An ordinance of the Church, sacramental in character and grace conferring. It is administered to those who have been baptized and is effected by prayer and the Laying on of Hands by the Bishop. Hence the Scriptural name for it is "The Laying on of Hands." Its chief grace is the seven-fold gift of the Holy Ghost by means of which we are sealed, made firm or strong, and equipped "manfully to fight under Christ's banner against sin, the world and the devil." Confirmation is a further advance in the Christian Life and entitles the recipient to be admitted to the Holy Communion.
   The Scriptural authority for Confirmation is very manifest. Thus in Acts 8:5-17, we have the first recorded Confirmation, and in the 19th chapter we find another account of the same administration. In Hebrews 6:1, 2, we find Confirmation or the Laying on of Hands mentioned as a first or foundation principle of the Doctrine of Christ, as necessary to the health of the soul as Repentance, Faith, Baptism, Resurrection and eternal judgment. In Ephesians 1:13 and 14, it is spoken of as a "sealing," and made a plea for righteousness of life: and in the fourth chapter, verse 30, it is spoken of in the same way, as well as other passages which might be cited. Confirmation having such Scriptural authority, it is to be noted that it has always and in all places been practiced by the Historic Church and that even at this present time nine-tenths of all Christian people still hold to Confirmation as essential and necessary to the religious life. While the above Scriptural authority and universal practice are sufficient evidence that the use of Confirmation is according to the mind of Christ, yet it will be interesting to know the estimate of this holy ordinance by those who have departed from the practice of the Universal Church, which is given as follows:
   Methodist Testimony
   "I was determined not to be without it, and therefore went and received Confirmation, even since I became a Methodist preacher." -- Dr. Adam Clarke.
   Baptist Testimony
   "We believe that Laying on of Hands, with prayer, upon baptized believers as such, is an ordinance of Christ, and ought to be submitted unto by all persons to partake of the Lord's Supper." -- Baptist Association, September 17, 1742.
   Congregational Testimony
   "The confession of the Name of Christ is, after all, very lame, and will be so till the discipline which Christ ordained be restored, and the Rite of Confirmation be recovered in its full use and solemnity." -- Dr. Coleman, Boston.
   Presbyterian Testimony
   "The Rite of Confirmation thus administered to baptized children, when arrived at competent years, shows clearly that the Primitive Church in her purest days, exercised the authority of a Mother over her baptized children." -- Committee of the General Assembly.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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