It is not the man who hides himself in a cave

(J.C. Ryle, "The Fight!")

True sanctification does not consist in retirement from our place in life, and the renunciation of our social duties. In every age it has been a snare with many, to take up this line in the pursuit of holiness. Hundreds of hermits have buried themselves in some wilderness, and thousands of men and women have shut themselves up within the walls of monasteries and convents — under the vain idea that by so doing, they would escape sin and become eminently holy.

They have forgotten that no bolts and bars can keep out the devil; and that, wherever we go, we carry that root of all evil our own hearts.

True holiness does not make a Christian evade difficulties — but face and overcome them. Christ would have His people show that His grace is not a mere hot-house plant, which can only thrive under shelter — but a strong, hardy thing which can flourish in every relation of life. It is doing our duty, in that state to which God has called us — like salt in the midst of corruption, and light in the midst of darkness — which is a primary element in sanctification.

It is not the man who hides himself in a cave — but the man who glorifies God in the family and in the street, in business and in trade — who is the Scriptural type of a sanctified man.