Wednesday, August 16, 2006

#1967-The Council of Nuernberg to ML and Melanchton

Herr Martin Luther, Doctor of the Holy Scripture and Magister Philipp Melanchton etc. in Wittenberg, together and particularly.
Worthy and Highly-Scholarly Ones! In our city Nuernberg and other spots under our authority there has been for some time (and in our opinion not unChristian)the practice maintained in the churches that on the feast days when the common sermon is completed from the chancel that before the communion before the altar of the body and blood of Christ that the preacher or church-servant speaks a common open confession and after the completion of the same proclaims to the assembled people the absolution or releasing etc.over which, however ,several of our church-servants are disgruntled and have ceased to do so and also upon our request for an explanation said that such absolution is not beneficial but rather harmful and that only private absolution is good and salutary. This other preachers and knolwedgeable theologians contradicted and also a great number of our citizens and members especially we of the Council are troubled by the setting aside of the general absolution for the reasons that many pious,Christian persons do not have the opportunity every Sunday or week to receive the Holy Sacrament and private
abaolution so the general public releasing from the chancel and from the altar becomes a joyful and and happy message wherein they are granted the forgiveness of their sins and God's graceful mercy is proclaimed giving high consolation and that through such abolishing and attack of the common release experience not a little doubt and distress of their consciences and at the same time since there are a great number of people and few pastors in our city it is hardly possible for every one before the reception of the Holy Sacrament to receive private-absolution. In addition it is reported to us that in electoral Saxony the general absolution is more and more suffered and used as salutary and that gives us more reason to be troubled by the attacks of the opposition. Because we have no intention in this and other matters to institute and require anything which dishonors God's Word,weakens faith and destroys Christian love and harmony it is our humle plea that your Worthiness would give your counsel and advice in this matter as to what is the Christian basis that the general absolution is not good but rather harmful and likewise why it should be omitted and to share this with good will in writing so we here among ours and ourselves may be more settled and only allow that which is according to God's Word and Christian, and permit nothing burdensome. For that we would be very happy to be deserving of your Wortihiness. Dated Tuesday (sealed) on the 8th of April 1533.
NOTES: Who can write the longer sentence-the Council of Nuernberg or the Electoral Court?
ML's and Melanchton's answer comes on 18 April. Do you know what their position is?

No comments: