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The Founding of the Iowa Holiness Association


Editor’s Note: This was originally a two-part article which appeared in a series of Isaiah Reid’s titled “The Real Happening Series.” 1  Even as far back as 1901 (the year these “Founding” articles were written), the history of the early years of the Iowa Holiness Association (IHA) was beginning to fade away.  What Reid wished to keep alive for his beloved IHA, we reintroduce here as the organization prepares to hold another of its annual, week-long camp meetings to promote the cause of holiness and heart purity.


t was the early spring of 1879.  There was no Holiness Association in Iowa.  At least three National camp-meetings had been held in the state. 2  These awakened great interest, and the work was followed up by a pastor here and there who was in the experience.  Outside of the Methodist Church there was throughout the whole state a great ignorance of the doctrine, and much speaking against such an experience.  And yet beginning specially with these great National camp-meetings, there were hundreds of hungry hearts wanting to find such a blessing, but not knowing how. [click to continue…]

“How They Grow”: Part 11

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series How They Grow

 Life Through Death As dying, and behold we live.
2 Corinthians 6:9

As we gain life by being brought by divine power “from death unto life,” 1 so we retain and enlarge life by continuing the process of passing from death unto life.  We must not fall to thinking that we can die of ourselves, or do the execution ourselves, for we cannot.  “To kill and make alive” belongs to God. 2  But it is ours to recognize the fact that life is by the way of death, and to submit to God.  Nor must we fall to inventing methods of capital punishment and torture for ourselves, like the old Ascetics, or invent crosses, and flagellations and penances.  The true “death route” is God’s appointment, and not the plan we may fix up for ourselves. [click to continue…]

Our St. Bernard’s Passes or Open Doors

This entry is part 3 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers

“How oft would I have gathered thy children.”
Matthew 23:37

And he would not go in.
Luke 15:28

Neglect not the gift that is in thee.
1 Timothy 4:14


he other day I saw one of my schoolboy comrades.  Nearly a generation has passed since we last met.  He did not know me, nor would I have known him had I not gone to see him, and was told before we met that it was he.  Among other things he said, and it seemed to press him heavily: “Do you remember a talk we had in the harvest field one time just before you went away to begin your studies, and you tried to persuade me to go also, and I thought I did not need to?  And here I am now, and have only been a poor clodhopper ever since.  It was the mistake of my life.” [click to continue…]

Ungranted Desires

This entry is part 18 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers

“I pray Thee, let me go over and see the good land that is beyond Jordan,
that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.  But the Lord…would not hear me.”

Deuteronomy 3:25,26


here were many others with Moses and Aaron whom the Lord did not permit to go over and see the goodly Canaan.  With Moses especially, and perhaps with many others, the reason was not because Moses was not fully saved.  There was no unsettled account.  He made one break, but that had been settled at once.  If ever a saint had a death in which the tokens of salvation were manifest, it was the case of this grand man among men, perhaps the grandest and most noble of Old Testament characters, if not of all Bible characters.  So God’s reason for not granting his desire must not be laid in the fact that there was something lacking with his salvation, or that there was something wrong with his relationship to God. [click to continue…]

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series God's Ways and Man's Methods
Author Bio Introductory Chapter 1

God’s Ways and Man’s Methods
of Becoming Holy, Contrasted
Isaiah Reid
Editor of THE HIGHWAY, 1
And Late Pastor 2 of the Presbyterian Church,
Nevada, Iowa

Originally published from The Highway Office

Transcribed and annotated by Jim Kerwin
Co-edited with Denise Kerwin
Copyright © 2010


In answer to the request of many readers of THE HIGHWAY, in which the bulk of the matter of the following pages first appeared, and in hopes that greater numbers may be reached and influenced for good, they are hereby sent forth in permanent form.  May the God of all Grace bless these pages to all who read them.  Your brother in Jesus,

Nevada, Iowa, July 16, 1880 3 [click to continue…]

“How They Grow”: Part 12

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series How They Grow

Advance by Self-Denial He who finds his life shall lose it. Matthew 10:39

He who loses his life for My sake shall find it. Matthew 10:39

He who loves his life shall lose it. John 12:25

He who hates his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life. John 12:25

If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. Matthew 16:24

But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 1 Timothy 5:6

Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Hebrews 11:25

When Jesus spoke of “losing life” and “hating life” and “saving life” and “finding life,” He must have used the word life in two senses.  The contrast evidently is between life in this world and life after this world.  When He speaks of “loving” and “hating” in the above text it is evident He does not mean in the absolute sense of either of these words, for we are commanded not only to live, but to provide for living this life, and there is a sense in which we are not to hate it.  The prohibition refers to over-loving it.  [click to continue…]

God’s Way Or My Way?

This entry is part 6 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers

“Not My will, but Thine be done.”
Luke 22:42


suppose it is one of the hardest lessons we have to learn, that adjustment to God in spirit and in providence is the true way to happiness.  Usually we are so full of our own way and purpose that some of us have, like Jonah, to make attempted trips to Tarshish, in the way of carrying out our plans, to find God’s plan.  At any rate, it is a great revolution to exchange our plan for His.  In doing so, He may, and often does, “make us willing in the day of His power,” 1 even though He “leads us by a way we know not.” 2  And why need God lead us by a way that we see?  We usually cry, “I can’t understand all this!  I don’t know what God means by it; if I could only see why He does it, then I could be satisfied.”  Our choosing our way is one thing; His directing of our steps is quite another thing.  He disposes our plans and, though allowing us to choose our way by directions He has given, directs our feet into a way we never would have planned for ourselves. [click to continue…]

Walking and Talking

This entry is part 19 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers


found myself saying in my heart to Jesus early one morning, “Let me walk with You today.”  The thought-reply was, “If you walk with Me you will have to go where I go,” and “Two cannot walk together unless they be agreed.” 1  In the depths of my being I knew I wanted just this. It was in my heart to be in perfect accord, and only to go where He went in the ordinary conception of the word. [click to continue…]

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series God's Ways and Man's Methods

In order to understand the material in the following chapters, it behooves us to define for the reader the basic terms which we will be using.

DEPRAVITY: The depraved nature.  The inward, indwelling bias to do wrong in which men are born.  The inward “don’t want to” obey God’s law when known; that internal crookedness which prompts to bad acts, sometimes called “indwelling sin,” when the word refers to a state of the heart as distinct from an act.

It is natural or native, in that it is inherited or derived from Adam’s apostasy.  It involves no guilt till known and approved.  We are not responsible for inherited depravity, though we are responsible for its approval, intensification and continuance.  It is a state of the soul, and its remedy, cleansing. [click to continue…]

“How They Grow”: Part 13

This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series How They Grow

Advance by Disappointment Do not say, “What is the cause the former days were better than these?” for you do not enquire wisely concerning this. Ecclesiastes 7:10

He takes away the first that He may establish the second. Hebrews 9:19

The path of the just is as a shining light which shines more and more unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18

Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end. Isaiah 9:7

The things which happened to me have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel. Philippians 1:12

Forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before. Philippians 3:13

The wild, bone-chilling January winter howls outside the window pane and drives its powdered snow through the key hole in the door and through the smallest opening about the window sash.  It is the dead of midwinter.  The glow of the furnace below keeps me in June atmosphere within, however, and I am thinking of the past, of the long years that are gone into the deep irrevocable past—the past that is not wanted back, when my heart was fully set on a very different line of life than that which I have followed.  My mind ran after and my hands took after the workers in wood.  I longed for the shop, and to learn how to work with wood; and I pictured to myself how I would some day do and how I would enjoy doing it.  [click to continue…]

Concerning Taking All As From God

This entry is part 4 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers


s I sat down for my morning lesson, I said, “Now, Lord, I want to read for myself.  I read for study and to speak to others; but now talk to me, not what to say to others so much, as talk to me especially.”  So I opened the book, and the first thing He said was, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” Proverbs 27:1.

At first I feared some bad accident, or bad news, or some ill; and then it seemed as if He really could not mean to frighten me about tomorrow, but rather to teach me to make ready for it, and how best to come to its threshold.  Adam Clarke 2 says his old manuscript Bible reads, “Glory not thou in one dwelling.” 3  That is, don’t build too much on the continuance of the present; it does not abide.  Then I remembered what James had said about the treasures of this world and its “grace and fashion passing away.” 4 [click to continue…]

Concerning the Undesired and Unexpected in Life

This entry is part 21 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers


f we notice the story of the lives about us, not to say much of our own, we see there enters therein much of the unwelcome and unsought.  Life goes not in the expected, but in the unexpected channel.  The road seems to turn almost directly from the route mapped out for it.  All predictions and prophecies seem to have miscarried.  Expectations have not been realized.  Life has not brought or fulfilled expected prophecies.  The soul is thrust out—all unprepared for its surroundings—into what appears to be a barren land, and all roads run crosswise and contrary to every expectation. [click to continue…]

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series God's Ways and Man's Methods


n the closing paragraphs of the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul charges the custodians of that letter to read it unto “all the holy brethren” (1 Thessalonians 5:27).  From the same epistle we have from the author himself his own gauge of the meaning of the word “holy.”  In chapter 3:13, he prays that the church in general may be established “unblamable in holiness before God.”  In 4:3, Paul declares that their sanctification “is the will of God.”  In 5:23, his prayer is that “the very God of peace sanctify you wholly,” and that this sanctification reach to “body, soul and spirit.”  So then, we understand that sanctification was for this life, and that some of the Thessalonian church were “holy.”  But how came they to be so?  Various answers are given; let us note them in order. [click to continue…]

“How They Grow”: Part 14

This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series How They Grow

Advance as Effected by Habit

Over and over again,
No matter which way I may turn,
I always find in the book of life
Some lesson I have to learn.
One doing will not suffice,
Though doing is not in vain,
And a blessing failing me once or twice
May come if I try again.

The path that has once been trod
Is never so rough to the feet,
And the lesson we once have learned
Is never so hard to repeat.
Though sorrowful tears may fall,
And the heart to its depths be riven
By storms and tempest, we need them all,
To render us fit for heaven. 1 [click to continue…]