The Book of Concord, or the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
With a widespread and all but general return towards the confessional position of the Fathers, a period of new life and promise for our Church in America has begun. Upon the hearty acceptance of these Confessions in their historical sense, and their consistent application in the Spirit of the Gospel to practice, the General Council, in common with others, offers a basis for the union of the entire Lutheran Church in America. The work, in which she has so successfully cooperated in the preparation of a Common Service will not be complete until the agreement possible in such joint work is traced to a more thor ough harmony in the faith than had been supposed, and its ulti mate expression in agreement as to the terms of confessional statement. But for the attainment of such end the Confessions must be readily accessible in the common language of the country, and should be found in the studies Of all our pastors and in the homes and libraries of all our intelligent people. Even although our Church has never asked its laymen to subscribe to more than the Catechism, yet the importance of their acquaintance with all that, as members of Lutheran synods, they require their pastors to know and teach cannot be questioned.