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We may reasonably think, that when the Apoftles Peter and John Confirm'd the Samaritans, they did not only pray together for the Congregation, but out of their fervent zeal for the Inestimable Gift of the Holy Ghoft, did alfo jointly lay their right hands upon every one feverally.
If the number of perfons to be Confirm'd be too great for the ftrength of the Bishop, he can order them to be divided, and come to him at feveral times.
r From fin and neglect of duty, and from ignorance and error. Thy grace of thy Holy Spirit to know and obey thy Word. John 14. 26. Eph. 3. 14 to 20. ch. 5. 9. Thy true fervant. In the grace of thy Holy Spirit to know and obey thy Word. 2 Pet. 3. 18.
Then shall the Bishop fay,.
To help you in praying now. w To help thee in praying for us. Altho' there is no mention Ans 8, of Peter and John praying for the Congregation, after they had laid their hands on them: yet we may very well fuppofe that they did folemnly commend them to the Grace of God; as Paul and Barnabas did upon another occafion. Acts 14. 23. And all kneeling down the Bishop shall add. Let us pray.
Luke 11. 2 to 14,
Chrift commands us, when we pray to say,
Our Father, &c; particularly when we pray for the Holy Spirit.
Our Father which art in beaven, Hallowed x be thy Name y. Thy Kingdom z come a. Thy will b be done in earth c, As it is in beaven d. Give us e this day f our daily bread g And forgive us our trefpaffes; Ash we forgive them that trefpass against us i. And lead us not k into temptation 1: But deliver us from evil m. Amen.
Honoured above all
d By the Angels and Saints. e All that truly ferve thee.
By us and all people.
Luke 11. 4. i Not otherwife hoping for thy forgiveness. k By denying the help of thy grace. To be overcome by it. m From fin.
And this Collect.
By thefe Prayers we exprefs our earnestness
and importunity, which Chrift requires in praying for the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Luke 11. 8 to 14. n See the first Prayer. o Phil.
Almighty and everlasting God n, who makeft us both to will, and to do thofe things that be good o and acceptable punto thy Divine Majeftyq; we make our bumble r fupplications s un to thee for these thy fervants, upon whom (after the example of thy boly Apoftles t) we have now laid our bands u, to certify v them (by this fign w) of thy favour and gracious goodness towards them x.
2. 13. Pleafing
Affure. Not only our Laying on our hands, but our praying particularly for every Promis'd (John 7. 37, 38, 39. ch. 14. 16. Acts 2. 38, 39) to be given by this Sign. Atts 8. 14, 15, 16, 17. ch. 19. 6.
y Leading and guid ing them. z To lead them in the knowledge and obedience of thy Word. John 14. 26. Eph. 5. 9. a By Chrift's giving them thy Holy Spirit, and John 15. 26) ever(lafting life (ch. 10. 27, 28) and for his
fake. ch. 3. 14, 15. Tit. 2. 14. Heb. 7. 25. 6 Who with thee and the Holy Ghoft
Let thy Fatherly band, we befeech thee, ever be over them y. Let thy Holy Spirit ever be with them z. And fo lead them in the knowledge and obedience of thy Word, that in the end they may obtain everlasting life, through our Lord Jefus Christ a; who with thee, and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth ever one God b, world without end c. Amen.
fiveth and reigneth, not another God, but the fame eternal God. He fo liveth and reigneth ever world without end. There fore he can do all we pray for.
O Almighty Lord, and everlafting God d, vouchsafe e we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify f and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through, thy most mighty protection g, both here and ever, we may be preferved h through our Lord and Saviour
d See the first Praye Be pleased. f make holy. g Defending us with thy grace. b In all holinefs, and from all fin. iBy Chrift's giving us grace and for his fake. Tit. 2. 14. Heb. 7.
in body and foul,
Then shall the Bishop bless them, saying thus,
The blessing of God Almighty k, the Father 1, the Son m, and the Holy Ghost n, be upon you, and remain with you for ever. Amen.
The one God, and
Lord of all, (Exod.
20. 3) in three Perfons. Matth. 28. 19. I The bleffing of the Father, from whom is all bleffing. 1 Cor. 8. 6. whom the Father does all.
m The bleffing of the Son, by Eph. 3. 9. n And the bleffing of the Holy Ghoft, by whom the Father and the Son do all. John 15. 26. Job 26. 13. See the Creed, 50. 2
And there fhall none be ad• Because till then he mitted to the Holy Commucannot be ready to par- nion, until fuch time as he be take of the Holy Communion. And if he reConfirm'd, or be ready and fafe to be Confirm'd, defirous to be Confirmed o. then he fins in defpifing God's Ordinance, and the means of Grace, and alfo in difobeying the Law of the Church.
But who are they that are Confirm'd? Surely not all that have been under the hand of the Bishop; but only they who were duly prepar'd for it; and alfo were careful to do what belonged to them to do at their Confirmation. For fuch only can hope for the Ineftimable Grace of the Holy Ghoft, which is pray'd
for, and given in this Ordinance. They certainly receive their
But how can they receive fuch a Mercy from God, who come for it unprepar'd, or flightly prepar'd; or are not careful to joyn Devoutly with the Bifhop in fo fhort a Service, as well before and after, as at the Laying on of his hands?
Such therefore are to repent of their coming unworthily to God's Ordinance, and to prepare themfelves duly for it; and then to come for that Confirmation, which before they could not receive. Acts 19. 2.
Now how to be duly prepar'd for Confirmation, we may know by the Conditions, upon which the Grace given therein is promifed. John 7. 37, 38, 39, Jefus food and cried, Jaying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, &c. Ch. 14. 15, 16, he fays, If ye love me, keep my commandments, And I will pray the Father, &c. And As 2. 38. Peter faid to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jefus Chrift, for the remiffion of fins: And ye hall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; the Gift then spoken of, to be given in Confirmation. ch. 4. 31. ch. 8. 17.
Now thefe Conditions of Believing in Chrift, and Thirfting for his Grace; of Loving him and keeping his Commandments; and of Repentance, and being Baptiz'd, and fo Believing alfo in the Father, and the Holy Ghoft, implied in being Baptiz'd in their Name, cannot fuppofe lefs than a Reasonable knowledge and understanding of all in the fo fhort Catechifm, and a believing and Diligent living according to if, with true Repentance for all failings; and with refolution to obey the Commandment to partake of the Holy Communion, as foon as they can learn to Understand, and joyn Devoutly in the Communion Service; and alfo with a refolution to endeavour to partake of it as often as they are invited to it. As 2. 42, 46.*
And for their partaking of Confirmation, they muft under. ftand what it is, and how to joyn with understanding and Devotion in the Service of it.
An Exhortation to a Devout Preparing for Confirmation.
F thou defireft the Ineftimable Berrefit of True
Therefore as Chrift commanded his difciples to faft, when they had a great Mercy to ask of God, fuch as cafting out a devil: (Matth. 17. 21) fo what remains of Satan in thy heart being to be caft out, by a Plenteous Increase of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, do thou faft fome convenient day before. On that day perform earneftly the work of Repentance; that thou may'ft be duly prepar'd to Renew thy Vow of thy Baptifm in the prefence of God, and of the Bishop, and to receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit then given. Jam. 4. 8, 9, 10. If thou would't receive the Grace of Confirmation, thou must earnestly repent of all thy neglect of the Grace of Baptism, (John 15. 2) and of all thy breaches of thofe Commandments, upon the keeping of which the fame Grace is promifed, John 14. 15, 16.
Give God most humble, and moft hearty thanks for the Ineftimable Grace which he offers to thee, and to all Devout Chriftians in this Ordinance. Phil. 4. 6. 1 Theff. 5. 18. And moft humbly and earnestly pray to him to affift thee to Renew thy Vow, Truly and Fully, and to Pray with the