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Tongue, as will give them true Views of the State of the Primitive Church in the Best and Purest Ages, and of the Manners of the Primitive Chriftians in them. And were this diligently done by the Clergy, the Church would foon find

great Benefit, and God receive much Glory by it ; and the Stray-Sheep of our Countries, after your Example, would return in Flocks to her Folds.

Your Enquiring Genius, and the Providence of God, led you to read such Books; and his Blessing upon Reading of them, made you see, and correct your Error: And tho' you have an Advantage above most others of the Laity, in Understanding Latin ; yet there is already a great deal written in English, to let Pious and Inquifitive Perfons into the Knowledge of the Primitive Church, and Primitive Christianity: Suchi as Dr Cave's Primitive Christianity; and his Learned and Elaborate Lives of the Fathers; Fleury, Of the Manners and Behaviour of the Primitive Chriftians, turn'd into English; The Ecclesiastical Historians, in a Noble New Edition, illustrated with Maps by the Learned Dr. Wells; The Genuine Epiftles of the Apoftolical Fathers, by the Learned Bifhop Wakey which is come forth in a Second Edition: The Learned Mr. Binghani's Origines Ec

: clesiasticæ;

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clefiafticæ, or Antiquities of the Christian Church; worthy to be read by all Men: The Second Part of the Clergyman's Vade Mécum, commended above: Mr. Reeves's Apologies of the Antient Christians; for which he well deserves the Thanks and Praise of all Lovers of Primitive Chriftianity; who cannot but delight to hear them speak in our Language the same Things, with the same United Force of Wit and Reafon, and with the same Charms of Eloquence

that they did in their own. To these let me add the Sermons and other Tracts of the late Bishop Beveridge, wherein much of Primitive Christian Antiquity may be learned ; as also the Sermons of the late Bishop Bull, (which will e're long fee the Light) and in which likewise many Primitive Chriftian Doctrines are taught. There are other Excellent Pens at Work in Books of the like Nature with these; and I cannot but hope, that God hath excited the Spirit of Cultivating the more Early Ecclesiastical Antiquities, in Mercy to his Church. I could name * several other English Tracts upon several Subjects, full of Primitive Christian Divinity, were such a Bibliotheque fit for this place. And besides those which are written in English, there are many Excellent Pieces of the

* As the Principles of the Cyprianick Age, and the Defence of it, worthy to be read by all Learned Men.

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same Kinds written in French: As Du Pin's Nouvelle Bibliotheque des Auteurs Ecclefiastiques, translated into English: Tillemont's Memoires, Pour servir à Ï Histoire Ecclefiastique, which also deserves to be translated : TheWorks of St. Cyprian, in French ; which I cannot but wish that all Englishmen, who are not versed in Latin, but understand that Language, would carefully read. Were our People exercised in such Writings as these, and their Minds season'd with the Antient Doctrines and Principles which are in them, we should foon see the Spirit of Primitive Christianity begin to revive among them, in the Soundness and Orthodoxy of their Faith, in the Piety of their Practice, in their Zeal for the Divine Institutions, in their Love and Reverence of the Clergy, and in their Prayers and Endeavours, for supplying whatever is wanting to make the Church of England (in the Sanctity of her Clergy and People, and in the Strictness of her Discipline, and

every other thing) as Pure, and Perfect, and Venerable, as the Primitive Church.

Sir, Your Book, had I Time to write them, would furnish me with Matter for more Useful Reflections and Observations; but these are sufficient to shew you, with how much Diligence and Delight it hath been read over by Your Friend, and Servant, GEO. HICKE S.

А

I

A

Preliminary Discourse

OF THE

Various Opinions of the Fathers

concerning Re-baptization, and Invalid Baptisms: with REMARKS.

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N St. Cyprian's Days, about the middle of the third Century, arose a great Debate

in the Church concerning the Validity of Baptism, administer'd by such as were then either Hereticks or Schismaticks : St. Cypriai), with the rest of the Bishops of the African Churches, together with many of the Eastern Bishops, maintain'd, “Thar Catholick BiThops were obliged to condemn all such “ Baptisms, and to hold them void and null, “ and by consequence not strait to confirm, “ but first to baptize all such, as having ree ceived no other than those False Baptisms,

in those False and Antichristian Communions, left them, and came over to the One, True, Catholick, and only Salutary Communion. “ Stephen Bishop of Rome, and his Party, maintain'd, That by the Evangelical Law

B

66 Catholick

“ Catholick Bishops were bound to ratify “ Heretical and Schismatical Baptisms, and

to hold them Good and Valid, and to ad“ mit such as having been baptized by He“ reticks or Schismaticks, deserted them, and

came over to the True Catholick Commu“ nion, without giving them Catholick Bap“ tism, or using any other Rite at their Re“ ception, than that of Imposing the Hand “ for the Collation of the Holy Ghost.

“The Stephanians muster’d up a great many Arguments for the Validity of such Bap

tisms; they pleaded that Hereticks them6 félves were not fo nice, as to baptize thofe

who came over from other Heresies to their " Communion : That all Catechumeni, who “ died unbaptized, were riot therefore damn“ ed; much less those who had received Bap“ tism, tho' from Hereticks or Schismaticks : “ That to refuse those who were willing to “ forsake Heresy or Schism, unless they would “ consent to be re-baptiz’d, was to obstruct “ their coming over : That those who had “ been baptized by Philip in Samaria, were ec

not re-baptized by the Apostles wlien they

came among them (Acts 8.) and that they " received Imposition of Hands only, for the « Collation of the Holy Ghost : That tho? “ fome in St. Paul's Time preach'd Christ out

of Envy and Strife, i, e. from a Contentious 6 and Schifmatical Humour, yet he was plea« sed that Christ was preached (Phil. 1. 15.)

16 That

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