[ Contents | Previous | Next | Proofs ]

Chapter XXVII. Of the Sacraments

I. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace [a], immediately instituted by God [b], to represent Christ and His benefits; and to confirm our interest in Him [c]: as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church and the rest of the world [d]; and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word [e].

II. There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified: whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other [f].

III. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither does the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that does administer it [g]: but upon the work of the Spirit [h], and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers [i].

IV. There are only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained [k].

V. The sacraments of the Old Testament in regard to the spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, were, for substance, the same with those of the new [l].

[ Contents | Previous | Next | Proofs ]