Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Muhlenberg: Closer to Rome or Geneva?

In fielding one of the critiques of his Memorial, William Augustus Muhlenberg revealed his own view of Episcopalianism’s Protestant character:

Ecclesiastical fraternizing is a dangerous thing. We are now midway between Rome and Geneva, there let us keep our safe position, nearing neither one nor the other. If by Geneva be meant the Genevan theology of the present day, in its rationalistic, deistic, and subtle atheistic forms, then, I trust, we are more than half-way nearer Rome. But if, by Geneva, be meant the theology of the Reformation, of which the Genevan reformer was an illustrious Doctor in the judgment of our own great Hooker, then, by many a league, we are nearer Geneva. And it is with those who are yet true to the Reformation standards, with which our own Articles in the main agree, that we should seek to fraternize, and work with them, as their Fathers and ours once worked together, a united phalanx against Rome. Strength to the Protestant cause, by gathering into one those who are still steadfast to its central truths, and for that purpose giving them that which, through no fault of their own, they lost at the Reformation, is one of the objects of this movement — at least in the mind of some of its authors. And who, in view of the advances of Rome upon our shores, will deem this a minor object? (Evangelical Catholic Papers 147)

By Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the Rector of Christ Church Anglican in South Bend, Indiana. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a founding member of the Davenant Institute.