JOSEPH BENJAMIN McBRIDE (Methodist)
I had heard of holiness a few years before I received the light on the doctrine or knew how
to get the experience. A year after my happy conversion, I married. My wife’s eldest brother was called a holiness man; but as we did not have much opportunity to associate with him and his wife, who was also sanctified, we never had him explain holiness to us. We who knew those two dear people had to acknowledge that they were the best and most devout people in the whole community where they lived. Once when Mrs. McBride and I were visiting them over a Sabbath, they asked us to go and hear the minister who was reputed to be a holiness man. We enjoyed the sermon very much, but received no definite light; in fact, we were not expecting any. At this time I was a local preacher and, of course being recognized as a minister, naturally thought that the message was for unsaved people. After the service we incidentally told him that we would like to see him in our community sometime. It was a matter of courtesy that we thus spoke to him; but, like all holiness ministers who are pioneers in the work, he did not need a pressing invitation. Some weeks, perhaps two months, passed by, and we had forgotten about him; but he had not forgotten about us. He came the latter part of the week and secured a large schoolhouse in which to hold a meeting, and sent word to everybody to come. Among others, we were invited. Being a special friend of my brother-in-law, he fully expected to be invited to stay with us. But he only made his headquarters with us, and visited among the people. We went out to hear him and to investigate the doctrine that he was to preach. We shall never forget the people who came to hear this strange preacher, for many thought that he was a strange kind of man if he professed to be sanctified. In the first sermon the Lord showed us that sanctification is a Bible doctrine, and convinced us that it is a Christian experience to be had in this life. This man was a mighty preacher of the Gospel, and he made it so plain that we could not get around it. Wife and I were among the first to go to the altar; we put ourselves on record as seekers for holiness, and of course it spread like fire; but we, were determined to have the experience. Our pastor came to see us and to remonstrate with us, and to use every means possible to get us to give up seeking. But all of his efforts with the efforts of some of the officials and many members of the church and the presiding elder, whom, they called upon to stop us in our attempts, failed. They were too late; the Holy Ghost had us in hand, and we were in for the experience. Many were seeking and some finding pardon and purity; but we had not been
able to plunge in. But we kept going until I had made eighteen trips to the altar, still I failed to receive the Blessing.
On the second Sunday of the revival, I had to leave the meeting and go to fill an
appointment for my pastor, six miles away. It was just about three miles from my home, as I was riding through a skirt of woodland, that the Lord met me. As truly as He ever met Saul of Tarsus on the way to Damascus, He met me that day. He said to me, “Where are you going?” My reply was, ”To preach the Gospel.” Then He said to me, “Have you ever read, ‘If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work?” My reply was, “Lord, that is all that I have heard for ten days; that is Second Timothy 2:21.” He said to me, “Are you going to persist in the ministry without the Divine preparation for service?” Oh, what a question! I said, “Lord, I will not make another attempt, nor go another step, unless Thou dost sanctify me.” And there and then, on horseback, I said one eternal “Yes” to all the will of God, never to take it back. Everything seemed to go–pastor, elder, officials, laymen, my relatives who had opposed us in seeking holiness, and as Mrs. McBride had not yet received the experience, she was put on the altar; future prospects and possibilities all went, and I was left in darkness all alone with Christ, to be “crucified with him.”
“Drive the nails, or heed the groans; The flesh may writhe and make its moans; Let me die, let me die!”
Suddenly, something like a bucket of hot water struck me on the head, and went all through
me until billows of fire and waves of glory swept over my soul, and burned to my being’s extremity; and the Holy Ghost came in and was a “witness also” that the work was done. Thank God, I got in under the Old Constitution! Strange as it may seem, all of this transpired in a few moments, and I reached my appointment on time, and took for the text: “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.”
Source: “Knowing God” by J. B. McBride
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts