By Aaron Hills
How To Keep The Blessing
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 fulfil 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 "cleanses 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" (Rom. x. 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 colours, 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 dishonour 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 hides his Lord's talent and improves 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. William 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 you 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 dishonour upon the blessed doctrine.' Not thinking that these suggestions came from the enemy, I yielded, and determined to be silent, and endeavour 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."
A. "I love God with all my heart and my neighbour as myself."
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 lies 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 sends 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 cleanses us from all sin" (I. John i. 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 jewellery, 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 theatre 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 one 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 enamoured 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 honour 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." Ask God to set a watch at the door of your lips lest you sin against him. 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 labour 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. Sam. 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: Create in me a clean heart, O God! Thank God that this is our privilege. 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 theatre, 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 honour 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 with 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, labour, 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 abides in him sins 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 calls you, who also will do it.?'