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“If any one shall say, that Orders of Holy Ordination is not truly and properly a Sacrament, instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, or that it is a human contrivance, invented by men who were ignorant of ecclesiastical affairs, or that it is only a particular rite of chusing Ministers of the word of God, or of Sacraments, let him be anathema; or, that the Holy Ghost is not given by holy Ordination, let him be anathema.” (Conc. Trid. Sess. XXIII. Can. 3, 4.) " Since it is evident that by sacred Ordination, which is performed by words and external signs, grace is conferred ; hence let no man doubt, that Order is truly and properly one of the seven Sacraments of the Church.” (Ibid.)
We affirm that Christ appointed a succession of Pastors in different ranks, to be continued in his Church for the work of the Gospel, and the care of souls, and that, as the Apostles settled the Churches, they appointed different orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons; and we believe that all who are dedicated to serve in these ministries, after they are examined, and judged worthy of them, ought to be separated to them by the imposition of hands, and by prayer. These were the only rites that we find practised by the Apostles. For many ages the church of God used no other, therefore we acknowledge that Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, ought to be blessed and dedicated to the holy ministry
by imposition of hands and prayer; and that then they are received according to the order and practice settled by the Apostles to serve in their respective degrees. Men thus separated have thereby authority to perfect the saints, or Christians; that is, to perform the sacred functions among them, to minister to them, and to build them up in their most holy faith. And we think no other persons, without such a separation and consecration, can lawfully touch the holy things. In all which, we separate the qualifications of the functions from the inward qualities of the person, the one not at all depending on the other; the one relating only to the order and the good government of the Society, and the other relating indeed to the salvation of him that officiates, but not at all to the validity of his office or service.
But in all this we see nothing like a sacrament; here is neither matter, form, nor institution ; here is only prayer; the laying on of hands is only a gesture in prayer, that imports the designation of the person so prayed over.
Therefore, though we continue this institution of Christ, as he and his Apostles settled it in the church, yet we deny it to be a Sacrament; we also deny all the inferior orders to be sacred below that Deacon. The other orders, we do not deny, might be well, and on good reasons appointed by the church, as steps through which clerks might be made to pass, in order to a stricter examination and trial of them, like degrees in Universities. But making them, at least, the subdiaconate, sacred, as it is reckoned by Pope Eugenius, is, we think beyond the power of the Church, for here a degree of orders is made a Sacrament, and yet that degree is not named in the Scripture, nor in the first ages. It is true, it came to be soon used with the inferior orders, but it cannot be pretended to be a Sacrament, since no divine institution can be brought for it. And we cannot but observe, that in the definition that Eugenius has given of the Sacraments, which is an authentical piece in the Roman Church, where he reckons Priests, Deacons, and Sub-deacons, as belonging to the Sacrament of orders, he does not name Bishops, though their being of divine institution is not questioned in that church. Perhaps the spirit with which they acted at that time in Basil, offended him so much, that he was more set on depressing, than on raising them. In the Council of Trent, in which so much zeal appeared for recovering the dignity of the Episcopal Order,
at that time so much eclipsed by the Papal usurpation, when the Sacrament of Orders was treated of, they reckon seven degrees of them, the highest of which is, that of Priest. So that though they decreed that a Bishop was, by the divine institution, above a Priest, they did not decree that the office was an Order, or a Sacrament; and the Schoolmen do generally explain Episcopate, as being a higher degree, or extension of priesthood, rather than a new Order, or a Sacrament; the main thing in their thoughts being that, which, if true, is the greatest of all miracles, the wonderful conversion made in transubstantiation, they seem to think that no order can be above that which qualifies a man for so great a performance.
OF EXTREME UNCTION.
This Sacrament, we are taught, “most fitly represents the grace of the Holy Spirit, which invisibly anoints the soul of the sick ;” (Conc. Trid. Sess. XIV. ;) for the holy Synod “ declares and teaches, that our merciful Saviour, who was willing that his servants should, at all times, be provided with salutary remedies against all the attacks of their enemies; as, in the other Sacraments, he prepared means whereby, during life, they might be preserved from every grievous evil; so would he guard the close of life by the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, as by a strong barrier.” (Id. Sess. XIV. c. 1.) “ This holy anointing of the sick is instituted, as it were, a true and proper Sacrament of the New Testament; hinted at, indeed, by Christ our Lord, in St. Mark, but recommended and preached to the faithful by the Apostle St. James ; he saith, · Is any sick among you, let him send for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall ease him;' (original, raise him up ;) and if he be in sin, they shall be forgiven him :' by which words the Church hath learned this, as it were from Apostolic tradition, received by hand.” (Id. Sess. XIV. c. 1.) “ If any one, therefore, shall say Extreme Unction is not truly and properly a sacrament instituted by Christ our Saviour, and preached by the Apostle St. James; but that it is a human invention,
let him be accursed. If any one shall say that the holy anointing of the sick doth not confer grace, nor remit sins, nor relieve the sick, but that it had long since ceased, as if of old it hath only been the grace of healing,—
let him be accursed.” (Id. Sess. XIV. Can. 1, 2.)
This Sacrament, as it is called, is not used for the recovery of the sick, but only when they are in danger of death, and, therefore, they call it the sacrament of the dying. As to the words of St. James (chap. v. ver. 14, 15,) on which the Church of Rome builds this sacrament, Cardinal Cajetan says,
“ The sacrament of Extreme Unction cannot be hence collected, either by the words, or by the effects; for the unction properly concerns the healing of bodily diseases, but the unction of the Roman Church is used only for the sick, past recovery, and tendeth to the remission of sins.”
By Pope Gregory's ritual, the oil is consecrated to cure all pains, infirmities, and sicknesses of the body; and when the sick is anointed, the prayer asks of God to cure him of his infirmities, and to remit his sins, to restore him to health, that he may be recovered and healed. This is the idea which runs through all the ancient service, and in the ancient missals, the recovery of the sick persons is usually the object of the service; while the remission of sins, and other spiritual blessings, were considered as belonging to it, as they did to every other service which was performed in faith. The Council of Trent, however, has now completely changed the intention of the ceremony.
The reason why the Protestant Churches have rejected this practice is, because they find proof in the Scripture, that it was confined to those apostolic times when miraculous gifts were exercised in the Church, and that it was of no avail, unless perfortfied by one whose anointing would cure the sick. They find also, that this practice was not continued in those times when miraculous gifts first ceased ; and that those Pastors in the Church, who were conscious that they did not possess such powers, did not attempt to anoint the sick. All this clearly appears, from the