Excerpt from Sacerdotalism in the Nineteenth Century: A Critical HistoryAs will appear from a glance at the subject-matter of the volume, we have understood the essence of sacerdotalism to lie in a profound emphasis on priestly authority and onMoreExcerpt from Sacerdotalism in the Nineteenth Century: A Critical HistoryAs will appear from a glance at the subject-matter of the volume, we have understood the essence of sacerdotalism to lie in a profound emphasis on priestly authority and on sacramental efficacy.
The name is indicative of the system which exalts the office of the priestly hierarchy and the virtue of the rites supposed to depend for their valid administration upon that hierarchy.Whatever may be the value of this treatise, the vast importance of the theme with which it deals cannot be questioned. Over against the unwonted progress of free thought and scientific investigation in the last century, movements toward radical forms of sacerdotalism have been inaugurated, pushed forward with desperate energy, and crowned with large measures of apparent success.
The result has been to pass over to the twentieth century the grounds of antagonisms as fundamental and far-reaching as have ever been known in the history of Christianity. So far as the lay element in the Christian world is concerned the sharp antipathies of the sixteenth century may have been very appreciably abated- but the spirit, purpose, and action of priestly hierarchies were never surcharged more deeply than at present with an intense hatred of that evangelical teaching which emphasizes the freedom and responsibility of the individual in the sphere of religious belief and practice.About the PublisherForgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books.
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