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THOUGHTS ON HEBREWS 2:9.

DEAR BROTHER WILLIAM: - According to the request of brother Sharman, appearing in the MESSENGER of the 1st of October, I have determined to offer a few thoughts on the following text, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” I am aware that Arminians apply to this text with considerable assurance to prove a general atonement, but the following verses show the fallacy of such conclusions, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings; for both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren; Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee; and again, I will put my trust in him; and again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” Is it reasonable to suppose that he by the grace of God tasted death for any others save the children which God had given him? These are certainly the people referred to, Deut.32:9, “For the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” The same Jesus prayed for, John 17:2, “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” Ninth verse, “I pray not for the world, but for them thou hast given me, for they are thine.” These all {as related to Adam,} “being partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death; that is the Devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

The Apostle in this connection refers to the first Adam of the earth earthy, the head and representative of all his natural posterity, and the mindfulness of God in making him a little lower than the angels, crowning him with glory and honor and setting him over the works of his hands, putting all things in subjection under his feet, &c., all figurative of Jesus the Head and Representative of his spiritual kingdom, the church of the living God, with which the first Adam had nothing to do, even in his best estate being only a natural man, created and placed here in a natural created world. The Apostle on the same subject, I Cor.15:46, uses the following language, “Howbeit that was not first {in manifestation} which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” Forty-seventh verse, “The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.” So we see not yet all things put under the first Adam; but we see Jesus, the antitype who was made a little lower than the angels, not to be crowned an earthly king, but for the suffering of death. The prophet says, Isaiah 53, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” “He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation; for he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken;” for them he was made a little lower than the angels to suffer and die, the just for the unjust, and by that one offering perfect forever them that are sanctified, the many sons he designed bringing to glory. For this purpose he was crowned with glory and honor, even from everlasting, for his throne is forever and ever. Prov.8:29, “When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the earth; then I was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men,” the many sons referred to above. To conclude, he was never crowned with glory and honor until he had suffered, died, and rose again. John 17:5, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Again, 24th verse, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” Will any one suppose for a moment that His will shall fail, and His prayer not be answered to the extent it goes? Surely not! But all must agree that His will shall be done, and His prayer answered, and every man for whom he tasted death and rose again for their justification shall eventually be where He is to behold His glory. Many appear anxious to know to what extent the world of mankind are benefited by the death of Christ. I am satisfied that he lived, suffered, and died exclusively for the church, or those making up every man, for whom he tasted death, as the following text plainly show: “The good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:11. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Eph.5:25. All spiritual blessings for the elect of God were given in Christ Jesus before the world began, while all temporal blessings are a heritage given us all in the first Adam, and bestowed upon natural men for the elect’s sake. In this sense only I think Jesus is the Savior of all men, and especially them that believe; for the sake of the wheat {the church,} and tares {or unbelieving men,} are not immediately plucked up, but both are let grow together until harvest. Then Jesus will gather his elect from the four winds into his garner, to enjoy fully all spiritual blessings in beholding his glory, while unbelievers, like the tares, having no spiritual blessings, and temporal ones failing, will be gathered together in bundles to be burned. However, I am sure this separation is progressive as time moves on to be finally completed, when Jesus shall come the second time without sin unto salvation.

I close for the present, with a hope of seeing something more extensive from brother G. Beebe, on the subject.

Yours in love,
D.W. Patman.
Oglethorpe Co., Georgia, Oct.24, 1854.