A Comparison and Opposition between the first and second Adam, as introductory to this Question, How this Corruption is propagated?
1 COR. 15. 49.
THe Apostles chief scope in this Chapter, is to corroborate and establish one main Fundamental Article and Principle in Religion, which is the Resurrection of the dead. This Truth, as it is Fiducia Christianorum, the very confidence and life of believers, so it hath been opposed and denied by many, as most absurd and fabulous: Insomuch that what Tertullian said concerning Christ, who is God, becoming man, and crucified for us, Prorsus credibile, quia impossibile, the same may be applied to this Truth: Therefore it is the Object of Faith, because rea∣son cannot comprehend it. Now among many other Arguments by which the Apostle statuminateth this Doctrine, Christ's Resurrection is most palma∣rious: For although to Heathens this Argument would not be valid, yet to the Corinthians, who either doubted of, or denied the Resurrection, but did not wholly abandon the Christian Faith, this reason would be very co∣gent: So that the Corinthians either doubt or infidelity in this Point, hath made this Doctrine the more unquestionably true, so that doubts and heresies have been over-ruled by God, to make Truth more orient, like the file to rusty iron, and like the shaking of the Tree, which maketh the root faster and deeper.
But whereas the Doubt may be, Wherein lieth the strength of this Argu∣ment? Christ is risen, therefore his members, or all that are his shall rise (For you must know the Apostle's Arguments doe principally prove the blessed and happy Resurrection of the Just, the Wicked they shall rise, but by the power of Christ, as a Judge, not as members united to him their Head.) At the twentieth verse he giveth us a two-fold reason of that con∣nexion:
First, Christ is the first-fruits; now the first fruits sanctified the whole Page 181 crop of Corn, and although they were taken before the rest, yet this did assure, that all would be taken in its time: Thus Christ being the first fruits did sanctifie all his people, and his Resurrection was an assured pledge of theirs.
The second Reason (which is pertinent to my matter in hand) is from the Collation between Adam and Christ; As Adam was the common root and principle of death to all that come from him, so is Christ the common Head of Salvation and Life to all who are of him. The Apostle, Rom. 5. maketh such a Comparison between Adam and Christ, as two common Principles and Heads, but to another purpose, there it is in respect of spi∣ritual death, (viz.) Sinne by one, and Righteousnesse by the other; but here it is principally in respect of temporal Death, and Resurrection by Christ.
The Apostle having thus cleared this Truth, he then enters into a second Debate, (viz.) In what bodies we shall rise? and determining, That it••∣eth a corruptible body, but it shall be raised an incorruptible one; It dieth a natural body, but it shall be raised a spiritual.
Last this Distinction of a natural and spiritual body should seem uncouth, and very absurd, he asserteth and confirmeth it by Scripture; And here again in the second place, he taketh up a Collation between the first Adam and the second; and therein we have them compared,
1. In regard of their Condition and State.
2. In respect of their Originals. And
3. In respect of their Qualities and Properties.
This illustration the Apostle is large in, because the strength of his Argu∣ment lieth in this, Such as the Principles are, such are the Effects; Such as the Root is, such are the Branches: Now all men have from Adam earthly mortal bodies which will die: Therefore all that are Christs shall have from him heavenly and spiritual bodies.
Let us diligently open the particulars, wherein we have this Collation between Adam and Christ made, for from hence we shall have a fair occasion to examine, How from Adam we come thus to have his Image upon us? which is the great difficulty in the Doctrine of original sinne.
THe first particular therefore wherein they are compared, is, The state and condition Adam and Christ was made in; Adam's estate is proved from Scri∣pture, ver. 5. As it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; we have this related, Gen. 2. 7. where God is said, To breath into mans nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Adam's body being made out of the dust, and formed thencefrom, was yet without life and motion, therefore God did with him farre otherwise than with bruit beasts, for He breathed into him the breath of life. This is spoken after the manner of men in a figurative way, we are not to think God took on him the form of a man, and so breathed life into Adam; Neither may we say, This was a particle, or part of the divine Essence, which God communicated to man; But the meaning is, God inspired into him his soul, which gave life, and sense, and motion to the body, by which he becoming a living soul, that is, a living creature; This is Adam's condition. But as for Christ, who is here called the last Adam, Adam because a com∣mon Person, and last, because there is no more to succeed him; This last Adam is said, To be made a quickening Spirit, not but that Christ was man, yea and had such an humane Nature, as Adam had like to him in all things, Page 182[Sinne onely excepted] But this is spoken of Christ principally after his Re∣surrection; For Christ while he lived on earth had an animal body, he needed food and rest, but after his Resurrection, then he had a spiritual body; so that it is in reference to this, that Christ is called a Spirit, but with this Epithete, A quickning Spirit, that is, which giveth life to others; He hath not only life in himself, but he giveth it also to others, and therefore no wonder if he raise those that belong to him.
But seeing Christ is thus a quickening Spirit, it may be said, Why then have the people of God their natural bodies still? If they be in the second Adam, Why are they not as he is?
To this the Apostle answereth, verse 46. That which is natural is first, and afterwards that which is spiritual. It is the will and appointment of God, that the imperfect things should be first, and afterwards that which is more perfect.
In the next place, The Comparison is made between the two Adams in respect of their Originals, The first was of the earth, earthly, his body was made of the dust of the earth: (The Aegyptians had some confused know∣ledge of this, and therefore defined man to be, Animal terrenum è limo na∣tum; Hence in their Feasts, they offered unto their gods an herb that grew in their lakes, to signifie what man was.)
But the second man is the Lord from Heaven. This place hath an appear∣ance of some difficulty, for from this Text did some Anabaptists (who re∣vived an old Heresie, (viz.)
The third and last Collation is in respect of their qualities and properties. The first man is of the earth earthy, in a three fold respect:
1. Because his affections are only to earthly things.
2. Because the place where he is to be is the earth.
3. Because of his mortality, he is to return to dust again.
But the 'second Adam is heavenly in a three-fold contrary respect:
1. He is heavenly in regard of his life and conversation.
2. In regard of the place where now he is sitting in Heaven at the right hand of God, and thus all Christs members shall be heavenly, for they likewise shall be in Heaven for ever with the Lord.
3. Heavenly, Because of his immortality, for he shall never die more.
THus we have the Apostles elegant opposition between the first and second Adam, and my Text is a Conclusion from the former Discourse. Some have read the words preceptively, as if the sense were, As we have born the Image of the first Adam, so let us bear the Image of the heavenly; But the most solid Interpreters read it affirmatively, as in the Text we render it; and this seemeth to be more consonant, because the Apostle is still in the Didactical and Doctrinal point about our Resurrection; The particle 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is for the, and so, better translated illatively, Therefore.
The Text then affirmeth two things:
1. That all bear the Image of Adam who came from him.
2. Those who are of Christ shall bear his Image.
Having therefore treated of original sin, the Quod sit and the Quid sit, we come to that which is deservedly thought the most difficult and hard to conceive and ex∣plain in this point, Which is the manner of propagating it, and this shal be soberly and modestly discussed out of these words. For from the 45th verse, Austin takes an occasion to dispute (as Paraeus relateth) about the souls traduction from Adam, as well as the body. Although to speak the truth, that which is principally and apparently affirmed by the Apostle here, is, That we have mortal bodies propaga∣ted to us from Adam, which is easier to conceive of, then to have also sinfull souls from him, yet because the Text speaketh of Adam's Image in us, and that doth necessarilly suppose a sinfull soul, as well as a mortal body. We shall therefore declare the truth as of them conjoyned together. Observe
That all who come of Adam do thereby bear his Image: Our natural descen∣sion from him, maketh us to be wholly like him; when he was corrupted. That as those who are of Christ are renewed after his Image in righteousness and true holiness, so all of Adam are corrupted in sin and ungodliness.
WHat this Image is, you have heard already at large, our main work is to examine, How we come to be made partakers of it? Yet it is good sum∣marily to say something of this Image of Adams we all bear about with us. And
First, Man who was not only made after the Image of God, Gen. 1. 26. but is said absolutely to be the Image of God, 1. Cor. 11. 7. by his apostasie became not only like the beasts that perish, but also like the Devils that are damned. In∣somuch that now this glorious Image of God being defaced: If you ask, Whose Image and Superscription he beareth? We answer of corrupted sinfull and mor∣tal Adam, an Image we are to be ashamed of, and to mourn under all the dayes of our life; Who can look upon man, but may behold sinne and misery, folly and mortality? Now this Image of the first Adam comprehended the things of the soul and the body. In the body we have pains, diseases, and a necessity, of death at last; In the soul there is horrible blackness and confusion upon it, that as devils are represented in the most horrid and black manner that can be, such things are our souls now become. Although therefore the Text speaketh of Adam's Image in the bodily part, that we are thereby corruptible and mortal, and so need a Re∣surrection to make us happy, yet I shall chiefly speak of this Image in the soul, as it is infected and polluted with sinne from him. This is the Image we bear, but there is exceeding great comfort to the godly, that they being in Christ the se∣cond Adam, they shall be made perfectly conformable to him, they shall bear Page 184 that heavenly Image, and at last shall have no cause to complain, that their souls are bowed down with sinfull, earthly and heavy affections, weighing us down to the ground; were it not for hope of this at our Resurrection, the Doctrine about Adam's fall, and our hurt thereby would utterly discourage us; but there is a second Adam as well as a first, if he had been the first and last too, that no Adam would have answered him in the way of righteousness and life, as he was in the way of sinne and death; nothing but horrour and damnation could have taken hold of us; Let us be more deeply affected with the first Adam, and so shall we come more highly to prize and esteem the second Adam.
Secondly, Adam's Image as it is sinfull in the general, is not only born by us, but there seemeth to be a stamp and impression upon us of those very sins he committed. As those women who have inordinate desire after some things, do sometimes leave marks and impressions thereof upon the body: Thus it is spiritually. Those very sins which Adam particularly committed in eating the forbidden fruit, all men seem most universally to incline unto. As
1. A curiosity and affectation of knowing that which is not to be known. An inor∣dinate desire was in Eve to eat of the Tree of knowledge, because the Devil told her, It would make her wise, therefore she must eat of it; And is not this a very natural sinne in all, a curiosity in knowledge? Do not all desire to eat of the Tree of knowledge, but few of the Tree of life, especially Scholars, and such who are busied in learning? What an incurable itch is there to be wise above Scri∣pture, and to know such things God hath hidden? And this is a good Item to us to content our selves with sobriety, in questioning, How Adam's sinne can be ours? How the soul can come to be polluted? To desire to know this, is like the eating of the forbidden fruit: While thou art thus curious, remember Adam's sinne, that thou art acting it, while thou enquirest, how we are guilty of it?
A second thing remarkable in the first sinne was Their mincing about the word of God, yea plainly lying, that God had said, they should not touch it, which, though some say, is put for eating; Others, that Eve did say so for caution sake; Whence Ambrose hath a good saying, Nihil quod bonum videtur, &c. we must adde nothing to Gods precept, though it seem very good, and make much for godliness; yet others make Eve plainly to lie, and so to accuse God, as if he envied them further knowledge; Now this sinne of lying, how natural is it? We see it in chil∣dren, before they can move their feet to go, their tongues can stir to lie, as if they had been taught, they are so subtil in it.
3. Adam did excuse and cover his sinne as much as may be, putting it off from himself to others, and herein also we have a natural resemblance of him, for how prone are we to clear our selves, to lay the fault any where, rather than on our selves? Thus we bear Adam's Image.