Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Evangelical Perfection

Perfect love constitutes evangelical perfection, the sum of all duties, the bond which binds all the virtues into unity. As we stand midway between the perfect estate of paradise lost and of paradise regained, regretting the one and aspiring to the other, but excluded so long as we are in the flesh, our gracious God, through the mediation of Christ, commissions the Holy Ghost to come down and open the gates of a new paradise of love made perfect, love casting out all fear, love fully shed abroad in our hearts. Love is the fulfilling of the law. To fulfil is perfectly to keep, not the old Adamic law, but the law of the new Adam, the Lord from heaven. ‘Fulfil ye the law of Christ, the royal law of liberty.’ This law is graciously adapted to our diminished moral capacity, dwarfed and crippled by original and actual sin. All there is left of us after sin has spread its blight may be filled with the fullness of God. Every faculty may be energized, every capacity be filled, and every particle and fibre of the being be pervaded with the love of Christ, so that the totality of our nature may be subsidized in the delightful employment of love, attesting itself by obedience, rejoicing evermore, praying without ceasing, and in every thing giving thanks. Says Wesley, ‘I know of no other Christian perfection.’ The hypercritical may criticize the term, and say that perfection cannot be predicated of anything human, and some advocates of entire sanctification may unwisely substitute other terms supposed to be less offensive, such as ‘the higher life,’ ‘the rest of faith,’ and ‘full trust,’ and other words which man's wisdom teacheth, but it will be found that they all fail to convey the exact and definite idea of the word ‘perfection’ which the Holy Ghost teacheth.

—from Mile-Stone Papers Chapter 3.