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“ from my Lords, the Bishops giving no « Charge to their Clergy, in their Visitati, ons,
&c. That all Lay-baptiz'd Persons must 6 be Baptiz'd a-new ; and he says, page
37, 38, If this Silence of the Ecclesia“ ftical Governours ; of the Parish Priests ; "e and of the Writers of Controversy, be not 6 a Proof of the Church of England's “ Judment in the Matter; I must Despair
“ of knowing what can be one." For this Reason, because he knows in his Conscience that his whole Book is built upon no better Foundation, than this pretended Silence; he insists upon it; that "the Bi.
shops Confirmation [of Lay-baptiz'd Per“ Tons ] in 1661, and fince; and the “ Church's ordering none of them to be Re
“ baptiz’d, is a good Proof, page 29." I fuppose he here means the Church's not Ordering any of them to be Re-baptiz'd
for, the Church's [Ordering none of them] has another meaning than I believe he de fign'd.
But in Answer to all this; I have alrea. dy endeavour'd to prove, that the Church in Convocation, whose Voice we may
still hear if we please, in her Articles, Canons, and Rubricks ; is not Silent, but speaks loudly enough to us concerning this Matter ; and I know of no other Voice of the Church of
England but that. If any would obtrude upon us the Practice of particular Members how Great and Nụmerous foever; and call that, the Principle and Doctrine of our Church; before we give him Credit, he must allow us to Compare their Practice, with the Church's Written and Publish'd Articles and Laws, and if we find Practi. ces Inconsistent with these, we must prefer the latter, and reject and bewail the former. Who tells this Author, that the Bishops Confirm'd Lay-baptiz'd Persons as rightly Baptiz'd; that their Lordships did it with
particular regard to the Validity of such Baptisms? I can tell him of Confirmations in our Days, perform'd upon this Principle, that the Baptism receiv'd by the Confirm'd Person, from the Haods of Dissenting Teache ers (who are Laicks,] was not Good and V 4o lid before Confirmation, but made Valid by Confirmation; this ( tho' I absolutely deny the Principle) I can prove by living Witnesses, to be the Foundation upon which Confirmation has been lately given to Persons fo pretendedly Baptiz'd; and how can our Author prove, that the Bishops since the Restoration went upon any other Principle than this, in their Confirmation of Diffenters Children, who were only Baptiz'd by Lay Hands? But further,
What if I should affirm, that, tho'during the time of the long Unnatural Rebellion, when the Episcopal Ministers were thrown and kept out of their Livings, yet they perforin'd their Spiritual Functions, and Baptiz'd the Children of the Members of the Church of England; and that almost all the Teachers, who got into their Benefices by complying with the Wickedness of the Times, had before been Episcopally Ordain'd, and forvere impowered to Baptize ; and that upon these accounts, tlie Bishops when they Confirm’d after the Restoration, miglit not suppose that any, were brought to be Confirm’d by them, but such as had been Episcopally Baptiz’d; and that they did not expect any of our Anti Epifcopal Diflenters Children who were otherwise Baptiz’d, should be brought to them for Confirmation? What if I Thould insist upon these things ? Can our Author prove to the contrary? If he can; then,
How do's he know, but, the Bishops of that time, subject to like Failings and Pasfions with other Men, were loth by such Discriminating Acts to rouze the Turbulent Spirit of Rebellion, then but, hardly lay'd asleep, by the Restoration? What if the Experience they had had of Arch-Bishop Laua's Fate, who was brought to the Block
by Phanatick Fury, only for endeavouring to Restore and Establish much smaller Matters in the Church ; înight make them not willing to expose themselves and the Church, to the insatiable Rage of such Merciless Persecutors ; by their openly and in direct Terms Proclaiming Anti-Episcopal Dissenters to be, not Incorporated Mem. bers of Christ's Church ? Is it any new thing for good Men, to be thus Intimidated ? Is not the great Apostle St. Peter, an Instance of this frailty of Humane Nature ? See his Behaviour with respect to the Jews. and Gentiles, for which St. Paul with tood him to the Face, Gal. ii. 11, 12.--St. Barnabas also was carried away with the same Fault, to Temporize with the Jewish Chriz ftians, for which, St. Paul loudly Proclaims, that “ They walked not uprightly, according to the Truth of the Gospel. Indeed the very best of Men, without any Affront to their Character, yea, and very great Bodies of Men too, have been, still are, and always will be in this World, liable to Infirmie ties; and must Practices consequent thereknown Laws of that Church whereof thiey are Members, and even Governors ? Must these be call's such Proofs ! so clear and so evident! that we must despair of Proofs
if these are not so ? This is amazing! But what is not a Proof to those who will have it one? However, to bring this Matter to a short Issue. From particular Practicesto Publick Principles, there is no Argument: Let our Author
that the Confirmation of Persons Baptized by unauthoriz'd Baptizers, is a Necessary Consequence of our Church's Articles and Laws concerning Baptism and Confirmation; And when he has done this, then I fairly promise him, publickly to acknowledge, that it is the Judgment of the Church of England, that unautho, riz’d Baptisms, and consequently our Dissenters Baptisms, are good and Valid. But this he has not yet done, and I dare further add, that he never will; therefore, the Church's Laws stand against him, and his Instances of promiscuous Confirmations (among which some who never were Baptiz'd, either in Reality, or in Pretence, have been admitted for want of due Enquiry) are no more Arguments of the Church's Judgment, that unauthoriz'd Baptisms are good and Valid ; than the Confirmation of unbaptiz'd Persons, is an Argument, that our Church esteems Baptism not necessary, as a previous Qualification to be Confirm'd by the Bishop.