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ly' and signally after the resurrection, when he took his leave of them, and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost:" and this was to give them a power of ministering remission of sins, and therefore related to baptism and the ministries of repentance. But, thirdly, he gave it redecoréρws, more perfectly,' and this was the Spirit of confirmation; for he was not at all until now, οὔπω γὰρ ἦν πνεῦμα ἅγιον, says the text: “the Holy Ghost was not yet:" so almost all the Greek copies, printed and manuscript; and so St. Chrysostom, Athanasius, Cyril, Ammonius in the Catena of the Greeks, Leontius, Theophylact, Euthymius, and all the Greek fathers, read it; so St. Jerome and St. Austin among the Latins, and some Latin translations, read it. Our translations read it, "the Holy Ghost was not yet given," was not έv auroïç,“ in them," as some few Greek copies read it: but the meaning is alike, confirmation was not yet actual,-the Holy Spirit, viz. of confirmation, was not yet come upon the church: but it follows not but he was long before promised, designed and appointed, spoken of and declared. The first of these collations had the ceremony of chrism or anointing joined with it, which the church in process of time transferred into her use and ministry: yet it is the last only that Christ passed into an ordinance for ever; it is this only which is the sacramental consummation of our regeneration in Christ; for in this the Holy Spirit is not only eveρyelą wrapòv ' present by his power,' but present οὐσιωδῶς, ὡς ἂν εἴποι τις συγγινόμενόν τε καὶ πολιTevóμevov, as St. Gregory Nazianzen expresses it, to dwell with us, to converse with us, and to abide for ever; où ¿¿éxɛɛ ¿p' nμās λovoíws so St. Paul describes this Spirit of confirmation, the Spirit, "which he hath poured forth upon us richly or plentifully," that is, in great measures, and to the full consummation of the first mysteries of our regeneration. Now because Christ is the great fountain of this blessing to us, and he it was who sent his Father's Spirit upon the church, himself best knew his own intentions, and the great blessings he intendedt o communicate to his church ; and therefore it was most agreeable that from his sermons we should learn his purposes, and his blessing, and our duty. Here Christ declared rem sacramenti,' 'the spiritual grace,' which he would afterward impart to his church by exterior
Y Qu. 9. ad Heditiam.
2 In Joan. tract. 22.
ministry, in this as in all other graces, mysteries, and rituals evangelical: "Nisi quis, unless a man' be born both of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
But the next objection is yet more material. 2. For if this be the meaning of our blessed Saviour, then confirmation is as necessary as baptism, and without it ordinarily no man can be saved. The solution of this will answer a case of conscience, concerning the necessity of confirmation; and in what degree of duty and diligence we are bound to take care that we receive this holy rite. I answer therefore, that ' entering into the kingdom of God,' is being admitted into the Christian church and warfare, to become sons of God, and soldiers of Jesus Christ. And though this be the outward door, and the first entrance into life, and consequently the king's highway, and the ordinary means of salvation; yet we are to distinguish the external ceremony from the internal mystery: the Nisi quis' is for this, not for that; and yet that also is the ordinary way. Unless a man be baptized,' that is, unless he be indeed regenerate, he cannot be saved and yet baptism, or the outward washing, is the solemnity and ceremony of its ordinary ministration; and he that neglects this, when it may be had, is not indeed regenerate; he is not renewed in the spirit of his mind, because he neglects God's way, and therefore can as little be saved as he who, having received the external sacrament, puts a bar to the intromission of the inward grace. Both cannot always be had; but when they can, although they are not equally valuable in the nature of the thing, yet they are made equally necessary by the divine commandment. And in this there is a great, but general mistake, in the doctrine of the schools, disputing concerning what sacraments are necessary ' necessitate medii,' that is, as necessary means,' and what are necessary by the necessity of precept, or divine commandment. For although a less reason will excuse from the actual susception of some than of others, and a less diligence for the obtaining of one will serve than in obtaining of another, and a supply in one is easier obtained than in another; yet no sacrament hath in it any other necessity than what is made merely by the divine commandment. But the grace of every sacrament, or rite, or mystery, which is of divine ordi
nance is necessary indispensably, so as without it no man can be saved. And this difference is highly remarkable in the words of Christ recorded by St. Mark "; " He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not, shall be damned." Baptism itself, as to the external part, is not necessary, ' necessitate medii,' or indispensably; but baptismal faith for the remission of sins in persons capable, that indeed is necessary for Christ does not say that the want of baptism damns as the want of faith does; and yet both baptism and faith are the ordinary way of salvation, and both necessary; baptism because it is so by the divine commandment, and faith as a necessary means of salvation, in the very economy and dispensation of the Gospel. Thus it is also in the other sacrament; "Unless we eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, we have no life in us":" and yet God forbid that every man that is not communicated, should die eternally. But it means plainly, that without receiving Christ, as he is by God's intention intended we should receive him in the communion, we have no life in us. Plainly thus, without the internal grace we cannot live; and the external ministry is the usual and appointed means of conveying to us the internal: and therefore although without the external it is possible to be saved, when it is impossible to be had; yet with the wilful neglect of it we cannot. Thus therefore we are to understand the words of Christ declaring the necessity of both these ceremonies: they are both necessary, because they are the means of spiritual advantages and graces, and both minister to the proper ends of their appointment, and both derive from a divine original: but the ritual or ceremonial part in rare emergencies is dispensable; but the grace is indispensable. Without the grace of baptism we shall die in our sins; and without the grace or internal part of confirmation we shall never be able to resist the devil, but shall be taken captive by him at his will. Now the external or ritual part is the means, the season, and opportunity, of this grace; and therefore is at no hand to be neglected, lest we be accounted despisers of the grace, and tempters of God to ways and provisions extraordinary. For although when without our fault we receive not the sacramental part, God can and will supply it to us out of his own
s xvi. 16.
h John, vi. 53.
stores, because no man can perish without his own fault; and God can permit to himself what he pleases, as being Lord of the grace and of the sacrament: yet to us he hath given a law and a rule; and that is the way of his church, in which all Christians ought to walk. In short, the use of it is greatly profitable; the neglect is inexcusable; but the contempt is damnable. "Tenentur non negligere, si pateat opportunitas," said the bishops in a synod at Paris: "If there be an opportunity, it must not be neglected.”—“ Obligantur suscipere, aut saltem non contemnere," said the synod at Sens: "They are bound to receive it, or at least not to despise it."-Now he despises it, that refuses it when he is invited to it, or when it is offered, or that neglects it without cause. For 'causelessly' and 'contemptuously' are all one. But these answers were made by gentle casuists: he only values the grace that desires it, that longs for it, that makes use of all the means of grace, that seeks out for the means, that refuses no labour, that goes after them as the merchant goes after gain: and therefore the old ordo Romanus admonishes more strictly; "Omnino præcavendum esse, ut hoc sacramentum confirmationis non negligatur, quia tunc omne baptisma legitimum Christianitatis nomine confirmatur:" "We must by all means take heed, that the rite of confirmation be not neglected, because, in that, every true baptism is ratified and confirmed."-Which words are also to the same purpose made use of by Albinus Flaccus*. No man can tell to what degrees of diligence and labour, to what sufferings or journeyings, he is obliged for the procuring of this ministry there must be debita sollicitudo,' a real, providential, zealous care to be where it is to be had, is the duty of every Christian according to his own circumstances; but they who will not receive it unless it be brought to their doors, may live in such places and in such times, where they shall be sure to miss it, and pay the price of their neglect of so great a ministry of salvation. "Turpissima est jactura, quæ per negligentiam fit," "He is a fool that loses his good by carelessness':" but no man is zealous for his soul, but he who not only omits no opportunity of doing it advantage when it is ready for him, but makes and seeks and contrives
In Offic. Sab. Pasch. post orat. quæ dicitur data confirm.
opportunities. "Si non necessitate, sed incuriâ et voluntate remanserit," as St. Clement's expression is; If a man wants it by necessity, it may, by the overflowings of the divine grace, be supplied; but not so if negligence or choice cause the omission.
3. Our way being made plain, we may proceed to other places of Scripture to prove the divine original of confirmation. It was a plant of our heavenly Father's planting, it was a branch of the vine, and how it springs from the root Christ Jesus we have seen; it is yet more visible as it was dressed and cultivated by the apostles. Now as soon as the apostles had received the Holy Spirit, they preached and baptized, and the inferior ministers did the same, and St. Philip particularly did so at Samaria, the converts of which place received all the fruits of baptism; but Christians though they were, they wanted a reλelwote, 'something to make them perfect. The other part of the narrative I shall set down in the words of St. Luke": "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem, heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John; who, when they were come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost: for as yet he was fallen upon none of them, only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." If it had not been necessary to have added a new solemnity and ministration, it is not to be supposed the apostles Peter and John would have gone from Jerusalem to impose hands on the baptized at Samaria. "Id quod deerat à Petro et Joanne factum est, ut, oratione pro eis habitâ et manu impositâ, invocaretur et infunderetur super eos Spiritus Sanctus," said St. Cyprian": "It was not necessary that they should be baptized again, only that which was wanting was performed by Peter and John, that by prayer and imposition of hands the Holy Ghost should be invocated and poured upon them."-The same also is, from this place, affirmed by Pope Innocentius the First, St. Jerome P, and many others: and in the Acts of the Apostles we find another instance of the celebration of this ritual and mystery, for it is signally expressed of the baptized Christians at Ephesus,