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VIII. The Person of Christ.

From the controversy concerning the Holy Supper a disagreement has arisen between the pure theologians of the Augsburg Confession and the Calvinists, who also have confused some other theologians, concerning the person of Christ and the two natures in Christ and their properties.

STATUS CONTROVERSIAE. Chief Controversy In This Dissension.

The chief question, however, has been whether, because of the personal union, the divine and human natures, as also their properties, have realiter, that is, in deed and truth, a communion with one another in the person of Christ, and how far this communion extends.

The Sacramentarians have asserted that the divine and human natures in Christ are united personally in such a way that neither has realiter, that is, in deed and truth, in common with the other that which is peculiar to either nature, but that they have in common nothing more than the name alone. For unio, they plainly say, facit communia nomina, i. e., the personal union makes nothing more than the names common, namely, that God is called man, and man God, yet in such a way that God has nothing realiter, that is, in deed and truth, in common with humanity, and humanity nothing in common with divinity, its majesty and properties. Dr. Luther, and those who held with him, have contended for the contrary against the Sacramentarians.

Affirmative Theses. Pure Doctrine of the Christian Church concerning the Person of Christ.

To explain this controversy, and settle it according to the guidance [analogy] of our Christian faith, our doctrine, faith, and confession is as follows:

1. That the divine and human natures in Christ are personally united, so that there are not two Christs, one the Son of God, the other the Son of man, but that one and the same is the Son of God and Son of man, Luke 1:35; Rom. 9:5.

2. We believe, teach, and confess that the divine and human natures are not mingled into one substance, nor the one changed into the other, but that each retains its own essential properties, which [can] never become the properties of the other nature.

3. The properties of the divine nature are: to be almighty, eternal, infinite, and to be, according to the property of its nature and its natural essence, of itself, everywhere present, to know everything, etc.; which never become properties of the human nature.

4. The properties of the human nature are: to be a corporeal creature, to be flesh and blood, to be finite and circumscribed, to suffer, to die, to ascend and descend, to move from one place to another, to suffer hunger, thirst, cold, heat, and the like; which never become properties of the divine nature.

5. As the two natures are united personally, i. e., in one person, we believe, teach, and confess that this union is not such a copulation and connection that neither nature has anything in common with the other personally, i.e . because of the personal union, as when two boards are glued together, where neither gives anything to the other or takes anything from the other. But here is the highest communion, which God truly has with the [assumed] man, from which personal union, and the highest and ineffable communion resulting therefrom, there flows everything human that is said and believed concerning God, and everything divine that is said and believed concerning the man Christ; as the ancient teachers of the Church explained this union and communion of the natures by the illustration of iron glowing with fire, and also by the union of body and soul in man.

6. Hence we believe, teach, and confess that God is man and man is God, which could not be if the divine and human natures had in deed and truth absolutely no communion with one another.

For how could the man, the son of Mary, in truth be called or be God, or the Son of God the Most High, if His humanity were not personally united with the Son of God, and He thus had realiter, that is, in deed and truth, nothing in common with Him except only the name of God?

7. Hence we believe, teach, and confess that Mary conceived and bore not a mere man and no more, but the true Son of God; therefore she also is rightly called and truly is the mother of God.

8. Hence we also believe, teach, and confess that it was not a mere man who suffered, died, was buried, descended to hell, arose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and was raised to the majesty and almighty power of God for us, but a man whose human nature has such a profound [close], ineffable union and communion with the Son of God that it is [has become] one person with Him.

9. Therefore the Son of God truly suffered for us, however, according to the property of the human nature which He assumed into the unity of His divine person and made His own, so that He might be able to suffer and be our High Priest for our reconciliation with God, as it is written 1 Cor. 2:8: They have crucfied the Lord of glory. And Acts 20:28: We are purchased with God's blood.

10. Hence we believe, teach, and confess that the Son of Man is realiter, that is, in deed and truth, exalted according to His human nature to the right hand of the almighty majesty and power of God, because He [that man] was assumed into God when He was conceived of the Holy Ghost in His mother's womb, and His human nature was personally united with the Son of the Highest.

11. This majesty He [Christ] always had according to the personal union, and yet He abstained from it in the state of His humiliation, and on this account truly increased in all wisdom and favor with God and men; therefore He exercised this majesty, not always, but when [as often as] it pleased Him, until after His resurrection He entirely laid aside the form of a servant, but not the [human] nature, and was established in the full use, manifestation, and declaration of the divine majesty, and thus entered into His glory, Phil. 2:6ff , so that now not only as God, but also as man He knows all things, can do all things, is present with all creatures, and has under His feet and in His hands everything that is in heaven and on earth and under the earth, as He Himself testifies Matt. 28:18; John 13:3: All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. And St. Paul says Eph. 4:10: He ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. And this His power, He, being present, can exercise everywhere, and to Him everything is possible and everything is known.

12. Hence He also is able and it is very easy for Him to impart, as one who is present, His true body and blood in the Holy Supper, not according to the mode or property of the human nature, but according to the mode and property of the right hand of God, as Dr. Luther says in accordance with our Christian faith for children, which presence (of Christ in the Holy Supper] is not [physical or] earthly, nor Capernaitic; nevertheless it is true and substantial, as the words of His testament read: This is, is, is My body, etc.

By this our doctrine, faith, and confession the person of Christ is not divided, as it was by Nestorius, who denied the communicatio idiomatum, that is, the true communion of the properties of both natures in Christ, and thus divided the person, as Luther has explained in his book Concerning Councils. Neither are the natures together with their properties confounded with one another [or mingled] into one essence (as Eutyches erred); nor is the human nature in the person of Christ denied or annihilated; nor is either nature changed into the other; but Christ is and remains to all eternity God and man in one undivided person, which, next to the Holy Trinity, is, as the Apostle testifies, 1 Tim. 3:16, the highest mystery, upon which our only consolation, life, and salvation depends.

Negative Theses. Contrary False Doctrine concerning the Person of Christ.

Accordingly, we reject and condemn as contrary to God's Word and our simple [pure] Christian faith all the following erroneous articles, when it is taught:

1. That God and man in Christ are not one person, but that the Son of God is one, and the Son of Man another, as Nestorius raved.

2. That the divine and human natures have been mingled with one another into one essence, and the human nature has been changed into the Deity, as Eutyches fanatically asserted.

3. That Christ is not true, natural, and eternal God, as Arius held [blasphemed].

4. That Christ did not have a true human nature [consisting] of body and soul, as Marcion imagined.

5. Quod unio personalis faciat tantum communia nomina, that is, that the personal union renders only the names and titles common.

6. That it is only phrasis et modus loquendi, that is, a phrase and mode of speaking, when it is said: God is man, man is God; since Divinity, as they say, has realiter, that is, in deed [and truth], nothing in common with the humanity, nor the humanity with the Deity.

7. That there is merely communicatio [idiomatum] verbalis [without reality], that is, that it is nothing but words when it is said the Son of God died for the sins of the world; the Son of Man has become almighty.

8. That the human nature in Christ has become an infinite essence in the same manner as the Divinity, and that it is everywhere present in the same manner as the divine nature because of this essential power and property, communicated to, and poured out into, the human nature and separated from God.

9. That the human nature has become equal to and like the divine nature in its substance and essence, or in its essential properties.

10. That the human nature of Christ is locally extended to all places of heaven and earth, which should not be ascribed even to the divine nature.

11. That because of the property of the human nature it is impossible for Christ to be able to be at the same time in more than one place, much less everywhere, with His body.

12. That only the mere humanity has suffered for us and redeemed us, and that the Son of God in the suffering had actually no communion with the humanity, as though it did not concern Him.

13. That Christ is present with us on earth in the Word, the Sacraments, and in all our troubles, only according to His divinity, and that this presence does not at all pertain to His human nature, according to which also, as they say, He, after having redeemed us by His suffering and death, has nothing to do with us any longer upon earth.

14. That the Son of God who assumed the human nature, after He has laid aside the form of a servant, does not perform all the works of His omnipotence in, through, and with His human nature, but only some, and only in the place where His human nature is locally.

15. That according to His human nature He is not at all capable of omnipotence and other attributes of the divine nature, against the express declaration of Christ, Matt. 28:18: All power is given unto He in heaven and in earth, and of St. Paul, Col. 2:9: In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

16. That to Him [to Christ according to His humanity] greater power is given in heaven and upon earth, namely, greater and more than to all angels and other creatures, but that He has no communion with the omnipotence of God, nor that this has been given Him. Hence they devise mediam potentiam, that is, a power between the almighty power of God and the power of other creatures given to Christ according to His humanity by the exaltation, such as would be less than God's almighty power and greater than that of other creatures.

17. That Christ according to His human mind has a certain limit as to how much He is to know, and that He knows no more than is becoming and needful for Him to know for [the execution of] His office as Judge.

18. That Christ does not yet have a perfect knowledge of God and all His works; of whom nevertheless it is written Col. 2:3: In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

19. That it is impossible for Christ according to His human mind to know what has been from eternity, what at present is occurring everywhere, and what will be in eternity.

20. When it is taught, and the passage Matt. 28:18: All power is given unto Me, etc., is thus interpreted and blasphemously perverted, namely, that all power in heaven and on earth was restored, that is, delivered again to Christ according to the divine nature, at the resurrection and His ascension to heaven, as though He had also according to His divinity laid this aside and abandoned it in His state of humiliation. By this doctrine not only the words of the testament of Christ are perverted, but also the way is prepared for the accursed Arian heresy, so that finally the eternal deity of Christ is denied, and thus Christ, and with Him our salvation, are entirely lost if this false doctrine were not firmly contradicted from the immovable foundation of the divine Word and our simple Christian [catholic] faith.

IX. The Descent of Christ Into Hell.

STATUS CONTROVERSIAE. Chief Controversy concerning This Article.

It has also been disputed among some theologians who have subscribed to the Augsburg Confession concerning this article: When and in what manner the Lord Christ, according to our simple Christian faith, descended to hell: whether this was done before or after His death; also, whether it occurred according to the soul alone, or according to the divinity alone, or with body and soul, spiritually or bodily; also, whether this article belongs to the passion or to the glorious victory and triumph of Christ.

But since this article, as also the preceding, cannot be comprehended by the senses or by our reason, but must be grasped by faith alone, it is our unanimous opinion that there should be no disputation concerning it, but that it should be believed and taught only in the simplest manner; according as Dr. Luther, of blessed memory, in his sermon at Torgau in the year 1533 has explained this article in an altogether Christian manner, separated from it all useless, unnecessary questions, and admonished all godly Christians to Christian simplicity of faith.

For it is sufficient that we know that Christ descended into hell, destroyed hell for all believers, and delivered them from the power of death and of the devil, from eternal condemnation and the jaws of hell. But how this occurred we should [not curiously investigate, but] reserve until the other world, where not only this point [mystery], but also still others will be revealed, which we here simply believe, and cannot comprehend with our blind reason.

X. Church Rites

Which are [Commonly] Called Adiaphora or Matters of Indifference.

Concerning ceremonies or church rites which are neither commanded nor forbidden in God's Word, but have been introduced into the Church for the sake of good order and propriety, a dissension has also occurred among the theologians of the Augsburg Confession.

STATUS CONTROVERSIAE. Chief Controversy concerning This Article.

The chief question, however, has been, whether, in time of persecution and in case of confession, even if the enemies of the Gospel have not reached an agreement with us in doctrine, some abrogated ceremonies, which in themselves are matters of indifference and are neither commanded nor forbidden by God, may nevertheless, upon the pressure and demand of the adversaries, be reestablished without violence to conscience, and we may thus [rightly] have conformity with them in such ceremonies and adiaphora. To this the one side has said Yea, the other, Nay.

Affirmative Theses. The Correct and True Doctrine and Confession concerning This Article.

1. For settling also this controversy we unanimously believe, teach, and confess that the ceremonies or church rites which are neither commanded nor forbidden in God's Word, but have been instituted alone for the sake of propriety and good order, are in and of themselves no divine worship, nor even a part of it. Matt. 15:9: In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

2. We believe, teach, and confess that the congregation of God of every place and every time has the power, according to its circumstances, to change such ceremonies in such manner as may be most useful and edifying to the congregation of God.

3. Nevertheless, that herein all frivolity and offense should be avoided, and special care should be taken to exercise forbearance towards the weak in faith. 1 Cor. 8:9; Rom. 14:13.

4. We believe, teach, and confess that in time of persecution, when a plain [and steadfast] confession is required of us, we should not yield to the enemies in regard to such adiaphora, as the apostle has written Gal. 5:1: Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage. Also 2 Cor. 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, etc. For what concord hath light with darkness? Also Gal. 2:5: To whom we gave place, no, not for an hour, that the truth of the Gospel might remain with you. For in such a case it is no longer a question concerning adiaphora, but concerning the truth of the Gospel, concerning [preserving] Christian liberty, and concerning sanctioning open idolatry, as also concerning the prevention of offense to the weak in the faith [how care should be taken lest idolatry be openly sanctioned and the weak in faith be offended]; in which we have nothing to concede, but should plainly confess and suffer on that account what God sends, and what He allows the enemies of His Word to inflict upon us.

5. We believe, teach, and confess also that no Church should condemn another because one has less or more external ceremonies not commanded by God than the other, if otherwise there is agreement among them in doctrine and all its articles, as also in the right use of the holy Sacraments, according to the well-known saying: Dissonantia ieiunii non dissolvit consonantiam fidei, Disagreement in fasting does not destroy agreement in faith.

Negative Theses. False Doctrine concerning This Article.

Accordingly, we reject and condemn as wrong and contrary to God's Word when it is taught:

1. That human ordinances and institutions in the church should be regarded as in themselves a divine worship or part of it.

2. When such ceremonies, ordinances, and institutions are violently forced upon the congregation of God as necessary, contrary to its Christian liberty which it has in external things.

3. Also, that in time of persecution and public confession [when a clear confession is required] we may yield to the enemies of the Gospel in such adiaphora and ceremonies, or may come to an agreement with them (which causes injury to the truth).

4. Also, when these external ceremonies and adiaphora are abrogated in such a manner as though it were not free to the congregation of God to employ one or more [this or that] in Christian liberty, according to its circumstances, as may be most useful at any time to the Church [for edification].

XI. Election.

Concerning this article no public dissension has occurred among the theologians of the Augsburg Confession. But since it is a consolatory article, if treated properly, and lest offensive disputations concerning the same be instituted in the future, it is also explained in this writing.

Affirmative Theses. The Pure and True Doctrine concerning This Article.

1. To begin with [First of all], the distinction between praescientia et praedestinatio, that is, between God's foreknowledge and His eternal election, ought to be accurately observed.

2. For the foreknowledge of God is nothing else than that God knows all things before they happen, as it is written Dan. 2:28: There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.

3. This foreknowledge extends alike over the godly and the wicked, but it is not the cause of evil, neither of sin, namely, of doing what is wrong (which originally arises from the devil and the wicked, perverse will of man), nor of their ruin [that men perish], for which they themselves are responsible [which they must ascribe to themselves]; but it only regulates it, and fixes a limit to it [how far it should progress and] how long it should last, and all this to the end that it should serve His elect for their salvation, notwithstanding that it is evil in itself.

4. The predestination or eternal election of God, however, extends only over the godly, beloved children of God, being a cause of their salvation, which He also provides, as well as disposes what belongs thereto. Upon this [predestination of God] our salvation is founded so firmly that the gates of hell cannot overcome it. John 10:28; Matt. 16:18.

5. This [predestination of God] is not to be investigated in the secret counsel of God, but to be sought in the Word of God, where it is also revealed.

6. But the Word of God leads us to Christ, who is the Book of Life, in whom all are written and elected that are to be saved in eternity, as it is written Eph. 1:4: He hath chosen us in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world.

7. This Christ calls to Himself all sinners and promises them rest, and He is in earnest [seriously wills] that all men should come to Him and suffer themselves to be helped, to whom He offers Himself in His Word, and wishes them to hear it and not to stop their ears or [neglect and] despise the Word. Moreover, He promises the power and working of the Holy Ghost, and divine assistance for perseverance and eternal salvation [that we may remain steadfast in the faith and attain eternal salvation].

8. Therefore we should judge concerning this our election to eternal life neither from reason nor from the Law of God, which lead us either into a reckless, dissolute, Epicurean life or into despair, and excite pernicious thoughts in the hearts of men, for they cannot, as long as they follow their reason, successfully refrain from thinking: If God has elected me to salvation, I cannot be condemned, no matter what I do; and again: If I am not elected to eternal life, it is of no avail what good I do; it is all [all my efforts are] in vain anyway.

9. But it [the true judgment concerning predestination] must be learned alone from the holy Gospel concerning Christ, in which it is clearly testified that God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all, and that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and believe in the Lord Christ. Rom. 11:32; Ezek. 18:23; 33:11; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 John 2:2.

10. Whoever, now, is thus concerned about the revealed will of God, and proceeds according to the order which St. Paul has observed in the Epistle to the Romans, who first directs men to repentance, to knowledge of sins, to faith in Christ, to divine obedience, before he speaks of the mystery of the eternal election of God, to him this doctrine [concerning God's predestination] is useful and consolatory.

11. However, that many are called and few chosen, Matt. 22:14, does not mean that God is not willing to save everybody; but the reason is that they either do not at all hear God's Word, but wilfully despise it, stop their ears and harden their hearts, and in this manner foreclose the ordinary way to the Holy Ghost, so that He cannot perform His work in them, or, when they have heard it, make light of it again and do not heed it, for which [that they perish] not God or His election, but their wickedness, is responsible. [2 Pet. 2:1ff ; Luke 11:49-52; Heb. 12:25f.]

12. Thus far a Christian should occupy himself [in meditation] with the article concerning the eternal election of God, as it has been revealed in God's Word, which presents to us Christ as the Book of Life, which He opens and reveals to us by the preaching of the holy Gospel, as it is written Rom. 8:30: Whom He did predestinate, them He also called. In Him we are to seek the eternal election of the Father, who has determined in His eternal divine counsel that He would save no one except those who know His Son Christ and truly believe on Him. Other thoughts are to be [entirely] banished [from the minds of the godly], as they proceed not from God, but from the suggestion of the Evil Foe, whereby he attempts to weaken or entirely to remove from us the glorious consolation which we have in this salutary doctrine, namely, that we know [assuredly] that out of pure grace, without any merit of our own, we have been elected in Christ to eternal life, and that no one can pluck us out of His hand; as He has not only promised this gracious election with mere words, but has also certified it with an oath and sealed it with the holy Sacraments, which we can [ought to] call to mind in our most severe temptations, and take comfort in them, and therewith quench the fiery darts of the devil.

13. Besides, we should use the greatest diligence to live according to the will of God, and, as St. Peter admonishes, 2 Pet. 1:10, make our calling sure, and especially adhere to [not recede a finger's breadth from] the revealed Word: that can and will not fail us.

14. By this brief explanation of the eternal election of God His glory is entirely and fully given to God, that out of pure mercy alone, without all merit of ours, He saves us according to the purpose of His will; besides, also, no cause is given any one for despondency or a vulgar, wild life [no opportunity is afforded either for those more severe agitations of mind and faintheartedness or for Epicureanism].

Negative Theses. False Doctrine concerning This Article.

Accordingly, we believe and hold: When any teach the doctrine concerning the gracious election of God to eternal life in such a manner that troubled Christians cannot comfort themselves therewith, but are thereby led to despondency or despair, or the impenitent are strengthened in their wantonness, that such doctrine is treated [wickedly and erroneously] not according to the Word and will of God, but according to reason and the instigation of the cursed Satan. For, as the apostle testifies, Rom. 15:4, whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope. Therefore we reject the following errors:

1. As when it is taught that God is unwilling that all men repent and believe the Gospel.

2. Also, that when God calls us to Himself, He is not in earnest that all men should come to Him.

3. Also, that God is unwilling that every one should be saved, but that some, without regard to their sins, from the mere counsel, purpose, and will of God, are ordained to condemnation so that they cannot be saved.

4. Also, that not only the mercy of God and the most holy merit of Christ, but also in us there is a cause of God's election, on account of which God has elected us to everlasting life.

All these are blasphemous and dreadful erroneous doctrines, whereby all the comfort which they have in the holy Gospel and the use of the holy Sacraments is taken from Christians, and therefore should not be tolerated in the Church of God.

This is the brief and simple explanation of the controverted articles, which for a time have been debated and taught controversially among the theologians of the Augsburg Confession. Hence every simple Christian, according to the guidance of God's Word and his simple Catechism, can perceive what is right or wrong, since not only the pure doctrine has been stated, but also the erroneous contrary doctrine has been repudiated and rejected, and thus the offensive divisions that have occurred are thoroughly settled [and decided].

May Almighty God and the Father of our Lord Jesus grant the grace of His Holy Ghost that we all may be one in Him, and constantly abide in this Christian unity, which is well pleasing to Him! Amen.

XII. Other Heresies and Sects

Which Never Embraced the Augsburg Confession.

In order that such [heresies and sects] may not silently be ascribed to us, because, in the preceding explanation, we have made no mention of them, we intend at the end [of this writing] simply to enumerate the mere articles wherein they [the heretics of our time] err and teach contrary to our Christian faith and confession to which we have often referred.

Erroneous Articles of the Anabaptists.

The Anabaptists are divided among themselves into many factions, as one contends for more, another for less errors; however, they all in common propound [profess] such doctrine as is to be tolerated or allowed neither in the Church, nor in the commonwealth and secular government, nor in domestic life.

Articles that Cannot be Tolerated in the Church.

1. That Christ did not assume His body and blood from the Virgin Mary, but brought them with Him from heaven.

2. That Christ is not true God, but only [is superior to other saints, because He] has more gifts of the Holy Ghost than any other holy man.

3. That our righteousness before God consists not in the sole merit of Christ alone, but in renewal, and hence in our own godliness [uprightness] in which we walk. This is based in great part upon one's own special, self-chosen [and humanly devised] spirituality [holiness], and in fact is nothing else than a new sort of mockery.

4. That children who are not baptized are not sinners before God, but righteous and innocent, who in their innocency, because they have not yet attained their reason [the use of reason], are saved without Baptism (which, according to their assertion, they do not need). Therefore they reject the entire doctrine concerning original sin and what belongs to it.

5. That children are not to be baptized until they have attained their reason [the use of reason], and can themselves confess their faith.

6. That the children of Christians, because they have been born of Christian and believing parents, are holy and children of God even without and before Baptism; and for this reason they neither attach much importance to the baptism of children nor encourage it, contrary to the express words of God's promise which pertains only to those who keep His covenant and do not despise it. Gen. 17:7ff

7. That that is no true Christian congregation [church] in which sinners are still found.

8. That no sermon is to be heard nor attended in those churches in which formerly papal masses have been celebrated and said.

9. That one [a godly man] must not have anything to do with the ministers of the Church who preach the Gospel according to the Augsburg Confession, and rebuke the sermons and errors of the Anabaptists; also that he is neither to serve nor in any way to labor for them, but to flee from and shun them as perverters of God's Word.

Articles that Cannot be Tolerated in the Government.

1. That under the New Testament the magistracy is not an estate pleasing to God.

2. That a Christian cannot with a good, inviolate conscience hold or discharge the office of magistrate.

3. That a Christian cannot without injury to conscience use the office of the magistracy against the wicked in matters as they occur [matters so requiring], nor that subjects may invoke for their protection and defense the power which the magistrates possess and have received from God.

4. That a Christian cannot with a good conscience take an oath, nor with an oath do homage [promise fidelity] to the hereditary prince of his country or sovereign.

5. That under the New Testament magistrates cannot, without injury to conscience, inflict capital punishment upon malefactors.

Articles that Cannot be Tolerated in Domestic Life.

1. That a Christian cannot with a good conscience hold or possess property, but is in duty bound to devote it to the common treasury.

2. That a Christian cannot with a good conscience be an innkeeper, merchant, or cutler [maker of arms].

3. That the married may be divorced on account of [diverse] faith, and the one may abandon the other and be married to another person who is of his faith.

Erroneous Articles of the Schwenkfeldians.

1. That all those have no true knowledge of Christ as reigning King of heaven who regard Christ according to the flesh as a creature.

2. That the flesh of Christ by His exaltation has assumed all divine properties in such a manner that Christ as man is in might, power, majesty, and glory altogether, as regards degree and position of essence equal to the Father and to the Word, so that now there is only one essence, property, will, and glory of both natures in Christ, and that the flesh of Christ belongs to the essence of the Holy Trinity.

3. That the ministry of the Church [ministry of the Word], the Word preached and heard, is not a means whereby God the Holy Ghost teaches men, and works in them the saving knowledge of Christ, conversion, repentance, faith, and new obedience.

4. That the water of Baptism is not a means whereby God the Lord seals the adoption of sons and works regeneration.

5. That bread and wine in the Holy Supper are not means through and by which Christ distributes His body and blood.

6. That a Christian who is truly regenerated by God's Spirit can perfectly observe and fulfil the Law of God in this life.

7. That it is not a true Christian congregation [church] in which no public excommunication [some formal mode of excommunication] or no regular process of the ban [as it is commonly called] is observed.

8. That the minister of the church who is not on his part truly renewed, regenerate, righteous, and godly cannot teach other men with profit or distribute genuine, true Sacraments.

Error of the New Arians.

That Christ is not true, essential, natural God, of one eternal, divine essence with God the Father and the Holy Ghost, but is only adorned with divine majesty inferior to and alongside of God the Father [is so adorned with divine majesty, with the Father, that He is inferior to the Father].

Error of the Anti-Trinitarians.

This is an entirely new sect, not heard of before in Christendom, [composed of those] who believe, teach, and confess that there is not one only, eternal, divine essence of the Father Son, and Holy Ghost, but as God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three distinct persons, so each person has its essence distinct and separate from the other persons of the Godhead; and that nevertheless they are either [some think] all three of equal power, wisdom, majesty, and glory, just as otherwise three men are distinct and separate from one another in their essence, or [others think that these three persons and essences are] unequal with one another in essence and properties, so that the Father alone is properly and truly God.

These and similar articles, one and all, with whatever other errors depend upon and follow from them, we reject and condemn as wrong, false, heretical, contrary to the Word of God, the three Creeds, the Augsburg Confession and Apology, the Smalcald Articles, and Luther's Catechisms, against which all godly Christians of both high and low station are to be on their guard as they love the welfare and salvation of their souls.

That this is the doctrine, faith, and confession of us all, for which we will answer at the last day before the just Judge, our Lord Jesus Christ, and will neither secretly nor publicly speak or write anything against it, but that we intend by the grace of God to persevere therein, we have after mature deliberation testified, in the true fear of God and invocation of His name, by signing with our own hands [this Epitome].


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