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INCE the Publication of the First Edi
tion of this Book, I am inform'd, that fome Gentlemen of no mean Character, have made further Objections against the Subject thereof, which (because they look very plausible at first sight, and may therefore preju. dice too many against what I have propos'd) I shall endeavour here to answer, as briefly and plainly as I can
obj. IX. AND First’ţis said, that if Lay Baptism be Invalid, and the Divine Commission to Baptize be convey'd from the Apostles in Epifcopacy only, then all those Foreign Reforma Churches which have no Episcopal Ordination are effectually
Unchurch'd, as be ing (by the Principles asserted by me) destitute of a Christian Ministry, and consequent ly of Christian Baptism; which is a conse: quence so dreadful, and even contrary to the Concesions of many Episcopal Divines of the Church of England, that none ought to admit of cliat Doctrine, from which (if granted ) fo great a mischief mult necessarily arise.
Anfi, That Lay-Baptism is Null and Void, I humbly conceive, 1 have prov?d'; if not, let the Authors of this Objection Thew, either the Insufficiency, or Fallacy of the Arguments I have produc'd for that purpose; otherwise
I shall take It for granted, that they acknowledge Tush Baptisms to bel Invalid ; of ele, that at best they can give no Yolid Reafoils
for their Validity. And therefore, 'till I'hear fur. ther from them upon this fingle Topick, I shall give my self no moreltrouble about it, but proceed to the conveyance of the Divine Cominillion to Baptize, and this ('suppoling Lay-Bapehy to be Invalid ) can be convey'd from the Apostles in the Christian Ministry only; so that all our Business here, is to know how the Christian Ministry was lianded down, and succeffively continued from the Apostles Eo our Days, and this will determine who can Administer Valid Baptifin.
THAT the Chriltian Ministry was conveyed from the Apostles in Epifcopacy only, we have a Cloud of Witnesses ; First, The Inftitution of our Saviour himself; Secondly, The Practice of the Apostles, both recorded in the Sacred Oracles of infalible Truth, the Holy Scriptures ; Thirdly, all Ecclesiastical History and Fourthly, the constant and uninterrupted Practice of the Universal Church of Christ in all Ages and Places, for One Thousand Five Hundred Years together from the 'Apoitles Days. These all bear testimony to this great Truth, as has been sufficiently demonstrated by a yalti núnber of the betti Christian Writers, particularly fome of our! own Nadion, and that very lately, (via. Tword Þ have mention'di in Answer to the Third Objem
Etion, and another Entitled, The Divine Right of Episcopacy, Printed for Richard Sare, at Grays Inn-Gaie in Holborn, 1708,) who have obviated and answer?d the Objections of all Enemies, so excellently well, that it would be no less than Presumption in me, to attempt to say any thing more upon that Subject, after such Learned Authors; to whom therefore I refer the Reader for his fatisfaction in this Point, and pass on to consider the Objection it self.
IF then the Premises above-mention'd be true ; :If Lay-Baptism be Invalid, Ecce then (says the Objector).“. All those, Foreign Res “ fornid Churches, &c. are effect ually Unchurch?d,
being destitute of a Christian Ministry, and
consequently of Christian Baptism. Why truly, if those Foreign Reform'd are Unchurch'd upon the truth of those Premises, I cannot help that, 'tis the Objęctor himself that tells me they are fo; and I know of no way for him to help them out of that Difficulty at present, but either to prove the Premises false; or else to perswade them to receive Episcopal Ordinacion. But ?tis said, “ this
is the dreadful consequence, It may be som ind very dreadful too, if they are so far Une cliurch'd as to be reduc'd to a state of abfolute Infidels, which I hope the Objector does not mean when he says they are Uochurched; if he does, ļ must tell him, that, (tho I am hp Latitudinarian) I have more charitable.
Thoughts concerning Thousands of them than he has, "upon the Supposition of their being deftitute of Christian Baptism: For I believe Abondance of them may be included in the Number of those whom I lave spoke of in the Words of a moft Excellent Modern Author ; ( tovard's the End of ňy Answer to the Fourth Obje&tion) and that therefore they may very fairly be esteemid AS MUCH IN THÉ CHURCH as the Catechumeni, or Candidates for Christian Baptism, were us'd to be in the Primitive Times. This, I think, abates much of the Dreadfulness of the Consequence to the Honest and sincere ; but it cannot be hence inferr'd, that their Ministry and Ministrations are Good and Valid ; or that they who know their Defects, should concur and communicate with''em in such their Deviations from the Divine Institutes. V: BUT (to proceed) this, says the Objector, is even contrary to the Concessions of many
Episcopal Divines of the Church of England. I suppose he means some of the Writers since the Reformation, who have endeavour'd to make Excuses and Salvo's for the Presbyterian and Lay-Ordinations Abroad: In reference to whom, I must needs say, that 'tis júftly to be fear'd they have done more Hurt by fuch their Concesions, than at the Tine of their Writing them they were aware of: Fortis not to be doubted, that many put a great Value upon the Judgment of such
take upon him the Office of Ministring the sai
Learned and Good Men, and thereby have been induc'd to believe that fuch Ordinations are Good and Valid; and consequently, i thát there's no need for those Foreign Reformed to feek for Epifcopal Ordination a whereby itibo many of the Foreign Teachers themselves arts instead of being curd of, configm'd in their Errors, and it may be) hinderd from so much as but Enquiring whether they are in the Right or no With Submission to better Judgments, such large Concessions of chofe many Episcopal Divines have been not only pre judicial and hurtful to the Reform’d Abroad, but even contrary to the Doctrine and avowd Practice of the Church of England, which they were obligd in Conscience, by their Subt fcription, to support and maintaiit. For', does Me not teach in her 23d Article, Thatch ” is not layful (therefore 'tis finful, and con
trary to their Institution) for any Man to
Scraments, before be be lawfully Calld and Sent? And does she not confine this L AWFUL CALLING AND SENDING, to EPISCO: PAL ORDINATION, in the Preface to her Form and Manner of Making, 1 Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Pritfts and Dea cons? Does the not call this EPISCOPAL ORDINATION CHRIST'SGOMMISSID ON AND AUTHORITY; when in her 26th Article she teaches, That the Minifter, when hie Administers the Sacraments, does it fin