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´╗┐Title: The Confutatio Pontificia
Author: Reu, Johann Michael, 1869-1943 [Editor]
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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By Anonymous

Edited by J. M. Reu.

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,


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:

Part I.

To Article I.

Especially when in the first article they confess the unity of the
divine essence in three persons according to the decree of the Council
of Nice, their Confession must be accepted, since it agrees in all
respects with the rule of faith and the Roman Church. For the Council of
Nice, convened under the Emperor Constantine the Great, has always been
regarded inviolable, whereat three hundred and eighteen bishops eminent
and venerable for holiness of life, martyrdom and learning, after
investigating and diligently examining the Holy Scriptures, set forth
this article which they here confess concerning the unity of the essence
and the trinity of persons. So too their condemnation of all heresies
arising contrary to this article must be accepted--viz. the Manichaeans,
Arians, Eunomians, Valentinians, Samosatanes, for the Holy Catholic
Church has condemned these of old.

To Article II.

In the second article we approve their Confession, in common with the
Catholic Church, that the fault of origin is truly sin, condemning and
bringing eternal death upon those who are not born again by baptism and
the Holy Ghost. For in this they properly condemn the Pelagians, both
modern and ancient, who have been long since condemned by the Church.
But the declaration of the article, that Original Sin is that men are
born without the fear of God and without trust in God, is to be entirely
rejected, since it is manifest to every Christian that to be without the
fear of God and without trust in God is rather the actual guilt of an
adult than the offence of a recently-born infant, which does not possess
as yet the full use of reason, as the Lord says "Your children which
had no knowledge between good and evil," Deut 1:39. Moreover, the
declaration is also rejected whereby they call the fault of origin
concupiscence, if they mean thereby that concupiscence is a sin that
remains sin in a child even after baptism. For the Apostolic See has
already condemned two articles of Martin Luther concerning sin remaining
in a child after baptism, and concerning the fomes of sin hindering
a soul from entering the kingdom of heaven. But if, according to the
opinion of St Augustine, they call the vice of origin concupiscence,
which in baptism ceases to be sin, this ought to be accepted, since
indeed according to the declaration of St. Paul, we are all born
children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), and in Adam we all have sinned (Rom.5:12).

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 1:17. Therefore
"our sufficiency is of God," 2 Cor 3:5. And Christ says: "No man can
come to me, Except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him," John 6:44
And Paul: "What hast thou that thou didst not receive?" I Cor 4:7. For
if any one should intend to disapprove of the merits that men acquire
by the assistance of divine grace, he would agree with the Manichaeans
rather than with the Catholic Church. For it is entirely contrary to
holy Scripture to deny that our works are meritorious. For St. Paul says
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept
the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day," 2 Tim.
4:7 & 8. And to the Corinthians he wrote "We must all appear before the
judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in
his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad,"
2 Cor. 5:10. For where there are wages there is merit. The Lord said
to Abraham: "Fear not, Abraham, I am thy shield and thy exceeding great
reward," Gen 15:l. And Isaiah says: "Behold, his reward is with him, and
his work before him," Isa. 40:10; and, chapter 58:7, 8: "Deal they bread
to the hungry, and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of
the Lord shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall gather thee
up." So too the Lord to Cain: "If thou doest well shalt thou not be
accepted?" Gen. 4:7. So the parable in the Gospel declares that we have
been hired for the Lord's vineyard, who agrees with us for a penny a
day, and says: "Call 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? because David, Ps. 62:12; Christ, Matt. 16:27; and Paul, Rom.
2:6 testify that God will render to every one according to his works.
Besides Christ says: "Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord shall
enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father," Matt. 7:21. 4. Hence however much one may believe, if he work
not what is good, he is not a friend of God. "Ye are my friends," says
Christ, "if ye do whatsoever I command you," John 15:14. On this account
their frequent ascription of justification to faith is not admitted
since it pertains to grace and love. For St. Paul says: "Though I have
all faith so that I could remove mountains and have not charity, I am
nothing." 1 Cor. 13:2. Here St. Paul certifies to the princes and the
entire Church that faith alone does not justify. Accordingly he teaches
that love is the chief virtue, Col. 3:14: "Above all these things put on
charity, which is the bond of perfectness." Neither are they supported
by the word of Christ: "When ye shall have done all these things, say
We are unprofitable servants," Luke 17:10. For if the doors ought to
be called unprofitable, how much more fitting is it to say to those
who only believe, When ye shall have believed all things say, We are
unprofitable servants! This word of Christ, therefore, does not extol
faith without works, but teaches that our works bring no profit to God;
that no one can be puffed up by our works; that, when contrasted with
the divine reward, our works are of no account and nothing. Thus St.
Paul says: "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not
worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us," Rom.
8:18. For faith and good works are gifts of God, whereby, through God's
mercy, eternal life is given. So, too, the citation at this point from
Ambrose is in no way pertinent, since St. Ambrose is here expressed
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 be 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 thousands.

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

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 shall
be devoured with the sword." This also Jeremiah has briefly expressed:
"Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil, as thou couldest," Jer. 3:5.
We add also Ezek. 18:31ff.: "Cast away from you all your transgressions
whereby ye have transgressed; and make ye a new heart, and a new spirit;
for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the
death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves
and live." Also St. Paul: "The spirits of the prophets are subject to
the prophets," 1 Cor. 14:32. Likewise 2 Cor. 9:7: "Every man according
as he purposeth in his heart; not grudgingly or of necessity." finally,
Christ overthrew all the Manichaeans with one word when he said: "Ye
have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them
good." Mark 14:7; and to Jerusalem Christ says: "How often would I have
gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathered her chickens
under her wings, and ye would not!" Matt. 23:37.

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 passion. We know
that Christ is "the way, the truth and the life,". John 14:6. But
Christ, as the Good Shepherd, who "began to do and teach," Acts 1:1, has
given us an example that as he has done we also should do, John 13:15.
He also went through the desert by the way of good works, which all
Christians ought to pursue, and according to his command bear the cross
and follow him. Matt. 10:38; 16:24. He who bears not the cross, neither
is nor can be Christ's disciple. That also is true which John says: "He
that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he
walked," 1 John 2:6. Moreover, this opinion concerning good works was
condemned and rejected more than a thousand years ago in the time of

To Article XXI.

In the last place, they present the twenty-first article, wherein they
admit that the memory of saints may be set before us, that we may follow
their faith and good works, but not that they be invoked and aid be
sought of them. It is certainly wonderful that the princes especially
and the cities have allowed this error to be agitated in their
dominions, which has been condemned so often before in the Church, since
eleven hundred years ago St. Jerome vanquished in this area the heretic
Vigilantius. Long after him arose the Albigenses, the Poor Men of
Lyons, the Picards, the Cathari old and new: all of whom were condemned
legitimately long ago. Wherefore this article of the Confession, so
frequently condemned, must be utterly rejected and in harmony with the
entire universal Church be condemned; for in favor of the invocation of
saints we have not only the authority of the Church universal but also
the agreement of the holy fathers, Augustine, Bernard, Jerome, Cyprian,
Chrysostom, Basil, and this class of other Church teachers. Neither is
the authority of Holy Scripture absent from this Catholic assertion, for
Christ taught that the saints should be honored: "If any man serve me,
him will my Father honor," John 12:26. If, therefore, God honors saints,
why do not we, insignificant men, honor them? Besides, the Lord was
turned to repentance by Job when he prayed for his friends, Job 42:8.
Why, therefore, would not God, the most pious, who gave assent to Job,
do the same to the Blessed Virgin when she intercedes? We read also in
Baruch 3:4: "O Lord Almighty, thou God of Israel, hear now the prayers
of the dead Israelites." Therefore the dead also pray for us. Thus did
Onias and Jeremiah in the Old Testament. For Onias the high priest was
seen by Judas Maccabaeus holding up his hands and praying for the whole
body of the Jews. Afterwards another man appeared, remarkable both for
his age and majesty, and of great beauty about him, concerning whom
Onias replied: "This is a love of the brethren and of the people Israel,
who prayeth much for the people and for the Holy city--to wit,
Jeremiah the prophet." 2 Macc. 15:12-14. Besides, we know from the Holy
Scriptures that the angels pray for us. Why, then, would we deny this of
the saints? "O Lord of hosts," said the angels, "how long wilt thou not
have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou
hast had indignation? And the Lord answered the angel that talked with
me comfortable words." Zech. 1:12, 13. Job likewise testifies: "If there
be an angel with him speaking, one among a thousand, to show unto man
his uprightness, he will pity him and say, Deliver him from going down
to the pit." Job 33:23, 24. This is clear besides from the words of that
holy soul, John the Evangelist, when he says: "The four beasts and the
four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one of
them harps and golden vials, full of odors which are the prayers of
saints," Rev. 5:8; and afterwards: "An angel stood at the altar, having
a golden censer, and there was given unto him much incense, that he
should offer it with the prayers of 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 believes and confesses, and was observed in all
the churches in the time of Augustine. "A Christian people." he says,
"celebrates the memories of martyrs with religious observance, that it
share in their merits and be aided by their prayers."

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 establish
that the perpetual Virgin Mary was mother only of Christ, not of God,
the Church for a time forbade her to be called Christotokos, mother of
Christ. Wherefore we must entreat the princes and cities not to permit
this schism to be introduced into Germany, into the Roman Empire, or
themselves to be separated from the custom of the Church Universal.
Neither do the arguments adduced in this article avail, for while Christ
indeed instituted both forms of the Sacrament, yet it is nowhere found
in the Gospel that he enjoined that both forms be received by the laity.
For what is said in Matt. 26:27: "Drink ye all of it," was said to the
twelve apostles, who were priests, as is manifest from Mark 14:23, where
it is said: "And they all drank of it." This certainly was not fulfilled
hitherto with respect to laymen; whence the custom never existed
throughout the entire Church that both forms were given to laymen,
although it existed perhaps among the Corinthians and Carthaginians
and some other Churches. As to their reference to Gelasius, Canon
Comperimus, of Consecration. Dist. 2, if they examine the document they
will find that Gelasius speaks of priests, and not of laymen. Hence
their declaration that the custom of administering but one form is
contrary to divine law must be rejected. But most of all the appendix
to the article must be rejected, that the procession with the Eucharist
must be neglected or omitted, because the sacrament is thus divided. For
they themselves know, or at least ought to know, that by the Christian
faith Christ has not been divided, but that the entire Christ is under
both forms, and that the Gospel nowhere forbids the division of the
sacramental forms; as is done on Parasceve (Holy or Maundy Thursday) by
the entire Church of the Catholics, although the consecration is made
by the celebrant in both forms, who also ought to receive both. Therefore
the princes and cities should be admonished to pay customary reverence
and due honor to Christ the Son of the living God, our Savior and
Glorifier, the Lord of heaven and earth, since they believe and
acknowledge that he is truly present--a matter which they know has been
most religiously observed by their ancestors, most Christian princes.

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 clergy
not to occupy a domicile in common with women. Hence, since sacerdotal
continence has been commanded by the pontiffs and revealed by God
and promised to God, by the priest in a special vow, it must not be
rejected. For this is required by the excellency of the sacrifice they
offer, the frequency of prayer, and liberty and purity of spirit, that
they care how to please God, according to the teaching of St. Paul. And
because this is manifestly the ancient heresy of Jovinian, which the
Roman Church condemned and Jerome refuted in his writings, and St.
Augustine said that this heresy was immediately extinguished and did not
attain to the corruption and abuse of priests, the princes ought not to
tolerate it to the perpetual shame and disgrace of the Roman Empire,
but should rather conform themselves to the Church universal, and not be
influenced by those things which are suggested to them. For as to what
Paul says, 1 Cor. 7:2: "To avoid fornication, let every man have his own
wife," Jerome replies that St. Paul is speaking of one who has not made
a vow, as Athanasius and Vulgarius understand the declaration of St.
Paul: "If a virgin marry, she hath not sinned." (1 Cor. 7:28), that here
a virgin is meant who has not been consecrated to God. So in reference
to: "It is better to marry than to burn" (1 Cor. 7:9), the pointed reply
of Jerome against Jovinian is extant. For the same St. Paul says (1 Cor.
7:1): "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." For a priest has
the intermediate position of neither marrying nor burning, but of
restraining himself by the grace of God, which he obtains of God by
devout prayer and chastising of the flesh, by fasting and vigils.
Furthermore, when they say that Christ taught that all men are not fit
for celibacy, it is indeed true, and on this account not all are fit for
the priesthood; but let the priest pray, and he will be 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, for while there was
a contention between the Emperor Henry IV, and the Roman Pontiff, and
also between his son and the nobles of the Empire, both divine and
human laws were equally confused, so that at the time the laity rashly
attempted to administer sacred things, to use filth instead of holy oil,
to baptize, and to do much else foreign to the Christian religion. The
clergy likewise went beyond their sphere--a precedent which cannot be
cited as law. Neither was it regarded unjust to dissolve sacrilegious
marriages which had been contracted to no effect in opposition to vows
and the sanction of fathers and councils; as even today the marriages of
priests with their so-called wives are not valid. In vain, therefore,
do they complain that the world is growing old, and that as a remedy for
infirmity rigor should be relaxed, for those who are consecrated to God
have other remedies of infirmities; as, for instance, let them avoid
the society of women, shun idleness, macerate the flesh by fasting and
vigils, keep the outward senses, especially sight and hearing, from
things forbidden, turn away their eyes from beholding vanity, and
finally dash their little ones--i.e. their carnal thoughts--upon a rock
(and Christ is the Rock), suppress their passions, and frequently
and devoutly resort to God in prayer. These are undoubtedly the most
effectual remedies for incontinence in ecclesiastics and servants of
God. St. Paul said aright that the doctrine of those who forbid marriage
is a doctrine of demons. Such was the doctrine of Tatian and Marcoin,
whom Augustine and Jerome have mentioned. But the Church does not
thus forbid marriage, as she even enumerates marriage among the seven
sacraments; with which, however, it is consistent that on account of
their superior ministry she should enjoin upon ecclesiastics superior
purity. For it is false that there is an express charge concerning
contracting marriage, for then John the Evangelist, St. James,
Laurentius, Titus, Martin, Catharine, Barbara, etc., would have sinned.
Nor is Cyprian influenced by these considerations to speak of a virgin
who had made a solemn vow, but of one who had determined to live
continently, as the beginning of Letter XI., Book I sufficiently shows.
For the judgement of St. Augustine is very explicit: "It is damnable for
Virgins who make a vow not only to marry, but even to wish to marry."
Hence the abuse of marriage and the breaking of vows in the clergy are
not to be tolerated.

III. Of the Mass.

Whatever in this article is stated concerning the most holy office
of the mass that agrees with the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church is
approved, but whatever is added that is contrary to the observance
of the general and universal orthodox Church is rejected, because
it grievously offends God, injures Christian unity, and occasions
dissensions, tumults and seditions in the Holy Roman Empire. Now, as to
these things which they state in the article: First, it is displeasing
that, in opposition to the usage of the entire Roman Church, they
perform ecclesiastical rites not in the Roman but in the German
language, and this they pretend that they do upon the authority of St.
Paul, who taught that in the Church a language should be used which is
understood by the people, 1 Cor. 14:19. But if this were the meaning of
the words of St. Paul, it would compel them to perform the entire mass
in German, which even they do not do. But since the priest is a person
belonging to the entire Church, and not only to his surroundings, it is
not wonderful that the priest celebrates the mass in the Latin language
in a Latin Church. It is profitable to the hearer, however, if he hear
the mass in faith of the Church; and experience teaches that among the
Germans there has been greater devotion at mass in Christ's believers who
do not understand the Latin language than in those who today hear the
mass in German. And if the words of the apostle be pondered, it is
sufficient that the one replying occupy the place of the unlearned
to say Amen, the very thing that the canons prescribe. Neither is it
necessary that he hear or understand all the words of the mass, and even
attend to it intelligently; for it is better to understand and to attend
to its end, because the mass is celebrated in order that the Eucharist
may be offered in memory of Christ's passion. And it is an argument in
favor of this that, according to the general opinion of the fathers,
the apostles and their successors until the times of the Emperor Hadrian
celebrated the mass in the Hebrew language alone, which was indeed
unknown to the Christians, especially the converted heathen. But even
if the mass had been celebrated in the primitive Church in a tongue
understood by the people, nevertheless this would not be necessary now,
for many were daily converted who were ignorant of the ceremonies and
unacquainted with the mysteries; and hence it was of advantage for them
to understand the words of the office; but now Catholics imbibe from
their cradles the manners and customs of the Church, whence they readily
know what should be done at every time in the Church. Moreover, as to
their complaints concerning the abuse of masses, there is none of
those who think aright but does not earnestly desire that the abuses be
corrected. __But that they who wait at the altar live of the altar is
not an abuse, but pertains equally to both divine and human law.__ "Who
goeth a warfare any time at his own charge?" says Paul. "Do ye not know
that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the
temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?"
1 Cor 9:7,13. Christ says: "The laborer is worthy of his hire." Luke
10:7. But worthy of censure, above all things, is the discontinuance
of the private mass in certain places, as though those having fixed and
prescribed returns are sought no less than the public masses on
account of gain. But by this abrogation of masses the worship of God is
diminished, honor is withdrawn from the saints, the ultimate will of the
founder is overthrown and defeated, the dead deprived of the rights due
them, and the devotion of the living withdrawn and chilled. Therefore
the abrogation of private masses cannot be conceded and tolerated.
Neither can their assumption be sufficiently understood that Christ by
his passion has made satisfaction for original sin, and has instituted
the mass for actual sin; for this has never been heard by Catholics,
and very many who are now asked most constantly deny that they have
so taught. For the mass does not abolish sins, which are destroyed by
repentance as their peculiar medicine, but abolishes the punishment due
sin, supplies satisfactions, and confers increase of grace and salutary
protection of the living, and, lastly, brings the hope of divine
consolation and aid to all our wants and necessities. Again, their
insinuations that in the mass Christ is not offered must be altogether
rejected, as condemned of old and excluded by the faithful. For
Augustine says this was a very ancient heresy of the Arians, who denied
that in the mass an oblation was made for the living and the dead. For
this is opposed both to the Holy Scriptures and the entire Church. For
through Malachi the Lord predicted the rejection of the Jews, the call
of the Gentiles and the sacrifice of the evangelical law: "I have no
pleasure in you, he saith, neither will I accept an offering at your
hand. For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the
same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place
incense shall be offered unto my name and a pure offering." Mal 1:10,
11. But no pure offering has already been offered to God in every place,
except in the sacrifice of the altar of the most pure Eucharist. This
authority St. Augustine and other Catholics have used in favor of the
mass against faithless Jews, and certainly with Catholic princes it
should have greater influence than all objections of the adversaries.
Besides, in speaking of the advent of the Messiah the same prophet
says: "And he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and
silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the
Lord, as in the days of old and as in former years," Mal. 3:3, 4. Here
in the spirit the prophet foresaw the sons of Levi--i.e. evangelical
priests, says Jerome--about to offer sacrifices, not in the blood of
goats, but in righteousness, as in the days of old. Hence these words
are repeated by the Church in the canon of the mass under the influence
of the same Spirit under whose influence they were written by the
prophet. The angel also said to Daniel: "Many shall be purified and
made white and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the
wicked shall understand." And again: "The wise shall understand; and
from the time that the daily sacrifices shall be taken away, and the
abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two
hundred and ninety days," Dan. 12:10, 11. Christ testifies that this
prophecy is to be fulfilled, but that it has not been as yet fulfilled,
Matt. 24:15. Therefore the daily sacrifice of Christ will cease
universally at the advent of the abomination--i.e. of Antichrist--just
as it has already ceased, particularly in some churches, and thus will
be unemployed in the place of desolation--viz. when the churches will
be desolated, in which the canonical hours will not be chanted or the
masses celebrated or the sacraments administered, and there will be no
altars, no images of saints, no candles, no furniture. Therefore all
princes and faithful subjects of the Roman Empire ought to be encouraged
never to admit or pass over anything that may aid the preparers
of Antichrist in attaining such a degree of wickedness, when the
woman--i.e. the Catholic Church--as St. John saw in the Spirit, will
flee into the wilderness, where she will have a place prepared of God,
that she may be nourished there twelve hundred and sixty days, Rev.
12:6. Finally, St. Paul says, Heb. 5:1: "Every high priest taken from
among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he
may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins." But since the external
priesthood has not ceased in the new law, but has been changed to a
better, therefore even today the high priest and the entire priesthood
offer in the Church an external sacrifice, which is only one, the
Eucharist. To this topic that also is applicable which is read,
according to the new translation, in Acts 13:1, 2: Barnabas, Simeon,
Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen and Saul sacrificed--i.e. they offered an
oblation, which can and ought justly to be understood not of an oblation
made to idols, but of the mass, since it is called by the Greeks
liturgy. And that in the primitive Church the mass was a sacrifice
the holy fathers copiously testify, and they support this opinion. For
Ignatius, a pupil of St. John the Apostle, says: "It is not allowable
without a bishop either to offer a sacrifice or to celebrate masses."
And Irenaeus, a pupil of John, clearly testifies that "Christ taught the
new oblation of the New Testament, which the Church, receiving from
the apostles, offers to God throughout the entire world." This bishop,
bordering upon the times of the apostles, testifies that the new
evangelical sacrifice was offered throughout the entire world. Origin,
Cyprian, Jerome, Chrysostom, Augustine, Basil, Hilary, etc., teach and
testify the same, whose words for brevity's sake are omitted. Since,
therefore, the Catholic Church throughout the entire Christian world
has always taught, held and observed as it today holds and observes, the
same ought today to be held and observed inviolably. Nor does St. Paul
in Hebrews oppose the oblation of the mass when he says that by one
offering we have once been justified through Christ. For St. Paul is
speaking of the offering of a victim--i.e. of a bloody sacrifice, of
a lamb slain, viz. upon the cross--which offering was indeed once made
whereby all sacraments, and even the sacrifice of the mass, have
their efficacy. Therefore he was offered but once with the shedding of
blood--viz. upon the cross; today he is offered in the mass as a peace
making and sacramental victim. Then he was offered in a visible
form capable of suffering; today he is offered in the mass veiled in
mysteries, incapable of suffering, just as in the Old Testament he was
sacrificed typically and under a figure. Finally, the force of the
word shows that the mass is a sacrifice, since "mass" is nothing but
"oblation," and has received its name from the Hebrew word misbeach,
altar--in Greek thysiasterion, on account of the oblation. It has been
sufficiently declared above that we are justified not properly by faith,
but by love. But if any such statement be found in the Holy Scriptures,
Catholics know that it is declared concerning fides formata, which works
by love (Gal. 5), and because justification is begun by faith, because
it is the substance of things hoped for. Heb. 11:1. Neither is it denied
that the mass is a memorial of Christ's passion and God's benefits,
since this is approved 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 passages of Chrysostom. For in his
twenty-ninth sermon he says of the penitent: "In his heart is
contrition, in his mouth confession, in his entire work humility. This
is perfect and fruitful repentance." Does not this most exactly display
the three parts of repentance? So in his tenth homily on Matthew,
Chrysostom teaches of a fixed time for confession, and that after
the wounds of crimes have been opened they should be healed, penance
intervening. But how will crimes lie open if they are not disclosed to
the priest by confession? Thus in several passages Chrysostom himself
refutes this opinion, which Jerome also overthrows, saying: "If
the serpent the devil have secretly bitten any one, and without the
knowledge 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 you overseers, to rule
(Vulgate) the Church of God," Acts 20:28. If prelates, therefore, have
the power to rule, they will have the power also to make statutes for
the salutary government of the Church and the growth of subjects. For
the same apostle enjoined upon the Corinthians that among them all
things should be done in order, 1 Cor. 14:40; but this cannot be done
without laws. On that account he said to the Hebrews: "Obey them that
have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your
souls, as they that must give an account," Heb. 13:17. Here St. Paul
reckons not only obedience, but also the reason for obedience. We see
that St. Paul exercised this power, as, in addition to the Gospel, he
prescribed so many laws concerning the choice of a bishop, concerning
widows, concerning women, that they have their heads veiled, that they
be silent in the church, and concerning even secular matters, 1 Thess.
4:1, 2, 6; concerning civil courts, 1 Cor. 6:1ff. And he says to the
Corinthians very clearly: "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord."
1 Cor. 7.12, and again he says elsewhere: "Stand fast and hold the
traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle,"
2 Thess. 2:15. Wherefore, the princes and cities must be admonished to
render obedience to ecclesiastical statutes and constitutions, lest when
they withdraw obedience that is due God, obedience may be withdrawn also
from them by their subjects, as their subjects attempted in the recent
civil insurrection, not to allow themselves to be seduced by false
doctrines. Most false also is their declaration that the righteousness
of faith is obscured by such ordinances; nay, he is rather mad and
insane who would observe them without faith. For they are given to
believers, and not to Turks or Ishmaelites. "For what have I to do to
judge them that are without?" 1 Cor. 5:12. Moreover, in extolling here
faith above all things they antagonize St. Paul, as we have said above,
and do violence to St. Paul, whom they pervert to evangelical works when
he speaks of legal works, as all these errors have been above refuted.
False also is it that ecclesiastical ordinances obscure God's commands,
since they prepare man for these, as fasts suppress the lust of the
flesh and help him from falling into luxury. False also is it that it is
impossible to observe ordinances, for the Church is not a cruel mother
who makes no exceptions in the celebration of festivals and in fasting
and the like. Furthermore, they falsely quote Augustine in reply to the
inquiries of Januarius, who is diametrically opposed to them. For
in this place he most clearly states that what has been universally
delivered by the Church be also universally observed. But in indifferent
things, and those whose observance and non-observance are free, the holy
father Augustine states that, according to the authority of St. Ambrose,
the custom of each church should be observed. "When I come back to
Rome," he says, "I fast on the Sabbath, but when here I do not fast."
Besides, they do violence to the Scriptures while they endeavor
to support their errors. For Christ (Matt. 15) does not absolutely
disapprove of human ordinances, but of those only that were opposed to
the law of God, as is clearly acknowledged in Mark 7:8, 9. Here also
Matt. 15:3 says: "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by
your tradition?" So Paul (Col. 2) forbids that any one be judged in meat
or in drink, or in respect to the Sabbath, after the Jewish manner; for
when the Church forbids meats it does not judge them to be unclean,
as the Jews in the Synagogue thought. So the declaration of Christ
concerning that which goeth into the mouth (Matt. 15:11) is cited here
without a sure and true understanding of it since its intention was to
remove the error of the Jews, who thought that food touched by unwashen
hands becomes unclean, and rendered one eating it unclean, as is
manifest from the context. Nor does the Church bring back to these
observances Moses with his heavy hands. In like manner they do violence
to St. Paul, for 1 Tim. 4:1, 4, he calls that a doctrine of demons that
forbids meats, as the Tatianites, Marcionites and Manichaeans thought
that meats were unclean, as is clear from the words that follow, when
St. Paul adds: "Every creature of God is good." But the church does
not forbid meats on the ground that they are evil or unclean, but as an
easier way to keep God's commandments; therefore the opposite arguments
fail. If they would preach the cross and bodily discipline and fasts,
that in this way the body be reduced to subjection, their doctrine would
be commendable; but their desire that these be free is condemned and
rejected as alien to the faith and discipline of the Church. Nor does
the diversity of rites support them, for this is properly allowed in
regard to particular matters, in order that each individual province
may have its own taste satisfied, as Jerome says; but individual
ecclesiastical rites should be universally observed, and special rites
should be observed each in their own province. Also, they make no
mention of Easter for the Roman pontiffs reduced the Asiatics to a
uniform observance of Easter with the universal Church. In this way
Irenaeus must be understood, for without the loss of faith some vigils
of the apostles were not celebrated with fasting throughout Gaul, which
Germany nevertheless observes in fasts. The princes and cities must also
be admonished to follow the decision of Pope Gregory, for he enjoins
that the custom of each province be observed if it employs nothing
contrary to the Catholic faith, Canon Quoniam, Distinct xii. Hence we
are not ignorant that there is a various observance of dissimilar rites
in unity of faith, which should be observed in every province as it has
been delivered and received from the ancients, without injury, however,
to the universal rites of the entire Catholic Church.

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," 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. ii.

VII. Of Ecclesiastical Power.

Although many things are introduced here in the topic of Ecclesiastical
Power, with greater bitterness than is just, yet it must be declared
that to most reverend bishops and priests, and to the entire clergy, all
ecclesiastical power is freely conceded that belongs to them by law
or custom. Besides, it is proper to preserve for them all immunities,
privileges, preferments and prerogatives granted them by Roman emperors
and kings. Nor can those things that have been granted ecclesiastics by
imperial munificence or gift be allowed to be infringed by any princes
or any other subject of the Roman Empire. For it is most abundantly
proved that ecclesiastical power in spiritual things has been founded
upon divine right, of which St. Paul indeed says: "For though I should
boast somewhat more of our authority which the Lord hath given us for
edification, and not for your destruction," 2 Cor. 10:8, and afterwards:
"Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I
should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given
me to edification, and not to destruction," 2 Cor. 13:10. Paul also
displays his coercitive disposition when he says: "What will ye? Shall
I come unto you with a rod, or in love and in the spirit of meekness?"
1 Cor. 4:21. And of judicial matters he writes to Timothy: "Against an
elder receive not an accusation but before two or three witnesses," 1
Tim. 5:19. From these passages it is very clearly discerned that bishops
have the power not only of the ministry of the Word of God, but also of
ruling and coercitive correction in order to direct subjects to the goal
of eternal blessedness. But for the power of ruling there is required
the power to judge, to define, to discriminate and to decide what is
expedient or conducive to the aforesaid goal. In vain, therefore, and
futile is all that is inserted in the present article in opposition to
the immunity of churches and schools. Accordingly, all subjects of the
Roman Empire must be forbidden from bringing the clergy before a civil
tribunal, contrary to imperial privileges that have been conceded: for
Pope Clement the Martyr says: "If any of the presbyters have trouble
with one another, let whatever it be adjusted before the presbyters of
the Church." Hence Constantine the Great, the most Christian Emperor,
was unwilling in the holy Council of Nice to give judgement even in
secular cases. "Ye are gods," he says, "appointed by the true God. Go,
settle the case among yourselves, be cause it is not proper that
we judge gods." As to what is further repeated concerning Church
regulations has been sufficiently replied to above. Nor does Christian
liberty, which they bring forth as an argument, avail them, since this
is not liberty, but prodigious license, which, inculcated on the people,
excites them to fatal and most dangerous sedition. For Christian liberty
is not opposed to ecclesiastical usages since they promote what is good,
but it is opposed to the servitude of the Mosaic law and the servitude
of sin. "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin," says Christ,
John 8:34. Hence their breaking fasts, their free partaking of meats,
their neglect of canonical hours, their omission of confession--viz. at
Easter--and their commission and omission of similar things, are not a
use of liberty, but an abuse thereof, contrary to the warnings of St.
Paul, who earnestly warned them, saying: "Brethren, ye have been called
unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by
love serve one another." Gal. 5:13. Hence no one ought to conceal
his crimes under the pretext of Gospel liberty, which St. Peter
also forbade: "As free, and not using your liberty for an cloak of
maliciousness, but as the servant of God," 1 Pet. 2:16. As to what they
have added concerning abuses, all the princes and estates of the Empire
undoubtedly know that not even the least is approved either by His
Imperial Majesty or by any princes or any Christian man, but that both
the princes and the estates of the Empire desire to strive with a common
purpose and agreement, in order that, the abuses being removed and
reformed, the excesses of both estates may be either utterly abolished
or reformed for the better, and that the ecclesiastical estate, which
has been weakened in many ways, and the Christian religion, which has
grown cold and relaxed in some, may be restored and renewed to its
pristine glory and distinction. To this, as is evident to all, His
Imperial Majesty has thus far devoted the greatest care and labor, and
kindly promises in the future to employ for this cause all his means and


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 defender 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.

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