תמונות בעמוד

urged those words of Job, "There is no man free from pollu tion;” οὐδ ̓ εἰ μία ἡμέρα ἡ ζωὴ αὐτοῦ, “though his life be but of one day." For so antiquity did generally quote Job, xxv. 4. following the LXX. which interprets the place; there being neither the same words nor the like sense in the Hebrew. But that very quotation had no small influence into the forward persuasions of the article concerning original sin, as is visible to them that have read the writings of the ancient doctors. But to the things here objected, Clemens replied, "Let them tell us, then, how an infant newly born hath fornicated or polluted himself, or how he is fallen under the curse of Adam, he who hath done nothing?" He had no other way to extricate himself. For if marriage produces none but sinners, persons hated by God, formally guilty of sin, then as the fruit is, such is the tree. He answers, 'True, if it were so ; but marriage produces infants that are innocent, and having done nothing evil yet, they never deserved to fall under Adam's curse. The effect of which is this, that to them, sickness and death are a misery, but not formally a punishment; because they are innocent, and formally are no sinners.' Some, to elude this testimony, would make these words to be the words of the Encratites or Julius Cassianus: but then, they are no sense, but a direct objection to themselves. But the case is clear to them that read and understand; and therefore the learned and good man Johannes Gerardus Vossius confesses downright, " Clementem Alexandrinum non satis intellexisse peccatum originale:" "That he did not understand the doctrine of original sin."-This only I add, that he takes from the objector that place of David, “In sin hath my mother conceived me;" affirming that by my mother,' he means 'Eve,' and that she "peccatrix concepit sed non pecatorem ;" "she was in sin when she conceived him, but he was not in sin when he was conceived."-But the meaning of Clemens Alexandrinus is easily to be understood to be consonant to truth, and the usual doctrine of the first ages, which makes Adam's sin to be ours by imputation, but that no sin upon that title is inherent in us; and Clemens Alexandrinus understood the question very well, though not to the purposes of our new opinions.


21. Tertullian speaks of the sin of Adam several times, but affirms not, that we have any formal, proper, and inherent


sin:' but that the soul of man is a sinner, because it is unclean,' just as it was amongst the rites of Moses's law, where legal impurity was called 'sin,' and that we derive from Adam a shame rather than a sin, an ignominy or reproach, like that of being born of dishonourable parents, or rather, 'from the society of the flesh,' as he expresses it; and that this dishonour lasts upon us till we enter upon a new relation in Christ. "Ita omnis anima eousque in Adam censetur, donec in Christo recenseatur, tamdiu immunda quamdiù recenseatur. Peccatrix autem quia immunda, recipiens ignominiam suam ex carnis societate." And this which he here calls 'a reproach,' he otherwhere calls an 'imperfection' or a 'shame,' saying, "By Satan, man at first was circumvented, and therefore given up unto death, and from thence all the kind was, from his seed, infected; he made a traduction of his sentence or damnation" to wit, unto death, which was his condemnation; and therefore speaking of the woman, he says, "The sentence remaining upon her in this life, it is necessary that the guilt also should remain ";"which words are rough and hard to be understood, because after baptism the guilt does not remain ; but by the following words we may guess that he means, that women still are that which Eve was, 'even snares to men, gates for the devil to enter,' and that they, as Eve did, 'dare and can prevail with men, when the devil by any other means cannot.' I know nothing else that he says of this article, save only, that according to the constant sense of antiquity he affirms, that the natural faculties of the soul were not impaired.' "Omnia naturalia animæ, ut substantiva ejus, ipsi inesse, et cum ipsâ procedere atque proficere." And again: "Hominis anima, velut surculus quidam, ex matrice Adam in propaginem deducta, et genitalibus fœminæ foveis commendata, cum omni sua paritura pullulabit, tam in intellectu quam in sensu :" "The soul, like a sprig from Adam derived unto his offspring, and put into the bed of its production, shall, with all its appendages, spring or increase both in sense and understanding."-And that there is a liberty of choice' (rò avrεouσov which supposes liberty) he proved against Marcion and Hermogenes, as himself affirms in chap. 21. of the same book.


Lib. de Animâ, cap. 39, 40. J De Habitu Muliebri, c. 1.

e Lib. de Testimon. Anim. adv. Gentes, c. 3.
e Lib. de Animâ, c. 20.
f Cap. 9.

St. Cyprian, proving the effect of baptism upon all, and consequently the usefulness to infants, argues thus: "If pardon of sins is given to the greatest sinners, and them that before sinned much against God, and afterward believed, and none is forbidden to come to baptism and grace,-how much more must not an infant be forbidden, 'qui recens natus nihil peccavit, nisi quod, secundum Adam carnaliter natus, contagium mortis antiquæ primâ nativitate contraxit; qui ad remissam peccatorum accipiendam hoc ipso facilius accedit, quod illi remittuntur non propria sed aliena peccata,' 'who being new born hath not sinned at all, but only being born carnally of Adam, he hath, in his first birth, contracted the contagion of the old death: which comes to the remission of sin the more easily, because not his own sins, but the sins of another, are forgiven him."" In which it is plainly affirmed, that the infant is innocent, that he hath sinned himself, that there is in him no sin inherent, that Adam's sin therefore only is imputed, that all the effect of it upon him is the contagion of death, that is, mortality, and its affections; and according as the sins are, so is the remission, they are the infants' improperly and metonymically, therefore so is the remission.

But Arnobius speaks yet more plainly: "Omne peccatum corde concipitur, et ore consummatur. Hic autem qui náscitur, 'sententiam Adæ habet, peccatum verò suum non habet:""He that is born of Adam hath the sentence of Adam upon him, but not the sinh" that is, he hath no sin inherent, but the punishment inflicted by occasion of it.

The author of the Short Commentaries upon the Epistles of St. Paul attributed to St. Ambrose, speaks so much, that some have used the authority of this writer, to prove that there is no original sin: as Sixtus Senensis relates. His words are these; "Mors autem dissolutio corporis est, cum anima à corpore separatur: est et alia mors quæ secunda dicitur, in gehenna; quam non peccato Adæ patimur, sed, ejus occasione, propriis peccatis acquiritur:" "Death is the dissolution of the body, when the soul is separated from it. There is also another death in hell which is called the second death, which we suffer not from Adam's sin, but by occasion of it, it is acquired by our own sins i." These words need no

St. Cyprian. lib. 5. Ep. 8. ad Fidum.

h In comment. in Psal. I.

i Lib. 6. Biblioth. Sanct. annot. 136.

explication; for when he had in the precedent words affirmed that we all sinned in the mass of Adam, this following discourse states the question right, and declares, that though Adam's sin be imputed to us, to certain purposes, yet no man can be damned to the second death for it; it is a testimony so plain for the main part of my affirmation in this article, that as there is not any thing against it within the first four hundred years, so he could not be accounted a catholic author, if the contrary had been the sense or the prevailing opinion of the church.

22. To these I shall add the clearest testimonies of St. Chrysostom: "It seems to have in it no small question, that it is said, that, by the disobedience of one, many become sinners. For sinning and being made mortal, it is not unlikely that they which spring from him, should be so too. But that another should be made a sinner by his disobedience, what agreement or consequent, I beseech you, can it have? What therefore doth this word 'sinner' in this place signify? It seems to me to signify the same that liable to punishment, guilty of death,' does signify, because Adam dying, all are made mortal by him." And again, "Thou sayest, What shall I do? By him, that is, by Adam, I perish. No, not for him. For hast thou remained without sin? For though thou hast not committed the same sin, yet another thou hast."-And in the twenty-ninth homily upon the same epistle, he argues thus: "What therefore? tell me, are all dead in Adam by the death of sin? How then was Noah a just man in his generation? How were Abraham and Job? If this be to be understood of the body, the sentence will be certain, but if it be understood of justice and sin, it will not."-But to sum up all; he answers the great argument used by St. Austin to prove infants to be in a state of damnation and sin properly, "because the church baptizes them, and baptism is for the remission of sins. Thou seest how many benefits there are of baptism; but many think that the grace of baptism consists only in the remission of sins: but we have reckoned ten honours of baptism. For this cause we baptize infants; although they are not polluted with sin, to wit, that to them may be added sanctity, justice, adoption, inheritance, and the k St. Chrysostom. homil. 10. in Rom.

Hom. 17. in 1 Cor.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

fraternity of Christ "." Divers other things might be transcribed to the same purposes out of St. Chrysostom, but these are abundantly sufficient to prove, that I have said nothing new in this article.

Theodoret does very often consent with St. Chrysostom, even when he differs from others, and in this article he consents with him and the rest now reckoned: "When God made Adam and adorned him with reason, he gave him one commandment that he might exercise his reason: he being deceived broke the commandment and was exposed to the sentence of death, and so he begat Cain, and Seth, and others: but all these, as being begotten of him, had a mortal nature. This kind of nature wants many things, meat and drink and clothes, and dwelling and divers arts: the use of these things oftentimes provokes to excess; and the excess begets sin. Therefore the divine Apostle saith, that when Adam had sinned, and was made mortal for his sin, both came to his stock, that is, death and sin; for 'death came upon all, inasmuch as all men have sinned.' For every man suffers the decree of death, not for the sin of the first man, but for his own"." Much more to the same purpose he hat upon the same chapter: but this is enough to all the purposes of this question.


Now if any man thinks, that though these give testimony in behalf of my explication of this article, yet that it were easy to bring very many more to the contrary°; I answer, and profess ingenuously, that I know of none till about St. Austin's time; for that the first ages taught the doctrine of original sin, I do no ways doubt, but affirm it all the way; but that it is a sin improperly, that is, a stain and a reproach rather than a sin, that is, the effect of one sin, and the cause of many, that it brought in sickness and death, mortality and passions, that it made us naked of those supernatural aids that Adam had, and so more liable to the temptations of the devil; this is all I find in antiquity, and sufficient for the explication of this question, which the more simply it is handled, the more true and reasonable it is. But that I may use the words of Solomon, according to the vulgar translation; "Hoc inveni, quod fecerit Deus hominem rectum, et ipse se

m Homil. ad Neophytos.

n Theodoret. in 5. Ron • Vide eundem in exposit. Psal. I.

« הקודםהמשך »