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scribe the clause differently, it shall not be forgiven him neither in this age, neither in the age to come, importing that no expiation was provided for the blasphemer of the spirit, either under the Jewish or Christian dispensations.” What then was the unpardonable nature of the sin of blasphemy during the period called 66 this world,” which we have seen means the Jewish age or dispensation? It is well known, that to the blasphemer under the law, no pardon was granted ; no sacrifice could expiate his crime; he must suffer death. Permit me now to ask, was the punishment of such persons unpardonable in any other sense than that they suffered temporal death? Even the blasphemer of the God of Israel, his blasphemy is not mentioned as unpardonable, so as to affect his future endless happiness. No one surely will contend, that to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, was a greater crime; for allowing the Spirit to be the third person in the Godhead, he is not greater than the God of Israel. How then do we understand this blasphemy to be a sin, which, when committed, the person's case is past all remedy? But other sins besides blasphemy were unpardonable under the Mosaic dispensation. The sin of Moses and Aaron at Meribah was so, and was punished with death in the wilderness. The sin of Eli's house could not be purged with sac, rifice nor burnt offering forever. Murder was also unpardonable. They were to take the murderer from God's altar and put him to death. As “the world to come,” then refers to the age of the Messiah, this sin is to be unpardonable, and unpardonable in the same sense as it was during the Jewish age called "this world." Its unpardonable nature we think must be understood in the same sense. If the sense in which it was unpardonable during the Jewish age, was, that the person must suffer temporal death for it, the same must be its sense under the age

of the Messiah. It is generally admitted, that temporal death was the punishment of crimes under the old dispensation, and that temporal death was inflicted for crimes under the new, no one will dispute ; for Annanias and his wise, persons in the church at Corinth, are noted examples; and John speaks of a sin unto death, for which even Christians were not to pray, 1 Jobn 5: 16, 17.

Stating then this sin at its utmost extent, persons were to suffer death for it, as was inflicted on the blasphemer of the God of Israel. What, some may say, do men suffer death for this sin in our day? I answer no, and for a very good reason, because it is impossible in the nature of the case to commit it in the present day. Is it asked why? I answer, because miracles must be seen performed by the person, and he must resist their evidence, and ascribe their

performance to an unclean spirit, before he can commit this sin. It could only then be committed by persons under the ministry of our Lord and his disciples, who wrought miracles. Did men now see these miracles, as the persons did whom our Lord addressed, it could be committed, but unless the age of miracles return, it is impossible. The miracles wrought by our Lord and his apostles before the Jews, was the highest degree of evidence which could be given them that he was the true Messiah. Resisting and blaspheming them, rendered their case hopeless, for no further evidence could be given them to convince them. But it may be said, Did the unbelieving Jews suffer temporal death for this crime? They could not be put to death for it by the Mosaic law, for they did not believe they had in this case blasphemed. Besides, the execution of this law was in their own hands. But death was inflicted on that evil generation of Jews, for upon them came all the righteous blood shed upon the earth. Not believing in Jesus,

they died in, or rather by their sins, for the wrath of God came on them to the uttermost.

If the views which have been stated of the sin of blasphemy, and its punishment, be correct, it fully accounts for one remarkable fact, which is not easily accounted for on the common views entertained of it. How is it accounted for, that our Lord nor his apostles, ever made any exceptions of such persons, in preaching forgiveness of sins either to Jews or Gentiles? Our Lord commanded his apostles to begin at Jerusalem, but gives no directions to them to except a single individual whom they might address. John prohibits Christians from praying for one of their brethren, who had sinned a sin unto death, but not a hint is dropped, prohibiting forgiveness of sins to be preached to any who had blasphemed against the Holy Spirit. On my views of this sin, this is all as it ought to be, and as might be expected. But can it ever be reconciled with the common opinion, that those who sinned this sin placed themselves without the boundaries of God's mercy ? Either they believed that none had committed it, or they believed that it did not except the persons, any more than others, from having repentance and forgiveness of sins preached unto them. Had they believed such persons as exceptions from the mercy of God, would they not have said something similar to John-there is a sin unto death, the sin against the Holy Spirit, which is utterly unpardonable. All you who have committed it, your situation is past remedy. We can neither pray for you, nor preach to you forgiveness of sins. But we search in vain for any thing like this in all the inspired writings. The only thing like it is Johu's prohibition to Christians not to pray for a brother who had sinned a sin unto death. But no one understands this as affecting the eternal con

dition of the individual, but the punishment of tem-poral death.

But it may be said—“ Plausible as all this appears, it ought to be recollected, that it is not only said such persons hath never forgiveness, but it is also added, that they are in danger of eternal damnation.'" I have not forgotten this, and shall now give it all due attention.

The Greek phrase for "eternal damnation” is aioniou kriseos. I do not stop to remark, but simply notice, that the persons are only said to be in danger of this; whereas people now a days speak with positive certainty, both as to this, and Judas' being in hell. The word here rendered damnation, simply means punishment. It is so rendered in other

passages. See Dr. Campbell's note on Mark 12: 40. where he shows this. The words damned and damnation, lead persons' minds into a future state for this punishment. This is a very false idea, and ought to be corrected; for the word damnation is used in the common version where they will allow it has notbing to do with a future state. See Rom. 13: 2. and other places. We are aware it will be said, the word eternal joined here with damnation, shows that the punishment is in a future state, and of endless duration. It is then allowed that the whole depends on the word eternal. Indeed, I presume it is this word joined with damnation which leads most people to conclude that it is of endless duration. Would they have ever believed this doctrine had this not been the case? Let it then be noticed,

1st. That our Lord in the above passages was addressing Jews. They were the persons twho committed this unpardonable sin, if ever it was committed. They had the occasion presented to them for its commission, as they chiefly enjoyed the ministry and miracles both of Christ and his apostles. Not a

hint is dropped that any of the Gentiles ever committed this sin.

2d. Being Jews, they were familiar with the use of olim in the Old, and aion in the New Testament. And it has been seen, that olim, in their Scriptures, is applied very often to things which were to end, and wbich have already ended. The person who would therefore understand this text and others in the New Testament, must consider how this language was understood among the Jews, and not how Christians now understand it.

3d. The Jews could not help seeing, that in their Scriptures, olim, rendered everlasting, was applied to a temporal punishment threatened them as a nation. This we have shown, and this we shall show hereafter on several texts yet to be considered. See on Matth. 25: and 2 Thess. 1: 5-10. Now permit me to ask, Did any. Jew, or did any one else ever conclude that the word olim described a never ending punishment either in this or a future world? As this will not be affirmed, permit me to ask, By what fair rule of interpretation do we then interpret eternal damnation or punishment in this passage, to mean endless punishment in a future state? As our Lord was speaking to Jews, is it not more Scriptural and natural to understand him as using this expression in agreement with the language of their sacred books, than in the sense Christians interpret it? In what other sense could our Lord use it, or in what other sense could Jews understand such language, but in the way it had been used by the preceding Scripture writers? But this will appear conclusive by considering,

4th. That in no part of the Old Testament, is olim ever used and applied to a punishment after death. This we think a fact, which will not easily be shown to be false. The reader has had all the texts where the word is used in the Old Testament laid before

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