Truly I say to you, All sins shall be forgiven to the sons of men, and blasphemies with which soever they shall blaspheme:…
I. Now, WHAT IS FORGIVENESS? It is the remission of the consequences of a violation of law, and of pains and penalties of every kind which arise from having broken a law. It may be considered as, first, organic. In other words, far away from human society the Divine will expresses itself in natural law. Thus a man, by intemperance, by gluttony, by excess of activity, by violation of physical law, may disarrange his whole structure. His head may suffer, his chest may suffer, any part of his body may suffer. Violence may fracture a limb, or some sprain may distort a tendon or a muscle; and everywhere man, as a physical organization, is in contact with God's organic law in the physical world in which we live.
II. THE PRINCIPLE OF FORGIVENESS RUNS THROUGH CREATION. That is to say, all violations of law are not fatal. They may inflict more or less pain; they may bring upon a man suffering to a certain extent; but so soon as a man finds that the derangement of his stomach has arisen from eating improper food, although the knowledge and the reformation do not take away the dyspepsia, yet, if he thoroughly turns away from the course he has been pursuing, and pursues wholesome methods, in time he will recover. Nature has forgiven him. Throughout the physical world you may cure fevers, dropsies, fractures, derangements of vital organs; you may violate all the multiplied economies that go to constitute the individual physical man, and rebound will bring forgiveness; but there is a point beyond which if you go it will not, either in youth, in middle life, or in old age. Many a young man who spends himself until he has drained the fountain of vitality dry in youth is an old man at thirty years of age; he creeps and crawls at forty, and at fifty, if he is alive, he is a wretch. Nature says, "I forgive all manner of iniquity and transgression and sin to a man who does not commit the unpardonable sin."
III. FOR THERE IS AN UNPARDONABLE SIN, PHYSICALLY SPEAKING, THAT IS POSSIBLE TO EVERY MAN. If a thousand-pound weight fall upon a man so that it grinds the bones of his leg to powder, like flour, I should like to see any surgeon that could restore it to him. He may give him a substitute in the form of wood or cork, but he cannot give him his leg again. There is an unpardonable sin that may be committed in connection with the lungs, with the heart, or with the head. They are strung with nerves as thick as beads on a string; and up to a certain point of excess or abuse of the nervous system if you rebound there will be remission, and you will be put hack, or nearly hack, where you were before you transgressed nature's laws; but beyond that point — it differs in different men, and in different parts of the same man — if you go on transgressing, and persist in transgression, you will never get over the effect of it as long as you live.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: