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THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS.
3. I do also profess that there are truly and properly seven Sacraments of the New Law (which sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and are necessary to the salvation of mankind, although all the sacraments be not necessary to every person) viz., Baptism, Confirmation, the Lord's Supper, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, and Matrimony, that they do confer grace; and that three of them, viz., Baptism, Confirmation, and Orders, cannot be repeated without sacrilege. I do also receive and admit the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, in the solemn administration of the sacraments before mentioned.
The above is the third article of the Trent Creed which is the standard of the Roman religion and contains the sum of their faith, as agreed on in their last council which met at Trent in the sixteenth century, and the belief of which, they maintain, is part of the faith without which no man shall be saved. Indeed they have pronounced a multitude of curses on the whole Christian world, who do not admit the additional articles of the Trent Creed to be undoubted Christian verities. By this unwarrantable proceeding the Roman church has placed herself in a state of schism with the whole Church, and in direct opposition to a decree of the General Council of Ephesus in the year 438, which the Roman Church recognises as a general council which is to be held in reverend estimation, and whose canons are to be obeyed. The sixth canon of this council denounces the making of new creeds, such as that of Pius IV.: it is as follows: "The holy synod determined that it should not be lawful for any one to set forth, write, or compose any other creed than that which was determined by the holy fathers who assembled at Nice in the Holy Ghost; and that if any one shall dare to compose any other creed, or adduce or present it to those who are willing to be converted to the knowledge of the truth, either from heathenism or Judaism, or any heresy whatsoever; such persons, if bishops, shall be deprived of their episcopal office, if clergy, of their clerical, &c.” 1
The church of Trent makes the belief in seven sacraments to be a part of the faith, under an anathema on dissentients. Now, it so happens that even the two undisputed sacraments, of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, are no part of the covenant of grace, but only its seals, what then becomes of the other five? Neither the two sacraments, nor the other five rites, make any part of the three Christian creeds; but as the Trent church thought proper to impose a new faith on her people, she has included the seals of the covenant of grace and other rites among the articles of the faith; and moreover has decreed that whosoever shall deny or dispute this point shall be damned. Having no fear of this anathema before our eyes, we heartily subscribe to the judgment of the Church of England: That" those five commonly called sacraments, that is to say, confirmation, penance, orders, matrimony, and extreme unction, are not to be counted for sacraments of the gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the apostles, partly are states of life allowed in
1 Roman Schism, p. 33.
the Scriptures, but yet have not like nature of sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God."
All Christian churches are agreed that baptism and the Lord's Supper are sacraments appointed by Christ himself; and the Church of England, in her definition of a sacrament, has determined that they do possess "the outward visible sign of an inward spiritual grace;" and which it is somewhat curious is exactly the same definition which is given by the Church of Trent. During the lives of the apostles the regular participation of both these sacraments was a note or mark of the Church. And St. Paul declares that they are the means and instruments by which we are united to Christ as our Head, and to each other in the communion of saints: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" (the church). "And have put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him"-" whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" for Christ is all and in all." And we are assured by Christ himself that "it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing the words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life.": Christ himself instituted both these sacraments with outward ceremonies and words of institution which no church or even sect have ever ventured to alter or change. There can be no doubt about their sacramental character; and he commanded that they should be celebrated in his Church till his coming to judgment. Accordingly, not only has the Church used them without intermission; but even all the sects which have at any time cut themselves off from any part of the Church have always used rites which they have denominated sacraments. But to this universal rule there are two notorious exceptions. The Church of Rome has not only added five rites to Christ's instituted means of grace; but she has subtracted. from his positive institution and appointed means of grace, by taking away the cup from the laity and non-officiating priests. The Quakers have abolished both the sacraments upon the principle that the words "till he come" mean, till his coming spiritually in their hearts; and as they suppose he comes in this sense by the "light within," therefore, e, say they, the time which Christ limited for the celebration of the sacraments is already arrived, and of course they must cease.
Baptism is the sign and seal of our salvation by the redemption of Christ, as Noah and the whole Church were saved by the ark. It is the appointed means of regeneration, calling, election, adoption, sanctification, and justification-the beginning and the spring of spiritual life, and is nourished and supported by the other sacrament, which commemorates Christ's.death. We are buried with Christ in baptism, and rise again in newness of life, being made therein members of Christ, children of grace, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven. The other sacrament is called in one part of Scripture drinking, and in another the breaking of bread. In his sermon at Capernaum, our Lord used the words calling, coming, believing, promiscuously. He
1 Acts ii. 54.
2 1 Cor. xii. 13, Col. iii. 10, 11.
3 John vi. 63.
used "coming" for eating, and believing for drinking.1 The flesh of Christ is spiritual nourishment for the soul, and can only be eaten spiritually by faith, which consists entirely in believing. "The natural and proper consequents of these wordsI am the bread of life-are, he that eateth me shall never hunger, and he that drinketh me shall never thirst. But, he also said, he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst;' evidently to teach us that he speaks of an eating and drinking which is by faith alone. Likewise, when he says, Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life;' he shows that to eat (in this mystery) is nothing else than to believe."
We are sure, therefore, of two sacraments which are generally necessary to salvation, and which are incontrovertible marks of the true Church; but where shall we find the other five? The doctrine of there being seven sacraments is a modern invention, and was first broached by Peter Lombard, who wrote his Book of the Sentences in the year 1172, before which time the least mention of the seven sacraments cannot be found. But the doctrine was not then established; it was held by many merely as a speculative opinion, till Pope Eugenius adopted it in the fifteenth century, and it received its final authority by the Council of Trent, in the 16th century, under an anathema as usual. Bishop Lloyd says, "Bellarmine (de Sacram. ii. cap. 24) endeavours to show that each of the five has been called a sacrament by one or other of the fathers; (and the like he might have shown of twenty things more). But he could not produce one father that said there were seven sacraments of Christ's instituting; or that spoke of all these as being such, or of so many as would make up that number. Only he says (cap. 25) 'the master of the Sentences, and all divines since his time, have delivered that there are seven sacraments;' and adds, if this be false, the whole Church, for four hundred years, must have erred most perniciously.' He might have said the whole Roman Church, and we should not have much differed about it." 3
The first time that we read of the rite of confirmation, which is the second of the Romish sacraments, is in the Acts of the Apostles, when Peter and John laid their hands on the newly-baptized converts; and again, when St. Paul laid his hands on the twelve Ephesians after their baptism. The apostle afterwards refers to this act and calls it the sealing with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance; and, in the same text, he speaks of baptism as synonimous with salvation and believing. He also mentions it along with baptism as one of the fundamental principles of the doctrine of Christ which he calls a going on unto perfection. It was considered by St. Cyprian and the primitive church as the com
1 St. John vi., 35.
2 Essay on Transubstantiation, pp. 116, 117.
3 Note to Sermon preached before the king, at Whitehall, the 24th of November, 1678, by William Lloyd, D.D., Dean of Bangor, and Chaplain to his Majesty, published by his Majesty's command, p. 40.
6 Heb. vi, 1.
pletion of the sacrament of baptism agreeable to the order of our Lord's words, "born of water and of the spirit; but not as a separate sacrament. St. Paul frequently calls it a "sealing,"-" in whom also ye trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise which is the earnest of your inheritance." And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Now he which establishes us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us is God who hath sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts"-" the first fruits of the Spirit," who hath also given us the earnest of the spirit."
In the early ages of Christianity the greatest numbers of converts to the faith were adults; and the times for baptizing were at the feast of Easter, in memory of Christ's death and resurrection, which are symbolized in the mystery of baptism, and, at Whitsunday, in memory of the sending down of the Holy Spirit who is conveyed in baptism. If the bishop was present he then confirmed the newly baptized adults, and sealed them with the Holy Spirit of promise, and the children afterwards, as soon as they were arrived at the years of discretion, that they might grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ. In the primitive church men were not considered complete Christians nor admitted to the holy communion till they had been perfected by confirmation, when a greater measure of that grace was conferred which was only begun in baptism. Christ himself did not institute this impressive rite, because the Holy Spirit was not given till after his ascension, when he promised to send him; but his apostles, acting under his inspiration, instituted and universally practised it, and which has descended in the Church without interruption from their day to the present time. The Holy Spirit was not sent till after Christ's ascension, which may reasonably account for his not having himself ordained it; but, as He promised that the Holy Spirit should abide with his Church for ever, the apostles instituted this sacred rite for his collation.
In Tuberville's Douay catechism, the question is asked, "when did Christ institute this sacrament?" to which the catechumen is taught to reply," the time is not certain but divines most probably hold, it was instituted at Christ's last supper, or between his resurrection and ascension." To say the least, this is a very careless and unsatisfactory manner of accounting for the institution of a sacrament, and shows to what a deluded spirit the Fathers of Trent were given up, when, upon so slight a foundation they have pronounced a curse on the rest of the Christian Church. "If any shall say, that the confirmation of baptized persons is an idle ceremony, and not rather a true and proper sacrament, or that formerly it was nothing more than a mere catechising, in which they who were newly grown up gave an account of their faith before the church; let him be accursed." Bishop Hay asks, " Is confirmation a true sacrament?" Answer,
1 St. John iii. 5.
3 2 Cor. i. 21, 22.
6 John vii. 29.
2 Eph. i. 13, 14; and iv. 30.
"It is; because it has all the three things necessary to constitute a sacrament." Again," where do we find in scripture that this outward action is instituted by Jesus Christ, to be the means of bringing the Holy Ghost to our souls?" He then cites the case of the Samaritan converts,' and concludes, "In which passage we evidently see, that prayer, and the laying on of their hands were the outward means used by these apostles by which the Holy Ghost was communicated to their souls; prayer as a preparation, and laying on their hands, as the immediate means appointed for that purpose." Although this is a description of the transaction in Samaria; yet one may "evidently see," that it is not an answer to the question, for he has not shown where this outward action was instituted by Jesus Christ. A point, therefore, which one doctor says is uncertain and which another cannot decide, shows the folly and wickedness of the Trent anathemas, and demonstrates both the fallibility and errability of the self-styled infallible Church.
Penance is the fourth of the Roman Sacraments, which they say Christ ordained "when he breathed on his disciples, saying receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins ye shall forgive they are forgiven; and whose sins ye shall retain, they are retained." 2 And the matter of this sacrament is "the contrition as expressed, and confession of the penitent.' The council of Trent, however, cuts the matter short by an anathema: “ If any shall say that, in the Catholic Church, repentance is not really and truly a sacrament, instituted by Christ our Lord, for reconciling the faithful to God himself, as often as they fall into sin after baptism; let him be accursed." Whatever inward grace may accompany the penance imposed on the penitent, there is certainly no outward visible sign ordained by Christ himself; but the Church of Rome alleges that it has three parts-contrition, confession, and satisfaction; and, farther, that the temporal punishment due to sin may be released by indulgence. The catechism farther states that "Christ gave his church power to grant indulgences when he said to Peter to thee will I give the keys, &c."5
Leslie, speaking of confession, says it is a good thing" but not in that sense it is generally used with you (the Romanists). That such a repentance as God will not accept, nor pardon for it, is made sufficient by the "Sacrament of penance;" and all sins remitted by it. And that paucissimi, very few can be saved without it. They might have said none; for they here require, in repentance acceptable to God, a sense and sorrow for sin that shall be fully equal to the demerit, which is impossible for mortal man. And, therefore, all must be damned without this sacrament of penance. And they say, it was necessary that God should institute this sacrament as an easier way for men to get to heaven. An easy way indeed! Confess to a priest and get absolution, and this makes up the defects of your repentance, and you are saved ex opere operato by the work wrought, the bare
2 John xx. 22, 23.
4 Roman Schism, p. 278.
1 Acts v. 11, 12, 14.
3 Tuberville's Catechism, p. 97.
5 St. Matt. vi, 10. Tuberville's Cat. p. 100.