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This text was converted to ascii format for Project Wittenberg
by Karen Janssen and is in the public domain. You may freely
distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct comments
or suggestions to: Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther Library
at Concordia Theological Seminary.

E-mail: smithre@mail.ctsfw.edu
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The Confutatio Pontificia:

In Reference To The Matters Presented To His Imperial Majesty
By The Elector Of Saxony And Some Princes And States Of The
Holy Roman Empire, On The Subject And Concerning Causes
Pertaining To The Christian Orthodox Faith, The Following
Christian Reply Can Be Given._ August 3, 1530.
Edited by J. M. Reu.


As His Worshipful Imperial Majesty received several days
since a Confession of Faith presented by the Elector the duke
of Saxony and several princes and two cities, to which their
names were affixed, with his characteristic zeal for the
glory of God, the salvation of souls, Christian harmony and
the public peace, he not only himself read the Confession,
but also, in order that in a matter of such moment he might
proceed the more thoroughly and seasonably, he referred the
aforesaid Confession to several learned, mature, approved and
honorable men of different nations for their inspection and
examination, and earnestly directed and enjoined them to
praise and approve what in the Confession was said aright and
in accord with Catholic doctrine, but, on the other hand, to
note that wherein it differed from the Catholic Church, and,
together with their reply, to present and explain their
judgment on each topic. This commission was executed aright
and according to order. For those learned men with all care
and diligence examined the aforesaid Confession, and
committed to writing what they thought on each topic, and
thus presented a reply to His Imperial Majesty. This reply
His Worshipful Imperial Majesty, as becomes a Christian
emperor, most accurately read and gave to the other electors,
princes and estates of the Roman Empire for their perusal and
examination, which they also approved as orthodox and in
every respect harmonious with the Gospel and Holy Scripture.
For this reason, after a conference with the electors,
princes and states above named, in order that all dissension
concerning this our orthodox holy faith and religion may be
removed, His Imperial Majesty has directed that a
declaration be made at present as follows:

In reference to the matters presented to His
Imperial Majesty by the Elector of Saxony and some
princes and states of the Holy Roman Empire, on the
subject and concerning causes pertaining to the
Christian orthodox faith, the following Christian
reply can be given:


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

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 kingdo 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).

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.

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 judgmen-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."

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."

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? ecause 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 expressy 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.

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 alway 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, tis 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.

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.

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 many

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.

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 secret faults."

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.brose says: "The amount of the penance must be
adapted to the trouble of the conscience." Hence divere
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
satisfaction enjoined.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 shll 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.

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. 5:4.

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 pssion. 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 Augustine.

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, Godhonors 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 al 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 beliees 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."

Part II

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 ags 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."), "that 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, re 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 etablish 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 receiv 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.

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 priest
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. 75. 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 clerg 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 ble 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, fo 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 carge 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.

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 therehas 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 gret 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 - vz. 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, borderin 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 b
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.

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
pasages 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
f 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.

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 yu 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.

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
pease 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: "He 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 th 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, pillae, 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,ke 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 theymay 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.

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
thespirit 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 asts, 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.


From the foregoing - viz. the Confession and its Reply -
since His Imperial Majesty perceives that the Elector, the
princes and the cities agree on many points with the Catholic
and Roman Church, and dissent from the godless dogmas that
are disseminated all over Germany, and the pamphlets
circulated everywhere, and that they disapprove of and
condemn them, - His Holy Imperial Majesty is fully convinced,
and hopes that the result will be, that when the Elector,
princes and cities have heard and understood this Reply they
will agree with united minds in regard to those matters also
in which they perhaps have not agreed hitherto with the Roman
Catholic Church, and that in all other things above mentioned
they will obediently conform to the Catholic and Roman Church
and the Christian faith and religion. For such conduct on
their part His Imperial Majesty will be peculiarly grateful,
and will bestow his special favor upon them all in common,
and also, as opportunity offers, upon them individually. For
(which may God forbid) if this admonition, so Christian and
indulgent, be unheeded, the Elector, princes and cities can
judge that a necessary cause is afforded His Imperial Majesty
that, as becometh a Roman Emperor and Christian Caesar and a
deender and advocate of the Catholic and Christian Church,
he must care for such matters as the nature of the charge
committed to him and his integrity of conscience require.

This text was converted to ascii format for Project Wittenberg
by Karen Janssen and is in the public domain. You may freely
distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct comments
or suggestions to: Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther Library
at Concordia Theological Seminary.

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