A treatise of original sin ... proving that it is, by pregnant texts of Scripture vindicated from false glosses
Burgess, Anthony, d. 1664.


Q. Whether Adam's sinne was only an occasion of Gods punishing all mankind, resolved against D. J. T.

I Shall conclude this Text with answering a two-fold Question; The full dis∣cussing whereof may inform us about the most secret and mysterious truths that are in this point. And

First, It may be demanded, That suppose it be granted, that by Adam we die, may not this be understood any more than occasionally? God was so displeased with Adam for his transgression, that thereupon he insticts the curse threatned to him upon his posterity. Even as we read often in Scripture, that God for Magistrates sins, Page  521

or for parents sins doth take an occasion to punish a people or children for their own sinnes. Thus it may be thought, that God by occasion from Adam's transgression, did impose on us for our sinnes the same curse that was denounced to Adam; not that we were sinners in him, not that we come into the world with any inherent sinne, but because of our actual impieties, God punisheth us with Adam's curse.
In this manner the late adversary to original sinne doth explicate himself. (An Answer to a Letter, pag. 30, 31, 32.) as if this were all the evil by Adam, that for his sake our sinnes inherit the curse. Insomuch (saith he) that it is not so properly to be called original sinne, as an original curse upon our sinne. That we may not be deceived in his mean∣ing (though it is very difficult to reconcile himself with himself) For at ano∣ther time he saith, The dissolution of the soul and holy should have been, if Adam had not sinned: for the world would have been too little to have entertained the yriads of men, which would have been born, (An Answer to a Letter p. 86, 87) Now how Adam's sinne should bring in the sentence of death, as he saith in another place, (Vnum Necessar. cap. 6. sect. 1. pag. 367.) and yet he have died, though he had not sinned, is impossible to reconcile.) He giveth us two similitudes or parallel expressions, which may demonstrate how it stands between Adam and as.

The first is, Psal. 106. 32, 33. They angred him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes. Because they provoked his Spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. Here was (saith he) plainly a traouction of evil from the Nation to Moses their relative; for their sakes he was punished, but yet forasmuch as Moses himself had sinned. But surely we may here say, Behold a new thing under the Sunne. This was scarce ever heard of before in the Church of God, so that it 〈◊〉 too much honour to it, to confute it; yet some∣thing must be said, lest words prevail, and similitudes, when reasons cannot. Not to meddle with any large explication of that passage in the Psalm; If we consult with Bellarmize and Genebrard, this place will no wayes serve his turn. For Bellarmine (inlocum.) would have the 33. verse not to contain any sinne of Moses, as it he spake unadvisedly with his lips, but referreth that to Gods Decree or Purpose pronounced by his mouth, which was to destroy the Nations, as it followeth in the next verse; which they did not do, affirming the Hebrew word cannot be applied to an unadvised speaking, or as it is rendred by some, ambiguous and doubtfull: Neither is it in the Text that God punished Moses for their sakes, but as our Translators, It went ill with Moses for their sakes; And this translation Genebrard taketh notice of, as following the Hebrew, ad∣ding, that some expound it, not of any punishment God inflicted upon Mo∣ses, but of that vexation, trouble and grief which he had, because of their murmurings and rebellings against him. And it this be so, then here is not so much room for his opinion, as to set the sole of its feet. But let it be granted, That Moses was occasionally punished by the Israelites rebellion for his own sinne: For who can deny but that God doth sometimes take an occasion from some mens sinnes to punish others for their own sinnes, as the Hebrews have a saying, especially when related to one another, That in every punishment they undergo, there is an ounce of that Calf, which Aaron made, as if God did from that, take an occasion to punish the Israelites for their other transgressions; yet this is no parallel to our case in hand; for here the Israelites were an occasion to make Moses sinne, for which God was so angry with him, that he was not suffered to enter into the Land of Canan. But we are now speaking of men, who are punished by death, that yet never were occasioned to sinne by Adam, in the Adversaries sense. For the people of Israel were present with Moses, and by their froward carriages did provoke him to that sinfull passion; but A∣dam hath been dead some thousands of years since. Who can say, It is AdamPage  522 that stirreth me up, it is Adam that will not let me alone, but compelleth me to sinne? Yea, how can Heathens and Pagans be said to sinne occasionally by Adam, when they (happily) never heard that there was such a man in the world? Besides, Infants they are subject to death, What actual sinne doth Adam produce the occasion of to them? If then Adam were now alive, and Infants could be tempted to actual sinnes, as Meses was by the Israelites, then there had been more probability of his instance.

But it may be his second example will be more commensurated to our pur∣pose, and that is from 1 King. 14 16. where it's said, God would give Israel up, because of the sinnes of Jeroboam, who did sinne, and made Israel to sinne. Thus saith he, alluding to the words of the Apostle, By one man (Jeroboam) sinne went out into all (Israel) and the curse, captivity or death by sinne; and so death went upon all men (of Israel) inasmuch as all men (of Israel) have sinned. But this is wholly to give up the cause to Pelagians, whose glosse yet of imitation he utterly rejecteth, though much more that which affirmeth, we are made pro∣perly and formally sinners by him. (Answer to a Letter, pag. 54.) For how did Jereboam make all Israel sinne? was not by his example, and in the fame sinne of Idolatry, as he did? Now do we follow Adam in eating of the for bidden fruit, and so offend God in the same sinne as he did? So that this was wholly by imitation; and therefore one generation did transmit this sinne to anotherly example, till at last there was no more mention of it. But did Adam thus offend, and then Cain and others follow him in the like sinne? He cannot then wash his hands from the Pelagian Doctrine of original sinne from Adam, only by imitation, if he adhere to this inftance. Again Jeroboam is said to make Israel sinne for some time only, while his memory and example had some influence, and it was the sinne of the Israelites only, for many separated themselves from him, and went into the kingdom of Judah, that so they might not be polluted with that worship, as appeareth, 1 Chron. 11. 14. 16. whereas Adam's sinne bringeth death upon all mankind, and this will endure to the end of the world; for the Apostle saith in the Text, In Adam all die. Besides, This Author gresly contradicts himself; for at one time, he saith,

God was s angry for Adam's sinne, that he indeed punished men with death, yet but till Moses his time, and then death came upon a new accout. At other times he makes it a punishment of all men, because of Adam's sinne.
And indeed the Text we are upon doth evidently enforce this.

Furthermore, Death is said to reign over all markind, to passe on all; and are not Infants part of the world? It is true, he saith, Children and Ideots that cannot commit actual sinnes, death is no punishment to them, they die in their nature; but if there had been no sinne, how could there have been ideots, and children that die in their Infancy? Certainly, that must be an immature death. Now although it be said, That death is a conlequent of nature, yet immature death must needs be a punishment of sinne; for so this Auther an∣swereth that Text, Death is the wages of sinne;

The Apostle (saith he) pri∣marily and terally means the solemn••es, and causes, and infelicines, and 〈◊〉 of temporal death, and not meerly the dissolution, which is direct, no evil, but an in let to a better state.
(Answ. to a Letter, pag. 87▪)

〈…〉 this discourse of the occasionality of death by Adam's sinne, is 〈…〉 meer non-us, and fancy of his own, will appear by the opposite to Adam〈◊〉 comparision with Christ. What was Christ onely the occasion of our righteousness and life? Did God from Christs obedience take the occasion only 〈…〉 us for our own obedience? who seeth not the absurdity of this? Though therefore he doth super•••usly overlook Calvin, Knox and the Scoich Presbyterics in this point; yet I suppose he will bearken with more reve∣rence Page  523 to what the late Annotatour saith in this matter, Annotat in cap. 5. of the Romans.) for in his paraphrase on the 12 Verse, he makes death and mortality to come upon all men by Adam's disobedience, because all that were born after were sinners, that is born after the likeness and image of Adam; And again on Verse 14, death came on the world, because all men are Adam's posterity, and begotten after the image and similitude of a sinful parent. By this we see the cause of death is put upon that image and likeness we are now born in, to our sinful parent, which is nothing els but our original corruption. Let not this consideration of our sinful soules and mortal bodies, pass away before it hath wrought some af∣fectionate influence upon our soules; Cogita temcrtuum brevi moriturum: Every pain, every ch is a memento to esse hominem. That is an effectual ex∣pression of Job cap. 17. 14. I said to corruption thou art my father, and to the worm thou art my mother and sister: You see your alliance and kindred, though never so great; it is your brother-worm your sister-worm: Job giveth the wormes this title, because his body was shortly to be consumed by them, and thereby a most intimate conjunction with them would follow; Post Genesim sequitur Exodui, was an elegant allusion of one of the Ancients; yea the life that we do live, is so full of miseries, that Solomon accounteth it better not to have been born; and the Heathen said, Quem Deus amat moritur juvenis, which should humble us under the cause of this sinne.