I. Sacraments are holy signs
and seals of the covenant of grace,a
immediately instituted by God,b
to represent Christ and his benefits, and to confirm our interest in him;c
as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the church
and the rest of the world;d
and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to his
a Rom. ; Gen. 17:7,10. b Matt. 28:19; 1
Cor. 11:23. c 1 Cor. 10:16; 1
Cor. 11:25,26; Gal. 3:17. d Rom. 15:8; Exod.
12:48; Gen. 34:14. eRom. 6:3,4;
1 Cor. 10:16,21.
II. There is in every sacrament
a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing
signified; whence it comes to pass, thatthe names and effects of
the one are attributed to the other.f
f Gen. 17:10; Matt.
26:27,28; Tit. 3:5.
III. The grace which is
exhibited in or by the sacraments, rightly used, is not conferred by any power
in them;neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the
piety or intention of him that doth administer it,g but upon the work of the Spirit,h
and the word of institution; which contains, together with a preceptauthorizing
the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.i
2:28,29; 1 Pet. 3:21. h Matt. 3:11; 1 Cor.
12:13. i Matt. 26:27,28;
IV. There be only two
sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the gospel, that is to say, Baptism,
and the Supperof the Lord; neither of which may be dispensed by
any but by a minister of the word, lawfully ordained.k