"The repudiation of ordination as a sacrament demolished the caste system of clericalism and provided a sound basis for the priesthood of all believers, since according to Luther ordination is simply a rite of the Church by which a minister is installed to discharge a particular office. He receives no indelible character, is not exempt from the jurisdiction of the civil courts, and is not empowered by ordination to perform the other sacraments. At this point what the priest does any [p138] Christian may do, if commissioned by the congregation, because all Christians are priests. The fabrication of ordination as a sacrament was designed
'to engender implacable discord whereby the clergy and the laity should be separated farther than heaven and earth, to the incredible injury of baptismal grace and to the confusion of evangelical fellowship. This is the source of that detestable tyranny over the laity by the clergy who, relying on the external anointing of their hands, the tonsure and the vestments, not only exalt themselves above lay Christians, anointed by the Holy Spirit, but even regard them as dogs, unworthy to be included with them in the Church. . . . Here Christian brotherhood has expired and shepherds have become wolves. All of us who have been baptized are priests without distinction, but those whom we call priests are ministers, chosen from among us that they should do all things in our name and their priesthood is nothing but a ministry. The sacrament of ordination, therefore, can be nothing other than a certain rite of choosing a preacher in the Church.'
"But Luther's rejection of the five sacraments might even have been tolerated had it not been for the radical transformation which he effected in the two which he retained. From his view of baptism he was to infer a repudiation of monasticism on the ground that it is not a second baptism, and no vow should ever be taken beyond the baptismal vow . . .
"To the degree that the powers of the priest were diminished, his prerogatives also were curtailed. In Catholic practice one of the distinctions between the clergy and the laity is that only the priest drinks the wine at the mass. The restriction arose out of the fear that the laity in clumsiness might spill some of the blood of God. Luther felt no less reverence for the sacrament, but he would not safeguard it at the expense of a caste system within the Church. Despite the risk, the cup should be given to all believers. This pronouncement in his day had an uncommon ring of radicalism because the chalice for the laity was the cry of the Bohemian Hussites. They justified their practice on the ground that Christ said, "Drink ye all of it." Catholic interpreters explain these words as addressed only to the apostles, who were all priests. Luther agreed, but retorted that all believers are priests."
(Chapter VIII, The Wild Boar in the Vineyard, pp. 137-138, 140)
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