By Aaron Hills
Conditions Of Obtaining The Holy Spirit Continued -- Obedience -- Consecration
VI. The next condition of receiving the great blessing which must be named is obedience. Acts v. 3: "The Holy Ghost whom God hath given to them that obey him." This is a fundamental condition which never can be changed or disregarded. It is true that men in securing pardon and justification must obey up to their light at that time. But as a practical fact, the sinner "dead in trespasses and in sins," has no such conception of life and duty when seeking pardon, as he will afterward have when, as a son, he is seeking the fullness of the blessing, -- perfect purity of heart. Oh, what a searching of soul there will then be, the like of which the sinner knows nothing about.
Obedience means not doing some things, but absolute surrender of the will to the Lord about all things, for Jesus to take you and do what he pleases with you and yours. Mrs. Catherine Booth says of the disciples before Pentecost: "They waited in obedient faith. How do we know? Because they did as he bid them. That is the evidence. He said, 'Tarry in Jerusalem.' Peter might have said, when he had seen his Lord off to heaven, 'Well what am I going to do now? I have been a long time running after the Lord in Palestine. I must betake myself to the fishing. I can wait as well at the sea-beach as in Jerusalem. I wonder why the Lord told me to go to Jerusalem. I think it was rather unreasonable. He might have thought of my old father and mother at home. I think I shall go back to my fishing nets.' No, no; they had been cured of their unbelief by the last few days' experience. They had learned better than to dictate to their Master, and they knew he had a good purpose in sending them to Jerusalem, and so they went there and did as he bade them straight back to that upper room they went. Mary might have said, 'I have been running about ministering to the Saviour a long time. I must attend to the home and the claims of old friends. I can wait there as well as at Jerusalem for the Holy Ghost.' But Mary had learned better. They obeyed and waited.
It is the disobedient faith that is sent empty away. You will have to come to God's conditions at last, or you will never get it. Obedient faith! While there is a spark of insubordination or rebellion or dictation you will never get it. Truly submissive and obedient souls and loyal souls enter his kingdom. This is one of his choice gifts that he has reserved for his choice servants, those who serve him with all their hearts. Obedient faith! " ..... The condition of holiness is: ' Present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God, and be not conformed to the world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.' Oh! if you could be transformed to him and conformed to this world at the same time, all the difficulty would be over. I know plenty of people who would be transformed directly; but to be not conformed to the world -- how they stand and wince at that! They can not have it at that price. As dear Finney once said: 'My brother, if you want to find God you will not find him up there amongst all the starch and flattery of hell; you will have to come down for him.' That is it, Be not conformed to the world.'
"Oh! this is the secret -- they will not come down from their pride and high-mindedness. But God will not be revealed to such souls, though they cry and pray themselves to skeletons, and go mourning all their days. They will not fulfil the condition -- 'Be not conformed to the world'; they will not forego their conformity, even to the extent of a dinner party. A great many that I know will not forego their conformity to the shape of their head-dress. They won't forego their conformity to the extent of giving up visiting and receiving visits from ungodly, worldly, hollow, and superficial people. They will not forego their conformity to the tune of having their domestic arrangements upset -- no, not if the salvation of their children and servants and friends depends upon it. The sine qua non is their own comfort, and then take what you can get on God's side. We must have this, and we must have the other, and then, if the Lord Jesus Christ will come in at the tail end and sanctify it all, we shall be very much obliged to him; but we can not forego these things.
"People come to these meetings, and they groan and cry and come to us for help, and we exhaust our poor brains and bodies in talking to them and giving them advice, telling them what to do, and when it comes to the point, we find: 'Oh! no; don't you be mistaken; we are not going to sacrifice these things. We can not have the Lord if he will not come into our temples and take them as he finds them. We could not forego these things.' Oh! friends, friends. I tell you this will never do.
"Then there are your habits. How ashamed some of you will be who have made the mere Paris-born frivolities of society stand in the way of your sanctification; and yet people who do this say they are Christians. I don't know; I can't believe it. There is drinking; they will have a glass of wine. Very well, you can have it; but you shall not have the wine of the kingdom. Professors will dress like the prostitutes of Paris. Very well; but they shall not be the bride of the Lamb. You can go to parties where it is said there are only religious people, but where you know all manner of gossip and chitchat is going on, which you would be awfully ashamed the Master should hear, and from which you retire with no appetite for prayer. You can go to all this; but I defy you to have the Holy Ghost at the same time. I won't stop to argue it. I only know you can not do it. All that will have to be put aside and given up."
I have made these lengthy quotations from three addresses of this saintly woman, who was so wondrously used by God to lead multitudes into the life of holiness. Obedience and nonconformity to the world were the burden of her messages, as the indispensable conditions of the coming of the Holy Ghost.
Mr. Torrey, of the Chicago Bible Institute, tells of a woman who prayed and struggled for this blessing till people thought she would go crazy in the intensity of her desire. Every time she prayed some little gewgaw in her hair was the sticking point with her. She prayed and prayed, and that would come up every time. At last one day, as she was praying, she put her hand to her head, and tore them from her hair, and threw them across the room. In an instant the Holy Spirit came upon that woman. She now had the spirit of obedience.
Dr. Wilbur Chapman, the famous evangelist, tells how he reached this great blessing after long seeking "I had been struggling for five years. I had had visions of this power, and glimpses of what I might be, if I were 'filled with the Spirit,' but all this time, as it was with the disciples at Ephesus, there was a great lacking. At last, I reached the place where I felt I was willing to make a surrender. I reached it by the path marked out by Mr. Meyer, when he said: 'If you are not ready to surrender everything to God are you ready to say, I am willing to be made willing about everything?' That seemed easy, and alone before God I said: 'Lord I am willing to be made willing.'
I was given an incident this week concerning Mrs. Maggie Van Cott, the Methodist evangelist, who has seen seventy-five thousand converts under her labours in thirty-one years. She was originally an Episcopalian, but had not been converted. She was very showily dressed, and was an excellent singer. She was asked by a friend to attend a Methodist class-meeting and lead the singing, which she did. In that meeting she was deeply convicted, and the sanctified leader lovingly pointed her to the Lamb of God, and by faith in Christ she was born again. She immediately laid aside most of that jewellery that had adorned her person, and put on the adornment "of a meek and quiet spirit." But she had a ring given her by her husband, who when he was dying took it from her finger, kissed it and put it back. She retained it for his sake. She became an effective evangelist, and often sought sanctification: but as often the Spirit said, "Put away your ring." She held to it because of its precious memories, and did not get the blessing. One day the altar was crowded with inquirers, and she knelt before them, her hand with the ring dropping over the altar rail. It attracted the attention of a child at the altar who began to admire it, and finger it. She noticed it, and Christ seemed to say to her: ' Will you not now take the ring off for my sake?" She immediately reached over the altar-rail, pulled off the ring and put it in her pocket. Instantly the Baptism with the Spirit came in power upon her soul. She had at last settled it that she would obey the slightest whisper of God.
I have two friends in Massachusetts, Brother M____ and Brother P_____. They were at a holiness camp-meeting together. M_____ had already entered into the rest of perfect love. P_____ was seeking it. They were in the woods together in prayer, praying that P_____ might receive the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. After an hour of earnest consecrating, pleading prayer, P_____ began to shout at the top of his voice: "I'll do it! I'll do it!" and the blessing came. M_____, by his side, was entirely ignorant of what it was that the Spirit wanted. But P_____ was a general merchant and among other things sold tobacco, and the sticking point was -- whether he would give up selling tobacco. He immediately telegraphed to his clerks to sell no more tobacco. He took three hundred dollars worth out into the street, when he reached home, and made a bon-fire and burned it up. Obedience to the Spirit! I have never known a person to receive this blessing who used or sold tobacco. It is too vile to be tolerated by the Spirit in a body which he proposes to make a temple of the Holy Ghost. Whatever in habit or life the Holy Spirit condemns must be abandoned in the spirit of implicit obedience or it is useless to seek this sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost in the heart. No agony of prayer can reach it while the will is not joyfully obedient.
VII. Another condition is full consecration. God's word is: "Present yourselves unto God as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Rom. vi. 13). "Ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price; glorify God therefore in your body" (I. Cor. vi. 19, 20). "They first gave their own selves unto the Lord" (II. Cor. viii. 5).
Consecration is the actual present surrender to God of the whole man and all we possess. We have shown, in Chapter 3, how some strangely confound consecration and sanctification. Please recall what we then said: "Consecration is the antecedent condition of sanctification, but not the thing itself. Consecration is man's work; sanctification is God's work." "God never consecrates for us, and we never sanctify for God. It is true that the acts of consecration and sanctification are both combined in the work that produces the experience of holiness, yet they are forever separate and distinct. We consecrate; God sanctifies. We step on the altar; the blood cleanses. Ex. xxxii. 29: 'Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord.' II. Thess. v. 23: 'The very God of peace himself sanctify you wholly.' In justification we surrender, repent, and believe for pardon, but 'it is God that justifies.' In sanctification we consecrate and trust the blood to cleanse from all sin, yet it is God that sanctifies. Consecration is but putting ourselves in readiness for God to sanctify us. The bundle of clothes we take to the laundry must be presented and turned over before they can be washed; but it is no part of the laundryman to surrender and turn them over. He receives, we give over. In the process of our cleansing we present and turn over consecrate, and God sanctifies" (The Holy Way, p. 22.)
General Booth observes: "Adam forsook a life of entire and constant service of God, and set up to be independent of him. He ceased to be a servant of Jehovah, and went into business, so to say, on his own account. He gave up living to please God in everything and started to live to please himself. To get back to God's favour, Adam's son must now give up being his own master and go back to God with all he possesses and lay himself at Jehovah's feet to live evermore for him" (Holy Living, p. 18).
The mistake made by many in regard to consecration is, it is not a reality. They pretend to give God their all -- their children, money and possessions, their time and reputation; but it is only in imagination, in sentiment. It is not real. God and his cause are no better off after it than they were before. They pretend to give all at the altar, and they live the next day as if all were their own. If God asks for a liberal donation for missions the money is not forthcoming. If God asks for a child to be a minister or a missionary they throw up their hands in horror at the thought, and cry out indignantly, "No!" Sentimental consecration only!
General Booth gave this striking illustration of what consecration really means: "A long time back in this country there was a war between the king and the parliament, and the greater part of the nation took the side of the parliament, and the king was sorely pressed. It was then no uncommon thing for some nobleman or rich person to come to the king and say, 'I am sorry and ashamed that your majesty should be driven from your throne and be suffering all this indignity and disgrace, and I want to help your majesty to get your rights again, and I have come with my sons and my servants to place our swords and our lives at your disposal. I have also mortgaged my estate and sold my plate, and brought the proceeds to help your majesty to carry on the war.' Now that was a real surrender or giving up to that king -- it was the laying of life and substance at his feet. If things went well with the king it would be well with them; but if not, if the king lost all, they lost everything with him.
"Now that is just the kind of consecration God wants; only one that goes deeper down still. He has been driven from his throne in the hearts of men everywhere. His name is cast out as evil, and men universally refuse to have him reign over them. Now Jesus Christ wants to secure the kingdom for his Father, and appeals for truehearted soldiers who will help him to succeed in this great undertaking, and he wants you to come into the camp in the same spirit, saying: 'I bring my goods, my influence, my reputation, my family; aye, my life. I will have no separate interests. Use all I have and am to promote the war, so that my King shall have his own, and his throne shall be established.' That is consecration in reality, and that only. This is what Jesus Christ taught when he said, 'Seek first the kingdom of God.' This is what Jesus Christ exemplified in his life and death. This is what Paul and the first apostles did; and if you are to be a thorough Christian you must be consecrated in the same way" (Holy Living, pp. 19, 20).
2. Notice what is the difference between this consecration and that which the sinner makes when seeking salvation. (I) It is far more intelligent than that which the sinner makes. As a penitent, he practically knew little about the details of Christian experience and duty. But having had a regular course in the school of Christ, the Christian reaches a standpoint from which he has a vastly higher conception of duty and service and surrender to God. His consecration in seeking sanctification is, therefore, far more comprehensive and complete. (2)
It is based on different motives. The uppermost thought in the sinner's mind is relief from the burden of guilt, pardon of sin, escape from penalty. He is like an ancient Israelite fleeing to the City of Refuge. But the Christian comes as a son, longing to be more for his Saviour and enjoy more of his companionship and love. He devotes himself to complete obedience with joy of heart, moved by love instead of fear. (3) When we come for pardon we mass our offering -- "Here, Lord, I give myself away" -- little comprehending the meaning of our own words. When we consecrate for sanctification, having more light, we are more definite and specific -- hands, feet, eyes, lips, memory, affections, ambitions, time, reputation, friends, possessions, influence, family, all. As one said: "I give thee all I know and all I do not know."
The ground of such a wonderful consecration is Christ's ownership. He has redeemed us, purchased us. As a master, buying slaves in a slave-market, got their talents, service, earnings, So are we the slaves of Jesus Christ. The old masters often branded their names, or pricked in their initials, on the arms or limbs of their slaves. Paul subscribed himself "the slave of Jesus Christ," and in one place says, "I bear about in my body the brands of the Lord Jesus." It was something that the great apostle gloried in that he was the slave of Jesus Christ, whose absolute ownership he gladly acknowledged.
4. The act of consecration is to recognize Christ's ownership and to accept it. Say to him with the whole heart, "Lord, I am thine by right and I wish to be thine by choice." The ancient Israelites came to David, their heaven-appointed but uncrowned king, and said: "Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse." So should we come to Jesus and gladly say, "Thine we are, O Christ." Paul said of Jesus: "Whose I am and whom I serve."
Notice, consecration is not an act of feeling but of will. F. B. Meyer says: "Do not try to feel anything nor to be good and meritorious and deserving of the baptism with the Holy Ghost." The blessing is not earned, or deserved. It is God's wondrous grace, conferred gladly when we comply with the conditions, one of which is the absolute surrender of our will about everything. Anything else would be like surrendering the whole body to the doctor -- all but one limb, which had a cancer. Ask Jesus to take possession of all. Dr. Lowrey says: ''A willing mind to be all the Lord's sweeps in everything. Such a purpose, formed and fixed in conscious sincerity will, no doubt, be accepted of God as the sanctification (consecration) of yourself to him. When we give all to God we make a summary transfer of ourselves to him. As a piece of land is sold and the lot is bounded, measured, and described, as so many acres and rods, 'more or less,' 'with all the appurtenances thereto belonging,' in like manner, sign, sea l, and deliver yourself over to God. And do it so really that ever after it would strike you as an act of trespass and breach of faith to use any member of your body, or faculty of your mind, or affection of your soul, or portion of your possessions against God, apart from God, or for any selfish motives, that would offend God, and take you or yours in any way out of his hands" (Possibilities, p. 310).
Mahan says: "The revealed condition of the indwelling of the Spirit is a full and complete surrender, on our part, of all the powers and susceptibilities of our being, to the divine occupancy and control."
Says Rev. A. B. Simpson: "A sanctified spirit is a dedicated spirit. Its powers of apprehension are dedicated to know God, and to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. His word is the object of its deepest study and meditation. Its will is dedicated to God. It chooses him deliberately as its portion and its sovereign Lord, and delights to abandon itself to his entire possession, and to his perfect will. Its power of trusting is dedicated. It is determined to trust God under any circumstances and in spite of all feelings, as an act of will that chooses to believe his word, notwithstanding every discouragement and temptation. Its love is dedicated and its power of loving. It chooses to love God supremely, and to love all as God would have us love, regarding every human being in the light of God and his will, and adjusting itself to every relationship in such a manner as to please God. And further, it is dedicated to enjoy God. It chooses him as its portion, its happiness, all in all, and consents to find all its satisfaction in him and him alone. A dedicated Spirit is thus wholly given to God, to know him, to choose his will, to resemble his character, to trust his word, to love him supremely, to glorify him only, to enjoy him wholly, and to belong to him utterly, unreservedly and forever. All its senses, susceptibilities and capacities are dedicated to him. It chooses to hear only what he would speak, to see only what he would have it behold, to touch only at his bidding, and to use every power and capability in and for him only. It regards itself henceforth as his property, subject to his disposal and existing for his great purpose regarding it. It is consecrated not so much to the works, or the truth, or the cause, or the church, as to the LORD. And this is done gladly, freely, without fear or reservation, but as a great privilege and honour to be permitted thus to belong to so great and good a Master, and have him undertake so uncongenial a task as our sanctification. Even when so dedicated, it is but an empty vessel. It is he who fills it for the supply of the needs of others" (Wholly Sanctified, pp. 50-58).
Let me now give some leaves from the 'living epistles " -- God's word written in the lives he has sanctified. Jennie F. Willing, when seeking the Baptism with the Holy Ghost made this consecration: "O Lord, I give thee all I know to give, just as well as I know how. When I come to know and have more I will give more. There, that consecration must be as complete as I can now make it. Satan had driven me so many times from that point in the ten long wilderness years, he did his best to drive me now from this position. I held my position. I am honest. I purpose to be wholly the Lord's at any cost. If I do not give all it is because I do not know how; and Christ can not hold me responsible for what I do not know" (Forty Witnesses, p. 70).
Captain Kelso Carter says: "Kneeling alone in my mother's room in Baltimore, I made a consecration that covered everything. I have never been compelled to renew it, for it covered all. To die at once -- a young man; to live and suffer; to live and recover; to be, to do, to suffer anything for Jesus -- this was my consecration. All doubtful things were swept aside and a large margin left on God's side" (Forty Witnesses, p. 123).
Rev. B. K. Pierce, D. D., writes: "On my knees, I wrote out an entire surrender of myself, body, soul, and substance, and all pertaining to me, and sought to weigh every word before I solemnly signed my name to it. Now I said: 'If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' I grasped the simple, all-embracing truth as never before. In tearful trust I cried: 'Lord, I am lost, but Jesus died.' Unconscious of the passage of time, and still on my knees, in sweet and blissful iteration, I said over and over again: 'He forgives; he cleanses from all unrighteousness!' I hardly knew when I left the kneeling posture, but I found myself walking the room in the early morning hours, saying: 'He cleanses from all unrighteousness!' while an indescribable calmness and peace pervaded my whole being" (Forty Witnesses, p. 142).
Mrs. Osie M. Fitzgerald thus describes her experience: "Then it came to me, 'Will you give your children to the Lord?' It was suggested, 'If you do, he will take them out of the world.' At last I surrendered them to God. Then came a still greater struggle. The Spirit said, 'Will you give up your husband to me?' I said, 'Lord, I will die willingly if thou wilt let him live. I am not of much account, but I can not live and let him die, for my health is so poor I will be unable to take care of my family.' It was also suggested that we might lose all of our property, and I would at last have to go to the alms-house. That struggle lasted for two days or more. Then it was whispered to me, 'You may be the means of saving some soul in the alms-house.' Then came the passage, 'No good thing will I withhold from them that walk uprightly.' I yielded all to God. Saturday night came. I went forward for prayers. The Spirit said to me, 'If I give you a clean heart and sanctify you wholly, will you speak before this people, and tell them what I have done for you?' Having been brought up a Presbyterian, I was very much opposed to women speaking in the church. I thought no one but a bold Methodist woman would speak in church. Consequently I said: 'No; it is not the place for a female to speak.' My agony of soul increased, and as I continued to plead, the question continually recurred. My agony of soul was so intense that it seemed to me it must soon be victory or death, and I cried out, 'Yes, Lord, though it be before a thousand people' " (Forty Witnesses, pp. 168, 169). Here at last the will surrendered and the consecration of life, children, husband, voice, reputation, -- all was complete.
It is well to make this act of consecration a very definite one in our spiritual history. George Whitefield did it in his ordination service. " I can call heaven and earth to witness that when the bishop laid his hands upon me, I gave myself up to be a martyr for Him who hung upon the cross for me. I have thrown myself blindfolded and without reserve into his Almighty hands."
Doddridge gives the following form of covenant:
This day do I, with the utmost solemnity, surrender myself to thee. I renounce all former lords that have had dominion over me; and I consecrate to thee all that I am, and all that I have; the faculties of my mind, the members of my body, my worldly possessions my time and my influence over others; to be all used entirely for thy glory, and resolutely employed in obedience to thy commands, as long as thou continue me in life; with an ardent desire and humble resolution to be thine through the endless ages of eternity; ever holding myself in an attentive posture to observe the first intimations of thy will, and ready to spring forward with zeal and joy to the immediate execution of it.
"To thy direction also I resign myself, and all I am and have, to be disposed of by thee in such a manner as thou shalt in thine infinite wisdom judge most subservient to the purposes of thy glory. To thee I leave the management of all events, and say without reserve, not my will but thine be done" (Rise and Progress, Chapter 17).
Rev. A. B. Earle, the great Baptist evangelist, says: "I first procured a blank book which I called my 'Consecration Book,' and slowly and solemnly, on my knees, wrote in it the following dedication: "Andover, Feb. 10, 1859.
"This day I make a new consecration of my all to Christ Jesus, I now and forever give myself to thee; my soul to be washed in thy blood and saved in heaven at last; my whole body to be used for thy glory; my mouth to speak for thee at all times; my eyes to weep over lost sinners, or to be used for any purpose for thy glory; my feet to carry me where thou shalt wish me to go; my heart to be burdened for souls, or used for thee anywhere; my intellect to be employed at all times for thy cause and glory. I give to thee my wife, my children, my property, all I have, and all that ever shall be mine. I will obey thee in every known duty. A. B. E.
"I then asked for grace to enable me to carry out that vow, and that I might take nothing from the altar" (Rest of Faith, pp.67, 68).
Rev. Isaiah Reid recommends the following Form For Consecration For Holiness
Text, Rom. xi. 1, 2. O Lord, in view of this thing thou hast besought me to do, I hereby now do really consecrate myself unreservedly to thee for all time and eternity. My time, my talents, my hands, feet, lips, will, my all. My property, my reputation, my entire being, a living sacrifice to be and to do all thy righteous will pertaining to me. Especially at this time do I, thy regenerate child, put my case into thy hands for the cleansing of my nature from the inherited taint of the carnal nature. I seek the sanctification of my soul.
Then he added the following:
Pledge Of Faith
Now, as I have given myself away, I will, from this time forth, regard myself as thine. I believe thou dost accept the offering that I bring. I put all on the altar I believe the altar sanctifies the gift. I believe the blood is applied now as I comply with the terms of thy salvation. I believe that thou dost now cleanse me from all sin. Vow
By thy grace, from this time forth, I promise to follow thee, walking in the fellowship of the Spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.
Professor Dougan Clark says: "The essence of consecration is in the sentence, 'Yield yourselves unto God.' When you yield yourselves you yield everything else. All the details are included in the one surrender of yourself. 'Yield yourself unto God.' Consecration is not to God's service, not to his work, not to a life of obedience and sacrifice, not to the church, not to the Christian Endeavour, not to the missionary cause, nor even to the cause of God; it is to God Himself. 'Yield yourselves unto God.' Your work, your service, your obedience, your sacrifice, your right place and your allotted duty will all follow in good time. Consecration is the willingness and the resolution and the purpose to be, to do, and to suffer all God's will. Consecration being a definite transaction, and made once for all, does not need to be repeated unless we have failed to keep it. We consecrate just as we are married. The vow is upon us, and in the force of that vow we walk all our days. Consecration does not mean the giving up of all our sins, or vices, or depraved appetites, or forbidden indulgences. We can not consecrate our alcohol, or our tobacco, or our opium, or our card-playing, or dancing, or theatre-going to God. He wants none of these things. All actual and known sins must be abandoned, at conversion. Our consecration is for a deeper work, that is to say, for the removal of inbred sin, which, after all, is not accomplished by our consecration though that is an essential preliminary, but by the 'Baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire.'
Many years ago I saw a form of consecration in an English periodical which is here given. Let all my readers unite with the author in this personal yielding to God:
When such a consecration is complete it becomes, comparatively, an easy thing to believe for entire sanctification, which, after all consecration, must be received by faith" (Theology of Holiness, pp. 102-104).
Some one has said that in our preparatory work to secure full salvation ''self dies in the last ditch." This thought has been put in verse by some thoughtful soul, who had entered into perfect love:
This thought took such a profound hold upon the patriarchal Dr. Morgan, of Oberlin, whom President Finney so deeply loved, that he once expressed his aspiration for holiness and the death of self in the translation of a little poem from the German of John Augelus, entitled "A Burnt Offering"
This death of self, this absolute surrender of will and consecration of all to God, must precede the coming of the sanctifying Saviour to the throne of the soul, to be all in all. Dear, black Amanda Smith tells her audiences who are seeking the Spirit for sanctification: "You must make your consecration complete, and you must make it eternal. No experimenting by a temporary consecration will answer. It must be complete and eternal. I gave everything to God. All I had was my black self and my wash-tub and my wash-board; but I gave all, and the Spirit came and sanctified my soul." Dear saint, she had little to give, but she gave it all. Her consecration was genuine. And God took those black hands that had industriously rubbed the wash-board, and lifted them in benediction above countless audiences in America, Europe and Africa; and that voice -- made pathetic by the sorrows of her race -- he has used to inspire multitudes to a life of holiness which, but for her, they would never have known. God can fill people with himself and use them, when they are willing to be emptied of self, and consecrated to him. This is the great need of the Christian Church today. Numbers, wealth, resources and facilities without limit; but the consecration of the great mass is exceedingly limited; Missionary boards and all benevolent enterprises languishing for support, while the tides of fashion and worldliness, foreign travel and expensive habits and follies, sweep on over the churches, and professors of religion vie with each other and with the world in luxurious self-indulgence! A band of people who believe in holiness and consecration met at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, last year at the call of the Christian Alliance. Dr. Simpson preached a missionary sermon and a collection was taken out of that one audience of sixty-seven thousand dollars for foreign missions. This year at a similar meeting there, a collection was taken of over one hundred and one thousand dollars. And still later this autumn, there was another collection taken by Dr. Simpson from one audience in New York of one hundred and twelve thousand dollars.
The Chicago Advance spoke of it as follows: "A few months ago Presbyterians held a great meeting in Carnegie Music Hall to raise money for missions, with President Cleveland and Dr. Talmage as the chief attractions. The amount given and pledged was about six thousand dollars. A few days ago the Christian Alliance held a meeting in the same building under the lead of Dr. A. B. Simpson and raised one hundred and twelve thousand dollars for missions. How can the difference between the results of the two meetings be explained?"
The answer to the question is easy. If every minister in the land had received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as Dr. Simpson has, and preached sanctification as he does, and all audiences believed in holiness and were as consecrated as that audience, there would be ten million dollars in the treasuries of our Mission Boards within a week. The heathen nations are pouring like a Niagara tide through the gates of death. Perishing sinners jostle our elbows hourly, and the whole world is groaning in the bondage of sin. It needs true representatives of the Saviour -- our churches filled with men and women who are clothed with holiness and power. We shall not see such ministers and such Christians till self is slain that Christ may reign. Not till, like the Apostle Paul, we are crucified, and are dead to self, and dead to sin, and dead to the world, and alive unto righteousness and God, and the Spirit sanctifies us, and Christ lives in us, and rules over us, and works through us, will we be clothed with power to lead the multitudes to him.