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ETERNAL UNION OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH #1.

Newton County, GA., Dec.16, 1856.

Upon a review of brother A. Moore’s letter published in this number of the MESSENGER, I have concluded to express some of my views in relation to some ideas expressed in his letter. His views or mine, are of little, or no consequence if they are not scripturally correct. But scriptural testimony will stand though it may conflict with our views. I claim no infallibility in my views any further than they are in accordance with the scriptures.

The indissoluble union of Christ and the church, and the distinction between Adam and Christ, are worthy of special attention. Two separate and distinct families exist in Adam and Christ; the first is natural, the second is spiritual. Christ existed before Adam, but Adam was the first in the order of manifestation in time. Adam is the Head and Progenitor of all the natural family. He was of the earth, earthy. Christ Jesus is the Head and Progenitor of a spiritual family. The Head of the church is Christ, and the Head of Christ is God. He is the Lord from heaven, a quickening Spirit. A family must always exist in the Progenitor prior to their development, or manifestation. So in relation to Adam and Christ. Christ existed anterior to time, as one with the Father, and one with his people. An incorruptible spiritual seed existed in him as the Son of God, and the life of the church. He was glorified with the Father before the world was, and represented in himself the elect or chosen family before that family were made partakers of flesh and blood. The church had a spiritual existence in Christ in a oneness of life and being, before she had a natural existence in Adam, when Adam was brought into existence by the power of the Almighty. When Adam sinned the human family sinned in him, and with him. The natural existence of the chosen family is in the loins of Adam, and they were by nature children of wrath even as others. Hence, by nature, there is no difference between them and the rest of the human family. But in Christ Jesus provision is made for them, for they are blessed with all spiritual {not natural} blessings in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, according as they were chosen in him {not into him} before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without blame before him in love. A family of children always partake of the nature of their Progenitor. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. If the seed is corruptible, the children will be corruptible. If the seed is incorruptible, the children will be incorruptible. Christ and his people are one. The existence in a oneness of life and being with Adam is one thing, and the manifestation of the human family by natural generation is another thing, or in other words the bringing forth of that which had an existence in the Progenitor. So the spiritual existence of the family of God in a oneness of life with Christ is one thing, and their being brought forth or manifested when called by grace, or born again, is another thing. When sinners are called by grace, or with a holy calling there is in them a new creature with spiritual powers and faculties to see, hear, and understand spiritual things. They receive the spirit of adoption whereby they cry Abba Father. When a person is born naturally, it proves his union to Adam before he was born, and when a person is born again it proves his union to Christ, before he was born again. The manifestation of a thing is not the creating of that thing, but it is simply bringing into manifest existence what actually did exist before. So in relation to Christ and the church. Hence it is said; they are born of God, of incorruptible seed, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. The manifestation of the church in time by regeneration, justification, sanctification, and complete redemption, is the carrying out, and accomplishment of the grand and sublime purpose of God, not only in the manifestation of the sons of God existing in the Sonship of Christ, but in the ultimate conformity of the church, both soul and body, to the image of Christ. Therefore, in view of this glorious truth, Paul said, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Rom. 8:29,30.

John said, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” The church in her connection with the first Adam is lost, condemned, and in a state of transgression. The natural life of all the human family is given to them in Adam, and the church has natural life and existence in Adam. Could the natural family have life manifestively, if that life was not in Adam before its manifestation? Of course not. Therefore, when eternal life is given to us when called by grace, we are manifested in possession of that eternal life which is in Christ. There would be no christian experience, no heart-felt sense of heavenly things, no precious view of Christ, if we had not actually a oneness of life in the Sonship of Christ, prior to its bestowment upon us. That life is called eternal life. Paul said, “For the wages of sin is death,” referring to our ruined condition by nature, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” If Christ is, experimentally, in us, we have that life which is the light of men. Christ liveth in us, and the life we live in the flesh, we live by the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us.

The Scriptures testify that Jews and Gentiles are all under sin. God had a special regard to National Israel for centuries, while he suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. But when the appointed time had come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, &c. God had a people among the Gentiles. The Jews and Gentiles were twain, or two, but by the blood of Christ, or in other words, the blood of the cross, they are made one in Christ Jesus. They are both reconciled to God by Jesus Christ. Read Ephesians chapter 2, 10th verse to the end of the chapter. Also II Cor.5:17-19, inclusive. It was according to God’s purpose and grace given to the church in Christ, that Jews and Gentiles are made one in Christ Jesus. Therefore, as the Head and Representative of his people, Jews and Gentiles manifestively, are made the recipients of his love and mercy.

So long as Israel continued as a Nation there was but a remnant according to the election of grace, who worshipped God in the Spirit, and had no confidence in the flesh. So among the Gentiles the chosen family are but few in point of comparison with the mass of the human family. And they are saved experimentally by grace, and are made to say that, “Salvation is of the Lord.”

God loved his people, and chose them in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world. He loved them when they were dead in trespasses and sins in the loins of Adam. He loved them among the Jews, and among the Gentiles. And he will love them everlastingly. And they reciprocate his love when they experience his love bestowed upon them.

God reconciles sinners to himself by Jesus Christ, but the carnal mind is enmity against God, not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. The Lord’s dear people learn daily that their carnal mind is enmity against God, and continues to be while they remain in time. But when they feel the spirit of reconciliation to God’s will, they are at peace with God and their fellow men.

Notwithstanding the expression of my views as above stated, I will simply remark further that I have no fellowship with the Manichean theory of two seeds, revived and improved by Daniel Parker, and referred to in brother Moore’s letter. There is no scriptural authority to suppose that through some fortuitous cause an eternal, self-existent evil spirit entered the bounds of God’s government, with a seed or family to be manifested in time. All worlds, creatures, and things, are embodied in the creation of God. The Lord, by the prophet declared, “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.” Isa. 45:7. The seed of the woman is Christ, and the seed of the serpent, is the man of sin, that wicked, the son of perdition, or anti-christ. It is said in scripture, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” Gen. 3:1. Therefore, I infer that the serpent is a creature of God. God made all things for himself, even the wicked for the day of evil. His universal and absolute government is over all things, visible and invisible, worlds, creatures, and things.

What I have written is through no other than the most kind, and brotherly feeling towards brother Moore, and the brethren in general, and I trust it will be kindly received by all concerned.

J.L. Purington.