Byron J. Rees.

The Heart-Cry of Jesus online

. (page 1 of 5)
Online LibraryByron J. ReesThe Heart-Cry of Jesus → online text (page 1 of 5)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Produced by Robert Rowe, Charles Franks and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team. HTML version by Al Haines.










The Heart-Cry of Jesus


BY BYRON J. REES,


Author of "Christlikeness," "Hulda, the Pentecostal Prophetess," and
"Hallelujahs from Portsmouth, Nos. 2 and 3."





DEDICATION.

TO MY MASTER, EVEN CHRIST.





INTRODUCTION.

THE NEED OF THE DAY.


The saying, "Necessity is the mother of Invention," finds nowhere a
more vivid illustration of its truth than in the publishing enterprises
of the modern Holiness movement. The onward movement of the Holy Ghost
along Pentecostal lines, convicting of depravity, creating a
clean-reading public, and endueing with power both pulpit and pew, has
resulted in a constant and growing demand for full-salvation
literature. Tens of thousands of pulpits do an active business on both
the wholesale and retail plan, with science and philosophy as stock in
trade. Famishing congregations are proffered the bugs of biology, the
rocks of geology, and the stars of astronomy until their souls revolt,
and they demand bread and meat.

THE NEED BEING SUPPLIED.

The great soul-cry is being met and answered by the publication and
distribution of soul-feeding, spirit-inspiring, health-giving Holiness
books and papers. God is raising up writers and editors from whose pens
pour melted truths, to the edification and blessing of thousands.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK.

In this little book we have a production in which the author has made
little attempt at the elucidation of doctrine or the waging of
controversy, but in great simplicity and directness he has presented
the truth with a view to helpfulness, desiring to introduce really
hungry souls into the Canaan life, and provide a well-loaded table of
rich provisions for those who are already "in the Land."

READERS WILL BE REFRESHED.

We believe that there is a warmth, fervor and glow about the pages of
this volume which will be most refreshing to many, many readers. May
the Holy Spirit put His seal upon it and give it an extensive
circulation.

SETH C. REES.

PROVIDENCE, R. I., NOVEMBER 15, 1898.





PREFACE.

WHAT IS SANCTIFICATION?


No one who accustoms himself to the observation of spiritual tides,
winds and currents can be ignorant of the fact that the devout men and
women of the present are earnestly inquiring, "What is sanctification?
What does holiness mean?" They are demanding of the pulpit and of the
church editor something more than the time-worn and moth-eaten excuses
for not teaching a deeper work of grace. The "seven thousand" who have
not "bowed the knee" to the modern Baals are insisting that, if God's
Word teaches entire sanctification for the disciple of Christ
obtainable by faith now, they must possess themselves of this heavenly
grace.

THE AUTHOR'S DESIRE.

It is with the purpose and hope that some seeking heart may be helped
that these pages are penned. The author has purposely avoided all
controversial matter. We would not assume the role of the doctrinaire
even were we capable of it. "Not controversy, not theology, but to save
souls," as Lyman Beecher said when dying.

THE NEED OF SPEED.

This book has been written in the midst of laborious and unceasing
revival work. For this reason there has been no time to polish
sentences nor improve style. The object has been to get the truth to
the people in plain language, and to do it with despatch, for the time
is short, and men are being saved or damned with electric speed.

THE BUZZARD AND VULTURE.

The buzzard and the vulture will find food if they look for it, but
with them we are not concerned. We are, however, terribly in earnest to
help hungry souls to a place of blessing and power.

May God take these leaves and make them "leaves of healing," if not for
"nations," at least for individuals.

BYRON J. REES.

NOVEMBER 14, 1898.





CONTENTS.


DEDICATION
INTRODUCTION
PREFACE
CHRIST'S PRAYER
CHAPTER I. A Word in the Prayer
CHAPTER II. Some Errors
CHAPTER III. Those for Whom Christ Prayed
CHAPTER IV. Christ's Prayer Answered
CHAPTER V. Christian Unity
CHAPTER VI. Fearlessness
CHAPTER VII. Responsiveness to Christ
CHAPTER VIII. Soul-Rest
CHAPTER IX. Prayerfulness
CHAPTER X. Success
CHAPTER XI. Growth in Christliness of Life
EXPERIENCE





CHRIST'S PRAYER:

"SANCTIFY THEM THROUGH THE TRUTH; THY WORD IS TRUTH."




CHAPTER I.

A WORD IN THE PRAYER.


CHRIST'S WORDS.

All who really love Christ love His words. They may not always fully
understand their meaning, but they never reject any of them. The very
fact that any word has been on the lips of Christ and received His
sanction, gives it a sound of music to all who are truly disciples of
the Nazarene.

MOTHER'S WORDS.

The words that your mother used frequently - are there any words quite
the same to you? She may be resting under the solemn pines of a silent
cemetery, but, to this hour, if anyone uses one of her favorite words,
instantly the heart leaps in answer, and the mind flies back to her,
and the fancy paints her as you knew her in the garden or at the
fireside or by the window. It lies in the power of a single word to
make the eyes fill and the throat ache because of its association with
the voice of a queenly mother.

A MAN'S TESTIMONY.

Thus it is with Christ and HIS words. It matters not where we meet the
word, if it is Christ's we are touched and made tender. An aged man
stands in a prayer-meeting in a bare and cheerless hall, and says in
broken and faltering voice, "The dear Lord has blessedly SANCTIFIED my
heart," and like a flash the room lightens, and the whole place seems
changed and made cheery. The heart cries, "That is my Master's word,"
and the entire being is attentive and interested.

JESUS' LIFE DEAR.

Yes, to the really regenerated soul everything connected with Jesus is
dear. The place of His birth, the land of His ministry, the garden of
His agony, the mount of His crucifixion, the Olivet of His ascension,
all these are illumined with a peculiar and special light. The mind
dwells lovingly on His parables, ponders deeply His sayings, lingers
tenderly over His words.

WE WELCOME THE WORD.

We will NOT therefore shrink from the Word of our Lord: "Sanctify." It
may have been stained by the slime of some unworthy life, or soiled by
the lips of men who prated about sanctification, but knew nothing of
its nature; yet, for all that, since the word is Christ's we hail its
enunciation with gladness.

CHRIST'S BURDEN.

The high-priestly prayer of Christ was distinctively for the disciples.
Indeed, He SAYS: "I pray not for the world." That is to say, the
disciples need a peculiar and special work of grace, one which must
follow, not precede, conversion, and therefore not to be received by
the world. In this prayer the loving Master revealed to His immediate
disciples, and to those of all ages and climes, the burning desire of
His heart concerning His followers. The petition ascends from His
immaculate heart like incense from a golden censer, and it has for its
tone and soul, "Sanctify them through thy truth." His soul longed for
this work to be completed quickly. During the last days of His ministry
He talked frequently of the coming Comforter. He admonished them to
"tarry" until an enduement came to them. He knew that unless they were
energized with a power, to which they were as yet strangers, their work
would be worse than futile.

HE PRAYED FOR SANCTIFICATION.

It is for the SANCTIFICATION of the disciples that Christ prayed. He
did not ask that they might fill positions of honor and trust; He knew
that there is no nobility but that of goodness. It was more important
that the early preachers should be holy men than that they should be
respected and honored. He did not pray for riches for them; He knew too
well the worthlessness of money in itself. He did not desire for them
thrones, nor culture, nor refinement, nor name.

"'Tis only noble to be good.
True hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood."

So Jesus prayed that these men who had for three years been His daily
and constant companions should receive an experience which should make
them INTENSELY GOOD; not "goody-goody," which is very different, but
heartily and wholly spiritual and godly.

THE MEN WE LOVE.

The men whose names are brightening as the ages fly, were not men who
were always free from prejudices and blunders. They were not men, as a
rule, from university quadrangles nor college cloisters. They were not
the wise, nor the erudite, nor the cultivated, nor the rich. They were
the good men. Brilliant men tire us; wits soon bore us with their
gilt-edged nothings, but men with clean, holy hearts, fixed
convictions, bold antipathies to sin, sympathetic natures and tender
consciences never weary us, and they bear the intimate and familiar
acquaintance which so often causes the downfall of the so-called
"great" in one's estimation.

THE PERSONAL TOUCH.

We may forget an eloquent sermon pilfered from Massillon, but we will
never forget a warm handclasp and a sympathetic word from an humble
servant in God's house. Jesus never went for the crowds - he hunted the
individual. He sat up a whole night with a questioning Rabbi; talked an
afternoon with a harlot who wanted salvation; sought out and found the
man whom they cast out of the synagogue, and saved a dying robber on an
adjacent cross. We do not reach men in great audiences generally. We
reach them by interesting ourselves in them individually; by lending
our interest to their needs; by giving them a lift when they need it.

SANCTIFIED FISHERMEN.

Jesus with divine sagacity knew that if these untutored fishermen were
to light up Europe and Asia with the torch of the gospel they must have
an experience themselves which would transform them from self-seeking,
cowardly men to giants and heroes.

THE CARNAL MIND.

While the true Christian loves Christ and His words, while his higher
and more spiritual nature says "Amen" to the Lord's teaching, yet it
must not be forgotten that the "carnal mind" which remains, "even in
the heart of the regenerate," is "enmity against God." There is a dark
SOMEWHAT in the soul that fairly hates the word "sanctification."
Theologians call it "inbred sin" or "original depravity"; the Bible
terms it the "old man," "the old leaven," "the root of bitterness,"
etc. Whatever its name it abhors holiness and purity, and though the
regenerate man loves Christ and His words, he does so over the vehement
protest of a baser principle chained and manacled in the basement
dungeon of his heart.

GEORGE FOX.

The devout of all churches recognize the existence of an inner enemy
who bars the gate to rapid spiritual progress. George Fox, the pious
founder of the Friends' Society, said in relation to an experience
which came to him: "I knew Jesus, and He was very precious to my soul,
but I found something within me which would not always keep patient and
kind. I did what I could to keep it down, but it was there. I besought
Jesus that He would do something for me, and when I gave Him my will He
came into me and cast out all that would not be patient, and all that
would not be sweet, and that would not be kind, and then He shut the
door."

"SIN IN BELIEVERS."

John Wesley preached a sermon on "Sin in Believers" which is extant and
widely read. All churches recognize it in their creeds, and all have
provision in their dogmas for its expulsion before entrance into
heaven. The Catholics provide a convenient Purgatory; other
denominations glorify Death and ascribe to it a power which they deny
to Christ; while still others rely on growth to cleanse from all sin
and get us ready for the glory-world. The Bible, however, with that
sublime indifference to all human opinions and theories becoming in
divine authority, reveals a SALVATION FROM ALL SIN HERE AND NOW.

The word sanctify means simply "to make holy" (L., sanctificare =
sanctus, holy, + ficare, to make). The work of sanctification removes
all the roots of bitterness and destroys the remains of sin in the
heart.

UNREASONABLE ANTAGONISM.

What sound sense can there be in antagonizing a blessing which is
nothing more or less than cleanness - mental, moral and physical
cleanness. The kind of character that would wittingly fight holiness
would object to a change of linen.

A CHURCH IN JERSEY.

The eagerness with which truly devout people welcome the preaching of
full salvation is refreshing. It was the writer's privilege to hold an
eight-day meeting with a church in Central New Jersey. The church was
in excellent condition, for the pastor, a godly and earnest man, had
faithfully proclaimed justification and its appropriate fruits. Nearly
all the members were praying, conscientious and zealous Christians.
When, at the first meeting, which was the regular Sunday morning
service, the experience of sanctification was presented, over one
hundred persons arose, thus signifying their desire for the precious
grace!

OPEN THE ALTAR!

The language of the child of God is, "Does God want me sanctified? Then
open the altar for I am coming." He does not tarry; he does not higgle
and hesitate; he makes for the "straw pile" if in a New England camp;
the "saw-dust" if down South; the "altar rail" if in a spiritual
church; to his knees at any rate, for God's will he desires and must
have. Thank God he can have it!




CHAPTER II.

SOME ERRORS.


THE BEAR-SKIN.

Satan is very busily engaged in destroying and misrepresenting God's
best experiences. He slanders the work of God in order that His
children may not come into their inheritance. The "bear-skin" frightens
the would-be seeker and keeps him out of the Canaan land.

ROSENTHAL.

Darkness hates light. The Prince of Darkness dreads truth and light,
for he knows that if God's children ever see sanctification as it is,
there will be a general stampede for consecration. If the public really
believed that Rosenthal would play the piano in Infantry Hall on a
certain evening, and that there would be no charge for admittance,
South Main street would be black with people hours before the doors
were opened. If the church really believed that God would let them into
an experience where sonatas and minuets and bridal marches and
"Mondnacht" and the "Etude in C sharp minor" would be heard all the
time, and free of charge, all the bishops and the big preachers and
little evangelists and exhorters and ministers would be besieged by a
grand eager throng of people, crying with one accord, "What must I do
to be sanctified?" Lord, hasten the day!

THE DEVIL STIRRED.

When a man is awakened and says, "What is sanctification anyway?" then
the devil bestirs himself to silence the soul's questionings. Blessed
is the man who will not be satisfied with anything short of "Thus saith
the Lord." Hound the lies of hell to their covert; run down the false
reports, and determine the truth.

A CHIMERA.

One of the lies which Satan is fond of circulating is that
sanctification is a life free from temptation. When this is announced
among those who are awakened on the subject, immediately there is a
great cry, "I don't want to hear any more about sanctification." One
would think by the excitement aroused that people are actually afraid
lest they should by some manner of means be deprived of the privilege
of being tempted. Let all such allay their fears. Jesus was tempted
even on the pinnacle of the temple, and we will never be above our
Lord, and may well expect temptation until we pass from this
world-stage to the other land. No responsible Christian student teaches
any such chimera as a life without temptation obtainable now.

A DIFFERENCE.

Personally, we have never heard anyone make such a claim. What we do
teach, and, better still, far better, WHAT GOD PROMISES, is an
experience where we need not YIELD to temptation. There is a
difference, vast and important, between being tempted and yielding to
temptation.

A TEMPTED PREACHER.

A man is en route from New York to the West via the Pennsylvania
Railroad. The express stops at a junction in the mountains. He leaves
the car and walks up and down on the platform enjoying the view. Near
the station is a park. Beautiful flowering shrubbery, shell walks,
ivy-clad piles of rocks, splashing fountains, majestic shade trees and
well-kept turf make the place attractive. Beyond the pretty village a
wooded mountain rises toward the bluest of skies, enticing to a stroll
amid the beauties of a forest. The preacher is strongly tempted to stop
over a day and enjoy a brief rest. Then he thinks of his word, given in
good faith, to be in a certain place at an appointed hour; he remembers
the souls which God might save through the sermon which he is expected
to preach the next evening. He is tired and jaded and worn. Would he
not be justified in telegraphing that he would not come until a day or
so later than expected? It is a stout temptation; but when the
black-faced porter shouts, "All aboard," and the bell rings he walks
into the hot and dirty car and continues his tiresome journey. Does not
the reader see that a temptation to rest is very different from
stopping and breaking an engagement and disappointing an audience?

A CHARMING COMPANION.

On life's express we are all liable to temptation. We are solicited to
tarry, but we are so intent on our destination, and especially are we
so charmed with our travelling Companion, that we bid farewell to
fountain, and gravelled walks, and towering mountains and push on to
that city.

WHO TEACHES FANATICISM?

Another misrepresentation, the circulation of which Satan delights to
further, is that sanctification is an experience in which we can not
sin, and when through this idea men lift their hands in horror and
desist from seeking this precious grace, all hell chuckles with real
satisfaction. But who teaches such fanaticism? Life is always a
probation. The will is free. The Bible teaches this truth, and we
believe it. The holiest saint on earth may, IF HE CHOOSE, sin and go to
hell. Everything hangs upon the choice. Thank God we NEED not fall.
Falling is possible, but not necessary.

NOT A DAY-DREAM.

A third evil report is that sanctification is an impracticable
day-dream, unfit for everyday life and the common round of duties. "It
is," so it is said, "all very well for ministers, and class leaders,
and superintendents of Sunday-schools, and people who are not very busy
in life to get sanctification, but it will not stand the strain and
tension to which it would be subjected in some lives." But "God is no
respecter of persons," and what He will do for one of His children He
will do for all. And then, if we only knew it, sanctification is just
suited to the life of trial and perplexity.

"BILLY" BRAY AND CARVOSSO.

If there is a man to be found who has to labor hard all day and has a
life full of care, sanctification is just the experience he needs. Read
the life of Mrs. Fletcher, and see how sanctification can help a woman
with multitudinous domestic cares. Study the lives of "Billy" Bray and
William Carvosso, and remember that it was sanctification which helped
these men in their difficulties. If there is a soul anywhere filled
with unspeakable sorrow, shivering alone in the dark, the brightest
light that can come to that stricken soul is full salvation. No matter
how sharp the thorn, nor how galling the fetter, sanctification turns
the thorn into oil, and the fetter into a chain of plaited flowers.

CLANS.

It is said by some that sanctification makes people "clannish."
Clannish is a word with a rather offensive taste on the tongue, and is
altogether too harsh a word to apply to that congregative instinct that
makes pure-minded persons crave the fellowship of kindred spirits.
There is nothing intentionally exclusive about the holiness movement.
If a man is shut out it is because he shuts himself out; if he does not
feel at home in a full salvation service it is because he has not yet
obtained full salvation.

BROWNING CLUBS.

Men who share great truths and principles in common find in each
other's presence and fellowship great help. Admirers of Browning form
"Browning Clubs"; foot-ball men gather themselves into "associations";
ministers meet in "Monday meetings"; Christians organize "churches"; is
it to be thought strange if people who are sanctified wholly delight to
meet for conference and mutual help?

THE SPLITTING OF THE CHURCH

A few uninformed persons say that "holiness splits the church." But
this is false. When men love God with all their heart and their
neighbors as themselves, nothing can separate them. If, however, people
of different sorts and kinds, some saved and some unsaved, are in one
organization, it will not require anything much to make them differ in
opinion. The real ecclesia, the genuine church, is not so easily split.
One of our most brilliant and spiritual holiness writers has remarked
in pleasantry that the anxiety of some in regard to the splitting of
the church would lead one to think that there was something inside
which they were afraid would be seen in case of a cleavage.

KEEP TO THE BIBLE.

Keep to the Bible idea of sanctification. Let not the adversary dupe
you and frighten you from its quest and obtainment. Begin now; seek,
search, pray, consecrate, believe, and soon the blessing will fall upon
your waiting soul.




CHAPTER III.

THOSE FOR WHOM CHRIST PRAYED - "SANCTIFY THEM."


CONVERTED MEN.

The men for whom Christ prayed were converted men, and were living in
justified relation to God. In proof of this statement, let the reader
study the context carefully.

A CLOUDLESS SKY.

In the sixteenth chapter of St. John, the one immediately preceding the
sacerdotal prayer, the conversation which is recorded would be
impossible were the disciples conscious of guilt. One can not read
those sublime verses without the irresistible conviction that the
disciples' sky of soul-consciousness was blue and cloudless. There is
no hint in Christ's discourse that these men are "of the world," but
rather it is taken for granted that they are children of God and heirs
of the kingdom.

A SPECIFIC STATEMENT.

It is the sheerest folly for one to maintain that the conversion of the
disciples did not occur prior to Pentecost. If words mean anything,
Jesus made a specific statement to the contrary. "Rejoice," says He,
"that your names are written in heaven." In His prayer He says to His
Father: "They have kept Thy word"; "they are Thine"; "I pray for them,
I pray not for the world." Notice the distinction which He makes
between "them" and "the world." These men are picked men. They are very
different from the great unpardoned, sinful throng outside the
kingdom - they are CHRISTIANS.

THE CHAMBER OF BLESSING.

A very good evidence of the genuineness of the conversion of the
disciples was their painstaking care to follow out minutely the
directions of their ascended Lord. He had prayed for their
sanctification; they desired it. He had spoken of a coming Comforter,
and they eagerly awaited His advent. He had said, "Tarry in Jerusalem
until" His arrival, and they conscientiously met in an "upper room" for
a ten-day prayer-meeting. "Farewell! friends; farewell! memory-haunted
synagogues; farewell! sacred temple; farewell! long-bearded priests;
farewell all! we must go to prayer: our Lord said that we should be
sanctified." And thus in long line the one hundred and twenty file up
the stairs to the Chamber of Blessing. There is no lightness, no
jesting, no quibbling, no bickering; all are serious, terribly in
earnest, intent on "the promise of the Father." There is Peter,
impulsive and eager, whole-hearted and enthusiastic; there is the meek
and quiet Mary, who sat at Jesus' feet at the old home in Bethany;
there is the child-like saint, the devout and spiritual John; there is
the repentant woman of Magdala; and there are many others who betake
themselves to that sacred place - "the upper room." One all-engrossing
thought fills their minds. "The promise of the Father which ye have
heard of me. The promise of the Father! The promise of the Father! O,
when will He come? We would know more about our departed Lord. He is
gone from us. Our hearts are torn and bleeding and lonely. Jesus said,
'He shall testify of me.' Would that He would come now!"

WHY ONLY THE FEW?

But why are there only one hundred and twenty? Was it not into


1 3 4 5

Online LibraryByron J. ReesThe Heart-Cry of Jesus → online text (page 1 of 5)