A Pastor in Maine

February 9, 2017 // Story


  1. E. NOYES
A Pastor in Maine

On the 17th day of March, 1857, the Lord in mercy regenerated my sinful heart. “Being

justified by faith, I found peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I soon found “the flesh
lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; these were contrary the one to the other, so
that I could not do the things that I would.” Nearly two years passed away, during which time I was
constantly struggling (by works, though ignorantly) to overcome the “old man,” yet without
complete success, all the while groaning and singing:

“When I pray, or sing, or read,
Sin is mixed with all I do.
You who love the Lord indeed,
Tell me — is it so with you?”

Very often crying, as in the seventh chapter of Romans, “Oh, wretched
man that I am, who shall deliver deliver me?”

When I looked to my older brethren (I was then a Congregationalist), I gained no

encouragement at all that I should ever be “delivered from this body of death,” or the “carnal
mind,” until death. Then I would pray and long for death to deliver me. But when I looked to Jesus
and his gospel, then I saw that there was deliverance while in health and strength, as taught in 1
Thess. 5:23,24; 1 Peter 4:1,2; Romans, 6:2,6,7, and 22. Hence I determined, with the help of the
Lord, that I would gain complete victory over carnal nature, and be wholly the Lord’s, “wholly
sanctified,” or would die in the attempt. This determination I made known to my friends just before
leaving home for the east, at the call of the Lord, to preach “the glorious gospel of the blessed

I left Abington, Mass., Feb. 9, 1859 (having laid my beloved wife in the tomb but a few

days previous), and a few days after called on some Christian friends at Mechanic Falls, Me., on
my way farther east. They invited me in to their (Baptist) conference in the afternoon, which I


enjoyed very well. After the meeting closed, and all had departed but my two friends, “they took
me (as Aquila and Priscilla did Apollos) and expounded unto me the way of God more perfectly.”
They exhorted me to believe in Jesus now for sanctification, and instructed me how to believe; not
to feel, but BELIEVE.

The devil said “Methodism,” — the Lord said “gospel truth.” The Spirit was poured upon

us in mighty power, in answer to their prayers. They shouted, and “praised God with a loud
voice.” I groaned in darkness and unbelief, convicted powerfully, yet unsanctified, because
unbelieving: “through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,” the work must be done. I
could say I will believe; but to say I do believe was the point to be gained. For two and a half
hours did they fasten me there, under the power of God’s word and Spirit, which was “sharper (to
me then) than any two-edged sword,” piercing down into my heart to its very bottom, cutting every
thread and fiber that was clinging to any earthly object. Then I knew, as never before, what John
the Baptist meant by the promised “baptism of fire.”

At length my unbelieving and stubborn will and heart yielded all, and tremblingly did I say:

“I do believe that Jesus cleanses me now, and will forever keep me holy,” as promised in 1 John,
1: 9; 1 Cor., 10:18, etc. We went to our place of abode, and while my two dear friends slept
sweetly and soundly all night long, resting in Jesus, I lay awake most of the night, in a terrible
battle with Satan, who was determined to wrest my “shield of faith” from me, and get me into
trouble and doubts, telling me that I was still unsanctified and unholy, because (not having
received the full witness or evidence of my acceptance) I felt no especial difference in my mind or
heart. But the Lord gave me overcoming faith, and in the morning I took the New Testament and
asked the Lord to give me proof of my sanctification. I opened, as the Lord directed, to the 5th
chapter or Romans, and read to the last of the eighth chapter, and the doctrine of sanctification,
crucifixion, and freedom in Christ from sin, never shone into my poor unworthy heart before as
then, the Spirit witnessing powerfully that the long-coveted blessing and experience was mine.

The dear brother who led me to Jesus for justification was Rev. A. B. Earle, the

Evangelist, who holds a large place in my heart’s affections. The dear brother who led me to Jesus
for sanctification was Rev. R. B. Andrews (assisted by Bro. Bumpus), who is still preaching this
same glorious faith, and winning many souls, and whom I hold in loving remembrance.

The Lord saves sinners and sanctifies his children through weak instrumentalities, and

glory be to his name forever. Amen and Amen.

Source: “Experiences of the Higher Christian Life in the Baptist Denomination” by John Q. Adams,
New York: Sheldon & Company, 500 Broadway. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. Chicago: S. C. Griggs
& Co. 1870

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

Vol. I — Named Accounts

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