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his Apostles, who cannot be prov'd to have been Baptiz'd in the Name of the Trinity before his Resurrection; and one of them, Judas 11cariot, a Thief, a Devil in his Dispolition, to the Administration of Holy Things, as if he would thereby teach us, to look with Faith on HIS AUTHORITY ONLY, without confiding in any of the best Accomplishments of those on whom he has conferr'd it. And if we do but look back to the Condition of the Jewish Church, during their forty Years sojourning in the Wilderness, we shall find that none of them were Circumcis'd in all that space of time; and tho’the Uncircumcis'd was by God's own Appointment to be cut off from among his People; yet the Ministry of those Priests and Levites, who were born in the term of those Forty Years, was not Null'd and made Void for their want of Circumcision; which doubtless was as much necessary to qualify them for Holy Orders, as Baptism iş now to qualify our Christian Priests.
UPOŃ the Whole; As neither the Baptism, nor Personal Holiness of the Minister, can mediately Baptize or make us Holy, but THE DIVINE AUTHORITY residing in him ; so neither can the Baptism or Personal Holiness of the Bishop confer Holy Orders, but THE DIVINE AUTHORITY from Christ and his Apostles, visibly convey'd to and residing in him: 'Tis by virtue of THIS ALONE that Holy Orders are given ; and if either the Bi
Shop or Ordain’d Perfon, or both, have any Personal Incapacity, viz. of Wickedness,or want of Baptism, the Fault is their own, and they must answer for it: Bur as for the Ordination, that must remain Good and Valid, by reason of the External Divine Commission de facto given to the Bishop, For, if every Personal Defect of what is requir’d, either in the Administrator or Recipient, could Invalidate the Administration, either of Baptism or Holy Orders, we should never have an End of Rebaptizations and Reordinations: Nay, we could never have any Certainty either of Valid Baptisms or Ordinations, because we should
ways find but too many Occasions, to call in question the Sufficiency of the Preparations, and Personal Qualifications of both Ministers and People, who are all equally expos’d to the fame Human Frailties, and liable to be try'd with the same innumerable Temptations.
AND therefore I humbly conceive, our best way is (I don't say ONLY but) CHIEFLY to regard, and insist on the Viable Divine Authority and Commission, handed down from Christ and his Apostles, by that ORDER of Men, who have always had power to convey it to others; this, with the Right Matter and Form of Administration, are what we ought to esteem to be the only El intials of Baptism
' stration of them; and as for the rest, every one in particular must do his part to the ut:
most of his Power, to secure those Personal Qualifications, which God has requir'd of both Minister and People, under no less Penalty than that of Eternal Damnation, upon the wilful neglect of them.
THUS far I have presum'd to declare my Thoughts, concerning the Uncertainty and (as far as I can see) the Falseness of the Foundation, upon which this whole Objection is rais'd, humbly submitting all I have said in opposition to it, to the better Reasons and Ar. guments of my Superiors, the truly Ordain'd Ministers of Jesus Christ, whether Bishops, Priests, or Deacons; sincerely declaring, that if any thing has drop'd from me, that is contrary to the Truth of Christianity, I do hereby Recant it, and will do so in a more particular manner, as soon as I can discover my Error.
AND now, whether what I have said against Ordinations, and Holy Ministrations being Nulld for want of Baptism, be true or no; if the Invalidity of Lay-Baptism be a Truth, let every one take care to keep himself from, or extricate himself out of, the milchievous consequences of it. And if the Nulling of Holy Orders and Ministrations, be a real Consequence of this Truth, then there's no other Remedy, but that they who are in, volv'd in it, should extricate themselves out of it, by Episcopal Baptism and Reordination. It is not enough to say, that “This will involve
“ the Church into the utmost Confusion; for, want of Baptism and a Valid Ministry is the most pernicious Confusion, and infinitely greater than what can proceed from such Persons receiving Valid Baptism and Holy Orders; and therefor, if the Premises are true, the Risk must be run; for Truths of so great Importance must not be stifled, and made to give way to suppos’d Confusions ; because, whatfoever mischief may arise, can never be the Result of Divine Íruth(which is always Good and Beneficial) but of Mens Sins and Impieties, in ufurping those Sacred Offices, which they never receiv'd any Commission to A& in. So that, they who value the Order and Peace of the Church, ought not to disallow of the Invalidity of Lay-Baptism, upon the Account of this Consequence, but rather to enquire seriously, whether Divine Revelation gives us any Foundation to believe, that fuch Baptisms are Good and Valid; and if they are not, whether the Nulling of Holy Orders be a real Consequence thereof; and if it be, they should affert and maintain it to the utmost of their power, nay even to Martyrdom it felf, if the defending such a Truth did-expose them to it, rather than suffer themselves to be destituté both of a Christian Priesthood and Christian Baptism.
Obj. XI. BUT others say, that to avoid the fatal Consequences of adhering too riga fously to this Doctrine of Lay-Baptisms being
Invalid, the Authority of the “ Powers Hierar“ chical are very Divine, and the same which 66 Christ had, not to the violation of his Laws, but " to DISPENSE with them to ÉDIFICATI" ON, for which they may be impower’d to Relax “ ftated Rules in cases that appear necessary or “ expedient. And that therefore, tho' Hereti“cal, Schismatical, and Mimical Baptisms are 66 done without, nay, and against the consent of the “ Hierarchy,and therefore are not entire, or valid 66 in themselves, yet they are made so on the Post“ Fait, by the Spiritual Powers, lo far, as that " the External Rite shall not be Reiterated; but
as to any Spiritual Graces they are not to be had " thereby, till those 'defective and Irregular Aits
are supply'd, Righted and Confirmed, by the “ Chrism of the Bishop, er Imposition of his Hands,
or such'Right by which he shall fix the Person “ Baptiz'd into a State af Canonical Union with " the Church. So also, the Validity of Lay“ Baptism, as well to its Internal, as External “ Privileges, stands on the Authority of the 6 Church's Power to grant such License to Lay" men in Extremities. All which being consider'd, Lay-Baptisms ought now to be acknowledg’à Valid, especially to such as have been confirm’d by the Bishop.
Answ. THIS Objection is for the most part in the very Words of a Learned and Reverend Opposer, of One of the most Poysonous Books, that, it may be, was ever suffer'd to be Pubé lish'd in the Christian World, falfly Intituld,