Theologica Germanica

Chapter 52

How we must take those two Sayings of Christ: ’No Man cometh unto the Father, but by Me,’ and ’No Man cometh unto Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.’

Christ saith: ’No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.’ Now mark how we must come unto the Father through Christ. The man shall set a watch over himself and all that belongeth to him within and without, and shall so direct, govern, and guard his heart, as far as in him lieth, that neither will nor desire, love nor longing, opinion nor thought, shall spring up in his heart, or have any abiding-place in him, save such as are meet for God and would beseem him well, if God Himself were made Man. And whenever he becometh aware of any thought or intent rising up within him that doth not belong to God and were not meet for Him, he must resist it and root it out as thoroughly and as Speedily as he may.

By this rule he must order his outward behaviour, whether he work or refrain, speak or keep silence, wake or sleep, go or stand still. In short: in all his ways and walks, whether as touching his own business, or his dealings with other men, he must keep his heart with all diligence, lest he do aught, or turn aside to aught, or suffer aught to spring up or dwell within him or about him, or lest anything be done in him or through him, otherwise than were meet for God, and would be possible and seemly if God Himself were verily made Man.

Behold! he, in whom it should be thus, whatever he had within, or did without, would be all of God, and the man would be in his life a follower of Christ more truly than we can understand or set forth. And he who led such a life would go in and out through Christ; for he would be a follower of Christ: therefore also he would come with Christ and through Christ unto the Father. And he would be also a servant of Christ, for he who cometh after Him is His servant, as He Himself also saith: ’If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be.’ And he who is thus a servant and follower of Christ, cometh to that place where Christ Himself is; that is, unto the Father. As Christ Himself saith: ’Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ Behold, he who walketh in this path, ’entereth in by the door into the sheepfold,’ that is, into eternal life; ’and to him the porter openeth’; but he who entereth in by some other way, or vainly thinketh that he would or can come to the Father or to eternal blessedness otherwise than through Christ, is deceived; for he is not in the right Way, nor entereth in by the right Door. Therefore to him the porter openeth not, for he is a thief and a murderer, as Christ saith.

Now, behold and mark, whether one can be in the right Way, and enter in by the right Door, if one be living in lawless freedom or license, or disregard of ordinances, virtue or vice, order or disorder, and the like. Such liberty we do not find in Christ, neither is it in any of His true followers.

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