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THE DOCTRINES CONCERNING THE CHURCH AND ITS MEANS OF GRACE, CONCERNING SAINTS, IMAGES, THE SACRIFICE
OF THE MASS, AND PURGATORY.
(THE PRACTICAL CONSEQUENCES.)
With the differences about the formal,' as well as the material principle," which constitute Roman Catholicism on the one hand, and Protestantism on the other, are intimately connected their respective views concerning the church and its means of grace, concerning the forms of worship, especially the mass and the sacrifice of the mass, and concerning the connection subsisting between the latter, and the state of the dead (purgatory); or, more properly speaking, these views are the necessary consequences of their principles. But Protestants and Roman Catholics, as distinguished from the sects, were agreed in preserving the historical and positive basis of Christianity, though they differed as to extent and manner, and in retaining external and legal forms. On the other hand, the sects, rejecting more or less arbitrarily the historical development of Christianity and its higher influence in shaping the life of society, exposed themselves to the disintegrating power of separatism, now on the side of barren reflection, and again in the way of fantastical mysticism.'
1 Wherever the so-called abuses of the Roman Catholic Church are mentioned in the symbolical writings of the Protestants, they are rejected chiefly because they are either not founded upon Scripture, or are directly opposed to it.
The fundamental contrast between faith and works (the internal and the external), manifests itself also in the doctrines in question. Where Protestants suppose an invisible order of things, Roman Catholics rely upon the external form, which strikes the senses; where the former seek means of grace, the latter find opera operato, etc.
• Dissolution into fragments of churches, and disintegration into atoms,
are the common fate of all sects. Another thing common to them all is the disregard they manifest to whatever is symbolical in public worship. They either despise it altogether as only captivating the senses, or they regard it it as a vain ceremony.—While Protestantism was in some respects liable to foster such a development, it also included powerful principles of an opposite tendency, which gave rise to the organization of forms of worship and of ecclesiastical polity. The Calvinists rather endeavoured to build anew from the foundation, while the Lutherans were more attached to historical precedenis.
THE CHURCH AND ECCLESIASTICAL POWER.
Köstlin, Luther's Lehre von der Kirche, Stuttg., 1853. Hansen, Die lutherische und die
reformirte Kirchenlehre von der Kirche, Gotha, 1854. Münchmeier (die sichtbare und unsichtbare Kirche, Götting., 1854; comp. Ritschl in Studien und Kritiken, 1859. Köstlin, Wesen der Kirche, Deutsche Zeitschrift, 1865; Die Katholische Auffassung, ibid. On Melancthon's views see, Reuter's Repertorium, Sept. 1856. William Palmer, A Treatise on the Church of Christ, 3d ed., 2 vols., 1842, repr. New York. Abp. Whately, The Kingdom of Christ, 1841, repr. New York. Edward. Arthur Litten, The Church of Christ in its Idea, etc., repr. New York, 1856. Charles Hodge, The Church, etc., in Princeton Review, 1853, 4, 6, reprinted in his Essays and Reviews, 1857.]
The old antagonism between the external and internal idea of the church was more fully developed by the conflicts between Romanism and Protestantism. According to Roman Catholics, the church is a visible society of all baptised persons, who adopt a certain external creed, have the same sacraments, and acknowledge the Pope as their common head.' Protestants assert that the church consists in the invisible fellowship of all those who are united by the bonds of true faith, which ideal union is but imperfectly represented by the visible church, in which the true gospel is taught, and the sacraments are rightly administered. In the view of the former, individuals come to Christ through the church ; in the view of the latter, they come to the church through Christ. With this difference in funda
' mental principles is connected the different view entertained by Protestants and Roman Catholics concerning ecclesiastical power and the hierarchy. Protestants not only reject the papacy, and all the gradation of ecclesiastical dignities in the Roman Catholic sense, but, proceeding from the idea of the spiritual priesthood of all Christians, regard the clergy not, like their opponents, as an order of men specially distinct from the laity, but as the body of the teachers and servants of the church, who being divinely called and properly appointed, possess certain ecclesiastical rights, and have to perform certain duties which they derive partly from divine, partly
from human law. In their opposition to the hierarchy, the Anabaptists and Quakers went still further, rejecting not only the order of priests, but also that of instructors, and made the right of teaching in the church to depend on an internal call alone. The Church of England occupied an intermediate position between the Roman Catholics and the other reformed churches, retaining the Episcopate and the theory of apostolical succession, though not at first denying the validity of the orders of other churches,' and vigorously opposing the pretensions of the papacy. The Presbyterian polity was shaped most completely in Scotland.' Independency (Congregationalism) was planted in New England, and had a temporary triumph in England under Cromwell.")
· After the example of Augustine (in his controversy with the Donatists), the Roman Catholics maintained that the church militant on earth* is composed of the good and the wicked. See Confess. August. Confut., c. 7, and Cat. Rom., i, 10, 7. It is in Bellarmine's treatise, De Ecclesia Milit., in particular that this doctrine is very clearly developed, c. 2: Nostra sententia est, ecclesiam, unam tantum esse, non duas, et illam unam et veram esse cætum hominum ejusdem christianæ fidei professione et eorundam sacramentorum communione colligatum, sub regimine legitimorum pastorum ac præcipue unius Christi in terris vicarii, romani pontificis. Ex qua definitione facile colligi potest, qui homines ad ecclesiam pertineant, qui vero ad eam non pertineant. Tres enim sunt partes hujus definitionis: Professio veræ fidei, sacramentorum communio, et subjectio ad legitimum pastorem, romanum pontificem. Ratione primæ partis excluduntur omnes infideles, tam qui nunquam fuerunt in ecclesia, ut Judæi, Turcæ, Pagani, tam qui fuerunt et recesserunt, et hæretici et apostatæ. Ratione secundæ excluduntur catechumeni et excommunicati, quoniam illi non sunt admissi ad sacramentorum communionem, isti sunt dimissi. Ratione tertiæ excluduntur schismatici, qui habent fidem et sacramenta, sed non subduntur legitimo pastori, et ideo foris profitentur fidem et sacramenta percipiunt. Includuntur autem omnes alii, etiamsi reprobi, scelesti et impii sunt. Atque hoc interest inter sententiam nostram et alias omnes, quod omnes aliæ requirunt internas virtutes ad constituendum aliquem in ecclesia et propterea ecclesiam veram invisibilem faciunt; nos autem et credimus in ecclesia inveniri omnes virtutes, fidem, spem, caritatem et ceteras; tamen ut aliquis aliquo modo dici possit pars veræ ecclesiæ, de qua scripturæ loquuntur, non putamus requiri ullam internam virtutem, sed tantum externam professionem fidei et sacramentorum communionem, quæ sensu ipso percipitur. Ecclesia enim est cætus hominum ita
* The distinction which Roman Catholics make between ecclesia militans and triumphans, has reference to this world, and to that which is to come, while the distinction made by Protestants between the visible and invisible church, has reference to this world only. Comp. Schweizer, ii. 663, [in his Glaubenslehre der reform Kirche: Ecclesia est partim militans partim triumphans in cælis ; illa quæ adhuc in terris colligitur, est visibilis, vel Envisibilis: Aretius.]
visibilis et palpabilis, ut est cætus populi romani vel regnum Galliæ aut respublica Venetorum.
On the gradual development of the idea of the church in Luther's system, see Schenkel, Wesen der Protest., ir, 1 sq., and Köstlin, ubi supra; on Zwingle's views, see Schenkel, p. 61 sq. On Calvin, ibid., p. 99 sq. (compar
, p ing the fourth Book of his Institutes). Conf. Aug., Art. 7: Est ecclesia congregatio sanctorum, in qua evangelium recte docetur et recte administrantur sacramenta. Apol. Confess. Aug., p. 144 ss. : Et catholicam ecclesiam dicit [articulus ille in Symbolo), ne intelligamus, ecclesiam esse politiam externam certarum gentium, sed magis homines sparsos per totum orbem, qui de evangelio consentiunt, et habent eundem Christum, eundem Spiritum Sanctum, et eadem sacramenta, sive habeant easdem traditiones humanas, sive dissimiles.-p. 148: Neque vero somniamus nos Platonicam civitatem, ut quidem impie cavillantur, sed dicimus existere hanc ecclesiam, videlicet vere credentes ac justos sparsos per totum orbem. First Confess. of Basle, Art. 5 : “We acknowledge a holy Christian Church, i. e. the communion of saints, the spiritual assembly of believers, which is holy, and an offspring of Christ, of which all those are citizens who truly confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world, and who give evidence of their faith by works of love.” Conf. Helv. II, c. 17; Oportet semper fuisse, esse et futuram esse ecclesiam, i. e. e mundo evocatum vel collectum cætum fidelium, sanctorum inquam omnium nionem, eorum videlicet, qui Deum verum in Christo servatore per
Verbum et Spiritum Sanctum vere cognoscunt et rite colunt, denique omnibus bonis per Christum gratuito oblatis fide participant. ... Illam docemus veram esse ecclesiam, in qua signa vel notæ inveniuntur ecclesiæ veræ, imprimis vero verbi divini legitima vel sincera prædicatio. Conf. Gall., Art. 27. Belg. 27: Credimus unicam ecclesiam catholicam seu universalem, quæ est congregatio sancta seu cætus omnium vere fidelium christianorum, qui totam suam salutem in uno Jesu Christo exspectant, sanguine ipsius abluti et per spiritum ejus sanctificati atque obsignati. Sancta hæc ecclesia certo in loco non est sita vel limitata, aut ad certas singularesque personas alligata, sed per totum mundum sparsa atque diffusa.—Comp. Angl., 19, Scot. 16. [Westminster Confession, chap. xxv: The Catholic or universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all. The visible church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world, that profess the true religion, together with their children ; and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.] The doctrine concerning the Church is most ably and acutely developed by Calvin Instit., iv. 1 ss. Comp. Henry, vol. ii. p. 90 58. The Arminians (Limborch Theol., vii, 1, 6) and the Mennonites adopted substantially the same principles as the Calvinists. Ries, Conf. Art. 24. Concerning the views of the Quakers and Socinians, see Winer, p. 168.The latter, in particular, attached little importance to the doctrine concerning the church. See Socinus, Opp. T. i. 3: Quod si dicas, ad salutem necessarium esse, ut quis sit in vera Christi ecclesia, et propterea necessarium simul esse, ut veram Christi ecclesiam inquirat et agnoscat, negnbo consecutionem istam.... Nam simulatque quis Christi salutarem doctrinam habet, is jam vel re ipsa in vera Christi ecclesia est, vel ut sit non habet necesse inquirere, quænam sit vera Christi ecclesia, id enim....jam novit. From this he infers : Quæstionem de ecclesia, quænam, sive apud quos sit, quæ hodie tantopere agitatur, vel inutilem propemodum esse, vel certe non esse necessariam.—The principle extra ecclesiam nulla salus was also retained by the Protestant Church, though in a somewhat different sense. Comp. Winer, p. 169. It also concedes that the true church can not err (as to the faith); it is a columna veritatis; see Augsb. Confes. p. 148. The later Lutheran divines lay claim to this predicate exclusively for their (the Lutheran) church, excluding not only the Roman Catholics, but also Calvinists, from the church; see Consensus Repetitus Fidei, punct. 59 (in Henke, p. 44) : Rejicimus eos, qui docent ad ecclesiam christianam pertinere non tantum Lutheranos et Græcos [sic], sed Pontificios etiam et Calvinianos,
Thus Calvin, I. c. laid some stress on the phraseology of the Apostles' Creed, where it is not said, Credo in ecclesiam, like, credo in Deum, in Christum; but simply, Credo ecclesiam. “ Protestantism demands obedience under Christ, and connects therewith the participation of the individual in the church; Roman Catholicism on the other hand demands obedience under the hierarchy, and makes dependent thereon the participation of the individual in the blessings received from Christ; Schenkel, iii. 26.
• On the connection between the Roman Catholic notion of the priestly office and the sacrifice of the mass, see Concil. Trident. Sess. 23, c. 1. On the other side, Apol. Confess. Aug., p. 201: Sacerdotum intelligunt adversarii non de ministerio verbi et sacramentorum aliis porrigendorum, sed intelligunt de sacrificio, quasi oporteat esse in Novo Testamento sacerdotium simile Levitico, quod pro populo sacrificet et mereatur aliis remissionem peccatorum. Nos docemus, etc.... Ideo sacerdotes vocantur, non ad ulla sacrificia velat in lege pro populo facienda ut per ea mereantur populo remissionem peccatorum, sed vocantur ad docendum evangelium et sacramenta porrigenda populo, Luther expressed himself on this subject as follows : “ Every Christian man is a priest, and every Christian woman a priestess, whether they be young or old, master or servant, mistress or maid-servant, scholar or illiterate." Opp. Altenb., ed. i., fol. 522, (in Spener, geistliches Priesterthung, Frankf. 1677, p. 76 sq.): “All Christians are properly speaking, members of the clerical order, and there is no difference between them, except that they hold different offices, (1 Cor. xii.) By baptism we are all made priests, (1 Pet. ii.) We do not want to be made, but born, popes, and to have our papacy by inheritance, through our birth from our fathers and mothers; for our father is the true pope and high priest (Ps. cx.) Hence we take persons from such born popes, and call them to such offices. Papal or Episcopal ordination can only make hypocrites and oil-idolaters” [Germ. Oelgötzen.]... Not only those “who are anointed and have received the tonsure" are priests,“ but every one who is baptised inay consider himself an ordained priest, bishop, and pope, though it does not belong to every one to exercise the duties belonging to such offices. For, though we be all priests, none