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but to catechize the unbelievers, T/i/H svsyjigovv Ipooxifyiv, rovr-
iffn Kar^iTv aviffrovg, " Some undertook to exorcize, that
is (says he), to catechize the unbelievers:" and St. Cyril, in
his preface to his catechisms, speaking to the ' illuininati,'
" Festinent (says he) pedes tui ad catecheses audiendas ;
exorcismos studiose suscipe," &c. "Let your feet run hastily
to hear the catechisms, studiously receive the exorcisms, al-
though thou beest already inspired and exorcized ; that is,
although you have been already instructed in the mysteries,
yet still proceed : for without exorcisms (or catechisms), the
soul cannot go forward, since they are divine, and gathered
out of the Scriptures." And the reason why these were
called exorcisms he adds; " Because when the exorcists or
catechists by the Spirit of God produce fear in your hearts,
and do enkindle the spirit as in a furnace, the devil flees away,
and salvation and hope of life eternal do succeed : " accord-
ing to that of the evangelist 3 concerning Christ ; 'They were
astonished at his doctrine, for his word was with power : ' and
that of St. Luke b concerning Paul and Barnabas; 'The de-
puty, when he saw what was done, was astonished at the
doctrine of the Lord.' It is the Lord's doctrine that hath the
power to cast out devils and work miracles ; catechisms are
the best exorcisms. " Let us therefore, brethren, abide in
hope, and persevere in catechizings (saith St. Cyril), although
they be long, and produced with many words or discourses."
The same also we find in St. Gregory Nazianzen, c and
St. Austin. d

The use that I make of this notion, is principally to be
an exhortation to all of the clergy, that they take great care
to catechize all their people, to bring up children in the nur-
ture and admonition of the Lord, to prepare a holy seed for
the service of God, to cultivate the young plants and to dress
the old ones, to take care that those who are men in the
world, be not mere babes and uninstructed in Christ, and
that they who are children in age, may be wise unto salva-
tion : for by this means we shall rescue them from early
temptations, when being so prepared they are so assisted by

a Luke, iv. 32. b Acts, xiii. 12.

Orat. de Baptism. d In Psalm. Ixviii.


a Divine ministry ; we shall weaken the devil's power, by
which he too often and too much prevails upon uninstructed
and unconfirmed youth. For pvgov fizftaiuais rru 6/4oXoy/aj,
" confirmation is the firmament of our profession ;" but we
profess nothing till we be catechized. Catechizings are our
best preachings, and by them we shall give the best accounts
of our charges, while in the behalf of Christ we make disci-
ples, and take prepossession of infant understandings, and by
this holy rite, by prayer and imposition of hands, we minister
the Holy Spirit to them, and so prevent and disable the arti-
fices of the devil ; " for we are not ignorant of his devices,"
how he enters as soon as he can, and taking advantage of
their ignorance and their passion, seats himself so strongly
in their hearts and heads.

Turpius ejicitur quam non admittitur Lostis ;

' It is harder to cast the devil out than to keep him out.' Hence
it is that the youth are so corrupted in their manners, so de-
vilish in their natures, so cursed in their conversation, so dis-
obedient to parents, so wholly given to vanity and idleness ;
they learn to swear before they can pray, and to lie as soon as
they can speak. It is not my sense alone, but was long since
observed by Gerson e and Gulielmus Parisiensis, " Propter
cessationem confirniationis tepiditas grandior est fidelibus,
et fidei defensione ;" there is a coldness and deadness in
religion, and it proceeds from the neglect of confirmation
rightly ministered, and after due preparations and disposi-
tions. A little thing will fill a child's head : teach them to
say their prayers, tell them the stories of the life and death
of Christ, cause them to love the holy Jesus with their first
love, make them afraid of a sin ; let the principles which God
hath planted in their very creation, the natural principles of
justice and truth, of honesty and thankfulness, of simplicity
and obedience, be brought into act, and habit, and confirm-
ation, by the holy sermons of the Gospel. If the guides of
souls would have their people holy, let them teach holiness
to their children, and then they will (at least) have a new
generation unto God, better than this wherein we now live.
They who are most zealous in this particular, will with most
comfort reap the fruit of their labours, and the blessings of

e De Exterminat. Schism.


their ministry ; and by the numbers which every curate pre-
sents to his bishop fitted for confirmation, he will in propor-
tion render an account of his stewardship with some visible
felicity. And let it be remembered, that in the last rubric of
the office of confirmation in our liturgy it is made into a law,
that "none should be admitted to the holy communion, until
such time as he could say the catechism, and be confirmed :"
which was also a law and custom in the Primitive Church,
as appears in St. Dionysius's Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, and
the matter of fact is notorious. Among the Helvetians, they
are forbidden to contract marriages before they are well
instructed in the catechism : and in a late synod at Bourges,
the curates are commanded to threaten all that are not con-
firmed, that they shall never receive the Lord's supper, nor
be married. And in effect the same is offeree in our Church :
for the married persons being to receive the sacrament at
their marriage, and none are to receive but those that are
confirmed, the same law obtains with us as with the Helve-
tians, or the ' synodus Bituricensis.'

There is another little inquiry which I am not willing to
omit ; but the answer will not be long, because there is not
much to be said on either side. Some inquire whether the
holy rite of confirmation can be ministered any more than
once. St. Austin f seems to be of opinion that it may be re-
peated : " Quid enim aliud est impositio manuum nisi oratio
super hominem?" 'Confirmation is a solemn prayer over a
man ; ' and if so, why it may not be reiterated can have no-
thing in the nature of the thing ; and the Greeks do it fre-
quently, but they have no warranty from the Scripture, nor
from any of their own ancient doctors. Indeed when any
did return from heresy, they confirmed them, as I have proved
out of the first and second Council of Aries, the Council of
Laodicea, and the second Council of Seville : but upon a closer
intuition of the thing, I find they did so only to such, who
did not allow of confirmation in their sects, such as the No-
vatians and the Donatists. " Novatiani poanitentiam a suo
conventu arcent penitus, et iis qui ab ipsis tinguntur, sacrum
chrisma non praebent. Quocirca qua ex hac haeresi corpori
ecclesiae conjunguntur, benedicti patres ungi jusserunt:" so
Theodoret. 8 For that reason only the Novatians were to be

1 Lib. iii. de Bapt, c. 16, * Lib. iii. Haeret. Fabul.


confirmed upon their conversion, because they had it not
before. I find also they did confirm the converted Arians ;
but the reason is given in the first Council of Aries, " quia
propria lege utuntur, they had a way of their own:" that
is, as the gloss saith upon the canon ' de Arianis Consecrat.
dist. 4.' " their baptism was not in the name of the Holy
Trinity;" and so their baptism being null, or at least sus-
pected, to make all as sure as they could, they confirmed
them. The same also is the case of the Bonasiaci in the second
Council of Aries, though they were (as some of the Arians
also were) baptized in the name of the most holy Trinity ;
but it was a suspected matter, and therefore they confirmed
them : but to such persons who had been rightly baptized
and confirmed, they never did repeat it. Uvevparos ayiou
epgayida Buy avsZdXsixrov, "The gift of the Spirit is an in-
delible seal," saith St. Cyril ; h avsov^s/gTjrov St. Basil calls
it, it is " inviolable." They who did rebaptize, did also re-
confirm. But as it was an error in St. Cyprian and the Afri-
cans to do the first, so was the second also, in case they had
done it; for I find no mention expressly that they did the
latter but upon the forementioned accounts, and either upon
supposition of the invalidity of their first pretended baptism,
or their not using at all of confirmation in their heretical
conventicles. But the repetition of confirmation is expressly
forbidden by the Council of Tarracon, 1 cap. 6, and by Pope
Gregory the Second : and " sanctum chrisma collatum et
altaris honor propter consecrationem (quae per episcopos tan-
tiiin exercenda et conferenda sunt) evelli non queunt," said
the fathers in a council at Toledo ; k * confirmation and holy
orders, which are to be given by bishops alone, can never be
annulled, and therefore they can never be repeated.' And
this relies upon those severe words of St. Paul : having
spoken of " the foundation of the doctrine of baptisms and lay-
ing on of hands," he says, " if they fall away, they can never
be renewed ;" 1 that is, the ministry of baptism and confirm-
ation can never be repeated. To Christians that sin after
these ministrations, there is only left a v^ars, ' expergisci-
mini,' that they ' arise from slumber,' and stir up the graces

h Cyril. Hieros. in Procatech.

1 Apud Gratian. de Consecrat. dist. 5, cap. Dictum est, et cap. de Homine.

k Concil. Toletan. viii. can. 7. ' Heb. vi. 6.


of the Holy Ghost. Every man ought to be careful that he
" do not grieve the Holy Spirit ;" but if he does, yet let him
not ' quench' him, for that is a desperate case. \jXarrt rbv
f\j\ax.rix6v. The Holy Spirit is the great conservative of the
new life ; only " keep the keeper ;" take care that the Spirit
of God do not depart from you : for the great ministry of the
Spirit is but once ; for as baptism is, so is confirmation.

I end this discourse with a plain exhortation out of St.
Ambrose, upon those words of St. Paul, ' He that confirmeth
us with you in Christ, is God;' " Repete quia accepisti sig-
naculuin spirituale, spiritum sapientiae et intellectus, spiritum
consilii atque virtutis, spiritum cognitionis atque pietatis,
spiritum sancti timoris, et serva quod accepisti. Signavit
te Deus Pater, confirmavit te Christus Dominus; Remem-
ber that thou (who hast been confirmed) hast received the
spiritual signature ; the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge
and godliness, the spirit of holy fear : keep what thou hast
received. The Father hath sealed thee, and Christ thy Lord
hath confirmed thee, by his Divine Spirit ;" and he will never
depart from thee, si //,?? di igyuv <pavXor?]ra fi/Ai?g lowrovg raiirrig
uvo^uffu/^v, 'unless by evil works we estrange him from
us.' m The same advice is given by Prudentius.

Cultor Dei, memento
Te fontis et lavacri
Rorem subisse sanctum,
Et cbrismate innotatum."

Remember how great things ye have received, and what
God hath done for you : ye are of his flock and his militia ;
ye are now to fight his battles, and therefore to put on his
armour, and to implore his auxiliaries, and to make use of his
strengths, and always to be on his side against all his and all
our enemies. But he that desires grace, must not despise
to make use of all the instruments of grace. For though
God communicates his invisible Spirit to you, yet that he
is pleased to do it by visible instruments, is more than he
needs, but not more than we do need. And therefore since
God descends to our infirmities, let us carefully and lovingly
address ourselves to his ordinances : that as we receive re-
mission of sins by the washing of water, and the body and

m Zonar. in Can. Laodicen. 48. Innovatum.


blood of Christ by the ministry of consecrated symbols ; so
we may receive the Holy Ghost ' sub ducibus Christianas
militiee,' by the prayer and imposition of the bishop's hands,
whom our Lord Jesus hath separated to this ministry. " For
if you corroborate yourself by baptism" (they are the words
of St. Gregory Nazianzen), " and then take heed for the
future, by the most excellent and firmest aids consigning
your mind and body with the unction from above" (viz. in
the holy rite of confirmation), "with the Holy Ghost, as the
children of Israel did with the aspersion on the door-posts in
the night of the death of the first-born of Egypt, what (evil)
shall happen to you?" (meaning, that no evil can invade
you): " And what aid shall you get? If you sit down, you
shall be without fear ; and if you rest, your sleep shall be
sweet unto you." But if, when ye have received the Holy
Spirit, you live not according to his Divine principles, you
will lose him again ; that is, you will lose all the blessing,
though the impression does still remain, till ye turn quite apo-
states : " in pessimis hominibus manebit, licet ad judicium"
(saith St. Austin) ;P " the Holy Ghost will remain," either as
a testimony of your unthankfulness unto condemnation ; or
else as a seal of grace, and an earnest of your inheritance of
eternal glory.

Orat in Sanctum Lavacrum. P Lib. ii. contra Lit, Petil. c. 104.












or THE





THE wise Ben Sirach advised that we should not consult with
a woman concerning her of whom she is jealous, neither
with a coward in matters of war, nor with a merchant
concerning exchange ; and some other instances he gives of
interested persons, to whom he would not have us hearken
in any matter of counsel. For wherever the interest is secu-
lar or vicious, there the bias is not on the side of truth or
reason, because these are seldom served by profit and low
regards. But to consult with a friend in the matters of friend-
ship, is like consulting with a spiritual person in religion;
they who understand the secrets of religion, or the interior
beauties of friendship, are the fittest to give answers in all
inquiries concerning the respective subjects ; because reason
and experience are on the side of interest ; and that -which
in friendship is most pleasing and most useful, is also most
reasonable and most true ; and a friend's fairest interest is
the best measure of the conducting friendships : and, there-
fore, you who are so eminent in friendships, could also have
given the best answer to your own inquiries, and you could
have trusted your own reason, because it is not only greatly
instructed by the direct notices of things, but also by great
experience in the matter of which you now inquire.

But because I will not use any thing that shall look like
an excuse, I will rather give you such an account which you


can easily reprove, than by declining your commands, seem
more safe in my prudence, than open and communicative in
my friendship to you.

You first inquire, how far a dear and a perfect friendship
is authorized by the principles of Christianity ?

To this I answer ; that the word ' friendship,' in the sense
we commonly mean by it, is not so much as named in the
New Testament ; and our religion takes no notice of it. You
think it strange ; but read on before you spend so much as
the beginning of a passion or a wonder upon it. There is
mention of " friendship with the world," and it is said to be
" enmity with God ;" but the word is nowhere else named,
or to any other purpose in all the New Testament. It speaks
of friends often ; but by friends are meant our acquaintance,
or our kindred, the relatives of our family, or our fortune, or
our sect ; something of society, or something of kindness,
there is in it ; a tenderness of appellation and civility, a re-
lation made by gifts, or by duty, by services and subjection ;
and I think I have reason to be confident, that the word
'friend' (speaking of human intercourse) is no otherways
used in the Gospels or Epistles, or Acts of the Apostles : and
the reason of it is, the word friend is of a large signification ;
and means all relations and societies, and whatsoever is not
enemy. But by friendships, I suppose you mean the great-
est love, and the greatest usefulness, and the most open
communication, and the noblest sufferings, and the most ex-
emplar faithfulness, and the severest truth, and the heartiest
counsel, and the greatest union of minds, of which brave
men and women are capable. But then I must tell you that
Christianity hath new christened it, and calls this charity.
The Christian knows no enemy he hath ; that is, though
persons may be injurious to him, and unworthy in them-
selves, yet he knows none whom he is not first bound to
forgive, which is indeed to make them on his part to be no
enemies, that is, to make that the word enemy shall not be
perfectly contrary to friend, it shall not be a relative term
and signify something on each hand, a relative and a cor-
relative ; and then he knows none whom he is not bound to
love and pray for, to treat kindly and justly, liberally and
obligingly. Christian charity is friendship to all the world ;
.and when friendships were the noblest things in the world,


charity was little, like the sun drawn in at a chink, or his
beams drawn into the centre of a burning-glass ; but Christ-
ian charity is friendship expanded like the face of the sun
when it mounts above the eastern hills : and I was strangely
pleased when I saw something of this in Cicero ; for I have
been so pushed at by herds and flocks of people that follow
any body that whistles to them, or drives them to pasture,
that I am grown afraid of any truth that seems chargeable
with singularity : but, therefore, I say, glad I was when I saw
Laeliusi in Cicero discourse thus : " Amicitia ex infinitate
generis humani, quam conciliavit ipsa natura, ita contracta
res est, et adducta in angusturn, ut omnis caritas, aut inter
duos, aut inter paucos jungeretur." Nature hath made
friendships and societies, relations and endearments ; and
by something or other we relate to all the world ; there is
enough in every man that is willing to make him become
our friend ; but when men contract friendships, they enclose
the commons ; and what nature intended should be every
man's, we make proper to two or three. Friendship is like
rivers, and the strand of seas, and the air, common to all the
world ; but tyrants, and evil customs, wars, and want of
love, have made them proper and peculiar. But when Christ-
ianity came to renew our nature, and to restore our laws,
and- to increase her privileges, and to make her aptness to
become religion, then it was declared that our friendships
were to be as universal as our conversation ; that is, actual
to all with whom we converse, and potentially extended
unto those with whom we did not. For he who was to treat
his enemies with forgiveness and prayers, and love and be-
neficence, was indeed to have no enemies, and to have all

So that to your question, how far a dear and perfect
friendship is authorized by the principles of Christianity ?
the answer is ready and easy. It is warranted to extend to
all mankind ; and the more we love, the better we are ; and
the greater our friendships are, the dearer we are to God.
Let them be as dear, and let them be as perfect, and let them
be as many, as you can ; there is no danger in it ; only
where the restraint begins, there begins our imperfection. It

i Wetzel. vol. xv, p. 151.


is not ill that you entertain brave friendships and worthy
societies : it were well if you could love and if you could
benefit all mankind ; for I conceive that is the sum of all

I confess this is not to be expected of us in this world ;
but as all our graces here are but imperfect, that is, at the
best they are but tendencies to gTory ; so our friendships are
imperfect too, and but beginnings of a celestial friendship, by
which we shall love every one as much as they can be loved.
But then so we must here in our proportion ; and indeed
that is it that can make the difference ; we must be friends
to all, that is, apt to do good, loving them really, and doing
to them all the benefits which we can, and which they are
capable of. The friendship is equal to all the world, and of
itself hath no difference ; but is differenced only by accidents,
and by the capacity or incapacity of them that receive it.
Nature and religion are the bands of friendships ; excellence
and usefulness are its great endearments : society and neigh-
bourhood, that is, the possibilities and the circumstances of
converse, are the determinations and actualities of it. Now
when men either are unnatural, or irreligious, they will not
be friends ; when they are neither excellent nor useful, they
are not worthy to be friends ; when they are strangers or un-
known, they cannot be friends actually and practically ; but
yet, as any man hath any thing of the good, contrary to
those evils, so he can have and must have his share of friend-
ship. For thus the sun is the eye of the world ; and he is
indifferent to the negro, or the cold Russian ; to them that
dwell under the line, and them that stand near the tropics ;
the scalded Indian, or the poor boy that shakes at the foot of
the Riphean hills. . But the fluxures of the heaven and the
earth, the convenience of abode, and the approaches to the
north or south respectively, change the emanations of his
beams ; not that they do not pass always from him, but that
they are not equally received below, but by periods and
changes, by little inlets and reflections, they receive what
they can. And some have only a dark day and a long night
from him, snows and white cattle, a miserable life, and a per-
petual harvest of catarrhs and consumptions ; apoplexies and
dead palsies. But some have splendid fires, and aromatic


spices, rich wines, and well-digested fruits, great wit and
great courage ; because they dwell in his eye, and look in
his face, and are the courtiers of the sun, and wait upon him
in his chambers of the east. Just so is it in friendships : some
are worthy, and some are necessary ; some dwell hard by
and are fitted for converse ; nature joins some to us, and re-
ligion combines us with others ; society and accidents, pa-
rity of fortune, and equal dispositions, do actuate our friend-
ships : which of themselves, and in their prime disposition,
are prepared for all mankind according as any one can re-
ceive them. We see this best exemplified by two instances
and expressions of friendships and charity : viz. alms and
prayers; every one that needs relief is equally the object of
our charity ; but though to all mankind in equal needs we
ought to be alike in charity ; yet we signify this severally,
and by limits, and distinct measures : the poor man that is
near me, he whom I meet, he whom I love, he whom I fancy,
he who did me benefit, he who relates to my family, he
rather than another; because my expressions being infinite
and narrow, and cannot extend to all in equal significations,
must be appropriate to those whose circumstances best fit me:
and yet even to all I give my alms ; to all the world that
needs them : I pray for all mankind ; I am grieved at every
sad story I hear ; I am troubled when I hear of a pretty
bride murdered in her bride-chamber by an ambitious and
enraged rival ; I shed a tear when I am told that a brave
king was misunderstood, then slandered, then imprisoned,
and then put to death, by evil men : and I can never read the
story of the Parisian massacre, or the Sicilian vespers, but
my blood curdles, and I am disordered by two or three affec-
tions. A good man is a friend to all the world ; and he is
not truly charitable that does not wish well, and do good, to
all mankind in what he can. But though we must pray for
all men, yet we say special litanies for brave kings, and holy
prelates, and the wise guides of souls, for our brethren and
relations, our wives and children.

The effect of this consideration is, that the universal
friendship of which I speak must be limited, because we are
so : in those things where we stand next to immensity and

Online LibraryJeremy TaylorThe whole works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor (Volume 11) → online text (page 29 of 50)