BEVERLY CARRADINE *3 Items (Methodist)
As I recall this part of my life now, it was while Bro. Hopper was giving his third Bible
reading, that like a flash of light breaking on me, I saw the second work of grace, holiness received through consecration and faith, an instantaneous experience, clearly taught in the Word of God.
The instant I beheld the privilege and grace, I wanted it. There was no thought or desire
with me to avoid the payment of the price or shirk and escape the difficulties that were in the way; but the dominant purpose and longing was how to get the blessing. The idea of arguing against a doctrine that so exalted Christ and honored the Blood never entered my mind. I wanted the blessing.
The evangelist gave general directions as to the obtainment of the experience that were true
and Scriptural, but the Spirit, as He always does, led specifically.
As well as I can recall some of the steps taken which led me into Canaan, one involved my
willingness to become an alien and outcast from the ranks of my brethren on account of the truth of holiness.
No one but a preacher who has lived for years in the midst of a congenial Conference or
Church Brotherhood could appreciate the suffering and sacrifice attending such an experience. Yet this was clearly brought to my mind and remained pressing heavily like a conviction upon it, until I said, “Yes.”
Next came another vivid-like impression almost like a voice — “would I be willing to give
up reputation for all time?”
It is true that very few individuals have really great reputations, and none have as much as
they think they have, but the trouble with the unsanctified heart is that it believes it possesses a lot of things that it does not, and among them a great, enviable life elevation and distinction.
But be that as it may, whether a man is in high standing with his fellow beings or just
imagines that he is; to secure the Blessing of holiness one has to place his reputation, real or fancied, on the altar, and be like His Lord who had none.
So again I said, “Yes.”
Following this was the inward query — “would I be willing to be misunderstood, all my
life, and tread a path of human loneliness to the very portals of the tomb?”
Not a reader but is conscious of the domestic, social and affectional pull on our natures,
and that according to law. There are divinely created movements of the heart and spirit that are legitimate and proper, and in them there is much of human happiness experienced. Now to be willing to be misunderstood in the household, ostracized from many a social and ecclesiastical circle, to be dropped as though one was contaminated, and avoided as if a leper by many or all, makes a sacrifice of a nature beyond words to adequately describe.
And yet with body prostrate on the floor and face wet with tears I answered the Lord once
As I took other steps in the line of consecration, it soon became evident that I was
rendering a full obedience to God as I recognized His will in His Word or heard His voice sounding in my soul calling to particular acts of sacrifice and service.
The words of Christ came back now with a profounder meaning when He said to His
disciples, If you will love Me and keep My commandments I will come and take up My abode in you. At the same time the condition of spiritual knowledge was made evident in the utterance, “If any man will do His will he shall know of the doctrine.”
So I kept saying Yes, Yes, Yes, to all of the divine will and Word, to every call He made
upon me, and I found a sweet growing consciousness that I was getting somewhere; that I was on the right road; and was in a way where the light was growing steadily brighter, evidently to some perfect day. I was three days seeking the blessing, and in all that period kept saying, “Yes” to God. Two of these acts of obedience I wish to call attention to.
Let the reader bear in mind that, during this period of which I am now writing, the War
against the Lottery Company was still going on, and the revival meeting led by Bro. Hopper in my church was in progress.
In my membership there was a gentleman who was wealthy. The richest member of the
congregation, he was also regarded as among the first financially in the city. He was a commission and cotton merchant, and a vacancy taking place in a bank he was promptly elected president by the directors.
In this bank the Louisiana State Lottery Co. had large deposits. One day I received a letter
enclosing a lottery ticket, and the following lines with it written on note paper: “Did you know that your leading member, Mr. W , has his name on the back o every one of the lottery tickets and that he states over his signature that if said ticket should draw a prize that he will as president of the bank see that it is cashed?”
I placed the letter with the ticket in my pocket and wondered what should and could be
done. The man was so wealthy and influential; he was in addition so reserved and chilling in his manner that no one was intimate or familiar with him, and no one would hardly dare to reprove him. One day I was in the heart of the French part of the city, the day before I received the blessing, when suddenly the still small voice I knew so well, most powerfully and sweetly directed me to return at once, and go to the bank of Mr. W. talk to him about his soul and urge him to give up his connection with the Lottery.
The prominence of the man, together with his cold manner, made this new command of
Heaven a very trying test to my obedience. But the burning abiding sweetness of the impression on my soul could not be mistaken, so with a quick catch in my breath and a sinking feeling of dread in my heart I said, “I will go.”
Nevertheless, Gideon-like, I asked for a sign; saying to the Savior, “I will obey you; but
grant as a confirmation of this impression sent me, that when I reach the Bank there will be no one in Mr. W_____’s office but himself, and that you will allow no person to interrupt us while I am employed with him on your mission.”
When I reached the door of the private office I saw that Mr. W_____ was alone; in
addition not a soul, whether clerk or citizen, came in while we were speaking together. the time consumed was nearly an hour. The marvel of it all was that I never knew the like to happen before or since. The rule was always a perfect procession of people in and out of that busy apartment of the president of the bank.
It is needless to tell how God helped us to talk to this man in tenderness and yet firmness.
As he and his wife had been growing cold, backslidden and worldly for years, I recalled to him what he had once been to the Sunday School and church What an influence he could wield in the city and in his own congregation if he would only come out positively and devotedly as he once did to every meeting and interest of the church
He replied that he could not do so, that he had served his time, and others ought to be
I then most earnestly begged him to dissolve his connection with the Louisiana State
Lottery Company. He responded that he did not believe in nor approve of it.
In answer I drew from my pocket the lottery ticket that had been sent me, and showed him
his name on the back with the statement that if this ticket drew a prize, he the undersigned president of a certain bank, would see that it was cashed.
He became very white, and answered that this was simply an official notice and not an
endorsement of ‘the Lottery. I replied, “But here is your statement Bro. W_____, saying the ticket will be cashed if it is the right number. And your good name signed here encourages people to invest in the gambling concern, and so becomes an actual recommendation and endorsement of this great swindling business and iniquitous corporation.”
He rejoined with increasing whiteness and resentment, “That as the president of the bank he
was compelled to give that notice as the Lottery Company made deposits in his bank”
My reply was:
“Then, Bro. W_____, give up the presidency of the bank rather than do this great wrong to
yourself and your fellow beings.”
He answered stiffly and freezingly that he could not think of doing such a thing. I then said
to him, as I saw he wished me to leave,
“But I am compelled to tell you in all kindness that we cannot receive any more of your
money in our church.”
I then spoke a kindly good-bye to the deeply offended man and went from the interview and
building with a flood of divine favor and approval in my soul.
The man never forgave me. A few weeks afterward he left our church and joined Dr.
Palmer’s, the First Presbyterian. He said in explanation of his departure that he could not stand my Holiness preaching. But the record in the Book of Judgment will not read that way in the Last Day. Instead of Holiness preaching will be found the words, “The Lottery — Bank — Presidential Salary – Ten Thousand Dollars a Year,” etc., etc.
A New Orleans preacher transferred to cities farther North in Missouri, Kentucky and
Maryland, told it wherever he went that “Dr. Carradine had driven from the ranks of Methodism and from our church one of the best men, loveliest characters and truest members that the Southern Methodist Church ever had.” This speech was repeated many times, and firmly believed by many thousands, so that today it would be impossible to convince a multitude in New Orleans and elsewhere to the contrary. The record in the Book of Judgment which will be read aloud in the upper air one of these days can alone make this with many other unknown matters and histories clear to the eyes and convictions of man. I am willing to wait until that day.
As I left the bank, just as clearly the Spirit of God led me to go to another leading member
of my church. He was a merchant in the fancy grocery business and had three stores in the city. In addition to groceries he sold wines and liquors of all kinds. He had been a member of Carondolet Street Church for years. I found him there as one of the leading stewards.
I had my interview with him in his wine or liquor room. Standing among the barrels and
cases I talked to him kindly, lovingly, entreatingly and faithfully. I told him he had many excellent
traits of character; that he was generous, hospitable and charitable; that I loved him personally; but he was in a wrong business. That God could not bless him in it; that instead His curse was on it. That the Word; of God said, “Woe to the man who putteth the bottle to his neighbor’s lips.”
I have not space here to describe the whole scene and occurrence. Can only say that Bro.
M_____ flew all to pieces; the first time I ever saw him angry. He said that people would have wines, that he did not make them buy, etc., etc., all through the old stock arguments of defense of the wrong business.
Seeing that I had failed with him, and that there was no hope of the meeting reaching him as
he did not attend it, I bade him a sorrowful good day, telling him as I had told Bro. W_____, that we could not accept his $200 for pastoral support hereafter.
As I walked away from this second and most painful obedience to God that morning, I had
a most remarkable witness given to my soul that God was pleased with my consecration and that no more tests would be given in that line until the blessing came.
The other step of Faith remained, and this I took and kept taking. Scores of times I said,
“The Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me now. The altar sanctifies me now. Jesus sanctifies me now.” And all blessing to His name, I felt my faith growing. I was approaching the perfected faith talked about by Paul.
Then I prayed! And oh, how I prayed. Hours at a time I would be on my knees or on my
face alone in my study or private room.
One morning I arose through the touch of God a great while before day and prayed until
eight o’clock. My soul was full of peace, but that which I was after had not come. At 8:30 I could eat nothing at breakfast, and went to my Study up stairs.
It was nine o’clock, the third hour of the day, and I was sitting in my armchair yearning, and
expecting. I was singing softly the chorus of “Down at the Cross,” when I got a heavenly telegram that the Blessing was coming. I felt unworthy to receive such grace sitting, and tried to rise and have it come on me as I stood, but He that makes comets fly four hundred miles a second is quicker than all motion, and before I could leave my seat, the fire fell! the blessing came! the Baptism with the Holy Ghost flooded, filled and rolled over my soul in billows of flame and glory!
The reader is referred to my book on Sanctification for further particulars of what took;
place in my room and in the church on that never-to-be-forgotten morning.
That wonderful day is past; but the reflection still glows and burns in the sky. The storm of
glory swept by; but it left Jesus walking on a stilled sea. The work abides. The witness remains. My soul is at rest.
I was born in the morning. I was born again in the morning. Was baptized with the Holy
Ghost in the morning. And please God, I expect with a great multitude of God’s people to arise
from the dead in the morning of the Resurrection when Jesus appears in the sky, and at His voice they that sleep in their graves shall come forth unto everlasting life and glory.
Source: “Graphic Scenes” (Chapter 30 “How I Obtained The Blessing”) By Beverly Carradine
HOW I ENTERED
The preacher who led me into this grace, told me it was received through two steps, and
that the first was
Immediately I began to consecrate. One would say that I had consecrated before; that all
Christians, worthy of the name, should be consecrated. All this is true; but in seeking sanctification, I discovered the difference between consecration and perfect consecration. The latter alone obtains the blessing of entire sanctification.
So the consecration made this time was one where nothing was withheld from God. There
was not a single mental reservation. The various steps taken at this time in getting on the altar, remain vividly with me after the lapse of six years, and will never, for that matter, be forgotten.
One of the first calls or impressions of the Spirit upon me was, Would I give up big
Churches? This means much to many preachers. It is felt by numbers to be a proper ambition: that it means a larger sphere of usefulness. Anyhow, we all know it means gratified ambition. So the question went into me like a dart. But in the midst of the pain, I cried out: “Yes, Lord, and will go to the humblest circuit in the Connection if you will give me this blessing.”
The second impression was like unto it, Would I give up big salaries; be willing to have a
small income in the service of the Lord if He should so order it?
The answer was, “Yes, Lord.”
The third call was, Would I quit trying to preach big sermons?
Quick as a flash came the response of my heart, “Yes, Lord” and I have not tried to deliver
such a sermon from that day to this.
A fourth thought came to me in the same questioning form, Would I give up all desire and
expectation of becoming a bishop?
Many of my preacher readers will smile at this, but they know better than others how much
is in the thought. I question in my mind whether there has ever been a traveling preacher in our Church but has had dreams and desires concerning this office. Paul said that he that desired the office of a bishop, desired “a good thing.” Judging from many things we see today, we think that conclusion is cordially shared with the apostle by a great many others. Judging from advantages not always spiritual or heavenly, it is the best thing in the gift of the Church today.
While preaching at the St. Louis Annual Conference, several years ago, I remarked in my
sermon, to an audience in which were nearly one hundred preachers: “Brethren, if you all knew now many preachers here once expected or still hope to be bishops, you would be amazed.” A profound stillness came upon the audience, as if they expected I would call out names; but I did not have time to run over the Conference roll, and so went on to another point in the discourse. Later in the afternoon, I met a young preacher, who had been preaching for six months as a “supply,” on some remote backwoods circuit. He was a young man of unusually unsophisticated appearance. Stopping me, he said:
“Doctor, you greatly hurt me today in what you said in your sermon.”
“Hurt you, my brother!” was my response “Why, in what way?”
“O” he rejoined, “you struck me in what you said about being a bishop.”
I dropped my head to hide the smile that would come up, and inwardly cried: “O Lord is
the leprosy in this lad also?”
So the reader sees something of the inward query: “Will you give up all dreamings about
The answer came welling up, “Yes, Lord.” The dream vanished from that moment, never to
return. What a relief this alone has been! What a relief it would be to many others if they would do likewise, and what a relief to their friends, and to the whole Church, and to Heaven!
A fifth test came up in the question, Would I be willing to be cast out by my brethren?
That preacher who has a first-class appointment, and possesses a large number of
ministerial friends, can best understand the heaviness of the cross revealed in these words.
Again came the old answer, “Yes, Lord;” and the eyes grew suddenly wet, and the heart
saw Gethsemane in the distance, and knew there were coming hours of lonely prayer, and sweat of blood, and angry voices of arrest, and at the same time would be heard the dying away in the distance of the retreating footsteps of former friends. But the word “Yes” was said in spite of the vision.
A sixth trial came up. Would I be willing to be regarded and called a crank and fanatic?
So this meant that the reputation that had been patiently built up for fourteen years was to
be all knocked down and blown away.
And what have they not called me since that hour!
A seventh test came up in the form of a gold watch that I wore at this time.
Would I take it off for Christ’s, conscience’, and the people’s sake?
Why should I? was the mental query.
The answer came: The Bible says not to wear gold, the Methodist Discipline says not to do
it, and the consciences of many are offended at such a spectacle in a preacher’s dress.
This was amply sufficient; and the watch was sold for $65, and the money given to foreign
Let no one suppose that we are making our own conscience a law for other people. We
know very lovely, religious people who wear gold watches, and who are far more spiritual and devoted and useful than the writer. I am simply telling how I obtained the blessing.
I took off the gold watch; and I removed it because I did not want an appearance of evil on
- I did not want, when correcting a man in the future for violation of the Word of God or infraction of the discipline, to be embarrassed and even silenced by the remark that I was also guilty.
So I took off the watch; and the people said I was losing my mind; and it was so, but it
happened to be my carnal mind.
An additional test came at this time, in a still simpler form. I had developed a taste for
carrying a rattan. One morning, on coming to the altar, my rattan fell with a slight clatter, on the floor near my knees. Something whispered: “What are you carrying that rattan around for?”
“O,” I mentally replied, “I am not feeling very strong this spring, and I want it to lean on.”
“Yes,” said the inward whisper; “but it is so pliant that you can not lean on it; you know
that it bends under the lightest touch.”
“That is so,” I said, with an inward groan.
After a pause came the still whisper: “Would you not like to lean on Christ altogether?
Would you not like to ‘come up out of the wilderness leaning on the arm of your Beloved?’ ”
The tears dashed into my eyes, and I said, “O yes, Lord, I want nothing better; let me have
Christ alone, from this hour, to lean upon;” and springing up, I took the little walking-cane, broke it over my knee, walked to the window, and cast the pieces into the yard.
And now the word ran swiftly among the outside critics and judges that I had certainly lost
I only said “Hallelujah!” when I heard of the remark.
Somehow I could not conceive of Christ wearing a gold watch and carrying a rattan; and
so, desiring to be as much like Him as possible, most gladly I stripped myself of anything and all things that I could not say were Christ-like.
Still another test came up in the rectification of little wrongs.
When persons are looking for friends to visit them, they are careful to make everything tidy,
and not only to sweep in the house, but around and even under the house, to make the place in a sense worthy of the loved visitor is the idea. So, when looking for Christ to come into the soul and life as a perpetual indweller, this conviction and desire both agree in regard to being cleansed and prepared for the heavenly coming.
“Sanctify yourselves; for I, the Lord your God, will sanctify you.”
With a jealous care I studied my life to see what would offend Christ’s holy eye should He
draw near. Everything of course went that was in the slightest way questionable. I gave the benefit of every doubt to the Savior.
Among the things I rectified was the recalling of hasty speeches and the humble
acknowledgment to the party against whom the offense had been committed.
One of these persons was a friend and favorite steward on my Board of Officials. Walking
over to him, with a heart full of pain at the confession, I told him, with a choking voice, as I gently laid my hand on his shoulder, that I had talked about him; and to please forgive me. In an instant we were in each others’ arms, and happy tears were falling down my face.
The other party to whom I made acknowledgment of hasty, irritable speech on a certain
occasion, was my wife. The hasty speech had been forgiven by the Lord at once; but the Spirit brought it up to mind as a test of obedience to His suggestions, and as a proper confession to her.
All this may look very little to some people; but I simply beg them to remember that I got
he blessing along this line, and so these things can not be so little.
Somehow the writer believes that if every husband in the land would do the just thing to his
wife in this regard, there would be a wonderful clearing up of the home atmosphere, and a great many female hearts would be made happy in the land.
Anyhow I did it, and the cork-like feeling of the body and the feather-like sensation of the
soul steadily increased.
Still another and final test of consecration came in the line of obedience. I had promised to
“hearken unto His voice,” whether in the Word or whether it came as deep impression on my soul.
One day, while in the French part of the city of New Orleans, on the way to pay a pressing
pastoral call, the inward voice and impression that I knew so well to be of God, bade me do a very trying thing. It is needless to describe minutely what it was: would only say that I was unquestionably moved to speak an hour with a very prominent man about his soul and a hurtful influence that he was just then exercising over many thousands. For nearly an hour I spoke with the man, face to face, about these things, doing it gently and lovingly, but firmly.
It was after this that I felt my consecration was complete — that God had given me the final
test, and had proved to the angels and men and myself that I was all on the altar.
Going to the preacher, I said: “What more shall I do? What is the next step?” His reply
was: “Believe that the altar on which you have placed yourself now sanctifies you.” He gave me two Scripture passages for it: “Whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy,” and “The altar sanctifieth the gift.”
But I said to him: “I don’t feel it.”
His reply was: “Believe it without feeling.”
And so I did. I walked away, saying in my heart, “The altar sanctifies the gift.” I said it
over and over; first with a sinking heart, but with a growing strength and faith as the hours went by.
As there came a test to my consecration, so there came a test to my faith; and an
impression, conviction, or leading — I know not which — formulated itself thus in my mind: “If you believe truly what the Word of God says about it, why not tell it? Do you believe it enough to acknowledge it to others?”
This brought a kind of gasp; but at once rallying, I said: “Yes, Lord, I will tell it to all you
want me.” So I told first my wife, and then my Church, that the altar sanctified me; that I did not have the witness yet, but believed the altar sanctified me.
If there is any one on earth who knows a man, it is his wife; and if any body of people
knows an individual, a congregation has very well weighed and sized up their pastor. To both of these I made the confession of faith.
There was nothing now more to do except pray and wait. This was continually done.
Prayer at this time was the very breath of my mouth, and my eyes were ever looking upward in expectation of the descending blessing for which my soul was now panting and crying.
On the morning it came, I was suddenly awakened, an hour before day, by the touch of the
Divine Hand. It was not nature’s gradual awakening and recovery of the mental faculties, but a sudden and yet complete entrance into a full consciousness of all around and within. I knew it was the Lord. He has awakened me in like manner many times since.
I was aroused thus for a final prayer. I shall never forget how my body was wrenched in an
agony of supplication for purity and an indwelling Christ. It seemed that it was wrung as I have seen a woman wring water out of a garment. I got to see how the blood was forced out of the body of the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane.
After an hour thus spent, this agonizing pleading left me, and in a quietness of spirit that I
can not describe, I arose, and went down to breakfast; but could eat nothing. Returning to my room, I sat down, with this great inward stillness upon my soul, and began softly singing to myself:
“Down at the cross where my Savior died, Down where for cleansing from sin I cried, There to my heart was the blood applied; Glory to His name!”
Suddenly I felt the blessing was coming. Some spiritual influence telegraphed ahead. I
arose to my feet to receive it, and as I was rising, it came upon me. Jesus entered the second time into His temple. He came this time to stay. He baptized me with the Holy Ghost and with fire. I knew it was the baptism of the Holy Ghost I was receiving. I knew I was being sanctified. The Spirit told me so. He witnessed to the work that was being done in me, and wrote upon every billow of glory that rolled over my soul, “This is sanctification.”
I fell on my knees by the side of my bed, overpowered by the greatness of the blessing that
had entered. I cried, and shouted with a voice that seemed literally propelled from within. I felt the blessing throughout me. It seemed to press upon my whole being. There was a sense of being actually charged as an instrument with electricity. I thought for several minutes that I would die. I could only say, “O my God! O my God!” and “Glory! Glory! Glory to God!”
This wonderful day is past; but the reflection still glows and burns in the sky. The storm of
glory swept by; but it left Jesus walking on the waves. The work abides. The witness remains. The soul is in a haven of rest.
It was not for months afterward that I noticed that the disciples were sitting when they
received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and that it was at nine o’clock in the morning.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one
place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. But Peter, standing up, … said, … These are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.” (That is nine o’clock.)
So with myself. I was sitting, and was in one accord with God and man, when suddenly the
breath of Heaven and the fire came upon me, and I was filled with the Holy Ghost. And it was exactly nine o’clock, or the third hour of the day.
I was converted in the morning, and sanctified in the morning, and, please God, I expect to
rise in the morning of the resurrection, when Jesus appears in the sky and calls to the slumbering dead.
God grant that the writer and reader may be children of the morning, and abide at last in the
city of which it is said, “There is no night there!”
Source: “The Better Way” by Beverly Carradine
I always believed in the doctrine in a general way, but not in the way particular. That is, I
recognized it as being true in our standards and religious biographies; but was not so quick to see it in the life and experience of persons claiming the blessing. I was too loyal a Methodist to deny what my Church taught me to believe; but there must have been beams and motes that kept me from the enjoyment of a perfect vision of my brother. Perhaps I was prejudiced; or I had confounded ignorance and mental infirmity with sin; or, truer still, I was looking on a “hidden life,” as the Bible calls it, and, of course, could not but blunder in my judgments and conclusions, even as I had formerly erred as a sinner in my estimation of the converted man.
I remember once having been thrown in the company of three ministers who were
sanctified men, and their frequent “praise the Lords” was an offense to me. I saw nothing to justify such demonstrativeness. The fact entirely escaped me that a heart could be in such a condition that praise and rejoicing would be as natural as breathing; that the cause of joy rested not in anything external, but in some fixed inward state or possession; that, therefore, perpetual praise could not only be possible, but natural, and in fact irrepressible. But at that time all this was hidden from me, except in a theoretic way, or as mistily beheld in distant lives of saints who walked with God on earth fifty or a hundred years ago.
In my early ministry I was never thrown with a sanctified preacher, nor had I ever heard a
sermon on entire sanctification. I beheld the promised life from a Pisgah distance, and came back from the view with a fear and feeling that I should never come into that goodly land. So, when I was being ordained at Conference, it was with considerable choking of voice, and with not a few inward misgivings and qualms of conscience, that I replied to the bishop’s questions, that I was ”going on to perfection,” that I “expected to be made perfect in love in this life,” and that I was groaning after it.” Perhaps the bishop himself was disturbed at the questions he asked. Perhaps he thought it was strange for a minister of God and father in Israel, whose life was almost concluded, to be asking a young preacher if he expected to obtain what he himself had never succeeded in getting. Stranger still, if he asked the young prophet if he expected to attain what he really felt was unattainable!
One thing I rejoice in being able to say: That although about that time, while surprised and
grieved at the conduct of a man claiming the blessing of sanctification, and although doubts disturbed me then and even afterward, yet I thank God that I have never, in my heart or openly, denied an experience or warred against a doctrine that is the cardinal doctrine of the Methodist Church, and concerning which I solemnly declared to the bishop that I as groaning to obtain. God in his mercy has kept me from this inconsistency — this peculiar denial of my Church and my Lord. Let me further add, that in spite of my indistinct views of sanctification all along, yet ever and anon during my life I have encountered religious people in whose faces I traced spiritual marks and lines — a divine handwriting not seen on every Christian countenance.
There was an indefinable something about them, a gravity and yet sweetness of manner, a
containedness and quietness of spirit, a restfulness and unearthliness, a far-awayness about them, that made me feel and know that they had a life and experience that I had not; that they knew God as I did not, and that a secret of the Lord had been given to them which had not been committed to me. These faces and lives, in the absence of sanctified preachers and sermons on the subject, kept my faith in the doctrine, in a great degree I suppose, from utterly perishing. Then there were convictions of my own heart all along in regard to what a minister’s life should be. Only a month before my sanctification, there was impressed upon me suddenly one day such a sense of the holiness and awfulness of the office and work, that my soul fairly sickened under the consciousness of its own shortcomings and failures, and was made to cry out to God. Moreover, visions of an unbroken soul-rest, and a constant abiding spiritual power, again and again came up before the mind as a condition possible and imperative. A remarkable thing about it is, that these impressions came to one who had enjoyed the peace of God daily for fifteen years.
At the Seashore Campground, in 1888, after having preached at eleven o’clock, the writer
came forward to the altar as a penitent convicted afresh under his own sermon, that he was not what he should be, nor what God wanted him to be and was able to make him. Many will remember the day and hour, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the time. I see now that my soul was reaching out, even then, not for the hundredth or thousandth blessing (for these I had before obtained), but what is properly called the Second Blessing. I was even then convicted by the Holy Ghost in regard to the presence of inbred sin in a justified heart.
Nearly a year afterward I instituted a series of revival services in Carondelet Street
Church, with the Rev. W. W. Hopper as my helper. At all the morning meetings the preacher presented the subject of entire sanctification. It was clearly and powerfully held up as being obtained instantaneously through consecration and faith. Before I received the blessing myself, I could not but be struck with the presence and power of the Holy Ghost. While urging the doctrine one morning, the preacher received such a baptism of glory that for minutes he was helpless; and while we were on our knees supplicating for this instantaneous sanctification, the Holy Spirit fell here and there upon individuals in the assembly, and shouts of joy and cries of rapture went up from the kneeling congregation in a way never to be forgotten.
The presence of God was felt so overwhelmingly and so remarkably that I could not but
reason after this manner: Here is being presented the doctrine of instantaneous sanctification by faith. If it w ere a false doctrine, would God thus manifest himself? Would the Holy Ghost descend
with approving power upon a lie? Does he not invariably withdraw his presence from the preacher and people when false doctrine is presented? But here He is manifesting Himself in a most remarkable manner. The meeting or hour that is devoted to this one subject is the most wonderful meeting and hour of all. The service fairly drips with unction. Shining faces abound. Christ is seen in every countenance. If entire sanctification obtained instantaneously is a false doctrine, is not the Holy Ghost actually misleading the people by granting His presence and favor, and showering His smiles at the time when this error or false doctrine is up for discussion and exposition? But would the Spirit thus deceive?
Irresistibly and with growing certainty I was led to see that the truth was being presented
from the pulpit, and that the Holy Ghost, who always honors the truth when preached, was falling upon sermon, preacher, and people, because it was the truth. And by the marvelous and frequent display of His presence and power at each and every sanctification meeting He was plainly setting to it the seal of His approval and endorsement, and declaring unmistakably that the doctrine which engrossed us was of heaven, and was true.
One morning a visitor — a man whom I admire and love — made a speech against entire
sanctification, taking the ground that there was nothing but a perfect consecration and growth in grace to look for; that there was no second work or blessing to be experienced by the child of God. This was about the spirit and burden of his remarks. At once a chill fell upon the service that was noticed then and commented on afterward. The visitor was instantly replied to by one who had just received the blessing, and as immediately the presence of God was felt and manifested. And to the proposition made — that all who believed in an instantaneous and entire sanctification would please arise — at once the whole audience, with the exception of five or six individuals, arose simultaneously. It was during this week that the writer commenced seeking the blessing of sanctification. According to direction, he laid everything on the altar — body, soul, reputation, salary, indeed everything.
Feeling at the time justified, having peace with God, he could not be said to have laid his
sins on the altar; for, being forgiven at that moment, no sin was in sight. But he did this, however: he laid inbred sin upon the altar; a something that had troubled him all the days of his converted life — a something that as felt to be a disturbing element in his Christian experience and life. Who will name this something? It is called variously by the appellations of original sin, depravity, remains of sin, roots of bitterness and unbelief, and by Paul it is termed “the old man,” for, in writing to Christians, he exhorts them to put off “the old man,” which was corrupt.
Very probably there will be a disagreement about the name while there is perfect
recognition of the existence of the thing itself. For lack of a title that will please all, I call the dark, disturbing, warring principle “that something.” It gives every converted man certain measures of inward disturbance and trouble. Mind you, I do not say that it compels him to sin, for this ”something” can be kept in subjection by the regenerated man. But it always brings disturbance, and often leads to sin. It is a something that leads to hasty speeches, quick tempers, feelings of bitterness, doubts, suspicions, harsh judgments, love of praise, and fear of men. At times there is a momentary response to certain temptations that brings, not merely a sense of discomfort, but a tinge and twinge of condemnation. All these may be, and are, in turn, conquered by the regenerated man;
but there is battle and wounds; and often after the battle a certain uncomfortable feeling within that it was not a perfect victory.
It is a something that at times makes devotion a weariness, the Bible to be hastily read
instead of devoured, and prayer a formal approach instead of a burning interview with God that closes with reluctance. It makes Church-going at times not to be a delight, is felt to be a foe to secret and spontaneous giving, causes religious experience to be spasmodic, and prevents within the soul a constant, abiding, and unbroken rest. Rest there is; but it is not continuous, unchanging, and permanent. It is a something that makes true and noble men of God, when appearing in the columns of a Christian newspaper in controversy, to make a strange mistake, and use gall instead of ink, and write with a sword instead of a pen. It is a something that makes religious assemblies sing with great emphasis and feeling:
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.”
It is an echo that is felt to be left in the heart, in which linger sounds that ought to die away
forever. It is a thread or cord-like connection between the soul and the world, although the two have drifted far apart. It is a middle ground, a strange medium, upon which Satan can and does operate, to the inward distress of the child of God, whose heart at the same time is loyal to his Savior, and who feels that if he died even then, he would be saved.
Now that something I wanted out of me. What I desired was not the power of self-restraint
(that I had already), but a spirit naturally and unconsciously meek. Not so much a power to keep from all sin, but a deadness to sin. I wanted to be able to turn upon sin and the world the eye and ear and heart of a dead man. I wanted perfect love to God and man, and a perfect rest in my soul all the time. This dark “something” that prevented this life, I laid on the altar, and asked God to consume it as by fire. I never asked God once at this time for pardon. That I had in my soul already. But it was cleansing, sin eradication, I craved. My prayer was for sanctification.
After the battle of consecration came the battle of faith. Both precede the perfect victory of
sanctification. Vain is consecration without faith to secure the blessing. Hence men can be consecrated, and not know the blessing of sanctification. I must believe there is such a work in order to realize the grace. Here were the words of the Lord that proved a foundation for my faith: ”Every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord.” “The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” Still again: “The altar sanctifieth the gift.” In this last quotation is a statement of a great fact. The altar is greater than the gift; and whatsoever is laid upon the altar becomes sanctified or holy. It is the altar that does the work. The question arises: Who and what is the altar?
In Hebrews xiii, 10-12, we are told. Dr. Clarke, in commenting upon the passage, says the
altar here mentioned is Jesus Christ. All who have studied attentively the life of our Lord can not but be impressed with the fact that in his wondrous person is seen embraced the priest, the lamb, and the altar. He did the whole thing; there was no one to help. As the victim He died, as the priest He offered Himself, and His divine nature was the altar upon which the sacrifice was made. The Savior, then, is the Christian’s altar. Upon Him I lay myself. The altar sanctifies the gift. The blood cleanses from all sin, personal and inbred. Can I believe that? Will I believe it? My unbelief is certain to shut me out of the blessing; my belief as certainly shuts me in. The instant we add a
perfect faith to a perfect consecration, the work is done and the blessing descends. As Paul says, ”We which have believed do enter into rest.”
All this happened to the writer. For nearly three days he lived in a constant state of faith
and prayer. He believed God; he believed the work was done before the witness was given.
On the morning of the third day — may God help me to tell it as it occurred! — the witness
was given. It was about nine o’clock in the morning. That morning had been spent from daylight in meditation and prayer. I was alone in my room in the spirit of prayer, in profound peace and love, and in the full expectancy of faith, when suddenly I felt that the blessing was coming. By some delicate instinct or intuition of soul I recognized the approach and descent of the Holy Ghost. My faith arose to meet the blessing. In another minute I was literally prostrated by the power of God. I called out again and again: “O my God! my God! and glory to God!” while billows of fire and glory rolled in upon my soul with steady, increasing force. The experience was one of fire. I recognized it all the while as the baptism of fire. I felt that I was being consumed. For several minutes I thought I would certainly die. I knew it was sanctification. I knew it as though the name was written across the face of the blessing and upon every wave of glory that rolled in upon my soul.
Can not God witness to purity of heart as he does to pardon of sin? Are not his blessings
self-interpreting? He that impresses a man to preach, that moves him unerringly to the selection of texts and subjects, that testifies to a man that he is converted, can he not let a man know when he is sanctified? In answer, read Hebrews x, 14: “For by one offering He hath forever perfected them that are sanctified, whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us.”
I knew I was sanctified, just as I knew fifteen years before that I was converted. I knew it,
not only because of the work itself in my soul, but through the Worker. He, the Holy Ghost, bore witness clearly, unmistakably, and powerfully to his own work; and although years have passed away since that blessed morning, yet the witness of the Holy Spirit to the work is as clear today as it was then.
Source: “Heart Talks” By Beverly Carradine
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts