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It is evident, dear reader, that I am clandestinely, slandered and belied .by the envious; therefore have I, briefly and prayingly sought to express the feelings of my heart, grounds, spirit, faith, doctrine, object, &c., after the tenor of the twenty fourth psalm according to the Latin, and the twenty fifth, according to the Hebrew; not in words of human wisdom, nor in great logic and rhetoric, but in a plain narration as dictated by my heart, to show the different dispositions of a true and of a false christian, together with all the grounds and hope of my faith; what I maintain concerning Christ Jesus, his doctrine, baptism, Holy Supper, ordinances, commands and prohibitions; my disposition towards lords, princes and all who are, as yet in the darkness, of unbelief and know not the light of truth; to show that I seek, and by the grace of God shall seek nothing upon earth but the unadulterated word of our Lord Jesus Christ; and this according to Scripture.
If I do err in some things, which I hope, by the grace of God, is not the case, I pray every one, for the Lord's sake, that I may not be put to shame.; if any one has more powerful writings and convincing truth, that he through brotherly exhortation and instruction would assist me, I desire with my heart to accept of it, if he is right. Deal with me as the Spirit and word of Christ teach; if any one can convince me of an error by the Scriptures, and if I will not renounce it, but continue obstinate to the word of God and brotherly admonition, then practice upon me the tyranny of Nero, Diocletian, or Maxeritius, as an obdurate and ungodly heretic; for this I stand prepared, although this would be contrary to the usages and doctrines of the first church; for it is evident, that they persecuted not on account of faith, much less did they kill them, but the erring and heretical they faithfully admonished, and those who would not return were then excommunicated.
Afterwards, in the time of Arius, they exiled them. Ultimately the bloody tyranny of anti‑christ generally prevailed. All had to suffer who did not agree with the Pope in his abominations. It is yet the case, which alas! may be plainly seen in many places.
Many who have neither seen nor heard me, call me a deceiving heretic. This must be all endured. I am no better than the pious fathers, who had to hear and suffer; nevertheless, I feel disposed to give my life, if it would induce the world rightly to understand my seeking, faith and doctrine; for I assuredly know that I have the word of God. My reader, pervert not what I write. I desire nothing else, before God, who created me, than to deal plainly, with a living voice, before every one, as one willing to be overcome by the Spirit of Christ, or to overcome; for my desire is that I and many with me be saved; hence, it is unnecessary to use the sword against me; If I have not the truth, I desire with all my heart to be instructed in it; but if I have, you then do not persecute me, but him, who is the truth, Christ Jesus.
Again, I say, with the Spirit and word of Christ, I desire to overcome, or to be overcome; in this I appeal to all the world. But it is in vain, the truth they will reject, and maintain and defend lies with the sword; for it is the true disposition and manner of anti‑christ to defame, slander, apprehend, torture, burn and murder,, contrary to the Spirit and word of God. But the Lord will see and judge it.
I would, therefore, faithfully admonish the reader, to zealously and earnestly strive after the kingdom of God, and examine this Psalms with assiduity; every word of it, with a submissive, humble heart; I hope he will find, through the grace of God, that it is replete with consolation in persecution, and that it clearly points out the difference between a believer and an unbeliever.
May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, grant the reader a zealous, ardent heart, a sincere, active faith, . unfeigned, christian love, and obedience to his holy word, through Christ Jesus, his beloved Son our Lord, to him be everlasting praise, Amen.
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