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The Brandenburg Recess: Resolutions agreed to by Frederick William ("the Great Elector") and the Brandenburg Estates in the Recess of July 26, 1653 (1653)

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1. Firstly, We will have taught and professed in all Our Lands, in Our University of Frankfurt, Electoral schools, and everywhere else, nothing but what ist contained in the pure Word of God, in the Prophetic and Apostolic writings, and in conformity with the Four Chief Symbols. The Holy Sacraments shall also be administered as appointed by Our Lord Redeemer and Savior, Jesus Christ, without any human addition and corruption.

We further confirm the former Reverses of the country that whoever in the land wishes to do so may continue to profess the doctrine of Luther and the Augsburg Confession, as presented to the Emperor Charles V on June 25, 1530, at the Grand Imperial Diet of Augsburg, in the presence of His Imperial Majesty and also of the Electors and Estates of the Roman Empire, signed by the Protestant Electors and Estates, and as it has thereafter been used in Lutheran churches, particularly in the churches of this Electorate, and as Our loyal Estates have hitherto confessed it, and do now do so, and which is generally called by the Lutheran Churches “unchanged,” and that each and all of their symbolical books shall remain inviolate, and everything is to remain as disposed by the Recesses of 1611 and 1615. No compulsion or pressure shall be put on them to abandon it, as We have never thought to arrogate to Ourselves the dominion over consciences. Neither shall any person who is suspect to Our subjects be intruded in Our agencies and in places the patronage of which belongs to Us.

The majority of offices and benefices in the leading Colleges, and in the most reputed of them, have hitherto been occupied and enjoyed by more Lutherans than Calvinists. We are most graciously resolved to follow the existing practice and to confer Our grace and promotion on both Lutherans and Calvinists without distinction of creed.

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[The remainder of this article promises that certain schools for the children of nobles shall be reopened and re-expanded as soon as circumstances allow and that preference in admission to them, fees, etc., shall be given to natives of Brandenburg, without distinction between Lutherans and Calvinists.]

2. Secondly, We will not permit the practice of their religion, in public or private, to Papists, Arrians, Photinians, Weigalians, Anabaptists, and Minists, and should it come to Our knowledge that conventicles of this type have, unknown to Us and contrary to Our will, been established in Our Electoral Lands, due visitation and punishment shall not fail.

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