From Charles Porterfield Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, p. 14.
The Reformers knew where their strength lay. They felt that what had redeemed them could alone redeem the Church. They saw that, under God, their ability to sustain their cause depended on His Word. The supreme and absolute authority of God’s Word in determining all questions of doctrine and of duty, is a fundamental principle of the Reformation — a principle so fundamental, that without it, there would have been no Reformation — and so vital, that a Reformation without it, could such a Reformation be supposed, would have been at best a glittering delusion and failure.
“Krauth believed that the Roman Catholic Church, though in error, and seriously so on a number of points, was still Church. Luther and his co-workers were neither revolutionaries nor restorationists—they were reformers. As such their aim was not the destruction of Rome but its correction. Krauth wrote:” (Lawrence Rast, “Introduction” Conservative Reformation, p. xxiii.)
The spirit of the Reformation was no destroying angel, who sat and scowled with a malignant joy over the desolation which spread around. It was overshadowed by the wings of that spirit who brooded indeed on the waste of waters and the wildness of chaos, but only that he might unfold the germs of life that lay hidden there, and bring forth light and order from the darkness of the yet formless and void creation. (p. 235)