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the confession of the Waldenses, was bottomed upon those comprehensive principles which
supported the plan of Calvin.
This consensus was for the express purpose of wiping away the reproach of their enemies, and of promoting brotherly concord and communion on the ground of their agreement in the leading truths of the gospel ; all things else being matters of forbearance.
* “Of this holy and mutual agreement,” say ihey,“ we have thought and agreed that it would be a confirmation, if as they,” the Lutherans, “bear witness that we, and our church, and our confession, published in this Synod, and the churches and confession of the brethren,” (Waldenses) “are orthodox : so also we should manifest the same Christian love toward their churches, and should acknowledge their orthodoxy : and should, on both sides, abandon and consign to silence, all quarrels, distractions, and dissensions, by which the course of the gospel, to the very great offence of many pious people, is hindered ; and by which no light occasion is furnished to.
* Hujus autem sancti mutuique consensus vinculum fore arbitrati sumus convenimusque, ut, quemadmadum illi nos nostrasque ecclesias, et confessionem nostram in hac Synodo publicatam, et Fratrum, orthodoxas esse testantur; Sic etiam nos illorum ecclesias eodem Christiano amore prosequamur, et orthodoxas fateamur. Extremumque valedica. mus et ad altum silentium imponamus omnibus rixis, distractionibus, dissidiis; quibus evangeli cursus non sine maxima piorum offensione impeditus est; et unde adversariis nostris non levis calumniandi et veræ Christianæ religioni nostræ contradicendi occasio sit subministrata.
Quin potius paci et tranquillitati publicæ studere, charitatem mutu. am execere, et operas mutuas ad ædificationem ecclesiæ, pro fraterna conjunctione nostra, præstare debemus.
Adhæc recipimus mutuo consensu, omni studio nostris fratribus omnibus persuasuros, atque eos invitaturos ad hunc Christianum et unanimem consensum amplectendum, colendum, et conservandum; illumque alendum et obsignandum, præcipue auditione verbi, (frequentando tam hujus quàm alterius cujusque confessionis cetus) et sacramentorum usu : observato tamen recto ordine, et gradu tam disciplinæ quam consuetudinis uniuscujusque Ecclesiæ.
Ritus autem et cæremonias uniuscujusque ecclesiæ liberos hac concordia et conjunctione relinquimus. Non enim multum refert qui ritus · observentur, modò sarta tecta et incorrupta existat ipsa doctrina et fundamentum fidei ac salutis nostræ. Quem ad modum et ipsa confess Atque ut Coophonem huic consensui et mutuæ concordiæ imponamus, ad hanc fraternam societatem conservandam tuendamque, non incommodum fore putamus, in locum certum convenire, ubi ina ex mutuis confessionibus, compendium corporis doctrinæ (improbitate hostium ad id adacti) eliceremus, et in publicum ederemus; ut invidorum hominum ora obturarentur, cum maximo omnium piorum solatio: sub titulo omnium ecclesiarum Polonicarum reformatarum, et Lithuanicarum, et Samogiticarum, nostræ confessioni consentientium.
sio Augustana et Saxonica de ea re docent; et in hac confessione nostra, in præsenti Synodo Sendomiriensi publicata, id ipsum expressi mus.
Datis igitur junctieque dextris, sancte promisimus et recepimus invicem omnes, fidem et pacem colere, fovere, et in die ad ædificationen regni Dei magis magisque amplificare velle; omne que occasiones distractionis ecclesiarum evitaturos. Denique, fe immemores oblitosque
sui ipsius, ut veros Dei ministros decet, solius Jesu Christi Salvatoris I nostri gloriam promoturos; et evangelii ipsius veritatem propagaturos turn factis tum dictis, recepimus.
Synt. CONF. p. p. 289, 290,
our adversaries, both of calumniating ourselves, and of opposing our true Christian religion. It is rather our duty to study the public peace and tranquility ; to exercise mutual charity ; and to employ, according to our brotherly union, our mutual efforts for the edification of the church.
“We, moreover, pledge ourselves to use our utmost endeavours to persuade and invite all our brethren to embrace, respect, and preserve this our Christian and unanimous agreement; and to cherish and seal it especially by hearing of the word, (in frequenting the assemblies of both confessions,) and by the use of the sacraments : always observing good order, and the rule both of discipline and custom in each of the churches respectively.
“But the rites and ceremonies of each church we do, by this our hearty consent, leave free. For it makes little difference what rites are observed, provided the fundamental doctrine of our faith and salvation be untouched and uncorrupted, as the Augustan and Saxon confession teach on that head; and as we have expressed the same in this our confession, published in the present Synod of Sendomir.
“And to complete this our consent and agreement, we have thought that, in order to preserve this our brotherly association, it will not be in
convenient to meet at some appointed place, where we may together form a compend of doctrine taken from our mutual confessions; and publish it to the world to stop the mouths of invidious men, and minister great consolation to all the pious.
“Having, therefore, given to each other the right hand of union, we have all most sacredly promised and pledged ourselves, to cultivate, nourish, and daily to aim at increasing, our peace and faith, to the building up the kingdom of God; and that we will shun all occasions of distracting the churches. Finally, we have pledged ourselves, that regardless of selfish considerations, as becomes the true ministers of God, we will promote only the glory of Jesus CHRIST OUR Saviour; and will propagate the truth of his gospel in word and deed.”
Next comes a prayer for the divine blessing; then the subscriptions to this agreement: and the instrument closes with the 1st verse of the cxxxiii psalm—“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!!"
A few days after the ratification of this consenSus, viz. on the Lord's day, the 28th of May, 1570, it was carried into effect in the following manner: viz." The ministers, patrons, and whole congregation of the Bohemic confession, both
Poles and Germans of both sexes, proceeded in a body from their own to the Lutheran place of worship, to attend morning service; and there, the hearers of both parties being solemnly assembled, two of the Waldensian ministers preached, one to the Poles, the other to the Germans. In the same way, in the afternoon, the congregation of the Augustan confession, with their patrons and ministers, having made a procession from their church through the city, went to the church of the Bohemian brethren, in the suburbs, the Poles to the Poles, the Germans to the Germans ;* and there two Lutheran ministers preached to them the word of God. In each place, after reading the agreement, the ministers gave their attestation aloud to the holy concord and union; and exhorted their hearers on both sides to cherish and guard it as a singular gist of God; and, laying aside all groundless suspicions of each other, now that they had become one in the Lord and in his truth, to keep his way, and cultivate brotherly love. This was accompanied with ardent prayers to God, and with the greatest joy and acclamation of all present, exclaim-* ing, ‘Behold, how good and pleasant it is for breth
* i. e. the Lutheran Poles to the Bohemian Poles; and the Luthe-. ran Germans to the Bohemian Germans.