A treatise of original sin ... proving that it is, by pregnant texts of Scripture vindicated from false glosses
Burgess, Anthony, d. 1664.
¶. 8.
The Rebellion of the Will against the light of the mind, and 〈◊〉 sla∣very of it to the sensitive part in a man.

THirdly, The original pollution of the will is seen in the rebellion of it against the light of the mind, and the slavery of it to the sensitive part in a man, to the carnal and sinfull affections therein: Both which do sadly pro∣claim how the will is by nature out of all holy order, and fallen from its primi∣tive integrity; For in the former respect therefore did God give us reason, that by the light and guidance thereof, the will should proceed to its operations; So that for the will to move it self before it hath direction from the mind, is like the servant that would set upon business before his master commands him, like an un∣natured dog, that runneth before his master do set him on: To will a thing first, and afterwards to exercise the mind about it, is to set the earth where Heaven should be: But oh the unspeakable desolation that is brought upon the soul in this very particular! The will staieth for no guidance, expecteth no direction, but willeth because it will, what is suteable and agreeable to the corrupt nature thereof, that it imbraceth be it never so destructive and damning; God made the mind at first, that it could say like the Centurion, I bid the will go and it goeth; the affections move, and they move; but now the inferior souldier biddeth the Centurion go and he go∣eth; This then is the great condemnation of the will, that though light come in upon it, yet it loveth not the light, but rebelleth against it; and this sinfulness of the will is more palpably discovered under the means of grace, and the light of the Gospel, then under the light of nature meerly, for such are said compara∣tively Page  300 to sit in darkness, and to have no light; The more then the light of the Gospel doth appear, the more any beams of truth do gloriously shine into thy breast, and thou for all this gain-sayest them, livest against them, the more is thy will in a sinne. This then doth greatly aggravate the polluted nature of the will, that it can contradict the powerfull arguments of the soul, when it was made subordinate to knowledge, then to become tyrannical and usurping over it, this argueth the will hath a peculiar infection in it, insomuch that if it had never so much light, yet that would be evil, because it will be evil. I know there are ma∣ny learned men, that say, The will cannot but follow the practical dictate of the understanding; There is (say they) a natural connexion between them, so that if the will at any time offend, it is because the light and conviction of the mind is faint and inefficacious: But this opinion doth greatly retract from the nature of grace, and the nature of our original sinne, from grace, as if that did sanctifie the understanding and affections only, and from original sinne, as if that were not seated in the will, but in the other parts only, whereas the will of a man may be called the throne of wickedness, because from it properly all sinnes have their rise and being; Do we not see this plainly in the Devils, who are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, great∣ly knowing and understanding, yet no Devil is able to will what is good, but willeth to sinne alwayes, and cannot resrain it; How cometh this about? They do not want knowledge, they are not capable of sinnes of ignorance, and yet with what irreconcilable enmity is the Devil set against that which is good, inso∣much that he cannot all the day long, but will those things that are offensive to God. Although they know this is to their eternal torment; By which you see how depraved and poisoned without Christ the will is, though the understanding meet it like an Angel to stop this Balaam in wicked and unjust wayes: Never then plead ignorance, or plead passions, for it is the defect and wickedness of the will that makes thee so vile; But as the will in the upper region (as it were) is so much polluted, so in the lower region also; for if we consider it as bordering upon the affections, there we shall find as horrible a sinne daily committed, as when Gods Law sorbids a woman to fall down before a beast; for when the will, which is in it self a rational appetite, shall make it self like one of the vile affe∣ctions and passions; what is this but a spiritual and unclean lust with a beast; Lay then this more to heart than thou doest; Think how horrid a sight it would be, if thy body should become like a beasts, and thou go on the ground as that doth, what would then become of that Os sublime? And is not this as bad, when thy will is made a vassal to every inordinate affection? Thou willest what thy passions call for, yet thus it is with every one till grace doth elevate the will, and set it in its proper throne.