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To All the Clergy Assembled in Augsburg at the Diet in the year 1530.

Exhortation of Martin Luther

Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not fitting, Dear Sirs, that I should appear in person at this diet; and even though I had to appear, or were to do so, it would serve no useful purpose, for it would make no difference amid all the splendor and bustle.

Nevertheless, beside my spiritual presence (which I will prove with all my heart and with God's help, through my diligent and earnest prayers and supplications to my God) I have undertaken to be among you with this mute and feeble written message.

The reason is that my conscience drives me to pray, beseech and exhort each and all of you, in the kindliest way and from the heart, that you will not pass this diet by or use it to vain purposes. For God, through our most gracious Emperor Charles, is giving you grace, chance, time, and cause to accomplish much that is great and good by means of this diet, if only you have the will to do so. He is speaking now as Paul speaks in , "I exhort you that ye receive not the gift of God in vain."

For He says, "I have heard thee in an accepted time, and helped thee on the day of salvation." "Behold now is an accepted time and a day of salvation," especially for you. And we see and hear how the hearts of all men are set upon this diet, and expect, with high hope, that good will come out of it.

If, however, this diet shall break up without result (which may God graciously forbid!) and nothing worth while be accomplished, after all the world has for a long while been fed with false hopes and put off by diets and councils, and that hope has all been false and vain, it is to be feared that despair will be bred, and everyone will become overtired of false hopes and delays, and the long, fruitless waiting will produce impatience and make bad blood. For things cannot longer stay as they now are, especially with you and your class; you know and feel that better than I can tell you. I am therefore doing what now I do, for your own good and for the sake of peace and unity.

Certain ones, perhaps, will look with evil eyes on my presumption, and say, - "Who needs you? Who ever asked for your exhortation or your writing?

There are many learned and pious people here who can give better advice in this matter than a fool like you." Ah, well! I shall willingly believe this.

God help that it may all be true! I am quite willing that my presumption shall be criticized and condemned. But it is also true that one cannot do too much of a good thing, and a fool has often given better counsel than many wise men, while the greatest wrongs on earth have usually been done by wise people, especially when they relied on their own wisdom and did not act in the fear of God, and did not pray with humble hearts for divine help and grace.

All the histories are full of illustrations of this, both in the Scriptures and out of them; but even though there were no other illustration of it, we could find a good one in yourselves. For ten years now you have tried your wisdom on this matter, with so many diets, with so many proposals, with so many wiles and tricks, with so much holding out of false hopes, nay, even with force and wrath, with murder and punishment, so that I have seen in you a cause for wonder and woe; and yet the matter has never gone the way you wanted it. That is the whole thing! Wisdom has wanted to control such high and great matters by itself, without fear of God and humble prayer, and has come to shame in its presumption; and if you do not come to fear God and to humble yourselves before Him, so that you cease from threatening and vengefulness and ask God earnestly for help and counsel, you shall still accomplish nothing, though you were as wise as King Solomon; for there stands the Scripture, , "God resisteth the proud, but to the humble He giveth His grace."

We, for our part, pray with diligence; we also know the right way to pray for God's grace, and we are certain, too, that our prayer is acceptable and is heard. This, I fear, only few of your party can do. Moreover, we have now begun to pray earnestly for you, that God Almighty may for once enlighten your hearts and move them to fear His Word and to walk humbly with Him. Such prayer is accepted for us - that we know; but may God grant that you do not set yourselves stubbornly against it, so that our prayer must return again into our bosom, because it has been lost and despised among you! For we see that the devil is trying to bring on the Turks, and is stirring up one disturbance after another, and would like to smash everything. If, then, you were still to be hard of heart and continue to be as stubborn as heretofore, that would be too much and altogether intolerable.

To begin with, then, you need not take any action because of me, or the likes of me. The true Helper and Counselor has brought us and our cause so far, and has put it where it is to stay and where we want to leave it, so that for ourselves we need no diet, no counsel, no settling of the matter; and we would not have these things come from you, because we know that you can do no better than we; nay, not so well as we. For whether we come under Turks or Tartars, under pope or devil, our cause is secure; so that we know how to believe and live, how to suffer and pray, how to get well and to die, where we are to look for and get and find everything, and where we are at last to abide, according to the word of St. Paul in , "To the elect the Spirit doeth all things for the best."

These things God has given us in rich measure through Jesus Christ our Lord, and they have already been proclaimed and confirmed a by the blood and anguish of many godly people, who have been put to death by your party. Not that we are perfect, or that we have yet attained all things! But we have the right "rule," as St. Paul calls it, the right way, the right beginning; nay, so far as doctrine is concerned, we have no lack at all, no matter how it is with life.

But we have compassion upon you and the poor people under you, who are altogether uninstructed, or at least uncertain; and we would gladly help you, by means of our prayers and exhortations, as best we might. For I greatly fear that you have forgotten your office and the humility which you owe to God, and are going to draw the reins too tight, and ride the willing horse too hard, so that another revolt will occur and both we and you will come to grief and distress, as happened the other time. bFor without doubt you remember how, before the revolt, the diet had been called to meet at Spires with such glorious and comforting hopes that all the world looked forward to it eagerly, and heartily awaited the good that would come out of it. But your counsels were full of wisdom and managed to have that diet called off without result and shamefully. The rod - that is Muenzer and the revolt - came quickly, and gave you a blow from which you have not yet recovered; and sad to say, we have been hurt by it even more than you. That is what comes of doing everything with force and according to your own notions.

At Worms, too, our dear Emperor Charles, that noble youth, had to do what you wanted, and condemn me and all my teachings, parts of which you yourselves had before then secretly accepted and made use of.

Even now your preachers would have no sermons, were it not for Luther's books. For they are now leaving their sermon-books under the bench, together with the things that used to be all the rage in the pulpit, and are beginning to preach about faith and good works and subjects of that kind, about which nothing used to be heard or known. At that time, also, you extorted from him a decree for the slaying of Lutherans so horrible that you yourselves could not keep it or tolerate it, and it had to be changed at the diet at Nuremberg; indeed, some of the princes had of their own accord to forbid the edict so that they might not place themselves and their lands and peoples in danger. I am reciting these things not to scoff at you or mock you, for I am already amply revenged upon you; but in order that I may earnestly beg you and faithfully admonish you to learn from your own experience and misfortune to give up henceforth your swaggering and threatening, your force and boasting, and to deal with God in fear and humility, and laying aside your presumption, to seek His help and grace with earnest prayer. This is certain, - if you keep on with your swaggering and boasting, you will find that Muenzer's spirit still lives and is, I fear, mightier and more dangerous than you can now believe or conceive. It is more your affair than ours, though he is more hostile to us than to you, but God be thanked eternally! we have a defense against him. Would God that you had the same defense!

It is the pure Word and honest prayer.

You know, too, the strong and firm stand that we have taken against all the fanatics. If I wanted to boast, I might also say that we had been your protectors and that it was our doing that you have remained what you still are. If it had not been for us, your scholars would, I fear have been too weak for the case, and the fanatics and rebels would have taught you something that you did not know. Therefore they hate us more than they hate you, and blame us when they have to creep to the cross and recant.

We have to put up with that and learn by experience that the proverb is true, - "If you help a man down from the gallows, he tries to put you on it." The rebellious knaves would not have known the first thing about attacking the pope; but now that, by our help, they have got free and eat our bread, they lift up their heel against us, as Christ says of Judas, the betrayer.

But some will say here, - "Yes, it is all your fault; you began it, and these are the fruits of your teaching." Ah, well! I must suffer that, knowing full well that I am accused of it; but, on the other hand, I know many godly people among you who know that it is not true. The work is there in broad daylight, and it is my strong witness. The fanatics have always despised and persecuted my doctrine more than yours, and I have had to set myself against them more strongly and defend myself more harshly than I ever did against the pope. How then, can it have come out of my teaching? Or why did not this disturbance arise among my followers, where I was preaching and teaching every day, and where the first and worst evil should have happened, if this kind of dissension was to come out of my doctrine?

Have you forgotten that at Worms the German nobility laid before his Imperial Majesty some hundred and four statements in which they made complaints against the clergy, and boldly declared that if his Imperial Majesty did not abolish the things complained of, they would do it themselves, because they could no longer endure them? If that had been started (as the rebels afterwards did start it), and a single preacher had arisen to advise that it be done, where would you clergy be now? In hell. And yet my teaching was then in full course, and had given rise to no revolt and was not tending that way, but was teaching the people to keep the peace and obey their rulers. Had it not been for that, the complaints of the clergy would surely have started a pretty game. But now it must be my teaching that has done it. This is the thanks I deserve! To be sure, I desire no other, for so it went with all the prophets and apostles, and with Christ Himself.

In the second place, have you also forgotten how at the first my teaching was so welcome to almost all of you? Were not all the bishops glad to see that the tyranny of the pope, - who was going too hard after the endowed positions, - was checked a little? They could look on and listen and sit quiet and wait for the opportunity to get all of their episcopal jurisdiction back again. A fine teacher was this Luther, who attacked indulgences so honestly! For in those days the bishops and pastors had to put up with it when a monk or a rascal from outside came into their chapters and their parishes and drove a scandalous trade with letters of indulgence, and no one dared to peep. There was no doctor or professor in all the universities or monasteries who could have known how to oppose this miserable business, or have dared to do it. Luther was "dear son"; he cleansed the chapters and parishes of this huckstering and held the bishops' stirrups to help them back into the saddle and threw a stumbling block in the pope's road; why did you not call that revolt?

Afterwards, when I attacked the monastic life and the monks became fewer, I heard neither bishop or pastor weeping over it, and I know that no greater service has ever been done the bishops and pastors than ridding them of the monks. Indeed I fear that there will be no one now at Augsburg to take the part of the monks and ask that they be restored to their old place. Nay, the bishops will not allow these bed-bugs and lice to be put back in their fur. They are glad that their fur is so clean rid of them, though, to tell the truth, the monks had to rule the Church under the pope, for the bishops did nothing except bear the titles of nobility. I destroyed the monks, not with revolution, but with my teaching, and the bishops were glad; they could not have done it with the force of all the kings and the learning of all the universities; why, then, did they not consider that revolutionary? O, they are too glad that the monks are down and that the pope has almost lost a hand thereby; and yet they give no thanks to Luther, this part of whose doctrine they use so gloriously.

Because I am now discussing the fact that people have forgotten what the world was like before my teaching began, and are not now willing to admit that anyone did anything wrong, I must bring out again the old pretences and picture to the clergy their forgotten virtue, so that they may see or recollect what the world would be like if our Gospel had not come. We, too, may see, to our comfort, what great and glorious fruit the Word of God has produced. We shall begin at the point where my doctrine began, that is, with the indulgences.


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Concord

Title_Page
Editors_Introduction
Preface_to_the_Christian_Book_of_Concord
The_Three_Ecumenical_Creeds
The_Apostles_Creed
The_Nicene_Creed
The_Athanasian_Creed
The_Augsburg_Confession
Title_Page
Preface_to_the_Emperor_Charles_V
Article_I_Of_God
Article_II_Of_Original_Sin
Article_III_Of_The_Son_of_God
Article_IV_Of_Justification
Article_V_Of_The_Ministry
Article_VI_Of_New_Obedience
Article_VII_Of_the_Church
Article_VIII_What_the_Church_Is
Article_IX_Of_Baptism
Article_X_Of_The_Lords_Supper
Article_XI_Of_Confession
Article_XII_Of_Repentance
Article_XIII_Of_The_Use_of_the_Sacraments
Article_XIV_Of_Ecclesiastical_Order
Article_XV_Of_Ecclesiastical_Usages
Article_XVI_Of_Civil_Affairs
Article_XVII_Of_Christs_Return_to_Judgment
Article_XVIII_Of_Free_Will
Article_XIX_Of_the_Cause_of_Sin
Article_XX_Of_Good_Works
Article_XXI_Of_the_Worship_of_the_Saints
ARTICLES_IN_WHICH_ARE_REVIEWED_THE_ABUSES_WHICH_HAVE_BEEN_CORRECTED
Article_XXII_Of_Both_Kinds_in_the_Sacrament
Article_XXIII_Of_the_Marriage_of_Priests
Article_XXIV_Of_the_Mass
Article_XXV_Of_Confession
Article_XXVI_Of_the_Distinction_of_Meats
Article_XXVII_Of_Monastic_Vows
Article_XXVIII_Of_Ecclesiastical_Power
Conclusion
The_Apology_of_the_Augsburg_Confession
Title_Page_and_Table_Of_Contents
Introduction
On_Article_I_Of_God
On_Article_II_Of_Original_Sin
On_Article_III_Of_Christ
On_Articles_IV_V_VI_XX_Of_Justification
On_Articles_IV_V_VI_XX_Of_Justification_Part_1
What_is_Justifying_Faith
That_Faith_in_Christ_Justifies
That_We_Obtain_Remission_of_Sins_by_Faith_Alone_in_Christ
On_Love_and_the_Fulfilling_of_the_Law
On_Love_and_the_Fulfilling_of_the_Law
Reply_to_the_Arguments_of_the_Adversaries
Section_1_of_4
Section_2_of_4
Section_3_of_4
Section_4_of_4
On_Articles_VII_and_VIII_Of_the_Church
On_Article_IX_Of_Baptism
On_Article_X_Of_the_Holy_Supper
On_Article_XI_Of_Confession
On_Article_XIIa_Of_Repentance
Section_1_of_2
Section_2_of_2
On_Article_XIIb_Of_Confession_and_Satisfaction
Section_1_of_2
Section_2_of_2
On_Article_XIII_Of_the_Number_and_Use_of_the_Sacraments
On_Article_XIV_Of_Ecclesiastical_Order
On_Article_XV_Of_Human_Traditions_in_the_Church
On_Article_XVI_Of_Political_Order
On_Article_XVII_Of_Christs_Return_to_Judgment
On_Article_XVIII_Of_Free_Will
On_Article_XIX_Of_the_Cause_of_Sin
On_Article_XX_Of_Good_Works
On_Article_XXI_Of_the_Invocation_of_Saints
On_Article_XXII_Of_Both_Kinds_In_the_Lords_Supper
On_Article_XXIII_Of_the_Marriage_of_Priests
On_Article_XXIV_Of_the_Mass
On_Article_XXIV_Of_the_Mass_of_the_Augustana_Part_1
What_a_Sacrifice_Is
What_the_Fathers_Thought_concerning_Sacrifice
Of_the_Use_of_the_Sacrament_and_of_Sacrifice
Of_the_Term_Mass
Of_the_Mass_for_the_Dead
On_Article_XXVII_Of_Monastic_Vows
Section_1_of_2
Section_2_of_2
On_Article_XXVIII_Of_Ecclesiastical_Power
End
The_Smalcald_Articles
Title_Page_and_Table_Of_Contents
Preface_of_Dr_Martin_Luther
The_First_Part
The_Second_Part
Article_I_The_Chief_Article
Article_II_Of_the_Mass
Of_the_Mass_Part_1
Of_the_Invocation_of_Saints
Article_III_Of_Chapters_and_Cloisters
Article_IV_Of_the_Papacy
The_Third_Part
Article_I_Of_Sin
Article_II_Of_the_Law
Article_III_Repentance
Introduction
Of_the_False_Repentance_of_the_Papists
Article_IV_Of_the_Gospel
Article_V_Of_Baptism
Article_VI_Of_the_Sacrament_of_the_Altar
Article_VII_Of_the_Keys
Article_VIII_Of_Confession
Article_IX_Excommunication
Article_X_Of_Ordination_and_the_Call
Article_XI_Of_the_Marriage_of_Priests
Article_XII_Of_the_Church
Article_XIII_How_One_is_Justified_before_God_and_of_Good_Works
Article_XIV_Of_Monastic_Vows
Article_XV_Of_Human_Traditions
Subscribers
A_Treatise_on_the_Power_and_Primacy_of_the_Pope
Title_Page
Part_1
Of_the_Power_and_Jurisdiction_of_Bishops
DOCTORS_AND_PREACHERS_Who_Subscribed_the_Augsburg_Confession_and_Apology_A_D_1537
Luthers_Small_Catechism
Title_Page
Preface
The_Ten_Commandments
The_Creed
The_Lords_Prayer
The_Sacrament_of_Holy_Baptism
Confession
The_Sacrament_of_the_Altar
Daily_Prayers
Table_of_Duties
Christian_Questions_with_Their_Answers
Luthers_Large_Catechism
Title_Page
Translators_Introduction
Short_Preface_of_Dr_Martin_Luther
The_Ten_Commandments
The_First_Commandment
The_Second_Commandment
The_Third_Commandment
The_Fourth_Commandment
The_Fifth_Commandment
The_Sixth_Commandment
The_Seventh_Commandment
The_Eighth_Commandment
The_Ninth_and_Tenth_Commandment
Conclusion_of_The_Ten_Commandments
The_Creed
Article_I
Article_II
Article_III
The_Lords_Prayer
Introduction
The_First_Petition
The_Second_Petition
The_Third_Petition
The_Fourth_Petition
The_Fifth_Petition
The_Sixth_Petition
The_Seventh_Petition
Baptism
The_Sacrament_of_the_Altar
The_Formula_of_Concord
Title_Page
Part_First_Epitome
Title_Page_and_Table_of_Contents
Comprehensive_Summary_Rule_and_Norm
I_Original_Sin
II_Free_Will
III_The_Righteousness_of_Faith_Before_God
IV_Good_Works
V_Law_and_Gospel
VI_The_Third_Use_of_the_Law
VII_The_Lords_Supper
VIII_The_Person_of_Christ
IX_The_Descent_of_Christ_Into_Hell
X_Church_Rites_Adiaphora
XI_Election
End_Of_Articles
XII_Other_Heresies_and_Sects
Introduction
Anabaptists
Schwenkfeldians
New_Arians
Anti_Trinitarians
Part_Second_Solid_Declaration
Title_Page_and_Table_of_Contents
Preface
Rule_and_Norm
Original_Sin
Free_Will
Part_1_of_2
Part_2_of_2
The_Righteousness_of_Faith
Part_1_of_2
Part_2_of_2
Good_Works
Law_and_Gospel
The_Third_Use_of_the_Law
The_Holy_Supper
Part_1_of_3_Introduction_and_Status_Controversiae
Part_2_of_3
Part_3_of_3
The_Person_of_Christ
Part_1_of_2
Part_2_of_2
Christs_Descent_into_Hell
Church_Rites_Adiaphora
Election
Part_1_of_2
Part_2_of_2
Other_Sects
Introduction
Anabaptists
Schwenckfeldians
New_Arians
Anti_Trinitarians
Conclusion
Appendix_A_Catalog_of_Testimonies
Introduction_to_Testimonies
Testimonies_I
Testimonies_II
Testimonies_III
Testimonies_IV
Testimonies_V
Testimonies_VI
Testimonies_VII
Testimonies_VIII
Testimonies_IX
Testimonies_X
Appendix_An_Exhortation_to_Confession
Title_Page
A_Brief_Admonition_To_Confession
Appendix_The_Saxon_Visitation_Articles
Title_Page
Article_I_Of_the_Holy_Supper
Article_II_Of_the_Person_of_Christ
Article_III_Of_Holy_Baptism
Article_IV_Of_Predestination_and_the_Eternal_Providence_of_God
False_and_Erroneous_Doctrine_of_the_Calvinists_Concerning_the_Holy_Supper
False_and_Erroneous_Doctrine_of_the_Calvinists_Concerning_the_Person_of_Christ
False_and_Erroneous_Doctrine_of_the_Calvinists_Concerning_Holy_Baptism
False_and_Erroneous_Doctrine_of_the_Calvinists_Concerning_Predestination_and_the_Providence_of_God
Context_Document_95_Theses_of_Martin_Luther
Title_Page
95_Theses
Refuted_Document_Johann_Ecks_404_Theses
Title_Page
Editors_Introduction
Translators_Introduction
Cover_Letter
Theses
Context_Document_To_All_the_Clergy_Assembled_in_Augsburg_at_the_Diet
Title_Page
Introduction
Concerning_Indulgences
Concerning_Confessionals
Concerning_Confession
Concerning_Penance
Concerning_The_Sale_of_Masses_or_Private_Masses
On_the_Ban
On_Two_Kinds_in_the_Sacrament
On_the_Unmarried_State
Other_Subjects
Conclusion
Refuted_Document_Confutatio_Pontifica
Title_Page
Introduction
Part_1
To_Article_I
To_Article_II_Disputation_I
To_Article_III
To_Article_IV_Disputation_II
To_Article_V_Disputation_II_Justification_And_III_Love_and_Fulfilling_of_the_Law
To_Article_VI_Disputation_II_Justification_And_III_Love_and_Fulfilling_of_the_Law
To_Article_VII_Disputation_IV
To_Article_VIII_Disputation_IV
To_Article_IX
To_Article_X
To_Article_XI
To_Article_XII_Disputation_V_Repentance_And_VI_Confession_And_Satisfaction
To_Article_XIII_Disputation_VII
To_Article_XIV
To_Article_XV_Disputation_VIII
To_Article_XVI
To_Article_XVII
To_Article_XVIII
To_Article_XIX
To_Article_XX_Disputation_II
To_Article_XXI_Disputation_IX
Part_2_Reply_to_the_Second_Part_of_the_Confession
I_Of_the_Lay_Communion_under_One_Form_To_Article_XXII_Disputation_X
II_Of_the_Marriage_of_Priests_To_Article_XXIII_Disputation_XI
III_Of_the_Mass_To_Article_XXIV_Disputation_XII
IV_Of_Confession_To_Article_XXV
V_Of_the_Distinction_of_Meats_To_Article_XXVI
VI_Of_Monastic_Vows_To_Article_XXVII_Disputation_XIII
VII_Of_Ecclesiastical_Power_Disputation_XIV
Conclusion
Refuted_Document_Consenus_Tigurinus
Title_Page
Introduction
Text
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