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do, because he went to the Fa- the gospel in those extraordinary ther. Those greater works were powers, which were communispeaking with tongues, inter- cated after Christ's ascension, preting of tongues, prophesying and which were eminently called and discerning of spirits. In re- the gifts of the Holy Ghost. spect of these it was said, before The Pharisees, when they Christ's ascension, “ The Holy imputed to Christ a confederacy Ghost was not yet given, because with devils, spake against the that Jesus was not yet glorified.” Son of Man ; but not against the St. John says, there are three · Holy Ghost; for, in the sense that bear witness on earth, the intended by our Saviour, "the Spirit, tbe water and the blood. Holy Ghost was not yet given ;" And there are three that bear re- but was to be given after he went cord in heaven, the Father, the to the Father. Word, and the Holy Ghost. He As the fullest evidence had not here makes a distinction between yet been given of the truth of the miracles performed while the gospel, so there was hope, Christ was on earth; and the that many might be, and it was gifts bestowed after his ascension a fact, that many were brought to heaven ; the former he calls to the faith after Christ's ascenthe witness of the Spirit ; the sion, who had been unbelievers latter the testimony of the Holy before. For after he went to the Ghost. The agent is the same, Father, greater works were done, but the operations are different. than had been done, while he. In relation to works performed abode on earth. And from the by the apostles on others, the di- perverseness which the Pharivine agent is simply called the sees discovered in imputing his Spirit; in relation to internal works to an infernal power, he gifts and endowments he is called took occasion to warn them of ihe Holy Ghost. Those external the fatal consequence of blasmiracles were a strong evidence; pheming that greater evidence, but these internal gifts were to which would afterward be given those who possessed them, and of the truth, when he should even to those who saw the effects send down the Holy Ghost in of them, a much stronger evi. spiritual gifts. dence of the truth of the gospel. This sin, though it begins in These supernatural gifts were impiety and perverseness of not confined to saints, but often heart, is not completed without vouchsafed to ungodly men. words. It is called blaspheming, Some who prophesied in Christ's and speçking a word against the name, were workers of iniquity. Holy Ghost. Simon the magiSome, who had all knowledge, cian had vile conceptions of the and even faith to remove moun- Holy Ghost ; but the apostle extains, and who could speak with horts him to repent and pray the tongue of angels, had not God, if perhaps the thought of cbarity.
his heart might be forgiven him. By speaking against the Holy They who practise the works, Ghost is intended speaking and indulge the lusts of the flesh, against this last and highest dem. defile the temple of the Holy onstration given to the truth of Ghost ; but such are advised to
repent of the uncleanness and ent day? I answer, it cannot be lasciviousness, which they have committed under all the same committed. The full com- circumstances, which migbt have pletion of the sin unto death lies attended it in the apostles' days. in impious and blasphemous But certainly even now, there words spoken or written.
may be such a case, as a man's The true reason why this sin resisting and rejecting the highis irremissible, is because they, est means, the clearest evidence, who are guilty of it, are incapable and the strongest influence that of repentance. They have re- God will afford for his convicceived all the light, and enjoyed tion. There are those who reall the advantages, which God ject the counsel of God against sees fit to afford them. They themselves, and who rebel and have seen the fullest evidence of vex the Holy Spirit, until God is the truth. They have felt some turned to be their enemy, takes internal convictions of the weight his Spirit from them, and gives and power of this evidence. If them over to a reprobate mind. after all this, they not only reject And if I should see a man, who the gospel, but impiously and had been well instructed in the maliciously revile and blaspheme doctrines of the gospel, who in it, what more can be done for the former part of his life had them? What farther means can appeared to be impressed with a be used with thein ? They have sacred reverence for them, and sinned wilfully after they have who had openly professed his received the knowledge of the faith in them, if I should see truth, and there remaineth no this man boldly disavow all remore sacrifice for sin ; but a gard to religion, mock at spiritfearful looking for of judgment. ual things, treat the scriptures Of such the apostle speaks, when and all divine ordinances with
“ It is impossible for contempt, give himself to prothose, who were once enlight, faneness, and use all his inened, and have tasted of the fluence to corrupt the principles, heavenly gift, and were made and vitiate the morals of others, partakers of the Holy Ghost, and I should conclude, that, if he have tasted the good word of had not actually committed the God, and the powers of the sin under consideration, yet he world to come, if they shall fall had made awful approaches toaway, to be renewed again to ward it. repentance, seeing they crucify to From the account, which themselves afresh the Son of God, we have given of the sin unand put him to an open shame.” to death, it appears, that none
This sin then consists in re- are to conclude themselves guiljecting and blaspheming the ty of it, while they retain a belief highest evidence which God will of the gospel, and feel a disposigive, and the last and most tion in favour of it; or while powerful means, which he will they are exercised with a sensiuse for the conviction and re- ble conviction of their sins, and covery of sinners.
a strong desire to obtain an interIf it be asked, whether any can est in the grace of God. be guilty of this sin in the pres- It appears also, that those
doubts, which people may some- and which fill them with fearful times feel concerning particular apprehensions of unpardonable doctrines of the gospel, or the guilt, may be their infirmities, gospel itself, partake not of the rather than real sins. The abnature of this sin ; for doubts, borrence, which accompanies which are afflicting while they them, shews them to be involunexist, and are usually removed tary. by humble inquiry, are very dif- But then, as there is a sin unto ferent from that perverse and death, every one should be malicious temper, which spurns afraid of the least approximation and blasphemes the gospel. to it. If the sin itself is fatal,
Nor are we to consider every every approach toward it is danrelapse into stupidity after hope- gerous. ful convictions, as amounting to Profane language hardens the this sin ; for there may be such heart, begets, first, an indiffera falling away, where no blas- ence, and then an opposition to phemy is uttered
with the the truth. He, who begins to mouth, or conceived in the heart; indulge it, knows not to what and though such relapses are lengths he may run. dangerous, they are not always Scoffing at religion, and at the fatal.
exemplary piety of those, who Nor is every deliberate sin profess it, is scoffing at the fruits against knowledge, the sin unto of the Spirit, and may lead on to death ; for though deliberation real despite against the Spirit itin the commission of sin aggra. self. vates guilt, it does not exclude the He, who wilfully suppresses possibility of repentance and the the convictions awakened in his hope of pardon. David and Pe- conscience, and deliberately vioter sinned presumptuously, but lates the resolutions formed in a they repented and were forgiven. serious hour, opposes, resists and
Nor does a direct opposition grieves that Spirit, which Christ to Christianity, where there has has sent to convince men of sin, not been actual conviction of its and renew them to repentance. truth, implicate men in unpar- Let none dare to make light donable guilt. Paul was a perse- of the holy scriptures. They cutor and blasphemer; was ex- were given by inspiration of the ceedingly mad against the cause Spirit to make men wise to salvaof Christ, and compelled men to tion ; and he, who mocks these, blaspheme it; yet he obtained mocks that Spirit by whose inspimercy, because he did it igno- ration they were given, and that. rantly in unbelief.
salvation of which these are the Least of all are we to suppose, that blasphemous thoughts, hor- Finally. Let every one be rible suggestions, or temptations afraid to continue in sin; for sin to shocking crimes, are the sin, of any kind, persisted in, is unto or any evidence of the sin under death. Considering how short consideration, for the sin is not and uncertain the time of probacompleted in thoughts and sug- tion is, every sinner should be gestions. And those thoughts, afraid to delay his repentance for which people often complain of, a single day. Who would not
be shocked at the thought of work of whose hands the hear. having committed the sin anto ens are, took on him the seed of death, and, fallen under an irre. Abraham, Heb. i. 10, and ii. 16. versible sentence of eternal con- To David it was promised, 2 Sam. demnation ? Let every sinner re- vii. 16, that his house and kingalize, that final impenitence is as dom should be established forevfatal as the blasphemy againster; that his throne should be estabthe Holy Ghost, and that, while lished forever ; and the Lord said, he continues impenitent, he is ev. Ps. Ixxxix. 3, 4.“ I have sworn ery moment in danger of falling unto David my servant, thy seed into as hopeless a state, as if he will I establish forever, and had actually committed the build up thy throne to all gededreadful crime, which, our Sa- rations.” Peter, on the day of viour declares, shall never be Pentecost, speaking of David, forgiven.
THEOPHILUS. says, that being a prophet, and
knowing that God had sworn with an oath, that of the fruit of
his loins according to the flesh he For the Panoplist.
would raise up Christ to sit on his throne, Acts ii. 30. And the
Lord Jesus himself, says, Rev. CHRIST.
xxii. 16, that he is the offspring It is the opinion of some, that of David. Therefore, when the the human nature of Christ was Pharisees said that Christ was formed antecedently to that of the Son of David, the Saviour all other creatures ; that, as man, admits it, and on this ground reathe Lord Jesus had an existence, sons with them, Mat. xxii. 42, not only before men, but before 43. From these passages of angels. That he was indeed a scripture we have evidence, that man, possessed of all the proper- Jesus of Nazareth was the seed ties of innocent human nature, of the woman, the seed of Abrawhen he appeared on earth and ham, the seed, the offspring, the died on the cross, is most clearly Son of David, and the fruit of and fully taught in the word of David: loins according to the God. It was early promised, af- flesh. It must, hence, be maniter the fall of man, that the seed fest, either that the human naof the woman should bruise the ture of Jesus did not pre-exist serpent's head. This seed is his being born of the virgin ; or, universally acknowledged, by that he had nothing more beChristians, to be that Jesus, who longing to him of the characters was conceived in the womb, and and relations of seed, son, offborn of the virgin Mary. It was spring, &c. of the persons, from afterwards promised to Abra- whom it was promised he should ham, Gen. xxii. 18, that in his descend, than simply a human seed all the nations of the earth body. should be blessed : and this seed, If the human nature of Jesus, the apostle tells us, Gal. iji. 16, a nature possessed of all the is Christ. We are, accor
We are, accordingly, moral powers and qualities of told, that he, who laid the foun- holy, innocent man, were the dations of the earth, and the first fruit of the creative power
of God; or, if it pre-existed of either of the above mentioned the creation of man, it seems persons, that, in the opinion of clearly to follow, that this Jesus some, who advocate the doctrine could not be the seed of Abraham, of his pre-existence, God origithe son and offspring of David, nally formed his created nature and the fruit of his loins. This as a pattern after which man was conclusion cannot easily be to be made. What need, by the avoided, if, in the holy scriptures, way, the great God stood in of as well as in common language, such a pattern, it will be difficult seed, son, offspring, &c. import a for us to conceive. But to term human moral being proceeding this pattern, being itself a holy from a man, like unto the father, and absolutely perfect and comand, in existence, posterior to plete human nature in kind; a himn. To quote passages to pattern, which was copied into evince this to be the import of man as originally created on the terms, seed, son, offspring, in earth ; to term this the seed, the the language of scripture, will son, the offspring of persons, who be tedious, and probably, un- existed not till ages after the necessary; as it is apprehended, pattern by which they were no one will deny it. And if this formed, must be such a perverbe the iinport of those terms, sion of terms, as tends to render not only in common language, all language uncertain and uninbut in that of the scriptures; telligible. the man Jesus, on supposition It being implied in Christ's of that pre-existence of which being the son of David, that Dawe are speaking, was no more vid was his father ; on supposithe seed of Abraham, the son, tion of the pre-existence under the offspring of David, than Noah consideration, we here see a son, was ; or, even Adam himself. who not only existed before his Not one of the properties of father, and even before the heaseed, sonship, or offspring, in vens and the earth were made ; relation to, either Abraham or but a son, who himself was the David, are to be found in the man pattern after which his father Jesus : Nor do either Abraham was made, and who was in union or David bear the relation of with the second person in the father to him, any more than to Trinity in creating his father. the first human pair. We see It seems, thus, to appear, that no more propriety in terming Christ's being the seed of Abraany created being or nature, who ham, the son of David, &c. is inhad existence before the world compatible with the idea, that his was, the seed of Abraham, the son
human nature pre-existed his and offspring of David, than in appearing in flesh. applying the same terms 10 the Should it be said, in reply to first man created on earth, in re- these observations, that the hulation to these eminent patri- man body of Jesus was formed archs.
of the virgin, conceived in her According to the sentiment womb and born of her; and, we are examining, Jesus was, that this is a sufficient ground not only so far from being the for his being termed the seed of seed, the son, and the offspring Abraham, and the son of David ;