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of the seven, and in my opinion next to St. Stephen; therefore though he baptized, yet he gave not the Holy Ghost; for he had no power so to do, for this gift was proper only to the apostles." "Nam virtutem quidem acceperant (diaconi) faciendi signa, non autem dandi aliis Spiritum Sanctum; igitur hoc erat in apostolis singulare, unde et præcipuos, et non alios, videmus hoc facere." "The ministers that baptized had a power of doing signs and working miracles, but not of giving the Holy Spirit; therefore this gift was peculiar to the apostles, whence it comes to pass that we see the chiefs in the church, and no other, to do this."
St. Dionysius says, Xpɛia Toũ ágxiepéws kotαi, “There is need of a bishop to confirm the baptized," avrà yàp žv ñ ἀρχαία συνήθεια, “ for this was the ancient custom of the church :" and this was wont to be done by the bishops, for conversation of unity in the church of Christ,' said St. Ambrose"; "a solis episcopis," "by bishops only," said St. Austin;-for" the bishops succeeded in the place and ordinary office of the apostles," said St. Jerome. And therefore in his dialogue against the Luciferians it is said "that this observation for the honour of the priesthood did descend, that the bishops only might by imposition of hands confer the Holy Ghost; that it comes from Scripture, that it is written in the Acts of the Apostles, that it is done for the prevention of schisms; that the safety of the church depends upon it.”
But the words of Pope Innocentius I. in his first epistle and third chapter, and published in the first tome of the councils, are very full to this particular. "De consignandis infantibus, manifestum est non ab alio quàm ab episcopo fieri licere: nam presbyteri, licèt sint sacerdotes, pontificatûs tamen apicem non habent: hæc autem pontificibus solis deberi, ut vel consignent, vel Paracletum Spiritum tradant, non solùm consuetudo ecclesiastica demonstrat, verùm et illa lectio Actuum Apostolorum, quæ asserit Petrum et Johannem esse directos, qui jam baptizatis traderent Spiritum Sanctum:""Concerning confirmation of infants, it is manifest, it is not lawful to be done by any other than by the bishop; for although the presbyters be priests, yet they have not the summity of episcopacy: but that these things are only due to bishops, is not only demonstrated by the custom * Τοὺς κορυφαίους. b Cap. 5. Eccles. Hier, In Heb. vi. q. 44. in N, T.
of the church, but by that of the Acts of the Apostles, where Peter and John were sent to minister the Holy Ghost to them that were baptized."-Optatus" proves Macarius to be no bishop, because he was not conversant in the episcopal office, and imposed hands on none that were baptized. "Hoc unum à majoribus fit, id est, à summis pontificibus, quod à minoribus perfici non potest," said P. Melchiades: "This (of confirmation) is only done by the greater ministers, that is, by the bishops, and cannot be done by the lesser."-This was the constant practice and doctrine of the primitive church, and derived from the practice and tradition of the apostles and recorded in their Acts written by St. Luke. For this is our great rule in this case, what they did in rituals and consigned to posterity is our example and our warranty: we see it done thus, and by these men, and by no others, and no otherwise, and we have no other authority, and we have no reason to go another way. The ἄνδρες youμevo in St. Luke, the xopupa in St. Chrysostom, the πρόεδρος in Philo, and the πρεσβύτατος, “ the chief governor' in ecclesiasticals, his office is τὰ μὴ γνώριμα ἐν τοῖς βίβλοις åvadidάonɛiv," to teach such things as are not set down in books;" their practice is a sermon, their example in these things must be our rule, or else we must walk irregularly, and have no rule but chance and humour, empire and usurpation; and therefore much rather, when it is recorded in holy writ, must this observation be esteemed sacred and inviolable.
But how if a bishop be not to be had, or not ready? St. Ambrose is pretended to have answered, " Apud Ægyptum presbyteri consignant, si præsens non sit episcopus," "A presbyter may consign, if the bishop be not present;" and Amalarius affirms, "Sylvestrum Papam, prævidentem quantum periculosum iter arriperet qui sine confirmatione maneret, quantum potuit subvenisse, et propter absentiam episcoporum, necessitate addidisse, ut à presbytero ungeretur," "that Pope Sylvester, foreseeing how dangerous a journey e Epist. ad Episc. Hispan.
d Contra. Parmen. lib. 7.
Voluit Deus dona illa admiranda non contingere baptizatis nisi per manus apostolorum, ut auctoritatem testibus suis conciliaret quàm maximam ; quod ipsum simul ad retinendam ecclesiæ unitatem pertinebat: Grotius.- Videtur ergo fuisse peculiare apostolorum munus dare Spiritum Sanctum: Isidor.Clarius in 8. Actuum Apostolorum.
! In Eph. iv.
b De Offic. Eccles. cap. 27,
he takes who abides without confirmation, brought remedy as far as he could, and commanded that in the absence of bishops they should be anointed by the priest :" and therefore it is by some supposed that " factum valet, fieri non debuit," "the thing ought not to be done but in the proper and appointed way;" but when it is done, it is valid; just as in the case of baptism by a layman or woman. Nay, though some canons say it is actio irrita,' the act is null, yet for this there is a salvo pretended; for sometimes an action is said to be irrita' in law, which yet nevertheless is of secret and permanent value, and ought not to be done again. Thus if a priest be promoted by simony, it is said, "sacerdos non est, sed inaniter tantum dicitur," "he is but vainly called a priest, for he is no priesti." So Sixtus II. said, 'that if a bishop ordain in another's diocess, the ordination is void;' and in the law it is said, that if a bishop be consecrated without his clergy and the congregation, the consecration is null and yet these later and fiercer constitutions do not determine concerning the natural event of things, but of the legal and canonical approbation.
To these things I answer, that St. Ambrose's saying that in Egypt, the presbyters consign in the bishops' absence,' does not prove that they ever did confirm or impose hands on the baptized for the ministry of the Holy Spirit; because that very passage being related by St. Austink, the more general word of 'consign' is rendered by the plainer and more particular consecrant,' they consecrate,' meaning the blessed eucharist; which was not permitted primitively to a simple priest to do in the bishop's absence without leave; only in Egypt it seems they had a general leave, and the bishop's absence was an interpretative consent. But besides this, 'consignant' is best interpreted by the practice of the church, of which I shall presently give an account; they might, in the absence of the bishop, consign with oil upon the top of the head, but not in the forehead; much less impose hands, or confirm, or minister the Holy Spirit: for the case was this.
It was very early in the church, that, to represent the
i 1. Qu. 1. cap. Qui vult 1. et 2 Epist. 2. de Episc. Ordinante. 1 qu. 2. c. In multis. Clement. de Elect. cap. In plerisque.
k Qu. V. et N. T. qu. 101.
grace which was ministered in confirmation, the unction from above, they used oil and balsam; and so constantly used this in their confirmations, that from the ceremony it had the appellation: "sacramentum chrismatis," St. Austin1 calls it ;-v μúpy Teλelwois, so Dionysius. Now because at the baptism of the adult Christians, and (by imitation of that) of infants, confirmation and baptism were usually ministered at the same time; the unction was not only used to persons newly baptized, but another unction was added as a ceremony in baptism itself, and was used immediately before baptism; and the oil was put on the top of the head, and three times was the party signed. So it was then, as we find in the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. But besides this unction with oil in baptismal preparations, and pouring oil into the baptismal water, we find another unction after the baptism was finished. For they bring the baptized person again to the bishop (saith St. Dionysius "), who assigning the man with hallowed chrism, gives him the holy eucharist." This they called χρίσιν τελειωτικήν, “ the perfective or consummating unction;" this was that which was used when the bishop confirmed the baptized person: "for to him who is initiated by the most holy initiation of the divine generation (that is, to him who hath been baptized, saith Pachimeres, the paraphrast of Dionysius), the perfective unction of chrism gives the gift of the Holy Ghost.”—This is that which the Laodicean n council calls χρίεσθαι μετὰ τὸ βάπToμa, "to be anointed after baptism." Both these unctions were intimated by Theophilus Antiochenus: Τίς δὲ ἄνθρωπος εἰσελθὼν εἰς τόνδε τὴν βίον, ἢ τίς ἀθλητῶν, οὐ χρίεται ἐλαίῳ ; "Every man that is born into the world, and every man that is a champion, is anointed with oil:" that to baptism, this alluding to confirmation.
Now this chrism was frequently ministered immediately after baptism, in the cities where the bishop was present: but in villages and little towns where the bishop was not present, it could not be; but bishops were forced at their opportunities to go abroad and perfect what was wanting, as it was in the example of Peter and John to the Samaritans. "Non quidem abnuo hanc esse ecclesiarum consuetudinem, ut ad eos qui longè in minoribus urbibus per presbyteros et diaco
I Lib. 2. contr. Liter. Petiliani, c. 104. m Eccles, Hier. cap. 2. n Can. 48
nos baptizati sunt, episcopus ad invocationem Sancti Spiritûs manum impositurus excurrat:" "It is the custom of the church, that when persons are in lesser cities baptized by priests and deacons, the bishop uses to travel far, that he may lay hands on them for the invocation of the Holy Spirit." But because this could not always be done, and because many baptized persons died before such an opportunity could be had; the church took up a custom, that the bishop should consecrate the chrism, and send it to the villages and little cities distant from the metropolis, and that the priests should anoint the baptized with it. But still they kept this part of it sacred and peculiar to the bishop: 1. That no chrism should be used but what the bishop consecrated; 2. That the priests should anoint the head of the baptized, but at no hand the forehead, for that was still reserved for the bishop to do when he confirmed them. And this is evident in the epistle of Pope Innocentius the First, above quoted. "Nam presbyteris, seu extra episcopum seu præsente episcopo baptizant, chrismate baptizatos ungere licet, sed quod ab episcopo fuerit consecratum; non tamen frontem ex eodem oleo signare, quod solis debetur episcopis, cùm tradunt Spiritum Paracletum." Now this the bishops did, not only to satisfy the desire of the baptized, but by this ceremony to excite the votum confirmationis,' that they who could not actually be confirmed, might at least have it in voto' in desire,' and in ecclesiastical representation. This, as some think, was first introduced by Pope Sylvester: and this is the consignation which the priests of Egypt used in the absence of the bishop; and this became afterward the practice in other churches.
But this was no part of the holy rite of confirmation, but a ceremony annexed to it ordinarily; from thence transmitted to baptism, first by imitation, afterward by way of supply and in defect of the opportunities of confirmation episcopal. And therefore we find in the first Arausican council, in the time of Leo the First and Theodosius junior, it was decreed, "that in baptism every one should receive chrism de eo autem qui in baptismate, quâcunque necessitate faciente, chrismatus non fuerit, in confirmatione sacerdos commonebitur:' if the baptized by any intervening P Cap. 1.
• S. Hieron. adv. Lucifer. ante Med.