History of the christian church



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2682 Friedberg, Kirchenrecht, p. 57, correctly says, "Die Reformation hat schliesslich wohl Pfarrsprengel geschaffen, aber keine Gemeinden." This is true even now of the Lutheran churches in Northern Germany; but in Westphalia, on the Rhine, and in America, the congregational life is more or less developed, partly through contact with Reformed churches.

3683 Yet not in the strict and deeper sense in which the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are articles of (saving) faith; hence the preposition eij", in, is omitted before ecclesiam, and the following articles, at least in the Latin forms (the Greek Nicene Creed has eij").

4684 The term "catholic" (kaqolikov", from kata;and o{lo", whole, entire, complete) does not occur in the New Testament (for the inscrip-tions of the Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude, ejpistolai; kaqolikaiv, or simply kaqolikaiv, are no part of the apostolic text, but added by transcribers), and is first used as an epithet of the Church by Ignatius of Antioch, the enthusiast for episcopacy and martyrdom (Ad Smyrn., c. 8), and in the Martyrium of Polycarp (in Eusebius, II. E., IV. 14). It was applied also to faith, tradition, people, and became equivalent with Christian, in distinction from Jews, idolaters, heretics, and schismatics.

5685 De Doctr. Christ., III. 32 (in Schaff’s "Nicene and Post-Nicene Library;" Works of St. Augustin, vol. II. 509).

686 De Bapt. contra Donat., IV. 5. For a fuller exposition of his doctrine of the church, see his Donatist writings, and Reuter’s Augustin. Studien (1887).

7687 De Fide et Symbolo, c. 10 (in Schaff’s ed., III. 331).

8688 Tractatus de Ecclesia, c. I., "congregatio omnium praedestinatorum ... Illa est sponsa Christl ... Jerusalem mater nostra, templum Domini, regnum coelorum et civitas regni magni." Then he quotes the distinction made by Augustin, to whom he refers throughout the book more frequent-ly than to all other fathers combined. This important tract was recently published for the first time from three MSS. in Vienna and Prague by the "Wyclif Society," and edited by Dr. Johann Loserth (professor of history in the University of Czernowitz), London (Trübner & Co.), 1886, 600 pp. But the same view of the church is taught in other books of Wiclif, and correctly stated by Dr. Lechler in his Joh. von Wiclif, Leipz., 1873, vol. I. 541 sqq.

9689 The close affinity has recently been shown by Joh. Loserth, Hus und Wiclif; zur Genesis der hussitischen Lehre (Prag and Leipz., l884), and is especially apparent from a comparison of Wiclif’s and Hus’s treatises De Ecclesia. Wiclif’s book exerted little influence in England, but became known in Bohemia in 1407 or before, and the reproduction of it by Hus created a great sensation. The arrangement, the ideas, and arguments of the two books are the same, and often the very language. Comp. Loserth’s Introduction to Wiclif’s De Ecclesia.

0690 Luther first used the term "invisible." Zwingli first added the term "visible" in his Expositio christianae. fidei (1531): "Credimus et unam sanctam esse catholicam, h.e. universalem ecclesiam. Eam autem esse aut visibilem aut invisibilem." Zwingli was the only one among the Reformers who included the elect heathen in the invisible church. The clearest symbolical statement of the Protestant doctrine of the invisible and visible church is given in the Westminster Confession, ch. xxv. (Schaff’s Creeds of Christendom, III. 657).

1691 Rothe (Anfänge der christl. Kirche, I. p. 101) says that the idea of a moral and spiritual union and communion of all believers in Christ, or of the communion of saints, is in the highest sense real (ist nach unsrer innigsten Ueberzeugung eine im höchsten Sinne reale), but cannot be called a church. He resolves and dissolves the church ultimately into the kingdom of God, which he identifies with the ideal state.

2692 Under the date of Oct. 3, 1519, he informed Staupitz that he had received from Prague letters of two priests, "una cum libello Joannis Hus." De Wette, I. 341. An edition of the Tractatus de Ecclesia was published at Mainz and Hagenau in 1520.

3693 This identification may be questioned. The holy catholic church corresponds rather to the church visible, the communion of saints to the church invisible. The communion of saints means that inward and spiritual fellowship of true believers on earth and in heaven which is based on their union with Christ. It is their fellowship with God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Comp. 1 John 1:3; 1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 2:1), and with each other, a fellowship not broken by death, but extending to the saints above. A most precious idea.

"The saints in heaven and on earth

But one communion make;

All join In Christ, their living Head,

And of his grace partake."

The article of the communio sanctorum (as well as the epithet catholica) is a later insertion, and not found in the creeds before the fifth century. See Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, I. 22 and II. 52. The oldest commentators understood it of the communion with the saints in heaven. According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, it means "a community of spiritual blessings," especially the sacraments enjoyed in the Catholic Church. A more comprehensive and satisfactory exposition is given by Pearson on the Creed, Art. IX., and in the Westminster Confession, Ch. XXVI.



4694 The German proverb, ."Das ist um katholisch zu werden" (This is to turn Catholic), describes a condition of things that drives one to desperation or madness.

5695 In his second Commentary on the Galatians (Erl. ed., III. 38): "Recte igitur fatemur in symbolo, nos credere ecclesiam sanctam. Est enim invisibilis, habitans in Spiritu, in loco inaccessibili, ideo non potest videri ejus sanctitas."

696 Art. VII., "Est autem ecclesia congregatio sanctorum [Germ. ed., Versammlung aller Gläubigen], in qua evangelium recte [rein] docetur, et recte [laut des Evangelii] administrantur sacramenta." Comp. the Apol. Conf., Art. VII. and VIII. The same definition is substantially given in the Anglican Art. XIX. It would exclude the Quakers, who reject the external sacraments, yet are undoubted believers in Christ. The Calvinistic Confessions (e.g., Conf. Belgica, Art. XXIX.) and characteristically to those two marks a third one, the exercise of discipline In punishing sin.

7697 "Ich sage, dass unter dem Papst die rechte Christenheit ist, ja der rechte Ausbund der Christenheit, und viel frommer, grosser Heiligen." (Von der Wiedertaufe, Erl. ed. XXVI. 257 sq.) The Roman Catholic Möhler does not fail to quote this passage in his Symbolik, p. 422 sq. He says of Luther’s conception of the church (p. 424), that it is not false, but only one-sided (nicht falsch, obgleich einseitig). He virtually admits the Protestant distinction between the visible and the invisible church, but holds that the Catholics put the visible church first as the basis of the invisible, while the Protestants reverse the order.

8698 Ibid. p. 258. Critical commentators have long since abandoned this interpretation. Whatever be the wider applicability of this passage, Paul certainly meant a "mystery of lawlessness" (not tyranny) already at work in his time (h[dh ejnergei'tai, 2 Thess. 2:7), long before popery existed, or before there was even a bishop of Rome (unless it be Peter). Moreover, "lawlessness," which is the proper translation of ajnomiva, is not characteristic of popery, but the very opposite. If Paul refers to Rome at all, it is rather as a "restraining" force, to; katevcon, vers. 6, 7 (Comp. Rom. 13:1). The term "Antichrist" occurs only in the Epistles of John, and he speaks of "many Antichrists" in his own day. In a wider sense all is antichristian that is contrary to the spirit and aim of Christ in any church or any age.

9699 In his Judicium de Jure reformandi, 1525 ("Corp. Ref." I. 767): "It is written that the Antichrist will have a great and powerful reign in the last times, as Paul says, Antichrist will be seated and rule in the temple of God, that is, in the church." And again in the "Apology of the Augsburg Confession" (1530), arts. VII. and VIII. (Müller’s ed., p. 152): "Paulus praedicat futurum, ut Antichristus sedeat in templo Dei, hoc est, in ecclesia dominetur et gerat officia."

0700 Com. in Ep. ad Gal. (Erl. ed., 1. 40 sq.): "Paulus vocat ecclesia Galatiae per synecdochen ... Sie et nos hodie vocamus ecclesiam romanam sanctam et omnes episcopatus sanctos, etiamsi sint subversi et episcopi et ministri eorum impii. Deus enim regnat in medio inimicorum suorum; item, Antichristus sedet in templo Dei, et Satan adest in medio filiorum Dei … Manet in romana urbe quamquam Sodoma et Gomorra pejore baptismus, sacramentum, vox et textus evangelii, sacra scriptura, ministeria, nomen Christi, nomen Dei."

1701 De Wette, Briefe, IV. 354.

2702 Lib. IV., c. i., §§ 4 and 7. He speaks most eloquently of the ecclesia visibilis, as our mother in whose womb we are conceived to enter into spiritual life.

3703 Lib. IV., c. ii., § 12: "Antichristum in templo Dei sessurum praedixerunt Daniel et Paulus (Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:4): illius scelerati et abominandi regni ducem et antesignanum, apud nos facimus Romanum Pontificem. Quod sedes ejus in templo Dei collocatur, ita innuitur, tale fore ejus regnum quod nec Christi nec ecclesiae nomen aboleat. Hinc igitur patet nos minime negare, quin sub ejus quoque tyrannide ecclesiae maneant: sed quas sacrilega impietate profanarit, quas immani dominatione afflixerit, quas malis et exitialibus doctrinis, ceu venenatis potionibus, corruperit, et propemodum enecarit, in quibus semisepultus lateat Christus, obrutum Evangelium, profligata pietas, cultus Dei fere abolitus: in quibus denique omnia sic sint conturbata, ut Babylonis potius quam civitatis Dei sanctae facies illic appareat." Comp. IV., 7, § 25; and Calvin’s commentary on 2 Thess. 2:3.

4704 Ch. XXV. 6: "The Pope of Rome ... is that Antichrist, that man of sin and perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ and all that is called God." And yet there are American divines who derive from this passage the very opposite conclusion; namely, that the Roman Church is no church at all, and that all her ordinances are invalid. An attempt to sanction this conclusion was made at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church at Cincinnati in 1885, but failed. The Westminster Confession never calls the Roman Church Antichrist, but only the Pope, who is no more the Roman Church than the Moderator of the General Assembly is the General Assembly, or the President of the United States is the American people, or the Czar of Russia is Russia. The government is only one factor in the life of a nation or a church.

5705 Dante locates them in the Inferno; and Möhler says, "Hell has swallowed them up."

6706 Milton, in his discontent with the Presbyterians and zeal for independency, said, "Presbyter is priest writ large."

707 The exceptional designation of the Christian prophets as "highpriests" (ajrcierei'", in the Didaché, ch. XIII. 3, is probably figurative. See Schaff, The Oldest Church Manual, p. 206 sq.

8708 See Schaff, l.c. p. 74 sq., and 211.

9709 See the passage in the Appendix to Luther’s Articles of Smalcald, quoted above on p. 517, note 2.

0710 Comp. § 44, p. 207, and Melanchthon in his Apology of the Augsb. Conf., arts. XIII. and XXIV.

1711 Art. XIV.

2712 In the address De instituendis ministris, to the magistrate and people of Prag, and in his tract "Dass eine christliche Versammlung oder Gemeinde Recht und Macht habe, alle Lehrer zu urtheilen und Lehrer zu berufen, ein- und abzusetzen." (Erl. ed., XXII. 140 sqq.; and Walch, X. 1795 sqq.)

3713 "Es sind verkehrt, verblendete Larven, und rechte Kinderbischöfe." The last word of his German tract to the Bohemians. Erl. ed., XXII. 151.

4714 The conversion and attempted reformation of Archbishop Herrmann of Cologne occurred much later, in 1543.

5715 In the preface to his commentary on Deuteronomy, which he dedicated to the bishop of Samland, 1525 (Erl. ed. of Opera Latina, XIII. 6): "Non enim te laudamus, sed insigne illud miraculum gratiae Dei extollimus, quam in te valere, regnare et triumphare videmus et audimus cum gaudio ut ... te unicum et solum inter omnes episcopi orbis elegerit Dominus et liberaverit ex ore Satanae quod dilatavit sicut infernum et devorat omnes. Nihil enim videmus in ceteris episcopis (quanquam esse inter eos sperem aliquot Nicodemos) nisi quod subversis caesare et regibus ac principibus fremunt et insaniunt contra resurgens vel potius oriens evangelion, ut denuo impleant illud Psalmi secundi," etc. Comp. his letter to Spalatin, Feb. 1, 1524, and to Briesmann, July 4, 1524, in De Wette, II. 474 and 525 sqq.

6716 Corp. Ref., I. 765. Comp. Seckendorf, Hist. Lutheranismi, vol. II. 29.

717 See an account of the consecration in Seckendorf, III. 391 sqq.; Köstlin, II. 561 sqq.; Janssen, III. 483-492. Janssen describes the sickening details of the violence, intrigues, and robberies connected with the Protestantizing and secularizing of the three Saxon bishoprics.

8718 Exempel, einen rechten christlichen Bischof zu weihen, 1542. Erl. ed., XXVI. 77-108; Walch, XVII. 122. He begins with the characteristic sentence: "Wir armen Ketzer haben abermal eine grosse Sünde begangen wider die höllische unchristliche Kirche des allerhöllischten Vaters, des Papstes, dass wir einen Bischof im Stift Naumburg ordinirt und eingeweihet haben, ohne allen Chresem [Chrisma, Salböl],auch ohne Butter, Schmalz, Speck, Teer, Schmeer, Weihrauch, Kohlen und was derselben grossen Heiligkeit mehr ist: dazu wider ihren Willen; doch nicht ohne ihr Wissen." Comp. also his letter to Jacob Probst, March 26, 1546 (De Wette, V. 451), where he calls this consecration "audax facinus et plenissimum odio, invidia at indignatione."

9719 " ... gezwungen durch Gottes Gebot, sich von ihm zu sondern, und ihn für keinen Bischof, sondern für einen Wolf, ja für einen Teufel zu halten." Erl. ed., p. 80.

0720 "Die Gemeinde," says Friedberg, l.c., p. 61, "tritt bei dieser Organisation ganz zurück. Sie ist der ’Pöbel,’ der unter der Zucht des Wortes und der Polizei des Kirchenregimentes steht … Eine Mitwirkung an der Handhabung der Kirchenzucht findet sich nur in den Kirchenordnungen, wo reformirte Einflüsse bemerkbar sind."

1721 Von weltlicher Obrigkeit, wie weit man ihr Gehorsam schuldig sei. Erl. ed. XXII. 59-105.

2722 The Westminster Confession, ch. XX. 2, says: "God alone is Lord of the conscience."

3723 L.c.p. 82: "Das weltlich Regiment hat Gesetze, die sich nicht weiter strecken, denn über Leib und Gut, und was äusserlich ist auf Erden. Denn über die Seele kann und will Gott niemand lassen regieren, denn sich selbst alleine. Darumb wo weltlich Gewalt sich vermisset, der Seelen Gesetze zu geben, da greift sie Gott in sein Regiment, und verführet und verderbet nur die Seelen. Das wollen wir so klar machen, dass mans greifen solle, auf dass unsere Junkern, die Fürsten und Bischöfe sehen, was sie für Narren sind, wenn sie die Leut mit ihren Gesetzen und Geboten zwingen wollen, sonst oder so zu glauben."

4724 "Zum Glauben kann und soll man niemand zwingen." As to St. Augustin, he changed his views on this subject, as Luther did afterwards. The anti-Manichaean Augustin was tolerant (he himself had been a Manichaean for nine years), but the anti-Donatist Augustin was intolerant. The former said, "Credere non potest homo nisi volens;" the latter misinterpreted the words: "Compelle intrare ut impleatur domus mea" (Luke 14:23), as a justification of forcible coercion. Comp. above, § 11, p. 54 sq.

5725 "Die grössten Narren oder die ärgsten Buben auf Erden" (p. 89).

6726 "Ketzerei ist ein geistlich Ding, das kann man mit keinem Eisen hauen, mit keinem Feuer verbrennen, mit keinem Wasser ertränken."

727 In the Erl. ed., vol. LI. p. 419 sq.

8728 See § 12, p. 76, note.

9729 Judicium de jure reformandi (1525), in the "Corp. Reform." I. 763 sqq.

0730 See § 12, p. 59 sqq.

1731 See his letters of Oct. 31, 1525, Nov. 30, 1525, Nov. 22, 1526, Feb. 5, 1527, Oct. 12, 1527.

2732 "Wollen die Alten ja nicht, mögen sie immer zum Teufel hinfahren. Aber wo die Jugend versäumet und unerzogen bleibt, da ist die Schuld der Obrigkeit" (De Wette, III. 136). In the same letter he says that the people live "wie die Säue: da ist keine Furcht Gottes, noch Zucht mehr, weit des Papstes Bann ist abgegangen, und thut jedermann was er nur will."

3733 "Denn obwol S. K. F. Gnaden zu lehren und geistlich regieren nicht befohlen ist, so sind sie doch schuldig, als weltliche Obrigkeit, darob zu halten, dass nicht Zwietracht, Rotten und Aufruhr sich unter den Unterthanen erheben, wie auch der Kaiser Constantinus die Bischöfe gen Nicaea fordert," etc. Corp. Ref., XXVI. fol. 46.

4734 See the note in full, l.c., fol. 85.

5735 Letter of February, 1529, in De Wette, 1II. 424. Comp. also the prefaces to his Catechisms. It is characteristic of the Ultramontane history of Janssen, that, while he dwells largely on the lamentations of Luther over the wretched condition of the churches in Saxony, and derives them from his doctrine of justification by faith alone (vol. III. 67-69), he completely ignores Luther’s Catechisms which were to cure these evils.

6736 To this and other testimonies, may be added that of Köstlin, II. 63: "Der Kleine Katechismus steht in erster Reihe unter den Schriften des Reformators."

737 Hartmann, Aelteste Katechetische Denkmale, Stuttgart, 1844.

8738 Jonas is probably the author of the Laienbiblia, 1525 (republished by Schneider in 1853), and this was probably the basis of "Cranmer’s Catechism." 1548. See Schaff, Creeds, I. 655, note 2.

9739 Erl. ed., vol. XXII. 1-32. Comp. also his Taufbüchlein verdeutscht, 1523, and reproduced 1526 (?), ibid. XXII. 157 sqq. and 290 sqq.

0740 If German farmers in Pennsylvania are asked, "What is the difference between the Lutherans and the Reformed?" the reply is, "The one pray Vater unser, the other Unser Vater."

1741 Articuli Smalcald. P. III., cap. 8.

2742 For a fuller comparison, see Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, I. 543 sqq.

7743 The American Episcopal Prayer book reads instead: My Sponsors.

4744 Deutsche Geschichte, etc., vol. II. 46 (6th ed.).

5745 I "Selbstherrschender, gewaltiger ist wohl nie ein Schriftsteller aufgetreten, in keiner Nation der Welt. Auch dürfte kein anderer zu nennen sein, der die vollkommenste Verständlichkeit und Popularität, gesunden, treuherzigen Menschenverstand mit so vielechtem Geist, Schwung und Genius vereinigt hätte. Er gab der Literatur den Charakter den sie seitdem behalten, der Forschung, des Tiefsinns, der Polemik." Ranke, II. 56. "Fesselnder, ergreifender und packender hat kein Deutscher geschrieben. Dabei beherrschte er seine Muttersprache mit solcher Gewalt, dass er sie zur Schriftsprache zu erheben vermochte." Fr. Kapp, Geschichte des deutschen Buchhandels, vol. I. p. 407.

6746 Janssen dwells, we may say, exclusively on the lower motives, and by omitting the higher spiritual motives and aims utterly misrepresents the Reformers and the Reformation.

747 For these figures and several facts in this paragraph I am indebted to the instructive work of Friedrich Kapp, Geschichte des deutschen Buchhandels (published by the "Börsenverein der deutschen Buchhändler," Leipzig, 1886), vol. I. 407 sq. The statistics of Ranke (II. 56) are taken from Panzer’s Annalen der älteren deutschen Literatur (1788 and 1802) and are superseded by the more recent and fuller investigations of Weller, Kuczynski, and Kapp.
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