That they retained the laying on of hands in their spiritual baptism was an inconsistency which their orthodox opponents did not fail to note; the human hand, argued the latter, is, like the rest of the body, no less the work of the evil creator than water, oil, bread and wine, or than the wood, metal and stone out of which altars, images and churches are made.
And to this day in the Eastern Church the infant is baptized, anointed and communicated by the parish priest in the course of a single service; and thus the bishop and the laying on of hands have disappeared from the ordinary service of confirmation.
A schism occurred in 1652, the last three with a majority of the members contending for general redemption and for the laying on of hands as indispensable to fellowship, Olney, with the minority, maintaining particular redemption and rejecting the laying on of hands as an ordinance.
The First Church, Newport, had been rent asunder by Arminianism, and the nominally Calvinistic remnant had itself become divided on the question of the laying on of hands and showed no sympathy with the Great Awakening.
The Cathars of the middle ages discarded water baptism altogether as being a Jewish rite, but retained the laying on of hands with the traditio precis as sufficient initiation.