HOLINESS IDENTIFIED WITH THE PROMOTION OF THE GENERAL WORK OF GOD.
"THE more I converse with the believers in Cornwall, the more I am convinced that they have sustained great loss for want of hearing the doctrine of Christian perfection clearly and strongly enforced. I see, wherever this is not done, the believers grow dead and cold. Nor can this be prevented but by keeping up in them an hourly expectation of being perfected in love," — Vol. iv. p. 187.
"Where Christian perfection is not strongly and explicitly preached, there is seldom any remarkable blessing from God; and consequently little addition to the society, and little life in the members of it. Therefore if Jacob Rowell is grown faint, and says but little about it, do you supply his lack of service. Speak and spare not. Let not regard for any man induce you to betray the truth of God. Till you press the believers to expect full salvation now, you must not look for any revival." — Vol. vi. p. 721.
"I found the plain reason why the work of God had gained no ground in this [Launceston] circuit in all the year. The preachers had given up the Methodist testimony. Either they did not speak of perfection at all (the peculiar doctrine committed to our trust), or they spoke of it only in GENERAL TERMS, without urging the believers to go on unto perfection, and to expect it every moment. And wherever this is not done the work of God does not prosper." — Vol. iv. p. 59.
"Here began that glorious work of sanctification which had been nearly at a stand for twenty years. But from time to time it spread; and wherever the work of sanctification increased, the whole work of God increased in all its branches." — Vol. vii. p. 376.
"I found the work of God swiftly increasing here (London). The congregations, in every place, were larger than they had been for several years. Many were from day to day convinced of sin. Many found peace with God. Many backsliders were healed, yea, filled with joy unspeakable. And many believers entered into such a rest, as it had not before entered into their hearts to conceive," — Journal, August, 1761.
"Sunday, 11. - I observed God is reviving his work in Kingswood: The society, which had much decreased, being now increased again to near three hundred members; many of whom are now athirst for full redemption, which for some years they had almost forgot." — Journal, October, 1761.
"Monday, 30, and the two following days, I examined the society at Bristol, and was surprised to find fifty members fewer than I left in it last October. One reason is, Christian perfection has been little insisted on; and wherever this is not done, be the preachers ever so eloquent, there is little increase, either in the number or the grace of the hearers." — Journal, October, 1765.
To Rev. Peard Dickensen, 1767: —
"As the work of God increases in so many parts both of England and Ireland, it would be strange if there were no increase of it in London; especially while all the preachers are of one mind, and speak the same thing. Only do not forget strongly and explicitly to urge the believers to "go on to perfection." When this is constantly and earnestly done, the word is always clothed with power." - Works, vol. vii. p. 101.
"Here (at Whitby), I found a lively society indeed: The chief reason of their liveliness was this: — Those who were renewed in love (about forty in number), continuing fervent in spirit, and zealous for God, quickened the rest, and were a blessing to all around them." — Journal, June, 1772.
To Rev. John Mason, 1774: —
"It is nothing strange that those who love the world should not love to continue with us. Our road is too straight.
'Down the stream of nature driven,
They seek a broader path to heaven.'
However, let us keep in the good old way; and we know it will bring us peace at the last.
"If you press all the believers to go on to perfection, and to expect deliverance from sin every moment, they will grow in grace. But if ever they lose that expectation, they will grow flat and cold." — Works, vol. vii. p. 96.
"I preached at Bradford, where the people are all alive. Many here have lately experienced the great salvation, and their zeal has been a general blessing. Indeed, this I always observe, — wherever a work of sanctification breaks out, the whole work of God prospers. Some are convinced of sin, others justified, and all stirred up to greater earnestness for salvation." — Journal, Aug., 1775.
"I went to Otley, where the Word of God has free course, and brings forth much fruit. This is chiefly owing to the spirit and behavior of those whom God has perfected in love. Their zeal stirs up many; and their steady and uniform conversation has a language almost irresistible." — Journal, April, 1776.
"I have not lately found so lively a work in any part of England as here at Darlington. The society is constantly increasing, and seems to be all on fire for God. There is nothing among them but humble, simple love; no dispute, no jar of any kind. They exactly answer the description that David Brainerd gives of his Indian congregation. I particularly desired both the preachers and leaders to have an especial care over them, and, if possible, to prevent either the devil or his agents from poisoning their simplicity. Many of them already know, that 'the blood of Jesus Christ' 'hath cleansed them from all sin.'" — Journal, May, 1777.
"When Mr. Brackenbury preached the old Methodist doctrine, one of them said, 'You must not preach such doctrine here. The doctrine of perfection is not calculated for the meridian of Edinburgh.' Waiving, then, all other hindrances, is it any wonder that the work of God has not prospered here?" — Journal, 1779, vol. iv. p. 510.
" I crossed over to Lynn, which has been, of a long season, a cold and comfortless place. But the scene is now entirely changed. Two young, zealous, active preachers, strongly urging the people to expect a full and present salvation, have enlivened both the society and the congregation." — Journal, Oct., 1785.
To Rev. John Ogilvie, 1785: —
"As long as you are yourself earnestly aspiring after a full deliverance from all sin, and a renewal in the whole image of God, God will prosper you in your labor; especially if you constantly, and strongly exhort all believers to expect full sanctification now, by simple faith. And never be weary of well-doing: in due time you shall reap if you faint not!" — Works, vol. vii. p. 147.
To Rev. John Baxendale, 1785: —
"You send me an agreeable account of the work of God in and near Wigan. Indeed, His work will flourish in every place where full sanctification is clearly and strongly preached." — Works, vol. vii. p. 172.
To Rev. Freeborn Garretson, 1785: —
"Let none of them rest in being half Christians. Whatever they do, let them do it with all their might; and it will be well, as soon as any of them find peace with God, to exhort them to 'go on to perfection.' The more explicitly and strongly you press all believers to aspire after full sanctification, as attainable now by simple faith, the more the whole work of God will prosper." — Works, vol. vii. p. 172.
"We had a love-feast in the evening (at St. Margaret's), at which many artlessly testified what God had done for their souls. I have not for many years known this society in so prosperous a condition. This is undoubtedly owing, first, to the exact discipline which has for some time been observed among them, and next, to the strongly and continually exhorting the believers to 'go on unto perfection.' " -Journal, 1786, vol. iv. p. 632.
Rev. L. Tyerman, author of "Life and Times of Wesley," says, in a letter to E. C. Estes, Esq.: "All who are acquainted with Methodist history, are well aware that Methodism has always prospered most when the doctrine of entire sanctification has been most popular."