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ing of the word and administration of the sacraments cannot but make a Church visible, and these are inseparable notes of the Church-I answer, that they are so far inseparable, that wheresoever they are, there a Church is: but not so, but that in some cases there may be a Church, where these are not.' " In pursuance of which idea, Chillingworth strongly insists, that the true Church may exist even where it is invisible, likening it to the case of Israel when Elijah thought himself alone, but God told him that there were yet seven thousand in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal.' (ib. 210.) Hence,' saith he, (ib. 214.) 'Protestants do not hold the failing of the Church from its being, but only from its visibility; which if you conceive all one, then must you conceive that the stars fail every day and the sun every night.' (c)

Lastly, Chillingworth, (ib. p. 253.) sums up the differences amongst the various branches of the Reformation in these terms. Some,' saith he, 'taking their direction in this work of reformation only from the Scripture, (d) others from the writings of the fathers and the decrees of councils of the first five ages, certainly it is no great marvel that there was, as you say, disagreement between them, in the particulars of their reformation, nay, morally speaking, it was impossible it should be otherwise. Yet let me tell you, the difference between them, (especially in comparison of your Church and religion) is not the difference

(c) This opinion of Chlllingworth may be admitted if understood of the uncorrupted part of the Church; but of the Church as a whole, Hooker says, Ecc. Pol. B. 3. 1 vol. p. 273. God hath had ever, and ever shall have, some Church visible, upon earth. When the people of God worshipped the Calf in the wildernes; when they adored the brazen Serpent; when they served the gods of the nations; when they bowed their knees to Baal the sheep of his visible flock they continued.' (d) Chillingworth should rather have said, from a part of the Scripture for which see more particularly the 5th chapter,

between good and bad; but between good and better: and they did best that followed Scripture, interpreted by Catholic written tradition; which rule the reformers of the Church of England proposed to themselves to follow.' Now from these extracts there are several points sufficiently manifest.

1. That the want of the Episcopal government is a defect, and a serious defect; but that the Churches which have it not, may nevertheless, be true Churches so far as regards the essentials of a Church.

2. That the plea of necessity, if real and not feigned, · takes away all blame from the Churches thus constituted, and renders their ordinations lawful for them and in their circumstances.

3. That this deviation from Scriptural rule and primitive practice, if wantonly made, without real necessity, exposes its authors to the guilt of schism, but does not thereby deprive them of their claim to be a portion of the Catholic or universal Church.

4. That even heretics, though a maimed part, are yet a part of the Church universal.

5. That the true uncorrupt Church may exist invisibly under certain circumstances, such as those of the faithful Israelites in the days of Elijah, without the enjoyment of either preaching or sacraments.

And the result brings us precisely to the definition of Hooker, which includes within the pale of the Catholic or universal Church, all who profess to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ, whether sound or unsound, perfect or imperfect, maimed or whole, in any other respect whatever.

CHAPTER IV.

What effect has this doctrine upon the administration of the sacraments?

THE essentials of the sacraments are stated in different terms by the Roman Catholic and the Protestant writers. The first reckon three external requisites, the element, the words, and the minister. The latter count two only, the sacramental elements, and the sacramental words; but both maintain that the efficacy of every sacrament depends on the grace attached to it by the promise of Christ.

There are however amongst ourselves, many who contend, that there can be no valid administration of the sacraments except by a minister regularly commissioned by Episcopal ordination. And they consider all other ministrations, as invalid, because irregular. Of course, to be consistent with the principle, baptisms performed by any other hands than those of an episcopally ordained clergyman, must be counted for nothing; and persons coming to the Church from other denominations must submit to re-baptization.

There is, likewise, a large class of reasoners who maintain the principle above mentioned, but do not carry it out into practice, on account of the deference which they pay to the custom of the Church, which, as they well know, countenanced lay-baptism, that is, the administration of baptism by laymen, in cases of necessity, from the earli

est times. They also know, that about the middle of the third century, a sharp controversy was carried on between Cyprian and the African bishops of the one part, and Stephen, bishop of Rome, of the other, on the question, whether the baptisms of schismatics and heretics, should be allowed by the Catholic or Universal Church. The end of which was in favor of the Roman doctrine, admitting all who had been baptised with the proper element and the proper form of words, to the privileges of the Church, without regard to the person of the administrator: which custom, asserted by Stephen to have been from the beginning of the Church, became universal; and may be truly asserted as the only authorized doctrine of our own day. In obedience to this practice of the Church, the reasoners in question do not countenance re-baptization, on ac count of the defects in the commission of the minister; but they consider the practice to be at variance with true principle, and therefore seem, to my mind, to involve themselves, perhaps unconsciously, in a theological dilemma.

For if the commission of the minister be of the essence of the sacraments, what power has the Church to take it away? The Church cannot make a sacrament. That is the incommunicable prerogative of Christ. Neither can the Church add any thing essential to it, because this power is equivalent to the other. On the other hand, the Church cannot take away any thing essential, without destroying the sacrament, which is granted by the whole Protestant Church in the case of our Roman Catholic brethren, who deprive their laity of the wine in the sacrament of the Eucharist, and thereby make it very doubtful, to say the least, whether they administer that sacrament to their people at all.

Indeed, the argument seems conclusive, ex vi termini.

For the essence of any thing, is that without which it cannot be in esse, that is, without which it cannot exist. And if the commission of the ministry be of the essence of the sacrament, so that no sacrament, by the will of Christ, could be administered without that commission, the Church could no more take away that essential ingredient from baptism, than she could authorize a dispensation with the form of words, or the element of water.

There is yet another opinion which endeavors to evade the difficulty by alledging, that so long as the Church thought fit to admit bay-baptisms, this consent was a kind of authority which might stand instead of ordination, but that since this open allowance has been retracted, and the Church has rather discouraged them, they can no longer rest on the same foundation.

This is ingenious, but not sound, because neither the facts nor the principle will bear examination. The Church never did approve lay-baptism on any other ground than that of necessity, that is, when a regular minister could not be procured at the time, and there was danger of death apprehended. And as to the idea that the admission of those who had been baptised in schism or in heresy, was a kind of authority for such baptisms, it is surely in the face of the Church to say so; because the Church was constantly opposing the conduct of schismatics and heretics at the time. Thus much for the facts; and the principle is equally plain. For the Church has no more power to create a new kind of ministerial commission, than she has to make a sacrament: and if the Apostolic commission was essen, tial to the sacrament at the beginning, I have already shewn that the Church could not subtract this essential without destroying the sacrament itself.

It results, that the minister is not of the essence of the sacrament, but only of the order of it; that the essence may

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