This volume will undoubtedly fall into the hands of many who once really possessed Perfect Love, but have gradually leaked out and now continue the external profession while the internal possession, (“sanctification is mostly an inside affair”) is gone. Their logic amounts to this: “I once had the blessing, therefore I now have it.” They think Jesus is in their hearts because He was there. The theory of the doctrine of holiness remains in their heads correct enough, but the sweetness has departed from their lives. We accuse nominal Christians of mere intellectual assent to the teaching of Christ without a corresponding consciously felt heart experience and fail to see this applies to many professors of holiness. They have heard the doctrine of holiness, approve it, defend it, but its fire and power and energy and unction have never struck their lives. Intellectual holiness! Powerless holiness! Fireless holiness! Backboneless holiness! Man pleasing, compromising holiness! Their name is Legion. God deliver!This class, like the parents of Jesus in the temple lost Jesus out of their company, have lost Jesus out of their lives [Study Luke 2:42-45] and are not fully aware of it. Do not realize it. As He was lost out of the company of His parents and they knew it not and journeyed three days supposing Him to be in their midst, so we have met many holiness professors, who have lost Him from their hearts and have journeyed days and weeks, and months, and years, and even down to life’s sun-setting, supposing Him in the midst — Jesus lost inwardly while profession kept up outwardly!
He is surely gone if unction is gone, if there are no fresh touches of the Spirit sought and obtained; if the soul is in a rut; if the same old stereotyped prayer, prayed for the last decade, is prayed, without warmth, energy, earnestness, unction, or power to touch God or man, if no answers to prayer are received — “not getting answers to prayer is failing God” — if a disrelish for communion with God and intercessory prayer, is felt; if joy is gone in His service; if love for God and man is gone, [there is no such thing as love for God without love for man] if sweetness of temper has departed; if love for the Bible has departed; if spiritually blind; if out of touch with God; if taken up with that which is not of God; if worry about past, present, or future, has come in the heart; if not in harmony with the Providences of God; if snappy; if cross; if any unholy temper is indulged in; if you are given to murmuring, complaining, faultfinding; if sour or censorious; if you are a busy body in other men’s affairs and fail to study to be quiet and mind your own business; if destitute of the fruits of the spirit in personal life — i. e. of love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, longsuffering, temperance (in eating, drinking, dress, household, equipage), if you discover after your profession of entire sanctification, things in your life inconsistent with Perfect Love and you are not willing to acknowledge God’s revelation, humble yourself, confess and seek the efficacy of the blood; if you can’t easily, and gladly pray for your enemies; if you wont forgive; if you hold up old scores; if you can and wont pay your debts; if you have ill-will, or hatred or malice, or evil-speaking; if you are stubborn and self-willed and will have your way or die; if you are unwilling to confess error; if you are fruitless — “bear much fruit and so shall ye be my disciples” — if you never lead souls to pardon or sanctification or edification or blessing by your life and testimony and inspire, help and build them up; if you rob God of tithes and offerings; if so radical you are not tender; if you never win souls for Jesus; if you don’t vote straight; if you have no confidence in the work of God done under other methods than yours; if prejudiced against those who do not belong to your sect; if you have a pick at anybody and continually nag at them, if you complain at your lot; if you are discontented; if you are content with present attainments and feel you are “it,” a paragon saint and wisdom will die with you; if you are proud of attainments, wealth, intellect, gifts, family, adornment, possessions, sermons; if you are unwilling to say, “I was mistaken” when you were mistaken; if you are surly; if you pout; if you snub people; if you chastise the children in a fit of anger; if you “just can’t stand children”; if you have respect of persons (ye commit sin) ; if your happiness is centered in creatures, loved ones, possessions, heirlooms, etc., rather than in God; if you are jealous; if you have retaliatory anger — righteous anger does not retaliate] ; if you wince when God puts the knife in your Isaac, if incontinent; if you lack self control and are excessive in the use of any faculty; if not interested in missions, home and foreign. Reader examine yourself by the foregoing sure evidences of a life that has broken with God.
A friend sent the following alphabetical list of Old Man Characteristics. Examine yourself by them and see if you are a “mistaken professor.”
The Old Man is:
Adulterous, anxious, avaricious, argumentative; he gets angry, is bad, boorish, blatant, a backbiter, blind to God, blasphemous, bigoted and narrow regarding with condemnation all who are not in his own circle; he has the only “Simon pure” work and fights all others. He is boastful, bitter, bargain loving; corrupt in speech, curt, critical, conscience seared, clamorous, cringing, cross, comfort loving, cold, curious, cowardly, covetous, contentious for his own way, will and views; crafty, changeable, conceited, compromising. Deceitful, disobedient to God, parents and rightful authority, despairing, given to discouragement, dishonest (does not pay debts), disbelieving, disagreeable, deceitful, discontented, doggish, depreciative of others, disrespectful, degenerate, dogmatic. Envious, “eyes full of adultery”, eye servant, extreme, given to exaggeration, extortionate, effeminate, enemy of God and His truth. Formal, fault-finding, frivolous, false, fighty, furious, fierce, fashion-loving, fretful, flattering, fawning, foolish, faint-hearted, fanatical, exalts faults instead of virtues. Gain-saying, giddy, gossipy, gluttonous, greedy, gain-loving, grudging, gloats over others’ failures. Hateful, hater of good, hasty, harsh, high-minded, high-handed, heady, heartless, hard, hypocritical, haughty, heretical, hobby-rider. Impatient, implacable, impetuous, injurious, indifferent to righteousness, holiness, others welfare and the truth; indecent, impolite, idolatrous, inhospitable, ignorant of God, inconsistent, irritable, indolent, irreverent, impenitent, imperious, immodest. Jealous, jesting, judging. Lying, lazy, lecherous, loud, legal, lover of preeminence. Mean, murmuring, murderous (hate is murder), malicious, gets miffed, miserable, money loving, miserly, man-pleasing, moody, morose, man-fearing. Nurses wrongs and troubles; nagging, niggardly, news-loving and telling, nasty, negligent. Opinionated, glories in organizations (unduly). Peevish, proud, pedantic, provoking, provoked, prying (into others affairs), partial, pleasure-loving, prejudiced, a breaker of promises, loves prominence and preeminence. He gets the pouts, praises self and parades his own performances, has party spirit, (unduly) passionate, persecuting. Quick tempered. Reviles, rails, reveling, resentful, restless, raspy, respecter of persons, rash, reckons up evil, rebellious, reprobate in mind. Shiftless, slovenly, shoddy, sly, selfish, sullen, suspicious, self-righteous, self-sufficient, self exalting, sarcastic, stirrer up of strife, stingy, self assertive, self justifying, self pitying, stubborn, sectarian, given to secrecy, spares in stead of judging self, sensitive (over) [there is a proper sensitiveness in sanctification which is a sense of woundedness at injustice, wrong, unfairness, etc., but which has no ‘get back at you’ element in it. — Author.] Self satisfied, ‘swift to speak, slow to hear, slanderous. Talebearing, thinks too highly of himself, thrusts. Unbelieving (nothing can be done) unkind, unholy, unpleasant, unfair, untidy, unreasonable, unyielding (when shown to be wrong), unforgiving, unteachable, unhappy, underhanded, vain, vacillating, variable. He worries, is wretched, wasteful, whining, wrathful (thinks it righteous), without peace, without natural affection.”
The only way out of any of these characteristics of the Old Man is through full surrender to and faith in the Lord Jesus. — P. R. Nugent