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


FIrst, Those graces (the Schoolmen call them virtues) which do not import any imperfection, these were in Adam both habitually and actually, as to love God, to be thankefull to God, to delight in God; For these graces will alwayes con∣tinue, even in Heaven it self, and therefore were no wayes repugnant, but neces∣sarily required to Adam in that state of felicity.

Secondly, Those graces which denote some kind of imperfection, which yet were not repugnant to that state he was created in, were also in Adam, both according to the habit, and also the act, such are faith and hope. By faith we do not mean, the particular act of relying on Christ, as a Mediatour, but the general assenting un∣to every thing as true, which God spake or promised unto him, and according to this faith; so also Adam had hope depending upon God, and expecting such things as God had promised. Now these graces of faith and hope, even in the general nature of them, have some imperfection, if compared with vision and fruition; Faith is opposed to vision, and hope to fruition, as the Apostle plainly argueth, 2 Cor. 5. 7. Rom. 8. 24. But this imperfection did not repugn that state Adam was created in; For although we say, Adam was made right and perfect, yet that is not to be understood absolutely, as if he were as perfect as God, nor comparatively in this sense neither, as if he could not be made more perfect, or as if he had such perfection, as the glorified Saints in Heaven shall have, but he was thus farre perfect, that he wanted nothing for that state and condition God made him in.

A third Rule is, Those graces which import an imperfection repugnant to the state Adam was in; They were in him habitually, but not actually; They instance in the virtues of mercy and repentance; Besides others, we may also adde, the grace of justifying Faith; So that although the Arminians judge such a position as this absurd, yet almost the common current of Schoolmen go this way; And if the grace of mercy, of liberality, of fortitude and patience were in Adam habitually, why not of justifying Faith? Neither is it any Argument at all, to say, That these ha∣bits are given for their acts, but the acts are inconsistent with that state he was made in, for these habits were bestowed by way of perfection and ornament to mans nature in the general, and the want of the habits of them would have been an imperfection: Even as Adam's knowledge did extend to the medicinal virtue in herbs and plants, which yet could not in that state of integrity be put in pra∣ctice: So that those habits, though not reducible into acts, yet were not in vain, because they were for the perfection of humane nature. When therefore Adam after his fall did repent and believe in Christ, the seed of the woman promised; He did not put forth those acts from the habits of faith and repentance he was created in, as some have said; but the whole Image of God being lost, every gra∣cious habit or act, was then supernatural to him, which before was natural Yet Suarez in his Disputations concerning the Creation of man, saith,

That even the habits of repentance and mercy were in the state of inte∣grity reducible into some acts, though not into all; as if I should sin, I would abhorre it, and bewail it; if there were any miserable, I would Page  129 relieve him, which (saith he) are not meer conditional acts in the un∣derstanding, but presuppose a purpose in the will. Again (saith he) A∣dam from those habits had a complacency in his mind, and an approbati∣on of such acts, when they could be performed by him in a sutable state;
But I presse not these things.

Now although the habit of justifying Faith and Repentance were in A∣dam, yet we cannot say, They were in the Angels, or in Christ, because these were in a condition that did repugne the very habit of such acts, as well as the acts themselves. Thus by these Rules we see, there is no kinde of grace imaginable, but Adam's soul was adorned with it one way or other: Oh then take up bitter lamentation, and like Rachel refuse to be com∣forted, because our loss is unspeakably greater than hers! There remaineth not one grace of those glorious ones mentioned, now in us: and in stead of a power to any thing that was good, we have an utter impotency thereunto, and a prone∣ness unto evil.

But you may ask,* How can original six be said to consist in this privation of original righteousnesse, seeing that seemeth to be Gods act, to deprive us of it, and not ours?

To this the Answer is,* That we are not to conceive of God taking a∣way this righteousnesse from us, as if one man should spoil another of his garments; but man by sinning did exclude and shut it out from his soul; and having thus provoked God, then God doth not continue and vouchsafe that grace to him, which Adam had thus repelled; so that God is not as an efficient, infusing wickednesse into Adam's heart, but he denieth that holinesse to him, which by sinne was repelled; as if a man should shut out the light from him, and keep himself in the dark: But I have spoken more fully already to this Objection.