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The Marburg Colloquy – The Marburg Articles (1529)

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On Good Works

Tenth, [we believe] that the faith effected by the Holy Spirit, having saved us and made us holy, practices good works through us, namely, brotherly love, prayer to God, and the ability to suffer all persecution, etc.

On Confession

Eleventh, that confession or seeking counsel with a pastor or [spiritual] brother should be uncoerced and free, but is of great use to those who are troubled, under [spiritual] attack, or burdened by sin or with a conscience that has been lead astray, most of all because of the absolution and comfort offered by the Gospel, which is the true absolution.

On Authority

Twelfth, that all secular authorities, laws, courts, and ordinances, wherever they may be, are of a correct and proper standing and not forbidden, as many papists and Anabaptists teach and hold. Rather, that a Christian, if he is called or born into the ruling class, can be saved through faith in Christ, just as in the class of father and mother, husband and wife, etc.

Thirteenth, that that which we call traditions in our human order in spiritual and ecclesiastical business, so long as they are not clearly contrary to God’s Word, may be followed or abandoned so that those with whom we deal can be shielded from all nature of unnecessary annoyance and the weak and common peace can be aided through love.

Fourteenth, [we believe] that infant baptism is correct and that they [i.e. the children baptized] are thereby granted God’s mercy and accepted into Christendom.

On the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ

Fifteenth, regarding the Last Supper of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, we believe and hold that one should practice the use of both species as Christ himself did, and that the sacrament at the altar is a sacrament of the true body and blood of Jesus Christ and the spiritual enjoyment of this very body and blood is proper and necessary for every Christian. Furthermore, that the practice of the sacrament is given and ordered by God the Almighty like the Word, so that our weak conscience might be moved to faith through the Holy Spirit. And although we have not been able to agree at this time, whether the true body and blood of Christ are corporally present in the bread and wine [of communion], each party should display towards the other Christian love, as far as each respective conscience allows, and both should persistently ask God the Almighty for guidance so that through his Spirit he might bring us to a proper understanding. Amen.

Martin Luther
Justus Jonas
Philipp Melanchthon
Andreas Osiander
Stephan Agricola
Johannes Brenz
Johannes Oecolampadius
Huldrich Zwingli
Martin Bucer
Caspar Hedio

Source: D. Martin Luthers Werke. Kritische Gesamtausgabe. Band 30, Teil 3. Weimar, 1910, pp. 160-71.

Translation: Ellen Yutzy Glebe

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