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

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

The Impotency of External Rites in Spiritual Matters

‘For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin.’ (Hebrews 10:4) These were called “sin offerings,” because they were types of Christ’s sacrifice, which did indeed take away sin, but they themselves could not, and that by reason of the disproportion betwixt the means of cleansing on the one side, and the thing cleansed, together with the filth cleansed away on the other side. The means were merely external, earthly and carnal, namely, the blood of beasts. The thing to be cleansed, was the soul of man, which is a spiritual substance.… Read More The Impotency of External Rites in Spiritual Matters

How To Combat False Teachers

It is a judicial action of the church, consisting in two things here noted: first, in examination of false doctrine and false teachers; secondly, in condemnation afterward. The examination of them is set down in these words: “and hast examined them that say they are apostles, and are not” (Rev. 2:2); and their condemning or sentence giving in the words following, “and has found them liars” (Rev. 2:2).… Read More How To Combat False Teachers

What Does “Stumbling Block” Mean?

What does the Bible mean by the terms “stumbling block,” “offence,” and “scandal” (Matthew 18; Acts 15; Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 8; 1 John 2:10; Revelation 2:14; etc.)? The following excerpt is from James Durham’s A Treatise Concerning Scandal (pp. 4-17). James Durham’s rich and exhaustive treatise was last published by Naphtali Press in 1990,… Read More What Does “Stumbling Block” Mean?

Transubstantiation: Unbiblical, Ahistorical, and Unreasonable

On every point Transubstantiation is a false, shocking, & novel doctrine. With Transubstantiation falls the sacrifice of the Mass. Upon Transubstantiation, everything important and decisive in the church of Rome may be said in a degree to hang. Yet, Protestant sacramentology truly captures the simple and beautiful institution of Jesus Christ.… Read More Transubstantiation: Unbiblical, Ahistorical, and Unreasonable