The Way of Holiness

A Narrative of Religious Experience
Resulting From A Determination
To Be A Bible Christian


Phoebe W. Palmer


Published By Lane & Scott,
200 Mulberry-Street New York
18th Thousand Joseph Longking, Printer


Affectionately Inscribed To My Beloved And Honored Parents In Token Of Grateful Remembrance Of the religious culture so assiduously Bestowed during Childhood and the Judicious counsel and sympathy of riper years, with the fervent prayer, that they through Whose instrumentality, "I from a child have Known the Scriptures," and Who may make Rapid advancement in the "Way Of Holiness during life, and Who shall have, eventually An abundant entrance ministered unto them Into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

The Author


Who has not been charmed and instructed by Travel and "Incidents of Travel" in the "Holy Land" — India — Europe — America, &c.? Travelers of every variety of talent, almost from time immemorial, have transmitted through the press the result of journeyings and patient investigation. What has not been narrated by one, whose genius might have instigated him to particularize elaborately on the topic suited to his peculiar cast of mind, has been pictured by another, signalized for a species of investigation unthought of by his predecessor, till information suited to every grade of intellect has been so fully given, that firmness is requisite to bear up against the impression, that public sentiment may not label a new production with "thirst for book-making," "egotism"' at the like.

Not so with the traveler to the heavenly city. A field of investigation, boundless as eternity, is before him. Earth hath its boundaries; but the inquiring, insatiate spirit of the heavenly traveler, is nowhere, in all his onward journeying, met with the interdict, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further." No! the inspiring insignia is blazoned at every progressive point in his pilgrimage, "Then shall ye know, if ye follow on to know."

And yet it should not be forgotten that an enemy, subtle beyond all human conception, doth, with all his malicious agencies,

"his march oppose,"

and is ever lurking about his heavenward way ready with well-circumstanced devices to with stand every step of an onward course. In view of such considerations, the Christian public will not deem an apology necessary for presenting a narrative of journeyings in the "Way of Holiness, with Notes by the Way."

It will be observed, throughout, that with this traveler, the BIBLE was the all-commanding chart by which the propriety of each successive step was determined, and the work is now sent forth to the world, with the fervent prayer that its perusal may be helpful toward inspiring the reader with more confirmed views of the infinite importance and excellency of the Scriptures.


For the kindness with which the first edition of this little volume has been received, the author acknowledges herself under obligation to the Christian public. She regards it as no small favor that the mantle of charity has been thrown over its imperfections, and its humble aim to guide the sincere seeker into the way of holiness, not wholly unanswered. A desire to present entire consecration as a duty enjoined in the Scriptures, and not merely the peculiarity of a sect, induced the author, before issuing the first edition to query, whether the volume should be entitled "Bible Christianity," or "The Way of Holiness." The latter was decided upon, from the consideration that the Bible presents but one way to heaven, and that, "The Way of Holiness." But from the encouragements received from gentlemen of different evangelical churches, she, with gratitude to God, acknowledges the fact, that her aim to present "Bible Christianity" has not been unsuccessful. For the satisfaction of those unacquainted with its doctrinal Sentiments, it has been thought advisable to subjoin two or three testimonials from individuals who stand forth before the Christian public as honorable advocates of Bible religion.

Table of Contents

Division I. The Way of Holiness

Chapter 1: IS THERE NOT A SHORTER WAY? Long Waiting to get into the Way not necessary — The manner in which many lose much time — The writer begins to tell how the traveler found the shorter way — How she first mistook the path — Resolves on being a" Bible Christian " — Perceives the duty of entire consecration — Resolves to be wholly devoted.

Chapter 2. Questions which occasioned serious solicitude — Answered by the Bible — Begins to be more abundant in labors — Is withstood by the accuser — Is assured from the Bible of the necessity and attainableness of purity of intention.

Chapter 3 Conviction not of that distressing character which preconceived opinions had supposed necessary — Not one doubt of her acceptance with God as a member of the household of faith — One duty never interferes with another — How she was brought to exclaim, "There Is a shorter way.”

Chapter 4 Urged by the Mighty Counselor — Enters into the bonds of an everlasting covenant — A divine conviction given that the covenant is recognized in heaven.

Chapter 5 Holiness a state in which all the Lord's redeemed ones should live — Its reasonableness — How we may know when God receives us — An increase of light in reference to the sacredness and immutability of the word of God bursts upon her soul — Declarations of scripture as truly the Word of the Lord as though heard from Mount Sinai — Faith is taking God at his word — Perceives her error in requiring feeling, the fruit of faith, previous to having exercised faith — Resolves to take God at his word at once and for ever.

Chapter 6 Engages in a transaction eternal in consequences — Takes God at his word —Understandingly convinced that she ought to praise God — Begins to do it — Blessed consequences resulting from believing and praising God — Holiness, Sanctification, and Perfect Love no longer incomprehensible terms, but infinitely expressive of the state in which every believer should live — Infinite Wisdom hath devised the most proper mode of expression — Former scruples partaking in a degree of the sin of Uzza — Willing to trust God with the entire management of his own cause.

Chapter 7 Christians not of the world — The seal proclaiming them not of the world should be enstamped — Momentous responsibilities and inconceivably glorious destination of the believer is unfolded to her spiritual vision — Gaze of the upper and lower World fixed upon her — Inquiries urged upon her attention — The blessing of holiness a gift from God — Called to count the cost of coming out in the profession of this blessing. Principles established in reference to the way of coming at duty — Natural ability as truly a gift from God as gracious ability — Resolves that life shalt be sacrificed rather than known duty neglected — A yet more glorious increase of light bursts on her Way — Conjectures in reference to one commissioned from the other World on a special embassy.

Chapter 8 THERE IS BUT ONE WAY Preciousness of the word of God — Proneness to follow the traditions of men rather than the oracles of God, foundation of former perplexities — No experience should be satisfactory but such as can be substantiated by an emphatic "Thus saith the Lord" — Perceptions of the absolute need of the atonement more vivid — The highway of holiness not a place for inglorious ease — The way requires interminable progression.

Chapter 9 How did the process described eventuate in that disciple brought into the holiest? — The question answered — The pilgrim's song.

Division II. Notes by the Way

Chapter 10 Gracious remembrances — Entrusted to pious parents — Convictions at all early age -Perplexity on account of not living experience like others — Asks direction from the word of God — Receives it at several different periods, but as often gives place to dissatisfaction by comparing experience with other travelers, instead of keeping closely to the Bible — Explanations of what and how to believe necessary for inquirers — The Savior speaks consolation to her during sleep —Inconsistent with the word of God to give an established state of experience while unbelief is indulged.

Chapter 11 Long season of wrestling with God — God imparts strong consolation in visions of the night — Proclaims his name — Manifestation apprehended in future experience.

Chapter 12 Naturally much given to reasoning — This peculiarity serviceable when brought into obedience to Christ — God does not require man to believe anything but what is revealed in his written word — Illustration of the manner in which she lost much time by unbelief — A door opened — Many adversaries.

Chapter 13 The student in search of earthly fame — The heavenly student — The literature of the Bible the literature of heaven — The deathless spirit should be educated for heaven — Rises early presents the morning sacrifice — The family altar and the song. — Duty of Christians to give a faithful representation of the power of grace to transform in heart and life — Where and how Christians may resemble Christ — The cares of the world cease to be absorbing — The song she loved to sing — The honor of God concerned in indicious external and internal household arrangements — Much that formerly augmented care easily to be dispensed with — Nothing with which she had to do too high or too low to be inscribed with "HOLINESS TO THE LORD " — How to decide whether a matter may be taken to God.

Chapter 14 God disciplines his children — How lessons may be enstamped in living characters —Important inquiry — Decision — Trials — "Thou hast not forsaken me."

Chapter 15 An entire onward course — why many take years in accomplishing that which might be done in days — what may be gained by one act of faith — How one of Christ's little ones got into "the way" — A lamb of the flock enters — A brother suddenly ushered into the way by faith — " I never thought of unbelief in that way before.”

Chapter 16 Tells a friend of God's peculiar way of leading her — Faith not feeling — Firm foundation — Sudden recollection of a remarkable dream — The wont of God personified as the ONE by which men are to be judged at the last day.

Chapter 17 First principles, being established, are left — Rapid progress — God no respecter of persons — Proneness of the heart to forget the admonition to remember "all the way" — Resolves to be most diligent in recording Endeavors to place the standard of Christian excellence high — conversion of Miss B -Powerful temptations — Resolves to die in the struggle to believe — Asks that holiness may assume some tangible form in her mind — Ascertains the precise ground upon which she obtained the blessing, and how she may retain it irrespective of "frames or feelings.”

Prays to be sealed unto the day of redemption — Inquirer — A word in season to the stranger while dining — Irreligious young lady — Her conversion — H — enters into the "way of holiness" — Buffetings from satan — Excitement in Bible class — Tract district — Setting God a time — Awful consequences — Young lady saved from an impending storm — Parental responsibility

A new and singular source of temptation — A gay worldling transformed — "Do you hear the angels sing?" — The penitent — His conversion — conversion of a wicked servant — Trial — “Open thy mouth wide" — Christians are Christ's representatives. — Unenviable station, or "saints in Cesar's household" — "Be courteous " — Christians should manifest a detachment from earth — "I will pray one morning" — Praising God — Answer to prayer — Much lost by indefiniteness — I believe all that the Bible teaches; or a lion transformed to a lamb — A strong expression of confidence tested by a dream — Heavenly serenity — Rainy Sabbath — New Year's festival — Let all things be done decently and in order — Prayer for a revival of holiness.

Decision on a peculiar case — Infinite importance, excellency, and comprehensiveness of the word of God — Are we to reject all manifestations from God given in dreams or visions? — Subject liable to abuse — "How shall we know the word which God hath not spoken?" — "What profit hath the Jew?" — I have it here" — Ambassador from the court of heaven — The marriage engagement — The interesting young friend — Election of city offices — Day of extraordinary trial — Answer to prayer — Ill health — Heart the abode of the Triune Deity — Land of Beulah — Experience of Mr. W. — Christians have the promises — Use of them — Having the blessing and not knowing it, not to be accounted far on Scriptural principles — Responsibilities of those standing in an official relation to the church — Explicit personal testimony required — Requests — Importance of importunity and explicitness — Theologian — Goes in pursuit of witnesses — Disappointment — Mighty struggle to enter into the rest of faith — Enters — Instrumental in bringing another into "the way" — Minister who robbed the church for years.

The skeptic — How she became so — Hears of holiness — Renounces Infidelity — Taken into the fold of Christ — Speedily brought into the king's highway by an act of consecration and faith — Her friend won from the ranks of infidelity. — Becomes a traveler in "the way" — Holiness understood by the unbeliever and young professor — Infidel over sixty becomes a convert to Christianity by attending a meeting for testimony on the experience of holiness — He becomes eminently devoted — Conversion of another successful advocate for Infidelity by attending meetings on holiness — Others brought into "the way" by her Instrumentality.

Mr. Wesley's last advice to preachers and people on the doctrine of perfection — Thoughts about exchanging worlds — Former and present experience compared — How little acts and circumstances appear when viewed in the light of eternity — Barely saved, or just lost — Striking illustration — Terrible disappointments contemplated — President Fisk — How he became a traveler "The Way of Holiness" — His departure — Imaginings in verse — Birthday of little S. — Parental responsibility relative to baptism — Child torn away, not given up — Another error — Painful correction — Parents accountable.

Brought down to the gates of death — Sustainment in view of dissolution — Choice between life and death, and how decided — Recovery — Anniversary of Juvenile Missionary Society — Singular, offerings — Children offered up to be trained wholly in view of usefulness in the service of Christ — Realizes the acceptance of the offering — Intelligence communicated to little S — Effect produced.

Awful accident, and providential preservation — Wounded Christian and Jew contrasted — Anniversary of a memorable period — Willingness to be useless not required — Domestic concerns — Saved from care — Conversion of little S.


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By President Asa Mahan, Congregational Minister

Next in value to the grace of God in the heart, and to the word of life in which that grace is revealed, is a precious book that throws light on the way of holiness, and, with all the warmth and force of light and love, enters upon the business of leading the soul to God. The reading of such a book is an era in the life of an inquirer after the great salvation. We noted down the above thoughts after an attentive perusal of a little work under the title placed at the head of this article. We regard the reading of this book as an era in the progress of our Christian experience. So it is regarded by numbers who have read it in this place. We recommend it as one of the best books that can be placed in the hands of inquirers after full salvation in Christ. It bears the stamp of no one particular sect, but teaches the way of holiness in truth and love. We wish that those who oppose the doctrine of holiness would read this book, and then ask themselves whether that doctrine, really tends to let down, as has been reported, the standard of the gospel, and whether such a state of experience can originate from dangerous error, or from any other than the Spirit of truth!

— From The Oberlin Evangelist.

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By L. L. Hamline, Now one of the bishops of the M. E. Church

We do not expect our female readers to buy and peruse every book mentioned in these notices, but here is one which we are not willing to suppose will escape the examination of any Christian woman whose eye may light upon this recommendation of it. Of all that has been written on the blessed theme of entire sanctification, it is doubtful if anything is better calculated than this to rouse pious desire, and guide the soul in its seeking. There is an unusual degree of simplicity in the narrative, such as we think could not be arrived at, except by the chastening power of the Sanctifier. The author has but one aim, namely, to present pictures — Daguerreotype impressions — of her states of mind, from the time she started in the way to seek holiness, until, and after she attained it. The difficulties she encountered — their effect upon her mind — and the manner of her escape, are all so represented that the pious reader readily apprehends them, and often finds that as in water, face answereth to face, so does heart to heart, in religious experience. We earnestly commend this little volume to all who hunger and thirst after righteousness.

— From The Ladies' Repository.