Of Death coming upon all men, as another Effect of Original Sinne.
The Text explained.
1 COR. 15. 22.
THe chief scope of the Apostle in this Chapter (as was former∣ly declared from the 49th verse) is to establish that funda∣mental and necessary Article of the Resurrection of the dead; which because of the incredibility of it to meer humane rea∣son, was much derided by the Heatheus, and Paul for the preaching thereof, was called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Acts 17. 18. A trifling babler. Hence because of the difficulty to receive this truth, Synesius was ordained Bishop, though as yet not perswaded of the Doctrine, which afterwards by the grace of God towards him, he did ac∣knowledge. Yea it's observed, That the Philosophers when made Christians, received this as the last Article of their Christian faith, because so contrary to those Philosophical principles they had been accustomed unto. The Sadduces also denied this main Article, but they might be supposed to do it upon corrupt grounds futable to their lusts; for being (though not so numerous, nor so applauded for piety by the people, as the Pharisees were, yet) for the most part the richest and most wealthy, they imbraced that opinion, which denied the Resurrection, as being more convenient for their carnal hearts, and that they might with more delight and security give themselves up to this present world. But the Apostle doth here most industriously and powerfully confirm this Doctrine, which if not true, all our Christian Religion would be in vain.
The principal Argument to prove this Doctrine is from the Resurrection of Christ: For the rising as our Head, it necessarily followeth his members should also rise to such glory and immortality. So that Christs Resurrection doth necessarily inferre outs, which made the primitive Christians so affected with it, that in their ordianry salutations, whenmeeting with one another, they did use to say. Christus resurrexit, Christ is risen. For this end, Christ is cal∣led, The first fruit of them that slept, vers. 20. As the first fruits did sanctifie the whole harvest of corn that was afterwards to be gathered: So did Christ Page 506 rising, all his members by his Resurrection, assuring them of theirs. Hence it is that the Apostles Arguments are not to prove the Resurrection of wicked men (for they arise upon another account) but onely of the godly who are his members, and have an interest in his mediation.
It is indeed a Dispute, Whether even wicked men do not rise by the virtue of Christs merit, and his Resurrection. Baldwine for determining the negative (in locum.) is traduced by another Lutheran for Popery and Calvinism, as in∣troducing that Doctrine of the particularity of Christs death. But certainly, The wicked mans resurrection is not to be accounted in the number of any mercies, and therefore not merited by Christ. Hence it followeth necessarily, that they rise not by any relation to Christ, but by the power and justice of God, because of that immutable and unchangeable Decree, that every sinner unrepenting shall die both temporally and eternally, which later could not be accom∣plished, unlesse the bodies of wicked men were raised up to life again out of the dust.
Now our Apostle to prove Christ the cause of our Resurrection, draweth an Argument from a comparison between Adam and him, making them two originals and fountains, but of contrary effects, the one of death, the other of life; For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive. Not that all men universally shall be saved by Christ; but the universal particle must be limited according to the subject matter in hand; All that are in Christ, all that are his members shall be made alive by him. And therefore in the next verse it is so limit∣ed, Christ the first-fruits, and afterwards they that are Christs at his coming; So that the sense is, That as all Adams posterity die, because of him, so all that are Christs seed shall live by him. For the expression in Adam, and in Christ, do denote a causality in them, the one of death, the other of life. Therefore we must not think, that the Apostle doth here only make a bare similitude and comparison, shewing that as by Adam we die, so by Christ we shall be made alive, but it's an Argument from the power and causality that is in one to the other.
The Apostle doth in the fifth of the Romans make the like comparison, only there is this difference, as Calvin observeth. In that place the Apostle maketh the comparison chiefly in respect of spiritual effects, death as it brings condem∣nation, and life as it is accompanied with justification here, and glorification hereafter. This Text is greatly agitated in the controversie between Puccius and Socinus, (Vide Disput. de statu primi hominis ante lapsum.) The former holding truly (though he superaddeth many gross errors) that Adam was not made mortal, and that death came in only by sinne: only he goeth absurdly beyond his bounds, when he holdeth the beasts were also made immortal. The later on the contrary he holdeth, That Adam was made mortal, that death in natural, that though by sinne we are under a perpetual necessity of death, (which is an ambiguous phrase he useth) yet death it self is natural; He granteth, That immature and violent death cometh by sinne; but death as it is a meer dissolu∣tion of a person, so it is from his primitive creation and constitution. Therefore be would have this difference between the Text I am upon, and Paul's Discourse in the fifth of the Romans, viz. That there indeed he speaketh of the sinne of Adam, by which we come to die; But here he would have the Apostle consider Adam as he is by Creation, and that being mortal from the beginning we also are mortal from him. But who can perswade himself, that these passages concern∣ing the change of the body hereafter to what it is now? It is sown in corruption, it's raised in corruption, it is sowen in dishonour, it is raised in glory, it is sowen in weaknesse, it is raised in power, are to be understood of our bodies, as at the first Creation, and not as they are now by Adam's fall? Our bodies are made corruptible and vile bodies by reason of sinne. We must then understand the Page 507 Apostle as speaking of Adam sinning, though sinne be not here named. So that the fifth of the Romans will excellently illustrate this place; and that ma∣keth the sense to be, That Adam sinning, by his sinne death entered upon all man∣kind, so that death is not natural, neither doth it arise from our first constitution, but it cometh in wholly by sinne.
Death an Effect of Original Sinne, explained in divers Proposi∣tions.
HAving then heretofore spoken of some spiritual effects of original sinne, (and more might be named, such as a necessity to sinne, an impotency to all good, senslesness and stupidity therein, the aldom to Satan; but I shall pass them by, (as being very proper to the Common-place of Divinity, which is of the grace of God, and mans free-will) and shall proceed to the effects of original sinne that are of another nature, and that is temporal and eternal death. The former effects did so slow from original sinne, as that also they are sinfull proper∣ties in a man, but these are meerly punishments. It is not our sinne that we are sick, that we die, but it is the effect. From the words then we observe this truth and doctrine,
That death cometh upon all mankind, because of our sinne we have originally from Adam. It is true, the Socinian will say, We put more in the Doctrine, then is in the Text; but you heard the comparison used by the Apostle in the fifth of the Romans compared with this, doth necessarily suppose death to be, because of Adam's sinne, not only as imputed unto us, but because thereby we are made inherently sinfull. This truth is of a very vast compasse, but I shall con∣sine my self within as narrow bounds as may be; I shall follow my usual method to explicate this in several Propositions.
FIrst, This controversie about mans mortality is very famous in the Church, and hath been of old solliciously disputed. The Pelagians as they denied original sinne, so consonantly to that falshood they affirmed, That death was not the punishment of sinne, but did arise by the necessity of our natural constitution; Which Assertion was condemned by some Councils, and the Laws of Empe∣rours, as injurious to God the Creator of men. For this experience, that In∣fants new born are subject to many miseries, and death it self, was a thorn in their sides, which they could not endure in, nor yet possibly pull out. Some∣times with the Stocks they would deny death to be an evil. Sometimes they would say, Children in the womb are guilty of actual sinnes, for which they de∣served death: but that which they did most constantly adhere unto, was, That Adam was made mortal, and would have died, if he had not sinned, death being a necessary consequence (as they say) from a mans corporal constitution. The Papists, especially the Schoolmen of old, and the Jesuites of late (to whom Jansenius doth vehemently oppose in this point, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as the Greek ex∣pression is) say, That Adam was indeed by nature mortal, but by grace and superadded favour, he was immortal. So that both Papists and Protestants Page 508 agree in this, That Adam was made immortal in his Creation: Only the dif∣ference is, Whether as original righteousness, so immortality may be said to be natural or supernatural to Adam; We say it's natural, they say it's superna∣tural; and yet Bellarmine (De gratiâ primi Hom. lib. cap. 5.) in his explication of himself in this point cometh very near us, or at least speaketh contradictions to himself: For (he saith) if natural be taken for that which was put into man from his nativity, if natural be taken for that which was to be propagated to Adam's posterity; if natural be taken for that which is convenient, to perfect and prepare a man for his end, then they say original righteousness, and so by consequence immortality would have been natural to Adam's posterity; but if we take natural for that which doth internally constitute nature, or necessarily flow from the principles of nature, then (they say) immortality was superna∣tural, even as original righteousnesse. But the Protestants, when they call original righteousnesse natural, they doe not meane effectivè, as if it were not the gift of God bestowed upon us, as if it did flow from the principles of nature; but subjectivè, that is, original righteous∣nesse and immortality were not supernatural to Adam, as they are now to us, being we are corrupted, but connatural, or a due perfection to man, supposing God created him for such an end, as to enjoy himself. So that it is due not so much to the nature of man, as to Gods Order and Decree concern∣ing man. Thus as in birds, supposing God would have them to flie, it was ne∣cessary they should have wings, (though they come from a natural principle) so in man, supposing God made him for communion with, and enjoyment of himself, it was necessary that he should be indewed with holiness (Though flowing not from nature, but concreated by God with man.) Thus that which is the gift of God, and cometh only from him, may be in respect of the subject a due perfection. It was thus with Adam in respect of his soul, that was crea∣ted immediately by God, it did not flow from any natural causes; yet supposing God would make him a rational creature, then this became a due perfection to him. Adam then was immortal by nature in a well-explained sense, as he had a reasonable soul by nature. But however it be, Protestants and many Papists agree in the thing, that he was made immortal; only they differ in the manner How. Now the Socinian differeth from all; for he dogmatizeth, That Adam was made mortal, that death was natural, and denieth any original righteousnesse or immortality that was bestowed upon Adam any way. It is true, sometimes he saith, That though Adam was made mortal, yet God might have preserved him from actual death by some way or other; only that he was made immortal, that he denieth. So that what the Papists dream about their imaginary pure naturals, saying, God might have created man so: Socinians affirm defacto, it was so. The late Writer Dr. T. is also positive for Adam's mortality by nature, That Adam was made mortal by nature (saith he) is infinitely certain, and proved by his eating and drinking, &c. (Further Explicat. pag. 453.) instancing in those Arguments the Socinians use to bring. All which Assertions do directly and evi∣dently oppose the word of God.
How many wayes a thing may be said to be Immortal; and in which of them man is so.
SEcondly, When we say, God made Adam immortal, and that upon his transgression both himself and his posterity are subjected to a necessity of death, We must rightly understand in what sense he is said to be so. For
1. A thing may be said to be immortal absolutely and essentially, having no principles of death within, nor cannot be destroyed by any cause without. Thus 1 Tim. 6. 16. God is said only to have immortality. This is that comfortable attribute which the people of God make use of under all changes and vicissitudes, God is alwayes the same. Though father die, though mother die, yet God doth not; as one in the Ecclesiastical Story said, when word was brought him, that his father was dead, Desine (saith he) blasphemias loqui, pater enim meus immortalis est, Cease to speak blasphemy for my father is immortal.
2. That may be said to be immortal, which is so by some singular dispensation of God, either in respect of mercy, or of justice; and thus it is with the glori∣fied bodies of the Saints, and the damned bodies of wicked men; for the Saints their vile bodies shall be made like Christs glorious body, they are raised to in∣corruptibility and glory; and as for the bodies of damned persons, though they be raised to reproach and dishonour, yet by Gods justice they are preser∣ved immortal; so that the fire cannot consume them to ashes, neither shall length of time ever destroy them. For if God could make the Israelites cloaths and shoes to last so many years without being consumed, no wonder if he do a greater matter upon the bodies of men.
3. That may be said to be immortal, which by the will of the Creator is so con∣stituted, that being separated from all matter, it hath no principles of dissolution from within. And thus the Angels are immortal, they have no principle of corruption within, yet they are annihilable by the power of God; should God withdraw his preservation of them they would cease to be, but from within they have no cause of dissolution. The Devils also in this sense are immortal, and that is the reason, though many wicked and bloudy persecutors of Gods Church have died, yet the Devil being immortal hath stirred up new ones, which made a good man say to one who did greatly rejoyce at the death of a cruel persecutor, At diabolus non moritur, but the Devil doth not die.
Lastly, A thing may be said to be immortal, Conditionally supposing such and such conditions he performed, and in this sense only we say, God made Adam im∣mortal; for 〈◊〉 had a power to sinne, and so a power to die, he had a power to stand, and to a power to be freed from death. So that we do not say, Adam had such an immortality as the glorified bodies have that cannot die, but con∣ditionally onely. As he had in him power to sinne, so he had a power to de∣prive himself of all happinesse and immortality, which fell out also to our utter undoing. Autin's expression of Posse non mori, and Non posse mori, is known by all. It is not then an absolute, but a conditional immortality we speak of.
Propos. 3. ALthough we say that God made man immortal, yet we grant, that his body being made of the dust of the earth, and compounded of contrary element, it had therefore a remote power of death. It was mortal in a remote sense, only God making him in such an eminent manner, and for so glorious an end, there was no proxim and immediate disposition to death. God indeed gave Adam his name (whereas Adam imposed a name upon all other creatures, but not himself) and that from the originals he was made of, to teach him humility even in that excellent estate, yet he was not in an immediate disposition to death, When Adam had transgressed Gods Law, though he did not actually die upon it, yet then he was put into a mortal state, having the prepared causes of death with∣in him; but it was not so, while he stood in the state of integrity, then it was an immortal state, now it is a mortal one; I say state, because even now, though Adam hath brought sinne and death upon us, yet in respect of the soul a man may be said to be immortal, but then there was immortality in respect of soul and body, the state he was created in, did require it. So that although death be the King of terrors, yet indeed original sinne, which is the cause of it, should be more terrible unto us. Now man by sinne is fallen, the beasts could they speak would say; Man is become like one of us, yea worse, for he carrieth about with him a sinfull soul, and a mortal body.
Distinctions about Mortality, and that in several respects Adam may be said to be created mortal and immortal.
THe fourth Proposition is, That from the former premisses, it may be deducted, that in several respects Adam may be said to be created mortal, and immor∣tal; yet if we would speak absolutely to the question, when demanding how Adam was created, we must return, Immortall. Some indeed, because mans mortalilty and immortality depended wholy upon his will, as he did will to sinne, or not to sinne; so they have said he was neither made mortal, or immor∣tal, but capable of either; but that is not to speak consonantly to that excellen∣cy of state which Adam was created in; for as Adam was created righteous, not indifferent, (as the Socinians say,) neither good or bad, but capacious of either qualification; so he was also made immortal, not in a neutral or middle state between mortal and immortal; so that he had inchoate immortality upon his creation, but not consummate or confirmed, without respect to perseverance in his obedience: for the state of integrity was, as it were the beginning of that future state of glory. Again Adam might be called mortal in respect of the or∣ginals of his body being taken out of the dust of the earth, but that was only in a remote power, so God did so adorne him with excellent qualifications in soul and body, that the remote power could never be brought into a proxime and immediate disposition, much less into an actual death, for a thin• may be said to be mortal, 1. In respect of the matter, and thus indeed Adams body in a remote sence was corruptible.
2. In respect of the forme. Thus Philosophers say sublunary things are cor∣ruptible because the matter of them hath respect to divers formes, whereas they call the heavens incorruptible, because the matter is sufficiently actuated Page 511 by one forme, and hath no inclination to another; and thus Adam might truly be said to be immortal, for it was very congruous that a body should be united to the soul that was sutable to it; for that being the form of a man, and having an inclination or appetite to the body, if man had been made mortal at first, the natural appetite would in a great measure have been frustrated, it being for a little season only united to the body, and perpetually ever afterwards sepera∣ted from it: Surely as an Artificer doth not use to put a precious Diamond or Pearl into a leaden Ring; so neither would God at first joyn such a corrupti∣ble body to so glorious and an immortal soul.
3. A thing may be said to be mortal in respect of efficiency: and thus it is plain Adam was not made mortal: for he might through the grace of God assisting have procured immortality to himself; that threatening to Adam, In the day he should eat of that forbidden fruit, he should die the death, Gen. 2, 17. doth plainly demonstrate, that had he not transgressed Gods command, he should never have died.
4. A thing may be said to be mortal in respect of its end; Thus all the beasts of the field, (whatsoever Puccius thought) are mortal, because their end was for man, to serve him; so that it is a wild position to affirm, as he doth, that there shall be a resurrection of beasts, as well as of men, for they were made both in respect of matter, form, and end, altogether mortal, whereas Adam was made after the Image of God, to have communion and fellowship with God, and that for ever, which could not be without immortality.
Prop. 5. THe true causes of death are only revealed in Gods Word. All Philo∣sophers and Physitians they searched no further then into the prox∣im & immediate causes of death, which are either external or internal; they look∣ed no further; and knew of no other thing, but now by the Word of God, we Christians come to know that there are three principal causes of death; so that had not they been, those intermedious and proxime causes of death had never been: The first cause is only by occasion and temptation, and that was the De∣vil: he tempted our first parents, and thereby was an occasion to let death into the world: for this cause the Devil is called, Joh. 8. 44. a murderer from the beginning; it doth not so much relate to Cain, as to Adams transgression; yet the Scripture Rom. 5. doth not attribute death to the Devil, but to one mans disobedience, because Adams will was not forced by Satan, he had power to have resisted his temptations, only the Devil was the tempting cause. The se∣cond and most proper cause of death was Adams disobedience; so that death is a punishment of that sinne, not a natural consequent of mans constitution. The History of Adam as related by Moses doth evidently confirme this, that there was no footstep of death, till he transgressed Gods Law, and upon that it was most just, that he who had deprived himself of Gods Image, which is the life of the soul. should also be deprived of his soul, which is the life of the body; that as when he rebelled against God, he presently felt an internal rebellion by lusts within, and an external disobedience of all creatures, whom he did rule over before by a pacifical dominion; so also it was just, that he who had de∣prived himself of spiritual life, should also be divested of his natural life. Hence it is that the Apostle informeth us of that, which all the natural wise men of the world were ignorant of, Rom 5. 12. That by one mans sinne, death entred into the world, where the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is observed to have its peculiar Empha∣sis, pertransiit sicut lues, even as the rot doth destroy an whole flock of sheep; and therefore at the 14th Verse the Apostle useth another emphatical ex∣pression, Page 512Death reigned, and that upon those who had not sinned after the similitude of Adams transgression: Seeing then by Adams transgression death cometh thus to reign over all mankind, and there would be no justice to have 〈◊〉 in∣flicted, where there is no sinne; it followeth necessarily that every child beco∣meth inherently sinful because internally mortal and corruptible. Thirdly, The third and last cause, is the anger of God justly inflicting this punishment of death upon us; death may be considered in respect of the meritorious cause, and so it is not of God, but of sinne. Secondly in respect of the decre•ing and punishing cause; and this death is from God, as an evil justly inflicted upon man for his sinnes; God inflicts the sentence of death upon us, but sinne de∣serveth it; not that death can properly be caused by God, for that is a priva∣tion, but by removing life, God in taking away life, is thereby said to cause death: Even as when the Sunne is removed from our Hemispere, then darkness doth necessarily follow. These then are the causes of death, but oh how little are they attended unto• men attributing death to many other causes besides this.
Prop. 6. VVHen we say that death cometh by original sinne, in that we com∣prehend all deseases pains and miseries, which are as so many inchoate deaths, yea all labour and weariness; for so God threatned Adam, Gen. 2, 17. Cursed is the ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the dayes of thy life. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground: for out of it wast thou taken. In this sentence there is matter enough to humble us; there is not a thistle in thy corn, not a weed in thy gar∣den, but it may put thee in mind of original sinne; yea there is not the least pain or ach of thy body, but this may witness it to thee: so that Austin saith truly, we do circumferre testimonium, &c. We carry about with us daily full evidence to confirme this Doctrine of original sinne: for such evils and cala∣mities as do necessarily follow our specifical nature, accompanying us as men, they cannot be attributed unto any other cause but original sin; which considera∣tion viz. of mankind being universally plunged into miseries, and not knowing the cause thereof, made the Platonists, and some Heretiques conclude, that the soules of men had sinned formerly, and by way of punishment were therefore adjudged to these mortal and wretched bodyes. Though death be only men∣tioned, because that is most terrible, and all other miseries tend thereunto; yet they are necessarily included. Some ask the Question, Why God did not threaten hell, rather then death; but no doubt eternal death is understood in this commination, for temporal and eternal death are the wages of sinne, only death is mentioned as being most terrible to sense, men being more affected with that, then with hell which is believed by faith. The Scripture then men∣tioning death only, how absurd and preposterous are the Socinians, who in that threatning will comprehend any thing but death; death they say cometh from the necessity of that matter we are constituted of, but sickness, labour, and such miseries, as also eternal death, these are the proper fruit of sinne: Thus men delivered up to errour, are hurried from one dangeous precipice to another. But let Christians in all deseases, miseries, and death it self, look higher then the Philosopher, or the Physitian: Let them acquaint themselves with original sinne, and thereupon humble themselves under Gods hand.
The several Grounds assigned by Schoolmen of Adam's immortality rejected, and some Causes held forth by the Orthodox.
Propos. 7. ALthough it be agreed upon by all, except Socinians and their ad∣herents, that Adam was made immortal at least by grace, and the favour of his Creator; yet there is difference among the Popish Writers, upon what to fasten the ground of his immortality: What was the cause of it, therein they disagree. Some place it in a certain vigor and excellency that was then in the soul, whereby it was able to preserve the body from death: Moli∣na liketh not this, (De opere sex dierum Disput. 28.) and therefore he doth affirm, that the body of Adam was made immortal and impassible, by an habitual gift bestowed upon it, which he saith was a corporeal quality extended through the whole body; Because, saith he, this immortality was not a transient thing, but an en∣during gift, sutable to that state; and God is used to give permanent gifts, not immediately, but by some inherent principle: Even as the glorified bodies are made immortal by some intrinsecal quality accommodated to that state; yea and the bodies of the damned also, though they are immortal, yet they are not impassible, because they are tormented in the flames of hell fire. But Suarez (Lib. 3. de hominis Creatione cap. 14.) doth upon good grounds reject any such supposed corporeal quality, as being without any foundation from the Scrip∣ture, and introducing a miraculous way without necessity. For who can think, that Adam had such an intrinsecal quality in his body, that fire would not burn him? that if he went upon the waters, his body would not sink? Others they attribute his immortality to the tree of life, that was (say they) both alimentum, & medicamentum; as it was both nourishment, so it preserved life; and as it was medicinal, so it did repair that partial abating of natural strength in concoction, which would otherwise in time have come upon man: But this opinion taketh that for granted, which yet is greatly controverted, viz. that it was called the tree of life, as if there had been some active physical power in the fruit thereof to continue a mans life, either for a long time, as some think, or for ever, as others; whether indeed once eating of it, or constant eating was necessary, as opportunity did require, is also debated by curious Authors; for some make it to be called a tree of life, onely Symbolically, as being a signe of eternall life, which Adam should have enjoyed had he continued in obedience. And truly though it should be granted, that there was such a virtue in the tree, yet when Adam had sinned, it would no wayes have helped him, or preserved him from death, because the wages of sinne is death, and therefore would not have produced that in him, which it is supposed that it might have had in Adam's obedience; yet God would cast him out from Para∣dise, lest he should eat of that tree: For it was just that he who had incurred the sentence of death by his transgression, should be deprived of all the signs of life, and symbols of Gods favour. Furthermore this tree of life, was not it self immortal; Would that alwayes have continued? Was not that subject to alterations as well as other trees? How then can mans immortality be attributed to that? Seeing then there is so much uncertainty amongst Schoolmen upon what to place Adam's immortality, the Orthodox do consonantly to Scri∣pture, put it upon these things, concurring as causes to preserve him from death.
The first is, That excellent constitution and harmony of his body, whereby there could not be any humour peccant or excessive. So that from within there would not have sprung any disease. And although in Adam's eating and drinking, being Page 514 nourished thereby, there would necessarily have been some alteration in him, by deperdition and restauration, which is in all nourishment; yet that would have been in part onely, not so as to make any total change upon his body.
2. The second cause was, That original righteousnesse which God made him in. For seeing sinne only is the meritorious cause of death, while Adam was thus holy and absolutely free from all sinne, death had no way to enter in upon the body.
3. There was the providence of God in a special manner preserving of him, so that death could not come by any extrinsecal cause upon him. No doubt but Adam's body was vulnerable: a sword if thrust into his heart, would have taken away his life; but such was the peculiar providence of God to him in that condition, that no evil or hurtfull thing could befall him.
Lastly, and above all, Gods appointment and divine ordination, was the main and chief cause of his immortality. For if the Scripture say, (Deut. 8. 3.) in the general, That man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word that com∣eth from the mouth of the Lord, then this was also true in Adam: And if we read of Elias, that he went fourty dayes in the strength of a little bread that he did eat, Is it any wonder, that the appointment of God should work such immunity from death in Adam? Whereas then there are three things about death considerable, the potentia or power, the actus, or death it self, and the necessity, Adam was free from all these; unlesse by power we mean a remote power; for if he had not had this power of dying, then he could not have fal∣len into the necessity of death. Thus you see the excellent constitution of his body, original righteousness, a divine providence, and Gods order and de∣cree therein did sufficiently preserve Adam, not only from actual death, or the necessity of death, or death as a punishment; but also from any disposition, or habitual principle within him of death and it may be from this state of im∣mortality Adam was created. The Poets by 〈◊〉 obscure tradition, had their figments of some meats and drinks which made men immortal; as their Nectar, called so, say some, because when drunk, did make them 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, young again; or as others, from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as that which did not suffer them to die. There was also their 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as much as sine mortalitate,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is mortalis. They had also their 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, luctus, because it did expell all sorrow and grief. But to be sure when we compare our mortal, sinfull and wretched estate we are in, with this glorious estate of Adams: What cause have we to humble our selves, to see the sad change that is now come upon us? By this we may see how odious that first transgression was unto God, that for the guilt thereof hath made this world to be a valley of tears, to be like a great Hospital of diseased and miserable men.
Arguments to prove that through Adam's sinne we are made sinners, and so mortal.
LEt us proceed to prove our Doctrine, That through Adam sinning we are made sinners, and so mortal, which necessarily supposeth that Adam was made immortal, and that death had nothing to do with mankind, till sinne came into the world.
The first Argument is, From that glorious condition Adam was made in, and also the excellent end he was created for. All which would have been horribly ob∣scured, if death or mortality had then been present. The fears and thoughts of death are a bitter herb in the sweetest dish that is; when of any comfort we have, we may say as the young Prophets to their master, there is mors in ella, death in the pot; death in this or that mercy thou enjoyest, this doth greatly abate our delight. Therefore we read of one of the Kings of France, a Lewis, that forbad all those who attended him, ever to make any mention of death in his ears; that prophane man thought, such a speech would damp his delights. Seeing then Gods purpose was to make a man such an excellent and blessed crea∣ture, can we think he was made mortal, and that it might have been said to him, This night thy soul shall be taken away, and then whose shall this Paradise, and all these goodly enjoyments be? It is the Scriptures designe to aggravate the goodness of God towards man, and to shew the excellency and honour God put upon him. Whereas the Socinians directly oppose this purpose of Gods Spirit, and would make man as miserable as may be. Hence they say, he was created like a meer innocent, that he had not much more knowledge than an Infant, that he had no original righteousness, that he was made mortal. Yea Socinus, (Resp. ad Puc. cap 14 pag. 106.) cavils at the explication of that place, Genes. 2. 8. which is owned by all Interpreters, about the garden in Eden. which God placed Adam in; he would not have any such place of pleasure or delight under∣stood thereby. But although the word may be retained as a proper name, Eden, for so our English Translators do, yet because it cometh of a word that signifieth to delight, Gen. 18. 12. The Church of God hath alwayes intepre∣ted it of a place of delight, yea that Heaven is called Paradise allusively there∣unto; and therefore it's horrible impudency in Socinus to say, that place was not called Eden, when God planted it at first, but in following ages it received that appellation. Thus whereas the Psalmist doth admire the goodness of God, for the honour put upon man at the Creation. This Heretique laboureth to de∣base and diminish it as much as may be.
ANd if Adam had been made so righteous and glorious, yet subject to death he would have been like that building Paul supposeth, 1 Cor. 3. Whose foundation was of gold and precious stones, but the superstructure hay and stubble: Or like Nebuchadnezzar's Image, which was partly of gold, with other addita∣ments, Page 516 and partly of clay; all which would have redounded to the dishonour of God his maker; neither could it so well be said, By one man, (or by the De∣vil) death came into the world, as by God who is supposed to make man in such a mortal and frail estate.
But I proceed to a second Argument, and that may be drawn from the commi∣nation made by God to Adam upon his disobedience, compared with the execution of this sentence afterward, which might be enough to convince any, though never so refractory. The threatning to Adam we have recorded, Gen. 2. 17. where God prohibiting him to eat of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, con∣firmeth this Law with a penalty (viz.) That in the day he did eat thereof, he should surely die: dying thou shalt die; The gemination is to shew the certainty, as also the continuance or it. So that Socinus and others, who would not un∣derstand corporal death in this place, as being from the natural constitution of a man, and so would have been, had there not been this commination, doth joyn too much with the Devil in this business; for his endeavour was to per∣swade the woman that this threatning was false, and that she should not die, death should not be the punishment of her transgression: But what need we any clearer place then this divine commination? Doth not this necessarily sup∣pose, that if Adam had not transgressed, he should not have died, and so by con∣sequence have been immortal, it being not possible for death to come in at any other door, but that of sinne? To threaten a mortal man with mortality had been absurd, or to make his natral condition a punishment, for then it would have been a punishment to be made a man, if made mortal. The Socinians therefore to elude this, would not understand by death, the separation of the soul and body, but eternal death; or as they say at other times, a necessity of dying; but a necessary death and eternal death are absurdly made parallel by them. For beasts are under a necessity of death, yet cannot be said to partake of eternal death, especially the godly they cannot but die, yet they are abso∣lutely delivered from eternal death. We must therefore take death for corporal death, not but that the death of the soul by sinne here, and eternal separation from God hereafter, is to be included herein, yet this temporal death is also a great part of the penalty here threatned, which may be evinced by these three reasons:
1. Moses is relating in an historical manner, what was done to man in the beginning. Now in an historical Narration, we are not to go from the literal meaning, unless evident necessity compel, much lesse may we do so here, when we have the Apostle acted by the same Spirit of God, as Moses was in being Penman of the Scripture, attributing our corporal death to Adam; For no doubt when Paul wrote this Text, In Adam we all die, he had this historical relation made by Moses in his mind.
2. The sentence and execution of it must be understood in the same manner. Now it's plain, that in the execution of it, mentioned Chap. 3. 19. corporal death is meant, because Adam is thus told, That dust he was, and unto dust he should return.
3. It must be meant of temporal death, because this alone, and not eternal death doth belong to all mankind. For although at the day of judgement, it is said, some shall not die, yet that suddain change made then upon them, will be equivalent to death. Thus you see the threatning made to Adam at first doth abundantly confirm this truth. There is one doubt only to be answered, If death be meant in that sentence, how then is it that Adam did not immediately die? How is it that he lived many hundred years afterwards? To this some say, That the restriction of time, viz. the day, is not to be made to the time of eat∣ing, as if at that day he should die, but to death; as if the sense were, thou shalt die one day or other, thou shalt be in daily fear of death. But if this be Page 517 disliked, then we may understand it of a state of death, that day he did eat there∣of he became mortal, for every day is a diminution of our life. As a man that hath received a deadly wound, we say he is a dead man, because though he did linger it out, yet all is in a tendency unto death. Now this will appear the more cogent, if you take notice of the execution of this sentence mentioned, Gen. 3. 17, 18, 19. where the ground is cursed, and man also adjudged to labour and wearness all the dayes of his life, even till he return to the ground out of which he was made. But here the Socinian thinketh he hath an evasion, Death (saith he) is not here made a curse, but only it's the term how long mans curse shall be upon him. It is not poena, but terminus (saith he) for it is said, he should be under this labour, till he did return to the ground; but if we consi∣der the sentence before-mentioned, it is plain, it is a curse. So that in this place it is both a curse, and a terme putting an end to all the temporal miseries of this life, though to the wicked it is the beginning of eternal tor∣ments.
THe third Argument for our mortality, and also actual death by original sinne, is taken from those assertory places, which do in expresse words say so. Not to mention my sext, which hath said enough to this truth already. We may take notice of other places affirming this. And certainly that passage of Pauls, Rom. 5▪ 12. may presently come into every mans mind, By one man sin entred into the world, and death by sinne, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned. It is true, we told you Calvin maketh the Apostle to speak of spiritual death here, as in my Text of temporal death, which the coherence also doth confirm; but though that be principally intended, yet not totally. Even temporal death is likewise to be understood, as being the beginning and introduction to eternal death, if the grace of God doth not prevent. We have then the Apostle attributing death not to mans creation at first, but to his diso∣bedience: Neither is this death upon men, because of their actual sinnes, but because of Adam's disobedience by whom we are made sinners, yea in whom we have sinned; That 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is diversly translated, and much contention about it, viz. whether it should be rendred in whom, or causally, for as much? It is true, the Preposition 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as learned men observe, is used in the New Testament vari∣ously, sometimes for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Luke 5. 5. sometimes for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Luke 10. 9. sometimes for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Acts 3. 16. and otherwise; but for ought I can observe it may very well be understood for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as Mark 2. 4. & Luke 2. 25. The Scripture useth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for quatentus, as Rom. 11. 13. And indeed this is most consonant to the Apostles scope; for why should Adam's sinne be brought in rather than other parents? Were it not that we were considered in him under a common respect, as one with him. It is true Erasmus saith, he doth not remember that ever he read 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 with a Dative case; but Heb. 9. 17. may confute him. And among prophane Authors, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, neither can 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Matth. 26. 50. be said by most men to signifie in as much. For as De Dieu observeth the postpositive, is for the demonstrative, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Art thou come for this? as the other Evangelists, Dost thou betray the sonne of man with a kisse? Although if we should render it causa•ly, as the adversaries contend, it would no wayes prejudice the truth we plead for; seeing that the sinne here charged upon all mankind, is, because of Adam. And therefore if we will make any rational coherence in the Apostles discourse, it must be after this manner, As by one man sinne entered into the world, and death by sinne, and so death passed upon all men, Page 518 as much as all have sinned, that is, all sinned in that one man, for what sense it is to say, That by one man sinne and death entred upon all, because all sinned in themselves? This would be a contradiction to lay the death of mankind upon Adam's sinne, and upon all mens actual sinnes likewise: Yea, it is wholly re∣pugnant to the Apostles scope, who is comparing Adam and Christ not simply as two originals and beginnings, but as two causes of death and life. In∣deed I would not much contend with any, that would render the word causally, and so make the verse an whole entire proposition in it self, without any defective expression at all; so that we understand all mens sinning to be interpreted of that which they are guilty of in Adam. It is not worth time to take notice of the wild Divinity imposed upon this Discourse of Pauls, by the late Writer, (Ʋnum Necessar. pag. 365) who would have Death come upon mankind occasionally onely by Adam's sinne, and that but till Moses his time, and after Moses to come upon a new account, by the Law promulged through his ministry. The mentioning of this is confutation enough: for here in this Text the Apostle doth make all mankind to die, because of A∣dam: And why may not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 here be the same with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the Text.
Another Text witnessing this truth is, Rom. 6. 23. The wages of sinne is death Here death is not taken only for eternal death as the Socinians say, because the opposite unto it is made eternal life, but for both kinds of death eternal and tem∣poral; temporal death being the in-let of eternal, and so contrary to eternal life. Neither is that cavil of their worth any thing, who would make the wa∣ges of sinne to be the Subject, and not the Predicate, because the Article 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is put to it; but that is no sure Rule. Sometimes the Article is put to the Predicate, for some emphasis sake, and not the Subject, as I Cor. 9. 1. Are not ye〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉my work in the Lord? Are ye not that eminent and conspi∣cuous singular work of mine in the Lord? We see then, what it is that sinne deserveth, even temporal and eternal death; it cometh not from mans primi∣tive constitution, but Adam's transgression. Therefore it is that we deserve many thousand deaths, if it were possible; for original sinne deserveth death, every actual sinne deserveth death, yea and hell also: Oh how miserable is man, who thus deserveth to die, and to be damned over and over again! Therefore the Apostle useth the plural number, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to signifie the manifold evils that are in this death. The word properly signifieth that meat, which was allowed souldiers for their service in warre. We see then how fearfull we all are to be of sinne; What wages wilt thou have for every pleasant, every profitable sinne? even death temporal and eternal.
The last Text I shall mention is, that which Austin so much urgeth in this point, Rom. 8. 10. The body is dead because of sinne, which is chiefly to be un∣derstood of our mortal body; now he saith it's dead, because of the sentence of death passed it, so that there is no way to escape it. It is sinne then that maketh the body in a state of death, that deserveth the whole harmony and good temperament of the body should be dissolved, and therby follow a disso∣lution of the whole man. For though sinne deserve death, yet there must be thereby some ataxy or disorder made in the body of a man, otherwise death would not follow. So that though sinne be the meritorious cause, yet several diseases the effect of sinne, do actually cause death. Not that sinne maketh a substantial change in a man, but an accidental only. Thus you see the Scripture constantly attributing death, yea and our mortality and corruptibility to sinne onely, and not to our natural constitution. Therefore those are strange posi∣tions we meet with (Ʋnum Necessar. cap. 6. Sect. 1. pag. 371, 372.)
Arguments brought to prove, that Adam was made mortal, an∣swered.
THe next work to be done, is to consider those Arguments which they bring to prove, that Adam was made mortal, and so had a proxim principle of death in him, which would have taken effect, if God did not provide some way against it, and that which is used by all Adversaries to this truth, is, Because Adam was created in such a condition, that be must necessarily eat and drink, yea and was also to propagate children; all which actions do contradict immortality. For he that eateth and drinketh, must by degrees have a decay in nature; and our Savi∣our seemeth to prove immortality from this argument, Luk. 20. 35, 36. because in heaven they shall not marry, so that to procreate children is not consistent with such a blessed estate.
But these Objections are easily answered, if we remember the distinction at first given in this point, that there is an immortality absolute and immutable, or conditional and changeable upon supposition. Now it's true, neither eating or marrying can consist with unchangeable mortality with immortality of glo∣ry, But it may very well consist with conditional immortality, that is in tendency to that which is absolute. Eating and drinking in the state of integrity was a means subserving to keep up the state of immortality, so farre was it from repugning of it, This therefore is the root of his errour, that men apprehend no other immortality, but what is compleat; that unless Adam had been made in the same estate, that the glorified Saints are put into, he could not be said to be immortal.
Secondly, They say, Adam is said to be earthly, and of the earth, to have a natural body, and so opposite to that immortal body, we shall have in heaven, 1 Cor. 15. 47. But first when the Apostle giveth those names to our bodies of vile, Page 520 corruptible, and to be in dishonour, this is to be understood of our bodies after the fall, they are made so through sinne. It would be derogatory to God, to say they were made such at first. It is true, the first man is said to be earthy, but that expression denoteth only the original of his body, whence it was first made; not the state he was created in, as appeareth by the opposite; the second man is said to be the Lord from Heaven. It is one thing then to speak of Adam's body in respect of its original, and another to speak of the whole person in respect of his condition.
Thirdly, They say, All the internal causes of death were in Adam, while standing, as well as fallen; and therefore he was mortal as well as we. To this we answer, there were indeed the causes of death in him materially, but not formally, for the bodily humours were not peccant, either in quality, or quan∣tity; the natural heat would not have consumed the radical moisture, so that in that estate there would never have been formally existent the proxim causes of death: besides the adequate and principal causes of death, are the Devils suggesti∣ons and mans transgression, as you heard.
Fourthly, They ask, If man were not made mortal, why should immorta∣lity be promised as a reward, if he had it already? Why should it be promi∣sed him upon his obedience? The answer is easie, Adam's immortality was inchoate onely; the consummation of it was promised as a reward to his obedience.
Lastly, They object, If death be the punishment of sinne, then Christ hath freed believers from this death, which is against experience. But
1. The Socinians grant, That a necessity of death is the fruit of sinne, yet Christ hath not freed us from the necessity of it, no more than the natura∣lity of it.
2. We must distinguish between an actual abolition of death, and the right to do it. Christ hath purchased for us a right to immortality, yet the actual investing of us into it, is to be done in its time, Death will be swallowed up in vi∣ctory; and for the present, the nature of death is changed, as to a godly man; it's no more a curse to him, the sting of death is taken away, as when a Ser∣pent or Wasp have lost their sting, they can do no more hurt, Thus to the godly it cannot do any hurt. It is like Elijah's fiery chariot, to carry them to Heaven, It's like passing through the red Sea into the Land of Canaan; thus as the cloud was full of darkness to the Aegyptian, but light to the Israelite; so is death full of terrour, and of curses to an ungodly man, but pleasant and lovely to a godly man; it is his gain to die; To live in this world is his losse and disadvantage.
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
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,
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;
〈…〉 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.
Q. Whether Death may not be attributed to mans constitution conside∣red in his meer naturalls.
I Proceed to the second and last Question, which is; May not death be attri∣buted to mans constitution considered in his meer naturals? Is there not a mid∣dle state to be conceived between a state of grace and sinne, viz. a state of pure natu∣rals; by which death would have come upon mankind, though there had been no sinne at all? This indeed is the sigment of some Popish Writers, who make Adam upon his transgression to be deprived of his supernaturals, and so cast into his naturals; although generally with the Papists, this state of pure naturals is but in the imagination only; they dispute of such things as possible, but de facto, they say man was created in holiness, and after his fall he was plunged into ori∣ginal sinne. Now the Socinians they do peremptorily dispute for this condition of meer naturals, de facto, that Adam was created a meer man without either sinne or holiness, but in a middle neutral way, being capable of either as his free will should determine him. This state of meer nature is likewise a very pleasing Doctrine to the late Writer so oftern mentioned, it helpeth him in many difficul∣ties;
Arg. 1. The first is grounded upon a rule in reason, That every subject capable of two immediate contraries, must necessarily have one, or the other. A man must either be sick or well, either alive or dead, there is no middle estate between them; thus it is with man, he must either be holy or sinful, he must either be in a state of grace, or a state of iniquity: The Scripture giveth not the least hint of any such pure naturals. Indeed a man may in a metaphysical manner have abstracted thoughts of man, neither considering him as good or evil: in which sense it is disputed between Junius and Arminius, whether man in his meer naturals, or in a common consideration, as man, neither looked upon as good or evil, be the object of predestination: but if we speak of existency, then there ne∣ver was, or will be a man, but either must be a good tree or bad: for in such a susceptive subject, one of the immediate contraryes must needs inexist.
Secondly, The Scripture speaketh of mans condition since Adam's fall, as a state of privation not negation; When David confessed he was born in sinne, Credo (saith learned Davenant on Col. cap. 2. 2.) hac verba non ferent commentum Jesuiticum, in pur is naturalibus conceptus sum, &c. for the Word of God descri∣beth us as blinded in our mind, that we are dead in sinne, that we have a stony heart: all which argue that we have only impure naturals.
Thirdly, To hold death, diseases, and soul miseries, such as grief, ignorance, difficulty to do good, &c. consequentiall of nature is to attribute cruelty and injustice Page 525 to God. This Austin of old urged the Pelagians with, How can an Infant new born be exposed to such miseries, if there be no sinne deserving of it? What God may do to an innocent creature, how farre he may afflict him per modum simplicis cruciatus, though not poenae, by his sovereign dominion, is not here to be disputed? It is certain all these miseries of mankind are by the Scri∣pture attributed to sinne; and shall we have such hard thoughts of God, that the world shall be full of miseries before sinne?
4. Man as he is a man hath an inward desire to be happy, and God onely can be the happiness of a rational soul. There is by nature an imbred desire to an ultimate end, and therefore that God at first planted in man such an appetite, vouchsafed him also a power to obtain this end. So that as we cannot conceive a man made at first without an inclination to this happiness, so neither without inherent qua∣lifications that would dispose him thereunto; and this maketh any such state of pure naturals to be an impossible thing: for then God would not be the ultimate end of such a man. And whereas the Schoolmen have brought in a distinction of finis naturalis and supernaturalis, of amor naturalis and supernaturalis, that God is the natural end, but not supernatural; that he may be loved with a na∣tural love or supernatural: These are meer cobwebs and niceties; for God is the ultimate end of man from his creation; and as the creatures were made for man, so man for God: neither can man love God, but by the help of Gods Spirit; even Adam in his integrity was inabled to love God, by his grace assisting of him, and he that doth not love God upon such motives, as the Scripture re∣quireth, sinneth, and so this amor naturalis is no more than a sinne; it is cupidi∣tas, not charitas; it is not a loving of God, as he ought to be loved.
Lastly, This opinion of a third estate of meer naturals between holiness and sinne, must necessarily infer a third place after death, that is neither heaven or hell. For I would ask this Writer, whether one dying in his nature doth go to Heaven? he cannot, for he hath no holiness; to hell he cannot, because he hath no sin. This puzzleth him exceedingly (Furth. Explic. p. 471.) for though he is favourable to that opinion of a third place, yet he dare not determine of any such thing. To be sure the Scripture is clear enough, that there are only two places after a mans death, that are our receptacles, either heaven or hell. This may suffice to inform our judgements herein.
Let us hear something from this that may affect our hearts; for more is to be spoken to this point in the ensuing Discourse. Is all mankind thus sentenced to death? Are we as so many dead corpse? This should humble us, and make us low in our eyes; though a rich man, though a great man, yet a mortal man. Xerxes that potent King, looking from an high hill upon his numerous Army, fell a weeping, while he thought that within an hundred years there would not be one of them left: Oh (saith Hicrom in allusion to this) that we could get up into some high Tower, and behold all the Kingdoms and Nations in the world, with every Inhabitant therin, and then consider that within a short time, there will not be one left! Mankind runneth in a torrent, one generation passeth away, and another succeedeth, yet how do these Ants busie themselves upon the earth, as if they were immortal? As men in a ship, whether they sit or stand, they are still draw∣ing nigh to the haven. Thus it is with us, whether eating, drinking, buying or selling, we are hastening to the grave. Hence
In the second place, prepare and provide for death; happy is that man upon whom it may be said, he doth patienter vivere & delectabiliter mori, live patient∣ly, but die with delight. Think every day, yea hour, that is said to thee, which was to Hezekiah, Set thy house (and much more thy soul) in order, for thou shalt die, and not live; for though we die, yet our sins, nor our good and holy works die not, but will go to the grave with us, will go to hell, or to Heaven with us.