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apostle says, 1 Cor. xi. 23. I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, &c.
3. The parts of it; an external fign, the cutting off of the foreskin ; an invisible grace, the righteousness of faith.
4. The uses and ends of it: It was appointed to be a sign and a feal too, not nakedly fignifying, but exhibiting and applying spiritual blessings.
Lastly, The subject of it; a believer, one to whom the righteousness of faith belonged. Such a person was Abraham, and such are all who truly believe in Christ.
The doctrine of this text is,
Doct. “ A facrament is an holy ordinance, insti" tuted by Christ, wherein, by sensible signs, Christ, " and the benefits of the new covenant, are represent“ ed, sealed, and applied to believers.”
Here we are to consider,
IV. Shew what is the facramental union of these parts, or wherein it lies.
V. Who are the subjects of the sacraments, for whom they are appointed of God.
VI. What are the general uses and ends of the fa. craments.
VII. Deduce some inferences.
I. Let us consider the word sacrament. Of which two things are to be noted. (1.) That it properly fignifies a military oath, an oath taken by soldiers, whereby they bound themselves folemnly to their prince or general, to obey orders, and not to desert their cotioned Gen. xvii. 4.-8. (2.) Because he was the head, and so the most noble part, of that one people embodied with him, in the covenant of grace, for whom he received the promises." VOL. III.
lours. And some say this oath was mutual. (2.) That it is not a scripture-word ; not being used in any
of the two languages in which the scripture was written, but a Latin word originally. But the church has made use of it to signify those ordinances, which are the signs and seals of the covenant of grace.; and that warrantably, because the things thereby signified are found in scripture, though not the word itself. For by the facraments we are obliged to the spiritual warfare under the conduct of Jesus Christ, the Captain of our falvation, to whom we, engage ourselves by them, and he also engages himself to us for our salvation.
II. The Author of the facraments is the Lord Jesus Christ, as King and Head of his church. Man neither made nor can make a facrament, but the Lord only. For, (1.) He only is the Author of the word of
promile, and of the covenant: who then but he can make the seals thereof? (2.) The facraments are a part of religious worship, which belongs only to God to appoint, Matth. xv. 8. The Lord Jesus is the Author of them, by his inftituting of them. They are instituted by himself, Matth. xxviii. 19. 20. Go je and teach all nations, says he to his disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have com
1 Cor. xi. 23. I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, &c. It is the word of inftitution that makes the facrament, which consists of a command to use the rite, and a promise of grace annexed to the right use of it.
III. Let us consider the parts of a facrament. These
1. An outward and sensible sign used according to Christ's own appointment, which is something that we can see with our eyes, or perceive by our bodily senses.
These are of two forts. (1.) Signifying things. Such are the water in baptism, and the bread and wine in the Lord's supper. (2.) Signifying actions ; for the facramental actions, being lignificant, as well as the things, are figns, and fencible ligns which we may fee with our eyes. Such are the sprinkling of the water in baptism, and the breaking, giving, and receiving of the bread and wine in the Lord's fupper.
I say, used according to Christ's appointment; and therefore these same things and actions are not sacramental, when otherwise uled, as when water is sprinkled or bread broken, without those other circumftances appointed by Jesus Christ in these ordinances, For where there is no divine inftitution, there is no facrament.
2. An inward and spiritual grace thereby signified, Matth. iii. 11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance ; but he that cometh after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: be sball baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. 1 Pet. iii. 21. The like figure whereunto, even baptism, doth also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rom. ii. 28. 29. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly ; neither is that circumcifion, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the beart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God. The signs are earthly, to be perceived with the bodily eyes; the thing signified heavenly, to be perceived only by faith. The former tends to the body, the latter to the soul, The One is received corporally, the other spiritually,
The thing lignified by the facramental signs is Jesus Christ himself, with all his faving benefits, Rom. vi. 3, 1 Cor. xi. 24. This is my lody, &c. Not Christ's benefits without himself; for as there is no washing with water, without application of the water itself, and no nouriihment by bread and wine without eating and
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drinking of it; so there can be no partaking of Christ's benefits without partaking of himself, Heb. iii. 14. Rom. viii. 32. So unbelievers can have no faving benefit by the facraments. Not Christ himself without his faving benefits; for Christ himself is the kernel of the sacraments; and where ever he comes, he brings all faving benefits along with him, Rom. viii. 32. even the purchase of his death.
The sum of these saving benefits ye have in that word, i Cor. i. 30. Of him ye are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and fanctification, and redemption : which comprehends all that is necessary for the cure of the case of any poor finner.
my body, This
IV. I proceed to thew what is the sacramental union of these parts, or wherein it doth lie. There is an union of the parts of the facraments, and without it they could not be accounted parts of the facraments. It is by virtue of the union betwixt the signs and the the signified, that the one gets the name of the other, Gen. xvii. 10. I Cor. xi. 24. 25. This is сир is the new testament in my blood; yea and the effects of the one are ascribed to the other, Tit. iii. 5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Now this is not a natural or local union; for in respect of place they are as far diftant as heaven and earth: but it is a relative union, consisting in that fpiritual relation that is between the sign and the thing signified, made by virtue of Christ institution, whereby the signs signify or represent, seal, and exhibit to worthy receivers the thing signified.
V. I come to thew who are the subjects of the facraments, for whom they are appointed of God. They are those and those only. who are within the covenant, Rom. xv. 8. Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumci. fion for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made un. to the fathers. Exod. xii. 48. When a stranger shall fojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. For the seals of the covenant can belong to none but those who are in it. So they have a right to them before God who are savingly within the covenant, and thofe a right before the church who are in it by a credible profession. Believers and their feed have a right to baptism : but only Christians come to years, have a right to the Lord's supper, 1 Cor. xi. 28. But let a man examine himself, &c.
VI. Lastly, I come to shew what are the general uses and ends of the facraments. The principal uses and ends are threefold.
1. To be holy signs to fignify and represent Christ and his benefits to the believer, to be discerned by faith, Rom. iv. II. There is a fitness in them for this end, there being a plain resemblance betwixt the signs and the thing signified; whereby the signs do bring into their minds, and do clearly represent to a spiritual discerner, the thing fignified. And thus they strengthen faith, and all other graces in a believer; as seeing helps believing
2. To be heaven's public seals to seal the covenant, Rom. iv. 11. It is by them that God solemnly ratifies and confirms the covenantwith believers. The cove. nant is held out in the word to be embraced by all to whom it comes : by believing we enter into the covenant; by the sacraments God declares it to be a bar. gain, as one does by subscribing a contract, and fealing it. And thus also they Itrengthen faith and all other graces; and oblige the believer to obedience, as one in covenant with God, Rom. vi. 3.
3. To be means of applying and exhibiting Christ and his benefits to the believer, i Cor. xi. 24. So that with the facramental igns, in the right use of