- M. BEAR (Methodist)
For more than thirty-three years I have had a name with the M. E. Church, and for that length of time I have known something of experimental religion. Though at times I have been much backslidden, yet at other time I have had blessed intercourse with Christ, and very often I have had longing for the blessing of a full salvation. And all along through these years I have been resolving to enter at some time into the enjoyment of it.
In the meantime a sense of unfitness for the ministerial work in which I have been engaged for the past twenty-five years, forced itself on my mind, sometimes with more and sometime with less intensity, until during the past winter I became very unhappy and fretful, till I almost decided to leave the ministry from a sense of unfitness for it, and turn my attention to other pursuits.
Still I preached on, very often finding a great pleasure in presenting Christ to a dying world, oppressed all the while with a sense of inefficiency. In the fluctuating and unhappy state of mind, I attended the Camp-meeting, in June, at Chautauqua Lake, sincerely hoping that God in some way would make it a blessing to my soul.
My mind, however, recoiled from any prominence in the meeting and I desired my Elder
not to call on me to preach during the meeting.
Toward the close of the meeting, I stated my desire, but could not consent to commit all my
ways to the Lord. Still I prayed for full salvation in the blood of the Lamb, and went to my work a better man, I think, resolving to live a better life and preach Christ more fully, but making no profession of full consecration, nor indeed did I dare to say that I had made the sacrifice complete.
I had gained some strength, but soon found myself gliding into the same fluctuating state of
mind. In this condition I attended the September Camp-meeting on the same ground, hardly knowing what to do with myself. My mind seemed to be grappling with many and severe difficulties. Time passed on till the Sabbath, when in the Love feast I stated my condition as nearly
as I could, and expressed my desire to be guided in the right way. My mind became greatly exercised, and I spent a considerable portion of the following night in prayer and meditation. My mind still shrank from any public profession of full salvation through the blood of Christ, and with indecision on that point, I went into the prayer-meeting on Monday morning, when thanks be to God, I was able to make the venture, and declare Christ to be my full and complete Saviour from sin. He bade my fears begone, and caused me to rest in Him in peace.
My soul has not been filled with unbounded and overwhelming ecstasy, as described in the
experience of some others; yet it has been drawn sweetly out in prayer and thanksgiving to my precious Saviour, and I am daily resting my all in His hands. God, in infinite mercy, has given me my dear wife to walk with in this highway of Holiness.
Blessed be His Holy Name, the Lord enabled me to preach it to my people, and has already
given me, as I trust some fruit. For the gracious leaven is at work, and some are entering into full salvation while others are led to inquire what do these things lead?
STOCKTON, New York, Oct. 24, 1871.
Source: “Guide to Holiness, January, 1872″ Edited 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