The wording of the Augsburg Confession was, in large part, prepared in response to the vitriolic attack of Johann Eck against Luther and the Lutheran Reformers, which Johann Eck had prepared for the Diet of Augsburg, at the command of Emperor Charles V. Eck was Martin Luther’s most zealous opponent. Even as Luther and his colleagues believed it to be their duty to speak out against the errors and abuses of the Roman Church of their day, so Eck believed it his duty to defend Holy Mother Church against Luther and other emerging reformers, such as Zwingli. While Eck attacks as many others as he can think of, it is Luther who is the real aim of his attack, and, as his cover letter makes clear, it is to Luther that he attributes all the errors of everyone involved in the reforming movement.
These theses are an important insight into the attitudes of the Roman Church and provide important context for understanding the Augsburg Confession. Eck was also the chief author of the Confutation of the Augsburg Confession, to which the Apology of the Augsburg Confession is a reply.
At the end of this translation, by Henry Eyster Jacobs, appears Jacobs' introduction to the theses, providing additional helpful background and explanations of the document and its origin and purpose.
The style of this document is a bit difficult, since what Eck is doing is recounting, with separate paragraphs, the alleged errors of his opponents, at different times, in differing circumstances, on a wide variety of topics. Eck’s assertions are a mixture or rumor, myth and fact, generally asserted with no citations and nearly always taken completely out of context. This is a work of propaganda more than theology. He pauses to interject comments and then moves on to his next set of assertions, or theses.
Reading through Eck’s accusations is an illuminating exercise, since it presents the points at which Rome was disagreeing with Luther and illuminates the depth of the Roman Catholic misunderstanding of the position of the Lutherans.
Also to be noted is how Eck attempts to lump all the reforming movements together, identifying as a group, Luther and Zwingli, men who were sharply at odds with each other.
Henry Eyster Jacob’s Introduction to Eck’s Theses
The Four Hundred and Four Theses of Dr. John Eck, Published in 1530. A Contribution to the History of the Augsburg Confession by Henry Eyster Jacobs, Dean of the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Presidential Address to the American Society of Church History. Read on December 29, 1908.
In fulfilling the duty which you have assigned me, I have selected a topic pertaining to the history of the preparation of the earliest and fundamental Confession of Protestant Christianity, the Augsburg Confession. It is my purpose to estimate the influence, upon its final form, of a document which the Lutheran Reformers found in circulation on their arrival at Augsburg more than seven weeks before the Confession was presented by the Evangelical Princes to the Emperor Charles V.
On March 11, 1530, John, the Electoral Duke of Saxony, received at his residence in Torgau, an imperial citation, issued from Bologna, January 21st, and transmitted by the Imperial Chancellor from Spires, February 20th, summoning him to appear at Augsburg, April 8th. The announced purpose was to deliberate concerning war against the Turks and the religious dissensions that were disturbing the peace of the Empire. No time was lost. The very next day found the Electoral Council occupied with plans for the journey, the selection of those who were to be asked to accompany the Elector, and the providing of the funds necessary for what was to be an expensive undertaking. The Saxon Chancellor, Dr. George Bruck, gave a written opinion concerning topics to be considered, and, two days later, followed this by another, urging the importance of carrying with them to Augsburg a carefully elaborated memorandum concerning the religious questions involved, accompanied with scriptural arguments.
On the same day, May 14th, the Elector of Saxony wrote to Luther, Justin Jonas, Bugenhagen, and Melanch-thon, informing them of the summons which he had received, and enjoining them, forsaking all other duties, to apply themselves at once to the preparation of such a memorandum. In this letter, the topics to be comprised are restricted to those concerning which there had been dissensions. The design was to exhibit not the agreements, but the points of difference between those whom the Elector was to represent and the opponents of the Reformation. The correspondence shows very clearly that the Elector was feeling his way and wanted to be prepared for any emergency. For this purpose, he directed Luther, Jonas, and Melanchthon to arrange for their absence from the University, Melanchthon to accompany him to Augsburg, and Luther and Jonas as far on the way as circumstances might advise. They were informed also that other States summoned to the Diet would appoint representatives from their theologians to co-operate. “Since among the subjects to be discussed,” he says, “one is with respect to the dissension concerning our Christian Religion, it is important that a statement or opinion be first discussed and determined among the States themselves,” and this statement is to include “the matters both in faith and in outward Church ceremonies concerning which there is dissent.” “In this way, before the Diet begins a decision may be reached as to how far we and the other States that have received the pure doctrine can with a good conscience endure prevalent abuses. "
The Wittenberg Theologians were instructed to complete their memorandum by May 20th, and to hand it on that day to the Elector at Torgau. They at once gave all their time to the work committed to them, but it was April 3d before they came to the Elector at Torgau, just in time to leave with him next day for Augsburg. The result of their labors up to that time had been no finished document, but a collection of unequally elaborated notes on some points, indicating by mere catch- words matters that might be included. There is a difference of opinion as to whether or not, with these notes, the Schwabach Articles of 1529 were not also included in the material provided for the Elector. A long delay occurred at Coburg, where Luther was left on April 23d, to remain until after the adjournment of the Diet. Here also the Elector received important suggestions as to the contents of the proposed document from a commissioner, Hans von Dolzig, whom he had sent for conference to the Count of Nassau. In his communication, the need of a positive doctrinal statement, beside an elaborate enumeration of abuses, is urged. The stay of a day at Nurnberg doubtless impressed upon them the importance of repudiating certain extremists from whom the churches there had recently suffered.
The Saxons had the honor of being the first participants in the Diet to reach Augsburg. They entered May 2d; the Emperor did not appear until June 15th. The interval gave time for perfecting their plans. Even before the arrival of the other Protestant Princes and representatives, Melanchthon resumed the work that had been interrupted by the journey. The revision of the memorandum in accordance with the new conditions which he found at Augsburg, now occupied all his attention. The preparation of what he calls the “exordium,” i.e. the doctrinal statements preceding the enumeration of abuses complained of, gave him at Augsburg the most concern. The advice of Luther at Coburg was repeatedly sought, and drafts sent to him for his criticism.
When the Saxons had arrived, May 2d, they found that, notwithstanding their early appearance, there was one who had anticipated the representatives of the various States, if not in person, nevertheless by his published attacks. The indefatigable opponent of Luther, Johann Meier von Eck, generally known as Dr. John Eck, Professor at Ingolstadt, once on friendly terms with Luther, but from the publication of the XCV. Theses, which he answered with his “Obelisks,” regarding himself as the chief support of the Papacy in its struggle in Germany, was on the scene. He had prepared and published a pamphlet of thirty-four pages in small quarto, which the Protestants found in circulation at Augsburg, under the title : “Under the Patronage of the Lord Jesus and Mary. Four Hundred and Four Articles; Some pertaining to the Disputations at Leipzig, Baden, and Berne; others drawn from the writings of those disturbing the peace of the Church; which John Eck, the very least minister of the Church, offers to discuss before the Emperor Charles V. and the Princes of the Empire, as is explained more at large in the program at Augsburg; on a day and hour to be hereafter published by consent of the Emperor.” It is an artfully constructed document, written in the most bitter controversial spirit, intended to impose on the credulity of those not well-informed, to excite prejudice, and to announce beforehand that no compromises with Lutheranism could be expected. It is chiefly a collection of statements of Luther and other Reformers either torn from their connection and misapplied, or falsely ascribed to them, no reference being made as to the places in which the statements were made. With the statements ascribed to Luther and his associates are others quoted from some whom Luther repudiated as energetically as did Eck, but for whose extravagances the Lutheran Reformers are made responsible.
Erasmus wrote with much amusement concerning these Articles to Melanchthon, that he found himself quoted, only that Eck had concealed the name of Erasmus, and artfully ascribed the statement to “Quidam, " “somebody.” The Articles begin with the Forty-one Propositions of the Bull of Leo. X. against Luther of Dec. l0, 1520, followed by the Leipzig Theses of Eck against Luther and Carlstadt, and his Eleven Baden Theses against Zwingli and CEcolam- padius. Then comes a list of 339 errors ascribed: 203 to Luther, 55 to Zwingli, 48 to Melanchthon, 15 to Bucer, 9 to CEcolampadius, 4 to Bugenhagen, 4 to Osiander. Blaurer, Carlstadt, Pirkheimer, Capito, Rhegias, the Zwickau prophets, the Anabaptists, the Nurnberg preachers, are mingled in one undistinguishable mass, with four “somebodies,” acknowledged by Erasmus as his own.
They are gathered under the headings, not arranged in strict logical order, as follows: “Against Christ,” “The Holy Spirit,” “The Sepulchre of Christ,” “God,” “The Cross of Christ,” “Mary,” “The Apostles,” “St. Paul,” " The Saints,” “Relics,” “The Council of Nice,” “Noah,” " The Limbus Patrum,” “The O. T.,” “The N. T.,” " The Gospel," “Angels,” “The Church,” reaching finally " Sin," “Faith,” “Works,” “Merits,” “Love,” “The Sacraments,” “Infants,” “Confirmation,” “The Eucharist,” " Both Kinds, " " Confession, " " Repentance, " " The Keys, " " Satisfaction," “The Mass,” “Canonical Hours,” “Marriage,” " Divorce," “Celibacy,” “Vows,” “Purgatory,” etc. The Archives at Munich show that Eck was not satisfied with printing and diffusing broadcast at Augsburg these propositions.
There is preserved in that repository a letter addressed to the Emperor, a transcript of which has been published by Gustav Plitt in his “Einleitung in die Augustana” (i., 527), in which Eck sets forth, with still greater definiteness than in what he has printed, the purpose of the tract. The printed copy sent with this letter has certain propositions marked to which he desired the Emperor to give particular attention, and has added in writing occasional annotations. This grandiloquent Latin letter, a translation of which we herewith submit, shows clearly that it is Eck’s purpose to hold Luther either directly or indirectly responsible for all the errors contained in his list of heresies. [See the beginning of this document for a copy].
The second day after his arrival at Augsburg, Melanchthon informs Luther: “Eck has brought together a great heap of Conclusions. He asks the Princes to arrange for a discussion against the Lutherans.” At the same time, he states that he is elaborating “the exordium” of the Confession beyond what had been intended on leaving Coburg. Under the same date, he writes to Veit Dietrich, Luther’s companion at Coburg, of his purpose “to run over” within a few days and to bring with him for revision the draft of the Apology which he is writing.
A week later, he gives Luther more details: “With this, I am sending you our Apology, or, more properly speaking, Confession. The Emperor has no time for extended discussions. Nevertheless I have said what seemed to be especially profitable or proper. For this purpose, I have embraced about all the articles of faith, because Eck has published against us the most diabolical slanders. Against these, I have decided to oppose a remedy.” The doctrinal articles of the Augsburg Confession are, therefore, Melanchthon’s “remedy,” as he says, against Eck. The self-restraint, the caution, the composure, the concentration of the Augsburg Confession, amidst the many inducements which Eck’s Propositions furnished for extended and impassioned treatment, are certainly remarkable. They justify Melanchthon’s claim: “Ego Apologiam paravi scriptum summa verecundia.”
The object is to meet the misrepresentations with which the mind of the Emperor was occupied, by brief, calm, objective statements, presenting in exact terms the positive teaching of those attacked in Eck’s propositions, and combining with this an equally clear and emphatic repudiation of errors and errorists with whom the Lutherans were confused. This declaration thus carefully drawn up by the theologians, when officially approved by the Protestant Princes and representatives of states, became a bond between them, and formal contract, by which they agreed with each other to stand or to fall. How critical the moment is shown by the intelligence that had reached Augsburg that the Emperor was hesitating between condemning them without a hearing, and listening to their case. The effect was to declare that, without arguing the justice or injustice of Eck’s presentations, whether they were true or false, here is the declaration on the subjects involved, for which alone we are responsible.
The mode in which the Articles of the Augsburg Confession were formulated was by following the general outline of the Schwabach Articles, but greatly changing them in view of the changed conditions. " Subinde enim mutandi sunt atque ad occasiones accommodandi" (Corpus Reforma torum, ii. , 60, Letter to Luther, May 22d).
In Article I., treating of God and the Trinity, regard has evidently been taken of Eck’s Proposition 82, in which Luther is quoted as saying: “My soul hates the word ' homoousion, ' i.e. the Father and Son of the same essence,” and of Proposition 146, in which he is represented as repudiating the Council of Nice: “In the Holy Council of Nice, faith and the gospel were lacking, and human traditions gained the upper hand. " Hence the Article becomes: “Our churches, with common consent, do teach that the decree of the Council of Nice, concerning the Unity of the Divine Essence and the Three Persons, is true and to be believed without any doubting; that is to say, there is one Divine Essence which is called, and which is, God ; and yet these Three Persons of the same essence and This Article is more than a treatment of the doctrine concerning God. In the opening sentences, it places in the foreground the principle of the historical continuity of the Church, and declares the reverence with which those who made the Confession dealt, in all their critical work, with historical precedents. It separated them from the ultra-subjectivists who cared nothing for historical considerations.
The second Article of the Confession bears a similar relation to Propositions 184, 185, 186. In the former, Zwingli is referred to as declaring: “Original sin is no sin, but a natural defect like stammering.” How nearly true this report concerning Zwingli’s doctrine is, may be read in the Ratio Fidei which he sent to Augsburg, and in which his very words are: “Original Sin is not properly sin.” But for this position, the Lutheran representatives at Augsburg were not responsible. Zwingli’s view had been one of the subjects of controversy between him and Luther, and at Marburg he had temporarily accepted Luther’s position. In order, therefore, to clear the position of those for whom they acted from all suspicions of sympathy with the Zwinglian view, Article II. was prepared. In so doing, account was taken also of the circumstances that Proposition 185 charged Melanchthon himself with declaring that Scripture made no difference between Original and Actual Sin. The language of the Augsburg Confession became so explicit on this subject, that it repudiated Eck and his colleagues as forcibly as Zwingli, and is attacked on this account in the Roman Catholic Confutation of the Confession. The close of the article has in view the misrepresentations made concerning Infant Baptism in Propositions 227-233.
Article III. covers the ground included in Propositions 66-82, and 83 and 84, concerning Christ and the Holy Spirit, by a paraphrase of the Apostles' Creed, further defining some of its statements. The clause that Christ was “a sacrifice not only for original guilt, but for all actual sins of men,” answers explicitly the charge brought in Proposition 265, that “no satisfaction is required for sins except the death of Christ,” by reaffirming and explaining it.
Article IV. is a thoroughly objective and scientifically-framed statement of the relation of faith to justification, as over against the one-sided and misleading citations of Propositions 187, 197, 205, 210.
In Article V., the purpose is to sharply distinguish the teaching of the Lutherans on the work of the Holy Spirit from that of the pure subjectivists of various schools with whom Eck habitually confounds them in his tract. The definition of the gospel incidentally given as the promise " that God, not for our own, but for Christ’s sake, justifieth them that believe,” corrects the statement of Proposition 166 in which Luther is quoted as declaring: “The gospel is nothing but preaching concerning the Resurrection of Christ.”
Sixteen Propositions of Eck were occupied with various perversions of what those who dissented from Rome taught as to the relation of faith and works (Propositions 152-7, 187, 189, 191, 192, 194, 199-203, 367). We quote but three: 194. “Faith alone is necessary; all other things are most free, neither commanded, nor prohibited” (Luther). 367: " After one has been justified, no laws or ordinances bind him” (Melanchthon). 162: “The Gospel commands nothing whatever” (Melanchthon); “neither does it prohibit” ( Luther). These are answered by Article VI.: “Faith is bound to bring forth good works; and it is necessary to do the good works commanded by God.”
The definition of the church in Articles VII. and VIII. corrects the inference of any approval of the statement ascribed to Bucer, following Augustine and Wiclif, that " only the predestinated are in the church; but the wicked or reprobate are not of the church" (170). “Although the church properly” says Article VIII. “is the congregation of saints or true believers, nevertheless, since in this life many hypocrites and evil men are mingled therewith, it is lawful to use the sacraments which are administered by evil men in the church.”
The seventeen Propositions of Eck (216-232) are disposed of in two brief sentences of Article IX. The article concerning the Lord’s Supper (X) was probably less influenced than any other by Eck’s pamphlet. The aim of the Confession is simply to present the doctrine of a generic Real Presence, in order to disclaim responsibility for what was taught on the subject by those who presented the Tetrapolitan and the Ratio Fidei at the same time and place.
Article XI. is a direct answer to Propositions 255-258, concerning Confession and Absolution; Article XII., to 259- 266, concerning Repentance, as well as to 190-193, concerning the inamissibility of grace; Article XIII., to 214-254, and 168, concerning the Sacraments in general; Article XIV., to 268, 269, concerning Ordination and the Universal Priesthood of Believers; and Article XV., to 300-332, 362-367, concerning Church Authority and Church Ordinances. It was particularly with regard to the topics comprised in Article XVI., that the attempt was made to prejudice the Emperor and his advisers.
Far more comprehensible to his mind and interesting were the statements concerning civil government than those concerning doctrine. Eck touched the Emperor’s heart where it was most sensitive, and probably excited his intense indignation by appeals contained in citations like the following : " 334: We Christians are free, exempt from all the laws of men, liberated through baptism (Luther). 335: No laws can be imposed with any right upon Christians, whether by men or by angels, except so far as they themselves be willing (Luther). 336 : Subjects neither can, nor will, nor ought to endure your tyranny any longer (Luther to the Princes). 339 : I regret that I submitted to the Emperor at Worms. Whatever tolerance of my doctrine was conceded by my judges is of no account to tyrants (Luther). 340: There is no more excellent secular law than that of the Turk, as he has no canonical or civil law ( Luther). 346: Ever since the beginning of the world, a wise Prince has been a most rare bird; for, generally, they are either the greatest fools or the very worst rascals ; for they are God’s policemen and executioners (Luther). 367: To impose law upon Christians, is to tempt the devil (Zwingli). 384: There is no hope of a remedy, unless all the laws of men having been once annulled, we judge and rule all things according to the gospel (Luther). 385: We must not take an oath with respect to temporal things; for he who requires an oath of another, or himself swears, must be of a malicious and trifling mind ( Melanchthon). 387 : All are heathen who contend in court for property or reputation (Luther) . 389: It is a doctrine of devils that it is allowable for a Christian to wage war ; for all who go to war are accursed children of Cain (CEcolampadius). To buy and sell are purely heathen matters (Luther). 390: Business contracts even for godly purposes are usurious (Strauss) or at least unjust (Luther). 391 : A community of all things is commanded in the New Testament (Melanchthon). 403: It is proper and in accordance with God’s word to excite seditions and tumults; hence there is no better proof that my doctrine is of God than that it excites discords, seditions, and tumults (Luther). Many of them, therefore, have often publicly testified to the common people: ‘The gospel wants blood’ (Zwingli). 404 : Among Christians there should be no superiority, no courts, nothing fenced up or closed, no ' meum ' or ' tuum, ' no restraint or excommunication (Anabaptists)."
The very phraseology of Article XVI. shows that it is an answer to these imputations of communism and anarchy : " Of Civil Affairs, they teach that lawful civil ordinances are good works of God, and that it is right for Christians to bear civil office, to sit as judges, to determine matters by the Imperial and other existing laws, to award just punishments, to engage in just wars, to serve as soldiers, to make legal contracts, to hold property, to make oath when required by the magistrates, to marry, to be given in marriage. " They condemn the Anabaptists who forbid these civil offices to Christians. They condemn also those who do not place faith in the perfection of the gospel, in the fear of God and in faith, but in forsaking civil offices, for the gospel teaches an eternal righteousness of heart. Meanwhile it does not destroy the State or the family, but especially requires their preservation as ordinances of God, and in such ordinances the exercise of charity. Therefore, Christians are necessarily bound to obey their own magistrates and laws, save only when commanded to sin." The succeeding article is only an appendix to the sixteenth, repudiating the extravagances of the gross Chiliasts who taught that the time would come when the godly should take forcible possession of the earthly property of those not among their number.
Article XVIII., “On Free Will,” is a direct and extended answer to Proposition 332: “It is under the tutelage of Satan that the term Free Will has arisen” (Luther). In Article XIX., Melanchthon repudiates the position which he had actually maintained in the first edition of his Loci Communes, (1521), and which Eck compelled him to face in Proposition 82, that " all things are done by God, both good and evil," to which Eck had appended the note, “i.e. God wills sin.”
The last two doctrinal articles XX. and XXI., belong to the material for which provision was made in the Torgau Articles, and by an afterthought were transferred from the second to the first section of the Confession. Article XXL, however, directly meets the points made in Propositions 112-127. The influence of Eck’s tract may be traced also in the Articles on Abuses, although not to the same extent as in the Doctrinal Articles. In the latter, the Confession is no longer on the defensive, but is aggressive. Compare, however, Article XXII. with Propositions 251-254, and 245, 296; XXIII. with Propositions 283, 295-299, and 304; XXIV. with Propositions 274-278; XXV. as on Article XI; XXVI. with Propositions 362-367; XXVII. with Propositions 300-320. The well-known passage in the final article concerning the relation of the Lord’s Day to the Sabbath, seems to have been elicited by Propositions 178-180.
Eck’s Propositions influenced not only the material of the Confession, but in some parts even the order in which the subjects are treated. The organism of the Confession has greatly troubled some critics, but it is not as confused as it appears. Bearing in mind the fact that the Articles on Abuses were intended as the chief part, and the Doctrinal Articles were only introductory, the order of the latter is logical.
I. Theology. II. Anthropology. III. Christology. IV-VI. Soteriology. VII-XVI. Ecclesiology. XVII. Eschatology. XVIII-XXI. Answer to various objections and criticisms. It is in the part treating of Ecclesiology that the influence of Eck’s Propositions on the order can be traced. Article XI. on “Confession and Absolution, " and XII. On Repentance,” appear between the articles concerning the Lord’s Supper and the use of the Sacraments in general, because these two articles, from the standpoint of the Roman Church, belong to the discussion of the Sacraments, and are so treated in Eck’s paper.
This paper of Eck, as time has passed, has almost entirely been lost sight of. It was so thoroughly answered that its influence survives only in the suggestions which it made for the elaboration of the confession. It was as ephemeral as the issues of the daily press of today, to which, however, historians will turn hereafter to trace influences upon permanent legislation, or upon movements of far-reaching importance. The use made by the Reformers of Eck’s paper also illustrates the conception which the Confessors at Augsburg had of their work. They were responding to a particular call. They were meeting a particular emergency, and confined their attention to the issues of that particular hour. “Only those things have been recounted,” they say as they close, “whereof we thought it was necessary to speak, so that it might be understood that, in doctrine and ceremonies, nothing has been revived on our part, against Scripture or the Church Catholic.” As to the question of limiting the testimony of the churches they represent to what is embraced in the Confession, they speak very plainly in the very last sentence: “If anything further be desired, we are ready, God willing, to present ample information according to the Scriptures. "
Eck’s Cover Letter addressed to Charles V
Most Revered Emperor:
By all Catholics, thou art esteemed as one who has been appointed, elected, and consecrated of God to come to the aid of the wavering catholic faith, to help the afflicted Church and oppressed churchmen, to maintain the Christian State against the sanguinary Turkish tyrant, the Sultan, and, in a word, to save the Christian world.
But since Martin Luther, a domestic enemy of the Church, has not been improved by the former admonition of Thy Imperial Majesty, but having fallen into every Scylla and Charybdis of impiety, calls the Pope of Rome Antichrist; the Church a harlot ; bishops, masques and idols ; universities, synagogues of Satan; cloisters, brothels; theologians, bats; secular princes, fools, drunkards, insane, and worse than Turks; and meanwhile does not withhold himself from attacks also upon Thy Holy Majesty, but teaches the lordship of Christ and maligns and ridicules Thy Imperial mandates with the most obscene interpretations.
And since, also, he has reached such an extremity of desperation, as a blasphemer of God, impious towards the saints and sacraments, irreverent, reproachful, and rebellious towards all superiors, ecclesiastical as well as secular, an enemy of all good men, that he praises none but heretics, extols schismatics, excites seditions in Germany, prepares for shedding a flood of Christian blood, and is collecting bands of Germans to bathe themselves in the blood of the Pope and his Cardinals, and is producing a generation of vipers still worse than himself - for to Luther we owe as his children the iconoclasts, sacramentarians, Capernaites, new Hussites and their progeny the Anabaptists, the new Epicureans who deny the immortality of the soul, and the spiritualists as well as the new Corinthians who deny the divinity of Christ.
Since also they are rending Germany with these monstrosities and portents, demolishing churches, overthrowing altars, treading under foot the most holy Eucharist, burning the images of Christ and the saints, abolishing divine worship, casting the images of saints into the rubbish heaps, raging against the gold and silver treasures of the Church, despoiling the revenues of churches and monasteries, voiding the last wills and testaments of the deceased, and, in short, attacking all things pertaining to the Christian religion even worse than Turks, so as by their persecutions and threats to induce virgins consecrated to God to abandon the cloisters; very many of them, amidst crimes so execrable, even dare to announce their readiness to defend themselves according to the Recess of the Diet of Spires, and to respond concerning these things to God and thy Most August Majesty, as though thou art a patron of their impieties, blasphemies, thefts, sacrileges, and seditions, pretending that the most holy Imperial Head of the world, and hoping that the supreme justice of the divine Emperor, would defend their supreme injustice.
Notwithstanding the unlawfulness of agitating and discussing anew the things rightly judged and arranged by a Council, they excite ancient heresies condemned more than a thousand years ago, follow teachers who have been burned, and men of accursed memory, seducing simple people with the plea that they follow the Gospel, the Bible, the Word of God.
I offer myself, therefore, to Thy Imperial Majesty, prepared, as at Leipzig against Luther, and at Baden against Oecolampadius, to repel their mendacious boasts, to defend all the institutions, practices, doctrines, and observances of the Catholic faith, and to attack their assailants.
Let the Church’s enemies, the ministers of ungodliness, the patrons of heresies, the vessels of iniquity, come forth and fulfill that whereof they so insolently boast to the people; let them answer concerning the faith before the Power which is of God, the Member of God, the Church’s Advocate, the faith’s Protector.
Farewell, Father of the country, Most August and Victorious Emperor. God protect and guide thee; grant thee victory over the Turk, and mercifully extend thy rule still farther. "
Johann Eck’s 404 Theses, 1530
INGOLSTADT, March 14, 1530.
Title Page (Latin)
SUB DOMINI o IHESU ET MARIAE PATROCINIO.
Articulos 404 partim ad disputationes Lipsicam, Baden, & Bernen attinentes, partim vero ex scriptis pacem ecclesiae perturbantium extractos, Coram diuo Caesare Carolo V. Ro. Imp. semper Augu. etc., ac proinceribus Imperii, loan. Eckius minimus ecclesiae minister, offert se disputaturum, vt in scheda latius explicatur Augustae Vindelicorum. Die & hora consensus Caesaris posterius publicandis.
The translation of this title page:
Under the patronage of the Lord Jesus and Mary
Four hundred and four Articles; some pertaining to the disputations at Leipzig, Baden, and Bern, others drawn from the writings of those disturbing the peace of the church; which John Eck, the very least minister of the church, offers to discuss before the Emperor Charles V. and the Princes of the Empire, as is explained more at large in the Program at Augsburg; on a day and hour to be hereafter published by consent of the Emperor.
Inasmuch as for a number of years false prophets have been rising up and attempting to tear away the people from the unity of the Catholic Faith, corrupting all Germany many with errors, impieties, and blasphemies, so that what was formerly regarded most Christian has now become the cesspool of all errors, in behalf of the faith and for the Church I have hastily gathered these few out of their infinite errors. And since the enemies of the faith are making a parade of their writings and are offering in secret to dispute concerning them before the people, I offer, according to the judgment and disposition of our Most Glorious Prince and Lord, Charles V., perpetual Emperor of Spain, Germany, Sicily, a Catholic King, and our most clement Master, and of that of all the Princes of the Roman Empire, especially of our Most Serene Prince and Lord, Ferdinand, King of Hungary and Bavaria, and Archduke of Austria, and of our Most Illustrious Princes of the renowned House of Bavaria, to discuss in public the points below noted against any assailant of the Catholic truth ; so as to establish our dogmas and overthrow the false dogmas of the adversaries, to the praise of God, the increase of faith and the strengthening of the weak.
TO GOD ALONE THE GLORY
While in order that Thy Holy Majesty and the Christian world may see and judge the impieties of the adversaries, I have gathered a very few out of their infinite errors, nevertheless I have guarded them from head to foot with my assertions, and offer to reply as to all in behalf of the faith and the Church. I assert with entire confidence given by the Holy Spirit that the Articles of Luther concerning this shameful matter condemned by Pope Leo X. were legitimately condemned as heretical, erroneous, and scandalous. I anathematize and condemn them, and freely declare that they who agree with the Bull are Christian men, but that they who oppose it are enemies of the faith, who ought to be regarded as heathen and publicans. Hence we introduce here all these XLI. Articles, ready to receive the attacks of any opponent, and to take the part of the Church.
1 It is a heretical, but usual statement, that the Sacraments of the New Testament give justifying grace to those who interpose no obstacle.
2 To deny that sin remains in a child after baptism, is to treat both Paul and Christ with contempt.
3 The tinder of sin, even though no actual sin be present, excludes a soul leaving the body from entrance into heaven.
4 The imperfect love of a dying person necessarily carries with it great fear, which is alone sufficient to produce the punishment of purgatory, and prevents entrance into the kingdom.
5 There is no foundation in Holy Scripture or in the ancient Christian teachers for the doctrine that there are three parts of penitence, viz., contrition, confession, and satisfaction.
6 One is made a hypocrite, aye, a great sinner, by contrition arising from self-examination, and reflection upon and detestation of sins, whereby, in the bitterness of his soul, one reviews his years, by considering the gravity of his sins, their multitude and heniousness, the loss of eternal blessedness, and the penalty of eternal condemnation.
7 Most true is the proverb, and preferable to the doctrine of all hitherto taught concerning contrition, that not to do [penance] is the highest penitence, and a new life the best penitence.
8 Presume in no way to confess venial, or even mortal sins, because it is impossible to know all mortal sins; hence in the primitive Church only manifest mortal sins were confessed.
9 In wishing to confess all things absolutely, we only show our unwillingness to leave anything for the mercy of God to forgive.
10 No sins are forgiven, unless when the priest forgives, the person believes that they are forgiven him; aye, sin would remain unless he would believe that it is forgiven; for the remission of sins and the bestowal of grace are insufficient, but one must believe that sin is forgiven.
11 Trust in no way that you are absolved because of your contrition, but because of the word of Christ: “Whatsoever ye shall loose,” etc. So I say, trust, if you have obtained absolution of a priest, and believe firmly that you have been absolved; and without regard to contrition, you will be truly absolved.
12 If it were possible for a person not contrite to confess, or for a priest to absolve not seriously, but in jest, and if one should, nevertheless, believe that he were absolved, he would be absolved.
13 In the sacrament of penance, or remission of guilt, the Pope or Bishop does no more than the lowest priest; aye, when there is no priest, any Christian, even a woman or a boy, would do equally well.
14 No one should answer the priest that he is contrite, neither should the priest ask it of any one.
15 Great is the error of those who come to the sacrament of the Eucharist, relying upon the fact that they have confessed; that they are not conscious of any mortal sins ; that they have said their prayers and made their preparations. All these eat and drink judgment to themselves : but if they believe and trust that they will receive grace, this faith alone makes them pure and worthy.
16 It would be well for the Church, in a general council, to resolve that the laity should commune under both forms ; and the Bohemians communing under both forms, are not heretics, but schismatics.
17 The treasures of the Church, from which the Pope gives indulgences, are not the merits of Christ and the saints.
18 Indulgences are pious frauds upon believers, and hindrances to good works, and belong to the number of those things that are lawful, and not to the number of those that are expedient.
19 Indulgences do not avail, where truly received, to remit the punishment which eternal justice demands for actual sins.
20 They are deceived who believe that indulgences bring salvation, and a spiritual benefit.
21 Indulgences are necessary only for public crimes, and are granted properly only to the hardened and impatient.
22 For six classes of men indulgences are not necessary or useful: viz., the dead, or dying, the sick, those hindered for sufficient reasons, those who have not committed crimes, those who have committed crimes, but such as are not public, and those who have reformed.
23 Excommunications are only outward punishments, and do not deprive a man of the common spiritual prayers of the Church.
24 Christians should be taught to love rather than fear excommunication.
25 The Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, is not the vicar of Christ, appointed by Christ himself in St. Peter’s, over all the churches of the world.
26 The word of Christ to Peter: “Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth,” extends only to those things which Peter himself has bound.
27 It is certain that it is within the power neither of the Church nor of the Pope to frame articles of faith or commands concerning morals and good works.
28 Even though the Pope, with the great part of the Church, should think so and so, and in thus doing should not err, it is still not a sin or heresy to think the contrary, especially in a matter unnecessary for salvation, until the one were rejected and the other approved by a General Council.
29 We have the liberty (lit. : “the way has been opened to us”) to state the authority of Councils, and freely contradict their doings and judge their decrees, and confidently confess whatever seems true, whether it have been approved or rejected by any Council.
30 Some articles of John Huss condemned in the Council of Constance are most Christian, true, and evangelical, and cannot be condemned by the Universal Church.
31 In every good work, the righteous man sins.
32 A good work done in the best way is a venial sin.
33 To burn heretics is against the will of the Spirit.
34 To war against the Turk is to resist God visiting our iniquities upon us through them.
35 No one is sure that he is not always mortally sinning because of the most secret vice of pride.
36 Free will after sin is a thing with the title alone, and in doing what belongs to it, sins mortally.
37 Purgatory cannot be proved from the canonical scriptures.
38 Souls in purgatory are not secure with respect to their salvation, at least not all; neither can it be proved either by reason or Scripture, that they are beyond meriting or increasing love.
39 Souls in purgatory sin without intermission, as long as they seek rest and dread punishments.
40 Souls delivered from purgatory by the intercessions of the living, have less happiness than if they had made satisfaction of themselves.
41 Ecclesiastical prelates and secular princes would do no wrong if they were to entirely suppress all the mendicant orders.
Eck [here Eck offers comment]:
So horrible are these Articles that even Luther, their author, repudiates some, and is unwilling to acknowledge them, and lies when he says that they have been falsely attributed to him. Such are nos. 26, 29, and 41. But there is an old proverb: “One ought to be mindful of a lie”; for, no. 26 he wrote in De Resolutione Indulgentiarum, Con- clusio V., no. 29, in the “resolutio” of the Leipzig Disputation, immediately after the beginning, and no. 41, in a popular sermon on “Usury. "
I, likewise, undertake to defend the positions invincibly defended by me for nineteen days against Luther and Carlstadt. If either they or their adherents will undertake to present anything new against these positions, I will abundantly satisfy them.
CONCLUSIONS OF ECK AT LEIPZIG [Articles Eck offered at Leipzig]
42 It is in accordance neither with the declarations of Holy Scripture nor the Holy Fathers, Augustine and others, that our Lord and Master JESUS Christ, when he said: " Repent ye,” meant that the entire life of believers should be repentance, and that, therefore, this word could not be understood of sacramental penitence.
43 We deny that even if there are daily venial sins, nevertheless that the righteous sins in every good work, even in a holy death. Likewise we say that it is erroneous to say that a righteous one can sin mortally while his righteousness remain, or that after baptism administered at the will of another the child retains sin.
44 One declaring in addition that repentance does not properly begin with hatred of sins by reflecting on the gravity of the sin and the punishment, and that this makes one still more of a sinner, a statement contrary to the Gospel and the Holy Fathers, we affirm should not be heard.
45 To say that God, in remitting guilt, remits punishment, and does not change it, by means of the Canons, and the injunction of the priest declared either entirely or in part, into a temporal satisfactory punishment, we think contrary to Holy Scripture and the usage of the Church.
46 That any priest, to say no prelate, can or ought to remit punishment and guilt to his parishioner seeking it, so that a prelate not fully absolving from guilt and punishment sins, we do not receive, since it is contrary to the Holy Scripture and the use of the Church.
47 That souls in purgatory make no satisfaction for the punishments of sins from whose guilt they have been here absolved, but for which they have not made satisfaction, we account erroneous, just as it is not without error that God requires of one about to die no other punishment than that of death.
48 He errs who, from the fact that man is actively disposed to evil, and only passively to good, denies that man’s free will is master of his acts ; just as he is not without error who contrary to the Scholastics, thinks that faith can be corrupted by any crime ; neither is he without the greatest error, who without any regard to contrition boldly asserts that one is absolved by faith alone.
49 Since it is contrary to truth and reason, we do not receive the teaching that from the imperfection of love or faith in the soul of the dead, horror and as it were despair results, with which souls in purgatory are affected, and that they incur this horror from the fear of death, and as it were die unwillingly.
50 That souls in purgatory merit greater grace, or that, if freed by the merits of others, their rewards are diminished, or that they are not certain of their salvation, or do not wish our prayers, we deny as contrary to our faith and all reason.
51 Since it is contrary to the truth and the Apostolical decrees, and as we regard keys the most imperishable treasure of the Church, we deny the assertion that the merit of the passion of Christ is not the treasure of the Church, from which indulgences are given. We also piously believe that we are aided by the merits of the saints.
52 To say that indulgences do not free is an error; to say further that indulgences are vicious, and thus that one thereby incurs greater guilt, is the very worst error. Hence we hold that he also errs who says that he is bound to condemn indulgences because the Lord says: “On account of myself, and not on account of money, I blot out iniquities.”
53 That the Pope cannot through indulgences remit a punishment due on account of sin, is an error. Yea, it is erroneous that he cannot absolve from punishment souls existing in purgatory. Moreover what we repudiate most of all is that those about to die, weak, lawfully impeded, without public crimes, need no indulgences.
54 That the Church of Rome was not superior to other churches prior to the time of Sylvester we deny. But we have always acknowledged him who has the chair and faith of Peter, as the successor of Peter and general Vicar of Christ.
Luther was subject to the decision of the Faculty of Paris, to whom he appealed before the Legate of the Apostolic Chair. Convicted by their opinion, he has defied them with his reproaches. The Conclusions, moreover, which I undertook to defend before the twelve Cantons of the Swiss in opposition to Zwingli, CEcolampadius, and their followers I do not decline to maintain, if Zwingli in his exile should betake himself to Rottenacker.
CONCLUSIONS OF ECK IN BADEN
55 That the true body of Christ and his blood are present in the sacrament of the Altar.
56 They are truly offered in the Office of the Mass for the living and the dead.
57 We ought to invoke Mary and the Saints as intercessors.
58 Images of the Crucifix and the Saints are not to be destroyed.
59 After this life, there is a purgatorial fire.
60 Infants of Christians are born in original sin.
61 The baptism of Christ, not that of John, removes original sin. Besides these all other things that Zwingli undertakes to attack in our true and indubitable faith.
With a black mark I noted very many godless things of Zwingli. Even the mad author was shocked when he saw them. Such was the following: The frequent making of the sign of the Cross terrifies the soul not otherwise than the characters of necromancers terrify the uninformed if they be admitted to them. For this reason, he thinks that the sign of the Cross ought to be suppressed in the Mass in the sacramental action. To the Swiss he writes that this was invented by me against him, but that I said the truth is evident to one reading his Epichiresis concerning the Canon of the Mass, p. 221, p. 2. Zwingli, seeing that his sect had attained much esteem from the disputation at Baden, provided that a disputation should occur at Bern. I refuted his acts with solid writings, and there was no one who responded. But, since I now offer myself prepared to defend before the Emperor and other Princes, contrary Conclusions for the faith and the truth, I propose them as follows :
62 Our Lord Jesus Christ, when about to leave the world, both of himself and by the Holy Spirit appointed prelates in the Church, as his Vicars, having the power of rule, and who are both said to be and are the Heads of the Church. He who is rashly rebellious to them, departs from Christ and the Church.
63 The Church of Christ and those presiding in it, make constitutions and enactments to the glory of God and the reformation of the faithful. If these things be not found in proper form in Holy Scripture, they are nevertheless obligatory in the forum of conscience; so that he who despises these, despises Christ.
64 Christ our Saviour is our Redeemer and righteousness, of whose passion and merit we ought to make ourselves partakers through the sacraments and good works. But if one idly thinks that he is saved in the Church without good works and satisfaction, he presumes and sins against the Holy Ghost.
Concerning the truth of the body of Christ in the Eucharist, concerning the sacrifice of the Mass, concerning purgatory and the intercession of saints, against the Bernese I affirm anew and constantly declare my five first Conclusions defended at Baden.
65 To say that marriage is commanded in every estate, even the sacerdotal, for the purpose of avoiding fornication, is the doctrine of Asmodeus ; although he treads Christ still more grievously under foot, and exposes the Christian faith to ridicule throughout the whole world, who thinks that it is the chief virtue of a bishop to have a wife.
In addition to the above mentioned selections of innumerable errors and injurious writings and seditious aberrations, we will note a few more the contrary to which we will defend in behalf of the faith, the Church and the Christian Empire.
NEW AND OLD ERRORS NOW STIRRED UP
Concerning Christ :
66 Christ experienced terrors of soul even to despair ( Bugenhagen).
67 Christ in despair cried out, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me (Premonstratenses, at Magdeburg).
68 The greatest cause of the fear of Christ was the sense of desertion and of divine wrath, by which Christ wavered between hell and life. In this fear, there was a desolation of the divine gifts in Christ; for in this affliction and anguish, there was a despoliation of love, because the divinity withdrawing itself, love did not glow ( Melanchthon) .
69 After the death of Christ, his soul ought to suffer in hell, and in martyrdom be attacked by demons (Antoni Zimmerman).
70 Christ complained that he was deserted of God, i.e., that he was bereft of life and blessedness and all good (ib).
71 Christ is finite according to his humanity; therefore, he truly grew in wisdom and grace (Zwingli).
72 Christ as a man, is the adoptive Son of God ( Bugenhagen).
73 Christ merited nothing for himself, but for us ( Luther).
74 Christ rose not from a closed sepulchre, neither did he enter into the company of his disciples, while the doors were shut (Bucer).
75 Christ is not Head of the Church according to his human nature (Haller).
76 Christ no longer prays to God for us (Zwingli).
77 Christ did not appear personally to St. Paul, but only through angels (Zwingli).
78 In Christ, the two natures, human and divine, are mixed (Burguer de f. Gallo).
79 Christ did not have an intellectual soul, but in place of his soul had divinity (Luther).
80 Christ Jesus, according to his divine nature, is, properly speaking, the essence of all things (Zwingli).
81 The humanity of Christ is not to be adored; hence, the Eucharist is not to be adored (Zwingli).
82 My soul hates the word " homoousion, " i.e., the Father and the Son are of the same essence (Luther) .
Against the Holy Spirit :
83 Since the death of Christ, the Holy Spirit is his Vicar (Bucer).
84 Reason pretends to give Christ honor by reflecting and meditating upon his death, but this is nothing to Christ ( Melanchthon).
Against the Sepulchre of Christ :
85 The sepulchre of Christ’s body, which the Saracens hold is no more a matter of care to God, than, according to the teaching of Paul, oxen are (Luther) .
86 The opinion is certain that all things are done by God, both good and evil, not only permissively but properly, as the adultery of David, etc. Accordingly the betrayal of Judas no less than the call of Paul is His proper work ( Melanchthon), i.e., God wills sins.
87 God wanted himself regarded foolish by means of folly; a spiritual man by means of folly recognizes God as foolish (Melanchthon). Against the Cross of Christ : 88. It would be much better were the Cross lost than found, humbled than exalted (Luther). And it is an abuse for churches to be built and founded in honor of the wood, upon which God hung.
89 It is a silly play and an idolatrous error to inclose a portion of the Cross in gold, carry it about the church, and offer it to the people to be kissed ; hence were I to own a portion of the Cross, I would burn it to ashes (Luther). In the world there are so many pieces of the wood of the Cross, that a house could be built out of them. Would that no crown of thorns, yea, no holy cross had ever come to light ("&).
90 It was a singular and horrible festival that was instituted in honor of the tunic of Christ at Treves. Against Mary:
91 Christ said to Mary: “What have I to do with thee!” meaning: Because you are a woman you think that some special favor will be shown you by me on the ground of a merit of prerogative. Understand, however, that you have no more influence with me than the woman who was a sinner, or the Syr ophenician (Melanchthon) .
92 Christ permitted Mary to err (Luther). And Joseph wanted to desert her under the suspicion of adultery (ib).
93 When Christ preached, the centurion had greater faith than Mary; for while Christ gave his mother great faith at the conception and nativity, afterwards it was not, or only rarely, so great, and meanwhile he permitted it to waver (Luther).
94 The contradictory of the statement that the Blessed Virgin was conceived without original sin has not been censured ( Luther.)
95 We certainly are just as holy as Mary (Luther). On this account, we are unwilling to have her as an advocate.
96 That on the day of the nativity of Mary we use the Epistle concerning the wisdom of God, and the Gospel concerning the nativity of Christ, is a falsehood and blasphemy ( Luther, the Nurembergers).
97 The “salve regina, " “regina cceli” are improper, and do a wrong to Christ, since they ascribe to a creature what belongs to God (Heathen; the Nurembergers; Luther).
98 Your prayer, says Luther, is just as precious as that of Mary, because you can aid me just as much as she.
99 Christ was unwilling to comply with the curiosity of Mary, when she asked for a miracle when the wine failed (Zwingli).
100 Claustra virginitatis Mariae in partu fuerunt aperta et dimota (Luther.)
101 I hate no festival more than that of the Conception of Mary, and that of Corpus Christi (Luther).
Against the Apostles:
102 The Council of the Apostles erred in commanding those converted from the Gentiles to abstain from blood and from what was strangled, and, accordingly they were corrected by Paul to the Colossians: “Let no man judge you, etc.”
103 In the time of the Apostles the Gospel was not preached as clearly and purely as by me (Luther). Hence I was one whom they call Elias, Daniel, and a Man of God.
104 The Apostles were not believers when they were baptized. For this reason, Christ willed that the Apostles should first baptize men, and then teach what should be done and left undone (Nuremberg preachers).
Against St. Paul:
105 Paul wanted to be damned for his brethren (Melanchthon). So Moses was willing to be led to the devil and to be condemned in soul and body for the people (Luther).
106 Many, with much probability, have asserted that this epistle was not written by the apostle James, and that it is not worthy of an apostolic spirit (Luther) .
Against the Gospels :
107 The Evangelists wrote contradictions. This is so evident in many passages, that they cannot be harmonized. Moreover we believe that all the Apostles could err ( Brunsfels).
108 The opinion ought to be abrogated that there are only four Gospels and four Evangelists (ibid).
109 We are compelled to assert that there is no Scripture that can be proved to be such, except the Old Testament (ib).
110 Unless the Apostles had explained the Gospel in their writings, we would have nothing but trifles, and stupid and lifeless narration. To the Apostles, Peter, Paul, James, and John, and not to the Evangelists, is due the credit of handing down whatever we have that is pure with respect to the use and form of the Gospel (ib).
111 The New Testament has lost its power as well as the Old. Accordingly, we are to adhere to no Scripture, but only to the Spirit, according to the Eternal Gospel (fanatics and certain persons at Zwickau according to Eraser.)
Against the Saints :
112 That those worshipping the Saints for temporal advantages, are little better than those who for money make a covenant with the devil (Luther).
113 Prayers to the Saints for avoiding any temporal evil are to be shunned, since they cannot aid us ( Melanchthon) .
114 Only through Christ, do we have access to God; accordingly confidence in the Saints falls (Luther).
115 Christ alone and not the Saints has been given as an example of a holy life (Zwingli).
116 The worship of Saints has reached such a pass that it were better that there were no festivals of Saints, and that their names were unknown (Luther).
117 The resorting of men to the churches of Saints is a work of the devil (Luther) .
118 God cannot suffer that any one should say: St. Peter is my Apostle (Luther) .
119 One cannot tell whether it be St. James or a dead dog or horse that is buried at Compostella or Toulouse ( Luther).
120 The first Christopher who is portrayed as such was not a Saint. A ridiculous story! Every learned man laughs (Pillicanus).
121 Everything is a matter of suspicion that the church of priests reads to-day concerning Christopher, and not concerning this alone but also concerning two others, Gregory and Margaret (Pillicanus).
Against the Saints :
122 The Saints are to be honored more on account of their doctrine than on account of their life (Luther) .
123 Since the ascension of Christ no one has gone to heaven or will go until the end of the world (Luther).
124 I have the same access to Christ as Peter and Paul ( Luther).
125 Great idolatry has resulted from the worship of Saints (Luther, Zileysen, Glaib, Stifelin).
126 I would not give a farthing for the merits of St. Peter, so far as aiding me is concerned. He cannot help himself. self. Any beggar will be more useful to me than St. Peter, for what can St. Peter have more than you and I? (Luther).
127 The names of the Saints ought not to be placed in the Canon of the Mass, but only devils, since they are also devils (Luther). He also calls the Church of All Saints, the church of devils; and St. Benno he calls the devil of Meissen.
128 The Relics of the Saints are nothing but an imposition on the people; on this account, they should be entirely buried in the ground (Luther).
129 The Blessed are not members of the Body of Christ. ( Zwingli).
130 Miracles do not prove that Saints are to be invoked ; the devil assumes masks (CEcolampadius, Zwingli). 131. Miracles have not been given to confirm faith ( Zwingli).
132 The Commentaries of Jerome and Origen are mere trifles and foolishness, if compared with those of Melanch- thon. They teach their own rather than Pauline and Christian doctrine; but Melanchthon is next to Paul ( Luther).
133- Jerome superstitiously extols virginity in opposition to Jovinian. There are in Jerome many such things, superstitious rather than godly (Melanchthon).
134 Jerome did not write in a proper way against Jovinian. He seeks to prevail by assertion rather than by erudition. He also does violence to passages of Scripture, not to say corrupts them. Who knows whether Jerome may not have been one of those of whom it is said in Ezekiel that when a prophet have erred and spoken a falsehood, " I the Lord have deceived that prophet!” (Luther).
135 If a book of Vigilantius were extant concerning the Relics of Saints, as there is one of Jerome, I think that the former would have written in a far more Christian way than the latter (Luther). For he is a singular, immodest, vain caviller (Zwingli).
136 Books should be edited by Christians having the sense of Christ. It is on account of this defect that many interpreters of Scripture, even Jerome, have erred in many passages (Luther). Holy Scripture does not admit of several meanings, as they dream of a literal, an allegorical, etc. But there is one most simple meaning of Scripture (Luther).
Against Gregory: !
37- Jerome and Gregory erred when they took from us the right to judge concerning every doctrine (Luther). 138. Jerome erred when he forbade circumcision (Me- lanchthon). And he is a hundred thousand miles off from the opinion of St. Paul (Luther).
139 Augustine thinks that man is the image of God, because there are in the soul intelligence, memory, and will ; but this figment has been fabricated not only without the authority of Holy Scripture, but even without reason.
Against St. Thomas:
140 A dove is painted at the ear of St. Thomas; I think it should have been a young devil in order that he might be adored (Luther).
Against St. Franciscus:
141 St. Franciscus erred stupidly and fell, and included himself and his brethren in his poverty ; and thus drew the Gospel from without into temporal poverty, against Christ ( Luther).
142 Bernard, Franciscus, Dominic remained in great errors with the godless; for in their ignorance, they worshipped the Pope, believing that all that pertains to him is of God and right, which is directly contrary to the Gospel ( Luther).
143 Franciscus, in founding his order, erred as a man. What if all the Fathers erred when they made vows? (Luther). For it was with a pious error that they fell when they vowed; and God tolerated their folly in his elect ( Luther).
144 Benedict boasts with impious hypocrisy and perverse emulation of men (Luther) .
Against the Council of Nicea :
145 In the Council of Nice certain forms of penance were appointed. I do not declare in what spirit the decree was made by the Fathers. A good part of the Gospel, I see, yea, the true sense of the Gospel was obscured by this tradition (Melanchthon) .
146 In the Holy Council of Nice, faith and the Gospel were lacking, and human traditions gained the upper hand ( Luther).
147 Although Noah was subject to judgment, and hearing the Word of God and sentence of condemnation would be judged, nevertheless he was taken away by the mercy of God (ib).
148 Noah’s flood is the same as that concerning which the heathen have written as the flood of Deucalion (Zwingli).
Against the Limbus Patrum:
149 Christ descended ad infernos [to hell], not to a limbus patrum [temporary resting place of the fathers]. a term unknown in Holy Scripture, but truly to hell, in order to see all places full of despair. On this account Christ praises God, that He has freed him from the hell, in whose chains he would have been eternally lost, lowest unless the hand of the Lord had been present ( Bugenhagen).
150 That the Fathers in the Old Testament descended to hell is fictitious (Haller).
151 Abraham’s Bosom is nothing but the Word of God (Luther).
Against the Old Testament:
152 I wish the Mosaic Law to be regarded as belonging to foolish and Gentile laws (i.e., as Civil Law) ( Melanchthon) .
153 The part of the Law which has the Decalogue or Moral Precepts, has been antiquated in the New Testament ( Melanchthon). Of the Decalogue, Luther makes eight and Zwingli eleven commandments.
154 The Old Testament may be observed or omitted to-day. Hence Jerome erred asserting that it was abrogated ( Luther).
155 They do not sin who are circumcised, or who omit circumcision (Melanchthon).
156 Christ, by his death, confirmed the Old Testament ( Melanchthon).
157 The reason why the Mosaic Law was abrogated is that it was impossible for it to be kept (Melanchthon). 158. The Old Testament is not a covenant, but a type of a covenant (Melanchthon).
Against the New Testament:
159 The New Testament is nothing else than a promise of all good things without law, no respect being had to our righteousness, because good things are promised us without condition, since nothing is required in return from us ( Melanchthon).
160 Whatever is done under constraint of the Law is sin; hence in the New Testament there are not precepts that force, but only exhortations and entreaties (Luther).
161 Christ did not come to make a people or to impose a law (Melanchthon).
Against the Gospel:
162 The Gospel commands nothing whatever (Melanchthon), neither does it prohibit (Luther).
163 The testament of Christ is confirmed by faith by which we believe his death (Eberhard Weidensee.)
164 Christ bore every penalty in the New Testament, and only permitted his Word to act (Luther).
[165: Missing in original.]
166 The Gospel is nothing but a preaching concerning the resurrection of Christ; hence works here are entirely removed (Luther).
167 Scripture does not distinguish Law and Gospel, so that you would think only that to be Gospel which Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote, and the books of Moses to be nothing but law, but the doctrine of the Gospel is scattered through the books of the Old and New Testament ( Melanchthon).
168 Just as circumcision is nothing, so also baptism and the partaking of the Lord’s Supper (Melanchthon).
Against Angels :
169 The wicked do not have angels of their own appointed pointed for their guardianship; this pertains only to the elect (Bugenhagen).
Against the Church:
170 Only the predestinated are in the Church, but the wicked or reprobate are not of the Church (Bucer).
171 Whoever is in the Church cannot be damned ( Zwingli).
In Regard to Contingency :
172 All things that occur, occur according to divine predestination; hence our will has no freedom. For according to His predestination all things occur to all creatures necessarily (Melanchthon).
173 All things occur by absolute necessity (Luther).
In Regard to Evangelical Counsels:
174 Between the Commandments and the Evangelical Counsels, there is no distinction (Melanchthon) .
175 There is but one Evangelical Counsel, viz., virginity ( Luther); although this is not praised in Scripture.
176 It is impossible for an Evangelical Counsel to become a commandment (Luther).
Against the Commandments:
177 The commandments of God are impossible (Melanchthon). You are doing very wrong in denying that our Saviour commanded impossibilities (Luther to Sile- sius). [Faber].
Against the Lord’s Day:
178 The Sabbath does not signify the religion of the seventh day; and since the abrogation of the Law, all days are equal (Melanchthon).
179 There are some who think that the Sabbath ought still to be observed, since we have Scripture for this, and not for the Lord’s Day.
1 80. The Lord’s Day was instituted only that men might meet to hear the Word of God (Bucer, non ferianda; Oscairdg [?], Glaib [?], Carlstadt).
Against Sin :
181 The “fomes” is truly actual sin, an actual privation of that which ought to be present, a thing that is alive and that daily excites to sin (Luther, Rieg). [Urbanus Rhegius (?)]
182 Every sin is ignorance (Melanchthon). And invincible ignorance does not excuse sin (Luther).
183 The distinction made to-day between venial and mortal sin is wrong, since every affection of concupiscence is mortal sin (Melanchthon). Every sin according to its nature, is mortal, but it is venial to those who are in Christ ( Luther).
184 Original Sin is no sin, but a natural defect, like stammering (Zwingli).
185 Original Sin is an actual wicked desire; hence Scripture does not distinguish between Actual and Original Sin ( Melanchthon).
186 Original Sin always remains (Luther).
187 Faith alone justifies, not works, because faith and works directly antagonize; hence works cannot be taught without injuring faith (Luther).
188 An error in faith does not hurt, provided only one believe that Christ, our Lord, have saved and redeemed us ( Bucer).
189 There are no works so wicked as to be able to accuse and condemn believers in Christ (Luther); where there is faith, no sin injures.
190 He who has once believed that Jesus Christ has redeemed him, has the seal of the Holy Spirit, and can never sin unto death (Bucer).
191 Christ has ordained that there should be no sin but unbelief, and no righteousness but faith (Luther).
192 It is necessary to elevate faith above all virtues; but it is removed by any crime (ib) .
193 We have no doubt whatever that we are saved when we are baptized; since the promise there made is not mutable with respect to any sins. Hence one baptized, even though he so will, cannot lose salvation, because no sin but unbelief can condemn him. All others are swallowed up by faith in a moment (Luther).
194 Faith alone is necessary; all other things are most free, neither commanded nor prohibited (Luther).
195 Love does not justify, but faith which is preferred to love (Melanchthon). Moreover it justifies with respect to no works, whether good or bad.
196 Only unbelievers are wicked (Zwingli), because it is with God, not with men that they deal by means of works.
197 Faith never respects past, but only future things ( Luther).
198 Acquired “fides informis” is a dream, a matter unknown to Holy Scripture, taught by the prostitutes of the Pope (Luther) ; an insanity (Melanchthon).
Against Works :
199 All the works of men, however praiseworthy in appearance, are altogether vicious and are sins worthy of death (Melanchthon).
200 Wicked deeds do not make a wicked man (Luther).
201 The commandments are necessarily fufilled prior to all works (Luther).
202 We are, we have been, we always remain equals before God (Luther).
203 God cares not for our works; or if they be anything before Him, nevertheless all are equal as to merit.
204 Paul dissipates the dreams of theologians who, to obtain grace, have invented “meritum congrui et digni.” ( Luther; Rieger).
205 To say that our works are meritorious is to detract from the honor and merit of Christ (Haller), because there is no merit in man whatsoever (Zwingli).
206 The grace of God is not a quality in us (Melanch- thon). He who believes, loves (Nuremberg provosts).
207 All the commandments of God are to be observed in love; for one not killing, sins, if this be not in love ( Luther). So one in sin giving alms or doing any other good work, sins (Luther) .
208 . Love does not abide in the eternal home (Zwingli) .
209 The Christian is on his guard lest he ever be uncertain as to whether he be in the grace of God, or whether his works please God; for he who doubts as to this, sins, and loses all his works (Luther).
210 The statement is most certain, that we are always most certain of the remission of sin. The saints know that they are in grace, and their sins are forgiven ( Melanchthon).
211 Acts of hope and of faith are not distinguished in Scripture (ib).
212 I regard it a human fancy that a habit is one thing, and an act, another. Faith, accordingly is nothing but a movement of the heart and means “to believe " (Luther).
213 The freedom of the Gospel consists in the fact that all power of accusing has been wrested from the Law, as well as of condemning us; i.e., if you have sinned, you cannot be damned (Melanchthon).
Against the Sacraments:
214 A sacrament is a recent invention (Luther), and there are only three Sacraments, viz., Baptism, Penitence, and the Holy Supper (Luther) ; elsewhere he states but two ( Glaib).
215 The Sacraments of the New do not differ from those of the Old Testament, so far as efficacy of significance is concerned (Luther, Bucer).
216 Baptism neither justifies nor profits any one, but it is only faith in the word of promise, to which Baptism is added, that accomplishes this (Luther, Melanchthon) .
217 Baptism, even so far as the sign is concerned, is not a momentary, but a permanent matter (Luther).
218 To baptize is incomparably greater than to consecrate bread and wine (Luther).
219 For this reason Baptism cannot be administered except by a priest (Luther).
220 Baptism pertains no less to the second than to the first forgiveness (Melanchthon).
221 Penitence has no other sacramental sign than Baptism ( Melanchthon).
222 It is pernicious to believe that so far as a son of light is concerned, the force of Baptism is lost by sin ( Luther).
223 Baptism has respect to the entire course of our life ( Luther) .
224 The Baptism of Christ and that of John is the same ( Zwingli). Accordingly, John the Baptist preached the Gospel before Christ (Zwingli).
225 The form of Baptism is not “in the Name of the Father,” but “I baptize thee in the Names of the Father and of the Son,” etc. (Zwingli).
226 The water of Baptism is not to be blessed, neither is exorcism to precede Baptism; but, all ceremonies being excluded, we are to use Baptism in the most simple way, as Christ instituted it (Jo. Landtsperger).
227 Infants are not to be baptized; but when those baptized have attained the use of reason, they are to be rebaptized (Balthasar [Hubmaier] and all the Anabaptists).
228 Baptism does not profit an infant, unless it have a faith of its own (Luther, Rieger, Weidensee, Landtsperger). But infused faith is a fictitious thing (Osualdus, Glaib).
229 It is not the laver of Baptism, but only the blood of Christ, that removes Original Sin (Luther). Infants :
230 Infants of Christians, if not prevented, I believe are not condemned (Zwingli).
231 A child must not be hurried to Baptism; for even God cannot give faith to it, when baptized, and it is lost; and he can give faith to an unbaptized child, who is to be saved (Weidensee).
232 It is not certain, then, that a child departing after Baptism, is saved (Weidensee). One, then, is ignorant concerning a child departing without Baptism (Landtsperger).
233 If one would bring up children, and know that all are eternally lost, he should not be grieved on this account, nor once lament (Weidensee).
Against the “Indelible Character”:
234 The “character” impressed in Baptism or in Ordination, is a fictitious matter, and without Scriptural authority ( Luther, Melanchthon, Rieger, Zwingli).
235 Confirmation and Extreme Unction are not sacraments instituted by Christ (Luther, Zwingli).
Against the Eucharist :
236 In the Eucharist, the substance of bread and wine remains ; because transubstantiation is a figment of sophists and Romanists (Pirkheimer, Melanchthon).
237 I firmly believe not only that the body of Christ is in the bread, but also that the bread is the body of Christ ( Luther).
238 As the body of Christ is in the bread, where there is neither blood nor soul, so the blood of Christ in the wine is without body and soul (Luther).
239 In the Eucharist, the true body of Christ is not really, but figuratively only and as in a sign (Zwingli, ( Ecolampadius, Capito, Keller, Retenack).
240 I do not know whether it was a greater abomination to worship the golden calf in Dan, or that bread (Zwingli).
241 The Eucharist is the idol of Moazim, which, according to Daniel, we have worshipped in the Holy Place, and is true idolatry (Zwingli).
242 The body of Christ can be only in one place; hence if it is to be received by us, it must leave the Right Hand of the Father (Zwingli).
243 The miracles wrought in the Eucharist have Satan as their author (CEcolampadius, from the Father of Lies).
244 There is much danger in the adoration of the Eucharist ; for this reason, it would be better not to adore it, for such was the practice of the Apostles. Neither is Christ there in order to be adored (Luther) .
245 Where the Eucharist enclosed in gold and silver is carried about with pomp and external adoration in a procession, this is nothing else than to make sport of God ( Luther, Pirkheimer, Lang, Strauss).
246 Therefore that the Eucharist should be made a show of or be carried about, or be laid aside in an ark, are abuses of the Eucharist ; but that it should be imprisoned is a sport of demons (Pirkheimer, Glaib, Balthasar [Hubmaier]).
247 That no one should receive the Eucharist except fasting, is a madness madder than any madness; so it is ridiculous that a layman should not handle the Eucharist, the Cup, since he can communicate himself (Luther).
Afterwards, however, he prohibited this.
248 They only commune worthily whose consciences are afflicted, confused, and erroneous, and burdened with sins (Luther).
249 The greatest sins are committed at Easter on account of the impious requirement of the Pope requiring men to commune, even more than at the Carnival (Luther) .
250 It is my faithful advice that a Christian in Lent and at Easter, should neither confess nor come to the communion, and that he should think: For this very reason I will not do .what that man, the Pope, here commands, but I would do it if he had not commanded it (Luther).
251 To deny both kinds to the laity is godless and tyrannical, and bishops sin, who give one kind alone ( Luther, Osiander).
252 The Greeks and others are not to be accounted heretics or schismatics on account of both kinds, but the Romans are rather to be so accounted (Luther).
253 It would be better to receive neither part than one alone, since it is a snare most harmful to souls to commune once a year under one form (Luther, Zwingli).
254 A layman, without the desire to receive the other form, is godless and denies Christ (Luther).
255 Confession not made into the ear, cannot be approved by divine law, neither was this done originally, but then it was public (Luther, Zwingli, (Ecolampadius) .
256 That secret sins pertain to sacramental confession can be proved in no way of reason or from the Scriptures; I suspect that this was an invention either of the avaricious or the curious. (Luther, the Psychityranni, CEcolampadius, Rieger, Strauss).
257 A priest ought to absolve a penitent from punishment and guilt, or he sins; a superior likewise sins in reserving cases to himself (Luther).
258 Circumstances are to be entirely disregarded; the observance of places, times, persons, is of no account, and should it be made it is another superstitious assumption ( Luther, Carlstadt) -
259 Penitence lacks any sign divinely instituted; accordingly, it is not properly a sacrament, but a way and return to baptism (Luther, Melanchthon) .
260 If St. John had taught that fear is the beginning of penitence, it, nevertheless, would not follow that penitence begins in fear (Luther).
261 It is false and dangerous to think that penance is " the second raft after shipwreck” (Luther, Melanchthon).
Against the Keys:
262 The keys are not given except to one who is righteous and holy inspirit (Luther, CEcolampadius, Bucer).
263 To bind and to loose is nothing else than to preach the Gospel (Luther, Zwingli).
264 The laws concerning Satisfactions, by which we are taught to blot out sins by our works, are impious. Here see that the contrary has been condemned by Christ, viz.: all things pertaining to the Canonical Law and the Kingdom of the Pope (Luther).
265 No satisfaction is required for sins, except the death of Christ (Melanchthon, Rieger, Zwingli, Luther).
266 The Sacrament of Penitence has been abolished by prelates in the Church (Luther) .
267 Any one can absolve any one; accordingly the freest authority of hearing confessions is to be conceded to all brethren and sisters (Luther).
268 The Church of Christ ignores the sacrament of Ordination (Luther). But it is a figment invented by men ( Zwingli, Rieger, Amsterdo).
269 As many of us as have been baptized are all equally priests; and any layman can consecrate churches, confirm children, etc. (Luther, Zwingli).
270 The Gospel does not allow the Mass as a sacrifice, because to retain the use of masses under the name of sacrifices is to deny Christ (Luther, Rieger).
271 At any hour and as often as one wish, he can celebrate Mass (Luther). Nevertheless, one can no more offer for another than he can drink for him (Zwingli).
272 They lie who say that the Mass of a wicked priest is useful ex opere operate (Luther). Although the name " Mass" is improperly transferred hither (Zwingli).
273 The office of the Mass is not satisfactory, as offered for the dead, the troubled, or as applied for another ( Luther).
274 The Mass has been changed into a sacrifice of Satan, and that, too, by a common error; but this is the very worst idolatry and infidelity, and is worse than heathen (Luther, Rieger).
275 We condemn and despise the Canon of the Mass, by the authority of the Gospel (Luther) ; because it is false and has nothing solid in it (Zwingli, Nuremberg preachers).
276 Today the celebrants of the Mass are idolaters, and commit idolatry as often as they sacrifice (Luther, CEcolampadius) .
277 All private masses are to be abrogated; but on every Lord’s Day, and then only, the Eucharist alone is to be consecrated (Luther) .
278 Nay, all masses, both public and private, are to be abrogated (Zwingli, Bucer, Capito, Haller, Blaurer, Rottenacker).
279 Water is not to be put into the Cup in the Mass; because it is a wicked and unfavorable sign (Zwingli, Luther, Carlstadt).
280 I believe that they sin more who read the hours coldly, than they who omit them; for they are hypocrites. There is scarcely greater sin than that which proceeds from this laborious worship of God which is rendered by crying out through those Canonical Hours (Luther). Accordingly the prelates at Nuremberg have dispensed with Matins and Completorium.
281 Matrimony is not a sacrament divinely instituted, but one invented by men in the Church (Luther).
282 The conjugal debt is a sin, and, according to Ps. 51, altogether mad (Luther). Yea, it is never paid without sin (ib).
283 Priests ought to ratify all marriages that have no other impediment than that of the Papal, but not of the Divine Law (Luther). Every priest, yea every brother, or any one can make a dispensation for himself with regard to impediments decreed by the Church (Zwingli).
284 It is lawful to marry the daughter of one’s sister, or niece; likewise the children of two brothers or sisters may marry; or one may marry the sister of his wife or connection by marriage; also no spiritual relationship hinders matrimony (Luther, Zwingli).
285 Marriages of children contracted against the will of their parents are invalid ; hence the title " De Clandestina Desponsione" is from Satan (Luther).
286 If those contracting marriage have not completed nineteen years, the marriage is invalid (Thuringian Consistory).
287 If any one violate a virgin, he will not be obliged to give her anything except a pair of shoes (A new Thuringian law that fell from heaven).
288 When a man is impotent, let the wife seek a divorce ; but if he be unwilling, let her, with the consent of her husband, have intercourse with another, or the brother of her husband in secret marriage, and let the offspring be accounted those of the reputed father. The woman is safe in a state of safety (Luther).
289 For I prefer bigamy to divorce (Luther), (as the Lutheran monks have shown effectually) .
290 If a wife do not obey her husband when he asks for the conjugal debt, let him call in a servant girl. Yea, on this account, he can ask for a divorce (Luther). 291. Divorce occurs not only on account of adultery, but for other more grave reasons. Suppose a husband be under sentence of death, a madman, quarrelsome, withdrawing from his wife without her consent and long absent! ( Thuringians, on Epithal., Luther).
292 When the divorce has been decreed it is allowable for the innocent party to marry, unless the guilty party should be hindered (Luther, Melanchthon).
293 It is an error to break the marriage, if, before it has. been consummated, one of the couple enter a monastery or convent (Luther).
294 Former betrothals are not broken if one have afterwards known a second spouse (Luther).
295 Ordination does not hinder marriage or break the contract, but celibacy has been introduced by the devil (Luther).
296 By virtue of the words of Paul, I absolve all priests from celibacy; for between a priest and a true wife, there is a true and inseparable marriage, approved by the commandments of God. This the godless forbid from pure tyranny (Luther, Zwingli, Zell, Blaurer, Stoerer).
297 The Nicene Council concedes marriage to priests ( Spengler of Nuremberg, Zwingli, Rieger). 298. In the time of Augustine, no one opposed the marriage of priests (Zwingli).
299 It is allowable for a priest, for a bishop, not only to marry, but the second, third, and fourth time, whether the bride be a virgin or one who has been corrupted.
300 Would that I were able to persuade all persons either to altogether abolish or avoid all vows (Luther, Lambert, Avinio).
301 If a vow be dispensable, any brother can make such dispensation for his neighbor, or he can dispense himself; if a neighbor cannot so dispense, there is then no law by which the Pope can do it (Carlstadt, Eberlein).
302 The mode of life proceeding from a vow is without a precedent in the Scriptures (Luther, Blaurer, Ketenbach, Lambert).
303 Parents have the right to remove children from monasteries, who have entered without their consent. If the Pope say the contrary, he lies (Luther).
304 Religious vows conflict directly with the Gospel of Christ and Baptism, and are opposed to faith and the
Word of God (Luther, Lambert).
305 To become a monk is to apostatize from the faith, to deny Christ, and to become a Jew; their vows, accordingly, are worthless (Luther).
306 For a man to be continent is an impossibility; but just as it is necessary for man to eat and drink, and to sleep, so also is it to have sexual intercourse. Hence no man can be without a woman, nor any woman without a man ( Luther).
307 The state of virginity is beneath the marriage estate, than which there is none better on earth (Luther) . If Jerome had known that marriage would be one of the seven sacraments of a part of the Church, he would have banished virginity, and would have spoken more reverently concerning marriage (Some).
308 All vows are temporary and mutable (Luther, Lambert).
309 No monk or priest can be a Christian (Luther, Zwingli).
310 Castigations voluntarily assumed by men, like voluntary fastings, are repudiated by Paul (Bucer).
311 We properly think that all monasteries and cathedral churches and like abominations, should be entirely abolished (Luther to the Duke of Savoy).
312 I discourage all from entering any religious order, unless he know that the works of the members of these orders however arduous and holy, in God’s eyes are no better than the works of farmers laboring in the fields ( Luther) .
313 Whatever is promised men in secular matters is to be fulfilled, but in matters of conscience, if anything be promised God, it is not to be kept (Zwingli) .
314 No saint became a saint through Monasticism ( Luther).
315 Evangelical poverty is exacted of men by divine right, accordingly no vow should be made (Melanchthon).
316 To establish a mode of life for begging likewise conflicts with the Gospel (Melanchthon, Luther).
317 Monasticism is of the devil (Zwingli, Lambert). 318. Would that all monks and nuns would flee from the cloisters, and that all cloisters throughout the whole world were to be abolished (Luther).
319 All Carthusians, all monks and nuns depart from that which has been ordained and from liberty, when they imagine that they are polluted by eating meat (Luther, Lambert).
320 Put before your eyes the infinite crowd of priests and nuns, with their masses, sacrifices, laws, doctrines, and all their works; and you will see nothing but a theatre of Satan, godless people of perdition, reserved for the wrath of God forever (Luther).
321 Church ceremonies always obscure liberty and the force of the Gospel ; hence it is profitable to disregard them ( Melanchthon, Nuremberg preachers).
322 Unctions, tonsures, ceremonial vestments, benedictions of water, salt, palms, candles, herbs, consecrations of churches, altars, vases, men etc. are human inventions ( Zwingli, Lambert, Bucer, preachers of Nuremberg).
323 There is no purgatory after this life (Zwingli, Osiander, (Ecolampadius, Capito, Bucer, Lambert, Rieger, Rottenacker).
324 It would be safer to deny all purgatory than to believe Gregory in his Dialogues (Luther).
325 Here sink anniversaries, vigils for the dead, depositions, the seventh, the thirtieth, fraternities, oblations, and other inventions of men (Zwingli). Chanting, organs, candles, ornaments, vestments, chrism, disappear (Luther,
Lambert, Balthasar [Hubmaier]).
326 We have no command to pray for the dead; you may, therefore, pray once or twice for a dead person, but afterwards cease lest you tempt God or distrust Him ( Luther).
327 Moreover that perpetual masses are founded upon this, and that, every year, the cry ascends as though God had not heard before that year, is death and the devil, unbelief, makes sport of God, and such prayer is mere blasphemy (Luther).
328 The office for the dead is of about as much service to deceased Christians as it is to dead cattle (the unhappy provosts of Nuremberg).
329 No Christian implicates himself in masses and prayers for the dead, unless he be willing to deny Christ, to repudiate Baptism, and to act in opposition to the whole Bible (#).
330 If you have in your house a spirit who when adjured seeks for aid by means of masses and prayers, account him without any hesitation as the devil; because from the beginning of the world until now no soul has appeared, neither does God so permit (Luther).
331 No images are to be kept in the church, but rather to be destroyed and burned; nay, neither publicly nor privately are they to be retained, or to be painted or carved ; for they are relics of the old idolatry contrary to the Second Commandment (Zwingli, Bucer, Haller, Carlstadt).
332 It is under the tutelage of Satan that the term " Free Will" has entered, and that, with the purpose of seducing men from the way of right ; for it is a mere figment, since the will contributes nothing towards its own willing, and that it has any activity in good works is erroneous ( Luther, Carlstadt, Rieger).
333 The name fraternity forbids one from being superior to another, and, especially in spiritual things from having more right and inheritance than his brother ( Luther).
334 We Christians are free, exempt from all the laws of men, liberated through Baptism (Luther).
335 No laws can be imposed with any right upon Christians, whether by men or by angels, unless so far as they be willing (Luther).
336 Subjects neither can, nor will, nor ought to endure your tyranny any longer (Luther to the Princes).
337 The Emperor and the Princes deal in manifest falsehoods and publish contradictory commandments (Luther).
338 That the Pope has transferred the power from the Greeks to the Germans is either the chief or greatest mark of Antichrist, and is most deceptive (Luther).
339 I regret that I submitted to the Emperor at Worms. Whatever tolerance of my doctrine was conceded by my judges is of no account to tyrants (Luther).
340 There is no more excellent secular law than that of the Turk, as he has no canonical and civil law ( Luther).
341 The secular Princes are stupid, and according to their stupid brain they want to lead the [saints?] into schools and publish directions, and if the Emperor would give a command, they want to appear as though they were seriously doing what was commanded (Luther) .
342 The madness of foolish men is directed to the extinction of the faith, because they want to force men to believe ( Luther).
343 God has delivered the Princes up to a reprobate mind, and he wants to put an end to them just as to ecclesiastical houses (Luther).
344 The secular government is at just as low a stage as that of the ecclesiastical tyrants, so that the one will not perish without the other (Luther) .
345 Princes prohibiting Luther’s New Testament act like murderers of Christ, such as Herod; but these tyrants act having more right and inheritance than his brother (Luther). Aas the secular Princes are accustomed to do, in order to satisfy their titles (Luther).
346 Ever since the beginning of the world, a wise prince has been a most rare bird; for generally they are either the greatest fools or the very worst rascals; for they are God’s policemen and executioners (Luther).
347 The common people have now become intelligent and wise; a blow to Princes is clearly impending from the side of the people and rabble. I fear that it cannot be prevented (Luther).
348 The Turk is ten times as wise and just as our Princes; how then could such fools be prospered against the Turk (Luther).
349 In the halls of Princes, the devil sits in the highest place, and has there his chief throne (Luther) .
350 The kingdom of France, from its impious service to Antichrist, has been impiously called most Christian ( Luther). He also has treated the Most Noble King of England with the greatest insults, wrongs and reproaches.
351 The sin of robbery is now an honor and title of the nobility (Luther).
352 If the peasants prevail, then the devil is abbot; if the Princes prevail, the master will be an abbess (Luther).
353 The kingdom of the Pope is nothing but tyranny, the realm of Antichrist with his faces (Luther). Yea, he is Antichrist himself, the son of perdition (Lambert).
354 The name of Pope is recent, unheard of in the time of [Pope] Nicholas [I.], or of Augusinet (Zwingli).
355 Bishops ought to be grave men, married, laymen, advanced in years (Luther and all).
356 It is not allowable for a bishop to do aught except to teach the Word of God. Preaching the Gospel is so peculiarly the prerogative of a bishop, that it is not proper to substitute another for him, to teach in his place. If, therefore, he do not teach, he is not a bishop (Melanch- thon).
357 There is no ecclesiastical authority over men ( Bucer). Hence the bishops have usurped the jurisdiction which belongs to the secular princes (Luther, Rieger, Zwingli, Blaurer).
358 Ecclesiastical power is not of God (Luther). 359. Christ subjected himself and his Church to secular power (Haller). This immunity of churches and freedom of the clergy has ceased (Luther).
360 The civil, but not the ecclesiastical power has the authority to make and ordain laws (Melanchthon). 361. To impose law upon Christians is to tempt the devil (Zwingli).
362 Neither the Constitutions of the Church nor the Ordinances of the Apostles put the conscience under any obligation (Bucer).
363 We are, therefore, under no obligation to celebrate the festivals of the saints, to fast in Lent and on other days, to abstain from flesh on six festival days, or to obey other human precepts (Luther, Osiander, Rieger, Zwingli). 364. No prelate, but only the Church, can excommunicate ( Zwingli, Haller).
365 We confess that the world has been miserably led astray by Popes, Councils, decrees of Fathers, with these traditions, or more properly, snares of the devil (Luther).
366 No Pope or bishop has the right of imposing a single syllable upon any man (Luther).
367 After one has been justified no laws or ordinances bind him (Melanchthon).
368 That was an erroneous decision by the Council that essence neither begets nor is begotten; also that the intellectual soul is man’s substantial form (Luther).
369 Ordination is openly heretical and ought to be abolished (Melanchthon).
370 I declare that all the Articles of Huss at Constance were most Christian and were condemned by Antichrist and his disciples in a synagogue of Satan collected from the most worthless sophists (Luther).
[Eck interjects: Here notice, O Emperor, that the calumniator of the most holy and free Council of Constance is now making an appeal to a future Council.]
371 Huss and Jerome were burned in violation of faith publicly pledged; because it was concluded in the Council that a safe conduct with heretics ought not to be kept; hence our Germans have learned from the Romans to break faith and promises (Capito).
372 The Princes of Germany once had the highest reputation for their good faith, but they have learned in obedience to the idol at Rome and to the perpetual ignominy of the nation, to despise nothing more than good faith (Luther).
373 When I was called I went to Rome, even though I knew that my public faith had been violated by the Emperor ( Luther).
374 In those things that pertain to faith, every Christian is Pope and Church to himself (Luther).
375 Every Christian is allowed to judge concerning every doctrine, for we are not bound to believe Councils and Popes (Luther, Blaurer).
376 It is only a matter that should be laughed at, if a great sedition should arise against bishops and their rule; because those exposing their fortunes and bodies to such an emergency are sons of God, true Christians; and in a short time matters will come to such a pass that there will be no bishop, no prince under the sun, no cathedral church, no monastery (Luther).
377 Nothing is to be received except what is expressly taught in Holy Scripture (Zwingli, Bucer, Blaurer).
378 I will not permit you to ascribe more than one sense to the Holy Scriptures (Zwingli, Luther.) For Scripture does not admit of a number of meanings, “literal, allegorical,” etc.
379 The literal meaning of the creation of the world is hypocrisy, and a carnal opinion concerning the condition of nature (Melanchthon) .
380 The Apocalypse was not written by John the Evangelist ( Zwingli). The books of Baruch and Maccabees are not to be received.
381 For the Gospel to share authority with the Canon Law, is an impossibility (Luther).
382 I know that no state is successfully administered by means of laws (Luther).
383 It is impossible at the same time to observe the Gospel and human laws; accordingly, it is impossible to keep the peace and at the same time the laws (Luther).
384 There is no hope of a remedy, unless, all the laws of all men being once annulled, we judge and rule all things according to the Gospel (Luther).
385 We must not swear for temporal things; for he who requires an oath of another, or himself swears, must be of a malicious and trifling mind not regarding the truth (Melanchthon).
386 It is not allowable for a Christian for any cause to take an oath (Anabaptists). For it is unjust and contrary to the Holy Scriptures to make demands on the faith of another (Luther).
387 All are heathen who contend in court for property or reputation (Luther) .
388 If anything be taken from us we ought not to demand it back in court or by war (Luther).
389 It is a doctrine of devils that it is allowable for a Christian to wage war; for all who go to war are accursed children of Cain (CEcolampadius). To buy and sell are purely heathen matters (Luther).
390 Business contracts even for godly purposes, as churches, benefices, etc. are usurious (Strauss) ; or at least, unjust (Luther).
391 A community of all things is commanded in the New Testament (Melanchthon).
392 Altars are to be abolished in the New Testament, because Christ is there crucified, divided, buried, and bitten with the teeth; for the Supper, a table answers the purpose ( Balthasar Hubmaier, Glaib).
393 One should not care to be buried in a cemetery, or consecrated place, because it is certain that every place blessed by man is cursed by God (Oswald, Glaib).
394 Wicked spirits will hereafter be saved together with the damned (John Denk).
395 They blaspheme who rave that the Turks or heretics should be attacked not with the Word of God, of which they are ignorant, but with war and worldly tumult, or with the din of censorships (Luther).
396 The word of Christ that many false prophets shall arise and deceive many, I verily think was spoken with reference to the universities (Melanchthon).
397 The doctrine of all the schools, speculative as well as practical has been condemned (Luther) .
398 All moral virtues and speculative branches of knowledge are not true virtues and sciences, but sins and errors (Luther).
399 I doubt whether the Creed was handed down in writing by the Apostles, although I do not doubt that it was composed by Apostolic men, and yet, I doubt so far as to wish that it could be proved. Neither, unless I am mistaken, did Augustine believe this. But it was an abuse of the common people, not indeed with a godless opinion, as before. And that good man erred, and, in his Christian simplicity, was exceedingly credulous (Some).
400 Pilate was not free to acquit Christ, since his power would have been compelled to serve the madness of the Jews. It is likewise the veriest trifle to affirm that Mary merited by herself to become the Mother of God ( Some).
401 It is not entirely clear to me whether in the time of Christ’s infancy, it was clearly revealed to the Virgin Mary that he was God and Man. If Mary and Joseph had known that the child Jesus was God and Man, and would suffer nothing but that which was necessary, why would they have feared and grieved for him? (Some.)
402 Jesus wished his death not to be mournful, but glorious; not to be deplored, but adored; for he was to be extolled for his victory (Some).
403 It is proper and in accord with God’s word to excite seditions and tumults; hence there is no better proof that my doctrine is of God, than that it excites discords, seditions, and tumults (Luther). Many of them, therefore, have often publicly testified to the common people: “The Gospel wants blood.” (Zwingli, etc.)
404 Among Christians, there should be no superiority, no courts, nothing fenced up or closed, no “meum” or “teum,” no restraint or excommunication; and this they want to be frequent (Anabaptists) .
Moreover, who Luther is I will learn ; for he wants to be heard. I was the very first whom God put into the field. I never have been false to my trust. Had I been disposed to proceed impulsively, I could have caused great shedding of blood in Germany; aye, I could have begun the game at Worms, if the Emperor had not been safe. I am also the one to whom God first revealed this, that I might proclaim these words to you. You know not how much labor it is to contend with the devil ; but I know him well, and he knows me well ; for I have already eaten with him one or two bits of salt, and I would have perished, had there not been a confession.
All the articles above noted, both those of Luther himself, as clearly a man familiar with the devil, and of those who, being infatuated with his errors, have so degenerated as to become deaf to the truth, we reject and anathematize each of them as heretical, or scandalous, false, and offensive to godly ears, and misleading the simple, or entirely seditious and disturbing the public peace. With respect to this, I am ready to give an account in a public disputation, at the pleasure of the Most Revered Emperor, God aiding me, and the Virgin Mary and all Saints supporting me with their intercessions.
TO GOD ALONE THE GLORY
The day and hour of the disputation Eck will publish at the pleasure of the Emperor.