‘A tone, and taste, and character, and habit of life unlike that of other men…’

” “Every tree is known by his own fruit.” (Luke 6. 44) A truly sanctified person may be so clothed with humility, that he can see in himself nothing but infirmity and defects. Like Moses, when he came down from the Mount, he may not be conscious that his face shines. Like the righteoues, in the mighty parable of the sheep and the goats, he may not see that he has done anything worthy of his Master’s notice and commendation: “When he saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee?” (Matt 25.37) But whether he sees it himself or not, others will always see in him a tone, and taste, and character, and habit of life unlike that of other men. The very idea of a man being “sanctified,” while no holiness can be seen in his life, is flat nonsense and a misuse of words. Light may be very dim; but if there is only a spark in a dark room it will be seen. Life may be very feeble; but if the pulse only beats a little, it will be felt. It is just the same with a sanctified person: their sanctification will be something felt and seen, though he himself may not understand it. A ‘saint’ in whom nothing can be seen but worldliness and sin, is a kind of monster not recognised in the Bible!”

J. C. Ryle, Holiness (Evangelical Press, 1976), p. 19.

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