More Of God's Words To Me
By Samuel L. Brengle
Shortly after this experience I ran into my friend's room with a borrowed book. The moment his eyes fell upon me he said, "What is the matter? Something has happened to you." My face was witnessing to a pure heart before my lips did. But my lips soon followed, and have continued to this day.
The Psalmist said: "I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, Thou knowest. I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation: I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation" (Psa. 40:9-10). Satan hates holy testimony, and he nearly entrapped me at this point. I felt I ought to preach it, but I shrank from the odium and conflict I saw it would surely bring, and I hesitated to declare publicly that I was sanctified, lest I might do more harm than good.
I saw only reproach. The glory that was to follow was hidden from my eyes. Beautiful, flowery sermons which appealed to the imagination and aroused the emotions, with just enough thought to properly balance them, were my ideal. I shrank from coming down to plain, heart-searching talks that laid hold of the consciences of men and made saints of them, or turned them into foes as implacable as the Pharisees were to Jesus, or the Jews to Paul.
But before I got the blessing, God held me to it, and I had promised Him I would preach it if He would give me the experience. It was Friday that He cleansed me, and I determined to preach about it on the following Sunday. But I felt weak and faint. On Saturday morning, however, I met a noisy, shouting coachman on the street who had the blessing, and I told him what God had done for me. He shouted and praised God and said: "Now, Brother Brengle, you preach it. The church is dying for this."
Then we walked across Boston Common and Garden, and talked about the matter, and my heart burned within me as did the hearts of the two disciples with whom Jesus talked on the road to Emmaus. In my inmost soul I recounted the cost, threw in my lot with Jesus crucified and determined I would teach holiness if it banished me for ever from the pulpit and made me a hiss and a byword to all my acquaintances. Then I felt strong. The way to get strength is to throw yourself away for Jesus.
The next day I went to my church and preached as best I could out of a two-days-old experience from "Let us go on unto perfection" (Heb. 6:1). I closed with my experience, and the people broke down and wept and some of them came to me afterward and said they wanted that same experience, and bless God! some of them got it!
I did not know what I was doing that morning, but I knew afterward. I was burning up my ships and casting down my bridges behind me. I was now in the enemy's land, fully committed to a warfare of utter extermination to all sin. I was on record now before Heaven, earth and Hell. Angels, men and devils had heard my testimony, and I must go forward or openly and ignominiously retreat in the face of a jeering foe. I see now that there is a Divine philosophy in requiring us not only to believe with our hearts unto righteousness, but to confess with the mouth unto salvation (Rom. 10:10). God led me along these lines. No man taught me.
Well, after I had put myself on record, I walked softly with God, desiring nothing but His will and looking to Him to keep me every instant. I did not know there was anything more for me, but I meant by God's grace, to hold what I had by doing His will as He had made it known to me and by trusting Him with all my heart.
But God meant greater things for me. On the following Tuesday morning, just after rising, with a heart full of eager desire for God, I read these words of Jesus at the grave of Lazarus: "I am the resurrection, and the life, he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?" (John 11:25-26).
The Holy Ghost, the other "Comforter," was in those words, and in an instant my soul melted before the Lord like wax before fire, and I knew Jesus. He was revealed in me as He had promised, and I loved Him with an unutterable love. I wept and adored and loved and loved and loved. I walked out over Boston Common before breakfast and still wept and adored and loved.
Talk about the occupation of Heaven! I do not know what it will be – though, of course, it will be suited to and commensurate with our redeemed capacities and powers; but this I then knew, that if I could lie prostrate at the feet of Jesus to all eternity and love and adore Him, I should be satisfied. My soul was satisfied – satisfied – satisfied!
That experience fixed my theology. From then till now, men and devils might as well try to get me to question the presence of the sun in the heavens as to question the existence of God, the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the sanctifying power of an ever-present, Almighty Holy Spirit. I am as sure the Bible is the Word of God as I am of my own existence, while Heaven and Hell are as much realities to me as day and night, or winter and summer, or good and evil. I feel the powers of the world to come and the pull of Heaven in my own soul. Glory to God!
It is some years now since the Comforter came, and He abides in me still. He has not stopped speaking to me yet. He has set my soul on fire, but like the burning bush Moses saw in the Mount, it is not consumed.
To all who want such an experience I would say, "Ask, and it shall be given you." If it does not come for the asking, "Seek, and ye shall find." If it is still delayed, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Luke 11:9). In other words, seek until you have sought with your whole heart, and there and then you will find Him. "Be not faithless, but believing" (John 20:27). "If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established" (Isa. 7:9).
I do not consider myself beyond the possibility of falling. I know I stand by faith, and must watch and pray lest I enter into temptation, and take heed lest I fall. Yet in view of all God's marvelous lovingkindnesses and tender mercies to me, I constantly sing with the Apostle Jude:
"Unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever."