|Book of Concord (Triglot Concordia): The Symbolical Books of the Ev. Lutheran Church | Calvin's Institutes | Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ | Heretics by Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936) | Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis | Josephus: The Complete Works | Orthodoxy by Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936) | Sermons on Gospel Themes by Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) | The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (1628-1688) | The Practice of the Presence of God: The Best Rule of Holy Life by Brother Lawrence (Nicholas Herman, 1605-1691) | Walther's Law and Gospel | Westminster Confession & Catechisms ||
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ON TWO KINDS IN THE SACRAMENT
On this point, you well know that the one kind is an offensive innovation, contrary to the clear, plain words of Christ and against the long, ancient usage of the whole Church. All this has been mightily demonstrated to you by much Scripture; nevertheless, you great enemies of all innovation have not only accepted and maintained this blasphemous innovation, but have defended it arbitrarily with cruel ragings and persecutions, whereby you have tempted God to the uttermost, and blasphemed and condemned His Word. God grant that you may repent it, and submit your idea to His Word! You could not support it with any Scripture; and if you maintain it with outrage and force against the Scriptures, no good will come out of it in the end. It does not help you to allege that we are to do nothing new and alter nothing; for you have heard that this thing is new, and that it is you who, without ceasing, have brought innovation and alteration into the Church. What is altered according to God's Word is no innovation, for all customs must give way to the Word of God; so your own law says. God and His Word are older than you are; they will also be younger and newer than you and we, for they are eternal. Therefore the Word must alter and rule both old and new, and not be altered or ruled either by new or old.
You allege that without the consent of the Church, nothing should be changed and nothing introduced. Who, then, is the Church? Are you? Then show your seals and credentials; or prove it, without them, in some other way, by means of your deeds and your fruits. Why are not we too the Church? We are baptized as well as you; and we teach, preach, have the sacraments, believe, pray, love, hope, and suffer more than you. Or are you the Church because you bring in innovations, and in so doing, change, blaspheme, persecute, and slay God's Word and, as church-robbers, hold possession of the foundations and monasteries? Yes, you are the Church, - the devil's church! She is a liar against God's Word and a murderess, because she sees that her god, the devil, is a liar and a murderer. The true Church must be the one that holds to God's Word and suffers for it, as, praise God! we do, and murders no one and leads no one away from God's Word. You ought not, therefore, say to us so much "Church, Church, Church." You ought rather make us certain that you are the Church; that is the important thing. The devil, too, can say, "I am God; worship me." The wolf can say, "I am the shepherd." We know very well that we must listen to the Church; but we ask, Who and where is it?
God help you to a reformation on this point! If you do not reform, we shall continue, by God's grace, to do as we have done heretofore. Nay, I shall go further, and say, If God wills that at this diet you make some concessions, we shall not accept them from you with the thought that by your concessions things that were wrong before are now made right. No, we count you far too small for us to think that it is in your arbitrary power to say when and how long God is truthful or a liar, and when and how long His Word is right or wrong. That would be too much! It would be putting you, with the pride of Antichrist, above God and His Word, and taking back all that we have taught and done. On the contrary, we want to have this forced from you by God's Word, and have you blasphemers, persecutors and murderers compelled to it, so that you humble yourselves before God, confess your sins, your murders, and your blasphemy against God's Word, and reform, as men who have hitherto done wrong, persecuted God's Word, and shed innocent blood. We want this sin and wickedness of yours to be unconcealed, and are not willing to consent to it by keeping quiet and covering things up, thus making ourselves partakers in these abominations. We are willing to stake everything on this, and fight this out with you on the basis of God's Word, which you persecute. For, as I said at the beginning, we do not need your diet and your resolutions. We stand where we do stand, without your help; nay, we stand there against your raging and raving. But for your own sakes, and for the poor people's sakes, we are doing what we do, on the chance that we may help you, or some of you, and that we may give the people good advice, to the honor of God and the welfare of Christendom.
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