Augsburg Confession (1530)
The Augsburg Confession (or Confessio Augustana) was a confession of faith written by Melanchthon, with Luther's counsel and assistance, presented to Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, and there solemnly read. It attained great importance and a high regard, becoming the permanent official Lutheran confession. It embraces 28 articles, in four of which the Anabaptists are mentioned. These four are presented below in the English translation published in Philip Schaff's Creeds of Christendom III (New York, 1877, 1919), 10, 13, 16-18.
Article V.—Of the Ministry of the Church.
For the obtaining of this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted.
For by the Word and Sacraments, as by instruments, the Holy Spirit is given: who worketh faith, where and when it pleaseth God, in those that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God, not for our merit's sake, but for Christ's sake, doth justify those who believe that they for Christ's sake are received into favor.
They condemn the Anabaptists and others, who imagine that the Holy Spirit is given to men without the outward word, through their own preparation and works.
Article IX.—Of Baptism.
Of baptism they teach that it is necessary to salvation, and that by baptism the grace of God is offered, and that children are to be baptized who by baptism, being offered to God, are received into God's favor. They condemn the Anabaptists who allow not the baptism of children, and affirm that children are saved without baptism.
Article XVI.—Of Civil Affairs.
Concerning civil affairs, they teach that such civil ordinances as are lawful are good works of God; that Christians may lawfully bear civil office, sit in judgments, determine matters by the imperial laws, and other laws in present force, appoint just punishments, engage in just war, act as soldiers, make legal bargains and contracts, hold property, take an oath when the magistrates require it, marry a wife, or be given in marriage. They condemn the Anabaptists who forbid Christians these civil offices. They condemn also those that place the perfection of the Gospel, not in the fear of God and in faith, but in forsaking civil offices, inasmuch as the Gospel teacheth an everlasting righteousness of the heart.
Article XVII.—Of Christ's Return to Judgment.
Also they teach that, in the consummation of the world (at the last day), Christ shall appear to judge, and shall raise up all the dead, and shall give unto the godly and elect eternal life and everlasting joys; but ungodly men and the devils shall he condemn unto endless torments.
They condemn the Anabaptists who think that to condemned men and the devils shall be an end of torments.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 91.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 186. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Augsburg Confession (1530)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A892.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1953). Augsburg Confession (1530). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A892.html.