SANCTIFICATION, ENTIRE. Is it the priv ilege of believers to be wholly sanctified in this life? The doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church is that baptism, rightly administered, washes away not only guilt, but also depravity of every kind ; and thus, in its own peculiar way, that Church answers the question in the affirmative (see BAP TISM). Among Protestant theologians there is wide difference of belief ; and there are undoubt edly greater differences of statement, because of confusion in the use of terms. (Barnes, Bib. Dict.) We give two articles by distinguished divines representing the two prominent views upon the subject : I. Wesleyan Doctrine of Sanctification.
Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit be gun in regeneration by the inspiration of love in the heart. Love, the element in which purity ex ists, is not at first perfect, because it finds in ward antagonisms in the form of controlled evil propensities, "the flesh lusting against the spirit." The result of this collision of lingering depravity in ,the normal believer who clings to Christ by faith, is not only freedom from condemnation, but a steady advance toward the extinction of the hereditary tendency towards sin and a longing desire for perfect assimilation to the Divine holiness. He aspires to a state in which he per fectly hates what God hates and perfectly loves what God loves. If he diligently studies the Holy Scriptures he will find abundant grounds for faith that it is not only his privilege, but also his duty to receive the full heritage of the believer in Christ.
(1) Grounds for Faith. The grounds are the command to be holy, the promises of entire cleans ing by the Holy Spirit and in the prayers, espe cially the Pauline prayers for the entire sanctifi cation of believers addressed in his epistles (2 Cor. vii :1 ; 1 Thess. v:23). The \Vord of God contains a variety of other terms teaching this doctrine, such as holiness, perfect love, perfec tion, the abiding fullness of the Spirit, and cleans ing from all unrighteousness.
(2) Dependent Upon Absolute der. The faith requisite to the attainment of this grace must be attended by a complete and irreversible self-surrender and consecration to God of our good things. In the submission made by the penitent seeker of pardon, only his evil things are surrendered, just as a conquered enemy grounds the weapons of his rebellion be fore he so loves his country as to enlist in her army.
(3) Culmination in an Instantaneous Opera tion. Wesley taught that progressive sanctifica tion culminates sooner or later in an instantaneous crisis completing the process. After that event there is an endless progress in the development of the inward principle of holiness in the out ward life. The negative work, the destruction of sin, ends when the evil tendency is entirely re moved. Love, the positive element in sanctifica tion, has no limit in this world nor in the world to come. The only perfection of which we in this life are capable is in pure or perfect love, which consists with many involuntary infirmities and defects marring the character. These require constantly the need of the atonement. They prompt the entirely sanctified soul to cry out con tinually "Every moment, Lord, I need The merit of thy death." (4) The State Defined. There is no state of grace independent of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the gift procured by the atoning merit of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Hence the possibility of the moral downfall of the most saintly soul while in a probationary state. Per fected holiness does not exempt from temptation, but it so clarifies the spiritual perception as to afford an easy victory over sin, however disguised (Heb. v:14). While it stimulates the intellect, it adds no new aptitude to the mental faculties. It greatly intensifies Christian zeal and multiplies a person's usefulness, although it may not impart those natural qualities which will make him an eloquent preacher or a famous evangelist. But the cessation of the struggle between the flesh and the spirit unifies and intensifies the powers in efforts for the good of others, and answers the prayer for "A heart at leisure from itself To soothe sympathize." (5) The Evidences. The evidence of entire sanctification is the Spirit-illumined conscious ness of perfect purity of heart—the Spirit shining on His own work Cor. ii:t3). This can be an evidence only to the individual. Others should receive his testimony if it is corroborated by the fruits of holiness, deadness unto the world, ab horrence of sin, and a deep spirituality transfig uring the entire character.