Friday, November 01, 2013

Holiness: terrific word from John Brown

Not the one whose body "lies a-mouldering in the grave," nor of Haddington, but the grandson of the latter.
There is no word, I apprehend, to which more indistinct ideas are generally attached, than holiness; yet, surely, there is no word of the meaning of which it is of more importance we should have a clear and accurate conception; for “without holiness no man shall see the Lord.”1 The clearest and the justest idea we can form of holiness, as a quality of an intelligent creature, is conformity of mind and will with the Supreme Being, who alone is, in all the extent of meaning belonging to the word, holy. Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervors, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills. God’s mind and will are to be known from his word; and, so far as I really understand and believe God’s word, God’s mind becomes my mind, God’s will becomes my will, and, according to the measure of my faith, I become holy;
[Brown, J. (1855). Expository Discourses on the First Epistle of the Apostle Peter (pp. 93–94). New York: Robert Carter & Brothers.]

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