N. SILSBEE (Methodist)
Through the forbearance and loving-kindness of a compassionate Saviour, I have at length
entered upon a new era, having ended my course of wandering in the wilderness of unbelief, here I journeyed forty years. I as told by friends that it was unbelief that was preventing me from obtaining the blessing of holiness, and I now freely acknowledge that they were assuredly correct. Oh, how much I have lost by being, fettered by that in all the way in my pilgrimage, though sometime in sight of the promised land! But thanks be to God, who giveth the victory, He has enabled me to believe. I do believe the sure word of God; and, in believing, a blessing — a blessing whose value eternity alone can reveal — has been granted me.
Over forty years ago, the regenerating grace of God came to my benighted heart; and,
through its illuminating light, I was enabled to see the goodness and justice of God, and to bless His name for the great and glorious plan of salvation; and, while dwelling on it, I became exceedingly happy. I did not at once suppose it was the blessed religion, which I had been seeking for with a sorrowful heart for many weeks and that the life I should live, should be through faith on the Son of God.
The subtile adversary of my soul took advantage of the chance that had come over me, by
saying that I had lost my conviction, and consequently there was now no hope in my case. I at once turned my attention from God to myself, and found my conviction was gone, and readily admitted the suggestion that there was no hope in my case. With all my heart I began to pray for a return of conviction, and continued to pray for it, until I became filled with doubts and unbelief; and I was given to feel, that Deut. xxxii. 20, expressed my condition: “I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end shall be; for they are a very forward generation, — children in whom is no faith.”
Now, like David, I want to say, “Come near, all ye that fear the Lord, and I will tell you
what he hath done for my soul.” Glory be to His holy name, notwithstanding all my frowardness, and want of faith, the Lord, according to His abundant mercy, on the 14th day of last March,
opened a door of faith, and enabled me to be obedient to faith, and I have received grace for obedience, and am bound to give thanks always unto God, because He has chosen me to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth. Glory, glory for the blessed word of truth which has made me free, free indeed! Bless the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord from time henceforth and forevermore! for He has so enlightened my mind as to enable me to see the mountain of unbelief that has been between Him and my soul.
“The Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron because you believed me not, to sanctify me in the
eye of the children of Israel: therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” How could I enter into the promised land whilst filled with unbelief? I read in the Bible, “Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.” I felt the need of it, and that I must have it; and besought God to impart it unto me. I would consecrate and consecrate and re-consecrate, but would not believe. I durst not believe, lest I should believe short of the blessing, and thereby fail of obtaining the promised grace.
Precious passages of Scripture would, from time to time, be powerfully impressed upon
my mind by the Holy Spirit; but I was afraid to accept them as mine. At length the passage came “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straightened until it be accomplished!” That I felt was most assuredly mine, and accepted it at once. And whilst I was going to God with it in my behalf, the passage loomed up before me, that Christ did not many mighty works in Capernaum because of their unbelief. I pondered in my mind, “Because of unbelief,” Christ did not many works; and inquired, Is it even so that Christ does not sanctify me because of unbelief? Then I said, O fool, and slow of heart to believe! and marveled because of my unbelief, and upbraided myself with it, and concluded I would no longer stagger through unbelief, but believe, and ask God to help my unbelief, and compassionate the case of one whom Satan had bound these many years with an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God, so that I could not enter into His rest. If I would not believe, surely I should not be established. Christ came a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not abide in darkness, but have the light of life.
Then the words came with power to my heart, that, whilst I had the light, I must believe in
the light, that I might be a child of light. I DID believe. Thanks be unto God for His enlightening Spirit! Then again the word came with power and sweetness, “Unto you who believe, Christ is precious.” Yes, I replied, He is precious, supremely precious, and a Saviour especially unto them that believe, and “the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” “I had fainted unless I had believed to see the salvation of God.” And “I am not ashamed; for I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded He is able to keep that which I committed to His trust.”
Having, therefore, boldness to enter into the holiest through the blood of Jesus, by a new
and living way which He hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh, I am asking that I may ever draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having my heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, and my body washed with pure water, and to be “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise;” and that I may be nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto I have attained; and that the God of hope may fill me with all joy and peace in believing, that I am abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.
I am not my own, but the Lord’s; and my soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble
shall hear thereof, and be glad. By the help of the Lord, I intend to hold fast a good profession of my faith without wavering; for He is faithful who has promised. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” May I be obedient to the faith, established in the faith, and, like Stephen and Barnabas, be full of faith and the Holy Ghost! May I be able to comfort them who are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith I am comforted of God! for, as the sufferings abounded in me, so my consolation aboundeth by Christ, who delivered me from my great and sore trouble, and doth deliver; in whom I trust He will yet deliver me.
Source: “Pioneer Experiences” 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