A TREATISE OF THE SACRAMENTS According to the Doctrin of the Church of England touch­ing that Argument. Collected out of the Articles of Religion, the Publique Catechism, the Liturgie, and the Book of Homilies. With a Sermon preached in the[?] publique Lecture, appointed for Saint Pauls Crosse, on the feast of Saint Iohn Baptist, Iune 24. 1638.

By T. B. Pr. Pl.

LONDON, Printed by Richard Bishop, for Abel Roper, and are to bee sold at his shop, at the black spred-Eagle in Fleet­street, over against S. Dun­stans Church. 1638.

REVERENDISSIMO IN CHRISTO PATRI ac Domino suo Colendissimo Dno IOSEPHO, Divinâ providentiâ Episcopo Exoniensi, Diocesano suo; viro verè [...].

Cui pro eximiâ suâ & singular. benevolentiâ & favore plurimum se debere fatentur quotquot pacis & Ecclesiae Filii

Tractatulum hunc De Sacramentis, unà cum Apprecatione salutis, & foelicitatis in Testimo­nium Gratitudinis, & Observantiae

Humillimè Dedicavi T. B.

Ad Amicum & Symmistam suum charissimum, Tho. Bedford, S. Theol. Bacch. & divini verbi apud Pli­mouthienses Concionato­rem Orthodoxum.

DVm sensu veteri, sacra-pandis ad Osti [...] Plimmi,
Deque Sacramentis quae mage sana doces:
Dogmata, nil mirum tua displicuisse popello,
Et tibi conflictus conciliâsse graves.
Scilicet hic caecus furor, haec insania vulgi.
Affectu, minimè vi rationis agi.
Cumque sibi vitulum semel instituêre colendum
Efflictim Idolum deperüsse suum.
Tu tamen, ut duris detonsa bipennibus ilex
Crescit, & ex ipso vulnere ducit opes:
Macte tuâ virtute, & contrà audentior ito,
Elicitámque tuis vim tibi sume malis.
Intumeant fluctus, spinasque ad Littora volvant,
Et repleant rauco murmure quaeque suo:
Tu pertende viam, quò te Cy [...]osura vocabit,
Nec metuas tumidi vimque minasque maris.
Scilicet in coelis sedem, compescere fluctus
Et rabiem populiqui bene novit, habet.
Adde, Sacramentis quos tu pius addis honores,
In nomen recident tandem aliquando tuum.
Aaron Wilson Arch. Exon. & Vic. de Plymouth.

TO THE COVRTEOVS Christian Reader whoso­ever, whether of the Clergy, or of the Laity. More especially, To my loving and belo­ved Auditors of the Town of Plymmouth, Grace, Mercy, and Peace.

I Have now at length sent abroad into the world, what I in­tended many days ago, but could not compass till this present time. Many, the most [Page] of these Notions touching the Sacraments, have I preached now and then, in the course of my Lecture, as the Text in hand presented an occasion to me. In the delivery of which, because I could not be so hap­py, as to give that cleer, that full satisfaction which I desi­red, at least, not to all my Hearers, I set pen to paper, and out of those severall Notes disperst here and there, but es­pecially out of some explica­tions upon the Church Cate­chism, have I concinnate and fitted up this Treatise, which I now present to your view.

The last yeer, after that by the advice of some judicious Friends, to whom I imparted the sight therof, I had altered, and amended what was thought needfull, I presented a Copy therof to our Reve­rend Diocesan, with this in­tention, [Page] that to his Censure it should stand, or fall: if he thought fitting, it should pass abroad; if not, I should com­mit it to the Dust and Moths, the just destiny of unhappy scriblings. To whom should I give an account of my stu­dyes, rather than to Him, by whose favour and permission I enjoy my Licence, the liber­ty of my Lecture, and Mini­steriall labours?

It pleased his Lordship after the perusall of my papers, to redeliver the Copy to me, with that Approbation, of which I confess my selfe to be still am­bitious, viz. That hee con­ceived the substance of my Book to be [...]ound and ortho­doxall, agreeable to the Truth of God, and consonant to the doctrin of our present Church. Nor did his Lordship spare to advise me, and put me upon [Page] the Publication of it: alledging that tho the same things are already published: yet to see them laid together, (as here they bee) and brought into a frame, and uniform discourse, would quit the cost, and be worth acceptance.

A willing mind is soon per­swaded: to say the truth, I was easily induced to send it forth into the World. In generall: for the publique benefit of the Church of God; as concei­ving the Argument to bee no less needfull, than usefull to advance that respect and ho­nour which is due to this sa­cred Ordinance. In speciall: to plead my Cause, to give sa­tisfaction to some of my Hea­rers: whose Ey perhaps, may now resolv them, in that wherin their Ear, hath hither­to (tho unjustly) detain'd them doubtfull. I blame not [Page] not any, who doth not pre­sently receiv what is suggested by the New-come Preacher: I commend the inquisitiv Bere­ans, who will examin the Do­ctrin of S. Paul himself, before thy will adhere unto it: On­ly I would pray the Hearer, I would intreat the Reader, not therfore to neglect the truth of God, nor less regard the Doctrin of our Church, be­cause the person that now pre­sents it to the publique view, is not of greater place, of bet­ter parts, of more ability. E­ven Goats hair was usefull, and Badgers skins accepted towards the erecting of the Lords Tabernacle. And this poor Treatise of mine, may through Gods blessing, bee profitable (I hope) to some, and do some good in the Church of God. Howsoever: I have done what I could: The [Page] rest I leave to God.

How needfull the Argument is, you shall find observed and breefly touched in the preface; which when you have read, the rest of the discourse is subdivided in­to three generall parts. In the first of which I have endevoured to shew what a Sacrament is: The end and issue whereof is, to determin the Number of true-born Sacraments.


Cap. 1.

The definition of a Sacra­ment: The Essentiall parts, and Originall therof. A sign. A visibl sign. The Element. The Authour of the Sacra­ment; Christ; His Word of precept: of promise. The word of Consecration.

Cap. 2.

The Essentials and Originall of Baptism. viz. the Element, Water: the Ceremony, Wa­shing: the form of administra­tion. Where is shewed, what therin is Essentiall, and what therein is Accidentall.

Cap. 3.

The Essentialls and Originall of the Lords Supper. sc. the elements, Bread and Wine: the Originall, Christs In­stitution: The Cup unjustly taken from the Laity by the present Church of Rome. The mixture of water.

Cap. 4.

The inward grace signified by the Elements. sc. The Bo­dy and Blood of Christ. Both Sacraments have Relation [Page] to the passion of Christ.

Cap. 5.

A Corollary: If either of the parts be wanting, there is no Sacrament. Hence an Ar­gument against Transub­stantiation. Hence Argu­ments to prove that those five, sc. Matrimony, Ordi­nation, Absolution, Confir­mation, and Vnction, are not legitimate Sacraments. The right use of those Cere­monies touched.

In the second generall part, I shew the end why Sa­craments were ordained; the Issue wherof is to ma­nifest the Benefits that we gain by the Sacra­ments: And consequent­ly the necessity of Recei­ving.


Cap. 6.

The generall end why Sacra­ments were instituted. This two-fold. A mean of Con­veyance: A pleadg of Assu­rance: Sacramentarians confuted: Sacramentall V­nion. Hence the efficacy of the Sacraments, and the Translation of Phrases: Reall Presence: A note touching the spring of He­resies, the right use to be made of in-explicable My­steries: Something touching Transubstantiation and Con­substantiation.

Cap. 7.

The special end of either Sacra­ment: the choice of the Ele­ments: Baptism the Sacramēt of our Admission: Persons having right to Baptism. An Argument prooving the law­fulness [Page] of baptising Infants. Anabaptists objections a­gainst the Arguments an­swered. The Lords Supper the Sacrament of Preserva­vation: with the use there­of.

Cap. 8.

The Benefits of the Sacra­ments in generall. sc. Incor­poration into Christ: hence the secondary Benefit of Bap­tism. 1. Remission. 2. Re­generation. How farr Bap­tismall Remission extendeth: whether to sinns future?

Cap. 9.

The Benefits of the Lords Sup­per: sc. Incorporation and Vnion continued. Conse­quently strengthning and re­freshing of the soul. Spiritu­all diseases and maladyes: They their own greatest ene­mies, [Page] who absent themselve.

Cap. 10.

Corollaries drawn from the premisses. 1. The Reason, why Baptism is received but once, and the Lords Sup­per often. How often we are to receive the Lords Supper. 2. The Necessity of the Sacraments, what and how great it is.

In the third generall part, I set down the Qualifica­tion of the Receiver. The end, & usefulness wherof is to prevent, if it may be, the prejudicate opinion of Opus operatum, which is so usually cast upon the for­mer Doctrin, and De­fenders therof.


Cap. 11.

The Qualification required of them that come to the Sacraments. The equity of a Qualification pre-required: Particularly: what is requi­red of Men: what of In­fants.

Cap. 12.

Of Repentance. The first Branch of Qualification, common to both Sacraments. The nature of Repentance. The Name thereof: the Acts of it in the Heart, Tongue, Hand. Touching Confession and Restitution.

Cap. 13.

Of Faith, the second branch of Qualification common to both Sacraments. The na­ture of Faith seen in the Act and Object. How Faith [Page] is a mother-Grace. Sa­cramentall Faith: the pro­mise in either Sacrament: these two meeting together, make a kind of Omnipoten­cy. Answer to an Objection touching Transubstantiati­on.

Cap. 14.

A speciall note touching these two branches of Sacramental Qualification: what if pro­fession be counterfeit: the case of Simon Magus: the School-tenet De obice posi­to.

Cap. 15.

A Digression, handling the case of Infants Baptism: An Examination of the Ana­baptists Arguments against baptising Infants. Their first Argument [No Pre­cept, [Page] nor President] an­swer'd. Their second [they have no faith] answered. Shewing that there needeth none actuall faith to quali­fie Infants. Profession of faith is made by their Sure­tyes: Interrogatories in Bap­tism how understood: Good reason to admit Infants to Baptism, and yet not to the Lords Supper.

Cap. 16.

Of Qualification peculiar to the receiving of the Lords Supper, viz. Thankfulness, Remembrance of the Death of Christ. The Name Eucharist. The Means how to stir us up to Thankful­ness. The manner how to express it.

Cap. 17.

Of Love and Charity: what [Page] is meant therby; Reconcili­ation: the Name Commu­nion: a Patheticall exhor­tation to it.

Cap. 18.

Of Examination: what it is: what is required to it: Per­sons imployed in it. The Object of Examination. 1. Repentance, the marks ther­of: 2. Faith, marks of true Faith. A note touching the Vniversallity of Sacramen­tall Charity: The Neces­sity of this Sacramentall preparation, seen in the dan­ger of unworthy Receiving.

And thus have you the summe of this Treatise: By which you may guess whe­ther it be worth the reading, yea, or no: I have been (as you see) larger in the practi­call part, than in the Theore­ticall: [Page] this third generall part being equall to the other two. And yet I have not been so large as some Readers would think fitting; neither in this later, and much less in the two former parts therof. My A­pologie is: This is not an age to blot paper in: They that most commonly bestow time in reading books, are of the Clergie; and to them five words spoken with reason, and understanding, are better than five thousand tautologies, and iterations. Among the Laity, if any one find not full satis­faction by what I have writ­ten, the Minister is at hand in every parish, of whom he may inquire. And I humbly intreat my brethren of the Mi­nistery (what I faithfully pro­mise to them in the like occa­sion) to do me right, in helping their people, that desire it, to [Page] apprehend the best constructi­on of what may seem doubt­full: imitating therin that of Saint Austin, lib. 2. c. 2. De A­nima, ad Renatum, Vbi mihi animus ergame hominis ignotus est & incertus, meliùs arbitror meliora sentire, quam in-expli­cata culpare. As for the truth of what I have set down do­ctrinally, and positively, I know my Brethren of the Clergie (if Ministers of the Church of England) may not desert me, much less oppose me, except they will desert their own subscription, in as much as what I have written, hath been collected (totidem ferè verbis) out of those books to which they no less than I have heretofore subscribed.

To this Treatise I have sub­nected, and printed with it the copy of a Sermon, preached lately (sc. Iun. 24. 1638) in [Page] the publique Sermon appoin­ted for S. Pauls Cross. So much the rather, because, as the Sub­ject Matter is an argument co­sen-german to the former trea­tise: so in it I have the more largely insisted upon that do­ctrin which is most doubted, and discussed, viz. The efficacy of Baptism.

In this Sermon (to give you a taste therof) After the di­vision of the Text, and the ex­plication of the phrases: you have something interserted tou­ching this Doctrin, That death doth free us from the domini­on of sinn. The which, tho a truth, and very usefull, as there I shew for consolation against the fear of death: yet is but briefly touched, and passed over, as not being that which the text in hand doth chiefly aym at. This is indeed, as then I come to shew That Christians are dead men [Page] and therfore free-men. Dead, while they are alive, not in sinn, but to sinn, as Theophylact (which I pray the Reader to set down in the margent) doth out of vers. 2. supply the text, thus reading: Qui mortuus est pec­cato, justificatus est à peccato. This is by being baptised into the death of Christ, i.e. either into the profession of conformity with Christ in his death, or else into the participation, and com­munion of the power, and effi­cacy of Christs death.

The first is a Truth, and the ground of a good Doctrin, viz. That by the vow of Baptism Christians are dead to sin. An Argument of confusion to car­nall-Gospellers. But the second I pitch upon, because, as Beza well noteth: Non ex confor­mitate communio, sed ex com­munione conformitas; becaus we partake of the power of [Page] Christs death: thence it is that we are conformable to him in mortification.

Now, to be baptised into the Communion of Christs death: what is it else, but by Baptism to be partaker of his death, and consequently discharged from the Dominion of sin: So the Doctrin.

Doct. Christians howsoe­ver before their Baptism, they be servants of sin, yet by Bap­tism they are freed from the service, and dominion therof.

The uses of this Doctrin are three-fold.

First, for instruction, shew­ing the efficacy of Baptism; touching which, two cautions:

  • 1. That the efficacy of the Sacrament is but instru­mentall.
  • 2. That it pre-supposeth a right Qualification in the Receiver.

[Page] Secondly, For consolation to Parents in respect of their chil­dren dying in infancy.

Quest. Whether all infants be regenerate in Baptism.

An Answer set down in two conclusions.

An objection taken from the usuall phrase of Preach­ers in pressing the duty of attendance upon the means of grace.

The answer to it.

Thirdly, for exhortation, And this directed:

First, to Parents, To watch carefully over their chil­dren, that they be not re­enslaved.

To acquaint them with this benefit: to call upon them &c.

Secondly, To all Christians.

In generall: to walk as Free-men.

In speciall: to hinder the [Page] reign of sinn in themselves.

Object. I fain would do so, but am not able.

Sol. Christians have helps to subdue the power of sinn; sc. An interest.

First, In the blood of Christ streaming in the Sacra­ments.

Secondly, In the Communi­on of Saints: the Chur­ches Prayers.

A Caveat. That if Christi­ans desire this benefit, they must not forfeit their interest by running into tentation.

Hitherto the copy of the Ser­mon.

These two little books, not much unlike to the poore wi­dows two mites, have I cast into the Treasury of the Church; I pray God they may be no less accepted with [Page] God, and all good men; that so the succesfulness of these my poore endevours may en­courage me to go on cheerful­ly in the work of my Mini­stery, and to bestow some big­ger volumn upon the Library of this Church, and Nation. I know we are not born for our selvs alone, not for this present age alone. I should choose rather to be too busie (in this kind) and to over-do, rather than to be wanting to my place, and people.

I cannot hope to live (at least not here wher I am) til I see the harvest of my seeds time, the fruits of my labour here be­stowed. We of the Ministery, commonly our greatest com­fort is, in the happy growth of grace in those, whom at our first entrance we find to be of tender years. Nor do I doubt but that amongst these, there [Page] will be found some, that here­after will rejoyce in the re­membrance of those holy truths, which they have heard, received, and gathered up in their attendance upon my poore labours: and they will say, this, and this did I then heare, and learn: and tho for the present I felt no great sweetness in it, yet do I now taste it, and know it to the ho­ly truth of God. In particu­lar, this Doctrin of the Sa­craments, and their efficacy, which seemed so strange, and uncouth in the ears of divers of the elder Audience, will by the younger sort be received now, and hereafter remembred with happy congratulation.

Now then for their sakes that they may keep fresh in memory what they have heard, that they may recall to mind what perhaps hath slipt, [Page] and is forgotten, have I sent abroad these, and if God say amen, I shall send abroad some other of my notes. For their sakes, I say, that they may have wherwithall to perswade others what themselvs do know: viz. That those things (to use the phrase of the Dis­ciples to Saint Paul in a case not much unlike) that those things wherof divers have been informed concerning me, are no­thing, but that I also walk order­ly, and keep the Law: The law I mean of holy teaching, and edification; not wasting the time in curious, and needless speculations; but endevouring (pro posse meo) both plainly to explicate, and profitably to apply, what the text of Holy Writ hath led me to.

In the prosecuting of which, if I have proceeded otherwise (as some say) than others have [Page] done before me; let the indif­ferent Reader do that, which those Hearers should have done, sc. try, and examine which of us doth most neerly follow the steps of the holy Scripture, and tread in the path of our Mother-Church. To me I confess, it is a scruple to depart from the pattern of wholsome Doctrin, to the which I have subscribed: if it be not so to others, it is not my fault if I dare not follow them. But there is a generati­on of men, who have learned to pretend the authority of such Worthies, and such grave Divines, meerly to counte­nance what themselvs have pitcht upon, in prejudice, and opposition of the present Mi­nistery. This was (say they) the Doctrin, this the opinion of such, and such; when, upon [Page] due examination, their judg­ment was nothing so, but clean contrary. That this may not hereafter befall me, this Trea­tise shall be a witness to the world, what I beleev, what I have taught as touching this Argument. The scope wherof in brief is to shew: That the effect of the Sacraments is ou [...] union with Christ: The fruit is communion in his Merits, and Graces; in his merits for Remission, in his Graces for Regeneration: both which are begun in Baptism, and perfectly consummate in the Lords Supper. This is all: Farewell dear Christian Rea­der; pray for him, who hath devoted himself, and the strength of his labours to the advancement of thy spirituall welfare. Let thy prayers com­mend me and my labours to [Page] the blessing of our heavenly Father.

In whom I rest, Thine.

The Lords unworthy ser­vant in the work of the Ministry. T. B.


The Preface.

GReat was the love of our blessed Saviour to the sinful race of the sons of men: Greatly did it appeare by that Redemp­tion, which by his death is purchased: This hath re­covered to us the favour of God, which is to us the deep and inexhaustible fountain [Page 2] of all goodnesse: yet hath not the love of Christ our Saviour stayed here; hee thought not this suffi­cient, but hath added the Revelation of this benefit for our Comfort; Yea hee hath also wisely invented the way, by which this be­nefit might be conveyed to us, and we put in full posses­sion of the same: Nor is the later a lesse demonstration of his singular love than the former. Without the Redemption purchased, what are wee, but a masse of mi­sery, borne to endlesse woe, and irrecoverable destru­ction? Without the Reve­lation of this Redemption, and the means by which it may become ours, what is [Page 3] this life of ours, but a perpetuall disconsolation? Wherefore, so often as wee blesse God for the benefit of our Redemption purchased by the blood of Christ; so often let us remember to praise him for the Revela­tion of it made unto us by his spirit.

The way and meanes by which the spirit of Christ doth acquaint us with this Redemption, is the ministery of the Word, and Sacra­ments. And here is the bu­sinesse, and malice of Sathan that grand enemy of our Salvation. Hee could not hinder the work of our Re­demption, but hee will do what hee can to hinder us from the knowledge, and [Page 4] comfort of the same: For this end, one while hee seek­eth to darken the light of the Sunne, otherwhiles to oppresse the heat thereof: sometimes to trouble the pure streams of knowledge running in the word, some­times to turne aside the wa­ters of comfort streaming in the Sacraments. Here then is the office of the Church and the members thereof, to preserve (as much as they can) the text of ho­ly Scripture, and the Do­ctrine of the holy Sacra­ments free from all Corrup­tion: To preserve I say if it may be; or else to vindi­cate both the one, and the other from that which is contracted; that in them, [Page 5] and by them the Children of the Church may bee able to comprehend with all Saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which pas­seth knowledge▪ that so th [...]y may be filled with all the ful­nesse of God.

Since the time that Po­pery (truly so called) hath beene discovered to be meere delusion rather than true Christian doctrine, by the light of the glorious Gospell in this later age, breaking forth like the Sunne from under some cloud; It may be worth our labour to note how by little and little, one point after another hath beene purged from corrup­tion, [Page 6] and by the labours of of the industrious learned brought to that light, and perfection, that we cannot readily see what more can be added. If any thing bee yet wanting, it is time that the labours of the faithfull Ministerie be applied to the doctrine of the Sacraments, that it also may be yet fur­ther cleared from the mis­conceits of errour, and ig­norance; and the people taught to yeeld that respect, and honour, which is due to that sacred ordinance.

For this cause have I (tho the unablest of ma­ny) set pen to paper, that what light my selfe have gai­ned by perusing the doctrine of our Church touching this [Page 7] argument, I may not envy it to others (a fault too fre­quent in this age) but ra­ther present it to their view, that others also may see the same, and so receive more fruit, and comfort by the Sacraments than hi­therto. At least, that here­by they may be stirred up to dig deeper, and seek further, than happily as yet they have done, into the doctrine, and usefulnesse of these sa­cred mysteries.

To come to the knowledge of the nature and use of the Sacraments, three things are especially to be learned, viz. What a Sacrament is: Why it was instituted: and what qualification is requi­red in the Receivers. To [Page 8] these three heads may well bee reduced whatsoever is needfull (especially for the vulgar, for whose sake I un­dertook this task) needfull I say to be known.

In the handling of which I will precisely follow the doctrine of the Church of England, not only because by subscription I am bound to acknowledge it for a truth; but also because ind [...]ed it doth best agree with the text of sacred writ, and doth most fully, and clearly explicate the sacred truth of this most usefull doctrine.

CHAP. I. What a Sacrament is.Part. 1.

THE Notation of the word we leave to Criticks, toge­ther with the common use thereof in hu­mane Authors; As it is used by Divines we are to speak of it.Articles of Religion cap. 25. And so the Church defi­neth Sacraments to be not only badges of Christian mens pro­fession, but rather they bee cer­tain sure testimonies, and ef­fectuall signes of grace, and Gods good will towards us: By which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirme our faith in him.

Thus in the Articles of Re­ligion enacted and established Anno 1562. Afterward in the [Page 10] second book of Homilies,Chap. 1. viz. in that of Common-prayer and Sacraments, out of Saint Augustine is confirmed the common description of a Sa­crament, which (saith the Homily) is, that it is a visible signe of an invisible grace; that is to say, that setteth out to the eyes, and other outward senses, the inward working of Gods free mercy, and doth (as it were) seal in our hearts the promises of God.

A little after, distinguishing of Sacraments according to the exact signification of the word, from the generall ac­ception of the same; it shew­eth that in the exact significa­tion of the word, Sacraments are visible signes expresly com­manded in the new Testament, whereunto is annexed the pro­mise of free forgivenesse, and of our holinesse, and joyning to [Page 11] Christ. To the same effect, and almost in the same words, hath Mr. Nowell in his larger Catechisme set down the defi­nition of a Sacrament: Out of all which (when in the conference at Hampton Court Anno 1603 in the first yeare of King Iames of blessed me­mory, it was motioned, gran­ted, and appointed, that some­thing should bee added to the Catechisme in the Communi­on book for the doctrine of the Sacraments) this defini­tion was collected, viz. That a Sacrament is an outward vi­sible signe of an inward and spi­rituall grace given unto us, or­dained by Christ himselfe as a mean whereby we receive the same, and as a pledge to assure us thereof. In which descrip­tion beside the end of the In­stitution, which I reserve to speak of by it selfe in the se­cond [Page 12] part, wee have a cleare expression of the Quiddity and Essence of the Sacraments together with the Author and Originall of them; Of which in order.

The Essence of a Sacrament.

THis is conteined in the Genus, and Species. The Genus, or common nature of a Sacrament is, that it is a sign; The Specificall nature or difference of a Sacrament is, that it is externall and vi­sible.

A SIGN: This I say sets forth the common nature of a Sacrament: The word is a note of Relation, and puts us upon this question. Whereof is it a sign? The answer is ready; A sign of grace: The Article addeth signs of grace, [Page 13] and Gods good will towards us. What this Grace, this effect of Gods good will to us ward is, wee shall best determin, when wee find it in the seve­rall Sacraments: For the pre­sent, the Church saith, it is Inward, and spirituall, that is, such a Grace, as resteth not in the body, but reacheth to the inner man, the Soul, and Spi­rit; Moreover, it is a grace gi­ven unto us, not only reported, or proffered, but also given, and put into our possession.

OUTVVARD and VISIBLE. This word puts a difference betwixt this, and other signs of grace. This is a signe for Representation, and therefore must be obvious to the senses. By these is knowledge con­veyed into the understanding: Thus is the Body a loving yoke-fellow, and helper to [Page 14] the Soul: Neither is this sign only outward, but also visible and subject to the Eye: Here­in differing from the word: Grace maketh way into the Soul, by the Eare, by the Eye: By the Eare in the word, by the Eye in the Sacraments. The Sacrament is a visible representation of grace; Thus hath God provided for Cre­dence, and Confidence; for Faith, and Assurance: What we heare wee do beleeve, but what wee see, wee know. Wherefore as in the word, we use our eare to heare; so in the Sacrament, we use our eye to see, and behold; else are wee justly blamed. Hath God set up the brasen Serpent, and will not Israel turne them­selves to behold the same? Note that this outward visible signe by a peculiar name is termed the Element, which [Page 15] puts us in mind that it is a ma­teriall substance, and diffe­reth therein from the Cere­monious Actions, which at­tend the Administration; And which by their visibility might put in to be accounted signes: but indeed are not, as in the sequell will appeare.

The Author and Originall.

THis is intimated in those words of the Catechisme Ordained by Christ himselfe. The Sacrament is a signe by institution, not meerely by naturall signification. Truth there is in the signe a naturall Aptitude to represent what is signified; yet because it hath a resemblance to other things also, the institution doth re­strain it to this individuall: Hence there is need of a word to be joyned to the Element to [Page 16] make it a Sacrament: Yea a twofold word,Lombard & Bonad­venture Sentent lib. 4. Dist. 3. Aquin. part 3. qu. 606. and both from Christ himselfe, viz. a word of Precept enjoyning the use of this Sacrament, and a word of Promise to enjoy a benefit by the same.

This is that word whereof Saint Austin speaketh saying, Take away the word, Detrabe verbum & quid est A­qua nisi a­qus? accedit verbum ad Ele nentum &. fit Sa­crame [...]tum. Aug. in Ioh. tract. 80. and what is the water of Baptism but wa­ter? his meaning is; what more virtue, and efficacy in the Font than in the Foun­tain water. But, saith he, let the word bee joyned to the Element, and then it is made a Sacrament: which to under­stand of a bare, and naked re­citation of the words, which the Schoolmen call the form of the Sacrament, is too je­june, and barren: Most true it is, that the right, and due form of Administration re­quireth, that there bee made [Page 17] a plain and audible recita­tion of the precept, and pro­mise both. And this in our Church-Liturgy is the matter whereof the prayer of conse­cration consisteth. Yet not our formall Recitation of them is that which doth give virtue to the Element, but the institution of Christ, i.e. the precept which he gave for our warrant, and the pro­mise which he added for our encouragement. He I say: For who else durst give such a pre­cept? who else can performe such a promise? Such a pre­cept, if not given by Christ, is a direct breach of the second Commandement, which as it forbiddeth all Images of God, made by man for this end, to convey honour to God; so also all Images of his grace ordained for the conveyance of holinesse to man. Such a [Page 18] promise by which in the use of this, or that creature, Grace may bee expected, who can performe but Christ alone? of whose fulnesse wee do all receive grace for grace: If thē none but he can perform the promise of grace, it is fitting that he alone should appoint the signe: And in this do all agree: That Sacraments are Ceremonies of Christs owne immediate ordination,Bellarm. Tom. 3. de Sacrament. lib. cap. 23. and institution: The Author of every legitimate and true born Sacrament is God him­selfe: Thus it hath been from the beginning. To Adam God gave the tree of life; to Abraham Circumcision; to Israel the Passeover: In the new Testament God spake by his Sonne, and by him or­dained Sacraments.

Ceroll: By this that hath [Page 19] beene said touching the origi­ginall of the Sacraments,Bellarmin. Tom. 3. de Sacrament. lib. 1. c. 20 see what to hold touching that question disputed betwixt Bellarmine and Chamier. viz. whether to the consecration of the Elements, it be suffici­ent to make a bare recitation of the words, which con­cern the Element; or whe­ther some further declaration of the first Institution be re­quired: Ex gr. Whether the pronouncing of these foure words: This is my Body, over the Bread, bee enough to change the Bread, if not in nature, yet in use, and make it Sacramentall. Bellarmin, and his fellowes contend, that that word, which maketh the Sacrament, is, Verbum con­secrationis, by which he mean­eth a form of words pro­nounced over the Elements; And thereupon bequarrelleth [Page 20] Calvin, and others, who (saith he) require Verbum concionis, a sermon to go be­fore the Sacrament. Contra­rily Chamier Tom. 4. de Sacr. l [...]b. 1. cap. 15.16. Chamier stoutly de­fends, that the word by which the Element is made a Sacra­ment, is Verbum concionale, not a sermon, as the vulgar counteth a sermon, but a plain, yea an audible recitation of the first Institution. By which the people may take notice of the sacred action in hand: of the Author, intent, and scope of the Administration; of the Precept that giveth war­rant; of the Promise that giveth incouragement. This he and many other of our Protestant Divines, count that word, that must be joyn­ed to the Element, before it can bee acknowledged for a Sacrament.

CHAP. II. The manifestation of both these in the Sacrament of Bap­tism.

COME wee to the particular Sacra­ments; that so we may further ma­nifest the truth of that wee have set down touching the Essence, and Originall: And first for Baptism

IN BAPTISM, the out­ward visible sign (saith our Church) is water wherein the person baptised is dipped, or sprinkled with it in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: where note. [Page 22] First,Chap. 2. the Element: secondly, the Administration consisting of a Ceremony, attended with a forme of words.

Nulla di­stinctio ma­ri quis, an stagno, flu­mine, an fonte, lacu, an alveo di­luatur. Ter­tull. lib. de Baptismo. The Element (that is the outward visible signe) is Wa­ter. Any ordinary water may be used; rain, river, or foun­tain, no great matter in that, so it be water; and for religi­ous-manners sake, as pure wa­ter as may be: none other li­quor may be used, but wa­ter; herein all agree. The rea­son hereof see cap. 7. The cu­stome of the Iacobines that baptise with fire, is farre wide. That text of Matth. 3.11. on which they build, must bee expounded metaphorically, or rather prophetically, with reference to the histo­rie of the fiery cloven tongues, the visible represen­tation of the holy Ghost on [Page 23] the day of Pentecost. Act. 2.2.3.

The Ceremonie used in Baptisme is either dipping, or sprinkling: dipping is the more antient: At first they went downe into the rivers, afterwards they were dipped in Fonts: In colder climates, and in case of weaknesse, the custome of the Church hath been to poure water on the face. The substance is wash­ing:Hence Bap­tism is ter­med wash­ing Eph. 5.26. Tit. 3.5. to wash the body either in whole, or part, and so that this be done, the manner is dispensable by the Church. So for the number of dippings, i.e. whether it should be done once, or thrice,Lombard & [...]onav: Sentent, l. 4. Dist. 3. Aquin: parte 3. Qu. 66.8. is held indif­ferent, and in the power of the Church; as experience hath made it good: for why? the power, and efficacie of the Sacrament, doth not stand in [Page 24] the quantity of the Element, but in the nature and true use thereof.

Vse.Well, the body must bee washed; all washing doth presuppose uncleannesse: here then take notice of the state of nature, wherein wee are born, or rather see how Bap­tism doth teach us Repen­tance: viz. By shewing us our naturall corruption, which must be washed, before wee be acknowledged for mem­bers of Christ: meditate of this, when thou seest the In­fant baptised; and see it (I ad­vise thee) so often as it is done, that so thou mayst often take notice, of the spirituall pollu­tion of the soul: of the soul I say, for this washing in Bap­tism, is not in respect of the bodie, but of the soul in the body: he that resteth in the washing of the body, loseth al.

[Page 25] The forme of words used in the Administration of Bap­tism hath in it somthing essen­tiall, and something acciden­tall, and alterable.

Essentiall it is, that with the name of the Action,Lomb. & Bonav: Senten: lib. 4. Dist: 3. Aquin. par­te 3. Qu. 66.5. & 6. there bee joyned a recitation, and re­hearsall of the severall persons of the blessed Trinity: The reason of this will appeare if we once understand what it is to baptise in the name of the Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost: Note here, that the word NAME used in this place, may have three signi­fications.

1 To signifie the authority by which the Minister doth baptise:The phrase [...] doth most usually signifie, authority and com­mission: Mat. 7.22. Acts 3.6. As wee say in the Kings name, that is, by au­thority from the King. Thus the phrase is used in Mar. 16.17. Iohn 5.43. Acts 4.7.10. So that this phrase, I baptise in [Page 26] the name, is as much as Au­thoritate mihi commissâ. The con­struction of the verb [...] with the prepo­sition [...], sheweth that the verb hath a transi­tive significati [...]n; q: d: bapti­zando a­doptare in familiam. Thus the word [...] is used in constru­ction with [...], and [...], [...]n the Act. of the Ap. By that authority which I have received, do I baptise thee.

2 To intimate the service of the persons named, and so to baptise in their name, is to dedicate, and consecrate to their service, to adopt into their family: So the Minister prayeth, Grant that whosever is here dedicated to thee by our office and ministery: To dedi­cate unto God, what is it, but to adopt into the family? to consecrate to the service of God?

3 To remember the faith, and profession of this Article of the Christian Religion, and consequently the whole pro­fession of Christianity. And well may this Article bee given for instance of the whole, because it is the first poynt, wherein the Christian [Page 27] religion differeth from others: It is also the summe of the whole, and virtually com­prehendeth all the residue: This is the substance, and method of the Creed, wher­of, not the Church, but Christ himself was the Author: Now according to this, the phrase to baptise in the name, doth note forth the end of bapti­sing, viz. why he doth bap­tise him, even to enter him into the faith, and profession of the Christian Religion; and this may seeme to be the sence and meaning of the phrase in the judgement of the Church; for after the solemn profession of the Christian faith, according to the articles of the Creed, which is exacted of the par­tie baptised, the Minister de­mandeth of him, wilt thou be baptised in this faith? to [Page 28] which when he hath answer­ed, this is my desire: he is baptised in the name of the Father &c. So that by sub­mitting himselfe to Baptism, he doth subscribe to the Chri­stian faith: adde this also, that when the Minister doth crosse the childs forehead, he useth these words, In token that he shall not bee ashamed to professe the faith of Christ cru­cified ▪ which words do plain­ly expresse the end wherfore it is done: neither doubt I but that the Church appointed this to be done, in imitation of the other ministeriall Act: and so by the variation of the phrase shewed what they conceived, to be the meaning of that phrase used in Bap­tism, viz. to bind the partie to the profession of this Faith. By this now we see the rea­son, why it is Essentiall to [Page 29] the form of Administration, that with naming the action, there bee a recitation of the Trinity, viz. because the men­tion of the holy Trinity doth determinate the end and use of the act, which being of it selfe indefinite, and appliable to many other ends, is by these words limited to this alone.

Consequently, such a form of words, wherein this is omitted, is not to be allowed: It is objected out of Acts 2.38. there is another form of words delivered:Be lap [...] se [...] [...] one [...] in [...]he name [...] the Lord Iesus. But we an­swer, that these words do not set down the form of Baptism, but the end and use of it, viz. to assure them of Remission of sinnes by Christ; or if they do intimate the form, yet not the whole form, but only part of the form used by the Apostles; and that either by [Page 30] Apposition of the name of Christ to the second person [as thus, in the name of the Father, and of his sonne Iesus Christ, and of the holy Ghost.] or else by a Ceremony superadded (as doth our Church) for ex­plication of that faith, which was required to be placed in the second Person, under the name of Iesus Christ. Whatso­ever it was that they did, or said: it must not be received that they left out the names of the other persons: doubtlesse they did expressely name them all: both because that else the words had been lesse plain, and distinct, than the sign it selfe; and also because that else they had transgressed the precept of Christ, Matt. 28. thus much for the Essen­tialls in the administration.

ACCIDENTALL in the [Page 31] form of Administration it is to insert the Pronouns I and THEE, yet usefull, and profitable, to note the diffe­rent persons, Minister, and Re­ceiver.

EGO I, noteth the Person baptising, who must be a law­full Minister, such a one who hath received authoritie to preach, or publish the Gos­pell. A troublesome question there is among the School­men, and their followers about the Minister of Bap­tism: whether a Layick, a Woman, yea an Ethnick might not well, and lawful­ly do it, in case of Necessitie. The Anabaptists also dispute this question, against their brethren of the Separation. Something also there hath been to do in our Church about it: see Cartwright de­nying [Page 32] women, and Layicks any power; Whitgift, and Hooker, pleading for it: at last King Iames determined the question, in the confe­rence at Hampton Court, and caused the Rubrick of private baptism in the Com­munion book, to appropriate the act of baptising to the lawfull Minister; and that justly, it being most properly the office of the Minister, to stand in the place of God, and to seale his children in their forheads.

TE, THEE; noteth the par­tie baptised, which is another, not the Minister: so that no man may baptise himselfe, wherein is detected the folly of Smith the Se-baptist, who having runne the wild-goose-chace, separating first from the Church of England, then [Page 33] from the Brownists, came at last to the Anabaptists, yet not as a disciple, but as a Father, and founder of a new Church, and therefore baptised himselfe, which nei­ther Iohn Baptist, nor any other did before him.

To end this discourse, wee see what is Essentiall in the forme of Administration, what is accidentall: wee in our Church retain that form of words, which hath been used in the Church of Rome; and justly too; it being confessed and acknow­ledged to be as well as it could be framed: wherein we may do well to note the provi­dence of God over his Church, who even in the corruptest time, hath preserved intire this form of Administration, together with the proper ele­ment of Baptism: by which [Page 34] even the Priests of the worst times baptised Infants into the true faith of Christ: and like a leprous, and infectious mother, is the present Church of Rome; she beareth, and bringeth forth sound children, but presently hazardeth the infection of them with her milk, as it were with deadly poyson.

That this Element together with the Ceremony, and the form of words used in the Administration, were all of them, ordeined by Christ, is so plain by that text, Mat. 28. that it cannot be denied: thus have we manifested both the Essence, and Originall of Baptism.

CHAP. III. The manifestation of the Essence, and Originall of the Lords Supper.

TOuching this, our Church saith, that the Element, or out­ward part in the Lords Supper, is Bread and Wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be received: thereby teaching us, both the number, and names of the Elements, and also the Ori­ginall of this sign, or which is all one the ground, of our receiving.

For the NVMBER of Ele­ments, there are two, yet not [Page 36] two Sacraments: no; both make but one Sacrament,Chap. 3. for which they are joyned toge­ther in this sacred action, to teach us the full sufficiencie of spirituall nourishment, which is in Christ. Corporal nourish­ment must consist of some­thing moist, and something dry; and he that partaketh not of both, hath not suffici­ent; so here we have both in Christ, and therefore need not seek elsewhere.

The NAMES of these two Elements, are Bread, and Wine; not Flesh, and Blood, (which happly would have carried a greater resemblance of that, which is thereby sig­nified) lest it might have been impiously thought to have been prepared for Can­nibals, not for Christians: but Bread, and Wine, which [Page 37] have an excellent proportion, and Analogicall Representa­tion of what is here remem­bred, as shall be shewed in the seventh Chapter.

The ORIGINALL of these Ele­ments, and the ground of our receiving is the cōmand of the Lord, expressely mentioned by S. Matthew, Mat. 26. [...]6 Mark, Mark. 14.22 and Luke, Luk. 22.19 Cor. 11.23. and out of S. Luke repeated verbatim by S. Paul. Whence appeareth the abominable im­pietie, and horrible sacriledge of the present Church of Rome, which hath not only appoin­ted new ends, and uses of the Sacraments, Circumgestation and Adoration, which Christ, and his Church never did once dream of, but also hath de­prived the Laity of the Cup altogether. And whereas Christ saith, drink ye all of this; She saith no,Articl: 30. not all of [Page 38] you, but only the Clergie must, the rest must be con­tent with their wafer cake, for more they get not.

Object. That word Omnes, All of you, is to be restrained to the Apostles, who alone were present.

Sol: And to whom must the other Omnes, which tho not expressed, is yet understood in the precept of eating; to whom I say must that be extended? To whom doth Saint Paul direct that Canon, Cor. 11.28. Let him eat, let him drink. Why do they not also take away the Bread from the Lai­tie, as well as the Cup, since none but the Apostles were present? But to let these bel­lies passe; all that desire the benefit of the Sacraments, must know it to be their du­tie, to eat, and drink, the [Page 39] Bread, and Wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be received.

Ob. But blood was never used for nutrition, nay the eating, or drinking thereof is directly prohibited, Gen. 9.4. and Levit. 7.14. and much more the blood of man: why then are these men blamed, that forbeare to drink that in its type, and fi­gure, which manifestly was forbidden to be drunk, in its proper substance.

Sol: We are not to depart from the letter of Christs Pre­cept, because we cannot un­tie the knots of humane Cu­riosity: Blood indeed was never lawfully drunk, much lesse the blood of man; but alwayes shed for expiation; and therefore it might (to car­nall reason) seem as incon­gruous to drink it in its type, [Page 40] and figure, as it is congru­ous to eat flesh, in its figure, which was allowed for the proper food, and nourish­ment of the body: yet since Christ hath commanded us to drink that Wine, which he himselfe hath called his blood, we must do what he biddeth, and leav him to stop the mouths of Cavillers: when God calls for obedience by the letter of his word, we must not stand to ask him the ground, and reason of his Commandement: Duties belong to us: Reasons to God.

Note, that as the Bread ac­cidentally was unlevened, that Bread I mean, which Christ our Saviour used, at the first institution; so also the wine in the Cup, was not intentional­ly provided for this new Sa­crament: our Saviour took [Page 41] such ordinary provision, as the custome of the country used in the Passeover: happi­ly also the wine that he used was mingled with water; it being the custome of the country to dash their wine to prevent Drunkennesse: which things are fit to be noted, lest we should place any supersti­tion in the imitation or not imitation of those things whih were but accidentall. The Catholick Church hath appointed Wine to be used, yet indulgence was granted to the Norwegians to use other drinks. The reformed Churches some of them put leaven into the bread, & some of them banish water out of the wine. And in these things tho the text of Scripture im­pose no necessity, but leav a liberty; yet is it fitting that men should in conscience use [Page 42] their liberty according to the Canons,Chap. 4. and Constitutions of the Church.

CHAP. IV. The inward Grace sig­nified by the out­ward Elements.

THE Sign in either of these two Sacra­ments (as we have heard) is externall, and visible: now what is sig­nified by these Elements, cometh to be enquired; this is called a Grace, and it is said to be inward, and spiritu­all: Particularly, the inward part, and thing s [...]gnified by the Bread and Wine, saith our Church, is the body and blood of Christ: by the bread is sig­nified the Body, and by the [Page 43] wine, the Blood; both which being found in Christ, do set forth the truth of his Humanity: but being consi­dered in their separation, that is, as separated really one from the other, they do set forth the truth of Christs death. A reall separation of the blood from the body is here (in the Sacrament) re­presented, and set forth in the locall distance of the two Ele­ments, the bread in one ves­sell by it selfe, the wine in another by it selfe: for which cause, the Elements ought not to be mingled together. The Elements are bread, and wine: See Do­ctor Iohn [...]u [...]gess in [...]is Re­joynder, cap. 1. Sect. 15. p. 60. Not a sopp, because not the blood of Christ, while it was running in the veins, but when it was shed upon the ground is signified in the Sacrament; so much is plain out of the words of [Page 44] our blessed Saviour, touching the Cup; This is my blood of the new Testament which is shed for many: plain also it is out of the speciall end of the Institution of this Sacrament, which (saith our Church out of Saint Paul) is for a conti­nuall remembrance of the death of Christ, &c. But of this hereafter.

Now for the Sacrament of Baptism, that which is signi­fied by the water (to speak exactly) is the blood of Christ, not the blood in the living bodie, but the blood that was spilt, and shed upon the ground: prefigured in the Law by the blood of the sacrifices, which was sprinkled upon the unclean, for the pu­rifying of the flesh. The blood of Bulls, and Goats were shaddows of prefigura­tion, but the body is Christ; [Page 45] whose blood doth wash, and cleans the soul from sinne, and is signified by the water in Baptism.

Q. How can this be (may some say) when as the blood of Christ is signified by the Wine in the Lords Supper?

For answer hereunto, we shall do well to remember, what Saint Iohn hath related in his Gospell, viz. That up­on the pei [...]cing, and goring of Christs side,See this noted by Calvin, Beza, and [...]sttus, on the text of St. Iohn. [...]o also by Bishop An­drews in his 13. Sermon on Whit-sunday. there came forth blood, and water: what water was this? not any mi­raculous humour, much lesse the corruption of blood in Pleuritick bodies; but that watery substance, which A­natomists do find in the Pe­ricardium, placed there by nature, as it may seem for the refrigeration of the heart. Now for the full manifestati­on of the death of Christ, it [Page 46] pleased the providence of God, to make use of the ma­lice of the Souldier, to peirce the Pericardium, and gore the heart, which being done, it is impossible for any one to live. And this watery substance is that, which the water of Pu­rification, and the water of Baptism doth properly signi­fie, the which, t [...]o in proprie­ty of nature, it differ from the blood of the vitall ves­sels, viz. the heart, and the liver, running in the veins, and arteries, yet in common phrase it is called the blood of Christ; which blood of Christ is represented in both the Sacraments. Hence there is a different respect of the blood of Christ, shed for ex­piation, and a two-fold use of it after the effusion, viz. partly for Nutrition in the Supper: partly for ablution [Page 47] and purgation, as in the Sa­crament of Baptism: hence are those phrases of washing, and cleansing so Act. 22.16. frequent in the new Testament; this is that fountain, which is set open for sinne,Eph. 5.26 and for unclean­nesse:Tit. 3.5 thus in the new Testa­ment, as well as in the old, all things are purged by blood, Hebrews 9.22.Heb. 1 [...].22

Thus both Sacraments have speciall Relation to the death of Christ, which the phrase of Scripture doth manifest: for of Baptism it is said, that by it we are baptised into his death, and buried with Christ, Rom. 6.4. Col. 2.12. and the Supper is the remem­brance, and commemoration of the death of Christ: 1 Cor. 11 26. and this doth fully manifest unto us, what that grace is, which is signi­fied in the Sacrament, and [Page 48] how the word Grace used in the definition of a Sacra­ment is to be understood. Doubtlesse hereby is meant not a quality infused, but a gracious gift bestowed upon us: Now of Gods gracious gifts, some are corporall, and reach no further, than the body; Others are spirituall touching the state, and wel­fare of the soule, and such is that Grace, or gracious gift presented in the Sacra­ments. Again, whereas there be divers sorts of these spiritu­all graces, that Grace which is the ground-work of the Sacraments, is not any among the Gifts, and Graces of the Spirit, but the graci­ous Gift of the Father, who gave his own Sonne for us; indeed Christ himselfe is that gracious gift of God, which is presented to us in [Page 49] the Sacrament. Christus quâ passus, the body and blood of Christ given for mankind in the work of redemption,Christ the grace signified in the Sa­craments. are by the Sacrament given to mankind, for the application of that redemption. Bellar­min is deceived, while in the heat of his scholasticall dis­course, he will needs have the Grace of Justification (or as we do better stile it, sancti­fication) to be the thing which is principally signified in the Sacrament. That is an effect, and consequent, but Christ crucified is the speciall signification of the Sacra­ment: Reason giveth it, for it is against the nature of the cause, especially of the instru­mentall cause, to represent the effect which it self pro­duceth: Adde this; the nature of a sacramentall sign con­sisteth in analogicall propor­tion: [Page 50] now this is most apt be­twixt these Elements and the body and blood of Christ: so also of the operation of the one upon the body, and of the other upon the soul: but no similitude at all betwixt these Elements, and the grace of Justification. To conclude this: both the doctrine of the Schoolmen, and that com­mon saying of the ancients, received from Saint Augu­stine, Ex Christi latere flu­xisse nostra Sacramen­ta: vide Calvinum & Estium, ut supra. doth shew that Chri­stus passus, Christ on the Crosse, is that grace, which is primarily and principal­ly signified in either Sacra­ment.

CHAP. V. A Corollary drawn from this part of the Definition.

NOvv from this first part of the Defini­tion wherein we have heard the Es­sence, and Originall of the Sacrament, we may justly col­lect this Corollary, viz. That if either part be wanting (that is, if either there want a visible sign, or an invisible grace,) there can be no Sacrament: And thus doth the Church teach her children, that the parts of every Sacrament are, and must be two, the outward vi­sible sign, and the inward spi­rituall [Page 52] grace.Chap. 5. How can this be (might some curious Cri­tick say,) is the Genus, and and common nature of a Sa­crament, the sign of grace, and is grace now become part of the Sacrament? Is not this all one, as if the man should be called a part of the picture which is the represen­tation of the man? in very deed to speak properly, grace is no part of the sign, but Subjectum, or Substratum praesuppositum, the ground­work thereof: but when we speak in the vulgar phrase, we call those things parts, which are any way Essentiall, and so grace is a part of the sign, that is, essentiall to it, for ex­cept it be a sign of grace, it is not a Sacrament; adde this also, that howsover the School saith, that the sign is properly (as indeed properly [Page 53] it is) the Sacrament, and doth relatively oppose it to the grace signified: yet the Church speaking to the ca­pacity of the simple, calleth the whole sacred action of Baptism, and of the Supper, by the name of the Sacra­ment: which taken in this larger signification, is (as it were) compounded of two things, one earthly, the other heavenly: and these vulgarly are called the parts of the Sa­crament, as being both of them essentiall, to the consti­tution of a Sacrament.

Hence is an argument fetcht to overthrow Transub­stantiation, which by chang­ing the bread into the very bo­dy of Christ, hath taken away the sign, and so spoyled the Sa­crament; for as the soul de­parted, and the body sepa­rated is not the man; so nei­ther [Page 54] the sign without the grace, nor the grace with­out the sign, but being both together considered rela­tively, do make a Sacra­ment: there may be therfore no change of the one into the other.

Hence also fetch arguments to convince those five obtru­ded by the Roman Church, to be no true born Sacra­ments, properly so called; which is thus proved by in­duction.

MATRIMONY doth con­ferr no grace, nor make the married ever a whit the more acceptable in the sight of God; consequently is no Sacrament: nay more, it doth not signifie that grace, which we find to be specially signified in the Sacrament, viz. the Passion of Christ. Saint Paul indeed [Page 55] doth shew, that it signifieth the mysticall union betwixt Christ and his Spouse, the Church; and our Church doth grant further, that God hath consecrated the state of Ma­trimony, to such an excellent mystery that in it is signified, and represented the spirituall marriage, and unity betwixt Christ and his Church: And indeed, it hath a fair analo­gy in respect of this particular: But the mysticall union is not that, which Sacraments are born to signifie. So then since Matrimony doth neither signify the Passion of Christ, nor conferr any grace, or if any, not the grace of justifi­cation nor forgivenesse of sinnes, we conclude it to be no proper Sacrament. To this might be added, that Ma­trimony hath no sign, and therfore how should it signi­fy? [Page 56] for what should be the sign? not the parties contra­cting, for then where be the Receivers? nor the consent that passeth between the par­ties by words, and signs: for what Analogicall Represen­tation have these with the Grace of justification? al­low it therfore (as doth our Church) for an honourable estate, which God hath or­dained for the benefit of this life, for the mutuall comfort and assistance of the man and woman; but not any Sacra­ment properly so called.

ORDINATION doth in­deed conferr a certain grace, so may that spirituall and ghostly power be not unfitly called, wherin consisteth the dignity of the Ministery (thus understand those words of [Page 57] our Saviour, breathing on his Disciples, and saying, re­ceiv yee the holy Ghost, Iohn 20.) but this is not the grace of Justification, and Remis­sion: consequently it is no Sacrament properly so call­ed.

ABSOLVTION seemeth to come something nearer to the nature of the Sacrament, in respect of the effect therof, which (say they) is Remission of sinnes: and indeed so much the words used by the Con­fessour saying, I do absolve thee, do seem to import: nei­ther may it be denyed, but that this Authority of the Ministery, which Saint Paul calleth the Ministery of re­conciliation, 2 Cor. 5.18 is grounded upon those texts so often alleadged, viz. Matt. 16.19. and 18.18. and Iohn 20.23. which [Page 58] do plainly speak of a certain power, and authority in re­mitting, or reteining sinns, which the Minister hath re­ceived: neither is this peculi­ar to the Episcopall Iurisdi­ction, but common to the Presbyteriall function: Bi­shops indeed are said to have the keys in speciall manner, and consequently a peculiar kind of absolution, which consisteth in removing, and taking away the censurs in­flicted: but beside this, there is a power of Absolution de­legated to the Ministery in their Ordination; not impe­riall, or Prince-like, for so that of the Pharises is true, none can forgive sins, See his Sermon entitled, of the power of Absolution pag. 58. but God alone: but ministeriall, and Judge-like: This power being primarily in Christ as Medi­atour, it hath (to use the words of the Reverend Bishop An­drews) [Page 59] it hath pleased him out of his Commission to grant a warrant and Com­mission to the Ministery, and therby to associate them to himself, and to make them Co-operatores workers toge­ther with him. So that now by virtue of this their Com­mission, they have power not only to publish the conditions of Peace, and Reconciliation to the sonns of men, viz. cre­denti remittentur peccata, if they beleev, they shall receiv remission; but also to apply the comfortable assurance of remission to this and that man in particular, and upon the sight, and approbation of Penitency, and unfained sor­row, to say to him, as did our Saviour to the Palsie­sick-man, tibi remittuntur peccata: Bee of good cheer, thy sinns are forgiven thee. [Page 60] Thus as the Schools do speak; clave non errante, as some­time it doth or may do through the hypocrisie of the Poenitentiary, if the Mi­nister faile not in the key of knowledge, that is, in discerning, and rightly judg­ing of the penitentiall sorrow, and contrition of the peccant, (contrition I say, for Absolu­tion belongeth not to them, who feel not the burthen of their sinns) if he faile not in that, his key of power, and Authority delegate is found effectually operative, and hath in it the stamp of God, for the quiet and content of the trou­bled conscience.

A great power doubtless; and for which the people may very well (as we find in Mat. 9.8. they did) glorifie God, which had given such power unto men, yet is not this [Page 61] enough to make Absolution a legitimat and proper Sacra­ment, because we know it to be essentiall to a Sacrament, not only to conferr grace, but to do it by a sign, a visible sign, a materiall Element, which naturally having an aptitude to resemble, by In­stitution is appoynted to re­present, and convey Christ to the worthy receiver, this sign is wanting in Absolution; as before in Ordination: words we hear, and gesticu­lations we see, as namely the Imposition of hands: but we have been taught by the Schoolmen, and do beleev it for a truth, that Sacraments do consist of things and words,Sacramen­ta constant rebus ut ex materiâ & verbis ut ex for­mâ. as it were of matter and form: of things (I say) not of words, nor gestures, which have no analogicall repre­sentation of the grace of ju­stification, [Page 62] much lesse of the Passion of Christ. Conse­quently they can make no Sacramentall sign, and with­out a sign there can be no pro­per, and legitimate Sacra­ment.

CONFIRMATION hath a ma­teriall and visible Element indeed, viz. Chrism: which in the former hath been wanting, but not of divine Institution: we may not deny, but the use of their Chrism is ancient, as appeareth by the records of the Church:See Fa­thers, and Councells alleadged by Bellar­min, ex­amined by Cha­mier. very early did it creep into the Church, but wanting divine Institu­tion, it is no sacramentall sign, and therfore Confirma­tion is no Sacrament proper­ly so called. As for those texts of Scripture, sc. 2. Cor. 1.21. and 1 Iohn 2.20. which they contend to be allusions to the [Page 63] Sacrament of Confirmation, they must know that allusi­ons are too light to be the foundation of Sacraments: how much more when the al­lusion differeth from the main scope of the Sacrament, and so from the use of the sacra­mentall sign? as in both these places it is manifest: who knoweth not, that this uncti­on now used by the Ponti­ficians, is made to resemble that old custome of Wrast­lers, or Race-runners, who used this uncting of their limbs, to fit them for their in­tended exercise? to which cu­stome and use, neither of the text [...] make any al­lusion [...] these rea­sons. [...] Element doth [...] re­prese [...] [...]. 2. [...] they [...] is [Page 64] not immediate Communion, or partaking of the death of Christ, and of Iustification, but the subsequent gifts, and graces of the Spirit. 3. That the ceremony used in it, is not peculiar to it: Impositi­on of hands is, we grant, a Ceremony used in the appli­cation of an intended bene­diction, but not peculiar to any one form and speciall manner of blessing; take it as a separate Ceremony (tho in this, use Chamier sheweth that it is not appointed at all, but only taken up lately by some private spirits, but admit it as a separate Ceremo­ny; It is used also in Abso­lution and Ordination; take it, as a relative Ceremony, i. e. as it is: used to apply the Element to the party: so it is used in Baptism, at least when in case of necessity the [Page 65] water is powred upon the childs forhead. Lastly add this, that every Sacrament of Christs Institution, is com­mon to every Minister of the Gospell; this therfore, (say the same of Ordination) be­ing reserved to the Bishop of the Diocesse, can be no Sacrament properly so called.

UNCTION hath a materiall Element: grant it also to have been of divine Institu­tion; for the text of Saint Iames (as Interpreters do agree) is a repetition of what was done,See this in Chamier. by the command of Christ himself, Mark. 6.13. yet can it be no Sacra­ment, because it was tem­porary, not perpetuall. And whilst it lasted, it was ap­poynted for the cure of the [Page 66] bodie, not of the Soul: It signified not the Passion of Christ, nor doth it conferr the grace of Justification; consequently is no Sacra­ment.

Ob. Yes, Saint James saith, if he have committed sinns, they shall be forgiven him.

Sol. True, but he saith be­fore, the prayer of Faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up: this per­taineth to the body, which was the principall end of ap­pointing that Ceremony; the benefit of the Soul was ad­ventitiall: and consequently, tho for the time. i.e. so long as the power of miracles last­ed in the Church, there might be something extraordinary in this Ceremony, yet no pro­per Sacrament: not then, much lesse now, since mi­racles [Page 67] have ceased: To con­clude, these five Sacraments, (as the Papish call them;) were they purged from superstiti­on and abuse, might happily (at least some of them) be to­lerated for ecclesiasticall rites, and are excellent and profi­table customs. Thus the Church of England retein­eth them all, having cast away those adulterate Ele­ments of Chrism, and Oyl, and findeth the use of them profi­table for the furtherance of that religious care that ought to be found in all that pro­fesse themselvs Children of the Church, and members of Christ. But never may these hope to be acknowledged for the great Sacraments of the Gospell: no more Sacra­ments but two generally ne­cessary to Salvation, one for Admission, another for Pre­servation; [Page 68] sc. Baptism, and the Lords Supper, which is further manifested by the end why Sacra­ments were or­dained.


CHAP. VI. The end why Sacra­ments were insti­tuted.

THis doth our Church expresse in those words of the Defi­nition: to be as a meanes by which we receiv the same; that is, the Grace signified: and as a pledge to as­sure us thereof. Note here two [Page 70] Branches of this end,Chap. 6. why they were ordained.

1. A MEAN OF CON­VEYANCE; and so of receiving the Grace signified. Herein differ Sacraments from o­ther signs, in that they do not only signifie and represent to the understanding, and me­mory, that gracious gift of God, but also as Instruments do convey the same: Like the Turf, and the Twig, in Livery and Seiz in; like the Sergeants Mace in receiving his office: Such are the Sacraments; not unfitly compared to Chanells, and Conduit pipes, which de­rive the water from the Spring to the Cistern, for even so do the Sacraments convey Christ with all his benefits to the worthy receiver.

2. A PLEDG OF ASSV­RANCE; [Page 71] to assure us therof: note that word [therof] must be referred to the verb Receiv, not to the noun Grace. Sacraments do not only as­sure us that such a benefit there is, but that it is receiv­ed by receiving the sign; and indeed this doth depend up­on the former: for as by that legall instrument of Livery, and Seizin, the full possessi­on of the purchase is known to be taken, in taking and receiving that Instrument; so here, whosoever doth, (as all must, and ought) acknow­ledg the Sacrament to be an Instrument of conveying, a mean of receiving, cannot choos but acknowledg the same Sacrament, to be a pledge of assurance: Briefly they are first Instruments of conveyance, and means of re­ceiving; consequently seales, [Page 48] and pledges of assurance: Prove the first, and the la­ter doth follow without con­straint. Excellently therfore hath reverend Master Perkins, in three words, set forth the nature of a Sacrament, only I would a little invert the or­der of his words, and fit them to the true meaning of our Church thus; that Sa­craments are signs to repre­sent, Instruments to convey, and seals to confirm the conveyance of Christ with all his benefits. Come we to particulars: Baptism doth convey the blood of Christ, and the other Sacrament both body and blood.

Hence, and hereupon is the Necessitie of receiving the Sa­crament, even because the Elements do not transferr the grace as they are consecra­ted, but as received. The [Page 73] Turf, and Twig: the Mace must be received, else nothing is done. Nor to the Spectator, but to the Receiver doth water in Baptism, the Bread in the Lords Supper instrumentally convey the body, and blood of the Lord Jesus.

Vse. They therefore are deceived who make no more account,Sacra­mentari­an [...]. nor acknowledge any further end of the Sacra­ments, than to be naked signs of representation, and Com­memoration; Or to be badges of our Profession to distin­guish the Assemblies of Chri­stians from the Synagogs of Iewes, Turks, and Pagans, to unite the members of the Christian Church into an holy society. Truth it is, that all these are considerable in the Sacraments; they are Signs, Badges, Cognizances, Liga­ments, externall Ceremonies of [Page 74] Religion, and testifications of our piety towards God: But all these come short of that speciall and prime end, for which they were ordained: Distinctive badges they are in respect of the publike Admi­nistration, which is the act of the Church: Uniting badges they cannot bee, except first they be instruments: for wee are not united to Christ medi­ante Ecclesia, that is, in being first united to the Church, but rather wee are united to the Church, the body of Christ, mediante Capite, in being first united to Christ the head, and by him one to another: So then consider the Sacraments in their Administration, and so they be Badges, and Cogni­zances: but in respect of their ordination and institution, and so they are Means and In­struments.

[Page 75] Q. Whence is it, that Sa­craments are means of recei­ving.

Resp. Even from that Sa­cramentall union of the sign,Sacra­mentall union. and the thing signified; which being inseparable, hence it is that in receiving the sign, we receiv the grace also: As by virtue of that personall Union of the two natures, he that entertained, and wor­shipped the sonn of man, did also entertain and wor­ship the sonn of God: he that blasphemed and persecu­ted the sonn of man, did the same to the sonn of God: So here, by reason of this Sacra­mentall union, who so wor­thily receiveth the sign, re­ceiveth the grace; who so un­worthily handleth the sign, doth also dishonour, and de­dignifie the grace it self.

Hence also is the translati­on [Page 76] of phrases, that what is peculiar to the sign, is tran­slated to the signified, and what is proper to the signified grace, is applyed also to the externall sign. Thus Baptism is said to wash the soul from sinn, and the Lords Supper to feed the soul with grace: because it is united, and con­veigheth that grace to the soul, which indeed can work upon the soul; and the blood of Christ, is said to wash; the body, and blood are said to feed: because they are uni­ted to, and conveyed by these Elementall signs, whose pro­per operation is to wash, and feed.

Qu. Doth not this then prov the Reall Presence of the body, and blood of Christ in the Sacrament.

Ans. A Reall presence the Church of England holdeth,Reall pre­sence. [Page 77] if we rightly understand the phrase, and against the Sa­cramentarians, we maintain that the body and blood of Christ are verely, and indeed taken, and received of the faith­full in the Lords Supper. Nor do we fear to say, that as in Baptism water washeth the body, and as in the Lords Supper the bread feedeth the body, so also doth the blood of Christ wash the soul, and the body of Christ feed it to eternall life: Nor do we understand this to be a truth only thus, that as the one washeth and feedeth the body, so certainly doth the other wash and feed the soul; nor thus only, that at the same time, when the one doth wash, and feed the bo­dy, the other doth wash and feed the soul: both these are truths, but neither of them [Page 78] enough to expresse the whole truth; The first noteth no relation at all betwixt the sign, and the grace; the other only a relation of time, not of causality more, or less: But thus we understand it: That, in that the body is washed with this water, and nourished with this bread, the soul is also cleansed by the blood of Christ, and nourish­ed with his body. Thus I say: and in this sence we grant a reall presence accor­ding to the Scriptures: our Saviour saith of the bread this is my body, and Saint Paul doth well explain the meaning of it, in that Quaere of his: The bread which we break is it not the Communion of the body of Christ? as who should say, it is so in­deed: the same may be said of the water in Baptism, that [Page 79] it is the Communion of the blood of Christ, that is, more than a bare sign of represen­tation, even a mean of recei­ving that grace, which to the faithfull is really present, and of them verily received in the Sacrament.

This is confessed of all both Romish and Reformed, and had not the Curiosity of mens brains proceeded fur­ther, to determin prerempto­rily of the speciall manner of this Reall Presence, we might in this have held Com­munion: But as in other matters of Religion, and mysteries of Godlinesse; so also in this, mans restless head and curious brain, rea­dy enough to pry into things reserved, and rash too much to determine of them, and to defend his determinations, hath put the Church to much [Page 80] toyl, and labour, and to con­tinuall vexation.

The nurse and spring of Here­sies.And here by the way, it may be worth the noting, that the most of those hereti­call pravities, which have alwayes vexed the Church, have been not of the truth of the thing, but of the man­ner of explication. The Ar­ticles,Non de re i [...]sâ, s [...]d de mod [...] e [...] ­pl [...]candi. of the Trinity, of Christs Incarnation, Descen­s [...]on, Ascension, personall Union, Sacramentall pre­sence; The article of the Pro­cession of the holy Ghost, of Justification by faith, of the concord and co-opera­tion of Gods grace, and mans will: these and others of the same nature, have not been so much denied or questioned of their truth, as of the manner of truth. And had not Curiosity been se­conded by pertinacy, we [Page 81] might happily have filled the Schools with questions, not the Church with Here­sies. How much better had it been to have followed the modestie of our Church, in this question, which setteth down, what is received from Scripture, but wadeth no further? Certainly as touch­ing these modalities, better it is Christianly to beleev, than curiously to inquire.Prestat d [...]bitare de occ [...]ltis quam liti­gare de in­certis: Au­gust. dè Ge­nesi ad lite­ram l [...]b. 8. cap. 6. And the use which we ought to make of all myste­ries of Godliness, when we meet with them, and their inexplicable difficulties is, 1. To admire the infinite and incomprehensible wisdome of God,The right use to be made of inexplicable myste­ries. whose wayes are past finding out: so Saint Paul Rom. 11.33.2. To be hum­bled in the sight, and sence of our own Ignorance: thus Agur, Prov. 30.2.3. To [Page 82] sigh, and long for the time of Revelation, saying, Oh when shall I come thither, where I shall see, and know, as I am known. 4. To cleav fast to the truth that is re­vealed, blessing God for it, and striving to gain the bene­fit therof. Would men take this course, when they meet with intricate positions, they should provide much better for the practice of Piety.

Quest. What then must we sit down, and rest with a generall, and implicite faith?Implicit Faith.

Resp. Certainly an impli­cite Faith were it joyned with an explicite Obedience, would be more beneficiall to many; to whom it would be much more profitable, if lesse time were spent in seeking know­ledg, and more in practising what they know. But further [Page 83] I add, that the Church and Ministery may, yea ought to examine the curiosities of them that will determine, and to censure them accor­dingly. Thus because the Papist will peremptorily de­termine his Reall presence, to be by the way of Transub­stantiation; The Lutheran his, by the way of Consub­stantiation, we stand bound to examine what truth or falshood is in either of them: This the Reformed Churches have done; particularly the Church of England hath done, and findeth;Articles of religion. cap. 28. that Tran­substantiation (or the change of the substance of the bread and wine) in the Supper of the Lord: that this I say, can­not be proved by holy writ, but it is repugnant to the plain words of the Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a [Page 84] Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstiti­ons. The same may be said of Consubstantiation, yea the Church findeth, that this kind of reall presence doth overthrow the grounds of Reason, and Religion.

See the Latin coppy of Synodus Londinen­sis. Anno 1552.1. Of Reason, and Philo­sophy. Quoniam naturae huma­nae veritas, &c. Seeing that the verity of humane nature requireth, that the body of one, and the same man can­not be present in many places altogether, but must needs remain in some definite and certain place: therefore the body of Christ cannot be present in many and divers places at one, and the same time.

2. Of Religion, and Divi­nity. Quoniam ut tradunt, &c. Because according to the Do­ctrine of the sacred Scrip­tures, [Page 85] Christ was taken up into heaven, there to abide till the end of the world, therfore no faithfull Christi­an, ought either to beleev, or profess any (as they call it) corporall presence of Christs flesh and blood in either Sa­crament: upon these grounds the corporall presence of Christ, in the Sacrament is refused: yet is not therfore the Sacramentarians naked signification admitted, be­cause it commeth farr short of the full nature of a Sacra­ment, which serveth not only to represent, but instrumen­tally to convey Christ, and all his benefits. So that well may the Church determine, that verely and indeed Christ is present, and consequently verely, and indeed taken (yet after an heavenly manner) and received of the faithfull [Page 86] in the Sacrament: Verily, tho not carnally; Really, tho not corporally, but spiritually in in the Sacrament, that is, in the exercise of that sacred action, not otherwise; Pro­vided also that we understand this efficacy of the Sacra­ments, to have place in them only, qui sibi non ponunt obi­cem, as the School speaketh, which do not barr themselvs; or to speak more plainly in the phrase of the Church, on­ly in the faithfull. But of this herafter. viz. cap. 11.

CHAP. VII. The speciall End of either Sacrament.

THE speciall end of Baptism, is to communicate un­to us the blood of Christ, for washing the soul from the guilt of sinn; and consequently our Ad­mission into the Covenant of Grace. The speciall end of the Lords Supper, to commu­nicate the body, and blood of Christ for feeding, and nourishing the soul unto eternall life; and consequent­ly our Confirmation in grace, and holiness. Hence we have the ground of that choice of Elements, which our blessed Saviour made, viz. not meer­ly [Page 88] the analogy,Chap. 7. which is be­twixt the sign, and the sig­nified; but also the excel­lency, and exquisitness of that analogy, and propor­tion.The ex­cellency of the a­nalogy be­twixt the sign, and the signi­fication in either Sa­crament.

In Baptism water is used, and none other liquor, be­cause none other so proper for washing: none other doth wash so clean, as doth water, and therfore none other so fit to signifie the blood of Christ, which cleanseth the soul from all sinn. In the Lords Supper, bread, and wine is used to represent the body, and blood of Christ; and see I pray you the excellent pro­portion that is betwixt them, specially in the effects: bread, and wine nourish the body, nothing better; the body and blood of Christ nourish the soul, nothing better, yea nothing else: So also in the [Page 89] manner of their preparation; The bread is made a food for the body, of many grains of corn bruised, and baked; the wine of Grapes trodden, and pressed: So the Body, and blood of Christ became our spirituall food by being bruised, and broken upon the Crosse: Add this: bread, and wine do no good, nay much harm, except the sto­mack be prepared to digest them, nor doth this spiritu­all food profit the soul, nay it doth much hurt to the soul, except the soul be wor­thily prepared.

BAPTISM is the Sacra­ment of our Admission, nor is there any other ceremony or rite of admitting any into the Covenant of grace, but only by Baptism: The Church of Israel was admitted by [Page 90] Circumcision. But since the time of Christ, which we call the time of the new Te­stament, all that will be ad­mitted, must be baptised: hence that of our Saviour to Nicodemus: Iohn 3.5. Except a man be born of water, and the spirit &c. that is, except by sub­mitting himself to Baptism he do receiv the Spirit, he cannot enter into the King­dome of heaven: for which cause, when he sent forth his Apostles, he gave them charge to joyn Baptism with their teaching: Goe teach and bap­tise, Matt. 28.

The Persons that have right of admission, Persons having right to Baptism. are (as of old) Beleevers and their children: The Ceremony of Admission is altered: but still as the Covenant is the same; so the parties are the same beleevers, and their children: this is [Page 91] plain Act. 2.39. You, and your children

By beleevers we understand such as are converted to the faith;1. Beleev­ers. Converts, and Pro­selites: these have right of Admission, because faith is the condition of the new Co­venant, Mar. 16.16. and Iohn 3.16. You will hap­pily say to me▪ that if they beleev, they are already in the Covenant partakers of it by faith, and therfore need no further admission: yes; they are not compleatly with­in the Covenant, till baptised: Faith giveth them title,Faith may give jus ad rem, but we cannot ordinarily have jus in re with­out Bap­tism. and interest, but the Sacrament admission. Add this, that it is one part of their faith to beleev the necessity of the Sacrament, as a means to give them full possession of Christ: And this doth cause them to seek for it in the Sacrament.

[Page 92] Children of Beleevers also have a right of Admission,2. Chil­dren of beleevers. be­caus they are part of their Pa­rents, and heirs of the promise due to their Fathers: The faith of the parent intitleth the child unto the Covenant; so much the more unjustly do the Ana­baptists deal with beleevers, and their children in shutting Infants out from Baptism; thus questioning that See in Pamelius notes up­on Cypri­an Ep 59. the names of the An­cients sc. Origen. Tertullian Ireneus, Iustin, Clemens, Dionysius, and others who re­ferr it to on Apostolicall tra­dit [...]on. anci­ent, and long approved cu­stome of the Church in all ages ever since Christ, and his Apostles: Traditions Apo­stolicall are authenticall, and not to be refused (because not written) if found to be Apo­stolicall See Do­ctor Feild of the Church lib. 4. cap. 20. It is not the writing that giv­eth things their Authority: but the worth and credit of him that deli [...]ereth them, tho but by word and live-ly voyce only.. Apostolicall cu­stoms mentioned in the Scri­pture have a more unquesti­oned [Page 93] certainty, than tradi­tions but not greater autho­rity: Neither is this to set up Tradition, as do the Pa­pists to the prejudice of the Scripture: because we ad­mit none as Apostolicall, which either are contrarie to the customes mentioned in the Scripture, or which may not be confirmed, as reaso­nable from the Scripture.

And such is the custome of baptising Infants, which thus we confirm against the fore-mentioned Sectaries.

The infants of Christians are as capable of present In­corporation into Christ,An argu­ment pro­ving the lawfull­ness of Baptising Infants. and Admission into the Covenant of grace, as were the Infants of the Jews: and if so (which we prov out of Cor. 7.14.) who shall barr them, whom God hath not barred? If not; then hath not grace abound­ed [Page 94] in the new Testament, but is rather shortned in comparison of the old, as being restrained only to the Parent, wheras before, In­fants also were comprehended and admitted: The strength of this argument will appear more fully, by taking away the cavills, which they make against it.

Object. 1. That text of Cor. 7.14. sheweth indeed, that children are holy: but how? As the wife, not other­wise, viz. as she is sanctified to the use of her husband; so the children to the use of their Parents: Thus they; but they falsifie the text: for the text saith not of the children, as it doth of the wife [...], is sanctified, but they are [...] holy, which is more empha­ticall: neither doth the text, speaking of the wife, say, she [Page 95] is sanctified to the husband, but in, or by the husband: Nor is the text to be under­stood of the legitimation, [...] but of the sanctification of the bedd, namely of federall sanctification, or the holiness of the Covenant; for it ap­peareth that the pretence of them, that repudiated their wives, was a fear lest the infidelity of the wife should deprive the husband of the covenant of grace, which he had imbraced: Saint Paul de­nyeth this, and sheweth that rather the faith of the Beleevers should so farr pre­vail, as to draw the other (after a sort) within the Co­venant: his reason is, because the children of such are holy, that is, heirs of the Covenant: Now I pray you mark well; suppose that one of the Co­rinthians should have been so [Page 96] wilfull,Chap. 6. as to deny this medium, this argument of Saint Paul: what is there to confirm the argument, and to convince the gainsayer, but only the practice of Infants-baptism; this must of necessity be here presupposed, else doth the Ar­gument fall to the ground, and overthrow it self.

2. Object. Circumcision was but a seal of the old Co­venant, even the law which was made to Abraham, and to his children after the flesh: this fleshie covenant had a seal in the flesh, viz. Circum­sion▪ but what is this to the covenant of Grace touching life, and salvation, which is made only with beleevers? thus the Anabaptist, to the end he may elude the argu­ment drawn from the Cir­cumcision of Infants; and wheras the text of Saint Paul [Page 97] doth directly cross this his base esteem of circumcision, honouring it with that wor­thy title, A seal of the righ­teousness of faith;Rom. 4.11. The Ana­baptist expoundeth it thus, A seal of his faith, not in the Messiah, but in that promise, That he should be the father of the faithfull. Wherin he be­wrayeth a twofold ignorance:Ignorance in the A­nabaptist. First, in disjoyning these two, viz. his faith in the Messiah, and his faith in the promise, which are subordinate; For in Gen. 12.1.4. divers promi­ses are made to Abraham, to wit, of the land of Canaan, of a numerous off-spring, of the Messiah, in whom all nations should be blessed: these doth Saint Paul in Rom. 4.13. joyn in one, and calleth it the pro­mise, that he should be the heir of the world; Of these three the first and second only are men­tioned [Page 98] Gen. 15. but question­less the third, included, and ra­tified by a formall Covenant to Abraham, who beleeved, and was thereupon justified: Afterward in Gen. 17. the se­cond alone mentioned, but questionless the other inclu­ded, and all ratified by the Sa­crament of Circumcision, which was to him, the seal of the righteousness of faith, which Abraham had before he was circumcised. That all are included in both places, tho not all mentioned, may yet further appear by this, that in Gen. 22. when God would lastly manifest, how his cove­nants, and seals had built up Abraham in faith by that sore triall, they are again all three repeated, his faith accepted, and commended. This did not, or would not the Ana­baptist receiv, but disjoyneth [Page 99] those which should be conjoy­ned, as being all apprehended by the same faith.

Another part of his igno­rance, is the misinterpretation of that phrase, The righteous­ness of faith. A phrase twice used in that fourth chapter, e­quivalent to (and therfore to be expounded by) that phrase, The righteousness which is by faith; and that also,Rom. 9.30. & 10.6. the righ­teousness of God, Rom. 10.3. Both which are joyned in one Rom. 3.22. The righteousness of God, which is by faith, which betokeneth not the Essentiall righteousness of God, but the benefit of justification, or im­puted righteousness, which he bestoweth on beleevers for their justification. This be­nefit God having bestowed upon Abraham, did seal it up to him afterward by circum­cision; which is therfore cal­led, [Page 100] not the seal of his faith, as the Anabaptist speaketh full ignorantly, but the seal of the righteousness, that is, of justifi­cation, which commeth by faith, and not by works.

We conclude therfore, that infants of beleevers may be lawfully baptised; that by Baptism they may be admit­ted into the covenant of grace. Nay, inasmuch as Baptism is the Sacrament of admission, and no time fitter to incorpo­rate the buds of Christians in­to Christ, than while they are buds, (that so betimes grace may prevent the growth of naturall corruption.) Infancy is the fittest time for Baptism, nay, the only time in the suc­cessive ages of the Church. So far is God from barring in­fants from Baptism, that he may rather seem to have allot­ted them to it, and it to them.

[Page 101]We conclude also touching Baptism, that it doth not only admit the baptised into the roll of Christians; this indeed is done in Baptism, wherupon there is a necessity of witnes­ses, and a conveniencie of pub­like administration: but this is not all, it is also an admission into the Covenant of grace: here is the ground of Assu­rance, that they are indeed within the Covenant, and to be dealt withall by the mini­sterie, as men in covenant with God.

The LORDS SUPPER is the Sacrament of our pre­servation, and confirmation in the covenant of grace. Not e­nough that men be born li­ving, and lively, except a care be had of their preservation: so in the case of spirituall life, not enough that we be admit­ted [Page 102] into the covenant of grace: except we be confirmed in grace, we may lose our former hopes of future glorie; to be­gin in the spirit doth not pro­fit them who end in the flesh. For which cause as the Scrip­ture is full of exhortations to constancy and perseverance, to make our calling and election sure: So hath God ordained also a Sacrament for our pre­servation, and certain confir­mation in grace, and holiness: This is to us the tree of life, and immortality: here is provided for us that bread of life,Iohn 6. of which who so eateth shall live for ever: here is that true Ne­ctar and Ambrosia, which doth continually renew the youth, and the strength of the spirit of grace within us.

But of this more when we come to the benefits. Now let this only be added; That this [Page 103] Sacrament being ordained for this end, it will hence follow, that all those are to be barred from this Sacrament, which without breach of charity may be thought as yet not ad­mitted into the covenant of grace. Such I count all per­sons unbaptized: these must be sent first to the Laver of Regeneration, before they be admitted to this Sacrament of confirmation. In vain is food sought where there is no life. This also must be thought up­on by them that address them­selves to this Sacrament: This Sacrament was ordained to this end;Api [...]us medit [...]ti­on of one preparing to go to the Lords Supper. Do I propound the same end to my self in my partaking? if not, what good can I expect thence? Should I propound to my self another end, than that which God hath propounded? Is then mine end to gain my confir­mation in the state of Grace? [Page 104] Doth not preservation presup­pose admission and initiation? How doth it appear to me (fur­ther than by Register) that I have been incorporated into Christ? What fruits of my Baptism do I find and feel in my self? Were I unbaptised in the flesh, the Church would barr me, shall I not barr my self till I find and feel my soul baptised with the blood of Christ? Such meditations as these, would help to dispose the soul, and fit it for the Sacrament, and for the benefits; This is the next thing that we are to speak of.

CHAP. VIII. The Benefits of Baptism.

THe Church in the book of Articles doth thus explain her self, touching this particular, That by Baptism, as by an instrument, the promises of Remission, and of our Adoption, to be the sonns of God by the holy Ghost, are visi­bly sealed faith is confirmed, and grace increased. In the second que [...]tion of the Catechism, thus; I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and inheritour of the Kingdom of Heaven. And afterward in the questions of the Sacraments. To this question; What is the inward and spirituall grace in Baptism (which we are to un­derstand, [Page 106] not of the grace that is signified by the water,Chap. 8. but of the grace which is confer­red in Baptism.) To this que­stion the Church subjoyneth this answer. A death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteous­ness, for being by Nature born in sin, and the children of wrath, we are herby made the children of Grace. Where note, what we are by nature, what we are made by grace.

Psal. 51.6. Eph. 2.3. Rom. 3 5. & 11.32.1. By nature we are born in sin, and the Children of wrath. Wee, that is, all of [...]s, not a man, but only Christ, excep­ted. By nature, that is, in the state of the first birth. Borne in sin, that is, polluted, and de­filed, even from the birth. Chil­dren of wrath, that is, liable to destruction, yea, worthy to die for that native,See Arti­cles of Re­ligion, cap. & 10. and natu­rall corruption: this corrupti­on of nature is in every one [Page 107] that naturally is ingendered, and propagated from Adam: Hence it is, that by nature man is inclined to evill; yea, such is the condition of man since the fall of Adam, that by his own naturall strength he can­not turn, and prepare himself to faith, and calling upon God much less is he able to walk in the commandements of God, and to serv him, that is, to do good works, pleasant, and ac­ceptable to God. Of himself, that is, without the grace of God, by Christ, preventing us, that we may have a good wil, and working with us when we have that good will.

2. By grace we are made the children of God, and consequent­ly inheritours of the Ki [...]gdome of Heaven; if sons, then heirs, is Saint Pauls own argument, Rom. 8.16.17. But how come we to receiv the adoption of [Page 108] sons? Is it not by virtue of our incorporation into Christ? Eph. 1.5.6. In him we are ac­cepted, and adopted. Thus is our state, and condition altered; we were aliens, and enemies, but now made nigh by the blood of Christ, and reconci­led to God the father, yea re­ceived into covenant again. This is the priviledg of our in­corporation into Christ, and this incorporation is the pri­mary grace and effect of the Sacraments, and particularly of Baptism: hence that phrase of Saint Paul, baptised into Christ;Rom. 6.3. Gal. 3.27. the meaning wherof, what is it but this? That by Baptism we are incorpora­ted into Christ, and made one with him; as also that phrase, baptised into one body, betoke­neth our incorporation into the mysticall body of Christ,Cor. 12 13. which is the Church, which is [Page 109] done in Baptism; for being by it united to Christ, we are also incorporated into his holy congregation.

From this our incorporati­on into Christ, floweth a two­fold benefit, which for distin­ction sake, we may call the se­condary grace of the Sacra­ment, and the more peculiar grace of Baptism, namely, Remission, and Regenerati­on.

REMISSION is intima­ted, or indeed rather presuppo­sed in these words of the Ca­techism, A death unto sin. Rom. 6.2. & 11. The phrase is borrowed from Saint Paul, and Saint Peter, Pet. 2.24. not a death in sin, but a death to sin: properly signifying the morti­fication of the old man, the crucifying of the flesh, and the lusts thereof: but withall im­porting the act of Remission, [Page 110] which in order of nature goeth before, as Divines do teach. The act of Remission respect­eth the guilt of sin, which bindeth over to punishment; Mortification respecteth the power, and pollution of sin: both are the benefits of Bap­tism; sin is remitted, the guilt removed, the power subdued: hence we are said to be bapti­sed into the death of Christ, Rom. 6.3, 4 Col. 2.12. and buried with him in Baptism, and purged from sin, Eph. 5.26. 1 Ioh. 1.7. yet some difference there is in the efficacie of Bap­tism in respect of the one, and of the other: Remission of the guilt is done at once; hence there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus; no,Rom. 8.1. not any, tho still the pow­er, and pollution may remain in them, and sometimes lead them captive to sin: But now mortification of the power [Page 111] and sway of sin is not finished but by degrees, as the Cana­nites; so neither the lusts of the flesh are not subdued but by long and many conflicts: pol­lution doth still remain, con­cupiscence still hath place, not only as the fuell, and occasion, but even as the mother, and seed of sin; and consequently hath in it the proper nature of fin. This is the doctrin of our Church: whence it may ap­pear, that Bellarmin doth fight with a shadow,Bell. Tom. 3 de Bapt. l. 1 cap. 14.15. whiles he pro­poseth such Tenets as these to be confuted;Non [...]ri impeccabi­les. That men by Baptism are not free from the possibility of sinning, nor from the observation of the Law: we disclaim all such er­rours: and it is so much the more absurd for him, and his fellows to oppose these; be­cause they else-where defend, That by Baptism sin is not on­ly [Page 112] covered, but quite taken a­way; that concupiscence in the regenerate (such with him are all baptised) is no sin.Verè tolli, non tantùm tege. Contra­rily we hold this for a truth, that by the blood of Christ applyed in Baptism, sin is mor­tified in part, tho also in part it still liveth, so that a man is neither compleatly holy, nor wholly sinfull: but as light is mingled with darkness in the dawning, so grace is intermin­gled with corruption in the tru­ly regenerate. Thus hath he in him matter of cautelous admo­nition, as before of comfort, and consolation. The guilt is remitted, this is comfort: The corruption remaineth, this must provoke to watchfulness.

Note here touching this Baptismall remission, how far it extendeth it selfe: whether to sins past, and present only; or to future also: Two sorts of [Page 113] persons do oppose the truth, yea, and themselves in this point: Some there be, which teach bluntly, that all sins are pardoned in Baptism; all at once, whether past, present, or to come. A dangerous do­ctrin, the unhappy nurse of liberty and Epicurism. Papists deny all future efficacy of this Baptismall Remission, oppo­sing this as an errour,See the ar­guments o [...] Calvin and Chemnitius exagitated by Bellar­mine, De Baptismo lib. 1. c. 18. confirmed by Cha­mier. Tom. 4. lib. 5. de Bapt. cap 6. August. de Nupti [...]s, & concup. li. 1. cap 33. To hold that future sins are pardoned by the Remembrance of Baptism ioyned with faith, and Repen­tance. This they do to prepare a ground for their Sacrament of Penance, which, say they, is the Sacrament of remission for sins committed after Baptism. Our Divines do dispute against the Papists for the future effi­cacy of this Baptism, in this sence, That tho the act of Bap­tism be done but once, yet the virtue and force of it is perpe­tuall: [Page 114] so that there needeth not any repetition of the act, nor the institution of any new Sacrament to recover the effi­cacy therof; but that by faith, and repentance the force of former Baptism is applyed to future sins for their Remission. I will affirm nothing rashly about this question. But a­gainst Epicures, and libertines we deny that any sin is remit­ted in Baptism, but such wher­of the soul in present standeth guilty: To say, that sins yet to come are pardoned in Baptism as it were by an ante-dated pardon, is dangerous; no, no, we may not say so: what is past before Baptism is pardo­ned, and mortified, viz. origi­nall sin in children, actuall in men-grown; not sins to come, and uncommitted, these are not pardoned (we speak not of the intention of God to par­don, [Page 115] but of actuall Remissi­on) not actually remitted, till by repentance the soul of man be (as it were) re-bap­tised in the blood of Christ: Briefly then to the question, propounded, I would give this Answer: that Baptism doth profit us in respect of sinns committed afterwards, not becaus they are pre-remitted, or that in Baptism, there is an ante-dated pardon granted; but becaus in Baptism the blood of Christ is communicated, to be a remedy at hand ready for application: which ap­plication must daily be made by the hand of faith, if we desire dayly pardon: hence we are taught in the fift petiti­on, to pray for our daily par­don: wherin doubtless we pray for what we want, and not for what we have already: yet because this remedy is [Page 116] not de Novo, given every day: but once for all in Baptism: therefore we say, That the Efficacy of Baptismall Remis­sion doth in some sence, extend it self to the sinns of afterward. This for Remis­sion.

REGENERATION is intend­ed in those words of the Church, A new birth to Righ­teousness. As sinn is purged away: so also the Spirit of grace bestowed in Baptism, to be, as the habit, or ra­ther as the seed, whence the future Acts of grace, and ho­liness, watered by the word of God, and good education, may in time spring forth. This Spirit is promised to be conveyed by Baptism, Act. 2.38. wherupon Saint Paul calleth Baptism,Tit. 3.5. the washing of Regeneration, and renewing [Page 117] of the holy Ghost. This was confirmed visibly in the Bap­tism of Christ. The holy Ghost descended on him, comming up out of the wa­ter, Matt. 3.16. Nor only then, but in the Acts of the Apostles, we find the sensible manifestations of the Spirit still mentioned, with relati­on to Baptism: which doubt­less the providence of God did so order, and dispose of, that by their sight, and sence, their faith might be establish­ed touching the efficacy of the Sacrament. This is that immortall seed, wherof Saint Peter speaketh,Pet. 1.23 and which Saint Iohn mentioneth,1 Iohn 3 9. as the preservative of the faith­full, from the sinn of finall Apostacy: the sinn unto death.

Hereupon our Church re­membring that our Saviour [Page 118] joyneth water, and the spirit in the work of Regeneration, doth in her Liturgy of Bap­tism,Ioh. 3.5. pray for the Infants, that they may be baptised with water, and the holy Ghost; that God would please, to sanctifie them, and wash them with the holy Ghost; that they may receiv Remission of sinns, by spirituall Regeneration; that God would give his holy Spirit to these Infants, that they may be born again; that not only the old Adam, and all carnall affections may dy in them, and be buried; but also that the new man, and all things belonging to the spirit may be raysed up, may live and grow in them; that so they may have power and strength to prevail against, to triumph over the Divell, the World, and the flesh: finally, that they which are then baptised, [Page 119] in this water, may receiv the fulness, of his grace: hereup­on our Church looking up­on the gracious promise, doth after the act of Administra­tion of Baptism, give thanks for this benefit, that it hath pleased God to regenerate the Infant with his holy Spirit. Thus much for the Benefits of Baptism.

CHAP. IX. The Benefits of the Lords Supper.

AS by Baptism we are incorporated into, and made one with Christ: So by the Lords Supper, is this Union continued: It is the exhorta­tion of our blessed Saviour to [Page 120] his Disciples,Chap. 9. whom he com­pareth to branches ingrafted into the Vine;Iohn 15. [...]. saith he, Abide in me, and I in you: using this as a Motive; As the branch cannot bear fruit of it self, ex­cept it abide in the Vine, no more can yee, except yee abide in me. And his prayer for them, he concludeth with this, That the love wherwith thou (O righteous Father) hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them. Iohn 17. By which pla­ces, and passages is intima­ted a mutuall and reciprocall incorporation of Christ in us, and of us in Christ. Now if we ask how this is wrought, and how discerned: heare Saint Iohn:1 Iohn 3. hereby saith he, we know that he abideth in us, by the spirit which he hath given unto us: and again more fully: hereby we know that we dwell in him, &c 4.13. and he in us▪ [Page 121] because he hath given us of his spirit: It is then the spi­rit, which is the immediate worker of this mutuall union betwixt Christ, and his Church. But further, would we know how, and by what ordinance the spirit doth work this union: The Apo­stle Paul helpeth us, saying, by one Spirit are we all bap­tised into one body;Cor. 12.13 and have been all made to drink into one Spirit: Thus plainly mani­festing the Sacraments, to be the Instruments of the Spirit, in working this Union and Communion: but of all the rest most full is that text of our blessed Saviour: he that [...]ateth my flesh, Ioh. 6.56 and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him: that is, becometh one with me, and I with him: This is so much more mani­fest in this Sacrament, if [Page 122] we mark the analogy betwixt the sign, and the thing signi­fied: bread and wine, the food of the body, becometh one with the body: So is it here: Christs body, and blood united to us, and made one with us by an un-speakable and unseparable conjunction. Only here is the difference: that bread of Earth is chang­ed into thy body because thou art more excellent than it: but this bread which came down from heaven, is more excellent, and active than thou art, and therfore by little and little doth spi­ritualize and as it were change thee into it. By all which it is evident, that the primary grace, and benefit conferred by the Sacrament is, as I said before, our incorporation in­to Christ, our union with him.

[Page 123]The secondary, and so the peculiar grace of the Lords Supper, is (as the Catechism hath well expressed it) the strengthning, and refreshing of our souls, by the body, and blood of Christ, as our bodys are by the bread and wine. Bread doth nourish, and strengthen the body, Psal. 104.15. Hence that phrase, the staff of Bread: becaus as a staff doth uphold, and strengthen the weak and fee­ble knees: so doth bread strengthen the drooping spi­rits. So doth the body of Christ, well and worthily received, strengthen the soul in grace, and holiness. Wine cheareth the heart,Iudg. 9.13. and quick­neth the spirits. So doth the blood of Christ revive the drooping soul:Cant. 7.9. gladdeth the heavy heart: causeth spiritu­all joy, and exultation. Thus [Page 124] that naturall quality, which God hath placed in the Ele­ments to work upon the bo­dy, doth most excellently manifest that spirituall effi­cacy, which is in the body, and blood of Christ to work upon the soul: even to pro­duce a spirituall strengthning, and refreshing of the soul, to cure those spirituall dis­eases to which the soul is subject.

Spirituall diseases in the soul.These diseases are spirituall weakness, and weariness: faintings, and defectiveness: Apostacie and declination: That this is so, not only the frequent admonitions, and exhortations in sacred Scrip­ture do pre-suppose: but also is confirmed by reason, and evidenced by too wofull experience. Reason to con­firm this, may be drawn from the nature of grace it self, [Page 125] which is no part of the soul, nor any faculty in the soul, but only a quality dwelling in the soul, as light in the Ayr, heat in the water; or rather as sap in the branches: for as they dry up, and wi­ther, if either the union of them to the root be cut off, or the passage of the sap be hin­dred, and interrupted: so is it here (that is) except there be a conscionable use and attendance upon the word, and Sacraments, we cannot expect, that grace should live. The seed of the New-birth is termed incorruptible by S. Pe­ter, Pet. 23. because by using the means appointed, it is preserved from decay: Not so is it in the naturall birth; no use of means, no food, nor physick can preserv the liveliness of that, beyond an appointed time. Nay even the prepara­tion [Page 126] of a Remedy is the sup­position of a malady. As therefore the ordination of Baptism to incorporate us first into Christ, doth prov that by nature we are wild Olives: so the ordination of this Sacrament, to continue this Union, and from this Union continued to convey spirituall strength, and re­freshing doth sufficiently prov what would become of us after we are in the state of grace, if God should leav man to himself.

Behold then the goodness of our God, who knowing our malady, hath provided a Remedy: this Remedy is to partake of the holy Sacra­ment of Christs most blessed body, and blood: for which cause our duty is to frequent the same; both to prevent, but especially to repaire the [Page 127] decays of grace in the soul; so then, dost thou keep thy standing in grace? hast thou as yet not failed, nor faul­tred? yet be not high-mind­ed, but fear the worst; thou knowst not what tentations may encounter thee; nor how much strength thou shalt need: Go therefore to the Sacrament that thy soul may be strengthned, thy strength increased; prevent a mischief: But now, hast thou failed, stumbled, fallen, oh then make haste to this blessed Or­dinance, that thou mayst be refreshed and recovered. See then how much they are E­nemies to their own souls, who suffer themselvs to be hindred, and kept away from this blessed Ordinance, whe­ther it be through covetous­ness, or consciousness. While men covet revenge (or as they [Page 128] use to speak) while they de­sire to right themselves, by following the Law, they lose the benefit of Receiving; not that they must needs for­bear, but Sathan doth so disturb the passion in them, while they prosecute the Law, that they cannot settle their thoughts to so holy a work. Consciousness also keeps many back from the Sacra­ment; when sinn hath gotten into the soul, and guilt hath crept into the conscience, we dare not present our selvs be­fore God, but like our father Adam do hide our selvs, and prov the greatest enemies to our own souls.

To shut up this point: see how each Sacrament doth work as a convenient means to produce that end for which they were ordained. Bap­tism is appointed to admit us [Page 129] into the Covenant of grace; to give us our first title, and interest in Christ: and in it we have wrought in us Re­mission, and Renovation, a death unto sinn, and a new birth unto Righteousness. The Lords Supper doth strengthen, and refresh our souls, and therefore fitly ap­pointed, and designed to this end: to be the Sacrament of our Confirmation. By Bap­tism (as we heard) the soul was regenerate, and made partaker of the seeds of grace: These seeds being watered, and as it were hatched up by the Ministry of the word, are strengthned, ripened, and confirmed by the Sacrament of the Lords Supper: and now is the faithfull soul con­firmed in the state of grace, and certain expectation of eternall Salvation.

[Page 130]For the close of all that hath been said, touching the effica­cy of the Sacraments, peruse those few lines, which our Church hath set down in the first part of that Homily, which intreateth of the wor­thy receiving, and reverend esteeming of the Sacrament of the body, and blood of Christ. The words are these.

We need not to think that such exact knowledg is re­quired of every man, that he be able to discuss all high points of the doctrin thereof: But this much we must be sure to hold, that in the Supper of the Lord there is no vain ce­remony, no bare sign, no un­true figure of a thing absent. But as the Scripture saith, the Table of the Lord, the bread and cup of the Lord, the memory of Christ, the an­nuntiation of his death; yea, [Page 131] the Communion of the body and blood of the Lord in a marvelous incorporation, which by the operation of the holy Ghost (the very bond of our Conjunction with Christ,) is through faith wrought in the souls of the faithfull, wherby not only their souls live to eternall life, but they surely trust to winn their bodies a Resurrection to immortality. The true un­derstanding of this fruition, and union, which is betwixt the body, and the head, be­twixt the true beleevers, and Christ; the Ancient Catho­lick Fathers both perceiving themselvs, and commending to their people, were not afraid to call this Supper, some of them, the salv of immorta­lity, and sovereign Preserva­tive against death; Others a Deificall Communion; O­thers, [Page 132] the sweet dainties of our Saviour, the pledg of eternall health, the defence of faith, the hope of Resurre­ction; Others, the food of im­mortality, the healthfull grace, and the Conservatory to ever­lasting life. All which say­ings both of the holy Scrip­tures, and godly men, truly attributed to this celestiall banquet, and feast, if we often call to mind, oh how would they inflame our hearts to desire the partici­pation of these mysteries, and oftentimes to covet af­ter this bread, continually to thirst for this food.

CHAP. X. Corollaries drawn from the Pre­misses.

FRom the observation of the particular, and speciall ends of either Sacrament, may the reason be givē, why Baptism is admini­stred, and received but once, & the Lords Supper oftentimes:Reason, why not Baptism, but the Lords Supper i [...] often re­ceived. The ground of which practice binding us to obedience (under correction I speak it) I take to be not any direct text of Scrip­ture, either commanding the one, or prohibiting the other; but the tradition of the anci­ent Church, received, and ap­proved by the constitution of the present Church: Neither is [Page 134] this therfore in the liberty of the Church to alter,Chap. 10 both be­cause the Antiquity and Uni­versality of it doth prov it to be Apostolicall; and also be­cause the originall of this cu­stome, may in a certain sence be said to be Divine. This ori­ginall is the analogie, and pro­portion, which holdeth be­tween the Sacraments of the old Testament, and the new: they had two, so had we; one for admission, the other for preservation; so have we: cir­cumcision was for infants, so is Baptism; the Pass-over, and Lords Supper for men grown: circumcision once administred, the Pass-over of­ten; and so Baptism once, and the Lords Supper often; add to this, that the same reason holds in the Sacraments of either Testament for the fre­quencie of administration: [Page 135] for why Circumcision but once, and the Pass-over often? but because one birth-day is enough, not one day of fee­ding: so here, once baptised, because it sufficeth to be once admitted into the Covenant of grace: but often do we re­ceiv the Lords Supper, becaus we do often merit expulsion, and so need a frequent confir­mation. Baptism doth seal to us the remission of originall guilt, which is but once con­tracted, and so once remitted: The Lords Supper doth seal to us the remission of actuall transgressions, which being often committed, must be re­pented, and so often remitted. Baptism is the Sacrament of our Regeneration, when the seed of grace is conferred upon our souls; this needeth to be done but once: The Lords Supper is the Sacrament of our [Page 136] confirmation, whence those seeds of grace are to receiv in­creas of growth by the dews of heaven; and this is necessa­ry to be done more than once; often therfore do we come to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper.

Now, if any demand, how often we ought to approach to the Lords Table;How often we are to receiv the Lords Supper. it must be answered, the Church hath power to stint the smallest number; but only mans con­science can direct him in the multiplication of that number. Fewer times than thrice a year may no good Christian in the Church of England receiv the Lords Supper, because it is so ordained by the Church; but how oftner, is left to the dire­ction of his own conscience, and the advice of his spirituall Physitian.

So much the more to blame [Page 137] are they, that neither by the Law of the Church, nor by the necessity of their own souls are perswaded to fre­quent the Table of the Lord, but rest themselvs within the customary compasse of once a year.

It may be objected,Object. that once a year was as much as Israel did eat the Pass-over: nor would God doubtless have neglected to command expressly the more frequent receiving of it, were it neces­sary.

But (for answer herunto) what authority have we to in­quire, or to assign a reason,Sol. why God did not command this or that? His Laws, and Ordinances are to us a light of direction, not his Omissions: God appointed to the Church of Israel no Sacrament for the spirituall incorporation of fe­mals, [Page 138] no more publike, and ge­nerall fasting dayes, but one in the year; no Ember-weeks at all, that is, no time of solemn fasting, and prayer, before the Ordination of their Priests; doth it therfore follow, that we must have none? or shall we say that such things are not needfull? ought not we in the new Testament, having recei­ved greater grace than they, super-abound, and goe beyond them in the practise of Piety? Apply it thus to the objection, passing by the reasons of poli­cie which might be assigned, why the Pass-over was cele­brated but once a year: let us say, that inasmuch as it is plain that the Sacrament is the Or­dinance of God, for the pre­servation of us in the state of grace, and the way to streng­then, and refresh our souls, wherof we have continuall, [Page 139] and daily need; therfore it is a point of Christian wisdome to be as frequent in the recei­ving, as possibly we can, the oftner, the better.

As on the other side, since Baptism is administred but once in the life time, (a point so firmly beleeved, and ac­knowledged by all, that even the Anabaptists, whom we tax for re-baptising those, whom our Church hath baptised, since that learned Beza, and others after him, have wrung from them that Text of Act. 19.4.6. will rather deny our Baptism to be a Sacrament, than grant a necessity of re­baptising.) Since, I say, Bap­tism is done but once, how much doth it concern them, who are imployed in that sa­cred service, to see that all things be done according to the rules of the holy Spirits di­rection? [Page 140] Lest, what is not then done, peradventure here­after be never done at all, and so the guilt of this carelesness press the soul down to hell. What is required of the Re­ceiver, is handled in the next chapter. In the Minister ho­nesty is commended, but au­thority is required. Some question there is touching his intention, that is, whether the action be not Sacramentall, except the Minister intend it so to be. Doubtlesse in this, as in Prayer, and Preaching, his roving thoughts, and di­stempered passions may defile them to himself, and not make them ineffectuall to others.

A second Corollary dedu­cible from the former premis­ses, is the Necessity of the Sa­craments,Necessity of the Sa­craments. concerning which the Doctrin of the Church is, that the two legitimate, and [Page 141] true born Sacraments, are ge­nerally necessary to salvation.

This is plain out of the first question answered touching the number of the Sacraments; How many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church? Two only, as generally necessary to salvation: which words, as they do intimate, at least do seem to intimate a superduali­ty of Sacraments in some cer­tain sence (In the Ho­mily, wherin is declared, that Com­mon Prayer, and Sacra­ments ought to be admi­nistred in a known tongue; after that, is shewed what is a Sacrament. The question, how many Sacraments, is thus explained: f [...]r the number of them, if they should be considered according to the exact significati­on, there be but two, &c. But in a generall accep­tion, the name of a Sacrament may be attribu [...]ed to a­ny thing, wherby an holy thing is signified: In which un­derstanding of the word, the ancient writers have given this name▪ not only to the other five, commonly of late years taken, and used for supplying the number of sea­ven Sacraments, b [...]t also to divers, and sundry other Ce­remonies, as to Oyl, Washing of Feet, and such like: not meaning therby to repute them as Sacraments, in the same signification that the two forenamed Sacraments are. see this explai­ned at full in the Book of Ho­milies;) so do they fully deli­ver the Doctrin of the Church [Page 142] touching the necessity of the Sacraments, viz. that as (I said) they are generally necessary to salvation: this, all grant, but all agree not in the man­ner of their necessity; explicate it thus: First, they are necessa­ry, ex praecepto, as being ap­pointed, and commanded by God, the author of them. Se­condly, because this is not e­nough, we say that they are ne­cessary, ex naturâ rei, even in respect of that nature, which God hath put upon them, be­ing appointed, as means, and instruments to transferre, and convey that grace, without which no salvation: and in­deed this kind of necessity is the ground of the other; for therfore are they commanded to be used, because they are or­dained to be as means, wherby we receiv grace. Thirdly, add this also, that they are necessa­ry [Page 143] as means without which that grace is not ordinarily conferred.

Thus understand those texts of Scripture, which are al­leadged for this purpose. viz. Except a man be born of wa­ter and of the spirit,Ioh. 3.5. he cannot enter into the Kingdome of God. And, except yee eat the flesh of the Sonn of man,Ioh. 6.53.and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

Thus may we understand that phrase of the Cate­chism, generally necessary, that is, commonly, and in ordi­nary: So that if the Spirit (who being an Omnipotent Agent, is not tyed to any means: being a spirituall A­gent is not tyed to externall means) if he, I say, do convey grace to any without the use of the Sacraments, this is to be accounted extraordinary.

[Page 144]Hitherto referr the cases of un-avoidable extremity, in which doubtless,Ioh. 3.5. the spirit worketh without these means. But generally and in or­dinary they are, necessary and so commanded.

Wherfore let it be thy care, to take heed of neglecting the use of the Sacraments. When God maketh them ready, and calleth thee; be thou ready. Say not: Another time I may receiv them, if not now. Or if not at all: yet I may do well without them, This is pre­sumption unpar­donable.

And so much for the second ge­nerall part.


CHAP. XI. Of the Qualification required of them that come to the Sa­crament.

WHAT a Sacrament is, we have heard; and for what end each Sacrament was ordained: and so have learned the efficacy of the Sa­craments, [Page 146] and the benefits therby obtained.Chap. 11 It remaineth that we proceed to enquire, whether this efficacy of the Sacraments depends only, and wholly upon the operative force, and active virtue inclu­ded in them; or whether this efficacy be only found in them, when they work upon a subject fitted, and pre-dispo­sed: or (to speak to the capa­city of the vulgar) whether there be any thing required of the Receiver, to fit him for the benefits of the Sacrament; so necessarily, as that the want of this preparation, doth bar him from the benefit of the Sacra­ment.

In the answer to this que­stion, there is a direct opposi­tion betwixt the Romish, and reformed Churches. They hold the efficacy of the Sacrament to be so great, that there need­eth [Page 147] no preparation, and qua­lification of the Receiver. We of the Reformed Chur­ches, contrarily mantain: that except the Receiver be thus, and thus qualified, he loseth the benefit of the Sacrament.

Not as if the Qualification of the Receiver doth concur actively to produce the grace of the Sacrament; but be­caus in all the works of God, wherin he is pleased to make use of the creatures, as the in­struments of his own right hand, he hath allotted to each of them a certain measure of activity, beyond which they cannot extend their efficacy: consequently there must be a certain previous disposition in the matter wheron they work, which, if it be wanting, their activity proveth ineffectuall. Instance in the fire, God hath placed in it a certain power of [Page 148] heating, and burning, yet be­caus this power allotted to it, is finite, therfore it cannot heat the snow, nor burn the water. Things must be dried before they are apt to kindle; so that the former question touching the efficacy of the Sacrament, is not much un­like to this; whether there be in the fire so great activity, as to burn all materialls what­soever it toucheth, or whether the fuell must be first dried, and fitted for the fire, before it will catch the flame? We teach, that the fuell must first be dried: nor can we conceiv but that there was more than ordinary vigour in that fire which,Kings 18.38 upon the prayer of E­lijah, fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench: so here such [Page 149] an efficacious, and working power we acknowledg in the Sacrament, as to produce the work of grace in the Receiver who is fitted, and prepared, but not otherwise. Let no man stretch this comparison further than it is expressed: we do not say that this activity is in the Element, as heat is in the fire, we know that a corporall sub­stance is no more capable of inherent grace, than a spiritu­all substance is capable of heat and cold. But the efficacie of the Sacrament is from the Spi­rit, which, by an Almighty word, having united the thing signified to the sign, doth by the one convey the other to work upon the soul, as hath been shewed.

Now that something should be required of them that come to the Sacrament,Equity of a qualifica­tion pre­required. by way of qualification, is but just, and [Page 150] equall: God will be sanctifi­ed of all them that draw near to him:Levit. 10.3. and hereby doth he stir up the slothful soul of man to look about, lest by his wretchlesness he do barr him­self of that benefit, which is to be gained in the Sacrament. What that thing is which is required, we must find out, by taking notice of the age of the Church, wherof we speak, and of the Sacrament wherof the question is framed: for if we speak of the Church in fieri, in the first plantation; then, be­caus it consisteth of them that are men grown, at least, past their infancy, there is required of them Repentance, and Faith to fit them for Baptism, no less than to the Supper of the Lord. But if we speak of the Church in facto, in the succession, and propagation; then (becaus it consisteth of infants, aswell as [Page 151] men grown) if we speak of men-grown, who heretofore were baptised, there is requi­red of them to fit them for the Lords Supper (which is that only which they need,) Re­pentance, Faith, and other gra­ces. But if we speak of in­fants, who are only admitted to Baptism, and not to the Supper of the Lord, the most that is required of them, is no more but that they be holy; not by any inherent holiness, for how should that be dis­cerned? but by a federall san­ctity, that is, that they be born of Christian parents: I say this is the most that is requi­red of them, or rather, the most that we look at in them: if they have a Christian to their Parent, either father, or mother, this is enough to enti­tle them to Baptism; nor is ther any question at all touching [Page 152] this, save only with the A­nabaptists.

Whether the infants of heathens may be lawfully baptised, may be a question, in as much as father, nor mo­ther, are within the Cove­nant: Some light, for answer to this question, may be taken from the law of Circumcisi­on,Gen. 17.12. and the practise therof in Israel. For infants of eight dayes old,The Church in such cases supplieth the place of a parent whether born in the house, or bought with mo­ney, must be circumcised: Proportionably it may seem lawfull for a Christian, if he have bought, or adopted the infant of an heathen, to pre­sent him to the Sacrament of Baptism. But letting that pass, there is no doubt, but the in­fants of Christian Parents may be baptised: nor is there any thing more than this pas­sive capacity required of them, [Page 153] or respected in them; and this I take to be the readier way to deal with the Anabap­tist, than to shew it possible, that infants also may have the spirit of grace, and that in charity we may think so of them, and consequently admit them to Baptism. Which mi­serable shift did specially a­rise from the opinion of them, who denied the Sacraments to have any instrumentall efficiency in the conveying of grace, allowing them only to be seals to confirm, not instru­ments to convey: wherupon, when the Anabaptist objected the defect of grace in infants, to bar them from the Sacra­ment, in as much as to set a seal to a blanck, is to no pur­pose; they, of whom we speak, defended their practice by the judgment of charity. In which respect I may prais their zeal: [Page 154] but I do suppose this to be the readier way to deal with the Anabaptist; to say that chil­dren are to be baptised, not to confirm them in grace, but to conferr grace upon them; that they are presented to Bap­tism, rather to be initiated, than to be confirmed in the possession of grace. But, in as much as my purpose is not to dispute with hereticks, but to set down the Doctrin of our Church, touching the Sacra­ments, which our Church hath done, with respect unto the use of the Sacraments in the plantation of the Church, and first conversion of men to the faith; following herein the lines of the Scripture, the pas­sages wherof do still look that way, as may appear by all those texts, which the Ana­baptists (ignorant of this) have mis-applied, to cry down the [Page 155] baptising of infants; Since, I say, this is my purpose; let me proceed in the search of that qualification, which is requi­red of them that come to the Sacraments.

Touching Baptism, the Ca­techism saith, this is required of them that come to be bap­tised, Repentance, and Faith: Touching the Lords Supper, the same Catechism saith: It is required of them, To exa­min themselves, whether they do truly repent them of their sins, steadfastly purposing to lead a new life; whether they have a lively faith in Gods mercies through Christ, with a thankfull remembrance of his death, and whether they be in charity with all men.

In the Homily teaching the worthy receiving of the Sacrament, saith the Church; we must certainly know, [...] [Page 158] Divell,Chap. 12 still in use ever since the Primitive Ages of the Church.

What Repentan [...]e is.

THe nature of this Repen­tance will appear in the Name, and in the Act there­of: both expressed in the words of the Catechism.

The Name doth in our lan­guage betoken sorrow: to re­pent of any thing, is to be sorrowfull for it: so that Re­pentance may not unfitly be called a godly sorrow for sin.

Note here first,1. Note. it is not Anger, but Sorrow: hence it is, that humiliation more or less is a perpetuall adjunct of Repentance.Ioel. 2.12. David mour­ned, Peter wept; all peni­tents do griev, and mourn for their sins: So that tho all sor­row [Page 159] be not Repentance, yet all Repentance is sorrow: this affection is indeed the very root, from whence all the branches of Repen­tance, and Reformation do spring: This affection we know to dwell in the heart, as it is fit it should; the heart is the proper seat of grace, and therfore of Repentance; that which is true, and saving Re­pentance, is, and must be in the heart, an hearty sorrow, not hypocriticall.

Secondly,2. Note. Repentance is not every sorrow, but sorrow for sin: The proper object of sorrow is Evill: of all evills sinn is the greatest: of all sorrow, the sorrow of the peni­tent soul is the greatest; fit­therfore, that the greatest sor­row should be placed upon the greatest evill: Repentance therfore is sorrow for sin.


[Page 162]where note, that this confes­sion must be made,A note touching Confessi­on. alwayes to God; many times to the Minister: and in some cases to the Church, and congre­gation. Thirdly, In the hand, perswading men to Refor­mation, and Satisfaction: Reformation respecteth the practise of righteousness, to­wards God; Satisfaction hath reference to the wrongs of man, which is made by submission in case of detracti­on, and slander; by restitu­tion in case of fraud, and vi­olence: Touching Restituti­on, note the persons, and things: for the persons, all are bound to make restitution,A note touching Restituti­on. who have had any hand in causing the losses, dammages, and injuries of their neigh­bours, Lev. 24.18.21. these ought to make restitu­tion to the person damnified, [Page 163] if it may be, to his heirs if he be dead; to God himself in case the other parties be not known, or cannot be found, Num. 5.5.8. For things: the thing it self would be re­stored in kind, if it be to be had; or else the full value of it, if it be altered, together with sufficient recompence for the wrong susteined, Lev. 6.5. Num. 5.7. The necessity of satisfaction is great, for we cannot be assured in con­science, that our Repentance is sound, and good, except we make satisfaction, if it ly in our power. Say the same of Reformation.

Chap. 13.CHAP. XIII. Of Faith, the second Branch of the Qua­lification, common to both Sacraments.

THE Nature of this grace, will ap­pear in the Act, and in the Ob­ject; The Act here menti­oned, is stedfastly to beleev: The Object is, the promise of God made in the Sacrament: So that hence we may gather, what faith is, even a stedfast beleef of the Promise of God. Where is to be noted, that this definition doth not com­prehend the whole nature of faith, but only that use, and exercise of it, which is Sa­cramentall, [Page 165] yet hence we may discern the nature of it in ge­nerall: for if instead of this word, the promise, we substi­tute this word, the truth of godliness, wherof the promise is one branch; then have we a full definition of faith,The full definition of Faith in gene­rall. viz. That faith is a stedfast belief of the truth of godliness. By the truth of godliness, we under­stand, that holy truth, which in the word of Scripture is revealed, whether for know­ledg, as the history of the Creation, Redemption, &c. or for practise, as the Pre­cepts, Threatnings, Promises; all which by faith, we sted­fastly beleev; and then is it manifest that our beleef is stedfast indeed, when the truth of godliness doth leav an impression upon the soul: for this is the property of this holy truth, that where it is [Page 166] received, and beleeved as it ought, there doth it new mould, and frame the soul, and change it into the image of it self; [...]ote the phrase of Rom 6.17. [...], q.d. c [...]o [...] ­ding to which you were n [...]w moulded. ex. gr. Beleef of the precept, if stedfast, frameth the soul to obedience; of the threatnings, to fear, and trem­bling; of the promise, to trust, and confidence: Thus we say, that beleef of the precept is an obedientiall assent: beleef of the promise is a fiduciall as­sent. This fiduciall assent, or stedfast beleef of the promise, the Scripture doth other while express by these phrases; To rest, and rely, or lean upon God, to stay, to roll upon, to trust, to place confidence in him, &c. The reason whereof is, because in Scripture phrase, he is not ac­counted to beleev the promise of God, who doth not therup­on put confidence in God. Say the same touching the precepts [Page 167] and threatnings. Not he that subscribeth to the truth of them, but he that feareth, and obeyeth, is the beleever. Thus we see how Faith is a mother­grace, viz. the Mother, and Nurs of Reverence, Obedience and Confidence. So then stedfastly to beleev the pro­mise, is but one act of faith; and so the Church saith, Faith, by which we stedfastly beleev the promise; This is one act, but not the only act of faith.

Note further, that the Church addeth; The promises made to them in that Sacra­ment; which is no less true in the Supper, than in Baptism. Sacramentall faith, that is, the exercise of faith, as a qualifi­cation to fit us for the Sacra­ment, must specially look up­on the Sacramentall promise, and stedfastly beleev that spe­ciall promise, which is made [Page 168] to the Receiver in the Sacra­ment. As in the Sacraments, so also in the duty of Prayer, humiliation, and every parti­cular occasion, wherin our faith ought to have a speciall relation to the promise, Mans duty is to look to that promise which in speciall respecteth that duty, and by faith to lay hold upon it; else doth he de­serv to lose the benefit of the Promise.

The promise made to us in Baptism comprehendeth the exhibition of grace, Act. 2.38. the remission of sins, Act. 22.16. consequently, the salvati­on of the soul, Mar. 16.16. The promise made to us in the Supper, is intimated in those words, This is my body, this is my blood, which is shed for you; which Saint Paul expli­cateth thus: The communi­on of the body, and blood of [Page 169] Christ, i.e. as we have heard, an effectuall means to convey the body and blood of Christ, even Christ and all his bene­fits to the worthy Recei­ver.

Hence give answer to that question, viz. How it com­meth to pass, that the faithfull do receiv the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament; the Church saith, they are ve­rily, and indeed taken, and re­ceived of the faithfull, but how commeth it to pass?

Answ. That it is done by virtue of Christs promise, and the Receivers faith meeting to­gether: The promise of Christ is, that the elements thus bles­sed, and received, shall be to the Reeciver, the body, and blood of Christ; the Receiver therfore doth look upon the signs, as instruments of con­veyance, means of receiving. [Page 170] Now these two, viz. the pro­mise of Christ, and the faith of the Receiver meeting toge­ther, do make a kind of omni­potency: Christ can perform whatsoever he promiseth; and faith can beleev whatsoever he revealeth: so to the beleever this, yea, and all things else are possible.

Object. Possible therfore is Transubstantiation, since Christ can do what he saith.

Sol. We question not what Christ can do, but whether he doth so indeed, as the Romish Church saith; their assertion of Transubstantiation we dare not receiv, lest we should for­feit our eyes, and other senses, which God hath given us, to inform our understanding in their severall objects.

Object. But blessed is he that beleeves, tho he see not.

Sol. True, and therin we [Page 171] trust to have our part, because we firmly beleev, that in the Sacrament we do indeed re­ceiv the body, and blood of Christ, tho we see it not: yet dare we not receiv Transub­stantiation, becaus we see the contrarie: neither do we find any miraculous Transubstan­tiation, in all the Scripture, but what was sensible, yea subject to the eye. Moses rod turned into a serpent, the water chan­ged into wine at the marri­age, were visible, and sensible transformations; so would this in the Sacrament if there were any at all.

Chap. 14CHAP. XIV. A speciall note touching both these branches of Sacramentall qua­lification.

WHen we teach the necessity of these two graces in the way of qualificati­on to the receiving of the Sa­crament, we understand it not in respect of the act of the Church, administring the e­lement; but of God bestow­ing the benefit: and so are we to understand the words of the Catechism, which saith, that these two graces are required of them that come to be bap­tised: speak we of the admini­stration of the Sacrament, there must be a profession of [Page 173] these: speak we of the benefit, there must be a reall perfor­mance of them, else nothing done: Except men profess them, the Church may not ad­mit them; except men per­form them, God wil not make them partakers of the benefits: the Church may refuse none that professeth, God will re­fuse none that indeed perfor­meth.

Quest. Quest. What if the professi­on be fained and counterfet, shall that suffice?

Answ. Answ. It is not in man to search the heart. The profes­sion of Simon Magus gave him admission to Baptism: nay, our Saviour tho he knew the fals heart of Iudas, yet for­bade not his presence at the Pass-over: but tho man ad­mit him to the Element, yet upon his want of Faith, God will barr him from the [Page 174] benefit of the Sacrament.

Object. If then Simon Ma­gus had afterwards repented of his false profession,See Saint Austin tou­ching this l [...]b. [...]. De [...]aptismo contra Do­natistis. cap. 12. yet it should seem that he had re­mained extra Christum, with­out Christ, except he be re­baptised, in as much as at first his want of faith did bar him from the benefit of Baptism.

Sol. This is a case, which we may with reason beleev, that the providence of God doth watch to prevent: but suppose it possible, yet neither is there any need of rebapti­zation, nor shall he remain disunited from Christ. Sacra­ments are means of union in ordinary, but God is not tied to them. Besides, tho Baptism be the first Sacrament of in­corporation, and union; yet not the only one: Add this, that, as Repentance can, after a sort, undo what hath been [Page 175] done in the way of sinn: so may it in such a case supply the defect of former times, and cause that to be now done, without any ceremony, which at the ordinary time was not done. Lastly, in such cases we may distinguish between the benefit of Union, and Incor­poration, and the benefit of Remission, and Regeneration; these later may be suspended for the present, tho not the for­mer: but by extraordinary dispensation, the man who hereafter shall perform what is required, in the way of qua­lification, tho for the present he do it not, yet may be in­corporated, and united unto Christ; because in such a man Repentance, and Faith, are in actu signato, & radicali, tho not in actu exercito, secretly lodg­ging in the heart, and seen to God, tho not sensible to the [Page 176] man himself. And mark that I say the Incorporation of such a one is by extraordinary dis­pensation,Note. for in this we may conceiv a difference betwixt Gods dealing with men in Baptism, and in the Lords Sup­per: the Lords Supper being often received, except there be a reall performance of repen­tance and faith answerable to the verball profession [in actu exercito] God may suspend all benefit of that Sacrament, without irreparable harm, the next time may repair what the former did not; but Baptism being but once administred: because it may seem that who so is not then incorporated, must remain for ever disuni­ted; therfore tho there be not in present a reall performance of Repentance answerable to the profession, yet will not God suspend all benefit of [Page 177] Baptism, but notwithstanding their carelesness, granteth to them, who belong to the Ele­ction of grace, present union with Christ, and implantati­on, but not Remission, and Regeneration till afterwards: Neither is it absurd to conceiv an union with Christ, without any present fructification; for if the plant ingrafted into the stock doth not presently draw sap from the root, which yet is a naturall Agent, and can­not suspend its operation: how much more may Christ, who is a voluntary Agent, suspend his influence for a time, tho the party be truly united to him.

According to this may we explain that position of the Schools, Sacramenta conferunt gratiam non-ponenti obicem, i.e. that if man be not a hin­drance to himself, the Sacra­ments [Page 178] are not empty signs, but reall instruments to conferr grace: Now that barr, which alone hindereth, is impeniten­cy, and infidelity: Who so doth not profess repentance, and faith, may not be admit­ted; who so with his profession doth not joyn reall perfor­mance, ordinarily, doth not receiv the benefit of the Sacra­ment: much less they, who pro­fess, and practise the clean con­trary. Note that all this is spoken only, De Adultis. The case of infants followeth in the next Chapter.

CHAP. XV. A Digression, handling the case of Infants Baptism.

THis that hath been delivered touching the necessity of Faith and Repentance, by the way of qualification, is willingly received by the Anabaptists; and the authority of our Church, in this particular, is by our infected Country-men alledged against our practise of infants Baptism; the law­fulness of which custome we proved, cap. 7. and satisfied their objections made against our Arguments: It remaineth that we now examin their ar­guments, and see what strength [Page 180] they have to prov that In­fants ought not to be bapti­sed:Chap. 15 Say they, there is no warrant for it in Scripture; They have not faith, (Ergo) they ought not to be baptised. Insist we a little upon them both.

The Anabaptists first Argument.

THe Testament of Christ (say they) is so perfect, and he so faithfull, that no­thing ought to be practised of Christians, which is not there warranted: But no warrant therein for the bap­tising of Infants, neither Precept, nor President, (Er­go) it ought not to be done. This is the triumphing Argu­ment of all Schismaticks, which mislike the Ceremo­nies of the Church, whether [Page 181] Nationall, or Catholick.

Note the Answer.

First, To the Major, flou­rished over with that text of Saint Paul, Heb. 3.2.6. Christ was faithfull, so was Moses; he as a sonn, Mo­ses as a servant; his testa­ment is therefore as perfect as that of Moses: True, but know we not that the faith­fulness of a man, in his office, is to be measured according to the Intent, and Scope of his office imposed? in which if he fail, he is unfaithfull, if he fail not in that, then is he not unfaithfull, tho he look not to other things; The Minister may be faithfull, tho he meddle not with the sword of Justice; The Ma­gistrate, tho he fight not with the sword of the Spirit: So then, what was the office of [Page 182] Moses? of Christ? of the Apostles? The office of Mo­ses was to plant a Nationall Church in the Common­wealth of Israel: The office of the Apostles, to propagate the Church, and to make it Catholick throughout the world: The office of Christ was to work the Redemption of mankind: See the parti­culars in Dan. 9.24.27. If any of them fail in these, then are they unfaithfull; else not hence it was Moses office, to set down particular or­ders for that Nationall Church: Contrarily the of­fice of the Apostles to ap­point generall Rules, and Orders for the Catholick Church: Christ by himself did neither of these: but both these, and whatsoever else was necessary for the wel­fare of Church, and Com­mon-wealth, [Page 183] by his Ma­gistrates, and Ministers in severall ages: But by him­self in his own person he established the Covenant of grace, and salvation, gave the Word of life, ordained the Seals, and instituted a Ministery, and so was faith­full in his house as a Sonn, and worthy of more honours, than either Moses, or the Apostles. Thus we give answer to the Major.

2. To the Minor thus. We grant, that neither Precept, nor Pattern formall, and ex­plicite, is to be found for in­fants baptising; but both Pre­cept, and Pattern virtuall, and implicite; which if found, is not to be neglected: That both may be found in the new Testament, comes thus to be proved.

[Page 184]First, PRECEPT VIRTU­ALL and IMPLICITE: The precept of God to Abraham, and Israel, for the incorpora­tion of their Infants, by a Sa­crament, was not repealed by Christ, but rather confirmed, and consequently, tho not expressly written by the Evangelists, yet nevertheless delivered by Christ; the Ce­remony indeed of Initiation is altered, but the duty it self doth stand still; for what was not repealed, ought to remain: Again, this is to be marked, that God by Mo­ses establishing a nationall Church, hath drawn a per­fect pattern, and modell ther­of to our hands. Now there­fore as no better laws for the Common-wealth, than those, which from Moses may be transferred; So no better Or­ders for the Church, than [Page 185] such as may from thence justly, and without wrong to the time of truth, and grace in the new Testament be tran­slated: Some judiciall Laws were peculiar to that Nation, at least to that age of the world; some Ecclesiasticall rites were also peculiar to that age of the Church, and may not now be allowed: but others there were more mo­rall, and so more perpetuall. And indeed no better directi­ons than what may be fetcht from amongst these. Our Sa­viour hath gone before us, and given us an example. All grant that the spirituall Courts, the Censures of the Church, the proceeding in the Censures are by our Savi­our, fetcht from the Church of the Jews, Mat. 18. from thence doth Saint Paul argue for the maintenance of the [Page 186] Ministery. Cor. 9.13.14. Laws touching the libertie of womens partaking of the Lords Supper, are thence en­acted. Times, places, persons, consecrated to the service of God, are, and were ordained by the Church, in the Imita­tion of Israel: and so also do we conclude, the perpetua­tion of incorporating Infants into the Church of God; which in that Church having been enacted, was not repeal­ed in respect of the substance of the duty, tho the Circum­stance, and Ceremony be al­tered: for we read in Act. 1.3. that our Saviour in his 40. dayes conversation, taught the Apostles things pertai­ning to the kingdome of God, and Matt. 28. he bid them teach all Nations to observ all things that he had commanded them. It be­ing [Page 187] therefore manifest by tra­dition, that Pedo-baptism hath ever since been practi­sed in the Church of God: doubtless it had not been ad­mitted, had not the Apostles, by this Commandement of Christ, appointed the obser­vation of it. Thus we find a precept virtuall, and impli­cite.

2 PATTERN VIRTUALL and IMPLICITE, is in the baptising of whole families, as of Lydia, Crispus, Gaius, Stephanus, and others, in which who doubt­eth, but there were Infants also. What say we to those three thousand souls mentio­ned, Act. 2. Is it probable that they were all present at Saint Peters Sermon, it being in a private house? is it not rather probable, that the men being present, and converted, [Page 188] they brought also their fami­lies to be baptised? so that the totall summ of men, women and children, might be 3000 souls: And here doubtless the proceeding of the Con­verts was answerable to that in Gen. 17. no sooner is the Covenant made with Abra­ham, but all the males in his house were circumcised, young and old: So doubtless no soon­er was the Covenant of grace ratified, betwixt God and the Parents by Baptism, but the Infants also of the family, were accounted holy, and so baptised. Doubtless what Saint Peter said to them in Act. 2. The promise is made to you, and to your children; the same did St. Paul preach to the Gentiles, when they were converted. And how should they confirm the truth of this to them, but by bap­tising [Page 189] their children: Nei­ther by children can we with the Anabaptist, understand their youths of discretion on­ly, but their Infants also: for in Act. 2.39. and Cor. 7.24. the word is generall to comprehend all their issue and of-spring. [...] of [...] pa­rio: No­men origi­nis, non aetatis.

Another Pattern is probably collected out of Mar. 10. the gospell read in the Liturgy, at the Administration of Bap­tism. The children there men­tioned were [ [...]] Infants, such as men do hold in their arms: Christ indeed baptised them not, but probable it is, that he might deliver them to his Disciples to be baptised (as some think) or rather that they had been baptised al­ready: doubtless it was a pi­ous act of the Parents to bring them to Christ; and who can much doubt of this, but [Page 190] that the Parents having been by Iohns Baptism directed to Christ, when they knew him, brought children to him to receiv a further blessing from him; and thus much for answer to the first, and main Argument of the Ana­baptists.

The second Argument of the Anabaptists.

WIthout Faith (say they) none ought to be baptised, Mat. 28. Mar. 16. Act. 8.36. Which also the English Catechism doth allow. But Infants want faith, (Ergo) they ought not to be baptised.

Let the Minor be granted, tho if a man deny it, (as some do) I see not how they can prove it: but gratifie them in [Page 191] this, the Major is utterly fals, for neither do these texts prov it, nor the English Cate­chism. Besides there are good reasons against it.

The texts prov it not; in­deed they prov the Affirma­tiv, That whosoever beleeveth, may be baptised: But from thence to draw a negative conclusion is against Reason; Thus out of Iohn. 3.16. it is manifest, that whosoever be­leeveth, shall be saved; but will the Anabaptist thence conclude, Infants beleev not, (ergo) they shall not be saved. God forbid.

Reasons are against it.

First, In respect of Infants; There needeth none actuall faith in children, as a previ­ous disposition, to fit them for the grace of Baptism: for [Page 192] why? In the Baptism of In­fants, the spirit worketh not as a morall Agent to proffer grace to the will, but as a na­turall, or rather supernatu­rall Agent, to work it in the will, to put grace into the heart, conferring upon them seminall, and initiall grace, which doth not presuppose faith, but is it self the seed of faith; To Parents conver­ted, Baptism conveyed (as did Circumcision to Abra­ham) a superaddition of fur­ther grace, to what they had extraordinarily received: But to their children Baptism con­veyed (as did Circumcision to Isaac) the first seeds of grace, and Regeneration. Add this, that the faith of the Parent is sufficient to qualifie the child for Baptism, yea, for the grace of Baptism; the child I say, in whom as yet [Page 193] corruption of nature, being scant active, calleth for no act of Personall grace to re­move the barr of guilt: pol­luted he is, but by the act of another, not by consent of his own; therfore the faith of the Parent sufficeth to pro­cure for the child the Sacra­ment, and the benefit therof: They cavill, and say, every man must live by his own faith, and not by anothers: True, we say so to; only the words of the Prophet are mis­alleaged, and misapplyed; the text doth not add that clause [not by anothers,] nor doth it speak simply of the be­nefit it self, gained by faith, viz. Justification, Salvation, Preservation, but of the pre­assurance of it: But not to strive hereabout; we see in Matt. 9.3. the sick man fa­red the better for the faith of [Page 194] his friends, even in the remis­sion of sins: Parents are near­er to their Infants, and have more interest in them, than one friend in another: In­fants are a part of their Pa­rents; so that the promise of grace mentioned in the Co­venant, betwixt God, and the Parent, is not ratified to the whole Parent, except also it extend to his Infant: It is then the faith of the Parent, laying hold of the promise, which qualifieth his Infant for in­corporation into the mysti­call body of Christ. And this is a point of good comfort to the parent,Comfort to parents. to consider the goodness of God to him, ha­ving provided for him, that as he hath been a naturall instrument to convey▪ to his child the guilt of sin, and se­minall corruption; so may he also, challenging Gods [Page 195] Covenant by faith, be made a voluntary instrument, to pro­cure pardon of sin, and semi­nall grace; a just remedy for the former malady.

The consideration wherof, were it well and advisedly thought upon, might cure that supine negligence found in Parents, who seldome think of this; and consequent­ly, shall one day heare the just curses of their condem­ned children, crying, woe worth the negligence of our careless Parents, who having begotten us for their pleasure, therby conveyed to us guilt, and corruption, but never took care to cure us of this malady; yea the considerati­on of this, might provoke them to intend the act of their faith, and not only in the Church cursorily of cu­stome, to present their chil­dren [Page 196] to God; but also actu­ally by the prayer of faith, challenge Gods promise, for the good of their Infants: for doubtless even in this, as in all other occasions, the more intentive mans faith is, and earnestly set upon the promise to challenge it, the sooner doth it prevail, and obtain the desire. To return to the Anabaptist! since the faith of the Parents sufficeth, since the spirit worketh in Baptism as a supernaturall Agent, there needeth no actuall faith to be found in children; consequently they are deceived, who defend, that none may be baptised without faith inherent.

Secondly, In respect of Men grown, the want of faith doth not barr them from Baptism, i. e. the Church may not de­ny water to them, that desire [Page 197] the Sacrament, if they profess to repent, and beleev, tho peradventure their heart be naught. See then herein the unreasonable dealing of the Anabaptist, who will barr Infants from the water of Baptism, for want of Faith, when (as hath been shewed) not so much the actuall Inexistence of these graces, as the formall profession of them doth qualifie even Men grown, sufficiently for what the Church can do, in the administration of Bap­tism.

Two things are usually ob­jected against this in the heat of contention,Objecti­ons fra­med a­gainst this truth. which I shall briefly touch for the sa­tisfaction of sober minds, and so return to the former doctrin of preparation.

First (say they) children are as farr from Profession of [Page 198] faith, as from performance, consequently to be barred from Baptism.

To which I answer, that Profession is either actuall, or virtuall: An actuall profes­sion of Repentance, and Faith is required of them, who by the acts of reason formerly abused, have multiplyed their personall transgressions; but for Infants a virtuall pro­fession is sufficient, and such a profession we find in them, in respect of their Propagati­on: They are not unfitly termed Beleevers, because they are born within the Profession of Christianity: As also the Infants of Pagans, are justly accounted Infidels, because they are born in the Profession of infidelity: And if Saint Paul had disputed the cause, I doubt not, but as he said of Levi, that in Abra­ham [Page 199] he paid tithes to Mel­chisedec; so he would have said, that the seed of the faith­full do in their Parents pro­fess the faith of Christ; Add this, that this virtuall pro­fession is actuated by the pro­mise of the Sureties, and Pa­rents at Baptism; And this is the answer of our Church, to the former objection; And it is plain, that that Ab-re­nunciation, is the profession of Repentance, in the name of the child: so also the Re­citation of the Articles, a profession of Faith, and repu­ted his, according to that well known saying of Saint Austin, peccavit in alio, cre­dit in alio, as his offence, so his profession is the act of an­other, but his by Imputati­on.

Yea, but saith the Anabap­tist, this is the blasphemous [Page 200] Invention of Pope Higinius; where, mark I pray you the spirit of Envy,Note. and Detraction, that can speak well of nothing, that is not framed in the mo­dell of his own brain. Higinius is said indeed to have appointed Godfathers, and Godmothers: But the Interrogatories in Baptism were yet more ancient, & might be the sponsion and pro­fession of Parents, in behalf of their children, in use long be­fore Higinius. The profession of faith, as it appeareth by re­cords, was at the first direct, and plain, by recitation of the Creed, and forms of Confessi­on: Afterward it seemeth, that for help of memory, & to pro­vide a remedy against bashful­ness, that which the party re­peated, was put into questions propounded by the Minister, and answered briefly (as now the form is) by the party; And [Page 201] what the Men grown answer­ed by themselvs, the same did Parents for their children be­fore the time of Higinius: But why doth his blackmouth call this custome blasphemous? why calls he Higinius by the name of Pope? had it not bin enough to have stiled this custome of Interrogatories in Baptism, answered by deputed Sureties, to have stiled it I say, (as some others do) ridiculous, and unreasonable? had it not been enough to have stiled, this Higinius Bishop of Rome, as he was indeed, but he must call him Pope? But this is the vehemency of the Ana­baptisticall spirit, to lay on load of rayling words, when there wanteth weight of solid reason. By the Anabaptists own confession, the custome is very ancient: for Higinius was the eighth Bishop of [Page 202] Rome, lived in the year of Grace 150. long before the Pope was bred and born, ever since when, it hath con­tinued in the Church. Boni­face in his Epistle to Saint Augustin, seemeth to ac­knowledg, that in his dayes it had Antiquity only to plead for the continuance. But neither he, nor any since, till of late years, counted it ridiculous, much less blas­phemous: But passe we over the bitterness of words, exa­mine the matter: Why should Infants be catechised, and asked for a profession of their faith? Answer out of Lombard, Non ut in­strueren­tur, sed ut ob [...]igentur. Lib. 4. Dist. 6. Qu. 1. and Bonadventure, that it is done, not for their in­struction, but for their obligati­on: not as if the Infant should therby be taught, but that therby he may be bound to the profession of Religon: [Page 203] So that this is the meaning of the words, I forsake, I beleev, that is, I bind my self to do these hereafter: And this in­terpretation I preferr before others,Aquinas to this ef­fect, Cre­do, i.e. buic fidei aggre­gatus sum [...]er fidei Sacramen­tum. as being more reasona­ble, and more agreeable to that which our Church doth resolv upon: for the Minister speaking to the Sureties saith, This Infant must promise; and afterward, hath promised;Austin thus, Credo, i.e. fidei Sa­cramentum percipio vel. praestò sum percipere: Ep stola id Bonifa­cium. In the Catechism they did pro­mise and vow; and again, they did promise, and vow them both in their names: Hence the Church doth stile God­fathers, and Godmothers, not by the new-fangled name of Witnesses, but Sureties, which doth intimate an obligation: the which is so much the more apparent to be the intent of our Church, because that in private Baptisms, where there is a present expectation [Page 204] of death, neither are these in­terrogatories used, nor sureties appointed. By all which, it is manifest, that this is the sense, and meaning of interrogato­ries, in the judgment of our Church; which Lombard, & Bona­venture, di­ci potest, ibi sponoeri pro parvulo, quod fi ad majorem aetatem ve­nerit & re­nuntiabit, & fidem te­nebit. Iibi­dem. Lombard, and Bonaventure do give, and confirm out of Dyonisius: Hard it may seem, and harsh, (I grant) thus to explain these phrases, which being of the present tense, are strained to the future:Thus also Dionysius cited by Bonaven­ture, Sen­sus verbo­rum, quae dicunt Pa­trini est, quod puer ille cum in sen [...]um ve­nerit tene­bit sacras professiones but he is over­squeamish, which will not bear with the harshness of a speech, when the explication of it given cannot be rejected. To shut up this point, since partly in their propagation, partly by their Sureties, a pro­fession of Repentance, and Faith is made, the want of actuall profession is no barr to hinder infants from the Sa­crament of Baptism.

[Page 205]The second thing objected, is this; that there is no more reason, why children should be admitted to Baptism, than to the Lords Supper, in as much as if the profession of faith made by Sureties may admit them to the one Sacrament, it may also qualifie them for the other. True indeed, so it might,Good rea­son to ad­mi [...] infants to Baptism, but not to the Lords Supper. if this were all that were re­quired; but there is much difference betwixt the two Sa­craments, and so divers rea­sons, why infants may be ad­mitted to the one, and not to the other. Baptism is for Ad­mission, and Regeneration: the Lords Supper for Confir­mation, and Preservation: they are fit to receiv the be­ginnings, [...]hat as yet are not fit to receiv the ending, and con­summation: Baptism requi­reth no Sacramentall actions from the party, so doth the [Page 206] Lords Supper:Chap. 16 in that he is a meer patient, in this he must be an agent; he must take, and eat, which the infant cannot do. Lastly, tho Repentance, and Faith be required in the way of qualification to both Sacraments: yet to fit a man for the worthy partaking of the Lords Supper, other graces, and gracious actions are re­quired, which are incompati­ble with the age of infancy. To the handling of which I now return, having thus fairly rid my hands of these brain­sick, and froward spirits, the Anabaptists, and their Abet­ters.

CHAP. XVI. Of the Qualification peculiar to the Lords Supper, and first of Thankfulness.

THankfulnes for the Death of Christ, is a speciall branch of our Qualifica­tion, for the right and worthy receiving of the Supper of the Lord: for which cause, the Church hath put words into the mouth of the Minister, that after he hath exhorted the people to Repentance, Faith, and new-obedience, he should add this;See the third ex­hortation before the Commu­nion. And above all things you must give most humble, and hearty thanks to God the Fa­ther, Sonn, and holy Ghost, for [Page 208] the Redemption of the world, by the Death, and Passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and Man. And in the Catechism amongst other things, touch­ing which a man ought to examin himself, before he come to the Lords Supper, the Church hath interserted this, A thankfull Remembrance of the Death of Christ. Note here.

1. A REMEMBRANCE, The reason wherof is this: be­cause this Sacrament was or­dained for the continuall Re­membrance of the Sacrifice of Christs Death: His Death was a Sacrifice, this Sacri­fice must be remembred: God made it remarkable at the first by those prodigies in Nature, the Sunns eclipsing, Earths­quaking, Vail-renting, graves opening: But we must remem­ber [Page 209] it in respect of the Com­mandement of Christ, Do this in Remembrance of me; yet is not this a repetition of that Sacrifice, what need that be daily renewed,This is S. Pauls own Argument Heb. 10. that was at the first compleat, and perfect? whatsoever needeth daily re­petition, and renewing, is in it self imperfect, and incompleat: As therfore this Sacrifice doth agree with the legall propiti­ations in this, that it was a bloody Sacrifice; so in this doth it differ, and super-excell them, that it being at once compleat, needeth not (as did they) daily renewing, and re­duplication.

2. A THANKFULL RE­MEMBRANCE must there be, that is, so must we remember the Death of Christ, as that therby we be stirred to thank­fulness for it: The reason [Page 210] wherof is, becaus the Death of Christ was not only a meer separation of the body, and soul, but a sacrifice, yea, a pro­pitiation, that is, a sacrifice for expiation of sin, and recon­ciliation:See for this Ioh. 1.29. & 1 Ioh. 2.2. Indeed it was the substance of all the legall shaddows, the perfection, and accomplishment of all the Typicall expiations under the Law: Nay more, it was the grand, and great deliverance of the Church. If therfore the Exodus of Israel out of Egypt deserved a yearly feast of thankfull remembrance: if the Reduction of the Church from the captivity of Babylon was so thankfully acknow­ledged, as that it almost drow­ned the memoriall of their Exodus; ought not the death of Christ, by which our Re­demption from sin, and Sathan was wrought, ought not this [Page 211] I say, to be thankfully re­membred? The practise of the Church doth plainly manifest it: whence had the whole sa­cred action that famous name of the Eucharist, Euchari­stia. so frequent in the writings of the Fathers, and Doctours of the Church, but from the sacrifice of thanks, and praise, at that time offered to God the Father, Son, and holy Ghost, for the Redemption of the world, by the Death, and Passion of our Saviour Iesus Christ: For this cause it is, that in the Li­turgie of the Church, this is so carefully remembred, that by the Minister, the whole Congregation should be ex­horted to give thanks to our Lord God; adding, that, as it is meet, and right, and our bounden duty that we should at all times, and in all places give thanks to the Lord God our heavenly Fa­ther, [Page 212] so for the present, with An­gels, Arch-angels, and all the holy company of Heaven, we laud, and magnifie his glorious Name, &c. But to proceed.

The way, and means to stir us up to thankfulness for the Death of Christ,Means to stir us up to thank­fulness. is seriously to consider of the benefits which we receiv therby: Here is a large field of meditation; here cannot the devout soul want matter, wherin to in­large it self, if we take notice of these particulars: First, what we had been without it. Secondly, what our hopes are by it. Thirdly, how unwor­thy we either were of it, or as yet are. Fourthly, by how worthy a person this was wrought. Fiftly, how bitter the cup was which he drank, how painfull, and shamfull the Death was which he suffe­red. Here therfore, and in these [Page 213] meditations let the soul dwell, till admiration of the benefit, so good, so great, so freely, so undeservedly bestowed, cause the heart to burst forth into that of David; Lord, what is man, that thou art so mindfull of him? Oh dear Saviour! who would not love thee? Oh hea­venly Father! who would not bless thee? Oh blessed spirit! who would not obey thee? Oh eternall God! who would not devote himself, soul, body, all, to the honour, and service of this glorious Trinity, that hath done so great things for so unworthy, so wretched sin­ners?

Well, Thankfulness is a branch of the Qualification of our souls for the worthy partaking.How to express our thank­fulness. But how is it to be expressed? Answer briefly, by bearing our part in the Psalms, and Alms of the con­gregation. [Page 214] For the first, we read, that after the Passover, our Saviour, and his company sung a Psalm:Psalms. It is Saint Iames his rule, in the time of mirth to sing Psalms: when have we more cause of spirituall mirth, than at this sacred banquet? all dull, and earthly is that heart, that is not now even filled with holy, and heaven­ly raptures. Did Moses sing, and Miriam dance; and shall not we sing forth the praises of our dearest Savi­our?

For the other, viz. the Alms of the Congregation,Alms. we have the laudable custome of the Church in all ages, and the ground therof is taken from that of David, Psal. 16. My goodness extendeth not to thee, but to the Saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. What [Page 215] we cannot therfore return to our blessed Saviour himself in token of thankfulness, (and who would not in this kind, even part with all that he hath?) that must we, for his sake, bestow upon his poore members. Collections for the poore, are perpetuall atten­dants upon Communions; the illiberall hand is the evidence of an unthankfull soul: freely we have received, freely let us give, and Christ shall thank us, Mat. 10.42. & 25.34. To say nothing of Deo-dands, most proper also upon this oc­casion.

Chap. 17CHAP. XVII. Of Love and Cha­rity.

BY love, and charity we do not in this place understand that loving affecti­on, which we owe to God, our heavenly Father, by vir­tue of that great commande­ment Matt. 22. nor that ge­nerall act of love to our Neighbours, enjoyned in the second Table, which manifest­eth it self in a mutuall, and re­ciprocall interchanging of affections with them: viz. that we rejoyce with them in their causes of joy, and greev with them, when God calls them to it: nor yet that spe­ciall act of sanctified love, [Page 217] which is terminated in, and upon the holy brethren;Signs to discern the truth of bro­therly love. whose truth is thence discer­ned, if it be, (as it ought) in­different to all without re­spect of persons, and con­stant without respect of times; if neither penury and neces­sity, nor trouble and adversi­ty, can cool the heat of our affections, but notwithstan­ding these we love them, in whomsoever we find grace, and holiness: this is bro­therly love indeed: yet is not this, nor any of these that love, which is here properly understood; all these are pre­required: But by love and charity we do properly under­stand,Reconci­liation to others. a reconciled affection towards all, even our ene­mies, much more toward others, which is indeed the perfection of all love, and the Nil ultra of that affecti­on: [Page 218] So much we know is in­timated by that phrase, to be in Charity: malice and heart­burning must be laid aside, when we address our selvs to the holy Communion: If in hearing the word Iam. 1.21. Pet. 2.1. if in praying Tim. 2.8. how much more when we approach the Table of the Lord? God hath appointed this Sacrament, in a speciall manner to nourish love, and spirituall friendship amongst the brethren while they see themselvs all joyntly admit­ted to the same Banquet, and all made partakers of the same Bread: Hence hath it recei­ved the name of Communion (as some think) because it is (at least should be) communis anio the common union,Communi­on. i.e. the uniting of their hearts in common. So that he which forbeareth this Sacrament, [Page 219] because he is not in charity, is like the patient, that throw­eth away the plaster, because his leg is sore, when as for that very cause he ought to keep it: Even for that cause ought we to agree with our Adversary, and lay aside all rancour, malice, yea all heart­burning, that we may be thought fit to partake of this holy Sacrament.

Note that this Reconcilia­tion standeth in the practise of satisfaction, and restituti­on to others, whom we have wronged, and of remission to others upon their confessi­on,Mat. 5.23. and acknowledgment: at least-wise there must be a readiness of mind to both; so saith the Church; And if ye shall perceiv your offences to be such, as be not only against God, but also against your [Page 220] neighbours, then ye shall recon­cile your selvs to them, ready to make restitution, and satis­faction, according to the utter­most of your powers for all in­juries, and wrong done by you to any other; and likewise be­ing ready to forgive others, that have offended you, as you would have forgivness of your offen­ces at Gods hand; for other­wise the receiving of the holy Communion doth nothing else, but increase your damnation: ‘Conclude we this with that patheticall Exhortation of the Church, grounded upon these words of Saint Paul; We being many are one bread, and one body, for all are partakers of one bread. Declaring thereby (saith the Homily) not only our communion with Christ, but that uni­ty also wherein they that eat of this Table should be [Page 221] knit together, for by dis­sention, vain glory, strife, envying, contempt, hatred, or malice, they should not be dissevered, but so joyned by the bond of love, in one mysticall body, as the corn of that bread in one loaf: In respect of which streight knot of Charity, the true Christians in the Primitive Church called this Supper, Love, [...]as if they should say: none ought to sit down there, that were out of love, and charity, who bare grudg, and ven­geance in his heart, who did not also profess his love, and kind affection, by some charitable releef for some part of the congregation: And this was their practice. Oh heavenly banquet then so used! oh godly guests who so esteemed this feast! [Page 222] But oh wretched Creatures that we be in these dayes! who be without Reconcili­ation of our brethren, whom we have offended; without satisfying them, whom we have caused to fall; without any kind of thought, or compassion to­ward them, whom we might easily releev; with­out any conscience of slan­der, disdain, misreport, di­vision, rancour, or inward bitterness; yea being ac­combred with the cloked hatred of Cain, with the long-coloured malice of Esau, with the dissembled falshood of Ioab, dare yet presume to come up to these sacred and fearfull myste­ries! Oh man whither rushest thou unadvisedly? It is a table of peace, and thou art ready to fight: [Page 223] It is a table of singleness, and thou art imagining mis­chief: It is a table of qui­etness, and thou art given to debate; It is a table of pitty, and thou art unmer­cifull: Dost thou neither fear God the maker of this Feast? nor reverence his Christ the refection, and meat? nor regardest his Spouse, his welbeloved Guest? nor weighest thine own conscience, which is sometime thine inward ac­cuser? Oh man! tender thine own salvation, exa­min, and try thy good will, and love towards the children of God, the mem­bers of Christ, the heirs of heavenly heritage, yea to­wards the Image of God, that excellent creature thine own soul: If thou have of­fended now be reconciled: [Page 224] If thou have caused any to stumble in the way of God, now set them up again: If thou have disquieted thy brother, now pacifie him: If thou have wronged him, now releev him: If thou have defrauded him, now restore to him: If thou have nourished spite, now em­brace friendship: If thou have fostered hatred, and malice, now openly shew thy love, and charity: yea be prest, and ready to pro­cure thy neighbours health of soul, wealth, commodi­ty, and pleasure as thine own: Deserv not the hea­vy, and dreadfull burden of Gods displeasure for thine evill towards thy neigh­bour, so unreverently to approach this table of the Lord.

CHAP. XVIII. Of Examination.

THat the preparation of Receivers should consist in Examina­tion, is the plain do­ctrin of Saint Paul, Cor. 11.18 Let a man examin himself, and so let him eat of this Bread, &c. Exa­mination is a duty of Christi­ans, needfull at all times; a good preparation to every o­ther religious duty, specially to the blessed Sacrament: what it is we do easily under­stand: An act of the soul reflecting upon it self in a cer­tain kind of judiciall procee­ding, to passe censure upon it self, and its own actions: wherein this is materiall; that it be done diligently, and therefore it is compared to the [...] [Page 228] cannot search the heart,Chap. 18. but thou canst. Many things are in thy soul, which a stranger doth not, nay cannot under­stand.

Quest. Is not then the care of the Minister superfluous, in examining his Parishio­ners, since every man must do it himself?

Answ. Nothing less: Saint Paul in that text sheweth what must be done, not what must not be done. Too much consultation, and diligence in matters of such moment can­not be used, nor too many eyes and hands imployed. Add this, that the object of the Ministers examination, that is, all that he can examin them about, is only matter of knowledg, or of criminall conversation: But beside this, inquiry must be made by each man, touching himself in re­spect [Page 229] of inward grace, and se­cret corruptions; consequent­ly as they that rely upon the Ministers examination, so they that neglect it, are justly to be blamed: joyn both to­gether, specially in cases ex­traordinary, and scruples of conscience.

The OBIECT or MATTER of Examination is not menti­oned by Saint Paul: but by the Church reduced to these heads, Whether a man have Repentance, and Faith; Thank­fulness, and Charity: In each of them note the reason of Necessity, and the mark or cognizance of Discovery.

REPENTANCE, what this is, we heard before, cap. 12. Now accordingly must each Recei­ver examin himself, whether he do truly repent, and be heartily sorrowfull for his [Page 230] former sins. And reason good it is, that by contrition and sorrow, the heart should be purged, which by lust, and wrath, and other inordi­nate passions, so often sin­ned against God. The mark to discern this godly sorrow is a stedfast purpose of the heart to lead a new life, to change the former courses into better. A purpose, a stedfast purpose, that is, a purpose of the heart setled and grounded upon reason, and deliberation, to lead a new life, to reform all former er­rours, and aberrations; this is a certain, and evident mark of true repentance, and godly sor­row. By this examin thy self touching thy Repentance: In vain is sorrow for sin, where there is no purpose to amend in time to come.

FAITH, what this is, we [Page 231] heard, cap. 13. The reason, why it is required that we examin our selves touching it, is, that it may be tried, refined, and quickned against the time of use. Great need of Faith to l [...]ft up the soul above sense, and reason, and to cause it to see in the externall signs, that hea­venly, and spirituall food of the soul. Add this also touch­ing the other act of Faith, which consisteth in Reliance upon Christ: when is it fitter for us to renounce our selves, in whom is nothing good, and to cleav fast to our Saviour, in whom is all-sufficiency, than now when we desire to feed upon him, to satisfie our hun­gry souls with goodness.

Marks,Marks of Faith. or Cognizances of true Faith may be taken from the Generation, and from the Operation therof.

For the Generation, it com­meth [Page 232] by hearing, is the effect of the Spirit, in our hearts working it by the Word; not the spawn of Nature, nor the fruit of Reason, much less of Sense; but the Word of God is that from whence it spring­eth, whereon it feedeth, by which it liveth, without which it dieth. They, whose faith feeleth no decay, in the dis-use, and neglect of the Ministerie, may justly fear their faith was never right and sound.

For the Operation, Faith is fruitfull in good works, in all, but specially in the best works, Piety, Charity; at all times, but then doth it exceed it self, when we draw nigh to God: a fruitless faith is dead, a name, a picture, a shadow of faith, but nothing else: nay, there is not all sound in it, if it grow not daily, if it still seek not, la­bour not to exceed the state of yesterday.

[Page 233]Now for THANKFULNESS and CHARITY, nothing more have I to add to that, which in cap. 16. & 17. hath been delivered: There is set down the reason of their ne­cessity, together with the ef­fects of them, which are the best signs of discovery; This only would I have added touching Love and Charity, that it must be universall: and indeed the universality therof is a good mark to discern the truth, and sincerity of it: for if it be right, it will extend to all men, even our Enemies, e­ven to those that hate, and persecute us: This is indeed hard,Matth. 5.44 yet Christ our Saviour will have it: his reason is, That ye may be (that is, known to be) the Children of your hea­venly Father. God hath done so, Christ hath done so, and therfore we must do so.

[Page 234] Object. Must I then forbear my right, and suffer my self to be troden down by every one?

Sol. Every small matter, tho it be our right, must not provoke men to Law;Cor. 6.7. mat­ters of moment, in point of credit, and profit, may be pro­secuted, so that we make use of the Law, as of a Iudg to de­termin the question;Note this. not as of an executioner to reveng the wrong, and satisfie the spleen.

Thus we have seen wherin stands the Qualification of our souls for the blessed Sacra­ment, particularly the duty of Examination, both what it is, and wherabout it is conver­sant. Add in the close of all, the Necessity of this prepara­tion,Necessity of Sacra­me [...]tall preparati­on. which is seen in the dan­ger that commeth by neglect; for, as the benefit is great that commeth by the Sacrament, if [Page 235] with a penitent heart, and pre­pared soul we receiv the same; so is the danger great, if we receiv unworthily, if we dis­cern not the Lords body, if we consider not the dignity of the holy mystery, if with un­washen hands, with unprepa­red hearts, we presume unto the Table of the Lord: Saint Paul saith, That he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, which is well expoun­ded by the Church; He kindleth Gods wrath, and provoketh him to plague him with divers dis­eases and sundry kinds of death.

You will happily say, why should there be more danger here,Quest. than in the other Sacra­ment?

I answer,Answ. the danger is not greater here, than in Baptism; for even there also is it great, if men do break their vow, and [Page 236] solemn promise made to God: But the penalty is more speci­ally mentioned here; because this Sacrament doth alwayes presuppose discretion in men, to know what they do, before they come unto it: besides, he that abuseth this Sacrament, doth indeed violate, and pro­phane them both. Let me close up all with the exhortation of the Church, which is two-fold.

1. If there be any Blas­phemers of God,This taken out of the third ex­hortation before the Commu­nion. any hinde­rers, or slanderers of his Word, any Adulterers, any in malice, or envy, or any greevous crime, let them be­wail their sins, judg themselvs, amend their lives: else let them not presume to come to this holy Table, lest after the ta­king of the holy Sacrament, the Divell enter into them, as he entred into Iudas, and fill [Page 237] them full of all iniquities, and so bring them to destruction, both of body and soul.

2 If there be any one, which by these means cannot quiet his conscience,This ta­ken out of the second let him for fur­ther counsell, and comfort re­sort to some discreet, and lear­ned Minister of Gods Word; specially to his own Pastour, that he may receiv such ghost­ly counsell, and advice, as wherby his Conscience may be relieved: that by the Mi­nistery of Gods Word, he may receiv comfort, and the benefit of absolution, to the quieting of his conscience, and for a­voiding all scruple, and doubt­fulness: So shall he be found a meet parta­ker of these holy Mysteries.

Laus Deo.


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