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Online historical articles and books on Church history, world history, biblical history, reformers and the reformation

Research the history of the world, Christian church history and its teachings, the reformation and its reformers, and the fulfillment of bible prophecies including those of Daniel and Revelation. Lessons from history include the danger of uniting church and state, and the restriction of freedom and religious liberty which always follows.

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Excerpt from "The Two Republics" by A.T. Jones

Theodoric ruled Italy thirty-three years, A. D. 493-526, during which time Italy enjoyed such peace and quietness and absolute security as had never been known there before, and has never been known there since until 1870... But not alone did civil peace reign. Above all, there was perfect freedom in the exercise of religion...

Nor was this merely a matter of toleration; it was in genuine recognition of the rights of conscience. In a letter to the emperor Justin, A. D. 524, Theodoric announced the genuine principle of the rights of conscience, and the relationship that should exist between religion and the State, in the following words, worthy to be graven in letters of gold: -

"To pretend to a dominion over the conscience, is to usurp the prerogative of God. By the nature of things, the power of sovereigns is confined to political government. They have no right of punishment but over those who disturb the public peace. The most dangerous heresy is that of a sovereign who separates himself from part of his subjects, because they believe not according to his belief."*547

Excerpts from "Lessons from the Reformation" by A.T. Jones

What is the meaning of the word "Protestant?" How came it into the world?

The word "Protestant," as expressing a religious distinction; the word "Protestant" with a capital P; the word "Protestant," as dealt with by the Chicago Council of the Federated Churches; came into the world with the word "Protest" that was used in the Protest that was made at the Diet of Spires in Germany, April 19, 1529.

That Protest was made against the arbitrary, unjust, and persecuting procedure of the papacy in that Diet.

This procedure in the Diet of Spires of 1529 swept away the religious liberty that had been agreed upon and regularly established in the Diet of Spires of 1526.

The religious liberty established by the Diet of Spires of 1526 was the result of a deadlock in the proceedings of that Diet over the enforcement, by all the power of the then papacy, of the Edict of Worms that had been issued in 1521 commanding the destruction of Martin Luther, his adherents, his writings, and all who printed or circulated his writings, or who on their own part should print or circulate the like.

Thus the Protest in which originated the word "Protestant" was against the effort of the papacy to destroy the Reformation, and was in behalf of the Reformation and its principles.

And now for anybody to renounce, repudiate, or disown, the word or title "Protestant," is to repudiate the Protest.

To repudiate the Protest, is to repudiate as unworthy the cause and the principles in behalf of which the Protest was made.

And that cause was the Reformation. Those principles were the principles of the Reformation.

Therefore, to renounce, repudiate, or disown, the word and title "Protestant" is nothing less and nothing else than to repudiate the Reformation.

And the Federal Council of Churches, thirty-one denominations, having "a membership of more than seventeen millions," at Chicago, Ill., Dec. 5, 1912, did unanimously renounce, repudiate, and disown, the word and title "Protestant."

 

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