Full Text for Entire Sanctification (Text)

"Entire Sanctification." 417 "Entire Sanctification." The old Adam is a thoroughgoing perfectionist. He is able to see that human nature is depraved, though, of course, the depth and extent of human depravity can only be learned from Scripture, (TTigl., 477, 3), and yet in his proud conceit he maintains that he is master of his evil inclinations. The old Adam sees sin and the horrible consequences of sin on all sides; yet in his carnal security he believes that he has "perfectly," i. e., "according to his knowledge and ability," met the demands of the supreme Lawgiver. The perfeetionistic tendencies of the old Adam are easily recog­nized in a number of pagan philosophies. Zoroastrianism, Gnosticism, notably Manicheism, and similar systems promise purity of body and soul. Buddhism teaches the attainability of the Nirvana, i. e., entire passionlessness or freedom from anger, greed, or wrath. And what is the eclectic mystical philosophy of Plotinus but perfectionism? Neoplatonism offers perfection by reminding the soul of its divine source and by imposing ascetic exercises in order to effect the soul's spiritual unity with the creative mind. But pagan perfectionism is a vicious and hopeless thing. Sooner or later an awakened conscience will precipitate the proud perfectionist from the lofty clouds of his chimerical perfection into the abysmal slough of utter despair. But, strange to say, also among the adherents of the Ohristian religion, with its perfect mirror of God's Law and its soul-comforting doctrine of the sola gTatia, perfectionism has boldly raised its ugly head. The conceited question: "What lack I yet?" (Matt. 19, 20) has been repeated in every succeeding generation. Small wonder, then, that even Augustine was deeply impressed by the life of the Anchorites and that he did not fully see the dangers of this type of perfectionism. (Bindemann, Augustin, II, 38.) The climax of perfectionism is reached in the Roman doctrine concerning works of supererogation. What impudence to claim that in fulfilling the "evangelical counsels" the monks do more than is necessary for their own salvation! "They not only teach that these observances (monastic vows) are justifying services, but they add that these services are mOTe perfect than other kinds of life, B. g., maniage, rulership .... It is the height of impiety to hold that the monks satisfy the Decalog in such a way that merits remain." (TTigl. 427, 24; cpo 670,315. 316.) But also the Roman Oatholic layman is able to attain perfection, according to the Decrees of the Oouncil of Trent. (Sess. VI., chap.IS.) And Wilmers invites all to strive after perfection and for this purpose admonishes them to employ the salutary means which the Ohurch has prescribed and comforts those unable to enter holy orders by reminding them that not all are obligated to seek a 27 418 "Entire ·Sanctification." higher (n degree of perfection. (H andbuch de?' katholischen Re­ligion, 599 f.) The Lutheran threefold sola thoroughly refuted Rome's perfec­tionism. There is no room for human perfection where grace reigns supreme, where this grace is divorced from all enthusiasm and con­veyed solely through the Scriptures, and where grace is accepted only by faith. But the old Adam of Agricola (Antinomianism), of George Major ("Good works are necessal'y to salvation"), and of Andreas Osiander (mystical subjectivism, based upon the infusion of Ohrist's essential righteousness) endeavored to hurl the Lutheran Ohurch headlong into perfectionism. Though the Formula of Ooncord, in Articles 3, 4, and 5, definitely rejected all perfectionistic tendencies, a century later Lutheranism witnessed in its midst the rise of Pietism with its perfectionistic tendencies and the related mystical subjec­tivism as introduced by Zinzendorf in the Moravian colony at Herrnhut. But the real hotbed for Protestant perfectionism was and still is the Reformed Ohurch, more specifically the various Methodistic bodies. So closely is Wesleyan perfectionism related to Rome's, that the Katholische Kirchenzeitung could write: "Die Methodisten sind keine eigentlichen Protestant en, und in ihren Lehren von den guten Werken und der Heiligung glauben sie fast dasselbe, was die Katho­liken glauben." (Guenther, 8ymbolik, 255.) Since Wesley's doctrine of "perfect love," or entire sanctification, has molded the doctrinal system of the Arminian Methodists, and since this doctrine plays such an important role in the recently organized Holiness bodies, therefore it should be profitable to examine perfectionism as taught 1) in historic Methodism and 2) by the modern Holiness Ohurches. 1. An exact definition of Wesley's position in the doctrine of entire sanctification is extremely difficult. The latitudinarianism of Wesley and his associates is well known. The doctrinal position of the Methodists cannot be gaged by their brief confessional basis, but must be gathered from the private writings of the accepted leaders. This is especially true of the doctrine of entire sanctification. A superficial examination of Wesley's writings on this doctrine will reveal "that he found himself oscillating between conclusions varying with the different stages of his own inquiry into this Ohristian experience. It seems certain that, while he taught both the doctrine of entire sanctification and Christian perfection as goals of the regenerate life, he did not set down for himself any record of absolute attainment." (Du Bose, History of Methodism, II, 89.) Wesley apparently feared the logical excesses to which the doctrine of entire sanctification would lead and therefore expressed himself so guardedly on this point that "Entire Sanctification." 419 modern Methodists differ as to the mode, yea, even concerning the essence of this Christian experience. The only point on which they are agreed is the reality of sanctification. (Miley, Systematic Theol­ogy, II, 365.) Though regeneration is considered complete in its sphere, viz., to j'enew the moral nature, yet this gracious act of God is said to be insufficient because in the state of regeneration the Christian is unable to fulfil the divine injunctions of pM/eet holiness as demanded in Matt. 5,48; 1 Pet. 1, 15. 16, and many other passages. And yet, be­cause such holiness is required of man, there must also be a possibility of rendering it. "Divine holiness is the reason for Christian holiness," this is an axiom of Methodistic theology. But since the regenerated Christian is not able to render the divinely demanded holiness, the Methodists have invented a second gracious act, which enables man to "enter into perfect love." The Methodists readily admit that this doctrine raises many perplexing questions in the fields of theology and psychology. "Why can a sanctified believer do what the regen­erate is unable to do?" "Just what takes place in the act of sancti­fication? Is a different kind of sin removed in the second act from the first act, or is sanctification only a more thorough regeneration?" These are some of the vexatious questions which Methodists are un­able to answer and which, according to their own admission, are not treated in the Scriptures. But their enthusiastic interest for this specific doctrine is undaunted, and they only make all the more of the "testimonies" of sanctified believers. This doctrine, that man is able perfectly to fulfil the law of love 80 pleases the old Adam that he is not at a loss to find plausible arguments: "If regeneration is possible, then also sanctification," or: "If the words 'that which is born of the :flesh is flesh' prove the total depravity of man, then, conversely, we must hold that no uncleanness remains in the soul which is born of the Spirit." (Miley, op. cit., 362.) The entire argument may be summed up in Wesley's words: "Since God cannot be pleased with the sin which still dwelleth in the regenerate Chris­tian, therefore God has provided a second gracious act, whereby we become perfect images of God"; in other words, the regenerate Chris­tian has good intentions, the sanctified believer carries them out fully. Entire sanctification is described by Wesley as "loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. This implies that no wrong temper, none contrary to love, remains in the soul; that all thoughts, words, and actions are governed by pure love." Entire perfection is usually called perfect love by Methodists, because in this state perfect love of God is supposed to be the guidiug principle and with the supremacy of love the whole life "must be in harmony with the ,vill of God." Accordiug to another writer on this to~ic, holiness is that state of the soul when the alienation from 420 "Entire Sanctification." God and the natural aversion to a holy life have been removed. In this state the temptations to sin no longer leave a damaging moral influence, and the Holy Spirit constantly reigns supreme. Sanctification, like regeneration, is usually viewed as an instan­taneous act. This does not mean that Wesley denied the possibility of a life of holiness in the state of regeneration or a process of preparation preceding the attaining of perfect love. On the contrary, Wesley and his followers stress the necessity of a preparation for the "second blessing." But the actual "death to sin," the entire sanctifi­cation, itself is an instantaneous act, just as a man may be dying for long months, yet death does not occur until the instant when the soul leaves the body. But Wesley did not leave his followers a clear­cut definition on the attainability of entire sanctification for every Ohristian, and his vagueness has been the cause of much strife and contention among the Methodists. His evangelical consciousness did not permit him to set down perfect love as a definite goal attainable for every Ohristian. This vacillating, no doubt, accounts for the fact that among his followers to-day there are rationalists on the one hand and thoroughgoing perfectionists on the other. In order to maintain the doctrine of perfection, it is necessary to minimize or even expunge the sinfulness which remains in believers and likewise to exaggerate the regenerate's ability. And this is exactly what :Th1:ethodists have done and still do. It is a mooted question among them whether the work of entire sanctification is in the mode of repression or eradication. Extremists among the Methodists be­lieve that the evil propensities are eradicated and not only repressed. If, they argue, sanctification were only repression of the evil lust, then all heathens who valiantly fight against their wicked thoughts, words, and deeds would be sanctified; then every good resolution and habit would be sanctification. But, they say, grace penetrates into the texture of our spiritual being and destroys the disordered affec­tions. Historic ::Vlethodism, however, defended the doctrine of Tcpres­sian; i. e., the latent powers in the mind of the Tegenemte are de­veloped to their full capacity in the act of sanctification, so that the good emotions have obtained dominance over all disordered affections, and these ne,v spiritual powers suppress or cast out the evil inclina­tions. The spiritual capacities are developed to such a degree that all passions are eontrolled and perfect love reigns supreme. Quite natuntlly the Methodists have considerable difficulty with the remnant of s~n, which no perfectionist can rule out of existence. The easiest way to dispose of this perplexing problem is to hurl a broadside at Seripture and all the confessional standards, which uphold the doc­trine of sin and guilt in the believer. Methodists state that the Lutheran and the Reformed confessions exaggerate' the sinful char­acter of evil propensities. In full accord with the Roman communion, "Entire Sanctification." 421 Wesley denied the damnableness of concupiscence. Wesley in Plain Account of Ohristian Perfection gives us a comprehensive view con­cerning the perfectionist's idea of sin in the sanctified Ohristian, which may be summarized as follows: "Ohristian perfection does not exclude all infirmities, ignorance, and mistakes; for a man may be filled with pure love and still be liable to mistakes. A mistake in judgment may occasion a mistake in practise. Yet, where evel-Y word and action sp1ings from love, such a mistake is .not properly a sin, though it needs the atoning blood, for it is a deviation from the perfect Law; but it is not sin, for it is not contrary to love, and 'love is the fulfilling of the Law.' As long as the Ohristian is in this world, he is subject to involuntary transgressions, which are consequent on the ignorance and mistakes due to our mortal frame. Such transgression you may call sin if you please; I do not." Thus' Wesley has paved the way for the doctrine of perfectionism by deny­ing the sinfulness of the evil inclinations. But he has landed­in Rome, which teaches: "This concupiscence, which the apostle sometimes calls sin, the holy synod declares that the Oatholic Ohurch has never understood it to be called sin, as being truly and properly sin in those born again, but [it is called sin] because it is of sin and inclines to sin." (Oouncil of Tl'ent, Sess. V.) The other necessity to which the perfectionists are driven in order to hold their doctrine is that they must consistently reduce the demands of God's holy Law down to the standard of human ability. No perfectionist claims that he has attained the perfection of Adam in Paradise or the perfection in heaven. His perfection is not that demanded of God, but a self-appointed holiness, a relative holiness. Methodists usually warn against considering sanctification such a state where the soul is free from all anxiety and care, indifferent to all outward things, and resting completely and securely in God. And yet, is not the sum and substance of the First Oommand­ment this, that in every moment of our life we find perfect joy in God's will, trust in Him implicitly, without a quiver of the lip, and so love Him that no strange thought ever enters our heart 1 The Methodists have brought the demands of the First Oommandment down to the level of their imagined capacity. In their opinion there are different grades of holiness for different Ohristians. The element of time, the various degrees of trials, the opportunities for service, the difference in the mental and religious capacities, make it im­possible "to establish one grade for all who attain unto a life of holiness." Yes, as the mental faculties of the individual differ in strength, as he may be weak in languages, but strong in mathematics; so also, we are told, not to be disappointed if we do not find all graces perfectly developed in one Ohristian. The point to be maintained is that the Ohristian must be actively engaged in "a loving service 422 "Entire Sanctification." prog?'essively commensurate with OU?· ever-incr'easing capacity and light." (Lowrey, Possibilities of Grace, 227.) Wesley's doctrine, consistently adhered to, leads either to despair or to carnal security and spiritual presumption. But Wesley was not consistent. Wesley admitted time and again that he had not attained the perfection state. Though he taught that the evil incli­nations in the regenerate believer are involuntary and therefore not, properly speaking, sin, yet, when he dealt with his God and Lord, his only plea was: "Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness my beauty are, my glorious dress." (Bu. Luth. Hymn-book, 326.) Wesley sensed the soul-destroying dangers which lurk in his doctrine. Though Wesley carefully refrained from stating that he had attained perfection, though he tried to guard the doctrine from its natural excesses by stressing the attainability of holiness only on the ground that the evil inclinations are not, properly speaking, sin, and not primarily because the Ohristian is inherently good, yet his doctrine is responsible for the many unholy fruits which to this day are ripening on the tree of Methodism. Though he warned against spiritual pride and advised his followers "not hastily to ascribe dreams, voices, impressions, and visions to be from God," yet his doctrine of sanctification is the mother of the presumptuous en­thusiasm which has perturbed so many American and even foreign communities. For after all, Wesley must be considered the spiritual father of the modern Holiness movement. 2. The attainability of holiness through sanctification as an act subsequent to regeneration is that doctrine which explains the presence of Methodism among the Ohristian churches. Due largely to the great revivals of the early part of the nineteenth century, this Methodistic leaven permeated the majority of the Reformed churches. But during the closing decades of the same century the conviction was voiced in many quarters that the original power and spirituality of Wesley's doctrines were rapidly disappearing from the churches. Almost simultaneously there arose in widely scattered parts of the country under the leadership of such men as the Revs. Hoople, Bresee, Knapp, Rees, and others independent movements within the various denominations for the "conservation and spread of apostolic power and holiness." At the same time a number of missionary associations were organized along undenominational lines, notably by Revs. Simp­son, Dake, and Mrs. Alma White, who gained many adherents to the Holiness doctrine among the neglected and unchurched masses. Though this large group of Holiness bodies fell into many excesses, e. g., the gift of tongues, divine healing, etc., they all believed them­selves called to "promote and preserve Scriptural holiness." In 1890 "Entire Sanctification." 423 the general cDnference of the Methodist Ohurch viewed with alarm the wide-spread interest in the extreme view of entire sanctification as represented by the numerous ecclesiolae in ecclesia. In 1894 the bishops in their "Pastoral Address" referred to this movement in these words: "The privilege of believers to attain unto the state of entire sanctification and to abide therein is a well-known teaching of Methodism. . .. But there has sprung up among us a party with 'holiness' as a watchword. They have holiness associations, holiness meetings, etc. Religious experience is represented as if it consists of only two steps, the first step out of condemnation into peace and the next into Ohristian perfection. The effect is to disparage the new birth and all stages of spiritual growth if there be not professed perfect holiness. Such terms as 'saints,' 'sanctified,' etc., are restricted to the few who have reached the height of perfect purity and im­properly denied to the body of believers, ... even to those mature Ohristians who are ever increasing in the knowledge of God and are fruitful in every good work. ... " (Du Bose, op. cit., II, 90 f.) Not finding the Methodistic communion receptive to their peculiar con­ception of "entire sanctification" the leaders in this movement or­ganized independent church-bodies, which coalesced into about twelve denominations, notably the Nazarene, the Pilgrim Holiness, the Pen­tecostal Holiness Ohurch, the Ohurch of God, the Assemblies of God. In addition to these aggressive bodies a number of evangelistic asso­ciations, chiefly the Ohristian and Missionary Alliance, the Pillar of Fire, send their apostles of the Holiness doctrine into the cities, villages, and hamlets of this and foreign countries. In the main the Holiness people follow Wesley. But they con­sider the doctrine of entire sanctification the articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiaa and hence make every Scriptural statement sub­servient to their distinctive doctrine and therefore go beyond Wesley and historic Methodism. They are very positive in claiming that sanctification is the eradication of all evil propensities, that it is an instantaneous act, and that it must be the goal of every regenerate believer. a) Vlith Wesley they teach thaL "regeneration removes the lOl:e of sin, justification the guilt of sins already committed, and sanc­tification the inclination to sin in the future." (Hills, Holiness and Power, 91.) But while Wesley taught that the evil propensities con­tinue in the sanctified believer, and while he based the attainability of entire sanctification on the assumption that the wayward tendencies are involuntary and therefore sinless, the modern Holiness people believe, that "entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to conversion, by which regenerate believers are made free from inbred sin and brought into the state of entire devotement to God." (Nazarene 1vJ. anual.) That sanctification is considered as the eradi-424 "Entire Sanctification." cation of inbred sin is evident from their writings. According to Dr. Carradine, justification cannot reach original sin. Justification is pardon, and original sin cannot be pardoned since it involves no guilt. The conclusion, then, is: "I stand a justified man with in­herited depravity within me." Neither can regeneration correct man's inherited depravity, for it affects only man's personal depravity, man's personal evil will. But original sin is more than an act of the will. It is the involuntary waywardness of the flesh. (Op. cit., 97 f.) But since God demands not only an actual (i. e., an acted) obedience, but also holy dispositions, therefore entire sanctification must be the only means which can separate the sinner from all involuntary tendencies. "A fully saved heart can look into the face of Jesus and without mental reservation say, 'Thy will be done,' while the whole nature responds 'Amen.' But if depravity remains, it will rebel and refuse to yield." (Op. cit., 89.) To deny this doctrine, to teach that sin and guilt still inhere in a Ohristian, from which God does not sanctify the believer, is considered a horrible and appalling doctrine, filling the Ohurch with despair." (Op. cit., 39.) The Holiness exponents teach that Ohrist procured a twofold salvation, forgiveness of sins and entire sanctification, the one affect­ing our voluntary sins, the other the secret yearnings that do not come to the surface, that lie behind the will. Entire sanctification goes into the bed-rock of the moral nature and gives us relief in the ''basement story" of our moral nature. And God is able to cleanse us perfectly of all evil dispositions because ''by the gracious act of sanctification we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory and are made partakers of the divine nature. The longings [which cannot be realized as long as the involuntary sinwardness is not eradicated, Y.] for holiness and the image of God become realized." (Hills, op. cit., 92.) According to A. B. Simpson, a well­known advocate of this doctrine, sanctification is the entire eradica­tion of the evil propensities; for, he says, "sin is not in the body, but in the heart. Death will not sanctify you, your heart must be sanctified now." (The Fourfold Gospel, 31.) "When we are dedicated to God, He comes to live in us and transfuses His life through our being. . .. He comes to live in us as truly as though we were visibly dwelling under His wing. God is again manifest in the flesh." (Pp. 39.40.) The Holiness people clearly go beyond Methodist theol­ogy, for they cannot quote Wesley as their authority for the following statement: "There is no longer a conflict between the inclinations and the judgment. The seat of war has been mainly changed. For­merly we contended with enemies without and within. Now the citadel is purged; the enemies are all without, and the fort royal is all friendly to the King." (Saved to the Uttermost, 32.) When sanctification occurs, then, according to Dr. Oarradine, "the various "Entire Sanctification." 425 propensities of the body, which regeneration subdued, but could not eradicate, are instantly arrested or extirpated. The craving of habit is ended, the root of bitterness is extracted. A sweet, holy calm fills the breast, actually effects [affects, M.J the body, steals into the face, and rules the life." (Sanctification, 31.) According to Simpson the spirit is so perfectly separated in its own divine nature from its own sinful heart that our ears are deaf to all sinful and mundane sensuality. The voice which sings for Jesus will unconsciously re­frain from singing the Ave Maria. Though we come into contact with sin, it cannot contaminate us, for Ohrist's pure life fills us and expells all evil. Our soul naturally withdraws from the :filth on all sides, yes, even from esthetic, but mundane thoughts, and our mind actually becomes an empty skull, which is then :filled with God's penetrating :fire, so that the intellect and all mental faculties become willing servants of God. The mind is able to rise above its former possibilities, and also the powers of the body are glori:fied and exalted." (Wholly Sanctified, passim.) No wonder that Merle D'Aubigne's History of the Reformation is credited to the increase of the mental powers which the famous historian received through "sanctification." (Hills, op. cit., 299 f.) No wonder that the majority of the Holiness preachers claim that entire sanctification implies also divine healing; for "we are so united with Ohrist in our body that we shall have His power in this broken vessel of clay." (Wholly Sanctified, 129.) "The living physical Ohrist must come into your life, and He is able and willing to share His physical life with you. This is a nearer union than the connubial life, so near that the very life of His veins IS transfused into yours." (The Fourfold Gospel, 61.) That the Holiness people believe that sin is entirely eradicated is proved from the comfort which is given to a "saint" who feels his sin. Wesley would have answered him: Do not worry about the evil inclinations, for they are involuntary and therefore guiltless. But Rev. Simpson assures the "saint" that these temptations are entirely from without, solely from the devil. Yes, "God credits you with an obedience all the more pleasing, because temptation has been so strong." (Wholly Sanctified, 105.)* b) Wosley preferred to say that perfect love was the result -at least in his own case -of the ripening of Christian experience and motive into the measure of the perfect man in Ohrist. The modern Holiness teachers stake their entire doctrine upon the claim that "entire sanctification" is an instantaneous act subsequent to regeneration. Sanctification in their opinion is not "following after," "mortifying the lusts of the flesh," "drowning the old Adam with * The close affinity of these people to Rome becomes evident from a comparison of this statement with the concluding sentence of the Council of Trent concerning original sin. (Waterworth ed., 24.) 426 "Entire Sanctification." all sins and evil lusts," but it is "entering in," "saved to the utter­most." Therefore they ridicule the idea that a Ohristian, who, accord­ing to Rom. 5, 1, has peace with God, at the same time experiences a deepening of the consciousness of his guilt, a fuller realization of the weakness of his spiritual powers, and an increased conviction that temptations become greater and more insidious. They believe that sanctification is that ecstatic state in which the regenerate be­liever "feels as though a hand, not a human, but the almighty hand of God, were laid upon his brow, which is felt internally and exter­nally. The hand of God penetrates into all parts of the body and infuses a sin-consuming power into the heart, the mind, and all members of the body." (Synodalbericht, Illinois, 1883, 35.) All passages in Scripture which contain the words "sanctification," "saint," "sanctified," are explained according to their conception of entire sanctification. Of course, if sanctification were such a new creation, then it could be attained solely through a divine act instan­taneously performed. And that is the claim. This is the definition of the manuals of the various Holiness bodies, thi~ il:l what Simpson means when he writes: "Sanctification is obtainment, not attain­ment." Ohrist is received by an instantaneous act. A person cannot be partially converted and partially unconverted. And just so, accord­ing to these enthusiasts, "the special ministry of the Holy Spirit, whose work it is to perfectly sanctify the regenerated sons of God, is received by an instantaneous act." A Ohristian, who has fully received the grace of Christ in justification and regeneration, must now also fully receive the gift of sanctification. He cannot be par­tially sanctified and partially subject to sin. Their whole theory of this doctrine demands the conception of an instantaneous act. What else than an instantaneous act of God could produce such a state, concerning which a perfectionist can claim: "During these last fifty years I have ceased to be conscious of the existence of those evil propensities which during the preceding eighteen years 'warred in my members.' In but one single instance have I during these fifty years been conscious at all of a movement of that evil temper, and that was but for a moment" ~ In this state there is no sin, though it is possible to lapse from this state. That is what these pCl'fec­tionists mean when they say that entire sanctification is not sinless perfection; i. e., the Ohristians are not as yet confirmed in their perfection, but may fall from grace while in this world. And when they say that it is not absolute perfection, they simply wish to state that God alone is absolute, that even the angels cannot approach His holiness. (Hills, op. cit., 93.) Perfection is complete, entire, all-embracing, from its inception and in all its details no different from the perfection in heaven. These conceited spirits would have us strike from the Lord's Prayer the words "Forgive us our tres-"Entire Sanctification." 427 passes." Every Ohristian who still feels the pangs of an evil con­science must upbraid himself that he has either not diligently sought this blessing or think that God will not fulfil His "promises," and thus he must sink into bitter gloom and despair. c) In the opinion of these modern perfectionists entire sanctifica­tion is not a utopian dream, but a state which is attainable for all Ohristians and must be sought by all regenerate believers. They go far beyond Wesley and historic Methodism in leaving no stone un­turned to prove the attainability of entire sanctification for all be­lievers. They advance arguments of probability and possibility (we were tempted to write "improbability and impossibility"), they marshal forth a vast array of Scripture-texts, they conjure up visions and secret voices; they relate experiences and give testimonies by the hundreds and thousands to prove their contention. Though they employ Scripture very profusely (in a treatise of about 250 pages some 150 passages were treated to prove the attain­ability of perfection), yet their entire doctrine is based on the grossest kind of enthusiasm. But enthusiasm and rationalism always go hand in hand. In spite of their prolific use of Scripture they are the victims of a coarse rationalism. They "prove" the probability of entire sanctification from the essence of God, "who, hating sin and loving His children, would certainly also appoint means for com­pletely sanctifying His believers." The possibility is established according to the Scholastic argument: A debito sequit1tr posse; if God demands holiness of His children, then they must be able to render such holiness. "God never gives a 'must' without a 'may.' " "What shall we say of these commands in Eph. 1,4; 001. 1, 22 ~ Is God a heartless tyrant issuing commands to a race of moral beings that none are able to keep? If holiness is not attainable, then God commands what is impossible. But God's commands are enablings." (Hills, op. cit., 101-124.) God's promise that Ohrist is able to succor them who are tempted occasions the perfectionistic comment: "If He is able to come to our aid and to remove all inbred sin, will He refuse to remove this evil?" (P.131.) Another example of their rationalistic tendencies: "Jesus taught His disciples to pray, 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' No one will deny that the angels are sanctified. Then, Jesus prays that believers may be sanc­tified on earth. . .. Who will be rash enough to affirm that the Son of God was praying for something that was not according to the will of God and was therefore impossible~" (P.126.) We are told either to accept the doctrine that entire sanctification is attainable or to hold to the following absurdities: "That God of choice induces imperfect moral and spiritual purity, when He might just as well effect perfect purity; that Jesus abides in believers who are filled with warring lusts, when He might render their hearts clean temples 428 "Entire Sanctification." of the Holy Ghost; that God commands us to be holy, though He knows we cannot keep this command, thus making Himself an unjust tyrant." (P.165.) Rationalism is vicious. But it is doubly soul-destroying when it insidiously parades as Scriptural wisdom. Satan has blinded these modern perfectionists, who refuse to see their rationalistic enthusiasm. They feel secure in "the fact that the word 'perfection' and its relatives are predicated of human character under the opcrations of grace more than fifty times and that the words 'holy,' 'holiness,' 'sanctify,' 'sanctification,' etc., as affirmed of believers or urged upon them, move through the Scriptures like a flock of birds." (Op. cit., 153.) "There are five times as many proof-texts, fairly interpreted, for the support of this doctrine as there are for the doctrine of con­verSIOn. There are ten times as many as there are for tho divinity of Ohrist." But though the Scriptures seem to be on their side, a closer examination of the respective texts reveals that these en­thusiasts have torn them out of their context, e. g., 001. 3, 14. 15 (cp. Trigl., 182), or that these texts, which speak of justification, continual justification, spiritual help in trials and temptations, or of sanctification in its Scriptural meaning, are made to teach entire sanctification, e. g., Heb. 12, 10; 7,25; Eph. 5, 25. 26; Acts 20, 32. In­struction seems to be hopeless when a professor of theology establishes the doctrine of entire sanctification with this interpretation of Matt. 23,13: "Jesus (the altar) makes entirely holy (sanctifies) the re­generated and consecrated believer (the gift)." (Op. cit., 264.) Scripture-passages which clearly reject the idea of perfect sanc­tification are simply brushed aside. God's repeated verdict concerning man in the Old Testament: "There is none that sinneth not," is made to read: "that may not sin" (the Vulgate also has peccet), or this verdict is said to apply to man prior to his sanctification. (Op. cit., 169 ff.) Dr. Steele adds the sarcastic remark: "A little scholarship applied to these Old Testament texts would improve the theology of some people." The well-known words of Paul, Rom. 7, 14--25, "cannot be accepted as a portrayal of Paul in the perfect life, but must be considered either as a picture of those living far beneath their privilege as believers or as a description of some experience in his own life when as a legalist he tried in vain to keep the Law." (P.174.) Phil. 3,11-15 does not disturb the perfectionist one mo­ment, for Paul is here made to speak "of the perfection of the resur­rection state," and this interpretation is established by comparing this text with Luke 13,32, where Ohrist says: 'The third day I am perfected.' " The words are changed to read: "Not that I have already completed my course and arrived at the goal, so as to receive a prize." (Pp.178 f.) Even 1 John 1,8 does not dampen the spirit of these enthusiastic spirits, for in their opinion these words were SDie ~auvtfd)tiften £ut~etg in d)tono!ogifd)et lftei~enfolge. 429 written against the Docetae, who, in claiming that the souls were immaterial, denied that their bodies were sinful. But the final and clinching argument for the attainability of entire sanctification in the opinion of these "Spirit-baptized" people is the claim that not only Abel, Enoch, Moses, Oaleb, Zacharias, Elisabeth, the disciples, and many other Biblical characters had tbis gift, but that also un del' the ministrations of modern Holin288 preachers thousands upon thousands have been brought to a "Spirit­witnessed" realization of entire sanctification. "Testimonies" of those "who have entered in and are saved to the uttermost" fill their literature, and a recital of individual "experiences" constitutes a prominent part of their revivals, camp-meetings, prayer-meetings, and class-meetings. In short, their entire argumentation may be summed up in the statement: Believe that you are perfectly sanc­tified, and you are sanctified. It goes without saying that the subjectivism and enthusiasm of the exponents of the doctrine of entire sanctification has made this one of the most bewitching, beguiling, and insidious errors of our day. It is a real menace because so many Scripture-passages are qnoted in its defense. It is extremely dangerous because it flatters the old Adam by teaching an anticipation of the heavenly perfection, thus ignoring sin and the threefold use of the Law; and where there is no sin, there is no need of Him who died for sinners. These Spil'its ought to read what Luther said in his third public disputation against Agricola (St. Louis Ed., XX, 1642 if.) or Historical lntroductions to Triglotta, p.165. But such enthusiastic spirits do not want to be instructed. It is impossible to convince him of his e1'1'or who bases his contention upon a supposed vision, or an hallucination. The perfectionist has soared to dizzy heights of spiritual pride and carnal security on the mere bubble of an ecstatic revelation. But when the prick of God's holy Law pierces this vain bubble, he will be hurled into the depths of despair. "Those haughty spirits, Lord, restrain," etc. (Hymn 110, 6.) Springfield, TIl. ~ iii ~ F. E. MAYER. ~ie .pau.ptfdjtiften £ut~et~ in djtonulugifdjcr ffieifjenfulge. ~1it SHnmedungen. (B'ottfetung.) 1521. "SHn ben ~od BU S3eifj,ig." -SDiefe @::id)rift Ivar am 14. ~anuat in snroeit unb fd)eint nod) bot G:nbc bes S]lonag auggefd)idt tuorbcn 3u fein. S3utfJctll @::ittdt ging 3mild in bas ~afJt 1519 unb tuutbe betanlatt butcl) eincn ~rief .l;)ieton~mug G'mfcts an ~ofJann Sad, tuotin et jid) libet bie S3eifj3igct :Bisfjutation