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A Criticism of Dr. James Mudge's "Growth in Holiness Toward Perfection"
XXV.

No Sins of Ignorance.


OUR author says, "Unavoidable infirmities and ignorances need no expiation." He could not have read Heb. ix, 7, in his Greek Testament, nor in the Revision, just before writing that sentence: "Not without blood which he offers for the ignorances of the people," or " errors," as in the Authorized Version. Nor could he have read Heb. v, 2, nor Lev. iv, 13: "If the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of Jehovah . . . When the sin, which they have sinned, is known, . . . then they shall offer a young bullock for the sin." In this chapter there are precepts respecting the sin of ignorance of "a soul " and of the anointed high priest, who must first offer sacrifice for his own ignorances. The great day of atonement assumes that he and "his household" and "all the congregation of Israel" have need of expiation (Lev. xvi, 17), not because they are all conscious of willful sin, but their involuntary "errors " in the presence of the holy God need the screen of the atonement. All sins not committed "with a high hand," in open defiance of the known law of God, "but through human infirmity, or with a half-consciousness only of their moral turpitude, and such as when recognized as sins, are truly repented of" (Delitzsch), were atoned for by the blood of sprinkling. What CREMER calls "unconscious sin, as well as sin wherein consciousness is passive," is included in "sins of ignorance." Saul of Tarsus found forgiveness because his sins were committed in ignorance, not with a high hand. He did not know that Jesus is the true Messiah.