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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 15

The tastes follow next in order. For of us possesses certain special talents, mental inclinations and adaptations. While one man is a born musician, another has a genius for painting. One may be a natural architect or sculptor, while others are great inventors or travelers, or poets or writers of fiction.

Each of us then has some special bias of mind, and adaptation is usually indicated by inclination. Each of these tastes needs to be sanctified.

Just as in the class of faculties previously enumerated, where the unholy imagination or the false judgment will lead the literary man to be a prurient Ouida or a passionate Byron, so here, a false taste will make a lover of art into a disseminator of vice. The unhallowed love of music can become a channel for satan's most insidious temptations, and even the love of beauty and refinement, an instigation to self-adornment, fashionable extravagance and the wild carnival of idolatrous worldliness.

Every one of these tastes came to us originally from God, a Lover of the beautiful who has made everything to reflect His own infinite taste and wisdom. Every one of them, however, may become a minister to self and sin and a source of degradation and defilement. Do we not most earnestly desire that all these gifts of heaven, unbalanced and perverted by the Fall, shall be wholly sanctified?

Affections of the Heart

Deeper still, in the soul's innermost chamber dwell the affections of the heart. This is the home of love - the mother's love, the bridegroom's love, the love of the child, the brother, the friend - the ties of kindred, deep fellowships of congenial affinity, and common tastes, dispositions, interests and aims.

We spoke in the former chapter of love as one of the exercises of the sanctified spirit. We referred there to the love that the Holy Spirit gives to the heart, a divine love for the Supreme Object and all others related to Him.

We speak now of the human affections instinctive in the soul, which are not wrong in themselves but that need to be sanctified and lifted above self, sin and excess. Along with these affections are the various passions and emotions - pride, acquisitiveness, anger, emulation, mirth, joy, sorrow and many more - all of which are right or wrong according to their measure, their motive and their limitations. It is possible to be angry and sin not, to be proud without vanity, to emulate without envy, to "eagerly desire the greater gifts" (1 Corinthians 12:31) without avarice, and to be ambitious for the highest recompenses without worldliness in spirit or aim.

Yet all these without the grace of God have become like false light or reefs of rock and ruin to innumerable human souls, whose very brilliancy of natural endowments and success have but aggravated more totally their destruction.

Lower still in the scale of beings are the appetites and propensities that link the mind with the body, and become the handmaids of physical organs. These we shall speak of more in detail in connection with the sanctification of the body. It is only necessary here to refer to them as qualities of the mind that touch the physical senses and act through them.

All these appetites are natural and, in a properly balanced and sanctified being, are sinless and blameless. The disturbing influences of the Fall and the perversion of human nature, however, have disturbed them from their true order and subordinate place, and have made them become, in many cases, degrading and destructive.

A man whose reasons and affections are under the control of his appetites has started downward on the steep incline which soon must bring him to the level of the brutes, nay, to a still deeper plunge, measured from the height from which he fell. This, at last, is the wretched and hideous condition of many a human soul. It demonstrates the supreme necessity for the appetites and propensities that link us so closely with the brute to be wholly sanctified.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 16)

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