Catechism of the Waldenses
Minister. What is that which thou believest concerning the holy church?
Answer. * * * The church as it is considered according to the truth of the ministry, is the company of the ministers of Christ, together with the people committed to their charge, using the ministry by faith, hope and charity.
Minister. Whereby dost thou know the church of Christ?
Answer. By the ministers lawfully called, and by the people participating in the truth of the ministry.
Minister. By what marks knowest thou the ministers?
Answer. By the true sense of faith, by sound doctrine, by a life of good example, by the preaching of the gospel, and due administrations of the sacraments.
Minister. By what mark knowest thou false ministers?
Answer. By their fruits, by their blindness, by their evil works, by their perverse doctrine, and by their undue administration of the sacraments. * * *
Minister. By what marks is an undue administration of the sacraments known?
Answer. When the priests not knowing the intentions of Christ in the sacrament, say that the grace and truth are included in the external ceremonies, and persuade men to the participation of the sacrament without the truth and without faith. But the Lord chargeth them that are his, to take heed to such false prophets, saying, Beware of the Pharisees, that is, the leaven of their doctrine. Again, Believe them not, neither go after them. And David hates the church of congregation of such persons, saying, I hate the congregation of evil men. And the Lord commands to come out from the midst of such people;-Numbers, 6:16, "Depart from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in their sins." And the apostle, 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness and unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness, and what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you." Again, 2 Thessalonians 3:12, "Now we command you, brethren, that you withdraw yourself from every brother that walketh disorderly." Again, Revelation 18:4, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Minister. By what marks are those people known who are not in truth within the church?
Answer. By public sins and erroneous faith; for we ought to fly such persons, lest we be defiled by them.
Minister. By what way oughtest thou to communicate with the holy church?
Answer. I ought to communicate with the church in regard to its substance, by faith and charity, as also by deserving the commandments, and by a final persevering in well doing.
Minister. How many things are there which are ministerial?
Answer. Two, the word and the sacraments.
Minister. How many sacraments are there?
Answer. Two: namely, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper" [Perrin, pp. 216, 216].
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