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HOLY AND WHAT MICRON CONFESSED DURING OUR SECOND DISCUSSION,
AND HOW UNFAITHFULLY HE HAS NARRATED IT.
IN the second place, I asked him if he admitted the confession which he had made, concerning the two Sons in Christ, at the time of our first discussion? He answered, "Yes." Then I desired Andrew whom he calls Cananeus, to write it down, which he did in Micron's presence, and reads thus: Two sons in Christ. The first, God's eternal Son, born of him before time was, without mother, and impassive. The second, Mary's son, or the son of man, born of her in due time, without father, and passive. In which passive son of Mary, the impassive Son of God, dwelt. So that the man Christ who died for us, was not the Son of God; for he had no father." Behold, this was his confession which we all heard from his own mouth, and which was written down in his presence.
When Andrew had written it down, Micron said, "Read it to me." After it was read I asked him if he had not written it down right. He replied "Yes." And now this untruthful man comes and writes that they frequently confessed that the Son of God died for us; while it did not happen otherwise than it is here narrated; and comes now again in his writing and says that he had no father. For on the thirtysecond page he writes: "As to the real origin of the human substance (which he called before us, the second son), he had, according to the testimony of the Holy Scriptures, no father; and refers to Matt. 1:2, 3. And thus the pure, Holy Scriptures (because they call Mary a virgin), must be the cover of his abominably false doctrine; notwithstanding it clearly testifies in many places that God is his Father; and that he is the Son of God, Luke 1:31; 9:35; Matt. 3:17; 14:33; 16:16; 17:5; Mark .3:11; 9:6; 15:39; Jn. 1:45; 3:16; 6:69; 7:28; 8:23; 9:37; 10:36; 11:27. Behold this is the man who, according to his own writing, has so cleverly discussed and so powerfully asserted the foundation of his doctrine, as he falsely makes his followers believe; and who has, to his own everlasting shame, placed such a bright crown upon his head, as he claims in his book. The proverb, " That honor shames those that seek it," is true.
In the third place, I asked him, since he says that the man Christ had no father, whether he did not call him the Son of God ? He answered, " Yes." I asked him again, for what reason he called him so; whether it was on account of his birth, or of regeneration, or of his creation, or of the acceptation364? For if he should be truly called such it must be because of one of these .four reasons; or else one would speak a falsehood as often as he would call him such. I received this answer: " On account of none of these four reasons." This is all the answer he gave me; but he sought another retreat, that he might not be caught in the net of truth. This question (then left unanswered) he now, adduces quite garbled, and says, page 173, " That he is called the Son of God, on account of the union of the two sons" (which he artfully calls two natures that it may not sound too strange), of which union we can find not a letter in all the Scriptures, whereby he confesses publicly that the crucified Christ Jesus who has borne the sins of all the world and reconciled it unto God his Father, was merely called the Son of God; and that God is therefore but a God in name, and not a God in truth. Surely, this is too much of blasphemy, that the Almighty, great God and his blessed, beloved Son must hear of such a man.
In the fourth place, T asked him if he knew that Gellius Faber had issued a publication against us, and if he had read it? He answered, "Yes." Well, said I, how do you like it? "It is a very fine thing," he said, "I have also let our brethren read it."
Ah, Martin! said I, do you endorse that ungodly homily which is so replete with falsehood, by which the word and ordinances of the Lord are so lamentably broken, and wherein the most holy flesh of Christ is called a boose‑.qeld88Booee is Dutch means wicked. and ransom? If the Lord will help me he will he replied to, for when this happened mine was almost in print. Behold, I tell the truth. Then Micron said, " I have spoken to Gellius about the boose‑geld; and he claims that it is a mistake of the printer, and that it should be loose‑geld (a ransom). Then one of ours said, loose means, in this‑sense, false or frivolous." Should Christ's flesh, then, have been a false or frivolous money? &c.
On hearing this, I said: I have often thought to myself how is it possible that a man could thus write? It must be a mistake. Reflecting upon the matter, I said, I remembered that John A'Lasco and he were unanimous in this doctrine; and that A'Lasco wrote: "If Christ be holy why was he then condemned by the judgment of the Father, on account of sin Z" Again, "Christ partook of no other flesh but that of sin, that he might be tempted, and subject to death." Inasmuch as they agreed, I thought, and as these sayings of A'Laseo openly testify, that he (Christ) was not holy, but that he was of a sinful flesh, guilty of death, therefore it might, in the same manner, be called by the learned, a boose‑geld and ransom. Behold, thus I answered, and not otherwise.
When I told it thus, Micron desired to read the sayings of A'Lasco, and said at last, after having studied about them: "It is very obscure." Yes, certainly, I Paid, Not obscure but ungodly. And this discreet reply of mine he has not only suppressed, but lamentably garbled, to my disadvantage. Besides, he has left the writings of A'Lasco out of the narrative and thus he blames me of what others are guilty. I will leave it to the all‑seeing God and to his own mind whether he has written it with the Spirit of truth, which is quite impartial, and with true, christian love, as if standing before God.
Inasmuch as I have thus found it printed in his book, and as the sayings of A'Lasco imply that Christ's flesh was guilty of death; as has been heard, which may rightfully be called a boose‑, geld and ransom, as he deems it to be sinful, then say, beloved, what have I said about which to make such an ado? and, as he perhaps thinks, on account of which he has so mortally wounded me; besides, according to truth it is their foundation and the unmistakable result of their doctrine. But thus he must render Gellius a favor at my expense, although he once spoke quite differently to some preachers at Emden, about Gellius' book.
We then came to the inconsistency of concluding two persons in Christ. To which Micron answered: " We do not assert that there are two persons in Christ; but we say there is but one. For although the Word, from eternity, was one person, yet when it was conceived in Mary it was no person." Beloved, mark, what indiscreetness he uses.
365He further said: "Although every man is a person, and although the man Christ was a man as any other man, yet the man Christ, for himself alone, was no person." Is it not a shame that one has to repeat such ignorant words before intelligent persons? Paul truly asks: "Where is the disputer of this world?" 1 Cor. 1:20. When we had finished our arguments in regard to this matter, I said, I understand that some of you say, "‑Menno said sometime ago that the whole Christ was God's Son; but he did not prove it by the Scripture." Therefore I desire to do so now; and I will read the Scriptures of the New Testament to you, which testify that the whole Christ Jesus, from head to foot, visible and invisible, is God's own, only and first‑begotten, true Son, if you will patiently attend, as I did when you were reading. "Do so," he said.
I read about twenty‑four or twenty‑five strong, plain Scriptures, to some of which I shall here refer. The first wars, " 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 1:35. Here the angel of the Lord testifies that Christ Jesus should be the Son of God, and you, Micron, say that he was not.
The Father himself says, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased," Matt. 3:17; 17: G; Mark 9:7; Luke 3:22; 9:35. And you, Micron, boldly contradict it, and say that he is not. Again, Christ said unto the blind man, " Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I may believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that speaketh with thee," Jn. 9:35, 36. Here the visible, speaking Christ confesses himself to be the Son of God. And you, Micron, say he is not.
Christ says, "What and if ye shall see the son of man ascend up where he was before?" Jn. 6:62_ Here Christ testifies that the Son of man was from above, and that he would again return thither. And you, Micron, say that the son of man is not of heaven, but of earth.
Peter answered Christ to the question:" Whom say ye that I am?" " Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," Matt. 18:16; and Christ blessed him for it. And you, Micron, say that the man Christ is not the Son of God.
The centurion confessed him to be such; at the cross. He said, " Truly this man was the Son of God," Mark 15:39. And you, Micron, controvert it, and say that he was not.
John says, "These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name," Jn. 20:31. Beloved Micron, take heed. At another place it reads, " He that believeth not God, hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son," 1 Jn. G:10. "He is anti‑christ that denieth the Father and the Son," 1 Jn. 2:22. Behold, Micron, what kind of spirits you are we will let you judge by this Scripture of John. What is your answer to all those plain Scriptures, which I have read ~
He was again puzzled as before, during the first discussion when he was overcome on the subject of woman's seed. Both he and Herman became pale (as the brethren told me, for I did not notice it), and Micron said, " Most of these Scriptures I confess to be right and just." Not all? I asked. I have not added a single word; but merely read from the Bible. Tell me which are not right.
I received no answer at all. But again he asked a strange question three or four times, which I refused to. answer, desiring an answer to the Scriptures which I had read. At last he spoke, but merely deceitfully, that he might lead me off my Scriptures which he could not answer because they were too powerful and plain, and also because he yet wanted to make a show: " They shall be answered," he said. Then ask on, said I. "Do you believe," he said, " that Christ was born of the Father, and seated with the Father, from eternity?" I let him ask the question again.
366Martin, said I, you do not act as becomes a true and pious man. Is that an answer to my Scriptures? Immediately he began to boast that I could not answer his question. I was sorry that I had commenced to discuss with such a perverse man; for I saw clearly that he was not prompted by the spirit of truth. I further said, that I have never read of such a birth, in the Scriptures, as the one which he enquired about, which implied a seat with God from eternity. If you read of it, I said, then show me where to find it.
"No," he said, "We want to find it out by you." Martin, said I, be ashamed. When I want to see the Scriptures you are not willing to show them. He again said, "He wanted to find it out by me." Man, man, I said, By this you show what kind of a spirit there is in you. What indiscreet perverseness, to require of me to show that which is not to be found in the Scriptures. Heaven and earth have not yet stood six thousand years, and the Scriptures say that heaven is God's throne, and earth his footstool, and that God is an eternal God who has neither beginning nor end. If I should ask, now, what were God's throne and footstool before heaven and earth were created, would you be obliged to answer me, while the Scriptures say nothing about it? I again received the answer: "We want to find out by you." Mark with what kind of a spirit this man discussed with me.
Observing that the bait which he threw out was to get something peculiar from me, I said to him: Micron, since you can not stand before the truth, I can see what your object is. Therefore understand me, that you may give a true account of me. Whatever the Scripture testifies concerning the eternal, divine form of Christ, I sincerely believe, although I may not thoroughly comprehend it, as that his goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting, Micah 5:2; that he is the Alpha and Omega, Rev. 1:8; 2:8; the eternal Word of the Father, his Wisdom and Son, by whom all things were created, Gen. 1:1; Ps. 33:6; Prov. 8:22; Jn. 1:3; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2; the firstborn of every creature, Col. 1:15, who is before Abraham was, Jn. 8:58, and other like Scriptures I do not comprehend. But that there was a birth from everlasting, as you say, I can not. find in the Scriptures.
Inasmuch as I can not find this in the Scriptures, and, as I am prepared to obey them unto death, therefore I ask you to show me (as you ask it of me) where it is written, and, by the grace of God, I will not in the least controvert it; for I was certain that he could not show it. He answered again: " No, we want to find out by you." Now judge of the spirit of the discussion.
I will now leave this to the judgment of all impartial, reasonable readers whether Micron has met us in discussion as a godly, humble, kind and pious christian, to teach me and all of us, or to be taught of us in the matters pertaining to Christ Jesus, by the Spirit and word of the Lord; or, whether he met us as an ungodly, proud, cruel and infamous pharisee.
A more abominable discussion I never heard of. In the first place, because he wanted to find out by us something which is not in the Scriptures. And in the second place, because I desired him to show it to me, and he would not do it for the sake of truth and love. But Micron knew that he could not find it in the Scriptures, yet, by such trickery, after he had lost this foundation, he tried to make a show among his followers who understood so little about the Scriptures. But he was caught in the net he set for us, as you may clearly see from the following account. For, when I observed that he had lost all christian reasonableness; that no Scriptures would avail anything in his case, and that he strove for nothing else but to catch me at some. expression or other, which he might, by falsely adding to it, himself, fasten upon us, to our disadvantage, I desired of him to explain his question a little better, namely, whether he believed that Christ, from everlasting, was born of the Father, or that he was from eternity seated with the Father, and separated from him? Three or four times, he said, " Born."
Born? I said, I do not contradict it; for you have heard my confession, clear enough, but explain your question. It was again, "Born."
Then I said to Herman, Do tell, what is 367your faith? He spoke in his usual, thoughtless manner and frankly said, " That he was seated, separate from the Father."
Well, Micron, I said, is that your faith also? He again answered, Born. For the fog was afraid that he should be caught in his den.
Micron, said 1, sap yes or no. We have heard enough of your, Born. Then he said, " Yes I" Well, I said, give attention I
I presume, I said, that you have read that there was‑a sect in ancient times which was called Triticode or Tritoites (Tritheists),99Tritheist, One who believes that the three persons in the Trinity are three distinct Gods. because they worshipped three Gods. If you have the same faith concerning the Holy Ghost, that you have concerning the Father, and the Son, then it is plain that you are Tritheists; for you so divide them, as being seated separate, one from the other, as was seen. He made no reply to this, at all.
In the second place, I said, You are aware that Arius was deemed a heretic, because he said that Christ had a beginning I He answered, "Yes." This is right, I said. But reflect. If Christ was from eternity with the Father, separated from him, as you say, having, neither beginning nor end., then he is not the Father's Son; for in such case he is not born of the Father; and if he be born in such a manner, that he was divided from the Father, and separated. from him, as you have it, then he must have had a beginning; for that the begetter must be before the begotten, in a natural sense as you assume, is as clear as day. And if you, then, are not Arians, I will leave to your own judgment. I am yet to be answered.
In the third place I said, Some ancient authors have compared the eternal, divine Being to the Sun, that is, they have compared the body to the Father, the Word or Son to the brightness, and the Holy Ghost to the heat. For as these three, the body, the brightness and the heat are one sun, thus the Father, his Word, and his Holy Ghost are one God.
And, as the brightness cannot be separated from the sun and yet remain brightness, thus the Word can not be separated from God and still remain the Word. Yet the Word is not the Father, nor is the Father the Word. And therefore you daily sing in your temples, Lumen de lwmine, that is, a Light of lights. Also says Paul, "He is the brightness of the glory of God," Heb. 1:3.
Behold, dear Micron, this the beforementioned writers have confessed concerning the eternal, divine Being, and you confess thus. I will leave it to your own judgment whether you did not forsake their faith and whether you did not make them false writers, by your confession. He did not reply at all to this.
In the fourth place I said, You surely confess that Christ Jesus from everlasting, was the Almighty word, wisdom and power of God? He replied, "Yes." Well, I said, if such a birth, then, took place, as you say, that he was seated, divided and separated from the Father, then the Father must have been seated without wisdom, word and power from eternity, inasmuch as they were separated, as you claim. This is too plain to be controverted, Jn.1:1; Gen. 1:1; Isa. 40:8; Bar. 3: G. Dear Micron, consider how you blaspheme God. Not a word did he reply to this.
But now he comes and says that Christ, from eternity was born of the Father, although yet remaining in the Father. Mark. what a double tongue and unsteady spirit it is. At the time of the discussion, Christ was, from everlasting, seated, divided and separated from the Father; and now; he remained in the Father. In such a short space of time he has changed his mind on five points concerning the incarnation of Christ, as is shown in the "Admonition" written to him, and now he comes to cast upon me the base stains of his own unsteadiness; while the merciful Lord has, by his grace and power, for about twenty‑one years, kept me steady in one sense and foundation of the doctrine, notwithstanding the many artifices devised against me by so very many crafty spirits, as all must testify who have impartially read my books and heard my admonitions.
Here I would faithfully admonish all readers, in love, and would humbly pray them, for God's sake, that none will say or 368think that I, by these four answers to his proposed and explained question, would change or forsake my doctrine concerning the birth of Christ, the eternal Word, before every creature. Not at all. For, with all those who, with holy Paul, in truth, confess Christ Jesus to be the first ‑born of every creature, and that without the intermixture of any human philosophy, with these I hereby confess to be unanimous, now and forever.
I declare that if Micron had asked, in accordance with the Scriptures, if I confessed Christ, according to his divine form, to be the first ‑ born of every creature, then I would immediately have answered him in the affirmative. It would, then also have prevented his irrelevant questions. But as his questions were the result of reason and not of the Scriptures, and as he would thus make of the word a separate person, from everlasting, of which not. a single word is found in the Scriptures, before his ascension, therefore, he was immediately defeated by the four inconsistencies concerning the eternal, divine Being, from which he could not extricate himself at all, as was heard.
Mark also, that he has reflected upon the foolishness of his wisdom which he, without any Scripture, used against me, so that he is now ashamed of his own confession and words; for he says, " If I received the correct news, that he never talked about" "being seated." If this is true, then, alas, it is too gross a falsehood. He also writes now that he is born of the Father, from everlasting, but, that he yet abided in him as is also the doctrine of the Nicene council, Athanasius, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Luther, Pomeranius, Melanchthon, Bullinger and of the most learned persons, as can be easily deduced from their comparison of the sun, as also from the writings of some of them.
He again makes use of philosophy and not of the Scriptures, as he did in his first. which he has now eaten up. For the spirit of wisdom has not left us a single word concerning the ineffable, incomprehensible mystery of the eternal birth, at all; whether he became separate from the fatherly Being at his birth, before all creatures, or whether he remained ineffably one therewith. For God is a Spirit, Jn. 4:24, and that Spirit is ineffable.
As he again makes use of philosophy and not of the Scriptures, the searching, curious philosopher might again ask him in regard to the word, born: How can one be born and yet remain in the begetter? I do not know where Micron can find a direct answer, wherewith he could stand before the disputer. Therefore I would that the ineffable mystery was left with God. For all who want to follow their own intellect in this ineffable mystery, and maintain their opinion thereby, are immediately caught in the snare of the disputer. No matter how he manage.
Inasmuch as we clearly find and know that the Holy Ghost has hidden this mystery in the Scriptures, and that he has not, in any manner, revealed it unto us, neither by prophet, apostle nor by the Son himself; and, inasmuch as it is manifest that it can not be explained by intellect how short or how long; how near or how far he was to the Father; or whether at birth, he became separate from the Father or not; as he is a Spirit; besides, as we learn from history, and find in our own time how many piercing eves are dazzled by this impenetrable brightness; therefore I warn all pious hearts that would walk with a good conscience before their God, not to speculate about this ineffable and indescribable majesty of the immeasurable, eternal Godhead and not to conclude, assert, teach or maintain any thing more than the Holy Ghost has revealed and taught, lest they, by their fancies, make themselves, a god which is not revealed unto them, by the Scriptures. For it is sufficient for all godly souls that they have such faith in God, as his word directs and points out, that Christ Jesus is from everlasting; the ineffable, eternal word, wisdom and power of the Father, and firstborn of every creature, an eternal, true, perfect, divine substance or being in, by, and with God, and that this same, by the power of the Almighty, eternal Spirit, according to the promise, became, in due time, a true, passive, mortal man, in Mary, as the Scriptures teach.
For, if we should have needed more knowledge and understanding of this ineffable369 birth, the Holy Spirit which rightly teaches his unto all godliness, would undoubtedly not have hidden it from us, but would have revealed or explained it to us by some of his holy apostles, or prophets, or by the Son himself.
I hereby pray all pious hearts, for Jesus' sake, to submit their intellect to the word of the Lord, to feel and believe of God as the Scriptures command and teach, not to ascend higher nor descend lower, and to walk before God and his church with a patient, humble, contrite heart, and he shall find peace therein. Whosoever feareth God, let him reflect upon what I write.
When he was again met in his question, and unable to reply, he broke forth with a disturbed mind, as it appeared, and said, "Do you also believe that Christ was nourished by Mary?" Yes, I said, I sincerely believe so. "Fy!" he said then, "what an impure Christ; for if he was nourished by her, then he must also have become impure." He knew not, as I thought, what to say, for surprise.
Dear Micron, I said, control your heart and tongue. We speak of his origin and not of his nourishment. And if nourishment could make him impure, which is contrary to Christ's own word, Matt. 15:11; Mark 7:15, how much more the substance taken from such body of which the fruit should have come as you say and teach, and that Mary was born of the impure, sinful seed of Adam, of which you say the flesh or humanity of Christ came; this you admitted yourself; nor could you produce a single Scripture by which you could prove her spotlessness, as I mentioned sufficiently plain in the narration of the first discussion.
Behold, honorable reader, here you have the principal foundation of that which Micron and Herman have suppressed in their narration. It is easy to guess for what purpose and with what intention they have done so.
Inasmuch as it did not happen otherwise than we have here told, and as it is well know to the all‑seeing God, to Micron and Herman, as also to their own witnesses and all of us who were present, that . he was quite outdone in the argumentation in regard to the question under discussion and on which their whole foundation rests, whereby the cause was already lost, had he not again admitted it, as also, that there were two sons in Christ, and that the crucified one was not God's Son, whereby he had already forsaken the Son of God; and as he could not prove by the Scriptures the spotlessness of the flesh of Christ, according to his view of the matter; nor that there were two persons in the one Christ, as he professes to believe, nor did he know how he could show the fatherless Christ (as he makes him) to be the Son of God; and as he could not reply a single word to all the plain Scriptures which I produced to prove that the visible, palpable, speaking and crucified Christ Jesus was God's own Son; and, lastly, as he was so inextricably caught in his unscriptural, strange question; and as he is silent on all these, not even touching them, and yet calls upon the name and judgment of the Lord, and upon my own conscience, that he has faithfully narrated the matter in discussion; therefore I will leave it to the judgment of all reasonable, impartial readers whether he has written as a true writer or as a false one; whether he gained the discussion or lost it; whether he has done justice to truth and to us, or whether he has done wrong; whether he sought the honor and glory of God, or his own honor and fame; and also, whether he should be deemed a pious, praiseworthy, honorable, unblamable, true teacher, or an impious, unfaithful,, ungodly, blamable and lying deceiver and calumniator; as he wrote through envious partiality and carnality, without truth, and yet, to affirm his falsehood, so highly seals it, alas! as was heard.
When I had answered his last question, they left me, and went to the front part of the building. What was said there I can not say to a certainty; for I was not there myself. But I was told by the brethren that he was still arguing there, notwithstanding the weapons were knocked out of his hands by force of the Scriptures. Also some of their members about the doors next the street were too noisy in their talk. For which reason some of the brethren said they would better go, and asked them to help us all out of the gates. Of which he so unworthily has made, thrust out, that he 370might thereby make a greater stench and hatred for the pious and true, and make them a bad name.
Justly has the Holy Spirit likened this generation unto the fearful apocalyptic locusts whose shapes were like unto horses prepared unto battle, who have crowns on their heads, like gold; which however are not gold; of which Micron and Herman have placed one on each others head, by their writings; their teeth are as the teeth of lions, and they have tails like unto scorpions, and there are stings in their tails, Rev.9. Consider what the Holy Spirit means, as also that the serpent should bruise the heel of the seed of woman, Gen. 3:15. I think they have not stung a little by this writing of theirs. The Lord forgive them and grant that they may yet sometime find his merciful grace, if possible.
Had they now been people of contrite hearts, as they should reasonably be expected to be, insignificant in their own sight, born of truth, and gifted with the power of the word, they would have thought: What is the use to write. Our cause is lost. And if we now defame them we do so out of partiality, and not with truthfulness; for it is manifest that they do not hate us, because they have shown us such faithfulness and love, in time of need. But, alas, there was not so much prudence, honorableness, reasonableness; reflection and love found with them.
As we have truthfully and plainly shown all that which Micron has artfully suppressed in his narration, to the dishonor of God and of his holy church, as was heard, thus we shall now, by the grace of God, briefly show to the reader how far we differ with them in regard to this matter, that, thereby, truth may be the more clearly distinguished from falsehood, and light from darkness.
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