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The Grace of Confirmation Promis'd to all Chriftians to the End of the world; and declar'd in the Scripture to be Given (in the Ordinary way) only in Confirmation by Laying on of hands.


HIS is another unanfwerable Proof of the Continuance of this Ordinance for ever.

That there is fuch a Promife, and that the Grace promifed is declar'd to be given (in the Ordinary way) only in Confirmati on by Laying on of hands, is fo plain in the New Teftament, as that nothing can be more vifible; how many foever there be, whofe eyes God has not open'd to fee it.

For the Promife: When John baptized with the baptifm of repentance for the remiffion of fins, faying unto the people, That they should believe on him which should come after him, (Mark 1. 4. Acts 19. 4) and fo Baptizing them in the Name of Chrift; he Promis'd that Chrift fhould baptize them with the Holy Ghoft. Matth. 3. 11.

And when Chrift Baptized in his own Name, with the fame Baptifm, faying, (as John did) Repent; for the kingdom of hea ven is at hand; (Matth. 3. 2. Ch. 4. 17) and telling the people to believe on him, as John had forewarned them; he said John 7. 37, 38, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture bath faid, out of his belly fall flow rivers of living water. In the next verse it is added, But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on bim fhould receive: for the Holy Ghoft was not yet given, because that Jefus was not yet glorified.

And Ch. 14. fpeaking to his Difciples of his going to his Father's houfe, to prepare a place for them, and his coming again to receive them, he fays ver. 16, I will pray the Father, and he fall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Which abiding for ever of another Comforter, muft be understood of all the time of his bodily abfence from them; and is the chief meaning of his Promife Matth. 28. 20, Lo I am with you alway even unto the end of the world.

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And when after he was Glorified, his Apoftles Baptized with the fame Baptifm in his Name, that he and John Baptized with; (for Acts 2. 38, Peter faid, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jefus Chrift for the remiffion of fins) then Peter faid to a great congregation of both Jews and Profelytes, (v. 10) And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghoft. For the promife is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God'fhall call. The Promife is of the fame Gift of the Holy Ghost, which the Apoftles then receiv'd, call'd v. 33, the promife of the Holy Ghoft, and Ch. 1. 4, the promife of the Father, And of the fame Chrift faid, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink, &c. I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever..

Now it is very plain that thefe Promifes of the Holy Ghost, who was to be given after Chrift was Glorified, are made to all Chriftians that ule the Means, unto the End of the world.

For the fulfilling of thefe Promifes: It is plain they were not fulfill'd in the Baptifm of John, and of Chrift. For the Grace promifed was not to be given till after Chrift was Glorified. Yet all that were Baptized by them, were without doubt born again of the Spirit, (John 3. 5) did drink of the living water, (Ch. 4. 10. 14) by the Holy Spirit his working effectually, continuing and increafing in them that Repentance, and Faith, which in their Baptifm they profefs'd. The Apoftles had alfo power to heal the fick, cleanfe the lepers, raife the dead, caft out devils. Matth. 10. 8. The Seventy likewife had power to heal the fick, and caft out devils. Luke 10. 9, 17. Others alfo had fuch power Ch. 9. 49, 50. But none of them had the Comforter who was not to come till Christ was departed. John 16. 7..

Into the Faith of Jefus Christ, (v. 36. Ch. 16. 31, 32, 33. Ch. 19. 4. Gal. 3. 27) with the Baptifm that he commanded in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft. Aljo the Baptifm of Chrift, and of John, was not only in. the Name of Chrift the Son, as is here fhew'd, but aljo in the Name of the Father, and of the Holy Ghoft. For thereby the Bap tized were given up to the Repentance and Faith commanded by the Father, and taught by the Holy Ghost in the mouth of Chrift, (Luke 4. 1, 14, 15, 18) and of John, (Luke 1. 15, 16, 17) and to be more fully taught by the Holy Ghost after Chrift's Afcenfion.


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Nor were thofe Promises fulfill'd in the Baptifm of the Apoftles: wherein alfo was without doubt the New Birth of the Holy Spirit; which appear'd by the fruits of the Spirit. Ats2. 42, to the end. For as they Baptized with the fame Baptifm that Chrift and John Baptiz'd with; and promis'd again the fame Gift of the Holy Ghost to thofe that they Baptiz'd, as in this Chapter is before fhew'd: So that Gift was never given, except in extraordinary cafes, but in Confirmation after Baptifm. Thofe very Perfons to whom St. Peter promis'd that Gift, receiv'd it fometime after their Baptifm, by a Prayer which must be fuppos'd to be offer'd by one of the Apostles +; but then (the first time) without Laying on of hands. And zoben they had prayed, the place was baken where they were af fembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghoft; (Alts 4. 31) as when the Apoftles were filled, there came a found from beaven, as of a rushing mighty wind.

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Chap. 8 it is plainly affirm'd that the Holy Ghoft was fallen upon none of the Samaritans that were Baptiz'd, until they were Confirm'd by the Prayer and Laying on of the hands of Peter and John; and that then they received the Holy Ghoft.

And Chap. 19 it is affirm'd of the Ephefian difciples Baptiz'd by Paul, that when (after Baptifm) Paul had laid his bands upon them, the Holy Ghoft came on them. And fo Prayer, and Laying on of hands was the Settled Ordinary way with all the Apoftles, and firmly Ratified by God's Vifible giving his Holy Spirit thereby

The reafon why St. Paul Baptized thofe that had been Baptiz'd with the Baptifm of John, was because by their having never heard of the Holy Ghoft, and probably by fome further account of their Baptifm, he knew that they had not the true Baptifm of John *. Otherwife John's Baptifm being in the Name of Chrift, and fo the very fame with the Baptism of

*See Part 1. Ch. 1.


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They lift up their voice with one accord, by the mouth of one of the Apoftles. the fame Baptifm in the Name of the Lord Jefus, with Ch. 2. 38. Ch. 8. 16. Ch. 10. 48. The true Baptifm of John ended with his death. Matth. 4. 12, 17. Mark 1. 14,. 15. For his Miniftry was to Proclaim the Coming of Chrift, and to fhew him to the people. John 1.7, 15, 29 to 37. And as Apollos long after both the death of John, and Christ's giving the whole power of Baptizing to his Apoftles, preached John's Baptifm: jo be, or fome other might Baptize those disciples with the fame Baptifm.

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Chrift in his own Name, as is before fhew'd, he would not have Baptiz'd them again. They seem to be Confirm'd imme diately after their Baptifm: as the Holy Ghost descended on Chrift, not in his Baptifm, but when he was Praying, after he was Baptiz'd. Lake 3. 21.

And now what can be plainer in the holy Scripture, than both the Promise of a special bounteous Increase of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, to all Chriftians to the End of the world; and alfo the Fulfilling of the fame Promife, in the Ordinary way, only in Confirmation with Laying on of hands?.

Therefore it is that Laying on of bands is Heb. 6. 2, one of the principles of the doctrine of Chrift, next to baptifm. Which Laying on of hands has alfo, in the beginning of this discourse, been fully fhew'd to be meant of Confirmation.

So the holy Scriptures teach, as fully, and as plainly as can be defir'd, That Confirmation by the Prayer and Laying on of the hands of the Apostles and their Succeffors, is Ordain'd to Continue unto the End of the world.

There are fubtil ways of wrefting the fenfe of the plainest words. But we must learn to distinguish between fuch Subtilties, and true Reasonings.

What is to be faid of the opinion of those who think the want of Confirmation is fupplied by the Lord's Supper, is before fhew'd Part 1, ch. 5.



Confirmation Commanded.

T may be after all thou wilt fay, Where is Confirmation. Commanded in the Scripture?

It is Commanded Heb. 6. 2, by being made one of the first (Ch. 5. 12) principles of the doctrine of Christ.

It is alfo Commanded Acts 8 and 19, by being made the only Ordinary Means of our receiving an Ineftimable Grace, (as is here fhew'd in the foregoing chapter) and that a Grace whereby we must be Sav'd; as is fhew'd Part 1, ch. 3.

Therefore Chrift's folemn Commandment John 7. 37, 38, 39, concerning this Grace, to be receiv'd only by this Means, is a folemn Commandment to use this Means.

Chrift himself has moft folemnly Commanded us to come to Confirmation, when in the great day of the feaft be food and cried, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink, &c.

For without doubt he Commands us to come to him by that Way, which in his Word he hath fhew'd us.

Here is to be added, that it is a great fin of Unthankfulness, and deffing the Grace of God, to neglect the Means whereby he gives it.

But wilt thou be fuch a fool, as to lose an Inestimable Treafure, only for want of a Reverent coming for it?


The Doctrine of the Primitive Church concerning Confirmation.


Itherto, that the true light of the Scripture may the better appear, all quotations out of other books have been pur, pofely avoided. To know the doctrine of the Primitive Church concerning any truth, we need not expect to find it in the writings of every Father, or of every age. There is no mention of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in the Gofpel of St. John, nor in his other Writings. And none of the holy Writers befides St. Matthew, fay any thing of Baptizing in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft. The Chriftians of the age next to the Apostles might very well be contented with what they were plainly taught in the writings of the Apostles themfelves, and of their Acts, frequently feeing the miraculous Effects of Confirmation, which were then continu'd.

Here fhall be produc'd none but Undoubted teftimonies : wherein that the true fenfe of the Fathers may appear, their original words fhall be fet with a tranflation, as near as may be, word for word.

Tertullian, who liv'd in the fecond Century, and wrote in the beginning of the third, in his fixth Chapter of Baptism, fays, Debine manus imponitur advocans & invitans Spiritum Sanctum. After Baptifm the hand is laid on, to call and invite the Holy Ghoft.

And in his eighth chapter of the Refurrection of the flesh, he fays, Caro manus impofitione adumbratur, at anima Spiritu illu

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