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Purify Yourself. (An Address by the General) .
Power Wanted. (An Address by the General)
EVEN amongst our worst enemies it has been admitted that the strength of the Salvation Army lay in its Holiness teaching. Many indeed, have strangely represented that we teach nothing at all, but rely for success upon a mixture of gymnastics, music, and excitement. Hence they are still capable, after eighteen years of victory, of imagining that the army will some day suddenly collapse.
On the other hand there are those who solemnly shake their heads and declare that we teach a great deal too much, that we presume to hold up a standard to which no human being can ever attain, and of encouraging professions which can only be based on selfdeception.
This book, as anyone may see at a glance, is not designed for contentious persons, but for those who want to be holy. We leave to schools of learning all discussions as to creeds and forms of speech. We have to do with the streets; and our one business is to direct into the way
of peace those who want to find it.
Yes. The way of peace! although all our business is war. The Salvation Army must cease to exist whenever it loses the spirit of resolution to obey God, and cause him to be obeyed by all, which has always been its strength.
God asks and wishes to be obeyed. It is impossible that He should live on terms of intimate friendship with any of His subjects who are unwilling always to obey Him.
Most of God's professed servants say, I am willing to obey; but I cannot by reason of a division in my very nature which has been with me from my birth, which I cannot help, and which will be with me till I die.
To all such persons, who are nevertheless really wishful to escape from so miserable a state of things, may this book be indeed a messenger of peace.
To all those whom it may reach who have been content thus to excuse a life of mixed obedience and neglect, may this book be indeed a message of war. We say that God wishes to be obeyed, and if this be true, it is impossible to imagine Him unwilling to help us in every way that may be necessary to make this obedience possible.
Do you say, “I don't see it; I am puzzled about this; I have heard so many things on this subject that I really don't know what to believe.' Can it be possible that God, who wishes you to obey Him, is not ready this
moment to give you the very light you need to escape out of any bondage you may be suffering from into the liberty—the perfect liberty—from sin which you desire. Ask Him that, while you read these pages, they may help you to see your true position, and to find a way out of it into the right one.
Do you join in the common cry “about your circumstances”? Has it ever occurred to you that Enoch, a man who walked with God for 300 years, was not as you may
have fancied, a prophet, living away from the rest of his race, but a married man, mingling all the time with the affairs of every-day life like other people, and surrounded like yourself with the ungodly world? Ask God to show you while you read these papers, written all of them by busy people, how to climb above
your circumstances and walk with Him, even as Enoch did.
Is it some special weight, some old besetment, that appears to defy all your efforts to live a holy life, and before which you have become accustomed to give way with your helpless “I can't, I can't?" Then ask God to carry home to your heart, as you read, the echo of the cheery tramp of comrades who have learnt with a whole heart to follow Him who is always saying, “ Fear not; for I have overcome the world."
God wishes to be obeyed. Not to have the unwilling service dragged out of a being, con
tinually in division-continually discussing whether to obey or not; but with the glad eagerness of a child whose whole life is made radiant with the very thought of perfectly pleasing a loving parent.
The people who write these papers know the joy of this perfect child life. They know—they cannot express it to you-they just hold out a hand to help you up to it.
But, ah ! I know what will prevent anyone from getting a blessing from the reading of this book. It is the unwillingness to leave ALL -to sacrifice ALL—to endure ALL. Do not hope to get any good out of this or any other book until you have come to that point to which, alas! so few come before they reach their deathbed—that point of willingness to leave all and follow Him who left all to seek for
you, and to set you entirely free from sin, and fear, and spiritual weakness, that you might be a worthy labourer together with Him -a willing sharer of His sufferings, and so made fit to be a joint heir of His Crown,