Baptism Now Saves You | William Ames

The outward baptism doth not save us of itself, but the inward, because outward baptism is common to the hypocrites as well as to the faithful, it comes not unto the soul, and it hath no saving power in itself. This may serve to admonish us, not to put too much trust and confidence in the outward Sacraments, or to rely thereupon, that we are baptized and partake of the Lord’s Supper, but  always to seek the spiritual grace of the Sacraments.… Read More Baptism Now Saves You | William Ames

The Nature of a Sacrament: Partly Outward and Partly Inward.

The parts of a Sacrament are of two sorts, some outward, open, sensible, earthly, visible, and signifying—some are inward, hidden, spiritual, heavenly, invisible, and signified. The outward is applied to the body, the inward is applied to the soul and conscience. This division and distinction of parts appeareth plainly, “He is not a Jew which is one outward, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one within, and the circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter” (Rom. 2:28-29).… Read More The Nature of a Sacrament: Partly Outward and Partly Inward.

What Is A Sacrament?

A Sacrament is a visible sign and seal ordained of God, whereby Christ and all his saving graces by certain outward rites are signified, exhibited, and sealed up unto us. There is more in the Sacraments than is seen with the eyes, or felt with the hands: and therefore we must not conceive unreverently of them, nor come negligently unto them, making them mere carnal and outward things: but we must think reverently, speak soberly, receive humbly and penitently these holy mysteries.… Read More What Is A Sacrament?

Word and Sacrament: Agreements & Differences

The Word of God may fitly be resembled to writings and evidences: and the Sacraments to seals, which the Lord alone sets to his own letters. They are as a visible sermon preaching unto us most lively the promises of God: that as the Word we hear doth edify and instruct the mind by the outward ears, so doth the Sacraments by the eyes and other senses… The Word may be without the Sacraments, but the Sacraments cannot be without the Word, as a writing may be without a seal, but not the seal without the writing. Set a seal to a blank, and is it not vain, void, and unprofitable?… Read More Word and Sacrament: Agreements & Differences

Defective Views of the Sacraments: Inherent & Independent Virtue

There is one party holding opinions on the subject admitting of various modifications, but agreeing in this, that they ascribe a high spiritual efficacy to the Sacraments apart from the faith or spiritual act of the receiver. By this party, the views of the Sacraments already stated are regarded as defective in the way of ascribing to Sacraments a less virtue than really belongs to them.… Read More Defective Views of the Sacraments: Inherent & Independent Virtue

Defective Views of the Sacraments: Bare Memorialism

There is one party who deny the grand and characteristic distinction between sacramental and other ordinances already enunciated, and hold that the Sacraments have no virtue except as badges of a Christian profession, and signs of spiritual truth. By this party, the views of the Sacraments already stated by me are held to be erroneous in the way of attributing to them a greater virtue than actually belongs to them.… Read More Defective Views of the Sacraments: Bare Memorialism

Sacraments: The Savor of Death to Ungodly Partakers

“Though the sacraments are connected with the thing signified nevertheless both are not received by all men: the ungodly indeed receives the sacrament to his condemnation but he does not receive the truth of the sacrament. As Judas, and Simon the sorcerer, both indeed received the sacrament, but not Christ, who was signified by it,… Read More Sacraments: The Savor of Death to Ungodly Partakers

The Sinfulness of Worshiping God With Men’s Institutions

Men’s institutions cannot be admitted and practiced in the worship of God, without incurring the guilt of a very great sin. There is not only a sin committed by them that invent and appoint them, nor only by them that preach them and tie them upon men’s consciences, but it is also no small sin in those that comply with, and yield conformity to them. Indifferency in the matter is not sufficient to justify a tradition in worship. A divine precept is necessary to warrant every part of religious worship.… Read More The Sinfulness of Worshiping God With Men’s Institutions