|CHAPTER XXXIV. -- LETTERS AND TESTIMONIALS--BISHOP TAYLOR--CHURCH AT MONROVIA-- -- UPPER CALDWELL-SIERRA LEONE--GREENVILLE -- --CAPE PALMAS--BAND OF HOPE TEMPERANCE SOCIETY AT -- MONROVIA--LETTERS--MRS. PAYNE--MRS. DENMAN--MRS. INSKIP-- -- REV. EDGAR M. LEVY--ANNIE WITTENMYER--DR. DORCHESTER-- -- MARGARET BOTTOME--MISS WILLARD--LADY HENRY SOMERSET.|
|Martha Payne's Experience .|
A letter to Mrs. Amanda Smith.
Monrovia , June 19, 1883. My Dear Sister :--
In compliance with your request I now conclude to give my religious experience. I was converted at the age of fifteen. The greater part of the time I was in darkness, because I did not have a daily witness of the Spirit. I believed that a Christian was to have a daily witness as a child of God. I had a fear of God hid in my heart, but no lasting joy, and this caused me much uneasiness. Sometimes I would doubt my conversion. Resolve after resolve was made to be true and steadfast, but I found I was utterly helpless.
My temper gave me much trouble, and caused me often to neglect my prayer. Then I would be filled with doubts and
I had read "Upham's Interior Life." I was much encouraged and endeavored to be submissive to all things. Then I had severe trial, and my heart was much burdened. I arose at midnight and submitted all to God. From that time I was kept steady and more willing to acknowledge myself a follower of Christ than ever. About two years after, Mrs. Amanda Smith came to Monrovia and preached holiness. I was anxious to get light on the subject. I paid attention to all that was said. After her second discourse she called for persons to come forward to seek sanctification. I wanted to be sanctified; promised myself to seek quietly, to grow into the blessed experience, and say nothing about it to anyone, for I had learned that great would be the gloom if the blessing was not found. Some months after, Mrs. Smith commenced her work again. Sickness weakened her so that she was unable to work as she desired. In December she commenced Bible reading every day. I gave all attention to her instruction, and did not allow her to know that I sought the blessing, notwithstanding my home was her home. In her instructions she gave us to know that we must be definite in our request to God. I had an aversion to the word "sanctification," and prayed all around it. Finally the middle wall of partition fell, and I was willing to utter the words, "Lord, sanctify me." I yielded all, and a stillness of soul followed for three days. I was determined to stand until light was given. The stillness was broken while I calmly sought, before retiring for the night, with these words: "The blood of Jesus Christ, His son, cleanseth from all sin." It was reasoned with such force that I assented audibly, "Yes, it is so, because the word of God says so. The heavens and the earth shall pass away before one jot or title of His Word shall fail." My heart replied: "Yes, because the Word