ROBERT WILKINSON (Methodist)
Sunday, the 12th of July  … all within me cried out
The sinner am I, Who on Jesus rely, And come for the pardon God cannot deny.
I then believed that God, for Christ’s sake had forgiven all my sins, and found that peace
which arises from a sense of reconciliation. The people of God who knew my distress, perceived by my countenance that the Lord was gracious to me, before I had opportunity to tell them. I then went rejoicing home, and could not help telling what God had done for my soul…the Lord gave me grace to wrestle with Him in prayer; and every day I found more or less the witness of my sonship…
[Several months later] On Friday night we had preaching…Afterward the bands met, and
the preacher earnestly exhorted all present to look for the second blessing, and insisted that it might be received. Now, thought I, if there is such a thing, none can stand more in need of it than I do. But the enemy suggested, “There are those that have known God several years, and have not attained; and shalt thou be delivered who hast been justified only a few months? — Immediately I found power to resist the temptation, and said within myself, God is not tied to time.
No sooner did that thought pass through my heart than the power of God seized me. I found
I could not resist, and therefore turned myself over upon the seat: I cannot express how I was. I found such travail in my soul as if it would burst from the body. I continued so till I was motionless and insensible for a season. But as I was coming to myself I found such an emptying, and then such a heaven of love springing up in my soul, as I had never felt before: with an
application of these blessed words, “He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water…
In the year 1768 I was sent to call sinners to repentance, in the city of Carlisle. Here I was
much persecuted; but blessed be God, he delivered me out of the hands of my enemies, and gave me several seals of my ministry.
[Robert Wilkinson had a blessed and triumphant passing, Friday, December 8, 1780. The
record seems to indicate that he was still quite young when he died, perhaps in his thirties. The following is taken from an account written by one of his fellow-laborers.]
He suddenly waked his wife (who was in the room) and said, “Thou has been sleeping, but
I have been in heaven. — O the glory of God! the glory of God in heaven! the celestial city! the New Jerusalem! O the lovely beauty! the happiness of paradise! God is all love; he is nothing but love! O help me to praise him! O help me to praise him! I shall praise him for ever! I shall praise him for ever!” So Robert Wilkinson departed this life in peace…
[The following comments were also written by his fellow-laborer.]
The Divine presence was with us all the way through; and in such a manner as I never
knew before at any funeral. When the minister read these words, “Not to be sorry as men without hope,” Mrs. Wilkinson (who hung upon my arm with her two little babies) was so overwhelmed with the presence of God, that she could not refrain from crying out, “Sorry! no! Glory be to God! glory be to God! Glory, and praise, and blessing, be ascribed unto God, for ever and ever!” Her spirit seemed as if it was ready to launch into the eternal world, to be with Jesus and her happy husband. A remarkable power fell on all that could hear her; so that the people were melted into tears; some of sorrow, others of joy.
From this time the work of God began to revive at Grimsby, and the country people caught
the fire, and carried it along with them into their little societies.
Robert Wilkinson was … “an Israelite indeed; a man of faith and prayer: who, having been
a pattern of all good works, died in the full triumph of faith.” O what a blessing to live and die a Christian! May I also be a follower of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises! In my life, and at my death, may I be like him!
Source: “The EXPERIENCE of several eminent Methodist Preachers with an account of their Call to and Success in the Ministry in a series of letters written by themselves to the Rev. John Wesley” J. Collard, Printer, New York 1837
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts