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the passages we quote, let us say that, in common with all the practical portions of this book, our main duty is to accept the surface meaning of the text. If there is a plain, natural meaning apparent at first sight in the passages, a meaning which is in accordance with the general spirit and purpose of the whole book, you are not to go away to find some fanciful interpretation, in order to make it square with your own experience or theories or theologies, or anything else, but to take that plain surface meaning and act upon it. The Bible is intended to be its own interpreter, and, like the religion which it proclaims, is ordinarily easily understood by the plainest and most unlettered of men; fools and wayfaring men do not err herein. Mainly all the muddles and heresies of the ages gone by, and the ages present, have come from heads full of learning and genius. Don't be scared by what doctors of divinity may say, however humble and ignorant of earthly learning and theories you may be. Get down low at Jesus' feet. Read your Bibles there. Cry continually for the direct illumination of the Holy Ghost, and you shall verily be led into all needed truth. In this spirit we direct you to the following scriptures, and, that we may have some form in our quotations, we remark
ist.–That the Bible commands saints to live without sin. We begin with God's injunction to Israel: “Hear, O Israel, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul and with all thy might." “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the Commandments of the Lord thy God and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good.”—Deut. vi. 5; X. 12, 13. This command, with slight variation of words, was repeated by the Saviour, when He said, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbour as thyself.-
Luke x. 27.
Now we take these commands to carry with them all we ask for. They are nothing more nor less than the soul loving God supremely, and making His glory and the accomplishment of His purposes the supreme end of existence. And this must be done with all the ability possessed.
If love be the fulfilling of the law, and if the soul loves to the utmost of its powers—whether these powers are great or little—then that soul must fulfil the law, and, while so doing, does not grieve God, in other words, does not sin. And this is what God requires, and the requirement must carry with it the ability to obey. God is not a hard
. master. He does not reap where He has not sown, nor gather where He has not strawed. He does not ask His people to make bricks without straw. All these commands, like the promises, are yea and amen in Christ Jesus, seeing that there is always the implied willingness of God to supply sufficient grace to enable those who receive them to comply with what is enjoined. Look up, my brother, you want to love God with all your heart, present yourself before God as He has directed, and he will supply ABUNDANCE OF GRACE. Gird up the loins of your mind and present yourself for the glorious work of PERFECT LOVE. Don't be affrighted by the evil reports of half-hearted brethren, or by the memories of your own past failures. You have often heard the story of the coloured brother, who said, in allusion to needed strength for divinelyappointed duty: If God commanded me to jump through that stone wall, my duty would be to jump; it would be God's business to see I went through. And whatever God does command, if you will consecrate yourself to the doing thereof, depending on His Holy Spirit for ability, you shall surely prove, and in your own soul exemplify the sufficiency of His power to carry you through. For, has He not said, who cannot lie, “My grace is SUFFICIENT for thee?" Believe and obey and the victory shall be yours.
The War Cry, No. 32.—JULY 31, 1880.
A HIGHER UP RELIGION.
BY THE GENERAL.
DELIVERANCE FROM SIN PROMISED. IN our last paper we referred to certain Scriptures in which God commands, in the most positive and direct manner, His people to be holy, that is, to live without sin. We propose now to quote a few texts as specimens of numbers in the Bible, in which the blessing of holiness is as definitely and as distinctly promised. We begin with Deut. xxx. 6, “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.” Now, here God directly promises just what the law requires, all the grace and strength needed to enable the soul to comply with the commands before quoted, and are here promised. To love God with all thy heart implies also the love of our neighbour, and love is the fulfilling of the law. It cannot be controverted that this promise was intended to be fulfilled in this life. When the
Israelites first received it, they regarded it as intended for fulfilment in them then and there. And if for them, why not for us? why not for me? Can anyone find any satisfactory reason why God should not, according to this promise, so change and sanctify my nature that I should love Him with all my heart, and you also, dear reader? Amen. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.
Again, take Exekiel xxxvi. 25-27, “Then will I sprinkle clear water upon you, and ye shall be clean from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them.” Now, if this passage does not contain a promise of entire sanctification, of complete deliverance from sin, and of the ability to comply with all the requirements God seeks from us, I am at a loss to know what it means. Of course, it can be reasoned away and made of none effect. But so can any other text in the Bible, and what remains to us then ? But we affirm this cannot be done without violating the rules of fair and honest interpretation. Let us look at it. What does God here engage to do for His people? 1. To make you clean by the power of the Holy
Ghost. Then will I sprinkle clean water (the