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their spirits are themselves after death. They who sin against their flesh corrupt and destroy their flesh, but they who sin in their spirits corrupt their spirits and destroy them. Whosoever speaketh a word against the son of man it shall be forgiven him, but whosoever speaketh against the holy spirit it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Wherefore I say unto you All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the holy spirit shall not be forgiven unto men.

The occasion which called forth this statement from our Lord and Saviour was, they had brought one unto him possessed with a devil, blind and dumb, and he healed him in so much that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. All the people were amazed and said, Is not this the Son of David ? But when the Pharisees heard it they said, This fellow doth cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of devils. That great bar, the intuition of righteousness in the common people, saw the deed of love accomplished by miraculous power, must be by the Messias. But the Pharisees, whose consciousness of truth was in the bondage of righteousness before the law, could not see virtue in him because he did not observe their commandments for righteousness. Their deliberate service of the commandments of men taught for doctrine had made the holiness of the spirit of God of none effect in them. Make the tree good and its fruit will be good; if the tree is corrupt the fruit will be corrupt also. Christianity is by the holiness of the spirit within men. The kingdom of God is within you. The sin against the holy spirit is the deadening of its powers of life by a deliberate choice of natural standards for righteousness, turning a deaf ear to conscience.

"Math. 12:31-32.

There is no delusion so utterly hopeless as that of him whose soul has felt the almighty commandment by a life of faith, and then with this assurance abiding in him, turns to a religion of commandments of men taught for doctrine. Paul writing to the Hebrews whose souls had felt the celestial fire at the Pentecost exhorted them to leave the dogmas of Christianity, laying the foundation for repentance again from dead works unto faith toward God, i. e. to leave off the dogmas of baptisms, of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment. For it is impossible for those once enlightened, and tasted of the heavenly gift, and made partakers of the holy spirit, and tasted of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify in themselves the Son of God afresh, and put this holiness of life to an open shame.

The greed of wealth, especially in those who have never felt the power of religion, does not seem to forge such adamantine chains about the souls of men. As soon as he was dead, the rich man knew that he was in the torments of hell, on account of his selfish greedy lusts. It is not so with the stout professors of righteousness. They know that they are righteous, by their code of notions, they thank God that they are not as other men, especially the publicans, they endeavor to monopolize the movements for righteousness, they are narrow and bigoted in their own notions, and scold often in vitriolic denunciations about all that do not observe their commandments of men taught for doctrine. While ancient Israel stoned every one of the true prophets, their great religious leaders were men of whom Jesus said, 'Woe unto you when

'Heb. 6:1-6. 'Luke 6:26.

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all men shall speak well of you! for so did their father of the false prophets. Every one shouted their righteousness, and without doubt they thought they were one with God. Their profession of religion was by a deliberate determination of the divine life in them, and their spirits go into the great beyond in the bondage of the deception, which remains till at the end of time, and as they see the children of God, by the power of the holiness of spirit in them, taking up glorified bodies, while they are unable & Then will they begin to contend with the judge of all the earth saying, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils ? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And he will answer them saying, I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity. They had mistaken zeal in their work, for the holiness of spirit; the praise of men, for the approval of a sincere unfeigned conscience before God; they received the honor from men and sought not the honor that comes from God only. Their righteousness was carnal, and their spirits selfish. And these shall depart into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels; and the righteous into life eternal.

'Math. 7:22-25; 25:41-46

CHAPTER XIV

GOD IS OUR FATHER

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NE morning in June, a young minister received this note from a member of his church. “My son is killed. Come.” The minister hastened to the

home. The father meeting him at the door, led him out and back across the farm. They walked the length of the lane, half a mile, and then returned. The father walked slowly, hesitatingly, halting and moaning as if he were trying to say something. As they came near the barn they stopped and leaned against a reaper. The minister could feel the machine shaking from the trembling of the father, so stricken with grief. At length, in choking accents, the father began, saying; "I-have-been-trying-to-tell-you-how-I-killedmy-boy.” The minister answered; “You did not kill your son. I have learned all about it on my way out here."

The father then related the story, how ten years before he had read in a newspaper, a suggestion to farmers living on prairies, as he did where stones were scarce. The suggestion was, to put a long curb made of planks at the upper part of the well. Soon after this he dug a well, and the stone failed about ten feet from the top, and for this distance he made a curb large enough for him to climb through.

He said; “this morning my pump gave out. We drew it up, but part remained in the well, which made it necessary for some one to go down and get it. I fastened a rope at the top and tried to climb down, but in the ten years past, I have grown stouter and am too large to get through the curb. My son, (a lad about fourteen years old, his oldest son) said, I

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will go down. Let me go papa. I drew the rope up, fixed a place where he could set his feet. He put his feet in the loop and I with my own hands let him down into the well. Just as he passed the lower end of the curb the choke-damp struck him," At this point of the story the father's voice became husky, and in pitiful, hesitating accents he said ; "I-did-notknow-the-choke-damp-was-there. He - looked - up-as-if-hewanted-me-to-help-him. I - heard - him - say-papa,-but-as-helooked-up-he-fell. I-did-not-not-help-him. O-why-did-I-lethim-go-down-in-the-well? Would-God-I-had-gone-down-myself-and-died-in-his-stead.”

The minister reassured the broken-hearted father that he was in no way to be blamed, and that he himself, or any of the other neighbors would have done the same, and that every one he had talked with had expressed themselves so, for none seemed to have heard of the choke-damp being so close to the surface. The father looking up said; "Can you say that in the funeral sermon?” The minister replied; “I can, and I will say it with emphasis."

The funeral came, and the body was laid away in the tomb. The summer came. The fields of grain ripened, and the heads bowed down by reason of the fullness of the fruit, but the father regarded it not. The music of the reapers was heard on every hand, but it lent no cheer to his heart. When he called at the study, the minister would try to enlist him in conversation, asking him how they were getting along with the harvest. Some times he would sit as in reverie, and as if he did not hear what was said to him. At other times he would wake, seeming to come back from wandering thoughts and say; "O I think very well." Then he would begin saying; "Every where I go, I see his face looking up to me, as if he wanted me to help him, and I did not do it. I gave my

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