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THE RICHES OF HOLINESS

BY

HENRY E. BROCKETT
 
{AGES Software • Albany, OR USA Version 1.0 © 1997}
 

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SPIRITUAL RESTORATION

At the age of twenty, I passed a competitive examination and secured a

post in a public office in London. I left home in March, 1913, and resided

in the Central Y.M.C.A. building, Tottenham Court Road, until the Great

War broke out in August, 1914. Mr. J. J. Virgo, the well-known Y.M.C.A.

leader, was then in charge of the Central Y.M.C.A., and I was attracted by

his robust, manly type of Christianity. Here I came into contact with

some bright, young Christian fellows who, I felt, had a faith and joy which

I did not possess. One, in particular, showed a special interest in me. He

was a fine, young Christian man; who worked in a warehouse in the city.

One evening he took me up into his bedroom. The walls were covered with

texts. He had a long talk with me about my soul and prayed with me and

once again I prayed to God to give me light. The young man was a great

inspiration to me, and a link was established between us which continued

unbroken until his death. He was John W. Dawson, who eventually

became a missionary and served the Lord under the auspices of the Ceylon

and India General Mission for twenty eight years in India, where he died

in 1945. One Sunday evening I heard the late beloved Dr. F. B. Meyer at

Regent’s Park chapel. One passage in his sermon struck home like an

arrow to my heart. “It is not the Bible that is wrong; it is you that are

wrong,” he said. That sentence gripped me. It seemed as if I were spoken

directly at myself. About this time, I began to read John’s Gospel. One

passage went home with great power to my heart. It was our Lord’s

words in <430812>chapter 8, verse 12: “I am the light of the world: he that

followeth me shall not walk in darkness, shall have the light of life.”

“That

is just what I need,” I exclaimed “the light of life, and it is to be found only

in Christ.” Soon after this, when quite alone in my bedroom one morning

just before breakfast, I glanced at two little booklets about Christ. One

was by a Christian, and the other by a rationalist. My mind was utterly

confused by the conflicting statements in the booklets. I tossed them both

on one side and prayed, “O God, show me Christ.” That prayer was

answered very quickly. Almost immediately it seemed as if a beam of

heavenly light pierced through the darkness and revealed to me the person

of Christ. Previous to this I had read portions of the Gospel of St. John,

but now the great facts concerning Christ came before my heart and mind

in new power. His preincarnate glory as the Eternal Son of God, His

coming into the world as man and yet God, His death, His resurrection,

and His ascension to glory — these great facts were presented to me

vividly and in a flash. Of course, I knew about these things concerning

Christ before, but they were now presented to my mind with peculiar

unction and power. I was convinced of the reality and deity of Christ, and

have never had any doubt about the matter since that moment.

This

conviction was much more than a mere mental assent to a creed about

Christ, and it was not arrived at by a long process of reasoning. I am

convinced that the explanation of my spiritual experience is contained in

the words of the Lord to Peter after he had confessed Christ as the Son of

God: “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not

revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (<401617>Matthew

16:17). At the close of that day, as I felt that I wanted to I be quite alone

with God, I went for a walk by myself I in Regent’s Park. As I walked I

faced the question of the cross of Calvary. That same blessed Spirit who

in the early morning had shone upon the person of Christ now shone upon

the Cross.

 “Christ was truly the Son of God,” I said. “Then what was the

meaning of Calvary?” and as I pondered over this, the Spirit of God

revealed to me the awful reality of sin. My heart bowed before God, and I

acknowledged I was a sinner, and that I too needed that death of Christ on

the cross on my behalf. He suffered and died there for me, for my sins —

He was my own Savior. I had come back to the same spiritual place,

namely, the foot of the Cross, which I came to about eight years before

when, as a boy, I ventured in faith on <430316>John 3:16. During these eight

years, however, I had wandered in the fog of unbelief, and had now learned

something of my own sinfulness. Now the truth of the cross of Christ

came with fresh power to my soul, and the light that shone into my heart

has never since left me.

I returned to the Y.M.C.A. that evening and went

straight up to my bedroom. I knelt down by my bedside and prayed,

“Father, I thank Thee for Christ and the Cross. I accept Him as my Savior

and Lord. I am Thy child through faith in Him.” A real work of God was

done in my heart that day. In that one day the Spirit of God revealed to

me Christ and the Cross, and the love of the Father, and gave me an

assurance of the forgiveness of sins, and witnessed to my heart that I was

now a true child of God. I have never had any doubts on these points since

that day. How profoundly different was this new experience from the

state of my soul when I was at “Mount Sinai” mentioned (earlier)! Doubts

disappeared before assurance and fears gave way to steadfast faith. After

passing through is spiritual experience, I could truly say that I was a new

creature in Christ Jesus. I discarded all the skeptical literature which had

brought my inner life into such darkness and barrenness. I returned to the

Bible with fresh delight to learn more concerning the glories of the person

of Christ.

As a result of assured faith in Christ, light and joy now came

into my soul, and I could enjoy fellowship with others of a like faith in

Christ. I was baptized at Bloomsbury Baptist Church by Rev. Thomas

Phillips, and took a class of boys in the Sunday school. Sometimes on

Sunday evenings a party of Christians from Bloomsbury conducted

services in lodging houses, and it was a great joy to me to accompany them

and give short gospel messages. I also joined in open-air work with some

of my Christian friends at the Y.M.C.A. It was at this stage that the Lord

brought me into contact with two of my closest Christian friends. The

first one I met at a restaurant one lunch hour. He was reading his Bible.

This seemed unusual and attracted my attention, and before long we were

engaged in happy conversation. Many were the meetings and happy

Christian talks we had together in the lunch hour after that first meeting. I

refer to this friend in a later chapter as “Bible Reader.” He introduced me

to another Christian friend whom I will refer to as “Bible Teacher.” My

fellowship with these two Christian friends has continued unchanged for

years. What an enrichment it is to our lives when God gives us the blessing

of enduring Christian friendship!
 

THE CALL TO HOLINESS

When I arrived at the base, I was first of all attached to a convalescent

camp. Near this camp there was a Salvation Army hut. I went there

several times and found that meetings were held in the hut, conducted by

an earnest Christian in khaki about ten or twelve years my senior, who

was stationed at the base. I found out that he was associated with a

movement called the “Inter national Holiness Mission,” headquarters at

Battersea, S.W. He had experienced a wonderful conversion and was very

keen for souk. One evening he said: “Next Thursday we shall hold a

holiness meeting.” I had never heard of a holiness meeting. What is a

holiness meeting? I thought to myself. I must go along and see what it is all

about.

When I went, I was not sure at first that what he talked about was

quite sound. He testified to having received a second work of grace, and

referred to the “baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire,” a clean heart, the

destruction of the old man, etc. This teaching seemed strange to me — I

had not heard anything quite like this before. I knew nothing about the

teaching of Keswick, Swanwick, or Southport. I was acquainted with the

teaching of only one particular school of thought on holiness. My ideas on

this subject at that time were briefly as follows. There was a difference

between “standing” and “state.” My “standing” in Christ before God was

perfect — God saw me in Christ, and Christ himself was my holiness

before God, but actually in my “state” I had two opposing natures. In my

heart there was the old nature, the “old man,” the “flesh,” and also the new

nature, the “new man,” etc. The old nature in my heart was utterly

irremediable, and was so corrupt it could not possibly be improved. The

new nature in my heart was of God and, therefore, holy and perfect. These

two opposing natures would always exist side by side until the Lord came

or death; but, by the help of the Holy Spirit within me, I had to keep

under the old nature.

 Whilst I believed in growing in grace, I had no place

in my thoughts, at that time, for any second definite work of God in

cleansing the heart or in filling with the Spirit. I regarded whatever

cleansing took place as having been accomplished at conversion. My

theory was that the old nature was so utterly corrupt that it could not be

purified; and the new nature, being of God, did not need any purifying. I

could not understand, therefore, how there could be any subsequent work

of grace after conversion which effected an inner purification of the heart. I

had never asked or trusted God to do such a work in me, or in any special

sense to fill me with the Holy Spirit. When I heard, therefore, this teaching

about a second work of grace cleansing the heart from sin and filling with

the Holy Spirit, I felt inclined to reject it because it seemed to be contrary

to the theory of the two natures, and the fact that I already had the Holy

Spirit.

 I remembered that in my boyhood days I had heard Christians say,

“There is no perfection in ‘the flesh,’” and they had spoken against the

danger of “self-occupation.” I was very suspicious, therefore, that this

teaching about a clean heart, etc., was simply “perfection in the flesh,” and

I thought to myself, I must beware of this error.
 

THE INFLOW OF THE SPIRIT

In <130410>1 Chronicles 4:10 we read that Jabez prayed that beautiful prayer,

“Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that

thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil,

that it may not grieve me!” It is stated, “And God granted him that which

he requested.” I can testify that the same God who answered the prayer of

Jabez also answered mine. For a day or two after passing through the

spiritual crisis of October 23, 1916, I held on in faith without experiencing

any special emotion. It was not long, however, before God gave me the

conscious witness that my prayer for entire sanctification had been heard

and answered. One morning, soon after rising, I opened my Bible, and my

eyes alighted upon a verse which spoke to me as a glowing message direct

from God to my heart. The verse was as follows: “Now the God of hope

fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope,

through the power of the Holy Ghost” (<451513>Romans 15:13). In Old

Testament times, the Lord indicated His acceptance of the animal

sacrifices by sending fire from heaven upon the altar.

The holy inward joy

which accompanied the powerful application by the Spirit of God to my

heart of Romans 15:13, was to me the spiritual equivalent of the falling of

the fire of God upon the ancient sacrifices. From the moment that Romans

15:13 was given to me by God as the seal of my sanctification, the Spirit

of God did a new work in my heart. For three years prior to his event, I

had been fully assured of my salvation, and the Spirit of God witnessed to

my heart that I was a child of God. I have no doubt I that, during those

three years, I had the Spirit of Christ; but now something further and more

definite took place in my inner spiritual experience. It was not, however,

in any sense a recovery from backsliding, as so far as I was aware I was

walking in all the known light that I possessed up to that time. The Spirit

of God now seemed to take full possession, filled my heart, and lifted me

up in my inner life to a new level of joy and blessing.

That divinely

inspired prayer of Paul in Romans 15:13, for fullness of joy and peace,

was made a wonderful reality in my experience by the infilling and

overflowing of the Holy Spirit. The blessings of heart-cleansing and the

filling of the Spirit, which I had appropriated in naked faith on God’s

Word, were now made a conscious blessed experience. The result was

fullness of joy, which I experienced in the following sevenfold “joy in the

Holy Ghost.” It is this experience of joy which constitutes some of the

riches of holiness.
 

1. THE JOY OF THE SPIRIT’S INFILLING

“He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (<400311>Matthew

3:11). The indwelling of the Spirit of God became a new and joyous

reality. I always love to apply <390402>Malachi 4:2 as expressing the effect of

the baptism of the Spirit on my inner spiritual life. Although I know that

verse has a future dispensational meaning, yet it beautifully expresses the

manner in which the Spirit of God came upon me and took full possession

The verse says, “Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of

righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and

grow up as calves of the stall.” The thoughts of fire, light, warmth, and

healing are suggested by that beautiful verse. The blessed Comforter

became all that to me. Fire has ever been my favorite symbol of the Holy

Spirit. I love the phrase “the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire.” It

suggests the immersion of the whole being of the believer in the purifying,

glowing love of God. The Spirit of God became very real to me as the fire

of God within, “kindling, flaming, burning, glowing.” I now began to

appreciate more clearly than I had ever done before the meaning of

Pentecost. This experience of the infilling of the Spirit was my personal

Pentecost, and all the scriptures relating to the glory of the divine

indwelling in the heart now became a vivid, conscious, blessed reality to

me and filled me with joy in a way they had not done before.
 

2. THE JOY OF DELIVERANCE FROM SIN

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (<430836>John

8:36). One of the first things that the Holy Spirit did when He took full

possession was to glorify Christ. He shone in a new way upon the Cross

and <450601>Romans 6. He showed me that the blessing of heart holiness had all

been provided for me on the Cross. Of course I knew the truth of Romans

6 theoretically, quite well. I had studied <450601>Romans 6 when I had been

baptized by immersion three years previously. But as soon as the Spirit

came in His fullness He applied Romans 6 and <450802>Romans 8:2 in such a

way that I was filled with all joy and peace in believing. The painful sense

of bondage and corruption within gave way to a blessed experience of

freedom and purity. The Spirit who had previously caused me to groan

and say, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me?” now enabled

me to say with joy, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord…The law

of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin

and death.” I now knew in power the blessed freedom from in spoken of in

Romans 6 because I saw in the light of the Spirit that my old man was

crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that

henceforth I should not serve sin. I saw that all that I had asked God to do

in me by the baptism of the Spirit on October 23, 1916, had all been

provided for me on the Cross. The blessed Son had now made me “free

indeed.” Oh, the blessed joy of this deliverance from sin!
 

3. THE JOY OF DWELLING IN DIVINE LOVE

“We will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (<431423>John 14:23).

Another blessed result of the baptism of the Spirit was an inner realization

of the love of God which I had not experienced before. How glorious to

taste in experience <620416>1 John 4:16! “God is love, and he that dwelleth in

love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” The love of God, His very inmost

nature, seemed to me like a boundless ocean with the rays of the glorious

sun shining upon it, and in this ocean of love and light my whole being was

immersed and it filled my heart. I was dwelling in His love and i love was

dwelling in me. I was inwardly satisfied, perfectly satisfied, resting in the

boundless love of God. Praise God, there was no painful sense of an

aching void that the world cannot fill. The love of God had been poured

forth in my heart by the Holy Ghost.
 

4. THE JOY OF CHRIST WITHIN

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (<431418>John 14:18).

Words fail to describe the blessedness of the love of Christ and His

indwelling. It “passeth knowledge.” I now knew in a completely new way

“Christ in you [me], the hope of glory.” At times when all was hushed and

quiet, it seemed as if a still small voice within whispered so gently to my

heart, “I am here; I have come to abide forever.” I was melted with holy

joy. The glorious prayer for divine fullness in <480314>Ephesians 3:14-21, which

previously had seemed much too “far away” and “ideal” for me, now

began to be realized in my inner life, as the blessed Holy Spirit more and

more glorified Christ dwelling in my heart by faith That wonderful

promise of the Lord, “I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he

with me,” was made a wonderful reality, and I tasted something of the

blessedness of that experience in <600108>1 Peter 1:8, “Believing, ye rejoice with

joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
 

5. THE JOY OF ANSWERED PRAYER

“Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (<431624>John 16:24). My

prayer life was deepened and enriched and a greater joy than ever. One of

the blessings the Lord promised as a result of Pentecost was that they

should ask and receive, that their joy might be full (<431624>John 16:24). The

Holy Spirit gave me blessed liberty in access to the Father in the name of

the Son, and imparted to me the utmost confidence in asking that I might

receive every possible spiritual blessing that the Father had for me in

Christ. This Spirit-given sense of heart liberty brought me into a deeper

experience of the joy of sonship with the Father, and so I proved the truth

of those words, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the

sons of God” (<450814>Romans 8:14), and also, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is,

there is liberty” (<470317>2 Corinthians 3:17). I had the joy of receiving definite

answers to prayer for specific blessing for souls. (In the next chapter I

relate some instances of this blessing.)
 

6. THE JOY IN THE WILL OF GOD

“The Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (<440532>Acts

5:32). Of course, I had turned from all known sin and yielded to God and

desired to know I and do His will as a result of the work of the Spirit of I

God in regeneration. The Word of God says, “Whosoever is born of God

doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin,

because he is born of God.” I would not, for one moment, underrate the

mighty work of grace accomplished by the Holy Spirit in regeneration. But

when the Spirit took possession of my heart in His fullness, He produced

a deeper, sweeter joy than ever in the will of God. It was blessed joy

indeed to know that the heart, the very secret spring of the being, was

cleansed to the depths and the Spirit of God abiding within. The blessed

Spirit of Liberty made it a joy and delight to prove what is “that good, and

acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” I had been set “free indeed,” and yet

I felt the willing slave of divine love, as the Psalmist says, “O Lord, truly I

am thy servant …. thou hast loosed my bonds” (<19B616>Psalms 116:16). Oh,

what blessed rest of heart, just to abide in the very center of the will of

God and say day by day, and in every circumstance of life, Thy will —

for just now!”
 

7. THE JOY OF THE MANIFESTATION OF CHRIST

“I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (<431421>John 14:21). There

are some spiritual experiences | that are so precious that one feels reluctant

to cast aside the veil and disclose them to others, preferring rather to keep

them as a sacred secret between the soul and the Lord. On the other hand,

I feel that if the Lord richly blesses us we ought to acknowledge it to His

glory, so that the Lord’s people may be encouraged and blessed thereby.

Our Lord says, “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and

what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house tops” (<401027>Matthew

10:27). I feel therefore, that I ought to declare how wonderfully gracious

the Lord was to me in manifesting himself to my heart in 1918, nearly two

years after my step of faith for entire sanctification in 1916. I was still in

France on light duty behind the lines, but away from all meetings and with

little Christian fellowship. At this time the Spirit of God was working in

me a deep love and longing for a further revelation of the person of Christ.

He was preparing me for a blessed fulfillment of the Lord’s promise in

<431421>John 14:21, where He said, “He that loveth me shall be loved of my

Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” That is what

I longed for — a fresh manifestation of Christ in my heart. About two

o’clock one morning I awoke with a strong impression on my mind. The

impression was to the effect that on the next three consecutive nights I

was to awake at midnight, go outside into a wood near by, and wait before

the Lord in prayer, and that after wards the Lord would manifest himself

to me. I wondered at first whether this impression was merely the working

of my own mind or whether it was the voice of the Spirit. It is dangerous

blindly to follow every impression which may come into the mind.

Impressions may emanate from one’s own mind or from the devil, as well

as from the Holy Spirit.

If an impression is of the Holy Spirit, He will give

time to think and pray about it. It seemed to me a somewhat strange thing

to do, to get up at midnight for three nights in succession and go into a

wood and pray. But the Lord told Abraham to do a very strange thing

when He bade him offer up Isaac in sacrifice. That act of obedience was to

b seen only by the Lord himself. Was the Lord giving me a simple test of

obedience, I wondered, by asking me to do an apparently unusual thing

which He alone would see? I prayed about this impression and asked that

I might not be misled by any foolish workings of my own mind or by the

devil. The impression persisted. So the first night I awoke at midnight and

crept quietly out of the hut unobserved, went out into a wood, waited,

prayed, and then returned. I did the same the second night. The third night,

however, as it was pouring with rain, I remained where I was for a little

time in prayer. Nothing special happened on any of these occasions. When

I awoke in the morning after the third night, I did not think very much

about the matter.

But just after breakfast I felt that gentle touch upon my

spirit, that warmth and unction, which I recognized as of the Spirit. I

gradually became conscious in a wonderful way of the Divine Presence,

and such was the power that I felt compelled to get right away into a quiet

place on my own. Here I lay prostrate on the ground for over half an hour

in silent adoration. My whole being was hushed and awed in the

consciousness of the presence of the Lord, and, in a way I cannot describe,

I was made aware of His presence around me and within me and of my

union with Him. Although I was quite aware that in my body I was on the

earth, yet in my spirit I seemed to be lifted up into the holy atmosphere of

heaven itself. After the time of silent adoration and worship I exclaimed

again and again, with a full heart, “My Lord and my God! Holy, holy,

holy!” Then the following scriptures were applied with sweet unction and

power to my soul: “Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified

are all of one.” “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all

sin.”

 “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” When I rose up a deep,

sweet rest took possession of my heart and I was satisfied. I knew that

the Lord himself had drawn near and manifested himself to me in

accordance with <431421>John 14:21. I then read aloud on my knees <490103>Ephesians

1:3-14, with a blessed assurance, substituting the personal pronoun “I”

and “me” for “us” and “ye.” Hitherto I have said very little about this

blessed manifestation of Christ, as I felt it was almost too sacred to talk

about. But now I testify to this blessing and give Him all the glory. That

blessed, adorable Lord who so graciously manifested himself to me and

filled my heart with joy when I was feeling lonely in France in the Great

War will assuredly manifest himself to every believer who desires above

everything else the enjoyment of His presence and love. “He satisfieth the

longing soul.”

The next evening, while I was quietly walking, meditating on

the things of God, I was powerfully impressed with a thought which I feel

was the teaching of the Spirit of God direct to my heart through the Word.

The thought was, I must now be content to leave to the Lord himself the

manner and occasions of His manifestations of His presence. There is

nothing higher for me in this life than to live by faith and walk patiently in

love according to <461301>1 Corinthians 13.
 

HOLINESS AND THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

I will now explain what I meant on [an earlier] page when I referred to the

blessing of the fresh revelation of the power of the blood of Christ.

Christians like Frances Ridley Havergal, Thomas Cook, Brengle, and many

others have been led into the secret of fullness of blessing through faith in

<620107>1 John 1:7 In my case, however, it was not so. I entered in by faith on a

different line of truth, namely, faith in the sanctifying work of the Spirit of

God on the basis of the crucifixion of the “old man” according to

<450606>Romans 6:6. We do not always see immediately the underlying unity

between different but related truths of divine revelation. As regards the

truth of the blood of Christ, however, I was hindered by the theory that

the “cleansing from sin” in <620107>1 John 1:7 related only to my “standing”

before God as completely justified in His sight and not to any actual inner

cleansing of the heart.

 According to this theory, the blood of Christ was

not applied to the sin in the heart of the believer. This theory prevented

me from seeing the glory of the fullness and depth hidden in that precious

phrase, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” I am

not the only one who has been hindered in spiritual experience by this

erroneous, limited interpretation of <620107>1 John 1:7. In his book, The

Dynamic of Faith, Mr. Paget Wilkes relates the case of an earnest

missionary who had a singular prejudice against the truth of “holiness by

faith in Jesus.”

 Wholehearted though she was, yet she had limited the

atoning sacrifice to the pardon of her sins. For her there was no such thing

as any moral cleansing in the blood of Christ. Cleansing was only a judicial

thing, a taking away of the guilt of transgression. Mr. Wilkes states that

though she was outwardly blameless in character and devoted in service,

she came under the deepest conviction for inward holiness and exclaimed

with brokenness of spirit, “Oh, my awful unbelief! I have limited the

power of the precious Blood.” Mr. Wilkes concludes, “Not many days

later there came a blessed entrance into that which hitherto she had held of

no account.”

I, too, became very exercised on this question, “Is it

scriptural to say that the blood of Christ cleanses the heart of the believer

from sin?” On this point I was greatly helped by a message entitled “The

Power of the Precious Blood” delivered at the Keswick Convention by the

late Dr. Charles Inwood. “The Blood,” he said, “is the symbol of the life

of the Lord Jesus laid down to atone for sin; it is also the symbol of that

life taken up again for our sanctification. All the atoning merit is in the life

laid down; all the cleansing power is in the life taken up again.” I prayed

earnestly for further light on this matter, and one morning about two

o’clock I awoke with the following words powerfully impressed on my

mind:

“There are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water,

and the blood: and these three agree in one.” (<620508>1 John 5:8.) In a flash,

light came to me and I experienced that peculiar unction and blessedness

which I felt was of the Spirit. I saw that I could not dissociate the Blood

from the work of the Spirit and the water, which I took to mean the Word

of God, as all three agreed in one. The blood of Christ purified the heart

because the Spirit of God applied the Blood through faith in the truth

contained in the Word. That is how that verse spoke to my heart. On the

same day, while I was out for a walk, the Spirit of God applied <620107>1 John

1:7 to my heart in great power.

 He gave me such a sweet, blessed

assurance that the precious blood of Christ was applied to my heart in all

its wonderful cleansing power that tears of joy came into my eyes. Soon

after this blessed experience, I purchased Dr. Andrew Murray’s books,

The Power of the Blood o Jesus and The Blood of the Cross. He shows

that the blood of Christ must not be regarded as something that was shed

and finished with, as it were, at the Cross.

The blood of Christ, as a divine

reality, has entered heaven itself, is sprinkled on the eternal throne, and

there abides and all the time exercises its mighty power both upward

toward God and downward and inward towards the believer. These books

greatly strengthened my faith and further confirmed and interpreted all

that the Spirit of God had already applied directly to my soul with power

It has been the unfolding by the Spirit of God of something of the depths

of meaning in <620107>1 John 1:7, concerning the blood of Christ, that has

further confirmed and established me in the blessing of entire sanctification

by faith I believe that the cleansing by the blood of Christ is

(1) complete,

(2) conditional, and

(3) continuous.
 

THE POWER OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

1. Complete Cleansing.

 I believe that, however deep sin has penetrated in

the human heart, the blood of Christ can go deeper and cleanse that heart.

The Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil. Sin is

the devil’s work. Cleansing from sin is God’s work. I believe that this

blessed cleansing of the heart can be known here and now, in this life,

because hearts are purified by faith (<441508>Acts 15:8, 9) and not by death or

works or anything else. The mere death of the physical body cannot touch

the sin of the heart. And when God cleanses the heart, the Spirit of God

will enter in all His fullness to abide and keep the springs of our being

clean and filled with the love of God. God alone knows what sin really is,

and when He cleanses the heart He deals with sin as He knows it, not

according to our very limited knowledge of what sin is. His work of

cleansing and filling the heart with the Spirit is a supernatural work and

cannot be fathomed by our own powers of introspection.

2. Conditional Cleansing.

When the Lord healed the impotent man in

<430501>John 5, He said to him, “Behold, thou art made whole.” The Lord had

done a complete work of healing in the man. But the Lord added, “Sin no

more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” Thus the maintenance of the

blessing of the healing was conditional upon his keeping from sin or, in

other words, “walking in the light.” Similarly, the maintenance of the full

blessing of the cleansing from sin is conditional upon our “walking in the

light.” It is “if we walk in the light,” the Blood cleanseth, etc.

3. Continuous Cleansing.

“The blood cleanseth,” present or continuous

tense.

In this verse, <620107>1 John 1:7, the thought of cleansing is not limited to

a “once and for all” act of cleansing at the moment of conversion. It is not

a single act of cleansing. That thought would have been expressed by the

aorist tense. Here it speaks of a continuous cleansing. Thus the blood of

Christ is like a fountain under which the believer is kept as he abides by

faith under its cleansing flow. It is like a living, refreshing stream; and as

the believer walks in the light, so he walks in the cleansing stream by faith,

his heart is kept pure and freed from sin, he enjoys blessed heart

fellowship with the Father and the Son, and thus has a foretaste of the

bliss of heaven. I confess I have been slow to appropriate by faith in all its

glorious depth and fullness the truth that “the blood of Jesus Christ his

Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

The false teaching which denies that the

blood of Christ effects any actual, inward, moral cleansing of the heart has

had a harmful influence upon my spiritual life. I am glad, however, that the

Lord has now delivered me from that error. My great desire now is that

the Lord will graciously grant me continually an unwavering faith in the

mighty, cleansing power of the blood of Christ. Oh, for a triumphant faith

that confidently believes and testifies in the face of an indifferent world, a

defiant but defeated devil, and a half- believing Church, that there is

all-sufficient divine “dynamite,” power, in the Cross to destroy the “body

of sin” (<450606>Romans 6:6) and infinite efficacy in the precious blood of

Christ to cleanse the believer from all unrighteousness (<620109>1 John 1:9). This

is the all-conquering faith which will make real in the believer’s life the

victory of <661211>Revelation 12:11. “And they overcame him [Satan] by the

blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not

their lives unto the death.”
 

TRUE HOLINESS. WHAT I BELIEVE

At this point I think it will be appropriate for me o reinforce the truth in

the previous chapter by giving further scriptural grounds for believing that

the redemptive work of Christ provides for an uttermost deliverance from

indwelling sin. Scripture makes it perfectly clear that we are called to be

holy in all manner of living (<600115>1 Peter 1:15). Holiness means, therefore,

that our outward lives must be right in God’s sight in all our activities and

relationships.

We need continually, therefore, the wisdom and strength

which come through the daily growing in the knowledge of God’s will as

revealed in His Word by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In this sense,

holiness is a process. But Scripture also teaches that “outward” holiness

must be the outcome of “inward” holiness. The deep, hidden springs and

motives of our lives must also be right in His sight. Our Lord taught the

vital importance of this truth when He said, “Cleanse first that which is

within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also”

(<402326>Matthew 23:26). In order, therefore, that our outward lives may be

holy we need to have a clear understanding of the meaning of true, inward

holiness. Frances Ridley Havergal wrote the following beautiful words: —

God’s own holiness within thee,

His own beauty on thy brow,

This shall be thy pilgrim brightness,

This thy blessed portion NOW.

Who can estimate the value of the riches of holiness expressed in those

few lines? God’s own holiness within us NOW! Is that scriptural? I

answer, “Yes, undoubtedly.” God’s word to His children is, “As he which

hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation” (<600115>1

Peter 1:15). How holy can God make us in this life? That is a vital

question for every Christian. Let us see what God’s Word says about it.
 

“POSITIONAL” HOLINESS

First of all, I fully appreciate what is taught by those who emphasize the

“positional aspect” of sanctification, namely, the perfection of the

believer’s “standing” in grace before God, because he is “in Christ” and

“accepted in the beloved.” I own, indeed, that I could not for one moment

stand in the favor of an infinitely holy God on the ground of any merit

that is of myself, and that in the sight of infinite holiness I am accepted

because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for me on the Cross and

because of what He is on my behalf before God. “Every moment I need

the merit of His death.”

But this “positional sanctification” or ‘perfection

of standing in grace” is, however, only one aspect of the truth. There is

another aspect of truth equally vital. God not only looks at Christ and

sees us “in Him,” but He does also look at us as we really are. He does

take account of our every thought, word, and deed. God looks at the heart

and ‘Call things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we

have to do.” Moreover, whatever may be urged regarding “positional

sanctification” cannot nullify the plain declaration of Scripture that “we

must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may

receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done,

whether it be good or bad.” This verse applies to all Christians.

Throughout all eternity we shall be either gainers or losers according to

what we have done “in the body” while we have been on the earth. Thus,

every thought that we cherish, every word hat we utter, and every deed

that we do while we are “in the body” are making an indelible impress

upon our characters for eternity. How vitally important, therefore, it is to

be as holy as God can make us while we are “in the body,” not only for

our own sake but, first of all, for the glory of God!
 

HEART HOLINESS AND PERFECT LOVE

The question now arises, If there is a “perfection of standing in grace” for

the believer, is there also any inherent perfection for the believer while he

is “in the body”? I believe there is. It is blessed to know what Christ has

done for us, but it is equally blessed to know what He can do in us. I

believe Scripture teaches a “perfection of condition” while we are “in the

body” as well as a “perfection of standing in Christ.” This perfection is

not, however, Adamic, sinless, or resurrection perfection. Neither is it

bodily or mental perfection, because while we are “in the body” we shall

always be liable to infirmities, mistakes, etc., on account of our fallen

condition.

For salvation from all these effects of the fall we await the

redemption of the body. Briefly, this perfection is “heart-love” perfection

or “perfect love.” It is the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the

Holy Spirit and dominating the life of the believer who is fully yielded to

God (<450505>Romans 5:5 and <620412>1 John 4:12 and 18). This love is perfect in

kind but capable of infinite increase. The “heart,” scripturally speaking, is

the very center and mainspring of the being. It is in the heart that sin has

wrought its terrible havoc, causing unbelief of God and enmity to Him; it

is here that man with all his achievements in science, philosophy, and

government is so utterly powerless; but it is in the heart that the mighty

salvation of God from sin can be experienced while we are “in the body.”

This full salvation involves a twofold work of divine cleansing and filling,

which is what I mean by inward holiness or entire sanctification by faith.

From God’s standpoint there is no reason why this fullness of blessing

should not be realized at the new birth, but in practice this is not the case.

We need first to be born of the Spirit in order to realize our need of this

deeper cleansing and filling, and we need the Spirit to enable us to exercise

the further faith necessary to appropriate the fuller blessing. Hence the

entrance into this fullness of blessing is correctly regarded as a definite

second work of grace in the Christian. I have tried to show the way into

the blessing in the last chapter. I now explain what I believe is involved in

the cleansing and filling of the believer in this second work of divine grace.
 

THE DIVINE SIDE OF HOLINESS

1. A Cleansing. Some of the phrases used by the Holy Spirit to define this

blessed work of cleansing are: the circumcision of the heart

(<053006>Deuteronomy 30:6 and <510211>Colossians 2:11); the creation of a clean heart

(<196010>Psalms 60:10); the taking away of iniquity and the purging of sin

(<230607>Isaiah 6:7); the taking away of the stony heart (<263626>Ezekiel 36:26); the

destruction of the body of sin (<450606>Romans 6:6); the making free from sin

(<450622>Romans 6:22); the cleansing from all unrighteousness (<620109>1 John 1:9)

and the purifying of the heart (<441509>Acts 15:9).

What a glorious deliverance

from sin is expressed by these wonderful phrases of the Holy Ghost!

Surely this deliverance is something much more deep and drastic than the

mere repression of sin in the heart, which is not entire sanctification. Do

not let us be scared away from the blessed truth contained in these phrases

by the cry of “sinless perfection,” and “There is no perfection in the

flesh.” The above scriptural phrases surely mean nothing less than this,

that, as far as “the heart” is concerned, God has provided for us a perfect

and full deliverance from indwelling sin through the Cross, even while we

are “in the body.” Any teaching concerning holiness, in order fully to

honor the work of the cross of Christ and the power of His precious

blood, must measure up to the full deliverance from sin expressed by the

above “words …. which the Holy Ghost teacheth.”

2. A Filling. Having provided a perfect cleansing for the heart, the question

arises, What has God promised to do in the heart He has cleansed? Just

think for a moment of a few wonderful promises. The Father will come

and make His abode in the heart of the one who loves Christ and keeps

His words (<431423>John 14:23). Christ also promises to come and make His

abode in the heart of the one who loves Him (<431418>John 14:18 and 23). And

the Spirit, too, when He takes full possession, fills the heart (<440204>Acts 2:4).

Thus, the salvation we can experience in our hearts, while we are still “in

the body,” is nothing less than this: The heart once polluted by sin, but

now cleansed by His mighty power, becomes the dwelling place of the

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Who can fathom such a profound mystery?

Who can define the limit to what God can or will do in the hearts of those

of His children who trust Him. for full salvation? There is no defined limit

on God’s side to what He may do The only limitation is our capacity to

receive God’s blessing. If, according to Paul’s prayer and doxology in

<490314>Ephesians 3:14-21, Christ may dwell in the heart through faith, if we

may be filled unto all the fullness of God and God is able to do exceedingly

abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that

worketh in us, then God has provided a full and perfect salvation for us in

our hearts here and now.

 If there is not such a perfection, then it was futile

for Epaphras to pray fervently for the Colossians that they might “stand

perfect and complete in all the will of God.” Let us cast side that insidious

unbelief that would limit “the Holy One of Israel.” Let us believe what

God says, give glory to His name, and rejoice evermore! And as there s no

limit to the spiritual blessedness we may enjoy, let us not be content with

any past experiences, however blessed, but let us press on to know more

and more of the love of Christ and increase and abound in love one toward

another.
 

THE HUMAN SIDE OF HOLINESS

Our Responsibility. But there is another side to this question of holiness

and that is human responsibility. The full heart salvation outlined above is

a blessing of faith. It is not a fixed state of sinless perfection. There is no

state of grace in this life from which we may not fall, and as long as we are

“in the body” that warning will always apply, “Let him that thinketh he

standeth take heed lest he fall.” Every moment we need the flow into our

hearts of the resurrection life of the ascended Lord Jesus, just as the

branch continually needs the flow of sap from the vine. Without Christ we

can do nothing. If there were, for one moment, a withdrawal of the

indwelling power of Christ we should at once fall again into bondage to

sin.

Nothing less than the continual abiding presence of an invincible,

indwelling Christ can meet our need. It is only by the intercession of an

all-prevailing High Priest on the throne, and the mighty power of an

indwelling Christ in the heart, that self can be denied, the world and Satan

overcome, and the life of continuous victory become an actual fact. But we

have a responsibility. We are called to “abide” or “continue” in Christ and

this is done by faith and obedience. The blessing of entire sanctification is,

therefore, a condition that is maintained by faith and obedience and is not

an unconditional state of sinless perfection. In the life of holiness it is very

important to remember the following vital and practical considerations: —

The Body. We can enjoy a perfect “heart” salvation from sin, even while

we are “in the body.”

But the body, marvelous though it is, is still

unredeemed and in a fallen, corruptible condition. Its senses and appetites,

though not sinful in themselves, may become the occasion for temptation

and the avenues along which sin may again defile the heart. It is through

the body and the mind that we are in contact with a world all around us

full of sin and hostile to holiness. If, therefore, the full blessing of heart

holiness is to be maintained, the body must be “kept under” and “brought

into subjection.” This solemn waning of Paul in <450801>Romans 8 applies to

fully sanctified believers. “If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye

through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” It is

only as we “was in the Spirit” that we “not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Alas, how many there are in whose hearts the fire of the Holy Ghost once

burned brightly but has now died right down because of the failure to

“keep under the body” One of the greatest preservatives of “heart

holiness” is a godly, reverential fear which dreads the thought of the

slightest cloud coming between the Lord and the soul and ever causes the

believer to watch and pray lest he enter into temptation. The Mind.

Likewise the thoughts of the mind must be watched and kept under. We

must ever stand like a sentinel on guard over the thoughts that come into

our minds. Some thoughts we can welcome, but to other we must cry a

stern, “Halt. You must not pass,” and refuse them, lest they defile the

heart. We cannot avoid thoughts of evil coming into our minds but we can

refuse to cherish them. We thus bring into captivity every thought to the

obedience of Christ.

 It is through the mind that the hosts of evil spirits

inject their thoughts of unbelief, etc. We shall never, therefore, be freed

from temptation while we are “in the body.” Hence, too, the need of

meeting all these assaults with the shield of faith. The life of holiness

involves the “fight of faith.” The deeper the blessing we nave received

from God, the greater the need for watchfulness, prayerfulness, meditation

on God’s Word, and letting the heart of love show itself in the outward life

of love, lest we should lose those things which we have wrought and lose

our full reward (<630108>2 John 8).
 

HOLINESS AND BEARING THE CROSS

James says: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers

temptations.” And Wesley says, in Christian Perfection: “The best helps

to growth in grace are the ill usage, the affronts and the losses which befall

us. One of the greatest evidences of God’s love to those that love Him is

to send them afflictions with grace to bear them.”

If we hunger and thirst

for God’s best, we cannot escape “bearing the cross.” That is the price

which has to be paid for Pentecostal blessing. The daily bearing f our cross

means the daily yielding up of our own wills to the will of our Heavenly

Father, and this involves the patient endurance of any painful experience

which we may have to suffer as a result of our obedience to His will. This

is the way the Master trod. We are to “follow his steps.” Of course we do

not all have just the same experience in “bearing the cross.” Each Christian

is called to bear his own particular cross, which varies according to the age,

place, and circumstances in which our Heavenly Father has called him to

live.

Very frequently it is the confession of Christ which involves

experiences which may be unpleasant and painful to us naturally, but they

form part of our “bearing the cross.” To confess Christ or some special

blessing of God which has come to us but is not understood or is even

disbelieved in, by the circle to which we belong, often brings

misunderstanding, reproach, and opposition. We may avoid this by

keeping silent, but, oh, at what a loss to ourselves and our growth in grace!

But the acceptance of the cross in the power of the Spirit is the way to

abundance of life. In my case, I found that testimony to the truth and I

experience of entire sanctification by faith called forth opposition on the

part of certain Christians. I do not overlook the fact that there may have

been faults on my part. As to that the Lord alone must be the Judge. But a

simple explanation of the trouble is this: The Lord had blessed me along

the lines of certain truths of holiness; the Christians who opposed me did

not, for various reasons, accept those truths; hence the opposition. Any

account of my experiences in relation to the truth of entire sanctification

by faith which omitted this aspect of the matter would be seriously

incomplete.

In stating a few instances in this chapter, however, I am not

writing in a complaining or condemning spirit, but in order to encourage

those believers who may be called upon to face similar opposition, to

stand fast in the faith and to warn others who do not yet realize the full

truth, so that they may pause before they oppose that which is of God.

There have been two distinct periods in which I have experienced in a

special manner the showers of the Spirit’s blessing. The first period was

from 1916 to 1918, when I experienced the first shower, after entering the

blessing of sanctification by faith. The second period of the Spirit’s

shower of blessing commenced about fourteen years later, about 1932. My

experience, particularly since 1931, has been that, as the Lord has enriched

my soul inwardly, so various trials have come upon me outwardly.

Whenever I experienced a rich inward spiritual blessing, it was not long

before a trial or affliction followed. Every inch of spiritual advancement

seems to have been contested by the powers of darkness. I have related

the great influx of spiritual blessing which came to my soul after I had

taken the steps of faith for entire sanctification in 1916. It must not be

thought, however, that my spiritual life after that was all easy, plain

sailing. It was the very opposite. My faith was very soon tested, and I

have had to fight the fight of faith ever since. I soon found that in

testifying to this blessing of God was brought into reproach and provoked

opposition.

It was somewhat surprising to me to find the prejudice which

exists in some Christians against any teaching or testimony to a second

definite work of grace after conversion. This prejudice seems to warp the

judgment and cause a loss of sense of proportion. The gift of God in the

cleansing and filling of the Spirit was so real to me that I felt bound to

testify of the blessing I had received, and so I wrote to various Christians

in England in 1916 and told them how God had blessed me. Instead,

however, of rejoicing in the grace of God granted to me while I was in

France, facing the awful realities of the Great War, I am sorry to say that

some of these Christians quite misunderstood me. hey refused to accept

my testimony; they told me I was eluded by the devil and leading others

astray, and that I was narrow-minded and bigoted. How very unkind such

criticisms can be!

After I had been in France twenty-one months and had

been sent to a base camp for a few weeks, the day came when I had to

leave the camp and return to the trenches. It was just on that day however

that I received from England a letter of harsh criticism for my testimony to

entire sanctification. Christians who unfairly criticize their fellow believers

little realize that they may be doing the devil’s own work of

discouragement. On another occasion in France I met a group of Christians

connected with the NonCombatant Corps. I was able to meet with them a

few times for prayer and Bible study. At one meeting the leader of the

group announced that the Lord’s Supper would be observed the following

Sunday. I was delighted to hear this and anticipated with pleasure being

able to join with them in remembering the Lord in His death, as I had not

been able to participate in the Lord’s Supper for some time. After the

meeting, however, the leader came up to me and said, “I am sorry, but we

should not be happy in allowing you to join with us in the Lord’s Supper

on Sunday.”

 “Why not?” I exclaimed. I wondered what offense I had

committed or in what respect I was not fit to join with them in

remembering the Lord in His death. The leader then explained. My offense

was that I had I distributed a few holiness journals among them, and he

said, “We regard your holiness views as dishonoring to the Lord.” And so

for testifying to the truth of sanctification by faith as a definite gift and

experience from God, I was cut off from joining in the Lord’s Supper with

these believers. I met with the same spirit of opposition after the war. I

had an interesting experience at a village convention where I gave the

closing message on Paul’s prayer in <490314>Ephesians 3:14-21. I urged believers

to seek to enter into the blessedness of that wonderful prayer of the

apostle.

There was present at the convention a Christian who had a strong

aversion to any teaching that was on “second blessing” lines. He told me

that he was determined to oppose “second blessing” teaching whenever he

came across it. This brother was annoyed with me, and came up to me

afterwards and severely criticized me. A few days afterwards, on a Sunday

evening, at the conclusion of a gospel service which I was conducting, an

old Christian came up to me with a smiling face and shook me warmly by

the hand.

He had been present at the convention. “Thank you, brother, for

that message you gave at the convention,” he said; “it did me good.” A

minute or two afterwards, an elderly Christian lady came up to me and

likewise thanked me for my convention address. Thus I learned from this

experience never to tone down or hide the truth for fear of offending

somebody, particularly the truth of entire sanctification by faith. Some

may oppose and be very annoyed; but if we stand fast and are not moved

away from our hope and faith, God will honor His Word and make the

truth a blessing to souls.
 

THE MARK OF PENIEL

After Jacob’s wonderful experience of God’s blessing at Peniel he “halted

upon his thigh.” For the rest of his life he bore in his body a mark which

ever reminded him of that glorious experience at Peniel. I, too, have a

“mark” in my body which will always remind me of my “Peniel”

experience in 1916 in France. It is on a finger on my right hand. It is

because this finger was badly poisoned in September, 1916, that I was

sent away to Staples to the very place where God met me and sanctified

me.

The nail of my finger had to be cut right out and it has never grown

properly since. The broken nail on this finger always reminds me,

therefore, of the wonderful preserving mercy of God to me during the

Great War, and, above all, that it was during that dark and terrible time

that God gave me the greatest spiritual blessing of my life. And so, when I

am accused of teaching error when I teach and testify to the specific

blessing of holiness by faith, I just quietly look down at my finger and

smile and then I look up to the Lord with adoring gratitude and worship.

In 1932 the Lord wonderfully deepened and confirmed me still further in

the light and truth which I first saw in 1931. But during this latter period

of inward spiritual blessing, one trial after another came into my life. The

key to my experience I find in Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthians.

His testimony can be I written in two parallel columns. In one column

would appear his rich inward spiritual blessings, and side by side, in the

other column, his various trials and afflictions. In chapter 1, he says, “We

were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired

even of life,” but in chapter 2 he says, “Thanks be unto God, which

always causeth us to triumph in Christ.”

What a mysterious but glorious

paradox is the Christian life! During the three years 1932-34, while I was

experiencing the showers of the Spirit’s blessings in my inner life, the

opposition of the evil one was manifested in a series of attacks upon me in

the form of false accusations from various quarters. I seemed to be in the

center of a cloud of misunderstanding. These attacks all came from within

the circle of the professing church. Peter misunderstood the Lord’s

mission and actually rebuked the Lord when He revealed the truth of the

Cross, but the Lord recognized that at the back of Peter’s words I was the

unseen enemy, Satan. We ought not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices.

He

is a false accuser; and if in the pathway of testimony to God’s truth we

have to suffer false accusations, even though they come from professing

Christians, we may be sure that in the background are the unseen powers

of darkness. I now relate briefly the two sides of my spiritual experience

during the four years from 1931. In 1931 and 1932 in my village mission

work, I saw several souls saved under the ministry of an evangelist. The

evangelist himself was greatly blessed by the truth of entire sanctification,

and a few Christians also saw the truth and were deeply stirred and

blessed. But it was just while I was rejoicing to see this blessing of the

Lord in the work that a series of false accusations was raised against me by

professing Christians. And during this period my father-in-law lay very

seriously ill at home for sixteen months and eventually died.

At Easter,

1934, I had a very blessed spiritual uplift at the Holiness Convention, at

Battersea, of the International Holiness Mission. But about a month

afterwards, T was strongly attacked by certain Christians for teaching

entire sanctification by faith. In the summer of that year I was again

greatly blessed at Newquay on holiday, and returned home with a glowing

heart to declare the truth of “full salvation.” Three weeks after my return,

however, I was accused by the leaders of a company of Christians of

teaching “glaring error,” and, as a result, certain “doors of service” for the

Lord were closed against me.
 

AFFLICTIONS

In 1935, I passed through seasons of testing of a different nature. My

wife’s health was indifferent, and at the end of 1934 we had to close up

our home and go away I for a change for four months. We returned home

in April, 1935, just after I had experienced another time of spiritual

blessing at the Battersea Easter Holiness Convention. My wife was much

improved in health, and we were looking forward to a resumption of our

normal home life. Two days after our return home, being a Sunday, I had a

preaching engagement to fulfill at a gospel hall in the evening. My wife,

son, and I and my sister accordingly set out together to go to the gospel

hall.

We were a happy little company, and I was quietly meditating on my

message as we walked along together. Then all of a sudden our outward

peace was broken up, and we were plunged into consternation. We were

walking along a grass verge by a fence; but just as we reached some

crossroads, a motorcycle collided with a car; the car swerved and came

crashing into the fence by which we were walking. It avoided three of us

by a few feet only; but I heard a painful cry, and when I looked around, I

saw my wife lying on the ground with her left leg badly broken. The car

had just caught her leg before she could get clear. None of the occupants of

the car or motorcycle were seriously hurt. Only one suffered serious

injury, and that was my wife. She was taken away by ambulance to

hospital; and when my sister, son, and I returned home, we all knelt

together and thanked the Lord for our preservation, and specially sought

the Lord’s mercy for my wife with her badly fractured leg. It was

compound fracture with bad laceration.

This sudden, low was a shock to

us, but it was a great comfort to us o feel that when this totally

unexpected event occurred we were definitely in the will of the Lord, in

the Lord’s service, and on the Lord’s day. Grace was given to us to enable

us patiently to wait on the Lord, that we might learn the lesson He had to

teach us in this sudden affliction, believing all the time that <450828>Romans 8:28

was true. While we were passing through this period of affliction, the

Book of Job was a great comfort, and all those Scriptures that speak of the

trial of faith, and the chastening of the Lord, etc., were applied with

healing power by the Holy Spirit. How cheered, too, we were, by the

many letters and tokens of sympathy received from the Lord’s own dear

people!

A few weeks after my wife’s return from hospital, I myself fell ill

for about six weeks with nervous exhaustion and gastritis, caused largely

through the shock of her accident. I experienced great bodily weakness,

and could do very little reading, writing, or even praying. It was just then,

however, that I found what a rich blessing it was to prove by actual

experience the truth of those precious words of the Lord which have

brought comfort thousands of the Lord’s suffering saints, “My grace is

sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” It was

exceedingly precious, too, in those days of great weakness, to prove by

faith the infinite value of the cleansing blood of the Lamb, and the presence

of the Lord tabernacling over me, in accordance with <471201>2 Corinthians 12.

Thus, in those four years, I passed through a season of varied trials —

clouds of misunderstanding from several directions, the shock of a sudden

accident severely injuring my wife, and great bodily weakness. At times I

felt in heaviness, but, praise the Lord, though these trials are painful to the

flesh at the time, yet the Lord’s grace is sufficient to enable one even to

glory in tribulation, knowing that all these painful experiences work for us

a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the

things seen, but at the things unseen, and trust the Lord to make the “all

things” in our lives to work together for our eternal blessing. “Thou

broughtest us into the net …. but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy

place” (<196611>Psalm 66:11-12).

Twelve years have passed since my account of

the foregoing experiences appeared in the first edition of The Riches of

Holiness. I am now able to look back upon those experiences in the light of

the time that has elapsed. And as I look back I exclaim with a full heart,

Praise the Lord!” The lines quoted above from verses 11 and 12 of Psalms

66 express what I feel to be the spiritual meaning of my experiences. For a

time I seemed to be caught in the “net” of trying circumstances, from

which I was unable to extricate myself. But in the Lord’s own time He

brought me out into “a wealthy place.” He brought me closer to himself,

my faith became more deeply rooted in Him, and I saw more clearly and

felt more deeply the reality of he truth of entire sanctification by faith.

This is indeed a “wealthy place,” yes, a place in which one can appreciate

more and more the riches of holiness. As a result of this inward enrichment

I was enabled to bear witness to the Lord in an entirely new way which I

had never before contemplated and so, in due course, The Riches of

Holiness and Scriptural Freedom from Sin were published. But I doubt

very much whether they ever would have seen the light if I had not first

passed through those experiences in “the net.” How very true is the

scripture, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but

grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of

righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby”! (<581211>Hebrews

12:11.)

Praise God for the “afterward”! If the reader is for the present in

the “net” of some peculiar trial or affliction, take courage. Be patient and

look to the Lord in faith that in His time He may bring you out “into a

wealthy place,” where the peaceable fruit of righteousness abounds to His

glory and your eternal blessing.