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THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT.

In the Scriptures of divine truth, we are plainly taught that the saints of God are possessed of these two natures, the first is that which is born of the flesh, and that which had its beginning when Adam was created and fashioned, and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul; after which God took from his side a rib, and made it a woman, and brought her unto the man; and Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.” It is worthy of notice, that the creation of man thus in the image of God, was before he was formed or shaped, and before God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul, and the law was given him before the woman was taken from his side. Man in his primeval state, was natural only; made to inhabit the earth, and to partake of its blessings only, not made for, neither was he fit and prepared for the celestial world of glory, but for the earth. In that state he had no claim upon heavenly blessings, neither were they promised him, upon the condition of his obedience to the law. Then of course man by his fall, did not forfeit heavenly blessings, but he did by transgression forfeit every just claim to the blessings of this world, which are necessary to the support of his natural life. Then the whole fleshly family was created at once, in Adam, all sinned and fell at once, in the same lost and deplorable condition under God’s law, and its curse, having no just claim upon Jehovah, for the smallest temporal blessing, much less spiritual blessings. In this depraved and undeserving condition the fleshly family of Adam have been developing up to the present time by natural generation. All of which is figurative of the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, made a quickening spirit. I Cor.15:45. “And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” Is it then doing violence to the Scriptures to say that the church of the living God, is his creation in Christ Jesus spiritually, even as the whole natural family is the creation of God in the fleshly Adam? Surely it is not, for the one is the figure of the other. Then I will take this position and feel confident it is safe. That as the natural life and being of Adam, and his natural family is a unit or one, and that it is so of God; so the spiritual life and being of Christ and the church is a unit or one, and that it is so of God the Father. And as Adam’s natural children are developed by ordinary generation; so God’s spiritual are developed by being born of the spirit of his only begotten Son, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Rom.1:3,4. His resurrection from the dead proves him to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, not that Jesus Christ is not the eternal God, for there is no God separately or distinctly apart from him. Yet in the relation he bears to his people, as their life, head, and representative, the Scriptures abundantly show that he was subordinate, and came as he was sent down from heaven, not to do his own will, but to do the will of him that sent him. In this character, he was by his Father as one brought up with him, and was daily his delight, while his delights were with the sons of men – set up from everlasting, brought forth before there were any fountains abounding with water, or ever the earth was. In this character he calls himself the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. Rev.3. Then he is correctly named and called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, with the government upon his shoulders, the fullness of the Godhead, and the fullness of the church. Thus in oneness with the Father, and his church, vitally, he is the covenant head and representative of all the fleshly Adam’s sons and daughters which the Father gave him in eternity, and predestinated to the adoption of children, and to be conformed to the image of his Son, who were beloved of God, only in the character of his Son, so that when they fell in Adam under the law, and under its curse, justice looks to Jesus, their covenant legal head and representative, who came down from heaven, and took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham. The children being partakers of flesh and blood, he himself likewise took part of the same, that he through death might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them, who through fear of death were all their life time subject to bondage. In his death upon the cross, his divine character, as the Son of God, and his anointed Mediator, and High Priest, constituted an altar to sanctify the gift or offering of his body upon the cross as a lamb without spot, unto God, so that it is said, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. Now if the eternal Godhead that dwelt bodily in Christ, only constituted the altar upon which his body was offered, who accepts it, or to whom was the offering made? It is a pleasing reflection to me, that in our glorious Redeemer was the altar and the Lamb, and God well pleased with the offering, so that he remains just, and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus. He then has by one offering perfected forever them that are sanctified, or set apart, to the adoption of children. As they stand related to Adam in a fallen state, they are not the children of God, only in purpose, while by nature, they were the children of wrath, even as others, but because eternal life was given them in Jesus Christ, and they predestinated to be conformed to the image of God’s Son, they are in God’s own good time every one born again. Not of blood, nor of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God; not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. As there is some difference of opinion, or rather want of understanding in reference to what is born again, whether it is the soul or body, or both, I will give my opinion. I do not think that either the soul or body is born over again, or the second time; but I think the man or woman, soul and body is the subject of a spiritual birth, by God’s sending forth the Spirit of his Son into the heart, crying Abba Father, and the birth is of the quality of the seed that was conceived. And from the time a poor sinner receives in his heart that spirit or seed, its fruit is realized, love to God, hatred to sin, life and activity of mind in meditation, and hearing with anxiety never before known by the sinner; because before this he was dead in trespasses and in sins, but now made alive. Before, he hated God and his people; but now he loves both. Not that the natural propensities of the soul or body are remodeled and made divine; but because grace reigns to keep under and subdue the evil traits belonging to human nature. Then is such a one, there is as it were a company of two armies, the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. This state of warfare will continue, till the old or outer man perishes and falls in death, to await the adoption, or its redemption in the morning of the resurrection when it shall be raised in the likeness of Jesus, in remembrance of his mercy. All that Christ is to his church, is of God the Father in him, in remembrance of his mercy, which endureth forever. I Cor.1:30. “But of him {God the Father} are ye {the new or spiritual man,} in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us {sinners} wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Then of course I believe the life and being of the church spiritually is of God the Father, in his Son, set up from everlasting, the life, covenant head and representative of a definite number of people to be created and fall in Adam, and manifested by natural generation. This people God gave his Son, his portion, or the lot of his inheritance, and predestinated them to the adoption of children, and to be conformed to the image of his Son, who is the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high. Heb.1:3. The redemption of his people then, could not be accomplished consistently, upon any other principle but that of the eternal vital union and covenant relation of Jesus and them. In this view of the case, it looks just that their sins should be imputed to him, and his righteousness imputed to them, in which they are justified before God. Then all his people as they stand related to Adam their natural life, head, and representative, in a fallen state as children of wrath even as others, but in the second Adam, made a quickening spirit, the Lord from heaven, their life, head, representative, they are without spot or blemish before God, all of which conclude they will not realize individually or collectively until they are raised from the dead in the likeness of their glorious Redeemer. Then shall be brought to pass this saying, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Then the kingdom shall be delivered up to God the Father, that God may be all in all to the praise of his glory, on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, in remembrance of his mercy.

I have offered some scattering thoughts, which are at your disposal.
Yours in love,
D.W. Patman.
Oglethorpe Co., Georgia, June 24, 1859.