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American Lutheranism Vindicated; or, Examination of the Lutheran Symbols, on Certain Disputed Topics Including a Reply to the Plea of Rev. W. J. Mann   By: (1799-1873)

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AMERICAN LUTHERANISM VINDICATED; OR, EXAMINATION OF THE LUTHERAN SYMBOLS, on CERTAIN DISPUTED TOPICS: INCLUDING A REPLY TO THE PLEA OF Rev. W. J. MANN. BY S. S. SCHMUCKER, D. D., Professor of Christian Theology in the Theological Seminary of General Synod at Gettysburg, Pa.

Earnestly contend for the faith, once delivered to the saints. JUDE 3.

BALTIMORE: PUBLISHED BY T. NEWTON KURTZ, No. 151 WEST PRATT STREET. 1856

Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1856, BY S. S. SCHMUCKER, IN THE CLERK'S OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA. STEREOTYPED BY GEORGE CHARLES, NO. 9 SANSOM ST., PHILA. PRINTED BY C. SHERMAN & SON.

TO THE READER. The design of the following treatise, and the occasion which elicited it, are indicated both on the title page and in the introduction of the work itself. Its primary object is not to discuss the obligation of Synods to adopt the doctrinal basis of the Platform. What we felt it a duty to the church to publish on that subject, we have presented in the Lutheran Observer. But the pamphlet of the Rev. Mann, entitled Plea for the Augsburg Confession, having called in question the accuracy of some of the interpretations of that Confession contained in the Definite Synodical Platform, and affirmed the Scriptural truth of some of the tenets there dissented from; it becomes a question of interest among us as Lutherans, which representation is correct. For the points disputed are those, on the ground of which the constitutions of the General Synod and of her Seminary avow only a qualified assent to the Augsburg Confession. In hope of contributing to the prevalence of truth, and the interests of that kingdom of God which is based on it, the writer has carefully re examined the original documents, and herewith submits the results to the friends of the General Synod and her basis. Since these results as to the question, what do the symbols actually teach? are deduced impartially, as must be admitted, from the original symbolical books themselves, as illustrated by the writings of Luther, Melancthon, and of the other Reformers of the same date; those who approve of those books should so far sustain our work: and those who reject these tenets, that is, the New School portion of the church, will not object to seeing a vindication of the reason why they and the General Synod avow only a qualified assent even to the Augsburg Confession, namely, because these errors are there taught.

The topics here discussed, are all such as are left free to individual judgment, both by the Constitution of the General Synod, and that of her Theological Seminary. Both explicitly bind to the Augsburg Confession, only so far as the fundamental doctrines, not of that confession, but of the Scriptures are concerned. A fundamental doctrine of Scripture is one that, is regarded by the great body of evangelical Christians as essential to salvation, or essential to the system of Christianity; so that he who rejects it cannot be saved, neither be regarded as a believer in the system of Christian doctrine. The doctrinal peculiarities of no denomination, though often highly important, can therefore be regarded as fundamental, without unchurching all other denominations and consigning them to perdition. The topics here discussed are, 1. Ceremonies of the Mass. 2. Private Confession and Absolution. 3. The Divine institution of the Christian Sabbath. 4. Nature of Sacramental Influence. 5. Baptismal Regeneration. 6. The nature of the Saviour's presence in the Lord's Supper; and, 7. Exorcism. Now, not one of these is found in the list of fundamentals published by the Synod of Maryland, and by the great Evangelical Alliance of all the prominent Christian denominations assembled in London in 1846, consisting of more than a thousand ministers of Christ, delegated from nearly all parts of Europe and America. That list is found in the Lutheran Manual, and is the following:

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