Monday, September 07, 2009

Episcopacy and Reformation

From Energetic Procession:

First they revered the Episcopate, longed to retain it, and when they found they had lost the Apostolic Succesison, sought earnestly to recover it. It is well known how Luther and Melancthon believed in Episcopacy. Their confession of faith [Augs. pt. 1, art. 22], speaking of bishops, says: ‘The Churches ought necessarily and jure divino to obey them.’ Melancthon wrote : ‘I would to God it lay in me to restore the government of bishops. For I see what manner of Church we shall have, the ecclesiastical polity being dissolved.’ Beza protested [in his treatise against Saravia] : ‘If there be any (which you shall hardly persuade me to believe) who reject the whole order of Episcopacy, God forbid that any man of sound mind should assent to the madness of such men.’ Calvin, in his commentay on Titus (I.5), admits that there was no such thing as ‘the parity of ministry.’ Again he says: ‘If the bishops so hold their dignity, that they refuse not to submit to Christ, no anathama is too great for those who do not regard such a hierarchy with reverence and the most implicity obedience.’

Read the rest here.

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