19.A division therefore arose again. The advantage gained by Christ’ discourse was, that it procured him some disciples; but as his doctrine has also many adversaries, hence arises a division, so that they are split into parties, who formerly appeared to be one body of the Church. for all, with one consent, professed that they worshipped the God of Abraham and complied with the Law of Moses; but now, when Christ comes forward, they begin to differ on his account. If that profession had been sincere, Christ, who is the strongest bond of charity, and whose office it is to gather those things which are scattered, would not break up their agreement. But Christ, by the light of his Gospel, exposes the hypocrisy of many who, while they had nothing but a false and hypocritical pretense, boasted that they were the people of God.
Thus, the wickedness of many is still the reason why the Church is troubled by divisions, and why contentions are kindled. Yet those who disturb the peace, throw the blame on us, and call us Schismatics; for the principal charge which the Papists bring against us is, that our doctrine has shaken the tranquillity of the Church. Yet the truth is, that, if they would yield submissively to Christ, and give their support to the truth, all the commotions would immediately be allayed. But when they utter murmurs and complaints against Christ, and will not allow us to be at rest on any other condition than that the truth of God shall be extinguished, and that Christ shall be banished from his kingdom, they have no right to accuse us of the crime of schism; for it is on themselves, as every person sees, that this crime ought to be charged. We ought to be deeply grieved that the Church is torn by divisions arising among those who profess the same religion; but it is better that there are some who separate themselves from the wicked, to be united to Christ their Head, than that all should be of one mind in despising God. Consequently, when schisms arise, we ought to inquire who they are that revolt from God and from his pure doctrine.