MOST beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord, as we have hinted in the beginning of this admonition, and as you are all aware that for some years there have been much division and discord concerning the ban by which christian love has been and is yet much retarded; therefore I have endeavored (while I see that this is carried on without the foundation of the word, without reason and discretion, and without the nature of Christ Jesus and his holy gospel, both as to stringency or leniency, to the ensnarement of many consciences; as every one asserts and follows his own view as the best, to advise all my beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord who seek the amiable peace and unity, not to seek more nor less than the Scriptures teach, show and require), to write this explanation of the ban or separation, compiled with the greatest care from the Holy Scriptures and to the promotion of the peace of all the pious children of God; and trust, before God, that this will satisfy all humble, peaceable consciences; for, behold, I seek nothing, before God through Christ Jesus, but that these unscriptural proceedings and mournful disputations concerning the ban, both as to stringency and leniency, may be thereby ended, and that the noble, glorious peace and unity in Christ Jesus may remain unbroken and undamaged.

Although I have written this out of pure love and upheld the peace according to the true nature and direction of the Holy Word, as before my God who shall judge me at the last day; yet I know that by some I will not be thanked; for to some it will be too stringent, and too lenient to others; but I must bear with this, as I have done these fifteen years. Still, I would pray you, for the sake of the merits of the precious blood of my Lord Jesus Christ, that if any one should find fault with this my treatise, be it on account of mildness or stringency, not to do so otherwise than by authority of the Word, Spirit and life of the Lord, and not recklessly and without thought, lest he mistake. Whatsoever any person can advance and prove thereby I will gladly hear and be obedient thereunto; but I dare not go higher nor lower, more stringent nor lenient than the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit teach me; and that out of great fear and anxiety of my conscience, lest I again burden the godfearing hearts who now have renounced the commandments of men, with those commandments. Self-conceit and human opinions I hate, nor do I desire them; for I know what tribulation and affliction they have caused me for many years.

Sincerely beloved brethren and sisters in Christ Jesus! Understand my writings rightly, and faithfully follow this my advice, explanation, understanding and admonition, and you will doubtlessly find great peace and joy (so far as regards separation) among all the brethren; but whosoever rejects them, let him take heed, for he will one day meet his Judge.

In short, it is my inward and outward faith, foundation and confession of the separation which I never before wrote and published with such clearness and minuteness. But now necessity urges me; and with this my faith, foundation and confession, which I thus had from the beginning, I desire to die in Christ Jesus and to appear before the throne of God; for I am aware that it is the most important showing of the separation which can be explained and taught to the godfearing consciences, from the Holy Scriptures. Therefore I ask of all my brethren and sisters in the Lord to leave me at peace about this matter and not to trouble me further; for, by the grace of God, there will be nothing heard from my lips but that which my writings teach and imply.

Let every brother seek the wholesome understanding of the word of Christ and of his apostles, with a humble spirit, in brotherly love and in christian peace, and he will, doubtlessly, drive back all unscriptural dispute and discord and sincerely follow the true god-pleasing unity.

May the Almighty, merciful Father, through his blessed Son Christ Jesus, grant all brethren and sisters the heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit that there may become an end to this sad dispute and discord, and thus become a sound body with the perfect bond of unfeigned, christian love, bound together in becoming, steady peace in Christ Jesus, Amen.

Beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord, I pray you by the bloody wounds of my Lord Jesus Christ to beware of dispute and discord, and that you may receive this my labor with affectionate hearts, for in true christian love I have written it to your service, as before God in Christ Jesus.


A. D. 1550.

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