A treatise of original sin ... proving that it is, by pregnant texts of Scripture vindicated from false glosses
Burgess, Anthony, d. 1664.


A Clear and full knowledge of original sinne can be obtained onely by Scripture light; Although (as you heard) some Heathens have had a confused apprehension about it. My work at this time shall be, to shew, That even Reason, where once enlightned by the Scripture, may be very powerfull to convince us of this natural pollution. So that when Scripture, Reason and Experience shall come in to confirm this Truth, we may then say, there needeth no further disqui∣sition in this point. And

First, This may abundantly convince us, That the hearts of men are naturally evil, Because of the overflowing of all wickednesse in all ages over the whole world; How could such weeds, such bryers and thorns grow up every where, were not the soil bad? It's true, in some ages some kind of sinnes have abound∣ed more than others, and so in some places. But there was never any generation, wherein impiety did not cover the earth, as the waters do the Sea: Insomuch that if we should with zeal undertake to reprove them according to their desert, Non tam irascendum quàm insaniendum est, as Seneca of the vices of his time. Erasmus in his Epistle to Othusius complaineth,

That since Christ's time, there was not a more wicked age then that he lived in; Christ (saith he) crieth, I have overcome the world, but the world seemeth, as if it would say shortly: I have overcome Christ, because of the wickedness abounding, and that among those who profess themselves the salt and light of the world.
Now how were it possible, that the whole world should thus lie in wickedness, 1 Joh. 5. 19 as the Apostle affirmeth, but that all mankind by nature is like so many Serpents and Toads, of which there is none without poison? If this wickedness did abound only in some places, we might blame the Clymate, the Countrey, or their Edu∣cation, but it is in all places under the Equator, as well as the Tropick; in all ages, former times as well as later have been all groaning under ungodliness, and whereas you might say, The world is in its old age now, and the continual habi∣tuated customary wayes of wickedness have made us drink the dregs of impiety, yet the Scripture telleth us, That not long after the Creation of the world, when we might judge greater innocency and freedom from sinne to have been every where, yet then all flesh had corrupted their wayes, Gen. 6. 12. which provoked God to bring that wonderfull and extraordinary judgement of drowning it with water, as if it were become like a noisom dunghill that was to be cleansed. And lest you should think this was only because of their actual impieties, we see God Page  173 himself, charging it upon this, because the imaginations of a mans heart were only evil, and that from his youth up: So that there is no man who considers the wayes and manners of all the inhabitants of the world, but must conclude, had there not been poisonous fountains within, there had never been such poisoned streams. The warres, the rapines, the uncleannesses, and all the horrid trans∣gressions that have filled the earth, as the vermine did Aegypt, do plainly declare, That all men have hearts full of evil; And lest you might think this deluge of im∣piety is only in the Heathenish, Paganish and bruitish part of the world. The Psalmist complaineth of that people, who were the Church of God, and enjoy∣ed the light of the Word, That there was none righteous, that there was none that did good, no not one, Psal. 14. 3. So that as graves and dead mens bones, the Se∣pulchres and monuments every where do fully manifest men are mortal, no lesse do the actual impieries that fill all Cities, Towns and Villages discover, that all are by nature prone to that which is sinfull.