- H. CRANE (Methodist)
My early religious training was in the Baptist Church. The doctrine of Christian perfection
was first presented to my notice, clothed in derision. After my conversion, and reception in the M. E. Church, for four years my progress was, after the fashion of the Israelites, going round and round the mountain, rather than going up to possess the good land, — sinning and repenting alternately. At the close of a series of meetings held on Augusta charge, Detroit Conference, by that veteran of the cross, Rev. K. Klumph, in his admonitions he exhorted them to “resolve, by the grace of God, that they had committed the last sin they ever would commit.” There was a novelty in the expression that arrested my attention.
I retired to meditate. Is sin necessary to our earthly existence? I surveyed Calvary, and
dared not limit the Holy One of Israel. Hitherto I had looked out upon the beauty of my King; now by the same light I explored the caverns of my own soul. I saw the alarming discrepancy between my experience, and God’s demands. I locked my closet-door to fast and pray, determined to make thorough work of exterminating inbred foes. I did not pause to ask, “Have other preceded me? and can they guide me?” I seized prayer as my sword, declared war, and rushed into the contest. My strokes but aroused my legion foes: they darkened the air; they wounded me on every side.
For weary hours I struggled on, sometimes almost ready to admit that my sins were
stronger than mercy. I thought of the derided terms, “Christian perfection,” “entire sanctification,” ”holiness,” &c.; and now began to pray for these blessings, entirely ignorant of what they implied; consequently, not knowing what to expect, should the Lord answer my prayers. At last I sank down in despair, conscious that my weapon, prayer, in which I had trusted, but rebounded and wounded me at every thrust. I reasoned, “The way is dark; I cannot see through: my foes are powerful; I cannot overcome them. Jesus is the sinner’s friend: I’ll cease my vain struggling; I’ll tell Him that I would slay all my foes, but cannot; I’ll rest the case in His hands.”
A few moments elapsed; when Jesus, at whose feet I was sitting, rose, and came into my
soul. It seemed as though heaven was compressed, and thrust into my expanding, bursting heart.
Then my entire being seemed to be filled with, and surrounded by, not merely the love of Jesus, of which I had previously tasted, but His very presence.
Some time was passed before I connected this visitation with my struggles. I reasoned,
“Yes, this is entire sanctification; or, if it not, I do not care for it. I have a complete Saviour: there can be nothing more in the universe. Yes, this is holiness; for I am wholly lost in Jesus.”
There is no sin in me now; for Jesus is in every part. I am wholly His. A few hours ago,
had one asked me, “What is Christian perfection?” I could not have given a intelligent reply. Now I know it is Jesus; more of Jesus; Jesus filling us with His Spirit, possessing us wholly.
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