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can fay the Catechifm ; but that they do reasonably Understand it, and Diligently live according to it: that they have performed, and do frequently perform the Work of repentance; and do believe that God will perform to them his promises to those that are Baptiz'd and Confirm'd: and that they Understand, and have duly Confider'd the Vow, and the Prayers of the Order of Confirmation.
For nothing can be more Unkind, either in the Bishop, or in the Minister, to the Souls they must give Account of, than to be too ealy in approving of them. For thereby they Cause them to partake of God's Ordinance unworthily, to the lofs of the Great Ineftimable Benefit of it, and to their hurt instead of any benefit.
b One might think fo eafy a manner fhould be always pun&tually obferv'd in all the parts of it; and thereby be taken away the scandal and inconvenience of the accustomed disorder.
Upon the day appointed i, all that are to be then Confirmed, being placed, and ftanding in Order before the Bifhop k; he (or fome other Minifter appointed by him) fhall read this Preface follow
i See note e. k Within hearing of the Bifhop. If there be more than can be fo placed; then should not the reft be Confirm'd after the
other, and the whole Office repeated? It is but a fhort repetition.
Here, or when the Bishop Lays on his hand, for the preventing diforder and intruders, it is neceffary that the Ministers call to the Bishop by name all they prefent, Which if they do when the Bishop Lays on his hand, then the calling them by companies, and the calling by name every one of another company, after he has laid his hand on the former, will give him fome time of reft in case of a great Congregation.
This Preface teaches that perfons to be Confirm'd must learn and Understand the Catechifm, that they may know what their Godfathers and God
mothers promised for them, and fo know
To the end that Confirmation may be miniftred to the more edifying of fuch as fhall receive it, the Church has thought good to order, That none hereafter fhall be Confirmed, but fuch as can fay the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and
• They do this by the fame faying, I do; declaring they do in the prefence of God, and of the Congrega
tion, renew the folemn promise and vow that was made in their name at their Baptifm.
the Ten Commandments; and can alfo answer to fuch other. Queftions, as in the fhort Ca techifm are contain❜d /. Which order is very convenient to be obferved, to the end that children being now come to the years of difcretion m, and having learned what their Godfathers and Godmothers promised for them in Baptifm, they may themselves with their own mouth and confent openly before the Church ratify and confirm the fame n; and also promife that by the grace of God they will evermore endeavour themfelves faithfully to obferve fuch things o as they by their own confeffion have affented unto p.
Confented and agreed to, as before note n. By their own confeffion, that is acknowledging themselves bound to believe and do all those things which their Godfathers and Godmothers undertook for them.
Then shall the Bishop say,
Do you bere in the prefence of God, and of this Congregation, renew q the folemn promife and vow that was made in your name at your Baptifm; ratifying and confirming the fame in your own perfon r; and acknowledging s your felves bound to believe and to do all thofe things which your Godfathers and Godmothers then undertook for you?
9 Promife and vow again. r Confenting and agreeing to it as your own vow. s Confeffing.
And can it be well
done to let any one pals without this Anfwer? But children and elder perfons alfo come before the Bifhop without fo much as knowing how to make it, or underftanding it. Should not he either fee himfelf, or appoint one to fee every one answer in order, one after another? And to this end should not the Demand be repeated as there is occafion?
As he may be heard by the Bifhop and the Congregation.
I do v.
And every one t fhall audi
bly u answer,
He is to anfwer
ftanding (as before directed) I do: that is, I do here in the pre fence of God, and of this Congregation, renew the folemn pro mife and vow that was made in my name at my Baptism; ratifying, &c.
Or thus, I do confefs my felf bound to believe and to do all that my Sureties undertook for me. And therefore I ftand to the Vow they made in my name: And I do here folemnly Vow it again.
This is to be done, that thou may'st be fit to receive the Grace of Confirmation. For when we come to God for his Grace, we must come with a stedfast Resolution to do what he gives us Grace to do. And when we come to the Bishop for his Prayer for the fame Grace, we muft Satisfy him concern ing our Refolution.
The Bishop. Our help is in the Name of the Lord w. A. Who hath made heaven and earth x.
Bishop. Blessed be the Name of the Lord y.
A. Henceforth world without end z.
Bishop. Lord bear our prayers a.
4. And let our cry come unto thee b.
world without end. a Grant us the To obtain the Graces we pray for.
[Now kneel down to give thanks and pray Bishop. help to keep our Vow of Baptifm is in the Lord. x Therefore he is able to help us to keep our Vow.y Thanks and praise be given to the Lord for the Graces of his Holy Spirit to help us to perform our Vow. Phil. 4. 6. This thanks and praise be given henceforth Graces we pray for.
Bishop. Let us pray. Almighty and everliving God c, who haft vouchsafed d to regenerate these thy fervants e by water and the Holy Ghost t and baft given unto them the for giveness of all their fins g; Strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost the Comforter h.
As Acts 8. 15, the Apoftles Peter and John prayed for the Congregation that they might receive the Holy Ghost: So the Bifhop does in this prayer. mighty, that is, the Mighty Lord of all, and everliving God, therefore we pray for grace to ferve him all
c Because he is Al
the days of our life. d Been pleased. e To give them grace to live righteously. f By Baptifm and the Holy Ghoft. g To them that truly repent of their fins, and believe thy promise to forgive them for Jefus Chrift's fake.
Note, That faying the words of the Catechifm cannot be fufficient to obtain the forgiveness of fins, nor the grace of the Holy Ghoft. Therefore none ought to be admitted to Confirmation without further Examination concerning their Understanding the Catechism and Confirmation, and this Service of Confirmation; and concerning their true Repentance, and their Belief of the Promises of Baptism and Confirmation.
b The Comfortable Gift of the Holy Ghoft given in Confirmation Rightly done, to them that come duly prepar'd. John 7. 37, 38, 39. ch. 14. 15, 16.
The grace of thy Spirit. k Of wisdom and understanding in our duty. 1 Of good refolution to do our dum Of ftrength of foul to perform our refolutions. Of knowledge of all things Christian ought to know for his
fouls health. Of the
And daily increase in them. thy manifold gifts of grace; the Spirit i of wisdom and understanding k; the Spirit of counfell and ghoftly strength m; the Spirit of Knowledge n and true Godliness o: and fill them, O Lord, with the fpirit of thy boly fear p, now and for ever, Amen q.
true worship and fervice of thee. Of all due reverence to thy Great Majefty, and fear to displease thee. 9 We thank thee for the grace of the Holy Ghoft, and forgiveness receiv'd by our Baptifm. And we pray for a comfortable increase of the fame grace, and that thy manifold gifts of it may daily increase in us.
If we have the gifts of grace nam'd in this prayer, then all the other manifold gifts of grace will naturally flow from them. Those are faith, hope, the love of God and our neighbour, humility, patience, obedience, juftice, liberality, diligence, meeknefs, temperance, chaftity, contentednefs, and the reft. All flow from knowledge, counfel and strength.
Then all of them kneeling in order before the Bishop, he fhall lay his hand upon the head of every one feverally, faying,
As Ats 8. 17, Pe-
every one: (Matth.
Defendr O Lord this thy child [or this thy fervant] with thy heavenly graces; that he may continue thine t for ever; and daily increase in thy Holy Spirit u, more and more, until he come unto thy everlasting kingdom. Amen.
The reafon is, because Laying on of hands in the Scripture, fignifies Laying on One of the hands, the Right hand. Numb. 27. 18. God fays to Mofes of Jofbua, Lay thine hand upon him. And ver. 23 it is faid, He laid his hands upon him. Matth. 9. 18. Lay thy hand upon her, is Mark 5. 23, Lay thy hands on her. The fame is Acts 9. 12, 17. And Mark 10. 16, Chrift took the little children up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and bleed them. Now in reason we must understand, that he held them one after another in his left hand and arm, and put only his Right hand upon them. And the fame is intimated by the bringing them to him that he should touch them; for which his Right hand only was fufficient.
Therefore for the truth of the words, upon whom (after the example of thy boly Apoftles) we have now laid our hands, there is no no need for the Bishop to lay his right-hand upon one, and his left upon another. He may keep to the Order of the Church, and to his Sacred Obligations to obferve the Orders of the Common Prayer-book; which require him to lay his hand (no doubt his right hand) upon every one feverally, faying, Defend O Lord this thy child, or this thy fervant.