Stuttgart, Synod of

Stuttgart, Synod Of, held in the year 1559. It was convened by duke Christopher of Würtemberg, with the purpose of bestowing a formal sanction on the Lutheran doctrine of the Lord's supper, which had been previously recognized, but was threatened by divisions in the churches of the duchy itself, and by the overthrow of the Lutheran confession in the adjoining palatinate. It was composed of the four general superintendents and the spiritual and lay members of the consistory, together with the rector, dean, and professors of the theological faculty of Tübingen. On Dec. 19 it adopted the formulary issued in the following year, under the title Confessio et Doctrina Theologorum et Ministrorum Versbi Divini in Ducatu Wirtemb. de Vera Proesentia Corporis et Sanguinis Jesu Christi in Cena Dominica. It begins with an exhortation based on Eph 4:14, and proceeds to declare, on the alleged basis of the Scriptures and the Augsburg Confession

1. That in the sacrament the real body and blood of Christ are given and received with the bread and wine, by virtue of the word or institution of Christ;

2. That the substance of the bread and wine is not changed; nor do they simply serve as types, but the actual substance of Christ's body and blood is given with the unchanged substance of bread and wine;

3. That the union of these substances is sacramental, so that no sacrament exists when the bread and wine are not used;

4. The objection against the ubiquity of Christ's body based on his ascension to heaven is removed by the doctrine of Paul, that the Lord "ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things" (Eph 4:10)

5. Not only the faithful and worthy, but also the unworthy, partake of the Lord's body and blood in the sacrament; the latter, however, to their destruction, etc. The Confession of Stuttgart has been regarded by Planck and Gieseler as the first formulating of the doctrine of the ubiquity of the body of Christ; but the fundamental principle of the whole doctrine of Luther respecting the Lord's supper was the ubiquity; and Brentius, the leading spirit in the Stuttgart Synod, had expressed the opinion that Christ's human nature participates in all respects in the glory of the Father, in his larger Catechism of the year 1551. Calvin complains of the "Ubiquists" of Würtemberg in a letter to J. Andreae, dated 1556. It remains to be added that Lutherans received the decisions of this synod with much hesitation, because of objectionable expressions involved in them, e.g. that the blessing of the sacrament differs specifically from other gracious gifts of the Holy Spirit; that the blessing of the sacrament is not dependent on the will of the communicant; that the blessing of the sacrament is conditioned solely on the working of the exalted God man, etc. In the event, a reaction took place in the Würtemberg churches which opened the way for a more rational, Melancthonian view. See Pfaff, Acta et Scripta Publ. Eccl. Wirtemb. (1720); Plank, Gesch. d. protest. Lehrbegrijfs, vol. 5; Heppe, Gesch. d. deutsch. Prot. vol. 1. SEE MELANCTHON; SEE UBIQUITY.

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