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Peter J. Leithart » Blog Archive » Judaizing Catholics

In 1598 English Protestant John Rainolds (Reynolds) published a dialogue he had engaged in with Catholic John Hart.  One line of argument linked the transition from Israel’s Old Covenant ceremonies and worship with a challenge to Roman “Judaizing.”  It was a popular argument, going back at least to passages in Calvin (Necessity of Reforming the Church; Reply to Sadoleto) and repeated in many writers of the sixteenth century.  I think this style of argument and protest was far more central to the Reformation than standard accounts of the Reformation have acknowledged and, while I don’t endorse every detail of Rainolds’ argument, it seems that this line of argument gets to the heart of why the Reformation was necessary…

He elaborated by drawing out extensive parallels between Jewish and Catholic liturgy:

“For as the Priest with them was severed from the people by the division of the sanctuary and court of the temple: so with you, by the chancel and body of the church. As with them he burned incense at the altar: so with you he doth. As with them he was clad in an Ephod, a miter, a broidered coate, a girdle, a breastplate, and a robe, and they who served him were in their linnen coates too: so with you he must have an amice, an albe, a girdle, a fanel, a chisible, and a stole, and they who are about him have surplesses, yea, copes also. Their Priests had a laver whereat they must wash before they sacrificed: so have yours. Your vail between the choir and the altar in lent, resembleth theirs, that severed the holy place from the most holy. Your Pyx with the sacrament and their arke with the mercy seat: your phylactery with Saints relics, and their pot with Manna: your monstrancy with the host, and their table with the show-bread: your holy oile of balm, and theirs of myrrhe with spices: their purifying water made of the ashes of an heifer, and yours of other ashes with water, wine, and salt: their fyer sent from heaven, and yours fetcht thence by art: their rod of Aaron, and your cross of Christ.”

via Peter J. Leithart » Blog Archive » Judaizing Catholics.

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