Through the reading a holiness publication and a book advertised in it, God brought Lyman Brough under conviction for his need of a sanctified heart:
Until this time I had never heard a sermon on the second work of grace in the heart, to cleanse the heart from all the old Adamic sin, to sanctify the soul wholly through the blood of Jesus Christ; “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate;” and witnessed by the Holy Ghost. But I was living in all the light that shone across my pathway, and as a regenerate child of God, I definitely knew that I was justified freely by His grace, and the Holy Ghost would witness to my soul. I was a child of the King, blessedly saved, and here is the promise I was obeying: John 1:7, “But if ye walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Now I was walking in the light with God, and having fellowship with Him, and with every saved child of Go l. I loved to go to church and prayermeeting, and was open to all the light and truth I should receive. There came to our church at Harrietta an old brother in the Lord from Detroit, Mich., if I remember rightly, to teach singing lessons in our church. In a short time he was taken sick, and I well remember going to see him in his room, and how we would talk on spiritual things. He saw that I was hungry for more truth and light and one day handed me a paper, a copy of God’s Revivalist, and said:
“Read this, and I’d advise you to send in and subscribe for it, as it is straight.”
I can now see how easily a soul at the stage of experience in which I then was can be led into wild fanaticism, third blessing, gift of tongues, or some other side-track, because of its craving and hungering after truth and light. If the wrong literature had fallen into m hands at this very critical time, it might have damned my soul forever, or hindered me from being what God wanted me to be. But God, through this precious brother (how I wish I knew his name, I’ve forgotten it; and suppose he has gone to heaven, as he was then an old man) handed me that Revivalist, and it was the first time I had ever had in my hands, or had seen a straight holiness paper; and you who have the experience of holiness can imagine how I devoured what seemed to me to be the sacred pages of that paper. I read and reread it, and sat down and wrote to the Revivalist office to send me the paper for three months. In that paper I saw three books advertised, “Brother Knapp’s Life,” ” Redeemed by the Blood,” and “There Art Thou?” by L. Milton Williams. I read “Redeemed by the Blood,” and my eyes were a fountain of tears as I read. Oh, how I should like to have seen and prayed with some of those precious, fallen girls, and the call to preach was on me more than ever. I would dream about the lost, and leading them to the Savior. I would go to my work as an engineer in the big lumber mill in Harrietta, Mich., and get out in the oilroom when the old mill was sawing lumber, and I would get so full of the love of God, and would shout, and preach, and clap my hands, and I had preached a good many times in that old oilroom before I was called to leave all and go out to rescue the perishing. As I will show later on in this book, I was preaching every Sunday night out at Sixteen, in a schoolhouse, and how the Lord would bless me there!
Then I commenced to read brother Knapp’s book and I would cry, and my poor soul was hungering for, I didn’t know what, but it wanted something, and I knew there was something more for me, but how or what to lo to get it I didn’t know. So I took up Brother Williams’ book, “Where Art Thou?” and commenced to read it, and I had read only a part way through the book when, oh, such conviction settled down on my poor, hungry soul, as he showed up carnality in the heart, and I saw what the trouble was with me. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” I had never been sanctified wholly, and that blessed book, which I prize as highly, if it were possible, as if it had been written under the inspiration of the blessed Holy Ghost, uncovered the heart, and the Spirit began to talk to me more and more, and said to me, “That is what you need.”
I laid the book down only half read through and commenced to weep, and told my wife that I was going to seek the Holy Ghost and get holiness. She had been reading Brother Knapp’s little book, “The Double Cure,” and I didn’t know she was under conviction for holiness, but she was. Well, I quit work, I didn’t go to my work, I laid off and said I was going to get satisfied, and wouldn’t work until I got through. I took it by the job: for three days and nights I wept, prayed, and groaned, and cried until I couldn’t cry any more; I prayed until I couldn’t pray any more. I didn’t have a preacher to help me, or any to hinder me, and no holiness people around buzzing in my ears, “Take it by faith; put your all on the altar, and go through.”
I thank God there were not any around. I died dead, three days and nights it took me, not three days and nights to get sanctified, but three days and nights to get ready. And when the last “yes” was said, and the consecration completely made, and all w as entirely given over, the Spirit said:
“Will you sign the blank and let me fill it in as I choose?”
And then and there I said, “Yes,” and the Holy, Ghost witnessed to my soul, the work was done. “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” And from that day the Devil has never been able to make me doubt my experience, or when I was sanctified. Bless God! It was so radical that the old, arch-fiend of hell has not been able to shake my faith in the Holy Ghost, and my faith in God that the work was entirely done. Well, when I was going through those three days and nights of old-time conviction in my soul, caused by reading God’s Revivalist, and sending for and reading those books, and especially “There Art Thou?” (that finished the job), my wife would come to my bedside weeping and crying, and asking me to pray for her.
“Why, wife,” I said, “I can’t pray. I’ve got all I can possibly do with my own case. You look to God; when I get through will help you, but I can’t now.” I have seen her walk the floor and wring her hands, and cry and scream out of her soul something awful. But, thank God, she came through when she said the last “Yes.” You can see what a time we had in our home seeking the blessed Holy Ghost. But, thank God, we died to the trifling, foolish, devilish things of this old world. Say, we made a consecration that day and time that we have never had to repeat or add to in the fourteen years that have passed since.”
Source: “He Lifted Me” by Lyman Brough