Wyneken and Harrison…
All this should firmly and constantly move our hearts to pay close attention to the powerful enemies of this unity, external as much as internal. For we have the devil against us, the world around us, and the flesh upon us. And the flesh is not only remiss in and unwilling to maintain such unity; it harbors in itself the very things that destroy it unless they are powerfully opposed: darkness, envy, mistrust, bitterness, anger, sarcasm, hatred. The self-seeking, the disregard for the well-being and woe of others, only looks to itself and seeks its own benefit. kindled by the devil and his minions in the world, the hellfire of suf- fering breaks out, and the bond of peace and of unity is sunk. We must deny, crucify, and sacrifice all of this through the love of Christ. We must attend to and oppose it with the noble fruit of the Spirit—true humility that happily gives honor and seeks nothing. When we must fight and wound, we are only the more humbled. Heartfelt love, which is accom- modating, peaceable, forgiving, gentle, patient, and longsuffering, keeps the little oil flask of mildness by its side at all times. Only by daily, serious renewal do we shed the old man and his works and put on the new man, who is created according to god in Christ Jesus. This is the only way one mind and true unity can be preserved among us. In daily repen- tance, the fire of divine love kindles anew in Christian hearts. Our fellowship of love is based upon and held together by this divine love. Through repentance, it is deepened and more firmly established, so that in matters of faith, no new, strange, and thus false view, explanation, and understanding of the truth of Scripture may be forced in. even under great pain and terrible suffering, our fellowship will not be torn.
Then why, beloved brothers, do we stand by one another? Why can't we leave one another? It is because we cannot let go of the one truth that we, in fellowship with all the saints, have acknowledged, believe, and confess as it is in the Confessions of the Lutheran Church. These Confessions bear witness to the truth clearly, plainly, and powerfully on the basis of the Holy Scriptures, against all the desires of Satan, to the whole world. And why do we hold so firmly to our Confession such that we happily endure the hatred of the world and also of the rest of Christianity, which is difficult to bear? Why, with god's help and grace, would we suffer persecution and death before we would give up even a small part of that Confession? We do so because we have come to make the truth set forth in that Confession our own, not in times of good leisure and rest, like we might appropri- ate other natural or historical truths. The Holy Spirit has revealed this truth to us in the midst of the burdens of troubled consciences as our only salvation. Through the Word, the Spirit has borne witness to the truth in broken and troubled hearts. Our consciences are bound to the Word and therefore to the Confession of the Church. As poor, forlorn, and condemned men, we have learned to believe in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The peace of conscience, the peace of our souls, the hope of eternal blessedness, our very be- ing and life hang on this truth. to surrender it would be to surrender our salvation and ourselves for time and eternity. Therefore, neither can we let go of the most insignificant portion of the Confession because the entire series of the individual teachings of the faith are for us one chain. This chain not only binds our understanding in the truth, it binds our consciences and lives. The loss of an individual part of the same would break this chain, and we would be torn loose from Christ, tumbling again into the abyss of anxiety, doubt, and eternal death.
Therefore we hold fast to our Confession, as to our very life's life.
F.C.D. Wyneken, in At Home in the House of My Fathers, p. 287