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Esse, Bene Esse, Plene Esse 

The distinction of esse and bene esse with respect to the episcopate can be traced to the thought of Richard Hooker (c. 1554-1600). He believed that the apostles left bishops with authority above other pastors and that the church has power to determine its own positive law and governance. But Hooker also believed that episcopacy does not belong to "the essence of Christianity." On the other hand, nineteenth-century Tractarians took the position that Christ created the apostolic order. For example, in Tract 4, John Keble (1792-1866) doubted that there was assurance and safety for salvation except in the sacraments of the apostolic Church of England. Keble and other Tractarians believed that episcopacy was of the esse of the church. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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