5 We, the undersigned elector and princes, have been called to this gathering along with other electors, princes, and estates in obedient compliance with the Imperial mandate. Therefore, we have promptly come to Augsburg. We do not mean to boast when we say this, but we were among the first to be here.
6 At the very beginning of the meeting in Augsburg, Your Imperial Majesty made a proposal to the electors, princes, and other estates of the Empire. Among other things, you asked that the several estates of the Empire—on the strength of the Imperial edictsubmit their explanations, opinions, and judgments in German and Latin. 7 On the following Wednesday, we informed Your Imperial Majesty that after due deliberation we would present the articles of our Confession in one week. 8 Therefore, concerning this religious matter, we offer this Confession. It is ours and our preachers’. It shows, from the Holy Scriptures and God’s pure Word, what has been up to this time presented in our lands, dukedoms, dominions, and cities, and taught in our churches.
9 In keeping with your edict, the other electors, princes, and estates of the Empire may present similar writings, in Latin and German, giving their opinions in this religious matter. 10 We, and those princes previously mentioned, are prepared to discuss, in a friendly manner, all possible ways and means by which we may come together. We will do this in the presence of your Imperial Majesty, our most clement Lord. In this way, dissensions may be put away without offensive conflict. This can be done honorably, with God’s help, so that we may be brought back to agreement and concord. 11 As your edict shows, we are all under one Christ and do battle under Him [Exodus 15:3]. We ought to confess the one Christ and do everything according to God’s truth. With the most fervent prayers, this is what we ask of God.
12 However, regarding the rest of the electors, princes, and estates, who form the other side: no progress may be made, nor any result achieved by this treatment of religious matters, as Your Imperial Majesty has wisely determined that it should be dealt with and treated, by mutual presentation of writings and calm conferring together among ourselves. 13 We will at least leave with you a clear testimony. We are not holding back from anything that could bring about Christian concord, such as could be effected with God and a good conscience. 14 Your Imperial Majesty—and the other electors and estates of the Empire, and all moved by sincere love and zeal for religion, who will give an impartial hearing to this matter—please graciously offer to take notice of this and to understand this from our Confession.
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21 Therefore, if the outcome should be that the differences between us and the other parties in this religious matter should not be settled with friendliness and charity, then here, before Your Imperial Majesty, we obediently offer, in addition to what we have already done, to appear and defend our cause in such a general, free Christian Council. There has always been harmonious action and agreement among the electors, princes, and other estates to hold a Council, in all the Imperial Meetings held during Your Majesty’s reign. 22 Even before this time, we have appealed this great and grave matter, to the assembly of this General Council, and to your Imperial Majesty, in an appropriate manner. 23 We still stand by this appeal, both to your Imperial Majesty and to a Council. We have no intention to abandon our appeal, with this or any other document. This would not be possible, unless the matter between us and the other side is settled with friendliness and charity, resolved and brought to Christian harmony, according to the latest Imperial Citation. 24 In regard to this appeal we solemnly and publicly testify here.
Concordia : The Lutheran Confessions. Edited by Paul Timothy McCain. St. Louis, MO : Concordia Publishing House, 2005, S. 27
Soli Deo Gloria