The Works Of James Arminius Vol 2 by James Arminius
DISPUTATION LXII ON THE SACRAMENTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT IN GENERAL
The sacraments of the New Testament are those which have been instituted for giving testimony to the covenant, or the New Testament confirmed by the death and blood of its mediator and testator. II. Wherefore, it was necessary that they should be such as were adapted to give significance and testimony to the confirmation already made; that is, that they should declare and testify that the blood had been shed, and that the death of the mediator had intervened. III. There ought, therefore, to be no shedding of blood in the sacraments of the New Testament; neither ought they to consist of any such thing as is or has been partaker of the life which is in the blood; for as sin has now been expiated, and remission fully obtained through the blood and death of the mediator, no further shedding of blood was necessary. IV. But they were to be instituted before the confirmation of the new covenant was made by the blood of the mediator and the death of the testator himself; both because the institution and the sealing o! the testament ought to precede even the death of the testator; and because the mediator himself ought to be a partaker of these sacraments, to consecrate them in his own person, and more strongly to seal the covenant which is between us and him. V. But as the communion of a sacrifice unto death, offered for sins, is signified and testified by nothing more appropriately than by the sprinkling of the blood and the eating of the sacrifice itself and the drinking of the blood, (if indeed it were allowable to drink blood,) hence, likewise, no signs were more appropriate than water, bread and wine, since the sprinkling of his very blood and the eating of his body could not be done, and, besides, the drinking of his blood ought not to be done. VI. The virtue and efficacy of the sacraments of the New Testament do not go beyond the act of signifying and testifying. There can neither actually be, nor be imagined, any exhibition of the thing signified through them, except such as is completed by these intermediate acts themselves. VII. And, therefore, the sacraments of the New Testament do not differ from those used in the Old Testament; because the former exhibit grace, but the latter typify or prefigure it. VIII. The sacraments of the New Testament have not the ratio of sacraments beyond that very use for the sake of which they were instituted, nor do they profit those who use them without faith and repentance; that is, those persons who are of adult age, and of whom faith and repentance are required. Respecting infants, the judgment is different, to whom it is sufficient that they are the offspring of believing parents, that they may be reckoned in the covenant. IX. The sacraments of the New Testament have been instituted, that they may endure to the end of time; and they will endure till the end of all things. COROLLARY The diversity of sects in the Christian religion does not excuse the omission of the use of the sacraments, though the vehemence of the leaders of any sect may afford a legitimate and sufficient cause to the people to abstain justly and without sin from the use of the sacraments of which such men have to become partakers with them.