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INTRODUCTION

by

John S. M'Geary


Another book on the subject of entire sanctification? Yes; and doubtless there will be many others. It will be many days before the last word shall have been written on this important subject.


The theme of the book is the "Central Idea of Christianity." Deliverance from sin and sinfulness is the very heart of the gospel message. It was the burden of prophetic message under the old dispensation; it was the keynote in the message of the heavenly visitors who announced the coming of the Lord; it was the "chief cornerstone" of apostolic building as they laid the foundations of the Christian Church; and it is still the theme which, above all others, when presented in the Spirit, is attended with the inspiration and power of the Holy Ghost, and is effective in the salvation of men.

A subject of such vast scope and importance, sustaining such a vital relation to the gospel of Christ and the welfare of his Church, cannot be exhausted. Hence there is room for another book.

This book covers ground peculiarly its own. Most books written on this subject deal more or less with controversial questions. A glance over the outline as given in the table of contents will show that the experimental and practical phases of the subject are here emphasized rather than the doctrinal or controversial. Surely there is need of this. Volumes have been written to prove that entire sanctification is a second work of grace. So of other doctrinal phases of the subject. But the great demand is that men shall he clearly shown their need of the experience by exhibiting the manifestations of carnality — the characteristics of an unsanctified heart — and then that they be shown how they may attain and retain the experience of cleansing.

These are the lines followed by the author. In the course of his experience as pastor and evangelist he has met many souls who have been troubled by erroneous conceptions of the experience; others who have been deluded into believing that they had the experience when they had It not; others again who were in confusion as to the steps to be taken in order to obtain the experience. He has undertaken, so to speak, to blaze a track through the wilderness of false theories, erroneous teachings and wrong conceptions, a track which honest seekers after purity of heart may follow, and, in following, find their way to the Canaan of perfect love, which, having reached, they may hold against all their foes. Opinions will, of course, differ as to how well he has succeeded.

The writer of this Introduction has been acquainted with the author almost from the time of his conversion. He knows him as a man of pronounced Individuality. This individuality naturally is apparent in the volume before us. The book, however, is not a mere transcript of personal experience; it deals with fundamental principles, and the honest seeker after a clean heart who ponders its teachings and follows them will, it is believed, attain to the experience he seeks.

Some of the author's statements may, at first glance, appear unduly strong, some of the tests applied unduly severe. But do not set these aside hastily. Remember that the Church Is flooded with superficial teachings on these very subjects, and that thorough, and even heroic, measures are necessary to rouse men from the moral lethargy into which the depravity of their own hearts and these superficial teachings have lulled them. Superficial or spurious holiness is perhaps the greatest hindrance to the promotion of "true holiness" In our time. Is there not need that some one on this subject lay "judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet"? We believe our brother has sought only to do this. He who seeks counsel of this book will be led into no shallow or superficial experience.

JOHN S. M'GEARY. Titusille, Pa.