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Menno Simon wishes all his beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord, grace and peace,
an unbroken, pure and firm faith, unfeigned brotherly love, a sure and living hope, and
a God pleasing, unblamable walk, confession and life, from God our heavenly Father,
through his beloved Son, Christ Jesus, in the power of his Holy Ghost, Amen.
WE know, dear brethren and sisters in Christ Jesus, that we are condemned, by the whole world, to water, fire and sword, for the testimony of Christ and our consciences; and that we are the spectacle of, and regarded as the offscouring of all mankind. Besides, we know also that the true Prince of Peace, the blessed Christ Jesus, has summoned and taken us into the mansion of peace through the word of peace; and that he has given and left his followers such a glorious sign by which we shall know them to be his disciples, namely, Love. Therefore it is reasonable and christian‑like that we, poor, outcast bearers of the cross, should be united in the perfect bonds of true love, and that we should cling together as the members of one body, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body and made to drink into one Spirit," 1 Cor. 12:13. But now we see plainly how the prince of darkness, who from the beginning was a murderer, seeks, with all diligence, to disturb this same peace in the house of God, to rend this bond in twain, and thus to make odious to many the dear gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, our cross and confession, and all the christian societies; and thus thoroughly to destroy it, John 8:44. Since his acute attacks are so well known to us, therefore it is necessary ever to be aware, to repent, to seek each other in true christian love, to resuscitate that which has been corrupted, to cure and make healthy that which is diseased, with the oil of the divine word; for during the last four years, alas, christian love and peace have materially decreased with some, on account of much pernicious upbraiding and disputing about the ineffable depths of the divinity of Christ and of the Holy Ghost; also, about angels and devils, and about the ban; and this has always been the case where such disputes were in sway. May the Lord not count it as sin against those who have used the ban. I see this plainly, and as I have been troubled not a little by some about this matter‑and since I naturally hate such upbraiding and disputing, for I have these fifteen years never found any use in it, because I love peace and unity, which are in conformity with the word of God, more than my own life. I trust that I speak no lie, for, because of that, my heart is very much troubled, mournful and afflicted, yea, more so than I can write.
Would to God that I could, at the cost of my life‑blood, help all afflicted consciences and could lead them to God; for I love nothing more on earth, nor do I seek any thing, before God, than the glory of my Lord Jesus Christ, and the everlasting salvation of my beloved brethren. And therefore I have, at the risk of my poor, diseased body, placed at your disposal and 181service my firm faith and confession of the eternal, Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as taken from the sure word of God; wherewith I will, unwaveringly, live and die before my God, and will appear therewith in his grace, at the day of judgment, trusting hereby to make pleasant and worthy to many, the noble and desirable peace and unity in Christ, and to restore love.
Brethren, there has been enough of disputing, upbraiding, and complaint of one another. I think it is time to discountenance the disturbers of the peace, and to cordially seek scriptural peace and unity. But I desire no peace outside of Christ. I ardently desire and pray all my beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord, to read, hear and understand this my admonishing confession, without any partisan bitterness or spitefulness towards God‑fearing, pure hearts, as I have written it in purity of heart, as before God, in Christ Jesus, without hatred or malice. I doubt not but that, if you do this, brethren, I mean the unpeaceable and troubled ones, disquiet, dispute and disunion will far recede from the peace‑mountain of the Lord; and peace, love and unity will again install themselves.
I sincerely desire that it may be so read and taken to heart, that the Almighty, eternal Father, with his blessed Son, Christ Jesus, and with the Holy Spirit may remain unchanged in their true, divine being; and that the afflicted, mournful, wavering consciences may find succor, consolation and strength. The beloved Father grant his grace, Amen.
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