List Of Contents | Contents of The Heart-Cry of Jesus, by Byron J. Rees
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hearts by faith."


There need be no confusion as to the manner of cleansing. Jesus
prayed, "Sanctify them THROUGH THY TRUTH." It is by means of the
truth preached of and read, that we first hear of a full
deliverance from all sin. It is "through the truth" that we learn
of God's willingness as well as His power to sanctify. If it had
not been for THE BLOOD, Jesus could never have guaranteed the
coming of the Comforter; the blood is "the procuring cause" of all
the blessings which we receive. Everything comes through the
atonement. FAITH is the human condition necessary for the
cleansing of the soul; so that, in a very important sense, we are
sanctified by faith. THE DIVINE OMNIPOTENT HOLY GHOST is the
immediate agency of heart-cleansing. He is the baptizing element
administered by Christ the Divine Baptizer: "He shall baptize you
with the Holy Ghost."


It would be well for us to notice some of the characteristics of
the Pentecostal anointing. John the Baptist, minister of the
gospel and preacher of genuine regeneration, said of Jesus that
"he should baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire," thus using a
most powerful symbol to characterize the nature of the work of the
Holy Ghost. Everyone is familiar with the action of fire; it burns
everything combustible with which it comes in contact.


We submit that no one can tell just how much there is in the heart
that needs to be consumed. There are things dormant in the
unsanctified heart of which the man never dreams. There are
serpents coiled in balls, and vipers spitting poison, and
centipedes, and fat blinking toads, and vampires, and lizards, and
tarantulas, that we never suspect of being in the soul. But they
are there.


It is God's mercy that says, "Be ye holy," for He knows that
unless we get cleaned out and purified the inner reptiles will
poison us to death. Every unsanctified man carries in his bosom
the seeds of all possible crimes, the embryos of all black
actions. There are times when we half believe that something of
the kind is true. Did you ever stand by the cage of a lion and
watch his restless pace and feel that you had something in you
kindred to him? Many a man has gazed into the green eyes of a wild
beast and trembled, feeling a similarity of nature. Every son of
Adam feels the beast stir in him at times, until Pentecost
eradicates the bestial principle.


The embers from which hell-fire is kindled smoulder in the
unsanctified heart. It is dangerous to attempt to build a
Christian character over a latent volcano. A once active volcano
becomes inactive. The lava cools, the ashes settle, and the smoke
drifts away. An enterprising farmer covers a considerable space of
the once fiery volcanic field with fresh earth carted from a
fertile valley. All goes well for a year or two. The garden
prospers, the vegetables are most encouraging, and the produce is
abundant. But one morning the farmer notices that smoke is issuing
from the crater at the summit of the mountain. The sky blackens
and red flames flash amid the clouds of smoke. The land is shaken
with earthquakes. Suddenly, right in the middle of his verdant
field, a great red-lipped chasm opens and blue flames leap upwards
and surge toward the sky. His crops are blasted with the "fierce
heat of the flame," and the work of years is wrecked in a moment.


No permanent Christian life can be built upon the foundation of an
unsanctified heart. For a time the graces of the Spirit may seem
to grow, but in some sad hour the surface will split open and the
man will leap back aghast at the blue flames of Gehenna, which
singe his brows and blacken his cheeks.


An old white-haired prophet and a gay young prince are in
conversation. The aged man bows his head upon his staff and weeps.

"For what are you weeping, old man?"

"Ah, I am thinking of the black and dastardly crimes you will
commit when you have once become king."

"Is thy servant a dog, a ruthless town whelp, that he should do
such things?"


But years roll on and the young man is king, and his hands are
stained with crime, and the old man's predictions come true. God
had given the aged saint a view of the boy's breast, and he saw
the embryonic seeds of sin which, if allowed to remain, would
sprout and produce a fruitage of evil deeds.


The secret of the downfall of many a brilliant character is a
bosom sinfulness little expected to be in existence. No man saw
the black and ugly thing but it was there. A lady had a tall and
graceful plant. The flowers were white and beautiful and all the
town said, "What a fine flower!" One day a storm swept across the
garden. One plant was injured; it was the one which people had
admired and praised. Filled with grief, the lady stooped to
examine the stem, and found that it had been pierced by a worm-
hole. The insect had worked silently and secretly. No one saw him
cutting into the heart of the tall and magnificent flower, but in
a storm, under a test severe and protracted, the stem snapped and
the choice beauty of the garden was a thing of the past.


It is the worm in the heart with his relentless and resistless
tooth, which weakens the character. Under severe and protracted
temptation the will snaps and yields, and the beautiful life is a
wreck and fit only for the dump of the Universe.


There are many roots, hidden roots, which bury themselves deep in
the soil of the heart. They extend far below clear cerebration,
twisting and twining themselves in "the fringe of consciousness."
It takes the fire of the Holy Ghost to follow them deep into the
ground and destroy them. It used to be a pastime of the boys in
eastern Ohio to pile great heaps of brush upon huge stumps in
newly-cleared land. All the long October day they would toil,
raising a stack of dry limbs upon the stump which needed to be
removed. In the evening when twilight came and the stars shone
out, they would light the brush and watch the flames greedily
devour the pile. In the morning when the lads returned to the
scene of the fire, no sign of the stump was to be seen. Looking
closely they saw great holes as large at the top of the ground as
a man's body, and tapering to a small point as they went deep into
the earth. The fire had found the huge roots, and had tracked them
into their retreats and consumed them.


We pile the brush of time and talents and money and name and self
upon the altar, and the fire of Pentecost, which God sends as He
sent to Mount Carmel of old, will destroy not only the brush, but
the roots of sin, one and all.




One of the results spoken of by Christ in His prayer, and brought
about by sanctification, is Christian unity--"that they all may be
one." There is but one remedy for sectism and bigotry, and it is
found in the answer to Christ's petition. When Pentecost comes to
us we are all lifted upon one grand common platform and shake
hands and shout and weep and laugh and get so mixed up that a
Presbyterian can not be distinguished from a Methodist, nor a
Friend from an Episcopalian vestryman.


We have heard much about the organic union of churches. Many great
and good men have looked forward with sanguine hopes to the day
when we should do away with denominations. In a few cases two
churches of different sects have united and worshipped in one
congregation. But the causes of such unity are frequently far from
gratifying. In D----the Methodists and Primitive Methodists clasp
hands and join forces because they can thus make one preacher do
the work which two formerly performed. In K----the Baptists and
Presbyterians unite because the thirteen members of one church and
the seven of the other feel lonely in their great refrigerators
and are inclined to make friends and preserve life. The cold is
most intense. In the far North the weather is sometimes so severe
that wild beasts, ordinarily hostile both toward each other and
man, crowd close together near the campfire of the explorer.

With many churches it is "unite or die!" The mallet of the
auctioneer threatens the steeple-house, the young folks are off
"golfing" or "hiking," and the gray-beards, lonely and terror-
stricken as they see church extinction approaching, favor "a union
of forces with some other church." In the church magazines of the
next month appear sundry articles on "the broad and liberal spirit
of the nineteenth century church." "A large catholicity is taking
the place of the old fogyism of former days," scribbles the hack-


In a few cases large congregations have united. When we behold it
our hopes rise, but they are doomed to early blight by a careful
study of the situation. The cause of denominationalism is the
tenacious clinging to faith and doctrines. Whether or no we ought
to all believe precisely alike about non-essentials, one thing is
sure, the man who does not cleave to some faith, heart and head
and brain and blood, is worthless in Christ's army. Milksops may
be ornamental, they are certainly not militant, and God wants
soldiers. The man who does not know what he believes, and the man
who says "it does not matter what one believes if one is only
sincere," are more despicable than the Yankees who burned witches
in Salem. Better that a man be "narrow" than that he be so
"broad" as to take in "the devil and all his angels." Out upon
our folly when we barter away the truth of God for a flimsy,
tissue-paper bond of so-called "fellowship"!


There is a unity, however, and to it Christ referred, which does
not consist in uniformity of creed but in oneness of heart. When
we are truly sanctified the non-baptizing Quaker, and the trine
immersionist, and the High Church Episcopalian, and the foot-
washing Tunker, and the Methodist, and the Baptist, and the
Congregationalist all unite in one far-reaching melodious chorus,



Sanctification destroys sticklerism for non-essentials and the
lust for fine distinctions in dogmatics. It slays the doctrinaire
and makes a red-hot revivalist out of him. The purified soul takes
the Bible for his "credo" and loves God's children of whatever
name with a generosity that overtops every inadequate
consideration. The sanctified are united by a common cause and a
common experience. Opinions may differ as to ecclesiastical polity
or the mode of baptism, but the white cord of sanctification is
"the bond of perfectness" which makes them one bundle. Yale and
Cornell are rivals with their "eights" and "shells" on American
Hudson, but men from both colleges join forces to beat the
Britishers at Henley. Holiness people of every church unite to
"push holiness."


When the glorious grace of full salvation is experienced, love for
Christ is increased and intensified. Everyone wants to magnify Him
and live close to Him: and as we get close to Him, the Hub, the
distance between us, the spokes, is lessened.


A D.D. and a negro meet on a Mississippi River boat. They fall
into conversation. The doctor speaks of the Lord. The negro's eyes
fill and he says, "You know my Savior?" and they shake hands and
weep and shout. Why this community of feeling between men of such
diverse stations in life? Both possess the blessing of entire


The writer has had the privilege of preaching in churches of
different denominations in the work of special evangelism, but
never has he known the falling of Pentecostal fire to fail to burn
up sectarianism. It is no easy matter to find out from the
preaching of our holiness preachers under what denominational flag
they sail. Full salvation obliterates the fences which separate
the people of God and makes them really "one in Christ Jesus."




There was a man among the one hundred and twenty "upper room
believers" in whom Pentecost effected a most apparent and almost
spectacular change. It was Peter. We remember him as the man at
whom the young girl pointed her finger and laughed. We recall that
he was so cowardly that he denied his Lord on the spot, swearing
that he did not know Him. Behold this same Peter on the day of
Pentecost. He is charging home the murder of Christ. Fear is gone,
and gone forever. He faces men and does not flinch an iota.
Carnality, the source of cowardice, has been removed, and the
weakling is turned into a Lord Nelson for bravery, and a
Savonarola for faithfulness to men's souls.


Fear of man is one of the most illogical things in the world. Men
sell the blood of Jesus and hope of heaven and eternal happiness
because of "what people say." Think of it, afraid of a man who
will die and be hurried under ground before he rots! Frightened at
a thing dressed in a long black coat and a white cravat with a
golden-headed cane and a tall hat and a frown; a thing which will
stop breathing some fine day and the worms will eat! Shall I
tremble when an ecclesiastical Leo utters a roar? Shall I halt and
stammer because a top-heavy lad from a theological seminary,
hopelessly in love with himself, scowls at the word


There are some who bolster their courage by saying ostentatiously,
"I don't care what folks say," but their very vehemence shows that
they DO care a very great deal. We boys all remember how we used
to whistle when we passed a graveyard after dark to show we
"weren't afraid"; and how hard it was to keep our mouths puckered
and how shaky our legs felt!


The folks we are afraid of are afraid of us. "What a situation! A
great regiment of people marching straight down to hell, everyone
afraid to break step for fear the others will laugh! That is
precisely the condition of nearly every sinner.


Sanctification takes away the shrinking timidity and puts in a
courage like that at Thermopylae. There was once a young man who,
previous to his sanctification, was so timid that he frequently
stayed away from church for no other reason than that he feared
God might ask him to testify. He enjoyed meetings and loved to
hear preaching, but the very idea of testimony would frighten him
almost ill. Now he frequently addresses many hundreds and never
feels the slightest embarrassment.


The ministry is sadly in need of a blessing which will give it
courage to attack sin of all kinds and degrees. We need men who
will rip the mask off the putrid face of corruption and pronounce
God's sentence upon it; who will lift up the trap-door of the
cess-pools of men's hearts and bid them look within at their own
slime and filth; who will "cry aloud and spare not," though the
infuriated cohorts of bat-winged demons snarl and shriek.

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