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Another book added: Richard Field’s “Of the Church”

October 28, 2011

Tonight I wanted to mention another text I have uploaded, Of the Church by Richard Field, D.D., who is considered by many to be the second greatest theologian of the Church of England in his day – the foremost being none other than Hooker.  Field was a staunch apologist for the Anglicans against the claims of Roman Catholic writers who wanted to say that the Church of England was not a true church.  He therefore wrote on the “notes of the Church” and also on the question of distinguishing between the visible and the invisible church, such as this portion from Book I, Chapter 10 (which I have actually quoted years ago):

Hence it cometh that we say there is a visible and an invisible Church, not meaning to make two distinct Churches, as our adversaries falsely and maliciously charge us, though the form of words may serve to insinuate some such thing, but to distinguish the divers considerations of the same Church; which, though it be visible in respect of the profession of supernatural verities revealed in Christ, use of holy sacraments, order of ministry, and due obedience yielded thereunto, and they discernible that do communicate therein; yet, in respect of those most precious effects, and happy benefits of saving grace, wherein only the elect do communicate, it is invisible; and they that in so happy, gracious, and desirable things have communion among themselves are not discernible from others to whom this fellowship is denied, but are known only to God.

Field was quite an accomplished theologian and apologist, and if you would like to read his work, here are the volumes in PDF format:


2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2011 1:59 am

    Will, you have done all of us a very great favor by this posting and for that I would like to be the first to thank you. It has been years, decades since I have read Field, but I immediately recognized where I received several of my critical positions. He is, in my opinion, a better and clearer writer than Hooker which will make him the easier to read for people of our time. But read him we all should because he is filled with the truth of Acts 2:42. The first item in that list is the most important, the “apostles’ doctrine.”

    • October 28, 2011 11:59 am

      I have to agree that he is a clearer writer than Hooker – one can read Field even with the attention span of our day!

      I have now added Volume IV of “Of the Church” to this post – did not find it until this morning after realizing Book Five was in TWO volumes.

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