A Justification of Gods shutting up all under Sinne for the Sinne of Adam, in the sense of all the Reformed Churches, against the Exceptions of Dr J. T. and others.
GAL. 3. 24.
THe Apostle having made an Objection against himself, vers. 21. Is the Law then against the promises of God? He answereth it,
1. With a detestation (God forbid.)
2. He sheweth wherein the Law is so farre from being contra∣ry, that it is subservient to the Gospel. Only we must distinguish of the use of the Law, which is per se, and which is per accidens; The use of the Law per se is to give eternal life to such who have a perfect con∣formity thereunto; but per accidens, when it meeteth with lapsed man, who must needs be cursed by it, because he is so farre from continuing in all the du∣ties thereof, that he is not able to fulfill perfectly one iota or tittle thereof, therefore it provoketh us to seek out for a Saviour, as a man arrested for debt, enquireth for some friend, or surety to deliver him.
Now this subservient use of the Law is expressed in the Text mentioned, wherein you have the condition of mankind declared (viz.) That they are shut up under sinne.
2. The Universality, All.
3. The Cause appointing and declaring of this, The Scripture.
4. The final Cause, That the promise, &c.
Let us briefly open the particulars. And
First, The Condition of man is said to be shut up under sinne, or concluded, it is a Metaphor from those malefactors that are shut up in a prison, and cannot come forth; So that the word implieth partly the condemnation that is upon all mankind, and partly the impossibility to escape it; and then whereas it is said, under sinne, that denoteth both the guilt of it, and the dominion of it, and that both original sinne and actual, for both are comprehended herein, else Infants would be excluded from having an interest in Christ, for whosoever Page 422 are brought to Christ are necessarily supposed to be in a state of sinne. Hence
In the second place, there is the Universality 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is more emphati∣cal then 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, All things, not all men; This expression is used, to shew, that not only all men, but all their actions, studies, endeavours, every thing belong∣ing to them (as it were) is thus sinfull and damnable, although Grotius maketh the Substantive understood to be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.
In the third place, we have the Cause appointing and declaring of this, and that is the Scripture. It is usual to attribute those things which belong to God unto the Scripture, because that is the sentence of God that declareth the will of God; Thus Gal. 3. 8. The Scripture fore-seeing, that God would justifie the Heathen, &c. that is, God by his Word fore-telling what he would do: Thus Rom. 9. 17. The Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this same purpose have I raised thee up, &c. that is, God by the Scripture manifested his will and purpose con∣cerning Pharaoh; So that in this place, we are to conceive of God wisely and righ∣teously ordering this way, that all mankind shall fall into a stat of sin & condem∣nation, that so a way may be made open for the advancement of the grace of the Gospel, Not that God did necessitate Adam to sinne, or did infuse any evil into him, but be falling by his own voluntary transgression, and thereby plunging all his posterity into this wretched estate, God who could have prevented this fall of Adam, did not, because not bound to it, give him that grace, which would actually have confirmed him, although he bestowed on him grace sufficient enough, to inable him to stand; God (I say) did righteously and wisely permit this fall of his, thereby to work out a greater good, then the sinne of Adam could be an evil▪ Thus God may be called the cause appointing and ordering of all this evil of mankind, partly permissivè by leaving Adam to his own will, and partly directivè, and ordinativè, being not a bare spectator or sufferer of this apostasie, but also a righteous director and ordainer of it to blessed and heavenly ends. Though therefore God is here said to shut up all mankind into this prison, yet he is no more cause of the evil, which brought this desolation, then a Magistrate is of the wickedness of such a Malefactor, whom he throweth into prison; Yea Gods ordering of this fall of Adam unto such righteous ends, doth therein demonstrate his Mercy and his Justice: So that although sinne be evil, yet the punishing of this is good, as also the working of a better good, then the evil is evil, is a demonstration of the infinite wisdom of God. As God doth it thus, as the chief cause, so the Scripture is said to shut us up under sinne instrumentally, because that declareth the curse of God due unto us: And that upon a two-fold account, both because of the actual impieties all do com∣mit, as also because of that original filthiness and pollution we are born in.
Now it is my purpose to treat of Gods righteous dispensation towards man∣kind in this particular only, because some do rise up with great zeal, for the righteousness, honour and glory of God in this point, as if the Doctrine deli∣vered by the Orthodox herein, were altogether injurious and derogatory to him: Hence the late known Adversary to this fundamental Truth about original sinne, delivers himself thus (Answer to a Letter, pag. 23, 24)
Our work therefore shall be from this Text, to declare from Scripture-ground the holiness, wisdome and righteousness of God in his proceedings thus with mankind for Adam's sinne: For although all grown persons are shut up under actual sins, as well as original, yet here is comprehended both, seeing it doth extend to all that may have salvation by Christ, out of which number In∣fants are not to be excluded. Therefore Bellarmine bringeth this Text amongst others, to prove that there is an original sinne that all are born in. And so we observe,
That God for righteous and wise ends manifested in the Scripture, hath shut up all mankind in a state of sinne and damnation: That God who could have preserved Adam in the state of happinesse, and continued it to all his posterity, so that thereby no sinne or condemnation, would have come upon any one man (for there would then none have done evil, no not one) hath ordered the contrary way, suffering man to fall, and thereby all mankind to be in a state of condemnation, whereby also sin is so predominant, that now there is none that doth good, no not one. The Scripture doth in other places with much exactnesse and diligence take notice of the proceeding of God in this way, as Rom. 3. 9. The Apostle dividing all mankind into Jews and Gentiles, sheweth, that though there may be many differences in several respects, yet as to a state of sin by nature and so a necessity of justification by Christ all were alike; Therefore saith he, We have before proved,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, The word is very emphatical, some make it to charge, complain, and in an heavy manner to accuse; So that to be by nature of our selves in a state of wrath, not being able without the grace of Christ, to avoid this condemnation, is the greatest guilt that we can be charged with: It ought not to seem a light and contemptible thing that we come thus cursed in the world; But because men may be accused falsly, and the Pelagians charge us with laying a false curse upon mankind; hence the Greek word signifieth more (viz.) so to charge a thing upon a man, as by strong reasons to prove it, to shew clearly the causes and grounds of it. therefore our Translators ren∣der it. We have before proved; So that the Apostles meaning is, We have not only said thus, but we have proved; A Metaphor (say some) from those who have cast up their accounts, and upon exact consideration do conclude, this is the summe: But what is that he hath proved, even that all are under sinne, not only actual, for many were not guilty of those actual sinnes he enu∣merateth, but under a state of sinne, they could not avoid it, because of the corrupt nature they bring with them into the world. Therefore Contzer the Jesuite (Comment in Rom. cap. 3. Quaest. 3.) making this Question, How the Apostle could affirm those following sins reckoned by the Apostle of all men, after he had given several interpretations, concludeth, that that is the best exposition, and most consonant to the Text, as also the scope of the Apo∣stle, and most apt to resell heresies, which understandeth it of all men, in re∣spect of their nature and originals, and by their works are made more sinfull; for seeing all are under original sinne, and by nature children of wrath, when by age they can actually sinne, they stirre up this hereditary evil in them, That there is none righteous: neither the Jew by the Mosaical Law, nor the Gentile by the Heathen Law. Thus even a Jesuite, which may exceedingly shame our Britannus Coluber, as Pelagius of old was called, and may be transmitted to such who are guilty of Pelagius his errour by imitation. Now that this Exposi∣tion Page 424 given is most consonant to the Apostles scope, is plain, because if he did not so conclude by his Disputation, That every one naturally, not one except∣ed was thus under sinne, then such exempted ones would not need justification by Christ: Therefore observe at vers. 19. how universally he expresseth him∣self, That every mouth might be stopped; It is taken from a guilty malefactor, whose faults are so evidently proved, that he cannot tell what to say, he is con∣demned in his own conscience; and thus ought every one to be, partly by Scri∣pture, and partly by experience so fully convinced of his native-pollution and sinfulness, that he cannot in the least manner boast of himself, attribute any thing to his own power, or complain of God; The Metaphor is either from a beast that hath a muzzle or bridle put in his mouth; or as Chrysostom from the torrent and streams of water, which running violently are damned up; And this denoteth how readily and impetuously a man is carried out to justifie himself, to deny any such original pollution, to quarrel and expostulate with God: So that this being Gods end in suffering mankind to fall into this con∣demned estate, even to stop mens mouths, to convince them to humble them; How inexcusable are those, who from this very dispensation do take occasion to open their mouths, and to plead the more pertinaciously for themselves? The other general expression is no lesse observable, That all the world may become guilty before God: Oh the impudence of those fore-heads that dare plead, not guilty, as to a considerable part of the world! But this of the Apostle is a very thunderbolt; for the expression is taken from the malefactor who is found guilty, and so lieth at the mercy of the Judge; If he looketh upon his own demerits, he can expect nothing but condemnation; How happy were it, if such who abound in Disputations for mans innocency by nature, would at last turn it into holy accusations, confesse themselves guilty, justifie God, and go out of themselves, for if they be any of this world, they must acknowledge themselves in this guilt, which is not only actual, but original also? Hence at vers. 23. All are said to come short of the glory of God; By the glory of God some mean Eternal life, the glory God will bestow upon us; The word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is taken from those who runne in a race, and fall short of the victory, being left behind by those who out-runne them, and this word signifieth how that men, while by their natural strength they labour, and runne, and weary themselves, expecting to obtain happiness, all is but in vain, for they fall short of glory. Others understand it of grace, which is glory begun; every man by nature is destitute of grace: Some understand it of glorying, No man hath occasion to glory before God, because he is wholly corrupt: Others of God himself, for with the Jews God is called Haccaved, the glory. Lastly, Some of that Image of God, in which man was created: All these Interpretations do necessarily suppose one another, and therefore by it is plainly demon∣strated the sinfull, wretched and impotent condition that every man is born in.
Another passage taking notice of this proceeding of God, to suffer all men to become in a guilty estate, that way thereby may be made for the advance∣ment of his grace, is Rom. 11. 32. where the Apostle treating of that sublime and high mystery, why God did break off the natural branches for their un∣belief, and graft in others, he saith, God hath shut up all under unbelief, that be might have mercy on all; This indeed doth directly and chiefly speak of actual sinne, therefore it is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, unbelief, or disobedience, yet indi∣rectly and by consequence, there is supposed the bitter root of this rebellion, which is both in Jew and Gentile; now the Apostle saith, God shut up all in this, or into this, for it is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Greek word implieth, That God hath shut them up all together; As if a Judge should shut up many malefactors to∣gether in a dark dungeon; and because the Apostle is speaking of a very great Page 425 mystery herein, why God should by his free grace deliver some out of this prison, and leave others therin, we see how pathetically and powerfully he breaketh out into a divine acclamation, concerning the incomprehensible judgements and ways of God, as being that only which may silence all our humane reasonings in these cases; There being no more certain way to become foolish and corrupt in our imaginations, then when we do presumptuously adventure to judge of Gods proceedings according to our limited capacities; for as it is with a man that shall fix his eyes too much upon the dazeling Sunne, he is so farre from behold∣ing the nature of it, that he doth rather lose that ability to see which he had before: Thus when men will too arrogantly dive into the reasons of Gods di∣spensations towards mankind, he is so farre from getting a full knowledge thereof, that many times for his pride he is left by God, and those abilities which he had before are blasted. Let us therefore with the Apostle in matters of this nature, say, How unsearchable are his judgements, and his wayes past finding out?〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a Metaphor from those subtil beasts that leave 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, no footsteps if possibly they can, that so they may not be found out. In this point therefore concerning original sinne content thy self with the revelation of the Doctrine, that it is so, and conclude, there is no iniquity or injustice with God, though this transcend thy investigation of it; For as it is impossible for a man to catch hold of his own shadow, but the more he stretchedth out to take it, the farther it flieth from him; So it's concerning the Nature, Attributes and wayes of God, the more we think to apprehend them, the higher they soar from our reach; But of this more in the prosecution of the point.
Propositions to direct us about this great Point of Gods proceedings, as to the matter of Original Sinne.
VVE are to treat on Gods righteous proceedings, as to the matter of original sinne, and that we may be the better directed herein, Let us lay down these Propositions:
First, He that would not dangerously erre about this fundamental truth, must take heed of yeelding himself up to humane and philosophical arguments. A man that would rightly know the magnitude of the Sunne, must not judge by his sense, but by an artificial instrument, for the principles of art will correct sense; So he that will fully understand the wisdom and righteousness of God in invol∣ving all mankind in Adam's sinne must not judge by humane reasons, but Scri∣pture demonstrations, for the principles of faith, will rectifie those of reason; So that if you ask, What is the bitter root of all that bitter fruit (I mean cor∣rupt doctrinal opinions about original sinne?) We may readily answer, The inordinate attending to humane reasonings; As the Pelagians of old did first urge Reason, and then Authority of Scripture, whereas that Embleme of Na∣zianzene is alwayes to be remembred, Theologia nostra est Pythagorica, our Di∣vinity is Pythagorical, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Thus saith the Lord, is in stead of all scienti∣fical demonstrations. The Pelagians and their followers are much alike in the point of original sinne, as the Arians and Socinians in the matter of the Deity of Christ; As the Socinians call the Deity of Christ, Somnium Athanasii Athanasius his dream, so do these original sinne, Augustine's figment; As they say, The Fathers before Athanasius his time, and the Council of Nice spake more temperately about the Trinity, so do these also of the Ancients before Austin's time concerning original sinne. And as there are one or two philosophical Page 426 principles, which plunged them into those damnable heresies about the Tri∣nity, and Christ's Deity (viz.) That, Qua sunt eadem uni tertio sunt eadem inter se, and, Vna subsistentia non potest terminare duas naturas, one subsisten∣cy cannot terminate two natures; So that Rule, Omne peccatum est voluntarium, Every sinne must be voluntary is the very foundation, upon which all errours about original sinne are superstructed. If then we would be guided into the truth, let us become humble Disciples of Christ, hearkning to what the Word saith of our condition by nature, and there be established, though reason like Job's wife tempt thee to charge God foolishly: It is true, we may by reason defend the justice of God in these proceedings, but it must be reason built upon faith, not faith upon reason; let faith lay the foundation, then reason may confirme and adorne. It is Stella his comparison, Takes the mould of the earth from the root of the tree, that is decaying, and put your compost and dung to it, and after that throw in your would again, and then that will be exceedingly ad∣vantagious to help the fruitfulness of the tree, which was an impediment before: Thus reason superadded will illustrate faith, whereas if laid as a foundation∣stone, it will indanger all. But that which doth for the most part corrupt us, is, We first receive opinions according to humane perswasions, and then going to the Scripture, we think that speaketh according to our prepossessed imagina∣tions. Philosophers were the Patriarches of Heretiques; Placonical Phylosophy in the Fathers, and Aristotelical in the Schoolemen hath wonderfully debased the pure gold of divine truths.
2. He that would not dangerously erre in this necessary point, he must mortifie self∣love, he must above all things take breed of a self-righteousness and self-admiration: For our corruption herein, is, that which maketh us to judge every thing unjust in God that is not pleasing to us; we will rather naturally accuse God a thousand times over, then accuse or condemne our selves; As the love of God had su∣preme dominion in Adam's heart while in the state of integrity, so in man fallen on the contrary, self-love is that which keepeth the principality in our souls; so that whatsoever we now love, it is because we love our selves; Why doth the covetous man love wealth, but because he loveth himself? Why doth the ambitious man honours, the voluptuous man pleasures, but because he loveth himself? yea this extends to God also, we love nothing of God, but for our selves, as if God were for us, not we for God; Hence it is that we would have a god like us; we make an Idol-god in our hearts instead of the true God; That which God chargeth upon some sinners, Psal. 50. 21. is true of all by na∣ture, Thou thoughtest I was such an one as thy self; now this is the rotten core in every mans heart; we think God to be like our selves, to do as we would have him do, and therefore we make that injustice in him, which we would not have him do; No wonder then, if men be generally so averse to this Truth about original sinne, for how can a man be naturally willing that this should be true, I am born in a state of sinne, I am by nature a child of wrath? Can such a bitter pill as this be easily swallowed down? how stiffely will men dispute and cavil ere they will be convinced of this? Deformed faces are not willing to look in this glass: Therefore it is a good similitude which Cortesius the Schooleman (2. Sentent. distinc. 7. pag. 48. who affecteth to turn all School-language into a polite flile,) useth concerning Pelagians denying original sinne, he compareth them to Dogs that cannot endure the halter they are tied by, and therefore all their endeavour is to gnaw the cord in pieces, that they may runne loose, Thus (saith he) do these corrupt Doctors, they are unwilling to be bound in this chain: No man can endure this cord, whereby folly is bound up in his heart, and therefore they strive to teare it in pieces; They would gladly believe there is no such thing, but the Scripture-truth will abide firme, whether thou believest it or not; Thou art by nature in an undone and a damnable estate, Page 427 whether thou will be perswaded of it or no. Therefore
In the third place, Seeing this Doctrine of original sinne and Gods procee∣dings therein are principally made known to us by Scripture-revelation; It is our wisdome to keep close to what is written, and not to give way to such curious Disputations that will never have an end: If so be the disciples of Plato would silence themselves with this, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, here Plato doth command us to stay, to rest and dispute no further; if (I say) this would im∣mediately stop their mouthes, how much more should the command of God and Christ, when we can say, here Christ hath commanded us to enquire no further? It is not therefore with divine truths, as it is with philosophical, for with the latter, though we know Aristotle saith so, yet we may enquire into the truth of it, but in Theological things, if it appear God hath said this, then we must not judge but believe; so that it is a learned ignorance, when we affect not to know above what is written. It is a good resolution of Luthers, (In cup. Genes. 6.) I follow (saith he) alwayes this rule, that I may avoid those Questi∣ons which may draw me up to the throne of Gods supreme Majesty; Melius & tutius est ad praesepe Christ hominis consistere; It is better and safer to stand at the manager of Christ as man; For this end we have Elihu and God himself at last humbling Job, who had disputed the righteous proceedings of God too pre∣sumptuously, by the consideration of Gods transcendent greatness to mans capacity, yea by these natural things, convincing him of his infirmity which we see very day as the rain and thunder, &c. Now certainly if we cannot behold a starre much less the Sunne; if we cannot find out the reason of Gods pro∣ceedings in natural things, how much more in supernatural. There∣fore
Fourthly, This is alwayes to be laid down as a foundation, there is no un∣righteousness with God, whatsoever he doth is very just, though many times this is secret and hidden to us: Even as David, while estuating in his soul, and perplexed about Gods dispensations in this world, thinking that equality of administrations to those that were not equall was inequallity; yet least this sour leaven should imbitter him too much, he layeth down as a sure principle and foundation, and that in the very beginning; Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. Psal 73. 1. And the Apostle in those sub∣lime mysteries about Election and Reprobation, doth check the presumptuous Disputations of men: Who will contend with God in such cases? Rom 9. And Elihu argueth against Job, Chap 34. 18. Is it fit to say to a King, thou art wicked, and to Princes, ye are ungodly? he meaneth of such whose righteousness and integrity is universally approved of; for the Prophets did many times re∣reprove ungodly Kings, and informe them of their impieties, (though we are to do our duties even to such with acknowlengement of their eminent place) Then how much more unsufferable is it concerning God, of whom all men have this inbred notion, that he is optimus as well as maximus, for any (if God do thus and thus, when yet the Scripture declareth that he doth so) to accuse it for unrighteousness? Our work then is to shew, that such Truths are revealed in Scripture, That God taketh such and such wayes in his dealings with mankind, and when this is established, then let us say, God is true, and every man is a liar; Then let us proclaime the righteousness of God, though we cannot satisfie eve∣ry curious Objection; yea our duty were to pass them by with contempt and silence, did not the importunity of the Adversaries provokens; so that we are to answer a fool in his solly, lest he be wise in his own conceit, Prov. 26. 5. And indeed (excepting one particular) there is not any thing scarce of any moment, that may make a man so much as doubt about the righteousness of God in this Doctrine of original sinne, as it is delivered by Protestant Writers, who fol∣low the pattern in the Mount, which that it may appear in its harmony, and not Page 428 judge of a piece by it self, but in its compleat proportion. I shall proceed to adde further Propositions. Hence
In the fourth place observe, God made made man at first perfect both in soul and body, as his body was not subject to diseases and death, so neither his soul to ig∣norance and passions: God made him right, Eccles. 7. yea in his own image, righteousness and true holiness, not as the Socinians say, that he was created in a meer innocency, that is indifferency to good or evil, not being made righte∣ous, till man should make himself: Man with simplicity in his understanding, and childishness, as if he differed but a little from an Ideot; it is wonder they do not also say, he was created blind, as Suarez reporteth (Disput. de statu innocentiae.) of some who held so, because it is said, after his fall, That their eyes were opened: Certainly, the Image of God he was created in, and with such a peculiar expression, which the Scripture taketh notice of, Let us make man after our own Image, Gen. 1. 26. doth denote nothing but excellency and perfection in him, both for natural and spiritual things, and shall we think that God who made his body perfect and in full stature, would not do the like for his soul; The end also for which God made him necessarily presupposeth him indued with all wisdom and holiness, for he was made the head of mankind, he was made to be the Governour and Lord of the world, he imposed names on the beasts, which argued both his knowledge and superiority, he was made to glorifie and praise God, to have constant communion with him and enjoyment of him, and who can think God created him for such a sublime end without pro∣portionable ability thereunto, and the rather considering, how God created every thing in its kind, as good, yea very good; Every creature was made per∣fect by its natural operations to attain its natural end, and shall man only be made imperfect? So that we are fully to believe this good and glorious estate that God made Adam in; for Pelagian and Socinians begin to erre here. This is the first step to all their future abominations.
Prop. 5. God did not only create man thus with an internal sufficiency of ability to persevere in this holy and blessed estate, but did also vouchsafe all other auxilia∣ries of grace, that might inable him to hold out: Even Adam in the state of in∣tegrity could do no good thing without the help of God, and therefore though whole, yet he needed the Physician, not indeed to heal him, or recover him, but to preserve him from falling, and no wonder Adam needed this grace of God, seeing the very Angels likewise did; So that the very difference why some did fall, and the others stand, was the grace of God, insomuch that that of Paul may be applied, even to Angels as well as men, 1 Cor. 4. 7. Who made thee to differ from another, and what hast thou that thou hast not received? Hence the Scripture maketh their election the cause of their standing, being therefore called the elect Angels, 1 Tim. 5. 21. Adam then was created thus sufficient within, and wanting nothing without, either of directing or preserving grace to continue him in this blessed estate, and which is the greater aggravation of that full and sufficient estate God created him in, he had nothing within him that might concupiscentially draw away his heart from God. It was not with Adam as with us, who though we have grace by Christ to help us, yet there is within us a repugnant principle thereunto; There is a root of rebellion within us to this grace of God, but all things in Adam were quiet and harmonious when the Devil did cast in his fiery darts, there was not so much as the least prepared materials to receive them, as it is with us, when the Devil doth tempt without we have something within that is treacherous, that is ready like a little thief, to let in the great one, but in Adam every thing was right, all lay in the meer de∣termination of his will, if he would stand, he might, there was nothing within or without, that was an impediment to him, whereas the great misery that is brought upon man, by this original corruption is, that though grace doth many Page 429 times excise and stirre up the will, yet we cannot do what we would, as Paul doth most sadly complain, Rom. 7. Adam while in the state of integrity did resemble God, though with infinite disproportion, in whom potestas and vo∣luntas are all one: Thus in Adam his posse was his velle, let him will what was good, and he did it, there was no innate corruption to make the execution of it difficult, but (alas) man in his lapsed estate doth need that grace, which doth not only give the posse, but the velle also; Hence he is said to work in us both to will and to do, Phil. 2. 13. and that of his good pleasure, not of our good will and pleasure, as some would pervert that Text.
WE are vindicating the righteousness of God in his proceedings with mankind about original sinne, being presumptuously accused by those who harden themselves against this truth. I proceed therefore to lay down one Proposition only more, thereby answering their particular Objections, which will help us to much light in this point, that it may seem no new or strange thing, that Radix damnata should proferre ramos damnatos, a condemned root should bring forth condemned branches, or a poisoned fountain invenomed streams.
The Proposition is this, God who made man thus perfect and exactly qualified every way to attain that glorious and for which he was made, did not appoint him as a meer single person to stand and fall for himself, but as a publique person, in whom we were all represented, and whose will should be as the will of all mankind; and therefore Rom. 5. we are not only said to be made sinners by him, which deno∣teth our inherent corruption, but also to sinne in him, which supposeth, that our persons were represented in him, not in this sense, as if we had appointed Adam our delegate (as it were) and so had passed over our wils to him, for how could that be, when we had no existency or being at all; Therefore this was wholly by the appointment of God, that it should be so, who is the supream Lord over all mankind; Even as Christ was Surety for all those who were given him of the Father, not as if believers did delegate him (as some have absurdly and odiously stated the Question) but he was designed to that office by the appoint∣ment of God. Adam then was made the common Trustee and Treasurer for all mankind, though he did prove (as it were) the Phaeton, involving all his poste∣rity in utter destruction; so that Adam was the head of mankind two wayes,
1. He was the caput naturale, the natural head from which his off spring was to descend, and so original sinne is communicated unto us, because of our na∣tural propagation from him; This maketh Austin call it therefore so great a sinne, that we are never able to judge enough of the hainousness of it, because hereby the whole mass and lump of mankind is soured with it; but this is not all, Therefore
In the second place, He was made caput morale, God did appoint him to be our moral head, covenanting with him, that if he perservered, the good promised should redound to him and to all his posterity, but if he did apostatize then he and all his off-spring shall be plunged into the evil threatned, and this Covenant was made known to Adam, that so he might be the more carefull to look to his duty; Neither was it requisite that God should expect Adam's consent, or ours to this agreement, seeing God is the absolute Sovereign and Lord of all, and herein did consult for our good, better then if he had taken any other way, as Page 430 is more to be insisted on. But against this Covenant many rise up with open mouth; Soto the Papist he derides it, the late Writer, so often mentioned, saith, he knoweth of no such thing, and which is the greater pity; Jausenius more orthodox, though a Papist, then many who call themselves Protestants, in the Pelagian Controversies, he following Austin too rigidly calleth it, Novum pacti mysterium, &c. the new mystery of a Covenant founded upon no Scripture, Tradition, or solid Reason, but exeogitated by meer humane Authority (De Stat. Nat. lap. lib. 1. cap. 16.) But though this Covenant with Adam be not expressed, yet evident and inseparable consequences from the Scripture will compel us to believe it, For was the commination of death only to him as a singular person, was he only interessed in the punishment of death, if he did disobey; The event demonstrateth the clean contrary, for do not all die upon his voluntary transgression? Is not this then plainly to say, that God made a Covenant with him as a publique person? And if Austin were not of that mind, how could he say, Omnes homines fuernnt ille unus homo? We were not all that one man phy∣sically and naturally, therefore morally and by Covenant in Gods estimation, per jurisfictionem (as they say) though we must not think this was a meer ficti∣on or imaginary thing, as the Remonstrants call it, only a dispensative Cove∣nant, not as if God were really angry with mankind for this transgression. Again, If there were not this Covenant, the Apostle could not lay it still upon one man, Rom. 5. and 1 Cor. 15. but if it were only because the root is defiled, then our parents sins would be accounted to us as well as Adam's, which com∣pelled Austin to incline to that opinion also.
Lastly, (For I have proved this before) Adam is called, Rom. 5. 14. The figure of his who was to come, that is, Christ; The 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Type, that is by way of contrariety, that as Christ was the head of all believers to justification and eternal life; so Adam was the head of all his posterity to sinne and eternal death; Therefore Christ is called the second Adam, whereby it is plain, That God did appoint these two as two contrary heads, and publique persons for two contrary ends, which doth necessarily imply a Covenant; and indeed who can deny, but that as all the Angels did stand upon their own personal account; The other Angels did not sinne in Lucifer as a common head, though happily by imitation, but they all stood upon their own bottom, and so were condemn∣ed for their own personal iniquity; so God also might have ordered about man, that Adam's sinne should not have hurt his posterity, what he did should be imputed to his own person only, as it is now with parents in respect of their children: Thus men might not have been subordinate to him, but collateral in respect of a moral consideration, though naturally they descended from him, for the denying of original righteousness, which is the consequent of Adam's sinne, was wholly at his free pleasure, only supposing the Covenant, it doth become necessary to us to be deprived of it, and it cannot be rationally thought, how original righteousness upon Adam's standing could have been propagated to his posterity without this Covenant of God, that it should be so.
So then if this foundation be surely laid, this will abundantly quell all those calumnies, whereby Gods proceedings are traduced in this point; for whereas it is thought to be unheard of injustice, and intollerable, that we should not only be made miserable, both temporally and eternally by another mans sinne, but also sinfull by his sinne, which is thought to be the greatest cruelty that can be imagined: We are made sinners whether we will or no, that we may be damned whether we will or no. This Proposition may serve to compose such distempered apprehensions, not indeed but that we must admire in some re∣spects at Gods holy and righteous proceedings, which we are not fully to com∣prehend. Austin is affected with the miris modis, and occultis judiciis of God in these dispensations; And he that will not leave to faith, to apprehend where Page 431 reason cannot comprehend, doth deserve both ex congruo & condigno, to be accounted a Philosopher, rather than a Christain, and his Religion Reason, ra∣ther than Faith; For what point is there in those mysteries of faith, which we believe, wherein we are not to cry out 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Oh the depths! Our oyster∣shell cannot empty that Ocean; as Austin is reported to have a vision of a young man attempting to do so, while he was writing his book of the Trinity, thereby informing him of humane incapacity to reach comprehensively to such things. Again, There is none saith, that this sinfull condition, and so by con∣sequence miserable is brought upon Infants necessarily; for although as to them it's inevitable, yet in Adam, it was free and voluntary, God had abun∣dantly furnished him withall abilities to make mankind happy, and none may presume of Adam's posterity, that he would have done otherwise. Who can say, he would have done otherwise then Adam did, seeing God did on purpose create man at first in such a furnished and qualified manner, that as Austin ob∣serveth, the world might see what the free-will of man could do, that now we may see what the grace of Christ can do.
Furthermore, (Which consideration alone is able to overthrow the foun∣dation of all the calumnies cast upon this Doctrine) God when he made Adam thus the common trustee for mankind, did herein consult our good; It was for mans advantage that all this was done for him, he intended original righteousness, immortality and happinesse should descend from him to his posterity, upon his perseverance, so that no more evil is now inflicted upon Adam's off-spring then good was designed and provided for him, if he had continued in obedi∣ence. If sinne and misery come upon Infants now before actual knowledge, so would original righteousnesse and happinesse have descended upon them be∣fore their consent; and whereas happily many of Adam's posterity, yea all, if left to themselves, would have revolted from God; upon Adam's confirma∣tion, all would have been confirmed: So that we see God doth not inflict more evil then he had provided good for us.
Again, The known Enemy to the Doctrine of original sinne doth falsly and odi∣ously represent this Doctrine, as if Infants were innocents, and yet we hold them guilty of eternal damnation, and therefore having mustered many reasons together, concludeth upon the account of them, That it is safe to affirm, that God doth not damn any one to hell for the sinne of another. (Vnum Necess. cap. 6. Sect. 1.) Now this is to make Chimera's of his own head, for no Di∣vine saith, That an Infant deserveth hell, meerly because Adam sinned, nor is he obnoxious to the wrath of God meerly for that, but because this corruption of Adams is also propagated to the child, and so it is obnoxious to the wrath of God, for that inherent derived pollution, and the Scripture being as plain and clear in describing of such a natural estate of man by his descent from A∣dam, as may possibly be desired; We must not leave such evident Texts, be∣cause we may subtilly dispute in a cavilling manner about Gods proceedings herein. It is good Rule among the Schoolmen, That in Philosophicis argu∣mentum facit fidem, but in Theologicis-fides facit argumentum, In Philosophy the Argument worketh saith or assent, but in Divinity, saith worketh the argu∣ment; So that we are to believe that one place, if there were no more, of Da∣vid's confession, Psal. 51. 5. Behold I was shopen in iniquity, and in sinne did my mother conceive me, then all the curious, presumptuous speculations of men, who from reason would demolish this truth, and as for their evasions, and wrestings of that place, they are so forced and irrational, that a man may justly tremble to see men no more reverentially submit their thoughts to the Scripture; Certainly the Psalmist intended, that every one should have a special regard to this truth delivered there, because of the (Behold) prefixed, which is, as I may so say, the Asterisce of the holy Ghost, or the Bibles nota benè (as was for∣merly said in this Text.)
Page 432If further it be objected, That it was not voluntary to Adam's posterity, their consents were to be expected.
To this it is easily answered, That seeing God had provided such a way for mankind, as was for their good, seeing the contrary good, and more also to that evil we are now fallen into, was intended for us in case of Adam's obedi∣ence, how silly is it to say, mans consent should be expected? Not to adde fur∣ther, that the holy wisdom of God ordering it thus, is enough to make us ne∣ver to open our mouths more against this way; and as for the involuntarinesse of this sinne, we have several times spoken to that, It was voluntary as farre as the nature of such a sinne did require, even as habitual sinnes are not voluntary, as actual are, but are as farre as habitual ones do require. It was voluntary effectivè; This sinne did not arise from the nature or matter of man necessarily, as the Materiarii and other Heretiques taught, but by the voluntary transgres∣sion of Adam; It is also voluntary subjectivè, for this corruption is chiefly seat∣ed in the will, which ruleth the whole man; and it is voluntary consecntivè by consequent, for man naturally delighteth in this evil estate, and till grace make a change we are not weary of this condition. It is true, this subsequent will whereby we delight in our original pollution, doth not properly make original sinne to be ours, for this is an actual sinne, and floweth from that better root, only it sheweth that this evil estate is so farre from being contrary to mans will naturally, that it delighteth in it, and doth contumaciously rebell against the grace of Christ that would deliver.
Lastly, Whereas the 18th Chapter of Ezekiel is commonly objected against this truth, where God by the Prophet at large declareth, That the Sonne shall not die for the fathers sinne (an innocent for a nocent) but every one shall die in his own iniquity; I have spoken something to this already, neither am I to con∣sider, how that place is to be reconciled with the second Commandment, wherein God is said, To visit the iniquity of fathers upon their children to several generations, Exod. 20. 3. and several instances of Scripture make it good. To be sure the Proverb which gave occasion to this passage, was a prophane one, redounding to Gods dishonour; Sanctius (in locum) the Papist thinketh that the Jews of old had used it, and that because of Adam's fall imputed to his po∣sterity, but it seemeth rather at that time to be taken up, while under the judge∣ments of God, especially for Manassehs his sins, as appeareth Jer. 15. 4. where is observable, that though Manasses had repented, and his sinnes pardoned to him, yet God visited them upon the Nation afterward; So that it may not seem strange: If it be affirmed, That notwithstanding Adam repented, and his sinne pardoned, yet it may be visited upon all his posterity. There are various thoughts about the interpretation of the place: Some making it a promise un∣der the Covenant of grace only, as it seemeth probable, if you compare it with Jer. 31. 29. where the same prophane Proverb is mentioned, and this promise to the contrary, whereas Adam was under the Covenant of works. Others ve∣ry probably say, This is not to be extended to all times and places, only God promiseth, That in their particular condition at present, they shall have no oc∣casion to use it; for such who did, might be brought back from their captivity. Thus Sanctius and Maldenate, because (say they) it is plain, That the Jews now are under their grievous calamity for their fathers sake, who crucified Christ, saying, Let his blood be upon us and our children, Mat. 27. 25. But how∣ever the Exposition be, it doth not gain-say this Doctrine of original sinne, for there it speaketh of children free from their parents sins; we speak of children filled with inherent corruption themselves, though derived from Adam, and chiefly, because there the Prophet speaketh of particular, private parents, whereas we say, Adam was a publique appointed person by God himself, so that that of Adam's is extraordinary, even as Christ, though innocent, yet Page 433 died for our sins, which yet seemeth to contradict this place of Ezekiel, and the Socinians bring it to prove it could not stand with Gods justice to punish Christ, being innocent, for our sins.
But in the close of all we may justly retort on those who oppose this truth, that they attribute much injustice and cruelty to God, which Austin doth fre∣quently urge the Pelagians with, for they make all the misery that many times falleth upon young Infants, yea and that repugnancy and temptation that is within us against good to be from our primitive constitution, that God made us so. Those that will not acknowledge original sinne to be the cause of this misery, must make God to be so, and therefore, as appeareth by Baronius (Annal. Anno 418.) The Emperors Edict made to banish Pelagians, containeth this, as one reason, Proprer trucem inclementiam &c. for the horrid and cruel incle∣mency they attribute to God, passing a sentence upon man to die before he li∣veth; But I shall hereafter, when I come to speak of the Effects of original sin make it appear,
Let the Use of all this be to humble our selves under Gods righteous proceed∣ings, to say with Job chap. 40. 3 Behold I am vile, I will lay my hand upon my mouth; Yea mayest thou not admire at the wise ends of God revealed in Scri∣pture, why this should be? This is to stop every mans mouth; This is to make it appear, That all the world is guilty before God; This is to make it appear, that Christ is necessary, this is the way to make Christ more glorious and precious to those that do believe.