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UNION OF CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH.

BROTHER BEEBE: - I feel impressed to write a short piece, for the purpose, particularly, of giving some expression in reference to the writings of brethren published in the MESSENGER, on the subject of the union of Christ and his church. My poor heart rejoices to feel that though the brethren have seemed to differ in some things, nothing like bitter denunciations have appeared, but all have manifested the spirit of christian forbearance and brotherly love, and have exchanged their views freely and openly, and the whole of it in which they are agreed, if I understand them, can be summed up in a few words; namely, that the eternal life and being of the church, spiritually, is in Christ Jesus, the Savior of sinners, and that sinners related to Adam in their unregenerate state, instead of being in union with Christ, are enemies to God, and by nature children of wrath alike. But that in eternity, God made choice of, and gave his Son a people which he purposed to manifest in time, and predestinated that they should be conformed to the image of his Son, by being born of God, and experimentally united to Christ, and reconciled to God. This they realize experimentally and individually, because it was all with God in his Son for them before they personally were born of Adam, or of God, and when they are born of God and experience that delightful union, it is only a manifestation in them, of what did actually exist in him for them before they received it of his fullness. Therefore no flesh can glory in his presence, for of him {God} are ye {saints} in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us {believers in Jesus} wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. God manifests unto us experimentally then, what Jesus was for us before; our life, our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, and because Jesus is of God, made all this unto all them whose names were written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world, and chosen to the adoption of children. Jesus came, not only a substitute, but their life and covenant head and representative, for he is made such unto them of God.

I feel that I must say that I met with and formed a very pleasant acquaintance with brother A. Moore, while myself and brother Purington were in Mississippi. His writings are very expressive of his appearance and brotherly manner of conversation. And my dear brother Meaders, I must say something about him, because he stayed with us so long, and labored so hard for our comfort, while every movement he made toward us was expressive of the warmest brotherly love and christian humility; in fact, all the brethren with whom we formed acquaintance, and as named by brother Purington in his account of our trip, manifested nothing else towards us. I merely named brother Moore because he had written so extensively on the subject above named, and in such a brotherly manner; and brother Meaders, because he was with us all the time till we finished our appointments in Mississippi. I hope all our preaching brethren and others, showing us so much kindness, will not think hard of me for not naming them all, as time and space seem to forbid it. Their kindness, with the kindness of all the families we visited, will not soon be forgotten. May the God of all grace bless them all abundantly. The kind brethren, sisters and friends we met with in Tennessee, I still think of with the greatest anxiety, and the dear brethren, sisters and friends we met with in Alabama, and the pleasant meetings we enjoyed, I often think of with anxiety and pleasure. I must name my dear brother Mitchell, because he not only attended our first appointments till we could get to Alabama, but continued with us till we closed up our appointments there. May the Lord bless that dear afflicted brother, with his kind family, and also the brethren and sisters. I can truly unite with brother Purington and say if there was the least unpleasantness, like feelings wounded with us or any of the brethren with whom we traveled, I had no knowledge of it, and I so think I feel thankful to God that it is the case, for surely we did realize something of what David saith, “Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”

I see in the MESSENGER for the 1st of June, that sister Dutton, of San Marco, Texas, has requested my thoughts on the well of water mentioned in Gen. 21:19,  “And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.” I must say to my beloved sister that I feel in reference to this text, like a brother said not long since, while commenting on a chapter in the book of Revelation, and when having come to a certain verse, stopped and remarked very calmly, “Well here is something that I know but little about, and I guess I will do best to say but little about it.” So I feel by this text, but I will say this much. Hagar and her son Ishmael, represents Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with all her children, or the children of the flesh, which are not the children of God, and religiously speaking, they represent the whole church of anti-christ, as Ishmael mocked when Isaac was weaned, so do the children of the flesh, or of the bond woman, or the church of anti-christ, mock the children of the spirit, or the children of the free woman. “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Gal.4:26. Though this mocking crew is in bondage under the elements of the world, yet they are a great nation, abundantly more numerous than the children of promise, and their support, like that of Hagar’s well, is in, and of the earth, therefore the power of the earth, with the treasures thereof, are called into requisition to push forward and support their anti-christian cause, and when these things are not forthcoming, they, like Ishmael under the bush, are ready to famish and die; but when God provides them bountifully with temporal blessings from the earth, like he caused that well for Hagar’s relief, they, like Hagar, fill their bottles, or instruments or false teachers which they have heaped to themselves with supplies of money, or the promise of it, with the commandments and doctrines of men, then they go on with fresh vigor, and assurance, still mocking the children of the free woman, which were born not of blood, nor of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God, from heaven; and from the same source comes down all their support, not from wells in and of this earth, but from that pure river of water of life, proceeding from the throne of God, and the Lamb, clear as crystal, opened to the house of David, of which the children of God drink, and it is in them a well of water springing up into everlasting life, while Hagar and her children have their supply coming up from the earth, and down to the same, and yet God supplies them all, sending his rain on the just and the unjust. I close this scribble for your reflections.

Yours in love,
D.W. Patman.
Oglethorpe Co., Georgia, June 15, 1858.