SACRAMENT

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SACRAMENT (Latin, sacramentwn; the assumption of an obligation, an oath). This word received a religious sense, in the Christian church, from its having been used in the vulgate (q. v.), to translate the Greek Among the early Latin ecclesiastical writers, sacramentwn, therefore, signifies a mystery, a symbolical religious ceremony ; but first acquired the peculiar sense which it now has in the Roman Catholic church, denoting seven particular religious rites. The Catholic church considers a sacrament as a visible token, ordained by Christ, by means of wnivn an invisible grace is communicated to Christians. The seven Roman sacraments, as confirmed by the council of Trent (sess. vii.), are1. Baptism (Matthew xxviii, 19); 2. Confirmation (Acts viii, 14 21, xix, 1-4); 3. the Eucharist (see Lord's Supper); 4. penance (q. v.); 5. extreme unction (James v, 14,15); 6. orders (Acts vi, 1-7; xiii, 1-4; xiv, 20-24; and 2 Timothy i, 6 and 7); and marriage, the sacred and indissoluble nature of which is conceived to be taught in Matthew v, 31s 32; xix, 1-10; Mark x, 2-13; Luke xvi, 18 ; Romans vii, 2-4 ; 1 Corinthians vii, 10 and 11. The Greek church agrees with the Roman church in the doctrine of the sacraments. (See Greek Church.) The Protestants, in general, acknowledge but two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's supper, considering a sacrament to be a festival instituted by Christ, by which he who partakes of it worthily, participates in the influences of divine grace through sensible means and signs. The different views of the early reformers on the sub ject of the eucharist are stated in the articles Carlstadt, Zuinglius, Lord's Supper. (See also, Reformed Church.) Luther and Melanchthon at first acknowledged penance or absolution as a sacrament, but afterwards ranked it only as a preparation for the Lord's supper. The Quakers con* sider the sacraments as of little impor tance. (See Quakers.)