by F. Bente
XVIII. The Crypto-Calvinistic Controversy.
196.Contents and Purpose of Articles VII and VIII.
In all of its articles the Formula of Concord is but a reafflrmation of the doctrines taught and defended by Luther. The fire of prolonged and hot controversies through which these doctrines passed after his death had but strengthened the Lutherans in their conviction that in every point Luther’s teaching was indeed nothing but the pure Word of God itself. It had increased the consciousness that, in believing and teaching as they did, they were not following mere human authorities, such as Luther and the Lutheran Confessions, but the Holy Scriptures, by which alone their consciences were bound.Articles VII and VIII of the Formula of Concord, too, reassert Luther’s doctrines on the Lord’s Supper and the person of Christ as being in every particular the clear and unmistakable teaching of the divine Word,- two doctrines,by the way, which perhaps more than any other serve as the acid test whether the fundamental attitude of a church or a theologian is truly Scriptural and fully free from every rationalistic and enthusiastic infection.
The Seventh Article teaches the real and substantial presence of the true body and blood of Christ; their sacramental union in, with, and under the elements of bread and wine; the oral manducation or eating and drinking of both substances by unbelieving as well as believing communicants. It maintains that this presence of the body and blood of Christ, though real, is neither an impanation nor a companation, neither a local inclusion nor a mixture of the two substances, but illocal and transcendent. It holds that the eating of the body and the drinking of the blood of Christ, though truly done with the mouth of the body, is not Capernaitic, or natural, but supernatural. It affirms that this real presence is effected, not by any human power, but by the omnipotent power of Christ in accordance with the words of the institution of the Sacrament.
The Eighth Article treats of the person of Christ, of the personal union of His two natures, of the communication of these natures as well as of their attributes, and, in particular, of the impartation of the truly divine majesty to His human nature and the terminology resulting therefrom. One particular object of Article VIII is also to show that the doctrine of the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper, as taught by the Lutheran Church, does not, as was contended by her Zwinglian and Calvinistic adversaries, conflict in any way with what the Scriptures teach concerning the person of Christ, His human nature, His ascension, and His sitting at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. The so-called Appendix, or Catalogus, a collection of passages from the Bible and from the fathers of the ancient Church, prepared by Andreae and Chemnitz was added to the Formula of Concord (though not as an authoritative part of it) in further support of the Lutheran doctrine particularly concerning the divine majesty of the human nature of Christ.
Both articles, the seventh as well as the eighth, were incorporated in the Formula of Concord in order thoroughly to purify the Lutheran Church from Reformed errors concerning the Lord’s Supper and the person of Christ, which after Luther’s death had wormed their way into some of her schools and churches, especially those of Electoral Saxony, and to make her forever immune against the infection of Calvinism (Crypto- Calvinism)-a term which, during the controversies preceding the Formula of Concord did not, as is generally the case to-day, refer to Calvin’s absolute decree of election and reprobation, but to his doctrine concerning the Lord’s Supper, as formulated by himself in the Consensus Tigurinus (Zurich Consensus), issued 1549. The subtitle of this confession reads:”Consensio Mutua in Re Sacramentaria Ministrorum Tigurinae Ecclesiae, et D. Iohannis Calvini Ministri Genevensis Ecclesiae, iam nunc ab ipsis autoribus edita.” In this confession, therefore,Calvin declares his agreement with the teaching of Zwingli as represented by his followers in Zurich, notably Bullinger. Strenuous efforts were made by the Calvinists and Reformed everywhere to make the Consensus Tigurinus the basis of a pan-Protestant union, and at the same time the banner under which to conquer all Protestant countries, Lutheran Germany included, for what must be regarded as being essentially Zwinglianism. The Consensus was adopted in Switzerland,England,France, and Holland. In Lutheran territories, too, its teaching was rapidly gaining friends, notably in Southern Germany, where Bucer had prepared the way for it, and in Electoral Saxony where the Philippists offered no resistance. Garnished as it was with glittering and seemingly orthodox phrases, the Consensus Tigurinus lent itself admirably for such Reformed propaganda.”The consequence was,”says the Formula of Concord, “that many great men were deceived by these fine, plausible words-splendidis et magnificis verbis.”(973, 6.) To counteract this deception, to establish Luther’s doctrine of the real presence of the body and blood of Christ, and to defend it against the sophistries of the Sacramentarians: Zwinglians, Calvinists, and Crypto-Calvinists-such was the object of Articles VII and VIII of the Formula of Concord.
197. John Calvin.
Calvin was born July 10, 1509, in Noyon, France. He began his studies in Paris, 1523 preparing for theology. In 1529 his father induced him to take up law in Orleans and Bourges. In 1531 he returned to his theological studies in Paris. Here he experienced what he himself describes as a “sudden conversion.” He joined the Reformed congregation, and before long was its acknowledged leader. In 1533 he was compelled to leave France because of his anti-Roman testimony. In Basel, 1535, he wrote the first draft of his Institutio Religionis Christianae. In Geneva where he was constrained to remain by William Farel [born 1489; active as a fiery Protestant preacher in Meaux, Strassburg,Zurich, Bern, Basel, Moempelgard, Geneva, Metz, etc.; died 1565], Calvin developed and endeavored to put into practise his legalistic ideal of a theocratic and rigorous puritanical government. As a result he was banished, 1538. He removed to Strassburg,where he was held and engaged by Bucer. He attended the conventions in Frankfort, 1539; Hagenau, 1540; Worms, 1540; and Regensburg, 1541. Here he got acquainted with the Lutherans notably Melanchthon. September 13, 1541, he returned to Geneva,where,woefully mixing State and Church,he continued his reformatory and puritanical efforts. One of the victims of his theocratic government was the anti-Trinitarian Michael Servetus, who, at the instance of Calvin, was burned at the stake, October 27, 1553. In 1559 Calvin established the Geneva School, which exercised a far-reaching theological influence. He died May 27, 1564.
Calvin repeatedly expressed his unbounded admiration for Luther as a “preeminent servant of Christ- praeclarus Christi servus.” (C. R. 37, 54.) In his Answer of 1543 against the Romanist Pighius he said:”Concerning Luther we testify without dissimulation now as heretofore that we esteem him as a distinguished apostle of Christ, by whose labor and service, above all, the purity of the Gospel has been restored at this time.De Luthero nunc quoque sicut hactenus non dissimulanter testamur, eum nos habere pro insigni Christi apostolo, cuius maxime opera et ministerio restituta hoc tempore fuerit Evangelii puritas.” (Gieseler 3, 2, 169.) Even after Luther had published his Brief Confession, in which he unsparingly denounces the Sacramentarians (deniers of the real presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper), and severs all connection with them Calvin admonished Bullinger in a letter dated November 25, 1544, to bear in mind what a great and wonderfully gifted man Luther was, and with what fortitude, ability,and powerful teaching he had shattered the kingdom of Antichrist and propagated the salutary doctrine. “I am frequently accustomed to say,” he declared,”that, even if he should call me a devil I would accord him the honor of acknowledging him to be an eminent servant of God.” In the original the remarkable words of Calvin read as follows: “Sed haec cupio vobis in mentem venire, primum quantus sit vir Lutherus, et quantis dotibus excellat, quanta animi fortitudine et constantia quanta dexteritate, quanta doctrinae efficacia hactenus ad profligandum Antichristi regnum et simul propagandam salutis doctrinam incubuerit. Saepe dicere solitus sum, etiamsi me diabolum vocaret, me tamen hoc illi honoris habiturum, ut insignem Dei servum agnoscam, qui tamen, ut pollet eximiis virtutibus, ita magnis vitiis laboret.” (Gieseler 3, 2, 169; C. R. 39 [Calvini Opp. 11], 774.)
However, though he admired the personality of Luther, Calvin, like Zwingli and Oecolampadius at Marburg 1529, revealed a theological spirit which was altogether different from Luther’s. In particular, he was violently opposed to Luther’s doctrines of the real presence in the Lord’s Supper and of the majesty of the human nature of Christ. Revealing his animus, Calvin branded the staunch and earnest defenders of these doctrines as the “apes” of Luther. In his Second Defense against Westphal, 1556, he exclaimed: “O Luther, how few imitators of your excellences, but how many apes of your pious ostentation have you left behind! O Luthere, quam paucos tuae praestantiae imitatores, quam multas vero sanctae tuae iactantiae simias reliquisti!” (Gieseler 3, 2, 209.)
True, when in Strassburg, Calvin signed the Augsburg Confession (1539 or 1540), and was generally considered a Lutheran.However, in his Last Admonition to Westphal, of 1557 and in a letter of the same year to Martin Schalling,Calvin wrote:”Nor do I repudiate the Augsburg Confession, to which I have previously subscribed, in the sense in which the author himself [Melanchthon in the Variata of 1540] has interpreted it. Nec vero Augustanam Confessionem repudio, cui pridem volens ac libens subscripsi, sicut eam auctor ipse interpretatus est.” (C. R. 37, 148.) According to his own confession, therefore, Calvin’s subscription to the Augustana, at least as far as the article of the Lord’s Supper is concerned, was insincere and nugatory. In fact Calvin must be regarded as the real originator of the second controversy on the Lord’s Supper between the Lutherans and the Reformed, even as the first conflict on this question was begun, not by Luther, but by his opponents, Carlstadt, Zwingli, and Oecolampadius. For the adoption of the Consensus Tigurinus in 1549, referred to above, cannot but be viewed as an overt act by which the Wittenberg Concord, signed 1536 by representative Lutheran and Reformed theologians, was publicly repudiated and abandoned by Calvin and his adherents, and whereby an anti-Lutheran propaganda on an essentially Zwinglian basis was inaugurated. Calvin confirmed the schism between the Lutherans and the Reformed which Carlstadt,Zwingli, and Oecolampadius had originated.
198. Calvin’s Zwinglianism.
The doctrine of Calvin and his adherents concerning the Lord’s Supper is frequently characterized as a materially modified Zwinglianism. Schaff maintains that “Calvin’s theory took a middle course, retaining, on the basis of Zwingli’s exegesis, the religious substance of Luther’s faith, and giving it a more intellectual and spiritual form, triumphed in Switzerland, gained much favor in Germany and opened a fair prospect for union.” (Creeds 1, 280.) As a matter of fact, however, a fact admitted also by such Calvinists as Hodge and Shedd, Calvin’s doctrine was a denial in toto of the real presence as taught by Luther. (Pieper, Dogm. 3, 354.) Calvin held that after His ascension Christ, according to His human nature, was locally enclosed in heaven, far away from the earth.Hence he denied also the real presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Holy Supper. In fact, Calvin’s doctrine was nothing but a polished form of Zwingli’s crude teaching, couched in phrases approaching the Lutheran terminology as closely as possible. Even where he paraded as Luther, Calvin was but Zwingli disguised (and poorly at that) in a seemingly orthodox garb and promenading with several imitation Lutheran feathers in his hat.
In the Formula of Concord we read: “Although some Sacramentarians strive to employ words that come as close as possible to the Augsburg Confession and the form and mode of speech in its churches, and confess that in the Holy Supper the body of Christ is truly received by believers, still, when we insist that they state their meaning properly, sincerely, and clearly, they all declare themselves unanimously thus: that the true essential body and blood of Christ is absent from the consecrated bread and wine in the Holy Supper as far as the highest heaven is from the earth … Therefore they understand this presence of the body of Christ not as a presence here upon earth, but only respectu fidei; (with respect to faith), that is, that our faith, reminded and excited by the visible signs, just as by the Word preached, elevates itself and ascends above all heavens, and receives and enjoys the body of Christ, which is there in heaven present, yea, Christ Himself, together with all His benefits, in a manner true and essential, but nevertheless spiritual only; … consequently nothing else is received by the mouth in the Holy Supper than bread and wine.” (971, 2f.) This is, and was intended to be, a presentation of Calvinism as being nothing but Zwinglianism clothed in seemingly orthodox phrases.
That this picture drawn by the Formula of Concord is not a caricature or in any point a misrepresentation of Calvinism appears from the Consensus Tigurinus itself, where we read: “In as far as Christ is a man,He is to be sought nowhere else than in heaven and in no other manner than with the mind and the understanding of faith. Therefore it is a perverse and impious superstition to include Him under elements of this world. Christus, quatenus homo est, non alibi quam in coelo nec aliter quam mente et fidei intelligentia quaerendus est. Quare perversa et impia superstitio est, ipsum sub elementis huius mundi includere.” Again: “We repudiate those [who urge the literal interpretation of the words of institution] as preposterous interpreters.” “For beyond controversy, they are to be taken figuratively, … as when by metonymy the name of the symbolized thing is transferred to the sign-ut per metonymiam ad signum transferatur rei figuratae nomen.” Again: “Nor do we regard it as less absurd to place Christ under, and to unite Him with, the bread than to change the bread into His body. Neque enim minus absurdum iudicamus, Christum sub pane locare vel cum pane copulare, quam panem transubstantiare in corpus eius.” Again: “When we say that Christ is to be sought in heaven this mode of speech expresses a distance of place, … because the body of Christ, … being finite and contained in heaven, as in a place, must of necessity be removed from us by as great a distance as the heaven is removed from the earth-necesse est, a nobis tanto locorum intervallo distare, quanto caelum abest a terra.” (Niemeyer, Collectio Confessionum, 196.) Such was the teaching cunningly advocated by Calvin and his adherents the Crypto-Calvinists in Germany included but boldly and firmly opposed by the loyal Lutherans, and finally disposed of by Articles VII and VIII of the Formula of Concord.
199.Melanchthon’s Public Attitude.
As stated, Calvin’s doctrine of the Lord’s Supper was received with increasing favor also in Lutheran territories, notably in Southern Germany and Electoral Saxony, where the number of theologians and laymen who secretly adopted and began to spread it was rapidly increasing; They were called Crypto-Calvinists (secret or masked Calvinists) because, while they subscribed to the Augsburg Confession, claimed to be loyal Lutherans, and occupied most important positions in the Lutheran Church, they in reality were propagandists of Calvinism, zealously endeavoring to suppress Luther’s books and doctrines, and to substitute for them the views of Calvin. Indeed, Calvin claimed both privately and publicly that Melanchthon himself was his ally. And, entirely apart from what the latter may privately have confided to him, there can be little doubt that Calvin’s assertions were not altogether without foundation. In fact, theologically as well as ethically, Melanchthon must be regarded as the spiritual father also of the Crypto-Calvinists.
True, originally Melanchthon fully shared Luther’s views on the Lord’s Supper. At Marburg, 1529, he was still violently opposed to the Zwinglians and their “profane” teaching in an Opinion on Carlstadt’s doctrine, of October 9, 1625, he affirms that Christ, both as God and man, i.e., with His body and blood is present in the Supper. (C. R. 1, 760.) In September of the following year he wrote to Philip Eberbach: “Know that Luther’s teaching [concerning the Lord’s Supper] is very old in the Church. Hoc scito, Lutheri sententiam perveterem in ecclesia esse.” (823.) This he repeats in a letter of November 11, also to Eberbach. In an Opinion of May 15 1529: “I am satisfied that I shall not agree with the Strassburgers all my life, and I know that Zwingli and his compeers write falsely concerning the Sacrament.” (1067.) June 20 1529, to Jerome Baumgaertner: “I would rather die than see our people become contaminated by the society of the Zwinglian cause. Nam mori malim, quam societate Cinglianae causae nostros contaminare. My dear Jerome, it is a great cause, but few consider it. I shall be lashed to death on account of this matter.” (C. R. 1, 1077; 2, 18.) November 2, 1529, to John Fesel: “I admonish you most earnestly to avoid the Zwinglian dogmas. Your Judimagister [Eberbach], I fear, loves these profane disputations too much. I know that the teaching of Zwingli can be upheld neither with the Scriptures nor with the authority of the ancients. Concerning the Lord’s Supper, therefore, teach as Luther does.” (1, 1109.) In February, 1530, he wrote: “The testimonies of ancient writers concerning the Lord’s Supper which I have compiled are now being printed.” (2, 18.) In this publication Melanchthon endeavored to show by quotations from Cyril, Chrysostom Vulgarius, Hilary, Cyprian, Irenaeus, and Augustine that Zwingli’s interpretation of the words of institution does not agree with that of the ancient Church. (23, 732.) According to his own statement, Melanchthon embodied Luther’s doctrine in the Augsburg Confession and rejected that of the Zwinglians. (2, 142. 212.)
At Augsburg, Melanchthon was much provoked also when he heard that Bucer claimed to be in doctrinal agreement with the Lutherans. In his Opinion Concerning the Doctrine of the Sacramentarians,written in August, 1530,we read:”1. The Zwinglians believe that the body of the Lord can be present in but one place. 2. Likewise that the body of Christ cannot be anywhere except locally only. They vehemently contend that it is contrary to the nature of a body to be anywhere in a manner not local; also, that it is inconsistent with the nature of a body to be in different places at the same time. 3. For this reason they conclude that the body of Christ is circumscribed in heaven in a certain place, so that it can in no way be elsewhere at the same time and that in truth and reality it is far away from the bread, and not in the bread and with the bread. 4. Bucer is therefore manifestly wrong in contending that they [the Zwinglians] are in agreement with us. For we say that it is not necessary for the body of Christ to be in but one place.We say that it can be in different places, whether this occurs locally or in some other secret way by which different places are as one point present at the same time to the person of Christ.We, therefore, affirm a true and real presence of the body of Christ with the bread. 5. If Bucer wishes to accept the opinion of Zwingli and Oecolampadius, he will never dare to say that the body of Christ is really with the bread without geometric distance. 9. Here they [the Zwinglians] wish the word ‘presence’ to be understood only concerning efficacy and the Holy Spirit. 10.We, however, require not only the presence of power, but of the body. This Bucer purposely disguises. 11. They simply hold that the body of Christ is in heaven, and that in reality it is neither with the bread nor in the bread. 12.Nevertheless they say that the body of Christ is truly present, but by contemplation of faith, i.e., by imagination. 13. Such is simply their opinion. They deceive men by saying that the body is truly present, yet adding afterwards, ‘by contemplation of faith,’ i.e., by imagination. 14.We teach that Christ’s body is truly and really present with the bread or in the bread. 15. Although we say that the body of Christ is really present,Luther does not say that it is present locally, namely, in some mass, by circumscription; but in the manner by which Christ’s person or the entire Christ is present to all creatures … We deny transubstantiation, and that the body is locally in the bread,” etc. (2, 222. 311. 315.)
Such were the views of Melanchthon in and before 1530.And publicly and formally he continued to adhere to Luther’s teaching. In an Opinion written 1534, prior to his convention with Bucer at Cassel, he said:”If Christ were a mere creature and not God, He would not be with us essentially, even if He had the government; but since He is God, He gives His body as a testimony that He is essentially with us always. This sense of the Sacrament is both simple and comforting … Therefore I conclude that Christ’s body and blood are truly with the bread and wine, that is to say, Christ essentially, not figuratively. But here we must cast aside the thoughts proffered by reason, viz., how Christ ascends and descends, hides Himself in the bread, and is nowhere else.” (2. 801.) In 1536 Melanchthon signed the Wittenberg Concord, which plainly taught that the body and blood of Christ are received also by unworthy guests. (CONC. TRIGL. 977, 12ff.) In 1537 he subscribed to the Smalcald Articles, in which Luther brought out his doctrine of the real presence in most unequivocal terms, declaring that “bread and wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ, and are given and received not only by the godly, but also by wicked Christians.” (CONC. TRIGL. 493, 1.) In his letter to Flacius of September 5, 1556, Melanchthon solemnly declared: “I have never changed the doctrine of the Confession.” (C. R. 8 841.) September 6, 1557, he wrote:”We all embrace and retain the Confession together with the Apology and the confession of Luther written previous to the Synod at Mantua.”(9, 260.) Again, in November of the same year: “Regarding the Lord’s Supper, we retain the Augsburg Confession and Apology.” (9, 371.) In an Opinion of March 4, 1558,Melanchthon declared that in the Holy Supper the Son of God is truly and substantially present in such a manner that when we use it,”He gives us with the bread and wine His body,” etc., and that Zwingli was wrong when he declared “that it is a mere outward sign, and that Christ is not essentially present in it, and that it is a mere sign by which Christians know each other.” (9, 472f.) Several months before his death, in his preface to the Corpus Philippicum, Melanchthon declared that in the Holy Supper “Christ is truly and substantially present and truly administered to those who take the body and blood of Christ,” and that in it “He gives His body and blood to him who eats and drinks.” (Richard. 389.)
200.Melanchthon’s Private Views.
While Melanchthon in a public and formal way, continued, in the manner indicated, to maintain orthodox appearances till his death, he had inwardly and in reality since 1530 come to be more and more of a stranger to Luther’s firmness of conviction, also with respect to the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. Influenced by an undue respect for the authority of the ancient fathers and misled by his reason or, as Luther put it, by his philosophy, he gradually lost his firm hold on the clear words of the institution of the Holy Supper. As a result he became a wavering reed,driven to and fro with the wind, now verging toward Luther, now toward Calvin. Always oscillating between truth and error, he was unable to rise to the certainty of firm doctrinal conviction, and the immovable stand which characterized Luther. In a letter dated May 24, 1538, in which he revealed the torments of his distracted and doubting soul, he wrote to Veit Dietrich: “Know that for ten years neither a night nor a day has passed in which I did not reflect on this matter,” the Lord’s Supper. (C. R. 3, 537.) And his doubts led to a departure from his own former position,-a fact for which also sufficient evidences are not wholly lacking. “Already in 1531,” says Seeberg, “Melanchthon secretly expressed his opinion plainly enough to the effect that it was sufficient to acknowledge a presence of the divinity of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, but not a union of the body and the bread. Ep., p. 85.” (Dogg. 4, 2, 447.)
That Melanchthon’s later public statements and protestations concerning his faithful adherence to the doctrine of the Augsburg Confession must be more or less discounted, appears, apart from other considerations, from his own admission that he was wont to dissimulate in these and other matters; from his private letters, in which he favorably refers to the symbolical interpretation of the words of institution; from his communication to Philip of Hesse with regard to Luther’s arti- cle on the Lord’s Supper at Smalcald, referred to in a previous chapter; from the changes which he made 1540 in Article X of the Augsburg Confession; from his later indefinite statements concerning the real presence in the Holy Supper; from his intimate relations and his cordial correspondence with Calvin; from his public indifference and neutrality during the eucharistic controversy with the Calvinists; and from his unfriendly attitude toward the champions of Luther in this conflict.
201.Misled by Oecolampadius and Bucer.
That Melanchthon permitted himself to be guided by human authorities rather than by the clear Word of God alone, appears from the fact that Oecolampadius’s Dialogus of 1530-which endeavored to show that the symbolical interpretation of the words of institution is found also in the writings of the Church Fathers, notably in those of St. Augustine, and which Melanchthon, in a letter to Luther (C. R. 2, 217), says, was written “with greater exactness (accuratius) than he is otherwise wont to write”-made such a profound impression on him that ever since, as is shown by some of his private letters, to which we shall presently refer, he looked with increasing favor on the figurative interpretation. As a result, Melanchthon’s attitude toward the Southern Germans and the Zwinglians also underwent a marked change.When he left to attend the conference with Bucer at Cassel, in December, 1534, Luther in strong terms enjoined him to defend the sacramental union and the oral eating and drinking; namely, that in and with the bread the body of Christ is truly present, distributed, and eaten. Luther’s Opinion in this matter, dated December 17, 1534, concludes as follows “Und ist Summa das unsere Meinung, dass wahrhaftig in und mit dem Brot der Leib Christi gegessen wird, also dass alles, was das Brot wirkt und leidet, der Leib Christi wirke und leide, dass er ausgeteilt [ge]gessen und mit den Zaehnen zerbissen werde.” (St. L. 17, 2052.) Selfevidently, when writing thus,Luther had no Capernaitic eating and drinking in mind, his object merely being, as stated to emphasize the reality of the sacramental union. January 10, 1535, however, the day after his return from Cassel,Melanchthon wrote to his intimate friend Camerarius that at Cassel he had been the messenger not of his own, but of a foreign opinion. (C. R. 2, 822)
As a matter of fact, Melanchthon returned to Wittenberg a convert to the compromise formula of Bucer, according to which Christ’s body and blood are truly and substantially received in the Sacrament, but are not really connected with the bread and wine, the signs or signa exhibitiva, as Bucer called them. Stating the difference between Luther and Bucer, as he now saw it, Melanchthon said: “The only remaining question therefore is the one concerning the physical union of the bread and body,-and of what need is this question? Tantum igitur reliqua est quaestio de physica coniunctione panis et corporis, qua quaestione quid opus est?”(C. R. 2, 827. 842; St. L. 17, 2057.) To Erhard Schnepf he had written: “He [Bucer] confesses that, when these things, bread and wine, are given, Christ is truly and substantially present. As for me I would not demand anything further.”(C.R. 2, 787.) In February he wrote to Brenz:”I plainly judge that they [Bucer, etc.] are not far from the view of our men; indeed in the matter itself they agree with us (reipsa convenire), nor do I condemn them.” (2, 843; St. L. 17, 2065.) This, however, was not Luther’s view. In a following letter Melanchthon said: “Although Luther does not openly condemn it [the formula of Bucer], yet he did not wish to give his opinion upon it as yet. Lutherus, etsi non plane damnat, tamen nondum voluit pronuntiare.” (C. R. 2, 843; St. L. 17, 2062.) A letter of February 1, 1535, to Philip of Hesse and another of February 3, to Bucer, also both reveal, on the one hand,Melanchthon’s desire for a union on Bucer’s platform and, on the other, Luther’s attitude of aloofness and distrust. (C. R. 2, 836. 841.)
202. Secret Letters and the Variata of 1540.
In the letter to Camerarius of January 10, 1535, referred to in the preceding paragraph, Melanchthon plainly indicates that his views of the Holy Supper no longer agreed with Luther’s.”Do not ask for my opinion now,” says he, “for I was the messenger of an opinion foreign to me, although, forsooth, I will not hide what I think when I shall have heard what our men answer.But concerning this entire matter either personally or when I shall have more reliable messengers.Meam sententiam noli nunc requirere; fui enim nuntius alienae, etsi profecto non dissimulabo, quid sentiam, ubi audiero, quid respondeant nostri. Ac de hac re tota aut coram, aut cum habebo certiores tabellarios.” (2, 822.) Two days later, January 12, 1535,Melanchthon wrote a letter to Brenz (partly in Greek, which language he employed when he imparted thoughts which he regarded as dangerous, as, e.g., in his defamatory letter to Camerarius, July 24, 1525, on Luther’s marriage; C. R. 1, 754), in which he lifted the veil still more and gave a clear glimpse of his own true inwardness. From this letter it plainly appears that Melanchthon was no longer sure of the correctness of the literal interpretation of the words of institution, the very foundation of Luther’s entire doctrine concerning the Holy Supper.
The letter reads, in part, as follows: “You have written several times concerning the Sacramentarians, and you disadvise the Concord, even though they should incline towards Luther’s opinion. My dear Brenz, if there are any who differ from us regarding the Trinity or other articles, I will have no alliance with them, but regard them as such who are to be execrated … Concerning the Concord, however, no action whatever has as yet been taken. I have only brought Bucer’s opinions here [to Wittenberg].But I wish that I could talk to you personally concerning the controversy. I do not constitute myself a judge, and readily yield to you, who govern the Church, and I affirm the real presence of Christ in the Supper. I do not desire to be the author or defender of a new dogma in the Church, but I see that there are many testimonies of the ancient writers who without any ambiguity explain the mystery typically and tropically [peri; tuvpou kai; tropikw'”], while the opposing testimonies are either more modern or spurious. You, too, will have to investigate whether you defend the ancient opinion. But I do wish earnestly that the pious Church would decide this case without sophistry and tyranny. In France and at other places many are killed on account of this opinion. And many applaud such judgments without any good reason, and strengthen the fury of the tyrants. To tell the truth, this matter pains me not a little. Therefore my only request is that you do not pass on this matter rashly, but consult also the ancient Church. I most fervently desire that a concord be effected without any sophistry. But I desire also that good men may be able to confer on this great matter in a friendly manner. Thus a concord might be established without sophistry. For I do not doubt that the adversaries would gladly abandon the entire dogma if they believed that it was new. You know that among them are many very good men. Now they incline toward Luther, being moved by a few testimonies of ecclesiastical writers.What, then, do you think, ought to be done? Will you forbid also that we confer together? As for me, I desire that we may be able frequently to confer together on this matter as well as on many others. You see that in other articles they as well as we now explain many things more skilfully (dexterius) since they have begun to be agitated among us more diligently. However, I conclude and ask you to put the best construction on this letter, and, after reading it, to tear it up immediately, and to show it to nobody.” (C. R. 2, 823f.; Luther, St. L. 17, 2060.)
In a letter to Veit Dietrich, dated April 23, 1538, Melanchthon declares: “In order not to deviate too far from the ancients, I have maintained a sacramental presence in the use, and said that, when these things are given, Christ is truly present and efficacious. That is certainly enough. I have not added an inclusion or a connection by which the body is affixed to, concatenated or mixed with, the bread. Sacraments are covenants [assuring us] that something else is present when the things are received.Nec addidi inclusionem aut coniunctionem talem, qua affigeretur tw’/ a[rtw/ to; sw’ma aut ferruminaretur, aut misceretur. Sacramenta pacta sunt, ut rebus sumptis adsit aliud …What more do you desire? And this will have to be resorted to lest you defend what some even now are saying, viz., that the body and blood are tendered separately-separatim tradi corpus et sanguinem. This too, is new and will not even please the Papists. Error is fruitful, as the saying goes. That physical connection (illa physica coniunctio) breeds many questions: Whether the parts are separate; whether included; when [in what moment] they are present; whether [they are present] apart from the use. Of this nothing is read among the ancients. Nor do I,my dear Veit, carry these disputations into the Church; and in the Loci I have spoken so sparingly on this matter in order to lead the youth away from these questions. Such is in brief and categorically what I think. But I wish that the two most cruel tyrants, animosity and sophistry, would be removed for a while, and a just deliberation held concerning the entire matter. If I have not satisfied you by this simple answer, I shall expect of you a longer discussion. I judge that in this manner I am speaking piously, carefully, and modestly concerning the symbols, and approach as closely as possible to the opinion of the ancients.” (C. R. 3, 514f.) A month later,May 24, Melanchthon again added: “I have simply written you what I think, nor do I detract anything from the words. For I know that Christ is truly and substantially present and efficacious when we use the symbols. You also admit a synecdoche. But to add a division and separation of the body and blood, that is something altogether new and unheard of in the universal ancient Church.” (3, 536; 7, 882.
203.Not in Sympathy with Lutheran Champions.
When Westphal, in 1552, pointed out the Calvinistic menace and sounded the tocsin, loyal Lutherans everywhere enlisted in the controversy to defend Luther’s doctrine concerning the real presence and the divine majesty of Christ’s human nature. But Melanchthon again utterly failed the Lutheran Church both as a leader and a private. For although Lutheranism in this controversy was fighting for its very existence,Master Philip remained silent, non-committal, neutral. Viewed in the light of the conditions then prevailing, it was impossible to construe this attitude as pro-Lutheran. Moreover, whenever and wherever Melanchthon, in his letters and opinions written during this controversy, did show his colors to some extent, it was but too apparent that his mind and heart was with the enemies rather than with the champions of Lutheranism. For while his letters abound with flings and thrusts against the men who defended the doctrines of the sacramental union and the omnipresence of the human nature of Christ, he led Calvin and his adherents to believe that he was in sympathy with them and their cause.
Melanchthon’s animosity ran high not only against such extremists as Saliger (Beatus) and Fredeland (both were deposed in Luebeck 1568 and Saliger again in Rostock 1569) who taught that in virtue of the consecration before the use (ante usum) bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ, denouncing all who denied this as Sacramentarians (Gieseler 3, 2, 257), but also against all those who faithfully adhered to, and defended, Luther’s phraseology concerning the Lord’s Supper. He rejected the teaching of Westphal and the Hamburg ministers, according to which in the Lord’s Supper, the bread is properly called the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ, and stigmatized their doctrine as “bread-worship, ajrtolatreiva.” (C. R. 8, 362. 660. 791; 9, 470. 962.)
In a similar manner Melanchthon ridiculed the old Lutheran teaching of the omnipresence of Christ according to His human nature as a new and foolish doctrine.Concerning the Confession and Report of the Wuerttemberg Theologians, framed by Brenz and adopted 1559, which emphatically asserted the real presence, as well as the omnipresence of Christ also according to His human nature, Melanchthon remarked contemptuously in a letter to Jacob Runge, dated February 1, 1560 and in a letter to G. Cracow, dated February 3, 1560, that he could not characterize “the decree of the Wuerttemberg Fathers (Abbates Wirtebergenses) more aptly than as Hechinger Latin (Hechingense Latinum,Hechinger Latein),”i.e., as absurd and insipid teaching. (9, 1035f.; 7, 780. 884.)
204.Melanchthon Claimed by Calvin.
In 1554 Nicholas Gallus of Regensburg republished, with a preface of his own, Philip Melanchthon’s Opinions of Some Ancient Writers Concerning the Lord’s Supper. The timely reappearance of this book, which Melanchthon, in 1530, had directed against the Zwinglians, was most embarrassing to him as well as to his friend Calvin. The latter, therefore, now urged him to break his silence and come out openly against his public assailants. But Melanchthon did not consider it expedient to comply with this request.Privately, however, he answered, October 14, 1554: “As regards your admonition in your last letter that I repress the ignorant clamors of those who renew the strife concerning the bread-worship, know that some of them carry on this disputation out of hatred toward me in order to have a plausible reason for oppressing me. Quod me hortaris, ut reprimam ineruditos clamores illorum, qui renovant certamen periV ajrtolatreiva”, scito, quosdam praecipue odio mei eam disputationem movere, ut habeant plausibilem causam ad me opprimendum.” (8, 362.) Fully persuaded that he was in complete doctrinal agreement with his Wittenberg friend on the controverted questions, Calvin finally, in his Last Admonition (Ultima Admonitio) to Westphal, 1557, publicly claimed Melanchthon as his ally, and implored him to give public testimony “that they [the Calvinists and Zwinglians] teach nothing foreign to the Augsburg Confession, nihil alienum nos tradere a Confessione Augustana.” “I confirm,” Calvin here declared,”that in this cause [concerning the Lord’s Supper] Philip can no more be torn from me than from his own bowels. Confirmo, non magis a me Philippum quam a propriis visceribus in hoc causa posse divelli.” (C. R. 37 [Calvini Opp. 9], 148. 149. 193. 466; Gieseler 3, 2, 219, Tschackert, 536.) Melanchthon, however, continued to preserve his sphinxlike silence, which indeed declared as loud as words could have done that he favored the Calvinists, and was opposed to those who defended Luther’s doctrine.To Mordeisen he wrote,November 15, 1557:”If you will permit me to live at a different place, I shall reply, both truthfully and earnestly to these unlearned sycophants, and say things that are useful to the Church.” (C. R. 9, 374.)
After the death of Melanchthon, Calvin wrote in his Dilucida Explicatio against Hesshusius, 1561: “O Philip Melanchthon! For it is to you that I appeal, who art living with Christ in the presence of God and there waiting for us until we shall be assembled with you into blessed rest. A hundred times you have said, when, fatigued with labor and overwhelmed with cares, you, as an intimate friend, familiarly laid your head upon my breast: Would to God I might die on this bosom! But afterwards I have wished a thousand times that we might be granted to be together. You would certainly have been more courageous to engage in battle and stronger to despise envy, and disregard false accusations. In this way, too, the wickedness of many would have been restrained whose audacity to revile grew from your pliability, as they called it. O Philippe Melanchthon! Te enim appello, qui apud Deum cum Christo vivis, nosque illic exspectas, donec tecum in beatam quietem colligamur. Dixisti centies, quum fessus laboribus et molestiis oppressus caput familiariter in sinum meum deponeres: Utinam, utinam moriar in hoc sinu! Ego vero millies postea optavi nobis contingere, ut simul essemus. Certe animosior fuisses ad obeunda certamina et ad spernendam invidiam falsasque criminationes pro nihilo ducendas fortior. Hoc quoque modo cohibita fuisset multorum improbitos, quibus ex tua mollitie, quam vocabant, crevit insultandi audacia.” (C. R. 37 [Calvini Opp. 9], 461f.) It was not Melanchthon, but Westphal, who disputed Calvin’s claim by publishing (1557) extracts from Melanchthon’s former writings under the title: Clarissimi Viri Ph. Melanchthonis Sententia de Coena Domini, ex scriptis eius collecta.But, alas, the voice of the later Melanchthon was not that of the former!
205.Advising the Crypto-Calvinists.
In various other ways Melanchthon showed his impatience with the defenders of Luther’s doctrine and his sympathy with their Calvinistic opponents. When Timann of Bremen,who sided with Westphal, opposed Hardenberg, a secret, but decided Calvinist, Melanchthon admonished the latter not to rush into a conflict with his colleagues, but to dissimulate. He says in a letter of April 23, 1556:”Te autem oro, ne properes ad certamen cum collegis. Oro etiam, ut multa dissimules.” (C. R. 8, 736.) Another letter (May 9, 1557), in which he advises Hardenberg how to proceed against his opponents, begins as follows: “Reverend Sir and Dear Brother. As you see, not only the controversy, but also the madness (rabies) of the writers who establish the bread-worship is growing.” (9, 154.) He meant theologians who, like Timann and Westphal, defended Luther’s doctrine that in the Lord’s Supper the bread is truly the body of Christ and the wine truly the blood of Christ and that Christ is truly present also according to His human nature.Again, when at Heidelberg, in 1569, Hesshusius refused to acknowledge the Calvinist Klebitz (who had publicly defended the Reformed doctrine) as his assistant in the distribution of the Lord’s Supper, and Elector Frederick III, the patron of the Crypto-Calvinists, who soon after joined the Reformed Church, demanded that Hesshusius come to an agreement with Klebitz, and finally deposed the former and dismissed the latter, Melanchthon approved of the unionistic methods of the Elector, and prepared ambiguous formulas to satisfy both parties.
In the Opinion requested by the Elector, dated November 1, 1559,Melanchthon said:”To answer is not difficult, but dangerous … Therefore I approve of the measure of the illustrious Elector, commanding silence to the disputants on both sides [Hesshusius and the Calvinist Klebitz], lest dissension occur in the weak church … The contentious men having been removed, it will be profitable that the rest agree on one form of words. It would be best in this controversy to retain the words of Paul: ‘The bread which we break is the communion (koinwniva) of Christ.’ Much ought to be said concerning the fruit of the Supper to invite men to love this pledge and to use it frequently.And the word ‘communion’must be explained: Paul does not say that the nature of the bread is changed, as the Papists say; He does not say, as those of Bremen do, that the bread is the substantial body of Christ; he does not say that the bread is the true body of Christ, as Hesshusius does; but that it is the communion, i.e., that by which the union occurs (consociatio fit) with the body of Christ, which occurs in the use, and certainly not without thinking, as when mice gnaw the bread … The Son of God is present in the ministry of the Gospel, and there He is certainly efficacious in the believers, and He is present not on account of the bread, but on account of man,as He says, ‘Abide in Me and I in you,’ Again: ‘I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you,’And in these true consolations He makes us members of His, and testifies that He will raise our bodies. Thus the ancients explain the Lord’s Supper.” (C. R. 9, 961.) No doubt, Calvin, too, would readily have subscribed to these ambiguous and indefinite statements. C. P. Krauth pertinently remarks: “Whatever may be the meaning of Melanchthon’s words in the disputed cases, this much is certain, that they practically operated as if the worse sense were the real one, and their mischievousness was not diminished, but aggravated, by their obscurity and double meaning. They did the work of avowed error, and yet could not be reached as candid error might.” (Cons. Ref., 291.)
206. Historians on Melanchthon’s Doctrinal Departures.
Modern historians are generally agreed that also with respect to the Lord’s Supper the later Melanchthon was not identical with the earlier. Tschackert: “Melanchthon had long ago [before the outbreak of the second controversy on the Lord’s Supper] receded from the peculiarities of the Lutheran doctrine of the Lord’s Supper; he was satisfied with maintaining the personal presence of Christ during the Supper, leaving the mode of His presence and efficacy in doubt.” (532.) Seeberg, who maintains that Melanchthon as early as 1531 departed from Luther’s teaching concerning the Lord’s Supper, declares: “Melanchthon merely does not want to admit that the body of Christ is really eaten in the Supper, and that it is omnipresent as such.” (4, 2, 449.) Theo. Kolde: “It should never have been denied that these alterations in Article X of the Augustana involved real changes … In view of his gradually changed conception of the Lord’s Supper, there can be no doubt that he sought to leave open for himself and others the possibility of associating also with the Swiss.” (25.) Schaff: “Melanchthon’s later view of the Lord’s Supper agreed essentially with that of Calvin.” (1, 280.)
Such, then, being the attitude of Melanchthon as to the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, it was but natural and consistent that his pupils, who looked up to Master Philip with unbounded admiration, should become decided Calvinists. Melanchthon, chiefly, must be held responsible for the Calvinistic menace which threatened the Lutheran Church after the death of Luther. In the interest of fraternal relations with the Swiss, he was ready to compromise and modify the Lutheran truth. Sadly he had his way, and had not the tendency which he inaugurated been checked, the Lutheran Church would have lost its character and been transformed into a Reformed or, at least, a unionistic body. In a degree, this guilt was shared also by his older Wittenberg colleagues: Caspar Cruciger, Sr., Paul Eber, John Foerster, and others, who evidently inclined toward Melanchthon’s view and attitude also in the matter concerning the Lord’s Supper. Caspar Cruciger, for example, as appears from his letter to Veit Dietrich, dated April 18, 1538, taught the bodily presence of Christ in the use of the Lord’s Supper, but not “the division or separation of the body and blood.”(C.R. 3, 610.) Shortly before his death, as related in a previous chapter, Luther had charged these men with culpable silence with regard to the truth, declaring: “If you believe as you speak in my presence then speak the same way in church, in public lectures, in sermons, and in private discussions, and strengthen your brethren, and lead the erring back to the right way, and contradict the wilful spirits; otherwise your confession is a mere sham and will be of no value whatever.” (Walther, 40.) Refusal to confess the truth will ultimately always result in rejection of the truth. Silence here is the first step to open denial.
207.Westphal First to Sound Tocsin.
Foremost among the men who saw through Calvin s plan of propagating the Reformed doctrine of the Lord’s Supper under phrases coming as close as possible to the Lutheran terminology, and who boldly, determinedly and ably opposed the Calvinistic propaganda was Joachim Westphal ofHamburg [born 1510; 1527 in Wittenberg; since 1541 pastor in Hamburg; died January 16, 1574]. Fully realizing the danger which threatened the entire Lutheran Church, he regarded it as his sacred duty to raise his voice and warn the Lutherans against the Calvinistic menace. He did so in a publication entitled: “Farrago Confusanearum et inter se Dissidentium Opinionum de Coena Domini-Medley of Confused and Mutually Dissenting Opinions on the Lord s Supper, compiled from the books of the Sacramentarians,” 1552. In it he proved that in reality Calvin and his adherents, despite their seemingly orthodox phrases, denied the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper just as emphatically and decidedly as Zwingli had done.At the same time he refuted in strong terms the Reformed doctrine in the manner indicated by the title, and maintained the Lutheran doctrine of the real presence, the oral eating and drinking (manducatio oralis), also of unbelievers. Finally he appealed to the Lutheran theologians and magistrates everywhere to guard their churches against the Calvinistic peril. “The Farrago,” says Kruske, “signified the beginning of the end of Calvin’s domination in Germany.”Schaff:”The controversy ofWestphal against Calvin and the subsequent overthrow of Melanchthonianism completed and consolidated the separation of the two Confessions,” Lutheran and Reformed. (Creeds 1, 280.)
Thus Westphal stands preeminent among the men who saved the Lutheran Church from the Calvinistic peril. To add fuel to the anti-Calvinistic movement, Westphal, in the year following, published a second book: “Correct Faith (correcta Fides) Concerning the Lord’s Supper, demonstrated and confirmed from the words of the Apostle Paul and the Evangelists,” 1553. Here he again called upon all true disciples of Luther to save his doctrine from the onslaughts of the Calvinists, who, he declared, stooped to every method in order to conquer Germany for Zwinglianism.
Westphal’s fiery appeals for Lutheran loyalty received a special emphasis and wide publicity when the Pole, John of Lasco (Laski), who in 1553, together with 175 members of his London congregation, had been driven from England by Bloody Mary, reached the Continent. The liberty which Lasco, who in 1552 had publicly adopted the Consensus Tigurinus, requested in Lutheran territories for himself and his Reformed con- gregation, was refused in Denmark, Wismar, Luebeck and Hamburg, but finally granted in Frankfort-on-the- Main. Soon after, in 1554, the Calvinistic preacher Micronius, who also sought refuge in Hamburg, was forbidden to make that city the seat of Reformed activity and propaganda.As a result, Calvin decided to enter the arena against Westphal. In 1555 he published his Defensio Sanae et Orthodoxae Doctrinae de Saoramentis, “Defense of the Sound and Orthodox Doctrine Concerning the Sacraments and Their Nature, Power, Purpose, Use, and Fruit, which the pastors and ministers of the churches in Zurich and Geneva before this have comprised into a brief formula of the mutual Agreement” (Consensus Tigurinus). In it he attacked Westphal in such an insulting and overbearing manner (comparing him, e. g. with “a mad dog”) that from the very begInning the controversy was bound to assume a personal and acrimonious character.
After Calvin had entered the controversy Westphal was joined by such Lutherans as John Timann, Paul v. Eitzen, Erhard Schnepf, Alber, Gallus, Flacius, Judex, Brenz, Andreae and others. Calvin, on the other hand, was supported by Lasco, Bullinger, Ochino,Valerandus Polanus, Beza (the most scurrillous of all the opponents of Lutheranism), and Bibliander. In 1555 Westphal published three additional books: Collection (Collectanea) of Opinions of Aurelius Augustine Concerning the Lord’s Supper, and Faith (Fides) of Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, Concerning the Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ, and Adversus cuiusdam Sacramentarii Falsam Criminationem lusta Defensio, “Just Defense against the False Accusation of a Certain Sacramentarian.” The last publication was a personal defense against the insults and invectives of Calvin and a further proof of the claim that the Calvinists were united only in their denial of the real presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. Coming to the support of Westphal, John Timann,Pastor in Bremen, published in 1555:”Medley (Farrago) of Opinions Agreeing in the True and Catholic Doctrine Concerning the Lord’s Supper, which the churches of the Augsburg Confession have embraced with firm assent and in one spirit according to the divine Word.” In the following year Calvin wrote his Secunda Defensio … contra J. Westphali Calumnias, “Second Defense of the Pious and Orthodox Faith, against the Calumnies of J.Westphal,” a vitriolic book, dedicated to the Crypto-Calvinists, viz.,”to all ministers of Christ who cultivate and follow the pure doctrine of the Gospel in the churches of Saxony and Lower Germany.” In it Calvin declared: “I teach that Christ, though absent according to His body, is nevertheless not only present with us according to His divine power, but also makes His flesh vivifying for us.” (C. R. 37 [Calvini Opp. 9], 79.) Lasco also wrote two books against Westphal and Timann, defending his congregation at Frankfort, and endeavoring to show the agreement between the Calvinian doctrine of the Lord’s Supper and the Augsburg Confession. In 1556 Henry appeared on the battlefield with his Apologetical Exposition, Apologetica Expositio, in which he endeavored to show that the ministers of the churches in Zurich do not follow any heretical dogma in the doctrine concerning the Lord’s Supper.
In the same year, 1556, Westphal published Epistola, qua Breviter Respondet ad Convicia I. Calvini-“Letter in which He [Westphal] Answers Briefly to the Invectives of J. Calvin,” and “Answer (Responsum) to the Writing of John of Lasco, in which he transforms the Augsburg Confession into Zwinglianism.” In the same year Westphal published “Confession of Faith (Confessio Fidei) Concerning the Sacrament of the Eucharist, in which the ministers of the churches of Saxony maintain the presence of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Supper, and answer regarding the book of Calvin dedicated to them.” This publication contained opinions which Westphal had secured from the ministeriums ofMagdeburg (including Wigand and Flacius), of Mansfeld, Bremen, Hildesheim, Hamburg, Luebeck, Lueneburg, Brunswick (Moerlin and Chemnitz), Hannover, Wismar, Schwerin, etc. All of these ministeriums declared themselves unanimously and definitely in favor of Luther’s doctrine, appealing to the words of institution as they read. In 1557 Erhard Schnepf [born 1595; active in Nassau,Marburg, Speier, Augsburg; attended convents in Smalcald 1537; in Regensburg 1546, in Worms 1557; died 1558], then in Jena, published his Confession Concerning the Supper. In the same year Paul von Eitzen [born 1522; died 1598; refused to sign Formula of Concord] published his Defense of the True Doctrine Concerning the Supper of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Westphal also made a second attack on Lasco in his “Just Defense against the Manifest Falsehoods of J. A. Lasco which he spread in his letter to the King of Poland against the Saxon Churches,” 1557. In it he denounces Lasco and his congregation of foreigners, and calls upon the magistrates to institute proceedings against them.
Calvin now published his Ultima Admonitio, “Last Admonition of John Calvin to J. Westphal, who, if he does not obey (obtemperet) must thenceforth be held in the manner as Paul commands us to hold obstinate heretics; in this writing the vain censures of the Magdeburgians and others, by which they endeavored to wreck heaven and earth, are also refuted” 1557.Here Calvin plainly reveals his Zwinglianism and says: “This is the summary of our doctrine, that the flesh of Christ is a vivifying bread because it truly nourishes and feeds our souls when by faith we coalesce with it. This, we teach, occurs spiritually only, because the bond of this sacred unity is the secret and incomprehensible power of the Holy Spirit.” (C. R. 37 [Calvini Opp. 9], 162.) In this book Calvin also, as stated above, appeals to Melanchthon to add his testimony that “we [the Calvinists] teach nothing that conflicts with the Augsburg Confession.” Though Calvin had withdrawn from the arena,Westphal continued to give public testimony to the truth. In 1558 he wrote several books against the Calvinists. One of them bears the title: “Apologetical Writings (Apologetica Scripta) of J. W., in which he both defends the sound doctrine concerning the Eucharist and refutes the vile slanders of the Sacramentarians,”etc.Another is entitled:Apology of the Confession Concerning the Lord’s Supper against the Corruptions and Calumnies of John Calvin. In 1559 Theodore Beza donned the armor of Calvin and entered the controversy with his “Treatise (Tractatio) Concerning the Lord’s Supper, in which the calumnies of J. Westphal are refuted.” Lasco’s Reply to the Virulent Letter of That Furious Man J. Westphal, of 1560, appeared posthumously, he having died shortly before in Poland.
209. Brenz and Chemnitz.
Foremost among the influential theologians who besides Westphal, took a decided stand against the Calvinists and their secret abettors in Lutheran territories were John Brenz in Wuerttemberg and Martin Chemnitz in Brunswick. John Brenz [born 1499, persecuted during the Interim, since 1553 Provost at Stuttgart, died 1570], the most influential theologian in Wuerttemberg, was unanimously supported in his anti- Calvinistic attitude by the whole ministerium of the Duchy. He is the author of the Confession and Report (Bekenntnis und Bericht) of the Theologians in Wuerttemberg Concerning the True Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Supper, adopted at the behest of Duke Christopher by the synod assembled in Stuttgart, 1559. The occasion for drafting and adopting this Confession had been furnished by Bartholomew Hagen, a Calvinist. At the synod in Stuttgart he was required to dispute on the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper with Jacob Andreae, with the result that Hagen admitted that he was now convinced of his error, and promised to return to the Lutheran teaching.
The Confession thereupon adopted teaches in plain and unmistakable terms that the body and blood of Christ are orally received by all who partake of the Sacrament, and that Christ, by reason of the personal union, is omnipresent also according to His human nature, and hence well able to fulfil the promise He gave at the institution of the Holy Supper. It teaches the real presence (praesentia realis), the sacramental union (unio sacramentalis), the oral eating and drinking (manducatio oralis), also of the wicked (manducatio impiorum). It holds “that in the Lord’s Supper the true body and the true blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are, through the power of the word [of institution], truly and essentially tendered and given with the bread and wine to all men who partake of the Supper of Christ; and that, even as they are tendered by the hand of the minister, they are at the same time also received with the mouth of him who eats and drinks it.” Furthermore, “that even as the substance and the essence of the bread and wine are present in the Lord’s Supper, so also the substance and the essence of the body and blood of Christ are present and truly tendered and received with the signs of bread and wine.” (Tschackert, 541.) It protests: “We do not assert any mixture of His body and blood with the bread and wine, nor any local inclusion in the bread.” Again: “We do not imagine any diffusion of the human nature or expansion of the members of Christ (ullam humanae naturae diffusionem aut membrorum Christi distractionem), but we explain the majesty of the man Christ by which He, being placed at the right hand of God, fills all things not only by His divinity, but also as the man Christ, in a celestial manner and in a way that to human reason is past finding out, by virtue of which majesty His presence in the Supper is not abolished, but confirmed.” (Gieseler 3 2, 239f.) Thus,without employing the term “ubiquity,” this Confession prepared by Brenz restored, in substance, the doctrine concerning the Lord’s Supper and the person of Christ which Luther had maintained over against Zwingli, Carlstadt, and the Sacramentarians generally.
As stated above, Melanchthon ridiculed this Confession as “Hechinger Latin.” In 1561 Brenz was attacked by Bullinger in his Treatise (Tractatio) on the Words of St. John 14. In the same year Brenz replied to this attack in two writings: Opinion (Sententia) on the Book of Bullinger and On the Personal Union (De Personali Unione) of the Two Natures in Christ and on the Ascension of Christ into Heaven and His Sitting at the Right Hand of the Father, etc. This called forth renewed assaults by Bullinger, Peter Martyr, and Beza. Bullinger wrote: “Answer (Responsio), by which is shown that the meaning concerning ‘heaven’ and the ‘right hand of God’ still stands firm,” 1562. Peter Martyr: Dialogs (Dialogi) Concerning the Humanity of Christ, the Property of the Natures, and Ubiquity, 1562. Beza: Answers (Responsiones) to the Arguments of Brenz, 1564. Brenz answered in two of his greatest writings, Concerning the Divine Majesty of Christ (De Divina Maiestate Christi), 1562, and Recognition (Recognito) of the Doctrine Concerning the True Majesty of Christ, 1564. In the Dresden Consensus (Consensus Dresdensis) of 1571 the Philippists of Electoral Saxony also rejected the omnipresence (which they termed ubiquity) of the human nature of Christ.
In order to reclaim the Palatinate (which, as will be explained later, had turned Reformed) for Lutheranism the Duke ofWuerttemberg, in April, 1564, arranged for the Religious Discussion at Maulbronn between the theologians of Wuerttemberg and the Palatinate. But the only result was a further exchange of polemical publications. In 1564 Brenz published Epitome of the Maulbronn Colloquium … Concerning the Lord’s Supper and the Majesty of Christ. And in the following year the Wuerttemberg theologians published Declaration and Confession (Declaratio et Confessio) of the Tuebingen Theologians Concerning the Majesty of the Man Christ. Both of these writings were answered by the theologians of the Palatinate. After the death of Brenz, Jacob Andreae was the chief champion in Wuerttemberg of the doctrines set forth by Brenz.
In his various publications against the Calvinists, Brenz, appealing to Luther, taught concerning the majesty of Christ that by reason of the personal union the humanity of Christ is not only omnipotent and omniscient, but also omnipresent, and that the human nature of Christ received these as well as other divine attributes from the first moment of the incarnation of the Logos.Following are some of his statements:”Although the divine substance [in Christ] is not changed into the human, and each has its own properties, nevertheless these two substances are united in one person in Christ in such a manner that the one is never in reality separated from the other.” “Wherever the deity is, there is also the humanity of Christ.” “We do not ascribe to Christ many and various bodies, nor do we ascribe to His body local extension or diffusion; but we exalt Him beyond this corporeal world, outside of every creature and place, and place Him in accordance with the condition of the hypostatic union in celestial majesty, which He never lacked, though at the time of His flesh in this world He hid it or, as Paul says, He humbled Himself (quam etsi tempore carnis suae in hoc saeculo dissimulavit, seu ea sese, ut Paulus loquitur, exinanivit, tamen numquam ea caruit).”
According to Brenz the man Christ was omnipotent, almighty, omniscient while He lay in the manger. In His majesty He darkened the sun, and kept alive all the living while in His humiliation He was dying on the cross.When dead in the grave,He at the same time was filling and ruling heaven and earth with His power. (Gieseler 3, 2, 240f.)
In Brunswick, Martin Chemnitz (born 1522; died 1586), the Second Martin (alter Martinus) of the Lutheran Church, entered the controversy against the Calvinists in 1560 with his Repetition (Repetitio) of the Sound Doctrine Concerning the True Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Supper, in which he based his arguments for the real presence on the words of institution. Ten years later he published his famous book Concerning the Two Natures in Christ (De Duabus Naturis in Christo), etc.,-preeminently the Lutheran classic on the subject it treats. Appealing also to Luther, he teaches that Christ, according to His human nature was anointed with all divine gifts; that, in consequence of the personal union, the human nature of Christ can be and is present where, when, and in whatever way Christ will; that therefore in accordance with His promise, He is in reality present in His Church and in His Supper. Chemnitz says: “This presence of the assumed nature in Christ of which we now treat is not natural or essential [flowing from the nature and essence of Christ’s humanity], but voluntary and most free, depending on the will and power of the Son of God (non est vel naturalis vel essentialis, sed voluntaria et liberrima, dependens a voluntate et potentia Filii Dei); that is to say, when by a definite word He has told, promised, and asseverated that He would be present with His human nature, … Iet us retain this, which is most certainly true, that Christ can be with His body wherever, whenever, and in whatever manner He wills (Christum suo corpore esse posse, ubicunque, quandocunque et quomodocunque vult.). But we must judge of His will from a definite, revealed word.”(Tschackert, 644; Gieseler 3, 2, 259.)
The Formula of Concord plainly teaches, both that, in virtue of the personal union by His incarnation, Christ according to His human nature possesses also the divine attribute of omnipresence, and that He can be and is present wherever He will. In the Epitome we read: This majesty Christ always had according to the per- sonal union, and yet He abstained from it in the state of His humiliation until His resurrection,”so that now not only as God, but also as man He knows all things, can do all things, is present with all creatures, and has under His feet and in His hand everything that is in heaven and on earth and under the earth …And this His power He, being present, can exercise everywhere, and to Him everything is possible and everything is known.” (821, 16. 27. 30.) The Thorough Declaration declares that Christ “truly fills all things, and, being present everywhere, not only as God, but also as man, rules from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth.” (1025, 27ff.) Again: “We hold … that also according to His assumed human nature and with the same He [Christ] can be, and also is, present where He will, and especially that in His Church and congregation on earth He is present as Mediator, Head, King, and High Priest, not in part, or one-half of Him only, but the entire person of Christ, to which both natures, the divine and the human, belong, is present not only according to His divinity, but also according to, and with, His assumed human nature, according to which He is our Brother, and we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone.” (1043 78f.) In virtue of the personal union Christ is present everywhere also according to His human nature; while the peculiarly gracious manner of His presence in the Gospel, in the Church, and in the Lord’s Supper depends upon His will and is based upon His definite promises.
210. Bremen and the Palatinate Lost for Lutheranism.
The indignation of the Lutherans against the Calvinistic propaganda, roused by Westphal and his comrades in their conflict with Calvin and his followers, was materially increased by the success of the crafty Calvinists in Bremen and in the Palatinate. In 1547 Hardenberg [Albert Rizaeus from Hardenberg Holland, born 1510] was appointed Dome-preacher in Bremen. He was a former priest whom Lasco had won for the Reformation. Regarding the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper he inclined towards Zwingli. Self-evidently, when his views became known, the situation in Bremen became intolerable for his Lutheran colleagues. How could they associate with and fellowship, a Calvinist! To acknowledge him would have been nothing short of surrendering their own views and the character of the Lutheran Church. The result was that John Timann [pastor in Bremen; wrote a tract against the Interim, died February 17 1557], in order to compel Hardenberg to unmask and reveal his true inwardness, demanded that all the ministers of Bremen subscribe to the Farrago Sententiarum Consentientium in Vera Doctrina et Coena Domini which he had published in 1555 against the Calvinists.Hardenberg and two other ministers refused to comply with the demand. In particular, Hardenberg objected to the omnipresence of the human nature of Christ taught in Timann’s Farrago. In his Doctrinal Summary (Summaria Doctrina) Hardenberg taught: “St. Augustine and many other fathers write that the body of Christ is circumscribed by a certain space in heaven, and I regard this as the true doctrine of the Church.” (Tschackert, 191.) Hardenberg also published the fable hatched at Heidelberg (Heidelberger Landluege, indirectly referred to also in the Formula of Concord, 981, 28), but immediately refuted by Joachim Moerlin, according to which Luther is said, toward the end of his life, to have confessed to Melanchthon that he had gone too far and overdone the matter in his controversy against the Sacramentarians; that he, however, did not want to retract his doctrine concerning the Lord’s Supper himself, because that would cast suspicion on his whole teaching; that therefore after his death the younger theologians might make amends for it and settle this matter … In 1556 Timann began to preach against Hardenberg, but died the following year. The Lower Saxon Diet, however, decided February 8, 1561, that Hardenberg be dismissed within fourteen days, yet “without infamy or condemnation, citra infamiam et condemnationem.” Hardenberg submitted under protest and left Bremen February 18, 1561 (he died as a Reformed preacher at Emden, 1574). Simon Musaeus who had just been expelled from Jena, was called as Superintendent to purge Bremen of Calvinism. Before long, however, the burgomaster of the city, Daniel von Bueren, whom Hardenberg had secretly won for the Reformed doctrine, succeeded in expelling the Lutheran ministers from the city and in filling their places with Philippists, who before long joined the Reformed Church. Thus ever since 1562 Bremen has been a Reformed city.
A much severer blow was dealt Lutheranism when the Palatinate, the home of Melanchthon, where the Philippists were largely represented, was Calvinized by Elector Frederick III. Tileman Hesshusius [Hesshusen, born 1527; 1553 superintendent at Goslar; 1556 professor and pastor at Rostock; 1557 at Heidelberg; 1560 pastor at Magdeburg; 1562 court-preacher at Neuburg; 1569 professor at Jena; 1573 bishop of Samland, at Koenigsberg; 1577 professor at Helmstedt where he died 1588] was called in 1557 by Elector Otto Henry to Heidelberg both as professor and pastor and as superintendent of the Palatinate. Here the Calvinists and Crypto-Calvinists had already done much to under- mine Lutheranism; and after the death of Otto Henry, February 12, 1559,Hesshusius who endeavored to stem the Crypto-Calvinistic tide, was no longer able to hold his own. Under Elector Frederick III, who succeeded Otto Henry, the Calvinists came out into the open.This led to scandalous clashes, of which the Klebitz affair was a typical and consequential instance. In order to obtain the degree of Bachelor of Divinity,William Klebitz, the deacon of Hesshusius, published, in 1560 a number of Calvinistic theses.As a result Hesshusius most emphatically forbade him henceforth to assist at the distribution of the Holy Supper. When Klebitz nevertheless appeared at the altar, Hesshusius endeavored to wrest the cup from his hands. Elector Frederick ordered both Hesshusius and Klebitz to settle their trouble in accordance with the Augustana (Variata). Failing to comply with this unionistic demand, Hesshusius was deposed, September 16, 1559, and Klebitz, too was dismissed. In a theological opinion, referred to above, Melanchthon approved of the action. Hereupon Hesshusius entered the public controversy against Calvinism. In 1560 he published Concerning the Presence (De Praesentia) of the Body of Christ in the Lord’s Supper and his Answer (Responsio) to the Prejudicial Judgement (Praeiudicium) of Philip Melanchthon on the Controversy Concerning the Lord’s Supper [with Klebitz].
After the dismissal of Hesshusius, Elector Frederick III, who had shortly before played a conspicuous role in endeavoring to win the day for Melanchthonianism at the Lutheran Assembly of Naumburg, immediately began to Calvinize his territory. In reading the controversial books published on the Lord’s Supper, he suffered himself to be guided by the renowned physician Thomas Erastus [died 1583], who was a Calvinist and had himself published Calvinistic books concerning the Lord’s Supper and the person and natures of Christ.As a result the Elector, having become a decided Reformedist, determined to de-Lutheranize the Palatinate in every particular, regarding practise and divine service as well as with respect to confessional books, doctrines, and teachers. The large number of Philippists, who had been secret Calvinists before, was increased by such Reformed theologians as Caspar Olevianus (1560), Zacharias Ursinus (1561), and Tremellius (1561). Images, baptismal fonts, and altars were removed from the churches; wafers were replaced by bread, which was broken; the organs were closed; the festivals ofMary, the apostles, and saints were abolished. Ministers refusing to submit to the new order of things were deposed and their charges filled with Reformed men from the Netherlands. The Calvinistic Heidelberg Catechism, composed by Olevianus and Ursinus and published 1563 in German and Latin, took the place of Luther’s Catechism. This process of Calvinization was completed by the introduction of the new Church Order of November 15, 1563.At the behest of Frederick III the Swiss Confession (Confessio Helvetica) was published in 1566, in order to prove by this out-and-out Zwinglian document, framed by Bullinger,”that he [the Elector of the Palatinate] entertained no separate doctrine, but the very same that was preached also in many other and populous churches, and that the charge was untrue that the Reformed disagreed among themselves and were divided into sects.” Thus the Palatinate was lost to the Lutheran Confession, for though Ludwig VI (1576; 1583), the successor of Frederick III, temporarily restored Lutheranism, Frederick IV (1583 to 1610) returned to Calvinism.
211. Saxony in the Grip of Crypto-Calvinists.
It was a severe blow to the Lutheran Church when Bremen and the Palatinate fell a prey to Calvinism.And the fears were not unfounded that before long the Electorate of Saxony would follow in their wake, and Wittenberg, the citadel of the Lutheran Reformation, be captured by Calvin. That this misfortune, which, no doubt, would have dealt a final and fatal blow to Lutheranism, was warded off, must be regarded as a special providence of God. For the men (Melanchthon, Major, etc.) whom Luther had accused of culpable silence regarding the true doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, were, naturally enough, succeeded by theologians who, while claiming to be true Lutherans adhering to the Augsburg Confession and, in a shameful manner deceiving and misleading Elector August zealously championed and developed the Melanchthonian aberrations, in particular with respect to the doctrines concerning the Lord’s Supper and the person of Christ, and sedulously propagated the views of Calvin, at first secretly and guardedly, but finally with boldness and abandon. Gieseler says of these Philippists in Wittenberg: “Inwardly they were out-and-out Calvinists, although they endeavored to appear as genuine Lutherans before their master,” Elector August. (3, 2, 250.)
The most prominent and influential of these socalled Philippists or Crypto-Calvinists were Dr. Caspar Cruciger, Jr., Dr. Christopher Pezel, Dr. Frederick Widebram, and Dr. Henry Moeller. The schemes of these men were aided and abetted by a number of nontheological professors: Wolfgang Crell, professor of ethics, Esrom Ruedinger, professor of philosophy; George Cracow, professor of jurisprudence and, later, privy councilor of Elector August; Melanchthon’s sonin- law, Caspar Peucer, professor of medicine and physician in ordinary of the Elector, who naturally had a great influence on August and the ecclesiastical affairs of the Electorate.He held that Luther’s doctrine of the real presence had no more foundation in the Bible than did the Roman transubstantiation. To these must be added John Stoessel, confessor to the Elector and superintendent at Pirna; Christian Schuetze, court-preacher at Dresden, Andrew Freyhub and Wolfgang Harder professors in Leipzig, and others. The real leaders of these Philippists were Peucer and Cracow. Their scheme was to prepossess the Elector against the loyal adherents of Luther, especially Flacius, gradually to win him over to their liberal views, and, at the proper moment, to surrender and deliver Electoral Saxony to the Calvinists. In prosecuting this sinister plan, they were unscrupulous also in the choice of their means.Thus Wittenberg, during Luther’s days the fountainhead of the pure Gospel and the stronghold of uncompromising fidelity to the truth, had become a veritable nest of fanatical Crypto- Calvinistic schemers and dishonest anti-Lutheran plotters who also controlled the situation in the entire Electorate.
The first public step to accomplish their purpose was the publication of the Corpus Doctrinae Christianae, or Corpus Doctrinae Misnicum, or Philippicum, as it was also called. This collection of symbolical books was published 1560 at Leipzig by Caspar Peucer, Melanchthon’s son-in-law, with a preface to both the German and Latin editions written by Melanchthon and dated September 29, 1559, and February 16, 1560, respectively,-an act by which, perhaps without sufficiently realizing it, Melanchthon immodestly assumed for himself and his views the place within the Lutheran Church which belonged not to him, but to Luther. The title which reveals the insincerity and the purpose of this publication, runs as follows: “Corpus Doctrinae, i.e., the entire sum of the true and Christian doctrine … as a testimony of the steadfast and unanimous confession of the pure and true religion in which the schools and churches of these Electoral Saxon and Meissen territories have remained and persevered in all points according to the Augsburg Confession for now almost thirty years against the unfounded false charges and accusations of all Iying spirits, 1560.” As a matter of fact, however, this Corpus contained, besides the Ecumenical Symbols, only writings of Melanchthon, notably the altered Augsburg Confession and the altered Apology of 1542, the Saxon Confession of 1551, the changed Loci, the Examen Ordinandorum of 1554, and the Responsiones ad Impios Articulos Inquisitionis Bavaricae.
Evidently this Corpus Philippicum, which was introduced also in churches outside of Electoral Saxony, particularly where the princes or leading theologians were Melanchthonians, was intended to alienate the Electorate from the old teaching of Luther, to sanction and further the Melanchthonian tendency, and thus to pave the way for Calvinism. It was foisted upon, and rigorously enforced in, all the churches of Electoral Saxony. All professors, ministers, and teachers were pledged by an oath to teach according to it. Such as refused to subscribe were deposed, imprisoned, or banished. Among the persecuted pastors we find the following names: Tettelbach, superintendent in Chemnitz; George Herbst, deacon in Chemnitz and later superintendent in Eisleben; Graf, superintendent in Sangerhausen; Schade, Heine, and Schuetz, pastors in Freiberg.When ministers who refused their signatures appealed to Luther’s writings, they were told that Luther’s books must be understood and explained according to Melanchthon’s Corpus.At Wittenberg the opposition to Luther and his teaching bordered on fanaticism.When, for example, in 1568 Conrad Schluesselburg and Albert Schirmer, two Wittenberg students, entered a complaint against Professors Pezel and Peucer because of their deviations from Luther in the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper and refused to admit that Peucer and his colleagues represented the pure doctrine in this matter, they were expelled from the university, anathematized, and driven from the city. (Schluesselburg 13, 609. 730; Gieseler 3, 2, 250.)
Immediately after its appearance, the Corpus Philippicum was denounced by loyal Lutherans, notably those of Reuss, Schoenfeld, and Jena.When the charges of false teaching against the Wittenberg theologians increased in number and force, Elector August arranged a colloquy between the theologians of Jena and Wittenberg. It was held at Altenburg and lasted from October, 1568, to March, 1569 because the Wittenbergers, evidently afraid of compromising themselves, insisted on its being conducted in writing only. The result of this colloquy was a public declaration on the part ofWigand, Coelestinus, Kirchner Rosinus, and others to the effect that the Wittenberg and Leipzig theologians had unmistakably revealed themselves as false teachers. At the colloquy the Jena theologians objected in particular also to the Corpus Misnicum because it contained the altered Augustana, concerning which they declared:Melanchthon “has changed the said Augsburg Confession so often that finally he has opened a window through which the Sacramentarians and Calvinists can sneak into it. One must watch carefully, lest in course of time the Papists also find such a loophole to twist themselves into it.” (Gieseler 3, 2, 252.)
The Philippists of Leipzig and Wittenberg in turn, denounced the Jena theologians as Flacian fighting cocks (Flacianische Haderkatzen). They also succeeded in persuading Elector August to adopt more rigorous measures against the malcontents in his territories. For in addition to the adoption of the Corpus Philippicum the ministers were now required to subscribe to a declaration which was tantamount to an endorsement of all of the false doctrines entertained by the Wittenbergers. The declaration read: “I do not adhere to the dangerous Flacian Illyrian errors, contentions, poisonous backbitings, and fanaticism (zaenkischem Geschmeiss, giftigem Gebeiss und Schwaermer) with which the schools and churches of this country are burdened [by Flacius] concerning the imagined adiaphorism, synergism, and Majorism and other false accusations, nor have I any pleasure in it [the quarreling], and in the future I intend, by the help of God, to abstain from it altogether, to damn, flee, and avoid it, and as much as I am able, to prevent it.” (Gieseler 3, 2, 253;Walther, 49.)
212. Bold Strides Forward.
Feeling themselves firm and safe in the saddle, the Wittenberg Philippists now decided on further public steps in the direction of Calvinism. In 1570 they published Propositions (Propositiones) Concerning the Chief Controversies of This Time, in which the Lutheran doctrine regarding the majesty of the human nature of Christ was repudiated. In the following year they added a new Catechism, entitled:”Catechesis continens explicationem simplicem et brevem decalogi, Symboli Apostolici, orationis dominicae, doctrinae Christianae, quod amplectuntur ac tuentur Ecclesiae regionum Saxonicarum et Misnicarum quae sunt subiectae editioni Ducis Electoris Saxoniae, edita in Academia Witebergensi et accommodata ad usum scholarum puerilium. 1571.”
This Catechism, written, according to Wigand, by Pezel, appeared anonymously. Its preface, signed by the Wittenberg theological faculty, explains that the new Catechism was an epitome of the Corpus Doctrinae Misnicum and merely intended as a supplement of Luther’s Catechism for progressed scholars who were in need of additional instruction.As a matter of fact, however, its doctrine concerning the person of Christ and the Lord’s Supper was in substantial agreement with the teaching of Calvin.Under the odious name of “ubiquity” it rejected the omnipresence of Christ according to His human nature, and sanctioned Calvin’s teaching concerning the local inclusion of Christ in heaven.Acts 3, 21 was rendered in Beza’s translation: “Quem oportet coelo capi.Who must be received by the heaven.”
The Catechism declares: “The ascension was visible and corporeal; the entire Antiquity has always written that Christ’s body is restricted to a certain place, wherever He wishes it to be; and a bodily ascension was made upwards. Ascensio fuit visibilis et coporalis, et semper ita scripsit tota antiquitas, Christum corporali locatione in aliquo loco esse, ubicumque vult, et ascensio corporalis facta est sursum.” Concerning the real presence, the Catechism merely states: “The Lord’s Supper is the communication of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ as it is instituted in the words of the Gospel; in which eating (sumptione) the Son of God is truly and substantially present, and testifies that He applies His benefits to the believers. He also testifies that He has assumed the human nature for the purpose of making us, who are ingrafted into Him by faith, His members. He finally testifies that He wishes to be in the believers, to teach, quicken and govern them.” (Gieseler 3, 2, 263.) The sacramental union, oral eating and drinking, and the eating and drinking of the wicked are not mentioned. Tschackert remarks that every Calvinist would readily have subscribed to the teaching of this Catechism. (545.)
When the Wittenberg Catechism was warned against and designated as Calvinistic by Chemnitz, Moerlin, and other theologians of Brunswick, Lueneburg, Mansfeld, Jena, and Halle, the Wittenbergers answered and endeavored to defend their position in the so-called Grundfeste, Firm Foundation, of 1571. It was a coarse and slanderous publication, as even the title indicates, which reads: “Firm Foundation of the True Christian Church Concerning the Person and Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ against the Modern Marcionites, Samosatenes, Sabellians, Arians, Nestorians, Eutychians, and Monothelites among the Flacian Rabble Published by the Theologians in Wittenberg.” In this Grundfeste the Wittenbergers present the matter as though the real issue were not the Lord’s Supper, but Christology. They enumerate as heretics also the “Ubiquitists,” including Brenz Andreae, and Chemnitz. With respect to their own agreement with Calvin, they remark that their teaching is the doctrine of the early Church, in which point, they said, also Calvin agreed. (Tschackert, 546.)
This daring Calvinistic publication again resulted in numerous protests against the Wittenbergers on the part of alarmed Lutherans everywhere outside of Electoral Saxony, which induced Elector August to require his theologians to deliver at Dresden, October 10, 1571, a definite statement of their faith. The confession which they presented was entitled: “Brief Christian and Simple Repetition of the Confession of the Churches of God in the Territories of the Elector of Saxony Concerning the Holy Supper,” etc. the Consensus Dresdensis, as the document was called, satisfied the Elector at least temporarily, and was published also in Latin and low German. Essentially, however, the indefinite and dubious language of the Catechism was here but repeated. Concerning the majesty of Christ the Dresden Consensus declares that after the resurrection and ascension the human nature of Christ “was adorned with higher gifts than all angels and men.” In His ascension, the Consensus continues, Christ “passed through the visible heavens and occupied the heavenly dwelling, where He in glory and splendor retains the essence, property, form,and shape ofHis true body, and from there He, at the last day, will come again unto Judgment in great splendor, visibly.”
In a similar vague, ambiguous, and misleading manner Christ’s sitting at the right hand of God is spoken of. Omitting the oral eating and drinking and the eating and drinking of the wicked, the Consensus states concerning the Lord’s Supper that “in this Sacrament Christ gives us with the bread and wine His true body sacrificed for us on the cross, and His true blood shed for us, and thereby testifies that He receives us,makes us members of His body, washes us with His blood, presents forgiveness of sins, and wishes truly to dwell and to be efficacious in us.” (Tschackert, 546.) The opponents of the Wittenbergers are branded as unruly men, who, seeking neither truth nor peace, excite offensive disputations concerning the real presence in the Lord’s Supper as well as with regard to other articles. Their doctrine of the real communication (“realis seu physica communicatio”) is characterized as a corruption of the article of the two natures in Christ and as a revamping of the heresies of the Marcionites, Valentinians, Manicheans, Samosatenes, Sabellians, Arians, Nestorians, Eutychians, and Monothelites. (Gieseler 3, 2, 264f.)
All the Crypto-Calvinistic publications of the Wittenberg and Leipzig Philippists were duly unmasked by the Lutherans outside of Electoral Saxony, especially in Northern Germany. Their various opinions were published at Jena, 1572, under the title: “Unanimous Confession (Einhelliges Bekenntnis) of Many Highly Learned Theologians and Prominent Churches 1. concerning the New Catechism of the New Wittenbergers, and 2. concerning their New Foundation (Grundfeste), also 3. concerning their New Confession (Consensus Dresdensis), thereupon adopted.” However, all this and the repeated warnings that came from every quarter outside of his own territories, from Lutheran princes as well as theologians, do not seem to have made the least impression on Elector August.Yet he evidently was, and always intended to be a sincere, devoted, true-hearted, and singleminded Lutheran. When, for example, in 1572 Beza, at the instance of the Wittenberg Philippists, dedicated his book against Selneccer to Elector August, the latter advised him not to trouble him any further with such writings, as he would never allow any other doctrine in his territory than that of the Augsburg Confession.However,blind and credulous as he was,and filled with prejudice and suspicion against Flacius and the Jena theologians generally, whom he, being the brother of the usurper Maurice, instinctively feared as possibly also political enemies, Elector August was easily duped and completely hypnotized, as it were, by the men surrounding him, who led him to believe that they, too, were in entire agreement with Luther and merely opposed the trouble-breeding Flacians, whom they never tired of denouncing as zealots, fanatics, bigots, wranglers, barkers, alarmists, etc. While in reality they rejected the doctrine that the true body and blood of Christ is truly and essentially present in the Holy Supper, these Crypto-Calvinists pretended (and Elector August believed them) that they merely objected to a local presence and to a Capernaitic eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper. And while in reality they clearly repudiated Luther’s teaching, according to which the divine attributes (omnipotence, omnipresence, etc.) are communicated to the human nature of Christ, they caused the Elector to believe that they merely opposed a delusion of the “Ubiquitists,” who, they said, taught that the body of Christ was locally extended over the entire universe. This crass localism, they maintained, was the teaching of their opponents, while they themselves faithfully adhered to the teachings of Luther and Philip, and, in general, were opposed only to the exaggerations and excrescences advocated by the bigoted Flacians. (Walther, 43.)
Such was the manner in which the Elector allowed himself to be duped by the Philippists who surrounded him,-men who gradually developed the art of dissim- ulation to premeditated deceit, falsehood, and perjury. Even the Reformed theologian Simon Stenius, a student at Wittenberg during the Crypto-Calvinistic period, charges the Wittenbergers with dishonesty and systematic dissimulation. The same accusation was raised 1561 by the jurist Justus Jonas in his letters to Duke Albrecht of Prussia. (Gieseler 3, 2, 249.) And evidently believing that Elector August could be fooled all the time, they became increasingly bold in their theological publications, and in their intrigues as well.
To all practical purposes the University of Wittenberg was already Calvinized. Calvinistic books appeared and were popular. Even the work of a Jesuit against the book of Jacob Andreae on the Majesty of the Person of Christ was published at Wittenberg.The same was done with a treatise of Beza, although, in order to deceive the public, the title-page gave Geneva as the place of publication.Hans Lufft, the Wittenberg printer, later declared that during this time he did not know how to dispose of the books of Luther which he still had in stock, but that, if he had printed twenty or thirty times as many Calvinistic books, he would have sold all of them very rapidly.
Even Providence seemed to bless and favor the plans of the plotters. For when on March 3, 1573, Duke John William, the patron and protector of the faithful Lutherans, died, Elector August became the guardian of his two sons.And fanaticized by his advisers, the Elector, immediately upon taking hold of the government in Ducal Saxony, banished Wigand, Hesshusius, Caspar Melissander [born 1540; 1571 professor of theology in Jena; 1578 superintendent in Altenburg; died 1591] Rosinus [born 1520; 1559 superintendent in Weimar 1574 superintendent in Regensburg; died 1586], Gernhard, courtpreacher in Weimar, and more than 100 preachers and teachers of Ducal Saxony.The reason for this cruel procedure was their refusal to adopt the Corpus Philippicum, and because they declined to promise silence with respect to the Philippists.
In 1573, the Calvinization of Electoral and Ducal Saxony was, apparently, an accomplished fact. But the very next year marked the ignominious downfall and the unmasking of the dishonest Philippists. For in this year appeared the infamous Exegesis, which finally opened the eyes of Elector August. Its complete title ran: “Exegesis Perspicua et ferme Integra Controversiae de Sacra Coena-Perspicuous and Almost Complete Explanation of the Controversy Concerning the Holy Supper.” The contents and make-up of the book as well as the secret methods adopted for its circulation clearly revealed that its purpose was to deal a final blow to Lutheranism in order to banish it forever from Saxony. Neither the author, nor the publisher, nor the place and date of publication were anywhere indicated in the book. The paper bore Geneva mark and the lettering was French.The prima facie impression was that it came from abroad.
Before long, however, it was established that the Exegesis had been published in Leipzig by the printer Voegelin, who at first also claimed its authorship. But when the impossibility of this was shown,Voegelin, in a public hearing, stated that Joachim Curaeus of Silesia, a physician who had left Saxony and died 1573, was the author of the book. Valentin Loescher, however, relates (Historia Motuum 3, 195) that probably Pezel and the son-in-law of Melanchthon, Peucer, had a hand in it; that the Crypto-Calvinist Esram Ruedinger [born 1523, son-in-law of Camerarius, professor of physics in Wittenberg, died 1591] was its real author; that it was printed at Leipzig in order to keep the real originators of it hidden, and that, for the same purpose, the Silesian Candidate of Medicine Curaeus had taken the responsibility of its authorship upon himself. (Tschackert, 547.)
Self-evidently, the Wittenberg theologians disclaimed any knowledge of, or any connection with, the origin of the Exegesis. However, they were everywhere believed to share its radical teachings, and known to have spread it among the students of the university, and suspected also of having before this resorted to tactics similar to those employed in the Exegesis. As early as 1561, for example, rhymes had secretly been circulated in Wittenberg, the burden of which was that faith alone effects the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, and that the mouth receives nothing but natural bread. One of these ran as follows: “Allein der Glaub’ an Jesum Christ Schafft, dass er gegenwaertig ist, Und speist uns mit sei’m Fleisch und Blut Und sich mit uns einigen tut. Der Mund empfaeht natuerlich Brot, Die Seel’ aber speist selber Gott.”(Walther, 46.) Of course, the purpose of such dodgers was to prepare the way for Calvinism. And on the very face of it, the Exegesis Perspicua was intended to serve similar secret propaganda.
The chief difference between the preceding publications of the Philippists and the Exegesis was that here they came out in clear and unmistakable language. The sacramental union, the oral eating and drinking (manducatio oralis), and the eating and drinking of the wicked,which before were passed by in silence, are dealt with extensively and repudiated. The Exegesis teaches: The body of Christ is inclosed in heaven; in the Holy Supper it is present only according to its efficacy, there is no union of the body of Christ with the bread and wine; hence, there neither is nor can be such a thing as oral eating and drinking or eating and drinking of unbelievers. The “ubiquity,” as the Exegesis terms the omnipresence of Christ’s human nature, is condemned as Eutychian heresy. The Exegesis declared: “In the use of the bread and wine the believers by faith become true and living members of the body of Christ, who is present and efficacious through these symbols, as through a ministry inflaming and renewing our hearts by His Holy Spirit. The unbelieving, however, do not become partakers, or koinwnoiv, but because of their contempt are guilty of the body of Christ.” (Seeberg, Grundriss 146.)
After fulsome praise of the Reformed, whose doctrine, the Exegesis says, is in agreement with the symbols of the ancient Church, and who as to martyrdom surpass the Lutherans, and after a corresponding depreciation of Luther, who in the heat of the controversy was said frequently to have gone too far, the Exegesis recommends that the wisest thing would be to follow the men whom God had placed at the side of Luther, and who had spoken more correctly than Luther. Following Melanchthon, all might unite in the neutral formula, “The bread is the communion of the body of Christ,” avoiding all further definition regarding the ubiquity [the omnipresence of Christ’s human nature] and the eating of the true body of Christ, until a synod had definitely decided these matters. (Tschackert, 547.) All purified churches (all churches in Germany, Switzerland, etc., purified from Roman errors), the Exegesis urges,”ought to be in accord with one another; and this pious concord should not be disturbed on account of this difference [regarding the Holy Supper]. Let us be united in Christ and discontinue those dangerous teachings concerning the ubiquity, the eating of the true body on the part of the wicked, and similar things. The teachers should agree on a formula which could not create offense. They should employ the modes of speech found in the writings of Melanchthon. It is best to suppress public disputations, and when contentious men create strife and disquiet among the people, the proper thing to do, as Philip advised [in his opinion to the Elector of the Palatinate], is to depose such persons of either party, and to fill their places with more modest men. The teachers must promote unity, and recommend the churches and teachers of the opposite party.” (Walther, 51.) Such was the teaching and the theological attitude of the Exegesis. It advocated a union of the Lutherans and the Reformed based on indifferentism, and a surrender in all important doctrinal points to Calvinism, the Lutherans merely retaining their name. This unionistic attitude of the Exegesis has been generally, also in America, termed Melanchthonianism.
215. Plotters Unmasked.
The plain and unmistakable language of the Exegesis cleared the atmosphere, and everywhere dispelled all doubts as to the real nature of the theological trend at Wittenberg and Leipzig. Now it was plain to everybody beyond the shadow of a doubt that Electoral Saxony was indeed infested with decided Calvinists. And before long also the web of deceit and falsehood which they had spun around the Elector was torn into shreds. The appearance of the Exegesis resulted in a cry of indignation throughout Lutheran Germany against the Wittenberg and Leipzig Philippists.Yet, in 1574, only few books appeared against the document, which, indeed, was not in need of a special refutation.Wigand published Analysis of the New Exegesis, and Hesshusius: Assertion (Assertio) of the True Doctrine Concerning the Supper, against the Calvinian Exegesis.At the same time Elector August was again urged by Lutheran princes notably the King of Denmark and Duke Ludwig of Wuerttemberg, also by private persons, to proceed against the Calvinists in his country and not to spare them any longer. (Gieseler 3, 2, 267.) The aged Count of Henneberg made it a point to see the Elector personally in this matter. But there was little need for further admonitions, for the Exegesis had opened the Elector’s eyes. And soon after its publication discoveries were made which filled August with deep humiliation and burning indignation at the base deception practised on him by the very men whom he had trusted implicitly and placed in most important positions. By Iying and deceit the Philippists had for a long period succeeded in holding the confidence of Elector August; but now the time for their complete and inglorious unmasking had arrived.
Shortly after the Exegesis had appeared, Peucer wrote a letter to the Crypto-Calvinist Christian Schuetze, then court-preacher in Dresden [who studied at Leipzig; became superintendent at Chemnitz in 1550, courtpreacher of Elector August in 1554; when he was buried, boys threw a black hen over his coffin, crying, ‘Here flies the Calvinistic devil;’ Joecher, Lexicon 4, 372], which he had addressed to the wife of the court-preacher in order to avoid suspicion. By mistake the letter was delivered to the wife of the courtpreacher Lysthenius [born 1532; studied in Wittenberg; became courtpreacher of Elector August in 1572 and later on his confessor; opposed Crypto-Calvinism; was dismissed 1590 by Chancellor Crell; 1591 restored to his position in Dresden, died 1596]. After opening the letter and finding it to be written in Latin, she gave it to her husband, who, in turn, delivered it to the Elector. In it Peucer requested Schuetze dexterously to slip into the hands of Anna, the wife of the Elector, a Calvinistic prayer-book which he had sent with the letter. Peucer added: “If first we have Mother Anna on our side, there will be no difficulty in winning His Lordship [her husband] too.”
Additional implicating material was discovered when Augustus now confiscated the correspondence of Peucer, Schuetze, Stoessel, and Cracow. The letters found revealed the consummate perfidy, dishonesty, cunning, and treachery of the men who had been the trusted advisers of the Elector, who had enjoyed his implicit confidence, and who by their falsehoods had caused him to persecute hundreds of innocent and faithful Lutheran ministers. The fact was clearly established that these Philippists had been systematically plotting to Calvinize Saxony. The very arguments with which Luther’s doctrine of the Lord’s Supper and the Person of Christ might best be refuted were enumerated in these letters. However, when asked by the Elector whether they were Calvinists, these self-convicted deceivers are said to have answered that “they would not see the face of God in eternity if in any point they were addicted to the doctrines of the Sacramentarians or deviated in the least from Dr. Luther’s teaching.” (Walther, 56.) The leaders of the conspiracy were incarcerated. Cracow died in prison, 1575 Stoessel, 1576. It was as late as 1586 that Peucer regained his liberty, Schuetze in 1589.
216. Lutheranism Restored.
In all the churches of Saxony thanksgiving services were held to praise God for the final triumph of genuine Lutheranism. A memorial coin celebrating the victory over the Crypto-Calvinists, bearing the date 1574, was struck at Torgau. The obverse exhibits Elector August handing a book to Elector John George of Brandenburg. The inscription above reads: “Conserva Apud Nos Verbum Tuum, Domine. Preserve Thy Word among Us, O Lord.” Below, the inscription runs: “Augustus, Dei Gratia Dux Saxionae et Elector. Augustus, by the Grace of God Duke of Saxony and Elector.” The reverse represents Torgau and its surroundings, with Wittenberg in the distance. The Elector, clad in his armor, is standing on a rock bearing the inscription:”Schloss Hartenfels”(castle at Torgau). In his right hand he is holding a sword, in his left a balance, whose falling scale, in which the Child Jesus is sitting, bears the inscription: “Die Allmacht, Omnipotence.” The lighter and rising pan, in which four Wittenberg Crypto-Calvinists are vainly exerting themselves to the utmost in pulling on the chains of their pan in order to increase its weight, and on the beam of which also the devil is sitting, is inscribed: “Die Vernunft, Reason.” Above, God appears, saying to the Elector, “Joshua 1, 5. 6: Confide,Non Derelinquam Te.Trust, I will not forsake thee.” Below we read: “Apud Deum Non Est Impossibile Verbum Ullum, Lucae 1. Conserva Apud Nos Verbum Tuum, Domine. 1574. Nothing is impossible with God, Luke 1. Preserve Thy Word among us, Lord. 1574.”The obverse of a smaller medal, also of 1574 shows the bust of Elector August with the inscription: “Augustus, Dei Gratia Dux Saxoniae Et Elector.” The reverse exhibits a ship in troubled waters with the crucified Christ in her expanded sails, and the Elector in his armor and with the sword on his shoulder, standing at the foot of the mast. In the roaring ocean are enemies, shooting with arrows and striking with swords, making an assault upon the ship. The fearlessness of the Elector is expressed in the inscription: “Te Gubernatore, Thou [Christ] being the pilot.” Among the jubilee medals of 1617 there is one which evidently, too, celebrates the victory over Zwinglianism and Calvinism. Its obverse exhibits Frederick in his electoral garb pointing with two fingers of his right hand to the name Jehovah at the head of the medal. At his left Luther is standing with a burning light in his right hand and pointing with the forefinger of his left hand to a book lying on a table and bearing the title: “Biblia Sacra: V[erbum] D[ei] M[anet] I[n] Ae[ternum].” The reverse represents the Elector standing on a rock inscribed: “Schloss Hartenfels, Castle Hartenfels.” In his right hand he is holding the sword and in his left a balance. Under the falling scale, containing the Child Jesus, we read: “Die Allmacht, Omnipotence,” and under the rising pan, in which the serpent is Iying: “Die Vernunft, Reason.” The marginal inscription runs.”Iosua 1: Confide.Non Derelinquam Te. Joshua 1: Trust. I will not forsake thee.” (Ch. Junker, Ehrengedaechtnis Dr.M. Luthers, 353. 383.)
Self-evidently, Elector August immediately took measures also to reestablish in his territories Luther’s doctrine of the Lord’s Supper.The beginning was made by introducing a confession prepared by reliable superintendents and discussed, adopted, and subscribed at the Diet of Torgau, September, 1574, and published simultaneously in German and Latin. Its German title ran: “Brief Confession (Kurz Bekenntnis) and Articles Concerning the Holy Supper of the Body and Blood of Christ, from which may clearly be seen what heretofore has been publicly taught, believed, and confessed concerning it in both universities of Leipzig and Wittenberg, and elsewhere in all churches and schools of the Elector of Saxony, also what has been rebuked and is still rebuked as Sacramentarian error and enthusiasm.” The Torgau Confession, therefore, does not reject the Corpus Doctrinae Misnicum of 1560 nor even the Consensus Dresdensis of 1571, and pretends that Melanchthon was in doctrinal agreement with Luther, and that only a few Crypto-Calvinists had of late been discovered in the Electorate. This pretense was the chief reason why the Confession did not escape criticism. In 1575 Wigand published: “Whether the New Wittenbergers had hitherto always taught harmoniously and agreeably with the Old, and whether Luther’s and Philip’s writings were throughout in entire harmony and agreement.”
As for its doctrine, however, the Torgau Confession plainly upholds the Lutheran teaching. Article VII contends that in the distribution of the Lord’s Supper the body and blood of Christ “are truly received also by the unworthy.” Article VIII maintains the “oral eating and drinking, oris manducatio.”Calvin, Beza,Bullinger,Peter Martyr and the Heidelberg theologians are rejected,and their names expressly mentioned. On the other hand, the “ubiquity [local extension] of the flesh of Christ” is disavowed and a discussion of the mode and possibility of the presence of the body and blood of Christ is declined as something inscrutable. The Latin passage reads: “Ac ne carnis quidem ubiquitatem, aut quidquam, quod vel veritatem corporis Christi tollat, vel ulli fidei articulo repugnet, propter praesentiam in Coena fingimus aut probamus. Denique de modo et possibilitate praesentiae corporis et sanguinis Domini plane nihil disputamus. Nam omnia haec imperscrutabilia statuimus.” (Gieseler 3, 2, 268.)
Caspar Cruciger, Jr., Henry Moeller, Christopher Pezel, and Frederick Widebram, who refused to subscribe the Brief Confession,were first arrested, then, after subscribing with a qualification, released, but finally (1574) banished. Widebram and Pezel removed to Nassau,Moeller to Hamburg, and Cruciger to Hesse.At Leipzig, Andrew Freyhub, who appealing to the Consensus Dresdensis, taught that Christ was exalted according to both natures, that divine properties were not communicated to His humanity, and that His body was inclosed in a certain place in heaven was deposed in 1576.
Thus ended the Crypto-Calvinistic drama in Electoral Saxony. Henceforth such men as Andreae, Chemnitz, and Selneccer were the trusted advisers of August, who now became the enthusiastic, devoted, and self-sacrificing leader of the larger movement for settling all of the controversies distracting the Lutheran Church, which finally resulted in the adoption of the Formula of Concord.
217. Visitation Articles.
Elector August, the stanch defender of genuine Lutheranism, died 1586. Under his successor, Christian I, and Chancellor Nicholas Crell, Crypto-Calvinism once more raised its head in Electoral Saxony.But it was for a short period only, for Christian I died September 25, 1591, and during the regency of Duke Frederick William, who acted as guardian of Christian II, Lutheranism was reestablished. In order effectually and permanently to suppress the Crypto-Calvinistic intrigues, the Duke, in February of 1592, ordered a general visitation of all the churches in the entire Electorate. For this purpose Aegidius Hunnius [born 1550; 1576 professor in Marburg and later superintendent and professor in Wittenberg; attended colloquy at Regensburg 1601; wrote numerous books, particularly against Papists and Calvinists, died 1603],Martin Mirus [born 1532, died 1593], George Mylius [born 1544; 1584 expelled from Augsburg because he was opposed to the Gregorian almanac, since 1585 professor in Wittenberg and Jena, died 1607], Wolfgang Mamphrasius [born 1557; superintendent in Wurtzen; died 1616], and others, who were to conduct the visitation, composed the so-called Visitation Articles which were printed in 1593. The complete title of these articles runs: “Visitation Articles in the Entire Electorate of Saxony, together with the Negative and Contrary Doctrines of the Calvinists and the Form of Subscription, as Presented to be Signed by Both Parties.”
As a result of the visitation, the Crypto-Calvinistic professors in Wittenberg and Leipzig were exiled. John Salmuth [born 1575; court-preacher in Dresden since 1584; died 1592] and Prierius, also a minister in Dresden, were imprisoned. As a bloody finale of the Crypto-Calvinistic drama enacted in Electoral Saxony, Chancellor Crell was beheaded, October 9, 1601, after an imprisonment of ten years. Crell was punished, according to his epitaph, as “an enemy of peace and a disturber of the public quiet-hostis pacis et quietis publicae turbator,” or, as Hutter remarks in his Concordia Concors,”not on account of his religion, but on account of his manifold perfidy-non ob religionem, sed ob per- fidiam multiplicem.” (448. 1258.) For a long period (till 1836) all teachers and ministers in Electoral Saxony were required to subscribe also to the Visitation Articles as a doctrinal norm. Self-evidently they are not an integral part of the Book of Concord.