Illustrious Emperor, most powerful, invincible, and gracious Sire; Inasmuch as your Imperial Majesty proclaimed a diet of the Empire at Augsburg, to consult about the best means of defence against the Turk, that ancient, inveterate, and most bitter enemy of the Christian name and religion, – in what way most completely and permanently to repress him; – and then to consult also about the dissensions in reference to our holy religion and Christian faith, – how the opinions and sentiments of contending parties on the subject of religion, might be mutually expressed, explained, and considered among themselves in your presence, with moderation, mildness, and affection; so that what has been considered or acknowledged by each party in its writings, being abandoned or corrected, those opinions might be settled and reduced to one plain standard of truth and Christian harmony; that one pure and true religion being cherished and preserved among us, we may be able to live in harmony and concord in one Christian church, in the same manner as we live and serve under one Christ; and since we, the undersigned Elector and Princes, with others who have adhered to us, and other electors, princes, and estates besides, were summoned to the appointed diet, we therefore have come without delay to Augsburg, that we might obediently observe your Majesty’s order, and, we wish it to be said without boasting, have appeared here among the first.

When, therefore, your Imperial Majesty, among other things, caused it to be proposed to the electors, princes, and other estates of the empire, at the very commencement of the Diet here at Augsburg, that the several estates, in conformity with your Imperial Edict, should prepare and submit their opinions and sentiments in the German and Latin language, – having held a consultation on Wednesday, we returned our answer, that we on our part would present the articles of our Confession to your Imperial Majesty on the succeeding Friday. In obedience to your Majesty’s demand, we now offer in defence of our religion, the Confession of our adherents and ourselves, the doctrine of which, drawn from the holy Scriptures and the pure Word of God, they deliver in our provinces, dukedoms, principalities, and cities, and discuss in our churches.

For if the other electors, princes, and estates of the empire, in similar writings in Latin and German, according to the above-mentioned proposition of your Majesty, shall produce their opinions on the subject of religion, we, here in the presence of your Imperial Majesty, as our most gracious lord, present ourselves ready to consult on friendly terms with those princes and our adherents, about the possible methods and means by which we may come to an agreement, so far as it can be honorably done; and, having peaceably discussed the subjects of difference among ourselves, to consult how the dissensions may be suppressed, through the grace of God, and how one true, harmonious religion may be preserved; that, as we all live and serve under one Christ, and ought to acknowledge one Christ, according to the tenor of your Majesty’s Edict, all opinions likewise may be conformed to the standard of divine truth, – an event which we implore from God in our most fervent supplications.

But relative to the other electors, princes, and estates, as the opposite party, if this conference on the subject of religion, conducted after the manner in which your Majesty wisely required it to be, – by a mutual exhibition and deliberate comparison of written opinions among ourselves, – shall not conduce to a reconciliation, nor be attended with any other beneficial result, we at least shall leave the clearest evidence, and your Imperial Majesty, the electors, and estates of the empire, and all, - whoever are influenced by a pure love and zeal for religion, whoever may have heard this discussion with an impartial spirit, – will not fail to perceive, and gladly acknowledge, from our Confession, that we have withheld no effort which might contribute to the restoration of Christian harmony, consistent with the will of God and the dictates of conscience.

Your Imperial Majesty graciously intimated, not on a single occasion, but frequently, to the electors, princes, and estates of the empire, and caused it to be publicly read and recited from a copy of your Majesty’s Instructions, written and communicated to them at the Diet of Speyer, held in the year 1526, that your Imperial Majesty, for certain reasons there specified, was neither willing nor able to make any decision or determination as to these religious difficulties; but that your Majesty desired, as a matter of duty, to use your best exertions with the Roman Pontiff for convening a general council. The same likewise was more fully declared, a year ago, in the last public diet which was held at Speyer. At that time your Imperial Majesty, through Ferdinand, king of Bohemia and Hungary, our friend and gracious lord, and also through your Majesty’s speaker and commissaries, caused this to be declared among other things, that your Majesty had considered the resolution of the deputy, counselors, and officers of the imperial government, and of those delegated by other estates, who had assembled at Ratisbon, and that your Majesty deemed it expedient to convene a diet; and because the subjects then under negotiation between your Majesty and the Roman Pontiff, were near an amicable adjustment, your Majesty did not doubt that the Pope might be induced to convoke a general diet. Thus earnestly did your Majesty strive that the chief Pontiff above-mentioned might agree with your Majesty to assemble such a diet, to be convoked by a missive, at an early period.

In the event, therefore, that the discussion between the parties, shall not be settled in a friendly and affectionate manner, we propose in all obedience, that we appear before your Imperial Majesty, abundantly prepared, and plead our cause in such a general, free, and Christian council, the convocation of which has always been solicited with one consent, and voted for with unanimous voices, by the electors, princes, and estates of the empire, in all the imperial diets which have been held during your Majesty’s reign. Long ago in a becoming manner and in legal form, have we challenged them to a general conference of this kind, and appealed at the same time to your Imperial Majesty, in this great and momentous cause.

In this appeal to your Majesty for a general diet we continue to persist; nor do we intend nor are we able to abandon it, in this or any other address, unless the difficulty between the parties, according to your Majesty’s last Proclamation, shall be settled, allayed, and adjusted to Christian harmony. And here we solemnly and publicly attest the truth of this declaration.