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A DISCOURSE OF CONFIRMATION.
The holy Rite of Imposition of Hands for the giving the Holy Spirit,
or Confirmation, was actually continued and practised by all the
Many great Graces and Blessings are consequent to the worthy
Conscience is the Mind of a man, governed by a Rule, and measured
by the Proportions of Good and Evil, in order to Practice ; viz. to
Conduct all our Relations, and all our Intercourse, between God,
our Neighbours, and ourselves: that is, in all moral Actions
The Duty and Offices of Conscience are to dictate, and to testify or
Be careful that Prejudice or Passion, Fancy and Affection, Error or
All Consciences are to walk by the same Rule; and that which is
Conscience by its several Habitudes and Relations or Tendencies
In a right Conscience, the practical Judgment, that is, the last
The practical Judgment of a right Conscience is always agreeable to
When two Motives concur to the determination of an Action, whereof
one is virtuous, and the other secular, a right Conscience is not
An Argument not sufficient nor competent, though it do persuade us
to a Thing in itself good, is not the Ground of a Right, nor a
A Conscience determined by the Counsel of wise Men, even against
He that sins against a right and sure Conscience, whatever the
The Goodness of an Object is not made by Conscience, but is
accepted, declared, and published, by it, and made personally
DISSUASIVE FROM POPERY,
SECTION X.-Of the Seal of Confession.
1. I FIRST instance in their seal of confession; and the question is not, whether a priest is to take care of his penitent's fame, or whether he be not, in all prudent and pious ways, to be careful, lest he make that intercourse odious; for certainly he is but whether the seal of confession be so sacred and impregnable, that it is not to be opened in the imminent danger of a king, or kingdom; or for the doing the greatest good, or avoiding the greatest evil, in the world: that is now the question, and such a broad seal as this, is no part of the Christian religion,—was never spoken of by the prophets or apostles, in the Old or the New Testament,-never was so much as mentioned in the books of the ancient fathers and doctors, not so much as named in the ancient councils of the church; and was not heard of, until after the time of Pope Gregory the Seventh. Now how this is determined and practised in the church of Rome, we may quickly see. The first direct rule in the western church we find in this affair, is the canon of the Lateran council; "cap. Omnis Utriusque*;" in which to confess at Easter was made an ecclesiastical law; and, as an appendix to it, this caution; "Caveat autem omninò, ne verbo, aut signo, aut alio quovis modo, aliquatenus prodat peccatorem: sed, si prudentiore consilio indiguerit, illud, absque ullâ expressione personæ, requirat." This law
a Decretal. de Pœnitentiis et Remissionibus.
concerning them that do confess their secret sins to a priest,
b In 3. dist. 21.
d Prov. xi. 13.
1 Τὰς μοιχευθείσας γυναῖκας καὶ ἐξαγορευσάσας δι ̓ εὐλάβειαν δημοσιεύειν οὐκ ἐκέλευσαν οἱ πατέρες ἡμων· Α. D. 1603.