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Dear Brother Beebe: I believe all God’s people are humble and forgiving - I speak from my knowledge of them. We are strangers in the flesh, but I hope not in Spirit. I believe that christians all see eye to eye, in matters of experience; and all speak the same things. I feel a desire to say something about the goodness and mercy of God to poor, perishing sinners. It seems that the Lord is in this place, and we knew it not. I often think of the precious words of the apostle, when he said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.” I desire that you would remember me in your prayers to God, for I feel that I am the most unworthy of all. Will it be asking too much if I request your views on Romans vi. 22? “But now being made free from sin and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” This text has a great bearing on my mind. I heard an able minister preach from it, and he said that christians would bring forth good fruit. This set me to examining myself, and I could see no good in me; for in me dwells no good thing. I asked a brother his views on it, and he said he thought it applied to the preachers. But I must close. I remain your friend. May we meet in heaven.

Henry Co., Va., June 28, 1858.

Reply: We have but little space at this time for remarks on this important subject. The apostle had been speaking of our old man or fleshly nature being crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, and that henceforth we should not serve sin. For says he, He that is dead is freed from sin. Now, if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him; for in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. He asks what were our fruits, when we were the servants of sin? He has told us what are the fruits or productions of our carnal and depraved natures, which are these: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like.” - Gal. v. 19-21. But in our spiritual life and union with Christ, in which we are become dead to the law, by the body of Christ, and married unto him that is raised from the dead, our fruits are brought as the legitimate productions of this marriage to Christ, as the fruits of the Spirit, and not of the flesh. Now, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” - Gal. v. 22-24. Now being made free from sin (that is, all the family of God,) by the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, we being buried with him by baptism unto death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. And this walking in newness of life, is walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The body, or flesh, or old man, being dead because of sin, can only produce dead works, such as are named in what we have quoted above from Gal. v. 19-21. But the Spirit is life, because of righteousness, its fruits are therefore spiritual and vital. Thus we become servants of God, for Paul says, “With my mind I myself serve the law of God, but with my flesh the law of sin.” Having the Spirit of Christ in us, we learn that it is God that worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure: and consequently we work out that which his Spirit has begotten in us, which are fruits unto holiness. They are implanted by the Spirit of holiness, and the seed remaineth, and that seed is incorruptible, and cannot fail to produce in us the fruits of the Spirit which are named by the apostle in our quotation from Gal. v. 22-24. Sister Dyer may search in vain to find these good fruits, which are unto holiness, and which spring up into eternal life, or the end of which is eternal life, growing out of the flesh, which is carnal, depraved, dead, crucified, put off by the circumcision of Christ. And here is where many of God’s dear children often become sorely tried, when we look for the fruits of the Spirit to be produced by the flesh. They seek for good fruit from a very bad tree, a tree that is dead, and poison, and only bears corrupt fruit. But when we search to see what God’s Spirit has produced in our hearts, of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, &c., we find it produced by the Spirit of life and immortality, which God has implanted in our hearts. The brother was wrong in supposing this text applied only to preachers, it applies equally to all the members of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Middletown, N.Y.
January 1, 1859.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 4
Pages 183 – 185