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But in doing this, we must not think that we can be always imploy'd in Religion; that we can have our Thoughts Itretch'd up always to such a pitch; to be continually engag'd in the Duties of Des yotion, and be thinking that we cannot please God without it, is. For wo have Bor dies as well as Souls: We are Men, and not Angels. And therefore though we should do our utmost, and with all imaginable Sincerity, , yet we should not lay too great a load upon our Spirits ; for that may be the way, instead of preventing, to bring on fad and melancholy: Thoughts. And 'tis what Almighty God no where requircs of us, Who will bave Mercy, and not Sacrifice, Hof. vi. 6. and intended his Ser. vice for perfect Freedom, and Religion

for a Law of Liberty. Jam. i. 25. ... I have now done with this last kind of

evil. Thoughts, (viz.) fad, melancholy, or despairing Thoughts. And the Rules which have been laid down for the wellgoverning the Thoughts in general, and for the avoiding this Sort, and those other kinds of evil Thoughts, discoursed of in this Treatise, duly observ'd, will. (by God's Blelling) have some good Effect.

But as an Appendix to this Chapter, I shall endeavour to explain to you, what is the Sin against the Holy Ghoft ; 'because the G5

Fear

Fear that they have committed this unpardonahle Sin, hath horribly perplex'd and terrified the Thoughts of many dejected Chriftians, even almost to Desperation.

Now every Sin is indeed a Sin agaiolt. the Holy Ghoft; and some are Grievances of him. And therefore we are exhorted not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, Ephef. iv. 30. But the Sin against the HolyGhost, which is pronounced by our Lord

Jefus himself to be : unpardonable in this World, and in the World to come, is called also Blafpbenzy against the HolyGhost by the Evangelifts: In Mat. xii. 31, 32. the Words are these : Wherefore I sag unto g'oll, that all manner of Sin and Blar phemy Mall be forgiven, i.e, is capable of being forgiven : But the Blafpheniy againft the Holy-Gbost pall not be forgiven unto Men. And whosoever Speaketh a Word ogainst the Son of Man, it mall be forgiven him ; but whosever Speaketh against the Holy Ghoft, it mall net be forgiven; neither in this World, nor in the World to come. In Mark üi. 28. €36. 'ic is thus express'd: Verily I say unto you, All Sins pall be forgiven unto the Sons of Men, and Blasphemies wherewith soever they ball blafpheme; but 'be that blafphemeth against the Holy-Gbost, bath never Forgiveness, but is in danger of

eternal

( 131

in Luke Woficerer

eternal Damnation. And in Luke xii. 10. there is but little Variation : Wkofoever fpall speak a Word against the son of Man, it pall be forgive himn; but unto him that blafphemeth against the Holy-Ghost, it Mall not be forgiven..." { Now for the clearer Understanding of these Places which speak of the Great Sin, You are to observe, That the two former of these Evangelifts, St. Matthew and St. Mark, in the Context, give us an account of our Saviour's having heal’d a Demoniack; and when he had expelld the Devil by the Power of the Holy Ghost, (which he had without measure) to the great Amazement of all the People, the Scribes and Pharisees, whose Hearts were sour'd with the Leven of Pride and Envy, notwithstanding their own Convictions, and in spight of the irresiftable Evidence of that and other Miracles, which our Saviour did, they blasphemously ascribed the doing of them to the Devil ; repre. senting our Lord as a Wizard, or a Conjurer: And as absurdly as impiously said, He casteth'out Devils by Beelzebub, the Prince of the Devils. The Obstinacy and Malice of this Imputation, our Savio our severely reflects upon, and publickly declares, That those that out of an invenomed Spirit, and wilful Spight, and

against against the strongest Convictions, thus bla. spheme the Holy and Eternal Spirit, by i the OEconomy of whose Almighty Power. these Things were done, and thus endea . vour to subvert the whole Structure of the Christian Religion, and wilfully dife own Christ the Saviour ; those have no other means of Salvation left them; no 'other Name under Heaven, by which they can be saved. There is no other Chrift, no other Gospel: And therefore nothing Thall be the Portion of such Men, but eternal Damnation. ; . · From all which it is sufficiently plain, That the Şin against the Holy Ghost confifteth in Words; 'tis Blasphemy: And not every Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost neither. Not every one that speak eth against the Holy Ghoft (as some Hereticks have done, and now do is guilty of this yppardonable Sin; which is à Blasphemy against the visible glorious Operations, the immediate Effects and Office of the Holy Ghost; and such coo as is utter'd not out of Fear, Infirmity, or Cowardize; but out of an hateful and malicious Heart; not of Rashness, but of set-purpose, to do despight unto Chrift his known Doctrine and Works ; being accompany'd wich an universal Defect ion, or falling away from the whole Truth of

God.

God. So that (if this Sin in its Formality could be committed now) from this short Explanation of the Nature of it, I hope it doth appear, that none of those who are fcar’d, and terrify'd with the Apprehenfions of it, can have committed it: And that therefore their Fears, and dismal Thoughts about it, are groundless and un-, reasonable; and stirred up by the common Enemy of our Peace, in order to disquier and hinder them from doing their Duty, or to bring them into Melancholy, or Despair.

"Tis most certain, that all Persons that wilfully run on in Sin, and persist in Impenitency, shall finally perish for ever, às surely as if they had committed the great Sin we are speaking of. But 'tis also certain that thousands do out of Ignorance, or inadvertence, mistake the Nature of this unpardonable Sin, and are horribly afraid that they have committed it, though they know not what it is. The vileft Action, the greatest Sin of Practice, that can be committed, doth not extend to the Sin against the Holy Ghoft. And therefore such a Sin calls indeed for the deepest Sorrow, and Humiliation, and most unfeign'd Repentance : But the Sin against the Holy Ghost, and Repentance, are Things very inconsistent. And this

ariseth

.

B

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