MAXWELL PIERSON GADDIS (Methodist)
I was deeply impressed and clearly convinced; 1. Of the absolute necessity of holiness of
heart, “without which none shall see the Lord.” 2. The certainty of the attainment of a higher state of religious enjoyment; it being the “will of God, even my sanctification.” 3. The simple manner of obtaining it — by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. “Thou shalt call his name Jesus, because he shall save his people from their sins.” Without a moment’s delay I resolved then and there, fully to trust the Lord; unwavering faith apprehended the efficiency of the blood of Christ to “cleanse from all sin.” My anxious and burdened soul cried out with vehemence, impatient to be free,
“Oh kill in this rebel sin, And reign in triumph o’er my willing heart.”
In a moment I felt my heart melt like wax before the fire, and my eyes suffused in tears of
joy. I then rose from my seat and walked about the room, exclaiming in an audible voice, “I am the Lord’s! I am the Lord’s!” I then fell upon my knees, and made an offering of soul and body to God, in the following simple manner: “Here Lord, I bring to thee my poor, weakly body, and sin-polluted soul; take me, Jesus, just as I am.”
At that moment the Holy Ghost pressed home, with power, the following interrogation: “Do
you give up all?” Bringing to my recollection a “form of surrender,” mentioned in Livy, where Egenious had inquired, “Are you the ambassadors sent by the people of Callatia, that you may yield up yourselves and the Callatine people?” It was answered “We are.” And was again asked, ”Are the Callatine people in their own power?” It was further inquired, “Do you deliver up yourselves, the people of Callatia, your city, your fields, your waters, your bounds, your temples, your utensils — all things that are yours, both divine and human, into mine and the people of Rome’s power?” They say, “We deliver up all.” And he answered, “So I receive you.”
After repeating these words several times, I said, “Now, O my God, I would in like manner
deliver up all, my soul and body; all, all — no longer mine, but thine, to all eternity. Wilt Thou now
receive me?” The Holy Spirit then immediately whispered in my heart, in sweetest accents, “Yes, I now receive you.” I instantly rose up from my prostrate position on the floor, and exclaimed with emphasis, “I am the Lord’s forever! I am the Lord’s forever! I am the Lord’s forever!”
I then concluded I would go up stairs and make a record of this most solemn transaction
between God and my soul, in my journal, calling to my recollection the striking words of the prophet, “One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.”
On entering my bedroom, I found that brother C. had retired to rest, wondering in his own
mind, as he afterward informed me, what should have detained me so long. My only reply was, that, “my poor soul was inexpressibly happy.” He then remarked, “I think, brother Gaddis, you had better come to bed soon, as the room is cold, and you will injure your health by sitting up so late, when so much indisposed.” I then very deliberately unlocked the book-case, and took out my journal, determined, by the help of God, not to give sleep to my eyes, nor slumber to my eyelids till I should make the long-promised dedication of myself to God, in writing.
The tempter now assaulted me in a powerful manner, for the first time during the whole
transaction, and suggested that I had better defer it till the morning, and, as I could not recollect the day of the month, the covenant would not be binding. I listened but for a moment, and then replied, ”Get behind me, Satan, for thou art an offense unto me.” Blessed be God, Satan was bruised under my feet, and I was left in quiet possession of the victory, so unexpectedly obtained. I then, with much deliberation, inquired of brother C. for the correct time, and after having been assured that I was right, I made the following record, without a single moment’s premeditation:
“Half-past ten o’clock on this, the evening of the fifth day of December, year of our Lord
one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine — I dedicated my soul and body anew, a living sacrifice unto God: and reckon myself indeed dead to sin and alive to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, from this time henceforth and forever, living or dying to be the Lord’s.
“My life and blood I here present, If for thy truth they may be spent.” “Amen!
MAXWELL P. GADDIS
After the signing of the solemn covenant, I hastened to bed. I felt that I had accomplished at
last what I had so long most ardently desired. I also felt an inward satisfaction which I never experienced before. I could not sleep. My mind was impressed in a way and manner unknown before. After some time had elapsed, I remarked to brother C. that I was dying, but that I was not alarmed. He then remarked, that from the moment I entered the room and told him I was so happy, his own emotions had been very peculiar. I recollect that he wept as he talked of the state of his feelings.
For a little season my frail body seemed to sink, and I was as cold apparently as if the vital
spark had fled; but, on a sudden, the power of the Most High overshadowed me; my whole frame shook as if I had been seized with a severe fit of the ague. This feeling was of but short
continuance; the Holy Ghost resuscitated my feeble frame, and filled my soul unutterably full of glory and of God. My physical powers were strengthened in a most wonderful manner, and I shouted aloud for joy upon my bed. For a short time I was perfectly overwhelmed with a sense to me as if the frail casket would break, and my disinthralled spirit
“Return on swiftest wing,”
to mingle with the “blood-washed,” before the throne. I cried out in the fullness of my soul, “O, yes, it is done! I am my Lord’s and he is mine — for ever, for ever, for nevermore! Brother C. the ’record’ is at last made — the great transaction is finished — I am now the Lord’s, and he is mine! Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time henceforth and for ever. Amen and amen.”
I then thought of a dream which the Rev. Bishop Hamline had concerning me, a few nights
previous, that seemed to have made a deep impression on his own heart. He stated that in his dream “he saw me die suddenly while standing in the altar at Wesley Chapel.” Referring to his dream in my ecstasy, I exclaimed, “O yes, brother H., I am indeed dying — yea, I am now dead – but I am dying unto sin. Glory, hallelujah! Amen. I now reckon myself dead unto sin, but alive unto God. The dead praise Him not, but the living shall praise Him as I do this day.
“I’ll praise my maker while I’ve breath, And when my voice is loss in death, Praise shall my nobler powers employ, In that eternal world of joy.'”
Source: “Pioneer Experiences” by Phoebe Palmer
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