By Aaron Hills
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 lives in me." "Our sufficiency is of God." "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens 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 dwells 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 lusts 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" (Gal. v. 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 dwells 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 sanctifies. 'I am the Lord which doth sanctify you' (Ex. xxxi. 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:
is the blessedness I knew
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 Endeavour society or the Epworth league a wonder of efficiency in service. The pastor, baptised with this Spirit, would preach with a new and unknown power. The Church universal, baptised 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 of 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 marvellous 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 baptised 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 prayer meeting," 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 favour. 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 coloured 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 honoured 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' labour 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. More souls have been converted each year -- two or three times more. I have had power unknown before to persuade sinners to come to Christ."
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 baptised 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 baptised 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 honour 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-honoured 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 baptised 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 odour 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 labours 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?