If the Roman See determines that all nations should recognize her as mistress of the faith, she should try very hard to have educated and godly people investigate religious matters. What will the world conclude if the adversaries' writing is brought to light? What will future generations think about these disgraceful judicial investigations? You see, these are the last days. Christ predicted that the greatest danger to religion would happen in them. You, who should sit on the watchtower and control religious matters, should use unusual wisdom and diligence. Heed the many signs that threaten a change to the Roman state. You make a mistake if you think that churches should be kept only by force and arms. The people are asking to be taught about religion. Since controversies have come up about subjects of the greatest importance, they are beginning to doubt, to be insulted that you refuse to investigate and rightly judge such weighty subjects. They doubt and you do not help wavering consciences, that you only ask us to be overthrown and destroyed by arms. To many good people doubt is more bitter than death. You do not think enough about how great a subject religion is, if you think that good people are in anguish for little reason when they doubt any teaching. This doubt can produce the greatest bitterness against those who hinder the explanation of the subject. (paragraphs 28-31)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.