Confirmation Confirmed, AND RECOMMENDED FROM Scripture, Antiquity, and Reason. IN A SERMON PREACHED In the Cathedrall Church of St. MARY in SARUM, at a solemn Confirmation there Ad­ministred, by the Right Reverend Father in God HUMPHREY Lord Bishop of SARUM.

By JOHN PRIAULX D. D. one of the Canons Residentiary of that Church.

LONDON, Printed by I. R. for Iohn Courtney Bookseller in Salisbury, M.DC.LXII.

To the Right Reverend Father in God, HUMPHREY By Divine Providence Lord Bishop of SARUM.

Right Reverend Father in God,

IN obedience to your Lordships injunctions, this plain Sermon is surrendred to the Presse, which not long since was presented in the Pulpit, upon your Lord­ships Summons to that Service. The acceptance it then met with, and the hopes it might survive in the perswasions of the Auditory, were as much as I could wish for from it: I must deprecate (if it be a fault) my own backwardnesse that it should have gone farther.

Which backwardnesse arose not from any consciousnesse, that ought therein contained, was contrary to the form of sound words, or the judge­ment of the Primitive Church, or more particularly of our own, which ob consanguinitatem doctrinae, as Tertullian speaks, may stand as near to the esteem of the Primitive, as any other in Christendome. Indeed these were the Guides, by which I steer'd my course; and if any thing should be found here differing from them, dictum nolo, I disclaim, Idisown it before hand. Nor was it out of any unwillingnesse, to doe service to God and his Church in the present generation, how crooked and fro­ward [Page]soever it may be, through his mercy I am not afraid of their ter­rour. But it was onely out of a jealousie of my own conceptions, as too crude and weak either to bear, or bear up the Publick, or to be considerably usefull to it. Your Lordship hath been pleased to judge otherwise, whether for the encouragement of the Preacher, or for the seasonablenesse of the Discourse, though not for any great strength or beauty in it. And when I found you were resolved that way, I was not willing to be any farther guilty of what in my Sermon I had condemned in others. I began to think there was no prudence in Inferiours, like to that of obedience unto lawfull Commands, and to remember that Precept of S. Hierome to Ru­sticus, in refernce to his Superiour; Credas tibi salutare quicquid ille praeceperit, nec de majorum sententiâ judices, cujus officii est obedire, & implere quae jussa sunt, dicente Moyse Audi Israel, & tace; and therefore resolved cheerfully so to doe, and have now in pursuance of that resoluti­on, exposed this Discourse to the publick view, which I humbly desire your Lordship to Patronize, sith you were pleased first to command it.

The main substance of the Sermon is the same that was Preached be­fore you, onely with your Lordships leave, I have here and there inserted some enlargements, which were at first designed, but the straits of time allowed not room for their delivery.

And now if the publication of it, may any way prove serviceable to the advancement of Gods glory, or the satisfaction of dissenters, whom I have laboured rather to convince then exasperate; or may in the least contribute towards the Churches peace amongst us, I shall have reason to rejoyce in, and to blesse God for it.

Ʋnto the promoting of which holy ends, both by your self and others, as God hath given your Lordship a large heart, and a double portion of his Spirit, so that the Work of the Lord may prosper in your hands, and the fruit of it redound to your account, in all blessings, temporall, spiri­tuall, and eternall, shall be the daily Prayer of

My Lord,
Your Lordships most humble Servant. John Priaulx.

Confirmation Confirmed.

Acts viii. xvii.

Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

THe words, and the work of this day are I suppose not unequally yoaked: Confirmation is the businesse of both, whereof the Text holds forth the first recorded instance, and in the judgement of the Church of old, a full precedent for the practice of it.

An ordinance of late too long, and as those which (per­haps) were no friends to it at first, by sad experience after­wards have been driven to confesse, too unhappily with-held in unrighteousness, to the great detriment, and distraction of this Church, whose Piety and The not pra­ctising of this hath cast us in­to Confusions, & the practise of it must be it that must re­store our Church order, and heal most of our divisi­ons. Mr. Baxter of Confirmati­on, p. 224, Peace, were so much, and so nearly concerned in it.

Happy then are our eyes which see the joyful return of it again. We cannot but cry, Grace, Grace, to its re-esta­blishment.

May their feet be ever beautifull which bring such glad tidings, and their hands never wither, nor grow faint, which reach out so great a blessing to us.

And may the Crown still flourish with the Gratitude and [Page 2] Obedience, Love and Loyalty, of all his Subjects upon the head of the Lords Annointed, who like a second Constan­tine, [...], a Bishop without the Church, hath not thought it below his Princely care See His Ma­jesties Decla­ration. to present this Church, and Nation, with so promising an Olive branch of Peace, after that Deluge of Confusion under which we have layn, and to commend it to the strictest observance, and improve­ment of those which were intrusted with the Administrati­on of it. A Blessing for which not onely the present gene­ration, but the children yet unborn will be bound to rise up, and praise him. And then under so general (I hope) a cor­dial concurrence, such obligatory Precedents, and Induce­ments; give me leave for the retrival of this Ordinance, not onely into your practise, but your affections too, to pre­sent you this day with the first, and that an exact and Apo­stolick Patterne of it, as it will appear in the opening of the words, which are these. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Which words may be sorted into these severalls; first, the Action it self, laying on of hands the Ceremony of Confirma­tion. Secondly, the method or order of proceeding to this Action in the particle Then. Thirdly, the Agents, or Mi­nisters of this Action. They, viz. the Apostles in parti­cular, St. Peter and St. John. Fourthly, the objects on which this Ceremony was exercised, in the Pronoun Them, i.e. the Samaritans which believed and were baptized. Fiftly, the end of this Action, or the effect following on it; They received the Holy Ghost. These are the particulars, we begin,

1. With the Action, which is here set down as the Cere­mony of Confirmation, and that is laying on of hands.

Now this was the Concomitant or Appendix to another more principal, which was Prayer, which also had the same design with this Ceremony here, as you may read, v. 15. Indeed no blessing is bestowed at any time in, and by the Church without prayer, but in the giving of the Spirit it is more especially proper, the promise of it being made to [Page 3]this duty, Luc. 11.13. And then no Ceremony more sutable to signifie the purposes of Prayer, and of the Spirit in this Ordinance, and of the Ordinance it self, then this of Imposition of hands, which will best appear if we consider the Custome of the Jewes, from whom this Ceremony was derived, with their designs in the use of it.

1. Then, as Grotius in Matth. 19.13: Grotius tells us, manuum impositio apud Ju­daeos indicabat invocationem divinae potentiae, the laying on of hands, implied the invoking of the Divine power; for the hand being efficaciae symbolum, the Emblem of power and operation: Judaei orabant ut sic Dei efficacia esset super il­lum, sicut manus efficaciae symbolum ei imponebantur. The Jews prayed that efficacy of God might be upon the party prayed for, according as the hands which were the Embleme of it were laid on him, as the same Grot. Epist. 154. Grotius speaks, and so might fitly intimate the lively influence of the Spirit sought for in this Ordinance,

Which Imposition of hands, being also performed mani­bus expansis, with hands stretched out, it was a sign of the li­beral effusion of heavenly Grace upon the Person on whom they were laid, as Symbolum erat gratiae coelestis quae largissima manu à Deo con­ferebatur in pi­os. Pelarg. in Gen. 48, 14, 15. Pelargus notes, for,

Secondly, this Ceremony was made use of as an Ap­plicatory sign betokening the restrained desires of him that prayed to the party whom he presented to God in prayer, wherein as the lifting up of the hands signified from whom, and whence they expected the blessing; so the laying of them on, designed the person on whom they desired it should be be­stowed. Hence, as Calvin Calvin. observes, it was a solemn, usual Custome amongst the Jewes, that as often as they recom­mended a Person unto God, they laid hands on him, and accordingly to our present purpose we find the use of it.

First, in their Benedictions, thus Jacob blesseth Ephraim and Manasseh, laying his hands on them, Gen. 48.14. and that manus decussatas, as it were to Capitibus im­positis intermu­tatis manibus, & quidem ita trasversim obliquatis in se, ut Christum deformantes, jam tum portenderent benedictionem in Christum futuram. Tertull. de Baptism. c. 7. prefigure the Crosse of [Page 4]him who had delivered him out of all his troubles. And accordingly this custome was afterwards observed by his Po­sterity, who were wont to bring their children unto persons of renowned Sanctity, that by their prayers, with the lay­ing on of hands, they might be recommended unto Gods favour, as Grotius in Matth 19.13. Grotius shews on Matth. 19.13. and from hence Dr. Hammond of imposition of hands for Ordination, sect;. 12. some derive the use of this Ceremony in Confirmati­on, which was a kind of benediction by the Fathers of the Church bestowed on the Novices of it.

Secondly, Hence we find the same in their Consecrations, and Dedications of persons. So, to omit other places, Deut. 34.9. With which al­so it seemeth he received a grea­ter measure of the Spirit, Ainsw. in Num. 27.18. Deut. 34.9. and it might denote three things. 1. The Separati­on of the Person unto Gods use unto whom he was dedicated, and at this, as Calvin. Instit. lib. 4. Sect. 6. Vid Cameron. in Myrothec. in Heb. 2.6. Calvin seems to conceive, the practice of the Church in this Ceremony did aim. 2. It might note Gods seisure on the person to that purpose by the hands of his Mi­nisters, and so signifie Gods claim, and Acceptance of those which are offered to him in this Ordinance. 3. It was a kind of Investiture in those priviledges unto which by this Ceremony the person was admitted, and accordingly this Ordinance in the Church was used as a means of Transmis­sion unto the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, as De Ecclesia­stica Hierarchia cap. 2. Sect. 7. Dionysius Areopagita, or who ever is the Author of that ancient Book which goes under his name, witnesseth.

And then this Ceremony being of such ancient and gene­ral use among the Jews, and withall so aptly suted to the purposes of this Ordinance, Christ and his Apostles were wil­ling to bring down the laudable Ʋsances of the Synagogue, as in many See Dr. Ham­monds View of the Directory, Sect. 43 other things, so in this into the practises of Christianity, which is indeed but Judaismus reformatus, as learned Seldenus de Synedriis, lib. 1. c. 8. Item in praefat. ejusdem operis. Iudaismi (inquit) Veteris ut Parentis Di­vini Christia­nismus, maxime primitivus, le­gitima, ac pro­phetica proles, nec in paucis imitator, Selden speaks.

And accordingly we find it practised in the Christian Church. Not to look so farre back as to Christs impo­sition of hands on those Children which were pre­sented to him, Mark 16.10. where it is said, that he took the young Children up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them, and that (as [Page 5] Vt impositione manuum & precatione ad Deum pro illis bona reporta­rent, Deum pro illis precando gratiam, & do­na coelestia con­tulit, Cart­wright Harm. Cartwright speaks) that by imposition of hands, and prayer unto God for them they might obtain good things; and a­gain, by prayer to God for them, he conferred Grace and heavenly gifts upon them, a fair Praeludium to, if not Pat­tern for this Ordinance, but

To be sure we find it used by St. Peter and St. John in this place, by St. Paul, Acts 19. and afterwards we meet with it enrolled, Hebr. 6.2. amongst the Fundamentall Do­ctrines of Christianity, whether as a part of them as some conceive, or as a seasonable opportunity for, and decent Cere­mony at the teaching of them, as others; Impositionis mannum [...] E­piscoporum in Confirmatione Neophytorum Anselm in loc. recommended it is, together with Baptisme, unto the constant use of the Church; and that in so clear characters, that Calvin Calvin in lo­cum. Sic & Rivetus. Impositio ma­nuum cujus mentio fit, Heb. [...].2. Referenda [...] ad solennem baptizatorum benedictionem, quae à pastoribus solebat fieri, & postea Minister Christi nomine iis benedicebat, eos precibus publicis com­mendando ac in Christianismi vocatione con­firmando divinae gratiae imploratione manuumque impositione, Rivet. Catholic Orthodox. Tract. 3. Q. 9. Sect. 3. on the place was driven to confesse, hujus ceremoniae originem fluxisse ab Apostolis, that this Ceremony was derived from the Apostles, and so had the lesse reason in his Institutions to tax Calv. Instit. ilb. 4. c. 9. Sect. non inficior nonnihil hallucinari Hieronymum, &c. S. Hierome for calling it an Apostolical tradition, and then that will advance very near to a Divine Precept for the use of it; or if no such were to be found, yet as Si Scripturae autoritas non subesset; totius orbis in hanc partem consensus instar praecepti obtin [...]t. Hieron. contr. Lucifarian. S. Hierome contra Luciferianos speaks, if we had no Scri­pture Authority for it, the consent of the whole world this way ought to be obeyed as a Precept, or as Interim [...] exempla Apostolorum, & Veteris Ecclesia vellem pluris aestimari, imo deberent [...]bis esse instar legis divina, Zanch, in 4. Prçcept. Zanchy upon the like ceremony used in Ordination, tells us, the examples of the Apostles and the Ancient Church would be more esteem­ed then they are; Yea (saith he) they should be lookt on by us as a Divine Law. A good rule, would the times and the temper of men now bear it.

And then as to the use of the Church afterwards Cassander in Consult. Cas­sander may assure you semper in Ecclesiâ religiosissimè ob­servatam; that Confirmation was ever religiously observed in the Church, neither was this Ceremony questioned by [Page 6]any for almost fifteen hundred years, except onely the Theodoret. lib. 3. Haretic. sab. & ad Cantic. cap. 1. v. 2. Nova­tians, in favour to the irregularity of their Ʋpstart Bi­shop, as we may conceive, who yet if they returned to the Church, might not have Admission without it, as appears by the seventh Canon of the Councel of Laodicea Concil. & La­odic. c. 7.

And here I might give you in heaps of Councells and Fa­thers for the abetting of this practise, but I shall content my self to point at some few.

First then for Councels, you may take Vid. Concil. E­liber. Can. 38.77. Arelatens. 1 Can. 8. Are­latens. 2 Can. 17. Laodic. Can. 7.48. the Eliberitan, the two Councels at Arles, that of Laodicea, the first con­temporary to the first Councel of Nice, the two next within twenty six, and the fourth but sixty eight years after it. All which speak punctually to this businesse, as appears by their several Canons.

Secondly for Fathers, take three or four in lieu of the rest. So Tertullian tells us, that Tertull. de Resur. Carnis. Caro manus impositione adumbratur, ut anima Spiritu illuminetur, the flesh is o­vershadowed by the laying on of the hand, that the soul may be enlightned by the Spirit. And again, Tertull. de Baptismo. Manus imponitur per benedictionem advocans, & invitans Spiritum; the hand is laid on by way of benediction calling down, and in­viting the Spirit.

Adde to him S. Cyprian Cyprian Epi­stola ad Iubaja­num. in his Epistle ad Jubajanum, where having spoken of this passage of the Text, he tells us, quod nunc quoque apud nos geritur, that the same is still practized in the Church; and if you please to look on that place, you will find a full conformity in every particular to the pattern here. I might joyn to these S. Hierom Non quidem abnuo hanc esse Ecclesiarum consuetudinem, ut ad eos qoi longe in minori­bus urbibus per Presbyteros, & Diaconos bapti­zati sunt Episco­pus ad invocationem Sancti Spiritus manum impositurus excurrat Hieronym. contra Lu­cifer. and S. Augustine Augustin. lib. 3. de Baptism. contra Donatistas, c. 16., and indeed what not? and if afterwards the instances of the later times were needfull, I might also shew you the full consent of the Vide Apolog. Waldens. Waldenses, the Seminary of the reformation, and of their Partners Vide tibi cui titulus Ratio Disciplinae ordinesque Ecclesiastici in Vnitate fratrum Bohemorum. Vbi Forma Noviti [...]s recipien di Consule p. 46. edit. Comeni [...] vid. & notus Comen [...] in loc. the Fratres O­nitatis [Page 7]of Bohemia, but I need not multiply more Authori­ties in a matter of Fact which I find few doubting of, and therefore shall passe on from the Action in the next place to shew you,

2. The method of proceeding to it implyed in the particle Then. Then laid their hands, &c.

And the method you see in this Church was this, men were first brought to the Faith by the preaching of the word, and then were they Baptized, and then, and not till then the Apostles proceed to the confirmation of them by prayer, and laying on of hands.

It was fit the begetting word should go before the streng­thening word, the Sacrament of regeneration, before the [...] of Confirmation. To give this last before the other were ordinarily to set a seal to a blank, to desire strength where there was no life.

Take this for your rule, it is good not to proceed in Gods Ordinances by leaps, Pachymer. in Dionys. Areop. ad c. 2. [...] 3. Sect. 4. in Eccle­siastic. Hierarch. [...], not to leap disorderly upon those Ordinances and Stations for which we are not sitted, but to go from strength to strength in our appearances before God in Zion, Psal. 84.7. And then as Confirmation ought not to be Administred till Baptisme be presupposed, so regularly neither ought the Sacrament of the Lords Supper to be given to those which have not been first confirmed; as the former was the Practice here, so the latter is the Rubrick af­ter Confirma­tion. command of our Church, and was ever the practise of the Primitive. Hence the Auctor imper­fecti operis in Matth. Gra­tia corporis Christi illis solis danda est qui jam per baptis­mum facti sunt filii Dei, & per manus imposi­tionem, Homil. 17. Authour of the im­perfect work on Matthew going under S. Chrysostomes name, tells us, that the grace of Christs body is to be given to them only which are already become the Sons of God by Ba­ptisme, and Imposition of hands: and so Albaspinaeus Confirmatio namque extre­mam quasi ma­num perfectionis addere videba­tur, & fastigi­um imponere, qua quis Chri­stiani nomine, & Eucharistiae sumptione di­gnus putaretur. Albaspin. in Concil. Elibe­ren. cap. 7.vir antiquorum Ecclesiae rituum scientissimus, as Bishop Ʋsher justly stiles him, a most knowing man in the Ancient rites of the Church, averres, that Confirmation seemed to give the last stroke to, and to lay on the roof of that perfection by which a person was accounted worthy of the name of a Chri­stian, and the participation of the Eucharist. And so in [Page 8] Dionysius Ar [...]opagita, we find that after Confirmation the Bishop declared the party to be one meet for the receiving of the [...]. Dionys. Ae­rop. Eccles. Hierarch. c. 2. Sect. 7. Holy Communion, having (saith he) sealed or an­nealed the man with the Divine ointment, he declares him henceforth to be one that hath a right to the holy and most perfecting communion of the Lords Supper.

Nor let any repine at this suspence, you shall ever find that the Ordinances of God have most honour and efficacy in their proper order, and the souls of men thrive best in their proper places and ranks. Strong meat may be little better then poyson to him who is onely fit for milk. The wombe is the place of the Embryo, if you rip up that, that the child may be sooner at the breast, you give it air not to breath, but die in.

And as there ought to be care taken for the administring of Gods Ordinances in their due rank and order, so likewise that they be administred by that Rank and Order of men onely, which are impowr'd thereunto.

There have been indeed pretenders which desire to have an hand in this businesse, as still there will be in matters of Priviledge and Preheminency. But the first practise will be ever the best rule: the first Church the surest mistresse of the latter, whose example ought to be our guidance, as the Harm. Con­fess. Prima Ec­clesia posteriorū vera, & optima magistra, & praecundo ducit nos. Bo­hemians say in their Confession. Here then let's to our pat­tern again, and so for your direction take notice of the.

3. Particular observed in the words which intimates the Ministers of this Ordinance in the Pronoun They. Then laid They their hands. And who these were, the fourteenth verse will inform us, even S. Peter and S. John, two of the Apostles whom the Church sent down to Samaria to con­firm those new converts.

But what needed that message may some say? was not Phi­lip there already, who by the preaching of the world, and working many signes and wonders, had gained them to the Faith, and also Baptized them? and why might not he un­dertake this businesse also. It is true he was a Deacon, but not such as the later times have fancied the Steward onely of [Page 9]the Almes-box, but one that de jure might both preach and Baptize. Nay farther he was an Evangelist, and that in some mens apprehension (how groundlesse you may see by this instance) might be enough to entitle him to all the powers of the Church. You know how warmely, though as vainly it is urged in the case of Timothy, and Titus, and yet Philip the Deacon, Phillip the Preacher, Phillip the Baptist, Phillip the Evangelist might not, and therefore would not attempt the work for all this.

Will you know the reason? Chrysost. in Loc. S. Chrysostome upon the place will tell you, because he had neither [...], nor [...] neither the gift, nor Authority for it, this being as he after speakes [...] a speciall prerogative of the Apostles, and indeed we find it ever reserved to their hands in Scripture. As for that onely instance given to the contrary of Ananias a Disciples laying on of hands on S. Paul, and the promise that he should receive the Holy Ghost. Act. 9.17. Calv. Institut: lib. 4. cap. 19. Sect. 10. & Tractat. deve­ra Ecclesiae re­formanda ra­tione cap. 12. Quem Ananiae Episcopatum dabunt ne ali­enum arripuisse manus videa­tur. which is alledged by M. Calvin, and his Followers.

I conceive it may be fairly answered.

1. That Ananias his Laying on of hands was only in or­der to the cure of S. Pauls blindnesse as is intimated ver. 12.

2. That the promise of the Holy Ghost referred to S. Pauls Baptisme, which was to ensue, wherein questionlesse the holy Spirit was conferred: though in somewhat a different respect then he was in Confirmation.

3. And which may suffice to choak this objection, it is clear, the imposition of hands there spoken of was not a part of Confirmation, as appears by the story, for it went before S. Pauls Baptisme, so ver. 18. whereas Confirmation in the Practise of the Church then: (as indeed in reason it ought,) still succeeded after Baptisme for ought we read, it being also probable that S. Paul as well as the rest of the Apostles was Confirmed miraculously, and immediately from heaven; and then this instance will be no barre to what was formerly as­serted.

Yea, but will some say, supposing it belonged onely to the Apostles then, Their persons are gone, and their office ceased; [Page 10]and so ought this Rite too, Calvin. Instit. l. 4. cap 19. Sect. 10. or must be administred by Offi­cers of another Rank, Num Episcopi omnino sunt Apostoli? are Bishors indeed Apostles: [...] Calvins Question upon the Case.

Here then, Let me tell them that the Office of Apostles is not ceased, nor was so to do with their Persons, as appears by Christs promise Mat. Matth. 28.20. 28.20. I am with you alway unto the end of the world, Now this could not be meant of their Persons, who in a few years were to leave the world, it must needs therefore be understood of their Function, which either must be succeeded to, or else it was as temporary as their per­sons.

Indeed in the Apostles there was something extraordinary, as immediate Mission, unlimited Jurisdiction, and mira­culous Operations, which were not necessary to be perpetuall, Great helps 'tis true for the first founding of the Church, which being constituted, and become able to subsist without them, reasonable it was that they should cease as Manna did when Israel was come into the Land of Canaan.

But then the ordinary offices, and powers of Apostles as Preaching, Baptizing, Confirming, Consecrating, Ordaining, Governing, which were necessary for the continuance of a Church, at least the well being of it, in these they ought to be, and were succeeded, or else there offices must faile or be executed by persons not impowred to them. And then for Ʋnity's sake likewise fit it was, that some rank of men should be the Common Receptacles of all these powers, that so they might issue forth to others as far as the necessities of the Church should call for: with more order and Peace, and this sort of men were Bishops, called at first Apostles as [...]. Theodoret in Com. ad Ep. 1. ad Tim. Theo­doret observes, till afterwards in processe of time they left that name to the Prime Apostles, and took that of Bishops, as of a more humble import, and which formerly had been common even unto Presbyters.

But then those now called Bishops were in the judgement [Page 11]of the Church the proper Successours of the Apostles, so Irenaeus ad­vers. Haeres. lib. 3. c. 3. Irenaeus having told us before that Bishops were constituted by the Apostles in the Churches, he add's after quos & suc­cessores relinquebant suum ipsorum locum magisterii traden­tes, that they left them their successours, delivering to them their own place of rule, and guidance in the Church, and so Cyprian Ep. 69. ad Floren­tium Pupianū. S. Cyprian ad Florentium Pupianum asserts that the Praepo­siti (that is Bishops in his language) Apostolis vicaria ordi­natione succedunt, they succeed the Apostles, ordained as Vi­cars in there places, upon which words Pamelius Notes that it was the third time he had so said. And so Hieron. Ep. ad Marcellam adversus Mon­tanum. S. Hierome sure­ly no flatterer of that Order; in his Epistle ad Marcellam adversus Montanum sayes, apud nos Apostolorum locum Epi­scopi tenent, with us the Bishops hold the place of Apostles. And Hieronym. in Psal. ubi not numeramus 45 again upon Mal. 45. as we number it vers. 16. where we read in stead of thy Fathers shall be thy children S. Hie­rome paraphraseth it pro patribus Apostolis, filii, Episcopi, ut Episcopi Apostolis, tanquam filii Patribus succedant instead of Apostles as Fathers thou shalt have Bishops as sons who may succeed the Apostles as sons do their Fathers. I might adde the praegnant testimony of Clarus à Ma­scula dixit Ma­nifesta est sen­tentia Domini nostri Iesu Christi Aposto­los mittentis, & ipsis solis potestatem à patre sibi datā permittentis, quibus nos successimus, eâdem pote­state Ecclesi­am Domini gubernantes, Aug. lib. 7. de Baptism. con­tra Donatistas c. 43. Clarus à Mascula recited by S. Augustine, lib. Sept. de Baptismo contra Donatistas, and tell you farther how Basil the Great calls, Episcopacy [...], and [...] the praefecture, or prae­cedency which the Apostles had from God, and these are fair witnesses, in whose judgement you see there are Apostles still, and who they are which by the Verdict of the Church may claime that title, and so Calving num Episcopi sunt omnino Apostoli? is answered.

But he hath another Calvin. In­stit. lib. 4. c. 19. Sect. 10. An soli sint Apostoli? if they be such, are they the onely such? may these, and these onely lay on hands, that will not go down neither.

To this I answer first in General that as to a full Aposto­lick power in the sense before mentioned, and the primary derivation of it, they and they onely are such, 2ly. as to this ordinance in particular, as we find no other Stewards of it in Scripture besides the Apostles as we have shewed, so [Page 12]if we look upon the after practices of the Church, Cyprian Ep. ad jubaianum. S. Cy­prian relating to the passage in the Text tells us, quod nunc quoque apud nos geritur, we have the same custome, ut qui in Ecclesia Baptizantur Praepositis Ecclesiae offerantur; that those which are Baptized be presented to the Bishops of the Church, that by our prayer, and the laying on of hands they may obtain the holy Ghost, as he goes on in his Epistle ad Jubajanum forementioned, and so Augustin. de Trin. lib. 15. c. 26. S. Augustine lib. 15. de Trinitate Quem morem in suis praepositis etiam nunc ser­vat Ecclesia, which custome the Church observes by her Bi­shops at this time. And from hence doth Chrys. in loc. S. Chrysostome draw the same practice, in his Comment on the Text [...] saith he, [...] hence we see the principall, and chief of the Church, and no other performing this work. I shall close up this with that say­ing of Hieronymus contra Lucife­rianos. S. Hierome, quod si hoc loco quaeris quare in Eccle­sia baptizatus nisi per manus Episcopi non accipiat spiritum Sanctum, quem nos asserimus in vero Baptismate tribui. If thou shalt aske why in the Church the Baptized receiveth not the holy Ghost, but by the hands of the Bishop; though we averre the same spirit is received in Baptisme rightly admi­nistred: to this he answers, Disce hanc observationem ex eâ Authoritate descendere, quod post ascensum Domini Spiri­tus Sanctus ad Apostolos descendit. Know (saith he) that this practice takes its rise from that Authority, where it is said, that after the Ascension of our Lord, the holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, implying the Bishops to be their Successours, and that to them and not others it belongs to derive this gift in confirmation; and in this channel both Fa­thers, and Councels generally run, no laying on of the hands of the Presbytery in this businesse, at least not in any pro­per right of their own.

As for those 2. instances commonly brought to the contra­ry, first of the Presbyters in Egypt which Hilarius Sardus relates, for he is the Authour, and not S. Ambrose, and that of no great credit neither if S. Hierome may be believed: se­condly of those Priests in Sardinia in Gregory the great's [Page 13]time, which Calvin also presseth, for brevity's sake I shall not acquaint you with my own conceptions, but refer you ra­ther to what hath been lately spoken by that Blessed man Dr. Ham­mond [...] in opere posthumo de Confirmatione. Dr. Hammond in his Posthumous piece upon confirmation, as also by that very learned Prelate, whose name in this place for modesty I spare, in his Elegant, and Accurate Epistle Epistola pre­liminari ad lectorem. before the said work, from whom you may receive abundant satisfaction; and what would the Vintage of Abie­zer be unto the Gleanings of Ephraim? By what hath been spoken you see the judgement of the Church in this Question, and so an answer to Calvin's other, An soli Episcopi sunt Apostoli.

And indeed great reason there was for this reserve to this Function.

First, For the honour of Episcopacy, and thereby the Uni­ty of the Church ad honorem Sacerdotii that's S. Hierome's reason contra Luciferianos, for the honour of this sacred Fun­ction, Why? of what import is that? Let him tell you, as mean as some think of it. Ecclesiae salus (saith he) in summi sacerdotis dignitate pendet. The safety of the Church de­pendeth upon the dignity of her chief superiours, to whom (as he addeth) Hierom con­tra Luciferian. cui si non exors quaedam & ab omnibus Emi­nens detur po­testas, tot in Ecclesiis effi­cientur Schis­mata, quot Sa­cerdotes. if some eminent offices of power above others were not given, there would be in the Church as many Schis­mes as Priests: I wish our late times had not made too suffi­cient a comment on those last words, and of this by the way it is, that Venerable Vid eruditis­simum Ham­mondum de Confirmatione p. 53.Bede speaks, when he tells us that this was not granted to every Priest propter arrogantiam, not out of the pride of Bishops as some falsly glosse him, but to pre­vent the Ambition of Priests, who would be apt to grow in­solent if they had all offices in common with their supe­riours.

Second reason was from their relation to the Church as they were the Primary, if not onely proper Pastours of those Churches unto which they related, as we find them every where stiled with a kind of appropriation among the An­cients, and it is observed that simply, Pastores, or Pastores Ec­clesiae, none are called besides them selves for the first six hun­dred [Page 12] [...] [Page 13] [...] [Page 14]years. To them the Regiment of the whole Church was committed at first, the Presbyters being but their Assistants in Cities, and Villages, admitted in partem solicitudinis into a part of their care, first casually, and cursorily, and then by station, and fixed residency, when Parishes were divided and indowed. Hieren. con­tra Luciferia­nos. Inde venit (saith S. Hierome) ut sine Chrismate, & Episcopi Iussione, neque Presbyter, neque Diaconus jus habeat Baptizandi, hence neither the Presbyter, nor Deacon hath right to Baptize without Chrisme, and the command of the Bishop. Onely the multitude, and instant necessities of Baptisme encreasing, and so a power being granted to Pres­byters, and Deacons as occasion served to dispense it, rea­sonable it was that those which passed not through the Bi­shops hands in that Ordinance, he should take recognition of them as of the rest in this of Confirmation, as being a part of his Flock and cure.

Thirdly, It being the Priests office to blesse the people, and that also being an Act of Authority, Heb. 7.7. as we see Hebr. 7.7. in common congruity none so proper for this action, none from whose performance ex officio the successe might be so readily expected as he that was the Summus Sacerdos, the chief, if not the onely Pastour of the Diocesse.

And thus you see the hands which are to manage this work, in which I have stuck the longer, because perhaps the main controversy about Confirmation at this time sticks there too, I come on next in the.

Fourth place to the objects on whom these hands were layed, and those were the Samaritans, the believing, baptized Sa­maritans.

1. They were Samaritans, and those were at first a mon­grell generation of Idolators, as you may see 2. Kings 17. Afterwards from San Ballat's time a set of Shismaticks, who had erected Altare contra Altare, an altar in Mount Gerizim in opposition to the Altar at Jerusalem, an altar built as Benjamin in his Itinerary relates, R. Benjamin in Itinerario. of those stones which the Israelites had set up after their passage through Jordan, an Altar in some kind Sacrilegious as well as [Page 15] Schismatical, and then hateful they were to the Jews even to a Sic Iesum vo­cant Samarita­num propter Consuetudinem ejus cum Sa­maritanis, & ex eo quod di­scipuli ejus cum Samari­tanis commer­cia habuerant, convitium il­lud Iudaeorum ei impactum est Samarita­num illum fuisse, 1. Iu­daeum Apo­statam & sane gentem Sama­riticam utpote quae Cuthaeo­rum, & Iudae­orum colluvies, habebant sibi prae aliis invi­sissimam, & veluti Genti­les. Atque ut alias fieri solet quo angustius post defectio­nem interstiti­um, eo gravius utrin (que) odium. Selden de jure naturali & Gentium se­cundum Hebr. l. 2. c. 5. p. 182. vid eund. p. 144. Proverb as you see John 8.48.

Howbeit the Pentateuch they embraced, and so were in Confinio Lucis, nearest to the Jews in their religion, and it was good to be borderers upon that. As their seat was between mount Sic Benjamin in Itineratio. Gerizim, and mount Ebal, so was their condition neer to cursing, but neer to blessing too, and now the blessings of mount Gerizim prevailed, they were the second Stage in Christs gesses for the Gospels progresse, as you may see Acts 1.8. Acts 1.8. The time was come wherein Aholah should become Aholibah, they which had separated themselves from the li­ving God, and set up a tabernacle of their own, should be­come the tabernacle of the Lord that I may allude to their Predecessours Ezek. 23.4. Ezek. 23.4.

We should not despair of the worst of schismaticks, God can graft them in when the naturall branches fall off. Jeru­salem you see rejects the Gospel, which Samaria will en­tertain, and accordingly they did, for they believed, and were baptized ver. 12. of this chap.

1. They were believers, what really such? no question many were, but some might not be so, as appears by Simon Magus in this chapter, nor had the Apostles a power to discern the hearts of men, whereby to know whether they were such, or no, Simon Magus else in probability had not crept into Baptisme.

It was then by their profession of it that they judged them such, and from thence we may take this direction.

That none ought to be admitted unto Confirmation which have not first made a profession of their faith, and purpose of holy living.

For as a personal faith is the condition before God of title to the priviledges of Adult members of the Church, so the profession of this faith is the formall, proximate condition of their title before the Church, withoutwhich profession they ought not to be admitted to such priviledges. The Church cannot otherwise know that they own the Covenant made in Baptisme between God, and them, which also is the remote [Page 16]Foundation of after priviledges. Hence the Chrisme in Pseu­do-Clemens is by a Metonymie stiled [...], the establishing of their confession, or profession.

If you desire to know what kind of profession is hereunto required, I conceive with others, that it ought first for the matter of it to be a profession of true Christianity, 2 for the quality of it, His Majesties Declaration. it ought to be (as his Majesty speaks) a Credible profession, that is such as seems to be understanding, serious, voluntary, and not made void by any contradiction in word, or deed; I mean such a contradiction as shews that we lye, or speak against the testimony of our own hearts.

This ought to precede Baptisme in those that are of age, and Confirmation in those that have received that Sacrament in their Infancy, of the first of these the Ancient Church was very carefull, and that both the Jewish, and the Primitive Christian.

First the Jewish, for amongst them, Baptisme in the Admis­sion, of those which were stiled Proselyti, Justitiae, Proselytes of Justice was constantly in use, and that lookt upon as a means of regeneration, and the Person so Proselyted [...] as an Infant New born, Vide haec eum sequentibus a­pud Selden. De Synedriis l. 1. c. 3. & de jure naturali, & gentium secun­dum Hebraeos l. 2. c. 2. &c. 3. as the Talmudists speak in Gemarah Babylon, ad tit. Jabimoth, and was said to be received [...] under the wings of the Divine Ma­jesty.

Now in order to their Admission unto Baptisme in those that were adult, they were wont to advise them several times of the weightinesse of the businesse they went about, of the holinesse of that people to whom they desired to be joyned, of the rewards promised to the just, and the punishments threatned to evil doers, and of an after life when this was finished; as also of the difficulty of observing the Mosaick precepts, diligently enquiring into the purpose of the person; whether he desired to enter this estate [...] out of love to their religion, and with a sincere heart; after this fol­lowed the parties profession of the whole Jewish religion, and of his assent to it in every part, and this was done before the [...], or the Triumviri which were to take that profession, [Page]which if they judged sincere, the Party was admitted by Circumcision, Baptisme, and Sacrifice, at least by the two latter, into the rank and priviledges of an Israelite. If any had slipt in without this examination, or there were grounds to presume that he had but dissembled in it, though the Rites of his Initiation were not repeated, no more then Baptisme among Christians, Seldenus ubi supra. yet was he not publickly admitted, till by the sentence of the Sanhedrim it appeared, that freely, and out of love he had given up himself to their Religion, & that willingly he embraced it. Thus you see the care of the Synagogue in this particular, which was after Copied out.

Second By the Christian Church. If we look upon the Scripture, to omit other places of a like import, take but that of S. Peter, 1 Pet. 3.21. where Baptisme is called, The answer of a good conscience towards God: the word [...] signifying as all Learned men doe agree, metonymically, or by Synecdoche, the answer, or rather the [...]. Na­zianz. Orat. in Sanctum Baptisma. Grot. Annot. Stipulation con­sisting of the Interrogatories of Baptisme, and the answer returned by him that is Baptized, undertaking to believe, and live like a Christian, as Grotius fully shews in his An­notations.

And then answerable unto these Patterns was the practice of the Primitive Church afterwards, as appears by their care about the Catechumeni. These had a Qui Doctor Audientium dicitur, Cypr. Epist. 24. Catechist allowed them, for their instruction, besides the assistance of that Vid. Dionys. Areopag. Ec­clesiastiae Hie­rarchiae cap. 2. Sect. 2. & cap. 7, 8, 11. Christian friend which was to bring them to the Bishop. Neither came they to Baptisme nisi de rebus Fidei plane in­structi, till they were instructed in all matters of Faith, the mysteries of the Lords Supper onely excepted; nor were they Baptized nisi postquam ea omnia se credere jurassent, till they had sworn their belief of them, saith Albaspinae us Vide Alba­spinaeum in Tertull. de Pae­nitentia fol. 289.: and as to their purpose of living, they solemnly swore to for­sake sin, so the same Authour. After this followed their [...], their solemn abrenuntiations of the Devil, and his Pomps, which were Dionys. A­reop. de Eccle­siastica Hie­rarchiae cap. 2. Sect. 6, 7. thrice pronounced with their Faces to­wards the West; and then their no lesse solemn professions of their Faith, thrice made towards the East, which professions [Page 18]were entred into a Dionys. A­reop. de Eccle­siastic. Hie­rarch. cap. Sect. 5. Register, and Subscribed. Unto which were added in divers Churches, severall Scrutinies; and so in the fourth Concil. Car­thag. 4. Can. 85. Councill of Carthage, Can. 85. we read of a crebra Examinatio, an often Examination, which was to go before Baptisme, which Scrutinies were about Albinus de divinis offic. Cap. de Sab­bato Sancto Paschae, their Faith, and Manners, and purpose of holy living; and these held publickly in Conspectu totius Ecclesiae, in the sight of the whole Church, as appears by S. Augustine, lib. 2. de Symbol. ad Catechumenos. In brief, Fidem Christianam, Christianumque vivendi genus, & mores sese amplexos, per­sequuturosque jurabant antequam baptizarentur; so Albaspinaeus ubi supra. Vide & Iu­stin. Martyr in Apologia ad Antoninum sub fine. Alba­spinaeus. They sware that they embraced and would stick to the Christian Faith, would live and behave themselves as Christians; and all this before they were baptized. So great [...] care was taken by the Church then, for the securing that profession we plead for, in those which were of age. But now our case being usually such, that our Children are Baptized when they are Infants, it hath been the wisdome of our Church to provide, 1. Order of Confirmati­on. That their Confirmation be deferred till they come to years of discretion; and 2. That then ha­ving learned what was promised in their behalf by their Sureties, they may with their own mouth, and their own consent before the Church, ratifie, and confirm the same; and also promise, that by the Grace of God, they will ever­more endeavour themselves faithfully to observe, and keep such things, as they by their own mouth and confession have assented to. And this is as much (if duely performed) as any in reason can demand for a Church-assurance, that men may be look't upon as Believers. But that was not the onely qua­lification of these Samaritanes, they were

2. Baptized, and what ever Wickliffe in Vide Bellar. de confirmati­one cap. 12. Bellarmine is said to have affirmed, rigtly too, by S. Philip, Legitimum, & Ecclesiasticum Baptismum consequuti fuerunt, saith S. Cyprian. Iubaianum. Cyprian, they had received lawfull Church-baptisme: and yet the Apostles which best understood the Orders, and wants of the Church, lay hands on them: quod deerat a Pe­tro, & Johanne factum est, saith the same Father, what was [Page 19]wanting was supplyed by Peter and John: wanting? to what? not to their Baptisme sure, that was granted before, but to the Baptized, being capable of this Ordinance, some­thing was.

And if any shall ask the Question we meet with in Euseb. E­missenus, sive Eucherius Lugdunens. Homil. in Pentecost. Eu­sebius, Emissenus, or Eucherius Lugdunensis, as some will have it, in his Homily upon Pentecost, Quid mihi pro­dest post mysterium Baptismatis, ministerium Confir­mantis, what profit shall I receive by the ministry of Con­firmation, having received the mystery of Baptisme? St. Cyprian will tell him: the id quod deerat, what was wanting to these, namely ut oratione pro iis habitâ & manu imposita, &c. That by prayer made for them, and laying on of hands upon them, the Apostles might invoke, and poure on them the Holy Ghost: and from thence we may gather,

That Baptized persons may have yet further need of Con­firmation, for the ministry of the Holy Ghost unto them.

In the former verse we read, that the Holy Ghost had not fallen on any of them; there was need of a further Ordinance for that, which being performed, we presently find in the Text, that they received him; which brings me to the

Fift and last Particular, the Effect or Consequent, of this laying on of the Apostles hands, in those words, And they received the Holy Ghost.

True say some, we believe and acknowledge, that the Ce­remony was then very allowable, while the Holy Ghost was to be communicated, as here to these Samaritans, which was in a miraculous manner; to enable them to speak with Tongues, to Prophesie, and the like; but alas, the gift is lost, and so the Ceremony may be well left too; to this purpose Mr. Calvin. In­stit. l. 4. c. 19. Sect. 6, 7. Calvin, Institut. lib. 4. cap. 19. Sect. 6. in which Section, and that which follows, he inveighs against the Ce­remony, and the Administratours of it, to say no worse, with more intemperance then became the wisedome of so Learned a person, in so grave a matter.

For answer whereunto, we grant that it is true, that in [Page 20]those times miraculous gifts did commonly follow the laying on of the Apostles hands, but that was not all that was thereby designed, nor all that was meant by the Holy Ghost, nor perhaps was common to all that are said to receive him, and in those that were partakers of them: those gifts were commonly but the splendor and efflorescencies, or as Letters testimoniall of better to be sure, of greater value and benefit to the Receiver, though they carried lesse pomp and shew in the worlds eye.

There were more purposes of the effusion of the Spirit then one; and he that receives him to any of those purposes, especially the chief, though not in some Accidental, transi­tory particular, may be as truly said to receive him as another which hath that also. Indeed as St. Augustin. Tract. 6. in Epistol. Iohan. Augustine speaks, those were signa tempori opportuna, signes very usefull for those times: August lib. 3. de baptismo contra Donati­stas c. 16. neque temporalibus, & sensibilibus miraculis atte­stantibus per manus impositionem modo datur Spiritus San­ctus, sicut antea dabatur ad commendationem rudis fidei; & Ecclesiae primordia dilatanda, the Holy Spirit now given by imposition of hands, is not accompanied with temporall and sensible miracles as then he was; for the first establish­ing of the Faith, and the enlargement of the Church at its beginning: sed invisibiliter, & latenter intelligitur, but yet secretly, and invisibly, Charity through the bond of peace (as he speaks) is still inspired into mens hearts, so as they may say, that the love of God is spread abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given us: thus that holy Father.

Indeed as the Apostle speaks, There are diversity of gifts, gratiae gratis datae, gifts for edification; and gratiae gra­tum facientes, graces for sanctification, but the same Spirit that worketh both, 1 Corin. 12.11. And these last were mainly had respect to in this donation, as will appear if we consider, first the promise of Christ concerning the gift it self; secondly the Characters of the Receivers of it.

1. John 7.38, 39. The promise of Christ, you have it John 7. where in the 38, verse he speaks of some eminent, but inward graci­ous [Page 21]effects to be wrought upon, and in the hearts of Belie­vers, for that is meant by these words, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters, i. e. He shall have such an a­bundance of grace, that it shall break forth into all manner of Christian actions, and then ver. 39. the Evangelist tells us, that This he spake of the Spirit, which they that believe in him should receive, for as yet the Holy Ghost was not, (i. e. among them, or in them, in so powerfull a manner) because Jesus was not yet glorified. Where you see, that inward grace was the main of Christs promise, and that also to be fulfilled upon the descent of the Spirit. See S. Peter to the same purpose, Acts 2.38. Act. 2.38. where he wisheth his Hearers to repent and believe, telling them they should receive the Holy Ghost; he gives the reason in the next verse, for (saith he) the promese is to you and your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord your God shall call: which words imply, that the gift was to be permanent in the Church, the promise being, that the Holy Ghost should be given to all which at any time should be converted: this could not possibly be true, if meant onely of miraculous gifts, which, it's plain, soon after ceased.

2. The Characters of those which received the Holy Ghost seeme to speak no lesse, so Acts 4.31. Act. 4.31. The Chara­cter of those that were filled with the Holy Ghost is, that they speak the word with boldnesse, that is, courage, and Christian resolution i and so Acts 6.3. Wisedome; Act. 6.3, 5. and v. 5. Faith is made the Character of such a one as had received the Holy Ghost; and so Acts 11.24. Act. 11.24. it is said of Barna­bas, that he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and Faith, and then Christian courage, Wisedome, Faith, and the like, abide still I hope: and if the Spirit be given in these, the main gift is not yet ceased. Hence S. Augustin. Tract. 6. in Epistol. Ioh. Augustine ve­ry smartly asks the question, ita perverso corde aliquis ve­strum, Is any of you of so perverse an heart, as to deny that these (speaking of some on whom he had newly laid hands) have received the Holy Ghost, because they have not the gift of speaking with Tongues: and afterwards he addes, Si vis [Page 22]nosse quia accepisti Spiritum sanctum, If thou wilt certainly know whether thou hast received the Holy Ghost, Interroga cor tuum, ask thy heart; that will tell thee, unlesse perhaps thou hast received Confirmation, and not the virtue of it: if thou find the love of the Brethren there, thou mayest be sure thou hast received the Holy Ghost: thus S. Augustine.

So that by the Holy Ghost, not onely the gift of mira­cles, but the internall graces of the Spirit are to be under­stood, which being really the greater, and chiefly intend­ed in the gift of the Holy Ghost: if these still continue in the Church, so may the means of their conveyance too, though miracles be ceased.

We know that Preaching at the first was attended with miraculous events, and so was Excommunication, which had not onely influence upon the soul, or the Church-state of a man, but an habeas corpus, for the body too, and so Faith was the great engine to work miracles in those times, and we think these ought not to have vanished out of the Church with the miracles which sometimes accompanied them.

Yea, but may some further say with him in Euseb. Emis­senus Homil. in Pentecost. Euseb [...]us E­missenus, If this be so, that Baptized persons have yet need that the Spirit be given to them, quantum video non totum de fonte suscepimus, si post fontem adjectione novi generis indigemus, it seems we have not received all we ought at the Font, if afterwards wee need a supply of another kind; will not this derogate from the honour and perfection of Ba­ptism? is not the Holy Ghost then received? shall wee em­pty the Font to fill the hands of the Bishop?

I answer no, we doe not; Baptisme we allow as perfect in its kind, and as to the present condition of the Receiver, and if he die presently, regeneratio per se salvat, the Sacra­ment of regeneration is sufficient, and death is a kind of Confirmation to him who from thence forth sin no more. We grant likewise, that the Holy Ghost accompanies it, as S. Hieronym. contra Lucife­rianos. Hierome shewes contra Luciferianos, and the Fathers which are most for Confirmation still allow it, and our [Page 23]Church tells us, that Children being Baptized have all things necessary for their salvation. Neither make we Confirmati­on of such necessity, as if a man might not obtain the Spirit, and be saved without it, where it cannot conveniently be had, which is all that S. Hieronym. ibid. Ad honorem potius Sacer­dotii, quam ad legis necessita­tem. Alioqui si ad Episcopi tantum impre­cationem Spi­ritus Sanctus defluit lugen­di sunt qui in Viculis aut in Castellis, aut in remotiori­bus locis per Presbyteros & Diaconos ba­ptizati ante dormierunt quam ab Epi­scopis invise­rentur. Hierome means by his quam ad legis necessitatem, not so much for any necessity of Law, as appears by his following words, though some draw strange inferences from it. And yet for all this, there is room for a [...] in them which are reserved for age, and further con­flicts; for a collation of further grace by Confirmation, and yet it is the same Spirit in both, but with divers effects, as Eusebius Emissenus speaks, the Holy Ghost which descends with saving influence upon the waters of Baptisme, gives fulnesse of innocence at the Font, but in Confirmation he gives strength and encrease of Grace; in Baptisme he rege­nerates us to life, after Baptisme he confirms us for the bat­tell, ad militiam fidei, for the warfare of Faith, as the Bo­hemians speak in their Confession, though some boggle so much at it; which the same Father explains very appositely. As a Commander (saith he) when he takes one into the num­ber of his Soldiers, doth not onely set his mark or badge upon him, but also furnisheth him with Arms for the Fight: so to him that is Baptized, the benediction of Confirmation is a kind of Ammunition or Defence. We are Listed in Ba­ptisme, but in Confirmation our old Arms are scoured up, and new are bestowed upon us, and yet by the same Spirit still. Which as he is given in diversity of gifts, so sometimes in different degrees of the same gift: the Apostles received him thrice saith Nazianz. [...], accord­ing to the measure of their present capacity, and that at three severall times; before Christs Passion, after his Resurrection, and again after his Ascent into Heaven: at the first time [...], more obscurely; at the second [...], Nazianz. in Sanct. Pente­cost. more lively and expressely; at the third time [...], more per­fectly then at the former, so Nazianzene, Orat. in Sanct. Pentecost. and we find their inward grace still encreasing, so that those which shrunk from Christ at his Passion, [Page 24] Matth. 25.56. head the scattered members of his Church after his Resurrection, but then when Pentecost was come, they Preach the word boldly, and undauntedly; for then, as Leo Sermon. 2. in Pentecost dicit Aposto­los accepisse Constantiam illius spiritus quae omnem formidinem foras mitteret, & furorem persequentium non timeret. Quia Spiritus Sancti novâ abundantiâ re­pleti ardentius velle, & effi­cacius posse caeperunt, pro. ficientes a prae­ceptorum sci­entia ad tole­rantiam pas­sionum, ut sub nulla jam tem­pestate trepi­dantes fluctus seculi, & Ela­tiones mundi fide supergre­diente calca­rent, & morte contempta o­mnibus Genti­bus Evangeli­um inferrent. Leo the Great in his second Homily on that Festivall speaks, They received that stability of spirit, which shut out all carnall fear, making them not to dread the fury of their Persecutours, being filled (saith he) with a new abundance of the Holy Spirit, they began to will more ardently, and were enabled to perform more powerfully; their knowledge was now improved into a patient suffering of afflictions, so that not being shaken with any tempests, by a surpassing Faith they trampled under foot the waves and risings of the world, and contemning death it self, brought in the Gospel of truth unto the Gentiles: thus Leo of them.

And indeed if we carefully look upon the Scripture, we shall find an eminent gift of the Holy Ghost to be expected after our first Believing, even such as ceased not with mira­cles, so Gal. 4.6. Because ye are Sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts: first Sons, and then is the Spirit sent, which yet in some kind they must have be­fore, or else could not have been Sons: and so Ephes. 1.13. In whom after ye believed, (mark that) you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise; and of this the same Apostle, 2 Cor. 1.21, 22. Now he that establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath annointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. As there is preventing, and converting, so there is an esta­blishing, corroborating Grace, which is conceived to be meant in those places; fresh supplies, new strength, for ad­vance, and perseverance in holinesse; such as make us not onely Plants, but Pillars in the House of God, fixt, and immoveable, such as will make a man stand steady upon a billow, calme in a tempest; not onely to bear up, but to re­joyce in tribulations, passing through, not onely the baits and pleasures of the world with scorn and contempt, but even distresse, persecution, famine, nakednesse, perill, swords, with the courage of More then a Conquerour, Rom. 8.35, 37. [Page 25]which is the grace intended and sought for in Confirmation, and for which reason it is also so called.

The Fathers, (saith judicious Hooker lib. 5. Sect. 66. Hooker) every where impute unto Confirmation the gift of grace of the Holy Ghost, not which maketh us Christian men, but when we are made such, assisteth us in all virtue, armeth us against all temptations and sin: and the same is the judgement of our Church, which ordereth, that Confirmation be administred unto them that be Baptized, that by imposition of hands and prayer, they may receive strength and defence against all temptations to sin, and assaults of the World and the Devil. And thus you see how Confirmation is no prejudice to Baptisme, but may prove a great advantage to the Baptized.

Yea, but will some further say, those in the Text present­ly received the Holy Ghost, but are we sure that this Ordi­nance shall prove effectually confirming unto us?

I answer, you have a powerfull means to this purpose: Sa­terdotal benediction (as Flacius Illy­ricus in Clave Script. Flacius Illyricus in Clave Script. speaks) is not a bare good Prayer, but as it were a Pledge, and testimony of Gods love; of special power and efficacy to open heaven unto those that are partakers of it. And then though the Spirit he not included in the outward Ceremony, yet that being in fair appearance of Gods own appoint­ment, Calvin in Act. 13.3. haec Signorum est utilitas, & efficacia quod in illis Deus operatur, & tamen unus manet gratiae autor, This is the benefit and effect of Signs, that God works in them, and yet there is but one Authour of grace, God himself; thus Calvin.

2. Let me tell you, that Ordinances are duties, in which we must wait Gods pleasure for the blessing: we leave not off to pray, because we are not certain what we pray for shall be presently granted to us.

3. I answer, if you come prepared as you ought, you may be sure of a blessing in some degree, otherwise the Eucharist may prove a judgement to unmeet Receivers; Quicquid re­cipitur, recipitur ad modum recipientis, it will be to thee ac­cording to thy Faith.

[Page 26] And thus I have at last past through the Doctrinal part of the Text, on which I have stayed the longer, as fearing lest under the great desuetude of this Ordinance, the true notion of it may have grown somewhat obscure too.

And now to deduce the several Uses which would naturally flow from the reviewall of the past particulars, it would be a task perhaps too unmerciful for your (I fear almost tired) pa­tience: and therefore I shall take a shorter course, and having proved to you the Right, & Catholick use of this Ordinance, together with the high ends, and aime of it give me leave to close up all with a passionate Exhortation; and request to all those, who desire the good of this National Church, that they would endeavour their uttermost in carrying on this blessed means, of retriving the piety, and exemplary Lives of all it's members, now God by restoring peace to us, hath opened so wide a door for its full entrance: And here this Exhortation might

1. Make its humble address to the Dispensers of this Or­dinance, into whose hands God and the Church have put it.

And then if need were, and it became my place and rank, in a matter of such weight, to advise my Superiour. I could not doe it more pithily and succinctly, then in his own words; Epistola prae­dicta. that this ministration be carried on Curatè Augu­stè, Severè a due care taken as to the preparation for, a be­coming gravity, and sacred solemnity, with all circumspe­ction, and impartiality in the administration of it.

But blessed be God, we find all this done in so Apostolick a manner, that as there is great cause of our joy and thank­fulnesse, so there is little reason to importune him with our needlesse counsell and advice.

Onely I wish, that this holy example may provoke all that are any way concerned in this work, to come on chearfully to the help of the Lord in it. Here then my businesse will mainly lie with those of an inferiour rank: and

First, With you my Reverend Brethren of the Ministry, on whom the care for preparing Candidates for this Ordi­nance mainly lies: who are as so many Vid. Dr. Hammond in loc. [...], unto [Page 27]which it is conceived that S. Paul alludes, 2 Cor. 11.2. Guides, and Tutours in this businesse: Whose taske it is to instruct them, to endeavour to winne their consents to Christ; to inspect their lives, and their sufficiency, and meet­nesse for this Ordinance, and accordingly to give the Bi­shop information.

The truth is, there will not easily be any miscarriages in this matter, but it will lie at your doors, as arising from your want of care, or faithfulnesse in this businesse. In preparati­on for it (upon which notwithstanding all the clamours rise) you have as much liberty to act, as any godly sober-minded man can wish for. There is nothing reserved from you, but the administration of it, unto which as I have shewed, you have neither a capacity, nor just pretence: for which also the Order of the Church have, and I question not the Piety of those which are intrusted will so provide, that there shall be no ground of complaint on that account; and then I hope, that those a least will not shrink from the burden, which have so stifly claimed, that that and more belongs to them.

My Brethren, I question not but many of you, in the midst of our confusions, have been heretofore the Lords Re­membrancers, earnestly entreating him, to arise, and to have mercy upon Sion, and to make our Jerusalem the praise of the whole earth: and now Beloved, the Lord hath arisen, and [...] appeared in his glory, for the raising of this poor Church out of its ruinee, and whosoever fears the Lord, and is willing, may go up in his rank and place, to build the House of the Lord: and in such a time as this, shall we with­hold our hand, or discourage the Master-builders by our backwardnesse, or negligence, who have rather reason to bless God, who hath reserved us to see this day, and hath honour­ed us with such an opportunity of being usefull in so great a work; and I beseech you therefore in the Lord, let us faith­fully and rejoycingly set our hands and shoulders to it.

Here then in order thereunto, give me leave to recommend some few duties to you, I shall but name them.

[Page 28] 1. Prov. 27.23. Be diligent to know the state of your flock, Prov. 27.23. to find their wants and weaknesses, that so you may apply seasonable succours, and suitable remedies unto them.

2. As a Key to this, adde Personall conference, and pri­vate instruction, We have many weak and sickly Parishes, and therefore you ought to be [...], to walk your Cir­cuits in the Visitation of them; not to think all your busi­nesse lies in the Pulpit, but to be instant in season, out of season, exhorting with all long-suffering and doctrine. Re­member S. Act. 20.20. Paul's example, Acts 20.20. he went about from house to house to teach them; and if S. Paul who had the care of all the Churches, held himself obliged to this duty, how much more we, that have but a small Parish to look to? And then in the carrying on this Instruction, in especiall manner to work up their hearts and apprehensions, to a due esteem of their Baptismall Vow, which is the Contract for their Christianity, that when they come publickly to pro­fesse it, their professions may be serious, and well grounded.

3. Adjoyn to this the publick use of Catechising, those [...], Those discourses which are as Midwives to bring in living members into the Church of God, as Dionys. A­reopag. Eccle­siasticae Hie­rarchiae cap. 6. Sect. 1. Dionys. Areop. calls the Catechisme, Eccles. Hierarch. cap. 6. Sect. 1. The people have more need of it, and if rightly managed, may profit more by it then by ma­ny of our Sermons, which also are therefore the lesse bene­ficiall to them, because these grounds are wanting: whil'st we go to build them up, the foundations shrink from under them, as having never been well laid. And here the Church hath excellently provided a Catechisme, so full and pithy, and yet so plain and brief, as that I know not what could have been better suited to the necessities and conceptions of common people.

4. Deal truly and impartially in your Informations, and Certificates; give not Tickets to notorious Ignorance and Profanenesse; why should you draw the bloud of others on your own heads, and withall betray the Churches Purity and Honour?

[Page 29] 5. Above all, see you lead exemplary and unblameable lives: How can you expect they should believe those truths, of the power of which they find little evidence in your selves. How unfit are they to hand others to the receiving of the Holy [...], which seem possest themselves of the impure one? An ill living Minister will Preach more Atheisme by his Life, then Christianity by his Doctrine. But I hope such scandals to the Church, will either be amended, or those in Authority will confringere vasa inutilia, beat out the bot­toms of those uselesse Vessels, and set them aside.

2. My next Addresse will be to Masters and Parents, who by the Law, are to send the Servants and Children to be Catechised by the Curate, that thereby they may be the bet­ter fitted for Confirmation; and here I wish we had no rea­son to complain of too much backwardnesse in many; it were well if that Law had some quickening power put into it, to make it more effectuall. But then that's not all their duty, they ought also to be private Catechists: you have Abraham's example for it, Genes. 18.19. Gen. 18.19. I know him (saith God) that he will command his children and his hous­hold after him, that they shall keep the way of the Lord: and it will become us, as to be followers of his faith, so of his practice too; you have a clear command for it, Deut. 6.7. Deut. 6.7.

My 3d. Addresse will be to the Candidates for the Re­ceive [...] of the benefit of this Ordinance; that they endea­vour after a right preparation for it.

1. By getting a sound knowledge in the Principles of Re­ligion.

2. By a serious Repentance of their former failings.

3. By bringing with them, serious, and enlarged desires after grace. Petite de Patre, petite de Domino, peculia, gra­tias, distributiones Charismatum Subjiciente, petite & ac­cipietis, saith Tertull. de Baptismo. Tertullian upon a like occasion, at the latter end of his Book de Baptismo: Aske the Father, beg of the Son, for some speciall gifts and graces, who is now ready to make a distribution of them. Aske, and you shall receive. Open your mouthes wide, and they shall be filled. It will be [Page 30]to you in some proportion according to your desires; and then let me advise you to walk afterwards, aes those that have engaged themselves to God in the solemnest manner; such as have pretended to take a stock, and earnest for their work, even the supplies and earnest of the spirit. And thus I have pointed at some of the main duties in this businesse, give me leave in the next place, to give you some Motives, the more to Ingratiate them, and I shall set an end to this Discourse, and so release your patience.

For your encouragement then, let me tell you, that the car­rying on of this work will be very serviceable for the ad­vancement, 1. Of the Purity and Piety, 2. Of the Peace and Quiet, 3. Of the Joy and Comfort of the Church, and all true Christians,

1. It will advance the Purity and Piety of our Church in its members, and that both in the reality, and also in the re­putation of it.

First, In the Reality of it, and so

1. In the Re [...]vers of this Benediction, wo are the Se­minary of the Church for the future. 1. The Ordinance it self may be a means to convey strengthening grace to them, that's the design of it. 2. These Novices being brought first to know, and then to own Christianity, in so solemn a manner, and with so solemn a promise, that by Gods help, they will faithfully endeavour to discharge that obligation in every point, and persevere in it to their lives end; the grace for which, is begged by the Bishop and the present Congre­gation in their behalf. This resolution and promise, before so many Reverend Witnesses, will in any reason have a mighty impression on the Receiver, and a strong influence on his actions for the future, as the Learned Dr. Hammond speaks, in the view of the Directory, Vid. Dr. See D. Iack­son speaking of Self-deni­al: Here (saith he) No­vices in Religi­on commonly begin to balk, and no won­der, since few are called to a­ny strict per­sonall account, of that which others have undertaken for them, at their first ad­mission into the bedroll of Christians. But if the Contents of that triple Vow were di­stinctly and fully unfolded, as soon as we have any knowledge of good and evil, and all the se­veral branches of Gods Cove­nant with as great care and solemnity, as often inculcated as Moses commanded the Law should be to the Israelites Children, and lastly the Vow it self Confirmed, and Ratified, by our personal protestation in the sight of the Congregation, the fear as well of God, as shame before Men, in whose presence we made this good profession, would bind many of us to more Christian behaviour, then the best of us, as the world goes, dare make shew of, as also restrain us from many deadly enormities, which now admonished of, we will not account any sins. Thus prepared to receive it, it would be over much infidelity, to distrust the plentifull infusion of inherent sanctifying grace, at our solemnities of Confirmation, &c. Dr. Jackson of Iustifying Faith, pag. 413, 414. Jackson.

[Page 31] 2. It will help to advance the Piety of Ministers in their Calling, by engaging them to a greater sedulity and faithful­nesse in their work, and exemplarity in their conversations.

3. It will stirre up Parents and Masters to a better dis­charge of their duty, in the instructing their Children and Servants, When they see (as Mr, Calvin speaks) that their negligence herein, will draw a publick disgrace upon them­selves, Instit. lib. 4. cap. 19. Sect. 13.

4. It might help also to stirre up Piety in the Ignorant and Prophane, by awakening their security, and shaming their barrennesse, whiles they see the proficiency of others, which are admitted, and themselves shut out, from the parti­cipation of Gods Ordinances.

And then as this would help to advance the Piety of the Church in the Reality, so

2. In the Reputation of it, it would set a Crown upon the Churches head; it would be lookt upon, as an Assembly of the first-born, whose Names are enrolled in heaven, as a Corporation of Saints, and Men would flow in to the glory of it. And then, as this would make much for the advance­ment of the Churches Piety, both in the Reality, and the Re­putation of it, So.

Secondly, It may serve much for the restoring and setling of the Churches Peace amongst us; it is a way admirably fit­ted for it, as promising an [...], a reconciling Principle as may be: For,

1. It would help much to settle our Doctrines, and so to remove, or keep out those many Heresies and Schismes, which have been the Make-bates of late years amongst us; there would be more consent in the Faith, men would not so easily be carried away with new-fangled o­pinions, whil'st this method of Admission to the Communion, would be a method of Christian Doctrine too, as Calvin In­stitut. lib. 4. cap. 16. Sect. 13. Calvin speaks: there would be a common Standard for all. In parti­cular, it would stop the mouthes of Anabaptists, which de­cry Infant Baptisme, as that which lets in persons to the so­ciety of the Church, and the further priviledges of it, with­out [Page 32]any personall engagement unto Christ; which engage­ment, they would see as formally and solemnly entred into at Confirmation, as they can pretend by any fancied methods of their own.

2. It would help to Sodder our affections, which have been of late years so disjoyned, by the unhappy Controversies a­bout Church-membership. This Ordinance would comply with all Interests, would satisfie the any-wayes rationall pre­tensions of all Parties, and so an end would be set to that otherwise irreconcileable difference, which hath so long di­stracted us, and in which men have groped for peace at Noon-day, the light of this Ordinance being sufficient to have directed them, had they not turned their backs upon it. There would be no more need of the Anabaptistick Club, nor the Presbyterian Consistory, nor the Independents Cove­nant, nor the Erastians Council-house for the Stating Church-members, whilest they should find their work done by better hands, and those Commissionated thereunto by God and the Church.

3. It would make much for the Order and Peace of our Communions; Men would not repine at their Fellow Guests, whilest they could not look on any of the Company, but as persons engaged to the same Christ with themselves; or if they forfeited their Standing, might have them turn'd out of the Church, by the power of the Keys in Excommunication. And then

4. This Ordinance, it is that must make a kindly way for that, and it will doe it with much sweetnesse and full con­viction, when men shall be [...], condemned of their miscarriages by their own professions and engagements, and therefore will have all the reason in the world to sub­mit to the censures of the Church. The exercise of which Discipline, would be a great Fence to the Peace, as well as the Purity of it. Brethren, we may talk much of the Peace of the Church, but if ever we mean to settle it, it must be upon the Principles, and according to the prudence of the Ancient Church of Christ. Were Con­firmation, the ancient methods of Penitence, Excommu­nication, [Page 33]and Communicatory Letters to stop the shifting of Vagabond Christians from one Church to another, brought in amongst us, with due caution, severity, solemnity, and ac­commodation, to the difference of the times, we might hope to see those happy dayes again, which were once the glory of the former, and are now the admiration, scarce the belief of the present age. And then as this would be a powerfull means to advance the Churches Piety and Peace, So

Thirdly, It would be a great help unto it's Joy in all the Members of it.

1. It might minister much matter of Joy to the Reverend Fathers of it, whil'st they should see by the preparations for this business, so great a part of their work discharged; whil'st they should see the Lambs of the Flock brought in to them in the Armes of the Ministers; and though themselves were ready to sink into the Grave, they might behold a Seed spring­ing up for Gods service and praise, and the Church like to flourish.

2. It might cheer the hearts of inferiour Ministers, whil'st they saw the travell of their souls, and might come before God and say, Behold me and the children which thou hast given me: it might give them great comfort and freedome of spirit in their Communions, whil'st they should see the Table of the Lord, Like an heap of Wheat set about with Lillies, Cant. 7.2.

3. To the confirmed persons it might minister great Joy, in consideration of the happy estate whereinto they were entred. Tertull. de Baptisme cap. ult. Tertullian makes it a question, whether such persons might not fast, as our Saviour did, after the de­scent of the Holy Ghost upon him, to which he answers, Quis enim prohibet nisi necessitas gaudii & gratulatio salu­tis? they might, were it not that a necessity of rejoycing lies upon them, to welcome that Salvation which is now brought home to them.

4. It might be a comfort to Parents, to see the successe of their care, and to the Witnesses, to see themselves discharged of it.

[Page 34] 5. It would be matter of great Joy to all true Christians amongst us, who cannot but glorifie God for the professed subjection of these Neophites, 2 Cor. 9.13. When the Biccurim, or First-fruits, were carried up to be presented before the Lord, in the place which he had chosen to put his Name there; the people gathered together from severall places, that they might not go alone; a Pipe struck up [...] them till they came near to Jerusalem, and they went along their way singing, verse 1. of the 122. Psalm: when they came nigh to Jerusalem, the Governours and Captains went out to meet them, and being entred the Gates, they sang the 2. ver. of that Psalm; the Artificers of Jerusalem salu­ted them; they went through the City with a Pipe striking up before them, till they came near to the mount of the House of the Lord, when, taking every man his Basket upon his shoulder, they sang Psalm 150. and so continued singing till they came to the Court-yard, where they were received by the Levites singing the 30. Psalm, thus Vide Ainsw. in Deut. 26.2. Maimonides and the Babylonish Talmud, in the title Biccurim. It seems it was a time of exceeding great joy, unto which there­fore the Prophet Isaiah is conceived to allude, cap. 30.29. Now if the bringing up of the First-fruits of their grounds were so joyfull a solemnity, how much more should it be, when the fruit of our Bodies, the Firsts fruits of the Church, are brought before the Lord? one would think it should put the whole Countrey into a Procession with, and holy Con­gratulation to them, with praises unto God for them. What a joy should it be to all that truly fear God, to see that Gospel-Prophesie, Isa. Isa. 44.3, 4, 5. 44.3, 4, 5. fulfilled before their eyes, where it is said, I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the drie ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine off-spring: And they shall spring up as among the grasse: as willows by the water­courses. One shall say, I am the Lords: and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob: and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and sirname himself by the name of Israel.

[Page 35] Finally, By this means God will be highly glorified, and then he also will rejoyce in us, and over us, to doe us good: if his Spirit be received amongst us, and have a quiet dwell­ing with us, wee need not fear a Deluge: where the Spirit is, Genes. 6.3. there is liberty, and safety, and joy, and peace, which pas­seth all understanding, which God of his infinite mercy grant unto us all, for the merits of his dear Son, To whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be ascribed and ren­dred, all Honour, Praise, and Glory, for ever, and ever, Amen.


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