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utterly forsaken by God.

76. Nor did the rest of the saints have such breadth of
mind; for they did not have the intuitive knowledge of
all things, as did the Lamb.

77. The Spirit was given to Christ without measure.

78. In accordance with the measure and fullness of the
Spirit given to Christ by the Father, he received the com-
mand to fulfil a worthy priesthood and to sacrifice with
all the completeness of legal sacrifices.

79. The highest priest must have been clothed with
the highest fortitude before he was clothed with the high-
est honor,

80. In all respects, therefore, Christ's offering was an
odor of the sweetest smell.

81. This most sweet odor was recognition, esteem and
acceptance in the eyes of God and the admiration of all
the saints and the blessed.

Incarnation and Passion of Christ 131

82. The priesthood of the Thrones, of the Cherubim
and the Seraphim, and of the Virgin Mother was made
more holy and perfect through the priesthood of

83. Therefore their incense was made far more sweet
smelling and was perfected by the incense of Christ. It
pleased God to renew all things that are in heaven and in
earth through the cross, i. e. through the priesthood and
sacrifice (of Christ).

84. That Christ might enter into his perfect glory, the
glory of his perfect triumph, he battled with perfect forti-

85. That Christ might completely reconcile the exiles
that had been cast out in anger, it was necessary that he
should completely appease divine justice,

86. Not only was the bitterness of the myrrh in that
incense so great that it stopped the mouths of them that
spake lies, but the myrrh of that incense filled and over-
flowed the mouths of the blessed angels chanting their
praises forever.

82 . The myrrh of that incense fully distinguished the
supreme King, fully clothed and adorned the supreme
priest, and rendered the incense worthy of its office.

88. That incense satisfied the law, pacified justice,
and appeased the most just and severe lawgiver, in that it
wholly restored and satisfied the law.

89. Job says: "Oh that my sins, for which I have
deserved wrath, and the calamities which I suffer were
weighed in the balances; for they would be heavier than
the sand of the sea." These words, taken strictly and
exactly, can apply to no one but the Lord Jesus Christ on
the cross.

90. For although the Lord Jesus did not sin, yet, since
he gave himself to be a surety and pledge for sinners, their
sins became his own.

132 • Wessel Gansfort

91. Christ became the price and pledge of our redemp-
tion by the command of the Father.

92. Christ was made our sin, our anathema, and even
our curse, when he was hung upon the cross as though laid
in the balances.

93. Therefore he suffered a heavier calamity than the
sins of all men deserved.

94. Nor was he content to make the calamity equal to
our sins, but with measure pressed down, shaken together,
running over and superabundant to render satisfaction
for the sin of the world.

95. So that, when our transgression superabounded,
the grace of God, who tasted of death, might supera-
bound, being far heavier than the sand of the sea.

96. Zechariah points out that he suffered not only
in the flesh from without, or in the five outward

97. He points out that Jesus, the high priest, standing
at the altar, clothed with filthy garments, suffered not
merely in the more inward organic powers.

98. Zechariah saw Satan standing at Jesus' right hand
to be his adversary, and therefore not simply in his ani-
mal passions.

99. The right hand was the right hand of the holiness
of the Lamb, as a wayfarer, not the right hand of him who
attained the blessed fruition.

100. For manifestly a certain part on the right of the
Lamb remained to be filled with joy and gladness in the
countenance of God.

10 1. Satan was standing opposite his right hand.

102. Even as this right hand was greater than the right
hand of Michael who fought with the dragon, so much the
more serious was the dragon's battle with the Lamb than
with Michael, and so much the more did he battle with
the Lamb than with Michael.

Incarnation and Passion of Christ 133

103. In the battle with Michael the dragon drew the
third part of the stars.

104. In the dragon's battle with Michael the fighting
went on with neither animal nor organic passions.

105. This struggle of the Lamb resulted in the wounds
and blood of the Lamb.

106. The command is issued that the Lamb's blood be
sprinkled in the form of the cross upon the two side posts
and upon the lintel.

107. The house, where the blood was sprinkled in
accordance with the Law, is saved from the destroyer.

108. Whoever washes his robes in the blood of the
Lamb is delivered from the bondage of corruption.

109. They that look upon the brazen serpent that was
lifted up are cured of all the deadly poison of the fiery

1 10. They that have eyes to see look upon the exemplar
that was lifted up from the earth.

111. They that look upon the exemplar that was lifted
up from the earth Hft their eyes of their own accord from
the earth to it.

112. They that look upon the exemplar receive and
embrace him as the highest example of guidance, redemp-
tion and direction.

113. Those who take him for guidance cling to him;
those who take him for direction imitate him; those who
take him for redemption esteem and love him.

114. Whoever clings to him so that he follows and
imitates him is already washing his robes in the blood of
the Lamb.

115. If a person who washes his robes in the blood of
the Lamb looks backward he is not yet a worthy spectator
of such an exemplar.

116. He that washes his robes worthily in the blood of
the Lamb makes them whiter than snow.

134 Wessel Gansfort

117. The robe that is washed in the blood of the
Lamb and made whiter than snow is the only wedding

118. At the wedding of the Lamb there is no wedding
garment but the love of the Lamb.

119. He that does not love the Lamb worthily does
not wash his robes worthily in the blood of the Lamb.

120. According to the Apostle, he that does not love
the Lord Jesus is anathema.

121. Not every kind of love of the Lamb is love.

122. He only is considered to love the Lamb who so
loves the Lamb that has suffered for him that the Lamb's
wounds are bitterer to him than his own.

123. It does not suffice for purity of love for the Lamb
that the Lamb's wounds should be bitterer to one who
loves him than his own.

124. As long and as much as one considers his own
wounds to be less bitter than the Lamb's, so long and so
much does he still love himself.

125. Each one can readily decide for himself whether
or not he loves the Lamb sincerely.

126. In order that one's love for the Lamb may be
pure and sincere it must meet this test, viz. that to him
nothing is harsh or bitter but the pains and anguish of the

127. Sincere love of the Lamb, if it is not pure, is not
yet worthy of the Lamb's love.

128. Only pure and perfect love of the Lamb perfectly
and purely crucifies the lover of the Lamb.

129. To one who loves the Lamb perfectly, the Lamb's
cross becomes his own.

130. Love of self and all sin are bitterer to the Lamb
than the cross. For the Lamb embraced the cross for the
purpose of washing sin away.

131. Only perfect love of the Lamb makes men lamb-

Incarnation and Passion of Christ 135

like, — with the perfect principles, characteristics and
weapons of a Lamb.

132. To all who are wholly Hke the Lamb the lusts of
the flesh are bitterer than the cross.

133. To those who love the Lamb wholly, the world
and all the lust thereof are a cross. He that loves him
perfectly, recognizing the kingdom of the Lamb, reigns in
it more than in his own.

134. Nay, he reigns only in the kingdom of the Lamb,
not in his own, if he loves not himself but the Lamb per-
fectly, even as he is tortured and crucified only in the
cross of the Lamb.

135.- The love of the Lamb is the only fire which the Lord
came to send into the earth, desiring that it be kindled.

136. This is the only fire which, when perfectly
kindled, burns up the wood, hay and stubble completely,

137. Whatever is burned up by that fire is harmful.

138. Love for the crucified Lamb, when it is perfect,
is the perfect key of the kingdom.

139. Love for the Lamb as a ruler, when it is pure and
perfect, is not so much the key of the kingdom of heaven
as it is the throne and seat of the kingdom.

140. That fire of perfect love for the Lamb, burning up
self-love root and branch, makes complete sacrifice of self
to the Lamb and to God.

141. To such love as this the Apostle betroths us all as
chaste maidens not having spot or wrinkle or any such

142. And so long as men do not have this perfect love
of the Lamb they are not yet chaste maidens.

143. This the Apostle's betrothal is made in view of a
future wedding.

144. The betrothal, as regards the present, will not
be consummated except to those who love worthily, purely,
perfectly and holily.

136 Wessel Gansfort

145. The betrothal, as regards the future, even the
promise of salvation, involves the anathema connected
with the present wedding.

146. He that does not love the Lord Jesus purely is
anathema from the point of view of that wedding.

147. No one can love the Lamb perfectly who does not
know the Lamb perfectly.

148. No one can know the greatness of the battles of
the Lamb unless he knows perfectly the two foundations
of the two cities, of which the blessed Augustine discourses
in the last chapter of the ivth book of ''De Civitate

149. No one worthily estimates the greatness of that
battle unless he worthily estimates the passionate zeal
of the two contestants.

150. The Lamb's zeal for God and for the house of God
was as great as his love for God, as great as the hatred with
which he hated iniquity.

151. The dragon's zeal was as great as his love for
himself and as great as his hatred for God and the

152. These two most fervent zeals battled together in
a most hard fought battle.

153. The zeal of the dragon was most furious against
God and the Lamb.

154. The zeal of the Lamb was most ardent for the
glory of God and fof the house of God.

155. Hence the battle of the Lamb with the dragon was
as fierce as could be aroused by the most glowing zeal of
the two contestants.

Other Propositions of Master Wessel concerning the
Mystery of the Cross and the Way of the Tree of
Life; concerning the Flaming, Turning Sword; con-
cerning the Mystery of the Four Dimensions of the

Incarnation and Passion of Christ 137

1. Together with all the saints we ought to understands
what length, breadth, height and depth are. For those
whose God is holy, ought themselves to be holy.

2. Length and breadth constitute the dimensions of the

3. A man standing with extended arms presents the
form of a cross.

4. Length is from head to feet ; breadth from right to
left. The head represents the height; the feet, the depth
in a man.

5. The form of a man is the figure of a cross; a sword
has the figure of a cross.

6. A flaming sword, which turns every way, guards the
way of the tree of life.

7. There could be no approach to the tree of life but by
the flaming, turning sword.

8. Since the flaming, smiting sword turns every way,
there is no approach but by death.

9. The two-edged, turning sword cleaves, cuts down
and slays on all sides those that are unworthy of the tree of
life, lest its fruit be eaten by the unworthy. The flaming,
turning sword burns and devours everywhere.

10. The cross did not suffice to guard the way to the
tree of life properly.

11. For a man, eager for life, could either steal secretly
or climb over.

12. The way to the tree of life is guarded by the sword ;
hence there is no approach to the tree of life except through
wounds and blood and death.

13. The cross and the two-edged sword do not guard
the tree of life securely enough except as the two-edged
sword is wielded with the force of the tempest.

14. The blow of the two-edged, turning sword not only
wounds and slays, but it cuts into pieces the heart of any-
one that approaches. For it cuts stroke after stroke.

138 Wessel Gansfort

15. This cutting to pieces and the contrition of the
heart are the same.

16. The tree of life is of such value that it is not
properly guarded either by the cross or by the sword, even
if it is two-edged and turns every way, unless all these are
absolutely flaming.

17. To reach the tree of life it is not enough to bleed
because of wounds, it is not enough to die, it is not enough
to be bruised and ground into pieces; but it is necessary
to be consumed by the devouring fire.

18. Truly he that wishes Hfe must be no coward.

19. The way of the tree of life leads, not along slopes,
not along decUvities, but upon steep heights.

20. The tree of life permits no coward to possess it.

21. The tree of life is sought by no idle trader.

22. The way to the tree of hfe is open to no sluggish

23. A sluggish man without fire cannot dwell with the
devouring fire.

24. Love of the tree of life is a form of the most strenu-
ous miUtary service, — away, ye sluggards!

25. The tree of life being tasted gives life to the world.

26. Life is not given but by the tree of life.

27. The tree of hfe is not reached but by the way of the
tree of life.

28. The fruit of the tree of life is Hfe eternal.

29. The fruit of the tree of life is the kingdom of heaven.
The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence.

30. The violent seize the way, the tree, the fruit, the
Hfe, heaven, and the kingdom of heaven.

31. The way of the tree of life leads to life by means of
the two-edged, keen, turning, flaming sword.

32. The way of life is through consuming death.

33. The way of the tree of life is not so much by means
of the sword as it is the sword itself.

Incarnation and Passion of Christ 139

34. The two-edged, turning, flaming sword is the same
as the cross of Christ.

35. It is not to be supposed that the cross or the sword
is corporeal, or that the way extends locally, or that the
tree of life is material or corporeal.

36. Just as eternal life is purely spiritual, so the tree of
life, the way to the tree of life, the sword, and the cross
itself are to be understood as spiritual.

37. For this is life eternal, to know the true God and
him whom God sent, even Jesus Christ.

38. Jesus Christ is the tree of life.

39. Jesus is life eternal, Jesus is the way to life.

40. No one comes to Jesus but through Jesus.

41. No one comes to Jesus but in accordance with

42. Jesus is the cross and the sword, guarding, pro-
tecting, defending the way to the tree of Hfe.

43. The stern guard of the way admits no one that is
cowardly, indifferent, cold or lazy. Everyone is excluded
who does not comprehend height, depth, right and left. .

44. The top of the cross is the highest and promptest

45. The right arm of the cross toward the south is the
most ardent love toward God.

46. The left arm of the cross toward the north is the
most arduous patience.

47. The bottom of the cross is the deepest humility.

48. This tree was sent in the bread which glories in
having God as his Father.

49. This sword pierced the soul of the Virgin Mother.

50. This was Paul's glory, without which he had noth-
ing to glory in.

51. This is the Christian's cross, on which those who
are Christ's have crucified their flesh, their lusts and their

140 Wessel Gansfort

52. This is that height and depth, length and breadth
which must be comprehended by all the saints.

53. This is the debt of slaves, the hearers of the Law.

54. As long as the husbandman does not pay this debt
fully he remains always a debtor.

55. According to the teaching of the great Teacher,
until we pay this debt which has not been paid, we are
always compelled to pray that it may be forgiven us.

56. While the cross is the debt of weak Christians, it
is the banner of Christian warriors, the renowned triumph
of the glorious victors, the standard of those that conquer.

57. This debt binds all Christians.

58. No one is released from the bond of this debt but
he who pays it.

59. Each one is released in so much as he pays it.

60. God releases none from the bond of this debt but
those who pay it.

61. The mediator between God and men, the Lamb of
God, does not take away the sins of the world except as
one takes up his cross and follows him.

62. The Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the
world is the ensign that is lifted up on the mountain to be
seen of all nations.

63. The ensign lifted up on the mountain is the pattern
of the spiritual structure shown on the mountain.

64. A pattern apart from imitation is useless, just as a
shoe is useless if there is nothing to cover with it.

65. The pattern that was lifted up from the earth and
shown on the mountain has drawn all men to himself.

66. There is no one who is not drawn by this pattern.

67. This pattern makes a feast on the mountain for all
that have been drawn to it.

68. This is a most rich feast of things full of marrow,
a feast of men drunken with wine, of men drunken with
the love of wines on the lees.

Incarnation and Passion of Christ 141

69. No one feasts who does not live.

70. No one lives but he that loves worthily.

71 . Unworthy love is madness. This is a feast of those
who truly feast.

72. This feast is a symposium.

73. A symposium is a symbol and a drinking together.

74. This symbol and symposium is drunk in the cup of
the covenant.

75. The cup of the covenant is the cup of salvation.
"jd. Apart from the cup of salvation there is no salva-
tion. Apart from salvation there is no life.

T]. There is no testament without the death of the

78. There is no cup of salvation apart from the cup of
the testament.

79. Therefore there is no salvation and life apart from
the death of the testator.

80. He that does not love the testator does not feast
with the testator.

81. If the testator is not lifted up from the earth, he
does not establish a covenant.

%2. The testator that has been lifted up from the earth
is himself the covenant.

83. The testator that has been lifted up from the earth
draws all men to himself through the desire for his cove-
nant. He that desires life and salvation is already drawn
to the testator that has been lifted up from the earth.
Each one is drawn just so far as he wishes life and salvation.

How the Burnt Offering of Christ, our High Priest,
becomes our Own.

1. We ought to be perfectly righteous, inasmuch as we
are bidden to anticipate the glory of the perfectly righteous.

2. But the perfect righteousness and holiness that is
due from us has been offered and paid by the high priest.

142 Wessel Gansfort

3. And whoever believes in the name of that high
priest, whether Jew or Gentile, makes the offering of the
priest his own.

4. As often as we, with the piety of the high priest,
renew his offering, we are justified through it.

5. All power in heaven and in earth has been given to
him, wherever he may be, who wishes to be his minister.

6. But every son of God ministers to him as to the

7. As many as accept him, i.e. as many as believe in his
name, receive power to become the sons of God.

8. In every partaking of a sacrament, if we partake
worthily, we make the burnt offering of the high priest our

9. In every commemoration of Jesus, we offer that
highest incense of perfected holiness ; for he that doth not
eat hath not life in himself.

10. And he that believeth hath eternal life; therefore
he eateth and -eateth worthily; however, nothing of our
own can be justly compared in worthiness with such great

That Faith is not the Cause of our Justification, but
its Proof.

"Already ye are clean because of the word which I have
spoken unto you. " Not because of your faith or because
of the word of your confession, even though ye are clean,
having the word of faith in your heart and the word of
confession in your mouth, since it is he that cleanseth the
hearts of the faithful by faith; but not because of faith,
but because of the speech and word of God, which quick-
eneth a man. And likewise in baptism, it is not because
of the word of belief and confession, nor because of the
word of the sacrament of baptism, but because of the
word of God who speaks, that a wicked man is justified,

Incarnation and Passion of Christ 143

is quickened, living in faith and because of faith. I say,
by faith as a proof, but not as a cause. For all these things
are done throtigh the word, concerning which it was said,
"Already ye are clean because of the word which I have
spoken unto you," — as he shows in his discourse.

The Apostle, in Hebrews in, 14, calls faith and confes-
sion the beginning of oiu- confidence in Christ, because by
it we become partakers in Christ, since he is the life.
"The just shall live by faith. " And this he states more
explicitly at the end of the third chapter, where he says,
"To whom sware he that they should not enter into his
rest. " Hence in unbelievers, their unbelief separates
them from life. But he that believeth on him hath eternal
life. Therefore our good works nourish and strengthen
our faith, but do not make it alive, yet they strengthen the
bond of life, viz. our faith. For only Christ and the Spirit
quicken us, and Christ's sacrifice sanctifies us, and we are
more strongly bound to this life by the stronger bond of
our faith. But nothing strengthens this bond more than
love; for love is strong as death. When indeed faith
works through love, it is firm and the beginning of our
confidence is firm. Therefore the beginning of their con-
fidence in Christ is most firm in those in whom love alone
works, etc. But in other works, too, that are undertaken
because of love, the bond of life is also firm. For there is
no approach to God except through Christ. And just
as a weak man, even though he is drawing near to death —
and drawing nearer as his weakness increases,^so long as
he performs any function of life, is said to live and does
live, though but feebly; so also in the spirit, whoever be-
lieves in Christ, even so feebly that he does not act against
, Christ, — though he is weak, he lives ; and if he be taken
hence thus believing, he will be saved. For we must not
take lightly the word of the Lord Jesus to John, "Forbid
him not; for he that is not against you is for you. " Just

144 Wessel Gansfort

as we read that the sons and children of unbelievers, who
started out with them from Egypt, were not prevented
from entering into the promised inheritance because of
their unbelief. And certain persons are introduced to this
beginning of confidence from their mother's womb, as
Jeremiah and John the Baptist ; some through the washing
of regeneration, others without it. Some are recalled to
life almost at the very gates, when they are just about to
breathe out their life. Others are recalled from the midst
of sin, as Matthew, Magdalene, etc.

Propositions concerning the Grace of God and Faith
in Jesus Christ, taken from the Apostle Paul.

1. Who died for our sins and was raised for our justi-

2. Christ was born of the seed of David according to
the flesh, who was declared to be the Son of God with
power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrec-
tion from the dead, even Christ our Lord.

3. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and
theLord Jesus Christ.

4. By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified
before him; even if one fulfil the chief commandment by
his work, he will not because of this be righteous in God's

5. But all the sufficiency of our righteousness is from
God through the Word incarnate, full of grace and truth
in the Holy Spirit, through Christ our priest.

6. For through the law cometh the knowledge of sin.

7. But now apart from the law a righteousness of God
hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the

8. Even the righteousness of God through faith in
Jesus Christ unto all them that believe.

9. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;

Incarnation and Passion of Christ 145

being justified freely by his grace through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus ; whom God set forth to be a pro-
pitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteous-
ness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime,
in the forbearance of God; for the showing, I say, of his

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