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minici, Paschatis, Pentecostes et similium feriarum et rituum. Nam qui jvdicant Ecctesim autoritate pro Sabbato institutam esse diei Dominici observationein, tanquam necessariam, longe errant. Scriptura abrogavit Sabbatum, qucs docet omnes ceremonial Mosaicas, post revelatum Evangelium omitti posse. Et tamen, quia opus erat constituere certum diem, ut sciret populus, quando convenire deberet, apparet Ecclesiam [die christliche Kirche] ei rei destinasse diem Dominicum, qui ob hanc quoque causam videtur magis placuissc, ut haberent homines exemplum Ckristianoz libertatis, et scirent, nec Sabbati nec alierius diei observationem necessariam esse [doss weder die Haitung de« Sabbaths, nock eines andern Tages vonnbthen sei].1
Extant prodigiosce disputationes de mutatione legis, de ceremoniis novce legis, de mutatione Sabbati, quae omnes ortce sunt
Lord's day, of Easter, of Pentecost, and like holidays and rites. For they that think that the observation of the Lord's day was appointed by the authority of the Church, instead of the Sabbath, as necessary, are greatly deceived. The Scripture, which teacheth that all the Mosaical ceremonies can be omitted after the Gospel is revealed, has abrogated the Sabbath. And yet, because it was requisite to appoint a certain day, that the people might know when they ought to cotne together, it appears that the [Christian] Church did for that purpose appoint the Lord's day: which for this cause also seemed to have been pleasing, that men might have an example of Christian liberty, and might know that the observation, neither of the Sabbath, nor of another day, was of necessity.
There are certain marvelous disputations touching the changing of the law, and the ceremonies of the new law, and the change of the Sabex falsa persuasione, quod oporteat in Ecclesia cultum esse similem Levitico, et quod Christus commiserit Apostolis et Episcopis excogitare novas ceremonias, quce sint ad salutem necessarian. Hi errores serpserunt in Ecclesiam, cum justitia fidei non satis dare doceretur. Aliqui disputant, diet Dominici observationem non quidem juris divini esse, sed quasi juris divini; pnescribunt de feriis, quatenus liceat operari. Hujusmodi disputationes quid sunt aliud, nisi laquei conscientiarum? Quanquam enim conentur epiikeizare [zu Undern und epiiciren] traditiones, tamen mmquam potest cnquitas deprehendi [so kann man dock keine imiiKtiav oder Linderung treffen\, donee manet opinio necessitatis, quam manere necesse est, ubi ignorantur justitia fidei et libertas Christiana.
1 This view of the Christian Sabbath, which was held by all the Reformers, and still prevails on the Continent of Europe, overlooks the important feet that the Sabbath has a moral as well as a ceremonial aspect, and is a part of the Decalogue, which the Lord did not come 'to destroy, but to fulfill' (Matt. v. 17,18; comp. xxii. 37-40; Rom. iii. 31; x. 4). As a periodical day of rest for the body, and worship for the soul, the Sabbath is founded in the physical and moral constitution of man, and reflects the rest of God after the work of creation (Gen. ii. 3). Under this view it is of primitive origin, like the institution of marriage, and of perpetual obligation, like the other commandments of the Decalogue. A lax theory of the Sabbath natnrally leads to a lax practice, and tends to destroy the blessing of this holy day. The Anglo-American churches have an unspeakable advantage over those of the Continent of Europe in their higher theory and practice of Sabbath observance, which dates from the close of the sixteenth century. Even Puritan rigor is better than the opposite extreme.
Apostoli jusserunt (Acts xv. 20) iabstinere a sanguine? Quis nunc observat? Neque tamen peccant, qui non observant, quia ne ipsi quidem Apostoli voluerunt onerare conscientias tali servitute, sed ad tempus prohibuerunt propter scandalum. Est enim perpetuo voluntas Evangelic [das Ilauptstlick christlicher Lehre\ consideranda in decreto.
bath: which all arose from the false persuasion, that there should be a a service in the Church, like to the Levitical; and that Christ committed to the Apostles and Bishops the devising new ceremonies, which should be necessary to salvation. These errore crept into the Church, when the righteousness of faith was not plainly enough taught. Some dispute that the observation of the Lord's day is not indeed of the law of God, but as it were of the law of God; and touching holidays, they prescribe how far it is lawful to work in them. What else are such disputations-but snares for men's consciences? For though they seek to moderate traditions, yet the equity of them can never be perceived so long as the opinion, of necessity remaineth; which must needs remain, where the righteousness of faith and Christian liberty are not known.
The Apostles commanded 'to abstain from blood' (Acts xv. 20). Who observeth that nowadays? And yet they do not sin that observe it not. For the Apostles themselves would not burden men's consciences with 6iich a servitude; but they forbade it for a time, because of scandal. For in the decree, the will of the Gospel is alwavs to be considered.
Vix ulii Canones servantur accurate, et multi quotidie exolescunt apud illos etiam, qui diligentissime defendunt traditiones. Nec potest conscientiis consuli, nisi Aeec cequitas servetur [wo diese Linderung nicht gehalten. wird], ut sciamus eos sine opinione necessitatis servari, nec Icedi conscientias, etiamsi tradiiiones exolescant.
Facile autem possent Episcopi legitinxam obedientiam retinere, si non urgerent servare traditiones, qim bona conscientia servari non pussunt. Nunc imperant calibatitm, nuUos recipiunt, nisi Jurent se puram Evangelii doctrinam nolle docere. Non petunt Ecclesicn, ut Episcopi honoris sui jactura sarciant concordiam, quod tamen decebat bonos Pastores facere. Tantum petunt, ut injusta oner a remittant, qua) nova sunt, et prater oonsuetudinem Ecclesioz Catholicaz [wider den Gebrauch der christlichen gemeinen Kirchen\ recepta. Fortassis initio queedam comtitutiones habuerunt probalnles causas, qucn. tamen posterioribus temporibus non congruunt. Apparet etiam quasdam errore receptas esse; quare Pontificioz dementia esset,
Scarcely any Canons are precisely kept; and many grow out of use daily, yea, even among them that do mo6t busily defend traditions. Neither can there be sufficient care had of men's consciences, except this equity be kept, that men should know that such rites are not to be observed with any opinion of necessity, and that men's consciences are not hurt, though traditions grow out of use.
The Bishops might easily retain lawful obedience, if they would not urge men to observe such traditions as can not be kept with a good conscience. Now they command single life; and they admit none, except they will swear not to teach the pure doctrine of the Gospel. The churches do not desire of the Bishops that they would repair peace and concord with the loss of their honor (which yet good pas tore ought to do): they only desire that they would remit unjust burdens, which are both new and received contrary to the custom of the Catholic [Christian Universal] Church. It may well be that some constitutions had some probable reasons when they began, which yet will not agree to latter times. It is evident that some were received through error. Wherefore it were a matter for the pontifical illas mine miitgare, quia talis mutatio non labefacit Ecclesioe unitatem. Multw enim traditiones humance tempore mutatce sunt, ut ostendunt ipsi Canones. Quod si non potest impetrari, ut relaxentur observationes, qua sine peceato non possunt praistari, oportet nos regulam Apostolicam sequi (Acts v. 29), qua prweipit, 'Deo magis obedire, quam hominibus?
Petrus (1 Pet. v. 3) vetat Episcopos dominari, et ecclesiis imperare. Nunc non id agitur, ut dominatio eripiatur Episcopis, sed hoc unum petitur, ut patiantur Evangelium pure doceri, et relaxent paucas quasdam observationes, quce sine peceato servari non possunt. Quod si nihil remiserint, ipsi viderint, quomodo Deo rationem reddituri sint, quod pertinacia sua causam schismati prcebent [Spal tung und Schisma, das sie dock billig sotten verhiiten helferi].
Hi sunt praeipui articuli, qui videntwr habere controversial*. Quanquam enim de pluribus abusibus did poterat, tamen, ut fugererma prolixitatem, praxipua complexi sumus, ex guibus catera facile jvdicari possunt. Magna querela fuentnt de indulgentiis, de peregrinationibus, de abusu excommuni
gentleness to mitigate them now; for such a change would not overthrow the unity of the Church. For many human traditions have been changed in time, as the Canons themselves declare. But if it can not be obtained that those observances may be relaxed which can not be kept without sin, then must we follow the Apostles' rule, which willeth 'to obey God rather than men' (Acts v. 29).
Peter forbiddeth Bishops to be lords, and to be imperious over the churches (1 Pet. v. 3). Now onr meaning is not to have rule taken from the Bishops; but this one thing only is requested at their hands, that they would suffer the Gospel to be purely taught, and that they would relax a few observances, which can not be held without sin. But if they will remit none, let them look how they will give account to God for this, that by their obstinacy they afford cause of schism [division and schism, which it were yet fit they should aid in avoiding].
These are the principnl articles which seem to be matters of controversy. For although we might speak of more abuses, yet that we may avoid undue length we have embraced a few, whereby it is easy to judge of the others. Great have been the complaints about indulgences, about pilgrimages, about the abuse of cationis. Parockicc multipliciter vexabantur per Stationarios. Infinites contentions erant pasloribus cum monachis, de jure parochiali, Je confessionibus, de sepulturis, de extraordinariis concionibus, et de aliis innumerabilibus rebut. Hujusmodi negotia prcetermisimus, ut ilia, qua sunt in hoc causa prce> «>•/•«, breviter proposita, facilius cognosci /■<>,-.'■ «?. Neque hie quicquam ad ullius contumeliam dictum aut collectum est. Tanturn ea recitata sunt, qua; videbantur necessario dicenda esse, ut intelligi possit in doetrina ac ceremoniis apud nos nihil esse rtceptum contra Scripturam aut Ecclesiam Catholicam [gemeiner christlichen Kirchen], quia mani/estum est, nos diligentissime cariwe, ne qua nova et impia dogmata in ecclesias nostras serperent [sich einfiechte, einreisse und uberhand nehme],
IIos articulos supra scriptos voluimus exAibere juxta edictum C. M. in quibus confetno nostra exttaret, et eorum, qui aputl nos docent, doctrince summa cerneretur. Si quid in hac confessione desiderabitur, parati sumus htiorem informationem, Deo votente, juxta Scripturas exhibere [der daran Mangel halt, dem ist man ferntr Bericht mit Grund gb~ttlicher heiliger Schrift zu thun erbStig].
Caesar eat Majestatis Vestrce,
excommunication. The parishes have been vexed in manifold ways by the stationarii. Endless contentions have arisen between the pa-tors and the monks about parochial law, about confession, about burials, about sermons on extraordinary occasions, and about other things without number. Things of this sort we pass over, that those which are chief in this matter, being briefly set forth, may more easily.be noted. Nor has any thing been here said or adduced for the purpose of casting reproach on any one. Those things only have been enumerated which it seemed necessary to say, that it might be understood that in doctrine and ceremonials among us there is nothing received contrary to Scripture or to the Catholic [Universal Christian] Church, inasmuch as it is manifest that we have diligently taken heed that no new and godless doctrines should creep into our churches.
In accordance with the Edict of His Imperial Majesty, we wish to present these articles above written, in which is our Confession, and in which is seen a summary of the doctrine of those who teach among us. If any thing be lacking in this Confession, we are prepared, God willing, to present ampler information, in accordance with the Scriptures.
Your Imperial Majesty's
most faithful and humble,
John, Duke of Saxony, Elector.
Joannes, Dux Saxonia, Elector. Georgius, Marchio Brandenburgensis. Ernestcs, Dux Luneburgensis. Philipfus, Landgravius Hessorum. Joannes Fridericcs, Dux Saxoniae. Franciscus, Dux Luneburgensis. Volfoanqus, Princeps ab Anhalt. Sexatus Magistratusque Nurnbergensis. Senatus Beutlingensis.