“The church is, and in order to be the body of Christ, must be essentially invisible. She possesses not a single essential attribute by which she is visible. If it were not for the instructions of the Holy Spirit, we would be ignorant, not only of her nature, but even of her very existence. We would see men and their deeds, and would know them to be a peculiar organization; but that which is the very life of the organization, without which it is a mere human society, not the church of Jesus Christ, we could never see and never know…
“We learn that this church exists in any given place, not because we see her there, but because the means of grace, which will accomplish that whereunto they are sent, are used there. But the means of grace are not the church: in them we have evidences only by faith; to our mere senses they prove nothing, because there is no natural connection between these means and the church. The Holy Catholic Church is an object of faith, not of sight.” – Matthias Loy
Matthias Loy (1828-1915) served as president of the Joint Synod of Ohio, Columbus Seminary and Capital University. He edited the Lutheran Standard and the Columbus Theological Magazine. Many of his books are available in Lutheran Library editions.
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