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OBJECTION XV.

TOO HIGH A STANDARD.


Some object that entire sanctification is too high a standard to be reached.

Has God said so? On the contrary has he not commanded us to be holy? Has he not warned us of the danger of unholiness? Has He not given us examples of holy men?

God does not command impossibilities unless he gives strength to accomplish impossibilities. Man unaided can never reach this standard, but God has promised to guide us, to lead us, to help us, to carry us, and to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. He is able, He is willing, He does as He promises. Man's extremity is God's opportunity.

But after all, you object the thing is impossible; that in this world a man cannot live without sin. Has God said so? If man were left to himself it might be admitted; but cannot God empower him to be free from sin? Reflect: Cannot you, by the grace of God, live one minute without sin? If a minute, can you not an hour? If an hour, a day? If a day, a year? You overlook the power of the grace of God. We are weak, and cannot too much distrust ourselves; but 'through Christ strengthening' us, we are 'able to do all things.' Shall we limit the 'Holy One of Israel?' Shall we plead in extenuation of our sins, our weaknesses, our inability, when Christ stands ready, waiting to enter the list for us? O, but you say, My difficulty is not to live without sin, so much as it is to be without sin. If I could but be once set on my feet I might go, but I cannot get on my feet. 'O, wretched man that I am!' Have you ever heard of one whose name is Jesus? You may not be able to raise yourself, but have you tried Him? Cannot He save? His name is Jesus, Saviour. Surely He has power, power now, power to save even you and me, and every man that will come unto Him, power 'to save unto the uttermost.' Dare you disbelieve it, you who have felt its power? You whom He saved once from a darkness so great, from a pit so deep? Dare you doubt? Much more, dare you tell Him you doubt?

As the man of Pethor said of God's ancient people, 'There is no enchantment against Jacob; neither is there any divination against Israel;' so may we say of this doctrine, there is no enchantment against it. Why are objections sought against it? Is it not a beautiful and glorious truth? Why do we contend against it? Behold its array of proof! See how God has 'planted a hedge about it,' and 'fenced it in on every side!' Behold how feeble its gainsayers; how powerless its reprovers! And in passing from the chapter, let the reader consider well the reasons of his opposition. Why do you oppose it? Are you sure it is because you are convinced it is an error? or have you not a less pardonable reason? May you not, at least, be only apologizing for your sins — pleading for concealed garments, or hidden wedges of gold? Is it not out of too great kindness for the inhabitants of the land, whom you are not willing to put to the sword? O that you may be led to right conclusions, and know and enjoy all that is your privilege to realize of grace here, and finally come to the enjoyment of eternal glory hereafter! Amen." — Foster's Christian Purity, Chapter VI.