A TREATISE OF Original Sinne. PART. II.
Of the Name Old-man given to Original Sinne,
ROM. 6. 6.
IN the beginning of the Chapter, the Apostle informeth us, That no Gospel priviledges, or Evangelical grace amplified to the highest, may encourage to sinne, for the Apostle maketh an Objection himself from the Doctrine he delivered; If grace abound where sinne doth abound, then why may not we sinne more, that grace may abound more? Thus there have alwayes been some who have turn∣ed bread into stones, and fish into serpents, making the grace of God to exclude our duty, and a tender care against sinne. But the Apostle, as if blasphemy were in this Objection, tryeth out, God forbid; You see with what indignation and detestation we should look Page 78 upon all those Doctrines, which under pretence of advancing Grace, do cry down Duties and an holy life, making it a legal and a servile thing.
Now the Apostle bringeth an Argument against indulgence in sinne, notwith∣standing Gods grace, Because we are dead to it, and then how can we live to it? Would it not be a monstrous, and an afrighting sight, to see dead men come out of their graves, to live and walk amongst us? Thus also it ought to be no less wonderfull, yea terrible, to see a Christian give himself to any evil way. And that we are dead to sinne, he proveth by our Baptism, concerning which he speaks admirable and sublime matter: So that if we consider what great things are here spoken of it, we may wonder to see, how cold and rare our meditations are about it; for he makes it to be that Sacrament, in the right use whereof▪ we put on Christ, yea that thereby we are ingraffed and implanted into him: Hence ver. 5. he useth that word of being planted into him; a metaphor from the Husbandman, who by planting his Science into, another stock, doth thereby make it partake of the life or death of the Tree; if the Tree liveth, that liveth; if the Tree di∣eth, that dieth; so it is with us and Christ. By the phrase then is intended no more than our communion with, and interest in Christ, and that both in his death, and his resurrection: For you must know, that the Scripture doth not only make Christs death and resurrection to be the cause of the death of our sins, and of our spiritual resurrection to holiness, but also makes them types and re∣semblances of such things in us, That as Christ died in his passible body, so we should die to sinne; and as Christ after his death did rise again to glory and im∣mortality, thus we should rise out of sinne, to walk in newness of life, and both these are signified in Baptism.
1. Our Communion with Christ in the efficacy of his death and resurrection.
2. The Representation of this; that what was corporally done to Christ, should be spiritually fulfilled in us; and therefore some think, that the Apostle doth allude to that primitive Rite and Custom which was in baptizing; when the baptized party was first put under the water for a little season, which represent∣ed Christs burial, and our death to sinne. 2. There was the emersion, or rising again out of the waters, which signified Christs Resurrection, and also our rising again to holiness and godliness.
This is the Summe of the Apostles discourse concerning Baptism in its sacra∣mental signification, which he amplifieth further in my Text, and that as a rea∣son, why we should not live to sinne who were baptized into Christ, viz. Be∣cause our Old man is crucified with Christ; Both because Christ in being crucified did subdue thereby the dominion of sinne, and also we are to do to the body of sinne within us, what was done to Christs body, to crucifie it, and thereby to destroy it. There is nothing more to be enquired into in the Text, but what is meant by our Oldman?
They limit it too much that understand it only of the habit, or acquired custom of sinne, which we live in before Regeneration, as Grotius seemeth to under∣stand; But we are to take it, as both Popish and Protestant Commentators do interpret it, for that vicious and corrupt nature, which we all derive from Adam, putting it self forth into several lusts and ungodly actions, wherby there is an habi∣tuated, inveterated custom at last in sin; so that although we may understand lusts and actual impieties with long custom therin, under the phrase of the Old man, yet principally and chiefly we are to interpret it of that polluted nature we have from Adam; and this will easily appear to be so, if you consider the other two places, where this expression is used, Ephes. 4. 22. That ye put off the Old man, &c. and that ye put on the New man. Col. 3. 9, 10. Ye have put off the Old man with his deeds, and have put on the New man. Where,
1. You see the Old man is distinguished from the effects and deeds of it, which are actual sins. And then
Page 79 2. Old man and New man are made two immediate opposites; now the New man is plainly expressed by the Apostle, what it is, viz. not so much actual ho∣liness, as the Image of God repaired in us, so that as the New man is the Image of God, and that holy nature repaired in us, so the Old man is the contrary to this, viz. a deprivation of that Image of God, and and an universal pollution of all the whole man: So that whereas sometimes the word Old is used absolutely, as the old Serpent (there is no new Serpent) which is the Devil; So here its used comparative∣ly, and called Old in respect of the New man, the work of grace succeeding therein.
HAving therefore hitherto shewed the Quod sit of original sinne, That there is such a thing, maugre all adversaries, and that by the mouth of two wit∣nesses out of the New Testament, and two out of the Old (not but that there are many more, only I shall (God willing) treat on them upon some different notions.) I now come to inform you of the Quid sit, What it is; for here is much opposition likewise; And because in knowing what a thing is, there is the Quid nominis, and Quid rei, what the name is, and what the thing is.
I shall first beginne with what the Name is, for that way Socrates did use to commend, from the name to go to the nature of a thing: And whereas this na∣tive-pollution hath Scripture names, Ecclesiastical, used by the Fathers, and Scholastical used by the Schoolmen, yea the Rabbins say, it hath seven names in the Old Testament. I shall only pitch on the Bible names, and that not univer∣sally, but upon some eminent and chief ones, which it hath in the Scripture, from which alone we shall be best able to discern the nature of it.
The first whereof is here in the Text, wherein it is called the Old man; From whence observe,*
That the natural or birth-pollution we are barn in, is called by the Scripture, The Old man that is in us.
Several names indeed the Scripture giveth it, and some are applied to it by Divines, of which, yet some question may be made; as when Christ is said, to be the Lamb that takes away the sinne of the world, John 1. 29. By that they say is meant original sinne, for that is not so much my sinne or thy sinne, as the sinne of the world, and therefore he speaketh in the singular number, The sinne, not the sins of the world; but this is not so probable, for Christ came into the world to take away not only original sinne, as some Papists have thought, but actual also. Others apply that of Heb. 10. to it, The sinne that doth so easily beset us; And indeed that is a very proper word to explain original sinne; but whether the Apostles scope be so immediately to point at that, may be further enquired into. I shall therefore take only some few clear and undoubted Titles, that the Scripture giveth to it, of which this in the Text is a notable one, The old man; And before we inform you, how comprehensive this is, let us remove a twofold mistake, or erroneous apprehension that may be about it.
Two Mistakes removed.
THe first is that of Flaccius Illyricus, who because the Scripture useth such concrete and substantive terms about original sinne, calling it a man, a body, therefore he erred in a contrary extremity to the Pelagians; and some Pontificians, making original sinne not to be an accident, but the essence and sub∣stance Page 80 of the soul; but of this more when we come to search out the nature of it; only you must know, that original sinne is not the substance of a man, but an universal disease adhering to it; as the Leprosie in a Leper, it's not his body, it's not his corpulent essence; the body is one thing, the Leprosie is another thing; and thus in man, his soul and body are one thing, his original corruption is ano∣ther thing: Though as in an universal Leprosie, you cannot touch one part of the body, but it is infected; so neither can we name one part of the soul, but it is polluted; we must therefore distinguish between nature and sinne, to avoid Flac∣cianism; yet we must not separate or divide one from the other, to avoid Pela∣gianism; but of this more in its time.
Secondly, We must not conceive that it's called the Old man, because of any impotency or weakness, as if it were not able to put forth into vigorous acts and lively lustings of sinne, as old men have all their natural strength and vigour de∣caying: No, though it be called the Old man in us, yet it's constantly working, drawing aside, captivating and enflaming of us, yea making warre daily against any thing of God within us.
These things premised, let us consider, why the Scripture giveth it such a name, for it might seem a very harsh exposition, to call that which is an accident or a quality in a man, by the name of an Old man.
Why Original Sinne is called Man.
THerefore let us see the reason, why it's called Man, and then the Old man; original sinne may be called a Man,
First, Because that so farre as we are men, quanti sumus, we are all over pollu∣ted; So that the old man is the whole man polluted in this sinne before he be rege∣nerated: Insomuch that this phrase may sadly and deeply humble us, that the Scripture gives the name of man to sinne, as if that were all we are: Hence (as you have heard) to walk as a man, to speak as a man, is to do a thing sinfully, as farre as thy humanity reacheth, so farre thy pollution reacheth; So that the very calling of thee a man may greatly debase thee; for though thou art a rich man, a great man, yet this Old man doth infect thee.
Secondly, In that original sinne is called a Man, there is implied the Subject of it to be every man, as well as every part of man, Totus homo, and totum homi∣nis, yea ad omnis homo, not one exempted that is by natural propagation: So that every little Infant hath this Man in it; Every one that needeth a Christ, that wanteth a Saviour, hath this Old man abiding in him.
Thirdly, It's called Man, Because of the heap or collection of all sinne that is in it; For as a man is not one part of the body, the finger, the eye, or the hand, but the whole Compages and Fabrick of all the parts united together. Thus original sinne is not one particular sinne, but the mass or spawn of all; It's not a stream, but the ocean, and therefore this sheweth the horridness also of it, that it is the womb wherein all sinne is conceived; Let a man be totally cleansed from this, as the glorified Saints in Heaven are, and then no actual sin can come from him.
Lastly, It's called a Man, Because of the intimate and tenacious adhesion of it to the whole man, there being no way to sever our Natures and that, while we abide in these mortal bodies: So that it supposeth sinne to be in us, as fire in the iron when it is red hot (though there is some dissimilitude also) that we cannot see Page 81 the colour and substance of the iron for the fire, nothing appeareth but fire; Iron though of it self black and cold, yet by the fire in it is altered; so the soul of a man; yea the whole man that was at first made upright and holy; now through this pollution manifests nothing thereof, yea the clean contrary; in stead of the Image of God, there is the image of the Devil, there appeareth nothing but of the sinne and the Devil in a man; for if Paul could say, He no longer lived, but Christ in him, Gal. 2. 20. when yet grace was not full and complete in him, How much rather may we, while abiding in our natural estate say, We no longer live, but sinne in us, for sinne moveth all, and doth all, having full dominion over us?
Why it is called Old-man.
IN the second place, It may be called the Old man; First, Because it came from Adam the first man, and most antient: Thus it is a sinne of great antiquity, it hath been in the world ever since Adam's transgression; Most things have had their times and their seasons, but this hath been alwayes; There was never any age, wherein men were not born sinfull, though some actual sins have abounded more at one time than another, though Adam be dead thousands of years ago, yet the sin liveth and is propagated.
2. It is Old, Because it is from every mans particular beginning: Thou canst not think of the number of thy years, or how old thou art, but thou mayest with groans remember also that sinne is just as old as thou art; Hast thou lived to threescore or an hundred years, even thus old sinne is? Alas we are apt to complain of old age, to count it a disease; we say, Alas now our best time is gone, we are weak old men: Oh but there is an old man within that is more to be la∣mented!
3. It's the Old man, Because of the crast and subtil wayes that this sinne hath within us: Insomuch that Jeremiah complaineth Chap 17. None can find out the depth of sinne, none but God can search thy heart: This is the old subtil fox within thee, and therefore it's said to deceive and to tempt us.
4. It's the Old man, Because it is to be renewed; That which is old (saith the Apostle) is to vanish away. The Old Testament was removed that the New might succeed. Thus the Old man is to die, is to continue no longer, that the New may be established in us.
Lastly, It's called the Old man, Because there is no loveliness or comeliness in it; For old age is like winter, making the blossoms of beauty to fall: Thus the name Old man argueth the uncomeliness of it.
Vse. Of Instruction, To acquaint your selves with this Old man in you, young and old, rich and poor, all have this Old man, that will at last betray and damn you: Oh consider you carry your own bane about with you, out of thy own bowels, thy own heart, will arise that which will destroy thee, and this Old man is in every one; The Pharisees told the blind man, He was wholly born in sinnes; They thought it was the condition of some miserable afflicted people to be so born, but it is the condition of all, and therefore expect no heaven or slavation, till this Old man be crucified, and the New man repaired in thee.
Of the Name Law of Sinne given to Original Sinne.
ROM. 7. 25.
THis Chapter is the common seat and proper place, wherein the nature of original inherent sinne is expresly handled; so that he who by reading of this Chapter shall not be convinced that there is such a thing as original sinne, and that in some measure putting it self forth in the godly to their great grief and misery, I think we may say, he would not believe any such thing, though men should rise from the dead, and come and preach it to us. I shall in time (God willing) fully improve the chief matter herein contained; for herein is described that Christian conflict which is in all the godly between the regenerate and unrege∣nerate part, as also the consequents thereof: For the present, I must take two Hypo∣theses, or Suppositions for granted, which in time (God willing) I shall fully prove.
The first is, That the Apostle speaking of such a sharp combate within him between the Law of his mind, and the Law of sinne, doth not assume the person of another, as of a carnal unregenerate man, or a Legalist convinced by the Doctrine of the Law, yet his heart carrying him in the clean contrary way, but speak it of his own Person, and that as regenerated. The former way go the Arminians, and some Papists, and all Socinians, but the later way generally go the Protestants, even as Austin of old, retracting the former opinion he once had; yea the best and choisest Commentators of the Papists, Salmeron, Pererius, Estius and Lapide, &c. do adhere to this Exposition. So that you must not think, that the com∣bate here spoken of, is like that which Aristotle describes his incontinent person by, that doth like videre and Probare meliora, but deteriora sequi, which is only a fight between an inlightned conscience, and a corrupt heart. Nor
2. Is it like those preparatory and initial works anteceding sometimes conversion, which Austin doth notably speak of in himself, desiring to be freed from sinne, and yet afraid his prayer should be heard; so that he was alwayes going, but yet never did thorowly go to God, till at last he found that gratia Dei vorti cordis, which no hard heart can resist, because it is given on purpose to take away the hard heart: But the Apostle doth here not only doctrinally affirm such a thing as original sinne, but experimentally he declareth the actings of it: So that he Page 83 doth not only write a doctrinal and dogmatical Truth, but also an History of what he observed in himself.
The second Supposition to be granted is, that by flesh the Apostle doth not only mean the sensitive or sensual part, but the whole man, so farre as corrupted. So that with the Apostle, the soul is flesh, the understanding, the will, are flesh, be∣cause all are corrupted with original sinne; Of which more in its time.
These two things premised, you may know, that this Text read is the Epilogue or summary Conclusion, which the Apostle makes from that doctrinal and pra∣ctical discourse about himself (to wit) that there are two principles in him, two selves, two men, as it were; There was both a sweet fountain and bitter within him, and from these did flow two suitable streams, The Law of the mind, did incline him to serve the Law of God, but the Law in his members, the Law of sin; Not that the Law of sinne and members are two distinct things, as Calvin and Beza thought, making the Law of sinne, to be original sinne, the Law in the members to be the actings and stirrings of this in the whole man; for ver. 23. The Law of sinne is expresly said to be in the members; And whereas the Apostle in that verse saith, He seeth a Law in his members bringing him into captivity to the Law of sinne, that doth not argue a distinction between these, but according to the use of the Scripture, the Antecedent is repeated for the Relative; the sense being. That the Law of his members did bring Paul into captivity to it, not∣withstanding the Law of the mind with in him, as Gen. 9. 16. I will remember (saith God himself) the everlasting Covenant between God (that is my self) and every living creature.
We see then in these words, that the Apostle giveth another name to that original sinne, which dwelleth in him, he calleth it very emphatically The Law of sinne in him; Original corruption is even in Paul, though converted, how much more in all unregenerate persons by way of a Law: From whence observe,
That the Scripture cals original sin the Law of sin Within us.
TO understand this, take notice of these things:
First, The Apostle in his Epistles doth delight to use the word Law, and that when speaking of contrary things, The Law of God, the Law of Works; This he mentioneth properly, but then he cals it, The Law of faith, because the He∣brew word for Law, signifieth no more than Doctrine, for Torath either comes, they say, from a word that signifieth to appoint or teach, or from a word that signifieth to rain, because (saith Chemnitius) as the raine is gather∣ed together in the clouds, not to be kept there, but to be emptied on the earth, that so it may be made fruitfull. Thus the Law of God was ap∣pointed by God, not meerly to be written in the Bible, but also to be implanted in our hearts. The word then in the Hebrew signifying Doctrine in the general, no wonder if the Gospel be called, The Law of Faith; So Regeneration, Rom. 8. is called, The Law of the Spirit of life; as in other places it is, The Law of God written in our hearts; but the Apostle doth not only apply it to these things, but especially in this Chapter he cals it; The Law of sinne, not sin only, but the Law of sinne, and the Law in our members; why the Apostle doth so, you shall hear anon. Only
In the second place, you must consider, when the Apostle cals it, The Law of sinne, it is in an improper and abusive, or allusive sense; for a Law properly is only of that which is good, the matter of a Law, must be honest and just, be∣cause a Law is pars juris, and Jus is à justo; Therefore Aquinas saith, That un∣just Laws are rather violentia, than leges. Yea Tully saith, Such Decrees are nei∣ther Page 84Leges, nor ne appellandae quidem, yet the Scripture speaks of some, who make iniquity a Law, Psal. 99. 20. or who frame mischief for a Law. Tacitus com∣plaineth of the multitude of Laws in his time, and saith, The Commonwealth groaned, ut flagitiis ita legibus; So that although the properties of a Law are to be good and profitable, yet by allusion, all unjust and hurtfull Decrees are cal∣led Laws, and thus the Apostle cals it the Law of sinne, alluding to those pro∣perties, or effects, which a Law hath; What the Law of God doth in a regene∣rate man, the contrary doth the Law of sinne in a natural man.
Original Sinne compared to a Law in five respects.
ORiginal sinne therefore may be compared to a Law, in these respects:
First, A Law doth teach and direct, Lex est lux, It informeth and teach∣eth what is to be done. Thus the Schoolmen, they make Direction the first thing necessary to a Law; The work of grace in a godly man, is called by the Apostle, The Law of the mind, in this Chapter; Because grace within a man doth teach and direct him what to do; Hence 1 John 2. 27. the godly man is said to have an anointing within him; The Law of God is written in his inward parts, and so from within, as well as by the Word without, they are taught what to do: Thus on the contrary the Law of sinne in a natural man, doth teach and prompt him to all kind of evil; This Law of sinne doth not indeed teach what we ought to do, but it doth wonderfully suggest all kind of wickedness to us; and from this cause it is, that you see children no sooner able to act, but they can with all readiness runne into evil; sinnes that they have not seen committed before their eyes, they can with much dexterity accomplish: What a deal of instruction and admonition is requisite to nurture your young ones in the fear of the Lord? And all is little enough, And why is this? The Law of God is not in their hearts, they have not that in them, which would direct and teach holiness; But on the other side, chil∣dren need not to be taught wickedness, you need not instruct them how to sinne, they have much artifice and cunning in an evil way, And why so? The Law of sinne is in them, this is that they are bred with: So that as the young ones of Foxes and Serpents, though they have no teacher, yet from the Law of na∣ture within them, they grow subtil and crafty in their mischievous wayes: Thus the Law of sinne doth in every man, he is ingenious and wise to do evil. As the ground ere it will bring forth corn doth need much labour and tillage, but of it self bringeth forth bryars and thorns: Thus all by nature are so foolish and blind, that without heavenly education and institution you cannot bring them to that which is holy, but of their own selves, men have subtilty and abilities to frame mischievous things: And why is all this? They have a Law of sinne within them, which directs, suggests and inform∣eth to do much evil: So that we are not to put all upon the Devil, to say, He put it into my minde, he suggested such thoughts to me; No, the Law of sinne within thee, can sufficiently prompt thee to all evil.
Secondly, A Law doth not onely teach, but it doth instigate and incline, it presseth, and provoketh to the things commanded by it, Thus the Law of the mind in a godly man, doth greatly instigate and provoke him to what is good; It is like a goad in his side, it is like fire in his bowels, he must do that which is good, else he cannot have any rest within him: You read when David refrained for a while from speaking good, at last he could hold no longer, but Page 85 the fire did break out: So Paul, 2 Cor. 5. The love of Christ constraineth us; Thus the true believer he hath a principle of grace within him, which is like a Law upon him, he cannot do otherwise, he must obey it: Thus on the contrary, Original sinne in a natural man, is like a Law within him, it provoketh him, it enflameth him to all evil; Whensoever any holy duty is pressed upon him, this Law of sinne stirreth him up against it, makes him rage at it, as the Apostle doth abundantly testifie in this Chapter, he tels us, This Law of sinne did warre and fight against the Law of God, it did lead him captive, it conquered and subdued him against his will: If then a godly man find this Law of sinne so powerfull, and operative in him; No wonder if men wholly carnal and natural, they finde the Law of sinne as fully prevailing over them, as the Devils did on the herd of Swine, which they hurried violently into the sea without any resistance. As then the Devil when he possessed some bodies, provoked and moved them to ma∣ny violent and sudden actions, which they could not gainsay: Thus doth the Law of sinne in men naturally, it provoketh, it instigateth, it turneth the soul upside down, it is continually pressing and enclining to evil, which makes the Scripture say, Gen. 6. That the imaginations of the thoughts of mans heart is only evil, and that continually.
Thirdly, Original sinne is a Law, because by this a man is bound and ca∣ptivated to the lusts thereof, there is an indissoluble union till death. Thus the Apostle argueth from the Law of an Husband and his Wife, she can∣not marry another, while her Husband lives; Neither can we be married to Christ, while this is predominant, yea, we must die, ere we be wholly freed of it.
Fourthly, Original sinne is called a Law of sinne within us, because of the injurious command and rule it hath in every man by nature: And this in∣deed is the most explicite and formal reason, why it is called a Law; for to a Law there is not onely required a directive power, for so counsels and admonitions have, which are no Laws; but there must be also a preceptive and commanding power; so that a Law hath vim coactivum, a compelling force; to have a thing done; and in this respect, the Apostle gives it this Title of a Law of sinne within us, for even in the person of a regenerate man; What sad complaints doth he make of this tyrannical power of sinne with∣in him? He is not his own man, he cannot do what he would, yea he doth what he would not; insomuch that he cals himself carnal, and sold under sinne: These expressions are so great, that therefore some have thought they could not be applied to a godly man; For it is said of Ahab, as a sure Character of his wickednesse, That he sold himself to do evil, 1 Kings 21. 20. but Ahab did that willingly; Paul is here passive, he is sold against his will, because sinne hath such tyranny over him: Therefore the afflicted Israelite did not more groan to be delivered from his oppression, than Paul crieth out to be delivered from this body of sinne; Well therefore may this birth-pollution be called, The Law of sinne within us, for it ruleth all, it commands the whole man; what sinne bids us think, we think; what it bids us do, we do; No natural man can do othewise: The Apostle speaks per∣emptorily, They that are in the flesh cannot please God? Rom. 8. 7, 8. And the carnal minde is not subject to God, neithe indeed can be: Oh the mise∣rable and unhappy estate we are all then in by this original sinne! We cannot but sinne, we do not love that which is good, neither can we; The Law of sinne hath wholly enslaved us: Though all the curses of the Law be denounced against us, yet we cannot but sinne: As venemous creatures can∣not vent that which is sweet, but necessarily that which is poison, yet (as Bernard of old said well)
Lastly, It may be called, The Law of sinne (saith Aquinas) Because it's that effect of Gods penal Law inflicted upon mankind, because of Adam's trans∣gression; So that upon Adam's sinne, God hath so ordered, that it should be by way of a punishment upon us, to be prone unto all evil. For (as you heard) this original sinne, is both a sinne and a punishment; So that as God hath appointed that every man should die, it is a Law that shall never be repealed; so likewise that every one born of man in a natural way should be unclean, and have a fountain within him daily emptying it self into poisonous streams.
Vse. To be informed, whence it is that thy heart is so out of all mea∣sure evil, whence it is that no godly thing is pleasing to thee, whence it is that upon searching into thy heart, thou findest a noisom dunghill there, that thou art never able to go to the bottom, whence it is that lust is so ready at hand alwayes, that sinne alwayes appeareth first in thy soul; All this is, because original corruption is by way of a Law in thee; That teach∣eth to sinne, that instigateth to sinne, yea that commands and imperiously puts thee on to all manner of evil: If you do not feel this heavy thral∣dome and pressure upon you, it is not because it is not there, but because thou art dead in sin, and hast no feeling of it. Solemon speaking of a good woman, hath this notable expression, Prov. 31. 26. The Law of kindnesse is in her lips (The Law of kindnesse) she cannot but be loving and friendly in all she saith. Now on the contrary, The Law of sinne is all over thee; The Law of sinne is in thy heart, the Law of sinne is in thy mind, the Law of sinne is in thy eyes, in thy tongue, thou canst not but sinne in, and by these.
Of the Name, The Sinne that dwelleth in us, given to Original Sinne.
Of the Combate between the Flesh and Spirit.
ROM. 7. 17.
THis excellent Chapter, which containeth the heart and life of the Doctrine of Original Sinne, so that it may be called the Divine Map thereof, describing all the parts and extents of it, will afford us many testimonies for the confirmation of it.
We therefore proceed to another name that we find here de∣scribed to us in this Text, viz. The sinne that dwelleth in us. The Apostle you heard (as we take for granted) doth here speak in his own person, and so of every regenerate man, that there is a conflict, and a combate between the flesh and the Spirit. In all such there are two Twins strugling in the womb of the soul, which causeth much grief and trouble of heart, which the Apostle doth in a most palpable and experimental manner relate in this passage, vers. 15. That which I do, I allow not; for what I would, that I do not, but what I hate, that I do. Now you must understand this aright, lest it prove a stumbling bl•ck, For,
First, The Apostle speaks not this, as a man meerly convinced, but yet carried away with strong corruptions; This is not to patrocinate those who live in sinnes against their conscience, but have some check and bitter reluctancy sometimes, so that they can say sometimes, I do the things I allow not, yea I hate; When the Apostle, Rom. Chap. 1. and Chap. 2. speaketh of some Heathens, that had their consciences accusing of them, and that they detained the truth in unrighteousnesse, he supposeth, That those who yet never tasted of the power of the Gospel, may have such truth and light in their consciences, that it shall suggest what is to be done, yet love to their lusts will hurry them the contrary way, but as in time is to be shewed, the combate between reason, and the sensitive appetite, is a farre different thing from the conflict between the flesh and the spirit in the godly.
Neither secondly must you understand Paul speaking of gross and foul sins, as if when he said, The evil he would not, that he doth, were to be understood of scandalous and wicked enormities; No, but it is to be interpreted of those motions Page 88 to sinne, and constant infirmities, which cleave to the most holy. Let not there∣fore any prophane person, that customarily walloweth in his impieties, excuse himself with this, It is true, I am such a beast, I do such soul things sometimes, but I may say with Paul, The things that I allow not, yea that I hate, those I do. This is to turn honey into poyson; This is to make the Scripture an incentive to thy impiety; No, Paul, and such as thou art, differ as much as the Sunne and a dunghill; Paul did not mean, the drunkenness, the uncleanness that he would not do, that he did, but he meaneth such corruptions and infirmities that imme∣diately flow from the polluted nature within us, from which we are never through∣ly cleansed in this life.
Thirdly, Neither when the Apostle saith, The good he would, that he doth not, and the evil he would not, that he doth: Is thus to be so understood, as if it were perpetual, and in every particular act, as if sinne had alwayes the better, and grace the worse, as if in no action he did, grace did conquer sinne; for in other places, the godly are said to have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts thereof: As also, That sinne shall not have dominion over them; but sometimes in some temptations they are captivated against their wils.
Fourthly, Neither may you thus understand Paul, when he saith, He would do good, but evil stops him, as if he had only the sluggards will and wish, who would eat, but doth not labour, who would be rich, but yet lets his field be full of briars and thorns, such velleities and incompleat wishes many formal Christi∣ans have; so that such lazy and sluggish desires without efficacious operations are not to shroud themselves under Paul's expression.
Lastly, Therefore Paul's meaning is, That the good which he would do, be can∣not do it perfectly, he cannot do it with that alacrity and fervency, as he would do; Though the flesh do not wholly conquer the spirit, yet it doth stop and hinder it. Therefore Nazianzen calls it the Echineips, the fish that stops the ship that it doth not go so speedily, though it doth not drown it.
In what sense those words, It is not I, but sinne that dwels in me, are to be understood.
THis premised, we may take notice of an inference or conclusion that the A∣postle draweth from this, Now then, it's no more I that do it, but sinne that dwels in me, which he speaketh not as excusing or putting off the blame from him∣self, but to difference and to distinguish these two principles that are within him, the regenerate and unregenerate; So farre as he is regenerate, he doth not do these things, neither are they to be charged upon him, he speaks it to distinguish not excuse; which is the rather to be observed, because of those Carpocrations of old, and Libertines of late, who excuse all their impieties, saying, It is not they that do such things, but the flesh within them, and so make a mock of all sinne: yea some of late have arrived to such horrid blasphemy, as to say, It's not they that do such and such evil actions, but God in them; Neither doth the Apostle lay the fault upon the Devil, it was not his, but the Devil, as many are apt to do, but upon that fountain, and root of all the bitterness in his heart and life, which is original corruption, here described to be the sinne dwelling in him. From whence observe,
That original sinne is an inherent, in-dwelling sinne in us. It is the sinne that sticketh fast to our Natures, and dwels in us.
Some will confess, That there is original imputed sin, but not inherent, where doth the Scripture call it so, say they?
Page 89 But first, They grant original imputed sinne, yet Where doth the Scripture call it imputed sinne?
And secondly, we say, The Scripture cals it inherent in this Text, The sinne that dwelleth in us, that is the same in sense, with the sinne inherent in us. So then, original sinne is the sinne that dwelleth, inheretit and abideth in us. To open thus,
First, Take notice, That there are three kinds of sinnes, as to our purpose, Original, Habitual, and Actual; Actual sinnes are all such which are a trans∣gression of Gods Law, whether by thought, word or deed; for the sinnes of the mind and the heart are actual sinnes, though never committed bodily and externally; Now these actual sinnes, they cannot be called sinnes that dwell in us, for they are transient, and when committed, they are passed away, onely the guilt remaineth, viz. An obligation to eternal wrath; Neither doth the Apostle so much complain in this Chapter of the actings of sinne (though that be part) as the Law of sinne in his members, which is the fountain of all.
In the next place, There are Habitual sinnes, such as are acquired by fre∣quent acts, and daily commissions of sinne; and these indeed must be confessed to be in-dwelling and fixed sinnes in us; and these habits of sinne do much in∣tend, and strengthen our original corruption, making it more vigorous; and if so be that custom be a second nature, how miserable is an unfegerate man, who hath as it were a two-fold nature inclining him to sinne? Original corru∣ption, which is like an innate habit, and custome in sinne, which is like an acquired: So that as the Scripture speaks of some, who are twice dead, so we may say, These are twice alive, in respect of their vigorous propensity to sinne; Therefore the Scripture speaks sometimes of men, that have these double chains of wickedness upon them: Thus when the Apostle, Rom. 3. 10, 11, 12, &c. doth from several places in the Old Testament apply those things which are spoken of men in an high nature flagitious, to every one by nature, that doth comprehend both their innate and acquired impiety, and therefore might well by the Apostle be applied to all, because all by nature would be carried out to such enormous rebellions. The Psalmist, because of original and habitual sinne in some persons, hath a notable expression, Psal. 5. 9. Their inward part is very wickednesse, or wickednesses, as in the Hebrew, Their inward part is nothing but wickednesse. Now although therefore habitual sinnes may truly be called sinnes dwelling in us; yet the Apostle doth not speak here of such habitual sinnes, for he speaks all along of one sinne, as the mother, as the fountain and root of all; And besides, Paul speaking in the person of a regenerate man, could not complain of the acquired habits of sinne within him, for in Regenerati∣on, there is an expulsion of all habitual sinne; and in this sense, Those that are born of God, are said, not to sinne, viz. habitually and customarily, as wicked men do, although some actual sins, and those of a very hainous nature, may consist with the work of grace, yet habites of sinne, and habits of grace can no more consist together, than light and darkness: It is evident then, that the Apostle not mean∣ing habitual sinne, must understand original, in the immediate actings and work∣ings of it, for this will alwayes be a troublesome and molesting inmate; This is not conquered but with the last enemy, death it self.
Why Original Corruption is called, The Inherent or In-dwelling Sinne.
THis premised, Let us consider, why original corruption is called the Inherent and In-dwelling Sinne, and that even in a godly man.
And first, The Apostle cals it, the sinne, (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) Because of the propriety, and proper right it hath to us. As a man is said to dwell in his house, be∣cause he hath a right to it, and it is his own: This original sinne is in every man, as in its proper place, as the stone doth rest in its center, and will not move fur∣ther; So that as hell is said to be the proper place of Judas. He went (saith the Text) to his own place; Thus is the heart and soul of a man, the proper and fit subject for all the natural impiety that cleaveth to us; and therefore, though the Devil be also said, To rule in the hearts of wicked men, he dwels also in them, as well as sinne, for which he is compared to an armed man, keeping the house; yet this is more extrinsecal, and from without; The Devil could not find a room ready swept and garnished for him, but because of this native pollution: Hence the Apostle doth not in this Chapter complain of the Devil, but sin dwel∣ling in him; He doth not say, I would do good, but the Devil hinders me (though that be sometimes true) but sin dwelling in him.
Secondly, This expression of sinne dwelling in a man; denoteth, The quiet and peaceable possession it hath in man by nature, it dwels there, as in its own house, nothing to disturb or molest it: Hence it is, That all things are so quiet in a natural man, there is nothing troubles him; he is not disquieted in his consci∣ence; he feeleth no such burden or weight within him, as Paul here complain∣eth of; so that you would think many civil and natural men in a more holy con∣dition than Paul; They will thank God, They have a good heart, and all is quiet within them; but this is not because original sinne doth not dwell, and live, and work in them, but because they are sensless and stupid, sinne is in its proper place, and so there is no trouble and restlesness in their conscience; Therefore its thy want of experimental discoveries that makes thee question original sinne, other∣wise thy own heart would be in stead of all books to thee in this particular. Indeed in godly men, though sinne dwelleth in them, yet it hath not peaceable possessi∣on, it is as a tyrant in them; Therefore the regenerate part maketh many op∣positions, and great resistances; There is praying, watching and fasting against it; They are as sollicitous to have it quite expelled, as some were to have Christ cast out the Devils from their possessed friends; otherwise in the natural man original sin prevaileth all over, and there is no noise, no opposition, yea great delight, and content there is in subjection thereunto, so that they resist Grace, and the Spirit of God by the Word, which would subdue sinne in them.
So that there is a great difference between the In•dwelling of original sinne in a natural man, and a regenerate; In the former it dwelleth indeed, but as the Je∣busites in Canaan, upon hard terms, as the Gibeonites were in subjection to the Israelites. It is true, Arminius (In Cap. 7. ad Rom. pag. 696.) from this ex∣pression of sinne dwelling in Paul, doth think a firm argument may be drawn, to prove that he discourseth of an unregenerate person, Because (saith he) the word to dwell, doth in its proper signification, and in the use of the Scripture signifie a full and powerfull dominion, and therefore rejecteth that distinction of Peccatum dominans, or regnans, which is said to be in wicked men, and inhabitans, which is in the godly; he would have it called inexistens, not inhabitans: But we have shewed, That sinne is said to dwell in a man, not because of its dominion in a Page 91 godly man, but because of its fixed inseparability, and from this word a servant, who hath no rule in an house, is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 1. Pet. 2. 18.
Thirdly, The word doth denote permanency, and a fixed abode in us; it is not for a night, or year, but our whole life dwelling in us: So that sinne is not in a mans heart, as a pilgrim, as a stranger that is presently to remove, but it hath taken up a fixed abode in us, here it dwels, and here it will dwell, you see our holy A∣postle sadly complaining of this inseparability of it from him, as long as he l•∣veth; Actual sinnes they are committed, and so passe away, yea when pardoned, it is as if they had never been; but original sinne is like Samson's hair, though cut it will grow again, and be as strong as ever, till it be plucked up by the roots.
Fourthly, In this expression is denoted the latency also, and security of it, it dwels in us, and it's called, The Law in our members. The chief actings and stirrings of it are in the inward man; Therefore it is that the natural man, the Pharisaical and hypocritical man know nothing of it; Paul while a Pharisee, and so zealous against grosse sinne, abounding in external obedience, yet knew not lust to be a sinne, neither was he so sensible of such a load and burden with∣in him.
Vse 1. Of Instruction, not to think imputed original sinne, or Adam's actual transgression made ours, to be all the original sin we have: No, you may see there is an in-dwelling sinne, an inherent corruption, from whence floweth all that actual filth which is in our lives. And why is it that we hear no more groaning and labouring under it? Is it not because the spiritual life of grace is not within them? Oh why are all things so still and peaceable within thee! Is it not because sin doth all in thee, and flesh will not fight against flesh?
Vse 2. Why is it that even the most holy are to walk humbly, to go out of themselves, to lay fast hold on Christ and his righteousness, is it not because they have such a treacherous enemy within, that hindereth them in every holy duty? Why also is there such a necessity of watching, praying, of holy fear and trem∣bling? Is not all this because of that secret deceitfull adversary within our own brests?
Of the Epithete Evil is present with us, gi∣ven to Original Sinne.
ROM. 7. 21.
I Shall not for the present say any more in the general, the may relate to the Explication of this Chapter, especially of that conflict and combate mentioned therein, as also in whose person he describeth it; for all will be fully considered, when we come to speak of the fruit and immediate effects of original sinne.
To come therefore immediately to the Text, You may easily perceive that it is part of that paroxysme, and spiritual agony Paul is in between the principles of good and evil, working in him: therefore he saith, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, I find, that is, by experience: As for Grotius, who makes this no more than the combat of conscience with corruption, which may be in natural men, alledging places out of the Poets, and Epictetus, where some have said in the like manner, they knew it was evil they did, and they do not allow it, but yet their frail flesh compelleth them to do it, so that they do not what they would, and what they would not, that they do: As also bringing in a Pagan out of Lactantius, saying, That he sinneth, Non quia velo, sed quia cogor, the flesh being so strong in him. These are but low and philosophical notions, arguing the ignorance of the work, of Gods Spirit in a man, and the repugnancy thereunto by the unregenerate part: But of this more in its time: It is enough for the present to take notice, that Paul saith of himself, That he findeth this in him.
In the next place, There is the object matter of this experimental discovery, which in the Greek is something intricate, and hath so tormented Interpreters, that there are eight Expositions given to make the grammatical connexion: Yea Erasmus is so bold, that unless we receive the supply of that Ellipsis or defect, he thinketh in Paul's speech which he giveth, that we must confess Paulum bal∣bituri; but as Beza well saith, Erasmus doth ineptire in saying so, our Transla∣tors render it smooth enough, I find a Law, and then followeth the specifical description of it, for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is taken many times 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is this, That when I would do any good, I cannot do it so fully, so perfectly, so freely, because evil〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉is present with me; it's adjacent and pressing upon me; it doth not sig∣nifie a meer presence of sense, but the activity and vigorous motions of it. Page 93Beza thinketh it an allusion to that which was spoken to Cain, Gen. 4. 7. Sinne lieth at the door, it is at hand upon all occasions in the punishment thereof to lay hold on a sinner, howsoever if the simple word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, doth not signifie a bare simple nearness, but that which is a burdensom, destructive approximation, as when it's said, Matth. 3. 10. The ax is laid to the root of the tree,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in the Original, and so also some expound that, 1 Tim. 1. 9. The Law is not made for the righteous,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as a burden imposed upon him by constraint, for he hath a voluntary principle within; If I say the simple word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 be used so, then much more the compound 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 are called 'Diabolicae praepositio∣nes, because they do so intend the signification; Paul then finds sinne alwayes at hand, when his heart is ready to do any good, to pull him back, to press him down, and so he is like the bird tied in a string, which assaying to flie up to hea∣ven immediately is plucked back again; Now this sinne thus present, is not actu∣al, habitual, or an accustomed sinne; Though Gratius relateth it to the custom of sinne, even as he doth (Lib. 2. de Jure belli cap. 12. 26.) expound that of the Apostle [By nature the children of wrath] making nature to be custom, saying, The Apostle doth not so much speak of his own person, as of the Romans amongst whom he then lived. For Regeneration delivers from the custom of sinne, but it is that original sinne, that corrupt nature, which doth alwayes cleave to us, as the shadow doth the body, or rather, as the Ivy the Tree, secretly consu∣ming it. From whence observe,
That original sinne is the adjacent sinne, or the sinne that is alwayes troublesomly present with as: So that whereas we may go from one company to another, from one place to another, yet we can never go from this original sinne, but we carry it about with us at all times, in all places, in all duties, and that even the most holy do, whereby it is that they are kept so low, and humble in themselves; Why is it, that when we are regenerated, we should not be like Saints in Heaven, without any spot or blemish? Why should we not delight in God, and heavenly things, more than in earthly? Why should there he the least difficulty and unwillingness in us to any thing that is good? Is not all this, because this sinne is thus readily present with us, it lieth not at the door, but in the very heart of us all?
But let us explain, What is comprehended in this Epithete given original sinne, That it is present with us?
What is implied in that Epithete.
FIrst, It implieth, That this sinne putteth it self forth first in the soul: The motions and thoughts of sinne arise first in us, before grace can prevent them. The Schoolmen speak of the motus primò primi, the very immediate and first stir∣rings of the Soul, before the will gives any consent, or the mind hath any deli∣beration, and these are sinnes, because contrary to the Image of God; But whence come they? Even from this womb of original corruption: So that it is like a furnace alwayes sending forth sparks: The Scripture expresseth it notably, Gen. 6. 5. where every imagination of the thought of the heart is said to be only evil, and that continually. Valentia (Analysis Dis. de peccato originali) and other Papists com∣plain, That we aggravate originall sinne too much, we speak too tragically about it, and indeed the Subject is very distastfull to every man; how unwilling is he to bear, that he is all over thus sinfull? This is to make them like Devils, and to send them to hell, they think; but what can be spoken more terribly against man in regard of original sinne, then God himself here speaks, where every Page 94 word is like so much thunder and lightning, as is to be shewed? Only for the present purpose observe, that he saith, Every imagination of the thought of a mans heart is evil; Imagination, or framing, and fashioning the heart of a man, is compared to a shop of wickedness, and every thing framed or fashioned there, is only evil. Sinne then is present in a powerfull manner, when there cannot so much as rise a motion in thee, a stirring of thy soul, though never so involuntary and indeliberate, but it is only evil: Oh it was not thus in the state of integrity, then every imagination, every motion was good, and only good; but now our gold is become dross, and wine water; Let a natural man observe his heart, and he shall see what riseth first in his soul is all filth, like the muddy fountain it comes from; Yea, even in a godly man, How many thoughts and motions rise up in his heart, that he abhorreth and trembleth at? It is true, sometimes the devil injecteth vile and blasphemous thoughts; so that his heart is not at all active in them, and therefore are not sinnes, but compared to the Cup in Benjamin's sack, they knew not how it came there, and it is a great dexterity in casuistical Divi∣nity so to direct a Christin, that he may know when such motions arise from the devil alone, so that they are my afflictions, but not sinnes, or when they come from my heart, and so are truly imputable to me; of which in its due time, it may be; but for the present we may sigh and groan under this consideration, That evil is so present with us, that nothing riseth up in the heart sooner than sinne.
Secondly, In that evil is said to be present, to Paul, there is denoted the universal and diffusca presene of it. Paul doth not say, it's present in one part, in one fa∣culty, but to me, that is in every part susceptible of sinne. Therefore it is called The Law in his members, because it putteth forth its efficacy every where: sinne is present in the mind, by atheism, unbelief, &c. in the will by obstinacy and obdurateness, in the affections by inordinacy and confusion, yea sinne is present in the eye, in the tongue; So that the Apostle meaneth, this original sinne is of such an universal extent, that it is present in every part in him; For you must not think (as some Papists do) That original sinne is only in the inferiour, sensitive part of a man, but it is principally and chiefly in the intellectual and most noble part, the mind and the understanding; and indeed because it's so predominant, therefore is conversion so difficult for the Ministry, bringing arguments and con∣victions out of Gods word. The sinne that is present in the understanding putteth a man upon atheistical cavils, and carnal disputes, whereby he shuts himself up voluntarily in his darkness, rather than he will receive light.
Thirdly, In that evil is said to be present with us, here is denoted the continual assaulting and vigorous acting of it at all times. Though original sinne be not an actual sinne, yet it is an active sinne; Hence Paul attributeth such actions to it, as if it were some mighty, imperious and conquering tyrant, he saith, it doth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, It warreth against him, it leadeth him into capti∣vity; Do not then think this sinne hath a meer bare sluggish presence, is if it lay asleep in thee? No, it is daily assaulting thee, it's continually pulling thee down; As the heart and pulse are in continual motion, thus is original sin within thee; Therefore our imaginations are not only said to be only evil (Gen. 6. 5.) but also continually; Thy soul never acteth, but it acteth sinfully and corruptly. It is true, while men are in their natural estate, They are dead in sinne, and so they find not, feel not these stirrings, neither do they groan under them, but there are innumerable Myriads of sinfull motions in thee to sinne, though thou doest not apprehend them; As a man shut up in a dark dungeon full of Toads and noisom vermin, he seeth nothing, till light come into the place, and then he trem∣bleth, being afraid to stay there any longer; such a loathsom dungeon is every mans heart naturally: Oh the atheism, vanity, wickedness that is bound up there∣in, but thou dost not know or believe any such thing, because dead in sin.
Page 95 Fourthly, There is implied the facility and easiness in sinning. The way to sinne is no narrow or strait way; There needeth not much striving to enter therein, for it's ready at hand; May not all find, if they will search, this readiness of sin at all time? Why is thy heart so quickly moved and drawn out to any earthly or sinfull pleasure, but it's a long while, ere thou canst make any fire, or kindle a flame in thy soul to that which is good? Thy soul is a dry Tree to the former, but a green Tree to the later, as the Scripture speaks concerning the righteousness of faith, It's night thee; Thou needest not say, Who shall go into the deep for it? Rom. 10, &c. Thus it is true of sin in thee, thou needest no instruction, no ma∣sters, thou needest not fetch devils from hell to commit sinne, for that is alwayes present with thee: Hence Eliphaz compareth it, Job 15. to drinking of water, when a man is scorched with thirst; If you see there are many, who by a natu∣ral conscience are so convinced, that they are difficulty brought to commit some sinnes, especially gross ones; It is no contradiction, for a man to be all over polluted and prone to sinne, notwithstanding such dictates of conscience im∣planted in all men; This is plain, That sin ss so present, that without any difficulty or pain, we are carried out to sinne, so that the kingdom of hell doth not like the kingdom of Heaven, need any violence to take it.
Fifthly, When evil is said to be present, there is denoted the subtile and daily in∣sinuation of it into all that we do. It's in a man, like leaven, that sends forth its fourness into all the meal, it leaveth not the least part unleavened: This sinne is like a Dalilah in Samson's heart, it is alwayes enticing and tempting of thee; and therefore it's called by the name of lust or concupiscence; and Jam. 1. 17. there it's said 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to intice, by setting baits for us: Hence in Jer. 17. the wicked∣ness of the heart is expressed by this, That it is deceitfull above all things; who can think, that the wise, holy God made us with such hearts at first: No, but up∣on the first transgression came this desolation upon us. Because then evil is thus present with us, hence every holy duty is contaminated; hence there is flesh as well as spirit in the best performances: This close subtil insinuating nature of ori∣ginal sinne, is the cause why a godly man can never know the bottom of his heart; This makes so many hypocrites and apostates; This is it that makes a man so un∣certain about himself; for when he hath done all, that we would think there were no danger, yet some embers or other may lie, as it were, under the ashes, and set all on flame.
Lastly, When it saith, Evil is present with us, that denoteth, the molesting and retarding nature of it, stopping us in all the good we would do. This is that especi∣ally for which Paul makes this sad complaint, so that he cannot step one step, but sinne puls him back again; This is the milstone about the neck; This is the clog and burden upon every man: Oh Lord, I would even flie up into heaven, but this burden doth press me down! When we would runne our spiritual race, this makes us halt.
Vse. Of Instruction, to abhorre all such Doctrines as teach a perfection, that holdeth, We may attain to be without sin in this life. Some Anabaptists and Papists, though so extreamly contrary, yet have understood that place, Ephes. 5. 27. Not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing (to be fulfilled in this life, forgetting the words before) that he might present it to himself a glorious Church; so that till this be done, it is not without spot; And near to these are such, who though sinne be every way present in them, yet because of their pharisaical and doubled minds (as Paul once was) they do not discover or feel any such thing. But let the tender en∣lightned heart go into Gods presence, and sadly bewail himself, saying; O Lord, How ill is it with me? What shall I think or say of my self? How unspeakable is my misery, I might have thought all sin within me even dead and buried? But oh, how it stirreth! Oh how ready is it to put forth it self! Lord, I know not how to live with this burden, and yet I cannot live without it, I should utterly faint, but that thy grace is sufficient for me.Page 94〈1 page duplicate〉Page 95〈1 page duplicate〉
Of that Name, The Sinne that doth so easily beset us, given to Original Sinne.
HEB. 12. 1.
THe Apostle from those several Examples of many Worthies re∣corded in the former Chapter, which he cals, A Cloud of Wit∣nesses, partly for the multitude of them, and partly for Dire∣ction; As the Israelites had a Cloud to guide them in the wilder∣derness, doth inferre a conclusion by way of Incouragement, to go on constantly in the way of Christianity; which he doth here, as in other places, compare to a running in the race. This similitude sheweth the Difficulty in the race, the Earnestness, the Fortitude and Patience that ought to be in such who will be saved. What an antidote should the meditation of this expression, be against all dulness, slothfulness and negligence, whose life is like a running in a race to Heaven: Now the Apostle following this Metaphor, exhorts to lay aside all those burdens that may hinder us in this work: It would be 〈◊〉 in him, who is to runne a race, to put burdens upon his back, and lay as many heavy weights upon himself, as he can; No lesse absurd are they, who give way to sinne in the lusts thereof, and yet hope to arrive at Heaven.
Now the burden we are to lay aside, is expressed in two words:
1. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉weight, by this is meant, all actual sinne, especially love and cares about the world, for the earth is an element that descends downward, and so he who hath an earthly heart, cannot but have his soul presse down∣ward.
2. There is the Root and cause of this, expressed in that phrase, The sinne that doth so easily beset us,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the word is but once used, and that in this place, it's a two fold compound, and so the more emphatical, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is as much here as easie, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, so that it is a sinne which besetteth and compasseth us about, and that very easily, it finds no resistance, neither have we any power to withstand it.
Some understand this of actual sinnes, but not only Protestant Interpreters, but even some Papists also; Ribera and others understand it of Concupiscence within us; The word is made a Metaphor several wayes; Erasmus renders it, Tenaciter adhaerentem, That sinne which doth so tenaciously adhere to us, ma∣king Page 97 it an All•sion to Ezekiel Chap. 24. where there is a Pot set on the fire, yet all the fire and burning cannot get off the rust and filth that clea∣veth to it. Gretius makes it to respect Lament. 1. 14. where there are yokes and bands mentioned about the neck, which are impediments to the beast in his going.
Others they make the Metaphor from a Wall, or an hedge that stops the passenger in his way; Yea, Lapide following others, makes it to be the outward temptations, or the dangers that are in the way by enemies and adversaries to the Truth, but the Greek 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, doth not well agree to that: Hesichius render∣eth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Varinus〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. If we compare this expression with what Paul saith of himself (Rom. 7) concerning original sinne, keeping and pressing him down; we may well with Beza put a procul dubto upon that exposition, which doth apply it to original sinne, for that indeed is the onely weight, that doth constantly and perpetually beset us and hinder us in our way to Heaven, and that with all ease and facility: Observe then,
That original sinne is the sinne which doth so easily beset us: That doth circum∣cingere, as Beza saith, bind us up strait and close, that our limbs are not expe∣dite and free to runne our holy race; So that it is with us as a racer that hath his arms or legs bound, his garments so strait-laced to him, that he can∣not have that liberty and freedom to runne, as he doth desire. Some con∣sider the word, as it did allude to a milstone about the neck, plunging us down into the Sea.
What is implied in that Expression, So easily beset us.
LEt us take notice, What is contained in this excellent and emphatical word. And
First, There is implied our utmost impotency and inability to shake off the power of it. For although the Apostle exhorteth us to lay it aside, yet that must be understood as a duty alwayes in doing, that we are neverable to compleat¦fully and perfectly; You see, though they are godly to whom he writeth, and they are already in the race, yet it is their work daily to be unburdenning of them∣selves: When therefore it's called, The sinne so easily besetting us, hereby is taught us our inability and insufficiency to withstand it; Insomuch that all those Doctrines, which teach Free-will, and a power to do what is good, are justly to be abandoned, John 15. when separated from Christ, we cannot do any thing, and therefore are said to be not asleep, but even dead in sinne; so that no Infant new born is more unable to help it self, than we are to promote the good of our own souls. This therefore must be laid as a foundation, without this our humi∣liation doth not goe deep enough; We are to lie bemoaning our selves, as that poor Cripple, which had no power to put himself into the water; And indeed till we be sensible of this impotency, we cannot expect that Christ will help us; When that Cripple said, He had no man, than our Saviour relieved him: Oh then, bewail the strait and misery thou art in If it were a temporal calamity thou wert in, and such as neither thou thy self, or any man in the world could help thee, How greatly would it afflict thee? But now though neither men or Angels can deliver thee out of this spiritual evil, yet thou doest not lay it to heart.
Secondly, As it densteth that our power to good is lost by this original sinne; Page 98 So also our will and desire: For why should it be said to beset us so easily? But because we have neither power or will against it; so that till the principle of Re∣generation be infused into us; sinne hath defiled our will, as well as our power; as we cannot, so neither we will not gain say the lusts thereof. We must not then conceive of man, as indeed miserably polluted, and such as cannot help himself, but is very willing, and heartily desireth to be freed from this bondage, but his will is as grosly polluted, as any thing, He willeth not the things of God, he loveth not, yea he hateth every thing that is spiritual and holy; Insomuch that we may truly say, That the actual wickednesse in mens lives, doth not onely arise from weaknesse and impotency to what is holy, but from an unwillingnesse, and an aversnesse to it. Though they be allured with the glorious promises of Gods favour, and eternal glory; Though the terrors of God, and the everlasting flames of hell be set before them, yet they will not; Though their consciences be convicted, though the word of God be plain against their lusts, so that they cannot tell what to say, yet they will not: So that herein lieth the sad and dreadfull efficacy of original sinne, that it hath cor∣rupted the will all over, so that whereas we will the lusts of the flesh, the pleasures of sinne, the comforts of the world, we have no will to what is good: If then the will, which is the appetitus universalis, and like the primum mobile, that doth carry all the inferiour orbs with it, be thus infected with sinne, no wonder if we be easily beset by it: This is to bribe the Commander in Chief, that ruleth all, and so it is no wonder, if all be at last betrayed into the hands of sinne and Satan.
Thirdly, When original sinne is said thus to beset us, and compasse us about, hereby is denoted, What an impediment and hinderance it is to us in our way to Heaven, that were it not for this clog upon us, we should with all chear∣fulness and alacrity runne the way of Gods Commandments. It is this that makes the Chariot-wheels of the soul move so slowly; It is this that stops us in the way, that makes us draw back.
How many wayes Original Sinne is a Burden, and an Hinderance unto us.
NOw because this property is chiefly aimed at by the Apostle in this ex∣pression, viz. that it is a burden, an hinderance, a stop to us, while we are in our race: Let us consider, How many wayes original sinne is a bur∣den and hinderance, so that if this were removed, there would be no complaints of the difficulty that we find to what is good, yea the more perfect and spiritual any duty is, the more pleasing and acceptable it would be to an heart eased of this burden. And
First, Original sinne is a burden incurvando, By bowing down and pressing to the soul to these creatures here below; So that now by nature the creature with the comforts thereof, is the center of a mans heart, is the ultimate object his soul is placed upon. God indeed made man after his own image and then his heart, his affections, they did all ascend upwards to God, then he could not satiate, or fully delight himself in any thing but God, but through this original sinne a man is habitually averse to God, and converted to the crea∣tures; So that God is not in all his thoughts, yea Ephes. 2. 2. they are said to be without God in the world, Even as the body of a man, when deprived of its sense; falleth prostrate presently upon the ground; so when that ori∣ginal Page 99 righteousness was removed, which was the soul of the soul, presently we fall downwards to the creatures, knowing no better good, nor desiring any bet∣ter comforts, but what are in them. No marvel then if this make the godly go stooping and bowing down, because it depresseth and leaneth to the creature, leaving God; That as you see the body is a burden to the soul, especially if dis∣eased, which made Plato say, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 was 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the very grave and sepulchre of the soul: Thus original sin is a spiritual burden to it, that there cannot be those ascensions and elevations of the mind to God, as ought to be.
Secondly, It's an impediment in our race, Obnitendo, by a plain opposing and contrary thwarting of any good that the Spirit of God either externally offers, or internally operates. Thus this native sinne doth with all violence oppose and thwart whatsoever is spiritual; Therefore you see the Apostle expressing this re∣sistance by military words, that it doth warre against him, and sometimes lead him into captivity; Thus even a Paul is like a poor captive or prisoner, carried up and down whether he would not: Now this obnitency and reluctancy of original sinne is seen two wayes against what is good:
1. There is a good published and tendered by the preaching of the Gospel. God doth by that proffer unto us everlasting and eternal life; but this original sinne stirreth up a man to reject it, and to refuse it; it's no sutable or acceptable offer to our natures, no more than pearls or sweet flowers are to the beastly Swine. Indeed when a people have lived long under the preaching of the Go∣spel, yet do reject it, and oppose it, loving darkness rather than light, these have a double blindness and hardness upon them; The natural one by original sinne, and the habitual contracted one, which they are justly delivered up into by God for the contempt of the light they do enjoy; but I speak here only of the natural blindness, and natural hardness upon our hearts: So that upon the very first of∣fers and tenders of grace, the first Sermon that ever we hear, the first time that the Gospel doth sound in our ears, we have a contrariety to it; and why is it that a man should thus naturally be an enemy to his own peace? Is it not because of this imbred sin working in us?
2. If the Spirit of God go further, and doth not outwardly teach onely, but inwardly and spiritually also, changing even the whole man, making it a new creature, yet because this corruption is not quite rooted out, it doth conti∣nually gain say, and withstand that Law of the mind within us: Whence then is it that such rebellion and opposition is within thee to every good thing? Is it not because original sinne hath put thee into this dis∣order?
Thirdly, It is an impediment alliciendo and inescando, It doth ensnare and allure the heart, so that while the soul should pursue the race, that throweth in the way some alluring objects or others, and thereby it is stopt in its course; As the Heathens speak of golden Apples cast in the way to hinder one that was swiftly running in the race: He that runneth in a race, must not step out of the way to gather every flower that groweth by the way-side; nor is he to stand still and refresh his eyes with pleasant objects: Thus neither ought we in our way to Heaven; but this original corruption bewitches and enticeth the heart with many deceitfull and alluring lusts: So that by this means we are for the most part in golden, sweet, dreams, promising this and that comfort to our selves, till at last with Dives we awaken in hell, and see our selves bereaved of all happiness. The Apostle James doth fully confirm this secret bewitching way of original sinne within us, which he calleth lust, Jam. 1. 14. So that, marvel not to see thy self drowned in all the pleasures of sinne, to be sucking down the comforts of earthly things with all delight, for this lust within thee, this bewitching Dalilah in thy breast, puts thee into a sweet sleep, and so heavenly things have no relish, no taste to thy appetite, Page 100 but the things of the world are sweeter than the honey-comb: Oh why is it that sinne which is indeed full of stings and bitterness should be so sweet! Why should it be such a pleasing thing to go in the wayes that lead to hell and damnation? that when thou art sinning, it is as thou wouldst have it? Is not all this, because sin hath insnared and inticed thee?
Lastly, Sinne is a burden to the soul in our race, debilitando, By weak∣ning and debilitating the principles of grace within us: So that although we are regenerated and sanctified, yet because original sinne doth intimately adhere even to the very habits of grace within us, so that they are not per∣fect and pure: Hence it is that their actings are more remisse and languid; we cannot love God perfectly, we cannot have pure and sinnelesse actions, because we have not pure and sinnelesse principles: So that whereas some have thought, that there is not such a spiritual conflict in a godly man, as we speak of, because that would make the will, to will and nill at the same time two con∣trary things; they do not rightly understand this Assertion, for it's not from contrariety of volitions, but because the will being not perfectly healed, willeth good things remisly and faintly, not with that perfection, or freedom and alacrity as it ought to do.
Vse. Of Instruction. Every day to bewail this depraved estate of thine more and more; We take thee (as Ezekiel was in another case) and cause thee to see every day more and more abomination: Thou hast not heard all the worst, nor have we discovered all the worst that is in us, yea, we are never able to goe to the bottome of it. This original sinne is an unsearchable Mystery; It is a long while ere we come to know any thing of it, and longer ere we come to know the breadth and length of it. Know this sufficiently, and then be in love with thy self, or trust in thy good heart, and thy own righteousness, if thou canst.
Of the Name Evil Treasure of the Heart, given to Original Sinne.
MAT. 12. 35.
THese words are part of an Apologetical Answer, that our Savi∣our made against the Pharisees, who were guilty of blaspheming the holy Ghost, because they did maliciously oppose the known truth, and what was done by the Spirit of God, attributing it to the power of the devil. And in this Apology the fervency and zeal of our Saviour, doth appear in the compellation he giveth them, Generation of vipers: Here you see, That it is not alwayes railing and indiscreet zeal, to call wicked men by such names that their sinnes do de∣serve.
In the next place, he giveth the reason of this their blasphemy, it is no won∣der if they speak ill, who have ill and naughty hearts, which he expresseth em∣phatically:
1. By an interrogation, How can ye?
2. By the impossibility, How can ye?
3. From the matter mentioned: he doth not say, How can ye being evil de good things, but speak; We might think wicked men might easily forbear evil words, though not evil actions, but their heart is first set on fire with hell, and then the tongue. The Physician discovers how the heart is by the tongue, and so doth Religion also. Now that good words cannot proceed from a bad heart, viz. naturally (for on purpose, and artificially many evil-minded men, may speak religiously, and men may have butter words, whose hearts are like swords) our Saviour proveth from the common and even proverbial rule; A good man hath a good heart, and a good treasure, and so of this sweet fountain cannot come bitter streams. But a bad man hath an evil treasure in his heart, and so from these thorns men cannot gather grapes, nor from these thistles figs; we see here then a good man and a bad, diversified by that which is wholly hidden and secret, not known to any, but God, till he discover it by words or actions. Now this evil treasure in every mans heart is two-fold,
1. That which is Natural, that which he cometh into the world with, thus every man hath an inexhausted treasure of wickedness, which he spends upon all his life time, and yet never cometh to the bottom of it; And in this sense our Page 102 Divines do well prove, That no natural or unregenerate man is able to do any thing, though never so little that is good, because he is a bad Tree, and be∣ing also of the seed of Serpents, there cannot come any honey, or sweet thing from him.
2. There is an acquired and increased treasure of sinne, which a man storeth up by daily custom in sinne, so that he becometh to have two treasures of evil in his soul, as if one were not enough, natural, and voluntary, innate, and volunta∣rily contracted: For you must know, That original sinne, though it be a full fountain of poison, ready of it self to overflow, yet custom in sin doth strength∣en, and inable it to be more vigorous and operative; we may put more wood to this fire, and so make it more dreadfull: Even as these Pharisees, though they were by nature, the Serpents seed, yet because of their voluntary and contract∣ed malicious disposition in them, superadded to the former, our Saviour calleth them, Generation of vipers. Now although the Pharisees had this two-fold evil heart, naturally, and voluntarily, yet I shall of the former onely, and so handle it not, as relating to the Pharisees, but as it is a general Truth, to be af∣firmed of every one, till renewed by grace, that he hath an evil treasure, an evil heart within him; And from thence observe,
That original sinne is the evil treasure that is in a mans heart. Sometimes the heart it self is said to be evil, to be desperately wicked; but then it's not taken phy∣sically, as it's a corpulent substance in a man; but morally or theologically, as it is the seat and principle of all evil: For as the Sea hath all the Rivers in it, from which they come, and to which they return again; so the heart is the fountain of all evil, and all evil is seated in it, coming from the heart, and going back again to it.
But let us open this treasure, which is not like the opening of that Alablaster Box, which perfumed the whole house; but like the opening of a noisom Sepulchre or dunghil, from whence cometh only what is loathsome; Therefore it's not cal∣led a treasure in a good sense, as commonly the word is used; for we do not use to treasure up vile and loathsom things; but because in a treasure there is plenty and fulness, therefore is this evil heart, this original pollution called a treasure, and that very properly, for these resemblances.
How Original Sinne resembles a Treasure.
FIrst, A treasure hath fulness and abundance. A poor man that hath only mo∣ney enough to discharge his daily expences, is not said to have a treasure, for that denoteth abundance, more than enough: Thus is original sinne deservedly called a treasure, because it's a fulness of wickedness: As in Christ the treasures of wisdom are said to be in him, Col. 2. 3. So in every man, there is a treasure of folly and wickedness; so that every man is rich enough to sinne, let him be never so poor, never so straitned, not a morsel of meat to eat, not a farthing to buy any thing with, yet he hath a rich heart, a full heart to sinne, he is never de∣stitute of plenty and power to do that; which consideration should greatly hum∣ble thee to think, in stead of that good treasure, which God once put into my heart, being throughly furnished with every grace; now there is a treasure of evil; now darkness is where all that light was; evil, and nothing but evil, where all that good was; Though thou art a rich man, and a great man, glorying in thy treasures of wealth, yet the treasures of evil in thy heart, may make thee fear and tremble.
Page 103 Secondly, Here is denoted in this expression, That all sinne is potentially and se∣minally in our hearts; For it's not said to be an evil heart in some respect, and as to some actings, but indefinitely and generally, an evil treasure of the heart. Hence Rom. 3. 14, 15. There are in man by nature crimson actual sins of the greatest guilt, viz. The poison of Asps is under their tongues, their mouth is full of cursing, their feet are swift to shed blood, &c. These sins which some few of mankind only, and those the worst of men, do ordinarily commit, yet they are attributed to every man by nature; And why? because there is the treasure of these in his heart; you cannot name the vilest actions that are, though for the present like Hazael, thou wouldst defie such things, saying, Am I a dog, a devil, that I should do them? yet did not God bind up this treasure of evil in thee, as he doth the clouds, that are his treasures of rain, thou wouldst quickly be overwhelmed with them; what trembling should this make in a mans heart, when he shall consider, there is not the vilest and most prophane atheistical man breathing, but thy heart would car∣ry thee out to do the like, did not God say to this sea of corruption within thee, Hitherto thou shalt go and no further? It is because of this, that David and other eminent godly men, have fallen into such gross and loathsom sins, that you would have thought they had not been in the least danger of, that they were as farre from, as the East from the West, yet how quickly could these materials for sinne in their hearts ripen, and break out into a flame? How quickly did even the green Tree burn? What then would the dry Tree do? Look then upon thy self, as the vilest sinner in the world, in respect of thy principles, and propencity to all sin; Say, it is not because I have a better nature, I have less original sin in me, but because God is pleased to put a restraint upon me! Certainly, if this will not make us like Job, abhorre our selves, as it were, upon the dunghill, what will?
Thirdly, In that original sinne is compared to a treasure, there is denoted the in∣exhausted nature of it, though we sinne never so much, yet the stock of sin is not quite spent. As God, because he hath a treasure of mercy, and therefore said to be rich in grace; though he sheweth never so much mercy, and vouchsafeth never so much grace, yet his treasure is not impoverished thereby, he is as fully able to bestow fresh grace, and new mercy to thee, as if this were the first time that ever he began to be mercifull: Thus, though with great disproportion, it is with a man that hath this evil treasure in his heart; Though he sinne all the day long, though from this abundance his mind thinketh, his tongue speaketh, his hand acteth that which is evil, yet still his corruption is not abated, yea it is the more strenghned and increased: As it is with poisonous creatures, though they vent never so much poison, yet they cannot cast out the root and cause of it as long as they live: So though a natural man be all the day long sending forth no∣thing but sinne and folly, yet his heart is as full as ever, this fountain is not dried up; Therefore although it may fall out, that many bodily sinnes cannot be any longer committed, because the body groweth old and infirm, yet this original sin is never weakned, while a man is unregenerated, but in a natural man, though an hundred years old, yet it is as vigorous and active, as in youthfull sins. It is re∣ported of a liberal Emperour, who was much in free munificence, that he would say, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Draw from me, as from the River Nilus, meaning, that he would never be weary, that he was like a fountain, of which all travellers might drink, yet he be as full as ever: Thus it is with this treasure of original sinne, all the sins that have come from it to this day, have not at all diminished the foun∣tain, it's as full and as overflowing as ever, yea as sudden showrs make the rivers fuller, causing a flood; Thus do all actual and customary sins, they make this ori∣ginal corruption like Nebuchadnezzar's fornace seven times hotter than it was before.
Fourthly, In that it is called a treasure, we thereby see the delight and pleasure that we naturally take in what is sinfull. Our Saviour saith, Where a mans treasure Page 104 is, there his heart is also; how much more when this treasure is his heart, when his heart and treasure is all one? Therefore this expression doth denote the futa∣ble and pleasing nature of sinne to us; it sheweth, that what water is to the hy∣dropical man, as Job 15. so is sinne to a man by nature: Hence Heb. 11. they are called, The pleasures of sinne; Who would think so? you would rather think we might as well say, The pleasures of hell, and the pleasures of damnation, that a man would be as willing to be damned, as to sinne; But thus sweet and pleasing is sinne to every man by nature, because his heart is upon it, it is a treasure to him; That as the godly account Gods will sweeter than the honey-comb, so do they the will and lusts of sinne; Do ye not pity such, who are so distempered in their palate, that they cannot forbear eating those things, which will be their death at last? How much more miserable is man, to whom nothing is so pleasant, so much sought after, as that which will prove his eternal damnation? And certainly, if sinne be not such a delight to thee naturally, how cometh it about that no threat∣ning, no fear of hell, all the curses in the Law denounced against thee cannot make thee forbear? If you regard sinne in its own nature, so the Scripture repre∣sents it most irksom and loathsom, comparing it to gall, to a bitter root, to mire, to vomit; And who can desire to swallow down these things? But because ori∣ginal sinne hath infected all, hath made us like so many beasts, therefore what is in it self abominable, to our corrupt natures is become exceeding pleasant.
Fifthly, Because it's a treasure, therefore it is that every day there cometh from us some new corruption or other, some new sinne or other to be matter of condemnation to us. That when we might think, if once we had got our hearts to such a frame, if once we could subdue such a corruption, then, we hope we should be at some ease; but no sooner have we obtained such desires, but this treasure of evil pour∣eth out new matter of sorrow, corruptions rise fresh again, when we began to hope all were dead; So that the soul begins to be even hopeless, crying out, O Lord, how long? When shall this bloudy flux be stopped? When shall it once be that I may be quiet and free from this molesting enemy within? But it is with thy heart as with the sea, when one wave is over, presently there cometh another, and again another, and it cannot be otherwise as long as this treasure is in us, as Job saith, Chap. 14. A Tree though the boughes of it be cut, yet the root will spring again, and be as big as ever, if suffered to grow: Thus original sin, though it may be mortified and crucified in some measure, though there may be much stopping and abating the strength of it by grace, yet because the root is there still, it will quickly sprout again: Hence are the godly put upon those duties of crucifying and mortifying the flesh, because they will have this work to do, as long as they live; there is a treasure, and so out of this, as the good Scribe cut of his good treasure, Mat. 13. 52. doth bring out new and old, thus doth he old lusts and new.
Vse. Of Instruction. Have we all by nature an evil treasure in our hearts, then see, why it is that thou art alwayes sinning, that thou art never weary, that all the world cannot change thee, or make thee of another mind? Is it not this evil treasure within? As it is a treasure of sinne, so it is of wrath and punishment, Rom. 2. some are said, To treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath; and this is thy case, and never do thou flatter thy self, because thou dost not feel and perceive any such evil upon thee, for therein art thou the more miserable; Treasures use to be hidden and secret, therefore in the Scripture called hidden trea∣sures, and thus is this treasure of evil in thy heart, it is hidden from thee, thou dost not know it, till God open thy eyes, till he give a tender heart.
Of the Name Body, given to Original Sinne.
ROM. 8. 13.
I Come now to the last Name, I shall insist upon, that the Scri∣pture giveth original sinne, and that is a Body; For al∣though the most famous, and notable name is flesh, yet because that will most properly be considered, when we speak of the Nature and Definition of it, I shall put it off till that time; Only we must necessarily take notice of this Title given to it here, and elswhere, (viz.) a Body: Not that this word is to foment the Illyrican absurdity, That original sinne is not an accident, but a substance; but hereby is manifested the real and powerfull efficacy of it upon the whole man: For the coherence of the words, the Apostle at vers. 12. from that glo∣rious and precious Doctrine of Justification by Faith, and also Sanctification begunne in us, doth inferre this Exhortation by way of Conclusion, That there∣fore we are not Debtors to the Flesh, we have received such great and unspeak∣able favours from God, that we owe all to him; as for sinne, called here the Flesh, we owe nothing at all to that, sinne will not justifie us, sinne will not save us: Neither hath the Devil shewed that love to us, which Christ hath done.
By this then we see, That though Justification and Gospel-mercies be not for any works or merits of ours, yet Believers are to study and abound in holiness, as that which Christ aimed at by the work of Redemption, as well as our Justification. Now for this reluctancy against, and mortification of sinne, the Apostle useth several Arguments, as in the Text, the danger that will accrew even to the godly, If they live after the flesh, they shall die, that is, eternally; The godly need this goad to prick them forward, they must not please themselves, as if because they were elected, justified, they may live as they list, and walk after the flesh; No, if they do so, they shall surely be damned.
What is implied by the word Mortifie.
BUt on the contrary, If they mortifie the deeds of the body by the Spirit, they shall live; where you have the duty supposed, to mortifie; that im∣plieth, it is not enough to forbear from the actings of sinne, but they must kill it; Sinne may be left upon many considerations, yet not mortified; Look there∣fore that sinne be dead in thee, and not asleepy, or onely restrained for a season.
Again, To mortifie signifieth the pain and renitency that is in the unregene∣rate part against this Duty. A wicked man had almost as willingly be killed, as leave his lusts. This sheweth how fast sinne is rooted in us, more than a tooth in the jaw, or the soul in the body; and if any of these are not taken away with∣out much pain and trouble, no wonder if the leaving of our corruptions be so troublesom to us.
Lastly, This word supposeth, It's a constant work, we are alwayes mor∣tifying, alwayes crucifying; This is spoken to comfort the godly, that they should not wholly be dejected, if they find some actings and stirrings of sinne still within them.
SEcondly, There is the Object of this Duty, and that is The deeds of the body; Many translate it, The deeds of the flesh, for that which was called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 be∣fore, is here called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; Now this body is not only sinne putting it self forth in bodily actions, but it is the same with flesh, which is original corruption defiling the whole man: So that the body here, as Beza doth well observe, is, The whole man in soul and body, while unregenerate; for the flesh, the body here spoken of by the Apostle, is in the soul as well as body, it is every thing that is opposite to God in a man, whether it be in his mind, or in his flesh. So that Austin said, The Epicurean he saith, Frui carne meâ est bonum, to enjoy the flesh is good; The Stock he saith, Frui mente meâ est bonum, to enjoy my mind is good, but both are deceived, for to enjoy God only is good, and both the body and the mind are all over defiled with sin.
LAstly, There is the Efficient Cause, by which we mortifie the deeds of the body, and that is the Spirit; It's not our power, but Gods Spirit that con∣quereth these lusts for us, Observe,
That original sinne is a body in us. It is a body both in our soul and body; it's called a body, not properly, as if it were a substance, but metaphorically and allu∣sively; So Rom. 6. 6. it's called The body of sinne; and certainly it may as well be called so as flesh and the old man.
Why Original Sinne is called a Body.
BUt let us consider, Why it hath such a name given to it. And
First, It is to shew, That original sinne doth not lie latent in our breasts, but putteth it self forth visibly in all the operations of the body: That as the Godhead is said to dwell in Christ boa•ly, and the Word was made flesh, because the Divine Na∣ture which is immaterial and invisible, did through the body become as it were visible. Thus we may say, Original sinne dwelleth in us bodily, and that it is made our flesh, because in and through all bodily actions, it doth manifest it self both to our selves and others: It is then the body of sinne, because it makes it self outward visible, and doth as it were incarnate sinne, hence it is called the outward man: Indeed it is disputed, whether 2 Cor. 4. 16. where the Apostle saith, Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed daily; By outward man there is meant the body only, or original sinne in the bodily deeds thereof; Most do interpret it of the body only, yet Paraeus understands it of original sinne with the body, That as the body and original corruptions with the effects thereof are constantly dying, being mortified by the Spirit of God, so the inward man, which is the work of grace, is daily more confirmed; Howso∣ever this be, yet it is plain, Rom. 7. 22. That the work of grace within us, being called the inward man, that by opposition, original corruption must be the out∣ward man, and therefore called, The Law in our members. It is thought by Ne∣rimbergius, that the Apostle taketh this distinction of an outward and inward man from Plato, out of whom he quoteth a place, with some vicinity to Paul's expression. This is certain, That original sinne may well be called, a body, and the Law in our members, because by these it doth so palpably put forth its self: Insomuch that we may wonder any will not believe there is original sinne, for it is obvious to the sense, they may behold the effects of it, that as you may know a man hath a soul, because he speaketh and laugheth, though you cannot see the soul: Thus though you cannot see original sinne, yet because as soon as ever the child can speak or do any thing, you see vanity and sinne put forth it self, therefore you may conclude there is original sinne: Thou then, that wilt not be convinced of it by Scripture, by reasons and several Authorities, we send thee to experience; You cannot go from house to house, from Town to Town, from company to company, but you may see the effects and actings of original sinne: If you say, It's mens actual sins and custom therein, that makes them so vile; It is true; But still we ask, Whence came the custom? Whence came they to have those actings? Certainly, those streams could not have been polluted, if the fountain had not been; and if original sinne did not infect our natures, why should not men ge∣nerally as well act that which is good, and obtain a custom in that which is com∣mendable? Therefore experience, thy eyes, thy ears, may convince thee of this bodily sinne.
Secondly, The Apostle calleth it a Body, to answer those other expressions that he useth about it, for he often calleth upon us to mortifie, to kill, to crucifie this original sinne: Now to mortifie and crucifie are properly relating to a Body, we do not say properly accidents, or qualities are crucified. To make therefore the expres∣sion harmonious, he calleth it a Body; Howsoever therefore it is with our natu∣ral body, that no man ever yet hated his own flesh, we are to nourish and cherish that, and it would be murder to mortifie that body, yet this Body of sinne is to be kept under, we are not to spare it, but by the Spirit of God to be constantly crucifying of it; neither let that discourage thee, because (as you heard) this will be painfull and grievous to flesh and blood; for you must conclude upon this, Page 108 That the way to Heaven is narrow and straight, there must be constant violence and opposition to all natural inclinations: Every godly man may well be called a Martyr, for though he may feel no pain in the killing of his natural body, yet he must and will feel much exercise in killing the body of sinne, but better endure some grief here, than eternal torments hereafter. Our Saviour speaks to this twice, as it's mentioned by the Evangelist Matthew, Chap. 5. 30 & 18. 3. It is better (saith he) to go halt and blind into life, than with two hands and eyes to be cast into everlasting fire: Think then, whether will be more burdensom to leave the pleasures of sinne here, or hereafter to be tormented to all eternity.
Thirdly, Original sinne may be called a Body, To shew the reality of it, that it is not a meer fancy or humane figment, as some call it, or a non ens (as the late Writer D. J. T. Answ. to a letter.) We know the Scripture, and so our use of speech opposeth a body to a shadow; The Legal Rites are called a shadow, and Christ the body; Thus original sinne, it is not the shadow, or the notion of a sinne, it liveth and moveth as well as actual, it provoketh God, it curseth and damneth as well as actual sins; So that we are not to flight it, or to be fearless of it, but rather to tremble under it, as the fountain of all our evil and calamity. The word Body is sometimes taken for that which is substantial and real, in which sense some have excused Tertullian and others, that attributed a body to God and Angels, as if they intended nothing but a real substance, as the a•iome of the Stoicks was, Omne quod est, est corpus; Hence they made Virtues and the Arts, Bodies: But whatsoever their intentions might be, the expression is dangerous, for God is a Spirit; but there is no danger to call original sinne a Body, thereby to express the full and real nature of it, and thus farre Illyricus his intention was good, though his opinion was absurd, to amplifie those terms the Scripture giveth to original sinne in opposition to Popery, wherein they speak so coldly and for∣mally of it, only that he should therefore make it to be more than an accident, even the substance of a man in a theological consideration; hence he did over∣throw all Philosophy and Divinity; So that properly the Lutheran Poet cannot be excused, when he saith,
Fourthly, Original sinne is called the Body of sinne, Because it is a mass of sin, a lump of all evil: It is not one sinne, but all sinne seminally: And this seemeth to be the most formal and express reason, why the Apostle giveth it this name, cal∣ling it a Body, and attributing members to it; for as a body is not one member, or one part, but the whole compounded of all; Thus is original sinne, it is not the defilement, or pollution in one part of the soul, but it diffuseth it self through all. It is a body of sinne, and herein it doth exceed all actual transgressions, and for this reason, we ought the more to grieve and mourn under it; The body is heavier than one part, why are actual sins a load upon thee, but this which is the cause of all, and comprehends all, thou art never affected with? O pray more Page 109 for the Spirit of conviction by the Word! Look oftner into the pure glass of the Law! Compare thy universal deformity with that exact purity! It is for want of this the pharisaical and the natural man is so self-confident, trusteth so much in his own heart, doth so easily perswade himself of Gods love, whereas if we come to a Christian like Paul, complaining of this Law of sinne within him, finding it captivating and haling of him whither he would not, then we have much a do to comfort such an one, all our work is to make him have any hope in Christ, he thinketh none are so bad as he, that the very devils have not worse in them, than he feeleth in himself; and all this is, because original sinne is such a loathsom dung∣hill in his brest, that as those who have putrified arms, or other parts of their body, they cannot endure themselves, they would flie from themselves: Thus it is with them, because of this original pollution.
Fifthly, Original sinne may be called a Body, Because it inclineth onely to car∣nal, earthly and bodily things, not at all savouring the things of God and his Spirit. Hence it is called so often the flesh, because it only carrieth a man to fleshly things, being contrary to God, and full of enmity to his will, as Rom. 8. And doth not experience confirm this? Take any man, till renewed by grace, and all the bent and impulse of his soul, are to such things alone, that are earthy and sensual, Jam. 3. 17. The Apostle James doth there excellently describe the nature of all natural wisdom, It is earthy, sensual and devilish; Every one by nature is both beastly and devillish; This body of sinne presseth him down to the earth and hell: Inso∣much that you may as soon see a worm flying in the air like a bird, as a man abi∣ding in this natural pollution, having his conversation in heaven; So that being made thus bodily and carnal, all the spiritual things of God are both above our ap∣prehension, and contrary to our affections. Now this very particular, if there were no more, is as deep as the Sea, and containeth unspeakable matter of humiliati∣on, viz. That by this natural pollution, we are destitute of Gods Spirit; Spiri∣tual things are no more apprehended by us, than melody by the deaf ear: Do ye not see wise men, learned men, yea great Scholars, when you come to discourse with them about spiritual things, they are very fools, and are as blind as moles that live wholly in the earth? But of this more in the effects of original sin.
Lastly, In the Scripture, Body is used sometimes for the strength and power of a thing; And thus original sinne is the body, as that which giveth life and motion to all actual sins.
Let the Use be greatly to humble thee under this notion Gods word gives ori∣ginal sinne, This sinfull body; It troubleth thee thou hast a mortal body, a cor∣ruptible body, but above all this body of sinne should be a burden to thee; What shall God give all these names to it, to make thee afraid, and to groan under it, yet shall thy heart continue still like the rock and adamant?
Of the Privative Part of Original Sinne.
Of Adam's begetting Seth in his own likeness,
GEN. 5. 3.
MOses in this Chapter giveth a brief and summary capitulation of the Lives and Deaths of the Patriarchs unto Noah, mentioning these heads:
1. That God made man.
2. That he made him in time.
3. After his own Image.
4. Male and Female.
5. He blessed them.
6. The imposition of the name Adam to Eve, as well as to Adam; And this he calleth, The Book of the generations of Adam, viz. His succession, with all his acts of his Life, and also his Death, otherwise Adam had no generation, but was created by God.
The Hebrew word, though sometimes it signifieth a Book or Epistle, yet in the general it is no more than a Catalogue or Rehearsal, as it is here, and so is to be interpreted in some other places, the neglect whereof hath in part made an oc∣casion of dispute, Whether any Canonical Books be lost or no, as Numb. 21. 14. whereas the word there is not to be taken for an Historical Volume, but the Enu∣meration or Rehearsal of the ways of the Lord?
In the next place, he proceedeth to Seth, not but that Adam had other sons, only he mentioneth him, as the future head of humane posterity upon the drown∣ing of the world: Now concerning him, we have his name, he was called Seth. There were Heretiques called Sethiani, who attributed unto him more than a man, but the holy Ghost doth antidote against that opinion, by informing of us, that he was begotten in a sinfull, mortal estate.
2. Of whom he was begotten, and that is of Adam.
3. How, or in what manner? and that is, After Adams Image, in his own likeness.
Adam was created after the Image and likeness of God, that is, in a most per∣fect and compleat resemblance; for Image and likeness do not differ, though the Page 111 Schoolmen attempt to difference them, but it is an Hebraism, putting two Sub∣stantives together for aggravation sake, and it is as much here, as an Image ex∣ceeding like.
Thus Adam was made in respect of his soul qualified with holiness like God; but in the Text Seth is said to be begotten of Adam, in Adam's Image, not in Gods, that is, in a corrupt, miserable and mortal estate: For whereas Adam was by Nature a man; by Condition, the Lord and Chief, in whom humane Posterity was to be reckoned of; As also in respect of corruption, now polluted having lost Gods Image. Seth was after Adam's own likenesse, in all these three particulars: That he was a man like him, none can doubt; That he was like Adam, in respect of his Headship to his Posterity, is plain, because Abel was dead, and Cain with his Posterity was to be destroyed in the floud. Not that this is the whole Image or likenesse here spoken of; That as Adam was the first Head of mankind, so Seth was to be of those, who should be preserved in the flood, as some would have it; For such a resemblance would have been more eminently in Noah, who in the Ark seemed to be the common Parent of man∣kind.
Therefore in the third place, This Image or likenesse, to Adam is mentioned eppositely to that Image of God, which Adam was created in; And if you ob∣ject, Why is it not as Well said of Abel or Cain, that Adam begat them after his own Image as well as Seth?
The Answer is plain, Moses in this Historical Capitulation, doth not mention all in a Family, but such who were onely by a direct Line to de∣scend to their Posterity, and to be an Head to that. Now not Abel or Cain, but Seth was appointed by God in this place; And that we might know in what manner all Generations are to descend from him, the Scripture doth here inform us, That we must not think, that Seth had from Adam the Image of God, or would propagate it to others; but now he and we are as Adam after his fall, sinfull and mortal: For although the Church hath generally thought of Adam, that he did repent and was saved; for we doe not reade after∣wards of any grosse sinne he committed, and God made the glorious Pro∣mise of a Saviour to him, yet he did not beget Seth, as he was regenera∣ted, but as a man; and so being fallen from that Covenant, he was first pla∣ced in, his personal grace afterwards could not be conveyed to his Posterity, as his sinne, while a common Parent was. We see then, though Adam was godly, and Seth was likewise holy, yet for all that he was born without the Image of God, and in a polluted estate.
Besides therefore in this place is a seasonable mentioning of the likenesse and Image Adam begat Seth in, because Moses being here to capitulate their several Generations, which doth imply their mortality, doth oppor∣tunely give the cause of it: So that Snecanin (Method. Distri. Cause. Sol. & dam. cap. 3.) his opinion, which he offereth to the learned to judge, Whether by Adam's Image be not meant his repaired Image with the cor∣rupted one, being now assumed unto Gods favour, seemeth directly to oppose the Text, which calleth it Adam's own Image, not Gods.
What Original Sinne is.
SEeing therefore we have handled the Quid nominis of Original sinne, what the chief Names are which the Scripture giveth unto it; We come to consider the Quid Rei, the Nature and Definition of it; And whereas some make it it consist onely in the meer privation of Gods Image; Others in a positive inclination unto all evil; We shall take in both; for although, as Calvin well saith, He that affirmeth Original sinne to be the privation of Gods Image, speaks the whole Nature of it; Yet because that doth not so fully and particularly represent the loathsomnesse of it, therefore it's neces∣sary with the Scripture, to consider both the Privative and Positive part of original sinne.
I shall beginne with the Privative part, That original sinne is the privati∣on of that original Righteousnesse, and glorious Image of God, which was at first put into us: And this the holy Ghost meaneth, when he saith, Adam begat Seth after his own likenesse and Image. From whence observe,
That we are by nature without the Image of God we were created in, and this is a great part of our original sinne. This truth of the losse of Gods Image in us, is of very great concernment, and therefore to be improved both Doctrinally and Practically. It is the greatest losse that ever besell man∣kind, and oh our carnal and dull hearts, which can bewail the losse of health, of wealth, of any outward comfort, but this which is the greatest losse of all, viz. the Image of God, which we should bewail all our life time, that we are no wayes sensible of!
I shall not at large in this place treat, De Imagine Dei, of the Image of God in man, I shall say onely so much as will make us the better discover the Nature of original sinne. And
First, We are to know, That howsoever there be hot and fervent Di∣sputes about this Image of God, what it is, wherein it doth consist, (and according as they take it more largely or strictly, so they conclude the Image of God is lost, or not lost) yet we may by Scripture-light make it to consist in these things.
Wherein the making Man after Gods Image did consist.
FIrst, In the soul, as it is endowed with reason and understanding: For herein man did transcend all other visible creatures, that God made him with a rational soul, investing him with reason and free-will, and in this respect the Image of God is not totally lost; For though by it we have lost all our power and understanding in holy things, yet we have not lost our souls, and the natural faculties thereof; we are not made bruit beasts, we are men still; Hence it is that still the reason holds, Why a man should not kill another, Gen. 9. 6. For in the image of God made he man; If there were not yet the Image of God in some respect, the reason would not be so forcible; For what weight would it carry to say, Thou shalt not kill a man, because once he had the Image of God, but now he hath lost it? God speaketh of what he will require of every man that hath slain another, and that because in the Image of God he made him: Thus Jame. 3. 9. aggravateth the sinne of cursing any man, because man is made after the similitude of God; To this we may appropriate that of the Poet, confirmed (Act. 17.) by the Apostle himself, We are his off spring: We will grant then, That the Image of God, so farre as it consists in the soul, and the natural faculties, is not lost, though in re∣gard of the actings thereof even about natural things, they are made infirm and weak.
Secondly, The Image of God did consist in that holinesse and righteousness, which God did adorn the soul with: And this indeed is the most noble and principal part of Gods Image, to be made like God in righteousnesse and holinesse; There∣fore Col. 3. 10. Ephes. 4, 24. we read the Image of God is said to be in righteous∣nesse and true holinesse: Insomuch that many learned Divines do make this the onely Image of God, though not so probably; This indeed is the principal and chief, the other is but remote and secundary, for the later abideth even in the Devils and the damned in hell; They have reason and understanding, yet they cannot do the least good action, no not for a moment, although they have so much light in them. This holinesse and righteousnesse then in the whole man, was the chiefest resemblance of God, he being holy as God was holy, not by equa∣lity, but similitude. But alas, who is able to apprehend aright of this? Who can now tell, being plunged into all evil and sinne, what it is to be altogether holy, what it is to be without any blemish or spot? Yet in such a glorious and admirable manner we were created.
Thirdly, The Image of God did not only comprehend this holinesse actually dwelling in us, but a power and strength also to persevere in this holinesse; for if God had been never so bountifull in one, yet if he had denied the other, he would have made us happy, Page 114 that thereby we might become more miserable. But this is not to be thought of that God, who shewed so much love and bounty in our first Creation; Adam there∣fore had the Law of God written in his heart, having strength and ability from within to withstand all temptations, and to perform any holy auty; so that we cannot instance in any holy action, which he had not power to perform Indeed to believe in Christ as a Saviour, to repent of sinne, he could not actually do them, because they do necessarily imply the subject sinfull, and in a miserable estate and conditi∣on, but eminently and transcendently these things were in his power; yea, this power of his did extend to keep all the Commandments of God, and that without any imperfection; Insomuch that being under the Covenant of works, he might have obtained justification by them, though not meritoriousty; This glory did God at first put upon us, who now have nothing but a cursed slavery unto sinne, and an utter impotency to any thing that is holy: As for resisting any temptation, he had strength and ability enough to gainsay it, though it had been in many degrees more violent, than that which 〈◊〉 him: It is true, he was overcome by a temptation, and in that which might have easily been repulsed, as we would judge; but this was to shew, That although he was created holy, yet he was also mutable; Though he had power to persevere, yet he had not that grace which did make him actually to persevere, as the confirmed Angels have: So that what Historians say of the Marsi in Italy, and the 〈◊〉 in Africa, That they had such a temper of body, that no Serpents could hurt them, or poison them; Such an admitable temperament was Adams soul in, that the Serpent would not have deceived them had not they given consent; For, if while we are in this corrupted estate, yet the Devil cannot force us to sinne, be cannot make us sinne, whether we will or no, but it is lust within us, that betrayeth all to him: No wonder then, if in that state of integrity, there was no 〈…〉 to sinne, either from within or without.
Fourthly, This Image of God in the holinesse of it, was not only in the mind and the will, with a clear knowledge of God, and love of him, but it did extend also to the affections, so that they were made with a regular subordination to the rule of ho∣linesse within a man. These wild horses (for our possions are no better) were then all tamed, and as much subject to mans will, as the winds and tempells were to Christs: Anger, grief, love and desire, these did not rise or continue in our soul any longer, or otherwise, but as they were conducted by the light of God shining in the mind: This must necessarily be comprehended in that expression, Eccles. 7. when God is said to make man right, rectitude is an universal harmony and congruity of all the parts of the soul unto the rule. Austin did once wonder at that disobedience which now man finds in himself, Superat animu corperi &c. (Confes. lib. 8. cap. 9.) The soul commands the body, and presently it obeyeth, but (saith he) Imperat sibi ipsi, it commands it self, and then there is rebellion, but it was not thus from the beginning: Therefore the Papists and Socinians they do blaspheme in some sense God our holy Maker, whale they affirm, That the repugnancy and rebellion of the sensitive appetite to the reason, ariseth from the very internal constitution of a man; And therefore the Papists they make original righteousness to be the bridle only to curb this appetite, or an anti∣dore to prevent this infection. And as for the Socinian, he denieth, that Adam had any such righteousness at all, and therefore they say he sinned, Because his sensitive appetite did prevail against the rational: Thus they make man, even while he was in honour, and before his fall, to be like the beast that perisheth, and to have no understanding comparatively even in that place of Paradise; But this errour is so dangerous, that we are not to give place to it, no not for a moment. In that holy estate the soul commanded the body, and all the affections; They did goe, when he bade them goe, and stood still, when they were commanded: Oh but now, in what a warre, in Page 115 what a confusion and distraction are we plunged? now we cannot be angry, but we sinne; now we cannot grieve, or love, but we sinne; Thou that deniest ori∣ginal sinne, let the exorbitancy of thy passions, the inordinacy of thy affections convince thee: Is thy heart in thy own power? Canst thou have every thing stirre and move in thy soul, how, and when thou pleasest? Canst thou say in respect of thy heart, and all the stirrings of thy soul, as the Centurion did of his servants that were at his command? How is experience a mistress of us fools in this parti∣cular? Wherein doth our weakness, our sinfulness more appear than in our passi∣ons and affections? As Alexander when his flatterers exalted him as a God, he derided at it, when he saw blood come from his body. Thus when men cry up free-will, power to do what is good, deny original sinne, and make us in our birth free from all evil, With what indignation mayest thou reject it, when thou seest the Chaos and confusion that is in thy soul, when thou findest not any affe∣ction moving in thee, but it overfloweth it's banks presently? Whereas original righteousness gave Adam as much power over those, as he had over all the beasts of the field; but as the ground hath now thorns and thistles in stead of those plea∣sant herbs and plants it would have produced of its own self; Thus also man now hath all his heart and affections grown wild and luxuriant, so that Solomons ob∣servation in other things in here made true, Servants ride on hors-back, and Prin∣ces go on foot.
Fifthly, This Image of God was partly in respect of the glory, honour and im∣mortality God created him in. Adam was made after the Image of God, not only in holiness, but also in happiness; he was not subject to any fears or tears, nothing from within, or from without could cause pain and grief to him; Hence death, by which is meant all kind of evil and misery, was threatned unto him, as a reward of his disobedience; but Adam did not beget Seth after this Image, we are now made dust, and in a necessity of dying, which is the effect of our original sin.
Lastly, The Image of God doth consist by way of consequence in dominion and superiority. The Socinians indeed, because when it's said, God made man after his own Image, Gen. 1. 26. it's added, And let him have dominion over the beasts of the field▪ &c. make it the only thing wherein it doth consist; But we are to believe the Apostle, Ephes 4. Col. 3. expounding this Image of God more than they, who applieth it to righteousness and true holiness; yet it cannot be denied, but from this Image of God, did flow that Dominion and Sovereignty, which the woman also was created in; for though she was made in subjection to her husband, and so is called, The Image of her husband, as the husband is the Image of God, yet in respect of the creatures, so she had power over them, and they were sub∣ject to Eve as well as to Adam. Thus you see what this Image of God in a brief manner is, the next work is to amplifie our losse of it.〈2 pages missing〉
is taken away, both meritoriously and efficiently, meritoriously our A∣postasie deserved, that God of a Father and a friend, should become a Judge and an Adversary to us; it deserved that we should be children of wrath by nauture, who were children of love by Creation; What tongue of men and Angels can ex∣press the dreadfulness of this condition, viz. of coming into the world under Gods wrath and vengeance? God is not to us, what he was in the state of inte∣grity, not that any change is in God, but in us. Again, This friendship and love of God is expelled efficiently, for fallen man hath no suitableness and fitness, no proportion or ability to have communion with God. Darkness cannot delight in light, neither bitterness in sweetness: The swine cannot love pearl and precious flowers; man corrupt cannot love or delight in the enjoyment of God; so that the guilt of sinne did presently make Adam afraid of God, so as to runne from him.
4. THis privation of Gods Image is more than like the spoiling of a man of his cloaths, or like the taking of a bridle from the horses mouth, or removing the bonds and chains a man might be in, Which when taken off, he can walk well enough. For the Popish party, though they grant, Man fallen hath much hurt by Adam, yet they make the privation of original righteousnesse, to be no more than the spoiling of a man of his garments; so that as a man without his cloaths, is a man still, though naked, and exposed to many difficulties. Thus, they say, man still hath his naturals, though he hath lost his supernaturals; Original righteous∣ness was like an antidote, or a bridle against the inferiour parts of the soul (they say) so that what man is deprived of, is only what was supernatural and meerly superad∣ded to humane nature. By these subtilties of theirs, a mans losse is made to be far lesse than indeed it is: Hence they do so often apply that Parable of the man go∣ing to Jericho that was wounded, and left half dead, to Adam fallen, to all man∣kind in him, as if we were but dangerously wounded, and not throughly dead: But the scope of that Parable is wholly to a different purpose; Original righte∣ousness is not to be conceived, as a supernatural excellency bestowed upon man after his Creation, but as a concreated perfection in all the parts of his soul: So that the losing of this, is not like the losing of some accidental glory and ornaments, but even those concreated perfections in the soul are also lost. The misunderstand∣ing of this breedeth a dangerous errour, as if by original sinne we onely had lost these superadded ornaments, but did retain our pure naturals still, as they call it, which are indeed altogether impute, Eccl. 7. God made man right; Even as all other creatures were exceeding good: Now God had made man the more noble creature, worse than other creatures, if he had not created him with such perfect and suitable qualifications, as would inable him to obtain true blessedness, for eve∣ry creature else had an implanted ability in it, to accomplish his end, and why then should God do lesse bountifully with man, one of the chiefest instances of his glorious workmanship? But of this I must necessarily speak more, because of the Socinian, who cals this Doctrine of original righteousness, Faetida fabula, an old stinking fable.
5. ORiginal sinne is a privation, not only of that righteousness which was a na∣tural perfection due to him upon supposition of his Creation for the enjoy∣ment of God, but also of whatsoever supernatural and gracious favour Adam had.Page 119 We do not say, That Adam had nothing supernatural in him, for assisting and co-operating〈◊〉 supernatural, as also that prophetical light he had concern∣ing 〈…〉 God did superadde many glorious ornaments which were 〈…〉 and which he did not absolutely need as means to make him 〈…〉, and such likewise were those consequents of holinesse mentioned before, 〈◊〉 to be the Sonne of God, and to be the Temple of the holy Ghost; Now all these gratuita are lost as well as the naturalia, we are no more the children of God, or the Temple of God, but our souls are possest with Sa∣tan, and he ruleth in our hearts, as in his proper possession▪ Some Divines call original righteousnesse the absolute Image of God, and our sonship, and filial re∣lation to God, for Adam is called the Sonne of God, Luke 3. ult. the relative Image; now whether absolute or relative Image, all is lost; and therefore that assisting grace, which was then ready at hand for Adam to enjoy, that thereby he might b••nabled to do any good action, we are naturally without: Oh then the 〈◊〉 and undone estate we are in, being without inberent grace dwelling in us, and assisting grace from God without us, without eyes, and the light of the Sun also! Who can think that God at first made us such sinfull, mortal and wretched creatures? It would be much against the wisdom and goodness of God, he would then have done worse with man, than with any flie or worm.
What are the most excellent and choice parts of that Original Righte∣ousness that we are deprived of.
BUt because the greatest part of the privative way of original corruption, is in losing that Image of God, and concreated holinesse, and we have onely spokan in the general of that, that we may be the more affected with it, and the losse thereof may pierce to our very hearts; Let us consider, what are the most excellent and choice parts of this original righteousnesse that we are deprived of, that so we may not only see our losse in the bulk, but be able to account of every particular in this, and that we have lost.
And the first particular to be insisted on, is that great dignity God put on man, making him with a Free will to do what is holy. Free-will is a great perfection, though the mutability in it, as in Adam was a negative Imperfection, this was admirable in Adam, that he had power, if he willed to doe any holy action whatsoever: There was not in him any clog, any impediment to stop the exercise of this Free will; but as he had dominion over all creatures, so also over hi• whole soul; and indeed if God had not created him with this domi∣nion over his actions, his obedience had not been so eminent, nor his disobedience so culpable▪ But this flower is withered, this Crown is fallen to the ground; Man hath now no free will, no power to do any thing that is holy; He hath power to eat and drink, he hath power to do civil & moral actions, he hath power to do actions externally religious, to come to the Congregation, to hear; but for those things that are internally holy, to love God, to believe on him, to repent of sin; This the Scri∣pture doth in many places deny to him, making him to be dead in sinne, and untill born again by the Spirit, unable to do any holy duty. This Raymundus (Theol. Natur. de lapsu hominis) doth well urge, That the soul as to spiritual actions, and in reference to God, is wholly dead; so that as a dead man is not able to produce any vital actions, so neither can any natural man spiritual actions; and because man being dead is not sensible of this losse, therefore doth the same man compare him to a mad man, that knoweth not how it is with him; yea he much pursueth that similitude of wine degenerated into vinegar, saying, That as vinegar retain∣eth Page 120 nothing of the sweetnesse or goodnesse it had when it was wine: Thus neither doth man retain any thing of that light in his mind, or love in his heart, which once he had: Man (saith he) is not become of good wine bad, which though bad, retaineth some taste, and hath a little relish of the nature of wine; but he is as when Wine is degenerated into vinegar, which hath all clean contrary to what is had when once wine. This comparison he the rather urgeth, Because (saith he) man doth not, or cannot discern in himself the difference between his created condition, and his fallen, therefore he must see how it is with him in similitude by other things. We may adde to this similitude another of the body of man while living, and an instrument of the soul, with it self when dead, and separated from it, that body then though formerly never so beautifull and comely, never so lively and active, now is loath∣some, and hath the clean contrary qualities; Such a thing is man now fallen, if compared with his Creation.
A Second instance of a particular in this Image of God, which we have lost, is Faith and dependance upon God as a Father. As God made Adam his son in holinesse, so Adam had a filial dependance and belief on him, resting alone in Gods protection and preservation, and thereby was not subject to any fears, grief, or troublesom dejections of mind about his soul or body; This was an ex∣cellent pearl in that Crown of glory, which God set on mans head, but how to∣tally is this lost? Every man by this original sinne may justly go up and down trembling like a Cain, fearing that every thing should not only kill him, but damn him; Yea, whence is it that the Sea is not fuller of monsters, than thy heart is of unbelieving, doubting and diffident thoughts about God? Why art thou so fear∣full, suspicious and despairing about God naturally? Is not this because God and thy soul are separated? Doth not thy conscience secretly suggest to thee, that God is offended with thee? Is not this a plain discovery of thy losse of God and his Image, that thou hast naturally fears and doubts within thy self? Thou think∣est of God and art troubled, as Adam when he heard Gods voice, ran and hid himself; All the natural tremblings and trepidations of conscience about God, arise from this, because there is a secret perswasion thou and God art at a distance, yea a contrariety one with another.
A Third particular is, The losse of that love to God above all things which was implanted in Adam's heart. The moral Law being cograven in Adam, he loved God with all his soul and might, and that above all creatures, yea above himself; for seeing the debt and obligation upon Adam was to prefer God above all creatures; yea Gods will, and Gods glory above his own will and glo∣ry; it stood not with that integrity God made him in, to be defective in any of these; but through Adam's apostasie now all is changed upside down; Self-love is that which predominateth in every man a mans own will, own good, own plea∣sure and honour, is the chiefest end aimed at; so that now Gods will and honour is trampled under foot, and all to set up our own selves, insomuch that this self∣love may almost be called the original sin in a man.
FOurthly, Another particular which is lost is, That joy and delight which Adam had in God, for as he loved God above all things, so enjoying of him, he did in∣finitely delight and rejoyce in him. Though God made the creatures for Adam's delight; Paradise was a place of delight, yet these were but drops, God was the Ocean; Adam did then perfectly say, which David did with some imperfection, Whom have I in Heaven but thee? And whom in earth in comparison of thee? God was all things unto him. But where is this divine delight? Doth any natural man find any sweetness in holy things? Is not all our joy, a carnal, a worldly, a crea∣ture joy? Certainly our joy and delights do as much discover the losse of Gods Images as any thing else; whereas Adam would have daily rejoyced in God, and in the honour and glory of God, that he was magnified and exalted, we naturally are not affected with these things.
A further Consideration of Original Righteous∣ness, proving the thing, and answering Obje∣ctions against it.
THe Privative Part of Original Corruption, as it is the loss of Gods Image hath been treated of, both in the general and the particulars. Now that still we may the more throughly possess our souls with this unspeakable loss, it is necessary to say something of Gods Image, which man at first was created in: For although I said, that I would not enter into a large Tractate of it, yet something must be necessarily spoken to it; for if there be no such thing as original righteousnesse, then there is no such thing as original sinne; if there be no such thing as light, there cannot be any such thing as darkness. The Privation doth necessarily suppose an habit; Hence the Socinians, as they wholly deny this original sin we are treat∣ing of, so do they also reject this original righteousness; calling it (as was said) Faetida fabula, an old stinking Fable, an Idea feigned in mens brains, of which there is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, not the least Title in the Scripture (Vide Pertium Harmon.) It behoveth us therefore the more diligently to search into this truth; For if Adam never had such glory and holiness put upon him, then we his posterity could not lose it.
To inform our selves then herein, Let us consider,
First, That what Adam's state of integrity was, we cannot any wayes know, but by the Scripture. We have now no experience of it, nor can any Philosophy or humane reason, give us any direction therein Now there are two Rocks upon Page 122 which the Adversaries of this Truth do split themselves; The one is, Judging of original righteousness, or of man in his Creation, according to the principles of moral Philosophy; As if we were not to read Moses and Paul concerning this righ∣teousnesse of Adam, but Plato and Aristotle; for humane Philosophers, as they were wholly ignorant of original sinne, supposing the soul to come into the world as an abrasa fabula, a meer blank, ready to receive good or evil, yet inclining ra∣ther to good, as Aristotle saith, so they were wholly ignorant either of mans cre∣ation, or if that were acknowledged, of any imitation or change made upon man by his Apostasie. Now this principle in effect the Socinian imbibeth: For (he saith) There is no righteousness to be conceived in Adam, but what was actual, that there was no habitual infused into him, but that he was created in a neutral and indifferent estate, neither good or bad, but to be made either of these, as his free-will should put it self forth into action. Thus you see how truly Tertullian of old said, Philosophers were the Patriarchs of Heretiques; for both Papists and Secintans judge of Adams first estate, by principles of moral Philosophy.
The second Rock upon which the erroneous party in this great Truth, destroy∣eth themselves at, is, The judging of man in his first Creation, according to that which we feel in our selves now, as if we should judge what wine is by the vinegar it's degenerated into, as if we should determine of a living body, according to what we see in a dead carkass; And truly we may say, that from hence ariseth all Pelagianism, Popery and Socinianism: We passe a sentence upon the state we were created in, by what we now feel in our selves, as if God had not, or could not make us otherwise: As for instance, because we now in our selves find the in∣feriour appetitive part rebel in it's motions against the rational, therefore they conclude, That this was at first in Adams Creation; That this repugnancy is planted in our very constitution: Yea, a Remonstrant is not afraid to say, It was in Christ himself, because a man, (and why not then in the glorified Saints to all eternity, seeing they shall after the Resurrection consist of soul and body also?) In this Position both Socinian, Remonstrant and Papist do positively agree, viz. That the repugnancy and rebellion, which is between the rational and sensitive part doth arise from the very constitution of man. It ariseth (saith Bellarmine) not from God, but è conditione materiae, from the condition of that matter, of which God made him; but doth not this arise because we see such a repugnancy is now in every man, because there is none that can live now upon the earth without this rebel∣lion? therefore we conclude it was not alwayes so. If then we would sail by these Rocks, if we would be guided into this Divine Truth, let us go out of our selves, and out of all the traditions, which Ethical Philosophy hath delivered unto us, for that speaks only of what is acquired, not of any thing infused or concreated with our natures, but rather think this Image of God is so glorious a thing, that we know not how to speak of it, or to think of it, we never had the actual en∣joyment, or working of it. It is not with us, as with men, who hold a rich and plentifull estate, but are now fallen into extream poverty, such can tell you by experience, what a plentifull life they once lived. Job could tell us what honour once he had, and the abundance he enjoyed, even when he sate scraping himself upon the dunghill, he could experimentally compare his former estate, and that together, but so cannot we. Indeed those common 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or dictates of nature, whereby our consciences have some light to discern between good and evil, may serve for some kind of conviction, that once God did create us in a more knowing and holy estate, but what it was, and fully to conceive of it, that we cannot do. Hence
In the second place, It's a very necessary thing in all men, to be often meditating upon these two states and conditions of man, his created state, and his fallen estate, his primitive condition, and his present condition. To compare the light men, with his darknesse now, his holinesse then with his impurity now, his immortality then Page 123 with his mortality now, his Communion with God then, and his estrangement, or contrariety now, for hereby his heart will be the more deeply humbled under his present miserable condition; Those that make them both alike, or assign a very little difference, they neither duly consider what a glorious thing Gods Image was, we were created in, nor how deep and universal our pollution is: Oh how dishonourable and dblasphemous is it, to think we come out of Gods hands as we are now, that at the first we had inclinations to sinne, that there was a rebellion in us to what is good! What is this but to say, God made us at first the children of his wrath? Oh pray that the scales may fall from thy eyes, that thou beest not delivered up to this dangerous errour, which is the broad way to perdition.
In the third place, To understand the nature of that Image of God, man was created in, you must take heed of the Socinian Position, who say, God made man meerly an innocent, even as a young child, that he had not in his creation any holi∣nesse infused into him, but he was in a neutral and indifferent disposition, to be actu∣ally good or wicked, as his free-will did determine. But this is to diminish the good∣nesse of God who made man in such a distinguishing character to all other crea∣tures, except Angels, for Angels and men they only were created after the Image of God; That Adam was not created in such a negative frame of soul, appeareth, in that the Image of God is expresly said by Paul to consist in righteousnesse and true holinesse; Now righteousnesse is more than a not being evil, it denoteth an inherent positive perfection in the soul; Hence Eccl 7. 30 God is there said, To make man righteous; The word Jashar is generally used to signifie as much as holy, clean and pure. It is not therefore for us to contradict so plain Texts of Scripture; Hence the Psalmist, Psal. 8. 5. doth admire the goodnesse of God, and his works to man, especially in this, That he hath made him but a little lower than Angels: Oh then admire that glorious excellency God did at first put us into! We were at first made but a little lower than those glorious Angels of God; Therefore Chrysostem called Adam an earthly Angel; Now compare thy present estate with this of Adams; Art thou like an Angel? Have Angels such blind∣nesse of mind, such aversnesse to what is good, such rebellious and unmortified thoughts in them, as thou hast? Nay, Art thou not rather a Devil for pride, for malice, for opposition to what is good? Was it thus with us from the be∣ginning? They therefore do most unthankfully rob God of all that glory and honour which is due to him that will affirm, That God made him in such an indif∣ferent neutral state, neither righteous or unrighteous: Surely then God could not have looked upon all the things that were made with that approbation, They were exceeding god; For though other creatures might be good in their kind with a natural goodnesse, yet Adam was in his kind with a moral goodnesse: Neither will the Socinian evasion help, That by good there is meant convenient, beautifull and proper for its end: For let no more be granted but that, it's enough, If Adam was not created with holinesse in his soul, he was not made good in their sense, that is not sutable and sit for his end; For being created to know and love God, and thereby to have a comfortable enjoyment of him, How could he do this without wisdom in his mind, and holinesse in his will? And certainly we may not think, that God gave every creature a goodnesse in its kind, to obtain its particular end, and not adorn man, the noblest of visible crea∣tures, for his peculiar end.
The Scripture then is clear, That man was at first made such an holy and bles∣sed creature; Let us consider what Reasons are objected against it by the Socinian party. And
First, (say they) Adam could not be holy till he had done some actual holi∣ness,* how could he be denominated righteous (say they) till he had acted something that was righteous?
Page 124 But this argueth great ignorance,* as if there were no righteousnesse, but what is acquired, as if there were no infused habits of holinesse, which de∣nominate a man so, before he doth that which is holy; Were not the Angels made holy in their Creation before they acted what was holinesse? Is not Christ himself Luke 1. called the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the holy thing, before he did actually that which was holy; yea the contrary is true, therefore did Adam that which was actually holy, because he was habitually holy: As the Tree is first good, and then the fruit good: Adam then before his fall had both original and actual holi∣nesse, but the latter was an effect of the former, and therefore he did one be∣cause he had the other.
Secondly,*It is objected by them, That if Adam was made in the Image of God like him, holy as he is holy, then Adam could not sinne, he would be impeceable, even as God is.
But this is a weak cavil,* For though man be made holy, as God is, yet that is not by equality, but proportion onely; Were not the Angels made holy, and yet for all that they sinned? He then that is essentially and infinitely holy cannot sinne; yea a creature when confirmed in holinesse by God cannot sinne, as the elect Angels and glorified Saints; but Adam though he was made ho∣ly, yet was in a mutable and changeable estate, and therefore he might sinne.
Quest. But you will say, Why did not this original Righteousnesse so farre defend him, that he did not withstand the Devil more strongly, he seemed to have little or no grace, that was so easily ensnared by Satan, and that in such a little matter when he enjoyed so much outward felicity?
Answ. But to this we may answer, That Adam and Eve, they did not at the very first yeeld themselves up to the Devil, but they did repell the Devils tem∣ptations awbile; neither was it the inordinate desire of the forbidden fruit that was his first sinne, but pride and unbelief; not believing the threatnings of God, and affecting to be like God, and such sinnes do quickly and easily penetrate in∣to the best and noblest subjects, as you see in the Angels themselves, those sublime and admirable spiritual substances, yet how quickly did such kind of sinnes enter into them, and defile them all over; So that we are to look to those spiritual secret sinnes, which did induce Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit.
Lastly,*It's objected by them, and the same Argument also is improved by Bellarmine, That man consisting of a soul, a spiritual substance, and of a body, which is a sensible corporeal substance, when these two are united in one person, it's impossible, but the spiritual part should incline one way, and the sensitive another; The rational part that desireth a spiritual good, and the sensitive part that which is sensible, and these are contrary.
But the answer is,* that though these inclinations are divers, yet they are not contrary, but where sin hath made an Ataxy. As God at first ordained the will, which is appeti∣tus rationalis, to follow the understanding, so he did also our affections to follow both of them; so that there was an essential subordination of the affectionate part to the rational; even as we see the members of the body do readily move at the com∣mand of the soul, or as in perfect mixt bodies, though there be contrary qualities, yet by the temperament of that body, their contrariety is removed; and certainly, the Angels sinned, who yet had not any sensitive appetite to rebell against the ra∣tional, therefore it was not from this necessarily, that Adam did sinne. Thus in Christ there was no repugnancy between grace and nature; for when he said, Father, if it be possible, let this Cup passe away; This was not an absolute desire of his humane nature, but a conditional one, and still with submission; there∣fore he addeth, Neverthelesse thy will be done; and the Saints in Heaven, when they shall have re-assumed their bodies, will not find any contrariety Page 125 between the rational and sensitive appetite. And thus you see that Adam was created in this holy estate.
Lastly, This holiness and righteousness in a well explained sense, was not super∣natural, but natural. The Remonstrants they make this dispute about original righteousnesse, inepta & absurda, absurd and foolish; Therefore they deny any infused or concreated habits also, and say, The rectitude of the faculties was enough; But the Orthodox say, Adam could not be created without such habits or principles of holinesse within him, because he was created for the enjoyment of God, and therefore they call it natural, not as flowing from the principles of nature, but as a moral condition necessary to qualifie him for his end, and there∣fore it was given to whole mankind in Adam, and would have been naturally pro∣pagated; and whereas the Remonstrants ask, To what purpose or use is such origi∣nal righteousnesse? For if it did not necessarily and immutably determine Adams will to good, than this original righteousnesse, did need another, and so in infini∣tum; or if it did then, How came it about that Adam did sinne? To this subtil∣ty it is answered, That this original righteousnesse was not to determine the will of Adam necessarily, but to incline and sortifie Adams will the more strongly, and easily to do what was good; So that although it did not absolutely take away Adams mutability and liberty, yet it did heighten and raise up the faculties of his soul to what was good, yet this was not a superadded grace to Adam, as actual confirmation in holines would have been, but a natural and due qualification preparing him for communion with God; So that the discourse about man in his pure naturals without this original righteousnesse, is an house that hath not so much as a sandy foundation, it being without any foundation at all, God having put his Image into man, as Phydias did his into Minerva's shield, that none could take that out, but he must also destroy that shield: Thus the Devil could not prevail with Adam to sinne, but by the losse of Gods Image.
A further Consideration of the Image of God, which Man was created in; Shewing what particular Graces Adam's Soul was adorn'd with.
WE are discovering the Nature of that Image God created us in at first, that so we may see how great our losse is.
The last particular was, The naturality and supernaturality of it in divers respects: And this is the more to be observed, because while the Orthodox oppose the Socinians, who affirm, Nothing but a natural and simple innocency in Adam, without any infused or concreated habits of holinesse, or any thing supernatural in him; You would think they joyn with the Papists, who dogmatize, That all the holinesse Adam had was supernatural. Again, while the same Orthodox oppose Papists, because of this opinion, one would think they joyned with the Socinians, who say, Adam had nothing in him, but what was natural, whereas the truth consists between these; and therefore original righteousnesse was supernatural to Adam; if you respect the principle from whence it did flow, it was immediately from God, not from principles of nature, and this opposeth the Socinian; yet if you do consider Adam the subject of this righteousnesse, and the end for which he was created, so it was a perfection due to him, and in that respect called natural, otherwise had not God invested mans nature with this and concreated this perfection with him, the noblest of visible creatures had been dealt worst with.
YEt in the second place, Though this Image of God was natural to Adam, yet we must not say, that he had nothing supernatural, that there was nothing by way of superadded grace to him. Even as in Adam, although we deny, that he was created in pure naturals, yet we say, that Adam in some respect may be said in Paradise to live an animal life, as well as he was created immortal; Adam was made free from death, he had not any proxim or immediate cause of death, yet he was not made immortal, as the glorified Saints in Heaven shall be, for their bodies are made then spiritual, not animal, as the Apostle distinguisheth, where∣as Adam's body was in this sense animal, that it did need meat and drink, as also it was for generation, to procreate and propagate a posterity, which argued the Page 127 animality of Adams body, but not the mortality of it, as the Socinians say, un∣less we mean such an immortality as our bodies shall have in Heaven. Thus though Adam was created immortal upon supposition of his obedience, yet that doth not exclude wholly an animal life, or natural, as the Apostle expresly saith, 1 Cor. 15▪ 46. That was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; Thus it is also in respect of Adams spirituals and his soul, although all that holi∣ness which was necessary to guide him to happiness was natural, yet there were other things that might be of meer grace, and superadded favour to him; And under this we may comprehend the grace of God, which Adam needed, though qualified with original righteousness to do that which is holy; as also the reward which God would give to Adams obedience, for to be the Sonne of God in respect of a gracious enjoyment of God, and to have received that life promised to him, if he did obey (though here be great Disputes about it, what it would have been) yet it would not have been of merit, though of works, but of grace, for works and that grace in that state were consistent, though Evangelical grace and works do immediately oppose one another; Adam then was not without some su∣pernatural savors.
IN the third place, that which will much tend to the magnifying of this Image of God, is to consider the Integrity and universality of it; so that he was made holy and righteous all over, with light and wisdom in his mind, with all kind of holiness in his will and affections; so that Adam had both the perfection of parts, and also of degree of grace within him: One single habit was not sufficient to give perfection to all the active principles in a man, yea there were several habits in every faculty of the soul; So that original righteousness is an aggregation or collection of many habits. That Text Eccless. 7. when Adam is said to be made right, inferreth so much; for he is not right, rectu, that doth want any essen∣tial or necessary part, and the very expression of the Image of God denoteth as much; an Image consisting not in one, or some few parts, but in the harmonious composition of all; How admirable was it then to have those commands of God, Thou shalt not lust, and Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, with all thy heart and strength, fulfilled perfectly and without any difficulty? If we do compare our sinfull and carnal hearts with this glorious temper, that are carried out to lust inordinately all the day long, and love every thing before and above God, What shame and confusion may it bring to us? But in that state of inte∣grity, there was no part of holiness, or degree of holiness wanting. It is true, if we speak of the Image of God repaired in us: We find a godly man doing that now which Adam could not do, as to repent, and to believe in a justifying manner in Christ; for the actings of these graces were incompatible with that state, and suppose an imperfection in the Subject, and therefore even now cannot be so well called parts of the Image of God in a sanctified man; and indeed there is some difference between that Imago Creationis, and Imago Recreationis, as Bannez expresseth it, or Imago constituta, and Imago restituta, the Image of God in our Creation, and the Image of God in our Recreation or Renovation, when we are made new creatures by the Spirit of God.
Now because Adam had not justifying faith in his glorious estate, it hath occa∣sioned that dispute, Vpon what terms, or with what justice God can require of eve∣ry man to believe in Christ, seeing he never gave the power to do this in Adam? Therefore the Arminians plead from hence a necessity of a new universal Cove∣nant of grace, and this hath been an hot dispute: The Orthodox, though they easily grant, That Adam could not actually believe with justifying Faith, yet Page 128 they say) this was potentially and habitually in him, he had a power and habit for many things, the acts and exercises whereof were yet inconsistent with that present estate of felicity he was created in; and certainly we may gather good and sound positions for this truth, out of some of the choisest Schoolmen; They have laid down good Rules, by which we may see, that the firmament was not more filled with innumerable starres, than Adam's soul with all choise graces.
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,
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.
Reason to prove, That the Privation of Ori∣ginal Righteousnesse is truly and properly a Sinne in us.
I Shall adde that there are four Reasons, why this Privation of Original Righteousnesse is truly and properly a sinne in us. And
First, Because the soul is a Subject fit and prepared for to receive this Righteousnesse. This rectitude you heard, was a moral perfection necessarily required in man: The soul of a man cannot be in a neutral condition, it must either have holi∣ness, or sinne in it; As the air doth necessarily receive either light or darkness; The body is either sick or well; if then the soul be such a fit and capable subject of holiness; when it is deprived of it, it wants that which is sutable and connatu∣ral to it: Insomuch that for the soul to be without this holiness, it's against the nature of it; Why should such a spot and a blemish be in so glorious a creature? How came spots in this Sunne? As Idolaters are condemned, because they turned the glory of God into the Image of a beast that eateth hay: No lesse is done by Adam's Apostasie upon us all, for we who were made Gods Image, are now become like beast without understanding, and yet this consideration will not debase and humble us.
Secondly, This Privation is a sinne, Because it is against the Law of God which requireth habitual holinesse in us. It requireth the continuance in that state, which God created us in. This Definition of original sinne, that it is a Privation of that rectitude which ought to be in us, was first assigned by Anselme, and Occham thought it insufficient, unlesse there was added 〈◊〉 the Description, a Privation arising from the sinne of another,
Thirdly, It is a sinne, Because Adam our Head and common Trustes once had this Righteousnesse; So that it is a Righteousnesse, which we were once actually possessed of in our Head; God did not only say, Let us make man after our Image, but he did put it into execution, he did make him after Page 131 his image; So that it's a righteousnesse that we once had, which now we have lost.
Lastly, It is a sinne, Because by Adam our Head we were deprived of it. The Apostle saith positively, Rom. 5 That by one, sinne came upon all, inas∣much as all have sinned, viz. in him, and by him: Hence it is, That his lo∣sing of this Image is our losing of it, as really, as if we had actually and perso∣nally deprived our selves of it. And thus much shall suffice for the Doctrinal part of it; but because it's good to have our affections wrought upon, as well as our judgements informed. The next work shall be to give the Aggravations of this losse, that so we may make a full improvement of this Truth.
The Aggravations of our Losse of GODS Image.
I Shall conclude this Text, with that particular Observation about it, that relateth to the privative part in original corruption; for we have abbreviated that vast and large Subject of original righteousnesse into a little compasse, briefly informing concerning the Nature of it. For howsoever Epipha∣nius (as Pererius and Suarez say) thought that it was im∣possible for any to determine, wherein the Image of God doth consist; yet Paul doth sufficiently explain Moses in this particular; So that we need not run to those forced expositions of some, who will have man in respect of his bodily constitution to bear the Image of God. Therefore (some say)
The Ends for which God made Man, lost by the losse of Original Righteousnesse.
FIrst, The losse of this righteousness doth deprive us of the end for which God made us: So that whereas before sinne God looked on Adam, and saw he was ex∣ceeding good, after his fall he seeth him to be exceeding evil, and full of sinne: Let us instance in some choice ends for which God made man in his own Image thus with righteousness and holiness. As
1. Therefore was he made thus holy, To have communion with, and enjoyment of so holy a God. When God had made all the creatures, yet he saith, There was not a meet help and comfort for him, one in his own Image and likeness; therefore he makes a woman of the same nature with him; yet still among all creatures, though we adde Angels to them, there was not an adequate and sufficient object to fill his heart with delight, therefore God was his utmost end: So that although he had Paradise, a place of delight to live in; Though his state was not capable of any misery or fear from the creature, yet that which was Adam's happiness was to enjoy God in these: Now who can bewail our loss in this respect? We are now propense to the contrary end of our Creation; we wholly descend downwards, who were made to ascend upwards; Adam found the favour of God in all the creatures: It was not this or that comfort, but God in and by them that did draw out his heart: But oh the misery and captivity we are in to self-love, to the love of the creature! Neither are we able by nature to lift up the heart above them to God in them, no more than the worm can flie like an Eagle towards Heaven: Oh groan under this, and say, My heart was not once such a lump of earth, such an heavy stone, as now I find it: There was not then any such com∣plaints heard; Lord, I can love Paradise, I can love my wife, but I cannot love thee, but the clean contrary! I love them, because I love thee, and I could not love them, but because I love thee! This Captivity and bondage our souls are in to the creature, should make us mourn more grievously than ever the Israelites did under the Egyptians oppression: What a shame is it to have a body that look∣eth upward to Heaven, and a soul that looketh downward to earth? How doth the constitution of thy body agree with the condition of thy soul? Thy face is up∣ward,
2. Another end in Adam's Creation after the Image of God, was to be is the glory and praise of Gods Name: For as the Angels, who also were made after Gods Image, their constant work was to praise and glorifie God: Thus Adam being made like another Angel, was made full of holiness, that upon the Earth, he might, as the Angels do in Heaven, sing holy, holy, holy unto the Lord: As some great Kings of the Earth, when they have built some great City or Town, they cause their Image or Picture to be set up in some eminent place, for the monument of themselves, who were such great Benefactors: Thus God, when he had made this great and glorious world, he puts man into it as his Image, that thereby his praise and goodness should be constantly declared; but since Adam his fall, all mankind is now a reproach and dishonour to God; Their thoughts, their affe∣ctions, their lives, are so many dishonourable and reproachfull passages against him; God doth not look upon us now as his workmanship, but as the devils; he feeth not his Image, but the Devils in us: Moses saith, that when God saw how all men had corrupted themselves, it repented him that be made man, and it grieved him at his heart, Gen. 6. 6. What a wonderfull expression is this? God cannot repent or grieve at any thing properly, but the Scripture speaketh thus after the manner of men, to shew how exceedingly displeasing and offensive mans fall was, that it had been better he had never been created, than prove such an Apostate. It is true, God knew how to work a greater good out of sinne, than sinne could be an evil, but this no thank to Adam's sin and disobedience; The good wrought thereby cometh wholly from the gracious power of God; so that Adam's sinne of it self, did disanull the end of his Creation, and brought all things into confu∣sion. Take every man by nature, what a beast and devil is he, what an enemy to God, what an adversary to every thing of God; so that whereas he was made to glorifie and honour God, all his whole work and life is now to dishonour him, and reproach his holy Name: Herein then lieth the misery of this losse of the Image of God, that we are fallen from our end, we are of our selves salt that hath lost its favourinesse, we are fit for nothing but eternal torments.
The Harmony and Subordination in Mans Nature dissolved, by the loss of Gods Image.
IN the second place. This losse is to be aggravated, because of the Nature of it, which is the deordination and dissolution of all that Harmony and Subordination which was in mans nature. That admirable and composed order which was in the whole man, is now wholly broken; so that the mind and will is against God, and the affections and passions against them. A three-fold Subordination there was in man.
The first, of the intellectual and rational part unto God, The mind clearly know∣ing him, and the will readily submitting unto him.
The second was, A regular Subordination of all the passions and affections unto the mind, so that there did not from the sensible part arise any thing that was un∣beseeming Page 134 and contrary to the rational: Hence it was that the Scripture taketh notice of Adam and Eve in their privitive Condition, that though naked, yet they were not ashamed; There being a full purity and simplicity in their natures, whereby nothing could arise to disturb all those superiour operations. At sin expresseth it well;
The third and last Subordination was of the body, both to the rationall and sensi∣tive principles; There was a preparednesse in the body of Adam, as there was in Christ, whereby he did readily do the Will of God, and sound the body not ob∣structing or weighing of it down. Now let us consider this three-fold cord, which did bind Adam's whole man unto that which is good, which was easily bro∣ken; and then, as when the flood-gates are open, the streams of water violent∣ly rush forth, hurrying all away: Thus it is with mankind; This order being dissolved, the whole heart of man is as unruly as the Sea; and whereas that hath its natural bounds, Hitherto it shall go, and no further; The heart of man is bound∣lesse, and hath no stops of it self, only the infinite God of Heaven he ruleth and ordereth it as he pleaseth. Consider the first breach, and mourn under that: Is it nothing to have the mind of man, which hath as many thoughts almost as there are sands upon the Sea shore, and yet not to have one of these rise in the soul with subordination to God? What a sad bondage is this, that our thoughts are no more under our command, than the flying birds in the air? Do not either sinfull thoughts, or if good, come in so unseasonably upon thee, that they carry away thy soul prisoner? Oh this losse of the obedience of the mind to Gods Law, in all the thoughts thereof, ought to be no mean matter of debasement! Not to find one good thought of all those Iliades, Chiliades and Myriades of thoughts which thou hast, but to have rebellion in them against God: What sad impression should it make on thee? In the will also those motion and incompleat velleities, yea acts of consent in the will, which arise in the soul, as so many swarms of flies in the air, Are not these also so many armies of lusts against God, whereas in the state of integrity, there would not have risen the least distemper?
The second breach, Is not that also as terrible and powerfull? For are not all our affections and passions like so many dogs to Action, like so many Locusts and Caterpillers in Egypt, like so many flies and hornets, till by grace they are cruci∣fied? What man is there, in whom if God should let any one passion or affection have dominion over him, that it would not immediately destroy him? So that the power of original corruption is more manifested in the affections and passions, than any subject else.
Lastly, The disorder which is in the body, in respect of its instrumental service∣ablenesse unto God can never be enough lamented; Do not pains and diseases in the body much indispose in holy things? Do not dulnesse, drousinesse and weari∣nesse hinder a man, so that when he would religiously serve the Lord, this body will not let him? Now all this evil and misery is come upon us, because we have lost the Image of God; As God in nature doth not suffer any vocuum or redun∣dans, so neither did he in respect of the frame of the soul at the first; There was nothing defective, and nothing excessive.
The Properties of this Losse.
THirdly, This losse by original corruption of Gods Image, is exceeding great in the properties of it. For,
1. It is a spiritual losse, principally and chiefly; The loss of Gods favour, of all holiness, is wholly spiritual, and did tend to make a man spiritually happy; So that if you should compare all the temporal losses that ever have been in the world, with this first and spiritual one, it would be but as the mole-hill to an high mountain: If then our eyes were opened, if we were able rightly to judge or losses, for this we should mourn more than for any evil that ever befell us or others; 〈◊〉 messengers that came with such sad tidings one upon another, is nothing to this message that we bring thee, But who will believe this report?
2. As it is a spiritual loss, so it is an universal loss. The whole world is in a lost state, by losing this Image of God; Every creature hath lost in this univer∣sal losse; The earth hath lost its fruitfulness, yea the whole Creation groaneth, and is in bondage, subject to vanity, because of this. Thus all the creatures they lose by it, yea every thing in man loseth; The mind its light, the will its holiness, the affections their order, and the body its soundness and immortality; If all the creatures were turned into tongues, they would proclaim the loss of their primitive glory, and beauty, because of this sinne.
3. It's not only universal, But it's the cause of all the temporal losses that we have: For death (in which is comprehended all kind of evil) came in upon the loss of this Image; So that if we are sensible of any temporal loss, How much more of this spiritual one, which is the cause and root of all? Therefore is the body pained, therefore it dieth, because this Image of God is lost, therefore do we loose parents and children, therefore is the whole world a valley of tears, because of this losse; If then any private losse be so bitter unto thee, how much more ought this to be, which putteth a sting into all?
Lastly, This loss is incurable as to any humane or angelicall power. The image of God is so lost, as that by our own power we are never able to recover it again: Insomuch that when God doth repair it in us, it's a new Creation, and a spiritual Resurrection; we could not further it in the least degree.
Let the Use then be, deeply to humble us, to break our hearts far this, and yet still to break them more and more. When Tamar was defloured, she went with ashes upon her head, weeping and saying, I, whither shall I go? Oh do thou much rather mourn, and sigh, and pray! We, oh wretched we! Whither shall we go? What shall we do? Call to the Angels, they cannot help you: Cry to the mountains, they cannot hide you from Gods wrath: Shall Saul seek for his lost Asses, the woman for her lost Groat, Micha for his lost gods, and wilt nor thou bitterly lament the loss of the true God, and his Image in thee?
Of the Positive Part of Original Corruption.
JOH. 3. 6.
THe Privative Part of original corruption being largely disco∣vered, we come now to the Positive Part of it: For although many of the Papists deny it, laying the whole nature of it in a meer want of original righteousnes, yet not only the Protestants generally, but Aquinas and some who follow him, do plead for this Positive Part in original corruption as well as the Pri∣vative, and is therefore called Flesh, as here in the Text, and in other places lust; Of which in its due time. We are not then to conceive of this birth-sinne, as a meer privation of the Image of God, but as including also therewith, a propensity and inclination to all evil.
To the discovery of this Truth, we shall find this Text pitcht upon will be ve∣ry subservient; and herein we are to take notice, That it is part of that famous Colloquy and Conference Christ had with Nicodemus, a Master in Israel; where∣in several things in the general are briefly obserable: As
First, The Mercy that is to the Church in having this Discourse upon Re∣cord; For by Nicodemus his carnal cavillings, we see the necessity of Re∣generation; our Saviour is the more powerfull in his asseverations, Veri∣ly, verily, I say unto you, &c. that hereby every one may see, that though he be great, rich, wise, learned, ingenious, yet he must be born again
Secondly, We may take notice of our Saviours wisdom, that pitcheth upon this Subject rather than another to treat upon; for herein Nicodemus did grosly erre, Nicodemus had learning enough, knew the Law of God and the Scriptures, but was wholly ignorant of Regeneration.
Thirdly, We therefore see, That the work of Regeneration is a mystery, even to wise and learned men; Twice or thrice, saith that great Doctor, How can this be? What poor and childish Objections doth he make against it, and all, be∣cause this is a thing spiritually discerned?
Lastly, The great cause why Nicodemus did not know what Regeneration was, or see the necessary of it, was, Because of his blindnesse about original sinne: Had he believed how carnal and sinfull every one was born, he would presently have bewailed his condition, and said, O Lord, it is true, I am all over polluted, I find nothing of thy Spirit in me, I am all over flesh, and do therefore need thy Spirit to regenerate and quicken me! But this was the root of his destruction, Page 137 from hence did arise that gross miscarriage about a new-birth, because was so sensless and unacquainted with the pollution he was born in.
So that the Text is an Argument to prove the Doctrine of Regeneration, and the necessity of it, which Nicodemus did so carnally cavil against: For although our Saviour did so vehemently assert the truth of it in these expressions, twice geminated, Verily, verily, I say into thee, &c. Yet because Nicodemus still ask∣eth, How can this be? therefore our Saviour discovereth to him the root and fundamental cause of the necessity of this birth, and that not of Nicodemus only, but of every man; Therefore he speaks generally, Vnlesse a man be borne again, &c.
The fundamental cause therefore of the necessity of Regeneration is from that universal Proposition laid down in the Text, That which is born of the flesh is flesh, which is also illustrated by the contrary, That which is born of the Spirit is spirit; The strength of the Argument lieth in this, Every thing resembleth that it is produced of; from a Serpent, there cometh a Serpent; from a Toad, a Toad; so from a Dove, a Dove; a Sheep, a Lamb; There being therefore two contrary effective principles in us, The flesh and the Spirit; The flesh, that produ∣ceth what is flesh, the Spirit, what is spirit.
In the first Proposition, we have the emphatical expression of this defile∣ment:
1. In the Vniversality of the Subject of Predication, That which is born of the flesh is flesh; There's none exempted, great men, noble men; Even Kings and Emperors they are flesh of flesh.
2. There is the Vniversality of the Subject of Inhesion; All is flesh, that comes of flesh; so that not only the body, but the soul also is flesh in this sense; for by flesh here, as in other places, is meant, The whole man consisting of soul and body, as he is unclean and impure, and this appeareth by the opposition, which is the Spirit of God, and the effects thereof.
Another emphatical expression is, In using the abstract for the concrete, is flesh, that is fleshly, is spirit, that is, spiritual. We see then here a Proposition affirm∣ed concerning all mankind born in a natural way, which no humane Philosophy could ever inform us in, yea to which it is wholly contrary, viz. That we all by nature both in soul and body are nothing but flesh; for flesh is here put for the vicious and sinfull quality that is in us, and so the mind, the intellictual and chois∣est parts of the soul are thus condemned, as well as the more gross and sensitive, as in time is to be shewed.
This is a clear Text to prove our universal contagion by sinne, yet upon what weak and poor grounds would the Remonstrants oppose it; They therefore by flesh understand, Man simply as man, flesh and blood, begotten in a fleshly and bo∣dily manner, not as sinfull and corrupted; as if our Saviours Argument had been, as what is born of man is man, so what is born of the Spirit is spiritual: But this is very unsound: For what Argument would this be to prove Regeneration? Must a man be new born meerly because he is a man? Certainly had Adam continued in the state of integrity, there would have been procreation of children, yet then there would not have been a necessity of Regeneration: Our Saviour therefore is giving a reason, why there must be a new birth, and that is from the sinfull pollution every one is born in: And whereas the reason they give, why by flesh cannot be meant, wholly sinfull, Because (say they) then in the opposition, by Spirit, would be meant wholly spirituall, whereas the Orthodox do acknowledge a conflict with the Spirit, and the flesh abiding in every regenerate man: But to this the Answer is, That the abstract is put for the concrete, spirit for spiritual, so that the Subject in the Proposition [Born of the Spirit] Spirit is the holy Spi∣rit of God; and the Predicate [is made spirit] Spirit is to be understood of that spiritual and heavenly nature wrought in us by him; And although he who is Page 138 made thus spiritual, is not purely and absolutely so, yet the Spirit will in time sub∣due and wholly conquer the flesh, in which sense Gal. 5. They that are Christs are said to have crucified the flesh with the lusts thereof; Although there be the re∣liques and remainders of it still in the most holy.
The Text then being thus vindicated, the Observation is,
That all men born in a natural way, are not only without the Image of God, but thereby also are positively polluted, and made all over flesh and sinfull.
Of the use of the word Flesh in Scripture; And why Original Cor∣ruption is called by that name.
TO discover this, in the first place, It is good to take notice of the use of the word [Flesh] in Scripture; for the mis-understanding or mis-applying of it, hath brought in a world of mischief. The Papists by Flesh (I mean some of them) understanding only the bruitish and sensitive part, as if sinne were onely resident there, and the rational part were free and pure; but this is a very great errour; For besides the general use of the word Flesh in the Scripture, there is two more pertinent to our purpose.
1. Flesh is sometimes taken for that which is weak and frail, Isa. 31. Their horses are flesh and not spirit. Psal. 78. He remembred they were but flesh. And
2. It is often taken for sinfulness and corruption; Thus Gal. 5. The works of the flesh are opposite to the works of the Spirit; and men who are in the Flesh, Rom. 8. cannot please God. Gal. 3. Who having begun in the Spirit, will ye end in the flesh? To be in the flesh and in the Spirit are made two opposite beings by the Apostle; Insomuch that we may make it a sure Rule, That wheresoever flesh is opposed to the Spirit of God, or its spiritual operations, that then flesh is used for that which is evil and sinfull; and thus it is in the Text. The true notion therefore of the word Flesh being retained, Let us consider, Why original sinne is thus called Flesh. And
First, It is called so, Because of its opposition to what is spiritual. Whatsoever the Spirit of God revealeth to be believed, or commands to be obeyed, it is whol∣ly contradicted by man, while abiding in the flesh. Thus the Apostle Rom. 8. The wisdom of the flesh is enmity against God; You see here is not only a meer pri∣vation of what is spiritual, but a positive enmity and frowardness against God, and therefore we do not speak enough to describe the fulness of our natural evil, when we say, that we came naked into the world without the Image of God, and his Spirit; for original sinne hath a contrariety in it against God, it puts a man upon hatred of whatsoever is holy, therefore the Apostle addeth, Rom. 8. 5. It is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be: Oh then that God would make our hearts more of flesh in the Prophet Ezekiels sense, viz. tender, and melting under considerations of how much flesh is in both mind and heart in the Apostles sense! Would thy self-righteousness, thy self-love, thy self-fulness con∣tinue any longer, if thou didst thus judge and believe concerning thy self? Oh what a noisom carkass, what a loathsom monster wouldst thou be in thy own eyes, if thou didst consider the positive frowardness and opposition which is in thee to what is holy! And therefore even in the regenerate, Gal. 5. 17. The Flesh is said to lust against the spirit; Search then into thy heart, and say, From whence doth arise these gainsayings and oppositions which are in me, to what is holy: Why should not heavenly and spiritual things be as welcome, pleasing and delight∣full to me, as sinfull and wordly objects? Is not all this, because thou art Flesh?Page 139 Certainly, there is a thousand times more reason for thee to imbrace spiritual objects than earthly; They have more real, excellent and enduring good in them, then all the pleasures of sinne if put together, but it is because thou art flesh, that thy heart is naturally so full of enmity against whatsoever is spiritual; And although this natural enmity be encreased in thee by voluntary wickedness, yet that which cleaveth to thee, as soon as thou hast a being is enough to make thee refuse the word of God, the Ministry inviting of thee, and to slight every Ser∣mon thou hearest, or every affliction God layeth upon thee for thy sinne, mourn then under this enmity, this Law of sinne that rebelleth against the Spirit of God: This may sensibly and evidently teach thee, that thy natural corruption is more than a meer want of the Image of God.
Secondly, In that original corruption is called flesh, is manifested, That even the whole intellectual and sublimer parts of a man are become sinfull. We see our Saviour saith, That which is born of flesh is flesh, nothing is excepted; so that whereas some would have it the rational part; The mind and understanding not to be comprehended under this flesh; we say the contrary according to Scripture, That in the soul and faculties thereof there is originally sinne chiefly seated There is the spring and fountain from whence issue all the streams of sinne into the lower parts of the soul: Thus when the Apostle reckons up the works of the flesh, Gal. 5. 19, 20. There are Idolatry and Heresies numbered with the rest, which must needs be sins of the mind, How often doth the Scripture speak of darkness, igno∣rance, folly and blindness in the minds of all men by nature? Col. 2. 18. There it's called a fleshly mind; and certainly if the mind must be renewed, as the Scripture speaks, Rom. 12. 2. Col. 3. Eph. 4. 23. it necessarily followeth, that it is fleshly and sin∣full. Behold then, what a fountain of evil and misery springs out from us in this re∣spect, which may overwhelm us? For though the inferior parts of the soul had been throughly infected with this Leprosie, yet if the superiour and chief parts had not been contaminated, there would have been hopes, that those Sun-beams would have dispelled such misty clouds; but seeing that the eye is become dark, How great is our darkness, and salt it self having lost its seasoning, all must become loathsom and unprofitable? Not only thy eyes, thy ears, not only thy affections and passions of love, fear, anger, &c. which are the lower region of thy soul; but thy will, thy mind, thy conscience, these also are become flesh, and are wholly corrupted, so that in thee by nature, there remaineth no good thing at all.
How carnal the Soul is in its actings about Spiritual Objects.
3. IN that it is called Flesh, there is discovered that a man in all the workings of his soul in religious things, is carnal and meerly carried out wholly by the principle and instigation of flesh within him, the Image of God was so glorious and efficacious in Adam, that all his bodily and natural actions were thereby made spi∣ritual, his flesh was spirit (as I may so say) the body and bodily affections did not move inordinately against Gods will, but having a divine and holy stamp up∣on them, they were thereby made divine and spiritual: But since this original corruption, the clean contrary is now to be seen in us; for even the spiritual workings of the soul are thereby made carnal and fleshly, Adam's body was made spiritual, and now our souls are made carnal: Oh the said debasing and vilifying of us that is by this means! If an Angel should become a worm, it is not so much dishonour as for righteous Adam to become an apostate sinner.
Page 140 Let us take notice how our souls do put themselves forth about spiritual ob∣jects, and you shall find they are wholly carnal and fleshly in such approaches; insomuch that in their highest devotions, and religious duties they are onely car∣nal and fleshly all the while. As
First, In the mysteries of Religion, which are revealed unto in by a supernatural light; The mind of man, because it cannot comprehend of them in a carnal, or bodily manner, much more if not by natural reason (though that be corrupt) is ready to despise and reject all; What was the reason, that Christ crucified is such a foolish Doctrine to be believed by the learned Grecian, but because it was not agreeable to natural reason? When Peter made that Confession concerning Christ, That he was the Sonne of the living God; Christ tels him, Flesh and blood had not revealed that to him, Mat. 16. 17. And doth not this fleshly mind still effectually move in Atheists and Heretiques? Is not this the bane of Socinan per∣sons, that they will make reason a judge of divine Mysteries, whereas that it s•lt is corrupt, and is it self to be judged by the word of God? So that the power of original sinne, as it is flesh, manifests it self about all the supernatual Do∣ctrines and Truths revealed in the Gospel. We that are Pigmies think to measure these Pyramides, we think to receive the whole Ocean in our little shell: Hence it is that Paul, 2 Cor. 8. 5, 6. will have all our imaginations, every high thought brought into captivity.
Thus you see, That whatsoever a man doth in reference to God, he is wholly carnal and fleshly in it, he is not carried out with a sutable principle of the Spirit, to that which is spiritual, and this may be discovered in many branches; it is al∣so very usefull and profitable; for hereby they shall see, that the onely things which they relie upon, as religious worship of God, and the evidences of their salvation, are so farre from being a true stay to them, that like thorns they will pierce their hands: If a mans spirituals be carnals, How great are his carnals? If his Religion, if his devotion, if the matters of his God, be thus altogether flashly, What will his sins and corruptions appear to be? We have already in∣stanced in one particular, viz. The Doctrine to be believed, and declared, how carnal a man is in that. We proceed further to illustrate this necessary Truth, and therefore.
Secondly, Every natural man in his religious worship, is wholly carnal, as well as in his Doctrine to be believed. For if we consult the Scripture, and observe what was the cause of all that Idolatry and spiritual abomination, for which God did so severely punish the children of Israel, was it not from a carnal fleshly mind within? Therefore you heard, Gal. 5. Idolatry is made a work of the flesh, when they changed the glory of God into the similitude of an Ox, that eateth bay; Was not this to please the eye? And so their goodly Altars, their goodly Images, which the Prophet mentioneth, Were not all these, because of their sutableness to a carnal mind? We need not instance in Pagans or Heathens, who are wholly in darkness, without any supernatural light; But if we take notice of the Christian Church in all the successive Ages thereof, How potent and predominant have carnal principles been in all their Devotions? And is not Popery to this day a full demonstration of this Truth? So that that notable expression of our Saviour, Joh. 4. 23, 24. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spi∣rit and truth; Yea, that the Father seeketh such to worship him, hath seldom had its due observation. Whereas then Campian would prove, All Monuments, all Churches, all Windows and Pictures therein, to be a demonstration of their Religion. This proveth indeed the superstition and carnality of it, not the spi∣rituality and truth of it; and oh the dishonour done to God by this means! This fleshly wisdom in Gods worship, hath been one chief cause of most of the calami∣ties which have fallen upon it, Col. 2. 18. The Apostle attributeth the worshiping of Angels to a fleshly wisdom in men.
Page 141 Thirdly, A man is naturaly carnal in religious Ordinances. Because he is apt to put trust in them, to think he merits at Gods hands, or maketh satisfaction for his •ispasses. This is not to be spiritual, but carnal; We have low, carnal appre∣hensions of God. when we think that by our righteousnesse, though it were ten thousand times more perfect than it is, that we are able to profit God therewith. Thus those false Teachers with their followers, they are said to make a fair shew in the flesh, Gal 6. 12. and Phil. 3. 3. to have confidence in the flesh; To worship God in the Spirit, and to have no confidence in the flesh, are two opposite things; Now by flesh there is meant circumcision, and all other Church-priviledges, which Paul did eminently enjoy, and while a Pharisee, he wholly rested in them, but when once the sonne of God was revealed to him, then he renounced all con∣fidence in these things, judging himself to be only carnal in them; But now little was Paul, while a Pharisee, and so exactly diligent in the discharge of them, perswaded that all he did was rejected by God, that he abhorred all, that he was only carnal in those things? It is therefore of great consquence to be spiritual in the particular, for this is a secret sweet poison, that is apt to undo us; Therefore the Particular, the formal the devout man, who is ignorant of Regeneration, while he abhorreth all bodily flesh-sinnes, he may be highly guilty of soul flesh sinnes: So that there is little cause for a Pharisee to boast, saying, He was not a prophane grosse sinner like a Publican, he did not wallow in bodily sinnes of the flesh, for he was dangerously diseased with soul sinnes; The flesh there made him abominable in the eyes of God, for that which they did so highly exalt, it was 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 before God; What an heavy and sad deceit will this prove, when thou shal• find that wherein thou blessest thy self, and applaudest thy self in, will be thy condemnation, as Christ told the Pharisees, Moses in whom ye trust, he will condemn you? Oh that this Truth might be like a sword piercing into the se∣crets of your heart! How wilt thou be overwhelmed, when that which thou ho∣pest will save thee, that will damn thee? There is a carnal Religion, there is a fleshly devotion, in which men putting their confidence, may thereby be con∣demned, as well as by grosse prophanenesse: Certainly this confidence in what religious duties we perform (as some at the last day will plead, Have not we pro∣phesied, and wrought miracles in thy Name?) doth insensibly and incurably damn the greatest part of formal Christians, and it is very hard to make them di∣scern or judge themselves carnal in this, To trust in the arm of flesh, they will ac∣knowledge quickly to be a sinne, but to trust, and rest in the holy duties they have performed, out of this sinne no sonnes of Boanerges can awaken them.
Fourthly, A man is naturally carnal in all his religious performances, Because when he d•h them, it is not out of any love to God, to exalt and honour him, but out of love to himself, thinking thereby to avei• some judgement or other. It is true, we deny not but it's lawfull to serve God, to be humbled for sinne with respect to our own good, that we may escape temporal evil, but yet we are not to do it principally and chiefly for this, we are not to uti Deo, and frui Creatu∣ris, to enjoy the creatures for themselves, as the utmost end, and make use of God only for our outward help, as John 6. 26. our Saviour told the multitude that followed him, That they did seek him only because they did eat of the loaves and were siled: This is a fundamental principle of flesh in every man by nature not to love himself subordinately to God, but God subordinately to himself, which is a sinne of a very high nature, and immediately opposing the great ma∣jesty of God; They worship God upon no other reason, then what some Hea∣thens did sacrifice to the Devils, Tantùm ne noceant, That they might do them no hurt: I 〈◊〉 not then out of any love to God, or desire to magnifie him, but wholly for their own ends; and hence it is, that they alter, and change the wor∣ship and wayes of God, as they please, and as it serveth for any political interest, Page 142 as you see in Jeroboam, and other wicked Kings, Whence is all this? but because they make themselves, the Alpha and Omega, Et Deus non erit Dens nisi homini placuerit; How could men thus break the statutes and ordinances of God? but because they make their own advantages, the supreme Law, as if God were for them, and they not for him: Hence it is also that the Scripture complaineth so much of men, Walking in their own Imaginations; And Jeroboam, 1 King. 12. 33. is branded for this, that he set up such a worship and Ministry, that he had devised of his own heart; This then is a sure demonstration of our fleshly minds, that in our worship and duties, we regard not divine Institutions and Gods Rule, but attend only to what is subservient to our purpose: Now the founda∣tion of all this is, because we do not look upon God as supreme, to whom all our senses should bow, but referre him and his glory to our selves. The Apostle 2 Cor. 5. 16. speaketh of knowing Christ after the flesh, and so there is also a knowing of God after the flesh, which is, when we doe not things pure∣ly and sincerely out of respect to his Name, but for our own profit and benefit: Take heed then of this fleshly frame in thy approaches to God.
Fifthly, The fleshly mind of a man is seen in his spiritual transactions between God and himself, In that he doth wholly conceive and imagine such a God, and Christ, not as the Scripture represents, but as he would have, and doth most suit with his carnal disposition. This is greatly to be observed, for because of this, though they hear never so much of God and Christ, yet because they think them to be such, as they would have a God of their own making, a Christ of their own making, therefore they never truly repent, or turn unto God; for concerning God, they conceive him as altogether mercifull; They never think he is a just and holy God; They attend not to the sury and vengeance which the Scripture saith is in him against obstinate and impenitent sinners, but apprehend him to be one that loveth them, and will save them, though they go on in all re∣bellious wayes against him; The Psalmist doth notably speak to this purpose, Psal. 50. 21. where having spoken of such hypocrites, that will come and wor∣ship God, though they retain their old lusts, and live in all impurity, he addeth, Thou thoughtest I was altogether such an one as thy self; They thought God was not provoked with such abominations, they thought God would not be angry with them, as if he were like themselves: And doth not this still continue true in most prophane men? Why is it that they do not tremble under the name and thoughts of God? Why is it that they roar not out with fear, lest God should damn them? Is it not because they make a God like themselves? They love themselves, and acquit themselves, they easily think well of themselvs, and therefore they think God will do so also, and thus they do likewise with Christ; They represent him to be a Sa∣viour, and a Saviour only; They consider not that he died to conquer the Devil, to make us a peculiar people, zealous of good works; They attend not to the purify∣ing and cleansing power of Christs death from the strength and power of lusts with∣in, as well as from the guilt and damnation by it, which being so, they can trust in Christ, and put their whole hope in Christ, although they live in all disobedi∣ence at the same time, and therefore whereas we might wonder, how prophane men can live as they do? Where are their thoughts of God and Christ? Why are they not stricken with astonishment, when they hear of them? Alas, you may cease to wonder, for the Scripture God, the Scripture-Christ, in the Scripture∣way they do not think of, but a God and a Christ, which is a meer Idol in their own hearts set up by themselves.
Sixthly, The fleshly mind of a man is seen in running into extreams, and so never submitting themselves to Gods word, which is alwayes the same: So that whereas in some the fleshly mind of man runneth out into superstitious and excessive wayes of devotion, which God never required so in others again it Page 143 acteth the clean contrary way pretending to Enthusiasts, Revelations, and strange raptures and impulses of soul, and herein they think they are the only spiritual men, and that all others are in the flesh, but strong delusions under the pretence of Revelations, Apparitions and visions have been no new thing in the Church of God; neither are we to stagger in our saith, because of these things; for the flesh excited by the Devil, may vent it self in these extasies and raptures, as well as in superstitions; yea which is further to be observed, a man may be altogether fleshly, while he pretends to an high spiritual way of subduing and keeping down the flesh, Col. 2. 23. Those who were puft up in their fleshly minds about Angel∣worship, yet are said to have a shew of humility in not sparing the body, and this we may say to those deluded Papists, who macerate and excruciate the flesh of the body, it would be better, if they did cast out at the same time, their fleshly mind.
Seventhly, A natural man in his most religious deportment, is only fleshly, Because whatsoever he doth in these things, he is furthered only by natural strength: For being without the grace of God, either in his understanding, or his will, hence it is that he can rise no higher, than natural reason, natural conscience, and natu∣ral will, doth enable him unto; and these being altogether polluted by sinne, in stead of furthering, they are an hindrance and opposition to him: If therefore you ask, From what principles, and by what strength doth a natural man draw nigh to God? The answer is only by that power which he hath of himself; The grace of God which alone can elevate the soul to God, that he is wholly destitute of: And although it must be granted that there are some common principles and di∣ctates in all about God, and moral good things, yet these are never improved any otherwise, but from carnal principles, and to carnal ends. And thus much may suffice for this branch, viz. The carnality of a man, by original sinne in his most religious offices and duties.
In the last general place, Man may justly be said to be all over sinfull and flesh only, Because all his care, his thoughts are only for his body and sensible things, in the mean while neglecting God, and his immortal soul. I shall conclude with this, because all else comprehended in this name, will come in at some other seasonable time. By nature we are in the flesh, we walk after it, we make provision for it; so that we willingly lose God and our souls, to save and preserve that; Who is there that will believe our Saviour, saying, What will it profit a man to winne the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mat. 16. 26. What complaints and accusati∣ons may the soul make against us, when the body hath said, Feed me, Cloath me, you have done it? But when the soul hath famished, and been perishing, you have not heard the cries of it: Oh men only flesh and utterly devoid of all spiri∣tual power!
Reasons demonstrating the Positive Part of Ori∣ginal Sinne.
HItherto we have been informed out of this Text, what is compre∣hended in the word [Flesh] attributed to every one that is in a natural way born of mankind. We now proceed to that Truth, for which it was designedly pitcht upon, viz. That Original sin is not only a Privation of Gods Image, but doth cannote also a Posi∣tive inclination, and an impetuous propensity to every thing that is evil. For this Question is agitated between some Papists, and the Protestants; They asserting,
Why Divines make Original Sinne to have its Positive as well as Privative Part.
THe Reason, why our Divines make original sinne to have its Positive as well as Privative part, is to obviate that errour of the Papists, who sup∣posing original righteousness to be only by way of a bridle in Adam to curb and subjugate the inferiour part to the superiour of the soul, when Adam lost this, they conceive mankind, hath not any further pollution upon it, but that meer losse; Insomuch that they say,
Reasons to evince the Positive part of Original Sinne.
NOw that we are to judge of it thus, will appear from Scripture, upon these grounds:
First, The names that the Scripture attributeth to it, compell us to think of it, as more than a m•er bare simple privation, for in the Text it is called Flesh, in other places Lust, the Old man, the Body of sinne, which emphatical expressions are for this end to make us conceive of the deep and most real pollution it bringeth upon us: Insomuch that we are not to extenuate and diminish the nature of it, but as the scope of the Scripture is to aggravate it under the most substantial and powerfull names that are, so we also are accordingly to judge of it. It is true, Illyricus out of a vehement opposition to Papists and Synergists, did wring the Scripture till bloud came out of it in stead of milk; for he would understand these places mentioned about original sinne almost literally, as if sinne were our very substance and essence, whereas if he had gone no further, then to say, that the Scripture by these names doth intend not onely the meer privation of good by this original pollution, but also a positive pronenese, and a con∣tinual activity unto all evil, than he had hit the mark. The Scripture Names then are only considerable, for the holy Ghost doth not use them in vain, but thereby would startle and amaze us, that we may consider that we are without, and what evil doth abide in us.
Secondly, This is proved from Scripture-affirmation, about the state of all men. It doth not onely describe man privatively, that he is without God, without Christ, but also pesitively, that he is an enemy to God, and cannot be subject to him, Rom. 3, 10, 11. to the 18. verse. The holy Apostle applying several passages out of the old Scripture to all men by nature, instanceth both in privatives and positives also; Privatives, There is none that under∣standeth, there is none that seeketh God, there is none that doth good, there is no fear of God before their eyes: But is this all? No, he addeth, Their throat Page 146 is an open Sepulchre, the poison of Aspes is under their lips, their feet are swift to shed bloud, &c. Here you see, the nature of every man is abominable, loath∣some and ready to commit the foulest sinnes, if he be not stopt; yea the Scripture is more oftener expressing this Positive part of original sinne then the Privative, Genes. 5. Genes. 8. 21. The imagination of a mans heart is said to be onely evil, and that from his youth. Eliphaz also in Job 15. saith, How abominable is man who, drinketh down iniquity like water? Thus you see the Scripture represents us in a farre more loathsome vile and poisonous nature than we are apt to believe concerning our selves. When Austine maintained this Doctrine, Pelagius would say, This was to accuse mans na∣ture (Lib. 1. de Naturâ & Gratiâ.) But this is indeed the onely way to set up the grace of Christ our Physician, for the whole need not a Physicias,
Thirdly, Original sinne is positive, Because the Scripture attributes positive and efficatious actions to it, which meer and bare privations are not capable of. The seventh Chapter of the Romans speaketh fully to this, what expressions, and that in allusion to military affairs, doth the Apostle use concerning this sinne inhabiting in him? For vers. 23. he complaineth of this Law of sinne, that it doth warre against him, and bring him into captivity, which phrases denote, That this original sinne is not a sluggish, idle privation, but withall it connoteth an impetuous repugnancy to any thing that is holy; This also the Apostle con∣firmeth, Gal. 5. 17. where the flesh is said to lust against the Spirit, shall we think then, that the holy Ghost speaketh of this activity and working of sinne in us, that we should apprehend no more than the absence of Gods Image within us. Let us then aggravate the hainnousnesse of it, as we see the Scripture doth, and deeply humble our selves under it: Shall it be a small thing to have such an impetuous active principle in us against what is holy? That which we should imbrace and close with as the most excellent, that we flie from, and are most averse to, as if it were the greatest evil, and would be to our utter undoing.
Fourthly, If vicious habits that are acquired by customary practice of evil. are not meer and simple privations, but do also include in them a propensity to evil, then it followeth, that original sinne likewise is not a meer privation; For we are to conceive of original sinne, as an innate and imbred habit, as the other are acquired: Now it's plain, That all vicious moral habits, they are not a meer negation, or absence of such virtues, but do• also in∣cline and dispose the subject to vicious actions, easily and with delight; So that we must needs attribute as much Postivenesse, if not more to ori∣ginal sinne, then to vicious acquired habits; And the truth is, This is a closer Leprosie infecting of us, then such habits, for this we have as soon as we are born, this is twisted within our bowels; this can never be whol∣ly shaken off, whereas accustomed sinnes, they are perfectly overcome by the work of Regeneration. For this is the difference between acquired ha∣bits of sinne, and original corruption: In Regeneration, seeing the Image of God is put into us, which is the substance of all holy habits, the con∣trary Page 147 habits are presently excluded, and the sinnes the godly afterwords com∣mit, are not from their former habits of sinne, but from the reliques of ori∣ginal corruption, whatsoever the Remonstrants say to the contrary; But Re∣generation doth not totally exclude original sinne, onely diminisheth the strength of it: So that this original corruption will abide in some measure in us, even while we carry this mortal body about with us: And if the Prophet made it such an impossible thing for men habituated in sinne to be converted, as when he saith, If a Leopard can change his skinne, then may you learne to doe well, who are accustomed to doe evil, Jerem. 13. 23. What then shall he said of us who are borne in evil? Customary sinnes are but the Leopards skinne, original sinne is like the Leopards na∣ture.
Lastly, This positive inclination doth necessarily follow from the privation of this Image of God; if the due summetry and excellent Harmony which was at first in the soul be taken away, then all the faculties and powers of the soul must necessarily move sinfully and inordinately. The soul of a man is alwayes working one way or other, if then it hath lost original righteous∣nesse, it cannot but be hurried on to what is evil; as if you take away the pillar on which a stone liethh, presently that will fall to the ground; If you spoil the strings of musical instruments, immediately they make a jarre and ingratefull noise upon every moving of them: The soul of a man is a subject immediately susceptible of righteousnesse or corruption, and if it lose its righ∣teousnesse, then by natural necessity corruption cometh in the room of it, and so when the understanding acts, it acteth sinfully, when the will mo∣veth, it moveth sinfully; So that we may well say with Austin to the Pelagian, demanding, How this corruption could come into us, for God was good, and nature good, Quid quaeris latentem rimum, cum habes aper∣tam jannam? Not a cranny, but a gate or door is open for this corruption to seize upon us.
BEfore we come to answer the Objections, Let us affect our hearts with it, and labour to be humbled under the consideration of this positive∣nesse and efficacy of it.
For first, Hereby we see, that if it be not restrained and stopped by God, we know not where we should stay in any sinne; What Cain's, what Judas's would we not prove? Who can say, Hitherto I will goe in sinne, and no further, for there is a fountain within thee, that would quickly overflow all? This active root of bitternesse, this four leaven within thee, would quickly make thy life, like Job's body, full of ulcers and noisome sores: If thou art not plunged in the same mire and filth, as others are, doe not say, Thou hast lesse of this corruption than they; Thou art borne more innocent than they, onely God stops thee, as he did Balaam from doing such wickednesse, as thy heart is forward enough unto; No Serpent is fuller of poyson, no Toad of venome, than thou art of sinne, which thou wouldst be constantly committing, were not some stop put in the way.
Page 148 Secondly, In that sinne is thus positive and inclining thee, thou art the more to admire the grace of God, if that work a contrary inclination and propensity in thee; If thou art brought with Paul, To delight in the Law of God in the inward man; If thy heart pants after God, as the Hart after the waters, which once delighted in sinne, which once longed after nothing, but the satisfying of the flesh: Oh admire this gracious, miraculous work of God upon thy soul, who hath made thee to differ thus from thy selfe! The time was once, when thou rejoycedst in those sinnes, that are now matter of shame and trembling to thee. The time was when thy heart was affected with no other good than that of the creature; Thou didst know no other, desire no other but that, but now God hath made iron to swimme, he hath made the Blackmoor white: Oh blesse God for the least desires and affections, which thou hast at any time for that which is good, for this cometh not from thee; it is put into thee by the grace of God.
Lastly, Consider that this positivenesse of sinne in thee, doth not onely manifest it self in an impetuous inclination to all evil, but also a violent re∣sistance of whatsoever is good: The Apostle (Rom. 8.) calleth it, Enmity against God; and Rom. 7. he complaineth of it, as warring and fighting a∣gainst the Law of his minde; And certainly this is a very great aggravati∣on, not onely to be without what is good, but to be a desperate enemy, and a violent opposer of it, both in others, as also to that which the Spi∣rit of God by the Word would worke in our own hearts, not onely with∣out the remedy, but full of enmity against it; Doth not this make our con∣dition unspeakably wretched? Certainly, this is the highest aggravation in ori∣ginal sinne, that we are not onely unable to what is good, but we are with anger and rage carried out against it, as if good were the onely evil, and sweetnesse the onely bitternesse.
Objections against the Positive Part of Original Sinne answered.
THere remain only some Objections against this Truth, but be∣fore we answer them, take notice,
First, That although we say original sinne is more than a privation of that Righteousnesse which ought to be in man, yet We do not make it to be like some infecting corporeal quality in the body, that hereby should vitiate the soul, and as it were poison that. Lombard and some others, especially Arimi∣nensis (Distinct. 30.) They seem to deliver their opinion so, as rejecting An∣selm's definition of original sinne, making it to be want of that original righte∣ousnesse which ought to be in us, and do declare it to be a morbida qualitas, some kinde of pestilential and infecting quality abiding in the body, and thereby affecting the soul; As when the body is in some phrenetical and mad distempers, the soul is thereby disturbed in all its operations; so that these make the want of original righteousness to be the effect of original sinne, not the nature of it, saying upon Adam's sinne, Man becoming thus defiled, God refused to continue this righteousness to him any longer. But if these Schoolmen be further questioned, How such a diseased pestilential quality should be in the body? Some say, it was from the forbidden fruit that that had such a noxious effect with it; but that is rejected, because that was made of God, and all was exceeding good: Ari∣mine•sis therefore following as he thinketh Austin, maketh this venemous qua∣lity in a mans body to have its original, from the hissing and breath, as it were of the Serpent; he conceiveth, that by their discourse with the Serpent, there came from it such an infectious air, as might contaminate the whole body, and he saith Austin speaks of some, who from the very hissing and air from Serpents have been poisoned.
But the Protestants they do not hold it any positive quality in this sense; for this is to make the body, the first and chiefest subject of original sinne, and so to convey it to the soul, whereas indeed the soul is primarily and principally the seat of original sinne; We therefore reject this, as coming too near Manicheism, as if there were some evil and infectious qualities in the very nature and substance of a man.
Secondly, It must be remembred, what hath been said before, That when we come to give a particular reason why the understanding or will are propense to any evil; We can assign only a privative cause, viz. Because it wants that rectitude which would regulate it; as if a ship (it's Anselm's comparison) were without Page 150 Pilot and Governour of tacklings let loose into the whole Ocean, it would be violently hurried up and down till it be destroyed. Thus man without this Image of God would be tossed up and down by every lust, never resting till he had hur∣led himself into hell; yet though we cannot give any more than a privative cause, there is also a positive propensity to all evil connoted: As in a wicked action of murder or drunkenness, if you go to give a reason, why such actions are sinnes; we must say from the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 that is in them, that want of order which the Law requireth; There is a privation of that rectitude the Law commands, yet those sinnes do imply also the material and substrate acts, as well as the obliquity: In every sinne of commission, there is that which is positive as well as privative; Though the ratio formalis of the sinne be a privation; and thus it is in original sinne, the whole nature of it comprehends both a want of Gods Image, and a con∣stant inclination to all impiety. Though the privative be the cause of the positive Indeed Rolloc (De vocatione cap. 25. de peccat. orig.) maketh a three-fold mat∣ter, and a three-fold form in original sinne: The three-fold matter he assigneth to be a defection from God, a want of original righteousness, and a positive quality, which succeedeth in the room of holinesse: To which three-fold matter he attributeth a three fold form or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in which the nature of sinne consists. Now these material parts of original sinne, are so many entities, being good in themselves, and coming from God the Author of nature, but how Apostasie and want of original righteousness can be positive entities, and good of themselves, I cannot understand, or how carentia justitiae originalis, should have the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for its form when that it self is the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and so a form have a form seemeth ir∣rational to conceive.
THese two things thus premised, the plain and obvious Objection is, That if original sinne be positive, then it's good, and so of God, because omne ens est bonum, every being is good, and then as Austin, Omne bonum est vel Deus, vel à Deo, all good is either God himself, or of God Would it not then be blasphemy to make God the Authour of it, and if it have a positive being, then certainly it must come from God the Author of all being?
But to this several Answers may be returned:
First, That though original sinne should be granted to be positive, yet for all that God would not be made the Author of sinne, Because as it's sinne, it doth arise from man. There are some great Schoolmen, as Cajetan and others, that hold sinnes of commission have a positive real being, as sinnes; They deny that the nature of such sinnes lieth formally in a privation. but in a positive rela∣tive contrariety to the Law of God; and when urged with this Argument, That then such sinnes have their being immediately from God, as all other created beings have: They will answer, That God is indeed the efficient of every being, but not of every modus, or relative respect of that being: As for example, when a man eateth and drinketh, this eating and drinking they are from God, but then take them under this relative respect, as they are vital and formal actions of man, so they cannot be attributed to God, for then we might say, God doth eat and drink, yea in those gracious acts when we do believe and repent, God is the efficient cause of them, yet as they do formally and vitally flow from us, so they are not to be attributed to God, for God doth not repent or believe. Thus it may be said, That though God be efficiently the cause of all positive being, yet as some being hath a relative respect to the second cause working, so it cannot be attri∣buted to God, neither is this any imperfection, but a perfection in God, be∣cause Deus non potest supplers vicem materialis, aut formalis causae: There∣fore Page 151 saith Curiel a positive Doctor for the positive nature of sinnes of Com∣mission (Lectur. 6. in Thom. pag. 300.)
Secondly, There are some learned Protestants, that do distinguish of ens, or being; That ens is either created, as the works of the six dayes, or generated, as mankind, and the animate creatures, or made as artificial things, or prepared, as Heaven and Hell, or introduced, as sinne; for it's said of sinne, that it's 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; So that upon this distinction they will say, That God is the cause of all made, and created beings, but not of introdu∣ced beings, such as sinne is, because that came in by Satans temptation, and mans disobedience. But this distinction hath scarce so much as a sandy foundation; for though it be an introduced being, yet because a being, it is a creature, and so must come from God the chief being, according to that of the Evangelist, John 1. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made: For that which is ens only by participation, must be re∣duced to that which is ens per essentiam. Therefore
In the third place, We must speak of original sinne, as we do of vicious habits, and of actual sinnes; The material and substrate of them, being a good of na∣ture is of God, but the vitiosity and obliquity that is of man, when a man mo∣veth his tongue to curse and swear, or his hand to murder another: As they are actions they are of God, For in him we live, and move, and have our being; but as evil adhereth to them, so they are of man: Thus it is in original sinne, when we say, there is a positive inclination in mans heart to all evil; The mean∣ing is, That the understanding and will, as they are faculties, and as they do act, thus farre they are of God, but as they cannot but act sinfully, and offend in every motion, so it's of Adam's disobedience, to understand then, to think, to will, to love, these are of God, but to love what is evil and contrary to Gods Word, or to love excessively and immoderately that which we are to do in subor∣dination only, this is of our selves.
A second Objection is, That if original sinne be like a vicious habit in a man, then it cannot be transmitted unto posterity, for habits (they say) are personal things: No father doth communicate to his childe any habits, either virtuous or vicious.
But to this it's answered, That original sinne is not an acquired habit of sinne, but an innate and imbred one in us; So that as if Adam had stood, original righteousnesse, which was like a concreated habit in man, would have been com∣municated to all his posterity, thus it is no wonder, if original sinne, which doth so tenaciously and inwardly adhere to all natures be transmitted to every one born in a natural way.
The last Objection is, That there is no necessity of supposing such an habitual vitiosity in a man; It's enough (say they) that a man be deprived of the Image of God, and when that is lost, of it's own self man's nature is prone to evil; It needs no habitual inclination to weigh him down; as if a wild beast be tied in cords and chains, lose him, unty him, and of himself he will runne into wild and untamed actions.
But to answer this:
First, The Papists, they cannot consequentially to their principles say thus; For they hold,
But secondly, That is granted, This positive inclination to all evil, follow∣eth necessarily from the removal of this Image of God from us; If the Sunne be removed, then necessarily darknesse doth cover the face of the soul; If the loco-motive faculty be interrupted, then there is nothing but halting and lamenesse: Disturb the harmony, and good temperament of the humours, and then immediately diseases and pains do surprize the whole man; It cannot therefore be avoided, that when this disorder is come up∣on the soul, but that our lusts break out as at a flood-gate, and we are in a spi∣ritual deluge all over covered with the waters of sin; but then here is a positive as well as a privative.
Besides, It is not for us to be curious in giving a reason of such posi∣tive corruption in a man by nature; it is enough that Gods word is so clear and full in the discovery of it, that he must needs wilfully shut his eyes, that will not be convinced by the light of Gods word herein: And this may suffice to dispel that darknesse, which some would have covered this Truth with, and as for what knowledge about this positivenesse of original corruption is further necessary; We shall then take notice of it, when we speak of original sinne, as it is called lust or concupiscence.
LEt therefore the Use from the former Doctrine delivered, be, To affectus, and wound us at the very heart, that we are thus all over covered with sin, that we have not an understanding, but to sin, a will but to sin, an heart but to sin; May not this be like a two edged sword within thee? What will fire thee out of all thy self-confidence, thy self-righteousnesse, if this doe not? What delight, what comfort canst thou take by beholding thy self, by looking on thy self thus corrupted and depraved? And the rather let this consideration go to the ve∣ry bottom of thy soul. Because
First, Thy propensity and inclination is to that onely which God onely hateth, which God onely loatheth, and hath decreed to punish with his ut∣most wrath to all eternity. Consider that sinne is the greatest evil; All the temporal evils in the world are but the effect of it, that is the cause. Now can it ever humble thee enough to think, that the whole bent, and constant tendency of thy soul is unto that which is the most abominable in the eyes of God? Thou canst not do that which is more destructive to thy own soul, and more dishonouring unto God, then by committing sinne, and yet thou canst do nothing else, thou delightest in nothing else; Thy heart will not let thee do any thing else: Look over thy whole life, take notice how many years thou hast li∣ved, and yet if not regenerated and delivered in some measure from the power of original corruption, thou hast done nothing but sinned; Every thought hath been a sinne, every motion a sinne within thee, and yet sinne is the greatest evil, and that alone which God hateth.
Secondly, If yet thy heart be hard, and nothing will enter, take a se∣cond naile, or wedge to drive into thee, and that is, being thus all over carried out to sinne, not the least good able to rise in thy heart, that here∣by the very plain Image of the Devil is drawn over thee: Hence it is, that wicked men are said to be of their Father the Devil; and he is said to rule in the hearts of the children of disobedience, Ephes. 2. What a wofull change is this, to be turned from a Sonne of God, to become a Devil? Page 153 While Adam retained the Image of God, God abode with him, and in him, there was a near union with God, but upon his Apostasie, the Devil taketh possession of all, and so now man is in a near union with the De∣vil: Every mans soul is now the Devils Castle, his proper habitation; The Spirit of God is chaced away, and now thy heart is made an habitati∣on for these Satyrs; Thy soul is become like an howling wildernesse, where∣in lodge all beastly lusts whatsoever; Thou that wouldst account it horrible injury to be called beast and Devil, yet thy original sinne maketh thee no lesse.
Thirdly, This further may break thy heart, if it be not yet broken e∣nough, that hereby thou art utterly impotent and unable to help thy self out of this lost condition; For how can a dead man help himselfe to live again? How can thy crooked heart be ever made straight, unlesse a greater power than that subdue it; If thou didst judge thy conditi∣on an hopelesse one, as to all humane considerations, then thou would∣est tremble, and have no rest in thy selfe, till God had delivered thee out of it?
Lastly, Let this also further work to thy Humiliation, that being thus po∣sitively inclined to all evil, not onely proper and sutable temptations draw out thy sinnes, but even all holy and godly remedies appointed by God, they do increase this corruption the more, And is not that man miserable, whose very remedies make him more miserable? Doth not the Apostle com∣plain sadly of that Law of sinne in him, even in this respect, that by this means, the Law wrought in him all evil? The more holy and spiritual the Law was, the more carnal and sinfull was he thereby occasioned to be: Oh then! What wilt thou do, when good things make thee evil, spiritual things make thee more carnal?
A second Text (to prove Original Sinne to be Positive) opened and vindicated.
ROM. 7. 7.
WE are discovering the Nature of original sinne in the Positive part of it; For although Corvinus the Remonstrant cavilleth at the Division of original sinne into two parts, therein gratifying the Papists (as it were, yet we see the Scripture speaking of it fully, as having these two parts; And whereas he saith,
It's answered first, That sometimes there is a division of a common thing, as into two parts, when yet one is the effect of the other; as when malum is divided into malum culpae, and malum poena, the evil of punishment is necessarily the effect of the evil of sinne. But
Secondly, Though an inclination to evil may be the effect of the privation of original righteousnesse, yet for all that it may be part of original sinne, which is the whole consisting of both these: Even as according to some learned Di∣vines, Remission of sinne is part of Justification, although it be an effect of the imputation of Christs Righteousnesse, which is also another part of our Justification.
The word Lust expounded.
HAving therefore considered this Title or Name given to original sinne (viz. Flesh.) which doth denote the Positivenesse of it: I come to a second, which shall also be the last, and that is the word lust or concupiscence, which both in the Scripture, and in the writings of several Authors is attributed to it; For which purpose the Text pitched upon is very usefull.
To understand which, consider that the Apostle having asserted some things, Page 155 which in an outward appearance did seem to dishonour the Law, he maketh this Objection to himself, Is the Law sinne? A cause of sinne, and so sinne, and God the Law-giver a commander of sinne; To which he answers, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, by defiance, God forbid, and in the next place giveth a reason, why the Law cannot be the cause of sinne, because that doth discover and detect sinne, that judgeth and damneth it, therefore it cannot be the cause of sinne; and that the Law is the manifester and reprover of sinne, he instanceth in himself, and his own experi∣ence, I had not known lust to be sinne, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Now ere we can understand this Text, we must answer some Questions. And
First, It's demanded, What is meant by the Law here? Some say, the Law of Nature, which is not so probable; Others, the written Law of Moses, and this is most probable by the whole context. But yet some, though they understand it of the Law of Moses, yet they do not mean any particular command, but the Law in the general, saying, the Apostle useth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for all one; As if the meaning were, The Law in general did not only forbid sinfull actions, but also inward lust, and motions of the soul thereunto, as our Saviour fully expound∣eth it, Matth. 5. Others they understand this Law of a particular Command∣ment, viz. the tenth; and therefore Beza observeth the Article 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, by this, or by that Commandment in particular; And this seemeth most probable, because they are the very words of the tenth Commandment.
But secondly, If the Apostle alledge that command, Why doth he instance onely in the sinne forbidden, not mentioning the objects that are specified in the command, Thy neighbours Oxe or his Asse, &c?
The Answer is, that is not material, for the Apostle speaking of lusts in the heart, what latent and unknown sins they were without the light of the Law, it was enough to name the sinne it self, seeing the objects about which they are con∣versant are of all sorts, and can hardly be numbred.
In the third place, It's doubted how the Apostle could say, that he did not know lust to be sinne, but by the Law of Moses, seeing that by the very Law of nature, even Heathens have condemned inward lusts, and unjust thoughts and plots, though but in the soul, and never put into practice. Aquinas makes the meaning of it, as if Paul's sense was, He did not know lust to be sinne, as it was an offence to God, and a dishonour to him, because the Law of Moses represents the sin∣fulness of these lusts in a more divine and dreadfull way, then the Law of nature doth. Grotius maketh the sense thus,
Another Question of greater consequence is, What is meant by lust? Thou shalt not covet, for the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, though in Exod. 20. there be the same Hebrew word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 yet Deut. 5. 21. There is another Hebrew expression, which is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which because in Hithpael, and so of a reciprocal signification, they translate fecit se concupiscere, to stirre up a mans self to desire, and thereby say, such lusts are only forbidden that a man nourisheth, and yeelds himself up Page 156 unto, but that rule is not a general one, see Prov. 23. 3. Some limit this Com∣mandment too much, as it did only command contentation of spirit, and that we should not sinfully desire, that which others have. But the Apostle doth plainly extend it further than so. The Papists they likewise limit it too much, making only those lusts andmotions of sinne, which we consent to to be forbid∣den, denying that those motions to evil, which arise antecedently to our reason and will, to be truly sinnes; hence is their Rule concerning them, Non sensus, but consensus is that which doth damn, which in a good sense, we also will ac∣knowledge to be true. But we are not to limit Scripture, where it hath not li∣mited it self, and therefore we conclude, That the command doth forbid a three∣fold concupiscence or lust.
First, That lust which is actually consented to, though not breaking forth into act, and if this were all, the Law of God would hereby be exlted above all humane Laws, which reach no further than external actions, And how many are ignorant of, at least not affected, with the spiriruality of this Law in this particular? Would they dare to entertain such heart-sinnes as they doe, could they make their souls cages of uncleane, unjust and ungodly thoughts, as they do?
Secondly, The Law goeth higher, and doth not only forbid those lusts in thy heart, which thou yeeldest consent unto; but all those suggestions and suddain surreptitious motions, which do suddenly arise in thy soul, though thou doest not con∣sent to them, yea though thou doest resist them, hate them, and pray against them, for of such lusts Paul doth especially speak in this Chapter, and the Law of nature did never condemn these for sinnes in any Heathens, where∣as the Apostle doth chiefly complain of these, and that as sinnes properly so called, for to be mortified and crucified, as being contrary to the holy Law of God.
Lastly, By lust is meant original sinne, as being the fountain, the root of all these lusts, that hot furnace, from which those sparks of sinfull motions do con∣tinually arise, and that by lust is meant at least secondarily, and by contequent original corruption is plain, because this lust is the same with the Law of the mem∣bers, the Law of sinne, and the sinne dwelling in him. It is true, he saith, this sinne he complaineth of, wrought in him all manner of concupiscence or lust. But then we must distinguish between lust habitual, and lust actual; Lust habitual is original sinne, and that is the cause of lusts actual; And if you say, Why doth the Apostle call original sinne lust, as if it were an actual sinne? The reason is (as is further to be insisted on) because it is a fountain alwayes running over; Its not a sluggish dull habit, but is continually venting it self forth into all poisonous and sinfull acts. So that by lust forbidden in the Text is meant.
1. Lusts consented to, though not accomplished in act.
2. Lusts arising in the soul, but rejected and striven against.
Lastly, Original sinne, as the root of all; In which sense the Apostle James Chap. 1. 14. calleth it likewise lust. Some learned men there are, that do not like it should be said original sinne is forbidden by the Law of God, (as Molineus, Rivet. in Expos. Dec. Martinius in Exposit. Decal) although they grant the Law doth damn it and judge it. But surely their meaning is no more, as Marti∣nius doth expresly afterwards affirm, than that original sin is not primarily and directly forbidden, but secondarily and by consequent; As also that it is thus forbidden, that we should not obey but resist it, as Rivet. But whereas they reason, That a prohibition is not of those things that already are present in us, but of what is future or may be, that is no wayes solid, because past sins and present actual sins, are truly forbidden by the Law, although the sinne past cannot but be past, and the sinne present cannot but be present, because quic∣quid est, quando est, necesse est esse. Other learned men, though they grant Page 157 original sinne is truly and properly forbidden by the Law of God, yet they say, It is not in this Commandment, partly because it's forbidden in every Command∣ment, for where any branch of sin is forbidden, there the root also is forbidden, and where pure streams of holiness are required, there also a pure fountain of holiness; Original righteousness is commanded, and that partly because this tenth Commandment doth belong to the second Table onely, whereas original sinne is not onely the cause of evil lusts towards man, but also towards God. Now in this we shall not much disagree; For it must be granted, That seeing an holy heart is required in every particular command, it followeth, That an evil sinfull heart is forbidden in every command; and for the later we grant also, That original sinne is not forbidden in this last Commandment in the universal la∣titude and utmost extent of it, but so farre as it doth break out in sinfull lusts to∣wards man.
THese things being thus necessarily premised for the opening and vindication of the Text, I proceed to the Doctrine, which is
That original sinne is truly and properly concupiscence or lust in a man. This name doth plainly denote more than a meer privation, for it evidently discovereth the nature of it, to be in the carrying out of the soul in all its motions sinfully, and inordinately, as also that from this as a corrupted fountain do all those poi∣sonous streams of actual lustings in the soul flow, as Jam. 1. 14. where you have notably the rise of all actual sinne described, how it cometh about that any one is enticed to do that which is wicked, he cannot accuse God or the Devil, but this lust within him: But of that famous and excellent Text, we are in time to speak. This great Truth, That original sinne is Lust, or Concupiscence, doth first deserve diligent and clear illustration, and then practical amplifi∣cation.
IN the first place consider, That concupiscence or lust may be taken two wayes, as was formerly hinted, habitually and radically, or actually, the mother and the daughter, the root and the fruit. Now original sinne is lust, not actually, but radically; It is that from which all actual lusts and desires have their immediate rise; and in this sense it is commonly called the flesh, and lusts are the sinfull issue of it. Thus Gal. 5. 16. You shall not fulfill〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, The lust of the flesh. And again, They that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the lusts thereof. So Ephes. 2. 3. here flesh and its lusts, is original sinne with the immediate motions and outgoings thereof. At other times, original sinne is called sinne in the gene∣ral, to declare the emphatical sinfulness of it, and then there are ascribed several lusts likewise to it, Rom. 6. 12. Sinne must not reign in us, that we should obey the lust thereof; And Rom. 7. 8. Sinne wrought in me,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉all manner of concupiscence. So that you see, there is lust the cause, and lust the effect, lust the root, and lust the branches; the former is original sinne, called excellently by the Apostle Jam. 1. 15. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, lust conceiving, implying, it is like the womb, wherein all wickedness is first conceived, and such a womb that like the grave never hath enough, we may call it the Sheol in a man. The Rabbius say well, That concupiscentia doth aedificare inferos; This lust in the several act∣ings of it, is that which maketh hell; Though God never said▪ Increase and mul∣tiply to it, yet it filleth earth and hell, with the effects thereof.
SEcondly, We are to understand, that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the general, To desire in the abstract is indifferent, neither good or bad, but as diversified by the object. In the Hebrew there are these words for concupiscence 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and that proper∣perly signnifieth Lust, as we take it in our common-English sense, for the lusts of the body in an unclean manner, Eccles. 12. 5. the word is there used, but tran∣slated by the Septnagint〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which hath exercised Criticks; The root of the Hebrew word is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 from whence is Ebion, poor, needy, from thence some Heretiques were called so, as being destitute of understanding. Another is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which signifieth desire in the general, and is used in a good sense, Psal. 132. 13. in a bad sense Numb. 11. 4. There is also the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is many times applied to the object desired, as wives, children, houses, &c. Last∣ly, there is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and the Hebrews do commonly call evil concupiscence 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: But to return to the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Col. 3. 5. There is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, E∣vil Concupiscence: Though the English word Lust seemeth to be ordinarily ta∣ken in an ill sense, yet Gal. 5. 17. our Translators render it, The Spirit lusteth against the flesh; Hence in the Scripture we may observe a three-fold lust or desire:
1. That which is natural flowing from the appetite of nature: Thus it is said of Lazarus, Luk. 15. 16. he did〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, desire to be satisfied with the crums of the rich mans table.
2. There is in the Scripture mention of a good concupiscence, or coveting, and that is, when a godly man doth earnestly desire to do or suffer the wil of God: Thus Mat. 3 17. righteous men are said to desire to see those things; which were to be seen in Christs dayes: So Luk. 22. 15. Christ is there said, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, greatly and ear∣nestly to desire to eat the Passeover with them. The godly then have a holy coveting, an holy desiring after the things of God, as carnal men have lusts after their sin∣full objects, and therefore they ought to nourish and cherish those affectionate desires; They cannot go beyond their bounds and limits in this case, the modus is sine m•de.
But then lastly, There are evil covetings and desires, sinfull lustings; In which sense we read often of the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, 1 John 2. 16. The lust of the world, 1 John 2. 17. And men are said, To walk after their lusts, to be delivered up to their lusts; There is then a natural concupiscence, a good concupiscence, and a sinfull wicked one; And this again is two fold, either when we desire such objects as are absolutely and simply sinfull: Or secondly, when the objects are lawfull and good, yet we desire them exces∣sively, and for sinfull, unlawfull ends.
A Three-fold Appetite in Man.
THe third particular necessary for the understanding of this Doctrine, viz. That original sinne is lust or concupiscence in a man, is, To take notice of a three fold appetite, Natural, Animal and Rational: Even inanimate bodies, the stone and the fire have a kind of an appetite, to descend, the one downward, the other upward. In a man there is a natural appetite of eating or drinking.
2. There is the animal or sensitive appetite, whereby the sensitive faculties do desire their sutable objects.
Page 159 Lastly, There is the Rational Appetite, whereby a man is carried out to desire those good things that are judged to be so by reason: Now if we take these ap∣petites substantially, as it were, or physically, so they are good, and the actions that flow from them are good; but then take them Ethically and Morally with that Ataxy and Inordinacy that doth cleave to them, as they are in man, and so they do become polluted, and defiled: Insomuch that a man doth sinne till rege∣nerated in all these things; his eating and drinking became sinne, and all other his actions, because the principles from which they flow are all vitiated; So that whatsoever principle we have of any action, it being destitute of that original rectitude, which adhered to it; therefore it is that it moveth to every object sinfully; So that this consideration may take off that calumny which the adver∣saries of original sinne would fasten upon the Orthodox herein, as if we made man to be nothing but opus Diaboli, the work of the Devil, as if he were not the good creature of God. Vide August. lib. 2do, de nuptiis & concupiscentiâ, where the Pelagian saith, Qui originale peccatum defendit perfectè Manichaeus est, ne vo∣centur Haeretici fiunt Manichai, as also this freeth them from the aspersion of ••ccianism. though Cortzen the Jesuite saith,
4. VVHen we say, That original sinne is habitual lust, we must not take lust strictly, but most largely, as it comprehends any part of the soul in its motions to their respective objects. Our English word lust is by custom almost li∣mited to unclean desires, as if those corporal burnings were onely lust: Even as the Latine word libido, though originally signifying quicquid libet, any thing that pleased a man is for the most part also restrained to fleshly lusting, but we told you that the word lust 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is in the Scripture used onely largely in a good sense, in a bad sense, and a neutral indifferent one. Therefore in the affections there is this lust, in the will there is this lust, yea in the understanding and fancy, which are apprehensive faculties only, there is this lust: For although Aquinas saith,
A Consideration of this Concupiscence in reference to the four-fold Estate of man.
5. VVE are to consider this concupiscence or concupiscibili'y (for we speak of the principle of lusting, not actual lusting) according to several states that man may be looked upon in: AS
First, There was his Natura instituta, his instituted nature at first, and that was right and holy; There was concupiscence and desiring of the several powers of his soul, but in a good and orderly way; It was not then as now, the Superi∣ora did not turpiter servire inferioribus, or the inferiora contumaciter, rebel against the superiour parts, as is to be shewed in the next place; In Adam there was no concupiscence in this sense; The inferiour parts, though they did desire a sensible object, yet it was wholly in subordination, and under the command of the supe∣riour. It's true indeed Eve did look upon the forbidden fruit, and saw it was good and pleasant, whereupon she was tempted to eat of it, but this did not arise from any original lust in her, but from the mutability of her will, being not confirmed in what was good: Even as we see the Angels before their Apostasie, had sinfull desires in their will, through pride and affectation to be higher than they were, yet this did not arise from original lust in them. Although therefore both Socinians and some Papists, do acknowledge man made with such a repug∣nancy of the sensitive appetite to the rational; yea, the former making it to be in Christ himself, yet this is highly to dishonour God in the Creation of man: Oh happy and blessed estate, when there was such an universal harmony and due proportion in all the powers of the soul, but miserum est illud verbum snisse, may all mankind cry out in this particular.
Secondly, There is Natura infecta and destituta, infected Nature, stript and de∣nuded of all former holiness and excellency, and here concupiscence is not onely in us, but it doth reign and predominate over the whole man; The harmony is totally dissolved, and now the choice and sublime parts of the foul, are made pro∣strate to the affectionate part, as loathsom and abominable, as when the Law for∣biddeth to lie with a beast. Now the mind and understanding is wholly set on work to dispute and argue for the carnal part: Now the motions of the soule beginne in the carnal part, and end in the intellectual, whereas in the state of integrity, the beginning and rise would first have been in the intelle∣ctual, and so have descended to the sensitive part. The motions thereof ante∣cede all deliberation in the mind, and a rectified choice in the will; Thus the feet they guide the head, and in this little world of man, the earth moveth, and the Heavens they stand still, as some fancied in the great world; now lust is by way of a Law ruling and commanding all things: This is the unspeakable misery and bondage we are now plunged into.
Thirdly, There is Natura restituta, repaired nature by grace, which the re∣generate Page 161 attain unto, and these, though they have not obtained concerning lust, ne sit, yet that ne regnet in them, as Austin expresseth it, though they cannot perfectly fulfill that command ne concupiscas, yet they obey another, post concu∣piscentias ne •as; hence it is because of the actings and workings of original sinne still in the godly, they are in a continual conflict, they cannot do any thing per∣fectly, they feel a clogge pressing them down, when they are elevating themselves, as Paul, Rom 7. doth abundantly manifest, The good he would do he cannot do. Original sinne is like that Tree in Daniel, Chap. 4. 23. Though there was a watcher from Heaven coming down to cut it down, yet the stumps and root of the Tree were left with a band of iron and brass, to denote the firm and immovable abiding of it: Thus though the grace of God be still mor∣tifying and subduing the lusts of the flesh, yet the stumps seem to be bound with brasse and iron to us, we are never able in this life wholly to extin∣guish it.
Lastly, If you consider the perfected and glorified estate of the godly in Heaven, then there will be a full and utter extirpation of this original sin. The glorified bodies in Heaven, though naked, shall not be subject to shame and confusion, as Adam and Eve were after their fall; And among other reasons, therefore doth the Lord suffer these reliques of corruption to abide in the most holy, that so we may the more ardently and zealously long after that kingdom of glory, when we shall be delivered from this sinfull soul and mortal body; Then this command Thou shalt not lust, will be perfectly accomplished, whereas in this life it is a perpetual hand writing against us; The Papists indeed do confess our lusts to be against this command, but not ut praecipienti, but ut indicanti, as if God did not so much command us what we should do, as by Doctrine inform what is good and excellent in it self. Thus rather than they will be found guilty by this Law, they will make it no Law, and turn it from a precept into a meer doctrinal infor∣mation: But seeing one end of the Law is to convince us, and aggravate our sin∣fulness, to make us see our desperate, diseased estate, that thereby we may flie to Christ, as the malefactor to the City of refuge; let it be farre from us to ex∣tenuate or to lessen our sinfulness: The Pharisees of old, and all their successors in endeavouring to establish a righteousness by the Law, have split themselves on this rock, as if the Law had not holiness enough to command them, but they were able to do more than that required: But whence doth this Blind presumption arise? Even from the ignorance of the power of original siane in us.
6 FRom these things concluded on, we may see, that the Scripture giveth us a better discovery of our selves, than ever the light of nature, or moral Phi∣losophy could acquaint us with. Aristotle teacheth us out of his School clean con∣trary Doctrine to this, That we come into the world without virtue or vice: E∣ven as Pelagius said of old, and the Schoolmen, though they hold original sinne, yet most of them by cleaving to Aristole's principles, and so leaving the Scri∣pture have advanced nature, to the dispraise of grace: Aristotle he maketh the reason in a man, alwayes to incline to the best things; and as for the sensitive ap∣petite, that he divides into concupiscible and irascible, not acknowledging any corruption in these principles of humane actions, viz. the mind, the will and sensitive appetite by nature, but by voluntary actions. We must therefore re∣nounce all Heathen Schools, whether of Plato or Aristotle, when we come to be auditors of this Doctrine, yet (as in time may be shewed) some of the Heathens had a confused apprehension about such a natural defilement.
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.
The Definition of Original Sinne.
FRom the Commandment in this Text, we have heard forbidden actual lust consented unto, actual lust, though not yeelded un∣to, and original lust the mother of all, all which Austin thought was prayed against in three Petitions in the Lords Pray∣er, Lust consented unto, when we pray for the forgivenesse of sinnes committed; Lusts tempting and ensnaring, but not own∣ed by us, when we pray not to be lead in temptation, and lastly, when we say, But deliver us from evil, that is aufer concupiscentiam ne sit, take away the very root, and fountain of all evil in us, (Ad Marcell•num, lib. 20) Ignosce nobis ea in quibus sumus abstracti à concupiscentiâ, adjuvane abstrahamur à concupiscentiâ au∣fer à nobis concupiscentiam.
So that in this command we have seen the positive nature of original sinne in being called concupiscence, we shall therefore from the former Discourse treating of original sinne in the privative nature of it, and this later of the positive, en∣quire into the definition of it, what it is, for it's not enough to know that it is, and that there are such sad and bitter effects of it, but also to be assured what it is. As it is not enough for a man to be perswaded, that he is diseased, but he must search into the nature of it, what it is, if so be he would be cured. Before Austin's time, there was not a publick known definition of it: The Ancients before him thinking it enough to believe there was such a thing, and that we do daily feel the horrible effects thereof. Pighius in his Discourse of original sinne, saith,
There are many Descriptions of it given by several Authors, but that we may in a large and popular way comprehend all things in one Description, that is ne∣cessary to understand the full nature of it; we may take this delineation of it.
ORiginal sinne is an horrid depravation and defilement of the whole man, caused by the Devils temptation, and our first Parents obedience there∣unto, and from them descending by propagation to all his Posterity, being stript of Gods glorious Image, whereby they are prone to all evil, and so are under the bon∣dage of the Devil, and obnoxious to eternal wrath. It is not my purpose in making this draught of it, to attend unto the exact rules of Logick, but so to compose it, that every thing considerable to give the true knowledge of it, may be comprized therein. And
First, We say, It's a depravation and defilement, which implieth the sinfulness of it, that it is truly and properly a sinne; And therefore sinne is truly and uni∣vocally divided into original and actual; so that they who make it onely to be guilt without any inward contagion, they do wholly erre from the Scripture, they say not enough. It is true, Adam's sinne in the guilt of it is imputed unto us, which made Ambrose of old say, as Austin alledgeth him against the •elagians, Morinus sum in Adamo, ejectus sum in Paradiso in Adamo &c. I am dead in Adam, I am cast out of Paradise in Adam: But we are not disputing of original imputed sinne, but original inhering; Therefore original inherent sinne is truly and pro∣perly a defilement upon us against the Law of God, and this sinfull estate of all by nature, should be farre more terrible unto us, then our miserable and mortal estate. Again, When we call it a defilement, we oppose their opinion, who make it only morbus, and not truly a sinne; As also those who say, It is the substance of a man, for if so, then Christ could not have taken our nature without sinne, neither could there be glorified bodies in Heaven without sinne, for all these have the humane nature of a man. Further we say, It's an horrid depravation: This Epithete is necessary to be added to awaken pharisaical and self-righteous persons, it being so dreadfull an evil, that we are never able to go to the depth of it: Never therefore think of speak of original sinne, but let thy heart tremble, and let horrour and amazement take hold of thee, because of it; and this is put in the Description to obviate those opinions that make it the least of all sinnes. Some complain,
Secondly, You have the Subject of it, and because the Subject thereof is two∣fold, of Inhesion, and of Predication. In this part, we have the Subject where∣in it is, and that is totus homo, and totum hominis, the whole man, and the whole of man, there being no part free from this contagion; so that it's repletively and diffusively in all the parts of soul and body, though eminently and princi∣pally in the mind and will, and the whole heart. It's true, sinne is not properly seated in the body, the eyes or hand, or in the sensitive part, yet participatively and subordinately, as they are instruments to the soul in its actings, so they are said to be sinfull: Thus there are lustfull eyes, cursing tongues, unclean bodies; There are sinfull imaginations and fancies, because these are the organs by which the soul putteth forth its wickedness: So that the body is like a broken, spoiled instrument of musick, and the soul, like an unskilfull Artificer playing on it, which causeth horrid and harsh sounds for pleasant melody. But as God is every where, yet in Heaven after a more glorious and signal manifestation of himself: So on the contrary, though original sinne be a Leprosie infecting the whole man, yet it's most principally in the intellectual and immaterial parts of the soul. It's horrible darknesse in the mind, aversnesse in the will to all that is good, and contu∣macy in the heart to whatsoever is holy; And this part doth directly oppose all Page 165 those who grant indeed original sinne, but yet grant it wholly in the inferiour and sensitive part, as if our reason and mind were like the Heavens of a quintes∣sential frame in respect of any unholy contagion, whereas indeed because these eyes of the soul are dark, therefore is the whole body dark: Because the Sunne, and Moon, and Starres, as it were, of this little world of man, are turned into bloud, therefore every part else is also become blood, defiled and loathsom; and this is the reason, why so few do either believe, or know this natural corruption, because it benummeth us, yea it taketh away all spiritual life, so that we cannot discern of it. The declaration of the cause of it, followeth in this description, where we have the external efficient cause, and the internal; The external was the Devil; after his all and apostasie, he endeavoured, being a murderer from the beginning, to destroy man also, and accordingly he did prevail, and thus by the Devil sinne came into the world; yet he is the external cause onely, he could not force or compel our first parents to sinne, he did onely perswade and entice them; Therefore the internal cause was the freedom of their will, God created them in, whereby they might either imbrace good, or chuse evil, which mutabi∣lity was the cause of their apostasie. It is true, the dispute is very curious, How Adam being created perfect could yeeld to sinne? Whether did the defect arise in his will or understanding first? But seeing it's clear by Scripture, that he did sinne, and we feel the wofull effect of it: Let us not busie our heads in metaphy∣sical curiosities, although I see the soundest Authors make the beginning of his sinne to be in inadvertency, for his soul being finite, while he earnestly intended to one thing, he did not attend to another, and so sinne was inchoatively first in his understanding, not by errour or ignorance, for Adam's understanding was free from that, but by not attendency to all considerations and arguments, as he ought to do. Although it must be confest, that the root and foundation of his sin, was the vertibility of his will, for as he might not sin, so also he might sin, he had then a posse peccare in him, and so a defectibility from the Rule. Thus although effici∣ent causes use not to be put into exact definitions, neither hath sin so properly effi∣cient, as deficient causes, yet in large descriptions, it is very usefull to name them, for hereby God is wholly cleared, although he created man, and fore-knew he would fall, yea permitted him to fall, yet he was no cause of his fall; neither did God make Adam, that he might sinne, as some would calumniate the Ortho∣dox Doctrine with such consequences: Even as Austin's adversaries said, he did Sub nomine gratiae asserere fatum, because we do not make God an idle Spectator, as it were, of Adam's fall, or make it wholly uncertain and casual, as it were, to God, but acknowledge his permission and ordination of Adam's evil to a better good than his evil, could be evil, therefore it is that some do so paratragediate. Take we heed then, that in the acknowledging of this Doctrine, we have no fro∣ward or foolish though •s rising against God; Adam's destruction, and of all his posterity, was of and through himself.
The next thing considerable in the Description, is the propagating and commu∣nicating of it to all his posterity that naturally descend from our first Parents. This also is very material to open the nature of this sinne, that it's by propaga∣tion Adam's sinne was not personal, as ours are, but common to the whole na∣ture; Therefore the Apostle Rom. 5. putteth it upon one sinne, or offence, and that by one man. The Pelagians were vehement opposers of this, and therefore called the Orthodox Traduciani, because they hold the traduction of this origi∣nal sinne, Adam being a common person, and he as our Head being in Covenant with God, when he became a Covenant-breaker, then we all forfeited all in and by him; So that it's the Covenant of God that is the foundation of communica∣ting original sinne, as farre as sinne can be communicated to all mankind, yet natural generation is the medium, or way of conveying it; But of this more in it's time.
Page 166 It followeth in the Description, That this original sinne, as it is by propaga∣tion, so to all and every one of mankind, who were in his loins, for Christ was not properly in Adam's loins, and so his sinne could not be imputed to Christ because Adam was not in Covenant for him, otherwise not the Virgin Mary or any other is exempted from this universal pollution. So that here we have the Sub∣jectum praedicationis, as formerly inhaesonis, that subject of whom this sinne may be predicated, and that is every Infant new born, as soon as he hath a being, so soon doth he become thus all over stained and abominable; and this should make Parents have sad and serious thoughts about their children, there is that corru∣ption planted in their souls, which no instruction, no discipline can eradicate, nay the grace of God sanctifying doth not wholly expel in this life; Although the grace of God in some Obed-Edoms and Timothies appear in them from the youth, yet these were by nature dead in sinne, and children of wrath, onely Gods grace was very wonderfully conveyed unto them in their youth or infancy. Do not therefore think, that because thou hast a more ingenuous, civil and moral nature, that therefore original sinne is not in thee, yea many times the actings, and workings of it are more mortiferous and pestilential than in grosse sinners. But let us proceed to the parts, as it were essential and intrinsecally constituent of this depravation, and that is said to be the losse of Gods glorious Image, and there∣by a proneness to all evil; we need not say more to explicate these particulars: As in hell there is a privative part, the losse of the enjoying of God, and then a po∣sitive punishment through the torments of hell fire. Thus in original sinne we are without the Image of God. There is not that light or holiness he created us in, and withall an impetuous inclination to whatsoever is evil; So that now all the powers of the soul they move inordinately, and with great precipitancy, as Seneca saith of old men, because of their feebleness, Dum ambulare volunt, cur∣runt, they do not walk but runne; Thus our affections, our will, they do not so much go, as tumble headlong to their objects. Hence Tanrellus (Tryumphus Philos. pag. 18.) maketh original sinne to be nothing but impotentia naturam cohibendi, that we cannot stop nature in the impetuous motions thereof to sinne, no more than we can the violent torrents and streams of water in excessive floods. In these two things then lieth the whole venom and poison of this natural filthi∣ness, we are without all good, and under the dominion of all evil, and this is to speak all the misery that possibly a man can be capable of.
In the last part we adde in the description a two-fold effect of this natu∣ral defilement, which although they are to be treated of in a more large manner, with all the particular effects of this sinne, or some of them at least, yet in the general something is to be said, that we may affect our souls with them. And
First, Hereby we are made obnoxious to the curse and wrath of God: Even before any actual sin is ever committed, for this Infants dying immediately upon their birth, may justly be damned to all eternity; This is that which carnal reason strometh at; This is that which the nature of man will hardly yeeld to; Therefore the po∣sition of many have been, That there is nothing damnable in Infants; And al∣though some would not admit them into the Kingdom of Heaven, yet freed them from the place of the damned, but we must submit our humane reason, and our humane affections to the Scripture, if so be that Gods word saith, We are by nature children of wrath; If Jesus Christ be a Saviour to Infants as well as to men; if he came to redeem them as well as actual sinners, then of themselves their condition was damnable, for Christ came to seek that which was lost, and the whole need not the Physitian, but the sick: Oh then let us all humble our selves under this sentence of condemnation passed upon us. God might say of every Infant, In the day thou art born, thou shalt be damned, and it is the meer gracious favour of God, that deferreth the execution of this sentence, for till a man be in Page 167 Christ, he is not freed from this curse, only God in much patience doth put off the execution.
The second effect is, To be under the power and dominion of the Devil, Eph. 2. The Devil is said to rule in the hearts of men, and is therefore called, The Prince of this world regeneration is not only subduing of corruption in us, not only repairing the glorious Image of God which we have lost, but also a dispos∣sessing of the devil, who had a throne in every mans soul. By nature therefore because thus polluted, we are vassals and bondslaves to Satan, we are of him, we do his works; The bodily possessed by Satan were not more miserably agitated by him, then our souls are spiritually by him; what he tempts us to, we obey; what he suggests to us, we entertain: Insomuch that every man by nature may say, he no longer liveth, but sinne in him, and the Devil in him; Hereby thy heart may be called hell, yea and Legion, because many Devils do rule in thee: Oh that God would make this Truth like a two-edged sword in our hearts, that we may not rest day or night, till God hath delivered us from this wretched estate! Pray for it, groan for it, all the day long.
A clear and full Knowledge of Original Sinne can be obtained only by Scripture Light.
A Full and large information concerning the whole Nature of ori∣ginal sinne, both in the Privative and Positive part thereof, hath been delivered, to which this Text hath been very usefull. There remaineth one thing more in it, which is very considera∣ble, and that is the way or means, how Paul cometh to be thus convinced of that sinfulnesse, which he did not acknowledge before, and that is said to be by the Law. In what sense Paul said, He knew not lust to be sinne, hath already been declared.
There remaineth therefore this Doctrine to be observed, viz. That original sinne in the immediate effect thereof, is truly and fully known onely by the light of Gods word. None are ever clearly, and throughly perswaded of such an univer∣sal horrid defilement, but those who look into the pure glass of Gods word. This Paul acknowledgeth in himself, and yet no Heathen, he lived under the light of the Word, but following traditional expositions from his fathers, and wanting the Spirit of God to enlighten him, therefore he was wholly stupid and senslesse in this matter, as therefore the Doctrine of Christ, and Evangelical grace is a my∣stery, so is also this Doctrine about original sinne.
Whether the wisest Heathens had any Knowledge of this Pollution.
BUt because this matter is under Debate and Question, let us further enquire into it, examining, Whether the wisest Heathens had any knowledge of this na∣tural pollution the Word doth so fully inform us in? And
First, As for that original sinne called originans, viz. Adam's actual trans∣gression made ours by Gods will and appointment, through imputation, that is, wholly known by revelation, so that no Heathens by the highest improvement and cultivage of nature could ever discern such things. That God made Adam righ∣teous, giving him a command of tryal in obedience, or disobedience, whereof all his posterity should be involved, this they had not the least him of, and the reason is, Because the truth of such things lieth not in nature, neither have second causes the least demonstration of this, but it is wholly discovered as a matter of fact by the Scripture; So that we Christians ought the more to bless God for the sight of his Word, seeing thereby a very Ideot amongst us may know more, then the wisest Aristotle or Plato amongst the Heathens.
Secondly, As for original inherent sinne, it must necessarily be granted, That even the Heathens had some general confused knowledge about a mans natural de∣filement: Hence was their custom of a solemn washing, and lustration of their Infants in a religious way, implying hereby, that they came into the world pol∣luted, and needed the propitious savour of their gods. This solemn religious cu∣stom of theirs, was some general confession of original sinne; but as for the Philosophers, who were the wisest and most learned of them, some do speak more congruously to this point than others. That noble and learned Pless•us in his Book of the Truth of the Christian Religion, Pag. 377. which he endeavoureth to prove even from Heathinish Authors, especially the Platonists, doth alledge some things pertinently to our subject; For Plato holding,
In the second place, Although the Heathens did not see this sinne, nor could truly bewail it, yet so farre many of them were convinced, that if they had any sinfull desires or lusting in the soul, or any wicked thoughts in their hearts to which they gave consent, that these were sinnes, and wholly to be abstained from, though they did not break forth into act. Grotius in his Comment upon the 10th Commandment, sheweth out of several Heathenish Writers, That all secret lustings of the soul with consent thereunto were were wholly unlaw∣full; Yea, as one of them is there said to expresse it, they are not so much as to covet a needle, the least thing. And as for Seneca, he hath high assertions about the governing of our thoughts, and ordering the inward affections of our souls Page 170 so, as that the gods, as well as men may approve us. Tully saith, That an ho∣nest man would do no evil, or unjust thing, though he could have Gyges his ring, which they feigned made a man invisible; And this is the rather to be observed, because herein they surpassed the Pharisees, who though brought up under the Law, and had constantly the word of God to guide them, yet they did not think any covetings or lustings in the heart to be a transgression of the Law, as appear∣eth by our Saviours information, and exposition he gave them, Matth. 5. And Josephus is said to deride Polybius the great Historian for making the gods to pu∣nish a King, meerly because he had a purpose and an intent to commit some en∣ormious iniquity: Yea, This principle of the Heathens may make many Chri∣stians ashamed, and be greatly confounded, who live, as if their thoughts were free, and their hearts were their own, so that they might suffer any poisonous evil, and malicious actings of soul to be within them, and to put to check or controll upon them: As they matter not original sinne, so neither the immediate effects and working thereof. Though their hearts be a den of theevish lusts, and their souls like Peter's sheet, wherein were a company of innumerable unclean creeping lusts, yet so as their lives are unblameable, they wholly justifie them∣selves; but you are to know, that the strength of sinne lieth in your hearts. The least part of your evil is that which is visible in your lives.
THirdly, We see that original sinne is so hardly discernable, that though men do enjoy the light of Gods Word, yea and read it over and over again, yet for all that they are not convinced of this native pollution. We see in all the Heretiques that have been in all ages, who have denied this original sinne, they were summoned to answer the Word of God, Scripture upon Scripture was brought to convince them, but a veil was upon their eyes, they would wrest and pervert the meaning of it, rather than retract their errour, so that Scripture-light objectively shining therein, is not enough Paul is a clear instance in this, he was most exact and strict about the Law, yet wholly ignorant of this funda∣mental truth before he was converted, he knew the Commandment, Thou shalt not covet, yet he did not fully and throughly attend thereunto Hence
In the fourth place, To have a full and clear understanding of this native de∣filement, we are to implore the light of Gods Spirit. The light of the Word is not enough, unlesse the Spirit of God be efficacious to remove all errour, and impe∣diments, as also to prepare and fit the soul to receive it; Hence it's made the work of Gods Spirit to lead into all truth, if into all, then into this, while the eyes remain blind, the Sunne with all its lustre can do no good. It is true, Gods Word is compared to a light, and to a lamp, but that is only objective without us, there must be something subjectively within us, that shall make a sutableness be∣tween the object and the faculty. To be made then Orthodox, and to have a sound judgement herein, it must be wholly from the Spirit of God; For why is it that when one heareth and readeth those Texts, We are by nature the children of wrath; Who can bring a clean thing out of unclean? He adoreth the fulness of these Texts, he is convinced of such heart-pollution, and blesseth God for the knowledge of this truth: But another he cavilleth at the Texts, he derideth and scorneth at such a truth, Is not this because the Spirit of God leadeth one into the truth, and leaveth the other to his pride and blindness of mind.
FOurthly, It is not enough to know this sinne in an orthodox specula∣tive manner, to acknowledge it so, But we are also in a practical, ex∣perimental manner to feel and bewail the power and burden of it. And happi∣ly this may be part of Paul's meaning, when he saith, He did not know lust to be sinne, that is, not so clearly, so fully, so experimentally, as now he did since the grace of God had both enlightned and sanctified him; How many have with great orthodoxy maintained this Truth against Pelagians, and all the enemies of Gods grace shrouding themselves under the praise of nature, but it is rare to see those that do not onely theoretically believe it, but practically walk with broken and contrite hearts under it. Examine then thy self, Doest thou believe this is Gods Truth, that thou camest into the world all over polluted? Doest thou think that thou as well as any other, though never so civil and unblameable in respect of actual sinnes, art by nature a child of the Devil, prepared fuel for the eternal flames of Hell? And doest thou not onely believe this to be thy particular case, but withall thou art so affected with an holy fear and trembling, thou hast no quiet∣nesse or rest in thy soul, because of it, then thou art come to a true and right knowledge of it? For the end of our preaching on this Subject, is not onely to establish your minds in this Truth against all errours therein, but also to mollifie and soften your hearts, that you may all your life time loath your self, and advance the fulnesse of Christ: And seeing that natural light is dimme and confused in this matter, keep close to the Word, and not on∣ly so, but implore the Spirit of God, that in and through the Word, this Truth may enter like a two-edged sword into thy bowels, knowing that without this foundation laid, there cannot be any esteem of Christ.
That Reason when once enlightned by the Scri∣pture, may be very powerfull to convince us of this Natural Pollution.
A Clear and full knowledge of original sinne can be obtained onely by Scripture light; Although (as you heard) some Heathens have had a confused apprehension about it. My work at this time shall be, to shew, That even Reason, where once enlightned by the Scripture, may be very powerfull to convince us of this natural pollution. So that when Scripture, Reason and Experience shall come in to confirm this Truth, we may then say, there needeth no further disqui∣sition in this point. And
First, This may abundantly convince us, That the hearts of men are naturally evil, Because of the overflowing of all wickednesse in all ages over the whole world; How could such weeds, such bryers and thorns grow up every where, were not the soil bad? It's true, in some ages some kind of sinnes have abound∣ed more than others, and so in some places. But there was never any generation, wherein impiety did not cover the earth, as the waters do the Sea: Insomuch that if we should with zeal undertake to reprove them according to their desert, Non tam irascendum quàm insaniendum est, as Seneca of the vices of his time. Erasmus in his Epistle to Othusius complaineth,
SEcondly, This original sinne may be proved by reason, yea and experience thus, If you consider all the miseries, troubles and vexations man is subject unto, and at last death it self; and that not only men grown up, who have actual sinnes, but even new born Infants, will not this plainly inform us, That all man∣kind hath sinned, and is cast out of the favour of God: How can it enter into any mans heart to think, that God the wise Creator, so full of goodness to man, that he made him little lower than Angels, should yet make him more miserable than all creatures? It was Theophrastus his complaint, when he lay a dying,
THirdly, Those reliques of the Image of God, and some implanted dictates and notions, with a natural conscience accusing and excusing; These do demon∣strate, that there was a glorious Image of God in us, but we have lost it. There is something in all men by nature, whereby they are convinced of a God, have re∣morse upon sinne, and tremble much when they are dying; Now what are all these but the rubbidge and obscure remnants of that holy estate we were created in; So that as when any famous building, or great City are brought to ruine, yet commonly there remain some fragments or others, that witness there was such a famous place once: Thus those implanted Dictates of conscience, those natural apprehensions about a God, though they are very confused, and cannot be a star to guide us to Christ, yet they remain as monuments of that spiritual excellent building. It is true, Illyricus out of his vehement desire to aggravate original sin Page 174 in us, denieth that those common notions about God, or good and evil, are na∣turally in us, but that they are de novo infused into us by God, and manifested, wherein also he hath some followers, but if such natural dictates remain in the Devils, which is plain, because otherwise they could not be so tormented for their wickedness as they are, why should it be denied to man? The Socinian also deni∣eth any implanted notion about a God, and that the knowledge of him comes by observation of the creatures, and also by education and tradition, but experience as well as Scripture confuteth this, in which respect Tertullian said, O animan natu∣raliter Christianum! It's true, some more orthodox dispute, Whether the faculty of the understanding in its operations only continueth, or that there are habitual principles inhering in it? It is enough that there remaineth a conscience in man, which like Job's messenger can inform us, though very obscurely of that sad loss which hath befallen us.
FOurthly, This may evidently convince us of our original pollution, That it is farre worse with man, now in respect of the end, he was created unto, and the na∣ture he was constituted in, then with any other creatures. This plainly argueth mans apostasie from God, for all creatures in their kind live proportionably, and obtain their end, which is usefulness and serviceableness to man, only man neither liveth according to his nature rightly considered, and withall doth miserably fall short of that glorious end for which God made him. If you consider man in his nature, he is a reasonable creature, and so ought to walk according to the principles of reason, to do nothing against the rules thereof; now all men are by original corruption, be∣come like bruit beasts that have no understanding; Hence the Scripture doth so often compare them to beasts, yea prefer beasts before them; The sluggard is com∣manded to go to the Ant, Israel is said to be worse than the Stork that knoweth her season, and the Ox or Ass that know their masters crib: Why doth the Scripture speak thus, but to shew that beasts do in their kind surpass man in his kind? Every wicked man is called a fool, and a simple one, because when he sinneth, he goeth against the dictates of true reason, and this is the condition of all men till regene∣rated by grace, they do not consider what God made them for, or why they have immortal and rational soules. Take the Drunkard, is not he worse then a beast? doth the beast drink any more then will suffice nature? insomuch that we may truly say all by nature are become spiritual monsters, for as a monster in nature is, when nature is deficient or redundant in her operations, and so worketh not regularly: Thus also when a man doth not keep the rules of reason, and live as one who hath a rational soul, he becomes like a monster, and so ought to abhor himself: Oh then loath thy self and say, every creature liveth like its kind! The horse doth as an horse should do, the ox as the ox should do, but I miserable and wretched sinner do nothing that a man should do! Again, The beasts, and so all creatures, although they are subject to vanity, and groan under a curse, because of mans sin, yet they do not fall short of the end, they were intended for. God he made man to serve him, and all the creaturs to serve man, and thus they do still, though a great part of this dominion man bath by his sin justly deprived himself of, yet the Sun giveth light to him; The earth brings forth her fruit for him, some living crea∣tures are daily slain for his food and cloathing; what shoals of fish, and flocks of birds do at some seasons of the year present themselves, as if they should say, here we appear to serve you; and this is the utmost perfection they were made for. But come to man, he was made to serve the Lord, therefore did God furnish him with all these mercies, that he might the more willingly and diligently obey him, but instead of God, he serveth Gods enemies, he serves sin in the Insts thereof, he serveth the de∣vil Page 175 in his desires: Thus of all the creatures God made next to the devils, man is in the most bitter and undone estate: So that this must needs stop thy mouth against all cavils, if there be no original sin, Why is man worst in his kind than any other creature in their kind? Yea, see the most savage beasts agree well enough with one another, one Wolf with another, one Tyger with another, yet one man is a Wolf and a Devil to another; When did you ever hear of a company of Bears going out to fight with another company of Bears? Yet what is more ordinary than to hear of one army of men, going out to kill and slaughter another? Can we say, God made man thus vile and sinfull? What intollerable blasphemy would it be? Oh then let us roll our selves in the dust! Let us say, we are not worthy the name of men, we are become beasts, yea, worse than beasts: Say not, This is to vilifie and to debase man too much; No, this is the only way to perform that duty, which not only Scri∣pture, but even Heathens have admired, as revealed from Heaven, Nosc• teipsum, Know thy self; Doth not that expression in Job abundantly confirm this, Chap. 11. 12. Vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild asses colt? A colt, the asses-colt, and a wild asses-colt, such a stupid senssess thing is man, though he would be wise.
5. MAn is originally defiled, Because that which is the most noble and excellent part in him, is captivated and inslaved to what is inferiour unto it. This was so greatly considered of by the Platonists, as you heard, that therefore they thought the souls of men had committed some crimes, for which they were adjudg∣ed to bodies as unto prisons and dungeons; How comes it about, that the rational part of a man, which was made to be the guide, and called by Philosophers the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that it should follow after the inferiour lusts of the soul, That this can∣dle should be put not under a bushel, but a dunghill; That the elder should serve the younger; That the tail should lead the head; we are not carried out to what rea∣son by the word of God commands, but by what every sinfull affection doth sug∣gest. Those that say, this rebellion between the mind and affections, was from the Creation, that God made man with this contrariety in himself, must needs make God the author of sin, but God saw every thing that he had made, and it was exceed∣ing good; If then thou doubtest, whether this universal pollution be upon thee, look into thy self, observe the rebellion, the repugnancy there, unto all light, whether natural or supernatural, and this will make thee readily confess it.
6. THe incurvation of the soul unto all earthly and worldly objects, this also makes it plain, we came with original sin into the world. The very making of the bo∣dy different from other creatures who look downwards, doth denote that therfore God created us, that both soul and body should look upwards. But is not every mans soul till rectified by grace bowed down to these earthly vanities, no more able to soar up to Heaven, than the worm can flie. Now this is a plain sign of thy sinful apostate condition. It is one of Hippocrates his rules, That when a sick man catcheth inordinatly at the feathers of his pillow, or at straws, and any such light matter, it is a sign of death; and truly to see men by nature so immoderatly snatching and cat∣ching at these worldly things, argue, thou art a dying, a perishing man, unless Gods grace doth interpose: As the Sun, though with its beams it shine upon the earth, yet it is not thereby defiled; So man ought, though he meddle in all outward affairs, though he marry, though he buy and sell, and use this world, yet he ought not in the least manner to soil and pollute his soul thereby. But as the body deprived of the soul fals prostrate on the ground, thus doth man deprived of Gods Image, so that he is never able to get above the creatures, but is vassaliz'd to them.
THe work remaining is, to give further reasons (the Scripture being first laid as a foundation) to demonstrate this truth, That we are by nature originally defiled; For though man be unwilling to be found thus a sinner, and the entertaining of this truth seemeth to strike down all the hopes and comforts that a naturall man hath. Believe this, and all men, (as in respect of defect) are so many damned men, so that flesh and blood must needs deny, cavill, distinguish, and turn it self into a thousand shapes ere it will acknowledge it, yet look we into our selves diligently, and compare our selves with the glass of Gods Word, we cannot but say, That all we have heard by the Ministers, all that Sermons and Books tell us, come not up to what we feel in our selves; So that as the A∣postle, when he said, This corruption shall put on incorruption, he did cutem tan∣gere, did lay his hand upon his body, as Tertullian thought, so do thou strike upon thy thigh, and smite upon thy breast, and say, within this body, lieth a soul covered all over with sinne, and damnable guilt. To assure us more herein, these further discoveries may be added.
First, That spirituall death in sinne, which we are all plunged into, whereby we do become altogether senseless and stupid, as to any spirituall concernement. The death threatned upon Adam's trangression was spirituall, as well as corporall, and therefore Ephes. 2. We are said to be dead in sinnes till Christ quicken us by his power; Now this is a full discovery that we have lost Gods Image, and all spiritual life, otherwise why should not spirituall life be as quick, active, and moving towards spirituall objects, as our naturall and corporall life is to corpo∣rall things, Why is it, that when any do threaten corporall death and outward misery we are afraid, and will give all we have for this corporall life? But when the Devil tempts, and the world tempts, so that we are in danger of loosing eternal life, we have no trembling or horror taking hold upon us. Nebuchad∣nezzar made a law, that whosoever would not worship his Image, should be cast into a fiery furnace, and unless the three Worthies, none refused; so great a matter is the fear of a naturall death. But hath not God threatned hell which is ten thousand times more dreadfull then that fiery fornace, to every one that goeth on wickedly? yet none trembleth because of this; Is not this plain then, that thou art a dead man in sinne? Further, concerning our corporall life, how sollicitous are we about the preserving of it? what carking and caring for meat and raiment? what labour for the back and the belly? Is not the greatest im∣ployment in the world for these two things, and all this is that our frail perishing life may yet be continued? But do men naturally manifest any such thoughts and diligence about the meanes of a spirituall life? The preaching of the Word, the Ordinances, these God hath appointed to be spirituall food, by these our hea∣venly life is maintained; these are the oyl, to keep that lamp burning: But do not all men by nature loath these? are they not a burden to them? do they ever pant and thirst or hunger after these things, as men do for meat or drink? now, why is all this, but because we have no spirituall life in us? So that if you do con∣sider the insensibleness and stupidity of every naturall man, as to things of an heavenly aspect, you need no more to perswade you, that Gods Image is lost, and we are dead in sinne. When the body needeth food needeth raiment, all is supplyed, but so thy soul needeth Christ, needeth grace, and there is not the least thought to have a supply: yea we are not only dead in sinne, but have been a long while thus dead, and if she said of Lazarus, Joh. 11. 39. Lord by this time he stinketh, for he hath been dead four dayes. How much more may we say this in a spirituall sense of thee, who (it may be) hast been dead fourty or fifty years.
Secondly, This may be further inlarged by a consectary from the former; Page 177 will not this abundantly declare we are all over sinfull, Because heavenly things are not such objects of delight and pleasure to us, as carnall and worldly things are. This is a palpable demonstration of our wretched pollution, That we cannot feel any sweetness, any pleasure, or joy in those things which immediately concern God: Adam in his state of integrity, was like Jacob's ladder, the foot whereof was on the earth, but the top reached to heaven: Thus though Adam's inferior part the body, was exercised in these earthly things, yet his soul the more sub∣lime part, that was fixed in heaven; But now all our su•eableness and communion with heavenly objects is wholly perished; we have hearts inlarged with joy, we are ravished with delights about wordly things, and when brought to any thing that is heavenly, there we are weary, and neither flesh or spirit is willing to such things; yet nature might reach us, that man of all creatures only hath hands, and those not to embrace the earth, but he hath feet to walk and trample upon it. We read of Paul and David, with other godly ones, when recovered in part from the power of this originall corruption, what longings and breakings of soul they had after God, and his Ordinances. These things were accounted for sweetness above the hony; and for presciousness above gold; now why should not every man be able to say so as well as they? but because our tasts are wholly distempered, and we are carnall not spirituall. Certainly spirituall objects have in themselves infinite more matter of joy and delight, then any earthly thing can have; who can think there is more sweetness in a drop, then in the ocean? more light in the starre, then in the sun? The creature is less then these in com∣parison of God: May not than even blind men see, that we are all over-plunged into sinne? else, why should not God and heavenly objects, which do so farre surpass in matter of true delight be more sweet and welcome to us, then all the creatures of the world though put together? Psal. 4▪ 6. Many say, who will shew us any good? The naturall man finds no delight but in these earthly things oppo∣sitely to God. There is a She•ll in his soul, that is alwaies craving and asking, never satisfied; now, why can they not with David as well put forth the follow∣ing petition, Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance upon us? But because the carnall man finds no more pleasure in spirituall things, then the swine doth in pearles or pleasant flowres: A man that is spirituall having drunk of this water, desireth no other; As the Philosophers say, The matter of the heavens is so fully actuated by the heavenly formes, that it desireth no other, whereas the matter of these sub•unary things is never satisfied but though under one forme, yet it still desireth another. Thus the soul possessed of God and Christ, hath so much delight and pleasure that it hath enough, it desireth no change, but the naturall man is carried out from one thing to another, from one object to another, first delighting in this, and then in that, it being impossible that Zacheus his shoe should sit Goliah's foot: Thus you see that though a man be restless in his de∣lights, yet he can take pleasure in earthly things, whereas he finds no sweetness, no delight in heavenly things, that are infinitely more precious; So this may demonstrate the loss of Gods Image, and our service to originall sinne in the lusts thereof.
Thirdly, That we are thus originally corrupted, appeareth, in that utter im∣potency and inability to do any spirituall good: we are not able so much as to think a thought, or send forth an hearty groan, as to our eternall welfare; whereas at first God made Adam right, and thereby endowed him with power to do any thing that was holy, called therefore the Image of God; so happy and blessed was his condition, that he could with delight and joy fullfill the Law of God, feeling no difficulty, nor impediment, but now being dead in sinne, we are no more able then dead men to move, or walk in holy things. The Scripture is wonderfully clear in this, though Papists, Arminians and others have endea∣voured to raise a mist, and obscure the sun beames, Joh. 15. Without me ye can Page 178 do nothing. Rom. 8. The flesh is eumity against God, 1 Cor. 2. The naturall man perceiveth not the things of God, neither can he, where both the act of doing good, and the power also is denied to every man by nature: If therefore every man by nature be dead in sinne like a stone, as in respect of any holy impression from God, if he have blind eies, deaf eares, a foolish heart, as to any heaven∣ly thing, doth not this plainly tell us, that we are all over polluted? It's good for our humiliation to consider how the Scripture describeth a naturall man, as wanting all his senses, he hath no eies to see, no eares to hear, no heart to un∣derstand, but is wholly dead, and all this is to shew what a wonderfull impotency is in man to help himself spiritually; Now this declareth the necessity of pre∣serving this doctrine of originall corruption clean and sound; for if we be ortho∣dox here, then also we shall hold the truth of God against foe will and the power of nature in divine things; for these two particulars are like Castor and 〈◊〉, they alwaies appear together; and what is the design or Secinians, Papists, and Arminians, either in whole or in part, to deny or extenuate originall sinne? but thereby to make a way to advance their magnificent Diana. their free will to holy things, for they evidently see, if originall sinne be such an universall, deep and inward pollution of the whole soul, even the will as well as other parts, then their doctrine of the power of nature is pulled up by the very root; There∣fore the more fully assure your souls of this truth, by how much the whole body of Divinity depends upon this foundation. Indeed the Scripture is so clear in deba∣sing man as to supernaturalls, and giving all to the grace of God, that we may wonder how this pride should settle it self in mans heart, and that he doth not tremble to speak or write any thing, whereby the grace of God may be diminish∣ed, and man exalted; he that cannot make a white hair black, he that cannot adde one cubit to his stature, will yet think to make a polluted soul holy, and adde many cubits of grace to his spirituall stature.
Fourthly, Our original corruption will yet further appear, If you take notice of that universall ignorance and dullnesse that is upon a mans un∣derstanding, knowing no saving thing about God or Christ, if it be not re∣vealed: Insomuch that the necessity of Scripture-light, of revealed-light to conduct us to heaven, doth without contradiction, prove that by nature; we are (as Paul said) Ephes. 4, darkeness, even darkness it self; Look over the generation of mankind, that are the wisest and most learned, where the light of Gods word hath not shore upon them, Rom. 1. 1. The Apostle there informeth us, that the doctrine of the Gospel was foolishness to them, that professing them∣selves to be wise they became foolish in their imaginations, what Aristotle or Pleto could ever by naturall reason understand any thing of Christ? If then we lay this for a sure foundation, (though some would absurdly question it) That without the knowledge of Christ and faith in him, none can be saved; And that none by nature can come to this knowledge, then it followeth undeniably, that damnable ignorance doth cover the face of our souls, as darkness did the deep at first, That there is a very Chaos in our souls: Oh then that we had knowledge to know our ignorance! Oh that the dark dungeon we are shut up in might not be so pleasing to us! In that the Gospel is called a mystery; In that flesh and blood doth not reveal the things of Christ to us, this sheweth our wretched estate in sin; Adam had knowledge about the meanes rending to everlasting happiness, other∣wise God would have made him imperfect; but now we are ignorant of Christ the way: All that live in the Church, had it not been for revealed light, would have groped in darkness, as we see all Heathens and Pagans do: If therefore you would see, what our natures are of themselves, consider the Sanages, the Indians, the Pagans of the world, who as to any right knowledge of God have little more then bruit beasts; we cannot so well see what mans nature is of it self, who live in the Church, because there is the light of the Gospel, and many times Page 179 godly education, and Christian institution of us while young doth restrain sinne, otherwise if there were not this planting and watering of us, we should not know any more about Christ, then the most rude Barbarian that is; Take off then those ornaments, those supernaturall additaments that God hath put upon us, who live under the Gospel, and then our nakedness and deformity will plainly appear.
Fifthly, The wofull captivity and bondage we are in to Satan by nature, doth also manifest our originall defilement; For were we not cast off by God, did not sinne make us like hell, why could so many legious of Devils dwell in us? Eph 2, The prince of darkness, the god of this world, is said, to rule in the hearts of the disobedient, and such we are all by nature; yea, we are, till regenerated in the snares of the Devil, and taken captive at his will. Therefore when Christ sent his Disciples to preach, he said, He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven: Thus the Devil hath his throne in all mens hearts, till Christ who is stronger cast him out. It is trne, by wicked and ungodly customes in sinne, The Devil taketh further possession, as we see in Ananias, and in Judas, The Devil is said to enter into him after the eating of the sop, not but that he was before in him, only he had more power and strength over him; Thus he doth possess the souls of all that are born till regenerated, and by frequent actings of sinne, he setleth his king∣dome more firmely.
Lastly, This may fully discover our originall pollution, In that even in respect of naturall things, we are much weakened and debilitated; our understandings are not able to find out even naturall truths; Insomuch that there was a famous sect of the Academicks, who held, That nihil scitur, we know nothing at all. Even Aristotle, who is prophanely made to be by some, the same in naturalls, which Christ was in supernaturall; yea Scaliger calls him, Vltimus Musarum conatus, as if nature her self could not send forth a greater Artist, yet his known saying (That our understandings in respect of the celestiall bodies especially, are but noctuae ad solem, owles to the Sunne,) makes it appear, that we are ignorant of more things, then we know: yea, and which is greatly to be bewailed, The more learning and parts men have had, they have been more mischiefed by them; in∣somuch that meer Ideots, and naturall fooles, have been less wicked then they: so that humane abilities, when polished by arts, have been like wine to a feavou∣rish man, like a sword in a mad mans hand: neither did God ever choose many of the wise men of the world, Austin being filled with humane eloquence, this was a great prejudice to him in imbracing Christianity; he contemned the simplicity of the Scripture, dedignabar esse parvulus, as he confessed: And Scotus, who for his acute understanding, was called, Doctor subtilis, yet the great Historian Jovius, giveth this censure of him, That he was ad ludibrium Theologiae natus, born to make Religion a scorn and a reproach, because he could dispute every point, probably on all sides, And memorable is that of profound Bradwardine, who before he was cordially affected with the grace of God, confesseth, That when he heard Paul's Epistles read, he did dispise them, because Paul had not metaphisicum ingenium, a metaphysicall head. Thus you see that even those poor abilities that with much labour are attained, make us the worse for them.
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.
The various Opinions, Objections, and Doubts, about the manner how the Soul comes to be polluted.
THe next work is to consider of the manner how we come to bear this Image. As for the body, to have a mortal and a corruptible one from Adam is easily to be conceived, because the body is causally and seminally in the first man, so propagated from man to man but this hath deservedly been acknowledged the hardest knot to unty in all this doctrinal truth about original sinne, how the soul can come to be pol∣luted if created from God. In this Argument, The Pelagians did much try∣umph, and Austin was so puzled with it, that he many times confesseth his ignorance at least his doubt in this point, yea (he saith) That he could neither legendo, erando, or ratiocinando, find out how the propagation of original sinne, and the creation of the soul could be defended together, But of this more in its time.
The great Objections that are against asserting the Souls Creation.
IT is certain that here are dangerous rocks on both sides, for if we say, the soul is created, then seeing God cannot but make every thing holy, he cannot make a sinfull soul, how then can it be infected with sinne? Again, if the soul be created, then it was not virtually in Adam, then it could not be said to sinne in him, because it was never in him, for why did not Christ sinne in him, but because he was not seminally in him, and if the soul was never radically in Adam, how can it be pol∣luted, is it just with God to punish that with Adams sinne which never sinned in Adam? If it be said, that the soul when united to the body, doth from that receive infection, as if pure liquour were powred into a stinking vessel, This will not solve but increase the doubt, for a vessel indeed may pollute liquour. because they are both bodies and so act by a corporall contact, but the soul is a spirit, and its a rule (say they) received by all, that a body cannot act upon a spirit, Besides, sinne is proper∣ly in the soul, and must from that be conveyed to the body: The body, whie with∣out a soul, is not capable of sinne no more then a bruit beast; It hath no reason, it is under no law, how then can that communicate sinne to the soul, when it hath none at all it self? Thus you see what strong cords here are, even that a Sampson can hardly break.
Objections against holding that the Souls come by Generation, Multi∣plication, &c.
THen on the other side, if you think that the only way to maintain the pro∣pagation of original corruption, is to hold, that the souls are not immedi∣ately created of God, but either by generation or multiplication, or some other way. Then here also are more dangerous rocks, for if we hold this, we seem to contradict some strong Texts of Scripture, that maketh God the immediate giver of the soul. Besides, we must then necessarily make it material yea though they who hold the tra∣duction of the soul will not grant that consequence, yet it cannot be avoided, but what is generable is corruptible, and so the soul must be mortall, and that rule of Aquinas seemeth to carry much evident light with it, Quod dependet a materiâ quoad fieri, dependet quod existere. This rule holds true in every thing else, and why should it be denied about the soul, if the soul in its beginning depends upon the body, it can∣not continue seperate from it, and so be immortal.
THus you see there is a veil upon the face of this Doctrine: But although modesty and sobriety be necessary in this point, as also in the Doctrine of the Trinity and Christs incarnation, yet as in them its necessary to search the Scriptures, and so farre to improve the light shining from them; that we may be able to convince heretical gainsayers; Thus it is also in this truth, so much knowledge as is not forbidden yea as is revealed in the Scripture, let us thankfully acknowledge, and humbly, yet with diligence and constancy improve against those, who by reason of these difficulties would overthrow the fundamental Truth it self, we must not for some seeming Objections forsake the clear Texts of Scripture; It commonly falleth out, that almost in every great and funda∣mental truth in Religion, as the Doctrine of the Trinity, the Doctrine of Justi∣fication. There is some Objection above all the rest, that hath more difficulty in it then ordinary, and so it is here; but let us not be afraid to get Canaan, because of some Anakims in the way.
The severall Wayes that learned Men have gone to remove the aforesaid Difficulties.
TO guid you therefore in this wilderness to it, let us consider what are the several waies that many either of learned or of corrupt judgements have said to the clearing of this, And
First,* There are and have been some in the Church following Origen, who also followed Plato, deriving many opinions from him, who did thus think to make this truth easy, By holding that the souls were created long before the bodies, and that upon their evill, and sinne committed, they were adjudged to be put into bodies, and so from hence it is, that they say, man is so propense to all evill; Therefore they will not say, That the souls of men are either by traduction, or immediate creation and infusion into the body, but that they were created long be∣fore Page 187 the body, and while preexistent before it, they deserved to be put into this dark prison of the body, There was one Vincentius Victor, according to his name, bold and audacious, who disliked Austin for his cunctation and deliberation in the point of the traduction of the soul, which occasioned Austin to write four Books De origine animae, Now this Vincentius he affirmed, That the soul was created before the body, and did deserve to be made part of that man, who is a sin∣ner, yea that it did deserve to be made peccatrix a sinner. Some have also thought, that this was a general received opinion amongst the Jewes; and they proove it from that question proposed to Christ,* concerning the man born blind, yea they were Christs Disciples that did make that question; so that it seemeth they were still infected with that vulgar error, for Joh. 92, They say, Master, who did sinne, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind? They ask, whe∣ther the sinnes of the mans parents, or his own sinnes made him to be born blind, now he could not have any sinnes before he was born, unless his soul did preexist before his body, and it seemeth the Pharisees concluded, that they were his own sinnes, for they say ver. 34. Thou wast altogether born in sinnes. They did not (happily) mean original sinne, for they say sinnes, which must be actual sinnes, either his own, or his parents.
But this opinion is so wicked and absurd, that to name it is enough to refel it; and for this monstrous figment might Origen be called Centaurus, as well as for others. Only two things are to be said to it.
First, If souls for sinnes acted were adjudged to their bodies, how is it that the Scripture giveth that command of, Increase and multiply? how is it that children, and life are made blessings? certainly to be kept in a prison, or adjudg∣ed thereunto is a curse not a blessing, But
Secondly, This opinion doth not at all heal the wound, that the mentioned Objection giveth; for the doubt is how our souls are infected, because of Adam, if they were not causally in him? And this speaketh to another matter, that they sinned before they were incarnated, and therefore have such a troublesome and noisome lodging.
Again this contradicts the Apostle, and doth indeed take away the subject of the question, for Rom. 5. The Apostle maketh Adam's disobedience to be the cause of all the sinne that we have as soon as we are born, It is not then the souls sinning before its union to the body, but Adam the first man, and the common head in whom we all sinned; and seeing the souls of men were 〈◊〉Adam, as their bodies are, the stone still remaineth unremoved.
In the next place, Therefore there are those, of a later hatch, but few, yet would be, if not in the number of the first worthies, yet of the second, Papists I mean; Pighius and Catharinus, against whom the Papists do as largely dispute in this controversie of original sinne almost, as they do against the Protestants. These lay down their opinion in two things.
First,* That the soul of a man cometh into the world pure and holy without any inherent filth of sinne, and that till there be actual sinnes, there is nothing in man but what is of God, and for this they bring all the Arguments, which the Pelagi∣ans of old use to do, But then
In the second place, That they may not be anathematized as pelagianizing. They say, Adams actual disobedience is made our sinne by imputation, so that they deny any original sinne inherent in us, only all the original sinne we have is Adams first sinne of disobedience, which is made ours, hence they deny that every one hath his proper original sinne, as if there were as many original sinnes as persons born; but they say, Adams actual disobedience, being made ours, is the one origi∣nal sinne of all mankind. Thus as one sun serveth to inlighten all the starres, and as some Philosophers say, that there is one intellectus agens, common and uni∣versal to all men, so they make one original sinne to be common to all, and Page 188 this only Adams posterity is guilty of. This opinion they press, as hereby making every thing easie and clear; Then there needeth no disputation about the origi∣nal of the soul, or how it can be infected, if this, be true (say they) then here is no occasion for these intricate disputes about the propagation of original sinne, To which the most learned are never able to give a satisfactory Answer? Al∣though this opinion of imputation doth no waies remove the doubt about the Creation of the soul, for if the soul be by Creation, how cometh Adam's sinne to be imputed to man born of Adam, if his soul was never causally in Adam? so that the difficulty doth still continue as great notwithstanding this opinion. But as this opinion hath some truth in it, so also much more error, and therefore though it be sweet in the mouth, yet it proveth wormewood in the belly: The truth is this, That Adams actual sinne is made ours by imputation; this must be constantly affirmed, because denied by those, who also deny the impu∣tation of Christs righteousness, as if thereby we were justified; we grant there∣fore, that Adams one sinne is made all mankinds: Hence the Apostle doth still speak of one man (though there be many immediate parents) by whom we are not only made sinners, but in whom also we did sinne; and this doth arise wholly from Gods ordination and appointment of it: for although Scoto, and others, do call the Covenant in this respect, fabula, a meer fable, yet Suarez doth confess the necessity of it; and indeed it must be, for though Adam had a thou∣sand times over, wil•ed that his sinne should be the sinne of all his posterity, yet they could not have been guilty of it, had not that Covenant involved them: so that if the patrones of this imputation had not stayed here, but acknowledged also an inherent pollution, they would not have been so justly censured. But we have already proved by Scripture, reason, and experience, that mankind is in∣volved in an inherent pollution of their own, as well as guilty of imputed sinne: and indeed, how could man be obnoxious to eternal wrath, if there were not damnable matter within, as well as without? can they go to hell with souls pure and holy?
But if this imputation be granted, then the pelagians Objection seemeth to be of force, That as Adams sinne could hurt those that have not actually sinned, so Christs righteousness may profit those that do not believe.
This Objection 〈…〉 rather to be answered, because the Antinomian thinketh from hence, 〈…〉 answerable argument, to prove, that we are justified before we〈…〉 That the elect are accepted of, having their sinnes pardoned, 〈◊〉 they do repent, yea before their sinnes are committed, because we are in 〈◊〉 the second Adam. To this Argument, Austin answered of old the Pelagians, That Christs righteousness did not profit any but believers, and therefore Infants they were saved alienâ side by the faith of their Parents, Even as we are condemned alieno peccato by the sinne of another, although it be so alie∣num, as that it is also proprium; but this is not satisfactory.
Therefore to the Antinomian we answer, That although we are all said to sinne in Adam, and his disobedience is imputed to all, yet the condition, or the medium by which we come to partake of this imputation, is naturall generation; and therefore till we have an actual being, we cannot be said to sinne in him: poten∣tially indeed we may, but natural generation (supposing Gods Covenant as the reason of the conveighance of it in this way, Even as in the state of integrity, the Covenant would have been the cause of transmitting original righteousness to Adams posterity, though natural generation would have been the way of communicating of it) is that only which maketh us actually to participate of his guilt, Therefore it is a feeble thing in a late writer, (Eire) to oppose the natu∣ral generation or discent from Adam, to the Covenant, for both are requisite, the latter as the cause, the former as the medium. And thus it is in regard of Christs righteousness, that is the cause of our justification, in Christ we are made Page 189 righteous, as in Adam sinners, yet the medium to apply this and to make it ours, is faith, so that none are justified till they do believe, as none are condemned for Adams sinne till they have an actual being, faith is the same in a supernatural way to partake of Christ, as natural propagation and discent from Adam is to be made a sinner in him, Although we may say truly that Christ doth profit the non-believers, who belong to grace, for by him they are brought to believe, they are brought out of the bondage of sinne, only Justification and such Gos∣pel-priveledges are actually bestowed upon none till they do beleive, we have not time to proceed in the discovery of other waies and opinions of the learned to answer this doubt, only thus much we have heard, that may make us therefore to bewail original sinne, that we are in such a dark ignorance, that we do but grope about the propagation, had Adam continued in integrity, he would not have only communicated righteousness to his posterity, but they would also have certainly known the manner how, but now we are wholly miserable and know not exactly the manner how, we know little about the soul, so that the soul which only is knowing in man knoweth very little of it self, of its nature, of its original, like the eie that seeth other things but not it self. Let us then be more sollicitous about our going out of the world, then how we came into it. Be more desirous to come out of this pit, then to stand wondring how thou didst fall into it, dost thou not observe more, ready to inquire curiously about the one, then daily to pray about the other.
HItherto the expedients thought upon, to ease that great difficulty about the propagation of original sinne, have appeared very improbable, and in some respect very absurd, like unwise Chyrurgians, not healing, but vexing the wound worse: We shall now proceed to some more probable ones, and dispatch them with convenient speed, lest you should think these are such 〈◊〉 upon which no grapes can grow, of more difficulty then usefulness; although you shall find, that even in this wilderness we may meet with M•ona; The truth discussed will not only be for doctrinal Information, 〈◊〉 doctrinate Applica∣tion: The next therefore that I shall instance in, is 〈…〉 of those who hold, The soul is not by the immediate Creation of God, but〈◊〉, or mul∣tiplication; and this they are so confident in, That they 〈◊〉 Doctrine of original corruption cannot be maintained, unless we affirme so: Thus you heard Austin affirming, That neither by reading, praier, or disputing could he find out, how one could be defended without the other, It is true Bellermine saith,
In the confession of the Aethiopick Faith, as Hornebeck (summa Cont. de Gracis) relateth, it is affirmed, Omnes sine ullâ hesitantiâ in hâc sententiâ versa∣mur, &c. All of us are in this opinion without any hesitancy, that all our souls come of Adam, as well as our flesh, and that we are all Adam's seed both in flesh, and soul.
That the Soul is neither by Eduction or Tradu∣ction, but by Introduction or immediate Infu∣sion, proved by Texts of Scripture.
BUt whatsoever learned men have thought therein, we may say, That it is against Scripture and true reason, that the soul is ei∣ther by Eduction or Traduction, but by Introduction, or imme∣diate Infusion, and that by God himself: And I shall instance in some Texts of Scripture, to which, though they give excepti∣ons, yet (I suppose the Truth stands immoveable, neither do you think this work needless, for it's worth the while, if there were no other use, but to informe you against a dangerous sect, that are called Mortalists, who hold the soul is nothing but the temperament of the body, and that it is mortal, to which abominable opinion the Socinians also do strongly incline.
The first Text to prove the Creation of the soul, shall be from Eccl. 12. 7. Then shall dust returne to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall returne to God who gave it. This seemeth to be very clear, for he speaketh of every man that dieth, he considers the two essential parts of man, his body, which he calleth dust, be∣cause it was made of dust, and then his soul, which he cals a spirit, because of its simple and incorporeal nature, again, which strengthens the Argument, he com∣pareth these two in their contrary or divers originals, The body returneth to the earth, the Spirit unto God that gave it.
Though we would think this might satisfie, yet Austin of old, and those that are Traducians, they say,
But every one may see these are weak exceptions, as for the later, it's plain, he doth not speak of Adam, but every man that dieth; For having advised the young man to improve his youth for God, he tels him, old-age is coming, and then death, then shall he return, How can this be applied to Adam, who had re∣turned to the earth many hundreds of years before that was spoken? And where∣as it is said, That only Adam's body was made of dust. The answer is easie, That though our bodies be of flesh and bone immediately, yet the remote principle is Page 192 dust, and therefore Abraham, though his body was not made as Adams, yet he said, 〈◊〉was but dust and ashes. Thus this Text stands firm for the immediate Creation of the soul. Though (let me by the way give you rightly to under∣stand that later clause) The spirit returneth to him that gave it; The meaning is not, as if the soul of every man was saved, but that it goeth into the hands of God, as a Judge to dispose of it, according to what hath been done in the flesh; As for the next exception, that will be answered in the following Argument; on∣ly in the general this may be said, That if God gave the soul onely mediate∣ly by propagation, then the body might be said to return to him, as well as the soul.
WE will proceed to a second, and that is from Zech. 12. 1. The Lord which stretcheth forth the Heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Here we see the Lords power described by a three-fold effect, the making of the Heavens, the laying of the earths foun∣dation, and making the spirit of man; Now it is plain, that the two former were by Gods immediate Creation, therefore the later must be: So that the Context doth evidently shew, That Gods making of the soul of a man within him, is no lesse wonderfull then the making Heaven and earth. This Text was also of old agitated by Austin in this controversie, and to answer it, he runneth to his old refuge of forming a thing immediately, and by natural propagation: God is not to be ex∣cluded (saith he) from having a special hand in giving being to the soul, yet it doth not follow, that therefore it must be by creation out of nothing. To this purpose they bring that of Job, Chap. 10. 10, 11. where Job attributeth the ma∣king and forming of his body to God, Hast thou not poured me out like milk, &c? Thou hast cloathed me with skin and flesh. So Psal. 139. 13, 14, 15. where Da∣vid acknowledgeth the wonderfull wisdom and power of God, in making his body, Then hast curiously wrought me; As the curious needle-woman doth some choice piece; now we cannot from hence prove, that therefore the body is of God by immediate Creation.
But this cannot weaken the Text, for we told you, That the Argument is not meerly from that expressing of forming the spirit of man within him, but from the upper two Attributes. Besides the Scripture tels us plainly of what materi∣als the body is formed of, whereas they who hold the propagation of the soul, are extreamly streightned and difficultated to say, what the soul is made of; They say, it is not ex animâ, but ab animâ. not of the soul, but from the soul of the Parent, but then are divided amongst themselves when they go to explicate, how the soul hath its being if not from Creation. Some say, it hath its being by a cor∣poral seminal manner, but then it must be a body, which Austin would constantly deny, for he dissents from Tertullian in that, though both held the natural Tradu∣ction of the soul, Austin I mean only suppositively, but Tertullian positively, yet he professeth his dissent from Tertullian, who made it a body. This therefore being thought absurd, others they tell us of an incorporeal and immaterial seed from the soul of the Parents, which causeth the soul of the child. To this purpose Tertullian in his book de animâ, distinguisheth of semen animale, which cometh from the soul, and semen corporeum, which cometh from the body. But this may easily be judged as absurd as the former: If therefore the Scripture, when it speaketh of the forming of mans spirit within him, had discovered the materials of which it is formed, as well as when it speaketh of the forming of the body, there would have been some pretence for the Argument. But calling it a spirit, and as you see in the Text, comparing the forming of it with the making of the Heavens and the Earth, this makes the creati∣on Page 193 of the soul more than probable. Tarnavius the Lutheran would likewise avoid this place (Comment. in loc.) by saying the Hebrew word Jahac doth most commonly signifie, not an immediate creation out of nothing, for so the Hebrew word Barah doth for the most, but a mediate out of some prejacent mat∣ter, yet indisposed; but this Rule being not universal, it hath no strength in it. Besides, the Hebrew word is in the Present tense, who formeth, so that it cannot relate to the making of Adam's soul at first. Indeed the fore-named Tarnavius doth from the participle Benani draw an Argument against us, saying, It doth not alwayes signifie actum secundum, but habitum and potentiam, and so maketh the sense to be God, who hath this power immediately to create the soul, if he will; but all will confess this to be forced; That is more considerable, when he saith, As God in stretching out the Heavens, and laying the foundation of the earth, is not thereby declared to create new Heavens, and a new earth every day; so neither is it necessary that he should create souls daily, but conserve the order appointed, as he doth, about the Heavens. The Answer is easie, there∣fore do the words relate to the Creation at first with the conservation of them, because new Heavens and new earths are not every day made; but both they and we do acknowledge new souls are every day produced, as often as a man is born, and God at first making Adam's soul by breathing into it, the same order is still to be conserved.
This Text thus cleared, we may adde as proofs also of the like kind, Isa. 42. 5. Though Austin thought by spirit there, might be meant the sanctifying Spirit of God; But that hath no probability. Psal. 33. 15. the Psalmist saith, God hath fashioned the hearts of men alike, or wholly throughout; By which is meant the soul of a man in all its thoughts and workings, because the soul puts forth its vital actions in the heart. That also is remarkable, which yet I find not mentioned by any in this Controversie, Jer. 38. 16. where Zedekiah maketh an oath to Jere∣miah, that he will not kill him, after this manner, Thus saith the Lord, who made us this soul, not this body, but this soul, (he putteth that into the oath,) inti∣mating what an heavy sinne it would be to kill a man that is innocent, seeing he hath his soul from God. I shall mention but one Text more, and that is in the New Testament, which seemeth clearly to demonstrate the creation of the soul, Heb. 12 9. We have had fathers of our flesh that corrected us, &c. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of Spirits? I think this Text may put us out of all doubt, God is opposed as a Father to our natural parents; God is called a Father of Spirits, natural parents father of our flesh: Now if our souls did come from our parents, they might be called fathers of our spirits, as well as of our flesh: The Apostles Argument would have no force, if the Creation of the soul by God alone, and the generation of the flesh only by natural parents be not asserted: Thus Numb. 16. 20. as also Chap. 27. 16. God is there styled, The God of the spirit of all flesh, in a peculiar manner. It may be wondered, that though Austin busied himself so much in finding out of this Truth, diligently at∣tending to the Scripture, yet he never mentioned this place. Certainly, this Text might have removed his doubt, and made him wholly positive in affirming the creation of the soul.
That which I find later Writers reply to it, is, That God is called the Fa∣ther of Spirits in respect of Regeneration, because he sanctifieth and maketh holy.
But the opposition to our fathers of the flesh, evidently confuteth this; and withall they can never shew, that God is called a Father of Spirits, or a God of Spirits, but in respect of Creation, not Regeneration. It is true, the word spi∣rit may sometimes be used for a man as regenerate, as flesh is for a man wholly corrupt; but they can never shew that the word spirits in the plural number is taken for men regenerate.
Page 194Vse. Of Exhortation, To quicken up your attention to this Truth, do not think this is unprofitable and uselesse, that this Question is like those of which Paul complaineth, some doted, foolish and endlesse; No, it is very profitable, for in knowing the original of thy soul, how it cometh even from God himself, may it not shame thee to make thy self like a beast, as if thou hadst no better soul then they have? Prophanenesse and sottish ignorance do greatly oppose the na∣ture of thy soul. Why do men say in effect, Let us eat and drink, for to mor∣row we shall die, but as if they and beasts were all alike? And why is it that you see so many have no understanding, but that they are like the horse and the mule? Why doth the Scripture compare wicked men to so many kind of beasts, but because they live, as if God had put no rational soul into them? That though in the making of their bodies they differ from beasts, yet in their souls they do greatly agree.
THus you see we are examining, Whether that Doctrine of the Propagation of souls from parents, be a sure foundation to build upon, in clearing the conveyance of original sinne to Adam's posterity; And we have evidently pro∣ved, That the soul hath its immediate creation from God; So that to runne to the Sanctuary of the Souls Traduction, would be to implore a dangerous errour to assist the Truth; As God needeth not a lie, so neither doth his Truth any error. And indeed, Although I shall not call the Doctrine of the Creation of the soul, an article of faith, because so many learned men have hesitated therein; So that it would be an high breach of charity to commaculate such with the note of heresie, yet we may with Hierom call it, Ecclesiasticum dogma, a Doctrine that the most Orthodox have alwayes received; So that the contrary opinion seemeth to be absurd, as Whitaker well saith. Although Vorstius would make this dispute to be meerly philosophical, in his Antibellarm.
Having therefore laid down those Texts, which are a sure pillar of this Truth, we shall adde some further reasons, and then make use of this point, which is very fruitfull.
Arguments from Scripture to prove the Souls Creation.
THe first Reason, which may appear in the defence of the Souls immediate Creation from God, is, From the historical Narration, which Moses makes of the beginning and original of Adam's soul: For as God when he was to cre∣ate man, did it in a more transcendent and glorious way, then when he made beasts, or the other creatures; For then he said, Let there be light, and, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures, that have life, Gen. 1. 20. And so, Let the earth bring forth the living creatures, the beasts after their kind; But when he comes to make man, then the expression is altered, Let us make man in our Image; and Gen. 2. 7. where we have the manner of the execution of this counsel, it is said, He formed the body of Adam out of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; No such thing was done to other creatures: So that you see Adam's soul was from God immediately, though his body was from the earth; This breathing of life into Adam, was infusing of the rational soul. Some Ancients thought, that it was the bestowing of the holy Ghost upon Adam, and that he had his rational soul before; They compare it with Christs breathing on his Disciples, whereby was communicated the Page 195 holy Ghost. Now it is plain, they had their rational souls before.
This is vain, because by the breathing of this life, it's said, Adam became a living soul, so that he was but a dead lump of earth (as it were) before; And indeed this Text is so clear, that I know none of the Adversaries to the souls im∣mediate Creation do deny it: Now then, If the soul of Adam was by creation, Is it not probable that all other souls were in the like manner? What a great dispro∣portion would there be between Adam and us, if his soul was by creation, and ours by generation? Some have questioned, Whether it would not make a speci∣fical difference between Adam and us? But that is not to be affirmed; For Christ as man was of the same species with other men, though his Conception and Nati∣vity were miraculous: But the Argument from the Creation of Adam's soul, to the Creation of ours, though it be not cogent, yet it maketh it more then pro∣bable, because God at first did appoint that order, which afterwards was to con∣tinue; So he appointed the animate creatures, to multiply in their way, making their bodies and forms to be educed out of the power of the matter, (as Philoso∣phers expresse it, though very obscurely,) but he did not do so with Adam's soul; Can we think that our souls are lesse glorious and precious before God (I mean as meet creatures) then Adam's was? It is true, There was a necessity that A∣dam's body should be otherwise made then ours, because he was the first Parent, and so he could not be bygeneration; Thus the other living creatures they had their bodies at first out of the earth, or out of the water, not by generation, as after∣wards; Thus for the body there was a necessity, but then for the soul there was none at all; Why might not Adam's soul have been with his body out of the pre∣jacent matter, as well as it was with other living creatures? But because the soul of man is of an higher nature coming from God alone: This Argument will appear in further strength, if you consider that Eve, though she was made in such an extraordinary manner out of Adam, yet she had not her soul from him, but her body only; For when he awakened, see what he saith, This is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; He doth not say, This is soul of my soul, and yet as Austin in this matter, though doubting, doth well argue,
The second is more cogent, and that is taken from the soul of Christ, If Christ had his soul by creation, then we had ours also; The consequence is clear, because Christ is said to be like us in all things, sinne onely excepted; Hence it is, that he also would have assumed our humane Nature in an ordinary way of generation, but that it could not be without sinne; If then Christ became like us in all things, where∣in sin was not necessarily adherent, then if he had his soul by immediate Creation we had ours also.
This Argument doth divide the Adversaries to the Creation of the soul; For some say,
But it may be (and indeed it is urged by Austin and others,)
To this therefore the solid Answer is, That the reason why Christ did not pay tythes in Abraham, in the Apostles sence, was not because his soul was im∣mediately from God, for so also was Levi's, but because Christ was of Abraham only, Quoad corpulentam substantiam, not seminatam rationem, his fleshly substance was from Abraham, but not by natural propagation; he was from Abraham only materialiter not effectivè, whereas Levi was both waies, and hence he cometh short of Christ.
Thirdly,*If so be that the soul of the parents did beget or multiply the souls of children, then this would hold also in Angels; for the multiplication of another must needs be acknowledged a perfection, where the subject is capable of it; Certainly, generation of another is not in it self an imperfection. for then in the blessed Trinity, the Sonne could not be begotten of the Father, but generation as in creatures denoteth imperfection. If then souls may come from souls, why not Angels from Angels? but this is acknowleged by all, That no Angel can produce another, but that there are as many and no more or less then was at first Creation. As for that example of the soul producing another, as we see one candle light another, that is nothing to this purpose; for therefore doth the candle inlighten another, because there is prepared and fitted matter to receive this light; so that its from prejacent materials the light is produced; but how can this be applied to the soul which is wholly spiritual, what preexistent matter that can be made of?
Fourthly,*If so be the soul be not by immediate Creation, then it must be mate∣rial, corporal, and mortal: for although this consequence is denied, yet the evi∣dence of natural reason will commend this. Its traduced (saith Tertullian) and is a body, yet is immortal: It is by propagation (say the Lutheran Divines) and yet is not a body but a spirit, and immortal: But above all, those abomina∣ble Mortalists, they make it to be only the crusis of the body, of which opinion Galen also is said to be, and so they make it mortal: We see then, that its neces∣sary to have a sound judgement about the original of the soul, for the Mortalists have fallen into that deep pit of heresy, because they erred in this first. It is with men, as they say of Fishes, they begin to putrify in the head first, and so com∣monly men fall into loose opinions, and then into loose practises: But this rule must be acknowledged, That whatsoever depends upon matter in being, doth also depend upon it in existency: It's Aquinas his rule, (as you heard,) Quicquid de∣pendet à materiâ in fieri, depend quoad esse et existere; That is the reason, why the souls of all beasts are mortal, because they depend upon the matter in being, They cannot be produced but dependently on that, and therefore their souls cannot subsist without their bodies; As it is plain, the souls of men do after death, till the resurrection; So that this Doctrine is injurious, and derogatory to our spiritual and immortal souls.
Fifthly,* If souls were not by immediate Creation, but by natural propagation from the parents, then either from the mother alone or from the father alone, or from both together.
This Argument Lactantius of old (as Cerda in Tertull. alledgeth him) formed Page 197 to himself, and answers; it's neither of those waies but from God. Not from the Father alone, because David doth bewail his mothers co operation hereunto, Psal 51, Iniquity did my Mother conceive me. Not the Mother alone, because the Father is made the chief cause of conveighing this original sinne by the A∣postle, he layeth it upon Adam, more then Eve, though Eve is not excluded; Not from both together, for then the soul must be partible and divisible, part from the Father and part from the Mother, and so it cannot be a simple sub∣stance. Under this Argument Meisuer doth labour, and confesseth, it is inex∣plicable how the soul should come from the parents, though he assaieth to give some satisfaction.
Lastly,*There is something even of nature implanted in us, to believe our soules come from God; who hath not almost some impression upon his conscience, to think, that he had not his soul from his parents? even nature doth almost teach us in this thing; Hence the wisest Heathens have concluded of it as Plato, and also Aristotle, who confuteth the several false opinions of Philosophers about the soul, (for it was a doubt as Tertullian (lib de animâ) expresseth it) whe∣ther Aristotle was parasior sua implera, aut aliena inantre) and affirmes it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to come from without, and that it is a divine thing: Thus it was with some Heathens, though destitute of the Light of Gods Word, yet in some∣things they did fall upon the truth, (as saith Tertullian) The Pilot in a tempestu∣ous black night puts into a good haven, sometimes prospero errore, and a man in a dark place gropeth and finds the way out sometimes, caecâ quâdam felicitate: Thus did some Heathens in some things.
IF you aske, What Arguments have they, who hold the traduction of the Soul?
I answer, There is none out of Scripture, that is worth the answering: The two things they urge, are,
First, If the soul be not propagated, then man doth not beget a man, as a beast doth a beast, and he is more imperfect, then other creatures: but this is to be an∣swered hereafter. The other is, Because original sinne cannot else be maintained; but this is to be answered in the Explication, how we come to pertake of it, Let us proceed to the Uses.
Vse 1. Doth God create the soul? then he must know all the thoughts, all the inward workings and motions of thy soul; As he that maketh a Clock, or a Watch, knoweth all the motions of it; Therefore take heed of soul-sinnes, of spirit-sinnes: What, though men know not your unclean thoughts, your proud thoughts, your malicious thoughts, yet God who made thy soul doth; and therefore this should make us attend to Gods eie upon us.
Vse 2. Did God make and create the soul? then he also can regenerate it, and make it new again, he made it as a Creator, and he only in the way of regeneration can make it again. This may comfort the godly that mourn and pray, Oh they would have more heavenly holy souls: They would not have such vain thoughts, such sinnefull motions: Remember, God made thy heart and he can spiritualize it.
3. Doth God create the souls? then here we see that it's our duty to give our souls to him in the first place, John 4. God is a Spirit, and will be worshipped in spirit; This hath been alwaies a complaint, men have drawed nigh to God bodily, but their hearts have been farre from him; God made thy soul more then thy body, and therefore let that be in every duty.
Page 198 Lastly, If Parents do not make our souls, then here we see, Children must obey Parents, but in the Lord: Should thy Parents command thee to doe any sinfull action, to break the Sabbath, you must not obey, you may say, My father and mother they help me but to my body, God doth give me my soul, and therefore they are but parents of your bodies, not of your conscience and souls.
The Authors Apologie for his handling this great Question.
THe false wayes which some have wandered in, to maintain the Propagation of Original Corruption to all mankind, being detected, our work is now to explicate that Doctrine, which seemeth most consonant to solid Reason and Scripture.
But before we essay that, we are to informe you of one sort of learned Authors, who, because of the difficulty attending this Point, Whether we hold the Traduction or Creation of the soul, have thought it the most wife and sober way to acknowledge the Propagation of original Sinne; But as for the manner How, there to have a modest suspense of our judgement, to professe a learned ignorance herein to believe That it is, though How it is so, we know not. And Tertullian, concerning the original of the soul (Lib. de Animâ) hath this known saying, Praestat per Deum nescire, quae ipse non revelaverit, quàm per hominem scire, quae ipse praesumpserit. In this way of suspense Austin continued as long as he lived, thinking that this might be one of those Truths, we shall not know, till we come into the Academy of Heaven; and to this modest silence, we have one place of Scripture, which might much incline us, Eccles. 11. 5. As thou knowest not the way of the Spirit, nor how the bones doe grow in the womb, &c. This Text should teach us not to 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to venture too farre, but to observe the light of the Scripture, as they did the Pillar and Cloud in the wildernesse to stand still, where that stands still; And indeed the Disputes about the Modes of things, is very intricate. The known saying is Motum, sometimes Modum nescimus, the manner of Gods working in conversion, The man∣ner of Christs presence in the Sacrament, what endlesse controversies hath it begotten? And therefore it was the King of Navarr's counsel to the Divines, when the Lutherans and Calvinists were upon pacification about the Sacrament, that they should not De modo ultra modum disputare. Now although this be good counsel, yet when heretical and erroneous opinions have invaded the Modus, then it is our duty to maintain not onely the truth of a thing, but the manner of it also; What is a greater mystery then the Sonne of God, having his being from the Father? He that will touch this mystery with meer natural reason, doth as if the Smith should handle his live-coals with his hands and not the Tongs, saith Chrysostome, yet because of the Socinians, who say,
This then premised, Let us proceed to clear the Doctrine of the Propagation of original sinne, and that by several Propositions, which will be as so many steps and degrees to the main Truth.
Propositions to clear the Doctrine of the Propagation of Original Sinne by the Souls Creation.
FIrst, We lay this for a foundation, That God doth create the soul of eve∣ry man a spiritual substance. This Proposition must be the foundation-stone to build upon. That God doth create the soul immediately, you have heard several Texts attesting thereunto. So that Bellarmine was too dissi∣dent, when moved, (it seemed) by Austin, doth wave all Texts of Scripture for the creation of the soul, and so proceedeth to other Arguments. Perie∣rius on 2 Chap. of Genes. vers. 7. giveth a better censure of Austin: for having produced some Texts for the Creation of the soul, he saith, Conatur Augustinus, sed frustra hos locos elidere. I shall adde one more fit for that purpose also. The Text is 1 Pet. 4. 19. Wherefore let them that suffer, ac∣cording to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls unto God, as to a faithfull Creator. Here the afflicted children of God are required, as Christ did, to commend their souls to God, and the reason is, Because he is a faithfull Creator of them; So that Gods Creation of them is here made an engagement to God to keep them, they being now sanctified and made holy.
Our souls then are created: In the next place, I say, they are created Substances: This is to obviate those that make the soul onely an accident, or the crasis and temperament of the humours; Galen (as Cerda on Ter∣tull. de animâ alledgeth him) in his second Book of prediction by the pul∣ses, hath this passage,
Page 200 Again, I adde, God createth it a spiritual substance. This opposeth the Sadduces, who denied any spirits. It is plaine by Scripture, that they are substances and spiritual ones, because they subsist without the body. Ter∣tullian, though he doth so acutely perstringe the Philosophers about the soul, yet some of them were more sound then he,
A second Proposition is, That though God doth create immediately the souls of all men spiritual substances, yet they are not compleat and perfect substan∣ces, as Angles are, but the essential parts of men. Upon this Proposition de∣pends much weight of this Truth about the communicating of original sinne, for we are apt to think God createth our souls like Angels, perfect and ha∣ving subsistency of themselves, whereas they are created as parts of a man, neither do they come from God any otherwise, If God should create a soul to subsist of it self, and not to be united to the body to constitute a man, that soul would not be polluted. But because every soul is created as an essential part of man, and so hath its being: Hence it is, That it cometh into the world part of Adam, and so obnoxious to that curse, which he had deserved; whatsoever then in its first being is part of man, that is partaker of A∣dam's sinne and curse; But the soul in its first instant of being is part of man, therefore no wonder if it became polluted and cursed. The example of that miraculous Resurrection of Lazarus and others may something clear this, they were fully dead, their souls and bodies union dissolved, yet be∣cause their souls were not made perfect and pure without sinne, and tran∣slated into Heaven, but by the power of God detained here on earth, that the glory of Christ might be exalted, he doth unite this soul, though with pollution to the body: Now Gods uniting of the sinfull soul to the body, did not make him the cause of any sinne therein, Because he united it as part of that man, who yet was not wholly purged from sinne. Now the reason why the soul is created, not as a perfect substance in it self, is, Because it's the forme of man, not an assisting forme, and therefore is not in the body, as when an Angel did assume bodies, or as a man in his house, or as a Musician useth an Instrument, but a form informing, whereby it is made an intrinsecal essential part of a man: The truth of this will give much light to our point in hand, the soul is created by God, The informing forme of a man, and so hath no other consideration, but as an essential part of him; and therefore seeing the man is in Adam, whose soul this is, that is thereby exposed to all the sinne of Adam; Hence it is that there is some difference between the creation of Angles, and the Chaos at first, which were made absolutely of nothing, and of the soul; For the soul, though it be created of nothing, yet because a form hath an essential respect to its matter; for which cause Contarenus (as Zanchy saith) affirmed,
Page 201 The third Proposition, The soul being thus created an essential part of a man, and the form informing of him: Hence it is, That we must not conceive the soul to be first created, as it were, of it self subsisting, and then infused into the body, but when the materials are sufficiently prepared then as the Schoolmen expresse it well, Infundendo creatur, and creando infudi∣tur, it's infused by the creating of it, and created by infusing; So that the soul is made in the body organized, not without it; so the Scripture, Zech. 12. 1. Who formeth the spirit of man with him, and because of the souls un∣on to the body when thus disposed; Hence it is that man may truly and univocally be said to beget a man, though his soul be created; for seeing man who is the compositum, is the Terminus generationis; Hence it is that man begets man, as well as a beast, though the soul of a beast be from the matter, as we see in Christ, the Virgin Mary is truly said to be the mo∣ther of Christ, though she was not the mother of his Divine Nature, nor of his soul. Thus man doth properly beget another man, though the soul be by Creation (as the matter also according to Philosophy is ingenerable) because the soul is united to the body, prepared and disposed for it by man; from which union resulteth the whole person or compositum, consisting of soul and body: So that although man be not the cause of his childs souls being, yet that it hath a being in this body, and thereby such a person produced, he is the cause of it, and by this, if well understood, you may see original sinne communicated to every one, though the soul be created, In that way which the humane nature is communicated to every one: So that if we tru∣ly know how a man is made a man from his parents, we may also know how sin is thereby also communicated.
The fourth Proposition is, Although God doth daily create new souls, yet his Decree and Purpose to do so was from all eternity; And therefore in this respect we may say all men consisting of souls and bodies were present to God in Adam in respect of Gods Decree, and also his Covenant with A∣dam, so that although there be a new Creation, yet there is no new institu∣tion or ordination on Gods part; Whereas therefore it's thought hard, that because Adam was so many thousand years ago, the soul created now should partake of his sinne. The Answer is, That in respect of Gods Decree and Covenant we were all present to God in Adam; There is no man hath his being De Novo, but unto God he was present from eternity; so that though the things in time have a succession of being, yet to God all are present in eternity: Not that we can say they were actually sinners, or actually ju∣stified, but in respect of Gods purpose all were present, and this will help much to facilitate this difficulty, we are as present to God in respect of his Decree, and knowledge, as if we had been then actually in Adam, in which sense it's said, Omnes fuerunt ille unus homo, and Act. 15. 18. Known to God are all his works from the beginning.
The fifth Proposition. Hence it is that the just and wise God is not to al∣ter, and change that course of nature, because man hath sinned. It is vain to say, Why will God unite this soul to the body, when thereby both shall be polluted? For though man hath by his sinne deserved that this should be, yet God is not therefore to cease of the continuing and multiplying of man∣kind, God doth keep to the fixed course of nature, notwithstanding mans sinne; And therefore we see that even to those, who are begot in fornica∣tion and whoredome, yet even to such in that unlawfull act, God giveth souls, because he will not interrupt the course of nature.
The sixth Proposition. Adam by his first transgression did deserve that all who should be of him, should be deprived of the Image of God, and the priva∣tion Page 202 of that doth necessarily inferre the presence of all sinne in a subject sus∣ceptible: As take away light from the air, and it must be dark; so that this Proposition answereth the whole difficulty: Adam deserved by his transgres∣sion, that all his posterity should become dead in sinne; and as he had thus deserved it, so God had ordained it, and appointed it; The soul then of every one being made part of that man who is thus cursed in Adam, it be∣comes deprived of the Image of God, and so full of sinne; So that although God create the soul naturally good, yet because part of man condemned by his sentence, he denieth it that original righteousnesse it once had; God doth not infuse any evil into the soul, nor is the Author of any sinne therein, but as a just Judge denieth that righteousnesse, which otherwise the soul might have had: So that you must not look for an efficient cause of original sinne in the soul, but a deficient, and a meritorious cause: So that the Summe is this, If you ask, How cometh the soul defiled, if created of God? I answer, The Meritorious cause is Adam's disobedience, by his transgression he demerited this for all that should come of him. And if you say, Who putteth the sinne in? I answer, There is no efficient cause that putteth it in: It is enough that God doth justly refuse to give or continue his Image. And this being denied the soul, because a subject either of holinesse or sinne, when wanting one must necessarily fall into the other: Thus it is with the souls being polluted, as it is with night, there is no efficient cause of the night, only the withdraw∣ing of the Sunne necessarily maketh it: So God doth nothing positively to make the soul sinfull, but according to his just appointment at first denieth that righteousnesse, which Adam wilfully put away from himself and his po∣sterity: So that we may as easily conceive of every childs souls pollution by sinne, as of Adam and Eve themselves. God made them righteous, but upon their transgression they became unclean and sinfull: How was this? God in justice denied the continuance of this holinesse to them any longer, so that they became sinfull, not because God infused evil, but denied him that righ∣teousnesse to them. This may fully satisfie the sober and modest minded man.
Therefore the last Proposition is, That we cannot say, the soul being pure in it self cometh into the body, and so is insected; As if some wine should be put in a poisoned vessel, for the soul and the body do mutually infect one another, not physically by contact, but morally; For the soul being desti∣tute of the Image of God in all its operations, is sinfull, and so all the bo∣dily actions are polluted: And then again, the body that having lost the properties it had before the fall, is a clod and a burden to the soul: Thus they doe mutually help to damne one another, the soul polluteth the body, and the body that again polluteth the soul; And thus those two which at first God put together in so near an union to make man happy, are now so defiled, that both from soul and from body, the matter of his damnati∣on doth arise. It is true, we may say inchoatively, Sinne it in the body be∣fore enlivened by the soul, in which sense David bewailed his being concei∣ved in sinne, but explicitely and formally it cannot be, and therefore we are not to conceive sinne in the body before the soul be united, or in the soul before the body be joyned to it, but as soon as they both became man, then they are under the just curse of God, and the soul being blind, and the body same, they both fall into that eternal pit of damnation, if the grace of God deliver not.
I may in time shew how many wayes the soul defileth the body, and the body againe infecteth the soul (viz.) in a moral sense, and therefore let this suffice for the present; Onely from what hath been said, let us turn our Page 203 Disputation into Deploration, Let the head busied to argue, be now as much ex∣ercised to weep; Jeremiah wished his head was a fountain of tears for the slain of his people, and that was but a temporal death, and that of one Nation only, How much more may we desir so for the spiritual death, and that of all in the world? Say unto all Heretical Teachers, Get ye behind me Satans, you hinder and trou∣ble me in my humiliation: Is not the Infant new born swadled and bound up hand and feet, and so lieth crying? A sad representation, that so God might bind every one, and send him crying to Hell: Thus original sinne opened Hell, kindled the fire of Hell, there was no Hell till this was com∣mitted: Oh grievous necessity and unhappy condition we are all born in! Antequam peccemus peccato constringimur, antequam delinquimus delicto tene∣mur. This, even this seriously considered, should make us have no rest, till we be put into the second Adam, in whom we have Justification and Sal∣vation.