It was not, however, the only sign of faith used under the law of nature. Augustine, that before circumcision there was no sacrament for the relief (justification) of children, although for some good reason the Scriptures do not tell us what that sacrament was ( III.11).The sacrifice of Melchisedech, the sacrifice of the friends of Job, the various tithes and oblations for the service of God are mentioned by St.
Martin Luther's Catechism, the Augsburg, and later the Westminster, Confessions are strongly sacramental in their tone, putting to shame the degenerate followers of those who compiled them" (ibid., p.
7, 8) The reasons underlying a sacramental system are as follows: Taking the word "sacrament" in its broadest sense, as the sign of something sacred and hidden (the Greek word is "mystery"), we can say that the whole world is a vast sacramental system, in that material things are unto men the signs of things spiritual and sacred, even of the Divinity.
Commentators on the Scriptures and theologians almost unanimously assert that there were sacraments under the law of nature and under the Mosaic Law, as there are sacraments of greater dignity under the Law of Christ.
Under the law of nature so called not to exclude supernatural revelation but because at that time there existed no written supernatural law salvation was granted through faith in the promised Redeemer, and men expressed that faith by some external signs.
Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification (Catechismus concil. God is not restricted to the use of material, visible symbols in dealing with men; the sacraments are not necessary in the sense that they could not have been dispensed with.
But, if it is known that God has appointed external, visible ceremonies as the means by which certain graces are to be conferred on men, then in order to obtain those graces it will be necessary for men to make use of those Divinely appointed means. 4) declared heretical those who assert that the sacraments of the New Law are superfluous and not necessary, although all are not necessary for each individual.
"The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands" (Psalm 18:2). God], from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity" (Romans ).
The redemption of man was not accomplished in an invisible manner.
It is not really a necessity, but the most appropriate manner of dealing with creatures that are at the same time spiritual and corporeal.