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DISCUSSION BETWEEN HERMAN AND MYSELF.
IT happened when we met for the purpose of a discussion, that I briefly admonished them in regard to the suffering, oppression, tribulation, persecution and cross of the true christians. To which he immediately answered: " That I wished to make his doctrine suspected." Something of which I had not thought of in the. least. I then 356quit, and said, Well Herman, I presume you would rather discuss the question of the incarnation I He answered in the affirmative. Then, I said, confess your faith. When he had made his confession, I said, Beloved Herman, take heed of your words. For behold, all these inconsistencies follow from your belief. And enumerated eight of them.
And behold, when I had finished my discourse there was one among them (J. M. whose name is frequently referred to in Micron's writings), who asked me if I could prove that to be the fact, according to Scripture? thinking that I had thus spoken in regard to my own faith. I told him that he might ask Herman, as it was his faith and doctrine. On hearing this he dropped his head and was silent. I told him thrice, successively, to get Herman to prove it to him, according to the Scriptures. I have yet to receive his answer.
When I observed such partiality, I was very sorry. I said, Great God, are we thus to treat the word of the Lord. . O shame I When you thought that it was my doctrine you wanted Scripture; but since you find that it is the doctrine of Herman, now you have Scripture enough! O, friend, I said, repent and be ashamed before God; for you do not treat his word, as becomes a true christian. And this is one of the principal, impartial witnesses, as Micron wrongfully boasts.
Afterward Herman replied and said, "I will scatter these inconsistencies as the wind scatters the dust." Dear Herman, I said, do not speak so boldly, it does not become a christian. I know you can not do it. And, praise to the Lord for his grace, it is verified to the present time as I can plainly see by Micron's Appendix, notwithstanding they have revolved the matter in their heads for more than two years.
The inconsistencies remained unreplied to; and it was mostly granting that could be heard from him. So at last I said, My dear sir, show me, where do you find it written that he took on him our flesh or our human nature, as you claim? He then answered: Paul teaches us that Christ "took on him the form of a servant," Phil 2:7.
When he had finished his discourse I asked him whether. or not he agreed with John A'Lasco, in doctrine? He answered in the affirmative. I replied: Well, A'Lasco has made an antithesis of this Scripture of Paul " In the form of God," and, "the form of a servant." That as he was in a divine form and thereby truly was God, he has thus, also, taken upon himself our sinful form and was thereby, truly, made man, "but" (he says), "the sins, on account of which we are called servants in Scripture, he did not have:"
From which antithesis one of two things must be true. Either, if he had the sinful form and not the sin, that he then, by virtue of the antithesis, also, must have had the divine form; but he did not have the divine form. Or if he had, and therewith the .divinity also, that he, also, must have had the sinful form, and therewith sin; else the antithesis is false and can not stand, in fact. In this view of the matter one of two things is true, that Christ Jesus was either a sinner, or else he was not God. And how such doctrine agrees with the Scriptures, I will leave to your own judgment.
Then he replied: "The Scriptures testify that he was without sin." It is true, I said. Therefore it is manifest that this antithesis of A'Lasco is false, and that you can not maintain your doctrine by this Scripture. But if the Scripture is to remain unbroken, then this is the true antithesis; as Christ was in the godly form, and was thereby truly God, as he humbled himself and did not take on himself the form of a potentate, emperor, or king, whom we should serve, but the form of a poor servant, because he wanted to serve; for as he has been truly God in God, and with God his Father, from eternity; thus he became our true servant, in due time, Isa. 7:16; 9:5; 40:28; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Jn. 1:2; Rom. 9:26; 1 Jn. 5:5; Matt. 12:18; 20:28.
He then abandoned that Scripture, and said, " There is another one much plainer, which has it that," "He has taken on him the seed of Abraham," Heb. 2:18. Not so Herman, I said. We should not thus adulterate the Scriptures. For it does not read that he has taken on him the seed of Abraham357, but it reads that he took it on himself. Which taking on shall last unto the end.
He then took the words of the same chapter and said, "That Christ had taken upon himself the children's flesh and blood, and is thus, on account of the flesh, called our brother."
On hearing this I replied: That that was again an adulteration of the Scriptures; for it is written that he took upon himself flesh and blood; but not the flesh and blood of children. Therefore let us get at the meaning of these words at the start, lest we adulterate the Scriptures. Thus Paul says, "He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are of one." Now I ask, to whom has it reference? To God or to Adam? He replied: "To Adam." Then it follows, I said, incontrovertibly, that all ungodly children of the devil, such as thieves, murderers, drunkards, haters, idolaters, whores and rogues, are Christ's brethren and sisters. He frankly admitted this to be the case.
It would further follow, if we were Christ's brethren and sisters on account of the flesh, then also we would be his children on account of the flesh; for Paul says, "Behold, I and my children," &c. From which it would surely follow that the one brother had generated the other, and the children their father, according to the flesh. And I will leave you to study out how such a generation could be, according to the Scriptures, and according to the ordinance of God.
After passing some other words concerning the partaking of, I asked him if Adam had not partaken of flesh and blood? He answered in the affirmative. Well, said I, of whose flesh and blood did he partake, if we are to understand participation as you do? Therefore beloved Herman, take heed. Your learned ones deceive you. . Thus Paul says, "He that threshes in hope, should be partaker of his hope," that is, that he may obtain that for which he hopes. Again, in the same chapter: "If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather?" 1 Cor.:9:10, 12, that is, if others have this power. Again, "We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end," Heb. 3:14. Not that we partake partly but wholly.
Therefore, beloved Herman, I warn you, let the Scripture remain Scripture and do not garble it to suit your opinion. For Paul . does not say that the unsanctified, such as, liars, haters, proud, adulterers, and the children of the devil are one with Christ, our Savior, but that the sanctified are of one with him, that is, those who, with him are born of one God. On account of which birth of God, and not of Adam, we are his brethren; for the regenerated with him, have one Father, as he is the first begotten Son of God, thus he is also the firstborn among many brethren, Heb. 1:6; Rom. 8:29.
As holy Paul, then, teaches us that he is thus the first‑begotten among the brethren; therefore it is very plain that he is not our brother of Adam, but of God; for he was not the first‑begotten of Adam, therefore Adam's children must, through regeneration by faith, also become the children of God, Jn. 1:12, and thus be Christ's brethren, Matt. 12:50; Mark 3:35; Luke 8:21; Heb. 2:11.
Behold, he is not ashamed to call his brethren, such regenerated and sanctified ones who, with him, have one Father (no whores, rogues and children of the devil), saying, Thy name (he means his Father's name and not Adam's) I will promulgate to my brethren. Again, I will trust in him (namely, in the Father, and not in Adam). Again, behold, "I and the children which God (not Adam) hath given me." Inasmuch as it is very plain that his children are not the carnal, but the spiritual children (for he had no carnal children) then his brethren must be spiritual brethren; or else one Scripture must be understood spiritually and the other carnally, then, also sister Mary must have generated her brother Christ, in the flesh. This is incontrovertible.
Although now such regenerated, the sanctified, are his brethren and sisters they yet have, contrary to their own will, communion with flesh and blood, through the inherent sinful nature; they frequently sin, stumble and transgress, and are thus through the beforementioned communion, conscious of 358guilt according to the law which requires perfect righteousness. And behold, therefore he is their Savior, first‑begotten Brother, and Father Christ, who in like manner, has partaken of flesh and blood, not of the children, for it does not read so, and in that case he must have been one of two sons, one of whom was of heaven, eternal and immortal, the other of earth and mortal, but the Word itself (I add some words for explanation) is become flesh, that is, a truly passive, mortal man, in Mary, as John says, "The word is become flesh," like unto his sanctified brethren in all things, except sin, that he might fulfill the law in his innocent flesh and not by our guilty flesh; that he might take away the deserved death by his innocent death; destroy the devil who had the power of death; bruise the Serpent's head; sanctify us unto God, his Father, by virtue of his precious blood; and assist, must in all our temptations and besetting sins which result from our wicked flesh and the inspirations of Satan. Behold, this is the proper explanation of Heb. 2:14. And by such explanation Christ remains the undivided Son of God, the Scripture remains unbroken, Christ remains the Sanctifier and we are the sanctified. Brethren and children, there is not a single Scripture which contradicts this, while Herman's confession and faith are very inconsistent as‑ has been heard.
When I again touched upon the inconsistencies, he asked me to confess my faith, as he had done his; and he was going to show, he said, more inconsistencies (although he had not yet heard it) in my faith than I had shown in him. And when I had made my confession, he said, "This is too long for me; I can not reply to it." I then made a brief statement. Yet I was shown no‑ inconsistency.
Behold, worthy reader, these are the principal points and Scriptures which Herman and I discussed concerning the incarnation of Christ. I say the .principal ones; for to repeat all the words which passed between us, is impossible.
After meal time we came to the discussion of pedo‑baptism, which he tried to make right by the assertion, that the children, as he said, are accounted as believing, by the Scriptures, and that Zaccheus (he insisted upon Zaccheus, notwithstanding I told him that it was not Zaccheus), and his whole house were baptized.
Kind reader, if I were to give an account of the discussion as it happened it would i seem to some readers as if I were partial; again, to others, who know me, that it was very foolish of him to challenge us while he did not know more of Scripture. I told him twice, dear Herman, you are too young; you will have to learn a great deal before you ought to try to defend your, cause. What is become of all your bold assertions which you made at the start? Yet, Micron writes that some of their weak brethren were very much strengthened by Herman during the discussion. I will leave the matter here. Thus they hoodwink the reader that he may not observe that Herman acted so childish, to their shame.
I know to a certainty that Micron was written to immediately after the discussion, as his own writing implies. For their brethren who were with us were in great need, inwardly and outwardly. What he means by 'inwardly I I will leave the reader to judge.
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