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Do not evade the question. Press it home upon your conscience. Ponder it well. Keep it in your mind until an honest and correct conclusion is reached. You readily admit that there would be reason for uneasiness were you justly in doubt as to whether or not you were converted. The obligation to be converted is no stronger than the obligation to be holy. Both rest on the same foundation—the command of God. This is no less explicit in the one case than in the other. Why should we be born of the Spirit? The ready answer is, Jesus says, “Ye must be born again.” Why ought we to be holy? The same Divine Teacher declares, “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” Is the one essential to salvation? The infallible Guide, who says, “Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye can in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven,” says also, “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” If you are indifferent as to your personal sanctity, you have reason to doubt the genuineness of your conversion. Truly regenerated souls aspire after holiness. Even where the system of theology in which they have been educated denies its attainableness, they still long for it as something desirable. With the pious Watts, they exclaim:

“Could we but climb where Moses stood, And view the landscape o’er. Not Jordan’s stream, nor death’s cold flood, Could fright us from that shore.”

This is the language of a converted soul. “Could we but climb,” how gladly would we do it. Were we satisfied that it is within the reach of possibility, we would make a desperate effort. Well, earnest Christian, you may ascend, even here, to Pisgah’s summit. You may dwell in the land of Beulah, where the sun always shines. Holiness is possible. Consider. Would you impose upon your tender child of ten years of age, a load which would require the utmost strength of a full grown man to carry? Would you require your son, so far recovered from a protracted sickness, as to be able to sit up an hour at a time, to do a day’s work that none but an able-bodied man could accomplish? “If ye then being evil,” would not require impossibilities, how much less would “your Father in heaven?” God commands us, “Be ye holy.” Pharaoh may demand the full tale of brick without furnishing material; but God never imposes a duty without providing every needed help for its fulfillment. Were we obliged to obtain a holy heart by our own efforts, we might despair. If we were “to grow up,” into holiness by habits of obedience, discouragement might take place. But a holy heart is as much the work of God as a conversion. The Word says,

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—I John 1:9.

Who forgives sin? God only. Who cleanses us from all unrighteousness? The same Almighty Being. None, then, need despair. Do not limit the Holy One of Israel. If you meet the conditions, God will make even you holy. If holiness be God’s work, try ever so long and earnestly, and you cannot grow up into it. Ask Him now to “sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean;” to put His Spirit within you, and to cause you to walk in His statutes. As Dr. Adam Clarke says: “In no part of the Scriptures are we directed to seek holiness gradatim (that is, step by step, gradually). We are to come to God as well for an instantaneous and complete purification from all sin as for an instantaneous pardon.

Neither the seriatim pardon nor the gradatim purification exists in the Bible.” It is when the soul is purified from all sin that it can properly grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!—as the field may be expected to produce a good crop, and all the seed vegetate, when the thorns, thistles, and briars, and noxious weeds of every kind are grubbed out of it. Come to God, then, in faith to make you holy; and soon exulting, you will sing:

“Rejoicing now in earnest hope I stand, and from the mountain top see all the land below.”

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