Mann, William Julius
A plea for the Augsburg
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION,
IX AXSWER TO THE OBJECTIONS OF
THE DEFINITE PLATFORM:
TO ALL MINISTERS AND LAYMEN OF THE EVANGELICAL
CHURCH OF THE UNITED STATES.
W. J. MANN,
PASTOR OF ST. MICHAEL AND ZION CHURCHES, PHILADELPHIA.
The truth shall make you free."
for tljc CtUtyeran jBoarb of publication.
LINDSAY & BLAKISTON.
ENTERED, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by
LINDSAY & BLAKISTON,
In the Clerk s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION,
THE Church of our Fathers in this country, has, for a
period of several months, been considerably agitated by a
small anonymous Pamphlet, which purports to be a re
cension of the Augsburg Confession, the primitive stand
ard of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the most re
nowned document of her faith, and for three centuries
the unexceptionable password of her adherents.
The recension, appearing under the title of " A Definite
Platform," &c., acknowledges that the Augsburg Con
fession as a whole is in perfect harmony with the revealed
word of God, and declares that the venerable document is
by no means to be done away with in the Church, whose
birth it once gloriously proclaimed before the highest pow
ers of Church and State in the old German Empire. And
yet, notwithstanding this concession is made, the recen
sion points out a series of doctrinal errors, which the
Augsburg Confession is said to contain. These reputed
errors are so glaring, that a very large portion of the mi
nisters of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of this coun
try, have long since regarded their existence in the Augs-
4 A PLEA FOR
burg Confession as a matter of fact, not to be disputed
any longer ; that they have arranged their teaching and
preaching in their congregations accordingly, and that
they feel themselves conscientiously bound to come out
before the Church and the world with this Declaration of
Independence, by which the Lutheran public is informed
of their absolute freedom from any pollution produced by
contact with the errors of the Augsburg Confession.
We give them credit for this honest avowal of their par
tial apostacy from the most important Confession, the Lu
theran Church, as such, has to boast of. We do this the
more cheerfully because we expect that they will give us
credit for our open and unequivocal free-will offering of a
Plea for the old Augsburg Confession, and even for those
parts which seem to be very unbecoming stains on the
face of the old document.
We may as well mention at this point, that we shall in
this short tract not speak of the objections, which, in the
Definite Platform are set forth against some errors, con
tained in some other symbolical looks of the Lutheran
Church, but that we shall confine ourselves exclusively to
the errors pointed out in the Augsburg Confession, the
work of Luther and Melanchthon themselves, and the only
one of our Confessions which was universally received as
such by the whole Lutheran Church in all parts of the world.
Of course the accusation against the Augsburg Confes
sion involves an exhibition of Luther and Melanchthon,
those pillars of the reformation, as teaching heretical doc
trines which are not in accordance with the word of God.
There is scarcely anything that can claim a more serious
investigation. If there is error in such matters with such
men, if they mixed truth with error in their own confes
sions of faith, in whom may we have confidence ? If they
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 5
misunderstood the Gospel in doctrinal matters, which with
them were by no means of secondary consideration, who
can claim our confidence and faith as a doctrinal autho
rity? A little poison will make a whole loaf of otherwise
good bread a harbinger of death. A confession, wherein
a series of doctrinal errors plays such an important posi
tion, seems to be of a similar character.
We would to God Luther and Melanchthon could rise
from their resting-places before our Lutheran Church,
and with their own eloquence and learning, earnestness
and power of spirit, plead their own cause, the cause of
their God, and of his ever blessed Gospel. But in this
grave question, which vitally affects the highest interests of
our Lutheran Church, we may be permitted to let them
speak in their own written and printed words, and we
trust that a candid examination will prove, that our Re
formers and their Confession, once delivered at Augsburg,
have not been properly understood by those who charge
them with doctrinal errors, that to another part they have
been grossly misrepresented, and that in the whole, the
errors are not on the side of the Augsburg Confession,
but on the side of those who agitate our Lutheran Church
with the introduction of a fatherless and motherless child,
the Definite Platform. We shall endeavour to maintain
in this controversy a dignified and Christian spirit, as it
becomes this holy subject, and those who, differing in some
points, know one Master and one service. People on earth
will always differ in their opinions. The truth will gain
by giving free scope to investigation, and by the illustra
tion of the different sides of the same question.
Before entering into the doctrinal contest, we are in
honesty bound to confess, that there are some features in
the Definite Platform, which, under all circumstances, must
6 A PLEA FOR
appear very illiberal and improper. The Synods adopting
this Platform, are expected to make it a principle not to
receive into their membership any one who would not sub
scribe this Definite Platform. That is to say, that a
man who has the old Lutheran faith, can no longer be a
Lutheran in this new Lutheran Church of the Definite
Platform. This is taking very strong ground, particu
larly on the part of those who always did express a strong
antipathy against all binding power of the old confessional
or symbolical books of our Lutheran Church. The same
men would now unlutlieranize every one who could not
or would not coincide with their views.
But this fact appears still more preposterous when we
consider, that those very men who intend to change, to an
extent, the doctrinal basis of the Lutheran Church, assume
the position of representing the real doctrines and spirit
of the Lutheran Church. The inconsistency of this be
haviour will more plainly appear by a comparison. Sup
pose some ministers in connexion with the Episcopal Church
would, by the way of investigation, come to the conclu
sion that the principle of Episcopacy, as laid down in the
fundamental canons of the Church was wrong, that there
were even some other errors connected with the Episcopal
system of faith. Would it be regarded as any thing else
than a most astounding presumption, for such men to dare
to change the character of the church canons, and de
nounce some of them as errors, and at the same time to
maintain, that they themselves are the true representatives
of the Episcopal Church, and can unchurch the others?.
Or what would be the position of a man in connexion with
the Baptists who, having convinced himself of the errors
of the sacramental doctrine of the Baptist denomination,
would, with some others, come out with aspersions of er-
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 7
rors against the confessional document of his own church,
and who, at the same time, would not only intend to main
tain his position in the Baptist communion, but would as
sume with his adherents, the position of a tribunal in
"doctrinal and disciplinarian" matters in that church?
That this is exactly the case with us, the sequel will clearly
We cannot omit at this point the remark, that those
who undertake to change the doctrinal basis of a church,
take upon themselves an awful responsibility. They know
that such an act strikes at the very heart of the church,
has a tendency to unsettle the views of her members, and
to make her own children mistrust their own mother.
Our Lutheran Church has a history of three centuries.
She is the first form of the glorious Reformation, which
gave new life to the whole church. From this renewed
church, as from a new heart of mankind, new, and fresh,
and vigorous blood flows in an uninterrupted stream through
mighty arteries into the whole world. The sounds pro
duced by those strokes, wherewith Luther, the monk and
the giant, nailed his 95 theses against the gates of the
Cathedral at Wittenberg, still reverberate through the
whole church ; and the mighty intellect of that man, with
whom religion was life, and life religion, has shown itself
in the conflict with popish perversions as powerful as in the
masterly manner wherewith he, as an advocate of Christ
and his atonement on earth, expounded the long-obscured
mysteries of the Gospel. Melanchthon was called the " pre
ceptor Germanise," the teacher of all Germany. Let any
one examine the theological mastership which this learned
and honoured, yet humble disciple of Christ, exhibited in
his Apology for the Augsburg Confession a tract, which,
as a theological exposition of our Lutheran faith, is sur-
8 A PLEA FOR
passed by none, unless by the Augsburg Confession, the
work of the same mind and hand and he will be con
vinced of the folly of those who presume to think, that
he or his mighty coadjutor might be materially benefited
by the dogmatical and exegetical instructions of the theo
logical professors and authors of the present times.
These are the authorities, now arraigned before a court
of modern theologians, who charge them with having em
bodied in the first and most prominent confession of our
Lutheran Church, a number of errors in matters of faith
We do not believe in the absolute wisdom or infallibility
of any man on the face of the globe. We know that Lu
ther and Melanchthon were men subject to human infirmi
ties. We believe that they are no more than guides to
the fountain of truth, to the Gospel ; and whenever we
find that they lead us off from the word of God, we are
bound not to hesitate in our decided deviation from their
views. But the fact is, that they, being the instruments
for a mighty work in the hands of God, gave an impulse
to a new life of the church, and this they did on no other
basis than the everlasting Gospel itself. There can be no
mistake that they were not only most eminently endowed
for their momentous mission, but that they made the most
attentive and scrupulous study of the G-ospel the very pro
fession of their private and public life. Their own reform
ing activity, the hosts of opponents they had to encounter,
their own position in the church, must have prompted them
to do so. They did not arrive at their conclusions in a
random way. Nor was it in a precipitate manner that
they laid a confession of their faith before the highest
powers of the Christian world, and before the supreme
bench of the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. They
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. b
felt the responsibility of having produced a schism in the
one Catholic church, and they knew that on the day of
judgment they had to answer for every word which they
said. They fought a battle with the superstitions of cen
turies, and nobody, who ever knew any thing about Lu
ther, would venture to suppose that Luther ever would
have given away the breadth of a hair to please man or
to soothe the imbittered feeling of the mighty on earth.
With him every article of faith was not merely the re
sult of a close examination of the Gospel-text, which he
would defend as a theologian, but it was a matter bear
ing upon the peace of his heart. The Lutheran Reforma
tion was eminently no work of the study-room, but of the
" closet:" of prayer and deep experience of the inmost
man. It was no reformation merely of theology, but of
religion and piety.
Those who embark on an expedition against the " Er
rors" of the Augsburg Confession, ought to bear these
things in mind, before they proclaim to the Lutheran
Church the arrival of a revised and improved edition of
our Confession. They may say, that most of the minis
ters of the American Lutheran Church do not believe in
those doctrines which the Platform points out to us as er
rors. But of what weight is this? Shall we submit the
faith of the church, the authority of Luther, Melanchthon,
and a whole crowd of learned and pious men of old and
new times, to the views of some ministers, whatever their
merits may be, whatever their number, as to a higher au
thority? Do not mention the enlightened spirit of the
age. What did it prove, that the whole mass of the Is
raelites in the times of Moses and Aaron forgot the law
and the service of the living God, and went to adore a
golden calf? Yet that was at that time the climax of
10 A PLEA FOR
wisdom, the then domineering "spirit of the age." The
Lord deliver us from a time-serving spirit in matters of
religion and eternal salvation. All our progress in the
arts and sciences, in natural and mental philosophy, all
the inventions of the age, all the combined results of all
the combined researches of all the learned men of all cen
turies, do not contain the least particle whereby they could
save an immortal soul. Nor are they as such the key to
unlock the storehouse of God s spiritual treasures ; neither
can they afford us a deeper and clearer insight into the
glorious Gospel, and into the eternal wants of our fallen
race. The state of theology and religion of an age, does
not at all depend upon the progress of general science and
social life. An age may be backward as far as scientific
attainments and social refinement are concerned, and yet
have attained a high degree of gospel-knowledge. Even
in an age of high mental culture, man, in matters of re
ligion, must begin at the same point w r here the Reformers
began. His heart, being blind and sinful, must share in
the experience of those who, though backward in worldly
intelligence, were enriched with the wisdom that cometh
from above. The Gospel finds man always the same.
Religion is a thing, that with every generation must be
given anew, must take the same start in every man s heart,
must operate in the same way, must use in all times the
same means, must produce the same ends, must oppose the
same enemies. It has nothing to do with time or locality,
with nationality or age, with wisdom or power ; it is the
ever great question between God and every individual
man, to be decided by the Gospel, the Magna Charta of
the kingdom of heaven. Let the spirit of our enlightened
age be whatever it will, we all know that religion is not
its forte, that the mind of the masses is taken up with
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 11
worldly and secular affairs, that religion in our times is
rather a mere ornament for respectability sake, thrown
over the dress of fashion, than the force and substance of
our life. How different was this in the times of the Re-
f orm ation I There was an outp^u^in^joLspjritj of grace,
The impulse given at
that time, is attested by the history of the world. What
can be compared to it in the age in which we live ? There
could not be found a more unsuitable time to undertake
a change of church confession than this, our age, the age of
materialism, rationalism, and infidelity of a conflict of
views on all the principles bearing upon social and private,
ecclesiastical and political life, where no man is to be
found who may be said to bear the true stamp of a re
former. Lpt the spirit of Luther rise before you, TT<v
was " every inch a reformer;" his thoughts, the broken
spell_of nations ; his feelings, the pulsations of the heart
ofjj^world; his words, facts and " half-battles ;" and his
weapons, the sword of the Spirit^
We know very well that our Lutheran Church has pe
culiarities of her own. So has every church. We know
that some men do not understand this, and that, therefore,
they are always clamorous against church confessions, and
raise the cry, the Bible, the Bible, and nothing but the Bi
ble ! This would do if all Christianity were to take the first
start to-day. But already to-morrow, interpretations and
confessions would spring up like mushrooms on a hot-bed.
The Bible is the broad, unfathomable ocean, on which all
sects and churches spread their canvass, and every one
of them steers for a safe port after its own predilections.
Every denomination has an individual life, and the law of
self-preservation ought to teach her, that she is throwing
herself away, if she is not determined to stand by her
12 A PLEA/FOR
banners, and to defend her position. that our Lutheran
Church never had courted the vestibules of her neighbours
sanctuaries as she did! that she might have under
stood the peculiar ^opto^ai-a, the gifts of grace which God
from heaven, has intrusted to her in her doctrines ! With
them, she has a life of her own ; without them, she loses
the privilege of an individual character. The experience
of the past will teach us at what follies and eccentricities
churches may arrive, which have no definite historical po
sition, and are ashamed of their own birth-right, and have
no faith in the documents witnessing their origin. They
are like those nebulous clouds in the sky which have no
solid nucleus, but float on an uncertain track through the
universe, attracted by other celestial bodies, with whom,
on their errand, they may perchance come in contact.
XA._church must have a confession of her own ? and L jhejnust
stand to it unwaveringly, unless she has lost self-respect
and faith in her own self. There may always be some
who have their doubts. But these doubts will certainly
not claim more respect than the old faith of the church.
At least, those who doubt, should not change the founda
tions of a building which they did not lay.
There is a tendency prevailing to make the Lutheran
Church large, and so extend her borders at the expense
of her life-blood, her doctrine. May her children be like
the sand on the sea-shore and the stars upon the firma
ment ; may her strength ever increase and her foundation
be the whole surface of the globe. But let this founda
tion be strong, and let us not forget that we, as the Lu
theran Church, shake our corner-stone in shaking the
Augsburg Confession. Neither name, nor flesh, nor blood,
can make us true Lutherans, but the Lutheran spirit and
the Lutheran doctrine.
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 13
We have no objections against an ever repeated, rigor
ous examination and comparison between the Augsburg
Confession and the Gospel, the rock on which that corner
stone of our church is laid. But we have to offer most
emphatically the strongest objections against the officious
manner in which some persons raise alarm throughout the
church, promulgate their intention to change the Augsburg
Confession, and act in such a manner, as if their views in
regard to the so called errors of the Augsburg Confession
were absolutely above all possibility of error.
Any one who has the least acquaintance with the history
of science, knows to what change science is subject. This
admits of no exception, in regard to theology. Almost
without perceiving it, men may be led to views quite dif
ferent from those which they formerly embraced. Think
of Germany ! About fifty years ago almost all the theo
logical chairs, and even the pulpits of that country, were
under the control of rank rationalists. This is the period
whose theological exploits the Definite Platform unfortu
nately holds up to us as an authority in the sacramental
doctrines, (v. p. 40.) Look at the theological and reli
gious literature of Germany of those times. What a change
has taken place in the course of twenty or thirty years !
The Lord be ever praised for his blessings, and for the
revival of religion, wherewith Germany has been visited!
And in the same degree in which piety has been increasing,
the old doctrinal standards, once treated like mere super
stitious absurdities of by-gone years, have received new
There is nothing stationary in life. We may often, in
matters of religion, have felt the immediate power and in
fluence of this or that doctrine, whilst other points of faith
stood in the background. But other experiences or re-
14 A PLEA FOR
newed studies of the Gospel, may at once convince us,
that there were treasures laid into our hands, thus far un
known to ourselves. But in this question there is involved
not so much the change of private views, as the alteration
of a public document. Let us not he hasty in this mat
ter. Perhaps we might have to change again hefore long.
Could any man of sound mind expect beneficial results
from such a want of stability in our doctrinal position?
Let us pause once more and investigate a little more prayer
fully and attentively, before we issue a "writ of errors"
against the Augsburg Confession. Let us treat the vene
rable legacy of our father in the faith, gently and reve
rently, and let us not forget, that there is no one living
now amongst us, who might, even in matters of theological
and religious knowledge, sit honourably on the bench of
judges against a Luther and a Melanchthon.
After these preliminary remarks, called forth by the
subject before us, we now proceed to examine the charges
of errors, broached against the Augsburg Confession by
the "Definite Platform." The space allotted to us, will
not admit of as minute an examination as these subjects
require. But we will endeavour to point out in the most
concise manner, those principles and facts which will have
a bearing upon the decision of this doctrinal controversy.
THE APPROVAL OF THE CEREMONIES OF THE MASS.
This is the first accusation against the Augsburg Con
fession. We will give it an unprejudiced examination.
The charge is a very grave one. Only think of a pro-
testant church approving of that act of popery, by which
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 15
the very substance of the perversion in doctrine and prac
tice is brought to light. 2
But the charge directed against our Lutheran Church,
is a very unjust one. We will preface the refutation of
it by the remark, that in those times, when our Augsburg
Confession was formed, the term "Missa," "Mass," was
one in general use for the eucharist.* To this term, as
best known to all those, most of them Catholics, before
whom the Augsburg Confession was first read, on the 25th
of June, 1530, the authors of the Confession accommo
The article in the Augsburg Confession bearing upon
this question is the 24th. Before hearing what it says,
we will remember that it is the third article of the second
part of the whole Augsburg Confession. This second part
is ushered in with the superscription, "Articles on which
there is dispute; enumeration of the ABUSES which we have
We see that Art. 24th has the title, The mass. We
see that the mass is here enumerated amongst the abuses
on which there is dispute between Lutherans and Roman
ists, and that the Lutherans have abrogated the abuses
practised in the Roman Church in connexion with the
mass, or the Lord s Supper. So much for the present on
* Tlius we read in the Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Art. 12:
Mass is held in our churches on every Sunday and festival, ivhen the sacra-
ment is administered to those who desire it, but only after they have been ex
amined and absolved. Besides, Christian ceremonies are likewise observed
in reading, singing, praying, c. In olden times, the celebration of the
eucharist was much more frequent than now, in the church in general.
We see here distinctly, that Mass means nothing else but the Lord s Sup
per. The ceremonies, reading, singing, praying, kneeling, standing, and
so on, seem to be rather innocent. In later years, the term Mass in this
sense was entirely given up by the Reformers.
16 A PLEA FOR
the expression of the Definite Platform in this respect,
viz., the Augsburg Confession contains the approval of
the ceremonies of the Romish mass.
The Platform does not mean to say, that the Augsburg
Confession does approve of the doctrines of the Romish
Church in regard to the Lord s Supper. Certainly the
difference between the two churches on this point is es
tablished beyond all doubt. But let us compare the Ro
mish doctrine and usages, and the doctrine and usages
of the Augsburg Confession in their main features regard
ing this question.
The Romish Church teaches, that by " transubstantia-
tion" bread and wine are in substance changed into the
body and blood of Christ. The Augsburg Confession
teaches, on her part, nothing of the kind. We shall here
after hear what her positive teaching on this point is. (v.
Confession, Augsburg, Art. 10.)
The Romish Church teaches, that by the sacramental
service of the priest, the sacrifice of Christ is repeated
with every celebration of the mass. The Augsburg Con
fession expressly rejects this in the strongest terms: say
ing, 1. That Christ has offered himself once for all the sins
of the world. 2. That we receive grace from God not by
works, opus operatum, but by faith in Christ, and that
the Romish Church teaches wrong by exhibiting the cele
bration of the mass or the Lord s Supper as a meritorious
work. 3. That sacraments as such are by no means in
stituted to serve as a sacrifice or atonement for our sins,
because the atonement is performed by Christ s death, but
as a means to awaken our faith and to comfort the hearts
and consciences of men, by reminding them through this
sacrament, that Christ has promised them grace and for
giveness of sins. These ar^ the very words of the Augs
burg Confession. (Art. 24.)
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 17
Again : The Romish Church teaches, that nobody but
the priest should be allowed to partake of the bread
and the cup. This abuse had been abolished in the Lu
theran Church long before the Diet of Augsburg ; and the
Augsburg Confession in her 22d Art., which is the very
first amongst those which refute the Romish abuses, de
clares that in the Lutheran Churches, according to the
plain words of Christ, the lay-members receive the bread
and the cup as well as the ministers.
Again : In the Romish Church the priest may celebrate
the Lord s Supper without any church members being pre
sent. This, the Augsburg Confession rejects, and main
tains, that with us the Lord s Supper is reinstated as a
true communion, where the ministers and others appear
as participants. (Art. 24.)
Again: The Popish Church used to have processions
and similar parades in connexion with the mass. This,
too, the Lutheran Church has abolished, (v. Augsburg
Confession, Art. 22.)
Article 24 sums up by saying, that "with us the Lord s
Supper remains in its proper use, as they observed it in
the Church in olden times, as can be proved from St. Paul,
1 Cor. xi., and by the writings of many Church fathers."
Having all these facts and quotations from the Augs
burg Confession before us, what shall we say to the charge
of the Definite Platform, that the Augsburg Confession
approves of the ceremonies of the mass? Any one read
ing this accusation, as it stands out in bold relief, might
think that the Augsburg Confession swallows down with
out any hesitation or scruples, all the popish paraphernalia
of the mass like the whale swallowed Jonah. But it turns
out to be a misrepresentation, calculated to arouse in the
18 A PLEA FOR
hearts of many less informed members of the Lutheran
Church, misgivings against their own spiritual mother.
"We know very well that Luther did not give to the cele
bration of the Lord s Supper that shape which it has at
the present time in most of our Lutheran Churches and
in others. But let us not forget, that Luther regarded
outward forms and signs as being of secondary importance,
and that he, in his times, knew the minds of his people
well enough, and that he did not go with them to extremes,
which might have endangered the very essence of religion
in them, and eradicated truth with the error, and the useful
with the useless, by at once changing every particle of
forms of worship, in vogue with them from time immemo
rial. This has been the case with so many extremes when
in the hour of excitement, sickly enthusiasm, forgetting
all historical connexion with the past, planted something
worse in the place of popery. Again : Luther and Me-
lanchthon maintained the principle, that no man should
make laws absolutely binding in matters of religion, where
the Gospel did not bind the consciences by such laws.
They contended for freedom in points regarding forms of
worship. Let us hear what the Augsburg Confession
teaches in her 8th Article: " It is sufficient for the real
unity of the Christian church, that the preaching is done in
harmony, with, and according to the true, unaltered mean
ing of the Crospel, and that the sacraments are administered
according to the ivord of G-od. But it is not necessary
for the real unity of the church, that there are everywhere
the same ceremonies instituted by men." This is the broad
basis of our Augsburg Confession. Let us thank God for
this spirit of liberty which makes our Lutheran Church a
home for the spirit and not a stronghold for the letter,
and which gives us freedom in religion in all matters of
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 19
forms and ceremonies, and other non-essentials. We, in
our times, do not celebrate the Lord s Supper, as the Lord
himself celebrated it with his disciples. With us the whole
arrangement is a different one. At the time of its insti
tution, there were no women at the table ; there is no spe
cial law of Christ that they should be admitted now. But
certainly we have a right, yea, a duty to admit them, and
our Lord s Supper, whatever other differences in point of
outward forms may take place, is nevertheless the Lord s
Luther manifested great anxiety in reference to the
real beauty and the becoming manner of congregational
worship. He desired the celebration of the sacrament to
be a solemn act, edifying in all the parts of its adminis
tration. But he was very far from making his taste a
binding law, although his taste in this respect was cer
tainly a good one, by which many of us might be bene
To sum up this whole argument, we will mention that
already, in 1526, Luther edited a formula under the title,
"The German Mass," wherein he gave a beautiful ritual
for the Lord s Supper, to be conducted in the German,
and which, in its main features, is in use yet in hundreds
of Lutheran Churches.
With this evidence before us, we must confess that we
cannot understand how members of the Lutheran Church
can prefer, against our Augsburg Confession, the odious
charge of her "approval of the ceremonies of the mass,"
whilst the Augsburg Confession itself enumerates the mass
amongst those abuses the Lutheran Church had abolished.
20 A PLEA FOR
PRIVATE CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION.
The Definite Platform maintains, that the Augsburg
Confession commits a gross error by making private con
fession and absolution one of the standard Lutheran prin
In the first place, we will remark, that the accusation
is quite likely to arouse a feeling, as if the Lutheran doc
trine had rather a tendency to chime in with the Roman
error of auricular confession and priestly absolution. No
charge against the Augsburg Confession could possibly be
more unjust than this one, for which there is in fact no
shadow of right.
Let us remember, that the 25th Art. of the Augsburg
Confession, which bears the title "on confession," is one
of those which treat, as we have stated above, on " abuses
abolished in the Lutheran community."
We will now listen to what the Augsburg Confession
says in Art. 25, against those Roman abuses connected
" The ministers of our communion nave not done away
with confession. We retain the custom of administer i7ig
the Lords Supper to those only who have previously con
fessed and heard absolution. On this occasion we dili
gently instruct our people how comforting the word of ab
solution is, how highly they ought to prize it; for it
is not to be regarded as the mere voice or word of a pre
sent man, but as the word of G-od, who is the forgiver of
sin. For absolution is pronounced in the name of Crod,
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 21
and according to his command. We teach most diligently
of this command and power of the keys, how comforting,
how necessary it is for the terrified consciences; also, that
it is God s WILL that we believe in this absolution, as if
we could hear the voice of Grod from on high, and that we
should be joyful in the spirit, and be certain that through
such faith we shall receive forgiveness of sins. The mi
nisters who formerly have said a great deal about confes
sion, did not mention a word about these necessary doc
trines, but they did torment the consciences with requiring
long enumerations of sins, ivith satisfactions, and indul
gences, and pilgrimages, $c. Even many of our antago
nists do confess, themselves, that this chapter, on true
Christian penance, is now treated and taught a great
deal more becomingly than it has been for a long time."
" Our teaching in regard to confession is, that no one
is expected to mention his sins one by one, because this
is impossible; (v. Ps. xix. 13, and Jer. xvii. 9.) Poor
frail human nature is so deeply imbued witli sin, that
man is unable to see and to know all his sins, and it ivould
avail us but little if we were to be absolved only of those
sins which we are able to enumerate."
Here the Augsburg Confession introduces quotations
from church fathers which fully coincide with these prin
ciples. She winds up the whole paragraph with the re
markable words of Chrysostom, that " Confession is not a
commandment of the Grospel, but instituted by the church."
It concludes by saying, that the Lutheran communion
retains confession on account of absolution, which is the
main point of it, and on account of some other less im
Now let us sum up the points bearing upon the question
before us. We see that our Lutheran standard has no-
22 A PLEA FOR
thing at all to do with auricular confession, as practised
in the Roman Church. There, the penitent is required
(we mention one point of many,) to relate at least all his
"mortal sins" (a discrimination of sins which we do not re
cognise) and to relate them with all their concomitants, the
circumstances under which the sins were committed, the
motives which prompted the will to them, the ends which
were produced by them. Our Augsburg Confession re
jects all this, and all the awful ballast of human laws and
inventions of priestcraft, which make the confessional chair
more influential than the Pope s chair at Rome.
Again : Our Lutheran Church knows of no priesthood
in the sense of the word in the Roman Church. Our
church maintains the doctrine of the universal priesthood
of all believers in Christ. Already, in 1521, Luther pub
lished his celebrated tract on this subject. It is easy to
understand what the consequences of this true Christian
doctrine must be for the doctrine of confession. The Lu
theran minister does not stand there like the embodiment
of the power of hell or heaven, not like the representative
of a caste endowed with the exclusive prerogative to de
cide on the eternal fate of poor miserable sinners.
We will here introduce the formula of absolution used at
Wittenberg, the cradle of the Lutheran Reformation, in
the year 1559. After the admonition to repentance and
faith in Christ, the minister shall say: " Therefore to all
such as are here present with a penitent and believing
spirit, who turn themselves to Grod and fear his anger at
their sins, who believe that their sins are forgiven for the
sake of Jesus Christ, and who earnestly resolve to die unto
sin, to all such 1 proclaim the forgiveness of their sins ac
cording to the word of the Lord : Whosesoever sins you
remit, they are remitted unto them. Therefore, according
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 23
to the command of Christy I pronounce to you this for
giveness, that your sins are pardoned for the sake of Jesus
Christ. And of this voice of the Gf-ospel you ought to
accept, and enjoy true comfort in Christ, and walk faith
fully and obediently before God, having a good conscience."
This is nothing but what the Bible authorizes, and has been
the practice of the Lutheran Church from the beginning
until the present time, even in this country.
Again: Our Augsburg Confession avowedly says, that
confession is an institution ordered by the church, and not
resting on a special dictate of the Gospel. But the Augs
burg Confession, having refuted and rejected the Romish
errors, has certainly a right to maintain what may be in
the hands of a faithful ministry a most excellent means
to bring repentance and consolation nearer to the hearts
We all know how urgently the Gospel enjoins us to be
ware of an unworthy participation of the body and blood
of Christ. The Church could not do better than institute
a particular service, preparatory to the celebration of the
Lord s Supper. There, an occasion is given .to move the
hearts of men, to preach to them repentance, and to warn
them of a portentous responsibility. And all those who
are lingering after the comfort of forgiveness of sins, can
there, at the same time, hear the blessed word of pardon,
pronounced according to the command of Christ.
A man who doubts whether a minister of Christ has a
right to pronounce absolution in the name of Christ, must
never for a moment have held up to his earnest, attentive
consideration and reflection, the words of Christ: "What
soever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven ;
and whatsoever ye loose on earth, shall be loosed in hea
ven!" Matt, xviii. 18. It has been the view of the Lu-
24 A PLEA FOR
theran theologians from the beginning, that these words of
Christ apply to the ecclesiastical rights of the whole con
gregation. The connexion of the whole passage, together
with other Scriptural passages, proves indisputably, that
this verse finds its application, not to the Apostles only,
but to the whole church, and every individual member
thereof, the rights and obligations of the regular pastor
remaining intact. De Wette, kurze Erklaerung der Evang.
Matth. 3 Ausgabe, 1845, p. 196, 19T. Rud. Stier s Re-
den des Herrn Jesu, 2 Ausg. 2 Theil, p. 246, sgg.
Of course, in the congregation as such, the minister is
the duly appointed officer, who, in the name of Christ, will
proclaim the good tidings of forgiveness to the penitent,
and the awful wrath of God to the impenitent and to the
hypocrite. But this does not forbid, that under certain
circumstances a member of the church may confess his sins
to another member, and be comforted by the cheering ex
hortation of his brother, who is no minister.
We may well ask now, whether the Augsburg Confes
sion commits an error in maintaining private confession
under all those restrictions related above. We allow a
minister to hear a confession from his whole flock. Why
in the name of common sense should we regard it as wrong
in him to hear the confession of the individual members
Thousands of times the spell of sin might be broken if
there only would be an open confession on the part of the
sinner, before another brother, who could be the spiritual
guide to the fountain of mercy and life.
Of course, this requires the most solid confidence on
the part of the confessing brother, and the most sacred
reservation on the part of the other. We would to God
that all our church members had that confidence in our
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 25
ministers ! What a praise this would be to those minis
ters; it would speak volumes for them!
But alas! the state of things is deplorable enough.
Under the influence of a revival-excitement, scenes have
often been witnessed bordering very near upon, not pri
vate, but auricular confession. There is a testimony even
in this in favour of the Augsburg Confession.
Let us not proclaim error where the question is not to
be settled by a mere chiming in with a popular prejudice.
Our Augsburg Confession contains, also, in this point, a
doctrine which may expect a very close and scrupulous
examination before being held up by her own confessors
to contempt on account of supposed "error."
DENIAL OF THE DIVINE OBLIGATION OF THE CHRISTIAN
BY this accusation the Augsburg Confession seems to
be placed in a very bad predicament. The Definite Plat
form exposes the old, long revered Document to a just
scorn to all orthodox Christendom, showing its very un
godliness in a most essential point. What good may be
expected from a Church, whose first and best Confession
teaches that the keeping of the Christian Sabbath is not
a divine obligation?
We will here state that the Definite Platform admits of
a little freedom of opinion on this subject. For, enume
rating the errors in the Augsburg Confession and in
26 A PLEA FOR
some other symbolical books of our Church, it says: "At
the same time, whilst we will not admit into our Synod
any one who believes in Exorcism, private Confession, and
Absolution or the ceremonies of the Mass, we grant liberty
in regard to the other omitted topics, and are willing, as
heretofore, to admit ministers who receive them, provided
they regard them as non-essential, etc." Among those
other omitted topics is the denial of the divine obligation
of the Christian Sabbath.
We will clear the way somewhat for further remarks on
this subject by simply stating, that our Augsburg Confes
sion nowhere, in any way, teaches that we should not keep
the Christian Sabbath in a Christian way, or that the
keeping of the Christian Sabbath rightly understood, is not
a divine obligation. On the contrary, our Augsburg Con
fession lays down, in regard to this point, the Gospel rule
that we should have order in all things, particularly in
Church matters, and that we should certainly not scandal
ize our brethren by breaking the established order of the
Church in this respect, by breaking the sacred rest of the
It seems to us to be a duty towards the Augsburg Con
fession to mention, at this place, that she nowhere speaks
of the Sabbath with any intention to settle the difficult
question of the origin of our Christian Sunday, which
superseded the Old Testament Sabbath, (Saturday.) The
Augsburg Confession speaks of the Sabbath incidentally
in Art. 28, which treats on the Power of the Bishops.
The Definite Platform reads thus, p. 27: "The Sab
bath must be universally obligatory, and the abrogation
of the Mosaic ritual can, at most, only repeal those cere
monial additions which that ritual made, and must leave
the original Sabbath as at found it. Now whilst the
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 27
^Apostles and first Christians, under the inspired guidance,
for a season attended worship on the Jewish Sabbath, yet
they observed the day of the Lord s resurrection, the first
day of the week, as their day of special religious convoca
tions ; and this inspired example is obligatory on Christians
in all ages. Still the essence of the institution consists,
not in the particular day of the week, though that is now
fixed, but. in the religious observance of one day in seven."
We may easily see that the difference between the Augs
burg Confession and the Definite Platform does not at all
consist in the negation of a divine obligation to keep the
Christian Sabbath on the part of the Augsburg Confession,
and on the affirmation of such an obligation on the part
of the Definite Platform. The Augsburg Confession
striving against the abuses of the power of the Bishops,
mentions bad practices of the Bishops in regard to the
Sabbath and other days. She incidentally asserts that
she regards every Christian as in duty bound to keep the
Sabbath, and without entering, in any way, into all the
details connected with this subject, she reminds the Chris
tian reader of a well known Apostolic dictate, to beware
of giving offence to another brother.
It is a well known fact that the Roman Church regards
the Christian Sabbath as a holy day set apart for the par
ticular service of God. Thus she regards the Christian
Sabbath, whatever her teachings concerning the manner
of keeping this holy day may have been. But we will
remember that there was no dispute about the Jewish or di
vine institution of the Christian Sabbath between the
Roman Church and the Reformers. The Roman Church
regards everything divine which she holds and teaches, no
matter whether Christ himself, or whether his representa
tives on earth, did institute those things she holds and
28 A PLEA FOR
teaches. On this latter point there was no dispute be
tween Rome and Wittenberg, that is to say, Luther and
Melanchthon had received from the older Church the
doctrine and practice of the Christian Sabbath as a holy
day, as a divine institution and obligation, and they had
not a word to say against this view of the Sabbath. But
they had a great deal to say against the abuses by virtue
of which the Bishops made the Sabbath a day of sin and
x&dishonour to God and to his Church, instead of making it
a day devoted to his glory. Let us not forget that the
Christian Sabbath days were those very days on which
Luther raised his voice and pronounced, with an eloquence
unsurpassed by any pulpit orator since three centuries, the
glorious Gospel, and that he and his co-operators, particu
larly on Sundays, by preaching and teaching led the mul
titude of their hearers back to the chief Shepherd, Jesus
Christ. The work of the Reformation progressed on Sun
days more than on any other days. Luther and Melanch
thon have reinstated the true Christian Sabbath; they felt
the divine obligation of this holy day; and for this very
reason they would not permit that on this day of the Lord
anything else should be given to his people than his pure,
everlasting Gospel and his divine ordinances.
We trust that we have succeeded in convincing our
readers that the charge of a denial of the divine institu
tion and obligation of the Christian Sabbath, brought forth
against the Augsburg Confession, is not based on a true
and clear interpretation of those words in the Augsburg
Confession which treat on this subject.
We may be allowed to state, that the manner in which
the Sabbath was, and is kept in a large part of Europe,
in the Roman and in the Protestant Church, is not suited
to the holy purposes of the day. The Augsburg Confession
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 29
is no book of morals for the Christian, no illustration of
all his duties. She prevents no Lutheran from keeping
the Sabbath as strictly as possible. But she would op
pose the idea that the keeping of the Sabbath as such,
is a meritorious work in the sight of God. The Sabbath
is not the aim, but a means to promote edification, a means
to accomplish the ultimate end of a Christian life, increase
in godliness. The Sabbath will be subservient to this,
not merely by our refraining from worldly employment as
such, but by our spiritual intercourse with God and with
his revealed word, and by every thing that will have a
tendency to improve in us the knowledge of divine things,
and the love of God and our fellow-men. Certainly the
Augsburg Confession will fully approve of all this. And
what more can be required ?
Remembering all the abuses practised by the Romish
priests and bishops in regard to the keeping of the Sab
bath and festivals, we will not wonder that the Augsburg
Confession contends for evangelical freedom in this point.
She opposes the abuses, not the proper and useful obser
vance of the day. The Romish Church laid intolerable
burdens upon men s consciences in regard to innumerable
usages, customary in those times. All this she did under
the pretext of being the divinely appointed and inspired
guide of the world. Whatever she ordered was to be re
garded as divinely instituted. Against her doctrine, that
certain duties imposed by her upon Christians in regard
to the Sabbath, would be the very thing pleasing to God,
and that by fulfilling them we would certainly have the
gates of heaven opened to us, against this erroneous
teaching the Augsburg Confession contends in defending
the conscience and freedom of a Christian in regard to the
Sabbath. On this account, and on no other, she intro-
SO A PLEA FOR
duces those remarkable words of St. Paul: "Let no man
judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day,
or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days, which are a
shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ," Col.
ii. 16, IT.
We may well ask whether the Apostle would have
written these words if he had entertained the view that
the Sabbath in the New Testament is in the same degree
and manner binding upon us in which the Sabbath in the
Old Testament has been to the Jews. No Christian re
gards the Jewish festivals of Pascha, etc,, binding upon
him. Still they are ordered with the same emphasis and
had to be kept as strictly as Sabbaths, 2 Thes. v. 11, 16.
We may also remind our readers of that well known pas
sage in the Acts, ch. xv. Some Christians who formerly
had belonged to the sect of the Pharisees required from
Christians who formerly had been Gentiles a strict obser
vance of all the enjoinments of the Mosaic Law. But
their propositions did not meet with the approval of the
convention of the apostles and members of the church.
Amongst those restrictions, laid upon the Gentile Chris
tians, the Sabbath is not even mentioned, v. 28, 29.
It is an indisputable fact that the primitive Christians
did not keep the Christian Sabbath in as strict a way as
the Jewish Sabbath had been kept. They at first met
daily for social edification, Acts ii. 46 ; xix. 9. By and
by Sunday was distinguished from the other days as
the day of the resurrection of Christ. The Christians
converted from Judaism, and their descendants, seem to
have kept the Sabbath and the Sunday as holy days.
That the celebration of our Christian Sabbath is of
Apostolic origin we do not deny. But that they gave
particular instruction thrt^ the Christian Sabbath had
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 31
taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath, this is no
The Definite Platform calls their example of observing
the day of the Lord s resurrection an inspired one. This
seems to involve a principle against which we must guard
ourselves. The Apostles were certainly inspired in their
ivritings, which we have yet in the New Testament.
Even in them they sometimes make a distinction between
the Lord s dictates and between their own opinions. But
that their example should be called inspired includes the
principle that they were inspired, not liable to errors also
in their actions. This is not warranted by the Scriptures.
The example which Peter gave (Gal. ii. 12, 13,) when he
dissembled was certainly not an inspired one. We say
this merely with regard to the principle which is involved
in this matter. We have not the least doubt that the
Apostles did the will of God in celebrating the day of
Christ s resurrection as a holy day. This the Augsburg
Confession, on her part, does by no means deny. The
Definite Platform bases the divine obligation of the Chris
tian Sabbath on the example of the Apostles. The Augs
burg Confession teaches that it is an ordinance made by
The Definite Platform does not mention a particular
dictate of the Lord Jesus Christ in this respect, because
there is no such dictate extant. Consequently the ordi
nance was instituted by the Church after Christ.
It is easy to see that the difference between the Augs
burg Confession and the Definite Platform is, by no means,
as great as it at first might appear. And both are una
nimous in their declaration against all abuses which w r ill
have a tendency to impede the holiness of the Lord s day.
Loth are harmonious also in this point, that the "essence
32 A PLEA FOR
of the Old Testament institution consists, not in the par
ticular day of the week, though that is now fixed, but in
the religious observance of one day in seven." Definite
Platform, p. 28.
Whatever theological or exegetical arguments may be
brought forward to prove that all the rules of the Old
Testament Sabbath apply to the Christian Sabbath, they
rest on no special, clear, unequivocal dictate of Christ
himself. jTkis_ tM,^Boj?m*g--lmya-ieit, . and_QO_thia_ac-
count they are guarded in their expressions regarding the
divine institution of our Christian Sabbath. The more
stress we lay upon our divine obligation to keep all the
rules, restrictions, observances, &c., connected in the
Mosaic Law with the Sabbath ordinance, the more we
shall subject ourselves to the remark that the Christian
change of the day, the Christian keeping of the Sunday
instead of the divinely and expressly appointed seventh
day, is not quite in accordance with that rigorous strict
ness, which in regard to all the other points of the Sab
bath Law, is enjoined upon us.
We may as well state here that all those passages in
the New Testament which speak of the Christian Sabbath
(Sunday,) are not sufficient to give us a thoroughly satis
factory information about the manner and strictness with
which the primitive Christians kept their Sabbath, the
day of the resurrection of Christ. It is certain that it
was with them a day of religious convocation, of prayer,
of reading the gospel, and hearing the word, and of be
nevolence, 1 Cor. xvi. 2, Acts xx. 7. But these things
together with the celebration of the Lord s supper were,
as we have already remarked, even of a daily use with
the first Christians, Acts ii. 46. The expression "Lord s
Day," in Rev. i. 10, is of a doubtful interpretation.
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 33
Most probably it means, in the connexion in which it
stands (v. 7, etc.,) the day of judgment.
There can be no difficulty in perfectly understanding
the position the Augsburg Confession has taken in this
We have already mentioned that it was one of the
greatest and grossest abuses of Popery to appoint Holy
days and Festivals almost without number. In the same
manner the Sabbath was often abused, being appointed
as a day for a pilgrimage or for the performance of simi
lar pious usages and ceremonies to obtain the blessing of
forgiveness of sins.
The miserable and perverted doctrine that obedience
to such ecclesiastical ordinances was a meritorious work
was one of the thousand means employed in those times
to keep the people in bondage and so torment the con
science. It was at the same time quite calculated to de
stroy the last particle of faith in Christ and in his atone
ment. Against this great and ruinous error that same
article comes out in the strongest terms, censuring all the
superstition connected with the adoration of saints, with
fasting, with refraining from certain meals, and with si
milar laws and traditions. The Augsburg Confession
says, that "innumerable human dictates" of this sort had
sprung up by the authority of the ecclesiastic powers,
which were by no means entitled to order any such thing,
in direct opposition to the word of God.
We would call upon all our readers to examine that
28th Article of the Augsburg Confession for themselves.
It sets forth with surprising force the two vital prin
ciples of the Protestant Church; first, the absolute au
thority of the Gospel in matters of faith; and secondly,
salvation by the free grace of God in Christ through faith
alone. Confession, Art. 4, 6, 20.
34 A PLEA FOR
It is a masterly illustration of the perversion of religion
in the Popish Church brought about by the abuses of
ecclesiastical power, and, at the same time, it is a most
beautiful exposition of the teachings of the Bible in re
gard to the ecclesiastical office and to its holy duties.
The Augsburg Confession, notwithstanding her definite
assertion that the Christian Sabbath (Sunday) rests on no
special dictate of the word of God, maintains that by
necessity and by right the Church instituted our Christian
Sabbath, and that we ought to keep it. But, at the same
time, she holds to the great principle that neither the
keeping of any day nor any other good work as such is
the means of salvation.
We may conclude this chapter with the remark that,
also in this case, the Augsburg Confession stands on pure
and solid gospel ground, and that no individual, who will
rightly consider the whole complex of thoughts and sen
tences in that article, will charge her with error. We
may well introduce here a quotation she contains in this
very article, We can do nothing against tJie truth, but for
the truth, 2 Cor. xiii. 8.
FOURTH AND FIFTH ERRORS.
BAPTISMAL REGENERATION AND THE REAL PRESENCE OF
CHRIST IN THE LORD S SUPPER.
WE may introduce these two subjects at the same time,
and with some general remarks on the nature of the Sac
raments. We will, at this place, state that it is not our
intention to enter, in this short essay, into all the details
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 35
of exegetical and dogmatical questions connected with the
whole doctrine on the Sacraments, and profoundly and
scrupulously expounded in so many theological treatises
of former and later date. Our intention is simply to
throw out some hints calculated to prove that the framers
of the Augsburg Confession entered upon the preparation
of this important document with the utmost caution and con
sideration, and adopted the doctrines as therein set forth,
by "no means upon trifling or superficial grounds, but after
the most careful and diligent study of the word of truth ;
and that, therefore, every Lutheran should reflect very
seriously before he prefers against this our Mother symbol
so grave a charge as that of error.
The Definite Platform asserts that the whole sacra
mental doctrine of the Augsburg Confession is perverted,
not in regard of the number of Sacraments, in antithesis
to the number of Sacraments in the Roman Church, but
in regard of the importance which the Augsburg Confes
sion ascribes to the two sacraments.
Here the Augsburg Confession and the Definite Plat
form are indeed very far apart. We may state that the
great difference between the two appears very prominently
at first sight. The Lutheran doctrine maintains that the
sacraments have an intrinsic value. The Definite Plat
form seems to regard them as mere signs which may have
a tendency to promote piety. The Lutheran Church
always regarded her teachings on this question as the
Shibboleth of the Lutheran Church, as her peculiar sig
nature. The Definite Platform regards this very point
for which the true adherents of the Lutheran Church,
from Luther down to the present day, have fought with
the weapons of the word of God as the blemish of the
Lutheran doctrine. The Augsburg Confession, ascribing
36 A PLEA FOR
the highest value to the sacraments, treats the sacra
mental doctrine as one of superior consideration. The
Definite Platform, ascribing less value to the sacraments,
must regard this whole question as being of secondary im
"We may well ask, what is the doctrine of the Definite
Platform on the Sacraments? The answer is, that the
Definite Platform regards them as mere signs, by which
a man professes, that he believes in Christ, and by which
his edification may be improved, provided he is in the
right state of a pious mind.
What is the Lutheran doctrine? She teaches that God
makes, by his almighty power, the two sacraments, his own
institutions on earth, means to convey grace to those who
are brought in contact with his kingdom on earth ; he is
able, in his wonderful wisdom and power, to do great
things by seemingly small means, and he is in his ways
not at all bound to our capacity of understanding, but we
are bound to believe in his word without doubt and with
out skeptical criticism. He is able to accomplish by the
Holy Baptism, performed in the mysterious name of the
ever-adored Trinity, a work of regeneration in the heart
of the little child.* And Christ, the God-man, is able to
* The expression used in the Augsburg Confession, Art. 2, is, regene
rated by Baptism and the Holy Ghost, (v. John iii. 5.) This doctrine,
however, is not to be understood as if the new creation was fully com
pleted by new generation. It is complete in as far as a live seed is com
plete in itself. This does, by no means, exclude subsequent development
brought about by favourable internal and external influences. It is
the clear doctrine of the Gospel that regeneration is brought about by
holy Baptism, St. John iii. 5 ; Rom. vi. 3, 4 ; Gal. iii. 26, 27 ; Eph. v.
25, sgg; Tit. iii. 5; 1 St. Pet. iii. 21. Those passages of the New Tes
tament where it seems that the Holy Ghost was given before or after
Baptism are the very proof for our doctrine. In addition to the extraor
dinary gifts of the Spirit, (Acts x. 47; viii. 15-17,) Baptism was re-
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 37
make us poor earthly creatures partakers of his celestial
nature (2 Pet. i. 4,) in the most solemn rite of his Church,
which is, therefore, communion between Christ and man
in the fullest manner possible on earth.
The Lutheran Church certainly regards the sacraments
as mysteries. As such the primitive Church regarded
them. She had, so to speak, in the whole a deeper feel
ing that the Church on earth is a supernatural structure,
a world from on high in the midst of this world below,
than we have. We may not be inclined to deny this
view of the Church, still we draw the demarkation line
for the exclusion of the supernatural influence rather in
an optional way.
We are at every point of the surface of the Church ter
ritory surrounded by supernatural mysteries. A super
natural mystery is the Holy Trinity, three persons in one
God, the incarnation of God, the dwelling of Almighty
God in the "form of a servant," the communion of a di
vine nature with man s nature in one person, the miracu
lous generation, the whole life and death of this person,
and his resurrection and reappearance in the shape of man ,
the regeneration of man, which is a new life planted in a
soul already living and united with it, though entirely
changing it, yea, a dwelling of God himself in man ; all
these things and a thousand others are undeniable mys
teries. Still no true Christian denies them. He will
stand by them because they stand by the Bible. Should
garded as necessary. But the Gospel and the Augsburg Confession no
where teach that faith in Christ is unnecessary on the part of a baptized
individual, or that we do not want a daily renewal of the baptismal
covenant by repentance and prayer. The life seed may lay apparently
dead for a long time 4 until at last the blessed time of a "revival" will
38 A PLEA FOR
there be no Bible ground at all for regarding the sacramental
institutions of Christ as divine, supernatural mysteries,
which certainly means something more than mere signs?
Destroy it not ; for a blessing is in it, Isa. Ixv. 8.
Those who oppose the doctrine of an intrinsic value of
the sacraments, must necessarily regard them as mere
signs, or as certain forms and ceremonies, whose perform
ance is obligatory upon Christians, because therewith we
publicly profess our faith in Christ, and strengthen by
our own action, our communion with him. The Definite
Platform says : (p. 38.) " The design of the Holy Supper is
to show forth the Lord s death, to profess the name of
the Redeemer before the world, to confirm the previous
faith of the communicant, to bring him into closest com
munion with his blessed Saviour, and to secure his special
spiritual blessings." It is easy to see, that all these be
nefits may as well be derived from any other religious ex
ercise. But why does the Definite Platform finish that
sentence with the words, "but not to bestow forgiveness
for sins upon the unre generate?" Does the Augsburg
Confession in any way teach any such doctrine ? Or does
any exposition of our Lutheran faith?
By regarding the sacraments as merely symbolical and
representative acts which may have a tendency to improve
the communion between Christ and the believer, the reli
gion of the New Testament is apparently placed on the
same standing with the Old Testament covenant. In the
Old Testament we find ceremonies, forms and types, which
foreshadow the things which were to come. But with
Christ the types were abolished. With him, every thing is
a reality ; he did not come to establish any thing that should
not, in itself, be an essential. In this, we see one of the
great excellencies, by whk;h the glory of the new liabita-
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 89
tion of God on earth, the New Testament, surpasses that
of the temporary tabernacle of the Old.
To us it seems very improbable, that Christ should ever
have instituted his two sacraments as mere forms. We
may even say, that Christ might have chosen something
more original, if he intended to make his disciples known
by these signs of profession. For the sign of Baptism
was used before Christ by John the Baptist ; and even the
Lord s Supper seems to stand in some external relation to
a certain usage, sacred to the Jewish families of old. We
are far from saying, that the sacraments are no signs.
The Augsburg Confession itself calls them signs by which
we may externally know the Christian. (Art. 13.) But
at the same time, the Augsburg Confession ascribes to the
sacraments a higher value by virtue of the institution of
Christ. We know, that John the Baptist preached bap
tism and repentance. Should the baptism ordered by Christ,
and administered in the name of the Holy Trinity, possess
no greater efficacy?
We, for our part, should certainly not only lay no stress
at all upon Infant Baptism, but we would protest against
it, if we could convince ourselves that the dedicatory sa
crament was a mere sign. For we are fully persuaded,
that the professional act would be a great deal more edi-
ficatory, being performed on an older person than a child.
The child would not lose in the least by not being bap
tized ; i. e., by not going through a mere, and as far as the
child is concerned, unintelligible ceremony, for it might
be under Christian influence, and the professional act. per
formed in later years, would, without doubt, be much more
Of course,the main stress in the decision of the whole sa
cramental question must be laid on the ivords of Christ,
40 A PLEA FOR
touching the sacraments. We need not repeat them here.
To say the least, the Lutheran doctrine is exegetically well
founded upon them. It is a strange thing, that those same
men who so decidedly speak of our Christian Sabbath as a
"divine institution," for which they have no word of
Christ, seem so anxious to interpret in the most shallow
manner the very words of Christ, wherewith he instituted
his sacraments. We cannot suppose our Saviour saying
one thing, whilst meaning another. Thus, for instance,
in saying, I am the way, the vine, the door, he does not
mean to say, I represent the way, &c. He is these things
personally and really. So, also, when he says to his dis
ciples, this is my body, this is my blood. So much for the
figurative interpretation of Christ s words upon which the
Definite Platform lays so much stress. Our understand
ing of them may be " contradicted by the clear and indis
putable testimony of our senses." (Definite Platform, p.
89.) The same might be said in regard to the doctrine
of the Trinity, which the authors of the Definite Platform
The words of the Apostles on the same topic, by no
means favour the merely symbolical view of the sacra
ments. It is a well known fact, that even Calvin, this great
master in exegesis, would, just on account of the exegeti-
cal difficulties which stood in his way, not coincide with
those who regarded the sacraments as mere signs, though
he was in other respects more inclined in this direction.
Let this suffice on this momentous question. May we
feel that the authors of the Augsburg Confession had most
urgent reasons for not coming to the conclusion, that Christ s
sacramental ordinances were nothing but mere signs, with
out any intrinsic value. We should not be willing to give
up Luther s deep theological insight against the reasoning
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 41
of a Zwinglius, with whom, at least in this respect, the ra
tionalists coincide, who have of late attacked with one
stroke both God s word and Luther s doctrine. The au
thors of the Definite Platform in saying, (p. 40) that "the
great mass of the whole Lutheran Church, before the year
1817, had rejected the doctrine of the real presence," -
know very well, that this was the very period in which the
"great mass of the whole Lutheran Church 7 was more
than at any other time, infected with rationalism, which
has done unspeakable injury to theology, as well as to
Surrendering our Lutheran ground in the sacramental
doctrine, we have thrown overboard, indeed, her most pe
culiar feature, by which, more than by any thing else, we
differ from other churches, and have an originality of our
It is of comparatively recent date, that such innovations
and neologies have been introduced into the American
Lutheran Church. Yet, in the times of the revered father,
H. M. Muhlenberg, D. D., the candidates for the Lutheran
ministry were bound to teach according to the unaltered
Augsburg Confession, as the Rev. S. S. Schmucker, D. D.,
tells us in his The American Lutheran Church, 1851, p.
It is a fact, that other denominations do not teach in
this respect as we do. But why should we accommodate
ourselves to their views? There is not the least doubt,
that the theological authorities for the Lutheran view of
the sacraments are, as far as the acuteness and scientific
abilities in general are concerned, perfectly equal to those
who oppose it. Certainly the last thing Lutherans ought
to propose should be, to change at once the sacramental
doctrine of our Augsburg Confession. The Episcopalians
42 A PLEA FOR
maintain their episcopal views in spite of all Christendom,
besides themselves: so do other denominations. They are
right in doing so. It might be expected that thousands
would join them, if they only would change colours in this
or that respect. But it stands to reason, that their true in
terest is, to preserve their own original character. There is
a great difference of views amongst the Episcopalians, just
in regard to the sacraments, and many of the Episcopa
lians are, in this respect, more inclined to the Lutheran
view, than to the Zwinglian. We have not heard that,
on this account, any of them propose to change their old
confessions and rituals.
In bringing our remarks to a conclusion we may be al
lowed to state that we shall feel perfectly satisfied if our
endeavour to defend the doctrinal position taken by the
framers of the Augsburg Confession has, at least, proved
that they were well enough supported by the Gospel in
their views, that they acted considerately and carefully
in all their teachings, and that the position of those who
charge the Augsburg Confession with errors is by no
means so strong and so well-founded as to admit of no ob
jections. We have addressed ourselves in this short Plea
neither to the prejudices nor to the passions of the many
who either praise the relics of old at the expense of all
the good the present time has, or sometimes are so per
fectly carried away by the exploits of the present genera
tion that they have not even a feeling of veneration for
the greatness of those who, in former centuries, have laid
the foundation as the workmen of God to build his temple
on earth, and on whose shoulders we stand.
We are very far from charging the authors of the De
finite Platform with this latter fault. Still, we think that
they have in too rash a manner come to the conclusion
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 43
that they are right and that the Augsburg Confession is
wrong, and that the time to change the confessional
standard of our Church has arrived. We may indulge
the hope not to have treated them unfairly or unfriendly.
It will do no harm to go once more over the disputed
ground, and to ponder with a prayerful and searching
spirit once more over all the questions bearing upon our
Church doctrine, before we would propose to proclaim pub
licly our partial apostacy from the faith of Luther and
from the Augsburg Confession. It may seem honest but
it is nevertheless unbecoming and unwise to attack our
own standard which we ought rather to defend. We shall
at least, by undertaking a change of our Church confes
sion expose ourselves to the suspicion that we either re
gard our own views as above all doubt, and that we ven
ture to master Luther and Melanchthon, or that we are
influenced by a spirit foreign to our Church, and that the
views of other Churches and confessions have gained
ground in our own mind against the teachings of our own
This latter point deserves unprejudiced consideration.
We raise it not to bring vituperation upon those amongst
us who are imbued with doctrinal views quite adverse to
the original Lutheran doctrine. The circumstances under
which our Church was built up in this country are to
blame if there be anything to blame. The history of our
Church, in this respect, has been very unfortunate. Soon
after the organization of our Lutheran Zion on a solid
basis, in the times of Rev. Father H. M. Muhlenberg, D.
D., very deplorable influences combined to alienate the
members of the Lutheran Church from the original and
peculiar teachings of their own confession. From Ger
many an influx of rationalistic tendencies and views pre-
44 A PLEA FOR
vailed, and the German theological literature of the latter
part of the last and of the beginning of the present cen
tury could but destroy, not only faith in our Church
doctrine, but, at the same time, and, in the same degree,
the faith in the inspired word of God. Our own Church,
in this country, was then without the necessary institu
tions for a regular education of a ministry to advance her
interests and to defend her cause and her doctrines.
Many of our ministers were obliged to receive their men
tal and theological education by the instructions given in
literary institutions of other denominations. Here, of
course, they could not expect to hear the cause of our
German reformers and of their doctrines advocated.
Perhaps we may, in reference to this, be permitted to use
the phrase that, "the talk was all on one side." Cer
tainly the consequences of this state of things were not
favourable for our Church. This course of training was
not suited to make our ministry feel at home in their
Lutheran Confession. On the other hand we know that
a great many most worthy and diligent men in our mi
nistry were not so situated, that they could enjoy the
benefits of a solid literary and theological education.
The efforts of those men who exerted themselves in estab
lishing seminaries and other institutes of learning for our
Lutheran Church, and who have, by the grace of God,
met with such signal success, must be kept in perpetual
and grateful remembrance.
But it is easy to perceive that under those unfavour
able circumstances, and labouring against such a strong
outward pressure, our Lutheran home became rather un
comfortable for many of its own children, and they thought
it no harm to take out a pillar at this place, to raise a
partition wall at another place, to invite strangers into the
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 45
family circle, and to suit the old home to their conveni-
ency. With one word, the Lutheran Church has not been
true enough to her own genius. We have done away with
the peculiar doctrines, with our old forms of worship
and with the old Lutheran Church usages. However well
meant all this may have been, it weakened us internally,
it made us lose our own individual Church character, and
it exposed us to the ridicule of others who regarded the
Lutheran Church rather in the light of "a dissolving
view " whose atoms were to be consubstantiated with other
Churches. But we trust they will be mistaken. The
Lutheran Church has a mission to the world : it is a mis
sion more of the spirit than of the body. Her doctrines
are the last things of which she ought to think little.
We are sorry to see that it is just the Augsburg Con
fession which has been the object of attack on account of
the presupposed errors contained in her. The Augsburg
Confession is the mother symbol of our Church: it has
always enjoyed a well merited preference amongst all the
symbolical books of the Lutheran Church.
It is free from those scholastic subtleties and from that
condemnatory spirit which has often exposed some of our
symbolical books to rather a condemnatory treatment.
The Augsburg Confession entirely abstains from all radi
cal tendencies and breathes such a liberal spirit in all
matters not regulated by an especial dictate of the gospel,
that, just on this account, no book of similar character
can likely be compared with her. Her history, the his
tory of her genesis is so closely connected with the his
tory of the whole Church and the World, that we cannot
look upon this document without feelings of emotion and
veneration. In defending it in its unaltered condition
we cannot expose ourselves to the objection of making
46 A PLEA FOR
human laws and traditions a substitute for the gospel, or
of laying burdens upon the consciences of men against
the clear will of our only master, Jesus Christ. The
Augsburg Confession binds us to the gospel as to the
word of God. In this very point lies her strength.
Justly would other Churches charge us with a great want
of propriety and pious feeling if we, even by a public act,
would change the character of this Palladium not only of
the Lutheran, but of the whole Protestant Evangelical
Some say that the peculiar doctrines of the Lutheran
church stand in the way of her greater extension, and ex
pose us to censure from foreign quarters. Is not this the
case with the Episcopalians and with others? Nothing
stands in our way, but that other Churches and the world in
general do not know how excellent our doctrines are, and
over what a treasure of deep, solid, comforting Bible truth
our Church is set to watch. The misrepresentations of
the Definite Platform are, by no means, calculated to en
lighten the public at large in regard to the Lutheran
Church doctrine, but they may strengthen the unfounded
prejudices entertained against them by many, and parti
cularly by those lacking in theological and religious
knowledge. Even many of us know more about the pe
culiarities of other Churches, and even practise them, than
we know and practise of our own. Let us use the most
stringent caution against outward influences whatever be
nefits they may seem to offer. Timeo Danaos et dona
ferentes. Not every present is a real gift. Let us study
our own Church, her history, her doctrines, her character,
more and better. We have every right to be proud of
her, and need not at all tell the world that we are now
THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION. 47
going to wash her, and to clean her, and to dress her up
after a new fashion.*
There can be no doubt that the propositions of the
Definite Platform, if carried out, will not give rest and
peace to our Lutheran Church, but that they will produce
contention and strife. Let those who raised this question
reflect once more, and perhaps the Spirit of God will teach
them that their beginning was not a good one, not sub
servient to the real wants of the Lutheran Church.
May they, and all others, into whose hands this ad
dress may fall, be deeply impressed with the conviction
that our intention in thus speaking openly and candidly,
has not been to wound, but to heal, not to attack, but to
defend. To this sincere purpose, for which stronger
hands might hare been better suited, we will, with an
earnest prayer for God s blessing upon our Lutheran
Zion, and upon all his kingdom on earth, dedicate this
" Plea for the Augsburg Confession. 1
* It seems to us that this fault-finding with the Augsb. Conf. has of
late become with some a sort of mania, and that those very men, who are
now engaged in exposing those supposed errors, formerly entertained
quite different views, for a proof of which assertion we refer the reader
to the Rev. Professor S. S. Schmucker, D. D. s article on Confession, in
his Popular Theology, 1834, p. 258, where the Doctor defends the ground
taken by our Reformers in this question.
LINDSAY & BLAKISTON S PUBLICATIONS,
Aff ILLUSTRATED LIFE OF MARTIN LUTHER,
THE GREAT GERMAN REFORMER. With a Sketch of the Reformation in Germany.
Edited, with an Introduction, by the REV. THEOPHILUS STORK, D.D., late Pastor of St.
Mark s Luthern Church, Philadelphia. Beautifully ILLUSTRATED by sixteen designs, printed
on fine paper. A handsome octavo volume.
Price, in cloth, gilt backs, - - - - - $3 00
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The world owes much to Luther, and the Reformation of which he was the prominent leader, and
nothing, save the pure, simple word of God, will do more towards securing the prevalence and per
petuating the influence of the principles of religious liberty for which he and the other Reformer*
contended, than the circulation of a book in which the mental processes by which he arrived at hit
conclusions, are set forth. We can safely recommend this book as one that is worthy of a place in
every dwelling, and we hope its circulation may be as wide as its merits are deserving. Evangelical
THE LIFE OF PHILIP MELANCHTHON,
THE FRIEND AND COMPANION OF LUTHER, According to his Inner and Outer Life.
Translated from the German of Charles Frederick Ledderhose, by the REV. G. F. KROTEL,
Pastor of the Trinity Lutheran Church, Lancaster, Pa, With a PORTRAIT of Melauchthon.
In one Volume, 12mo. Price $1 00
THE PARABLES OF FRED K ADOLPHUS KRUMMACHER.
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The simple and Christian parables of Krummacher, chiefly the productions of his younger years,
have acquired a wide popularity, and have long afforded a fund on which our periodicals have freely
drawn. In their collected form they have passed through various editions in Germany, but we doubt
whether any of them have been so tasteful and bt*autiful in all their appliances as the one before us.
The typography is very chaste, and the illustrations neat and appropriate. Presbyterian.
THE CHRISTIAN S DAILY DELIGHT.
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In this attractive volume we find much to please the eye ; but the most valuable recommendation
of the work is found in the lessons of piety, virtue, morality, and mercy, which are thrown together
in this many-com .ired garland of poetic flowers. Episcopal Recorder.
LINDSAY & BLAKISTON S PUBLICATIONS,
. Mr. larbatigjps 5npnlar Kforfoi.
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Publish the following Scries of Books, which have received the approbation of all
OR, AN EARNEST AND SCRIPTURAL INQUIRY INTO THE ABODE OF THE SAINTED DEAD,
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PASTOR OF THE FIRST GERMAN REFORMED CHURCH, LANCASTER, PA.
In One Volume, 12mo. Price 75 Cents.
THE HEAVENLY RECOGNITION,
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SSill tnB luoiu imr /rinife in
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In One Volume, 12uio. Price 75 Cents.
THE HEAVENLY HOME;
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BY THE REV. H. HARBAUGH,
AUTHOR OF "THE HEAVENLY RECOGNITION OP FRIENDS," AND /IEAVKN;
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LINDSAY & B LA K!S TON S PUBLICATIONS,
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of tjs f iftk r
AN ELEGANT PRESENTATION VOLUME, by the KEV. H. HARBAUGH,
Author of the "Heavenly Recognition of Friends," the " Heavenly Home," Ac.
Imperial Octavo, elegantly ILLUSTRATED by Twelve Designs, done in Colours.
This Work is altogether Original, and by a Popular Author. The Illustrations
are entirely New, and executed in a style superior to anything of the kind here
tofore attempted in this country. The Letter-press is printed on a delicately-
tinted creaui-coloured Paper. The Binding is done with great care, and in a
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This is a hook on which the eye reposes with genuine pleasure. In all parts of its mechanical re-
cui inii it is (sumptuously prepared, and highly cred. table to the taste which planned and superintended
its publication. Our readers are not to expect, in it a scientific treatise on Bible ornithology, with the
usual technical descriptions, but a series of beautifully-written sketches suggested by the mention of
various turds, incidentally referred to in the sacred Scriptures. Mr. Harbaugh s talents as an agree
able and devotional writer, have been tested and approved in the former productions of his pen. His
publishers Ir.ive most liberally aided him in making this work acceptable, by the accompaniments of a
rich and luxurious typography, and coloured engravings of various birds, which are beautifully cha
racteristic and artistical. Presbyterian.
This volume will rank among the most perfect specimens of illustrated typography and of binding
which has issued from the American press. In a literary point of view we think it stands foremost
among Mr. Harbaugh s works. There is a mingled vein of piety and poetry running through the whole
of it that brings it closely home to the heart as well as the taste. Episcopal Recorder.
This is truly an elegant book. The paper, typography, and illustrations, are all of the best quality ;
and the contents are in admirable keeping: with the externals of the book. Rarely indeed is so much
of the useful and instructive found combined with so much that is attractive and beautiful. Traveller.
The conception of this book is, we believe, as original as it is beautiful. The various birds men
tioned in Scripture are accurately described, and each is presented, not only as a witness to the
divine .v/sdom and goodness, but as a preacher of the most important truths. The work is suited,
not less to enlarge oni s knowledge of the kingdom of nature, than to increase one s admiration and
reverence for the Lord of the creation. The t-pirit is eminently dev-> !<>n:ti. ; nd the religious teachings
not only in harmony with the sacred record, but most happily illustrative of it. Puritan Recorder.
There seems to have bren a successful effort on the p.irt of the author, artist, and publishers, to
produce a book at once beautiful in its subjects and in its language ; artistic in its r^nierous iLt ra
tions and almost faultless in its typography and binding. Pres. of the West.
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Breathes the sweet memory from a good man s tomb."
Sir E. L. Bulwer.
Third Edition. In one Vol., 12mo. Price $1. Cloth, gilt. $1 50.
This is a volume to comfort and to cheer; to render the grave familiar, and to derive from its con
templation the most encouraging hopes. A fine tone pervades the volume, and it abounds in just sen
timents ornately expressed. We should be glad to see that general seriousness of feeling which woulj
make such a volume popular. Presbyterian.
All Christians who are looking forward to the bls of heaven, by passing through the tomb, will be
strengthened and comforted by glancing over the lessons here inculcated as addressed to the pilgrim
in search of that better country. Christian Chronicle.
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" How oft, heart-sick and sore
I ve wished I were once more
A little child. "-Mrs. Southcy.
The general contents, the devotional and lovely spirit that pervades it, the flowing, lucid, and rich
diction, the sound sentiments, the encouragements to parents to bring up their children in the fear of
the Lord, the f-.bounding consolations for those who in God s providence have been called to yield up
their little ones to Him who gave them, these and other characteristics, render this book one of the
most interesting and valuable of the kind that has for a long time been presented to the public.
STRUGGLES FOR LIFE, An Autobiography.
In One Vol., ISmo. Price $1 00.
What Sunny and Shady Side are, as descriptive of American Pastoral Life, this delightful volume is
as descriptive of the Life of an English pastor. It describes, in a most felicitous style, his labours,
trials, sorrows, pleasures, and joys. But, perhaps, its chief value consists in the vivid views it gives
of human nature as illustrated in the leading characteristics of En& Lsh society, manners, and customs.
THE POETICAL WORKS OF JAMES MONTGOMERY.
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Price, in Library style, $2 00 ; Cloth, full gilt, $3 00 ; Turkey Morocco, $4 00.
The poetry of the Sheffield bard has an established reputation among serious readers of every class
The spirit of the humble Christian and the pure Philanthropist, breathes through it all; ar,d few will
rise from the perusal of Mr. Montgomery s poems without feeling the elevating power of his chaste
and beautiful lines. We are glad to see - uch a favourite poet in such graceful attire. The type
paper, and entire "getting up" of this lolume, is in tasteful accordance with the precious gems it
contains, and reflects great credit or *Ae publishers. Recorder.
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The high moral tone and pure sentiment which pervade the whole composition,
is the more striking from its contrast with the depraved taste and corrupt influ
ence of so many of the works of fiction of the present day.
AFRAJA; or, LIFE AND LOVE IN NORWAY.
A NORWEGIAN AND LAPLAND TALE. From the German of Theodore
Miigge. Translated by EDWARD JOY MORRIS, Author of " Travels in the
East," " The Turkish Empire," &c.
In full Cloth, price $1 25 ; in Two Parts, Paper, price $1 00.
" The reader, in his perusal of this beautiful work of genius, will find himself
introduced to a rare and almost untrodden field of fiction the remote neighbour
hood of the North Pole, and those icy, desert steppes, where the Laplander pur
sues his wandering life of privation and suffering. His life-like descriptions of
the manners and customs of this curious people, and the Norwegian settlers on
the coasts, are drawn with such power as to awaken the keenest interest in his
brilliant story, and to keep the attention of the reader intensely excited from the
first to the last page. The characters are pourtrayed with a rare skill and fidelity
to nature, and the whole composition cannot fail to augment the reputation of the
author, and to place him in the front rank of German historical novelists."
The characters of the heroines of the story, Gula and Ilda, are delineated with
a degree of delicacy and beauty rarely to be met with, and with a power so ab
sorbing as to completely chain the reader s attention.
The story is truly one of " life and love" among a people almost unknown to us except by name ;
and the incidents of it are so new and so heart-stirring, that little as we are accustomed to yield to the
delusion without which no novel can be interesting, we could hardly shake off the fancy that every
thrilling occurrence related passed under our own eye. National Intelligencer.
There is an originality, simplicity and beauty about the whole which will attract and charm every
reader of taste, and make it a most welcome addition to the commonwealth of fiction. Traveller,
This work is destined to delight many readers. There is a dramatic as well as descriptive power
in it which is illustrated in every page. A new volume in human nature is here opened to us.
Afraja is destined to a wide and enduring popularity, and it will take a distinguished place among
the highest order of classic fictions. The variety and contrast of characters invest the book with a
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HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES,
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CHAPTER I. THE FIRST CRUSADE. Causes of the Crnsades Preaching 01 tht
First Crusade Peter the Hermit The Crusade nndertaken by the Peop^
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CHAPTER III. THE THIRD CRUSADE. The Rise of Saladin Battle of Tibe
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CHAPTER IV. THE FOURTH CRUSADE. The French, Germans, and Italians
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Mann, William Julius
806$ A plea for the Augsburg