ISAAC M. SEE (Dutch Reformed)
My whole being exclaims, “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare that he
hath done for my soul.”
I had longed for a deeper knowledge of personal holiness. I had often read, and often
preached, upon the necessity of holiness, and had even made statements, in my sermons, on the manner of its attainment that very closely agree with statements I would now make. But the thought of taking my Lord Jesus as present Saviour from sin was not as now received. I took him for my Saviour, and supposed that I must wait until death for disinthralment from a bondage which for years had compelled me to cry out, “O, wretched man that I am!”
From that bondage I have been some months free. The tract called “The Living Christ” was
placed before me in September last. With a dear brother, I read it. During the rending of it, with full hearts, we both knelt together, and made a renewed consecration to God. On my part, and I believe on his, this was entirely unreserved. I was at that time in the use of tobacco, the grand argument for which was the condition of my throat. A few days sufficed; for, however strong the health-view of tobacco might be, I was persuaded, after all, that it was only an idol. I accordingly renounced it, and have proved the vanity of its use as a remedy in my own case. My throat was glad of the farewell, and praised God more clearly than ever. The weed was a hateful thing, that defiled my flesh.
On Tuesday, September 26th, 1865, I attended the Tuesday meeting, and there made public
my consecration to Christ in every particular; an act for which I have been glad and thankful to my God ever since. I then took Jesus indeed to be the living Christ within me, to do a work in my soul which I had long tried to do myself. He very soon had the established traders out of His temple. Sins and besetments that had tried and troubled me for years were gone, and my faith beheld him conqueror in me and for me. Oh, how near as the Lord Jesus to my soul, cleansed by his precious blood and Spirit! I could not describe the joy, the peculiar peace, the full satisfaction, flowing from the presence of Jesus with me. I could say “Lord, now I know that there is positively not one
thing withheld from thee. Take me where thou wilt; make me what thou wilt; do with me as thou wilt–only give me thyself continually.”
Since that time, I have enjoyed great liberty, and have found the liberty of sanctification by
faith to be vastly different from my precious views of its nature. The word of God has been more intensely precious than ever. I have feasted on it, and grown greatly in the knowledge of it.
It may be asked, whether I had not, years before, made consecration of myself to God. The
answer is, that I did, in general: but in particular, in full; to have no preference of my own before God, and no desire but His will; to boast in the cross, being crucified to the world, as I now understand it, — I never made such a consecration before.
One of the most noticeable features of the blessing thus received is deliverance from a
certain bondage in regard to position. What other brethren thought and would say concerning, any act or acts, has often been a question with me; and I was early warned that the rumor of my profession of the blessing of sanctification by faith, or entire sanctification, would injure my ministerial reputation. The answer is, If God has given me an especial blessing, which can be defined by its power in my heart and life; if it releases me into a wonderful liberty from sins and besetments of years, — I am certainly called upon to give to every one that asketh me the reason of the hope that is in me.
Further, if the experience of grace received agree with the experience of any others than
those of my own communion I am not to deny it, nor my name by which it is called, if that name be agreeable to the words of the Holy Spirit. Nor will I.
Sweeter than all the joys of earth is communion with who have like precious faith. Let it,
then, be published, that I do take into my soul the living Christ to be my sanctifying, and satisfying portion. This life is indeed living, moment by moment, on the Son of God; and the moments spent in the conscious presence of such a Lord make heaven upon earth.
“My all to Christ I’ve given My talents, time, and voice, Myself, my reputation: The lone way is my choice
Oh! Jesus, precious Jesus, My all-sufficient Friend, Come fold me to thy bosom, E’en to the journey’s end.
The Cross for Christ I’ll cherish, It’s crucifixion bear. All hail reproach or sorrow, If Jesus leads me there!”
After more than two years have passed, it is my privilege to testify that Jesus “saves His
people from their sins.” I am of opinion that He does this for all dear people according to their faith. They are called “peculiar people.” I find many who consider my principles peculiar. But they have been obtained at a very peculiar place. At the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness, I found a wonderful change wrought. The difference between my present and former life, in this respect, is — that I now believe what the scriptures say of this fountain in full, and instead of visiting the precious place occasionally with burdens, I now stay there, and with great delight feel that Jesus continually does a work in the soul which all the efforts of every man must signally fail to do. Jesus can do in a moment what long years of man’s severest discipline only seems to make impossible.” And this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith.”
It, therefore, my firm belief, drawn from the word of God and a very precious experience,
that the Christian has but “one thing” to do, which excludes from his life everything repugnant to the gracious habit. That one thing is, “LOOKING UNTO JESUS.” It most effectually kills looking to self, or looking at self, it kills every bad habit, for it puts the light of eternity upon it, and bring Himself near, before whom the contrite soul realizes that sin has no place, nor has anything a place which could be offensive to Him. I find also that as the soul looks unto Jesus it gets a strong desire, tendency, and habit, of distance from the world. Worldly company, and gains, and honor, of every grade, fade into their naked nothingness. And so, the soul is full of rest. It needs no thought for the morrow, when Jesus is its full and everlasting portion. The believer enters into rest, in Jesus Christ. In Him, “The Lord is my habitation whereunto I continually resort.” He is my peace, my abiding Shepherd, before whom I can never want, and His “perfect love casteth out fear.” My soul exults with “joy unspeakable and full of glory,” that my love is from His love, that the “love of God shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto me” with other saints, is the reason, cause, and life of my love to Him and all His. He, blessed and precious Jesus, is a welcome guest to my delighted soul, and a mighty quickener of all my powers into constant, and jealous activity in His service.
I do totally disclaim any merit of my own. His merit is all my plea, and must stand for all
the infirmities of my natural constitution. I further do disclaim and denounce my power to save myself from a single sin. But I do declare it to my full belief that Jesus Christ is my triumphant King to subdue within me everything, which could oppose His holiness. And I declare that this is my belief concerning Jesus as “made of God unto me sanctification;” a personal, efficacious cleansing, of the soul, whereby alone it is made a temple of the Holy Ghost. How can man make clean the temple of the Holy Ghost? Therefore doth my soul, with fervor, commit my cleansing unto Himself. “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
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