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


IN the third place, Adam's sinne imputed to us, is not all our original sinne; for this is also affirmed by many, That Adam's actual transgression is made every mans sinne; So that there is but that one original sinne common to all, and every one that is born hath not a particular proper original sinne to himself. This opinion, they think, is only able to withstand those strong Objections, that are brought against the imputability of any thing inherent in us, as truly and proper∣ly sinne, while we are Infants, and cannot put forth any acts of reason or will; Yea hereby they say, that intricate and perplexed discourse about the propaga∣tion of original sinne, will be wholly needless; so that they conclude on this opi∣nion, as labouring with the least inconveniencies and difficulties. Their Asserti∣on is, That Adam's actual sinne is made ours by imputation, and that is all the ori∣ginal sinne we have, an Infant new born having nothing in it, that is truly and pro∣perly a sinne, it hath (they say) many things that have rationem poenae, but not culpae, a proneness to sinne, when it groweth up, is not a sinne, but a punishment; it is the effect of original sinne, not the sin it self.

Though this may seem specious and plausible, yet this will not satisfie the Scri∣pture expressions, which, besides that original imputed sinne, doth plainly ac∣knowledge an inherent one. And

First, When we have plain Texts that do assert any Divine Truth, we are in∣inseparably Page  33 to adhere to that, though the wit of man may raise up such subtil Ob∣jections, that it may seem very difficult to answer them; Is not this seen in the Doctrine of the Trinity, of the eternal Deity of Christ, of the Resurrection of the Body, of Justification by Faith alone? In all, or most of these points here∣tical heads have raised up such a soggy mist before our eyes, that sometimes it is hard to see the Sunne that should guide us: And thus it is confessed, That in maintaining of original inherent sinne, as truly and properly a sinne, there are some weighty difficulties, but yet not such as should preponderate or weigh down clear Scripture; And therefore Austin doth sometimes confess, That though he were not able to answer all the Objections could be brought against this original de∣filement, yet we were to adhere to the clear places of Scripture. Hence it is that by Epistles he consulted with Hierom in this case, acknowledging the many straits he was intangled in.

In the second place, there are clear Texts of Scripture, affirming this inward pollution in all, and that as sinne; for the Apostle in this discourse of his doth distinguish sinne and punishment, yet both these, he saith, come by Adam's sinne: If then by sinne were meant only punishment, as some would have it, then the Apostle in saying, Death came by sinne, should mean, that God punish∣ed punishments with punishments, for one punishment he should inflict another. Thus whereas the Adversaries make it absurd, that a sinne should be a punish∣ment of a former sinne, they fall into a greater absurdity, making one punish∣ment the punishment of another. Besides, that it is sinne inherent in us, and not only imputed, appears by David's acknowledgement, Psal. 51. In sinne! was I born, and in iniquity did my mother conceive me. But of this more in time. You see by what hath been said, That our original sinne is more than meer guilt, or Adam's actual sinne imputed to us, it denoteth withall an inherent contagion of the whole man. Therefore it is absurdly and falsly said by that late Writer, It may be called original guilt, rather than original sin.