|« Prev||CONCLUSION.||Next »|
HONORABLE reader, here you have our fundamental explanation and plain reply to the untrue, and partial narration, and anti‑christian, false doctrine concerning Jesus Christ the Son of God by Micron and Herman, wherewith I am now and at all times willing and ready to appear before God and his angels, before friend and foe, and before. the whole world, unto water, fire, sword, and before the coming judgment.
I would pray you all, reasonable readers, through Jesus, as if before God, to reflect earnestly what kind of spirits and people they are who have written the "Narration" and its appendix and articles concerning us, as they have kept quite silent about the beneficence so faithfully shown them in their need; nor said anything about the distinct confessions which they made, as above stated, whereby they had already lost the whole point in discussion, as also, that they were frequently so puzzled that they knew not ‑what to say, and as they have not written a single, discreet word about me in their whole book; and from the beginning of the discussion to the end of their writing, they have only studied and aimed how they might most expertly defame me, and thus make our doctrine, which is the pure doctrine of Christ, a stench to many.
In several instances they have lamentably garbled and misinterpreted my words; have added to, or subtracted therefrom, and changed the meaning of their own. The order of the discussion they have changed, made many unscriptural glozings, adulterated the Holy Scriptures, made false witnesses of the Father himself and his blessed Son, of the angel of the Lord, of John the Baptist, of all the evangelists, apostles and of all the Scriptures, as may be seen.
However, they fill the measure of their predecessors, the false prophets, who, from the beginning, have praised and taught falsehood by hypocrisy, have hated the truth, and upbraided the faithful servants of God, and defamed them; who have taken amiss the faithful service of their love, accused them before .lords and princes, have hindered them in the doctrine and true religion, and at last, have taken their lives and confiscated their goods. It is but little to me, that they have thus trampled upon me, and caused me to be a stench to many; for I am aware that I am unworthy of honor, since I am born of Adam, of impure 399seed, an unworthy sinner; as all those have complained, from the beginning, who were rightly overshadowed by the glory of the Lord. But, the Lord forbid that I am such an unsteady falsifier, and artful rogue, as I am depicted to be by our opponents through the infamous, false, indiscreet and bitter spirit of envy. Many pious people of both the Old and the New Testament had to hear this same thing, with me. Christ promises us a great reward in heaven; for it is done for his name's sake, Matt. 5:11; Luke 6:22. But it pierces my soul night and day that they so lamentably blaspheme the Son of God, adulterate the Scriptures, and so falsely console the poor, unenlightened souls by such open falsehood, and thus encourage and keep them in their accursed blindness. For which reason I was urged to write this reply, to the praise of the Lord, and to your service.
I would, therefore, that you would earnestly consider what a pure, clear and unadulterated foundation of truth we have pointed out to you and to all the world, concerning Christ. And, on the other hand, also, how plainly and convincingly we have discovered and manifested unto you and all reasonable readers the anti‑christian foundation and doctrine of our opponents. Whosoever has but half sight may see where the deceit is hidden.
We now and at all times willingly offer, that if they can prove to us by the unbroken and unadulterated Scriptures, that Adam had two kinds of seed, of which one was pure and the other impure, or, that the Scriptures any where call‑that holy, pure, and heavenly which is unholy, impure and earthly in itself, or, that two sons can be one Son, or, that the Scriptures any where mention such a union, as our opponents falsely pretend, or, that ever any one was the true son of another without his being generated of his substance or seed, or, that God is a God of falsehood, so that he would call the man Christ his Son, without his actually being such, then we will gratefully and diligently reconsider the matter, in all love. Behold, before God, it is the truth that I write. And, in case they cannot do so (something which they surely never can), then our opponents, if they be reasonable men, should acknowledge that they have the impure, deceitful doctrine of antichrist, and we the wholesome doctrine of Christ; notwithstanding we must hear and suffer so exceedingly much.
Dear reader, if we consider the Scriptures of John the evangelist, we clearly find that the spirit and doctrine of our opponents already existed in his time. For, at that time they denied that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and that he was made flesh; something which these, also, often did in their writings and verbal discussion which they had with us. From which it is manifest that it is the roguery and deceit of the old serpent.
I would, therefore, humbly beseech all the godly, pious hearts who sincerely and diligently seek Christ and eternal life, for the Lord's sake, first, to pray for all of our opponents, both of high and low station in life, learned or unlearned, rich or poor, who ignorantly err, and who are encouraged and consoled in their impenitent, reckless life, by such false teachers and writers as are our opponents, that the merciful, gracious Lord may give them eyes to see his glorious, exalted origin, and rightly confess his truth, that that may not be lost with which they are so dearly bought.
And secondly, pray that the Lord may grant me, and all our fellow laborers of the house of God, together with the whole church, the Spirit of his wisdom; grant that we, by his grace, may remain ~ wholesome in doctrine; steady in faith; ardent in love; quickened in hope; unremittent in the work of the Lord; unblamable in life, and patient in all oppression and tribulation; of which alas, we do not experience a little by the infamous crying and writing of our opponents; that we may set a living example to the world; that many may see our new, christian walk in the truth and examine it, repent, and thus be eternally saved.
I beseech you in the same manner not to leave these our writings idle and hidden, but to send them east, west, north and south, into the hands of all men, and to let many read them, that the bright sun of righteousness which, alas, has been obscured for so many centuries by the smoke of the bottomless pit of the anti‑christian, false 400doctrine, may shine forth with the power of truth, and that our glorious and holy Savior, the first and only begotten, true Son of the Almighty, living God, the ever blessed Jesus Christ, may be rightly confessed by many, in his glory.To this only and eternal Savior, together with his heavenly Father and Holy Ghost be the praise forever, Amen.
From Menno Simon to Margaret, wife of Rein Eden.
CHOSEN beloved sister in Christ Jesus, Mercy, grace and peace be to thee! Most beloved sister whom I sincerely love in Christ. From your beloved husband's letter I understand, that during all the winter you have been a sick and afflicted child, which I very much regret to hear. But we pray daily: Father, thy will be done. By which we commit ourselves to the Father to treat with us as is pleasing in his blessed sight. Therefore bear with your affliction resignedly. For all this is his paternal will for your own good; that you may put your trust in the eternal living God alone, and not in any perishable things. Be consoled in Christ Jesus; for after the cold of winter, comes summer; and after death, comes life. O, sister I rejoice that you are a true daughter of your beloved Father. Soon will the inheritance of his glorious promise be due; a little while yet, says the word of the Lord, and he who is coming shall come and his reward will be with him. May the Almighty, merciful God and Lord, before whom you have bent your knees, to his honor, and whom, according to your weakness you have sought, grant you a strong and patient heart, a sufferable pain, a lovely refreshment, a gracious cure or godly dissolution, through Christ Jesus whom we daily expect with you, my be. loved sister and child in Christ Jesus.
Secondly, I understand that your conscience is troubled because you have not and do not now walk in such perfection as the Scriptures direct us; on which account I write the following to my faithful sister, as a fraternal consolation, from the true word and eternal truth of the Lord: The Scripture, says Paul, hath concluded all under sin. There is no man on earth, says Solomon, who does righteously and sinneth not, Eccl. 7. At another place," A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again," Prov. 24:16. Moses says, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty," Ex. 34:6, 7. O, dear sister! Observe, he says, !!!None are guiltless before God. Again, David says, "Lord, enter not into judgment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified;" " If they sin against thee (for there is no man who sinneth not);" "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags;" Christ, also, says, "There is none good but one, that is, God;" 'I The evil which I would not, that I do;" " In many things we offend all;" "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us," Ps. 143:2; 1 Kin. 8:48; Isa. 64:6; Matt. 19:17; Mark 10:18; Rom. 7:19; 1 Jn. 1:8.
As it is plain from all these Scriptures that we must all acknowledge ourselves to be sinners, as we, also, are in fact; and as no one has perfectly fulfilled the righteousness required of God but Christ Jesus alone; therefore none can approach God, obtain grace and be saved except by the perfect righteousness, reconciliation and advocacy of Jesus Christ; however godly, righteous, holy and unblamable he is. We must all acknowledge, whosoever we are, that we are sinners in thoughts, words and works. Yea, if we had not before us the righteous 401Christ Jesus, no prophet nor apostle could be saved. Therefore, be of good cheer and be consoled in the Lord. You can expect no greater righteousness in yourself than all the chosen of God had in them from the beginning. In and by yourself you are a poor sinner; and by the eternal righteousness, banished, accursed and adjudged to eternal death; but in and through Christ you are justified and pleasing unto God, and accepted of him in eternal grace as a daughter and child. In this all saints have consoled themselves, trusted in Christ, esteemed their own righteousness as unclean, weak and imperfect, with contrite hearts approached the throne of grace, in the name of Christ, and with firm faith prayed the Father: O, Father, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us, Matt. 6; Luke 11.
It is a very precious word which Paul speaks, "When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly;" yea, when we were yet ungodly, and thereby he manifests his love toward us. "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life, Rom. b:6, 10. Behold, my chosen, beloved child and sister in the Lord, this I write from the sure foundation of eternal truth. I herewith pray you, and desire that you will wholly commend all your doings outward and inward unto Christ Jesus and his merits; believing and confessing that his precious blood, alone, is your cleansing; his righteousness your piety; his death your life; and his resurrection your justification; for he is the forgiveness of all your sins; his bloody wounds are your reconciliation; and his invincible strength the staff and consolation of your weakness, as we have, in former days, as cording to our small gift, often shown you from the Scriptures. Yea, most beloved child and sister, so long as you find and feel such a spirit in yourself which is desirous of following that which is good, and abhorring that which is evil, not withstanding the remnant of sin is not entirely dead in you, as also all the saints complained of from the beginning, so long you may rest assured that you are a child of God, and that you will inherit the kingdom of grace in eternal joy, with all the saints. I Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit," Jn. 4:13. I sincerely pray that you may, by faith, rightly understand this ground to the refreshment, strengthening and consolation of your conscience and soul, and remain firm unto the end. I commend you, most beloved child and sister, to the faithful, merciful and gracious God, in Christ Jesus, now and forever. Let him do with you and with all of us according to his blessed will. Either in the flesh, yet to remain a little while with your beloved husband and children; or out of the flesh, to the honor of his name and to the salvation of your soul. You before, and we after, or we before and you afterward. Separation must once come. In the city of God, in the new Jerusalem there we will wait on each other, before the throne of God and of the Lamb; there sing hallelujah! and praise his name in perfect joy. Your husband and children I commend to him who has given them to you, and he will do with them justly. The saving power of the most holy blood of Christ be with my most beloved child and sister, now and forever, Amen.
Your brother, who sincerely loves you in Christ.
MENNO SIMON. 402
|« Prev||CONCLUSION.||Next »|
►Proofing disabled for this book
► Printer-friendly version