The Protest at Speyer

[ Extracted Rev. J A Wylie,
History of Protestantism
, vol i, p550-1]

The elector, for himself;
the princes, and the

whole body of the Reformed
party, now proceeded

to read a Declaration, of
which the following are
the more important
passages :‑

We cannot consent to its
[the edict of 1526]

repeal . . . . . Because
this would be to

deny our Lord Jesus Christ, to reject His Holy

Word, and thus give Him
just reason to deny us
before His Father, as He
has threatened.

the new edict declaring the ministers

preach the Gospel, explaining it according to

the writings accepted by the holy
Christian Church; we think that, for this regulation to have any value,
we should first agree on what is meant
by the true
and holy Church. Now seeing that there is great
diversity of opinion in this respect ; that there is no
sure doctrine but such as is
conformable to the
Word of God :
that the Lord forbids the teaching
of any other doctrine ; that
each text of the Holy Scriptures ought
to be explained by other and
clearer texts; that this holy book is
in all things necessary for the Christian, easy of understanding,
and calculated to scatter the darkness
: we are re­
solved, with the grace of God, to maintain the pnm


preaching of His Holy Word, such as

it is contained in the Biblical books of the Old and
New Testament, without adding anything
that may be contrary to
it. This Word is the only

truth; it is the sure rule of all doctrine and of all

life, and can never fail or deceive
us. He who
builds on this foundation shall stand against all the
powers of hell, whilst all the human
vanities that
are set up against
it shall fall before the face of

For these reasons , most dear lords, uncles, cousins and
friends we earnestly entreat  you to

carefully our grievances and our motives. If you do not yield to our
request, we protest by these presents, before God, our only Creator,
Pre­server, Redeemer, and Saviour, and who will one day be our Judge, as
well as before all men and all creatures, that we, for us and for our
people, neither consent nor adhere in any manner whatsoever to the
proposed decree, in anything that is contrary to God, to His Holy Word, to
our right conscience, to the salvation of our souls, and to the last
decree of Speyers.”

Wylie wrote:

This protest, when we consider the long dominancy and
formidable character of the tyranny to which it was opposed, and the lofty
nature and vast range of the rights and liberties which it claimed, is one
of the grandest documents in all history, and marks an epoch in the
progress of the human race second only to that of Christianity itself.