The Formal and Material Principals of the Reformation

“THE Protestant reformation proceeded from the practical developement of two propositions, the one of which embodied its formal, the other its material principle.

The first is, that the Scriptures are the only rule of Christian faith and practice; and the second, that justification before God is solely through the righteousness of Christ, imputed to the believer, without the works of the law.

The former of these principles inaugurates the right of private judgment, and rescues the liberties of the church and people of God from the bondage of a usurping priesthood.

The latter enunciates a theology, which, whether designated, from its unani- mous reception by the divines of the reformation, by the name of “Reformed;” or from its great expounders called Calvinistic, Augustinian, or Pauline, has always proved itself the alone sure basis of a stable faith; and the only reliable fountain of a pure morality.”

Samuel J. Baird 1857
The Southern Presbyterian Journal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s