Palmer, Mrs Phoebe
Palmer, Mrs. Phoebe one of the most noted American women of our day, is celebrated not only for many philanthropic labors, but for an unusually pious life. She was born near the opening of this century. Inheriting Methodism as a birthright, she was early converted to God. There was nothing, however, remarkable in the character of her piety in those days. She was indeed very reticent of profession, and timid of all public effort. Through the influence, however, of her sister, Mrs. Lankford, she was led to see the privilege of the believer to enter into the fulness of Gospel rest, by faith in Christ as an uttermost Saviour. She was then happily married to Dr. Waiter Palmer, of New York, himself an earnest Methodist. Many who favored the sanctification doctrine as Mrs. Palmer accepted it were accustomed to meet frequently in their homes interchangeably. Mrs. Palmer also opened her parlors, and soon her home became the famous centre of spiritual life and power, extending its influence not only over this vast country, but all over the globe. In 1860, or thereabout, Dr. Palmer, who then had a lucrative practice, was obliged to give it up in order to assist his wife in her revival labors, which they performed wherever they were persuaded God called them to work. From that time they were very little in New York, spending sometimes months together in extended travels for revival services all through the country, East and West, and the British provinces, besides three continuous years in Great Britain. Meantime the weekly meeting at their home in New York went on, uninterrupted by Mrs. and Dr. Palmer's absence, with unabated interest and power, attracting ministers and people, of all denominations, and from every quarter of the Christian world. No meeting anywhere has had so cosmopolitan and literally unsectarian a complexion, notwithstanding the peculiarly Methodistic idea on which it was based, as this Palmer-meeting for the promotion of holiness. It was not even discontinued by her decease in November, 1875. Very beautifully and fittingly did that saint, who had ministered to so many thousands in her life, and whose life had been one of the sweetest benedictions of heaven on earth for nearly half a century raise her feeble hands in their last pious act, and open her lips, for the last time, to say to those around her, and to all who love her memory, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen!" She published, The Way to Holiness (N. Y. 1854, 12mo): — Faith and its Effects (1856, 12mo): — Devotion to God (new ed. 1857): — The Useful Disciple: — Pioneer Experience, and many other works of like tendency. They were nearly all republished in England, and had as wide a circulation there as in the United States. "The secret of this good woman's power, the point of analysis," says Dr. Bottome (in Zion's Herald, November, 1875), "is easily reached. There was about her but little of personal attractiveness. Simple in manner, and plain in person and dress;
even to severity; hesitant in speech, and almost destitute of emotion in her addresses and in all her exercises, except of the most subdued character; confining herself almost absolutely to the conscience and judgment of her hearers, her presentation of truth was of the barest logic. Accepting the Word of God as the end of all controversy, a simple statement of a Scripture declaration was all sufficient. God said it, and it must be so. And yet it was not what she said that had its powerful charm and its resistless force on those who heard her; it was that wonderful embodiment of entire consecration, that personification of the truth which she illustrated in her life and person, that affected others. 'She believed, and therefore spoke.' Her favorite passages were, 'I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice,' etc.; and I can do all things through Christ strengthening me.' These grand principles of Christian faith became the warp and wsoof of her very being. 'For her to live was Christ.' 'This one thing I do,' was her perpetual motor-a life of intense industry in a life of all-absorbing love — one idea — the grandest secret of success known to intelligent minds."