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the edition at the Clarendon press is printed. The title which it received from Melancthon himself, is, "Repetitio Augustana Confessionis, sive ut dicitur Confessio doctrinæ Saxonicarum ecclesiarum, Synodo, tridentino oblata, anno MDLI. in quâ, christiane lector, videbis, quinam ex Catholicæ, ecclesiæ gremio resilierint, et per quos stet, quominus ecclesiæ pia concordia sanciatur, MDLII.
2. Brentius, the most celebrated, after Melancthon, of the followers of Luther, was the author of the Confession of Wirtemburg. Christopher, duke of Wirtemburg, by whose direction it was composed, declared, in the preface, that it was an abridgment of the Confession of Augsburgh. Its title is, Confessio piæ doctrinæ, quæ, nomine illustrissimi principis Christophori, ducis Virtembergensis, per legatos ejus, die 24 mensis Januarii, anno 1552, congregationi tridentinæ proposita est. Tubingen MDLII. There are, however, some important variations between each of these creeds and the Confession of Augsburgh.
Both these Confessions of Faith were presented at the council; and the persons charged with them by the elector of Saxony and the duke of Wirtemburgh, were honourably received and treated. (Fra. Paolo, lib. 8.).
The Constitution and Liturgy of the Lutheran Church.
In the lutheran creed, the supreme civil ruler of every state is clothed with the dignity, and performs the functions, of supremacy in the church. Its hierarchy, except in Denmark and Sweden, does not allow of bishops, but admits of a considerable subordination of rank and privilege among the ministers of the church. Thus, it equally recedes from episcopacy and presbyterianism; and, in its observance of some of the feasts and fasts, and its retention of some of the ceremonies of the roman catholics, it keeps a middle place between presbyterianism and the church of Rome. Its liturgy, like that of the church of Rome, consists of psalms and lessons taken from the Old and New Testament; and of hymns and prayers. On the doctrine of the eucharist, they hold, that the partaker of the Lord's supper receives, together with the bread and wine, the real body and real blood of Christ.
Difference between the Roman Catholic and
"BUT the justification of the sinner," to use
source, from which all his doctrine flowed." So great, in his opinion, was the importance of this article of christian faith, that he thought himself warranted in asserting, that," while the doctrine upon it was pure, there would be no reason to fear either schism or division; but that, if the true doctrine of justification were altered, it would be impossible to oppose error, or stop the progress of fanaticism." (Luth. Op. Ed. Jenæ 1561, T. 6. p. 13. Ib. T. 3. p. 189.). It is far from the object of these pages to enter into any thing like controversial discussion; but, the writer thinks his readers will not be displeased to find in this place, an accurate statement of the doctrines of the roman catholic and lutheran churches upon this important tenet of their respective creeds. It is expressed, with extreme accuracy, in a work highly celebrated on the continent, "Lettres d'un Docteur Catholique à un Protestant, sur les Principaux Points de Controverse. Rouen, 1769. Deuxieme Lettre, sur la justification." The writer of these letters begins that, which relates to the point in question, by observing to his lutheran correspondent, that, "if there were a point, on which persons have disputed with warmth, and without sufficiently understanding one another, on either side, it must be acknowledged, that the question on the justification of a sinner, is a point of that description."
"You teach," he proceeds to observe, "that
the sinner is solely justified by faith; that, after having offended God, and lost his grace, we obtain the remission of our sins, and are restored to the friendship of God, by means only of an act of faith-every other act of virtue, as acts of contrition, good resolution, hope, charity, &c. having, as you pretend, no part in the sinner's justification. Now, to form a just idea of that faith, which you maintain to be the only means of reconciling us with God, it is to be remarked, that it is not the faith, which is understood by that word, in its common acceptation; that is to say, a general faith, by which we believe all that God has revealed to us. You require, that it should be a special faith, on the merits of Christ; and this faith, as your doctors explain it, contains first, an act of the understanding, by which we acknowledge, that Jesus Christ has died for us; that he has fully satisfied for our sins; and that he presents to us his merits, his satisfactions, and his remission of our sins and secondly, an act of the will, by which we accept all this, in applying and appropriating to ourselves what is offered to us, by Jesus Christ,-I mean his merits and the remission of our sins.
"It is, however, necessary, that we do you the justice to acknowledge, that you require justifying faith to be fruitful in good works; for you declare explicitly, that if faith be not accompanied by good works, it is not a true faith; that we must be careful
with a wish to persist in sin; that, those, who have not contrition, and are resolved to continue to live in their disorders, have not the faith which justifies and saves them. Luther's expression is, Faith and good works are inseparably connected; it is faith only which justifies, but justifying faith is never single, and without good works.'
"We believe,-First, that faith, taken in the ordinary sense of that word, that is, for the virtue which makes us believe revealed truths, is absolutely necessary for the justification of the sinner. are fully persuaded, that no works done before faith, or without faith, by the mere strength of free-will, or human reason, can have any part in the justification of the sinner.
"Secondly,-We believe that faith alone does not suffice to justify the sinner; that, in addition to it, there must be a sincere sorrow for sin, a firm resolution not to relapse into it, a salutary fear of the judgments of God, with a true confidence in the merits of Jesus Christ, and in the divine mercy.
Thirdly, We believe, that, though the sinner may obtain the grace of justification, in bringing the dispositions which I have mentioned, still he cannot merit them; so that he is justified, gratuitously, by the pure mercy of God, and solely, in the view of the merits of Jesus Christ. I explain myself:-the sinner, after he has lost the grace of God, can do nothing, which is sufficiently agreeable to God, to entitle him to be restored to his friendship.