Page images
PDF
EPUB

of gospel salvation to employ the agency of the subject. He is to be a co-worker with God. Hence he would be conscious of his share in the work of repression, even if he were not conscious of the work performed by the Spirit.

The uniform testimony is to a delightful sense of inward purity, the absence of all risings of malice, envy, and self-seeking. Now, if all these still exist within, but only neutralized by a superior force crushing them down, consciousness must attest to a falsehood when she bears witness to entire inward purity.

2. Lack of a scriptural basis. It is a remarkable fact that while the Greek language richly abounds in words signifying repression, a half score of which occur in the New Testament, and are translated by to bind, bruise, cast down, conquer, bring into bondage, let, repress, hold fast, hinder, restrain, subdue, put down, and take by the throat, yet not one of these is used of inbred sin; but such verbs as signify to cleanse, to purify, to mortify or kill, to crucify, and to destroy. When St. Paul says that he keeps under his body, and brings it into subjection, he makes no allusion to the flesh, the carnal mind, but to his innocent bodily appetites. In Pauline usage body is different from flesh. We have diligently sought in both the Old Testament and the New for exhortations to seek the repression of sin. The uniform command is to put away sin, to purify the heart, to purge out the old leaven, and to seek to be sanctified throughout soul, body, and spirit. Repressive power is nowhere ascribed to the blood of Christ, but rather purgative efficacy. Now, if these verbs, which signify to cleanse, wash, crucify, mortify, or make dead, and to destroy, are all used in a typical or metaphorical sense, it is very evident that the literal truth signified is something far stronger than repression. It is eradication, extinction of being, destruction.

3. The repressive theory of Holiness is out of harmony with the Divine purity. Holiness in man must mean precisely the same as Holiness in God, who announces Himself as holy, and then founds human obligation to Holiness upon this revealed attribute : “Be ye holy, FOR I AM HOLY." Who dares to say that God's Holiness is different from man's Holiness, save that the one is original, and the other is in-wrought by the Holy Ghost? Well does one say,

“ How can a man even know what is meant by justice in the Deity, if there is absolutely nothing of the same species in his own rational constitution, which, if realized in his own character as it is in that of God, would make him just as God is just? If there is no part of man's complex being, upon which he may fall back with the certainty of not being mistaken in his judgment of ethics and religion, then are both anchor and anchorage gone, and he is afloat upon the boundless, starless ocean of ignorance and scepticism.”

Who can confidently adore, and sincerely love a being who may, in the inmost essence of his being, be pure malignity in the outward guise of benevolence ? Now, if Holiness in man is the same kind as Holiness in God-and it is perilous to deny itwhat becomes of the repressive theory?

Are there explosive elements in the Divine nature, and is there some outside power holding down sinful tendencies in His heart? Or is He Himself holding them down? Let St. John answer, “In Him is no darkness"-moral evil_" at all." His nature is unmingled purity. This must be the pattern of our Holiness. “He that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, EVEN AS HE IS PURE."

4. Our next objection to this theory is, that it confounds the distinction between Holiness and virtue. We never call God virtuous, nor angels, nor Jesus Christ, nor the spirits of the just made perfect, whether in the body or out of the body. We do not magnify, but rather belittle the Son of God to ascribe to Him only virtue. He is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. What is the specific difference between virtue and Holiness ? Repression. Virtue is the triumph of right against strong inward tendencies toward the opposite. Jesus triumphed over outward temptations to sin, and was holy. Mary Magdalene by divine grace triumphed over inward tendencies toward vice, and was virtuous. The repressive theory of Holiness, involving, as it must, the co-working of the human soul with the Divine Represser, confounds the broad distinction between Holiness and virtue, and banishes Holiness from the earth, substituting virtue instead. In fact, we do not see any possibility, on this theory, for a fallen man ever to become holy, in the sense of the entire extinction of inbred sin. If this is only repressed here, it may be only repressed for ever hereafter. If the Holy Spirit cannot eradicate original sin now, through faith in the blood of Jesus, what assurance have

we that He can ever entirely sanctify our souls ? But if by repression is meant the right poising of the innocent passions of sanctified human nature after the extinction of ingratitude, unbelief, malice, self-will, and every other characteristic of depraved human nature which is sinful of itself, we accept it as Scriptural.

The War Cry, No. 153.-OCT. 26, 1882.

COME TO THE POINT.

An Address at the Congress Hall, Clapton,

October 12th, 1882.

BY MISS BOOTH, OF PARIS.

Miss BOOTH, from Paris, whose rising produced a great demonstration, said:-I was very much struck with what the General just now said to us about an examination. He said it would be well for us to have a time, perhaps once a-week, to pull ourselves up, to look into our own hearts and find out where we stand in the sight of God, and in the view of eternity. I say, Amen to that. I would that every Soldier in the Salvation Army adopted that planthat we once a-week pulled ourselves up face to face with the light-and if we do, God will teach us great things. He will reveal unto us His will, and we shall be able to do it. You know there are things that God does reveal, such as Major Corbridge was referring to this evening, things that when people come to our meetings do come up before them. They at other times put their hands

« PreviousContinue »