Writings by George Burgess (1829-1905)
The unchangeable and Natural principle which ever Rules, concerning Right and Wrong in Human Existence – explains Sin to be anything that is a wrong to others, or to ourselves. And the whole of Scripture agrees with this Natural explanation.
Sin – against our Bodily, Mental, Moral, or Spiritual nature injures the whole being. Like the mechanism of an engine – all parts are closely related – all parts are affected.
Sin- against ourselves – by a natural law – is bound to affect others “For none of us – liveth to himself”. The least taint soon affects the whole lump.
The caries forms of sin are numberless. But the spirit, of the Ten Commandments will stand good forever. Many Sins have a distinct Name: -
Lying; Slander; Stealing; Killing, with evil intent; Needless War: Needless Anger; Covetousness: Adultery: Sexual Excess; Law Breaking; Falseness; Dishonesty; “Setting light by Father or Mother”; Neglecting Children’s Welfare; Neglect of Health; Neglect of complete Personal Improvement; Spiritual Neglect; Ministering to immoderate Appetites; Disobeying civilising social laws, & Co.; Slothfulness; Selfish Pride; Neglect of the Brotherly, Sisterly and fraternal spirit; Neglect of the Benevolent, humane spirit; Ordinary mistakes, either ignorant, or thoughtless; Disobeying, and omitting to obey the God given natural laws of our whole being.
Man sins nearly as often by leaving undone what he ought to do as by doing what he ought not to do. And all the above named evils, and all others unmentioned, belong to the common sins of human life, and each one brings its certain immediate, and sometimes its long, continuous punishment, or unpleasant results – exactly according to the degree of Evil in the Act, or in the omission of the Duty.
Like virtues, so sins generate after their kind. One lie begets two, and two four, and four forty. Lies bread very quickly. Sins, which arise from excess of Pride, Temper, the social Affections, or Natural Appetites, may give a small measure of short-lived pleasure – Yet, they bring their due punishment without fail. But they do not lower Human Nature so much as the unnatural sins of Cruelty to our best friends – Stealing, Slander and Lying. These bring no short-lived pleasure, are self-degrading, and therefore are low in nature, and by continuing will reach the very lowest depths of Sin.
The foregoing is a brief explanation of the laws and processes of various forms of sin, and the results exactly according to the philosophy and changeless working of Human Existence, and the teachings of scripture.
Therefore, it is a cleat truth that sin “casts the sinner into prison – and he shall by no means come out thence, till he has paid the uttermost farthing”. And it is seen that sinners have to pay their own debts. No other being ever can, or ever will, pay it for them. There are “no means” provided to “clear the Guilty”. Thus, the universal, and just, principle is carried out, whereby “every man is rewarded according to his works”.
George Burgess – July 1899