This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Most Marvelous Manifestation

I have experienced a most marvelous manifestation of the love of Christ to me. O the unsearchable riches of Christ! Do you know how unspeakably precious Jesus is when you trust him fully? My experience was never marked. I never could tell the day of my conversion. My evidence was chiefly an inference, rarely the direct testimony of the Spirit. Hence my utterances have been feeble and destitute of power. But all this is gone by. God has so certified this blessed Gospel to my soul, that I shall no more blow the trumpet with an uncertain sound.

Rev. Mr. Earle spent four days here a month ago. The spirit of his preaching, and his success, and his remarks at his farewell on what he styles "the rest of faith," set me thinking and praying, and confessing the coldness of my heart, and my satisfaction in past days with the mere perfunctory performance of Christian duty. I began to pray for the baptism of the Spirit to enable me to carry on the revival which has broken out in the village. God answered my prayer most graciously. I am at times so overwhelmed with the love of God that I cannot stand the pressure on the earthen vessel, and have to beg God to stay his hand.

The joy is indescribable. I am a free man in Christ Jesus — "free indeed;" free from the fear of man. I can approach any person anywhere. I am free in my utterance. My mouth is opened, my heart is enlarged toward sinners. I can't help preaching. As the boy said of the whistle, "It whistles itself." Every body is astonished at the complete and wonderful transformation through which I have passed. There is a new meaning to the hymns of Charles Wesley especially to 'Wrestling Jacob,' which I always admired aesthetically, but was never in experimental sympathy with. O how real the promises are! I have been treating them like our irredeemable greenbacks, not representing gold today, but payable in coin at some indefinite future time. I have found out, to my unspeakable Joy, that God never has suspended specie payment; that behind every word of promise there is gold coin in the treasury of heaven.

I can't interpret the blessing; whether it is the second or third, it certainly is the greatest that I ever received. IT STAYS. It is very strange that my mouth should be filled with laughter, and my tongue with praises — the coolest and least demonstrative man in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Last Thursday, November 17 [1870], I think I went where Paul did when he heard things not lawful, not possible to utter. My whole being, soul and body, was pervaded with the indescribable joy of the Holy Spirit. The nervous sensations were delicious, a thousandfold more than any I ever experienced before. I believe that on that day — though the Divine influence had been descending for two weeks — my great Joshua brought me in, and allotted me a portion in the mountain of God. If I should derive my theology from my feelings I should have to adopt one of the five points of Calvin,

"But this I do find,
We two are so joined
He'll not live in glory and leave me behind."

The same feeling appears in "Wrestling Jacob;" after his victory he exclaims: —

"Nor have I power from Thee to move;
Thy nature and Thy name is Love."

— from Love Enthroned, Chapter 15.

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