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Fragrance of the Rose of Sharon

By G. Campbell Morgan

      Holiness does not need to be talked about; it talks. You remember Emerson's words--I do not quote the pisissima verba, but the spirit of what he said--"I cannot hear what you say for listening to what you are." I repeat, holiness does not need to be talked about; it talks. I quite agree with you that the nearer a man lives to his Lord, the less he announces his nearness in actual words; but the more evident it is in tone and temper, and these are the things of holiness. But I pray you, do not urge the fact that if you possessed it you would not talk about it as an indication of the impossibility of possessing the character of holiness.

      Holiness is a rare and beautiful spirit which permeates and pervades the whole life, and sheds its fragrance everywhere. I remember twenty years ago, in a home in which I was staying, that in one room I always detected the fragrance of roses, and I said to my host one day, "I wish you would tell me how it is that I never come into this room without seeming to detect the fragrance of roses." He smiled, and said: "Ten years ago I was in the Holy Land, and while there I bought a small phial of otto of roses. It was wrapped in cotton wool, and as I was standing there unpacking it, suddenly I broke the bottle. I took the whole thing up, cotton wool and all, and put it into this vase." There stood a beautiful vase, and he lifted the lid, and the fragrance of the roses filled the room. That fragrance had permeated the clay of the vase, and it was impossible to enter the room without consciousness of it. If Christ be in us, the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon will pervade and permeate our whole life. We need not talk about it; but if there be no fragrance, the reason is not that if there were you would not talk of it.

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