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Much of the opposition to the doctrine of entire sanctification would be removed if the opposers would get a right understanding of the intelligent claims of its adherents. Quite often the strongest opposition comes from those who have obtained their ideas from the strong and unwise statements of those who profess to have attained the experience or from others who for one reason or another are prejudiced against it.

When the early Methodists were undergoing severe criticism and persecution for their views an incident occurred which Mr. Wesley describes as follows:

I think it was in the latter end of the year 1740, that I had a conversation with Dr. Gibson, then bishop of London, at Whitehall. He asked me what I meant by perfection. I told him without any disguise or reserve. When I ceased speaking, he said, "Mr. Wesley, if this be all you mean, publish it to all the world. If anyone then can confute what you say, he may have free leave." I answered, "My lord, I will;" and accordingly wrote and published the sermon on Christian perfection.

Negatively, holiness or entire sanctification (in the sense in which we shall use the terms) is the absence of all sin, both in fact and in principle; positively, it is the presence of all the graces of the Spirit, "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance," (Gal. 5:22-23) unmixed with any carnal or contrary affection. The holy soul is free from all sin (Rom. 6:22) and "filled with all the fullness of God." (Eph. 3:l9).

I will now proceed to give from widely different sources definitions of holiness or entire sanctification, let the reader note the perfect harmony that exists.

Wesley defines the experience thus: "What is Christian perfection? The loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. This implies that no wrong temper, none contrary to love, remains in the soul, and that all the thoughts, words, and actions, are governed by pure love."

John Fletcher says: "It is the pure love of God and man shed abroad in a faithful believer's heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him, to cleanse him, and to keep him clean, from all the filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and to enable him to 'fulfill the law of Christ,' according to the talents he is intrusted with, and the circumstances in which he is placed in this world."

Adam Clarke says: "What, then, is this complete sanctification? It is the cleansing of the blood, that has not been cleansed; it is washing the soul of a true believer from the remains of sin."

From Watson's Theological Institutes: "By which can only be meant our complete deliverance from all spiritual pollution, all inward depravation of the heart, as well as that which, expressing itself outwardly by the indulgence of the senses, is called 'filthiness of the flesh.' "

Bishop Foster says of the person entirely sanctified, that he is in "a state in which he will be entirely free from sin, properly so called, both inward and outward. The process of this work is in this order: beginning with pardon by which one aspect of sin, that is actual guilt, is wholly removed, and proceeding in regeneration, by which another kind of sin, that is depravity, is in part removed, terminating with entire sanctification, by which the remainder of the second kind, or depravity, is entirely removed."

Jesse T. Peck in Central Idea: "In the merely justified state we are not entirely pure ... But in the work of entire sanctification, these impurities are all washed away, so that we are wholly saved from sin, from its inward pollution."

Bishop Simpson says: "Christian Perfection is a term used by Methodists to denote a state of grace implying purity of heart, or a heart cleansed from all sin ... Sanctification is that act of the Holy Ghost whereby the justified man is made holy."

Rev. Wm. McDonald says: "It is the removal from our moral natures, through faith in Christ. all sinful desires and tempers, all pride, anger, envy, unbelief, and love of the world; and the possession in these purified natures of the unmixed graces of faith, humility, resignation, patience, meekness, self-denial, and love."

Watson's Biblical and Theological Dictionary: "Sanctification, that work of God's grace by which we are renewed after the image of God, set apart for his service, and enabled to die unto sin and live unto righteousness. Sanctification is either of nature, whereby we are renewed after the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:19) or of practice, whereby we die unto sin, have its power destroyed in us, cease from the love and practice of it, hate it as abominable, and live unto righteousness, loving and studying good works."

Geo. Peck in Christian Perfection: "Then sanctification, in its earliest stages, implies the subjugation of the body of sin; and complete sanctification implies its entire destruction."

Definitions agreeing with these might be multiplied indefinitely, but since they would be only a repetition of the substance of the foregoing we will give no more but proceed to search for other reasons why people so strenuously oppose the doctrine.