1797 — 1???
(One of the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church)

February 9, 2017 // Story


1797 — 1???
(One of the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church)

Leonidas Lent Hamline was born May 10, 1797 in Burlington, Connecticut, and he was

converted October 5, 1828. Concerning his joining the Methodists, he writes: “Sunday, October
26, 1828, was a day of days. I joined the Methodist society on trial. God blessed me in it.”

Bishop Hamline was sanctified wholly in March of 1842. His sanctification came in the

height of his labors and his usefulness, and while he was fulfilling all of his known duty to God.
He says that he “had been attentive to the means of grace in the closet and in the sanctuary.” Still,
he felt that he had been too formal in his devotions, lacking in spiritual vitality, lacking in full
confidence toward God, and he felt within himself a proneness to wander, tempers not always
equally subdued, and the roots of evils in his heart which, springing up, troubled him.

As the perception of his inward, spiritual need became clearer, he increased in prayer and

wrestling with God. He said: “I spent several weeks much of the time before God. I felt that
without a clean heart I should soon fall.” Through his drawing nearer to God, God drew nearer to
him and he felt an increase of spiritual power and the fruits of the Spirit. He saw the beauty and
desirableness of holiness and the loveliness of God’s character. Still he was not satisfied.

In March of 1842, Bishop Hamline went to New Albany, Indiana where he hoped to obtain

counsel from Rev. W. V. Daniels, the pastor of the church there, who had the experience of entire
sanctification. He reached New Albany on a Saturday and that evening heard a sermon on perfect
love. After the sermon, he bowed with others at the altar who were seeking the blessing. On
Sunday his deep struggle to obtain a pure heart continued, but still he was not sanctified wholly.

On Monday morning he rose early and continued to plead for the baptism of the Holy Ghost

until breakfast time. After hastily partaking of a light breakfast, he returned to his chamber and fell
upon his knees. How he received the mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost is described in his own


While entreating God for a clean heart my mind was led to contemplate “the image of

Christ” as the single object of desire. To be Christ-like, to possess “all the mind that was in” the
blessed Savior; and this became the burden of my earnest prayer. “And why do you not take this
image?” was suggested, “for he has taken yours. Look at the crucified Lamb. Why does he there
hang and bleed, his visage so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men?
Is it for himself? No, O no! He is innocent, immaculate. It is for me. There on the cross he bears
my sin, and shame, and weakness, and misery and death. Any why does he bear them? To give me,
in their stead, his purity, and honor, and strength, and bliss, and life. Why then not take this image?
Give him your sin, and take his purity. Give him your shame and take his honor. Give him your
helplessness and take his strength. Give him your misery and take his bliss. Give him you death
and take his life-everlasting. Nay, yours he already has. There they are bruising him and putting
him to death. Nothing remains but that you take his in exchange. Make haste! Now, just now, he
freely offers you all, and urges all upon your instant acceptance.”

Suddenly, I felt as though a hand omnipotent, not of wrath but of love, were laid upon my

brow. That hand, as it pressed upon me, moved downward. It wrought within and without, and
wherever it moved it seemed to leave the glorious impress of the Savior’s image. For a few
minutes the deep of God’s love swallowed me up; all its billows rolled over me.

While experiencing this transforming baptism of the Holy Ghost, Hamline fell to the floor

and in joyful surprise cried out in a loud voice. The work was done. The struggle and triumphant
outcry were heard in his host’s house, and momentarily the bishop was tempted to feel that his
liberty and noise were inappropriate among strangers, but the Divine work wrought in his heart
was clear and the experience was undoubted. As have many others, he learned afterward that he
must openly testify to the experience if he was to retain the blessing, but to the end of his life he
referred to the time of his entire sanctification as the great epoch of his life.

Source: “Biography of Rev. Leonidas L. Hamline,
F. G. Hibbard

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(A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts)
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Vol. I — Named Accounts

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