« PoprzedniaDalej »
RITY may very well be, and often is DIS
gives the holy Spirit, and worketh the Re<< mission of Sins.”
But here, before I proceed further, I must observe, that it does not hence follow, that because the Faith or Sanctity of the Minister avails nothing to the Validity of Baptism, therefore his AUTHORITY by which he acts, avails nothing thereto: For AUTHOTINCT and SÉPARATE from both thofe excellent Qualities. And again ; Every one will grant, that it is God, and not the Minifter, wlio gives the Holy Spirit, &c. What then? Does it thence follow that
Person may stand in God's stead, as appointed by him to Administer? Can it be reasonably expected that God should concur with the USURPATIONS of those who act therein without HIS COMMISSION, nay, and in OPPOSITION thereto (as is the Case with us?] Certainly no; it cannot: For, however he may dispense with the WANT of a Sacrament, yet he has no where promised to give EFFICACY to those Administrations, which are in any Refpe&t contrary to the Essentials of his own Institutions, and to me it seems a mere Fool-hardiness, and Presumption to ex
But to proceed :
St. Augusting in the 7th Book of Baptism, Cap.53 fays thus : "It is asked whether that Baptism is to be approved which is admi
< nistred by an Unbaptized Person, who out
of Curiosity has learned the Way of bapti
zing among Christians? It is asked further, “ Whether it be necessary for the Validity of “ Baptism, that he who either administers or
receives it, be sincere ? And if they should “ be only in Jest, whether their Baptism “ ought to be administred again in the "Church? Whether Baptism conferr’d in “ Derision, as that would be, which should “ be administred by a Comedian, might be “ accounted Valid? Whether Baptism admi“ nistred by an Actor may become Valid, “ when he that receives it is well dispos?d?”
He answers to these, and such like Ques ftions, “That the fecurest way is to return
no Answer to Questions that never were “ decided in any Council, General or Natiov nal. But he adds ; Should any Man, meet
ing with me at such Council, ask my Advice about these Questions, and that it were my Turn to declare my Opinion, having
not heard other Mens Opinions, which I is might prefer before my own, &c, I should “ without difficulty acknowledge, that they « all receive. Baptism truly, in any.
whatsoever, and by WHOMSOEVER ad“ miniftred, if on their Part they receive it “ with Faith and Sincerity. I am apt also
to believe, that such as receive Baptism in the Church, or in what is supposed to be the Church, are truly baptized, as to the
" Sacramental part of the Action, whatso
ever be their Intention: But as for Baptism “ administred and received out of the Church, “ in Raiflery, Contempt, and to make Sport, " I could not approve the same without a " Revelation."
He endeavours to overthrow the Reafons and Testimonies of the Cyprianists against the Validity of Heretical and Schismatica] Baptisms by the Comparison of concealed Hereticks and evil Ministers, with known Hereticks and Schifmaticks." For (says he) if the Baptism admi166 nistred by the FORMER is Válid, and not
to be renewed, why should not the same " thing be faid of the LATTER, since all the “ Reasons that are alledgʻd for the Nullity of “ the Baptifm of Hereticks, may
also belong “ to evil Ministers? It is faid, for Example, “ That to give the Holy Ghost, one must have it : 6. That Hereticks have it not; and consequently, " that they cannot give it. Why may we not “ reason after the fame manner concerning “ Baptism conferr'd by conceald Hereticks, 6 or by wicked Priests? Have they the Holy ** Ghost to give ?” Thus St. Augustin.
I cannot but take Notice here, that this Great Man does not appear (to me) to have made the Comparison according to the Design of St. Cyprian and his Collegues: for, by the manner of handling this Dispute in thofe Days, Pris plain to me that the Hereticks and Schifmaticks were supposed to be (by their sepa
rating themselves from the Communion of the Church) AS EXCOMMUNICATE, and consequently to have lost all Valid Power and Authority for the Administration of Christian Sacraments,being themselves out of the Church: Whereas the Conceald Heretick and Evil Minister, not having separated themselves from, nor been excluded out of the Church, cannot, during this their Secresy, lose that VI. SIBLE AUTHORITY wherewith they were at first invested; and we have no OTHER Authority to trust to, except we had the Gift of discerning Spirits. So that the Reasons against the Validity of Baptism administred by KNOWN Self-Excommunicate Hereticks and Schismaticks, will not equally hold good against the Validity of Baptism conferr'd by UNKNOWN Hereticks and Evil Priests,who still continue in external Communion with the CHURCH, because the former were by the Cyprianists supposed to have not, but the latter have that VISIBLE AUTHORITY and COMMISSION, which Christ gave them to administer his Sacraments, as is plain from the Example of Judas Iscariot, whom our Saviour veffed with the divine Commission, notwithftanding his
great Wickedness. Leo Bishop of Rome in his 18th Answer to several Questions put to him by Rufticus BiNop of Norbonne, Anno 442, says, “That it is “ fufficient to lay Hands upon, and call upon " the Holy Spirit, over those that do remem
“ ber that they have been Baptized, but 4 know not in what Sect.”
Gennadius, a Priest of Marseille, affirms, " That tliere is BUT ONE BAPTISM, and “ that we must not baptize them again who " liave been baptized by Hereticks, with the “ Invocation of the Name of the Trinity; “ but they who have not been baptized in " the Nanie of the Trinity, ought to be re“ baptized, because such a Baptism is not
The second Council of Arles, Canon 17, says, “ The Bonosiaci, who baptize as well as
the Arians, in the Name of the Trinity; it " is fufficient to admit thein into the Church " by Chrism, and Imposition of Hands.??
St. Gregory, about the latter End of the 6th Century, speaking about the Return of seve ral Sorts of Hereticks into the Church, fays, “That they are Baptized when they RE“ ENTER into the Church; the Baptism “ which they have received, not being true, " since it was not given in the Name of the
Trinity: When it is UNCERTAIN whe(ther a Person has been Baptized or Con“firmed, we must Baptize or Confirm them, “ rather than suffer them to perish in this * Doubt.
Gregory II. a little after, Anno 700, in his Decretal Epistle, answering feveral Questions put to him by Boniface, Article R. “ forbids to
Ré-baptize those who have been once Bap