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258 > Page 258 of Autobiography / of Frank G. Allen ; and selections from his writings ; edited by Robert Graham.

SELECTED WRITINGS OF can only break off' their sinful practices, and practice morality, they think they have done all that is really essential. In this there are two fatal mistakes. First, no reformation is perfect. The best of men whose lives have been moulded into the divine image, and are most conformed to the divine nature, have their im- perfections. The ripest saint upon the earth feels that if his salvation depended on his perfect sinlessness in conduct for the rest of life, the chances of heaven would at once become dark and hopeless. The cheerfulness and bright assurance of the child of God are not be- cause he hopes to live a perfect life, but because his imperfections will be taken away in Christ. And second, the most perfect reformation would avail noth- ing. Could one so reform his life as to never sin again, and practice virtue in place of the former vice, it would fall lar short of securing the end. However free from sin one may live in the future, the sins of the past are upon him. These will forever condemn him, unless they are removed. Our ceasing to sin will not take away the old ones. The fact that a man refuses to contract any more debts, will not pay a dollar of his old ones. So no amount of reformation will make amends for the past. Our past sins must be taken away, else they will condemn us in the day of eternity. We can not remove them ourselves; we can not atone for our own sins. Here we are utterly helpless. To what source, then, shall we go Christ is the only refuge. He alone can take away our sins; His blood alone can cleanse from sin. "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with an- other, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin."' This is the "fountain opened in the 258