- S. MITCHELL (Methodist)
For many years I have been entirely satisfied, from a most blessed experience, that the
atoning blood can cleanse from all sin. It is many years since I received the gracious fullness of the Saviour’s merits. I was about eighteen years old, having then been a member a little more than four years, and a class leader between two and three. I had for some time belonged to a band, fasted every Friday, met regularly, and enjoyed much of the divine favor, still often feeling that native defilement which I am fully convinced remains in every heart after justification. It was a season of great spiritual interest. Many were finding peace with God — many the blessing of perfect love. My own soul was constantly thirsting for entire deliverance. I went to a quarterly meeting – witnessed much of the power of God — felt much myself — but did not receive the witness of the removal of the native corruption of the heart. Sunday evening went to a prayer meeting in my own class; several were awakened, some converted, and one made of perfect in love. My thirst after God greatly increased, but not satiated. I got into the carriage to return home, about six miles, with my brother and his wife, and a young who was about to spend some time in my brother’s family, with whom I was conversing relative to the meeting we had just left. I was saying to her that my soul had been greatly blessed: and while in the act of expressing my obligation of gratitude to God for His abundant blessing, I received a shock which extended throughout the system, as though a quantity of ice water had been thrown upon me. This shock was as new as unexpected, and I did not know but I was about to be summoned suddenly into the present of God. I said to the sister by my side, I felt as never before, and did not know what would be the issue, but desired to say to her that my soul was happy in God. Immediately upon saying this, I felt another shock of divine power, which at once prostrated me helpless and nearly speechless till we arrived at my brother’s house. I gained a little strength when near home, and my brother and his wife succeeded in getting me into the house, and placing me in an arm chair, where for a moment or two I feebly praised God, when I was again, by the power of God, stricken to the floor. This was about ten o’clock in the evening; and from this time till two o’clock in the morning I was lost to all below, and completely absorbed in contemplations of the divine glory. My friends who stood by me informed me that I said nothing, except at intervals of about half-an-hour I repeated the word eternity with great solemnity. I then felt that
“Christ was all in all to me And my soul was love.”
About two o’clock in the morning I regained my strength. And, being under the influence of
“The speechless awe that dares not move,’
“With all the silent heavens of love,”
I retired to my bed, but not to sleep, but to lie in the bosom of my all sufficient Saviour. I
felt as if basking in the presence of God, as if bathing sweetly in the ocean of perfect love. For many weeks, night and day, whenever awake, the same indescribable peace, the same hallowed fullness, continued without abatement. Mine was a cloudless sky. It was not so much rapture, as the fullness of the divine favor. I realized that I “dwelt in God, and God in me.” My whole soul was calm as the opening morning, and so continued without a moment’s interruption for many weeks. I was young and timid, and feared to confess all my feelings and assurances.
I have given this imperfect narration of an event which occurred nearly fifty years since, to
show some of my obligations to divine grace, and to indicate that point, and that fact in my brief history, which are at the foundation of whatever of usefulness or Christian decision have marked my course. I secured an unction and power with God then, which I had not possessed before, and which, though, even for a day, wholly lost. My soul is now solemnly and sweetly fixed on God.
I will conclude by saying that, after an uninterrupted membership in the M. E. Church of
over fifty-eight years; traveling preacher over forty-four years; having come into rest of perfect love forty-eight years last Spring, I never loved the Church so well, — nor delighted so much to preach Christ to saints and sinners, as able to save to the uttermost, as now.
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