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SER M. These Advantages arifing from Arguments of Abftract Reason, Confideration, and Enquiry; which work differently upon Men at different Times; and may prevail afterwards, upon more mature confideration, over the fame Person who at prefent rejects them; therefore no man's rejecting the Gospel Now, can be known or fuppofed to proceed from the like incurable Malignity, as the Blafphemy of those who themfelves faw our Lord's Miracles. 3dly, It may yet further be conceived, not without probability, that these fevere Words of our Saviour, are applicab'e, not even fo much as to All Thofe Pharifees, who faw and rejected his Miracles; but to thofe only, who faw That particular great Miracle recorded in This chapter, and who reviled it with That particular malicious Blafphemy, of afcribing it to the Power of the Unclean Spirit. For fo St Mark intimates, by adding in the Words immediately following the Text: Mar. iii. 30; that Jesus spake thus feverely of them, because they said, he bath an unclean Spirit. And indeed, fince we do not find that any Perfons whatfoever were
ever rejected from Baptifm; it is reasonable S ER M. to suppose that many of the other Phari- I. fees, who had feen and perhaps allo Spoken against our Saviour's Miracles, might yet afterwards repent, be baptized, and obtain forgiveness. But Thefe, who blafphemed in This particular manner, he knew were incorrigible, and perhaps judicially alfo refolved that no farther means fhould be offered them. And then the Words of the Text will be prophetical, and equivalent to those other expreffions; Job. x. 26; viii. 21, 24; Ye are none of my Sheep, ye shall die in your Sins: which is the fame as to fay, ye will never be forgiven neither in this World neither in the World to come. 4thly, If this Threatning is to be extended to any other Persons, it may seem most properly to reach the cafe of fuch, as,. after the giving of the Holy Ghost at Pentecoft, fhould in like manner revile that miraculous Difpenfation. But there is no reason to think (as fome have done,) that it belongs only to fuch as should blafpheme after That : For the Power of the Holy Ghoft did as visibly appear to the Pharifees with whom our
SER M. Saviour Now converfed, as to those who faw that wonderful gift at Pentecoft; and the Words themselves feem more naturally to confine it to thofe Pharifees only: At leaft, it can be applied to Both, only upon account of their feeing the Miracles; which was the highest Evidence that could poffibly be given them. And if their had been any fuch thing as any other Sin aagainst the Holy Ghoft, which Chriftians in after-times could be in danger of falling into; it cannot be imagined, but the Apostles in their Epiftles, wherein they are diligent to caution men against all other Crimes, would have been much fuller and more prefling in their warnings to take heed of This, as being of more desother whatfoany perate confequence than ever: Whereas, on the contrary, we find not in their writings any direct mention of any fuch Sin at all. 5thly and Laftly, Yet This we may obferve, that the Apoftles frequently warn Men to take heed of the Approaches towards the like Guilt, and of Sins which may seem next in Malignity; fuch as wilful Apoftacy from the Profeffion, or from the whole Practice of
Religion; Concerning Perfons guilty ofSER M. which Crimes it is faid, that it is impoffible [exceeding difficult] to renew them to Repentance; that there remains no more Sacrifice for their Sin, Heb. x. 26,-29; that like Efau, they for one morfel fell their birth-right; and, when it is joined with obftinacy, that their Sin is unto Death, i. e. that it is like a Disease which appears to be mortal, with little or no Hopes of Recovery. From which God of his infinite Mercy, &c.