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·Theodoret, who liv'd in the fame Century, in his Comment on Heb. 6. 1, 2, fays, Θεμέλιον καὶ τι πίςιν ἐκάλεσεν· ἔργα ἢ νεκρὰ τὴν πονερίαν. Οἱ γδ πεπιςωκότες τὴν τέτων βδελυτζόμωι δυσοσμίαν, καὶ μελαμελείᾳ χρώμαμαι, προσίασι τῷ Θείῳ βαπλίσμαζί, καὶ διὰ τῆς ἱερατικῆς χειρὸς ὑποδέχονται τὴν χάριν τῇ ΠνούμαλΘ, καὶ ἐν τῷ Θείῳ βαπλίσμαζί τὸν τῆς ἀναςάσῃως δεχόμιμοι τύπον, προσμύεσι τήν κοινὴν πάντων ἀνάςασιν, καὶ τὸ μέλλον kelheiov. And he called faith the foundation, and wickednefs dead works. For they that have believed, abhorring the ftink of these, and ufing repentance, come to Divine Baptism, and by the Prieftly hand receive the Grace of the Spirit, and receiving in Divine Baptifm a type of the Resurrection, they look for the common refurrection of all, and the judgment to come.

The Prieftly hand is before fhew'd in this chapter to be the Bishop's hand. And it is not here the hand Baptizing. For he mentions all the parts of the Foundation, of which Baptifm and Laying on of hands are diftinct parts.



The Sum of the Primitive Doctrine.

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Y all these undoubted Testimonies of the Fathers, who liv'd in the purer Times of the Church, it very plainly appears what was the Univerfal Doctrine of the Ancient, Catholick and Apoftolick Church concerning Confirmation, that they taught the very fame which has in this Difcourfe been fhew'd to be the Doctrine of the Holy Scripture, namely, That by the Prayer, and Laying on of the hands of the Bishop, there is given to Chriftians a Special Higher Degree of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, over and above that which they receiv'd in Baptifm: That thereby, as St. Jerom intimates, and the other Fathers fuppofe, every Chriftian duly prepar'd for it, receives his part of that Gift of the Holy Ghoft, which was given to the Apostles on the Day of Pentecoft, and which St. Peter then promis'd to all that Repent, and are Baptized in the Name of Jefus Chrift. They did not, as St. Auguftine tells us, look for miraculous infpirations; but as St. Ambrofe writes, the Perfection of the Grace of Baptifm, in the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counfel and Virtue, the Spirit of Knowledge and Godlinefs, and the Spirit of holy Fear. And St. Am

St. Ambrofe, St. Chryfoftom and Theodoret witnefs, that the Laying on of hands, which Heb. 6, is one of the principles of the foundation of the doctrine of Chrift, is meant of Confirmation.


The Doctrine of the Church of England, concerning Confirmation.


T is no other than what is before taught. In the old Rubrick, before the Reign of King Charles the Second, are thefe words, Confirmation is miniftred to them that be Baptized, that by Impofition of hands and Prayer, they may receive ftrength and defence against all temptations to fin, and the affaults of the world and the Devil. Why this is not in the prefent Rubrick, we are not told. But in the Preface to the Liturgy we are earnestly affur'd that no alteration was made upon the account of any error. And what was left out of the Rubrick, is more fully exprefs'd in the Prayers.

In the firft Prayer, the Grace of Baptifm, and the Grace of Confirmation are diftinctly exprefs'd. The Grace of Baptifm is first acknowledg'd in these words, Who haft vouchsafed to regenerate these thy fervants by Water and the Holy Ghoft, and haft given unto them forgiveness of all their fins. Then the Grace of Confirmation is thus pray'd for; Strengthen them, we befeech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghoft the Comforter: and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace; the spirit of wisdom and understanding, &c. For it was the Holy Ghoft the Comforter, that was to be given in Confirmation after Chrift's Afcenfion, (John 16. 7) to Strenghten Chriftians, (Als 4. 31) and to Increase in them the manifold gifts of grace. John 7. 38. According to this is the Prayer, when the Bishop lays on his hand, that the perfon Confirm'd may be Defended with God's heavenly Grace, and daily increase in his Holy Spirit more and


In another of the Prayers are thefe words, We make our bumble fupplications unto thee for these thy fervants, upon whom, (after the example of thy holy Apostles) we have now laid our hands, to certifie them (by this fign) of thy favour and gracious goodness towards them. Let thy Fatherly hand, we beseech thee, ever be over them; let thy Holy Spirit ever be with them.



Now how does the Bishop certify them by this fign, of God's favour and gracious goodness towards them, but by affuring them that they fhall receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit, promised to be given them by the Laying on of the hands and Bleffing of the Apoftles and Bifhops.

But here it is to be remembred that our Church does not contradict it felf, and teach another Sacrament; (as shall be fhew'd in the ninth Chapter) altho' this Laying on of hands is Ordain'd for all Christians.

The Rubrick at the end of the Order of Baptism of those of riper years, fays, It is expedient that every Perfon thus Baptized fhould be Confirmed by the Bishop, fo foon after his Baptifm as conveniently may be; that fo he may be admitted to the boly Com


But the Rubrick does not mean an expediency not Neceffary, either in the being Confirmed, or in the making all convenient fpeed for it: as appears by the making fuch care to be Confirm'd the Condition of being admitted to the holy Communion. And the Rubrick at the end of the Order of Confirmation, fays, There fball none be admitted to the holy Communion, until fuch time as he be Confirmed, or be ready and defirous to be Confirmed.

The Rubrick before the Order of Publick Baptism of Infants, fays, It is expedient that Baptifm be miniftred in the vulgar tongue. And that is without doubt an indifpenfible Duty, if a Minister can be had that understands the vulgar tongue. Cor. 14. 15, 16.

It is no more than what the Holy Scripture does, to fay, It is expedient, of things of the greatest Neceffity. John 11, 50, &. it is prophefied of Chrift, That it is expedient for us that one man fhould die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And Ch. 16. 7, Chrift fays to his Difciples, It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Therefore the words in the aforefaid Rubrick, It is expedient, do not imply that is not Neceflary when it may be done; but that that is a Duty of great Benefit, if Rightly done. Our Church may very well fay, It is expedient, of the neceffary Duty whereby the Comforter is receiv'd; when Chrift fays the fame of the Neceffity of his going to heaven to fend him.

And by that Rubrick it appears how contrary to the Doctrine of our Church, is their opinion, who think Confirmation to be no more than the Solemn taking upon our felves the Vow, which our Godfathers and Godmothers made in our name :


When the Church teaches it to be the Duty of every one of thofe, who in their Baptifm have moft Solemnly Vow'd in their own name. And the words of the Church, both in the Rubricks, and in the Prayers, cannot fairly be thought to speak of it any otherwife, than as a neceffary Duty of great Benefit; altho' a fubtle wit may understand the words not fo ftrictly.

The fixtieth Canon does indeed fo defcribe this Duty, as that they who do not believe it Ordained of God, may agree to it as a good Inftitution of the Church. The words are, It hath been a folemn, ancient, and laudable Custom in the Church of God, continued from the Apostles time, that all Bishops should Lay their hands on children Baptized, and inftructed in the Catechifm of Chriftian Religion, Praying over them, and Bleffing them, which we commonly call Confirmation.

In these words, both they that believe Confirmation Ordain'd of God, and they that do not fo believe, may fully agree. For the Ordinances of God are in the Scripture call'd Customs: as Acts 6. 14, The customs which Mofes delivered us: Luke 2. 27, The custom of the law and v. 42, The custom of the feaft. And there is reason to believe that the Canon was fo worded, as that the Members of the Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland, out of which the King then came, might be inclin'd to agree in this Duty with the Church of England: as afterwards in the fame King's reign they did.

The fame Moderation is in the words of the Homily of Common Prayer and Sacraments. Thus the Homily fays, There are retained by the Order of the Church of England, certain Rites and Ceremonies about the Inftitution of Minifters in the Church, Matrimony, Confirmation of the Children, by examining them of their Knowledge in the Articles of the Faith, and joining thereto the Prayers of the Church for them; and likewife for the Vifitation of the fick. And then of Confirmation, and the Vifitation of the fick, it is faid, They are judged to be fuch Ordinances, as may make for the Instruction, Comfort, and Edification of Chrift's Church.

So our Church, in her chief writings, which certainly are the Liturgy, plainly teaches the Truth of God's Word concerning Confirmation; that her Genuine Sons may not want Satiffaction. And in other writings fhe fo expreffes the fame Truth, as that they who cannot fully agree to it, may keep in Unity with her; letting them know how fhe is willing to receive them. And this charitable Moderation of the Church fhould not make the Ordinance of God lefs efteem'd, but obtain a greater Regard to the Laws of the Church.


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Calvin's Confeffion concerning Confirmation.


VEN he, in his Comment on Heb. 6. 2, confeffes the laying on of hands there to be meant of Confirmation. For of the fame he has these words, Tranfacta vero infantia, poftquam inftituti erant in fide, fe quoque ad catechefm offerebant, quæ in illis Baptifmo erat pofterior. Sed aliud fymbolum tunc adhibebatur, nempe manuum impofitio. Hic unus locus abunde teftatur, hujus ceremonia originem fluxiffe ab Apoftolis: quæ tamen poflea in fuperftitionem verfa fuit, &c.

Quamobrem bodie retinenda pura inftitutio eft: fuperftitio autem corrigenda.

When they were paft their infancy, after they were instruct ed in the Faith, they offer'd themselves alfo to Catechizing, which in them was after Baptifm. But then another Sign was applied, namely, Laying on of hands. This one place abundantly teftifies, that the Beginning of this Ceremony came from the Apoftles which nevertheless afterwards was turn'd into superstition, &c.

Wherefore the pure Ordinance is now to be retain’d: but the fuperftition is to be corrected. Thus Calvin fays.

And in his Comment on Acts 8. 17, of the Laying on of bands there, he writes, Ceremoniam quæ Divinitus illis tradita. erat, a Ceremony which was given them of God. But he would have it to be only for thofe extraordinary Gifts which were then given to fome. And he would have that in Heb. 6, to be only for thofe that were Baptiz'd in their infancy, when they were inftructed in the Faith, and made profeffion of it; and only a folemn praying for them.

But it is to be remembred, that Sacrilegious taking from God's Ordinance is as bad as Superftitious adding to it: That what came from the Apoftles, as a part of the Foundation of the Doctrine of Chrift, was Ordain'd by Christ himself *; altho we cannot tell how or when he Ordain'd it: That neither the Holy Scripture, nor the Ancient Church (as is before fhew'd Part 1. ch. 1. Part 2. ch. 3 and 5) make any difference between

* 1 Cor. 14. 37. Gal. 1. 11, 12.



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