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craments, proved not to be Sacraments: their true Nature
CHAP. XX. On Civil Government.
On the external Means or Aids by which God calls us into
Communion with Christ, and retains us in it.
ARGUMENT. THREE parts of the Apostles' Creed, respecting God the Creator,
Redeemer, and Sanctifier, have been explained in the former books. This last book is an exposition of what remains, relating
to the Holy Catholic Church, and the Communion of Saints. The chapters contained in it may be conveniently arranged in three grand divisions:
I. The Church.
III. Civil Government.
contains many particulars, which, however, may all be referred to
four principal heads. 1. The marks of the Church, or the criteria by which it may
be distinguished, in order to our cultivation of union with it
Chap. I. II.
1. The order of government in the church-Chap. III.
the Papacy-Chap. V. The primacy of the Pope-Chap.
power-Chap. VII. II. The power of the church-Chap. VIII-XI.
1. Relating to articles of faith, which resides either in the
respective bishops—Chap. VIII.-or in the church at large,
represented in councils—Chap. IX.
IV. The discipline of the church-Chap. XII. XIII.
1. The principal use of it-Chap. XII.
3. The abuse of it-Chap. XIII. The Second Division, relating to the Sacraments, contains three
parts. 1. The sacraments in general-Chap. XIV. II. Each sacrament in particular-Chap. XV.-XVIII. 1. Baptism-Chap. XV. Distinct discussion of Pædobaptism
Chap. XVI. 2. The Lord's Supper-Chap. XVII.-and its profanation
1. The magistrates.
The true Church, and the Necessity of our Union with her,
being the Mother of all the Pious. THAT by the faith of the Gospel Christ becomes ours, and we become partakers of the salvation procured by him, and of eternal happiness, has been explained in the preceding Book. But as our ignorance and slothfulness, and, I
I may add, the vanity of our minds, require external aids, in order to the production of faith in our hearts, and its increase and progressive advance even to its completion, God hath provided such aids in compassion to our infirmity: and that the preaching of the Gospel might be maintained, he hath deposited this treasure with the Church. He hath appointed pastors and teachers, that his people might be taught by their lips; he hath invested them with authority; in short, he hath omitted nothing that could contribute to a holy unity of faith, and to the establishment of good order. (a) First of all, he hath instituted Sacraments, which we know by experience to be means of the greatest utility for the nourishment and support of our faith. For as during our confinement in the prison of our flesh, we have not yet attained to the state of angels, God hath in his wonderful providence accommodated himself to our capacity, by prescribing a way in which we might approach him notwithstanding our im
(a) Epbęs. iv. 11 16.