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ceive the notice of them from the fountain itself, our blessed Saviour. "He that believes, out of his belly (as the Scripture saith) shall flow rivers of living waters. But this he spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive."-This is evidently spoken of the Spirit, which came down in Pentecost, which was promised to all that should believe in Christ, and which the apostles ministered by imposition of hands, the Holy Ghost himself being the expositor; and it can signify no less, but that a spring of life should be put into the heart of the confirmed, to water the plants of God; that they should become 'trees,' not only 'planted by the water-side' (for so it was in David's time, and in all the ministry of the Old Testament); but having ‘a river of living water' within them to make them fruitful of good works,' and bringing their fruit in due season, fruits worthy of amendment in life.'
1. But the principal thing is this: confirmation is the consummation and perfection, the corroboration and strength, of baptism and baptismal grace; for in baptism we undertake to do our duty, but n confirmation we receive strength to do it; in baptism others promise for us, in confirmation we undertake for ourselves, we ease our godfathers and godmothers of their burden and take it upon our own shoulders, together with the advantage of the prayers of the bishop and all the church made then on our behalf; in baptism we give up our names to Christ, but in confirmation we put our seal to the profession, and God puts his seal to the promise. It is very remarkable what St. Paul says of the beginnings of our being Christians, ὁ τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ Xóyös, "the word of the beginning of Christs:" Christ begins λόγος, with us, he gives us his word and admits us, and we by others' hands are brought in, τύπος διδαχῆς εἰς ὃν παρεδόθητε, it is the "form of doctrine, unto which ye were delivered." Cajetan observes right, that this is a new and emphatical way of speaking: we are wholly immerged in our fundamentals; other things are delivered to us, but we are delivered up unto these. This is done in baptism and catechism; and what was the event of it?" Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants o' righteousness." Your baptism was for the remission of sins there, and then ye were made f John, vii. 38.
3 Rom. vi. 17.
h Ver. 18.
free from that bondage: and what then? why then in the next place, when ye came to consummate this procedure, when the baptized was confirmed, then he became a servant of righteousness, that is, then the Holy Ghost descended upon you, enabled you to walk in the Spirit; then the seed of God was thrown into your hearts by a celestial influence. "Spiritus Sanctus in baptisterio plenitudinem tribuit ad innocentiam, sed in confirmatione augmentum præstat ad gratiam," said Eusebius Emissenus: " In baptism we are made innocent, in confirmation we receive the increase of the Spirit of grace;" in that we are regenerated unto life, in this we are strengthened unto battle. "Dono sapientiæ illuminamur, ædificamur, erudimur, instruimur, confirmamur, ut illam Sancti Spiritûs vocem audire possimus, Intellectum tibi dabo, et instruam te in hac vitâ quâ gradieris," said P. Melchiades *; "We are enlightened by the gift of wisdom, we are built up, taught, instructed, and confirmed; so that we may hear that voice of the Holy Spirit, I will give unto thee an understanding heart, and teach thee in the way wherein thou shalt walk :" for so,
Signari populos effuso pigmore sancto,
"It is a work of great and wonderful power, when the holy pledge of God is poured forth upon the people."—This is that power from on high, which firs descended in Pentecost. and afterward was ministered by pnyer and imposition of the apostolical and episcopal hands, and comes after the other gift of remission of sins. "Vides quòd non simpliciter hoc fit, sed multâ opus est virtute, ut deur Spiritus Sanctus. Non enim idem est assequi remissionen peccatorum, et accipere virtutem illam," said St. Chrysostom m; "You see that this is not easily done, but there is need of much power from on high to give the Holy Spirit; for t is not all one to obtain remission of sins, and to have received this virtue or power from above."-" Quamvis enim continuò transituris sufficiant regenerationis beneficia, victuris tamen necessaria sunt confirmationis auxilia," said Melchiaces: "Although to them that die presently, the benefits of regeneration (baptismal)
i Serm. de Pentecoste.
k Habetur apud Gratian, de Consecrat dist. 5. c. Spiritus S.
m Homil. 18. in Acta.
are sufficient, yet to them that live the auxiliaries of confirmation are necessary."-For, according to that saying of St. Leo, in his epistle to Nicetas the bishop of Aquileia, commanding that heretics returning to the church should be confirmed with invocation of the Holy Spirit and imposition of hands, "they have only received the form of baptism sine sanctificationis virtute,' 'without the virtue of sanctification;"" meaning, that this is the proper effect of confirmation. For, in short, “although the newly-listed soldiers in human warfare are enrolled in the number of them that are to fight, yet they are not brought to battle till they be more trained and exercised. So although by baptism every one is ascribed into the catalogue of believers, yet he receives more strength and grace for the sustaining and overcoming the temptations of the flesh, the world, and the devil, only by imposition of the bishop's hands:"They are words which I borrowed from a late synod at Rheims.-That is the first remark of blessing, in confirmation we receive strength to do all that which was for us undertaken in baptism: for the apostles themselves (as the holy fathers observe) were timorous in the faith until they were confirmed in Pentecost; but after the reception of the Holy Ghost they waxed valiant in the faith, and in all their spiritual combats.
2. In confirmation we receive the Holy Ghost as the earnest of our inheritance, as the seal of our salvation: Kay λοῦμεν σφραγίδα, ὡς συντήρησιν καὶ τῆς δεσποτείας σημείωσιν, saith Gregory Nazianzen; "We therefore call it a seal or signature, as being a guard and custody to us, and a sign of the Lord's dominion over us."-The confirmed person is Tрóbαтov εopрayioμévov, a sheep that is marked,'—which πρόβατον ἐσφραγισμένον, thieves do not so easily steal and carry away. To the same purpose are those words of Theodoretn: ̓Ανάμνησον σεαυτὸν τῆς ἱερᾶς μυσταγωγίας, ἐν ᾗ οἱ τελούμενοι, μετὰ τὴν ἄρνησιν τοῦ τυράννου, καὶ τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως ὁμολογίαν, οἱονεὶ σφραγίδα τινα βασιλικὴν δέχονται τοῦ Πνευματικοῦ μύρου τὸ χρίσμα, ὡς ἐν τύπῳ τῷ μύρῳ τὴν ἀόρατον τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος χάριν ὑποδε χόμενοι. "Remember that holy mystagogy, in which they who were initiated, after the renouncing that tyrant" (the devil and all his works), "and the confession of the true king" (Jesus Christ), "have received the chrism of spiritual
» Comment. in Cantic. c. i. ii.
unction like a royal signature, by that unction, as in a sha-
In Adhort. ad Baptis.
that excellency which the church of God called 'the Lord's seal,' and teaches to be imprinted in confirmation: TỪ TÉRIOV φυλακτήριον, τὴν σφραγίδα τοῦ Κυρίου, 6 a perfect phylactery or guard, even the Lord's seal;' so Eusebius calls it.
I will not be so curious as to enter into a discourse of the philosophy of this: but I shall say, that they who are curious in the secrets of nature, and observe external signatures in stones, plants, fruits, and shells, of which naturalists make many observations and observe strange effects, and the more internal signatures in minerals and living bodies, of which chemists discourse strange secrets, may easily, if they please, consider that it is infinitely credible, that in higher essences, even in spirits, there may be signatures proportionable, wrought more immediately and to greater purposes by a divine hand. I only point at this, and so pass it over, as, it may be, fit for every man's consideration.
And now if any man shall say, we see no such things as you talk of, and find the confirmed people the same after as before, no better and no wiser, not richer in gifts, not more adorned with graces, nothing more zealous for Christ's kingdom, not more comforted with hope, or established by faith, or built up with charity; they neither speak better, nor live better; what then? Does it therefore follow that the Holy Ghost is not given in confirmation? Nothing less. For is not Christ given us in the sacrament of the Lord's supper? Do not we receive his body and his blood? Are we not made all one with Christ, and he with us? And yet it is too true, that when we arise from that holy feast, thousands there are that find no change. But there are in this two things to be considered.
One is, that the changes which are wrought upon our souls are not, after the manner of nature, visible, and sensible, and with observation. "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:" for it is within you, and is only discerned spiritually, and produces its effects by the method of heaven, and is first apprehended by faith, and is endeared by charity, and at last is understood by holy and kind experiences. And in this there is no more objection against confirmation than against baptism, or the Lord's supper, or any other ministry evangelical.
The other thing is this: if we do not find the effects of