CONSIDERATION TWO. That though a ministerial succession should be granted to be drawn through the Church of Rome, and that from the days of the first apostasy in that church to the times of Protestant Reformation, yet thereby the truth of that ministry cannot be overthrown, nor their ordination evacuated and annulled, but remain for substance true, according to the Scriptures, divers superadded corruptions not withstanding. For:
1. The Church of Rome (Setting aside those particular persons among them that maintained damnable errors, which were not the church, but only a predominant faction in the church, as were they that denied the resurrection, urged circumcision as necessary to salvation, and opposed the apostles of Christ themselves the churches of Corinth and Galatia), continued to be a true church of Christ until Luther’s time (who began to write about Anno 1516 in the days of King Henry VIII) as the unanimous current of our orthodox divines confess…
…Yea, for Luther himself in his book against Anabaptists, says: “We confess that under the Papacy there was much good, yea all Christian good, and it came thence unto us; The true scriptures, two true sacraments, true keys for remission of sins, the true office of preaching, true catechism, as the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Articles of Faith.”
…3. The substance of true ordination remaining at that time in the Church of Rome, cannot be annulled and evacuated by those human corruptions that were annexed or superadded thereunto, no more than the baptism of the Church of Rome is to be counted null and void, there being the same ground for the one as for the other.
W. A., Reply To Certain Queries in Jus Divinum Regiminis Ecclesiastici or The Divine Right of Church Government, ed. Chris Coldwell (Dallas: Naphtali Press, 2020/Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2020), 306–08.
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