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Donated to 



In Memory of 

The Reverend Hjortur B. Leo 

Byron J Leo 


Distinctive Doctrines 

of the 

Different Christian Confessions, 
in the Light of the 
Sdord of 

Hlso a 

presentation of the Significance and F)armony of 

Gvangelical Doctrine and a Summary of 

the principal Unsound Religious 

tendencies in Christianity, 


Dr. Karl Graul 

edited by Dr. Reinhold Seeberg, professor of Theology 
in Grlangeru 

translated from the Twelfth German edition by 

O. M. Martens, D. D. 

Lutheran Book Concern 

Columbus, Ohio 

" But strong meat belongeth to them that are 
of full age, even those who, by reason of use, 
have their senses exercised to discern both good 
and evil." HEB. 5, 14. 


IN 1862 the undersigned gave the Church the first Eng 
lish translation of Graul s Distinctive Doctrines. That 
was a translation of the Fifth German Edition, and in 
it, as stated in the Preface, "Luther s Confession of Faith 
and the Appendix" were omitted. 

Under the skillful hand of Dr. Seeberg the latest, the 
twelfth, German edition has been much enlarged and im 
proved, and we here give the English-reading portion of 
our Church the benefit of the entire work. 

References to the Book of Concord are always, as will 
be seen, to the page in Jacobs edition ; but in a few in 
stances the translation differs slightly from that of Jacobs. 

The thanks of the undersigned and of all who use 
this book are due to the committee of the Publication . 
Board who revised the manuscript before it was placed 
in the printer s hands. Their work enhances the value of 
the book. 

The many words of encouragement the undersigned has 
received from men occupying positions of influence in the 
Church in the East and the West to furnish a new 
translation of this treatise, justify the hope that its appear 
ance will be generally welcomed. 

May the blessing of God rest on this book and on 
those who read it! 


Columbus, Ohio, March, 1897. 

Cable of Contents. 

first part. 




CHAPTER I. Concerning the Use of the Pure Doc 

trine, and Concerning the Confession of Faith.. 11 

CHAPTER II. Luther s Confession of Faith ......... 32 

CHAPTER III. The Harmony of Evangelical Doctrine. 45 

Second part* 


CHAPTER I. Distinctive Doctrines of the Romish 

Church ............. ! ......................... 05 

1, In the Article concerning the Word of God, 65; 
- 2, Concerning God, 69; 3, Concerning Man, 85; 
4, Concerning the Work of Christ, 88; 5, Con 
cerning Faith, 89; 6, Concerning Justification, 89; 
7, Concerning Grace, 92; 8, Concerning Repent 
ance, 96; 9, Concerning the Sacrament, 99; 10, 
Concerning the Last Things, 107; 11, Concerning 
the Church (Clergy and Laity, the Pope, the Dogma 
of Infallibility), 108. General Character of the 
Roman Catholic Church, 116. Appendix: The 
Vatican Council and the Old-Catholic Movement, 



CHAPTER II. Distinctive Doctrines of the Greek 

Church 122 

Character of the Greek Church in General, 122; 
Like the Romish Church in regard to Tradition, 
Scripture Interpretation, Invocation of Saints and 
Angels, Free Will, Grace, Transubstantiation, Degrees 
in Priesthood, Intermediate State, 124. 

Differs from the Romish Church in the Article: 1, 
Concerning God, 127; 2, Baptism, 127; 3, Lord s 
Supper, 127; 4, The Church, 128. 

Parties and Sects in the Greek Church 128 

Nestorians, Monophysites, Maronites, United 
Greeks, 129; the Raskol (different Sects) 129. 

CHAPTER III. Reformed Distinctive Doctrines 138 

1, The Article Concerning God, 138; 2. Concern 
ing the Person of Christ, 142; 3, Concerning 
Grace, 148; 4, Concerning the Work of Christ, 154; 
5, Concerning Baptism, 154; 6, Concerning the 
Lord s Supper, 155; 7. Concerning the Office of 
the Keys, 1G3; 8, Concerning the Church, 165. 
Concluding Remark, 165. Appendix I: The 
Church of England, 169. Appendix II: Con 
cerning the Union of the Lutheran and Reformed 
Churches, 173; Concerning Election, 180; Con 
cerning the Word, 186; Baptism, 193; the Lord s 
Supper, 197; the Person of Christ, 201; Luther on 
Gal. 5, 9, 205. 

CHAPTER IV. Distinctive Doctrines of the Arminians 209 
CHAPTER V. Distinctive Doctrines of the Socinians. 211 

CHAPTER VI. Distinctive Doctrines of the Men- 

nonites 216 

CHAPTER VII. Distinctive Doctrines of the Baptists 

and Neobaptists 220 

CHAPTER VIII. Distinctive Doctrines of the Quakers 223 


CHAPTER IX. Distinctive Doctrines of the Sweden- 

borgians 225 

CHAPTER X. Distinctive Doctrines of the Irvingites 228 

CHAPTER XI. Distinctive Doctrines of the Mormons 233 
The Shakers, 236; Spiritualists, 237. 

CHAPTER XII. Society for the Gathering of the People 

of God in Jerusalem 240 

Jewish-Christian Movement in Kischenew, 244. 
CHAPTER XIII. Distinctive Doctrines of the Moravians 247 

CHAPTER XIV. Distinguishing Peculiarities of the 

Methodists 253 

Albright Brethren, 256; Otterbeinians, 256; Pear- 
sail Smith, 256; the Salvation Army, 262. 

Third Part* 


Retrospect, 269; The Lukewarm and Undecided 
Tendency, 272; The Catholicizing Tendency, 273; 
The Tendency to Dead Orthodoxy, 275; The Pie- 
tistic Tendency, 275; The Moravianizing Tendency, 
277; The Mystic Tendency, 280; Concluding Re 
mark, 282. 

first part. 


Of Christian Doctrine in General, and of the 

Gvangelical Lutheran Doctrine 

in particular. 

Chapter I. 


*iTJ WE live, dear reader, in trying, portentous 
CIII times. The Evangelical (Lutheran) Church 
has occasion to learn, by experience, that 
our Lord did not come to send peace on the earth, but a 
sword (Matt. 10, 34). She is opposed and sorely tried 
by unbelief, by indifference, by practical materialism; 
enemies that always find adherents among the masses 
of our people. The Roman Catholic Church to-day 
opposes the Evangelical Church with greater might 
and better equipped for the fray than ever. The Evan 
gelical (Lutheran) Church is made little of and antag 
onized by the sects who, if possible, would represent 
her as unable to break to the people the bread of life. 
Thus the cry of battle and the clash of arms are again 
heard without the gate of the citadel. 

But, is harmony to be found, at least within the 
citadel itself? This, alas, we cannot claim. What a 
number of half-way or even less than that believ 
ers there are within our own camp, who declare that 
with full consciousness they confess the Gospel! 
There are those among us who are for the Gospel, 
simply because they regard it as a means for restrain- 


12 Distinctive Doctrines. 

ing the masses of the people, expecting help from 
the Church in the many social troubles of the present 
time; then again we meet others who, it is true, ac 
cept the Gospel in part but, with a shake of the head, 
reject a great deal more as being antiquated doctrine, 
not adapted to our times; then we hear of others who 
are quite willing to enjoy the fruits that mature on the 
Gospel-tree but dread to let the keen plowshare of 
repentance, without whose work the Gospel-tree can- / 
not take root within us, enter the field of their hearts. 

At such a time, dear reader, it is necessary to assure 
ourselves of the inheritance we have received from 
our fathers in the faith. This inheritance must again 
and again be laid hold of within us, that it may not 
vanish from our hearts. This inheritance is the faith 
of our Church, the faith of Luther. The question 
here is not about any mere views or opinions, which 
at best are only a helpful supplement for this life, but 
of that precious boon that makes man free, glad and 
happy, as our Luther was. Our inheritance not only 
contains doctrines but offers the treasures of faith to 
every one who will enter into the spirit of the faith 
of our fathers. O that this faith might be kindled 
anew in the hearts of our people, how it would sing 
and purl, like the gentle breezes of spring, in our 
homes and in our public affairs, as it did at that time 
after the Wars of Deliverance, when also heart after 
heart learned to pray and began to confess: "The 
Lord hath done this!" 

But, it does not seem as if the Lord would grant 
such seasons of refreshing to His Church at once. 

Use of the Pure Doctrine. 13 

Many a heart in our midst grows weary, and many 
an ear regards it as a strikingly true assertion when 
it is emphatically declared that the trouble lies just 
in this, that so much stress is laid on confession and 
doctrine. We are told that faith has a double mean 
ing. "T^aith," on the one hand may be the doctrine 
which is believed; "faith," on the other hand is what 
the heart does in that we put our confidence in God. 
So then, we are told, not the confession saves us, i. e. 
certain doctrines do not do this, but that which takes 
place within our hearts. After all, but little depends 
on the pure doctrine; it even repels many an honest 

What is thus said seems to be all right. Certainly 
we are not saved by accepting the articles of faith as 
true, or because we have proper conceptions of God, 
of Christ, of justification, of the judgment, etc. One 
having the pure doctrine may go to hell, another, 
having only the poor confession of the malefactor, 
be saved! The main point however is, not to have 
the proper conception of these things, but to have the 
things themselves. All depends on this, that the liv- 
.ing God has become my God, that Christ my Savior 
has taken up His abode in my heart, that I myself 
have attained to, and experienced the grace of the 
forgiveness of my sins, that justification be enclosed 
in the faith of the heart, just as a pearl is set in a golden 
ring, and that my heart, in the consciousness of final 
accountability, have become accustomed to the at 
mosphere of eternity. 

14 Distinctive Doctrines. 

That it is so, is beyond all doubt. Just as no other 
one can believe for me, so within myself my intellect 
must not arrogate to itself that which is a matter of 
the heart, the inner sanctuary. It depends, not on 
the comprehension, but on the apprehension. What 
God the Lord graciously permitted me to attain to 
and experience this constitutes faith. 

Very well! Is it then not true as has been said, 
that very little depends on plain, pure doctrine, that 
everything depends on the heart alone? Gothe says: 
"Feeling is everything! A name is mere sound and 
vapor, and like the vapors that dim the glow of 

Pause a little, my friend! Is it indeed so that our 
conception of anything has nothing to do with our 
possessing it? Is it really a matter of indifference by 
what "name" we designate anything? Life does not 
confirm this. How many a one has met us in a 
friendly manner, both in word and deed. But we had 
an antipathy to him, others had prejudiced us against 
him. So we turned him away, misconstruing his 
words and actions. The man s intentions toward us 
were none the less good, but we deprived ourselves 
of the benefit and blessing of them. Why? Because 
we had a false conception of him, because we did not 
know how to give his character the right "name." It 
is precisely so when the personal God moves our 
hearts by His grace. Surely, it is not a matter of in 
difference how this matter has been presented to you. 
Whether you, by your own good deeds presume to 
merit grace, or whether you will let Him work, for 

Use of the Pure Doctrine. 15 

He, He alone can do it. It is not a matter of indif 
ference whether, at the Lord s table, where the Lord 
Jesus Himself comes to you, you think: Here is an 
emblem, here my soul must climb to heaven on the 
ladder of this emblem; or whether you know: He 
is here, I will sit still, like Mary did ; I need not climb 
up to Him; He has come down to me. Of course, 
God s gift of grace is the same, no matter what or how 
I think of it. But whether I can receive the full gift 
with all its blessing, that is the question. I must know 
where the gift is and how it comes, else, instead of 
reaching out with the hand of my heart towards it 
I will grope around at random and lose it. 

To sum up: It is not all the same what doctrine 
or view we accept, or what "name" we give a thing, 
but in view of the blessing we may receive from it, 
it is very important. If some one should arrive at 
the foolish idea that the light of the sun is injurious, 
and anxiously shade his windows, the light would still 
dispense its blessings, but the person in question 
would deprive himself of a good share of that bless 
ing. That this is really so we see best from this, that 
God did not leave it to men to form a conception of 
Him from their own heart s experience, but revealed 
Himself, i. e. caused it to be told to men in words, 
who He is, what He does, and what He wills. 

Therefore let us hold fast to the pure Evangelical 
doctrine, for it teaches us so to know God, Christ, 
sin and grace, as they really are. It gives to objects 
the right names, so that we may know how to lay 

16 Distinctive Doctrines. 

hold of and keep them, when they really present them 
selves to us. 

But, at this point I hear the objection raised, To 
what end do we need special confessional writings? 
God s revelation is given us in the Bible, is not this 
all-sufficient? We know that, the Catholics do not 
admit this, but place tradition at the side of the Scrip 
tures, and require an acceptance of that also. We 
have nothing in common with this answer. Certainly 
the Scriptures present to us divine revelation in a suf 
ficiently clear manner, so as to meet all our demands. 
But "understandest thou what thou readest?" (Acts 
8, 30). The Bible is made up of a number of different 
books, written in different languages, at widely dif 
ferent times, under very different circumstances, each 
with a special object in view. Hence it is very easy 
to misunderstand the Bible, or to interpret it accord 
ing to our favorite, preconceived notions. When Paul 
wrote to the Corinthians that it is better not to marry 
than to marry (1 Cor. 7, 1. 38), he knew very well why 
he needed to urge this at that time, namely because it 
"is good for the present distress" (v. 26). Later the 
words were made to mean that those who remain cel 
ibates thereby acquire special merit And when St. 
James wrote some "hard" words about faith without 
works (James 2, 14-26), it was because those for whom 
he wrote needed them. But he, knowing as he did 
the passage which underlies the doctrine of justifica 
tion by faith (v. 23), certainly had no idea that any 
one would presume to use his words to distort, nay 
to set aside, that fundamental doctrine of the Old 

Use of the Pure Doctrine. 17 

and New Testament Those holding the ancient faith 
(Starowerzy) in Russia went so far as to maintain that 
the passage Matthew 15, 18. (those things which pro 
ceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; 
and they defile the man) prohibits smoking. These 
are only a few examples, but the history of the Church 
abundantly proves that the sects especially have tried 
to prove the strangest and most absurd doctrines by 
the Holy Scriptures. 

Hence the Church, from the very beginning, has 
taught her members what the truth of the Gospel is, 
how one may arrive at an understanding of the Scrip 
ture. For this purpose, in the very earliest times al 
ready, they used the baptismal confession or rule of 
faith, which, as the "Apostolic Creed," is used among 
us also as a guide for instructing our youth in the 
fundamental truths of faith. Then, when errors crept 
into the Church, ampler confessions became neces 
sary as a barrier against the encroachment of heresies. 

But, if you ask: Of what use are such confessions, 
have we not ministers and teachers for the very pur 
pose of leading our congregations into the right un 
derstanding of the Scriptures? I answer: Are you 
really willing to submit unquestioningly to the waver 
ing view, or the perhaps perverse or immature opin 
ion of any teacher or minister? Is it not rather good 
and salutary that these men themselves have had the 
confessions as a guide to the proper understanding 
of the truth of Scripture, and that they were bound 
by a solemn vow to teach their congregations in the 
spirit of Luther? 

18 Distinctive Doctrines. 

Our congregations are to be instructed in the 
spirit of our Confessions, which, during the work of 
the Reformation, proved itself to be a holy spirit. The 
confessional writings, to which their ministers were 
required to subscribe, even now serve to retain for 
our congregations the pure Christian doctrine. But 
the position we assign to^ the Evangelical Confessions 
must not be confounded with that which is assigned 
to tradition by the Romanists. The Evangelical 
Christian regards the teachings of the Confessions as 
true, and demands that the servant of the Church ad 
here to them, not because the Church has given the 
Confessions, i. e. not because he reposes his trust in 
the Church, but because they agree with the revealed 
word of God. The Holy Scriptures alone are, of right, 
the final court of appeal. And the Confessions them 
selves always refer, back of and beyond themselves, 
to the Scriptures. Thus too the congregations should 
be led on themselves to make use of this precious pre 
rogative of Christians, namely, like those noble Chris 
tians in Berea, to "search the Scriptures daily, whether 
those things were so" (Acts 17, 11). 

Would we not all do well to acquaint ourselves 
more thoroughly with these Confessions, which, like 
our Augsburg Confession or Luther s Large Cate 
chism, tell us so beautifully what the true import of 
the Lutheran faith is? He whose heart is grounded 
in the Lutheran faith, he who lives in the grace of 
God, will readily see that the Confessions are not bur 
densome, strange, doctrinal laws which one cannot 
understand and to which one must therefore unwil- 

Use of the Pure Doctrine. 19 

lingly submit. He will see that here just that is set 
forth clearly and definitely which he himself has been 
in possession of long ago, and from which his heart 
has derived nourishment and comfort in good and evil 
days. Our Confessions are to be looked upon, not 
as a police-ordinance enacted for imprisoned crimi 
nals, but as rules for God s children in the house of 
their Father. These household rules are intended to 
direct them to feel themselves at home in the Father s 
house, and to make use of all the treasures and privi 
leges which it offers them, at the right time, and in 
the right way, for their own salvation. Thus then we 
will seek to conform ourselves to those household 
rules and love them more fervently, so that both we 
and those belonging to us may feel more and more at 
home in the house of the Church, until we pass from 
faith here below where it is constantly hindered and 
dimmed by the devil, the world and the flesh, to the 
blessedness of si^ht in our Father s kingdom. O 
happy those among us who will then be able to say: 
"Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath 
given me" (Isa. 8, 18)! 

But the time has not come yet of which the Lord 
says: "And there shall be one fold, and one Shep 
herd" (John 10, 16); the different Confessions, parties 
and sects into which Christendom is divided are still 
estranged from, nay often inimical to each other. This 
is calculated to fill the Christian s heart with deep 
sorrow. Nay, it may even happen that, when we note 
so many advantages in other communions or meet 
exceptionally noble representatives of other creeds, 

20 Distinctive Doctrines. 

we begin to grow doubtful about our own Confession 
or at least regard the boundary lines which separate 
the pious from each other with a shake of the head. 
Should we not, so we are asked, remove these lines 
now when the world with its unbelief and hatred 
storms so mightily against the kingdom of Christ? 
Should we not at such times cling together harmon 
iously and wage a common warfare against the so 
powerful enemy? Many say this, and act accordingly. 
That we all who faithfully fight under the banner of 
Christ constitute one army cannot be called in ques 
tion. But would we then be true soldiers of Christ, 
if we should seek to bring confusion into the line of 
battle and arbitrarily forsake our own division? No, 
our duty is to stand firm there where not chance but 
God has placed us, there where He is according to. 
the experience of our heart. 

But we will not allow our eyes to be dimmed by 
sudden ebullitions of feeling. Mu,ch rather will we 
bear in mind that the various Confessions have been 
formed not by chance or without cause. There were 
real differences which, despite all efforts, could not 
be removed. And upon close examination we will 
find that these differences exist to-day yet. And those 
who are conscientious and sincere in their faith are the 
very ones in whom these differences are most clearly 
manifest. Those who are not earnestly concerned 
about their own creed will at last make terms with 
any one. But, shall we allow such persons to decide 
for us in matters of this kind? This would be a 
strange demand! If you will compare a pious Cath- 

Use of the Pure Doctrine. 21 

olic with a pious Protestant, or even a true member 
of the Reformed Church with a true Lutheran, you 
will not fail immediately to see the great and sharply 
defined differences. If this cannot be denied in the 
case of individuals, then the same will still hold good, 
that the congregations also should have a clear under 
standing of the differences between their own and 
other Confessions. To strengthen this consciousness 
is the purpose this little book would serve. 

In doing this it shall be far from us to even wish to 
disparage the individual members of other churches. 
Far from us be also the thought that salvation can be 
found only in our church! How many true, estimable 
Christians have we found in other denominations! 
But, one thing we must of course maintain, viz. that 
if we regard our doctrine of Christ, of the means of 
grace and of the work of redemption as true, then 
those teaching otherwise are in error. We have al 
ready seen that these errors are not insignificant, that 
they may lead up to grave misunderstandings with 
reference to grace. But we know too that they in their 
effects may be so restrained by the grace of God, 
that the person holding them may still reach the goal. 
The Catholic Church lays much stress upon works 
performed by the individual; but how many a pious 
soul in that church especially in the last extremity 
looks to grace alone. 

The Confessions are related to each other like dif 
ferent roads leading to the same place. But here is 
one road which is most sure to lead to that place, 
walking on which one never loses sight of the goal 

22 Distinctive Doctrines. 

because it is a straight road. Then there are other 
roads, leading through many by-ways, deep ravines 
and over high mountains, and where one must make 
his way through a dense growth of underbrush. How 
many a one, under these conditions, may go astray 
until it is too late and the shades of evening begin to 
darken; how many a one may grow weak and weary, 
because he has so soon lost sight of the goal, and quit 
the race ! Now, if you have learned to know the right 
way dare you thoughtlessly venture to follow one of 
the by-ways, in the hope that it may finally lead to the 
goal? No, let us thank God that He has placed our 
feet on the right way, and let us not depart from it 
either to the right or to the left! 

But is it not a mark of vanity to say that we have 
the truth and others are in error? This objection 
would be justified only then if we should claim to have 
invented or discovered the truth ourselves. But we 
confess that only the grace of God has given it to us, 
and that we hold it to be the truth only because it 
agrees with God s revealed word. And then, where 
can you find a real conviction that does not necessarily 
accuse all those thinking otherwise of error? Or does 
any one propose to frighten us by the threadbare 
charge of unfashionable, antiquated intolerance? 
Only those can be accused of intolerance who will 
not tolerate others at all, who deny them the right of 
existence, and want to force them to think as they 
themselves do. But the Lutheran Church knows that 
she is not guilty of such conduct. She believes that 
she has the truth, but respects the right of free con- 

Use of the Pure Doctrine. 23 

viction on all sides. Of course, that miserable twaddle 
of modern semi-culture that raves about all manner of 
possible convictions by reason of which it claims to 
have the right to oppose the Church and the Bible, 
of that semi-culture which knows as good as nothing 
of any and all tilings, but simply repeats what it hears 
others say that we cannot regard and honor as per 
sonal conviction. It shall not disturb us at all if from 
that quarter they continue to reproach us with intol 
erance. Or, what should we care for the talk of those 
who cannot distinguish between religious conviction 
and intolerance? All this, however, is not to be re 
garded as a reflection on other churches that stand 


opposed to us. 

What we want to say is this, that it is our privilege 
and our duty to hold fast to the doctrines of our Lu 
theran Church. 

But what means have we to ascertain the differ 
ences between other Confessions and our own Church? 
The title of our little book gives the answer to this ques 
tion: the "Distinctive Doctrines! Of course the var 
ious denominations differ also as to forms of worship 
and morals. But since the usages and customs of dif 
ferent countries, as well as the sin and weakness of the 
individual, have much to do with such differences, 
these cannot help us as a standard to judge by. Thus 
then we must turn to the doctrine. This will soon 
show us what view the church in question holds con 
cerning God and Christ, concerning sin and grace, 
concerning faith and works, and in general concerning 
Christian life. This is just what we want to know. 

24 Distinctive Doctrines. 

And even if not all the individuals in a certain church 
are guided by the principles of their Confession, these 
principles still show us what they are striving after in 
this church, what they regard as the central and main 
thing in Christianity. 

Thus then we propose to become acquainted not 
only with the doctrines of our Church, but also with 
those of other churches, for the express purpose of 
learning to know the greater excellence of our own. 
We learn to know the doctrine of others from their 
confessional writings. With the several Confessions 
as the source, we present the distinctive doctrines of 
the various Christian Confessions, in what follows. 
But we clare not be content with simply showing 
wherein they differ from our Lutheran faith, but shall 
also have to show that herein they at the same time 
differ and depart from the Holy Scriptures. For this 
is the supreme principle among us, when the question 
as to what is true or false in Christian doctrine is 
raised, that only that is true which agrees -with the Holy 
Scriptures; in other words, that only that is pure 
-Christian doctrine which agrees with original Christian 

And now, dear reader, since we have seen of what 
great value our own Confession is. and have also come 
to an understanding as to our purpose in what follows, 
let me just show you yet in a few words how Confes 
sions originated in the Church and which are the most 

For three centuries the Church was content with 
the simple Baptismal Confession. The Church found 

Use of the Pure Doctrine. 25 

it sufficient simply to emphasize the facts in the history 
of the work of redemption, both over against her 
heathen opponents and the half-heathen Gnostics. 
But when, in the beginning of the fourth century, 
Arms appeared, maintaining that Christ is only a 
creature, the workmanship of God, as we all are, a 
being however of a higher order than men or angels, 
a kind of demi-god as it were, the Council of Nice as 
sembled (325) and, under the leadership of Athanasius, 
set up this declaration against Arius, that Christ is 
"God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God, 
Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the 
Father." Since the Council of Constantinople (381) 
a Confession closely related to this, but presenting 
more elaborately the Divinity of the Holy Spirit, has 
been circulated and recognized. This is the Niceno- 
Constahtinopolitan Creed, which is also sometimes used 
in our church service, viz. under the name "Nicene." 
But the Church had to engage in still further con 
flicts with reference to the doctrine of the person of our 
Lord. Now that His Divinity was established, closer 
inquiry was made as to the relation of the human to 
the divine nature in Christ. Some maintained that 
the relation of the two natures to each other was that 
of two boards joined together; a loose, external rela 
tion. Thus Nestorius and his adherents. Others 
thought that we should really speak of only one nature. 
If the first assumption gave rise to the fear that the 
Divinity of Christ had no part whatever in His suffer 
ings and death, and that therefore these have no re 
deeming efficacy, so the other led to the doubt, which 

26 Distinctive Doctrines. 

could not be ignored, whether the human nature was 
not so absorbed by the divine nature of Christ as to 
lose its self-existence (Monophy sites). If the first re 
lation presents to us the picture of two boards joined 
together, the second leads us to think of a drop of 
wine lost in a bucket of water. For the consideration 
of this matter the Synod of Ephesus (431) and that of 
Chalcedon (451) were held. The result of these con 
troversies was the definition that after the incarnation 
of Christ the one person subsists in two natures, both 
of which are comprehended in the unity of the person, 
and that this union is without any confusion, change, 
division, or separation of the two natures. 

These are the ecclesiastical tenets or dogmas which 
the ancient Church of the Orient brought forth. 
Christ, true God and true man, is the result of the la 
bor of this i. e. the Greek portion, of the ancient 

The Latin Occident took an active part in this 
labor and itself suggested further questions with ref 
erence to Christian knowledge, and at the same time 
offered their solution. When Pelagius expressed the 
view that there is no original sin, that all men are born 
as sinless as Adam was created, that they are led to sin 
only by the teaching and example which they hear 
and see, and that accordingly the teachings and ex 
ample of Christ suffice to save men, the mighty bishop 
of Hippo, Augustine, appeared in opposition to him. 
Augustine s own life and conduct had taught him that 
we as children of Adam are all by nature sinners, in 
a lost condition. Only grace and that alone can save 

Use of the Pure Doctrine. 27 

us; grace makes us new creatures. But that not even 
the least part of redemption might be ascribed to what 
man does, Augustine promulgated the doctrine of ab 
solute predestination. God determined beforehand 
that certain ones should be saved, the others left to 
destruction. In the case of the former grace works in 
an irresistible manner, and they cannot be lost; in the 
case of the latter the operation of God s word on them 
is such only in appearance; they cannot be saved. 
After many conflicts Augustine s doctrine of sin and 
grace received churchly sanction at the Synod of 
Orange (529). In opposition to the Donatists, a 
fanatical sect claiming that the Church must be abso 
lutely pure, Augustine referred to this, that in the 
Church there must necessarily be chaff along with the 
wheat; but as for the rest he also adopted the view, 
predominant in his day already, that the bishops are 
the Church, and that to belong to the Church means 
to yield obedience to the bishops. 

Besides these doctrines, to which much importance 
was attached, arid which consequently gave rise to 
severe conflicts, the ancient Church naturally had her 
views with reference to the other component parts of 
Christian doctrine. If we look at her conception of 
the Christian religion, we can only say in general that 
she departed widely from the pure, clear knowledge 
of the Gospel as found in the New Testament Scrip 
tures. But just at the point where the opponents tried 
to corrupt the Gospel with specifically unchristian 
errors, she succeeded in bringing to light and estab- 

28 Distinctive Doctrines. 

lishing views of lasting worth. Of these we have just 
been speaking. 

The middle ages did not further the knowledge of 
Christian truth. In the Orient they clung to their in 
terest in the cultus, which had gradually come to the 
front and supplanted the interest in matters of doc 
trine. The history of the iconoclastic controversy, 
ending with the Council of Nice, 787, furnishes a very 
suggestive picture of this one-sidedness. In the Cath 
olic Occident they held fast, during the middle ages, 
to the doctrine they had received. But the evils and 
defects of ecclesiastical affairs naturally cast their 
darkening shadow also upon matters of doctrine. 
Men laid stress upon the unlimited authority of the 
priesthood, with the vicar of Christ, the pope, at the 
head ; upon the external view of the sacraments, which 
infuse new powers into the souls of men; upon the 
doctrine that man has been only wounded by sin, but 
that after he has received the powers of grace he can 
do good works and thus acquire merit which will 
avail before God; and upon indulgences, the adora 
tion of saints, Mary, etc. 

For a while it seemed, too, as though the Church 
could find rest and peace under that false conception 
of Christianity. But in the fifteenth century, at the 
close of the middle ages, men s hearts experienced 
great anguish. All the means which the Church rec 
ommended were applied in feverish assiduity. Still 
the desired end (peace of conscience) was not attained. 
There appeared many who severely condemned the 
notorious errors of the Church in doctrine and life 

Use of the Piire Doctrine. 29 

(e. g. Wickliffe, Huss, Wesel, Wessel), but no one suc 
ceeded in presenting anything new and approved in 
their place. Then God raised up Martin Luther. In 
the burning anguish of his heart he learned to know 
the Gospel. And what he experienced in his heart he 
found confirmed by the Holy Scriptures. And now 
his conscience impelled him to arise and rend the fet 
ters in which the hierarchy had bound the people. 
Luther did not invent a new, but rene^ved the old apos 
tolic conception of Christianity. In doing this he re 
tained all the good, true doctrines that the old Church 
had established, at the same time more firmly estab 
lishing and enriching them. This is true as well 
of the conception of the person of Christ as of 
the doctrines of sin and grace. What Luther did 
in Germany, was accomplished true, as we shall 
soon see, partly from another point of view and in 
another manner by Zwingli and Calvin in Switzer 
land. The Gospel found favor in still wider and widen 
ing circles. Soon two other Confessions stood op 
posed to the old Roman Catholic Church. 

What they objected to in the Romish Church, why 
they had to separate from her and again what they 
themselves taught this was expressed in their re 
spective Confessions. Later on, when the antitheses 
between the German and Swiss Reformation became 
more clearly defined, when in their own ranks diver 
gent views as to important doctrines became apparent, 
the two new churches (i. e. Lutheran and Reformed) 
were compelled to defend their position also over 
against each other. Notwithstanding the now clearer 

80 Distinctive Doctrines. 

and better knowledge of the Gospel, the Romish 
Church held fast to her doctrine and so expressed her 
self at the Council of Trent. 

The Lutheran Confessional Writings are: the 
Large Catechism and the Small Catechism (1529) of 
Luther, the Augsburg Confession (1530), the Apology 
of the Augsburg Confession (1530), the two latter writ 
ten by Melanchthon, the Smalcald Articles, written 
by Luther (1537), and the Formula of Concord (1580). 

The Reformed Confessional Writings will not all 
be mentioned here. We refer only to the most im 
portant: the Heidelberg Catechism (1562), the second 
Helvetic Confession (1566), the Westminster Confes 
sion of Faith (1648), finally, by way of settlement of 
the controversies about the doctrine of predestina 
tion, the Canons of the Synod of Dordrecht (1619). 

The Confessional Writings of the Roman Cath 
olics are: the Decrees and Canons of the Council of 
Trent (1545-1563), the Confessions of the Tridentine 
Faith (1564), the Romish Catechism (1566), and finally 
the Decrees and Canons of the Vatican Council (1870). 

Of the Confessions of the Greek Catholic Church 
we mention the Orthodox Confession of the Catholic 
and Apostolic Faith of the Oriental Church (by Peter 
Mogilas, 1643), the Confession of Dositheus (1672), 
and finally the Catechism of Philaret (1839), approved 
by the Holy Synod in St. Petersburg. 

IF in the following we attempt to characterize the 
Evangelical Lutheran conception of Christianity in its 

Use of the Pure Doctrine. 31 

fundamentals, it is eminently proper to begin with Lu 
ther s confession of faith. In 1528, hence prior to the 
origin of the Augsburg Confession, Luther, in his 
4 Large Confession concerning the Lord s Supper," 
directed against the Zwinglian doctrine of the Lord s 
Supper, published in full outline a final Confession of 
Faith which embraces every single point of Doctrine. 
We give this Confession in the following chapter. 


(OF THE YEAR 1528.) 

SINCE I see that schism and error are growing 
worse and worse, and that there is no end to 
the raving and storming of Satan in order 
that no one may hereafter, either during my life or 
after my death, appeal to me and distort my writings 
to confirm his error (as the Sacratnentarians and Ana 
baptists began to do) I will here in detail and in 
writing confess before God and all the world the 
faith which I propose to hold until death, and in 
which (so help me God) I propose to depart from this 
world and to appear before the judgment seat of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. And if any one, after my death, 
should say: If Luther were living yet he would hold 
and teach this or that article otherwise, for he did not 
weigh it sufficiently, etc.; against such I say now as 
then, and then as now, that by the grace of God I have 
most diligently considered these articles, have com 
pared them, with the Scriptures again and again, and 
would as surely defend them as I have already de 
fended the Sacrament of the Altar. I am now neither 
drunken nor inconsiderate, I know what I am saying 
and also well realize my accountability at the coming 
of our Lord Jesus Christ to judgment. Therefore 


Luther s Confession of Faith. 33- 

let no one esteem this as a jest or mere idle talk, for 
to me it is a very serious matter indeed. For by God s 
grace I know Satan thoroughly. If he can pervert and 
misconstrue the Word of God, what may he not do- 
with my words or those of another? 

In the first place I believe with my whole heart the 
exalted article concerning the Divine Majesty, that 
Father, Son and Holy Ghost, three distinct persons, 
are indeed one, natural, true God, Creator of heaven, 
earth and all things, and this I believe against the 
Arians, Macedonians, Sabellians and such like heret 
ics, Gen. 1,1; as this has hitherto been held both by 
the Romish Church and by all Christian churches 
throughout the world. 

In the second place, I believe and know that the 
Scriptures teach us that the second person in the God 
head, namely the Son, alone became true man, being- 
conceived of the Holy Ghost without the intervention 
of man, and born of the pure, holy virgin Mary, as 
of a true natural mother as St. Luke clearly describes 
all this chapter 1, 26, and the prophets have also fore 
told it; so that neither the Father nor the Holy Ghost 
became man as some heretics have taught. Also that 
God the Son assumed not only the body without the 
soul (as some heretics have taught), but also the soul, 
that is the complete humanity, and was born as the 
true seed or child promised to Abraham and David 
and the natural son of Mary, in every way and form a 
true man, as I myself and all others are (Heb. 7, 26); 
except that He was without sin and came into this 
world of the virgin alone through the Holy Ghost, 

34 Distinctive Doctrines. 

And that such man is true God, uniting God and man 
in one eternal, indivisible person; so that Mary, the 
holy virgin, is the real, true mother, not only of the 
man Christ, as the Nestorians teach, but of the Son 
of God, as St. Luke says chapter 1, 35: "That holy 
thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the 
Son of God," that is, my and all men s Lord, Jesus 
Christ, God s and Mary s only, true, natural Son, true 
God and man. 

I also believe that such Son of God and Mary, our 
Lord Jesus Christ, has suffered, was crucified, dead 
.and buried for us poor sinners, whereby through His 
innocent blood He has redeemed us from sin, death and 
the eternal wrath of God, and that He arose again 
from the dead on the third day, and ascended to 
heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Al 
mighty Father, Lord over all lords, King over all 
kings, and over all creatures in heaven, earth and 
under the earth, over death and life, over sin and right 

For I confess and know how to prove from the 
Scriptures that all men are descended from one man, 
Adam, and by their birth received and inherited from 
him the fall, guilt and sin, of which the same Adam, 
by the malice of the devil, was guilty in Paradise, and 
thus together with him are all born in sin, live and die 
in sin, and must be given over to eternal death, had 
not Jesus Christ come to our help, taken upon Him 
self as an innocent Lamb our guilt and sin, and paid 
for us with His sufferings; still daily interceding for 

Luther s Confession of Faith. 35 

us as a faithful, merciful Mediator, Savior and the only 
High Priest and Bishop of our souls. 

Herewith I reject and condemn, as erroneous 
throughout, every doctrine which magnifies our free 
will, as being in direct opposition to such help and 
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. For since outside of 
Christ death and sin are our lords, and the devil our 
god and prince, there can be no power nor might, no 
wit nor understanding, by which we could fit ourselves 
for, or strive after, righteousness and life; but, blinded 
and captive, slaves of sin and Satan, must 40 and think 
what pleases them and is contrary to God s will and 

I. also condemn both the new and the old Pelagians, 
who will not admit that original sin is sin, but claim 
that it is a frailty or defect. But since death has passed 
upon all men, original sin must be not only a frailty 
but a very great sin, as St. Paul says: "The wages of 
sin is death," Rom. 6, 27. And again: "The sting 
of death is sin," 1 Cor. 15, 56. So too David says 
Psalm 51, 5: "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and 
in sin did my mother conceive me." He does not say: 
My mother conceived me with sin, but I, / was shapen 
in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me; 
that is, in my mother s womb I was formed of sinful 
seed, a rendering of which the Hebrew text admits. 

Accordingly I reject and condemn also as being 
nothing but the devil s crew and error all monastic 
orders, rules, cloisters, foundations, and whatever has 
been invented and established by men over and beyond 
the Scriptures, and was upheld with vows and self- 

36 Distinctive Doctrines. 

imposed duties ; although many great saints have lived 
in them, and, though being the elect of God, were yet 
for the time being deceived by them, yet at last were 
delivered through faith in Jesus Christ. For since 
men live in such orders, foundations and sects, think 
ing that by such ways and works they will and can 
be saved, escape sin and death, it is an open, dreadful 
blasphemy and denial of the only help and grace of 
our only Savior and Mediator Jesus Christ; for there 
is no other name given unto us by which we may be 
saved, except this, which is called Jesus Christ, Acts 4, 
12; and it is impossible that there should be more 
Saviors, ways or means of being saved, than through 
the only righteousness, which our Savior Jesus Christ 
is and has, given to us and presented to God as our 
only propitiation (or mercy-seat), Rom. 3, 25. 

It would be a fine thing to have cloisters and foun 
dations for the purpose of teaching young men God s 
Word, the Scriptures and Christian discipline, thus 
training and fitting well skilled men for bishops, pas 
tors and other servants of the Church, also thoroughly 
educated men for temporal government, and fine, 
modest, educated women to preside over Christian 
households and train up children. But to make of 
them a means of salvation is a doctrine and belief of 
devils, 1 Tim. 4. 

The only holy orders and institutions established 
of God are these three: The ministerial office, matri 
mony, temporal government. All who are in the pas 
toral office or in the service of the Word, are in a 
holy, legitimate, good order and station, one well- 

Luther s Confession of Faith. 37 

pleasing to God, those namely who preach, administer 
the sacraments, have charge of the common treasury, 
sextons and messengers or servants who minister unto 
them, etc. These are indeed holy works before God. 
So then to be father or mother, to govern the house 
well and to train up children for the service of God, 
is also really a holy state, a holy work and holy order. 
So too when children or servants are obedient to their 
parents or masters, this is nothing but holiness, and 
whoever is found in this state, is a living saint on 
earth. So too a prince or sovereign, judges, officials, 
chancellors, clerks, man-servants, maid-servants, and 
all who serve them and all subjects, all this is nothing 
but a holy work and holy life before God, because these 
three institutions or orders are comprehended in God s 
Word and command. But whatever is comprehended 
in God s Word must be holy. For the Word of God is 
holy, and sanctifies everything that comes in contact 
with it. 

Above and greater than these three institutions and 
orders is the general order of Christian love, in which 
we serve, not only these three orders, but in general 
every one who is in need with all kinds of benefits, in 
that we give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, 
etc., forgive our enemies, pray for all men on earth, 
suffer all manner of evils in the world, etc. See now, 
all these are really good, holy works. Still no such 
order is a means for our salvation, but aside from all 
these there remains this one and only way, namely 
faith in Jesus Christ. For there is a vast difference 
between being holy and being saved. Saved we are 

38 Distinctive Doctrines. 

alone through Christ, but holy we become both 
through such faith and also through such divine in 
stitutions and orders. Even ungodly persons may 
have about them much that is holy, but they are not 
on this account in a saved condition; for God wants 
us to do such works to His praise -and honor, and all 
those who are saved by their faith in Christ do such 
works and observe such orders. What has been said 
of matrimony holds good also with reference to wid 
owhood and the state of virginity; for they belong to 
the family and the household arrangements. Now if 
these orders and institutions do not save us, what 
can the devil s institutions and cloisters do, which have 
sprung up without God s Word and, what is more, 
strive and rave against the one and only way of faith. 

In the third place, I believe in the Holy Ghost, who, 
with the Father and the Son, is one true God, and from 
eternity proceeds from the Father and the Son, and 
still in the one divine essence and nature is a distinct 
person. Through Him as a living, eternal, divine gift, 
all believers are adorned with faith and other spiritual 
gifts, raised from the dead, delivered from their sins, 
and are made joyful and glad, free and secure in their 
consciences. For this is our boast, when we feel the 
witness of the Spirit in our hearts, that God is our 
Father, forgives our sins, and will bestow upon us 
eternal life. 

These are the three persons and one God who has 
given Himself freely to all of us with all that He is 
and has. The Father gives Himself to us with heaven 
and earth, together with all creatures, that they may 

Luther s Confession of Faith. 39 

serve us and be useful to us. But this gift was ob 
scured and rendered useless by the fall of Adam. 
Therefore the Son afterward gave Himself also to us, 
all His works, suffering, wisdom and righteousness, 
and reconciled us with the Father, in order that we 
might again live and be justified and also know the 
Father and have Him and His gifts. But since such 
grace would be of no use to any one, if it should re 
main concealed, and could not come to us, the Holy 
Spirit also comes and gives Himself to us unreserv 
edly; He teaches us to recognize and know such ben 
efaction of Christ shown us, helps us receive and keep 
it, make good use of it, spread it abroad, increase and 
promote it. And this He does both within and with 
out us; within us through faith and other spiritual 
gifts, without us through the Gospel, through Baptism 
and the Sacrament of the Altar, through which as 
through three means or ways He comes to us and 
applies to us the suffering of Christ that it may serve 
for our salvation. 

Therefore I maintain and know, that just as there 
is not more than one Gospel and one Christ, so also 
there is not more than one Baptism. And that Bap 
tism in itself is a divine ordinance, as is also His 
Gospel. And just as the Gospel is not therefore false 
or wrong because some use or teach it falsely or do 
not believe it, so too Baptism is not false or wrong 
although some receive or administer it without faith 
or otherwise abuse it. Wherefore I reject and con 
demn altogether the doctrine of the Anabaptists and 
Donatists and whoever they may be who rebaptize. 

40 Distinctive Doctrines, 

In like manner I speak of, and confess, the Sacra 
ment of the Altar, that in it we orally eat and drink 
the body and blood in the bread and wine, although 
the priests who administer it or those who receive it 
should not believe or should otherwise abuse it. For 
this Sacrament is not based upon man s faith or lack 
of faith, but upon God s Word and institution. Un 
less indeed they should beforehand change and mis 
interpret the Word and ordinance of God, as the ene 
mies of the Sacrament to-day do, who of course have 
only bread and wine ; for they have not the Word and 
appointed ordinance of God, but have subverted and 
changed the same according to their own whim. 

In the next place, I believe that there is one Holy 
Christian Church, which is the congregation and sum 
total or assembly of all Christians in the whole world, 
the only bride of Christ and His spiritual body, of 
which also He is the only Head; and the bishops or 
ministers are not her heads nor lords nor bridegrooms, 
but servants, friends and (as the word bishop indicates) 
overseers, curators or ministers. And this same 
Christendom is found not only in the Romish Church 
or under the pope, but in all the world; as the proph 
ets have foretold, that the Gospel of Christ should 
come into all the world. Ps. 2, Ps. 19, 5. So that 
Christendom is dispersed under and among the pope, 
Turks, Persians, Tartars and everywhere bodily, but 
spiritually united in the one Gospel and faith, under 
one Head, which is Jesus Christ. For the papacy is 
certainly the true antichristian government or tyranny, 
which sits in the temple of God and rules with the 


Luther s Confession of Faith. 41 

commandments of men, as Christ says Matthew 24, 24 
and St. Paul 2 Thessalonians 2, 4. The Turk and all 
heresy, wherever found, also belong to the abomina 
tion of which it is foretold that it shall stand in the holy 
place, but they are not, like the papacy, the antichrist. 

In this Christendom and wherever it is there is 
forgiveness of sins; that is, a kingdom of grace and 
of true absolution. For there we find the Gospel, Bap 
tism, the Sacrament of the Altar, in which forgiveness 
of sin is sought and received, and there too is Christ 
and His Spirit, nay, God Himself. And outside of 
this Christian Church there is no salvation nor for 
giveness of sins, but everlasting death and damnation; 
though there may be a great show of holiness and 
many good works, yet all is lost. Such forgiveness of 
sins, however, is not to be expected at once, in Bap 
tism for instance (as the Novatians teach), but as often 
and as many times as we need it until death. 

But the indulgence which the Papal Church has and 
gives is a blasphemous delusion; not only because it 
invents and sets up a special forgiveness at the side 
of the general forgiveness of the Gospel and Sacrament 
as bestowed throughout the Church, and thus dishon 
ors and destroys the general forgiveness, but also be 
cause it places and bases the satisfaction for sins upon 
human works and the merit of saints, notwithstanding 
that Christ alone can render and has rendered satis 
faction for us. 

Since the Scriptures say nothing about it, I hold 
that it is no sin in the exercise of devotion to pray for 
the dead somewhat like this: Dear Lord, if the condi- 

42 Distinctive Doctrines. 

tion of the soul is such that help can be afforded, be 
Thou gracious to it, etc. And when this has been 
done once or twice, let it suffice; for the vigils and 
masses for souls, and yearly processions are useless 
and are the devil s fair. 

Nor do we find anything in the Scriptures about 
purgatory; this, too, of course, is an invention of 
ghosts or sprites; therefore I hold that it is not nec 
essary to believe in it, although with God all things 
are possible and He could also permit the soul to be 
tormented after it leaves the body. But He did not 
reveal anything about this; therefore He does not 
want us to believe it. But I know of another purga 
tory, of which, however, we are not to teach anything 
in the congregation, and against which nothing is to 
be accomplished by institutions or vigils. 

As to the invocation of saints, others have opposed 
this before I did; and I am pleased to believe that 
Christ alone is to be called upon as our Mediator; the 
Scriptures teach this and it is sure. The Scriptures 
teach nothing about the invocation of saints, there 
fore it is uncertain and can not be relied on. 

As to anointing zvith oil, if this were done according 
to the Gospel Mark 6, 13 and James 5, 14, I would 
let it pass; but to make a sacrament of it will not 
do. For just as instead of vigils and masses for the 
soul we might preach a sermon concerning death and 
eternal life, and thus, in connection with the burial of 
the dead, pray and meditate on our end (as the ancients 
seem to have done), so also it were well to visit the 
sick, pray with them and admonish them, and if any 

Luther s Confession of Faith. 43 

one wishes besides this to anoint them with oil they 
should have liberty to do so in God s name. 

Nor dare we make a sacrament of matrimony and 
the office of the priesthood; they are orders holy enough 
in themselves. And likewise repentance is nothing 
else than the use and power of Baptism; so that be" 
sides the Gospel there remains Baptism and the Sup 
per of our Lord in which the Holy Ghost richly offers, 
gives and applies to us the forgiveness of sins. 

As the chief of all abominations I regard the mass 
which is preached and sold as a sacrifice or good 
work, upon which, too, all foundations and cloisters 
now stand, but (if it please God) will soon have fallen 
to the ground. For, although I have been a great, 
great, grievous and shameful sinner, and spent and 
lost my youth in a most reprehensible manner, still 
these are my greatest sins, that I was such a holy 
monk, and for more than fifteen years so greatly of 
fended, grieved and tormented my clear Lord with so 
many masses. But praise and thanks be to Him for 
ever for His unspeakable grace, that He has led me 
out of this abomination and still daily preserves and 
strengthens me in the true faith (although ungrateful 
as I am). 

Accordingly my advice has been and still is to 
leave the foundations and cloisters with their vows, 
and come out into the true Christian orders, so that 
one may escape the abominations of masses and of 
blasphemous sanctity, as virginity, poverty, obedience, 
by which they attempt to be saved. For, praiseworthy 
as it was in the beginning of the Christian Church to 

44 Distinctive Doctrines. 

observe the state of virginity, so horrible is it now, 
since by it they deny the help and grace of Christ; for 
it is possible to live as a virgin, widow and in chastity 
without such horrible abominations. 

As to pictures, bells, vestments, churchly orna 
ments, altars, candles and the like, I regard them as 
coming within the domain of liberty; whoever 
wishes, may omit them. Although pictures represent 
ing Scriptural scenes and scenes from reliable history 
are very useful, yet I regard their vise as free and op 
tional; for I do not side with the iconoclasts. 

Finally, I believe in the resurrection of all the dead, 
both of the pious and the wicked, at the last day, so 
that each shall receive in his body according to his 
deeds, and thus the pious enjoy everlasting life with 
Christ, and the wicked suffer everlasting death with 
the devil and his angels. For I do not agree with 
those who teach that the devils also will be finally 

This is my faith, for thus all true Christians believe 
and thus the Holy Scriptures teach us. And of that 
which may be lacking here my books will bear suffi 
cient witness, especially those that have appeared of 
late, within the last four or five years. I beg all pious 
hearts to bear witness to this and to pray for me that 
I may remain steadfast in this faith to the end of my 
days. For if in great trials or in perils of death I 
should (which may God in mercy prevent) say some 
thing different, it shall have no force, and I wish hereby 
to have confessed openly that it is wrong and instigated 
by the devil. May my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 
blessed forevermore, help me. Amen. 



HAT king," says our Lord, "going to 
make war against another king, sitteth 
not down first and consulteth whether he 
be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh 
against him with twenty thousand?" (Luke 14, 31). 
Therefore we, too, before we begin the refutation of 
the errors of the other Confessions, will first take a 
summary view of the strength of our Evangelical faith. 
True, we cannot in a few strokes present the whole 
length and breadth of its riches, and its height and 
depth far exceed all human thought and comprehen 
sion. But as God allowed His Son to be wrapped 
in swaddling clothes, so He is pleased also to permit 
us to dip out of the endless ocean of His grace with 
the poor vessels of human words. 

The central point, the very kernel of Evangelical 
doctrine, however, is the justification of the sinner 
through grace, for Christ s sake, by faith. The fourth 
article of the Augsburg Confession says: "Also they 
teach, that men cannot be justified before God by their 
own powers, merits, or works, but are justified freely 
for Christ s sake, through faith, when they believe that 
they are received into favor, and their sins are forgiven 


46 Distinctive Doctrines. 

for Christ s sake, who by His death has satisfied for our 
sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness before 
Him. Rom. 3 and 4." Here that blessed truth which 
Luther had experienced, and which had lifted him out 
of the agony of doubt to the happiness of blessed as 
surance, is clearly and accurately stated. He had, ac 
cording to the precepts of the Church, tried to merit 
the forgiveness of sins by all manner of works and 
mortifications of the flesh in the cloister. Nothing 
had helped him. He still had to cry out in anguish: 
My sins, sins, sins! and the dread of the righteous 
Judge had not departed from him. Then he was re 
minded of the word : I believe the forgiveness of sins. 
And now there fell from his eyes as it had been scales; 
now he understood, what he had never understood be 
fore, what the Scriptures mean when they speak of 
"righteousness." What Luther had been permitted to 
live through and experience, by the grace of God, in 
the deep anguish and distress of his soul, was con 
firmed to him by the testimony of the Holy Scrip 
tures. Yes, it was only as guided by this Word that 
he arrived at a clear understanding of what God had 
wrought in his heart. And now he drank deeper and 
deeper at the fountain of God s Word. From this 
Word he derived strength to contend boldly against 
Romish error; it furnished him the weapons for his 
manifold battles in behalf of pure doctrine. He be 
came still better and better acquainted with the Word, 
and from this pure source he derived treasure upon 
treasure of truth and knowledge. As he looked upon 
the Holy Scriptures, so does also the Church which 

Harmony of Evangelical Doctrine. 47 

is named after him. She knows that the grace of 
God must be realized and experienced in the heart, 
but she knows also that only that preaching and that 
doctrine are right which agree with the Holy Scrip 
tures. But of this we have spoken above, and would 
only add one sentence yet of Luther by way of con 
firmation: "Let him that wants to be guided and not 
err look to these two things, viz : Who can bring proof 
for his doctrine from the Scriptures and actual exper 
ience, as we can prove our doctrine and preaching. 
For, God be praised, I too can preach from experi 
ence, that no work could help or comfort me against 
sin and God s judgment, but Christ alone comforts 
the heart and conscience, and I have the whole Bible 
as a witness for this, and the example of many pious 
people, who say this too and have experienced it. 
On the contrary, all the schismatics can prove and es 
tablish nothing either from their own experience or 
that of other people." Justification by faith alone, as 
witnessed by the Scriptures, this then is the corner 
stone on which Luther built the temple of the knowl 
edge of the Gospel plan of salvation, the corner-stone 
on which Rome s error was wrecked. 

Let us turn again to the true Scriptural doctrine of 
justification. We do not justify ourselves, nor are 
we changed by the Sacraments, in that new powers 
for good are put into us, as for instance we help a well- 
worn clock movement by putting a new spring into it. 
No; God regards us graciously for Christ s sake and 
in Christ; He does not impute our sin to us. And on 
our part only this is required, that we believe, i. e. that 

48 Distinctive Doctrines. 

we have confidence in our gracious God. Not as 
though we were remodeled: "I feel," says Luther, 
"that I have been very wicked and am so still, and 
still I must say: All my sins are forgiven, for to me 
this word has been spoken: Thy sins are forgiven 
thee!" Thus we who remain poor sinners are still 
just and blessed in our confidence in the grace of God. 
No merit on our part brings this about, even faith itself 
is no such merit; it is only the beggar s hand which 
we extend toward the immeasurably rich Benefactor, 
and even this is the gift of God, wrought through the 
Holy Spirit. 

This is the central point of Lutheran doctrine. 
Standing upon this we can easily look at all other 
doctrines, for they are all intimately connected with 
justification through grace for Christ s sake, through 

First let us lift our eyes to the Triune God. The 
sinner learns to know Him, t"he Triune, when he is 
justified. One Almighty, Eternal Lord, who is One, 
and still not One! We know the Father who has cre 
ated us, whose law we are under obligation to fulfill 
in every respect, and who is angry with us sinners 
with a holy, righteous wrath. No one who has exper 
ienced this wrath will any longer take delight in the 
expression "dear Lord," as now understood, as though 
God were a weak, indulgent Father as, for instance, 
Eli was. But, in the second place, we know also 
Jesus Christ, the God-man. Truly: "Without contro 
versy great is the mystery of godliness : God was man 
ifest in the flesh!" In Him alone are we justified. 

Harmony of Evangelical Doctrine. 49 

But, in the third place, that faith through which we 
receive justification is wrought in our hearts by God 
Himself. It is God the Holy Ghost who does this and 
who, living and acting, continually operates in our 
hearts. Thus then every one who has been justified 
knows God as the Triune God. And although he may 
not be able fully to understand how these three can 
be one, he still holds fast to it, for he has learned it 
by experience. And who would declare that which he 
had learned by actual experience to be an error, be 
cause he can not at once understand the relation of 
the several parts to each other? 

The justified Christian looked upward to the Tri 
une God; now he looks down and sees before him 
Golgotha, with the cross of Jesus Christ His justi 
fication tells him further that Jesus Christ alone is our 
Redeemer. But in order that Christ might stand in 
our place in the presence of God s wrath, it was neces 
sary that He should be very God as well as very man, 
and that not only once or for the time being, but even 
now yet. As there on the cross on Golgotha all the 
eternal love of God burned in the heart of the dying 
Savior, so to-day yet a human heart beats up there 
in heaven in the Triune God. Intimately and insep 
arably Divinity and humanity are united in the per 
son of Jesus. For only as such can He be and remain 
our sole Mediator. Luther says in the Church Postil: 
"But if the wrath of God is to be taken away from 
me and I am to receive grace and forgiveness, it must 
be secured for me by some one; for God cannot look 
with favor upon sins, He can not be gracious nor re- 

50 Distinctive Doctrines. 

move the punishment and wrath, except some one has 
earned it of Him. Now, for the eternal, irreparable 
loss and everlasting wrath of God which by our sins 
we have merited, no one could render satisfaction, not 
even an angel in heaven, except the eternal Person, 
God s Son Himself, and that in this way, that He 
placed Himself in our stead, took upon Himself our 
sins, answered for them as though He Himself were 
guilty, etc. This our dear Lord and only Savior and 
Mediator before God, Jesus Christ, has done by the 
shedding of His blood and His death, when He be 
came a sacrifice for us, and by His holiness, innocence 
and righteousness cancelled, nay, completely destroyed 
all sin and wrath under which He was placed for us, 
and offered merit so complete that God is now satis 
fied and says: He who obtains His help, has help 

But furthermore, justification directs our view 
within. Here we learn to know our sin. That can 
not be a matter of indifference for which the Son of 
God was nailed to the cross. Our sin is a great power. 
As such the sinner who is justified by grace learns 
to know it. It clings to him not only externally, as 
though it originated merely in his sensuality; nor did 
he get it from bad example. No, his innermost being, 
his heart, is poisoned by it, and it has always been in 
him, so that he has no recollection of his first sin. He 
is a sinner from the beginning. This is original sin. 
But although conceived and born in sin, as the Scrip 
tures say, man still realizes his sin as guilt. He knows 
that he is accountable to God, for he delighted in sin- 

Harmony of Evangelical Doctrine. 51 

ning, and did not groan under the burden of a for 
eign, irresistible power. 

The justified man s sins are now forgiven. The 
grace of God convinces him of this; as a result of 
grace he learns to know his sin better and better, 
confesses it still more heartily, so that the. new life 
which God has implanted in him increases from day 
to day. What then is grace? Justification gives the 
answer also to this question. According to the Rom 
ish doctrine grace is a new power imparted to man 
which destroys sin in him and works in him good 
thoughts and deeds. But we who are justified were 
not remodeled, as it were, the same sins and infirmi 
ties which formerly clung to us still remaining. And 
the old Adam within must daily die by sorrow and 
repentance. Grace therefore is something different: 
it is the gracious disposition of God toward us. There 
fore the forgiveness of sin is its chief work in our 

Now grace does not come upon us suddenly and 
without means. He in whom it has wrought repent 
ance, faith and justification, knows that it employed 
certain means for this purpose. What means, dear 
reader, afforded you a taste of the grace of God? They 
were the Means of Grace, the Word and the Sacra 
ments. First of all the Word. Where God and grace 
are spoken of, whether it be in church or in school, 
whether it be a mother who instructs her child and 
teaches it to pray, or two friends speak earnestly with 
each other concerning God and His grace, or some one 
reads the Bible or a devotional book, in every instance 

52 Distinctive Doctrines. 

God Himself is present, His Holy Spirit speaks in and 
through the human words to the human heart. 
Therefore we call such human words God s Word. 
Whether it deserve such title of honor is determined 
by this, viz: whether its contents agree with the re 
vealed Word, the Bible. In addition to this Means 
of Grace, the Word, our Church recognizes only two 
Sacraments. First, Baptism, by which man, among 
us generally an infant, is brought into communion 
with the Triune God, his sins are forgiven and he is 
saved, becoming a fellow-citizen of the kingdom of 
God. Luther says in the Large Catechism: "For we 
do not baptize anybody to make him a prince, but, as 
the words say, that he may be saved. But to be saved, 
as is well known, is nothing else than to be redeemed 
from sins, death and the devil, to come into the king 
dom of Christ and live with Him forever." Now whilst 
Baptism among us translates children into the king 
dom of Christ, God entering into communion with 
their hearts, the Lord s Supper strengthens us in such 
communion with God. Here Christ the Lord, as He 
is, God and man at the same time, approaches us in 
His glorified corporeality, in, with and under the bread 
and wine, to assure us by His presence of the forgive 
ness of our sins, to strengthen our faith and edify our 

But wherever the Means of Grace are, there is also 
a congregation which uses them and thus perpetuates 
and edifies itself. Thus, then, we are led from the 
Means of Grace to the Church. "Whoever would find 
Christ," says Luther, "must first of all find the Church. 

Harmony of Evangelical Doctrine. 53 

How could any one know where Christ and faith are, 
if he did not know where His believers are? And 
whoever would know anything about Christ, must not 
trust himself nor build his own bridge to heaven by 
his own reason, but must go to the Church, visit and 
ask her * * * for outside of the Church there is 
no truth, no Christ, no salvation." But why is this so? 
Because the true Church really proclaims the Word 
of God and administers the Sacraments according to 
the institution of Christ. This, then, is the essential 
thing in the Church, that the Word and Sacraments 
are rightly used, and not all manner of ceremonies 
and ordinances instituted of men. The Evangelical 
Lutheran Church is the true Church because she does 
this and rightly uses the Word of God. For to her 
we may apply what Luther says: "If we knew of a 
Church in the world where we could hear God s voice, 
how we ought to hurry to that Church! And still 
we would hear nothing different from what we hear 
in the Church at home from the pastor." Two things 
follow from what has been said. In the first place, 
what the real duty of the ministerial office is. It is 
the office of preaching. To proclaim the Word and 
administer the Sacraments, this is its whole duty. In 
the second place, from what has been said we learn 
who those are who, in the full and proper sense of the 
word, belong to the Church. For, as is well known, 
in addition to true Christians there are many hypo 
crites and nominal Christians in the Church, just as 
in a field there are tares along with the wheat. Now 
just as the wheat-field gets its name not from the tares, 

54 Distinctive Doctrines. 

but from the wheat in it, so the Church is the body 
of Christ (Eph. 1, 22. 23; Rom. 12, 4. 5), the bride 
of Jesus Christ and His wife (Eph. 5, 23 sq.; 2 Cor. 
11, 2; Rev. 21, 9), the house of God (Eph. 2, 20-22; 
Heb. 3, 6; 1 Peter 2, 5) only in so far as she contains 
true, genuine, i. e. believing Christians. In this sense 
Luther says of the Church that "a child of seven years, 
thanks be to God, knows what the Church is, namely, 
the sanctified believers and the sheep who hear the 
voice of their Shepherd." 

But the true "sanctified believers," who make up 
the Church, are not perfect; they struggle and strive 
to advance further. This brings us to the doctrine of 
sanctification and of Christian life. The justified Chris 
tian has entered into communion with God. He can 
not continue in this communibn unless he try with all 
his might to become a new man more and more. In 
the severe conflict against flesh and blood, amidst all 
the pains of sorrow and repentance, by the grace 
of God, faith has been kindled in him. The con 
flict with sin continues throughout life, for sin as 
sumes ever new forms and employs ever new means 
for temptation. It is a holy warfare, this conflict for 
self. The end in view in this warfare is to become 
more and more, with all our powers, what we have 
already, by the grace of God, become in the depth of 
our heart, namely children of God. God has imparted 
to us faith. God also draws us further up to Him 
self. In the first place our eye was directed to God 
in faith, soon God draws nearer and nearer to us and 
our personal communion with Him now constrains us 

Harmony of Evangelical Doctrine. 55 

also to conform our lives to His will. Thus works 
proceed from faith, as Luther says : "O what a living, 
busy, active, powerful thing is faith, so that it cannot 
help but continually do good. It does not stop to 
ask whether good works should be done, but before 
any one asks, it has done them and is continually doing 
them. Whoever does not do such works is devoid 
of faith, gropes about looking for faith and good 
works, and knows neither what faith nor what good 
works are, and still gossips and makes many words 
about faith and good works." So then the exercise 
of faith in love necessarily belongs to a living faith. It 
is the "faith which worketh by love" (Gal. 5, 6). But 
the Lutheran Christian does not aim at works of spe 
cial extraordinary holiness, but seeks to practice love 
in his daily calling. Of that monkish ideal of life the 
Augsburg Confession says (Art. 16): They condemn 
also those that place the perfection of the Gospel, not 
in the fear of God and in faith, but in forsaking civil 
offices; inasmuch as the Gospel teaches an everlast 
ing righteousness of the heart. In the meantime it 
does not abolish civil government, or the domestic 
state, but requires urgently the preservation and main 
tenance thereof, as of God s own ordinances, and that 
in such ordinances we should exercise love." 

The Christian is enabled to persevere in such ex 
cellent life of faith, for he stands in covenant relation 
with God: God has become his Father. This ever 
gives him the joyful assurance that his sins are for 
given, and furthermore the conviction that nothing, 
whether they be ills, or necessities, or calumnies, or 

56 Distinctive Doctrines. 

persecutions, can harm him. "If God be for us, who 
can be against us?" (Rom. 8, 31). In the end every 
thing must work together for our good. Finally it 
follows from that communion with God, that the be 
lieving Christian again in covenant relation with 
God always can and should be prepared to do good 
works. "The conclusion of all this is" --thus Luther 
closes his precious book on the liberty of a Christian, 
in which these questions are discussed "that a Chris 
tian lives not unto himself, but in Christ and unto his 
neighbor: in Christ through faith, unto his neighbor 
through love. Through faith he ascends beyond him 
self to God, from God he again descends beneath him 
self through love, and yet always abides in God and 
divine love." 

He to whom God has manifested such wonderful 
love as to adopt him as His child in justification, is 
blessed here on earth already. But who does not 
know that sin and want continually darken and inter 
rupt this blessedness? Therefore there can be no 
truly Evangelical Christian who does not cherish a 
longing for the breaking of that great day when we 
shall be united with our God forever. Such longing 
for our home dare never be wanting in our hearts, for 
we are only strangers here below. Now the Word of 
God teaches us, that it is not in vain that we cherish 
such longing and hope. If this Word has confirmed 
everything that the grace of God permitted us to ex 
perience, should we not grant that that too is true 
which it says of that which we have not yet experi- 

Harmony of Evangelical Doctrine. 57 

enced, but to which our heart s most sacred longings 
continually point like the magnetic needle to the pole? 
Who knows how soon the call may be extended 
even to us: "Give an account of thy stewardship!" 
Then you will be lying upon your last bed of sickness, 
knowing that the end is near! O, how your sins will 
then hover around your bed! They will encircle you 
like serpents threatening to drag you down to destruc 
tion like leaden weights! But you are justified by 
faith, you know that your sins are forgiven in Christ, 
therefore cling to your Savior! Do not forsake Him, 
He will not forsake you! 

Lord Jesus Christ, true Man and God, 
Who borest anguish, scorn, the rod, 
And diedst at last upon the Tree, 
To bring Thy Fathers grace to me: 
I pray Thee, through that bitter woe, 
Let me, a sinner, mercy know. 

When comes the hour of failing breath, 
And I must wrestle, Lord, with death, 
When from my sight all fades away, 
And when my tongue no more can say, 
And when mine ears no more can hear, 
And when my heart is racked with fear, 

When all my mind is darkened o er, 
And human help can do no more; 
Then come, Lord Jesus! come with speed, 
And help me in my hour of need; 
Lead me from this dark vale beneath, 
And shorten then the pangs of death. 

Paul Eber. 

And then when the soul has left the body, what 
will it experience on entering the strange land? We 

58 Distinctive Doctrines. 

do not know, nor should we brood over it too much; 
but we do know that the soul of him who died in Christ 
cannot be snatched from His arms. Being with Him, 
all is well. 

In the meanwhile the years on earth are passing 
away until the time be fulfilled; the signs appear which 
our Lord said would come to indicate the end. Hatred 
against the Gospel, nay against Christ Himself, lifts its 
head ever more boldly. "That man of sin" appears 
as Antichrist, demanding for himself that worship 
which we give to Christ (2 Thess. 2, 4). Then, when 
the greatest distress shall have come, the Son of Man, 
shall appear upon earth to judge all men. The dead 
arise; time is merged into eternity. Here on this 
earth, in a glorified body like that of our Lord after 
His resurrection, we shall live in the bliss of His love, 
in the blessedness of everlasting peace. Communion 
with God was our blessedness here below, it will be 
our salvation in eternity: "Behold, the tabernacle of 
God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and 
they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be 
with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe 
away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no 
more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall 
there be any more pain: for the former things are 
passed away" (Rev. 21, 3. 4)! 

This salvation, however, we shall experience on the 
glorified earth and in our body. It is hard for our 
natural reason to understand how this body which 
shall have fallen a prey to corruption and worms shall 
again live. But do we know of any other being-alive 

Harmony of Evangelical Doctrine. 59 

than that in our body, or can we at all imagine any 
other than such a life for ourselves? Or should any 
thing be impossible with God? Luther gives a strong 
answer to this in commenting on St. Paul (1. Cor. 15, 
35 sq.), in these words: "This article is written in the 
field and in the garden and painted before your eyes, 
and your field and farm, on which you have sown the 
seed, can teach you what you are to think of the resur 
rection of the dead. When summer begins, the corn 
comes up out of the earth, and if it has sunshine, rain 
and favorable weather, it thrives, grows, puts forth 
ears, blooms, stands there as a thing of joy and shows 
no sign of decay, no death as formerly in winter, but 
only a pleasurable form and life. As the corn is sown 
in the ground, decays in the earth and again comes 
up out of the earth and, as it were, arises from the dead 
before our eyes : so too we will be sown into the earth 
like the corn. But we shall lie in the earth and decay 
only through the winter; at the last day, when our 
summer begins, our corn will spring up so that we 
shall see not only the green blade, but a strong, full 
ear, and shall be rich farmers, that is, be saved forever. 
For this the rain, the sunshine and the wind: the Sac 
raments and the Holy Spirit, are preparing us." 

But not all to whom the message of the grace of 
God in Christ came accepted it. He who would not, 
although God called him, he who persistently resisted, 
will be given over to everlasting destruction. Without 
God, tormented by the excruciating memory of for 
mer sinful lust, from which now the flattering veil has 
been lifted, surrounded by malice and wickedness 

60 Distinctive Doctrines. 

this is hell. Do not murmur against this awful end 
of perhaps many a rich human life! He who spent 
the time of his life in alienating himself as to his 
inner life from God, he who has thrust from him 
the arms of eternal love extended toward him, how 
could he spend his eternity with God and in His pres 
ence? The fault lies not in God, but in man alone. 
He is far from God; to be far from God means to be 
in misery and in distress. He who condemned him 
self to the hardening of his heart against everlasting 
truth he shall be damned. And, finally, if you ask: 
What will become of the many who here on earth never 
heard of God and God s grace, of the children who die 
unbaptized? I answer: I do not know, for God has 
not revealed it unto us. But one thing I do know: 
God s love is infinitely greater and richer than our love. 
If our love asks again and again for means to help 
these poor ones should God s love not have means 
and ways which we know not? God is love! (1 John 
4, 16). For of Him, and through Him, and to Him 
are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen! 
(Rom. 11, 36). 

We have now placed before our minds a brief 
sketch of the structure of Christian doctrine. We 
have looked up at the height and down at the depth 
of Christian truth concerning God s grace, with ad 
miration; have also cast a hasty glance at the length 
and breadth of the same. This, then, is the exceeding 
glorious, saving truth of the Gospel most purely and 
fully, most clearly and thoroughly developed in the 
confessional writings of our Church, in whose crown 

Harmony of Evangelical Doctrine. 61 

shines Luther s Small Catechism (which a pious 
prince wished to take with him to his grave), not as 
the least pearl. This confessional crown is, therefore, 
well worthy that we hold it fast, that no man take it 
from us. To this end let us once more call to mind 
what labor the Church has ever had, to bring forth the 
divine treasures of doctrine which lie hidden in the 
Scriptures; what struggles she has had to endure, in 
order to transmit to us without corruption and loss 
the alone saving Word of the Lord, and of His prophets 
and apostles; how many sighs have gone up to the 
Lord of the Church; how many bitter tears have been 
shed, nay, how many precious drops of blood have 
also been spilt by men who did not value their lives, 
and of whom the world was not worthy. 

But let us not only hold fast the form of sound 
words, and keep that good thing which was commit 
ted to us by our Fathers, but, most of all, let us also 
take firm root in the word of our confession, and sub 
mit to the Order of Salvation so clearly pointed out 
therein, in true repentance and faith, in order that we 
may also adorn the doctrine of our Savior with a holy 
walk in all things, and may let our light so shine before 
men, that they may see our good works, and glorify 
our Father which is in heaven, which has made us 
meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in 
light. Let us not forget, therefore, that the Church 
has her foundation in the holy mountains (Ps. 87, 1), 
that she is, therefore, to be not only a firm, but also 
a far shining city a city set on a hill, which cannot 
be hid, that by no fault of ours the Church, in which 

62 Distinctive Doctrines. 

God s honor dwells, may be evil spoken of; especially 
in this our day, when so many, . as David says, come 
that they may see, and their hearts gather iniquity 
within them, and they go forth to tell it. Especially 
at this time, when the city of God has such, bitter ene 
mies, that, as Asaph says, * * * "they break 
down the carved work thereof at once with axes and 
hammers." Especially at this time, when the Church, 
in nearly all parts of our country, has reason to pray 
with Asaph in the same Psalm : "Remember Thy con 
gregation which Thou hast redeemed; this Mount 
Zion, wherein Thou hast dwelt. Forget not the voice 
of Thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up 
against Thee increaseth continually." 

Finally, let us call to mind that the Church is there 
fore also called a city which has her foundation in the 
mountains, because in her we are to lift up our heads 
above all earthly things toward that heavenly Jerusa 
lem, that holy city, which John, in the spirit, saw com 
ing down from God, out of heaven, prepared as a bride 
adorned for her husband; and let us ever learn more 
fervently to exclaim with the poet: 

Jerusalem, thou city fair and high, 

Would God I were in thee! 
My longing heart fain, fain to thee would fly, 

It will not stay with me; 
Far over vale and mountain, 

Far over field and plain, 
It hastes to seek its Fountain, 

And quit this world of pain. 

Second part. 

Distinctive Doctrines of the Different 
Christian Confessions* 

Chapter I. 


CHE Council of Trent and the Romish Catechism 1 are 
the two chief Confessions of the Romish Church, 
which adorns herself with the beautiful name Cath 
olic (i. e. universal), and claims to be the only 
saving .church. 

The errors enumerated below are chiefly taken from 
the two above mentioned works; but we must remark, in the 
outset, that on many points especially as regards the ven 
eration of the images of saints, and of relics, penances, merit 
of saints, indulgences and purgatory the doctrine of the 
Romish Church, as contained in her confessional writings, 
looks much more evangelical than it is found in her life, 
pulpits and schools (see II. 2. Remark). 

The Romish Church teaches: 

X. In the Hrticlc Concerning the Sdord of God, 

1. The apocryphal books of the Old Testament 
are of the same divine authority as the canonical books. 

Against this observe: They are indeed "useful and good 
to be read," but can lay no claim to equal divine authority 
with the canonical; for a, they have their origin in a period 
of time after the last prophet, Malachi, which must already 
create doubt; b, they have not a single evidence in their favor 

^atechismus Romanus. 


66 Distinctive Doctrines. 

from the mouth of the Lord or His Apostles; c, they were not 
among the sacred Scriptures of the Jews of Palestine, to 
whom, however, were entrusted "the oracles of God" (Rom. 
3, 2), and whose judgment is therefore of the greatest im 
portance in this matter; d, the Apocrypha have a spirit differ 
ent from that of the canonical Scriptures, as may readily be 
observed by noting the mania for miracles and outward 
morality which most of them commend. 

2. The Latin translation of the Bible by the 
Church leather Jerome of the fifth century (called 
Vulgate] "shall be considered authentic (i. e. correct 
and authorized) in public readings, disputes, sermons 
and explanations, and no one shall under any pretense 
dare or presume to reject it." 

Against this observe: Such high, indisputable authority 
belongs only to the original text, as being inspired of God 
(2 Pet. 1, 21), but in no case to a human translation, not even 
the best; much less to the Vulgate, which can be shown to 
be false in many places. Compare, for instance, Gen. 3, 15, 
where the Latin translation reads "She shall bruise thy 
head"; hence the passage is applied to Mary. 

3. It is the exclusive privilege of the Holy Mother 
Church "to decide on the true sense and the interpre 
tation of the Holy Scriptures, and no one shall dare 
to explain them contrary to the sense which the Church 
regards as correct and against the. universal consensus 
of the Fathers (which, however, has no existence!), 
even if such explanation should never be made public." 

Against this observe: Inasmuch as the Word of God 
proceeds from the Holy Spirit, it must of course be spirit 
ually discerned (1 Cor. 2, 10-16, especially v. 14), i. e. it can 
be rightly understood only by those in whose hearts the Holy 
Ghost dwells, namely by the living members of the Christian 

The Romish Church. 67 

Church. And herein rank or calling does not necessarily 
make any difference, for they shall all be taught of God, says 
the Scripture (John 6, 45). Now in this sense the Church, i. e. 
the communion of believers, alone has the true understanding 
of the Scriptures. But under the term "Mother Church" 
our opponents by no means understand all the living mem 
bers of the Christian Church, but exclusively the general 
Council of Bishops; thus only a small part of the Church 
(which, moreover, is taken only from a certain rank, the 
ministry), often also only a single member of the same, the 
pope; and, which is worst of all, without regard as to whether 
the Holy Ghost dwells in their hearts or not, or whether they 
are living members of the Christian Church or not. 

Remark: There is indeed a difference between the un 
derstanding (Verstandniss) and explanation (Auslegung 
exegesis) of the Scriptures; the latter requires a certain de 
gree of scientific knowledge (the original languages of the 
Holy Scriptures, the history and doctrines of those times,, 
etc.) and a special gift of the Holy Ghost. But these two> 
requirements do not belong exclusively to bishops, or to 
any ecclesiastical office. 

4. Oral tradition is of equal authority with- the 
written Word of God in the Bible; indeed, it is the for 
mer which enables us clearly to ascertain the dark 
sense of Scripture, as also to supplement the contents 
of Scripture (and, in this respect, stands even above 

Against this observe: The Lord and the Apostles did 
indeed speak more than has been recorded, and among the 
first congregations many a word of theirs may have been 
transmitted from mouth to mouth; but, on account of human 
sin and weakness, no firm reliance whatever can be placed 
in oral tradition, and the written Word can therefore not be 
measured by it; nay, this (tradition) must be measured by 
that (the written Word: Acts 17, 11; 2 Pet. 1, 19). Besides the 

68 Distinctive Doctrines. 

error consists not in this, that in a general way traditions are 
accepted (indeed we accept an interpretation of Holy Writ 
transmitted to us from past ages), but in this, that apostolic 
authority is ascribed to such tradition, and in this, that it is 
made the basis of articles of faith. The sacrifice of the mass 
with its usages, the tonsure of the priests, ordination, the 
position of the pope, the idea that matrimony is a sacrament, 
the immaculate conception of Mary, extreme unction, purga 
tory these, for instance, are such doctrines as no one 
who has a conscientious regard for historical truth would 
attempt to trace back to apostolic institution. Every thing 
that the Church, in the course of time, has invented, or still 
invents, is to be clothed with apostolic authority. Pope Pius 
IX. expressly declares: "Tradition am I"! Besides, we 
cannot fail to observe that in all things necessary to our 
salvation the Holy Scriptures express themselves not only 
fully, but plainly 1 

Remark: The use of the Bible by the laity was indeed 
never unconditionally forbidden by the Romish Church, but 
was gradually more circumscribed and rendered more diffi- 
cultj until recently the Protestant Societies which labor for 
the circulation of the Scriptures were expressly condemned 
by the pope. In his syllabus Pope Pius IX. characterized 
them as moral pests, and placed them in the same category 
with Socialism, Communism and secret societies. 

1 Wherever Scripture seems dark it treats of historical 
difficulties, concepts apparently contradictory, etc., and there 
fore things whose knowledge is not absolutely necessary to 
our salvation; and then the darkness lies not so much in 
the Scripture-words as in the things themselves, which are 
too high and incomprehensible to be spoken of here below 
otherwise than in riddles and mysteries (1 Cor. 13, 12). But 
often the darkness is in man who contemplates the word 
of God (Matt. 6, 23); for the understanding of the natural 
man is darkened by the blindness of his God-estranged heart 
(Eph. 4, 18), so that he cannot know it (1 Cor. 2, 14). 

The Romish Church. 69 

XX* Xn the Hrticlc Concerning God. 

1. We are not indeed to worship the angels and 
departed saints (among whom Mary, as the blessed 
Mother of Jesus, occupies the first rank), for supreme 
worship belongs to God alone; but we should call 
upon them for their intercession with God, seeing that 
such service of devotion is due to the angels and de 
parted saints. 

Against this observe: For this we have neither divine 
command nor divine promise. Besides, there is no doubt 
chat the holy angels and perfected saints, without anything 
further on cur part, unite their prayers in heaven with ours 
on earth, and thus add the incense of their prayers to that 
of ours (Rev. 5, 8, and 8, 3-4). We may also well imagine 
that they pray not only with, but also for, the Church mili 
tant on earth. But as to how far such intercession embraces 
the especial want of the Church, no one knows (Tobias 12, 
12, is apocryphal), because no one can tell how far the saints 
in heaven are acquainted 1 with earthly wants. They are at 

1 In Heb. 12, 1 the perfected saints in heaven (see chap. 11) 
are indeed called a cloud of witnesses which encompasses 
us whilst we are striving here below. But it cannot be 
shown that they are called witnesses, because they watch 
us from above; it is equally probable that they are called wit 
nesses because, by their words, conduct and sufferings, they 
have here below borne witness of their faith (chapt. 11), 
and we are in this sense "compassed about" by them, that 
their life of faith is presented to us in the word of God for 
our contemplation (chapt. 13, 7) ; even as the Apostle in the 
previous (11) chapt. placed one after another before our 
eyes. The latter explanation also agrees better with Isaiah 
63, 15. 16, where it is said that God shall look down from 
heaven and behold the distress of the people, though Abra 
ham and Israel be ignorant of them. 

70 Distinctive Doctrines. 

all events not because this belongs to God alone omni 
present and omniscient; so that he who, notwithstanding, 
applies to the angels and saints for their intercession with 
God, tacitly applies to them divine attributes, and thus, at 
best ignorantly, practices idolatry, and that too without any 
assurance of being heard. 

Besides, we cannot separate supreme "worship" and 
"service" of devotion (Ex. 20, 5); the latter also belongs to 
God alone. Then too we must remember here that we men 
cannot know whether any one in heaven now occupies such 
an authoritative position or not. Even if we grant that the 
miracles entitling them to canonization were wrought on 
earth by the persons in question, this still would prove noth 
ing. And if the pope now appoints men as patron saints, 
who are to pray for the Church, can this have any influence 
on what they do in heaven? Moreover, let us not forget 
how many saints are such only in legend, as for instance 
Christophorus; St, George; the 11,000 virgins who died at 
Cologne with St. Ursula rather than sacrifice their virginity; 
St. Anna, the reputed mother of the mother of our Lord, etc. 
Further, how very little we know of a host of other .saints, 
to whom only common report ascribes the miraculous, as 
for instance St. Januarius, or the twenty-six Japanese mar 
tyrs, who are said to have suffered martyrdom at Nagasaki 
in 1597, and who were canonized by pope Pius IX. Looking 
at this matter more closely, we find that it is altogether with 
out any foundation. Are the saints omnipresent, so that they 
can hear prayers offered at the same time in Germany and 
America? Or must God make these petitions known to 
them? Why not bring our cause directly to Him? And 
when people ascribe to the individual saint a special sphere 
of action, how groundless is this! On this subject the Apol 
ogy of the Augsburg Confession very properly says: "With 
the learned this error also prevails, viz. that to each saint 
a particular ministration has been committed, that Anna be 
stows riches [protects from poverty], Sebastian keeps off 
pestilence, Valentine heals the epilepsy, George protects 

The Romish Church. 71 

horsemen. These opinions have clearly sprung from heathen 
examples. For thus among the Romans Juno was thought 
to enrich, Febris to keep off fever, Castor and Pollux to 
protect horsemen," etc. (Jacobs ed. pp. 239 and 240). 

Remark: That the Romish Church applies to the de 
parted saints rather than to the angels for intercession with 
God is no mere accident; for, first, the departed saints were 
-humanly tempted, and we may therefore speak with them 
more confidently (if not perhaps more confidentially) 
than with the angels; second, according to the Romish 
view they have had the opportunity of performing 
works of supererogation by voluntarily accepting the "Evan 
gelical decrees" (against this see VII., 3) and can bring these 
to bear in their intercessions with God. That the Romish 
Church does not derive the efficacy which she ascribes to 
the intercession of the saints from the merits of Christ alone, 
but makes the interceding saints to be in fact propitiators 
with Him, is sufficiently evident from her public Confession, 
in which it is said expressly that Mary is to "reconcile" God 
through her intercession; and, in connection with this, refer 
ence is made to her "extraordinary merit with God." 

2. We should especially call upon and implore 
Mother Mary, as the "Mother of compassion/ for her 
help (and that, too, both in bodily and spiritual need). 

Against this observe: What has been said against 1 
applies also against 2. But that Mary is called a mother of 
compassion, whom we are especially to call upon and (mark 
well!) implore, has really no other sense than this. Mary, 
a woman of large sympathy, and a mother who suffered much 
pain, whose soul was pierced with a sword, is more compas 
sionate than all the other saints; she can be moved by ardent 
supplications. (Here account is made of womanly weakness. 
See the next remark.) 

Not very remote from this, and making its appearance 
to some extent in pulpits and writings, is the idea that she is, 

72 Distinctive Doctrines. 

after all, more merciful than God the Father (who never 
was tempted); nay, even more merciful than Jesus Christ 
(who as man [MenschJ has indeed a human heart, but by 
no means the sensitiveness of a feminine heart). 

Remark: At the same time the Romish Church, if not 
in her Confessions, at least in her pulpits, schools and devo 
tional writings fosters the false idea that Christ, as an obedient 
Son (Luke 2, 51), can deny His beloved mother no request, 
forgetting: 1, that even a human son should obey God rather 
than his parents (Acts 5, 29); 2, that Christ is not her Son 
only, but also her Lord and God; 3, that as to His human 
nature, according to which He is her Son, He has now laid 
aside the form of a servant; 4, that even then also when He 
walked in the form of a servant He was obedient to His 
parents only in those things which did not affect His office 
John 2, 4). 

Moreover, as evidence once for all that the doctrine of 
the Romish Church, as contained in her Confessions, even 
if read between lines, still looks much more evangelical 
than we find it in her pulpits and schools, we give here a 
few extracts from a sermon delivered in Naples, in Novem 
ber, 1887, on the occasion of the crowning of an image of 
the Madonna: "For the benefit of all who fear the majesty 
of the King, the Judge, the Savior, a woman is placed be 
tween heaven and earth. Where the King is, there the 
queen must be also; where the King beams in His greatness 
and power, she must make her mediation felt in the power of 
her protection, in her works of loving providence. Let us, 
then, hasten to the arms of Mary; she is the hope of our 
life. * Providence manifested itself for our fathers in 

a mother who watches over our destinies, an advocate 
(female) who pleads our cause, a queen who turns the keys of 
heaven at her pleasure. * * * Mary is the most holy 
among all creatures, the dispenser of all graces, the crowned 
queen of the universe, the mother of providence for men. 
In the celebration of these days * * this word 

is verified: The cultus of the excellencies of Mary is, in the 

The Romish Church. 73 

highest sense of the word, the cultus of Christianity. By 
placing the crown on Mary s head, we lift her up to the 
highest place in the cultus, and greet her as queen of heaven 
and earth. The hand of God has placed the crown on her 
head; who will dare to snatch it from her? How beams 
ihe crown of thy Madonna! Rays of paradise go out from 
this crown which * * * penetrate the night of gloomy 
errors. Whoever obliterates the cultus of Mary destroys 
woman. To deprive woman of her devotion to Mary is a 
satanic work. The devotion of women for the Madonna is 
co-existent with Catholicism, and this with the centuries." 
(Given by Trede in his interesting book: "Heathenism in the 
Romish Church; images of religious and moral life in the 
South of Italy." Gotha, 1889. The sermon was afterwards 
printed.) To this we add a collection of utterances, in glori 
fication of Mary, taken from German periodicals. (Compare 
Reusch, German Bishops and Superstition, Bonn, 1879.) A 
German Jesuit speaking of Mary expresses the opinion that 
God has "accomplished the plan of redemption through the 
Savior and the Mother of God. They are our new progeni 
tors. This is Mary s place in Christianity: to be our Mother. 
A mother cares for her children, and that in every respect. 
In a family everything passes through the hand and the heart 
of a mother. So too, in the Church, everything passes 
through the heart of Mary," and then adds: "Mary is, as it 
were, the mild, gentle eye of God which looks upon the poor 
world and seeks out all the unfortunates." "Wherever," 
we read elsewhere, "the great God puts forth efforts of His 
love, He has by an immutable, eternal decree connected 
Mary with them. * * * The sight of her has a deter 
mining influence on the plan of creation. * * * It was she 
with her divine Child who was presented to the first crea 
tures, the angels, as their future queen, as soon as she had 
an existence." In a manner perfectly consistent with this 
position of Mary the "Monthly Roses in honor of the Im 
maculate Mother of God, Mary" say that Christ now, since 
He has ascended to heaven, has certainly not relinquished 

74 Distinctive Doctrines. 

that obedience which He rendered to His mother for thirty 
years. "Even now yet, in His glorious exaltation, He shows 
a willingness to yield to His mother which closely resembles 
that obedience which He practiced during His mortal and 
hidden life in the house of Joseph and Mary." It is not sur 
prising, therefore, if Mary, to end up with, is clothed with 
almost divine power and glory. In the periodical already 
quoted we read: Mary s "holiness is altogether superhu 
man and superangelic, it exceeds all comparison, all our 
powers of conception. She is lost in exaltaton, in a kind of 
infinity, which is limited indeed when compared with the 
infinity of God, but comes nearest to it." "Mary shares 
equal honor and power with the Father, because, after the 
flesh, she is the Mother of Him who has proceeded from the 
Father from eternity. * * * Since she is the Mother of 
God she is at the same time the mistress of the whole world 
and the queen of heaven and earth. By her intercession she 
can do all that God can do by His omnipotence." "Nothing 
is done in heaven or on earth without her knowledge. . She 
takes part in everything that enters into the most secret 
counsel of the most adorable Trinity." "That we have a 
Father of compassion (2 Cor. 1, 3) is in itself already exceed 
ingly fortunate. But still this would not quite suffice to put 
us at ease. We need a mother also who will interest herself 
in our poverty, for, as the wise Sirach says (Ecclesiasticus 
36, 21), 1 Where no woman is, one sighs and suffers want." 
It is enough to quote such expressions; they need no 
refutation, for every sensible person will see that the Holy 
Scriptures are against them! 

3. The glorification of Mary finds its culminating 
point, however, in the dogma of the immaculate, sin 
less conception of Mary, proclaimed by Pius IX. 

It was on the 8th of December, 1854, when Pope 
Pius IX., surrounded by 53 Cardinals, 43 Archbishops 

1 Literal translation from the German. D. M. M. 

The Romish Church. 75 

and 100 bishops, assembled from all parts of the world, 
solemnly declared: "The doctrine, that the most holy 
Virgin Mary, in the first moment of her conception 
( /. e. not when she conceived the Lord of the Holy 
Ghost, but when she herself was conceived by her 
mother) by a special gift and grace of almighty God, 
in view of the merits of Jesus Christ the Savior of the 
human race, was kept and remained free from all taint 
of original sin, is revealed of God, and must there 
fore be believed by the faithful." 

Let us hear how one of the most eloquent defend 
ers of the worship 1 of Mary expresses himself on this 
subject. He tells us, in the first place, how the pope, 
having directed a preliminary inquiry to all his ven 
erable brethren, the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops 
and bishops of the whole Catholic world, received the 
most encouraging answers from all, and only then 
proclaimed this doctrine; then he continues: "We can 
not sufficiently emphasize the fact that in this matter 
Pius IX. used his authority only to recognize what 
was universally believed, to express his judgment on 
the timeliness of a more definite utterance, and to de 
clare that that which always had been believed with 
reference to the immaculate conception now must be 
believed. The pope only formulated the 

belief (faith) of the whole world and of antiquity. 
That it is the belief of the whole world is demonstrated 
by the answers of all the Churches answers which 

1 New Studies concerning Christianity. By August Nic 
olas. Translated from the French by Reiching. 1856-1860. 

76 Distinctive Doctrines. 

were in perfect agreement with each other, and which 
have the witness of miraculous power, since they came 
even from those ecclesiastical dignitaries who person 
ally had doubts as to the timeliness of this matter. 
That it is the belief of antiquity is evident from the 
ans\vers themselves; for they set forth not only what 
the generations now living believe, but after the de 
parted generations had been questioned and, as it 
were, called up again by the examination of the tes 
timonies and monuments which they have transmitted 
to us, they have all, as a result of the most careful 
and scrutinizing researches, confirmed the proposi 
tion, that this pious opinion has no other source than 
the Christian belief of the world. Thus the voice not 
only of heaven, but of all times as well as of all places, 
has spoken through the mouth of Pius IX., and one 
can apply to this great event what is said in the Apo 
calypse : From all parts of the creation I heard num 
berless voices, which came from heaven, from the 
earth and from under the earth, from the sea and from 
all that is in its vast domain, and they all said with 
a loud voice: She is pure, she is immaculate from 
her conception, the Virgin Mother of the Redeemer. " 
From all these testimonies a venerable bishop, in giv 
ing his own testimony, drew the following ingenious 
and striking inference: "It has thus been demon 
strated, not by vague surmises, but by historic mon 
uments which cannot be controverted, that the view 
which favors the immaculate conception of the Virgin 
Mary has been generally accepted, ever since the most 
ancient times, both by the Christian people, and also 

The Romish Church. 77 

by the shepherds of the Church. Now since there is 
no effect without an adequate cause, this belief, so 
common in the Church, must have a common origin; 
and since we have to deal with a fact which can be 
known only by divine revelation, we necessarily con 
clude that there has been, always and everywhere, in 
the Church, a tradition which confirms the revelation 
of this fact. This tradition may have been handed 
down to us clearly expressed in words; or we may 
take for granted that it was only implied in other doc 
trinal truths, especially those which relate to the mys 
tery of the incarnation and of the divine maternity; 
but, whichever view we adopt, we shall always arrive 
at the same conclusion, viz. that this opinion of the 
Church, this truth, which excepts the conception of 
the Virgin Mary from the taint of original sin, can 
be traced back to the most remote ages, and is con 
tained in the treasure of revealed faith." 

According to such argumentation the difficulties 
of proof are indeed easily surmounted. The Scrip 
tures however declare: "As by one man sin entered 
into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed 
upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5, 12). 
If Mary were to have been excepted from this rule, 
the Scriptures would so declare, even as they do con 
cerning our Lord. But, aside from the fact that such 
a declaration could not be wanting in the Scriptures 
if Mary s being conceived immaculate were to be an 
article of faith, where is there even the slightest 
foundation for such tradition from mouth to mouth? 
It would necessarily have to rest on testimonv of some 

78 Distinctive Doctrines. 

kind. Perhaps on the statement of Mary s parents? 
Impossible. Or on a special divine revelation? 
Where is the proof? But they leave room for an 
other way out of the difficulty, viz. this, that the doc 
trine "is implied in other doctrinal truths." "The vir 
gin motherhood of Mary includes her own immacu 
late conception. For the same reason for which Jesus 
had to have a virgin mother He had to be born of 
an immaculate mother." So says the author quoted 
above. Widely mistaken! The immaculate concep 
tion of our Lord by Mary by no means demands that 
she herself should have been conceived immaculate, 
only this much it demands, that the Holy Ghost should 
do for her, when she conceived the Lord, what, accord 
ing to the Romish acceptation, He did for her parents 
when she was conceived. Why this roundabout way? 
True, the pope himself says: "It was becoming that the 
Only-begotten, just as He had a Father in heaven 
whom the Seraphim proclaim thrice holy, so on earth 
also should have a mother in whom the radiance of 
holiness was never wanting; more beautiful than 
beauty, more graceful than grace, more holy than holi 
ness itself, w r ho alone has become the dwelling of all 
the graces of the Holy Ghost, who stands above all, 
who is by nature more beautiful, more perfect, more 
holy than even the Cherubim and Seraphim and all 
the host of angels, and to praise whom the tongues 
of heaven and earth will by no means suffice." The 
"successor of Peter" seems indeed to understand very 
little about what is meet or not meet in heavenly things; 
Heb. 2, 10 sq. gives us a very different idea about 

The Romish. Church. 79 

divine decorum. The divine Majesty is greatest in 
the lowliness of condescending mercy; therefore too 
"He hath regarded the low estate of his hand-maiden" 
(Luke 1, 48). He who did not regard it as unbecom 
ing, in holy love, to offer His body on the accursed 
tree, could also not regard it as unbecoming to take 
it from the body of a mother resting under the curse 
of sin; He does not receive His holiness from any 
thing without Himself, but, on the other hand, sanc 
tifies everything where He enters with His holiness. 

Even the Council of Trent did not have the cour 
age boldly to announce the immaculate conception of 
Mary as an article of faith. Bossuet, who lived in 
the second half of the seventeenth century, expresses 
himself very characteristically in the catechism of 
Meaux. Question: "How do theologians generally 
regard the conception of the holy Virgin? Answer: 
That by a special grace it was immaculate, i. e. without 
taint and without original sin. Ques.: Has the Church 
given it out as a dogma that the conception of the 
Virgin was immaculate? Ans.: No, the holy See has 
declared that this has not yet been finally decided, and 
that it is neither heresy nor mortal sin not to believe 
it. Qiies.: What must we see in this? Ans.: The 
great wisdom of the holy See, and the care which is 
here applied in proving the perpetual tradition of all 

Surely Pius IX. would also have done better not 
to allow himself to be determined by the mystic pro 
pensity of his own heart, by his Jesuitic Court-theo 
logians, and his generally all too papistically inclined 

80 Distinctive Doctrines. 

bishops, to sanction this particular theological "ad 
mission" as an article of faith. By doing this he ex 
cited manifold discussions in the bosom of his own 
Church. For he thereby forsook her traditions. The 
greatest teachers of the mediaeval Church, from Aug 
ustine down, rejected this doctrine; for instance, the 
greatest dogmatist of the middle ages, Thomas of 
Aquino, whom the Romish Church has canonized, 
and whose doctrines she has formally approved, in 
many passages defends the maculate conception as the 
only possible view not to speak of man}^ others. 

4. In like manner we are to show the images of 
the saints, for the sake of the persons whom they rep 
resent, the respect and honor due them; (but the im 
age of Christ we are to worship). This is done by 
kissing, uncovering the head, and prostration. 

Against this observe: No upright Christian will show 
any disrespect to the image of a pious person (as for instance 
by hanging it in an improper place), or suffer it to be done; 
because this would have the appearance of being an intended 
insult to the man represented thereby, and would give offense; 
he will much rather honor it. But to this there belong neither 
marks of affection, as the kiss, nor of politeness, as uncov 
ering the head, least of all religious postures, as prostration; 
and in general, no formal signs of honor and respect. These 
are not due to such images, devoid of merit and conscious 
ness, not even for the sake of those whom they represent, 
who cannot impart to their images either their merit or their 
consciousness, and as far as they themselves are concerned, 
if they were still living, they would forbid formally prescribed 
marks of respect and veneration, especially when shown on 
account of their holy lives. 

The Romish Church. 81 

But as regards the image of Christ in particular, we know 
that Christ is circumscribed by no space, but is every where 
present (Eph. 4, 10). Now, as the image itself is not the 
object of worship, why this self-invented roundabout way, 
through the locally circumscribed image, which, 1, does not 
agree well with John 4, 20-24; and, 2, may lead to many other 
soul-destroying superstitions, as, for instance, the false notion 
that images possess a peculiar healing power. Indeed it 
ever has been, and in spite of the fact that the Council 
of Trent saw fit to condemn (on paper) such delusions, is still 
productive of them. We have abundant proof of this in those 
processions with their accompanying pathetic invocations, 
so many of which may be seen and heard, for instance, in 
Italy. We simply refer here, as one instance, to the "Bam 
bino" a puppet representing the Savior wihch (for a 
consideration) is carried to the sick, in Rome and southern 
Italy, and confers healing upon them. 

5. Finally, we are also to venerate the bodies of 
the martyrs and other saints, which were "temples" 
of the Holy Ghost, and are finally to be "transfigured." 

Against this observe: The body of Mary was not only 
a temple of the Holy Ghost, but the Lord Himself derived 
therefrom His human nature, in which, from the beginning, 
the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily; yet the Lord saw 
fit to direct the attention of the woman, who praised the body 
of Mary, from such expressions to the alone-saving word 
(Luke 11, 28). But if we are not even to praise the bodies of 
the saints while living, much less should we venerate them 
when dead! That God is not well pleased therewith, He has 
plainly indicated, in ihat He Himself buried His servant 
Moses, evidently that no man might find his grave; and thus 
to prevent the idolatrous worship of his ashes in the future 
(Deut. 34, 6). Therefore, the highest honor which we may 
show the bodies of pious persons, on account of their edify 
ing example, consists in this, that we give them an honorable 
burial, if possible "in the choice of our sepulchres" (Gen. 23, 

82 Distinctive Doctrines. 

6); but then let the dust rest with its dust (Gen. 3, 19) until 
all who are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Lord 
(John 5, 28-29). Only then will it be made manifest beyond 
a doubt which of the bodies of the so-called saints were "tem 
ples of the Holy Ghost," and the Lord, the omniscient and 
just Judge, will Himself in the transfiguration bestow upon 
each one the due degree of honor (1 Cor. 15, 38-41). At all 
events the Romish Church has no right to encourage her 
people to look to the bodies of the saints, or to portions of 
them, for healing and deliverance. This is simply super 
stition, which will divert the minds of the people and pre 
vent the salutary influence which the good example of the 
saints might otherwise have, by reason of their faith, their 
love, their joyfulness in suffering, etc. What good can it 
possibly do if the pretended blood of St. Januarius, which 
is dried up in a bottle, becomes fluid again once a year? 
The fruit of such teaching may be seen in a prayer which 
was uttered from a pulpit in 1884 when cholera was epidemic 
in Naples: "O St. Gennare (Italian for Januarius), where 
cholera desolates our plains and causes so much untold 
misery, do thou to-day show the angry eternal One thy blood, 
then the chastisement "will cease, then will the grateful father 
land bless thee and praise thy blood, which in manifest deeds 
shows the power it contains, a power which thou dost apply 
to the protection, welfare and honor of the so justly envied 
people of Naples. The blood shall be to you for a token" 
(Ex. 12, 13; the text of this sermon!). In opposition to this 
the Scriptures say that we have "boldness to enter into the 
holiest by the blood of Jesus!" (Heb. 10, 19). The cloister of 
Mater Domini (the mother of our Lord), not far from Vesu 
vius, has a bottle containing some of the holy Virgin s milk. 
The printed chronicles of the cloister say, with reference to 
it: "Since Mary is the mother and co-redeemer of the Church, 
should she not have left a few drops of her precious milk as a 
gift for this Church, just as we still have some of the blood 
of Christ?" etc., etc. Here again we can see that their prac 
tice is far worse than their doctrine. These examples are 

The Romish Church. 88 

taken from the work of Trede already referred to in the 
Remark under II. 2. 

Remark: In close connection with this stands the whole 
subject of saints relics; for if we are not to worship the 
bodies of the saints, much less such things as belonged to 
them. But how far this matter of (often only pretended) 
relics is still carried may be seen for instance, in the case of 
the holy coat at Treves. In the year 1844, namely, a brown 
ish garment was exposed for veneration at Treves. It was 
said to be the seamless coat of Christ. Presently great mul 
titudes of pilgrims (1,100,000) came to pay homage to this 
coat. Miracles, it was claimed, were also wrought. But 
now it was shown by Protestant investigators that in twenty 
other places there were also coats of Christ, or at least 
parts of such. Where, then, is the true coat? And how 
many phases of superstition could here be added yet; one 
need only think of the many pieces of the cross of Christ, etc. 

6. Through such relics God confers many bene 
fits on men, especially the healing of the sick. 

Against this observe: Acts 5, 15; 19, 12 apd 2 Kings 13, 
21, to which the Romish Church usually refers, prove noth 
ing in favor of this. In the first passage, namely, it is not 
said that the shadow of Peter wrought healing; in the sec 
ond such things are spoken of as belonged, not to an ordi 
nary saint, but to an Apostle gifted with miraculous powers; 
and in the third we read of the bones, not of an ordinary 
saint, but of a prophet, possessing miraculous power. Be 
sides, it may be asked, did not God perhaps by way of excep 
tion in order to establish the doctrine of the Apostle, ac 
cording to His promise in Mark 16, 17 and 20 condescend 
in this way to the weak faith of the people, as Christ did in 
the case of the woman who had an issue of blood, who 
thought that by touching Him she would receive aid without 
His knowledge? (Matt. 9, 21.) In no case can man induce 
extraordinary divine dispensations in his own way. 

84 Distinctive Doctrines. 

Supplement. At this point, in the Article concerning- 
God, we must refer yet to the many kinds of miraculous 
means which modern Ultramontanism is bold enough to 
recommend for the healing of the body and the salvation 
of the soul; for they too, when compared with a true un 
derstanding of the Gospel, rob God of that honor which 
belongs to Him alone. The much praised scapularies, i. e. 
two pieces of woolen goods connected by a cord, and worn 
on the chest and back, under the clothing, occupy the first 
place. Different orders have different scapularies, brown, 
white, blue, black and red. They vouchsafe ample indul 
gence and protect from all kinds of bodily harm. But if 
the five scapularies are worn at once, one over the other, 
their blessing becomes immeasurable! Then we may men 
tion the medal of St. Benedict, of the order of the Benedictines. 
Its benefits are similar to those of the scapularies. When 
placed under the pillows of unbelievers they were at once 
converted; drunkards suddenly had a distaste for strong 
drink; heretics were converted; evil spirits driven away; 
all kinds of diseases, even toothache and nose-bleeding, were 
cured: frightened horses were rendered tractable, hens in 
duced to lay, a cow and a cat afflicted with skin disease were 
cured by it. 

The wearing of holy girdles, especially the seraphic gir 
dle of St. Francis, a strong cord bound around the body 
under the clothing, also secures untold benefits. It secures 
to the wearer all the blessings of the order of Franciscans. 
In a work translated from the French we read: "As often 
as they (the wearers of the girdle) pray six Pater nosters, 
etc., they secure for themselves all the indulgences of the 
holy land, of all the Basilicas and sanctuaries of Rome and 
Assisi, i. e. thousands of plenary indulgences, and partial 
indulgences for at least more than one hundred thousand 
years. Is not this a memorable ocean of mercy? Can we 
not, in this way deliver thousands of souls from purgatory 
every day?" For similar purposes the Jesuits offer the 
Ignatius water, consecrated by the touch of a relic of the 

The Romish Church. 85 

saint. The drinking of this water has effected many con 
versions, restored to health those who were sick unto death, 
etc. Similar claims are made for the gracious water of 
Lourdes and Marpingen, where the blessed Virgin is said 
to have appeared and herself declared the "immaculate con 
ception." Finally we may yet mention the cultus of the 
heart of Jesus, as well as the heart of Mary. Not the heart 
as the symbol of love is meant in connection with these devo 
tions, but, as a German Bishop (Martin of Paderborn) wrote: 
"The true object of devotion * * * is the real heart of 
Jesus, not simply the love symbolized by the heart." "The 
bodiJy heart" of Jesus and of Mary are now invoked. Pius 
IX. promised indulgence to those who use the prayer be 
ginning with the words: "Remember, O our dear Lady of 
the holiest heart, the unlimited power which thou hast over 
the heart of thy adorable Son." And Bishop Martin writes: 
"By the adoration of the heart of Mary I receive, as it were, 
access to the heart of Jesus. For, who else besides Mary 
can obtain for me the grace necessary for true love and 
adoration of the divine heart?" Besides this they speak also 
of the invocation of the heart of Joseph. "The three holiest 
hearts" are invoked together. Reusch, in his little book 
"The German Bishops and Superstition" (Bonn, 1879), re 
ports this and a great deal more from writings endorsed 
by the Romish Church. In view of such horrible ultramon 
tane excrescences, are we not justified in charging them 
with the use of amulets and sorcery? Such superstitious 
practices require no refutation; we need only to call to mind 
that we may and are commanded to worship the Lord our 
God alone, and to call upon Him in all times of bodily and 
spiritual need. 

XXX* Xti the Hrticlc Concerning jvian. 

1. The original divine similitude of the first man 
(i. e. his original holiness, righteousness and wisdom) 

86 Distinctive Doctrines. 

was only a superadded gift. (Hence man lost noth 
ing essential~when he lost it in the fall.) 

Against this observe: In Gen. 1, 27 it is simply said that 
God created man in His own image (i. e. as we learn from 
Eph. 4, 24 and Col. 3, 10, in perfect righteousness, holiness 
and wisdom); but it is not said that He first created him, 
and afterwards added His image, or similitude. Hence the 
loss of the divine image through the fall is not to be re 
garded only as a want of original power in the sight of 
God, but as an actual depravity which has come upon 
human nature. 

"Adam s purity and integrity of being did not consist 
only of perfect physical health and of blood, thoroughly 
pure, or of unimpaired strength of body^ but the greatest 
property of this noble first creature was a light shining in 
the heart, by which a knowledge of God and of His works 
was communicated a real fear of God a truly sincere 
confidence in Him, and in all respects a genuine, correct 
understanding, and a heart overflowing with love, goodness 
and joyfulness towards God and all divine things." (Apol. 
Art. II. Jacobs ed. p. 78.) 

2. The inborn sensual lust, as long as it is not 
expressed in any deed, is not sinful (is much rather 
intended to afford an opportunity for the practice of 
the opposite virtue). 

Against this observe: The Apostle Paul expressly calls 
it sin in Rom. 7, 7-9, and in Matt. 5, 28 the Savior says that 
sensual lust is in itself a deed, namely, of the heart. Now if 
such an inward deed were no sin, why is it directly forbidden 
in the law, or Ten Commandments, by the words, "Thou 
shalt not covet?" Does the Romish Church not know the 
law? If she knows it, she must also know that lust is sin, 
as the Apostle Paul says, Rom. 7, 7. Again, if sensual lust 
were no sin, but much rather afforded us an opportunity for 

The Romish Church. 87 

the practice of virtue, why should we be so often and so 
earnestly admonished to crucify lust, this innocent aid to 
godliness? (Gal. 5, 24). And, finally, do we not all learn 
by experience that the root of all sinful deeds is in the evil 
lust of the heart? (James 1, 13-15). 

"He (St. Paul) clearly declares concupiscence to be sin. 
* * * Augustine also disputed with, and contended ear 
nestly against, those who held that evil desires and inclina 
tions in man were not sin, and were neither good nor bad, 
as having a black or white body is also neither good nor 
bad. * * * Every experienced Christian heart knows 
and feels, alas! that this evil namely, that we esteem 
gold, property, and all other things, more highly than God, 
and proceed and live on in imagined security in them is 
innate with us, and exists in our bodies. And they know 
and feel, furthermore, that according to the nature of our 
sensual security, we are always inclined to think that God s 
wrath and severity regarding sin are not so great as they 
really are. * * * Who will have the boldness to assert 
that these gross propensities are neither good nor bad? 
Again, that lust and evil thoughts in our hearts are not sins, 
if we do not fully consent to them? Before the world, it is 
true, thoughts are free and exempt from punishment. But 
God searches the heart: His judgments and His sentence are 
different." (Apol. Art. II. Jacobs ed. pp. 81. 82). 

3. By his first disobedience man s moral nature 
was not rendered altogether incapable of good, but 
was only to a certain extent weakened. The sinner 
is not like unto one dead, but unto one severely 

Against this observe: Besides many other passages of 
the Holy Scriptures, the second half of the 7th chapter of 
Paul s Epistle to the Romans, beginning at the 14th verse, 
is most decidedly and clearly opposed to this. Read this 
passage! Or can we speak of a partial ability to do good 

: 88 Distinctive Doctrines. 

in that man who, by nature, is "sold under sin (v. 14), and 
in captivity under the law of sin (v. 23), and in whose flesh 
dwelleth no good thing" (v. 18)? It still remains true then: 
"Our nature fell in Adam s fall, One common sin infects 
us all." 

"For, since the fall of Adam, as the natural faculties of 
reason still remain, so that I can perceive good and bad in 
an object which may be contemplated by the power of 
thought and the operation of the mind, so there is also, to 
some extent, an ability in the freedom of will, to live hon 
orably or dishonorably. This is termed by the Holy Scrip 
ture the righteousness of the law, or of the flesh. * * * But 
in spiritual matters, namely, truly to believe God, to cherish 
an assured confidence that He is near us, hears us, forgives 
our sins, etc., the liberty of the will and the powers of the 
mind can accomplish nothing." (Apol. Art. XVIII. Jacobs 
ed., p. 230). 

XT, Xn the Hrticle Concerning the Sdork of Christ. 

1. Christ, as true God, is infinite; hence His merit 
is also infinite, and thus more than sufficient to take 
away the guilt of men, which is finite, since sinning 
men themselves are finite beings. 

Against this observe: If we wish to deal with mere 
logical conclusions, we may just as well turn the matter 
around, and say: Sinful men are indeed finite; but God, 
against whom they sin, is infinite, and thus their guilt is 

But we simply hold fast to the Scripture, in which we 
have the most positive assurance that "Christ is the pro 
pitiation for our sins, and for the sins of the whole world" 
(1 John 2, 2); and thus His merit is altogether sufficient to 
take away the guilt of all men; whilst there is not a single 
passage from which it would appear that it is more than 

The Romish Church. 89 

2. Notwithstanding the merit of Christ is more 
than sufficient to take away the guilt of men, still it 
blots out perfectly only the guilt of original sin; on 
the contrary, for the forgiveness of actual sin God 
demands personal satisfaction (which is not at all pos 
sible!) besides the merit of Christ, and that to the 
end that we should not think too lightly of actual sin. 

Against this observe: This is another invention of men, 
which cannot be proved by the Scriptures; these teach us, 
without any distinction, that the Lord has redeemed us from 
our sins; and in 1 John 1, 7 we read expressly: "The blood 
of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin;" thus not 
only from original, but also from actual sin; and again, not 
only from this or that actual sin, but from each and every 
one. Hence "there is no condemnation to them which are 
in Christ Jesus." Rom. 8, 1. 

V. In the Hrticle Concerning faith. 

Faith is an assent to that which the Church teaches. 

Against this observe: It is true, knowledge and assent 
belong to faith in its Biblical sense, but as to its essence it 
is confidence (Heb. 11, 1). The first is a matter of the mem 
ory, the second of the understanding, the third of the heart; 
and this third is evidently the chief thing. For, what good 
will mere knowledge and assent do? Such faith the devils 
also have, and tremble (James 2, 14); such faith Judas had, 
who went and hanged himself. 

Thus a heartfelt confidence, which the Romish Church 
omits, is really the saving, chief part of faith. 

VI. In the Hrticlc Concerning Justification. 

When God justifies the believing sinner for the 
sake of Christ, He not only ascribes to him the merit 

90 Distinctive Doctrines. 

of Christ, and looks upon him as just, but pours out 
into him the righteous nature of Christ and makes him 
just: in this sense, that not only all guilt, but also all 
sin is instantly taken away. 

Against this observe: The Scriptures speak very clearly 
of an Imputation of righteousness, but never of any essential 
infusion (Gen. 15, 6; Rom. 4, 3. 5. 6. 8). Spiritual experience 
also teaches that what takes place in our behalf when we are 
justified is not the imparting to us of something new, but 
that it concerns the personal relation between God and the 
sinner. We experience the gracious disposition of God, 
which no longer imputes to us our sins. And just as clearly 
does experience show that the justified person, although 
free from all guilt (Rom. 8, 1), still has within him a sinful 
nature; and the Scriptures confirm it (1 John 1, 8. 9; Rom. 
7, 23; Gal. 5, 17). 

Remark: 1. The Romish Church confounds the end 
with the means. The end is indeed essential righteousness 
and holiness; but justification is only the means for attain 
ing this; for in it we receive joyfulness and strength for 
sanctification, that we may now strive after it. 

Remark: 2. Since the Romish Church does not regard 
justification as a judicial act of God complete in itself, but 
connects it with sanctification consequent to it, no one can, 
according to Romish ideas, ever be fully certain of his state 
of grace. The Protestant Church, on the contrary, says to 
her believing members: "Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye 
are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 6, 17), and 
they themselves say: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with 
our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom. 8, 16). 

Luther, in his sermon on Rom. 8, 34: Quis accusabit? 
(Who is he that will accuse?), speaks very clearly and beau 
tifully about the judicial act of God in justifying the sinner. 
He says, "Here we must speak after the manner of a judicial 
trial. There is the judge, the accused, the jailer, the execu- 

The Romish Church. 91 

tioner, etc. Just so it is in our conscience. When I have 
sinned the beadle comes, my heart pronounces judgment 
upon me, conscience says yea, cites me before the court, and 
shows me the strict Judge, God. If He looks angry my 
heart melts within me. On the other side stands death and 
says to the Judge, the sinner is mine. The devil with the 
spear in hand is about to take away the sinner. * * * I 
grow despondent and say, now I am lost forever. This is 
hell and everlasting despair. Now, if it were not for this 
text the sinner must indeed be lost forever. But here is 
comfort; they shall indeed be accused as wicked, but God 
justifies us, i. e. He takes our part. It is true we have well 
deserved death, but God defends us through His Son, who 
pleads our cause before God the Father as an Advocate, and 
intercedes for the poor sinner: Father, the sinner is a mute, 
he cannot speak; I have rendered satisfaction for him, spare 
him. Then Christ graciously bends low, shoulders the poor 
sinner and thus delivers him from death and his jailer or 
his tormentor. God acts as a father towards his son; if any 
one should say, behold thy son squinteth, the father says he 
casteth eyes of love. Again: The mole becomes him so 
well! So also Christ does: Oh it is not sin, it is only weak 
ness in the poor sinner. Quis condemnabitf (Who will con 
demn?) The first thing is to accuse, the second to condemn. 
In the first place judgment is pronounced upon the sinner, 
but the Son intercedes for us. In the second place: If God 
is our Friend the decision is in our favor and says: Be off 
you policeman, you have lost your case against the sinner, 
the sinner has won, begone! Finally it must be borne in 
mind that no one should expect to become rid of all sin, 
evil lust and wicked thoughts. Let each one see to it that 
he have within himself an earnest longing, and sigh to God: 
Oh how I would like to be rid of sin. This cry Spiritus 
Sancti (of the Holy Spirit) goes with us till the last day, 
hence there is always sin in poor Christians. They sin, but 
not through malice and purposely, but in weakness; these 
God willingly pardons. Therefore our best comfort is this, 

92 Distinctive Doctrines. 

that we have in us the testimonium Spiritus Sancti, namely: 
Whoever is in need can have within him a longing after God, 
who will be gracious to him and help him." 

VXX. Xn the Hrticlc Concerning Grace. 

1. Man can fit himself (only by the aid of the 
Holy Spirit, it is true, but yet) through his own moral 
power for the acceptance of justifying grace, and thus 
"to a certain extent merit" the same. 

Against this observe: "We are not sufficient of our 
selves to think anything (well-pleasing to God) as of our 
selves," 2 Cor. 3, 5; compare 1 Cor. 2, 14; much less are we 
able to will 1 or to do it (John 15, 5) ; all this we must let God 
work in us (Phil. 2, 13). Thus, then, we are justified by His 
grace, without merit (Rom. 3, 24). "Where is boasting 
then" (as if we could "to a certain extent merit" it)? "It is 
excluded." Rom. 3, 27. 

2. But, as justifying grace is infused into man, 
he receives the power to keep all God s cotnmand- 

1 True, in Rom. 7, 18 Paul says: "To will is present 
with me"; but you must remember that Paul here no more 
speaks of his former natural condition (as in verses 8-13, 
where he speaks altogether of the past), but of his present 
condition, after he was justified, and had, in justification, 
received the power of the Holy Ghost. To will that which 
was good did not, therefore, proceed from his flesh, i. e. 
his natural power, for in it "dwelt no good thing," but from 
the power of the Holy Ghost which had been given him; 
the natural power, on the contrary, opposed it, that, if possi 
ble, it might not be done. This warring between the old 
natural and new spiritual powers is described in Gal. 5, 17 
in a similar manner as here in verse 19. 

The Romish Church. 93 

ments, and through good works directly to merit 
eternal salvation. 

Against this observe: True, the justified man can and 
must indeed work out his own salvation (Phil. 2, 12); but 
this is not done of our own natural power "it is God 
which worketh in us both to will and to do" (y. 13). As He 
personally takes up His abode in our hearts and as we appre 
hend Him more and more, the moral power increases in us 
through His operation and communion with us, and from 
such fulness in Christ Jesus we receive grace for grace, t. e. 
grace and ever new grace (John 1, 16). Now since, even 
after justification, we may never reject grace, as being 
superfluous (Gal. 2, 21), we are not only justified but also 
saved by grace (Eph. 2, 8; Acts 15, 11); "but if by grace, 
then it is no more of works, otherwise grac*e is no more 
grace" (Rom. 11, 6). 

"We are regenerated through it (faith); and through it 
is received into our hearts the Holy Ghost, who renews our 
hearts, so that we are enabled to keep the law of God, to 
fear and love Him truly, and not to waver or doubt that 
Christ was given for us, and that He hears our cries and 
prayers, so that we can commend ourselves joyfully to God s 
will, even in the midst of death." (Apol. Art. IV.) But 

"There is no one that fears and loves God with his whole 
heart, as he is under obligation to do; no one that bears 
crosses and afflictions in entire submission to God; no one 
that does not often doubt, through weakness, whether God 
accepts him also, whether He regards him, whether He hears 
his prayers. * * * Therefore Augustine asserts that: 
We keep all the commandments of God, when all is for 
given us that we do not keep. " (Apol. Art. VI. Jacobs 
ed. pp. 91. 112). 

Remark: The Scripture indeed speaks here and there 
of a heavenly reward; but this evidently has different degrees 
(Dan. 12, 3; Matt. 10, 40-41), and can therefore have no refer 
ence to salvation in general, which shall be the portion of all 

94 Distinctive Doctrines. 

believers without exception (Acts 15, 11), but only to that 
particular glory which shall be bestowed upon the individual 
saints in different degrees. But it should also be remarked 
that this special reward of glory is also purely a reward of 
grace, for when we have done all, we are unprofitable serv 
ants, i. e. have merited nothing (Luke 17, 10); God, how 
ever, has in store for each faithful servant a reward of free 
grace, not for the sake of, but according to the measure of 
his works, which show forth the faith concealed in his heart 
(James 2, 18), and thus serve as the measure of the pur 
posed reward of grace. 

There are two kinds of compensation one which a 
man is under obligation to make, another which he is not 
under obligation to make; as, if the emperor gives to his 
servant a principality, by it the servant s labor is recom 
pensed; and yet the labor is not deserving the principality, 
but the servant acknowledges that it is a gratuitous reward: 
so God does not owe to us eternal life for our works; how 
ever, as He grants it for Christ s sake to believers, their 
afflictions and works, by it, are recompensed. We say, 
moreover, that good works are truly deserving and merito 
rious, not that they should merit for us the remission of 
sins or eternal life; but they are meritorious with respect 
to other gifts, which are given in this life and the life to 
come. For God withholds or procrastinates many gifts till 
yonder life, where, after this life, He will raise the saints to 
honor. For the blessed will have compensation, one higher 
than another." (Apol. Art. VI. Jacobs ed. p. 154). 

3. Nay, he can even perform works of superero 
gation, by doing not only that which God expressly 
commands, but also that which God has indeed ad 
vised, but nevertheless left optional. (The so-called 
"Evangelical decrees," of which the most important 
are the three monastic vows: unconditional obedi 
ence, total poverty, and life-long chastity.) Connected 
with this is their conception of an ideal moral life. 

The Romish Church. 95 

The monk and the nun, who have renounced the world 
with its gifts and tasks, lead a morally perfect life. 
Cloister life is the highest degree of moral life. 

Against this observe: 1. No man, not even the most 
holy, can fulfill even the express commands of God; for, 
"if we say," says John in his 1st Epistle, 1. 8, in the most 
general way, including himself also (who was surely as holy 
as any), "if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, 
and the truth is not in us." (Compare also 2, 1.) 2. God 
requires of us in His commandments that we love Him with 
all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind, 
and with all our strength, and our neighbor as ourself; above 
this sum and substance of the law we cannot imagine any 
thing higher which God could counsel or advise the perfect 
to do. 1 But, as to the advice to give up our natural calling 

1 The advice concerning celibacy, for instance, 1 Cor. 7, 
1, the Apostle evidently gives only with regard to the then 
prevailing circumstances (v. 26); nor was its object the in 
crease of holiness, but only the decrease of bodily tribula 
tion (v. 28), which in the approaching persecution would 
oppress the married in a twofold and threefold manner. 
But as regards Matt. 10, 21, upon which the Romish Church 
bases her Evangelical decree of "total poverty" for those 
who strive after perfect holiness, the Lord, in demanding of 
the youth to sell everything that be had and give to the 
poor, if he wished to be perfect, evidently intended no more 
than this: He wished to convince him, by a given example, 
that he yet lacked much of having fulfilled the ten command 
ments, which he thought he had kept (v. 20). For it now 
became evident that he did not love God and divine things 
above mammon, above all things else, and that thus he was 
still a debtor to the whole law; else he would certainly have 
followed the Lord, as the One who spake of nothing but 
God and divine things, and, who according to the youth s 
own confession, could show the way to eternal life (v. 16). 

96 Distinctive Doctrines. 

in favor of life in a cloister, the Scriptures nowhere demand 
or even advise this. Paul, on the other hand, with respect 
to the different relations of natural life, gives the Corinthians 
this rule: "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein 
he was called" (1 Cor. 7, 20. 17. 18. 21). And he warns against 
those who walk "in a voluntary humility and worshiping of 
angels." Col. 2, 18. 23. 

"Moreover, they would persuade men that these invented 
religious orders are a state of Christian perfection. * * * 
Righteousness of faith, which ought especially to be taught 
in the Church, is obscured, when this marvellous worshiping 
of angels, the pretense of poverty, and humility, and celibacy, 
are set up before men s eyes. 

Christian perfection is this, to fear God with sincerity 
of heart, and also to heartily believe and trust that we have 
for Christ s sake a gracious, merciful God, and that we may 
and should ask and desire of and certainly look to God for 
whatsoever we need, according to our calling; and outwardly 
to do good works diligently, and to attend to our vocation." 
(Jacobs ed. p. 60). 

"God has commanded sincere prayer, real alms and fasts; 
and inasmuch as they have been ordered by Him, no one 
can omit them with impunity. But works, in so far as they 
are not commanded in the divine law, but have been framed 
according to human caprice (Col. 2, 20-23), are nothing but 
ordinances of men, in reference to which Christ says: In 
vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the com 
mandments of men. Matt. 15, 9." (Apol. Chap. VI. Ja 
cobs ed. p. 205.) 

VXXX. Xn the Hrticle Concerning Repentance (Con 
fession and Hbsolution), 

1. To repentance there belong essentially three 
things: 1. contrition of the heart (or repentance with 
the resolution of amendment); 2. confession of the 
mouth (with the enumeration, by name, of each and 

The Romish Church. 97 

every sin); and 3. satisfaction by works (satisfactio,. 
especially prayer, fasting, alms). 

Against this observe: The third part conflicts with the 
exclusive merit of Christ, and is, besides this, a matter of 
impossibility for man, whose duty it is to fear, love and 
trust in God above all things every moment, thus leaving 
him no time to make up for neglected duties; and who also 
every day adds new guilt to the old, and must pray: "For 
give us our trespasses." The second part, however, is an 
exaggeration, in so far as a nominal enumeration of all sins 
is required; for, "who can understand his errors?" (Ps. 19, 
12) and our Church teaches that "consciences are not to 
be burdened with the enumerating of all sins." The first 
part, finally, repentance (Reue), is vitiated by the Romish 
Church, in that she does not distinguish between a true 
and a false, but between an insufficient and a perfect repent 
ance, whilst all our repentance is and must remain very im 
perfect, and in it God looks solely and alone upon our sin 
cerity (1 Chron. 30, 17). 

On the contrary, there is lacking an essential part, viz. 
that confidence of faith that our sins are to be forgiven only 
for the sake of Christ (without which confidence the first 
part, repentance, avails nothing, Matt. 27, 3. 5). It is want 
ing; for that faith which the Romish Church always pre 
supposes, is only the assent of the understanding and no 
heartfelt confidence (see V.); but if they nevertheless speak 
of a confidence in divine mercy, which must be connected 
with repentance, they mean such confidence in divine mercy, 
that mercy will be gracious to the penitent sinner on account 
of his repentance, thus making repentance meritorious. 
"They teach us to be confident that we obtain remission of 
sins because of contrition and love. What else is this than 
to put confidence in our works?" (Apol. Jacobs ed., p. 191.) 

That the Scriptures themselves consider sorrow for sin 
and faith as parts of repentance is according to the Apology 
implied in Matt. 11, 28: " Come unto me, all ye that labor 

98 Distinctive Doctrines. 

and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Here there 
are two members. The labor and the burden signify the 
contrition, anxiety and terrors of sin and death. To come 
to Christ is to believe that sins are remitted for Christ s 
sake; when we believe our hearts are quickened by the Holy 
Ghost through the Word of Christ. Here, therefore, there 
are these two chief parts, contrition and faith. And in Mark 
1, 15, Christ says: Repent ye and believe the Gospel. As 
in the first member, He convicts of sins, in the latter He 
consoles us, and shows the remission of sins." (Apol. Ja- 
cobs ed., p. 183). 

Remark: The Romish Church regards penitence as the 
.second saving plank in the shipwreck of sin, as if God did 
also, on His part, violate the baptismal covenant, after man, 
on his part, has broken it (contrary to Rom. 3, 3; 2 Tim. 
2, 13). 

"Repentance, therefore, is nothing else than a return 
.and approach to baptism, that we return to and practice what 
had been begun and had been abandoned. The ship never 
breaks, because (as we have said) it is the institution of God, 
and not a matter of ours; but it happens, indeed, that we slip 
and fall out of the ship. Yet if any one fall out, let him see 
to it that he swim up and cling to it till he again come into 
it and live in it, as he had formerly begun." (Apol. Jacobs 
ed., p. 475.) 

2. But the Church may absolve the penitent from 
satisfaction by works; for she has an inexhaustible 
supply of the superfluous merit of Christ and the 
saints, who have done more of good than they have 
personal need of, from which supply she may impart 
"indulgence" at pleasure. In the same way she can, 
"by indulgences, deliver from purgatory those who 
were sent there because they failed to render satisfac 
tion here on earth. 

The Romish Church. 99 

Against this observe: The Church can neither impose 
satisfaction, since it is contrary to Scripture and a matter 
of impossibility for man, nor can she release it in view of 
her treasure of superfluous merit; and this for the simple 
reason that this treasure is a mere phantom of the brain, 
contrary to God s Word (VII, 1, VII, 3). This whole offen 
sive doctrine of indulgences is without any foundation what 
ever, and falls to the ground of itself. Besides, it must here 
be remarked that the popular practice is far worse than the 
theory. According to the theory indulgence does not effect 
the forgiveness of sins, but only effects a release from the 
external penalties imposed by the Church, or a release from 
the sufferings of purgatory. But, practically, the matter 
assumes far worse forms. What shall we say to it, when such 
remission (indulgence) is made to depend on the visiting of 
certain places, the repeated "saying" of certain prayers, the 
observance of certain festivals, nay even on the wearing 
of such things as scapularies and medals! To this must be 
added yet that the public announcements of indulgences, 
under the present pope too, speak of "perfect release from 
all sins" and "perfect indulgence and forgiveness of all sins." 
Thus, by taking part in the celebration of a certain festival, 
or by visiting a certain church, one could receive forgiveness 
of sins! How easy, especially for the uneducated Christian, 
in connection with such announcements, to think that in 
dulgence is all-sufficient, and that there is no further need 
of confession and contrition. 

XX. In the Hrticlc Concerning the Sacrament. 

1. Bread and wine in the Lord s Supper are sub 
stantially changed into the body and blood of Jesus 
Christ, by the consecration or blessing of the priest 
(as by magic) ; so that nothing remains of them, ex 
cept the original form, color, smell and taste. (Thus 
a second miracle!") 

100 Distinctive Doctrines. 

Against this observe: 1. It is not said, "This has 
become my body"; nay, even if it were, it would not neces 
sarily follow therefrom that the bread is entirely changed 
into the body, for so it is also written that the Word, i. e. 
the second person in the Trinity, became flesh or man; and 
yet we are not to understand that Divinity was changed 
into or absorbed by humanity. 2. But if the words in ques 
tion must not be understood thus, why put this construction 
upon them, in spite of the evidence of our five senses? 3. 
Finally, the Apostle, who assures us that he received it from 
the Lord (1 Cor. 11, 23), gives us a very plain indication 
that we are not thus to understand the above expression, 
by repeatedly, in the most unqualified manner, calling the 
consecrated or blessed element bread, after as well as before 
the consecration (1 Cor. 10, 16; 11, 27-28), whilst, according 
to the Romish idea, there remains nothing of the bread 
except the mere appearance. 

But as regards the consecration of the elements, herein 
the priest does nothing, but Christ, through the words of 
the institution, does all. 

"For where His institution is observed and His words 
concerning the bread and cup (wine) are spoken, and the 
consecrated bread and cup (wine) are distributed, Christ 
Himself, through the spoken words, is still efficacious by 
virtue of the first institution, through His Word which He 
wishes to be there repeated. As Chrysostom says in his 
sermon concerning the passion: Christ Himself prepares 
this table and blesses it; for no man makes the bread and 
wine set before us the body and blood of Christ, but Christ 
Himself who was crucified for us. The words are spoken 
by the mouth of the priest, but, by God s power and grace, 
the elements presented are consecrated in the Supper by 
the Word, where he speaks: This is My body. And just 
as the declaration (Gen. 1, 28): Be fruitful, and multiply, 
and replenish the earth/ was spoken only once, but is ever 
efficacious in nature, so that it is fruitful and multiplies; so 
also this declaration (This is My body; this is My blood) 

The Romish Church. 101 

was once spoken, but even to this day and to His advent it 
is efficacious, and works so that in the Supper of the churches 
His true body and blood are present." (Form. Cone. 
Jacob s ed., p. 615.) 

2. The consecrated element remains a true sacra 
ment even after the sacramental act, whether it is used 
or not; wherefore it may be kept and, as occasion re 
quires, be carried to the sick. 

Against this observe: The Lord, on His part, gave the 
bread, the disciples, on their part, took and ate it. The con 
secrated element was thus handled and used. To this we 
still adhere, and are certain that the consecrated element 
is a true sacrament whilst we handle and use it according 
to the command of Christ. But we have no surety that it 
is and remains a sacrament, apart from the sacramental act. 
"For nothing can be a sacrament without God s command 
and ordained use." 

3. The consecrated wafer may and shall be wor 
shiped by believers. 

Against this observe: When you receive the blessed 
bread you may bend your knees before the Lord, who is 
present in the sacrament; before the wafer, never! If indeed 
the Romish Church could prove that the bread is essentially 
changed into the body of the Lord, then there could be no 
objection to this; for then the wafer would be nothing else 
than the body of Him in whom the fulness of the Godhead 
dwells bodily, and at whose name every knee shall bow 
(Phil. 2, 10). But as she cannot do this, she does wrong 
when she presents the consecrated wafer, which is only to 
be eaten, to believers for adoration, and when she carries it 
about with great pomp on Corpus Christi day; for the Lord 
says expressly: Take and eat" and not, carry it about and 
adore it. 

102 Distinctive Doctrines. 


Remark: In this connection the reader will remember 
that some years ago the Protestant sol diers in Bavaria were 
expected to take part in bending the knee before the conse 
crated wafer. 

4. It is a damnable error to mention the forgive 
ness of sins as the chief result or benefit of par 
taking of the holy Lord s Supper. Its participation 
works deliverance from daily sins and preservation 
from mortal sins. 

Against this observe: The chief object of the holy 
Lord s Supper is to appropriate to us (Matt. 26, 28) the 
work of Christ, above all, the forgiveness of sins. Thus it 
must bring to us the greatest of all gifts, viz. the forgive 
ness of sins, and that in such a manner that we are specially 
assured of forgiveness when we partake of this holy sacra 
ment. Then we must remember that the Apostle admon 
ishes to earnest self-examination before the reception of the 
Lord s Supper (1 Cor. 11, 28); but the result of such exam 
ination will always be the knowledge of our sins. The Lord s 
Supper, then, brings the forgfveness of these. The Catholic 
view differs from this, because they, as in general, so also 
in the Lord s Supper, regard grace as a power infused into 
man, by means of which he is enabled to do that which is 
good Thus then the Lord s Supper is to preserve from 
mortal sins. 

5. Since the blood may not be separated from the 
body, and thus whoever receives the body at the same 
time receives the blood, the Lord s Supper under one 
form is sufficient for salvation. (In this way the Rom 
ish Church seeks to justify the withholding of the cup 
from the laity.) 

Against this observe: The question here is not at all 
whether we regard it as sufficient; the Lord evidently re- 

The Romish Church. 103. 

garded it as necessary, else He would not have instituted 
it under both forms, and said directly with regard to the 
cup, "Drink ye all of it." It is evident also from 1 Cor. 11, 
23 sq., that the Lord wanted His Supper celebrated in all 
time to come in the same way as He instituted it in the night 
in which He was betrayed, i. e. under both forms, until He 
shall come again to judge the quick and the dead (v. 26); 
and in the whole chapter not the slightest distinction is 
made between priests and laity, but it is said in a general 
way: "As often as ye (priests or lay members) eat this 
bread, and drink this cup," and "whoever (priest or lay mem 
ber) shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord un 
worthily" (compare also v. 29); from which it follows that 
a mutilation of the sacrament to the disadvantage of the laity 
cannot at all be justified by the Holy Scriptures. Just as 
little can it be justified by that argument of reason "that the 
blood is received at the same time with the body"; for in no 
case should we want to know or do anything better than our 
Lord and Master, least of all in a testamentary matter, such 
as the Lord s Supper also is. Besides, the Romish Church 
cannot deny that the withholding of the cup from the laity 
began only in the 12th century, 1 and that too against the 
most decided opposition of highly respected teachers, nay, 
even of popes (Leo and Gelasius in the 5th century), who 

a ln Acts 2, 42, the breaking of bread alone is mentioned; 
but this does not prove that at that time already the cup 
was occasionally withheld; for silence in itself is no evidence, 
and the circumstance that no mention is here made of the 
cup is sufficiently accounted for by the fact that the object 
here is not doctrinal instruction, but only a historical report, 
which may and should be brief, and where a part may be 
taken for the whole. (Similar to this is Acts 19, 5, from 
which it does not follow that baptism was administered only 
in the name of Jesus Christ, and not also in the name of 
God the Father and the Holy Ghost.) Surely the Apostle 
Paul, who so emphatically speaks to the Corinthians of the 

104 Distinctive Doctrines. 

forbade this mutilation of the sacrament as a "great robbery 
of the Church." 

6. In the Holy Supper the Lord is ever offered 
.up anew in an unbloody manner for the forgiveness 
of sins, by the hands of the priest (sacrifice of the 

Against this observe: 1. In the New Testament there 
are, properly speaking, no sacrifices; here only offerings 
of praise and love are acceptable (Heb. 13, 15-16). 2. An 
unbloody sacrifice, however, for the forgiveness of sins is, 
.according to the Scripture, an absurdity; for without the 
shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Heb. 9, 12). 
3. Christ offered Himself once for all (Heb. 9, 28), and with 
one sacrifice made perfect forever all who are sanctified. 
The Romish Church, therefore, with her ever-recurring sac 
rifice of the mass, detracts from the ever perfect merit of 
Christ, and evidently falls back into the Old Testament, 
where every year the same sacrifices had to be brought anew, 
and yet could not make perfect those who came thereunto 
<Heb. 10, 1). 

7. Besides Baptism and the Lord s Supper there 
are five other sacraments: Confirmation, Repentance 
(Confession and Absolution), Ordination of priests, 
Matrimony and Extreme Unction. 

Against this observe: If we take the word "sacrament" 
in its wider sense of "holy act," we may also accept these 
five; but then there would be many other sacraments, as 
prayer, the preaching of the Word, etc. But the Romish 

Lord s Supper under both forms, would not have tolerated 
the creeping in of this mutilation of the sacrament, and yet 
in Acts 20, 7, where he also takes part, the bread only is 

The Romish Church. 105 

Church wants these to be regarded as sacraments in exactly 
the same sense as Baptism and the Lord s Supper; nay, 
even regards Confirmation of greater importance than Bap 
tism; this is false and contrary to Scripture. 

To a sacrament, in the sense in which Baptism and the 
Lord s Supper are such, three things are requisite: 1. A 
divine command; 2. an earthly element; 3. a heavenly gift. 

Now in Confirmation (in which, according to the Ro 
mish doctrine, adult Christians receive certain gracious gifts 
for spiritual knighthood, whilst the bishop anoints them with 
consecrated oil) all these three requisites are wanting; for 
the laying on of hands, connected with prayer, by the Apos 
tles, on those who were already baptized (Acts 8, 15. 17), 
was not connected with any anointing, and moreover had 
for its object, not the imparting of ordinary gifts of grace, 
but of extraordinary miraculous powers, and cannot there 
fore be compared with Confirmation, either in form or sub 

Again, in Repentance (Confession and Absolution) there 
is wanting the second requisite, namely the earthly sign or 
element; for the laying on of hands usually connected with 
it is only a significant gesture, without express divine com 
mand; nay, even without a well established apostolic example. 

In the Ordination of priests the three requisites again 
are lacking. It is nothing more than a very salutary churchly 
usage, come down to us from the time of the Apostles, which 
should by all means be retained. But there is for it no ex 
press divine command, and the laying on of hands connected 
with it, which was also used in setting apart almoners (Acts 
6, (J), and in many other holy acts, is again only a significant 
gesture according to apostolic example (2 Tim. 1, 6). As 
regards the gifts to be imparted, we do not know what the 
Apostles prayers and laying on of hands availed perhaps 
the Apostles could impart to those who received an office 
particular gifts qualifying them for that office (2 Tim. 1, 6, 
and 1 Tim. 4, 14), even as they could impart to any Chris 
tian extraordinary miraculous power (Acts 8, 14-20, and 19, 

106 Distinctive Doctrines. 

6). But as regards us, we have no warrant that our prayer 
and laying on of hands will effect more than a believing 
prayer, if it be fervent, will avail at any time (James 5, 16). 

As to the solemnization of Matrimony, here the three 
requisites are also wanting. Although matrimony itself is 
a holy ordinance, 1 instituted by God Himself, and having 
many promises of blessings for this life, 2 it is yet not a New 
Testament ordinance, and can therefore not come under 
consideration in this connection. 

Remark: The Romish Church, in accordance with her 
view of marriage as a sacrament, does not even in the case of 
adultery permit a divorce in the proper sense, so that the in 
nocent party might be permitted to marry again. This is 
evidently contrary to Matt. 19, 9, where the Lord Himself 
allows the exception to the rule set forth in verse 6, in case 
of adultery. 

Of Extreme Unction, finally, as a preparation of the dying 
for a happy end, we find not one word in Scripture. The 
anointing mentioned in James 5, 14, where the stress is, 
however, laid upon the believing prayer connected therewith 
(v. 15), did not take place as a preparation of the dying for 
a happy end, but for the restoration of the sick (vs. 15-16, 

1 The passage (Eph. 5, 32) proves nothing as to the real 
character of matrimony. For the Vulgata (see I., 2) has ren 
dered the original Greek word, which signifies a holy mys 
tery, by sacramentum, in the same sense. But the meaning 
of the Apostle is: The mysterious signification of matri 
mony is great. Why? Because it symbolizes the intimate 
union of Christ with the Church, who is not only one Spirit, 
but also one body with her, inasmuch as He gives her not 
only His Spirit in the Word, but also His flesh and blood in 
the sacrament of the altar. 

2 In 1 Tim. 2, 15, the stress must be placed upon "if she 
continue in faith," etc.; and no more is said than that her 
calling as wife shall not prevent her salvation. 

The Romish Church. 107 

"and the prayer of faith shall save the sick", compare also 
Mark 6, 13), in order that they might be "healed" again. 

X. In the Hrtlclc Concerning the Hast Cbings. 

There is a place intermediate between heaven and 
hell, called Purgatory, where souls, before they may 
enter heaven, must render satisfaction for all venial 
as well as for those mortal sins which they did not 
expiate while upon earth. In this however they are 
helped by the intercessions of the faithful, and espe 
cially by the sacrifice of the mass. 

Against this observe: Satisfaction on the part of man 
is not, according to the Scripture, even to be thought of here 
on earth (VIII, 1), where at least, some reparation may be 
made for the injury done by sin; much less beyond this life; 
for, while in Matt. 5, 26, it is said that the impenitent sinner 
shall be condemned until he has paid the uttermost farthing, 
it is not said in connection therewith that he ever can pay it; 
we must rather infer the contrary from the entire context 
of Scripture (Rom. 3, 28; Gal. 2, 16). Not only the object 
assigned to purgatory, however, must fall to the ground, 
but purgatory itself is a pure invention of men. The Scrip 
ture passage which seems most to favor this doctrine, and 
which is most appealed to by the Romish Church, is 1 Cor. 
3, 14-15. But in this passage the Apostle does not speak of 
a real fire, else the gold, silver, wood and hay (v. 12) must 
also be real gold, silver, wood and hay; but of a figurative 
fire; and the Apostle plainly indicates by the expression 
"as," *. e. in like manner as through fire (v. 15), that he here 
speaks in a parable. Besides, this figurative fire here spoken 
of is not a purgatory (purifying) fire, but much rather a fire 
of test or trial. What, then, becomes of purgatory? since 
there is nothing said here either of a real fire, or of a purging 
or purifying. 

108 Distinctive Doctrines. 

But if, finally, the Romish Church refers to 2 Maccabees 
12, 42-46, to prove the benefit of intercession, and especially 
of the sacrifice of the mass for the departed, it must be re 
membered that: 1. The example of even the holiest men 
in Scripture is not in itself binding, especially in the Old 
Testament where many things were observed which are 
abolished in the New (Heb. 10, 9). 2. Judas Maccabee, as 
can be shown, went even beyond the Old Testament, in this 
that he brought a sin offering for the dead, for which there 
was in the Old Testament neither command nor promise. 
3. The author also characterizes the undertaking of Judas 
Maccabee as a "holy and good thought" (without definite 
Scriptural ground). 4. The whole passage is apocryphal. 

XI. In the Hrticlc Concerning the Church. 

1. To the true unity of the Church there belongs 
not only unity in doctrine, but also uniformity in or 
ganization and usages. 

Against this observe: The Apostles always exhort only 
to unity in word, i. e. in faith, doctrine and confession (1 
Cor. 1, 10; Phil. 3, 15; Gal. 1, 7-8; Eph. 4, 13-14; 1 Tim. 6, 
3; 2 Tim. 1, 13); but in regard to external usages and organi 
zation they only give the general rule: Let all things be 
done decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14, 40), since God is 
a God of order (14, 33); as they also occasionally urge the 
imitation of this or that salutary and well-tried usage (1 Cor. 
11, 2-16). But from this it does not follow that perfect 
uniformity in organization and usages is every where possi 
ble, desirable or even necessary to the unity of the Church; 
and, strictly speaking, the Romish Church cannot, in reality, 
boast of such uniformity. 

2. This one Church (i. e. the Romish) can not 
err, since she is governed by the Holy Ghost; she, 
especially her head, the pope, is infallible. 

The Romish Church. 109 

Against this observe: That church which suffers herself 
to be governed by the Holy Spirit does not err (John 16, 13); 
she is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3, 15). But 
that the Romish Church often has erred, 1 is very evident 
from her frequent contradictions, and from her manifest 
departure from the Word of God. From which we conclude 
that in these things she has not suffered herself to be gov 
erned by the Holy Ghost. 

Remark: The Romish Church herself did not decide 
until very recently, whether infallibility belongs to the pope 
or to the general council of bishops. The Vatican Council 
(1870) decided the matter in favor of the pope (see further on). 

3. Outside of this one true Church (i. e. the Rom 
ish) there is no salvation. 

Against this observe: Outside of the Christian Church 
there is indeed no salvation; for in her possession alone the 
means of grace, the divine Word and the sacraments, are 
to be found. Now let us for a moment suppose, which 
however, is not the case, that the Romish Church possess 
the Christian doctrine pure and unadulterated in all its parts, 
whilst all other churches have only fragments of the same. 
Then the Romish Church could indeed claim to be the only 
true and unadulterated, but still not the only saving church; 
but would first have to prove that no other church commun 
ion has sufficient fragments of Christian doctrine for salva 
tion. Or can no one be saved in a partly corrupted church 
communion, where, upon the true Scriptural foundation of 
Christ s person, work and office (1 Cor. 3, 11), the stubble 
of human wisdom is built up, which in the day of separation 
shall be burnt as useless? (v. 13). That it is barely possible 
is proved by 1 Cor. 3, 15, where it is said that even he who 

*For instance, three Church councils and more than that 
many popes have condemned pope Honorius I. (d. 638) as 
a heretic. Where then is infallibility? 

110 Distinctive Doctrines. 

builds such doctrinal stubble upon the true Scriptural 
ground may possibly be saved, "y e t so as by fire," i. e. as 
one who has been rescued, with difficulty, from the already 
burning fire (Jude, v. 23). 

4. The ministers of the Word are priests in the 
true sense of the word (with reference especially to 
the unbloody sacrifice which, in the mass, they must 
offer for the people). They alone can administer the 
sacraments. Now, since grace is infused through the 
sacraments, every Christian needs the priests. 

Against this observe: Properly speaking, all sacrifices 
have ceased in the New Testament (Heb. 10, 9); here only 
sacrifices of praise and love are acceptable (Heb. 13, 15-16). 
But where there are no real sacrifices, there of course there 
are no real priests. But as regards the administration of 
the sacraments, this belongs to the clergy only for the sake 
of order, not as though they alone could "make" the sacra 
ments. But the Romish view, that priests are lords over the 
congregation, and that obedience to them is a religious duty, 
rests largely upon this idea. 

5. They (the priests) are therefore to be regarded 
as an order wholly and essentially different from the 

Against this observe: All Christians are spiritual priests 
(1 Pet. 2, 9), and therefore have equal rights before God; 
but not all have the same office and calling in the congre 
gation (Eph. 4, 11-21). For the better edification of the 
Church God has instituted the office of teaching, and has 
charged her with the duty of calling men to this office. 
Those therefore who are called by the Church have no right 
to claim that they are an order wholly and essentially differ 
ent from all other Christians and to set themselves up as 
lords over the congregation (against this see 1 Pet. 5, 3). 

The Romish Church. Ill 

Remark: The celibacy of the priests, introduced in the 
face of the strongest opposition (and evidently contrary to 
1 Tim. 4, 3; 1 Cor. 9, o; 1 Tim. 3, 2-11, and Tit. 1, 6, in which 
last two passages bishops, like every other sincere Christian, 
are only forbidden to practice polygamy), is also intended 
(among other things) still further to separate the priests 
from the laity, and to surround the former with a kind of 
moral halo; whilst the state of matrimony, "viewed accord 
ing to God s Word, by which it is adorned and sanctified, 
is not only to be regarded as highly as all other states or 
orders, but also higher than and above all, whether empe 
rors, princes, bishops, or whatever they may be." "Now 
as human commands and laws cannot so effect a change, that 
the earth should become unproductive, after God has said: 
Let the earth bring forth grass, etc., so also no monastic 
vow, or human command, can so change human nature, 
that there should not be mutual affection between the sexes, 
without a special operation or gift of God (1 Cor. 7, 7), 
which we cannot secure through our prayers, but which 
God divides as He will (1 Cor. 12, 11)." (Apol. Art. XXIII. 
Jacobs ed., p. 248.) 

6. Neither can they return again to the order of 
the laity, since through their ordination an indelible 
character is impressed upon them. 

Against this observe: Ordination is really nothing 
more than a wholesome Church usage from the days of the 
Apostles, in order, after due examination, to confirm the 
vocation (or call) in a solemn manner, and to invoke upon 
him who is called the blessing of God. Now, if the chief 
thing, the call, may be destroyed or revoked, why not also 
the ordination? 

7. The ministers of the Word are spiritual 
"judges" who pass judgment, in God s stead, upon 
the sins which must be separately enumerated to 

112 Distinctive Doctrines. 

them (VIII, 1), forgive or retain them, and impose 

Against this observe: True, the Christian Church has 
the right to forgive and to retain sins (Matt. 18, 18) in God s 
stead; of course, according to the rule established in the 
divine Word, and in doubtful cases conditionally. It is the 
office of the properly called minister of the Word to exercise 
this right; but in this he is no judge to examine and impose 
-punishments upon those confessing, but a "helper of their 
joy" (2 Cor. 1, 24). 

8. Among the ministers of the Word themselves 
there is a difference in degree, from the common 
priest (presbyter) up to the bishop, to whom alone, 
as the successor of the Apostles, belongs the right to 
perform the ceremonies of confirmation and ordina 

Against this observe: In a certain sense no minister 
whatever is a successor of the Apostles; for to the office of 
an apostle there belong two things: one, to have been an 
eye and an ear witness of the Lord Jesus from the begin 
ning (Acts 1, 21-22; compared with John 15, 27) j 1 the other, 
to have been immediately called thereto of the Lord (Gal. 
1, 1; compared with Acts 1, 24); and connected with these 
there was, thirdly, a perfect infallibility in things pertaining 
to the saving doctrine; for they were not to testify alone, 
but together with the Holy Ghost (John 15, 26-27), who was 
to call all things to their remembrance (John 14, 26), and, 
in general, lead them into all truth (John 16, 13). Neither 
priest nor bishop can claim that he was an eye witness, that 

x The Lord had revealed Himself to the Apostle Paul 
in a supernatural manner (2 Cor. 12, 1), so that he could 
say: "I have received from the Lord" (1 Cor. 11, 23; Gal. 
1, 12), and was therefore as good as an eye witness. 

The Romish Church. 113 

he was immediately called, or that he is infallible; and there 
fore not even one minister of the Word is, in the full sense 
of the term, a successor of the Apostles. * * * But in 
a certain other sense all ministers of the Word, without ex 
ception (and not only bishops), are successors of the Apos 
tles; for they all have the same pastoral office, and lack only 
the perfect authority and power of the Apostles. A differ 
ence of degree can therefore exist among them only by 
human, but not by divine, right. For originally, they are 
all commissioned to perform the same duties, those viz. be 
longing to the pastoral office (preaching, confession, admin 
istration of the sacraments, and ordination). Thus, doubt 
less, it was in the Apostolic Church; for the presbyters 
(rendered "elders" in the English version) at first differed 
in no respect from the bishops. This is evident from Acts 
20, where the same persons who, in verse 17, were called 
elders, are called bishops in verse 28; so also in Titus 1, 5, 
compared with verse 7. 

9. Exalted above them all, finally, stands the 
Romish pope, who, as the successor of Peter, the 
highest Apostle, is the visible head of the Church and 
Christ s vicar on earth. His utterances and decisions 
in matters of faith and morals are infallible. 

Against this observe: The vicar of Christ on earth is 
the Holy Ghost (John 14, 16); and He alone can be, as He is 
of equal power and honor with the Lord. 

But it is by no means certain that a visible head of the 
Church, even according to human right, i. e. for the sake 
of human order, is at all desirable, in view of the magnitude 
of the thing itself and the great infirmity of man. 

That the pope calls himself the successor of Peter is 
arbitrary, though there is some evidence that Peter was at 
least in Rome, for Peter was also at other places. But even 
if the pope were the successor of Peter, it would by no means 
follow, as a necessary consequence, that with the pastoral 

114 Distinctive Doctrines, 

office, the pope had also received the Apostolic authority 
of Peter; for this, as we have seen (8), was not transmissible, 
but adhered to and died with the person. * * * But if 
the Romish Church calls Peter the highest Apostle, and 
besides the general, ascribes to him an especial authority by 
virtue of which he rose above all the other Apostles, this 
pre-eminence, belonging exclusively to his person, would 
still have been much less transmissible than the general 
Apostolic authority. But (and this at once puts and end to 
the papal usurpation founded upon this especial authority) 
an official pre-eminence of Peter above the other Apostles 
cannot even be proved from the -Holy Scriptures. The Ro 
mish Church refers to Matt. 16, 18, as an indisputable evi 
dence therefor. But the Lord could build His Church upon 
Peter, even without granting him an official preference, in 
so far as Peter had first of all so clearly and decidedly con 
fessed himself to the ground upon which the Christian 
Church should be built, i. e. to the faith in Jesus Christ as 
the Son of the living God (1 Cor. 3, 11), and as he also, on 
account of this decided confession, as well as on account of 
his general active character, was really the one through 
whose instrumentality especially the Lord gathered the first 
congregation on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2, 14). Then 
we must not fail to note that our Lord here addresses Him 
self not to Peter alone, but to all the disciples (v. 15); Peter, 
with his rash temperament, answers first in the name of all; 
that the others, however, had the same faith, is evident from 
verse 20. We can therefore not at all perceive how the 
words (Matt. 16, 18) can indicate an official preference of 
Peter above the other Apostles, since he is here referred to 
only as one among them. But that afterwards, in the meet 
ings of the Apostles, Peter generally stands first (Acts 2, 14; 
3, 4-12; 4, 8; 5, 3; 5, 29; 8, 20), is to be ascribed to the same 
cause that moved him formerly always to speak in the name 
of all (as here also, Matt, 16, 15-16, and then 22, and John 
6, 68), to the same cause for which he first entered the grave 
of Jesus (John 20, 5-8), to the same cause that moved him 

The Romish Church. 115 

once to walk towards Christ on the sea, and another time 
to swim towards Him, viz. to his ardent, courageous, de 
cided character, which of itself (even without a formal supe 
riority) quite naturally and necessarily, both before and after 
wards, made him the spokesman for all. 

As the successor of the Apostles and vicar of Christ, 
the pope of late claims for himself infallibility. This dogma, 
promulgated to the Catholic Church in 1870, reads: "We 
teach and declare, as a divinely revealed dogma, that the 
Romish pope, when he speaks from his chair (ex cathedra), 
i. e. when he officiates as shepherd and teacher of all Chris 
tians, and in accordance with his supreme apostolic author 
ity lays down a doctrine of faith or morals to be observed 
by the whole Church, by virtue of the divine aid promised 
him in Peter has the fulness of infallibility with which the 
divine Redeemer wished His Church to be equipped in the 
setting forth of a doctrine of faith or morals. Therefore 
such statements of the pope, are in themselves and not 
because the Church agrees to them, unalterable. But if any 
one should dare to contradict these, our sentences, which 
may God prevent, let him be accursed!" 

Against this doctrine observe: 1. The popes are not 
infallible, first of all, because their doctrines in so many in 
stances, as we have already seen, and see especially in this 
last dogma, are not in harmony with the Scriptures. Hence 
they are fallible. 2. In the second place, history shows 
clearly that the popes are erring men. Of Honorius we 
have already spoken (see XI, 2, Remark); and, which of 
them was infallible, Clement XIV., who set aside the order of 
Jesuits as being no longer of any use, or Pius VII., who re 
instated it? And those who know the weakness and vacil 
lations which characterized Pius VII. in his relation to Na 
poleon I., or who will recall the changes of views of Pius 
IX., will not be able to reconcile them with infallibility. 3. 
It is foolish to cite Luke 22, 32, where Christ says to Peter: 
"I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not," as a proof 
for infallibility. For there our Lord simply wants to tell 

116 Distinctive Doctrines. 

Peter that He has prayed for him, to the end that he, not 
withstanding that he would so soon deny Him, should not 
lose his faith, but repent and strengthen his brethren. What 
has this word, spoken to Peter under such peculiar circum 
stances, to do with the infallibility of the pope? 

Finally it must be remarked that the popes not only 
exercise authority over the Church, but also claim the right 
to dominate over the governments of the world. Since the 
spiritual is above the temporal, they say that princes and 
states should render obedience to the pope. As Pope Boni 
face VIII. said in the year 1302: Every human being must, 
for the sake of his salvation, submit to the pope, so Pius 
IX., in the year 1873, wrote to the Emperor William that 
even the emperor, in common with all baptized persons, 
"belongs" to him, the pope. Consistently with this view 
the pope and bishops are continually meddling in worldly 
affairs with which the kingdom of Christ has nothing to do. 
In what glaring contradiction is this to the conduct of our 
Lord, whose vicars the popes claim to be (see John 18, 36; 
Matt. 20, 25-26; Luke 12, 14), and how hard to reconcile it 
with the admonition of Peter, who they claim was the first 
pope, to the elders whose fellow elder, by the way, he 
claims to be : "Feed the flock of God * * * not as 
being lords over God s heritage, but being ensamples to the 
flock" (1 Pet. 5, 1-3)! 

General Character of the Roman Catholic Church, 

In conclusion we will yet point out, in a few words, 
the general characteristics of the Catholic Church. 
We get the best view of their doctrinal system if we 
look at it from the point of view of the article con 
cerning the Church, which occupies the central place. 
The Church is divided on the one hand into the gov 
erning priests, with the bishops and pope at their head, 

The Romish Church. 117 

and on the other hand the obeying laity. On the 
ground that the priests alone can create the sacra 
ment, they especially exalt them above the laity. But 
through the sacraments the powers of grace flow into 
Christians and enable them to obey the precepts of 
the Church. Now they are enabled to do good works 
and merit for themselves eternal salvation. The sac 
raments bring to man continually new powers for 
good, thus making him better. Indulgences can re 
lease from penances which the Church imposes here 
on earth, and when any one has been consigned to 
purgatory on account of deficient works of "satisfac 
tion," indulgences and masses for the soul may even 
there yet help him. 

The most glaring characteristics of this doctrinal 
system may be summed up as follows: 

1. It represents a wordly Christianity; for where 
-else but in the world did their institutions, so directly 
contrary to the Scriptures, originate? As, for in 
stance, the position of the priests above the laity, their* 
view concerning good works, their idea that by sin 
man is only wounded, etc. 

2. The second characteristic is that of a hierarchy 
which lords it over the whole system of doctrine; we 
need only call to mind the claims of the papacy, the 
power of the priesthood, etc. 

3. An exclusively external element clings to this 
system of doctrine; as, for instance, the Holy Ghost 
is bound to the pope and ecclesiastical councils re 
gardless of their character; faith is no more than as 
sent; sin, as to its nature, is conceived to be simply an 

118 Distinctive Doctrines. 

act and not a spiritual condition; much importance 
is attached to regulations, customs and ceremonies; 
then, too, their public worship is arranged more with 
a view to a mysterious impression on the senses than 
to influencing the heart, thought and will; and, finally, 
we need only to remind the reader yet of the abuse of 
indulgences and of amulets. 

4. A legalistic characteristic is apparent in the 
manner in which their whole life is made subordinate 
to the directions of the priesthood, in the great stress 
laid upon external works, etc. 

be Vatican Council and the Old-Catholic Movement. 

Since the days of Trent no ecumenical Council had 
been assembled. On the Sth of December, 1869, such 
an one, officially designated as "The First Vatican 
Council," was again opened in Rome. In the pro 
clamation its object had been stated only in very gen 
eral terms. All the more anxiously did the Catholic 
world await the results of this Council. And very 
soon the true purpose of the leading spirits became 
apparent only too clearly. The point in question was 
nothing less than the dogmatical fixation of the per 
sonal infallibility of the pope. When this purpose be 
came known there arose a storm of indignation. But 
all dissuasions proved fruitless. Even the counter 
arguments of a by no means small minority of the 

The Romish Church. 119- 

members of the Council availed nothing. The pope s 
own position in the matter was clearly indicated by 
his declarations: "As regards infallibility, as Mastai 
the abbot I always believed it, as Mastai the pope / 
feel it" and: "Tradition am I." Of course the argu 
ments which the defenders of infallibility produced 
were very weak. Of the passage Luke 22, 32 we have 
already spoken (p. 115). Even for the view that the 
viceregent of Christ, as such, must be infallible, they 
could find no justification in history or experience, 
but rather the contrary. And what could be said of 
such arguments as that the pope must be infallible 
because Peter was crucified with his head downward, 
in such a way that his head supported the burden of 
the body: "even so the pope, as the head, supports 
all Christendom; for he who supports is infallible, 
and not he who is supported"? Or, as was also ser 
iously maintained, that Peter himself proclaimed his 
infallibility in Sicily. The inhabitants of Sicily, filled 
with surprise by this announcement, at once sent a 
delegation to Mary, who stated that she remembered 
quite well that her Son had given this authority to 
Peter! And still, despite all the references of the op 
position to Scripture and tradition, to present day con 
sciousness, the doctrine of the infallibility of the pope 
was made a dogma of the Church on the 1.8th of July, 
1870. The principal sentence of this dogma we gave 
above (p. 115). 

Who can fail to see that, in view of this unheard of 
doctrine, opposition must soon show itself even in the 
wider circles of the Catholic Church? It is true, the 

120 Distinctive Doctrines. 

German bishops who, at Rome, so boldly opposed 
the proposition, very soon, one by one, gave a reluct 
ant assent to the new dogma. But men of courage 
were not wanting to undertake the organization of 
the opposition movement. In Germany and Switzer 
land their work was crowned with success. Soon the 
leaders were thrust out of the Church. Distinct con 
gregations sprung up and their own bishop was 
chosen. They called themselves Old-Catholics, for 
they wished to remain Catholics and only condemned 
the new Catholic doctrine. 

At this point we have only the doctrines of the 
Old-Catholics to deal with. And in justice to them 
we must here emphasize the fact that on several points 
the Old-Catholics have forsaken Romish error; for 
instance, as regards the immaculate conception and 
the infallibility of the pope; then, too, by removing 
the compulsory celibacy of the priests, introducing 
the vernacular in the use of the liturgy, dropping the 
worship of the consecrated wafer and rejecting the 
transmissibility of the merits of the saints. But how 
ever much we of the Evangelical 1 Church must re 
joice in this, we are just as much bound to recognize 
the fact that most of the distinctive doctrines of the 
Romish Church against which we have contended are 
still in force among the Old-Catholics. They, too, 
acknowledge, besides the Scriptures, the authority of 
churchly tradition, teach that in his justification the 
sinner is made just, do not call evil lust sin, speak only 

T We say, Evangelical Lutheran. D. M. M. 

The Romish Church. 121 

of the aid of grace in the appropriation of salvation, 
and of the reward which man receives for the labor 
of a Christian life. They retain the seven sacraments, 
the doctrine of the indelible character of the priestly 
office, and consequently also divide Christianity into 
the two classes, clergy and laity, and they retain their 
faith in the infallibility of a really ecumenical Council. 
And, finally, however much they try to separate from 
religion the outward, mechanical, empty formality of 
Ultranaontanism, the Old-Catholics still retain the in 
vocation of saints, of Mary and the angels, as well as 
the worship of images and relics. 

From all this it follows that we have to deal here, 
not with an approach to Evangelical faith, but with 
genuine Catholicism, which, however, has rid itself 
of the disfigurements and disguises of modern Ultra- 
montanism and Jesuitism. 



CHE Greek, separated from the Romish Church since the 
year 1054, rejects the decrees of all the so-called Gen 
eral Church Councils held in the West under Romish 
auspices since the separation. Hence many errors, 
which have crept into the Romish Church since that time, are 
not found in the Greek (for instance, the withholding of the 
cup and indulgences). But coming less in contact with the 
Reformation, she did not fortify herself so strongly in those 
errors which she always held in common with the Romish 
Church as did the latter. The Reformers held the torch of 
divine truth, so to speak, before the very eyes of the latter, but 
she defended herself against it as much as possible for the 
reason mentioned in John 3, 20, and would have preferred to 
extinguish the light altogether. But since she did not succeed 
in this, she fortified and defended herself in her errors, and 
by all manner of sophistic arts gave them the most deceptive 
appearance of truth possible. We shall, in the first place, 
briefly cite those errors which the Greek Church, either 
wholly or at least in essence, holds in common with the Ro 
mish Church, and simply refer to the refutation of them 
already given. But we add, right here, a few remarks on 
the general characteristics of the Greek Church. For, from 
what has been said above, the inference might be drawn that 
she approaches the Evangelical Church more nearly than the 
Roman Catholic. But such is not the case. With reference 
to the latter we have seen that her practice often presents 
a phase altogether different from her doctrine; the same is 


The Greek Church. 123 

true, in a much higher degree, of the Greek Church. She 
manifests comparatively very little interest in putting her 
doctrine into practice. The chief thing is, to accept as truth 
the forms of doctrine handed down from the old Greek 
Church. She therefore appropriates the name "Orthodox! 
The Greek Church turns her attention especially to the 
cultus. This was the subject of her conflicts with Rome. 
When the patriarch Photius in the 9th century, the most 
learned man of his time, set himself to give Rome a decisive 
blow, he indignantly charged her with allowing the use of 
milk, butter and cheese in the first week of Lent, with for 
bidding priests to marry and allowing them to shave, with 
regarding the anointing performed by a priest as invalid, 
and finally with having adulterated the Nicene Creed by the 
addition of "Filioque," i. e. and from the Son (see below, 
I., in the Article concerning God). The great schism in 
the Church in Russia in the 17th century, which exists even 
now yet (see below), grew out of a difference of opinion with 
reference to liturgical books. Whether the Hallelujah should 
be sung twice or three times during the liturgical service, 
how the fingers should be held in making the sign of the 
cross, and such like questions, led to this division! Thus we 
see that public worship and the liturgy are regarded as the 
chief thing in Greek Christianity. He is a pious man who 
regularly takes part in public worship and permits himself 
to be transported into a state of intense devotion by its 
mystic forms connected with clouds of incense and with 
music. The object is to lift the soul up above every thing 
earthly and sensual until one, with holy awe, feels the near 
ness of God. But they have not bridged over the space be 
tween this rock, mounting up even into heaven, and ordi 
nary every-day life. In other words, their churchly devotion 
bears no good fruit for the ordering of daily conduct. Prac 
tical life and the morals of the citizen are governed by civil 
laws. Thus it is possible for sincere devotion and intense 
feeling to be accompanied by a morally corrupt or even an 
immoral life and coarse manners. There is danger of a 

124 Distinctive Doctrines. 

mere Sunday Christianity; the labors of the week are to be 
measured by other standards. But the week has six work 
days and only one Sunday. * * * The difference between 
this view and that of the Lutheran Church must be apparent 
to every attentive reader. 

But we proceed to a summary of the distinctive doctrines. 

The Greek Church teaches like the Romish: 

1. In regard to Tradition (I, 4), except that she 
derives it principally from the Greek Church Fathers, 
and the seven General Councils. 

2. In regard to Scripture Interpretation (I, 3), 
except that by the Church, to which belongs the right 
of interpreting Scripture, she most decidedly under 
stands only the General Council of bishops not called 
or ratified by any pope. 

3. In regard to the invocation of saints and angels, 
and the veneration of images and relics (II, 1. 2), except 
that she excludes massive images (such as carved and 
cast) from churchly use. The worship of saints and 
images prevails to the greatest extent. As a rule a 
child receives the name of the saint on whose day he 
is born or baptized. The saint remains the life-long 
patron of the child; his intercession is asked for gen 
erally in the morning and evening prayers. Among 
the images of saints those occupy a prominent place 
which possess miraculous powers. As for the rest, 
images of saints are found, in large numbers, in all 
the churches, and also in the dwellings of the people. 
On entering a room the first thing is to cross one s 
self before them ; in all important events of family life 
these images play a prominent part. 

The Greek Church. 125 

4. In regard to the free will of man (III, 3); 
except that she lays still more stress on the freedom 
of man after the fall than the Romish Church. When 
salvation is offered to man he has the free will to 
accept or reject it. In this matter grace comes tQ 
his aid, but without laying any constraint on the will. 

5. In regard to hitman works besides the merit of 
Christ (IV, 2) ; except that she does not emphasize 
the idea of merit quite so much, but still maintains 
that man is justified through faith and works* They 
divide the whole of Christianity into faith and works. 
In the Russian Catechism the 3d question reads: "What 
is necessary in order to please God and obtain ever 
lasting salvation? Ans.: First the knowledge of the 
true God, and a true faith; second, good works and a 
life consistent with this faith." By faith they mean 
assent to the orthodox doctrine. 

6. In regard to justifying grace (VII, 1); that 
the free will of man chooses salvation by the aid of 
grace. See 4. 

7. In regard to the changing of the bread and wine 
into the body and blood of Christ (IX, 1). 

8. In regard to the unbloody offering of the Lord 
by the hand of the priest (IX, 6). 

9. In regard to the number of sacraments (IX, 7), 
except that : 1 . Confirmation, a, is not based upon 

l We are justified by faith alone (Rom. 3, 28); but works 
follow this faith as so many fruits of the same; in them the 
invisible faith gains a visible form, so that we may show it 
(James 2, 18), and thus it becomes perfect (James 2, 22). 

126 Distinctive Doctrines. 

Scripture but upon tradition; b, immediately follows 
Baptism as the concluding part of it; c, the laying,- 
on of hands is omitted, and the ordinary priest may 
administer it, but the anointing oil must first have 
been consecrated by a bishop; 2. Marriage, in the 
case of adultery, may be dissolved, the second and 
third marriage are rendered difficult, the fourth is pos 
itively forbidden; 3. and finally, Extreme Unction is 
granted not only to those who are sick unto death, 
but to all sick persons at their request, and repeatedly; 
and that, too, according to James 5, 15, both for the 
salvation of the soul and the restoration of their bodily 
health; only that she does not emphasize this suffi 
ciently, that in the passage referred to the stress is 
not laid on the anointing with oil, but on the com 
mon prayer of faith. 

10. In regard to the degrees in the priesthood (XI, 
8) ; only that she has no infallible pope at the head 
of all, but four patriarchs instead; of whom the one 
at Constantinople, according to human right (as Pri 
mate), has the precedence, except in the Russian 
Church, where, since Peter I., the Emperor is the 
head of the Church and disposes of all ecclesiastical 
matters by a so-called "holy synod." 

11. In regard to the intermediate condition after 
death (X); except that she decidedly rejects the 
idea of a real fire, and restricts the aid which the liv 
ing can render the souls in the process of purification 
to prayer, gifts and the mass. 

The Greek Church. 127 

Here follow the errors which the Greek Church 
holds, not in common with the Romish. She teaches : 

X. Xn the Hrticle Concerning od. 

The Holy Ghost proceeds, not from the Father 
and the Son, but from the Father alone, according to 
John 15, 26. 

Against this observe: It is not said there that He pro 
ceeds "only" from the Father; the Son is therefore not posi 
tively excluded. On the other hand it is evident from John 
16, 15, where the Savior says: "He shall take of mine," that 
the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son also. As for the 
rest, the real ground for the obstinacy with which they con 
tend that the Spirit proceeds only from the Father is no 
doubt to be found in the all-controlling liturgical interest 
of the Greek Church. The words "and from the Son" are 
namely in reality a later addition of the Romish Church to 
the Nicene Creed, in which they were originally not found. 

XX. Xn the Hrticle Concerning Baptism* 

In administering baptism it is essentially necessary 
to immerse three times. 

Against this observe: It does not depend upon the 
quantity, but upon the use of water; for the Greek word 
which is translated "baptize" means "to wash with water" 
(Heb. 9, 10) as well as to "immerse in water." Immersion 
then is by no means essential, but only a good apostolic 
usage, expressive of the signification of baptism; for in bap 
tism the old Adam is given into death, in order to arise again 
as a new man. 

XXX. Xn the Hrticle Concerning the Lord s Supper. 

1. The Lord s Supper should be administered 
also to children. 

128 Distinctive Doctrines. 

Against this observe: Children, who cannot yet examine 
themselves, should not receive the Lord s Supper, since each 
one who wishes to receive it should examine himself (1 Cor. 
11, 28). 

2. Although the Lord Himself used unleavened 
bread, yet not unleavened but leavened bread should 
be used (in order, in this way, to avoid all appearance 
of the Jewish passover). 

Against this observe: It makes no difference, only so 
it is right, natural bread, leavened or unleavened. 

The Corinthian Church evidently used unleavened bread 
(1 Cor. 5, 6-8), although consisting largely of converted 
heathens, to whom it might have been a matter of import 
ance to avoid the appearance of Judaism. 

XT. Xn the Hrticlc Concerning the Church. 

All ministers, except those living in cloisters, and 
the higher ministers going forth from cloisters, must 
marry, and if the first wife dies, dare not marry a sec 
ond; both according to 1 Tim. 3, 2. 

Against this observe: The passage 1 Tim. 3, 2: "A 
bishop must be the husband of one wife," neither commands 
marriage, nor forbids a second marriage; it says nothing 
more than that a bishop should not live in the practice of 
polygamy, for which there was no doubt both opportunity 
and temptation in a congregation, at that time, to whose 
members, descended from heathens, there was nothing strik 
ingly immoral in polygamy. 

parties and Sects in the Greek Church. 

Among the older factions of the Greek Church 
which still continue to exist: 

The Greek Church. 129- 

1. The Nestorians (especially in Persia) teach such 
a separation of the two natures of Christ as cannot 
be reconciled with His personal unity. 

2. The M OHO phy sites (especially in Syria, where 
they are called Jacobites, in Armenia, in Egypt, where 
they are called Copts, and in Abyssinia) teach a fusion 
of the two natures in Christ. 

3. The Maronites (mostly on Mt. Lebanon) so 
confound the divine and human will in Christ, that the 
proposition "J esus Christ, true God and true man" is 
virtually annulled. 

4. The United Greeks (with Rome namely) accept * 
indeed the Scriptural doctrine that the Holy Ghost 
proceeds from the Father and from the Son; but at 
the same time also the doctrine of the efficacy of 
masses for the souls of the living and the dead, and 
of the supremacy of the pope. 

DURING the last centuries a large number of more 
modern sects, the theatre of whose activity is princi 
pally in Russia, has been added to the older factions 
of the Greek Church. We get some idea of their 
historic significance when we call to rnind that already 
ten years ago it was claimed that thirteen or fourteen 
million souls belonged to the Raskolniki (schismatics 
or sectarians). The Russian sects are generally di 
vided into Popowzy 1 (priestly), i. e. such as recognize 

X Y or i is the usual plural ending in the Russian language. 

130 Distinctive Doctrines. 

the priesthood of the State Church, and call those 
priests to officiate among them according to cer 
tain usages and Bespopowzy (priestless), who in no 
way recognize the priests of the State Church. It is 
very evident that this division is an altogether external 
one. Possibly some better division might take its 
place. We must speak in the first place of the 
Orthodox, who agree in faith with the State Church, 
but differ from it in forms and usages ; secondly of the 
Heterodox, who in their doctrine plainly deviate from 
Greek orthodoxy. Then such sects deserve special 
mention that represent antichristian, mystic and ration 
alistic doctrines (which have no doubt been taken from 
the older sects). Finally we must remark here that 
our knowledge of these sects is still very imperfect. 

Sectarian movements in Russia had their origin 
in the attempt of the Patriarch Nikon to restore the 
usual cultus forms and formulae to the original Greek 
patterns. It was a question pertaining to the order 
of worship. That in which the people were most 
deeply interested was attacked. Hence the great ex 
citement which the efforts of the Patriarch aroused. 

In what follows we name the most important of 
the Russian sects. 

1. The Staroiverzy (those holding the ancient 
faith). When Nikon, in 1652, was made Patriarch at 
Moscow, he found many errors in the liturgical books 
and in the Slavonic Bible. These had crept in through 
carelessness in copying and afterwards in print 
ing. He resolved to improve the text. He prose 
cuted this work in the midst of passionate opposition, 

The Greek Church. 131 

due in part to his own harsh manner, and in part to 
a superstitious veneration for the old liturgical forms. 
But the opposition grew mightily. A Church Council 
confirmed the improvements, but Nikon was deposed. 
Still it was impossible to calm the congregations, ex 
cited as they had been by fanatical agitators. They 
felt themselves wronged in their most sacred interests ; 
they thought that these changed customs and forms 
possessed peculiar powers. Thus it came to pass that 
the errors, which Nikon had expunged from the lit 
urgy and the Bible, became a kind of schismatic sym 
bol. In this direction opposition of the Russian 
people to the State Church as such Starowerzianism 
established itself, especially since the time of Peter L, 
who, by his reforms, became involved in an irremedi 
able breach not only with the constitution of the 
Church as handed down by tradition, but with the 
Russian nationality itself. From that time on the 
terms "Orthodox" and "old Russian" became more 
or less synonymous. Peter I. gave offense especially 
with his beard-reform, which was displeasing on this 
account already, because it looked so much like com 
pulsory occidental civilization, but all the more hate 
ful because the Council of Moscow, in 1551, had 
expressly declared that the cutting off of the beard 
is a sin which even the blood of martyrs cannot wash 
away, and that he who cuts it off is an enemy of God, 
who created man in His own image (compare Lev. 19, 
27); whilst now they were to be taxed for letting 
it stand. 

132 Distinctive Doctrines. 

But what was really the subject in dispute in this 
whole movement against the reforms of Nikon? The 
answer to this question will help us very much in 
getting a proper understanding of the peculiar char 
acter of the Greek Church. Everywhere it was, first 
of all, only outward forms and formulae. The follow 
ing are the most important: The proper pronuncia 
tion of the name u jesus" in Russian is Jissus (Yissus). 
Instead of this, by a mistake in copying, Issus had 
come into use. And to this the Orthodox wanted to 
adhere. In the phrase "begotten, not made" an "a" 
( but) had been inserted. They did not want this 
taken away. One of the chief opponents of Nikon 
said: That "a" was always in my book; I believe in 
that "a." Instead of having the Hallelujah three 
times after the Gloria, the Orthodox wanted it only 
twice. Again, they crossed themselves with the first 
and third fingers : the other three were closed. Nikon 
wanted them to cross themselves with the first three 
fingers. In their processions they were guided by the 
apparent course of the sun; Nikon demanded that they 
should follow its true course. To these was added, 
later on, the prohibition of tobacco, coffee and tea. 

Following up later developments among the Or 
thodox, we are enabled to distinguish several groups. 
The most important are the Staroobrjadzy (old ritual 
ists), who reject every approach to the State Church, 
hold fast to the old usages, but, for the rest, are one 
in faith with that church. There went out from them, 
in the year 1800, the Jedinowerzy (i. e. those sharing the 
common faith, the united), who hold fast to the old 

The Greek Church. 133 

rites, but accept priests of the State Church who ob 
serve them. Finally we mention in this connection 
the Bespopowtschiny, who have no priests at all, but 
only elders. 

2. Linked with these groups which retain essen 
tially the old orthodox position, there are extreme ten 
dencies, rejecting the priesthood altogether. The 
Pomorsy (dwellers by the sea) and Phillipowzy (named 
after their founder, Philip) reject the prayer for the 
Czar and, adhering to the literal sense of Matthew 3, 
11, recommend the baptism of fire by the burning of 
self. The Theodosians (also named after their founder) 
condemn the priesthood and likewise the sacraments, 
earnestly oppose churchly marriages (because solemn 
ized by the priests), and, in connection with this, rec 
ommend celibacy. They seem also to administer a 
kind of baptism to those uniting with them. The sect 
numbers many adherents, and towards the close of 
the last and in the beginning of the present century, 
under the guidance of a talented leader, Kopylow, 
gave promise of great success, especially in Moscow. 
The Stranniki (wanderers) or Beguny (runners) lead a 
vagabond life, ostensibly fleeing from antichrist or 
the State Church; they look with contempt on matri 
mony. As for the rest, they accept of adherents who 
lead a settled life; when sick, and expecting to die, 
they ask to be carried into the open air, that they may 
die as though in flight. A very interesting sect is that 
of the "Chlysty" (self-scourgers), who call themselves 
god-men. It was founded by a peasant named Danila 
Filippow, to whom God is said to have appeared in 

134 Distinctive Doctrines. 

the year 1645 with the command to restore Christianity 
to its original spiritual condition. God Himself now 
entered into the body of Filippow; he called himself 
Sabaoth, and forbade his followers to believe in any 
other God except the one dwelling in him, and besides 
this forbade the use of intoxicating drinks, matrimony, 
the taking part in any lively company, and theft, and 
commanded faith in the Holy Ghost and hospitality 
among each other. Presently he named another peas 
ant, Iwan Suslow, as his Christ. It was claimed that 
he was twice crucified (by command of the govern 
ment), but arose again the third day. Both he and 
Filippow are said to have lived to the age of a hun 
dred years. After Suslow s death he was succeeded 
by another Christ. We find among them also the 
titles "Apostle," "Prophet" and "Mother of God." 
They boast of special revelations, given them during 
their religious exercises, where, by self-scourgings and 
wild dances, they lift themselves into a kind of ecstatic 
condition. From them went out the Skopzy (self- 
mutilators), founded by a peasant named Andrei 
Seliwanow about the middle of the last century. As 
an antidote for the excesses which had appeared 
among the "god-men" he recommended unmanning, 
according to Matthew 19, 12; which, originally per 
formed with glowing iron, was to represent the bap 
tism of fire. Seliwanow claimed to be the Christ who 
had last appeared, the deceased emperor Peter III. 
According to the view of his adherents, he did not 
die, but is living at Irkutsk, from whence he will come 
to judge the quick and the dead. As for the rest, their 

The Greek Church. 135- 

views correspond with those of the "god-men." They 
too receive revelations during their religious exercises;, 
they reject baptism and the Lord s Supper, but ex 
ternally adhere to the State Church* We must here 
mention yet the "Springer" (jumpers), who receive 
their name from the wild dances which they practice, 
in their assemblies, for the sake of religious ecstasy. 
The origin of the sects hitherto named is traceable 
to misinterpretations of doctrine handed down, or to 
the perversion of isolated passages of Scripture. As 
regards the sects now to be named it is different; they 
use the doctrines of the Church only as a cloak for 
their pantheistic views, just as the Gnostics of the 
ancient Church did. As most prominent among them 
we name the Diichoborzy (spirit-fighters), who appeared 
in the 18th century. According to their view the Holy 
Scriptures are only the external word of God; faith 
is wrought only by the inner word, or the Spirit. Their 
conception of God is more or less pantheistic, i. e. 
encosmic, as the life of the universe. They confine 
the idea of "the Son of God" not to the person of 
Christ alone. Every pious person is a son of God, 
and the historical Christ was only a pious man. Re 
demption through Him is not to be thought of; all 
that He left us is the example of enduring innocent 
sufferings. Every one who is led by the Spirit of God 
is free from sinning. Hence the priesthood and the 
external Church are useless. After death the souls 
of the pious again enter the bodies of men, those of 
the wicked the bodies of animals. It is possible that 
these doctrines were brought into Russia from else- 

136 Distinctive Doctrines. 

where, or they may have been handed down from 
some of the older sects of the Byzantine Church. 
They are pantheistic doctrines very like those of many 
of the mediaeval sects. Closely related to the Ducho- 
borzes are the Molokany (milk-eaters), so called because 
in the Lenten season they use milk. As for the rest, 
there seem to be many varieties of the two last named 
sects. The Subbotniki (Saturday people) observe 
Saturday as their holy day, and retain other Old Tes 
tament usages. Most probably they are the modern 
representatives of an older Russian sect, the so-called 
Jewish heresy," which had its headquarters in Nov 
gorod during the fifteenth century. Finally we men 
tion yet the sect of Nenaschi (not-ours) or Moltschaljniki 
(silent ones), who seem to deny the existence of God, 
immortality and all authority of the Holy Scriptures. 
We refer here yet to the sect of Stundists (Hourists), 
found in Russia since 1864, and who have recently 
been much spoken of. It is possible that they owe 
their origin to the pietistic efforts of German colonists, 
in the south of Russia. In their hours (from which 
word the sect receives its name) of devotion the Bible 
is read and explained. As for the rest they seem to 
regard the sacraments as mere symbols, and baptism 
is administered only to adults. 

These are only the most important manifestations 
within the Russian Raskol (schism or separation). 
In general it is to be remarked that for most of these 
sectarians it is claimed that they are industrious, sober 
men (which does not agree well with the wild orgies 
which their opponents lay to their charge), who, how- 

The Greek Church. 137 

ever, show the pride common to most sects, namely of 
regarding themselves as the true Christians, whilst the 
Church, in their view, is Babel, or the kingdom of 
Antichrist. The number and growth of these sects 
should serve as an earnest admonition to the Greek 
Church. 1 

1 Readers conversant with the German, and who wish to 
know more about the Russian sects, will find an exhaustive 
description of them in C. R. v. Gerbel-Embach s Russian 
Sectarians. Vol. VIII, No. 4, of Zeitfragen des christl. Volks- 
lebens. Heilbronn 1883. 



IT is not without reason that we here depart from our 
former captions, and instead of "Distinctive Doc 
trines of the Reformed Church," say, "Reformed Dis 
tinctive Doctrines." The Reformed namely have not 
one single confession which all approve of and adopt; they 
are therefore divided into several larger or smaller com 
munions, with confessions differing in a greater or less de 
gree, so that we cannot speak of the errors of the Reformed 
Church as a whole. It must not be thought, therefore, that 
each one who is or professes to be of the Reformed Confes 
sion, shares all the errors which we propose to enumerate in 
the following pages, and to refute with evidence from the 
Scripture. The most important Reformed Confession, how 
ever, the one of all which is the most widely circulated and 
stands in the highest esteem, is the Heidelberg Catechism. 

X. Cbe Hrttclc Concerning God* 

1. God can and may by no means be represented 
by images. (Heidelberg Catechism, Question 97.) 

Against this observe: The Old Testament command, 
not to make any likeness of God (Exo d. 20, 4), was given for 
an especial reason; for it could not be done except in a 
purely arbitrary manner, as it is written Isaiah 40, 25: "To 
whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the 
Holy One;* nor could it be allowed for this reason, that 
through the example of the surrounding heathen the Jews 
might easily have been led to the worship of made images 


The Reformed Church. 139 

(Exod. 20, o). But now since Christ, the essential image of 
God, has appeared on earth, we can make to ourselves an 
image of God in Christ, without fashioning the same in a 
purely arbitrary manner after some creature in heaven, on 
earth, or under the earth, since the question of God, Isaiah 
40, 25, is satisfactorily solved by the declaration of the Lord, 
John 14, 9: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father;" 
and we may also do it, for, as Luther says: "Whether I 
will or not, when I hear Christ, there is formed in my heart 
an image of a man hanging on the cross; just as my face is 
naturally reflected from the water when I look into it. Now 
if it is not sin, etc. Especially inasmuch as the heart is of more 
importance than the eyes, and should be less polluted with sin 
than the eyes, being the true seat and dwelling of God." 

2. Images, in general, shall not be tolerated in the 
churches, because God will not have His people taught 
by dumb images, but by the living preaching of the 
Word. (Heid. Cat, Q. 08.) 

Against this observe: The word is also an image, namely, 
an audible one; on the contrary, the image is also a word, 
namely, a visible one; and thus by no means anything 
"dumb" (least of all a "dumb idol"); the former makes a 
more distinct, the latter a more living impression. Now in 
that church where the Word is taught pure and unadulterated, 
why may not also a purely evangelical image be placed before 
the eyes? 

3. We love the saints in heaven as brethren, and 
also honor them, yet without in any wise venerating 
them (Swiss Confession). Hence, in all Reformed 
Churches, except the English Episcopal, all days kept 
in memory of Mary, the Apostles and Martyrs, have 
been abolished. 

Against this observe: If veneration means as much as 
adoration or invocation, there is no objection to this princi- 

140 Distinctive Doctrines. 

pie; but from this it by no means follows that the days so 
long observed in the Church in memory of Mary, the Apostles 
and Martyrs, must be abolished; for a churchly remembrance 
of holy men is not equivalent to adoration or invocation. 
And, if we are to remember the teachers who have spoken 
to us the Word of God, to follow their faith, and consider the 
end of their conversation (Heb. 13, 7), we may certainly do 
this in church even rather than in our dwellings, and that too 
with united praise and thanks to God who has given His 
Church such lights and such a cloud of witnesses (Heb. 12, 1). 

Remark: The Reformed have a disposition, in general, 
to abolish everything which was not introduced by the 
Apostles themselves; and where they are at all strict they 
demand a direct command in Scripture for every churchly 
usage, even as Zwingli and his followers once made an earnest 
attempt to banish even organs and bells from the churches, 
since they are not mentioned in the Scriptures. In oppo 
sition to the false principle: "Whatever is to be regarded 
as churchly, must be directly commanded, or at least allowed 
in the Scripture," there stands this true one: "Whatever 
is to be regarded as churchly, must not be either expressly 
or implicitly forbidden in Scripture, and, besides, must prove 
to be wholesome, or at least harmless." And the Lutheran 
Church did nothing wrong in retaining certain names, things 
and usages observed in the Romish Church (as the altar, 
candles on the altar, wafer, etc.), although they are not ex 
pressly commanded, or even expressly allowed in the Scrip 
tures: partly as good and useful in themselves (1 Thess. 5, 
21), partly also in free Christian love, for the sake of the 
weak (Rom. 15, 1). On the contrary, with equal right, she 
has never allowed such things and usages, in themselves 
neither commanded nor forbidden, to be forced upon her as 
essentially necessary, or to be forcibly taken from her as 
utterly to be condemned (as, for example, exorcism in bap 
tism); mindful of the Apostolic word: "Ye are bought with 
a price; be not ye the servants of men" (1 Cor. 7, 23). "Let 
no man judge you, in meat or in drink or in respect of a 

The Reformed Church. 141 

holy day * * * or beguile you of your reward" (Col. 2, 

We find also, in connection with this external estimate 
of the Word, that the Reformed congregations were at first 
loth to sing any other than Biblical hymns, L e. the Psalms; 
that a Reformed Confession of 1647, declared the Hebrew 
vowel points to be inspired; that the English Bible Society 
will not have the Apocrypha printed and circulated in the 
common editions of the Bible. * * * But in connection 
with this external estimate of the Word, the partial want of 
real submission to the same is not becoming, which manifests 
itself, in regard to certain mysterious, though clear and in 
disputable doctrines of the Holy Scriptures, in such expres 
sions as these: "It goes beyond reason," etc. "It troubles 
the mind," etc. "What does it profit?" In regard to such 
expressions as these Luther says: "Even if we cannot show 
hoxu it profits and is necessary that Christ s body be in the 
bread, should therefore God s Word be false or perverted 
to suit our whims? A pious, God-fearing heart proceeds in 
this way: It asks first whether it is God s Word; if it hears 
this, it casts under its feet the question wherefore it is profit 
able or necessary; for in fear and humility it says: O my 
God, I am blind and do not truly know what is profitable or 
necessary for me, nor do I want to know it (of myself), but 
believe and trust Thee, that Thou knowest and intendest 
the best for me, according to Thy divine goodness and wis 
dom; it is enough for me, and I am also glad that I hear Thy 
plain Word and comprehend Thy will. This alone is faith s 
chief virtue, characteristic and honor, that it does not wish 
to know whereunto that is profitable or necessary which it 
believes. For it does not wish to circumscribe God, or to 
set up the question, why, or wherefore, from what necessity 
He bids or commands this or that; but faith would rather be 
unwise, give God the honor, and believe His mere Word. 
Was it not the same over-curious question, Why has God 
commanded this? which caused our mother Eve to doubt 
God s Word by which she brought upon herself and upon 

142 Distinctive Doctrines. 

us all the fall? Or, what blessing would Abraham have ob 
tained, if, when God commanded him to offer up his son, 
he had asked whereunto this was profitable or necessary? 
Yet, although we are under no obligation to do it, we shall 
even beyond necessity, show why," etc. 

In another passage he says: "Nevertheless one ground 
they have which I regard the strongest of all, which they 
honestly hold, and I believe it is true; it is this: They say 
it staggers the people (when they hear) that one body is at 
the same time in heaven and in the Lord s Supper. * * * 
As regards all their other grounds and so much writing, they 
might long since have kept silent. * * * For from this 
source flow all their other doubts and denials. Nor would 
they have pressed these latter so much if the former had not 
urged them to do so. Here then is the trouble: To whom 
anything seems difficult to believe, let him believe and say 
it is not true; then certainly it is not true, as from this premise 
it may be proved. Therefore, according to them, it is cer 
tainly not true that Christ is God and man, for it is difficult, 
yea, impossible to believe/ etc. 

IX. Of the person of Christ. 

1. Christ, who ascended to heaven, is present 
upon earth only with respect to His divine, but not 
with respect to His human nature; from which it 
does not follow that the two natures in Christ are 
separated from one another. (Heid. Cat., Q. 47 
and 48.) 

Against this observe: The divine attribute of omni 
presence is indicated in Scripture in a twofold manner; at 
one time by the expression, "God fills heaven and earth" 
(Jer. 23, 24); and again by the expression, "The heaven and 
heaven of heavens cannot contain God" (1 Kings 8, 27). 
Both expressions are also applietf to Christ (Eph. 4, 10): 
"He ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all 

The Reformed Church. 143 

things." And Heb. 7, 26, it is also said that "He is higher 
than the heavens"; from which it necessarily follows that it 
(heaven) cannot contain Him. But that Christ is spoken of 
with regard to His human 1 nature, in the passages referred 
to, cannot be questioned. Or has not Christ, with regard 
to His divine nature, in all time filled all things, and was He 
not, from the very beginning, higher than the heavens? 
Must He then first ascend, to fill all things and to become 
higher than the heavens? With this compare Matt. 28, 18-20. 
There the Lord says that all power is given to Him in heaven 
and on earth. According to which nature? Evidently the 
human ! For according to the divine He had it already from 
eternity. But if, according to His human nature, all power 
is given to Him on earth, how could this be possible, if He 
were not present on earth? Omnipotence and omnipresence 
are intimately connected. Therefore, in conclusion, He adds 
the other attribute also, namely omnipresence: "Lo, I am 
with you alway, even unto the end of the world." 

In how far, however, the two natures in Christ are in 
deed separated (after the manner of the Nestorians) by this 
Reformed error will be shown from Luther further on. 

Remark: The Formula of Concord (see Jacobs ed., p. 
619) distinguishes a threefold manner of Christ s presence: 

1. The comprehensible and corporeal. According to 
this He walked on earth, was touched and seen. 

2. The incomprehensible and spiritual. According to 
this He passed through closed doors, and penetrates the 
elements in the Lord s Supper without being confined in 

3. The divine and heavenly. According to this He is 
not only not included in created things, but Himself em- 

J That Christ, even according to His human nature, fills 
all things, does not imply that His human nature extends 
over everything; but means only so much, that ordinary 
space presents no limit to it. 

144 Distinctive Doctrines. 

braces all, and as, according to the second mode, matter has 
no limits, so, according to the third, space has no limits for 
Him. * * Now our bodies shall hereafter partake of 
the attributes of our spirits, and become spiritual bodies (1 
Cor. 15, 46); then the second manner, which may also be 
called the angelic, will be at our command; matter will cease 
to have limits for our bodies, even as it cannot contain our 
spirits. Now in a similar manner as our bodies shall partake 
of the attributes of our .spirits, the human nature in Christ par 
takes of the attributes of the divine; it is divinified, and thus 
space has no longer any limits for it, even as it has not for 
the divine nature. Now to whomsoever it does not seem 
inconsistent that our bodies should once not be limited by 
matter, to him certainly it cannot seem inconsistent that 
Christ, the God-man s, human nature should not be cir 
cumscribed by space. 

Christ is every where present, but not in the same way 
in heaven and on earth. So too He is present in all places 
en earth, but in various ways. His omnipresence differs 
from the presence of which He grants His disciples a sense 
in the hour of prayer, or which He permits the sinner seeking 
grace to realize. Every good gift comes from the Lord. 
As often as our mind and heart are opened to receive these 
gifts, the Lord Himself is present, and lets us realize it. But 
He Himself is not the gift; in all His gifts, the natural as 
well as the spiritual, He distinguishes between the gift and 
Himself. In so far that gift is still wanting on earth, which 
is He Himself; from which He no more separates Himself, 
with, in and under which He gives us His entire self. This 
gift the Christian either does not find at all here below or, 
as an anticipation, in the Sacrament, in which the Lord, with, 
in and under the natural elements, gives Himself to us, as 
to His body, soul and spirit, as to His flesh, blood and con 
sciousness, in order to strengthen, vivify, refresh and per 
meate our body and soul within us. In the Sacrament man 
is touched (beriihrt) not only in spirit, but also in body and 
soul, by the body, blood and spirit of Christ." 

The Reformed Church. 145 

2. Upon the whole, it is not to be taken literally,, 
when divine attributes are ascribed to the human 
nature of Christ in the Bible, for a finite nature is. 
not capable of infinite attributes. 1 

Against this observe: In John 3, 34, it is said that God 
giveth not the Spirit by measure, i. e. in immeasurable ful 
ness. 2 To whom? As the context indicates, to the Son. 
According to His divine nature? No; according to this He 
ever had the Spirit, since the Holy Spirit, from eternity, pro 
ceeds from the Son as well as from the Father, and He did 
thus not first have to be given unto Him. According to His 
human nature, therefore, He received the Spirit not by meas 
ure, and thus the proposition that the finite nature of Christ 
was indeed not only capable of infinite gifts, but really also- 
partaker of them, is clearly proven from the Scriptures. But 
what else can be meant by these infinite gifts than divine 
attributes? for they alone are without measure. If this be 
true, however, then those passages of Scripture which, as the 
Reformed themselves admit, sound indeed as if the human, 
nature possessed divine attributes (Matt. 28, 18; Matt. 16, 
27; Acts 17, 31), may not be otherwise understood than as 
they read. * * * Besides, this partaking of the attributes- 
of the divine on the part of the human nature, even if it were 
not expressly taught in Scripture, would follow as a neces 
sary consequence of the union (admitted even by the oppo- 

1 See, for example, the Confessio Anhaltina, VIII, 3. The 
Confessio Belgica remarks that the human nature has indeed 
won immortality through the resurrection, but has thereby 
undergone no change. 

2 That "not by measure" should mean no more than "very 
richly" does not correspond with the following: "He hath 
given all things (and not only many, as consistency would 
require) into his hands." 

146 Distinctive Doctrines. 

sition) of the divine and human natures in one person, for 
the attributes cling to the nature, so that if the two natures 
united in one person have a communion with each other, 
this last cannot take place without a reciprocal communica 
tion of attributes. Therefore, whoever denies that the human 
nature partakes of the divine attributes, denies the real com 
munion of the two natures; and this is precisely what is 
done from the Reformed point of view, where there is a 
decided tendency to regard the infinite only as the inflexible 
opposite of the finite, not, however, as at the same time pene 
trating and governing the finite. 

3. Christ did not really descend into hell, but has 
merely, both before and during His crucifixion, suf 
fered in His soul the anguish of hell for our benefit. 
{Heid. Cat, Q. 44.) 

Here note first of all that here we have a very difficult 
doctrine to deal with; one with reference to which even such 
a man as Luther wavered for a long time. The view which 
"he finally adopted we find recommended in the Formula of 
Concord as the "safest": but, as to the particulars, no positive 
doctrine is set forth in the Confession. Herein, then, the 
Lutheran Church also stands opposed to the Reformed. 
Soon after His burial, namely, Christ as God and man de 
scended to hell; there He took away the power of Satan 
-and "destroyed hell for all believers." This view is based 
especially on the passage 1 Pet. 3, 18-20: "Being put to death 
in the flesh," i. e. according to His humanity (according to 
which He had power to lay down His life), He was "quick- 
ened by the Spirit," i. e. by the power of the Divinity (accord 
ing to which He had power again to take His life which He 
liad laid down), and thus, before showing Himself alive to 
the living, He descended to the unsaved dead, i. e. to hell. 
Prom this, therefore, namely that the Christ again made alive 
descended to hell, it is evident why the old Lutheran dogma- 

The Reformed Church, 147 

ticians assigned the descent to hell to the state of exaltation, 
whilst, according to the Reformed, it belongs to the state 
of humiliation." 

8 The editor believes that he will be rendering service to 
some of his readers, who may still be troubled with serious 
doubts on this very subject of the descent to hell, by calling 
attention to another way in which it may be understood. 
According to the Scriptures every being endowed with a body 
is alive only so long as it is in the body. The awakening 
of the flesh is therefore always, at the same time, the resus 
citation of the body. Christ, who certainly now lives in the 
body, was therefore made alive again through His resurrec 
tion. From the Reformed view it would follow that Christ 
was made alive again even before His resurrection. Again 
we remark here that the expression "hell" (sheol, hades) as 
used in the Bible does not necessarily mean the abode of 
the unsaved, but of the dead (see for instance Ps. 6, 6; 16, 10; 
Acts 2,. 27-31; Matt. 16, 18; 1 Cor. 15, 55, etc.). The words: 
"Dead and buried, He descended into hell" are therefore to 
to be explained thus: He died and, as to His body, was 
buried, but as to His spiritual "I," like all the dead, descended 
to the lower parts of the earth to the abode of the dead. The 
passages of the New Testament which speak of the descent 
to hell agree well with this interpretation (Matt. 12, 40; Acts 
2, 24; Rom. 10, 7. It is doubtful whether Eph. 4, 9-10 belongs 
here; 1 Pet. 4, 6, certainly does not). The passage 1 Pet. 3, 
19-20, is the only one that gives us any difficulty; for, when 
His preaching to the spirits in prison, who were disobedient 
at the time of the flood, is spoken of, it seems after all that 
Christ was in the lower regions, alive, before His resurrec 
tion. But, this explanation of 1 Pet. 3, 19, just given, is also 
involved in difficulties. If Christ was quickened only on the 
third day, at the time of His resurrection, how could He, 
before that, preach in the lower regions? What did He 
preach there, and with what result? This would have to be 
stated, for these are not questions that explain themselves: 

148 Distinctive Doctrines. 

III. Of Grace. 

1. To the glorification of His own praise God re 
solved first to create man good, then to permit his fall, 
and finally, without regard to belief or unbelief, to have 
mercy upon and elect some of His fallen creatures to 
everlasting life, to the praise of His grace; but to 

their answers are very divergent. Finally, if the dead were* 
to hear Christ s preaching, why not all of them, but only 
those of the time of the flood? In view of these questions 
we may here yet remind the reader that there is still another 
explanation of this passage, viz. that first given by Augus 
tine. According to this, the descent of Christ to hell is not 
spoken of here at all; Christ was "quickened by the Spirit", 
and that by the same Spirit in which He went once in the 
days of Noah to preach to the spirits which are now in 
prison. We may just as well speak of the preaching of Christ 
in the days of Noah, as in chap. 1, 10, the spirit of the Old 
Testament prophets is spoken of as the Spirit of Christ, or 
1 Cor. 10, 4 speaks of Christ as having accompanied Israel 
in the journey through the desert. The self-witnessing of 
God takes place namely in the Old Testament also, through 
the activity of Christ. But Peter is speaking of the time of 
Noah because he wants to draw a comparison between the 
flood and baptism. The whole train of thought in this pas 
sage, then, is this: Christ is now quickened by the Spirit 
as He was then when He preached to the cotemporaries of 
Noah. As at that time there was a deliverance by water, 
so there is even now. But, be that as it may. Accepting 
this or that view of the descent to hell, it affords us practically 
the same consolation, which the Formula of Concord thus 
expresses: "Thus we retain the substance [sound doctrine] 
and [true] consolation that neither devil nor hell can take 
captive or injure us and all who believe in Christ." (Form. 
Con., Jacobs ed., p. 643.) 

The Reformed Church. 149 

permit others to remain in condemnation, and finally 
to consign them to everlasting punishment, to the 
praise of His justice* 

Against this observe: 1. Whoever says that God pro 
poses to reveal His grace in some and His justice in others, 
separates the divine attributes (whose center is holy love, 
and which, proceeding from this center, always work to 
gether) in the most arbitrary manner, as if, instead of mu 
tually penetrating each other, they were only superficially 
connected. 2. God created man free, in order that he might 
be a partaker of the highest good. Of course, with this was 
given the possibility of abusing his liberty; nay, God in His 
omniscience foresaw the reality, that man would in fact abuse 
it; yet, He created him, not however with the predetermined 
purpose, that after he should have fallen, to reveal in some 
His grace and in others His justice, but, with the only pur 
pose worthy of a divine Being, to save all penitent and be 
lieving sinners for Christ s sake. 3. The ninth chapter of 
Romans, to which the defenders of an unconditional predesti 
nation to salvation or condemnation refer, by no means justi 
fies such a doctrine. In verses 9-13 it is not said that Jacob 
had been predestined to salvation and Esau to condemnation, 
without regard to belief or unbelief, but only that, without 
regard to merit or guilt, the royal-priestly right of the first 
born (which is described Gen. 49, 3) was given to Jacob, but 
withheld from Esau ("the elder shall serve the younger"). 

Further, verses 15 and 16 do not refer to the general 
grace necessary to everlasting life, but to God s special gra 
cious dealings (not necessary to salvation) with Moses, who 
desired to see God s glory here below already with his bodily 
eyes (Exod. 33, 17-23). 

x The Confessio Gallicana, the Confessio Belgica, and the 
Canons of the Dordrecht-Synod express themselves most de 
cidedly on this subject. 

150 Distinctive Doctrines. 

Furthermore, from verses 17 and 18 there follows nec 
essarily only this, that all those, who obstinately harden 
themselves against God s Word and Spirit, He finally, ac 
cording to a just decree, gives over to the hardness of their 
hearts, as vessels of wrath fitted (by Satan, namely, through 
their own fault), to destruction, verse 22, henceforth withdraws 
from them His active grace, and thus hardens them: all this 
however, only after He has endured them with much long- 
suffering, verse 22, and after He has tried in vain all means 
and ways to enlighten, draw and urge them to repentance, 
by His most wholesome Word, by unmerited blessings and 
well-deserved afflictions, as may easily be seen in the ex 
ample of Pharaoh. * * * And even in His judgment to 
hardness of heart which He passes upon the individual, He 
has His gracious design upon the whole ("that His name 
might be declared throughout all the earth," v. 17); for to 
this end He had raised up Pharaoh, of whom He knew before 
that he would not receive His grace, i. e. had permitted him 
to come into existence, to occupy so high a station, and to 
live so long, in order that, when the measure of his sins 
should be full and judgment come upon him, many secure 
sinners "throughout all the earth," verse 17, hearing of this 
example of God s just punishment, might be thereby whole 
somely terrified, and through a sincere conversion give God s 
holy and almighty name the honor. 

Summary: The adduced passages by no means neces 
sarily lead to the doctrine of predestination in the sense of 
Calvin; the whole analogy of Scripture, which, according 
to the example of the Lord (Matt. 4, 7) and the word of the 
Apostle (Rom. 12, 7), we must follow in the explanation of 
Scripture, is against it; else with the Calvinists we must take 
for granted that there is only the appearance of a will in such 
passages as, "God will have all men to be saved" (1 Tim. 2, 
4), and, "God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He 
might have mercy upon all" (Rom. 11, 32), and make God 
a hypocrite, who speaks otherwise than He means. Finally, 
Paul himself, in the end of the chapter (ninth of Romans), 

The Reformed Church. 151 

plainly indicates that God, in His merciful dealings, does not 
act arbitrarily, i. e. without regard to a believing or unbe 
lieving conduct on the part of man, by assigning their unbe 
lief as the reason why the Jews were cast away, verses 32-33. 
Finally, such doctrine cannot be reconciled with the experi 
ence of Christian faith, nor with that which we learn of God s, 
ways in our daily communion with Him. God is not arbi 
trariness personified, He is love, love unfeigned; and, where 
His Word has not prevailed, we know that the fault has lain 
with man alone. 

2. He inclines the hearts of those whom He has 
predestined to everlasting life, to faith, through His 
Word and Spirit; whilst He calls all others only 
externally through the Word, but does not accompany 
it with His Spirit to make it effective in their hearts.* 

Against this observe: Since God on His part earnestly 
desires that all men should be saved, He must also give the 
means therefor; for whoever really desires the end, will also- 
provide the means. But, since no man can be saved except 
he believe, and all men are by nature unbelieving and can be 
brought to faith only by God s grace, He must also have the 
will to work faith in all, without exception; so that, where 
no faith appears, it is altogether the fault of man, who opposes 
this work of God. 

Besides, the above distinction between Word and Spirit, 
and an external call through the Word and an internal call 
through the Spirit, is opposed to all Scripture; for the Word 
of God is Spirit (John 6, 63), so that where the Word re 
sounds the Spirit also works; hence also the very same attri 
butes and operations are ascribed to the Word as to the 

2 See the Canons of the Dordrecht Synod, Chap. I., Art 
VII; the Westminster Confession, Chap. X. (likewise the 
Catechismus, major and minor); the Consensus Genevensis 
on the "Eternal Election of God." 

152 Distinctive Doctrines. 

.Spirit; like Him, it enlightens (2 Pet. 1, 19), like Him, it re 
generates (1 Pet. 1, 23; James 1, 18), like Him, it sanctifies 
(John 17, 17). The Spirit does not hover over the Word, but 
comes to us in and with the Word. 

Remark: The difference between the Lutheran and Re 
formed confession begins already in the doctrine concerning 
the Word. The Reformed confession makes it a mere guide 
to eternal life; but the Lutheran confession, in accordance 
with the Scripture, a real means of grace, which not only 
shows where to get the treasure, but also imparts it; for it 
is a power unto salvation (Rom. 1, 16), a seed of regenera 
tion (1 Pet. 1, 23), full of Spirit and life (John 6, 63). 

3. The grace of God works irresistibly, so that 
where God begins to convert, man is compelled to 
let himself be converted. 3 

Against this observe: The Scripture knows nothing of 
such a gracious compulsory will; nay, it rather testifies in 
the most decided manner, that man can resist, and always 
has resisted the Holy Ghost (Acts 7, 51; Gen. 6, 3), and always 
most earnestly exhorts us to offer no resistance to the work 
of the Holy Spirit in us. Hence we may, by virtue of the 
liberty which God once gave us (but which, since the fall, 
has no power except for evil), resist the converting grace of 
God, which would work in us T both to will and to do" (Phil. 
.2, 13), and in this sense resist His will, because even this is 
His will, that we should be able to do it. 

4. Those who have once received the Holy Spirit, 
cannot again lose Him altogether, nor fall altogether 
out of God s grace, much less be finally lost. 4 

"See the Canons of the Dord. Synod, IV. 8. 

4 See Canons of the Dord. Synod, V., and the Confession 
of the Scotch Church, XVII. 

The Reformed Church. 153 

Against this observe: When David prays: "Take not 
Thy Holy Spirit from me/ the possibility of losing Him is 
certainly implied. But read especially Heb. 6, 4, where it is 
expressly said, that those also who have become partakers 
of the Holy Spirit can fall away, and that in such a way that 
they must be lost. (Heb. 10, 26-29, and also Ezekiel 18, 24.) 6 

5. The elect are also internally certain that they 
are the children of God, that they will continue in the 
faith unto the end and finally be saved, only that 
through weakness on account of sin they do not al 
ways feel it (Heid. Cat). 6 

Against this observe: Each one can and should un 
doubtedly be certain in spirit that he is a child of God, "for 
the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are 
the children of God" (Rom. 8, 16); we should also be certain 
beyond a doubt, that God, who has commenced the work 
of sanctification in us, will on His part complete it (so sure 
"that we would die upon it a thousand times"); for "faithful 

5 From 1 John 2, 19, they would infer, contrary to the 
whole analogy of Scripture, that a person who has once been 
truly converted can no more fall away; for, say they, the 
Apostle characterizes those who separated themselves from 
the Church as those who at heart had never really belonged 
to it. But it is not said there that they never belonged to it, 
for the words, "they were not of us," do not necessarily imply 
more than this, that at that time, when they externally sepa 
rated themselves, they did not really belong to them. They 
may therefore, if they were not confirmed hypocrites, have 
once been really converted, but had, in this case, neglected 
to "make their calling and election sure." 

6 The Canons of the Synod of Dord. based this internal 
certainty, among other things, "upon the earnest and holy 
diligence in keeping a good conscience and doing good 
works!" This is building one s house upon sand. 

154 Distinctive Doctrines. 

is He that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thess. 5, 23) r 
"for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." But 
whether we, on our part, will give diligence to make our 
calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1, 10), and be faithful unto- 
the end, as to this we cannot be perfectly certain, on account 
of the sin which still cleaves to us, and may at any time be 
come a snare for us. 

IT. Of the Cdorh of Christ, 

Christ did not die for all sinners, but only for the 
elect. 1 

Against this observe: The elect, according to the Scrip 
ture, are those who continue faithful unto death. But there 
are many who believe only for a while (Luke 8, 13), but in time 
of temptation fall away. Now since these also were sanctified 
by the blood of the covenant (Heb. 10, 29), Christ must have 
shed His blood for them also; and not only for them, but for 
those also who never believe, not even for a while, for "He 
tasted death for every man" (Heb. 2, 9, compare with Rom. 
5, 18; 1 John 2, 2), and thus, as all men taken together are 
indeed very many, He shed His blood for many for the re 
mission of sins (Matt. 26, 28), and not only for the few elect. 

V. Of Baptism. 

Baptism is not merely a figure, that like as the 
filthiness of the body is washed away with water, so 
also our sins are washed away by the blood and Spirit 
of Christ, (which are really the active causes,) but it 
is also a seal of the thing signified, that as certainly as 
the one is done the other takes place; it (Baptism) does 
not therefore effect regeneration, but is a mere figure 
and seal of it.. (Heid. Cat., Q. 69, etc.) 

^ee the Formula Consensus Helvetica, XVI. 

The Reformed Chiirch. 155 

Against this observe: If there is really nothing more 
in Baptism, how strange that our Lord, when He meets His 
disciples the last time, commands them to make disciples of 
all nations by baptizing and teaching them (Matt. 28, 19-20) t 
Baptism, which is called the washing of regeneration (Tit. 3 r 
5), is not only a sign and seal, but also an effective cause of 
the same, for we are, as our Lord expressly declares (John 
3, 5), to be born again of water and the Spirit. 

So then the bipod (Heb. 10, 22) and the Spirit are not 
the only active causes in regeneration, but water must be 
added as the third; and in this sense, namely, that the blood 
is the meriting, the Spirit the appropriating, and the water 
the mediating cause. 

The Spirit, however, works through the water in Bap 
tism in so far as the same is connected with the divine Word 
of command and promise; for, since the Word of God is 
Spirit, and Baptism is a washing of water by the Word (Eph. 
5, 26), it is also a washing of water by the Spirit. 

Remark: 1. Sometimes (especially where they justify 
infant Baptism) the Reformed Confessions regard Baptism 
only as a seal of the covenant in the sense of Zwingli, with 
whom it was nothing more nor less than the solemn recep 
tion into Christian fellowship. 2. Of the Baptism of Neces 
sity the Reformed Church, for the most part, knows nothing, 
because she does not rightly understand the necessity of Bap 
tism. Those among them who cling to the doctrine set forth 
in III, 2 (p. 151), maintain that the germ of faith is in the elect 
children already before their Baptism (i. e. from their birth 

TX. Of the Ilord s Supper. 

1. Bread and wine are mere signs (that as bread 
and wine sustain temporal life, so the crucified body 
and shed blood of Christ are the true meat and drink 
wherewith our souls are fed to eternal life) and at 

156 Distinctive Doctrines. 

the same time pledges of the thing signified. (Heid. 
Cat.., Q. 75, etc.) 

Against this observe: The relative position of the New 
Testament to the Old, as regards those gifts to be imparted 
by our Lord Jesus Christ, is that of the finished painting to 
the sketch (Heb. 10, 1), thus of the greater to the less. But 
the Passover, with its real flesh and blood, is a much plainer 
sign and seal of the flesh and blood of Christ than bread and 
wine, which, without a preceding explanation, would not 
remind any one of flesh and blood; if therefore, bread and 
wine were nothing more than pictures and signs, the be 
lievers of the Old Testament, with their Passover, had, not 
less but more than the believers of the New with theirs (1 Cor. 
5, 7), and the Disciples might very properly have said: "Mas 
ter, let us rather keep (retain) the Passover, if Thou art 
about to give us figures and signs, for the Passover, with its 
ceremonies, signifies Thy body and. blood, Thy sufferings 
and death, much more plainly than bread and wine in the 
Lord s Supper." Besides, our Lord Himself evidently 
seems to compare the New Testament with the Old, to the 
advantage of the former, when He says: "This is my blood 
of the New Testament," as if He would say: And now this 
is my own blood (Heb. 9, 12), something much better than 
the strange blood of the paschal lambs of the Old Testa 
ment, which only foreshadowed my blood. It is therefore 
altogether incomprehensible how any one can dare to per 
vert such plain, essential words of the Lord: "This is my 
blood," etc., to mere figures and signs, after the manner of 
the Old Testament, since it is known that the law (or Old 
Testament) had the shadow of good things to come, and 
not the things themselves, like the New Testament. Christ 
abolished the shadowy images of Old Testament types and 
the compulsion of particular ordinances; how then could 
He, on such solemn occasions as those when He instituted 
the Lord s Supper and Baptism, again have given them an 
ordinance pertaining only to outward observances? 

The Reformed Church. 157 

Remark: The Zwinglian view brings the significance of 
the Lord s Supper still further down, viz. that bread and 
wine are only memorials of the sacrificed body and blood 
of Christ. 

2. The body and blood of Christ are present, not 
in and under, but (at most) only with the bread; of 
course not really, for after His humanity Christ is 
confined to heaven, and cannot come down to us; 
but unreally, for whilst we partake of the bread our 
faith lifts itself up, in the power of the Holy Spirit, 
above everything "visible, fleshly and earthly," and 
we become partakers of His real body and blood. 1 

Against this observe: We have no right whatever to 
depart from the sense 2 of the word nearest at hand, especially 
when it is testamentary, without the most cogent reasons. 
But ihe passage John 6, 63, so often referred to by the Re 
formed, by no means furnishes such a cogent reason; for 
(mere human) flesh (which the Capernaites thought of) is 
indeed not profitable for imparting eternal life (v. 51. 53), 
but the flesh of Christ is profitable, in whom dwelt bodily 
the "Spirit" of God, who giveth life, so that even His words 
were full of divine spirit and life. If the flesh of Christ, the 
Son of God and man, had not been profitable for the im 
parting of eternal life, He could not have given it "for the 
life of the world" (v. 51), and John would not have said: 
"Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come 
in the flesh is not of God." The passage therefore gives no 

a See the Scotch Confession, 21. 

2 It does not depend upon the little word "is"; even if 
this were altogether wanting, and it were only said: "This 
my body," the first sense would still not be: This signifies 
my body, or: This represents my body, or: This assures you 
of my body. 

158 Distinctive Doctrines. 

right whatever to depart from the plain meaning. Besides 
it is doubtful whether the passage John 6, 57, etc., treats 
of the Lord s Supper expressly, for in the first place no men 
tion is made of the wine, as would have been necessary had 
the Lord designed to refer to His Supper; in the second 
place verse 53, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man 
and drink His blood ye have no life in you," hardly agrees 
with such an interpretation. For this last passage seems to 
pertain not to the Supper but to the whole work of Christ; 
for to have eternal life He must be received just as bread 
must be eaten to sustain temporal life. Aside from this 
however, there are other passages which confirm us in, and 
directly restrict us to, this meaning. According to 1 Cor. 
11, 29, when we eat of the blessed bread we are to dis 
cern the body of the Lord, from which it evidently follows 
that it must be present in and under the bread, 1 for how shall 
I discern the body of the Lord when it is not at all present? 

The Roman Catholics say: The bread becomes the body 
of Christ; we, on the contrary, say: No, we receive it under 
the form of bread. The Reformed say, indeed, Yes, we re 
ceive the body with the bread, but mean, whilst we are eat 
ing the bread. We, on the contrary, say: We receive it 
really with, i. e. in the bread. "Not, however," says Luther, 
"as if we would confine the body of Christ in the bread or 
wine, but when the Fathers, or we, sometimes say, Christ s 
body is in the bread, it is done simply for the reason that our 
faith would confess that Christ s body is there. * * * But 
even if Christ s body is everywhere, you must not think that 
you can immediately grasp it; God s right hand is also every 
where, but at the same time nowhere and incomprehensible, 
without and above all creatures. It is one thing if God is 
present and another if He is present for you. For you He 
is present when He gives His word, pledges Himself by it 
and says: Here you shall find me. So, also, since Christ s 
humanity is at the right hand of God, and now also in all 
and over all things, like God s right hand, you will not be 

The Reformed Church. 159 

And how could it have been such a great sin for the Corin 
thians who in social assembly allowed a mere symbolical 
observance to take place without paying to it due respect? 
(Compare also v. 27 and chapt. 10, 16). Had a crucifix been 
thus passed around would any one have judged it thus sin 
ful if it had been passed on without so much as a look at it? 
But in order that we may not undervalue the doctrine of 
the Apostle, so intimately connected with the words of the 
institution, he has affixed to it his apostolic seal when he 
says: "I have received it of the Lord." 

Now as regards the above quoted error, it rests in the 
first place upon a disregard 2 of the bodily, which, if consist- 
able to seize Him, though He be in your bread, except 
through His Word He bind Himself and direct you to a 
certain table, and Himself interpret the bread for you through 
His Word, which He does here in the Lord s Supper, when 
He says: This is my body. " 

2 Sometimes also upon a misunderstanding, as if the oral 
were a Capernaitic, i. e. a gross, fleshly participation. Sar- 
torius, in his book "Of Holy Love," thus expresses himself 
with regard to this misunderstanding: "Those who would 
partake of Christ only in effigy, because the partaking of His 
being seems to them, according to the Capernaitic idea, to 
be something horrid, do not consider that if the signs are 
to represent His massive earthly body, the partaking of the 
same in effigy is also most horrid. But when we contemplate 
not so much the gross mass of His earthly body, but much 
rather the ethereal essence of the divine, glorified body (1 Cor. 
15, 44 sq., Phil. 3, 21), all coarse, fleshly and shocking repre 
sentations are removed, and only a participation of love takes 
place, which is just as little repulsive, nay, even more tender 
and affectionate than when a mother feeds her infant with 
her own flesh and blood from her breast. If it seems un 
worthy to any that the mouth should be the sensual, mediat 
ing organ of the super-sensual communication, to him also 
in general it must seem unworthy that the soul should have 

160 Distinctive Doctrines. 

ently carried out, must lead to a denial of the resurrection "of 
the body; and in the second place then in the notion that 
the right hand of God, to which the humanity of Christ has 
been exalted, is a certain locality, whilst the truth is, that the 
right hand of God is everywhere. But if Christ is God and 
man then indeed must His humanity be everywhere and not 
inclosed in a certain place as the Reformed teach, and of 
which Luther derisively inquires whether Christ dwell there 
as a stork does in his nest? and what conception they have 
of the local existence of the Lord, whether perhaps as being 
seated upon a golden chair or as taking a walk or as making 
music with the angels? But the presumption, however, that 
by faith we ascend above everything earthly and visible to 
the Lord, instead of His coming down to us; that we, through 
our weak faith, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, thus do more 
than, according to the Reformed view, the Lord Himself, 
in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily, can do, 
according to His humanity; this gross presumption does 
not at all agree with the word of God (Rom. 10, 6-8), and so 
far exceeds the usual order of things, even in spiritual mat 
ters, that if we were required to come up to it, we would 
every time have to be caught up into the third heaven, as 
was the Apostle, i. e. into the heaven of glory (2 Cor. 12), 
and thus the Lord s Supper would no more serve to 
strengthen our weak faith, but much rather prove our strong 

3. The participation of the body and blood of 
Christ takes place spiritually, through faith, not orally. 1 

Against this observe: We must generally not under 
stand it too literally when the Reformed Confession speaks 

a body, and especially that the speaking mouth and hearing 
ear are the portals through which, by means of the word, 
spiritual thoughts proceed from and enter into the spirit of 

See Confessio Belgica, XXXV. 

The Reformed Church. 161 

of partaking of the body and blood of Christ. For the most 
part they understand thereby nothing more than the par 
taking of the power of Christ s sufferings and death, 2 which 
is, substantially, imparted to us already in the word; or at 
most they understand thereby an increased enjoyment on 
the part of faith, of the divine human image in consequence 
of a certain spiritual exaltation, 3 even if the expressions some 
times sound stronger. 

Yet, granted that they always mean a real partaking of 
the true body and blood of Christ, we cannot understand 
why they would always have it in a spiritual and not oral 
(even if supernatural) manner, since the Scripture words, 
"Eat, this is my body," and, "Drink, this is my blood," un 
doubtedly indicate an oral participation. 

Remark: By insisting upon an oral participation, the 
Lutheran Church does not at all deny the "spirituality" of 
the food itself, for if ever our glorified bodies shall be "spir 
itual," how much more must this be true of the body of 
Christ, in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily. 

4. "This sacrament is of no benefit to the impen 
itent, nor are they partakers of the true body and blood 
of Christ." (For, those who are not elect unto sal 
vation receive nothing in the Lord s Supper but empty 
signs, just as when they hear the calling word, they 
perceive nothing but an empty sound.) 

Against this observe: It not only profits them nothing, 
but positively injures them, for they eat and drink condem- 

2 See the Consensus Tigurinus, in the collection of Re 
formed Confessions by Niemeyer, p. 215. 

-5 In the Confessio Gallicana, for example, it is indeed 
said that we are quickened through the substance of the 
body and blood of Christ, but immediately afterwards it is 
said, that it is not indeed received, but apprehended, by faith. 

162 Distinctive Doctrines. 

nation to themselves; but they are partakers of the body and 
blood of Christ, for it is not written: "Whosoever shall eat 
unworthily, receives nothing more than bread," 
but "shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." 

In this respect bread and wine sustain the same relation 
as the word; the latter is also full of the Spirit, whether we 
hear it in faith or not, even as bread and wine are pene 
trated by the body and blood of Christ, equally as much 
whether it be received in faith or not. But if the word is 
to be a blessing to us, we must approach it in faith; other 
wise it hardens us; even so, if the sacrament is to be a bless 
ing to us we must come to it in faith, otherwise it con 
demns us. 

Remark: The Reformed insist upon the following as 
two necessary things: 

1. That the sacrament must be received with the hand, 
and not with the mouth, and for proof refer to the command 
of the Lord, "Take." This is no proof in their favor; for 
we take just as well with the mouth as with the hand (as 
our Lord Himself, when nailed to the cross, took the vinegar 
with His mouth, John 19, 30). 

2. That the bread be broken. Now it is indeed true, 
that the breaking of the bread, which by the way is a figure 
of the body of Christ, is also a figure of the violent death 
He suffered, although His body was not broken; and since 
the breaking of the bread so often spoken of in the Scriptures 
serves the imparting of it, likewise the Lord Himself here 
breaks it since He had before Him the entire passover loaf. 
Nevertheless and for that very reason it remains a non- 
essential ceremony, which may be observed or not; for if we 
would retain all the merely accidental external circumstances, 
we would, for instance, have to celebrate the Lord s Supper 
in the night, and the bread would have to be baked after 
the manner of the Jewish passover bread. But the Re 
formed Church insists on these two points, on the one hand, 
because she thinks that if the sacrament be presented to the 
rnouth of the communicant, the minister is made a priest, 

The Reformed Church. 163 

superior to the laity, in the Romish sense; on the other hand, 
because she fears, if the bread be not broken, the Lord s 
Supper may lose something of its figurative character, in 
which she makes all its importance to consist. 

But that she is, in part, so decidedly opposed to the 
wafer, which the Lutheran Church has retained as a non- 
essential, because it has been so long customary in the 
Church, and is convenient for administration, this arises 
out of her aversion to everything which might in the least 
remind them of papal abominations, especially the abomi 
nations of the mass. 

On this ground also, as well as the one adduced above 
for placing the elements into the hand of the communicant, 
she also ignores altogether private confession 1 before the 
pastor, as such: she has the "general" confession before the 
Lord s Supper, but prefers to call it "preparation," and this 
quite in harmony with her view of the Lord s Supper, ac 
cording to which the communicant must indeed render more 
than he receives, since his faith is to soar far above every 
thing earthly, in order, however, in the end, to receive little 
more than is already spiritually imparted by the word. 

Finally, from the two reasons just adduced, as well as 
the third, that bread and wine are mere signs and seals, we 
find in the Reformed Church, instead of the consecration 
proper (by repeating the words of the institution over the 
elements), an edifying address, directed to the congregation, 
reminding them of the history of the institution and the 
object of this holy act. 

VII. Of the Office of the Keys. 

The Reformed minister does not forgive and re 
tain sins in God s stead, but only announces that sins 

1 "If sin oppresses us, private confession serves that we 
may repent and not rest satisfied under it." 

164 Distinctive Doctrines. 

are forgiven and retained, and that in a general way, 
corresponding with the general confession. 

Against this observe: According to the Scripture each 
lay member has the right to forgive and retain the sins of 
each individual brother confessing to him; but the minister 
has also the office to do this. 

"If the absolution is to be right and effectual, it must 
proceed from the command of Christ, after this manner: I 
absolve thee from thy sins in the name of Jesus Christ, and 
by the power of His command who has bid me say to thee 
that thy sins -are forgiven; so that it is not I, but He Him 
self who (through my mouth) forgives thy sins, and thou 
shouldst receive and firmly believe this, not as the word 
of man, but as if thou hadst heard it from the mouth of 
the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Therefore, although the 
power to forgive sins belongs to God alone, yet we are to 
know that He makes use of this power through this external 
office, to which Christ called His Apostles- and commanded 
them to announce forgiveness of sins in His name to all 
who desire it. * * * And God Himself does this for our 
benefit, that we may not look in vain for it to heaven, where 
we would not receive it, and be compelled to say, Who can 
ascend to heaven? But that we might be sure of the matter 
He has placed forgiveness in the public office (of the min 
istry) and Word, that we may always have it with us, in 
our very mouth and heart." * * * "Wherefore the voice 
of the one absolving must be believed not otherwise than 
we would believe a voice from heaven. And absolution 
properly can be called a sacrament of repentance." (Jacobs 
ed., p. 183.) 

"No one," says Luther, "knows the power of private 
confession except he who must often fight and contend with 
the devil. * If a thousand worlds, twice told, were 

mine, I would rather lose all than suffer the Church to be 
deprived of the smallest part of confession and absolution." 

The Reformed Church. 165 

Till, Of the Church, 

1. Besides the preaching of the Word and the 
administration of the sacraments, a certain church 
discipline is also an essential mark of the true Church. 
(Especially according to the Scotch Confession.) 

Against this observe: Church discipline, however whole 
some in itself, is an external matter, which the Church, es 
pecially in time of oppression, may not always order as she 
would, and it may, therefore, not be set up as a third essen 
tial mark of the Church, besides the preaching of the word 
and administration of the sacraments. Therefore, the Lu 
theran Confession rejects as an error the proposition that 
there is no true Church where "the public ban and a certain 
solemn form of excommunication" are not found. 

2. Hypocrites belong to the Church in no sense 

Against this observe: In a certain sense they do. They 
also have been received into communion with the Church 
by holy Baptism; so long, therefore, as they are allowed to 
remain in this communion, they must be regarded as dead 
members of the Church, entitled to all churchly rights, abusing 
them, it is true, to their own destruction. The hypocrite 
within the Christian Church is a Christian by profession only. 
So much the worse for him! 

Concluding Remark. 

When we take a survey of the distinctive doctrines 
of the Romish, Lutheran and Reformed Churches as 
thus far given, we have reason to rejoice heartily that 
quite a number of differences noticed in the second 
part of this book as compared with the first have dis- 

166 Distinctive Doctrines. 

appeared. The Reformed Confession shares with us 
the deep consciousness of the guilt of sin, it recognizes 
that grace alone brings deliverance, it confesses the 
doctrine of the justification of the sinner through faith 
alone and speaks in no doubtful manner of the author 
ity of the Holy Scriptures. Truly, these are glorious 
fruits in our neighbor s garden, which may well cause 
us to rejoice. But, in the midst of this joy we must 
not shut our eyes to the fact that there are still many 
grave differences which separate us from this com 
munion: The doctrine of Predestination, the different 
conception of the Means of Grace, the doctrine of 
the Person of Christ, the one-sided manner in which 
they exaggerate the authority of Scripture * * * 
and yet fail to do justice to it. When we attempt to 
trace these various branches of doctrine back to their 
root foreign to us we very naturally think first 
of the doctrine of Predestination. But the peculiar 
differences between the. Reformed and us still remain, 
even when, as has been generally done, the doctrine 
of Predestination is abandoned. The root will be 
found rather in their peculiar conception of the rela 
tion of God to the creature. God is primarily the 
Lord, man His servant; obedience is the first duty of 
the Christian ; the Lord is always far above this world. 
We prefer to think of the relation of man to God as 
that of the dear child to its dear father. We need 
only compare the life of Calvin, in which everything 
is conditioned by obedience toward God, who de 
manded obedience in everything, made law r s for every 
thing, with Luther s manner of life and thought. We 

The Reformed Church, 167 

do not close our eyes to the grand achievements of 
the Reformed, especially in the department of practical 
ethics, which have grown out of that radical idea. Still 
we prefer to follow the grander, the free trait of Lu 
ther. The view referred to will serve to explain the 
difference between the Reformed and Lutheran sys 
tems. As in the Person of Christ and in the Means 
of Grace the divine and human are by them strictly 
separated, so too God and man are by them made 
to stand over against each other in the strict ordering 
of moral life and of divine worship. For the better 
understanding of the subject we add here a few gen 
eral characteristics. 

The general character of Reformed doctrine and 
practice is: 

1. Spiritualistic. 

The house and worship of God are altogether 
naked and bare. Sacred pictures and music, and 
sacred art in general, are disregarded to a greater or 
less extent. They do not venture to enclose the 
eternal in temporal forms. 

2. Diffusive and separatistic. 

Here too the reason is that the earthly cannot be 
the bearer of the heavenly, Baptism and the Lord s 
Supper are preponderatingly figurative (VI, 1), the 
communication of divine attributes to the human nat 
ure in Christ is a mere figure of speech (II, 2). So too 
the Word and Spirit are torn asunder (III, 2. Remark), 
likewise the visible element and heavenly gift in Bap 
tism and the Lord s Supper, and the divine and hu- 

168 Distinctive Doctrines. 

man nature in Christ are not always one and undi 
vided (II, 1); the divine attributes are arbitrarily sep 
arated from each other (III, 1). 

3. Legalistic. 

We always find this thought in the foreground, 
that the Lord s commands must be fulfilled. The New 
Testament is regarded, more or less, as the law which 
Christ the King has given to His people; and here 
and there they cannot rid themselves of the binding 
force of the Mosaic Sabbath law. 

-1. Rationalising., and yet again emotional. 

The heart does not like to rest in a mystery, the 
understanding would fathom it, and if it cannot, as 
much as possible is stricken out, as in the case of the 
Lord s Supper, or the knot of doubt is cut, as in the 
doctrine of Predestination. At the same time little 
is known of an unemotional faith; the hope of salva 
tion is built less upon the unchangeable word of God 
than upon the changeable feeling of the heart; for 
how otherwise shall the elect become sure of his elec 
tion, if not through his own feeling? And this (i. e. 
feeling) alone, according to the Calvinistic doctrine 
of Predestination, can determine whether anything has 
been received in the Lord s Supper or not; yea, the 
Zwinglian presentation of the Lord s Supper as a 
mere feast of remembrance, makes the whole celebra 
tion a matter of human emotion. 

5. Unhistorical. 

If possible they wouldj strike out everything which 
has been developed, and every custom which has 

The Church of England. 169 

arisen in the Church during 1800 years. The object 
seems to be to fulfill the King s commands literally, 
as they have been given, and strike out everything 
else. Hence the most hostile attitude assumed to 
wards the Romish Church from the beginning, and 
the disposition to reduce everything in the Church 
to the measure of the Apostolic times; i. e. to drop 
and abolish everything which has not an express 
example in the Apostolic Church. 

(THE Evangelical Lutheran Church occupies a 
position intermediate between the doctrine and prac 
tice of the Romish and Reformed: in her, spirit and 
body, external and internal, divine and human, past 
and present, are united in the most intimate manner. 
The Evangelical Lutheran Confession is, therefore, the 
true Union Confession. From Old Edition.) 


Church of 

Among all the Reformed Church communions the 
English Episcopal Church at present occupies the most 
important position, and this on the one hand, because 
the State with which she is in- the most intimate con 
nection wields great influence in almost all countries, 
especially on account of its colonies; on the other 
hand, on account of her Evangelical activity in the 
work of missions and for the spread of the Bible. It 

170 Distinctive Doctrines. 

is therefore certainly in place that we look yet espe 
cially at her peculiarities. 

Her Confession (consisting of the 39 Articles) is 
by far the most moderate of all the Reformed. It 
presents only one side of the doctrine of Predestination, 
namely, in regard to those who are to be saved, and 
without expressly saying that herein no regard is to 
be had to the conduct of man; secondly, the elements 
of the sacrament are, in general, called, not only seals, 
but effective signs; 1 but their real effect, as far as bap 
tism is concerned, is afterwards restricted to this, that 
the person baptized is incorporated with the Church, 2 
and as regards the Lord s Supper, to this, that to the 
worthy communicants (not however to the unworthy) 
the bread becomes a communion (not more closely 
defined) with the body of Christ. 3 The English Epis 
copal Church also proves herself to be the most mod- 

English (Episcopal) Catechism directly calls the 
elements of the sacrament means through which we obtain 
the grace represented by them ; but it still remains uncertain 
whether we are to understand this as meaning that they are 
really the bearers of the invisible grace, or only so much, 
that the latter is imparted to us during their use. 

2 It is true, the usual forms for Baptism and Confirmation 
speak of a regeneration through water and the Holy Ghost. 
But since this is an adoption of Scripture words, without any 
definite dogmatical idea attached to it, it remains uncertain 
whether we are to understand that the water is really the 
mediating cause of regeneration, or only that the latter takes 
place during the use of the former. 

3 The liturgy insists positively upon the total absence of 
the body and blood of Christ, as being locally confined. 

The Church of England. 171 

erate of all the Reformed, in that she has retained 
many non-essentials of the Catholic Church, such as 
days commemorative of the Apostles, etc. Indeed, 
during the past thirty years a strong Romanizing ten 
dency is making itself felt. At present this tendency 
(of the so-called Ritualists) is directed to the restora 
tion of the Catholic order of worship through the re- 
introduction of crucifixes, candles, holy water, frank 
incense, chasubels, choir boys and mass bells. In 
connection with this a very critical uncertainty in mat 
ters of doctrine is manifesting itself; as, for example, 
in the recognition of tradition, to be sure, only of the 
first centuries, of prayers for the dead, of an inclina 
tion towards the Romish view of the sacraments, as 
also of the invocation of saints, of Mary, etc. In these 
things they certainly transcend the sphere of things 
indifferent. But in regard to the importance to be 
attached to organization, she is inclined to go be 
yond the true Evangelical standard, especially by 
attaching so much authority to the office of bishops 
(who, certainly originally, and for a long time, differed 
in no respect, as regards their office, from presbyters 
or elders); so that she allows neither a deacon nor a 
priest,* but only the bishop, to confirm, ordain and ded 
icate (churches, cemeteries, etc.). In this Episcopal 
prerogative they generally delight also to see some 
thing more than mere human order. Nay, the Pusey- 
ites, a by no means insignificant party, directly regard 

4 Bishop, priest and deacon; these are the three spiritual 
degrees which they strictly distinguish from each other. 

172 Distinctive Doctrines. 

the uninterrupted succession of bishops as something 
essential. There also attaches to her as indeed to 
most of the Reformed Church communions some 
thing of the Old Testament legalism, especially as re 
gards the observance of Sunday, which, regardless of 
the passage Colossians 2, 16, they not only love to 
call Sabbath, but also, consistently therewith, and after 
the manner of the Jews, hedge about with all kinds 
of external commands and prohibitions, and seek to 
distinguish it also from other festivals, by regarding 
the celebration of these as unimportant compared 
with that of Sunday. To this must be added that 
she, not only by way of abuse, but in her Confession, 
grants so much authority to human government* that 
in the 21st Article it is directly said: "General Coun 
cils may not be convened without the commandment 
and will of princes"; and in general makes the su 
periority of the King of England in external church 
affairs an article of religion. 

Remark: The Scotch, as distinguished from the Episco 
pal Church, is called Presbyterian, and rejects the Episcopal 
organization of the English Church, recognizing (according 
to the Scripture) no essential difference between presbyters 
(elders) and bishops. In 1843 the so-called "Free Church" 
separated from her (the Scotch) on the fixed principle, 
that a State Church government is in no case consistent with 
the idea of a Christian Church. The occasion for this was 
the refusal, on the part of the patrons, to allow the congre 
gations to have any voice in the selection of their ministers. 
Although in 1874 the right of patrons was generally abolished 

6 Of course the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United 
States does not lay herself open to this charge. D. M. M. 

Of the Protestant Union 173 

throughout Scotland, yet the General Assembly of the Free 
Church rejected a proposition to reunite with the State 

Hppendtx II* 

Concerning the dnion of the Lutheran and 
Reformed Churches. 

Already in the days of the Reformation an effort 
was made to effect a union between the Reformed 
and Lutherans, thinking, as some did, that the differ 
ences consisted in matters of little importance wriich 
might easily be compromised. The attempt was frus 
trated by Luther s firm opposition (at Marburg, 1529) : 
You have another spirit! And thus, as history shows, 
it must remain, however ready we may be to recog 
nize the truly and genuinely Evangelical features in 
the doctrine and life of the Reformed Church. 

What failed then and later on has been accom 
plished with apparent success in our century. 
The pious king, Frederick William III. of Prussia, 
in the year 1817 resolved to unite the two churches. 
The times seemed to favor the royal wish. The 
theologians, who at that time were almost all Ra 
tionalists, regarded the "Distinctive Doctrines" with 
indifference. True, at that time, a new spirit of 
religious enthusiasm was sensibly felt everywhere 
in German lands, but still was able primarily to call 
forth no more than a general religious feeling, and 
only here and there a genuine churchly spirit. They 

174 Distinctive Doctrines. 

felt themselves a "Nation of Brethren," and therefore 
rejoiced in the thought of "one revived Evangelical 
Church." Hence the wish of the king at first seemed 
to find favor everywhere. The Palatinate of the 
Rhine, Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Waldeck, the prin 
cipalities of Anhalt and Dessau soon followed the 
example of Prussia. But the powerful movement of 
those times soon called forth another consciousness; 
to wit, the true historic conception of the past, espe 
cially the appreciation of, and reverence for, the re 
ligious heritage of the fathers with its glorious treas 
ures. Thus there was no lack of spirited and energetic 
resistance to the aim at union. Who can doubt that 
it was justified? In the sphere of religious convic 
tion all commands and ordinances are evils, they may 
come whence they will. Breslau, as is well known, 
became the center of resistance to the Union. It is 
equally well known that an attempt was made to 
crush it by friendly and by forcible means All was 
in vain. Touching evidences of faithfulness to the 
Confessions were witnessed in those days. They go 
far to prove the great truth that religious conviction 
is stronger than all the expedients of the world. The 
assertion that the Union was not intended to repre 
sent the relinquishing of former Confessions of faith, 
but only "the spirit of clemency and moderation" 
(1834), was also in vain. Peace was not secured until 
the time of King Frederick William IV. The Lu 
therans offering resistance were recognized as a sep 
arate Lutheran Church-communion in the year 1845 
and were allowed their own church government. But 

Of the Protestant Union. 175 

in the Prussian State .Church also a powerful Lu 
theran element made itself felt, seeking to preserve 
intact the heritage of the fathers in doctrine, cultus, 
the constitution and government of congregations. 
Nor have these efforts been in vain. 

Through all this became manifest the inner im 
possibility of a real union of the two communions. 
The Union has missed its aim. It did not bring about 
a real unity; those who were really alive religiously 
became more and more what they were: Lutherans 
or Reformed. Nay, the Union effected the very op 
posite of what was intended. King Frederick III. 
said: "It is very unpleasant that the good work of 
union has led to discord." And it was really so. It 
was due to the Union that the old controversy about 
the Confessions was again renewed in its old harsh 
ness, and was conducted on this side and on that, 
often in a spirit void of gentleness and love; in former 
years, at least, the Union often became the dividing 
line between the Lutherans of Prussia and other 
Lutherans ; finally the Union, although the outgrowth 
of believing sentiment, was often forced to stand as 
the banner of a feeble and half-way faith. Thus it 
missed its aim. 

But if we are told that to-day everything is in 
proper order, inasmuch as the Union is intended to 
consist for the most part only in oneness of church 
government and matters of cultus, we must refer to 
the 7th Article of the Augsburg Confession. There 
it is said: "Unto the true unity of the Church, it is 
sufficient to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gos- 

176 Distinctive Doctrines. 

pel and the administration of the sacraments. Nor 
is it necessary that human traditions, rites, or cere 
monies instituted of men, should be alike everywhere; 
as St. Paul says: There is one faith, one baptism, one 
God and Father of all (Eph. 4, 4. 5)." This shows 
plainly that according to the Confession of our Church 
agreement in doctrine belongs to the unity of the 
Church, but that a common form of service, of Church 
government and the like, are not necessary to it nor 
can they bring it about. 

But let us not forget the true union on account of 
the false because impossible union. The true 
union will consist in love and regard for the brethren 
who are heartily devoted to the Gospel and faithful to 
their confession in the common battle against all the 
powers of unbelief and destruction in our time, and in 
the common effort for the alleviation of suffering and 
distress among our people. 

As for the rest, in order to be just to the Lutheran 
brethren who live in the Union, we will not forget that 
great and dreaded dangers, that one-sidedness and 
bitterness threaten those religious communities sep 
arating from the National Church. 

Finally we propose to speak more fully than could 
be done hitherto about the most important doctrinal 
differences between the Lutherans and Reformed, and 
in doing so we shall refer especially to the elabora 
tions of our latest confessional writing, the Formula 
of Concord, on these points. 

The opinion is very common now, that the doc 
trine of the justification of a penitent, believing sinner 

Of the Protestant Union. 177 

for the sake of the merits of Christ alone is the only 
essential doctrine of the Scriptures. That it is the 
principal doctrine cannot be denied, as we have al 
ready seen (p. 45). But as in a building the chief beam 
needs the support of side-beams, so too along with 
this leading thought there are many and manifold 
concurrent thoughts. We may undoubtedly call it 
the central point, but in the end all Scripture doctrine 
must serve to place this blessed central doctrine of 
our salvation in its proper light (so, for instance, the 
doctrine of the total depravity of man) and to call and 
lead the deceitful and desperately wicked human heart 
up to, and into, it (as, for instance, the doctrine of 
the last things, of death, the resurrection, judgment 
and eternal life). The two most important doctrines 
in this connection are undoubtedly the doctrines of 
the person of Christ as the God-man, and of the Means 
of Grace, the Word, Baptism and the Lord s Supper. 
The former furnishes, if we may say so, the very two 
pillars needed for the support of this most saving ar 
ticle of justification through the merit of Christ alone, 
for only that Man who was at the same time God 
could place Himself as Mediator between God and 
men, satisfy the justice of God in man s stead, and 
thus effect justification for sinful men; and just be 
cause justification by faith rests upon this doctrine, 
as upon two pillars, St. John also says, on the one 
hand: "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ 
is come in the flesh," i. e. has become true man, "is 
of God," and on the other hand: "Whosoever shall 
confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in 

178 Distinctive Doctrines, 

him, and he in God" (1 John 4, 2. 15). But just as 
the doctrine of the person of Christ as true God and 
true Man furnishes the two needed pillars for the 
article of justification alone through the merits of 
Christ, so the doctrine of the Means of Grace shows 
us the three true channels through which the saving 
stream of the merits of Christ, out of whose fulness 
we are to receive grace for grace, is to flow to us. But 
if we follow up this matter consistently, we must arrive 
at the conclusion that the Reformed doctrine 

1) Stands opposed to this very central doctrine, 
namely the article of justification through faith, and 
involves it in doubt by the doctrine of the uncondi 
tional decree, according to which God, without regard 
to faith or unbelief on the part of men, did from eter 
nity elect some to eternal life and ordain some to eter 
nal damnation. The fact that we rarely find the prac 
tical application of this does not change the matter, 
for it is not the proper thing only then to cover the 
cistern when the child has already fallen into it; 

2) That the Reformed doctrine attacks the two 
pillars upon which the doctrine of justification rests, 
viz: the two natures in Christ; by the assertion that 
no real communication of attributes takes place these 
are separated in such a manner that only the human 
nature suffered, and only the divine nature is present; 
both of which trespass upon the high-priestly and 
royal office of our Lord, according to which He pur 
chased justification for us on the cross and would 
now communicate it to us from the throne of the Ma 
jesty, for if, on the one hand, His divine nature had 

Of the Protestant Union. 179 

no part in His sufferings, His shed blood was not the 
blood of "the Son of God," and hence does not avail 
for our justification; and if, on the other hand, His 
human nature is included in heaven, we are deprived 
of the joyfulness of going to Him in prayer and re 
ceiving grace for grace from His fulness, for then 
we have indeed always the holy, almighty Judge about 
us, before whose eyes everything is naked and open, 
but not at the same time the merciful High-priest, 
who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities 
(Hebrews 4, 13-16); 

3) That, finally, the Reformed doctrine attacks 
also our conception of the Means of Grace, the Word, 
Baptism and the Lord s Supper, threatening to de 
stroy their effectiveness by representing that the for 
mer is only a guide and the two latter are only types 
and shadows devoid of their saving substance, so that 
man must depend upon his own heart and judge the 
certainty of his salvation by the feeling of his heart. 
But to depend upon the feeling of one s own heart 
is a dangerous thing, especially at the time of great 
temptation, when all sensation of grace vanishes from 
the heart and Satan also aims his fiery darts at us. 
Woe unto us if such temptation does not teach us to 
give heed to the Word as to the only rock in the rest 
less ocean of human sentimentality; woe to all who 
cannot say in truth: "And though my heart but no 
should say, Thy Word shall be a surer stay!" (1 John 
3, 20). From this alone already we can see the im 
portance of the pure doctrine with reference to those 
points in which the Lutheran Confession differs from 

180 Distinctive Doctrines. 

the Reformed in its application to Christian life. The 
following remarks however will make this still plainer, 

I. Of the pure Doctrine Concerning the eternal 
election of God. 

(From the Formula of Concord.) 

The doctrine concerning this article, if presented 
from, and according to, the pattern of the divine 
Word [and analogy of God s Word and of faith], 
neither can nor should be regarded as useless or un 
necessary, much less as causing offense or injury, 
because the Holy Scriptures not only in but one place 
and incidentally, but in many places, thoroughly dis 
cuss and urge [explain] the same. Therefore, on 
account of abuse or misunderstanding we should not 
neglect or reject the doctrine of the divine Word, but 
precisely on that account, in order to avert all abuse 
and misunderstanding, the true meaning should and 
must be explained from the foundation of the Scrip 
tures. (Jacobs ed., pp. 649, 650.) This eternal elec 
tion or appointment of God to eternal life is also 
not to be considered merely in God s secret, inscru 
table counsel in such a manner as though it comprised 
in itself nothing further, or nothing more belonged 
thereto, and nothing more were to be considered 
therein, than that God foresaw who and how many 
would be saved, and who and how many would be 
damned, or that He only held a review, and would 
say thus: "This one shall be saved, that one shall be 
damned; this one shall remain steadfast [in faith to 
the end], that one shall not remain steadfast." For 

Of the Protestant Union. 181 

from this many derive and adopt strange, danger 
ous and pernicious thoughts, which occasion and 
strengthen either security and impenitence or de 
spondency and despair, so that they fall into trouble 
some thoughts and [for thus some think, with peril 
to themselves, nay, even sometimes] speak thus: 
Since "before the foundation of the world was laid" 
(Eph. 1, 4) "God has foreknown [predestinated] His 
elect for salvation, and God s foreknowledge cannot 
err or be injured or changed by any one" (Isa. 14, 27; 
Rom. 9, 19), "if I, then, am foreknown [elected] for 
salvation, nothing can injure me with respect to it, 
even though, without repentance, I. practice all sorts 
of sin and shame, do not regard the Word and sacra 
ments, concern myself neither with repentance, faith, 
prayer nor godliness. But I nevertheless will and 
must be saved; because God s foreknowledge [elec 
tion] must come to pass. If, however, I am not fore 
known [predestinated], it nevertheless helps me noth 
ing, even though I would observe the Word, repent, 
believe, etc. ; for I cannot hinder or change God s fore 
knowledge [predestination]." And such thoughts 
occur indeed even to godly hearts, although, by God s 
grace, they have repentance, faith and a good pur 
pose [of living in a godly manner], so that they think: 
"If you are not foreknown [predestinated or elected] 
from eternity for salvation, everything [your every 
effort and entire labor] is of no avail." This espe 
cially occurs when they regard their weakness and the 
examples of those who have not persevered [in faith 
to the end], but have fallen away again [from true god- 

182 Distinctive Doctrines. 

liness to ungodliness, and have become apostates]. 
Against this false delusion and such dangerous 
thoughts we should establish the following firm foun 
dation, which is sure and cannot fail, namely: Since 
all Scripture has been given by God, not for [cher 
ishing] security and impenitence, but should serve 
"for reproof, for correction, for instruction in right 
eousness" (2 Tim. 3, 16); also, since everything in 
God s Word has been prescribed to us, not that we 
should thereby be driven to despair, but "that we, 
through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might 
have hope" (Rom. 15, 4); it is without doubt in no 
way the sound sense or right use of the doctrine con 
cerning the eternal foreknowledge of God that thereby 
either impenitence or despair should be occasioned 
or strengthened. Therefore the Scriptures present 
to us this doctrine in no other way than to direct u& 
thereby to the [revealed] Word (Eph. 1, 13; 1 Cor. 1, 
7), exhort to repentance (2 Tim. 3, 16), urge to god 
liness (Eph. 1, 14; John 15, 3), strengthen faith and 
assure us of our salvation (Eph. 1, 13; John 10, 
27 sq.; 2 Thess. 2, 13 sq.). (Jacobs ed., pp. 651, 652.) 
And of this we should not judge according to our 
reason, also not according to the Law or from any 
external appearance. Neither should we attempt to 
investigate the secret, concealed abyss of divine pre 
destination, but should give heed to the revealed will 
of God. For He has "made known unto us the mys 
tery of His will," and made it manifest through Christ 
that it might be preached (Eph. 1, 9 sqq.; 2 Tim. 
1, 9 sq.). (Jacobs ed., p. 653.) Thus far is the 

Of the Protestant Union. 183 

mystery of predestination revealed to us in God s 
Word, and if we abide thereby and cleave thereto, 
it is a very useful, salutary, consolatory doctrine; for 
it establishes very effectually the article that we are 
justified and saved without all works and merits of 
ours, purely out of grace, alone for Christ s sake. 
For before the ages of the world, before we were born, 
yea, before the foundation of the world was laid, 
when we indeed could do nothing good, we were 
according to God s purpose chosen out of grace in 
Christ to salvation (Rom. 9, 11; 2 Tim. 1, 9). All 
opinions and erroneous doctrines concerning the 
powers of our natural will are thereby overthrown, 
because God in His counsel, before the ages of the 
world, decided and ordained that He Himself, by the 
power of His Holy Ghost, would produce and work 
in us, through the Word, everything that pertains to 
our conversion. Therefore this doctrine affords also 
the excellent, glorious consolation that God was so 
solicitous concerning the conversion, righteousness 
and salvation of every Christian, and so faithfully 
provided therefor, that before the foundation of the 
world was laid He deliberated concerning it, and in 
His [secret] purpose ordained how He would bring 
me thereto [call and lead me to salvation] and pre 
serve me therein. Also, that He wished to secure my 
salvation so well and certainly that since, through the 
weakness and wickedness of our flesh, it could easily 
be lost from our hands, or through craft and might 
of the devil and the world be torn or removed there 
from, in His eternal purpose, which cannot fail or 

184 Distinctive Doctrines. 

be overthrown, He ordained it, and placed it for 
preservation in the almighty hand of our Savior 
Jesus Christ, from which no one can pluck us (John 
10, 28). Hence Paul also says (Rom. 8, 28. 39): 
"Because we have been called according to the pur 
pose of God, who will separate us from the love of 
God in Christ?" 

Under the cross also and amid temptations this 
doctrine affords glorious consolation, namely, that 
God in His counsel, before the time of the world, 
determined and decreed that He would assist us in 
all distresses [anxieties and perplexities], grant pa 
tience [under the cross], give consolation, excite 
[nourish and encourage] hope, and produce such a 
result as would contribute to our salvation * * * 
This article also affords a glorious testimony that the 
Church of God will abide against all the gates of 
hell, and likewise teaches what is the true Church of 
God, so that we may not be offended by the greaf 
authority [and majestic appearance] of the false 
Church (Rom. 9, 24. 25). 

From this article also powerful admonitions and 
warnings are derived, as (Luke 7, 30) : "They re 
jected the counsel of God against themselves." Luke 
14, 24: "I say unto you that none of those men which 
were bidden shall taste of my supper." Also (Matt. 
20, 16) : "Many be called but few chosen." Also (Luke 
8, 8. 18): "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," 
and: "Take heed how ye hear." Thus the doctrine 
concerning this article can be employed with profit 

Of the Protestant Union. 185 

for consolation, and so as to contribute to salvation. 
(Jacobs ed., pp. 657, 658.) 

When we proceed thus far in this article we re 
main upon the right [safe and royal] way, as it is 
written (Hos. 13, 9): "O Israel, thou hast destroyed 
thyself; but in me is thy help." But with respect to 
that in this disputation which will proceed too high 
and beyond these limits, we should, with Paul, place 
the finger upon our lips, and remember and say 
(Rom. 9, 20): "O man, who art thou, that repliest 
against God?" For that in this article we neither can 
nor should inquire after and investigate everything, 
the great apostle Paul declares [by his own example]. 
For when, after having argued much concerning this 
article from the revealed Word of God, he conies to 
where he points out what, concerning this mystery, 
God has reserved for His hidden wisdom, he sup 
presses and cuts off the discussion with the follow 
ing words (Rom. 11, 33 sq.): "Oh the depth of the 
riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! 
how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways 
past finding out! For who hath known the mind 
of the Lord?" i. e. in addition to and beyond that 
which He has revealed in His Word. Therefore this 
eternal election of God is to be considered in Christ, 
and npt beyond or without Christ. For "in Christ," 
testifies the apostle Paul (Eph. 1, 4 sq.), "He hath 
chosen us before the foundation of the world"; as 
it is written: "He hath made us accepted in .the Be 
loved." * * * For it has been decided by the 
Father from eternity that whom He would save He 

186 Distinctive Doctrines. 

would save through Christ (John 14, 6) "No mar* 
cometh unto the Father but by me." And again 
(John 10, 9) : "I am the door; by me, if any man enter 
in, he shall be saved." (Jacobs ed., pp. 660, 661.) 

2. Of the pure Doctrine Concerning the 

(From the Formula of Concord.) 

And this call of God, which is made through the 
preaching of the Word, we should regard as no de 
lusion, but know that thereby God reveals His will, 
viz. that in those whom He thus calls He will work 
through the Word, that they may be enlightened, 
converted and saved. For the Word whereby we are 
called, is "a ministration of the Spirit," that gives the 
Spirit, or whereby the Spirit is given (2 Cor. 3, 8), and 
"a power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1, 16). And 
since the Holy Ghost wishes to be efficacious through 
the Word, and to strengthen and give power and 
ability, it is God s will that we should receive the Word, 
believe and obey it. (Jacobs ed., p. 654.) 

And in order that we may come to Christ, the Holy 
Ghost works, through the hearing of the Word, true 
faith, as the apostle testifies when he says (Rom. 10, 
17): "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the 
Word of God," viz. when it is preached in its purity 
and without adulteration. (Jacobs ed v p. 661.) 

We teach that it is God s command that we believe 
such absolution, and regard it as sure, when we be 
lieve the word of absolution, that we are as truly rec 
onciled to God as though we had heard a voice from- 

Of the Protestant Union. 187 

heaven; as the Apology explains this article. This 
consolation would be entirely taken from us if we 
were not to infer the will of God towards us from 
the call which is made through the Word and through 
the sacraments. There would also be overthrown 
and taken from us the foundation that the Holy Ghost 
wishes to be certainly present with the Word preached, 
heard, considered, and thereby to be efficacious and 
to work. (Jacobs ed., p. 656.) 

(From L,oehe s essay "On the divine Word as the L,ight 
which leads to Peace.") 

Now when a soul is awakened and begins to in 
quire earnestly: "What must I do to be saved?" the 
answer is very properly given : "Seek Jesus and His 
light, all else will help thee nothing." But as a rule 
there is ^ very poor advice given as to where to seek 
Christ. For the most part the inquirer is told to seek 
the Lord on his knees, to call upon Him in the spirit 
of longing and desire, and He will not fail to appear 
in His own time, at the appointed hour. The poor 
souls now try everything ; they cry, they call upon the 
Almighty and will not leave Him except He bless 
them; and the omnipresent One, who hears the cry 
even of the young ravens, blesses them also with a 
gracious sense of His presence. Full of joy the awak 
ened inquirer arises from his knees and believes be 
lieves that he has now found his Savior; his trembling 
heart would gladly die, like Simeon, for he has seen the 
salvation of God. But, alas, this is all transitory; 
such seasons are often given to the child, to the young 
man, in Christ; but the older one grows as a Chris- 

188 Distinctive Doctrines. 

tian, the more seldom is one favored with such emo 
tions of joy; and if one has measured his Christianity 
by them it falls to the ground and is replaced by a 
gloomy longing for that which is behind, is changed 
into a pitiful pillar of salt, like Lot s wife, who looked 
back, and in doing so> failed to reach Zoar, the quiet 
haven of rest, which lay before her. 

Hence when any one is awakened it should be our 
first care to tell him not to regard the excitement of 
his mind, and the joy which he may possibly expe 
rience (for not every awakening is characterized by 
strong whether sweet or bitter emotions) as the 
permanent and chief thing in this matter; that he 
should rejoice as though not rejoicing, not place so 
much stress upon his feelings, that in their absence 
the foundation pillars would be shaken; much rather 
should he and this we advise above all else from 
the beginning to the end of his spiritual life, look, not 
to that within himself, which is always changeable, 
but to the unchangeable promises of the Word of 
God, which, thanks be to God! are outside of us, are 
not affected by our feelings, are a divine pledge and 
assurance, nay a deed and charter for redeemed souls. 
Yes, we should teach awakened Christians to regard 
these promises as being far greater and more import 
ant than their faith. 

As much higher as God is than man, so much 
higher is God s Word and promise than our faith. 
By so much as our salvation depends upon God more 
than upon us, by so much also it is more important 
that God s Word should not fail than that our faith 

Of the Protestant Union. 189 

should not fail. Faith is little and great; God s Word 
is always the same. God s Word is His faithfulness 
and mercy revealed; God s Word is His gracious or 
wrathful presence, according as each one chooses; 
where God s Word and promise are, there too are 
His gracious and life-giving powers. 

If therefore any one is awakened, we should cer 
tainly give him the advice : "Seek Jesus and His light, 
all else will help thee nothing." But direct him to 
God s Word, the Holy Scriptures, and tell him: 
"These are they which testify of Him!" Do not tell 
him to begin by asking on his knees for divine reve 
lation, but gratefully and gladly to accept the already 
existing revelation and manifestation of God which 
we have in His Word. Show him by plain, forcible 
passages from the Holy Scriptures who Jesus is, what 
His office and work are, how great His faithfulness; 
then tell him, with the authority and confidence of a 
redeemed child of God, as His messenger: "Now 
you know Him, He is present everywhere, especially 
where His Word is, where His name is recorded; He 
loves those who do not seek Him, why not those who 
do seek Him ? How dare you contradict His prom 
ises for the sake of deceitful and desperately wicked 
hearts? Do you think that His heart is like yours? 
No, no, His is mercy and faithfulness; you are un 
merciful and unfaithful to Him. He knows it, He 
knows you. Trust His Word, do not begin to doubt 
it; everything else may slip away from you; yes, let 
happen what will with everything else: His promise 
will not fail thee. In the world you have tribulation 

190 Distinctive Doctrines. 

what does it matter? With Him, in His promises, 
you have peace." When we have thus driven souls 
into such straits (Boos s autobiography furnishes 
striking examples) that they must yield and submit 
to being saved by the Word, we should thenceforth 
not trust in human devices, not in our praying and 
watching, in fact in no efforts of our own; no, let 
the same means which brought these souls to Jesus, 
and taught them to know Him, keep them in com 
munion with Him, viz. a firm, unwavering faith in 
God s Word and promise. No matter into what 
temptations, errors or feelings one may be led, let 
him always hold fast to the difference between God 
and men, God s Word and human feeling, God s 
faithfulness and man s faith, and thus always return 
to that implicit though insensible faith which clings 
alone to the Word to the narrow way on which 
Thomas walked, viz. to believe though we do not see; 
let us praise and magnify the name of Him who keep- 
eth Israel, who neither slumbers nor sleeps, who 
knows all troubled souls and their distress, and there 
fore has revealed to them such glorious, affecting 
words concerning His covenant of peace which can 
not be overthrown, in order that they, encompassed 
on all sides by dogs and untamed monsters, may 
always have that unerring light for their feet, His 
promises, which, like the sun, arise, but together with 
the healing on their wings., never set. In this way 
we furnish souls with an objective point beyond the 
world, whence these are lifted out of their hinges and 
the body is transformed into thoughts of peace; thus 

Of the Protestant Union. 191 

we secure hearts that are gentle, but fixed, and that 
-endure patiently in the warfare of life. He who 
exercises himself in this blind (and yet how bright!) 
confidence in the Word learns to understand the 
fight of faith; he embraces not only the Word, but 
in the Word the Lord Himself, who is called a Rock, 
and thus he himself gradually assumes the nature of 
a rock, that cannot by the strength of any misfortune 
be uprooted or moved from its foundation. Let us 
show troubled souls everywhere and in every instance, 
that all want vanishes, that all sins are forgiven as 
soon as we turn again with implicit trust to the Word 
of the cross, nay, that all misery and all sins are due 
only to this, viz. that we depart again and again from 
the unfelt faith and trust in God s promises. 

Let us not compromise the Scriptures in any re 
spect, let us not submit to any man however correct 
his utterances may be, in order that the people may 
look, not to men who are unreliable and must soon 
pass away, but to God alone, and learn to derive 
comfort from His Word. If any be tormented with 
doubts, let us not try to remove them with proofs 
founded upon reason, for the one so troubled cannot 
see that doubts have their origin, not in reason, but 
in unreason and folly; he imagines that it is quite 
reasonable for him to doubt. Hold up before the 
doubter a declaration of God s Word, never for a 
moment relinquishing the position that this is far 
.above all doubts. Such implicit trust and firm faith 
on the part of a pastor will dispel doubts and revive 
confidence where it has fallen asleep. Reason which 

192 Distinctive Doctrines. 

rises up against God is driven from the field by that 
free and bold contempt of reason which makes God s 
Word its boast. If any one sincerely repents, pro 
nounce the absolution of the Lord with divine author 
ity and assure him that the absolution is greater and 
mightier than all the sins of the world. If any trem 
ble in the hour of death, begin a prayer of thanksgiving 
to Him in whose Holy Scriptures every third word 
speaks of eternal life, and magnify to the dying one 
the great certainty of the divine promise, compared 
with which Death himself is a shameful liar. If any 
one be tempted by Satan s craft and power, we know 
what sword to place in his hand. If any one would 
clear and justify himself, show him the judgment 
which God has pronounced upon all men in His Word, 
and how the judgment of God puts to naught all the 
illusions of men. If any one would sin, show him 
God s love and warnings, wrath and curses as ex 
pressed in His Word what can we do more? 

Thus Christ met His enemies the serpent and 
the seed of the serpent and overcame them every 
time until He cried out: "It is finished!" Thus 
Luther in the name of God overthrew the pope s glory 
and all his lies. Thus each one can for himself gain 
the victory. Only let us under all circumstances, at 
all times, in word and life, stand by the Word of God: 
this is the best, most pointed, most tranquil, most con 
scientious Protestantism. For without the founda 
tion of the divine Word faith soars in the air and in 
the mist, is a dream and a fancy. 

Of the Protestant Union. 193 

3. Of the pure Doctrine Concerning Baptism. 

(lather s L,arge Catechism.) 

It is of the greatest importance that we esteem 
Baptism excellent, glorious and exalted, for which 
we chiefly contend and fight, because the world is now 
so full of sects exclaiming that Baptism is a merely 
external thing, and that external things are of no 
use. But let it be ever so much an external thing, 
here stand God s Word and commandment which 
have instituted, established and confirmed Baptism. 
But what God has instituted and commanded cannot 
be a vain, useless thing, but must be most precious, 
though in external appearance it be of less value than 
a straw. (Jacobs ed., p. 466.) 

From this now derive a proper understanding of 
the subject, and when asked what Baptism is, answer, 
that it is not simply water, but water comprehended 
in God s Word and commandment, and sanctified 
thereby, so that it is nothing else than a divine water; 
not that the water in itself is better than other water, 
but that God s Word and commandment are added. 
Therefore it is pure wickedness and blasphemy of the 
devil that now our new spirits mock at Baptism, sep 
arate it from God s Word and institution, and regard 
nothing but the water which is taken from the well; 
and then they prate and say: How is a handful of 
water to save souls? Yes indeed, my friend, who 
does not know as much as that, that if they be sep 
arated from one another water is water? But how 
dare you thus interfere with God s order, and tear 
out the most precious jewel with which God has con- 

194 Distinctive Doctrines. 

nected it and set it, and which He will not have sep 
arated? For the germ in the water is God s Word 
and commandment and the name of God, which. is a 
treasure greater and nobler than heaven and earth. 

Thus we now comprehend the difference, that 
Baptism is quite another thing from all other water; 
not on account of the natural water, but because 
something more noble is here added. For God Him 
self stakes His honor, His power and might thereon. 
Therefore it is not simply natural water, but a divine, 
heavenly, holy and blessed water, and in whatever other 
terms we can praise it, all on account of the Word, 
which is a heavenly, holy Word, that no one can suf 
ficiently extol, for it has and is able to do all that God 
is and can do [since it has all the virtue and power 
of God comprised in it]. Hence also it derives its 
character as a sacrament, as St. Augustine also 
taught: "Accedat verbum ad elcmentum ct fit sacramen- 
tmn." That is, when the Word is joined to the ele 
ment or natural substance it becomes a sacrament, 
that is, something holy and divine, and a holy and 
divine sign. 

Therefore we always teach that the sacraments and 
all external things which God has ordained and in 
stituted should not be regarded according to the 
coarse, external mask, as we regard the shell of a 
nut, but as the Word of God is included therein. For 
thus we also speak of the parental estate and of civil 
government. If we would regard the persons in such 
estate, according to their noses, eyes, skin, and hair, 
flesh and bones, we should find them to look like 

Of the Protestant Union. 195 

Turks and heathen. And you might well proceed to 
say: Why should I esteem them more than others? 
But because the commandment of God is added: 
"Honor thy father and thy mother I see quite another 
man, adorned and clothed with the majesty and glory 
of God. The commandment (I say) is the chain of 
gold about his neck, yea, the crown upon his head, 
which shows to me how and why I shall honor this 
flesh and blood. 

Thus, and much more even, we must honor Bap 
tism, and esteem it glorious, on account of the Word, 
as being honored both in word and deed by God 
Himself, and confirmed with miracles from heaven. 
For do you think it was a jest that when Christ was 
baptized the heavens opened and the Holy Ghost 
descended visibly, and there was nothing present but 
divine glory and majesty? Therefore I exhort again 
that these two, the water and the Word, be by no 
means separated. For if the Word be taken away, 
the water is the same as that with which the servant 
cooks, and may indeed be called a bath-keeper s bap 
tism. But when the Word is added, as God has 
ordained, it is a sacrament, and is called Christian 
Baptism. (Jacobs ed., pp. 467, 468.) 

But as our would-be wise, new spirits declare that 
faith alone saves, and that works and everything 
external avail nothing, we answer: It is true, noth 
ing in us is in any way effectual but faith, as we shall 
hear still further. But this these blind guides are 
unwilling to see, viz. that faith must have something 
which it is to believe, something of which it may take 

196 Distinctive Doctrines. 

hold, and upon which it can stand and rest. Thus- 
faith clings to the water, and believes that in Baptism 
is pure salvation and life; not in the water (as we 
have said plainly enough), but in the Word and in 
stitution of God incorporated therein, and the name 
of God which inheres in it. If I believe this, what 
else is that but believing in God as in Him who has 
given and set His Word in this ordinance, and pro 
poses to us this external element wherein we may 
apprehend such a treasure. We therefore say that 
it is madness to separate faith, and that wherein faith 
adheres and to which it is bound, though it be some 
thing external. Yea, it must be something external 
that it may be apprehended by the senses, compre 
hended, and thereby be brought into the heart, as 
indeed the entire Gospel is an external, verbal procla 
mation. (Jacobs ed., p. 469.) 

Therefore every Christian has enough in Baptism 
to learn and to practice all his life. For he has al 
ways enough to do to believe firmly what Baptism 
promises and brings, viz. victory over death and the 
devil, forgiveness of sin, the grace of God, the entire 
Christ and the Holy Ghost with His gifts. In short, 
it is so transcendent that if timid nature consider it, 
it might well doubt whether it could be true. For 
only consider, if there were somewhere a physician 
who understood the art of saving men from dying, 
or, if they died, of restoring them to life, so that they 
would live forever, how the world would pour in 
money like snow and rain, so that because of the 
throng of the rich no one could find access! But 

Of the Protestant Union. 197 

here in Baptism there is brought free to every one s 
door such a treasure and such medicine as utterly de 
stroys death and preserves all men alive. 

We must so regard Baptism and avail ourselves 
of its blessings, that when our sins and conscience 
oppress us we strengthen ourselves and take comfort 
and say: I am baptized, and if baptized it is promised 
me that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both 
in soul and body. (Jacobs ed., p. 471.) 

4. Concerning the pure Doctrine of the kord s Supper* 

(Sartorius "On Holy Love.") 

As St. John (1 John 4, 8) so truly says: He that 
loveth not knoweth not God, so we may also say of 
the Lord s Supper: He that loveth not knoweth it 
not. It is, as remarked above, the littleness of faith 
in the greatness of divine love which ignores and 
disparages the mysteries of the Christian religion, 
which are so great just because so full of love. Just 
as everything which disparages the divine exaltation 
of the person of Christ or the depth of His conde 
scension and drags down the ever-present Christ to 
one absent and belonging to the past, is a disparage 
ment of divine love, so too everything that deprives 
the Lord s Supper of that which it contains and im 
parts and, denying that it is what it really is, makes of 
it only a mere type. True, even that already is a 
mark of love, if any one gives another an image or 
likeness of himself as a memento; but how small 
when compared with this, that one gives his present 
self to another as a bond of love and friendship. If 

198 Distinctive Doctrines. 

Christ, in departing from His disciples, as to 
visible presence, had left them, in His testament before 
His death, only a type, a shadow, how immeasurably 
much would not only His first disciples, who had 
stood in direct, in the closest, communion with Him, 
have lost by His going away from them, but much 
more yet all later disciples of later times, all of whom 
would be directed to a shadow instead of the sub 
stance, although just in the New Testament the 
shadows of the good things to come were to give 
place to the substance thereof and a perpetual, real 
communion with the true High Priest and His sacri 
fice was to be instituted (Heb. 10, 1). It was these 
that Christ wanted to provide for in the night in which 
He was betrayed by instituting for all following gen 
erations of Christendom, for the whole future of His 
Church, until He comes again, the holy sacrament of 
the communion of His body and blood. Besides, if 
indeed bread and wine are only a type and image of 
that Christ who has vanished from His Church, how 
poorly typical would they be as such, how far short 
would they fall of a picture of Christ as compared 
with a crucifix; and how unbecoming it would be to 
consume these typical tokens of remembrance right 
after receiving them, instead of keeping them framed, 
under glass, as in the case of a monstrance, for a per 
petual memorial. There is a remarkable contradic* 
tion in this, that the very persons who laid so much 
stress on the prohibition: Thou shalt not make unto 
thee any image or likeness, also so strongly insisted^ 

Of the Protestant Union. 199 

on making bread and wine a mere type and image of 
the body and blood of Christ. 

(Luther s " Large Confession Concerning the Lord s Supper.") 

Behold, what a fine, great, wonderful thing it is, 
how well it all fits together, and is essentially a sacra 
ment. The words are the chief thing, for without the 
words the cup and the bread would be nothing. 
Further, without the bread and cup the body and blood 
of Christ would not be there. Without the body and 
blood of Christ the New Testament would not be 
there. Without the New Testament there would be 
no forgiveness of sins there. Without the forgive 
ness of sins life and salvation would not be there. So 
then, in the first place, the words comprise the bread 
and the cup for the sacrament, the bread and the cup 
comprise the body and blood of Christ, the body and 
blood of Christ comprise the New Testament. The 
New Testament comprises the forgiveness of sins, the 
forgiveness of sins comprises everlasting life and sal 
vation. Behold, all this the words of the Lord s 
Supper bring and give to us, and we embrace it with 
faith; should then the devil not be the enemy of such 
sacrament and employ fanatics against it? 

(Luther "That the Words, etc., still stand fast.") 

It is true, according to the wisdom of Oekolam- 
padius, Christ has no other honor than that He sits 
at the right hand of God on a velvet cushion, and 
lets the angels sing, fiddle, tingle and play for Him, 
and is unburdened with cares about the Lord s Supper; 
but according to the faith of us poor sinners and fools 

200 Distinctive Doctrines. 

His honor is manifold, that His body and blood are 
in the Lord s Supper. In the first place this, that 
thereby He makes the learned and wise fanatics to 
be fools, and lets them take offense and stumble at 
His words and works (1 Cor. 1, 23). Now that is 
indeed a great honor of divine wisdom, and to us who 
are foolish He is a glorious, praiseworthy God, who 
can confound the wise with foolish things, and bring 
their wisdom to shame, so that they must be blind 
where they would be the very wisest (1 Cor. 1, 27). In 
the second place this redounds to the honor and praise 
of His inexpressible grace, that He regards us poor 
sinners so much and shows us so much love and such 
great benefits, not being satisfied to be everywhere, 
in and about us, over and around us, but also gives 
us His own body for food, to assure and comfort us 
with such pledge, that our bodies also shall live for 
ever, since here on earth already they partake of 
eternal and living food. Now we poor fools hold, 
that this is a reason for honoring any one, when he 
shows his grace, goodness and favor to others, for 
that is a miserable honor and not a divine honor when 
any one seeks for himself the honor and service of 
others; hence it would be well enough to send the 
fanatics to school so that they might learn what honor 
is. * * Our God s honor is this, that He, for 

our sakes, deigns to come clown into the very depths, 
into our flesh, into the bread, into our mouth, heart 
and bosom, and besides this suffers for our sakes, so 
that He is ill treated, both on the cross and altar, as 
St. Paul says 1 Cor. 1.1, 27, that some eat of this bread 

Of the Protestant Union. 201 

unworthily. He suffers continually, that His Word, 
His work and everything that He has is persecuted, 
slandered, dishonored and abused before His divine 
eyes, and still sits in His glory. 

5. Concerning the pure Doctrine of the person of Christ. 

(The Formula of Concord says in Luther s Words.) 

"Zwingli calls that an alloeosis when anything is 
ascribed to the divinity of Christ which nevertheless 
belongs to the humanity or the reverse. As Luke 
24, 26: Ought not Christ to have suffered these 
things, and to enter into His glory? Here Zwingli 
triflingly declares that [the word] Christ is understood 
with respect to the human nature. Beware, beware, 
I say, of the alloeosis; for it is a mask of the devil, 
as it at last forms such a Christ after which I certainly 
would not be a Christian. For its design is that 
henceforth Christ should be no more, and do no more 
with His sufferings and life, than another mere saint. 
For if I believe [permit myself to be persuaded] that 
only the human nature has suffered for me, Christ is 
to me a Savior of little worth, since He indeed Him 
self stands in need of a Savior. In a word, what the 
devil seeks by the alloeosis is inexpressible." And 
shortly afterwards: "If the old sorceress, Dame Rea 
son, the grandmother of the alloeosis, should say, Yea, 
divinity can neither suffer nor die; you should reply, 
That is true; yet, because in Christ divinity and hu 
manity are one person, Scripture, on account of this 
personal union, ascribes also to divinity everything 
that occurs to the humanity, and the reverse. And 

202 Distinctive Doctrines. 

thus, indeed, it is in truth. For this must certainly 
be said [acknowledged], viz. the person (he refers to 
Christ) suffers and dies. Now the person is true God; 
therefore it is rightly said: The Son of God suffers. 
For although the one part (so to say), viz. the divinity, 
does not suffer, yet the person, which is God, suffers- 
in the other part, viz. in His humanity; for in truth 
God s Son has been crucified for us, i. e. the person 
which is God. For the person, the person, I say, was 
crucified according to the humanity." And again 
shortly afterwards: "If the allceosis exist, as Zwingli 
proposes, it will be necessary for Christ to have two 
persons, one divine and one human, because Zwingli 
applies the passages concerning suffering, alone to 
the human nature, and of course diverts them from 
the divinity. For if the works be parted and dis 
united, the person must also be divided, since all the 
works or sufferings are ascribed, not to the natures, 
but to the person. For it is the person that does and 
suffers everything, one thing according to one nature,, 
and another according to the other nature, all of which 
the learned know well. Therefore we consider our 
Lord Christ as God and man in one person, so that 
we neither confound the natures nor divide the 

Dr. Luther says also in his book, "Of the Councils 
and the Church": "We Christians must know that if 
God were not in the [one] balance and gave it weight, 
we would sink to the ground with our scale of the 
balance. By this I mean : If it were not said [if these 
things were not true], God has died for us, but only 

Of the Protestant Union. 203 

a man, we are lost. But if the death of God, and that 
God died, lie in the scale of the balance, He sinks 
down, and we rise up as a light, empty scale. But He 
also can indeed rise again or spring from the scale; 
yet He could not have descended into the scale unless 
He had first become a man like us, so that it could 
be said: God died, God s passion, God s blood/ 
God s death. For in His nature God cannot die; 
but now God and man are united in one person, so 
that the expression God s death is correct, when the 
man dies who is one thing or one person with God." 
(Jacobs ed., pp. 631, 632.) 

(Luther s Works. Leipzig Ed. XXI, p. 270.) 

O Lord God, in view of this blessed article, so full 
of comfort, we should always, in true faith, without 
strife and doubt, be joyful, sing, praise and thank God 
the Father for this inexpressible mercy, that He per 
mitted His dear Son to become man like unto us, even 
our brother. But the miserable devil causes such 
apathy through proud, envious, desperate men, that 
our love and blessed peace are hindered and destroyed. 
Let us bring this plaint before God. 

(Formula of Concord with Luther, p. 640.) 

"Wherever you can say : Here is God/ there you 
must also say: Therefore Christ the man is also there/ 
And if you would show a place where God would be, 
and not the man, the person would be already divided, 
because I could then say with truth : Here is God who 
is not man, and who never as yet has become man/ 
Far be it from me that I should acknowledge or wor- 

204 Distinctive Doctrines. 

ship such a God. For it would follow hence that 
space and place separated the two natures from one 
another, and divided the person, which, nevertheless, 
death and all devils could not divide or rend from one 
another. And there would remain to me a poor sort 
of Christ [a Christ of how much value, pray?], who 
would be no more than a divine and human person 
at the same time in only one place, and in all other 
places He must be only a mere separate God and 
divine person without humanity. No, friend, wher 
ever you place God for me, there you must also place 
with Him for me humanity; they do not allow them 
selves to be separated or divided from one another. 
They became one person, which [as the Son of God] 
does not separate from itself [the assumed humanity]." 
(Jacobs ed., pp. 640, 641.) 

Therefore we regard it a pernicious error when 
to Christ, according to His humanity, such majesty is 
denied. For thereby there is removed from Chris 
tians the very great consolation which they have from 
the presence and dwelling with them of their Head, 
King and High Priest, who has promised them that 
not only His mere divinity should be with them, which 
to us poor sinners is as a consuming fire to dry stub 
ble, but that very man who has spoken with us, who 
has experienced all troubles in His assumed human 
nature, who can therefore have with us, as with men 
and brethren, sympathy, will be with us in all our 
troubles also according to the nature in which He is 
our brother and we are flesh of His flesh. (Jacobs 
ed., p. 641.) 

Of the Protestant Union. 205 

We admonish all Christians, since in the Holy 
Scriptures Christ is called a mystery, upon which all 
heretics dash their heads, not in a presumptuous man 
ner to indulge in subtile inquiries with their reason 
concerning such mysteries, but with the venerated 
apostles simply to believe, to close the eyes of their 
reason, and bring into captivity their understanding 
to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10, 5), and thence 
console themselves [seek most delightful and sure 
consolation]; and thus rejoice without ceasing that 
our flesh and blood are placed so high at tlie right 
hand of the majesty and almighty power of God. 
Thus will we assuredly find constant consolation in 
every adversity, and remain well guarded from per 
nicious error. (Jacobs ed., pp. 642, 643.) 


(I,uther s warning against false union ; in connection with Gal. 5, 9 : 
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.) 

This is a warning which St. Paul deems of great 
importance, as we also should, especially in our time. 
For those who pretend that the body and blood of 
Christ are not present in the Lord s Supper censure 
and speak evil of us, that we are contentious, stubborn 
and unfriendly, and for the sake of a single article 
concerning the sacrament interfere with Christian love 
and destroy the unity of the Church. They think 
therefore that we should not attach so much import 
ance to this article, upon which not so much depends, 
and which is connected with a good deal of uncer 
tainty since the apostles did not explain it as much 

206 Distinctive Doctrines. 

as would seem necessary, as for its sake to allow both 
the whole system of Christian doctrine and the com 
mon unity of so many Christian congregations to go 
to pieces. 

Therefore we answer to their pretext with St. Paul 
and say: A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 
Just as in philosophy, if we err a little in the outset it 
will at last grow to an incomparably great error, so 
also in theology a little error destroys and corrupts 
the whole system of Christian doctrine. Therefore 
we should well distinguish between doctrine and life. 
The doctrine is not ours, it is God s, who has made us 
to be only servants and ministers of it. Therefore 
we neither should nor can yield or give up the smallest 
tittle or letter thereof. The life is ours, therefore the 
Sacramentarians can ask nothing of us except what we 
are willing to and ought to do, suffer, forgive, etc., 
within this limit, however, that nothing be yielded in 
doctrine and faith. For here we always say with St. 
Paul: A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 
Therefore in this matter we cannot yield a hair s 
breadth. For as to doctrine, it is so exactly circum 
scribed, its boundaries so well marked, that we can 
neither add to it nor take from it without great and 
notable injury. But as regards our life we are at 
liberty to take more upon ourselves or to yield some 
thing, to do and suffer, as necessity may require. 

St. JSmes in his epistle aptly and well says: Who 
soever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one 
point, he is guilty of all. He says this not of himself, 
but undoubtedly as he heard it from the apostles. 

Of the Protestant Union. 207 

Therefore we must regard doctrine as being like unto 
a fine, solid, gold ring, in which there is neither flaw 
nor fissure, for as soon as such a ring has a flaw or 
fissure it is no more entire. 

Therefore in that they esteem this matter so 
lightly, they show very plainly what estimate they 
place upon the majesty and glory of the divine Word, 
etc. If they really and heartily believe that it is God s 
Word, they would not toy and trifle with it in so trivial 
a manner, but bestow upon it the highest honor, and 
believe without doubt and controversy what it says 
and presents to them, would also know, that one 
Word of God embraces all, and again that all the 
Word of God is included in one; would know, that all 
the articles of our Christian faith are one and again 
that one embraces all, and that if we let one slip, all 
the others will, in time, one by one also be lost. 

Therefore we let it pass, that they boast of Chris 
tian love as much as they can: we on. the other hand 
boast of the majesty and glory of the divine Word 
and faith. Love may indeed yield, and it involves 
no harm or danger; but this is not the case with the 
Word and faith. Love must endure all things and 
yield to every one, faith on the other hand must and 
can endure nothing and in short can yield to no one. 
Love, however willingly it yields, believes all things, 
excuses, forgives and endures all things, is often de 
ceived: at the same time, however, all these decep 
tions can do her no injury that could really be called 
an injury, that is, she does not on that account lose 
Christ, even though she be deceived. Therefore she 

208 Distinctive Doctrines. 

does not permit herself to be perplexed, goes right on, 
helps and does good to every one, even the unthankful 
and those who are not worthy of it. 

On the other hand, in matters that pertain to our 
salvation we can, of course, yield nothing in love, can 
approve of no error, can not call it right. For in this 
case we would lose not only a benefit shown to an 
unthankful person, but the Word, faith, Christ Him 
self and eternal life. 

I have expressed this with so many words in order 
to confirm those who are of our part, and to teach the 
others, who may possibly be offended by our firmness 
and think that we are so positive arid bold without 
any good reason. Therefore we are not at all to be 
led astray by their much boasting of their willingness 
to preserve love and unity between us and themselves, 
and how it grieves them that these are to be rent 
asunder. For if any one does not love and honor God 
and His Word, no matter what else he may love, it will 
not help him. Etc. 

Hence St. Paul, in this passage, admonishes both 
teachers and hearers not to think that the doctrine of 
faith is a matter of so little importance that we can toy 
with it for pastime as we please. It is the sunlight that 
comes down from heaven and enlightens us, inflames 
and governs us. But just as the whole world with all 
its wisdom and power cannot turn the sunlight that 
comes from heaven to earth from its course, so we 
can neither take anything from nor add anything to 
the doctrine of faith, unless indeed we want to per 
vert it altogether. 



"l^T^OST intimately connected with the Reformed 

1^7 I Church are the Arminians (named after their 

JL founder Arminius, d. 1609), who made their ap- 

pearance in the Dutch Reformed Church about 

the beginning of the 17th century, in opposition especially to 

the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, but who therewith 

also fell into the false doctrine of salvation by works and 

finally into Rationalism. 

They teach : 

1. In regard to the Word of God, that not the 
whole content of the Holy Scriptures, without dis 
tinction, is inspired of God. (Contrary to 2 Tim. 3, 
15. 1P>, where no distinction is made.) 

2. fn regard to God, that the three persons of the 
Trinity are not of the same rank (as if, since the Son 
is begotten of the Father from eternity, and the Holy 
Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, it must 
necessarily follow that the one person is subordinate 
to the other). 

3. In regard to Man, that innate sinfulness is a 
natural consequence of the fall of Adam, but that 
without the addition of actual sin it would not be 
reckoned against us. 


Distinctive Doctrines. 

4. In regard to the Work of Christ, that the suf 
fering of Christ is not vicarious, but only a voluntary 
offering, which God, of His free love, regards as all- 

5. In regard to Justification, that, properly speak 
ing, an imputation of the merit of Christ is not to be 
thought of, and that faith without works does not 

6. In regard to Grace, that man is just as capable 
of accepting as of rejecting the grace of God (whilst, 
according to the Scripture, the natural man can only 
resist), and only then, when, moved by divine grace, 
he has ceased to make use of this evil power, and 
suffered himself to be apprehended by the grace of 
God, is able, with this newly given power, again to 
accept it. (Phil. 3, 12.) 

7. In regard to Baptism and the Lord s Supper 
essentially like Zwingli, regarding the former more 
particularly as a solemn usage for receiving members 
into the Christian Church, which reminds us of God s 
gracious will and obligates us to faithful otiedience; 
and the latter especially as a feast of remembrance in 
which we make a grateful confession, and whereby 
our mutual love is strengthened. 

Chapter V. 


CHE Socinians (especially in Poland and Transylva 
nia), whose chief error affects the doctrine of the 
Trinity (whence the name Unitarian and Antitrinita- 
rian) and the person of Christ, are a sect who com 
bined the keen intellectual criticism which scholasticism 
applied to dogmas, toward the close of the middle ages, with 
the rationalistic ideas of humanitarianism. It was not so 
much that they carried Protestantism too far as that they 
represent a rationalistically changed Catholicism. 

They teach, according to Lalius Socinus of Sienna 
(d. 1502 at Zurich): 

1. In regard to the Word of God, a, that the Old 
Testament is only of subordinate value to the Chris 
tian (against this see Matt. 5, 17) ; b, that the Scrip 
tures are not, throughout, the word of God, but only 
here and there contain it (against this see Chap. IV, 
1, p. 209); c, that whatever is contrary to reason can 
not be regarded as the word of God (forgetting to 
distinguish between the natural and the divinely en 
lightened reason). 

2. In regard to God, that He does not foreknow 
the free acts of men, and that there is only one person 
in the Godhead, according to John 17, 3 (where, how 
ever, God the Father is called the only true God, as 


212 Distinctive -Doctrines. 

distinguished from the false gods of the heathen 
[1 Cor. 8, 6], and not in opposition to the Son; else 
John would directly contradict himself, since in 1 John 
5, 20, he likewise calls the Son "true God.") 

3. In regard to Man, that the fall of Adam indeed 
induced death, but no hereditary depravity, much less 
hereditary guilt. 

4. In regard to the Person of Christ, that He was 
only man, but before entering upon His office as 
teacher He was lifted up into heaven, to be initiated 
into the mysteries of the divine will, and after His 
resurrection received divine power and honor as the 
reward of His willing obedience. 

5. In regard to the Work of Christ, that His chief 
merit consists in His perfect doctrine concerning the 
divine will, and that by His death and resurrection He 
confirmed and sealed this doctrine; by His sufferings, 
however, He prepared Himself to assume the duties 
of His royal-priestly office in heaven, whence as King 
He can, and as High Priest He will, help all His own 
in time of need. 

6. In regard to Justification, that faith in Christ 
is necessary to justification, but that this faith in Christ 
is nothing more than a believing obedience to His 
commands, unto a hope of future immortality. 

7. In regard to Grace, that it aids the free will, 
externally by threats and promises, internally by illum 
ination and a heavenly foretaste. 

8. In regard to Baptism, that according to the 
command of Christ it was instituted onlv for the first 

The Socinians. 213 

still sensual Christians from among Jews and heath 
ens, but according to apostolic usage may also be 
applied to more recent proselytes; and finally, that 
infant baptism at least does no harm, and may, in 
Christian love, be tolerated. 

9. In regard to the Lord s Supper, that it was 
indeed instituted for all time ("till He come"), but 
that its only object is, that the death of Christ may 
be shown forth in a ceremony pertaining to the senses 
(the only one in the New Testament), i. e. be thank 
fully praised and magnified by the congregation. 

1.0. In regard to the Church, that it is the com 
munion of those who have and confess the true doc 
trine; essentially, then, a school. 

11. In regard to the Last Things, that the resur 
rection of the body is to be denied, and that the un 
godly together with the devil and his angels will be 
finally annihilated. This is eternal death. 

Remark: 1. The Socinians hold that the wicked will 
be altogether annihilated at the last day. As unbiblical as 
this error is, it is still not so subversive of the foundation o*f 
truth as the "new light" fancy that all men, even though it 
might be after long torment in a kind of hell, and the devils 
also, will in the end be saved. The so-called Restorationists, 
adherents of the falsely understood doctrine .of the renewal 
or restoration of all things, teach thus, contrary to the 
plainest 1 declaration of the holy Scriptures; for the renewing 
or restoration of all things at the end of the world will extend 

1 From Matt. 12, 32, it does not follow that all sins ex 
cept the sin against the Holy Ghost will be forgiven in the 
world to come; as if, for example, the Queen of England 

214 Distinctive Doctrines. 

indeed to the whole irrational creation, which was not wil 
lingly, but on account of human sin, made subject to vanity 
(Rom. 8, 18-23), but to the rational creation with the differ 
ence that only those be renewed who shall have been willing 
to be renewed. God cannot compel a fallen free being to- 
love; this would be a contradiction in itself. But whoever 
supposes that all fallen free creatures will let themselves be 
turned to love, has neither conception nor experience of the 
sa tanic depths of sin, not to speak of its being directly op 
posed to Scripture. 

Remark: 2. The Socinians are the spiritual ancestors 
of the Rationalists of our day. The ideas which the latter 
entertain of the Word of God as the source of Christian 
knowledge are very much like those of the Socinians, only 
that they go a little further, being inclined generally to deny 
everything beyond the scope of human reason, and therefore 
arrive at worse conclusions than the Socinians, who still teach 
a real resurrection of Christ from the dead, and a true deifi 
cation of the Man Christ Jesus. * * * Besides, full of 
their principle: "If I am to believe anything, I must also 
be able to understand it," the Rationalists forget: 1. That 
if there be truth in any religion, it is precisely in its "hidden 
points and mysteries," since it is quite natural, that if the 
"infinite, most high and incomprehensible God reveals 
Himself," such revelation must exceed the poor finite under 
standing of man. 2. That it is therefore much more corn- 
should say, "I will tolerate such wickedness neither in Eng 
land nor in the colonies", it would by no means follow that 
she would tolerate certain kinds of wickedness in the colonies 
which she would not tolerate in England. Besides we 
must regard the above expression, "neither in this world, 
neither in the world to come" as a very strong form of say 
ing "in all eternity," as it is also said in a very simple form 
in Mark 3, 29, "he hath never forgiveness." * * * As 
regards the other passage, Matt. 5, 26, to which the Restora- 
tionists refer, see Chap. I., X. 

The Socinians. 215 

patible with the nature of the matter in question to reverse 
the proposition, and say: If I would rightly understand any 
thing, I must first heartily believe it. 

But since the most of the Rationalists do not wish openly 
to oppose the Word of God, they have a twofold way of 
removing from the Bible whatever does not suit their taste; 
thus, they give the miracles a moral interpretation, i. e. for 
example, where the healing of a leper is spoken of, they take 
from it only the moral idea that we should suffer ourselves 
to be healed from the leprosy of our sins. And as to the 
teachings of our Lord, they say He sometimes adapted them 
to the superstitions of the Jews (as, for example, in the doc 
trine concerning the devil). The so-called "Friends of Light" 
(Lichtfreunde), as well as the German Catholics of our day, 
generally belong to the Rationalistic school. The former, 
however, have of late lost all prestige. 

Finally we must mention here the Protestant Union 
(since 1863), in which Rationalists of all tendencies, shades 
of belief, as well as the representatives generally of a Chris 
tianity without dogmas and without miracles, have found a 
home. They are not willing to be bound to the Confessions 
or the Scriptures, no not even to the historical facts under 
lying Christianity, but only to the supposed germ of the 
Gospel, which they pretend to find in a general charity 
and in the feeling that they are God s children. Everything 
which will not bear the criticism of reason is thrown over 
board, and, with a rationalistic Christianity in which faith 
and modern unbelief are supposed to be reconciled, they 
hope to come to the relief of the Evangelical Church and 
the German people! Meanwhile they hold meetings, and 
declaim loudly against the folly and intolerance of believers, 
imagining that thus they display their own tolerance! But 
their phrases seem to have lost their charm, and we may take 
for granted that the Protestant Union has seen its best days. 



CHE Mennonites are a party of Anabaptists, 
purified from many excrescences by Menno 
Simons (formerly a Catholic priest at Witt- 
marsum in Friesland, d. 1559). They reject Infant 
Baptism^ as anti-Christian, and regard themselves as 
an assemblage of saints exclusively, and thus as the 

infant baptism, which dates back to the very earliest 
days of the Christian Church, is right, is evident from the fol 
lowing: The Lord said: Suffer the little children to come 
unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of 
God," not indeed as to possession, but as to right; for they 
are riot indeed already in the kingdom of God (since all men 
are by nature in the kingdom of darkness), but they may 
enter in. Now since they also, according to the Lord s decla 
ration, have a right to enter into the kingdom of God, and 
again, according to the Lord s own declaration, the ordinary 
way of entering into the kingdom of God is by Baptism (John 
3, 5), the Christian Church is only carrying out the design 
and will of the Lord, by bringing children to Him, who is 
still with her to the end of the world (Matt. 28, 20) in holy 
Baptism, that He may bless them; for if the end is theirs, the 
means must also be. But if you object, that Baptism without 
faith avails nothing, and that an infant cannot yet believe, 
remember that faith as to its deepest signification is nothing 
else than a spiritual susceptibility for God and godly things; 
then, that such faith is the work of God (Eph. 2, 8); again, 


The Mennonites. 217 

true Church (as if no tares grew in the. field of the 
Church). Connected with this separatistic, self-con 
ceited sanctity, is their principle of abstaining from all 
military service (as if the holiest men, as king David, 

that in little children the work of the Holy Spirit meets with 
much less resistance than in adults (for adults are to become 
like little children, so as to offer no resistance, Luke 18, 17, 
cf. with 16); finally, that John the Baptist, even in his mother s 
womb, was filled with the Holy Ghost (Luke 1, 15, cf. with 41). 
But if you inquire how faith can be conceived of in the case 
of little children who have as yet no consciousness, we an 
swer: God gives faith to the infant in the same embryonic 
or germ-like form in which He gives to it all natural gifts 
of the mind. Now what may not all be found hidden in such 
an infant, and yet it has no consciousness of its riches and 
can make no use of them. Just as a mother who has given 
life of her life to the infant and nourishes it, bends over the 
little one s crib and the infant in the meantime begins to 
know and to love her, so Another looks down upon the infant 
upon which in Baptism He has graciously bestowed the for 
giveness of sins and in whose heart He has awakened a tend 
ency to spiritual life; and this One likewise remains not a 
stranger to the infant, it learns to lift up its eyes to Him 
and to love Him who first loved it. 

But if you are surprised at reading nothing in the Acts 
of the Apostles about infant Baptism, remember first, that 
mere silence is no evidence against anything; and secondly, 
that even now yet, every where among the heathens, where 
a Christian congregation is to be organized, the ministers of 
the Gospel must first turn their attention to the adults; since, 
if the parents remain heathens, there is no surety whatever 
that the children, when they arrive at a suitable age, will 
receive Christian instruction, that the blessing conferred in 
Baptism may not be lost again. For the Lord not only com 
manded "Go and (according to the original) make disciples 

218 Distinctive Doctrines. 

had not waged war without being censured therefor 2 ), 
from civil offices (as if the government did not bear 
the sword in God s stead, Rom. 13, 1-4), and the legal 
oath. 3 

The Mennonites soon separated into two parties, 
the more strict or subtle, and the less strict or gross; 
and the latter again into two parties, the one holding 

of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and 
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," but also expressly added: 
"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have 
commanded you"; t. e. let Baptism be followed by a thorough 
Christian education. 

2 In 1 Chron. 29, 3, no censure is expressed implying that 
all war, without exception, is an abomination in the sight 
of God, for David waged his wars "before God," i. e. with the 
knowledge, consent and by the command of the Lord, and 
thus they were the Lord s battles (1 Sam. 25, 28). But, that 
God forbade him, as a man of war, to build the temple, is 
connected with the significance of the temple, since it was 
to foreshadow the Messiah, the Prince of Peace. It was 
therefore much more appropriate that Solomon, whose very 
name suggests the idea of peace, should build it. 

3 In Matt. 5, 34-37 (cf. with James 5, 15), our Savior, who 
came not to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill 
them (by clearly and thoroughly explaining them), did not 
intend to forbid each and every kind of oath, but only the 
wanton and uncalled for. This is very evident from Deut. 
6, 13, and 10, 20; also Ps. 15, 4, in which passages a proper 
oath is allowed (cf. also Heb. 6, 16-17). The marginal note 
(Luther s) to Matt. 5, 34, well says: "All swearing and every 
oath of man s own doing or taking is here forbidden; but 
if love (which is the fulfilling of the law!), necessity, our 
neighbor s welfare, or the honor of God demand it, it is well 

The Mennonites. 219 

fast to the Calvinistic doctrine of unconditional elec 
tion, and the other inclining more to the Arminian 
and Socinian doctrine on this and other points. Of 
the subtle party there remain but few, and the division 
among the gross was ended by the merging of the 
strict in the less strict party; and of the three prohi 
bitions, from military service, civil office and the oath, 
the first two have been very generally dropped. The 
Mennonites, who now, by the way, call themselves 
Baptists (those favoring Baptism), have congrega 
tions in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, France, 
North America and Southern Russia. 

Chapter VIX 


IN regard to Infant Baptism, the Baptists (since 
1633) agree with the Mennonites. They 
branched off from the Puritans 1 and Independ 
ents 2 of England, and have spread widely, especially 
in America. They too are divided into two prin 
cipal classes, the one inclined more to Calvinism, the 
other to Arminianism. The former, adhering to the 
doctrine of special election to grace in the sense of 
Calvin (see Reformed Distinctive Doctrines, III), call 
themselves Primitive Baptists; the latter, who in com 
mon with the Arminians (Chap. IV) reject this doc 
trine, call themselves General (Universal or Freewill) 
Baptists. A part of the Primitive Baptists looked 
upon the work of missions as an interference on the 
part of man with divine election, and founded an 
"Anti-Mission-Baptist Congregation" ; a part of the 
General Baptists, however, found that the Scriptures 
command the laying on of hands before the Lord s 
Supper, and founded a "Six-principle Baptist" Congre- 

1 Opponents of the Episcopal organization. 
2 Opponents of the Presbyterian and Synodic organiza 


The Baptists and Neobaptists. 221 

lion (Heb. 6, 1. 2). Other branches of Baptists are: 
the Christian Baptists, 3 who reject the doctrine of the 
Trinity; the "Reformed Baptists" ("Disciples of Christ" 
or Campbellites), who claim for their object a clearer 
comprehension of Scripture; Snake-Baptists, who 
claim that the non-elect are the seed of the serpent 
(Gen. 3, 15), and, in view of predestination, regard the 
training up of children as useless; the Seventh-Day 
Baptists, who observe the seventh day of the week; 
the Dunkards (or Tunkers), who baptize only by im 
mersing in a stream or pond, and that forward, have 
introduced three new sacraments (washing of feet, the 
holy kiss, and the anointing of the mortally sick), and, 
finally, receive the Lord s Supper only at night, and 
as an aftermeal to a meal proper. We must here name 
also several Methodistic sects (see further on), viz. 
the "Winebrennarians," named after their founder, a 
deposed Reformed clergyman, and the "Kuemrnelites" 
so named after one of their ministers who taught the 
necessity of feet-washing before communion. 

In opposition to the "extreme worldly" Baptist 
congregations in North America, there stand at pres 
ent the German Neobaptists (New Baptists) as a 
"pure congregation of saints." They first made their 
appearance in 1834, in Hamburg, and, through the 
influence of English and American Baptists, soon 
spread nearly all over Germany, Denmark and 

3 Called also "Christian Connexion," and sometimes "Christ- 
ians." D. M. M. 

222 Distinctive Doctrines. 

These people attach less importance to their vary 
ing view concerning Baptism, than to the necessity 
of presenting a visible congregation of saints, since 
they regard the State Church, lacking as it does a 
proper church discipline, as Babel. On account of 
human inability always to disinguish unerringly be 
tween wheat and tares, the object aimed at can never 
be attained on earth; hence the constant separating 
and gathering in, and the endless divisions among 
them. The "Evangelical Alliance," which grew on 
English soil, and whose moving element is the Eng 
lish Baptist, recently made a public appeal for their 
tolerance in Germany. The "Baptists" themselves 
cherish the decided hope that the spread of their com 
munion will be attended with great victories. They 
greet every event which threatens to destroy the 
"State Churches" as a true star of hope. 

Chapter TtH. 


CHE Quakers are spiritual descendants of the 
fanatical Schwenkfeld (who lived at the time 
of the Reformation). Since the middle of the 
seventeenth century they rallied around the shoe 
maker, George Fox, in England, and were soon after 
wards transplanted to North America (Pennsylvania) 
by William Penn. Their chief error consists in this, 
that they place an internal word (called also inner 
light) not only on an equality with, but even above, 
the external word. of Scripture; and this "light" is 
the Spirit, as if He came along in the air, and were 
not in the Word, which is Spirit, according to the 
Lord s testimony. To this mystical contempt for 
everything external is due the fact that they have no 
clear, well-defined doctrine, nay, that even the most 
important doctrines (as, of the Trinity, the person of 
Christ, Reconciliation, Justification) are mollified in 
an emotional manner; further, that they not only re 
ject Infant Baptism, like the Mennonites and Bap 
tists, but all baptism, and also the Lord s Supper, as 
well as (in spite of Eph. 4. 11-13) the properly author 
ized office of the ministry, inasmuch as they allow 
every one who is, or thinks he is, moved by the Spirit, 
to teach in their religious assemblages, women not 


224 Distinctive Doctrines. 

excepted, though the Apostle would not allow them 
to teach openly (1 Cor. 14, 34. 35; 1 Tim. 2, II). 1 

In connection with this mystical contempt for 
everything external, which of course is usually con 
nected with a separatistic self-conceited sanctity, they 
further (at least the more strict among them), like the 
Mennonites, abstain from all military service, from the 
oath and civil offices; they also avoid the use of all 
customary titles resting upon a difference in station 
(calling every one thou or thee), renounce all fashions, 
and, in puritanic anxiety, all not purely spiritual enjoy 
ments. However, we must not forget the very de 
cided moral character which distinguishes them, and 
the noble charity which they display. 

1 From 1 Cor. 11, 5, it is indeed evident that women 
taught publicly in the congregation at Corinth. This, how 
ever, was an abuse, to approve which never entered the mind 
of the Apostle. 



CHE Swedenborgians are the only sect which has gone 
forth from the bosom of the Lutheran Church. Their 
founder was Swedenborg (d. 1772), a Swede. Under 
the name of "New Church" (as "a new institution of 
divine goodness and truth"), they have spread also to Eng 
land, South Germany and North America, hoping that all 
Christian churches would once merge in them, and form one 
universal Christian Church. 

Swedenborg, whom his followers regarded as a divinely 
sent messenger, could not content himself with that "access 
which we have by faith to grace," Rom. 5, 2 (he was in his 
heart opposed to the Lutheran doctrine of justification), but 
would live here upon earth already by sight, and to this end 
establish a palpable intercourse with the higher spirit world. 

Swedenborgian errors are: 

1. The Word of God has a double sense; a nat 
ural sense, for the comprehension of man, and a spir 
itual sense, for that of the angels. (But God spake to 
men and for men, and thus the hidden sense for the 
angels would be to no purpose.) 

2. In the Divine Being there is only one person, 
who has, however, revealed Himself in a threefold 
manner (creating, redeeming, sanctifying). * * * 
An angel is "a departed, pious human soul," (but 


226 Distinctive Doctrines, 

whence the angel spoken of Genesis 3, 24, when no 
person had died yet?) and the "devil" is the sum of "all 
the souls of departed wicked men." (Thus then there 
was no devil until at least several persons had died, 
and yet the devil was a murderer [of men] from the 
beginning, and helped to bring about the very first 
death, that of Abel. John 8, 44, compared with 
1 John 3, 12.) 

3. The idea of Hereditary Sin or hereditary guilt 
from Adam implies a contradiction, offends moral 
sentiment and has no foundation in Scripture, since 
Adam and Eve were no real persons.; otherwise it is 
true indeed that sin is transmitted from parents to 
children, nay, depravity is continually increasing. 

4. Jesus Christ is Jehovah (God the Father Him 
self) in a glorified human form. 

5. But He became man in order to bring back 
to their proper bounds those wicked spirits who were 
pressing forward from hell to heaven, in spite of and 
to the torment of the good spirits; and thus the re 
demption wrought out by Him is rather an external 
"deliverance from the power of hellish spirits"; and 
concerns the lower congregation on earth less than 
the upper congregation in heaven. 

6. When man confides in God, prays to Him, and 
fulfills his duty to his fellow-men, he is regenerated. 
(Thus then first the fruits, then the tree; first good 
works, then regeneration.) 

7. Of course the pozver for this comes from above. 
(With them only a form of speech.) 

The Swedenborgians. 227 

8. Baptism is a sign and means by which intro 
duction into the Christian Church takes place, and 
which is accompanied by divine influence. (Thus 
seems to be more than a symbol.) 

9. But, as Baptism introduces into the Church, 
so the Lord s Slipper, spiritually, into heaven. 

10. The Church consists of all those who accept 
the Lord Jesus Christ as the only God, and avoid and 
flee evil as sin; which means as much as of all those 
who have been enlightened through the servant of 
the Lord, Emanuel Swedenborg. 

Chapter X* 


CHE Irvingites (so called after their English 
founder, Irving, d. 1834) deny that the Re 
formers had any insight into the divine plan 
of the Church, or a divine commission extending over 
the Church as a whole for to this there belongs, 
according to their view, apostolic power and author 
ity. They regard the extraordinary miraculous gifts 
of the time of the Apostles those echoes of the mir 
acle of all miracles, "God manifest in the flesh" not 
especially as extraordinary evidences of divine inter 
vention for the first implanting of Christianity in the 
God-estranged world, but hold rather that it belonged 
to the divine plan to bestow them undiminished upon 
the Church for all times. According to their view 
they were lost through the fault of the Church, which 
became weary in sighing and praying for the prom 
ised reappearance of the Lord, and at the same time 
suffered the gradation of churchly offices given in 
Ephesians 4, 11-13 to be dropped. The Irvingites, 
namely, understand the passage just referred to as 
implying that the three enumerated offices, thus also 
the office of Apostle and Prophet, were given to the 
Church for all time ; a construction which the words 
"till we oil come in the unity," etc., by no means call 


The Irvingites. 229 

for, since these words then also have their application, 
if the extraordinary offices mentioned with the others 
were to last only until the propagation and preserva 
tion of the Church would be possible by means of the 
ordinary office. 

The idea is not far distant, to regain by zealous and 
incessant prayer what the Church lost through her 
negligence in praying for the reappearance of the 
Lord, and this idea they indeed sought to carry out. 
It was in the year 1830, when, in consequence of their 
united prayer, as they thought, with all the signs of the 
Apostles times, a new Pentecostal miracle rested upon 
the offices newly established according to the plan of 
the Apostles. 

These offices extend partly to the Church as a 
whole (Apostle, Evangelist, Shepherd or Teacher); 
partly to the individual congregations (Angel or 
Bishop, Presbyter or Priest, Deacon). The Deacon 
has nothing to do except with external matters ; the 
Presbyter is the pastor proper, the Angel, the overseer 
of the congregation. The Evangelist brings the good 
tidings to all the unconverted, and the Shepherd to all 
the converted, without regard to congregations; but 
the college of Apostles one by one they have died ; 
they were all subjects of Great Britain! govern, 
from England, the whole Church, which has, to a 
certain extent, her missionary field in the whole of 
Christendom outside of England. As the Apostles 
ate elected at the instance of the Prophets, so they 
again must prove the spirits of the Prophets. The 
Prophets must comfort, reprove, exhort, explain dark 

230 Distinctive Doctrines. 

passages of Scripture, reveal the future, and point out 
those who are to be ordained by the Apostles for the 
different offices. 

The Irvingites attach so much importance to the 
word proclaimed in a living form, that they do not 
hesitate to denounce the Bible Societies as "the curse 
which walks through the land killing the Spirit 
through the letter." They attach an almost mechan 
ical effect to the sacraments, and do not wish even 
children to be kept back from the Lord s Supper, 
which they love to call a sacrifice of praise and thanks, 
and not of "atonement." They have, very largely,, 
introduced Roman Catholic elements into their wor 
ship (incense, holy water) and also practice anointing 
(according to James 5, 14). One of their marked 
peculiarities is the "sealing" of believers by anointing 
with oil and the laying on of hands by the Apostles. 
They claim that, according to Revelation 7, 3 sq., by 
this means 12,000 of each of the twelve tribes into 
which they divide Christianity, are to be preserved 
from the great tribulations which will precede the 
near coming of our Lord. This sealing is adminis 
tered to no one under twenty years of age. They 
allow women also who are only forbidden to 
"speak" in the congregation to prophesy, for this 
they think is an activity of the Holy Spirit, and not 
of man as well as to speak with tongues (generally 
a more or less spasmodic utterance of unintelligible 
words, often only inarticulate sounds). 

Irvingism regards the doctrine of the reappearance 
of Christ as the very essence of all Christian truth, and 

The Irvingites. 231 

thus sets forth also in the most unequivocal manner, 
the unsoundness of its tendency. It therefore handles 
the article concerning the Last Things with special 
predilection, and contrary to all sound dread of too 
closely surveying this dim field of prophecy defines 
it with the greatest certainty and precision. It teaches 
concerning this about as follows: When once the 
wrath of Anti-Christ shall burst forth, the Church of 
the saints (i. e. the "sealed") shall be caught up and 
meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4, 17), and with 
them shall be united the saints who have died in the 
Lord (first resurrection). Anti-Christ will then drive 
the Jews to Palestine, where they will repent in the 
presence of the Lord, who, with the Church which 
met Him in the air, and the just who arose from the 
dead, shall return in glory (first return) to judge Anti- 
Christ (first judgment). Now the Millenium begins. 
Jerusalem is rebuilt, the temple is again erected, the 
throne of David restored. The just of the Old Tes 
tament, of the first resurrection, form as it were the 
aristocracy of this new kingdom; the Apostles on 
twelve thrones govern the twelve tribes of Israel; but 
the bride (the congregation of Irvingites) sits with 
Christ on the throne. Jews go with the Gospel among 
the heathen to bring in their fullness. Only then, 
when Satan shall have once more burst forth again 
with all the power of his deceitful cunning, will follow 
that which the old Church has taught concerning the 
Last Things (second advent, second resurrection, 
second judgment). In England and America Ir- 
vingism seems to have had its day. In Germany its 

232 Distinctive Doctrines. 

prospects seem to be better; in Prussia there are said 
to be about eighty Irvingite congregations. 

The Plymouth Brethren, or Darbyites (after the 
Irishman, John Darby, d. 1882), who likewise consider 
themselves specially inspired, share with the Irving- 
ites the idea that the Lord will soon reappear, only 
that they think this event will immediately come to 
pass. On the contrary, in direct opposition to the 
Irvingites, who look to a proper Church organization 
for all salvation (although this could not save the 
Church from declension in its very prime), they reject 
all and every churchly organization, even the office 
of shepherd (or pastor), as altogether injurious. A 
sentimentally sweet rest in the wounds of Christ is 
the characteristic of their piety and their funda 
mental doctrine is, that all those who stay back in 
Babel will, at the early return of Christ, at best remain 
on the real earth, whilst they themselves will be caught 
up, with the Lord, into heaven. In England the 
Darbyites could gain no firm foothold; the principal 
field of their operations is Switzerland, and next to 
that, France. 

Chapter XI. 


CHE Irvingites regard the Mormons ("Latter 
Day Saints") as their satanic antitype. These 
think that they also in the same year, 1830, 
were blessed with a new Pentecost, under their prophet 
Joseph Smith, and boast not only of speaking \vith 
tongues, like the Irvingites, but of other miracles, 
even to the raising of the dead. What the Irvingites 
still await in the spirit, the Mormons have already in 
the flesh a second paradise, at least in the germ; 
for it shall once extend from the "valley of the Great 
Salt Lake," which furnished a secure refuge to those 
of them banished from Ohio, Illinois and Iowa, over 
the whole earth. The most prominent features of 
their absurd system, strongly appealing however to 
the sensual in man, are the following: 

1. The new revelation which Joseph Smith trans 
lated from newly discovered writings in "Reformed 
Egyptian" (!) the "Book of Mormon" is the orig 
inal system of Christianity, lost to all other so-called 
Christian Churches. These revelations, which Smith 
claims to have found on golden plates, 1 and which he 

JAbout 8 inches long by 7 wide, and about the thickness 
of ordinary tin. D. M. M. 


234 Distinctive Doctrines. 

was able to read only by means of the "urim and 
thummim," (two transparent stones set in rims, like 
spectacles), soon proved to be an almost literal copy 
of a historical romance written by a quondam clergy 

2. No one can walk in the way to heaven except 
by full and unconditional obedience to the revelations 
of the "seer" (see 4) as well as to the whole hierarchy. 
This is divided into the "priesthood of Melchisedec", 
connected in a mysterious manner with God the Father 
and with Christ, and the "Aarom c priesthood," whose 
office is to give the people external doctrines and 

3. No woman can become a partaker of heav 
enly glory without her husband; nor can a man attain 
to the highest perfection in the future world without 
at least one wife (hence polygamy with churchly sanc 
tion, "the sealing"); see however what is said below. 

4. At the head of the whole Church there is a 
"seer," clothed with apostolic, or rather papal, author 
ity; 2 he receives direct divine revelations, therefore 
each one owes him unconditional obedience. 

Their first "seer," Smith, a thoroughly corrupt 
man, was murdered (1844) in prison at Carthage, 111., 

2 The Mormon catechism claims that at the second bap 
tism of their founder (May 15, 1829) even the Apostles Peter, 
James and John, who never die, appeared bodily, in order 
to ordain him as an Apostle by the laying on of hands, and 
thus to lay a new ground for an unbroken "apostolic suc 

The Mormons. 235 

by an enraged mob; he was succeeded by Brigham 
Young, a carpenter (d. 1877), he by John Taylor (d. 
1887); their present "seer" is Wilford Woodruff. 
They are actively engaged in missionary work, and 
their missionary territory is the very largest, since 
they regard all who are not Mormons without dis 
tinction as heathen. The active propaganda which 
they have carried on has not been without results; in 
England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, and also in 
the northwestern part of Germany they have suc 
ceeded in gaining adherents, who, in part at least, 
have emigrated to Utah. In this territory, where 
they settled after many wanderings, there were 153,911 
Mormons in the year 1889. Since the year 1874 the 
United States government has taken steps to sup 
press polygamy, but without much success, as the 
"sealing" is done in secret. True, quite recently 
(September, 1890) Woodruff declared: "We do not 
preach polygamy, we simply tolerate it." This decla 
ration however was dictated only by his dread of a 
general law being enacted which w r ould deny to all 
Mormons the right of suffrage. It remains to be 
seen therefore whether that declaration will have any 
practical results. But the fact that such a mixture of 
mad superstition and coarse sensuality, like Mormon- 
ism,- could find adherents even in Europe, is an alarm 
ing indication of increasing religious demoralization. 
As for the rest, a system like Mormonism is already 
judged, bearing within itself the germ of death, al 
though for a while it may seem to succeed. To in 
crease the numbers of their communion they employ 

236 Distinctive Doctrines. 

two means, missions and polygamy; if time and cir 
cumstances were favorable, they would also employ 
the third, that is, the true Mohammedan means, to wit, 
the sword. Young s "avenging angels" committed 
many deeds of murder. In 1877 the Mormon bishop 
Lee was hanged, because twenty years before he had 
led on a band of Mormons and Indians who not 
without Young s knowledge ruthlessly butchered 
one hundred and twenty emigrant settlers 1 who were 
on their way through Utah to California! According 
to their idea the meridian of their Millenium will be 
reached when the saints in the new Jerusalem at Salt 
Lake will have united with the Jews in old Jerusalem. 
Besides the Mormons, there is another party in 
America, who think that they are already in the en 
joyment of the Millennium, and have been for more 
than one hundred years. They are the "Shakers," 
who, to the number of two or three thousand, live 
unmarried in eighteen colonies. In the year 1758 
Anna Lee, the ill-mated wife of a blacksmith in Man 
chester, England, began to preach the doctrine that 
to prepare properly for the second coming of Christ 
it is necessary to abstain from all carnal intercourse. 
Derided in England, she, together with thirty follow 
ers, emigrated to America in 1774. Anna died in 1784. 
Then the veneration of "Mother Ann" properly -be 
gan; as Christ is the Son of eternal wisdom, so she is 

3 Lee was executed on March 22, 1877, by being shot on 
the very spot where the massacre known well as the Moun 
tain Meadow massacre took place. - D. M. M. 

The Spiritualists. 237 

her daughter. Celibacy, community in labor and 
property, and blissful communion with the heavenly 
spirit-world, fill up the life of the brothers and sisters. 
The Shaker Ministerium at Mount Lebanon, N. Y., 
is the head of the Church, whose worship consists in 
dancing and expressions of joy. Their new revela 
tion seems virtually to have banished the Bible. 

The Spiritistic movement, which attracted a good 
deal of attention, in Germany too a few years ago, 
also originated in America. Since the Spiritists them 
selves, in many instances at least, pass off their wis 
dom for religion, it will not be amiss to give this 
movement at least brief notice. It was in the year 
1843 when a shoemaker s apprentice at Poughkeepsie 
on the Hudson, claimed to have received spirit com 
munications when in a trance. At the same time (also 
in New York state) two sisters children in age 
received wonderful communications from spirits by 
means of rapping on tables, walls, furniture, etc. Soon 
there appeared hundreds of mediums, who either 
themselves wrote what the spirits communicated, or 
caused them to write it. Since the year 1850 the 
movement found favor and enthusiastic representa 
tives in Europe. It was not long before the spirits 
were induced to show themselves, at least in part 
(especially hands and feet). The movement reached 
its culminating point toward the close of the 70 s, 
when the celebrated medium, Slade, succeeded in con 
verting the natural philosopher, Zollner, to Spiritual 
ism, by all kinds of, many of them truly wonderful, 
manifestations (moving of tables, falling of pieces of 

238 Distinctive Doctrines. 

wood and coal from the ceiling, written communica 
tions on the inside of a folding slate securely tied, the 
appearing of a hand, etc.). But, enthusiasm was 
short-lived; the veil was lifted, and the credulous vic 
tims were undeceived; early in the next decade (1880- 
90) a number of mediums were shown to be imposters, 
or their feats were imitated by natural methods. From 
a religious point of view, the Spiritists of course main 
tain the immortality of the soul, but are generally far 
removed from Christianity; without any true con 
sciousness of sin, a kind of self-redemption of man is 
taught, Christ is a great medium and His resurrection 
is to be taken in a spiritistic sense. The trivial and 
stale thoughts which the revelations of spirits have 
hitherto offered us, are in no way to be compared with 
the profound teachings of evangelical ethics. And, if 
the hope was entertained that Spiritism would coun 
teract Materialism, even that was not realized, for the 
manner in which spirits rap on tables and walls, show 
their hands and feet, and the like, is in itself thoroughly 
materialistic, and shows that there is a total lack of 
knowledge as to what the real nature of a spirit is. 
But if, finally, the question be asked how these wonder 
ful phenomena of Spiritism are to be explained, we 
point first of all to the fact that many of the spirit 
revelations have been proven to be jugglery pure and 
simple. And even though not all of these phenomena 
could be shown to be tricks, or be explained by nat 
ural laws; should it really be shown that there is here 
some other order of things, of one thing the Christian 
will always be sure: These are not divine revelations. 

The Spiritualists, 239 

The communion with the personal God in which he 
lives, and the historic revelation, have taught him to 
know the voice of the good Shepherd, and this he 
does not find in any of the stale and vapid stuff of 
these revelations. But even if we grant the reality 
of the latter, they certainly come from some other 
spirit world, "the rulers of the darkness of this 
world, * * * spiritual wickedness in high places" 
(Eph. 6, 12). 

Chapter XII. 


CHE followers of Christian Hoffmann of Wiirt- 
temberg, like the Irvingites, have no confi 
dence in the Church as at present constituted, 
especially since, in 1848, "the true sentiment of the 
masses became apparent." Hoffmann himself, urged 
on by the moral corruption of society which had 
now become known, founded the "Society for the 
Gathering of the People of God in Jerusalem" ; a soci 
ety for the establishing of a kind of Millennium, en 
deavoring to show that everything depended on a 
Christian national life; that the declarations of the 
prophets point to a people of God, but that this end 
is to be reached only in Jerusalem. Hence it is neces 
sary to emigrate to Palestine and there establish a 
holy people of God, who, on the basis of the Old as 
well as the New Testament, shall present to the world 
the realization of what is implied in the civil law of 
the Old Covenant (including the Sabbatical year and 
the year of Jubilee). 

Four men therefore organized themselves into a 
committee for the gathering of the People of God,, 
and a petition was presented to the German Diet, ask 
ing them to induce the Sultan to give the congrega- 


People of God. 241 

tions of the "Society for the Gathering," etc., as they 
might be organized, permission to settle in the Holy 
Land on favorable terms. 

The Diet of course took no notice of this peti 
tion. In the year 1855 they appealed to "Christians 
and Jews" for "support for the People of God in 
Jerusalem", having proposed to send a commission 
to the Holy Land, and estimated the cost of the first 
train of 8,000 to 10,000 families at 5,000,000 florins - 
$2,000,000 (of which 500 florins $200 had been 
raised up to August 1855). 

In the year 1856 a congregation was organized 
in Kirschenhardthof (consisting, in 1859, of 16 fam 
ilies, with institutions for educating boys and girls, 
and a school for inner Missions and Missions in the 
Orient), and in the beginning of the year 1858 Hoff 
mann, with two companions, left Germany to recon 
noitre the Holy Land. In September of the same 
year those who returned made a very tame report. 
After this they confined themselves, primarily, to the 
building up of the "spiritual temple", which had been 
abandoned soon after the time of the Apostles; this 
work they were going "to lay hold of anew", and 
asked for the cooperation of "all Churches, Confes 
sions and Sects." The "peculiar function", however, 
of the spiritual temple, and "its power for the restora 
tion of the unity of the spirit" consists "in showing 
people the great conditions of eternity, the great con 
flict between life and death, between heaven and hell, 
salvation and condemnation, conditions which extend 
alike to all men, and the uncovering" of which condi- 

242 .Distinctive Doctrines. 

tions alone will be able to bring men into the one great 
path of the fear of God." From this "spiritual tem 
ple" (1 Cor. 2, 28), so the Hoffmannites, hoped, "the 
temple in Jerusalem, which prophecy has pointed out 
as the means for the regeneration of the Occident and 
Orient, will surely proceed!" 

But, as to the arrangements of the spiritual tem 
ple, we must first (so they claim) look to this, that the 
places of worship after the pattern of the taber 
nacle, the temple of Solomon, and the temple which 
Ezekiel saw in a vision have "an enclosed court and 
within that a sanctuary," and that the holy acts be 
performed before the altar with the cross "as the sign 
of the Son of Man." Baptism is to be "adminis 
tered by immersion by a regularly called teacher"; the 
Lord s Supper, "the means of the communion of the 
body and blood of Christ," can, according to Acts 
2, 26, "be administered and received", even in smaller 
circles, "by members of the congregation who feel their 
need of it." But, whatever plan be adopted as to or 
ganization, "so much is certain, that in order to the 
spiritual temple the exercise of the functions of Apos 
tles, prophets, teachers, wonder-workers, etc., is pre 
scribed, and even if, for some of these offices the proper 
persons cannot be found in a congregation, the main 
taining of the divine order dare never be set aside. 
In every congregation gathered for the purposes of 
the spiritual temple there must necessarily be deacons 
and elders." 

Thus then, in the year 1861, the "German Temple" 
was really founded. A number of men in South Ger- 

People of God. 243 

many (Protestants and Catholics) left the existing 
churches and founded the new Church (or community), 
with its own Synods, Priests and Elders, and Hoff 
mann, as Bishop, at the head. Their longing for the 
promised land was also to be gratified. In the year 
1869 Hoffmann secured several houses in Jaffa. Now 
emigration began, the total number of emigrants reach 
ing one hundred., Gradually other colonies were es 
tablished in addition to the one in Jaffa, viz. in Haifa, 
Sarona, Beyrout, and about 1878 also in Jerusalem. 
In the mean time the number of colonists had grown 
to one thousand and several hundred. Since then 
much has been done for the educational system of the 
Temple. Hoffmann himself in the mean while, showed 
more and more clearly the deviation of his views from 
those of the Church. In the year 1870 already he 
wrote: "The Temple does not consist of a doctrinal 
system of dogmas from the Holy Scriptures, but in 
the carrying out of all that which is written Matt. 
5, 17. * * * The confession of the Temple is 
therefore expressed, not in doctrinal propositions, but 
in tasks to be done." As though the one should ex 
clude the other; as if clear conceptions should render 
active doing impossible! Even then already they 
manifested the greatest indifference to Baptism and 
the Lord s Supper. This gradually increased until 
they clearly, and regardless of all consequences, at 
tacked the doctrine of the Trinity, of Reconciliation 
and of the sacraments. Hoffmann s views were spo 
ken of as Judaizing Rationalism, and very properly 
so. As for the rest, these heterodox views led to a 

244 Distinctive Doctrines. 

schism in the Temple, a part of the congregation at 
Haifa withdrawing under the name "Reichsbrueder- 
bund" (League of The Brethren of the Kingdom). 
Hoffmann died in 1885. Within the circles of the 
Temple the number of those who are returning to the 
Evangelical (Lutheran) Church is on the increase, so 
that it is to be expected that the Judaizing extrava 
ganzas of the founder will gradually be relegated to 

Remark: 1. Dissatisfied with Rationalism, a number of 
families emigrated from Wiirttemberg to Southern Russia 
in the beginning of this century. Those among them who 
settled in the fertile valleys of transcaucasian Grusia soon fell 
into all kinds of fanaticism. In the year 1842 a prophetess 
among them commanded emigration to the Holy Land, in 
order to be ready for the Millennium. Those sent in ad 
vance for the purpose of reconnoitering brought back the 
report that they did not like Palestine at all. So they con 
cluded that after all it was better to stay where they were. 

Remark: 2. An exceedingly interesting Jewish-Chris 
tian movement originated several years ago in Kischenew 
in Bessarabia (Southern Russia). The Jewish attorney, 
Joseph Rabinowitz, after planning for a long time as to how 
to better the external condition and the religious status 
of the Jews in Russia, called upon his co-religionists to emi 
grate to Palestine, when the persecution of the Jews in South 
ern Russia began in 1882. But, on the way to Palestine he 
changed his mind. The leading thought with him was: Ex 
ternally and internally Israel can find salvation only by fol 
lowing a safe leader. This man (leader), "known to all the 
dwellers on the face of the earth, because of the purity of His 
noble soul and His fervent love to His people" is "our 
brother," Jesus Christ. His cotemporaries did not under 
stand the purpose of Jesus, "namely to lay stress upon the 
observance of those legal precepts which relate to the head 

Jewish- Christian Movement. 245 

and the heart, and not upon those relating to trivial outward 
acts." The doctrine of Rabinowitz presents the follow 
ing points: The Old Testament as well as the Scriptures of 
the New Testament must be the rule and source of doctrine, 
not however the Talmud, and just as little the post-Apostolic 
doctrine and forms, which originated in the midst of heathen 
Christian influences. Thus a communion (congregation) is 
to be organized which shall retain everything found in the 
Old Testament which is not directly excluded by the declara 
tions ot the .New Testament. Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, 
is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament, who, born 
by the Spirit of God, lived and taught in the power of the 
same Spirit, was then crucified, but was raised up of God 
and exalted to eternal glory. The Trinity, and the doctrine 
of the two natures of Christ, are rejected by Rabinowitz 
as unbiblical, and as having their origin in heathen Chris 
tian reason. With regard to the Trinity it is declared: Be 
lievers from among the heathen call the three persons Father, 
Son and Holy Ghost; among us they are called the One 
God, His Word and His Holy Spirit, who are all one." Bap 
tism and the Lord s Supper are recognized as necessary 
Means of Grace, the latter, however, to be observed as a 
meal in the true sense of the word, with the addition of 
ancient Jewish prayers. Circumcision is retained, but is 
not made obligatory on non-Jews; the Sabbath also, and 
the old Jewish festivals are retained. Rabinowitz s efforts 
look to the founding of a congregation of "New Israel" on 
this basis. In the year 1885 the synagogue of the "holy 
Messiah, Jesus Christ" was solemnly dedicated for the small 
congregation that had been gathered, and soon afterward 
Rabinowitz was baptized in Berlin. Any further reach 
ing results of the movement have, so far, not appeared. As 
for the rest, we cannot avoid serious doubts as to this move 
ment. Even though then, when that shall come to pass 
which is written Rom. 11, 26 ("and so all Israel shall be 
saved") many things in the congregational life will assume 
other forms than those which have grown out of the historic 

246 Distinctive Doctrines. 

development of heathen Christianity, still it does not seem- 
to us that the doctrine of the Trinity is one of the unimport 
ant and variable constituents of the system of Evangelical 
doctrine, nor that its origin is to be looked for in heathen- 
Christian deliberations. See, against this, only the one pas 
sage, Matt, 28, 19! And how can we reconcile this studied 
emphasizing of the distinction between heathen and Jewish 
Christians with what Paul says, Gal. 3, 28-29, and Eph. 2, 14? 

Chapter XUX 


HLTHOUGH originally gathered from among mem 
bers of all religious confessions without regard to 
doctrinal difference, and thus forming the first united 
Church, yet the Moravians stand, as a whole, nearest 
to the Lutheran Confession, especially since Bishop Spang- 
enberg, in the second half of the 18th century, purified them 
from many excrescences. His "Short Summary of Chris 
tian Doctrine," which professes to stand on the foundation 
of the Scriptures and the Augsburg Confession, has never 
indeed been regarded as a confessional writing, which is 
partly accounted for by the peculiarity of the Moravians, 
numbered 5 (below). Without directly rejecting the other 
Confessions, they adopt in a general way the Augsburg Con 
fession; true, in the sense rather of not wishing to dispute 
the doctrines set forth therein, as they do not generally like 
disputations. Of an express deviation in doctrine we can 
therefore not speak; the deviation that does appear belongs 
rather to individual views, principles and arrangements. Be 
fore we proceed to the presentation of this deviation, it must 
be remarked that the points enumerated below are not at 
all to be applied indiscriminately to each of the Moravian 
Brethren, especially at the present time, when there are many 
among them who have a better and more thorough knowl 
edge of those things. 

1. Originally they professed to be a congrega 
tion of saints alone. 

Remark: The old Easter litany also indicates this: "I 
believe that our brethren N. N. and our sisters N. N. (here 


248 Distinctive Doctrines. 

those persons of the place, who have died since the last pre 
ceding Easter, are mentioned by name) have ascended to 
the upper congregation and entered into the joy of their 

2. They incline to the belief that they stand in a 
much closer relation to the Lord than any other 
Church communion ; hence no doubt especially the use 
of the lot, which is to indicate, in an immediate man 
ner, the will of the Lord. 

Remark: It is true there are examples of the use of the 
lot in the Old Testament, but 1, only in extraordinary cases; 
and 2, without express divine command or promise; so that 
where God gave His blessing thereto, it must be ascribed 
to His gracious condescension. But if in the Old Testament, 
there was neither command nor promise for it, much less is 
this the case in the New Testament, 1 since God has now set 

*As regards Acts 1, 26, to which they refer for the use of 
the lot, observe: 

1. Casting the lot took place at the boundary line of the 
Old Testament time, and before the Holy Ghost had yet been 
poured out. 2. They who cast the lot were Apostles. 3. 
They were about choosing an Apostle, for which two things 
were necessary; the one, that the future Apostle should have 
been a constant eye and ear witness of the works and teach 
ings of the Lord (John 15, 27); the other, that he should be 
directly chosen by the Lord (Gal. 1, 1). As to the first they 
themselves took thought (v. 21-22); the other they left to the 
Lord (v. 24). * * * Besides, it may still be questioned, 
whether the Lord, who afterwards directly called Paul to 
the Apostleship, really confirmed the choice of Matthias. 
But so much is certain, the election of an Apostle can never 
again occur: the missionaries of our day are not Apostles, 
but Evangelists (Eph. 4, 1.1). Therefore all authority which 
might be derived from this passage for the use of the lot 
falls to the ground. 

The Moravians. 249 

aside the "divers manners" of revelation (Heb. 1, 1), and in 
these last days has spoken by His Son for all times, and also 
poured out His Holy Spirit on all flesh. 

3. They incline to regard God the Son as worthy 
not only of equal (John 5, .23) but of even greater 
honor than God the Father. (The following expres 
sion of Spangenberg is very characteristic in this re 
spect: "The very highest which we know to say of 
God the Father is, that He is the Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ.") 

4. They see in Christ Himself altogether too 
much the Brother, the Savior, the High Priest; and 
altogether too little the Lord, the Judge, the King. 

5. They attach due importance to only one point 
of doctrine, viz. Jesus Christ and His bloody merit, and 
do not rightly know how to use anything else in the 
Scriptures, unless it be immediately connected with 
this ; whilst nevertheless all Scripture given by inspira 
tion of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for 
correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 
3, 16). 

Remark: The passage 1 Cor. 2, 2, cannot be cited in jus 
tification of this; for when Paul says: "I know (and preach) 
nothing save Jesus Christ and Him crucified," this does not 
exclude God the Father and the Holy Ghost, nay rather 
includes them; for Jesus Christ as to His divine nature is 
one with both, and the whole doctrine of justification through 
Jesus Christ cannot be thought of without the other two 
persons, of whom the one justifies and the other sanctifies. 
Hence, in the adduced passage, Paul gives prominence to 
Jesus Christ for no other reason than that He is the only 
Mediator between God and man, and when he adds, "and 

250 Distinctive Doctrines. 

Hini crucified, 1 he again sets forth Jesus Christ s reconciling 
sufferings and death as the chief thing, without, however, 
covering up what He did and taught besides this. In short r 
Paul would by no means say: 1 know and preach nothing 
concerning the other two persons of the Godhead, and con 
cerning Jesus Christ no more than His death on the cross; but 
he would say this: Not my poor self, but Jesus Christ the 
crucified (the whole Christ, however!); this is the point 
whence all my preaching emanates, and whither it returns; 
for the whole Scripture of the Old and New Testament testi 
fies of Christ crucified. (Luke 24, 25-27; John 5, 39.) 

Tis indeed true: the doctrine of Jesus Christ and His- 
bloody merit is the center of Evangelical doctrine, and who 
ever has taken this rightly to heart, may be content there 
with. Yet it is, and will continue to be, dangerous, to be 
content with one point of doctrine, even though it be the 
very center; for we are expressly admonished in many pas 
sages of Scripture to grow also in knowledge, and not always 
to use the milk of the divine Word, i. e, the elementary doc 
trines (Heb. 5, 13), but to press forward to perfection in 
knowledge and to an understanding of the perfect harmony 
of the Scriptures; and that, too, as is evident from Heb. 6, 
4, to the end that we may not retard in, or fall away, alto 
gether from our Christianity by reason of an imperfect knowl 
edge of the Scripture; for no one can deny that the less 
deeply any one is indoctrinated in the harmony of the Scrip 
tures, the more easily he will be driven about and away by 
"divers and strange doctrines" and make shipwreck of his 
faith. For each single doctrine of the Scriptures is only then 
fully explained and established when viewed in the light of 
the whole; and there is no better defense against doubts con 
cerning any one part, than the contemplation of the wonder 
ful harmony of the whole. 

6. They make Christianity to be preeminently 
a matter of "feeling;" this is proved, above all, by their 
many affecting- hymns, by many parts of their cultus 

The Moravians. 251 

which border on the emotional, as well as by not a few 
of their sermons, which aim more at refreshing the mind 
by grace, than at enlightening the understanding, or 
admonishing the heart (i. e. in the sense of the Scrip 
ture, the will) to repentance and sanctification. 2 

Remark: The Gospel should not be directed first of all 
to the sensibilities for thus it is apt to cause only a pious 
state of intoxication which soon passes away but it must be 
directed to the understanding, which is darkened through 
the blindness of the heart (Eph. 4, 18), in order to enlighten 
it; through the enlightened understanding to the chief 
offender,- the blind perverted heart or will, in order to con 
vert it; but from the converted heart peace and joy flow into 
the conscience, which imparts joy not only to the mind, but 
even to the "joints and marrow." So then the true way to 
Christian feeling is through the understanding over and 
above the will. Besides instructiveness is the first requisite 
of a good sermon (1 Tim. 3, 2), and exhortation to repentance 
and sanctification, connected with doctrine, the second. The 
apostolic epistles are also arranged in this way. 

7. As a natural consequence of the preceding it 
follows that, beside the preaching of grace they cannot 
find any suitable place for the preaching of the law 

2 The ^requisites which Zinzendorf lays down for a good 
sermon are characteristic in this respect: 

To a homily for a congregational assembly there belong: 

1. That a holy awe should pervade the assembly. 

2. That the speaker himself should grow "warm on the 

3. That the warmth which he feels be at the same time 
sweated out, as it were. 

If this is not the case, it is better to have Anagnotas (read 
ers) than to speak instructively and in a dry way. 

252 Distinctive Doctrines. 

(which is, even for the regenerated, a mirror of sin 
and a rule of virtue). 3 

8. In comparison with the pure doctrine they 
attach too much importance to cultus and organiza 
tion, in general to "good order", through which they 
wish "to prevent evil", and from which "nothing 
should induce us to depart." 

Remark: 1. The first expression, that "good order is 
to prevent evil," ascribes to it too much efficacy, since it can 
at best now and then prevent the breaking forth of evil. The 
other expression, that "nothing should induce us .to depart 
therefrom," can be applied only to doctrine, which is not 
ours but God s, whilst all usages, even the most salutary, 
are ours, and may, under certain circumstances, for the sake 
of love, be changed. 

Remark: 2. Since the Synod of 1857 the Moravians 
have taken a step in advance in their system of government, 
not only by the addition of four members to the "Conference 
of Elders" at Berthelsdorf, but also by granting certain pro 
vincial rights to the larger groups (the German, the Amer 
ican and the English province) of the several countries. In 
the year 1884 the Moravians numbered not more than 31,715 
members, belonging to 147 congregations. 

3 In place of the greater or less want of the preaching of 
the law, they have a kind of external (in many respects mo 
nastic) law of discipline, which can of course not supply the 
want; for the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper 
than any two-edged sword, whilst external discipline alone 
is lame and makes lame. 

Chapter XIV. 


8TRICTLY speaking Methodism 1 is the form of 
Pietism peculiar to England. Just as Pietism 
counterbalanced the constantly growing be 
numbing influence of dead orthodoxy in Germany, so 
did Methodism in England. John Wesley (born 1703) 
and George Whitefield (born 1714) are the fathers of 
Methodism. A most mighty movement was set on foot 
by these two men. Their activity was untiring, their 
influence great. In an almost irresistible manner they 
sought to win the hearts of people, in the churches 
when the opportunity was given them, or, if these were 
closed against them, in the open air. In the most 
glowing colors they could picture, for the hearts of 
their hearers, all the terrors of hell and the judgment, 
thus moving them to instant conversion. True, at 
first the populace showed decided, often rude, oppo 
sition; but still the cause of Methodism moved on 
victoriously. Among the wretched and the outcast, 

^ Methodist," like the German "Pietist" is a name used 
in derision by opponents. Any one who adopted a new or 
peculiar tendency in faith or life was called a "Methodist," 
and later the word came to mean a methodistic Pietist, i. e. 
a dissembler (Frommler). 


254 Distinctive Doctrines. 

especially, numberless awakenings took place. They 
were often accompanied by writhings and convulsions. 
But they were followed, as a rule, by an earnest, strictly 
moral life. The opposition of ecclesiastical and tem 
poral authority to Wesley, proved vain; his success 
grew apace. He could say: "The rescuing of souls 
is my calling", and "the whole world is my parish." 
The number of his hearers was generally from 20,000 
to 30,000, but sometimes from 60,000 to 80,000 lis 
tened to his calls to repentance in the open air. He 
had an especial talent for hunting up the neglected, the 
poor and the distressed. He was one of the first who 
knew how to carry on the work of "inner Missions." 

His relation to the State Church grew more and 
more untenable. The Methodists had a large number 
of lay teachers and lay helpers, who had no churchly 
call whatever to their office. The establishing of in 
dependent Church organizations therefore became a 
necessity. That we cannot here give the history of 
the conflicts that grew out of questions pertaining to 
Church organization and government, is a matter of 
course. Whitefield, who divided his time between 
England and America, planted the cause of Metho 
dism in the latter country; here, as there, the cause 
soon flourished and grew. Wesley died in 1791. The 
effect of his labor is seen in the fact that in the year 
1790 there were already, in England, America and the 
West Indies, 120,000 adherents of Methodism. 

In the United States of America the Methodist 
Church has had an especially rich and grand devel 
opment. Here it has had an independent organiza- 

The Methodists. 255 

tion, since the year 1784, as the "Methodist Episcopal 
Church." The peculiar nature of Methodism is more 
clearly defined in America than in Europe. It knows 
perfectly well how to bring about those revivals of 
religion which are a peculiarity of the religious life 
of America, and, by means of the so-called "new meas 
ures", has done much for the perfecting of the Metho- 
distic plan of securing conversions. As connected with 
this, camp-meetings, often prolonged for weeks, de 
serve especial mention. Tents, cottages and a speaker s 
stand are provided, and then preaching is kept up al 
most incessantly. Every means is brought to bear; the 
object is to arouse and excite the hearer by inspiring 
singing, by heaven-storming prayers and by sermons 
depicting all the terrors of hell. Finally conflicts and 
convulsions of repentance appear, sobbing and sigh 
ing are heard. Those affected in this manner are di 
rected to the anxious bench, where the preachers, 
kneeling beside them, pray for and talk to them, until 
the fear of repentance is dispelled by the sense of 
grace or, as it is termed, they "get through" 
which generally manifests itself in a very loud and 
boisterous manner, by laughter and shouts of joy, fol 
lowed by embracing the converts and pronouncing 
them blessed. 

In America, as well as in England, divisions have 
occurred in the ranks of the Methodists. Even in 
Wesley s time already such a division took place, since 
he opposed and his co-laborer Whitefield declared in 
favor of the Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination. 
Besides, questions pertaining to organization gave rise 

256 Distinctive Doctrines. 

to many divisions which we cannot here specially 
note. We mention only the "Primitive Methodists" 
(since 1810), also called Ranters, who separated from 
the mother Church because she would not permit them 
to hold camp-meetings, as they were held in America. 
In the course of time, however, their differences have 
largely disappeared. 1 

Two Methodistic sects of America deserve especial 
mention here, inasmuch as they have latterly carried 
on a tolerably successful propaganda in Germany. The 
Albright Brethren (they call themselves the Evangelical 
Association), so called after their founder, Jacob Al 
bright, who left the Lutheran Church and went over to 
the Methodists, agree with the latter in doctrine. They 
are indifferent as to infant baptism. Parents may 
have their children baptized or not, as they choose. 
The Otterbeinians or United Brethren in Christ 
are so called after the Reformed minister Otterbein 

2 Note by the translator: A "Southern Afternoon Press" 
dispatch, sent out from Washington, October 8, 1891, during 
the session of the Methodist Ecumenical Conference, gives 
the following, touching divisions in that Church, in America: 
"The nearest approach to a split between the different 
branches of Methodism on doctrinal grounds was in 1860, 
when the Free Methodist Church was organized. This or 
ganization was effected at Pekin, N. Y., by a number of 
ministers who had been expelled from the Genessee Con 
ference of the M. E. Church because they had insisted more 
strongly than wisely upon the doctrine of entire sanctifica- 
tion. No person who belongs to a secret society, or uses 
tobacco, or wears jewelry or other fashionable ornaments, 
is permitted to become a member of this Church, which has 
a membership of 22,861." 

The Methodists. 257 

(d. 1813) who went over to the Methodists. In doc 
trine, as well as in churchly usages, like the Albright 
Brethren, they are essentially one with the Episcopal 
Methodists; and, like the former, reject infant baptism. 
In Germany too, as already intimated, the Meth 
odists have thrown out their nets during the last de 
cades, and the results they have to show are not in 
considerable. Besides the two sects last named, the 
Methodist Episcopal Church also sends missionaries 
mostly Germans to Germany. In central Ger 
many, and especially in south Germany, the preaching 
of the Methodists is well received, particularly so by 
the lower class of people; so also in Saxony, Wurt- 
temberg, Bavaria and Baden; also in Westphalia, 
Thuringia, Hesse, Pomerania and elsewhere. The 
Pearsall Smith movement, in its day, also attracted a 
great deal of attention. Pearsall Smith, namely, a 
converted factory owner of Philadelphia, traveled 
through Germany in the ^ear 1875, having in the pre 
vious year, at a large meeting at Oxford, called into 
existence the so-called "Oxford movement." In truly 
Methodistic style he laid great stress on instantaneous 
sanctification. Not the forgiveness of sins, but the 
removal and annihilation of sin through Christ dwell 
ing in us, he claimed to be the one thing needful. 
Even though his exceeding enthusiasm proclaimed 
him a new reformer, yet the whole movement has left 
no marked traces. In his later addresses Smith 
showed plainly that, notwithstanding his high-flown 
words about sanctification, he was still a poor mortal, 
subject to error and to sin. 

258 Distinctive Doctrines. 

But, the chief object of this little book is, to char 
acterize doctrine. We shall therefore now proceed to 
the doctrine of the Methodists. It was not by mere 
accident, however, that we wrote the caption of this 
Chapter somewhat differently from former captions. 
Methodism attaches but little importance to doctrine, 
and has never made any vigorous effort to formulate 
its doctrinal views. As a rule it smooths over and 
extenuates Churchly doctrines, as e. g. the doctrine of 
Original Sin, and the Means of Grace are placed in 
the background. These points, however, will not 
show the peculiarity of Methodism; this will become 
apparent only then when we note their manner of deal 
ing with conversion and sanctification. We sum this 
up in the following paragraphs: 

1. The Evangelical Christian knows that awak 
ening and conversion are wrought through the Word, 
i. e. by God Himself, who, in and through this Word, 
touches and moves the heart by His almighty Spirit. 
The Word is therefore to be proclaimed in such a w r ay 
that the hearer will really hearken to it; if this be the 
case, then God will begin His work in the soul. It is 
otherwise with the Methodist. He talks of an im 
mediate, visible, perce ptible awakening. This they 
(the Methodists) seek to produce by descriptions, 
adapted to the senses, of the torments of hell, by 
boisterous and exciting music, by prayers causing bone 
and marrow to quake, all of which have a tendency 
and this is the object to destroy self-possession and 
becloud self-consciousness. When one has been ex 
cited and wrought up by these means, so that his sins 

The Methodists. 259 

cause him almost physical pain, and the terrors of hell 
fill him with horror then is the time to bring him 
to a confession of his sins. This having been done, 
the extreme terror of the poor sinner is relieved by 
loud, exultant exclamations, and glowing descriptions 
of the blessedness of grace. Here too everything is 
done with a view to arousing the feelings. When the 
feeling of blessedness is reached the man is converted. 
It is expected of him that he be able to give the pre 
cise day and hour of his conversion. 1 Thus then, con 
version is not the restoration of new life to the will, 
hitherto dead in sins, but the awakening of an emotional 
frame of mind. Therefore the Methodist uses not only 
the means of spiritual conviction, viz. the Word, but all 
the means of external persuasion. The citadel is taken, 
not by a well ordered siege, but by surprise (Ueber- 
rumpelung). But, can the new possessor maintain his 
position? To drop the figure, will this method of con 
version really lead to an enduring life-communion 
with God? 

2. When any one has become a child of God, 
the question very naturally is, how he can remain 
such. The doctrine of our Church gives this answer: 
By personal communion with that God who daily for 
gives abundantly all our sins. But God offers us such 
communion with Himself through the Word and sac 
raments. It is otherwise with the Methodist. Con- 

Wesley, e. g. knew of a certainty that he was con 
verted on the 24th of May, 1738, in the evening at fifteen 
minutes before 9 o clock. 

260 Distinctive Doctrines. 

version, with them, as we have seen, was really an 
excitement of the feelings. Now, how is the Chris 
tianity (religion) of this emotionally wrought-up per 
son to be maintained ; for is it not to be expected that a 
sad sobering down will follow the intoxication of en 
thusiasm? Most assuredly! Therefore provision must 
be made for constantly new emotional excitement; 
the iron must be struck while it is hot, i. e. the mo 
ment of religious excitement must be used to per 
suade the convert to observe the laws of morality, and 
to secure from him a pledge to this end. This is the 
legal trait of Methodism. What grand results it has 
attained in this way, especially among the lower class 
of people, is well known. But, are those the true 
fruits which are attached to the tree from without, or 
should we not rather work for this, that the good tree 
"bring forth good fruits" from within itself? Besides, 
can the heart -really, by such an emotional, legal pro 
cess, arrive at a personal communion with God, of 
which it is said: 

"Now I have found the firm foundation, 
Where evermore my anchor grounds" ? 

3. Connected with this there is a third consid 
eration. The Evangelical Christian remains a sinner, 
nay he becomes more and more such day by day. 
For, in communion with God, his eye becomes clear, 
so that with pain and sorrow he sees not only the great 
beams, but also the little motes, the slightest traces 
of sin, in his own heart. Thus his dearest treasure, 
the forgiveness of sins, becomes daily more precious 

The Methodists. 261 

and more necessary. This full coming to God in 
Christ, in order daily to receive grace for grace this 
is the chief part of his perfection. Just as" the Apostle, 
though counting himself among the perfect, in the 
same passage where he tells this, writes: "I count not 
myself to have apprehended" (Phil. 3, 12-16). This 
is the Evangelical conception of perfection. But the 
Methodist often talks of a different kind, a moral per 
fection, in man, when he does only that which is good, 
and the desire to sin is swallowed up in grace. And 
even though it be granted that sin constantly cleaves 
to man, it is still misleading and dangerous to hold 
up before him the goal of such unattainable perfection. 

4. From these points the differences of doctrine 
already indicated are quite apparent, viz. a weakening 
of sin and a setting aside of the Means of Grace and 
the Church. For, with the view of conversion and 
perfection that we have seen, it will be readily under 
stood that they do not take so serious a view of sin as 
those do who hold the Churchly doctrine, and that 
there is not the same need of the regular Churchly 
administration of the Means of Grace. 

Thus then the differences between us Evangelical 
(Lutherans) and the Methodists are not of merely sec 
ondary importance, allowing us to rejoice in the act 
ive work they are doing even in our own congrega 
tions. They are indeed of a very serious nature. One 
need but think of the restless activity and propaganda- 
loving spirit of Methodism, of its false view of con 
version and sanctification, in order to see this. Meth 
odism represents a sickly Christianity. But, at the 

262 Distinctive Doctrines. 

same time we cannot expect to counteract (or over 
come) it by that type of Christianity of which, alas, 
we have too many exponents in our day; a Christianity 
which is only half-seasoned and has such a horror of 
the Confessions; but only by the fervid proclamation 
of the old Gospel, and of the old doctrine of our 
Church, nothing being suppressed or changed. 

Recently a religious party has come to light, 
which, by strictly following up the purposes of Meth 
odism to the very utmost, presents indeed a caricature 
of the spirit of Methodism, but at the same time sharply 
defines its dangers. It is the Salvation Army. Let 
us notice it briefly. 

The Salvation Army owes its existence to William 
Booth and his wife Catharine Booth (d. 1890). William 
Booth was born in Nottingham in 1829. At the age 
of 24 he became a preacher in the Methodist connec 
tion, but withdrew from this office in 1861. Both he 
and his wife, from this time on, had only one object 
in view, viz. to lead the poor, the outcast and the 
fallen to repentance. But they thought this demanded 
a new method. This was "aggressive Christianity." 
Every means for attracting the attention of people was 
regarded by them as lawful. Since the year 1865 
Booth has been laboring in London. Pitching his 
tent in some prominent place, he sought to attract 
the attention of passers-by by earnest addresses in 
popular language. He succeeded, and the undertak 
ing soon assumed large dimensions. Results were ap 
parent. Thieves, drunkards, abandoned girls, were 
led to repentance. All connection with Churchly or- 

The Salvation Army, 263 

ganizations was studiously avoided, and gradually this 
became a recognized principle. Booth, a more than 
usually talented organizer, understood well how to use 
the new converts as fellow-laborers, and by a firm 
organization to accustom them to strict obedience. 
Thus somethng of a military character gradually found 
its way into the organization, and this was developed 
more and more. The duties and positions of the fel 
low workers were designated by the titles: General, 
Colonel, Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, soldier, etc. 
In the whole Methodistic plan of conversion military 
expressions were used, and military arrangements im 
itated. Thus, for instance, they talk about the war 
against the world, of volleys of prayer, infantry at 
tacks, or attacks with bombs and grenades, that this 
is the way a city is bombarded and taken; again, they 
speak of the wounded and slain being hunted up, after 
the meetings; in true military style, with loud music, 
they enter a town or city, the officers also occasionally 
mounted, etc. At the head of all is the General. He 
has unlimited authority, and every one is bound to 
obey his commands. The other leaders of the organ 
ization, the officers, are governed by his directions. 
To them (the corps of officers) there belong men, wo 
men, and even young girls ("hallelujah lassies"), for 
this is especially emphasized among them, that women 
also have the right to speak in the assemblies. And 
to this circumstance the Salvation Army owes much of 
its success. The officers are recognized by some dis 
tinguishing mark on their clothing, but every member 
wears the S. (Salvation Army) generally on the col- 

264 Distinctive Doctrines. 

lar. The Salvation Army has its own, blood-red ban 
ner, on which there is, embroidered in gold, the ser 
pent on the cross, over this two crossed swords, and 
the circumscription: "Blood and Fire." It is made 
the duty of each new member to labor with all his 
might for the cause of the Army ; parents of new-born 
children present them in the congregation and a pledge 
is then and there exacted of them to dedicate them to 
the Salvation Army; marriages are solemnized by the 
officers, and the newly-married couple are required to 
promise to live in the service of the Army. This 
pledge, of course, rests most heavily on the officers 
(who, by the way, are not allowed to marry, or to en 
gage themselves, without the permission of the Gen 
eral) ; they are under close scrutiny and are urged on 
to devote all their powers to the cause of the Army. 
The regulations which Booth has given out for this 
purpose contain indeed a great deal of the wisdom 
of the serpent and knowledge of the world, but so 
much the less of the harmlessness of doves. It is the 
gloomy spirit of Jesuitical, utilitarian morality. 

If we turn aside now from the contemplation of 
the military feature of the Army, we meet, on all sides, 
nothing but Methodism distorted to madness. Here 
men and women, dressed in uniform, march along, 
carrying the red flag, singing boisterously, often halt 
ing to exhort the by-standers to repentance ; true, they 
are often insulted by the populace, yet they win many 
a one for their cause. Or, they assemble in their place 
of meeting. Hymns are sung to enlivening airs, the 
story of their conversion is told by the newly con- 

The Salvation Army. 265 

verted, or (as they are called) the "trophies" and 
"good jokes" are not thought out of place here then 
there follow prayers piercing through bone and mar 
row, full of the fire of fanatical passion. And so it 
goes on until there are evidences of emotion among 
the hearers. Then the officers make haste to per 
suade those who show signs of emotion to come to the 
anxious bench. Here there is sighing and moaning, 
until at last the spirit of grace comes; then follow 
volleys of hallelujahs. The new convert is at once 
instructed in his duties to the Salvation Army, and told 
that henceforth he must abstain from spirituous liquors, 
from tobacco and from fashionable clothing. He is, 
of course, invited to attend the meetings regularly, 
but the officers also visit him at home as often as pos 
sible, in order to guard against his falling away. 

In all this, Methodism is easily seen. The Salva 
tion Army lays little stress on doctrine. True, Booth 
declared himself in favor of the "old-fashioned Gos 
pel" and its saving truths, but practically this amounts 
to very little. And, that we do not judge them too se 
verely is evident from the fact that they regard Baptism 
and the Lord s Supper as mere ceremonies with which 
we may dispense altogether. This too is Methodism 
carried to the extreme. Of the same type is the require 
ment to abstain from things external, and in them 
selves indifferent, as smoking, for instance, as well as 
their view of the moral perfection of members of the 
Army. They claim "there is here, as a rule, a per 
fect victory over every sinful inclination, passion or 
habit which formerly was the cause of sin, and gener 
ally a complete deliverance from the inclination even." 

266 Distinctive Doctrines. 

We cannot trace further the history of individual 
members of the Salvation Army, or of the spread of 
the Army itself. 1 Only so much we remark, that their 
most important periodical, the "War Cry", has 400,- 
000 subscribers, and that in 1884 already Gen. Booth 
could boast that he had collected 393,000 pounds ster 
ling (about |1,925,000) for Army purposes. The 
Army has undertaken campaigns (for conquest) not 
only in England, but also in North America, Australia, 
France, British India and Switzerland. Judging by 
their failures in Germanic Switzerland, it is not to be 
presumed that they will have much success in Ger 
many. Although recently the newspapers do give ac 
counts of some achievements on their part in Ger 
many, especially in Berlin. At this time the Army is 
said to have one thousand soldiers in Berlin, and one 
hundred officers in all Germany. 

Nothing further is needed to enable us to form 
a judgment as to the Salvation Army. Or, dare we 
pronounce in their favor in view of their successes 
among the abandoned masses? Then, say we, remem 
ber the words of our Lord: "By their fruits ye shall 
know them." Their fruits, not their successes, are 
to determine our judgment; for successes are gained 
and come from without, while fruits grow and come 
from within; therefore only these, and not successes, 
can show us the inner life. 

specially interested in this matter are referred 
to the exhaustive treatise of Th. Kolde, The Salvation Army 
(Erlangen, 1885). 

Third part, 

H Brief Summary of the principal Unsound 
Religious tendencies in Christianity* 

General Observations* 

HLONG way lies behind us, dear reader. We 
have come through many a city with tower 
ing walls and floating banners, by many a 
fortress enclosed and isolated on some height. But 
nowhere did we feel at home except in our own city, 
the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Therefore we ex- 
ultingly say: "We have a strong city; salvation will 
God appoint for walls and bulwarks" (Isa. 26, 1) and 
"Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God" 
(Ps. 87, 3)! 

But, should any of our readers, having become 
convinced that the doctrine of our Church is the truly 
Scriptural doctrine, be tempted to say: "God, I 
thank Thee, that I am not as other men are" (Luke 
18, 11)? Should any one be tempted to speak thus 
with the Pharisee, he would simply show thereby that 
he has neither laid hold of nor felt the spirit of the 
Gospel. The purpose of the pure Gospel is not to 
satiate, but to make us hungry for more grace. It 
does not propose to furnish us colored glasses through 
which to see ourselves in a rosy light, but to clear our 
vision, that we may see still more and more plainly 
our own sin and infirmity. It does not propose to 
magnify us in our own eyes, but to make us small, 
penitent and humble. Away, then, with all vain- 


270 Distinctive Doctrines. 

glory, thou who wouldst belong to the Church of the 
Scriptural Confession! Honor and glory belong, not 
to thee, but to Christ alone! 

If the individual may not boast, as though by rea 
son of having the pure doctrine he were better than 
others, neither must the Church of the Scriptural Con 
fession close her eyes to the many defects and infirmi 
ties that still cling to her. Woe to us, if we, in our 
conflict with other Confessions, learn from the world 
to fall into impenitent boasting. Alas, our Church, in 
her entirety, must often say of herself now, what the 
prophet said of the Church of his time: "The whole 
head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. From the 
sole of the foot even unto the head there is no sound 
ness in it; but wounds and bruises and putrefying 
sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, 
neither mollified with ointment" (Isa. 1, 5. 6). But 
such a condition will necessarily be attended by fever; 
and where there is fever there are all kinds of imagin 
ings. And, besides these imaginings of perverted views, 
how much sleeping and dreaming, how much luke- 
warmness and imperfection in our midst! No, there 
is only one thing of which we can and will boast, and 
that is the grace of God. The streams of salvation 
still flow in our midst, to give strength and joyfulness 
to faint hearts; the walls of salvation still encompass 
our city, so that we are never without protection and 
defense against the darts that wound the conscience, 
against the snares that entangle our feet. That the 
Lord is in our midst, truly, in this let us rejoice! Be 
this our glorying and our joy! "He that glorieth, let 

General Observations. 271 

him glory in the Lord" (1 Cor. 1, 31)! and "It is of 
the Lord s mercies that we are not consumed, because 
His compassions fail not" (Lam. 3, 22)! 

But, if this be so, then certainly we ourselves 
must not lose courage and grow indifferent, but work 
on bravely, each one in his place, to advance the in 
terests of our Church. The Lord is with her; it is 
His work in which we are engaged : 

"And as the cause and glory, Lord, 
Are Thine, not ours, do Thou afford 
Us help and strength and constancy, 
And keep us ever true to Thee." 

In the second place, we will labor earnestly in our 
own behalf, so that we may not be satisfied with hold 
ing the dogmas which we formerly learned, but that 
we may experience their power in our hearts, and 
be intent on searching them still more closely. There 
would not be so much unbelief in our day, if ignorance 
in spiritual matters were not so alarmingly great, even 
among the educated. See then that you be at home 
in the doctrines of your Church, that you may be pre 
pared to defend your spiritual mother when she is 
attacked by her own children, whether in trivial mock 
ery, in malicious hatred, or in the blazoned impudence 
of ignorance! 

In the third place, in this nervous, over-excited 
time, let us have patience with all those who are ear 
nestly and honestly striving after the truth, but are 
still not able to tear themselves away from imaginings 
and dreams; they are sick, it is true, but are longing 

272 Distinctive Doctrines. 

for health; and this already is a sign of improvement. 
But in order that each one may prove himself, 
whether and how far his life is a healthy life in Christ, 
and may learn to know his own ailment, the principal 
unsound tendencies which at present prevail in our 
Church are here enumerated and briefly characterized. 
In doing" this we can, of course, pay no attention to 
those who no longer care anything for the Church. 

kuhewarm and Undecided tendency. 

One believes everything, because the Church 
teaches it; also attends Church regularly. If there be 
a fine, impressive sermon, the heart feels thrills of 
repentance, and the resolution is formed : Now I will 
begin a new life ; and a beginning is really made. Such 
a one takes part also in all kinds of meetings for 
Churchly and benevolent purposes, reads the Bible 
and devotional books, and does not forget to have 
family worship and to say grace before and after meat. 
And still, the heart is only half engaged in these mat 
ters. You are a stranger to the earnest pangs of re 
pentance, you have no true, heartfelt joy in grace, 
you give nothing for Christ s sake, your prayer 
is often only the discharge of a duty, without love, 
without joyfulness! What is the consequence? If 
earnest times come in your life, if want and anxiety 
overwhelm you, if you are called upon -to make a 
decision affecting your life, if you are to pass judg 
ment upon other men then you are not guided by 
the rule which God s word and your faith give you, 
but by paltry, cunning calculation, by purely worldly 

The Catholicizing Tendency. 273 

considerations. You are only half a Christian. Do 
not wonder if the Gospel bring you only transient, 
half-way consolation. But do not forget either what 
God s word says of your manner of life: "Because 
thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will 
spew thee out of my mouth" (Rev. 3, 16). 

2. Cbe Catholicizing tendency. 

One speaks of the Christian confessional writings 
almost as if they were inspired and of equal authority 
with the Word of God; the ordination of ministers 
rather than their vocation is regarded of the greatest 
importance; indeed they look upon it as a half-way 
sacrament, and their view of the ministerial office, 
which they delight in surrounding with a kind of 
priestly halo, is an exaggerated one. 1 They overesti 
mate the Sacraments at the expense of the Word, 
and lay stress on liturgical forms at the expense 

Suddens, an old teacher of our Church, expresses him 
self thus with regard to ordination: Ordination presup 
poses vocation, so that the minister of the Word does not 
really, through the ordination, receive the power to do any 
thing, but the object is this, that united prayer be offered 
in his behalf for divine grace for the proper discharge of 
the duties of the office committed to him. The effect of 
ordination is therefore to be judged by the character (essence) 
of prayer as well as of him who is ordained. There is, how 
ever, a certain declaration connected with this usage, that 
he who has been called is received among the number of 
those who minister in spiritual things. But the reception 
itself takes place through the vocation rather than through 
the ordination. 

274 Distinctive Doctrines. 

of the sermon; too much importance is attached 
to external Churchly unity; they look to Churchly 
organization for their chief results and in this re 
spect turn their eyes somewhat longingly to the 
English Church with its episcopacy, which gives 
this Church indeed a certain external position, not 
in itself, however, but in its dependence on the State 
(which, by the way, is still very conservative). Often 
too there is a desire for worldly esteem and power, and 
one would not be displeased if people could be com 
pelled to attend service by police regulations. 2 There 
is no lack of inclination to regard the historically de 
veloped privilege of the supreme episcopacy pertain 
ing to the crown, as a divine right, but at the same time 
this view is entertained, that the inner life of the Church 
would be rejuvenated if she were more independent of 
the State. 

2 Luther, on the contrary, speaks thus of such external 
compulsory regulations: "Inasmuch as I cannot pour faith 
into the heart, I neither can nor should urge or compel any 
one, for God alone does this and brings it about that He 
dwells in the heart. Thus the compulsory command be 
comes a mere sham, an external affair, foolery and human 
tradition; the result is, pretended saints, hypocrites or dis 
semblers. For there is no heart there, no faith, no love. 
First of all we must win people s hearts. This takes place 
when I sow the seed of the Word, preach the Gospel, tell 
the people their errors. He who would obey then, would 
obey; he who would not, would stay out. * * * Sum 
mary: I will preach it, will tell it to the people, will write it, 
but as to compelling any one, or urging him by force, that 
I will not do, for faith wants to be induced willingly, without 

The Pietistic Tendency. 275 

3. Cbc tendency of Dead Orthodoxy* 

The greatest importance is attached to the pure 
doctrine; without regard to sanctification in one s self 
or others. This spirit prevails in the training of the 
youth and pervades the sermons. Doctrines, only 
doctrines are imparted, in their minutest ramifications. 
But since in such faith the chief part, viz. heartfelt con 
fidence, is wanting, and it is nothing more than knowl 
edge and assent, a matter of the memory and the intellect, 
they continue to stand, if I may say so, on their posi 
tion, not only with their feet, but also move no other 
member in order to bend from their position down to 
others to draw them up to their own with the arms of 
love. Such coldness of the heart may, if opportunity 
offers, become fanaticism, and is often accompanied 
by hard-hearted, haughty judgments as to the con 
victions of others. 

4. Che pictistic Cendeticy. 

A one-sided stress is laid on a pure life, forgetful 
of the fact that this is dependent on the pure Word, 
just as the fruit on the tree; and thus, in their striving 
after sanctification, the value of the fountain of sanc 
tification is lost sight of, and the holding fast to the 
confession of the pure doctrine is, without having ex 
amined it, declared to be dead orthodoxy; and the in 
ner power of the divine word itself is held in such 
slight esteem, that they think that a minister who does 
not adorn the pure doctrine with a holy life can accom- 

276 Distinctive Doctrines. 

plish nothing 1 (evidently contrary to Phil 1, 18 where 
Paul rejoices in the activity, even though it be in 
sincere, of such dead orthodoxy). Among those af 
fected by this tendency the Christ "in us" overshadows 
the Christ "for us" ; in addition to the seal of the Word 
and sacrament they demand the seal of their emo 
tions. Justification by grace is placed in the back 
ground; by their works they want to gain the assur 
ance that they are God s children; hence a human, 
busy running hither and thither in matters pertaining 
to the kingdom of God. And they will not -let the 
daily duties of our calling pass for such matters. Spe 
cial works, such as the support of Missions, ministering 
to the wants of the poor and the sick, are especially 
prized by them in this line. True, these works are 
in themselves good; they are a duty. But we should 
not forget that first of all we are to promote the king 
dom of God in our own calling. It may happen that 
one s own children and members of one s own house 
hold suffer want and are uncared for, whilst one is 
thinking of the wants of others and knitting stock 
ings for heathen children. Connected with this ex 
ternal activity there is also an exaggerated view of 

3 So much is true, if the preacher of the Word does not 
adorn and commend it by a holy walk and conversation, its 
efficacy will be hindered; so also if he does not properly 
distribute it, sowing the divine seed too thick or too thin, 
in bad order, out of season, etc. But the inner power . of the 
Word remains the same, and the efficacy of this indwelling 
power is only weakened to a greater or less degree, but never 

The Moravianizing Tendency. 277 

the hurtfulness or usefulness of external things for 
godliness (1 Tim. 4, 8), especially of so-called "things 
indifferent"; all not purely spiritual enjoyments must 
be characterized as sinful, and the first spiritual advice 
given any one will be: "Abstain from this or from 
that." In this way they sew pieces of new cloth onto 
an old garment, which however will not last; i. e. they 
begin conversion from without, in one single thing, 
and never accomplish anything thorough or well- 
founded, for only the Word of God, which is cast 
into the heart as the living seed of regeneration (1 Pet. 
1, 23), can make the old "garment" of the natural 
man thoroughly new. But since there is no joyful- 
ness in mere externals, the self-torturing mind is, as 
a rule, gloomy, and neither heart, eye nor mouth can 
feel, look or speak joyfully. They are not far from 
the separatistic spirit of the Conventicle, which is a 
feature of all self-righteousness. They are inclined to 
regard all who do not take part with them as chil 
dren of the world, but themselves, of course, as chil 
dren of God; in brief, they regard their communion 
with believers as evidence of their communion with 
the Lord. 

5. Che JYIoravi|imziiig tendency. 

Although closely related to Pietism, and often 
united with it, in certain respects it presents the direct 
opposite of the pietistic tendency. Whilst that (the 
pietistic) insists especially on repentance, this urges 
more particularly to faith; that speaks especially of 
God s holiness, this of His love; that looks especially, 
and with loathing, upon one s own sinfulness, this 

278 Distinctive Doctrines. 

with delight on God s grace. Both, however, resemble 
each other in this, that they, to a greater or less ex 
tent, disregard intellect and memory, only that the 
former is more given to the exciting of the will, the 
latter to the exciting of the feeling; there they want 
bitter tears of repentance, here sweet tears of grace. 
For every step or decision, even where reasonable re 
flection would suffice quite well, they would like to 
have a special indication of Providence, and to this 
end are ready to regard even the most trivial circum 
stances as such indications; are ready to find in their 
own inner disposition, in the presence or absence of 
a certain joyfulness, the deciding voice of the Lord, 
without stopping to reflect that perverted human na 
ture delights in its own ways, but finds little delight 
in God s ways. 

Finally, they do not know how to distinguish 
properly between awakening and conversion; they are 
easily satisfied with a confession that testifies of a 
longing, be it ever so slight, after the Lord Jesus, 
avoid an open, manly confessional conflict, but love 
to speak of their own personal, gracious experiences, 
whilst the pietistically inclined prefers to speak rather 
of his sinful condition. 

6. Cbc jvietbodistic tendency. 

This tendency is in a certain respect the culmi 
nating point of the pietistic, with this difference: the 
one inclined to Pietism seeks retirement for his own 
edification, whilst the one inclined to Methodism is 
not averse to publicity, that he may convert others. 

The Methodistic Tendency. 279 

Both insist on repentance (Busze); but the Meth- 
odistically inclined would see the pain of repentance 
grow into a penitential conflict or even a condition 
of penitential suffering. Thus at least this tendency 
appears, in its most striking form, in North America 
and England (see above). Still another error is closely 
connected with this. The question: "How old art 
thou?" when asked by persons trained after the man 
ner of Methodists, means : How long since you were 
converted? for one should be able to give, to the min 
ute, the time of his conversion. Both errors rest upon 
a third, on this namely, that the Holy Ghost always 
comes with a rushing sound, and not, as He does, 
frequently in a still, gentle, almost imperceptible whis 
per. Hence Methodistically inclined preachers mostly 
try, by a powerful excitement of the feelings, at once 
to force the will to a resolve, while calm instruction 
and persuasion take a secondary place; they want to 
take the hearts of men, for God, by storm, and there 
fore picture hell as hot as possible, i. e. they present 
to their hearers the most vivid pictures possible of 
the torments of the damned, helping along all they can 
by tone and gestures. 

This is the Methodistic manner of conversion. 
But since conversions of this kind generally consist 
in nothing more than nervous excitement, provision 
must be made in some other way for the reaction which 
will soon appear. As for the rest, according to the 
very sharply outlined Methodistic conceptions, there 
is such a well-defined difference between a converted 
Christian and one not converted, that they can readily 

280 Distinctive Doctrines, 

write down each individual either into the book of 
life, or the book of death; thus namely, no one, who 
has not yet passed through such a penitential struggle, 
has passed from death unto life. That the making of 
proselytes is inseparable from such a system, is a mat 
ter of course. 

7. Cbc jVIystic tendency. 

Just as they, in general, have no regard for any 
thing external, so they have none for the Word (of 
God), which, in their view, is also a mere external, 
but are of the opinion that God must reveal Himself 
to men in some other way before the revelation in the 
Word can really profit them any; and that this reve 
lation (in the Word) becomes practically useless after 
the Holy Spirit has once been poured out into the 
heart. The first spiritual advice, therefore, which they 
give, is: "You must pray", without having first di 
rected to and guided them into the Word, since prayer 
itself consists in nothing else but pleading God s own 
Word before Him (Ps. 27, 8), clinging to Him by 
means of it, and not letting Him go except He bless 
us. Connected with this contempt for the Word and 
in general of everything external, there is also a dis 
regard for the office of the ministry and of every ex 
ternal calling. They attach supreme importance to 
the inner motion (impulse) of the Spirit, which however 
must first prove its divine origin in this, that external 
circumstances and relations, which also stand in the 
Lord s hand, work together with it, or at least finally 
submit. Failing to recognize the great depth of hu 
man depravity, they think a Christian must always 

The Mystic Tendency. 281 

be so full of the Holy Ghost as to be always ready 
to preach, and that he needs no other preparation for 
this than prayer; that, in view of this, the preacher 
may not only, by the power of prayer dismiss all men 
tal care as to what he is to speak (Matt. 10, 19), but also 
all systematic arrangement of it, for all study in spir 
itual matters is, after all, rather a hindrance than a 
help. - As for the rest, it is self-evident that for the 
mystically inclined there is no true significance in 
confessional differences, nay they readily take offense 
at the name Evangelical Lutheran* and prefer to speak 
of a universal and invisible Church. They also love to 

*1 Cor. 1, 12. 13, cannot be cited in favor of this; for the 
word "Lutheran" is added only on account of the material 
distinction; otherwise we would be quite content with the 
name "Evangelical." Paul, Cephas and Apollos, however, 
differed in their doctrine not as to matter; the appellations 
"of Paul, of^Apollos, of Cephas" originated only in a party 
spirit which looked to the person rather than the matter. 
In reference to this Luther says: 

"If you regard Luther s doctrine as evangelical and 
the pope s as unevangelical, you must not be so ready 
to reject Luther, else you reject his doctrine with him, 
which, however, you regard as Christ s doctrine; but you 
must say thus: It matters not to me whether Luther be a 
knave or a saint, his doctrine is not his but Christ s. For 
you see that the tyrants are not trying to destroy Luther 
but the doctrine, and on account of the doctrine they attack 
you and ask you whether you are a Lutheran. Here you 
must not speak empty words, but confess Christ freely, 
whether Luther, Claus or George have preached Him. Do 
not regard the person, but confess the doctrine." (Luther s, 
Works, Erlangen, XXVIII., 316.) 

282 Distinctive Doctrines. 

boast of a very intimate communion with the Lord 
and to bask in the exceeding abundant feeling- of His 

Remark: These various tendencies, where they appear 
decidedly and separate^, also manifest themselves, in part at 
least, by certain external characteristics. The first is fash 
ioned after the world, the second unyielding, the third abrupt 
(coarse), the fourth full of pretense, the fifth enervating, the 
sixth stormy and the seventh self-satisfied and reserved. 

BESIDES, this is of course true, that if any one be 
longs for instance to the pietistic tendency, we must 
not take for granted that, on that account, he is af 
fected by all the errors cited under that head; and 
again, that it is possible to belong to several unsound 
tendencies at the same time. By far the most widely 
spread unsound tendencies of the present time are 
the Lukewarm-worldly, the Pietistic and the Metho- 
distic. At the same time there is no lack of those 
who lean toward dead orthodoxy and Catholicism. 

So then let us each rebuke the other about this 
matter, that we may be sound in the faith (Tit. 1, 13), 
and take to heart the admonition: "When for the 
time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one 
teach you again which be the first principles of the 
oracles of God; and are become such as have need of 
milk, and not of strong meat. * * * But strong 
meat belongeth to them that are of full age. even those 
who by reason of use have their senses exercised to 
discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5, 12 and 14).