Favorite Menno Simons Quotes

mennosimons17Several months ago I was asked to contribute two articles for the soon to be published “Popular Encyclopedia of Church History”,which is being edited by Dr. Ed Hindson.   My assignment was to write articles about Menno Simons and the Mennonites.  As I have been reading and studying the life of this great Anabaptist leader I have come across several notable quotations that I would like to share this morning:

On His Conversion

“My heart trembled within me.  I prayer to God with sights and tears that he would give to me, a sorrowing sinner, the gift of his grace, create within me a clean heart, and graciously through the merits of the crimson blood of Christ forgive my unclean walk and frivolous east life.”

On the Nature of the Evangelical Faith

“True evangelical faith is of such a nature it cannot lie dormant, but spreads itself out in all kinds of righteousness and fruits of love; 
it dies to flesh and blood;
it destroys all lusts and forbidden desires;
it seeks, serves and fears God in its inmost soul (3); 
it clothes the naked; 
it feeds the hungry; 
it comforts the sorrowful; 
it shelters the destitute;
 it aids and consoles the sad;
 it does good to those who do it harm; 
it serves those that harm it; 
it prays for those who persecute it; 
it teaches, admonishes and judges us with the Word of the Lord; 
it seeks those who are lost;
 it binds up what is wounded; 
it heals the sick ;
it saves what is strong (sound); 
it becomes all things to all people.
 The persecution, suffering and anguish that come to it for the sake of the Lord’s truth have become a glorious joy and comfort to it.”

 

“It avails nothing, that Christ died, and that we are called by His name, if we do not possess a sincere, regenerating, vigorous faith in Jesus Christ; pure, unfeigned love; willing obedience; and a pious and irreproachable life.”

“But for Christ’s sake we are in grace; for his sake we are heard; and for his sake our failings and transgressions, which are committed involuntarily, are remitted. For it is he who stands between his Father and his imperfect children, with his perfect righteousness, and with his innocent blood and death; and intercedes for all those who believe on him and who strive by faith in the divine word, to turn from evil, follow that which is good and who sincerely desire, with Paul, that they may attain the perfection which is in Christ, Phil. 3:12.”

On the Nature of Community

“We do not teach and practice community of goods but we teach and testify the Word of the Lord, that all true believers in Christ are of one body (I Cor. 12:13), partakers of one bread (I Cor. 10:17), have one God and one Lord (Eph. 4).  Seeing then that they are one, . . . it is Christian and reasonable that they also have divine love among them and that one member cares for another, for both the Scriptures and nature teach this. They show mercy and love, as much as is in them.  They do not suffer a beggar among them. They have pity on the wants of the saints.  They receive the wretched.  They take strangers into their houses.  They comfort the sad.  They lend to the needy.  They clothe the naked. They share their bread with the hungry.  They do not turn their face from the poor nor do they regard their decrepit limbs and flesh (Isa. 58).  This is the kind of brotherhood we teach.”

On the New Life

“[The true believers] show, in fact, that they believe, they are born of God, and are spiritually minded; they lead a pious, unblamable life before all men; suffer themselves to be baptized according to the commandment of the Lord, as proof that they bury their sins in the death of Christ, and are prepared to walk with him in newness of life; they break the bread of peace with their beloved brethren as proof and testimony that they are one in Christ and his holy church and that they have, or know no other means of grace and remission of their sins, neither in heaven nor in earth, than the innocent flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ alone, which he once, by his eternal Spirit in obedience to the Father, sacrificed and shed upon the cross for us poor sinners; they walk in all love and mercy, and serve their neighbors. In short, they suit themselves, in their weakness, to all words, commandments, ordinances, Spirit, rule, example and measure of Christ, as the Scripture teaches; for they are in Christ and Christ is in them; and therefore they live no longer in the old life of sin after the first earthly Adam (weakness excepted), but in the new life of righteousness which comes by faith, after the second and heavenly Adam, Christ; Paul says, I do not now live, “But Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me,” Gal. 2: 20. Christ says, “If ye love me keep my commandments,” Jn. 14:15. [pp. 262-263]”

Later this week I am going to post me review  “The Fugitvie: Menno Simon” by Myron S. Augsburger.  

 

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