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whio sin wilfully, any more than we be for Devils; for the cases in their nature are the same, and equally hopeless; as in Hebrews, vi. 4, 5, 6. “For it is impossible for those who were once " enlightened, and havetasted of the heavenly gift, “ and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, " and have tasted the good word of God, and " the powers of the world to come; If they shall “ fall away, to renew them again unto repent
ance; seeing they crucify to themselves the « Son of God afresh, and put him to an open “ shame.”....Again, chap. x. 26, 27. “For if we “sin wilfully, after that we have received the “ knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no
more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful “ looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, « which shall devour the adversaries.".....Here it. should be observed, that the falling away and wilful sinning of persons so irrecoverably lost, is such as implies their taking a side against Christ and his people, and becoming their adversaries; and that many and great offences may be committed against Christ and his people by their brethren, which do not characterize them as an enemy; solemn and awful as was the fall of Peter, he did not join the side of the adversaries....... Hence, says John, 1 Epis. Chap. v. 16. “ If any
man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto. “ death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life “ for them that sin not unto death. There is a " sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray, for it.??"
This is the sin against the Holy Ghost, of which our Lord said, Matth. xii. 32. “ It shall not be “ forgiven, neither in this world, neither in the “ world to come. ........ We have seen, according to the Divine Theory, that the church state embraces two worlds, viz. the present world, as put under the ARCHANGEL,, and the world to come, put
in subjection to the son. In which worlds, as also appears from the Theory, there is instituted a different authority; in the one, the authority is that of the lan and the prophets, but in the other, it is the voice and power of the Holy Ghost ; or, as they are described, Hebrews xii. 25. the one, by Him that spake on earth, the other, by Him that speaketh from heaven. Hence, in this
passage, we have the distinction of names and characters, as that of the Son of Man, under which, as may be seen in the Old Testament, is expressed the highest authority in that church; and the Holy Ghost, under which, as may be seen in the New Testament, is expressed the peculiar authority of the kingdom of heaven...And whilst all manner of sin and blasphemy against the Son of Man shall be forgiven, a word spoken against the Holy Ghost shall never be forgiven. The reason and necessity of this might be largely illustrated; but, with the Theory in view, it need only be observed, that as all transgression and sin against the Son of Man is committed under the
darkness and ignorance of the vail, the removal of this, by the death of the cross, of course makes reconciliation, finishes the transgression, and makes an end of sins, by removing the cause, and so, for ever, rolls away the reproach. But for sin against the Holy Ghost, such as we have stated, there remains no more sacrifice; the death of Christ, in this case, offers no remedy, for it is committed knowingly, and expressly against the second life of Christ; so that these offenders do, as it were, crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
In this view we have an explanation of the phrase repeatedly used by our Lord, The greater damnation. There is a power of judgment exercised by the authority of both worlds; but as the world of which we speak is eternal, a decision
by the authority thereof, is eternal judgment........ Hence, it is said, Mark iii. 29. “That he who “shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, hath “never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal “ damnation.” And the Apostle to the Hebrews, in his amplification upon the unpardonable sin, chapter x. says, “ He that despised Moses law “ died without mercy, under two or three witnes
ses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trod“ den under foot the Son of God, and hath count“ed the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was “ sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done de“spite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know “him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto
me, I will recompence, saith the Lord...... And “again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is “a
fearful thing to fall into the hands of the liv. “ing God.”
By the casting out of the bond-woman and her son, it is not to be understood that they were cast away. This was designed for a speciinen of the legal discipline, or what has been termed the law work; more especially to shew that the inheritance is not of the law, but is given by promise... Ishmael stumbled, not that he should
fall, but that thereby an enlargement might be given to Isaac; and that, in the issue, he should be recovered upon a ground infinitely more advantageous; that he should come in through Isaac, and be received as life from the dead, and so be filled with all the fullness of the promises.
The order given to cast out the bond-woman and her son, was of the same nature as the sentence laid upon Moses, that he should die short of the land of promise. Both cases have one relation to those distinct parts of the divine will, from which arises the distinction of the two cove nants. And this matter, properly understood,
does not affect a view of the eminent wortli ot these persons, or of their standing in the divine favour, any more than in the similar case of Moses. I am sensible that many are in the habit of thinking that Hagar was an ordinary character. No doubt she was not a little proud, and was not to be justified in running away from her mistress! but, at the same time, it was a speck in the character of Sarah, that she dealt with her so hardly. She was indeed a bond-woman, but she was the Lord's hand-maid. It is recorded
greatest glory of Solomon, that the Lord appeared unto him twice. But twice the Angel of the Covenant appeared unto Hagar. And when the apostle recounts the honours and divine glories of Christ, this is mentioned as one of the chief, that he was scen of angels; referring evidently, to the name of the well by which the angel of the Lord found her; called, from thence, Beer-lahai-roi, and so to the name that she called the Lord that spake to her, Thou God scest me.
Though these different states of the church have a precise relation to the two covenants, founded upon the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, yet they do not divide by the line of the two dispensations; for as many under the law enjoyed the liberty of the gospel, by an anticipation of the promises, so now many do not enjoy it, though the service-work is accomplished, and Christ has entered into his glory.“As the children “are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself
likewise, took part of the same; that through “ death he might destroy him that had the pow
er of death, that is the Devil; and deliver them, * who through fear of death were all their life“ time subject to bondage.” By the death of Christ, the vail was rent, but was not taken away; and the enemy received his mortal wound, but did not immediately fall under him. As saith dhe apostle, Heb. ii. 8. “ Thou hast put all things * in subjection under his feet. For in that he put “all things in subjection under him, he left noth
ing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.” Again, Chap. x. 12, 13.“ But this man, after he had of“ fered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down “ on the right hand of God; from henceforth "expecting till his enemies be made his foot• stool.” Hence the children are still exposed to be intangled with this yoke; and it is belived that some of the people of Christ are now,through fear of death, a great part of their life-time subject to bondage.
Circumcision sealed, and the law witnessed, the righteousness of faith; “ But as Moses put a vail “ over his face, that the children of Israel could “not steadfastly look to the end of that which sc is abolished.But their minds were blinded; “ for until this day remaineth the same vail un"taken away, in the reading of the Old Testa“ment, which vail is done away in Christ. But
even unto this day, when Moses is read, the “ vail is upon their heart.” And it is an affecting consideration, that the same things which sealed and witnessed the truth of the promises to many under the former dispensation, to many others under both dispensations, on account of this vail of the flesh, have produced the opposite effect, and have tended only to obscure the glory of Christ. Nevertheless, when it, i.e. the church of the bond-woman, or that body of people who are under the circumcision of the filesh, Jews and Ishmaelites, shall turn to the Lord, the vuil shall be taken away. For“ blindness in part is hap
pened unto Israel, until the fuluess of the “ Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall “ be saved? As it is written, there shall come “ out of Sion a deliverer, and shall turn away