incipient hardening of the heart that precedes the sin of final obduracy. See Denney, Studies in Theology, 80. The composure of the criminal is not always a sign of innocence. S. S. Times, April 12, 1902:200 ? ?Sensitiveness of conscience and of feeling and responsiveness of countenance and bearing are to be retained by purity of life and freedom from transgression. On the other hand composure of countenance and calmness under suspicion and accusation are likely to be a result of continuance in wrong doing, with consequent hardening of the whole moral nature.?
Weismann, Heredity, 2:8 ? ?As soon as any organ falls into disuse, it degenerates, and finally is lost altogether. In parasites the organs of sense degenerate.? Marconi?s wireless telegraphy requires an attuned ?receiver.? The ?transmitter? sends out countless rays into space; only one capable of corresponding vibrations can understand them. The sinner may so destroy his receptivity, that the whole universe may be uttering God?s truth, yet he is unable to hear a word of it. The Outlook: ?If a man should put out his eyes, he could not see and nothing could make him see. So if a man should by obstinate wickedness destroy his power to believe in God?s forgiveness, he would be in a hopeless state. Though God would still be gracious, the man could not see it and so could not take God?s forgiveness to himself.?
The sin against the Holy Spirit is not to be regarded simply as an isolated act, but also as the external symptom of a heart so radically and finally set against God that no power which God can consistently use will ever save it. This sin, therefore, can be only the culmination of a long course of self- hardening and self-depraving. He who has committed it must be either profoundly indifferent to his own condition, or actively and bitterly hostile to God so that anxiety or fear on account of one?s condition is evidence that it has not been committed. The sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven, simply because the soul that has committed it has ceased to be receptive of divine influences, even when those influences are exerted in the utmost strength which God has seen fit to employ in his spiritual administration.
The commission of this sin is marked by a loss of spiritual sight; the blind fish of the Mammoth Cave left light for darkness, and so in time lost their eyes. It is marked by a loss of religious sensibility; the sensitive plant loses its sensitiveness, in proportion to the frequency with which it is touched. It is marked by a loss of power to will the good; ?the lava hardens after it has broken from the crater, and in that state cannot return
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