Thirdly: It protested against all the traditional arrangements for public worship, all ritualism, and every sort of “holy work.” As it neither knows nor tolerates, as we have seen, any specific form of worship, any material sacrifice and service to God, any mass and any works done for God and with a view to salvation, the whole traditional system of public worship, with its pomp, its holy and semi-holy articles, its gestures and processions, came to the ground. How much could be retained in the way of form for (esthetic or educational reasons was, in comparison with this, a question of entirely secondary importance.
Fourthly: It protested against Sacramentalism. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper it left standing, as institutions of the primitive Church, or, as it might be, of the Lord himself; but it desired that they should be regarded either as symbols and marks by which the Christian is known, or as acts deriving their value exclusively from that message of the forgiveness of sins which is bound up with them. All other sacraments it abolished, and with them the whole notion of God’s grace and help being accessible in bits, and fused in some mysterious way with definite corporeal things. To sacramentalism it opposed the Word, and to the notion that grace was given by bits, the conviction that there is only one grace, namely, to possess God himself as the source of grace. It was not because Luther was so very enlightened that in his tract “On the Babylonian Captivity” he rejected the whole system of Sacramentalism— he had enough superstition left in him to enable him to advance some very shocking contentious— but because he had had inner experience of the fact that where “grace” does not endow the soul with the living God Himself it is an illusion. Hence for him the whole doctrine of sacramentalism was an infringement of God’s majesty and an enslavement of the soul.