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lical pattern, our enemies themselves being judges. This being now clear, as to the persons whose office it is to administer Confirmation; we must enquire who are the persons proper to receive it.

IV. When the Apostles heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to lay their hands upon them : therefore they who have received the Iord of God are the proper subjects of Confirmation. By receiving the word of God, the case itself instructs us we are here to understand the taking upon themselves the Christian profession in baptism; and baptism includes faith and repentance. He that perseveres in his repentance, retains his faith, and has a competent knowledge of the Word of God, is qualified for the farther endowments of divine grace. If the Apostles when they visited Samaria, or any other of the first Churches, found therein persons who had departed from the conditions of their baptism, without question they regarded such persons as utterly unfit for the imposition of hands. This was the case of Simon, a man of a vain worldly spirit, who neither understood nor relished the purity of the Gospel, and was therefore

de declared to have neither part nor lot in that matter.

V. The circumstances of the Church being now so different from what they were formerly, it will be a matter of some difficulty to explain the benefit of Confirmation. In the Apostolical age, the benefit in very many who received it, was immediate and conspicuous; because other ends were to be served besides the progress of private persons in the Christian life. While the Church was surrounded with heathen unbelievers, extraordinary powers were required for their conversion: with which view, the gifts of miracles, and of speaking with tongues, were communicated by the laying on of hands. In those days, the members of the Church were not only endued with such grace as operated inwardly upon their affections for the retaining of them in the ways of Truth and Holiness, but with such power likewise as inanifested itself outwardly to the senses of men, and thereby led them to consider and assent to a Religion so miraculously attested. Their prejudice was too great to be conquered by the force of Reason. The internal merits of the Gospel, and the native excellence of Truth, , would have no effect on those who were inca

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pable of discerning them. Therefore God in his great mercy condescended to the shorter method of leading their Reason and Philosophy captive, by operating upon them through the medium of their bodily senses, But when the Gospel was spread abroad in the world, and children were everywhere trained up under Christian parents, these extraordinary powers became unnecessary, and were consequently withd awn. education hath such an intluence upon the mind, that many persons are rendered proof against miracles and all the demonstrations which the Power and Wisdom of God can present to them. It has such an effect upon the faculties, that a good-natured man will be soured into malice and cruelty, a learned man (though surrounded with light) will be groping in darkness, and a sensible man will talk like an ideot. When this grand obstacle is removed, and people are no longer brought up to heathenism, the work of conversion may be left to Education; the mind of a child will imbibe what is offered ; and as it grows to maturity, Reason will be able to maintain what simplicity received,

On these considerations, it is not to be wondered at, that the extraordinary powers

which attended Confirmation were discontipued after the establishment of Christianity, and nothing retained but those internal powers which were always requisite for the salvation of individuals, and were therefore conferred at the same time with the others. The Grace of God to dispel the darkness of the understanding, and restrain the frowardness of passion, was as necessary to those who were confirmed by St. Peter, St. John, or St. Paul, as to those who are confirmed in this latter Age of the Church; and therefore it is equally communicated in all times. What though the greatness of the Apostolical cha, racter may now be sunk in the eyes of those who know not how to distinguish between times and seasons; yet God, who promised to be with his Apostles to the end of the yorld, will not be wanting to his promise, nor leave his Church without such helps as are necessary toward the perfecting and saving of its Members. Wherefore we may safely depend upon it, that the benefit of Confirination to the faithful receiver is as real as that of baptism; though it is not subject, in either case, to immediate observation. A learned Author, who was a man of great piety, had much experience of the world, and never was

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lical pattern, our enemies themselves being judges. This being now clear, as to the persons whose office it is to administer Confirmation; we must enquire who are the persons

proper to receive it.

IV. When the Apostles heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to lay their hands upon them: therefore they who have received the Word of God are the proper subjects of Confirmation. By receiving the word of God, the case itself instructs us we are here to understand the taking upon themselves the Christian profession in baptism; and baptism includes faith and repentance. He that perseveres in his repentance, retains his faith, and has a competent knowledge of the Word of God, is qualified for the farther endowments of divine grace. If the Apostles when - they visited Samaria, or any other of the first Churches, found therein persons who had departed from the conditions of their baptism, without ques. tion they regarded such persons as utterly unfit for the imposition of hands. This was the case of Simon, a man of a vain worldly spirit, who neither understood nor relished the purity of the Gospel, and was therefore

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