H. H. MOORE
A few months after my conversion, which was clear and decided, the memoirs of Carvosso and Wesley were put into my hands, which were read with much care, and the impression was indelibly made upon my mind, that a deeper work of grace — destroying the remains of indwelling sin — should be immediately effected in my heart. To this end, much time was spent in prayer, for a number of days, and many efforts were made to believe, till meeting with our minister, my heart, without any reservation, was laid open to him. He replied that he did not enjoy the blessing; but told me not to be discouraged, for our quarterly meeting was near at hand, and that our presiding elder enjoyed the blessing, and would probably preach on the subject. I was much surprised that our preaeher was not a sanctified man, but, for the moment, was determined not to give the matter up; and now, looking back to that period, it seems the blessing was near my heart. Soon, however, it was suggested that holiness was only for a favored few, peculiarly constituted; and if our preacher did not enjoy it, I was foolish and presumptuous to think about it. Nevertheless, the conviction that I ought to be holy, was not taken off from my conscience.
Upwards of nine years passed away, (during which time I was licensed to exhort, afterwards to preach, and entered the traveling connection in August, 1846;) and, although I had an abiding conviction of duty, offered many prayers, and formed many resolutions, yet my heart and holiness were strangers.
With a strong desire to promote the glory of God, and the good of souls, I entered upon the duties of my first appointment. But few were converted. I was far from being satisfied, but could find no greater reason for it than what existed in my own heart. With unutterable feelings, I saw I was not what a gospel minister ought to be. The idea of being at an appointment as a useless thing, when it might be filled with the useful and holy, was not to be endured; and I determined to quit the field, and give up my hope of heaven, or seek for entire conformity to the will of God.
I did not hesitate long. The conviction was so irresistible that I must be holy, or nothing, that it was not difficult to enter upon the work; but many and cruel were the suggestions that such was my peculiar constitution, that I could not attain and enjoy the blessing. These I vigorously resisted. The point at which I aimed was the expulsion of sin from my heart, so that I should have no more conflicts with it from within. I began to search the scriptures for myself, to see if there were really unqualified promises of holiness in it. I found many, and was enabled to take hold of them as made to me. I was now engaged in the duties of my second appointment, but this subject was all-absorbing.
After a few days, my resolve to be holy was found to be steady, and was daily becoming more deeply set. The work of grace was going on perceptibly in my heart, the world was receding, and I was drawing nearer to God. I found myself with increased zeal, engaged in the work of the Lord, and more than ever enabled to keep his commandments; but was not, as I had supposed I should be, under any particular condemnation, or guilt, more than a general but deep impression of my past unfaithfulness, and my present worthlessness.
Two weeks at my new appointment had now passed, and I had been so much taken up with my resolution to do the commandments of God, that I had thought of but little else. Indeed, my mind was so taken up with consecration, that I had hardly thought of any other branch of the doctrine of holiness at all. In great condescension, God gave me to see clearly that my resolution was fixed, but that by resolving I could not make myself holy. My attention was immediately devoted to Christ. His death, and his intercessions for me, soon absorbed my mind. I said but little, only as some favorable opportunity presented itself, for the honor of Christ — read the Bible much, and was enabled to see that blessings were there for my poor, unworthy self. There was a life in the words of Christ. Two days thus passed, with my mind fixed on Christ, as my atoning and mighty Savior. I then had the victory over sin, but I desired that the whole body of sin should be destroyed.
Now, I had but one desire — my prayer was nearly unceasing — and I was constantly watching for the blessing; I believed it would soon be morning in my soul. The bright Morning Star shone with a mellow luster, and grey streaks of light appeared in the cast. At family worship that evening, I knelt before the throne of grace, not knowing what I should pray for; but the Spirit helped my infirmities, and gave me such views of the atonement, and of God, as I never had before. This clear apprehension of them was either faith in them, or was followed by instantaneous faith. The Spirit made intercessions with groanings that could not be uttered, and my prayer was short. I arose, feeling that something had been wrought in my heart. Of this I had no doubt but what to call it, I did not know. I thought it must be holiness, but knew it was God’s prerogative to let me know.
I went immediately to my room — read Paul’s letter to the Philipplans, and spent some time in prayer. I still thought it would be dishonoring God, to try to determine myself what it was he had done for me. This was God’s work; but how can he do it? Probably, thought I, by applying by his Spirit to my heart some striking and unfamiliar passage of scripture — for a familiar passage cannot be made to bear forcibly enough to convince me. Like Thomas, I was resolved not to believe only on the most conclusive testimony. I was now looking with the greatest interest for God to testify to what he had done, and the following old, familiar text, clothed with new life and power, came to my mind and heart, with such a divine evidence and conviction; that not a doubt was left in my heart: “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit of God, that we may know the things that are freely given to us of God.” — 1 Cor. 2:12.
The question was settled: I was at rest. It seemed that I was in Christ with God. I did not know before that a mortal could realize so much of the presence of God. Contrary to my expectations, I had no desire to say anything about it, at the time. My soul was filled with all that sacred awe that “dares not move and all the silent heaven of love.” I had no boisterous feelings, but a heavenly calm; no overflowing joy, but a solemn stillness — a sweet repose. I felt no longer the motions of sin within, and when it came from without against my heart, it was like a ball of iron thrown against a wall of brass. God was the wall of fire round about me, and the glory in the midst. — H. H. Moore, Jamestown, Dec. 14, 1847
Source: “Guide to Holiness,” Vol. 14, Part 1