"I DON'T BELIEVE IN SINLESS PERFECTION."
Well, we wish to be practical and to do you good, and so we will take lower ground. Do you believe that it is possible for God to make you a very much better man than you are? O yes! Then why not allow Him to have His own way? Is this not the reason why some men are not striving after "Perfection?" They like to be as they are. Going forward means suffering, self-denial, a struggle, -- "There are giants in the land."
Some other time we will try to encourage those who are really anxious to possess the good land, by shewing that Joshua and Caleb were right in saying of the sons of Anak, "They are bread for us." "The bigger they are the more there is for us to eat;" but just now, we are anxious to shew these non-believers in perfection, that, till they are all God is prepared to make them, they must not say a word against our doctrine.
May you not be speaking against God's power to heal, to make whole? Is it not a reflection on the Divine Workman, to say that he cannot restore man to be so that He can say once more, "It is very good?" It behoves us to speak with bated breath here, but we may venture to say that the grace which made an Enoch, can make a nineteenth century saint, so lovely in his character, that all men shall say, "This is God's own work, and is like all things which come from His hand."
"BUT MANY OF THESE WHO PROFESS TO HAVE OBTAINED THIS BLESSING ARE SO MANIFESTLY MISTAKEN."
Yes, we agree with you there. Before long we shall have something to say to those who believe in "Christian Perfection," but we are dealing now with those who do not. We think that those who are "perfect," will often be the last to profess it. Any way, they will have very little to say about themselves, though their mouths will be filled with the praise of God, who has done great things for them. We almost always suspect those who have too much to say, and wish we could make them to see how their loud talk and small deeds tell against the doctrine. One proof that a man is not perfect, is his censoriousness concerning those who do not see things as he does, or call them by the same name. But of these we will speak at another time. What we are now concerned about is that we should strive to be all that God has promised to make us, and thus become living expositions of the ability of the Lord to answer Paul's petition: --
"I PRAY GOD, YOUR WHOLE SPIRIT AND SOUL AND BODY BE PRESERVED BLAMELESS."