GEORGE C. M. ROBERTS (Methodist)
It pleased Almighty God to bring me to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus,
when only about sixteen years of age. I do not purpose in this communication to say anything in reference to this eventful period of my life. Farther than that I was united in class-meeting with and of faithful, holy men of God, who clearly indoctrinated me by their experience in the necessity of going on to perfection. At that time there was in this (Father A. Russell’s) class, George Krebs (a blind man), Quincy Maynard, John L. Rees, Job Guest, and many others who were giants in their day. Soon after, I, on account of my being attached to the Sunday School, with some other, were set off to a class meeting at night, under Quincy Maynard as the leader. Being in the enjoyment of perfect love himself, he fully explained and insisted upon its immediate enjoyment by the member of his class. I as soon brought to feel the necessity of it, and as a consequence gave up myself wholly to the Lord thus early in my Christian experience, being about eighteen years of age.
At that time all were clearly taught this doctrine on every hand, from the true Wesleyan
stand-point, consequently there were very few indeed who had any misgivings whatever upon it, and were saved from falling into many of the errors of the present day. After seeking this grace for some short time, I was brought to apprehend it by naked, simple faith alone in the all atoning merit of the precious blood of Christ. I saw then that that blood was shed for me, to save me not only from the guilt of my past offenses, but from the power and pollution of sin for the time to come. Through the mercy of God I was enabled to cast my soul on it fully, and realize its immediate efficacy in my own case. I was then and there permitted to enjoy the assurance that Christ Jesus was mine and “fully” in this sense. I continued to grow in this grace daily, and became more and more fully absorbed in Christ. I have been enabled to maintain my integrity in this grace from that to the present time.
Since I enjoyed this blessing, being called of God to the work of the ministry, I have again
and again preached it in its ministry to others, whenever the opportunity was afforded me, first as an itinerant Methodist preacher, and then in the local ranks. As I have grown older in the hallowed work, I have been brought to make it almost wholly the principal topic of my ministerial labors,
and am now more than ever confirmed in it, in my own personal enjoyment of it, and more than ever convinced that this should be the case with every preacher of the Gospel, if he desire to see the pleasure of the Lord prosper in his hand. Such evidently was the view of it entertained by our father. They always kept it before the people, without any fear of its being misunderstood and misapplied. The people were taught by them that they were to be regenerated by the power of the Holy Ghost with the design and purpose of going on to perfection of love. When converted they then felt the necessity of this deeper baptism of the Spirit, and went forward to the attainment of it. Some in a few days after their conversion, and others at a later period of life
I am fully convinced that, in this way, and because of the truth thus early enforced, they
were able to preserve to the Church many, very many more of those who entered it, than we have been of late years. Our fathers were pre-eminently men of two books, the Bible and Hymn-book, in both of which are clearly set forth the doctrine in all its phases. They preached it and then sang it, wherever they went as heralds of the Cross, and our people were saved generally from falling into any error on the subject he older Methodists were, in this particular, more generally and more fully given up to God, than those of the present day, and were much less liable to be led astray by the vanities of life They have nearly all passed away, and unless we, their children, are much more fully and entirely devoted to God, those blessed days will never return to us again It is to be hoped that we shall see and feel the importance of it to us as a people, and that we will speedily come up to the help of’ the Lord against the mighty. This grace is the same now as then, its effects are the same, and it is not possible to attain it but by the same simple process of present, immediate faith in Christ.
I thank God that it is so. Its gracious results I know and feel at the present moment. During
the long continuance of my present affliction, now fifteen weeks confined to bed, I have been supported by it. In every moment of this time I have found it to be the one thing needful. Through its power I have been graciously preserved from every anxious care. Not one doubt or fear has arisen to darken my sky, or hide for one moment the Saviour from my eyes. At times my peace is so full, that have felt myself to be as a mere mote floating in an ocean of light and glory. The will of God is my will, I desire to be governed altogether by it.
“Thy will not mine be done My will and thine be one,”
is I think honestly the motto of my life, and constantly before my eyes. Nothing more do I desire and nothing less. I attribute this state altogether to the enjoyment of perfect love, which now pervades my whole being. To God be all the glory. 0h that His people would suffer the Divine Being, thus to fill and rule them. I have no desire to make choice between life and death, but for my will to be entirely lost in that of God. If God in His Providence should see fit to take me to Himself, I entirely submit, and cheerfully resign myself to it. If, on the contrary, He sees fit to return me back again to life, I trust I shall employ it more fully than ever in spreading through society at large the simple tidings that His blood cleanseth from all sin. Death to me has no sting. The grave brings no desolation. Whilst in weakness I pen these few lines, my soul is unutterably filled with
“Glory and with God.”
I would that I had the strength more fully to enter into the details by which I was enabled
first to know God in the fullness of salvation, and by which I have been enabled to maintain that knowledge of Him increasingly for more than fifty years. I presume, however, that I have written enough to show all who love our Lord Jesus Christ, that I enjoy scripturally and indubitably the Divine assurance that “I have a house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens,” whither I am bound, and here finally I shall find everlasting repose.
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