Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

and in the primitive church. “ The following," says Dr. Hurd, “ is, as nearly as possible, the form used in baptism in the church of Rome. The priest first asks the sponsors what sex the child is of—whether they are its true godfathers and godmothers—if they are resolved to live and die in the

true Catholic faith'—and what name they intend to give it? After an exhortation, he calls the child by the name given it, and asks—What do'st thou demand of the church? To which the godfather answers, Faith.'

• Faith. After several other in. quiries, the priest breathes three times upon the child's face, saying, ' Come out of this child, thou evil spirit, and make room for the Holy Ghost.' This being done, he makes the sign of the cross on the child's forehead, and afterwards on his breast, repeating at the same time, Receive the sign of the cross on thy forehead and in thine heart.' He then blesses the salt, if it was not blessed before, which being done, he takes a little of it and puts into the child's mouth, saying, Receive the salt of wisdom.' After this he puts his thumb in his mouth, and having dipped it in spittle, rubs it over the mouth of the child. The next thing is to strip the child naked on the upper part of his body, while the priest prepares the holy oil. The godfathers and godmothers hold the child over the font, with the face towards the east. questions, the priest pours the water thrice on the child's head, in the form of a cross, mentioning at

After some

each time one of the persons of the Trinity. He then anoints the top of the child's head, in the form of a cross, with the sacred oil, and puts over it a piece of white linen to denote that it is cleansed from all impurities."*

Any arguments to expose the unscriptural and absurd character of the above rites, in the administration of baptism, are unnecessary. Against these rites the church of England most effectually protested at the Reformation, by her rejection of them, and by her retaining only those simple and expressive rites which are agreeable with the word of God, and the practice of apostolic times.t

* Hurd's Rites and Ceremonies, p. 255, 256.

+ See a defence of the Baptismal Rites of the Church of England, in “ Reasons for Attachment and Conformity,” &c., p. 133, &c. &c.

CHAPTER II.

THE SACRAMENTS_SUPERADDED SACRAMENTS

OF THE CHURCH OF ROME.

The church of Rome has not only perverted and corrupted sacraments of divine appointment, but has added to their number those which were not appointed by God, and which in truth are no sacraments. For these she claims the honours, and to them attributes the efficacy of sacraments of divine institution. Against this the church of England bears her protest in the following words of the article, given at the head of the former chapter. “ Those five, commonly called sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be accounted for sacraments of the gospel, being such as have grown, partly of the corrupt following of the apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.

The church of

England further protests against these superadded sacraments, in the words of her Apology by Bishop Jewel.

“ What then ? - Do we refuse confirmation, penance, orders, and matrimony ? Is there no use of these among us? Do we not allow them? Yes. For we do confirm, and teach repentance, and minister holy orders, and account matrimony, and so use it, as an honourable state of life. We visit the sick among us, and anoint them with the precious oil of the mercy of God. But we call not these sacraments, because they have not the like institution. Confirmation was not ordained by Christ. Penance hath not any outward element joined to the word: the same may be said of orders. And matrimony was not first instituted by Christ, but God ordained it in Paradise long before. But in these two (Baptism and the Eucharist) we have both the element and the institution. In Baptism the element is water; in the Lord's Supper, bread and wine. Baptism hath the word of institution, (Matt. xxviii.) * Teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.' The Lord's Supper, in like manner, hath the word of institution, (Luke xxii.) . Do this in remembrance of me.' Therefore these two are properly and truly called the sacraments of the church, because in them the element is joined to the word, and they take their ordinance of Christ, and be visible signs of invisible

grace. Now, whatsoever lacketh either of these is no sacrament. Therefore are not the other five, which are so reckoned, and make up the number of seven, in due signification and right meaning taken for sacraments; for in such sort as they are called sacraments, that is, because they signify some holy thing, we shall find a great number of things which the godly learned Fathers have called sacraments, and yet, I trow, we must not hold them as sacraments ordained to be kept and continued in the church, for then should be not seven, but seventeen sacraments."

In justification of the church of England, which rejects these additional sacraments of the church of Rome, “as such as have grown, partly of the corrupt following of the apostles," and, “partly as states of life allowed in the Scriptures,” some observations on each, in order, will be necessary.

1. Confirmation.— Though the church of England rejects confirmation as a sacrament, she still retains it as an apostolic ceremony, the tendency of which is to godly edification. That this expressive rite did not originate with the church of Rome, but has been perverted and corrupted by that church, will appear from the following con siderations. There is evidence of the existence o a somewhat similar rite in the Jewish church before the setting up of the Christian dispensation. Josephus, the Jewish historian, tells us that the Jews, in their anxiety to have their children in

I

« ZurückWeiter »