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ment, will never be removed. The plentiful positive proof of the sinal salvation of all men, is not, in the least, affected by any such passages of scripture, as these Mr. S. produces. If there be any texts which declare, in unequivocal language, that-the future misery of the wicked will absolutely be ;endless, why are they not brought forward ?• One- bf Mr. S.'s texts I will recite, merely to show theread^ er what a facility he has acquired, of introducing ideas into his inserences, which are not to be found in his premises. It is John viii. 2'i-i-2:£. '"1 go my way, and ye shall seck me, and shall die in your sins; whither I go ye cannot comet Tben,faid the Jews, will he kill himself? because he sasfb, whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto- Ihem, ye are from beneath; I am from" above: ye aTe of-this world; I am riot of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die'in.ydur si*s: for if ye believe not that I am he, yt shall -di« in your sins/' Mr. S.'s inserence follows; p.- 33. "He prays'' *8e Father that all those who-Wereigiven to him .might be with him, where he is • and be^bere saysj- thetfe are some who never can be witb bun: the consequence is;plain.''' Does the reader-perceive that, in the passage of scripture above cited, Christ any where says, there are some who can never be with him? Christ prayed for the world,-as we have seen; that the world might believe and know that the
Father had sent him; which knowledge and faith
he himself declares to be eternal lise. What will prevent the world's sinally going where he is?
The next scriptures Mr. S. produces, are those which speak of blasphemy against the holy Ghost. He cites Matt. xii. 31, 32.—Mark iii. 29.—And Luke xii. 10. "All manner ossin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men : but the blasphemy against the holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man* it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neitheV in this world: neither in the world to come.'* —" He that shall blaspheme against the holy Ghost* hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. Unto him that blasphemeth against the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven."
The interpretation of these passages given by the great and learned Grotius is, at least, very plausible* and agreeable to the analogy of the scriptures. Grotius supposes the words of our Saviour to have been spoken according to a manner of speaking wnich was very frequent and familiar with the Jews, by which they represented the extreme difsiculty of some things, in comparison of others.
His reasoning on the subject, as Dr. Chauncy has it, is as follows, salvation of all men, p. 333, 334. "It could not be the design of our Saviour, in the former part of these sentences, where he speaks of other sins and blasphemies, to affirm absolutely concerning them, that tbeyjhall be forgiven; because Ho
this is not true in fact, as there are multitudes of these fins that are not forgiven: and therefore," fays he, •" we ought, in all reason, to look upon these sentences as Hebrew forms of speech, like that in the 5th chap, of Matthew, where our Saviour declares, that heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words (hall not pass away. The meaning of which is explained by Luke, in the sixteenth chapter of his gospel, where the words are, not that heaven and earth (hall fa/s away, but that it is easier for them to pass away, than that Christ's words should fail."—It is a cotn« mon way of speaking among the jews, this thing shall be, and that shall not he, when it was not their intention to affirm any thing absolutely of either, but only to express the greater difsiculty of effecting the latter than the former.''—Upon which he concludes that the only meaning of our Saviour, in the words is, that it is easier to obtain the pardon of any sins, and therefore of the greatest blasphemies, than the blasphemy against the holy Ghost. As if it was hi* design to be understood comparatively, signifying the greater beinousness of the blasphemy against the holy Ghost, and that the pardon es it would be more difficultly ob tained; not that it is striStly and absolutely unpardonable. He resers us, as the sinal consirmation of this sense of the words, to 1 Sam. ii. 25. where he supposes there is a like comparative mode of speech with this of our Saviour, if one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him : but if a •nan sin against the Lord.who shall intreat for him ?"—
I esteem this interpretation of Grotius as very rational and judicious, and well supported by scripture analogy. I am well satissied with it.
But I will propose another to the reader, and he may compare them. After the direct and positive proof I have produced from scripture, that the Mediator will never deliver up his kingdom to the Fa* ther, till the last enemy is subdued; I no more doub t of the sinal virtue and happiness of all men than of any thing that isproveable by scripture evidence. According to St. John, there is a second resurrection to happy lisp. Our Saviour says that the blasphemy against the holy Ghost shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in the world to some : neither in this age, nor in the next 'age. St. John expressly informs us that some (hall be tormented in the lake of fire for ages of ages. This is thfe longest term mentioned in scripture, for the duration of the future misery of any part of mankind.
And this term is exactly commensurate with the reign of the saints with Christ in the new earth, according to St. John. Now as some of the wicked will lie in the lake of fire for agesof ages; blasphemers of the holy Ghost may make a part of this number. And, after they have suffered the pains of' hell, and lain in the lake of sire for ages,they may be forgiven, without any contradiction'of the-literal expressions of our Saviour. [They have then not been forgiven neither'in this world, neither in the world to come •, but have suffered eternal damnatim.
This interpretation is as satisfactory to my mind as that of Grotius. But, as the utmost that can happen to the blasphemer of the holy Ghost, is, that he be in danger of eternal damnation; if he must suffer this, extremity of punishment, it will be no sinal bar in the way of his , enjoyment of that salvation, that will be absolutely without end.
Our Saviour, according to what we have recorded, was extremely cautious in his manner of expression. If he had studied ever Ib long, he could not have ex* preffed better his great detestation of the sin of blasphemy against the holy Ghost; and, at the same time, have guarded more effectually than he has done against error. He sirst fays, as Matthew records .it,<( AU manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto.men; but the blasphemy of the holy Ghost st*all not be forgiven unto men." \ . , , . i But least a wrong construction should be put upon what he had already said, if he left it there j he goes on to an explanation of himself,; "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son os man, it shall be forgiven him 2 but whosoever speaketh against the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world," or age, "neither in the world," or agt, '* to come/Vr-Mark records it thus, "He that shall blaspheme against the holy Ghost, hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." This verse is-justly rendered, thus, v Whosoever shall blaspheme against the holy
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