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feet by a total depravation of morals, we are no less guilty of blasphemy: for this is surely as much as to despise and undervalue it as if we thought it false, and wished it to be regarded as such by those who are witnesses of cur actions; and it would clearly be more ingenuous at once to renounce it, than to acknowledge the truth of its precepts with our tongues, whilst we flagitiously violate and blaspheme them in our actions.
Lastly, this sin is not only called blasphemy, but particularly blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Not that this sin is more. offensive to the Holy Ghost than to the other sacred persons of the Trinity; but because it more immediately acts in contradiction to the peculiar operations of the Holy Spirit, whose property it is to enlighten us; since it either extinguishes, or renders useless, that light of truth, which the Holy Ghost kindles in the heart of every true believer.
And in this way every man clearly acts against the operations of the Holy Ghost,
who opposes a religion, of the truth of which he cannot doubt; or, again, when he forsakes and persecutes a religion, of whose divine origin he is fully convinced; or lastly, when he tramples it under foot by a total and wilful depravation of morals : since in all these cases he obstructs the powers of the Holy Ghost, he quenches the spirit of God, and tacitly accuses him of falshood and imposture.
How far those novel teachers are guilty of this crime, who deny both the divinity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and who have established separate congregations for inculcating these impious notions, I will not take upon me to determine; since it is impossible for man to say on what motives or grounds of conviction they may act.
But: sure I am of this, that it well behoves them to be
very clear on what ground they stand in a matter of so great importance; the penalties of which extend, not only to the present short life, but to all eternity. For the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall never be forgiven, neither in this
world, nor in that which is to come: and of this solemn truth we are assured, there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost.
May we all sincerely weigh and consider the great evidences of our holy relegion, so as to produce a tlorough conviction of its truth in our minds; and may this conviction operate so forcibly upon our conduct, as to produce in us holy and virtuous lives. We shall then have no anxious fears about the commission of that heavy sin, which is incapable of for, giveness, both in this world and also in that which is to come. If, in smaller things, human frailty should yield to the power of temptation, we shall renew our strength by prayer and repentance: we shall look up with confidence to the throne of mercy, and rest our hopes of forgive, pess and acceptance on the all-sufficient merits of Christ; and having finished our course through this vale of tears, we shall aspire to the blessed mansions of that city above, whose builder and maker is God.',
Charge thein that are rich in this world, that . they be not high-minded, nor trust in un? certain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly, alļ things to enjoy ;zthat they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate ;-laying up in store for them. selves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
IVE me neither poverty nor riches,
was the language of a wise petitioner, who well knew that both had their peculiar and dangerous temptations, and I 4
therefore wished to avoid them, by being fed with the food that was convenient for him.
The temptations to which rich men are more particularly exposed, are high-mindedness and confidence in their riches. For, as the Scriptures tell us,
66 riches “ and strength lift up the heart;" and again, “ the rich man's wealth is his “o strong city, and as a high wall in his own conceit.” j ...
9 *Against these therefore the Apostle exhorts Timothy, in the words of the text, to level all the powers of his eloquence and atithority: « Charge them," says he, 76 who are rich in this world,” that is, the rich and luxurious citizens of Ephesus, where Timothy then resided, " that they 46 be not high-minded, nor trust in' un
certain riches.” And, to add the greater weight to his instructions, he points' out the true source of this and every other blessing, and therefore the only fit object of our trust and confidence, that is, “ the living God, who