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Religious Thoughts

Writings by George Burgess (1829-1905)

DURATION OF PUNISHMENT

The duration of punishment for sin varies according to the nature and depth of evil in the sin. The smallest, or the greatest, disturbing moment in the material universe will cause a permanent condition that could not exist had that moment not occurred. So – man’s smallest or greatest sin or evil deed will cause an effect in that man’s whole being and existence that could exist if he had not committed the sin. And that effect or punishment will be everlasting. There is no undoing, anywhere, that which has been once done! By other acts we may modify sin’s result, but a sin once committed will remain a Fact, forever. But it does not follow that the sin will cause man everlasting unhappiness, because there is a remedial law and process ever at work in man’s organic nature, and in his spirit-being. Therefore, the mark of a wound is lasting, but the pain or punishment which it caused is gone. And man in his ceaseless existence in this world, and the world to come, will have the purifying remedy in his own being, ever at work, and he will thus grow up away from the pains of his sins. But his punishment will be that his sins as an effect or fact will forever have checked him on his upward way and have left its everlasting mark upon his immortal history. The Mark of the sin will remain, but the punishment which the sin caused will be gone!

God rewards, or punished, all of His great universal Family by the operation of exactly the same eternal laws of Cause and Effects. He does not chasten for revenge, for His punishment, like His blessing, is healing. And as God, by His very Nature, will give His blessings, and administer His gentle and remedial punishment to universal mankind. Therefore His wondrous processes working within men will finally end all their punishment and all their pains in that blessed spirit-land above.

So, we see that the duration of sin’s effects, or punishment, depend upon the degree of evil in the sin - the less the evil, the shorter the punishment, and the greater the evil the longer the punishment, or process of purifying.

Punishment does not belong to a future world anymore than it belongs to this, and not so especially as it belongs to this world. Man’s being and existence is continuous and is not separated by worlds. And man’s punishment, not wholly, but especially, belongs to this world. There is no Day of Judgment ever coming that is not already here, now! The moment a man sins he is punished. The moment the knife enters the flesh the blood runs, he is punished. Man has never yet escaped, he never can escape-instant punishment. Here, and now, is man’s day of judgment. God’s spirit smites his heart, and quenches his joys, until he “learns to do well”. As man is bound to enter the higher world with exactly the same character as he leaves this. Therefore, just but remedial punishment may continue as long as necessary, and will then cease forever.

Man, as a spirit-being, will row in perfection with more ease, in his Spirit-Home than in his earth-home. Therefore, although the effects of sins in this world may attend him in the Spirit-land for a time, his remorse will be less bitter there than on Earth. And free from Earth’s irritations and affairs, and its wants, and surrounded with the uplifting spirit-influences for a better country, then at the exact due time, in harmony with God’s universal processes of CAUSE and EFFECT mankind shall rise above all their sins, and all their sorrows, and receive a full salvation from their Father, and their God!

George Burgess – June 1899


THE DURATION OF GOOD REWARDS

The reward for Good is immediate, continuous and endless. This is different to the reward for Evil. Evil, not as an act, but as an influence diminishes, and finally dies. It is this difference between the principles and influences of Good and Evil that allows man to be an endlessly progressive being. Man’s very nature is to strive to forget his evil deeds, but he never strives to forget his Good deeds. If man should never forget his evil deeds he could never go on towards perfection! And if he should ever forget his Good deeds he could never become perfect, as his Father in Heaven is perfect. For the forgetting of evil deeds will reward and enlarge man’s higher nature, and give birth to still more nobler good deeds. Death – claims Evil. Death is its wages. Life – claims Good life, Eternal life.

During man’s continuous existence in this world, and the world to come, his evil will be finally rewarded with its own natural death. But life, and good, can never die. Therefore its rewards are everlasting “and fadeth not away”.

George Burgess – June 1899

MENU - Religious Thoughts by George Burgess
January 1899 REWARDS & PUNISHMENT
February 1899 JESUS
February 1899 THE DEATH OF JESUS
February 1899 DID JESUS DIE INSTEAD OF MANKIND?
March 1899 SACREFICE
April 1899 A FUTURE LIFE
April 1899 THE CONDITIONS OF THE FUTURE LIFE
May 1899 SHALL WE HAVE FOODS IN THE SPIRIT-WORLD?
June 1899 CONVICTION
June 1899 REPENTANCE
June 1899 FORGIVENESS
June 1899 DURATION OF PUNISHMENT
June 1899 THE DURATION OF GOOD REWARDS
June 1899 SOME THINGS I BELIEVE
July 1899 UNIVERSAL SALVATION
July 1899 GOD
July 1899 SIN
August 1899 BODILY - LIFE & DEATH
August 1899 CONVERSION
August 1899 PRAYER TO GOD
  WHAT PRAYER CANNOT DO
  WHAT PRAYER CAN DO
  PRAYER IS REASONABLE
  PERSONAL PRAYER
  PRAYER THAT CANNOT PREVAIL
  PREVAILING PRAYER
March 1900 HAPPINESS
June 1900 THE PARENTAGE OF JESUS
January 1901 MIRACLES
February 1901 RESURRECTION