|Guanabara Confession (1558)
|This Confession was the first Protestant writing in the Americas. It was written by the French Huguenots at France Antarctique, at the site of what is now known as Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The authors were taken under arrest by Villegaignon. After its redaction, in 12 hours, its authors were hanged.|
According to the doctrine of Saint Peter Apostle, in his first epistle, all Christians must be ready to give reason of the hope which is inside them, and this with all meekness and benignity, we sign beneath, Lord of Villegaignon, agreed (according the measure of grace that the Lord has conceded us) to give reason, to each point, how you had appointed and ordered us, and starting by the first article:
I. We believe in one God, immortal, invisible, creator of skies and earth, and all things, visibles and invisibles, who is distinguished in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, who constitute the same substance in eternal essence and a same will; the Father, source and beginning of all blessing; the Son, eternally beget by the Father, who, fulfilled the plenty of time, came in flesh to the world, being conceived by the Holy Ghost, was born by the virgin Mary, breed under the law to rescue those who were under the law, in order to we receive the adoption of His own sons; the Holy Ghost, proceeding by the Father and the Son, master of all Truth, speaking by the prophets, inspiring the things which were said by our Lord Jesus Christ to the apostles. He is the unique Consoler in affliction, giving constancy and perseverance in all good.
We believe that is mister only worship and perfectly love, beg and invoke the majesty of God in faith or individually.
II. Worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ, we don't separate one nature from other, confessing the two natures, namely, divine and human, which are inseparable.
III. We believe, concerning to the Son of God and the Holy Spirit, what the Word of God and the apostolic doctrine, and the symbol, teach us.
IV. We believe our Lord Jesus Christ will judge living and dead people, in a visible and human form like He ascended to the heaven, executing such judgement, in the the form that predict us in twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, having all the power to judge, given by the Father, being man.
And, concerning our prayers, the Father will appear in the Son, we understand this because the power of the Father given to the Son will manifest in that judgement, but we don't want to confound the people, because they are really distinguished one of other.
V. We believe in the holy sacrament of the supper, with the corporal figures of the bread and the wine, the faithful souls are really and actually feed with the very substance of our Lord Jesus, as our bodies are feed with food, even so we don't want to say that the bread and the wine be transformed or transubstanciated in His body, because the bread keeps in its nature and substance, like the wine, and there is no change or alteration.
However, we distinguish this bread and wine from other bread which is dedicated to habitual use, because this is a sacramental sign, which the truth is infallibly received. Neverthless this receipt is made only by the faith and we cant't imagine as being fleshly, neither prepare the teeth to eat, as said St. Augustine: "Why do you prepares the teeth and the stomach? Believe, and you have eaten."
Therefore, the sign doesn't give us the truth, neither the thing which is denoted; but our Lord Jesus Christ, by His power, virtue and kindness feeds and preserves our souls, and make they partners in His flesh and His blood, and all of His benefactions.
Let us see the explanation of Jesus' words: "This is my body." Tertullian, in the fourth book against Marcion, explain in this way: "this is the sign and the figure of my body."
St. Augustine says: "The Lord doesn't avoid to say: 'This is my body', when he just give the sign of his body."
Hence (as it is ordered in the first canon of the Council of Nicea), in this holy sacrament we can't imagine nothing fleshly and distract in the bread and the wine, which are proposed by signs, but elevate our spirit to the skies and contemplate by the faith the Son of God, our Lord Jesus, seat at the right of God, His Father.
In this way, we could swear the article about the Ascension, along with many others sentences of Augustine, which we are omitting, because they are long
VI. We believe that, if was necessary put water in the wine, the evangelists and St. Paul would not had omitted a thing of so great consequence.
And concerning to what the ancient doctors have observed (basing themselves about the blood mixed with water that leaved of the side of Jesus Christ, since this observance doesn't have any basis in the Scripture, seen very after the estabilishment of the Lord's Supper when this happened), we can't admit, necessarilly.
VII. We believe that there is no other dedication but that which is made by the minister, when the Lord's Supper, reciting the minister to the people, in a known languague, the institution of this sacrament literally, according to the way that our Lord Jesus Christ teached us, admonishing the people concerning to the death and passion of our Lord. And, as said St. Augustine, the dedication is the word of faith that is preached and received in faith. For this, it results that the words misteriously pronounced cannot be the dedication as it appears of the instituition that our Lord Jesus Christ let to His apostles, directing His words to the current disciples, which he ordered drink and eat.
VIII. The holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper is not food for the body as it is to the souls (because we don't realize nothing fleshly, as we declare in the fifth article) receiving by faith, which is not fleshly.
IX. We believe that baptism é the sacrament of penitence, and as an ingress in the Church of God, to be incorporate in Jesus Christ. Represent to us the remission of our past and future sins, which completly acquired only by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Moreover, the mortification of our flesh is represented to us here, and the washing, represented by the water put on the child, it's the sign and seal of our Lord Jesus, which is the true purification of our souls. The institucion of this sacrament is teached to us in the Word of God, which the holy apostles observed, utilizing water in name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Concerning the exorcism, abjurations of satan, chrism, spittle and salt, we register them as men's traditions, we conten only with the way ad institution let to us by our Lord Jesus.
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