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?
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
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
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
“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
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
‘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
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 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?
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