A distinction without a difference. See the language of the baptismal rite in the 1662 BCP: That's true, and yet, the Church can speak confidently of its proclamations. When it says the child is regenerate, he actually is. When we consecrate the bread as the Spiritual Body of Christ, it really is. When we absolve the sins of the Congregation, they actually are absolved. Here I would say: God is omnipotent, so he of course can impart the grace whenever he wants to. This is true. He is not limited by our actions. But that notwithstanding, we won't see his imparted grace, outside the channels of the Church. Based on what we see, we are forced to say, by the exclusionary (and cruel) words of Scripture, that that unbaptized child has gone to Hell. God can yet whisk him to Heaven, and is not limited by what we say. But we need to focus on what we can say, what we see happening, insofar as we know. And we're guided about what happens by what Christ says. It's a very strong language: UNLESS the person is not born of fire and spirit, HE WILL NOT see the Kingdom of God. That's what we must believe, as human beings; without that limiting God himself to save them through extraordinary grace.