THE AVNCIENT Ecclesiasticall Practise OF CONFIRMATION.

Confirmed by Arguments drawne from Scripture, Reason, Councels, Fathers, and later Writers.

VVritten, Vpon occasion of the Confirmation of the Prince his Highnesse, performed on Munday in Easter-weeke, 1613. in the Chappell at White-hall, by the right Re­uerend Father in God, the Bishop of Bath and Wels, Deane of his Maiesties CHAPPELL. BY GEORGE HAKEVVILL, Doctor of Diuinitie, his Highnesse Chaplaine in ordinarie.

Published by Authoritie.

LONDON: Printed by THOMAS SNODHAM, for Mathew Lownes, and are to be solde at his Shop, at the Signe of the Bishops-head in Pauls Church-yard. 1613.


HAuing beene an Eare-witnesse of that full satisfaction, which vpon strict and long Examination, your High­nesse yeelded my Lords Grace of Canterburie, and my Lord of Bath and VVels, in the Grounds and Principles of Christian Religion, I was en­couraged to adde forme and life to these ensuing Obseruations, lately collected touching Confir­mation, that from thence your Highnesse might not onely be informed how iustly the Church of England, together with many other godly and vsefull Ceremonies, retayneth this laudable and [Page] auncient Custome, but farther be induced to the receiuing of it with the greater cheerefulnesse in your owne Person, assuring my selfe that your Highnesse Example will serue to draw on many Inferiours, eyther to take it more commonly and willingly themselues, or at the least, to esteeme it more reuerently in others. Now the God of Heauen, who hath planted that Grace in you, which to the great content and comfort of my Soule, I perceiue to encrease daily, confirme it in you, and you in it, to the glory of his Name, the good of his Church, and the Saluation of your owne Soule.

Your Highnesse Chaplaine, and Seruant, in all humble dutie to be commanded, George Hakewill.


Of the Nature, and diuers Vses, of Confirmation.

1 CONFIRMATION is an auncient Custome of the Church, vsed af­ter Baptisme: consisting in Examination, and Imposition of hands, with effectuall Prayer for the illumination of Gods most holy Spirit, to confirme and [Page 2] perfect that which the grace of the same Spirit, hath already begunne in Bap­tisme.

2 The benefits of this Confirmation are diuers: whereof the first is, that men expecting Examination, and tryall from their Spir [...]tuall Fathers, they might more willingly acquaint, and carefully season thems [...]lues with the grounds of Christian Religion, before Malice and corrupt Ex­a [...]ples depraued their mindes: as namely, with the Articles of our Creede, vvhich teach vs all wee are to beleeue: the Tenne Commandements, which teach vs all wee are to doe: the Lords Prayer, which teach­eth vs all wee are to aske, together with the nature and vse of the two great Sacra­ments of the Gospell, Baptisme alreadie re­ceiued, and the Eucharist to be receiued af­terwards.

3 Secondly, it serues that vvhen they come to yeeres of discretion, they should publiquely make confession of that Faith themselues, which others had promised for [Page 3] them in Baptisme, to the discharge of their Sureties, and the good example of others.

4 Thirdly, that by such Confession they might make profession of difference from all Iewes, Turkes, and Infidels, out of the Church; Heretikes, Schismati [...]es, and pro­phane persons in the Church.

5 Fourthly, that then specially, vvhen they first come to the vse of reason, begin­ning to fall into sundry kindes of sinne, and being least able to resist, for want of ex­perience, by Imposition of Hands and Prayer they might receiue strength and de­fence against the temptations of the World, the Flesh, and the Diuell.

6 Fiftly, that the Prelates and chiefe Guides of Gods Familie, to vvhom the Cure of their Soules belongeth, finding vpon Examination, some part of their owne heauie burden discharged; might from thence reape comfort in beholding those faire foundations already laid, and glorifie God, whose praise they sound in the mouthes of Infants.

[Page 4] 7 This kinde of Confirmation (vvere there no authoritie to countenance it) is in my iudgement so vsefull in the Church of God, that vpon good reason it might be entertained among Christians: but for far­ther confirmation of it vve are compassed with a cloud of VVitnesses, and that so plentifully, out of all Antiquitie, as it may seeme a kinde of ambition, or lost labour, to quote their Names; wherefore I vvill onely alledge the soundest of those, vvho since the Reformation of Religion, and clearer light of the Gospell, in their seue­rall VVritings, haue approued, and highly commended this auncient Custome.

8 I will beginne withCap. de Con­firm. Quare sa­tis est pro ritu quodam Ecclesi­astico seu Cere­monia sacramen­tali Confirmatio­nem habere. Martin Luther, who in his Booke of the Captiuitie of Ba­bylon, by which hee vnderstandeth the Captiuitie of the true Church vnder the Romish yoake, though hee allow not CONFIRMATION as a Sacrament, yet hee thinketh it passable as an Eccle­siasticall Ceremonie, or Sacramentall com­plement.

[Page 5] 9 Philip Cap. de Con­firm. In ritu Confir­mationis fiebat exploratio do­ctrinae, in quae singuli recitabāt summam doctri­nae & palā pro­fitebantur se improbare [...]uro­res Ethnicos & Haereticos & velle se esse & manere verae Ec­clesiae membra, & non discessu­r [...]s à vera sen­tentia quam tū profitebantur. Hic mos erat v­tilis ad e [...]udien­dos homines & retinendus in ve­ra agnitione dei. Melancthon, yoake-fellow to Luther, in his Confession of the Churches of Germanie, but specially of Saxonie, writ­ten in the yeere 1551. to be exhibited to the Councill of Trent, holds it to be very pro­fitable, for informing of men [...]n the prin­ciples of Christian Faith, and holding them in the true knowledge of God.

10Cap. de rel. Sacram. Confirmatio tum sumpsit exordi [...] ̄ quum vulgo caep [...]tum est infante [...] tingi. Zuinglius, in his Booke of true and false Religion, confesseth the vse of it to haue beene as auncient as the Custome of baptizing infants.

Lib. 2. pag. 72 Talis ritus Con­firmati [...]nis val­de multum vti­litatis ad aedifi­cation [...]m iuuen­tutis & totius Ecclesiae conferrat, esset etiam consentaneus & Scripturae, & priori Antiquitati. Et paulo post, Haec in Colloquio Ratisponensi, Anno 1541. proposita fuerunt. Chemnitius, in his examination of the Tridentine Councill, thinkes that the vn­profitable and superstitious Traditions, which as Rust haue crept vpon it, being skoured off, it may be religiously vsed, and be very auaileable to the instruction of youth, and the edification of the whole Church: and hauing set downe diuers good and godly vses of it, to proue them all from Scripture, the practise of the Apostles, and [Page 6] the Canons of Councils, as namely, that of Laodicea and Arles.

11Cap. 19. Para. 13. Vtinam vero m [...] ­rem retin remus quem apud vete­ [...]es fuisse admo [...] nui▪ priusquam abor [...] haec sa­cramenti larua nasceretur. Et paulo post, Haec disciplin [...] si ho­di [...] valeret, pro [...]fecto parentum quorundam ig­na [...]ia acueretur, qui liberorum in­stitutionem qua­si rem nihil [...] ad se pertinentem, securè negligunt, quam tum sine publico dedecore [...]mittere non pos­sent: maior esset in populo Christi­ano fidei consen­sus, nec tanta multorum insci­tia & ruditas, non adèo temerè quidem nouis & peregrinis dog­matibus ab [...]pe­rentur. Iohn Caluin in his fourth Booke of Institutions, in the vpshot of the Chapter of Confirmation, not onely commendeth the auncient vse of it, but the abuse being remoued, heartily wisheth it restored. And because his authoritie is (not without de­sert) of great waight, I will set downe his very words as I finde them: Would to God (saith hee) wee retained that Custome, which I haue already declared to haue beene in vse among the auncient—, before that abortiue vi­zard of a Sacrament was put vpon it. And a little after, If this part of Discipline, were now [...]adayes in force, the slacknesse of many Pa­rents would be much quickned, who passe ouer the institution (or instruction) of their Chil­dren, as a businesse nothing pertayning to them; which then without some publike disgrace, they could not omit: besides, there would be lesse ig­norance, and more concord in Articles of Faith among Christian people.

12 Peter Martyr, as appeareth in his [Page 7] Common Cl [...]s. 4. Cap. 7. Sect. 4. Nec d [...]splicet vt ea Confirmatio habeatur, qua pueri adul [...]iores [...]ogantur fidem suam in Ecclesia confiteri, & in externa prof [...]s­sione comprobare quod in Baptis­mo illis non sen­tientibus factū est, ita tamen ne ex eiusmodi acti­one fabricemur Sacramentum. places, is of opinion that Confir­mation, which inioyneth children to a pub­lique allowance, and profession, of that which without their consent or knowledge was done vnto them in Baptisme, is to very good purpose: to like effect speakethCap. de Con­firm. Non est nobis dubium qui [...] A­postoli initio con­firmati in die Pentecostes, c [...]n­tulerint imposi­tione manuum admirandum do­num spiritus san­cti credentibus in Christum, vt varijs linguis loguer [...]ntur: & se [...]timus vtilissimum, vt pueri & adolescentes [...]a Pastoribus Ecclesi [...]e suae in Catechismo ex [...]mmentur, & siquidem pi [...] & rectè fuerint eruditi, approbentur; sin [...]ra [...]è, emendentur. Bren­tius in his Confession of Wirtenberge, and Cap. 70. Quo [...] igi [...]ur in ista inquisitione comperieb [...]nt ita pro [...]ecisse, vt digni videren­tur qui reliquo coetu [...] adiu [...]gerentur, eos in fide confirmatos impositis man [...]bus, publicè sui [...] pre­cibus De [...] & Ecclesiae commendabant. Beza in his Antithesis, or Opposition betwixt Papisme and Christianisme.

13 Lastly, among our owne menIn vers. 2. Cap. 6. Heb. Imposition of hands vvith Prayer, vvhich vvas the olde and p [...]re Ceremonie of Confirmation vve doe not speake against. Doctor Fulke in his answere to the Rhemish An­notations alloweth Imposition of Hands, with Prayer, to haue beene the old and pure Ceremonie of Confirmation. And inEt 8. Act. vers. 14. The Primitiue Church had nothing in their Cat [...]chisme, or inst [...]u­ction, that vvas taught by vvord of mouth, but that vvhich vvas contain [...]d in the holy Scripture, as all the Articles of the Creed, the doctrine of Repentance before Baptisme, the manner and vse of Baptisme, Confirmation by imposition of hands, and such like. ano­ther place affirmeth that the Primitiue Church was taught it out of the VVord of [Page 8] God. And Doctor Raynolds in the second dayes Conference at Hampton-Court, how­beit he tooke some exceptions against a sup­posed difference betwixt the wordes of the Communion-Booke, and the 25. Article touching Confirmation, yet for ought I finde, hee findeth no fault with the Rite it selfe, as it is now enioyned in the Church of England.Page 794. Nay, Mr. Cartwright himselfe, in the first edition of his Admonition, confes­seth that the Confirmation of Children is very auncient, and that it hath beene well instituted.Page 197. Howbeit in another place, forget­ting himselfe, hee referres the originall of it to the fained Decretall Epistles of the Popes; vnderstanding thereby, as it seemes, eyther Melchiades Epistle to the Bishops of Spaine, or that of Fabianus to the Easterne Bishops, or that of Iohn the 3. to the Bishops of Germanie.

Touching Imposition of Hands in Confir­mation.

1 AMong those vvho allow the vse and end of Confir­mation, as we haue in the first Chapter vnfolded it, there are n [...]twithstan­ding some, who eyther out of Ignorance, or desire of Contradi­ction, or too much nicenesse, except against the Ceremonie of Imposition of hands vsed in it, as sauouring of Poperie: others, against the restrayning of it to the Administration of Bishops, as a relique of Antichrist. VVherefore, hauing cleared these two points, I see no difficultie but that the most tender in this case (were there no Ecclesi­asticall Iniunction to enforce it) might be [Page 10] induced to the entertayning and embracing of it, considering withall, that as vvee re­taine that which is due vnto it,See the 25. Ar­ticle, and Rogers vpon it. so haue wee abandoned from it that which latter ages haue thrust vpon it, as vndue. First then of Imposition of hands.

2 The Hand is a member proper vnto man alone, and is by Aristotle tearmed the Instrument of Instruments, because it both frames and directs them all: the vse of it being no lesse diuers then needfull as well in sacred and religious, as naturall and ciuill Actions.

3 But the most generall and notable vse of the Hands in sacred actions, is the Impo­sition of them, eyther for the blessing and consecrating of them, on vvhom they are laid, to God: or for the separating and or­dayning of them to roomes and offices of diuine calling: or for the curing of their diseases: or for reconciling of them to the Church, after sufficient demonstration made of their repentance: or lastly, for confirming of them in that grace vvhich [Page 11] they haue receiued in Baptisme, that as they beleeue remission of sinnes vnto Iustifica­tion, so they may be imboldened to make open profession of this beliefe vnto Salua­tion.

4 Now this vse of Imposition of hands in solemne and sacred actions seemes to be founded vpon Nature it selfe, since we find it to haue beene vsed in the Consecration of Liu. dec. 1. lib. 1. Numa, and that2 King. 5. 11. Naaman expected it from Elizeus, for the curing of his Leprosie.

5 Neyther was it peculiar to the Gentiles, but more vsuall among the Iewes. Thus when Israel blessed Ephraim and Manasses, Gen. 48. 14. Iosephs Sonnes, hee imposed vpon them his Hands and prayed. Thus God commanded Moses to dedicate Ioshua, Numb. 27. 18▪ as his Successor, by laying his hands on him. At the comming of our Sauiour their suites that came vnto him for helpe,Matth. 9. 18. were also tender [...]d in such formes of speech as shew that hee was him­selfe an obseruer of that Custome.Marc. 5. 23. And to steppe one degree neerer to our purpose, they brought vnto him little Children (saith the [Page 12] Text) that hee should put his Hands o [...] them and pray: Mat. 19. 13. and to manifest his Ap­probation of it, hee controuled his Disci­ples for rebuking them that came vnto him.

6 After the Ascention of our Lord and Sauiour, that which hee had begunne vvas practised by the Apostles, and hath beene since continued in the Christian Church, downe to this present time; nay, and in those very Churches from vvhich it is banished, it is againeHyperius in 6. ad Heb. Bulling. ibidem. Atq [...] vtinam haec postliminio ad nos redeat manuum imposi­tio, ritus sanctis­simus iuxta [...] & v [...]il [...]ss [...]mus. wished for, as an holy and pro­fitable Institution.

7 And sure for mine owne part, when I throughly consider that of the Apostle, in the 6. to the Hebrewes, of the funda­mentall Points of Christian Religion; namely, of Repentance from dead Workes; of Faith towards God; of the Doctrine of Bap­tismes, and laying on of Hands; of the Re­surrection from the dead, and eternall Iudge­ment; I cannot thinke of Confirmation, per­formed by Imposition of Hands, but as of a part of the Apostles Catechisme, since it [Page 13] is agreed vpon both byManuum im­position [...]m cum baptismo con­iungit, quia vt du [...] erant Cate­chumenorum or­dines, itaduplex erat Cer [...]monia: nam qui eran [...] extran [...]i non an­te perueniebant ad Baptismum, quam ed [...]ta [...]ide [...] professione in illis ergo Catechesis Baptismum precedere sole [...]at, at liberi fidelium quoniam ab vte­ro adoptati erant, & iure promissionis pertinebant ad Corpus Ecclesiae Infantes bap [...]izibantur: transacta verò infantia, postquam instituti erant in fide, se quo (que) ad Catechesin offerebant, quae in illis Baptismo erat posterior, sed aliud Symbolum [...]unc adhibebatur, nempe manuum im­positio. Hic vnus lo [...]us abundè testatur huius Ceremoniae originem fluxisse ab Apostolis, quae ta­men posteà in superstitionem versa fuit: vt mundus semp [...]r ferè ab optimis institutis ad corrup­telas degenerat: finxerunt enim eam Sacramentum, qu [...] opus regenerationis conferrebatur, qu [...] figmento Baptismum laceraru [...]t, nam quod erat eius proprium ad impositionem manuum transtu­lerunt. Sciamus ergo à primis authoribus institutum fuiss [...], vt esset solennis precandi ritus, quem­admodum etiam Augustinus nuncupat Fidei quidem prof [...]ssionem quam adolescentes pueritiam egressi edebant, voluerunt approbari hoc Symbol [...], sed ni [...]il minus cogitarunt, quam vim Bap­tismi decerpere, quamobrem hodie retinenda pura institutio est, Superstitio autem cor [...]igenda. Cal [...]inus in Comment. Caluin, Insuis ann [...]t. & Comm [...]nt. in hunc locum. andCapita Catechismi quae summa quidem totius Euangelicae doctrinae complectun [...]ur, sed pa [...]cis & summariè (vt loquuntur) rudibus tradebantur, professio videlicet Recipiscentiae & Fi [...] ­ [...] in Deum, cuius doctrinae articuli, vt vocant, ab extran [...]is quidem exigebantur statis Baptism [...] diebus à fidelium autem liberis in infantia Baptizatis, quum eis impon [...]bantur manus inter eos autem Articulos diserte numerantur duo, nempe, Carnis r [...]surrectio & Iudicium aeternum, B [...]za in annot. Beza, andVbi prima f [...]onte videntur [...]numerari, Cap. 6. verum si quis accurati [...]s p [...]pendet, videbit illa re [...]ocanda esse ad quat [...]or vel ad tria, ete [...]tert [...]um & quartum videlicet de Baptismate, & Impositione manuum non videntur hic proponi vt peculiaria doctrinae [...]ap [...]ta, sed int [...]poni [...]aeteris, declarandi causa, ad declarandum scilicet circumstantiam temporis quo rudiment [...]rij [...] fundamenta illa doctrine Christrianae solebant proponi, videlicet eo tempore quo ad Baptismum admit [...]ebantur, adulti item (que) eo qu [...] puer [...] in infantia bapt [...]zati, & in pueriti [...] inst [...]tuti, coram [...]cl [...]sia solebant per Impositionem manuum in fide Christiana confirmari▪ Pisc. in eundem lo [...]um. Piscator, that those foure poynts of Repentance, of Faith, of the Resurrection, and the last Iudgement, were proposed to such as were not baptised till they arriued to yeeres of discretion before their admittance to bap­tisme; but to Infants baptised, at the time of their Confirmation or Imposition of Hands, when they came to the vse of rea­son; [Page 14] Nay, this one passage (saith Caluin) doth sufficiently testifie that the source and head-spring of this Ceremonie flowed first from the Apostles, it being instituted by them as a solemne forme of Prayer, and an argument of approuing that confession which was made in Confirmation. So then (saith hee) let vs remoue the Superstition, but retaine the Institution: hauing shewed be­fore that this Superstition chiefly consisteth in making it a Sacrament, and with-draw­ing from the vertue and dignitie of Bap­tisme, to magnifie and enrich it. And lest he might seeme casually to let so much droppe from his penne, to like purpose is that in his Quo autem haec actio quae a­li [...]qui grauis sancta (que) merito esse debe [...]t, plus reuerentiae habe­ret ac dignitatis Ceremonia quo (que) adhibebatur manuum imposi­tionis. Et paulo post, talem ergo manuum imposi­ti [...]nem quae sim­pliciter loco be­nedictionis fiat laudo, & restitu­tum hodiè in pu­r [...] vsum velim. Booke of Institutions, where hee affirmeth that imposition of hands was vsed in Con­firmation, thereby to purchase more respect and reuerence to so holy and sacred an acti­on: and vvisheth it restored againe to its pure vse. It may seeme strange I suppose to some, that Caluin should thus speake but if any make a doubt of it, and thinke I doe him wrong, I desire his words may be sifted, [Page 15] and my reputation cleared from such asper­sions, which may be (I graunt) deseruedly cast vpon mee, through mis-vnderstanding, but neuer (I hope) of malice: yet the rather to winne credit and waight to that vvhich I haue deliuered of Caluin, I will cast into the same Scale, the opinion ofLib. 2 pag. 73. Ad quam preca­tionem sine Su­perstitione adhi­beri poss [...]t impo­sitio manuum. Kemnitius, as­suring vs that Imposition of Hands in Con­firmation may now-adayes be well vsed without superstition: and ofIn 4. ad Ephe. Si quae Ecclesiae contenderent ho [...] signum suisse A­postolorum tan­tum, has Eccle­sias damnare e­quidem non pos­sem, à sua tamen opi [...]one eas quo­ad liceret, reuo­carem. Bucer, affir­ming that if any Church held this Rite or Signe, as hee calleth it, to be peculiar to the Apostles times; I would not too hardly censure such a Church (saith he) yet would I endeauour to draw it from that conceit. And for making the number full, to these may be added the testimonie ofIn exegesi in 6. ad Heb ver. 2 Confirmationem intelligit, qua per manuum imposi­tionem confirma­bantur, qui fi­dei susceptae ca­ [...]ita Catechetica professi erant, eis (que) benediceba­tur, sicut hodiè quo (que) fieri in nostra Ecclesia con [...]ueuit. Hunnius, In vers. 2. Cap. 6. Heb. Porrò autom impositionem manuum post accuratiorē institutionē Ca­techismi & examinationem initio▪ cum publica ardenti (que) precatione adhibere solebant, vt ijs im­p [...]trarent gratiam Spiritus sancti, sicut Samaritanis, Act. 8. legitur. Credo etiam sic esse soli [...]os in Primitiua Ecclesia tyrones ex Catechumenis transferre inter maturiores auditores, vt iam eis esset fas communicare tanquam dijudicatis & probatis. Illyricus, In Praelect. in eundem locum. Impositio manuum, quae [...]etus fuit Ceremonia, per quam be­nedicebatur eis qui Deo consecrabantur, & temporibus Apostolorum non solum eis qui ad Mini­sterium voca [...]antur, verùm etiam qui didicerant, & professi erant doctrinam Catecheticam. Tossamus, In Praelect in 6 ad Heb. habitis in Academia Hyde [...] berg. Accessit tandem ecclesiastica manuum impositio, in eorum gratiam, qui cum infantes essent [...]aptizati fuerant, & posteà adulti edita fidei suae con [...]essione manibus impositis confirmabantur ab Ecclesiae Pastoribus. Grynaeus, vvho all [Page 16] ioyntly confesse this Ceremonie of Imposi­tion of hands to haue beene very auncient­ly vsed, not onely in Ordination of Mini­sters, but in Confirmation of such vvho in the Congregation publikely professed the doctrine of their Catechisme. And the first of them affirmeth it to haue beene in vse in his time in the C [...]urch of Wirtenberge, and such as depended on that.

8 Now I the rather presse these testimonies of later VVriters, because I know there are some, whose iudgements (not without rea­son) are much swayed with their Authori­tie: and for the generall Concurrence of antiquitie, I thinke among the learned there is little question.

9 The most auncient Councils of Eli­beris in Spaine,Can. 38. and Arles in France,Can. 8. deliuer as much vpon record, not onely commen­ding, but commanding the vse of this Cere­monie in their seuerall Acts.Cap. 8. And Tertullian in his Booke of the resurrection of the flesh, doth not so much aduise what should be done in this case, as witnesse what the Ca­tholike [Page 17] Church did in his time:Caro manu [...] impositione ad­umbratur, vt & anima Spirit [...] illuminetur. The Flesh (saith hee) is ouer-shadowed by the imposition of Hands, that the Soule may be enlightened with the Spirit of Grace: VVhich vvords of his, seeming to ascribe too much to im­position of Hands, giue mee leaue to interprete, as Caluin doth Leo Bishop of Rome, vnderstanding by the conferring of the holy Spirit, Inuocation by earnest and heartie Prayer, that it may be con­ferred where it is not, and the Gifts and effectuall Operation of it increased where it is alreadie.

10 Thus doth Lib. 15. de Trin. cap. 26. Nos autem acci­pere quidem [...] donum possumu [...] pro modulo no­s [...]o, effundere autem super ali­ [...]s non possumus, s [...]d vt hoc [...]iat Deum super eos à quo efficit [...], in [...]oca [...]. Saint Augustine himselfe (whom Caluin seldome leaues) expound the giuing of the holy Ghost, by Imposi­tion of Hands: Hee (saith hee, speaking of Christ) both receiued the holy Ghost, and dispen­sed it; receiued it as man, dispensed it as God, but we receiue it indeede but dispense i [...] not, how­beit wee call vpon him for the dispensing and pouring of it forth on those on whom wee lay our hands. And in another place, shewes what is meant by pouring out the Holy [Page 18] Ghost, since the ceasing of Miracles: For Lib. 3. de Bap. con. Don. ca. 16 Neque enim temporalibus & sensibilib [...] mi­ra [...]lis attestan­tibus per man [...]s impositionem mo­dò datur Spiri­tus sanctus sicut anteà dabatur ad com [...]endati­ [...]n [...]m rudis fidei, & Ecclesiae pri­mordia dilatan­da. Quis enim nunc hoc expe­ctat? vt ij qui­bus manus ad accipiendum spi­ritum sanctum imp [...]nit [...]r, r [...] ­pentè incipiant li [...]guis loqui, sed i [...]i [...]ibiliter & latenter in [...]elli­gitur per vincu­lum pacis eor [...] [...]ordibus diuin [...] [...]haritas inspi­rari. now-a dayes (saith hee) the holy Ghost is not giuen through Imposition of Hands, for the working of outward and sensible Miracles, as heretofore it was, that so the strangenesse of the Faith professed, might the sooner be en­tertayned; and the narrow bounds of the Church further enlarged: for who now expe­cteth, that they on whom hands are laid for the receiuing of the holy Ghost, should present­ly beginne to speake with strange tongues? but inuisibly the Loue of God is poured into their hearts by the secret working of the Holy Ghost. To vvhich accordeth that of Bulling. in Acta Apost, Cap. 8. vers. 14. Aliquoties ergo [...] Ceremonia est [...]dhibita, qua [...] [...]terno sign [...] significaret non homi [...]m sed manum, id est, virt [...]t [...] Dei huius qu [...]d [...] benefic [...] [...] esse. Bullinger on the 8. of the Acts, borrowed as it seemes, out of Amalarius: By the outward Ceremony of the Imposition of Hands, is meant, that the Holy Ghost is not giuen by any strength of ours, but by the hand, that is, the Power of God.

11 I vvill conclude this Chapter with the vvords of Mr. Hooker, I [...] di [...]inis offi [...]ijs. in his fift Booke [Page 19] of Ecclesiasticall Policie; with Prayers of Spirituall and personall Benediction, the manner hath beene in all ages to vse Im­position of Hands, as a Ceremonie be­tokening our restrayned▪ desires to the partie vvhom vvee present vnto GOD by Prayer.

Of the restrayning of Confirmation to the Order of Bishops.

1 THat there should be an Order consisting in di­stinct degrees, and a sub­ordination of Offices, as well in Ecclesiasticall; as Ciuill Gouernment, the common Practise of all Nations, Iewish, Heathenish, Christian, and the voyce of Nature and Reason, seeme to proclaime: that disparitie which ariseth betweene the Superiour and the Inferiour, being the chiefest meanes of lincking and vniting the seuerall parcels of the whole Societie, in a mutuall correspondence, and recipro­call proportion of Loue and Dutie. To this [Page 21] purpose, that Bishops were superiour to o­ther Ministers, all Antiquitie with one con­sent (if you except Aiërius, who for dis­senting in this poynt, vvas accounted an Heretique byHeres. 75. Epiphanius andHeres. 53. Augustine) doth acknowledge; distinguishing three de­grees of Ministers: Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, answerable to the High Priest, Priests, and Leuites among the Iewes.

Ignatius, who liued in the Apostles times, often mentioneth this distinction, as namely in his Epistle [...] the S [...]yrnians: Let the Lay-men (saith hee) be subiect to the Deacons, the Deacons to the Presbyters, the Presbyters to the Bishop, the Bishop to Christ. And Saint Hierome (notwithstanding by reason of his Controuersie with the Bishop of Ierusalem, hee were held an aduersarie to the state of Bishops) in his Epistle to E­uagrius, calleth it an Apostolicall Tradition, That wee may know (saith hee) that the Apo­stolicall Traditions are taken out of the olde Te­stament, looke what Aaron, and his Sonnes, and the Leuites, were in the Temple, the same [Page 22] let the Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons, chal­lenge in the Church. Now then as among the Iewes, Aarons Sonnes iustly challenged many prerogatiues aboue the Leuites, and againe Aaron himselfe aboue his Sonnes: so among Christians, doe the Presbyters aboue the Deacons, and the Bishops aboue the Presbyters; specially considering that as the distinction of Presbyters and Bishops was shadowed, vnder the Law, in Aaron and his Sonnes, so vnder the Gospell is it esta­blished, by referring their seuerall Succes­sion the one to the Apostles, the other to the 70. Disciples. For that Bishops succee­ded in the roome of the Apostles, besides many other testimonies, the Councill of Can. 13. Neocaesarea witnesseth. Irenaeus in his third Booke, and 3. Chapter. Ambrose in his Com­mentaries vpon the 4. Chapter to the E­phesians. Quid est pro patribus tuis na­ti sunt filij? Pa­tres missi sunt Apostoli, pro A­postolis filij [...]ati sunt, tibi cōstitu­ti sunt Episcopi. Augustine vpon those vvordes of the 45. Psalme, Instead of thy Fathers shall thy Children be. And lastly,Fuerunt ô Ec­clesia Apostoli patres tui, qui ip­si te genuerunt, nunc autem quia illi recesser [...]nt [...] mundo, habes pro his episcopos filios qui à te creati sunt, sunt enim & hi Patres tui quia ab ipsisre­ger [...]. S. Hierome vpon the same words: and againe in hisCap. 2. Ap [...]d nos Apo­stolo [...]um locum Episcopi tenent, apud eos Episco­pu [...] tertius est. Epistle to Marcella, touching the errours of Montanus.

[Page 23] But lest I be here mistaken, as also for the opening of a clearer passage to my present purpose, giue mee leaue to vn­folde my meaning in vvhat sence Byshops most properly are said to succeede the Apo­stles. For the better vnderstanding of which Position, vvee must obserue, that the A­postles transcendently comprehended in their persons the vvhole Hierarchie of the Church as now it is, and some-what aboue them all: for first they were members of the Church, as being Christians: secondly, they were Presbyters, as being to preach the Gospell and administer the Sacraments: thirdly, they vvere Bishops, for iurisdiction and imposition of Hands: fourthly, they vvere Apostles, for the large circuit of their Commission; for being called immediately by Christ himselfe; for being furnished with the infallible assurance of his truth, and visible assistance of his Spirit, [...]n spea­king diuers tongues, curing diseases, wor­king Miracles, knowing secrets; and lastly, not onely for receiuing the Holy Ghost [Page 24] themselues in miraculous manner and mea­sure, but also for imparting it to others. In this last regard, I meane for their Aposto­lique charge, they left none to succeede them: this calling being extraordinary, and to endure but for a time, but the other three were all ordinary, and consequently capa­ble of succession. In the first roome succee­ded them all that professe the Gospell: In the second, all the Ministers of the Gospell: In the third, the Bishops and Fathers of the Church: so that by vertue of this Succes­sion the power of the Keyes, and Imposi­tion of Hands, properly belongeth to them. Now that the Apostles alone imposed hands, not onely in Ordination, but in Confirmation, appeares out of the 8. of the Acts, where when Phillip had baptised the Samaritanes, it is said that the Apostles, Peter and Iohn, came downe from Ierusalem, to confirme them with Prayer and Imposition of hands. Vpon which place SaintHom. 18. Igitur h [...]c [...]rat in Apostolis sin­gulare, vnde & praecip [...]os & non [...]lios videmus [...] s [...]cere. Chryso­stome directly concludes the administrati­on of that Ceremonie to belong to Bishops. [Page 25] AndLib. 15. de Trin. cap. 26. N [...] (que) enim ali­quis discipulorū eius dedit Spiri­tum sanctum, o­rabant quippe vt veniret in eos quibus manum i [...]ponebant, non ipsi eum dabant, quem morem in suis praepositis eti­am nunc seruat Ecclesia. Augustine affirmes the Church in his time to haue obserued it, in suis praepositis, as hee speaketh, in her Gouernours: the like dothEpist. 73. ad Iubaiaum. Quod nunc quo­qu [...] apud nos ge­ritur, vt qui in ecclesia bapti­zantur, praep [...] ­sitis Ecclesiarum offerantur, & per nostram ora­tionem & ma­nus impositionem Spiritum sanctū consequantur. Saint Cyprian witnesse of his times: andIn vers. 2. Cap. 6. ad Heb. Impositionis ma­nuum,] per quā Spiritus sanctus accipi posse cre­ditur, quod post Baptismum ad Confirmationem vnitatis inecclesia Christi à Pontif [...]ibus fieri solet. Idem etiam Haymo ibidem. Saint Ambrose (being himselfe a Bi­shop) (as also the former three) giueth a reason for so doing, ad Confirmationem vni­tatis: I take his meaning to be, that the Bi­shops by approuing, in Confirmation, that which the inferiour Ministers had perfor­med in Baptisme, thereby established the peace of the Church, as well by declaring their vnitie among themselues, I meane of the Bishops with the inferiour Ministers, as also by exacting of such as vvere confir­med, an vniformitie or harmonie of Con­fessions: To this reason of Saint Ambrose, SaintNon quidem abnuo hanc esse Ecclesiarum consuetudinem, vt ad eos qui long [...] in minoribus [...]rbibus per Presbyteros & Diaconos baptizati sunt, Episcopus ad inuocationem sancti Spiritus & manus impositionem excurrat. Et paulò post, Ecclesiae salus in summi Sacerdotis dignitate pendet, cui si non exors quaedom & ab omnibus eminens d [...]tur potes [...]as, tot in ecclesijs efficientur schism [...]ta quot Sa [...]erdotes. Hierome, in his Dialogue against the Luciferians, addes another of no lesse mo­ment, vvhich is, that the safetie of the [Page 26] Church, depending vpon the authoritie of Bishops for the shunning of Schismes, it was requisite some eminent specialties of power should be reserued, and annexed to that place, as namely Imposition of hands, which hee there affirmeth was the custome of the Church, for the Bishop to performe passing by the Country Parishes, thereby blessing those vvhom the Presbyters and Deacons had baptized.

To these reasons of the holy Doctors and Fathers may be added the vvaight of Councels. The first Canon of the Councell of Aurenge in France: and the 20. of the first Councell held at Toledo in Spaine, to which theIn. 4. dist. 7. Schoole-men andIn 1. dist. 95. Canonists generally agree. Nay,Hic mos olim [...]uit vt Christia­norum liberi post­quā adoleuerant, coram Episcopo sisterentur. Et paulo post, Do­nec rite fidei my­sterijs instituti poterant fidei confessionem coram EPISCOPO & Populo edere. Caluin himselfe in his Institu­tions confesseth in expresse tearmes, that the Minister of it was aunciently a Bishop. AndBucer. in 4. ad Ephesios. Signum impositionis manuum etiam Episcopi s [...]li praebebant, & non abs (que) ratione, si [...]e enim sit foedus Domini baptizatis confirmandum, siue reconciliandi ij qui graui [...]s peccauerunt, siue Ecclesijs Ministri ordinandi, haec omnia ministeria maximè decent eos quibus Ecclesiarum cura demandata est. Bucer in his Commentaries vpon the Fourth to the Ephesians, Farther, thinkes it [Page 27] to haue beene grounded vpon good reason. And Doctor Raynolds in the second dayes Conference at Hampton-Court, being chal­lenged by the Lord Bishop of Winchester, where euer he had read that CONFIRMA­TION was aunciently vsed by any other then Bishops, by not encountring the chal­lenge, seemed to giue way vnto it.

I will close vp this Chapter also vvith those memorable wordes of Mr. Hooker in the place before alledged: To pray for others, is to blesse them for whom wee pray; because prayer procureth the blessing of God vpon them, especially the prayer of such as God eyther most respecteth for their pietie and zeale that way; or else regardeth for that their Place and Cal­ling bindeth them aboue others vnto this dutie, as it doth both na­turall and spirituall Fathers.

Indiuiduae Trinitati sit Gloria.

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