A TREATISE OF Original Sinne. PART. I.
The first Text to prove Original Sinne, improved and vindicated.
EPHES. 2. 3.
THE true Doctrine of Original Corruption is of so great concernment, that Austin thought, De Pec∣cato Orig. contra Pelag. & Celest. 2. cap. 24. the Summe of Religion to consist in knowing of this, as the effect of the first Adam, and also of Christ the second Adam with all his glorious benefits. Though therefore Coelestius of old thought it to be but Rec∣quaestionis, not fides, Ibidem cap. 4. And others of late have wholly rejected it, as Austin's figment, yet certainly the true way of Humiliation for sinne, or Justification by Christ, cannot be firmly established, unless the true Doctrine of this be laid as a Foundation-stone in the building.
Page 2 Now because original sinne is used ambiguously by Divines, sometimes for Adam's first sinne imputed unto us, (for, Omnes homines fuerunt ille unus homo) he was the common Person representing all mankind, as is in time to be shewed; And this for distinction sake, is called, Originale originans, or Originale impu∣tatum; And sometimes it's taken passively for the effect of that first sinne of Adam, viz. The total and universal pollution of all mankind inherently through sinne, which is called Originale originatum, or inherens.
I shall treat of it in this later acception, as being of great practical improve∣ment many wayes.
ANd because in Theological Debates two Questions are necessary, The An sit, and the Quid sit, Whether there be such a thing, and, What it is; and in both these the truth of God meeteth with many adversaries.
I shall first insist on the Quod sit, That there is such a natural and cursed pollution upon every one that is born in an ordinary way. The first Text I shall fasten this Truth upon, is this I have mentioned, which deservedly, both by Ancient and Modern Writers is thought to have a pregnant and evident demonstration, That there is such a natural contagion upon all.
To understand this the better, take notice of the Coherence briefly. The Apostles scope is, to incite the Ephesians to Thankfulness, by the consideration of that great love and infinit mercy vouchsafed to them by God; and because the Sunne is most welcome out of a dark gloomy cloud, one contrary doth more illustrate another. He compareth their present state of Grace, with their pristine condition of misery and wretchedness, which is summarily expressed, That they were dead in sinnes and trespasses, a farre more dreadfull estate, than if they had been dead and rotting in their graves. This internal corruption is am∣plified from a twofold external cause,
1. The course aud custom of the world.
2. The power and efficacy of the Devil, the Prince of the power of the Air working in them.
Now lest this should be thought true only of the Ephesians, because Gen∣tiles, he brings in himself also, and the Jews equal with them both in actual sinnes.
1. We all had our conversation in times past in lusts of the flesh, &c.
2. For original sinne, both Jew and Gentile were all plunged in the same ori∣ginal gulf of misery: And this Proposition is asserted in the words read.
IN which words are considerable, the Subject, and the Predicate, with the Manner of its attribution.
The Subject is [We] that is, we all, as in the beginning of this verse: For seeing the Jews were Abraham's children, in which they so much boasted, and therefore are called Jews by nature, Gal. 2. 15. and the natural branches, Rom. 11. 21. They might easily think, others indeed were by nature sinfull, yet for themselves, they would think that glorious discent they had from Abraham might be a priviledge to them, but here it is true, though Jews by nature, yet sinners by nature, as the Gentiles were.
2. There is the Predicate, Children of wrath,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is an Hebraism, and signifieth one wholly exposed to wrath, as if wrath were the mother, and Page 3 gave them their whole being. Thus the children of Belial, and the sons of death are often in Scripture. By wrath is meant Gods wrath; Now because Gods wrath is just, and doth alwayes presuppose sinne; Hence is inevitably deducted, That we are also by Nature full of sinne: So that though wrath be immediatly the misery here spoken of, yet sin is supposed as the necessary antecedent.
3. There is the Manner how, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, by nature; We have it by our birth, it's not by imitation, and action, or custom, but by Nature. This word doth clearly pass a sentence of condemnation upon every one, while in the swadling-cloaths, though as yet guilty of no actual transgression.
But because the strength of our Argument for Original sinne lieth on this word, and the Adversaries to it, especially the Socinians, would weaken this Testimony: Let us remove their exceptions.
ANd first, Gretius rejects this Interpretation of Original, sinne, as nothing to the Apostles meaning, and therefore saith the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is as much as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, truly and indeed, opposite to what is in opinion, and esteem, compa∣ring this place with Gal. 4. 8. Which by nature are no gods. In this, following Pelagius his Exposition of old, as if he would take his errour by imitation, as Pelagius said, we did sinne from Adam. This interpretation of Pelagius taking prorsus for the same with nature. Austin refuseth for the novelty of it, Lib. 6. contra Julia, cap. 4. and indeed nothing now is more ordinary, then such an Exposition with the Adversaries to original sinne, as Castellio and others.
But this Exposition is not opposite, it's only subordinate, we will grant, that the word will bear this sense, That we are truly and wholly the children of wrath; but this is not all, we are so, because we have this misery by nature, and the pa∣rallel instanced in, will abundantly convince it, for therefore they were not tru∣ly, and indeed Gods, because they were not so by nature. So that the Text makes against him, and not for him.
Besides the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 being used about twelve times in the New Testament, doth alwayes signifie that which is nature, or according to natural inclination, or what we have by natural birth; For nature, so 1 Cor. 11. 14. Doth not na∣ture teach you? And Jam. 3. 7. Rom. 1. 26. For natural principles and inclina∣tions, so the Gentiles, Rom. 2. 14. are said 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, To do the things of the Law, or by natural descent, Rom. 2. 27. Vncircumcision is said to be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, so Rom. 11 21, 24. The natural branches are called the Jews descending of Abra∣ham, and thereby enjoying Church-priviledges, and Gal. 2. 15. Jews by Na∣ture; Insomuch that it is a manifest falshood to say, the word never signifieth that which we have by birth. And indeed, as is well observed by Zanchy, The phrase, Children by Nature must necessarily imply by descent, as the sonne of a man supposeth descent from him: Adam was a man, but not the son of a man, he had it not originally from another, whereas we are by nature children of wrath, and so have it from our parents. Hence it is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which doth relate to our nativity, and in the original it is more emphatical than in our Translations, for there it is, not by nature children of wrath, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Children by nature of wrath; So that children by nature is opposite to children by Custom, Imitation, Adoption, or any other way. Thus the first exception is removed.
Object. In the next place, The Socinian puts in his Caveat, after this manner, That must be understood by the phrase [Children of wrath by nature] which the Ephesians were now by the grace of God freed from; for the Apostle speaks in the time past, You were by nature children of wrath, but now are quickned by Page 4 the grace of God, therefore the Ephesians were now freed from that estate: But according to the Doctrine of those who maintain Original sinne, that abideth in every man, though regenerated, and is not abolished but by death.
Answ. But this stone is easily removed: For although original sinne abide in the godly, yet the guilt of it is not imputed; So that though by nature we were obnoxious to the wrath of God through its guilt, yet when grace com∣eth, this guilt is taken away, so that though it be in us, yet it is not imputed to us.
Object. Lastly, They object, It must be understood of actual sins, for the Apo∣stle spoke of such before, and to be a sonne of a thing denoteth the quality inherent in a man, as given to such a way; so in the former verse the Chil∣dren of disobedience, that is, those who voluntarily give themselves to such rebellion.
Answ. But to this it is answered, That in the former expression is not the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: So that the Apostle doth here lay the Ax to the root of the Tree; and because the Jews might be thought by the priviledges they enjoyed as soon as born to excell the Gentiles; Therefore he demonstrateth the Fountain and Well-head of their iniquity, though secret and under-ground, as springs are usually very difficultly discovered.
Besides, We will readily grant, That this expression doth denote an habitual inclination to all actual evil, and that the Apostle mentioneth it as the curse and bitter root of all the actual impieties that are committed in the world; so that there is a reference to actual sins, but in the cause of them, which is this original pollution.
And thus much for vindication of this noble Text, we have endeavoured to throw out all that earth, which the Philistims had cast into this fountain, what else may be objected, will in time be taken notice of. And from hence observe,
That all men by nature are born full of sinne, and so exposed to Gods infinite wrath and vengeance. Every Infant coming into the world is destitute of the Image of God, and in a more dreadfull condition than the young ones of the bruitish creatures, that are not exposed to eternal torments; so that although there may be joy that a man-child is born, yet much humiliation, because a child of wrath is born.
I shall not so much insist on the Predicate, as the Subject, with the Manner how.
This original sinne is a natural sinne, not indeed as we had our nature at first pure out of Gods hands, therefore here is no Manicheism affirmed, as Pelagi∣ans of old did calumniate, but as vitiated and defiled through Adam's trans∣gression.
Of the Name Original Sinne, and of the Ʋtility and Necessity of being clearly and powerfully informed about this Subject.
LEt us consider the Doctrine more largely: And
First, You must know that although Original sinne be not a Scripture-name, but called so first by Austin, forced thereunto by the Pelagians, yet the truth of it is in the Scripture; And it is law∣full to use new words though not in Scripture, when the matter is contained therein, to discover and distinguish Hereticks. Now we call it origi∣nal sin in a three-fold respect:
First, Because we have it from our first parents fallen, who were the original and fountain of all mankind. It's not an actual voluntary sinne, immediatly and personally committed by us, but it is in us antecedently to our own personal will, both our mind and will comes into the world habitually darkned and ob∣stinate against what is good.
Secondly, Its original, Because we have it as soon as we have our being. It's bred in us, and can no more be taken from our natures in an ordinary way, than mortality from our bodies: For although it be not the substance and essence of a man, yet the Scripture calling it the old man, and our members, not in Illyricus his sense, doth thereby signifie the intimate inhesion of it in us, that it is in us, as it were, leven in the whole lump, which soureth all; we have it in our being, which made Ambrose say, Cujus ortus in vitio est, which Austin often mentioneth; yea, we were conceived in it, as Psal. 51. And therefore another was not afraid to say, we were damnati priusquam nati, with Austin often it's called Damnata radix, damnata massa.
Lastly, It's called Original, Because from this floweth all the actual evil in the world; From this corrupt tree groweth all the corrupt fruit that is, as is to be shewed; therefore the Scripture describes original sinne, though not as pecca∣tum actuale, yet actuosum, not as an actual, but an active sin. Thus Gen. 6. 5. it's made to be a forge, or shop from whence sparks of lusts do continually rise. The heart of man is even like hell it self, whose fire of lust is unquenchable: So our Saviour speaks of a hard heart which is as an evil treasure. Mat. 12. 35. There is an evil treasure in every mans heart, you may see all sorts of wickedness come from it, old and new sins, and though he sinne never so much, yet still he can sinne more. This sea of corruption will never be dried up in this life. Paul also Rom. 7. complaineth of the activity and vigor of this sinne in him, that it's al∣wayes seducing, yea, captivating of him, although sanctified in part; Insomuch that although a man be loathsom in respect of his actual impieties, yet much Page 6 more because of the original fountain of evil within him; The greatest part of our wickedness is in our natural inclination and propensity of spirit: Oh how deep and piercing should the thoughts of this depravation be within us, as we are all over full of sinne, so we should be filled up with shame and confusion of face, we never go deep enough in our Humiliation and Confession, till we come to this.
IN the second place, It's good to take notice of the evident utility, and necessity of being clearly and powerfully informed about this Subject. This truth is con∣stantly and frequently to be pressed, we are not to give it over, although it may seem burdensom and tedious unto you; The reasons of the necessary discovery of this are divers, some Doctrinal, and some Practical. As
1. If a man be erroneous or heretical in this, he cannot be orthodox, or sound in many other substantial parts of Religion; What Austin said concern∣ing the Trinity, is true also in some measure concerning this; We may erre easi∣ly here, and dangerously also: easily, for such is the self-fulness, the self-flattery that is in every one, that he is difficultly perswaded that he is thus undone and miserable; The light must shine as clear as at noon-day, yea the Spirit of God must convince and set this home, else a man will never believe it, and then the errour herein is dangerous, because if this Pillar fall to the ground, almost the whole edifice of Religion doth tumble down with it: As for instance, If a man erre about original sinne, denying it either in part or in whole, he must necessa∣rily hold Free-will, for this is the Cockatrice his egg, and the other is the Cock∣atrice it self; from a venemous womb must come a venemous brood; Take away original sinne, and then you establish Free-will, then man hath the same power to do good he had in Creation; There may be indeed some wounds and debilitations upon him, but not a spiritual death; Then if Free-will be established, the grace of God, that is also evacuated, there is no absolute necessity of it, its only ad facilius operandum, as the Pelagians of old, to make us work more ea∣sily and readily. Thus the very Sunne of Righteousness is presently taken out of our Heavens. Furthermore, If we do not believe aright about original sin, we must also mis-believe about Justification, that cannot be made such a glorious act of Gods grace, because of Christs Righteousness imputed unto us, as indeed it is; Then we shall set up our Dagon against Gods Ark; neither will the work of conversion be solely ascribed to the power of Gods grace, as it ought to be, for at the best they will make grace but an adjuvant cause, or a partial one with our Free-will, and so the praise shall be given partly to our selves, and partly to God. But above all, he that doth either deny, or diminish the guilt and conta∣gion of this sinne can never exalt Christ in all his Offices as he ought to do: He that denieth the disease must needs derogate from the Physician, The whole need not the Physician, saith our Saviour, Matth. 9. 12. And therefore it's of great consequence to be fully perswaded about the depth, breadth and length of this sinne, that thereby we may be able to comprehend the dimensions of Christs love to us; Not that Christ came only to take away the guilt of original sin, as some Papists affirm, but because this is the womb wherein all other sins are con∣ceived. This is the wound of the whole nature, actual sins only infect the per∣son of a man; We may then easily see the necessity of being truly informed about this Subject; for this is like miscarriage in the first concoction, which can∣not be amended by that which followeth; And therefore this consideration should quicken you up in a diligent attention to the whole Doctrine, which shall be delivered about it.
IN the next place we are to shew you, of what practical advantage it is, for all to be fully informed about this native contagion and leprosie we bring with us into the world: And
First, He that doth truly believe in this point, will quickly silence all those im∣patient, if not blasphemous complaints that are uttered by many against nature, because (as they say) it is such an hard step-mother to mankind, Non tam editi quum ejecti, said the Heathen. I call them blasphemous complaints, because what is spoken against Nature, redounds upon God the Author of Nature. Hence in the Scripture, what Nature doth, God is said to do. Now then, if we consider, what impatient expostulations the Heathens have made, why man of all creatures should be by Nature most miserable? No true answer could ever be given to satisfie, but this, because man comes sinfull into the world: The young ones of beasts and birds, are not so miserable as our Infants, because not corrupted with evil in their Natures, as they are; So that if we see our very In∣fants, which yet (as the Scripture saith) cannot discern between the right hand and left, and have not done actual good or evil, subject to grievous diseases, and death it self: Wonder not at this, for they have in themselves through their native sinfulness, a desert not only of this pain, but eternal torments in hell. Hence it is that the Scripture instructs us in that which all Philosophy could never inform us, viz. the cause and original of all those diseases and pains, yea of death it self, which reigneth over all mankind: Insomuch that thereby we see, though there were not one actual sinne in the world, though all men had no more sinne upon them, then what they had in the womb, and in the cradle, yet there was demerit enough of that vengeance of God, which upon mans transgression was threatned in the Word, Gen. 6. 5. The main cause, why God brought that universal deluge upon the whole world, was not so much their actual wickedness, as such, but because it came from a polluted fountain, which would never be wholly cleansed. Their hearts were so many shops, wherein were constantly formed all manner of impieties; yea by this we see not only the mi∣series upon man, but all the bondage an vanity that is upon the whole world: That there are any barrenness, any famines, that the ground brings forth thorns and thistles, that the woman brings forth with so much labour and forrow; all these things come by original sinne; God did not at first create things in such disorder and confusion: If therefore thou wouldst quiet thy heart under all tu∣mults and vexing thoughts, to see the manifold mischiefs and miseries mankind is subject unto; This Grave jugum super filios Adam, as Austin often out of Ec∣clesiasticus, this heavy yoke upon the sons of Adam, have recourse to a serious meditation about original sin.
Secondly, The true knowledge of this natural defilement, will also satisfie us in those doubtfull Questions, which some have greatly tormented themselves with, viz. How sinne comes to be in the world? And whence it is Austin (in his seventh Book of his Confessions, and fifth Chapter) doth there bewail before God the great agonies and troubles of mind he was in about the beginning of sinne, whence it did arise? For seeing every thing that God made was exceeding good, this exceedingly puzzled him to know how evil should be. Yea, this knot was so hard to unty in some mens judgments, that it made many, of the Marcionites heresie, who be∣cause they saw men commit evil, as soon as they were born, and yet withall be∣ing convinced, That God was good, and could not be the beginning of evil; They therefore maintained two principles of all things, the one good, of all good things; The other evil, of evil things. Thus men have wonderfully plung∣ed themselves into boggs and quagmires of danger and destruction, be∣causePage 8 not acquainted with this main Truth of Original sin.
Thirdly, For want of knowledge herein, that main duty so much commended both by Scripture, and the Heathens, viz. To know our selves, can never be put in practice. The Heathen said, è Coelo descendit,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. And as for the Scripture, How often is it required, That we should search and try our hearts; That we should examine our selves, and commune with our own hearts, and be still, Psal. 4. Now these duties can never be effectually done, without a firm belief of that desperate pollution which is in our heart; And till we acknowledge with Jerem. 17. The heart is deceitfull above all things, and desperately wicked, Who can know it? Yea, we see David, Psal. 19. 13. though a godly man, and much enlightned thereby, being enabled to make deep search into his soul, and having the Sun beams, could discern those atoms and motes of sinne, which man in the dark could not do, yet he crieth out, Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret sins, that is, such sins that lie latent and lurking in my heart, that never yet I could find out. If then this duty be so great of knowing our selves, that some make all Religion to be in these two things, The knowledge of our selves, and of God; then how necessary is it, that we should be thorowly ac∣quainted with this heart, and nature-sinfulness, for without this we can never know how vile and loathsom we are? Our actual impieties, though never so gross and numerous, do not demonstrate our loathsomness so much as this bitter and sour leven within; These are the stream, that is the fountain; These are the effects, that is the cause; Therefore the greatest strength of our wickedness lieth in a defiled Nature, as you see in a Serpent or Toad, that venom it sends forth at any time, is nothing to the venom in its nature; If you look upon a Cain, a Judas, though his outside be so detestable, yet his inwards are much more abominable, so that a mans heart is like Peters great sheet, which he saw in a vision, Acts 11. 6. which was full of four-footed beasts, and wild beasts, and creeping things, all unclean; such a receptacle is mans soul of all impiety: A man cannot tell what is in the sea, what monsters are in the bottom of it, by looking upon the superficies of the water which covers it, so neither canst thou tell all that horrid deformity and wretchedness which is in thy heart, by be∣holding thine outward impieties. Oh then that you would turn your eyes in∣ward, as it were, an introversion is necessary: Then you will say, O Lord, be∣fore I knew the Nature of original sinne, I was not perswaded of my vileness, of my foulness! Oh now I see that I am beyond all expression sinfull, now I see every day I am more and more abominable! O Lord, formerly I thought all my sinne was in some words, in some actions, or in some vile thoughts, but now I see, this was the least part of all that evil that was in me; Now I am amazed, astonished to see what a sea of corruption is within me, now I can never go to the bottom, now I find something like hell within me, sparks of lust that are un∣quenchable.
Fourthly, Where there is not a true knowledge of this native corruption, there our Humiliation, and Repentance can never be deep enough; for it's not enough to be humbled for our actual sinnes, unless also we go to the cause and root of all. When a godly man would repent of his lusts, of his unbelief, or any other a∣ctual transgression, he stayeth not in the confession of, and bewailing those particular sins, but he goeth to the polluted fountain, to the bitter spring, from whence those bitter streams flow, and commonly this is a difference be∣tween an Ahabs Humiliation, and a Davids; Ahab humbleth himself only for his actual impieties, and that because of judgments threatned and impending over him; but David, even when he heareth God had forgiven his iniquity, yet hath great humiliation for his sinnes; and Psal. 51. thinketh it not enough to bewail his adultery and murder, but to confess, That in iniquity he was concei∣ved; his actual sinnes carried him to the original. Thus Paul also, Rom. 7, Page 9 when he miserably complaineth of that impotency in him to do good, that he could never do any good as perfectly, fully, purely and cheerfully, as he ought to do, presently he goeth to the cause of all this deordination, the Law of sinne within him, that original sinne which was like a Law within him, commanding him to think, to desire, to do sinfully, and obeyed it in all, though against his will, insomuch that he saith, He was carnal, and sold under sinne. This the A∣postle doth complain of, as the heaviest burden of all; So that an unregenerate man may by the light of nature, bewail and complain of his actual impieties, he may cry out, Oh wretched man that I am, for being such a beast, such a devil, so exorbitant and excessive, but whether he can do this for the body of sinne with∣in him, as Paul did, that may justly be questioned; And therefore you see then the troubles and workings of conscience in some men to miscarry greatly; They seem to be in pain and travails of soul, but all cometh to nothing: Oh how many in times of danger, and under fear of death, do sadly cry out of such sins they have committed! Oh the promises and resolutions they make, if ever God give them recovery again! But all this passeth away, even as mans life it self, like a vapour, like a tale, that is told: And one cause of the rottenness and defect of this humiliation is, because it did not go to the bottom of the soare; there was the inward and deep corruption of original sin that such never took any notice of, and so in all his sorrow did omit that which is the most aggravating cause of all grief and trembling: O Lord, I have not only done this wicked thing, but I had an heart, an inclination of soul to carry me to it, and therefore actual sinnes, though ten thousands of them, they pass away, the guilt only remaining; but this original pravity continueth in the pollution of it.
Fifthly, Ignorance of original sinne makes us also mistake in the crucifying and mortifying of sinne; No man can truly and spiritually leave a sinne, unless he doth conquer it and subdue it in some measure in the original and root of it; and this is a sure difference between a regenerate and unregenerate man about leaving or for∣saking of sinne; They both may give over their wonted actual impieties; They both may have escaped the pollution of the world, and that through the knowledge of the Gospel, 2 Pet. 2. 20. but the one leaveth only the acts of sinne, the other mortifieth it gradually, though not totally in the cause and inclination of the soul. Thus Paul. Rom. 7. though he complain of those actual stirrings, and impetuous motions of sinne, yet withall he can truly say, I delight in the Law of God, in the inner man. Now no hypocrite, or unregenerate man can say so; Though he be outwardly washed, yet he hath a swinish nature still, his inward parts are as loathsom, as noisom as ever before: Though there be a fair skinne drawn over the wound, yet in the bottom there is as much corruption, and pu∣trefaction, as ever before: Samson's hair is only cut, it's not plucked up by the root, so that it's not enough to have given over thy former profaneness; Thou thankest God thou art not the man once thou wert: Oh but consider whe∣ther sinne in the root of it, as well as in the branches of it, doth wither and die daily. A disease is not cured, till the cause of it be in some measure at least remo∣ved. As long as originall sinne is not in some degree mortified, thy old sins, or some other will break out as violently as ever, here is the fountain and root of all within thee.
Sixthly, He that is ignorant of the nature, and extent of this natural defile∣ment, he must needs grosly mistake about the nature of conversion, and be wholly ig∣norant of what regeneration is; As you see in Nicodemus, John. 3. 6. though a master in Israel, yet grosly mistaking about a new-birth, and what was the rea∣son of it? That appeareth by our Saviours argument to prove the necessity of it, Whatsoever is born of the flesh is flesh, implying by this, That if Nicodemus had known, that by natural generation he was nothing but flesh, that is, sinne and evil, his soul, his mind, his conscience, all was flesh in this sense, as well as his Page 10 body, then he would quickly have discerned the necessity of being born again, then he would not have continued a day, an hour, a moment in such a danger∣ous condition. And what is the cause that most people are still such sots and sensless men about regeneration? Yea, learned and knowing men are as blind and bruitish in this, as the simple and poor people are, doth not all arise from this? That they feel not, neither do perceive that original sin like a leprosie hath run over the whole man, both soul and body, especially there would not be these three mistakes about the work of grace, which are very common; As
1. A Philosophical Reformation,* by the Dictates and Principles of Moralists, such as Plutarch, and Seneca give, would not be taken for Regeneration: For although their sayings and directions are admired, and there may be some good use of them, yet they do not go to the root of the matter, they are not an anti∣dote against original sinne that defileth the nature, and therefore cannot promote Regeneration, which doth properly cure that in some degree. Aristotles way to make a man a virtuous man, viz. by frequent and constant actions, at lest to acquire an habit is absurd and repugnant to Scripture, for by that, the tree must be made good, and a man must be born again, ere he can do any thing holily. Hence God promiseth to give a new heart, to take away the heart of stone, and then to cause us to walk in all holiness, Ezek. 11. 19. These divine principles must be infused before there can be holy actions. So
2. Civility and an ingenuous temperate disposition, will be but a glistering dunghill, a painted sepulchre, when original sinne is known: He will presently see, for all his civil and inoffensive life, his heart is full of all noisomness; There∣fore civil men of all men do most need this light to shine into their brests; we are ready to think of our selves, because so harmless and innocent, as was said of Bonaventure, In hoc homine non peccavit Adam. such were born without sinne, and brought better natures into the world than others; but if you search into the Scriptures, it will appear that all are born children of wrath, and are equal∣ly destitute of that image of God, and then, as when the pillars of an house are removed, the house it self must fall into its own rubbidge. Thus when that pri∣mitive righteousness was lost, man is prone to runne into all evil, and every man would be like a Judas, or a Cain, even the most civil man that is, did not God restrain original sin.
3. Gifts and abilities which many have in religious exercises, will presently be seen not to be Regeneration. Though we should preach with the tongue of An∣gels, though admirable in prayer, and other holy duties, yet these and original sin in the power of it may stand together, and so many looking to the flowers, but not the dead corpse they are upon, conclude themselves to be alive, when indeed they are dead.
I Shall mention some few more spiritual Advantages, that come by the full and undoubted perswasion of this original corruption; for so of old we are advised, Firmissimè texe, & nullatenus dubita, &c. Believe most firmly, and doubt not in the least manner, but that by Adam's sinne, all his posterity becomes sinfull and obnoxious to Gods wrath. And
First, upon the Knowledg of originall sinne we evidently see, our impossibility to keep the Law of God. That when the Law requireth a love of God, with all our heart, mind and strength; and also doth prohibit all kind of lust, and sinfull concupiscence, even in the very first motions and stirrings of it. The Law (I say) requiring such universal perfection, and we being wholly dead in sinne, upon the comparing of the Law, with our condition, we cannot but conclude, Page 11 That we fail in all things, That the Law is spiritual, but we are carnal; And if he be cursed that doth not continue in all things the Law requireth, how ac∣cursed must he be that is not able to perform any one thing? All those opinions that diminish original sinne, do also plead for a possibility of keeping Gods Com∣mandments: Now this self-flattery is imbred in all. Do not most of our com∣mon people think they keep the Commandments of God? Do they believe that the curses of the Law do belong to them every hour? Oh if such convictions were upon them, how greatly would it humble them, and make them debased before God, but they trust in this, they readily and confidently say with that young man. All these have I kept from my youth up, Mat. 9 20. Oh then inform thy self more about this natural defilement and loathsomness that is upon thee, and then thou wilt find the Law to accuse and condemn thee in all things.
Secondly, The right knowledge of this will make even the godly and rege∣nerate, though in some measure delivered from the power and dominion of it, yet to see, that because of its stirrings and actings in them, there is imperfe∣ction, in every thing they do. And truly, this is one of the most profitable effects of true knowledge herein, for hereby a godly man is made to go out of all his graces, and his duties, hereby he is afraid of the iniquity of his holy things, and cals his very righteousness a menstruous ragge. This is clear in Paul, Rom. 7. How sadly doth he complain of the vigorous actings of this original sinne in him; For the present I take it as granted, that that part of the Chapter must be under∣stood of a regenerate person (though vehemently denied by some) as is in time to be shewed. That Law of sinne was alwayes moving, when he set himself to any thing that was holy, he desired to obey the Law perfectly, to love God compleatly, but this Law of sinne would not let him: So that, because of this natural defilement, evil is mixed with all the good we do, insomuch that there would be a woe, and a curse to all our gracious acts, if strictly examined. Thus it is with a godly man in this life, as those Hetruscan-robbers reported of by Aristotle, and mentioned by Austin, who would take some live men, and bind them to the dead men, which was a miserable way of perishing: Even thus it is here, original corruption is constantly adhering, and inseparably to him, who is alive in holiness, and by this means, there is unbelief in his faith, coldness in his zeal, dulness in his fervency; Insomuch that the Apostle crieth out of himself, Oh wretched man that I am! And that because of this very thing, the Papists, though they hold original sinne, yet maintaining, That after Baptism it's quite taken away, and that though there be some languor and difficulty in a man, in re∣spect of what is good, yet if we do not consent to these motions of lusts within us, they are not truly and properly sins, do consequentially conclude, that there is not necessarily dross and sinne in every holy duty we do, but the evidence of Rom. 7. is too great to be contradicted. So that preaching of original sinne is not only necessary to the unregenerate, but even to the most holy and godliest man that liveth; Let him desire to know more of it, for it may do him also much good, and this is the reason, why the more godly any are, the more they are displeased with themselves, and do the more highly esteem of Christ, not but that they grow in grace, only they grow also in the discoveries of more filth and unworthiness in themselves.
Thirdly, By the true knowledge of this we come to be acquainted with that combate and conflict, that is between the flesh and the spirit, so much spoken of by Divines, who usually say, In every godly man there are two men, two I's, as the Apostle (Rom. 7.) distinguisheth, I Paul carnal, sold under sinne, doing the things, I would not, and I Paul spiritual, delighting in the Law of God in the inwardman, and thanking God the Father through Christ, because freed from condemnation; That Paul did not speak of this combate, while unregene∣rate, Page 12 as a Legalist, as some say, but as truly converted, will appear, if we consider, that in another place, Gal. 5. 17. the Apostle speaks of all the godly, as thus exercised, The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; So that whatsoever is done holily and godlily, it is alwayes cum luctâ car∣nis, and therefore grace is the mortifying of the flesh: Now our sins will not be put to death, without some pain and reluctancy to the carnal part. There∣fore this is a perpetual concomitant of every godly man, he hath a combate and spiritual conflicting within him, and this makes him often in so many agonies, this makes him so earnestly watching and praying against all temptations; now come we to natural people, they feel not the least strugling within them, all is quiet, and at ease, because they are wholly in their original sinne, they were born in; And this makes it plain likewise, that all their praying, hearing, all the re∣ligious duties they ever performed, were never done in an holy and godly man∣ner, because there was no reluctancy, or inward combate, but they did them in a customary, formal way, without any spiritual life or motion, for flesh will not fight against flesh. Indeed there is a combate between conscience in its con∣viction and corruption, even in some unregenerate men, as in Aristotle's incon∣tinent man, as distinguished from his intemperate, and that is known, of Me∣dea, video meliora, proboque, deteriora sequor, I see and approve better things, but follow the worse: And some would have Paul's combate to be no other, be∣cause he cals it, The Law of his mind, fighting with the Law in his members, but that is not cogent, as is more largely to be shewed in its time. Though therefore there be a reluctancy in some unregenerate men, yet that is not like the conflict in the godly, because amongst other differences, this is one principal. The god∣ly man being regenerated in every part of the soul, though not perfectly, his will is sanctified as well as his mind: Hence the combate and opposition in a godly man, is between the same faculty sanctified, and the flesh still abiding in that part, his holy will against his corrupt will; so that not only his mind and conscience is against sinne, but his will also, so farre as sanctified: Hence the same Apostle makes the opposition between will and will, What I would not, that I do, and though captivated by lust, yet at that very time, delighting in the Law of God, in the inward man; whereas in unregenerate men, they have only an opposi∣tion between their conscience, and their heart. The mind suggests one thing, but the will and affections wholly incline another way; Therefore that light in their consciences is a trouble and vexation to them, they do all they can to extinguish it.
The Doctrine then of original corruption, informing us. That it abideth still in a man, while he liveth upon the earth, doth inform the truly godly, that they must alwayes expect agonies and conflicts within, like fire and water met toge∣ther, so will grace and corruption be; Therefore by this very combat, we may discern true grace, and it's counterfeit; for presumption, which would be thought faith, is easie, we find no opposition to it, but faith is put forth with much difficulty; so godly sorrow put forth upon pure and spiritual motives, is greatly assaulted by the flesh within us, but worldly sorrow or mourning, though for sinne, because of temporal judgments only that is easie, we are carried to it from a propensity within, from a love to our selves.
Hence lastly, The main and principal effect of the true knowledge of our ori∣ginal defilement, is to bring the soul humbled and burdened under it, to a true and real esteem of Christ, and his Grace. So much as we take off from origi∣nal sinne, making it either no sinne, or the least sinne, or quite abolished after Baptism, so much do we take off from the grace of God in Christ. Hence the Apostle, Rom. 5. when he maketh that famous opposition between the first Adam and the second, the gift of grace by one, and the condemnation by the other, he pitcheth upon that first disobedience, by which we are made sinners, Page 13 as the original of all that calamity we are plunged into; and therefore the same Paul, when he poured out a large complaint about this Law of sinne working in him, at the close of all he runneth to Jesus Christ, Rom. 7. 35. It is the true knowledge of this only, that will make us see the necessity of Christ all the day long, and in every duty, in every performance; As we have none speak so much of Grace and Christ, as Paul, so none speaks so largely and fully about original sinne. In the fifth Chapter of the Romans, he asserts the Doctrine of it; and in the seventh Chapter, he declares the power of it, which he felt experimentally in himself, though regenerated: Do not then think this is a Philosophical dispute, or that to erre in this is like erring in those points, wherein one Christian is to bear with another; but with Austin account it a fundamental, and that to deny it, is to overthrow that Law whereby we are Christians.
Demonstrations of the Naturality of this Sinne, That we have it by Naturall Propaga∣tion.
BEing then thus informed of the Usefulness and Necessity of true Knowledge in this matter: Let us have your ready and diligent attention in prosecuting that matter, which relateth to it; And so I come to that notion which this Text fastens upon it, that it is a Natural sin, that we have it by natural Propagation.
In the Scripture, and by the Ancients before Austin's time, it had many names, The Law of sinne, The Old man, The Flesh, The old stroke of the Serpent, an hereditary evil, The tradux mali; But in his time for better ob∣viating the Hereticks, who would allow the former names, it was by him called Original sinne, and ever since made an Ecclesiastical word, only to call it a natu∣ral evil, they did not presume for fear of the Marcionites, who held, That there was an evil Nature, as well as the good: And the Pelagians accused the Orthodox for Manicheism in this point, because they held the propagation of this corruption by Nature; Therefore they avoided the term of a Natural evil; yet Austin at last did use it, and indeed it is a very proper and fit name for it, hereby differencing it from all actual, voluntary and personal sinnes; as also from sinne by imitation and custom; for Aristotle makes a distinction of things that are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Lib Ethic. 2. cap. 1. where he sheweth what is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, by na∣ture, as the stone to descend, and the fire to ascend, is not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, so ac∣cording to him, who knew nothing of original sinne, we are neither good or evil, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, by nature. And withall this Text doth fully warrant the expressi∣on, If we are by Nature sinnefull, then there is a natural evil; Not that God put it at first into our Natures, or that it is our substantial Na∣ture, Page 14 but we have it by Natural Propagation.
Let us therefore consider, How much is implied in this expression.
[ 1] ANd first, It may well be called Natural, because it doth infect the whole Na∣ture of Mankind. It's a defilement that followeth our specifical, not indi∣vidual being: Even as we call death natural, because it followeth all mankind; Rich men die, and poor men die; learned men die, and foolish; None are ex∣empted from it: Thus also it is with this sinne, All that are born in a natural way of mankind have this contagion. The sonnes of Noblemen and Princes, though they glory in their blood and their descent, yet they are as full of sin, and the children of wrath, as well as the children of the basest; so that though in civil respects they boast of their birth, and are above others, yet in a theologi∣cal and divine respect, all are alike; yea the children of godly parents, though they have a promise to their seed, and in that respect their children are said to be holy, 1 Cor. 7. yet they come into the world with inherent corruption in them; They do not generate their children, as godly men, but corrupt men, as Austin of old ex∣pressed it, A circumcised man begat a child uncircumcised, and the Husbandman, though he soweth his seed out of the chaff and husk, yet that brings up others with chaff and husk upon it. Well therefore may we call it a natural sinne, be∣cause it doth extend to the whole humane Nature, as it is in every one that parta∣keth of it in a natural way. So that as Divines do distinguish of infirmities and evils; There are some that are specifical, which follow the Species, as death; and some are accidental, which follow the individual nature: Thus there are some sinnes, which follow the particular nature of a man, and these are actual sinnes. Every man is not a drunkard, an adulterer, but some are defiled one way, some another; but then there is a sinne, which followeth the whole and universal na∣ture of man, and this is original sinne, though every man be not guilty of such or such a particular sinne, yet all are, of original sinne; And therefore the School∣men say, Actual sinne doth corrumpere personam, but original Naturam, actual sins corrupt the person, original the nature.
WE are declaring the Naturality of this Original sinne, not as if it were ingredient into, or constitutive of our nature, but an universal and in∣separable pollution adhering to it, as they say of death, as though it be praeter Na∣turam, or contra; yet if we do regard the principles of mortality, which are in every man, so death is natural.
[ 2] Come we therefore to a second demonstration of the Naturality of this evil, and that is seen, In that it is the inward principle of all the sinfull motions of the soul, and that per•se, not per accidens. This is a great part of that definition, which Aristotle giveth of Nature, now we may in a moral sense apply it to our purpose.
First, I say, It's the inward principle of all the sinfull motions, and workings of the Soul. For as the nature of the stone is the cause of its motion downward, as the nature of the fire is the cause of the fires motions and operations: Thus is original sinne the intrinsecal cause, and root of all the actual evil we are guilty of. It is farre from me to justifie Flacius his discourse or opinion of original sin, making it the natural substance of a man, and not an accident, though he so Page 15 expresseth himself, that some think its his Logical and Metaphysical errour, ra∣ther than Theological: Only that which I aim at, is to shew, That this birth∣sinne, is naturally ours, because from it doth flow all the sinnefull and evil operations of the whole man; So that we may say, as it is natural to the stone to descend, to the sparks to flie upwards, so it is natural to man to think evil, to speak evil, and to do evil. Aristotle observeth (Lib. 2. Ethic. cap. 1.) this, as one property of things by nature, that there the principles are before the actions; A man hath the power to see, or hear before he can actually do either, but in moral things, the actions are before the habits. As it is natural to the Toad to vent poison, and not honey; so when a man sinneth, it's from his own, it's natural to him, but when inabled to do any thing that is good, this is wholly of grace: Now, I say, It's an inward principle of all sinne within us, to distin∣guish it from external cause, viz. the devil or wicked men, who sometimes may tempt and cause to sinne; Therefore the devil is called The tempter, Mat. 4. 3. Insomuch that it is made a Question, Whether there be any sinne a man commits, that the Devil hath not tempted unto, but that I attend not to at this time: This is enough, that the Devil is but an outward cause of sinne, and therefore were there not that original filth in us, his sparks could never kindle a fire, he cannot compell or force to sinne; In somuch that whatsoever sinne we do commit, we are not to lay the fault principally upon the Devil, but our own corrupt hearts: Though Ananias lied against the holy Ghost, because the Devil had filled his heart; And Judas betrayed Christ, because Satan had entred into his heart, yet the devil could not have come into their hearts, had they not been of uncleane and corrupt Constitutions: before it was an evil heart, and therefore the devil took possession of it. The Apostle James, cap. 1. 14. doth notably discover the true cause, and natural fountain of all the evil committed by us, and that is, The lust and concupiscence, that is within us, he saith, We must not charge God with our sinnes, as if he were to be blamed, because we are not kept from wicked∣ness; neither doth he bid us, Charge it upon the Devil, though he doth tempt us, but upon our own corrupt lust within. Thus then you see, that as Paul saith of those, who are in Christ, They no longer live, but Christ within them, Gal. 2. 20. So we may on the contrary affirm of every man by nature, that he doth not so much live, as sinne within him; for when our physical nature causeth us to think, or speak, or do, then also sinne like our moral nature, doth make us think, and speak sinfully: Even as the lame horse can never move himself to go, but he halteth in that motion. Surely, this consideration should make all man∣kind mourn in sackcloth, and roll it self in ashes: What should a man do in his whole life, but as Anselm said, to deplore his whole life, in totâ vitâ totam vitam deplorare, for he cannot move, or stirre, or do any thing, but he sinneth; If he cateth, if he drinketh, if he worketh, yea, if he prayeth, in all these he sinneth, as is more to be shewed. We see then, that because this original sinne is by way of a principle within us of all our irregular motions; Therefore though there were no Devil to tempt, no examples for men to imi∣tate, yet their corrupt nature within would carry them to it; Did not Cain murder Abel, when there had been no such sinne in the world before? We many times wonder how children, yea and sometimes grown men should commit such sinnes, that they could not see practised before their eyes; but we need not wonder, when we consider what a shop of all impieties every mans heart by nature is. Hence Solomon speaking of the uprightness God made man in, Eccles. 7. 29. he instanceth in the effects of original sin, as opposite to that uprightness, that it makes a man seek out many sinfull inventions, he doth not only sin by imi∣tation, but invention.
Secondly, It is added in the definition, That nature is the principle of moti∣on perse, and not per accidens: If a man move a Bowl, and make it runne, it's Page 16 not a natural motion, because the principle is from without, and it's by accident; yea those automata, those artificial instruments, which some have made, that move themselves, yet that is not a natural motion, because the principle is not in them perse, but by accident. Now this property is very applicable to man; for when he sinneth, it's not by accident, or from unexpected occasion, but of him∣self, and from himself; Therefore to do as a man, to walk as a man, denoteth sinfulness, in the Scripture phrase, 1 Cor. 3. 1. When there are envyings, strifes amongst you, Do ye not walk as men? Observe that, To walk as a man, is to do a thing sinfully, so Rom. 3. 5. when the Apostle in his reasoning made a supposi∣tion of God being unrighteous, if he took vengeance, addeth [I speak as a man] These instances declare, that to do a thing as a man, is to do it sinfully, as he said, Humanum est errare. Thus when Christ would express the naturality of the Devils wickedness, he saith, He sinneth of his own (John 8. 44) when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: So when thou art proud, worldly, un∣believing, thou doest this of thy own; You wonder that some have lies so ready at hand to excuse iniquity, even young children, they are like the Devil in this, they do it of their own, so that sinne only we can call our own; our wealth is not our own, our lives are not our own, these we have from God, but that propensity to sinne is our own, it ariseth from our selves, as from the rotten tree come those worms that consume it: Oh what deep humiliation should this cause in thee! Thou hast nothing thou canst call thy own but sinne; That which God only hateth and loatheth, that is only thine; he looketh on thee, and seeth thy soul, that he gave thee; he seeth thy body, that is his workmanship also, but then he beholdeth the pravity and sinfull disposition in thee, and this is none of his. It was not of God, but it came through Adam's disobedience; so that when we sinne, we then doing it of our own, it is no wonder that when there is no Devil to tempt, no example to imitate, yet men can readily commit any sinne.
[ 3] THirdly, This sinne is Natural, because it doth alwayes and constantly put it self forth: For this is one way of discovering the naturality of a thing, viz. if it be alwayes and constantly so. The Poets saying, Naturam expellas, &c. Though you use all art, or violence, to barre out nature, yet that will recurre, it will recurre again; Though you violently smother, and keep down the flames, yet no sooner have they passage, but they will ascend, because what Nature doth, it's constant and invariable in, and this is too true in respect of this original sinne, it doth constantly and certainly work in us, even as often as our soul doth put forth any vital actings at all. Those things that are by accident, they seldom fall out, but what is by nature is frequent, you may know the Sunne will rise again, though it be night, till God put a period to the course of nature: And thus it is concerning man, as soon as ever he is born, you may conclude this child, as soon as ever he can think, he can understand, or will, as soon as he can love, or be angry, he will do them all sinfully; Even as when ye see a young Serpent, you may certainly conclude, this will poison as soon as ever it can sting, and the reason is, because it's a constant pollution of the soul, and therefore it is in every thing the unregenerate man doth, Gen. 6. 5. The imagination of the thoughts of a mans heart is only evil, and that continually; it's continually, because natu∣rally so: May not this respect also make thee with Jeremiah wish, That thy head were a fountain of tears to weep day and night? For can any thing be more dread∣full than to have this fountain of poison within, running out all the day long; To have this flux of blood, that no act or humane skill can stop? Aristotle saith, Page 17That every time a man breaths, there comes out some kind of fire with it. Certainly, every time thou thinkest and movest thy soul any way, there comes out hell fire with those motions, by this means the sea-shore is not fuller of sand, or the air of atomes, than thou art of constant sinnefull emanations from thy soul.
FOurthly, This sinne is Natural, Because it would carry a man out to the [ 4] highest actings of the grossest impieties that can be. As they say, Nature doth act alwayes to the highest it can. Thus it's true in respect of this natural corruption, it doth incline every man to be as vile, and as enormous as any are; For although this original corruption doth not deprive him of his understand∣ing and will, making of him an irrational beast, yet it doth so captivate and in∣thrall the whole man; That though to understand and to will be of nature, yet this understanding and willing in a sinfull manner will alwayes be, because it's corrupted nature; and therefore it would hurry every man even as the Devil did the Swine into the sea of perdition: Every one would be a Cain, a Judas, if his corrupt nature were left to it self, and if you ask, Why then are not all men turned into so many beasts and Devils? Why is not the whole world in consusi∣on? How comes there to be any civility or morality? Why is not every place like an hell, if all men are thus vile by nature? It's answered, God hath a re∣forming and restraining grace; If this later may be called Grace: Now those that God reformeth, and inwardly sanctifieth; They are made to delight in the Law of God; They have the fear of God put into their hearts, and so they keep from sinne out of love to God; but then there are others, and God layeth a restraint upon them, he puts a bridle in their mouths: So that although they have an insatiable appetite to sinne, and do not put forth the whole abundance of that evil, which is within them, yet they have a principle inclining thereunto, only God stops them; as he did Balaam, whose heart was desirous to curse the people of Israel, though he was restrained from it; As it is with the sea, by its own natural motion, it would overthrow the whole world, but that God hath put his bounds to it, saying, Hitherto shalt thou go and no further. Thus God hath a supreme dominion even over the sinfull heart of man, so that it cannot sinne, when and how, and as much as it listeth, but it's under the providence of God, Cui nihil est malum, as Austin said, because he can turn it unto good. But all this is no thanks or praise to man; Say then with thy self, If I runne not into the same excess of riot with others; If I be not so abominable and loath∣som, as many others are; It's not because I have a better nature, or come less polluted with original sin into the world, but because God puts limits to me, for as you see in the little Acorn is contained all the huge branches and boughes, which by length of time, it groweth up into. Thus let man alone, let him have opportunities to sinne, let not God restrain him, and you will quickly see him to be an incarnated Devil, and the reason is, because this evil being natural, and withall the seed of all evil, therefore he would be hurried on to the committing of it: Even as Adam had in the image of God, the seminals of every godly acti∣on, so that none could say, Adam had not a power to do such and such a graci∣ous work. Thus it is with original corruption succeeding in the room thereof, it naturally defiles all over, and so hath a womb, as the Apostle James, chap. 1. 14. alludeth thereunto, wherein any monstrous and deformed sin may be conceived.
[ 5] FIfthly, It's Natural, Because it's necessarily in every one; we are necessarily thus defiled and stained; And in this respect chiefly, we call it Natural, be∣cause it's not voluntary, it's not subject to the exercise of free-will: For al∣though, as was said, the heart of man inclineth to the highest impieties, yet the exercise of some gross impieties are subject to our power in some measure, a man is not in this sense necessarily a drunkard, or an adulterer; but when we speak of this inward filthiness, it's so natural, that it's necessary: Neither the being of it, or the immediate motions of it are subject to our reason and will, but they are in us antecedently to our own consent; and this consideration doth greatly aggravate our guilt, for we are not only habitually and actually, or vo∣luntarily sinfull, but naturally and necessarily so. Now as it is the great aggra∣vation of Gods holiness, that he is not only actually holy, but naturally, yet vo∣luntarily: So it must be our great condemnation, that we are not only actually and voluntarily sinfull, but even naturally and necessarily, yet this necessity taketh not off from voluntariness, and delight in sin.
It's Ivy twisted about, and eaten into our Nature, whether we will or no; So that it is ours, not because we will it, and make it ours by consent, but be∣cause it's inherently in us before the least deliberate actings of the soul: Inso∣much that as Suarez well observeth, If a man grown up in years should by a per∣sonal, formal, and explicit consent agree to Adam's sinne, yet that would only be a personal sinne in him, it would not make Adam's sinne his; And the reason is, because this sinne doth now descend upon us by natural propagation, not by voluntary agreement, yet this necessity of it doth not at all abate from the de∣light and pleasure that we find in the actings thereof: Neither is it such a natural necessity, as hunger or thirst, which are not culpable, because they are not contrary to the Law of God, neither were at first contracted by Adam's free choice, but are a necessary concomitant of mans constitution in an animal life, whereas this necessity is the issue of Adam's free-will, and is subjectively in our will, whereby a man is carried out at the same time to sinne, both necessa∣rily and yet voluntarily, and so agreeth rather with those who have contracted an habit of sinne, who sinne in some respect necessarily, as the Prophet expres∣seth it, Jer. 13. 23. Can the Ethiopian change his skin? or the Leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
WE proceed to further discoveries of this Truth, viz. The Naturality of this evil: And that
In the sixth place will further appear, In that it is more near to us, than any actual or habitual sinne; That it is nearer than any actual sinne, is plain, Because that is transient, and abideth not in us. But for habitual sinne, that is constantly fixed in us, when once setled there. Now it may be thought, that original sinne cannot stick closer than that, an habit being a kind of second nature: Insomuch that Aristotle makes such who have acquired habits of sinne, to sinne necessarily, and that there is not so much voluntariness in their offences, as in other faults. But now original sinne is more naturally and intimately in us, than these acqui∣red habits of sinne, for we are not made thus originally filthy by frequent actings of sinne, but we are born and bred so, so that whereas habits of sinne, as drunkenness, uncleanness, &c. These are the product of many actions; Fre∣quent and often sinning begets such an habit that cannot be left off. This original Page 19 sinne is the cause of sinful actions, not the effect of it: Because we are thus sin∣ful and polluted by nature, therefore all our actions are likewise so polluted. Now then if the Scripture make it such an impossible thing for a man accustomed only to evil to become a changed man, that impossibility lieth upon a man, who is naturally so; For though custom be called a second Nature, yet certainly the first Nature is more implanted, and so more active in a man. This particular therefore may greatly humble a man, in that sinne is so deeply rooted in him, it's worse than an habit or custom of sinning; It goeth as neer to thy very essence and substance, as it can do, and yet not be thy substance; Therefore the Scripture cals it, Flesh and blood, The members of a man, The Law of sinne in his flesh. If a man hath a thorn in his flesh, how restless and pained is he? Paul compared that heavy temptation, he grapled with, to a Thorn in the flesh; but although by nature, we have this thorn, not only in our sides, but even all over the whole man, yet we can lie down in ease, and live in pleasure, as if nothing ailed us; but this is one deadly effect of original sinne, that it takes away all sense and feeling, whether there be any such thing or no. Oh then, let the thoughts of this sinne go as deep into thee, as the sinne it self! Sinne is got into thy heart, let sorrow get thither; Sinne hath entred into thy bowels, and filled the whole man brimme full (as we say;) Oh let shame and holy confusion be as deep, and as complete in thee!
SEventhly, This naturality will appear, If we consider that original righteous∣ness, [ 7] which God created man in: For our original sinne comes in the place thereof, and such a perfection as that was to the soul, such a defect is this to us. Now the Orthodox do maintain against Papists, That that original righteousness was not a supernatural perfection superadded to mans nature, but a due and natural perfection concreated with him; For as Adam being made to glorifie God, was thereby to have a rational soul, so also such perfection in that soul, which might make him capable of his end, otherwise man would have been created in a more imperfect and ignoble condition than any creature. It is true indeed, That Righteousness and Holiness Adam had, which the Scripture cals Gods Image, did not flow from the principles of nature, neither was it a natural consequent thereof; but yet it was a moral condition or perfection due to Adam, supposing God created him to such an end; and therefore we are not to conceive of that Image of God, as an infused habit or habits which were to rectifie and guide the natural faculties and affections of the soul, which otherwise would move in repugnancy and contrariety to one another, but as a natural rectitude, and innate ability of those powers and affections of the soul to move regularly and subordinately to Gods will: Though therefore in respect of God, that Righteousness Adam had might be called supernatural, because it was his gift, yet in respect of man, the subject, so it was connatural, and a suitable perfection to his nature. This being taken for a sure Truth, then it will exceedingly help us to the true understanding of the naturality of this evil, for original sinne succeed∣ing in the stead thereof, is not (as some Papists affirm) like the taking of cloaths from a man, and so leaving him naked; or like the taking away of a bridle from an horse, all which are superadded, and external helps, as it were; but it's like death that takes away the life of a man, in respect of what is holy and godly, and like an heavy disease that doth much hinder and debilitate even the natural operations. This original sinne then is like the spoiling of an instrument of Mu∣sick, or the deordination of a Clock or Watch, when not able to perform their proper service they were made for: So that original sinne is partly the want of Page 20 this original Righteousness that was so connatural, and partly thereby a propen∣sity and inclination to all evil; For as when the harmony of the humours is dis∣solved, presently diseases arise in the body: Thus when that admirable rectitude, which was at first in the whole man, was broken, then all inordinacy, all pervers∣ness and crookedness presently began to possess the whole man: As then original Righteousness was not as an infused habit, but the faculties of the soul duly con∣stituted, whereby they did regularly move in their several wayes; so original sin is not to be conceived, like some acquired habit, polluting the powers of the soul, but as the internal defect and imperfection that is cleaving to them; Even as the paralitical hand whensoever it moveth, doth it with feebleness and trembl∣ing, wanting some strength within: If therefore we would truly judge of the horrible nature of this sinne, we must throughly understand the excellency and wonderful nature of that original Righteousness which is now lost, then all things in the soul were in an admirable subordination to that which is holy; and al∣though the sensitive appetite, was then carried out to some sensible object, yet it was with a subordination to the understanding; so that in that state of integri∣ty there did not need, as the Papists say, Righteousness as a bridle to curb in the passions and affections, which otherwise would be inordinate, for this were to attribute a proneness to sinne in us to God himself, for he is the author of every thing, which is natural in us, but all the affections and sensitive motions, were then subjected to the command of reason, so that Adam had power to love when, and as long, and in what measure he pleased; All the affections of his soul were both quoad originem, gradum and progressum under his dominion; Even as the Artificer can make his Clock strike, when, and as many times as he pleaseth. But wo be unto us, all this excellent harmony and subordination is now lost, and our affections they captivate and rule over our judgments, and all this is because 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, there wants something within, as he said of his Image that he could not make stand, because it wanted life within.
[ 8] EIghthly, That this original sinne is a natural evil, appeareth, From the work of grace sanctifying, which is the proper remedy to cure this imbred defile∣ment: For the grace of Regeneration is chiefly and principally intended to sub∣due sinne, as it did corrupt the nature, and so by consequence, as we were per∣sonally corrupted; Therefore the tree must first be made good; ere the fruit can be good, as the tree is in its nature evil, and then it brings forth evil fruit: So that God in vouchsafing of this grace of Regeneration, doth not principally in∣tend to make thee leave thy actual sinnes (for that is by consequence only) but to make thy nature better to repair his Image in thee: Even as when the Pro∣phet Elisha would make the waters sweet, he threw salt into the spring and fountain of them: Thus because it's from a polluted nature that all our actual sinnes flow, therefore grace regenerating is principally ordered to take away or conquer that by degrees, which is the cause of all: If this be so, then let us con∣sider, What this grace is, which doth inable us to do any thing after a godly and holy manner? This is a supernatural gift of God, and an insused quality into the soul, whereby it's inabled to work above its own proper and natural operations: If then to do any thing that is good be wholly of grace, it's Gods gift, then to sin is natural and proper to thee. The Scripture is copious and plentiful in affirming this, That Christ as our head is the cause of all our supernatural actings, We receive of his fulness, and so are inabled by him. Grace then being supernatural, to love God, to repent of sin, to do any thing spiritually, being thus wholly above na∣ture, it necessarily followeth, that when we sin, and do evil, that we do it naturally.
NInthly, The Nature of a thing, if compounded, and not simple, is the [ 9] complex of the whole. The nature of a man is not his hands, or his eyes only, but his soul, and his whole body. Thus the nature of original Righteous∣ness was not the perfection of one single faculty, the understanding only, the will only, but it was the complete harmonical rectitude of the whole man, cal∣led therefore the Image of God; Now as the Image of a man is not one limb or member, but the pourtraiture of the whole: So neither was the Image of God in Adam; one grace, or some few graces, but the perfection of every part; Light in the mind, holiness in the will, order and regularity in the affections: Thus it is on the contrary with original sinne, it's called, The old man, and it's said to have m•mbers, by which is implied, that it's not any single sinne, or a defect and pollution in one faculty of the soul, but it's universal over all. Hence our Saviour saith, John 3. Whatsoever is born of the flesh is flesh, it is wholly cor∣rupted, it is all over sinful; So then, when we say, it's natural, this implieth, That it is a Leprosie all over us, as farre as our physical being extends: Thus also in a moral sense doth our sinful Being inlarge it self: Therefore our natural estate is not compared only to a blind man, or a deaf man, what wants the use of some faculties, but unto death it self, that depriveth of the use of all. The natu∣rality then of this sinne doth denote both the inward inheston, as also the univer∣sal diffusion of it, nothing within a man being free from this contagion.
LAstly, The Naturality of this evil doth appear In the great easiness, prompti∣tude [ 10] and delight a man naturally finds to sin. This is a way to discover what is natural, if the actions be easie, ready, and with delight; This discovers they flow from Nature, but what is of art, that is with difficulty, and much observation. We need not hire, or teach a man to eat or drink, these are natural actions, and are accompanied with delight: And thus the Naturality of this birth-sinne is no∣tably manifested; with what ease, pleasure, and inward readiness is a man carri∣ed out to sinne from his youth up: Eliphaz speaks notably of this, Job 15. 16. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water, like a Leviathan, that is said to drink up the river, and hasteth not. You see he cals every man by nature abominable and filthy, which is discovered by this, He drinketh iniquity like water, as a dropsie, or feavorish man, that is scorched with heat within, doth with greediness and delight pour down water, and the more he drinketh, the thirstier he is, and he never saith he hath enough. Thus it is with filthy and corrupted man, he doth with earnestness and delight fulfill the lust of the flesh, he is never satisfied. Every man in the world hath a Sheol with∣in him, that is alwayes craving, and saying, Give, Give, as hell hath unquench∣able sparks of fire, such an hell is in every mans heart; As our Saviour said, It's my meat and drink to do my Fathers will. Thus it is every mans meat and drink by nature to be doing the Devils will: Do ye not see it in children, how of themselves they are prone to any impiety, but call them to learn, or to be instructed, then there is much aversness? All this ariseth from the natural evil within us.
Objections against the Naturality of Original Sinne answered.
THe Naturality of original sinne hath been in divers respects assert∣ed. I shall therefore conclude this Text with answers to some Objections that are made against this Doctrine: I do not mean against original sinne it self, for they are various; so unwilling is man to be convinced that he is wholly sinful, but against the Na∣turality of it, which this Text doth affirm: Neither shall I take in all Objections of this kind, because they will be met with, on some other Texts; only I shall pitch upon one or two, whereby your understandings may be more fully cleared in this point, and so I shall part with this Text.
First therefore,*it hath been enviously of old objected against this Truth, That if there were such a natural pollution adhering to all mankind, this would re∣dound to the dishonour of God, who is the Author of man. This Argument the Pelagians of old insulted with, If (say they) any man hold, God is the maker of man, presently he is called a Pelagian; for thus they flourished, If there be original sinne, either the parents that beget, or the children that are begotten, or God the Creator of the soul, and in a peculiar manner forming all the parts of our body, must be the cause of this sinne. This Objection they thought un∣answerable, unless we should charge God with being the Author of this original defilement. Hence it is that they charged Man•cheism upon the Orthodox, as if they thought, that Nature it self was evil. Five things there were, that these Hereticks did usually commend, Nature, Marriage, the Law, Free-will, and Holiness; none of which they thought could be maintained, unless we deny ori∣ginal sinne.
But when these Arguments are fully searched into,*there will appear no matter of boasting. Let us call the first to account, and examine, Whether the Doctrine of original corruption doth charge God foolishly, or no? Whether hereby all the sinne in the world will be laid upon God?
Now there is a three sold charge drawn up against this Truth, as it relateth to God:
1. That it makes him the Author of this sinne.
2. That it makes him unjust, imputing that sinne of Adam to us, and punish∣ing us because of it, when we had no being, or any will of our own to act there∣in. And
3. Of cruelty, that God who is so ready to forgive us our own sinnes, yet should impute to us Adam's. But these are fig leaves only, and cannot cover the Objectors nakedness.
FOr, First, We do not say, That the Nature of man as it was created first, had this imbred pollution in it, No: it came out of Gods hands pure and clean, Eccles. 7. ult. God made man upright. It was after Gods own Image that he made him, he had no experimental knowledge of any evil within him. But as it was with the earth after mans fall, it brought forth bryars and thorns, being cursed, which (as it is thought) it would not have done so before. Thus upon Adams transgression, then, and not till then, was his soul cursed spiritually, to bring forth nothing but bryars and thorns, such lusts as were fit combustible matter for hell fire: Therefore every Infant almost may understand this, That the maintaining of this Truth doth not at all redound to Gods dishonour, for we see the like in the Devils, Are not they become wicked spirits? Is there not an utter impossibility in a Devil to do any thing that is good? Are they not cal∣led the spiritual wickednesses in high places? Ephes. 6. 12. as if they were no∣thing, but all over wickedness, yet the Devil, though so vile and abominable, was made a glorious creature. None of this poison was at first infused into him, but the Apostle Jude ver. 6, layeth it wholly upon themselves, That they kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation. The Devils then, though so full of wickedness, yet are not a reproach to God their Maker, but it was through their own wilfulness, they became such Apostates.
Hence in the second place, Adam when he first transgressed that command of God, and thereby involved all mankind in darkness and misery, did it from a vo∣luntary free principle within, there was no internal or external necessity com∣pelling him to sinne, for he was made with the image of God in him, and that matter wherein he did transgress, he might easily have attained from God, giving him liberty to eat of all other trees, so that it was meerly, and solely from A∣dams own will, that he undid himself and all his posterity. It is true, God if he had pleased could have prevented his sinning, he could have confirmed him in such grace, as we see he did the other Angels that fell not, whereby he would certainly have been preserved from all sinne, but God is the supreme Sovereign, and is not tied up as men are to inferiour Laws. It is true, he is an eternal Law of Righteousness to himself, whereby he cannot do any thing, but what is just and righteous, yet he hath also an absolute Dominion over all things, and may di∣spose of his creatures as he pleaseth; and from this it was that he created man with power to fall, as well as to stand, making him mutable and changeable, whereas the glorified Saints in Heaven shall be delivered from such mutability, and there shall not be in them a posse peccare, a power to sinne, so greatly shall their souls be perfected in Heaven: So that still you see, God is freed, and mans destruction is of himself.
Hence also in the third place, when Adam sinned at first, it was not after the same manner, as we sinne; for when we sinne, this floweth from a corrupted nature within, Jam. 1. 17. Every one is tempted and drawn aside with the lust that is within him; But in Adam there was no such vicious principle. It is therefore a false and dangerous position of the Socinians, That we sinne in the same manner that he did, That we have no more corrupted Nature in us, then he had, but as he had a free-will, by which he chose either good or evil, so it is with us. But this speaketh open defiance against the Scripture; For was Adam by nature the child of wrath? Were the imaginations of his thoughts only evil, and that continually? Could Adam say, He found a Law of sinne in his Members, war∣ring against the Law of his mind? Adam's sinne therefore came from the meer mutability and changeableness that was in his will, there being no antecedent cor∣ruption in him: Insomuch that it hath greatly exercised learned Divines, to shew Page 24 how Adam could sinne, and wherein the imperfection did first break forth, he being made after the Image of God; but in us our sinfulness ariseth from a ne∣cessity contracted by the first voluntary transgression, and so have a corrupt nature which inclineth to all corrupt actions. Adam was in some sense a good Tree, and yet did bring forth bad Fruit, a sweet Fountain, and yet did send forth bitter Streams; Here we might say, a Vine brought sorth Thorns, and a Fig Thistles; but we are bad Trees, poisoned Fountains, Briars and Thorns, only from the paralleling of our selves with Adam, we may conclude our incurable∣ness, as also the danger we are in, by every temptation; For if Adam; though without any corrupt principle within him, though without the least spark of any lust, was yet so easily inflamed by a temptation; What may we expect who have the seed of all evil within us? If the green Ivy shall take fire so soon, what will the dry Tree do? Oh take heed of coming near any occasion of sinne! As our Saviour said, Remember Lots wife, so do thou Adams wife, yea and Adam himself. These, though created holy, though without any lustful inclination, yet did presently yeeld to the temptations of sinne, What then wilt not thou do? If Samson with his strength cannot resist the Philistims, much less, when that is gone, can he withstand them. But of this difference between Adam and us in sin∣ning, more in its time.
In the fourth place, God is to be justified, though we be born full of sinne, because we are to distinguish between nature it self, and the corruption cleaving to it. We say, our Nature, our Essence and Substance, our Souls and Bodies in respect of their natural Being are the work of God, and we are with David, to admire the curious workmanship of God, in respect of our Bodies; The excellent composition of all the bodily parts, did convince even Galen, though otherwise an Heathen. God therefore as a Creator is to be praised and glorified by us; only, as Austin of old, we must not so praise Deum Creatorem, as to make Su∣perfluum Servatorem; We must not so celebrate the name of God, as a Creator, that thereby we should make a Saviour superfluous and unnecessary, Sub laudi∣bus naturae latent inimici gratiae, under the praises of Nature, the enemies of Grace hide themselves; and so under the praises of God as a Creator, the ene∣mies of Christ, as a Saviour, shelter themselves. Nature then, we say, is good, our Substance and Being is of God onely, the defilement annexed inseparably thereunto is of man: Even as in our bodies, the substance of them is of God, but God did not make death, that dissolution ariseth from sinne. We do not say, That sinne is natural to us constitutivè, or consecutivè, but transitivè and inhaesivè, it doth not constitute our Being, neither is it an internal consequence of it, but it descends with our Nature, and is inherent in everyone.
Those only do give God his due glory, and vindicate him against all sinful complaints, who do maintain original sinne; For it was the ignorance of this made the Heathens utter such impatient complaints against Nature, or rather the God of it, because they were not informed of this, they thought, God dealt more unkindly with man, than any other creature. Thus Austin taketh notice of Cicero, who greatly complained of Nature, Rem (saith he) vidit, causam nescivit, (Lib. 4. contra Julian. cap. 12.) latebat enim cur grave jugum esset super filios Adam; and this was, Because (saith Austin) not being instructed out of the Scripture, he was ignorant of original sinne. So that there is no such remedy against those damnable Doctrines of the Marcionites and Manichees, as by ac∣quainting of our selves with the Truth in this point, for hereby we are inabled upon just and solid grounds both to justifie God, and condemn our selves.
LAstly, They that hold Adam was at first created with a pronity to sinne, and that it was natural in him to have the sensitive appetite rebel against the ra∣tional; and therefore original Righteousness was given as a bridle to curb and keep the inferiour faculties in subordination to the superiour. These (I say) do hold that Doctrine, which makes God to be the Author, if not of sinne, yet of in∣clination to it. For, as the Socinians say, That death was natural to man in his first Creation, only sinne made it necessary, end by way of a curse. So the Papists say, That even in Adam at his first Creation there would have been a rebellion between his appetite and reason, had not there been grace superadded to regulate it; For (say they) this is natural, and it abideth in all men still, and is not a sin. But we shall in time (God willing) shew the falshood of this, and prove the inclination of the sensitive appetite to any suitable object, as it was in Adam, was not irregular, but in us it is in all things excessive, we not being able to move regularly, because we have lost that inward strength we were created in. As you see in the Palsie member, that moveth very fast, not from strength, but from weakness, so is it with us now in all our motions to any object, but God. There is a paralitical af∣fection, we cannot love or fear, but we do it too much. Now to say, it was thus in Adam, would be to dishonour God, and to make him the Author of that ataxy and confusion which is now in man.
AS for the other two particulars of Gods Injustice and Cruelty, supposed to be in the depriving of us of that original Righteousness, we may speak more hereafter: But for the present, this may stop the mouth of any caviller, though it be as wide as a Sepulchre.
1. That as God was not necessitated to create man, neither did he make man out of need of him, so when he had made him, he being supreme Lord and Sovereign, might deal with him upon what terms he pleased: It pleased him therefore to covenant with Adam not as a single person, but as a common head and universal person, as appeareth Rom. 5. by the collation that is made between the first Adam, and the second Adam, as two universal principles.
Therefore secondly, God taking such a way, all the good Adam should have had upon his continuance in obedience, would not have been in himself only, but to all his posterity Then in him, we had all obeyed, By his obedience we had been all made righteous, and by him life would have entred into the world; so that it's great Justice in God, to transmit all the evils of Adams transgression, to his po∣sterity, who would have communicated all the good promised to them upon his obedience. And thus we have answered that Objection, which is brought against the Naturality of it.
THe other Objections will come in seasonably from other Texts; I shall therefore dismiss this Verse and Doctrine, with a vehement intreaty, not to let the meditation of this Truth go out of your hearts, till it hath humbled you in the dust, till you look upon your selves as filthy and abominable, worse than any Toads or Serpents: What is it a light matter, to have a nature that is all the day long, either in thought, word or deed offending God? Your natural evil is Page 26 more to be deplored, in some sense, than all your actual evil; for as long as this spring is, there will alwayes be polluted streams: Many things may humble and debase us, as men, but this is the Goliahs Sword, none like this to pierce and cut at the very heart, even that we are naturally evil.
A Second Text urged and vindicated.
ROM. 5. 19.
THis later part of the Chapter is the Common-place and proper seat of the Doctrine of original sinne, but the understanding of it is very difficult, for there are Textual and Grammatical obscurities by the Hyperbatons, Anantapodotons, and defective expressions, which are usual in Paul, whose matter runneth like a torrent, and cannot be so well bounded by words: And as the Gramma∣tical expression makes it doubtfull, so also the profundity and depth of that admi∣rable matter, which is here delivered, addeth to the difficulty of it: For Austin of old said truly, Antiquo peccato nihil ad praedicandum notius, nihil ad intelligen∣dum secretius, It's easily known that there is such a thing, but what it is, is a great mystery, and secret: Insomuch that Salmeron, though a Jesuite, upon the consideration of the difficulties in this Discourse of the Apostle, spake gravely, Non tam Thesei filo, quam Spiritu Sancto, & lumine quo conscripta est, &c. We do not need Theseus his twine of thred, but the holy Ghost, and that light by which this Epistle was wrote to guide us. Not therefore to speak much of the Coherence, which is so much vexed by learned men, in the Dispute of original imputed sinne, especially that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, of which in time I shall take notice.
In the words we have a further and clearer Declaration of that Collation made between Adam and Christ: Insomuch that this doth clear what was formerly more obscurely spoken, describing two Originals, or common Fountains, the one of Sinne and Death, the other of Grace and Life: For whereas in the verse before he said, Condemnation came upon all by Adam; Lest God should be thought un∣just in this, he sheweth withall, That sinne is propagated, so that there is the De∣merit of this condemnation in every one of us.
In this Collation or Comparison, I am only to take notice of the Protasis or Proposition, which is, That by one mans disobedience many were made sinners.
So that in the words, we are to consider the Subject, or rather the cause of mankinds sinfulness, and that is described in the Nature of it, and the Author, Page 27 The Nature of it is said to be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The Apostle called it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which words do denote the hainousness of it; Rebellion is like the sin of witch∣craft, and Adams sinne is called disobedience; yea some learned Divines shew, That the proper specifical nature of this sinne was disobedience, there were also many sins ingredient thereunto, this the Apostle doth to aggravate the hainous∣ness of it: Insomuch that Peltan the Jesuite doth wickedly accuse the Protestants for aggravating the guilt of it so much. Apud illos (saith he) omnia sunt quasi tragica & infernalia, (De pecc. orig.) They have nothing but tragical expressi∣ons, and proclaim hell and damnation because of this pollution; For this is the Apostles scope in this place, to heighten the consideration of it, that so Christ may be the more magnified: Even as an Historian, who would make a parallel between two great Generals, yet intending to preferre one before another, doth in the first place amplifie the gallantry, the warlike power, the military strata∣gems of the one, that so he may the more advance that other General whom he intends to preferre above him. Thus doth the Apostle here, he makes original sinne to be exceeding sinfull, that so the grace of Christ may be exceeding rich, and precious grace. Adams sinne then, which is imputed, and made ours (as you heard) is disobedience.
SEcondly, You have the Author of this disobedience, and that is said to be by one man. Though Eve was the first in transgression, yet Adam is named as the chief; and therefore Adam is sometimes used collectively, both for man and woman; as when God said, Let us make man after our Image. Here then we have Paul informing us of that, which all Philosophy was ignorant of, viz. The imputation of Adams sinne to us, and our natural pollution flowing from it. Yea, Paul guided by the Spirit of God, finds out that mystery, which none of us ever could discover, by reading the History of Mans Fall, related by Moses; For there indeed we could see the cause of death, how that came upon all mankind, but that Adams sin was ours, That we all sinned in him, that hereupon we were all involved in sin and misery; for this we are to bless God for Paul, who hath so largely discovered it.
IN the next place, We have the Effect of this disobedience, with the Extent of it. The Extent is to many, that is, to all born naturally of Adam; For ma∣ny is not here opposed to all, but to one, the original, from that one, many, even all are made sinners. Therefore it's a dangerous Exposition of Theodoret, as Six∣tus Senensis relateth, which affirmeth, Not all, but some only to be infected with Adam's sinne, exempting Abel, Noah, and others from this pollution; For (1 Cor. 15.) the Apostle saith, In Adam all die; and in this Chapter at vers. 12. All have sinned in Adam; But the Effect, that is more dreadfull, and worthy of all meditation, We are made〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. This is more then when all were said to sin in him, for this doth denote the habitual depravation of all the parts of the soul, as also a readiness to commit all actual sins. Therefore the word is sometimes applied to signifie great and hainous sinners, as Mary Magdalen is said to be (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) a sinner. So then you see, that by Adams disobedience all are made sinners.
Whether we are Sinners by Natural Propaga∣tion, or by Imitation.
THere remaineth one great Doubt, Whether we are so by Natural Propagation, because born of him, or by occasion only and imitation, because he sinned? We are not (say some) made sinners as soon as we are born, but when by free-will we come to consent to sinne and choose it. Thus Pelagians of old, and Socinians of late, with ma∣ny others. Erasmus, though he saith, he holds Original sinne, yet useth all his strength to enervate the Orthodox Interpretation.
That Adam's Disobedience makes us Sinners by Propagation.
BUt there are cogent Reasons to understand it thus, That Adam's Disobedience makes us sinners by natural Propagation: As
First, Because the Apostle still chargeth our guilt and sinfulness upon Adam on∣ly, upon that one man, and upon that one offence, whereas if it were by example and imitation only, it might be upon our parents and others, and upon their transgressi∣ons: So that the Apostle might have said, By many men, and many disobediences, we are made sinners; but still he chargeth it on one man, and one offence.
Secondly, If Imitation be taken strictly, then a man must know, and have in his eye that which he doth imitate; but how many thousands are there, that runne into all excess of wickedness, and never heard of Adam, much less could not propound his sin for a patern to follow? So that even in the Pelagian sense, to be sinners by Imi∣tation cannot be properly used in this Controversie.
Thirdly, If the Apostle understood sin only by Imitation, or occasion, not Propa∣gation, then as Austin of old well urged; it might be more properly fastned upon the Devil, as the Original; for it was not by Adam, but the Devil that sin came into the world, in this sense, and so death by sinne; Hence the Devil is said to be a man∣slayer from the beginning, Joh. 8. 44. or a murderer, and that both of souls and bodies; In somuch that the Devil was the occasion of all the wickedness, and death the consequent thereof: And hence our Saviour speaking of wicked men, Joh 8. saith, They are of their Father the Devil, and what they see him do, that they do. So that the Devil is made to be the original of sinne by imitation to wicked men, and not Adam.
Fourthly, Adams sinne must be made ours by natural Propagation, not Imita∣tion, Because death is made the necessary consequent of it all that 〈◊〉 have sinned Adam's sinne: But now death is propagated naturally; Hence Infant die, which yet according to the best Divines have not actual sinne, why 〈◊〉 it that they die? yea they are not only subject to death, but to exquisite torments and pains; Page 29 yea, Infants have been grievously possessed with the Devils, and tormented by them: Now this could not be, if they were not guilty of sia: If therefore death be by natural Propagation, then sinne the cause of it, must also be in that manner.
Fifthly, This comparison made between the first Adam communicating sin, and the second, communicating Righteousness, doth fully evince this: For we are made righteous by Christ, not only as if he were a patern, and example of Righteousness unto us, but by an hidden and secret infusion of holiness into our souls, whereby we are made new creatures, and said to be partakers of the Divine Nature: For where∣as the Papists would argue, as they think, very strongly for our Justification by inherent Righteousness from the parallel made between Adam and Christ; As (say they) we are made sinners, not by imputation onely, but by inherency through Adam's disobedience; so we must be made righteous by Christ, not by imputation, but inherently. We retort the Argument, and say, Because Adam's sin is imputed tous, wherby we are made sinners, so Christs obedience is made ours, whereby we are constituted righte∣ous: Yet we grant further, That by Christ we are made inherently righteous, though by that we are not justified; and this inward renovation comes not from Christ by example, but a powerfull and secret transformation of the whole man, so that as to partake of Adam's sinne, we must be born naturally of Adam; For if God should create some men in an extraordinary manner, not by natural descent from him, they would not have this natural contagion cleaving to them; so to partake of Christs Righteousness, it's necessary we must be new born by the Spirit of God. Thus you see many Reasons, compelling us to understand the manner how by Adam's dis∣obedience we are made sinners, to be by natural Propagation: For, if this foun∣dation be not laid sure, the whole fabrick will quickly fall to the ground. We come then to the Observation, which is,
THat all mankind by Adam's disobedience are truly and properly made sinners. The Text is so clear that we would wonder any should be so deluded, as to confront the Truth contained therein: Every one that is naturally born of Adam, is thereby, and in that respect made a sinner, though he should have no actual transgessions of his own: An Infant, that liveth not to be guilty of any actual evil, yet because Adam's seed, is thereby made a sinner, and so a child of Gods wrath. Certainly, the Apostle would not have been so large and industrious in affirming this Truth: But because of the evident necessity to know it, and the great utility that may come to us, if duly improving this knowledge. To be sure he layeth this as a foundation, to exalt and magnifie the grace of God by Christ: So that they who deny this original contagion, must needs rob Christ and his grace of the greatest part of that glory due to him.
Of the Souls inward filth and defilement by Adam's Sinne.
TO explain this profound and weighty Truth, consider that expressi∣on in the Doctrine, That we are by Adam's disobedience, made tru∣ly and properly sinners: For there are those that hold, we receive much hurt, Yea, some say, we are guilty by Adam's disobedi∣ence, but not made truly and properly sinners, they deny there is any inward pollution upon the soul of man.
When I had proceeded farre in this Discourse of Original Sinne, there cometh out an English Writer (Dr J. Taylor Vnum Neces.) in a triumphing and scornfull style, like Julian of old, peremptorily opposing this Doctrine of inherent pol∣lution by nature. He is not meerly Pelagian, Arminian, Papist, or Socinian, but an hotchpotch of all; So that as there were a Sect of Philosophers, as Laer∣tius reports (Proem in fin) that was called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, because they would chuse out some opinions from all the Sects that were: So doth this man most unhappily sometimes select what is most deformed in those several parties. With this Writer we shall encounter as often as we find him throwing earth into the pure springs. Although the word Sinner in some places, is as much as to be an offender, to be obnoxious to punishment; yet in this place we must understand more, as is to be shewed.
For there are three things we are subject to by Adam's disobedience:
First, There is a participation of the very actual transgression of Adam, that very sinne he committed, is imputed to us.
Secondly, There is the guilt of this sinne, whereby Adam was obnoxious to death, and eternal condemnation, this also we partake of.
Lastly, There was the deprivation of Gods Image, the loss of that upon A∣dam's transgression, so that his soul, which was before full of light, and a glo∣rious harmony, upon this disobedience, became like a chaos and confusion. And in this state we are born, not succeeding Adam in the Image of God, he once had, but in that horrible confusion, and darknesse he was plung∣ed into.
These three things then, we partake of by Adam's disobedience; but that which is chiefly intended here, and which also my purpose is to treat of chiefly, is, That inward filth and defilement we are fallen into by Adam's sin.
1. THerefore, when it is said, That we are made sinners by Adam, this is not all, as if thereby we were put into a necessity of dying, or that death is now made a curse to us: For thus much the Socinians grant, That Adam's sinne did hurt us thus farre, That although death was natural to Adam even in the state of integrity, yet it was not made necessary nor penal, but upon Adam's disobedience, But
1. This is false, That death would have been natural to Adam, though he had not sinned, as is to be shewed. And
In the second place, Death as a curse, or as made necessary, is not all that we are obnoxious unto by Adam's sinne, for the Apostle makes that a distinct effect of his disobedience: for he sheweth, That by Adam's offence sinne did first pass over the whole world, and after sin, death; So that to be a sinner is more than to be obnoxious to death, for the Apostle distinguisheth these two.
Besides, why should death fall upon all mankind for Adams sin, if so be that that offence was not made every mans, and all had not sinned in him? Indeed Chrysostom of old expounds this 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, subject to punishment and death; as if to be sinners, were no more than to be mortal. Though Chrysostom in some places seemeth not to hold original sinne, yet in other places he is expresly for it.
This Interpretation of Chrysostoms is received by the English Author above-mentioned, with much approbation, as if to be a sinner, were to be handled, and dealt with as an offender; But the Apostle maketh sinne and death two distinct things, the one a consequent from the other, because we are sinners, we do be∣come mortal. Besides, to be a sinner, is opposite to be righteous in the Text; If then, that signifie an inherent qualification, denominating truly righteous, this must also an inherent corruption, whereby we are truly made sinners: So that this Interpretation hath no probability. Yea from Chrystom himself on the place, we may have a Consutation of this Exposition: For (saith he) one to be made mortal by him of whom he is born, is not absurd, but by anothers disobe∣dience to be made a sinner, What congruity is there in that? Now what justice is there that one should be made mortal by another mans sinne, unless he partake of his sinne? Yea, he saith, a little before, For one to be punished for another mans sinne, it hath no reason, and yet all along the Chapter affirmed, That by Adam's sinne we are all made subject to death. This is no good Harmony.
IN the second place, To be a sinner, is more than some others have likewise explained it, which say, It's to be obnoxious to the eternal wrath of God. This way go Piphius, Catharinus, and Sal••ero•s inclineth much that way, though in some things different. Yea, Arminius and the Remonstrants, they conceive, that to be a sinner by Adam's disobedience, implieth these two things, and no more: First, That Adam's actual sinne is truly and properly made ours, (and thus farre they say the truth.) But then secondly they affirm, That this is all the original sin we have. They grant, that by this there is a reatus, a guilt upon all, but not any thing inherent, that hath truly and properly the notion of sinne. They will there∣fore yeeled, That we are by nature the children of wrath; But (say they) not for any inherent pollution, but because of Adam's sinne imputed to us. But though these two must necessarily be granted, viz. the imputation of Adam's sinne, and the participation of that guilt thereby, yet this is not all, that the Apostle mean∣eth, Page 32 when he saith, We are by his disobedience made sinners; for he intends be∣sides this, the internal and natural depravation of the whole man, which now in ecclesiastical use, is for the most part called original sinne. And there are these Reasons to evince it:
First, That it's more than guilt, or an obnoxious condition to eternal wrath, because the Apostle having spoken of that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that judgement to condemnation, which cometh upon all, he doth in this verse declare the inward cause and demerit of this in our selves, and thereby declareth the justice of God: For, if we had no sinne in our selves inherent, but that only imputed, the ju∣stice of God would not be so manifest in condemning of us. It is true, we must not separate or dis-joyn this inherent sinne from that imputed sinne, yet we must not confound them, or make imputed sinne all the sinne we have by nature. The Apostle therefore doth in this Text, give a reason of that condemnation, which hath passed on all, because there is sin inwardly adhering to all.
Secondly, To be a sinner is more than to be onely guilty, Because (as you heard) of the opposition made between the first Adam and Christ. Now the Righteousness that we are invested with by Christ, is truly and properly a Righ∣teousness; It's not only a claim or title to eternal happiness, it is not only a free∣dom from guilt, but an inherent conformity to the Law of God: So that as in and by Christ there is an imputed Righteousness, which is that properly that ju∣stifieth, and as the effect of this, we have also an inherent Righteousness, which in Heaven will be completed and perfected: Thus by Adam we have imputed sin with the guilt of it, and inherent sin the effect of it.
Thirdly, If this should be granted, That we are only guilty by Adam's trans∣gression, and not inherently sinfull, then it would follow, that we had free-will to what is good, that we are not dead in sinne, That the natural man might per∣ceive the things of God; For by this opinion, Though we are made guilty by A∣dam's transgression, yet not inherently sinfull. And thus while they avoid Pela∣gianism in one sense, they are deeply plunged into it, in another sense. We must therefore necessarily conclude, That original sin is more than guilt, it denoteth also an inward contagion and defilement of soul.
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.
IN the fourth place, there are those yet who draw a more narrow line in this mat∣ter, than the former: For when this Question is put, Whether original inherent sin be truly and properly a sin? They then distinguish between Peccatum and Vitium; It is vitium (say they) but not peccatum, or when it is called peccatum, it is in a large sense, not strictly and properly; For with these, nothing is a sinne properly, but some action repugning to the word of God; and because original sinne can∣not be an action, therefore (say they) it's not properly a sinne; In which sense they deny habits of sinne to be peccata, but only vitia. Though this be to play with words, seeing the same thing is intended; And although Austin abstaineth much from the word peccatum, as if that alwayes did suppose a reatus, yet that is a needless scrupulosity, men may use words as they please; Therefore Hierom thought, (Vide Whitak. de peccato orig. lib. 3. cap 6.) vitium was more than peccatum, contrary to Austins notion, when he said, Some man might be found without vice, but not without sinne. They say indeed a thing may repugn the Law of God three wayes; Either, Efficienter, so the Devils and wicked men do, yet they are not sinnes. 2. Materially, and thus the act of every sinne doth. 3. Formally, and so the obliquity in the act only doth; and this they make only truly and properly a sinne; But whether this will stand good or no, will be examined in the Objections; As also that Assertion of a learned man, (Molinaus, vide infra.) That original sinne is condemned by the Law, but not prohibited, it being absurd (as he thinks) to appoint a Law for one grown up, that he should have been born without sinne. It is true, in assigning the proper notion Page 34 of sinne to it, hath some great difficulty; Neither doth it become us to be over∣curious in this point above what is written, remembring that original sinne came in, by desiring too much knowledge. I shall therefore treat of it so farre, as it may tend to edification, not to satisfie curiosity. For when Austin was puzled with such doubts, he brings that known Apologie, (Epist. 29.) of one who fell into a deep pit, and being ready to be suffocated, he crieth out to one passing by, to help him out; The man asketh him, How he came in? Do not, saith he, stand disputing of that, but help me out. Thus (saith he) every man being fallen into this deep pit of original sinne, it's not for us to be curiously and te∣diously inquiting how we came in, but speedily seek for the grace of God, to deliver us our.
That the inward Contagion which we have from Adam's Disobedience, is truly and properly a Sinne.
THerefore in the fifth place, This sinne whereby we are infected from Adam's disobedience, is truly and properly a sinne, we are truly and inherently made sinners by Adam. A man is not more properly and really made a sinner by any actual transgres∣sions he doth commit, then he is by his original sinne he is born in: Insomuch that though an Infant knoweth not what he doth, nor is capable of acts of reason, when he is born, yet he is properly and formal∣ly a sinner; and the discovery of this will make much for our humiliation, and Christs Exaltation.
Now that it is truly and properly a sin, appeareth by these Arguments:
Argum. 1. That the Scipture speaking of it, doth constantly call it so, and therefore we are not to recede from the proper interpretation, unless some weighty reasons compel•us. What a poor and weak thing is it to deny original sinne, to be imputable to us, or to have the proper essence of evil, because with Aristotle none are blamed for those things they have by nature, or are not in their own power; For it's plain, Aristotle understood nothing of this original pollution, and by his Philosophy, we must also quit many fundamental points in our Chri∣stian saith. It is enough that the Scripture speaking of it, and that purposely doth call it sinne, as Psal. 51. this Chapter of Romans, and Chap. 7. often, It's the Law of sinne working in us: So that this want of Gods Image, and an inclination to evil, is not to be considered, as a meer punishment, or as a spiritual disease, and weakness upon nature, but no sinne at all; For it's as truly a sinne, as an actual sinne, yea, in some respects, it is a more grievous and hea∣vy sinne than actual sinnes, (as is to be shewed;) For the cause hath more in it, than the effect. It is from this evil heart that all actual evils do flow.
Page 35Argum. 2. It's truly and properly a sin, Because thereby a man is made obnoxious to death, and eternal condemnation; The wages of sinne is death, and by nature we are children of wrath; If then for this inherent corruption, we die, we are sub∣ject to miseries, to Gods wrath, and the curse of the Law, then it must neces∣sarily follow, that this is truly and properly a sin.
Argum. 3. That which is made opposite to Righteousness, that is truly and properly sinne; For not punishment and Righteousnesse, but sinne and Righ∣teousnesse are two immediate Contraries. Now it's plain, That this inhe∣rent corruption makes us sinners, so that we need to be made righteous by Christ.
Argum. 4. The Apostle distinguisheth Adam's imputed sinne, and inherent sinne, as two sinnes, and so they have a two-fold distinct guilt, (as is to be shewed) though some think it hard to say so. Thus the Apostle, By one mans offence, sinne entred into the world: Therefore Adam's actual sinne, and that sinne which entred thereby, are two distinct sinnes, and differ as the cause and the effect. By imputed sinne, we are said to sinne in him actually, as it were, because his will, was our will, but by inherent sinne, we are made sinners by intrinsecal pollution.
Argum. 5. This original inherent sinne is truly and properly a sinne, Because it is to be mortified, to be crucified. We are to subdue the reign of it in our hearts, which could not be, if it were not properly a sin.
Argum. 6. It is a true and proper sinne, Because by this our persons are made unclean, so that naturally we cannot please God; We are corrupt fountains, we are bad trees, and all this before we commit any actual sin.
Argum. 7. If Adam had stood, that which would have been communicated to his posterity, would have been truly and properly holiness. An Infant new born would have been called righteous in a proper sense; Therefore are we now born sinfull in a true and proper respect.
Argum. 8. This is a sinne properly, Because it is against the Law of God. We want that perfection which we ought to have; we are bound not only to actual obedience, but to do this from an holy and unspotted principle within: There∣fore it is truly said, Original sinne is in some sense forbidden in every Command∣ment, and original Righteousness is commanded in all, but because this is so much vexed by Objections, we are to speak more to it in answer to them.
We have brought in several Arguments to prove original sinne to be a sinne properly and truly so, and this was the rather to be done, because of some Pa∣pists, but especially Socinians and Arminians, with the Pelagians of old, de∣nying it to be so. But from Scripture it is clear, that it is as true a sinne, as actual, and therefore that division of sinne into original and actual, is of an univocal genus into its species, both the members of that division partaking in a proper manner of the nature of sinne. It being therefore the foundation of this point, and all our fabrick, which in times shall be raised, being bottomed of this, we shall ex abundanti, offer two or three Arguments more, to prove that it is a sinne, not in a large, or a metonymical lense, but rigidly and properly: And the first in order is,
Argum 9. From the necessity of Infants in respect of a Saviour; Those In∣fants that die in their Infancy, and go to heaven, cannot obtain this glorious bene∣fit, but by Christ: If therefore Christ be a Saviour to some Infants then they are lost and undone in themselves: But not for any actual sinnes: Therefore for origi∣nal. This fully demonstrates every Infant, though but a day, but an hour old, to be truly a sinner, Why? Because even they need Christ a Saviour; if they had no sinne, they needed not a Jesus; And this must necessarily be confessed, That either Infants cannot be saved, and are not to be accounted of the people Page 36 of God, and of his Church; or if they be, that they have sinne from which they are to be cleansed and saved. The former is rarely asserted, and therefore the later must be granted: And indeed when the Scripture saith, Matth. 1. 21. Christ is called Jesus, Because he shall save his people from their sinnes: As also Ephes. 5. 25, 26. Christ is said, to give himself for his Church, that he may cleanse it, so as to be without spot or wrinkle; Either we must say, Infants are none of Christs people, they belong not at all to his Church, or if they do, they have true and proper sinne in them, which the Scripture cals uncleanness; and it is evidently applied to Infants in that sense, Job. 14. 4. Job. 15. 14. who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? And who is is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Where to be unclean is made directly opposite to be righteous. Therefore when the Pelagians of old would evade this Argument, saying, In∣fants needed a Christ to bring them to the Kingdom of Heaven, though they had no sinne. Austin well urged, That they divided those two names of our Saviour, Christ and Jesus, making him a Christ, where he was not a Jesus: Certainly to be a Sa∣viour of Infants implieth, in themselves they are lest.
Argum. 10. Hence in the next place, The initial Sacrament which God hath appointed alwayes in his Church for Infants doth fully demonstrate, they have sinne in a proper formal sense, viz. Sinne to be remitted, and to be abolished. In the Old Testament, every Infant eight dayes old was to be circumcised, and that Sa∣crament did plainly declare the sinne and corruption that was in them, though so young, for Rom. 4. Circumcision was a Seal of the Righteousness by Faith, which is a Gospel-righteousness by Christ, whereas if they had no sinne within, such a Seal would have been ridiculous and absurd; As for Christ, who though he had no sinne, yet was circumcised and baptized, that was upon another account, for having voluntarily made himself subject to the Law, it beloved him to fulfill all the Righteousness thereof, but Infants have not that consideration; If then Infants needed a righteousness through faith, this plainly demonstrated they had nothing but sinne in themselves. besides, The cutting of the fore skin in the Sacrament of Circumcision, did denote the throwing away of that inhe∣rent pollution of their Natures, Deut. 10. 16. Therefore Deut. 30. 6. God promiseth to circumcise their heart, which was to regenerate them, of which Circumcision was a sign. Hence Rom. 2. 28, 29. the Apostle distinguisheth of a Circumcision of the flesh, and a Circumcision of the spirit; If then Infants needed a Circumcision of the Spirit; If they needed that the sinfull fore-skin of their heart should be cut off, of which their external Circumcision applied to them, was a Seal, it followeth unquestionably, that they had an universal pollution all over them, before they had committed any actual sinne. Thus also for Baptism, an initiating Sacrament in the New Testament, that is to be applied to Infants; For though Anabaptists do now deny it, yet the Pelagians of old, (though so exceedingly pressed by this Argument, That Infants were baptized for Remission of sinne, but it could not be actual, therefore it was original, which was in them.) They never dared to deny their Baptism, but ranne to other evasions. I take it for a Truth at this time, because so fully proved by those who have writ on this Subject, That Infants are to be baptized; and if so, it's also plain by Scripture, That Baptism in the nature of it, signifieth Remission of sinnes and Regenera∣tion, which priviledges, if Infants want, they must necessarily have that which is truly and properly a sin.
Argum. 11. Lastly, Every Infant new born comes into the world with that, which is truly and formally a sinne, Because the Scripture makes it the peculiar Character and property of Christ, that he was wholly without sinne. Therefore the Angel in his discourse to Mary cals him the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that holy thing which shall be born of thee, Luke 1. 35. And the Apostle telleth us, It behoved us to have such an High priest, who was tempted like us in all things, sin only excepted, Page 37 Heb. 4. 15. These places do clear, that Christ only was born without sinne, and all others are polluted with it: And the reason why Christ is exempted, is, be∣cause he was not of Adam, Quoad seminalem rationem, but corpulatam sub∣stantiam, as the Schoolmen say, He was not the sonne of Adam by natural ge∣neration, but by a miraculous conception. It is true, The Evangelist Luke rec∣koning up Christs Genealogy, ascends up to Adam, as if he were the sonne of Adam, but that is because he was the supposed sonne of Joseph his father, he was accounted his legal father, though he was not his natural.
The Arminians think they only have found out the true reason, why Christ contracted not original sinne from Adam, nor was not in his loins; For (say they) Christ was not is Adam, as a common parent, and so sinned not in him, because he did not come of a woman, by that first command, Increase and multiply, but by a new and singular promise which God made to Adam after his fall, viz. That the seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent. But though it be grant∣ed, That Christ was born of a woman by a singular promise, yet that alone with∣out the miraculous operation of the holy Ghost, would not have cleansed the humane Nature of Christ from sinne, especially if that be true, which some learned men say, That the Virgin Mary did, in some measure, concurre actively to the body of Christ, and therefore Christ is called, The fruit of her womb, and is said to be of the seed of David, 2 Tim. 2. 8. So that being the Virgin Mary her self was unclean, till the holy Ghost over-shadowed her, none could bring that which was clean out of her, but God in a miraculous and extraordinary manner sanctifying that mass, of which Christs body was made. Besides, we read of Isaac, that he was born by the virtue of a singular promise, Sa∣rah's womb being as good as dead, yet for all that he was not free from original sinne; Therefore the holinesse of Christs humane nature, and that in the very conception must be attributed to the wonderfull operation of the holy Ghost; If then this was peculiar to Christ alone, It followeth ne∣cessarily, That all those who in a natural manner descend from Adam come in∣to the world unclean, and infected with this pollution.
Thus we have laid sure and firm foundations to maintain this Truth, That ori∣ginal sinne is truly and formally a sinne deserving eternal condemnation, as well as actual sinne.
I Am only demonstrating, that it is sin, and not what it is; There∣fore I proceed no further in the positive Explication of it, but come to answer those Objections, that are made by all sorts of persons against this sinne, whether Pelagians, some Pa∣pists, Arminians or Socinians; And when these Clouds are dispelled, the light of the Truth will shine more evident∣ly. And
First, That which is a famous and obvious Objection, owned by all the Ad∣versaries to this Doctrine, is, The necessariness and involuntariness of it.
Object. Every sinne (say they) must be voluntary; This is a principle in∣graffed, as they conceive, in the conscience of a man: No man is to be faulted, or blamed for that which is not in his power to prevent; And they press that known Rule of Austins, Vsque adeo voluntarium peccatum est malum, quod non sit peccatum, nisi voluntarium, If it be not voluntary, it cannot be any sinne at all. Now (say they) this original sinne comes upon us by natural necessity, it lieth no more in our power to prevent it, then to hinder our being born; Shall then we conceive God willing to damn a man, especially an Infant, for that sinne which ne∣ver was in his power, or his will to do? This they think cannot be admitted. Therefore though some of them grant, Adam's actual sinne may be made ours, be∣cause our will is interpretatively in his, yet not this inherent corruption, because this is a particular personal sinne, and so requireth a personal actual will to make it a sinne. And this seemeth to have some plausible colour, while we attend only to principles of humane Reason, and Arguments of Philosophy: But let us see, whether it will not be too light, if weighed in the balance of the Sanctua∣ry. And
Answ. 1. We must understand in what sense any sinne at all can be called vo∣luntary, and that is, not as if any man could will sinne, no not he that sinneth maliciously, as it is sin. This is granted by all moral Philosophers, That no man willeth sin, as it is sin, because bonum, either real or appearing so, is the adequate object of the will: As in the understanding, that cannot assent to any thing that is apparently false; so neither doth the will choose any thing that is manifested to be evil, as evil, but when it imbraceth any sine, there is some deceivable good or other, which deceiveth the soul. Thus Adam when he transgressed the com∣mand of God, he did not will this as a sinne, nor did he positively intend the damnation of his posterity (For we suppose that he knew himself to be a com∣mon Parent, and that he received a common stock for all mankind) But he willed that action, to which sinne was annexed; And thus no wicked man, when he sinneth, doth will the damnation of his soul formally, but Page 39 consequentially by willing that to which this guilt doth belong.
Secondly, Although it be granted, That every sinne must be voluntary, yet (as Austin of old answered) this sinne may be called voluntary, as it is in In∣fants, because their will is interpretatively in Adam, and we therefore are all said to sinne in him: Adam's will may be said to be our will two wayes:
1. By way of delegation, as if we had chosen him to be our common parent, and had translated our wils over to him, as amongst men, it is usual in arbitrati∣ons, and then they are said to will, that which their Arbitrator hath done, though it may be they dislike it, and in this sense, Adam's will is not our will, for we had no actual being or existence in him. Hence
2. Adam's will may be said to be ours interpretatively, God appointing him to be the universal principle of mankind; what he did is interpreted, as if we had done it, and the equity of making Adam's will ours, ariseth from the institu∣ting will and Covenant of God, that would have it so: But more especially, be∣cause God then dealt with Adam in a Covenant of works, which if broken and violated, carrieth condemnation to all his off-spring, as appeareth by the curses threatned in the Law. This original sinne then is voluntary, because committed by Adam's will, which by Gods imputation is made ours; so that as in Adam upon his actual disobedience, the Image of God was lost, and in stead thereof came an universal pollution of his whole man; which was in him truly and properly a sinne; So it is in every Infant descended from him.
Thirdly, If it be granted, That every sinne must be voluntary, yet this also will hold good in Infants sinne; for a thing may be said to be voluntarium in causa, but involuntarium in se. With moral Philosophers, all habits of sinne are involuntary in themselves, but voluntary in their cause; those actions that did produce them; And thus is original sin inherent in mankind, it is voluntary in its cause, which was Adam's sin.
Fourthly, Austin himself, who urgeth voluntariness in sinne, yet afterwards considering how the Pelagians made use of it, he answereth, That this is to be understood of actual sinne, not original sinne; Every actual sinne must be volun∣tary, it's not necessary original sinne should be personally and formally so: A∣gain, he limits that Rule to such sins as are meerly sins, not punishments also, but original sin is both a sin and punishment.
Lastly, He grants this to be true amongst the Laws of men, and therefore cals it politica sententia; And no wonder if Philosophers required a formal will in every sin, else not to make it imputable, because they were wholly ignorant of this Truth.
But in the last place, our Divines do deny that voluntariness is requisite to every actual sinne; for there are sinnes of ignorance for which Sacrifices were to be offered; And David prayeth to be cleansed from secret sins, which he did not know, and if so, they must be involuntary; yea, Paul expresly cals that a sin, Rom. 7. which yet was against his will, although it may be granted, that even in these there is some kind of voluntarines; For a thing may be voluntary either in its cause, or in it self, or absolutely involuntary, but comparatively voluntary, as when we do things for fear, or there may be a mixture of voluntarines and involuntarines, which Paul seemeth to acknowledge in himself, yet still the proper notion of a sinne lieth in the contrariety of it to the Law of God: Therefore John defineth sinne by that, whether it be voluntary or not, he doth not take notice of. This is ac∣knowledged by some Scholastical Writers, especially Holkot (De imputabilitate peccati) answereth this Objection fully to our purpose, where he positively af∣firmeth, That sinne is not therefore imputable unto us, because it was in the power of the will, but as righteousness is therefore praise-worthy, because it is righteous∣ness, so unrighteousness is therefore culpable, and damnable, because it is unrigh∣teousnessPage 40 (that is, if I may interpret him) because it's against a Law. Hence he proceedeth to shew, That a thing is not righteous or vnrighteous meerly because it was in the power of the will, for the will of a child would have been made righteous by God, sine proprie motu, without any proper motion of the childs will; And then why may it not as well be sinfull without any such voluntary motion in an Infant? So that he concludeth, It's as proper to original sinne to be naturally contracte• or derived from another, without any proper act of the will, as it is to an actual sinne, to have the will one way or other consenting to it: Even as in the state of integrity, original righteousness in Infants would have been propagated, but actuall Righte∣ousness voluntarily performed. And these things may satisfie this first Objection, yet hereafter we shall speak more to this.
THe second Objection is in effect to this sense, What is a punishment cannot be a sinne: But the deprivation of Gods Image in man upon Adam's disobedience is a punishment; And therefore it cannot be a sinne. Original sinne, if not totally, yet principally consists in the losse of that original Righteousnesse and rectitude, which God made man in: Seeing therefore the privation of this came upon man by way of punishment, when Adam transgressed; We cannot conceive it (say they) to be a sinne also, for a punishment and a sinne, are wholly contradictory; a sinne must be voluntary, a punishment involuntary, a sinne is an action, and a punish∣ment is a passion; a sinne is an evil, and God cannot be the author of it; a punish∣ment is good, and an act of Justice; so that God cannot be said to permit that, but to inflict it.
This Argument (at the first view) hath likewise some colour, but upon the examination of it, it will quickly vanish: I shall not answer in a large dispute about that famous Question, Whether the same thing may be a sin and a punish∣ment? Or, whether God doth punish one sin with another, but shall speak as much, briefly, as is convenient for this Objection. And
First, You must know that Arminius began to dislike this Doctrine of original sinne (Respons. ad Artic. 31.) which was mentioned in their publique Cate∣chism, upon this very reason, because it was a punishment; and he gave this Reason to the Minister then conferring with him,
Page 41 I shall consider the strength of their Objection, as it lieth in this, The same thing cannot be a sin and a punishment too. The Remonstrants affirm this, and Papists likewise, but with some explication. And
1. It is confessed, That there are some punishments of sinne, which are not sinne, as when God for Adam's disobedience hath made man obnoxious to mise∣ries, to sickness and death; These are not sinnes; It comes from sinne to have pain, and to die, but they are not sinnes; and the Reason is, Because these are malum naturale, not morale, they are a natural evil, not a moral.
In the second place, Austin saith, and he saith it truly from Scripture,
3. It is very clear and plain by Scripture, that God doth punish one sinne by another; So that when a man hath committed one sinne, he is justly given up by God to commit more. Amongst the many instances that may be given, I shall pitch on two only, 2 Thess. 2. 10, 11. where you have a sinne mentioned that God will punish, viz. They received not the truth of God in love: A sinne that is very ordinary: But then observe how dreadfully God punisheth this, God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie; This is their punishment; a spiritual punishment, more than any corporal one; and that this is a sinne, as well as a punishment, is plain, Because to believe a lie is a sinne, to take falshood for truth, the delusions of the Devil, for the voice of Gods Spirit; This is a sinne and a very hainous one. The other instance is Rom. 1. 21. where you have the Heathens sinnes mentioned, Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not. &c. There you have their punishment, to be given up to uncleanness, to all vile lusts and sins against nature. None can deny but these were sinnes, and that they were a punishment for corrupting their natural light implanted in them, is plain, for the Apostle, vers. 24, 26, 28. saith, For this cause, or therefore God gave them up to these lusts, and vers 27. the expression is observable, That they received in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. Hearken to this with both ears, and tremble all you who live under Gospel light, if natural light corrupted bring such heavy soul-judgments, no wonder, if supernatural; And therefore if you see men, notwithstanding all the preaching of Gods word, yet given up to be beastly sots, or obstinate malicious men in their wickedness; Wonder not at it, for they receive in themselves a just recompence for the abu∣sing of that light God hath vouchsafed to them. Many other instances there are, wherein it is plain, That God makes one sinne a punishment of another; Yea, it's said, That every sinne since the first, is both a sinne and a punishment; There∣fore the want of Gods Imagine us, as soon as we are born, with a proneness to all evil may be the punishment of Adam's actual disobedience, and yet a sinne in us.
4. As for the distinction assigned between sinne and punishment, the one vo∣luntary, Page 42 and an action, the other involuntary and a passion. Though there be learned men, both Papists and Protestants, viz. Vasquez and Twisse, who dis∣prove this by instances, yet (if it be granted) it will not hinder or enervate our Position, That original inherent sinne is both a sinne, and a punishment also; For when the learned say,
To understand this therefore, take notice, That in sinne there is the Obliquity, and the Action to which this Obliquity is annexed; Now sinne in the Obliquity of it, so it is not a punishment, but in the action or materiale of it, to which it doth adhere: As for instance, Those vile and unclean lusts the Heathens were given up unto, were a punishment of their rebellion unto the light; Now as they were sinnes in their formality, so they were onely permissivè and ordina∣tivè of God; but take the Actions substracted to that Obliquity, which was in them, so they were efficienter of God, and he gave them up to their lusts.
2. When God doth punish one sinne with another, the meaning is not, as if he did infuse this wickedness, but only he denieth that mollifying and softning grace, which if a man had, he would resist the temptations of sinne, as in this particular of original sinne; You must not conceive of God, in the Creation of the soul, as if a man were pouring poison in a vessel, so he did put sinne into our natures, but he denieth to give and continue that Righteousness Adam had, and then our souls do necessarily receive the clean contrary, darkness for light, Atheism for faith, disorder for order: Even as if God should withdraw the Sunne at noon-day, continue the light thereof no longer to us, it would upon that sub∣duction be immediately dark, there needed no other cause to introduce it: Thus it is here upon Adam's fall, God denying to continue his Image, and ori∣ginal righteousness in us, original sinne without any other positive cause cometh in the stead thereof; and therefore we are not, as Austin of old well observed, to seek after the causa efficiens, but deficiens peccati, sin hath no efficient, but defi∣cient cause.
Therefore thirdly, In this original sinne we may consider that which is pecca∣tum, and so it's evil, and that which is poena, and so it's good; For as you look∣on it, being the deprivation of that rectitude which ought to be in a man, so it is a sinne; but as you consider it to be the denying of that holiness on Gods part, which once we had, so it's poena, or rather punitio; The denying of this Image o• God at first was punitio, but this loss continued is poena; so that the want and loss of that righteousness which once we enjoyed, if considered on Gods part, who continueth his denial of it, is a just punishment, and a good thing ordained by God; but if you consider it as inherent in man, who hath deserved this at Gods hand, so it's an evil, and properly a sin in him.
4. The same thing may be a sinne and a punishment also, in divers respects, As it may be a sinne in respect of a sinner, but a punishment in respect of others. Thus Absolom's sinne was a sinne in respect of himself, but a punishment in re∣spect of David; So Parents sinnes may be sinnes in respect of themselves, but punishments in respect of their children; and we are especially to take heed of such sinnes, as are not our sinnes onely, but others punishments, such are passions and unmortified anger, this is a sinne to thee, and a punishment to others.
5. Every sinne is a punishment, in this respect, That it brings anxiety, ter∣ror, and fear with it, a guilt of conscience is contracted upon every sinne. Thus some expound that known saying of Austin, Jussisti Domine, & sic est, ut omnis animus inordinatus sit sibi ipsi poena; O Lord, thou hast so commanded, and thus it is, that a soul immoderate any way, should be a punishment to it self. Thus, Page 43 as the moral Philosophers say, Virtus est sibiipsi praemium, so peccatum est sibiipsi poena, Virtue is a reward to it self, because it brings sweetness and comfort of conscience, so a sinne is a punishment to it self, because it brings terror and fear with it.
Lastly, The same thing may be both a sinne and a punishment, both poena dam∣ni, and poena sensus, a punishment of loss, and so every sinne, in that it is a sin, depriveth the soul of that spiritual good and glory which it ought to have, and so is a kind of disease or death it self; and then in some sins they are a punishment of sense, as in envy and anger. Thus when Ahitophel and Judas hanged them∣selves, their self-murder was both a sinne and a punishment of loss, and sense also.
IN the third place it is objected,* If original inherent sinne be made a distinct sin from Adam's imputed sinne, we do needlesly make two guilts, and so multiply sins without necessity, for all the guilt that is in Adam's sinne imputed, the cor∣ruption of Nature which floweth immediately from it, doth not make a new sin, but makes the former more hainous: As if (say they) a man should by some sin lose his eyes, that act whereby he put out his eyes was a sinne, but then it's not a new distinct sin in him, to be without eyes: Or if a Commander, who had a Castle to keep, upon which depended the good of a Town adjacent, if he prove persidious, and give it up to the enemy, his perfidious act at first is all the sinne, if the Town adjacent have much misery thereby, it is an aggravation of his sin, but it doth not make him guilty of two sins.
This hath made some think,* That our original pollution, as distinct from Adam's sinne imputed, is not a sinne; and that whensoever the Fathers call it a sinne, they understand it, as connexed with Adam's sinne. Thus the learned Vossius in his Pelagian History. But the truth no doubt is on their side, who hold a twofold distinct guilt, That Adams sinne imputed to us, and that inherent are two distinct sins, though one doth necessarily imply an order to another, and the later is alwayes to be looked upon, as a relative to the former. Neither doth that similitude of a man wilfully putting his eyes out, make to this purpose: For when a man hath lost his eyes, there is a natural impotency ever to have them again; Neither is there any obligation, or Law binding him thereunto: But besides the guilt of imputed sinne, we are bound to have that inherent re∣ctitude we once lost, and therefore being defective in that we ought to have, it's truly a sinne. The loss of a mans eyes is malum naturale, this is morale; And thus Aristotle determined that a drunken man, who committed any sin worthy of punishment, was to be twice punished both for his drunkenness, and the other sinne committed. Thus Rivet also in the matter of Lot's Incest, which he com∣mitted while he was so drunk, that he could not tell what he did, inclineth to their opinion, who say,
ARe we all guilty of sinne as soon as we are born? This should teach us Hu∣miliation and Patience under the death or miseries of our Infants; we are ready to say, Why are such poor Innocents exposed to such calamities? The knowledge of original sinne will stop thy mouth herein. When Titus the Em∣perour was dying, who for his good and sweet Government was called Deliciae generis humani, he quarrelled with the gods, because he thought they did eripere vitam immerenti, he deserved not to die, he thought death was a wrong to him; but had he understood original sinne, he would have seen his desert of it, though he had never committed any actual impiety. Pliny likewise if he had known this, would not have uttered that foolish complaint, That homo was animal infaeliciter natum, which did cum suppliciis vitam auspicari, unam tantum ob culpam, quia natum est, that did begin his life with miseries, and punish us for this fault only because he was born; No, The Scripture would have informed him, it was, because he was born in sinne. This is the rise and spring of all mans calamity.
I Shall at this time conclude this famous and noble Text, wherein we have the Doctrine of original sinne so evidently asserted, notwithstanding all the fogs and mists that some have indeavoured to bring upon it. The remaining work is to dissolve some further Objections, that are laid in the way as stumbling∣blocks, which, when removed, we shall proceed to the practical improve∣ment of it.
In the next place therefore,*this is thought a powerfull weapon against this Truth, viz. It cannot be truly and properly a sinne, because it is not against any Law. The Apostle makes contrariety to the Law, to be of the essence of sinne: If therefore Infants new-born, or before they are born, are not under a Law, then they are not capable of any sinne; and truly it hath a seeming absurdity to say, Infants are commanded by Gods Law, to be born without sinne, seeing that is no more in their power than to be born. This consideration did press that learned Divine Molinaus (Enodatio graviss. Quaest. de peccato origin. pag. 130.) to acknowledge, That no such Law was upon Infants, and therefore he saith, That the Law doth condemn original sinne, but not prohibit it. But this seemeth very strange, For how can the Law condemn a thing, but because it is against it? And how can it be against it, but because it doth prohibit? If therefore the meaning of that learned man be, that original sinne is not immediately and proximely forbidden, that is readily granted, for so only actual sins are, but mediately and remotely, both the habits of sinne, and original, must necessarily be prohibited, if they be condemned. The learned Vossius also affirmeth, That original sinne is not forbidden by the moral Law, though he con∣fesseth it is by the natural Law, which was at first in the Creation of man, but that primordial and original Law is the same for substance with the moral, though differ∣ing in some respects.
To the Argument therefore we say,
First,* That as this original sinne is voluntary, voluntate causae, which was Adam's will, so it is also against a Law which was enjoyned Adam; For although Adam had not a Law upon him in respect of the beginning or original of the righ∣teousness he had, he being created in that, and so was not capable of any Law, yet in respect of the preservation and continuation of this for himself and his posterity, so he had a Law imposed on him, and therefore violating of that Law, Page 45 we in him also did violate it: You see then this original sin is a transgression of that Law which Adam was under, viz. the continuation of the righteousness he was created in, both for himself and his posterity.
Secondly, Even by the moral Law, or the Decalogue, this original corrup∣tion is forbidden. The Apostle Rom. 7. sheweth, That he had not known lust to be a sinne, had not the Law said, Theu shalt not lust: So that as the Law forbiddeth actual lusting, thus it doth also the principle and root of it; for the Law is spiri∣tual and in its obligation reacheth to the fountain, and root of all sin, it doth not only prohibit the sinfull motions of thy soul, but the cause of all these: Even as when it commands any holy duty, to love God; for instance, it re∣quireth that inward sanctification of the whole man, whereby he is inabled to love God upon right and induring grounds, otherwise if this were not so, the habits of sinne would not be against Gods Law, nor the habits of Grace required by it, as therefore it was with Adam his actual transgression, was directly and immediately forbidden by the Law of God; but that habital depravation of the whole man, which came thereupon, was forbidden remotely and by consequence: Thus it is with that native contagion we are born in, and this should teach us in every sin we commit, to think the Law doth not forbid and condemn this actual sin only, but the very inward principle of it; say to thy self, Alas I should not only be without such vain thoughts, such vain affe∣ctions, but without an inclination thereunto; Therefore mark the Apostle rea∣soning, Ephes. 4. 22, 24, 25. When he had exhorted them to put off the old man, that is original sinne, and to put on the new man, which is the Image of God, im∣mediately opposing that; See what he inferreth thereupon, Wherefore put away lying, they must leave that actual sinne, because they have in measure subdued original sinne. Thus it holds in all other sins, put away pride, earthliness, pro∣phaneness, because the old man is first put away in some degrees, But oh how little do men attend to this? They think of their actual sins, they say, This, I have done, is against Gods Law, but go no deeper, they do not further consider, but God forbids and layeth his axe to the root, as well as the branches & the fruit.
Thirdly, A sinne doth not therefore cease to be a sin, because the Law doth not now forbid it, it was enough, if it were once forbidden, and contrary to Gods Law, otherwise we might say, That all sins which are past, are no sins; for the Law doth not require, that what hath been done, should be undone again, or not to be done, for that is impossible ex natura rei; If therefore ever original sinne hath been under a Law prohibitive of it, that is enough to make it a sin, though now it cannot be helped. Hence Almain the Schoolman hath a distin∣ction of Debitum praecepti, and Debitum statuti (which other Schoolmen also mention) now they apply it thus,
ANother Objection is from the Justice,*Equity and Righteousness of God, as also his Mercy and Goodness; How can it be thought consonant to any of these attributes, that we should be involved in guilt and sinne, because of anothers Page 46especially they urge that Ezek. 18. 18, 19. where God saith, The child shall not bear the sins of his father, and the Lord doth it to stop their prophane ca•il against his wayes, as if they were not equal, because the fathers did eat sour grapes, and the childrens teeth were set on edge. The Remonstrants are so confident, that in their Apology, cap. 7. they say, Neither Scripture, nor Gods Truth, nor his Justice, nor his Mercy and Equity, nor the Nature of sinne will permit this.
To answer this:* First, It is not my purpose at this time to enter into that great Debate, Whether the sins of parents are punished in their children? And it so, How it stands with the Justice of God? It is plain, That in the second Command∣ment it is said, That God being a jealous God, because of Idolatry, he will visit the sins of such persons, to the third and fourth generation. The same likewise is attri∣buted unto God, Exod. 34. 7. when his glorious Properties are described, expe∣rience also in the destruction of Sedom and Gomorrah, as also in the drowning of the world, doth abundantly testifie this; For no doubt there was in those places, as God said of Ninevch, many little ones, that did not know the right hand from the left, and so could not have any consent to the actual iniquities of their Parents. To reconcile therefore that place of Ezek. 18. where God saith, The child shall not bear the iniquity of his Father, with those former places, hath ex∣ercised the thoughts of the most learned men variously, endeavouring to unty that knot. Though I find some of late, understanding that of Ezekiel, only for that particular occasion, as it did concern the Jews, in their particular judgment of Captivity, who complained that for their fathers iniquities they were transport∣ed into a strange Land; So that they think it not to be extended universally, but limited to that people only, and at that time, and that alone to that Land of Is∣rael, because they were driven from their own Countrey: But whether this In∣terpretation will abide firm or no, it is certain that the Text doth not militate against our cause in hand. For
1. As hath been shewed, There is not the same reason of parents, since Adam's fall, as of Adam; for he was a common person, and therefore Christ and he are compared as the two fountains, and universal principles of all; For which rea∣sons also it is that the Apostle doth here call him 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, The Type of him that was to come: Insomuch that we may easily see, why there is a difference between Adam and other parents; So that although the child dieth not for his parents sins, yet he doth, and most for Adams. Learned men use to illustrate our being in Adam, and sinning in him, (for which our punishment is just and due) by that of the Apostle, Heb 7. 9, 10 where Levi is said, to pay Tyths to Mel∣chizedech long before he was born, because he was in Abrakams l•ins: And although it may be granted, that there is some disproportion, Abraham not being such a common parent to Levi, as Adam was to all mankind; yet Sceinus his exception is very frivolous. The Apostle saith, he useth that diminutive phrase, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as I may so say, which doth demonstrate, that it was not a proper saying. To this we answer, That if you do regard Levies actual paying of Tyths, as it he had an actual existence, then there was some impropriety, which made the Apostle use that phrase, but not in regard of the truth of his paying in a moral consideration. Thus when we say, All sinned in Adam, we may well use that phrase, and speak thus, As we may so say, we did all actually will Adam's sinne, we did all actually transgress that Commandment; Thus it is a diminutive expression in relation to our actual existence, but not to our sinne; For by Gods Covenant we were looked upon, as in him. Though I must consess that is a very absurd and forced expositi∣of Catharinus (Opusc. de pece•t. orig) whose opinion is,
2. That place will overthrow the Socinians themselves also; For they grant, That by Adam's sinne, death though otherwise natural, is now made necessary and penal, insomuch that we actually die, because of Adam's disobedience. And
3. That place in Ezekiel, it is commonly interpreted thus, The child shall not bear the Fathers siane, viz. if he be innocent, and not guilty of it, as well as his Fa∣ther. I do not discuss, whether this be the full interpretation of that place: But if it be so, then our punishment, because of Adam, hath no injustice in it, be∣cause by that actual transgression of Adam, we are made sinners, as well as he, and so have in our selves, though new born, a just desert of all the wages of sin. The Infant dying because of that particular inherent sin, which is in him, so that it is both Adams and his own, in several respects.
In the second place, to answer this Argument, take notice, That though it be of the will of God, that Adams sin is made ours, for if he pleased, he might have done otherwise; Yet we are not to say as the Remonstrants, That God imputeth this sinne to mankind, meerly because he will, as if the thing in it self were indif∣ferent: Even as God appointed things should be unclean in the Old Testament meerly and solely from his will, because he had appointed so, for it is from his Justice also, such is the hatred of God against sinne, and withall dealing with A∣dam according to the Covenant of works, the curse of that, if violated, would descend from parents to children, as appeareth in Moses his curses, pronounced against those that should not continue in the Law, it was to them and their chil∣dren. Therefore some learned men expound that passage of Gods saying, The child shall not die for the iniquity of his Father, which is also mentioned Jer. 31. 29. to belong to the Evangelical Covenant, but according to the Legal Covenant, the child must suffer with the father, and this interpretation they urge, because v. 31, 32. presently followeth the declaration of Gods Evangelical Covenant, he will make with his people: But let this prove as it can, this we must conclude of, That God doth not impute Adams sinne to us, meerly because he will, but be∣cause of his Justice also inclining him thereunto. So that the Remonstrants speak too slightly of it, as if it were only a dispensative imputation to make way for grace through Christ. But I shall hereafter have occasion to speak more fully to this particular; as also to the other Objections, which may again frequently interpose themselves.
Vse. Of Instruction, from all these subtil and specious Arguments against it, and that in all ages, we may see the subtilty and craft of Satan, who would gladly have this Doctrine wholly buried; for man is naturally proud and self-righteous, hardly brought to be thought so miserable a sinner: If therefore any Doctors shall arise, that shall likewise plead for such a supposed innocency and freedom, How welcome and suitable is this to flesh and bloud? Therefore look upon this Do∣ctrine, as a Fundamental Truth, specially in reference to the practice of godliness, and acknowledge it the good hand of God, that as there have been any, subtil and bold to deny it in any age, so he hath raised up eminent and choice men, in the same ages, to propugn this Doctrine; especially do thou often compare thy foul nature with the pure rule of Gods Law; Be not like the Elephant, which they say, before it drinketh, bemuddeth the waters that it may not see his own defor∣mity.
A Third Text brought to make good this Fun∣damental Point about Original Sinne, improved and vindicated.
JOE 14. 4.
THough other pregnant Texts in the New Testament may be brought to confirm this Necessary and Fundamental Truth about original sinne, yet I shall forbear them, till I come to the handling of the Nature of it, or what it is; For that is not true of the Remon∣strants, which say, Original sinne can be proved only by two or three places; although if there were no more, it's certain, that out of the mouth of two or three such Divine Witnesses, the Doctrine about it may be established.
I come therefore and select one or two places out of the Old Testament, that so you may see this Truth was alwayes acknowledged in the Church of God, and that even in the times of the Old Testament, where divine light and knowledge was not so plentifully communicated, yet there was full and clear evidence about this.
The Text I have read is deservedly both by the ancient and later Writers esteemed a powerfull place, to prove our natural uncleannesse and sinne∣fulnesse.
To understand it therefore consider, That whereas Job in the former verses had asserted the vanity and mortality of man, comparing him to a flower, which though sweet for a while, yet is presently cut down. Thus all the comforts, all the joyes thou hast in this world, they are but a Poesie, which have a pinne within them to prick thee for the present, while thou smellest on them, and will quickly wither away. But because flowers also have some substance and sweet∣ness for the present, in the next place he resembleth our life to a shadow, which as he said was nigrum nihil, a black nothing; There is both emptiness and transi∣toriness in all these things; and hitherto all the Heathens have arrived, They all perceived these miseries and troubles we are obnoxious unto: But then in my Text, we have the cause of this, which they were either totally or in a great mea∣sure ignorant of; God then did not make man like a shadow thus at first; but sinne brought this corruptibility into the world, and that not actual sinne, but Page 49 original; If there had been none but this, yet all these miseries would have fallen upon mankind.
In the words therefore we have a full and clear Description of that original sin or birth-sinne we are guilty of; Yea the Text saith, It is impossible, it should be otherwise: So that the Scripture, and those that deny original sinne are diame∣trally opposite one to another: They say, there is no such birth-sinne: The Scri∣pture saith, It cannot be, but that there must be such an original contagion.
In the Text, we have the Interrogation, and the Answer; The Interrogation is therefore put to shew the vehemency and peremptoriness in affirming this truth, it's more than if it had been barely said, That none can bring a clean thing out of an unclean; The meaning is, That every man being by nature unclean, it's ne∣cessary that every one born of man therefore should be unclean.
By uncleanness is meant sinne, as appeareth by comparing this with Chap. 15. 14. Chap. 25. 4. where you have this expression used, and it is opposed to righ∣teousness, and to be justified before God. It is therefore an uncleanness not na∣tural or bodily (as the Pelagians of old would have wrested it) but spiritually opposite to Righteousness, and such as depriveth a man of Justification: Yea, the word unclean, is applied to signifie hainous pollution: Hence the Devils are so often called unclean spirits, so that the Devils and mankind are in this alike.
The Hebrew Preposition Min, is by some understood of mutation, by others of origination, but one is necessarily connexed with the other; of mutation in this sense, Who shall give (for so it is in the Hebrew) that is, Who can make pure, him that is impure? Who can change that which is naturally filthy? No man by his free-will, or power can; or else it is for the originals, and that doth seem the most genuine, for Job is speaking what belongs to every man naturally, and thus the sense is, From that which is unclean, none can bring that which is clean: Even as our Saviour saith in another case, None can gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles, Mat 6. 16. or as the Apostle James, A sweet fountain cannot send forth bitter streams, so neither can a bitter fountain sweet streams, Jam. 3. Now when it is said, Of an unclean thing cannot come a clean: Hereby Adam in his first Cre∣ation is excluded, for he was made holy, and came not out of that which was unclean; and also Christ is hereby excluded, for although he is said to be born of a woman, yet that was in a miraculous and extraordinary manner: As for the Dispute about the Virgin Mary, whose freedom from original sinne, some have with great vehemency maintained, that seemeth not any wayes probable, as is to be shewed. It is also good to observe the emphatical expression in the word, Out of unclean thing, which implieth, That man by nature is all over sin∣full, in mind, will, affections; and the whole man, it is the unclean thing; even as Christ was called the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the holy thing, because he was in every particu∣lar altogether holy.
In the next place, you have the Answer, Not one. Some read this interroga∣tively. Doest not thou alone? as speaking to God, so the Chaldee Paraphrast. These make the sense to be, That God alone, and no other can deliver out of this uncleanness. Hence also some make that expression, Who can forgive sinne, but God alone? to be an allusion to this place. For, as Aquinas saith, De frigido fa∣cere calidum est ejus quod per se calidum est, &c. Of cold to make hot, is the effect of that which is hot of it's own nature: So of unclean to make clean, is the pro∣per work of him, who is in his own nature pure, and essentially holy. The Sep∣tuagint they read it differently from others, who is free from uncleanness, nor a child, though he be but a day old. That which is most genuine is to take it nega∣tively, as our Translators do, and hereby is demonstrated, That there is not one in all mankind born in a natural manner, but he is sinfull, and polluted: This same is expressed more fully, Chap. 15 14. The Socinians give in their excepti∣ons Page 50 to that place; but I shall deferre the consideration of them, till we take that to treat on, which doth evidently shew, That man is so naturally sinfull, that he drinketh sin down like water.
From the Text observe, That every one by birth and natural descent is spiritually unclean and sinfull.
A Three-fold Uncleanness.
TO inform us of this Doctrinal Truth, we may first take notice of a threefold impurity or uncleanness.
1. That which is corporal and bodily, man being born so loathsomly, that even the Heathens have abhorred themselves, because of it, when they came into the world: it did so debase them, that even the highest did refuse those hyperbolical honours, which their flatterers would have put upon them. In the sixteenth of Ezekiel you have this bodily filthiness at large described, and thereby is repre∣sented the uncomely and impotent condition of the Church of Israel in her In∣fancy, to promote her own welfare, no more than a little Infant new born is able to help it self; Yea this place is allusively brought by some to describe our spiri∣tual uncleanness: The child comes not more naked and polluted into the world bodily, then the soul doth spiritually, being denuded of the Image of God, and full of spiritual ulcers and fores, like a Job full of botches, like a Lazarus all over spiritually ulcerous, though few take notice of this, and lay it to heart.
2. There is a typical and ceremonial uncleanness, such as was appointed in the Law, of which there were two sorts, one more hainous, and so did cast a great∣er and longer separation from the company of men, and the publique worship of God: The other less, and so more easily purified, and that in a shorter space; and the former kind of uncleannesses, We read Levit. 12. That a woman upon her bringing forth a child was guilty of: Insomuch that in the legal dispensation, every woman that brought forth a child was to be separated so many dayes, as unclean to be kept from the publick worship of God, and at last to bring an offering for to cleanse her. Now it's disputed, why God appointed such a law about a womans uncleanness, and purification in bringing forth children. Although some, as Bonfretius and Grotius make it to no more signification, than of other impurities that were legall, yet Austin of old, and Calvin are very positive, that this was to informe them of the cursed and sinnefull estate, that the child was brought into the world with. The father and mother (saith Calvin) by this ceremony were taught with what humiliation and sorrow they ought to look upon that natural pollution, the infant was born in, and in his comment on the place, he insinuateth two Answers to those two Objections, that are made a∣gainst the typifying of original sinne thereby, as that this uncleanness and so pu∣rification, did belong to the child as well as the mother. For the Objectors say,
3. There is a moral uncleanness, and that is sinne, which is a pollution of the soul, making it abominable and loathsom in the eyes of God; and this uncleanness is upon every Infant, though but a day, or an hour old; and of this uncleanness the Text speaketh.
A Comparison between Mans Moral Uncleanness, and Levitical Un∣cleanness.
TO understand the foulness of it, let us first compare our spiritual uncleanness with the worst legal uncleanness in the Law, even that of Leprosie, and we shall see, how fitly they agree. For
1. The legal unclean, especially the Leper he was to keep aloof off from all men and company, even his wife and children (only such as were to provide necessaries for them) and to cry, He was unclean, unclean. In what a sad and miserable condition did such an unclean person apprehend himself to be, no body to come near him, none to have any civil commerce with him, but to sit pining and mourning alone? Thus ought every man in this original pollution, for by it he hath deserved to be deprived of every comfort, he is now cursed by the Law with all curses thereof, so that no creature in the world might give him any creature; The whole creation began to groan, as soon as man fell: Hence it is, that though we truly say, Every man, though in his natural condition hath a civil right to the comforts he enjoyeth, yet he hath not an holy and sanctified right, being not in Christ, so that what is our due by nature, as soon as we are born, is hell and damnation, the wrath and anger of God. Though we should beg here as Dives did in hell for a drop of water, it might be denied us; Oh miserable then and unclean man, who is thus to stand aloof off from all creatures and comforts, saying, Wo unto me, for I am un∣clean.
2. The legal unclean person did make unclean every thing that be touched, what∣soever he laid his hand upon, that was presently made unclean; yea, as appeareth, Hag. 2. If he did touch any holy thing, he made that unclean, the holy thing did not sanctifie him. Now is not this too true in every man, who is by nature spiritually unclean? The Apostle speaks this with evident conviction to all that will not wilfully shut their eyes, Tit. 1. 15. Vnto them that are defiled and unbe∣lieving is nothing pure. So then what a loathsom Leprosie of sinne is upon every one by nature, that he defileth all he medleth with; if he eat, he makes it un∣clean eating; if he work, he makes it unclean working; yea, if he prayeth, if Page 52 he heareth, he makes it unclean and impure praying and hearing to him: Oh what a thunder-bolt should this be in our ears! What a polluted wretch am I, that in all places, at all times, in every thing I do, have this uncleanesse up∣on me!
The uncleanness every man is born in, hath been partly considered, and a comparison made between every man in his natural estate, and the ceremonial un∣clean person in the old legal constitution. Now that we may be the more affected with this lamentable and wofull condition we are all born in: Let us consider it absolutely in it self.
The uncleanness in the Text is not a natural or ceremonial, but moral unclean∣ness; For although with us in our common speech, and sometimes in the Scri∣pture, uncleanness is taken more strictly for the pollution of the body in any un∣lawfull way, yet it is here taken largely for sinne in the general, and therefore to be righteous is the opposite to it, as Job 15. In this sense it is used, Zech. 13. 1. where a fountain is said to be set open for sinne and uncleanness. Seeing therefore the holy Ghost doth pronounce us all by nature to be unclean, yea so unclean, that no power either humane or Angelical can make us clean; but it is God alone, that maketh grapes to grow of these thorns, or rather turns thorns into vines: Let us examine what is comprehended in this expression unclean.
What is comprehended in this Expression Uncleanness.
FIrst, There is evidently declared the loathsom and abominable objects we are to God, as soon as ever we have a being. We are unclean, that is, filthy, loath∣som, abominable, such as the pure eyes of God cannot behold with the least ap∣probation: Hence Job 15. 16. man is called abominable and filthy, so that no Toad or noisom creature can be more irksom and loathsom to our eyes, than we are to God, while abiding in this natural pollution: God indeed when he made man at first, saw that all was exceeding good: If Adam had continued in his in∣tegrity, then there had the clean been brought out of the clean, then man would have been glorious and comely, thirsting after, and drinking down righteousness like water, then the imaginations of the throughts of his heart would have been holy and good, and that continually; but now we are become sinfull, and thus polluted of our own making; It is from us, that of once clean we are made un∣clean; For although none but God can make the unclean clean, yet Adam by the liberty and mutability of his will, did quickly make the clean unclean: Oh then how deeply should this thought pierce us, that we came into the world abomina∣ble and loathsom in Gods eyes! The object of his wrath and displeasure, finding nothing of that holy Image in us, which was at first put into us: Oh consider how great, and glorious, and powerfull that God is, to whom thou art thus loathsom! If all men and Angels should abhorre thee, it is nothing to this, that God abominates thee.
Secondly, This also implieth, That we should be loathsom and abominable in our own eyes; that when we are grown up, and shall be truly informed upon what terms we come into the world, we should be as so many spiritual monsters in our own eyes. Job, you see here, though so godly a man, and who had such a glorious chara∣cter given him by God himself, yet because of this doth loath himself. The ul∣cers and sores upon his body, for which he sate abhorring of himself upon the dung-hill, seem not more to affect him then this spiritual vileness and loathsom∣ness that is upon him. It's observed, That though Herod and others have kept a Page 53 festival Commemoration of their birth-day, yet we never read that ever any god∣ly man did so, (though Calvin saith, it's mos vetustus, and so not vituperabilis, because of the good use may be made of it) in the Scripture. Indeed the day of their death hath been celebrated and called their birth-day, because then, and ne∣ver till then did they begin indeed to live; And if Solomon, meerly because of the miseries and vexations that do accompany this humane life, Eccles. 4. 2. praised the dead above the living, and he that never had been, that was not born, better than both: How much rather will this bold true, if we consider, how man is born in a sinfull estate, and cannot but sinne all the day long? Certainly, we may say, it had been farre better thou hadst never been born, if not new born, if not delivered from this native filthiness, as if thou must have a being, better have been any bruitish creature than a man, better be a Toad, a Tyger, a Ser∣pent, than a man, if not washed by the bloud of Christ from this uncleanness; For although we have cause to bless God that he made us men, rather than bruit beasts, in respect of natural considerations, yet in a theological sense, because they are not subject to hell and damnation, as man is, therefore their estate is not so miserable. For
In the third place, In that men is born unclean, thereby is proclaimed, That he cometh into the world upon farre more dangerous and wretched terms, than other creatures do. The bruit creatures they are not unclean; God doth not loath and abhorre their young ones; They are not by nature the objects of his wrath, nei∣ther are they exposed to eternal torments, but thus is the sinfull off-spring of all mankind; Thou canst not see a worm crawling on the ground, thou canst not hear a snake hissing in the hedge, but thou mayest think these are not as bad as I am, these have no sinne in their natures, God is not angry with these, as he is with mankind: For though History report of a devout man, who seeing a Toad fell a weeping, because of the goodness of God, who had made him a man, and not that Toad, yet upon the consideration of original sinne, he might as deeply have mourned, because he was worse, than that Toad. Thou canst not see the fatted beasts driven to the slaughter, but thou mayest say, They are happier than I am, for they are killed, and there is an end of them, but I am a miserable and wretched man, born in sinne, and if not cleansed from it, must necessarily per∣ish to all eternity. Luther, while in the deeps, troubles and sorrows of heart, because of his sinne, had this passage, Oh quoties optavi me uunquam fuisse homi∣nem! He went from place to place, his heart aking and throbbing, crying out, Oh that I had never been a man! So that by sinne a man is not onely made like the beast that perisheth, but worse, for the beast perisheth totally, but so shall not he.
Fourthly, In our natural uncleanness is declared our manifest similitude and agreement with the Devils themselves, that we and they are now under the same consideration, for man is naturally unclean, and the Devils have this appropriated attribute all along the New Testament for the most part, that they are the unclean spirits. The Devil is an unclean spirit, and man is unclean in body and spirit; Hence because of this natural pollution, we are all by nature the seed of the Ser∣pent; The Devils is said to rule in us, and we are therefore under his Kingdom, for being not born in a state of grace, but of sinne, we are therefore under his dominion; and upon this supposition even in Austin's time there were exorcisms used at the Baptism of Infants, which was not a Scripture institution, no more than giving honey and milk to the baptized child, which was very ancient, and yet now laid aside even by the Roman Church it self, that amongst other Rites in Baptism, they had this of exorcismes and insufflation, by which they signified, not that the child was possessed bodily with the Devil, but that it was under the power of him. This Austin instanceth in, to Julian the Pelagian, where he tels him, Ipse à toto orbe exufflandus esset, si huic exufflationi qua princeps mundi Page 54 ejicitur for as contradicere voluist is; I mention not this to allow or commend that Ceremony, for it was an absurd one, though brought into the Church •etimes, for it had been happy, if the Church alwayes had contented her self, with the pure, plain and sole institutions of Christ, but to inform you, what even the ancient Church thought about Infants new born, that they were wholly under the pow∣er of the Devils. Yea the Heathens had some kind of confused knowledge about this (as in time may be shewed) for they had a custom with them of expiating and cleansing of their Infants, as being unclean.
Fifthly, This expression of uncleanness, doth denote our unfitness and unworthi∣ness to come into Gods presence, or to perform any holy duty, no more than a person full of his vomit or loathsomness, or a man with the noisom plague fores, is fit to come into the presence of a great King: As the legal unclean person, was not to come into the Temple, or to touch any holy things; And this was typified in Adam, when he was cast out of Paradise, and flaming swords set to keep him out, all this denoted, That God had excommunicated Adam, and (as it were) all mankind in him, so that now they have no fitness or decency, no worth or suita∣bleness to any holy duty. And certainly, this should deeply humble us, yea at this our hearts should tremble and move out of their places, to consider, that though none need God more than we do, none have more need to pray inces∣santly to him, yet such is our pollution, that we are not fit to pray, or to draw nigh to God, yea, our duties, while performed by us, in this our original con∣dition, are a provocation to God, and they become new sinnes; for if no clean thing can be brought out of an unclean, then no clean prayer, no clean holy duty can come from thee, who art unclean. It is true, though we are thus pol∣luted, it is our duty to pray; by our original Apostasie we are not freed from Gods commands, we are bound to pray, and to pray with as holy and heavenly frame of heart, as Adam in his integrity, but though it be our duty, yet we have lost all power and ability: Yea, and besides this, there is an unfitness and unworthiness, even as when the frogs crept into Pharaoh's chamber: And to this Bernard a•luded, when he called himself, Ranuncula repens in conspectu Dei, How dare such a loathsom frog as he, creep into the presence of so holy a God? Certainly, if the Angels, though without any such blemish, yea not having the least spot, do yet not cover their feet, but their faces, the noblest part (as it were) because of the glorious and holy Majesty of God, how much more must sinfull and unclean man? Isa. 6. When the Prophet had beheld God in his glory, he crieth out, though a regenerated man, Woe be unto me, for I am of pollutea lips! This made him afraid to make mention of God: How then may every natural corrupt man, cry out, Wo be to me, for I am not only a man of polluted lips, but also of a polluted mind and heart!
Sixthly, This title of being naturally unclean, maketh us to be in the most imme∣diate 〈◊〉 to God that can be. To say, Man that is born of woman had been miserable, frail, subject to dangers and outward evils, would not have denoted any immediate opposition to God, but calling him unclean and unholy; This sheweth, that we are by nature in direct contrariety to what he is, for he is by nature pure and holy, yea it is that glorious Attribute which makes all others glo∣rious, because his Wisdom is holy Wisdom, because his Power is holy Power, therefore it's admirable Wisdom and Power; Hence those Angels, Isa. 6. of all the Attributes of God single out that to celebrate, when they cry out, Holy, holy, holy; Now man is born unclean and unholy, being herein directly contrary to God: So that though man be indowed with many natural perfections, yet this original uncleanness defileth them all; he hath reason, but it's unclean reason; he hath an understanding, but it is an unclean understanding; he hath a will, but it's an impure and unclean will; So that of all the several Arguments, which man hath to humble him, he may chuse out this, as the chiefest of all, crying Page 55 out, unclean, unclean, unclean, why is it that upon the discovery of this contra∣riety to God, we do not more abhor our selves?
Seventhly, This attribute of uncleanness, proclaimeth the absolute necessity of Gods grace, and of Christs blood, for these only can make us clean. Did a man truly consider, how it is with him in regard of his birth-estate, he would tremble to stay an hour in it, he would neither eat, drink, or sleep, till he be delivered out of it; for being wholly unclean, he can never, while so, enter into the kingdom of Heaven: So that as no legal uncleanness was removed, but with some sprink∣ling and washing, much less can any moral uncleanness be washed away without Christs bloud; therefore that is said, to cleanse us from all our sinnes, 1 Joh. 1. 7. and without shedding of blood there is no remission of sinne, Heb. 9. 22. Oh then this natural uncleanness should teach us highly to esteem Christs blood, for we could never weep water enough, though our heads were fountains to wash us, nothing can get out this spot, but Christs blood! and this every Infant, though but a day old needeth; Christs bloud then must purifie us, else we per∣ish, and with this also there is requisite grace, both justifying and sanctifying, for these also tend to the cleansing of us; Justification that is partly a cleansing and awashing away of our iniquities, as God promiseth, Zech. 13. 1. He would set open a fountain for sinne and uncleanness; a fountain, so that there is plenty and fulness of grace to wash away this filthiness. Thus also Ezek. 36. 25. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean from all your filthiness. Besides this, there is also grace sanctifying necessary, and this is a formal internal clean∣sing of us; so that because of this work of grace, we are made clean, yet not so, but that we need some washing daily, as Joh. 13. 10. He that is washed, need∣eth not save to wash his feet, for this uncleanness will not in this life be quite ta∣ken away, but is like that of the Leprosie, which stuck so to the wals of the house, that though it were scraped off, yet it would rise again, and so could not be re∣moved, till the very house was demolished. Thus while death lay this house of clay in the grave, there will alwayes be some uncleanness adhering to thee.
Vse. Of Instruction. Can none bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Then this sheweth, That those who from the youth up, have lived civil, ingenuous and chaste lives, are not to rest in this, for thy nature is foul and loathsom, as well as of all others, though thy life may be cleaner. The Snake hath a glistering skinne, though she hath a poisoned body: Thus thou hast a defiled soul, an heart full of filthiness, though thy outward conversation be unblameable. Cer∣tainly, if an Infant but a day old be thus unclean, and needeth the bloud of Christ to cleanse it: Doest thou flatter thy self with ingenuity and civi∣lity? Thou hast not lesse sinnefulnesse and guilt in thee, than a child new born, yet that is a child of wrath, till cleansed: Oh then be 〈◊〉 of thy condition.
Objections against this natural Uncleanness, answered.
THe Doctrine of our natural uncleanness and sinfulness by traduction from Adam, being established out of these words, we come to answer some Objections; That as the shaking of the Tree, makes it root faster and deeper, so doubts about it, when cleared, may the more confirm us.
The first Objection, which I shall bring, seemeth in express terms to deny any such uncleanness, at least to Infants of bellevers: So that it should seem, Be∣causePage 56 believers are clean; Therefore their children are brought clean out of them. The place that gives fuel to this Argument is known, being much vexed and dis∣cussed in these dayes, especially in the controversie about Poedobaptism, it is 1 Cor. 7. 14. Else were your children unclean, but now are they holy; where it is positively said, That the children, though but of one believing Parent, are not un∣clean, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that answereth the Hebrew word in the Text; yea the contrary to this is affirmed, That they are holy.
I shall not range into all the controversal Disputes about this point, only in the general we may say, That this place doth not at all contradict my Text, for Job saith, That by nature none can bring a clean thing out of an unclean, but if God by grace doth it, that doth not oppose Job; yea, we told you, some render the later clause interrogatively; Art not thou he alone, viz. that can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Certainly, though no humane or Angelical power can thus sanctifie, yet God can; For, what do all those glorified Saints in Heaven made perfectly holy, but proclaim this, for they were once unclean, and impure, but now God hath made them fully clean without the least spot or blemish? Thus there is no contrariety between these two Texts, for one speak∣eth of what we are in a natural way, the other, what some are by a gracious and supernatural way.
But yet in the second place, It's good to have a more thorow discussion of these words, though not so amply, as polemical Divines have enlarged it; and the rather, because the Lutheran Divines do boldly and peremptorily charge it upon the Calvinists, as if they denied original sinne in all the children of belie∣vers; And although they cannot be ignorant in what sense the Calvinists do ex∣plain this holiness of believers children, yet they constantly calumniate in this point, as if something would stick upon them howsoever.
Therefore in the third place, there are three or four Interpretations, that are competitors about this Text.
The first is of those, who by uncleanness do mean a spurious bastard-brood, and by holy, a civil sanctity, as it were, that is true and legitimate; as if the Apostles meaning was, in answering the doubt of a believer, Whether they might continue in marriage with unbelievers (for in Ezra's time, all the Jews that had so married, were commanded to put away their wives?) did inform them, that their marriage would be lawful, otherwise their children would be bastards, but they were legitimate. Thus the Lutherans generally some of the Ancients are alled∣ged also, and Musculus upon second thoughts cometh off to this Interpretation, confessing he had formerly abused it against Anabaptists. But this might easily be rejected, if it were our business in hand: For,
1. Marriage even among Heathens, is true lawfull marriage, and their chil∣dren are legitimate; for although their very marriage, as all things else are un∣clean to them in a sanctified sense, because they are impure, yet marriage in it self is a lawfull thing to them, so that it is not to be judged fornication. And
2. The Apostles argument would not conclude, for those that doubted, whe∣ther their marriage was lawful, would also have doubted, whether their children were legitimate, and therefore this could not be an argument to prove their mar∣riage lawfull.
In the second place, There are some who understand this holiness of inward true inherent purity; so that their judgement is, that the Apostle saith, all godly parents have holy children, and if it fall out otherwise in some cases, they say, it's an indefinite, not an universal proposition, which if it be true, for the most part, it is enough; but experience seemeth to confute this; Neither is believer here taken strictly, for one who did in a saving way believe, but largely for one that did profess faith in Christ, and therefore is opposite to an Infidel; Now all that were not Infidels, were not presently, truly godly, though they did believe, as some are said, Joh. 2. To whom yet Christ would not commit himself.
Page 57 3. Therefore there are those, who understand this of Heathenish uncleanness and Idolatry, and so they say, One born of believing Parents, is free from that, especially, if we do regard the hopes that are in his education: Therefore some expound this holiness only in respect of the designing and dedicating of such unto real holiness. Hence Estius he understands this, De filiis adultu, of children grown up; For it may be supposed, That if the unbelieving husband will not leave his wife, but abide with her, that therefore he will yeeld to her, and let her educate her children in the faith of Christ, and be no enemy, or opposet, there∣unto; and 1 Pet. 1. 3. is brought to expound this place; so that they make this holiness to be only quoad spem, and disciplinam; For the believer may by an ho∣ly godly life, gain both the unbeliever and the children; and thus Hierom is said to answer a Question proposed by Paulinus, concerning this place; Lapide consents to this, and opposeth Calvin and Beza concerning this foederal holiness, as also Tirinus on the place, because the Church is not like a civil Commonwealth, but is a supernatural Society, saith Lapide; This is no Reason; for though it be a su∣pernatural Society, yet God may give what spiritual priviledges he pleaseth to them and theirs; and therefore Salmeron, he understands this holiness of a Church-holiness, that they are esteemed children of that; And in his Comment on that place, brings that Promise, which the Calvinists use to do, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed.
Hence the fourth and last Interpretation, which is justly deemed most genuine and orthodox, is to expound this holiness of a Covenant and foederal holiness, of a Church-priviledge, That being born, though but of one believing parent, yet they are not unclean, as Heathens and their children, who have no right or claim to any Church-Ordinance, but are holy by the gracious favour and Cove∣nant of God, who taketh in believers and their seed. When parents are taken in∣to the Church, their children also, or Infants are received in with them, not that all are made internally holy, only they have a right to Church-membership; and therefore the initial sign ought not to be denied to them: So that the hope of godly education, or to be candidates of the true faith, is not enough, but both are requisite, as Tertullian of old mentioned, both seminis praerogativa, and institutionis disciplina: Though therefore children of both, or one believing pa∣rent, are in this sense clean and holy, yet by nature they are unclean; neither doth this external holiness deliver them from inward contagion; Yea, suppose some should be regenerated in the very womb, as John Baptist was, yet this Text holdeth true in him; for he was by nature unclean, he had not the holy Ghost by natural descension from his parents, for then all children should be so sanctified, but it was Gods grace and power that made him clean of unclean; John Baptist therefore was conceived in sinne, and by nature a child of wrath, but the grace of God made him clean, yet not totally and perfectly, as if no uncleanness was in him; for even Job, though in so high a degree sanctified, yet speaks this truth in the Text, to himself as then, and at that time considered, not to what he was once before his conversion, but even in that renewed estate he was in, if God should cast his eyes upon him, and judge him with severity, he would find much uncleanness adhering unto him.
The second Objection is propounded by Socinus,*who saith, It cannot be con∣ceived, that one actual transgression of Adam should infect the whole nature of man, one Act cannot contract an habit of sinne: So then he saith, It's im∣possible that one sinfull act, should all ever defile Adam, and make him totally sinfull, much lesse that it should infect the whole nature of man. And the Re∣monstrants they pursue this Argument, If (say they, Apolog, pro Confessione exam. Cens. cap. 7. pag. 85.) that one act of sinne did expel all grave in Adam, then it did it, either quatenus peccatum, as it was a sinne, and if so, then every little sinne the godly man commits, much more grosse sinnes would cast Page 58 him out of all grace, would root out the seed of God in him, which yet (say they) the Calvinists will in no wise endure; Or it cometh so from some peculiar ordination, and divine appointment of God; If so, they bid us, bring out that order, and manifest such an appointment, that one sinne onely should deprive a man of the whole Image of God, when now one sinne doth not, or cannot extirpate the habit of grace; but every godly man hath sinne and grace also in him.
To this many things are to be answered:*
First, That it is a vain and an absurd thing to give leave to our humane reason∣ings, that such a thing cannot be, when the event discovers it is so. It is plain, That upon Adam's actual transgression he was deprived of the Image of God he was created in. Adam therefore having lost that spiritual and supernatural life, we need not curiously dispute, how one stab, as it were of sin could kill him; Certainly, even the least sin is present poison, and would kill immediately, if Gods grace did not prevent.
Secondly, That one sinne may suddenly deprive the subject of all Grace it hath, appeareth plainly in those Apostate Angels, Did not the first sinne? which was in them a thought or an act of the will, (what it was it is disputed) Did not that immediately throw them out of their divine and blessed Habitati∣ons? And by that one and first sinne, was not a glorious Angel made immedi∣ately a black Devil? It is true indeed, We cannot say the Devils have original sinne, In this sense, As if because when the first Angel sinned, all the rest sinned in him, as if all their wils were bound up in him; No, They all stood upon their own bottom, they all sinned personally and voluntarily by their own actual transgression, though happily it might be by imitation and consent to him that first sinned; yet for all this, we see plainly, that in every Apostate Angel, one sinne was enough to deprive him of all the good he had, and to fill him with such inveterate enmity to all goodness, That the Devil, though of such natural light in his conscience, yet is not able to do one good work, or have the least holy thought.
Thirdly, Sinne doth expel grace, both formally, or (as some call it) effici∣ently and meritoriously also; it expels it formally, as darkness doth light, as diseases do sickness, or death, life, and meritoriously deserving, that God should deprive us of all holiness, and deny any further grace to us. The Remonstrants they call this folly and absurdity, to say, Sinne expels grace actually and meri∣toriously also; For if it do actually, what need is there of meritoriously? If a man actually put out his eyes, it's absurd to say, he deserveth by that to have them put out; Or if a man wilfully throw away his garments, making himself naked, that he deserveth to be naked. But these instances do no wayes enervate this Truth; for in that sinne doth thus actually and meritoriously also deprive us of grace, we see the hainousness of it; one sheweth, how sinne is in it's own self like poison that presently kils, and the other, how odious it is to God, that if it did not of it self deprive us of spiritual life, yet it doth so provoke God, that because of it, God would not continue his daily grace to us. Besides, though sinne doth formally expel the grace that is inherent in us, yet Gods grace with∣out us, his preventing cooperating and continuing grace, without which we could not abide a moment in the state of grace, that it chaseth away meritorious∣ly only; So that Adam in his first sinne did both chase away the Image of God in him, and deserve, that God should withdraw his assisting and preserving grace, without which he could not have continued in his good estate; yea, sinne doth so meritoriously expel grace, that could Adam by his own power, have im∣mediately recovered himself, and instated himself into the condition he was in, yet he deserved for that former transgression, that God should have outed him of all: As they say, A man that hangeth himself, if it were pos∣sible Page 59〈…〉 to live presently again, the Law would adjudge him to death, for 〈…〉 of himself.
Therefore in the last place, you see, why every sinne in a godly man, no, 〈◊〉 it be a gross sinne, doth not immediately deprive him of all grace, as we see it did in Adam, and the Apostate Angels: Not that sinne in it self would not do so in them, as well as in those, but because God entred into a gracious Cove∣nant and Promise with every believer through Christ, to perpetuate his interest and union with him; so that if he fall, he shall have grace to recover himself, neither will every spark of grace within him be suffered wholly to be extinguish∣ed, although in Adam there was a peculiar reason, why his sinne did infect all mankind, because (as Aquinas saith well) Adam in quantum fuit principium 〈◊〉 naturae habuit rationem causae universalis ex Adam, in that he was the 〈◊〉 of mankind, was a kind of universal cause, and so by his corrupt act, all mankind was corrupted.
Vse Of Instruction, That nothing more is requisite on our part to be par∣taker of Adam's sinne, and to be made unclean, but natural generation and descent from Adam; It's true, there is on Gods part also a Covenant, and his imputa∣tion, otherwise Adam's sinne would not have been ours, no more than other parents; but on our parts, there is no other way of conveying it, but by natu∣ral descent from him, whereas to be in Christ, and to partake of his divine bene∣fit, there is required a supernatural work upon us, a spiritual insition, and incor∣poration of us into Christ, but to be a sinner in Adam, our very being born in a natural way, before we are able to know, or will any thing, or to discern the right hand from the left, is enough to intitle us to it: Oh then with what shame, sorrow and holy confusion of face, should we think of this our natural unclean∣ness! How vile and loathsom should we be in our eyes? Oh the distance and con∣trariety that is between so holy and pure a God, and thou an impure and unclean wretch? If our righteousnesses are menstruous rags, how abominable then is our real iniquity?
A Fourth Text to prove Original Sinne, opened and vindicated.
PSAL. 51. 5.
THe sad occasion of this Psalm is plainly set forth in the Inscription, David a godly man, after Gods own heart, a Prophet, a King, who had been exercised under several afflictions, yet when arrived to peace, plenty and ease, fals into those foul sinnes of Adultery and Murder, which later was contrived with much deliberation, subtilty and bloodiness; Yet after some security in this sinne, be∣ing admonished and awakened by Nathan, he repents and bitterly bewaileth these transgressions. So that in this Psalm is described a form for every Prodigal, repenting, and coming home to his Father; That David was only in a Lethargy, or Apoplexy, not quite dead, that the seed of grace, was not wholly extinct in him, is sufficiently proved against the Arminians by the Orthodox, though they de∣ride, saying, The Calvinists Elect persons; The Albae Gallinae filii, They may do any thing, commit any sinne, and nothing will hurt them; But this is to mock and scorn at that special Covenant of Grace in Christ, made to those who are given to him by the Father; and indeed such present meltings and remorse of soul, up∣on Nathan's admonition, without any rage, malice, or fury at the Prophet, who rebuked him, intimate, That the seed of grace was not quite overcome within him.
For the Psalm it self, that is Supplicatory, wherein David wrestleth in ago∣nies with God, for to obtain mercy, using several Arguments; One from the Mercy, yea the multitude of mercy, that is in God: Another is, from the con∣fession and deep sense of sinne in his soul, he acknowledgeth it, and it is alwayes before him, he never puts it out of his memory: Whither soever he goeth, and whatsoever he is doing, still his sinnes are (as it were) so many Devils appear∣ing in horrid shapes before his eyes.
A third Argument is in the Text, from the aggravation of those actual sinnes he committed; They were not sinnes to be considered meerly in themselves, but from the cause and root whence they sprang, even the defiled and corrupt na∣ture that was in him, it being not so much those actual, though so horrid sinnes that made him so guilty, as that they did flow from such a defiled fountain within Page 61 him: Thus he aggravateth those actual sinnes from the root and cause within him; For although he was regenerated, and so delivered from the dominion of original corruption, yet it was with him, as with Paul, The Law of sinne did still warre within him against what was good, sinne dwelt in him still, and was apt upon all occasions, like a Dalilah, to betray him into the hand of the Philistims, into the power of some soul transgressions. It is true, some have thought, that Da∣vid speaks this to extenuate and lessen his sinne; as if his meaning had been, Lord, it's true, I have committed these foul sinnes in thy sight, but they are the more venial and pardonable, because my nature is corrupt: It is no wonder, that being not an Angel, or a man in integrity, as Adam, or confirmed in grace, as the glori∣fied Saints in Heaven, but the son of corrupted Adam, that I have thus tumbled into the mire; And it cannot be denied, but that this truth of our original cor∣ruption may be pleaded, both for aggravation to punish, and also for pity to spare: Hence Gen. 6. 5. Because every imagination of mans heart, was only evil, and that continually, therefore God was provoked to destroy the world by water, yet Chap. 8. 21. the very same thing, viz. because a mans heart is evil from his youth, is made a reason, why God will not smite the earth again with such an universal destruction. But it seemeth farre more genuine and consonant to Da∣vid's scope in this Psalm, to make these words by way of aggravation; for Da∣vid is humbling and debasing of himself, desirous to justifie and clear God, and therefore he layeth himself as low, as possibly he can, digging into the very bot∣tom of all that evil, which cleaveth to him.
In the words therefore we may take notice of the matter confessed and ac∣knowledged with the introductory particle, to make it more considerable. It is not an ordinary or slighty thing, he is to speak of, and therefore he begins with that note Behold; This Ecce may be called the Asterisk of the holy Ghost, or the Bibles nota benè; It is commonly used either for Attention or Admiration, or Caution; and it may have this three fold use here.
For Attention, the matter being of so great concernment, so little minded or believed by most men; for David doth not speak here, as if it were his particular case alone, as if none were born in iniquity, but him; yea, rather it followeth, if David, though so eminent and godly, so blessed by God, was yet born in sinne, then no doubt, but all others are likewise.
Again, It may be a note of Admiration, because of the mysterious depth of this original defilement: It is unsearchable, and the more he considers of it, the more amazed and astonished he is; even as David at another time, Psal 19. crieth out, Who can understand his errors? when he hath set himself with his whole might, to sathom all the evil that is in him, yet he cannot do it: Hence Jeremiah, Chap. 17. speaking of this deceitfull and desperate heart of man, be∣cause of the native pollution of it, saith, Who can know it? And then answers, It's God alone that searcheth it, God knoweth the depth of all that evil, which no man can reach unto.
Lastly, It may be a note of Caution [Behold] and take heed of it; for you see even David betrayed by it, the holiest man that liveth may quickly and sudden∣ly fall into the most enormous sins, because of it.
In the next place, we have the thing it self confessed, and that is in two things.
He was shapen in iniquity, that is the first: The word is many times applied to the bringing forth of a child, and doth properly signifie to bring forth with sor∣row and pain; Hence some render it, I was born in iniquity, and so it may very well be translated; but if we render it shapen, or formed, then this sheweth, That in the forming of the parts of the body, and disposing of it for animation, even then sinne is there initially; so that before we are born, as soon as that mass is enlivened and animated, so soon is original sinne in a man.
Page 62 The other expression is, That in sinne did his mother conceive him; The He∣brew word is, Did warm him, or nourish him; So that this doth not so much relate to the actual conception, as to that whole time his mother did bear him in the womb, all that while this pollution was in him. Hence Aquila renders it, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and the Septuagint〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which though happily some might think it a fault in writing, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, yet there are those, who make that word em∣phatical, and say, it's a metaphor from the fowl, that is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Pica, the Pie, that while building of her nest, is with great vehemency and violence com∣piling of it, breaking off the tops of twigs, and flying from place to place, as if some inward heat did transport her▪ Others make it to signifie a multiform appe∣tite from the colour of that Bird. Well, howsoever it be, the word from the Hebrew is to be extended to that whole time, the child is carried in the mothers womb, being warmed and nourished there; So that not only, as Ambrose of old, we may say, Hominis ortus in vitio est, a mans birth is in sinne, but as soon as ever that mass of flesh in the womb is informed and animated, so soon it be∣comes sinfull. It is true indeed, the parts of the body are along while in forming before the soul be inspired, and sinne is not properly, till the soul be united to the body, yet because that is part of man, and tends to it, we may say sinne is there inchoatively and imperfectly, because it is in tendency to make up man, and there∣fore it was, that Christ being to be man, yet without sin was to be conceived by the holy Ghost, The very corpulent substance of the Virgin Mary, from which his body was made to be purified and sanctified by the holy Ghost.
In the last place, we are to take notice, in what he is thus formed and born, and that is also in two words, Gnanon and Cheteh, both which signifie, that which is truly and properly a sin: So that it's plain, when David could have no actual will, or con∣sent of his own, yet then sin and iniquity was truly in him. This place therefore is very evident and unanswerable, to prove this, That all by nature are born in sin. The Fathers of old, before Pelagius arose did expound it so, and generally after Au∣stin's time; The Popish Interpreters also grant it a clear place to prove this truth; yea, the Rabbins, they from hence also prove original sinne, and say, it hath seven names in the Old Testament, whereof two that they mention, viz. The fore-skin of the heart, and an heart of stone, are without all doubt applicable unto it: Insomuch that they who deny this Doctrine, in these dayes, must needs wil∣fully put a veil before their eyes.
It is true, Clemens Alexandrinus hath a passage, which would seem to ener∣vate the force of this place, which the late Writer (Vnum Necessar. pag. 395.) maketh use of, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, (Lib. Stromat. 3. sub finem) But how much his Authority herein is to be re∣garded, appeareth, in that he maketh the mother (here spoken of) to be Eve; he calleth his mother Eve prophetically, saith he (though happily that doth hint something of original sinne, else why should he name Eve?) Besides, this Clemens doth a little before, speak strangely, which passage is taken notice of by the same Author, as speaking home to the point, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Let them tell us, Where an Infant did fornicate? Or how he who had done nothing could fall under the curse of Adam? Bellarmine thinketh these words to be the objection of Hereticks, and truly those books do well deserve their name 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for there is so much confusion, we can hardly tell when the Author himself speaketh, Some would interpret him of actual sins, but the learned Vossius (Histor. Pelag. l. 2. pars 1. pag. 160.) saith Clemens did not fully understand the Doctrine of origi∣nal sinne; And Coccius (Tom. 2. Artic. 2.) the Catholick-Treasurer, from this very passage, saith, Clemens parum novisse de peccato originali videtur.
Objections against this Ineerpretation answered.
BUt let us hear, what is objected by the Adversaries to this clear Text? And
First,*It's said by some, That David doth not here bewail his own sins, but his parents in begetting of him, as if it was their sinne he acknowledged, and not his own.
This is a miserable shift;* for, First, David was not begotten in adultery, neither were his parents unlawfully joyned together, therefore in begetting of him, they did not sinne; for Marriage is honourable, if the bed be not defiled with adultery or fornication: Therefore if Adam had stood in the state of inte∣grity, there would have been procreation of children; so that his parents did no more sinne in this, than in eating and drinking, or any other lawfull act God hath appointed, either for the propagating of the species, or conservation of the individuums.
Secondly, This Interpretation is against the scope of David in this Psalm, which is to debase himself, to humble himself from what is in him, not what is in others, I will acknowledge my sinne, and my iniquity is alwayes before me, and so proceedeth to bewail this original, or birth-sinne.
Thirdly, If his intent were to confess his parents sins, why doth he instance in his mother only, In sinne did my mother conceive me? he saith, Why did he not ra∣ther bewail the sinne of his father, who begat him, who would have been a greater sinner, than his mother in that matter, if it had been a sinne at all?
Lastly, It's good to take notice of what Bellarmine, in the Exposition of this place, though a Papist saith, It may be to prevent such calumnies, that future Hereticks would raise, the holy Ghost in this Text would use no word, that did pro∣perly and directly relate, either to the fathers begetting, or the mothers immediately conceiving thereupon, for this might seem to attribute sinne to that, which yet is of Gods appointment, and if true, would necessarily condemn marriage, as unlawfull; So that as he observeth, The words do properly relate to the child afterwards in the womb, when formed and nourished there.
A second Objection is,* That what David saith here is hyperbolical. Thus the Socinians, David doth not mean, as if he were born in sinne, but doth hyperboli∣cally aggravate his wickedness, in that from his youth up he did quickly fall into sinne, and they compare two places (amongst others) Psal. 58. 3. Isa. 48. 8. where wicked men are said to be transgressors from the womb.
But first,* Seeing David intends to abhorre himself before God, there is no sense to go from the plain words, otherwise we might turn all the Scripture into tropes and figures, and so make no certainty at all; And as for those two places, they confirm this Text, for how come men to be transgressors from the womb, to act wickedness so early, to sinne as soon as ever they are able to act any thing? Doth not all this demonstrate they were born in sinne?
Besides, those places are not parallel, for they speak of the facts of men after they come out of the womb, and in such particulars an Hyperbole may sometimes be admitted; but this relateth to David while in the womb, and not to his own action, but that wherein he was passive.
Lastly, Another Socinian saith, It is to be understood of actual sinnes, and not original, because it is in the Plural number, whereas original sinne is but one.
Page 64 The Answer is, That indeed the Septuagint, and so the Vulgar Latine they render it in the Plural number, in iniquities, &c. And thereupon it's disputed by the Schoolmen, Whether original sinne be one or more sinnes? Some (though but few) say, it's more; Others, but one, and excuse their vulgar Translati∣on, by saying, that it may be called sinnes in the Plural number, because it is the root of many, or because it being a body of sinne, hath (as it were) many parts and members. Arminius likewise among other exceptions, brought this against their publick Catechism, because it said Innata peccata in the Plural num∣ber, as if original sinne were many sinnes: But all this Discourse is needless, for in the Hebrew it is in the Singular number, and so our Translators render it, and that David cannot mean actual sinnes, is plain, because he was born in this ini∣quity he speaketh of.
The Text then thus vindicated, first from the note of Attention, [Behold.] Observe,
That the true Doctrine about original sinne, is not only to be believed, but we are diligently to meditate and consider about it. Behold (saith David) I was shapen in iniquity, &c. Great will be the spiritual advantage, that a man may reap here∣by; but because I have mentioned many already, I shall now name but two or three, not spoken before.
More Advantages accruing from the Belief and Meditation of this Truth.
FIrst, The man who deeply considers this, he will dwell at home much, he will much commune with his own heart, his work will be to rectifie his inwards much, to attend more to his heart-work. Alas, how many do you see spend all their time in disputes about Religion in quarrellings and strises about this opinion, and that opinion, whereas if he were deeply sensible of that wound upon him by original sinne, and how his whole soul is out of order, he would presently give over that way, he would say, I have greater work in hand, I have more necessary business to do? If a mans house were on fire, he would give over any disputes he had with his neighbour, and go presently to quench that: Thus the Pilot, when the ship is leaking, he would not attend to needless cavils, and in the mean time endanger his Ship; when thy vitals, yea thy very heart is diseased, thou standest disputing about the cure of thy fingers end: Oh how much better were it to be searching into your hearts, diving into the bottom thereof, then to spend thy time in useless disputes!
Again, If we did meditate on this more, We should not be so forward to judge and censure others, to be alwayes medling and talking of other mens infirmities, for we should find our selves had enough at home.
Yea further, When men accuse in, and falsly slander us, charging this sinne and that upon us: Now though we may bless God, and appeal to him, because of our innocency, yet we must withall confess, that if men knew all that stirreth in our hearts, as God doth, they would abhor us: Even Socrates, though an Heathen, when he was told, how men reviled him, What would they say (saith he) if they knew all by me? Certainly, there is no godly man, but loatheth himself more in Gods eyes, because of this depth of pollution within him, then all the world can despise him, he is not more abominable in their eyes, than he is in his own.
Lastly, Hereby a godly man is provoked to walk with more fear and trembling, be∣cause Page 65David had this birth-sinne, therefore was he so quickly tempted to those foul sins: Oh if God should not keep down, and by his Spirit mortifie this body of sin, it would quickly break out even into a very hell! Thou carriest therefore fit fewel for any sinne: Oh take heed, how thou comest near the fire of any temptation!
That we are sadly to bewail, and be humbled for this Original Sinne all our dayes.
VVE have considered the Introductory Note of Attention, and now proceed to the Matter it self, which is acknowledged and bewailed, and that is not actual sinne, but the sinne he was born in, even before ever his understand∣ing and will, could put forth any actions. David (you heard) doth not here hyperbolize, he speaks it not only humiliter, but veraciter; he doth in his own experience, find that there is such a bitter root within him, such a corrupted na∣ture, that if left to it self, would immediately flame out into most accursed and abominable transgressions; and therefore David knowing, that the strength of all his actual sins, was in this original, he composeth himself in a serious and affe∣ctionate manner to acknowledge that.
That we are not only to believe there is such a thing,* as original sinne in us, but we are sadly to bewail it, and to be humbled for it all our dayes.
This is not a truth in Divinity, that is to be in a speculative and barren man∣ner disputed about, but we are to descend into our own hearts, to discern the wofull and bitter effects of it upon our own souls: It is not enough for you to be of this saith, That there is original sinne, that it is the sinne of the whole world, and of all mankind; but you are to take notice of, and to be affected with that particular and proper original sinne, which difsuseth it self over thy whole man: Original sinne is not one sinne, as there is one Sunne, and all partake of the light of it; or like one Intellectus agens, as some Philosophers dreamed, but it is in every man that cometh in the world, every one that is born hath his birth-corru∣ption; Therefore David doth not speak of that iniquity, as it is in all mankind, but as it was his case, and as he was born in it: So that it is not enough for you to say, It is true, it cannot be denied, but that all are sinfull by nature, but you must come home to your own heart, you must take notice of the dung-hill and hell that is in your own hearts. Thus the Apostle Paul, as you heard, Ephes. 2. 3. to humble them, and to lay them low, that they might see all the unwor∣thiness and guilt that was upon them, before the grace of God was effectual in them, he informeth them not onely of those grosse actual impieties they had walked in, but that they were by nature the children of wrath. But you may see this duty of bitter and deep humiliation, because of original sinne, notably ex∣pressed in Paul, Rom. 7. most of that Chapter is spent in sad groans and com∣plaints, because of its still working and acting in him. It was the sense of this, made him cry out, Oh miserable man that I am? Dost thou therefore flatter thy self, as if there were no such law of sinne prevailing upon thee, when thou shalt see Paul thus sadly afflicted because of it? Therefore it is, that I added in the Doctrine, We are to bewail and acknowledge it all our lives; For Paul speaks here (whatsoever Papists and Arminians say to the contrary) in the person of a regenerate man, Who did delight in the Law of God in the inward man; and yet these thorns were in his side, Original sinne in the lusts thereof, was too active, whereby he could not do the good he would, and when he did, he did it not so pure∣ly Page 66 and perfectly, as he ought. So that you see, the work you are to do, as long as you live; Though regenerated, though sanctified, you are to bewail this sinne, yea none but the truly godly do lay it seriously to heart. Natural men, they either do not believe such a thing, or they have not the sense of it, which would wound them at the very heart; Therefore we read only of regenerate men, as David, Job and Paul, who because of this birth-pollution, do humble them∣selves so low under Gods hand. But let us search into this truth.
Which needed not to have been, if Adam had stood.
FIrst, Take notice, That had Adam stood in the integrity God made him in, had he preserved the Image of God for himself and for his posterity, then there had been no occasion, no just cause for such self-abhorrency, as doth now necessarily lie upon us. Adam did not hide himself, and runne from God, neither was he asha∣med of himself, till sinne had made this dreadfull breach; In that happy time of mans innocency, there was no place for tears or repentance; There was no com∣plaining or grieving, because of a Law of sinne hurrying them, whither they would not, then Adam's heart was in his own power, he could joy and delight in God, as he pleased, but since that first transgression, there hath become that grievous ataxy, and sad disorder and confusion, under which we are to mourn and groan, as long as we live, for as we necessarily have corruptible bodies which will be pained and diseased, as long as we are on the earth, so we have also defiled and depraved soules, which will alwaies be matter of grief and sorrow to every gracious heart, so that they must necessarily cry out, Oh Lord! I would fain be better, I desire to be better, but this corrupted heart and nature of mine will not let me! The Socinians, who affirm, That Adam even in the first Crea∣tion, had such a repugnancy planted in him, and a contrariety between the mind, and the sensible part, that this prevailing made him thereby to commit that trans∣gression, do reproach God the maker of man, and make him the Author of sinne: So then this necessity of confession, and acknowledgment of our native polluti∣on, was not from the beginning, but upon Adam's transgression.
We must be humbled for a two-fold Original sinne, and seek from Christ a two-fold Righteousness.
SEcondly, When we say, That original sinne is to be matter of our humilia∣tion and sorrow, we must understand that two-fold Original sinne heretofore mentioned, viz. Adam's actual sin imputed to us, and that inherent or in-dwelling sin we are born in; For seeing the guilt of both doth redound upon our per∣sons, accordingly ought our humiliation and debasement to be; Yea, Piscator thinketh David confesseth both these in this verse: In the first place, In iniquity was I shapen, or born, as he interprets it, viz. in Adam's iniquity; And in the second place, in (or with, for so some render it) sinne did my mother conceive me, which is to be understood of that imbred pollution; howsoever it be, here it is plain, Rom. 5. that the Apostle debaseth and humbleth us under this two-fold consideration, first, That we all sinned in him, there is the imputed sinne: Page 67 And secondly, That by his disobedience we are made sinners, there is our birth-sin: So that those who would hunger and thirst after Christ, finding a need of him, must seek for a two-fold benefit by Christ, answering this two-fold evil; First, the grace of Justification, to take away the guilt of all sinne, and then of San∣ctification, in some measure, to overcome the power of it, that as we have by the first Adam imputed and inherent sinne, so by the second Adam imputed and in∣herent righteousness.
The Different Opinions of Men about Humiliation for Original Sinne.
THirdly, There are those who make such an humiliation and debasement, as David here professeth altogether needless and superfluous, but they go upon dif∣ferent grounds: For,
First, All such who do absolutely deny any such thing, they must needs ac∣knowledge all such confessions to be lies and falshoods, that it is but taking of Gods name in vain, when we confess such a thing by our selves, if it be not in∣deed in us: For if Adam should have said, Behold, God created me in iniquity, and formed me in sinne, would not this have been horrible lying to God, and bla∣spheming of his Name? No less is it; If their Position be true, That we are born in the same condition and estate that Adam was created in, derogatory to God, and a bold presumptuous lie, for men in their prayers to acknowledge such a sinne dwelling in them, when indeed it doth not; So then, if this be true, That we are not born in original sinne, then David doth in this penitential Psalm, fearfully abuse the Name of God, speaking that which is a lie, and a most abominable untruth; But whose fore-head is so hardned, as to affirm this? Yet all such who deny there is any birth-sinne, they must also say, there is no confession to be made of it, neither are we to humble our selves be∣cause of it.
Secondly, Others there are, that though they hold it to be a sinne, yet (they say) it was absolutely forgiven in Baptism; and if it was then totally forgiven, what necessity is thereof confession and acknowledging it afterwards? That origi∣nal sinne was forgiven to all that were baptized, was the opinion of Austin, who yet did more earnestly propugn this Doctrine of original sinne, than any of the Fathers: Yea in his time, these two seemed to be Catholick Doctrines of the whole Church, viz. an universal efficacy of Baptism in all Infants baptized, to purge away original sinne, as also the necessity of damnation of those Infants which died without it. The Papists also, they generally conclude, That this ori∣ginal sinne is forgiven to all baptized persons; and Socinus in his Exposition of this place, approveth this Position, That it is not to be confessed; Yea, it cannot be denied, but that some learned Protestants, adversaries both to Papists and Ar∣minians, as Davenant, Ward, have affirmed also, That all baptized persons have their original sinne forgiven them, and so dying in their infancy, must without doubt be saved.
Thirdly, There are others, and such are the Remonstrants, who affirm, That upon Adam's fall. God entring into a new Covenant of Grace with fallen mankind, by Christ our Mediator; Therefore it is (they say) that none is damned for ori∣ginal sinne, no not Heathens or their children, but that by the second Adam, viz. Christ, there is taken off all that guilt which came by Adam's transgression. So that in this respect, they make the children of Heathens, and believers all alike:Page 68 So that by these mens Positions, though going upon several grounds, we see it affirmed, That original sinne is pardoned, and that before there is any confessi∣on, humiliation and sorrow for it; Whether indeed, though it be pardoned, some of the fore-mentioned Authors will not hold it necessary to confess it, and to beg for the pardon of it, may well be doubted, (I say, some of them) For how prophanely and arrogantly doth a Remonstrant Adolphus Vena∣tor, in his Apologia contra Ministros Dordracenos, speak in this matter, as he is cited by Sandaus the Jesuite (for I have not the Book it self) in his Hydrus Hollanda, lib. 2. cap. 20. pag. 268.) where, when from the diversity of opinions about original sinne, he concludeth, There is scarce any certainty about it, addeth, Etiam hinc intelligi potest, nihil esse, quia nemo in se reperiat, mor∣sum conscientiae, vel accusationem suiipsius ob peccatum ante quinquies mille, & quingentos annos in Paradiso comissum; Ego saltem non sensi, nec credo Derdrace∣nes fratres propter illud vel ingentem conscientiae stimulum persensisse, vel copiam la∣chrymarum profudisse: How wretchedly doth this man speak? Certainly David, and Paul had other apprehensions of this original sinne, with the immediate ef∣fects thereof. For the Orthodox hold against the Antinomians,
Fourthly. Whatsoever may be the opinions of men about this sinne, either denying it wholly, or making it universally pardoned to all mankind, or at least to some when baptized, of which more is to be said, when we treat of the effects of original sinne; Yet from this example of David, and from other Texts of Scripture, we see, It is our duty, as long as we live in this world, to groan under it, and bewail our miserable condition, because of it.
Repentance may be taken either largely or strictly.
LEt therefore David's example here in the Text, be more to thee, than what ten thousand cavillers may say unto thee, onely you must know, that when we speak of sorrow and repentance about this sinne, we may take repent∣ance largely or strictly for any kind of holy sorrow and humiliaton of soul, and that because God is displeased with us, because we have that which is contrary to his holy Law, and so is offensive to him, and damnable to us; and in this re∣spect we are in a deep measure to humble our selves for original sinne, as being a most grievous and hainous sinne, the guilt whereof would press us into the lowest hell, did not Gods grace interpose, or else it may be strictly taken for a change of our mind, or an alteration of that purpose and will we once had: Now in this strict sense, though it be our duty with sorrow to be humbled for original sinne, yet we cannot be properly said to repent of it, because it was not a sinne ever committed by us personally, or through our own actual will. So that al∣though we may not so properly (it may be) exhort men to repent of this ori∣ginal sinne, yet we must press them to a deep and daily humiliation under it, and that not as a punishment, or an affliction only, but as a true and proper sin; So that as without confession and sorrow no actual sinne will be forgiven unto a man, Page 69 so neither will original sinne, and therefore we do by consequence in the Lords Prayer, when we say, Forgive us our sinnes, pray not onely for the pardon of actual sinnes; but original also, whatsoever the Remonstrants say, neither is their Argument against it of any worth, when they say, then the meaning likewise is in the clause following, That we forgive men their trespasses, and their original corruption against us, for the comparison lieth not in the Nature of the sins, but the manner of forgiveness; otherwise, when the Church prayeth for the pardon of Idolatry, or any sinne against the first Table, adding, As we forgive others, the meaning should be, As we forgive them their Idolatries, or sins against the first Table, which would be absurd and blasphemous. Besides, we are not onely to forgive the actual trespasses of those who wrong us, but even their thoughts and inclinations to hate us; If therefore original sinne be a sinne, and will damn us without Christs bloud, and Gods gracious pardon thereby, then we pray for the pardon of 〈◊〉 in the Lords Prayer, and we are all our life long, because of the reliques of it in us, to humble ourselves, because of it; And although because Wallaeus, an eminent Divine spake of, Reliquiae peccats originalis. The Remon∣strants call it an absurd phrase;
It is our duty (we heard) from this example of David, to humble our selves for the original sinne that is in us, as long as we live. Hence whatsoever Austin said at other times, yet in one place he spake most truly in this point, Propter vitium quantum libet praeferimus, esse nobis necessarium dicere dimitte nobis debita nostra, cum jam omnia in Baptismo dicta facta, cogitate dimissa sint. (Epist. 29) Because of original sinne, although we have never so much pro∣fited, yet we are to pray, that God would forgive us our sins.
This truth is the more diligently to be pressed upon us, by how much the more doctrinal opinions have risen up against it; for those that deny any such thing, they must needs make confessions of it to be a lie, and a meer mockery. And as for the Papist, though most of them hold original sinne to be truly a sinne, yet they say, Baptism is instituted for the remission of that, as repentance is for actual sins: So that it should seem by their Doctrine, Confession and godly sor∣row are required only to take away actual sinne; but as for original, Baptism in the very opere operato doth remove it; for no Infant can put an obex to hinder the effect of that Sacrament: Hence it is that Almain a rational Schoolman, (Opus. de peccato orig. pag. 72.) maketh this Objection,
The Difference between Godly Sorrow for Original Sinne and Actual.
FIrst, Repentance, or change of our minds and wils, is not strictly and properly for original sinne, because that was not actually committed by, us neither was it ever in our own single persons to have prevented it, yet in respect of sorrow, detestation, and self-abomination, so we are as much, if not more, to bewail our selves, than for actual sin.
Secondly, Again, In actual sins, there is this necessity in our repentance, That we do so no more, he only truly repents, that doth not commit those gross sins again, at least not habitually or customarily, as our Saviour said to one, Go thy way, and sin no more; but this will not hold in original sinne, we cannot say, we will have it no more within us, we cannot say, this Jebusite shall abide no longer within our borders, for we shall alwayes carry about with us this body of sinne.
And therefore in the third place, Original sinne and actual differ exceedingly in this, That actual sinne when pardoned, both the sinne itself, and it's guilt is removed, but in original sinne, though the guilt be removed in the godly, nei∣ther is it imputable to them, yet the sinne it self in some measure and power re∣maineth with us, as is more largely to be shewed in time; Onely you see some difference there is, in our sorrow and humiliation, between original and actual, yet not such, but that in respect of deep confession, and humble acknowledgement, both are alike; so that we cannot have any pardon of either without such con∣trite hearts, as the Scripture speaks of; and it is good to consider the grounds, why we ought to be greatly debased, and to lay our selves so low under this con∣sideration.
Reasons why we must be humbled for Original Sinne.
FIrst, Because original sinne is in some sense all sinne; It is the universal conta∣gion of all the parts of the soul; it hath Maculam universalem, all actual sins they have only their particular spot or stain, and do more immediately pollute that power or faculty of the soul, it is immediately subjected in, as blindness of mind doth properly infect the understanding, not the will or affections: so con∣tumacy in the will, doth not but by consent or sympathy, as it were, infect the mind, but original sinne doth pollute all over, it's like a Gangrene over the whole body, whereas actual sinnes are like so many several sores: Thus original sinne is universal subjectively, there being no part of a man, no not his mind, or his conscience, but it is all over defiled, whereas no actual sinne hath such a ge∣neral defilement with it: Oh then what cause is here, why our hearts should bit∣terly mourn and even roar out, for this sinne makes thy soul all over like a Black∣moor! Thou mayest behold thy self in the glass of Gods word, and not see one fair spot; it is a leprosie upon the whole soul, so that it leaveth nothing good in thee. It's true, the substance and faculties of thy soul are left still, yet they are so corrupted and vitiated, that in a moral consideration there is nothing whole or sound in them.
Secondly, From hence it is, That it hath as it were an universal guilt, it makes the understanding guilty, the will guilty, the affections guilty, even guilt all over; Every actual sinne hath its proper formal guilt; the guilt of theft is one thing, the guilt of adultery is another thing, but now original sinne is as it were an universal guilt: As God is that bonum, in quo omnia bona, so in some sense original sinne is that malum, in quo omnia mala, not onely effectively, of which in the next place, but because of the general guilt accompanying; For as it hath a ge∣neral maculam, so it must have suitably a general reatum. This is greatly to be laid to heart; for as original righteousness was not the perfection and glory of one faculty only, but the universal rectitude and general harmony of the whole man; Thus original sinne is not any particular guilt of one kind of sinne, but it's the ataxy, the dissolution of that curious workmanship which God at first made in man, and so is a general guilt; and therefore the more are we to bewail this condition, saying, Lord, It is not one or many sins, it is not this, or that peculiar guilt I am to humble my self for, but I am all over guilty, as the Land of Israel is said to be, Isa. 1. 6. From the sole of the foot to the head, there is no soundness, nothing but wounds and putrifying sores. Thus are we to judge of our selves in respect of this overspreading contagion.
Thirdly, We are greatly to bewail and humble our selves under this birth∣pollution, Because it's the fountain and root of all the actual evil we do commit. This is enough, if there were no external temptations to plunge us into all im∣piety. I shall not here dispute it rigidly, Whether every sinne committed, be∣cause of that original defilement within us, of that we are to speak hereafter. It is enough, that the Scripture doth attribute all actual evil to this, as the cause, Jam. 1. 17. Every one is tempted and drawn aside by the lust which is within him; and out of the evil heart, as an evil treasure, our Saviour saith, Mat. 12. 35. pro∣ceed all evil thoughts, words and actions. Thus also Genes. 6. The imaginations of the thoughts of a mans heart are evil, and that continually, but of this more in its time; onely take notice of this consideration in this place, as a full and clear ground, why thou shouldst with all thy might all the dayes thou livest, abhorre thy self, and loath thy self: It's from this original sinne David's adultery and murder did flow: And thus there is no actual iniquity, which lieth as a load upon Page 72 thee, but it did flow from this bitter fountain at first: Wilt thou therefore con∣demn the fruit of a Tree, and not much rather the root? Wilt thou abhorre the stream, and not much rather the fountain? Oh remember that here lieth the strength and power of sinne, and therefore the strength of thy sorrow ought to bend that way likewise.
Fourthly, We are deeply to humble our selves for this birth contagion, Be∣cause in it self it is a most grievous and hainous sinne. It's a dispute, Whether ori∣ginal sinne be not gravissimum peccatum, the heaviest and greatest sinne that is; It is true indeed, many sins may exceed this in several respects, but yet if we lay all things together, we have cause to judge it the heaviest sinne that is; For al∣though Bellarmine minceth the matter, and saith, it is minimum, peccatum, the least sinne in this respect (though he acknowledge it very hainous otherwayes) because it hath minimum de voluntario, yet we must not judge of the greatness of a sinne by a Philosophical notion, but according to the judgement of God, who best knoweth the hainous nature and guilt of sinne; now by Gods punishing of it in such a manner, it appeareth to be the greatest sin, the event doth demon∣strate it; In that we read not of any sinne punished by God in such an high de∣gree, as original sinne was in Adam our first parent, in whose loms we are; For whereas all other sinnes bring only the temporal and spiritual curse upon the offender himself, this doth upon all mankind: Indeed God doth visit sometimes the sins of Parents to the third and fourth generation, but here it is as long as there shall be a generation: And besides, it's not onely temporal evils we suffer for Adam's sinne, in which respect many may suffer for other mens sinnes, as in Achan and David's case, but it is in spiritual destruction likewise, all mankind is obnoxious to eternal damnation for this transgression: That therefore must needs be an horrid sinne, and of a crimson nature, for which we see God to be so sevre, yea not only mankind, but all the creatures likewise are cursed for this; so that had not God provided a new Covenant of grace for some of mankind thus fallen, the whole race of men, would have been eternally damned, and that for this sinne alone, though there had not been one actual sinne committeed in the world by any one man since the fall: Oh then tremble under this consideration, because the anger of God is thus stirred up against that one sin, morethan all the sins that are committed! For though the sinne against the holy Ghost be in this respect more terrible than original sinne, because God will never pardon that, whereas original sinne is pardoned to all believers, and as Antiquity hath thought, even to Adam himself; yet in other respects, original sinne is in a more extense and uni∣versal manner cursed than that: Do not then go to extenuate this sinne, to say, It was but the eating of some for bidden fruit; or original sinne, it hath none of my will, I cannot help it (for we joyn original, imputed, and inherent at this time together, because of their inseparable connexion;) but rather consider the great anger of God that is gone out against all mankind, because of it, and then thou wilt look on it with the same abborring eye that God him∣self doth.
Fifthly, We are greatly to bewail this original defilement, Because it makes us wholly incurable, it depriveth us of all spiritual ability and power to re∣cover our selves; We are thus shapen in iniquity, and so must live and die, and go to hell in it, if Gods grace doth not interpose: Doth not Job, Chap. 14. 4. make it impossible for any man, to bring a clean thing out of an unclean? So that all mankind is born in an absolute impotency to help it self, if we would give thousands of worlds to come out of this lost estate, we could not help ourselves: Hence it is that the Scripture attributeth all the good we have to the alone free grace of God.
Sixthly, We are to bewail it, Because it makes us sensless, stupid, depriving us of all spiritual sense and feeling: So that by it we are put into this sad per∣piexity, Page 73 for none need, or are bound more to bewail this sinne, than an unrege∣nerate man, and yet he cannot send forth the least sigh and groan, because of it: So that hereby we have contracted such an unavoidable exigency upon us, that we cannot turn our selves any way; mourn and cry we must for this pol∣lution, yet mourn and cry we cannot, because this is one inseparable effect of it, to take away all tendernesse and mourning: Hence the stony heart mentioned by Ezekiel, Chap. 11. 18. is in a great measure original sinne: Till therefore we are regenerated, as we see in David, Job and Paul, we cannot truly mourn under it.
Lastly, This is a work to do as long as we live, Because it's inseparable from our natures, while we live in this world. God indeed could in our life time, wholly free us from it, as well as at death, but he lets these re∣liques continue, that our tryumph at the Day of Judgement may be the greater, Vivum captivum reservantur ad tryumphum, Captives are preserved alive for the greater trymph; And the rather God doth this, that so even his very Pauls, his most eminent and choicest servants may have matter of debasement within themselves, and more earnestly groan for a day of Re∣demption.