Head of the Church

Head of the Church a title which properly belongs only to Christ (Eph 5:23), as the Supreme Governor of the whole body of the faithful. It is applied to the sovereign of Great Britain as the ruler of the temporalities of the Church. "Some have imagined (the members of the Romish Church, for instance) that the Christian world is 'permanently,' and from generation to generation, subject to some one spiritual ruler (whether an individual man or a Church), the delegate, representative, and vicegerent of Christ, whose authority should be binding on the conscience of all, and decisive on every point of faith." But, had such been our Lord's design, he could not possibly have failed, when promising his disciples "another Comforter, who should abide with them forever," to refer them to the man or body of men who should, in perpetual succession, be the depository of this divine consolation and supremacy. It is also incredible, had such been our Lord's purpose, that he himself should be perpetually spoken of and alluded to as the Head of his Church, without any reference to any supreme head on earth as fully representing him, and bearing universal rule in his name. It is clear,. therefore, that the Christian Church universal has no spiritual head on earth (Eden, Churchman's Dictionary, s.v.). SEE POPE; SEE PAPACY; SEE PRIMACY.

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