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THE reason why we do not admit the foundation, doctrine and faith of the learned, in regard to the incarnation of the Lord, but refute it with the Scriptures and truth, is this: Because we clearly see and palpably feel that they deprive us entirely of Christ, the Son of God, and point us to an earthly, sinful creature, and a man of the impure and sinful flesh of Adam; because their doctrine and pretensions are quite inconsistent with the ordinance of God, and also with nature, the Scriptures and the properties of the names, father, mother and son, and because so many inconsistencies must necessarily be included in Christ, as hereditary sin, condemnation, curse and death; because he would be half man, if the woman, according to their confession, contributed as much to the fruit as does the man; because there would be two persons‑one divine and one human, which they call two natures or two parts; because there would be two sons‑one the Son of God without mother, and not subject to pain; the other Mary's son without a father, and subject to suffering.
Again, because that if God shall be called a Father of the man, Christ, he must be a creating and not a begetting Father of his Son, and Christ must not be a born, but a created Son of his Father; because he would be the offspring of Adam and his seed, not through the word by which all must stand, but through his own flesh, which was subject to condemnation and death, with which the word clothes him, and in whom (while on earth), it has lived, and because of other gross inconsistencies. Therefore I have deemed it necessary, before I proceed with the confutation and dissection of the controversy, to propose to the reader our faith and confession of Christ the Son of God, according to the wholesome, genuine Scriptures, that he may find and understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is not an unclean, divided Christ of two persons and sons‑but an undivided, pure Christ, an only person, yea, God's first begotten and only Son. Let him who is of an understanding mind, and who fears God, read and judge.
In the first place I advance the ordinance of God, Gen.l:28; 9:1, to which John A'Lasco himself refers me, namely, "Be fruitful and multiply," and prove from this same ordinance that the production of man is brought about from the seed of man, through the woman, 1 Cor. 11:11, as will be enlarged upon hereafter.
To establish this assertion I would first refer to the conception of Sarah, when the Lord spake unto Abraham, saying, I will bless thy wife Sarah, and she shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac, Gen. 17:19. To understand these words rightly and also Gen. 1, the reader should observe that Sarah, as she herself said, was .old and it ceased to be with her after the manner of women, Gen. 18:11. Nevertheless, through faith, she conceived and brought forth unto Abraham a son in her old age.
This blessing of Sarah, according to my humble understanding, was that she was made fruitful by the power of God, according to the promise through the faith of Abraham. Behold, thus Isaac was conceived by Sarah of the seed of his father, and a son was born unto Abraham, according to the ordinance of God, Gen. 1:28; 21:2.
147To this add the proverbs of Philon, of rather of the wise Solomon, which reads thus: "I myself also am a mortal man, like to all, and the offspring of him that was first made of the earth," &c., Wisdom 7:1.
Again, the Lord said unto Jacob, "Be fruitful and multiply; a nation, and a company of nations shall be of thee; and kings shall come out of thy loins," Gen. 35:11.
Again, Levi was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedec met Abraham, Heb. 7:10. Other clear proofs might also be added.
I now leave the philosophers to philosophize, and the students of nature to argue as much as they please over this matter. God's ordinance, the example of Abraham and Sarah; and the abundant testimony of the Scriptures are sufficient proof for me on this point.
Again, I advance the words of the holy angel Gabriel, when he told Mary that she should conceive and bring forth a son. " Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God," Luke 1:34, 3O. Behold, here is the testimony of a true messenger, that God the Father is a true Father of our Lord, Christ. I think that God's own angel has here reproved the falsehood of those who say that the crucified Christ Jesus has had no father.
Since we find from God's own ordinance and from so many sayings of the Scriptures, that a true child takes its origin from the seed of the father according to God's ordinance, as has been related; and since we are so clearly instructed all through the Scriptures that God the Father is the true Father of his Son, Jesus Christ; therefore we say that we believe and confess, that the eternal Word of God, which is also called the seed, in the Scriptures, came down from heaven, through the overshadowing of the divine power, descended into Mary and miraculously became, above all human understanding, through the working of the Holy Ghost, a true, palpable, passive and mortal but imperishable man, according to the immutable will and gracious promise of the Almighty and heavenly Father; as John, both in his gospel and epistles clearly testifies. A man, I say, like unto us in all things except sin. Not, my reader that he came from the unclean seed and flesh of Adam, and was, through the power of God, preserved from sin, as the learned assert, without the word of God, for that which never knew sin is the seed and origin of his flesh, as John says, "The word was made flesh," John 1:14. Besides examine the passages of the Scriptures which testify that Jesus Christ is God's first born and only begotten Son, and you will find how grossly they err who dare say the man Christ has no father, as they do.
Again of Mary, the Lord's mother, we believe and confess that the Almighty, eternal God and Father graciously prepared her virgin body, as he also did that of the aged Sarah, by the power of his Holy Spirit, to receive his precious, eternal Word, through faith, according to the promise of the angel, and that this same word became man; and thus human‑like, as Isaac, was nourished and fed on natural food, as a natural fruit, to the certain testimony that he was a true man and no phantasm; in due time, he was born into the world, an undivided and true Son of God and Mary, as a natural child of its father and mother, the carnalis intercursm alone excepted, as the Scriptures testify, Luke 8:10; 1:27; John 1:14; 1 John 1:2; Heb. 2:14; Phil. 2:7.
And behold, with such understanding we believe and confess that he is the seed of the woman, of the seed of Abraham and David, who was given of God the Father unto the whole world, through particular favor and grace, for salvation and deliverance, as the highest surety and certain testimony of his divine love, through faith, according to the sure word of his promise; and that the above mentioned virgin, ordained of God, conceived, as above stated, the Savior of the whole world, in Nazareth, according to the word of the angel, and was delivered of him at Bethlehem, according to the word of the prophets, Luke 7.:31; Micah s:2.
Faithful reader, observe that Matthew 148and Luke show that Mary was made fruitful through the Holy Spirit of God, yet they do not particularly point out his genealogy, Mic. g; Luke‑1:31. In the meantime some sectarians arose in the church, as Cerinthus and Ebion, who, according to history, have instituted gross deceptions.
Finally, John, at the prayer of the bishops of Asia, has written a clear account of the origin of Christ. the Son of God, and that not alone of his eternal divinity, as the learned say, but also of his holy humanity, as may be clearly noticed on all sides, in his writings. And he has, in clear and pointed words, written and incontrovertibly shown, who and what he has been from eternity, saying, " The word was made flesh." He says not; The word was made a man of our, or Mary's flesh, and has installed itself therein, as our opponents say. Besides he shows us whence he came, what he has taught, and what example he left us; what we have received through him, and where he again went to, &c. Whosoever, now, rightly believes the testimony of John, of Christ, the Son of God, has life everlasting through his name, John 1:14.
But he who does not believe it, and rejects it, is not of God, and has neither Father nor Son, but is an anti‑christ and deceiver; and this is our humble and plain confession of Christ, God's Son, as has been heard, 2 John 7, 8, 9.
As I now enlarge upon our doctrine, faith and confession, the reader should know that the Scriptures show on every hand that God, the Almighty Father has created all things through his Word, Jn. 1:1; Ps. 33:6; that he rules all things, and upholds and maintains all things thereby, Col. 1:16, and as it is manifest that Adam was created by this same Word, and that he, through his disobedience was condemned, by the justice of God, to damnation and death, together with all his descendants; and that he of himself and through himself, could not be restored again, he being, together with all his seed, corrupted in nature, and condemned by the justice of God; therefore the eternal love of God, if Adam and his seed were not to remain eternally cursed, had to restore Adam and his descendants, by the same Word through which he created him, from his deadly fall, condemnation and curse, that to him alone be the honor, and that through his Word and Son, Christ Jesus, his inexpressibly great love and grace be eternally praised. For if the restoration had been brought about by any other means than the word, we might reasonably give thanks and praise thereto. Behold, with this; our confession, foundation and faith, the whole Scriptures accord, as, by the grace of God, you will clearly see from the quoted Scriptures.
Thus speaks John, " In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God," "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth," John 1:1, 14. This testimony we believe to be true; we therefore leave it unbroken, that the whole Christ remain, the Son of God; for we see with open eyes that it accords, and agrees, as far as regards this subject, with all the Scriptures.
We truly believe and doubt not the least, that the Holy Spirit, which seeks to lead us into all truth, did not mean otherwise than he here spoke through this faithful, plain fisherman, John. For if the beloved messenger of the holy peace had not meant it, as he here writes, his writing would not have pacified the churches, which, at that time, were very much troubled about this matter; but it would have still more estranged them than before, and would have pointed us, poor descendants to an obscure and uncertain foundation. Oh no! His testimony is true and plain; and will remain so in eternity. The word has become flesh.
This, our confession, is also authorized by the Lord himself, saying, " I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world," John 6:51.
Faithful reader, mark the word of your Lord. Christ says, that his flesh came from heaven, and the learned say that it descended from Adam's flesh. Here they are directly opposite. What now will the Godfearing mind do H If he hold to the testimony and word of Christ, then he must be 149the deceiver and heretic of the learned. But if he hold to the testimony and word, then he makes Christ a liar. Since we surely know that Christ and the learned are so antagonistic, and since we know to a certainty, that Christ is the undeceiving truth, and that all men are liars, therefore we must not turn from truth to falsehood, but from falsehood to truth. Whatsoever the judgment of man may be, God's word will remain forever, Ps. 116:,11; Rom. 3:4; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:26.
Perhaps our opponents will here seek an excuse and say, Christ speaks of his more honorable part, for his divinity is from heaven, and has taken Adam's flesh. I answer: Let them read and believe the word and testimony of Christ, and they will find that they explain it according to their own inclination, and not according to the sense and truth of Christ; for thus he speaks, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven." Mark, he says, "Came down from heaven," " and the bread that I will give, is my flesh." Mark again, He does not say, It is my divinity, but "my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
I think that Christ himself, has here sufficiently explained his words, and therefore we do not need the explanation and garbling of the learned. For Christ and John could not have expressed themselves more plainly, in regard to the descending of his holy flesh, than they did in the two mentioned Scriptures. Therefore let every one beware how he garbles. For whosoever falsifies these dear, fundamental evidences, does not falsify the word of a human being but the word of God. Neither does he reject us, but the Son of God, together with his Holy Spirit, and the exalted apostle John, who have left them behind, and taught them in such clear and plain words.
Christ still farther declares this our confession, saying, "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was," John 17:5.
I think this also is dear evidence that Christ humbled himself, and, that he, for our sake, abdicated for a time his divine dominion, right and glory. For, although he was Justice and eternal Blessedness, he did not refuse to become a sacrifice for sin, and a curse for us, Phil. 2:7; 1 Cor. 1:29; Gal. 3:13; 2 Cor. G:19.
Yea, kind reader, if he had remained in his first estate, impassive and unchanged, as John A'Lasco and his followers assert; and if he had just surrounded himself with a strange tabernacle of Mary's flesh, then he would not have lost that which he again desired from his Father, while he would have remained, not humbled, but unchanged in his first estate.
But now it is manifest that the eternal, indescribable and inexpressibly glorious word, which from eternity has been with and in the Father in eternal glory and clearness, but in an illegible manner, has in due time left his glory, for a season, for our service, and become a poor, despised, mortal man, and has died a bitter death for us. And thus he again desired his first glory, which he had with his Father before the world began, and which he had, for a time left, for our sakes. This Scripture is too clear to be obscured by acuteness. Therefore believe the word of your Lord, trust in truth and you will not be deceived.
This our confession also accords with holy Paul, for he says, "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descend!, ed first into the lower parts of the earth 8 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things," Eph. 4:9, 10.
By the side of this plain saying of Paul place also the word and testimony of Christ, which he himself testifies in regard to his descension. For he says, " No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven," John 3:13.
Ponder diligently upon these words of Paul. For if he spoke these words alone in regard to his divinity, and not of his humanity, how would it then accord with the testimony of Christ, just mentioned, who says, " No man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."
My reader, remember, Christ here calls himself the son of man, and says, "That he came down from heaven." The son of Mary, whom the learned say is of her flesh, 150did not come down from heaven, but must be of the flesh of Adam, if the foundation of the learned were right. Oh no. But the word came down from heaven, is become flesh or man, in the lower parts of the earth, and afterward ascended' up far above all heavens where he first was.
Inasmuch then, as Christ not only speaks in this Scripture passage of his divinity, but also of, his humanity (since he says The son of man), therefore it is manifest that the man Christ is not originally from earth, but from heaven, for according to his eternal divinity, if that should have been left thus unchanged, as the learned say, he cannot be called the son of man. Again, according to his humanity, he could not be in heaven at the time he spoke these words, if he was of Mary's flesh and not of heaven. Therefore we must accept these Scriptures as regarding the whole Christ, that is, both of his divinity and humanity. From which it forcibly follows that the whole Christ Jesus, God and man, man and God, is from heaven and not of earth, as also John testifies at another place, and says, "He that cometh from above is above all; he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth; he that cometh from heaven is above all," John 3:31. Again, Christ says, "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again, I leave the world and go to the Father," John 18:28'.
From these it follows (if we will accept the testimony of Christ, John the baptist and Paul, as true) that the Word came down from heaven, became flesh in Mary, dwelt among man, fulfilled the Scriptures, again ascended and sat down at the right hand of his Father, and is adored by all the angels of God. Mark, reader, how the one Scripture exactly fits the other, and ‑ how exactly Christ, John and Paul agree. Sure and immutable stands the testimony, that the Word is become flesh.
Paul still further explains our confession, and says, "The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and; as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly," 1 Cor. 16:4'7. Reader observe. Although Paul properly speaks of the resurrection of the dead, and of its future clearness, yet he testifies by this same Scripture, the coming again, and the difference between the first and the second Adam, when he says, " The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven." For, as the first man, Adam, is called earthy on account of his being of the earth; so, also, the second man, Christ, is called heavenly because he is from heaven.
If any one should contradict this and say, That Christ here is called heavenly on account of his divinity, you should know that Paul rebukes them with these significant words: The second man, he says "The second man is the Lord from heaven." I cannot see how the great witness could express himself more plainly. And since he is, then, such a heavenly Being, and, be, sides, since he is again glorified of God his heavenly Father, with his eternal glory which he had before the beginning of the world, with God, therefore the holy apostle also calls all his true members, after the resurrection, heavenly. Not that they are from heaven, as Christ is from heaven, but because, by grace, through the power of God, in the resurrection, they will partake of the heavenly glory and of the nature of the angels, as Christ says, " The glory which thou gavest me, I have given them" (his disciples), John 1'7:22.
Again, Paul says; "Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working, whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself," Phil. 3:20, 21. Read also what Christ says of such, Luke 20; 1 John 3.
For this reason Paul calls them heavenly and says, "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly," "For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality;" " Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" and as the stars of heaven in brightness forever; yea, when we shall be like unto the Lord, and shall see him face to face, as he is, 1 Cor. 1s:49; Matt. 13:43; 1 Cor. 13:12.
151Again, at another place the Scriptures say of Christ, I am the First and the Last, and the living One, and I was dead, and behold, I live from eternity to eternity Rev. 1:8; Isa. 41:4; 44:6. In this instance the Holy Spirit brings forward another indissoluble testimony, at which all sharp disputers and famous masters of this world are made ashamed. If they want to pervert this clear and plain Scripture according to their own notion, by their deceitful reasoning, as they do the Scriptures of John 1:14, and all the Scriptures, then they should know that we do not follow and believe the sophistry of man, but the‑word of the Lord. If they leave it undisturbed, then their cause is already lost, for the Holy Spirit testifies that the First and the Last, and the living One, died.
That Mary's flesh was not the first and the last all intelligent persons must admit. If then the man Christ had been of Mary's flesh, as the learned say it is, which neither is nor can be the first and last, and if it had thus died, then the Spirit of God, which is the Spirit of truth, would not have spoken rightly. Yea, neither Christ himself, who says, "I am the First and Last," was dead, and behold I am alive.
I would further say, That if the man Christ Jesus was a natural offspring of Mary, and if the eternal Word only lived therein, as our opponents say it did, and if this same man died, and the Word remained unchanged, then Mary's flesh must be the First and Last; this is too plain to be denied.
Since it is evident that Mary's flesh neither is nor can be the First and Last, as has been heard, and since it is true, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, that the First and Last has died, therefore I conclude therefrom that the explanation of our opponents, by which they point us to Mary's flesh, is deceitful and false, and that the learned are badly mistaken when they say that the Son of God remained unchanged,‑and that the son of Mary died. I say again, the word stands immutable, " The Word is become flesh."
Again, with this our confession, foundation and belief, all the. prophets who have spoken of Christ, the Son of God, through the Holy Spirit, agree. Micah says, "But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting," Micah G:2. Observe, Isaiah says, "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel," which signifies God with us, Is. 7:14; Matt. 1:23.
He further says, " Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace," Isa. 9:6.
At another place he says, " Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God." Again, Jeremiah says, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS," Jer. 23:6, 6.
My reader, observe, Since the descension of this Prince has thus been from eternity, as has been related, and his name is called, by the Spirit of the Lord, Immanuel, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, Our Righteousness, &c.; and since the prophets describe him with such significant words, as also the apostles, whence, who, and what he is; therefore I conclude therefrom that the man, Christ Jesus, is not of unclean, sinful flesh, but of the unspotted, pure seed and word of God, his Father, as John says, " The word is become flesh." This, then, is our proper faith and confession of Christ, the Son of God, namely: That we are all created in Adam our father through the ineffable word, and that we, in the same Adam, have become of a sinful nature and subject to death; that we also, by means of this eternal, ineffable word, and not by means of the sinful flesh of Adam, are graciously accepted of God and mercifully called unto life everlasting, as Christ says, that " God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have 152everlasting life," Ps. 33:6; Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:3; John 3:16.
All Scriptures force us that we dare not divide Christ, the Son of God, after the pretensions of the learned; but to confess him as being entirely the true Son of the true and living God. The angel testified of Christ, the Son of Mary, saying, "That holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God," Luke 1:35.
Again, John the Baptist says, "He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost; and I saw it and bare record that this is the Son of God," John 1:33.
Again, "Nathaniel saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God. thou art the King of Israel," John 1:49.
Again, Martha said, "I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world," John 11:27.
Again, the disciples, together with the others said, Verily, thou art the Son of God.
Again, Christ said to the blind man, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him; and Jeans said unto him, Thou hast both seen him and it is he that talketh with thee," John 9:37.
Again, when the centurion, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the Ghost, he said, " Truly, this man was the Son of God," Mark 15:39.
Again, Saul was with the disciples at Damascus, and preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God, Acts 9:20.
Again, John says, "We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God," 1 John 4:9. Besides many other clear passages.
Inasmuch as the Scriptures so abundantly testify that also the man Christ is the Son of God, therefore it is manifest that M. M. and those of his mind, do fearfully err when they say, " The man Christ was not the Son of God; he had no Father; but there are two sons in Christ‑the one the Son of God without mother, and impassive‑and the other the son of mankind, or the son of Mary without father, and he passive," &c. I think this may be called rejecting the Son of God, in the face of all these plain Scriptures, and pointing us to a divided Christ, yea, to an unclean, sinful flesh and creature, guilty of death, whom the Scriptures never knew and still less taught. , O detestibilem blasphemiam (O detestable blasphemy).
!!!All who can be convinced rightly to believe that the word did not take unto itself a man of Mary's flesh, but that, according to the testimony of John, it is become flesh, have a true understanding of Christ. They will not argue per Synecdocken, de parte ad totuwm, neqw de toto ad partem. They will not point to the worthiest part in Christ, nor to the communication or communion of the names; neither will they unite two persons and sons in one person and son, as our opponents do, but they will leave the Scriptures ungarbled in their place, and acknowledge with John the Baptist, John 1:15; with Matthew 18:16; with Martha, John 11:27; and with the whole Scriptures, that Christ Jesus is God's first‑begotten and only Son; an only and undivided Christ, God and man, man and God, an only person and Son, who, in his flesh, has fulfilled the handwriting of the law for us, as we could not, in our flesh, on account of our weakness; and is, at last, judged and condemned, as an innocent, spotless Lamb, to die on the cross for our sins and guilt.
Behold, this is our foundation, faith and confession of the most holy incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Mary; on account of which, alas, we are so much upbraided by our opponents, and have to pass for deceivers and heretics; and that for the reason, I say, because we teach and testify with the Scriptures that the Lord, Christ Jesus, is God's own and true Son, as has been heard.
Well, since it is so with them they must 153run their course; we cannot prevent it until they are met by the angel of the Lord, and rebuked by the ass, Num. 22; 2 Peter 2. They had, however, better beware, lest they stumble too hard on the Rock of offense, Isaiah 8:14; Rom. g:33. The time to give an account will soon arrive. As for me, I care not how they judge me.
I trust to find my consolation in the Lord who has taken me by the right hand, and who knows all my desires, intentions anddoings. He will execute our cause to his honor; for he knows that we do not desire to seek our praise, but his own. Therefore he will protect his own honor. It might doubtlessly happen that through their writing and slandering against us, and through their manifestly erring doctrine, in regard to Christ the Son of God, it might be made manifest to some that they are doubly what they would like to make us. May the great God grant them grace, Amen.
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