Consequences of the Original Sin

Cardinal Manning explains: “Man, as God made him, had three perfections. First, he was perfect in body and soul. Secondly, he had the higher perfection of the Holy Spirit dwelling in his heart, whereby his soul was ordered and sanctified, and the passions were held in perfect subjection to the reason and the will. Thirdly, he had a perfection arising from that higher perfection, namely, immortality in the body and perfect integrity in the soul. So that he had these three perfections: a natural perfection in body and soul, a supernatural perfection by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and a preternatural perfection of immortality; and all these by one act of disobedience he lost.”

“When he sinned, the spirit of God departed from him, his soul died because it was separated from God, his immortality was forfeited, the integrity or harmony of the soul was lost likewise, the passions rebelled, the will was weakened, the intellect became confused, and the nature of man was deprived of its supernatural perfection and of all that follows from it. This is the meaning of the words, ‘In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt die the death.’ It was spiritual and temporal death, followed, except on repentance, by eternal death hereafter.”

“We see, then, the meaning of original sin in us. It is that we, being born of that forefather, are born disinherited of these three perfections which we lost in him by his disobedience. We are born into this world without the Spirit of God; we receive it in our baptism, which is our second birth. By our first birth ‘that which is born of the flesh is flesh.’ We have the three ‘wounds,’ as they are called, of Adam,—ignorance in the intellect, weakness in the will, and turbulence in the passions. This is the state in which we are born into this world, and therefore we are spiritually dead before God. I see in this, as I said before, nothing but Divine wisdom.”

Quotations from Henry Edward Manning, Sin and Its Consequences, 2d ed. (London: Burns and Oates, 1874).

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