Sácrament. n.s. [sacrement, Fr. sacramentum, Latin.]
- An oath; any ceremony producing an obligation.
- An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.
As often as we mention a sacrament, it is improperly understood; for in the writings of the ancient fathers all articles which are peculiar to Christian faith, all duties of religion containing that which sense or natural reason cannot of itself discern, are most commonly named sacraments; our restraint of the word to some few principal divine ceremonies, importeth in every such ceremony two things, the substance of the ceremony itself, which is visible; and besides that, somewhat else more secret, in reference whereunto we conceive that ceremony to be a sacrament. Hooker.
- The eucharist; the holy communion.
Ten thousand French have ta'en the sacrament
To rive their dangerous artillery
Upon no Christian soul but English Talbot. Shakes. H. VI.
As we have ta'en the sacrament,
We will unite the white rose with the red. Shakesp. R. III.
Before the famous battle of Cressy, he spent the greatest part of the night in prayer; and in the morning received the sacrament, with his son, and the chief of his officers. Addison.