Monday, May 29, 2006

#1914-To the Markgraphisch Provinz=Adminsitrator and Counselor, the Mayor and Council of Nuernaberg in collaboration with the other theologians

To the noble, honorable and valiant, respectable and wise Markgraphischen Provinz-Administrator, Mayor and Council of the city of Nuernberg, our favored Lords and Friends.
Grace and peace in Christ. Noble, Respectable, Valiant, Honorable and Wise especially favored Lords and Friends! We have the delivered church-order and message of the Visitation in which the illustrious, high-born Prince and Lord, Herr Georg, Markgraf in Brandenburg, his lands and princedom, and also of yours the Lords of Nuernberg Authority and Regions unitedly (?)(einhellig) and uniformly composed and established avoiding inequality both in doctrine and also in several external ceremonies and earnestly read them and also as much as possible pondered them and found them, in summary, according to the divine Word and in agreement with our Visitation-Order and we
are well-pleased with them. Only in several articles which you have especially named in part as to the Ban as you would exercise it and you will perceive our thoughts and the relevant Scriptures. The same you will as sensible people according to opportunity and need consider and understand so that chiefly the pure doctrine and preaching is preserved and thereby there is harmony and good order and so that there are Christian ceremonies without misuse. Although the course of this time is so crooked so that church-orders necessarily cannot hastily be constructed and determined yet one must preserve the pure doctrine and also external discipline and behavior and guard against unrighteousness improving daily until the Almighty grants more peace and unity both in the church and worldly regimens. And so that we in such Christian efforts might serve you we are intent on doing with all our ability. Dated at Wittenberg on 1 August anno 1532. D. Martinus Luther,Justus Jonas,Joannes Bugenhagins, Philippus Melachton.
We have instituted no other Bann at this time than prohibiting the admission to the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ those who commit public vices and who will not cease from the same; and in order that this may be maintained by us no one is extended the Sacrament who has not previously been examined by the pastors or deacons.We also do not think that at this time any other sort of Bann should be instituted; there are many cases previously which required a hearing (cognitio). We cannot now see how a hearing should be instituted and ordered; the worldly authority wants nothing to do with this hearing. So let one keep it and let it remain that the
Holy Sacrament is not offered to those who are and remain in public vices.And although the world presently is so crude and wild that they are not eager for the Sacrament or Church and on that account would not regard this as punishment. Let one be excommunicated if the worldly authority wants to allow public vices. Nevertheless the preachers with all earnestness should rebuke in sermons all such heathen essence and life with the proclamation of divine threats and thereby have the potential (potestates) admonition of warding of such heathen existence.
If there should be re-instituted a previous hearing before a trial which was very useful and good there might occur a discipline and punishmnet established by the parents to urge their children and household to the Sacrament guarding against the young folk from despising the Sacrament and advocating divine matters.
Should the public Bann be instituted the secular authority must support an ordinance which (requires?) avoiding the banned person if others are to take the public Bann as a serious example: there is also at this time especially in large cities and regimes much unrighteousness created. However, this our Bann which privately (privatim) forbids the Sacrament is not to be mistaken for the civil witness and dealings; a Christian nevertheless may deal with the banned one as a heathen and have other civil relations with him which indicate to him and others that he does not assent to nor does the ungodly and punishable teaching and life of the banned person please him.
2. DE SICCA MISSA (on the dry Mass)
On holding the Mass without the Sacrament we are very well pleased with the Brentii thesis and hold also that this spectacle (Spectacul) should not be celebrated as a dry
Mass. What would that be than a public sanctioning of the institution of the papal private Mass whereby the people are stirred up to support and run to the papal private Mass much more than before this time. If the people become accustomed to this
sicca missa the private papal Mass will become regarded as higher and holier when it is obvious that the papal private Mass is an abomination and an unlawful act of worship.
3.On the holding of the Sacrament in Ciborio (canopy over saints remains?) whether it should be kept or barred, it should be done away with since sacramentum and verborum (Word and Sacrament)should be kept together. One knows that the Sacrament is instituted to be partaken of and there is not to be established a special service of worship apart from the partaking and the Word.
On page 57 on the secular authority who misuses his office this occurs: if one exercises his regime with force that one must fear to do right that is no authority in the sight of God etc. We think that it would be better to leave this paragraph out
in order to avoid offense and a troublesome dispute (disputatio). Although the Holy Scripture and worldly law teach how one should deal with unjust power (Potestat), evil power (Potestat) remains nevertheless power (Potestat) as everyone obviously knows; so if evil power is not power before God then the subjects would be exempt from all duties etc. And though one might present the above mentioned words with a gloss or clarification saying they have a physical (corporal) meaning it would be better to avoid such a dispute so one should leave out the mentioned paragraph as yet not necessary here.
On page 60 the verse of Acts 13 (verse 39) is interpreted thus: Christ has abrogated the law in matters which do not involve justification. These words indicate that there is a part of the law which involves justification as our opponents teach that we are righteous for the sake of moral works (propter moralia opera). And as we now teach and it is the truth that is certain we are pleasing to God because of His mercy and not because of our works and and virtues, call them what you will, and thus we are promised such mercy in Christ and trust in it so we think that the same above mentioned paragraph
should also be omitted.
Also Paul speaks universally in the Hebrew manner that everything in the Law cannot make us righteous; the morals are therefore included; why would one then make a particular (particularem) of it?
It appears also that the Visitation-order is not the only one and not put in place at a definite time and often corrected and several parts are often repeated as the one on confession. Someone such as Herr Osiander might undertake and bring in a different order etc. Doctor Martinus Luther,Justus Jonas,D. Joannes Bugenhagins Pomeranus, Philippus Melanchton.

No comments: