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A SYNOPSIS OF AUTHORITIES

ON

BAPTISM, REGENERATION,

&c.

OF THE

DOCTRINE OF

OF BAPTISM,

REGENERATION,

CONVERSION, &c.

AND KINDRED SUBJECTS,

BY THE PATHERS AND OTHER WRITERS FROM THE TIME OF

OUR SAVIOUR TO THE END OF THE FOURTH CENTURY.

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BY THE REV. H. D. WICKHAM, M. A.

LATE OF EXETER COLLEGE, OXFORD.

LONDON.
GEORGE BELL, 186 FLEET STREET,

1850.

PREFACE.

a

Some preliminary observations will naturally be expected by the reader before he enters on the serious perusal of a work of this character; and the question of Melibæus “Quæ tanta fuit causa ?” will naturally arise, when he perceives the amount of patient research exhibited by a layman on a subject which, however important to all, is generally considered the peculiar province of the Theologian.

The writer lately heard a layman remark, in a conversation on the much disputed point, which has lately been presented before the public in the case of Gorham versus the Bishop of Exeter, that it would be well for the Church to settle this question within herself, and that laymen having nothing to do with it, would be quite satisfied whichever way she should decide. There are, however, very many thinking Churchmen, not belonging to the ministerial body, who are unwilling to yield such implicit obedience to dogmas, simply because they are pronounced ex cathedrâ, but who wish to understand for themselves "a reason of the hope that is in them.” Though

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