« Prev Chapter 27. A Fighting Holiness—“Sanctification… Next »

CHAPTER 27

A FIGHTING HOLINESS—“SANCTIFICATION IN STREAKS”

I do not mean those who fight holiness, but use the word fighting as an adjective to describe holiness.

The phrase may be used in a bad sense and a good sense. A professor of religion who is all alive to his own importance, ready to join issue with everybody on every occasion who differs with him, to put the worst construction upon the actions and the worst meaning to the words of others, who stirs up strife and divisions wherever he goes, has a bad kind of warring holiness. He may be zealous to reform yet does but little towards promoting “on earth peace, and good will toward men.” He is very apt to substitute bitterness for love, presumption for faith, obstinacy for firmness. Men who are naturally pugnacious, even when truly sanctified, are liable to lose the fullness of love, and then become quarrelsome: and if, as is generally the case, they keep up their profession of holiness, they prejudice sensible people against the doctrine, and do a vast amount of harm.

But true holiness is not the easy, obsequious, compromising principle that many appear to think that it is—it is brave as a hero and at the same time gentle as a woman. It is valiant for the truth. When called upon, it is ready to defend it, and if need be to die for it. The man of God is solemnly charged—

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.”—I Tim. 6:12.

Our Lord says,

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”—Matt. 10:34.

Wherever sin and true holiness come in contact there must be war.

All eminent saints have been great warriors. Paul describes his life at its close by saying, “I have fought a good fight.” Luther and Wesley and Finney were mighty men of war.

But see to it that in the midst of all your fightings you keep filled with love.

We have a Presbyterian brother—a devout man of God, and an able preacher—who holds to the doctrine of sanctification. He says that, as a matter of fact, he finds that those professing holiness are generally “sanctified in streaks.” Is there not too much ground for this observation?

Some evidently love the world. They gain all they can, and save all they can,—but they do not give all they can. They have enough, and more than enough, to make themselves and those dependent on them comfortable as long as they live. Still they go on laying up for themselves “treasures on earth.” Some make a gain of godliness. Even “holiness camp-meetings”are so managed that a good deal of money is made out of them. The ground for tents to stand on is rented at a large profit; the tents and furniture are rented at a profit; and even the railroads—grasping as are these corporations—are made to share with the managers, the profits of carrying the worshipers to these great gatherings. If those who labor specially to promote holiness set such an example of money-making, is it to be wondered at if the same spirit should be imbibed by others?

Some are greatly wanting in meekness and humility. They put on style. In their dress, they violate the plain rules of Scripture. They mince their words, and affect a high degree of social refinement in their manner of speaking.

Others are too forward. They never know their place. If they cannot lead, they balk. They must be foremost, or they will not work at all. If you disagree with them in opinion, they take it that you are their enemy. An effort to correct anything that is really objectionable, they count as persecution. They are not “easy to be entreated.”

Some are wanting in self-denial. They live in ease and self-indulgence. They do not seem to know what it is to deny themselves of anything for Jesus’ sake.

Beloveds, the Gospel proposes to effect in each one of us a perfect cure. We are sanctified

through the truth.”—John 17:17.

This cannot be too strongly impressed upon the mind. You will be sanctified only so far as you receive the truth. If your views of truth are defective or distorted, there will be a corresponding defect or distortion in your piety. Do not be rickety Christians, with a head disproportional to the rest of your body. SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES. Aim at a full and harmonious development of all the Christian graces. If you find you are defective in any respect, do not peevishly throw away the whole of your experience, and go over the same old, beaten road again, but come to God for that particular grace. Persevere in prayer until you get it. Insist upon it that it is your privilege to be right with God in all respects. Be willing to know your faults; for until you know them you will never seek deliverance from them. Welcome the light.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.”—II Pet. 1:5-7.

« Prev Chapter 27. A Fighting Holiness—“Sanctification… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |