1] These are the chief articles which seem to be in controversy. For although we might have spoken of more abuses, yet, to avoid undue length, we have set forth the chief points, from which the rest may be readily judged. 2] There have been great complaints concerning indulgences, pilgrimages, and the abuse of excommunications. The parishes have been vexed in many ways by the dealers in indulgences. There were endless contentions between the pastors and the monks concerning the parochial right, confessions, burials, sermons on extraordinary occasions, and 3] innumerable other things. Issues of this sort we have passed over so that the chief points in this matter, having been briefly set forth, might be the more readily understood. 4] Nor has anything been here said or adduced to the reproach of any one. 5] Only those things have been recounted whereof we thought that it was necessary to speak, in order that it might be understood that in doctrine and ceremonies nothing has been received on our part against Scripture or the Church Catholic. For it is manifest that we have taken most diligent care that no new and ungodly doctrine should creep into our churches.
The previous articles are all the significant ones in controversy between the Roman Catholics and the Reformers. There are more abuses that are not listed but in order to keep the Confession short, they are omitted. The entire Augsburg Confession is for the Reformation of the Church. It is a call to repentance. In it, the Reformers have been careful to prove everything from Scripture.
6] The above articles we desire to present in accordance with the edict of Your Imperial Majesty, in order to exhibit our Confession and let men see a summary of the doctrine of our teachers. 7] If there is anything that any one might desire in this Confession, we are ready, God willing, to present ampler information according to the Scriptures.
8] Your Imperial Majesty’s faithful subjects:
9] John, Duke of Saxony, Elector
10] George, Margrave of Brandenburg.
11] Ernest, Duke of Lueneberg.
12] Philip, Landgrave of Hesse.
13] John Frederick, Duke of Saxony.
14] Francis, Duke of Lueneburg.
15] Wolfgang, Prince of Anhalt.
16] Senate and Magistracy of Nuremburg.
17] Senate of Reutlingen.
So ends the Augsburg Confession, signed by the princes that presented it. This statement of faith is the foundation of the entire Reformation. With it the Reformation can be said to truly start at Augsburg, not at Wittenberg.
Lord grant us the courage to stand before princes, rulers, and bishops and make such a bold confession of faith. Risking even death itself for the sake of Your Gospel. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1. A mighty Fortress is our God,
A trusty Shield and Weapon;
He helps us free from every need
That hath us now o’ertaken.
The old evil Foe
Now means deadly woe;
Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight;
On Earth is not his equal.
2. With might of ours can naught be done,
Soon were our loss effected;
But for us fights the Valiant One,
Whom God Himself elected.
Ask ye, Who is this?
Jesus Christ it is.
Of Sabaoth Lord,
And there’s none other God;
He holds the field forever.
3. Though devils all the world should fill,
All eager to devour us.
We tremble not, we fear no ill,
They shall not overpower us.
This world’s prince may still
Scowl fierce as he will,
He can harm us none,
He’s judged; the deed is done;
One little word can fell him.
4. The Word they still shall let remain
Nor any thanks have for it;
He’s by our side upon the plain
With His good gifts and Spirit.
And take they our life,
Goods, fame, child and wife,
Let these all be gone,
They yet have nothing won;
The Kingdom our remaineth.