This volume, the second part of Johann Gerhard’s commonplace On the Ecclesiastical Ministry deals especially with grades of ministers, marriage of the clergy, and duties including preaching, administering the Sacraments, church discipline, care of the poor, and visitation of the sick.
What power do pastors have? What are their duties? Against anticlericalism on one side and Roman Catholic views of hierarchy on the other, Gerhard teaches the New Testament doctrine of the ministry. Gerhard sets forth the true, Evangelical Lutheran view of bishops, explains what spiritual power ministers of the Word have, and describes not only the holy duties of preachers and hearers, but also their common vices. On the basis of Scripture, Gerhard defines the ecclesiastical ministry as “a sacred and public office, divinely instituted and committed to certain men through a legitimate calling, so that they, being equipped with a peculiar power, may teach the Word of God, administer the sacraments, and preserve ecclesiastical discipline, in order to bring about the conversion and salvation of people and to spread the glory of God.”