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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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I think it proper to stop at this word, as the sense and meaning of it is not so generally understood as it were to be wished; and many of God's dear children, it is to be apprehended, have their minds much exercised about it, fearing they have committed the unpardonable sin, in blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. It will not be amiss, therefore, to make an humble enquiry concerning it, looking up for the Lord the Spirit to be our Teacher.

The sin of blasphemy is peculiarly applied to those who sin against God by profaning his holy name, and speaking lightly and wantonly of his person, prefections, and attributes. The law under Moses's dispensation punished such crimes with death. (Leviticus 24:11; Lev 24:16)

This is what may be called blasphemy in general. But added to this, our Lord speaks of a peculiar branch of blasphemy against the person and work of God the Holy Ghost, as being accompanied with aggravated malignity, and in its nature unpardonable. But as if that none of his children might make a mistake concerning it, with that tenderness and grace which distinguished his character, the Lord Jesus mercifully set forth in what the peculiar degree of the sin consisted. He had been casting out devils, and the Scribes and Pharisees, with their usaul malignity, ascribed those gracious acts to the agency of the Evil Spirit. Hence, our Lord thus expressed himself, "Verily, I say unto you, all sin shall be for given unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they should blaspheme. But he that should blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." And then it is added, as an explanation of the whole, and to shew in what the unpardonable sin consisted, "because they said, he hath an unclean spirit." (Mark 3:28, etc.) Here was the blasphemy, in ascribing the works of Jesus, wrought evidently the Spirit of JEHOVAH, to the agency of Satan; was blasphemy with a vengeance, and from its peculiar malignity unpardonable. And who are the persons that commit it? Surely, not they who desire to love Jesus, and to feel the gracious influences of the Holy Ghost. Their distresses and their fears are, lest they should come short of the grace of God. They are too well convinced that the Lord Jesus wrought all his miracles by his own almighty power, even to call it in question; so that in this sense, it is impossible for them to commit this unpardonable sin. They would shudder even to hear such blasphemy from the lips of others; and how then should it come from their own?

Who then were the persons to whom the Lord Jesus alluded when he thus expressed himself? Most evidently and plainly, the Scribes and Pharisees then before him. They had charged Christ with having an evil spirit, by whose influence he wrought miracles, and hence Jesus declared the sin, and shewed, at the same time, that it was totally unpardonable.

And what confirmed it more, and manifested that they were given up to a reprobate mind, was, that hardness and insensibility both of their sin and their danger. Here is another sweet and precious testimony to the timid and fearful child of God, if he would but attend to it as it really is. Your very softness of heart proves the reverse of those obdurate Pharisees. They had commited it, and were insensible and unconcerned. Your sorrow and apprehension most decidedly manifest that you have not so sinned, neither can have committed such an evil. The very different state of the different characters draws the line of distinction, and shews who are the blasphemers of the Holy Ghost, and who are not. The Lord be the teacher of his people.

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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Blasphemy'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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