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The Spiritual Declension of the Soul by Michael Durham
"A believer may pass through much affliction, and yet secure very little blessing from it all. Abiding in Christ is the secret of securing all that the Father meant the chastisement to bring us." -
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: Three Books Of Testimonies Against The Jews
Three Books Of Testimonies Against The Jews
Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews.
1. That the Jews have fallen under the heavy wrath of God because they
2. Also because they did not believe the prophets, and put them to death.
3. That it was previously foretold that they would neither know the Lord, nor understand, nor receive Him.
4. That the Jews would not understand the Holy Scriptures, but that they would be intelligible in the last times, after that Christ had come.
5. That the Jews could understand nothing of the Scriptures unless they first believed in Christ.
6. That the Jews should lose Jerusalem, and should leave the land which they had received.
7. Also that they should lose the Light of the Lord.
8. That the first circumcision of the flesh is made void, and the second circumcision of the spirit is promised instead.
9. That the former law which was given by Moses was to cease.
10. That a new law was to be given.
11. That another dispensation and a new covenant was to be given.
12. That the old baptism should cease, and a new one should begin.
13. That the old yoke should be made void, and a new yoke should be given.
14. That the old pastors should cease and new ones begin.
15. That Christ should be the house and temple of God, and that the old temple should cease, and the new one should begin.
16. That the ancient sacrifice should be made void, and a new one should be celebrated.
17. That the old priesthood should cease, and a new priest should come, who should be for ever.
18. That another Prophet such as Moses was promised, to wit, one who should give a new testament, and who rather ought to be heard.
19. That two peoples were foretold, the elder and the younger; that is, the old people of the Jews, and the new one which should consist of us.
20. That the Church which before had been barren should have more children from among the Gentiles than what the synagogue had had before.
21. That the Gentiles should rather believe in Christ.
22. That the Jews would lose while we should receive the bread and the cup of Christ and all His grace, and that the new name of Christians should be blessed in the earth.
23. That the Gentiles rather than the Jews attain to the kingdom of heaven.
24. That by this alone the Jews can receive pardon of their sins, if they wash away the blood of Christ slain, in His baptism, and, passing over into His Church, obey His precepts.
Testimonies. 1. That Christ is the First-born, and that He is the Wisdom of God, by whom all things were made.
2. That Christ is the Wisdom of God; and concerning the sacrament of His incarnation and of His passion, and cup and altar; and of the apostles who were sent, and preached.
3. That the same Christ is the Word of God.
4. That Christ is the Hand and Arm of God.
5. That Christ is at once Angel and God.
6. That Christ is God.
7. That Christ our God should come, the Enlightener and Saviour of the human race.
8. That although from the beginning He had been the Son of God, yet He had to be begotten again according to the flesh.
9. That this should be the sign of His nativity, that He should be born of a virgin--man and God--a son of man and a Son of God.
10. That Christ is both man and God, compounded of both natures, that He might be a Mediator between us and the Father.
11. That Christ was to be born of the seed of David, according to the flesh.
12. That Christ should be born in Bethlehem.
13. That Christ was to come in low estate in His first advent.
14. That He is the righteous One whom the Jews should put to death.
15. That Christ is called a sheep and a lamb who was to be slain, and concerning the sacrament (mystery) of the passion.
16. That Christ also is called a Stone.
17. That afterwards this Stone should become a mountain, and should fill the whole earth.
18. That in the last times the same mountain should be manifested, and upon it the Gentiles should come, and on it all the righteous should go up.
19. That Christ is the Bridegroom, having the Church as His bride, from which spiritual children were to be born.
20. That the Jews would fasten Christ to the cross.
21. That in the passion and the sign of the cross is all virtue and power.
22. That in this sign of the Cross is salvation for all people who are marked on their foreheads.
23. That at mid-day in His passion there should be darkness.
24. That He was not to be overcome of death, nor should remain in Hades.
25. That He should rise again from the dead on the third day.
26. That after He had risen again He should receive from His Father all power, and His power should be everlasting.
27. That it is impossible to attain to God the Father, except by His Son Jesus Christ.
28. That Jesus Christ shall come as a Judge.
29. That He will reign as a King for ever.
30. That He Himself is both Judge and King.
Cyprian to his son Quirinus,
Testimonies. 1. Of the benefit of good works and mercy.
2. In works and alms, even if by smallness of power less be done, that the will itself is sufficient.
3. That charity and brotherly affection are to be religiously and stedfastly practised.
4. That we must boast in nothing, since nothing is our own.
5. That humility and quietness are to be maintained in all things.
6. That all good and righteous men suffer more, but ought to endure because they are proved.
7. That we must not grieve the Holy Spirit, whom we have received.
8. That anger must be overcome, lest it constrain us to sin.
9. That brethren ought to support one another.
10. That we must trust in God only, and in Him we must glory.
11. That he who has attained to trust, having put off the former man, ought to regard only celestial and spiritual things, and to give no heed to the world which he has already renounced.
12. That we must not swear.
13. That we must not curse.
14. That we must never murmur, but bless God concerning all things that happen.
15. That men are tried by God for this purpose, that they may be proved.
16. Of the benefits of martyrdom.
17. That what we suffer in this world is of less account than is the reward which is promised.
18. That nothing is to be preferred to the love of God and Christ.
19. That we are not to obey our own will, but the will of God.
20. That the foundation and strength of hope and faith is fear.
21. That we must not rashly judge of another.
22. That when we have received a wrong, we must remit and forgive it.
23. That evil is not to be returned for evil.
24. That it is impossible to attain to the Father but by His Son Jesus Christ.
25. That unless a man have been baptized and born again, he cannot attain unto the kingdom of God.
26. That it is of small account to be baptized and to receive the Eucharist, unless one profit by it both in deeds and works.
27. That even a baptized person loses the grace that he has attained, unless he keep innocency.
28. That remission cannot in the Church be granted unto him who has sinned against God (i.e., the Holy Ghost).
29. That it was before predicted, concerning the hatred of the Name,
30. That what any one has vowed to God, he must quickly repay.
31. That he who does not believe is judged already.
32. Of the benefit of virginity and of continency.
33. That the Father judgeth nothing, but the Son; and that the Father is not glorified by him by whom the Son is not glorified.
34. That the believer ought not to live like the Gentile.
35. That God is patient for this end, that we may repent of our sin, and be reformed.
36. That a woman ought not to be adorned in a worldly fashion.
37. That the believer ought not to be punished for other offences, except for the name he bears.
38. That the servant of God ought to be innocent, lest he fall into secular punishment.
39. That there is given to us an example of living in Christ.
40. That we must not labour noisily nor boastfully.
41. That we must not speak foolishly and offensively.
42. That faith is of advantage altogether, and that we can do as much as we believe.
43. That he who believes can immediately obtain (i.e., pardon and peace).
44. That believers who differ among themselves ought not to refer to a Gentile judge.
45. That hope is of future things, and therefore that our faith concerning those things which are promised ought to be patient.
46. That a woman ought to be silent in the church.
47. That it arises from our fault and our desert that we suffer, and do not perceive God's help in everything.
48. That we must not take usury.
49. That even our enemies must be loved.
50. That the sacrament of faith must not be profaned.
51. That no one should be uplifted in his labour.
52. That the liberty of believing or of not believing is placed in free choice.
53. That the secrets of God cannot be seen through, and therefore that our faith ought to be simple.
54. That no one is without filth and without sin.
55. That we must not please men, but God.
56. That nothing that is done is hidden from God.
57. That the believer is amended and reserved.
58. That no one should be made sad by death; since in living is labour and peril, in dying peace and the certainty of resurrection.
59. Of the idols which the Gentiles think to be gods.
60. That too great lust of food is not to be desired.
61. That the lust of possessing, and money, are not to be sought for.
62. That marriage is not to be contracted with Gentiles.
63. That the sin of fornication is grievous.
64. What are those carnal things which beget death, and what are the spiritual things which lead to life.
65. That all sins are put away in baptism.
66. That the discipline of God is to be observed in Church precepts.
67. That it was foretold that men should despise sound discipline.
68. That we must depart from him who lives irregularly and contrary to discipline.
69. That the kingdom of God is not in the wisdom of the world, nor in eloquence, but in the faith of the cross, and in virtue of conversation.
70. That we must obey parents.
71. And that fathers also should not be harsh in respect of their children.
72. That servants, when they have believed, ought to serve their carnal masters the better.
73. Moreover, that masters should be the more gentle.
74. That all widows that are approved are to be held in honour.
75. That every person ought to have care rather of his own people, and especially of believers.
76. That an elder must not be rashly accused.
77. That the sinner must be publicly reproved.
78. That we must not speak with heretics.
79. That innocency asks with confidence, and obtains.
80. That the devil has no power against man unless God have allowed it.
81. That wages be quickly paid to the hireling.
82. That divination must not be used.
83. That a tuft of hair is not to be worn on the head.
84. That the beard must not be plucked.
85. That we must rise when a bishop or a presbyter comes.
86. That a schism must not be made, even although he who withdraws should remain in one faith, and in the same tradition.
87. That believers ought to be simple, with prudence.
88. That a brother must not be deceived.
89. That the end of the world comes suddenly.
90. That a wife must not depart from her husband; or if she should depart, she must remain unmarried.
91. That every one is tempted so much as he is able to bear.
92. That not everything is to be done which is lawful.
93. That it was foretold that heresies would arise.
94. That the Eucharist is to be received with fear and honour.
95. That we are to live with the good, but to avoid the evil.
96. That we must labour not with words, but with deeds.
97. That we must hasten to faith and to attainment.
98. That the catechumen ought now no longer to sin.
99. That judgment will be according to the times, either of equity before the law, or of law after Moses.
100. That the grace of God ought to be without price.
101. That the Holy Spirit has frequently appeared in fire.
102. That all good men ought willingly to hear rebuke.
103. That we must abstain from much speaking.
104. That we must not lie.
105. That they are frequently to be corrected who do wrong in domestic duty.
106. That when a wrong is received, patience is to be maintained, and vengeance to be left to God.
107. That we must not use detraction.
108. That we must not lay snares against our neighbour.
109. That the sick are to be visited.
110. That tale-bearers are accursed.
111. That the sacrifices of the wicked are not acceptable.
112. That those are more severely judged, who in this world have had more power.
113. That the widow and orphans ought to be protected.
114. That one ought to make confession while he is in the flesh.
115. That flattery is pernicious.
116. That God is more loved by him who has had many sins forgiven in baptism.
117. That there is a strong conflict to be waged against the devil, and that therefore we ought to stand bravely, that we may be able to conquer.
118. Also of Antichrist, that he will come as a man.
119. That the yoke of the law was heavy, which is cast off by us, and that the Lord's yoke is easy, which is taken up by us.
120. That we are to be urgent in prayers.
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