From all this it is manifest, that our doctrine, instead of being charged with prohibiting good works, ought much rather to be applauded, for teaching the manner in which truly good works can be performed. For, without faith, human nature is incapable of performing the duties either of the first or second table. Without it, man does not call upon God, nor expect any thing from him, nor bear the cross: but seeks refuge amongst men, and reposes on human aid. Hence, when faith and confidence in God are wanting, all evil desires and human schemes reign in the heart; wherefore Christ also says, “without me ye can do nothing” (John xv.); and the church responds, Without thy favor there is nothing good in man.
ARTICLE XXI. — OF THE INVOCATION OF SAINTS.
Concerning the invocation of saints our churches teach, that the saints ought to be held in remembrance, in order that we may, each in his own calling, imitate their faith and good works; that the emperor may imitate the example of David, in carrying on war to expel the Turks from our country; for both are kings. But the sacred volume does not teach us to invoke saints or to seek aid from them. For it proposes Christ to us us our only mediator, propitiation, high priest, and intercessor. On his name we are to call, and he promises, that he will hear our prayers, and highly approves of this worship, viz.: that he should be called upon in every affliction (1 John ii.): “If any one sin, we have an advocate with the Father,” &c.
This is about the substance of our doctrines, from which it is evident that they contain nothing inconsistent with the Scriptures. Under these circumstances, those certainly judge harshly, who would have us regarded as heretics. But the difference of opinion between us (and the Romanists) relates to certain abuses, which have crept into the (Romish) churches without any good authority; in regard to which, if we do differ, the bishops ought to treat us with lenity, and tolerate us, on account of the confession which we have just made.
Note 1. German reading.
Note 2. German reading.
Note 3. Ex opere operato, from the mere outward performance of the act.
Note 4. German reading.
Note 5. German reading.
Note 6. German copy.
Absolution, form of, 99, 100.
Additions, no heterogeneous ones to be made to the divinely constituted
Alterations in Augsburg Confession by Melancthon, 54.
American, Lutheran, has no reference to place of birth, 9.
American Recension, Digest of, 61.
--------- --------- originated from respect to Augsburg Confession, 44.
Anecdote of the Leyden cobbler, 16.
--------- of Melancthon’s mother, 14.
Apology to Augsburg Confession, 25.
Apostles’ Creed, when and by whom formed, 20.
Arnold on the diet at Augsburg, 55.