The Heart-Cry of Jesus
Byron J. Rees
Produced by Robert Rowe, Charles Franks
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
The Heart-Cry of Jesus
BY BYRON J. REES,
Author of "Christlikeness," "Hulda, the Pentecostal Prophetess,"
and "Hallelujahs from Portsmouth, Nos. 2 and 3."
TO MY MASTER, EVEN CHRIST.
THE NEED OF THE DAY.
The saying, "Necessity is the mother of Invention," finds nowhere
a more vivid illustration of its truth than in the publishing
enterprises of the modern Holiness movement. The onward movement
of the Holy Ghost along Pentecostal lines, convicting of
depravity, creating a clean-reading public, and endueing with
power both pulpit and pew, has resulted in a constant and growing
demand for full-salvation literature. Tens of thousands of pulpits
do an active business on both the wholesale and retail plan, with
science and philosophy as stock in trade. Famishing congregations
are proffered the bugs of biology, the rocks of geology, and the
stars of astronomy until their souls revolt, and they demand bread
THE NEED BEING SUPPLIED.
The great soul-cry is being met and answered by the publication
and distribution of soul-feeding, spirit-inspiring, health-giving
Holiness books and papers. God is raising up writers and editors
from whose pens pour melted truths, to the edification and
blessing of thousands.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK.
In this little book we have a production in which the author has
made little attempt at the elucidation of doctrine or the waging
of controversy, but in great simplicity and directness he has
presented the truth with a view to helpfulness, desiring to
introduce really hungry souls into the Canaan life, and provide a
well-loaded table of rich provisions for those who are already "in
READERS WILL BE REFRESHED.
We believe that there is a warmth, fervor and glow about the pages
of this volume which will be most refreshing to many, many
readers. May the Holy Spirit put His seal upon it and give it an
SETH C. REES.
PROVIDENCE, R. I., NOVEMBER 15, 1898.
WHAT IS SANCTIFICATION?
No one who accustoms himself to the observation of spiritual
tides, winds and currents can be ignorant of the fact that the
devout men and women of the present are earnestly inquiring, "What
is sanctification? What does holiness mean?" They are demanding of
the pulpit and of the church editor something more than the time-
worn and moth-eaten excuses for not teaching a deeper work of
grace. The "seven thousand" who have not "bowed the knee" to the
modern Baals are insisting that, if God's Word teaches entire
sanctification for the disciple of Christ obtainable by faith now,
they must possess themselves of this heavenly grace.
THE AUTHOR'S DESIRE.
It is with the purpose and hope that some seeking heart may be
helped that these pages are penned. The author has purposely
avoided all controversial matter. We would not assume the role of
the doctrinaire even were we capable of it. "Not controversy, not
theology, but to save souls," as Lyman Beecher said when dying.
THE NEED OF SPEED.
This book has been written in the midst of laborious and unceasing
revival work. For this reason there has been no time to polish
sentences nor improve style. The object has been to get the truth
to the people in plain language, and to do it with despatch, for
the time is short, and men are being saved or damned with electric
THE BUZZARD AND VULTURE.
The buzzard and the vulture will find food if they look for it,
but with them we are not concerned. We are, however, terribly in
earnest to help hungry souls to a place of blessing and power.
May God take these leaves and make them "leaves of healing," if
not for "nations," at least for individuals.
BYRON J. REES.
NOVEMBER 14, 1898.
CHAPTER I. A Word in the Prayer
CHAPTER II. Some Errors
CHAPTER III. Those for Whom Christ Prayed
CHAPTER IV. Christ's Prayer Answered
CHAPTER V. Christian Unity
CHAPTER VI. Fearlessness
CHAPTER VII. Responsiveness to Christ
CHAPTER VIII. Soul-Rest
CHAPTER IX. Prayerfulness
CHAPTER X. Success
CHAPTER XI. Growth in Christliness of Life
"SANCTIFY THEM THROUGH THE TRUTH; THY WORD IS TRUTH."
A WORD IN THE PRAYER.
All who really love Christ love His words. They may not always
fully understand their meaning, but they never reject any of them.
The very fact that any word has been on the lips of Christ and
received His sanction, gives it a sound of music to all who are
truly disciples of the Nazarene.
The words that your mother used frequently--are there any words
quite the same to you? She may be resting under the solemn pines
of a silent cemetery, but, to this hour, if anyone uses one of her
favorite words, instantly the heart leaps in answer, and the mind
flies back to her, and the fancy paints her as you knew her in the
garden or at the fireside or by the window. It lies in the power
of a single word to make the eyes fill and the throat ache because
of its association with the voice of a queenly mother.
A MAN'S TESTIMONY.
Thus it is with Christ and HIS words. It matters not where we meet
the word, if it is Christ's we are touched and made tender. An
aged man stands in a prayer-meeting in a bare and cheerless hall,
and says in broken and faltering voice, "The dear Lord has
blessedly SANCTIFIED my heart," and like a flash the room
lightens, and the whole place seems changed and made cheery. The
heart cries, "That is my Master's word," and the entire being is
attentive and interested.
JESUS' LIFE DEAR.
Yes, to the really regenerated soul everything connected with
Jesus is dear. The place of His birth, the land of His ministry,
the garden of His agony, the mount of His crucifixion, the Olivet
of His ascension, all these are illumined with a peculiar and
special light. The mind dwells lovingly on His parables, ponders
deeply His sayings, lingers tenderly over His words.
WE WELCOME THE WORD.
We will NOT therefore shrink from the Word of our Lord:
"Sanctify." It may have been stained by the slime of some unworthy
life, or soiled by the lips of men who prated about
sanctification, but knew nothing of its nature; yet, for all that,
since the word is Christ's we hail its enunciation with gladness.
The high-priestly prayer of Christ was distinctively for the
disciples. Indeed, He SAYS: "I pray not for the world." That is to
say, the disciples need a peculiar and special work of grace, one
which must follow, not precede, conversion, and therefore not to
be received by the world. In this prayer the loving Master
revealed to His immediate disciples, and to those of all ages and
climes, the burning desire of His heart concerning His followers.
The petition ascends from His immaculate heart like incense from a
golden censer, and it has for its tone and soul, "Sanctify them
through thy truth." His soul longed for this work to be completed
quickly. During the last days of His ministry He talked frequently
of the coming Comforter. He admonished them to "tarry" until an
enduement came to them. He knew that unless they were energized
with a power, to which they were as yet strangers, their work
would be worse than futile.
HE PRAYED FOR SANCTIFICATION.
It is for the SANCTIFICATION of the disciples that Christ prayed.
He did not ask that they might fill positions of honor and trust;
He knew that there is no nobility but that of goodness. It was
more important that the early preachers should be holy men than
that they should be respected and honored. He did not pray for
riches for them; He knew too well the worthlessness of money in
itself. He did not desire for them thrones, nor culture, nor
refinement, nor name.
"'Tis only noble to be good.
True hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood."
So Jesus prayed that these men who had for three years been His
daily and constant companions should receive an experience which
should make them INTENSELY GOOD; not "goody-goody," which is very
different, but heartily and wholly spiritual and godly.
THE MEN WE LOVE.
The men whose names are brightening as the ages fly, were not men
who were always free from prejudices and blunders. They were not
men, as a rule, from university quadrangles nor college cloisters.
They were not the wise, nor the erudite, nor the cultivated, nor
the rich. They were the good men. Brilliant men tire us; wits soon
bore us with their gilt-edged nothings, but men with clean, holy
hearts, fixed convictions, bold antipathies to sin, sympathetic
natures and tender consciences never weary us, and they bear the
intimate and familiar acquaintance which so often causes the
downfall of the so-called "great" in one's estimation.
THE PERSONAL TOUCH.
We may forget an eloquent sermon pilfered from Massillon, but we
will never forget a warm handclasp and a sympathetic word from an
humble servant in God's house. Jesus never went for the crowds--he
hunted the individual. He sat up a whole night with a questioning
Rabbi; talked an afternoon with a harlot who wanted salvation;
sought out and found the man whom they cast out of the synagogue,
and saved a dying robber on an adjacent cross. We do not reach men
in great audiences generally. We reach them by interesting
ourselves in them individually; by lending our interest to their
needs; by giving them a lift when they need it.
Jesus with divine sagacity knew that if these untutored fishermen
were to light up Europe and Asia with the torch of the gospel they
must have an experience themselves which would transform them from
self-seeking, cowardly men to giants and heroes.
THE CARNAL MIND.
While the true Christian loves Christ and His words, while his
higher and more spiritual nature says "Amen" to the Lord's
teaching, yet it must not be forgotten that the "carnal mind"
which remains, "even in the heart of the regenerate," is "enmity
against God." There is a dark SOMEWHAT in the soul that fairly
hates the word "sanctification." Theologians call it "inbred sin"
or "original depravity"; the Bible terms it the "old man," "the
old leaven," "the root of bitterness," etc. Whatever its name it
abhors holiness and purity, and though the regenerate man loves
Christ and His words, he does so over the vehement protest of a
baser principle chained and manacled in the basement dungeon of
The devout of all churches recognize the existence of an inner
enemy who bars the gate to rapid spiritual progress. George Fox,
the pious founder of the Friends' Society, said in relation to an
experience which came to him: "I knew Jesus, and He was very
precious to my soul, but I found something within me which would
not always keep patient and kind. I did what I could to keep it
down, but it was there. I besought Jesus that He would do
something for me, and when I gave Him my will He came into me and
cast out all that would not be patient, and all that would not be
sweet, and that would not be kind, and then He shut the door."
"SIN IN BELIEVERS."
John Wesley preached a sermon on "Sin in Believers" which is
extant and widely read. All churches recognize it in their creeds,
and all have provision in their dogmas for its expulsion before
entrance into heaven. The Catholics provide a convenient
Purgatory; other denominations glorify Death and ascribe to it a
power which they deny to Christ; while still others rely on growth
to cleanse from all sin and get us ready for the glory-world. The
Bible, however, with that sublime indifference to all human
opinions and theories becoming in divine authority, reveals a
SALVATION FROM ALL SIN HERE AND NOW.
The word sanctify means simply "to make holy" (L., sanctificare =
sanctus, holy, + ficare, to make). The work of sanctification
removes all the roots of bitterness and destroys the remains of
sin in the heart.
What sound sense can there be in antagonizing a blessing which is
nothing more or less than cleanness--mental, moral and physical
cleanness. The kind of character that would wittingly fight
holiness would object to a change of linen.
A CHURCH IN JERSEY.
The eagerness with which truly devout people welcome the preaching
of full salvation is refreshing. It was the writer's privilege to
hold an eight-day meeting with a church in Central New Jersey. The
church was in excellent condition, for the pastor, a godly and
earnest man, had faithfully proclaimed justification and its
appropriate fruits. Nearly all the members were praying,
conscientious and zealous Christians. When, at the first meeting,
which was the regular Sunday morning service, the experience of
sanctification was presented, over one hundred persons arose, thus
signifying their desire for the precious grace!
OPEN THE ALTAR!
The language of the child of God is, "Does God want me sanctified?
Then open the altar for I am coming." He does not tarry; he does
not higgle and hesitate; he makes for the "straw pile" if in a New
England camp; the "saw-dust" if down South; the "altar rail" if in
a spiritual church; to his knees at any rate, for God's will he
desires and must have. Thank God he can have it!
Satan is very busily engaged in destroying and misrepresenting
God's best experiences. He slanders the work of God in order that
His children may not come into their inheritance. The "bear-skin"
frightens the would-be seeker and keeps him out of the Canaan
Darkness hates light. The Prince of Darkness dreads truth and
light, for he knows that if God's children ever see sanctification
as it is, there will be a general stampede for consecration. If
the public really believed that Rosenthal would play the piano in
Infantry Hall on a certain evening, and that there would be no
charge for admittance, South Main street would be black with
people hours before the doors were opened. If the church really
believed that God would let them into an experience where sonatas
and minuets and bridal marches and "Mondnacht" and the "Etude in C
sharp minor" would be heard all the time, and free of charge, all
the bishops and the big preachers and little evangelists and
exhorters and ministers would be besieged by a grand eager throng
of people, crying with one accord, "What must I do to be
sanctified?" Lord, hasten the day!
THE DEVIL STIRRED.
When a man is awakened and says, "What is sanctification anyway?"
then the devil bestirs himself to silence the soul's questionings.
Blessed is the man who will not be satisfied with anything short
of "Thus saith the Lord." Hound the lies of hell to their covert;
run down the false reports, and determine the truth.
One of the lies which Satan is fond of circulating is that
sanctification is a life free from temptation. When this is
announced among those who are awakened on the subject, immediately
there is a great cry, "I don't want to hear any more about
sanctification." One would think by the excitement aroused that
people are actually afraid lest they should by some manner of
means be deprived of the privilege of being tempted. Let all such
allay their fears. Jesus was tempted even on the pinnacle of the
temple, and we will never be above our Lord, and may well expect
temptation until we pass from this world-stage to the other land.
No responsible Christian student teaches any such chimera as a
life without temptation obtainable now.
Personally, we have never heard anyone make such a claim. What we
do teach, and, better still, far better, WHAT GOD PROMISES, is an
experience where we need not YIELD to temptation. There is a
difference, vast and important, between being tempted and yielding
A TEMPTED PREACHER.
A man is en route from New York to the West via the Pennsylvania
Railroad. The express stops at a junction in the mountains. He
leaves the car and walks up and down on the platform enjoying the
view. Near the station is a park. Beautiful flowering shrubbery,
shell walks, ivy-clad piles of rocks, splashing fountains,
majestic shade trees and well-kept turf make the place attractive.
Beyond the pretty village a wooded mountain rises toward the
bluest of skies, enticing to a stroll amid the beauties of a
forest. The preacher is strongly tempted to stop over a day and
enjoy a brief rest. Then he thinks of his word, given in good
faith, to be in a certain place at an appointed hour; he remembers
the souls which God might save through the sermon which he is
expected to preach the next evening. He is tired and jaded and
worn. Would he not be justified in telegraphing that he would not
come until a day or so later than expected? It is a stout
temptation; but when the black-faced porter shouts, "All aboard,"
and the bell rings he walks into the hot and dirty car and
continues his tiresome journey. Does not the reader see that a
temptation to rest is very different from stopping and breaking an
engagement and disappointing an audience?
A CHARMING COMPANION.
On life's express we are all liable to temptation. We are
solicited to tarry, but we are so intent on our destination, and
especially are we so charmed with our travelling Companion, that
we bid farewell to fountain, and gravelled walks, and towering
mountains and push on to that city.
WHO TEACHES FANATICISM?
Another misrepresentation, the circulation of which Satan delights
to further, is that sanctification is an experience in which we
can not sin, and when through this idea men lift their hands in
horror and desist from seeking this precious grace, all hell
chuckles with real satisfaction. But who teaches such fanaticism?
Life is always a probation. The will is free. The Bible teaches
this truth, and we believe it. The holiest saint on earth may, IF
HE CHOOSE, sin and go to hell. Everything hangs upon the choice.
Thank God we NEED not fall. Falling is possible, but not
NOT A DAY-DREAM.
A third evil report is that sanctification is an impracticable
day-dream, unfit for everyday life and the common round of duties.
"It is," so it is said, "all very well for ministers, and class
leaders, and superintendents of Sunday-schools, and people who are
not very busy in life to get sanctification, but it will not stand
the strain and tension to which it would be subjected in some
lives." But "God is no respecter of persons," and what He will do
for one of His children He will do for all. And then, if we only
knew it, sanctification is just suited to the life of trial and
"BILLY" BRAY AND CARVOSSO.
If there is a man to be found who has to labor hard all day and
has a life full of care, sanctification is just the experience he
needs. Read the life of Mrs. Fletcher, and see how sanctification
can help a woman with multitudinous domestic cares. Study the
lives of "Billy" Bray and William Carvosso, and remember that it
was santification which helped these men in their difficulties. If
there is a soul anywhere filled with unspeakable sorrow, shivering
alone in the dark, the brightest light that can come to that
stricken soul is full salvation. No matter how sharp the thorn,
nor how galling the fetter, sanctification turns the thorn into
oil, and the fetter into a chain of plaited flowers.
It is said by some that sanctification makes people "clannish."
Clannish is a word with a rather offensive taste on the tongue,
and is altogether too harsh a word to apply to that congregative
instinct that makes pure-minded persons crave the fellowship of
kindred spirits. There is nothing intentionally exclusive about
the holiness movement. If a man is shut out it is because he shuts
himself out; if he does not feel at home in a full salvation
service it is because he has not yet obtained full salvation.
Men who share great truths and principles in common find in each
other's presence and fellowship great help. Admirers of Browning
form "Browning Clubs"; foot-ball men gather themselves into
"associations"; ministers meet in "Monday meetings"; Christians
organize "churches"; is it to be thought strange if people who are
sanctified wholly delight to meet for conference and mutual
THE SPLITTING OF THE CHURCH
A few uninformed persons say that "holiness splits the church."
But this is false. When men love God with all their heart and
their neighbors as themselves, nothing can separate them. If,
however, people of different sorts and kinds, some saved and some
unsaved, are in one organization, it will not require anything
much to make them differ in opinion. The real ecclesia, the
genuine church, is not so easily split. One of our most brilliant
and spiritual holiness writers has remarked in pleasantry that the
anxiety of some in regard to the splitting of the church would
lead one to think that there was something inside which they were
afraid would be seen in case of a cleavage.
KEEP TO THE BIBLE.
Keep to the Bible idea of sanctification. Let not the adversary
dupe you and frighten you from its quest and obtainment. Begin
now; seek, search, pray, consecrate, believe, and soon the
blessing will fall upon your waiting soul.
THOSE FOR WHOM CHRIST PRAYED--"SANCTIFY THEM."
The men for whom Christ prayed were converted men, and were living
in justified relation to God. In proof of this statement, let the
reader study the context carefully.
A CLOUDLESS SKY.
In the sixteenth chapter of St. John, the one immediately
preceding the sacerdotal prayer, the conversation which is
recorded would be impossible were the disciples conscious of
guilt. One can not read those sublime verses without the
irresistible conviction that the disciples' sky of soul-
consciousness was blue and cloudless. There is no hint in Christ's
discourse that these men are "of the world," but rather it is
taken for granted that they are children of God and heirs of the
A SPECIFIC STATEMENT.
It is the sheerest folly for one to maintain that the conversion
of the disciples did not occur prior to Pentecost. If words mean
anything, Jesus made a specific statement to the contrary.
"Rejoice," says He, "that your names are written in heaven." In
His prayer He says to His Father: "They have kept Thy word"; "they
are Thine"; "I pray for them, I pray not for the world." Notice
the distinction which He makes between "them" and "the world."
These men are picked men. They are very different from the great
unpardoned, sinful throng outside the kingdom--they are
THE CHAMBER OF BLESSING.
A very good evidence of the genuineness of the conversion of the
disciples was their painstaking care to follow out minutely the
directions of their ascended Lord. He had prayed for their
sanctification; they desired it. He had spoken of a coming
Comforter, and they eagerly awaited His advent. He had said,
"Tarry in Jerusalem until" His arrival, and they conscientiously
met in an "upper room" for a ten-day prayer-meeting. "Farewell!
friends; farewell! memory-haunted synagogues; farewell! sacred
temple; farewell! long-bearded priests; farewell all! we must go
to prayer: our Lord said that we should be sanctified." And thus
in long line the one hundred and twenty file up the stairs to the
Chamber of Blessing. There is no lightness, no jesting, no
quibbling, no bickering; all are serious, terribly in earnest,
intent on "the promise of the Father." There is Peter, impulsive
and eager, whole-hearted and enthusiastic; there is the meek and
quiet Mary, who sat at Jesus' feet at the old home in Bethany;
there is the child-like saint, the devout and spiritual John;
there is the repentant woman of Magdala; and there are many others
who betake themselves to that sacred place--"the upper room." One
all-engrossing thought fills their minds. "The promise of the
Father which ye have heard of me. The promise of the Father! The
promise of the Father! O, when will He come? We would know more
about our departed Lord. He is gone from us. Our hearts are torn
and bleeding and lonely. Jesus said, 'He shall testify of me.'
Would that He would come now!"
WHY ONLY THE FEW?
But why are there only one hundred and twenty? Was it not into
Jerusalem that Christ entered riding over a cloak-carpeted way
amid the deafening shouts of "Hosanna"? Did He not teach and
instruct and heal hundreds, if not thousands, in and about
Jerusalem? Was He not lionized at times by an admiring public?
Yea, truly; but one may admire Christ and yet not love Him. There
are many who at some "hard saying" refuse to walk with Him.
Thousands who have a keen appreciation of "loaves and fishes"
shrink from "leaving all" and following Jesus. A great concourse
is drawn and held spell-bound by a naive, graceful, eloquent,
artless preacher who uses "lilies," and the "grass of the field,"
and the "sower" of seed, and the "sparrow" in the air to enforce
his truth. But one may be interested, and yet not be saved.
THE AESTHETIC ELEMENT.
In some people religion appeals to the aesthetic nature, and to
that only. They festoon the cross with flowers, but never think of
dying on it. They are charmed by Gothic churches filled with "dim,
religious light." The waves of music from the great; sounding
organ awe their souls and fill them with a pensiveness which they
mistake for repentance. Pointed arches, sculptured capitals,
fretted altars, swinging censers, burning candles, white-robed
choir-boys, errorless order in church service--these auxiliaries
influence them so strongly in their sense of the beautiful that
they think, "Surely I love God. Why, of course I love God." But to
love God involves something practical. It means something more
than mere profession. It means rugged self-denial, Spartan
heroism, perhaps the loss of an "arm" or the "plucking out of an
eye." Base must have been the soul which was not attracted by One
who "spake as never man spake"; low-minded the man who did not see
in Him imperishable beauty and refinement of soul; but ah!
discipleship means far more than that. Christ had flown up to
heaven. Who now will prove his love for Him by obeying His
commands? Who will tarry in Jerusalem awaiting the coming Spirit,
and then, the Comforter having come, be ready to "Go into all the
world, discipling all nations"? Answer: All who are truly children
of God. The preaching of sanctification is the touchstone by which
the genuineness of conversions can be tested. The truly living
"hunger and thirst after righteousness"; the dead do not "bother
their heads about a second blessing."
THE STEAMER "PURITAN."
Let us illustrate: It was fifteen minutes until the schedule time
for the "Puritan" of the "Fall River Line" to leave her New York
pier. The evening was warm, and the usual crowd filled the decks.
Many had come on board to see their friends off for Newport, Bar
Harbor and "the Pier." Passengers and their friends sat in groups
and chatted, talked about the trip, the weather, the situation at
Santiago, the flowers they held, the concert by the orchestra. It
was impossible for an observer to determine just who were
passengers and held tickets, and who were merely bidding farewell
to their friends. Suddenly an officer in gold-braided cap and blue
uniform appeared, and cried out with an authoritative voice and a
look of command, "All ashore who are going ashore! All ashore who
are going ashore!" Immediately there were hasty hand-clasps and
hasty good-byes, and a large part of the company marched quickly
down the stairs and across the gang-plank. Those who were left
held tickets and were "going through."
THE STAMPEDE FOR SHORE.
In a revival of religion it is often a matter of considerable
difficulty to determine the genuinely converted. In the confusion
of large altar services, and the crush of great congregations, who
are the saved? No man can tell. Many are moved by sympathy for
their friends. Others are charmed by the congregational singing
and the music of the organ. Many see that the revival is bound to
go, and, like Pliable, they are swept along for a time with it.
But there appears in this mixed company a man with the stamp of
divine authority upon his brow, the gold braid of full salvation
on his helmet, the dialect of Canaan on his tongue and the air of
official appointment about his person: "Without holiness no man
shall see the Lord! All ashore who are going ashore! All ashore
who are going ashore!" Immediately "there is no small stir." Some
leave the boat by way of the gang-plank carping at the words of
the officer and arguing as they go; some in great haste vault the
balustrades and railings and leap for the pier; still others climb
out the windows of staterooms and run screaming toward the nearest
ladder which will enable them to leave the "good ship Zion."
Gradually quiet is restored. The company is smaller, and of whom
is it composed? The genuinely converted. What are they doing? They
are asking the nearest officer how soon the boat leaves for New
England. "When can I be sanctified wholly? O, pray for me! I want
the blessing now!" They are "going through."
CHRIST'S PRAYER ANSWERED.
When Christ opens His mouth, God bows down His ear. "I know that
thou hearest me always." The disciples did not wait long until
they were baptized with the Holy Ghost. Christ's prayer found
audience and the answer was not long delayed.
The baptism with the Spirit which was administered to the one
hundred and twenty effected their sanctification. The cleansing of
their hearts was one of the effects of the out-pouring of the
Spirit. Sanctification and the baptism with the Spirit are
therefore coetaneous--they take place at the same time.
This is proven by an inspired statement made by Peter. Referring
to the Gentiles he says that God "put no difference between them"
and us Jews who were sanctified at Pentecost, "purifying their
hearts by faith."
THE MANNER OF CLEANSING.
There need be no confusion as to the manner of cleansing. Jesus
prayed, "Sanctify them THROUGH THY TRUTH." It is by means of the
truth preached of and read, that we first hear of a full
deliverance from all sin. It is "through the truth" that we learn
of God's willingness as well as His power to sanctify. If it had
not been for THE BLOOD, Jesus could never have guaranteed the
coming of the Comforter; the blood is "the procuring cause" of all
the blessings which we receive. Everything comes through the
atonement. FAITH is the human condition necessary for the
cleansing of the soul; so that, in a very important sense, we are
sanctified by faith. THE DIVINE OMNIPOTENT HOLY GHOST is the
immediate agency of heart-cleansing. He is the baptizing element
administered by Christ the Divine Baptizer: "He shall baptize you
with the Holy Ghost."
It would be well for us to notice some of the characteristics of
the Pentecostal anointing. John the Baptist, minister of the
gospel and preacher of genuine regeneration, said of Jesus that
"he should baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire," thus using a
most powerful symbol to characterize the nature of the work of the
Holy Ghost. Everyone is familiar with the action of fire; it burns
everything combustible with which it comes in contact.
We submit that no one can tell just how much there is in the heart
that needs to be consumed. There are things dormant in the
unsanctified heart of which the man never dreams. There are
serpents coiled in balls, and vipers spitting poison, and
centipedes, and fat blinking toads, and vampires, and lizards, and
tarantulas, that we never suspect of being in the soul. But they
THE EMBRYOS OF CRIME.
It is God's mercy that says, "Be ye holy," for He knows that
unless we get cleaned out and purified the inner reptiles will
poison us to death. Every unsanctified man carries in his bosom
the seeds of all possible crimes, the embryos of all black
actions. There are times when we half believe that something of
the kind is true. Did you ever stand by the cage of a lion and
watch his restless pace and feel that you had something in you
kindred to him? Many a man has gazed into the green eyes of a wild
beast and trembled, feeling a similarity of nature. Every son of
Adam feels the beast stir in him at times, until Pentecost
eradicates the bestial principle.
The embers from which hell-fire is kindled smoulder in the
unsanctified heart. It is dangerous to attempt to build a
Christian character over a latent volcano. A once active volcano
becomes inactive. The lava cools, the ashes settle, and the smoke
drifts away. An enterprising farmer covers a considerable space of
the once fiery volcanic field with fresh earth carted from a
fertile valley. All goes well for a year or two. The garden
prospers, the vegetables are most encouraging, and the produce is
abundant. But one morning the farmer notices that smoke is issuing
from the crater at the summit of the mountain. The sky blackens
and red flames flash amid the clouds of smoke. The land is shaken
with earthquakes. Suddenly, right in the middle of his verdant
field, a great red-lipped chasm opens and blue flames leap upwards
and surge toward the sky. His crops are blasted with the "fierce
heat of the flame," and the work of years is wrecked in a moment.
BLUE FLAMES OF GEHENNA
No permanent Christian life can be built upon the foundation of an
unsanctified heart. For a time the graces of the Spirit may seem
to grow, but in some sad hour the surface will split open and the
man will leap back aghast at the blue flames of Gehenna, which
singe his brows and blacken his cheeks.
THE PROPHET AND PRINCE.
An old white-haired prophet and a gay young prince are in
conversation. The aged man bows his head upon his staff and weeps.
"For what are you weeping, old man?"
"Ah, I am thinking of the black and dastardly crimes you will
commit when you have once become king."
"Is thy servant a dog, a ruthless town whelp, that he should do
But years roll on and the young man is king, and his hands are
stained with crime, and the old man's predictions come true. God
had given the aged saint a view of the boy's breast, and he saw
the embryonic seeds of sin which, if allowed to remain, would
sprout and produce a fruitage of evil deeds.
THE BROKEN FLOWER
The secret of the downfall of many a brilliant character is a
bosom sinfulness little expected to be in existence. No man saw
the black and ugly thing but it was there. A lady had a tall and
graceful plant. The flowers were white and beautiful and all the
town said, "What a fine flower!" One day a storm swept across the
garden. One plant was injured; it was the one which people had
admired and praised. Filled with grief, the lady stooped to
examine the stem, and found that it had been pierced by a worm-
hole. The insect had worked silently and secretly. No one saw him
cutting into the heart of the tall and magnificent flower, but in
a storm, under a test severe and protracted, the stem snapped and
the choice beauty of the garden was a thing of the past.
THE WORM IN THE HEART.
It is the worm in the heart with his relentless and resistless
tooth, which weakens the character. Under severe and protracted
temptation the will snaps and yields, and the beautiful life is a
wreck and fit only for the dump of the Universe.
STUMPS AND ROOTS.
There are many roots, hidden roots, which bury themselves deep in
the soil of the heart. They extend far below clear cerebration,
twisting and twining themselves in "the fringe of consciousness."
It takes the fire of the Holy Ghost to follow them deep into the
ground and destroy them. It used to be a pastime of the boys in
eastern Ohio to pile great heaps of brush upon huge stumps in
newly-cleared land. All the long October day they would toil,
raising a stack of dry limbs upon the stump which needed to be
removed. In the evening when twilight came and the stars shone
out, they would light the brush and watch the flames greedily
devour the pile. In the morning when the lads returned to the
scene of the fire, no sign of the stump was to be seen. Looking
closely they saw great holes as large at the top of the ground as
a man's body, and tapering to a small point as they went deep into
the earth. The fire had found the huge roots, and had tracked them
into their retreats and consumed them.
FIRE OF PENTECOST.
We pile the brush of time and talents and money and name and self
upon the altar, and the fire of Pentecost, which God sends as He
sent to Mount Carmel of old, will destroy not only the brush, but
the roots of sin, one and all.
A COMMON PLATFORM.
One of the results spoken of by Christ in His prayer, and brought
about by sanctification, is Christian unity--"that they all may be
one." There is but one remedy for sectism and bigotry, and it is
found in the answer to Christ's petition. When Pentecost comes to
us we are all lifted upon one grand common platform and shake
hands and shout and weep and laugh and get so mixed up that a
Presbyterian can not be distinguished from a Methodist, nor a
Friend from an Episcopalian vestryman.
We have heard much about the organic union of churches. Many great
and good men have looked forward with sanguine hopes to the day
when we should do away with denominations. In a few cases two
churches of different sects have united and worshipped in one
congregation. But the causes of such unity are frequently far from
gratifying. In D----the Methodists and Primitive Methodists clasp
hands and join forces because they can thus make one preacher do
the work which two formerly performed. In K----the Baptists and
Presbyterians unite because the thirteen members of one church and
the seven of the other feel lonely in their great refrigerators
and are inclined to make friends and preserve life. The cold is
most intense. In the far North the weather is sometimes so severe
that wild beasts, ordinarily hostile both toward each other and
man, crowd close together near the campfire of the explorer.
With many churches it is "unite or die!" The mallet of the
auctioneer threatens the steeple-house, the young folks are off
"golfing" or "hiking," and the gray-beards, lonely and terror-
stricken as they see church extinction approaching, favor "a union
of forces with some other church." In the church magazines of the
next month appear sundry articles on "the broad and liberal spirit
of the nineteenth century church." "A large catholicity is taking
the place of the old fogyism of former days," scribbles the hack-
THE "MILKSOP'S" THEORY.
In a few cases large congregations have united. When we behold it
our hopes rise, but they are doomed to early blight by a careful
study of the situation. The cause of denominationalism is the
tenacious clinging to faith and doctrines. Whether or no we ought
to all believe precisely alike about non-essentials, one thing is
sure, the man who does not cleave to some faith, heart and head
and brain and blood, is worthless in Christ's army. Milksops may
be ornamental, they are certainly not militant, and God wants
soldiers. The man who does not know what he believes, and the man
who says "it does not matter what one believes if one is only
sincere," are more despicable than the Yankees who burned witches
in Salem. Better that a man be "narrow" than that he be so
"broad" as to take in "the devil and all his angels." Out upon
our folly when we barter away the truth of God for a flimsy,
tissue-paper bond of so-called "fellowship"!
There is a unity, however, and to it Christ referred, which does
not consist in uniformity of creed but in oneness of heart. When
we are truly sanctified the non-baptizing Quaker, and the trine
immersionist, and the High Church Episcopalian, and the foot-
washing Tunker, and the Methodist, and the Baptist, and the
Congregationalist all unite in one far-reaching melodious chorus,
"HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD!"
Sanctification destroys sticklerism for non-essentials and the
lust for fine distinctions in dogmatics. It slays the doctrinaire
and makes a red-hot revivalist out of him. The purified soul takes
the Bible for his "credo" and loves God's children of whatever
name with a generosity that overtops every inadequate
consideration. The sanctified are united by a common cause and a
common experience. Opinions may differ as to ecclesiastical polity
or the mode of baptism, but the white cord of sanctification is
"the bond of perfectness" which makes them one bundle. Yale and
Cornell are rivals with their "eights" and "shells" on American
Hudson, but men from both colleges join forces to beat the
Britishers at Henley. Holiness people of every church unite to
THE SPOKES AND THE HUB.
When the glorious grace of full salvation is experienced, love for
Christ is increased and intensified. Everyone wants to magnify Him
and live close to Him: and as we get close to Him, the Hub, the
distance between us, the spokes, is lessened.
THE D.D. AND THE NEGRO.
A D.D. and a negro meet on a Mississippi River boat. They fall
into conversation. The doctor speaks of the Lord. The negro's eyes
fill and he says, "You know my Savior?" and they shake hands and
weep and shout. Why this community of feeling between men of such
diverse stations in life? Both possess the blessing of entire
The writer has had the privilege of preaching in churches of
different denominations in the work of special evangelism, but
never has he known the falling of Pentecostal fire to fail to burn
up sectarianism. It is no easy matter to find out from the
preaching of our holiness preachers under what denominational flag
they sail. Full salvation obliterates the fences which separate
the people of God and makes them really "one in Christ Jesus."
PETER THE FEARLESS.
There was a man among the one hundred and twenty "upper room
believers" in whom Pentecost effected a most apparent and almost
spectacular change. It was Peter. We remember him as the man at
whom the young girl pointed her finger and laughed. We recall that
he was so cowardly that he denied his Lord on the spot, swearing
that he did not know Him. Behold this same Peter on the day of
Pentecost. He is charging home the murder of Christ. Fear is gone,
and gone forever. He faces men and does not flinch an iota.
Carnality, the source of cowardice, has been removed, and the
weakling is turned into a Lord Nelson for bravery, and a
Savonarola for faithfulness to men's souls.
SHALL WE TREMBLE?
Fear of man is one of the most illogical things in the world. Men
sell the blood of Jesus and hope of heaven and eternal happiness
because of "what people say." Think of it, afraid of a man who
will die and be hurried under ground before he rots! Frightened at
a thing dressed in a long black coat and a white cravat with a
golden-headed cane and a tall hat and a frown; a thing which will
stop breathing some fine day and the worms will eat! Shall I
tremble when an ecclesiastical Leo utters a roar? Shall I halt and
stammer because a top-heavy lad from a theological seminary,
hopelessly in love with himself, scowls at the word
There are some who bolster their courage by saying ostentatiously,
"I don't care what folks say," but their very vehemence shows that
they DO care a very great deal. We boys all remember how we used
to whistle when we passed a graveyard after dark to show we
"weren't afraid"; and how hard it was to keep our mouths puckered
and how shaky our legs felt!
AFRAID TO BREAK STEP
The folks we are afraid of are afraid of us. "What a situation! A
great regiment of people marching straight down to hell, everyone
afraid to break step for fear the others will laugh! That is
precisely the condition of nearly every sinner.
COURAGE OF THERMOPYLAE
Sanctification takes away the shrinking timidity and puts in a
courage like that at Thermopylae. There was once a young man who,
previous to his sanctification, was so timid that he frequently
stayed away from church for no other reason than that he feared
God might ask him to testify. He enjoyed meetings and loved to
hear preaching, but the very idea of testimony would frighten him
almost ill. Now he frequently addresses many hundreds and never
feels the slightest embarrassment.
The ministry is sadly in need of a blessing which will give it
courage to attack sin of all kinds and degrees. We need men who
will rip the mask off the putrid face of corruption and pronounce
God's sentence upon it; who will lift up the trap-door of the
cess-pools of men's hearts and bid them look within at their own
slime and filth; who will "cry aloud and spare not," though the
infuriated cohorts of bat-winged demons snarl and shriek.
There will be a day when men will curse us because we have not
preached more plainly. You can call a spade "a spade" or you can
designate it as "an iron utensil employed for excavating
purposes," but if you want folks to understand what you are
driving at use the shorter term.
SHOOTING OVER MEN'S HEADS.
There is too little plain Anglo-Saxon preaching. We shoot far over
the heads of our congregations and do not even scar the varnish on
the gallery banister. We dwell on the points of distinction
between Calvinism and Arminianism when the greater part of our
people do not know the difference between an Arminian and an
Armenian, and some good old sister thinks we are preaching on the
cruelty of the Turks. Here I am discussing "The Dangers of
Imperialism" and "The Anglo-American Friendship," while men are
starving for the Bread of Life! Brethren in the ministry, let us
be less anxious about the syllogistic accuracy of our sermons and
be more eager to help men live right and quit sin and go to
THE PULPIT CANNON.
There are many sins which few men have the courage to antagonize
in public. Theoretically the pulpit is supposed to cannonade all
sin of every variety and species, but, alas, it is usually too
cowardly. The Spirit-filled man fears no one from Sandow down to
Tom Thumb, from a plug-hat Bishop to a little pusilanimous dude
It is not that ministers are unawares of the prevalence of black
and ghastly crimes, but that they dare not speak openly against
them. Too many are contaminated with evil and involved in guilt
for the preacher to voice with impunity the truths which burn in
his soul. He knows only too well that if he dares assert his
manhood and exercises the prerogative of Christ's minister, the
retribution will be swift and terrible, viz: ejectment from his
How ominous is the silence concerning murder. And yet the land is
swarming with crimson-handed murderers and murderesses. Many of
them are members of our "best churches" and move in the most
select society. Some of them read with animation the responses in
church service and repeat the Lord's Prayer with the greatest
gusto. A few--not many, we devoutly trust--talk about
"sanctification." Poor, deluded, hoodwinked souls! they are
blinded by Satan. Their hands are red with blood, and their hearts
are black as hell. Were they to ever approach the heaven of which
they sanctimoniously prate, they would be met at the gate with the
curse of murdered infants who never saw the light.
If there is a pitiable sight in all God's great universe, if there
is a scene over which angels shed tears and demons shriek
laughter, it is an old cruel-eyed mother, who has seared her
conscience and sinned away all noble womanliness and blasted her
own soul, whispering into the unsoiled ears of her daughter the
way in which to murder her own offspring; and if there is a hot
hell, such a mother will make her bed in it.
The duties and cares of maternity are too irksome, and so the
women who might be the mothers of John Wesleys and Fenelons and
Metchers and Inskips and Cookmans are petting poodle-dogs and rat-
THE VITRIOL OF WRATH.
How many preachers dare speak in clarion tones what religion and
science concur in asserting concerning vice? But know ye by these
presents, all of Adam's race, that what depraved humanity
pronounces all right and harmless, the Almighty God who whirls the
worlds will corrode and scald with the burning vitriol of His
wrath, and woe! woe! woe! to the man or woman with whom is found
Any tyro knows who drowned Morgan, but the clergyman who "opens
up" on Masonry is a curiosity. Why, how can the ministers say
anything when they are the chaplains of these gilt-edged frauds
called "lodges"? It does not take much calculation to show that an
institution which spends three dollars in giving away one has no
right to exist. Some of the more weak-minded and puerile of the
clergy are doubtless in fear lest their "tongues should be torn
out by the roots and their hearts buried in the rough sands of the
seashore." Brave men are not so easily scared.
Secretism in itself is suspicious. Solon said that he wanted his
house so constructed that the people could see him at all hours
and thus know him to be a good man. A system which is so built
that the public is kept in the dark is entitled to the attention
of a Pinkerton. Bologna sausage made in a factory at the door of
which is a huge sign, "No Admittance," may be all right, but you
can not make people think so.
There are few preachers so foolish and illogical as to believe
that the entertainment plan is the best way to raise money for
church work, yet scarcely one of them declares his honest
straight-forward conviction about it. Now and then a Hale, more
daring than the rest, writes a remonstrative article for the
Forum, but the great mass keep quiet. A Pentecostal ministry will
wheel its guns into position and load and fire into the supper and
festival crowd notwithstanding the voices of objectors.
Whatever may be the matter under consideration the sanctified man
dares anything right. God is with him, and he feels His presence.
Right is right, and by the grace of God he will stand by it though
all the world howl and roar.
RESPONSIVENESS TO CHRIST.
A COAL AND A FLAME.
Among the results of the coming of the Comforter is an increase in
warm personal love for Jesus. Conversion plants divine love
(agape) in the heart, but sanctification quickens and intensifies
it. Conversion drops a coal into the breast; the fuller grace fans
it into a flame.
There is a place in experience where Christ's voice sets the whole
being vibrating. The soul is so in tune with Him that the cadences
of His tones fill the soul with a tremor of glee and gladness. If
you sing the scale in a room where there is a piano the
corresponding strings of the instrument will sound. Thus it is
with Jesus and the sanctified soul. When Christ speaks the heart
Regeneration does much for us. But there is that even in the heart
of the regenerate which is antagonistic to Christ. The whole man
does not say instinctively, "Thy will be done"; yet there is
something within to which the Lord can appeal. Consult Peter. He
tells us of "exceeding great and precious promises by which we
become partakers of the Divine nature." We "take a part"
(partakers) of the divine Shekinah into our hearts. We are not
only "adopted" but born of God, and by a divine heredity we
possess His character.
We see this beautifully illustrated in the case of Samuel. Given
in covenant to God from his birth, and early taught the word of
the Lord, he possessed the changed heart and the attuned ear. When
God's voice fell out of the skies that night something in Samuel
heard what aged and mitred Eli could not hear. Eli had the theory
and reasoned out who the speaker must be, but the heart of Samuel
awoke intuitively at the sound of that voice.
THE VOICE FROM THE SKY.
As Jesus taught in the temple God spoke, and many whose ears were
dull because their hearts were hard and unchanged said, "It
thundered." Others saw that something extraordinary had occurred
and admitted that "an angel spoke to Him." But the disciples whose
"names were written in heaven," and who had regenerated hearts,
knew it was the voice of God.
THE FLINTY WORLD.
But while the child of God is in sympathy with God he must be
sanctified wholly to be fully, constantly and completely
responsive to Christ. Jesus wants a bride who will live His life
with Him and enter into all His plans and sorrows, ambitions and
trials, aims and purposes. There are many people who are glad
Jesus died for them who know nothing about "suffering with
Christ." Yet the Bible is filled with allusions to it. The
Heavenly Bridegroom wants a companion who will understand Him.
This cold, hard, flinty, wicked world does not. "He came unto His
own and His own received Him not." He knocked at the door of His
own vineyard and the husband-men said, "Come, let us kill the
Son." The divine Lord hungers for some one who will not misjudge
His purposes nor impute to Him base motives.
We have all seen people who were never appreciated. Those who were
near to them by blood and kindred always thought them strange and
visionary. What a sad thing if Christ's bride does not appreciate
His aims for the world, His sorrow over perishing souls, His
heart-ache over dying men! "The fellowship of His sufferings"--
what can it mean? It means that we mourn over the sin in the world
which makes Christ weep; sob over the evil that makes Him hang His
fair head and groan. It means that ever and always we shall look
at things from the Christ standpoint.
THE SHEEP AND THE SHEPHERD.
"My sheep know [recognize] my voice," says the Shepherd. He states
the principle that "sheep" always hear when He speaks. "Lambs" may
be at times mistaken as to the voices that cry in the soul, but
Christians whose experience entitles them to the designation,
"sheep," do not err as to the speaker. Watch a good shepherd
collect his flock at evening. Every sheep knows him. It is getting
dark, and the quiet animals are busily feeding in the fragrant
clover, but the tender cadences of the voice of their guide and
protector pierce their delicate ears and enter their gentle
hearts, and the white flock comes bounding toward the shepherd. A
sportsman in golf suit and plaid cap and with a fine baritone
voice may call earnestly, but "a stranger will they not follow."
The shepherd holds the key to their confidence, and no one else
can unlock the door to their love.
CHRIST HAS THE KEY.
Christ has the key to our hearts. He stands in the dusk of evening
in the falling dew and sends His sweet voice out across the
billowing fields of clover, and all His sheep leap toward "the
THE COW AND THE SUNSET.
Sanctification brings out the power of appreciation in the soul.
What God does for you fills your soul with gratitude, and you can
get blessed any time of day or night by simply reflecting on the
mercies and lovingkindnesses of the Lord. The natural human heart
does not appreciate God, and sees nothing especially lovely in
Him. A cow and the man who owns the cow may stand side by side and
look at the same sunset. The cow sees a big splotch of crimson and
gold; the other sees one of God's sky-paintings, and is inspired
to holy living and self-denial and fidelity to the Master. You
must have a "sunset nature" to appreciate a sunset, and you must
be sanctified wholly to see in Christ a beauty and loveliness
which no Murillo and no Raphael and no Del Sarto have yet put on
THE LOVELY CHRIST.
O the lovely Christ! How the heart aches to go to Him! We get so
homesick for Jesus. People are so dull and uninteresting and vapid
and stupid--so precisely like ourselves--we get weary of the world
and its emptiness, and yearn to fly away to be with the spotless
Christ and live in that
"Undiscovered country, from whose bourne
No traveller returns"
Some day, thank God! the Bridegroom will step out upon the balcony
of heaven and look at us and speak to us in a tone inaudible to
all but ourselves, and our souls will bound with rapture and the
earthen vessel will crumble and we will spread snowy pinions and
wing our flight up to the presence of our soul's King!
One of the beatific effects of the cleansing of the heart from all
sin is soul-rest. It always accompanies the glorious experience of
This poor tired world of ours needs rest. Study the faces of the
people you meet in the streets, in the markets, in the cars, in
the churches, and there is one word NOT written on them, and that
word is "Rest." You will find many other words written on them. On
some faces you see "Selfishness" in crabbed, crooked letters; on
others "Lust" in bold-faced type; on others "Gluttony"; on others,
"Self-Conceit"; on others, "Craftiness"; and on through a thousand
unworthy legends; but the one thing which makes life worth living
is not found except among the sanctified.
VAMPIRES AND BATS.
It is wonderful how elusive rest is. You may search for it all
your days and grow gray and haggard, and sit down in the evening
of life with the vampires circling about you and be forced to
confess, "I have not found rest!" You may retire from business and
say, "I will spend my declining years in peace," but as the sun
goes down the bats come out and flap the black skinny wings of the
sins of other days in your affrighted face. If you are a student
you may drop your books like Dr. Faust and hurry to the country,
but the imp of restlessness will dog your steps and snare your
pathway and you will carry home with you a Mephisto who will never
THE SEEDS OF ANARCHY.
Some Christian people seek rest in changing preachers, but there
is nothing in that to bring it. You may leave the minister who
thumps the desk and listen to a man with a nasal twang, but you
are still restive and unsatisfied. You think the reason your peace
of soul is disturbed is that Mrs. Garrulous talked about you, or
that the weather is rainy and disagreeable, or that the meetings
are dull, or that people are selfish. The real reason is that you
have a restlessness in your heart characteristic of inbred sin.
You possess the seeds of dissatisfaction, and lawlessness, and
anarchy, and nothing but holiness of heart will expel them.
THE OCEAN DEPTHS.
Down in the unfathomed depths of old Ocean there is no movement,
no disturbance. Gigantic "Majesties" and "Kaiser Wilhelms" and
"Oregons" and "Vizcayas" plow and whiten the surface; tempests
rage and Euroclydons roar and currents change and tides ebb and
flow, but the great depth knows no ripple. It is said that down
there the most fragile of frail and delicate organisms grow in
safety. In the depths of the sanctified heart there is no storm
and no breaker. Trials may come and leave white scars; billows may
beat and surges may roll, and water-spouts and tornadoes may make
the upper sea boil with anguish and sorrow and grief, but deep in
the heart there is calm. There the delicate graces of the Spirit
thrive and luxuriate. Great, soulless, iron-keeled, worldly
institutions and sharp-prowed cutters may ride over your
sensibilities, but the inner placidity is unbroken.
THE ETERNAL SABBATH.
God's plan is to rest us so we can work for Him with ease and
success. He institutes an everlasting Sabbath in the spirit that
we may be ceaseless in sanctified activities. If a man is always
jaded and tired he can not take hold of his work with much
There is no mistaking the man or woman who has found the second
rest. There is a poise of spirit and a sweet serious balance of
soul which can not be counterfeited. The preacher who appreciates
spirituality sees no sight more beautiful than the serene, calm
faces of auditors from whose souls the tempests have been cast.
Life's toils and distractions and disappointments have all been
negatived by the power of the all-conquering Christ.
A SCENE AT ALLENTOWN.
These words are being written in the city of Allentown, Pa., where
the writer is spending ten days in a series of Pentecostal
services. Last evening we saw a symbol of the rest Christ gives.
We strolled along the east bank of the Lehigh River about half an
hour after sunset. All the western sky was beautiful with an
afterglow. The water of the river, silver near the shore and
golden toward the west, was as still as the face of a mirror. The
trees on the shore leaned over perfect pictures of themselves. The
hills, which fell back gracefully from the valley, were covered
with cloaks of gold and vermillion and emerald, and not a leaf
stirred in the evening air. Far up the river the tiny bell of a
canal-mule tinkled drowsily. On the veranda of a little cottage a
young mother crooned a lullably to a slumbering child, and a
little bird in a thick grove called, "Peace! Peace!"
If God can make so beautiful a scene in the physical world, what
can He not make in the spiritual? Thank God! He can excel anything
the natural eye ever beheld. He can hang the soul with paintings
and turn the "River of Life clear as crystal" through it, and fill
the chambers of the heart with lullabies and the song of birds
crying, "Peace!" If there are times when we are awed and charmed
"All the beauty of the world"
let us remember that what we see is only a type of the grandeur
and glory and splendor He will put in our spirit-nature if we but
permit Him to sanctify us and cast out the storms and tempests.
THE PAIN OF SYMPATHY.
While we may possess and enjoy "the second rest" here and now, we
need not forget that another is promised to us. We get weary
physically sometimes here. The days frequently seem long and
trying. There are hours and hours of labor, and nights and nights
of toil, but, thank God! we can say at each sunset, "I am one day
nearer rest." For while a sanctified man is always at rest
spiritually, he can not rest physically to much satisfaction. In
his dreams he can see the white, drawn faces of the doomed, and
hear the wild uncouth shriek of the tormented. He remembers with
horror that one hundred thousand souls are rolled off into
Eternity while the earth makes one revolution! He thinks of
cheerless homes, and torn and bleeding hearts, and wives waiting
for the sound of unsteady steps, and children friendless and
hungry, and figures leaping from bridges, and shaking hands
holding poison, and maniacs behind the bars glaring with wild eye-
balls through dishevelled hair! And he leaps from the couch with
the cry, "O the pity of it all!" And he can not be still, he can
not be idle, but is constrained to do his utmost by word and pen
to save a sinking, gurgling, drowning humanity.
WHEN IT IS ALL OVER.
But one day it will all be over. Soon we shall all have preached
our last sermon and prayed our last prayer and spoken our last
word. Our lives will soon have passed into history. That blessed
hour will soon be here in which we shall "lay down the silver
trumpet of ministry and take up the golden harp of praise."
Hallelujah, it is coming! it is coming! Praise the Lord!
DELIGHT IN PRAYER.
The precious grace of entire sanctification brings to the heart a
prayerful spirit. Prayer becomes the normal occupation of the
soul. One is surprised to discover that while it was formerly
difficult, if not irksome, to pray at times, now one prays because
it is delightful and easy.
Many of us have been surprised to read in the biographies of pious
men and women that they frequently spent hours in prayer. But the
sanctified man understands all that now. He can readily believe
that De Renty heard not the voice of his servant, so intent was he
gazing into the Father's face. He does not doubt that Whitefield
in his college room was "prostrate upon the floor many days,
praying for the baptism with the Holy Ghost."
The writer remembers of reading when just a child the thrilling
life of John Wesley Redfield. There was nothing which struck the
boy-reader with greater force than the prayerfulness of the man.
It awed him, and made him long to enjoy such an experience as
would make prayer so delightful. In the golden experience of
sanctification he found that prayer was delightsome and blessed.
Such is the uniform testimony of all who have been cleansed from
depravity and anointed with the Holy Ghost.
PRAYER HAS ITS ANSWER.
God means true prayer to have audience. We can not understand how
God can vouchsafe to us such tremendous effects as He asserts
shall follow prayer. We can not defend prayer philosophically; but
either "he that asketh receiveth," or the Bible is misleading and
But what is "true prayer"? In the first place, it is prayer which
says, "Thy will be done." If we pray selfishly, "asking amiss," we
can hope for no answer. We will get no hearing. We must ask with
the thought, "What is the Father's will? What does He consider
True prayer must be earnest. It was the IMPORTUNATE widow that was
heard, and it is the importunate seeker that never fails of an
answer. If when sinners, backsliders, or believers come to the
altar they would pray with earnestness and desperation, there
would be a far larger PER CENT. of them who would go away fully
satisfied. God never gives great blessings to indifferent people.
When He sees a man in an agony of desire and longing, then He
hastens to gladden his heart with an answer.
Prayer must be full of faith. James makes this clear to us. "Let
him ask in faith nothing wavering." God cannot bestow a blessing
upon us if we doubt Him. If a neighbor doubts your character, how
much of your heart do you let him see? If a fellow-preacher
imputes selfish motives to your acts, how often do you go to him
and pour your heart out to him? But those who believe in us--how
frequently we run to them, unlock our hearts and tell them all! It
is thus with God. If we believe His word, if we are sure of the
veracity of His promise, and are confidently expecting an answer,
He will not, can not disappoint us.
THE FORGIVING SPIRIT.
There must be in us a forgiving spirit if our prayers are to be
heard. Forgiveness of our enemies precedes blessing for ourselves.
"If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will
also forgive your trespasses." If I am bitter in my heart toward
any creature, God can not but be deaf to all my cries. If I
nourish hatred, or meditate revenge, or plot the downfall of any
man, my prayers are vain; yea, all my hope in Christ is futile!
O that God may send us all the prayerful blessing! It is better
that we pray than that we discuss politics or talk "shop," or
gossip or jest. If we preachers and evangelists at camps and
conventions would pray more instead of getting in groups and
talking about a world of nothings, our sermons would mean full as
much to those whom we address.
Sanctification makes it possible for us to "pray without ceasing."
The indwelling Paraclete keeps the heart in a constant spirit of
prayer, so that at all hours and in all places prayers ascend.
Communication is kept up between the heart and the throne of Grod.
No snows break the wires. No floods wash away the poles. From the
pulpit, from the sidewalk, from the counter, from the railway
coach, from the sick bed, an ever-steady stream of prayer is kept
up. They may befoul our names, but they can not stop our praying.
They may "cast us out as evil," and may deny us pulpit privileges,
and take away our salaries, but prayer and praise they can not
stifle nor hinder.
INCENSE AND THUNDER.
The prayers of God's people are sweet to Him. "With much incense"
burning in a golden censer (Rev. viii. 3) they float to His
throne. But notice the effect of the prayers of saints. Not only
is there a silence of an half-hour but "voices and thunderings and
lightnings and an earthquake" are observed in the earth. The
children of God, if they but pray and believe, can pull spiritual
fire and earthquakes down upon earth and effect great things for
God and His Church.
Nothing is clearer in the Acts of the Apostles than that the
disciples after Pentecost had success in gospel service.
Everywhere they went God rained fire upon their Word and
sanctioned the truth which they preached by tremendous moral and
B. T. ROBERTS.
Bishop Roberts has put the matter of success very succinctly: "If
the lawyer must win his case and the doctor cure his patient in
order to be successful, the minister and worker must save souls if
they in their calling are to be said to be successful." But alas,
saving souls is precisely what we are not doing. Thank God! there
is here and there a man who stands out as a soul-saver. But the
average minister is not distinguished for revivalism so much as
proficiency in making a church social a "blooming success."
We all want to seem to succeed. We shun and dread the appearance
of failure. When a church begins to rot instead of grow it is
natural for us to do our utmost to find out some way of excusing
the retrogression without admitting our failure to reach men with
the gospel. There are evangelists, who in the palmy days of their
power had wonderful, heaven-gladdening revivals, who have ceased
to wield "the sword of the Lord and of Gideon," and, in order to
cover their spiritual nakedness, are forced to resort to finger-
raising, card-signing methods for stuffing and expanding "the big
revival." There is no more sobbing, no more desperate praying, no
more shouting; all is "decent and in order," as well it may be,
for all is dead.
QUESTION OF EVANGELISM.
Honor to soul-saving! Show us the man who wins men to our Master,
that we may clasp his hand and look into his face. Right here
hangs all the discussion about evangelism. If the evangelist gets
men soundly and scripturally converted and sanctified, let us bid
him Godspeed! If he only amuses them and deals in paltry three-
cent sensationalism, away with more of the same sort of stuff
which we already have in so many pastors!
THE DIVINE RECIPE.
One thing is certain: God intends success and only success for His
people. If, as His children, we fail, it must be because we have
not followed the divine recipe for power and accomplishment. It
was because the one hundred and twenty obeyed Christ and tarried
at Jerusalem that God used the early Church to whip the Roman
"HOW TO SUCCEED"
"How to Succeed," used as the title for a book, will make any book
sell, though it be as dry as a patent-office report. People want
to know how to succeed in the world. How strange then that
ministers and churches who are brilliant and conspicuous failures
should shun the preaching of Pentecost--the one cure for failure
and the sole guarantee of success.
How many times some of us have sighed over our inefficiency! How
frequently, in default of apparent results, we have been forced to
console ourselves with the thought that we are "sowing seed" and
that there will be an abundant harvest at no distant date! Thank
God! there is success for us all. Pentecost will give it to us.
JOHN THE BAPTIST.
We do not mean by success financial opulence. A man may be a
success and yet as poor as John the Baptist lunching on dried
locusts and honey-comb. One may be as wealthy as Croesus and yet
be an awful failure. A church may be rich and increased with goods
and incur the Laodicean curse.
Neither does success mean a great and highly-trumpeted statistical
report to lug to conference. Some of our most inspiring
"successes" are all right on paper, but in reality they are
stuffed and padded scandalously. No, success in Christian work is
to "turn many to righteousness," save souls, and secure the
sanctification of believers. If we do not see such results
following our labor, we have either missed God's plan as to our
selection of a field or we are not living in the present enjoyment
of the Pentecostal Baptism.
THE EPOCHAL EXPERIENCE.
The preachers and evangelists who have won great successes in the
calling of sinners to repentance have almost without exception
testified to having received an "enduement" or "anointing"
subsequent to their conversion. The Caugheys, the Moodys, the
Whitefields, the Wesleys, the Foxes, the Earles, though in some
instances they have not believed in holiness according to the
Wesleyan view, have all had an epochal event after which their
work and works were effective and startling.
THE EFFECT OF PENTECOST.
Pentecost coming to a mission-worker will fill his heart with
enthusiasm and energy, and give him a host of jewels washed from
the mire and shining like meteors. The same experience coming to a
mechanic will fire him with a love for Jesus and a solicitude for
souls that will make him pray and fast and weep and work for his
fellow-laborers, for his neighbors, and for his friends. The
Spirit coming to a gifted singer will cause her to consecrate her
voice, like Rachel Winslow in Sheldon's "In His Steps," so that
with holy melody she will reach hearts hitherto hard and
THE PASSION FOR SOULS.
One of the conditions of success in soul-saving is a passion for
the salvation of immortal men and women. Full salvation always
brings this, and as long as a worker lives in its plentitude and
enjoyment he is consumed with a burning, longing, panting thirst
THE GIGANTIC LANDSLIDE.
The ministers of early Methodism and early Quakerism were not of
the sort who congregate in groups and discuss the relative
desirability of various appointments. They did not spend their
leisure in jesting, punning and guffawing, but in praying,
studying, and working, for even their vacations were turned into
days of toil. They spent their all in one endeavor--to save men
from a yawning Pit and a lurid Hell. Nowadays we live in perpetual
relaxation and recreation. Smooth, insipid preachers talk to
shallow, giddy audiences, and the whole thing is on a gigantic
landslide. Lord, save! or death and damnation are sure.
THE UNCERTAIN FAITH.
There can be no successful denial of the assertion that real soul-
absorbing earnestness in religion is dying out. We sometimes mock
at the Herculean labors of men like Owen, and Baxter, and Calvin,
and Edwards. But though these men were perhaps more or less
legalistic and at times a little narrow, yet one thing is sure,
they made religion the business of life, and went at it with zest,
enthusiasm, and determination. Your modern "Christian" has
"certain intellectual difficulties"; is "not fixed in belief
concerning Socinianism"; does "not like the old idea of the
Atonement"; in fact, is in a state of fusion so far as his belief
and faith are concerned. Men do not give their life's blood for
matters in which they have only a half-faith. But when one is
convinced that men are dying in the dark and that their salvation
depends in a measure on one's activity and fidelity, then one is
hot with zeal and fire from hat to heel and set to working for God
and eternal souls.
WEEPING OVER CHORAZIN.
This is the explanation of the zeal of men who are "burning for
Jesus." This is the reason men so frequently wear out in short
order after they are sanctified. They are dipped in fellowship
with Christ's sorrow, and beholding Him weeping over modern
Capernaums and Chorazins their hearts are melted at the sight, and
they speed away to preach the gospel of the lovely Son of God.
No wonder success comes to the sanctified man. Indwelt by the
Shekinah, filled witll the Holy Ghost, his whole being energized
with power and force, "whatsoever he doeth prospers."
VISITS OF ANGELS.
The ninety-first Psalm is a painstaking description of the
blessings and benefits bestowed upon the man that "dwelleth in the
secret place of the Most High." Without doubt the entire chapter
should be taken as a photograph of the sanctified man. Among other
things, this fortunate and favored person is told that he is to
have angelic guards and ministers who will protect him and keep
him "in all his ways."
The sanctified are in a peculiar sense God's own, and all the
resources of heaven are pledged to their protection. All the fire
companies of the firmament will turn out to extinguish a fire if
it kindle on God's saints. If need be, Jehovah will empty His balm
jars but the wounds of warriors shall be healed. Angels are
detailed for our protection: heavenly visitants hover near us lest
the fires of affliction destroy us.
The moment the soul is sanctified, it begins to understand Christ
in a new and delightful sense. It is given unto it to not only sit
at His feet in the temple, but to groan with Him in Grethsemane.
It understands Him, and, in suffering, is "as He is in this
A DARK HOUR.
It was a dark, dark hour for the Master. He had been praying a
long while, perhaps for several hours. The place was one familiar
to Him. Many a night after a long, wearisome day of teaching in
the temple, He had labored painfully up the slope of the Mount of
Olives in search of the quiet of "the Garden." Here the Savior had
His oratory. Sometimes the disciples were with Him; at other times
He was alone.
A NIGHT OF CRISIS.
But this night was a night of crisis. The old olive trees, in all
their centuries of life, had never witnessed so intense a struggle
as that which took place on the night of His passion. Alive to all
the pathos of the hour, awake to all the gravity of the situation,
sensitive to the slightest breath, He prays to "the Father" with
that desperation in which the flight of time and the doings of the
world are all forgotten.
There was much about the hour which made it a painful one. There
was, first of all, an uncertainty concerning the will of "the
Father." With a great cry the lonely Christ fell to the ground:
"If it be thy will let this cup pass, nevertheless" let thy will,
whatsoever it is, "be done." Evidently He was not at that time
really sure what the plan of "the Father" was in regard to Him.
A BITTER CUP.
Uncertainty is a fearful test, when it comes to the soul of a man
of great and energetic purpose. So long as there is no doubt about
the course to be taken, so long as the plan is plainly revealed,
it is easy for a courageous man to advance. But to such a one
uncertainty is like a shock to the body, palsying the form and
changing a strong arm into a nerveless, useless stick of bone and
tissue. A cup may be very bitter, salt with the brine of tears and
hot with the fire of vitriol, and yet, if all the ingredients in
that cup are known to him who drinks it, grief has not reached its
superlative. Socrates' duty was plain to him. Hemlock was in the
cup, and he knew it. But the liquor with which God fills the
tumblers of His people is brewed from a thousand elements.
To trust in the dark, to believe in a rayless midnight, to cling
to a thread well-nigh invisible, to say "Amen" to God when one has
no idea of the greatness of the meaning of "His will," that is the
supremest test of loyalty.
THE NIGHT PICKET.
The night picket stationed far out from the camp has need of much
greater courage than the soldier in battle ranks rushing on toward
the enemy. The man at the lonely picket post, cloaked in darkness,
is guarding against uncertainty. He can not tell at once whether a
dark object is a dangerous spy or a browsing Brindle. Sounds must
be noted and sorted lest the enemy steal up to the slumbering army
and destroy it. The snapping of twigs, the low whistle of a bird,
the groan of the wind, the murmur of a waterfall must all be
listened to with care.
It is suspense and a nameless dread and fear that sap many a mind
and heart. Moments of breathless expectancy of evil tidings are
like years in the life, bringing ashes to the hair, lines to the
cheek and listlessness to the eye.
THE PALLED FACE.
"Be sure you are right, then go ahead," said Tennesseean Crockett;
but supposing that one can not "be sure" of anything except the
love of God, supposing that one looks out through the tangled
limbs of the olive trees of a Gethsemane to a sky studded with
pitiless stars, supposing that the future is obscure and the
present black as Styx, supposing that even the face of the Father
Himself is palled and curtained--then must one be content to trust
and only trust.
There was another cause for pain in "the Garden." The three
disciples, whom He had chosen to accompany Him in His dark and
lonely vigil, slept as He prayed. We can bring ourselves to
overlook the negligence and apathy of Nicodemus and Lazarus and
Simon the leper and Zaccheus and the crowds who had merely heard
Him preach. We are willing perhaps to excuse eight of the twelve
for their drowsiness--perchance they did not apprehend the full
meaning of the hour to the Master. But there were three disciples
to whom Christ had ever laid bare His heart. With Him they stood
in the death chamber in the house of Jairus. To them it was given
to behold "the vision splendid" on the mount of transfiguration,
and these alone Jesus chose to enter into the fellowship of his
These men did not nod and sleep ignorant of Christ's need of them.
With that tender confidence with which a truly great and colossal
man sometimes honors his friends, He had said, "My soul is
exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." He had warned them with the
words, "Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation," and yet
"OUR OWN AFFAIRS."
It must have been a keen disappointment to Jesus to find His most
trusted friends so indifferent to His needs. Is there anything in
life sadder than the discovery that our own affairs are really
only our own affairs? We had thought that they were our friends',
as well as our own. We had supposed that our griefs were theirs
also, but when Grethsemane comes into our lives, and we writhe and
twist among the gnarled and knotted roots, when we turn with
blanched, tear-sprinkled faces to our chosen James and trusted
Peter and beloved John to gasp in their ears the story of our
agony, we hear only the heavy breathing of sound sleepers.
COLD, HARSH FACT.
If there is a sharper pang than this, man's heart has not found
it. We are by nature social beings. We crave fellowship and love
and sympathy, and it is so hard for us to realize that our
choicest friends are really "asleep" to our heart cries and heart
interests. The cold, harsh fact can be believed but slowly. Even
the Lord seemed to find it hard to convince His own heart that the
John who had leaned at supper upon His breast, was resting while
his Master was sweating blood. He prayed awhile and then, as if to
see whether it was indeed true that no one watched to help Him,
"He came and found them sleeping." Sad, cruel disappointment, and
yet is it so rare that any one of us has not felt its sadness and
But while men forgot the Nazarene and His troubles, Grod did not
forget. The Father was not negligent nor careless. "There appeared
an angel unto him from heaven strengthening him." The night was
not too dark for the angel to find Jesus, and the night of our
troubles is never too thick and black for the angels to find us.
The paths of "the Garden" may be grown up in weeds, the rough,
scabeous limbs of the trees may hang close to the ground, the
driving clouds may hide the moon and stars, but some celestial
messenger will search us out and find us.
IN MANY FORMS.
God has many angels, and they come in many forms. Sometimes the
solitary sufferer sees only a tiny flower, but love is in the
flower, and he knows he is not utterly forgotten. It may be only
an hand clasp, but warmth and sympathy are in it, and behold it is
straightway "an angel strengthening him." Perchance it is a letter
with a foreign postmark, but in it is nectar and ambrosia for a
drooping spirit. Or the angel may come enveloped in a text of
Scripture or flying on the wings of the music of some old hymn,
"Fear not! I am with thee.
Oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God!
I will still give thee aid."
In whatever role the angel may come, God sent him, and his mission
is one of blessing and encouragement.
We can well afford to suffer in the darkness, alone and
uncomforted, if angels will but visit us. John Bunyan can well be
content in Bedford gaol, if God but puts a dream in his head and
heart that will last in the memories and characters of men, when
the sun is a burned-out cinder and the stars are dying ash heaps.
We can well be satisfied to have sorrows unutterable and griefs
inexpressible, if heavenly visitants will but come to us.
GROWTH IN CHRISTLINESS OF LIFE.
MAKING A BOTCH.
One may have a clean, pure heart and yet be far from possessing a
matured Christian character. A man may love God with all his
heart, and yet not be wise in his selection of the things that
will always please God. Frequently the preacher may come down from
the pulpit having made a horrible botch of his attempt to serve
God in the ministry. He may feel the fact keenly, and be even more
conscious of it than any of his hearers. And yet that preacher may
have a heart as white as Gabriel's wing and a soul full of love to
God and man. But as time goes on, and he lingers repeatedly at the
feet of Christ in prayer, God will show him how he can serve Him
more effectively and without the objectionable features.
The fact that purity is not maturity has given rise to
misapprehension on the part of many people. Indeed, many of God's
dear children have been misjudged and condemned because they did
not have in addition to pure hearts sound and solid judgment. As
soon as a man professes the blessing of perfect love, the sharp-
eyed critics of the neighborhood look out for "perfect sense," and
"perfect manners," and "perfect life," and when the subject of
observation fails to meet the expectation of the aforesaid
critics, there is a great hue and cry that "Sister A. or Brother
B. has not got what is professed," when God knows they HAVE got
JUST what they profess--namely, perfect love, full salvation. The
Lord has never guaranteed a perfect head to any man that breathes.
We will make mistakes as long as we hang around this old world,
and it is injustice to exalted spirits who have this precious
grace, and an insult to the God who gave the grace, to condemn
sanctification because those who profess it are not angels, but
simply men and women cleansed and filled with the Spirit.
But while God makes allowance for our weakness and our frailty, we
ought not to expect Him to indulge us in avoidable and needless
errors. We made a mistake. Very well. We knew no better than to
make it. But now that we do know better, we have no business
repeating it. And right along here comes a great expanse of
territory which holiness people need to cover. Here there is
infinite room for advancement and progress.
"THE IMITATION OF CHRIST"
Thomas A'Kempis wrote a wonderful book on "The Imitation of
Christ." The failure in so many quarters in becoming Christlike is
due to the false method pursued. First, get a Christlike heart,
and then let that heart govern your life and actions. "Work OUT
your own salvation," said Paul, "for it is God that worketh IN
you." Precisely! God puts a holy heart into a man's breast, and
his business from thence on is to bring his life into line with
the heart. The old life-habits may cling to him for a time, but it
is the business of the sanctified soul to free itself from all
that Jesus would not do were He on earth. Imitation of Christ
comes after sanctification, and not before. You simply can not
imitate Jesus if you have a reptile heart in you. If you have a
filthy mind you will talk "smut" and think "smut" in spite of
yourself. You may hide your bad self from the world, but your
wife, or your husband, or your family, those who are acquainted
with you intimately, know that you are base and coarse.
A glutton may stand and look at the thin, austere, ascetic face of
Dante and say within himself, "I will be a Dante," but all the
world knows that in a few hours he will be gourmandizing as
swinishly as before. And men look at the beautiful Jesus held up
in Unitarian pulpits and resolve to act like Him, and go right on
being selfish, and proud, and deceitful, and devilish. There must
be a moral miracle, there must be a spiritual upsetting and
overturning, before a carnal heart can begin to imitate the pure
and spotless Son of God.
After we are sanctified, we ought to imitate Christ in kindness.
How kind He was! Where did He abuse anyone? He preached the truth,
but He never maligned any of His auditors.
THE "LITTLE THINGS"
It is the "little things" that make up the mosaic of life. Our
friends know us, not by the speeches we deliver, nor the sermons
we preach, nor the books we write, but by the tones of our voices,
and the letters we pen, and the words we use in daily life.
Introduce kindness into a discordant family and how Eden-like the
home becomes! Why are we not as considerate and polite to those
who are all the world to us as we are to strangers and neighbors?
Christlike kindness would fill our hearts with thoughtfulness for
those about us. It would bid us carry a torch to many a darkened
life, and incite us to share the burden pressing upon many an
Christ had great charity for the faults of those with whom He was
associated. How He bore with the dull and almost stupid disciples!
How He bears with us in our worse and more inexcusable
blockheadedness! And, if He is so charitable and patient with our
faults, how ought we to be with others? There comes a time in our
lives when we are simply astonished that people pay any attention
to us at all. We are so conscious of our short-comings, and so
keenly aware of our mistakes, that it seems to us that surely no
one is quite so blundering and fallible as we are. How easy it is
then to bear with one another!
We ought to work humility out into our lives. Jesus lived an
humble life--a life of the truest and deepest humility. Not a
humility conscious of itself and ever gazing at itself through the
fancied eyes of others, but a humility that was real and
A CHRISTLIKE MAN.
The writer has in mind a man of deep and earnest piety, a scholar,
a successful preacher and author. With all his learning and
scholarship he is as humble as a child, and one can not look at
him without feeling, "There is a Christ-man." Often as the pen
flies quickly across the page, or as the lips are moving in the
delivery of a sermon, or as an altar service is in progress, the
slight, thin figure of that man flashes to the brain, and the eye
grows dim and the heart-prayer rises, "Lord, make me an humble
man." There are so many great men, eloquent men, learned men,
dignified men, but so few humble men. God, increase their number
in the land!
Another thing in Jesus' life which sanctified people ought to
learn to imitate was His activity. His days, and even His nights,
frequently, were filled with service. After long days of teaching
and preaching, He would seek out some quiet nook and spend the
still and lonely hours of night in prayer to the Father.
THE INDIVIDUAL VISION.
Men who come into close touch and communion with Christ are
impelled irresistibly to earnest and ceaseless service. They see
needs which no one else seems to see. They hear the plaintive
voices of dying men, and the tearful cries of despondent women,
and the helpless moans of unloved children. They have visions
which others never understand, and dream of things with which
their dearest friends can not sympathize. They have given their
all that they may know Christ, and He has rewarded them by
disclosing His heart to them. They know why His face is tearful,
and His voice is filled with sadness. They know why He is "a man
of sorrows and acquainted with grief." They are baptized into a
baptism of love for souls, and compassion for the sorrowing,
similar to that in which He is plunged. It is for this reason that
men hear the voice of God calling them away from the hearth-stone
out into the desolate earth.
St. Telemachus heard the voice of God, and straightway "followed
the sphere of westward wheeling stars," and journeyed on to Rome
muttering, "The call of God! The call of God!" Not on a foolish
errand did he go, for, after his visit to the Eternal City,
gladiatorial combats ceased.
"HE THAT WARRETH"
Brethren, be true to Christ. Let not even those who love you best
draw you from a steadfast purpose to spend your life and all for
the Galilean. Flee ease and luxury and comfort, and impose hard
tasks upon yourselves. Your friends may seek to hinder you with
cries of, "Rest! Tarry!" but like Christian in Bunyan's dream stop
your ears and go quickly on your journey.
THE HOME COMING.
Some day your little service will be complete. Your sun will set.
The west will be filled with beauty, and the birds will twitter
softly in the trees as you trudge the last mile into the City; and
as the shades deepen, and the air grows chill, the Master Himself
will meet you, take you to His heart, wipe the tear from your
cheek, the dust of the road from your brow, and the sorrow from
your heart, and lead you to the court, where with those whom you
love, and those who love you, Eternity will be spent in the light
of His pure and shining face.
THE VALUE OF TESTIMONY.
It has pleased God to place in our hands two weapons by which we
are to overcome Satan--"the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our
testimony." It was the narrated experiences of the people of God,
and the modest declarations of the saving power of Christ, which
convicted me of my need and led me to seek the grace of God. Very
briefly, therefore, I will sketch God's dealings with my own soul.
I was born September 30th, 1877, at Westfield, Indiana. My parents
were both ministers in the Society of Friends, and I can not
remember When I first began to pray, for my mother taught me to go
to God with everything, even when a very small child. When I was
five and a half years of age we moved to Walnut Ridge, Indiana,
where there was a Friends' meeting of more than ordinary size and
activity. It was here that my conversion took place. I remember
the event as distinctly as if it were yesterday.
I always prayed at the family altar, and that was an institution
which was never neglected for anything in our home, and I had
never omitted my evening devotions; but one summer day while
playing by myself under the trees in the front yard, a great fear
came upon me lest I had never had a change of heart. Though less
than six years old, I had sat in the "gallery" behind my father as
he preached too often to be ignorant of the necessity of the new
birth. It was a perfect day, but conviction settled upon me more
and more deeply, and a dark shadow seemed to take the brightness
from everything. Unable to endure the heartache any longer, I ran
into the house and sat down with my father and mother, waiting in
silence for some time. Finally I asked them if I had "ever been
converted," told them I "wanted to be," and immediately we knelt
in prayer. How I did weep, and how badly I felt! I can see the
back of that little sewing-rocker now swimming in my tears. (I
wonder where that rocking-chair is now! The last I knew it was in
California, having left us at an auction--an occasion not
unfamiliar to most of preacher-families.) They told me to pray,
and I prayed with all my heart. If ever there was a little boy who
felt that he was a great sinner, I was the boy. I remembered all
the things I ever did that I knew were wrong. My boyish
wickednesses, things that seem a rather absurd lot now in the
light of the sins of the average lad of six that I know to-day,
caused me great pain. Soon peace came, and what happiness! When I
went out doors again the very birds twittered with increased
gladness, and the sky seemed a far deeper blue, and the grass and
flowers rejoiced with me in my new-found experience.
Would God I had retained my simple faith in Jesus! But it was not
long before I wandered away from Christ, and the life of
prayerfulness and obedience. For years my religious experience was
most unsatisfactory. I was under frequent convictions, and knew
that the Spirit was striving with me persistently, but I hardened
my heart and would not yield completely to God. As I look back at
those years of restlessness and rebellion, I recall with gratitude
the forbearance and long-suffering of a now sainted mother. How
she carried her proud, stubborn boy on her heart, and how she held
onto God's skirt and tugged away until He answered.
THE STRIVING OF THE SPIRIT.
During the winter of 1891-1892 I became almost wretched on account
of conviction. The Holy Ghost fairly dogged my steps and whispered
in my ear at every turn. There were many things which He used to
convict me of--my unfaithfulness and aridity of soul and life. My
junior year at Oak Grove Seminary is distinctly remembered as a
time of continuous conviction and unrest. Now and then I would
find peace and comfort for a time, but they remained only for a
time. I kept up secret devotions very carefully. I never missed my
daily prayers, but my life was inconsistent and God-dishonoring.
The lives of real Christians rebuked me, and the mockery of my
empty profession haunted me like a spectre.
In the summer of 1892 I began to seek God earnestly, and was not
long in finding pardon and reclamation. No sooner was I at peace
with God than I began to hunger for holiness. O, how my heart
longed for full salvation! I saw much about me that was an
indication that there was an experience enjoyed by some of which I
was not possessed. My mother's calm, victorious life, and her
constant unwavering Christian faith, convicted me. I was proud and
selfish, and hypersensitive and ambitious. She was restful,
contented, loving, meek. How frequently I gave way to some
temptation, and how mortified I was to be so humiliated by the
HUNGER FOR HOLINESS.
Many of the members of my father's church at Portsmouth had an
experience of freedom and liberty which I craved. In July my
father, my mother, and I spent a couple of days at Douglas camp-
meeting. I remember so well every incident of the trip--my deep
unrest as we entered the grounds, my aversion to certain
"boisterous persons" who said "Bless the Lord" so frequently, my
disrelish for food, my dislike of taking a front seat in the
audience. Two old sisters sat facing the preacher one evening.
Their faces were full of joy, and they seemed to overflow with joy
and spiritual exhilaration. I inwardly said, "I wish I had an
experience like they seem to have." I made up my mind I would
seek. I can not recall a word of the sermon. I do not think I
heard it at the time--my mind was so full of an inward struggle.
CANDIDATE FOR SANCTIFICATION.
When the call was made, I went forward and consecrated myself and
all my hopes and desires and longings and all to God. How in the
world I had ever acquired so low a desire I do not know, but my
chief ambition had been to be a professor of science in some
college. But the Lord put me through a series of questions:
"Will you be my property henceforth?"
"Are you willing that people should call you a 'holiness crank'?"
"Supposing I should ask you to shout, would you?"
"I would do my best at it."
"Will you give up all your plans and be a one-horse preacher of
holiness if I want you to?"
Ah, here was a rub, indeed. Preaching was precisely what I did not
relish. Anything rather than that. I had visions of small
salaries, and country churches, and long, cold rides. I had seen
the life of the preacher ever since I could remember. I debated
the question. Then I answered, "Yes." The audience was singing:
"Here I give my all to Thee--
Friends and time and earthly store.
Soul and body then to be
Wholly Thine forever more."
They told us seekers to raise our hands if we meant it. I meant
it, so up went a hand. Instantly faith got an answer, and the
witness came, and I knew that I was sanctified wholly.
A DULL SCHOLAR
But I was a dull scholar, and had to learn many lessons after my
Jordan-crossing. Owing to my failure in definite testimony, my
experience suffered partial eclipse, and my last year at Oak Grove
was more or less dark and unhappy. I was much helped, however, by
the reading of holiness books sent me by a sanctified music-
teacher, who had interest enough in me to write me real Fenelon
letters and keep me supplied with holiness reading. During the
summer of 1893 I was more fully established in the grace, and in
the autumn began to preach.
THE ABIDING CHRIST.
I have frequently erred in judgment, and made most stupid
blunders, but the perpetual spring experience of full salvation
has been my greatest comfort and blessing. The abiding Christ
gives zest and spice to life, and makes the ministry of holiness
delightful and joyous.
GOD ALWAYS ANSWERS.
God has blessed my ministry, and given me success. It is all of
Him. What a wonderful God we have! He never leaves us. I have
called upon Him when preaching, and He has always answered. I have
cried to Him in hours of loneliness and discouragement, and He has
replied like a flash. I stood by a cot and watched a saintly
mother slip away to the "undiscovered bourn," and He did not fail
me. Hallelujah! He can not only sanctify, but He can preserve,
sustain and keep. Whatever may come to us, Christ will not forsake
us. As we look down the vista of years to come, and remember that
life is swift and serious, we can only lean hard on the Son of God
and push on, confident that His promise, "Lo, I am with you
alway," can not fail. Praise the Lord!
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