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Christian church may eminently apply the word to the Lord's Supper, by the celebration of which a communicant not only commemorates the sufferings of his Saviour, but gives an open pledge of his attachment to the cause of Christianity. But let every captious objector, and every impetuous polemic remember that sacrament itself is not a scriptural term, though the ceremony denoted by it is expressly enjoined in scripture; and as the obligations to that ceremony are so direct, and the uses of it so numerous, prudence or decorum seems to require that the reverence, which we feel for it, and which is excited within us by the mention of the term, should not be exposed to any diminution-exposed however it would be, if the term were extended to many other inferior subjects, and thus made too familiar to our ears and to our imaginations by frequency of recurrence, and perhaps ambiguity of application. The inconvenience is indeed twofold. For by the known laws of association, while the intrinsic and appropriate dignity of the greater ceremony imperceptibly exalted the less to an undue degree, the comparative want of dignity in the less might gradually weaken the effect of the greater; and of this consequence the tion paid by the vanquished party was either employed to supply the wants of the public treasury, or applied to the uses of the national religion. The forms too, in which this judicial deposit was made, have been handed down to us, and are these, s. N. s. Q., si negas sacramentum quærito; or s. N. e. T. Q. S. P., si negas ego te sacramento quingenario provoco. In the Theodotian Code the word is applied even to Jewish ceremonies-Judæis sacramentis Christianum servum attaminare.

Church of Rome was in all probability aware, when in order to secure the pre-eminence of the Lord's Supper over six other sacramental rites, it affixed, as I told you, the epithet "holy" to the word sacrament, as peculiarly characteristic of this important rite.

The result of these observations on the homilies of the Church of England, and some verbal contests, which many learned members of it have carried on with the Church of Rome, is this-while we are without disturbance allowed to express our own belief in our own phraseology, we ought not to feel angrily, or to talk acrimoniously against other Christian communities, when with similar firmness they assert a similar claim in the choice of their phraseology for the expression of their belief. We ought not to charge impious superstition, or even rash innovation upon the Church of Rome for applying the word to seven ceremonies, when the antient writers set them a precedent by using the same word of sundry other ceremonies, apparently not more presented to us expressly in the gospel, nor more beneficial to Christians, than five of the rites, which the English Church does not choose to admit in the catalogue of her sacraments.

The institution of Ministers in the Church, Matrimony, Confirmation, are useful rites in religion. No man among us, as say the homilies, takes them for sacraments in such signification as the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are. Every considerate and serious man among us believes them, as they are represented in the Homilies, to be

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godly states of life, necessary in Christ's Church, and therefore worthy to be set forth by publick action and solemnity, by the ministry of the Church, or else judges to be such ordinances, as may make for the instruction, comfort, and edification of Christ's Church." Let us descend into some detail. Surely, my brethren, when persons are ordained to any holy function-when we pray God to give them his heavenly benediction, that both by their life and doctrine they may shew forth his glory, and set forward the salvation of all men-and when Bishops are instructed to lay hands suddenly on no man, but faithfully and wisely to make choice of fit persons for the sacred ministry, ordination is no trifling ceremony. Surely when in the Matrimonial Service we assign the weighty reasons, for which marriage is to be taken in hand, reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God-when the parties plight their troth, for loving and cherishing each other till death do separate-when the minister pronounces them to be man and wife together in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and entreats the Lord to bless them, to sanctify them, to pour upon them the riches of his grace, that they may live together in holy love to their live's end, and in the world to come have life everlasting-such a ceremony, whether you do or do not call it a sacrament, is most momentous. Surely though the same severities are not among us employed upon penitents, as in the Church of Rome, our Bishops did not mean to trifle or prevaricate, when they wished for the restoration of the godly discipline, by which persons convicted

of notorious sin were put to open penance, and pu. nished in this world that their souls might be saved in the day of the Lord; and surely too the awful and wholesome instructions given to sinners in the service of Commination, are no unintelligible or inconsiderable part of our own Protestant religion, though we call not penance a sacrament. Thus much I have to say upon three of the disputed points. As to the fourth, called Extreme Unction, no doubt it is dropped entirely among ourselves, not only at confirmation, but upon other occasions; and yet our best writers acknowledge that the ceremony of Chrism is mentioned in very antient canons-that many centuries ago it was employed in the Greeks as well as the Latin Church-that it contained an allusion to the oil, unto which the Holy Spirit is compared for its healing and flaming qualities,* and that the reasons of our laying it aside were the want of evidence for the observance of it in the apostolical age, and the improper purposes to which it was applied by the Church of Rome. But improper interpretation or application alone would of themselves no more exclude Chrism than they exclude the Lord's Supper, in consequence of what is said about the real presence, and the actual sacrifice which accompany it, according to the tenets of the Roman Church, from the claim to be considered as a sacrament; and though I should not myself call it by that name, yet the introduction of that name into Christian worship was not altogether an innovation in that

*Sec Comber.

Church, and therefore the blame should fall not indiscriminately on the use, but solely on the abuse of the rite itself. As to the fifth controverted article, Confirmation, though I would not imitate the Church of Rome in ranking it among the sacraments, yet I see no ground for harshness of censure towards those, who, agreeing with us upon the great usefulness of the rite, assign to it a more honourable name. Instead of wrangling about the word both parties would be better employed in attending to the thing.

For your information I shall now proceed to state a few other particulars connected with the rite, which I am now explaining to you. Many centuries ago it was performed every year in every diocese, and the time was first Lent, and afterwards Easter, or Whitsunday; and the choice of these seasons evidently arose from their marked solemnity. According to the present custom of the English Church, Bishops confirm every third year, and the month or day is selected according to their discretion, which doubtless is very much influenced by the number and the distance of the parishes, over which they preside. Imposition of hands, as I told you, is continued according to the example of antiquity, and this circumstance I had in view when I selected my text. Formerly there was another process, which, for reasons unknown to me, has now ceased. For Bishops then not only laid their hands on catechumens, but signed them with the sign of the cross, in the same manner as all clergymen are now required to do in the office of baptism. No

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