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Brother Beebe: Will you please give your views on Romans v. 14? Who were those who had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression? May the Lord abundantly bless you, and enable you to conduct the press to the honor and glory of his great name, and to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.

Yours, as I hope, in tribulation, and in hope of immortality,
Newberne, N.C., Feb. 4, 1858.

Reply: The word “similitude” in the text referred to, as in other passages of the Scriptures, simply means in the same manner. In this fifth chapter Paul proves that the family of mankind were under law to God before the Mosaic dispensation, or before the Sinai law was given to Israel through Moses. As sin is a transgression of the law, and death is the wages, or consequence of sin, so the fact that death reigned from Adam to Moses, demonstrates that sin was in the world, and, sin being the transgression of the law, the law must have existed before sin entered, for where there is no law, there can be no transgression. That all the family of man were involved in Adam’s transgression is proved from the fact that infants as well as adults died before Moses proclaimed the Sinai covenant to Israel. Adam was not deceived; he had a knowledge of the authority against which he rebelled, and the precept which he transgressed, when he followed our mother Eve in the transgression. But those, either infants or idiots, who do not after that manner or similitude sin, are equally subjects of mortality, because they were in Adam, and were Adam, when he ate of the forbidden fruit.

Again, Adam is the figure of him that was to come; that is, Adam is the figure of Christ, and consequently his transgression was a similitude of the manner of Christ’s assumption of the guilt of his church. Paul says that Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression. “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Christ, the second Adam, being the Lord from heaven, could not have been deceived when he followed his bride (to redeem her) into the transgression, when he was made sin for her, who knew no sin, that she might be made the righteousness of God in him. The type or figurative import of Adam’s transgression pointed to the coming of Christ to put away the sin of his bride, by the sacrifice of himself. But death reigned from Adam to Moses over all his posterity, whether they had sinned in the manner, form or similitude of Adam’s transgression or not.

Middletown, N.Y.
September 1, 1859.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 4
Pages 263 - 264