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yet they were not necessary, or any thing of the institution.
6. That many great graces and blessings were consequent to the worthy reception and due ministration of it,
7. I shall add something of the manner of preparation to it, and reception of it,
Of the divine Original, Warranty, and Institution, of the holy Rite of Confirmation.
IN the church of Rome, they have determined confirmation to be a sacrament, proprii nominis,' proper and really; and yet their doctors have, some of them at least, been 'paulô iniquiores,'' a little unequal and unjust' to their proposition; insomuch that from themselves we have had the greatest opposition in this article. Bonacina and Henriquez allow the proposition, but make the sacrament to be so unnecessary, that a little excuse may justify the omission and almost neglect of it. And Loemilius and Daniel à Jesu, and generally the English Jesuits, have, to serve some ends of their own family and order, disputed it almost into contempt, that by representing it as unnecessary, they might do all the ministries ecclesiastical in England without the assistance of bishops their superiors, whom they therefore love not, because they are so. But the theological faculty of Paris have condemned their doctrine as temerarious, and savouring of heresy; and in the later schools have approved rather the doctrine of Gamachæus, Estius, Kellison, and Bellarmine, who indeed do follow the doctrine of the most eminent persons in the ancient school, Richard of Armagh, Scotus, Hugo Cavalli, and Gerson the learned chancellor of Paris; who following the old Roman order, Amalarius and Albinus, do all teach confirmation to be of great and pious use, of divine original, and to many purposes necessary, according to the doctrine of Scriptures and the primitive church.
Whether confirmation be a sacrament or no, is of no use to dispute; and if it be disputed, it `can never be proved to
! De Sacram, disp. 3. q. Unit. Punet. 3. 2. lib. 3. de Sacram.
be so as baptism and the Lord's supper, that is" as generally necessary to salvation:" but though it be no sacrament, it cannot follow that it is not of very great use and holiness: and as a man is never the less tied to repentance, though it be no sacrament; so neither is he nevertheless obliged to receive confirmation, though it be (as it ought) acknowledged to be of a use and nature inferior to the two sacraments of divine, direct, and immediate institution. It is certain that the fathers, in a large, symbolical, and general sense, call it ' a sacrament;' but mean not the same thing by that word when they apply it to confirmation, as they do when they apply it to baptism and the Lord's supper. That it is an excellent and divine ordinance to purposes spiritual, that it comes from God, and ministers in our way to God, that is all we are concerned to inquire after: and this I shall endeavour to prove not only against the Jesuits, but against all opponents of what side soever.
My first argument from Scripture is what I learn from Optatus and St. Cyril. Optatus writing against the Donatists hath these words: "Christ descended into the water,— not that in him, who is God, was any thing that could be made cleaner, but that the water was to precede the future unction, for the initiating and ordaining and fulfilling the mysteries of baptism. He was washed, when he was in the hands of John; then followed the order of the mystery, and the Father finished what the Son did ask, and what the Holy Ghost declared: the heavens were opened, God the Father anointed him, the spiritual unction presently descended in the likeness of a dove, and sat upon his head, and was spread all over him, and he was called 'the Christ,' when he was 'the anointed of the Father.' To whom also, lest imposition of hands should seem to be wanting, the voice of God was heard from the cloud, saying, This is my Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.'"-That which Optatus says is this; that, upon and in Christ's person, baptism, confirmation, and ordination, were consecrated and first appointed. He was baptized by St. John; he was confirmed by the Holy Spirit, and anointed with spiritual unction in order to that great work of obedience to his Father's will; and he was consecrated by the voice of God from heaven. In all things Christ is the head, and the first-fruits: and in these things was the
fountain of the sacraments and spiritual grace, and the great exemplar of the economy of the church. For Christ was ' nullius pœnitentiæ debitor:' baptism of repentance was not necessary to him, who never sinned; but so it became him to fulfil all righteousness, and to be a pattern to us all. But we have need of these things, though he had not; and in the same way in which salvation was wrought by him for himself and for us all, in the same way he intended we should walk. He was baptized, because his Father appointed it so: we must be baptized, because Christ hath appointed it, and we have need of it too. He was consecrated to be the great prophet and the great priest, because no man takes on him this honour, but he that was called of God, as was Aaron:' and all they who are to minister in his prophetical office under him, must be consecrated and solemnly set apart for that ministration, and after his glorious example. He was anointed with a spiritual unction from above after his baptism; for a fterJesus was baptized,' he ascended up from the waters, and then the Holy Ghost descended upon him. It is true, he received the fulness of the Spirit; but we receive him by measure; but " of his fulness we all receive, grace for grace:" that is, all that he received in order to his great work, all that in kind, one for another, grace for grace, we are to receive according to our measures and our necessities. And as all these he received by external ministrations; so must we : God the Father appointed his way, and he, by his example first, hath appointed the same to us; that we also may follow him in the regeneration, and work out our salvation by the same graces in the like solemnities. For if he needed them for himself, then we need them much more. If he did not need them for himself, he needed them for us, and for our example, that we might follow his steps, who, by receiving these exterior solemnities and inward graces, became "the author and finisher of our salvation," and the great example of his church.-I shall not need to make use of the fancy of the Murcosians and Colobarsians, who turning all mysteries into numbers, reckoned the numeral letters of TEPLOTEρà, and made them coincident to the a and w; but they intended to say, that Christ, receiving the holy dove after his baptism, became all in all to us, the beginning and the per
* 1 John, ii. 8.
fection of our salvation; here he was confirmed, and received the w to his a, the consummation to his initiation, the completion of his baptism and of his headship in the Gospel. But that which I shall rather add, is what St. Cyril from hence argues: "When he truly was baptized in the river of Jordan, he ascended out of the waters, and the Holy Ghost substantially descended upon him, like resting upon like. And to you also in like manner, after ye have descended from the waters of baptism, the unction is given, which bears the image or similitude of him by whom Christ was anointed— that as Christ after baptism and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon him, went forth to battle (in the wilderness) and overcame the adversary; so ye also, after holy baptism and the mystical unction (or confirmation), being vested with the armour of the Holy Spirit, are enabled to stand against the opposite powers."-Here then is the first great ground of our solemn receiving the Holy Spirit, or the unction from above after baptism, which we understand and represent by the word confirmation, denoting the principal effect of this unction, spiritual strength. Christ, who is the head of the church, entered this way upon his duty and work: and he who was the first of all the church, the head and great example, is the measure of all the rest; for we can go to heaven no way but in that way in which he went before us.
There are some, who from this story would infer the descent of the Holy Ghost after Christ's baptism not to signify, that confirmation was to be a distinct rite from baptism, but a part of it,—yet such a part as gives fulness and consummation to it. St. Jerome, Chrysostom, Euthymius, and Theophylact, go not so far, but would have us by this to understand that the Holy Ghost is given to them that are baptized. But reason and the context are both against it. 1. Because the Holy Ghost was not given by John's baptism; that was reserved to be one of Christ's glories; who also, when by his disciples he baptized many, did not give them the Holy Ghost; and when he commanded his apostles to baptize all nations, did not at that time so much as promise the Holy Ghost: he was promised distinctly, and given by another ministration. 2. The descent of the Holy Spirit was a distinct ministry from the baptism: it was not only after
n Cateches. 3. Πνεύματος ἁγίου οὐσιώδης ἐπιφοίτησις αὐτῶν ἐγίνετο.
Jesus ascended from the waters of baptism; but there was something intervening, and by a new office or ministration: for there was a prayer joined in the ministry. So St. Luke observes; "while Jesus was praying, the heavens were opened," and the Holy Spirit descended: for so Jesus was pleased to consign the whole office and ritual of confirmation.. Prayer for invocating the Holy Spirit, and giving him by personal application; which as the Father did immediately, so the bishops do by imposition of hands. 3. St. Austin ob-. serves that the apparition of the Holy Spirit like a dove was the visible or ritual part; and the voice of God was the word to make it to be sacramental; "accedit verbum ad elementum, et fit sacramentum i:" for so the ministration was not only performed on Christ, but consigned to the church by similitude and exemplar institution. I shall only add, that the force of this argument is established to us by more of the fathers. St. Hilary upon this place hath these words: "The Father's voice was heard, that from those things which were consum mated in Christ, we might know, that, after the baptism of water, the Holy Spirit from the gates of heaven flies unto us; and that we are to be anointed with the unction of a celestial glory, and be made the sons of God by the adoption of the voice of God; the truth by the very effects of things, pre figured unto us the similitude of a sacrament."-So St. Chrysostom1: "In the beginnings always appear the sensible visions of spiritual things for their sakes, who cannot receive the understanding of an incorporeal nature; that if afterward they be not so done (that is, after the same visible manner), they may be believed by those things which were already done."-But more plain is that of Theophylact": "The Lord had not need of the descent of the Holy Spirit, but he did all things for our sakes; and himself is become the first-fruits of all things, which we afterward were to receive, that he might become the first-fruits among many brethren." The consequent is this, which I express in the words of St. Austin, affirming, "Christi in baptismo columbam unctionem nostram præfigurâsse," "The dove in Christ's baptism did represent and prefigure our unction from above," that is, the descent of the Holy Ghost upon us in the rite of
iTract. 80. in Joan.
S. Hilar. can. 4. in fine. m Ibid.