E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The old Adam; beat the offending Adam out of thee; the first Adam. Adam, as the head of unredeemed man, stands for original sin, or man without regenerating grace.
The second Adam; the new Adam, etc.; I will give you the new Adam. Jesus Christ, as the convenant head, is so called; also the new birth unto righteousness.
When Adam delved and Eve span. Au temps passé, Berthe filait. This Bertha was the wife of King Pepin.
When Adam delved and Eve span,
Who was then the gentleman?
Adam. A sergeant, bailiff, or any one clad in buff, or a skin-coat, like Adam.
Not that Adam that kept Paradise, but that Adam that keeps the prison.Shakespeare: Comedy of Errors, iv. 3.
A faithful Adam. A faithful old servant. The character is taken from Shakespeares comedy of As You Like It, where a retainer of that name, who had served the family sixty-three years, offers to accompany Orlando in his flight, and to share with him his thrifty savings of 500 crowns.