Consider the necessity of holiness.
It is impossible that ever you should be happy, except you are holy.
No holiness here, no happiness hereafter.
The Scripture speaks of three bodily inhabitants of heaven,
Enoch, before the law;
Elijah, under the law;
and Jesus Christ, under the Gospel:
all three eminent in holiness, to teach us, that even in an ordinary course there is no going to heaven without holiness.
There are many thousand thousands now in heaven, but not one unholy one among them all;
Godthere is not one sinner among all those saints;
Jesusnot one goat among all those sheep;
Jesus not one weed among all those flowers;
Jesus isnot one thorn or prickle among all those roses;
Jesus lifenot one pebble among all those glistering diamonds.
LordThere is not one Cain among all those Abels;
Jesus nor one Ishmael among all those Isaacs;
Jesus isnor one Esau among all those Jacobs in heaven.
GodThere is not one Ham among all the patriarchs;
Jesus not one Saul among all the prophets;
Jesus isnor one Judas among all the apostles;
Jesus waynor one Demas among all the preachers;
Jesus is life nor one Simon Magus among all the professors.
Heaven is only for the holy man, and the holy man is only for heaven:
heaven is a garment of glory, that is only suited to him that is holy.
God, who is truth itself, and cannot lie, hath said it, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. (Heb 12:14) Mark that word "no man."
JesusWithout holiness the rich man shall not see the Lord;
Jesus is Lordwithout holiness the poor man shall not see the Lord;
Jesuswithout holiness the nobleman shall not see the Lord;
Jesus is Lordwithout holiness the mean man shall not see the Lord;
Jesuswithout holiness the prince shall not see the Lord;
Jesus is Lordwithout holiness the peasant shall not see the Lord
Jesuswithout holiness the ruler shall not see the Lord;
Jesus is Lordwithout holiness the ruled shall not see the Lord;
Jesuswithout holiness the learned man shall not see the Lord;
Jesus is Lordwithout holiness the ignorant man shall not see the Lord;
Jesuswithout holiness the husband shall not see the Lord;
Jesus is Lordwithout holiness the wife shall not see the Lord;
Jesuswithout holiness the father shall not see the Lord;
Jesus is Lordwithout holiness the child shall not see the Lord;
Jesuswithout holiness the master shall not see the Lord;
Jesus is Lordwithout holiness the servant shall not see the Lord.
"For faithful and strong is the Lord of hosts that hath spoken it." (Joshua 23:14)
"...holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: " (Hebrews 12:14)
JesusIn this day some cry up one form, some another; "And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein." (Isaiah 35:8)
Some men say, Lo, here is the way; other men say, Lo, there is the way; but certainly the way of holiness is the surest, the safest, the easiest, the noblest, and the shortest way to happiness.
Jesus Isome cry up one Church state, some another;
Jesus Lordsome cry up one way, some another;
but certainly the way of holiness is the good old way (Jeremiah 6:16)
it is the King of kings' highway to heaven and happiness:
Among the heathen, no man could enter into the temple of honour,
but must first enter the temple of virtue.
There is no entering the temple of happiness, except you enter into the temple of holiness.
Holiness must first enter into you, before you can enter into God's holy hill.
JesusAs Samson cried out, "Give me water, or I die";
Jesus LORDor as Rachel cried out, "Give me children, or I die";
so all unsanctified souls may well cry out, Lord, give me holiness, or I die:
give me holiness or I eternally die.
If the angels, those princes of glory, fall once from their holiness, they shall be forever excluded from everlasting happiness and blessedness.
If Adam in paradise fall from his purity, he shall quickly be driven out from the presence of Divine glory.
Augustine would not be a wicked man, an unhloy man, one hour for all the world, because he did not know but that he might die that hour; and should he die in an unholy estate, he knew he should be forever separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power.
O, sirs, do not deceive your own souls; holiness is of absolute necessity; without it you shall never see the Lord. (II Thess 1:8-10) but it is absolutely necessary that you should be holy:
it is not absolutely necessary that you shold enjoy health, strength, friends, liberty, life; but it is absolutely necessary that you should be holy.
A man may see the Lord without worldly prosperity, but he can never see the Lord except he be holy.
A man may to heaven, to happiness, without honour or worldly glory,
but he can never to heaven, to happiness, without holiness.
Without holiness here, no heaven hereafter.
It is not absolutely necessary that you should be great or rich in the world;
"And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth." (Revelation 21:27)
God will at last shut the gates of glory against every person that is without heart-purity.
Ah, sirs, holiness is a flower that grows not in Nature's garden. as they are born with tongues in their mouths:
holiness is of a Divine offspring:
Men are not born with holiness in their hearts,
Jesus LORDit is a pearl of great price,
that is to be found in no nature but a renewed nature,
in no bosom but a sanctified bosom.
Jesus LORDThere is not the least beam or spark of holiness in any natural man in the world. "Every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart is only evil contiually." (Genesis 6:5) "
"How can man be clean that is born of a woman?"(Job 25:4)
The interrogation carries in it a strong negation,
"How can man be clean?"
that is, man cannot be clean that is born of a woman:
Jesusa man that is born of a woman is born in sin,
Jesusand born both under wrath and under the curse.
"And who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?"
"But we are all as an unclean thing,
Jesusand all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." (Job 14:4 ; Isa 64:6) "
"There is none righteous,
no not one;
there is none that understandeth,
there is none that seeketh after God." (Romans 3:10,11)
Every man by nature is a stranger, yea, an enemy to holiness.
"The carnal mind is enmity against God:" (Romans 8:7)
Every man that comes into this world comes with his face towards sin and hell, and with his back upon God and holiness.
All men are born sinners,
and there is nothing but an infinite power that can make them saints.
All men would be happy,
and yet they naturally loathe to be holy.
By all which you may clearly see that food is not more necessary for the preservation of natural life, than holiness is necessary for the preservation and salvation of the soul.
If a man had the wisdom of Solomon,
Jesus Christthe strength of Samson,
Jesus is Christ the courage of Joshua,
Jesus is my Lordthe policy af Ahithophel,
Jesus Christ is Lordthe dignities of Haman,
Jesus Christ is the Lordthe power of Ahasuerus,
Jesus Christ is the LORD and the eloquence of Apollos,
yet all those, without holiness, would never save him.
The days and times wherein we live call aloud for holiness.
If you look upon them as days and times of grace, what greater and higher engagements to holinesss were ever put upon a people, than those that God hath put upon us,
who enjoy so many ways, means, and helps to make us holy?
Oh, the pains,
that God hath been at, and that God is daily at, to make us holy!
Hath He not sent, and doth He not still send His messengers, rising up early, and going to bed late, and all to provoke you to be holy?
Have not many of them spent their time, and spent their strength, and spent their spirits, and spent their lives to make you holy?
O, sirs, what do holy ordinances call for, but holy hearts and holy lives.
What do days of light call for,
but walking in the light, and casting off the deeds of darkness.
What is the voice of all the means of grace,
but this, Oh, labour to be gracious?
And what is the voice of the Holy Spirit,
but this, Oh, labour to be holy?
And what is the voice of all the miracles of mercy that God hath wrought in the midst of you,
but this, "Be ye holy, be ye holy."
what could the Lord have done that He hath not done to make you holy?
Hath He not
lifted you up to heaven in respect of holy helps?
Hath He not
to this very day followed you close with holy offers, and holy entreaties, and holy counsels, and holy encouragements, and all to make you holy?
And will you be loose still, and dearly love it, Christ life eternaland stoutly defend it, and conscientiously practise it, than you have done to this very day? (Revelation 2:4,5 ; Isa 42: 25)
I suppose there is nothing more evident than that the times and seasons wherein we live call aloud upon every one to look after holiness, and to labour for holiness.
Christ is eternal lifeand proud still
Christ is eternal lifeand worldly still,
Christ is eternal lifeand malicious still,
Christ is eternal lifeand envious still,
Christ is eternal lifeand contentious still,
Christ is eternal lifeand unholy still?
Oh, what is this,
but to provoke the Lord to put out all the lights of heaven,
life a to drive your teachers into corners,
eternalto remove your candlesticks,
eternally and to send His everlasting Gospel, that hath stood long a tip-toe, among a people that may more highly prize it,
Never complain of the times,
Holy Spirit but cease to do evil,
the Holy Spirit and labour to do well,
Holy Spirit is life and all will be well;
get but better hearts and better lives,
and you will quickly see better times. (Isa 1:16-19)
1st Published, in the year of our Lord 1662
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Reverend Thomas Brooks,
Rector of St. Margaret,
Fish Street Hill,