This doctrine of Christ and of the apostles, from which the true faith of the primitive church was received, the apostles at first delivered orally, without writing, but later, not by any human counsel but by the will of God, they handed it on in the Scriptures.
And for this reason He assumed our nature, that in that nature, which was under the Law, satisfaction and fulfillment might be made.
Long and acrimonious was the controversy between the later Greek theologians and the Latin church regarding the procession of the Holy Spirit.
But this faith was first conceived through the preaching of the apostles, which they themselves had received from the teaching of the Son of God.
Therefore we examine with considerable diligence the consensus of the true, learned, and purer antiquity, and we love and praise the testimonies of the fathers which agree with the Scripture.
As however the ancients say that in case of necessity any Christian lay person can administer the sacrament of Baptism, so Luther says the same thing about absolution in case of necessity, where no priest is present.
Thus first of all in His own person He sanctified, restored, and blessed human nature.
And there is a difference between the essence of a Sacrament and its use.
In the first place, our faith ought to lay hold on Christ as God and man in that nature by which He has been made our neighbor, kinsman, and brother.
Some had the custom of receiving the Eucharist daily, some twice a week, some on the Lord's day, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, some only on the Lord's Day.
Nevertheless the meaning is not that the blessed bread which is divided, which is offered, and which the apostles received from the hand of Christ was not the body of Christ but becomes the body of Christ when the eating of it is begun.
I am calling attention just to the main points of these tremendously important matters, which can be understood better by pious meditation than explained by human language.
For we can affirm with a good conscience that we have, after reading the Holy Scripture, applied ourselves and yet daily apply ourselves to the extent that the grace of the Lord permits to inquiry into and investigation of the consensus of the true and purer antiquity.
For Christ, both God and man, must lay hold on us in order that there may be a union between Him and us.
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Thomas Aquinas - John Calvin - Albert Schweitzer - William Barclay - Samuel Rutherford - Ronald Knox - Peter Lombard - Paul Tillich - Johann Arndt - Hugo Grotius