Monday, November 19, 2012

The Impossibility of Sacraments being able to Save (Heinrich Bullinger)

"This is undoubtedly true, that the Apostles with no other forcible engine [battering-ram] more strongly battered (as it were) and beat down flat to the ground their adversaries' bulwark in defence of Sacraments that purify, than with this, 'That we which believe shall be saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ;' and whereas in every place almost they add, 'Not by the law, not by ceremonies, or other ritual observations,'—do we think that they will admit Sacraments to the partaking of such power and virtue, seeing they be comprehended under rites and ceremonies, and so accounted? 

"Christian faith doth attribute the grace of God, remission of sins, sanctification, and justification, fully and wholly to the free mercy of God, and to the merits of Christ's passion; yea, in such sort doth Christian faith attribute these spiritual benefits unto it, that beside it nothing at all is admitted to take part with it. Therefore, whereas Lombard (Sent, iv., Dist. ii.) saith, 'that Sacraments have received power to confer or give grace by the merit of the passion of Christ,' it is of his own forging. For as Christ giveth not His glory to any, either saint or mortal man, much less to a creature without life; even so, he that believeth to be fully justified by the death and resurrection of the Lord, seeketh no further grace and righteousness in any other thing than in Christ only; upon whom he stayeth; whom also by faith he feeleth in his heart or mind already, to exercise His force by the Holy Ghost." 

Cited from Heinrich Bullinger, Bullinger's Decades as quoted in Gorham's Gleanings, 249. Benjamin Wills NewtonOccasional Papers on Scriptural Subjects (London: Houlston and Wright, 1861), 120.


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