Revival Press


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I AM this day, November 9th, 1881, eighty-two years of age. Sixty-five years of this period I have spent in the service of God. Eighteen years of my Christian experience and life were spent in the dim twilight of a semi-faith, which very clearly and distinctly apprehended Christ as the Lamb of God Who (judicially) "taketh away the sin of the world;" but knew almost nothing of Him as the Son of God, Who baptizeth "with the Holy Ghost," and "saveth to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him." During these years, my pilgrimage, for the most part, was with those "who fear the Lord, and obey the voice of His servant, and walk in darkness, and have no light." My spiritual heaven was comparatively obscure, because there was no open vision of the face of God, and because the Sun of Righteousness lay below the horizon around me; "the eyes of my understanding not being enlightened, that I might know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe." During this period my sky was never wholly dark, From the hour of my primal love and joy in God, I have never been "a backslider in heart," but my face has ever been heavenward. Not long after my conversion I attained, by long and fervent prayer, to that form of full assurance in which I could say most unhesitatingly, "I know that I love God, and have eternal life." This assurance of present acceptance, after a time, merged into "full assurance of hope," an assurance which has not, and never had, any connection with the belief that a soul, once converted, is absolutely certain of final salvation. At the time of my conversion, "the eyes of my understanding were enlightened" to know my past character and life as they were, even to "a discernment of the thoughts and intents of the heart." No one who has not been thus enlightened can form the remotest apprehension of the utter and absolute abhorrence with which that old and godless life was regarded by me at that time. The thought of perdition was not, in my distinct regard, so fearful as was the idea of a return to that old life. Hence it was that for a long period I made it the constant subject of specific and most earnest prayer, that God would keep me from apostasy, and also from being a backslider, even in heart. The result was, that I became possessed of a fixed inward assurance, into which no element of doubt entered, that I should have grace to "hold the beginning of my confidence steadfast unto the end." As far as the question of present acceptance and final salvation is concerned, I have, during these sixty-five years, "served God without fear;"-would that I could add, in regard to them all, "in righteousness and holiness before Him." During these years my face has fixedly been heavenward, and I have had no misgivings, when I have sung in respect to the world through which I was passing, "I'm a pilgrim, and I'm a stranger." To worldly ambitions, hopes, and treasures, I have ever said, when the question of duty and usefulness arose before me, "Do not detain me, for I am going where the waters are ever flowing." I now know, and during my Christian pilgrimage have known, what the apostle meant when he said, "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air."



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