Lexington, Ky., Dec.30, 1876.
MY DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: - I have been able to read or write but little, in consequence of the condition of my eyes, for many months. I have heard read your reply to a correspondent asking your understanding of the expression found in the Circular on the Christian Warfare – “All living souls were created in, and simultaneously with the first Adam; all quickened spirits were created in, and simultaneously with the last Adam.” You remark, “A brother should not be held an offender for a word.” I certainly did not intend to offend against the generation of his children, but was looking to the contrast of the two Adams, and not to the Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ. If I have rightly understood the scriptures, the terms, “was made” and “created,” are frequently used synonymously, or interchangeably, as in the following: “In the image of God made he him, male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” With reference to the family of the last Adam, we read, “Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, even every one that is called by my name; for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, yea, I have made him.” When we read of the family of the earthly Adam, they are brought forth through many generations, because of very many intermediate fathers. Of the family of the Lord Jesus, there is but one generation, they being all born of God, and consequently no intermediate fathers. Of him all the family in heaven and on earth is named. Let us now examine the contrast, as introduced by an apostle. “The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” The Bible informs us that the old man is corrupt, with his deeds; but the new man, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness. Again, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” From what we have said, it will be seen that the body of Christ is a created body, and of this body, Christ is declared to be the head. “And gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Now, it is said of Christ, as the Mediatorial Head of the church, “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” “Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature.” According to our vocabulary, whenever we speak of creature, a creator or creation is necessarily implied. The term, “was made,” as in the following quotations: “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” “Was made sin for us.” “Was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” May not the foregoing expressions be susceptible of a deeper and more profound meaning than finite minds, such as ours, can comprehend, and a part of that mystery of godliness which God hath not made known to the sons of men? How far Adam, with his generations, is a figure of Christ, with his generation, we may not be fully informed. An apostle informs us, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” We are assured that there existed a vital oneness between the first Adam and the entire natural family, else would not the apostle have said, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” We have before proved that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin. We are equally well assured that there eternally existed between the Lord Jesus Christ and his spiritual seed, who sinned in their relation to the first Adam, a vital oneness; else would not his life and death, resurrection and ascension, have delivered them from the curse of a violated law, obtained eternal redemption for them, and by one offering perfected them that are sanctified.
Brother Beebe, your reply to a brother, to which I have alluded, meets the question at issue, nor do I recollect anything that you have said with which I do not concur. I heard your reply read but once, and immediately the paper was misplaced, and I have not yet been able to find it; consequently I may have repeated what has been better said in that reply.
How any one who has read the Circular on the Warfare should conceive that I denied the eternal, underived, unbegotten, unproduced Godhead of the Lord Jesus Christ, I cannot see. I have affirmed and re-affirmed, perhaps more than a thousand times, my unshaken belief of that precious truth. But while I believe this, I as firmly believe that the man Christ Jesus existed, not as a myth or shadow, “Ere sin was born, or Adam’s dust was fashioned to a man.” If this be not true, what became of the patriarchs and prophets who died before Christ was born of the virgin? They were lost without remedy. As we learn from divine testimony, “There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” And this Man said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Again, “No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven.”
This has not been written to provoke controversy, but simply to make myself understood. If you see anything in this calculated to subserve the cause of truth, you can publish it; otherwise, throw it aside.
Most truly and affectionately your brother,
Thomas P. Dudley.