Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors

by James Freeman Clarke

The Protestant Reformation has its Principle and its Method. Its Principle is Salvation by Faith, not by Sacraments. Its Method is Private Judgment, not Church Authority. But private judgment generates authority; authority, first legitimate, that of knowledge, grows into the illegitimate authority of prescription, calling itself Orthodoxy. Then Private Judgment comes forth again to criticise and reform. It thus becomes the duty of each individual to judge the Church; and out of innumerable individual judgments the insight of the Church is kept living and progressive. We contribute one such private judgment; not, we trust, in conceit, but in the hope of provoking other minds to further examinations.

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