24 August 2011

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

In the same way, in the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church, these same two states may be observed.  One is of emptying or humiliation, when the force of persecutions, the cleverness of heretics, or the large number of growing scandals oppress the church.  The other is of  exaltation or glorification, when the church enjoys the peaceful administration of its holy things, when it shines with the splendor of an uncorrupted ministry, when it gleams publicly with the quiet exercise of pure divine worship.  In this state the church is visible, manifest, and glorious; in the other it is invisible, hidden, and shameful. -- Blessed Johann Gerhard, *On the Church* p. 146.

[Note that Gerhard does not at all deny that the Church may have this visible state in this age - he argues that it does have this at times!]

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