Blog 234: 4.19.1 - 4.19.6

More on sacraments - additional ones invented by men. Using the formula that sacraments are "visible signs of an invisible grace" Calvin notes that there is no limit to the inventions that can pass this test. Reverting again to the argument of recent novelty, Calvin argues that the seven sacraments of medieval Catholicism were unknown in the early church. They are a recent invention (addition) and fail for that reason. Sola Scriptura must be the basis on which sacraments are judged. How many sacraments did Jesus give to the church? Two and only two: baptism and the Lord's Supper.

Interestingly, Calvin argues a cessationist line (in the example of "laying on of hands"/confirmation): this was an expediency of the infant church so long as the apostles remained. Once they had died, these rituals (as with miracles) ceased with them.