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Christian Perfection: Chapter 1 - Christian Perfection Defined

By John Fletcher


      We call Christian perfection the maturity of grace and holiness, which established, adult believers attain to under the Christian dispensation; and by this means we distinguish that maturity of grace, both from the ripeness of grace which belongs to the dispensation of the Jews below us and from the ripeness of glory which belongs to departed saint above us. Hence it appears that, by Christian perfection, we mean nothing but the cluster and maturity of the graces which compose the Christian character in the church militant. In other words, Christian perfection is a spiritual constellation made up of these gracious stars, -- perfect repentance, perfect faith, perfect humility, perfect meekness, perfect self-denial, perfect resignation, perfect hope, perfect charity for our visible enemies, as well as for our earthly relations; and, above all, perfect love for our invisible God, through the explicit knowledge of our Mediator Jesus Christ. And as this last star is always accompanied by all the others, as Jupiter is by his satellites, we frequently use, as St. John, the phrase "perfect love," instead of the word "perfection;" and understanding by it the pure love of God, shed abroad in the heart of established believers by the Holy Ghost, which is abundantly given them under the fullness of the Christian dispensation.

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See Also:
   Chapter 1 - Christian Perfection Defined
   Chapter 2 - An Address to Imperfect Believers
   Chapter 3 - An Address to Perfect Christians

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