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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : THE INHERITANCE RESTORED By Milton Lorenzo Haney

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By Milton Lorenzo (M. L.) Haney
Third Edition, Published In 1897

Chapter 17


It is easy to state a single doctrine and make it appear plausible, but much more difficult to connect it with a system of doctrines and make them harmonize. Often a single thought is held up and seems beautiful, but when the attempt is made to harmonize it with other thoughts, its fallacy is apparent.

The late born dogma that we are wholly sanctified in the hour of conversion, has been heralded with confidence, as though its discoverers had found the "philosopher's stone." Its statements were received with gladness by those who held a deep aversion to being wholly sanctified, and such
persons have, in its advocacy, found rest from former convictions.

The prevalence of this sentiment among Methodists and Methodist preachers, is unaccountable; and its being allowed by church authorities, indicates the signs of the times. This furnishes the first and only doctrinal apostasy, worthy of note, in Methodism, from the beginning, and its prevalence should be mourned by every disciple of Wesley.

1. It presents the anomaly of men having the experience for years, without any knowledge of it. The heralds of this doctrine were years in discovering that they were wholly sanctified. Through all these years they had not doubted their conversion, but never dreamed they were wholly sanctified.

Those who have entered this glorious experience testify, every one of them, that it is a subject of consciousness. Nothing in the gospel is known by experience, if this is not. How could it be, that these Christians were thus left in darkness as to their own experience through all these years?

Those who have entered this holy state since their conversion, testify that they have been made to know its possession by the spirit of God. I Cor. 2:12; Heb. 10:14, 15.

If these persons were sanctified wholly in the hour of their conversion, why did the Holy Spirit so long delay to make it known? This absence of his testimony is ominous.

Some of the advocates of this error have had serious thoughts at this point, and hence the effort to prove that the Holy Spirit witnesses, only, to the fact of adoption. One error always paves the way for others.

2. This doctrine compels men to disbelieve the testimony of their own consciousness. What is plainer to every faithful child of God who has been truly converted and not subsequently sanctified, if he has been years in God's service, than the remaining corruptions of his own heart? Over these he has often been distressed. Against them he has put in the battle of years.

He has kept in the ascendancy in the main, but ofttimes it has been doubtful. If there is anything he knows, it is the fact that since his conversion, the corruptions of his heart have given him more trouble than all outside enemies whatsoever. Now, after these years of conscious battling with the carnal tides of his own breast, why come to convince him that these were all destroyed in conversion?

3. This doctrine contradicts the faith of the Christian world. Christians in all ages and of all classes, (save Count Zinzendorf and his followers,) have believed
and taught that we are not sanctified wholly, in regeneration. Is it possible the whole Christian world
should have been in error, through all these centuries, on so vital a point as this?

The truth is, if the scriptures had been silent on the subject, men could not help but know the falsity of this doctrine, from their own conscious experience. Real Christian experience is the same in all generations, and the regeneration of one man includes what is involved in the regeneration of any other man.

The carnal nature within one breast, is the same which has rankled in every other breast. Its existence is known, and its removal must be the subject of consciousness.

All Christians, Catholics or Greek or Protestant, who have been truly converted, and not subsequently sanctified--if time and light have been given to discover existing facts--have found in their own breasts remaining corruptions. Hence, if from no other grounds, the universality of the belief that we are first justified and afterwards sanctified.

4. It supposes that millions of enlightened men, under the gospel, have been wholly sanctified without seeking it, and at times when they did not believe it attainable.

This proposition must be true, as the mass of sinners, who have been converted in these two thousand years, were taught they could not be wholly sanctified, till near death or after it. Among the teachers of this new doctrine, there is not one who even thought of being sanctified at the time of his conversion.

If it were God's plan to completely sanctify in the hour we are justified,surely the Holy Spirit would call the attention of at least one man, in a thousand years, to that fact.

5. We object to this doctrine because it unchristianizes the whole Christian world. If it is true, all who are truly converted, are completely cleansed from "inbred sin," and in such the carnal mind is destroyed. Every professed Christian, therefore, who finds in his or her being, anything that is unholy, has either never been converted, or has now lost his justification. To make this statement is
to reveal its enormity.

This would imply, that in all these centuries, every man and woman of God, who has come before Him with unspeakable longings for heart purity, and with conscious and confessed remaining impurities, was either a godless sinner, or a poor, miserable backslider.

If this be true, what deceived persons were Wesley, Fletcher, Clark, Benson, Watson, Asbury, Coke, Carvosso, Bramwell,Whatcoat, Payson, Hamline, Upham, Fisk, Olin, Cookman, Janes, Palmer, Foster, Peck, Edwards, Hibbard, Levy, Steel, Inskip, McDonald, Taylor, Keene, and a host that no man can number, who, as converted men, have come to God in deep distress because of their heart impurities, and found relief in the application of the all cleansing blood of Christ.

These--of whom the world was never worthy--were all "in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity," if it be true, that when we are justified, we are, necessarily, wholly sanctified.

6. The adoption of this doctrine would compel honest men to either renounce their experience or falsify their convictions. There are multitudes who have a blessed experience of justifying grace, and know their past sins are all forgiven. In reading the scriptures and in prayer, they are, from year to year, deeply conscious of indwelling impurities, from which they long to be made free.

Shall these renounce their Christian experience and count themselves the children of the devil, or close their
eyes and declare that they have no indwelling impurities?
We should keep in mind, too, that the persons who are thus exercised, are not hangers on in the churches, nor of the careless throng who bear the Christian name, while they are full of worldly love and vanity.

They are the men and women who bear the burdens of the church; who pray and read the scriptures, and faithfully keep the commandments of God; always in their place in the house of God, on whom his ministers can rely for aid in their efforts to bring sinners to Christ.

We repeat the question. Shall these throw away their Christian experience, or falsify their convictions?

7. We object to this doctrine because it leads to a disregard of the order of the Holy Scripture, as to direct disobedience to the Holy Spirit.

In all the generations since the Scriptures were given to man, the most devout of every Christian body have been moved by the study of God's word, to see their need of heart purity, and to seek for the removal of heart corruptions.

The Holy Ghost has accompanied these devout ones in their
reading of the word, and impelled them to see and deplore their heart depravities; and has moved them to seek holiness. He has so brought the Scriptures, treating upon this subject, to bear upon them that in many instances they have not dared to defer submitting to them.

All Christian men have recognized the commands, promises and precepts of Scripture relating to entire sanctification as addressed to converted men, and not to the unconverted. But this teaching reverses that order, and would persuade men that what God commands, they have already done.
Thus, by deception, the soul is deprived of its inheritance, and led to disregard the commandments
of God.

An earnest sinner was deeply moved about the salvation of his soul. He had read the statement of Christ, that except he be converted, he could not enter into the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit applied the truth to his conscience, and thundered home "Ye must be born again." A wily teacher of religion came by and adroitly led him to see that he was already converted, and that to be "born again," simply meant a change in his views.

His tears were dried, his repentance was a failure, and
he no longer sought the great gospel change. What more effective measure could be used to prevent him from further seeking, than to convince him he had already found?

An intelligent Presbyterian lady of years, came to a Methodist camp-meeting--against the prejudice of a ifetime--to seek a holy heart. On the first invitation she knelt at the altar of prayer. A Methodist minister inquired what she was seeking, and she told him she wanted a clean heart. He asked her if she had been converted, and his question was answered in the affirmative. "O well!" said
he, "of course your heart must be clean if God has converted you. All you need now is to go on as
you are, and grow in grace."

She was rescued from the power of that delusion by one who heard it, and in the presence of her adviser, urged to obey the word of God by walking in the light which he had given. She remained upon her knees, made a thorough consecration for holiness, trusted Christ and was wholly sanctified.

It would require the centuries of eternity to unfold her loss, if the counsel of her adviser had not been counteracted and disobeyed. It is mockery to the weary, thirsty, longing souls of God's children who are struggling against inbred sin, thus to deceptively turn them from following their convictions in obedience to the word
of God, and thereby leave them to clank their chains.
8. We object to this doctrine because it deprives God's children of the state and blessedness of sanctification altogether.

1). It is generally accepted by those, only, who have a disrelish for the experience and for all who profess it. In very many instances, persons who advocate this doctrine manifest a sad, if not a bitter, disrelish for every word of testimony that is given relating to entire sanct-ification. If they have the experience why this displeasure? They manifest no objection to testimony about conversion.

When the books are opened, it will be seen that many have fled from their own convictions, and attempted to quiet a restless soul by this doctrinal subterfuge. Thus it is indicated, that the very object in adopting this theory, is to get rid of sanctification altogether. They usually cannot endure even to use the word. It seems impossible that we should thus disrelish our own happy experience.

(2). Such persons rarely, if ever, testify to being wholly sanctified. They often testify to having been converted. If conversion and entire sanctification are identical, why not, occasionally, testify to being entirely sanctified? They earnestly desire the conversion of sinners, and cannot think of withholding the light of their testimony from them.

If to be converted is to be wholly sanctified, why
keep the latter out of sight by saying nothing about it? When others testify to conversion, they always rejoice. Why not rejoice over testimony to entire sanctification?

(3). The specific work accomplished in entire sanctification, these brethren practically deny from
first to last. They speak and write about being saved from all sin, but when it is insisted that all uncleanness, or moral depravity, is washed away in Jesus' precious blood, they immediately begin to cavil about getting so holy you can't be tempted; so pure you can't sin; and to question how
sanctified parents could beget unholy children.

Hence, the advocates of this doctrine, are usually
found in sympathy with those who speak lightly of all who profess to be wholly sanctified. If they are wholly sanctified, why join with others in making derision of their own experience?

They are at home in all that pertains to the experience of the new birth; they are at sea as soon as any Christian describes the experience of holiness. This is so because they have passed the one experience, and have not entered the other. A theory so full of confusion, and against the experience of mankind, can not be of God.

9. We object to this theory, because it necessarily lowers the standard of the gospel of Christ. As we understand it, the gospel is a complete remedy for sin. Sins of omission or of commission; sin in nature or in conduct; sin inherited or acquired.

The effort of our brethren to elevate the standard of regeneration to complete sanctification, always results in lowering complete sanctification to the standard of regeneration. This, at once and forever, leaves one branch of the sin question wholly unprovided for.

Their standard of the new birth when clearly analyzed, includes nothing not embraced in the new birth as taught by others. That provides, as we all agree, for the complete removal of all the guilt and pollution consequent upon actual sin, and an imparted power to control depraved and downward tendencies.

But what about the removal of those tendencies? We complain not of our brethren for putting regeneration too high, but we must forever protest against a system of teaching which necessitates God's child to go halting to the grave, clanking the chains of inbred sin; against teaching, which
allures its subject into the vain belief that he is now wholly sanctified, and yet leaves him to endlessly struggle against unsanctified affections within, we must now and forever demur.

 2012/8/4 3:42

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