- S. HEATH (Methodist)
I was born and reared in a Methodist home on a farm. At thirty-seven I moved to the city,
was a campaign political speaker and newspaper editor for eight years.
I resisted revival influences, argued on the infidel side for amusement, and then became
skeptical. At twenty-eight I married a girl from an Universalist family, and within one year we had a daughter. When I was thirty-two we attended the funeral of a little niece. My wife was convicted that, if the body in the casket was that of her little one, she would be parted from her forever, for she was not fitted for heaven. After talking that night until two o’clock in the morning, we agreed to become Christians. She was blessed when the decision was made, although we did not know what it meant. We went to church and, in class-meeting, commenced the best we knew, joined the church, set up a family altar, and did what we thought Christians ought to do. I was an infidel yet. Four years previously my mother had told me that, in answer to prayer, she had the assurance from the Lord that I would be converted and preach the gospel. It was folly to me, and I laughed it off carelessly. I was in earnest, and was impressed that if I found anything in it, it would be in doing what Jesus said to do. I did it as my limited understanding of God’s truth led me. People thought, I suppose, if we knew enough to start without any visible help, we knew enough to know the Lord. So we had no instructions, and didn’t know we needed any.
After about two years, I had found the way good, and had begun to really believe it was
right. I found myself testing something within me which would answer questions correctly about the past, present, or future. After I had tried it until I had faith in it, it began to dawn upon me it was the Lord. For two years He was with me, and guarded me in my business and pleasures as well as religion. I had received a local preacher’s license, but because some young people laughed one night (as I supposed at me), I said to myself, “I never will preach again.” The presence of the Lord left me so I never missed Him. He so blotted Himself from my memory that I did not once remember for ten years that I had ever had any experience at all. I kept on going through the motions of a professed Christian.
At the end of that time a Holiness evangelist came to our church and I speedily got under
conviction. I surrendered then completely — business, pleasures, time, talents, soul and body. Within a week, through a remarkable train of circumstances, which we all recognized as from the Lord, I was called to assist the pastor in a revival meeting in the church where I had quit preaching. When I went to prepare my first sermon, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me with such ecstasy that it bordered on pain, and I did not desire it to be any stronger. His presence has been consciously with me from that hour to this. My wife was wholly sanctified in the home revival meeting after I left. The Lord has now for some years used both wife and daughter together to assist pastors. Thus I am left lone. The Lord wonderfully keeps us, and it is our choice according to His will.
About three months after I entered revival work, in the midst of a meeting, I became afraid
for the first time of the strongest inherited evil besetment within me. I had intelligently received the teaching about holiness, but had never asked it for myself. I needed no reconsecration. I asked and trusted for the first time that this besetment be taken away. He did it. For two weeks that which had cost twenty mental struggles a day to put away, I did not once think of, and when I did remember it it was to praise God for my deliverance. Some time after this I went to the Lord for a completion of His good work in my soul, and the other little evil tendencies went. I still was timid about a public confession, urging others to confess but avoiding it myself. My wife caught me at it, and I at once confessed freely what God had done for me, found the last band broken and I was free in the Lord … I have now lived in Canaan over seven years. It is a goodly land, and is fairer today than ever before. God has kept me marching and conquering. My time, talents, earthly store, friends, soul and body are all so consecrated to God that He can get all at every call. He possesses, uses. My borders are constantly enlarged. His truths are wider, deeper, higher, as the days and years flee way, and I am satisfied with Jesus more and more.
SOWING PRECIOUS SEEDS
A book does not die or change. It speaks on through coming years to all it meets and goes
on to other generations. It is a silent witness to the truth. In conversation the temptation easily arises to defend one’s position. When we read a book, it does not talk back. We can’t accuse. We can have no controversy except with ourselves, and, by the workings of the Holy Ghost, the question arises, “Is this true?” And if so, “What shall I do about it?” When we honestly search after truth, willing to obey it, we will always find wonderful unfoldings.
A lady neighbor of ours could not understand Holiness, or the preaching or teaching, except
to get under conviction that there was something in it. She was reading a book one day and came to the passage which declared that God would remove inbred sin from the heart. She had a hot temper. “Why,” said she to herself, “that is what I want done.” Then, as directed, she cried out to God, “O Lord, I trust you to do that for me.” The Lord instantly possessed her with a wonderful manifestation of His glory, and the inbred sin was gone.
Life is short here. It may seem unimportant to us. We may not be able to do many things we
see others do to the glory of God; yet if we will be led of Him, and do what our hands find to do with our might, we may exceed them all in final results. The preacher’s greatest glory is to bring a soul to Christ. By selling or giving books or tracts to any one, we use the talents of the bright minds
of earth to win that soul and mould it for eternity. We thus bring the author and reader together as the preacher brings the sinner and his Saviour together by preaching the truth. The Holy Spirit works out the results in the heart in both cases…
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with
rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Ps. 16:6).
Source: “Pentecostal Messengers” by M. W. Knapp
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All Rights Reserved By HDM For This Digital Publication Copyright 1994 Holiness Data Ministry
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts