back . . . up . . . next
Article VIII: What the Church Is.
Although the Church
properly is the congregation
and true believers, nevertheless, since in this life many hypocrites
and evil persons are mingled therewith, it is lawful to use Sacraments
administered by evil men, according to the saying of Christ: The Scribes and the Pharisees
sit in Moses
' seat, etc. Matt. 23, 2. Both the Sacraments and Word are effectual by reason of the institution
of Christ, notwithstanding they be administered by evil men.
They condemn the Donatists
, and such like, who denied it to be lawful to use the ministry of evil men in the Church, and who thought the ministry of evil men to be unprofitable
and of none effect.