Reformed Churches

Reformed Churches the name usually given to all the churches of the Reformation. In a conventional sense, it is used to designate those Protestant churches in which the Calvinistic doctrines, and still more the Calvinistic polity, prevail, in contradistinction to the Lutheran (q.v.). The influence of Calvin proved more powerful than that of Zwingli, which, however, no doubt considerably modified the views prevalent in many of these churches. The Reformed churches are very generally known on the continent of Europe as the Calvinistic churches, while the name Protestant Church is in some countries almost equivalent to that of Lutheran. One chief distinction of all the Reformed churches is their doctrine of the sacrament of the Lord's supper, characterized by the utter rejection not only of transubstantiation. but of consubstantiation; and it was on this point mainly that the'controversy between the Lutherans and the Reformed was long carried on. SEE LORDS SUPPER. They are also unanimous in their rejection of the use of images and of many ceremonies which the Lutherans have thought it proper to retain. Among the Reformed churches are those both of England and Scotland (notwithstanding the Episcopalian government of the former and the Presbyterianism of the latter), the Protestant Church of France, that of Holland and the Netherlands, many German churches, the once flourishing Protestant Church of Poland, etc., with those in America and elsewhere which have sprung from them. SEE PROTESTANTISM; SEE REFORMATION.

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