Unity in Error is Not Christian Unity

Christopher Wordsworth, D.D. on Rome’s sin of schism:

Chandelier sept branches Cathédrale Viborg Domkirke Denmark“Therefore, since it has been proved by Appeals to Reason, to Scripture, and to Antiquity, that the Church of Rome has built hay and stubble on the one foundation laid by Christ (1 Cor. Iii. 12); that she has added to the faith many errors and corruptions which mar and vitiate it; and since, as the Holy Spirit teaches us in the Apocalypse, it is the duty of every Church, which has fallen into error, to repent (Rev.iii.3); and since Jesus Christ Himself, our Great High Priest “Who walketh in the midst of the Golden Candlestick” declares, that when a Church has left her first love, He will remove her Candlestick out of its place except she repent (Rev.ii.5), and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die (Rev.iii.2); and since the corruptions of one Church afford no palliation or excuse for those of another; for, as the Prophet says, though Israel play the harlot, let not Judah sin (Hos. Iv. 15); and as Christ Himself teaches, though the church of Sardis be dead (Rev.iii. 1), and Laodicea be neither hot or cold (Rev.iii. 15), yet their sister Ephesus must remember whence she has fallen, and do her first works (Rev.ii.5), and Pergamos must repent, or He will come quickly, and fight against her with the sword of His mouth (Rev.ii. 16) — therefore, we say, it was justly concluded by our Divines, that no desire of Unity on our part, nor reluctance on the part of Rome to cast off her errors, could exempt England from the duty of Reformation; and if Rome, instead of removing her corruptions, refused to communicate with England, unless England consented to communicate with Rome in those corruptions, then no love of Unity could justify England in compliance with this requisition of Rome; for Unity in error is not Christian Unity; but, by imposing the necessity of erring as a term of Union, Rome became guilty of a breach of Unity;, and so the sin of Schism lies at her door.

~“Is not the Church of Rome the Babylon of the Book of Revelation?” An Essay by Christopher Wordsworth, D.D., Sometime Bishop of Lincoln at http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=union_3

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