To make a proper distinction between law and gospel, is of great importance for the instruction, edification and comfort of the saints. When Adam was made of the earth, and when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul, he was with the other works of creation declared to be very good; but he was only a natural man, not fit for heaven, but fitted for the earth, and the earth for him; and speaking after the manner of men, could he have remained in his primeval state, he would have needed no better heaven. But being the creature of God, he was accountable to his Creator, and under every obligation to obey and honor him; therefore the law was given to him. Now he was the one head, life and representative of the whole natural family, including Eve, with all their offspring. After the law was given to Adam, Eve was manifestly taken from his side, and presented to him, bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh, and was called woman, because she was taken out of man, who was created male and female. The woman being deceived was in the transgression. Adam was not deceived, but being one with his wife, from her did take of the forbidden fruit, contrary to the direct command of God, and by his disobedience sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. There the whole human family fell under the law and under its curse, and forfeited every claim to the earth, and every thing in or on it, and his life also, but never forfeited heavenly blessings, for he had none, neither were any promised him upon condition of his obedience. The violated law has undergone no change in its requisitions upon man. Though he is utterly disqualified and unable to comply, yet its demands are in full force, upon the strictest principles of justice; and the law shows no mercy, nor makes any allowance on account of man’s inability to comply, but continually speaks to them that are under the law; that every mouth should be stopped, and the whole world become manifestly guilty before God. Every rational person knows that by works none can be justified in the eyes of that law, because all are already condemned by it. As to the law given by Moses, by it no flesh has been, nor can be justified in the sight of God. It entered that the offence might abound, and by it is the knowledge of sin. It was given, and confined to that peculiar chosen nation called Israel, and never was given to any other nation, before Christ, nor since, and it never was intended that any should be prepared for heaven by obeying its requisitions, nor any fitted for hell by disobeying it; for all the blessings in obedience, as well as the curses for disobedience, were confined to this world, and alone to that people to whom it was given by Moses; hence there is no such thing as being prepared for heaven by attending to its requisitions; and as for gospel blessings, if any should be so impudent as to claim them, or even a chance for them, while under the law, it would be insulting to the Divine Majesty, because what the law saith, it saith to them who are under it, and it never gives, nor offers gospel blessings; and if one who is under the law claims gospel blessings, and professed to be married to Christ, he is spiritually an adulteress, because of claiming to be married to another while the former husband [the law] is alive in his claims. Rom.7:1-3. Then it is no trivial matter for one to claim to be united to Christ by a living faith, and make a public profession of religion, while they are dead in trespasses and sins, and under the law and its curse. The gospel with all its blessings are eternal, with all its fulness in Jesus Christ, the second Adam, a quickening Spirit, the Lord from heaven, of whom the first Adam is the figure. As Eve had her natural life in Adam, [before and when the law was given] so the church of God had her eternal life and being in Jesus Christ before and when the world was created, who was the federal head and representative of all that the Father gave him in the covenant of redemption, chosen out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people under heaven, when as yet there were none of them fashioned or in existence as human beings, but chosen in Christ Jesus to the adoption of children, according to the good pleasure of God’s will. Jesus being thus united to his bride in oneness of life, and in the covenant of redemption ordered in all things and sure, and God’s immutable and eternal love binding the whole, as the woman was deceived, and Adam was not deceived, but upon the principle of relationship took the forbidden fruit at the hand of his bride, knowingly, and so brought sin and death upon the whole human family, including all the election of grace, making up the bride, the Lamb’s wife, or all those chosen to the adoption of children, now involved in sin, children of wrath even as others. But the second Adam was not deceived, but by the relation in which he stood to his chosen and ever beloved people, he, their Surety, is involved with them, and must be made of a woman, and under the law, to redeem them that were under the law. The relation in which Adam stood to his natural family was and is a time thing, but is a figure of the eternal relation in which Jesus stood, and yet stands to his people. Destroy this relationship, and I know of no principle upon which it can appear just and right that Jesus should be made sin for us, who knew no sin, and that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. But with it I can see eternal wisdom, justice, love and mercy, all sweetly harmonizing in the salvation of sinners. Of the unfailing fulness of the gospel of the Son of God, who has satisfied every demand of the law held against them, or him, their surety, and hath by one offering perfected forever them that are sanctified, and now sits in the throne of his glory, separating the sheep from the goats, as time moves along, bestowing upon them freely, without money and without price, the gospel blessings of the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world; all of which they receive as a heritage from their heavenly Father, by and with their Elder Brother, Jesus Christ. They being dead to the law by the body of Christ, and the law dead in all its claims against them, as much so when Jesus died and rose again for them, as it ever will be. And this is the reason why they are called by grace, drawn by the cords of his love, and manifestly united to him by a living faith in him, who is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” The believer then is married to Christ, and is no adulteress, because the old husband, or law, is dead. Now the living husband should be obeyed in all his requisitions upon his bride, and she should be careful never to take up with other professed lovers that would direct contrary to his finished rule of faith and practice, the New Testament. The ransomed of the Lord are returning, and shall return, and come to Zion, [the church militant now, and the church triumphant] eventually, with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads, and sighing and sorrow shall flee away.
Yours in love,
Near Lexington Georgia, July 10, 1872.