JANE COOPER (Methodist)
by John Wesley
In the latter end of this year, God called to himself that burning and shining light, Jane
Cooper. As she was both a living and a dying witness of Christian perfection, it will not be at all foreign to the subject to add a short account of her death; with one of her own letters, containing a plain and artless relation of the manner wherein it pleased God to work that great change in her soul:
May 2, 1761
I believe while memory remains in me, gratitude will continue. From the time you [John
Wesley] preached on Gal. 5:5, I saw clearly the true state of my soul. That sermon described my heart, and what it wanted to be; namely, truly happy. You read Mr. M-‘s letter, and it described the religion which I desired
From that time the prize appeared in view, and I was enabled to follow hard after it. I was
kept watching unto prayer, sometimes in much distress, at other times in patient expectation of the blessing. For some days before you left London, my soul was stayed on a promise I had applied to me in prayer: “The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple.” I believed he would, and that he would sit there as a refiner’s fire.
The Tuesday after you went, I thought I could not sleep, unless he fulfilled his word that
night. I never knew as I did then the force of these words: “Be still, and know that I am God.” I became nothing before Him, and enjoyed perfect calmness in my soul. I knew not whether he had destroyed my sin; but I desired to know, that I might praise Him. Yet I soon found the return of unbelief, and groaned, being burdened.
On Wednesday I went to London, and sought the Lord without ceasing. I promised, if he
would save me from sin, I would praise him. I could part with all things, so I might win Christ. But I found all these pleas to be nothing worth; and that if He saved me, it must be freely, for his own name’s sake.
On Thursday I was so much tempted, that I thought of destroying myself, or never
conversing more with the people of God. And yet I had no doubt of his pardoning love; but,
‘Twas worse than death my God to love, And not my God alone.
On Friday my distress was deepened. I endeavored to pray, and could not. I went to Mrs.
D., who prayed for me, and told me it was the death of nature. I opened the Bible, on, “The fearful and unbelieving shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” I could not bear it.
I opened again, on Mark 16:6-7: “Be not affrighted; ye seek Jesus of Nazareth. Go your
way; tell his disciples he goeth before you into Galilee; there ye shall see him.” I was encouraged, and enabled to pray, believing I should see Jesus at home. I returned that night, and found Mrs. G. She prayed for me; and the Predestinarian had no plea but, “Lord, thou art no respecter of persons.” He proved he was not, by blessing me.
I was in a moment enabled to lay hold on Jesus Christ, and found salvation by simple faith.
He assured me, the Lord, the King, was in the midst of me, and that I should see evil no more. I now blessed Him who had visited and redeemed me, and was become my “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” I saw Jesus altogether lovely; and knew he was mine in all his offices. And, glory be to Him, He now reigns in my heart without a rival. I find no will but his. I feel no pride; nor an affection but what is placed on Him. I know it is by faith I stand; and that watching unto prayer must be the guard of faith. I am happy in God this moment, and I believe for the next. I have often read the chapter you mention, (I Cor. 13) and compared my heart and life with it. In so doing, I feel my shortcomings, and the need I have of the atoning blood.
Yet I dare not say, I do not feel a measure of the love there described, though I am not all I
shall be. I desire to be lost in that “love which passeth knowledge.” I see “the just shall live by faith”; and unto me who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given. If I were an archangel, I should veil my face before him, and let silence speak his praise!” — Jane Cooper
“The Works of John Wesley,” Vol. XI, pp. 409-411
Source: “And They Shall Prophesy” Compiled by George E. Failing
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts