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The Protest at Speyer 1529.
[ Extracted Rev. J A Wylie, History of Protestantism, vol i, p550-1]

The elector, for himself; the princes, and the whole body of the Reformed party, now proceeded to read a Declaration, of which the following are the more important passages :‑

We cannot consent to its [the edict of 1526] repeal . . . . . Because this would be to deny our Lord Jesus Christ, to reject His Holy Word, and thus give Him just reason to deny us before His Father, as He has threatened.

Moreover, the new edict declaring the ministers shall preach the Gospel, explaining it according to the writings accepted by the holy Christian Church; we think that, for this regulation to have any value, we should first agree on what is meant by the true and holy Church. Now seeing that there is great diversity of opinion in this respect ; that there is no sure doctrine but such as is conformable to the Word of God : that the Lord forbids the teaching of any other doctrine ; that each text of the Holy Scriptures ought to be explained by other and clearer texts; that this holy book is in all things necessary for the Christian, easy of understanding, and calculated to scatter the darkness : we are re­solved, with the grace of God, to maintain the pnm and exclusive preaching of His Holy Word, such as it is contained in the Biblical books of the Old and New Testament, without adding anything thereto that may be contrary to it. This Word is the only truth; it is the sure rule of all doctrine and of all life, and can never fail or deceive us. He who builds on this foundation shall stand against all the powers of hell, whilst all the human vanities that are set up against it shall fall before the face of God.

For these reasons , most dear lords, uncles, cousins and friends we earnestly entreat  you to  weigh carefully our grievances and our motives. If you do not yield to our request, we protest by these presents, before God, our only Creator, Pre­server, Redeemer, and Saviour, and who will one day be our Judge, as well as before all men and all creatures, that we, for us and for our people, neither consent nor adhere in any manner whatsoever to the proposed decree, in anything that is contrary to God, to His Holy Word, to our right conscience, to the salvation of our souls, and to the last decree of Speyers."

Wylie wrote: This protest, when we consider the long dominancy and formidable character of the tyranny to which it was opposed, and the lofty nature and vast range of the rights and liberties which it claimed, is one of the grandest documents in all history, and marks an epoch in the progress of the human race second only to that of Christianity itself.

 18/07/2011

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