Writings by George Burgess (1829-1905)
Every man is punished for his own sins. There is no escape! The lesser sins bring less punishment than the greater sins. So that the punishment is just, and exact in its kind, and degree. Man is thus rewarded for his good works. This law, as principle of punishment is universal in Human Nature. Man no sooner sins, than his `day of judgment’ and punishment begins, and his sins will continue to affect him, in a lesser or greater degree, as long as he himself continues – in this world – or in any other world! Cause is sure, in its relative effects; in all matter – and in all spirits. Man is, apparently, sometimes punished for his physical sins, and sometimes for the sins of his spirit. But both kinds usually go to together, for the Body only sins at the bidding of the spirit. The Body is the Servant. The Spirit is master! The Spirit is the man!
No act of another can remove the punishment from the sinner. If one should work, and live, and die for the sinner – Yet that one can not save the sinner from his exact kind and degree of punishment. A man dies for his country – but his country is not saved. If we should be executed, instead of the murderer – the ghost of the victim would still ever haunt the murderer, “all the day long”, and keep a glaring, dreadful watch, around his bed by night! The sinner can find no substitutes. He, “will by no means, clear the guilty”. Everyman shall be rewarded according to his works. Whether they be “good, or whether they be bad”. Nations, and communities, and families are punished on the same principle at Individuals – their wickedness, and misery, and ruin, go hand in hand!
Suffering! Suffering and punishment are different. Punishment is always attended by suffering. But suffering is not always attended by punishment. A man suffers because of the guilt of others, without feeling their personal guilt, or their kind of punishment. Man suffers with others through sympathy – and often suffers in striving to work out some good work. The best of men suffer through persecution, and oppression – and many have been heroic unto death! Moses, and Jacob, and Jesus and the apostles, and millions of others over the face of the Globe have exercised this divine sympathy, and borne this sublime suffering. Yet, all this suffering and sacrifice never saved men from their just punishment of sins committed. There is only one way to be saved from punishment – and that is to be saved from sinning. Others can help to save a man from sinning – but in the end he must save himself, and “work out his own salvation”. A few beings may, nearly, escape guilt and its punishment. But no beings escape suffering. Suffering, is the heritage of ALL.
Reward! Every man is rewarded for his good works. No man is wholly evil, nor wholly good, and no man is punished for his evil without being rewarded for his good. So that each man is both punished and rewarded, and every being is rewarded according to the exact measure, and nature, as his good. In a greater, or lesser degree, there is a bad, and good, side to every man. And justice – or God – is impartial, and rewards man for both sides – exactly, “according to his works, both good, and bad”. This principle, or law, of rewarding every man can not be removed from any living being. However much evil a man may do – if he should do anything good at all he is rewarded for that good, whether he deserves it or not. The good deed done becomes a Cause – and is certain to produce its natural effect – pleasure – or happiness. This law, that rewards man is never suspended. Man is compelled to “reap what he has sown”. So that no sooner does he begin to live right, and to do good for himself, and for his fellow beings – than his day of Judgment and Reward begins. Therefore, his good works rewarded and bless him at ONCE – and more or less – will go on and bless him forever – in this world – and in “the world to come”.
This theory of exact and impartial rewards to the same individuals – and to all individuals, is proved by the history, facts, and experiences of all mankind, ever since the human race has existed. No other being, ever has, or ever will, remove from any man’s Body or Spirit, the punishment for his wickedness; and the reward for his goodness, either in this world, or any other world.
George Burgess – January 1899
Also see the Scriptural Passages searched out by George Burgess in 1868 for reference material in his two books on Phrenology published sometime after 1871.