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CHAPTER - EFFECTS OF SANCTIFICATION — LOVE, ASSURANCE, PEACE, SELF-CONTROL, SENSITIVENESS OF CONSCIENCE, APPREHENSION OF TRUTH, UTTERANCE, COURAGE, LOSS OF UNHOLY AMBITION, A PASSION FOR SOULS, A FULLNESS OF LIFE Isaiah 32:15-17: “Until the Spirit be poured out upon us from on high ….. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” Romans 5:5: “The love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost who was given unto us.”
The question arises, is the “Baptism with the Holy Spirit” worth having.
We have seen that it requires some trouble to the “old man” of our heart. It requires self-humiliation, self-surrender, a giving up of idols, a submission of the will, a going apart from the world, a consecration of everything to God, a death to the world and the customs and fashions thereof, — a literal crucifixion of self. It is a good deal. Crucifixions never were pleasant experiences. Soul Gethsemanes and Calvaries never were pleasant places.
It is a via dolorosa and not a holiday excursion that leads to the soul’s crown and throne. “He that loseth his life loseth it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” “This is the will of God even your sanctification.” Is it worth while that God’s will should be done in us? Is it worth all it costs to be sanctified, — filled with the Spirit of God? Does God amply reward his faithful servants who implicitly obey him in the pursuit of holiness? Let us name some of the results of being filled with the Spirit. 1. The love of God is shed abroad in the heart as a mighty reality. Of course, all Christians have a dim, nebulous belief that God loves them. But with many it is scarcely more than a trembling hope that hardly amounts to confidence. There is very little exultation in it. Now it goes without saying that this is not ideal Christian living. God never intended that his adopted, blood-bought children should live at such a poor dying rate. A vigorous faith in Jesus ought to be as tuneful as a bird, and as full of joy as a June morning. Let perfect confidence and faith in Christ for a complete salvation rise like a full-orbed sun upon the soul, and how will hope sing in exultation, and every power rejoice in the conscious love of God. But how can we come into such a state? What hand shall open the door into the kingdom of love, and bid us welcome to the chief bliss of the redeemed?
Not our own human strivings surely; for then would many of us have had experiences long ago to which our hearts have been strangers. The Apostle Paul with his diviner life and light of inspiration pointed out the way: “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us.”
And again he says: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.” It is this baptism with the Spirit that makes God’s love a blessed reality to the soul, out of which come hope and peace and joy and all other foretastes of heaven. His coming into the heart brings such disclosures of the divine nature, such revelations of mercy and grace, such exhibitions of infinite affection, that the poor heart feels itself surrounded and bathed in the love of God. Let the experience of God’s dear saints elucidate this truth. All are aware that the savor of the writings of Merle D’Aubigne has been, throughout Christendom, “as ointment poured forth.” What was the cause of this? Several years after his conversion, when at Kiel, in company with Rev. F. Monod, of Paris, Rev. C. Riell, of Jutland, and Klenker, Biblical Professor of the University there, in the course of their conversation upon the Scriptures, the aged Professor refused t o enter into any detailed solution of difficulties presented, saying that the first step was to be “firmly settled in the grace of Christ,” and that “the light which proceeds from Him will disperse all darkness.” “ We were studying,” says D’Aubigne, “the Epistle to the Ephesians, and had got to the end of the third chapter. When we read the last two verses, ‘Now unto him that can do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us ‘ — this expression fell upon my soul as a revelation from God. ‘He can do, by his power,’ I said to myself, ‘above all that we ask, above all, even, that we think, nay, EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY above all.’ A full trust in Christ for the work to be done in my poor heart now filled my soul. We knelt together in prayer. When I arose, I felt as if my wings had been renewed as the eagle’s. All my doubts were removed, my anguish was quelled, and the Lord extended peace to me as a river. Then I could ‘comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and depth, and length, and height and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. Then was I able to say, ‘Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee!’ Under the influence of that baptism of the Spirit, D’ Aubigne wrote the “History of the Reformation,” the most spiritual history ever penned outside of the Bible.
Mrs. President Edwards received the Holy Spirit baptism in 1742, and she gives her own experience in these words: “I can not find language to express how certain the everlasting love of God appeared; the everlasting mountains and hills were but shadows to it. My safety, and happiness, and eternal enjoyment of God’s immutable love seemed as durable and unchangeable as God himself. Melted and overcome by the sweetness of this assurance, I fell into a great flow of tears, and could not forbear weeping aloud. The presence of God was so near and so real, that I seemed scarcely conscious of anything else. At night my soul seemed to be filled with an inexpressibly sweet and pure love to God and to the children of God, with a refreshing consolation and solace of soul which made me willing to lie on the earth at the feet of the servants of God, to declare his gracious dealing with me, and breathe forth before them my love and gratitude and praise. All night I continued in a constant, clear, and lively sense of the heavenly sweetness of Christ’s excellent and transcendent love, of his nearness to me, and of my dearness to him, with an inexpressibly sweet calmness of soul in an entire rest in him. My soul remained in a heavenly elysium. I think what I felt each minute during the continuance of the whole time worth more than all the outward comfort and pleasure which I had enjoyed in my whole life put together. … This exaltation of soul subsided into a heavenly calm and rest of soul in God, which was even sweeter than what preceded it” (Perfect Love, pp. 132, 133). 2. The filling of the Spirit brings a fuller persuasion of soul. “The effect of righteousness is assurance forever.” There is no more saying, “I guess I am a Christian,” or “I hope I am a Christian,” after the Spirit takes up his permanent abode in the heart. There is an assured confidence in God’s salvation. “Ye shall be witnesses unto me,” says God. Jesus is still on trial, and his cause and his gospel, in the court of a wicked world. Guesses and surmises and “I hope so,” are ruled out of court. The enemies of our Lord cry out peremptorily, “None of your guesses; tell us what you know.” The one that has a soul experience of some significance, that he knows about, is the only witness whose testimony commands the slightest respect. Last evening I was leading a revival meeting here in Cleveland, Ohio, where I am now writing these lines. A stranger rose up in the after-meeting and electrified the audience by saying: “I was for many long years a Christless, wicked infidel. But five years ago God to ok it all out of me, and brought me to the Saviour’s feet. Now it is the joy of my life to be preaching Jesus every day. I rejoice in a full salvation. I believe in sanctification, and know what it means, blessed be God!” The witness did not say much, but what he said moved everybody; for he had an experience. He told what he knew.
Peter said to a Jerusalem mob: “Let all the house of Israel KNOW ASSUREDLY.” Whoever receives the baptism with the Spirit will have a testimony to give of something that HE KNOWS. 3. “The work of righteousness shall be PEACE.” O, the sad lack of this peace, this holy calm, in average Christian hearts. So many lives are consciously the helpless victims of all the vicissitudes and unhappy circumstances of life. They fume and fret and chafe at every discomfort and annoyance and disappointment. Their religion is like a mountain stream, rushing and tumbling and whirling, pouring fretfully over every opposing stone, and fuming around every unexpected curve, a perpetual roar and dash and foam, and not very much water either. But when the Holy Spirit comes the stream of life suddenly widens and deepens, and becomes like that same mountain stream when it has reached the plain and grown into a mighty river and flows on quiet but resistless to the sea. Isn’t that what God meant when he said: “Then had thy peace been as a river and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” We all sorely need so much grace that we can move like an iceberg through the seas of circumstances unaffected by t he surface billows, ever quiet and steady and calm, whether seas be smooth or rough. Dr. Carradine says: “Sanctification has saved him from irritability of temper and disposition. Regeneration saved him from giving vent to it in speech and act, but did not eliminate the dark, disturbing spirit from the heart. Sanctification, glory be to God! has done this blessed interior work. The hot, impatient flush, the hasty impulse to angry speech, the gunpowdery expression of thought and word — all have been taken away in a moment of time by the blessed Son of God. The man in the enjoyment of such a deliverance will read John 8:36, with a gladness and appreciation that he never did before: ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ This was a promise not made to sinners but to Christians. Every regenerated man knows the set of circumstances that conspire to produce irritability. The coming home wearied and hungry, the aching head, the noisy children, the absent servant, the delayed meal, the fireless grate, the general influence of a cold, cloudy, rainy day, or a day of sweltering power. Here is a battlefield indeed, and here many a regenerated man goes down in temporary defeat. And here is the easy victory of the sanctified. What a state is that in which a man is kept sweet-spirited, calm and gentle in heart and voice in the midst of multiplied annoyances” (Sanctification, pp. 172-174).
The ability to endure with equanimity whatever comes of adversity or misfortune in our lot is the gift of the blessed Spirit. Madam Guyon, for proclaiming the doctrine of sanctification by faith, spent some fourteen years as a culprit in the prisons of France, and a large portion of these in the Bastile, with “the Man in the Iron Mask” passing daily the door of her cell. But prison walls could not shut out from her heart the light or the peace of God. Behind the prison bars she wrote: “I passed my time in great peace, content to pass the rest of my life there if such was the will of God.
I sang songs of joy, which the maid who served me learned by heart as fast as I made them, and we together sang Thy praises, O my God! The stones of my prison looked, in my eyes, like rubies. I esteemed them more than all the gaudy brilliancy of the world. My heart was full of that joy Thou givest to them that love Thee, in the midst of their greatest crosses.”
The following is one of her songs, setting forth the heavenly peace of her soul: A little bird I am, Shut out from fields of air, And in my cage I sit and sing To Him who placed me there; Well pleased a prisoner to be, Because, my God, it pleaseth Thee. Nought have I else to do; I sing the whole day long; And He whom most I love to please Doth listen to my song; He caught and bound my wandering wing Put still he bends to hear me sing.
Oh! it is good to soar, These bolts and bars above, To Him whose purpose I adore, Whose providence I love; And in Thy mighty will to find The joy, the freedom of the mind. (See Double Cure, p. 16, and Baptism of Holy Ghost, pp. 93, 94.)
St. Paul had this same imperturbable peace after he received the Holy Spirit, so that he could say: “Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure it; and being defamed, we entreat”; “none of these things move me”; “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong” and “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” O, when shall Christians generally become so “filled with the Spirit,” that “the peace of God that passeth understanding shall keep their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” “The sun shall be no more their light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto then; but the Lord shall be unto them an everlasting light, and their God their glory.” 4. There is vouchsafed to those who are filled with the Holy Spirit a peculiar, special self-control and divine equanimity of mind which is wholly foreign to the natural man, and which not even sickness, or disease, or pain can break down. Some extreme cases will cover all lesser ones and show the truth in its glory. The writer has stood by a beloved Christian woman in the grip of sciatic rheumatism of an extreme form, when the sufferer said: “It seems as if a red-hot gimlet was boring into me along the whole line of the nerve. I can not help tears coming to my eyes from the excruciating pain, but I never was so happy in God and never felt such keeping grace in my life.” Another instance was given by a minister of his mother: “I wish you could see my mother. To give you some idea of what a monument of grace she is, I would state that in early life she was spoiled by training. She had one of the worst and most ungovernable tempers I ever knew. For years past she has been wholly confined to her bed fr om nervous prostration. During the early part of this period it did seem that nobody could take care of her, or endure her continued manifestations of irritability, impatience, fretfulness, and furious anger. Right there she became fully convinced that through grace and the baptism of the Spirit, she could have perfect rest, quietude and self-control. She set her whole heart upon attaining that state. Such was her fervency of spirit, and earnestness in prayer, that her friends thought she would become deranged, and urged her to cease seeking and prayer. ‘I die in the effort,’ was her reply, ‘or I obtain what I know to be in reserve for me.’ At length the baptism came gently upon her. From that hour there has not been the slightest indication of even the remains of that temper. Her quietude and assurance have been absolute, and her sweetness of Spirit ‘as ointment poured forth.’ It is no trouble to any one now, but a privilege to all, to care for her. Many come even from long distances, to listen to her divine discourse. From the hour of her baptism to that of her death, that ineffable sweetness of temper was never for a moment interrupted. I witnessed the closing scene. She died of cholera, and in the greatest conceivable agony.
Yet such patience, serenity of hope, and such quiet waiting for the coming of the Lord, I hardly before deemed possible. ‘My son,’ she would say, ‘nature has had a hard struggle; but it will soon be over, and I shall enter into the rest that remains for the people of God.’ ‘ It was this Baptism with the Holy Spirit that made the martyr-age of the Church so glorious. “By reason of our strange and wonderful courage and strength,” says Lactantius, “new additions are made to us; for when people see men torn to pieces with infinite variety of torments, and yet maintain a patience unconquerable, and able to tire out their tormentors, they begin to think (what the truth is) that the consent of so many, and the perseverance of dying persons, can not be in vain; nor that patience itself, were it not from God, could hold out under such racks and tortures. Thieves and men of robust bodies are not able to bear such tearing to pieces; they groan and cry out, and are overcome with pain, because not endued with divine patience; but our very women and children (to say nothing of men) do with silence conquer their tormentors; nor can the hottest fire force the least groan from them.” The places of martyrdom became the holy places of victory and triumph, where the greatest numbers were converted to the hated faith, till the Roman Emperors were forced to prohibit the public execution of the saints of God. (Baptism of Holy Ghost, p. 82.) “ By the power of the Spirit,” says Mahan, “,we can rule our own spirits. We can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth us.” Yes; there is no temper, appetite, passion or circumstance, but this baptism can subdue into calmness, sobriety, peace and love. 5. The Holy Spirit in the heart produces a remarkable sensitiveness of conscience that was before wholly unknown. Things about which the writer was once utterly thoughtless, he is now held back from by this inward Monitor. Things that once he indulged in, without so much as questioning their propriety, have suddenly become distasteful to him and even positively painful. This indwelling Spirit leads the soul that welcomes him to cheerfully surrender the long list of doubtful things, and to “avoid the very appearance of evil.” Things of speech and habit that once seemed to have no moral bearing whatever suddenly put on an unsuspected importance. There is a quickened detection of the presence of the adversary in things that wear such a harmless guise, that they once never roused a suspicion of their being displeasing to God or perilous to the soul.
One becomes strangely aware of the approach of danger, where formerly danger was the last thing thought of. I know from testimony on all sides that this is th e case with others. What Christians have done unquestioningly for a score of years they find suddenly, after the Spirit comes, that they are sweetly constrained not to do, and know that they can not do without grieving the indwelling Spirit. Dr. Steele has this striking passage: “It is a coat of mail amid the arrows of temptation. Hence the most extended definition of Christian perfection is found in Hebrews 5:14: ‘But solid food is for perfect men, even those who by reason of use (habit) have their (spiritual) perceptions exercised to discern good and evil.’ love is the medium through which the spiritual eye clearly discerns, if it be not that eye itself, as St. John intimates ‘He that loveth not knoweth not God.’ Ever-increasing love is ever-increasing spiritual discernment of the true nature, good or bad, of each circumstance, case, or object which experience may present. A sensitively correct moral perception can not be too highly prized. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit improved and intensified by us e. It is the opinion of Mr. Whewell, a distinguished moral philosopher, that our power of moral discrimination may become so acute as to discern a moral element in acts now considered morally indifferent, such as the question, shall I ride to town or walk; shall I wear boots or shoes, gloves or mittens; take an umbrella or run the risk of rain? If there is a moral element at the bottom of all these apparently trivial choices, it is evident that it is the design of God that we should acquire a spiritual perspicacity sharp enough to discern it. But spiritual perception is not an end in itself, but only a means to an ultimate end — right conduct and holy character, ‘that ye may be sincere and without offense against the day of Christ’” (Half Hours, pp. 28, 29).
Satan is perpetually here with his gilded temptations laying his snares for our feet. How often are the good enticed and blinded and seduced from the path of wisdom and rectitude. How often do even the earnest and serious-minded lose their reckoning in the labyrinths of human affairs and make grievous mistakes and blunders that in their serious effects are almost equal to crimes. Satan would deceive if possible the very elect. Only the Spirit of God can enable us to perceive the unsuspected evils and fathom his subtlest wiles. 6. The Holy Spirit coming into the heart with Pentecostal power will beget a clear apprehension and just appreciation of the truths of the Bible. Jesus himself said, “The Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.”
The Apostle Paul tells us that the mysteries of God’s wisdom are “revealed unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” Is not this the most pointed intimation that we need the Holy Spirit’s illumination in order to understand the Word? There is much in the Scriptures that the unaided intellect will never discover, appreciate, or understand. It is the Spirit’s Book, and the Spirit is its best Commentator and Interpreter. “As long,” says Dr. Whedon, “as we possess the holy chrism (anointing) we will adhere to holy Christ.” Dr. Steele very justly observes “All who have the anointing, know and honor the Christ, the anointed.” “ No man speaking in the Spirit of God saith, Jesus is anathema; and no man can say Jesus is Lord, but in the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the supreme divinity of Christ, revealed to the soul only by the anointing, protects all the other doctrines of the evangelical system. The unction of the Holy Spirit is the highway to all knowledge. This is especially true of all insight into theology. Hence the Holy Ghost is the only conservator of orthodoxy. The thumbscrew as a substitute is a stupendous failure, as is proven by the ghastly history of the Inquisition. The soft doctrines of liberalism creep into churches which do not honor the Third Person of the adorable Trinity, except with their lips while their hearts are without this indwelling. Departures from the Spirit, whether new or old, are always departures from the evangelical standard” (Half Hours, p. 120). Says Samuel Rutherford: “If you would be a deep divine I recommend to you sanctification.” German rationalism, and all the aping of it in England and America, and all semi-infidel liberalism that is paralyzing the Church life of the day, would never have been heard of, had all the ministry and theological instructors been Spirit-led and Spirit-filled. The only thing that can save our churches from this onsweeping wave of loose thought is to get back to the Pentecostal faith and experience. Rev. A. B. Simpson says: “It is wonderful how the untutored mind will often, in a short time, by the simple touch of the Holy Spirit, be filled with the most profound and Scriptural teaching of God, and the plan of salvation through Christ. We once knew a poor girl, saved from a life of infamy and but little educated. in a few days rise to the most extraordinary acquaintance with the Scriptures, and the whole plan of redemption through the simple anointing of the Holy Spirit. We simply give to Him our spirit, that it may know Him, and He fills it wit h His light and revelation” (Wholly Sanctified, pp. 6o, 61). 7. This Holy Spirit, filling and sanctifying the soul, gives a power of utterance to the lips to say what God wants his witnesses to say, and a peculiar savor to the life that drives home the message. Moses distrusted his ability to be the mouth-piece of God. “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant; but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?
Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” Jesus gave a similar promise to his disciples: “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” They were to have no needless embarrassment or confusion of thought. And whether they said much or little, whether they spoke well or ill, God would use it for his glory. A Christian man full of the Holy Spirit sought an infidel’s conversion. He filled his mind with arguments against infidelity and went to see him, hoping to argue him out of unbelief. When he reached the man’s house, God kindly took all the vain arguments out of his mind, and he could not recall one of them. He laid his hand on the infidel’s shoulder and wept, and could only say, “My dear brother, I am concerned for your soul.” He went away filled with confusion over his failure but God used it to the infidel’s conversion. The method that God selected was the best possible way to reach his heart. Rev. S. J. Wilson, D.
D., in closing a fifteen years pastorate with the Sixth Presbyterian Church of Pittsburg, to become a Professor in Allegheny Theological Seminary, bore this testimony “When I have leaned on God in my weakness I have never been deserted; but when I have trusted to my own wisdom and strength I have always been discomfited. I have come into this pulpit more than once without either text or sermon; but if I came in the rig ht spirit [with the Holy Spirit power upon him] I was always carried through, whereas if I trusted to finely elaborated trains of thought, I proceeded as heavily as the wheelless chariots of Pharoah in the Red Sea. The years in which my preaching was most extemporaneous, and, according to my own judgment and criticism, most worthless, were the years in which we reaped the richest harvests, while the year in which I preached the most elaborate sermons during my ministry here was the year in which there were fewer additions to the church than in any other year in all the fifteen. When I was best prepared intellectually, I ordinarily preached the worst. When I preached with some kind of intellectual complacency, I have never heard that any good came of it; but when I have so preached that I was ashamed to face the congregation in pronouncing the benediction I have heard of souls being converted by the sermons. ‘When we are weak then are we strong.’” The above illustration offers no premium to laziness; but it does teach that the Holy Spirit is the preacher’s greatest dependence, and that he should preach leaning hard on God. “A very bigoted Irish Roman Catholic had occasion to board for a time in a family where the wife had for years ‘walked in the light of God.’ This man had from childhood been taught, and had believed that ‘out of the mother church salvation is impossible.’ His attention, however, was soon arrested by the peculiar spirit and sanctified conversation of that woman. He would frequently stop after meals, and continue conversation with her upon Christ, purity, and heaven. At the close of such a conversation one day, he said: ‘ Madam, you will get to heaven before you die.’ That man was as profane and wicked as he was bigoted; yet such a character as hers could not lift its benign form before his mind without his recognizing it as unearthly, and divine, and as advancing heavenward” (Baptism of Holy Ghost, p. 92). A young man converted outside of Chicago, and wholly uneducated, was commended to Brother Torrey as one who might be invited to address one of his meetings in the city. Torrey asked the young man to address a certain meeting in a tent where a bigoted mob had assaulted them the week before. He began to speak, and Torrey says he could see nothing remarkable about the address but the grammatical blunders. Yet at the close of that blundering and crude speech men rose for prayers all over the tent. It was Holy Spirit power; not the power of human wisdom or eloquence, but the power of God. I have read in two or three volumes lately of an Australian servant girl who sought and obtained the promise of the Spirit, and then moved to distant parts and engaged in domestic service where she was wholly unknown. Her pastor wrote back to England: “As I listened to the remarks of that young woman in the class and prayer-meetings, one fact very deeply impressed my mind, namely: that she was possessed of a power that I had not. So deep did that impression at length become that I went to her a nd requested her to tell me the secret of that divine life she was living. In listening to her I saw clearly my own deficiency and need, and sought and obtained an ‘enduement of power from on high.’ The result has been a total revolution in my church and the addition to its membership of between six and seven hundred converts, and the work of the Lord is still going forward from strength to strength.” The sweet savor of this life even in a servant girl could not be hid, and worked like a divine leaven until the whole community was moved heavenward. 8. The Holy Spirit, filling the soul, imparts to it a holy courage, not naturally its own. Peter was a miserable craven before the maid-servant; but he was bold as a lion at Pentecost. It was divinely imparted courage. “Paul and Barnabas spake out boldly” before the jealous, blaspheming persecutors at Antioch. The most timid and gentle souls no longer fear the face of man when filled with the Holy Spirit. We have countless thousands in our churches who can not speak for Jesus, and can not lead in prayer, and can not speak to anybody about their souls because of a slavish fear of man. A sanctifying baptism with the Holy Spirit would take it all out of them.
Dear Amanda Smith, the colored evangelist already referred to, says: “I used to be so afraid of white folks I couldn’t speak before them, but when the Spirit came he took all that out out of me.”
President Mahan tells us of one Anna Fothergill, of England, one of the most modest, reserved, and unobtrusive women be ever met. She said of herself: Naturally, I was ridiculously timid.” But this timid creature sought and obtained the “Baptism with the Holy Ghost,” and at the time God gave her for her motto: “Whatsoever he saith to you do it.” Soon after, while worshiping with her own people, the Friends, she was prompted to tell what the Lord had done for her. Immediately her natural timidity arose and made it seemingly impossible. She sat in silence and lifted a prayer to Christ to take fear away. In an instant the prayer was consciously answered. A moment later she rose, perfectly self-possessed, and electrified the audience by her testimony. Soon after a large Bible-class of young women was put into her hands, and in a few weeks all were converted.
Then she was asked to take charge of a band of forty boys, just coming to manhood, who had been so very lawless and unruly that their expulsion fr om the Sabbath-school had been determined on. The first time she met them she held their breathless attention for an hour, and on Tuesday evening one came to her house for religious conversation, and was converted. The next week six were converted. Soon the whole “awkward squad,” as they had been called, became a devout praying band. They brought others and filled her rooms, and they were “flooded with converts and inquirers.” A larger room was procured. Then she had to hold another weekly meeting for young women; then another still for children; and lastly, a weekly meeting for elderly people. In five years there were over five hundred conversions in her meetings. Then she was called to continual religious service. A gentleman said of her in Nottingham: “There is something mysterious about that young woman. Her voice is feeble, her whole manner the most unassuming and simple conceivable. Yet, while she has great power in drawing believers towards the Higher Life, the impenitent seem to be powerless to resist the truth as she presents it; “ (Autobiography, pp. 422-424).
Not all who receive this sanctifying baptism will be just like Annie Fothergill, but all of them will have a holy unction given to them as witnesses for Christ. POWER TO PROPHESY — that is to “speak unto men for consolation, for exhortation, and edification,” with a divine persuasiveness, with an earnestness commensurate with the cause and the occasion — will be the experience of those who receive the great gift of God. Such a power is not and can not be hidden. God bestows the wondrous blessing not to be a private luxury, but “to profit withal,” and if it is not used for him it will soon be taken away. Moreover, without the slightest loss of modesty or womanly grace and gentleness, a holy courage will supplant all weak timidity, and utterly vanquish the unworthy fear of the face of man. God is no admirer of weakness or the dumb mouth of man or woman in the presence of his foes. 9. Again, the filling of the Spirit takes away that restless ambition, that unseemly desire for place and power and fame, and displaces it by a longing to be useful in service. The disciples had it, and actually quarrelled about the first positions in the kingdom when their Lord and Master was at that very hour on the way to Jerusalem to be crucified. With infinite pitying patience and gentle rebuke he said to them: “He that would be greatest let him be the servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minuter, and to give his life a ransom for many.” In other words, true greatness consists in GREATNESS OF SERVICE.
When the Spirit-baptism came the disciples no longer had that distressing itch for first positions; but in the place of it they had a Christlike passion for efficiency of service. Rev. J. O. Peck mentions, as the first result of the coming of the sanctifying Spirit to his soul: “I have not had an ambition or plan or purpose that was not formed in the desire t o glorify God. Not faultless, nor mistakenless, nor errorless, yet the whole purpose of my life has been to please him.” Dr. Carradine writes: “Sanctification has quenched an un-Christlike ambition. It makes one willing to be overlooked and unknown. The fever for place and prominence is taken out. The eye is not fixed on certain honors and promotions and appointments and high places. A light stealing in has either revealed the unsatisfactoriness of these things, or a life filling the nature gives the soul something better to think of and strive after. All dreamings in this direction are ended. The prayer now and the hope is not for the ‘right hand nor the left hand’ of power, but to be where Mary sat, at the feet of Jesus” (Sanctification, p. 170). 10. The Baptism with the Spirit gives an enduring fullness of spiritual life that is characterized by a great PASSION for souls. Says Dr. Peck: “I have had a greater love for my work. I always loved it intensely, but it has seemed to possess me. The salvation of dying men has been a passion. I love the work with glowing affection.” David Brainerd said of himself: “I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain souls to Christ. While I was asleep I dreamed of these things; and when I waked, the first thing I thought of was this great work.
All my desire was for the conversion of the heathen, and all my hope was in God.” John Smith, the mighty Wesleyan preacher of England, used to say: “I am a broken-hearted man; not for myself but on account of others.
God has given me such a sight of the value of precious souls, that I can not live if souls are not saved. O give me souls, or else I die!” Of Alleine, author of “The Alarm to Unconverted Sinners,” it is said that “he was infinitely and insatiably greedy of the conversion of souls; and to this end he poured out his very heart in prayer and preaching.” Bunyan said: “In my preaching I could not be satisfied unless some fruits did appear in my work.” Doddridge wrote to a friend: “I long for the conversion of souls, more sensibly than for anything besides. Methinks I could not only labor for it, but die for it with pleasure.” Whitefield said: “O God, give me souls or take my soul.” God has set his heart on the conversion of sinners. It was Jesus’ passion for souls that brought him to Calvary that he might seek and save the lost.” Whoever is baptized with the Holy Ghost will have a kindred passion for souls. Minister or layman, man or woman, will feel this passion to win the perishing, for it is “the mind of Christ.” A lady heard the author preach last year, and prayed most earnestly for the Spirit and for this passion. Two or three months later she said to him: “I used to dislike the sinful around me; n ow I have such a passion for their souls that it seems as if it were the only thing worth living for.” That was the normal work of the Holy Spirit in her heart. “What is the remedy,” asks Dr. Cuyler, “for this fitful, periodic piety, this disgraceful alternation of revival and declension, of foaming fullness and fitful dribble of August drought? Did God decree that his people should run low like summer brooks, and is this the normal condition of the Church which Christ redeemed unto himself? Is there not a divine fullness which can keep a believer always full to the brim, and can make the whole Church as steady in its flow as the majestic currents of the Niagara?” “Yes,” says President Mahan, “there is a remedy, known, full, complete and permanent, ‘for this fitful and periodic piety, this disgraceful alternation of revival and declension, of foaming fullness and fitful dribble of August drought.’ The Apostles found for their own, life-enduring stability, and revealed for our enduement ‘with everlasting strength,’ this sovereign remedy at the Pentecost; and we find the same by ‘waiting for the promise of the Father,’ as they did” (Autobiography, p. 425).
CHAPTER - RESULTS OF SANCTIFICATION — MORE CONSCIOUS DEPENDENCE UPON GOD, GROWTH OF GRACE, ENDUEMENT OF POWER 11. I have already referred to the fact that this sanctifying Baptism with the Holy Ghost induces a most humble dependence on God. It was the sanctified Paul with the Holy Spirit upon him who humbly said: “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” “Our sufficiency is of God.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” That feeling of the great apostle that all his power and sufficiency and glory of spiritual life was derived from the indwelling Saviour, is the natural thought of a sanctified man. We have already quoted Phoebe Palmer as saying: “Never before did I know the meaning of humility — I saw that I was not sufficient of myself to think a good thought, much less to perform a righteous action. From the depths of my soul I cried out, ‘Every moment, Lord, I need the merit of thy death.’” Says Rev. Dr. Levy: “My sense of unworthiness was greatly quickened. I felt so small, so weak, so utterly nothing, I could no longer pray in the sanctuary, as had been my custom, in a standing position. I wanted to keep sinking lower and lower. And this desire brought a strange pleasure.” The saintly Friend, David B. Updegraff, wrote: “In and of myself, I am neither holier nor stronger than before. But I have learned that this wondrous baptism with the Holy Ghost is the secret of stability in the Christian character as well as success. His constant abiding perpetuates a disposition to do the Will of God.” Mrs. Hannah Whitall Smith says that after she received the Spirit, “When temptation came, I did not try to conquer it myself, but at once handed it over to him, saying, ‘Lord Jesus, save me from this sin. I can not save myself, but thou canst and wilt, and I trust thee.’” Frances Ridley Havergal says: “I would distinctly state that it is only as, and while, kept by the power of God himself that we are not sinning against him; one instant of standing alone is certain fall!” A self-glorying professor of sanctification, prating about his own goodness, is a deluded soul. No heart is so utterly humble, and consciously dependent on a sanctifying Christ, moment by moment, as the man who is really “filled With the Spirit” and “sanctified.” 12. This purifying Holy Spirit, coming into the heart, will make growth in grace as natural as the physical growth of a child. Here let me repeat, what has been already said, that the great growth of the soul into Christian maturity comes after the sanctifying gift of the Holy Spirit, but does not precede it. People do not grow into holiness; but they grow wonderfully after they receive it. I want to write this with emphasis, for I have heard a body of ministers this very day arguing that people can grow into holiness.
It is contrary to sound philosophy, and contrary to correct theology, and contrary to the Holy Word, and to the universal testimony of men. Growth is the gradual development of a nature as it is. The law of growth is stated in the first chapter of Genesis to be “everything after his kind.” “Six thousand years of recorded observation has produced no exception to this law. Growth is the gradual accumulation of such particles as constitute the animal or plant when first formed. Growth has regard to increase in proportions but can not change the quality of any substance. The doctrine of holiness by growth is embarrassed by another difficulty — growth never changes the relation of persons or things. Law gives precedence to the first occupant. Wheat is never sown in the forest for the purpose of removing the underbrush and uprooting the giant oaks. These occupy the soil by right of inheritance. Not one instance of displacement by growth is recorded in the history of the World. Sin (‘that dwelleth in us’ —’the carnal mind,’ depravity) is indigenous in the human soul. Although it is a usurper, it has the primary possession of the soul by hereditary descent; and we could as easily displace the Norwegian forest by the fragrant magnolia from the banks of the Mississippi or extirpate the primeval forest of North America by transplanting to its midst the stately palm from the Syrian desert, as we could grow sin out of its native soil by the most refined and elegant processes of culture. However vigorous the growth of spiritual life may be, if sin, in the form of depravity or native uncleanness, remains in the soul after conversion, even if it be held in a state of suppression, it can not be grown out” (Elim to Carmel, pp. 184, 185). You go to your garden in the spring and spade up the ground and plant some flower seeds. That planting of new seed may represent the work of regeneration. Soon the young flowering plants appear; but among them also are some weeds. The weed-seed was in the ground first. That may represent the “carnal nature,” “flesh,” “indwelling sin,” that Paul speaks so much about. Now water the flowers and hoe them and enrich them, and they will grow some; but in the same ground, and side by side with the flowers are the weeds. They, too, are keeping and deepening their hold upon the soil, are being watered and hoed. The growth of the flowers does not in the least grow out the weeds, and after all the flowers have but a sorry chance. Was not Paul teaching the same truth when he wrote to the Galatian Christians? “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things ye would” ( Galatians 5:17). The flowers can not grow out the weeds; but the outside power of the gardener’s hand can pull up and utterly destroy the weeds. Then the flowers will get all the water and dew and strength of soil and sunshine and culture. and will grow as never before. That eradication of the weeds is a picture of sanctification. The “baptism with the Holy Ghost and with fire consumes, “purges,” “cleanses,” “purifies,” the soul of the sin that dwelleth in us; “crucifies the flesh with lusts,” as Paul wrote to the Galatians. Then “if we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk.” “Dead to sin and alive unto righteousness,” “living by the Spirit,” and “walking by the Spirit,” the “fruits of the Spirit” will have a chance to grow and adorn the soul.
Growth is addition and multiplication, sanctification is God’s subtraction from man’s nature of an element that he can not grow away.
This idea of growing into holiness is contrary to sound theology. Growth is a gradual process. The Bible always represents sanctification as an act.
Growth is the work of man — life-long. The sanctifying “baptism with the Holy Ghost and with fire” is an act of God, given as suddenly today as on the morning of Pentecost. The cleansing, purifying work of the Holy Spirit was wrought instantaneously in every case recorded in Scripture. There is no such command or thought in the Bible as “become holy by degrees.” “It is idle to talk about unholiness growing into holiness. It is God that sanctifieth. ‘I am the Lord which doth sanctify you’ (Ex. 31:13). Any grace already in possession may be increased through human instrumentality, but none can be created there. God commands us to ‘grow in grace,’ but he never commands to grow into a grace. We are divinely put into them, and grow after we are in” (How They Grow, p. 28).
Again, the witnesses to sanctification are all against the growth theory.
John Wesley records that with all his careful search he never found a soul who testified that he reached the coveted blessing by growth Rev. Isaiah Reid, who has written a most valuable little book on the subject, says: “The people who have this grace, and who confess it, are not those who have come into possession of the experience by this method of gradualism. On the other hand, their universal testimony is that the work was instantaneous, and by grace through consecration and faith. People who believe in getting there by growth are always on a belated train. Testimony proving we are correct comes, — 1. From people in all ages and in all denominations. 2. We have tested it again and again in large meetings, and never yet found one in possession of the grace of entire sanctification who reached the experience by growth. 3. All these gradualists, and everybody not done with a life of probation, are in a state of growth, and hence they are growing and groaning after it, but do not have it. 4. The people who have the experience are qualified to tell how they received it. The get-it-by-growth people never know how to tell anyone how to obtain a holy heart So as to have it. They can not till they have it themselves, and as they are still in a state of growing into it, they are not yet in a state of entire sanctification. They have some, they say, but how much they can not tell, nor how long the growing may yet continue, they have no idea. 5. Many of the ‘growth’ advocates honestly say, while they claim a growth of forty or more years, that they are no better in this respect than when they first began. We hear them sing: ‘Where is the blessedness I knew When first I sought the Lord?’ We hear them say they ‘only’ hope they are saved. They testify that they ‘sin daily in thought, word, and deed.’ Certainly if any one needs growth, and if growth can radically secure sanctification, these folks sadly need the hot-bed or some other process at once, as at the present rate a thousand millenniums might dawn before the work would be accomplished. 6. Holiness is holiness. If these growth folks had the genuine article, it would co-operate with any measure of the same grace in any one else.
Holiness can not oppose itself. If they had some holiness it would be like the holiness other people have, and as such it would co-operate in holiness meetings and be glad to see other people getting there, though they might not arrive by their slow train. But what do we see? They take no part. They do not come out. On the other hand, they even oppose the work; they discourage attendance upon holiness meetings, and do not want the grace confessed in their meetings. If they had any measure of this grace it would not be so. Things that are alike are not thus antagonistic. 7. In no department does the ‘growth’ theory have witnesses. “(1) The Bible does not sustain the theory “(2) The living witnesses can not be found. “(3) We look in vain for the biographies of those who obtained the grace in that way. It is not in the books. “(4) The books that help people into the experience are not written by growth people. “(5) The get-it-by-growth people do not print holiness papers. “(6) They do not have meetings for the promotion of holiness. They show by practice that they lack faith in their method. “(7) Thousands, who were once growth advocates have abandoned their folly, and now enjoy the blessing, obtained not by growth, but instantaneously by entire consecration and faith for their sanctification by the blood of Jesus applied by the Holy Spirit. The growth theory is a failure, a delusion, an error” (How They Grow, pp. 38-42).
The Bible throughout is against the growth theory. The words of the Bible used to define holiness are never used to designate growth. The words used in the Bible to express the idea of growing are entirely different words from those used in speaking of holiness or entire sanctification. The Bible biographies never represent one as growing into sanctification. The commands of God never look to a future holiness by gradation. The promises never promise it. The tenses of the verbs, as we have repeatedly pointed out, show that sanctification is an act of God. It is, in short, not by works but by faith,. not by human achievement, but by God; not by a process, but by a divine act — the sanctifying “baptism with the Holy Ghost.” “Thousands now in heaven,” says Dr. Sheridan Baker, “testified while living, and thousands now living testify that all their efforts at Christian development did not free them from the carnal mind; but when in utter abandonment of self-helps, they threw themselves upon the Mighty to Save, they were at once freed from the impurities of the heart, and filled and thrilled with the perfect love of God. Over against all this array of experience there is not a solitary one among the dead or living, who has recorded, or stated in any way, a contradictory experience. Yet there are many in the church today who are refusing to seek purity directly at the mercy-seat, and are making the fruitless effort to gradually reach it by religious culture and growth, notwithstanding no one ever heard from, through all the ages, has succeeded in that way. In nothing but Christianity do men show such blindness and folly” (Hidden Manna, pp. 108, 109). In the last series of meetings which the writer led there was aim old mother in Israel who had prayed and struggled and striven for this blessing by the growth-method for half a century. Despairing of success by growth, she knelt down and took the blessing by faith at an afternoon meeting. During that same week a school teacher was converted on Tuesday and knelt several times at the altar afterward seeking sanctification, which she obtained the following Sunday. Dear reader, it does not pay to wait a half-century for a blessing that God wants to give you NOW. And if you will but take it, you will then grow in grace as naturally as a lily opens to the sunlight of a June morning. 13. There is an enduement of power that comes with this filling of the Holy Spirit which Jesus wishes us to have, and which we all ought to covet for Jesus’ sake, and for the sake of the progress of the kingdom. Power for service is the need of the hour. A lamentable weakness is the one painful universal characteristic of the Church of God in our day. There is but one remedy, “Ye shall have power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” This Spirit-baptism will not make all believers evangelists; but it would make all influential witnesses for Christ in the field where God has called each to live and work. It would anoint the mother with power to train her family for the service of God. It would anoint the Sabbath-school teacher with power to teach the class to love Jesus. It would enable the Sabbath-school superintendent to be a mighty man of God in the Sabbath-school, and it would make the deacon or the leader of the Endeavor society or the Epworth league a wonder of efficiency in service.
Th e pastor, baptized with this Spirit, would preach with a new and unknown power. The Church universal, baptized with the Spirit, would be resistless in its influence, and terrible in the march of its conquests, “as an army with banners.”
Where shall I begin to give the illustrations of what God is able to do through those who are humble enough to seek the anointing from God? I will first speak not of geniuses, nor of professional men, but of those who were conspicuously limited in education and intellectual equipment for any marked and unusual success.
In the early part of this century there lived in New Jersey, a plain man by the name of Carpenter, of very limited common school education, and ungrammatical in speech. In the early part of his Christian life he had no especial influence, and but a name to live. He became deeply impressed with the consciousness of moral and spiritual impotency, and of the absence of any assured hope, or settled confidence, or trust in God. He consequently set his whole heart upon attaining the power of the Spirit.
This became the continued theme of his thought, reading, desire, and importunate prayer. At last the baptism with the Spirit with the enduement of power came upon him. He was immediately a prince in power with God and men. Just prior to his death, he explained his great influence by saying that for the previous ten years he had walked continuously under the cloudless light of the Sun of Righteousness; that the doctrine of entire sanctification was true; that he had been in that state during the period ref erred to, and that the truth would, ere long, be a leading theme in the churches. At his funeral in the First Presbyterian Church in Newark, it was publicly stated by a minister that, from the most careful estimate, it was fully believed that the deceased had been directly instrumental in the conversion of more than ten thousand souls. (Baptism of Holy Ghost, pp. 90 and 109.) Let us suppose that this estimate was twice, yea, four times too large. Even then you have twenty-five hundred souls turned to Christ by an ignorant layman in ten years, — a work so vast that few ministers equal it in a life time.
Dr. Labaree, the venerable ex-President of Middleburg College, told B.
Fay Mills of a dull student at Andover more than fifty years ago who was so limited in mental power that he could not pass through Phillips’ Academy, while his mates took the Academy and College course; yet he was so filled with Holy Spirit power that he had more influence than all his fellow students combined. They let him enter the theological seminary without a college course, thinking he would have a genius for theology; but he was as dull in theology as he had been in the preparatory school. “Yet he was used to do more for God than all the theological students and all the professors and all the ministers and all the church people in the town ot Andover. He went down to a little factory village and started a Sunday-school, and there thirty or forty people turned to God. He started another and a score more came to Christ. He started a school in Lawrence that grew into a church. At the following summer vacation a request came from a woman in New Hampshire, who was the only person in her town who believed in God: ‘We have no Bible, no Sabbath, no God. Can you not send one from your seminary who will teach us the Word of life?’ No student wanted to go but this young man. The faculty reluctantly ventured to license one so ignorant to preach, but finally they did license him for six months. He died soon after — but not, said President Labaree, until he had won to Jesus Christ every man and woman and child in that township except one man, and he moved away” (Power from on High. pp. 14-17). “I had,” said Dr. Chapman, “an ignorant man in my church, in Philadelphia, by the name of S_____, who utterly murdered the king’s English. When he first stood up to talk, and you heard him for the first time, you would be amazed, and would hope that he would not speak long. But soon you would begin to wonder at the marvelous power of his words. I will tell you the secret of it. I once called thirty of the workers of my church together to pray for the baptism of power for a special work. He rose and left the room. I afterward found him alone in a little room of the church pleading in prayer: ‘O Lord, take all sin from me. Teach me what it is that hinders thy coming. I will give up everything. Come, O Holy Spirit, come and take possession of me, and help me to win men.’ He arose from his knees and met me face to face, and said: ‘Pastor, I have received the Holy Ghost.’ To my certain knowledge, since that time (about three years) that ignorant man has led more than a hundred men to Jesus.”
Mrs. Whittemore, of the Door of Hope Mission, in New York City, in an address in Boston, told of one Dehlia, a poor lost girl, rescued from the deepest depths of sin, and led to Jesus. After that she was wondrously successful in bringing others to Christ, and before she died (about two years later) had turned one hundred and fifty lost ones to Jesus. Those who knew her were asked about the secret of her power. “Was she beautiful?” “No; not when her face was in repose. But when she told of her conversion and of her love for Jesus, you would say her face was like an angel’s; but she was genuinely converted, and then she gave up everything to be led and filled and used by the Spirit of God.”
Miss Jennie Smith, the “Railroad Evangelist,” received an injury to her spine from overwork, trying to help her afflicted mother and the large family when she was but ten years old. This brought on a complication of diseases and indescribable suffering. For sixteen years she never walked a step, and was often, after her spasms and convulsions, insensible for days.
Once she was nearly blind for two years and a half, and much of the time was unable to lift her hands to feed herself, nor to move her head from her couch. Yet, while thus an invalid, never drawing a breath without pain, she was praying for usefulness and getting wondrously near to God. At the earnest solicitation of her friends, one of them now a bishop of the Methodist Church, she wrote a book giving her Christian experience, and began to speak, carried to the platform on her couch. She shrank from it, but in prayer yielded herself to God, and in six months saw two hundred and fifty souls converted. Being so tenderly lifted into baggage cars by railroad men she became grateful to them and interested in their salvation, and so became “railroad evangelist.” April 23, 1878, in a hospital in Philadelphia, where it had been decided that her limb must be amputated, which might cost her her life, she says: “About eleven o’clock P. M. I was led vocally to offer myself to God in a fresh consecration, saying: ‘I give this body, these eyes to see, these lips to talk, these ears to hear, and if it be thy will these feet to walk, for Jesus. All that is of me, all ALL, is thine, dear Father. Only let thy precious will be done.’ After a brief silence there flashed upon me a vivid view of the healing of the withered arm, and the Holy Ghost bestowed on my soul faith to claim a similar blessing. In a moment I was conscious of a baptism of strength as sensibly and positively as if an electric shock had passed through my system. I arose and stood upon my feet (for the first time in sixteen years), knelt in prayer, then arose and walked across the room and sat down in a rocking chair” (Bacah to Beulah, pp. 200, 201). The writer heard her preach in Springfield, Mo., where she was leading a great revival, and preaching three times a day — a work she had then been doing for twelve years without a day’s illness, and turning thousands to God. One can but exclaim, Oh, the mighty power of the Holy Spirit when he comes in and fully possesses a human body, mind and spirit!
Let us hear a more wonderful story still about Kaboo, an African boy who was taken captive and whipped and beaten on his bare body by a merciless savage, till he fled and wandered for days and days, he knew not whither, till he reached the coast, guided by the Unseen Hand. There in Liberia, he worked on a coffee plantation, and met a female missionary, who gave him some instruction in reading and writing, and taught him the simple lessons of the gospel. Then he went to a small town on the coast, and there met a newly arrived female missionary, one of Bishop Taylor’s helpers, who went out baptized with the Holy Ghost. Samuel Morris (for this was the new name the first missionary gave him) heard of this new missionary’s arrival, and walked miles to see her and talk about Jesus. She, filled with the precious theme, began to tell him about the Holy Spirit. He came so often to talk with her about the darling theme, that she finally said to him: “If you want to know any more, you must go to Stephen Merritt, of New York.
He told me all I know of the Holy Ghost.” “I am going.” She missed him; he had started. Samuel asked the captain of a little sailing vessel in the offing to take him to New York. He was refused with curses and a kick, but he answered, “Oh, yes, you will.” He slept on the sand that night, and the next morning repeated his request. Two men had deserted, and the captain took him aboard as a helper. His ignorance of the duties of a sailor brought him curses and kicks and cuffs; but his peace was as a river and his Christian resignation unbounded. Soon the captain was convicted and converted, and half the crew. Reaching New York and finding Stephen Merritt, he said: “I am Samuel Morris; I have just come from Africa to talk with you about the Holy Ghost.” “Well, all right; I am going to Jane Street prayer-meeting. Will you go into the mission next door? On my return I will see about your entertainment.” “I went to the prayermeeting,” says Mr. Merritt, “and he to the mission. I forgot him until just as I put my key in the door, about 10:30 P. M., when Samuel Morris flashed upon my remembrance. I hastened over, found him on the platform with seventeen men bowed around him; he had just pointed them to Jesus, and they were rejoicing in His pardoning favor. I had never seen just such a sight. The Holy Ghost in this figure of ebony, with all its surroundings, was indeed a picture. Think of an uncultured, uncouth, uncultivated, but endowed, imbued, infilled African, under the power of the Holy Spirit, the first night in America winning souls for Immanuel, — nearly a score! No trouble now to take care of him. He was one of God’s anointed ones. This was Friday.
Sunday I said: ‘Samuel, come with me to Sunday-school. I am superintendent, and may ask you to speak.’ He answered: ‘I never was in Sunday-school, but all right.’ I smilingly introduced him as one Samuel Morris, who had come from Africa to talk with their superintendent about the Holy Spirit. I know not what he said. The school laughed, and as he commenced my attention was called, and I turned aside for a few moments, when I looked and lo! the altar was full of our young people, weeping and sobbing. I never could find out what he said, but the presence and manifesting power of the Holy Spirit was so sensible that the entire place was filled with his glory.”
I can not quote more from this thrilling and matchless story. This black youth was sent to Taylor University, Upland, Ind., to be trained for missionary work in Africa. He died a few months afterward; but not until his wonderful influence had “revolutionized Taylor University,” made missionaries of students, started a “faith fund” which has already helped to educate thirty people for the service of Christ, and started forces of righteousness that will be felt to the end of time. People have “power” and do not, can not live in vain, who are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Put beside this the case of the famous colored evangelist, Amanda Smith, born a slave and with but the most limited education, getting “filled with the Spirit” and, as we have already stated, becoming a blessed and honored evangel of full salvation in America, Europe and Africa. Add to these the case of the wonderful Billy Bray, and that of Robinson Watson, a lay evangelist of England, who spent the first six years of his Christian life in dreary, weary inefficiency, and then he sought and obtained the sanctifying baptism with the Holy Spirit. “As the result of four years’ labor under Christ’s mantle of power,” says Mahan, “he secured the names and addresses of ten thousand individuals, who attributed their conversion to his instrumentality.” A multitude of instances resembling these might be found. They show conclusively that this enduement of Holy Spirit power is as much for Christians of our times as for the believers of apostolic days.
Furthermore, they show that humble people, obscure, uneducated and unknown, can be so filled with the Spirit that they will have a power and fitness for service not naturally their own, which will qualify them to accomplish whatever God has called them to do.
We may now turn our attention to educated people and those widely known in the professional and literary world, and we shall find that the Spirit’s coming with holiness brought also a remarkable addition of spiritual power wholly unknown before. Take the case of Wesley. Says a learned writer: “Who is not aware that no one ever led a more laborious and comparatively fruitless life than did Mr. Wesley before his enduement with power by this divine baptism, and that very few ever led a more laborious and FRUITFUL life than he did after he received the gift of the Holy Ghost? The time of his barrenness ended, and of his amazing fruitfulness commenced, at the same moment.” He became so wonderful and potent in the Church of Christ that the radiance of his life has lighted two centuries, and the world is just beginning to appreciate him. His work for Christ and the Church is but fairly begun.
The world knows the effect of this baptism upon Finney; he became the greatest leader under God of the greatest revival the world has ever seen, yet he had never spent an hour in a college or in a theological seminary.
Moody said of the effect of this baptism of the Holy Spirit upon him: “May God forgive me if I should speak in a boastful way, but I do not know of a sermon that I have preached since but God has given me some soul. O, I would not be back where I was four years ago for all the wealth of this world. If you would roll it at my feet, I would kick it away like a football. I seem a wonder to you, but I am a greater wonder to myself than to anyone else. These are the very sermons I preached in Chicago, word for word.
Then I preached and I preached, but it was as one beating the air. It is not new sermons, but the power of God. It is not a new gospel, but the old gospel with the Holy Ghost of power. Amen!” The same power has remained with Moody through all these years. Drummond says of him: “Simple as this man is, and homely as are his surroundings, probably America possesses at this moment no more extraordinary personage; nor even among the most brilliant of her sons has any rendered more stupendous or m ore enduring service to his country or his time — Whether estimated by the moral qualities which go to the making up of his personal character, or to the extent to which he has impressed them upon whole communities of men on both sides of the Atlantic, there is perhaps no more truly great man living than D. L. Moody.” Yet this dear man of God is unspoiled by all this fame and influence, and attributes all his success, not to college or theological seminary, for he had no such training, but to the power of the Holy Spirit in his life.
In an address in Boston last autumn (1895), Moody said of B. Fay Mills: “He was a Congregational pastor of very ordinary success until he got hold of Finney’s ‘Lectures on Revivals’ and sought and obtained power from on high.” Of F. B. Meyer, Moody said: “He was a very ordinary Baptist minister in London until he was filled with the Spirit.” Now his spiritual writings are like sweet incense in the atmosphere of Christian thought.
It is the power of the Holy Spirit upon the heart-life of Andrew Murray that has caused his spiritual influence to be felt throughout Christendom, and his books about Christ and the “Spiritual Life” are like a spice-laden breeze carrying refreshment to the whole Christian world.
Dr. Wilbur Chapman tells us how he went before God and consecrated himself and then said in faith, “My Father, I now claim from thee the infilling of the Holy Ghost,” and he says: “From that moment to this he has been a living reality. I never knew what it was to love my family before. I never knew what it was to study the Bible before. And why should I? for had I not just then found the key? I never knew what it was to preach before. ‘Old things have passed away’ in my experience. ‘Behold all things have become new.’” Dr. A. T. Pierson preached eighteen years trusting to literary power and oratory and culture. He then sought and obtained “holiness and power” by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He afterward testified to a body of ministers: “Brethren, I have seen more conversions and accomplished more in the eighteen months Since I received that blessing than in the eighteen years previous.”
Dr. Mahan testified: “My entrance into the higher life was attended by two important facts — a vast increase of effective power in preaching Christ to the impenitent, and ‘the edification of the body of Christ’ (believers), became the leading characteristic and luxury of my ministry. Religious conversations became as easy and spontaneous as the outflow of water from a living fountain.”
Rev. J. O. Peck, D. D., says: “Greater results have followed my ministry.
I wrote a letter to Bro. Torrey, of Chicago, a mouth ago, asking him to tell me how he came to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and what the blessing had done for him. He replied as follows: “I was led to seek the baptism with the Holy Spirit because I became convinced from the study of the Acts of the Apostles that no one had a right to preach the gospel until he had been baptized with the Holy Spirit. At last I was led to the place where I said that I would never enter the pulpit again until I had been baptized with the Holy Ghost and knew it, or until God in some way told me to go. I obtained the blessing in less than a week. If I had understood the Bible as I do now there need not have passed any days. “As to what the blessing has done for me, I could not begin to tell. It has brought a joy into my soul that I never dreamed of before; a liberty in preaching that makes preaching an unspeakable delight where before it was a matter of dread; it has opened to me a door of usefulness, so that now, instead of preaching to a very little church, I have calls every year to proclaim the truth to very many thousands, being invited to conventions in every part of the land to address vast audiences; and I have a church today, in addition to my work in the Institute, that has a membership of upwards of thirteen hundred, with an evening audience that sometimes overflows the auditorium of the church, into which we can pack twenty-five hundred people, into the lecture room below.”
Rev. A. B. Earle, D. D., the great Baptist evangelist, tells us at the close of his life, in the introduction to one of his books. that God had enabled him to lead one hundred and fifty-seven thousand souls to Christ. A book lies before me which says that “he had no special power as a preacher before the Holy Ghost fell upon him.” As soon as he went forth “in the power of the Spirit,” however, conversions under his preaching numbered quite five thousand yearly.
This baptism with the Spirit made Dr. Pentecost felt around the world, and enabled Hammond and Harrison to do wonders for God.
Professor Tholuck has been called the spiritual Primate of the Established Church in Germany. It is said that to his influence more than to any other cause, must be assigned the reintroduction into the German Universities and into the general German mind, of the principles and spirit of the evangelical faith. “It was not,” said a Writer in the New York Christian Advocate, “simply in the lecture-room, the pulpit and the printed page, that he won victories for the Master. Personal intercourse with the student was his marked characteristic. His house was the home of the undergraduates.
He was not satisfied unless some were at his table. But how came he to have such a passion for the souls of the young men that he was called the ‘Student-Professor,’ the ‘Soul-loving Professor Tholuck’? How came he to have a spirit so rare? He began his manhood as an unbeliever, and wrote his oration on leaving the Gymnasium on ‘The Superiority of Mohammedanism over Christianity.’ Under the influence of Neander he was converted. He afterward received what he called ‘a baptism of fire’ (the baptism with the Holy Ghost). When he had been a Professor fifty years he said: ‘Nothing fills me with more adoring wonder than to think now the “Spirit of Fire” has ever been with me since I received the Baptism of Fire from above.’ When he went to the University of Halle, only five out of nine hundred students believed in the divinity of Christ. They had been converted by the influence of a Christian craftsman, and they were called by the other students ‘the idiotic orthodox.’ Hegel, who had imbibed some Christian principles, gave Tholuck this parting charge, ‘Deal a death-blow to the bald rationalism prevalent at Halle.’ It was a mighty task, as the whole faculty was against him, and with the whole body of the students had petitioned against his appointment to Halle. But he had earnestly prayed to be sent there, and went with the ‘Baptism of Fire’ upon him.
God enabled him by his sermons and personal influence to revolutionize the University, to convert the faculty to his side, and lead thousands of students to Christ, and become a mighty power in the spiritual life of Germany. I believe Hodge and Park and Alexander, and many other famous American theologians were among his students. It was his custom to walk for his health two hours a day, and he would select a student to walk with him and talk about Christ. A great number of his pupils date their new life from these never-to-be-forgotten walks with the ardent, holy Professor. One student was a Jew — wild, unruly dissipated. Tholuck could only see him before six in the morning. He often visited him at that hour, and in prison. One day he received a note from the wild student with these words: ‘Tholuck is sighing; Tholuck is praying, but I am drinking like a brute.’ But that very student became a noted preacher of the gospel. “The source of this wonderful devotion and passion for the souls of his students was given by Professor Tholuck himself at the jubilee in Halle, held in his honor in celebration of the fiftieth year of his immortal life-work. Multitudes came together from all parts of the land, and congratulations came from every class, including the emperor on the throne. On this occasion this world-honored teacher made this memorable declaration: ‘What a number of my students have risen up who can say with myself, “I have but one passion, and that is Christ and Christ alone.”
Such work can only be where the Spirit of fire is the beam of a divine influence from God. All my success has been owing to the Baptism of Fire (Feuergeist), which I received at the very commencement of my public career, and to the principle of love that seeks and follows.’” Rev. Dr. S. A. Keen, of the Methodist Church, was a “mighty man of God,” called by his church during his later years to be a Pentecostal Evangelist, and go from conference to conference to lead the ministry and membership into the experience of holiness. When he began his ministry he preached his cultured sermons without a touch of Spirit power. He announced a series of revival services which were well attended for a week, but not a soul came to the altar. Going home on the seventh night heartsick, he said: “Wife, there is something wrong with me. If I were right with God I could not preach without results.” His wife said: “O husband, you are getting blue. You would better throw off this feeling. It is just because you feel tired and worn out that you are discouraged.” He said: “Wife, it is not so. If I were baptized with the Holy Ghost I would see people turning to God.” That broke her down, and she said: “Husband, if you need this I need it too. Let us together seek the baptism of the Holy Ghost.” So hand in hand they knelt together and besought the Lord to search them to the depths and fill them with the Holy Ghost. He preached seven days more, each night he and his wife kneeling alone at the altar and pleading for the baptism with the Spirit. On the seventh day God came and poured into his soul the blessing of the Holy Spirit. He exclaimed:
Wife, he has come, he has come. I know that I am filled with the Holy Ghost.” He went that night and preached, but not as usual. While he was speaking the Spirit fell upon the people and they crowded to the altar and fell before God. For thirty years thereafter he was clothed with a mighty soul-winning power, until his translation last December, while singing a hymn of praise to God. Two of his volumes, “Pentecostal Papers”’ and “Faith Papers,” are on the desk before me, and they breathe the very odor of heaven.
All eminently spiritual men and successful soul-winners have such a Pentecostal experience. James Caughey had such a baptism in the earlier years of his ministry. He read a passage from Adam Clark about the importance of the Holy Spirit power in preaching. He took up his pen and wrote in secret before God “I see, I feel, 1. The absolute necessity of the immediate influence of the Holy Ghost, to impart point, power; efficacy and success to a preached gospel. 2. The absolute necessity of praying more frequently, more fervently; more perseveringly and more believingly for the aid of the Holy Spirit in my ministry. 3. That my labors must be powerless, and comfortless and valueless without this aid — a cloud without water, a tree without fruit, dead and rootless; a sound uncertain, unctionless, and meaningless... The entire glory of all my success shall henceforth be given to the Holy Spirit.” In a season of prayer, alone on the heights back of Whitehall, Vermont, he received the Spirit, and also at once had an impression that he must go to Canada and from there to England and Ireland and do revival work. He went in 1840, and in six years, says his biographer, saw twenty-one thousand six hundred persons come to the altar and accept Christ.
The saintly Phoebe Palmer, of blessed memory, for thirty-seven years led every Tuesday a meeting, the sole object of which was the promotion of Christian holiness. Hundreds of ministers sat at her feet and received the blessing. When she passed to her reward, it was said that twenty-five thousand souls had come to Christ in her meetings. Mrs. Maggie Van Cott in thirty-one years has held seventy-five thousand converts by the hand at the altar who promised to meet her in heaven. Bishop Taylor, “in the power of the Spirit, spent, as he states, seven months among the Kaffirs of Africa, speaking to the people through an interpreter. During this period the missionaries reported the conversions to God of seven thousand Kaffirs.” Bishop Thoburn, of India, “full of faith and of the Holy Ghost,” gathers yearly into his churches twenty thousand converts. President Mahan tells of a native African minister who never addresses an audience without conversions, and of an aged native female who is going from village to village and “gathering souls by scores and by hundreds into the kingdom of God.” He also tells of Charles Reade, Esq., and family, seeking and obtaining the “promise of the Father,” and then going to Black Gang, Isle of Wight, for the recovery of his health, lost in India. An ever-burning desire took possession of their minds to advance the cause of Christ.
Returning from church on their first Sabbath, they saw four men standing together on the street. “There,” said one of the ladies, “God has given us a congregation; let us speak to these men the Word of Life. They began to speak, and four more men came. A man lying sick in a house near by heard their words and was converted. They soon had a hall of their own. They had a fixed aim to lead all their converts into entire sanctification and the full enduement of power from on high for holy living and work. ‘We never rest,’ said Mr. Reade, ‘nor suffer the convert to rest, until we have evidence that this consummation is fully reached.’ As a result they had a continual Pentecost, and in six years and a half, by this one holy family, a community had been revolutionized, and eleven hundred souls had been gathered into the kingdom of God.” When will the church of God learn that the Holy Spirit is the only source of her power?
CHAPTER - HOW TO KEEP THE BLESSING 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24: I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved entire.... Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it.” Numbers 6:24: “The Lord bless thee and keep thee.” 1 Samuel 2:9: “He will keep the feet of his saints.” Psalm 91:11: “He shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.” <19C103> Psalm 121:3: “He that keepeth thee will not slumber.” Isaiah 26:3,4: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” John 17:11: “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.” 1 Peter 1:5: “Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” Jude 1:24: “Sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ. … who is able to guard you from stumbling and to set you before the presence of his glory without blemish.”
These texts clearly prove that God undertakes to keep his sanctified ones, and is abundantly able to keep them without even stumbling or blemish.
Yet a dear Christian woman told me this week that many years ago she received the clear witness of the Spirit to her conversion on Friday and sought for and obtained the sanctifying baptism with the Spirit on the following Sunday, after which for years her unutterable peace was like a river. But she said: “Somehow I lost the blessing.” She is now living in the justified state, a beautiful, prayerful life; but she is mourning for her lost treasure. How came she to lose it? John Wesley said it was next to a miracle for anyone to receive that blessing and never lose it.
It seems then that we have certain conditions to fulfill and then God does the keeping. I write this chapter for the benefit of the dear souls who have received, or may receive the heavenly prize that they may know how to be kept. 1. Hold on to faith and do not depend upon feeling. Soon after you receive the baptism with the Spirit you have more or less feeling, — sometimes overwhelming emotion. But such feeling is never permanent. When it departs, look out! Satan will be on hand to say to you: “There, your feelings are all gone, and God your keeper has deserted you; you have lost the blessing.” Do not believe the liar. “You must not begin to reason or doubt or in any way depend upon your feelings for the evidence of your sanctification, or suspend your faith for a moment. If you do this you lay aside the only shield that can quench the fiery darts of the wicked one. It is by faith alone that the blessing is received and by faith it is kept. ‘The just shall live by faith.’ (Quinan’s “Everybody’s Book,” p. 24). “Let it never be forgotten that a state of purity is not dependent upon emotions, feelings, or manifestations, but upon the reception of Christ as our sanctification; and that emotions and feelings are mere attendants, depending largely upon the condition of the body, the flow of animal spirits, and especially upon the nervous sensibilities. Complete submission to God and full trust in Jesus are attended with complete purification no matter what may be the peculiarities of experience” (Hidden Manna, p. 261).
Tell Satan that feeling or no feeling you are still under the blood that perpetually “CLEANSETH from all sin.” “Remember, as ye received the Lord Jesus by faith, so walk ye in him.” “The devil will try to have you go on by feeling. and to make you think that because you have no feeling you have no experience. The feeling is a result of the experience, just as the flower is the product of the plant. As the plant is not dead when there is no flower, so the experience is not necessarily wanting when there is no tide of emotional exaltation. learn to walk by faith and trust the needed feeling with the Lord. Attend to the walking, and the Lord will attend to giving the ‘oil of gladness’ as much and as often as he pleases” (Holy Way, p. 45).
Bishop Foster says: ‘The life of holiness is eminently a life of faith; it can not continue a moment without faith. Faith is its very root and sap. Would you retain the state? Maintain the vital principle; watch against every approach of infidelity. Faith is the hand by which the holy soul clings to God and so is kept from sin” (Christian Purity, p. 261). 2. Testify to the grace received. This great blessing, the choicest ever received, “is given to profit withal.” You can not keep the blessing unless you use it. It was not bestowed upon you to become a private luxury of your own. “Gratitude for mercies given us is a natural dictate of a sanctified soul. Failure to acknowledge is a proof of unworthiness. To be ashamed of Jesus, his words, or his works, is to prove ourselves subject to the fear of men. Besides, we are his special witnesses to the special grace of holiness. As we could not testify to holiness till after we had the experience, so others not enjoying the grace can not, and do not. If, therefore, we who have the grace will not be true and tell the world of it, we deprive God of his only witnesses. To try to hide the truth, or so mix up the evidence that the people will not know that we are holiness people, is to prove that we are backsliding or on the road there. If he sees us trying to avoid the cross of definite testimony by keeping back a part of the truth, he can not bless us. Definite testimony is a necessity. Failure cuts off farther supplies. It will be the gateway to a lost blessing” (The Holy Way, pp. 47, 48).
A brother sent me the other day a clipping from a Boston paper with this quotation from an address of Moody: “When you think you’re holy, look out. And let me tell you when a man really does get holiness he doesn’t need to blow a horn. Folks will find it out.” I love dear Brother Moody, as any one who hears me or reads my book find out. But if he means by “blow a horn” humbly confessing what Jesus has done by his sanctifying grace, then the words are full of peril to many a soul. He might as well tell his converts: “If you get converted you needn’t blow a horn (confess what Christ has done for your soul). Folks will find it out.” Such a course would put an end to the Christian religion and the Christian Church. “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation” ( Romans 10:10). A gift of God’s saving grace to which the soul will not bear cheerful witness for the glory of Jesus, will soon be lost. Mr. Moody himself has confessed to his baptism with the Holy Spirit, and told the world what it did for hi m. Any one else must do the same, or lose the blessing.
The unwisdom of silence will be seen by the following illustrations. John Wesley’s saintly friend, Mr. Fletcher, after receiving a fresh baptism with the Spirit made the following confession in a meeting: “My dear brethren and sisters, God is here. I feel him in this place; but I would hide my face in the dust, because I have been ashamed to declare what he has done for me.
For many years I have grieved his Spirit; but I am deeply humbled, and he has again restored my soul! Last Wednesday evening he spoke to me by these words: Reckon yourself therefore to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ I obeyed the voice of God; I now obey it, and tell you all to the praise of his love, I am freed from sin, dead unto sin and alive unto God. I received this blessing four or five times before; but I lost it by not observing the order of God who has told us, ‘With the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ But the enemy offered his bait under various colors, to keep me from a public declaration of what God had wrought. When I first received this grace Satan made me wait awhile till I saw more of the fruits. I resolved to do so; but I soon began to doubt the witness, which before I had felt in my heart, and I was in a little time sensible I had lost both, A second time after receiving this salvation (with shame I confess it) I was kept from being a witness for my Lord by the suggestion, ‘Thou art a public character; the eyes of all are upon thee: and if, as before, by any means thou lose the blessing it will be a dishonor to the doctrine of heart holiness.’ I held my peace and again forfeited the gift of God. At another time I was prevailed upon to hide it by reasoning: How few even of the children of God receive this testimony; many of them supposing every transgression of the Adamic law is sin, and therefore if I profess myself to be free from sin all these will give my profession the lie.
Because I am not free in their sense (I am not free from ignorance, mistakes and infirmities), I will therefore enjoy what God hath wrought in me, but I will not say ‘I am perfect in love.’ Alas! I soon found again: ‘ He that hideth his Lord’s talent and improveth it not, from that unprofitable servant shall be taken away even that he hath.’ “Now, my brethren, you see my folly. I have confessed it in your presence, and now I am resolved before you all to confess my Master. I will confess him to all the world. And I declare unto you, in the presence of God, the Holy Trinity, I am now dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God, through Jesus Christ, who is my indwelling holiness, my all in all.” That open confession if sanctification was the beginning both of Fletcher’s permanence in holiness and of the days of his wondrous power.
Fannie J. Sparks writes: “I enjoyed the blessing for two years or more after this; but did not walk in the clear light as I might have done had I not, through fear, become cautious about confessing Christ as my Saviour to the uttermost. Here was my fatal mistake, and I am not surprised that my light grew dim until it gradually died out” (Forty Witnesses, p. 36).
Rev. Wm. Reddy, D. D., writes: “The next day after my deliverance, the suggestion came to me: ‘Are you willing to confess what the Lord has done for you?’ This was a startling question. I dropped my eyes. It was whispered: ‘If you confess this blessing yon will be called a “Perfectionist.”’ It was further suggested ‘You will enjoy this but a little while, and then, if you have made the confession and lost the blessing, it will bring dishonor upon the blessed doctrine.’ Not thinking that these suggestions came from the enemy, I yielded, and determined to be silent, and endeavor to live it for a season first, and in an instant I found I had lost the blessing. It was regained after four years” (Forty Witnesses, p. 80).
Frances E. Willard received the blessing in Evanston, and soon after went to Lima, New York, to become preceptress of Genesee Wesleyan Seminary. She was advised to keep still about sanctification, because of the Free Methodists in those parts. It was cruel advice. She writes: “I ‘kept still’ until I soon found I had nothing in particular to keep still about! The experience left me. … That sweet pervasiveness, that heaven in the soul, of which I came to know in Mrs. Palmer’s meeting, I do not feel” (Forty Witnesses, p. 97).
Rev. Wm. Jones, D. D., LL. D., writes: “The fiery baptism came upon me and I was made every whit whole. For a little more than a year I enjoyed this precious experience quietly and alone. No one preached on the subject that I knew of; no one testified to it in my hearing, and I cautiously kept still until the brightness of it passed away and I found myself without the witness of purity.” After that he regained the blessing and for many years has been kept in “glorious victory” (Forty Witnesses, p. 199).
Mary Sparkes Wheeler writes “With humiliation I recall many lapses which came in neglecting to testify to this saving experience. I have learned by experience that I must not only believe in my heart, but also confess with my mouth this uttermost salvation “ (Forty Witnesses, p. 213). Hundreds of people could bear similar testimony, proving that a sanctifying Saviour must be confessed by those who know him as such.
Dr. Sheridan Baker says “Clear testimony to full salvation is so opposed by Satan, is so distasteful to a worldly church, and is so much discouraged by many who are reputed wise and good, that more lose the blessing of entire sanctification by ambiguity and indefiniteness in testimony than by any other, and, perhaps by all other, causes put together” (Hidden Manna, pp. 264, 265).
A word about the manner of confession. Ask for divine wisdom to aid your common sense to make your testimony as effective as possible. Rev. M. L.
Haney, the evangelist, gives the following illustration of how two persons, A and B, testify to the same blessing, one unwisely and the other wisely:
A. says, “I am holy.”
B, says, “God has in great mercy given me a holy heart.”
A. “ I am wholly sanctified.”
B. “The very God of peace himself sanctifies me wholly.”
A. “I am a perfect man.”
B. “Jesus has perfected my soul in love.”
A. “Ten months ago I was sanctified, and since then I have not sinned.”
B. “Ten months ago Jesus sanctified my soul, and since then he has graciously and wondrously kept me.”
B. “Jesus has cleansed me from all sin and filled me with perfect love.”
A. “I am living without sin.”
B. “Jesus graciously keeps me from sinning against him.” “The testimony of Brother A. may be true, but it is given very unwisely and does much harm. It is naturally repulsive and is met with instinctive opposition, even in the breasts of good men. The opposition in its turn produces in the witness a defiant attitude, and his words with his attitude result in turning two from the experience where one is led into its possession. Do not forget that we testify, not for ourselves what we have done, or have not done; but we are the witnesses of Jesus, and of his power to save” (Inheritance Restored, p. 164).
Let us therefore be modest and sink ego and self out of sight, and bear in mind the words of Bishop Fowler the other day in Cleveland to some young ministers: “Remember, sanctification is not crankification.” The devil hates holiness, and the testimony to it will at best be offensive enough to a wicked world and a worldly church; let us bear our testimony for the glory of Jesus in as modest and gentle and sweet and gracious a manner as possible. And when you have spoken as a witness then be content to endure in Christlike silence all the ugly things that may be said to you or about you. 3. Beware of spiritual pride. The gift of the Holy Spirit will make a remarkable difference in your life, which you and others can see. But give all the glory to Jesus, and be careful about making comparisons between yourself and others. Mrs. M. Baxter writes: “For eight years my life seemed to be going on from strength to strength, and I was blessedly useful. But I did not know how much I was occupied at that time with myself and my own holiness. I fell into spiritual pride” (Forty Witnesses, p 74). Her blessing was gone, and long she cried to God by night and by day in the dust of humiliation before the Heavenly Dove returned.
John Wesley gave this advice: “Watch and pray continually against pride. If God has cast it out see that it enter no more; it is fully as dangerous as desire. And you may slide back into it unawares, especially if you think there is no danger of it. If you think you are so taught of God as no longer to need man’s teaching, pride lieth at the door. Yes, you have need to be taught by one another, by the weakest preacher in London; yea, by all men.
For God sendeth whom he will. Always remember, much grace does not imply much light. The not observing this has led some into many mistakes, and into the appearance at least of pride. Let there be in you that lowly mind that was in Christ Jesus. And ‘be ye likewise clothed with humility.’ let it not only fill but cover you all over. Let modesty and self-diffidence appear in all your words and actions. As one instance of this be always ready to own any fault you have been in; do not seek to evade or disguise it, and you will thereby not hinder but adorn the gospel” (Bishop Foster’s Christian Purity, pp. 284-286). 4. “Beware,” said John Wesley, “of that daughter of pride, enthusiasm.
Give no place to a heated imagination. Do not hastily ascribe dreams, voices, impressions, visions, or revelations, to be from God. They may be from him. They may be from nature. They may be from the devil. Try all things by the written Word of God” (Foster’s Christian Purity, p. 286).
Beware of fanaticism, or running after some unscriptural fad. To retain the experience the divinely appointed means of grace must be constantly used.
The Bible can not be neglected as it reveals his will and unfolds his mind. “It is the daily chart of the child of God. It directs the walk. It is the spoken word of Jesus. Use your Bible continually. Also there must be continual prayer. One of the special laws of the kingdom is to ASK in order to receive. To fail in asking is to fail in receiving. A prayerless life is an unholy life” (Holy Way, p. 47). “If we would be preserved blameless we must preserve ceaseless communion with God and abide in the spirit of prayer and fellowship through the Holy Spirit, for thus alone shall we be led out into all the steppings of his will and kept blameless and fully obedient” (Wholly Sanctified, p. 180). 5. Welcome all new light. “If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” ( 1 John 1:7). God will be continually throwing new light upon duty, which he justly expects us to follow. “To retain sanctification or cleansing we must walk in the light. As we keep this up the blood is applied by the Holy Spirit. Refusing to walk in received and acknowledged light brings condemnation. Knowing the way of holiness and refusing to walk in it unjustifies” (Holy Way, p. 46).
Says one witness for holiness: “All along the line I was frequently surprised at new discoveries. Things which had seemed perfectly right and proper became objects of inward suspicion. Whenever this occurred a prompt willingness to turn on the most searching light was always felt; and if after a thorough examination in the light of the Holy Word, the thing appeared to smell of evil, it was always cheerfully relinquished, no inward desire to go counter to the will of God being experienced. In fact, this has always been the great test question: Is it the will of God? His will when known is mine always; not from duty, but from free, spontaneous choice. Praise the Lord!” Such a spirit will keep the blessing of holiness. 6. Abstain from doubtful things. “Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Avoid all doubtful things. Keep a sharp look-out for the ‘no harm things,’ so many tell you about. Set your face as a flint against them. Keep well out of the sphere of temptation. Don’t go that way. Put on your list of every day maxims: ‘Whatsoever is not of faith is sin’” (Holy Way, p. 52). “We always see Christians whose lives are hid with Christ in God sooner or later laying aside their worldly amusements, putting off their jewelry, dressing in simplicity and without useless ornamentation, renouncing worldly habits, and surrendering all purely fleshly gratifications. Sooner or later I have generally found that smoking and the drinking of wine and beer are given up. Dancing is seen to be contrary to the will of God; the opera and the theater are felt to be places unfit for the presence of a follower of the Lord Jesus. Year after year such Christians are seen to grow more unworldly, more heavenly-minded, more transformed, more like Christ, until even their very faces express so much of the beautiful inward divine life, that all who look at them can not but take knowledge of them that they live with Jesus and are abiding in him. … The heights of Christian perfection can only be reached by faithfully each moment following the Guide who is to lead you there, and he reveals your way to you o ne step at a time, in the little things of your daily lives, asking only on your part that you yield yourselves up to his guidance. If then in anything you feel doubtful or troubled, be sure that it is the voice of your Lord, and surrender it at once to his bidding, rejoicing with a great joy that he has begun thus to lead and guide you. Be perfectly pliable in his dear hands, go where he entices you, turn away from all from which he makes you shrink, obey him perfectly, and he will lead you out swiftly and easily into a wonderful life of conformity to himself” (H. W. Smith’s “Secret of a Happy Life,” pp. 176-178). 7. Do not wonder at temptations, nor be discouraged by them. Jesus was tempted, but he did not sin. So may we be, if we do not yield and do not get discouraged. An old writer says: “All discouragement is from the devil.” We must fly from it as we would from sin, recognizing Satan’s agency in all temptation.
Says Hannah W. Smith: “A dear lady came to me under great darkness, simply from not understanding this. She had been living very happily in the life of faith for some time; but suddenly a very peculiar form of temptation had assailed her which horrified her. She found that the moment she began to pray dreadful thoughts of all kinds would rush into her mind. She began by thinking she could not possibly have entered into the rest of faith, and ended by concluding she had never even been born again. Her soul was in an agony of distress. I told her that these doubtful thoughts were altogether the suggestions of Satan, and that she could not help them any more than she could help hearing if a wicked man should pour out his blasphemies in her presence. I urged her to recognize and treat them as from Satan, but to turn at once to Jesus and commit them to him. She grasped the truth, and the next time these thoughts came, she said to Satan, ‘I have found you out now. It is you who are suggesting these dreadful thoughts to me, and I hate them and will have nothing to do with them. The Lord is my helper; take them to him.’ Immediately the baffled enemy fled in confusion and her soul was perfectly delivered “ (Secret of Happy Life, p. 140). “Temptation is not sin unless it be accompanied with the consent of your will. We must learn to discriminate between Satan’s suggestions and our choices, and declare: ‘I do not accept; I do not consent; I am not responsible; I will not sin; I reckon myself still dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God through Jesus Christ.’” Dr. A. B. Simpson quotes from Mrs. Jamieson an incident from the annals of the early church. An exceedingly beautiful and holy maiden of Antioch became the object of the sinful passion of a heathen nobleman. Unable to win her affections he employed a magician to throw over her a fatal spell and win her in the toils of his snare. But the magician himself became enamored of the fair girl and sold himself to the devil on condition that he should give him power to captivate her with unholy passion. So he began to apply his arts and throw over her mind the fascinating spell of his own imaginations. Suddenly the poor girl found herself like a charmed bird, possessed by feelings and apparently by passions to which she had always been a stranger. Her pure heart was horrified by constant visions from which her whole being recoiled, and yet it seemed as if she must herself be polluted and degraded, and she began to lose hope and stand on the verge of despair. In this state of mind she went to her bishop, and he discerned instantly her trouble, and pointed out to her that these influences and feelings were not from her own heart at all, but spells from the will of another, and that their only power consisted in her fears and her recognition of them as her own; if in the name of the Lord she would refuse to acknowledge them as her own their power would be wholly broken. Unutterably comforted she returned home and set her face in the strength of Christ against these allurements of evil, and immediately she found them broken. The magician himself became conscious that his power was ended, and confessed his sin, asked her forgiveness and prayers, and yielded himself to God. Ever thus, in the name and strength of Christ a tempted soul may get the victory (wholly Sanctified, pp. 170-172). 8. Watch. We are in a world of sin and temptation surrounded by unseen foes, powerful spiritual enemies. Well did Jesus say: “What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” “Eye gate and ear gate are liable to an attack at almost any time. Eve fell at these two gates. David fell at eye gate. Peter failed through inward cowardice. Demas loved this present evil world.
Look well to the heart, for out of it are the issues of life. Then there is that tongue of yours and those lips! Watch” (Holy Way, p. 53). 9. Work. The Lord calls us to the high attainment of holiness for efficiency of service, as well as for our own well-being. Use the gift of God incessantly. “While a great many fail because they do not say anything about it, others fail because they do not do anything with it. God can not honor one in whom he has invested the fortune of holiness who hides his talent. Not a tenth of all that God endows with the blessing of a pure heart work up to anything like their best. They do not farm one acre in forty of their claim. Let your light shine. Put out your talent to interest. Tell what you have received so that some one else will get it. Spread holiness. Put your redeemed soul to its best speed for God. Do something with your, experience or it will rust away” (Holy Way p. 49) John Wesley said: “Beware of the sins of omission; lose no opportunity of doing good in any kind. Be zealous of good works; willingly omit no work, either of piety or mercy. Do all the good you can to the bodies and souls of men. Be active.” 10. Let love keep guard over your speech and control your life. “By thy words shalt thou be justified and by thy words shalt thou be condemned.”
The famous Alfred Cookman sought and obtained the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and received the long sought blessing of holiness, with its attending unutterable joy and peace and light and strength and blessing.
Eight weeks of this when he went to Conference: “I found myself in the midst of beloved brethren. Forgetting how easily the infinitely Holy Spirit might be grieved, I allowed myself to drift into the spirit of the hour, and after an indulgence in foolish joking and story-telling realized that I had suffered serious loss. To my next field of labor I proceeded with consciously diminished spiritual power “ (Forty Witnesses, p. 288).
Says Isaiah Reid: “Don’t talk too much. You can talk all your religion away. Especially avoid telling all the anti-holiness news you hear. If, perchance, some soul once brought in the experience should fall, why should you want to run and tell it. Let the devil circulate his own papers.
Remember also the divine injunction: ‘Speak evil of no man.’ Abide in love. Walk in love. Think loving thoughts. Speak loving words. A life of sanctification is a life of perfect love. ‘Holiness is love made perfect.’
Beware of that cold blooded way of cutting people all to pieces by the light of lost holiness, and pounding them to death under guise of some such text as ‘Declare unto Israel their transgressions,’ and call that censoriousness holiness, long after all the sweetness of love has taken its flight” (Holy Way, pp. 52-54). 11. Guard the thoughts. Keep the mind full of thoughts of God and holy things. Dr. Simpson well says: “If we would be kept we must jealously guard our hearts and thoughts, and not feel ourselves at liberty to drift into the current of all the imaginations that are ever ready to sweep through the brain. If you are walking closely with God and watching for his voice, you will be quickly conscious of a constraint, a weight upon your mind, a repression upon your heart, a deep, tender sense of God’s anxiety for his child.” Cherish and cultivate that sense of nearness to God, and welcome only the thoughts that would be agreeable to him. 12. Associate with holiness people. However they may differ from each other in rank and social position, true holiness people will find themselves knit together by a tender and holy tie, — their common likeness to their Saviour. Seek your intimate companionships not among Christless unbelievers, nor among carnally minded, worldly professors of religion, but among those who, like yourself, are trying to live and walk with God. In such a spirit Moses turned his back upon the court of Egypt to associate with slaves because they were the people of God. The neglect of holiness people to assemble themselves together for mutual counsel and encouragement, and to help each other by sympathy and prayer, would be attended with great loss. Unite yourselves with people who are friendly to holiness, and go to the assemblies where it is taught and sought in prayer. 13. Read holiness literature. The author can not tell his indebtedness to the writers on this subject and to the friends who have put into his hands the books quoted in this volume. Their spiritual helpfulness have been beyond measure. He is simply amazed that he could have been in the ministry so long and collected a library of a thousand volumes, and yet missed this blessedly helpful literature. Read these books and holiness periodicals.
Keep your interest keen and your spirits refreshed with the best thoughts and experiences of others. Thus your hearts will be kept aglow and your minds enthused with these deep things of God, these holiest, highest privileges of his sons and daughters. Sanctification can not be fed alone on the filth of daily papers and live. 14. Beware of schism — the separation of yourselves from your brethren. “Beware,” said Wesley, “of making a rent in the Church of Christ. That inward disunion, the members ceasing to have a reciprocal love one for another, is the very root of all contention and every outward separation.
Beware of a dividing spirit; shun whatever has the least aspect that way.” If your pastor does not accept the doctrine of sanctification as taught in Scripture, pity him and pray for him and help him. If your brothers and sisters in Christ in your church persecute you, remember that Jesus and Paul were treated in the same way. Do not leave the church but stay right there and humbly bear your testimony to the saving power of Jesus, and then take meekly whatever comes. You and your testimony are needed just where God has placed you; show how noble and true and useful God can make a sanctified soul. Show by contrast the beauty of holiness, and some day, on earth or in heaven, your life and your profession will be vindicated.
Rev. Samuel P. Jones, in a recent address at the First Presbyterian Church, of Nashville, in his own peculiar style, thus vindicated holiness people: “A clean heart is the need of every Christian man and woman. This should be the cry and the plea and the earnest object of every believing child of God:
Thank God that many people seek and obtain it. I don’t care what you call it. I welcome it under any name, and have a profound contempt for the spirit which would depreciate the people who possess it, or the great grace that has come to them. “You may say what you please about the holiness people, but I want to say this: I have never seen a holiness man that wasn’t a prohibitionist from his hat to his heels. I have never seen one that didn’t fight liquor, card-playing, and every phase and form of worldliness in the church. I have never seen a second blessing man or woman that believed in or gave card-parties, indulged in punch-slinging, went to the theater, or dancing parties, or engaged in or encouraged any phase or form of the deviltry that is cursing the church today. I have never seen a second blessing man or woman that wouldn’t pray anywhere and everywhere when called on, and that wasn’t ready to stand up and testify for the Lord whenever opportunity offered. I never saw a second blessing person in my life, man or woman, at the head of a family, that didn’t get down night and morning and pray for the children in that home and for God’s guiding hand in all things pertaining to their sacred home responsibilities. I will tell you another thing: I never saw a preacher in my life that was fighting the holiness crowd that wasn’t a dead dog in his pulpit — can’t bite. You may watch it. Every preacher you hear of who is fighting the holiness people is a fellow that hasn’t had a revival in his ministry in years unless he got somebody else to hold his meeting. God just won’t honor any such preacher. You never see a man in the church who fights the holiness people, but what if you will search down far enough you will find him wrong in his life, or rotten in his character. I will tell you another thing: Whenever you hear one of the sisters in the church just pitching into these ‘second blessing fanatics,’ as she calls them, you may set it down she is one of them old gals that leads in some form of worldliness. “Some second blessing people, so called, haven’t got the right spirit, and may be don’t live right. I can say this — such folks haven’t got the second blessing, and if they ever had it they have lost it. But I can say that some of the crowd that is everlastingly fighting the second blessing folks may have had the first blessing when they commenced the fight; but they have fought and fought until they have lost the first blessing. You have got to have a clean heart if you have a clean life, and God desires both. Thank God, there is water enough in the River of Life to cleanse every heart from all sin.
Some of the sweetest memories of my life and the profoundest experiences of my Christian character are connected with these holiness brethren.” “ Oh, professor of holiness, stand in thy lot. Yield not. Bear the scorn.
Endure the pain. Let the enemy mock. Some day it will all be forgotten as a dream.” Some day the ministers and the worldly churches and the world itself will learn that the baptism wi th the Holy Ghost and holiness and holy people are worth something to a sin cursed world. 15. Live moment by moment. “If we would be preserved blameless we must live not by long intervals, but by the breath and by the moment. Each instant must be dedicated and presented to God, a ceaseless sacrifice, and each breath be poured into his bosom and received back from his being.
We must also learn to recover instantly from failure by frank confession and prompt faith and recommittal. It is possible to catch ourselves before we have really fallen, and God does not count it a fall if we do not yield to it. Unseen hands are ever near to bear us up even when we dash our foot against a stone” (Wholly Sanctified, p. 183).
Says Bishop Foster: “Acquire the habit of living by the minute. Let it not be supposed that you are not to act for the future, but act by the minute.
Take care of this moment now, while you have it, and the next when it comes; you will not then neglect any. You can live this minute without sin!
Is it not so? (By the help of God) do it, then. Never mind what is before you. (With the help of Jesus) do not sin now. When each successive minute comes do likewise. If you will do this you will not sin at all. Days are made up of minutes; if each one is sinless the day will be so. Now try this.
Nothing is easier; nothing is more wise. Live by the minute. Carry on your business, trade, labor, study, plan for the future by the minute. Trust in God now; do God’s will now; do not offend God now. If you will observe this simple rule you will not fail” (Christian Purity, p. 262).
I find this illustration in my note book, taken from A. B. Earle: “A great merchant in New York City, with several thousand clerks, and doing an immense amount of business, was exceedingly happy in Jesus. He was a Methodist, and had received the sanctifying Holy Ghost. Some thought he was a hypocrite on the ground that no one could do so much business and yet live so near Jesus as he appeared to do. A number formed themselves into a committee to go to his business house and watch him, that they might find some fault with his Christian life. When the clock struck he said to all who were with him, ‘Excuse me a minute,’ and he would go into a little private office, and then come back and go on with his business. The clock struck again and the act was repeated. They finally asked him what it meant. He told them that he went into that room for a word of prayer each hour. He prayed: ‘I thank thee, O God, that thou hast kept me another hour without sin; now give me grace for the next hour.’ ‘Brethren, I serve God by the hour.’ Jesus sweetly kept him. That constant keeping of Christ, that constant ‘abiding in him,’ is sanctification. ‘Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not.’
It is implied in all these directions not that your efforts efficiently keep you, but instrumentally. They are the conditions on the human side. You employ the means, the sanctifying Saviour does the constant keeping. You work and he works in you to will and to do. You watch and pray and believe, and you “are kept by the power of God through faith.” You keep Christ and Christ will keep you. “And the very God of peace himself sanctify you wholly and preserve you blameless. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.?’ “Oh, sacred union with the Perfect Mind!
Transcendent bliss, which Thou alone canst give, How blest are they, this pearl of price who find, And dead to earth have learned in Thee to live. “Thus in Thine arms of love, O God, I lie, Lost, and forever lost, to all but Thee, My happy soul, since it hath learned to die, Hath found new life in Thine infinity.
Oh, go, and learn the lesson of the cross, And tread the way which saints and prophets trod, Who, counting life and self and all things loss, Have found in inward death the life of God” (Professor Upham).
CHAPTER - CONCLUSION — APPEAL TO CHRISTIANS AND CHURCHES, TO MINISTERS AND TO THEOLOGICAL PROFESSORS If this book has proved anything, it has shown conclusively that sanctification and holiness are possible to any child of God; that this blessing is not for the few, but for all; that it comes to the soul through the “baptism with the Holy Ghost and with fire”; that the blessing is not reached by the growth process, but is received INSTANTANEOUSLY, as at Pentecost, “by faith,” though the soul may grow gradually into the conditions of receiving the blessing; that the blessing, if retained by faith as it is received, is followed by great growth in grace, and peace, and assurance, and rest, and joy, and courage, and power, and an unwonted passion for souls. All these things have been established beyond a reasonable question of doubt, if a fair, logical, natural interpretation of a hundred proof texts can prove anything, and establish any truth of God’s Word. But not only so we have quoted abundantly from God’s “Living Epistles,” the heart experience of his saints, as they have struggled and groaned in the bondage of the flesh, and in the toils of the carnal mind, until they have fled for refuge to a sanctifying Saviour, who, in the baptism with the Holy Spirit, has suddenly come with INSTANTANEOUS deliverance. We have summoned a hundred witnesses who, by all unbroken line of converging testimony of personal experience, have shown that sanctification is INSTANTANEOUSLY attainable by faith, through the power of the Holy Ghost, purging and cleansing the heart. We believe the teaching of this book stands on the impregnable foundation of God’s Word, and the experience of his saints. 1. What then, Christian reader, will you do about this blessed truth? Will you remain longer in the unsatisfactory carnal state, without the joy of true sonship, without the glad shout of conscious victory, without the hope, and the rest and “the peace that passeth understanding”? Have you not felt that there was a glorious maturity of Christian experience depicted in the Bible to which you were an utter stranger, and that your Christian life was a protracted infancy, because of the disease of the carnal mind, which checked your growth ( 1 Corinthians 3:1-3)? Are you not constantly grieving over the sins and failures; no victory over sin? Do you not constantly feel that the “old man” of “sin that dwelleth in you,” has not yet been crucified, and is constantly manifesting himself by ill-temper and pride and self conceit, and the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life? Can you not say from your own sad heart-experience that these words of Andrew Murray are true? “Throughout the Church of Christ there is a universal complaint of the feebleness of the Christian life, and there are tens of thousands of souls longing to know how to lead a better life. They find in God’s Word promises of perfect peace, of a faith that overcomes the world, of a joy that is unspeakable, of a life of ever-abiding communion with Christ, hidden in the hollow of God’s hand, and in the secret of his pavilion. But alas, thousands say they know not how to obtain it.” We have shown you in these pages the way to obtain it pointed out by God himself — the way the saints have trod — the way to victory and peace and joy and power. It is the way of FAITH in a sanctifying Saviour, and the receiving of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, INSTANTANEOUSLY given to him who will hunger for it, ask for it, consecrate and believe. Will you walk in this divine way and have this blessing NOW? “We who believe do enter into rest.” Will you believe and cross the Jordan and enter your Canaan of “Holiness and Power” right NOW? Or will you turn back into the sad wilderness of your own worthless works, doings, and strivings, and resolutions, and covenants, and vows, and repentings, and confessions, and tears in endless repetition? That wilderness has been trodden by your weary feet too long already — has been wet by your tears a thousand times, and is sown thick with the graves of your dead hopes and broken resolutions and dishonored vows. Will you wear out your life in that wilderness and die there when a Canaan of rest invites you, and the Holy Spirit, like another Joshua, is waiting to lead you in?
Remember, O believer, you are a member of the Christian Church — a part of the body of Christ. Make the most of yourselves for the Church’s sake, and for the sake of your blessed Lord. Whatever your denominational affiliation may be, let these words from the Bishops’ address of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1896 move your hearts as a ringing call from God to “Holiness and Power”: “It can not be too deeply impressed upon our minds that in all ages the Church has fallen short of the divine ideal, both in purity and power. God’s thoughts and plans for his Church are as high above ours as the heavens are above the earth. His Scriptures are full of promises. His skies are full of Pentecosts. Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you,’ is the limitless divine promise. Heaven and earth are put in pledge for fulfillment. Both shall pass away sooner than one jot or tittle of his word can fail. When we look at his ideal, promise, provision, and power, at the humiliation and exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ, at the unwordable groanings of the Holy Spirit, it seems as if provision and performance were scarcely at all related. God’s ideal for his Church is that both as individuals and as a whole it be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, a pure bride fit for the Spotless Lamb, and therefore strong enough to cope with any evil. “As a church we have taught from the beginning that believers have power to become the sons of God, be made partakers of the divine nature. We have insisted on the glorious privilege and duty of all men becoming saints, OF IMMEDIATELY BEING MADE PERFECT IN LOVE, and of gradually ripening into Christian maturity in all faculties. This doctrine was never more definitely stated, clearly perceived, nor consistently lived by greater numbers than now. But how lamentably the church falls short of the divine possibility. God is always able to do for us exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or even think. The reason of our impotence is not in God but in ourselves. God teaches us that we should present our souls and bodies a live sacrifice, every faculty, power and possession devoted to his service.... How few consecrate ALL OF THEIR ALL! God waits through centuries to show what he can do with perfectly and completely consecrated men. And the whole creation also waiteth for the apocalypse of a full grown son of God.” O readers, let us be wholly consecrated and believe and be like Barnabas, “full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.” Then shall we “arise and shine, our light having come and the glory of the Lord having risen upon us;” for our “God shall be our light” and joy and strength and song, “and the days of our mourning shall he ended.” 2. I would speak a closing word to my brothers in the sacred ministry.
Eighteen years in the pastorate and four years in revival work have brought me in touch with you. I know by experience your difficulties, your trials, your weaknesses and temptations, your victories and joys and sorrows and longings. I know it is no child’s play, no light task, to be a worthy and efficient ambassador of Jesus Christ in a modern pulpit. The trend of the hour, in this money-making age, is toward worldliness, and luxurious self-indulgence, and lax morality and unspirituality. As a brother minister said to me the other day “It is getting so that people see no harm in anything, and we are obliged to create a Christian conscience.” I know about the incessant demands, the plans that miscarry, the captious criticism of “unreasonable men,” the needless oppositions of those who ought to be helpers, the encroachments upon precious time, the burning of midnight oil, the unrequited love bestowed upon the unloving, the labors bestowed upon the thankless, the efforts and prayers to reach hearts that are not converted — I hear all, I have felt all. I have seen a beloved ministerial brother, with an admiring congregation at his feet, with a salary of five thousand dollars a year, and many generous gifts from loving friends besides, and with an influence and position that most men might covet, come home from a Sabbath day of preaching and cover his face with his hands, and mourn over the apparent fruitlessness of his work, and declare that he had missed his calling. I looked at the despondent brother with all the pity of a sympathetic heart. I did not then know what was the trouble with that gifted man who had a place and an opportunity that an angel might have coveted. I know now. A baptism with the Holy Spirit would have increased his usefulness four-fold, and made his tasks a perpetual joy, and filled his heart with a gladness like that of heaven. He had the culture, the talent, the wit, the genius everything but the anointing of the Holy Ghost, without which he was poor and weak indeed.
So it is, dear brothers, and will be, and must be, with us all. While we trust to scholarship and culture and oratory and genius, valuable and desirable as they are, we shall miss the secret of success, and fail to accomplish more than a fraction of what God called us in the ministry to do. “It is not by [human] might nor by power [of oratory], but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” It is the Spirit of God alone that imparts power to the Word preached, without which all the truths of the Bible will be no more than “thunder to the deaf or lightning to the blind.” “A seal requires weight, a hand upon it in order to impression. The soul of the sinner is the wax; gospel truth is the seal; but without the Almighty Hand of the Holy Ghost that seal is powerless.” In Apostolic times preaching was mighty because they “preached the gospel by the Holy Ghost sent forth from heaven” ( Peter 1:12). I write to the fourteen hundred Congregational ministers, and still greater number of Presbyterian preachers, w ho came to the end of last year with sad hearts because each had preached a year without a convert. I write to the three thousand who will have an equally dismal failure in this year of grace, 1896. I do not impugn your piety. I cast no reflections upon your earnestness or your love and loyalty to truth. But a doctor that lost every case for a year would soon be without patients. A lawyer that lost every case in court for a year would soon be without clients. So a minister that can preach one hundred times in a year and not make one successful plea for his Master — not win one soul to leave the world and come over to the side of Jesus, is making an awful mistake somewhere. I believe it is just here — he is preaching without the Spirit power upon him. Such a result would not be possible if he were “filled with the Spirit.” A humble, obscure Irish preacher, James Caughey, mentioned in the last chapter, wrote in his diary: “No man has ever been signally successful in winning souls to Christ without th e help of the Spirit. With it the humblest talent may astonish earth and hell by gathering thousands for the skies, while without it the most splendid talents are comparatively useless.” With this conviction he sought the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and then saw in six years over twenty thousand souls accepting Christ at the altar. Dear brethren, a barren ministry is a needless thing. Seek this great blessing as the one thing absolutely essential to your work. “A good while before I came away from South Africa,” says Andrew Murray, “I read a sentence that impressed me deeply, and I wrote it down in one of my note books. It was this, —’The first duty of every clergyman is to beg of God, very humbly, that all that he wants to be done in his hearers may first be fully and truly done in himself.’ I can not say what power there appears to be in this sentence. Brother minister and brother worker, the first duty of one who works for Christ, and speaks for Him, is to humbly come to God, and ask that everything he wants done in his hearers may first be thoroughly and fully done in himself. That brings us to the root of all true work. When I speak about the love of God, of the power of redemption, of the salvation from sin, or the filling of the Holy Spirit, or the love of God shed abroad in the heart of the Holy Ghost, you and I need to have God do the thing in ourselves, and the more earnestly we seek that, the more there will be a hidden power of the Holy Spirit to pass through from us, in whom God has done what he sends us to preach.
God shines into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and by the Holy Spirit he reveals the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. I pray you, O workers, get the light of the glory of God into your souls, and you will go forth with new confidence and power” (Spiritual Life, pp. 159-162).
Dear brothers, did it never occur to you that even the holy Jesus was not prepared to preach until he was baptized with the Spirit? He began his first sermon by saying: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he hath anointed me to preach the gospel.” Alas, that so many of us, with amazing presumption, have ventured to enter the ministry and preach so many times without this divine anointing! A quarter of a century ago a sermon was preached before the Boston University School of Theology, on “The Qualities of a Successful Ministry,” in which is found the following: “We must accept the historical fact of Jesus’ baptism by the Holy Ghost as a preparation for his ministry, and that not till then do evangelists speak of him as ‘full of the Holy Ghost,’ ‘led by the Spirit,’ and ‘in the power of the Spirit.’ He left us an example that we should walk in his steps in everything not peculiar to his person and mission. The blessing of the Spirit is not peculiar to Christ, for it is promised to all who fully believe. Hence, it is INSTANTANEOUS, as it was with Jesus at the Jordan, notwithstanding a previous uniform growth in favor with God. … This gift of the divine fullness must be INSTANTANEOUS, because it is conditioned on a definite act of faith. If a soul, with all its progress, never reaches a time when it distinctly apprehends, by a definite act of faith, ‘the exceeding greatness of Christ’s power to usward who believe,’ it will never obtain this heavenly baptism. In all ages of the Church the experience of the holiest men and women attests this doctrine of the fullness of the Holy Ghost as a work distinct from regeneration. Let the fullness of the Holy Spirit be the experience of the preacher, and he will no longer feebly enunciate gospel truth, he will no longer hesitate to proclaim a living Jesus.
Our pulpits will no longer be afflicted with impotency, but be girded with strength.”
Get this Holy Spirit blessing, dear brethren in the ministry, and you will have such an inner light and intuitive conviction of the truths of the gospel that you will not be troubled by every new fad of semi-infidelity hatched up by speculating and unspiritual minds. Says Dr. Steele: “The fullness of the Holy Ghost is the sunrise of spiritual illumination and the source of absolute assurance, and this blessing is attainable by all.” Again he says: “There is just as wide a scope for selfish ambition in the pulpit as in politics. If worldliness dominates the church and controls the pulpit, the temptation will increase to neglect the doctrine of sin and repentance, regeneration and retribution, and above all, the necessity of self-crucifixion and entire sanctification, in order to the attainment of the most vigorous spiritual life and the highest efficiency of service. Filled with the Spirit,” you will lose that selfish ambition; you will preach the whole gospel in its spirituality and purity and power. Your churches will catch your spirit, and they too will be lifted to a new plane of Christian living, and you will find yourselves the spiritual leaders of spiritual congregations, whose hearts are set on walking with God. What a relief it will be to be no longer the salaried lecturer of a lecture association! or the head manager of an ecclesiastical eucher club! or the business director of a parish dancing association! or the grand toast-master of a roystering oyster-eating society! or — but I forbear. Every thoughtful and spiritually inclined minister has reflected with humiliation upon these degradations of the church and the ministry. He has, in his better moments, longed to be a worthy representative of his Master, leading a company of consecrated sons and daughters of God, all devoted, heart and soul, to the work of building up the Redeemer’s kingdom by saving men. The “baptism with the Holy Ghost and with fire,” upon the minister and his people can alone achieve such a happy and desirable result.
While writing the above lines my son drops upon my page “The Twentieth Century’s Call to Christendom,” and “Responses,” by eminent divines. My eye glancing over the pages catches the following sentences: “The organizations and machinery necessary for the immediate and world-wide forward movement to victory and conquest of this world for Christ are all ready and in working order, and need simply to be directed under the quickening breath of the Spirit of God.... All these organizations will inevitably deteriorate into mere machines, and become hindrances rather than helps, curses rather than blessings, unless they speedily become Spirit-filled and consecrated. Are you ready to consecrate yourself to and enter upon the work NOW? Are you ready to cry mightily to God for the gift of the Holy Spirit of power for the work NOW?” George Frederick Wright, D. D., LL. D., responds: “I know of no means to make the gospel more powerful except its fervent preaching, accompanied by the gifts of the Holy Spirit given in answer to prayer. I confidently expect that the continued failure of political and sociological efforts will give such renewed emphasis to the spiritual needs of man and the gospel provision that we shall witness the Pentecostal seasons so much needed and so abundantly promised in the Bible. May God speed the day.”
Yes, brethren of the ministry. We said in the first chapter, and we repeat now in the last, our only way out of the evils that afflict society and the Church of Christ is a journey back to Pentecost. We may try socialism, and all other isms, sociology and all other ologies, and every scheme hatched up by the brain of man; but we shall find, sooner or later, for God will drive us to the conclusion that the baptism with the Spirit clothing the ministry and the churches with “Holiness and Power” is the hope of the world. This alone can give the gospel of Christ its full redemptive influence over man.
An evangelist writes: “Was this power a special gift designed (only) for the founding of Christianity? Can God’s work now be successfully prosecuted without it? And are we now to depend on human wisdom, human learning, human experience and human energy? Can any influence in this day penetrate the heart, burn its dross, melt its prejudice, consume its sin, refine its character, save the touch of fire that fell on Pentecost? Churches multiply and ministers increase, but the shining face and the burning tongue are far to seek and hard to find. The Church of God needs something; the Church of God must have something more than she has today, with all her prestige and energy. She needs the upper chamber, the tarrying at Jerusalem, the power of the Holy Ghost, a continued Pentecost; and nothing less than this can give her the slightest particle of power.” 3. I would speak a word, with all Christian humility and respect, to the honored and revered theological Professors of the land. August 15, 1896, there was a cartoon in the Ram’s Horn, one of the keenest and ablest Christian papers in America, representing “A Class in Theology.” A Professor is standing on the Bible open to the words: “I am the Bread of Life;” feeding the class with a huge spoon out of a great bowl of “Dogma,” who are standing in a line with mouths open to take their nauseating dose.
On the wall back of the class is a “Bill of Fare “ — “ Metaphysical Sawdust, Theological Husks, Ecclesiastical Conceits.” A student is standing on a chair writing on the wall — “ We are starving. Give us Bread.” Can you see what the satirist was driving at? Can you tell how it happens that the leading minister in Boston, and in Philadelphia, and in Chicago of one of our most learned denominations had no seminary training? that the foremost man in the Christian world did not? that the foremost pastor of t he century — Charles Spurgeon did not, and he thanked God to his dying day that he never went to college? It was not because he deprecated colleges and theological seminaries and learning. It was rather because he feared that had he availed himself of those advantages he might, like so many other ministers, have trusted to his intellectual equipment rather than to the Holy Spirit for his success. Why is it that two ministers have said to me within five weeks — one of them an honored author, and both of them graduates of leading universities and equally prominent theological seminaries: “If I were to start in the ministry again, knowing what I now know of the essentials to success, I would rather attend Moody’s Institute in Chicago one year, and learn my English Bible and get baptized with the Holy Spirit, than to have my seminary course repeated”? That you have a deserved name and fame in the intellectual world we do not deny. That you have an honest desire to serve the churches and the kingdom of Chris t we can not doubt. But you are certainly making the deplorable mistake of laying stress on things comparatively unimportant, and ignoring the only thing absolutely essential to ministerial success — the baptism with the Holy Ghost that brings “Holiness and Power.” That element of success was never so much as mentioned in the class-room during my three years’ course in one of the best institutions in the land.
Last year a minister in Massachusetts told me the following: “In my early ministry I knew an uneducated, rough-speaking, country youth, by the name of Jim_____. He had only ordinary talent. He was converted, and at once got the idea that he was called to preach. I told him I thought he was called to work on a farm. But he went around preaching at schoolhouses and out-of-the-way places, abandoning the work several times in discouragement for the farm or the school, but never acquiring more than a meager education, not equal to a high school course. He then attended Moody’s school in Chicago one year, and received a real baptism with the Spirit. Since then he has utterly eclipsed me in ministerial success.” Said I “Write to him and ask him to tell us about his success.” He wrote and received a modest and beautiful letter from brother “Jim_____,” giving an account of over fifteen hundred conversions. Over four hundred had joined his present church by profession of faith in four years, and a large church edifice had been built to accommodate his great audiences. He humbly attributed all this success to the Holy Spirit power that attended his labors.
But while he was having such success as that, the two hundred and eighty-eight Congregational churches in that same State last year had but eight and one-half conversions each; and fifty-six churches had none, and only one in that State, with all its learned ministry, had over one hundred, and that was a church of over two thousand church members. Verily, it takes more than a college and seminary course to make a soul-winning preacher!
Dear Professors, all the Congregational churches in the country had but an average of six and one-half conversions each, and over fourteen hundred had none. Those ministers were your own children, and went to their work with such conceptions of the conditions of success as your influence and instructions gave them. And multitudes of them, after years of experience in the ministry, look back with keen sorrow, not to say disgust, upon the impractical training which they received at your hands, from the evil effects of which many of them never recover. As for myself, I compress all my criticism into this one charge, — You did not show yourselves to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and show us how to receive the blessing, and, like the Apostle Paul, with all the power of your beings, urge us to be possessed of it. O that, like Tholuck, the “Spirit of fire” were ever upon you all, and that like him, you led your students to have but one passion, and that a “passion for Christ, and Christ alone!”
During the last season, ministers flocked into Chicago from many miles around to hear Andrew Murray lecture to the students of Moody’s School, on the Holy Spirit power, and later also to hear F. B. Meyer, because they were conscious that they needed to learn something which you had not taught them. If you do not change your methods, you will inflict a barren ministry upon the churches that will be the death of them, or God will be obliged to raise up more schools like Spurgeon’s and Moody’s, where the Bible is loved and taught, and the baptism with the Holy Spirit is urged upon the students as the indispensable condition of success.
President Asa Mahan, writing about Tholuck’s “Baptism With the Holy Spirit and With Fire.” said: “Had I the ears of the Professors in our Theological Seminaries, I would say to them, ‘What God most desires in you as the immutable condition of the discharge of your high functions as the teachers of God’s truth, what is indispensable to the required moral and spiritual culture of your pupils, and what the immortal well-being of the Church and the world imperiously requires of you is the personal reception on your part of this baptism of fire.”
Speaking of his own experience in the theological seminary and of such seminaries in general, he writes: “Apprehensions of Christ, as a Saviour from sin, were confined almost exclusively to the sphere of justification.
The doctrine of ‘sanctification by faith’ was not so much as named among us. We heard nothing of it from the pulpit, or in the class-room, or among ourselves. Still less, if possible, did the doctrine of ‘the baptism with the Holy Ghost’ have any place in the sphere of Christian thought in which we moved. The Pentecost, with all its moral and spiritual enduements of power, belonged to the Apostolic age; to us nought remained but a dreary pilgrimage over that bog, that swamp of legalism described in Romans 7:14-25. “We solved our problems of theology as we had done those of geometry when in college, and with no more seriousness or reverence in the one case than in the other. With the most painful interest the question often came home to my mind, How can individuals reverentially set before the people truths which they have so irreverentially studied in the school of the prophets?” In thus studying God’s truth, the pupil not only receives a moral and spiritual paralysis in his inner life, but becomes habituated to cold and unvitalizing apprehensions and presentations of God’s eternal verities to the Church and the world. Such facts will sufficiently account for the moral and spiritual atmospheres which too commonly encircle our theological seminaries. “The student not only finds the atmosphere the opposite of what he anticipated, but finds all his efforts for the higher forms of life fruitless and vain. The result is a reaction, a moral and spiritual repulsion, in which the foundations of his faith seem to be falling away, and he has periods of painful doubt of the real validity of the claims of Christianity itself. “A theological seminary, surely, should be, and may be, ‘holy ground,’ ‘the house of God’ and a ‘gate of heaven.’ No man, however learned, is at all qualified to teach God’s truth in it who is not ‘full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.’ A teacher of a class of candidates for the ministry, who is not thus filled with the Spirit, and does not so teach that the faith of his pupils shall stand, ‘not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God,’ is doing more than any other individual can do to send men who are ‘not spiritual but carnal’ into the sacred office” (Autobiog., Chap. VIII.).
In the same strain President Finney wrote: “It is painful to observe the constant tendency to substitute culture for this Holy Spirit power, or human learning and eloquence in place of this divine enduement. I fear this tendency is increasing in the church. The churches are calling for men of great learning and eloquence instead of men who are deeply baptized with the Holy Ghost. The seminaries of leaning are much in fault in this thing.
They do not lay half stress enough upon the possession of this enduement as an essential qualification for usefulness in the world. The manifest possession of this enduement of power should be considered an indispensable qualification for a Professor in college or in a theological seminary. A theological Professor who does not believe in this enduement of power and who does not possess it in a manifold degree, can not fail to be a stumbling block to his students. If he does not speak of it as altogether indispensable, and urge it upon them as the most important of a ll qualifications for the ministry, his teaching and his influence will be vitally defective. This must be true, or this whole question of the enduement of power from on high must be a delusion. It is nothing or it is everything in the sense of being wholly indispensable to success” (Bapt. of Holy Ghost, Eng. Ed., pp. 246, 247).
May the Lord open the eyes of all to see this great truth, till the theological Professors, the students, the ministers, and the laity, shall all seek the baptism with the Holy Spirit for Holiness and Power.