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fection of our salvation; here he was confirmed, and received the w to his α, 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 anointedthat 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. 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 ! 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 observes 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 sacramentum1:" 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 consummated 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, prefigured 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 TheophylactTM: "The Lord hath 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 colum. bam 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

i Tract. 80. in Joan.

In Matthæum.

k S. Hilar. can. 4. in fine.
m Ibid.

confirmation. Christ was baptized, and so must we. But after baptism he had a new ministration for the reception of the Holy Ghost: and because this was done for our sakes, we also must follow that example. And this being done immediately before his entrance into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, it plainly describes to us the order of this ministry, and the blessing designed to us: after we are baptized, we need to be strengthened and confirmed "propter pugnam spiritualem;" we are to fight against the flesh, the world, and the devil, and therefore must receive the ministra. tion of the Holy Spirit of God: which is the design and proper work of confirmation. For (they are the words of the excellent author of the imperfect work upon St. Matthew, imputed to St. Chrysostom ")" The baptism of water profits us, because it washes away the sins we have formally committed, if we repent of them. But it does not sanctify the soul, nor precedes the concupiscences of the heart and our evil thoughts, nor drives them back, nor represses our carnal desires. But he therefore who is (only) so baptized, that he does not also receive the Holy Spirit, is baptized in his body, and his sins are pardoned; but in his mind he is yet but a catechumen: for so it is written,' He that hath not the Spirit of Christ, is none of his :' and therefore afterward out of his flesh will germinate worse sins, because he hath not received the Holy Spirit conserving him (in his baptismal grace), but the house of his body is empty; wherefore that wicked spirit finding it swept with the doctrines of faith, as with besoms, enters in, and in a sevenfold manner dwells there." Which words, besides that they well explicate this mystery, do also declare the necessity of confirmation, or receiving the Holy Ghost after baptism, in imitation of the divine precedent of our blessed Saviour.

2. After the example of Christ, my next argument is from his words spoken to Nicodemus in explication of the prime mysteries evangelical: "Unless a man be born of water and of the Holy Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of God." These words are the great argument, which the church uses for the indispensable necessity of baptism; and having in them so great effort, and not being rightly understood, they have suffered many convulsions (shall I call

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them?) or interpretations. Some serve their own hypothesis by saying that water is the symbol, and the Spirit is the baptismal grace: others, that it is a v día dvov, one is only meant, though here be two signatures. But others conclude, that water is only necessary, but the Spirit is superadded as being afterward to supervene and move upon these waters: and others yet affirm, that by water is only meant a spiritual ablution, or the effect produced by the Spirit; and still they have entangled the words so that they have been made useless to the Christian church, and the meaning too many other things makes nothing to be understood. But truth is easy, intelligible, and clear, and without objection, and is plainly this:

Unless a man be baptized into Christ, and confirmed by the Spirit of Christ, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Christ; that is, he is not perfectly adopted into the Christian religion, or fitted for the Christian warfare. And if this plain and natural sense be admitted, the place is not only easy and intelligible, but consonant to the whole design of Christ and analogy of the New Testament.

For, first, Our blessed Saviour was catechizing of Nicodemus, and teaching him the first rudiments of the Gospel, and like a wise master-builder, first lays the foundation, "the doctrine of baptism and laying on of hands:" which afterward St. Paul put into the Christian catechism, as I shall shew in the sequel. Now these also are the first principles of the Christian religion taught by Christ himself, and things which at least to the doctors might have been so well known, that our blessed Saviour upbraids the not knowing them as a shame to Nicodemus. St. Chrysostom and Theophylact, Euthymius and Rupertus, affirm, that this generation by water and the Holy Spirit might have been understood by the Old Testament, in which Nicodemus was so well skilled. Certain it is, the doctrine of baptisms was well enough known to the Jews, and the ἐπιφοίτησις τοῦ Πνεύματος TOU OεOU," the illumination and irradiations of the Spirit of God" was not new to them, who believed the visions and dreams, the daughter of a voice, and the influences from heaven upon the sons of the prophets: and therefore although Christ intended to teach him more than what he had distinct notice of, yet the things themselves had foundation in the

law and the prophets: but although they were high mys-
teries, and scarce discerned by them who either were ignorant
or incurious of such things; yet to the Christians they were
very rudiments of their religion, and are best expounded
by observation of what St. Paul placed in the very founda-
tion. But,

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2. Baptism is the first mystery, that is certain; but that this of being born of the Spirit' is also the next, is plain in the very order of the words: and that it does mean a mystery distinct from baptism, will be easily assented to by them who consider, that although Christ baptized and made many disciples by the ministry of his apostles, yet they who were so baptized into Christ's religion, did not receive this baptism of the Spirit till after Christ's ascension.

3. The baptism of water was not peculiar to John the Baptist, for it was also of Christ, and ministered by his command; it was common to both; and therefore the baptism of water is the less principal here. Something distinct from it is here intended. Now if we add to these words, that St. John tells of another baptism which was Christ's peculiar, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire;" that these words were literally verified upon the apostles in Pentecost, and afterward upon all the baptized in spiritual effect (who, besides the baptism of water, distinctly had the baptism of the Spirit in confirmation); it will follow, that of necessity this must be the meaning and the verification of these words of our blessed Saviour to Nicodemus, which must mean a double baptism: "Transibimus per aquam et ignem, antequam veniemus in refrigerium," "We must pass through water and fire, before we enter into rest;" that is, we must first be baptized with water, and then with the Holy Ghost, who first descended in fire; that is, the only way to enter into Christ's kingdom is by these two doors of the tabernacle, which God hath pitched, and not man,—first by baptism, and then by confirmation; first by water, and then by the Spirit.

The primitive church had this notion so fully amongst them, that the author of the Apostolical Constitutions attributed to St. Clement P, who was St. Paul's scholar, affirms, That a man is made a perfect Christian (meaning ritually and

P S. Clem. Ep. 4. Constit. Apost.


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