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A Criticism of Dr. James Mudge's "Growth in Holiness Toward Perfection"
IX.

Cleansing Means Empowering.


ANOTHER evil effect of letting the dust gather on his dictionary is found in his invention of an unheard-of definition of the word "cleansing." He says: "We would suggest that 'empowering' is a much better term to use, and one less liable to mislead." He says it translates into modern thought the Jewish meaning of cleansing. Let us read the new definition or translation in a few passages: "The blood of Jesus Christ empowers us from all sin;" "Let us empower ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit;" "Empower your hands, ye sinners;" "That he might sanctify and empower it [the Church] with the washing of water;" "Empower first that which is within the cup;" "Heal the sick, empower lepers;" "Immediately his leprosy was empowered." Having denied that there was "something brought into or added to man's nature at the fall of Adam which divine grace can instantaneously remove," and having said that depravity "is a disarrangement, that is all — a change in the relative order of strength," he was forced to invent this absurd definition. But he should have gone on and read some new meaning into "destroy," that the body of sin might be destroyed; into "crucify," that the old man is crucified; into "mortify" or kill, when applied to uncleanness and covetousness ; and into "circumcise" in its spiritual meaning, in putting off (and laying aside) "the body of the flesh" by the circumcision of [procured by] Christ." You see that this opens a large field for a writer's powers of invention.