The Romish and Prelatical Rite of Confirmation Examined
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC
By: Thomas Smyth
Excerpt from book: furnished such convincing evidence of the SECTION VI. Heb. 6. 1,2, examined. We proceed, therefore, to notice the only other passage quoted in proof of confirmation, as a permanent and fundamental rite of the church, and that is Heb. 6. 1, 2, where the apostle enumerates among the principles which constituted first principles in the catechetical instruction of religious inquirers, who were seeking their way from heathenism and Judaism into the light and liberty of the gospel of Christ, the following doctrinesof repentance, of baptism, of laying on of hands, of the resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment. The doctrine concerning each and all of these, that is, their nature and design, their relation to Christianity and to the salvation of men, this the apostle considered as the very alphabet, or axiomatic principles, with which the inquirer (or, as he was technically called, the catechumen) ought to be made acquainted and be familiar. These are not "the meat and drink," "the wine and strong meat," which were to be given to those who had become " men in Christ Jesus," but " the milk" and pap which were to be ad-, ministered to those who were still but " babes in Christ." Such persons having sat under the teaching of the schoolmaster, and imbibed the rudiments of Christian education, were to go on unto perfection, and to the complete development of that hope set before us in the gospel (v. 18), and which alone, like an anchor of immutable security and strength, can hold fast the soul amid all the swelling floods of temptation and sin. The apostle, therefore, does not magnify these principles, but shows that they are " in order to goodness," and that they are valuable only as they lead to the sanctification of the soul. Instead, therefore, of making themsupposing ...