- W. PEIRCE (Methodist)
I am not aware that in my experience there is any thing, peculiar; and from this
circumstance it may be of value to thousands of persons whose experience has been like my own up to the eventful hour of my life.
At the age of eighteen, in my native State (New York), through the preaching, of a devoted
servant of God, I made a surrender of myself to Christ. For some fourteen years subsequently, seven of which as a traveling, preacher, my course was a variable one. I had no doubt, if I had followed the leadings of the Spirit given to every convert, I might speedily have become possessed of full salvation; but looking to the waves of untoward circumstance, instead of looking to Him who bade me walk upon them, I fluctuated in my experience.
In the winter of 1861, then resident in Wisconsin, God set me at perfect liberty. We had
just closed a delightful class-meeting, on a Tuesday night, at a private house. We were loath to depart. While conversing, incidentally the subject of entire sanctification came up. The leader of the Sunday-noon class, who was present, rather abruptly asked me, “Brother P., do you enjoy the blessing of a clean heart?” “I do not.” “Then you are not prepare to preach the Gospel.” “As to that, the Lord has owned my labors, in some measure, in the conversion of sinners, the promotion of Sunday schools, the erection of churches, etc. Still, I agree with you, that, without a conscious and continual consecration of my whole self to God, I am not living up to the full measure of my duty and possible usefulness.” I inwardly resolved, then and there, that, come what would, “Holiness to the Lord” should be my motto and experience.
Notwithstanding, I had met with, and been perplexed by counterfeit professors of
sanctification, and that I might have keener trials, graver responsibilities; my mind was fixed. As a means to an end, and with a view to doing others good, I appointed a prayer-meeting, each Friday night, at the parsonage, for the promotion of Holiness. At the first meeting my soul was set free. As the hour of nine o’clock came on, I gave opportunity for any to retire; and then shortly remarked, that, for one, I felt that I had Satan at a disadvantage; that the house, for the time being, was my
own; that the lights need not be extinguished, or the meeting, dismissed, till victory came; that I was resolved to wrestle and pray till the morning’s dawn, but that I would come off triumphant. In supplication, I kept such passages as these continually in my mind, “Create in me a clean heart, O God!” “If we walk in the light,” etc. In an hour God gave me the desire of my heart; others also claimed Jesus as their uttermost Saviour.
From that time to the present, I have had many serious responsibilities, arduous labors,
mental and physical sufferings, but a continual consciousness that I was all the Lord’s; glorious victories; large success in doing good. God has given me clearer views of His character; He has enabled me to lay aside habits which, unconsciously to myself, abridged my usefulness. I have been continually learning much in the way of holiness, as well as how to enter it
I wish to say, that the secret of whatever success I have had in pointing souls to Christ as a
complete Saviour has been owing, under God, to my insisting, upon holiness as (1) definite object of search; something, specific: not simply “more religion,” “more of the Holy Spirit,” etc., but specific blessing, and, therefore, that we are to have the witness of the fact given to us of God. And (2) to be expected of.
I ardently pray for the time to draw near when scriptural life- holiness shall be the
accepted belief and practical experience in every denominational branch of the Christian Church.
“High on the raging billows borne, Or sweetly wafted o’er the deep, Alike to us the calm or storm, If Israel’s guard our watch shall keep.
When far beyond the billow’s roar, The hidden rock, the treacherous sand, We furl our sails, and hail the shore, The verdant shore, of Zion’s land, —
Oh ! then we’ll sing of danger past, Of toils that made our bliss complete, That brought our crowns and palms at last trophies at the Saviour’s feet.”
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