In regard to the process of becoming established in holiness, I find this to be God's open secret — "to walk by the same rule and to mind the same thing." Phil. 3:16. The rule is, faith in Christ ever increasing in strength; the heart being fertilized with the elements of faith, a knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, the conscience being trained to avoid not merely sinful and doubtful acts, but also those whose moral quality is beyond the reach of all ethical rules, and known to be evil only by their effect in dimming the manifestation of Christ within. The rule of life, I find, must be sufficiently delicate to exclude those acts which bring the least blur over the spiritual eye. Heb. 5:14. If any act brings a veil of the thinnest gauze between me and the face of Christ I henceforth and forever give it a tremendous letting alone. As another indispensable to establishment in that perfect love which casts out all fear I have found the disposition to confess Christ in His uttermost salvation. As no man could long keep in his house sensitive guests of whom he was ashamed before his neighbors, so no man can long have the company of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the temple of his heart while ashamed of their presence or their purifying work. In this respect I follow no man's formula. The words which the Spirit of inspiration teaches in the Holy scriptures, though beclouded with misunderstandings and beslimed with fanaticism, are, after all, the most appropriate vehicle for the expression of the wonderful work of God in perfecting holiness in the human spirit, soul and body.
I testify that it is possible for believers to be so filled with the Holy Ghost that they can live many years on the earth conscious every day of a meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light, and of no shrinking back, because of a felt need of further inward cleansing, from an instant translation into the society of the holy angels and into the presence of the holy God. This was my daily experience since 1870. I have the Johannean evidence that my love is pure and unmixed -that is, perfected in the fact that I have boldness in view of the day of judgment. (1 John 4:17, 18, Dean Alford's Notes.) This joyful boldness is grounded on the assurance of a conformity to the image of the Son of God, and that I am, through the transfiguring power of the Spirit, like Him in purity, and that the Judge will not condemn facsimiles of Himself, "because, even as he is, so are we in this world."
Yet I am conscious of errors, ignorances, infirmities and defects, which, though consistent with perfect loyalty and love to God, need, and by faith receive, every moment, the merit of Christ's death. In other words, the ground of my standing before God is neither perfect rectitude in the past nor a faultless present service, but the divine mercy as administered through Jesus Christ. Hence I daily pray, "Forgive us our debts."
— from "A Brief Autobiography."
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