Bible Holiness
Revival Fire
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THE BIBLE HOLINESS MOVEMENT
"IS NOT MY WORD LIKE AS FIRE? SAITH THE LORD"
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The Bible Holiness Movement
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Rev. JOHN FLETCHER
"God is love." Let us be like "our Father who is in
heaven." Satan is uncharitableness and variance: detest we his likeness, and let not the faithful and true Witness be obliged to say to us one day, "ye are of your father the devil, whose works ye do," when you keep up divisions. "The devil," says Archbishop Leighton, "being an apostate spirit, revolted and separated from God, doth naturally project and work division." This was his first exploit, and is still his grand design and business in the world. He first divided our first parents from God, and the next we read of in their first child, was enmity against his brother. The tempter wounded truth, in order to destroy love, therefore he is justly called by our Saviour "a liar, and a murderer from the beginning." He murdered our first parents by lying, and made them murderers by drawing them into his uncharitableness. God forbid that we should any longer do the work of the father of lies and murders!
The great apostle of modern infidels, Mr. Voltaire, has, it is supposed, caused myriads of men to be ashamed of their baptism, and to renounce the profession of Christianity. His profane witticisms have slain their thousands; but the too cogent argument, which he draws from our divisions, has destroyed its myriads. "The shameful quarrels of divided Christians have done more mischief under religious pretences, made more bad blood, and shed more human blood, than all the political contentions which have laid waste France and Germany under pretence of maintaining the balance of Europe." And shall we still make good his argument by our ridiculous quarrels? Shall we help him to make the world believe that the Gospel is an apple of discord thrown among men, to make them dispute with an acrimony and an obstinacy which have few precedents among men of the most corrupt and detestable religions in the world? Shall we continue to point the dagger with which that keen author stabs Christianity? Shall we finish him with new nails to crucify Christ afresh in the sight of all Europe; or shall we continue to clinch those with which he has already done the direful deed? How will he triumph if he hears that the men who distinguish themselves by their zeal for the Gospel in England, maintain an unabated contest about the doctrines of grace and justice?
Ye are no strangers to the craft and rage of that powerful adversary, 0 ye pious Calvinists and godly Arminians! For "ye wrestle not with flesh and blood only, but with the principalities and powers" of the kingdom of darkness! Cease then, cease to spend in wrestling one against another, the precious talents of time, strength, and wisdom, with which the Lord has entrusted you, to resist your infernal antagonist.
Cannot Christ's blood, "by which you are brought nigh to God," bring you nigh to each other? Does it not "speak better things than the blood of Abel?" kinder things than your mutal complaints? Does it not whisper peace, mercy, gentleness, and joy? Behold the bleeding Lamb of God, and become gentle, merciful, and loving! See the antitype of the brazen serpent! He hangs on high and says, "When I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto me:" and in me they shall centre as the solar beams centre in the sun. And will ye reply,
"We will not be obedient to thy drawings: we will not be concentrated in thee.
"Come to the banqueting house," the temple of peace where "the Lord's banner over you will be love," and his mercy "will comfort you on every side." "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies; fulfill ye the joy" of all who wish Sion's prosperity: "be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind, submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. He is my record how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ, in whom there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither bond nor free," "but Christ is all in all. My heart is enlarged: for a recompense in the same, be ye also enlarged," and grant me my humble, perhaps my dying request: reject not my plea for peace. If it be not strong, it is earnest: for (considering my bodily weakness) I write it at the hazard of my life.
But why should I drop a hint about so insignificant a life, when I can move you to accept of terms of reconcilation by the life and death, by the resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ? I beseech you, "put on, as the (Protestant) elect of God, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another; even as Christ loved and forgave you, so also do ye." Instead of absurdly charging one another with heresy, embrace one another, and triumph together in Christ. "Come up out of the wilderness" of idle controversy, "leaning upon each other as brethren, holy and beloved:" and with your joint forces attack your common enemies, Pharisaism, Antinomianism, and infidelity.
Thus united, how happy are ye among yourselves! How formidable to your enemies! The men of the world are astonished, and say, "Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?" Surely it is a Church formed upon the model of the primitive Church. These people are Christians indeed. See how they "provoke one another to love and to good works!"
Such will be the fruit of your reconciliation. When Pharisaism and Antinomianism shall be destroyed, the Church will be "sanctified, cleansed, and ready to be presented to Christ—a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing." Then shall we sing with truth, what we sing without propriety:
"Love, like death, has all destroy'd, Render'd all distinctions void: Names, and sects, and parties fall, Thou, 0 Christ, art all in all."
"Be at peace among yourselves," or sing at your love-feasts:
Love has not our pride destroy 'd,
Render'd our distinctions void;
Names, and sects, and parties rise,
Peace retires, and mounts the skies.
Reconciliation  Article from "Hallelujah!"