THE RAISING UP OF THE PURITANS
Later, the Puritans were raised up. Among them, some from Holland and England migrated separately to America. The ship The Mayflower was one of the vessels that carried these Puritan immigrants to the new land.
THE RECOVERY OF THE BRETHREN
A. The Heavenly Calling of the Church
In the last century, God began to have a special recovery. First, He recovered the heavenly calling of the church. The church is like the Israelites in the Old Testament. It should not at any time look to earthly blessings. The church is a group of people who have been called by heaven. It is not their aim to reform society. God’s people are those who take the heavenly way on earth. They have given up all hope for the world and society. To them, the world is passing away, and everything therein will be judged. The church’s view is different from that of the world. What the church expects is heaven, and not world reforms. These words are familiar to us today, and we may not feel the power behind these words. But at the beginning, this matter was a tremendous recovery.
B. The Oneness of the Church
The second thing the Brethren recovered was the oneness of the church. They saw the oneness of the Body of Christ and realized that the church today is in a state of ruin. Expositors such as J. N. Darby and F. W. Grant all agreed that the church today is in a state of ruin.
THE RAISING UP OF JOHN WESLEY—
THE RECOVERY OF SANCTIFICATION BY FAITH
These recoveries occurred among the Brethren. In addition to them, John Wesley was raised up. He recovered the truth concerning sanctification. A man is not only justified by faith, but is also sanctified by faith. Wesley was indeed a servant of God, a dear brother, and a man greatly used by God. He bore the right testimony, but quoted the wrong Scriptures to prove his message. Although his quotations are wrong, the doctrine he preached was right. For example, he quoted 1 John 1:7 as a reference to sanctification. For this reason, some rejected his teachings altogether. This is to go too far. It is possible for a man to quote the wrong Scriptures. However, if he is the right person and he preaches the right doctrine, even if his quotations are wrong, the mistake is not fatal. On the other hand, if the quotations are correct, but the person is wrong, the problem is much more serious. We would rather see the person right and the quotations wrong, than to see the quotations right and the person wrong. Although he quoted the wrong Scriptures, God was still able to cause men to be sanctified.
THE RECOVERY OF SANCTIFICATION
After this, there was Robert Pearsall Smith, a porcelain merchant. He was the husband of Mrs. Hannah Whitall Smith, the writer of the book The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life. At that time, men were not very clear concerning the doctrine of sanctification. He preached that man is not sanctified by faith only, but by consecration also. Sanctification does not come merely by faith, but by consecration as well.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 43, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)