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Secondary Sacraments, as visible signs of


Again; "The rite3 of ordi- | believed to be only given nation is not a Sacrament perfectly to those lawfully of the Gospel, nor is it one ordained, when they are acof those generally' neces- tually ordained; the rite of sary to salvation;' but, since ordination is a visible sign 'the common description of an invisible grace,' and of a Sacrament' is, that it thus may reasonably be conis a visible sign of an in- sidered as a Sacrament of visible grace; ' and since, the Church. In fact, the in a general acceptation, homilies of the Church of the name of a Sacrament England style it a Sacramay be attributed to any ment, even while establishthing whereby an holy thing ing a distinction between it is signified; since God, of and the two great Sacraments His divine providence, hath of the Gospel. Though appointed divers orders in the ordering of ministers His Church;' since those hath this visible sign or prowho are ordained Bishops mise, yet it lacks the proand Presbyters, are, by mise of remission of sin, as the Holy Ghost, made over- all other Sacraments besides seers to feed the Church of the two above named do. God;' since God Himself Therefore neither it, nor any gives to us such pastors Sacrament else, be such Saand teachers;' since it is craments as baptism and the evident that the Divine Grace communion are.' Jerome, promotes those who are duly Augustine, Leo, Gregory, ordained to the office of the &c., style it a Sacrament 7. ministry; and since this Di- Calvin also regards it as a vine Grace or commission is Sacraments. The apology

8 Ib. T. ii. p. 441.

9 Article xxv.

2 Homily on Common Prayer and Sacraments.

3 Collect for Ember Days.

5 Ephes. iv. 11.

1 Catechism.

4 Acts xx. 28.

6 Homily on Common Prayer and Sacraments, part i.

7 Hieron. lib. cont. Vigilant. p. 281; Augustin. lib. ii. cont. Parmen. c. xiii. t. ix. p. 45; Leo Epist. xi. al. Ixxxi. ad Dioscorum, c. i. t. i. p. 436; Gregor. Mag. lib. iv. in Libr. Regum. c. v. t. iii. p. 228.

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8 Superest impositio manuum, quam ut in veris legitimisque ordinationibus sacramentum esse concedo, ita nego locum habere in hac fabula.' Inst. lib. iv. c. xix. art. 31.

invisible grace, owned in the English Church.


of the confession of Augs-word Sacrament is not a burgh says that if order" Scripture one, and hath at be understood of the minis- different times been differtry of the word, we should ently understood; our Catewithout scruple, have called chism doth not require it to it a Sacrament. For the be said absolutely, that the ministry of the word hath the sacraments are two only; but commandment of God, and two only necessary to salvapossesses glorious promises. tion: leaving persons If order be thus understood, liberty to comprehend more we should not object to call things under the name, if the imposition of hands a they please, provided they Sacrament.' The learned insist not on the necessity Archdeacon Mason regarded of them, and of dignifying order1 as, in a certain sense, them with this title.' And a Sacrament. accordingly we find the Ho



"As Bishop Taylor says, milies speaking of the "It is none of the doctrine sacrament of matrimony,' of the Church of England and acknowledging several that there are two Sacra- other sacraments besides ments only; but that of those of baptism and the those rituals commanded in Eucharist. Cranmer, in his Scripture, which the eccle- Catechism", considers absosiastical use called Sacra- lution a sacrament. The ments (by a word of art), confession of Augsburgh 7 two only are generally ne- and its Apology, hold the cessary to salvation.' Arch- same view, and the latter bishop Secker says, 'As3 the adds matrimony3. In short,

9 Apologia Confess. vii. De numero et usu sacrament.

1 'Si Sacramenti vocabulum ad quodvis externum signum a Deo institutum, cui divinæ gratiæ promissio annectitur, extendamus, sacrum ordinem dici posse una cum Sancto Augustino et aliis agnoscimus.' Mason. de Min. Angl. p. 48. ed. 1638.


2 Taylor's Dissuasive, p. 240, ed. Cardwell.

3 Secker's Lectures, xxxv. Of Baptism.

4 Sermon on Swearing, part i.

5 On Common Prayer and Sacraments, part i. See above, Vol.

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6 Burnet, Hist. Ref. Vol. ii. p. 131.

7 Confess. August. Art. 11. 12. 22. Apol. Confess. cap. de nu. et usu Sacr. ad art. 13.

8 Ibid.


Bp. Overall-Sacramental Absolution

it is plain that the Refor- Pœnit. p. 19,) saith thus:

mation, in avoiding the error of arbitrarily defining the doctrine of seven sacraments, did not fall into the mistake of limiting the use of this term to two rites only, which would have ill accorded with the ancient custom of the Church generally."

Ego autem sic respondendum puto non esse necesse, ut semper peccata remittantur per sacramentum pœnitentiæ, sed ut ipsum sacramentum naturâ suâ possit peccata remittere, si inveniat peccata et non inveniat contrarium impedimentum,' and so much we acknowledge. The same use of the word Our if he feels his con"Sacramental," as to Abso- science troubled,' is no more lution, occurs in Bishop than si inveniat peccata;' Overall: :-"The Church for if he be not troubled of England, howsoever it with sin, what needs either holdeth not Confession and confession or absolution? Absolution Sacramental, Venial sins, that separate (that is, made unto and re- not from the grace of God, ceived from a priest), to be need not so much to trouble absolutely necessary, as that a man's conscience. If he without it there can be no have committed any mortal remission of sins; yet by sin, then we require conthis place it is manifest what fession of it to a priest, who she teacheth concerning the may give him, upon his true virtue and force of this sa- contrition and repentance, cred action. The confession the benefit of absolution, is commanded to be 'special;' which takes effect according the Absolution is the same to his disposition that is abas that of the Ancient solved; and therefore the Church, and the present Church of Rome adds to the Church of Rome useth: form of absolution, Quanwhat would they have more? tum1 in me est, et de jure Maldonate, their greatest possum, Ego te absolvo;' Divine that I meet with, (de not absolutely, lest the doc

9 A MS. note on the Absolution in the Office for the Visitation of the Sick, by Bishop Overall, written in an interleaved Common Prayer Book in Bishop Cosin's Library, printed in the year 1619, and taken from "Tracts of the Anglican Fathers."

1 This is a mistake; the limitation does not relate to contrition (which is presupposed), but to "reserved cases."

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explained with reference to the Homily.


trine should get head, that in the larger sense of the some of their ignorant peo- word, a Sacrament) at once ple believe, that, be the with the Holy Eucharist, party confessed never so void would have seemed contrary of contrition, the very act to our Church's teaching, of absolution forgives him and the exceeding greatness his sins. The truth is, that of the Holy Eucharist." in the priest's absolution But it was, in accordance, there is the true power and I thought, with the teaching virtue of forgiveness, which of the Church of England, will most certainly take ef. that in editing the " Spiritfect, nisi ponitur obex, as in ual Combat," I retained the Baptism.' words, "the most holy I do not see how I could, sacrament of Absolution" even consistently with the (p. 13); "the sacrament of teaching of our Church, have Penitence" (p. 135) with the denied Absolution to be in following note (p. 13):-"As some degree a Sacrament, Marriage is so called in the as assuredly it is a means or Homilies, which also say sign of grace given, although that Absolution hath the our Lord has been pleased to promise of forgiveness of distinguish those two greater sins; yet by the express Sacraments, by appointing word of the New Testament, Himself the visible matter it hath not this promise anwhich should be used in nexed and tied to the visible them. But I took pains to sign, which is imposition of express myself as the Church hands. They speak of other of England does, and with sacraments, although not express reference to her so great as Baptism and the teaching. When, in a work Lord's Supper, which diwhich I was editing, the rectly unite us with Christ.” Holy Eucharist and Abso- I did not, then, exclude lution were classed as "Sa- the title of Sacrament, when craments" together, I omitted it occurred in the book which the mention of Absolution, I was editing, lest I should in part for the express reason seem to deny what our that, "to rank Absolution Church must believe, that (although a Divine ordinance it is an appointed means of and means of grace, and so, grace, and what it in some

2 Surin, Foundation of the Spiritual Life, p. 228. note c.

12 "Auricular” is private " Confession;" the term avoided. sense calls it. I retained it, And, after it, Hooker-who and explained its use in himself (it is known), used accordance with the teach- to the great comfort of his ing of the Church. When soul, private confession with preaching myself before the Saraviaspeaks against University, I did not use it, "auricular confession" as regarding it as best not to not being contained in St. draw off the attention from Cyprian; assuredly meanthe substance, by the use of ing, not what the Church a word which is not essen- of England allowed, and he tial, and which required ex- himself used, but the necesplanation. On the same sity of confession as a conground, I did not, as I have dition of pardon and salvaalready said3, use the term tion. "The 5 Minister's "auricular confession." power to absolve is publicly "Auricular confession "taught and professed; the cannot, in itself, mean any Church not denied to have thing but private confession, authority either of abridgor, what the "Service for ing or enlarging the use and the Visitation of the Sick" exercise of that power; calls " a special confession upon the people no such of his sins." Still it is tech- necessity imposed of opening nical language not familiar their transgressions unto in our Church. It has also men, as if remission of sins been used especially of, and otherwise were impossible; almost appropriated to, the neither any such opinion compulsory confession of had of the thing itself, as the Church of Rome. One though it were either unof the homilies speaks of lawful or unprofitable, save their (the Roman Catholic) only for these inconveniences "auricular confession ;" and which the world hath by it appears, from the context, experience observed in it that it means that " com- heretofore." pulsory confession" which, On the subject of confesit says, "is against the true sion, Mr. Palmer speaks disChristian liberty, that any tinctly :-"The practice of man should be bound to the private confession to priests, numbering of his sins. " and absolution she never


3 See also Postscript to the Letter to Mr.
4 Hom. xx. Of repentance, 2nd Part.
6 Church of Christ, P. II. c. 7. t. i. p. 518.

Richards, p. 294-297. 5 E. P. vi. 4. 15.

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