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declares it shall be done. Who shall say it
. shall not. 2. To cleanse you from all your filthiness and from
all your idols. Not from half, three parts, seven-eighths, but from all. Who is going to controvert this, and say all only means part; or that the filthiness and the idols shall be so removed as that a part, a little part, shall be left; or that all the filthiness shall not be entirely removed, but covered up and left behind somewhere as a sort of hotbed, in which the seeds of temptation may fructify, and take root, and spring up? No, the words used by the Holy Ghost are simple and understandable. He says,
He says, “From all your filthiness and from all your idols will I
cleanse you." 3. He promises a new heart and a new spirit.
That is, a heart and spirit altogether new, with no part of the old, unbelieving, treacherous, sinful heart remaining; and he will take away the stony heart, and give a heart of flesh; that is, he will remove the heart that was so unsympathetic with the Divine and spiritual things, and give a new heart all tender and responsive to the interests of
Christ and the Kingdom. 4. He will ensure the permanence of this by the
indwelling of the Spirit, which shall be the
I will put
5. To whom is this promise made, and when are
we to expect its fulfilment? We reply, without hesitation, to all those who comply with the conditions of a full consecration and a hearty faith, for we are expressly informed that God is no respecter of persons, and that all the promises of God are in him, yea, and
in Him, Amen, to the Glory of God by us. “And this was manifestly designed to apply to Christians under the new dispensation, rather than to the Jews under the old dispensation. The sprinkling of clean water, and the outpouring of the Spirit, seem plainly to indicate that the promise belonged more particularly to this than the old dispensation. It undeniably belongs to the same class of promises with that in Jeremiah xxxi. 31-34, Joel ii. 28, and many others, that manifestly looks forward to the gospel day, when they shall become due. As these promises have never been fulfilled in their extent and meaning, their complete fulfilment remains to be realised by Christians as a body. And those individuals, and that generation, will take possession of the blessing who understand, and believe, and appropriate them to their own case.
We give next the promise contained in 1 Thess. V. 23-24. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it."
who also will do it.” On this let it be observed
1. That it is admitted that sanctify signifies to separate from sin, and to set apart for the
service of God. 2. That the Holy Ghost here leads Paul to pray
that the Thessalonians may be thus wholly or entirely separated from evil, and given up to
doing the will of God. 3. That lest this should not be sufficiently explicit,
he prays that the whole man-comprised of the spirit, soul, and body-may be preserved
blameless. 4. To be preserved blameless implies made blame
less, and to be blameless implies that nothing
is done that is blameworthy. 5. And this blameless state was to be permanent
-to continue to the coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ. 6. And, further, it is expressly stated that God,
who calls us to this holy state, is faithful to fulfil in us all needed grace for its accom
plishment. There are multitudes of other promises, all of which, with more or less distinctness, conveying the assurance that it is our Father's good pleasure to give to His people this kingdom of righteousness. Those we have mentioned, if there were not others, would alone suffice to prove this, and we pass on to show that
CHRIST PRAYED THAT HIS PEOPLE WOULD BE FULLY DELIVERED FROM SIN IN THIS LIFE.
Hear him. “I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil." He did not pray that they should be delivered from temptation, poverty, affliction,
persecution, stripes, imprisonment, or a violent death. Nay, he assured them of these things as being most likely to happen; but he did pray that they might be kept from sin. They might sufferHe expected and foretold that they would have all manner of tribulations, and made provision for them; and arranged that all should work together for the good of faithful souls; but He prayed and desired that there should be no evil-no sin.
WE ARE TAUGHT AND ENCOURAGED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT TO PRAY FOR ENTIRE HOLINESS IN THIS LIFE. Christ taught his disciples, and through them He teaches us to pray for this state. Hear Him in a prayer, continually offered by all the saints of the living God throughout the earth. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This prayer is intended and accepted as a model prayer, in substance if not in words, given by the lips of THE GREAT TEACHER. Thy will be done on EARTH as it is in heaven. What? THY WILL. Thy beautiful, benevolent, holy, sinless, heavenly will be done. By whom? By you, by me, by all My disciples. OUTWARDLY: in the house, in the shop, in the marketplace, on the sea, on the land, towards wife, husband, children, servants; master, neighbour; towards friends, and enemies, and strangers; towards all—Thy will be done. INWARDLY: in the inner world of thought, and feeling, and purpose. Thy will be done by me, through me, in me, now, to-morrow, always, and that as willingly, and as entirely, and as thoroughly as it is in heaven. That is neither more nor less than that I should be as thoroughly given up to doing God's good plea
sure on earth as I shall be when I come to heaven. If it were possible that you could go into heaven the imperfect creature you are on the earth, to do His will, you would have to sing to Him, work for Him, love Him to the uttermost of your ability. He desires the same here, and when you thus render yourself up He will possess you, and dwell in you. And though a very imperfect doing and serving it may appear to others, still He will accept it. He who singled out and applauded the offered mites of the poor widow, seeing that she did in sympathy and charity what she could, will accept your service and be pleased with it, and say of it in the depths of your soul, as you hope to hear him say of it some day before assembled worlds, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
My comrades, instead of quibbling and cavilling about this or that command being too hard for you, the time has come for you to gird yourself with the mighty promise of your Almighty God, and go boldly and believingly forth, and obey, Amen.