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hath promised • he will lay no more upon us, than he will make us able to bear.' But, 2: He that disables himself from doing his Lord service, if he does it on purpose that he may not serve him, may be punished for not doing all that which was imposed upon him, because that servant did choose his disability, that he might with some pretence refuse the service. He did disobey in all the following particulars ; because out of a resolution not to obey in those particulars, he made himself unable in the general. It is all one with the case of voluntary and affected ignorance. He that refuses knowledge lest he should understand his duty, and he that disables himself that he may not do it, may be punished not only for not doing it, but for making it impossible to be done. But that was not Adam's case, so far as we know ; and it is certain it was not ours in the matter of his sin. 3. But if he commits a fault which accidentally disables him ; as if he eats too much, and be sick the next day, and fall into a fever, he may indeed, and is justly punished for his gluttony, but he is not punishable for omitting that, which in his present weakness he can no ways perform. The reason is, because this disability was involuntary, and an evil accident; of itself a punishment of his sin, and therefore of itself not punishable; and this involuntariness is still the more notorious and certains as the consequents are the more remote. 4. No man can be answerable to God for the consequent of his sin, unless it be natural, foretold, or foreseen ; but for the sin itself he is; and as for the consequents superinduced by God, he must suffer them, but not answer for them. For these being in the hands of God, are not the works of men's hands; God hath effected it upon the sinner, he is the author of it, and by it he is directly glorified ; and therefore though by it the sinner is punished, yet for it he cannot be punished again. 5. But that I may come to the case of the present argument. This measure and line of justice are most evident in laws to be imposed after the disability is contracted, and fiot foreseen before ; concerning which, there can be no pretence of justice that the breach of them should be punished. If a law be already imposed, and a man by his fault loses those assistances, without which he could not keep the law, hé máy nevertheless in the rigour of justice be punished for not keeping it, because the law was given him when he had
strength, and he ought to have preserved it. For though he
its own, it is high injustice ; because of this law, the man was not a subject capable when it was imposed, the man was dead before the law was alive : and a tree is as much capable of a law, as a man is of an impossible commandment. But if the punishment of this later be inflicted upon the sinner for the first transgression by which he disabled himself, then in vain was the later commandment imposed. For since the later sin was unavoidable, and the first sin deserved the whole damnation, what end could there be of imposing this new law, by which God could not serve any new purpose, no, not for the
manifestation of his justice in condemning him? For if the first sin deserved condemnation, there was no need to introduce a new pretence, and to seek an occasion to slay him. But if it did not, it is certain the new sin could not make it just to do what was not just before, because by this new omission there can be no new guilt contracted. But of this I shall give yet a further account, when I shall discourse in what sense God can be said to punish one sin with another.
45. The consequent of the parts of this discourse is this, that since the sin of Adam did not debauch our nature by any natural efficiency of the sin itself, nor by our being in the loins of Adam, nor yet by any sentence or decree of God, we are not by Adam's sin made necessarily and naturally vicious, and inclined to evil, but are left in our mere nature, such as it was, and such as it is ".
· Nec si miserum [Natura] Sinonem
Nature makes us miserable and imperfect, but not criminal. 'Εαν ευσεβή τις άνθρωπος, Θεού έστιν· έαν δε ασεβή τις άνθρωπος, του διαβόλου" ουκ από της φύσεως, αλλ' από της εαυτού γνώμης givólevos. They are the words of St. Ignatius' the martyr: “ If any man be a pious and a good man, he is of God; if he be impious, he is of the devil. Not by nature, but made so by his own proceedings.” To all which I add this;
46. That in Scripture there is no signification of any corruption or depravation of our souls by Adam's sin; which I shall manifest by examination of all those places, which are the pretence of the contrary doctrine. For if God hath not declared in Scripture any such thing, we have the common notions of his justice, and wisdom, and goodness, and truth, in prejudice of the contrary.
! Idem sensit Jacobus Faber in 5. Rom. Nihil nos ex Adamo tra here nisi obligationem ad mortem. Albertus Pighius Controv. de Peccato Orig. et Ambr. Catharinus de Lapsu Hominis et Peccato Orig. statuunt, peccatum originis non habere veram peccati rationem, sed esse tantûm reatum, quo posteri primorum parentum propter transgressionem illorum primævam, sine aliquo vitio proprio et inhærente, naturæ pravitate devincti teneantur. s Æn. 2.
* Epist. ad Magnes.
Consideration of the Objections against the former Doctrine. 47. The first is, “Every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart is only evil continually u.” I answer, it is true, they were so, but it was their own fault, not Adam’s; for so it is said expressly, “ All flesh hath corrupted his way upon the earth, and the earth was filled with violence*." 2. If this corruption had been natural and unavoidable, why did God punish all the world for it, except eight persons ? Why did he punish those that could not help it? and why did others escape that were equally guilty? Is not this a respect of persons, and partiality to some, and iniquity towards all ? which far be it from the Judge of all the world. 3. God might as well have punished all the world, for sleeping once in a day, or for being hungry, as for sinning, if so to do be natural and unavoidable. 4. If God in these words complained of their natural and original corruption, why did he but then, as if it were a new thing, complain of it, and repent that he had made man, since he proved so bad? 5. This malice and corruption were such, that God did send Noah, the preacher of righteousness, to draw the world from it. But no man supposes, that it was fit to send a preacher to dehort them from being guilty of original sin. Therefore it was good counsel;
Denique te ipsum
Neglectis urenda filix innascitur agisy, Blame not nature, but thy own evil customs; for the neglect of thy fields will make fern and thistles to grow. It is not only because the ground is accursed, but because it is neglected, that it bears thorns. “ Errasti, si existimas nobiscum vitia nasci: supervenerunt, ingesta sunt,” said Seneca *: “ Thou art deceived, if thou thinkest that vices are born with
No, they are superinduced, and come in upon us afterward.”
41. And by this we may the better understand the fol
lowing words: “I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.” Concerning which, note, that these words are not two sentences. For this is not the reason why God gave over smiting, because man was corrupt from his youth.' For if this had been the reason, it would have come to pass, that the same cause which moved God to smite, would also move him to forbear, which were a strange economy. The words therefore are not a reason of his forbearing, but an aggravation of his kindness; as if he had said, Though man be continually evil, yet I will not, for all that, any more drown the world for man's being so evil: and so the Hebrews note that the particle ") sometimes signifies “although.'
49. But the great outcry in this question is upon confidence of the words of David ; “ Behold, I was shapen in wickedness, and in sin hath my mother conceived me." To which I answer, that the words are a Hebraism, and signify nothing but an aggrandation of his sinfulness, and are intended for a high expression, meaning that “ I am wholly and entirely wicked.' For the verification of which exposition, there are divers parallel places in the Holy Scriptures. “Thou wert my hope, when I hanged yet upon my mother's breasts;" and, “ The ungodly are froward even from their mother's womb; as soon as they be born, they go astray, and speak lies ;" which, because it cannot be true in the letter, must be an idiotism, or propriety of phrase, apt to explicate the other, and signify only a ready, a prompt, a great, and universal wickedness. The like to this is that saying of the Pharisees ; " Thou wert altogether born in sin, and dost thou teach use?” which phrase and manner of speaking, being plainly a reproach of the poor blind man and a disparagement of him, did mean only to call him a very wicked person, but not that he had derived his sin originally, and from his birth; for that had been their own case as much as his; and, therefore, St. Chrysostom explaining this phrase, says, 'Loavei émeyov, šu πρώτης ηλικίας εν αμαρτίαις ει συ, «It is as if they should say, Thou hast been a sinner all thy life-time.” To the same sense are those words of Job; “ I have guided her (the widow) from my mother's womb d.” And in this expression and severity a Gen. viii. 21.
b Psal. li. 5. c John, ix. 34.
d Job, xxxi. 18.