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The Guide to Holiness #5
The Testimony of Amanda Berry Smith
Welcome to The Guide to Holiness! This newsletter contains a testimony to entire sanctification and some minor commentary and links to helpful material. The name comes from a publication that Phoebe Palmer and her husband distributed in the 19th century. I hope these testimonies will serve as a guide on your way to perfection.

Happy New Year! I'm so excited to send the first Guide to Holiness of 2020!

If you have never heard the incredible story of Amanda Berry Smith, you'll want to get acquainted with her. She was a spiritual giant in the 19th century. She was born into American slavery, became an evangelist, a regular attender of the Tuesday Meeting led by Phoebe Palmer, and a world-traveling missionary evangelist. 

You can read her autobiography here on Kindle, or just make a couple of clicks and order the paperback. It's definitely a work worth having. 

Her testimony to entire sanctification is long and detailed which is why you should read the whole thing, but I'll take a sliver out of it because it's so amazing. Bless God!
"Lord, what shall I do," and a voice seemed to whisper in my left I ear, for Satan stood at my right, and would whisper his suggestions: "Pray for strength to stand up." I took hold of the pew in front of me and trembling from head to foot I stood up, but held on to the pew. Just as I got fairly on my feet they struck the last verse of the hymn,                          

"Oh! bear my longing heart to Him, 
Who bled and died for me. 
Whose blood now cleanseth from all sin, 
And gives me victory."

And when they sang these words, "Whose blood now cleanseth," O what a wave of glory swept over my soul! I shouted glory to Jesus. Brother Inskip answered, "Amen, Glory to God." O, what a triumph for our King Emmanuel. I don't know just how I looked, but I felt so wonderfully strange, yet I felt glorious. One of the good official brethren at the door said, as I was passing out, "Well, auntie, how did you like that sermon?" but I could not speak; if I had, I should have shouted, but I simply nodded my head. Just as I put my foot on the top step I seemed to feel a hand, the touch of which I cannot describe. It seemed to press me gently on the top of my head, and I felt something part and roll down and cover me like a great cloak! I felt it distinctly; it was done in a moment, and O what a mighty peace and power took possession of me! I started up Green street. The streets were full of people coming from the different churches in all directions. Just ahead of me were three of the leading sisters in our church. I would sooner have met anybody else than them. I was afraid of them. Well, I don't know why, but they were rather the ones who made you feel that wisdom dwelt with them. They were old leading sisters, and I have found that the colored churches were not the only ones that have these leading consequential sisters in them. Well, as I drew near, I saw them say something to each other, and they looked very dignified. Now, the Devil was not so close to me as before; he seemed to be quite behind me, but he shouted after me, "You will not tell them you are sanctified." 

"No," I said, "I will say nothing to them," but when I got up to them I seemed to have special power in my right arm and I was swinging it around, like the boys do sometimes! I don't know why, but O I felt mighty, as I came near those sisters. They said, "Well, Smith, where have you been this morning?" 

"The Lord," I said, "has sanctified my soul." And they were speechless! I said no more, but passed on, swinging my arm! I suppose the people thought I was wild, and I was, for God had set me on fire! "O," I thought, "if there was a platform around the world I would be willing to get on it and walk and tell everybody of this sanctifying power of God!"                         

 "Of victory now o'er Satan's power, 
Let all the ransomed sing, 
And triumph in the dying hour 
Through Christ the Lord our King."
"Oh! it was love, 
'Twas wondrous love, 
The love of God to me, 
That brought my Saviour from above, 
To die on Calvary." 

Somehow I always had a fear of white people—that is, I was not afraid of them in the sense of doing me harm, or anything of that kind— but a kind of fear because they were white, and were there, and I was black and was here! But that morning on Green street, as I stood on my feet trembling, I heard these words distinctly. They seemed to come from the northeast corner of the church, slowly, but clearly: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28.) I never understood that text before. But now the Holy Ghost had made it clear to me. And as I looked at white people that I had always seemed to be afraid of, now they looked so small. The great mountain had become a mole-hill. "Therefore, if the Son shall make you free, then are you free, indeed." All praise to my victorious Christ!
Amanda Smith was an incredible woman and a faithful missionary and evangelist. You really should read her autobiography.

It should be pointed out that the man she names as "Brother Inskip," the one who was preaching when she was sanctified, will be the subject of an upcoming edition of The Guide to Holiness.  

I've recently shared with some friends that this is the year of earnest seeking. When I was ordained in the United Methodist Church, one of the questions asked was, "Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life?" followed by "Are you earnestly seeking [striving] after it?" Let's earnestly seek God and may the power of his holy love fill us completely!

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