Guard against the influence of worldly associations- the deadening, carnalizing influence of the society of the ungodly. We bid you not separate yourself entirely from them, for this were to go out of the world. The gospel of Jesus is not reclusive nor selfish. The religion of Christ is not the religion of convents, and monasteries, and hermit’s cells. It bids, and it constrains, a Christian to love the souls of men, to live for the world’s good, to labor for the world’s blessing, to purify it with his grace, and to illumine it with his Christianity. But, we beseech you, avoid its intimacies, its friendships, its alliances, and a needless exposure to its society, if you would keep fresh upon your soul the sweet holy oil.

If, then, upon an honest examination of the circle in which you move, of the profession you have assumed, of the business you pursue, of the pleasures you indulge, of the connections you are forming, of the friendships you are cultivating, you discover that which is injurious to the life of God in your soul, which despoils you of the fragrance of your grace, which impairs your spiritual power, and lessens your usefulness in the church and in the world- beneath the cross, and under the renewed anointing of the Holy Spirit, abandon it at once and forever. Surrendering it heartily, solemnly, for Christ’s sake, you shall suffer no loss but the loss of that which robbed you of the costliest, sweetest, holiest blessing this side the sunny land of heaven.

The Inner Life

Octavius Winslow Archives