[Samuel S. Schmucker,] Definite platform, doctrinal and disciplinarian, for Evangelical Lutheran district synods: constructed in accordance with the principles of the General Synod (Philadelphia: Miller & Burlock, 1855), 4-5. Concordia Electronic Books https://digital.palni.edu/digital/collection/copebooks/id/803 and https://digital.palni.edu/digital/collection/copebooks/id/804.

[…] Whereas the entire Lutheran Church of Germany has rejected the symbolical books as a whole, and also abandoned some of the doctrines of the Augsburg Confession, among others the far greater part of them the doctrine of the bodily presence of the Savior in the Eucharist, and our fathers in this country also more than half a century ago, ceased to require a pledge to any of these books, whilst they still believed and in various ways avowed the great fundamental doctrines contained in them :

And whereas the General Synod of the American Lutheran Church, about a quarter of a century ago, again introduced a qualified acknowledgement of the Augsburg Confession, in the Constitution of her Theological Seminary, and in her Constitution for District Synods, at the ordination and licensure of ministers, without specifying the doctrines to be omitted, except by the designation that they are not fundamental doctrines of Scripture ; and whereas a general desire has prevailed amongst our ministers and churches, to have this basis expressed in a more definite manner; and the General Synod has left this matter optional with each district Synod :

Therefore we regarded it due to the cause of truth, as well as to ourselves and to the public, to specify more minutely what tenets of the Augsburg Confession, and of the former symbolic system are rejected, some by all, others by the great mass of the ministers and churches of the General Synod, in this country.

Accordingly, the following American Recension of the Augsburg Confession, has been prepared, by consultation and co-opera- tion of a number of Evangelical Lutheran ministers of Eastern and Western Synods belonging to the General Synod, at the special request of Western brethren, whose churches particularly need it, being intermingled with German churches, which avow the whole mass of the former symbols. In this revision, not a single sentence has been added to the Augsburg Confession, whilst those several aspects of doctrine have been omitted, which [5] have long since been regarded by the great mass of our churches as unscriptural, and as remnants of Romish error. The only errors contained in the Confession (which are all omitted in this Recension) are

  • 1. The Approval of the Ceremonies of the Mass.
  • 2. Private Confession and Absolution.
  • 3. Denial of the Divine obligation of the Christian Sabbath.
  • 4. Baptismal Regeneration. .
  • 5. The Real Presence of the Body and Blood of the Savior in the Eucharist.

With these few exceptions, we retain the entire Augsburg Confession, with all the great doctrines of the Reformation. The other errors rejected in the second part of this doctrinal Platform, such as Exorcism, &c., are contained not in the Augsburg Confession, but in the other former symbolical books, and are here introduced as among the reasons for our rejection of all the other books except the Augsburg Confession. At the same time, whilst we will not admit into our Synod any one who believes in Exorcism, Private Confession and Abso- lution, or the Ceremonies of the Mass, we grant liberty in regard to the other omitted topics, and are willing, as heretofore, to admit ministers who receive them, provided they regard them as non-essential, and are willing to co-operate in peace and harmony with those who reject them, and to subscribe this Platform.

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