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The “hungering and thirsting” in my heart “after righteousness” increased all the time; I
longed to have God fill me with Himself! Mrs. Rowley and I heard of the great Camp Meeting to be held at Urbana, under the auspices of The National Holiness Association, and we decided we would go, to stay from Saturday until Monday, when we must return to our work in the school; accordingly we went, taking with us Mrs. Rowley’s little sister, Lillie. It was during intermission when we arrived, and I remember Bro. Hill had me come up on the platform to meet Mr. Inskip, when he introduced me as follows: “Brother Inskip, this is Brother Rowley, one of the sanctified singers from Ada.” It was a wonderful meeting, to attend which was indeed the privilege of a lifetime. It was largely attended, and there was a strong force of preaching talent on the ground, but Mr. Inskip was the great leader of the occasion. People who never attended one of the early Camp Meetings of The National Association can have but a faint conception of what God can do in this dispensation of the Holy Spirit. Besides John Inskip, there were present among the preachers such men as J. A. Wood, William McDonald, W. H. Boole and B. W. Gorham, but Mr. Inskip had the general charge of all the services and the immediate conduct of all the altar services. Inskip was a man of great simplicity, and in all he did he impressed people as one who knew the Lord. Some individuals who were unwilling to accept the Wesleyan teaching of Full Salvation spoke in a very light and trifling Way, calling it “The Inskipian Doctrine.” Quite small business, indeed, it seems to me, to thus use the name of John Inskip, so signally owned and blest of God in his ministry. After a season of earnest prayer around the altar, a company of men and Women standing, Mr. Inskip Would say, “Children, what are you doing?” They would respond, “We are trusting.” “Trusting, are you? Well, I should think you would be very comfortable,” he would say.
When we were ready to leave the Camp Ground, Monday morning, as I shook hands with
Dr. Boole, he said, “Hold Him up!” which I understood to mean I should hold up Jesus to the people, in His sanctifying power, as I gave in my personal testimony, and I determined in my heart to do so.
Our good pastor, Bro. Smith, arranged with Rev. B. W. Gorham to come to Ada soon after
the close of the Camp Meeting and hold a holiness revival meeting, which he did, but the revival set in before the evangelist arrived. Great conviction settled down upon the people, especially the young people of the school. Bro. Isaiah Reid came from his distant home in Iowa, and rendered valuable assistance.
Up to this time, some four months and a half since my conversion in April, I had lived a
happy Christian life, knowing every day and every hour that my sins were forgiven and that my name was written in heaven. I had ceased my “trying to serve the Lord,” or “trying to trust Him,” and was actually serving Him, for the Lord had made it natural for me to do so. Thank God for the new birth! I needed no longer to look to the world for anything to satisfy my soul in the least degree; so I could sing:
“Let worldly minds the world pursue, It has no charms for me: Once I admired its trifles too, But grace hath set me free.”
I never went to the lodge after I was converted to God — why should I? I had nothing to go
for. I could heartily agree with the Psalmist when he said, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
I was very happy in the Lord all the time, but I had trouble with “the man-fearing spirit,”
making it rather difficult to testify.
Although very busy with my teaching, I would go hurriedly to the church from time to time,
and one afternoon — perhaps one Friday — a testimony meeting being in progress, all at once the heavenly baptism came upon me, and I arose to my feet, exclaiming: “Brethren and Sisters, I can’t keep my seat any longer!” I looked across the room, where our pastor was standing, and, smiling, he said, “I guess he’s got it!” I thought, “What does he mean? Haven’t I testified to sanctification all the past months?” I just wondered a little as to what my pastor meant, but I knew the great longing of my hungry heart was being completely satisfied. To fully describe this event I shall never be able; it is simply indescribable in the fullness of love and power, for it is “the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ.”
The Apostle Paul said: “I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness
of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” Rom. 15:29. The Lord certainly gave me “joy unspeakable, and full of glory.”
The pure love of God which came pouring down from heaven increased continually from
day to day, until about the following Wednesday, when the thought came to me, “Is the Lord going to bless me to death?” Surely, I was not afraid to die. In my first experience, in April, I was quiet, and undemonstrative; but now, I was very loud and demonstrative.
We had a number of students rooming in our house, and it was with some difficulty that I
was able to restrain my feelings, so eager was I to praise the Lord with a loud voice at a very
early hour; but I kept thinking of the holy command of God, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” so I was quiet, in order that others might get sufficient sleep. My soul was so blessedly on the wings of heavenly love that I should have been glad to turn my large elocution class, held in the chapel each morning, into a meeting of prayer and praise; but the thought came to me, “I am employed to teach the class, and I should be faithful to my trust.” I spoke to many people personally in regard to their spiritual condition, as we met on the street, as well as to my private pupils in Voice Culture. It was not long until the report got out that I had lost my mind. One day I saw, in “The Crestline Advocate,” a statement to that effect in about these words, “Prof. Rowley, who has been teaching a class in singing at Bucyrus, has lost his mind on the subject of holiness, and is now an inmate of the insane asylum at Columbus.” To be sure, it was not very pleasant, but it did not particularly disturb me. It did not seem very strange to me that the people so regarded me, for I had been simply a nominal member of the church, and “Redeeming Love” had become my theme. Several weeks after the holy baptism was given me, Professor Lehr told me that he had received letters from students formerly at school, expressing their regret that “Prof. Rowley had lost his mind.” Soon after Mr. D. L. Moody received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, as he was greatly led out for the salvation of souls in the city of Chicago, he was commonly spoken of as ”That Crazy Moody.” As I am here referring to the great spiritual transformation which God wrought in my soul, let no one imagine I am telling of some ordinary blessing of delight and joy, great as that might be; no, to the praise of my adorable Lord, I am most happy to testify that God came in answer to the longing of my hungry heart. He came and filled me with Himself! This He did, because it was in the Divine order that I should “be filled with the Spirit,” as it is His will that all of His children should be filled with the Spirit, that they may be strong to live for Him, and bring precious souls into the Kingdom.
I do not apologize for shouting: I give Scripture for it, as found in Isaiah 12:6, “Cry out and
shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” I am sure that God filled me with His pure love and sanctified me wholly. My man-fearing spirit was gone, blessedly gone, and I had indeed “mounted up with wings as eagles.”
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Source: “Apples of Gold” by C. E. Rowley
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts