EMMA HILLMON HAVILAND (Free Methodist)
…The first winter after my conversion, I knew something of the joy of sins forgiven. But
beyond that, following the example of older members, I made many “crooked paths.”…When I was about the age of eighteen, I was converted over again in a Methodist protracted meeting, and shortly after attended a series of holiness meetings at a schoolhouse two miles from the one in which I was teaching, walking the distance every evening after school. This was my earliest teaching on holiness. The more I heard, the more convinced I became that this is a Bible doctrine; but former teaching and deep-rooted prejudice, not only on my own part, but also in family and friends, kept me for some time from seeking the experience.
At last all social barriers were swept away, in my intense longing for the experience. In the
deep conviction which now came upon me, I seemed suddenly to have lost all the religion which I possessed. Instead of feeling better, as a result of attending these meetings, I felt worse and worse, and, not understanding at the time the nature of conviction for holiness, I was much alarmed about my condition. In sheer desperation, I “flung myself recklessly out” on the promises of God, still much in doubt as to whether they would sustain me. But, thank God, I found solid rock beneath my feet. Every promise is “yea and amen to every one that believeth.” The great transaction was wrought in my inmost soul!
My school teaching thereafter took a new coloring, combining with my former ambition for
the mental improvement of my pupils, a deep interest in their spiritual welfare. At normals, also, I felt called upon to stand out as a witness for Christ, at least by my plain, unassuming dress, which the Spirit now led me to adopt. I was not, for some months, a member of the Free Methodist Church, but was mistaken for one everywhere I went.
Source: “Under The Southern Cross” by Emma Hillmon Haviland
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts