(Society of Friends)

February 9, 2017 // Story


(Society of Friends)

I was born November 23, 1833, in the village of Mount Pleasant, Ohio.

My parents were Friends or Quakers, which gave me a birthright membership in that

Church of which I am a member.

I had a guarded religious education, was early taught by my mother to say, “Now I lay me

down to sleep,” and often had deep religious convictions. From a child I have been a faithful
attendant on pubic worship, and when very young acknowledged God. I had no Sabbath-school
privileges and but little practical instruction in the way of salvation, but had a covenant with God,
and tried to serve Him.

I have no distinct recollection of my conversion, but remember I often prayed for

forgiveness of sins, and at times joy and peace followed. While this was the case I had such
struggles with my carnal nature that I doubted my conversion. I often prayed earnestly for
deliverance, and sought it by the deeds of the law, knowing no other way.

I had been taught, by reading our, standard works, to believe in Christian perfection or

holiness, and once wrote an article upon the subject, and would argue for it.

As I became actively engaged in Sabbath-school work I was painfully conscious of a need

in my soul not supplied — an aching void which led me to earnestly cry unto God for deliverance.
But it never came. I had many years of this kind of life — doubts and fears — careless and
indifferent, then faithful and peaceful — but no steady walk with God.

In the providence of God, I met with a friend who spoke of having received the blessing of

holiness. She told of the light and joy and peace which filled her soul, and while she talked my
heart burned within me for a like experience, and I began to seek for it in real earnest.


She left me a little tract to read — “Out of darkness into the kingdom” — by R. P. Smith,

which gave me some help.

Being often in company with D. B. Updegraff, who had received the experience of holiness

a short time before, I now sought help from him, and one Sabbath afternoon in June, 1870, as we
were talking upon this experience, I found clearly the way to obtain it. I learned if I made a
complete consecration of all to God, and then simply believed that God accepted the offering, that
the altar would sanctify the gift the moment it was put thereon — I would have the blessing of
sanctification. This seemed easy and simple. I concluded to try it, but, for fear of failure, I thought
best to say nothing about it. As my consecration was complete I had peace in it, but nothing definite
came in my experience until a few days after, when I confessed to a very intimate friend, in the
presence of others, that my all was the Lord’s. Then a flood of joy and peace filled my soul. From
that time I believed and confessed the experience, which increased my faith and confidence.

Because of much opposition, and a conscious weakness in speaking boldly for Christ, I felt

I needed the enduement of power from on high. In this condition I retired to my room and there
poured out my soul to God for deliverance. While thus engaged in prayer I felt a peculiar sensation
come over my body, and the glory of the lord filled my soul, so that I shouted aloud, “Glory to
God,” until I was completely prostrated and asked God to stay His hand. I felt the Spirit
permeating my entire being, and that I was now fully crucified with Christ, cleansed from all sin
and dead indeed unto sin.

The thought of sin pained my heart, and to yield to it I felt would be instant death.

After recovering from my prostration I sat up to read my Bible, which was wonderfully

illuminated. While reading a doubt was thrust into my mind as to whether this was truly the
baptism of the Holy Ghost or a delusion. This was soon overcome, and the glory of the Lord so
filled me that I could not sleep that night. As I walked out in the beautiful moonlight I could hear
the insects singing “Glory to God,” the crickets in the grass saying, “Blessed Jesus,” and in the
house the old clock on the wall ticked, “Praise God.” This thrilling emotion, which lasted for days,
did subside, but the life and light, joy and peace, have continued for these seventeen years. I
immediately entered upon Gospel service with renewed energy, and was blessed in it. I have had
many severe trials and tests of my faith, but Christ has given the victory.

I have found it safe to trust all in the hands of God and obey Him in all things, and in so

doing I find more happiness, joy, and peace in life than I ever had before. “There are no joys like
the joys of God’s salvation.” In times of trial and perplexity I find it delightful to commit all to
God, realizing that He knows best and cares for me still, and will never leave nor forsake me.
Praise His name.

Twenty-fifth Day, Third Month, 1887.

Source: “Forty Witnesses” by S. Olin Garrison

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(A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts)
Compiled by Duane V. Maxey

Vol. I — Named Accounts

Interchurch Holiness Convention

18931 Route 522

Beaver Springs, PA 17812

Phone: 570-658-1030