The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Meeting the Methodists

In December of this year, 1839, I visited the city of New York on business, which brought me into communication with certain persons who belonged to the Methodist denomination. I was providentially led to form an acquaintance with other pious Methodists, and was exceedingly happy in attending a number of meetings which had exclusive reference to the doctrine of holiness and to personal holy experience. In these meetings I took the liberty; although comparatively a stranger, to profess myself a believer in the doctrine of holiness and a seeker after it. And I found myself greatly encouraged and aided by the judicious remarks, the prayers and the sympathies of a number of beloved Christian friends.

As I now perceive, the great difficulty at this time in the way of my victorious progress was my ignorance of the important principle, that SANCTIFICATION, as well as justification, is by FAITH. By consecrating myself to God, I had put myself into a favorable condition to exercise faith; but I had never understood and felt the imperative necessity of this exercise, viz., of FAITH as a sanctifying instrumentality. My Methodist friends, to whom this view was familiar, gave me, in the spirit of Christian kindness, much instruction and assistance here, for which I desire to be grateful to them.

I found that I must give up the system, already too long cherished, of walking by signs, and manifestations, and sensible experiences, and must commit every thing, in light and in darkness, in joy and in sorrow, into the hands of God. Realizing, accordingly, that I must have greater faith in God as the fulfiller of his promises, and as the pledged and everlasting portion of those who put their trust in him, and aided by the kindness and supplications of Christian friends, I in some degree (and perhaps I may say in a very considerable degree) gained the victory.

I shall ever recollect the time. It was early on Friday morning, the 27th of December. The evening previous had been spent in deeply interesting conversation and in prayer on the subject of holiness, and with particular reference to myself. Soon after I awoke in the morning, I found that my mind, without having experienced any very remarkable manifestations or ecstasies, had, nevertheless, undergone a great moral revolution. I was removed from the condition of a SERVANT, and adopted into that of a SON. I believed and felt, in a sense which I had never experienced before, that my sins were all blotted out, were wholly forgiven; and that Christ was not only the Savior of mankind in general, but my Christ my Savior in particular, and that God was my Father. As I have observed, I had no ecstasy, but great and abiding peace and consolation.


— from Phoebe W. Palmer (editor), Pioneer Experiences or The Gift of Power Received by Faith Illustrated and Confirmed by the Testimony of Eighty Living Ministers of Various Denominations (1872).

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