MY REASON FOR WRITING The following are some of my reasons for writing upon the subject of entire sanctification:
First, I am trying to reach a class that, like myself, have lived in a kind of bondage all their Christian lives; have longed for perfect spiritual rest, and knew not how to obtain it. I speak to them.
Then there is such a thing as a rising generation. They need to be taught concerning this doctrine. If we are not to declare openly that which our elders and superiors have known beforehand, what is to become of this advancing host of young people? Such a policy would put an end to the gospel itself. Still again, there are occasional articles in our papers striking at and ridiculing the doctrine of entire sanctification. Some of them remind me of Joab’s interview with Abner. One hand is stretched forth in seeming kindness, when suddenly the other drives a hidden sword to the heart of the doctrine. In all conscious personal weakness and unworthiness I appear in this book pleading for an experience that fills me and thrills me at this writing, and as a defender and upholder of a doctrine that I know now to be true, because it has been transformed into an experience in my soul, and become a blessed reality in my life. It has been suggested that what I call facts in my experience may be fancies. Glory be to God! it is no fancy that Christ has kept me from sin for months, and that my soul in all that time has been filled with perfect peace and rest and love. It is not a fancy that God has in a moment lifted me into a state which I have been vainly trying to reach for a number of years. These are facts that stand out like Mont Blancs above the range of ordinary experiences. “One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.” One experience in the converted or sanctified life is worth ten thousand theories. Furthermore, it is proper to say that there is not such general and accurate knowledge of sanctification among the people as some think. The fact of the blessing maybe believed in, but the manner of obtaining it be unknown, because unproclaimed. Hundreds of Methodists in this city had never heard, until a short while since, a sermon on sanctification, in which the blessing was held up as obtained instantaneously through consecration and faith. The Carondelet Street congregation, one of the largest and noblest in the Connection, listened with wonder; not at the doctrine, but at the method of obtaining the blessing. Some doubted and drew back; but others, to the number of thirty, have entered into the sanctified life. There are multiplied thousands in the land who know not the way of entrance into the sanctified life, and thousands more who are in ignorance of sanctification itself. Ask them what it is, and nine out of ten will reply that it is a growth in grace, while the Scriptures plainly teach that growth in grace is man’s work, and sanctification is the work of God. Because of these things I cannot but write and speak of the things I have seen and felt. – B. Carradine
–Pastor Ward Clinton