Importance Of Practical Holiness (9)

You may say, it was never meant that all Christians should be holy and that holiness, such as I have described, is only for great saints, and people of uncommon gifts. I answer, 'I cannot see that in Scripture. I read that every man who hath hope in Christ purifieth himself' (1Jo_3:3). 'Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.'

You may say, it is impossible to be so holy and to do our duty in this life at the same time: the thing cannot be done. I answer, 'You are mistaken.' It can be done. With Christ on your side nothing is impossible. It has been done by many. David and Obadiah and Daniel and the servants of Nero's household are all examples that go to prove it.

You may say, if you were so holy you would be unlike other people. I answer, 'I know it well. It is just what you ought to be. Christ's true servants always were unlike the world around them - a separate nation, a peculiar people, and you must be so too, if you would be saved!'

You may say, at this rate very few will be saved. I answer, 'I know it. It is precisely what we are told in the sermon on the mount.' The Lord Jesus said so eighteen hundred years ago. 'Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it' (Mat_7:14). Few will be saved, because few will take the trouble to seek salvation. Men will not deny themselves the pleasures of sin and their own way for a little season. They turn their backs on an 'inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away'. 'Ye will not come to Me,' says Jesus, 'that ye might have life' (Joh_5:40).

You may say, these are hard sayings; the way is very narrow. I answer, 'I know it. So says the sermon on the mount.' The Lord Jesus said so eighteen hundred years ago. He always said that men must take up the cross daily, and that they must be ready to cut off hand or foot, if they would be His disciples. It is in religion as it is in other things, there are no gains without pains. That which costs nothing is worth nothing.