tisdag 17 november 2009

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söndag 15 november 2009

De evangeliska fäderna och ämbetet

Vad säger de evangeliska fäderna egentligen om det särskilda ämbetet? Det ämbete som benämns präst på svenska efter det grekiska ordet presbyteros som betyder äldste?

Nedan kommer ett utdrag (sidorna 605-619) från den förträffliga boken T
he Dogmatical Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church av Heinrich Schmid. Boken finns på internet i inläst format. Den finns att hämta i pdf-format här.

Vad säger då boken för den som inte orkar plöja igenom 19 sidor? Det finns naturligtvis disparata utsagor även i detta textmaterial. Men för den som inte bara vill hålla med den gamle eller unge Martin Luther är det nödvändigt att lösa hur dessa evangeliska fäder har förstått Skriften och Luther. Annars kommer vi i vårt eget studium av Skriften kunna stanna vid den förutfattade meningen att vi måst läsa som Luther gjorde. Så är naturligtvis inte fallet. Vi läser Luther för att vi ska fördjupa vår förståelse av Skriften och Gud. Med samma ingångsvärde måste vi naturligtvis läsa andra evangeliska fäders skrifter.

När vi läser detta blir det klart att det inte bara är en fuktion i ämbetet utan en karaktär:

With ordination the Church commits to them [prästerna] the obligation and the right to preach the Word of

God and to maintain obedience to it, to dispense the Sacraments and to forgive or retain to individuals their sins (potestas ordinis potestas clavium).

59. 1. Of the Ecclesiastical Estate, the Ministry.

As the Word and Sacraments are the means through which

alone a Church can come into existence, God has willed and

ordered that these means shall always be employed ; thereby

He has willed the office of the preaching of the Word and the

administration of the Sacraments. [2] This office is, there

fore, one of divine appointment, [3] and God has at times

Himself immediately called single individuals into it, while

now He does it only mediately, [4] namely, through the

Church, which has received from Him the right and the

authorization to do it. [5] The whole number of those who

are intrusted with this office we call the Ministry. Individual

teachers now must, therefore, have received their call and

authorization from the Church, if they are legitimately to have

the right to teach and administer the Sacraments. [6] It con

fers their office upon them, moreover, by the solemn rite of

ordination, [7] an act by which, indeed, not a special super

natural power or gift is imparted to the person ordained, but

which, nevertheless, in ordinary cases, dare not be omitted,

because order in the Church, and the example of the ancient

Church, require it. [8] With ordination the Church commits

to them the obligation and the right to preach the Word of

God and to maintain obedience to it, to dispense the Sacra

ments and to forgive or retain to individuals their sins (potestas

ordinis potestas clavium). [9] In all these functions the Min

ister does not act in his own name, but, as by the authority, so

also in the name of Christ ; all the effect, therefore, that follows

the Word preached and the Sacraments administered by him,

proceeds not from him, but from God. [10] Thus he has also,

according to Matt. 16: 19 ; John 20: 23, the right to forgive

the sins of the penitent, and retain those of the impenitent ;

and he upon whom this right is exercised must recognize in

this act not a mere announcement, but can be sure of this, that

thereby his sins are really forgiven or retained. But the power

to do this, the Minister has not of himself, but from the Lord,

and he exercises this power entrusted to him, in each particu

lar case, only as the servant of the Lord. [11] The Church

expects from each one to whom she entrusts this power, and

to whom she then obediently subjects herself, that he perform

all his duties with fidelity, and has the right, if he fail to do

this, to discipline him. [12] The Church assigns to individual

ministers different ranks, and establishes different grades in

the ministry, but this is done only for reasons of outward

order ; and the essential rights of preaching the Gospel and

administering the Sacraments are possessed by all alike. [13]

Abraham Callovius

[1] GRH. (XII, b. 2): "Three estates or orders appointed by

God in the Church are enumerated, viz., the ecclesiastical, the

political, and the domestic, which also are frequently called hier-

archies. The domestic order is devoted to the multiplication of the

human race; the political, to its protection; the ecclesiastical, to its

promotion to eternal salvation. The domestic estate has been

established by God against wandering lusts; the political against

tyranny and robbery; the ecclesiastical against heresies and corrup

tions of doctrine.

[2] CONF. AUG. (Art. V): "For the obtaining of this faith (of

justification), the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administer

ing the Sacraments was instituted. For, by the Word and Sacra

ments, the Holy Spirit is given; who worketh faith where and

when it pleaseth God in those that hear the Gospel. . . . They

condemn the Anabaptists and others, who imagine that the Holy

Spirit is given to men without the outward Word, through their

own preparations and works."

BR. (785): "For the collection and preservation of the Church

it is necessary that certain men discharge the office of preaching

the Word and administering the Sacraments; in order that, through

these means, faith may be conferred upon men, and when con

ferred may be strengthened and increased. And this is the office

which is called the ministry of the Church."

GRH. (XIII, 224) : "The ministry of the Church is a sacred and

public office divinely appointed, and intrusted, through a legiti

mate call, to certain men, in order that being instructed they may

teach the Word of God with peculiar power, may administer the

Sacraments, and preserve church discipline, for the purpose of


effecting the con.versi.on and salvation of men, and truly advancing

the glory of God."

[3] HUTT. (Loc. Th., 186): "The ministry of the Church has

been established certainly not by man, but by God Himself, John

20: 21; Matt. 28: 19, 20; Mark 16: 15." AP. CONF., XIII, 11:

"The ministry of the Word has the command of God, and has

glorious promises, Rom. 1: 16; Is. 55: 11."

[4] HOLL. (1332): "By the divine call is here understood the

appointment of a certain and suitable person to the ministry of the

Church, with the right to teach in public, to administer the Sacra

ments, and exercise ecclesiastical discipline, made by God either

alone or by the intervening judicial aid of men."

BR. (787) : " Moreover, God calls men to the ecclesiastical office,

sometimes immediately (as Moses and the most of the prophets in

the Old Testament were called, and likewise the apostles in the

New Testament), i. e., by no intervening judicial aid of other men;

and at other times mediately, namely, through the Church, which,

in the name of God, commits this office to certain persons."

(HoLL. (1333): "An immediate call is not to be expected in the

Church to-day. ) Concerning the difference between the mediate

and the immediate call, GRH. (XII, b. 75): "The difference be

tween the mediate and immediate call consists always and only in

this, that the former is effected through ordinary means, divinely

appointed for this purpose, but the latter through God Himself,

who manifests His will concerning the immediate call of a person,

either by Himself or through some representative." The mediate

call, therefore, is to be considered no less a divine call. GRH.

(XII,- b. 79): "For, (1) It is referred to God as its author, Ps.

68: 11; Is. 41: 27; Jer. 3: 15; 23: 4; 1 Cor. 12: 28; Eph. 4: 11.

(2) It is based upon apostolic authority, Acts 14: 23; 1 Tim. 4: 14;

2 Tim. 1: 6; 2: 2; 1 Tim. 3: 2; Rom. 15: 18; 1 Tim. 5: 21; Acts

20: 28; Col. 4: 17. (3) The mediate call rejoices in God s saving

promises, 1 Tim. 4: 16; 2 Cor. 3: 6; Eph. 4: 12. And, indeed,

essentially the same promises belong to those thus called. GRH.

(XII, b. 81): " But if the mediate call, therefore, is not less divine

than the immediate, it will follow that the promises made by God

to those who have been immediately called, concerning the fruit

and success of the ministry, concerning protection in dangers, con

cerning the reward of labors, etc. , belong in their own way to those

also who have been mediately called by God. We do not deny

that the prophets and apostles, as those immediately called, had

many and great prerogatives, such as the privilege of not erring,

the right to teach in a plurality of places, more abundant gifts,


peculiar charisms, fuller promises concerning the success of the call

and protection, etc. ; yet, with respect to the ministry of the Church

and the functions of teaching, both the mediately and the imme

diately called sustain one and the same office in the Church, and,

therefore, the promises concerning divine aid, and divine virtue

and efficacy in the ministry, can be referred in their own way to

the mediately called. " . . .

The "mixed call, by which God Himself names a certain person,

but yet wills that he be called through others, as representatives

(thus Aaron through Moses)," is not regarded by most of the

Dogmaticians as constituting a distinct species.

[5] HOLL. (1334): "The less principal cause constituting the

ministry is the Church, to which the right has been granted by

God of electing, ordaining, and calling suitable ministers of the

divine Word, nevertheless with the observance of becoming order

in the exercise of this right, 1 Cor. 14: 33." (Id. (1335): " There

fore the examination, ordination, and inauguration belong to the

presbytery; the nomination, presentation, and confirmation of the

call, by means of writing, to the magistrate; and the consent, vote,

and approval to the people.") BR. (788): "To the Church, after

it has been planted, belong the right and power to appoint minis

ters. For she has the keys of the kingdom of heaven, Matt. 16:

19; 18: 18, given her as a Bride, by Christ, her Husband; and,

therefore, as it is her prerogative to open and close the kingdom of

heaven, so is it also her prerogative to appoint ministers, through

whom she may open and close [the same] . And, if we consider

that the Church is a republic, and that the ministers of the Word

are, so to speak, the magistrates or conductors of public affairs,

upon whom the care of the whole republic rests, it is easily under

stood that the power to appoint them is vested, per se and in the

very nature of the case, in the whole Church; nor does it belong to

any one part, unless, by the common consent of all, it be transferred to

some one part." (It is not intended, therefore, hereby to lay down

the law that, in practice, all the estates of the Church must par

ticipate in the choice of the individual teacher. HOLL. (1334):

"We must distinguish between the right to call ministers and the

exercise of the right. The right to call belongs to the whole

Church, and all its ranks and members. But the exercise of the

right varies, according to the diverse agreement and custom of the

particular Church.") According to the doctrine of the Symbolical

Books, also, the Power of the Keys is in the hands of the whole

Church. ART. SMALCALD, "Of the Power and Primacy of the

Pope, " 24 : "In addition to these things, it is necessary to confess


that the keys do not belong to the person of a certain man, but to

the Church, as many very clear and very strong arguments testify.

For Christ, speaking of the keys, Matt. 18: 19, adds: Where two

or three are gathered together in my name, etc. Therefore He

gave the keys to the Church primarily and immediately; just as

also, for this reason, the Church has primarily the right to call.

66. Therefore, when the regular bishops become enemies of the

Church, or are unwilling to impart ordination, the churches retain

their own right. 67. For wherever a church is, there also is the

right to administer the Gospel. And this right is a gift given only

to the Church, which no human authority can remove from the

Church. . . . Where, therefore, there is a true church, there

there must be the right to elect and ordain ministers. . . . 69.

Lastly, the sentence of Peter (1 Pet. 2:9), Ye are a royal priest

hood, also confirms this. These words pertain to the true Church ;

and since this has a priesthood, it certainly must have the right

to elect and ordain ministers." AP. CONF. (XIII, 12): "The

Church has the command to appoint ministers, which ought to be

most gratifying to us, because we know that God approves the

ministry and is present in the ministry." In conformity with

this, the ART. SMALCALD (ibid. 11) likewise say: "Paul (1 Cor.

3: 6) makes ministers equal, and teaches that the Church is above

the ministers. Wherefore superiority and lordship over the Church

and the rest of the ministers are not ascribed to Peter."

[6] CONF. AUG. (XIV): " Concerning ecclesiastical orders, they

teach that no man should publicly in the Church teach or admin

ister the Sacraments except he be rightly called." (Hurr. "(1)

On account of God s command, Jer. 23: 31; Heb. 5:4; Rom. 10:

15. (2) For the sake of good order and the peace of the Church,

1 Cor. 14: 40. (3) For the sake of certainty of doctrine, that it

may be evident of what nature it is, and by whom it has been re

ceived, there is necessity for an examination and testimonials as

to the doctrine. (4) For the sake of the conscience of the teacher,

that he may be certain that Christ s grace is with him, and that

the hearers also may know that they are hearing an ambassador of

God, 2 Cor. 5: 20.")

[7] GRH. (XII, b. 145): "Ordination is a public and solemn

declaration or attestation, through which the ministry of the

Church is committed to a suitable person, called thereto by the

Church, to which he is consecrated by prayer and the laying on of

hands, rendered more certain of his lawful call, and publicly, in

the sight of the entire Church, solemnly and seriously admonished

concerning his duty." Concerning the person to be ordained,


GRH. (XII, b. 159): "Our churches do not approve of the dis

order and anarchy of the Anabaptists, but recognize distinct grades

among ministers; yet, meanwhile, we deny that the power of

ordaining is, according to divine right, so confined to the episcopal

office that it cannot be exercised by presbyters, when the necessity

and advantage of the Church especially demand it. The practice

itself bears witness that, for the sake of good order, we commit

ordination to the bishops or superintendents alone, who are called

bishops, not only with respect to the flock intrusted to them, or

their hearers, but also with respect to other preachers, viz. , pres

byters and deacons, the oversight of whom has been intrusted to

them; yet, meanwhile, we do not recognize any such distinction

between bishops and presbyters, as though the former alone,

according to a divine right and the appointment of the Lord, have

a right to ordain preachers, from which the rest of the presbyters

have been excluded in such a manner that they cannot administer

the rite of ordination even when necessity demands, as when

bishops are not present or are neglecting their duty; but we say

that, according to an ecclesiastical custom, introduced for the sake

of good order, the power of ordaining has been left to the bishops,

although from this presbyters have not been purely and absolutely


Of the ceremonies to be observed in ordination, GRH. (XII, b.

163): " In our churches we retain the laying on of hands, and re

ject the anointing. We make use of the x fl ptt ca a , not as though it

were a sacramental symbol, appointed by Christ Himself, and

commanded to be employed in this rite, but we use this ceremony

according to our freedom, both because it descends to us from the

practice of the Apostolic Church (Acts 6: 6; 1 Tim. 4: 14; 5: 22;

2 Tim. 1:6), . . . and because it affords useful admonitions. " . . .

Ordination is, therefore, no Sacrament, GRH. (XII, b. 147):

"The belief of our churches is this, that ordination may be called

a Sacrament, if the word be received in a wide sense; yet, if we

wish to speak most accurately, in such a manner that only that be

termed a Sacrament which has an outward element or sacramental

symbol, appointed in the New Testament by Christ Himself, to

which has been attached the promise of grace, for offering, apply

ing, and sealing the remission of sins, according to which sense

and signification Baptism and the Eucharist are called Sacraments:

in such a sense, signification and respect, we deny that ordination

is a Sacrament."

On the other hand, APOL. (VII, 11): "But if the word be

understood of the ministry of the Word, we should not seriously


object to call ordination a Sacrament. For the ministry of the

Word has the command of God, and glorious promises. ... If

ordination be understood in this manner, we do not object to call

the laying on of hands a Sacrament. For the Church has the

command to appoint ministers, which ought to be most gratifying

to us, because we know that God approves the ministry, and is

present in the ministry. And it is of advantage, so far as can be

done, to adorn the ministry of the Word with every kind of praise,

in opposition to fanatical men, who dream that the Holy Ghost is

given, not through the Word, but through their own preparations.

(Cf. 53, note 5. )

[8] GRH. (XII, b. 168): "We do not deny that, in ordination,

the gifts of the Holy Ghost, necessary for the discharge of the

duties of the ministry of the Church, are conferred and increased.

Yet, we make a distinction between the grace of reconciliation, or

of the remission of sins, and the grace of ordination, since many

receive the grace of ordination who nevertheless do not receive the

grace of reconciliation; and we say further that the bestowal and

increase of the gifts necessary for the ministry are by no means

to be ascribed to the laying on of hands as a sacramental symbol

truly so called, and divinely appointed, but to the prayers of the

Church and the presbytery, to which the promise of hearing has

been divinely made." HOLL. (1342): "The necessity of ordina

tion is ordinate, for the sake of good order or decorum, and because

of the divine command (Acts 13: 2), although the number and

form of the ceremonies vary according to the judgment of the

Church; nevertheless, the necessity is not absolute."

GRH. (XII, b. 14G): "We deny that ordination is necessary

by reason of any special divine command, as this cannot be pro

duced; or by reason of any such effect as the Papists ascribe to it,

viz., as though by it any indelible character was imprinted, or as

though it conferred, ex opere operate, gifts requisite to the ministry,

concerning which no promise can be adduced from the sayings of

Christ and the apostles; or by reason of any absolute and pure

necessity.".. . .

[9] BR. (792): "The ministry of the Church bears with it the

power and office (1) of teaching publicly, and administering the

Sacraments according to order; (2) the power and function of re

mitting and retaining sins. The former is termed the power of the

order (potestas ardinu)] the latter, the power of the keys (potestas

clavium, called also potestas jurisdictionis} .

CONF. AUG. (Of Church Power, VII, 5): "Now, their judgment

is this, that the power of the keys, or the power of the bishops, by


the rule of the Gospel, is a power or commandment from God, of

preaching the Gospel, of remitting or retaining sins, and of admin

istering the Sacraments. For Christ doth send His apostles, with

this charge, John 20: 21; Mark 16: 15. This power is put in ex

ecution only by teaching or preaching the Gospel and administer

ing the Sacraments, either to many or to single individuals, in

accordance with their call, for thereby not corporeal things but

eternal are granted, viz. , righteousness eternal, the Holy Ghost, life

eternal; these things cannot be obtained but by the ministry of the

Word and Sacraments." GRH. (XIII, 16): "The power of juris

diction consists in the use of the keys. But the power of the keys

is twofold, loosing and binding, Matt. 16: 19; John 20: 23. For,

although the ministry of the Word, by which sins are loosed and

bound, is one", wherefore, also, in a generic signification, one key is

effectual to open and to close the kingdom of heaven; nevertheless,

according to the diversity of objects, means and effects, one key is

said to be a loosing key, by which penitents are absolved from their

sins and heaven is opened to them, and another binding, by which

to the impenitent sins are retained, and heaven is closed against

them. The former is called absolution ; the latter excommunication.

Both are exercised either publicly or privately. Absolution is

public, when, to all who truly repent, the remission of sins for

Christ s- sake is declared from the Gospel; private, when sins are

remitted to some penitent in particular. Excommunication is public,

when to all the impenitent and unbelieving, the wrath of God and

eternal condemnation are declared from the Law; private, when to

any obstinate!} wicked one in particular the retention of sins is

announced. With respect to degrees, excommunication is said to

be twofold, viz., the less and the greater. The former is exclusion

or suspension from the use of the Lord s Supper; the latter is ex

pulsion from the communion of the Church: the former is called

Ka6alpeais [purifying], the latter, aipopia^ [excommunication in the

proper sense] . To the latter extreme degree of ecclesiastical cen

sure we dare not progress hastily, without serious deliberation, and

without the consent of the Church, and especially of. the Christian

magistrate, but the order prescribed by Christ, Matt. 18: 15, must

be carefully observed." Id. (XIII, 109): "As in the political

and the domestic estates, so also in the ecclesiastical estate, a cer

tain discipline is required, without which, just as in the former

subjects and domestics cannot be kept in their duty, so also in the

latter the hearers. The objects of church discipline are men who

have been received into the house of God, and the family of Christ,

and who sin, Matt. 18: 15; Gal. 5: 1, who must be rebuked, chided,


and corrected, in order that they may return into the way and per

form their duty, according to the requirement of the Word. Such

falls are twofold, viz. , with respect to doctrine, and with respect to

morals." . . .

[10] AP. CONF. (Of the Church, 28): " Nor is the efficacy of the

Sacraments destroyed, because they are administered by the un

worthy; because they present be/ore us the person of Christ by virtue of

the call of the Church, and do not present before us their own per

sons, as Christ testifies (Luke 10: 16): He that heareth you,

heareth me. When they offer the Word of Christ, when they

offer the Sacraments, they offer them in the stead and place of

Christ." GRH. (XIII, 15): " Ministers do not act except instru-

mentally (opyawKfi?), and, therefore, ought to adapt their actions to

the divine judgment and command."

[11] HOLL. (1348): "The power which ministers of the Church

have to remit sins is not absolute (avroKparopiK^, or principal and in

dependent (which belongs to God alone, against whom alone sin is

committed), but ministerial and delegated (dm/tov#), by which to

contrite and penitent sinners they remit all sins without any reser

vation of guilt or punishment, not only inropiKus, or by way of signifi

cation and declaration, but also effectually and really, yet bpyavinuf

(instrumentally ).

The remission is " delegated, Matt. 16: 19; John 20: 23. There

fore, the power to remit sins depends upon Christ (1) with respect

to form, because it is a delegated power, and therefore such only,

as to nature and extent, as God has delegated; (2) with respect to

the norm, since the minister of the Church cannot absolve sinners

according to his own judgment, but according to the norm of the

divine judgment; (3) with respect to exercise, because in the act

of absolution God concurs with the ministers and absolves through

them; (4) with respect to efficacy, because the minister cannot

absolve, except by delegated virtue and power, and, therefore, by

that which is subordinated to the principal cause."

Ministers of the Church remit sins not " by way of signification,"

but* effectively ; for they really bind and loose, and do not merely de

clare the binding and loosing that has occurred in heaven ; because he

who receives a key to unlock and open does not show that another

has opened, but he himself opens. For the key is not the same as the

declaration of the act of opening, and to unlock is not the same as merely

to declare that another has unlocked. Through the Word of God,

ministers really and effectively convert, regenerate, etc. ; therefore,

they also really and effectively remit sins."

BR. (798) : "That which is declared by the voice of the minister


is truly presented and offered by means of his voice to the contrite

and believing, or is confirmed by God, as certainly as though Christ

Himself were to say to the penitent, what He said to the paralytic,

Matt. 9: 2." HUTT. (Loc. c. Th., p. 765): "This absolution has

its dependence upon confession. Therefore, it never errs, nor are

the words scattered to the wind. For, inasmuch as absolution

always either silently or expressly presupposes a condition of con

fession, it happens that absolution can, indeed, be invalid or in

effectual, yet it is never false; since it is declared by the minister

only under the condition of a confession that has been properly and

sincerely made." GRH. (VI, 298): " Neither can any one present

this argument in opposition, that in this manner all certainty of

absolution is removed, if it be said to depend upon the condition

of repentance and faith : for we do not say that the absolution must

be judged from the extent of the contrition or of the faith, but we

do say that sincere contrition, and faith that is true and not hypo

critical, are necessary; and, furthermore, every one can examine

himself as to whether he truly recognize and detest his sins, and

whether he truly believe in Christ,

HOLL. (1349): "The power that ministers of the Church have

to retain sins is not principal and independent, but ministerial and

delegated (the right to the key of binding, Christ has intrusted to the

Church, as the spiritual mother of a family. The exercise of this right

He has intrusted to the apostles and their successors, Matt. 18: 18;

John 20: 23. Since, therefore, the power of the key of binding

has been delegated, the ministers of the Church cannot bind im

penitent sinners according to their own judgment, but in accord

ance with the norm of the divine judgment) , by which they deny

the remission of sins to obdurate, publicly infamous and notorious

sinners, or only prohibit them from the use of the Holy Supper;

or, by the consent of the church council, actually cast them out of

the society of the Church; or, by an effectual declaration, hand

them over to Satan, that they may truly repent and be reconciled

to God and the Church."

[12] CONF. AUG. (XXVIII, 21): "Again, by the Gospel, or, as

they term it, by divine right, bishops, as bishops, that is, those

who have the administration of the Word and Sacraments com

mitted to them, have no other jurisdiction at all, but only to remit

sin, and to take cognizance of doctrine, rejecting doctrine incon

sistent with the Gospel, and excluding from the communion of the

Church, without human force, but by the Word, those whose

wickedness is known. And herein, of necessity, the churches ought, by

divine right, to render obedience unto them, according to the saying of


Christ, Luke 10: 16. But when they teach or determine anything

contrary to the Gospel, then have the churches a commandment of

God, who forbiddeth obedience to them, Matt. 7: 15; Gal. 1:9;

2 Cor. 13: 8-10." HOLL. (1351): "A minister of the Church

should cultivate piety with his whole heart (1 Tim. 3:2), and if

his impiety be notorious, the censure of the Church ought to be

employed against him, 1 Tim. 5: 20. Yet his impiety does not

derogate from the efficacy of the doctrine which he presents from

the Word of God." ( " Efficacy of doctrine does not depend upon

the minister, but upon the Holy Ghost, who is inseparably joined

to the Word of God. Wherefore, by whomsoever it be preached,

the divine Word is and remains the power of God to every one be

lieving, Rom. 1: 16.")

GRH. (XIII, 214) under the caption, "Things Hostile to the

Ministry of the Word," discusses the chief hindrances to the

efficiency of the Gospel ministry. He makes a distinction be

tween the faults of the pastors and the faults of the hearers. Of

the former he enumerates: "(1) abuse of the office, and of the

power of the keys; .(2) corruptions of doctrine, which degenerate

into heresies, if obstinacy be added; (3) faults of character and

life." Among the faults of hearers, he gives prominence to "(1)

the contempt of the ministry . . . (2) naioaponmria^ by which some

claim for the political magistracy absolute power over the ministers

of the Church. They decide that the regulation of the ministry

belongs to regal affairs, and ascribe to the magistracy the power,

according to its pleasure and without the consent of the Church,

to appoint and reject ministers, and to prescribe laws according to

its own discretion. They refuse to submit themselves to Church

discipline, and strive to put a muzzle upon the Holy Ghost when

He censures their errors and crimes." A heresy he thus defines:

A heresy is any private opinion, which any one selects for his

reception in preference to a Christian doctrine and the Catholic

faith, and obstinately defends." (Id., 222): "That any one

should be a heretic, properly so called, it is necessary (1) that he

be a person received into the visible Church by the Sacrament of

Baptism; (2) that he err in the faith; whether he introduce an

unheard-of error or embrace one received from another, although

the former seems to be peculiar to a heresiarch, and the latter to a

heretic; (3) that the error directly conflict with the very founda

tion of the faith; (4) that to the error there be joined wickedness

and obstinacy, through which, though frequently admonished,

he obstinately defends his error; (5) that he excite dissensions

and scandals in the Church, and rend its unity." GERHARD, with


AUGUSTINE, thus distinguishes heresy and schism: Heretics vio

late the faith itself, by believing false things of God; but schis

matics, by wicked dissensions, break away from brotherly love,

although they may believe those things which we believe." (221.)

[13] HOLL. (1351): "For the sake of good order it is useful

and prudent that, corresponding to the disparity of gifts, there

should be, among the ministers of the Church, distinct degrees of

dignity and influence, 1 Cor. 14:40; Eph. 4: 11." QUEN. (IV,

396): "Meanwhile, we say that the same power of the ministry

in preaching the Word and administering the Sacraments and

power of jurisdiction consisting in the use of the keys, belong to

all the ministers of the Church."

60. 2. Of the Political Estate ; fl] The Civil Authority.

The civil authority, no less than the ministry, is an estate

appointed by God. [2] The power intrusted to it, with all its

prerogatives, is derived, therefore, from Him ; [3] and through

it He desires to promote the temporal welfare of men. [4] Its

primary duty, therefore, is to watch over the preservation of

outward order and good behavior. [5] and it has the right

and the duty of operating in this direction through jaws

which it is to enact, according to its own judgment, yet with

out encroaching upon natural or divine right. [6] This mis

sion assigned to the civil authority has, however, as its ultimate

aim the promotion of the prosperity of the Church ; for the

outward welfare aimed at by the civil authority would of

itself have no significance. [7] Therefore the civil authority

has, at the same time, an immediate calling to fulfil in regard

to the Church (offidwn circa sacra) ; it is hence also to aid and

protect the institutions of Christianity, to ward off all hostile

attacks by means of the external power committed to it, and

to withstand all injurious influences. [8] It is not to inter

fere, however, with the internal doctrinal or disciplinary

affairs of the Church. [9~\

[1] GRH. (XIII, 228): "The term magistratus is taken in a

twofold sense: (1) abstractly, for the power and authority them

selves, with which those are divinely endowed to whom the gov

ernment has been intrusted; (2) concretely, for the persons who

exercise the magistracy and are endowed with the power to govern.

[2] HOLL. (1353): "The efficient principal cause of the magis-


tracy is the triune God (Horn. 13: 1; Prov. 8: 15; Dan. 2: 21),

who intrusts to certain persons the office of magistrate, either im

mediately (Ex. 3: 10; Numb. 27: 18; 1 Sam. 9: 15) or mediately

(John 19: 11)."

Id. (1354): " To-day, by God s control, suitable persons attain

to the office of magistrate, either by election, or by succession, or

by rightfully taking possession of it.

[3] GRH. (XIII, 308): "From Rom. 13: 1, etc., it is evident

that the magistrate has been endowed with certain power." Yet

the power of the magistrate is not absolute, unlimited, and un

conditional, but it is restricted by laws and the norm of a higher

power. For, since the magistrate has received his power from

God, he is under obligation to recognize God as his superior, and,

in the use of his power, to conform to His will and laws. When,

therefore, statesmen ascribe absolute power to the supreme magis

trate, this must be received not unconditionally, nor with respect to

the higher power, namely, God, . . . but only with respect to the lower


Political power consists " (1) in ordaining in such a manner as

to produce honorable and salutary laws, pertaining to the advant

age of subjects and of the state" (legislative power); "(2) in

judging so as, in cases for trial, to make the decision and adminis

ter justice to subjects according to the norm of the laws " (judicial

power); " (3) in executing so as to adorn those obedient to honor

able laws with rewards, and to punish the disobedient and negli

gent by means of penalties" (executive power). Hence the right

of the sword, Gen. 9: 6.

[4] GRH. (XIII, 225): "Because of the fall of those first

created, the human race has lost not only the spiritual and eternal

blessings of the life to come, but also the bodily and outward com

forts of this life; yet God, out of wonderful and ever unspeakable

kindness, because of the intercession of His Son, has not only re

stored and renewed the former, but also the latter, and has ap

pointed means for preserving them."

"Through the political magistrate, (God) preserves peace and

outward tranquility, administers civil justice, and protects our

property, reputation, and persons." (Ib., 226.)

[5] GRH. (XIII, 225): "By means of the former" (the civil

magistrate) both outward discipline and public peace and tran

quility are preserved."

HUTT. (Loc. Th., 279): "The chief duties of the civil magis

trate are: (1) to pay attention to both tables of the Decalogue, so

far as they pertain to outward discipline; (2) to make enactments


concerning civil and domestic affairs, harmonizing with divine and

natural law ; (3) to diligently see to it that the laws that have been

published be carried into execution; (4) to inflict punishments

upon the delinquent, according to the nature of the offence; to

assist the obedient and bestow upon them rewards.

HOLL. (1366) : "The civil magistrate has been ordained for the

public good, and his office is fourfold: (1) Ecclesiastical, for kings

are the nursing fathers of the Church, and the bishops outside of

the temple. (2) Civil, by guarding the interests of citizens, and

repelling foreign enemies from the boundaries of the country. (3)

Moral, in so far as he enacts wholesome laws, by which subjects

are held to their duty, so as to lead a peaceable life in godliness

and honesty, 1 Tim. 2: 2. (4) Natural, by which rulers provide

for the support and other necessaries of subjects; for example,

Pharaoh, Gen. 41: 34."

[6] HUTT. (Loc. Th., 285): "Christians are necessarily under

obligation to obey their magistrates and laws, except when they

command us to sin; then we must obey God rather than men,

Acts 5: 29."

[7] GRH. (XIII, 225): "The magistracy has been established

by God, no less than the ministry, for the collection, preservation,

and extension of the Church, inasmuch as by means of it both out

ward discipline and public peace and tranquility are preserved,

without which the ministry of the Church could not readily per

form its duty, and the collection and extension of the Church

could scarcely have a place, 1 Tim. 2: 2."

The magistracy is therefore termed a wall and shield to the

Church, Ps. 47 : 10. For not only by this most firm wall are our

bodies and property surrounded, but a protection is also afforded

the Church, while the rage of those is restrained who desire to

overturn all sacred things, in order that they may freely indulge

their own lusts. Further, it is designated a nursing father to

the Church, Is. 49: 23." . . . "Outward discipline is maintained,

justice is administered, tranquility and favorable times are pro

tected by the civil estate, to the end that, by the Word of God,

through the ministry, a Church may be collected out of the human

race. For, since by and since the Fall, the human race had been

so miserably and dreadfully corrupted by sin, that, without a

public rule, all things in it would be in confusion and disorder,

God also established governments for the sake of the Church." . . .

[8] HOLL. (1361): "The magistracy is employed with sacred

affairs, by carefully observing and performing those things which

ought to be believed and done by all men who are to be saved, Ps.


2: 10-12, and by directing the Church and the Christian religio:

in their external government.

There belong specifically thereto (En., 809): "The appointing

of suitable ministers of the Church; the erection and preservation

of schools and houses of worship, as well as the providing for the

honorable support of ministers; the appointing of visitations and

councils; the framing and maintenance of the laws of the Church,

the controlling of the revenues of the Church, and the preser

vation of Church discipline; the trial of heretical ministers, as also

of those of bad character, and all other similar persons belonging

to the churches and schools, and the compelling them to appear

before a court; providing for the punishment of those convicted of

heresies or crimes; and the abrogation of heresies that are manifest

and have been condemned by the Church, and of idolatrous forms

of worship, so that the Church be cleansed from them."

[9] HULL. (1362): "The inner economy and government of

sacred things, consisting in the doctrine of the Word, in absolution

from sins, and the lawful administration of the Sacraments, are

peculiar to the ministers of the Church. The magistrate cannot

claim them for himself without committing crime."

" The civil magistrate has not the power of a master builder, in

regard to sacred affairs, equally with, and without any distinction

from, civil affairs. "