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HOW PARTIALLY MICRON NARRATED OUR FIRST DISCUSSION; HOW SILENT HE IS ON THE
PRINCIPAL POINTS; HOW HE GARBLES MY WORDS AND HOW HE ADORNS HIS OWN.
WHEN we were met for the discussion, I said to Micron, I hear that your name is Martin Micron. You are unknown to me; and I have never heard of you before you came here. But I understand that you have made quite a reputation at London, England, that you have published writings, as I hear. Therefore my fraternal admonition to you is, that if you hear more powerful truths and firmer foundation in this our 359discussion, than you have heard or learned before this, that you seek not your own fame and honor, but the praise and honor of God. To which he replied: "Menno, this is also my admonition to you." I said, I am here for that very purpose; and I have suffered for many years because I would gladly have the truth and follow it.
This brotherly admonition, given him in faithfulness of heart, he has lamentably disregarded in the latter part of the discussion, as he was every time conquered in his false, anti‑christian doctrine, and he said it before my face that I had blamed him with seeking his own praise and honor by his writing, in London. Something which I had, then, never thought of; for I was not acquainted with him.
He called upon his own as witnesses, which poor, enchanted children all agreed with him. at which I was very sorry, and said, Is the fear of God, then, not before you? There are now ten of you, all of whom answer to suit him. If there were ten thousand more besides you, you would not tell the truth in this matter. For how could it be possible that I should at the first start run up to a man with whom I was not acquainted, and of whom I had heard nothing but a good report, and say, that he had sought his own honor with his writings.
Also, all of our brethren contradicted him, and said, "Good Micron, you are mistaken; for so and so has Menno admonished you, and thus you have answered him." Yet it was of no avail. These unkind, bitter, lying, and defaming words must, alas, be published in his book. What kind of a spirit this is; how he follows the unadulterated, christian truth, piety and love; and how faithfully he narrates the matter, I will let all impartial, reasonable readers judge by his dishonest adulteration of my words which I spoke to him with such good intentions. We then discussed some articles with which my writings are replete; and to which it is useless to reply. Lastly, we came to the discussion of the incarnation, for the sake of which we are called such abominable heretics and deceivers by them, namely, because we confess with God, the Father, with Christ, with the angel Gabriel, with Peter, and with all the Scriptures that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Matt. 3:1'7; 1'7:6; Mark 1:11; 9:7; Luke 1:31; 3:22; Jn. 1:46; 6:22; 8:36; 7:21; 8:23; 9:37; 10:36.
His proper confession and foundation was, That, there are two Sons in Christ. The one eternal and impassive; the other temporal and passive; and that the one which was crucified for us, was not the Son of God. Which confession he did not make thoughtlessly and by mistake, but with premeditation and a sober mind, before us all; and he has repeated it, at least four or five times. Yet he calls on the judgment and name of the Lord, that they frequently confessed, with us, that the Son of God died for us. Syrach truly says, "Many would rather do the worst than to lose their honor; and do it for the sake of the ungodly," Syr. 20:24.77German Bible.
I proposed the inconsistencies of his belief and after many long and broad assertions I let him read undisturbedly an hour or an hour and a half from the Bible, about the seed of woman, the seed of Abraham, and of David; and about the fruit of the loins of David. When he had finished reading, I asked, what he wanted to assert thereby? " I assert thereby, he said, that the man Christ is of the fathers, and that the word did nut become flesh, as you say." This was the amount of his words.
I replied, I cordially acknowledge and confess all these Scriptures to be right and good; for they teach us, and testify that such a Savior should come. But now we will find out from the Scriptures of whom the human fruit comes; whether it comes of the father or of the mother. On hearing this, he said, 6 ' Are you going to find that out I" I answered in the affirmative; for I trust, by the grace of God, to .be able to prove by virtue of the holy, divine Scriptures, that the origin of the child is of the father, and not of the mother, but through the mother. This, I think, was something new to him; for he said, "Sir, let us hear it." I pointed him to 1 Cor. 11:8, where Paul says, "Man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man." On hearing this he interrupted me and said, "This is spoken of Adam and Eve." 360Hold, said I; but it further reads: " Even so is the, man also by the woman." Was Adam, then, by Eve? He was then silent, as one who is beaten. I showed him many plain Scriptures, as Gen. 1C:4; 17:6; 19:32; Rom. 9:7; Heb. 7:10; 11:12.. I also referred him to the genealogy, Matt. 1, that Christ, according to his foundation, must also have been a Syrian, Canaanite, Moabite and an Ammonite. I also made some natural illustrations, as of the sower, his seed and soil; from which he tries to make it appear. to the reader that I made use of my intellect and not of the Scripture, against him. But, as the saying is, Micron's little finger knows full well that the seed of the land and the seed of man are called by the same name, in the Scriptures; and that also Abraham cast his seed, that is, sowed it, Heb. 11:11, although he garbles it in his writings and would apply. the casting to Sarah. What we are to judge of such willful adulterers of the holy, divine word, I will leave to the impartial reader. It is the same means of which the serpent made use when he led Adam and Eve into death, Gen. 3:1. Kind reader, ag the Scriptures, together with daily occurrences, openly testify to us by the ordinance of God, that there are sowers, and also that there is seed, which is sown, there must also be a fit soil to be sown; for neither in the unplowed land, nor upon houses, trees and rocks do we sow, as may be seen. And whether or not my comparison of the husbandman, of his seed, and of his field can stand according to the Scriptures, I will not leave to the calumniating Micron and Herman, but to the reasonable reader.
When I had finished my argument I said, Behold, Martin, this natural comparison which I have proposed, you may take into consideration, at your leisure, but let us have a reply to my Scriptures. Then he appeared as one who is in doubt, and said, "Away with this plilosophy of the seed of woman." On hearing this, I replied: I have proposed to you the plain Scriptures whereby I have proved that the child is originally of the father, and not of the mother; and you want it to be of the mother, without the Scriptures. Say, kind sir, which of us two makes use of philosophy ? You or I ? He made no reply at all. But he now writes as if he had then said, thus, "The words of Paul, 1 Cor. 11:7, should be understood as having reference to Adam and Eve; for Paul wanted to humble the men that they should not exalt themselves above woman, on. account of their glory," which in one sense is right, yet not according to the sense of Paul in this instance. For Micron desires to apply it to Adam and Eve, and Paul spoke it, in reference to all who are born: of Adam and Eve. For he says, "For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman." Mark, he says, By the woman. If Onan had done as he did, Gen. 38:9, a thousand times; and besides, all men with him, who were from the beginning, no human fruit would be born therefrom. For the seed must have a proper soil to produce fruit and to generate according to the word and ordinance of the Lord, and therefore Paul says, "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord," 1 Cor. 11:11. I trust that such plain Scriptures can be understood.
Again, concerning the Scripture, Wis. 7:2, Micron says, "It does not read of man's seed alone." To which I, reply: Micron must be a man who esteems the judgment of the Almighty God too little, that he is not afraid to adulterate such plain words, or to obscure them by the breath of the abyss, as it is so plain that the Holy Spirit in plain words here ascribes to the father that which belongs to the father, according to the ordinance of God, and to the mother what belongs to the mother. * * * I repeat it, that such plain words of the Scriptures are easily understood.
Again, to my pointing him how Sarah conceived of Abraham, and Rebecca of Isaac, Heb. 11:11; Rom. 9:7, he replies thus, but in the discussion he did not refer to it, the reason why Abraham. and Isaac are called the origin of their descendants, he says, is to exclude other men, and also, because woman has lost her privilege through sin. This is such glozing as if both the Scripture and that were lost. Therefore this is my brief reply: God does not require of any one that which he has not given, nor does he envy any one for 361that which is given him; for he is a God of the truth and not of a mere name. And if the Lord had done so, for the reason given by Micron, then God would have had pleasure in the name, and not in truth. He would also have given more to those patriarchs than truthfully belonged to them, and taken from woman what belonged to her. Mark what kind of a God the sophistry of Micron teaches.
As for the privilege, of which he writes, I would in all love ask him what kind of a privilege this was, which woman has lost through sin? If she is no more woman, and if she is become unfit to fulfill her maternal calling and office to which she was ordained of God? That she is woman still, and necessary to fill her place in the world, is too clear to need arguing. Therefore I do not know what the privilege might be, as the Scriptures say no more than, " I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children: and thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee," Gen. 3:16. But thus something must. be done to deceive the humble reader, when flattery will not give it a scriptural appearance.
Oh I oh I ! If we poor children were to treat the Scriptures the twentieth part as they do (something from which may the Lord save us), and would wail the eyes of the ignorant as does Micron by his flatterings, great god! how they would be offended. They would also have full right to do so. Nevertheless, however they teach and do, it is a welcome gospel to the poor, deceived world, as was commonly the case from the beginning with all false prophets and their followers. He is allowed to break the bones of the passover, and to cut off Samson's hair, Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12, until the time comes that it is ended with him and he has to give an account of his deceit before the Lord.
After some passing remarks, we came to the inconsistency that they had an impure Christ; and I asked him if he confessed Mary to be of the impure and sinful seed of Adam? He answered, "Yes." But he said she was pure, because the angel said unto her, " Blessed art thou among women," Luke 1:28. To this I replied: The Lord said unto Abraham, "I shall bless thee;" ~'and I will bless them that bless thee," Gen. 12. Again, he promised to the obedient parents under the law: "Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body," Deut. 28:4. Were, thereby, Abraham, together with all those that bless him, and all those who are born of such pious parents, pure and without sin
He said, " Christ was pure and without sin, and that because he was not of human seed." I replied: From such explanation the greatest inconsistencies would follow.
He then replied: "God was the cause that the nature of Adam was corrupted." I noticed that he was unable to reply, and that he knew not what to say. I asked him, Why! Because, said he, " God said," "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." So I hear, I said, that God was the cause of the transgression of Adam? together with some other remarks. "No," he said, "I do not say so." Oh, Micron ! I said, Consider what inconsistencies you advance and what a weak, unscriptural foundation it is which you would assert and maintain I He did not reply again, yet he claims in his writing that he asserted and maintained the purity of Christ, against us. If that is not seeking one's own honor and to give an untrue account of the discussion, I will leave the reader to judge. And how the assertions which he now makes in his writings, will stand according to the Scriptures, we will show by the Scripture. Thus he writes: " We can conclude nothing under sin, but that which the Scriptures conclude under it." In this he is right, yet contrary to himself. For the Scriptures conclude Adam and all his seed under sin. Therefore it must be so with Adam and all his seed; this cannot be denied, 1 Cor.15:21; Rom. 6:18; Gal. 3:22; Eph. 2:1. He further writes: That which the Scriptures make free, we also should consider free. Again he is right; but contrary to himself, for the Scripture makes Christ free, and therefore we also consider him as free, because he is from above, of God who is pure, and not from below of impure Adam; which Adam, I repeat, according to the Scriptures, is concluded under sin, with all 362his seed, and the Scriptures do not contradict themselves.
He further writes that the apostles and prophets had no need of saying so much about the holiness of Christ, if he were from above, and not of Adam. This is so simple, that it looks surprising. For, if Christ were such a pure man of impure Adam, as our opponents say, then the Scriptures would contradict themselves; or else Adam must have had two seeds of which one was corrupt and the other remained pure, which is not thus taught by holy writ. Observe what blind arguments he advances.
Lastly, he writes: "That which God testifies to be holy; man can not make common or unholy," and adduces, Acts 10:15. Here the most holy holiness of the flesh of Jesus Christ is compared, by him, to the flesh of the animals, which, under the law, were forbidden Israel to eat, Lev. 11; Dent. 14:7, and which are now, under the gospel, allowed as clean, Matt. 15:11; Mark 7:15; Acts 10:15; Rom. 14:20; Tit. 1:15, as if Adam, thus, by one word (as the animals under the law), was made unclean; and now, again, by one word (as also these animals), was made clean, in this his seed'(of which, according to him, Christ should be generated); by which he blasphemes the most holy holiness of Christ's flesh. O, abominable flattery!
Behold, dear reader, this is the best foundation upon which Micron can build his assertion of the purity of the flesh of Christ, after a study of two years of which he, at the time of the discussion did not advance a single word. You may consider for yourselves whether he does not make his doctrine suspected by such flattery.
And when he was defeated in his assertion about the seed of woman, by virtue of the Scripture, and could find nothing to solve the inconsistency, and was hedged in on all sides, he proposed the following question, as if he was so confused that he knew not what to say and yet wanted to say something, that it might not be said‑that he was silenced: "Do you, believe that Mary was a human being ?" For God's sake, hear what he has proposed!
On hearing this, I became recklessly excited, and answered thoughtlessly: She certainly was no brute. What is this for a base question 2 Behold thus the .brute came into play; upon the cause of which he is silent; and which he adduces quite strangely, and little to my honor.
I confess before him and before all readers that I did not answer him respectfully; and I am ‑sorry for it; for it would have been proper to have given him a considerate answer; and not to return foolishness with foolishness. But to which of us the greatest blame should be attributed, to Micron with his surprisingly indiscreet question, or to myself with my .unseasoned answer, I would gladly leave to his own consideration if he were impartial.
After this had taken place I had but very little desire to discuss with him at that time, as I saw that he so quite partially placed himself against the truth although he had nothing to advance whereby he could defend his foundation, so that I was forced to say, Good Martin, do not take it amiss; it would be well if you would learn to know yourself better, for you are yet too much of a novice in the Scriptures ~ to defend the foundation of your doctrine in regard to this matter.
"Attend," he said then, "I will tell you something else." But as it had no foundation at all, and was nothing but nonsense; and as he went from one thing to another, I recklessly answered: Away with your talk. All you adduce is nothing but anathema.
He then became very angry and cried out thrice: " The pope has taught you this." No, I answered with the same words, thrice, Not the pope, but Paul has taught me this, Gal. 1:8. For it is a strange gospel, your philosophy about Christ, which is not taught us by the apostles nor by the Scriptures; and I did not say a eord about 1 Cor. 16:22, although he, without any truth, said and wrote so, the like of which alas, he often does to defame me, out of malice.
I again acknowledge that I might' have borne with him more patiently than I did. Yet the Son of God has not lost his son‑ship and rights, by my inconsiderate answer; nor was Micron's anti‑christian doctrine thereby rendered the christian doctrine. I became very tired of answering his foolish 363questions; for I began to observe by what kind of a spirit he was prompted.
Besides, he has quite reversed the narration of the discussion; has enlarged his ten words into very many, to flatter his cause; has abreviated mine in many instances, to weaken our cause, and has written many things which were never thought of; and such by which he was quite stunned, he has not mentioned at all. Yet this audacious man dares call on God as his witness that he has given a true narration. O Lord!
Well, every one will have to give an account of himself before his God, let him adorn his falsehoods and seal them as much as he pleases. By the grace of God, I shall affirm my humble truth with yea, and nay, as Scripture teaches. Whosoever will, may therewith believe my writings; and if he will not I can not help it. I will call on nothing higher. I have suffered much pain and trouble for about twentyone years for the sake of truth, yea and nay, and have borne it submissively; nor shall I by the merciful assistance of the Lord leave it in my old age, on account of Micron and all anti‑christians' false doctrine, however Satan may portray me by his authors and servants.
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