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SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES UPON THE FOREGOING SUBJECT.
He is the spiritual tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God, which is not planted by the hands of man, but of God himself Rev. 2:7; all those that shall eat the fruits of this tree, with pure hearts, shall live for ever; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations, Rev. 22:3.
He is the spiritual, brazen serpent, sym bolized in the Mosaic serpent, Num. 21:9; which was erected for us miserable sinners, by the Father, in the wilderness of this world, as a healing sign, which had the venomous form of the venomous serpent, yet had not its venomous nature. All those who believe on him are delivered from the curse, condemnation and death caused by the serpent; but whosoever does not believe on him, on him the wrath of God remains, and he must eternally bear and suffer, according to God's eternal justice, the threatened curse, death and condemnation, John 3:38.
He is the spiritual mercy seat, which is not, like the ark made of Shittim wood, but of fine, pure gold, from which God graciously hears us and speaks unto us through his Spirit and word, Ex. 25:10; Rom. 3:24; Heb. 4:13. He is the spiritual Paschal Lamb, which is without spot, and in the sprinkling and sanctification of whose blood the chosen Israel of God was ever graciously saved from the destroying angel, and from the .wrath of God, in the midst of the cruel, dark Egypt of this world, Ex. 12:23; Num. 9:16.
He is the true bread from heaven, which is not made of natural corn or wheat, I mean, of our sinful flesh, but is begotten of the dew of the eternal Word, which is the only and true food for our souls, by which we shall live forever, if we only eat of him through true faith, Ex. 16:5; Num. 11:18.
He is the Rock which was torn from the mountain, without hands, that is, without human, assistance, which Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream; and to which Daniel was referred as being the one who should waste and destroy the iron, clay, silver and gold; yea, all the kingdoms of this world; for he has all power in heaven and upon earth; he is a powerful King over all; and to his kingdom there shall be no end, nor pass to other people, Dan. 2:44.
Behold, kind reader, judge from the above mentioned Scriptures and figures, if you fear God, if such doctrine is based upon the Scriptures, which claims that this righteous, holy, spotless, obedient and saving Messiah was born of the unrighteous, sinful, impure, disobedient and accursed flesh or seed of Adam, and that it took its humanity therefrom. O, no. This pure, clear water, with which all our blemishes were to be washed away, could never be drawn from such an impure, stagnated pool. Let every body reflect what the word of the Lord teaches him.
Now we will, by the grace of the Lord, enlarge upon the Scriptures of Heb. 2, that we may rightly comprehend the foundation and truth thereof; and that, too, that our opponents may not boast that we do not satisfy them; I would first refer you to the first chapter of Hebrews, and have you observe what is said there of Christ.
In the first place it reads, that "God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."
In the second place it reads, that this same Son is "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person."
Thirdly, that he has purged our sins by himself.
Fourthly, that he is the first begotten Son of God, and that all the angels shall worship him.
Fifthly, that he is God, and that his kingdom and throne shall endure forever.
Sixthly, that he laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of his hands.
I think that if you earnestly ponder on these Scriptures and rightly observe them, you will soon perceive from whence Christ came, who and what he is. For these plain evidences clearly teach that the world was made by him; that he is the brightness of 168the glory of God; that he hath purged our sins by himself; that he is the first begotten Son of God, that he is God, and that he has laid the foundations of the earth. This could not be of Mary's flesh, Gen. 1:1; Ps. 33:6; Eph. 3:9; 1:9; Col. 1:1.6; Heb.1:2; Ps. 102:26; 1 John 1:7; Col. 1:15.
If they should say that these Scriptures are not spoken in regard to the Son of Mary, but in regard to the Son of God, then they confess thereby a divided Son, two persons, two sons; besides, we are convinced by these very Scriptures that they are spoken of the whole Christ; for he has spoken with us as a man, and we are also cleansed of our sins through his human suffering and death, as the Scripture teaches, 1 John 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:19.
But if they should call to their support the sinecdoche, or commonness of the names, then I would answer in brief, plain, words, that the plain, faithful souls, Peter and John the fishermen, Martha the servant, and the plain Nathaniel, knew nothing at all of such satanic testimony and human cunning; but they have given praise to the visible and tangible Christ, and confessed that he was the Son of God, Matt. 16:15; Jn. 6:69; 11:27.
This is still further declared in the second chapter in these words: "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor," Heb. 2:6, 7.
Here I would faithfully admonish the faithful reader, to observe that both Erasmus and Hieronymus, in their Latin translations, have translated this thus: " Thou madest him a little lower than the angels;" and the Hebrew Psalm also has it: " Thou madest him inferior to God; with praise and honor thou crownedst him," Heb. 2:7; Ps. 8:5.
This agrees with the word of Paul, where he says, "Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant;" Phil. 2:7. At another place he says, "Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor," 2 Cor. 8:9. This also agrees with the words of Christ, "Now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee, before the world was," Jn. 17:6. I think these plain Scriptures and clear testimonies prove fully that the teachings of our opponents are unscriptural and erroneous, when they say that the Son of God remained in his first form and estate, and was not bruised for our iniquities.
This same man, who, for our sake, was thus humbled and made less than God and the angels, we see is Christ, who for suffering death was crowned with praise and honor; for as he, for the purpose of obedience, humbled himself to the lowest, for our service, therefore he was again exalted to the highest, by the Father. And thus he was innocently put to death for the sake of Adam and all his posterity, by the grace of God; for Adam and his posterity could not be otherwise delivered from the power of death. For it became him, for whom and by whom are all things, who has brought many children unto glory, to make the Prince and Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering, as both the Sanctifier, Christ, and those who are sanctified through him, the regenerated, are all of one, that is, of God, Phil. 2:9; Heb. 2:10.
Thus the sanctified together have one Father with their Sanctifier, as John says, "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God;" and therefore our Savior "is not ashamed to call them (the sanctified), brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee," John 1:12; Heb. 2:11, 12. Yea, dear reader, if the flesh of Christ was of Adam's flesh, and if we were called his brethren on that account, as is the doctrine of the learned, then one brother must beget the other, besides, then all the ungodly, yea, whores and knaves, must also be Christ's brethren and sisters. This is too plain to be controverted.
O, no. Who his brethren are, he has himself plainly declared, Matt. 12:59; Mark 3:35; Luke 8:21. And he not only 169calls them his brethren, but also, his children, and says, "Behold, I and the children which God hath given me." They are called his children for the reason that he has begotten them unto God his Father, by the word of his grace, through the power of his Holy Spirit, in the besprinkling of his precious blood. At another place he also calls them his mother, bride, flesh and bones; which, according to the flesh, they could not be.
Yea, dear reader, if he had received his flesh from the flesh of his children, as John A'Lasco and his followers claim that he has, then the children must have begotten the father. Christ, the new Adam, would say to his new Eve: I am flesh of thy flesh‑and not: "Thou art flesh of my flesh." If you fear God, then reflect and judge, Heb.2:13; Gen. 2: 23.
As the children partake of flesh and blood, so he, in the same manner partook of the same, that he might, through death, take the power from him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver those who, of necessity, were in servitude all their lives; for he does not accept the seed of angels, but of Abraham; therefore he must become like unto his brethren in all things.
Behold, this is the strongest and most important saying wherewith John A'Lasco (in regard to this subject), disputes the whole Scriptures, divides Christ and makes him into two persons and sons, and, as he thinks, joins together his whole work, arguments, sayings and flatterings. And this is his proper foundation and meaning: "As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, so, also, has the Word, or Son of God received or partaken of this flesh and blood from the flesh and blood of the children; and has thus vanquished hell, sin, death and devil in our flesh, Heb. 2; Phil. 2: 7; Hosea 13: 14; 1 Cor.16: 54; Col. 2:15; 2 Tim. 1: 10.
Inasmuch as he so strenuously insists on the above,; saying, therefore have I by adducing so many Scriptures, so enlarged upon the inherent, unclean, sinful flesh and nature of the children, and their deserved death and condemnation on the one hand, i and the pure, holy flesh and nature of Christ, his undeserved death and judgment
on the other, that the reader might thereby rightly understand and comprehend that the Lord Jesus Christ could not be of such unclean flesh and seed of the children, nor partake of such a man; for the flesh of the children is unclean and sinful, but the flesh of Christ is pure and holy.
Since his pure flesh could not be of the unclean flesh of the children, as has been said, and since our opponents so strenuously insist upon it, on account of this Scripture, therefore I will diligently examine it word for word, and, by the grace of God, I will attach to each word its wholesome and right meaning.
First, observe that the word children has reference to none other than those who, above, are called Christ's brethren, namely, those who believe in him, and who are born of God by the living power of his Spirit and word, as said.
Secondly, observe what the Scriptural meaning of leaving communion with flesh and blood is; that it is not simply having flesh and blood, as some have interpreted it; but that it also means, to intermix with flesh and blood, and to do the things which are forbidden of God, through the lusts of our flesh, Rom. 7: 7; 3: 20.
Thirdly, observe that since the children of God are partakers of sinful flesh and blood and are subject to such human weakness by which they involuntarily ever struggle and fail‑therefore they must have such a High Priest who could have compassion with their human failures; as he was tempted in the same manner, although without sin, as said.
Fourthly, observe that the adverb simiZiter (that is, in the same manner), here expresses a true human nature in Christ, it is true, but not a natural conception as John A'Lasco claims and argues; for it is manifest all through the Scriptures that the conception of Mary was supernatural; that it was brought about by the Holy Ghost, through faith, as has been shown above.
Fifthly, observe that the expression "partaking of flesh and blood" means nothing else than having flesh and blood; since his children and brethren, also have flesh and blood, as Sebastian Castalion, also, has rendered it, but with such difference170 that his flesh was holy and knew no sin, and therefore experienced no decay; but the flesh of his brethren and children is sinful, and therefore also subject to decay, 1 Cor. 15:53; 5:4.
Sixthly, observe that Paul does not at all times use the words partaking of flesh cured blood, in the same sense. In one place, 1 Cor. 9:12, he writes, "If others be partakers of this power over you," that is, If others have this power over you; again," He that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope," that is should receive that which he hopes to get. Again in the 10th, 17th and 21st of the same epistle, it is used for enjoying.
Inasmuch as the word partaking has not, every where in Scripture, one meaning therefore, wherever it is found, it should not be explained otherwise than according to the true nature and meaning of the Scriptures, or else the whole Scriptures must be broken ‑and garbled for the sake of such a word.
Seventhly, observe that the word eorundem (that is, of the same), has reference to the words flesh and blood, but not to the flesh and blood of the children, for that is unclean, sinful, guilty and condemned; if it had reference to the flesh and blood of the children, as John A'Lasco and M. M. claim, and that the Son of God took unto himself a perfect man, body and soul, of the flesh of the children, then it is incontrovertible that all the following and indissoluble inconsistencies must exist:
In the first place an impure, sinful, accursed, and death‑guilty Christ, as is the flesh of the children of whom he should have partaken his flesh; for wherever the flesh of the children is, there, also, is the sin and curse of the children; this cannot be controverted, or else justice must have been changed and the curse taken away and ended by our own flesh. To which M., in the first conversation I had with him, thus replied: " Christ was pure and without sin, and that because Mary did not conceive him of the seed of man." I answered: I must understand, then, that sin is because of the mixture, which is the ordinance of God, and not because of the transgression of Adam. He answered: No, it was because of the justice of God that he became of a corrupted nature. I asked, how? He answered: "Because God had said, That in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." I then replied: then God was the cause of the sin of Adam; and the threatened death must not only be punishment of sin, but sin itself. I said, Martin, do observe what reasoning you bring forward.
In the second place it follows that .there must be a divided Christ, of whom one half must be of heaven and the other half of earth.
In the third place that there must be two persons in Christ; one divine and one human. To which Martin in our second conversation, thus replied: "There were not two persons in Christ, but one person; for, although the word was one person from eternity, yet it was no person which was conceived in Mary." He further said, "Although each human being is one person, and although the man, Christ, was one man as any other man, yet the man, Christ alone was no person." I am ashamed to touch upon such inconsistent things. Paul justly said, abi disputator seculi AKjus? "Where is the disputer of this world"
In the fourth place that there are two Sons in Christ‑the Son of God without mother, and he impassive; and the son of man without father, and he passive; something which M. M., both in our first and also in our second conversation, several times openly admitted before us all, in plain language. O God, what strange things we hear!
In the fifth place, that not the first begotten and only Son of God, but the fatherless Son of Mary, of the accursed, sinful flesh of Adam, died for us‑something which is directly contrary to Christ, John, Paul and the whole Scriptures.
In the sixth place, that the eternal offering of reconciliation, once offered for the sins of the whole world, was not the spotless Lamb, but an unclean, blemished offering which was subject to sin and death, as may also be unmistakably deduced from the writings of A'Lasco, John 3:16; Rom. 8:31.
In the seventh place, the angel Gabriel, 171Peter, and the Lord himself, acknowledge that the man, Christ Jesus, is the Son of God. Thomas acknowledges him as his Lord and God; besides the whole Scriptures teach that he is our Advocate, Reconciler, Mediator, High Priest, Deliverer and Messiah‑and if he is yet to be of the unclean sinful flesh and seed of Adam, then it is manifest that a created creature and man of the sinful flesh of Adam, is our Messiah, Deliverer, Reconciliator, Advocate, High Priest, Yea, Lord and God; something which is not alone an abomination and idolatry, but also open blasphemy against God.
In the tenth place, if the eternal Word, by which every thing was created, had partaken of such a, carnal son of the flesh of the children, or of Mary, and had thus united himself into one person and son, then the Creator and the creature, the Son of God without mother, and the sun of Mary without father, must have become one, undivided person and son. This is incontrovertible.
In the eleventh place, if the Word has partaken of such flesh as that of Mary, and if it did not become man, then God is not the true Father of Christ, Mary no true mother, and Christ no true son of both his father and mother; besides, the whole Scriptures are denied which testify that Christ is the Son of God.
I think that all these indissoluble inconsistencies, sufficiently show you that John A'Lasco has not given the Scriptural meaning to the word eorundem.
Eighthly, observe why Christ, the Prince of our salvation, became man, namely, that he might destroy the prince of death, the devil, by his innocent death, and that he might thus deliver and free his poor, enslaved, timorous brethren and children from the accusing law, from the judgment of sin and the terror of death.
Ninthly, observe that the passage, "He takes' not on him the nature of angels, but he takes' on him the seed of Abraham," should not be understood as having any reference to the taking on of human flesh, as the learned explain it, but to the partaking of grace, by which we are accepted; for he uses the word take in the present tense and angels in the plural number, and says, "He takes not on him the nature of angels, but he takes on him the seed of Abraham," the children of the promise,
'Rom. 9:8; the believers, Gal. 3:29; his i brethren and children. He accepts them, in grace, to the praise of his Father, Rom. 15:7; prays for their failings and weaknesses, Rom. 8:7; Heb. 5:10. For they can never be freed from the inherent, impure, wicked nature of their sinful‑fiesh, in this life.
Tenthly, observe that a thing which is like unto another, is not necessarily the same thing which it resembles; and, therefore it cannot be maintained by this passage, "Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren," that the holy, pure flesh of Christ is of the unclean, sinful flesh of Adam.
Behold, dear reader, if you consider well the explanation of the Scripture, ‑Heb. 2, and weigh it in the balance of the Scriptures, you will very plainly find that this is the meaning of the above mentioned Scripture; that although Christ, the Prince of our salvation, has led us to his glory, and has thus accepted us as brethren and children in faith, yet we are, 'in our first Adamic birth, so poisoned by the serpent, and so corrupted by nature, that we can nevermore become free of our unclean sinful flesh, so long as we dwell in this tabernacle; but oftentimes (although involuntarily) mix and soil ourselves therewith; and become, therefore, convinced by the hand writing, that we are guilty of death, according to the eternal justice, Rom. 7:7; 3:20; Col. 2:13.
Since we are ensnared by such wicked, sinful, disobedient and death guilty flesh, as all the pious children of God have, from the beginning, dolefully complained of, and could not be entirely freed from the inserted sting of the serpent; therefore it is that our Prince, Savior, Brother and Father, Christ, in his extremely great love, has given himself according to the counsel, purpose, will and determination of his everlasting Father, and in accordance partook of flesh and blood; not of the flesh of the children, for they are sinful and unclean, but as John says, "The Word was made flesh," John 1721:14; Dent. 32:15; Isa. 64:4; Job 15:14; Ps. 143:2; Gal. 2:17; 3:11; 1 John 1:3; Heb. 2:14; Phil. 2:7. Yea, a despised, afflicted, tempted and mortal man; and is thus voluntarily come forward to battle for his associates, sanctified brethren and children; has placed himself heroically in their defense, and has abashed the tempter in his temptation; vanquished him in his power; taken his stronghold; bruised his head; fulfilled and blotted out the hand writing; blotted it out with his precious blood; requited. our guilty and deserved death by his innocent and unmerited death, to the fulfilling of the prophetic word, " death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction!" and he has thus delivered and freed his chosen, his saints, his brethren and children from ‑servitude and the penalty of the law; from the judgment of sin, and from the fearful terrors of the threatened death in such a manner that their human weaknesses and involuntary mistakes, for his sake, will no more be counted against them as sin, if they will but walk before him with penitent believing hearts, and will steadily cling to his word with positive, assured consciences, Gen. 49:10; Isa. 2: G; Luke 11:21; Col.. 2:14; Hosea 13:14; Rom. 8:2, 3.
Behold, thus Christ, the Son of God, has accepted the seed of Abraham and liberated it, to the praise of his Father; and .has therefore appeared in person, and become, in all things, like unto his poor, weak, afflicted brethren in all manner of poverty, misery, affliction, need, fear of death and mortality; that he might thus be a compassionate, merciful and faithful High Priest to reconcile the sins, defects and errors of his saints before God his Father; for, as he has walked with them in the same temptation, battle, misery, anxiety and fear of death, therefore he can also come to the rescue of all those who are tempted of the world, hell, sin, devil and death. This is my reply to the construction which John A'Lasco and his class put upon the Scripture, Heb. 2. If you fear God then read and judge.
In the eighth place he explains the testimony of John and says, "The Word, the Son of God, commenced being of the seed of David, Rom. 1, of the virgin Mary, Matt. 1, flesh, man, Christ, Immanuel," Sic. Again, "The Word has accepted our flesh." Again, "The Word, which from the beginning alone was God, is become (that is, it commenced being together) flesh (that is, man), and has dwelt (that is, it has taken its abode) in us (that is, in our flesh) through its participation," as Paul says. These are his words in regard to the Scripture John 1.
O dear reader, what is so clear that it cannot be obscured by human intellect, and what so straight that it can not be bent? If he does it through a misconception he may yet be corrected; but if he does it for other reasons, then it will not be well with his poor soul.
I am surprised that he dares publish such inconsistent explanations, in print, when he well knows that there are to be found so many learned theological men. O, dear Lord! How frightful it is to mix God's clear wine, and the high testimony of the Holy Spirit with such impure water, and thus to corrupt it by earthly wisdom. He has so treated with this plain Scripture, that it would have removed all doubt and given me new courage, if I had had any doubt of my faith and foundation, which, thank God, I have none.
Inasmuch as he so fearfully belittles the wonderful, glorious work of divine grace and love, which the Almighty, eternal Father has so graciously shown us poor, miserable sinners, through his eternal Word and Son; and as he would rather break the holy word and testimony of the Lord, than doubt his own intelligence, therefore I pray every body, for God's sake, not to think hard of me, that I, unlearned man, oppose this and confute his unscriptural explanations with the clear, plain Scriptures and reasoning, and thus lay the foundation of truth.
I trust that no reasonable and impartial person can, in any way, think hard of me, for publicly replying to him, and defending the praise of the Lord, since he has publicly written against me and fearfully violated the word of God, as I understand it.
I would undoubtedly have excused him and not have mentioned his name, if only he and his followers would leave the Scriptures173 unbroken, and would not so indiscreetly war against the clear, pure truth, both verbally and in writing. But my conscience and the word of God constrain me to protect the praise of my Lord and my faith.
I say First, that he, by his explanation, has broken the testimony of the Holy Ghost, and adulterated the Scriptures; for he writes, " The Word, the Son of God has, of the seed of David, Rom. 1:3, of a woman, Gal. 4:4, of the virgin Mary, commenced being flesh, man. In Rom. 1:3, it reads, "Made of the seed of David according to the flesh;" Gal. 4, born of a woman; and "That which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost," Matt. 1:20. Inasmuch as he has not left the Scriptures in their natural sense, but has garbled and turned them to his own advantage; and, instead of born of and conceived of he writes commenced being, therefore he shows thereby clearly that he cannot prove his explanation by the Scriptures, but merely decorates it, in semblance, by adducing mutilated Scriptures and palms them off as true.
Secondly, I say that there is not a letter to be found in all the Scriptures that the Word accepted our flesh, which he so oftentimes writes; or that the divine nature miraculously united itself with our human nature; or that the Son of God should have remained unchanged and took on him the son of Mary; or that the Son of God should have bestowed all his Attributes on the son of man, and that one person was made of two, as John Brent says; or that the son of man should be the chosen Son of God, as Pomeranus says; or that the Word, the Son, should have taken on him a perfect man of the flesh of Mary; or that the blood of Mary was concreted in her womb, as the servants of the barbarous churches of London say; or that he put on our flesh; or that he should have dwelt therein; or that he was flesh of our flesh; or that our flesh should sit at the right hand of the Fathertherefore I say that they are wrong in all particulars, yea more, that they are anathematized. For they are a strange gospel and new doctrine which is not derived from the Spirit and word of God, but is invented of flesh and blood, Gal. 1:8.
Thirdly, I say that his explanation is inconsistent in every particular. For he says, The word commenced being man, and also, that it dwelt in our flesh. If it became man, as it truly did, as the testimony of John, when not adulterated, clearly shows‑how could it then, yet dwell. in the flesh of man? For to commence being a house and to dwell in a house, are widely different. This all reasonable people must admit.
Fourthly, I say that this explanation of his is inconsistent in itself. For if the word commenced being man, then it did not remain unchanged in its first state. But if it remained unchanged, then it did not commence being man, but it commenced taking on a man of our flesh and thus it commenced to dwell in one of our flesh, let him turn the matter as he pleases. Therefore I will not let John A' Lasco be the expounder, but will let the faithful and plain John himself explain his own words. He writes, " That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life, for the life was manifested, and we have seen it," 1 John 1:1, 2.
Inasmuch as his explanation is inconsistent in itself, and is both contrary to nature and the Scriptures; and inasmuch as John shows me such a plain foundation therefore I will not establish my foundation and faith on such uncertain, dark and colored flatterings, but I will establish them on the certain, clear and undeceivable testimony of John; for I know that his testimony is true, yea, that it is the unbroken truth and pure word of God.
Fifthly, I say that his explanation of the verb habitavit, that is, has dwelt, is false, for he says and claims that the Word and our flesh, or the son of Mary, taken on by the Word, are one person and one Christ; and here he claims that the Word, which is the Son of God, has taken its abode in our flesh, and refers to Xenophon. From which one or the other must follow, either that Xenophon and his domicil are one being and thing, the same as the Son of God and the son of Mary. (understand, according to his explanation) are one person and Christ-- or, if Xenophon and his domicil are two separate things, as they really are, that 174then, also, the Son of God and the son of Mary, in whom God's Son should have dwelt, according to his explanation, are two separate persons and Christs; for, the one who dwells in a house and the house are two different things, is too self‑evident to be denied.
Further I say, that his explanation of the verb habitavit is not at all founded in fact. For the evangelist uses the verb to dwell in the perfect tense, and says, Has dwelt; from which it is evident that John does not here speak of dwelling in our flesh, but of his dwelling among men, as all intelligent translators have rendered it. For if he should have spoken it with such a meaning as John A'Lasco explains it, then he would have said dwell, in the present tense, or we must acknowledge that the word did not dwell in the man Christ longer than while he walked here on earth, which to my understanding, would be a gross abomination and a great error.
Sixthly, I say that the explanation can not be maintained in any manner; for the whole Scriptures in regard to Christ would contradict themselves. There would be two persons and sons in Christ‑a sinful and death‑guilty Messiah‑the father no true father, the mother no true mother, and the son no true son. The prophets, Gabriel, the angel of the Lord, Christ Jesus, John 'and Paul, would all be false witnesses, as has been previously heard.
Lastly, I say as before, that John wrote his gospel and testimony of Christ, the Son of God, in a very contentious time. If he had not meant just as he wrote, but if he had written it in such a confused and strange sense as John A'Lasco explains it‑then he would not have abated the dispute there by, but would rather have given new energy thereto.
O no. John has simply, clearly and plainly given his testimony, foundation and faith concerning Christ Jesus, the Son of God, and our only and eternal Messiah, and has testified, without duplicity, that the Word of God, which was from the beginning, became flesh, and that this same incarnated Word has dwelt amongst us. But he did not write a syllable that he accepted our flesh, or that he dwelt in a man of the flesh of Mary, as, alas, John A'Lasco, by his human wisdom obscures his simple, plain word and clear testimony, mutilates and controverts it.
Inasmuch as he, in his defense and explanation, has so frightfully broken the Scripture, and has so indiscreetly varied from the truth, as you may plainly see from the cited extracts‑therefore I felt constrained by the pure love to God and your souls, to discover unto you his great misunderstanding and gross errors; that the glory of the Lord may be maintained and that you may be led to the right, true confession of your God and of his beloved Son Jesus Christ.
But I am grieved to mention his name in such a connection, and that I must publish his errors, although he has given me an ill reputation and hateful name with many by his writing. I commend him to the Lord. Perhaps he thinks that he has thereby done rightly. Whatever I do, I do for conscience' sake, to the glory of my Lord and Savior, Christ; for his glory I love far more than the honor of all creatures‑and him I must seek with all my strength, even at the cost of my life.
I am sure that if John A'Lasco seeks the praise of God more than his own; if he loves his neighbor as the Scriptures require, and sincerely seeks after truth, he will not be angry with me, but will love and thank me, for not excusing him in this regard, but faithfully showing him his errors, for maintaining my faith and doctrine according to the truth, for warning my fellow‑men against corruption, and most of all for protecting and defending by the word of my Lord, my Lord's glory and great name, as much as is in my power, according to the testimony of the Scripture and my conscience. But if it be considered offensive in me, as I fear it will be, then I must commend it to the Lord who, in his great love, has, to this hour, stood by me in all my needs, with his paternal faithfulness, and who has so graciously succored me in all my temptations. Behold, dear reader, here you may see how far we differ with our opponents in the confession, doctrine and faith of Christ, the Son of God. Now judge, if you fear 175God, which of the two parties has the strongest Scriptures and foundation.
If you would have the Scriptures, which they call contradicting in this respect, rightly explained, then you must let go of the foundation of our opponents and cling to ours. For it can never, never be explained by divine truth in the meaning which they attach to them. For every intelligent person who will not wilfully combat the plain truth and reject the Holy Spirit, must acknowledge that from their doctrine it follows that the Lord, Christ, must be an unclean, sinful, accursed, condemned and death guilty Christ: that there are two persons in Christ, the one divine, the other human; two sons‑the one the Son of God without mother, the' other the son of Mary, or the son of man without father; not God's first begotten and only, own Son, but the son of the unclean flesh of Adam, died for us. Besides, all the prophets, Christ, and the apostles must be false witnesses; this is too plain to injure by any writing, or dissipate by flattery.
But whosoever rightly understands our foundation, and confines his reasoning within the limits of the word of God‑who believes the testimony of John, to which he testifies in his first chapter, concerning the incarnation, as just and true, and does not injure it; who attributes nothing more to Mary, the mother of our Lord, than what is attributed to a true mother in Gen. 1, and who leaves God, the Father, a true father of his Son, Christ; Mary a true mother, and Christ a true Son, both of his Father and mother; to him all the Scriptures in this respect are plain. He does not require the flattery of any one; for there is not a sentence in all the Scriptures which contradict him; he has an undivided, clean and innocent Christ; the Son of God, and the son of Mary; an only person, of all of which I trust, you have been fully convinced in the foregoing synopsis founded on the power of the Scriptures; and which, by the grace of God, you will see by the following brief collection of references.
The eternal Word of God, by which all things were created, John 1; which is the First and the Last, Rev. 1:8; which, in due time, in the city of Nazareth, according to the providence of God, 1 Pet. 1:20, according to the will of God, Eph. 1:4, according to the promise of God, Gen. 3:15, through' the Holy Ghost, was conceived in the virgin Mary, who knew no man, Luke 1:2'7, 28; Matt. 1; Jn. 1:14. According to which flesh conceived in Mary, through the Holy Ghost, of the eternal Word of the eternal Father, he, in due time, was born of the seed or generation of David, Acts 2:13; Rom. 1:4, of a woman, Gen. 3:15; Gal. 4:4, of the virgin Mary, Matt. 1:21; Luke 2:21, in Bethlehem, an only begotten Son of God, Jn. 3:16; 4:9; 5:13; Rom. 8:32; according to the promise and the generation of the mother, also, of Abraham, of David and of the seed of the woman, fruit, and son, Gen. 3:15; Matt. 1:21; Luke 1:31; a Savior of the world, Luke 2:11; the Lord himself from heaven, 1 Cor. 15:47; the bread which came down from heaven, Jn. 6:58; Immanuel, Isa. 7A:14; Matt. 1:23; the mighty Prince, Isa. 9:6; our God, Isa. 40:9. The Lord Our Righteousness, Jer. 23:6;.33:15.
Behold, faithful reader, here you have our proper foundation, doctrine and confession of Christ, the Son of God; how he is become flesh in Mary, and how he came into the world, as we, before our God, believe and teach our., brethren. And we would hereby pray and faithfully admonish every one, gratefully to accept this noble and precious ~ Son of God, with a sincere desire to hear, love, and serve him in gladness of heart, and faithfully follow in his footsteps; walk unblamably in his word and ways; freely promulgate his honor and praise, glorify his holy name, and humbly and obediently bend their hearts before his majesty, since the merciful Father has shown us such great love as to give us, poor, miserable sinners, his only, eternal and beloved Son; for he it is who has victoriously led us poor children, through the merits of his precious blood and bitter death, according to the gracious resolution, counsel, will and purpose of God, his heavenly Father, from the kingdom of hell and from eternal death into the glorious kingdom of his divine honor and eternal peace. Eternal praise be to his illustrious, wonderful, high and glorious name, Amen.
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