Phoebe Palmer



I.



HOLINESS.


Dost thou turn away with half-averted eye, yielding to an impression indefinitely formed, that this, for the present, is a subject that does not demand special attention? Let us for a few moments examine the foundation on which this impression rests, and know whether it is warranted. We will take the word of God for our textbook, and not, "What does my neighbour, or what does my Christian friend, think of the
doctrine of holiness?" No; for thereby we should be in danger of being influenced by the traditions of men. To the law and to the testimony, and not to the experience or practice of this or that professor, however high in experience or station. What does God say to me on this subject? What does He NOW require of me in relation to it? And how should these requirements affect my present conduct? And then let us firmly purpose, in the strength of the Lord Jehovah, that every future effort shall be correspondingly directed.

Let us take a declaration from the word of God — a declaration which, at a glance, covers the ground we would occupy, involving requirements weighty and far-reaching as eternity. “Follow peace with all men, and
holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Had attention been called to this article by the words, "To one who intends to seek God, or to make sure work for Heaven," your heart would probably at once, as your eye met the article, have said, "Why, that is something for me." Then you need not be assured that the attainment of the end is utterly impossible without the use of the means. Thus you at once come in possession of the knowledge that it is absolutely necessary that you should be holy, if you would see God.

But perhaps you may say, "I am convinced that holiness is necessary, and I intend to have it before I am called into the presence of God." Ah! hear His voice saying unto thee, "Watch: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." Think of the many, both of the prepared and the unprepared, who have been called without a moment's warning to meet God.

Scores will be in the eternal world before the return of this day next week, who expect it as little as yourself; and the voice still continues to say, "What I say unto you I say unto
all, Watch."

Perhaps you are saying, "I would be holy; I would not leave the attainment of it for any future period, not one day; no, not one hour would I delay; but I cannot get my eye distinctly fixed on the object. At times I get a glimpse, but mainly it seems to stand as an attainment quite beyond my reach; and too often do I find myself giving way to the persuasion that it cannot be well apprehended, except by those more deeply experienced in the things of God." Let me assure you, dear friend, that as surely as you need holiness
now, so surely it is for you now. The provisions of the Gospel are all suited to the exigencies of the present time. Are you commanded to be ready for the coming of your Lord now? Then holiness is a blessing which it is now your privilege and also your duty to enjoy.

We will now endeavor, as premised, to answer three important questions. First, What is implied in Gospel holiness or sanctification? Second, How may we enter upon the enjoyment of a state of holiness? Third, What will be the advantages to ourselves and others of living in possession of it?