MARY E. MCLAUGHLIN
“This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” — Thess 4:3
“What is our calling’s glorious hope, But inward holiness? For this to Jesus I look up; I calmly wait for this.
I wait till he shall touch me clean Shall life and power impart, Give me the faith that casts out sin, And purifies the heart.
When Jesus makes my heart his home, My sin shall all depart; And ‘Lo,’ he said, ‘I quickly come, To fill and rule thy heart.’
Be it according to thy word; Redeem me from all sin My heart would now receive thee, Lord, Come in, my Lord, come in.”
So sang Charles Wesley and so do all genuine Methodists feel. If we were to omit in this
sketch, the narration of her experience of entire sanctification we should be doing her memory an injustice as well as doing violence to the truth. This experience was the secret of her life of sweetness and usefulness. It was the great theme of her life and it was her great delight to seek to advance the cause of holiness. For this she labored beyond her strength many times. It was an experience that flooded her whole being and made it luminous.
It is one the great manifestations of Satanic strategy to make this central doctrine of the
Bible and culmination of salvation, unpopular and distasteful to the majority of Christians. In this
Satan shows profound wisdom. For this experience makes its possessor at his best for the glorifying of God. Hence the Enemy pushes some whom he can not restrain into fanaticism, in order to frighten away others. He frightens others by the opposition and persecution that they meet, and makes this pearl of Great price very unpopular in this world. Nevertheless it is possible to obtain this grace and besides it will be at a premium when the world is on fire.
While in their pastorate at Littleton, N. H., in 1880 sister McLaughlin was brought very
near death’s door, by a sickness whose effects followed her the rest of her days and brought her much suffering all through her after life. But God, who always does the best for us, raised her up for nearly thirty years of service in the vineyard. How we thank God for those thirty years!
At this time she came down close to the borderland of the other world and she never forgot
the lessons of that hour. She had time to think and to examine her Christian life and she said, that she found many defects there. She saw that she had but little fruitage in her Christian life, compared with what she should have. This developed a seriousness of purpose that never left her, but grew more intense up to her dying day, and made her life a blessing to others and a factor in the upbuilding of the kingdom of Jesus.
Their next field was Haverhill, Mass., in the pastorate of the First Methodist Episcopal
Church, an appointment within the bounds of the New Hampshire Conference.
Here her husband, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, came into, professed and began to
preach the doctrine and experience of Entire Sanctification, the fundamental, much neglected doctrine of Methodism. The work began to develop in this and also the neighboring Methodist church, making these two churches like a well watered garden. Sinners were constantly being saved and believers sanctified.
In January, 1885, her husband called a holiness convention in their church for four days.
The Holy Spirit was so wonderfully poured out in those four days that the meeting ran on, for eleven weeks. It was impossible in those first 4 days to do much preaching, because the power of God was so upon the people. In that convention one hundred and fifty of the membership professed the experience of entire sanctification and fifty of the adjoining church with their pastor Rev. C. J. Fowler, now president of the National Association for the Promotion of Holiness.
She discovered at this time that the lack in her experience, which she had felt on her sick
bed could be supplied by the grace of entire sanctification. She now saw her need and the remedy. She was not backslidden, but she saw in her inner nature that which was not in harmony with the will of God. She had shrunk from duty. When in after years the one who knew her best said, “I can not see that you needed anything more”, she replied, “But I knew what was in my heart.” As pastor’s wife, she was dissatisfied with her timidity in the performance of duty. Now she sought to consecrate herself entirely to the Lord.
But how could she, a pastor’s wife, go to the altar? It was revolting to her pride. How
could she admit that she was not all right, as she was? The old nature asserted itself. She also faced the question of public prayer in the social meetings. She felt it to be her duty, but it seemed
impossible and so the battle raged for a whole day. Her husband was distressed. It seemed to him as that she would die. He said, “I do not see why you should feel so badly.” Old nature was dying.
As the day closed the victory was won. The consecration was made complete. All as laid
upon the altar. The fire fell, and the quiet little woman was ready for duty, and we do not know that she ever flinched from that hour. From that day under the rays of the Sun of Righteousness that spiritual nature unfolded like a bud of June under the rays of the natural sun. She grew sweeter and sweeter every year. No one could deny it. Her experience of perfect love to God, reached out to every body and became perfect love to man indeed. From house to house in Chicago: in the mission work, in camp-meetings, on the cars, she improved her opportunities to win souls for Jesus, and to hold him up as a complete Saviour from all sin.
She maintained an uncompromising testimony to the efficacy of the blood of Jesus to
cleanse from all sin, up to the day of her death. The last Sunday of her life in the class meeting she testified that God had years before cleansed her heart from all sin as a definite second work of grace.
Source: “The Beauty of Holiness — as exemplified in the Life of Mrs. Mary E. Maclaughlin” by Rev. G. A. McLaughlin
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts