- G. PADDOCK (Methodist)
Soon after my union with the M. E. Church, in the year 1804, I heard the doctrine of
holiness, or entire sanctification, preached. I examined the Holy Bible for its proof. I soon commenced seeking this higher and holy state. I honestly-believed it attainable in this life, if ever, as I reasoned, “We must have it to enter the kingdom of God above, as no unholy thing can enter there; and there is no work in the grave. If death and the grave are to do it, then universal salvation must follow, as all must die; then the grave. Hence, if it be ever attainable, it is now attainable.”
I sought it with prayers and tears for weeks and months. So distressed as my anxious soul
for this salvation at times, sleep departed from me. Finally I resolved to retire to the grove, and on my knees continued to wrestle with the Holy one, in the name of our prevailing Advocate, till he should send down his great salvation. I continued in prayer till it appeared to the soul’s eye the blessing as coming down from the Father of lights as a globe, brighter than the sun, or as burnished gold. It seemed as large as the hemisphere: but, as it descended, it grew less and less in it appearance; and I thought God was condensing, it, that I might grasp and embrace the whole. Oh, how my youthful heart beat ! It came nearer and nearer! But, oh! just as I was laying hold of the greatly-desired prize, the thought rushed into my mind, ” You are too young, too inexperienced, too unworthy, for so great a blessing. It is for older and more experienced Christian” And, thus reasoning, the golden opportunity, the golden globe of light and love disappeared. I sank to the dust in gloom, fear, and doubt. For a long time, if I thought about seeking this great blessing, a check would come over my feelings: “You might have enjoyed it; you gave away to the enemy, to unbelief!” I believed it attainable and absolutely all-important.
I preached the holy doctrine, and sometimes as though I enjoyed it; as my faith was firm in
its truth that it as easy and pleasant to preach it. I always felt the more happy in preaching it, than in enforcing most other Bible doctrines. After some years thus spent I greatly desired the abiding witness of its enjoyment. Thanks to God, again he enabled me to commence the struggle for this blessing; and again it descended as a globe of light above the brightness of the sun, and I was taken up into is centre: the earth and sublunary things vanished, and I appeared as light as vanity, and
God as all in all; and the elementary globe, in the centre of which I seemed to be moving, as represented to me as the Deity. As God is love, and as I was basking in this globe of love, I cried, ”I am in God; and He, by His Spirit, dwells in me. Hallelujah! Glory to the Lamb!”
Soon after this glorious manifestation, in which state I was as happy as I could be in the
earthly tabernacle, I met a Christian brother, who, I supposed, knew and enjoyed it. From the fullness of my heart, and childlike simplicity, I cried in great earnestness, “Dear brother, God has sanctified my soul; He has made me holy.” He made no reply, and seemed surprised. This threw a check on the fervor of my buoyant feelings. I soon gave way to the unwise thought that, “It may prove a stumbling-block to others; I will try to live in its enjoyment: let my life speak for it, – preach it as attainable, as a Bible doctrine.” For score of years, I have enjoyed more or less of this soul-transforming blessing.
Recently I have been confined to my bed by illness Glory to my Jesus, my soul has dwelt
on Pisgah’s mount! On death’s brink I have cast the eye of faith: beyond the vale, all was bright and glorious. I shall go safe when called for, if my faith fail not.
Source: “Pioneer Experiences” by Phoebe Palmer
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts