The Nature Of True Practical Holiness (2)

He might have had it; that He went about doing good; that He was separate from worldly people; that He continued instant in prayer; that He would not let even His nearest relations stand in His way when God's work was to be done. These things a holy man will try to remember. By them he will endeavour to shape his course in life. He will lay to heart the saying of John: 'He that saith he abideth in [Christ] ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked' (1Jo_2:6), and the saying of Peter, that 'Christ ... suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow His steps' (1Pe_2:21). Happy is he who has learned to make Christ his 'all', both for salvation and example! Much time would be saved, and much sin prevented, if men would oftener ask themselves the question: 'What would Christ have said and done, if He were in my place?"

d. A holy man will follow after meekness, longsuffering, gentleness, patience, kind tempers, government of his tongue. He will bear much, forbear much, overlook much and be slow to talk of standing on his rights. We see a bright example of this in the behaviour of David when Shimei cursed him, and of Moses when Aaron and Miriam spake against him (2Sa_16:10; Num_12:3).

e. A holy man will follow after temperance and self-denial. He will labour to mortify the desires of his body, to crucify his flesh with his affections and lusts, to curb his passions, to restrain his carnal inclinations, lest at any time they break loose. Oh, what a word is that of the Lord Jesus to the apostles: 'Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life' (Luk_21:34), and that of the apostle Paul: 'I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway' (1Co_9:27).

f. A holy man will follow after charity and brotherly kindness. He will endeavour to observe the golden rule of doing as he would have men do to him, and speaking as he would have men speak to him. He will be full of affection towards his brethren, towards their bodies, their property, their characters, their feelings, their souls. 'He that loveth another,' says Paul, 'hath fulfilled the law' (Rom_13:8). He will abhor all lying, slandering, backbiting, cheating, dishonesty and unfair dealing, even in the least things. The shekel and cubit of the sanctuary were larger than those in common use. He will strive to adorn his religion by all his outward demeanour, and to make it lovely and beautiful in the eyes of all around him. Alas, what condemning words are the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, (1Co_13:1-13), and the sermon on the mount, when laid alongside the conduct of many professing Christians!