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sacramentally, and by all exterior solemnity) by the water of baptism and confirmation of the bishop: and from these words of Christ now alleged, derives the use and institution of the rite of confirmation. The same sense of these words is given to us by St. Cyprian, who, intending to prove the insufficiency of one without the other, says, "Tunc enim plene sanctificari et esse Dei filii possunt, si sacramento utroque nascantur, cùm scriptum sit, Nisi quis natus fuerit ex aqua et Spiritu, non potest intrare in regnum Dei,'" "Then they may be fully sanctified, and become the sons of God, if they be born with both the sacraments, or rites; for it is written, 'Unless a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.'"-The same also is the commentary of Eusebius Emissenus; and St Austin tells, that although some understand these words only of baptism, and others of the Spirit only, viz., in confirmation; yet others (and certainly much better) understand "utrumque sacramentum," "both the mysteries," of confirmation as well as baptism. Amalarius Fortunatust brings this very text to reprove them that neglect the episcopal imposition of hands : "Concerning them who by negligence lose the bishop's presence, and receive not the imposition of his hands, it is to be considered, lest in justice they be condemned, in which they exercise justice negligently, because they ought to make haste to the imposition of hands; because Christ said, ' Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God:' and as he said this, so also he said, 'Unless your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'”
To this I foresee two objections may be made. 1. That Christ did not institute confirmation in this place, because confirmation being for the gift of the Holy Ghost, who was to come upon none of the apostles till Jesus was glorified, these words seem too early for the consigning an effect that was to be so long after, and a rite that could not be practised till many intermedial events should happen. So said the Evangelist"; "the Holy Ghost was come upon none of them, because Jesus was not yet glorified;" intimating that this
great effect was to be in after-time: and it is not likely that the ceremony should be ordained before the effect itself was ordered and provided for; that the solemnity should be appointed before provisions were made for the mystery; and that the outward, which was wholly for the inward, should be instituted, before the inward and principal had its abode amongst us,
To this I answer, 1. That it is no unusual thing; for Christ gave the sacrament of his body, before his body was given; the memorial of his death was instituted before his death. 2. Confirmation might here as well be instituted as baptism; and by the same reason that the church from these words concludes the necessity of one, she may also infer the designation of the other; for the effect of baptism was at that time no more produced than that of confirmation, Christ had not yet purchased to himself a church, he had not wrought remission of sins to all that believe on him; the death of Christ was not yet past, into which death the Christian church was to be baptized. 3. These words are so an institution of confirmation, as the sixth chapter of St. John is of the blessed eucharist; it was designativa,' not ' ordinativa,' it was in design, not in present command; here it was preached, but not reducible to practice till its proper season. 4. It was like the words of Christ to St. Peter; "When thou art converted, confirm thy brethren." Here the command was given, but that confirmation of his brethren was to be performed in a time relative to a succeeding accident. 5. It is certain that long before the event, and grace was given, Christ did speak of the Spirit of confirmation, that Spirit which was to descend in Pentecost, which all they were to receive who should believe on him, which whosoever did receive, "out of his belly should flow rivers of living waters," as is to be read in that place of St. John× now quoted. 6. This predesignation of the Holy Spirit of confirmation was presently followed by some little antepast and donariola,' or 'little givings' of the Spirit; for our blessed Saviour gave the Holy Ghost three several times. First, duvdpas, 'obscurely,' and by intimation and secret virtue, then when he sent them to heal the sick, and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. Secondly, ixтUTоréρws, more expressly'
* Chap. vii. 38.
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 reλarέpws, 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. Jeromey 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 èv avtois, “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 ivepysig rapòv present by his power,' but present οὐσιωδῶς, ὡς ἂν εἴποι τις συγγινόμενόν τε καὶ πολιTEVOLEVOV, as St. Gregory Nazianzen expresses it, to dwell with us, to converse with us, and to abide for ever; o ¿žé×se ¿Q’ μãs πhovoíws 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 intended to 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.
z 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 6 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 ' nécessitate 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 opportu nity, 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 sacra mental part, God can and will supply it to us out of his own