A Critical History of Rationalism in Germany, from Its Origin to the Present Time

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General Books LLC, 2009 - History - 320 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1849. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER V. FORMATION OF THE CREEDS STATE OF THEOLOGY FROM THE DEATH OF THE REFORMERS TO THE PROPAGATION OF PIETISM BY SPENER. As we have seen, the fundamental principle of the Protestant Reformation was that the Holy Scriptures, considered by all as divinely inspired, ought to be the sole guide of the faith and morals of Christians, and it was by successfully bringing forward those passages of them which treat of the unity of God and of Jesus as the sole mediator, that the reformers threw down the columns of the new pantheon which had been erected on the ruins of ancient paganism. But the vagueness and elasticity of this principle soon became evident; and when the powerful Charles the Fifth demanded from the innovators that they should show him some more positive definition of their opinions, they hastened to draw up creeds which enumerated the articles of belief that they maintained they had found in the word of God, and which they opposed to the most recent dogmas, whose origin they pointed out in the decisions of the councils or the decrees of the Pope. This had been the mode of proceeding against the first heretics when was composed the creed bearing the name of the Apostles' or those of Nice and Constantinople, for the purpose of showing the general opinion of the church on the question at issue, and of imposing silence on innovators. It was never considered sufficient, in order to tranquillise any disturbance in the church, to refer the disputants to the Bible, since it was well known that they would have interpreted it, each according to his own opinions: but it was said, you are in open opposition to our faith, which consists of the belief that there is one God the Father Almighty, &c. When new In the three first centuries the creed which bears t...

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