Originally published at: https://concordia.confident.faith/preface-to-the-christian-book-of-concord/
1 To the readers, one and all, of these our writings: we are the electors, princes, and deputies of the Holy Roman Empire in Germany, supporters of the Augsburg Confession, who subscribed our names to that document. We announce and declare — according to the dignity and rank of each person — our devotion, friendship, and greeting, combined with willing service.
2 In these Last Times and in this old age of the world [Acts 2:17], what a remarkable favor of Almighty God has arisen after the darkness of papal superstitions! According to His unspeakable love, patience, and mercy, He willed that the light of His Gospel [2 Corinthians 4:4] and Word — through which alone we receive true salvation—should arise and shine clearly and purely in Germany, our most beloved fatherland. Therefore, a brief and succinct Confession was prepared from God’s Word — the most holy writings of the prophets and apostles [2 Peter 3:2]. At the Diet of Augsburg, in the year 1530, this Confession was offered in the German and Latin languages by our most godly ancestors, to the Emperor Charles V, of excellent memory. It was laid before the deputies of the Empire. Finally, it was circulated publicly in the entire world among all people professing Christian doctrine. So it was spread everywhere and began to be found in the mouths and speech of all.
3 Later, many churches and schools embraced and defended this Confession as a current symbol for the chief articles of faith. This was done especially by those involved in controversy with the Romanists and various corruptions of the heavenly doctrine. With lasting agreement they appealed to the Augsburg Confession without any controversy and doubt. They knew that the doctrine included in it was both supported by firm testimonies of Scripture and approved by the ancient and accepted symbols [creeds]. They have also constantly judged this Confession to be the only and lasting consensus of the true, believing Church. In the past this consensus was defended against many heresies and errors — now it is repeated.
4 No one can be ignorant of this fact: immediately after Dr. Martin Luther (that most distinguished hero, endowed with most eminent piety) was removed from human affairs, Germany, our dear fatherland, experienced most perilous times and most severe disturbances. In these difficulties, and in the sad division of a government that was earlier flourishing and well regulated, the enemy of mortals [Satan] cunningly labored. He scattered the seeds of false doctrine and dissensions in the churches and schools [Matthew 13:24–30]. He also labored to stir up divisions [Romans 16:17] combined with offense. By these arts of his, he labored to corrupt the purity of the heavenly doctrine, to sever the bond of Christian love and godly agreement [Ephesians 4:3], and to hinder and delay to a greater degree the spread of the most holy Gospel. It is also known to all how the enemies of the heavenly doctrine seized this opportunity to speak against our churches and schools, to disguise their errors, and to draw alarmed and erring consciences away from the purity of Gospel teaching. They did this to make people more willing to bear and tolerate the yoke of papal slavery, and also to embrace other corruptions conflicting with God’s Word.
5 We conclude that nothing more agreeable could happen or should be sought more eagerly and prayerfully from almighty God than the following: (a) both our churches and our schools should persevere in the pure doctrine of God’s Word and in that longed-for and godly oneness of mind [1 Corinthians 1:10], and, (b) as was the case while Luther was still alive, they should be regulated by the divine Word, which was handed down to posterity in a godly and excellent way. However, we notice something else happening. (This happened in apostolic times, in those churches where the apostles themselves had planted the Gospel of Christ [1 Corinthians 3:6].) Corruptions were introduced by false brethren [Galatians 2:4]. So, because of our sins and the looseness of these times, this trouble has been allowed by an angry God against our churches [Hebrews 10:30–31].
6 Therefore, mindful of our duty (we know this has been divinely commanded to us) we think that we should apply ourselves diligently to the work of attacking the false teachings that have been spread in our provinces and realms. Such teachings are gradually gaining favor for themselves in the manner and familiarity of the people. We should see to it that the subjects in our government may persevere in the straight way of godliness [Hebrews 12:13] and in the truth of the heavenly doctrine. This has been acknowledged, retained, and defended so far. The people should not be allowed to be led away from it. In this matter, indeed, partly our most worthy predecessors, partly we ourselves, were eagerly at work. Then, in the year of Christ 1558, the Diet was held by the electors at Frankfurt on the Main. A resolution was adopted by a unanimous vote that a special, general assembly should be held. In a thorough but friendly manner, there would be a conference among us about the things that are hatefully charged by our adversaries against our churches and schools.
[The Naumburg Conference of 1561]
7 After the deliberations at Frankfurt, our predecessors (of godly and excellent memory) gathered with some of us at Naumburg in Thuringia. We took in hand the Augsburg Confession that was offered to the Emperor Charles V in the great assembly of the Empire at Augsburg in the year 1530 (mentioned by us several times previously). We all subscribed with one mind to that godly Confession, built upon solid testimonies of the truth expressed in God’s Word, which cannot be shaken [Hebrews 12:27–28]. In this way, of course, we meant to provide for the interests of future generations, and to enable and encourage them (as far as we could) to avoid false doctrines conflicting with God’s Word. We also did this so that, both for his Imperial Majesty (our most clement Lord) and also universally for all, there might be this permanent testimony: it has never been our intention to defend or spread any new and strange teaching. Rather, we desired (God aiding us) to constantly support and retain the truth that we professed at Augsburg in 1530. We were also led to hold a certain hope that in this way those who oppose the pure, evangelical doctrine would stop making false charges and accusations. We hoped that other good and well-intentioned people would be attracted by our renewed and repeated Confession. With greater zeal and care, we hoped that they would seek and investigate the truth about the heavenly doctrine, which alone is our guide to salvation. And, for the soul’s salvation and their eternal happiness, we hoped they would agree with our Confession, all further controversies and disputations being rejected.
[The Naumburg Conference Failed]
8 But, not without disappointment, we were informed that our declaration and that repetition of a godly Confession had too little importance among our adversaries. So neither we, nor our churches, were delivered from the most painful slanders arising from their prejudice. Our adversaries had circulated these things against us among the people. Also, the adversaries of true religion have taken the things we have done (with the best intention and purpose) to mean that we were uncertain about our religion and had so often altered it from one formula to another that it was no longer clear to us or our theologians what Confession was offered to the emperor at Augsburg. These fictions of the adversaries have deterred and alienated many good people from our churches, schools, doctrine, faith, and Confession. To these disadvantages there is also added this: (a) teaching conflicting with the institution of the Holy Supper of the body and blood of Christ and (b) other corruptions introduced here and there into the churches and schools by people claiming to follow the Augsburg Confession.
9 Some godly men, lovers of peace and harmony, and also learned theologians, noticed all these things. They decided that these slanders and religious disagreements, which were constantly increasing more and more, could not be addressed better than if the controversial articles would be thoroughly and accurately set forth and explained from God’s Word. The false teachings would be rejected and condemned. On the other hand, the divinely delivered truth would be clearly and lucidly presented. These godly men were convinced that, by this method, silence could be imposed upon the adversaries. Also, the more simple and godly would be shown a sure way and plan for how they should act in these disagreements. Aided by divine grace, they could also avoid corruptions of doctrine in the future.
10 In the beginning, the theologians wrote to one another certain documents on this subject. These writings were comprehensive enough, and were taken from God’s Word. They showed clearly and skillfully how these controversies, which were not without offense to the churches, could be put to rest and removed from sight without any loss to the truth of the Gospel [Galatians 2:5]. The result would be that the opportunities and claims sought for slander would be cut off and removed from the adversaries. Finally, in the fear of God, the theologians took up and accurately pondered and explained the controversial articles. In a special writing they stated completely in what way and by what method the dissensions that had arisen could be settled in a right and godly manner.
11 Having been informed about the theologians’ godly purpose, we have not only approved it, but have also decided that it should be promoted by us with great earnestness and zeal. We do so in view of the office and duty divinely committed to us.
[The Torgau Conference of 1576]
12 And so, by the counsel of some other electors and princes agreeing with us in religion, we, by God’s grace, the Duke of Saxony, the Elector, and so forth, summoned certain well-known and least-suspected theologians to Torgau in 1576. These men were also experienced and endowed with the best learning. Their purpose was to promote the godly goal of harmony among the Church’s teachers. When they had gathered, they devoutly met with one another over the controversial articles and the peace document, which we have just mentioned. After prayers had first been offered to Almighty God, and to His praise and glory, they put together a very good and suitable document with extraordinary care and diligence—the Spirit of the Lord aiding them by His grace. It included all those things that seemed to apply to, and to be required for, this deliberation. Afterward this book was sent to some chief supporters of the Augsburg Confession—electors, princes, and deputies. It was asked that they themselves (calling to their aid the most well-known and most learned theologians) should read this book with anxious care and godly zeal. They were asked to examine it diligently and to write down their opinion and criticism of it. Finally, they were asked to express their judgment and opinions about the whole book and each part.
13 When we had received these criticisms, we found many godly and useful suggestions in them. We saw how the declaration of the pure Christian doctrine we sent could be fortified and strengthened by the testimonies of Holy Scripture against corruptions and perversions. Then, in time, godless doctrines would not be concealed under its name. Instead, a completely unvarnished declaration of the pure truth might be passed on to future generations [Psalm 145:4]. Therefore, the book of godly concord was written from the suggestions that had been considered best when they came to us. It was completed in the form in which it will be submitted.
14 For certain reasons (which stood in our way) not all of us, nor some others as well, were able to review the book at that time. Some of our rank have caused this book to be recited clearly, article by article to the theologians and the ministers of the church and of the schools (collectively and individually). They have caused them to be encouraged for a diligent and accurate consideration of those parts of the doctrine that are contained in it.
16 After they saw that the explanation of the controversial articles agreed especially with God’s Word and also with the Augsburg Confession, they then received this Book of Concord with a very ready mind and expressed their gratitude toward God. For the book expresses the godly and genuine meaning of the Augsburg Confession. Having freely, and indeed accurately, pondered and considered this, they approved this book, subscribed to it, and publicly bore witness about it with heart, mouth, and hand. Therefore, that godly agreement is called, and forever will be called the harmonious and concordant Confession of not just some of our theologians, but, in general, of the ministers of our churches and rectors of schools, jointly and separately, in our provinces and realms.
[The Role of the Augsburg Confession]
Now, our conferences and those of our illustrious predecessors were held with a godly and sincere intention. First they were held at Frankfurt on the Main, and afterward at Naumburg, and were recorded in writing. These conferences did not accomplish the goal and peaceful settlement that was desired. Instead, a defense for errors and false doctrines was even sought by some at the conferences. But it never entered our mind, by our writing, either to introduce, furnish a cover for, or establish any false doctrine. Nor in the least did we ever intend to withdraw from the Confession presented in 1530 at Augsburg. But rather, all of us who participated in the work at Naumburg wholly reserved that work for ourselves. We promised besides that if, in the course of time, any [explanation] would be desired for the Augsburg Confession, or as often as necessity would seem to demand it, we would further declare all things thoroughly and at length. And that is the reason why we explained in this Book of Concord (with great and godly agreement) a declaration of our constant and perpetual wish, and a repetition of our Christian faith and Confession.
So, no one may permit himself to be disturbed by the charges of our adversaries, spun out of their own mind. They boast that not even we are sure which confession is the true and genuine Augsburg Confession. But those who are still living and also future generations may be clearly and firmly taught and informed about what that godly Confession is. For both we and the churches and schools of our realms always professed and embraced it. We emphatically testify that after the pure and unchangeable truth of God’s Word, we want to embrace the first Augsburg Confession alone. It was presented to the Emperor Charles V, in the year 1530, at the famous Diet of Augsburg. (This Confession alone, we say, and no other.) Copies of that Confession were deposited in the archives of our predecessors (of excellent memory), who presented it in the Diet to Charles V himself. We caused the copies to be compared by men worthy of confidence with the copy that was presented to the emperor himself and is preserved in the archives of the Holy Roman Empire. (We did this lest we should be found lacking in most accurate regard for diligence.) We are sure that our copies, both the Latin and the German, correspond to the original in all things, with like meaning. For this reason also we wanted to insert the Confession presented at Augsburg in our explanation. This will be submitted here or in the Book of Concord. Then all may understand that we have resolved to tolerate no other doctrine in our realms, churches, and schools than what was approved at Augsburg in 1530, in a solemn Confession, by the above-mentioned electors, princes, and deputies of the Empire. By God’s help, we will retain this Confession to our last breath, when we shall go forth from this life to the heavenly fatherland, to appear with a joyful, undaunted mind and a pure conscience before the court of our Lord Jesus Christ [2 Corinthians 5:9–10]. Therefore, we hope that our adversaries will spare both us and the ministers of our churches. We hope they will not use these customary and most grievous accusations: (a) we cannot decide with certainty among ourselves about our faith, and (b) we are forging new confessions almost every year, yes, even every month.
[The Second Edition of the Augsburg Confession
17 Furthermore, we write about the second edition of the Augsburg Confession. We note that mention is made about this in the transcripts at Naumburg. What is also known to all is that, by appealing to the wording of this latter edition, some have wanted to cover and conceal corruptions regarding the Lord’s Supper and other errors. They have attempted to thrust their errors upon an ignorant populace by means of published writings. They have not been motivated by the distinct words of the Augsburg Confession—which was presented first. These errors are openly rejected by the first Augsburg Confession and a far different meaning than these people want can be shown in that document. Therefore, we have decided in this writing to testify publicly about this and to inform all: we wanted neither then nor now in any way to defend, excuse, or approve false and godless doctrines and opinions. Such things may lie concealed under certain coverings of words, as though they agreed with the Gospel doctrine. Indeed, we never understood the second edition in a different sense in any part from the first edition that was presented. Neither do we think that other useful writings of Dr. Philip Melanchthon, or of Brentz, Urban Rhegius, Pomeranus, or others, should be rejected and condemned. As long as, in all things, those writings agree with the standard that has been set forth in the Book of Concord.
18 Now, some theologians (and Luther himself among them), when they wrote about the Lord’s Supper, were drawn, against their will, by their adversaries to disputes about the personal union of the two natures in Christ. Yet our theologians in the Book of Concord, and by its standard of sound doctrine, testify what is our constant and never-ending opinion and that of this book: for the Lord’s Supper, godly people should be led to no other foundations than the words of institution in the testament of our Lord Jesus Christ. For He is both almighty and true. So it is easy for Him to do those things that He has both instituted and promised in His Word. When this foundation is not attacked by their adversaries, our theologians will not fight back in this kind of argument about other methods of proof. But, in true simplicity of faith, they will firmly insist upon Christ’s very plain words. (That is the safest method, and it is best suited for the instruction of uneducated people. For they do not understand those things that have been discussed with greater exactness.) Indeed, it is our assertion that the simple meaning of the words of Christ’s testament are attacked by the adversaries. The adversaries’ attacks are rejected as godless and conflicting with the nature of true faith. Finally, we say they are contrary to the Apostles’ Creed. (Especially to the statements about the incarnation of God’s Son, His ascension into heaven, and His sitting at the right hand of the almighty power and majesty of God [Hebrews 1:3].) Therefore, their attacks are false. So it must be shown by a true and thorough interpretation of these articles that our opinion differs neither from Christ’s words nor from these articles.
[The Book of Concord]
19 Now, about the phrases and forms of expression that are used in this Book of Concord. We speak of the majesty of the human nature in the person of Christ, elevated and placed at God’s right hand. We do this in order to remove all subtle suspicions and causes of offense that might arise from the different uses of the word abstract (as both the schools and the fathers have used this term up to now). In distinct and clear words, our theologians want to testify that this majesty is in no way to be ascribed to Christ’s human nature outside of the personal union. Neither are we to grant that Christ’s human nature possesses this majesty as its own or by itself (even in the personal union) essentially, formally, habitually, subjectively. (The schools like these terms, although they are not good Latin.) For if we would adopt this method of speaking and teaching, the divine and human natures, with their properties, would be confused. And the human, with its essence and properties, would be made equal to the divine. Indeed, the human nature would be completely denied. Therefore, the theologians conclude that we should believe that this union happens according to the method and order of the personal union. Learned antiquity has spoken cautiously about this subject—it is a mystery so great that it exceeds all the powers of our natural ability and understanding.
20 Now, about the condemnations, censures, and rejections of godless doctrines, and especially about what has arisen concerning the Lord’s Supper. These had to be clearly set forth in this, our declaration, thorough explanation, and decision about controversial articles. This was done not only so that all may guard against these condemned doctrines, but also for certain other reasons that could in no way be ignored. So it is not at all our plan and purpose to condemn people who err because of a certain simplicity of mind, but are not blasphemers against the truth of the heavenly doctrine. Much less, indeed, do we intend to condemn entire churches that are either under the Roman Empire of the German nation or elsewhere. Rather, it has been our intention and desire in this way to openly criticize and condemn only the fanatical opinions and their stubborn and blasphemous teachers. (We judge that they should in no way be tolerated in our dominions, churches, and schools.) For these errors conflict with God’s clear Word. They do so in such a way that they cannot be reconciled with the Word. We have written condemnations also for this reason: that all godly persons might be diligently warned to avoid these errors. For we have no doubt whatsoever that—even in those churches that have not agreed with us in all things—many godly and by no means wicked people are found. They follow their own simplicity and do not correctly understand the matter itself. But in no way do they approve the blasphemies that are cast forth against the Holy Supper as it is administered in our churches, according to Christ’s institution. With the unanimous approval of all good people, the Lord’s Supper is taught according to the words of Christ’s testament itself [Matthew 26:28]. We are also in great hope that, if these simple people would be taught correctly about all these things—the Spirit of the Lord aiding them—they would agree with us, and with our churches and schools, to the infallible truth of God’s Word [John 17:17]. And certainly, a duty is laid especially upon all the Church’s theologians and ministers. With such fitting moderation [Philippians 4:5], they should also teach from God’s Word those who have erred from the truth [2 Timothy 2:18], either from a certain simplicity or ignorance. They should teach about the peril of their salvation. They should fortify them against corruptions lest all may perish while the blind are leaders of the blind [Matthew 15:14]. Therefore, by our writing, we testify in the sight of almighty God and before the entire Church that it has never been our purpose, by means of this godly formula for union, to create trouble or danger to the godly who are suffering persecution today. We have already entered into the fellowship of grief [Romans 12:15] with them, moved by Christian love, so that we are shocked at the persecution and most painful tyranny that is used against these poor people with such severity. We sincerely detest it. In no way do we agree to the shedding of that innocent blood [Proverbs 6:17], which undoubtedly will be required with great severity from the persecutors at the Lord’s awful judgment and before Christ’s court [Romans 14:10]. They will then certainly render a most strict account [1 Peter 4:5] and suffer fearful punishment.
21 In these matters (as we have mentioned earlier), this has always been our purpose: in our lands, dominions, schools, and churches no other doctrine should be proclaimed and accurately set forth except that which is founded upon God’s Word and contained in the Augsburg Confession and the Apology (when properly understood in its genuine sense). Opinions conflicting with these are not allowed. Indeed, this formula of agreement was begun and completed with this purpose. So, before God and all mortals, we once more declare and testify that in the declaration of the controversial articles (of which mention has already been made several times) we are not introducing a new Confession. Nor are we introducing one different from that which was presented in 1530 to Charles V, of happy memory. But we wished indeed to lead our churches and schools, first of all, to the fountains of Holy Scripture, and to the Creeds, and then to the Augsburg Confession (which we have mentioned before). We most earnestly encourage that the young men be instructed in this faithfully and diligently, especially those who are being educated for the holy ministry of the churches and schools. Then the pure doctrine and profession of our faith may, by the Holy Spirit’s help, be preserved and spread also to our future generations, until the glorious advent of Jesus Christ [Titus 2:13], our only Redeemer and Savior.
22 This is the case: being instructed from the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures, we are sure about our doctrine and Confession. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, our minds and consciences have been confirmed to a greater degree. Therefore, we have thought that this Book of Concord should be published. For it seemed very necessary that, amid so many errors that had arisen in our times, as well as causes of offense, variances, and these long-continued disagreements, there should exist a godly explanation and agreement about all these controversies. It should be derived from God’s Word, according to the terms by which the pure doctrine might be distinguished and separated from the false. Besides, this matter is important also for another reason. There are troublesome and contentious people who do not allow themselves to be bound to any formula of the pure doctrine. They may not have the freedom to stir up controversies, according to their good pleasure, that cause grounds for offense, or to publish and fight for extreme opinions. For eventually the result of these things is that the pure doctrine is hidden and lost. Then nothing is passed on to future generations except academic opinions and delays of judgment. Another consideration was also added to these that agreed with the office committed to us by God. We understand that we owe our subjects this service: we should diligently care for the things that apply to this life and the life to come. We should take pains, with the greatest earnestness and our utmost ability, to attend to those matters that promote (a) the extension of God’s name and glory; (b) the spread of His Word (from which alone we hope for salvation); (c) the peace and tranquility of churches and schools; and (d) the instruction and consolation of disturbed consciences. We must do this. For it is certainly a settled fact that this healthy work of Christian concord has already been longed for and expected with anxious prayers and the greatest desire by many good and sincere people both of the highest and the lowest rank. We have not held the following opinion from the beginning of this work of peaceful settlement, neither do we hold it even now: this work of concord (so healthy and most necessary) should be removed from the people’s eyes and completely concealed; the light of heavenly truth should be placed under a bushel or table [Matthew 5:15]. Therefore, we should in no way delay its publication. Nor do we doubt that all the godly (who are lovers of the heavenly truth and of concord pleasing to God) will approve of this healthy, useful, godly, and very necessary undertaking with us. We believe they will act so that nothing may be lacking in them, even to the greatest effort, by which God’s glory and the common welfare may be promoted in both temporal and eternal things.
23 We repeat in conclusion what we mentioned several times earlier. In this work of concord, we have not at all wished to create something new or to depart from the truth of the heavenly doctrine, which our ancestors (renowned for their piety) as well as we ourselves, have acknowledged and professed. We mean the doctrine that, having been taken from the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures, is contained (a) in the three ancient Creeds; (b) in the Augsburg Confession, presented in the year 1530 to the Emperor Charles V (of excellent memory); (c) in the Apology, which was added to this; (d) in the Smalcald Articles; and lastly (e) in both the Catechisms of that excellent man, Dr. Luther. Therefore, we also determined not to depart even a finger’s breadth either from the subjects themselves, or from the phrases that are found in them. But, the Spirit of the Lord aiding us, we intend to persevere constantly, with the greatest harmony, in this godly agreement. And we intend to examine all controversies according to this true norm and declaration of the pure doctrine. Then—with the rest of the electors, princes, and deputies of the Holy Roman Empire and other kings, princes, and magnates of the Christian state, in accordance with the constitution of the Holy Empire and the agreements that we have with them—we determined and desired to cultivate peace and harmony. We determined to render to each one, according to his rank, all duties belonging to us, together with the services of friendship.
24 Besides, having made known our goals, we will also earnestly apply ourselves with great strictness and the most ardent zeal to the defense of this work of concord. We will do this by diligently visiting the churches and schools in our realms, overseeing printing offices, and other helpful means, according to opportunities and circumstances that may be offered to us and others. We will also take pains—if controversies already mentioned should be renewed, or new controversies about religion should arise—to remove and settle them speedily. We will work to avoid offense, without long and dangerous delays.
25 As a clear testimony of this, we have with great consent subscribed our names, and attached also our seals:
Louis, Count Palatine on the Rhine, Elector. Augustus, Duke of Saxony, Elector. John George, Margrave of Brandenburg, Elector. Joachim Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg, Administrator of the Archbishopric of Magdeburg. John, Bishop of Meissen. Eberhard, Bishop of Lübeck, Administrator of the Episcopate of Werden. Philip Louis, Count Palatine on the Rhine. The guardians of Frederick William and John, Dukes of Saxony. The guardians of John Casimir and John Ernest, Dukes of Saxony. George Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg. Julius, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg. Otho, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg. Henry the Younger, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg. William the Younger, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg. Wolfgang, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg. Ulrich, Duke of Mecklenburg. The guardians of John and Sigismund Augustus, Dukes of Mecklenburg. Louis, Duke of Württemberg. The guardians of Ernest and Jacob, Margraves of Baden. George Ernest, Count and Lord of Henneburg. Frederick, Count of Württemberg and Mömpelgard. John Gunther, Count of Schwartzburg. William, Count of Schwartzburg. Albert, Count of Schwartzburg. Emich, Count of Leiningen. Philip, Count of Hanau. Gottfried, Count of Öttingen. George, Count and Lord in Castel. Henry, Count and Lord in Castel. Otho, Count of Hoya and Burgkhausen. John, Count of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst. John Hoier, Count of Mansfeld. Bruno, Count of Mansfeld. Hoier Christopher, Count of Mansfeld. Peter Ernest Jr., Count of Mansfeld. Christopher, Count of Mansfeld. Albert George, Count of Stolberg. Wolfgang Ernest, Count of Stolberg. Louis, Count of Gleichen. Charles, Count of Gleichen. Ernest, Count of Reinstein. Boto, Count of Reinstein. Louis, Count of Lewenstein. Henry, Baron of Limburg, Semperfrei. George, Baron of Schönburg. Wolfgang, Baron of Schönburg. Anarc Frederick, Baron of Wildenfels. Mayor and Council of the City of Lübeck. Mayor and Council of the City of Lüneburg. Mayor and Council of the City of Hamburg. Council of the City of Brunswick. Mayor and Council of the City of Landau. Mayor and Council of the City of Münster in the Gregorian Valley. Council of the City of Goslar. Mayor and Council of the City of Ulm. Mayor and Council of the City of Esslingen. Council of the City of Reutlingen. Mayor and Council of the City of Nördlingen. Mayor and Council of Rothenburg on the Tauber. Mayor and Council of the City of Hall in Swabia. Mayor and Council of the City of Heilbronn. Mayor and Council of the City of Memmingen. Mayor and Council of the City of Lindau. Mayor and Council of the City of Schweinfurt. Council of the City of Donauwoerth. Chamberlain and Council of the City of Regensburg. Mayor and Council of the City of Wimpffen. Mayor and Council of the City of Giengen. Mayor and Council of Bopfingen. Mayor and Council of the City of Aalen. Mayor and Council of the City of Kaufbeuren. Mayor and Council of the City of Isna. Mayor and Council of the City of Kempten. Council of the City of Göttingen. Mayor and Council of the City of Leutkirch. The entire Government of the City of Hildesheim. Mayor and Council of the City of Hamelin. Mayor and Councilmen of the City of Hanover. Council of Mühlhausen. Council of Erfurt. Council of the City of Einbeck. Council of the City of Nordheim.