- 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 God.”
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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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts