back . . . up . . . next
Article XXI: Of the Worship of the Saints.
Of the Worship
they teach that the memory of saints may be set before us, that we may follow their faith
and good works
, according to our calling, as the Emperor may follow the example of David in making war to drive away the Turk from his country; For both are kings. But the Scripture teaches not the invocation
of saints or to ask help of saints, since it sets before us the one Christ
as the Mediator
, High Priest
, and Intercessor
. He is to be prayed to, and has promised that He will hear our prayer; and this worship He approves above all, to wit, that in all afflictions
He be called upon, 1 John 2, 1: If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, etc.
This is about the Sum of our Doctrine
, in which, as can be seen, there is nothing that varies from the Scriptures
, or from the Church Catholic
, or from the Church of Rome as known from its writers. This being the case, they judge harshly who insist that our teachers be regarded as heretics. There is, however, disagreement
on certain Abuses, which have crept into the Church without rightful authority. And even in these, if there were some difference, there should be proper lenity on the part of bishops
to bear with us by reason of the Confession which we have now reviewed; because even the Canons are not so severe as to demand the same rites everywhere, neither, at any time, have the rites of all churches been the same; although, among us, in large part, the ancient rites
are diligently observed. For it is a false and malicious charge that all the ceremonies, all the things instituted of old, are abolished
in our churches. But it has been a common complaint that some abuses were connected with the ordinary rites. These, inasmuch as they could not be approved with a good conscience
, have been to some extent corrected.
ARTICLES IN WHICH ARE REVIEWED THE ABUSES WHICH HAVE BEEN CORRECTED.
Inasmuch, then, as our churches dissent
in no article of the faith from the Church Catholic
, but only omit some abuses which are new, and which have been erroneously
accepted by the corruption
of the times, contrary to the intent of the Canons, we pray that Your Imperial
Majesty would graciously hear both what has been changed, and what were the reasons why the people were not compelled to observe those abuses against their conscience. Nor should Your Imperial Majesty believe those who, in order to excite the hatred of men against our part, disseminate strange slanders among the people. Having thus excited the minds of good men, they have first given occasion to this controversy
, and now endeavor, by the same arts, to increase the discord. For Your Imperial Majesty will undoubtedly find that the form of doctrine
and of ceremonies
with us is not so intolerable as these ungodly and malicious men represent. Besides, the truth cannot be gathered from common rumors or the revilings of enemies. But it can readily be judged that nothing would serve better to maintain the dignity of ceremonies, and to nourish reverence
and pious devotion
among the people than if the ceremonies were observed rightly in the churches