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CONCERNING THE TWO NATURES IN CHRIST, HOW IT SHOULD BE RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD
ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES.
MICRON criticises my sixth point, and remarks concerning my saying, That God's Son did not die for us according to their doctrine, is caused by a misconception on my part, that I do not, or will not understand the union of the two natures, the divine and the human, into one person, Christ; and says, That in both discussions they have repeatedly stated that God's Son died for us.
To which I reply thus: First, that they can not truthfully say that they once stated, during the discussion, that the Son of God died for us. For they have distinctly asserted, all the time, that the man Christ had no father, or as Micron sometimes said, that he had no near father, and repeats it in different places in his book, as any one may read and see.
O, dear Lord, what a terrible abomination that mortal man and an earthly creature dares so boldly lie against ‑his own conscience, that he dares so lamentably belittle the King of all honor, so unrestrainedly deceive the poor souls, and commit such great deceit and shame against the word of the Lord 1 O, that they could see what they are doing I
Secondly, I reply as I did before him, that there can not be a word found in all the Scriptures about this union of the two sons, of God's Son and the son of man, in one person, Christ, which he, generally, artfully calls two natures, and which he compares to the union of the body and soul of man.
That the body and soul of a living man are one person, is as clear as the light of the sun.
But, that such a man, body, and soul, which is a perfect person, was thus united into one with the Son of God who is eternal; or, that the eternal Son of God thus united himself with the son of man (which two sons they call two natures, without Scripture), may, be read in the flatterings of Micron, but we do not find it written in the Scriptures. You may further consider what kind of a Christ they teach you, by comparing this criticism of ours with the Scriptures.
Thirdly, I say that if Micron desired to deal with the readers as a faithful teacher, he would not make use of such equivocal and dark reasoning, but would express and explain his foundation and meaning without any duplicity, and say that the eternal, immortal Son of God put on a temporal, mortal son, body and soul, of the flesh and blood of Mary, and that he has thereby delivered us; for this is, in this matter, the proper meaning, sense and understanding of all their writing, flattering, and teaching, as their public confession, before us all, clearly testified and implied, as was heard.
But now he deals unfaithfully; for. he means two actual sons, of which one was divine and the other human and calls them 391but two natures, that the unsuspicious reader may not be offended at the harshness; which nature is but a property of him who possesses it, and which is not the one himself who possesses it. For, if one sees a man, he does not say that is a human nature, but that is a man; for the property is not the being itself, but the being possesses the property. And if Christ had but the properties, namely, the natures, and if he had not the being itself, which are the sub stances, then he was neither God nor man; for the natures are not the being itself, but the being possesses the nature. Therefore it would be becoming in Micron to deal unequivocally, and not to deceive his readers and hearers by such incomprehensible, strange words, that they might comprehend the foundation of his doctrine, and understand what he means. For we teach in such a manner that it may be understood.
But it would offend the thoughtful reader thus boldly to confess and teach that there are two Sons in Christ, and say, that the crucified Son was not God's Son, but a sinful, acccursed man, of the sinful, accursed flesh or seed of Adam. And therefore they must fix it so as to retain their honor and name with the world, and enjoy their salaries and liens at ease.
Behold, thus we must, by virtue of the Scriptures, lift the fine cloak of the Babylonian whore, which Micron and the preachers would keep down by their glozings, wrong explanations and adulterated Scriptures, since they live off her table, that you may rightly observe and see their infamy, loathsome diseases, lumps, and deadly leprosy, understand it spiritually, and that you may, in the fear of your God beware thereof.
I cordially admit, however, that Christ had two natures; but not in such a sense as Micron believes, but in a scriptural sense; in this manner Peter writes to the church of God, and says, Ye are partakers of the divine nature, 2 Pet. 1:4; whereby he clearly testifies that there are two natures in a christian; the one, the human nature with which he is born of Adam, and the other, the divine nature of which he partakes by faith, in the birth, which is of God, by the Holy Ghost.
If there are, then, two natures in one christian, as there are in truth, why then not in Christ? For, as he is the only and true Son of God, having no other origin but of God, then he must also have the nature of the one of whom he is, this is too plain to be controverted. That he had the divine nature he has proven by these manifest, apparent attrributes of a true, divine nature; as by his perfect righteousness, truth, holiness, love, and miracles.
As he had the divine nature, I say, on account of his divine origin, thus he also had the unblemished, pure, human nature (like unto the nature of Adam, before the fall), and that by reason of his true humanity. For as truly as he was the Father's Almighty Word from everlasting, so truly. also, he, in the fullness of time, became a true, passive, mortal man, Jn. 1:14; 1 Jn. 1:1. And as he thus became a true man he must also have had the property of a true man, which is a true, human nature (though not corrupted), or else he would not have been a true man; this is incontrovertible.
Although the Scriptures say nothing about the two natures in Christ, yet I admit it with the above understanding; for I am sure that one can not separate the nature from any thing any more than he can separate the light from the sun, the heat from the fire and humidity from water.
That he had the true, human nature as well as the divine, he has shown by the apparent fruits of the real, human nature, as by hungering, thirsting, being wary, sighing, weeping, suffering and death.
Behold, thus I plainly confess according to the style and ordinance of the holy, divine Scriptures, that there were two natures in the only, undivided person and Son of God, Christ; and not as Micron does, who makes one Son of two sons, and one person of two persons, without the Scriptures, which he calls two natures, and according to his glozings, were born at two different times, of two different persons, in two different forms, and which several natures remained distinct, and were incomprehensibly united, into one person, Christ, according to his writing, without the Scriptures. Observe which of us points you to the Scriptures.
392It is hardly necessary to reply to some Scriptures which he adduces, whereby he tries to prove that not the Son of God, but the son of man, suffered. Of these Scriptures, in my opinion, the strongest is, that Peter says, Christ was "put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit," 1 Pet. 3:18. For who ever suffered but in the flesh? Also, "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin," 1 Pet, 4:1.. Mark, Christians also suffer in the flesh, as Christ himself did, yet they are not one son, composed of two sons, as Micron says that Christ is.
Nobody can suffer otherwise than in the flesh, for Christ himself says, " Fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul," Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:4. Again, to the murderer, " To‑day thou shalt be with me in paradise," Luke 23:43. His flesh hung upon the cross, and was afterward buried, from which it is very plain that it was said in regard to his immortal Spirit.
Again, Christ said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit." He did not cry, Father, into thy hands I commend thy Son with whom I have been united into one person, and which was my Spirit. For one of three conclusions must be drawn from Micron's writing. Either the indwelling Son of God whom he generally calls the divine nature, and the son of Mary, whom he generally calls the human nature, together, must have had one Spirit or soul, and this Spirit he must have commended into the hands of the Father; or that the two remained alive at the death of Christ. First, the immortal, eternal Son of God, which had dwelt in him. Secondly, the Spirit or soul which he had received of Mary, or else the eternal Son of God must have become the Spirit of a mortal man, which had put on a dwelling place or tabernacle of Mary, which he offered for us, as was said in treating about the inconsistencies.
From which it follows that it is mere quicksand upon which they build their doctrine of the two natures, or two sons in Christ, according to their manner; and that it can stand no better before the power of the divine word, than the stubble can stand before the fire. And thus we firmly hold our ground that Jesus Christ is the only, undivided, and true Son of God; and that he is not one Son composed of two different sons, as is the anti‑christian, false foundation and doctrine of our opponents.
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