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reigneth, for ever and ever. Amen.


Or, certain 'passages of the Scriptures, elected for various orders and
conditions of men, wherein their respective duties are set forth.

Bishops, Pastors, and Preachers.

A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant,
sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach ; not
given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre ; but patient,
not a brawler, not covetous ; one that ruleth well his own house,
having his children in subjection with all gravity ; not a novice,
but holding fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught, that
he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince
the gainsayers. 1 Tim. iii. 2-6 ; Tit. i. 9.

What Duties Hearers Owe their Bishops.

Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the
Gospel should live of the Gospel, 1 Cor. ix. 14. Let him that is
taught in the Word communicate unto him that teacheth in all
good things, Oal. vi. 6. Let the elders that rule well be counted
worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in word and
doctrine. For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox

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that treadeth out the com. And, The laborer is worthy of his
reward, 1 Tim, v. 17, 18. Obey them that have the rule over
you, and submit yourselves ; for they watch for your souls, as
they that must give account, that they may do it with joy and
not with grief; for that Ls unprofitable for you. Heb, xiii. 17.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there
iH no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of
God ; for rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.
Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good,
and thou shalt have praise of the same ; for he is the minister of
God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be
afraid ; for he beareth not the sword in vain ; for he is the min-
ister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth
eviL Bom, xiii. 1-4.

"What Duties Subjects Owe Magistrates.
Render therefore unto Csesar the things that are Ctesar^s, MatL
xxii. 21. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, etc.
Wherefore we must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also
for conscience' sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also ; for they
are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very tiling.
Render therefore to all their dues ; tribute to whom tribute is
due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to
whom honor. Mom, xiii. 1, 5. I exhort, therefore, that, first of
all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be
made for all men ; for kings and for all that are in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and
honesty, 1 Tim. ii. Put them in mind to be subject to principali-
ties and powers, etc.. Tit. iii. 1. Submit yourselves to every ordi-
nance of man for the lord's sake : whether it be to the king as
supreme; or unto governors as unto them that are sent, etc.
1 Pet. ii. 13.


Ye husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge,
giving honor unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel, and as
being heirs together of the grace of life ; that your prayers be
not hindered, 1 Pet. iii. 7. And be not bitter against them.
Col. iii. 19.

Wives, submit yourselves unto vour husbands, as unto the
Lord. Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord : whose

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daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with
any amazement. Epk v. 22 ;* 1 Pet. iii. 6.

Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath : but bring
them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Eph. vi. 4.

Children, obey your parents in tlie Ix)rd : for tliis is right.
Honor thy father and mother ; whicli Is the first commandment
with promise ; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest
live long on the earth. Eph. vi. 1-3.

Male and Female Servants, and Laborers.
Servants, be obedient to them that are vour masters according
to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart,
as unto Christ ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers ; but as the
servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart ; with
good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men ; know-
ing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he
receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. Eph. vi. 5-8.

Masters and Mistresses.
Ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threat-
ening ; knowing that your Master also is in heaven ; neither is
there respect of persons with him. Eph. vi. 9.

Young Persons, in general.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea,
all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humil-
ity ; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time. 1 Pet. v. 5, 6.

She that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and
continueth in supplications and prayers night and day ; but she
that Kveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 1 Tim. v. 5, 6.

Christians, in general.

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Hei-ein are compre-
hended all the commandments, Rotn. xiii. 9, 10. And perse-
vere in prayer for aU men. 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2.

Happy tne house where every one learns and does his duty.

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Delivered to the Emperor Charles V^ at the Diet
OF Augsburg, A. D., 1530.

[This Translation is made from the Latin Editio Prineept, of 1580-31, the
authority of which, equally with that of the German Editio Princept, sur-
passes all <»ther known Editions. It has been cart-fully prepared by a Joint
Committee of The General Council, The General Synod, The United Svnod
of the South, and The Joint Synod of Ohio, as a Common Standard of The
Augsburg Confession in English. The words in brackets are inserted from
the German Editio Fnnc€ps7\


Most Invincible Emperor, Caesar Augustus, most Clement

Inasmuch as Your Imperial Majesty has summoned a Diet of
the Empire here at Augsburg to deliberate concerning measures
against the Turk, that most atrocious, hereditarv and ancient
enemy of the Christian name and religion, in what way effect-
ually to withstand his furor and assaults by strong and lasting
military provision; and then also concerning dissensions in the
matter of our holy religion and Christian Faith, that in this matter
of religion the opinions and judgments of parties might be heard
in eacli other's presence, and considered and weighed among
ourselves in charity, leniency and mutual kindness, to the end
that the things in the Scriptures which on either side have been
differently interpreted or misundei-stood, being corrected and
laid aside, these matters may be settled and brought back to one
perfect truth and Christian concord, that for the future one pure
and true religion may be embraced and maintained by us, that
as we all serve and do battle under one Christ, so we may be
able also to live in unity and concord in the one Christian
Church. And inasmuch as we, the undersigned Electors and
Princes, with others joined with us, have been called to the
aforesaid Diet, the same as the other Electors, Princes and Es-
tates, in obedient compliance with the Imperial mandate we
have come to Augsburg, and, what we do not mean to say as
boasting, we were among the fii-st to be here.

Since then Your Imperial Majesty caused to be proposed to

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the Hectors, Princes and others Estates of the Empire, also here
at Augshurg at the very beginninj^ of this Diet, among other
things, that, by virtue of the Imperial Edict, the several Estates
of the Empire should present their opinions and judgments in
the German and Latin languages, after due deliberation, answer
was given to Your Imperial Majesty, on the ensuing Wednesday,
that on the next Frioay the AJrticles of our Confession for our
part would be presented.

Wherefore, in obedience to Your Imperial Majesty's wishes,
we ofier, in this matter of religion, the Confession of our preach-
ers and of ourselves, showing what manner of doctrine from the
Holy Scriptures and the pure Word of God has been up to this
time set forth in our lands, dukedoms, dominions and cities, and
taught in our churches. And if the other Electors, Princes and
Estates of the Empire will present similar writings, to wit, in
Latin and Grerman, according to the said Imperial proposition,

S'ving their opinions in this matter of religion, here before Your
aperial Majesty, our most clement Lord, we, with the Princes
and fiiends aforesaid, are prepared to confer amicably concerning
all possible ways and means, as far as may be honorably done,
that we may come together, and, the matter between us on both
sides being peacefully discussed without offensive strife, the dis-
sension, by God*8 help, may be done away and brought back to
one true accordant religion ; for as we all serve and do battle
under one Christy we ought to confess the one Christ, and so,
after the tenor of Your Imperial Majesty's Edict, everything
be conducted according to the truth of God, which, with most
fervent prayers, we entreat of G^.

But, with regard to the other Electors, Princes and Estates, if
they hold that this treatment of the matter of religion after the
manner which Your Imperial Majesty has so wisely brought for-
ward, namely with such mutual presentation of writings and
calm conferring together among ourselves, should not proceed,
or be unfruitful in results ; we, at least, leave behind uie clear
testimony that we decline or refuse nothing whatever, allowed
of God and a good conscience, which may tend to bring about
Christian concord ; as also Your Imperial Majesty and the other
Electors and Estates of the Empire, and all who are moved by
sincere love and zeal for religion, and who will give an impartial
hearing to this matter, will graciously perceive and more and
more understand from this our Confession.

Your Imperial Majesty also, not only once but often, graciously
signified to the Electors, Princes and Estates of the Empire, and
at the Diet of Spires held A. D., 1526, according to the lorm of

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Your Imperial instruction and commission given and prescribed,
caused it to be stated and publicly proclaimed, that Your Majesty,
in dealing with this matter of religion, for certain reasons which
were alleged in Your Majesty^s name, was not willing to decide
and could not determine anything, but that Your Majesty would
diligently use Your Majesty's office with the Roman Pontiff for
the convening of a General Council, as the same was publicly set
forth at greater length over a year ago at the last Diet which met
at Spires. There Your Imperial Mdesty, through his Highness
Ferdinand, King of Bohemia and Hungary, our friend and cle-
ment Lord, as well as through the Orator and Imperial Commis-
sioners, caused this, among other things, to be proclaimed : that
Your Imperial Majesty had known of and pondered the resolu-
tion of Your Majesty's Representative in the Empire, and of the
President and Imperial Counsellors, and the Legates from other
Estates convened at Ratisbon, concerning the calling of a Council,
and that this also was adjudged by Your Imperial Majesty to be
of advantage ; and because the matters to oe adjusted between
Your Imperial Maiesty and the Roman Pontifi were nearing
agreement and Christian reconciliation. Your Imperial Maiesty
did not doubt that the Roman Pontiff could be induced to holS
a General Council ; therefore Your Imperial Majesty himself
signified that he would endeavor to secure the Chief Pontiff's
consent together with Your Imperial Majesty to convene such
General Council, and that letters to that enect would be publicly
issued with all possible expedition.

In the event, therefore, that the differences between us and
the other parties in the matter of religion cannot be amicably
and in charity settled here before Your Imperial Majesty, we
ofer this in all obedience, abundantly prepared to join issue and
to defend the cause in such a general, free, Christian Council,
for the convening of which there has always been accordant
action and agreement of votes, in all the Imperial Diets held
during Your Majesty's reign, on the part of the Electors, Princes
and other Estates of the Empire. To this General Council, and
at the same time to Your Imperial Majesty, we have made appeal
in this greatest and gravest of matters even before this, in due
manner and form of law. To this appeal, both to Your Imperial
Majesty and to a Council, we still aahere, neither do we intend,
nor would it be possible for us, to relinquish it bv this or any
other document, unless the matter between us and tde other side,
according to the tenor of the latest Imperial citation, can be
amicablv and charitably settled and brought to Christian concord,
of which thb also is our solemn and public testimony.

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Article I.

Our Churches, with common consent, do teach, that the decree
of the Council of Nicsea concerning the Unity of the Divine
Essence and concerning the Three Persons, is true and to be
believed without any doubting; that is to say, there is one
Divine Essence which is called and which i/ God ; eternal,
without body, without parts, of infinite power, wisdom and
goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and
invisible; and yet that there are three Persons, of the same
essence and power, who also are co-eternal, the Father, the Son
and the Holy Ghost. And the term " person " they use as the
Fathers have used it, to signify, not a part or quality in another,
but that which subsists of itself.

They condemn all heresies which have sprung up against this
article, as the Manichseans who assumed two principles [gods],
one Good, and the other Evil ; also the Valentinians, Arians,
Eunomians, Mohammddans, and all such. Thev condemn also
the Samosatenes, old and new, who contending tliat there is but
one Person, sophistically and impiously argue that the Word
and the Holy Ghost are not distinct Persons, but that " Word "
signifies a spoken word, and " Spirit " [Ghost], signifies motion
created in tnings.

Article II,

Also they teach, that since the Fall of Adam, all men begotten
according to nature, are bom with sin, that is, without the fear of
God, witnout trust in God, and with concupiscence ; and that
this disease, or vice of origin, is truly sin, even now condemning
and bringing eternal death upon those not bom again through
baptism and the Holy Ghost.

They condemn the Pelagians and others, who deny that the
vice of origin is sin, and who, to obscure the glory of Christ's
merit and benefits, argue that man can be justified before God
by his own strength and reason.

Article III.

Also they teach, that the Word, that is, the Son of God, did
take man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so

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tliat there are Two Natures, the divine and the human, insepara-
bly conjoined in one Person, one Christ, true God and true man,
who was bom of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified,
dead and buried, that he might reconcile the Father unto us,
and be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but for all actual
sins of men. He also descended into Hell, and truly rose again
the third day ; afterward he ascended into Heaven, that he might
sit on the right hand of the Father, and forever reign, and have
dominion over all creatures, and sanctify them that believe in
Him, by sending the Holy Ghost into their hearts, to rule, com-
fort and quicken them, and to defend them against the devil and
the power of sin. The same Christ shall openly come again to
judge the quick and the dead, etc. according to the Apostles'

Article IV.

Also they teach, that men cannot be Justified before Gt>d by
their own strength, merits or works, but are freely justified for
Christ's sake through faith, when they believe that they are re-
ceived into favor and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake,
who, by His death, hath made satisfaction for our sins. This
faith God imputes for righteousness in his sight, Kom. 3 and 4.

Article V.

That we may obtain this faith, the Office of Teaching the
Gospel and administering the sacraments was instituted. For,
through the Word and sacraments as through instruments, the
Holy Ghost is given, who worketh faith where and when it
pleaseth God in them that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God,
not for our own merits, but for Christ's sake, justifieth those who
believe that they are received into favor for Christ's sake.

They condemn the Anabaptists and others, who think that the
Holy Ghost cometh to men without the external Word, through
their own preparations and works.

Article VI.

Also they teach, that this Faith is bound to bring forth Good
Fruits, and that it is necessary to do good works commanded by
God, because of God's will, but not that we should rely on those
works to merit justification before God. For remission of sins
and justification are apprehended by faith, as also the voice of
'^hrist attests : " When ye shall have done all these things, say ;
^ unprofitable servants" [Luke 17 : 10]. The same is also

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taught by the Fathers. For Ambrose says ; " It is ordained of
God that he who believes in Christ, is saved ; freely receiving
remission of sins, without works, by faith alone."

Artiole VII.

Also they teach, that One holy Church is to continue for ever.
The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel
is rightly taught and the sacraments rightly administered. And
to the true unity of the Church, it is enough to agree concerning
the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the sacra-
ments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, rites, or cere-
monies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike. As Paul
says : " One faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all," etc.
[Eph. 4 : 5, 6].

Article VIII.

Although the Church properly is the Congregation of Saints
and true believers, nevertheless, since, in this life, many hypo-
crites and evil persons are mingled therewith, it is lawful to use
the Sacraments, which are administered by evil men ; according
to the saying of Christ : " The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in
Moses' seat," etc. [Matt. 23 : 2], Both the Sacraments and Word
are effectual by reason of the institution and commandment of
Christ, notwithstanding they be administered by evil men.

They condemn the Donatists, and such like, who denied it to
be lawful to use the ministry of evil men in the Church, and
who thought the ministry of evil men to be unprofitable and of
none effect.

Article IX.

Of Baptism, they teach, that it is necessary to salvation, and
that through Baptism is offered the grace of God; and that
children are to be baptized, who, being oflTered to God through
Baptism, are received into His grace.

They condemn the Anabaptists, who allow not the baptism of
children, and say that children are saved without baptism.

Article X.

Of the Supper of the Lord, they teach, that the Body and
Blood of Christ are truly present, and are distributed to those
who eat in the Supper of the Lord ; and they disapprove of
those that teach otherwise.

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Article XI.
Of Confession, they teach, that Private Absolution ought to
be retained in the churches, although in confession an enumera-
tion of all sins is not necessary. For it is impossible, according
to the Psalm: "Who can understand his errors ?*' [Ps. 19: 12J.

Article XII.

Of Repentance, they teach, that for those that have fallen
after Baptism, there is remission of sins whenever they are con-
verted ; and that the Church ought to impart absolution to those
thus returning to repentance.

Now Repentance consists properly of these two parts : One is
contrition, that is, terrors smitmg the conscience through the
knowledge of sin ; the other is faith, which, bom of the Gospel,
or of absolution, believes that, for Christ*s sake, sins are for-
^ven, comforts the conscience, and delivers it from terrors.
Then good works are bound to follow, which are the fruits of

They condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that those once justi-
fied can lose the Holy Ghost. Also those who contend that some
may attain to such perfection in this life, that they cannot sin.
The Novatians also are condemned, who would not absolve such
as had fallen after Baptism, though they returned to repentance.
They also are rejected who do not teach that remission of sins
cometh through faith, but command us to merit grace through
satisfactions of our own.

Article XIII.

Of the Use of the Sacraments, they teach, that the Sacra-
ments were ordained, not only to be marks of profession among
men, but rather to be signs and testimonies of the will of God
toward us, instituted to awaken and confirm faith in those who
use them. Wherefore we must so use the Sacraments that faith
be added to believe the promises which are oflered and set forth
through the Sacraments.

They therefore condemn those who teach that the sacraments
justify by the outward act, and do not teach that, in the use of
the Sacraments, faith which believes that sins are forgiven, is

Article XIV.

Of Ecclesiastical Order, they teaxih, that no one should pub-
licly teach in the Church or administer the sacraments, unless
he be regularly called.

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Article XV.

Of Rites and Usages in the Church, they teach, that those
ought to be observed which may be observed without sin, and
which are profitable unto tranquillity and good order in the
Church, as particular holydays, festivals, and the like.

Nevertheless, concerning such things, let men be admonished
that consciences are not to be burdened, as though such observ-
ance were necessary to salvation. They are admonished also
that human traditions instituted to propitiate God, to merit grace
and to make satisfaction for sins, are opposed to the Gospel and
the doctrine of faith. Wherefore vows and traditions concerning
meats and days, etc., instituted to merit grace and to make
satisfaction for sins, are useless and contrary to the Gospel.

Article XVI.

Of Civil Af^irs, they teach, that lawful civil oiniinances are
good works of God, and that it is right for Christians to bear
civil office, to sit as judges, to determine matters by the Imperial
atnd other existing laws, to award just punishments, to enga^ in
just wars, to serve as soldiers, to make legal contracts, to hold
property, to make oath when required by the magistrates, to
marry, to be given in marriage.

They condemn the Anabaptists who forbid these civil offices
to Christians. They condemn also those who do not place the
perfection of the Gospel in the fear of God and in faith, but
m forsaking civil offices; for the Gospel teaches an eternal
righteousness of the heart. Meanwhile, it does not destroy the
State or the family, but especially requires their preservation as
ordinances of God, and in such ordinances the exercise of charity.
Therefore, Christians are necessarily bound to obey their own
magistrates and laws, save only when commanded to sin, for then
they ought to obey God rather than men [Acts 5 : 29].

Article XVFI.

Also they teach, that, at the Consummation of the World,
Clirist shall appear for judgment, and shall raise up all the
dead ; he shall give to the godly and elect eternal life and ever-
lasting joys, but ungodly men and the devils he shall condemn
to be tormented without end.

They condemn the Anabaptists who think that there will be
an end* to the punishments of condemned men and devils. They
condemn also others, who are now spreading certain Jewish
opinions that, before the resurrection of the dead, the godly shall

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take possession of the kingdom of the world, the ungodly being
everywhere suppressed [exterminated].

Article XVIII.

Of the Freedom of the Will, they teach, that man's will has

-some liberty for the attainment of civil righteousness, and for the

choice of things subject to reason, ifevertheless, it has no

Online LibraryEvangelical Lutheran Church in North America. GeneChurch book: for the use of Evangelical Lutheran congregations → online text (page 19 of 53)