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§ 26. Man’s First Transgression, and the State thereby produced. viz., Original Sin.
It was the first of the human family who committed the first sin. These, seduced by Satan under the form of a serpent, of their own free will, transgressed the prohibition of God (Gen. 1:16, 17) to eat of the tree of knowledge.  HOLL. (507): “The first sin of men is the transgression of the Law of Paradise, by which our first parents, having been persuaded by the devil, and having abused the freedom of the will, violated the divine prohibition concerning the not eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and brought down upon themselves and their posterity, the divine image having been lost, a great guilt, and the liability to temporal and eternal punishment.”  In consequence of this transgression, our first parents burdened themselves with a guilt which deserved punishment; therefore also God immediately inflicted upon them (Gen. 2:17) the punishment threatened in the event of transgression.  The consequence of their sin then was, that their whole relation to God, and their corporeal, spiritual, and moral state, were changed. The state of righteousness, above described, ceased to exist, and, in its place, was introduced a state of moral depravity,  which must therefore be transmitted to all their posterity, since they who are begotten after the common course of nature cannot be introduced into a different state from that of their parents at the time when they beget them; so that the first sin, in its results, affects not only our first parents, but also all their posterity.  Since, therefore, they incurred the divine wrath by reason of sin, so also are all mankind, descended from them, in a similar state; and that, too, for two reasons: first, because the state of depravity, which they have derived from their first 235parents, renders its subjects the objects of God’s wrath;  secondly, because all the descendants of Adam are represented and contained in him, as the representative of the human family — therefore, that which was done by Adam can be regarded as the act of all, the consequences of which also must be borne by all, so that Adam’s sin also is imputed to his posterity, i.e., it is regarded as their own sin, because they are all represented in Adam.  The state of depravity which followed Adam’s transgression, and which now belongs to our first parents, as well as to all their posterity, is designated by the expression Original Sin.  HOLL. (518): “Original Sin is the thorough corruption of human nature, which, by the Fall of our first parents, is deprived of original righteousness, and is prone to every evil.”  According to its single parts, it is described, (1) as the lack of the Original Righteousness, which ought to exist in man; (2) as carnal concupiscence, or inclination to evil.  In the place of original holiness and purity, there came directly the opposite, a state thoroughly sinful and desirous of that which is evil, which in itself is sin, so that, in consequence of this constant propensity to evil, and not originally an account of actual transgressions proceeding from it, man is an object of the divine displeasure.  This depraved state, then, is not only the foundation and fountain of all actual transgressions, but also has, as its consequence, the wrath of God and temporal and eternal punishment. 
Concerning this state, finally, it must be asserted, that it is natural to us in that sense in which this is said of original righteousness in the state of integrity. Were this state different, man would not cease to be man, and hence it does not constitute man’s essence, but is connected with the essence, or the nature of man as he is now born, and that too in the most intimate and inseparable manner; and as no man is now born, except in that depraved state, so also this state can never be lost by man, as long as he lives on the earth. Man, when he becomes a partaker of the Holy Ghost, can indeed refuse obedience to his evil propensity; and, when redemption through Christ is apprehended by faith, he is also freed from the consequences of sin, i.e., the wrath of God and punishment; but yet the evil inclination to sin always remains in him. All this is expressed in the adjuncts of original sin, which QUEN. thus enumerates (II, 62): 1. Natural Inherence, Heb. 12:1; Rom. 7:21, which, therefore, is not a substance, but an accident.  2. Natural transmissibility, Gen. 5:3; Job 14:4; Ps. 51:6; John 3:6; Eph. 2:3.  3. Duration (a tenacity or obstinate inherence during life, Rom. 7:17; Heb. 12:1).   QUEN. (II, 51): “The first sin in the human race is the voluntary apostasy of our first parents from God their Creator, by which, having been seduced by the devil, they transgressed, of their own accord, both the general divine and internal law impressed upon their mind, and the particular external prohibition concerning the not eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Concerning the existence of this sin, the history contained in Gen. 3, does not permit us to doubt. By Paul it is called the transgression of Adam, Rom. 5:14, because he transgressed the divine precept by eating of the forbidden fruit. The Fall is ascribed to Adam by way of eminence, both because he was the head of the woman, and also because he was the beginning and root of the human race, from whom, as the source, sin descended to posterity. For a like reason it is called a transgression by one, Rom. 5:15, 17, and 18, where by one man the Apostle understands Adam particularly, so, however, as not entirely to exclude Eve.” [HUTT. (312): “It is noteworthy that the Apostle does not say ‘of (ex) one man,’ but ‘by (per) one man,’ thus implying that the principal efficient cause was Satan.”] Hence arise the following definitions: QUEN. (II, 51): (a) “The external first and principal (but remote) cause of this sin is Satan, acting here, not by internal impulse, nor by external violence (for each is repugnant to the integrity of the state in which man was originally created), but by mere external moral suasion. John 8:44; 2 Cor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9. (b) “The instrumental cause is a true and natural serpent, but possessed by the devil, Gen. 3:1, 14 (not a mere serpent, but one possessed by the devil, as is manifest from the conversation and discourse with Eve, and also from the punishment, Gen. 3:15. For the bruising of the serpent’s head by the seed of the woman, which was to follow, has respect, not to a natural, but to the infernal serpent).” (c) “The internal and directly efficient cause is the intellect and will of the first man, not from any internal defect therein, which could not exist in an unfallen state, but by way of accident, in consequence of his wandering and departure from God, through seduction from without. (Man did not fall in consequence of any absence or denial of any special grace, nor from the presence of any internal languor and natural defect, but through the accidental abuse of his liberty, while his will yielded to the external persuasion and seduction of the devil, and interrupted the gracious influence of God.)” (d) The order and mode of the seduction are the following: HOLL. (511): “Eve was first and immediately seduced by the devil (HOLL. (505): Eve sinned first, not because she was more feeble in intellect than Adam, but because she was more yielding in will), while Adam was drawn mediately, and by the persuasion of the woman, into the same sin, and thus the fall of Adam is referred also to the devil, as the first author of sin.” In reference to the passage, 1 Tim. 2:14, QUEN. remarks (II, 53): “These words are not to be understood of the seduction simply, but of the mode and order of the seduction; seduction is either external, through the address of the serpent from without, or internal, through the suggestion of Satan from within. In the former sense Eve only, and not Adam, was seduced.” (e) The particular sinful acts which the transgression involves are: HOLL. (510): “(a) on the part of the intellect, a want of faith (incredulitas), (Eve hesitated between the Word of God, Gen. 2:17, and the word of the devil, Gen. 3:4); (b) on the part of the will, selfishness and pride, Gen. 3:5; (c) on the part of the sensuous appetite, an inordinate desire for the forbidden fruit, Gen. 3:6, from which came forth the external act forbidden by the law of Paradise.”  HOLL. (509): “Our first parents, in their Fall, immediately violated the positive law given in Paradise, forbidding to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; mediately and really by their disobedience they broke through the restraints of the entire moral Law. The intention of the positive Law was a trial or test of obedience, which, as due to God, the whole moral Law demands. But he who fears not to transgress one precept of the Law, will not blush to violate the remainder, since they have the same author and the same obligatory force.”  HOLL. (512, 513): “The consequences of Adam’s fall are guilt and punishment. Punishment, like an inseparable companion, follows closely upon guilt. God, in His holiness, has threatened death to man, if he transgresses the Law which was given him. Gen. 2:17. By death was meant spiritual, corporeal, and eternal death. Spiritual death, the root of all evil, is the immediate consequence of the first sin. For, as soon as man turned his heart away from the divine Law, he deprived himself of spiritual union with God, who is the life of the soul, and thus, having been deserted by God, he died spiritually. This spiritual death brought with it the loss of the divine image, the entire corruption of the whole human nature, and the loss of free will in spiritual things. The death of the body follows spiritual death, or the death of the soul, including all the diseases and miseries by which man is surrounded from without. Whether also are to be referred the severe and burdensome labor which must be constantly endured by the man, Gen. 3:17, and the painful throes of parturition in the woman, Gen. 3:16. Although our first parents did not suffer the death of the body as soon as they fell, nevertheless from that time they became subject to death, since this is the wages of sin, Rom. 6:23. Eternal death is a perpetual exclusion from the beatific enjoyment of God, united with constant and most excruciating torments, which, by the force of the threatening annexed to the divine Law, Adam and all his posterity must have suffered, unless Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the human race and the Restorer of the lost image of God, had interposed.”  CHMN. (Loc. Th., I, 227): “For this, too, is the misery of Original Sin, that not only the image itself of God was lost, but also the knowledge of God was nearly extinguished.” KG. (80): “The effects of the first-sin, in respect of our first parents, are: the total loss of the divine image, some fragments, indeed, or vestiges remaining; the most profound depravity of the whole nature; exposure to punishment expressed in the penalty annexed to the law of Paradise; the griefs and miseries of this life; and finally death itself.”  GRH. (IV, 315): “We must not regard the sin of our first parents and its consequences, as if they had respect only to them, and did not in any way affect us; because afterwards Adam begat a son, in his own image and likeness, Gen. 5:3. As he was, such also did he beget his children, despoiled of the image of God, destitute of original righteousness, subject to sin, to the wrath of God, to death and damnation. Adam lived, and we all lived in him. Adam perished, and we all perished in him. As when parents lose the possession of a feudal benefit, the male children also lose it, because the parents received it not only for themselves, but also for their children; so also our first parents, having been created in the image of God, had received those gifts which were bestowed by the goodness of God, like a deposit, to be faithfully guarded for themselves and their posterity; thus also, by sinning, they lost them, not only for themselves, but for all their posterity.” HOLL. (523): “Our first parents are the proximate cause of this original blemish, from whose impure nature the original stain has flowed into our hearts. Everything follows the seeds of its own nature. No black crow ever produces a white dove, nor ferocious lion a gentle lamb; and no man polluted with inborn sin ever begets a holy child.”  BR. (403) says, referring to Rom 5:12: “Therefore we must say that all sinned in one, inasmuch as, he having sinned, it came to pass that all who should be naturally descended from him would necessarily be born with sin, and thus every one on account of his own sin would become, in his very birth, liable to death, see Eph. 2:3; so that, when all men are said to be children of wrath, the cause of this guilt is taken for granted, namely, because all by nature are sinners. For to be a son of wrath is the same as to be liable to divine wrath, and worthy of punishment, on account of the violation of the Law, to be inflicted by God, the vindicator of the Law. Therefore, one could not be by nature a child of wrath, unless he were polluted by sin in his own nature or by the corruption of his nature.” But BR. also adds (414): “It is not necessary, neither, perhaps, is it wise, that we should pryingly inquire how God could so impute the sin of our first parents to their posterity, not yet in existence, that they should for this reason necessarily be born destitute of original righteousness, and sinners. For it is enough that the fact (to oti) is revealed, although the explanation of it (to pwß) be unknown.” GRH. (IV, 316): “Therefore that sin (of Adam) is not in all respects foreign to us, because Adam did not sin as a private man, but as the head of the whole human race; and as human nature was communicated through him, so also natural corruption was similarly propagated” . . . (327): “Because, therefore, all who are born in the natural and common course of generation are under sin, so also all are by nature children of wrath, liable to death and damnation; for it is not possible that God should not be angry at sin.”  HOLL. (513): “The first sin of Adam, since he is regarded as the common parent, head, root, and representative of the whole race, is truly and justly imputed by God, for guilt and punishment, to all his posterity.” By the sin that is imputed to us is understood (QUEN., II, 111): “That disobedience by which the first parents of the human race turned themselves away from God,” etc. Therefore, also, it is said (II, 53): “Not only our first parents were the subject of the first sin, but also all their posterity to be propagated by natural generation. For Adam and Eve were substitutes for the whole human race, inasmuch as they ought to be regarded as both the natural (i.e., seminal) and also the moral source of the human race, namely, of the entire progeny in nature and grace. Hence the apostle properly says, Rom. 5:12, ef w, in whom, viz., in the first man, all sinned, or in that, because that, one sinned, all sinned, viz., in Adam, who represented the persons of all his posterity; and v. 19, ‘by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.’ That is to say, we have been made sinners through the sin of Adam, not by mere interpretation, nor even by limitation, but by the imputation of real guilt, and the propagation of natural depravity, and the participation of an actual crime. And thus the proximate cause why, when the first man sinned, all his posterity sinned, is the existence of the whole human species in the person of our first parent, Rom. 5:12. For our first parents were then considered not only as the first individuals of the human race, but also, as the true root, stock, and source of the whole human race, which in them could both stand and fall. Hence we are said to have been in the loins of our first parents.” Id. (II, 111): “The first sin is considered — I. With regard to Adam himself, who by one transgression involved all his posterity in crime, in guilt, in punishment; in so far, namely, as his will was the interpreter of the wills of all of them who, as the Scriptures say, were in his loins, whose own act the sin interpretatively is, so that they are born with the absence of the perfection that should exist. The will, I say, of Adam, as the source and root of the human race, was considered as ours, not formally, but interpretatively. For the first man had the wills of all his posterity gathered up, as it were, in his own will; whence, for himself and all his posterity, he declared his will and that of his posterity against the Law that had been given. II. With regard to God, as the Judge who, according to His mighty power, justly punishes the crime against the divine majesty also in the posterity, namely, those fallen in Adam, by the want, in so far, of original righteousness, and thus most justly imputes to them the sin of Adam unto condemnation.” QUEN., however, distinguishes between immediate and mediate imputation (II, 114): “The first Adamitic sin is immediately imputed to us so far as we existed already in Adam. But the sin of Adam is mediately imputed to us, viz., as original sin is mediately inherent in us, so far as we are regarded in our own persons and individually. For no one is considered as a sinner by God and to no one is that first act imputed, except to him who descends contaminated with original sin, from the same Adam.” The word to impute, QUEN. explains thus (II, 111): “The word imputation in this place is received not physically, for implanting or inserting, but relatively, for estimating. In the Hebrew language it is explained by bvj, in the Greek by logizesqai, and in the German by zurechnen; as if you would say, in computing, that you set something over to some one, or in counting or calculating, that you assign something.” Imputation is proved from Rom. 5:12, 14, 19. The common explanation of the first passage is: “in whom, viz., Adam, all have sinned.” But QUEN. remarks (II, 58) that “it makes little difference whether you translate ef w, in whom, or on which account. For, if it is retained as causal, it confirms our view. For thus we argue: They who die, die because they have sinned. But all mankind die, even infants and those not yet born. Therefore, they die, because they have sinned.” “But infants and those not yet born, die either on account of some fault (delictum) of their own or of an actual transgression; therefore, on account of the actual transgression of another, scil., of Adam, who tainted them with his own stain. But if the other signification be received, i.e., (in quo) relatively in Adam, as root, fountain, cause, head, it is again proved that Adam’s sin is imputed to all.” In reference to Rom. 5:19, QUEN. remarks (II, 113): “As we are made righteous by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, so were we made unrighteous by the disobedience of Adam.” In order to express himself with entire accuracy, QUEN. remarks, in addition (II, 53), that the phrase, “the fall of Adam,” is taken in different senses. The one sense is, “Specifically a transgression in relation to the forbidden tree,” and therefore it is, “Formally considered, the sin of the individual Adam;” in this case we say, “The Fall becomes ours by imputation only.” The other sense is, “That also which flowed from this transgression, viz., the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of the whole nature;” and then we must say, “It passes over to posterity, not only by imputation, but also by natural generation.” We remark, in addition, that the doctrine of the imputation of the guilt and punishment of our first parents was fully developed only by the later Theologians, from about the time of CALOVIUS, but an intimation of it appears in the FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., I, 9): “That fault or liability, whereby it comes to pass that we all, because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, are under God’s abhorrence and are by nature children of wrath.”  The Scholastics distinguished “original sin originating,” from “original sin originated.” QUEN. (II, 115): “Active, or originating original sin, is that vicious act which our first parents committed, by transgressing the paradisaic Law, which act, indeed, has not passed over to their posterity, nor is it found in them, except by imputation only. However, it gave origin to the deep corruption of man, which is called passive or originated original sin, which is a vicious habit, contracted by Adam through that actual transgression of the divine Law, and propagated to his posterity.” The word is here used in the latter sense. HOLL. (518): “In ecclesiastical phraseology, not biblical, this sin, derived from the fall of Adam is called original, and indeed, not in respect to the origin of the world or of man, but (1) because derived from Adam, the root and beginning of the human race; (2) because it is connected with the origin of the descendants of Adam; (3) because it is the origin and fountain of actual transgressions.” “In the language of Scripture, this connate depravity is called: (1) indwelling sin, Rom. 7:17, because after the Fall it fixed its seat firmly in man, nor departs from him until the habitation of soul and body is dissolved; (2) besetting sin, because it surrounds us on all sides, like a long garment impeding a runner, Heb. 12:1; (3) a law in the members, Rom. 7:23, since, as a law rules and governs an agent, thus original sin directs the members of the body to the perpetration of wicked deeds; (4) an evil lying near, Rom. 7:21, because like a chain it clings to a man who wishes to do good.”  More extended definitions. HOLL. (518): “Original Sin is a want of original righteousness, connected with a depraved inclination, corrupting in the most inward parts the whole human nature, derived from the fall of our first parents, and propagated to all men by natural generation, rendering them indisposed to spiritual good, but inclined to evil, and making them the objects of divine wrath, and eternal condemnation.” QUEN. (II, 52): “Original Sin is a want of original righteousness, derived from the sin of Adam and propagated to all men who are begotten in the ordinary mode of generation, including the dreadful corruption and depravity of human nature and all its powers, excluding all from the grace of God and eternal life, and subjecting them to temporal and eternal punishments, unless they be born again of water and the Spirit, or obtain the remission of their sins through Christ.” The proofs of the existence of Original Sin are drawn from Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; Ps. 14:2, 3; 58:3; Isaiah 48:8; John 3:5, 6; Eph. 2:3. Especially from Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12-14; Gen. 5:3. CHMN. (Loc. Th., I, 230) thus comments on the important passage, Rom. 5:12: “(1) The efficient cause of Original Sin is shown to be the first man. (2) The subject affected by Original Sin is pointed out, i.e., that it not only adhered in Adam, but has passed into the world, i.e., into all men who come into the world. (3) The punishment is described, which is not only the death of the body, but the reign of death and the sentence of condemnation. . . . (4) Lest the guilt should be understood only as for the sin of another, without any personal fault, Paul affirms that the whole world is guilty, both in consequence of the one sin of the first man, and because all have sinned, i.e., have been constituted sinners. (5) He indicates what kind of sin it was, when he says that even they have original sin who have not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression. (6) He describes the manner in which original sin is propagated — he says, by one man.” [GRH., IV, 322: “The chief arguments of the Pelagians are: 1. Ez. 18:20, ‘The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.’ Answer: The passage treats not of original, but of actual sins, whose penalty the son does not bear, if he desist from the sins of the guilty parent, and be converted. We invert the argument. Infants are punished by disease and death; therefore, they have sin of their own, because of which they are punished, viz., original sin propagated in them by their parents, which is no longer foreign to them, but transmitted to them, by the contagion of propagation. 2. Ps. 106:38, Infants are pronounced innocent. John 4:11; Rom. 9:11. Answer. This is to be understood relatively with respect to actual sins, and not with respect to original sin. 3. Rom. 4:15: ‘Where there is no law, there is no transgression.’ Answer: Infants are both without the Law, i.e., they are ignorant of the Law, Rom. 2:12, and yet are not without Law, i.e., they are not free from the accusation whereby the Law reproves and condemns all lawlessness. 4. ‘If there be Original Sin, sin must be attributed to God forming infants in the womb; therefore, marriage is to be condemned.’ Answer: The fault in a nature must be discriminated from the kindness of God in forming the nature. Both nature and the fault or defect of the nature are propagated: of which, the former is good; the latter, evil. 5. If the sins of godly parents are forgiven in baptism, how then do they propagate sin to their children? Answer: Carnal generation is not according to grace, but according to nature. Augustine: ‘In begetting, he does not give that whence one is regenerated, but whence one is generated.’ ‘That which is born of flesh is flesh.’ Do you ask how an unrighteous man is born of a righteous, when you see that one could not be righteous, unless he were regenerate? A grain of wheat, though freed from chaff, produces grains with chaff. Circumcised Israelites beget uncircumcised children.”]  QUEN. (II, 59): “In form, it is an habitual want of original righteousness, Ps. 14:3; 53:3; Rom. 3:10, 11, 12, 23, united with a contrary form, i.e., the most complete corruption of the whole nature, Rom. 7:17, 20, 21; Heb. 12:1.” See Symbolical Books, and especially Ap. Conf., II, 26; Form. Conc., I, 11. In reference to the former (viz., the lack of original righteousness), BR. (404) remarks: “Here belongs that death, or the want of spiritual life, and of all the active powers which are required for the exercise of vital acts in conformity with the divine Law. And this death is ascribed to men, because they are by nature children of wrath, Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13. For, as original righteousness had inhered in the faculties of the soul of the first men, and had, as it were, animated and prepared them to live a life of godliness, and to elicit and exercise among themselves actions and motions spiritually good; so, this primeval righteousness having been lost, a man is like a dead body which has been deprived, by the separation of the soul from the body, of all power to call forth in itself and to exercise vital acts and motions, because he is destitute of strength for the performance of spiritual actions and motions.” In reference to the latter (viz., concupiscence), BR. (404): “For the same carnal man who, in consequence of the want of spiritual life, is like one dead, in another respect is said to be living and very active, but it is a life alien from the life of God, Eph. 4:18; 2:3. The faculties of the soul are, indeed, essentially vital faculties; and, when they are deprived of original righteousness, although they lack the powers necessary to conduct the life in a manner agreeable to God, nevertheless those powers are not lost or destroyed, as far as there is in them vitality and strength to call forth vital acts and motions. Therefore, they pursue another course of life, manifestly different from the former.” Concupiscence is, therefore, predicated along with the want of original righteousness; and the following position is taken as opposed to the Papists: QUEN. (II, 135): “Original Sin, formally considered, consists not in a mere want of rectitude which should exist, or a want of concreated righteousness, but also in a state of illegality, or an approach, contrary to the divine Law, to a forbidden object; which, in one word, is called a depraved concupiscence.” “Original Sin is, therefore, a depravity negative and positive: negative, without the good which should exist; positive, desirous of the evil which should not exist, i.e., concupiscence itself.” The positive depravity is thus more particularly defined. QUEN. (II, 136): “Original Sin is called a positive depravity, not accurately and according to philosophical abstraction, according to which every positive entity is a good created by God, but according to the latitude used by theologians, and that (1) denominatively, as far as it includes a subjective positive act; (2) formally, as far as, besides the act in which the privation is inherent, and besides the want of that original righteousness which ought to exist, it involves also an inclination, and a wickedness directly opposite to original righteousness.” The particular parts of Original Sin are then more specifically thus described by BR. (406-408): “In respect of the intellect, Original Sin implies a total want of spiritual light, so that it cannot know God aright, nor perfectly prescribe in what way He should be worshiped, nor embrace with a firm assent the things which have been divinely revealed; at the same time, also, there is a proneness of the intellect to form rash and false judgments concerning spiritual things; even also in those things which lie open to the light of nature, there is a certain impotency in the knowledge of God and the government of life. In respect of the will, Original Sin consists in a want of original holiness, or the ability to love God above all things, to perform what the intellect has dictated aright, and to restrain the appetite in a proper manner; also, on the contrary, in that the will is inclined to sinful acts. In respect of the sensuous appetite, there is a want of the obedience that is due to the higher faculties, and a rushing, as if by some impulse, contrary to them, into those things which are agreeable to the senses, although prohibited by the divine Law; the decision of reason either not having been waited for, or having been rejected.”  CONF. AUG. II. “They teach that, since the fall of Adam, all men who are begotten in the natural way are born with sin (i.e.) without the fear of God, or faith in God, and with concupiscence; and that this disease, or original fault, is truly sin, condemning and causing now, also eternal death to those who are not born again by Baptism and the Holy Spirit.” See AP. CONF. II, 38, 41. FORM. CONC., Sol. Decl. I, 6. “This evil Dr. Luther was accustomed sometimes to call the sin of our nature or person; by which he meant that, although a man should not think, speak, or do any evil (which, indeed, since the fall of our first parents, is impossible for human nature, in this life), nevertheless, the nature and person of man are sinful (i.e.) that they are wholly and completely infected, poisoned, and corrupted before God, by original sin, in their very inmost parts, and the most profound recesses of the heart; and in consequence of this corruption and fall of our first parents, the nature and person of man are accused and condemned by the Law of God, so that we are by nature the children of wrath, the slaves of death and damnation, unless we be liberated from these evils, and be preserved through the benefits which flow from the merits of Christ.” QUEN. (II, 60): “This concupiscence, denoting the propensity to evil which is implanted in the depraved nature, even as it remains in the regenerate, is truly sin, because the definition of sin suits it. Therefore Paul, Rom. 7, calls it sin fourteen times, not by metonymy, that it is only the punishment of the first sin, and the cause of subsequent actual transgression, as the Papists teach, but properly and formally, because it is truly sin, whence also the Apostle names it the law of sin warring against the law of the mind, an evil, a sinning sin.”  BR. (420): “The consequences of Original Sin are various evils: In respect of the soul, a want of freedom of the will in spiritual things, and an infirmity of the will in things natural; actual transgressions, multiplied both in kind and number; a want of grace, and, on the contrary, the anger of God. In respect of the body, diseases and other troubles, with temporal death; finally, also, eternal death or damnation.” It having been urged that Original Sin in itself is not an adequate cause of eternal death, CAL. (XII, 229, sqq.) answers: “That not all infected with Original Sin are condemned, is due not to the fact that original sin is not of itself an adequate or sufficient cause of condemnation, but that by faith some obtain forgiveness, as of actual, so also of Original Sin.” The passage John 3:18 being cited to show that unbelief is the only damning sin, he answers: “Unbelief condemns formally; but sins condemn materially. Unbelief is the cause of our not being freed from the condemnation, from which by faith we can be freed. ** Luther’s marginal gloss on John 15:22 does not teach the contrary. For he says that Original Sin has not been blotted out except by Christ’s acquiring for it expiation through His merit; aye, he adds that original sin even now condemns those who do not believe.” Cf. GERHARD VIII, 26 sqq. Quen. II, 62: “Original Sin is in itself, and of its own nature, deserving of divine wrath and eternal death, although in fact accidentally, viz., through and because of Christ’s merit, apprehended by faith, it does not condemn the regenerate. That is: In itself, it is always a damnable sin, although in the regenerate, it has lost, because of Christ’s merit, the power to damn, Rom. 8:1. Here the Apostle does not say that there is nothing damnable in the regenerate, or those who are in Christ Jesus, but that there is no katakrima, i.e., nothing which would actually bring damnation.”  When it is asserted, concerning Original Sin, that it is inherent naturally, two things are hereby intended: (1) QUEN. (II, 62): “That it is not a mere accident, lightly and externally attached, but internally and intimately inhering, and therefore called, Heb. 12:1, the easily besetting sin (euperistatoß); that it is an accident connate (sunemfutoß) and natural; that although it does not arise from the nature as such, yet it is produced together with it, or is connate with it; that it is not any temporary and transient accident, but is fixed and permanent.” In order to keep aloof from such a view (the Pelagian), the Dogmaticians express themselves in forcible language concerning human depravity. Thus CHMN. (Doc. Th., I. 259): “There are not a few who so extenuate Original Sin, that they pretend that it is a corruption of certain accidents only, and that the substance itself of man, and especially of the soul, exists after the Fall, and remains upright, uninjured, and pure: so that this quasi impediment having been removed, the substance itself of man, after the Fall, and before the renewing of the Spirit, by, in, or of itself, has certain spiritual powers or faculties which it employs of itself to begin to complete spiritual actions. . . . The true and constant sentiment of the Church must be opposed to, clearly explained and keenly defended against, these philosophical and Pelagian vagaries, . . . viz., that the nature or substance in man, since the Fall and before regeneration, is by no means upright, pure, or sound; but that the very nature or substance of man, and especially of the human soul, is truly corrupt, vitiated, and depraved, and that not lightly or only superficially, or even in some part only; but that the whole mass (if I may so speak) of the substance, or of the human nature, and especially of the soul, is corrupted and vitiated with the deepest and extreme depravity. . . . This corruption or depravity is nothing abstract, nor an idea outside of the substance or nature of man, but is inherent in our very nature or substance, and like a spiritual poison has infected, pervaded, and diffused itself far and wide throughout all the members of our whole substance or human nature.” The position of Flacius, viz., “That Original Sin is the very substance itself of man or the human soul,” arose from a misapprehension or an overstraining of these views. Therefore the expression, “inherent in our nature,” signifies — (2) QUEN. (II, 62): “That Original Sin is not the very substance of man . . . but that which inheres in it after the manner of an accident; for it is distinguished in the Scriptures, Rom. 7:20, from the essence itself of man, and is called indwelling sin; now, as an inhabitant or guest is not the same as the house, so neither is sin the same as man.” FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec. 1:33): “Although Original Sin has infected and corrupted the whole nature of man, like some spiritual poison and horrible leprosy, so that now, in our corrupt nature, these two, viz., Nature alone and Original Sin alone, cannot be distinctly pointed out to view; yet the corrupt nature or the substance of corrupt man, body and soul, or man himself created by God, in whom original sin dwells (by reason of which the nature, substance, and indeed the whole man is corrupted), and original sin itself, which dwells in the nature or essence of man and corrupts it, are not one and the same. . . . The distinction, therefore, between our nature, as it was created by God and is preserved to this day, in which Original Sin dwells, and Original Sin, which dwells in our nature, must be retained.” And this is the reason why Original Sin is called accidental. FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec. I, 57): “Since therefore, this is an unchangeable truth, that whatever is, is either a substance or an accident, namely, either something subsisting by itself, or something elsewhere derived and adhering in a substance, . . . we must assuredly admit . . . that sin is not a substance, but an accident.” To this the FORM. adds (I, 60): “When it is inquired what kind of an accident Original Sin is, that is another question. No philosopher, no papist, no sophist, yea, no human reason, can exhibit a true solution of this question; its explication is to be sought from the Holy Scriptures alone.” The expressions which have been employed by CHMN. are sustained by the following distinction (Sol. Dec. I, 51): “In order to avoid logomachies, terms of an equivocal signification should be carefully and clearly explained. When, e.g., it is said: ‘God creates the nature of man,’ by the term, nature, the very substance, body and soul is meant. But often a property or condition of anything (whether it be taken in good part or bad) is called the nature of that thing; as when it is said, it is the nature of the serpent to strike and to infect with poison (here not the substance, but the badness of the serpent is expressed); in this sense Dr. Luther uses the term nature, when he says that ‘sin and to sin is the nature of corrupt man.’”  FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec. I, 7): “And at the present time, even in this corruption of nature, God does not create sin in us, but, together with the nature which God creates and effects in men, original sin is propagated by natural generation, by seed corrupted by sin, from father and mother.” Here the question naturally presents itself, in what manner this corrupt nature perpetuates itself, and “Whether the soul is propagated by traduction (ex traduce), i.e., whether, as in natural generation, the flesh of the offspring is substantially transmitted from the seed of the parent, the soul of the child is, in like manner, also transmitted from the soul of the parent?” On this subject CHMN. (Loc. Th. I, 236) says: “Luther, in his discussions, concludes that he wishes to affirm nothing publicly concerning that question, but that he privately held the opinion of traduction. It is sufficient for us to know concerning the efficient cause, that our first parents by their Fall merited that, such as they were after the Fall, both in body and mind, such also all their posterity should be procreated. But how the soul contracts that sin we need not know, since the Holy Spirit has not been pleased to disclose this in certain and clear Scripture testimonies.” HUTT. also (328) says: “In consequence of this disagreement among the Dogmaticians, it has come to pass, even in our day, that there are not wanting theologians even of the highest rank who, in regard to this very question, would rather keep silent altogether (epecein) than to assert anything positively either within or beyond the express authority of Scripture.” But he adds, also: “If any of our brethren should ask which opinion we think most accordant with truth, we fearlessly answer that we precisely accord with the opinion of Luther, and hold it to be consonant with Scripture, namely, that the human soul is propagated by traduction; so that, just as everything else produces its like, a lion begetting a lion, a horse begetting a horse, so also man begets man, and not alone the flesh, or the body, but also the soul is propagated essentially from its parents.” (319). . . . QUEN. (II, 62): “As the soul was the first to exhibit sin (prwton deiktikon), so original sin itself, through the medium of the soul, in which it most deeply inheres, is propagated per traducem.” (For a fuller discussion of this subject see § 20, Note 8.) [HUTT. (329) further shows that as soon as the opinion of a new creation of souls is admitted, one of three things follows, viz., either that the soul, as immediately created by God, is free from sin, or that it is polluted by sin, or that it is defiled by union with the body. But if God creates it sinful, or unites it with a body where the inevitable consequence is that it contracts sin, He becomes the author of sin. On the other hand, the entrance of the soul into the world in a state of integrity is contradicted by the express testimony of Scripture concerning natural depravity.]  It is more specifically described as follows. QUEN. (II, 62): “In Original Sin there are four things worthy of attention, to each of which a certain limit of duration has been prefixed. (1) An inflammable material (fomes, tinder) habitually inhering, or a root. (2) The sense of this tendency or root. (3) The dominion of it; and, finally, (4) Guilt. The last is removed in regeneration and justification; dominion in sanctification (not at once, but gradually and successively, because sanctification is not complete in this life); the sense of it is removed in death; the material itself, not in the incineration (since not the body, but the soul, is the first and immediate subject of sin), but in the dissolution of the soul and body.” AP. CONF. (II, 35): “Luther always wrote that Baptism removes the guilt of Original Sin, although the material of sin, as they call it, viz., concupiscence, remains. He added, also, concerning its material character, that the Holy Spirit, being given in Baptism, begins to mortify the propensity to sin, and creates new motions in man. Augustine also speaks in the same manner, and says that sin is remitted in Baptism, not that it may not exist, but that it may not be imputed. He openly confesses that it exists, that is, that sin remains, although it is not imputed.” [On the other hand, the Council of Trent maintained that concupiscence, in the regenerate, is not properly sin. CHEMNITZ answers (Ex. Conc. Trid., Pr. Ed., 108): “It is not a good thing, as Paul shows in Rom. 7, in many words. Nor is it an adiaphoron, or indifferent matter, Rom. 7:21. It is certain, therefore, that it is an evil. . . . This original concupiscence is forgiven, weakened and diminished in Baptism: yet not so as to be suddenly removed and altogether extinguished, as no longer to exist; for as long as the regenerate live here there must be a law of sin in their members. But the remaining concupiscence does not hinder them from pleasing God, and being heirs of everlasting life. Nevertheless this is not because this concupiscence in the regenerate has been rendered holy or indifferent by means of Baptism. But it is of God’s grace, that such an evil dwelling in the flesh of the regenerate is, for Christ’s sake, not imputed to them for condemnation.”]
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