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various readings. Doctor Semler says, that the variations, in the German translation, were made with the privity of Melancthon. He also intimates, that Faber's answer, which produced the Apology, was not published till 1572, when it was. published in the German language. It appeared. in Latin in the following year. (D. Is. Şemleri Apparatus in Libros Symbolicos Ecclesiæ Lutherana, Halæ Magdeburgica, 1775, oct. § 84.)
The Articles of Smalcald.
THE Confession of Augsburgh and its defence. were followed, at a distance of some years, by the articles of Smalcald, drawn up by Luther, on the occasion of a meeting of the protestant princes in that city.
They were framed by Luther, and exhibit a striking contrast between the Doric eloquence of that reformer, and the Ionic gentleness of Melancthon. In the Confession, and its defence, every harsh expression was avoided; and great reserve observed in the mention of the Pope. In the articles of Smalcald, it is explicitly declared, that, "the Pope is not of divine right; that the power, which he has usurped, is full of arrogance and blasphemy; that all which he has done, and does, in virtue of that power, is diabolical; that the church can, and ought, to subsist without having a chief:
that though the pope should own that he is not of divine right, but that he was established solely for keeping up, more conveniently, the unity of Christians against the sectaries, nothing good would come from such an authority; and that the best method of governing and preserving the church, is, that all bishops, though unequal in gifts, should be equal in their ministry under one chief, who is Jesus Christ; and finally, that the pope is the true antichrist. The subscriptions to these articles are preserved. Melancthon was among the subscribers; but widely differing from Luther in his opinion of the pope, he expressed his subscription in the following terms: "I, Philip Melancthon, approve the preceding articles, as pious and charitable. As to the pope, my opinion is, that, if he would receive the Gospel, for the peace and common tranquillity of those, who now are, or hereafter shall be, under him, we might accord to him the superiority over the bishops; which he now holds of common right" —a sentiment subsequently expressed both by Grotius and Leibnitz. The earliest and most approved edition of the articles of Smalcald, is in the German language, and was printed in 1538.
It was intended that they should be presented at the general council, then convened at Mantua, and afterwards held at Trent. With this view they
were translated into Latin.
The Catechisms of Luther.
LONG before the publication of any of the books we have mentioned, the Great and Less Catechisms of Luther made their appearance. Both of them were printed in the year 1529; which first issued from the press is a question much agitated by lutheran bibliographers.
The Form of Concord.
To the books which we have mentioned, many lutheran churches add the Form of Concord. It is also called, from the place in which it was composed, the book of Torgau. Its object was to effect an amicable adjustment of the differences among the lutherans; and to preserve their churches against the opinions of the reformed churches in relation to the eucharist. With this view, Andreæ, a distinguished theologian of the lutheran communion, with the assistance of several other theologians of the same party, composed, in 1576, this document. It was sent by the elector of Saxony to the lutheran princes, for their examination. By some, it was approved; by others, rejected; and it was censured by many theologians.
it; and, from the document, thus new-modelled, the Form of Concord, as it now stands, was originally drawn it was published in 1579; produced much disturbance; was rejected by all the reformed, and some of the lutheran divines: and even the authenticity of the document was questioned, as the printed copies were stated to differ, in many places, from the manuscript copy, which had been approved. Dr. Maclaine, (Mos. Ecc. Hist. cent. xvi. sect. 3. p. 2. n. c.), charges it with a spirit of intolerance, and accuses the lutheran divines of calling to its aid the terrors of the sword. The best edition is that of Dresden, in 1580. The best account of it is to be found in Hospinian's Concordia discors. Tigur. MDCVII., and Hutter's Concordia Concors. .Wittemb. MDCXIV., in folio, reprinted in the following year, at Leipsic, in the 4to. size. By the former, it is ably attacked; by the latter, ably defended. It is the latest of the lutheran formularies.
The Confession of Augsburgh, its defence by Melancthon, the Articles of Smalcald, and the Great and Little Catechism of Luther, and, in many lutheran churches, the Form of Concord, are the standard books of the lutherans. They have often been printed together; and in Germany, are universally known by the appellation of the Symbolic Books of the Lutherans.
The Saxonic and Wirtemburgh Confessions.
It remains to mention some Confessions of Faith, which accord generally with the Symbolic Books of the Lutherans, and are greatly respected by them; but which, except in particular places, do not pos sess the authority of Smybolic Books. These are the Saxon, Wirtemburgian, Suabian, Pomeranian, Mansfeldian, Antwerpensian, and Copenhagen Confessions. The two first only of these deserve a particular mention.
1. It was the earnest wish of the emperor Charles the fifth, that the protestant princes of the empire, and their theologians, should attend the Council of Trent. On certain terms, they offered to attend it; but these terms were refused. While the measure was in agitation, they prepared confessions of faith, to be presented to the council. The principal of these is, the Saxonic. It was composed by Melancthon, by the order of Maurice, on whom the emperor had recently conferred the electorate of Saxony. A numerous meeting of theologians from that electorate was convened at Leipsic there, the confession was unanimously approved: it was received, with the same unanimity, by the churches of Pomerania and Strasburgh. It was published in Latin in 1552; and in German