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but is an instrument to delude and ruin poor souls that trust to it.

In a word, Bellarmine cannot but own that if this passage of St. James does not prove their pretended sacrament of Extreme Unction, they cannot prove it from scripture. I have proved that it is not to be found there; so that the Romish writers are bound to own at last with us, that the pretended sacrament of Extreme Unction hath no foundation in scripture, but that it was unjustly grounded upon a passage of St. James which did concern a miraculous cure of diseases, which was to cease, and hath long since ceased to be in the Christian church.

Having done with Bellarmine's texts, I have but one to consider from the author of the Touchstone of the Reformed Gospel, Mark xvi. 18, They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. But with this wise author's leave, where is there a syllable here of Extreme Unction, or any unction at all? But suppose it had been, would it not plainly have referred to bodily health? Bellarmine shall answer this ignorant scribbler, and tell him, that this imposition of hands, or anointing, cannot relate to their sacramental unction; since it is not more plain that their sacramental unction does relate to the soul and its diseases, than that the unction pretended to in this passage does concern the body and its distempers.

Concerning the efficacy of Sacraments.

It would not at all answer the design of these papers, to perplex the reader with all the niceties and distinctions about this matter of the efficacy of sacraments in the Romish writers: it is sufficient to acquaint him that they differ as much as possible, and have been as far from being friends among themselves as with us. To make this matter as intelligible as we can, it is requisite to lay down how far we agree with the church of Rome as to the efficacy of sacraments, and wherein we differ from them.

We acknowledge, as well as they, that the sacraments were not instituted by our Saviour to be mere signs, but that they are efficacious of the grace for which they were instituted, and instruments to convey the grace to us which they signify. Our difference is about their nature, that is, what sort of

instruments they are; the council of Trent hath defined, that they confer grace ex opere operato; which, if I understand the explication of this barbarous phrase, is, that the efficacy of the sacraments depends neither upon the goodness of the minister nor of the receiver, but upon the work's being done, upon the sacrament's being rightly administered. The council adds indeed, that it is thus operative or efficacious only non ponentibus obicem, to those who do not put a bar in the way: their meaning in which is, that the sacrament does confer the grace of it upon every person that receives it, provided he have not a will directly opposite to the sacrament he is about to receive. As for instance, when he is to be baptized, that he be not resolved not to be baptized, or not to believe in the Trinity, or not to renounce his sins. The council certainly did put in this very wisely, or else they had made a strange thing of Christianity, and made it the derision of atheists and scoffers.

But we are sure they ought to have added more, and one reason is, because we believe that to baptize a man when he is asleep is not effectual to him, though we are well assured the man is not guilty of putting any bar in the way.

Upon the definition of the council of Trent, they are generally agreed since, that the sacraments do work their effect by virtue of an inherent quality fixed in them, as glowing iron heats water, or a charm works cures. And this is what we can by no means agree with them in, because such a virtue in the sacraments is contrary to the great design of Christianity, which is founded upon covenant, and consigns all its graces and benefits to those only who have such dispositions and preparations as it requires. Faith and repentance, and a resolution to lead a Christian life, are the conditions, without which no man receives the benefit of remission of sins in baptism; and not merely a resolution not to be pointblank opposite to the design of the sacrament: this were to make Christianity not only a quite different thing from what it is, but a most ridiculous thing too, when a man shall come to baptism (for instance) and tell the minister, Sir, I understand your baptism will have a most notable effect upon me, and forgive me all my sins, without giving me any trouble about it; I must confess I have no great knowledge of it, nor any preparation for it; but I hear these are not necessary, I do

assure you I do not mock you, and that I have no resolution not to be baptized, or to receive no benefit; and that, I hear, is all the qualification that you make necessary; which I assure you I have, or else I would not have come hither; and there. fore pray, sir, baptize me.

Such doctrine, as it is derogatory to the temper of Christianity, so it is far from being taught or being countenanced in the scriptures. Bellarmine pretends to a great many texts for it, which I will briefly examine.

His first is a set of four texts out of Matt. iii. Mark i. Luke iii. John i. where John the Baptist says, I indeed baptize you with water to repentance-He shall baptize with the Holy Ghost. From this Bellarmine argues, that there is as much difference betwixt the efficacy of John's baptism and our Saviour's, as there is betwixt water and the Holy Ghost. Well, and suppose this should be granted him, yet how does this prove that baptism is efficacious by an inherent virtue? This indeed is Bellarmine's conclusion, but it is not in the text, nor any thing like it.

His second text is Mark xvi. 16, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: that is, saith Bellarmine, baptism shall save him, which cannot be done but by washing away the filth of his sins. But how comes faith to be forgotten, and to have no share here? If Bellarmine conclude such effects for baptism, and we for faith, we must desire to know whether faith have that inherent intrinsic virtue which they talk of; but there is no reason to conclude any such thing of either of them, since all the text proves is, that salvation shall be the consequence of faith and baptism, and not that baptism doth work this by any inherent virtue, any more than incircumcision doth by an inherent virtue cut off a soul from Israel, notwithstanding it be said of it, that the uncircumcised shall be cut off from his people.

Bellarmine's third text is, John iii. 5, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. I will add his other texts relating to the same thing, that so I may dispatch them together:

Acts ii. 38. Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.

Acts xxii. 16. Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Ephes. v. 26. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.

1 Peter iii. 21. The like figure wherunto 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).

These are his texts; and now to what purpose are any of them brought here? It is granted that baptism is ordinarily necessary to salvation, that God hath made it the instrument of remission, of regeneration, and of salvation to us; but though this is all which these texts prove, yet this is not all which Bellarmine should have proved; his purpose was to shew, that baptism did work all these things by an inherent virtue, as a hot iron heats water; but these texts say no such thing, and some of them the contrary, for instance, Ephes. v. 26, where the sanctification is attributed to the word upon the washing.

His next text is Acts viii. 18. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given; to which he adds 2 Tim. i. 6. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. These two texts are nothing to the purpose; for we have already proved that Confirmation (to which they will have the first text to belong) is no sacrament, nor Orders, concerning which the other text speaks; so that being no sacraments, they have nothing to do in this con. troversy about the efficacy of sacraments. And further, I have above proved, that by the Holy Ghost in the text from the Acts is meant the extraordinary gifts of it, for tongues, miracles, and the like; and that by the gift of God in Timothy is understood only an ability and authority for to dis charge the office in the church he had been ordained to.

The last text that Bellarmine troubles us with is 1 Cor. x. 17, For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread. He argues here, that the participation of the one bread is the cause of our being one body. This is readily granted him; that as by participation of the sacramental bread in remembrance of Christ's meritorious passion we are united to Christ, so we are to one another by partaking of that one bread, and being united to the one Christ in his mystical body; and this is the sense of this place; but as to the sacramental bread's working this by an inherent virtue, there is not one word, or the least intimation in this place.

These are all Bellarmine's texts for the physical efficacy of his sacraments: how unserviceable they have been to him, the meanest reader cannot but see; and no wonder, since such pretensions are contrary to the method of Christianity laid down by our blessed Saviour.

Whosoever will examine the scriptures seriously, will find, that as the sacraments are covenants, so there are several qualifications required, without which the sacraments will be of no more efficacy to the person receiving them, than they would be to a dead man; for to the receiving any benefit by baptism, the scriptures inform us, that faith and repentance, with a resolution to be Christ's faithful disciples, are required of every one to be baptized; that upon the account of these they are admitted into covenant with God, and have a right to the merits and benefits of our Saviour's passion, which was undergone by him for the sins of the whole world.

Nor is the design of the other sacrament of the Lord's supper different from this; it is to remember us of the infinite goodness of our Saviour's dying for us, to unite us to Christ, and thereby to instate us, and confirm to us a share in his merits: none of which it doth or can do, without our being fitted by serious examination and hearty repentance for such an union with Christ; and this is sufficient to shew, that the sacraments do not work physically or like a charm, but that as good men upon such preparations receive the benefits and find the efficacy of each sacrament, so wicked men receive no benefit by them, nor can be united to Christ by them, which yet they would for all their wickedness be, if so be the sacraments received did as certainly work their effect, as a sharpened razor cuts, or fire burns.

To conclude; as we believe that the two sacraments were designed by God for blessings to us, to convey such grace and assistance as he thought fit, and not to be mere signs; so we cannot believe that God made them such physical instruments, or did give them such an inherent virtue, as to confer grace ex opere operato upon every receiver; because we are sure this would be to dishonour those things which are the most beneficial and most honourable in the Christian religion.

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