Benjamin Sabin (Methodist)

February 21, 2017 // Story


I was born in Thompson, Windham County, Conn., March 1st, 1790, and was early taught

by pious parents to fear God, and live for eternity, but knew not that I “must be born again, until
November 24th, 1807. Then, under the labor of that dear man of God, Rev. E. R. Sabin, now in
heaven, I saw and felt my need of Saviour. On the ninth day of December following, I was justified
by faith in Christ; the Spirit witnessing the fact to my spirit. As I tried to live to the glory of God, I
soon felt the need of a deeper work of grace in my heart; for at times the remains of the carnal
mind, and roots of bitterness, were springing up and troubling, me, directing my mind, and
interrupting my communion with God.

I was convinced by reading the Scripture, and the testimony of eminent Christian, that I

must and might be “holy;” “perfected in love;” “dwell in Christ, and He in me.” This soon became
the burden of my prayer, to be “cleansed from all sin, and filled with all the fullness of God.” At
times it appeared nigh, and that I was then to be “baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” I
seemed to have strong hold, by faith of the promised blessing; but hesitating to yield my whole
heart there and then, fearing I should not keep it, and adorn the Holy doctrine of God my Saviour as
might be expected of me, I found to my sorrow that I was far down the hill, as it were, that I had
labored hard to ascend; and lost my strong hold of faith and prayer, and could only grope my way
along as I had in the past, gaining and losing.

About the first of September, 1808, there was a prayer-meeting at my father’s; and I saw by

faith the long-sought-for blessing at hand, as I had often seen in secret devotion to God, and that
now is my time to be purified from sin, and empowered to glorify God with “my soul and body,
which are His.” I agonized in prayer for it, and by grace resolved no more to parley, but then and
there to obtain the blessing, the Lord being my helper; and, if I did not gain the victory in the
meeting, I would go to the woods and pray all night, or until I found it. As soon as this was the full
determination of my heart, the Lord appeared for my relief, and “glory shone around:” my soul was
let into the “clear light, life, and fullness of Christ, my Lord.” Under this powerful manifestation,
my body was prostrated to the floor, and I cried aloud, in tears, for joy, wonder, love, and praise


to God. This was “above all that I could ask or think” I could now say, then tempted, to fear or
shame, “Get thee behind me Satan!” and the Enemy was vanquished at once. Here I found power
through Christ to keep myself, and the Wicked One touched me not. This is the “holy ground,”
where we may see “the bush burn with fire, and not consumed.” “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” It is
now nearly sixty year since I have know and witnessed Christ’s power “to save to the uttermost
them that come unto God by Him.” Here, instead of laboring, hard to keep our religion, it keep us.
Oh, yes!

“To dwell within Thy wounds; then pain
Is sweet, and life or death is gain.”

I find as I near the grave, in the seventeenth year of my life, the way is clear: there is “light”

“clear light,” beyond the river. Amen. So may it be! Amen.

I write this sketch of my experience in Christ, on Tuesday, the day for prayer-meeting,

especially for “purity of heart in the blood of the Lamb,” at Dr. Palmer’s in New York. I have
longed for the advantage of such a meeting for many year I think it would be like the place where
our Lord as transfigured before the disciples, “good f or us to be here;” but, ah! I must die without
the sight: nevertheless, “Thy will be done.” “The Guide to Holiness,” or “Christian Perfection,”
has ever been a blessing to me. Brother T. Merritt, its originator, and first editor, I think, as a
choice fellow-laborer with me “in the kingdom and patience of Jesus,” in the New England
Conference, more than fifty years ago. Yes, yes, the doctrine, “If we walk in the light as He is in
the light” &c., was well understood, experienced, and daily enjoyed by many in those days; and I
trust it will be our “Urim and Thummim” to the end of time.

“Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy power to save,
on this poor lisping, stammering tongue
Lies silent in the grave.”

Source: “Pioneer Experiences” by Phoebe Palmer

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

Vol. I — Named Accounts


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