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mifunderstand this expreffion in the office, which hath parallel ones in the New Teftament, fo as either to cenfure it, or delude himself with a fatal imagination, that any thing faid over him can poffibly convey to him a pardon of fins, for which he is not truly penitent. We only acknowledge, with due thankfulness, that God hath done his part: but which of the congregation have done theirs, their own coniciences must tell them.

After this commemoration, we go on to request for the perfons before us, that God would frengthen them against all temptation, and fupport them under all affliction, by the Holy Ghost the comforter, and daily increafe in them his manifold gifts of grace: which gifts we proceed to enumerate in feven particulars, taken from the prophet Ifaiah; by whom they are afcribed to our bleffed Redeemer; but as the fame ind ought to be in us which was in Chrift Jefus 1, a petition for them was ufed, in the office of confirmation, 1400 years ago, if not fooner. The feparate meaning of each of the feven, it is neither eafy nor needful to determine with certainty. For indeed, if no more was defigned, than to exprefs very fully and strongly, by various words of nearly the fame import, a pious and moral temper of mind; this is a manner of fpeaking both common and emphatical. But each of them may be taken in a diftinct sense of its own. And thus we may beg for these our fellow-chriftians, a spirit of aifdom, to aim at the right end, the falvation of their fouls; and of underfanding, to pursue it by right means: of counjel, to form good purpofes; and of ghtly or fpiritual ftrength, to execute them: of useful knowledge in the doctrines of religion; and true godliness, difpofing them to a proper ufe of it. But chiefly, though Laftly, we pray that they may be filled with the Spirit of God's holy fear with that reverence of him, as the greateft, and pureft, and beft of beings, the rightful proprietor and juft judge of all, which will effectually excite them to whatever they are concerned to believe or do. For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom §.

Having concluded this prayer for them all in general, the bishop implores the divine protection and grace for each one, or each pair of them, in particular: that as

+ Ifa. xi. 2.

he is already God's profeffed child and fervant, by the recognition which he hath just made of his baptifmal covenant, so he may continue his for ever, by faithfully keeping it: and, far from decaying, daily increafe in his Holy Spirit, that is, in the fruits of the Spirit, piety and virtue, more and more making greater and quicker advances in them, as life goes on, until he come to that decifive hour, when his portion fhall be unchangeable in God's everlasting kingdom.

And, along with the utterance of these folemn words, he lays his hand on each of their heads: a ceremony ufed from the earliest ages by religious perfons, when they prayed for God's bleffing on any one; ufed by our Saviour, who, when children were brought to him, that he should put his hands on them, and pray, and bless them, was much difpleafed with thofe who forbad it; ufed by the apoftles, after converts were baptized, as the text plainly fhews; reckoned in the epiftle to the Hebrews among the foundations of the chriftian profeffion conftantly practifed, and highly efteemed in the church from that time to this; and fo far from being a popish ceremony, that the papifts adminifter confirmation by other ceremonies of their own devifing, and have laid afide this primitive one; which therefore our church very prudently restored. And the custom of it is approved, as apoftolical, both by Luther and Calvin, and feveral of their followers, though they rafhly abolished it, as having been abufed**. But I am credibly informed, that at Geneva it hath lately been restored.

The laying on of the hand naturally expreffes good will and good withes in the perfon who doth it and in the prefent cafe is further intended, as you will find in one of the following prayers, to certify thofe, to whom it is done, of God's favour and gracious goodness towards them: of which goodness they will continually feel. the effects, provided, which must always. be understood, that they preferve their title to his care by a proper care of themfelves. This, it must be owned, is a truth: and we may as innocently fignify it by this fign as by any other, or as by any words to the fame purpose. Further efficacy we do not afcribe to it: nor would have you look on bishops as having or claiming a power,

Eph. i. 7. Col. i. 14. Matt. xix. 13-15. Mark x. 13-16 Difcourfes on Epifcopal Confirmation, 8vo. 1682, p. 23-36.

Phil. ii. 5.

Heb. vi. 1.

Pfal. cxi. ro **See Camfield's two

in any cafe, to confer bleffings arbitrarily on whom they pleafe; but only as petitioning God for that bleffing from above which he alone can give; yet we juftly hope, will give the rather for the prayers of those whom he hath placed over his people, unless your own unworthinefs prove an impediment. Not that you are to expect, on the performance of this good of fice, any fudden and fenfible change in your hearts, giving you, all at once, a remarkable ftrength or comfort in piety, which you never felt before. But you may reasonably promise yourselves, from going through it with a proper difpofition, greater measures, when real occafion requires them, of fuch divine affiftance as will be needful for your fupport and orderly growth in every virtue of a christian life.

And now, the impofition of hands being finished, the bishop and congregation mutually recommend each other to God, and return to fuch joint and public devotions as are fuitable to the folemnity. The first of thefe is the Lord's Prayer: a form feafonable always, but peculiarly now; as every petition in it will fhew, to every one who confiders it. In the next place, more efpecial fupplications are poured forth, for the perfons particularly concerned, to him who alone can enable them both to will and to do what is good; that, as the hand of his minifter hath been laid upon them, to his fatherly hand may ever be over them, and lead them in the only way, the knowLedge and obedience of his word, to everlaft. ing life. After this, a more general prayer is offered up for them and the reft of the congregation together, that God would vouchsafe, unworthy as we all are, fo to direct and govern both our hearts and bodies, our inclinations and actions, (for neither will fuffice without the other) in the ways of his laws, and in the works of his commandments, that, through bis moft mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preferved in body and foul: having the former, in his good time, raifed up from the dead, and the latter made happy, in conjunction with it, to all eternity.

Thefe requests being thus made, it only remains, that all be difmiffed with a folemn blefling which will certainly abide with you, unlefs, by wilful fin, or grofs negligence, you drive it away. And in that cafe, you must not hope, that your baptifm, er your confirmation, or the prayers of the

bishop, or the church, or the whole world, will do you any fervice. On the contrary, every thing which you might have been the better for, if you had made a good use of it, you will be the worfe for, if you make a bad one. the covenant of your baptifm in confirmaYou do well to renew tion: but if you break it, you forfeit the benefit of it. You do well to repeat your vows in the facrament of the Lord's fuped by their dying Saviour, for the ftrengthper: it is what all chriftians are commandening and refreshing of their fouls: it is what I beg all, who are confirmed, will remember, and their friends and minifters remind it, the happier; and by stopping fhort, the them of: the fooner they are prepared for benefit of what preceded will be loft. But and live wickedly, you do but eat and drink if you are admitted to this privilege alfo, your own condemnation. So that all depends on a throughly honeft care of your hearts and behaviour in all respects.

avoid fmaller faults. And if we entreat Not that, with our best care, we can pardon for them in our daily prayers, and faithfully ftrive against them, they will not be imputed to us. fins we may avoid, through God's help: But grofs and habitual and if we fall into them, we fall from our title to falvation at the fame time. Yet let us not make it fo, by thinking it is : even then our cafe is not defperate: and for, through the grace of the gospel, we may ftill repent and amend, and then bə forgiven. But I beg you to obferve, that, the happiest recovery from ficknefs; fo is as continued health is vaftly preferable to innocence to the trueft repentance. If we fuffer ourfelves to tranfgrefs our duty, God knows whether we fhall have time to repent; God knows whether we fhall have a heart to do it. At beft we shall have loft, have been going back: whereas we have and more than loft, the whole time that we all need to prefs forwards, as fast as we fin preferve that treasure with the greate it can. Therefore let the innocent of wilful circumfpection; and the faulty return from enter upon the way of righteoufnefs with their errors without delay. Let the young hearty refolution; and thofe of riper age perfevere in it to the end. In a word, let us all, of every age, feriously confider, and faithfully practife, the obligations of religion. For the Vows of God are ftill upon us, how long foever it be fince they were

* Pfalm lvi. Las

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firft made, either by us, or for us: and it is in vain to forget what he will affuredly remember; or hope to be safe in neglect ing what he expecs us to do. But let us ufe proper diligence; and he will infallibly give us proper affiftance, and confirm as all unto the End, that we may be blameless in the Day of our Lord Jefus Chrift*.

Now unto him, who is able to keep us from falling, and to prefent us faultless before the prefence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wife God our Saviour, be glory and majefty, dominion and power, both now and Secker. ever. Amen†.

172. The CHURCH CATECHISM explained, by way of Question and Anfwer.

PART I. The Chriflian Covenant. SECT. I. Of the Benefits of Baptism; or the Mercies afforded on God's Part. Queft. What is your name ? Anfw. N. or M.

Q. What do you call this name which you answer by ?

A. I call it my christian name.

Q. Why do you call it your christian name?

A. Because it was given me when I was made a christian.

Q. Why are you here asked this name? A. To put me in mind of the faith I profeffed, and the vows that I made at my baptifm, when this name was given me.

Q. Who gave you this name?

A. My godfathers and godmothers in my baptifm; wherein I was made a member of Chrift, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.

Q. Why did your godfathers and godmothers give you your christian name?

A. Because they prefented me to my baptifm, and gave fecurity to the church for my chriftian education.

Q. What are the privileges you receive by being baptifed?

A. I am thereby made a member of Chrift, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.

Q. Why are you faid to be made a member of Chrift, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven?

A. Becaufe I was not fo born, but made fo by baptifm.

Q. How do you prove this by fcripture? A. By Eph. ii. 3. And were by nature the children of wrath.'

* 1 Cor. i. 3.

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Q. Why is a member of Chrift's church faid to be a member of Chrift?

A. Because the church is called the body of Christ, and Christ is called the head of that body.

Q. Where is the church called the body of Chrift, and Chrift the head of the church?

A. In Eph. i. 22, 23. The church, which is his body.' Eph. v. 23. church.'

Chrift is the head of the

Q. How do you prove, that by baptifm you are made a member of Chrift's church?

A. Because Chrift appointed, and his apostles always ufed baptifm as the way of admittance into the church,

Q. What is it to be a child of God?

A. It is to be one whom God in an efpecial manner loves, as a father does his child, Q. Why are you firft faid to be a member of Chrift, and then a child of God?

A. Because it is through Chrift that I am made a child of God.

that by baptifm you were made a child of Q. How do you prove from fcripture,


A. From Rom. viii. 15. Ye have re ceived the fpirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father.'

Gal. iii. 26, 27. Ye are all the children

of God by faith in Chrift Jefus for as many of you as have been baptifed into Chrift, have put on Christ.'

Q. What is it to be an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven?

A. It is to be fo by promife; fo that I may furely, by leading a chriftian life, have the poffeffion of an eternal inheritance.

Q. How is this proved by fcripture? A. From Luke xii. 32. Fear not, litfure to give you the kingdom.' tle flock; for it is your Father's good plea

Rom. viii. 16, 17. We are the children

+ Jude xiv. 25.

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1 John ii. 25. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.' SECT. II. Of the Vow of Baptifm; or the Conditions required on our Part. Q. You have told me what privileges you have by being baptifed; but cannot you forfeit them?

A. Yes, I may lofe them, if I do not keep the promises made for me when I was baptifed.

Q. What did your godfathers and godmothers then for you ?

A. They did promife and vow three things in my name. First, That I fhould renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked world, and all the finful lufts of the flesh. Secondly, That I fhould believe all the articles of the chriftian faith. And thirdly, That I fhould keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the fame all the days of my life.

Q. What is it that you here promise to renounce?

A. I promise to renounce the three fpiritual enemies to my prefent and future happiness; which are the devil, the world, and the flesh.

Q. What is it to renounce them? A. It is inwardly to hate, and actually to reject them, fo as not to follow, or to be led by them.

Q. What mean you by the word devil? A. By that general word the devil, is meant all the fallen angels, who are under their prince combined for our ruin.

Q. What is meant by renouncing him? A. The refufing all familiarity and contracts with the devil, whereof witches, conjurers, and fuch as refort to them are guilty. Q. What is meant by the works of the devil?

A. All fin; particularly thofe fins which the devil himself is especially charged with; fach as murder, cruelty, and malice; pride, envy, and lying, and feducing others to fin. Q. Why is fin called the work of the devil?

A. Because he first finned, then feduced men to fin, and doth fill tempt to it.

Q. What proof have you from fcripture of your obligation thus to renounce the devil and all his works?

A. From 1 John iii. 8. He that committeth fin is of the devil; for the devil finneth from the beginning. For this


pofe the fon of God was manifefted, that he might destroy the works of the devil.'

I John v. 18. We know that whofoever is born of God finneth not; but he that is begotten of God, keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.'

2 Tim. ii. 19. Let every one that nameth the name of Chrift, depart from iniquity.'

Q. What is the second enemy you are to renounce ?

A. This wicked world, with its pomps and vanities.

Q. Why do you call it this wicked world?

A. Because of the evil it tempts to, and the evil ufe it is put to by bad men. Q. What do you mean by pomps? A. Honour and worldly glory.

Q. What is it to renounce the pomps of this world?

A. It is to refrain from all immoderate defires of the honour and glory of this world, and from all pride and oftentation in what we enjoy of it.

Q. How do you prove from fcripture, that you are obliged thus to renounce the pomps of the world?

A. From 1 John ii. 16. The pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world.'

Phil. ii. 3. Let nothing be done through vain-glory, but in lowlinefs of mind let each efteem other better than themselves."

Q. What do you understand by the vanity of the world?

A. I understand by it covetoufnefs, and all ungodly and vain cuftoms of the world, Q. What is it to renounce the vanities of the world?

A. It is to reject all unlawful means of gaining riches; to refufe to follow the finful ways, cuftoms, or fafhions of the world, and to avoid all wicked company, which would lead us to them.

Q. What proof have you of being ob liged to avoid all covetous defires of the world?

A. From 1 John ii. 15. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.'

Luke xii. 15. Take heed, and beware of covetoufnefs.'

Q. What proof have you of your being obliged to refuse to follow the finful ways, customs, or fashions of the world?

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Q. What proof have you of your being obliged to avoid all wicked company ?

A. From 1 Cor. v. 11. Now I have written unto you, not to keep company; if any man that is called a brother [chriftian] be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with fuch an one no not to eat. Eph. v. 11. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.'

Q. What do you understand by the finful lufts of the flesh?

A. I understand by them, all unlawful pleafures to which we are provoked by our fenfual inclinations; fuch as uncleannefs, drunkenness, &c.

Q. What is it to renounce these?

A. It is to rent all defires of them, to tame and regulate my diforderly inclinations to them, and my corrupt nature inwardly delighting in them.

Q. What proof have you of your being obliged to this?

A. From Gal. v. 24. They that are Christ's have crucified the fleih, with the affections and lufts.'

Rom. viii. 13. If ye live after the flesh, ye fhall die: but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye fhall live.'

1 Pet. ii. 11. I beseech you as ftrangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lufts, which war against the foul.'

Q. What is the fecond duty you were at your baptifm obliged to perform? A. To believe all the articles of the christian faith.

Q. What proof have you of your being obliged to do fo?

A. From John iii. 36. He that beleveth on the Son, hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son, fhall not fee life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.'

John xvii. 3. This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jefus Christ whom thou haft fent.'

Mark xvi. 16. He that believeth and is baptized, fhall be faved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.'

Q. What is the third duty you promifed at your baptifm to do?

A. To keep God's holy will and commandments, and to walk in the fame all the days of my life.

Q. What proof have you of your being obliged to this?

A. From Matt. xxviii. 20. Teaching

them to obferve all things whatfoever I have commanded you.'

Eph. ii. 10. We are his workmanship, created in Chrift Jefus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we fhould walk in them.'

Luke i. 74, 75. That we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might ferve him without fear, in holiness and righteoufnefs before him, all the days of our life.'

Q. Doft thou not think that thou art bound to believe, and to do as they have promifed for thee?

A. Yes, verily, and by God's help fo I will. And I heartily thank our heavenly Father, that he hath called me to this ftate of falvation, through Jefus Christ our Saviour. And I pray unto God to give me his grace, that I may continue in the fame unto my life's end.

Q. Why do you think yourself bound to believe and to do what your godfathers and godmothers promifed for you?

A. Because they acted in my ftead, and what they promifed was in my name. Q. Are you refolved to do what they promised for you?

A. Yes, by God's help; for otherwife I fhall forfeit the bleflings of that state which I was by my baptifm admitted into. Q. What is that fate?

A. It is a ftate of falvation.

Q. Why do you call it a ftate of falvation ?

A. Because I have thereby all the means neceffary to falvation.

Q. How do you prove this from fcripture?

A. From Rom. i. 16. The gospel is the power of God unto falvation, unto every one that believeth.'

2 Tim. iii. 15. From a child thou haft known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wife unto falvation.'

Q. How came you into this itate of falvation?

A. Our heavenly Father called me to it through Jefus Chrift our Saviour, and inftated me into it by baptifm.

Q. How do you prove this from fcripture?

A. From Titus iii. 4, 5. The kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared, not by works of righteoufnefs which we have done, but according to his mercy he faved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghoft.'

R 4

2 Tim.

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