-`` OUTLINE OF THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION AND ITS APOLOGY
The Confessions are the Lutheran Churches official “Statement of Faith” and are the first of its kind among the churches of the Reformation.
The confessions serve as a guide as to what must be taught and not taught in the church. By these Christian hearers of the preached word can check to see if their Pastors are faithful in preaching what they are obligated to preach and can tell if they preach any teachings which contradict God's word as enumerated in these articles.
In outlining the Lutheran Confessions I have labored to highlight what I could see to be the main points and to let as much as possible the words to speak for themselves
It is my hope that Christians will read these outlines of the Lutherans Confessions who otherwise would not spend the time to study the Formula of Concord.
The outlines are keyed to the Tappert Edition of the Book of Concord which is the most readily available and affordable text in English.
The purpose of the Lutheran Confessions is to have an accurate symbol of the Christian Faith based upon scripture alone.
These confessions clarify nothing less than the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity. They compare the true teaching of scripture on such articles or subjects of faith with errant Roman views and the novel views being introduced by spiritualist fanatics and by the Reformed who put reason over and against scripture.
The Augsburg Confession and its Apology are irenic documents in that harsh language and condemnations are left out, which probably should not have been due to the importance of the dispute. Phillip Melancthon the author in the interest of seeking an understanding or possible peace with Rome made a good natured attempt to find some unity in the fundamental articles of the Christian Faith. This attempt at peace or understanding with Rome was in vain as Rome later completely condemned the Gospel at the Council of Trent thereby declaring themselves to be an apostate and heretical church preaching a different Gospel which is no gospel at all.
I have included with the Outline to the Apology of the Augsburg Confession both the Augsburg Confession in italics and the Roman Confutation which is in a different font and typeset because the Apology is the Lutheran Response to the Roman Confutation of the Augsburg Confession. With these three documents together a person can better grasp the material set forth in its context.
I have also summarized the Roman Position of the Confutation in articles where there is substantial disagreement between us and them.
“The Word of God shall establish articles of faith and no one else, not even an angel.” Smalcald
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:9
The reply to the Roman Confutation of the Augsburg Confession
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. GOD 3
II. ORIGINAL SIN 4
III. SON OF GOD 4
IV. JUSTIFICATION 4
V. OFFICE OF THE MINISTRY 5
VI. THE NEW OBEDIECE 5
VII. THE CHURCH 5
VIII. WHAT THE CHURCH IS 6
IX. BAPTISM 6
X. THE HOLY SUPPER OF OUR LORD 6
XI. CONFESSION 6
XII. REPENTANCE 7
XIII. USE OF SACRAMENTS 7
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XIV. CHURCH ORDER 7
XV. CHURCH USAGES 8
XVI. CIVIL GOVERNMENT 8
XVII. THE RETURNOF CHRIST TO JUDGEMENT 8
XVIII. FREEDOM OF THE WILL 9
IX. THE CAUSE OF SIN 9
XX. FAITH AND GOOD WORKS 9
XXI. CULT OF THE SAINTS 11
XXII. BOTH KINDS IN THE SACRAMENT 12
XXIII. PRIESTLY MARRIAGE 12
XXIV. THE MASS 13
XXV. CONFESSION 15
XXVI. THE DISTINCTION OF FOODS 15
XXVII. MONASTIC VOWS 16
XXVIII. THE POWER OF THE BISHOPS 18
In order to present a united military front because of the Islamic Invasion of Europe Emperor Charles V summoned the German princes to present their Lutheran beliefs with the intention of restoring the unity of Christianity in the Empire.
What might be done about the dissension concerning our holy faith and the Christian Religion? 25:2
That we may be united in one, true religion, even as we are all under one Christ and should confess and
Contend for Christ. 25:11
This is our confession and that of our associates, and it is specifically stated, article by article, in what follows. 27:24
I. GOD p.100
· We unanimously hold and teach, in accordance with the decree of the Council of Nicaea. 27:1
To Article I.
Especially when in the first article they confess the unity of the divine
essence in three persons according to the decree of the Council of Nice, their
Confession must be accepted, since it agrees in all respects with the rule of
faith and the Roman Church. For the Council of Nice, convened under the
Emperor Constantine the Great, has always been regarded inviolable, whereat
three hundred and eighteen bishops eminent and venerable for holiness of life,
martyrdom and learning, after investigating and diligently examining the Holy
Scriptures, set forth this article which they here confess concerning the
unity of the essence and the trinity of persons. So too their condemnation of
all heresies arising contrary to this article must be accepted - viz. the
Manichaeans, Arians, Eunomians, Valentinians, Samosatanes, for the Holy
Catholic Church has condemned these of old.
II. ORIGINAL SIN p.100
HEREDITARY SIN IS TRULY SIN AND CONDEMNS TO THE ETERNAL WRATH OF GOD ALL THOSE WHO ARE NOT BORN AGAIN THROUGH BAPTISM AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
· All people are born sinners on account of the fall of Adam.
· they are guilty before yet committing actual sins
· And are under condemnation and wrath inherited from their parents.
To Article II.
In the second article we approve their Confession, in common with the Catholic Church, that the fault of origin is truly sin, condemning and bringing eternal death upon those who are not born again by baptism and the Holy Ghost. For in this they properly condemn the Pelagians, both modern and ancient, who have been long since condemned by the Church. But the declaration of the article, that Original Sin is that men are born without the fear of God and without trust in God, is to be entirely rejected, since it is manifest to every Christian that to be without the fear of God and without trust in God is rather the actual guilt of an adult than the offence of a recently-born
infant, which does not possess as yet the full use of reason, as the Lord says "Your children which had no knowledge between good and evil," Deut 1:39.
Moreover, the declaration is also rejected whereby they call the fault of
origin concupiscence, if they mean thereby that concupiscence is a sin that
remains sin in a child even after baptism. For the Apostolic See has already
condemned two articles of Martin Luther concerning sin remaining in a child
after baptism, and concerning the fomes of sin hindering a soul from entering
the kingdom of heaven. But if, according to the opinion of St Augustine, they
call the vice of origin concupiscence, which in baptism ceases to be sin, this ought to be accepted, since indeed according to the declaration of St. Paul, we are all born children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), and in Adam we all have sinned (Rom.5:12).
SUMMARY OF THE ROMAN POSITION:
THEY BELIEVE THAT ORIGINAL SIN IS TRULY SIN AND DAMNS THE UNREGENERATE TO HELL. HOWEVER THEY BELIEVE THAT THIS SIN IS ERRADICATED IN BAPTISM AND WHAT REMAINS IS NOT SIN BUT RATHER A FORM OF CONCUPISCENCE OR LUST AND TENDENCY TO SIN, WEAKNESS AND NOT THE SIN NATURE ITSELF. THIS LATER PART IS OPPOSED BY THE LUTHERANS WHO SAY THAT ONLY THE GUILT OF ORIGINAL SIN IS REMOVED AND NOT ACCOUNTED AND THAT MAN IS STILL FALLEN AFTER REGENERATION OR BAPTISM AND HIS WEAKNESS OR TENDENCY TO SIN IS INDEED INDWELLING SIN ITSELF.
1. Opponents approve of the article but criticize our definition of original sin. 100-1
2. They believe that being without the fear of God and faith is actual guilt and not the hereditary condition of mankind. 101
3. THIS CONCUPISCENCE OR LUST IS ORIGINAL SIN.
a. People who are born into the world have concupiscence (lust) and are without faith, the fear of God and have no way of producing these virtues.101-3
4. The scholastics misunderstand the patristic definition of original sin and therefore minimize its evil. 101-7
5. Scholastics attribute to human nature the unimpaired power to love God above all things and to obey his commandments – this is original righteousness 102-9
a. What need is there for the grace of Christ if we can become righteous by our own righteousness? 102-10
b. Opponents failed to see the inner uncleanness of human nature. 102-12
c. This is why in our definition of original sin we also mentioned concupiscence and denied to man’s natural powers the fear and trust of God. 102-14
6. The old Catholic definition of original sin says exactly the same thing as we do, “Original sin is the lack of original righteousness.” Anselm of Canterbury. 102-15
7. Even scholastic theologians teach that the knowledge of God, fear of God, trust in God are gifts of God produced by his grace. 103-23
8. Apostle Paul mentions the deficiency in natural man who has not been reborn in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God.” 104-30
a. All the righteousness of man is mere hypocrisy before God unless we acknowledge that of itself the heart is lacking in love, fear, and trust in God. 104-33
9. Baptism removes the guilt of original sin (damnation), even though concupiscence remains. 105-35
a. Augustine says, “Sin is forgiven in Baptism, not that it no longer is, but it is not imputed.” 105-36
b. Augustine, “That law which is in the members is forgiven by spiritual regeneration, but it remains in the mortal flesh.” 105-36
c. Augustine defines original sin as concupiscence. 105-38
d. The Fathers clearly call lust (concupiscence) sin, by nature worthy of death if it is not forgiven, though it is not imputed to those who are in Christ. 105-40
e. Augustine refutes the opinion that human lust is not a fault but a neutral thing. 105-41
10. Our opponents maintain that concupiscence is a penalty and not a sin. 105-38
a. Our opponents claim that the inclination to evil is a neutral thing and deny that it is in itself sin. 106-43
b. They say that nothing is sin unless it is voluntary. 106-43
11. These notions of theirs prevailed in the church, feeding a trust in human powers and obscuring the knowledge of the grace of Christ. 106-44
a. Their doctrines didn’t remain just academic but moved out among the people. 106-44
12. This is the teaching of the pagan philosophers who said these things about human nature regarding civil courts not about the judgment of God. 106-43
a. The scholastics mingle pagan philosophical ideas and civil ethics with the Gospel. 106-43
III. CHRIST p.107
ACCORDING TO THE APOSTLES CREED
· we believe in Jesus Christ
· only begotten Son‑of‑God
· who is God in the flesh
· true God and true man
· his life, death, and resurrection for us sinners
· and return as judge of all living and dead
To Article III. In the third article there is nothing to offend, since
the entire Confession agrees with the Apostles' Creed and the right rule of
faith -viz. the Son of God became incarnate, assumed human nature into
the unity of his person, was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered was
crucified, died, descended to hell, rose again on the third day, ascended to
heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father.
IV. JUSTIFICATION p.107
GOD WILL REGARD AND RECKON THIS FAITH AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 30:3
· Eternal life and forgiveness of sins is a gift given to us by God through faith for Christ’s sake.
The Roman Confutation
To Article IV.
In the fourth article the condemnation of the Pelagians, who thought that man
can merit eternal life by his own powers without the grace of God, is accepted
as Catholic and in accordance with the ancient councils, for the Holy
Scriptures expressly testify to this. John the Baptist says: "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven," John 3:27 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights,"James l:17. Therefore "our sufficiency is of God," 2 Cor 3:5. And Christ says: "No man can come to me, Except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him," John 6:44 And Paul: What hast thou that thou didst not receive?" I Cor 4:7. For if any one should intend to disapprove of the merits that men acquire by the assistance of divine grace, he would agree with the Manichaeans rather than with the Catholic Church. For it is entirely contrary to holy Scripture to deny that our works are meritorious. For St. Paul says "I have fought a good fight,I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up
for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall
give me at that day," 2 Tim. 4:7 & 8. And to the Corinthians he wrote "We must
all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the
things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or
bad," 2 Cor. 5:10. For where there are wages there is merit. The Lord said to
Abraham: "Fear not, Abraham, I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward,"
Gen 15:l. And Isaiah says: "Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him," Isa. 40:10; and, chapter 58:7, 8: "Deal they bread to the hungry, and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall go before thee;the glory of the Lord shall gather thee up." So too the Lord to Cain: "If thou doest well shalt thou not be accepted?" Gen. 4:7. So the parable in the Gospel declares that we have been hired for the Lord's vineyard, who agrees with us for a penny a day, and says: "Ca11 the laborers and give them their hire," Matt 20:8. So Paul, knowing the mysteries of God, says: "Every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor," I Cor. 3:8. 6. Nevertheless, all Catholics confess that our works of themselves have no merit, but that God's grace makes them worthy of eternal life. Thus St. John says: "They shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy," Rev. 3:4. And St Paul says to the Colossians, 1:12: "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light."
SUMMARY OF THE ROMAN POSITION:
HERE WE SEE THAT THEY DO NOT TEACH THAT WORKS MERIT REGENERATION OR ETERNAL LIFE NAKED BY HUMAN EFFORT BUT THAT IN THE REGENERATED BY THE ASSISTANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND GRACE MAN CAN MERIT ETERNAL LIFE.
A. INTRODUCTION TO THE DISPUTE ON JUSTIFICATION:
1. They condemn us for teaching that men do not receive the forgiveness of sins because of their own merits, but freely for Christ’s sake, by faith in him. 107-1
2. In this controversy the main doctrine of Christianity is involved. 107-2
3. Our opponents understand neither:
a. Forgiveness of sins
e. They obscure the glory and blessings of Christ.
f. They also rob pious consciences of the consolation offered them in Christ. 107-3
4. All scripture should be divided into these two chief doctrines, the law and the promises. 108-5
a. Of these two doctrines our opponents select the law and by it they seek forgiveness of sins and justification.108-7
i. Human reason can to some extent naturally understand the law since the law is written on the mind. 108-7
ii. The Ten Commandments also requires works far beyond the reach of reason such as true fear of God, true love of God, true prayer to God, true faith the conviction that God hears our prayers, and expectation of God’s help in death. 108-8
iii. As long as a man’s mind is at rest and he does not feel God’s wrath or judgment, he can imagine that he wants to love God and do good for God’s sake. 108-9
iv. They dream that they merit the forgiveness of sins and are accounted righteous by their own keeping of the law before God. 109-18
5. ROME HAS USED THIS TEACHING OF THE SCHOLASTICS TO PUT MEN’S TRUST IN WORKS SUCH AS MONASTIC VOWS, ABUSES OF THE MASS, AND MANY KINDS OF HUMAN INVENTIONS ALL FOR THE PURPOSE OF MERITING GRACE FROM GOD. 108-9
a. Scholastics teach men to merit the forgiveness of sins by doing what is in them. 108-9
b. If we accept this teaching of the opponents that we merit forgiveness of sins and justification by works of reason, there will be no difference between philosophical or Pharisaic righteousness and Christian righteousness. 109-16
c. MERIT OF CONGRUITY 110-19
d. MERIT OF CONDIGNITY 110-19
e. Men naturally trust in their own righteousness. 110-20
6. TIMID AND HONEST CONSCIENCES ARE DRIVEN TO DISPAIR BECAUSE SUCH PEOPLE KNOW THEY CANNOT KEEP THE LAW OF GOD FROM THE HEART REGARDLESS OF WHAT THESE HYPOCRITICAL LIARS OF ROME TEACH! 110-21
7. For it is false that by our works we merit the forgiveness of sins. 110-25
8. It is false, too, that men are accounted righteous before God because of the righteousness of reason. 110-26
9. It is false, too, that by its own strength reason can love God above all things and keep his law, truly fear him, truly believe that he hears prayer, willingly obey him in death and in his other visitations, and not covet. But reason can produce civil works. 111-27
10. “THE LAW BRINGS WRATH” (Romans 4:15). 112-3
a The law always accuses and terrifies. 112-38
b. It is an error, therefore, for men to trust that by the law and by their works they merit the forgiveness of sins.112-38
11. The Gospel promise is not conditional upon our merits but offers the forgiveness of sins and justification freely. 113-41
a If we receive justification through a free promise, however, it follows that we cannot justify ourselves.113- 43
b. The Gospel is, strictly speaking, the promise of forgiveness of sins and justification because of Christ. 113- 43
c. We can accept this promise only by faith. 113-43
12. We condemn our opponents for teaching the righteousness of the law instead of the righteousness of the Gospel. 113-43
B WHAT IS JUSTIFYING FAITH?
C. FAITH IN CHRIST JUSTIFIES
D. WE OBTAIN THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS ONLY BY FAITH IN CHRIST
1. Even our opponents will grant, we suppose, that the forgiveness of sins is supremely necessary in justification. 117-75
2. Forgiveness of sins is the same as justification according to Psalm 32:1 117-76
a. In the forgiveness of sins, the terrors of sin and of eternal death must be conquered in our hearts, as Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:56,57: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 117-79
b. We obtain forgiveness of sins only by faith in Christ and not through love. 117-77
c. Therefore we are justified by faith alone, justification being understood as making an unrighteous man righteous or effecting his regeneration. 117-78
3. Our opponents quibble as to whether the forgiveness of sins and the infusion of grace are the same thing. (they are not) 117-79
4. Sin terrifies the conscience. 117-79
a. This happens through the law. 117-79
b. By faith, we conquer the terrors of sin and the law through Christ. 117-79
5. We cannot set our love or our works against the wrath of God. 118-81
6. Christ is the propitiator to appease the wrath of God. 118-80
a. The prophets bear witness to Christ and forgiveness of sins through faith in him. 118-83
b. It is certain that sins are forgiven because of Christ the propitiator. 118-82
7. Forgiveness of sins is a thing promised for Christ’s sake. 119-84
a. A promise can only be accepted by faith. 119-84
b. The promise of forgiveness of sins depends on faith in order that it may be established on grace and be guaranteed. 119-84
8. Paul’s chief argument is that forgiveness of sins is a free gift and accepted only by faith. 119-84
a Nothing one can devise or imagine will refute Paul’s argument. 119-84
b Scriptures testify that we are accounted righteous by faith. 119-86
c Faith alone justifies because we receive the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit by faith alone. 119-86
d If moral works merited the forgiveness of sins and justification, there would be no need for Christ and the promise. 120-87
e TESTIMONY OF THE SCRIPTURES 121
f TESTIMONY OF THE FATHERS 122
g CLEAR TESTIMONY OF AUGUSTINE IN HIS WORKS AGAINST THE PELAGIANS. 122-106
9. Our opponents are unmoved by the many passages in the Scriptures that clearly attribute justification to faith and specifically deny it to works. 122-107
a. They say such passages should be interpreted as referring to faith being fashioned by love
b. Papists teach men to doubt whether they have received the forgiveness of sins.
E. LOVE AND THE KEEPING OF THE LAW
1. Opponents quote scriptures which can give the impression that we are justified by our obedience to the law. 124-122
2. Christians should keep the law, not to become righteous but to please Christ.
3. We cannot keep the law unless we are first born again by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, even then our incipient keeping of the law is not perfect or complete. 124-126
a. Paul says that faith does not do away with the law but rather upholds it. 125-132
b. The “veil” Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians 3:15-17 is a blindness of men where they think and believe they can keep God’s law and are righteous because of it. 125-134
c. For Christians, the veil has been removed and the law shows us our uncleanness and the greatness of our sin. 125-135
4. Opponents slander us in claiming that we do not require good works. 126-136
a. We hold that the keeping of the law should begin in us and increase more and more. But we mean to include both elements, namely, the inward spiritual impulses and the outward good works. 126-136
b. Faith has its existence in repentance and it cannot exist in the lawless, those who live according to the flesh. 126-142
c. Faith exists in a penitent heart, that is one terrified by the righteousness of the law, and does not remain in those who obey the lusts of their flesh, nor does it exist together with mortal sin. 127-144
5. Love is only an effect of faith, produced in our heart by the regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. 127-145
6. Opponents error in teaching that love justifies, for when they teach this they are teaching only the law or what is demanded or required of us. 127-145
7. Only Christ was able to keep the law and when the Papists erroneously claim that which belongs to Christ alone, they rob Christ of his glory as the only one who was able to keep the law and fully obey God. 127-146
a. Papists therefore trust not in Christ but in their own works, for they say that they earn grace and eternal life by merit. 127-146
b. We do not receive the forgiveness of sins through love or on account of love, but on account of Christ by faith alone. 127-147
c. If somebody believes that he obtains the forgiveness of sins because he loves, he insults Christ. 127-150
8. THE DEBATE: Is whether we should put our trust in Christ or in our own works. If we put it in our works, we rob Christ of his honor as mediator and propitiator. 128-157
9. Nobody will have the forgiveness of sins unless he keeps the whole law, because the law does not justify so long as it can accuse us. 129-158
a. We agree with our opponents that love is the keeping of the law, and obedience to the law certainly is righteousness. 129-159
b. But they are mistaken when they think that we are justified by the law. 129-159
c. When this keeping of the law and obedience to the law is perfect, it is indeed righteousness; but in us even after regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit it is still weak and impure. 129-160
10. Christ does not stop being mediator after our renewal. 129-161
a. It is an error to teach that Christ only merited “initial grace” for us and that afterward we please God and merit eternal life by our keeping of the law. 129-162
b. ROMANS CHAPTER 7 SHOWS THAT WE ALWAYS HAVE SIN WITHIN US AFTER REGENERATION AND THIS SIN HINDERS US ALWAYS FROM PERFECTLY KEEPING THE LAW 130
c. WE ARE ACCOUNTED RIGHTEOUS BY OUR FAITH AND THE LAW CANNOT ACCUSE OR CONDEMN US EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE NOT FULLY SATISFIED IT. 131
d. God accepts our imperfect keeping of the law only because of our faith in Christ. 132
F. REPLY TO OUR OPPONENTS’ ARGUMENTS
1. To all their statements about the law we answer immediately that the law cannot be kept without Christ. 132-184
2. For we concede that in some places the Scripture presents the law, while in others it presents the Gospel, the free promise of the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake. 132-186
3. If the forgiveness of sins were conditional upon our works, it would be completely unsure and the promise would be abolished. 133-187
4. Good works should be done because God has commanded them and in order to exercise our faith, to give testimony, and to render thanks. 133-189
a. We teach that rewards have been offered and promised to the works of the faithful. 133-194
b. We teach that good works are meritorious---not for the forgiveness of sins, grace, or justification but for other physical and spiritual rewards in this life and in that which is to come. 133-194
c. Commandment to honor parents and its reward is not connected to justification but merits other rewards. 134-197
d. EXAMPLES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT: ABEL AND ABRAHAM WERE JUSTIFIED BEFORE THEY DID WORKS
e. SAINTS EXAMPLES OF PIETY AND WORKS TAKEN IN A WRONG MANNER BY PEOPLE WHO THINK SUCH PIETY PRODUCES JUSTIFICATION. 135
7. The wicked idea that works propitiate a wrathful God is all over the world.
a. This wicked belief was followed by people in the Old Testament who sacrificed their children thinking they were imitating Abraham and meriting justification.
b. The prophets condemned this doctrine that people by their works propitiate God as being false worship.
c. The Holy fathers had their works copied by the people instead of their faith with the people thinking such behavior merits forgiveness of sins. 136-211
d. This is the doctrine of the world which believes that works are a propitiation by which God is appeased. 136-212
e. This doctrine is against Christ who is the propitiator. 136-212
f. The Papists maintain and teach these wicked and unscriptural ideas about works. 136-213
8. We believe and teach that good works must necessarily be done since our incipient keeping of the law must follow faith.
a. We believe and teach that we are not accounted righteous because of our works without Christ, the mediator.
b. We teach that we do not merit the forgiveness of sins, grace, and righteousness through works and that we cannot pit our works against the wrath and judgment of God. 136
c. Only Christ, the mediator, can be pitted against God’s wrath and judgment. 136-214
9. TEXT WHICH THE ROMANISTS QUOTE TO PROVE WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY LOVE AND WORKS. 137-218
a. They quote 1 Corinthians 13:2. and say,”Here St. Paul certifies to the princes and the entire Church that faith alone does not justify.” And that, “Accordingly he teaches that love is the chief virtue.”
b. Now that we have explained what the scriptures teach about justification, faith, love and works it is easy to answer them.
c. Whoever casts away love will not keep his faith, be it ever so great, because he will not keep the Holy Spirit. 137-219
d. Paul in this verse does not teach the mode of justification as our opponents imagine. Instead he is writing to people who, upon being justified, needed urging to bear good fruits lest they lose the Holy Spirit. 137-220
10. Papists reverse the order of salvation, they quote this text that Paul teaches about fruits and omit the other texts that Paul teaches clearly and systematically on the mode of justification. 137-221
a. With their teaching of justification of “faith formed by love” they exclude Christ from justification and teach only the righteousness of the law. 137-221
b. Doing something or not doing something is not what justifies if it were so then the act of not stealing would justify. Justification is not the approval of a particular act but of the total person. 137-222
c. Our opponents twist many texts because they read their own opinions into them instead of deriving the meaning from the texts themselves. 138-224
d. The Papists imagine that since love is the greatest virtue that it must justify. But the greatest of laws do not justify. Only that virtue justifies which takes hold of Christ and that virtue is faith. 139-227
e. Our opponents attribute justification to love because everywhere they teach and require the righteousness of the law. 139-229
f. Human wisdom looks at the law and seeks righteousness in it. 139-229
11. We preach instead the foolishness of the Gospel, which reveals another righteousness, namely, that because of Christ. 139-230
12. They love to quote Colossians 3:14, “love is the bond of perfection” and argue that love justifies since it makes men perfect. 139-231
a. If it is love that makes men perfect, Christ, the propitiator, will be unnecessary. 139-231
b. LOVE DOES NOT MAKE US PERFECT BEFORE GOD BUT RATHER IS A VIRTUE THAT PRODUCES HARMONY IN THE CHURCH.
c. It is not possible to preserve tranquility unless men cover and forgive certain mistakes in their midst. 139-232
d. It does not make sense when our opponents argue on the basis of the word “perfection” that love justifies, when Paul is speaking of unity and peace in the church. 140-235
e. Papists are hypocritical in their talk of love since they murder our priests, destroy our churches.
f. “Love covers all offenses,” namely, other people’s offenses and offenses between people. 141-242
g. Peter does not mean that love merits the forgiveness of sins in relation to God; that in the place of Christ the mediator it is our propitiation; or that it regenerates or justifies. 141-242
h. The apostles speak so often about this duty of love which the philosophers call “leniency.” This virtue is necessary for the preservation of domestic tranquility. 141-243
13. THEY QUOTE THE TEXT OF JAMES, “YOU SEE A MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY WORKS AND NOT BY FAITH ALONE”. 141
a. No other passage than James 2:24 is supposed to contradict our position more, but the answer is easy and clear. The words of James will cause no trouble if our opponents do not read into them their opinion about the merit of works. Wherever works are mentioned, our opponents falsely add their wicked opinion that by good works we merit the forgiveness of sins; that good works are a propitiation and price that reconciles God to us; that good works conquer the terrors of sin and death; that good works are accepted before God because of their intrinsic excellence; that we do not need mercy and Christ, the propitiator. None of this ever entered into James’s mind, though our opponents uphold it under the pretext that his is what James meant. 142-244
b. This text is more against our opponents than against us. 142-245
c. The context demonstrates that the works spoken of here are those that follow faith. 142-246
d. James has just said that regeneration takes place through the Gospel. He says (James 1:18), “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” 142-247
e. Thus James does not hold that we are regenerated by our works. 142-247
14. WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THIS WORD “FAITH” THAT WE SAY JUSTIFIES AN UNRIGHTEOUS MAN?
a. Faith is not an idle knowledge that even the demos have. 142-249
b. Such a faith is not an easy thing, as our opponents imagine; nor is it a human power, but a divine power that makes us alive and enables us to overcome death and the devil. 143-250
c. “To be justified” does not mean that a wicked man is made righteous but that he is pronounced righteous in a forensic way. 143-252
d. The Gospel promises forgiveness of sins with certainty. The coralary is that the Papists are uncertain with regard to the forgiveness of sins because they hold to a justification by works of the law and not by the Gospel. 146-264
15. The Law
a. The law is not kept without Christ ---as he himself said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). 147-269
b. Papists teach that Christ plus the merit of good works leads to a hoped for justification which they themselves do not know whether or not they will receive.
c. Our incipient keeping of the law is far from perfect. 147-270
d. Describing this process in Romans 4:5. Paul proves that the promise of righteousness does not depend upon our works because we could never be sure that we have a gracious God. 150-285
16. OPPONENTS’ WHOLE SYSTEM IS DERIVED EITHER FROM HUMAN REASON OR FROM THE TEACHING OF THE LAW RATHER THAN THE GOSPEL. THEY TEACH TWO MODES OF JUSTIFICATION, ONE BASED UPON REASON, THE OTHER UPON THE LAW. 150-287
a. The first mode of justification, according to them, is that men merit grace by good works—first by the merit of congruity, then by the merit of condignity. 151-288
b. The other mode of justification, handed down by the scholastic theologians, teaches that we are righteous through a certain disposition (which is love) infused by God, that with the help of this disposition we obey the law of God both outwardly and inwardly, and that such obedience to the law is worthy of grace and eternal life. 151-289
c. A Christian must reject both modes for they teach that our works are a propitiation for sin.
17. In answer to our opponent’s quibble that many wicked people and demons also believe (James 2:19) sensible people can easily see that God cares for us, forgives us, and hears us is a supernatural thing, for of itself the human mind believes no such thing about God. Therefore neither wicked people nor demons can have the faith we are discussing here. 154-303
a. This is how Scripture uses the word “faith,: as this statement of Paul shows, “Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God” (Rom. 5:1). In this passage “justify” is used in a judicial way to mean to “absolve a guilty man and pronounce him righteous.” 154-305
b. In this passage our righteousness is the imputation of someone else’s righteousness.
c. Because the righteousness of God is given to us through faith, therefore faith is righteousness in us by imputation.
d. The service and worship of the Gospel is to receive good things from God, while the worship of the law is to offer and present our goods to God. 155-310
e. We want to teach the righteousness of the Gospel and not of the law. Those who teach we are justified by love teach the righteousness of the law. 155-313
18. In the courts of human judgment a right or a debt is certain, while mercy is uncertain. 160-345
a. The whole church confesses that eternal life comes through mercy. 157-322
b. Faith makes the difference between those who are saved and those who are not. 160-347
c. We say that eternal life is promised to the justified, but those who walk according to the flesh can retain neither faith nor righteousness. 160-348
d. The faith we speak of has its existence in penitence. It ought to grow and become firmer amid good works and become ever stronger in the conviction that God cares for us, forgives us, and hears us for Christ’s sake. 161
19. Our opponents say that eternal life is called a reward and therefore it is merited by the merit of condignity through good works. Paul however, calls eternal life a “gift” (Romans 6:23). 161-356
a. Because a “reward” is mentioned, they argue that our works ought to be counted so precious that eternal life is their due and that therefore they are worthy of grace and eternal life without needing mercy or the mediator Christ or faith. 162-358
b. They even suppose that they have extra merits which they can give to justify others, as when monks sell the merits of their orders to others. 162-360
c. Works and afflictions merit not justification but other rewards, as I these passages a reward is offered for works. (II Cor. 9:6), and (Ex. 20:12). 163
d. If only our opponents would grant that the fruits please God because of faith and the mediator Christ but in themselves are not worthy of grace and eternal life. This is what we condemn in our opponents’ position, that by interpreting such passages of the Scriptures in either a philosophical or a Jewish manner they eliminate from them the righteousness of faith and Christ, the mediator. 164-376
20. We condemn those who teach that we merit eternal life by works. 165-379
21. About this faith, which believes the Father is propitious to us for Christ’s sake, there is not a syllable in the scholastics. Everywhere they maintain that we are acceptable and righteous because of our works, either done by reason or at least wrought by the impulse of the love they talk about. 165-379
a. The schools boast that good works please God because of grace and therefore we must place our confidence in God’s grace. Here they interpret grace as a disposition by which we love God. 165-381
b. The Scriptures predicted that human traditions and the teaching of works would obscure that righteousness of faith in this way. 167-393
c. By nature men judge that God ought to be appeased by works. The only righteousness that reason can see is the righteousness of the law, understood as civic righteousness. 167-394
d. The prophets condemned this opinion of civic righteousness.
22. We know that the church of Christ is among those who teach the Gospel of Christ, not among those who defend wicked opinions against the Gospel, as the Lord says, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27).
V. OFFICE OF THE MINISTRY p.
TO OBTAIN SUCH FAITH GOD INSTITUTED THE OFFICE OF THE MINISTRY, THAT IS PROVIDED THE GOSPEL AND THE SACRAMENTS. 31:1
1. God uses means.
2. God's means of salvation and grace is the gospel preached and sacraments administered by the minister.
3. God's means are not human works, prayers, and thoughts without the gospel or sacraments.
4. Condemned are fanatics who try to get to god without his ordained means.
The Roman Confutation
To Article V.
In the fifth article the statement that the Holy Ghost is given by the Word
and sacraments, as by instruments, is approved. For thus it is written,
Acts 10:44: "While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all
them which heard the word." And John 1:33: "The same is He which
baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." The mention, however, that they here make
of faith is approved so far as not Faith alone, which some incorrectly
teach, but faith which worketh by love, is understood, as the apostle
teaches aright in Gal 5:3. For in baptism there is an infusion, not of faith
alone, but also, at the same time, of hope and love, as Pope Alexander
declares in the canon Majores concerning baptism and its effect; which
John the Baptist also taught long before, saying, Luke 3:16: "He shall
baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."
SUMMARY OF THE ROMAN POSITION:
HERE AGAIN WE SEE THE ERROR OF ROME WHICH DENIES OBJECTIVE JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE AS A GIFT OF GOD AND IMAGINES THAT IT IS THE RENEWAL OF THE INNER- MAN OR SANCTIFICATION WHICH IS THE SOURCE OF JUSTIFICATION AND SALVATION.
NO RESPONSE TO THE ROMAN CONFUTATION ON ARTICLE V IS SUPPLIED BY THE APOLOGY.
VI. THE NEW OBEDIENCE p.
IT IS ALSO TAUGHT AMOUNG US THAT SUCH FAITH SHOULD PRODUCE GOOD FRUITS AND GOOD WORKS AND THAT WE MUST DO ALL SUCH GOOD WORKS AS GOD HAS COMMANDED. 31:1
· We do not trust in our works.
· But do works from faith.
· For Christ’s sake and obedience.
To Article VI.
Their Confession in the sixth article that faith should bring forth good
fruits is acceptable and valid since "faith without works is dead," James
2:17, and all Scripture invites us to works. For the wise man says:
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." Eccles. 9:10. "And
the Lord had respect to Abel and to his offering," Gen. 4:4. He saw that
Abraham would "command his Children and his household after him to keep the
way of the Lord, and to do justice and judgment," Gen. 18:19. And: "By myself
have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing I will
bless thee and multiply thy seed." Gen 22:16. Thus he regarded the fast of the Ninevites, Jonah 3, and the lamentations and tears of King Hezekiah, 4:2; 2 Kings 20. For this cause all the faithful should follow the advice of St.Paul: "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men,
especially unto them who are of the household of faith," Gal. 6:10. For Christ says: The night cometh when no man can work" John 9:4. But in the same article their ascription of justification to faith alone is diametrically opposite the truth of the Gospel by which works are not excluded; because glory, honor and peace to every man that worketh good," Rom. 2:10. Why? Because David, Ps.62:12; Christ, Matt. 16:27; and Paul, Rom. 2:6 testify that God will render to every one according to his works. Besides Christ says: "Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father," Matt. 7:21. 4. Hence however much one may believe, if he work not what is good, he is not a friend of God. "Ye are my friends," says Christ, "if ye do whatsoever I command you," John 15:14. On this account their frequent ascription of justification to faith is not admitted since it pertains to grace and love. For St. Paul says: "Though I
have all faith so that I could remove mountains and have not charity, I am
nothing." 1 Cor. 13:2. Here St. Paul certifies to the princes and the entire
Church that faith alone does not justify. Accordingly he teaches that love is
the chief virtue, Col. 3:14: "Above all these things put on charity, which is
the bond of perfectness." Neither are they supported by the word of Christ:
"When ye shall have done all these things, say We are unprofitable servants,"
Luke 17:10. For if the doors ought to be called unprofitable, how much more
fitting is it to say to those who only believe, When ye shall have believed
all things say, We are unprofitable servants! This word of Christ, therefore,
does not extol faith without works, but teaches that our works bring no profit to God; that no one can be puffed up by our works; that, when contrasted with the divine reward, our works are of no account and nothing. Thus St. Paul says: "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us," Rom. 8:18. For faith and good works are gifts of God, whereby, through God's mercy, eternal life is given. So, too, the citation at this point from Ambrose is in no way pertinent, since St. Ambrose is here expressly declaring his opinion
concerning legal works. For he says: "Without the law," but, "Without the law
of the Sabbath, and of circumcision, and of revenge." And this he declares the more clearly on Rom. 4, citing St. James concerning the justification of
Abraham without legal works before circumcision. For how could Ambrose speak
differently in his comments from St. Paul in the text when he says: "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh he justified in his sight?"Therefore, finally, he does not exclude faith absolutely, but says: "We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
SUMMARY OF THE ROMAN POSITION:
WE SEE HERE THE CONFUSION OF THE ROMAN THEOLOGIANS WHO THINK THAT “JUSTIFICATON WITHOUT WORKS” PERTAINS SPECIFICALLY TO THE JEWISH CEREMONIAL LAW AND NOT THE UNIVERSAL MORAL LAW OR TEN COMMANDMENTS. THEY AGAIN DENY JUSTIFICATION TO FAITH AND INSTEAD ASCRIBE IT TO GRACE AND THE OBEDIENCE OF LOVE. THAT GOD JUSTIFIES OR SAVES BECAUSE WE FULFILL THE MORAL LAW OF LOVE, THIS IS JUSTIFICATION BY LAW OR LEGAL WORKS AND IS NOT THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.
NO RESPONSE TO ARTICLE VI IS SUPPLIED BY THE APOLOGY AS THE THEME OF JUSTIFICATION HAD BEEN ADDRESSED IN ARTICLE IV.
VII. THE CHURCH p.168
WE BELIEVE IN ONE HOLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH WHICH IS THE ASSEMBLY OF ALL BELIEVERS AMOUNG WHOM THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED IN ITS PURITY AND THE HOLY SACRAMENTS ARE ADMINISTERED ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL.32:1
WHAT UNITY CONSISTS OF:
· It is sufficient for the true unity of the Christian church:
· That the Gospel be preached in conformity with a pure understanding of it.
· And that the sacraments be administered in accordance with the Divine Word. 32:2
To Article VII.
The seventh article of the Confession, wherein it is affirmed that the Church
is the congregation of saints, cannot be admitted without prejudice to faith
if by this definition the wicked and sinners be separated from the Church. For in the Council of Constance this article was condemned among the articles of John Huss of cursed memory, and it plainly contradicts the Gospel. For there we read that John the Baptist compared the Church to a threshing-floor, which Christ will cleanse with his fan, and will gather the wheat into his garner, but will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire, Matt. 3:12. Wherefore this article of the Confession is in no way accepted. although we read in it their confession that the Church is perpetual, since here the promise of Christ has its place, who promises that the Spirit of truth will abide with it forever John 14:16. And Christ himself promises that he will be with the church always unto the end of the world. They are praised also, in that they do not regard variety of rites as separating unity of faith, if they speak of special rites. For to this effect Jerome says: Every province abounds in its own sense" (of propriety). But if they extend this part of the Confession to universal Church rites, this also must be utterly rejected, and we must say with St. Paul: "We have no such custom," 1 Cor. 11:16. "For by all believers universal rites must be observed," St. Augustine, whose testimony they also use, well taught of Januarius; for we must presume that such rites were transmitted from the apostles.
SUMMARY OF THE ROMAN POSITION:
THEY FIND FAULT WITH THIS ARTICLE BECAUSE WE AFFIRM THE CHURCH IS “THE CONGREGATION OF THE SAINTS” AND DOES NOT INCLUDE THE WICKED. ALSO THEY AFFIRM THAT CERTAIN HUMAN CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS MUST BE UNIVERSALLY KEPT AND ATTRIBUTE SUCH RELIGION TO THE APOSTLES.
A. THE CHURCH IS THE ASSEMBLY OF THE SAINTS, WICKED AND HYPOCRITES ARE ATTACHED TO ITS OUTWARD FORM AND OFTEN PARTICIPATE IN ITS GOVERNMENT.
1. The authors of the Confutation have condemned the seventh article of our Confession in which we said that the church is the assembly of saints. 167-1
2. The saying is certainly true that there is no defense against the attack of slanders. 168-2
a. Nothing can be said so carefully that it can avoid misrepresentation. 168-2
b. That is why we have added the eight article, to avoid the impression that we separate evil men and hypocrites from the outward fellowship of the church. 168-3
c. Or to deny efficacy to the sacraments which evil men or hypocrites administer. 168-3
3. The eight article exonerates us from this slander. 169-3
a. We concede that in this life hypocrites and evil men are mingled with the church and are members of the church according to outward association. 169-3
b. They participate in the word, and sacraments especially if they have not been excommunicated. 169-3
4. The sacraments do not lose their efficacy when they are administered by evil men. 169-3
a. We may legitimately use sacraments administered by evil men. 169-3
b. The Antichrist will rule and hold office in the church. (II Thessalonians 2:4). 169-4
B. ALTHOUGH THE CHURCH HAS AN OUTWARD ASSOCIATION OF ITS MEMBERS IT IS MAINLY AN SPIRITUAL ASSOCIATION OF FAITH AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN MEN’S HEARTS. 169-5
1. This spiritual association has outward marks. 169-5
a. The pure teaching of the Gospel. 169-5
b. The administration of the sacraments in harmony with Christ’s command. 169-5
2. The church is called “The Body of Christ”. 169-5
a. Those in whom Christ is not active are not members of Christ. 169-5
b. Even our opponents admit that the wicked are dead members of the church. 169-5
3. The Creed also defines the church in our manner as pertaining to the living members of Christ. 169-7
a. “I believe in the holy catholic church.” 169-7
b. “The communion of saints” 169-8
4. Certainly the wicked are not a holy church! 169-8
a. The wicked are part of the church only in name and not in fact. 170-10
b. Therefore the sinner who has been defiled by any spot cannot be called part of the church of Christ, not can he be said to be subject to Christ. 170-10
i. the idolater
ii. the greedy
iii. the fornicator
iv. the adulterer
v. the unjust
vi. the heretic
vii. homosexuals and lesbians
viii. alcoholics and drug addicts
ix. women pastors
5. We do not deny that there are infinite dangers threatening the church with ruin. And an infinite number of the ungodly who are within it to oppress it. 169-9
6. Christ supplies the church with his gifts:
a. The forgiveness of sins. 170-9
b. Answer to prayer. 170-9
c. The Holy Spirit. 170-9
7. The Church is a spiritual people. 170-14
a. They are God’s true people. 170-14
b. Reborn by the Holy Spirit. 170-14
8. The church is Catholic. 170-10
a. Made up of men scattered throughout the world who agree on:
b. i. The Gospel
c. ii. Have the same Christ
d. iii. The same Holy Spirit.
e. Iv. The same Sacraments.
f. V. Whether they have the same human traditions or not.
9. The Gospel brings not the shadow of eternal things but the eternal blessings themselves, the Holy Spirit and the righteousness by which
we are righteous before God. 170-15
10. The Church is the Kingdom of Christ. 170-16
11. The wicked are in the power of the devil and are members of his kingdom. 171-16
a. Like the Pharisees who had an outward affiliation with God’s Old Testament church, they even held high positions of authority. 171-16
b. To them Christ said: “You are of your father the devil.”
12. Since the wicked belong to the kingdom of the devil, they are not in the church. 171-17
a. Yet they are mingled with the church just as a disease is within a body. (Walther: Kirch undt Ampt)
13. Christ describes the outward appearances of the church: 171-19
a. As a fish net with good and evil.
b. Like ten virgins.
c. And other such parables so that the faithful understand that the church is hidden under a crowd of wicked and self-seeking men and do not become offended.
14. The church is properly called “the pillar of truth” (1 Tim. 3:15) it is built on the Gospel foundation and the word of truth. 171-20
15. Those weak souls who build on the gospel foundation perishing structures of human opinions if they do not overthrow the foundation, that is the gospel, with the false and human teachings will be saved and sometimes even corrected. 172-20
16. Our opponents however overthrow the foundation when they condemn our doctrine that forgiveness of sins is received by faith. 172-21
17. The church was promised the Holy Spirit but was also promised that ungodly teachers and wolves would plague her. 172-22
18. The kingdom of the Pope is truly a false church and antichrist because: 172-23
a. He creates articles of faith.
b. Abolishes the teachings of the scriptures.
c. Institutes donations and sacrifices.
d. Enacts whatever laws he pleases.
e. Excuses men from breaking any laws: divine, canonical, or civil.
f. The Emperor and all kings and princes must derive their civil power and authority of their kingdoms from him.
g. He blasphemously says this is given to him by Christ.
h. Therefore the Pope must be lord over the whole world, in all public and private affairs.
i. He must have the power of both Swords the temporal and the spiritual.
j. This is not the definition of Christ’s church but rather from the book of Daniel that of Antichrist.
19. In accordance with the Scriptures, therefore, we maintain that the church in the proper sense is the assembly of saints who truly believe
the Gospel of Christ and who have the Holy Spirit. 173-28
20. It is not necessary that human traditions or rites and ceremonies, instituted by men, should be alike everywhere. 174-30
21. Human traditions, whether universal or particular, contribute nothing; nor are they wrought by the Holy Spirit, as are chastity, patience, the fear of God, the love of our neighbor, and the works of love. 174-31
22. The true unity of the church is not harmed by differences in rites instituted by men, although we like it when universal rites are observed for the sake of tranquility. 174-33
23. Our opponents say that universal traditions should be observed because they are supposed to have been handed down by the apostles.
a. Apostolic rites they keep.
b. Apostolic doctrine they do not want to keep. 176-38
C. WE SHOULD SEEK TO HAVE A CHURCH OF PURE DOCTRINE
1. We should forsake wicked teachers because they no longer function in the place of Christ, but are antichrists. 177-48
2. Christ tells us to beware of false prophets. 177-48
3. Paul says in Galatians 1:19, “ If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. 177-48
VIII. WHAT THE CHURCH IS p.168
· The assembly of all believers and saints.
· Although false believers, hypocrites, and the wicked are outwardly among the church yet are not the church.
· The church's gospel and sacraments are efficacious even though administered by unbelievers and the wicked.
To Article VIII.
The eighth article of the Confession, concerning wicked ministers of the
Church and hypocrites - viz. that their wickedness does not injure the
sacraments and the Word - is accepted with the Holy Roman Church, and the
princes commend it, condemning on this topic the Donatists and the ancient
Origenists, who maintained that it was unlawful to use the ministry of the
wicked in the Church - a heresy which the Waldenses and Poor of Lyons revived. Afterwards John Wicliff in England and John Huss in Bohemia adopted this.
SUMMARY OF THE ROMAN POSITION:
THEY ACCEPT THIS ARTICLE.
IX. BAPTISM p.178
IT IS TAUGHT AMOUNG US THAT BAPTISM IS NECESSARY AND THAT GRACE IS OFFERED THROUGH IT. CHILDREN, TOO, SHOULD BE BAPTIZED, FOR IN BAPTISM THEY ARE COMMITTED TO GOD AND BECOME ACCEPTABLE TO HIM. 33:1,2
· We believe baptism to impart grace and salvation to infants.
· Reject the Anabaptists who deny God's power to infants.
To Article IX.
The ninth article, concerning Baptism - viz. that it is necessary to
salvation, and that children ought to be baptized - is approved and accepted,
and they are right in condemning the Anabaptists, a most seditious class of
men that ought to be banished far from the boundaries of the Roman Empire in
order that illustrious Germany may not suffer again such a destructive and
sanguinary commotion as she experienced five tears ago in the slaughter of so
A. INFANT BAPTISM
1. Baptism of children is not useless. 178-1
a. But is necessary for salvation.
b. Is efficacious.
2. We condemn the many errors of the Anabaptists. 178-2
3. They assert the baptism of children is useless. 178-2
4. It is most certain the promise of salvation applies to children. 178-2
5. Salvation of little children does not apply to those outside of God’s church where there is neither word nor sacrament. 178-2
6. Christ regenerates through the Word and Sacrament. 178-2
7. Just as salvation is offered to all so baptism is offered to all. 178-2
8. Infants should be baptized because salvation is offered with Baptism. 178-2
B. GOD APPROVES OF INFANT BAPTISM
1. The Anabaptists teach wickedly when they condemn the Baptism of little children. 178-3
2. The proof that God accepts the baptism of little children and infants is that he gives the Holy Spirit to them. 178-3
X. THE LORD’S SUPPER p.179
· It is taught among us that the true body and blood of Christ are really present in the supper of our lord.
· We reject the false doctrines of those who deny Christ's body and blood in the sacrament
To Article X.
The tenth article gives no offense in its words, because they confess that in
the Eucharist, after the consecration lawfully made, the Body and Blood of
Christ are substantially and truly present, if only they believe that the
entire Christ is present under each form, so that the Blood of Christ is no
less present under the form of bread by concomitance than it is under the form of the wine, and the reverse. Otherwise, in the Eucharist the Body of Christ is dead and bloodless, contrary to St. Paul, because "Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more," Rom. 6:9. One matter is added as very necessary to the article of the Confession - viz. that they believe the Church, rather than some teaching otherwise and incorrectly, that by the almighty Word of God in the consecration of the Eucharist the substance of the bread is changed into the Body of Christ. For thus in a general council it has been determined, canon Firmiter, concerning the exalted Trinity, and the Catholic faith. They are praised therefor, for condemning the Capernaites, who deny the truth of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
SUMMARY OF THE ROMAN POSITION: THEY ACCEPT OUR POSITION THAT WE HAVE THE TRUE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST IN THE SACRAMENT BUT WANT US TO CONCEED THAT THE LAYITY DOES NOT NEED TO RECEIVE THE WINE AS THE BREAD CONTAINS THE WINE AND SO FORTH.
A. WE BELIEVE IN THE ACTUAL BODILY PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN THE SUPPER. 179-1
1. If the bread were not participation in the actual body of Christ then it would only be a spiritual participation and therefore we would have to deny the physical body of Christ in the sacrament. 179-1
2. The Fathers believed the same. 179-2
3. Cyril wrote: “We do not deny that we are joined to Christ spiritually by true faith and sincere love. But we do deny that we have no connection with him according to the flesh, and we say that this would be completely foreign to the sacred scriptures. 179-2
B. THEREFORE WE BELIEVE THAT CHRIST IS IN US ACCORDING TO THE FLESH AS WELL AS THE SPIRIT. 179-3
XI. CONFESSION p.180
To Article XI.
The eleventh article their acknowledgment that private absolution with
confession should be retained in the Church is accepted as catholic and in
harmony with our faith, because absolution is supported by the word of Christ.
For Christ says to his apostles, John 20:23: "Whosoever sins ye remit, they
are remitted unto them."Nevertheless, two things must here be required of
them: one, that they compel an annual confession to be observed by their
subjects, according to the constitution, canon Omnis Utriusque, concerning
penance and remission and the custom of the Church universal. Another that
through their preachers they cause their subjects to be faithfully admonished
when they are about to confess that although they cannot state all their sins
individually, nevertheless, a diligent examination of their conscience being
made, they make an entire confession of their offences - viz. of all which
occur to their memory in such investigation. But in regard to the rest that
have been forgotten and have escaped our mind it is lawful to make a general
confession, and to say with the Psalmist, Ps. 19:17: "Cleanse me, Lord, from
SUMMARY OF THE ROMAN POSITION: THEY AGREE WITH OUR ARTICLE YET WANT TO ADD THAT WE SHOULD KEEP THE HUMAN TRADITION OF “OMNIS UTRIUSQUE” WHICH COMPELLS MEN TO CONFESSION AND TO ENUMERATE ALL THEIR FAULTS.
A. ROMAN CANON “OMNIS UTRISUQUE” 180-1
1. They require of us a forced annual confession. 180-1
2. They require that people comb their memories to enumerate to the minister all their sins. 180-1
B. SCHOLASICS AND MONKS TEACH NOTHING ABOUT FAITH AND FREE FORGIVENESS. 180-2
C. AMONG US THE OPENLY WICKED AND DISPISERS OF THE SACRAMENT ARE EXCOMMUNICATED. 180-4
D. COMMUNION IS A NECESSARY MARK OF BELIEVERS. 181-5
1. If church members never commune, they are to be admonished. 181-5
2. If they still do not commune, let them come to penitence. 181-5
3. If they commune, let them not be permanently expelled. 181-5
4. If they do not commune, let them be expelled. 181-5
E. WE MUST NOT FORCE PEOPLE TO COMMUNION. 181-5
1. If any commune in an “unworthy manner”, they receive judgment upon themselves. 181-5
2. Therefore our pastors do not force those who are not ready to use the sacraments. 181-5
F. WE DO NOT TEACH CONFESSION AS A SNARE TO PEOPLE’S CONSCIENCES. 181-6
1. With regard to “Omnis utriusque” they cannot show from divine law (the word of God) that enumeration of sins is necessary to obtain their forgiveness. 181-7
2. All in Europe know how consciences are ensnared by the regulation that requires all sins to be confessed. 181-7
3. Pious minds are thus tortured but these terrors make no impression on wild and profane men. 181-7
4. Like other human traditions, “Omnis utriusque” is not an act of worship necessary for justification. 181-8
5. Many devout minds have been driven to hopeless despair because they believed than an enumeration of sins was necessary by divine law and yet experienced that it was impossible. 182-10
XII. PENITANCE p.182
PROPERLY SPEAKING, TRUE REPENTANCE IS NOTHING ELSE THAN TO HAVE CONTRITION AND SORROW, OR TERROR, ON ACCOUNT OF SIN, AND YET AT THE SAME TIME TO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL AND ABSOLUTION (NAMELY, THAT SIN HAS BEEN FORGIVEN AND GRACE HAS BEEN OBTAINED THROUGH CHRIST), AND THIS FAITH WILL COMFORT THE HEART AND AGAIN SET IT AT REST. 34‑35:5
· We believe that those who repent after falling into sins will receive forgiveness in believing the gospel.
· Good fruits and a turn‑away from sin and godless living are proofs of true repentance.
· We reject as error those who teach once in grace always in grace.
· Condemned are those who teach once someone falls into sin they cannot be forgiven.
· Rejected are those who teach forgiveness for sins are through our works and not through faith alone.
To Article XII.
In the twelfth article their confession that such as have fallen may find
remission of sins at the time when they are converted, and that the Church
should give absolution unto such as return to repentance, is commended, since
they most justly condemn the Novatians who deny that repentance can be
repeated, in opposition both to the prophet who promises grace to the sinner
at whatever hour he shall mourn, Ezek. 18:21, and the merciful declaration of
Christ our Saviour, replying to St. Peter, that not until seven times, but
until seventy times seven in one day, he should forgive his brother sinning
against him, Matt. 18:22. But the second part of this article is utterly
rejected. For when they ascribe only two parts to repentance, they antagonize
the entire Church, which from the time of the apostles has held and believed
that there are three parts of repentance - contrition, confession and
satisfaction. Thus the ancient doctors, Origen, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Gregory,
Augustine, taught in attestation of the Holy Scriptures, especially from 2
Kings 12, concerning David, 2 Chron 3:1, concerning Manasseh, Ps. 31, 37, 50,
101, etc. Therefore Pope Leo X of happy memory justly condemned this article
of Luther, who taught: "That there are three parts of repentance - viz.
confession, contrition, and satisfaction -- has no foundation in Scripture or
in Holy Christian doctors." This part of the article, therefore can in no way
be admitted; so, too, neither can that which asserts that faith is the second
part of repentance, since it is known to all that faith precedes repentance;
for unless one believes he will not repent. Neither is that part admitted
which makes light of pontifical satisfactions, for it is contrary to the
Gospel, contrary to the apostles, contrary to the fathers, contrary to the
councils, and contrary to the universal Catholic Church. John the Baptist
cries: "Bring forth fruits meet for repentance," Matt. 3:8. St. Paul teaches:
"As ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness, even so now yield
your members servants to righteousness unto holiness," Rom 6:19. He likewise
preached to the Gentiles that they should repent and be Converted to God,
bringing forth fruits meet for repentance, Acts 20:21. So Christ himself also
began to teach and preach repentance: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at
hand," Matt. 4:17. Afterward he commanded the apostles to pursue this mode of
preaching and teaching, Luke 24:47, and St. Peter faithfully obeyed him in his
first sermon, Acts 2:38. So Augustine also exhorts that "every one exercise
toward himself severity, so that, being judged of himself, he shall not be
judged of the Lord," as St. Paul says. 1 Cor. 11:31. Pope Leo surnamed the
Great, said "The Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, gave to
those set over the churches the authority to assign to those who confess the
doing of penance, and through the door of reconciliation to admit to the
communion of the sacraments those who have been cleansed by a salutary
satisfaction.Ó Ambrose says: "The amount of the penance must be adapted to the
trouble of the conscience." Hence diverse penitential canons were appointed in
the holy Synod of Nice, in accordance with The diversity of satisfactions,
Jovinian the heretic, thought, however, that all sins are equal and
accordingly did not admit a diversity of satisfactions. Moreover,
satisfactions should not be abolished in the Church, contrary to the express
Gospel and the decrees of councils and fathers, but those absolved by the
priest ought to perform the penance enjoined, following the declaration of St.
Paul: He "gave himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto
himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works," Tit. 2:14. Christ thus made
satisfaction for us, that we might be zealous of good works, fulfilling the
XIII. NUMBER AND USE OF SACRAMENTS p.211
SACRAMENTS ARE SIGNS AND TESTIMONIES OF GOD'S WILL TOWARD US FOR THE PURPOSE OF AWAKENING AND STRENGHTENING OUR FAITH.
· Sacraments require faith on part of the user.
To Article XIII.
The thirteenth article gives no offence, but is accepted, while they say that
the sacraments were instituted not only to be marks of profession among men,
but rather to be signs and testimonies of God's will toward us; nevertheless,
we must request them that what they here ascribe to the sacraments in general
they confess also specifically concerning the seven sacraments of the Church
and take measures for the observance of them by their subjects.
XIV. ECCLESIASTICAL ORDERS p.214
· Public teaching and preaching and administration of the sacraments require a called clergy.
· Nobody such Pastor without a regular call.
To Article XIV.
When, in the fourteenth article, they confess that no one ought to administer
in the Church the Word of God and the sacraments unless he be rightly called,
it ought to be understood that he is rightly called who is called in
accordance with the form of law and the ecclesiastical ordinances and decrees
hitherto observed everywhere in the Christian world, and not according to a
Jeroboitic (cf. 1 Kings 12:20) call, or a tumult or any other irregular
intrusion of the people. Aaron was not thus called. Therefore in this sense
the Confession is received; nevertheless, they should be admonished to
persevere therein, and to admit in their realms no one either as pastor or as
preacher unless he be rightly called.
XV. HUMAN TRADITIONS p.215
A. HUMAN USAGES THAT MAY BE OBSERVED:
· Many church usages, such as holidays, may be observed without sin and which contribute to peace and good order. 36:1
B. HUMAN USAGES CONTRARY TO THE GOSPEL MAY NOT BE KEPT:
· All ordinances and traditions instituted by men for the purpose of propitiating God and earning grace are contrary to the Gospel. 36:3
To Article XV.
In the fifteenth article their confession that such ecclesiastical rites are
to be observed as may be observed without sin, and are profitable for
tranquility and good order in the Church, is accepted, and they must be
admonished that the princes and cities see to it that the ecclesiastical rites
of the Church universal be observed in their dominions and districts, as well
as those which have been kept devoutly and religiously in every province even
to us, and if any of these have been intermitted that they restore them, and
arrange, determine and effectually enjoin upon their subjects that all things
be done in their churches according to the ancient form. Nevertheless, the
appendix to this article must be entirely removed, since it is false that
human ordinances instituted to propitiate God and make satisfactions for sins
are opposed to the Gospel, as will be more amply declared hereafter concerning
vows, the choice of food and the like.
XVI. POLITICAL ORDER p.222
A. GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHED BY GOD:
· All government in the world is instituted by God for the sake of good order and Christians may without sin occupy civil offices or serve as princes, and judges, punish evildoers with the sword, engage in just wars, serve as soldiers, buy and sell, take required oaths, possess property, be married, etc. 37:2
B. FALSE TEACHERS WANT TO DENY OR OVERTHROW HUMAN GOVERNMENT:
· Condemned are the enthusiasts and fanatics who deny these things.
C. WHEN GOVERNMENT MAY BE DISOBEYED:
· But when civil authority cannot be obeyed without sin, we must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). 38:7
To Article XVI.
The sixteenth article, concerning civil magistrates, is received with
pleasure, as in harmony not only with civil law, but also with canonical law,
the Gospel, the Holy Scriptures, and the universal norm of faith, since the
apostle enjoins that "every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there
is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever,
therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that
resist shall receive to themselves damnation," Rom. 13:1. And the princes are
praised for condemning the Anabaptists, who overthrow all civil ordinances and
prohibit Christians the use of the magistracy and other civil offices, without
which no state is successfully administered.
XVII. THE RETURN OF CHRIST p.224
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WILL RETURN ON THE LAST DAY FOR JUDGMENT AND WILL RAISE UP ALL THE DEAD, TO GIVE ETERNAL LIFE AND EVERLASTING JOY TO BELIEVERS AND THE ELECT BUT TO CONDEMN UNGODLY MEN AND THE DEVIL TO HELL AND ETERNAL PUNISHMENT. 39:1‑3
· Rejected is the Jewish worldly opinion that before the resurrection of the dead, saints and godly men will possess a worldly kingdom. 39:5
To Article XVII.
The confession of the seventeenth article is received, since from the
Apostles' Creed and the Holy Scripture the entire Catholic Church knows that
Christ will come at the last day to judge the quick and the dead. Therefore
they justly condemn here the Anabaptists, who think there will be an end of
punishments to condemned men and devils, and imagine certain Jewish kingdoms
of the godly, before the resurrection of the dead, in this present world, the
wicked being everywhere suppressed.
XVIII. FREE-WILL p.225
A. MAN'S WILL IS FREE AS TO MATERIAL AND NON‑SPIRITUAL THINGS
· Man possesses some measure of freedom of the will which enables him to live an outwardly honorable life and to make choices among the things that reason comprehends. 39:1
· He can take a wife, have friends, vocation, and do as he pleases in this world.
B. MAN'S WILL IS IN BONDAGE TO SIN AND SATAN AND CANNOT SERVE OR PLEASE GOD
· Free will does not enable men to act in matters pertaining to God. 39:4
· Man's un‑free will cannot fear, believe or love God.
To Article XVIII.
In the eighteenth article they confess the power of the Free Will - viz. that
it has the power to work a civil righteousness, but that it has not, without
the Holy Ghost, the virtue to work the righteousness of God. This confession
is received and approved. For it thus becomes Catholics to pursue the middle
way, so as not, with the Pelagians, to ascribe too much to the free will, nor,
with the godless Manichaeans, to deny it all liberty; for both are not without
fault. Thus Augustine says: "With sure faith we believe, and without doubt we
preach, that a free will exists in men. For it is an inhuman error to deny the
free will in man, which every one experiences in himself, and is so often
asserted in the Holy Scriptures." St. Paul says: "Having power over his own
will." 1 Cor. 7:37. Of the righteous the wise man says: "Who might offend, and
hath not offended? or done evil, and hath not done it?" Eccles. 31:10. God
said to Cain: "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou
doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and
thou shalt rule over him," Gen. 4:7. Through the prophet Isaiah he says: "If
ye be willing and obedient ye shall eat the good of the land. But if ye refuse
and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword." This also Jeremiah has
briefly expressed: "Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil, as thou couldest,"
Jer. 3:5. We add also Ezek. 18:31ff.: "Cast away from you all your
transgressions whereby ye have transgressed; and make ye a new heart, and a
new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in
the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves and
live." Also St. Paul: "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the
prophets," 1 Cor. 14:32. Likewise 2 Cor. 9:7: "Every man according as he
purposeth in his heart; not grudgingly or of necessity." finally, Christ
overthrew all the Manichaeans with one word when he said: "Ye have the poor
with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good." Mark 14:7; and
to Jerusalem Christ says: "How often would I have gathered thy children
together, even as a hen gathered her chickens under her wings, and ye would
not!" Matt. 23:37.
XIX. CAUSE OF SIN p.226
MAN'S NATURE AND WILL ARE THE CAUSE OF SIN.
· Sin is caused in all wicked men and despisers of God by the perverted will. 40‑41:1
To Article XIX.
The nineteenth article is likewise approved and accepted. For God, the
supremely good, is not the author of evils, but the rational and defectible
will is the cause of sin; wherefore let no one impute his midsdeeds and crimes
to God, but to himself, according to Jer. 2:19: "Thine own wickedness shall
correct thee and thy backslidings shall reprove thee;" and Hos. 13:9: "O
Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thy help." And David in the
spirit acknowledged that God is not one that hath pleasure in wickedness, Ps.
XX. GOOD WORKS p.226
A. FAITH‑ THE CHIEF ARTICLE OF CHRISTIAN LIFE:
· The teaching about faith, which is the chief article in the Christian life. 42:8
B. FAITH ALONE TAKES HOLD AND APPROPRIATES THE GRACE OF GOD:
· The Grace of God is appropriated without merits, through faith alone. 44:23
· It is always faith alone that apprehends grace and forgiveness of sin. 45:28
1.WHAT FAITH IS:
· Faith is a confidence in God and in the fulfillment of his promises. 45:26
· Faith is trust in God's promise to forgive our sins for Christ's sake.
2. WHAT FAITH IS NOT:
· Faith is not mere historical knowledge of Christ.
C. WORKS MERIT NOTHING FROM GOD FOR US:
· Our works cannot reconcile us with God or obtain grace for us, for this happens only through faith. 42:9
· Whoever imagines that he can accomplish this by works, or that he can merit grace, despises Christ and seeks his own way to God, contrary to the Gospel. 42:10
· The conscience cannot come to rest and peace through works, but only through faith. 43:15
D. PAPISTS NOW TEACH FAITH IN CHRIST AND WORKS TO MAKE US RIGHTEOUS
E. USELESS RELIGIOUS WORKS OF ROME:
· cults of the saints
· holy days
E. SLANDERED BY THE HIERARCHY OF ROME:
· Our teachers have been falsely accused of forbidding good works. 41:2
F. GOOD WORKS FOLLOW REAL FAITH AND ARE THE RESULT OF FAITH.
1. WITHOUT TRUE FAITH WE CANNOT DO THE WORKS THAT PLEASE GOD:
o "without me you can do nothing"
o Cannot love neighbor as self
o Cannot love God
o Do righteousness
To Article XX.
In the twentieth article, which does not contain so much the confession of the
princes and cities as the defense of the preachers, there is only one thing
that pertains to the princes and cities - viz. concerning good works, that
they do not merit the remission of sins, which, as it has been rejected and
disapproved before, is also rejected and disapproved now. For the passage in
Daniel is very familiar: "Redeem thy sins with alms," Dan. 4:24; and the
address of Tobit to his son: "Alms do deliver from death and suffereth not to
come into darkness," Tobit 4:10; and that of Christ: "Give alms of such things
as ye have, and behold all things are clean unto you," Luke 11:41. If works
were not meritorious why would the wise man say: "God will render a reward of
the labors of his saints"? Wisd. 10:17. Why would St. Peter so earnestly
exhort to good works, saying: "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence
by good works to make your calling and election sure"? 2 Pet. 1:19. Why would
St. Paul have said: "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of
love, which ye have showed towards his name"? Heb. 6:10. Nor by this do we
reject Christ's merit but we know that our works are nothing and of no merit
unless by virtue of Christ's passion. We know that Christ is "the way, the
truth and the life,". John 14:6. But Christ, as the Good Shepherd, who "began
to do and teach," Acts 1:1, has given us an example that as he has done we
also should do, John 13:15. He also went through the desert by the way of good
works, which all Christians ought to pursue, and according to his command bear
the cross and follow him. Matt. 10:38; 16:24. He who bears not the cross,
neither is nor can be Christ's disciple. That also is true which John says:
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he
walked," 1 John 2:6. Moreover, this opinion concerning good works was
condemned and rejected more than a thousand years ago in the time of
XXI. INVOCATION OF SAINTS p.229
A. SAINTS ARE A GOOD EXAMPLE OF FAITH:
· Saints should be kept in remembrance so that our faith may be strengthened. 46:1
· Example of David
B. WE ARE NOT TO PRAY TO THEM, WE HAVE CONFIDENCE CHRIST OUR ONE MEDIATOR WILL HEAR OUR PRAYERS.
· It cannot be proved from the Scriptures that we are to invoke saints or seek help from
To Article XXI.
In the last place, they present the twenty-first article, wherein they admit
that the memory of saints may be set before us, that we may follow their faith
and good works, but not that they be invoked and aid be sought of them. It is
certainly wonderful that the princes especially and the cities have allowed
this error to be agitated in their dominions, which has been condemned so
often before in the Church, since eleven hundred years ago St. Jerome
vanquished in this area the heretic Vigilantius. Long after him arose the
Albigenses, the Poor Men of Lyons, the Picards, the Cathari old and new: all
of whom were condemned legitimately long ago. Wherefore this article of the
Confession, so frequently condemned, must be utterly rejected and in harmony
with the entire universal Church be condemned; for in favor of the invocation
of saints we have not only the authority of the Church universal but also the
agreement of the holy fathers, Augustine, Bernard, Jerome, Cyprian,
Chrysostom, Basil, and this class of other Church teachers. Neither is the
authority of Holy Scripture absent from this Catholic assertion, for Christ
taught that the saints should be honored: "If any man serve me, him will my
Father honor," John 12:26. If, therefore, God honors saints, why do not we,
insignificant men, honor them? Besides, the Lord was turned to repentance by
Job when he prayed for his friends, Job 42:8. Why, therefore, would not God,
the most pious, who gave assent to Job, do the same to the Blessed Virgin when
she intercedes? We read also in Baruch 3:4: "O Lord Almighty, thou God of
Israel, hear now the prayers of the dead Israelites." Therefore the dead also
pray for us. Thus did Onias and Jeremiah in the Old Testament. For Onias the
high priest was seen by Judas Maccabaeus holding up his hands and praying for
the whole body of the Jews. Afterwards another man appeared, remarkable both
for his age and majesty, and of great beauty about him, concerning whom Onias
replied: "This is a love of the brethren and of the people Israel, who prayeth
much for the people and for the Holy city - to wit, Jeremiah the prophet." 2
Macc. 15:12-14. Besides, we know from the Holy Scriptures that the angels pray
for us. Why, then, would we deny this of the saints? "O Lord of hosts," said
the angels, "how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities
of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation? And the Lord answered the
angel that talked with me comfortable words." Zech. 1:12, 13. Job likewise
testifies: "If there be an angel with him speaking, one among a thousand, to
show unto man his uprightness, he will pity him and say, Deliver him from
going down to the pit." Job 33:23, 24. This is clear besides from the words of
that holy soul, John the Evangelist, when he says: "The four beasts and the
four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one of them
harps and golden vials, full of odors which are the prayers of saints," Rev.
5:8; and afterwards: "An angel stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and
there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the
prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And
the smoke of the incense, which came up with the prayers of the saints,
ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." Lastly, St. Cyprian the
martyr more than twelve hundred and fifty years ago wrote to Pope Cornelius,
Book I, Letter 1, asking that "if any depart first, his prayer for our
brethren and sisters may not cease." For if this holy man had not ascertained
that after this life the saints pray for the living, he would have given
exhortation to no purpose. Neither is their Confession strengthened by the
fact that there is one Mediator between God and men, 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:1.
For although His Imperial Majesty, with the entire Church, confesses that
there is one Mediator of redemption, nevertheless the mediators of
intercession are many. Thus Moses was both mediator and agent between God and
men, Deut. 5:31, for he prayed for the children of Israel, Ex. 17:11; 32:11f.
Thus St. Paul prayed for those with whom he was sailing, Acts 27; so, too, he
asked that he be prayed for by the Romans, Rom. 15:30, by the Corinthians, 2
Cor. 1:11, and by the Colossians, Col. 4:3. So while Peter was kept in prison
prayer was made without ceasing of the Church unto God for him, Acts 12:5.
Christ, therefore, is our chief Advocate, and indeed the greatest; but since
the saints are members of Christ, 1 Cor. 12:27 and Eph. 5:30, and conform
their will to that of Christ, and see that their Head, Christ, prays for us,
who can doubt that the saints do the very same thing which they see Christ
doing? With all these things carefully considered, we must ask the princes and
the cities adhering to them that they reject this part of the Confession and
agree with the holy universal and orthodox Church and believe and confess,
concerning the worship and intercession of saints, what the entire Christian
world believes and confesses, and was observed in all the churches in the time
of Augustine. "A Christian people." he says, "celebrates the memories of
martyrs with religious observance, that it share in their merits and be aided
by their prayers."
CONCLUSION OF PART I
THIS IS JUST ABOUT A SUMMARY OF THE DOCTRINES THAT ARE PREACHED AND TAUGHT IN OUR CHURCHES FOR PROPER CHRISTIAN INSTRUCTION, THE CONSOLATION OF CONSCIENCES, AND THE AMENDMENT OF BELIEVERS. 47:1
ARTICLES ABOUT MATTERS IN DISPUTE, IN WHICH AN ACCOUNT IS GIVEN OF THE ABUSES WHICH HAVE BEEN CORRECTED
XXII. SUPPER TWO KINDS p.236
A. BREAD AND WINE ARE COMMANDED BY CHRIST TO BE GIVEN TO ALL:
· Both kinds are given to laymen in the sacrament according to Christ's command "Drink
of it, all of you." 49:1
B. THE WHOLE CHURCH RECEIVES BOTH KINDS OF SACRAMENTS
· According to church fathers
· The whole assembly of the congregation in Corinth received both kinds. 50:4
· Cannon law is not against sacraments in both kinds.
C. WE DO NOT PARADE AROUND WITH THE SACRAMENT
· The customary carrying about of the sacrament in processions is also
omitted by us. 51:12
Reply to the Second Part of the Confession.
Of Lay Communion under One Form. As in the Confessions of the princes and
cities they enumerate among the abuses that laymen commune only under one
form, and as, therefore, in their dominions both forms are administered to
laymen, we must reply, according to the custom of the Holy Church, that this
is incorrectly enumerated among the abuses, but that, according to the
sanctions and statutes of the same Church it is rather an abuse and
disobedience to administer to laymen both forms. For under the one form of
bread the saints communed in the primitive Church, of whom Luke says: "They
continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread." Acts 2:42. Here Luke mentions bread alone. Likewise Acts
20:7 says: "Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together
to break bread." Yea, Christ, the institutor of this most holy sacrament,
rising again from the dead, administered the Eucharist only under one form to
the disciples going to Emmaus, where he took bread and blessed it, and brake
and gave to them, and they recognized him in the breaking of bread. Luke
24:30, 31: where indeed Augustine, Chrysostome, Theophylact and Bede some of
whom many ages ago and not long after the times of the apostles affirm that it
was the Eucharist. Christ also (John 6) very frequently mentions bread alone.
St. Ignatius, a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, in his Epistle to the
Ephesians mentions the bread alone in the communion of the Eucharist. Ambrose
does likewise in his books concerning the sacraments, speaking of the
communion of Laymen. In the Council of Rheims, laymen were forbidden from
bearing the sacrament of the Body to the sick, and no mention is there made of
the form of wine. Hence it is understood that the viaticum was given the sick
under only one form. The ancient penitential canons approve of this. For the
Council of Agde put a guilty priest into a monastery and granted him only lay
communion. In the Council of Sardica, Hosius prohibits certain indiscreet
persons from receiving even lay communion, unless they finally repent. There
has always been a distinction in the Church between lay communion under one
form and priestly communion under both forms. This was beautifully predicted
in the Old Testament concerning the descendants of Eli: "It shall come to
pass," says God, 1 Kings 2; 1 Sam. 2:36, "that everyone that is left in thine
house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of
bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' office
(Vulgate reads: "Ad unam partem sacerdotalem."), Òthat I may eat a piece of
bread." Here Holy Scripture clearly shows that the posterity of Eli, when
removed from the office of the priesthood, will seek to be admitted to one
sacerdotal part, to a piece of bread. So our laymen also ought, therefore, to
be content with one sacerdotal part, the one form. For both the Roman pontiffs
and cardinals and all bishops and priests, save in the mass and in the extreme
hour of life for a viaticum, as it is called in the Council of Nice, are
content with taking one form, which they would not do if they thought that
both forms would be necessary for salvation. Although, however, both forms
were of old administered in many churches to laymen (for then it was free to
commune under one or under both forms), yet on account of many dangers the
custom of administering both forms has ceased. For when the multitude of the
people is considered where there are old and young, tremulous and weak and
inept, if great care be not employed and injury is done the Sacrament by the
spilling of the liquid. Because of the great multitude there would be
difficulty also in giving the chalice cautiously for the form of wine, which
also when kept for a long time would sour and cause nausea or vomition to
those who would receive it; neither could it be readily taken to the sick
without danger of spilling. For these reasons and others the churches in which
the custom had been to give both forms to laymen were induced, undoubtedly by
impulse of the Holy Ghost, to give thereafter but one form, from the
consideration chiefly that the entire Christ is under each form, and is
received no less under one form than under two. In the Council of Constance,
of such honorable renown, a decree to this effect appeared, and so too the
Synod of Basle legitimately decreed. And although it was formerly a matter of
freedom to use either one or both forms in the Eucharist, nevertheless, when
the heresy arose which taught that both forms were necessary, the Holy Church,
which is directed by the Holy Ghost, forbade both forms to laymen. For thus
the Church is sometimes wont to extinguish heresies by contrary institutions;
as when some arose who maintained that the Eucharist is properly celebrated
only when unleavened bread is used, the Church for a while commanded that it
be administered with leavened bread; and when Nestorius wished to establish
that the perpetual Virgin Mary was mother only of Christ, not of God, the
Church for a time forbade her to be called Christotokos, mother of Christ.
Wherefore we must entreat the princes and cities not to permit this schism to
be introduced into Germany, into the Roman Empire, or themselves to be
separated from the custom of the Church Universal. Neither do the arguments
adduced in this article avail, for while Christ indeed instituted both forms
of the Sacrament, yet it is nowhere found in the Gospel that he enjoined that
both forms be received by the laity. For what is said in Matt. 26:27: "Drink
ye all of it," was said to the twelve apostles, who were priests, as is
manifest from Mark 14:23, where it is said: "And they all drank of it." This
certainly was not fulfilled hitherto with respect to laymen; whence the custom
never existed throughout the entire Church that both forms were given to
laymen, although it existed perhaps among the Corinthians and Carthaginians
and some other Churches. As to their reference to Gelasius, Canon Comperimus,
of Consecration. Dist. 2, if they examine the document they will find that
Gelasius speaks of priests, and not of laymen. Hence their declaration that
the custom of administering but one form is contrary to divine law must be
rejected. But most of all the appendix to the article must be rejected, that
the procession with the Eucharist must be neglected or omitted, because the
sacrament is thus divided. For they themselves know, or at least ought to
know, that by the Christian faith Christ has not been divided, but that the
entire Christ is under both forms, and that the Gospel nowhere forbids the
division of the sacramental forms; as is done on Parasceve (Holy or Maundy
Thursday) by the entire Church of the Catholics, although the consecration is
made by the celebrant in both forms, who also ought to receive both. Therefore
the princes and cities should be admonished to pay customary reverence and due
honor to Christ the Son of the living God, our Savior and Glorifier, the Lord
of heaven and earth, since they believe and acknowledge that he is truly
present - a matter which they know has been most religiously observed by their
ancestors, most Christian princes.
XXIII. MARRIAGE OF PRIESTS p.236
A.THE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE IS TO AVOID LUST AND SIN
· Marriage is given to avoid immorality. 51:4
· God himself instituted marriage to aid human infirmity and prevent unchastity. 54:15
B. IT IS BETTER TO MARRY THAN TO FALL INTO THE FIRES OF HELL
· "If they are unwilling or unable to keep their chastity, it is better for them to marry than to fall into the fire through their lusts, and they should see to it that they do not give their brothers and sisters occasion for offense (by their immoral unmarried fornication)" 55:25
C. PRIESTS SHOULD MARRY BECAUSE
· Flagrant immorality and the dissolute life of priests who were not able to remain
continent and engaged in abominable vices. 51:1
D. GOD'S WORD AND COMMAND TO MARRY OVERRIDE ROME'S IMAGINARY LAWS PROHIBITING IT
· Since God's Word and command cannot be altered by any human vows or laws, our priests and other clergy have taken wives to themselves for these and other reasons and causes. 52:8,9
E. PRIESTS MARRIED IN THE ANCIENT CHURCH
· Precedent of the Ancient Church/practice
F. THE POPE MADLY OPPOSES GOD'S COMMAND, DESPISES IT AND WARS AGAINST IT AND NATURE
· Forced Celibacy an innovation of Rome and New Practice.
G. ROME'S PROHIBITION OF PRIESTLY MARRIAGE ENFORCED BY BLOODSHED AND DIVORCE
· Rome persecutes innocent people simply because they are married‑ especially priests. 55:21
H. BIBLE CONDEMNS ROME'S DOCTRINE AS A DOCTRINE OF THE DEVIL
· In 1 Tim 4:1,3 the apostle Paul calls the teaching that forbids marriage a doctrine of the'
· It must be a doctrine of the devil to forbid marriage and then to be so bold as to maintain
such a teaching with the shedding of blood. 55:23
II. Of the Marriage of Priests.
Their enumeration among abuses, in the second place, of the celibacy of the
clergy, and the manner in which their priests marry and persuade others to
marry, are verily matters worthy of astonishment, since they call sacerdotal
celibacy an abuse, when that which is directly contrary, the violation of
celibacy and the illicit transition to marriage, deserves to be called the
worst abuse in priests. For that priests ought never to marry Aurelius
testifys in the second Council of Carthage, where he says: "Because the
apostles taught thus by example, and antiquity itself has preserved it, let us
also maintain it." And a little before a canon to this effect is read:
"Resolved, That the bishops, presbyters and deacons, or those who administer
the sacraments, abstain, as guardians of chastity, from wives." From these
words it is clear that this tradition has been received from the apostles, and
not recently devised by the Church. Augustine, following Aurelius in the last
question concerning the Old and New Testaments, writes upon these words, and
asks: "If perhaps it be said, if it is lawful and good to marry, why are not
priests permitted to have wives?" Pope Caliztus, a holy man and a martyr,
decided thirteen hundred years ago that priests should not marry. The like is
read also in the holy Councils of Caesarea, Neocaesarea, Africa, Agde,
Gironne, Meaux, and Orleans. Thus the custom has been observed from the time
of the Gospel and the apostles that one who has been put into the office of
priests has never been permitted, according to law, to marry. It is indeed
true that on account of lack of ministers of God in the primitive Church
married men were admitted to the priesthood, as is clear from the Apostolic
Canons and the reply of Paphnutius in the Council of Nice; nevertheless, those
who wished to contract marriage were compelled to do so before receiving the
subdiaconate, as we read in the canon Si quis corum Dist. 32. This custom of
the primitive Church the Greek Church has preserved and retained to this day.
But when, by the grace of God, the Church has increased so that there was no
lack of ministers in the Church, Pope Siricius, eleven hundred and forty years
ago, undoubtedly not without the Holy Ghost, enjoined absolute continence upon
the priests, Canon Plurimus, Dist. 82 - an injunction which Popes Innocent I.,
Leo the Great and Gregory the Great approved and ratified, and which the Latin
Church has everywhere observed to this day. From these facts it is regarded
sufficiently clear that the celibacy of the clergy is not an abuse, and that
it was approved by fathers so holy at such a remote time, and was received by
the entire Latin Church. Besides, the priests of the old law, as in the case
of Zacharias, were separated from their wives at times when they discharged
their office and ministered in the temple. But since the priest of the new law
ought always to be engaged in the ministry, it follows that he ought always to
be continent. Furthermore, married persons should not defraud one the other of
conjugal duties except for a time that they may give themselves to prayer. 1
Cor. 7:5. But since a priest ought always to pray, he ought always to be
continent. Besides, St. Paul says: "But I would have you without carefulness.
He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, that he
may please the Lord. But he that is married careth for the things that are of
the world, how he may please his wife," 1 Cor. 7:32, 33. Therefore let the
priest who should please God continually flee from anxiety for a wife, and not
look back with Lot's wife, Gen. 19:26. Moreover, sacerdotal continence was
foreshadowed also in the Old Testament, for Moses commanded those who were to
receive the law not to approach their wives until the third day, Ex 19:15.
Much less, therefore, should the priests, who are about to receive Christ as
our Legislator, Lord and Savior, approach wives. Priests were commanded
likewise to wear linen thigh-bandages, to cover the shame of the flesh (Ex.
28:42); which, says Beda, was a symbol of future continence among priests.
Also, when Ahimelech was about to give the blessed bread to the servants of
David he asked first if they had kept themselves from women and David replied
that they had for three days. 1 Kings 21 (1 Sam. 21:4, 5). Therefore, they who
take the living Bread which came down from heaven, John 6:32ff., should always
be pure with respect to them. They who ate the Passover had their loins
girded, Ex. 12:11. Wherefore the priests, who frequently eat Christ our
Passover, ought to gird their loins by continence and cleanliness, as the Lord
commands them: "Be ye clean," he says, "that bear the vessels of the Lord,"
Isa. 52:11. "Ye shall be holy, for I am holy," Lev. 19:2. Therefore let
priests serve God "in holiness and righteousness all their days." Luke 1:75.
Hence the holy martyr Cyprian testifies that it was revealed to him by the
Lord, and he was most solemnly enjoined, to earnestly admonish the clergy not
to occupy a domicile in common with women. Hence, since sacerdotal continence
has been commanded by the pontiffs and revealed by God and promised to God, by
the priest in a special vow, it must not be rejected. For this is required by
the excellency of the sacrifice they offer, the frequency of prayer, and
liberty and purity of spirit, that they care how to please God, according to
the teaching of St. Paul. And because this is manifestly the ancient heresy of
Jovinian, which the Roman Church condemned and Jerome refuted in his writings,
and St. Augustine said that this heresy was immediately extinguished and did
not attain to the corruption and abuse of priests, the princes ought not to
tolerate it to the perpetual shame and disgrace of the Roman Empire, but
should rather conform themselves to the Church universal, and not be
influenced by those things which are suggested to them. For as to what Paul
says, 1 Cor. 7:2: "To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife,"
Jerome replies that St. Paul is speaking of one who has not made a vow, as
Athanasius and Vulgarius understand the declaration of St. Paul: "If a virgin
marry, she hath not sinned." (1 Cor. 7:28), that here a virgin is meant who
has not been consecrated to God. So in reference to : "It is better to marry
than to burn" (1 Cor. 7:9), the pointed reply of Jerome against Jovinian is
extant. For the same St. Paul says (1 Cor. 7:1): "It is good for a man not to
touch a woman." For a priest has the intermediate position of neither marrying
nor burning, but of restraining himself by the grace of God, which he obtains
of God by devout prayer and chastising of the flesh, by fasting and vigils.
Furthermore, when they say that Christ taught that all men are not fit for
celibacy, it is indeed true, and on this account not all are fit for the
priesthood; but let the priest pray, and he will be able to receive Christ's
word concerning continence, as St. Paul says: "I can do all things through
Christ which strengtheneth me," Phil. 4:13. For continence is a gift of God,
Wisd. 8:21. Besides, when they allege that this is God's ordinance and
command, Gen. 1:28, Jerome replied concerning these words a thousand years
ago: "It was necessary first to plant the forest, and that it grow, in order
that that might be which could afterwards be cut down." Then the command was
given concerning the procreation of offspring, that the earth should be
replenished, but since it has been replenished so that there is a pressure of
nations, the commandment does not pertain in like manner upon those able to be
continent. In vain, too, do they boast of God's express order. Let them show,
if they can, where God has enjoined priests to marry. Besides, we find in the
divine law that vows once offered should be paid, Ps. 49 and 75; Eccles. 5,
Ps. 50:14, 76:11; Eccles. 5:4. Why, therefore, do they not observe this
express divine law? They also pervert St. Paul, as though he teaches that one
who is to be chosen bishop should be married when he says: "Let a bishop be
the husband of one wife;" which is not to be understood as though he ought to
be married, for then Martin, Nicolaus, Titus, John the Evangelist, yea Christ,
would not have been bishops. Hence Jerome explains the words of St. Paul,
"that a bishop be the husband of one wife," as meaning that he be not a
bigamist. The truth of this exposition is clear, not only from the authority
of Jerome, which ought to be great with every Catholic, but also from St.
Paul, who writes concerning the selection of widows: "Let not a widow be taken
into the number under three score years, having been the wife of one man," 1
Tim. 5:9. Lastly, the citation of what was done among the Germans is the
statement of a fact, but not of a law, for while there was a contention
between the Emperor Henry IV, and the Roman Pontiff, and also between his son
and the nobles of the Empire, both divine and human laws were equally
confused, so that at the time the laity rashly attempted to administer sacred
things, to use filth instead of holy oil, to baptize, and to do much else
foreign to the Christian religion. The clergy likewise went beyond their
sphere - a precedent which cannot be cited as law. Neither was it regarded
unjust to dissolve sacrileges marriages which had been contracted to no effect
in opposition to vows and the sanction of fathers and councils; as even today
the marriages of priests with their so-called wives are not valid. In vain,
therefore, do they complain that the world is growing old, and that as a
remedy for infirmity rigor should be relaxed, for those who are consecrated to
God have other remedies of infirmities; as, for instance, let them avoid the
society of women, shun idleness, macerate the flesh by fasting and vigils,
keep the outward senses, especially sight and hearing, from things forbidden,
turn away their eyes from beholding vanity, and finally dash their little ones
- i.e. their carnal thoughts - upon a rock (and Christ is the Rock), suppress
their passions, and frequently and devoutly resort to God in prayer. These are
undoubtedly the most effectual remedies for incontinence in ecclesiastics and
servants of God. St. Paul said aright that the doctrine of those who forbid
marriage is a doctrine of demons. Such was the doctrine of Tatian and Marcoin,
whom Augustine and Jerome have mentioned. But the Church does not thus forbid
marriage, as she even enumerates marriage among the seven sacraments; with
which, however, it is consistent that on account of their superior ministry
she should enjoin upon ecclesiastics superior purity. For it is false that
there is an express charge concerning contracting marriage, for then John the
Evangelist, St. James, Laurentius, Titus, Martin, Catharine, Barbara, etc.,
would have sinned. Nor is Cyprian influenced by these considerations to speak
of a virgin who had made a solemn vow, but of one who had determined to live
continently, as the beginning of Letter XI., Book I sufficiently shows. For
the judgement of St. Augustine is very explicit: "It is damnable for Virgins
who make a vow not only to marry, but even to wish to marry." Hence the abuse
of marriage and the breaking of vows in the clergy are not to be tolerated.
XXIV. MASS p.249-268
A. SLANDER OF THE LUTHERANS BY THE ROMAN PARTY
· We are unjustly accused of abolishing the Mass. 56:1
B. WE MAINTAIN THE ANCIENT MASS AND ADJUST IT TO THE BENEFIT OF THE PEOPLE
· Meanwhile no conspicuous changes have been made in the public ceremonies of the Mass. 56:2
· Addition of German hymns
C. ROMAN MASSES HAVE BECOME ABUSED AND TWISTED INTO A METHOD OF COMMERCE
· Mass came to be misused in many ways, by buying and selling it, for monetary consideration. 57:10
D. TO USE THE MASS FOR MONETARY GAIN IS TO ABUSE THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
· Whoever uses the sacrament unworthily is guilty of the body and blood of Christ. 57:13
· Mercenary Masses for the sake of revenues and stipends were discontinued in our churches. 57:13
· The Abominable Error which transformed the Mass into a sacrifice for the living and the dead. 58:21‑22
E. NOWHERE IN SCRIPTURE IS THERE THE TEACHING THAT THE MASS IS A SACRIFICE WE OFFER TO GOD
· The scriptures show in many places that there is no sacrifice for original sin, or for any other sin, except the one death of Christ. 58:26
· Paul taught that we obtain grace before God though faith and not through works. 59:28
F. ABUSE OF THE MASS BY THOSE WHO THINK IT IS A MERITORIOUS WORK
· The Mass is misused by those who think that grace is obtained through the performance of this work, for it is well known that the Mass is used to remove sin and obtain grace and all sorts of benefits from God. 59:29
G. PURPOSE OF THE SACRAMENTAL MEAL OF CHRIST
· The holy sacrament was not instituted to make provision for a sacrifice for sin but to awaken our faith and comfort our consciences. 59:30
· Thus the Mass is preserved among us in the proper use. 60:35
· Because we teach and use the Mass scripturally.
· Accordingly the sacrament requires faith, and without faith it is used in vain. 59:30
III. Of the Mass
Whatever in this article is stated concerning the most holy office of the mass that agrees with the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church is approved, but whatever is added that is contrary to the observance of the general and universal orthodox Church is rejected, because it grievously offends God, injures Christian unity, and occasions dissensions, tumults and seditions in the Holy Roman Empire. Now, as to these things which they state in the article:
First, it is displeasing that, in opposition to the usage of the entire Roman Church, they perform ecclesiastical rites not in the Roman but in the German language, and this they pretend that they do upon the authority of St. Paul, who taught that in the Church a language should be used which is understood by the people, 1 Cor. 14:19. But if this were the meaning of the words of St. Paul, it would compel them to perform the entire mass in German, which even they do not do. But since the priest is a person belonging to the entire
Church, and not only to his surroundings, it is not wonderful that the priest celebrates the mass in the Latin language in a Latin Church. It is profitable to the hearer, however, if he hear the mass in faith of the Church; and experience teaches that among the Germans there has been greater devotion at mass in Christ's believers who do not understand the Latin language than in those who today hear the mass in German. And if the words of the apostle be pondered, it is sufficient that the one replying occupy the place of the
unlearned to say Amen, the very thing that the canons prescribe. Neither is it necessary that he hear or understand all the words of the mass, and even attend to it intelligently; for it is better to understand and to attend to its end, because the mass is celebrated in order that the Eucharist may be offered in memory of Christ's passion. And it is an argument
in favor of this that, according to the general opinion of the fathers, the apostles and their successors until the times of the Emperor Hadrian celebrated the mass in the Hebrew language alone, which was indeed unknown to the Christians, especially the converted heathen . But even if the mass had been celebrated in the primitive Church in a tongue understood by
the people, nevertheless this would not be necessary now, for many were daily converted who were ignorant of the ceremonies and unacquainted with the mysteries; and hence it was of advantage for them to understand the words of the office; but now Catholics imbibe from their cradles the manners and customs of the Church, whence they readily know what should be
done at every time in the Church. Moreover, as to their complaints concerning the abuse of masses, there is none of those who think aright but does not earnestly desire that the abuses be corrected. __But that they who wait at the altar live of the altar is not an abuse , but pertains equally to both divine and human law.__ "Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charge?" says Paul. "Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of
the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?" 1 Cor 9:7, 13. Christ says: "The laborer is worthy of his hire." Luke 10:7. But worthy of censure, above all things, is the discontinuance of the private mass in certain places, as though those having fixed and prescribed returns are sought no less than the public masses on account of gain. But by this abrogation of masses the worship of God is diminished, honor
is withdrawn from the saints, the ultimate will of the founder is overthrown and defeated, the dead deprived of the rights due them, and the devotion of the living withdrawn and chilled. Therefore the abrogation of private masses cannot be conceded and tolerated. Neither can their assumption be sufficiently understood that Christ by his passion has made satisfaction for original sin, and has instituted the mass for actual sin; for this has never been heard by Catholics, and very many who are now asked most constantly deny that
they have so taught. For the mass does not abolish sins, which are destroyed by repentance as their peculiar medicine, but abolishes the punishment due sin, supplies satisfactions, and confers increase of grace and salutary protection of the living, and, lastly, brings the hope of divine consolation and aid to all our wants and necessities. Again, their insinuations that in the mass Christ is not offered must be altogether rejected, as condemned of old and excluded by the faithful. For Augustine says this was a very ancient
heresy of the Arians, who denied that in the mass an oblation was made for the living and the dead. For this is opposed both to the Holy Scriptures and the entire Church. For through Malachi the Lord predicted the rejection of the Jews, the call of the Gentiles and the sacrifice of the evangelical law: "I have no pleasure in you, he saith, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of
the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name and a pure offering." Mal 1:10, 11. But no pure offering has already been offered to God in every place, except in the sacrifice of the altar of the most pure Eucharist. This authority St. Augustine and other Catholics have used in favor of the mass
against faithless Jews, and certainly with Catholic princes it should have greater influence than all objections of the adversaries. Besides, in speaking of the advent of the Messiah the same prophet says: "And he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old and as in
former years," Mal. 3:3, 4. Here in the spirit the prophet foresaw the sons of Levi - i.e. evangelical priests, says Jerome - about to offer sacrifices, not in the blood of goats, but in righteousness, as in the days of old. Hence these words are repeated by the Church in the canon of the mass under the influence of the same Spirit under whose influence they were
written by the prophet. The angel also said to Daniel: "Many shall be purified and made white and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand.
" And again: "The wise shall understand; and from the time that the daily sacrifices shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days," Dan. 12:10, 11. Christ testifies that this prophecy is to be fulfilled, but that it has not been as yet fulfilled, Matt. 24:15. Therefore the daily sacrifice of Christ will cease universally at the advent of the abomination - i.e. of Antichrist - just as it has already ceased, particularly in some churches, and thus will be
unemployed in the place of desolation - viz. when the churches will be desolated, in which the canonical hours will not be chanted or the masses celebrated or the sacraments administered, and there will be no altars, no images of saints, no candles, no furniture. Therefore all princes and faithful subjects of the Roman Empire ought to be encouraged never to admit or pass over anything that may aid the preparers of Antichrist in attaining
such a degree of wickedness, when the woman - i.e. the Catholic Church - as St. John saw in the Spirit, will flee into the wilderness, where she will have a place prepared of God, that she may be nourished there twelve hundred and sixty days, Rev. 12:6. Finally, St. Paul says, Heb. 5:1: "Every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins." But since the external priesthood has not ceased in the new law, but has been changed to a better,
therefore even today the high priest and the entire priesthood offer in the Church an external sacrifice, which is only one, the Eucharist. To this topic that also is applicable which is read, according to the new translation, in Acts 13:1, 2: Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen and Saul sacrificed - i.e. they offered an oblation, which can and ought justly to be understood not of an oblation made to idols, but of the mass, since it is called by the Greeks liturgy. And that in the primitive Church the mass was a sacrifice the
holy fathers copiously testify, and they support this opinion. For Ignatius, a pupil of St. John the Apostle, says: "It is not allowable without a bishop either to offer a sacrifice or to celebrate masses." And Irenaeus, a pupil of John, clearly testifies that "Christ taught the new oblation of the New Testament, which the Church, receiving from the apostles, offers to God throughout the entire world." This bishop, bordering upon the times of the
apostles, testifies that the new evangelical sacrifice was offered throughout the entire world. Origin, Cyprian, Jerome, Chrysostom, Augustine, Basil, Hilary, etc., teach and testify the same, whose words for brevity's sake are omitted. Since, therefore, the Catholic Church throughout the entire Christian world has always taught, held and observed as it today holds and observes, the same ought today to be held and observed inviolably. Nor does
St. Paul in Hebrews oppose the oblation of the mass when he says that by one offering we have once been justified through Christ. For St. Paul is speaking of the offering of a victim - i.e. of a bloody sacrifice, of a lamb slain, viz. upon the cross - which offering was indeed once made whereby all sacraments, and even the sacrifice of the mass, have their efficacy. Therefore he was offered but once with the shedding of blood - viz. upon the
cross; today he is offered in the mass as a peace making and sacramental victim. Then he was offered in a visible form capable of suffering; today he is offered in the mass veiled in mysteries, incapable of suffering, just as in the Old Testament he was sacrificed typically and under a figure. Finally, the force of the word shows that the mass is a sacrifice, since "mass" is nothing but "oblation," and has received its name from the Hebrew word misbeach, altar - in Greek thysiasterion, on account of the oblation. It has been
sufficiently declared above that we are justified not properly by faith, but by love. But if any such statement be found in the Holy Scriptures, Catholics know that it is declared concerning fides formata, which works by love (Gal. 5), and because justification is begun by faith, because it is the substance of things hoped for. Heb. 11:1. Neither is it denied that the mass is a memorial of Christ's passion and God's benefits, since this is approved
by the figure of the paschal lamb, that was at the same time a victim and a memorial, Ex.
12:13, 14, and is represented not only by the Word and sacraments, but also by holy postures and vestments in the Catholic Church; but to the memory of the victim the Church offers anew the Eucharist in the mysteries to God the Father Almighty. Therefore the princes and cities are not censured for retaining one common mass in the Church, provided they do this according to the sacred canon, as observed by all Catholics. But in abrogating all other masses they have done what the Christian profession does not allow. Nor does any one censure the declaration that of old all who were present communed. Would that all were so disposed as to be prepared to partake of this bread worthily every day! But if they regard one mass advantageous, how much more advantageous would be a number of masses, of which they nevertheless have unjustly disapproved. When all these things are properly considered we must ask them to altogether annul and repudiate this new form of celebrating the mass that
has been devised, and has been already so frequently changed, and to resume the primitive form for celebrating it according to the ancient rite and custom of the churches of Germany and all Christendom, and to restore the abrogated masses according to the ultimate will of their founders; whereby they would gain advantage and honor for themselves and peace and tranquility for all Germany.
XXV. CONFESSION p, 61
· Confession has not been abolished by the preachers on our side. 61:1
· Concerning confession we teach that no one should be compelled to recount sins in detail, for this is impossible. 62:7
· Confession is to be retained for the sake of absolution, for the consolation of terrified consciences, and also for other reasons. 63:13
IV. Of Confession.
As to confession, we must adhere to the reply and judgement given above in
Article XI. For the support which they claim from Chrysostom is false, since
they pervert to sacramental and sacerdotal confession what he says concerning
public confession, as his words clearly indicate when in the beginning he
says: "I do not tell thee to disclose thyself to the public or to accuse
thyself before others." Thus Gratian and thus Peter Lombard replied three
hundred years ago; and the explanation becomes still more manifest from other
passages of Chrysostom. For in his twenty-ninth sermon he says of the penitent: "In his heart is contrition, in his mouth confession, in his entire work humility. This is perfect and fruitful repentance." Does not this most exactly display the three parts of repentance? So in his tenth homily on Matthew, Chrysostom teaches of a fixed time for confession, and that after the wounds of crimes have been opened they should be healed, penance intervening. But how will crimes lie open if they are not disclosed to the priest by confession? Thus in several passages Chrysostom himself refutes this opinion, which Jerome also overthrows, saying: "If the serpent the devil have secretly bitten any one, and without the knowledge of another have infected him with the poison of sin, if he who has been struck be silent and do not repent, and be unwilling to confess his wound to his brother and instructor, the instructor, who has a tongue wherewith to cure him, will not readily be able to profit him. For if the sick man be ashamed to confess to the physician, the medicine is not adapted to that of which he is ignorant." Let the princes and cities, therefore, believe these authors rather than a single gloss upon a decree questioned and rejected by those who are skilled in divine law. Wherefore, since a full confession is, not to say, necessary for salvation, but becomes the nerve of Christian discipline and the entire obedience, they must be admonished to conform to the orthodox Church. For, according to the testimony of Jerome, this was the heresy of the Montanist, who were condemned over twelve hundred years ago because they were ashamed to confess their sins. It is not becoming, therefore, to adopt the error of the wicked Montanus, but rather the rite of the holy fathers and the entire Church - viz. that each one teach, according to the norm of the orthodox faith, that confession, the chief treasure in the Church, be made in conformity to the rite kept among them also in the Church.
XXVI. THE DISTINCTION OF FOODS p.63
A. ABSTAINING FROM CERTAIN FOODS WAS TAUGHT AS A WAY TO EARN MERIT AND GRACE
· Previously the church taught, preached, and wrote that distinctions among foods and similar traditions which had been instituted by men to serve to earn grace and make satisfaction for sin. 63:1
· We should learn that we do not become good in God's sight by our works but that is it only through faith in Christ that we obtain grace for Christ's sake. 64:5
B. THE PAPACY LOADED THE PEOPLE WITH DEAD RELIGIOUS WORKS AND VAIN HUMAN TRADITIONS
· Human traditions have obscured the commands of God, for these traditions were exalted far above God's commands. 65:8
· Examples: festivals, prayers, fastings, dress
C. THESE TRADITIONS HARMED SOULS AND DESTROYED PEOPLE
· Traditions have turned out to be a grievous burden to consciences, for it was not possible to keep all the traditions. 65:12
· Some people despaired on this account, even committed suicide, because they had not heard anything of the consolation of the grace of Christ. 66:13
D. FAITH IS THE MEANS TO GOD'S GRACE AND NOT SELF‑CHOSEN HUMAN WORKS
· The Gospel demands that the teaching about faith should and must be emphasized in the church, but this teaching cannot be understood if it is supposed that grace is earned through self‑chosen works. It is therefore taught that grace cannot be earned. 67:20‑21
E. THE CROSS ‑ ALTHOUGH WE ARE IN GRACE WE SUFFER IN THIS LIFE ACCORDING TO GOD'S WILL
· We have always taught concerning the holy cross that Christians are obliged to suffer in this world. 68:31
· We believe in fasting and other discipline, but not as if one earned grace by such works. 69:33
F. SOME HUMAN TRADITIONS MAY BE KEPT WHICH ARE USEFUL FOR GOOD ORDER AND CHRISTIAN INSTRUCTION
· We on our part also retain many ceremonies and traditions (such as the liturgy of the Mass and various canticles, festivals, and the like) which serve to preserve order in the church. 70:41
G. WORSHIP DOES NOT MAKE US RIGHTEOUS
· At the same time, however, the people are instructed that such outward forms of service do not make us righteous before God. 70:41
V. Of the Distinction of Meats.
What they afterwards assert concerning the distinction of meats and like
traditions, of which they seem to make no account, must be rejected. For we
know from the apostle that all power is of God, and especially that
ecclesiastical power has been given by God for edification: for this reason,
from the Christian and devout heart of the holy Church the constitutions of
the same holy, catholic and apostolic Church should be received as are useful
to the Church, as well for promoting divine worship as for restraining the
lust of the flesh, while they enable us the more readily to keep the divine
commands, and when well considered are found in the Holy Scriptures; and he
who despises or rashly resists them grievously offends God, according to
Christ's word: "He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you,
despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth Him that sent me." Luke
10:16. A prelate, however, is despised when his statutes are despised,
according to St. Paul, not only when he says: "He that despiseth, despiseth
not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit," 1 Thess. 4:8,
but also to the bishops: "Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves and to all the
flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to rule (Vulgate)
the Church of God," Acts 20:28. If prelates, therefore, have the power to
rule, they will have the power also to make statutes for the salutary
government of the Church and the growth of subjects. For the same apostle
enjoined upon the Corinthians that among them all things should be done in
order, 1 Cor. 14:40; but this cannot be done without laws. On that account he
said to the Hebrews: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit
yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account,"
Heb. 13:17. Here St. Paul reckons not only obedience, but also the reason for
obedience. We see that St. Paul exercised this power, as, in addition to the
Gospel, he prescribed so many laws concerning the choice of a bishop,
concerning widows, concerning women, that they have their heads veiled, that
they be silent in the church, and concerning even secular matters, 1 Thess.
4:1, 2, 6; concerning civil courts, 1 Cor. 6:1ff. And he says to the
Corinthians very clearly: "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord." 1 Cor.
7.12, and again he says elsewhere: "Stand fast and hold the traditions which
ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle," 2 Thess. 2:15.
Wherefore, the princes and cities must be admonished to render obedience to
ecclesiastical statutes and constitutions, lest when they withdraw obedience
that is due God, obedience may be withdrawn also from them by their subjects,
as their subjects attempted in the recent civil insurrection, not to allow
themselves to be seduced by false doctrines. Most false also is their
declaration that the righteousness of faith is obscured by such ordinances;
nay, he is rather mad and insane who would observe them without faith. For
they are given to believers, and not to Turks or Ishmaelites. "For what have I
to do to judge them that are without?" 1 Cor. 5:12. Moreover, in extolling
here faith above all things they antagonize St. Paul, as we have said above,
and do violence to St. Paul, whom they pervert to evangelical works when he
speaks of legal works, as all these errors have been above refuted. False also
is it that ecclesiastical ordinances obscure God's commands, since they
prepare man for these, as fasts suppress the lust of the flesh and help him
from falling into luxury. False also is it that it is impossible to observe
ordinances, for the Church is not a cruel mother who makes no exceptions in
the celebration of festivals and in fasting and the like. Furthermore, they
falsely quote Augustine in reply to the inquiries of Januarius, who is
diametrically opposed to them. For in this place he most clearly states that
what has been universally delivered by the Church be also universally
observed. But in indifferent things, and those whose observance and non-
observance are free, the holy father Augustine states that, according to the
authority of St. Ambrose, the custom of each church should be observed. "When
I come back to Rome," he says, "I fast on the Sabbath, but when here I do not
fast." Besides, they do violence to the Scriptures while they endeavor to
support their errors. For Christ (Matt. 15) does not absolutely disapprove of
human ordinances, but of those only that were opposed to the law of God, as is
clearly acknowledged in Mark 7:8, 9. Here also Matt. 15:3 says: "Why do ye
also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" So Paul (Col. 2)
forbids that any one be judged in meat or in drink, or in respect to the
Sabbath, after the Jewish manner; for when the Church forbids meats it does
not judge them to be unclean, as the Jews in the Synagogue thought. So the
declaration of Christ concerning that which goeth into the mouth (Matt. 15:11)
is cited here without a sure and true understanding of it, since its intention
was to remove the error of the Jews, who thought that food touched by unwashen
hands becomes unclean, and rendered one eating it unclean, as is manifest from
the context. Nor does the Church bring back to these observances Moses with
his heavy hands. In like manner they do violence to St. Paul, for 1 Tim. 4:1,
4, he calls that a doctrine of demons that forbids meats, as the Tatianites,
Marcionites and Manichaeans thought that meats were unclean, as is clear from
the words that follow, when St. Paul adds: "Every creature of God is good."
But the church does not forbid meats on the ground that they are evil or
unclean, but as an easier way to keep God's commandments; therefore the
opposite arguments fail. If they would preach the cross and bodily discipline
and fasts, that in this way the body be reduced to subjection, their doctrine
would be commendable; but their desire that these be free is condemned and
rejected as alien to the faith and discipline of the Church. Nor does the
diversity of rites support them, for this is properly allowed in regard to
particular matters, in order that each individual province may have its own
taste satisfied, as Jerome says; but individual ecclesiastical rites should be
universally observed, and special rites should be observed each in their own
province. Also, they make no mention of Easter for the Roman pontiffs reduced
the Asiatics to a uniform observance of Easter with the universal Church. In
this way Irenaeus must be understood, for without the loss of faith some
vigils of the apostles were not celebrated with fasting throughout Gaul, which Germany nevertheless observes in fasts. The princes and cities must also be
admonished to follow the decision of Pope Gregory, for he enjoins that the
custom of each province be observed if it employs nothing contrary to the
Catholic faith, Canon Quoniam, Distinct. xii. Hence we are not ignorant that
there is a various observance of dissimilar rites in unity of faith, which
should be observed in every province as it has been delivered and received
from the ancients, without injury, however, to the universal rites of the
entire Catholic Church.
XXVII. MONASTIC VOWS p. 266
A.ANCIENT MONASTICISM WAS VOLUNTARY, NO VOWS
· In the days of St. Augustine monastic life was voluntary. Later monastic vows were invented, and the attempt was made to restore discipline by means of these vows as if in a well‑conceived prison. 71:2
B. MONASTICISM PRODUCES CONFUSION IN THE CHURCH
· Because of the false exaltation of monastic life, the common people's consciences are troubled because they are married. When the common man hears only that mendicants are perfect, he is uncertain whether he can keep his possessions and engage in business without sin. 79:52‑53
C. THE CULT OF MONASTICISM ALSO PRODUCED A GREAT MANY TEMPORAL EVILS AND DESTROYED FAMILIES
· Many instances are also recorded of men who forsook wife and child, and also their civil office to take shelter in a monastery. This, they said, is fleeing from the world. 80:56
D. MONASTICISM IS OVER‑RATED AND FALSELY THOUGHT TO MERIT GRACE AND SALVATION
· Now it is claimed that monastic life is of such a nature that thereby God's grace and righteousness before God are earned. 73:16
· Monks have taught that their invented spiritual life obtains God's grace and righteousness. 77:38
· For all service of God that is chosen and instituted by men to obtain righteousness and God's grace without the command and authority of God is opposed to God and the holy Gospel and contrary to God's command. 76:36
· St. Paul teaches everywhere that one is not to seek for righteousness in the precepts and services invented by men but that righteousness and godliness in God's sight come from faith and trust when we believe that God receives us into his favor for the sake of Christ, his only Son. 77:37
E. THOSE WHO TRUST IN THEIR WORKS AND OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE SEVERED FROM CHRIST, FALLEN FROM GRACE
· St. Paul says in Galatians 5:4. "You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace." 77:41
F. SHAM RIGHTEOUSNESS OF POVERTY, CHASTITY, HUMILITY, OBEDIENCE TO SUPERIORS
· For this is Christian perfection: that we fear God honestly with our whole hearts, and yet have sincere confidence, faith, and trust that for Christ's sake we have a gracious, merciful God. 79:49
G. ROME TEACHES MONASTICISM SURPASSES BAPTISM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS
H. ROME'S LIES PERTAINING TO THE SELF‑RIGHTEOUSNESS OF MONKERY
I. MARRIAGE IS COMMANDED IN SCRIPTURE FOR MAN'S INFIRMITY
· God's creation and order also direct all to marriage who are not endowed with the gift of virginity by the special act of God. 74:20
J. CHASTITY VOWS ARE AGAINST NATURE
· For a vow must involve what is possible and voluntary and must be uncoerced. 75:27
K. UNDER‑AGE MONASTIC VOWS ARE NULL AND VOID
L. GOD'S LAW OF MARRIAGE FREES FROM MONASTIC VOWS
· Although God's command concerning marriage frees and releases many from monastic vows, our teachers offer still more reasons why monastic vows are null and void. 76:36
M. MONASTIC VOWS CONTRARY TO SCRIPTURE HENCE ARE NULL AND VOID
· An ungodly vow, made contrary to God's command, is null and void. 77:40
VI. Of Monastic Vows.
Although many and various matters have been introduced in this article by the
suggestion of certain persons (Another text, Cod. Pflug., reads "Preachers"),
nevertheless, when all are taken into consideration with mature thought, since
monastic vows have their foundation in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New
Testaments, and most holy men, renowned and admirable by miracles, have lived
in these religious orders with many thousand thousands, and for so many
centuries their ordinances and rules of living have been received and approved
throughout the entire Christian world by the Catholic Church, it is in no way
to be tolerated that vows are licentiously broken without any fear of God.
For, in the Old Testament, God approved the vows of the Nazarenes, Num 6:2ff,
and the vows of the Rechabites, who neither drank wine or ate grapes, Jer.
36:6, 19; while he strictly requires that the vow once made be paid, Deut.
23:21f; "It is ruin to a man after vows to retract," Prov. 20:25; "The vows of
the just are acceptable," Prov. 15:8. God also teaches specifically through
the prophet that monastic vows please him. For in Isa. 56:4, 5 it is read as
follows: "Thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my Sabbath, and
choose the things that please me and take hold of my covenant, Even unto them
will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than
that of sons and of daughters. I will give them an everlasting name that shall
not be cut off." But to what eunuchs does God make these promises? To those,
undoubtedly, whom Christ praises, "which have made themselves eunuchs for the
kingdom of heaven's sake," Matt. 19:12; to those, undoubtedly, who, denying
their own, come after Christ and deny themselves and follow him, Luke 9:23, so
that they are governed no longer by their own will, but by that of their rule
and superior. In like manner, according to the testimony of the apostle, those
virgins do better who, contemning the world and spurning its enticements, vow
and maintain virginity in monasteries, than those who place their necks
beneath the matrimonial burden. For thus St. Paul says, 1 Cor. 7:28: ÒHe that
giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage
doeth better." Also, concerning a widow, he continues: "She is happier if she
so abide, after my judgment." No one is ignorant of the holiness of the hermit
Paul, of Basil, Anthony, Benedict, Bernard, Dominic, Franciscus, Wiliam,
Augustine, Clara, Bridget, and similar hermits, who indeed despised the entire
realm of the world and all the splendor of the age on account of love to our
Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, the heresy of the Lampetians was condemned in
most ancient times, which the heretic Jovinian attempted in vain to revive at
Rome. Therefore, all things must be rejected which in this article have been
produced against monasticism - viz. that monasteries succeeded vows. Of the
nunneries it is sufficiently ascertained that, though pertaining to the weaker
sex, how in most cloisters the holy nuns persevered far more constantly to
vows once uttered, even under these princes and cities, than the majority of
monks; even to this day it has been impossible to move them from their holy
purpose by any prayers, blandishments, threats, terrors, difficulties or
distresses. Wherefore, those matters are not to be admitted which are
interpreted unfavorably, since it has been expressly declared in the Holy
Scriptures that the monastic life, when kept with proper observance, as may by
the grace of God be rendered by any monks, merits eternal life; and indeed
Christ has promised to them a much more bountiful reward, saying: "Every one
that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or
wife, or children or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold,
and shall inherit everlasting life," Matt. 19:29. That monasteries, as they
show, were formerly literary schools, is not denied; nevertheless, there is no
ignorance of the fact that these were at first schools of virtues and
discipline, to which literature was afterwards added. But since no one putting
his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of heaven, Luke
9:62, all marriages and breaking of vows by monks and nuns should be regarded
as condemned, according to the tenor not only of the Holy Scriptures, but also
of the laws and canons, "having damnation, because they have cast off their
first faith," as St. Paul says, 1 Tim. 5:12. Moreover, that vows are not
contrary to the ordinance of God as been declared with reference to the second
article of the alleged abuses. That they attempt to defend themselves by
dispensations of the Pope is of no effect. For although the Pope has perhaps
made a dispensation for the king of Aragon, who, we read, returned to the
monastery after having had offspring, or for any other prince on account of
the peace of the entire kingdom or province, to prevent the exposure of the
entire kingdom or province to wars, carnage, pillage, debauchery,
conflagrations, murders, - nevertheless, in private persons who abandon vows
in apostasy such grounds for dispensations cannot be urged. For the assumption
is repelled that the vow concerns a matter that is impossible. For continence,
which so many thousands of men and virgins have maintained, is not impossible.
For although the wise man says (Wisd. 8:21): "I knew that I could not
otherwise be continent, unless God gave it me," nevertheless Christ promised
to give it. "Seek," he says, "and ye shall find,Ó Luke 11:9; Matt 18:28; and
St. Paul says: "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above
that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that
ye may be able to bear it," 1 Cor. 10:13. They are also poor defenders of
their cause when they admit that the violation of a vow is irreprehensible,
and it must be declared that by law such marriages are censured and should be
dissolved, C. Ut. Continentiae, xxvii. Q. 1, as also by the ancient statutes
of emperors. But when they allege in their favor C. Nuptiarum, They accomplish
nothing, for it speaks of a simple not of a religious vow, which the Church
observes also to this day. The marriages of monks, nuns, or priests, have
therefore never been ratified. Futile also is their statement that a votive
life is an invention of men, for it has been founded upon the Holy Scriptures,
inspired into the most holy fathers by the Holy Ghost. Nor does it deny honor
to Christ, since monks observe all things for Christ's sake and imitate
Christ. False, therefore, is the judgement whereby they condemn monastic
service as godless, whereas it is most Christian. For the monks have not
fallen from God's grace, as the Jews of whom St. Paul speaks, Gal. 5:4, when
they still sought justification by the law of Moses; but the monks endeavor to
live more nearly to the Gospel, that they may merit eternal life. Therefore,
the allegations here made against monasticism are impious. Moreover, the
malicious charge that is still further added, that those in religious orders
claim to be in a state of perfection, has never been heard of by them; for
those in these orders claim not for themselves a state of perfection, but only
a state in which to acquire perfection - because their regulations are
instruments of perfection, and not perfection itself. In this manner Gerson
must be received, who does not deny that religious orders are states wherein
to acquire perfection as he declares in his treatises, "Against the
Proprietors of the Rule of St. Augustine", "Of Evangelical Counsels", "Of
Perfection of Heart", and in other places. For this reason the princes and
cities should be admonished to strive rather for the reformation of the
monasteries by their legitimate superiors than for their subversion - rather
for the godly improvement of the monks than that they be abolished; as their
most religious ancestors, most Christian princes, have done. But if they will
not believe holy and most religious fathers defending monastic vows, let them
hear at least His Imperial Highness, the Emperor Justinian, in "Authentica,"
De Monachis, Coll. ii.
XXVIII. ECCLESIASTICAL POWER p.
A. THE TWO KINGDOMS DOCTRINE
B. THE POWER OF BISHOPS/PASTORS/OFFICE OF THE KEYS
C. DIVINE SEPARATION OF TEMPORAL (STATE) POWER AND CHURCH POWER
· Some have improperly confused the power of bishops with the temporal sword. 81:1
D. TEMPORAL POWER IS AN HONORABLE VOCATION, THE MOST HONORABLE NEXT TO THE OFFICE OF MINISTRY
· The difference between spiritual and temporal power, sword, and authority, and they have taught that because of God's command both authorities and powers are to be honored and esteemed with all reverence as the two highest gifts of God on earth. 81:4
E. THE POWER OF THE KEYS
· The power of the Keys or the power of bishops is a power and command of God to preach the Gospel, to forgive and retain sins, and to administer the sacraments. 81:5
· The power of keys or of bishops is used and exercised only by teaching and teaching and preaching the Word of God and by administering the sacraments. 82:8
F. POWERS ARE NOT TO BE CONFUSED
· The authority of bishops does not interfere at all with government or temporal authority. Temporal authority is concerned with matters altogether different from the Gospel. Temporal power does not protect the soul, but with the sword and physical penalties it protects body and goods from the power of others. 82:11
· Therefore, the two authorities, the spiritual and the temporal, are not to be mingled or confused. 83:12
· According to divine right, therefore, it is the office of the bishop to preach the Gospel, forgive sins, judge doctrine and condemn doctrine that is contrary.
· To the Gospel, and exclude from the Christian community the ungodly whose wicked conduct is manifest. 84:21
G. ONE SHOULD NOT OBEY THOSE WHO ERROR IN DOCTRINE
· St. Augustine also writes in his reply to the letters of Petition that one should not obey even regularly elected bishops if they err or if they teach or command something contrary to the divine Holy Scriptures. 85:28
H. MAN‑MADE ORDINIANCES RULES AND DOCTRINES CONTRARY TO SCRIPTURE ARE TO BE AVOIDED AND CONDEMNED
· Our teachers assert that bishops do not have power to institute or establish anything contrary to the Gospel. 86:34
· Christ's merit is blasphemed when we presume to earn grace by such ordinances. 86:36
· Scriptures forbid the establishment of such regulations for the purpose of earning God's grace. 88:43
I. HUMAN ORDINANCES TO MERIT GRACE ARE DOCTRINES OF THE DEVIL
· It is necessary to preserve the teaching of Christian liberty in Christendom, namely, that bondage to the law is not necessary for justification, as St. Paul writes in Gal. 5:1, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." 89:51‑52
· For the chief article of the Gospel must be maintained, namely, that we obtain the grace of God through faith in Christ without our merits, we do not merit it by services of God instituted by men. 89:52
J. WHAT ABOUT SUNDAY AND KEEPING THE SABABATH?
· Those who consider the appointment of Sunday in place of the Sabbath as a NECESSARY INSTITUTION are very much mistaken, for the Holy Scriptures have abrogated the Sabbath and teach that after the revelation of the Gospel all ceremonies of the old law may be omitted.91:57‑59
· So that one may know that the keeping neither of the Sabbath nor of any other day is necessary. 91:60
K. WHAT ABOUT CHURCH HOLIDAYS, RULES, REGULATIONS?
· Bishops or pastors may make regulations so that everything in the churches is done in good order. But not as a means of obtaining God's grace or making satisfaction for sins, nor in order to bind men's consciences by considering these necessary services of God and counting it a sin to omit their observance. 90:53
· It is proper for the Christian assembly to keep such ordinances for the sake of love and peace. 90:55
VII. Of Ecclesiastical Power.
Although many things are introduced here in the topic of Ecclesiastical Power,
with greater bitterness than is just, yet it must be declared that to most
reverend bishops and priests, and to the entire clergy, all ecclesiastical
power is freely conceded that belongs to them by law or custom. Besides, it is
proper to preserve for them all immunities, privileges, preferments and
prerogatives granted them by Roman emperors and kings. Nor can those things
that have been granted ecclesiastics by imperial munificence or gift be
allowed to be infringed by any princes or any other subject of the Roman
Empire. For it is most abundantly proved that ecclesiastical power in
spiritual things has been founded upon divine right, of which St. Paul indeed
says: "For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority which the Lord
hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction," 2 Cor. 10:8, and
afterwards: "Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I
should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to
edification, and not to destruction, 2 Cor. 13:10. Paul also displays his
coercitive disposition when he says: "What will ye? Shall I come unto you with
a rod, or in love and in the spirit of meekness?" 1 Cor. 4:21. And of judicial
matters he writes to Timothy: "Against an elder receive not an accusation but
before two or three witnesses," 1 Tim. 5:19. From these passages it is very
clearly discerned that bishops have the power not only of the ministry of the
Word of God, but also of ruling and coercitive correction in order to direct
subjects to the goal of eternal blessedness. But for the power of ruling there
is required the power to judge, to define, to discriminate and to decide what
is expedient or conducive to the aforesaid goal. In vain, therefore, and
futile is all that is inserted in the present article in opposition to the
immunity of churches and schools. Accordingly, all subjects of the Roman
Empire must be forbidden from bringing the clergy before a civil tribunal,
contrary to imperial privileges that have been conceded: for Pope Clement the
Martyr says: "If any of the presbyters have trouble with one another, let
whatever it be adjusted before the presbyters of the Church." Hence
Constantine the Great, the most Christian Emperor, was unwilling in the holy
Council of Nice to give judgement even in secular cases. "Ye are gods," he
says, "appointed by the true God. Go, settle the case among yourselves, be
cause it is not proper that we judge gods." As to what is further repeated
concerning Church regulations has been sufficiently replied to above. Nor does
Christian liberty, which they bring forth as an argument, avail them, since
this is not liberty, but prodigious license, which, inculcated on the people,
excites them to fatal and most dangerous sedition. For Christian liberty is
not opposed to ecclesiastical usages since they promote what is good, but it
is opposed to the servitude of the Mosaic law and the servitude of sin.
"Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin," says Christ, John 8:34.
Hence their breaking fasts, their free partaking of meats, their neglect of
canonical hours, their omission of confession - viz. at Easter - and their
commission and omission of similar things, are not a use of liberty, but an
abuse thereof, contrary to the warnings of St. Paul, who earnestly warned
them, saying: "Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not
liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another." Gal.
5:13. Hence no one ought to conceal his crimes under the pretext of Gospel
liberty, which St. Peter also forbade: "As free, and not using your liberty
for an cloak of maliciousness, but as the servant of God," 1 Pet. 2:16. As to
what they have added concerning abuses, all the princes and estates of the
Empire undoubtedly know that not even the least is approved either by His
Imperial Majesty or by any princes or any Christian man, but that both the
princes and the estates of the Empire desire to strive with a common purpose
and agreement, in order that, the abuses being removed and reformed, the
excesses of both estates may be either utterly abolished or reformed for the
better, and that the ecclesiastical estate, which has been weakened in many
ways, and the Christian religion, which has grown cold and relaxed in some,
may be restored and renewed to its pristine glory and distinction. To this, as
is evident to all, His Imperial Majesty has thus far devoted the greatest care
and labor, and kindly promises in the future to employ for this cause all his
means and zeal.
· It must not be thought that anything has been said or introduced out of hatred or for the purpose of injuring anybody.
· We have introduced nothing that is contrary to the scriptures or the universal Christian church and have diligently prevented new and godless doctrines from creeping in and taking hold in our churches. 95:6