« PreviousContinue »
thing by his almighty power and wisdom, and who is the only object of worship. The Hebrews generally give to God the name Jehovah. He who exists of himself, and gives being and existence to others; this is a name ineffable and mysterious, which denotes the eternity, immutability and independency of God, and the infallible certainty of his word and promises. The import of this name is opened and predicated of Christ. The devout Hebrews had such a veneration for this holy name, that they never pronounced it, but instead of it made use of that, of Adonai, which properly signifies my Lords in the plural number; and of Elohi, Eloi or Elohim, They Likewise call him El, which signifies strong, or Shaddai, whereby may be designed one who is self sufficient, or Elion, the Most High, or Elsabaoth, the God of hosts, or Ja, God : this name God, includes the whole trinity. God is a triune Being.”
Thus are we enabled to trace a vestige of that character which none can find out to perfection.
Secondly, What doth this God declare unto us in the passage before us? Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, bui the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. I do not believe what professors in general say of this passage is true, but I know that the words of Jesus Christ are at all times true words. What infinite pains do men take to invalidate the testimony of God, to weaken the authority of divine revelation. This text is supposed to suit those professors of religion, who wish to make an essential distinction between God and Christ. The propensity to multiply gods is in the heart of man very powerful. Yet it is a precious truth that there is but one God, and that this one God is the only wise God, our Saviour. Those who would strip the Redeemer of his Divinity, assay to make Jesus Christ himself of their party, although the weapon by which they would dethrone the God-man ; if they could succeed in their impious purpose, would inflict a deadly wound upon that eternal life of theirs, which is hid with Christ in God; would effectually destroy their hope of immortality ; yet do they labour to establish this falsehood, as if all their hopes of happiness for time and for eternity were based thereon.
Is there any sin which is not against the Holy Ghost ? Read John iv. 24, “God is a spirit : and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.” 2 Corinthians iii. 18, Not
the Lord is that spirit ; if there be a God out of Christ, he may be an implacable enemy, unwilling to forgive. Blessed be God; the scriptures give no record of such a God. We know, and are assured, that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, are no more than different exhibitions of the same self existent, Om. ni potent Being. The gospel was first preached to every creature by the everlasting Father, unto Adam in the garden of Eden, the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head, and after. wards unto Abraham ; in thee, and in thy seed, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. It is confirmed by God, manifestedin the flesh, and by all the teachings of the high Priest of our profession, yea, every act of his glorious life and suffering death serve to confirm the glad tidings of the gospel. John xii. 50, “And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” This is, my friends, a divine discovery ; read it, I beseech you, again, and again, and if God gives you faith to receive and believe it, you will then experience the teachings of God in his character of Holy Ghost. All sins then, committeil against God, are committed against the Holy Spirit, for God is a spirit, the LORD is that spirit, and who will dare to say, he is not a Holy Spirit.
Thirdly, Why doth the Saviour say, there is a sin which never can be forgiven unto the children of men. I do not believe the Redeemer ever uttered such a sentence to any individual among the race of Adam; nay, in this oft-cited passage, he expressly says, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men. Were there no other sinners, except human sinners, we should lament that there was so much reason to call in question the truth of God, for could this be proved, the language of our text would apparently be a contradiction in terms, all manner of sins and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto men ; but the sin against God hath not forgiveness. This may answer the purpose of those who do not admit the divinity of Jesus Christ. But the divinity of Jesus Christ is a scripture doctrine, and those who would dethrone the Redeemer, must not choose their weapons from the sacred ar. mory: yet notwithstanding the abominable perversion of the sacred writings, which obtains in the world ; it will always be true, that God manifest in the flesh, is God almighty, that there is no other God, that every sin which is committed, is committed against God in his triune character, and that passing by the nature
of angels, he took upon him the seed of Abraham, dwelt on this earth by the name of Jesus Christ, and that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth the nature in which God was manifested from all sin ; let it be constantly remembered that all sins that are committed, are committed against God, the Holy God, the Holy Spirit, and the Lord is that Spirit. But we do not know that this cleansing blood was ever shed for angclic sinners, and as without shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins; as the suffering Saviour when expiring for the sins of lost humanity passed by the nature of Angels; we must leave those offenders to the God who made them, well knowing that secret things belong to God, well knowing that the Judge of all the earth, and of every animated being will do right.
Wherefore, I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him : but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Now, as we have proved from the sacred records, that there is no Holy Ghost except the son of man, and that the Lord is indeed and in truth that spirit, then our inference is demonstrable ; every sin committed against the Holy Spirit, is committed against God, and if the sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven, then no sin can ever be forgiven, and then what becomes of the declaration, all manner of sins and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto men? and how doth the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse from all sin? David saith, against thee only have I sinned ; but those who are taught by God know, they have forgiveness of sin, of all sin by the blood shedding of Jesus Christ, that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and that remission of sins is by divine command preached to every creature ; nor can they believe that the servants of God were commissioned to go forth with a lie in their inouths.
Fourthly and lastly, We believe that the blood of Jesus Christ was not shed for the angelic sinner, we know that this prime angelic sinner is called in the sacred volume, the man who made the world a wilderness; we think that this sinner, and the singers of the angelic nature, are the only sinners that can commit this
unpardonable sin, or unpardonable sins, against the Holy Ghost. Mark the Evangelist seems to have this view of the text, chapter vi. 28, 29, That the Redeemer said, verily, I say unto you, all sins shall be forgiven unto the Sons of men, and blasphemies wherewithsoever they shall blaspeme ; But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.
In this view, there is no contradiction in the divine testimony. All manner of sin and blasphemy is forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is not forgiven unto men, neither indeed can it be committed by men ; if it could, and if it could not be forgiven, then indeed there would be a sin from which the blood of Jesus Christ could not cleanse.* It is remarkable that the words against and Holy, are words supplied by the translator, and they are given in Italicks that there may be no hazard of deception in this particular. A learned Hebrew scholar once informed me, that a literal translation would thus word the passage ; the sin of the Ghost shall not be forgiven, and, he added, that he had seen old translations of the Bible, in which it was absolutely rendered, the sin of the Ghost shall not be forgiven. We do steadfastly believe, that the evil ghost, and the evil ghost only, can commit a sin which cannot be forgiven, and we will strenuously insist, that all manner of sins and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, wherewith they shall blaspheme; that the Lamb of God hath taken away the sin of the world, and that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.
Yet hath this evil ghost rendered many individuals, among the ransomed of the Lord, very unhappy from a fearful apprehension, that they had committed the unpardonable sin, unpardonable sin ! What a sentence to be found upon the lips of the Redeemed, upon the lips of those for whose redemption the
*A respectable and modest Matron, who had recently tasted, that the LORD was gracious, firmly embracing the doctrine of God our Saviour, was followed by a reverend gentleman, who liad long been her spiritual guide with much lamentation. “O Catharine,” he exclamed “how will you support this new and unfounded doctrine, what can you say to the unpardonable sin ” “Only ask you," returned the believer, " What in your opinion is the difference between the unpardonable sin and other sins? The Elect you assure us can never commit an unpardonable sin, and to those who are not ELECTED; every sin is unparılonable.
The Gentleman was a rigid Calviniet.
Lamb of God was slain, which Lamb of God was pledged to take away the sin of the world.
But however strange, it is nevertheless true, and I have known many who have been made compietely wretched in the dread of this sin, in the soul harrowing persuasion, that they either had or should commit this heinous transgression, and in consequence be consigned to never ending misery. I knew a lady, she was a resident in my native Island, who had continued through a series of revolving years, even to extreme old age, a pattern of every excellence which can adorn humanity. Virtue, religion and piety, these seemed natal in her bosom : but alas ! for her, she attend ed an evening lecture, the subject under consideration was the unpardonable sin. She became impressed with an idea, that she had committed this unpardonable sin : no effort could eradicate from her tortured bosom this tremendous impression; she lost her reason, and died a complete maniac.
MATTHEW xiii. 45, 46.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking
goodly pearls, who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
First, What in this passage is intended by the kingdom of heaven? Undoubtedly Christ Jesus. But why so ? Because it pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell, for he hath appointed a day in which he will gather all things into one. A kingdom is a multitude of human beings, congregating together, and submitting to the dominion of one individual selected from the people, and presiding over them. If a nation were ever so numerous, it could not be a kingdom except it were under the government of a king. The scriptures speak of an intellectual kingdom, consisting of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; but I am persuaded, the kingdom here spoken of is the Redeemer himself, and, as usual, I ground my confidence upon the sacred oracles. In Matthew, iii. 2, John Baptist