My parents were very strict with regard to family government. I was required to go to school and to church and to Sabbath-school. From my earliest recollection the FAMILY ALTAR was never permitted to go down; HERE I received my first convictions of sin, and desired to be a Christian, and even resolved I would be, when old enough. I attended protracted meetings from the time to time, and would feel the power of the truths preached; WISH SOME ONE WOULD NOTICE ME and INVITE me to seek religion; but none seemed to observe me, although the great deep of my heart was broken up, and my eyes were a “fountain of tears.”
I lived unsaved until the nineteenth year of my age, when, under the labors of Rev. W. R. Irvine, I was awakened and converted to God. Very soon I was urged to seek purity of heart, consequently saw and felt the need of having the remains of the carnal mind, all in-being sin, taken out of my heart. I sought and obtained the blessing. For some time lived a holy life. Unfortunately for me I fell from this state, and thus dishonored, the cause of Christ. Like thousands of others I was considered a member in good standing, held local preacher’s license, and had traveled for some months under the elder. When I saw my condition I was very far from God.
A camp-meeting was held in the place where I was boarding, which I attended. The light shone upon my heart; I saw my state, and had no rest in my mind until I resolved to get right. I sought an opportunity to make my confession and when this was done. I felt God smiled approbation, and I was justified by faith. I again saw if would retain the favor of God I must seek purity; I resolved never to eat, drink, or sleep until I was fully saved. It pleased God to cut the work short, and again my heart was washed by the “blood of Jesus.”
For two years I have been preaching in connection with His Church. I would not boast, but I have to-day a better understanding concerning the way and plan of salvation than ever. Light shines, and Jesus gives me grace to walk in it. For two years I have enjoyed this blessing, have had a clear witness that the blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin. HALLELUJAH! I am trying to preach, EXPLICITLY, the doctrine of holiness as taught in the Bible, and by our standard authors.* God blesses me in presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. I take the whole Bible; the promises are all mine. Hallelujah! God helps me to prosecute an aggressive war against the enemy of all unrighteousness. Souls are being converted and sanctified, and I have resolved in Jesus’ name never to leave a circuit without fruit.
*Says Wesley, “You can never speak too strongly or explicitly upon the head of Christian perfection. If you speak only faintly and indirectly, none will be offended and none profited. But, if you speak out, although some will probably be angry, yet others, will soon find the power of God unto salvation.”
Source: “Pioneer Experiences” by Phoebe Palmer