Why Original Sinne is called Concupiscence or Lust.
THese things thus premised, to understand this Truth, viz. That original sin is habitual lust. Let us in the next place consider, why we call it so. And First, It may well be called concupiscence or lust, Because the appetitive and active powers of the soul are chief in a man, and they being corrupted and polluted, it's no wonder if the whole man be •urried headlong to hell. The Schoolmen make it a Question, Why original sinne should not be called ignorantia, as well as con∣cupiscentia? But first, We may call it ignorance also; It's ignorance and blind∣ness in the apprehensive powers of the soul, but lust and concupiscence in the ap∣petitive; especially the will being horribly corrupted, which is said to be the appetitus universalis, and is to all other inferiour parts of the soul, as the pri∣mum mobile, to the other orbs, which carrieth all about with its motion; It's no wonder that it be called lust, as infecting and perverting the will, which is the whole of a man; for if a man know evil, yet if he do not will it, it is no sinne; God himself knoweth all the sinne that is committed in the world, and there is difference between Cogitatio mali, the thought about evil, and cogitatio mala, an evil thought; but the will cannot be carried out to evil, but presently it is an evil will. The understanding by knowing evil is not polluted, but the will is by willing of it, because the understanding receiveth the object intentionally into it self, and so is abstracted from its existency; but the will that goeth to the object in it self, and as it doth really exist, but this occasionally onely. Original sinne may well be called lust, because the acting and working parts of the soul, where∣of the will is the supreme and chief, being polluted by it, the vigour and efficacy of it is most discovered by them, and this is that which makes grace so admirable and wonderfull, that it can bind the strong ones of the soul, yea that it can turn sinfull lustings into glorious, heavenly and holy lustings; Thus it is marvellous in the eyes of the godly.
Secondly, Original sinne may well be called Lust, Because it's general to every sinne; Every actual sinne is a lust in some sense: So that although Aquinas (up∣on the Text saith,) That original sinne is, Commune malum non communitate ge∣neris aut speciei, sed causalitatis, not by a community of genus, but of cause, yet in some sense we may say, that concupiscence hath a generical community, because as a genus it is included in every sinne: So that if we do take notice of any sinne, this is in the general nature of it, that there is a sinfull desire or appetite; What is covetousness but an inordinate desire of wealth? What is ambition but an inordinate desire of honour, and so of every sinne? But to be sure, it is a common sinne by way of causality. The Apostle James informeth us, Chap. 1. 14. That every man, when he sinneth is tempted aside by that lust which is in him: So that all the sinfull thoughts, words and actions, which all the men of the world, since Adam's fall till the end of the world shall commit, and be guilty of, do arise from this fountain, yet how little do we affect our hearts with the hainous∣ness and dreadfulness of it?
Lastly, It may well be called Lust, Because it is alwayes an acting vigorous principle within us. Whatsoever we are doing, eating, drinking, working, this lust is moving in us; yea in sleep, in frantick mad men, in children and infants in some sense (as is to be shewed) This lust is putting forth it self; we may as well keep the wind within our fists, as make this original lust lie still; So that by this we may evidently see, the greatest part of our evil lieth Inwardly and secretly in the soul; our actual and outward impieties, they are but the least part of that sinne, which cleaveth to us; Pray therefore to know and understand this my∣stery Page 163 more: Look upon thy self in all thy external righteousness, but as a paint∣ed Sepulchre, full of loathsome and noisome thoughts and lusts: Neither be thou afraid to look into this vile dungeon, do not turn thy eyes from seeing this mon∣ster, for this is the only way to drive thee to that full and dear esteem of the Lord Christ as a Saviour, which is absolutely necessary.