Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | October 28, 2007

Lord’s Day Quote: Francis Turretin

For the bond between Adam and his posterity is twofold: (1) natural, as he is the father and we are his children; (2) political and forensic, as he was the prince and representative head of the whole human race.  Therefore the foundation of imputation is not only the natural connection which exists between us and Adam (since, in that case, all his sins might be imputed to us), but mainly the moral and federal (in virtue of which God entered into covenant with him as our head).  Hence Adam in that sin not as a private person, but as a public and representative person – representing all his posterity in that action and whose demerit equally pertains to all.

For Adam to be a public and representative person, it was not necessary that that office should be committed to him by us, so that he might act as much in our name as in his own.  It is sufficient that there intervened the most just ordination of God according to which he willed Adam to be the root and head of the whole human race, who therefore not only for himself only but also for his (posterity) should receive or lose the goods…

Many arguements prove this to have been the ordination of God. (1) The covenant made with Adam (discussed before) was not particular with Adam alone, but general and public – entered into with the whole human race (which, accordingly, having been broken by that first parent, involved his whole offspring in the same calamity).  Otherwise God ought to have covenanted with the individuals.  (2) The relation of the divine image and of original righteousness(…); so that Adam here was like a beneficiary who, receiving a gift from his master receives it both for himself and his posterity on this condition – that if he rebels against his master, he does not only for himself but also for his posterity….(3)  The communion of punishments (general as well as special) spreading abroad among his posterity no less than in Adam (which could not justly be inflicted, except on the suppostion of a common law and a common guilt).  For if punishment of the broken covenant is extended to all, the covenant also and the law ought to be extended to all.  (4)  The comparison between Adam and Christ insituted by Paul (Rom 5; 1 Cor 15).  This cannot be sufficiently carried out, except on the supposition of the imputation of sin answering to the imputation of righteousness…. 

Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology Vol I


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