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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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The name of a formulary, or confession of faith, obtruded upon the Protestants, after the death of Luther by the emperor Charles V. when he had defeated their forces. It was so called, because it was only to take place in the interim, till a general council should decide all the points in question between the Protestants and Catholics. The occasion of it was this: The emperor had made choice of three divines, viz. Julius Phlug, bishop of Naumberg; Michael Helding, titular bishop of Sidon; and John Agricola, preacher to the elector of Brandenburgh; who drew up a project, consisting of 26 articles, concerning the points of religion in dispute between the Catholics and Protestants. The controverted points were, the state of Adam before and after his fall; the redemption of mankind by Jesus Christ; the justification of sinners; charity and good works; the confidence we ought to have in God; that our sins are remitted; the church and its true marks, its power, its authority, and ministers; the pope and bishops; the sacraments; the mass; the commemoration of saints; their intercession; and prayers for the dead.

The emperor sent this project to the pope for his approbation, which he refused: whereupon Charles V. published the imperial constitution, called the Interim, wherein he declared, that "it was his will, that all his Catholic dominions should, for the future, inviolably observe the customs, statutes, and ordinances of the universal church; and that those who had separated themselves from it, should either reunite themselves to it, or at least conform to this constitution; and that all should quietly expect the decisions of the general council." This ordinance was published in the diet of Augsburgh, May 15, 1548; but this device neither pleased the pope nor the Protestants: the Lutheran preachers openly declared they would not receive it, alleging that it re-established popery: some chose rather to quit their chairs and livings than to subscribe it; nor would the duke of Saxony receive it. Calvin, and several others wrote against it. On the other side, the emperor was so severe against those who refused to accept it, that he disfranchised the cities of Magedeburg and Constance for their opposition.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Interim'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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