestation of God's Grace at Histrionical Baptisms to testifię "the Truth of the Chriftian Religion, and con found its Adversaries, are no Argument for Lay-mten, and for the worst of Lay-mep, and Lay-mén falsly, pretending to a true Miffion, to take upon them to Administer Baptism as the Men you write against prefume to do. Nay, Sir, such an unwarrantable Latitude hath the Church of Rome given to the Administration of Baptism, t. that some of her Popes have allowed the Baptism of Jews and Heathens; and * the Pope in the Council of Florence doth exprefly decree, that in case of Necessity, not only a faithful Christian Lay-man or Woman, but an Heretickor Pagan may Validly Baptize.
As to the Case of Necessity fo called, it is, as I have already observed, founded
Ibid. Diff, 11, 18. 5. In Decreto Eugenii Papæ ad - Armenos: Minister bujus Sacramenti est Sacerdos, cui ex officio competit Baptizare. In Cau. fa autem Necessitatis, non folum Sacerdos, vel Diaconus, sed etiam Laicus, vel Mulier, imo etiam PaganussHereticus Baptizare Boteft, &c.