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Holiness and the Fragrance Of Christ


This evening I came across a short message by the late James A. Stewart, (Evangelist & Missionary born in Glasgow, Scotland) at Herald of His Coming, and wanted to share a portion of it.

When I was saved, during a mighty movement of the Spirit of God in Glasgow, Scotland, a young lady was also saved. Her name was Helen Ewan. She was just a slip of a girl, but at the very threshold of her new life in Christ, she crowned Him as absolute Lord, and was filled with the Spirit – a definite experience.

The rivers of living water simply flowed from that young girl’s life (John 7:37-39). When she died at the age of 22, all Scotland wept. I know hundreds of missionaries all over the world wept and mourned for her.

She had mastered the Russian language and was expecting to labor for God in Europe. She had no outstanding personality; she never wrote a book, nor composed a hymn; she was not a preacher, and never traveled more than 200 miles from her home. But when she died, people wrote about her life story. Although she died so early in life, she had led a great multitude to Jesus Christ. She arose early each morning about 5 o’clock to study God’s Word, to commune, and to pray. She prayed for hundreds of missionaries. Her mother showed me her diary – one of her diaries – and there were at least 300 different missionaries for whom she was praying. It showed how God had burdened that young heart with a ministry of prayer. She had the date when she started to pray for a request and then the date when God answered her petition. She had a dynamic prayer life that moved God and moved man.

I was talking one day with two university professors in London City. We were talking about dynamic Christianity, when one of them suddenly said, “Brother Stewart, I want to tell you a story.” And he told me that in Glasgow University there was a remarkable young lady, who, wherever she went on that campus, left a fragrance of Christ behind her.

For example, if the students were telling dirty stories, someone would say, “Shhh! – Helen is coming – quiet.” And then she passed by and unconsciously left the power behind her. The university professor told me how in their prayer meetings they could always tell when this young lady entered the room… The moment she entered the room the whole of the meeting was revolutionized by the mighty power of God. “And,” said that professor, “she led many of those students to Jesus Christ.” She was the greatest power for God that he ever knew in his life.

I said, “Sir, that could only be one person. That was Helen Ewan.” He said that was the name of the young lady.

I have been out on the streets of Glasgow at midnight, in the awful cold winter night, giving out my tracts and doing personal soul winning, and as I have been going home, I have seen Helen Ewan with her arms around a poor, drunken harlot, and telling her of Jesus and His love. Friends, she led a great multitude to Jesus Christ….

Some of you will doubt that testimony…maybe all of you will. But I do believe it’s possible to carry the fragrance of Christ, for I have been blessed to personally know a few, granted, a very few, that did.

Can’t you catch the scent of the world upon people? I can. So it’s not so strange to believe we can also have the Spirit given ability to recognize the fragrance of that which is Holy as well.

That small testimony of Helen Ewan reminded me of a post from some years back titled, The Fragrance of the Rose of Sharon

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 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. 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.

By G. Campbell Morgan: 1863 – 1945 

I’m just musing here tonight friends, but have you ever wondered what fragrance you carry with you? 

4 comments on “Holiness and the Fragrance Of Christ

  1. Usually it’s Old Spice…just joking. Truly the saved man or woman doesn’t have to worry about doing works, but being the branch the fruit automatically comes through submission and humility.

  2. The problem I see in the church is that holiness is talked against. God’s command for us to be HOLY is negated, put down, disparaged, or made meaningless. People, and pastors speak against it as if it were a disease. They say of some who is speaking of holiness, that they are just trying to earn their way to heaven by works. NOT TRUE! A child of God wants to and h a desire to please God in all his conduct.

    1 Peter 1:15
    15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

    2 Peter 3:11
    11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

    Conducts matters before God and man. Your conduct always reveals whether or not you believe God!

    1 John 3:10
    In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest:Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

    1 John 3:7
    Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

    Many profess to know Him, but their lives prove otherwise. Our profession is meaningless without action that match. How were determinations made as to who was a jeep or goat? By what they did, not what they said!

    • I haven’t heard it so much talked against as just ignored. Many years ago holiness was a doctrine you heard preached often in churches…least in my neck of the woods. But it seems you don’t hear it taught or preached about very often these days.

      Or, its sad to say, when you do hear it mentioned it’s confused with self-righteousness. And brother, the two couldn’t be further apart in meaning.

      Conducts matters before God and man. Your conduct always reveals whether or not you believe God!

      Amen, i believe that too.

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