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ever; and Obedience to his Laws about Funé damentals, is most certainly the best Edificacion: Otherwise, He who is. Omniscient Wif dom it self, would never have made fuch Laws. And therefore, with Submission, there seems to be no Necessity for Empowering the Governors of the Church " to relax bis Stated " Rules, no not in Cases that appear necessary ", or expedient. Besides, if Christ has made Stated Rules for the Essentials of Christian Sa. craments, without providing for such pretended Cases of Necessity; the Hierarchical Powers must certainly run a great Hazard of Sin, in attempting to dispense with Things for which he has made no Provision; and the Perfons difpens'd with can have no just Satisfaction in such Dispensations; especially when the feeming Cause of them is remov?d, as it certainly is in the Case of Perfons baptiz'd by Unauthoriz'd Lay-men,contrary to the Stated Rule, who may afterwards obtain Episcopal Baptism agreeable to the Law of Christ, if the Hierarchical Powers will but give them Leave.
THIS I say in Oppolition to those who affirm, that the Hierarchical Powers ARE 6. ACTUALLY ENDOWED with Authority " to difpenfis with Christ's Laws, and to relax 4 Stated Rules, in Cases that appear necessary yoand espedient"); which the Learned Author, whose Words they use, does not say. All that he intimates, is only, that they." M A Y BE empower'd to do to: Which plainly Shews,
that he would not venture to affirm that they really are ; and 'tis reasonable to believe, that upon Second Thoughts, he will not allow fo much, as that they may be so empower'd: Because what may be, may not be, as far as we know. Nay, 'tis more agreeable to Reveal?d Religion, to say, that they are not fo empower'd; because a Thing of so great Moment would never have been left out of the Divine Oracles, to be handed down to us thro' all Ages, by the UNCERTAIN METHOD of Oral Tradition only. And therefore, 'tis very unsafe for us to truit in such [may be's ), when the Receiving, or not Receiving, of Spiritual Supernatural Privileges and Benefitsy depends upon the Truth or Falsity of such a Dispensing Power, as it certainly does in the Administration of Christian Sacraments. "He“ retical, Schismatical and Mimical Baptisms, are in this Objection acknowledg’d to be not “ Entire or Valid in themselves; therefore in themselves thery are utterly and entirely Invalid ; (by the Corollary of the Third Proposition.) It is also laid, That" as to any Spiritual Graces, " they are not to be had thereby, till, &c. Which is a plain Indication, that of THEMSELVES they are of no Efficacy to the Purposes of Chriftian Baptism; the Administration whereof is certainly efficacious for the Conveyance of Spiritual Graces. Again : They are call’d here“ Defe&tive and Irregular Afts. But why are they Defective; except but for their being
uncapaik of producing tlie proper Effeets of true Baptim? And why Thould they be term'd Irregular Acts; except only but for bes ing contrary to the Stated Rule, (or, which is the same) the First Institution of Christian Baptism?
Ś O that the External Rite perforin'd by these Heretical, Schifmatisab and Mimiçal Baja tizers, being thus acknowledg?d to be contra: ry to the Institution of Baptism, and utterly incapable, in it self of being the Means to convey any Spiritual Graces; what has it to do with Christian Baptism? Certainly it must be a mere Nullity, and all one as if it had never been perform'd: Because, if it had no Virtue to confer Spiritual Graces, it had no Virtue to confer any Benefit at all; for even the outward Privileges are no Privileges, when separate from the Spiritual Graces. Thus, all Persons, on whom the said External Rite was perform’d, can receive by means thereof none of the Benefits of Christian Baptism; which are all Spiritual and Supernatural; and consequently, must remain in the State of the Unbaptiz’d, till they receive True Christian Baptism; which, how they can receive, without repeating the External Rite by a Proper Adminiltrator, is utterly inconceiva able. It is said indeed, That “ those Defective
and Irregular Acts (i.e. the External Rites of those Heretical, Schismatical and Mimical Baptisms) are Supply?d, Righted, and Confirm L
by the Chrism of the Bishop, or Imposition of his “ Hands, &c. For Answer to which, I refer the Reader to the Corollary of the Third Propofition; and further add, That this is only said, and not prov’d; and I believe never will, till it can be demonstrated, that, that which before was no Baptism at all in the Christian Sense of the Word, is now made True Christian Baptism, (without the Act of Baptization ) merely by the Bishop's Chrifin, or Impofition of his Hands. Either the first External Rite was the ONE BAPTISM the Scripture fpeaks of, or it was not; if it was, then it was Entire and Valid Baptism, and consequently wants no such A&t of the Bishop to füpply and right it; but if it was not that ONÉ BAP. TISM, then nothing can make it so, but the very Act of Baptization by a Chriftian Minifter: For it may with as much reason be affirnid, that Baptism is Adminifter'd really and truly by fuch Act of the Bishop, to all other Unbaptiz'd Perfons as well as to those ; and so at lait, Baptism it felf will be render'd neede less,when the want of it can be fo easily fupply'd: But no less than a Divine Revelation will suffice to convince us, that this is true, and till that is produc’d, we must continue to believe, that not all the Acts of the Highest Created Powers on Earth, are sufficient to make that which before was no Baptism,to become Chriftian Baptism, without the A&t of Baptization by a proper Minister, as Christ has appointed
in the Institution : And that consequently, they who never receiv'd any other than LayBaptism, are ftill unbaptiz?d, notwithstanding their being suppos’d to have been confirm'd by the Bishop
Thus far, upon Supposition that the Ancient Heretical and Schismatical Baptisms were of the fame Nature with those of Unauthorizd Lay-men's Baptifms; which this Objection seems to represent them to have been; because it says, that they were not Valid in themfelvés - That no Spiritual Graces were to be bad thereby, &c. Tho in truth those Heretical and Schismatical Baptisms were not of the fame Nature with Unauthoriz'd LayBaptisms; for they were perform’d by Perfons who had receivid Episcopal Ordination, and do were authorized to Baptize. So that, whatsoever was the Fault of those Baptisms, the Churches who allow'd them, reckon'd that they were Valid in themselves (as wanting no Efential Part of the Institution) tho' accidentally Criminal, by reafon of the Uncharitableness of the Separation of those Hereticks, and Schismaticks, who administer'd and receiv'd those Baptifms: And during this Uncharitableness, they reckon'd, that the Bapfiz'd receiv'd no Benefit by their Baptism, till they came into the Unity of the Church; when, upon their Repentance of, and Absolution from, the Guilt of their Uncharitable Separation, by Imposition of the Bishop's Hands, L 2