Sunday, May 07, 2006

#1899-Thoughts on Religous Peace by ML and Faculty

In the matter of how to deal with a truce or external and worldly peace in the German nation it is well to consider that there are many conditions (Condition) and entanglements which would frustrate and hinder the doctrine of this party who are adherents of the Confession. Now we are not able to consider all the facets. From the previous dealings it is well to take exception to three things that were sought, namely
that we would not send preachers into other domains or seek to promote the doctrine in such places in any way. This article is contrary to God since Paul says the Gospel is not to be bound. This is the foremost divine service that Christian doctrine and right worhsip should be spread and promoted where one can especially by the means of preaching
and preachers but apart from forceful endeavors. And this is completely without debate that one cannot agree to this article.
Secondly they are likely seeking that no one should participate in the alliance.Though making such alliances for such Christian help is godly and right (each Regent is also apart from any alliance is responsible and obligated to give such faithful help as it is easy to demonstrate and prove from and it is written in 1 John 3:16:): "Herein one knows love: as Christ has given His life for us, we should also give our life for the brothers.") Yet we see there is so much unfaithfulness in alliances with undercutting that we do not see that one can expect much help or consolation therein. Each one should determine for himself what he is obligated to do. A pious, Christian Lord cannot obligate himself to help the other in such cases. This is talking about individual and private help. This has nothing to do with alliances since there is no comfort from outside, faithless alliance relationships.
Since others want to take over the alliance and forget love and not help others , pious and faithful covenant partner cannot force them and is therefore excused if one unwillingly tolerates which others do not adopt since he cannot force others to consent to help?
We know nothing other than that in regard to this article that in this case there should be earnest reminder of the alliance relationship that they are obligated to help. If they do not take it seriously to help there's not much assurance of consolation and no protection follows. Christ knew the world's unfaithfulness and spoke thereof of to preachers and that we are to commit the contingencies to God. He Who will not let His Chuch go under says nothing of alliances and the faithfulness of the great kings and princes.)Here ML has a Latin note in the margin saying that He (God) does not promise that they will be faithful as He is but that He will assist when they support the alliances they make as He does all the laws.)Therefore may we also commend our vulnerabilities to God but would also at the same time admonish the Regents remind and point out to them that they are responsible to give pious Christians protection as the Psalm says:"Well for them who receive the miserable".(Here a note again in Latin by ML says it is one thing to say that a King should do something and to say that a King will do something. Editors say it is not certain whether Philipp said the first and certain that Philipp did not say the latter.)Regarding people in other cities and countries under other sovereignties where the Gospel is preadhed the Authorities over the same are responsible for protecting them against illegal use of force.
Regarding the third concerning the Chamber-Court it is to be in no way consented to that they should against those presently accepting Christian doctrine or those who will do so in the future to proceed with force against them on account of doctrine or other matters of church establishment regarding doctrine or properties. It is obvious that the Chamber-court is an entirely worldly court and has no jurisdiction over doctrine or church positions. It is obvious that we are strongly opposed to the same.
Where restitution is sought it is our opinion that the Lords are responsible to bring church properties to their proper use, and to fittingly care for parishes, schools and hospitals. That they should do and be supportive thereof. Whether it should be presented to the Pope or otherwise without need done in cannot be defended by us. We want to by God's grace say what is right. We cannot add more than that.
The Church must most of all experience in the last time great unfaithfulness as Daniel says:"Many will be traitorous to them." God help us!
It is also mentioned that it might happen that one could speak of the Form of a Council (Church). Although we have no doubt that the King and Pop0le could not or would not permit a free Council and could therefore contrast the Form we neverthelss will consider further this matter and report to Ew. churf.Gnaden (our electoral Grace).
First the Pope, Kings and Princes must consent to having the judges sworn to be free according to God's Word and their own conscience to judge and not according to men's sentences and opinions of the Schools and also not with regartd to Papal authroity or the usual force or custom. This would occur if one were to include in addition to God's Word the usage of the first Christian Church in apostolic times or how this was to be thought about.
It should be the same way in talking about the article on the Confession. If that were the case it would not be necessary to take an oath to the four ancient Councils.
As to the choice of the participants that would be up to the consent of both parties.
Martinus Luther,D. Justus Jonas D.Johannes Pomeranus D. Caspar Creutziger D. Philippus Melanchton.

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