ETHEL PERKINS (Methodist)
(The following experience of a little girl, 12 years old, was written by herself on the
request of her friend, the editor, and no one was permitted to make any suggestions to her as regards the punctuation, the choice or the spelling of words, the order of thought, or the forms of expression. She did not know what the experience was wanted for. The experience is given just as she wrote it.)
I was born June 24 1875. I think my Christian experience began when I joined the
Presbyterian church in Fredonia, New York.
I thought that I wanted to be good. So I tried but trying did not seem to do any good; I kept
trying and breaking down and then making a new resolution and trying again. I asked Jesus to help me but I did not expect him to or look for his help. Sometimes I would give up and then I would think that I would try once more. So it went on.
I joined the church and yet was not sure that I was saved. I prayed Jesus to forgive my sins
but I did not understand that I needed to be forgiven and saved.
It did not change while we staid in Fredonia which was about a year and a half. We went
to Leavenworth and it went on just the same. We were in Leavenworth four or five months before we came down here. We arrived here the 15th of August. The Methodist preacher came here the first part of October (l886) whose name was Mr. Shiras. The week after Brother Shiras came here we had special meetings every evening and at the first meeting we had I saw my need of a Savior. That night as I lay in the bed thinking and praying I heard a voice as plain as I ever heard any one speak saying “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” I think I must have felt a great deal happier than the people were in the olden times when Jesus healed them. After that I sometimes spoke crossly and impatiently and did somethings that were not right. I thought at first that it could not be that I was saved but I was so sure that Jesus had forgiven me that I could not think that long, but I had to keep going to Jesus to be forgiven.
I heard Brother Shiras talk about the blessing of holiness and I wanted that for I did want to
live so that I would not have to keep going to Jesus to be forgiven.
I did not want it at first enough to ask anyone how to get it. I waited till I could not wait any
longer and then I asked Brother Shiras how to get it and he told me plainly so that I could understand. I went away trusting Jesus to so fill me with his love that I would not want to do anything wrong. Next morning when I woke I was full, heaped up and brimming over with love and happiness. I knew that Jesus was in my heart and that he would keep watch and if any kind of evil should look in he would be sure to see it and tell me about it. I was so happy Oh so very happy. About two weeks after one morning the joy was gone but I tested Jesus and three days after this the joy came back. The peace and love had not been gone at all.
I did not speak in the meetings and the last meeting we had I did not speak in and the
morning after I felt all my peace and joy was gone and I asked Jesus to show me what was the matter and that morning the chapter read was the fourteenth of St. Mark, and as Brother Shiras read those words all the joy and peace came back.
SIMONA, FLA., June 26, 1887.
Source: “Forty Witnesses” by S. Olin Garrison
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts