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    CHAPTER VII.   Table of Contents     CHAPTER IX.

Foote, Julia A.J.
A Brand Plucked From the Fire

- CHAPTER VIII.

CHAPTER VIII.


A Desire for Knowledge--Inward Foes.

I STUDIED the Bible at every spare moment, that I might be able to read it with a better understanding. I used to read at night by the light of the dying fire, after the rest of the family had gone to bed. One night I dropped the tongs, which made such a noise that my mother came to see, what was the matter. When she found that I had been in the habit of reading at night, she was very much displeased, and took the Bible away from me, and would not allow me to have it at such times any more.

Soon after this, my minister made me a present of a new Bible and Testament. Had he given me a thousand dollars, I should not

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have caved for it as I did for this Bible. I cherished it tenderly, but did not read in it at night, for I dared not disobey my mother.

I now felt the need of an education more than ever. I was a poor reader and a poor writer; but the dear Holy Spirit helped me by quickening my mental faculties. O Lord, I will praise thee, for great is thy goodness! Oh, that everything that hath a being would praise the Lord! From this time, Satan never had power to make me doubt my conversion. Bless God! I knew in whom I believed.

For six months I had uninterrupted peace and joy in Jesus, my love. At the end of that time an accident befell me, which aroused a spirit within me such as I had not known that I possessed. One day, as I was sitting at work, my younger brother, who was playing with the other small children, accidentally hit me in the eye, causing the most intense suffering. The eye was so impaired that I lost the sight of it. I was very angry; and soon pride, impatience, and other signs of carnality, gave me a great deal of trouble. Satan said: "There! you see you never were converted." But he could not make me believe that, though I did not know the cause of these repinings within.

I went to God with my troubles, and felt relieved for a while; but they returned again

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and again. Again I went to the Lord, earnestly striving to find what was the matter. I knew what was right, and tried to do right, but when I would do good, evil was present with me. Like Gad, I was weak and feeble, having neither might, wisdom nor ability to overcome my enemies or maintain my ground without many a foil. Yet, never being entirely defeated, disabled or vanquished, I would gather fresh courage, and renew the fight. Oh, that I had then had some one to lead me into the light of full salvation!

But instead of getting light, my preacher, class-leader, and parents, told me that all Christians had these inward troubles to contend with, and were never free from them until death; that this was my work here, and I must keep fighting and that, when I died, God would give me a bright crown. What delusion! However, I believed my minister was too good and too wise not to know what was right; so I kept on struggling and fighting with this inbeing monster, hoping all the time I should soon die and be at rest--never for a moment supposing I could be cleansed from all sin, and live.

I had heard of the doctrine of Holiness, but in such a way as to give me no light, nor to beget a power in me to strive after the experience.

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How frivolous and fruitless is that preaching which describes the mere history of the work and has not the power of the Holy Ghost. My observation has shown me that there are many, ah I too many shepherds now, who live under the dreadful woe pronounced by the Lord upon the shepherds of Israel (Ezekiel xxxiv.).
    CHAPTER VII.   Table of Contents     CHAPTER IX.