February 7, 2017 // Story



In 1796, while still in his nineteenth year, Dow was deeply convinced of his need of a

deeper spiritual experience. During that year he wrote: “I never felt the plague of a hard heart as I
do of late, nor so much faith as I now have that inbred corruption will be done away, and I filled
with perfect peace, and enabled to rejoice evermore.”

Referring to this period, he also says: “Sometimes I was so happy, and the times so

powerful, I would hope ‘the winter was past and gone.’ But soon it would return again.” From his
Journal, of Sunday, May 23, 1802, we copy the following account of how he obtained the deeper
spiritual experience for which his soul was craving:

“When I was on the Orange (Connecticut) Circuit,” says he, “I felt something within that

needed to be done away. I spake to one and another concerning the pain I felt in my happiest
moments, which caused a burden but not guilt; some said one thing and some another; but none
spoke to my case, but seemed to be like physicians that did not understand the nature of my
disorder; thus the burden continued, and sometimes felt greater than the burden of guilt for
justification, until I fell in with T. Dewey, on Cambridge Circuit. He told me about Calvin
Wooster in Upper Canada, that he enjoyed the blessing of sanctification, and had a miracle
wrought in his body, in some sense; the course of nature turned in consequence, and he was much
owned and blessed of God in his ministerial labors.

“I felt a great desire arise in my heart to see the man, if it might be consistent with the

Divine will; and not long after I heard he was passing through the circuit and going home to die. I
immediately rode five miles to the house; but found he was gone another five miles further. I went
into the room where he was asleep; he appeared to be more like one from the eternal world, than
like one of my fellow mortals. I told him, when he awoke, who I was and what I had come for.
Said he: ‘God has convicted you for the blessing of sanctification, and that blessing is to be
obtained by the single act of faith, the same as the blessing of justification.


“I persuaded him to tarry in the neighborhood a few days; and a couple of evenings after

the above, after I had done speaking one evening, he spake, or rather whispered out an exhortation,
as his voice was so broken, in consequence of praying, in the stir of the Upper Canada, as from
twenty to thirty were frequently blessed at a meeting. He told me that if he could get a sinner under
conviction, crying for mercy, they would kneel down a dozen of them, and not rise until he found
peace; for, said he, we did believe that God would bless him, and it was according to our faith.

“At this time he was in a consumption, and a few weeks after expired; and his last words

were as I am informed, ‘Ye must be sanctified or be damned, and casting a look upwards, went out
like the snuff of a candle, without terror; and while whispering out the above exhortation, the
power which attended the same, reached the hearts of the people; and some who were standing or
sitting, fell like men shot in the field of battle; and I felt a tremor to run through my soul and every
vein, so that it took away my limb power, so that I fell to the floor, and by faith, saw a greater
blessing than I had hitherto experienced, or in other words, felt a Divine conviction of the need of
a deeper work of grace in my soul; feeling some of the remains of the evil nature, the effect of
Adam’s fall, still remaining, and it my privilege to have it eradicated or done away; my soul was in
an agony — I could but groan out my desire to God — He came to me, and said, believe the blessing
is now; no sooner had the words dropped from his lips, than I strove to believe the blessing mine
now, with all the powers of my soul, then the burden dropped or fell from my heart, and a solid
joy, and a gentle running peace filled my soul.

“From that time to this I have not had the ecstasy of joy or that downcast of spirit as

formerly; but more of an inward, simple, sweet running peace from day to day, so that prosperity
or adversity doth not produce the ups and downs as formerly; but my soul is more like the ocean,
whilst the surface is uneven by reason of the boisterous wind, the bottom is still calm; so that a
man may be in the midst of outward difficulties, and yet the center of the soul may be stayed on
God; the perfections of angels are such, that they cannot fall away; which some think is attainable
by mortals here; but I think we cannot be perfect as God, for absolute perfection belongs to Him
alone; neither as perfect as angels, nor even as Adam before he fell, because our bodies are now
mortal, and tend to clog the mind, and weigh the spirit down; nevertheless, I do believe, that a man
may drink in the Spirit of God, so far as to live without committing wilful, or known, or malicious
sins against God, but to have love the ruling principle within, and what we say or do to flow from
that Divine principle of love and not from a sense of duty, though subject to trials, temptations, and
mistakes at the same time.”

Source: “Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians”
by James G. Lawson

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(A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts)
Compiled by Duane V. Maxey

Vol. I — Named Accounts

Interchurch Holiness Convention

18931 Route 522

Beaver Springs, PA 17812

Phone: 570-658-1030