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habitual, then confirmed; then the man is impenitent, then obstinate, then resolved never to repent, then damned.?

There is a state of utter insensibility to emotions of love or fear, and man by his sin may reach that state. The act of blasphemy is only the expression of a hardened or a hateful heart. B. H. Payne: ?The calcium flame will char the steel wire so that it is no longer affected by the magnet. As the blazing cinders and black curling smoke, which the volcano spews, from its rumbling throat are the accumulation of months and years, so the sin against the Holy Spirit is not a thoughtless expression in a moment of passion or rage. It is the giving vent to a state of heart and mind abounding in the accumulations of weeks and months of opposition to the gospel.?

Dr. J. P. Thompson: ?The unpardonable sin is the knowing, willful, persistent, contemptuous, malignant spurning of divine truth and grace, as manifested to the soul by the convincing and illuminating power of the Holy Ghost.? Dorner says, ?therefore this sin does not belong to Old Testament times or to the mere revelation of law. It implies the full revelation of the grace in Christ, and the conscious rejection of it by a soul to which the Spirit has made it manifest ( <441730>Acts 17:30 ? ?The times of ignorance, therefore God overlooked?; <450325>Romans 3:25 ? ?the passing over of the sins done aforetime?). But was it not under the Old Testament that God said: ?My Spirit shall not strive with man forever? (Gen. 6:3), and Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone? ( <280417>Hosea 4:17)? The sin against the Holy Ghost is a sin against grace but it does not appear to be limited to New Testament times.

It is still true that the unpardonable sin is a sin committed against the Holy Spirit rather than against Christ: <401232>Matthew 12:32 ? ?whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.? Jesus warns the Jews against it; he does not say they had already committed it. They would seem to have committed it when, after Pentecost, they added to their rejection of Christ the rejection of the Holy Spirit?s witness to Christ?s resurrection. See Schaff, Sin against the Holy Ghost; Lemme, Sunde wider den Heiligen Geist; Davis, in Bap. Rev., 1882:317-326; Nitzsch, Christian Doctrine, 283-289. On the general subject of kinds of sin and degrees of guilt, see Kahnis, Dogmatik, 3:284, 298.

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