MOTHER COBB (Methodist)
Soon after Mrs. Cobb united with the Methodist church, she was convicted for the
experience of entire holiness. The apostle’s injunction: “Go on to perfection,” sounded through her soul, and an intense hungering and thirsting for this grace possessed her. She cried unto God day and night for a clean heart, and as the Holy Spirit enlightened her understanding and revealed to her the “roots of bitterness” within, and she saw how she had followed the carnal promptings of a proud heart, and lived such a vain and foolish life before her conversion, and been trammeled and hindered in her religious life, she groaned for deliverance. Her convictions for heart-purity were strong and pungent. She would cry out, “I cannot live without holiness.”
While thus wrought upon and pleading for a clean heart, the cross was presented to her that
would crucify her to the flesh, and make complete the separation between herself and the world. Her cross was to appear more as her Saviour, “who was rich, yet for our sakes became poor.” She must not only give up her ornaments and vain display of attire which she had laid aside, but she must also lay aside her costly robes, and give up her carriage and, plainly dressed, go on foot whenever practicable.
Oh! the deep searchings and the struggle of soul! For herself she could make all sacrifice —
but her friends! Must she grieve them by being so peculiar? Could she not dress richly, though she must dress plainly? “No,” the Spirit said, “you must dress plainly and cheaply.” Her cross, definitely portrayed, was to dress in plain blue calico as long as her earthly life should last.
We will not take it upon ourselves to explain why such a peculiar cross was laid upon her;
but we are sure that the One who formed it perfectly understood the case, and it was the plan of infinite love and mercy. She saw it as her own cross, and not as a pattern for others to follow, and said it was, “God’s way of keeping her dead.”
She was a number of weeks seeking the experience. During this time, she attended three
quarterly-meetings, and her presiding elder, Rev. G. Fillmore, preached definitely each time on the
experience of perfect love. Her convictions deepened, her soul agonized for deliverance. On the other hand, she was greatly tempted by the enemy. The way seemed a hard one, and the carnal nature shrunk from the cross. Finally, she determined to have the matter settled. We are thankful we can give the reader an account of the last struggle and victory in her own words. She said: “The struggle I now felt was a fearful one. I felt that I could not longer live without this blessing. I retired to a grove, and got on my knees before the Lord, being determined I would never leave the place until delivered.
“Oh! what a struggle I had with the powers of darkness! I was a long time agonizing in
prayer; then I said; ‘I have done everything that is in my power to do, and will never rise from this spot till God does the work.’ Now I was willing to become anything, or nothing, for Christ’s sake. In that moment my prayer was answered; my struggle ceased, my unutterable longing was gratified. Instantly a power from above touched me. Jesus took entire possession. I melted as wax before the fire; praise took the place of prayer, and my full soul was dissolved in love. Then was the new name written upon my heart, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it.
“In a moment I saw that this was sanctification. Oh! what a calm — what a settling down of
sweet peace–perfect peace! No ecstasy, only that of astonishment at what I had just realized. It is not in the power of language to describe it. My peace flowed like a river.
“Now the enemy suggested: ‘Don’t say that you are sanctified, for you have been blessed a
great many times.’ I was enabled to say, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan, for I belong to God, and all shall be done in Him, and for Him, for He worketh in me to will and to do of His own good pleasure.’ ”
This was in the year 1824, when Mrs. Cobb was about thirty years of age. She began
immediately to pay her vows to the Lord by taking steps that would widen the breach between herself and an ungodly world. Her rich robes were changed for a simple, plain blue calico dress. Her wavy locks, that had proved a snare to her in the past, and had ever been an incentive to pride, were shorn; and, as she afterwards stated, clothed in a servant’s dress she set about her Master’s work.
She resolved at this time to make It the one business of her life to serve God, and run with
patience the race set before her, and every weight and hindrance were thrown aside.
“Her pilgrim robes, divinely fair, Were fashioned all for speed.”
Source: “Mother Cobb–Sixty Years’ Walk With God” by Mary Meems Chapman
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts