The Second Crisis in Christian Experience – By Christian Ruth

Chapter 20

Sanctified People Shot

There are many sanctified people who have need of being shot. This fact is gathered from the oil fields, or gas belt. After a well has been flowing for a good while it often happens that the pressure becomes weak, and the flow decreases, until the inexperienced might conclude that the supply had become exhausted. But they who understand such matters will proceed to drop a fresh stick of dynamite down into the depth of the well, and there discharge it; this at once opens the fissures and channel-ways, and the oil will spurt into the air with a much increased pressure and volume, so that this particular well may be said to be a regular gusher; this process is termed “shooting the well,” and those familiar with the procedure will say, “That well has been shot.” It is exactly in this sense we mean to say that there are a great many sanctified people all over this country who have need of being shot. When first they entered the experience they struck a gusher, and the flow was so abundant — the pressure so strong — their new-found joy and gladsome testimony spouted in sufficient volume to attract the attention of the community at large; and while some of the neighbors became envious and complained, others said they had struck it rich, and still others owning farms nearby concluded they might be able to drill into the same “pocket,” and so went to digging. But after flowing freely for a time, they have slackened their zeal, have lost much of their intensity and unction, and the exuberance and glow of testimony have subsided. While they may yet have the well and maintain their profession, and contend for the doctrine, much of the sap and juice of their former experience seems to have leaked out. They themselves may scarcely know how to account for it. It may be they have had an ecclesiastical “cap” placed over their mouth, and so toned down in testimony.

We are told that the waters of the Dead Sea are not dead because it has no inlet — for the Jordan flows into it all the while — but they are dead because it has not sufficient outlet. This may be the difficulty with those of whom we are writing; for many Christians are like the rivers that empty into the Arctic Ocean — all frozen over at the mouth. Or, it may be that they have been browbeaten and starved and persecuted, and so have allowed these things to oppress them or, that the plea of prudence and seeking to give no offense have choked off the flow. Whatever may be the cause, they need a fresh charge of the dynamite of the Pentecost — the energy and fire and power of the Holy Ghost — let down into their souls, to open up anew the fissures and avenues of their soul. Brother, do not abandon the well, nor “shut up shop” and quit the business, but ask God to “shoot your well,” and “tarry until.” Thank God the supply has not yet been exhausted, and if you will insist on being shot you may again flow several hundred barrels a day, and so not simply have sufficient for yourself but help to supply the markets.

Recently we heard a good brother praying most earnestly in one of our meetings, “Oh, Lord, take all of the clinkers out of my soul.” It was a real heart-cry, and we said “Amen!” Then we  emembered that clinkers in the furnace were the result of intense beat in the past, and were formed by coal that had been burnt out and now had undergone a cooling process. The living on a past experience, and cooling off in secret prayer, reading of the word and testimony is very apt to form “chokers” and so shut off the draft and prevent the fire from burning with the intensity and glow it might reasonably be expected to have. With all the “clinkers” out and the draft of prayer and testimony wide open, the fire is bound to burn, and make it hot for those who may come in contact with us.

While, properly speaking, the soul may have but one Pentecost in which it receives the baptism with the Holy Ghost, it may have, and must have, frequent and repeated anointings, and new undergirdings, and fresh manifestations of the spirit. It is not enough that the soul has entered the Canaan of Perfect Love, but it must push on, and up into the hill country, explore the land, and make new discoveries, and constantly take in more territory. The ashes of our camp-fires should never be found in the same place two nights in succession. “It is better farther on.” “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” “He that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.” (Prov. 4:18; Job 17:9.)