American Egyptomania Search

Adamites and Preadamites: or, A Popular Discussion Concerning the Remote Representatives of the Human Species and their Relation to the Biblical Adam

Syracuse, N.Y.: John T. Roberts, 1878

Browse scholarship by topic:

Art & Architecture


meaning of Genesis. It was, therefore, only on biblical grounds that Peyrerius based the new doctrine of Pre-Adamites. St. Paul was held to teach the existence of men before Adam, in the 12th, 13th and 14th verses of the 5th chapter of his epistle to the Romans, (" Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world," etc )

Now it is no part of my purpose to exhibit the scriptural argument on one side or the other. Many of my readers can do that better than I. My purpose is to bring forward certain scientific facts having a bearing on that question, and to leave exegesis to summon these important facts legitimately to its aid. But the writings of Peyrerius possess, in the present status of science, an extraordinary interest. He was the first to promulgate to the world the idea of Pre-Adamites. The first enunciator of the idea was prompted only by biblical considerations, and he has given at least an outline of the scriptural argument in support of the hypothesis. Few of my readers intelligently interested in a question deemed by some so fundamental in a theological system have access to the original work; and still fewer would have the patience to decipher, as I have done, the quaint old Latin text. I assume, then, that they will consider it a favor to be put in possession of the learned Dutchman's " points." They are as follows:

1. The " one man " (Romans v. 12,) by whom " sin entered into the world " was Adam ; for, in v. 14, that sin is called " Adam's transgression "; therefore " the law " (v. 13) signifies the law given to Adam—natural law, not that given to Moses. 3. The phrase " until the law " (v. 13) implies a time before the law—that is, be-fore Adam ; and, as " sin was in the world " during that time, there must have been men in existence to commit sin. 4. The sin committed before the enactment of the natural law was "material," " actual ; " the sin existing after Adam, and through him, was "imputed," "formal," "legal," "adventitious " and "after the similitude of Adam's transgression." 5. Death entered into the world before Adam; but it was because of the imputation "back-wards" of Adam's prospective sin; and this was necessary, that all men might partake of the salvation provided in Christ. Nev-ertheless, death before Adam did not "reign." Death was robbed

Page 5