A treatise of original sin ... proving that it is, by pregnant texts of Scripture vindicated from false glosses
Burgess, Anthony, d. 1664.
Page  526

CHAP. V.

Eternal Damnation, another Effect of Original Sinne.

SECT. I.

What is meant by Wrath in this Text.


EPHES. 2. 3.
And were by nature the children of wrath as well as others.

AS I began this Subject of original sinne with the Text in hand, so I shall conclude with it. My purpose in re-assuming of it, is to treat of the last and most dreadfull effect of our native polluti∣on, which is, The desert of everlasting damnation. From this alone had we no actual sins, we are made heirs of Gods wrath, as this verse doth fully evince.

I shall not insist upon the Coherence and Explication of the words, that work is done already. I shall only adde some observable particulars that were not formerly taken notice of, and that will be done in answering of two Que∣stions,

1. What is meant by wrath here? And

2. What is meant by nature?

For the first, no doubt we are to mean Gods wrath; Therefore Tertullian's Exposition of this place is singular and much forced; he understands wrath here subjectively, as if it were mans wrath, making the sense to be. We are all by nature subject to passions, especially that of anger is predominant. When it is said (Lib. 3. de anima, cap. 16. saith he) that we were by nature the children of wrath, rationale indignativum suggillat, &c. he reproveth that irrational anger we are subject to, which is not nature, as it cometh from God, but of that which the Devil hath brought in. Tertullian affirming these three parts or powers of the soul, the rational, the irascible, and the concupiscible, which he calleth indignativum & concupiscentivum. In the irascible, he speaketh of a good indignation, and an evil one, applying this Text to the later. Cerda his Commentator illustrating this, saith, Tertullian's meaning is,

That we are by nature children to our passions, we are not at our own disposing, we are under their power; adding, That Paul mentioneth wrath rather than any other affection, because of that anger and fury, by which he once persecuted the Church of God. Thus he mentioning also another Exposition, That by anger is to be understood the Devil, who may so be called, because of the Page  527 cruelty he exerciseth upon men:
but this is so improbable that it needeth no refutation. The wrath then, is Gods wrath, which like himself is infinite, and the effects thereof intollerable; So that it is as much as to be Children of hell, children of everlasting damnation, even whatsoever the wrath of God may bring upon a man in this world, and the world to come.

SECT. II.

What is meant by Nature.

THe second Question is, What is meant by Nature? As for those who would have it to signifie no more then prorstus and vere, altogether or indeed, we have heretofore confuted; yet granting that this is part of the lease, but not the principal. For we are to take nature here for our birth-descent, as ap∣peareth partly, because the Apostle useth the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which doth more properly relate to our nativity, whereas before he calleth the children of diso∣bedience 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 partly, because the Apostles order is observable; for in the ori∣ginal it is, We were children by nature of anger, that is, natural children oppo∣sed to adopted ones; and partly, because the Iews pretended holiness by their nativity, because they were the seed of Abraham; which pride the Apostle would here abate, making them equal herein to the Heathen Idolaters. Nei∣ther by nature are we to understand custome only, as if the Apostle meant by it the constant custome of our actual iniquities, which useth to be called a second nature, we are made children of wrath; for the Apostle doth no where use the word so, no not in that place, 1 Cor. 11. 14. Doth not nature 〈◊〉 you? &c. For nature is taken both for the first principles, and also the immediate conclu∣sions deduced from them, which later the Apostle doth call nature. Therefore it is matter of wonder, that the late Annotator in his paraphrase on Ephes. 2. should take in the orthodox sense (viz. And were born, and lived, and continu∣ed in a damning condition, as all other Heathens did (observe that, born in a dam∣ning condition) should yet referre to his notes, on 1 Cor. 11. where he seem∣eth to contradict any such birth-damnation, from this of the 2d to the Ephesians: For he would understand 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of the national custome of Idolatry amongst the Heathens; and if so then 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is not to relate to our nativity or birth, as some translate it, which he also noteth in the margin. But though custome may be called nature, yet there is commonly some limiting expression; as when he quoteth out of Galen, that customs are acquired natures, or out of Aristotle, custome is like nature: Here are restrictive expressions, whereas Paul speaketh absolutely. And as for that instance which the learned Annotator hath out of Suidas, which the late Writer maketh use of for the corrupting of this Text, (Ʋnum Necessar. cap. 6. Sect. 2.) it doth very fairly make against them. For Suidas upon the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 inlarging himself, and particularly making it to sig∣nifie the principle of motion, and rest of a thing, essentially and not by acci∣dent (alluding happily to Aristotles definition) doth after this, adde, But when the Apostle saith we we were by nature the children of wrath,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, he doth not speak of nature in this sense, because this would be the fault of him that created us. All which is very true, and doth di∣rectly oppose Manicheism; We do not say, there is any evil nature, or that the primordials of our nature were thus corrupted. They that hold pure natu∣rals cannot answer this reason of Suidas, it doth militate against them. But we affirm this corruption of our nature came in by Adam's voluntary transgressi∣on. So that in this sense we call it naturale malum, as Austin; and quodammodPage  528 naturale, as Tertullian. So Suidas his meaning seemeth to be, That the wrath of God is not naturally due to us, as the creatures have their natural principles of motion and rest within them; but that Suidas doth not by nature wholly mean an evil custome, appeareth, in that he saith, two things are implied in this expression:

The first is, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, an in dwelling abiding evil affection (by which we may very genuinely understand; that innate corruption in us, that sinne which dwelleth in us.) And

The second is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, A continual and wicked custome. These are not to be confounded as the same thing, but one is the cause of the other. Original sinne is that evil, in-dwelling affection; from whence proceedeth evil customs in sin. But it is not worth the while to examine, what the opinion of Suidas was in this particular. Varinus doth better discourse upon the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, making it to be the individual property of a thing, as the fire to burn, and saith, it differeth from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: for this is the essence of a thing, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the power or efficacy of a thing; and thus from him we may say, ori∣ginal sinne is not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, though still we must remember, that it is not a primordial, but a contracted property. It's made so upon Adam's trans∣gression.

SECT. III.

That by nature through the original sinne we are born in, all are heirs of Gods wrath, all are obnoxious to eternal damnation.

NOw my purpose is to insist chiefly upon the Predicate in ths Propositon, We are children of Wrath, and that by nature, even of Gods wrath. So that thus Text doth contain the heavy doom of all mankind. For it's observed to be the form of speech, which the Jewish Judges used, when they passed sentence upon any capital offenders, to pronounce, That such were the sons of death. From hence we may observe,

That by nature, through the original sinne we are born in, all are heirs of Gods wrath, all are obnoxious to eternal damnation. This is the most bitter herb in all this discourse of original sinne. Here all the adversaries to it, seem to be most impatient, when you utter such words as these, by nature deserving damnation as soon as ever we are born, before any actual sinne committed, it is just with God to throw us into hell, that every Infant is obnoxious to this vengeance: At these words they are ready to rend their garments, and to say, we have spo∣ken blasphemy. The late Writer will in some sense (though in effect it be none at all) grant that Adam's sinne may be imputed to us for some temporal evils, but that the effect of it should be to put us into a state of eternal condemnation: This seemeth horrid to him. But who may let his heart work in pitifull thoughts against Scripture affirmations? Why should not all say, it agreeth not with the mercy of God, that men should for ever lie roaring in hell, for the sins com∣mitted here in a transient manner? But of this in its time. We must judge of God by Scripture-light, not by our humane affections. And as Gregory saith well, He that cannot find out a reason of Gods doings, may easily find in himself a reason, why he cannot find it out. This Text doth clearly declare the condition of all mankind by nature, and therefore it must be for original sinne, and not actual, we have also the Apostle Rom. 5. 16. in that comparison between the first Adam and the second fully establishing this, The judgement was of onePage  529 (saith he) to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences to justification: here we see attributed to this sinne, not onely 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, judgement and condemnation, which cannot be limited onely to temporal curses, because condemnation is opposite to justification, and to eternal life through Christ: Yea that Text Rom. 3. 19. may like an oath, put an end to all controversies and strifes in this matter; where the Apostle proving all men both Jew and Gentile to be under sinne, maketh this the consequent of it, That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God. Here we see all man∣kind is guilty before God: They are all so many damned men, if the grace of God doth not interpose; so that what is naturally ours, whether original or actual, is wholly damnable. Therefore to the sense of the word nature, alrea∣dy given, we may take in Erasmus his Interpretation also, who maketh nature to be opposed to the grace and mercy of God, mentioned in the following ver∣ses. So that from this Text we may conclude, Every man in his naturals, whe∣ther originally or actually considered, is exposed to Gods vengeance, which might take hold upon him as soon as ever he hath a being. Therefore Chryso∣stome explaineth the Text thus, We are by nature the children of the wrath of God, and nothing else; for as he, who is the sonne of a men, is by nature a man, so are we the children of wrath. Thus he. And the Apostle addeth, as others, to shew, That no Church-priviledges which the Jews enjoyed, made them any wayes bet∣ter in this respect, then the Heathens.

SECT. IV.

What is comprehended in this Expression, Children of wrath.

BUt let us see the wonders of God in this deep point. And

First, What is comprehended in this expression, Children of wrath? And

1. There is implied, That we all by nature have inherent corruption in us, that we are unclean and filthy in the eyes of God, for Gods wrath is not any where, but where sinne is. Gods anger doth suppose sinne, what God indeed may do by absolute Sovereignty in afflicting of an innocent creature, is disputed by Di∣vines; but all agree, de facto, that now God doth not make any miserable, but who are sinfull: And if this be true of temporal miseries, much more doth it hold of eternal. It doth not stand with the goodness and justice of God to damn any, but sinners: If then Infants new born are by nature the children of wrath, it followeth, there is such an internal defilement in them, whereby they do deserve it. Therefore they who hold, God punisheth man for Adam's sinne, though it be but temporally, when we have no sin by nature inherent in us, are injurious to the goodness and justice of God: we must be children in sin before we can be children of wrath.

2. Here is implied, That for this pollution of nature, we bring with us into the world, God is greatly offended with us and displeased. Let Infants be accounted never so pretty and innocent babes, yet when we think Scripture-thoughts, we must conclude, they are children of wrath, that they are part of that world, which is guilty before God. God (I say) is offended with them, not simply, because born, or because the children of men, but because born in sinne, and the children of corrupt sinfull men. Let not then our humane and carnal rea∣sonings argue saying, They have no understanding or will, they have no actual consent to any iniquity, why should such a severe curse be inavoidably laid upon Page  530 them, who know not the right hand from the left? For this is plain, we cannot be by nature the children of Gods wrath, unless he be greatly offended and displeased with us; How sad then is it to consider, upon what terms every child cometh into the world? Gods wrath is against it, he is offended with it, as not having his Image, but the Devils; and hereby mans condition is worse and more miserable then the young ones of beasts, even the vilest of them, Toads and Serpents: for though man hateth such, yet God doth not.

3. This wrath is Gods wrath, not mans, which maketh our estate to be farre more dreadfull. Now Gods wrath is like himself infinite, and that which a crea∣ture is never able to stand under. Hence it is that we can never sufficiently ap∣prehend his wrath; for if the wrath of all the great men of the world were put together, (and yet the wrath of a King is (said to be) like the roaring of a Lion, Prov. 19. 12.) it is but as a spark to a great fire in comparison of Gods anger. The Scripture representeth it in a more dreadfull manner, then we are able to think of. Hence the Psalmist crieth out, Who knoweth the power of thy anger? according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. Psal. 90. 11. where by fear may be meant Gods word, that teacheth us to fear, as Psal. 19. 9. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever; by which we are taught, that no man till he apply himself to the word of God, can rightly apprehend Gods wrath. It is in∣deed disputed by the Schoolmen, Whether anger be properly in God, or no? And some do conclude, That it is as properly in him, as love; onely we must not understand it to be in him, as it is in us, with passion and imperfections. It is an act of Gods holy will, whereby he abhorreth sinne, and decreeth to pu∣nish it.

4. This wrath being thus great and unspeakable, hence there is no evasion of it, but by the bloud of Christ, for he onely who was God and man could remove this; and therefore it is, that Infants do need Christ a Saviour, which could not be, if they were not children of wrath; for if he be a Saviour, it is to such who are lest. Neither is that any better than Adam's fig-leaves to cover his naked∣ness, which the Pelagians of old, and others of late would runne unto,

That Infants indeed need Christ to carry them to Heaven, though they have no sinne in them; for this they suppose without the grace of Christ (though that they distinguished into nature at last) was not of it self able to bring to Heaven; though it had no sinne in it, yet it had imperfection (say they) But this is to make Christ, a Christ, to whom he was not a Saviour; for he is a Saviour, Because he did save his people from their sinnes, Mat. 1. 21.
If then he bringeth Infants to eternal glory, he must do it as a Christ, not as a Saviour; which distinction can no wayes be founded upon Scripture.

5. From this wrath of God there ariseth an obligation to eternal damnation. For you may say, If God be angry with man thus by nature, doth it follow therefore that man must be obliged to eternal death? Will not temporal death, and the miseries of this life be enough? No, from Gods wrath thus against us, there is a debt and obligation lying upon us to everlasting misery: And the rea∣son is, Because this corruption we are born in, is truly and properly a sin and to every sin there is adhering the merit of utter destruction. So that the Schoolmen and some Papists, who dispute, Whether original sinne deserve everlasting damnation in hell; and concluding upon the negative, that it hath some lesse punishment, is frivolous and absurd. For if it have truly and properly the nature of sinne in it, then it cannot be denied, according to Scripture-grounds, but hell is the proper reward of it.

Lastly, This wrath may be considered either immanently, as it is in God, viz. his will abhorring all sinners, or transiently in the effects thereof. For that it is of great use in Divinity to distinguish between the Attributes and Effects of them; Page  531 for the Attributes as they are in God, cannot receive any intension or remissi∣on, but the effects may and do. Now the godly they were the children of wrath by nature, as the Apostle speaketh here, but they are not so now. For though original sinne doth still abide in some measure, yet it is not imputed unto a godly man; so that they are not for the present under Gods wrath, though once they were, not that any change is made in God, but in man, who is the object. The effects of this wrath are partly in the temporal miseries of this life, and partly in those eternal torments which shall be in the world to come. The child cometh weeping into the world, as prognosticating it's misery, thus it is miserable before it hath any actual sinne; So that whereas the Infant can∣not without teaching learn to speak or go, of it's own self it inclineth to weep. Cerda upon Tertullian (De animâ lib. 3. cap. 19.) speaketh of some that thought Infants by these complaints did accuse our first parents, and that the male children cry A, as if they intended Adam; and the females E, as if they meant Eve, though he saith others attribute it to their different strengths of nature: But this is a foolish and ridiculous fancy. It is certain, that these weepings and complaints do argue the misery of our natures, though but new born, and so by consequence the sinfulness of them. The other effect is eter∣nal damnation in hell, which God might inflict upon every child new born; so that he might go weeping hence, into that place of weeping in hell, of which we have many more things as yet to speak.

SECT. V.

Some Propositions in order to the proving, That the wrath of God is due to all mankind because of Original Sinne.

NOw because this curse seemeth cruell and unjust to humane reason, till by actual sinnes men have procured wrath upon their own heads; It is good to establish it upon Scripture-grounds, which is so sure a rock, that though the stormes and tempests of mens rage do arise against it, yet it will abide im∣moveable. But before we do that we are to premise something, by way of Ob∣servation tending thereunto. As

First, In deciding of the doctrinal truths of Religion, we are not to attend to our own humane affections, but meerly to the voice of God in the Scriptures. Gods dispensations are not to be regulated according to our pitifull affections; most of the Arminian Tenents are suited to humane compassions, rather then com∣mensurated to Scripture-regulations: But if men will give way to that, why shall not Origen's position of the salvation of all the damned; yea Devils and all at last be received as most commending of Gods mercy, and most suitable to our pittifull affections? And why should not all embrace the pleasing and pitiful Doctrine of one Georgius Siculus, mentioned by Crakanthorpt? (Defens. Eccles. Anglic. contra Spalat. cap. 37.) by whose Books he saith many were be∣witched. His opinion was, that neither this or that particular man was prede∣stinated to salvation, but that God had appointed a time when he would save the whole world, and quicquid de pradestinatione tradimus, philosophicâ tantum argutiâ niti; and what was delivered (by learned orthodox men as we must suppose) was grounded onely upon philosophical niceties. Is not this absolute salvation of all men very agreeable to humane desires and af∣fections; yea and why doth not God vouchsafe not only the immediate offers of grace to all men, and effectually bless the same to all, so that all men shall be converted and saved, for he can as easily save all men as one if he please? Nay Page  532 if we do consult with our own pitifull estates, how offensive would several passa∣ges of Gods providence in many outward temporal judgements be unto us: As in the drowning of the world, where many children had not corrupted their wayes, as men of the world had; yet they were all miserably destoyed: thus also in the terrible destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, all the little children therin who could not be guilty of such hainous transgressions, as the Sodomistes were, yet did partake of that dreadful judgment, wheras at another time God in his conviction of Jonah, why he would not destroy that great City of Nineveh, useth this Argu∣ment. Jonah 4. 11. to spare that place, because there were more then sixscore thousand persons, that could not discern between their right hand and lest: If then a man should give liberty to his humane affections, to expostulate why these tender babes that knew nothing of their fathers sinnes, should be involved in such sad calamities, with their ungodly parents, how hardly would he keep within the bounds of so∣briety and modesty? Thus it is about this Doctrine of original sinne, whereby we are all in our very birth exposed to eternal damnation; Some call it a rigid and cruel Doctrine, and all because they judge of God according to their own affections: But as Bellarmine well observeth in the dispute about the state of Infants dying in their original sinne without Baptisme, (Lib. 6. de Amissione, grat.) naming five several opinions, some whereof are more rigid, others more favourable, That our opinions cannot at all alter or change the state of Infants so deceased; The rigid opinion doth not hurt them, neither doth a favourable opinion do them any good, but the Word of God that will stand; our favoura∣ble and pitifull opinions will not make the natural estate of any man the better; yea when such Doctrines are found to be contrary to the Word of God, they may do a great deal of hurt, plunging of them into dangerous consequences, that may flow therefrom. Therefore to such Disputants, we may well reply that which Acosta the Jesuite (Lib. 5. de procur. Indorum salute cap. 3.) saith to some of his own Religion, that held even Heathens might be saved without the knowledge of Christ; and that the contrary Doctrine was inhumane and severe: Non hic agitur (saith he) durumne hoc & severum sit, an benignum & liberale; sed utrum verum necne.

Secondly, As we are not to attend to humane affections in this point; so neither to humane and natural reasonings; Why God should impute Adam's sinne to us. and we all be accounted as sinners in him, and from him the cursed root we the cursed branches do spring, ariseth from the just proccedings of God, though happily the causes the thereof be unknowen to us: When therefore the Scripture of God doth plainly affirm such a sinful, and cursed estate, let not philosophical Arguments obstruct our faith, lest if we do so in other mysteries of Religion, as well as in this, at last we fall into plain Atheisme; Let us be content with our own measure of understanding, not invading the secrets of God, lest we herein betray notoriously our original sinne, while we labour to deny it. For Luther speaking against these Curislae and Quaeristae as he calleth them, (In Gen.) whereby men will demand a reason of Gods proceedings, and affect to be like God in knowledge as Adam did, hath this expression, Fieri Deorum est origi∣nale peccatum, original sinne is the affection of a Deity.

Thirdly, We are alwayes in this controversy to distinguish between the merit of condemnation, and the actual condemnation it self: It is unquestionably true, that all by nature do deserve this eternal damnation; but then concerning the actual damnation thereby, there are different opinions; Some have delivered positively, that none is ever damned for original sinne only; as some Papists, and the Remonstrants; yea there are many say, that this actual condemnation by original sinne, is universally taken off all mankind by Christ; so that as by the first Adam all were put into a state of Gods anger, so by the second Adam all are put into a state of actual reconciliation by Christ, till by their actual sins Page  533 they do refuse Christ, and so procure to themselves damnatation, not upon any account of Adam's sinne, but their own voluntary transgresson; Concerning Infants also dying in their infancy, great Disputes there are; Some concluding all that die so, though of Unbelievers and Pagans, that they are saved; original sinne not damning any others; they conclude otherwise: but then they are divi∣ded into several opinions amongst themselves; of which in time more is to be said. For we are not as yet come to that point, concerning the actual condemna∣tion of any by original sinne meerly, but the merit and defect of it, what every man doth deserve by it as soon as he is born; though every sinne deserveth 〈◊〉, yet this obligation to eternal punishment may be taken off, yea and that while the sinne abideth; as original sinne doth in some measure in a godly man. There are indeed some who make the reatus poenae, the guilt of punishment to be the forme of a sinne, and if this were true, then they could not be 〈◊〉: Others make it a proprium to sinne, but this cannot be understood of actual guilt, but potential guilt. Every sinne, and so original doth, deserve that those who are infected therewith, should perish in hell torments eternally; but yet the actual obligation hereunto may be removed by the grace of God, the sinne still remaining in some degree, as the fire had a power to burn the three Wor∣thies, though the actual working thereof was hindered.

SECT. VI.

Arguments to prove, that by Nature we are all as so many dam∣ned men; That Damnation belongs to the Sinne we are borne in.

THis being premised, let us now consider those Arguments, which may firmly establish us in this truth, That by nature we are all as so many damned men; that of our selves we can expect no other; and that though we were free from actual transgression, It is the grace of God only, that delivereth us: All mankind is like that wretched Infant, Ezek. 16. spoken of by the Prophet, wallowing in bloud, filthy and loathsome, necessarily perishing, unlesse the grace of God speak unto us, to live; we all lie like Ezekiel's any bones, of whom we may say, Can these live? Can these be saved? Not one, unlesse God give life. And

First, All deserve eternal damnation by original contagion, Because it is a state of sinne and spiritual uncleannesse we are born in. And therefore if once it be granted to be a sinne, the wages thereof must be hell and damnation: Inso∣much that some Popish Writers are very absurd, who disputing against Pelagi∣ans. That our birth-sinne is properly and univocally sinne, yet afterwards question. Whether children dying therein do go to hell or no? Some assign them a Paradise, wherein they have a natural happiness, as Catharinus (Opusc. de statu pucrorum, &c.) Others, as Bellarmine, that they have poena damni, but not sensus, as if there were half an hell, or that one might be shut out from the beatifical fruition of God, and yet not be tormented with sensible pain. This is certain, if it be truly and directly a sinne, as the Scripture so often calleth it; then without the grace of God, there is no possibility of escaping hell thereby. why then should damnation because of it be thought so horrid, when it is ac∣knowledged to be a sinne? Job (you heard) saith, Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Job 14. 4. here we are all unclean. Now what doth the Scripture pronounce of such, Revel. 21. 29. There shall not in any wise enter into the heavenly Jerusalem, any thing that is unclean, or that defileth. No unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of heaven; and if they do not enter in there, Page  534 they must enter into the kingdom of hell; There is no middle place, Qui in∣ducis medium recede de medio, as Austin. The Scripture also calleth it sinne, Psal. 51. 5. Behold in sinne did my mother conceive me; and what is the wages of sinne but death? Rom 6. 23. not only bodily death, but that eternal death, which is opposite to everlasting life; and the Apostle saith, The sting of death is sinne, 1 Cor. 15. 56. which Austin expounds in this sense, as that by sinne death is caused, as that is called Poculum mortis, a cup of death, which causeth death; or as some say, The Tree of life is called so, because it was the cause of life. If then original sinne be a sinne, it must have a sting, and this sting is everlasting death. So that if we attend to what the Scripture speaketh concern∣ing us, even in the womb and the cradle, that we are in a state of sinne; we must conclude, because it is a sinne, therefore it deserveth damnation. Hence you heard the Apostle Rom. 5. expresly saith, Judgement came by one to con∣demnation; and Rom. 3. That the whole world is guilty before God.

Secondly, The Scripture doth not only speak of this birth-pollution as a sinne, but as an hainous sinne in its effects, whereby it doth admis of many terrible aggra∣vations, (as you have heard.) It is the Law in our members, it's the flesh, tho body of sin, the sin that doth so easily beset us, the sin that warreth against the mind and the Spirit of God, that captivateth even a godly man in some measure, which maketh Paul groan under it, and cry out of his miserable condition thereby; so that it is not meerly a sinne, but a sinne to be aggravated in many respects, and therefore necessarily causing damnation, unlesse God in his mercy prevent. Let Bellarmine and others extenuate it, making it lesse then the least sinne, that is (of which more afterwards) let them talk of venial sinnes, that do not in their own nature deserve hell; yet because all sinne is a transgression of Gods Law, the curse of God belongeth thereunto, therefore it hath an infinite guilt in re∣spect of the Majesty of God, against whom it is committed; and they who judge sinne little, must also judge the Majesty of God to be little also. What shall one respect of involuntariness, which is in original sinne, make it lesse then others, when 〈…〉 so many other respects (some whereof do more immediately re∣late to the nature of sinne, then voluntariness can do) farre exceed other sinnes?

Thirdly, Original sinne must needs deserve damnation, because it needeth the bloud of Christ to purge away the guilt of it, as well as actual sins. Christ is a Saviours to Infants, as well as to grown men, and if he be a Saviour to them, then they are sinners; if he save them, then they are lost. As for that old evasion of the Pelagian,

Infants need Christ, not to save them from sinne, but to bring them to the Kingdom of Heaven, it's most absurd and ridicu∣lous; for the whole purpose of the Gospel is to shew, That Christ came into the world to bring sinners to Heaven through his bloud; his death was expia∣tory and by way of atonement, therefore it did suppose sinne: hence he is sad to be the Lamb of God that taketh away the sinne of the world, John 1. 29. which is both original and actual.

Fourthly, That eternal damnation belongeth to the sinne we are born in, appear∣eth by those remedies of grace, and Ordinances of salvation which were appointed by God both in the Old and New Testament, for the taking away of this natural guilt. Circumcision in the Old Testament did declare, that by nature the heart was uncircumcised and that every one was destitute of any inherent righte∣ousnesse; hence circumcision is called, The seal of the righteousnesse, which is by faith, Rom. 4. 11. To this Baptism doth answer in the New Testament, the ex∣ternal never whereof with the formal Rite of Administration doth abundantly convince us of our spiritual uncleanness, as also the need we have of the bloud of Christ, and also of his Spirit for our cleansing.

Now because the known Adversary to this truth, affirmly, That he knoweth Page  535

of no Church that in her Rituals doth confesse and bewail original sinne:
As also that we might see the Judgement of our first Reformers in England about Baptism, as relating to original sinne; It is good to observe, what is set down in the Publique Administration of Baptism, as by the Common-Prayer-Book was formerly to be used; there the Minister useth this Introductory, Forasmuch as all men be conceived and born in sinne; adding from hence, That none can enter into the kingdom of Heaven, unlesse he be born again. It is the sinne he is born in (not pure Naturals, as the Doctor saith) that inferreth a necessity of regene∣ration.

Again, In the Prayer for children to be baptized, there is this passage, That they coming to thy holy Baptism may receive remission of sins. Now what sinnes can children have but their original? It is spoken in the plural number, because more than one child is supposed to be baptized. Again in the same Prayer, we meet with this Petition, That they being delivered from thy wrath; What can more ashame the Doctors opinion then this? That which he accounteth so horrid, is here plainly asserted, That children are born under Gods wrath; there∣fore prayer is made, that they may be delivered from it.

Lastly, In another Prayer after the Confession of Faith, we have this Petition, That the old Adam in these children may be so buried, that the new man may be raised up in them. Why doth he not seoff at this expression, saying, (as he doth upon another occasion) That they change the good old man with these things; that he never thought of? No doubt but he will force these passages by some violent Interpretation, as he doth the 9th Article; but certainly it would be more ingenuity in him to flie to his principles of liberty of prophesying, rather then to wrest these publick professions of original sinne. It is true, the Anci∣ents, and so the Papists put too much upon Baptism. For Austin thought, every child dying without Baptism; yea and without the participation of the Lords Sup∣per was certainly damned. But of this extream more afterwards. It is enough for us, That Christs Institution of such a Sacrament, and that for Infants, doth evidently proclaim our sinfulnesse by nature, and therein our desert of eternal wrath.

Fifthly, To original sinne there must needs belong eternal wrath, because of the nature of it, and inseperable effects flowing from it. The nature of it is the spiri∣tual death of the soul; by this a man is alienated from all life of grace; and therefore till the grace of God appear, it's true of all by nature, as followeth in the Chapter where this Text is, vers. 12. Without Christ alient from the Com∣monwealth of Israel, strangers from the Covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. Thus Davenant upon that Text, Dead in sinne, Col. 2. 13. saith,

All the sons of Adam are accounted dead; first, because they lie in a state of spiritual death, having lost the Image of God: and part∣ly, because they are under the guilt of eternal death, being obnoxious to the wrath of God, for by nature we are the children of wram.
If then original sinne put us into a spiritual death, if thereby we be deprived of all spiritual life, How can it be avoided but that eternal damnation must fo••ow thereupon by the desert thereof? And as for the inseparable effects of it, which are to carry us on necessarily to sinne in all that we do, to make us utterly impotent and unable for any thing that is good; What can this produce but everlasting misery to our souls?

Sixthly, Original sinne is of a damnable nature, because of that spiritual bondage and vassalag; we are thereby put into even to the Devil himself. For not being the children of God, we are necessarily the children of the Devil: And therefore to be children of Gods wrath in the Text, is no more then to be the children of hell, and of the Devil; for which reason he is called, The Prince of the World. Seeing then the Devil hath power over all mankind, Page  536 they are in his bondage, and Christ came as a Redeemer to deliver us from him. This doth argue in what a wofull and dreadfull estate we are left in by this original filthinesse. To have the Devil possesse our bodies, how terrible is it? But he possesseth the souls of every one by nature, till Christ doth destroy him, and cast him out. Hence the Apostle celebrateth that powerfull grace of God, whereby we are delivered from the power of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Sonne, Col. 1. 13. from which children are not to be excluded.

Seventhly, That original sinne hath merit of demnation, is plain, Because by it we are in an unregenerate, estate, John 3. Whatsoever is born of the flesh is flesh, and therefore unlesse a man be born again of the Spirit, and from above, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: yea none that are in the flesh can please God, Rom. 8 8. If then no unregenerate man can be saved, and by original sinne we come to be in that state of carnality, it is plain, that by nature we are prepa∣red fuel for eternal flames in hell.

Eighthly, That original sinne deserveth damnation, appeareth, in the conse∣quents of it. For when Adam fell into this spiritual death, which is the same with original sinne in us, (though it could not be called so in him, because he had not it from his first being, neither was it derived to him from any other) we may take notice of two sad and terrible effects thereof, besides many others. The first whereof was the terrour and fear upon his conscience, when God called him by name, saying, Adam, where art thou? He then flieth from God, and would have hid himself from his face: How cometh Adam thus to be afraid, thus to tremble, who had such peaceable enjoyment of God before? Was it not because he had now lost the Image of God? And this impression is still up∣on all men by nature. There is an inward terrour and fear of God, knowing he is an holy, just and omnipotent God, who cannot but hate and punish sin, and therefore we being conscious of that sinfulness and pollution which is in us, are afraid of him, dare not think of him, or draw nigh to him, horror is ready to surprize us, when we think of God, while in our natural estate. The other consequent upon Adam's pollution, was the casting him out of Paradise, and in him all his posterity was likewise ejected. Now this was a type (as it were) of our being cast out of Heaven. This is like that solemn curse at the last day, Depart from me ye cursed. So that if all these Arguments be duly considered, we cannot any longer resist the light of this truth, That to us belongeth hell and damnation, as soon as ever we are born, even before we have committed any actual sinne at all.

SECT. VII.

Some Conclusions deduceable from the Doctrine of the damnableness of Original Sinne.

THe Doctrine of our native impurity, and the damnable consequent thereof being thus established upon the Scripture rock, which will dash in peices all errours that beat upon it: I shall proceed to some Conclusions deduceable thence from. As

First, That position of some, though of different principles, is wholly contrariant to the word of God, that none are damned for original sinne; For seeing this sinne hath the same damnable guilt with it as actual sinne hath, there is no more rea∣son for the non-damnation of persons in one more then in another, neither can Page  537 we conceive God obliged to forgive one more then another; why then should it thus universally be acknowledged, that for actual sinnes God may and doth damn men, but not for original sinne? It is true, when we speak of persons growen up, we cannot seperate their actual sinnes and original, because origi∣nal sinne is alwayes acting and conceiving, putting it self forth into many divers lusts; and thereupon we cannot say of any adult person, that he is damned meerly for original sinne, because to this original hath been superadded many actual transgressions; and thereupon all impenitent persons dying so, are con∣demned for both; yea their condemnation is inhanced thereby; for the desert of damnation by original and actual sinne both, is greater then by original or actual severally. Seeing then many die in the guilt of their natural and actual uncleanness, it is an unsavoury Doctrine to affirm, that no man is damned for original sinne. It is true, some men do dogmatize, that original sinne in re∣spect of the guilt of it, is universally taken off all, and that all mankind is put into a state of reconciliation by the second Adam, as they were into a state of wrath by the first; but this over-throweth the Doctrine of special election, and doth confound nature and grace together; yea it maketh Christ to have died in vain, of which more fully in its time. For the present, seeing that so many die un∣converted in their state of unregeneracy, it must necessarily follow, that many are damned both for their original, and actual sinne also. For shall the root be less damning, then the branches or fruit? actual sinnes demonstrate the effect and power or original sinne, and the aggravation of the effect doth necessarily, aggravate the cause: As they said to Gideon desiring he should slay them, Judg. 8. 21. As is the man, so is his strength: Thus it is here, as a mans corrupt nature is, so are his actions; the one is actus primus, and the other is actus secundus: Thus as life though an actus primus, yet is alwayes expressed in second acts, and the effects thereof: so it is with original sinne; it is by way of a fountain in us, yet alwayes emptying it self into streames. It is then a subtle devise of Bellar∣mine, who being unwilling to make damnation, as it comprehends the punish∣ment of sense, to be the consequent of original sinne, to say, that one dying in his original sinne, is not damned by reason of his original sinne, but ratione subjecti, it bringeth damnation, because such a subject is destitute of spiritual life and grace: But this is to confront the Scripture, which attributeth con∣demnation and 〈…〉 to this sinne, because of the intrinsecal evil and hainousness thereof. The essence is of one to condemnation saith the Apostle Rom 5. and the Text saith we are by nature the children of wrath. Besides this is a ridiculous and absurd 〈◊〉; for original sinne is nothing but the spiritual death of the soul; and doth wholly destroy that respect and habitude, which the soul had unto God. Father, this Popish evasion is of no strength with us, who hold no veni∣al sinnes in their sense. For they say a man may be damned in hell for venial sins, not because they, of their own nature, deserve so; but because of the subject sometimes, who may die destitute of all grace; and then his venial sinnes encrease his condemnation. But this Doctrine of a venial sinne, in the Popish sence is im∣mediately opposite to Scripture, and contrary to the Majesty of the most holy God.

Conclus. 2. In that original sinne is thus meritotious of eternal damnation, Those learned men who hold the corrupt Mass of mankind to be that state, out of which God chooseth, some to eternal life, leaving others in this wretched and sinfull condition they have by Adam, do thereby affirm nothing injurious to God, or any thing that may justly be complained of by sound reason. It is not my intent to launch into that vast Ocean of the dispute about the object of election and reprobation, no not as it is confined among the orthodox; they themselves disputing whether it be Massa para, or Massa corrupta, from whence ariseth that distinction of Page  538Supralapsarians, and Sublapsarians. It is enough at the present to affirm, that if the corrupt Mass of mankind be made the object of election and reprobation, the justice of God is abundantly cleared against all Papists, Arminians, and others in this particular, because original sinne doth deserve eternal damnation. This was the opinion of Austin and many moderate learned men; think this opinion less obnoxious to cavils and more consonant to Scripture, then that of those, who hold Gods decrees herein to be, supposing Massa pura, or man con∣sidered as man, meerly in a common sense: Thus God speaketh of hating Esau, and loving Jacob in respect of his purpose according to election, and that before they had done good or evil, Rom 9 11. which relateth to their actual evil: Yea this was Calvins opinion, as appeareth, (Lib 1. de eterna Dei predestinatione con∣tra Pighium, alledged by Crakanthorpe, Defens. Eccles. Anglic. cap. 37.) where Calvin saith, when we treat of predestination, Vnde exordiendum esse semper do∣cui, at{que} bodie doceo, jure in morte relinqui omnes reprobos, qui in Adam mortui sunt & damnati, jure parice qui naturâ sunt filii irae; ita nemini causam esse cur de nimio Dei rigore quratur, quando reatum in se omnes inclusum gestant: Thus Calvin. And how orthodoxly and vehemently doth Crakanthorpe, (though of the Episcopal judgement) defend this? Potestne quisquam (saith he) te Spal∣to, quisquam ex vestris Dei justitiam in damnandis reprobis luenlentiùs asserere? In Adamo in massâ perditirei omnes mortis, eorum alios ex istâ Massâ per mise∣ricordiam liberat, alios in eâdem Massâ per justitiam damnandos relinquit. For Gods election and reprobation is about Infants, as well as Adult persons; nei∣ther may we think it any cruelty or injustice of God, if he leave an Infant in his natural impure estate, seeing grace is free if it be grace, and God is not bound to adde a new favour where the former is lost; and although such an Infant had no voluntary personal acting to this corrupt estate he is born in, for which God eternally passeth him by with a negative preterition, as some Divines express it; yet because sinnes in the Scripture-language are called debts, that which is just between man and man, may be much more between God and man, who cannot be any wayes obliged to shew favour to him, and that is amongst men; children are liable to their parents debts, and what their parents did wickedly and voluntarily contract by their prodigality and luxury, that the children stand engaged to pay, though they had no influence into those supposed debts. Thus all mankind stands engaged for Adam's debt, (I mean as the consequent corruption of his nature by his voluntary disobedience, doth hereditarily de∣scend to all his posterity,) and the rather, because it is both aliena, and nstra culpa, as Bernard, both Adam's debt and our own also: No wonder then if mankind lying in this bloud, God spake to some, to live, and leaveth the restin their undone estate; but I must not enlarge on this. When that mutable Euri∣pus, and miserable Ecebolius, (though not crying out afterwards as he did, Culcate me insipidum salem; Spalatensis had objected this as a puritanical opini∣on, (and also the Doctrine of the Church of England,) That Infants dying with Baptisme may yet be damned; Crakanthorpe defendeth the Church of Eng∣land herein, (Defens. cap. 40) yet with such assertions that cannot please the late Antagonist of original sin: Vbi è Scripturis habes Infantes, morientes cum Baptismo non posse damnari, (saith he:) An tu à Dei consilis es, ut sine Scrip∣turâ hoc scias? ut scias tales omnes Infantes electos esse? You see he putteth their salvation upon election that are saved, concluding indeed that in the judgement of charity, we think such may be saved, but as for a judicium certitudinis & ve∣ritatis, he doth leave that to God, but you must remember he speaketh not of all Infants, though of Infidels.

Page  539

SECT. VIII.

A Consideration of their Opinion that hold, a Universal Removal of the Guilt of Original Sinne from all mankind by Christs Death: Answering their Arguments, among which, that from the Antithesis or Opposition which the Apostle maketh Rom. 5. between the first Adam and the second Adam.

THirdly, In that original sinne is meritorious of eternal condemnation, yea and doth produce this effect actually in some, Hence that Doctrine so confi∣dently avouched by some, that by Christ the guile of original sinne is wholly taken off stom all mankind, and every one by nature is now born in a state of Gods love and reconciliation, till by actual sinnes be doth exclude himself from this mercy, is also an unsavoury opinion, and contrary to the Word of God. But because this Doctrine is very plausible, and hath had confident avouchers of it, let us through∣ly search into all the recesses of it. And

First, We may take notice, that Puccius wrote a book for this purpose, to prove, that as by Adam we were truly, properly, and de facto put into a state of sinne and wrath, and that antecedently to our knowledge or consent; so by the second Adam all mankind in the same latitude is put into a state of savour and reconciliation with God, properly actually, and de facto; and that ante∣cedently to any faith, or knowledge that they have Christ; but as Adam's sinne was efficacious in men, as men, quatenus homines, to their condem∣nation, so was Christs obedience efficacious for their justification to all men, as men. This opinion he proveth by an hundred and twenty Reasons, and con∣cludeth with excessive confidence of truth on his side, that he hath it by the Spirit of God; and that though for the present it seemeth not to be approved, yet he is confident the whole world will at last entertain it. Insomuch that his boastings and presumptions are such, that you would think not much learning, but much pride had made him mad. This man considering the diversity of Sect; and Opinions in Religion, for two and twenty years wandered up and down to Jews, Manumetans, Arians, and others, that having knowledge of all kind of opinions, he might at last judge which was the true Religion; but this is not the way to find the truth; God rather in just judgement leaveth such to errors. In this universal road Jacobus Andraas and Hubeius are said also to go, though with some little variation. The man foundation they all build up 〈◊〉 is, the com∣parison made by the Apostle Rom. 5. between the first and second Adam, wherein the extent of justification to life by Christ, seeme 〈◊〉 to be as universal, as that of condemnation by Adam, the Apostle using the same words of many and all. This opinion saith Puccias is most consonant to that 〈◊〉 of God, which the Scripture commends, and removeeth from God 〈◊〉 all suspi∣cion of cruelty and injustice. By this instance we may see, there is no stop or bounds can be put to mens errours, when once they will judge of Gods love and mercy according to humane compassionate principles. And therefore let such, who deny original sinne, or extenuate it, pleading the awe they have in their hearts respectively to God, that men may have no hard thoughts of him; Let such (I say) consider, whether Puccius and his followers do not farre tran∣scend them in this kind; yea, whether by their principles they must not ne∣cessarily come off to his way. For although he doth assert original sinne, yet he maketh it wholly taken away by Christs death, and that to all mankind, so that now we are not born in a state of wrath and enmity against God.

Page  540Secondly, There are others that do not receive this opinion of Gods graci∣ous love in Christ to men, as they are men, but as they are believers, that yet affirm, The guilt of original sinne wholly taken away by Christ, as to all man∣kind, so that no man lieth under this guilt; and thereupon conclude, That all Infants, though of Heathens and Pegans, are certainly saved; for ha∣ving no actual sinne, and their original being removed, the doore is set open for them to enter into Heaven, which is afterwards to be consi∣dered.

Thirdly, There are yet some who deservedly are reputed as more honoura∣ble for learning and orthodoxy then the former, who though they hold origi∣nal sinne, and Gods special election of some persons to eternal glory, do yet withall maintain a possibility of salvation to every one lying in the corrupt masse of mankind. Thus Crocius (Duodc. Dissert. Dissert. 1a. de peccato origin.) al∣though he denieth the Huberian way of assuming all men into a state of favour, so that no man is obnoxious to damnation by original sinne, yet affirmeth, That none is necessarily damned for it, without the accession of new sins, and that therefore there is a way of possibility of salvation for every one. This opinion hath many learned Abettors, but if it be throughly pursued, it must either fall into the old known orthodox way, or empty it self into the Arminian chanel. Yea it seemeth to be of so brittle subtilty, that it doth not avoid any of those incon∣venercies, which they labour to do; neither doth it practically give any com∣fort to a man rationally doubting in his conscience about his interest in Christs death, or stirre up and provoke to obedience unto those Commands and Exhor∣tations that are pressed upon us. But this Controversie belongeth not so pro∣perly to my subject.

I shall conclude against the former opinions mentioned, That by original sinne we are children of Gods wrath; yea and for that, as well as their actual sinnes, some are eternally condemned; which Doctrine hath received witness and testimony to its truth from the most eminent Guides and Pastors in Gods Church in all Ages. Insomuch that Fulgentius cometh with his Firmissime tene & nullatenus dubita, &c. Believe most firmly, and doubt not in the least man∣ner, but that every one by nature is obnoxious to the wrath of God, that person cannot be saved. It is true, he addeth without the Sacrament of Baptism; of which opinion in its time (De incarnatione ad Petrum Diacon.)

The Synod of Dri also rejecteth the errour of such, who teach,

All men are assumed into a state of reconciliation, so that none is either damned, or obnoxous to eternal damnation for original sinne, but all are free from its guilt; which opinion (they adde) repugneth the Scripture, affirming us to be by nature children of wrath. (Acta Synod. Dordrct. cap. 2 de morte Christi reject Erro. 5.)

But let us consider, What Arguments are brought to prove this univer∣sal removal of the guilt of original sinne, from all mankind by Christs death. And

First, They urge the love of God to mankind, so often mentioned in the Scri∣pture: Insomuch that they say, it doth not stand with the 〈◊〉 and mercy of God, when man is plunged thus into an undone estate, there to leave him, and not deliver him out of it. But to this many things may be said. As

First, We grant, that notwithstanding our original sinne, yet God loveth mankind, and demonstrateth much mercy to men, even because they are his creatures. And it must be granted, That the Scripture doth often celebrate this mercy of God to man, though in a sinfull condition: But then we must distinguish between the general love of God, and his special love, between his Page  541 love of benevolence and love of complacency, as some express it. God doth love all mankind with a general love, or love of benevolence, so as to do good in a liberal manner to them. This love of beneficence is demonstrated both to the good and the bad; yet this doth not remove the guilt of sinne, we may be children of wrath for all this. Therefore there is the other special love and grace of God, a love of complacency and acceptance of us in Christ; and this is only to some of mankind, as the Scripture in many places doth shew: And yet we must adde, that when any are damned, we cannot say it is for any defect of Gods particular love and grace, as if the fault were to be laid there, but upon the original and actual sinfulness of the person so condemned; for every mans perdition is of himself.

Secondly, It is no injustice in God, if he let men alone in their lost estate by Adam; for he did at first endow him with all heavenly ability to stand in that glorious estate, and thereby to bring happiness to his posterity also. Now when Adam by his voluntary disobedience, had deprived himself of all this excellency, was God bound to restore him a second time? If a Debtor by his own prodi∣gality make himself unable to pay his Creditor, is the Creditor bound to bestow money upon that man, and to put him into his former condition again? Now if man own not this to man, much lesse doth God to man.

Lastly, The condition of the apostate Angels, and Gods dispensation to∣wards them, doth abundantly discover, what God might do in this case; for there is no reason in man, why he should be more kind to him, then an apo∣state Angel, seeing all are sinfull. Now when the Angels fell, was God bound to recover theme? Did he deliver any one of them out of that wretched estate? No more would God have been unjust, if he had not saved any one out of all mankind.

Let us therefore admire at the goodness of God in choosing of some, and tremble under his justice in passing by of others, taking heed of pride and cu∣riosity in searching into these mysterious wayes of God, especially of his pre∣science and providence in this particular, which heads in Divinity are full of comfort, as well as excellent in dignity: but to be wise in them according to so∣briety is operae pretium, to erre periculum, to acquiesce miraculum, as Junius excellently in his close of his dispute with the foresaid Puccius.

In the next place, let us conflict with their Goliah, the chiefest support of their cause, and that is from the Antithesis or Opposition which the Apostle ma∣keth Rom. 5. 15. between the first man Adam, and the second man Jesus Christs, wherein the Excellency and Preheminence is given to Christ, that his grace doth much more abound to life and justication then Adam's sinne can to condemna∣tion; Yea the Apostle useth the same note of Vniversality for the subject of either; sometimes all, and sometimes many, plainly declaring hereby, That as there is by Adam a Catholical enmity and offence that we are plunged into, in re∣spect of God towards us, so there is also as Catholical and Vniversal Reconci∣liation and favour with God, that we are instated into, through Christ our Mediater; otherwise it seemeth much to derogate from the honour and glory of Christ, that his favour and love should be more straitned and limited than Adam's efficacy to our condemnation.

To this many things are to be considered by way of answer:

First, That if they will rigidly and severely urge the collation made between A∣dam and Christ, then they must conclude of the actual salvation of every man, not one excluded. For it Adam's sinne did de facto, put all into a state of condem∣nation; so that if Gods grace had not wrought an evasion for some, all had actually perished. Thus it followeth much more than on Christs part, that all must be de facto saved, and delivered from Adam's transgression with the con∣sequents thereof. But the Scripture doth clearly evidence this, That in respect Page  542 of the event, the greater part of mankind will be damned. The way to hell is a broad way, and many enter therein; So that Christ is not actually a cause of sa∣ving more than Adam is of damning; if you respect the event and issue, farre more through Adam's disobedience go to hell, then through Christs obedience are admitted into Heaven, and yet the Adversaries themselves must confess, here is no derogation to the honour and glory of Christ, And if it be said, That it is mans actual unbelief and impentency, whereby he doth wilfully and fro∣wardly refuse Christ the Physician of his soul: Christ hath put him into a state of favour; but he doth voluntarily cast himself out again, and so is made unwor∣thy of the grace, which cometh by Christ. It is answered, that is true. But

1. How cometh it about that men have such an actual rebellion against Christ? Whence is it that they have such an inclination within them, to refuse him that is a Saviour, though he come for their good? Though their sinnes and the Devil will never be that help to them, which Christ would be, yet they im∣brace the later, and refuse the former; Is not all this from the polluted nature we receive from Adam? So that hereby Adam may be thought more universal∣ly to destroy, then Christ to heal.

Again, In the second place, Why is it that through Christ they are not deli∣vered from this rebellion? Why is it that he doth not vouchsafe a more tender and pliable heart? for condemnation cometh by one sinne, but the Apostle aggravaeth the free gift by Christ, that it is of many offences unto Justification; If then of many, why is there any stint or limit of this free gift? It is plain, that rebellious disposion by some against Christ, is wholly subdued and con∣quered by him, and the same power he could put forth in others also, if he pleased, but he will not do it; and therefore the state of reconciliation by Christ, is not as extensive, as of condemnation by Adam; if then for the event it is plain, that Adam's condemnation is larger than Christs reconciliation (all wicked men being damned in hell both for their original and actual sinnes and) then the purpose or decree about this event, was no wayes tending to the disho∣nour of Christ.

Secondly, It is to be considered more diligently, in what method the Apostle doth here speak of the Vniversality of the Subject relating to Adam and Christ. For the Apostle twice speaking in the general of our condemnation, doth use the word all, vers. 12 Death passed upon all men, in that all have sinned. And vers. 18. Judgement came upon all men to condemnation; but to these generals, he doth presently subjoyn a distribution of this all, and then useth the word many: By which it is apparent, that the Apostle on purpose altering his speech, and distributing this all afterwards into many of two kinds, he doth understand the word all, not universally, but commonly and indifinitely; ese why should he immediately upon the word all, presently interpret it distributively? So that if the Apostles expression, and the Coherence of his Discourse be more exactly searched into, it will be found not to patrocinate any such supposed Catho∣lical reconciliation; For the Apostle divideth the all, into the many con∣demned by Adam eventually, and the many justified and saved by Christ ef∣fectually.

Thirdly, When the Apostle maketh this comparison between the first Adam to condemnation and Christ to Justification, giving the superiority 〈…〉This is not to be understood in respect of the number of men, but of the nature of these gracious effects we hate by Christ. This comparison is not for expresse in quantity but quality. The Apostle doth not say, O, how many more (as the Plgians of ••d applying Christs benefits to Infants bringing them to the Kingdom of Heaven, who yet (they said) received no polu••〈◊〉 hurt by Adam) but how much more shall the grace of God abound through Christ to many? The how much more lieth not in the number, but in the nature of these gracious Page  543 effect; which come by Christ, though to some onely; for that the Apostle doth not intend an excess of Chriss grace, in respect of the number, it is plain, be∣cause that had been impossible, there could have been but an equality at most: If it should be granted, That Christ hath reconciled all those that Adam lost, this would be an equality only, we could not say, Christ redeemed more than Adam destroyed, for that could not have been; therefore it is plain, that the superabundance attributed by the Apostle to Christ, in respect of Justification, is to be understood intensively, not extensively, in respect of the nature of those blessed effects we receive by him, and so indeed there is a great transcendency in Christ in respect of Adam. For

1. By Christ we have vivification and quickning to grace and glory, whereas by Adam we have sinne and condemnation. Now it is farre easier to occasion the damnation of many, then to procure the salvation of one. To justifie and save one man, is more than to destroy all mankind. As we see amongst men, it's easier to destroy a thing, then to build it up; one man may kill many men, but yet the same man cannot bring any one of those to life again. If therefore Christ had saved but one of all mankind, he was infinitely to be exalted above Adam, by whose disobedience mankind was plunged into a perishing estate. So that if we do compare Death with Life Heaven with Hell, Damnation with Salvation, and that the one cometh from a deficient cause, the other from an efficient; we must necessarily conclude, that Christ hath infinitely the prehemi∣nence above Adam.

2. There are some that distinguish between the sufficiency and worth that is in Christs mediation, and the actual application of it,

Now (say they) the se∣cond Adam was infinately more able to save, then Adam to destroy, and that if we respect the number of men, for Christ is able to save a thousand of worlds besides this, if there were so many; and therefore if we speak of Christ in respect of his sufficiency, Adam in a destructing way is no more comparable to Christ in a saving way, then a drop to the ocean, or a sinite to an infinite.
For the obedience of Christ is the obedience of God and man. Now though this answer may in a good explained sense be received, yet I shall not so much avouch it, partly because the distinction is made use of to a farre other end, then the Orthodox do intend; and then partly, because the Apostle doth not here attend, in his comparison, so much to what is sufficient in Christ, as to what is actual; not so much to what he is able to do, as what he will do. It's efficacy not sufficiency the Apostle aimeth at; therefore we stick to the former answer, though in many other respects, the excellency of the second Adam to the first, night be declared, which are not here to be repeated; only that one the Apostle instanceth in, is not to be passed over, which is, that it is but one of∣fence to condemnation, whereas the grace of Christ extendeth to the abolishing of many offences, that one sinne is enough to damn, but the grace of Christ appear∣eth, not only to the abolition of that, but also all offences that do actually flow from it. Thus every godly soul may comfortably improve this truth, that there is more in Christ to save, then is in all sinne, whether original or actual to damn; Christ is more able to justifie, then Adam is to condemn. Therefore some School∣men deny, that Adam's sinne did demerit the death and damnation of all man∣kind, it deserved his own damnation, and his own death only. All other mens deaths, and other mens damnation have for their meritorious cause their original sin inherent in them. Adam did not meritoriously deserve these; but when fallen, then his posterity descending from him, did naturally fall into such a corrupted estate, as he himself was plunged into; and the reason they give of this is, be∣cause no meer man can either mrer•• or demereri, for the whole nature of man∣kind; if Adam had stood, all his posterity would have been holy and happy: but we cannot say, Adam would have merited this for all mankind; for that is a Page  544 peculiar thing to Christ only, which is incommunicable to a meer man, to merit; for the whole race of mankind. And although there is a great difference between merit and demerit; (a man may put himself into a demerit of eternal glory, but not into a merit) yet in this they are alike. This reasoning of some Schoolmen admitted (which seemeth very plausible) then it necessarily followeth, that Christs power to save is superlative, more than Adams to destroy.

Lastly, That Christ in his efficacy of grace, doth exceed Adam in his condemn∣ing guilt, appeareth, In that at last, he will utterly remove original sin from all, that are his members; and so totally vanquish it, that it shall not remain in the least spot thereof. Although Christ came into the world to take away all sin, yet some School∣men conclude, that principally it was to deliver us from original sin; Because (saith Suarez, De Incar. Christi) this is the cause and the root of all actual iniquities. It is not enough for Christ to purge us from our actual impieties, but he also intends to heal our natures. Now because original sin infecteth the nature, chiefly as it is in persons, so also doth Christ principally intend the sanctification of our natures. And although this be not presently and immediatly done, yet it wil at last be done, in that good time he hath appointed for that end. Those indeed that limit the ef∣ficacy of Christs grace to original sin only, as if actual sins were to be removed by our voluntary penances and satisfaction, they make Christ but a same. Saviour, and a semi mediator. But yet it may well be affirmed, because this original corru∣ption is the pollution of the nature, and is the cause of all actual defilements, ther∣fore the bloud of Christ doth in the most principal place cleanse from this. And therefore this should exceedingly comfort the godly, who groan under the re∣liques of this defilement upon them, that Christ will never leave them, till he hath restored them perfectly to their primitive integrity; for this end he came into the world, so that he would be but an impefect Saviour, if he should not at last cure thee of this nature-defilement; for this lieth upon him to do, that he bring al things to their for∣mer, yea a better perfection; that so all may admire the goodness, wisdom and mercy of God in Christ; and that all cavillers may stop their mouths, who usually demand, Why did God suffer Adam to fall? Why did he not prevent sin, when it was in his pow∣er? Now when all the world shall see, that a greater good is wrought by the se∣cond Adam, than evil was by the first; this will make us break out into holy ex∣clamations, saying, Oh the wisdom of God, how unsearchable are his wayes? And this may suffice for the razing of that foundation they build so much upon.

In the third place, I find that urged for an universal cleansing of all mankind, and that none is in a state of wrath now by nature; Because in that vision which Pe∣ter had, Act. 10. 28 he saith, God had shewed him, that he should not call any man com∣mon, or unclear. But this doth not any way contradict this Doctrine o spiritual uncleanness, which Job saith is upon all men; but uncleannes is there understood of that Jewish sanctity, which was vouchsafed to the nation of the Jews; whereby that people alone were intituled to Church-priviledges (and all Heathens abiding stran∣gers from this Covenant of grace, were as dogs not children; they were accounted as unclean, unto whom the word of grace was not to be preached) called therefore Gal. 2. 15. Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, until Christ came, and broke down this parition wall: So that the meaning is, We are not now to include the Gospel within the Jews, but every nation is as clean in this respect, as they are: Insomuch that we are not to forbear preaching unto any people under the hea∣vens; otherwise if we regard this spiritual filthiness, we are to call every man un∣clean, as being the child of Gods wrath. Hence Austin of old did urge that phrase, He that believeth not, the wrath of God abideth on him. Joh. 3. 36. he doth not say, it cometh upon him, it will fall upon him, but it abideth on him, implying, that it was there before, even in respect of his natural pollution, though he had never com∣mitted those actual sins of unbelief and disobedience to the Gospel of Christ.

But that I may come out of this controversie I shall instance in one Objection Page  545 more, and that is, the promise made by God to Adam after his fall. For Gen. 3. 15. when Adam had cast himself into this cursed estate, and through the fear and horrour that was upon him he aid flee from the presence of God; God did in mercy look upon him, and made: but gracious promise concerning the seed of the woman, which should bruise the head of the serpent: hereby (some conceive) is a re-assuming of all mankind into Gods favours again and that the promise is made to Adam and Eve, as the two prin∣ciples and 〈◊〉 of mankind, and that hereby they are made an holy root, wherein all branches 〈…〉 made holy. This place is indeed mentioned by Puccius (but Sneanus Method des. cons. sal. & dam. c. 3. &c. 4.) out of whose loins came Armi∣nius and his followers, doth much insist on this place; whereby he maketh it a blasphemy to think, that Adae maleficium should extend further than Christi bene∣ficium not indeed in the Huoerian or P••cian sense, who hold an absolute reconci∣liation antecidently to mans faith and repentance; but conditional, or conciliabilty, or salvability of all, it they do repent and believe. But this Text cannot be a foundation for such a Doctrine. Indeed it is very difficult, and many grammatical and real doubts there are upon the place; only we must take it for granted, that there is de∣clared the first promise of a Chris: till Adam heard this from God, he could have no more hopes for his salvation, than the devils have. Therefore we are to abomi∣nate the Socinian Doctrin, who make this to be only a malediction of the serpent, or a cuse upon that creature, putting a natural enmity between that and a man; affirming also, That Adam and Eve understood no more from God then that thing. But we see other Scriptures plainly alluding to this, as when Christ is said to be made of a wo∣man, Gal. 4. 4. and that he came into the world to destroy the works of the devil. 1 Joh. 3. 8. and in other places we find the devil called the old serpent, and the red dragon, which seduced the whole earth, Rev. 12. 9, 10. Yea Paul did allude to this promise, when he useth that expression, Rom. 16. 20. The God of peace shall shortly tread or bruise Satan under your feet. And whereas the Socinian asketh, How it can be a pro∣mise, seeing it is a curse? Can cold and hot come out of the same month? The answer is easie: therefore there is a promise, because of the curse; for in that the devil and his seed is in a mystical sense cursed by God, thereby is a promise made concerning Christ and his seed for victory over the devil; so that the promise is of excellent use and comfort; no godly man ought to fear either devil or wicked men, as long as he remembreth this promise. If Satans head be not yet bruised, if he have some life still, if he sometimes sting thee, be not discouraged; for though this promise was made long ago, yet God hath not forgotten it. But although this be so, yet we cannot from hence conclude, that God is become reconciled with all mankind; or that all after Adam's fall are received into equal grace. For we see plainly, there are two kinds distinguished in the Text, there is the Womans seed, and there is the serpents seed; and between these there is an enmity placed; The womans seed is Christ and his members (as we will here take for granted) The serpents seed are all wicked men reprobated in their sins; for by nature we are all the serpents seed; but here it speaketh of such a seed as shall continue in opposition to Christ and his people: That therefore some are the womans seed, some the serpents seed; on one part it cometh from the meer grace of God, and on the other part from the justice of God. So that this Text, if rightly considered, doth rather overthrow than establish such an uni∣versal Reconciliation of all mankind. It is true, for those who are made Christs by free discriminating grace, both this promise, and that discourse of Pauls, Rom. 5. do proclaim admirable comfort and consolation. For that condition thou wert so irrecoverably plunged into; that sinne and devil thou wert so afraid of, is wholly conquered by Christ. Hold up thy head therefore thou member of Christ and be exceeding glad, for the second Adam hath taken off that sinne, that wrath, that vengeance which the first Adam had brought upon thee. And alas! how free was this grace of God to thee? What did God Page  546 see in thee more then in the sonnes and daughters of Adam? Wast not thou in the same filth with them? Wast not thou wallowing in the same blood with them? Had not Adam infected thee, condemned thee, as well as others? Oh stand for ever admiring the unsearchable wayes of Gods grace to thee, who of a child of wrath, hath made thee a child of such special favour and mercy!

SECT. IX.

Of the state of Infants that die in their Infancy, before they are ca∣pable of any Actual Transgressions, and that die before Bap∣tisme.

THe next particular in order to be treated upon is, concerning the state of those Infants, who die in their Infancy, before they are capable of any actual trans∣gression. These having only original sinne upon them, what may we conclude about their final estate? for we will take for granted, that the Doctrine of the Lutherans is to be exploded, who hold that Infants have actual sinnes, and that some do partake of actual grace; this is repugnant to reason and experience. Now to proceed more orderly in this point, we are to take notice of these ensu∣ing particulars.

First, That it is one thing to be a child of wrath by nature, and another thing to be reprobated for ever by God, never to be admitted into his favour. When the Apostle calleth us children of wrath, the meaning is not, as if there were a final and total rejection from all grace; for then the meaning would be, that all men are damned, which is manifestly contradicted by many places in Scripture. Though therefore all Infants are by nature the children of wrath, yet all are not reprobated; though all deserve to be damned, yet all are not actually dam∣ned.

Secondly, We are to know that those, who hold some Infants dying in their original sinne to be damned, do yet acknowledge that it is (as Austin calleth it) mitissima omnium poena, the mildest of all punishments, because they have no actual sinnes joyned with their original, to encrease the torments of hell. It is true, we told you original sinne in the nature of it is very great and hainous, even so great, that none are able to express the loathsomness thereof; yet be∣cause it hath this diminishing circumstance, that it is not voluntary personally in an Infant, therefore we may conclude, that they have lesser torments in hell, then Adult persons. For that there are degrees of torments in hell, some punished more extreamly then others, is acknowledged by all, though some learned men question, whether there be any degrees of glory in heaven.

Thirdly, As for the Doctrine of the learned about the state of Infants dying in their Infancy, there are several opinions; Some hold that all Infants dying so, whether in the Church, or out of the Church, whether of believing, or un∣believing parents, are saved. They think this opinion doth most suit with the goodness and mercy of God: of this opinion are not only the Heterodox Do∣ctors, but even learned Junius in his answer to Puccius; Zuinglius also is alledged for this. Others they make a distinction of Infants dying in their Infancy. For either they die without Baptisme, or with Baptisme; if without Baptisme, then they conclude of their damnation; and in this rigid way Austin went, and many follow him; yea Austin thought, that if they died without the Sacrament of the Lords Supper also: for at that age it was generally held that both the Sacra∣ments were necessary to salvation, and therefore both to be applyed to Infants: Page  547 But then for these Infants, who die partakers of Baptisme, they concluded un∣doubtedly of their salvation, this being their Doctrine, that Baptisme doth wash away original sinne: The Papists they all agreeing in this likewise, that Baptism is necessary necessitate medii to salvation, either really, or in voto, in desire; and because an Infant dying without Baptisme, cannot have a desire thereunto; Hence they conclude of eternal death, as a punishment unto such; yet Elisius a Papist in his piorum clypeus, &c. (Quest. 10. Art. 3.) is very bold, saying that opinion which many Divines and the Church holdeth, concerning the state of Infants dying without Baptisme according to the ordinary law, est sa••dura & onerosa, is very hard and burdensome, and not conformable to the precepts of Christ, which are sweet and easy; and therefore he alledgeth Gerson and Caje∣tan for this opinion, which he is so farre from judging heretical, that he calls it pietati conformis; but generally the Papists go otherwise: But then they differ amongst themselves. Some of them, as Catharinus, place Infants so dying, in a terrestrial Paradise, where they have a natural, though not a supernatural hap∣piness, (Opus de statu parv) Others make their condition more miserable, viz. that they have the privative part of eternal death, though not the positive; they have the poena damni, the punishment of loss, though not of sense, they are shut out from enjoying God, but yet they say this will not work any sorrow in them, because they know, that they were not in a capacity for enjoying the face of God, as (say they) a Country Peasant is not grieved, because he is not a King, because he never was in any probability for such a dignity. But, as a Po∣pish Writer, (Flor. Conrius Archip. Thuani.) observeth, confuting his own par∣ty, and rigidly following Austin, in a Tractate joyned to Jansenius his Works: These Infants (saith he) knowing that they are shut from the face of God, must needs be exceedingly grieved; because in Adam they had a capacity to enjoy God, even as a poor man may mourn that he is not a King, when his ancestors had a right to it, but sinfully lost it, and this is the case of all Infants; so that it is a meer figment that many Papists have, to make an half hell, and a semi-damnation, as if we might be deprived of Gods favour, and not be positively damned. It is true, here also the Papists are divided; Bellarmine maketh five divers opinions concerning the state of dying Infants, and he joyneth with those that hold they have inward sorrow in that eternal death, but yet not so great as to be called hell fire, or the worm of conscience. For this end they write and speak so much of a limbus Infantum, a border or fringe as it were in hell; where Infants are all disposed, being without the Vision of God, yet not tormented with boddy pain; but there is no Scripture for such a place: and therefore we leave this limbus to these limbatis pontificiis, who love to enlarge their limbos, and simbrias, as one saith. Lastly, There are others, and they distinguish of Infants dying: either they are such as are within the Covenant, and are of be∣lieving parents; and of such they conclude their salvation: for they look upon their federation, as an external sign of their election; but then for all such as die without the Covenant, the children of Pagans; they say, that by the Scrip∣ture, they cannot conclude of any hope of salvation for them. Thus you see in∣to how many divers wayes they go, who handle this Question: I might adde another opinion mentioned by Vorstius, (Anti Bellar. in Qurt. Tom. Censur. ad Thes. Duodes) of some, who affirm Infants do wholly perish as beasts; but (saith he) these are not to be accounted inter Evangelicos, amongst the Evange∣lical Churches; yet within a little while after, he reproveth Bellarmine for not touching upon all the opinions of others about Infants, saying, That there are not wanting some amongst Christians, who think either some or all Infants are through death wholly abolished, as beasts; whose Arguments (saith he) Bellarmine should have answered, but herein Vorstius seemeth to manifest his good will to the Socinian party, and though he excludeth them from the Evan∣gelici,Page  548 yet he acknowledgeth them Christiani. All that I shall speak to it shall be comprehended in these particulars:

First, That concerning Infants, there are many difficulties in Divinity, for the Scripture speaking for the most part of persons growen up, hence it is that we cannot so clearly discover the truth about them, as how Infants are justified, seeing they have no actual faith to lay hold upon Christ; as also how the Spirit of God doth work in them regeneration, and make them new creatures; for seeing it is plain that of such Infants is the kindome of heaven, and Gods pro∣mise is to the believer, and his seed; it necessarily followeth, that they are justi∣fied, and they are sanctified, though we know not how the Spirit of God doth this in them. Thus in the matter of the Resurrection and the day of Judgment, we must necessarily acknowledge, that Infants will then be raised with perfect bodies, all imperfections being then to be removed from glorified bodies, as also that they will be called to Judgement: Though the judicial process men∣tioned by the Evangelist instanceth only in actual sinnes and duties, we must then be sober in this inquisition, seeing the Scripture speaketh not so expresly of Infants, neither is the Question necessarily to be known, and therefore if we be over curious in enquiting what God will them: Let us 〈…〉 we deserve not Peter's reproof, Joh. 20. busily asking about John, What is 〈◊〉 to thee? follow thou me; so God say, What is that to thee, how I will 〈◊〉 of Infants? thou art an adult person, do thou follow me.

Secondly, We must necessarily make a distinction between such as 〈…〉 under the Covenant, and such whose parents and their seed are strangers 〈◊〉 it, and therefore with the Remorstrants to conclude, That all Infants 〈◊〉 born of Pagans, are surely saved, is to put no difference between 〈…〉 Covenant of grace, and to be without, which yet the Scripture doth; 〈◊〉 it saith of the children of unbelievers that they are unclean, 1 Cor. 7. and Hea∣thens they are said to be without; and therefore according to the Rule of the Scripture, we see no more visible way for the children of Heathens, then for Heathens themselves to be saved; but yet the Orthodox do adde, that they leave these things to the judgement of God, and content themselves 〈◊〉 that which Paul saith, 1 Cor. 5. 12. What have I to do to judge those that are without: although the Apostle doth not there speak of a Doctrinal Judgement, but a Judgement of Jurisdiction, which Church Officers cannot exercise upon those that are without the Church, though this be so, we must alwayes remember to put a difference between that general love of God to mankind, and that special grace of his to his Church, and therefore we must needs be injurious to this grace of God, if we make children without the Covenant to be partakers of the same special priveledge which others within do receive, then the Gospel is no such extrordinary mercy, then the Covenant of grace is no such signal favour, then believing parents have no such cause to bless God for his mercifull dispen∣sations towards them, if Heathens children are in as prepared a way for recon∣ciliation with God, as their posterity is.

3. Therfore the fountain and spring head of the salvation of children dying in their Infancy, is the election of God as well as in grown persons, it holdeth in them, as well as in adult persons, that election doth obtain, and he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, election and reprobation is amongst Infants dying, so as well as of those that are men, though this Doctrine be rejected by Ar∣minians, yet believing parents who lose their children while in the blossom, are greatly to comfort their souls concerning their children so early deceased; for although they are not able to look into the Book of 〈◊〉 which is in heaven, and thereby know which childs name is written there, and which not; yet in that they are externally brought under the Covenant of grace, and so in prox∣ime capacity to Church-Communion; they may well satisfie themselves in Page  549 this, as an effect of their election, and that because God hath chosen them to eternal glory, therefore are they in time received into this grace and favour, as to be of the reputed members of Christ, and in this we must rest, not doubt∣ing but that God doth internally go along with the Ordinance; and that if the child be taken away in its Infancy, it is done both in mercy to the child, and to the parents: Of this subject it is good to peruse Peter Martyr, Comment. 1 Cor. 7.

Lastly, Therefore in this great business of the salvation of children dying in Infancy, it is election, and the Covenant of greace that maketh the difference, and not Baptisme: This was Austin's mistake of old, and the Popish errour in these latter dayes, to lay too much upon Baptisme, as if that by its very work done, opere operato, (as they say) did take away original sinne, and put us into a state of grace, from which men by actual impietis might afterwards fall away; so that the errours about Baptisme are extream, either such as think it only a temporary Ordinance for the initiation of the Church at first, as the Socinians, or else such as make it to be the efficacious instrument of grace, and that from the meer work done, though there be no good actual motion, or stirring of the heart at the time, though administred to an adult person: Hence it is that by some the Ordinance of Baptisme is exalted too much, as if the outward washing would save a man, not at all looking to the inward grace represented thereby, and by others it is wholly rejected as not being commanded us now in these times, or if it be so, is only commemorative of our duty not seating and ob∣signative of any grace of God to us, for which cause the Remonstrants say, That the Doctrine of the Sacraments as it is now delivered by Protestant Au∣thors, is vehemently suspected by them, but we are to sail between these two rocks, neither giving it too much or too little, for we may observe that the Scripture speaketh two wayes of Sacraments. First when men do rest on them, never at all attending to that grace they signifie, then the Scripture doth de∣base them, attributeth no glory at all to them, making Sacraments to be no Sacraments, if they be not received in a right manner; Thus the Apostle saith, Circumcision is become uncircumcision to him that keepeth not the Law: and 1 Cor. 11. This is not to eat the Lords Supper, yea unworthy receivers eat and drink their own salvation: Thus the Scripture when it attends to mens either resting upon them as if they could save, or the sinful abuse of them, by not attending to the grace signified doth speak in an undervaluing way of them; But then at other times, when it doth respect the institution of Christ, and the effects thereof, then glorious and great things are spoken of them; yet though the Scripture commends and commandeth them as the institution of Christ for supernatural effects, notwithstanding that old Rule is to be received, that not the privation, but the contempt of Sacraments doth damn; so that the after ages of the Church which came to idolize Baptisme, and to put so much vertue even in the very external act done, can no wayes be justified, yea so greatly did superstition grow in this kind, that they thought Baptisme did also work some wonderfull temporal effects; for whereas there is a traditon, (though it be justly reckoned among the vulgar errours) that the Jewes have by way of punishment an offen∣sive smell or stink inflicted upon their body, they instance in Jewes baptized, that therby were cleansed from this filthiness. The Poet Fortunatus said, Sanct. Comment. in Jer. 31. 29.

Abluitur Judeus odor Baptismate divo.

Thus absurd did many grow in their thoughts about the efficacy of Baptisme; but the truth is, That although Baptism be an Ordinance appointed by God for the sealing of the remission of original sinne, yet it hath not this effect in all, neither is the benefit of Baptisme to be limited to that time only, but it extend∣eth Page  550 it self to our whole life; so that we are daily to make an improvement of it both for duty and comfort. And thus much may suffice for the deciding of this Question with sobriety and modesty.

Now if any shall say upon the hearing of this damnable estate that we are plunged into by sinne, as the Disciples in another case, It is good not to marry; yea that it is good to have no children; it is good to be no Parents, because our Infants do thus come into the world upon worse terms then the young ones of bruit beasts, because they are the children of Gods wrath, whereas the creatures are not the creatures of Gods wrath. To such as shall thus conclude, I shall propound these ensuing particulars:

First, That it is just and righteous with God, to continue the propagation of man∣kind, though man hath thus corrupted his nature. Because Adam fell, and so all his postcrity would be propagated in a damnable estate, shall he therefore destroy the whele species of men, and raze out every individuum? Seeing then its Gods will, that men should increase and multiply, that there should be parents and children; for which end he hath instituted marriage, we are to regard the will of God in this way more than the adherent corruption; and the rather, be∣cause this damnable guilt doth adhere to our natures, not from Gods primitive Institution, but by Adam's voluntary transgression. It being then a duty to some to marry, it being by God appointed a remedy against sinne; for thee to ab∣stain from that way, and to desire no children under pretence of original sinne, is a meer delusion.

Secondly, You are to know, That though children be born in this defiled and cursed estate, yet they are in themselves mercies and comforts, which mace our Sa∣viour say, That a woman, because of the joy that a man child is born, she forgetteth all her sorrow and pangs that she was in, John 16. 21. So that at the same time, they may be by nature children of wrath, and yet in another respect comforts and mercies in themselves; for which end God promiseth children as a mercy, and threatneth it, as a punishment, to be barren and childless.

Thirdly, Thou that art a believing parent, and hast thy child dying in its infan∣cy, thou hast cause to assure thy self of the mercy of God to thy child, because he ta∣keth parents and children into the same promise. Oh but I know not that God hath elected him; So neither canst thou thy own, à priori I you must begin at the lower round of the ladder, in Gods Election; The effects and fruits thereof; And now what greater pledge and argument canst thou have of his salvation, then being born under the Covenant of grace? You cannot expect actual ex∣pressions of regeneration and grace from a dying Infant; therefore thou must runne to the Covenant of grace, whereby God doth receive such, as his mem∣bers; yea thou hast cause to admire the goodness of God to thy child, and his mercy, when so many thousands, and thousands of Pagans children dying, have no visible way of salvation; we cannot by the Scripture (as you heard) see any Ark provided for them, as God in mercy hath done for thee.

Fourthly, The consideration of Gods just and severe proceedings against Pagans and their children, may make thee the more admire the grace of God in saving of thee. For how many Heathens perish in hell, who it may be never committed such gross and soul sins in their life time, as thou hast done? To be sure their In∣fants never committed such actual inquities, as thou hast done; yet they appear according to Gods ordinary way of proceedings, to be left in that lost estate of nature. And therefore that is a good quickning meditation which Vedlius 〈◊〉, (Hilar. cap 3. pag. 119.) To make a godly man thankfull for Gods

grace, seeing by nature we deserve otherwise. Ah quot sunt, erunt in inferno miselli infantuli, &c. Ah how many little Infants are, and shall be in hell, who never had the knowledge of good and evil, and might not God have left thee in the same misery?
This (I say) is a pious meditation. Though Page  551 that scoffing Remonstrant prefix this expression amongst others in the front of his Book, as if it were no lesse then blasphemy, Vedel. Rhapsod.

Fifthly, Thou who art a parent exercised with this temptation about thy chil∣dren, it grieveth thee to think thou bringest them forth to be Gods enemies, and the Devils children: Let not this discourage thee, but provoke thee the more earnestly to be much in prayer for them, and to be more carefull in their education. Let them be the children of thy prayers and tears, the children of thy care and godly discipline, and thou mayest comfort thy self that such shall not perish; however thou hast done thy duty, and so art to leave all to the wise and righteous God, who is not accountable to man for any of his proceedings.

That the encouragement and hopes of parents are great in the faithfull dis∣charge of their duties, notwithstanding the guilt of original sinne, may further appear, as to the woman, in that famous and noble Text, 1 Tim. 2. 14, 15. But the woman being deceived was in the transgression; Notwithstanding she shall be sa∣ved in child-bearing, if they continue in the faith &c.

The Apostle having strictly charged, That women should not usurp authority over the man, for two reasons,

1. From the primitive Creation, even before sinne; Adam was first formed, then Eve: So that in the state of integrity, the wife was to have been subject to her husband, even as children to parents; but it would have been without that difficulty and reluctancy which sinne hath now brought upon mankind.

The other reason is, Because the woman was first in the transgression, and thereby through her original sinne infected all. Now lest this should afflict women too much, and they conceive their estate desperate; the Apostle ming∣leth honey with this gall, he informeth them of comfortable considerations, even from that very particular; wherein they see the evident displeasure and wrath of God; and that is the sorrows and pangs they bring forth children with, She shall be saved in child-bearing.

How this is to be understood seemeth difficult. For may not maids, or such married persons that never have children be saved? How shall they do that have no children, if the woman be saved in child-bearing?

To this it is easily answered, That the Apostle doth not speak of the meritorious cause of salvation, which is Christ; for in him all believers are one; there is neither male or female, Jew or Gentile, married or unmarried, that do differ, as to justifi∣cation and salvation through him. Therefore the Apostle speaketh here only of such women, as are married, and have children. Now because such might be discouraged, because of the curse laid upon the woman at first, in bringing forth of children, he addeth, That notwithstanding this she shall be saved; Those pangs and sorrows do not exclude her from salvation; therefore the Greek Preposition 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as Rom. 2. 27. compared with 29. it doth not signifie, she is saved by that, as a cause. For how many women are there, who through their impenitency in wicked wayes will be damned, though they be the mothers of many children? It signifieth only the way and means wherein she may ob∣tain salvation. So that what was at first in it self a curse, may now be sanctified, and so prove no impediment to their salvation. It is true, some would have this 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to be meant of the Virgins bearing of Christ, as if the meaning were, She shall be saved▪ by Christ born of a woman. Erasmus on the place, saith, Theophilact mentioneth this, but rejecteth it. The late Annota∣tour mentioneth it with approbation; but the Context doth no wise agree with this; for he speaketh of every woman in the Church bearing her children; therefore addeth, If they abide in faith and charity; neither can any argument be put upon the Article 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as if the Apostle meant that signal and emi∣nent bearing of a child, when Christ was born; for if this were so, none but the Virgin Mary, and no other woman could take comfort from this palce. Page  552Heinsius by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 understandeth marriage, She shall be saved in the way of marriage, which is called so (saith he) from the end of marriage, which is to have children; for (as he affirmeth) the Grecians have not one word to ex∣presse marriage by, and therefore in stead thereof they use 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and so here 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; but this hath no probability: We adhere therefore to the former Exposition; the sense whereof is, That notwithstanding Eve did through ori∣ginal sinne bring a sad curse upon child-bearing, yet to those women that are godly, the curse is taken off; yea and doth become a sanctified meanes of their salvation; not of it self to every one (for then no child-bearing woman could be damned) but if they do walk in those wayes God hath commanded. Therefore it followeth, If they abide, &c. which denoteth the necessity of abi∣ding and continuing in all holy duties. Some indeed referre this to the children, If the children continue in what is good. And if it be said, When a godly mo∣ther doth her duty, she may have notwithstanding wicked and ungodly children, and shall that prejudice her salvation? To this they answer, That for the most part the wickedness of children is laid upon the parents neglect; but if it be not, then God will accept of the mother faithfully discharging her duty, though the chil∣dren do wickedly miscarry; but it is farre more probable to referre it to the woman. And though the number be changed into the plural, If they abide, yet that is ordinary in Scripture, especially when the word is a collective, as in the 5th Chapter of this Epistle vers. 4. where 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the singular number, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the plural relateth to it. The qualification then that is necessary to all women, that would find the curse in child-bearing taken away, and ori∣ginal guilt accompanying that sorrow removed, is to abound in all saving gra∣ces, and to continue therein; and then that woman who is a wife and a mother of many children, let her not torment her self about the state of her children, and the condition they are born in, but quiet her soul with this Text of Scripture.

The last particular, that may satisfie the souls of such parents who may be exercised in these particulars about original sinne, is to remind themselves, That the whole matter about original sinne in reference to Adam, and all his poste∣rity, is not without the wise and holy appointment of God, who would never have suf∣fered this evil to be, could he not have raised out thereby a greater good. For al∣though it be true, That Adam did sinne from his meer internal liberty, there being no decrees or execution thereof that did necessitate him to do so; yet all this could not be without the Decree of God permitting, as also wisely ordering all things for his own glory. No doubt but God could have confirmed Adam in his holiness; yea he might have so ordered it, that every man and woman should stand or fall upon their personal account, as the Angels did: yet such was his will and Covenant, that in Adam all his posterity should be involved, and the same issue should attend both them and him. This then being the ap∣pointment of a just, wise and mercifull God, we ought wholly to acquiesce, knowing that the business of mans life and death, his salvation and damnation, could not have been ordered better otherwise, though all the wisdome of men and Angels had been put together. And therefore when thou who art a parent, but tempted about the state of thy children thou hast brought forth, art tur∣moiling thy self in these disputes, shake off these vipers, and conclude, That God regardeth his own glory and honor, more then thou canst do; he hath taken that way wherein he will magnifie his own glorious Attributes. And truly this should presently silence all thy disputations. For wouldst thou have God lose part of his glory? Wouldst thou have his honour in any degree laid in the dust, that thy will and desires may be accomplished? Farre be this from thee. Surely the great and high thoughts we ought to have of Gods wisdom, goodness and holiness ought to keep us from opening our mouths any more in this point, say∣ing, Page  553 As I leave my self, so my children in the hands of God, who disposeth all things according to his own will. And as we say of the nature of God, he is that Bonum quo nihil melius cogitari potest; The same must we apply to all his dis∣pensations likewise.

Furthermore we are to remember, That whatsoever the first Adam hath brought upon mankind, the second Adam will totally and fully remove in all that are his members: Insomuch that at the last, there shall not remain (as it were) an hoof of any of these calamities. That original corruption within thee shall no longer tempt thee incessantly like Joseph's Mistress, saying, Come, and lie with me; we shall then in the issue of all have more cause to rejoyce, because of Christ, and the benefits by him, then ever we were cast down and dejected, because of the transgression of the first Adam, and the unspeakable evil that came by him. So that if these particulars be duly considered, every believer may with comfort and quietness sit down under this truth, while men of phari∣saical and self-justifying spirits rage and revile at these things.

But you will say, Grant that there is such a thing as Original Sinne, and that we have delivered nothing but Scripture truth in this point, yet may we not be too tragical in exclamations about it? As there are those who erre in the defect, so are there not many that do offend in the excess, that make it more hainous then it is? This is the last Question, wherewith I shall conclude this Subject. And

First, All the Popish, Arminian, Socinian party with their adherents, look upon the Calvinists, as excessive in this point; hence are there several com∣plaints of them about this matter in all their works. But certainly, if we do re∣gard the scope of the Scripture, it is wholly to debase man, and exalt Christ; To discover our incurable and sinfull estate, that thereby Christ may be the more magnified, which is done by nothing so much, as to make known that horrid pollution, which is upon all by nature. And certainly that one Text, Genes. 6. 5. affirming, The thoughts of the imagination of a mans heart to be only evil, and that continually, speaketh more emphatically the deplored and sinfull estate of man, then ever any Calvinist hath yet exprest. Yet though this be so, we grant, that some may go too farre in their opinions, and expressions about original sinne, though for the most part such is a mans self-fulness and self-righ∣teousness, that Pelagianism is likelier to poison the world, then Flacci••ism. We must know therefore that one Illyricus a Lutheran in opposition to Victori∣nus Strigelius a Lutheran also, but a Synergist, holding the will of man to con∣curre actively with the grace of God to a mans conversion, and thereby exte∣nuating original sinne. This Illyricus (I say) out of a vehement opposition to that party, and the School-Doctrine about original sinne, making it to be an accident in a man, did fall into another extream, saying,

That original sinne was a substantial evil in a man, and that the very substantial form of a man was now made sinfull.
This Illyricus was a man of a very turbulent and unquiet spirit, a desperate enemy to Melancthon, whose heart it is said he broke. (Melch. Adam in vita Illyrici.) At first he was well reputed of by the Ortho∣dox, and being sadly tempted in his spirit about sinne, and the wrath of God, but afterwards delivered from it; it was judged so great a mercy, that thanks was given to God in the publick Congregation for his behalf; but afterwards among other erroneous assertions, he maintained,
That original sinne was a substantial evil in a man.
We may read his whole opinion with the declarati∣on of himself and his Arguments, in his Tractate on purpose concerning this point (Clavis Script. 2d parte Tractat. 6. de originali peccato.) wherein he hath many absurd and monstrous expressions. Although it must be acknowledged, that with that dung and filth he hath, there is also some gold. Some there are that wholly excuse him, saying,
That his words only were improper, but that his sense was orthodox; and that out of hatred to that Doctrine, which extenu∣ateth Page  554 original sinne; he would, pretending the Scripture for his Rule, use substantive expressions,
to declare the nature of it. But whatsoever his end may be, certainly his sense and opinion, as declared in his words, is justly to be condemned and exploded. For by Adam's fall he maketh a substantial change to be made upon a man; That the Image of God is turned into the image of the Devil, not accidentally, but substantially; as when wine is made vinegar, or when the parts of a statue, or house that were built in some comely harmony, representing some glorious thing, they should be pulled down, and built into another deformed shape. As suppose the Image of some comely person should be pulled in pieces, and made the image of an horrible Dragon or Serpent. He distinguisheth of the material substance of a man, and his formal; He grant∣eth, That the matrial substance of a man, still remaineth our body, and parts thereof, but the formal substance is altered. As when a vessel that was once made a vessel of honour, is afterwards made a vessel of dishonour; the material substance is the same, but not the formal. He doth no wayes endure, that we should call original sinne an accident; for he saith, This sinne is a tran∣scendent, and is in all predicaments; it's sometimes a quality, sometimes an action, &c. sometimes a substance. Neither will he distinguish between the sub∣stance, of a man, and his sin adhering thereto, between the subject and the privation in it, between the abstract and concrete: God (he saith) is angry with concretes, punisheth concretes, not abstracts; and therefore he saith, Those that distinguish be∣tween the substance of a man and his sinne, do as the Alchimists separating from the oyl, oleity; from a stone, lapideity; so these from Adam, Adameity. Thus he, and much more. But certainly herein he betrayeth horrible ignorance in Phi∣losophy and Theology; for both these will necessitate us to distinguish between the substance of a man, and the sinfull privation in him; otherwise Christ could not have taken the same nature with us upon him, sinne only excepted; and re∣generation would be a substantial change, not a qualitative: Neither by this opinion could the same substantial bodies be said to be glorified in Heaven. So that as the Leprosie in the body, is not the body; neither is original sinne in man, the nature of man; and therefore when we read, that the flesh and spirit are opposite, that opposition must be understood in praedicamento qualitatis, not substantiae. The greatest support that this man hath for this errour, is, because the Scripture useth substantive expressions, it is called an evil heart, a stony heart, &c. But this is because of the corruption adhering to it: As we say, a rotten tree, or a poisoned fountain; The heart as it is a fleshly substance is not evil, but as it is the principle of our motions and actions, not in a physical, but moral sense. It is true, we say, That through original sinne man cometh short of his end: And so as the hand when its dead cannot do the works of an band; or salt, when it hath lost its seasoning is good for nothing: Thus it is with man in regard of any supernatural actions, yet he hath not lost any thing that was substantial and essential; Only the power of the soul want the primitive recti∣tude they once had; and therefore whensoever they act, it is with deordinati∣on. Indeed we will grant, That Illyricus his adversary Victorinus Strigelius, did not fully express original corruption, in the Disputation between them; who compared a man to a Loadstone, of which (they say) when rubbed with Gar∣lick, it will not draw iron; but if that be wip'd off by Goats bloud, it will be as attractive as before. For this similitude is not full enough: because original sin doth not only hinder the doing of good actions, but infecteth the very powers and principles of them. It is true, there are those, (as Contzen in Rom. 5.) that say, because the Calvinists hold, That concupiscence is sinne, they cannot avoid Flaccianism but that is a meer calumny. We alwayes distinguish between the nature and substance of a man; and the ataxy and disorder that doth now accompany it. Neither when we call it an accident do we thereby extenuate the Page  555 nature of original sinne; for we do not make it a light superficial one, but which is inbred with us, and doth diffuse it self over all the parts and powers of the soul. Neither do we say, it is a transient, temporary accident, but that which is fixed and permanent in us. Thus we see in what sense, there may be excessive expres∣sions about original sinne; otherwise we cannot say enough to affect our hearts with the loathsomness of it, provided we keep close to the Scripture directions herein.

Thus at last by the good hand of God we are come out of these deeps into the haven; we have waded through all the several parts of this vast Subject, and are now come to the shore. It remaineth as a duty upon every one, to ha∣sten out of this captivity and bondage, not to stay a day or hour in this damna∣ble estate, and above all things to take heed of such opinions, that do either lessen or nullifie this sinne; for this is to erre in the foundation; Christ and grace, and regeneration can never be built thereupon. This Doctrine hath stood as a firm 〈◊〉 in all ages, upon which the contrary errors have dashed and broken themselves; and without this we are never able to performe those two necessary duties, To know our selves, and to know Christ. This hath alwayes been the Catholique Doctrine of the Church of God. Neither did the Fathers before Austin's time generally speak otherwise, as late Writers would make us believe: Even as the Socinians say, the Ancients affirmed otherwise about Christ, than after Athanasius his time, and the Coun∣cil of Nice, was usually done in the Church: Scripture, the Consent of the Church, and every mans own experience doth proclaim this truth, Quis ante prodigiosum dicipulum Pelagii Coelestium reatu praevaricationis Adae omne genus humanum negavit astrictum? Lyr. cont. Haeres. c. 24.