Saxon Confession

(Confessio Saxonica) (1551). Protestant confession of faith drawn up by Philip Melanchthon* at the emperor's request for the Council of Trent.* It appeared first in Latin at Basle, 1552. It followed the main lines of the Augsburg Confession* (1530), but was less conciliatory, there remaining no hope of Protestant-Roman Catholic reconciliation. The Scriptures as understood by the ancient church in the ecumenical creeds were declared the only and unalterable foundation of faith. The distinctive Christian doctrines were elaborated around the two articles in the Apostles' Creed* on the forgiveness of sins and the church. The former was held to exclude merit and justification by works; the latter to prove the church to be spiritual though visible communion of believers in Christ. The sacramental character of the eucharistic gifts was asserted to be confined to their use in the service. Unlike the Augsburg Confession, only the theologians signed, among them Melanchthon, J. Bugenhagen, and Georg Major. It was presented to the Council of Trent in 1552, together with the Württemberg Confession.*