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they may save themselves the trouble of demanding them from me.
If they shall oppose my Assertion of the Necessity of a Divine Commision to Admini. Iter Baptism, they will thereby Confound themselves when they affirm that they Baptize by Virtue of such a Cominission: And then I shall not think them worth my Answering.
I conclude all with my 'liearty Prayers to Almighty God, that this my weak Endeavour may be for his Glory, and that he would keep us from all FALSE DOCTRINE, HERESÝ AND SCHISM; that all who profefs
. and call themselves Christians may be led into the WAY OF TRUTH, and hold the Faith in Unity of Spirit, in the Bond of Peace, and in Righteousness of Life ; and that he would be pleas’d to Illuminale ALL BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND DEAÇONS, with true Knowledge and Understanding of his Word, that both by their Preaching and Living they may set it forth and sew it accordingly; and rightly and duly Administer HIS HOLY SACRAMENTS, that so JÉR OBOA M'S PRIESTS may not PROPHANE HIS SER. VICE, but that THE SEED OF AARON may still MINISTER before him ; 10 whom, Persons, but One God, be ascribd, as is most due,
All Honour, Praise, and Glory, Might, Majesty and Dominion, by every Creature that is in Heaven and Earth, and under the Earth, For ever and ever Amen.
INCE the Publication of the First Edi
tion of this Book, I am inform’d, that some Gentlemen of no mean Character, have made further Objections against the Subject thereof, which (because they look very plaufible at first sight, and may therefore prejudice 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 ’tis said, that if Lay Baptism be Invalid, and the Divine Commisí, on to Baptize be convey?d from the Apostles in Episcopacy 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 to dreadful, and even contrary to the Concessions of many Episcopal Divines of the Church of England, that none ought to admit of that Doctrine, from which (if granted) so great a mischief must necessarily arise.
Anjiw. That Lay-Baptism is Null and Void, I humbly conceive, I have prov'd'; if not, let the Authors of this Objection shew, 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 fuch Baptisms to be Invalid ; or else, that at best they can give no solid Reasons for their Validity. And therefore, till I hear further from them upon this single Topick, I shall give my self no more trouble about it, but proceed to the conveyance of the Divine Commission to Baprize, and this ( suppoling Lay-Baptism 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 handed down, and successively continued from the Apostles to our Days, and this will determine who can Administer Valid Baptism,
THAT the Christian Ministry was conyeyed from the Apostles in Episcopacy only, we have a Cloud of Witneles; First, The Institution of our Saviour himself; Secondly, The Practice of the Apostles, both recorded in the Sacred Oracles of infallible Truth, the Holy Scriptures; Thirdly, all Ecclesiastical History; and Fourthly, the constant and una interrupted Practice of the Universal Church of Christ in all Ages and Places, for One Thousand Five Hundred Years together from the Apostles Days. These all bear testimony to this great Truth, as has been fufficiently demonstrated by a vast number of the belt Christian Writers, particularly some of our own Nation, and that very lately, (vid. Those I have mention in Answer to the Third Objesi
Etion, and anotber Entitled, The Divine Right of Episcopacy, Printed for Richard Sare, at Grms 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 felf.
If then the Premises above-mention'd be true ; If Lay-Baptism be Invalid, c. then (says the Objector) “ All those Foreign Res
forni'd Churches, &c. are effectually Unchurch'd, “ being deftitute 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 Objector himself that tells me they are so; and I know of no way for him to help them out of that Difficulty at present, but either to prove the Premises falfe; or else to perswade them to receive Episcopal Ordination. But 'tis laid, "this " is a dreadful consequence. It may be fo, and very dreadful too, if they are so far Un church'd as to be reduc'd to a state of absolute Infidels, which I hope the Objector does not mean when he says they are Unchurched, if he does, I must tell him, tliati( tho I am no Latitudinarian) I have more charitable
Thoughts concerning Thousands of them than
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 endeavourd to make Excuses and Salvo's for the Presby: terian and Lay-Ordinations Abroad : In reference to whom; I must needs say, that 'tis justly to be feard they have done more Hurt by such their Concessions, than'at the Tine of their Writing them they were aware of For 'tis not to be doubted, that many put a great Value upon the Judgment of fuch