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the world, through the knowledge judgment and fiery indignation, of the Lord and Saviour Jesus which shall devour the adversaries. Christ, may be again entangled 3. Wben the apostle says “Of therein and overcome; turn from how much sorer punishment, supthe holy commandment delivered pose ye, shall he be thought wor. unto them; and so like the dog thy, who hath trodden under foot return to his vomit, and the sow the Son of God—he appeals to that was washed, to her wallowing their own judgment, whether he in the mire, 2 Pet. ii. 19-22. And who sins wilfully against the grace our Lord in the parable of the of the covenant, does not, from sower shews, that men may " re- the higher degree of his guilt, ceive the word with joy, and for a deserve sorer punishment than while believe, who in time of temp- he who presumptuously despised tation fall away.” Luke viii. 13. Moses' law. To give them a deep These and such passages shew, that impression of the more heinous men may not only know the truth, nature of this sin, consequently of but believe and have joy in it, and the justice of its being more se. that it may have a considerable verely punished, he describes its influence on their conduct for a nature and aggravations in the time, and yet, after all, sin wilfully most striking terms. He had said and fall away irrecoverably. in general that it was to "sin wil. · 2. It should be observed, that fully after having received the the apostle is not here speaking of knowledge of the truth ;" and inthe unbelieving Jews who had deed without this knowledge it never been enlightened so as to cannot be committed at all; but profess the faith of Christ; but of here he proceeds to shew them those of them only who had re- directly the nature of it, and received the knowledge of the truth presents him who is guilty of it as and once professed to believe it; - having, xalatainous, trodden under who had seen the miraculous foot the Son of God.” An expresevidence by which it was at first sion which signifies to treat him confirmed as a revelation from with the greatest disdain and COUGod, and had themselves, some of tempt, as men do with the most
them at least, been partakers of the worthless and vilest of things, such "extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, ch. as the filth or mire of the street on vi. 4, 5. and yet, in the face of all which they trample. See Isa. XXVI. that evidence, turned out wilful 6. Mic. vii. 10. Mal. iv. 3. It also apostates, and determined enemies imports their treating him with the to Christ, his cause and people, utmost rage and fury; for when a and so rejected the only effectual man tramples upon another, and sacrifice which God had appointed stamps upon him with his feet, it and accepted; now, for such as is looked upon, as a sign of the thus sin wilfully, we are told, I greatest rage; and in this sense " there remaineth no more sacri- the 'expression is used, Isa. Isill. fice for sins." The only sacrifice 13, 6. Dan. viii. '10.' And this remaining under the gospel is the answers to what he had said before sacrifice of Christ, and as they (of such wilful apostates, " They wilfully despise and renounce the crucify to themselves,” (or in thembenefit of that sacrifice, they have selves, i. e. in the rage and enmity no sacrifice for sin whatever re- of their hearts and blasphemies, maining to them; consequently, “ the Son of God afresh, and put must be destitute of every reason- him to an open shame," ch. vi.O. able and revealed ground of hope, This is their treatment of him and nothing is left them. “But whom they once acknowledged a certain fearful looking for of be the true Messiah, the belove
Son of God, and Saviour of the sanctify himself, as he needed not, world! Surely the punishment of like the legal high-priests, to offer such must be infinitely more severe up sacrifice, first for his own sins, than that which was inflicted on and then for the people's, ch. vii. the despisers of Moses' law. 27. I am therefore of opinion,
4. The “ blood of the cove- that the person who is here said to nant” is the blood of the Son of have been sanctified is not Christ God, called “the blood of the but the apostate; and that this is everlasting covenant," ch. xiii. 20. stated as a most dreadful aggravaIt is Christ's “blood of the new tion of his guilt and ingratitude, covenant, which was shed for that he should count the blood of many for the remission of sins," the covenant wherewith he himself Matt. xxvi. 28. and by which he was sanctified a common or-un. ratified the covenant and sancti. holy thing. fied the people, Heb. xiii. 12. This 5. But it will be asked, In what precious blood of Christ which sense can it be said, that one who hath procured the new covenant turns out an apostate was ever and all its blessings, the apostate sanctified ? In answer to this let it esteems no better than common or be observed, That the scriptures unclean blood, a thing of no more speak of men according to their value, or efficacy, than the blood profession and outward appearof a common malefactor; and to ance. The apostles, in writing to aggravate his guilt it is added, the churches, address them as « wherewith he was sanctified.”— saints, elect, faithful, and sanctiSome have a doubt if these words fied, 1 Cor. i. 2. 1 Pei.i. 2. that belonged originally to the text; being their professed and visible for they are not in the Alexandrian character. When individuals of copy, and Chrysostom omits them; them apostatized from the profesbut as they are to be found in the sion of the faith, it is not attributed greater part of ancient MSS. it to their having never known the would be unsafe to leave them out. gospel, nor experienced any benefit Commentators, however, who ad- from it; on the contrary, it is ad. mit them to be genuine differ as to mitted that they have, and that their meaning. Some understand thereby their guilt is highly agthe words to signify “the blood of gravated, 2 Pet. ii. 20, 21. The the covenant wherewith he," that Lord of the wicked unmerciful is, Christ, “ was sanctified," which servant is represented as having they think agrees with what he forgiven him all his debt, Matt. says, “For their sakes I sanctify xviii. 27, 32. The fruitless blind myself,” John xvii. 19. Christ professor is said to have been indeed sanctified himself, that is, purged from his old sins, 2 Pet. i. 'he dedicated, devoted, or set him- 9. and the false teachers to deny self apart to God as a sacrifice for the Lord that bought them, 2 Pet. the sins of his people, and that, on ii. 1. The apostate is supposed the ground of his oblation once to have been once enlightened in offered, he might officiate as their the knowledge of the truth, Heb. High priest in heaven. But ayažeiv, vi. 4. X. 26. to have received the to sanctify, in this epistle, signifies word with joy, and believed for a to cleanse or purify from the guilt while, Luke viii. 13. and to have of sin by the blood of sacrifice, tasted of the heavenly gift, and of ch. ii. 11. ix. 13. xiii. 12. And as the good word of God, Heb. vi. Christ was without şin, and knew 4, 5. Though there may be an no sin, though he was made a sin- essential difference between such offering for us, 2 Cor. v. 21. Heb. attainments and those of true iv. 16. he could not in that sense Christians, yet we cannot distin
. guish them in their abstract na-l on the despisers of Moses' law, ture, but only by their concomi- / which was only the death of the tants and effects. The things / body by the hands of men; wherespecified seem to imply, that the as the punishment of such auda. apostate had been once sanctified cious apostates is to be inflicted by the blood of Christ, so far as by the immediate hand of God to experience its efficacy in reliev- | himself. ing and purging his conscience 7. The account which the aposfrom the guilt of sin and fear of tle here gives of wilful apostacy, as wrath, and to give him some de- doing despite to the Spirit of gree of joy and peace, as well as grace, seems to be much the same to produce some partial reforma- with what our Lord says of the tion on his life: But that he now sin against the Holy Ghost, in his despises the sanctifying blood of caution to the Pharisees when they the covenant, accounting it a com- , ascribed his casting out devils to mon or unholy thing.
the agency of the prince of devils; 6. To complete the description for it is not clear that he is there of this dreadful sin, the apostle charging them with having actually adds, “and hath done despite comunitted that sin, or that they unto the Spirit of grace.” The were capable of committing it beHoly Spirit is the author of every fore the full and complete testigracious disposition of heart, which mony of the Spirit was given to is called the fruit of the Spirit, Christ, which was not till after Gal. v. 22, 23.; but I apprehend his resurrection and glorification. he is here called the Spirit of grace, Compare John vii. 39. xv. 26. xvi. as being the author of those mira-13-15. with Acts ii. 33, 36. v. 32 culous powers and spiritual gifts he on that occasion declares, that which are termed grace, Rom. xii. “ the blasphemy against the Holy 6. Eph. iv. 7. and which in the Ghost shall not be forgiven unto first age were conferred on believers men,” Matt. xii. 31. But some for the spread and confirmation of have endeavoured to soften bis the gospel; When therefore any words, and would have him to apostatized from the faith of Christ mean, that it shall not be forgiven to Judaism, after having witnessed without repentance; which would those miraculous gifts, and espe- imply, either that other sins may cially after having been possessed be forgiven without repentance, or of them himself, as is supposed, that there is no difference between Matt. vii. 22. Heb. vi. 4, 5. he this and any other sin in respect of could not possibly evade the force repentance or forgiveness; whereas of such proofs, but by joining this sin is distinguished from all issue with the Scribes and Pha- other sins in both these respects. risees in absurdly ascribing them As to repentance, the apostle says, to the agency of evil spirits. Matt. that “it is impossible to renew xii. 24. than which a greater in them again unto repentance," Heb. dignity and more malicious insult vi. 4, 6. And with respect to forcould not be offered to the Spirit giveness, while our Lord admits of God. And this is that blas- that “all manner of sin and blas. phemy against the Holy Spirit | phemy shall be forgiven unto which our Lord declares shall men,” he absolutely declares, that never be forgiven either in this " the blasphemy against the Holy world, or in the world to come, Ghost shall never be forgivell, ver. 31, 32. Therefore the punish- neither in this world, por in the ment of such a sinner must be in-world to come.” Matt. xii. 31, 32 expressibly greater than that death Mark üi. 28, 29. But as son without mercy which was inflicted I weak. Christians, from ignorances the nature of the unpardonable oaths; yet he obtained repentance sin, and of the real state of their and forgiveness, Matt. xxvi. 69– own minds, or perhaps from a 75. The churches of Galatia after tincture of melancholy, are apt to they had been called into the grace suspect that they have committed of Christ, were in a great measure it, it may be proper, before we dis- subverted from the faith by false miss this subject, to observe, | teachers; yet the apostle travailed
8. That no sin, however great, in birth of them again until Christ which men may commit through was formed in them, Gal. i. 6. iii. ignorance and unbelief, or previous 1, 3, 4. iv. 9, 15, 19. In short, to their having received the know there may be many grievous occaledge of the truth, is the unpar-sional sins committed by real donable sin. The crucifixion of Christians, after having received Christ was certainly a sin of the the knowledge of the truth, and first magnitude; yet, amidst the tasted of the good word of God, tortures of the cross, he prayed which, though highly aggravated, for his murderers, “ Father, for are none of them that wilful sin give them; for they know not which the apostle describes, nor what they do,” Luke xxiii. 34. what our Lord calls the blasphemy which prayer was undoubtedly against the Holy Ghost which shall answered. Peter charged home never be forgiven. on the Jews their having killed the 10. From the scripture account Prince of life; yet as he knew that of this sin it may easily be disthrough ignorance they did it, as tinguished from all others--1. It did also their rulers, he calls them is a wilful sin, and committed not to repent and be converted that through mistake, or relunctantly their sins may be blotted out, Acts through the overbearing force of iii. 11, 17, 19. Saul of Tarsus was temptation, but of design, and a cruel persecutor of Jesus, com- from a deliberate determination of pelling his disciples to blaspheme; mind; which, considering the knowyet he obtained mercy, because he ledge they have of the truth, must did it ignorantly in unbelief, 1 Tim. involve in it the most daring prei. 13.
sumption.-2. It is termed a fall9. No act of sin, however hein- ing away, or drawing back, not ous, and even though committed merely a partial decline or backafter being once enlightened, if sliding; but a total apostacy from the word of God calls to repent the faith of the gospel; openly and of it, and contains any instance of avowedly renouncing Christ, the repentance or forgiveness for that profession of his name, and all part or such like sin, can be considered and interest in him, and disclaimas the unpardonable sin. A calling all allegiance and subjection to to repentance always supposes him.-3. This is clear, from the that there is place for it. It im. hatred, malice, and contempt with plies, that upon repentance and which they treat him: They are application to the blood of Christ represented as crucifying to themfor cleansing, pardon will be grant selves the Son of God afresh, putted; and this is expressly promised, ing him to an open shame, treadProv.xxviii. 13. 1 Johni. 9. David, ing him under foot, and counting though 'enlightened by the Spirit his blood an unholy thing. And and an inspired prophet, fell into because the Holy Spirit bore witthe sin of adultery and deliberate ness to him by his miraculous murder; yet he repented and was operations and spiritual gifts, thereforgiven, 2 Sam. xii. 7–14. Psal. fore they spitefully insult the Spirit xxxii. 5. Peter, after his faith had of grace, by blasphemously ascribbeen approved of, denied his Lord ing these to evil spirits. thrice, with imprecations and ' 11. From this account of the unpardonable sin we may see, that the unpardonable sin, it will have it is not a simple transient act, or the most pernicious effects upon occasional transgression of a par- him. For though he should still ticular precept, but a wilful, total highly prize the gospel salvation, and avowed apostacy from the and think them happy who par. faith of the gospel, and that in the take of it, (which does not consist face of all the supernatural evidence with this sin ;) yet the apprehenby which its truth is confirmed ; sion that he has forfeited that salin opposition to all the motives to vation, and is himself cut off from stedfastness which it holds forth, any part or interest in it, must and in violation of all the obliga- overturn his faiih in the atone. tions which they have come un- ment, and hope in divine mercy, der: This can be accounted for fill him with terror and despair, upon no other principle than a and militate against every principle deep rooted and settled enmity of of love and obedience. heart against Christ, his holy character, and the way of salvation
on | PARTICULARS OF THE DEATH through him. As there is no re. OF MR. HOWARD, THE PHImission of sin without a sacrifice, LANTHROPIST. and no effectual sacrifice for sin, [From Dr. E. D. Clarke's Travels, but that which they despise and Octavo. Vol. II. p. 339, &c.] reject; so nothing remains for The particulars of Mr. Howard's them but a certain fearful looking death were communicated to us by for of judgment, ver. 27. which his two friends, Admiral Mordinstead of disposing them to re- vinof, then Chief-Admiral of the pentance, only serves to increase Black Sea fleet, and Admiral their enmity, it being a desperate Priestman, an English officer in hopeless fear of him as their enemy, the Russian service; both of whom such as devils have.
had borne testimony to his last 12. The design of the apostle in moments. He had been entreated setting before the Hebrews the to visit a lady about twenty-four awful consequences of apostacy, miles from Cherson, who was danwas to put them upon their guard gerously ill. Mr. Howard objectagainst every approach towards it, ed, alleging that he acted only as and to make them take heed lest physician to the poor; but, hearthere should be in any of them an ing of her imminent danger, he evil heart of unbelief, in departing afterwards yielded to the persua. from the living God; which is sion of Admiral Mordrinof, and always a necessary caution, espe- went to see her. After having cially in times of particular temp. prescribed for this lady, be retation, or when symptoms of that turned; leaving directions with sin begin to appear. But it was her family, to send for him again far from bis design to drive any of if she got better; but adding, that them into despair, or even to dis. if, as he much feared, she sbould courage them, but the very re- proye worse, it would be to no verse. Therefore persons ought to purpose. Sometime after his rebeware that they charge not this turn to Cherson, a letter arrived, sin either on themselves or others, stating that the lady was better, without a due consideration and and begging that he would come knowledge of its nature as describ- without loss of time. When he ed by the apostle, and having the examined the date, he perceived fullest evidence that the descrip- that the letter, by some unaccoud! tion really applies to the case. able delay, had been eight days." When a man through mistake getting to his hands. Upon this, imagines that he has committed be resolved to go with all possier