Evan Roberts, Jessie Penn-Lewis, and the Welsh Revival

Evan Roberts, Jessie Penn-Lewis, and the Welsh Revival

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The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: Keswick to Pentecostalism

Part 1 of Evan Roberts, Jessie Penn-Lewis, and the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905

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Evan Roberts and Jessie Penn-Lewis were the central minister and the most influential expositor,[1] respectively, of the Welsh holiness revivalism concentrated from “December 1904 to May 1905,”[2] co-opting and eclipsing a genuine revival movement in Wales that had already been taking place. Roberts received infant “baptism a few weeks after his birth on June 8, 1878,”[3] and grew up in the Calvinistic Methodist denomination. His “name appears in the church roll for the first time in 1893-94” after taking a “preparation class,”[4] but evidence of his own personal conversion is very weak at best.[5] A minister claimed that he had been the instrument some time after 1898 of Roberts’ “conversion or consecration,”[6] but Roberts himself does not appear to have affirmed that he was born again at that time—indeed, Roberts testified that he was not a Christian until a number of months before the onset of the holiness revival.[7] The closest one can come from Roberts’ own words to a conversion testimony appears to be a time when he was “taking steps to enter ministerial training” and seeking to be “baptized with the Spirit.” Hearing a “voice . . . within his troubled heart” about willingness to receive the Spirit, “he went . . . to the chapel” where he was residing and at that meeting, affirmed:

What boiled in my bosom was the verse, “For God commendeth his love.” I fell on my knees with my arms outstretched on the seat before me. The perspiration poured down my face and my tears streamed quickly until I thought the blood came out. Mrs. Davies of Mona, Newquay, came to wipe my face, and Magdalen Phillips stood on my right and Maud Davies on my left. I cried, “Bend Me, Bend Me, Bend Me. . . . OH! OH! OH! . . . After I was bended, a wave of peace and joy filled my bosom.[8]

Roberts affirmed that “Living Energy” came and “invaded his soul, burst all his bonds, and overwhelmed him,” and he “gave his testimony at the afternoon service” about this experience “as if it were a kind of conversion or new birth”[9] through seeking and receiving Spirit baptism. Evan Roberts testified that a “living energy or force enter[ed] his bosom till it held his breath and made his legs tremble,”[10] which he took to be evidence that his sins were forgiven and that the spirit that entered him, hindering his breathing and making his legs wobbly, was the Holy Spirit. Such “bodily agitations . . . [and] convulsions were the natural and legitimate results of the new birth,”[11] in his view, although his landlady turned him out of the house, having “become afraid of him,” fearing “he was possessed or somewhat mad.”[12] Although there are not strong grounds to conclude that Roberts was, at whatever point, genuinely converted, and not just the subject of a variety of powerful religious experiences arising from his flesh or from the devil, at least “ever since he had been filled with the Spirit he had been physically conscious of the Spirit’s prohibitions and commands”[13] in voices and visions; he “began to have visions”[14] from the time of his Spirit baptism and alleged conversion, so that “it is evident that Evan Roberts [was] conscious that he ha[d] received a gift of prophecy through his baptism of the Spirit.”[15] Roberts’ experiences were comparable to those of “St. Teresa, Jakob Boehme, George Fox, [and] Ignatius Loyola,”[16] having the same sources in the spirit world as such Roman Catholic, theosophist, and Quaker luminaries. When “Dr. Williams, the phrenologist[,][17] . . . measured [his] cranium, deduced certain patterns,” and “told . . . the young miner, ‘You ought to be a preacher,’” an affirmation also confirmed by a minister who had heard Roberts pray publicly one time, Evan was guided no longer to be a miner but a minister.[18] However, his education for the ministry was extremely limited, as was his education in general, although he was “deeply influenced” by “C. R. Sheldon’s In His Steps.”[19] Roberts “left school at age twelve, laboured in coal mines for twelve years, undertook part-time study and a brief pre-college course . . . [and] had no pastoral or evangelistic experience”[20] when he became the center of the Welsh holiness revival in 1904, although a novice (1 Timothy 3:6), one whose “schooldays were few and irregular,”[21] and “an unqualified preacher with only six weeks of adult pre-college education.”[22] Incapable of careful exegesis of the Bible, he taught “experience-based doctrine” and held to “no dogmatic beliefs,” since he was “totally untrained” for “systematic theological instruction” or “expository preaching.”[23] “Evan Roberts was not intellectual . . . was moved more by his emotions than by his ideas . . . was more intuitive than inductive or deductive . . . had no fundamental doctrine, no system of theology, no distinctive ideal.”[24] He did not follow the pattern of Christ and the Apostles, as well as of earlier revival preachers such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, or earlier instruments of revival in Wales,[25] by preaching boldly and specifically on sin, calling men to repentance, and strongly warning about hell and judgment to come (Matthew 5:22-30). Instead, Roberts set forth “no dies irae to terrify, but a dies caritas to win its way[.] . . . Sin—or at least vice—[was] seldom denounced[.]”[26] Indeed, Roberts stated: “What need have these people [in the Welsh holiness revival] to be told that they are sinners?”[27] Furthermore, “Roberts does not call his hearers to repentance . . . but speaks of having been called to fulfill the words of the prophet Joel. ‘Your old men shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions.’” Rather than preaching repentance, Roberts “frequently describe[d] visions that had appeared to him.”[28] Surely describing visions will bring more to salvation than preaching repentance. He also “told his congregations that he had ‘not come to terrify them by preaching about the horrors of eternal damnation’” and “told reporters . . . ‘I preach nothing but Christ’s love,’” after the manner of the preaching of Hannah W. Smith.[29] Nevertheless, “his message was not so much Christocentric as pneuma-centric, a result of the influence of the Holiness movement, especially the teaching of Keswick;”[30] Roberts spoke at the Welsh Keswick Conference at Llandrindod Wells in 1905 at the height of the holiness revival excitement.[31] While Keswick proper was key for Roberts, Keswick antecedents, such as the “experience . . . called ‘perfect love’ or Christian perfection’ taught by J. Wesley and J. Fletcher . . . [were also] given attention in this revival.”[32] Thus, while earlier revivals had recognized that the Spirit of God did not speak of Himself, but of Christ (John 16:13-14), Evan Roberts stressed (as William Boardman had before him) that there “were thousands of believers in our churches who have received Christ, but had never received the Holy Ghost,” a change of emphasis from “[h]eretofore” when “the work of Christ ha[d] been the all-important truth.”[33] However, very often Roberts did not preach at all. Services became closer to the pattern, though not necessarily the volume, of the Quaker meeting, where everything was spontaneously enacted as led, allegedly, by the Holy Spirit.[34] Roberts’ meetings “remin[d] one of the Quakers . . . they would feel themselves thoroughly at home in [them].”[35] Earlier Welsh revival movements “exalted the preacher,” but this “feature . . . was missing in the Revival of 1904-5,”[36] which contributed to “the decline of the sermon.”[37] Indeed, the “pastor . . . was practically regarded as an alien in the Commonwealth of Israel. The prevailing sentiment was . . . [to] than[k] the Lord that He had shunted the ministers to the sideline. [One] never heard a word from the Revivalist in public in recognition of the Welsh ministry, nor saw a single act that showed appreciation of their position.”[38] Rather than emphasizing the study of and unquestioned obedience to Scripture, and exalting the preached Word, Roberts placed tremendous stress upon instant, immediate, and unquestioning obedience to the “voice from within,” that “voice” that drove him into public ministry and guided him in his work.[39] During significant portions of the Welsh holiness revival, “clergymen [noted that] [s]ince the revival began [Evan Roberts] has not taken a Bible verse and made comments as preachers do;”[40] indeed, “there was very little sermonizing of any kind,”[41] as frequently “sermons [are] put aside for testimony.”[42] “Those who came to hear a great sermon, or even a sermon, were disillusioned. [Roberts] was not an expositor or even a fluent speaker,” but rather gave forth “broken sentences” at intervals in his chaotic meetings.[43] People recognized that “[p]reaching is not generally acceptable at these spontaneous meetings.”[44] “Preaching, in the usual acceptation of the word, has . . . been entirely discarded,” as instead “services are throughout spontaneous, resembling a Quaker’s meeting.”[45] Indeed, “the Welsh revival might be regarded as a triumph for Quakerism.”[46] However, preaching the Word was not necessary, since Roberts had “no body of doctrine to present,” but instead gave out “prophetic messages and exhortations . . . in place of expository teaching.”[47] Following the pattern of the early Keswick conventions, Roberts declared that he never studied the Bible to prepare a message. “I never prepare what I shall speak, but leave that to Him,” he declared. This was possible because Roberts had no substantive doctrine to communicate: “There is no question of creed or of dogma in this movement . . . only the wonder and beauty of Christ’s love.”[48] Instead of rightly dividing the Word, Roberts gave inspired “prophetic message[s]”[49] to others. It was not necessary to preach the inspired Bible when “people called ‘inspiration’” Roberts’ own words and marvels.[50] After all, Roberts testified: “We now, like the prophets of old, have . . . . transmitt[ed] . . . ‘The Word of the Lord’ . . . to the Church.”[51] Thus, “[o]ne of the most striking things about the Revival of 1904-5 was the comparative absence of teaching,” for it employed “little theology of a definite and systematic kind,” preferring “visionary and ecstatic” experiences.[52] Observers noted:

[A meeting would] practically resolv[e] itself into a singing festival[.] . . . At times, while one section is singing a hymn, another section in the chapel starts off a wholly different one. This is interspersed with short, spasmodic addresses by Mr. Roberts, relating to visions he has witnessed. Singing is kept up hour after hour—the same tunes and words being interminably repeated—far into the early hours of the morning . . . young girls and women, fatigued with exertion, are strung up to a pitch of feverish excitement. Their emotions overpower them and they break out into wild cries and gesticulations . . . [which] are put down as a manifestation of the Spirit. Some participants have since been confined to their homes with nervous prostration.[53]

In the sharpest contrast to the revivals in the book of Acts, in the work of Evan Roberts singing was employed “rather than . . . the Gospel message . . . being . . . preached. . . . The sermon is a poor thing compared with the . . . song.”[54] While in the Bible preaching brought supernatural conviction and conversion (Acts 2:37-42), the work of Evan Roberts recognized that the Welsh were “taught to death, preached to insensibility.”[55] “Evan Roberts . . . makes no sermons . . . is . . . no[t] a preacher. . . . [P]reaching is emphatically not the note of this Revival[.] . . . If it has been by the foolishness of preaching men have been saved heretofore, that agency seems as if it were destined to take a back seat in the present movement.”[56] At least this was the case for the preaching of the Bible—but Roberts’s “inspired preaching,”[57] his “inspiration of the exalted and supernatural kind,”[58] was considered a sufficient replacement for the exposition of the Word. He asked, “Why should I teach [the Bible] when the Spirit is teaching?”[59] However, in places in Wales where “greater emphasis on preaching and teaching” was made, there were “more lasting and beneficial results” than there were from Roberts’ “lack of clear biblical teaching” and emphasis upon “what he claimed to be the immediate guidance of the Holy Spirit,”[60] at least among traditional denominational groups such as the Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists, although Roberts’ method of neglecting the Word for other revelations was central to the rise of Pentecostalism.

Evan Roberts “claimed to have received over twenty ecstatic visions during the earlier part of 1904, which left him elated but strangely perplexed.” He placed an “emphasis on direct and unmediated divine inspiration,” so that his “near clairvoyant tendency . . . bec[ame] such a marked feature of his ministry [and] was given full rein. He would claim regularly . . . that he knew by divine intuition of particular individuals’ specific sins and of their need to repent openly in order for his meetings to continue. These claims caused some consternation.”[61] Indeed, Roberts began his own ministry after he “claimed to have a vision”[62] authorizing the beginning of his revival work and “hear[ing] a voice bidding him go . . . and speak.”[63] He felt “his whole body shaking and his sight also wavering,” after which “he seemed to see the people” of a certain city and “men sitting in rows” in a schoolroom, heard a “voice” telling him to go to them, and then saw the room where he was “filled with light [as] dazzling [as] . . . the glory as of the light of the sun in heaven,” and although he wondered if “this was a deceiving vision from Satan,” he concluded it was not, and left school to work for holiness revival because of “the vision and the voice calling him” with “his support—the God of visions.”[64] During “the few weeks”[65] of his training for the ministry he “claim[ed] that he was under the Spirit’s command when he missed a class or forgot a study period or failed to finish an essay”[66] and “he would open a book, only to find it flaming in his hands . . . [t]his experience increased daily until the awe that possessed him made it impossible to battle on . . . [and] Dr. Hughes, an American specialist . . . [affirmed] that Evan was suffering from religious mania,”[67] so that Evan “came under personal attack as a lunatic at worst and eccentric at best.”[68] Concerning one vision, Evan testified: “For the space of four hours I was privileged to speak face to face with Him as a man speaks face to face with a friend,” a privilege Moses alone had among the Old Testament prophets (Exodus 33:11; Numbers 12:8). However, Evan’s visions went beyond even what Moses experienced. The Bible states that nobody has seen God the Father at any time, but only the Son of God has been seen (John 1:18), but Roberts claimed to regularly see “God the Father Almighty . . . and the Holy Spirit,” rather than only “Jesus Christ” as did the prophets of the Bible;[69] his experiences were comparable to those of Teresa of Avila, who likewise claimed she conversed with God the Father rather than Jesus Christ.[70] Indeed, Roberts testified: “I . . . sp[oke] face to face with Him [the Father] as a man speaks face to face with a friend” for “hours” every night “for three or four months,” and then “again retur[ned] to earth.”[71] Unless Evan Roberts was a false prophet and under Satanic delusion, a greater than Moses was here, and so the possibility that “Roberts [was] . . . intending to set” a “notebook” with his writings “beside the writings of the New Testament” as a record of inspired revelations is explicable.[72] At times “a tremor ran through him, and his face and neck were observed to quiver in a remarkable way.”[73] His work in the Welsh holiness revival teemed with “experiences of visions, voices, and ecstasies.”[74] “His bodily agitations were awful to behold. They filled the hearts of children with fear, bewildered and astounded men of mature years, and caused hysterical women to faint.”[75] On at least one occasion he records in his diary: “I was commanded not to read my Bible”[76] for an entire day by a voice.[77] It was not necessary, however, for Roberts to get guidance by searching the Scriptures, for he “adopted the practice of writing down a problem, placing the paper on to an open Bible and leaving the room for the Holy Spirit to write down an answer,”[78] and in this way he could get solutions to his problems.

In 1906, the same year he went to the Keswick Convention and was invited to give a special address,[79] Roberts moved into the Penn-Lewis household after Jessie Penn-Lewis had visions about him,[80] leaving behind “the confusion of South Wales where there were disorderly meetings at Carmarthen, dancing and barking at Llannon, a prophesying curate at Llanelly, [and] a persuasive woman healer in Swansea,”[81] while by 1907 there were “many instances . . . [of] prostrations and trance visions and such manifestations as guiding lights and angelic helps.”[82] Indeed, Roberts experienced almost innumerable visitations from the spirit world and made “many statements about special guidance by vision and voices”[83] both before, during, and after the Welsh holiness revival. “[H]e claims as his guide . . . the inner voice . . . the Spirit tells him when to speak and when to be silent, to whom he may grant an audience and whom he must refuse, what places to visit and the places he must avoid.”[84] Thus, Roberts was directed by visions of Satan and sundry other spiritual beings concerning where he should go to hold meetings.[85] In one often-mentioned vision[86] he claimed he “was taken up into a great expanse without time or space—it was communion with God. Before this it was a far-off God that I had. . . . I was frightened that night . . . [s]o great was my shivering that I rocked the bed and my brother awakened [and] took hold of me, thinking I was ill. After that I was awakened every night a little after one” to experience similar communion, although without the same fear, “for about four hours. . . . About five I was allowed to sleep[.]”[87]   Frequently his visions “caused his body to shake.”[88] He had a “vision . . . [of] a kind of arm stretching out from the moon in the direction of earth,”[89] “many visions about the sufferings of Jesus,”[90] a “terrifying vision of hell,”[91] a “vision . . . [of] a great conflict between Satan and the Archangel of God,”[92] a “vision of a white horse and of a key which opened the Gate of Life,”[93] a vision of “a person dressed in white, with a glittering sword in his hand, striking the devil until he fled and vanished,”[94] various “visions of the devil and of the blessed Saviour,”[95] and “dreams . . . such as that of Satan’s face sneering at him in the midst of some garden shrubs”[96]—although Satan not only sneered at Roberts in gardens in dreams, but also appeared while Roberts was walking in a garden hedge, until a glorious figure in white—the Church—struck Satan and made him disappear.[97] Thus, “Evan Roberts . . . speaks of God and the devil with the assurance not only of one who has had communication with them, but who has actually seen them. The devil grins at him in his garden, he goes back into the house, and when he returns Jesus Christ is there smiling at him.”[98] After seeing a book called The Gospel in Art, he “experienced a new series of visions, each of which was centered upon biblical scenes,” although the pictures in the book “bore a striking resemblance to his visions” of the actual events.[99] Because of “visions and voices,” in his revival meetings he said, “I have to say strange things,”[100] and services, the large majority of the time, had “the scripture readings and . . . sermon” omitted for people getting up “to sing or speak” without any order.[101] In his meetings, “the din was tremendous . . . constant interruptions [of] the speakers [took place as] excited men and women [rose] to pray, testify, sing, ask questions, recite verses, etc. . . . formal preaching [was] an impossibility.”[102] “Pentecostal enthusiasm” required that there “was no preaching . . . for . . . months” in various congregations.[103] This de-emphasis upon preaching was accounted for by the conclusion that “Evan Roberts had a ‘ministry of gifts’ rather than a ‘ministry of the Word,’”[104] but while there was not much preaching of God’s Word, at least there appeared to be plenty of alleged gifts, as Roberts believed that all the spiritual gifts of the Apostolic age were to be present and active in his day. On those instances where Roberts did attempt to preach, he might be “interrupted about thirty times by pleas and excited comments,” as his meetings “sounded chaotic.”[105] “He made no preparation beforehand concerning what he should say” even when he did preach; “all was spontaneous response” to what was supposed to be the Holy Spirit.[106] “Well-structured expository preaching . . . was just unworkable . . . [since] each service was dominated by testimonies, prayers, pleadings, and songs,”[107] as indeed, his meetings had a veritable “Babel of voices . . . breaking forth simultaneously in prayer and song . . . [and] people . . . praying in several languages simultaneously,”[108] as at times people would sing “again and again” a handful of lines from a song “twenty times,”[109] or even hear a “chorus . . . sung, perhaps, a hundred times”[110] in a meeting. It “was a new experience” to many churchgoers “to hear a large crowd sing over and over again for 15 or 20 minutes, without a moment’s pause,” a one-line “refrain” from a song.[111] Such practices prepared the way for the “Pentecostal movements . . . [that] put their own seal on such worship”[112] soon after the end of Roberts’ ministry. Roberts also encouraged people to pray the same words “over and over together, or every one separately, as [they were] inspired by the Holy Spirit.”[113] In many of his meetings in southern Wales “Mr. Roberts gradually ceased to speak at his own meetings. He [rather would] . . . sit silently in the pulpit and take no part—a spectacle rather than a prophet.”[114] “Evan Roberts accepted everything,” all the people who “acted strangely,” with the sole exception of “loud shrieking and wild gestures.”[115] “[E]ven in the most orderly meetings confusion reigns . . . Roberts generally preaches but little, sometimes not at all.”[116] “[H]ysteria [was] . . . a sign and proof of the apprehension of spiritual truths . . . [e]verything was in confusion, without order, without purpose, and often without decency,” despite the fact that “[w]e have no record that such physical results followed the preaching of our Lord or the ministry of the apostles.”[117] No one must “reduce the interruption[s],” and Roberts forbade his helpers from trying to do so, because “the Spirit’s prompting . . . must never be ignored or questioned.”[118] In fact, “[s]ometimes he threatened to leave a meeting if anyone tried to interfere in any shape or form.”[119] “One day he was in a chapel where ninety percent were English speaking, yet he refused to speak in English, not because he was unused to this but because ‘the Spirit has forbidden me,’”[120] the spirit world leading Roberts to speak in what was an unknown tongue to the overwhelming majority of his hearers, despite the Pauline prohibition on such action in 1 Corinthians 12-14. Answering criticism for downplaying preaching and the reading of the Word, Roberts answered: “Why should I teach when the Spirit is teaching?”[121] After all, “the wonderful eloquence displayed by unlettered persons in prayer and speaking” was “proof of direct Divine inspiration,”[122] was it not?

Although Scripture states that the knowledge of men’s hearts is restricted to the omniscient God (1 Kings 8:39), Roberts could see into men’s hearts and “discern souls in conflict,” so that although “some called it telepathy,” his supernatural powers were “accepted as one more sign that Evan Roberts was being led continually by the Spirit,”[123] and charges that “the revival depended on his hypnotic skills and magnetism”[124] were rejected. After all, “in the midst of another mass meeting in [a] 6,000 seat [auditorium], Evan detected that a hypnotist had entered the meeting and was trying secretly to control him. . . . [T]he man confessed to a theatre audience that this was the truth,”[125] so Roberts was not using hypnotism himself but had clear power from the spirit world. Roberts knew “when anyone g[ot] up unmoved by the Spirit”[126] in one of his meetings and could “see . . . insincerity and hypocrisy.”[127] He “kn[ew]” when “people . . . [were] prompted by false motives . . . in their prayers” and would consequently interrupt them and stop them from praying.[128] He recognized when people had been truly converted, so that at times he would announce that someone had “decided” for Christ and the person would then reveal himself; for example, “at Saron, Evan predicted a dozen individual decisions to turn to Christ,” and “[e]ach time someone surrendered,” validating “his strange new powers.”[129] He “displayed a remarkable gift of detecting those souls who were secretly trying to come to Jesus.”[130] In another meeting, “he began to cry out: ‘There is a soul lost because someone has been disobedient to the promptings of the Spirit. . . . Too late! Too late!’ . . . Oh! Dear people, it is too late! . . . [H]e explained that he was prohibited from praying for the soul that was lost.”[131] In a different meeting, at the “peak moment, Evan stopped the meeting and announced that there was someone in the congregation who wouldn’t speak to his brother. He called for that person to confess his sin, threatening him with divine judgment and ordering him to leave. Because no one admitted this fault, the people had to remain on their feet a very long time. . . . Some accepted this kind of rebuke from a man whom they took to be a prophet; others felt it was a mistaken act done by an overtired young man,”[132] since Roberts continued “months . . . of serial meetings, all-night sessions, and crises.”[133] Others called Roberts “an unbalanced crow stirrer, an exhibitionist, a hypnotist, and even an occultist . . . a prophet of Baal calling down false fire by his incantations.”[134] Roberts, however, had an answer for those who said he lacked sleep. Such a lack was not a problem for him. He said: “God has made me strong and manly. . . . My body is full of electricity day and night and I have no sleep before I am back in meetings again.”[135] For months, as the holiness revival progressed in 1904 and 1905, “he ate and slept little,”[136] getting “two or three hours of sleep each night,”[137] but the electricity that filled his body kept him going—at least until he experienced one his several serious nervous breakdowns.[138] In meetings he would often have “nervous collapses” from which, however, he would usually “recover suddenly”[139] and continue the meeting in most cases—at least until he came to the point in 1906 where he was “unable to stand or walk for almost a twelvemonth,” remaining in “convalescence” in the Penn-Lewis household.[140] In another meeting “he called to a man to confess his sin” and said, “The Spirit has given me that man’s name and age,” and this fact was, Roberts said, to lead those who were “skeptical of the reality of this manifestation” to have “no doubt about it.”[141] On a different occasion “Evan Roberts became visibly upset and started to threaten someone with divine punishment for ‘making a mockery of what was so divine . . . [m]ocking what has cost God his life-blood.’ . . . After carefully scanning the congregation, again he urged someone to ask for forgiveness and then declared that the meeting could not proceed until the obstacle had been removed. . . . The remonstration went on for another ten minutes, but no one owned up.”[142] Later in a meeting he “lay a limp, inert mass on the reading desk, with outstretched arms as if pleading. Suddenly he straightened up . . . pointed to the gallery and declared that some person there possessed a heart full of scorn, skepticism, and sarcasm. That was an obstacle to the path of the Spirit, and the cause must be removed. He tearfully appealed to him to repent or quit the building,” and “continue[d] to sob, with his face buried in his hands,” but “[n]o response was made from the gallery.”[143] He would “place his hand on his neck, as if pressing something down. There was a jerking back of the head . . . as in persons whose nervous systems are somewhat deranged. . . . [T]hese . . . tremors . . . [are] attribute[d] . . . to Divine influence.”[144] Roberts also had a time when he was told to “remain in the house for six days in a silence which had been commanded by the Spirit” and “cancelled all mission engagements,”[145] after a fashion similar to what had taken place with the prophet Ezekiel,[146] while on various occasions he would “walk out of meetings after five minutes because he claimed to have discovered [spiritual] obstacles there.”[147] Surely such actions, and such abilities to see men’s hearts, were evidence of the powerful supernatural forces that were at work in Evan Roberts.

While Baptist church membership, and that of old-school evangelicalism, began to decline after Evan Roberts finished his revivalistic course, Pentecostalism boomed, as Roberts’s influence had led many others in the holiness revival to have supernatural encounters with the spirit world similar to those he had experienced. “It is impossible, and would be historically incorrect, to dissociate the Pentecostal Movement from . . . the Welsh Revival [through which] . . . the spiritual soil was prepared . . . for [its] rise.”[148] Jessie Penn-Lewis wrote:

[T]he Pentecostal character of the Awakening in Wales is unmistakably clear . . . the wider fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy [in chapter two about signs and wonders through Spirit baptism] is at hand. Undoubtedly we are in a new era of the world’s history, when we may expect supernatural workings of God such as have not been known since the days of the primitive Church. . . . [B]y [receiving] a baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, “signs and wonders” w[ill] follow.[149]

Not Roberts only, but very many saw visions and heard voices.[150] Prominent ministers and witnesses testified that Wales was seeing what “was spoken by the prophet Joel . . . the promise [is] now evidently fulfilled in Wales”: “If you ask for proof of that assertion, I point to the signs. ‘Your young men shall see visions!’ That is exactly what is happening. . . . It does not at all matter that some regular people are objecting to the irregular doings. . . . If you ask me the meaning of the Welsh revival, I say—IT IS PENTECOST CONTINUED, without one single moment’s doubt.”[151] Consequently, throughout the holiness revival of 1904-5 there were “many stories of aerial lights, aerial choirs, flashes and visions.”[152] “Dreams, religious and otherwise, were registered by the score.”[153] “During the Revival many persons vowed that they had heard voices in the air calling them by name and speaking to them in distinct tones and words.”[154] The multiplication of such marvels from the spirit world was natural, since “[v]isions were looked upon as the gift of the Holy Spirit, a mark of Divine favour, and one of the concomitants of true conversion,” and with the neglect of the Word of God “there were many who appeared to know more about their visions than about their Bible.”[155] Thus, “Miss Florie Evans,” Evan Roberts’s coworker, “could speak of visions and messages . . . [and] prophesied.”[156] The marvels attending Roberts made it clear that women were to preach and teach men:

The old objection of many of the Welsh Churches to the equal ministry of women has gone by the board. . . . Women pray, sing, testify, and speak as freely as men . . . the toppling of the hateful . . . ascendency of the male. . . . Paul, it is true . . . found it necessary, while addressing the Church of Corinth, to draw a very hard and fast line limiting the sphere of female activity . . . Christianity, however, is at last sloughing the Corinthian limitation[.] . . . The Quakers began the good work. . . . Now in South Wales we see the fruit of this devoted testimony . . . [i]n the present Revival women are everywhere to the fore, singing, testifying, praying, and preaching.[157]

Indeed, the visions were innumerable, but unlike Biblical visions, where God revealed real, specific, and knowable truth, the visions of the holiness revival either set forth all sorts of meaningless foolishness or specifically taught unbiblical errors. “[P]arishoners . . . heard bells chiming . . . a thunder clap followed by lovely singing in the air . . . [others heard] strange music, similar to that caused by the vibration of telegraph wires, only much louder. . . . The Vicar[158] of a parish . . . heard voices singing . . . [g]radually the voices seemed to increase in volume until they became overpowering. . . . It was as real to his senses as anything he ever heard and the words were distinct, in Welsh.”[159] A “young girl, 18 years of age” who was “almost illiterate” was supernaturally enabled to pray with “the most refined and literary sentiments, couched in admirable phraseology[,]” and her “changed appearance” was very striking, becoming “much more gentle. Her face, previously course, has now quite a refined appearance . . . [becoming] a Madonna-like face” as she also has gained “contact with . . . her mother, though she has been dead about 15 years. . . . [S]he seems to feel her mother’s unseen influence, certainly seeing and perhaps helping her in her difficulties.”[160] Another woman “heard the voice of her dead son, and [affirmed] that the conversations that had repeatedly passed between them were as real to her as those that had passed between them in the days of his flesh.”[161] A “young man . . . heard a voice speaking distinctly. The Spirit said (in Welsh)” a variety of things, including a command that “in the most public place” the young man was to deliver the message: “Tell them that hypocrisy is the worst sin against Me . . . [t]he Spirit,”[162] a message contradicting what Christ said was the worst sin against the Spirit, to blaspheme Him (Matthew 12:31; Mark 3:29-30; Luke 12:10).[163] The man also testified: “I had a vision . . . a beautiful light, pure, and brighter than any light I have ever seen, and clusters of something very soft and white falling upon me gently and covering me all over. I called them blessings.” He also had other “dreams,” although he said, “I doubted whether it was the Holy Spirit.”[164] The minister Joseph Jenkins was “clothed with strength from above, and he knew it,” receiving power from the spirit world, after “a strange blue flame took hold of him until he was almost completely covered. It rose . . . from the floor of the room and billowed up, encircling him. It retreated and returned a second time, and then retreated and returned again.”[165] People professed conversion and were led to become members of congregations because of the marvels they experienced. In a “Revival service” at “St. Mary the Virgin’s Church,” a “young man . . . saw a lighted candle emerge from the font [for administering infant baptism and, according to Anglican dogma, regenerating infants thereby] and the figure of an angel shielding it with his wing[166] from the draught that came from the open door. The flame was very small, and the least breath of wind would have extinguished it but for the protecting wing. Before the service was ended he gave his adhesion to the Church.” He testified: “I did not believe in Christ before [the vision] that He was our God and my Saviour. I had always denied Him, but never again, for I believed then [at the time of the vision].”[167] A woman who was hostile to the holiness revival, but whose husband was part of “the Church Army,” “began to feel very queer,” saw “the room” where she was become “all dark,” and “it seemed as if the room was full, or like a swarm of bees around [her, and she] heard some sound . . . like the buzzing of bees,” and then saw her “four children [who] had died in infancy . . . singing the hymn, ‘O Paradise,’” and then “saw the children again and Jesus Christ . . . [a]s natural as you see Him on a picture[168] . . . behind them, and the children said, ‘Crown Him, Mam,’[169] and they disappeared.” As a consequence she “has been quite a different woman and is present in all the services.”[170] A boy whose father was far away testified: “I distinctly saw my father in the [revival] service [in a vision]. He knelt alongside of me and looked at me with a pitiful face and said, ‘My dear boy, pray for me.’ . . . I had never taken religion very seriously before, but I do now.”[171] Another man’s testimony was noteworthy:

[He saw] a faint light playing over his head. As it came nearer it increased in size . . . he saw . . . a man’s body in a shining robe. The figure had wings . . . every feather in the wings . . . was heavenly beyond description. . . . [I]t did not touch the ground. He looked at the hand and saw the prints of the wounds . . . recognized Him as Jesus . . . [and] shouted—“O my Jesus,” and the figure ascended . . . on His wing . . . out of sight.[172] He felt filled with love, and from that time he can love every one without difference.[173]

A lady felt that she had been cut off from God until she saw a “vision of Christ in his kingly robes . . . that had set all right.”[174] At another meeting people were filled with “agony . . . men and women jumping in their seats . . . others testifying that they had received the Holy Spirit, and one person said, ‘Don’t try to understand this, but throw yourself into it. It surpasseth all understanding.’” Here a person who “did not believe much in the Revival” was “caught in his hat and began walking down the staircase, when he was instantaneously knocked (as it were) unconscious. He ran down the stair, and he then jumped five of the steps to the floor[.] . . . He looked like a madman . . . and shouted out, ‘Here is reality to-night.’ . . . [H]e ran into the chapel, and on by the pulpit. He jumped on top of a seat, and he threw his hat with all his might up towards the ceiling of the church, and with a loud voice” gave out his experience. “It is above all understanding,” he said. He remained partly unconscious for a fortnight . . . and he saw a vision of a place beautifully white, and a voice came to him that God would be his refuge and strength. . . . He was moved by the Spirit twice after this fortnight to unconsciousness. How he escaped from injury while jumping and passing across seats was marvellous . . . he received such physical strength that he thought he could move away a tremendous weight.”[175] Another man, at a holiness revival meeting, testified:

I had a thrill through my body, causing great pain. I cried bitterly; why, I don’t know. . . . [For a few days] I felt great pain, and . . . I lost all appetite for food. . . . [at a] prayer meeting . . . there was great agony through my body. Why, I know not. But it remained through the week. . . . I prayed unto God to forgive my sins and reveal unto me Himself. I don’t remember the prayer. I lost all consciousness that night. . . . I perspired very much, so that I thought that water had been thrown over me. . . . A voice told me that [a particular person was] in the meeting to-night by the door. And I said, ‘No, he is not here[.’] . . . Then the voice told me the second time exactly the same words, and I answered him back[.] . . . I was astonished when I found [out that the voice was] true. Had the voice only told me once, I would [not] have believed . . . but when I heard the voice the second time, I was surprised [and found out what it said was true]. . . . [M]y body lost all its pain on that Saturday night . . . [and] I am happier than ever[.][176]

By means of such visions, voices, excitements, and marvels—rather than by means of clear preaching of the gospel—vast numbers were professedly converted.[177]

The “subject which has perhaps caused more excitement in the public mind than any other feature of the Revival” were the “mysterious lights . . . associated with the name of Mrs. Jones of Islawrffordd,” a woman preacher and a “homely farmer’s wife”[178] in the holiness revival.[179] After reading “Sheldon’s book, In His Steps,”[180] and “being much moved by it . . . she began her ministry early in December 1904” as an “evangelist” among the “Calvinistic Methodists” and others, receiving confirmation of her call to a preaching ministry “after seeing a strange light on her way from Islaw’r Ffordd to Egryn chapel.”[181] She affirmed that she had seen “quickly vibrating lights, as though full of eyes. She had seen light hovering over some hilltops. The light . . . frequently accompanied her, leading the way as she went.”[182] Witnesses stated that she “is attended by lights of various kinds wherever she goes,” which were well attested and seen by a great number of people. These lights are “tokens of heavenly approval of Mrs. Jones and the Revival.” Indeed, “Mrs. Jones solemnly stated . . . that [the planet] Venus . . . was a new star, had only appeared since the Revival, and was situated a short distance above her house.” One man saw a mysterious light “from the beginning of the Revival [in his area] six weeks ago. Sometimes it appears like a motor-car lamp flashing and going out . . . other times like two lamps and tongues of fire all round . . . other times a quick flash and going out immediately, and when the fire goes out a vapour of smoke comes in its place; also a rainbow of vapour and a very bright star.” Lights were seen both by those professedly converted in the Revival and those who were not, “Chapel members and non-members alike.” Another entire family saw lights “hovering above a certain farmhouse . . . as three lamps about three yards apart, in the shape of a Prince of Wales’s feathers, very brilliant and dazzling, moving and jumping like a sea-wave . . . continu[ing] so for ten minutes.” Others, “a few minutes afte[r] Mrs. Jones . . . pass[ed], on the main road, . . . [saw] a brilliant light twice, tinged with blue.” A woman “saw two very bright lights . . . one a big white light, the other smaller and red in colour. The latter flashed backwards and forwards, and finally seemed to become merged in the other.” Another saw a large light “and in the middle of it something like [a] bottle or black person, also some little lights scattering around the large light in many colours. Last of all the whole thing came to a large piece of fog, out of sight.” Another person saw a “pillar of fire, quite perpendicular, about two feet wide and three yards in height.” Others saw “a cross and two other crosses [of light] . . . [t]he two crosses came nearer . . . and stood not far [away], and dozens of small balls of fire [were dancing back and fro behind the crosses . . . [while they] heard a voice singing.” A “medical man” saw “a globe of light about the size of a cheese plate, or nearly the apparent diameter of the moon, over the chapel where Mrs. Jones was that evening preaching. . . . Mrs. Jones . . . declared that she had also seen it, but from within the chapel.” At another meeting where “Mrs. Jones” was preaching and many were “very much affected . . . religious fervour was intense and the service lasted until 1 a. m.,” people present saw “a ball of light about the size of the moon,” with a “slight mist over it. The stars began to shoot out around it, [and] the light rose higher and grew brighter but smaller.” Others saw a “block of fire” rising “from the mountain side and moving along for about 200 or 300 yards. It went upwards, a star” then “shot out to meet it, and they clapped together and formed into a ball of fire,” the appearance changing into “something like the helm of a ship.” Others present saw “a ball of fire, white, silvery, vibrating, stationary.” From the ball “two streamers of gray mist [were] emanating . . . in the space between them a number of stars.” A “meeting of the Salvation Army” in the same location was visited by “a black cloud from which emerged first a white light, then a yellow, and finally a brilliantly red triangle.”[183] Evan Roberts was very far from the only one experiencing marvels in the Welsh holiness revival. Indeed, “the revival in Wales under Evan Roberts” not only “produced [these] psychological and physical abnormalities” among others in Wales, but “sparked them also in other countries (California, Norway, Denmark, Hesse, Silesia),” leading to “speaking in tongues and similar phenomena as a renewal of the gifts of Pentecost and powerful evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit” that produced the Pentecostal and charismatic movement.[184] While such “tokens of heavenly approval” of women preachers “and the Revival” are radically different in character than Biblical miracles, possessing far greater similarity to pagan marvels and the marvels of medieval Romanism, they certainly proved that the religious excitement was not merely the work of men, but that the spirit world was powerfully at work in the Welsh holiness revival.

It was important for Roberts to have supernatural abilities to discern true and false conversion, since the methodology he employed in the Welsh holiness revival to produce regeneration was not, as in the Bible, bold, powerful, and clear preaching of the gospel (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23-25), but getting people to stand up.[185] Those who stood up were assumed to have been converted. Roberts would “walk up and down the isles,” look at specific people, and ask them, “Are you ready to stand up now and confess Christ?”[186] People would think, “Why can’t I? I am religious!” and then “stand up to confess” when Roberts asked them to.[187] Roberts would, at times, call on “[a]ll who love Jesus to stand,” as well as “all church members” and “[a]ll who love Christ more than anything else,”[188] and was able to get great crowds to stand up in this way.[189] In an atmosphere charged with extreme emotion, but little careful preaching, Roberts called on unsaved people to stand,” and then “men” would “rise up and confes[s] Christ.”[190] “[A]midst prayers and exhortations in Welsh and English,” people “rose one by one” and were assumed to be converted because they did so, while the “press circulated stories about Evan Roberts’s irreverence, hysteria, mesmerism, and improper pressures upon impressionable females.”[191] Roberts’ coworkers described scenes of “feverish emotionalism” where “the air was electrical” as “young men, nerved by the sympathetic atmosphere . . . r[ose], from floor and gallery [of a chapel meeting house, and] followed the formula set by the first, ‘I get up to confess Christ.’”[192] Large groups would go to the front of church buildings, and, in the words of one of Roberts’ converts, be “asked . . . to confess Jesus Christ as our Saviour. . . . I did not understand it . . . [t]he thing was entirely new to me . . . but I accepted everything from him because I looked up to him . . . [by this confession] we had an interest in heaven.”[193] If not enough people stood up, Roberts would ask again. For example, “at the meeting in Van Road, Caerphilly . . . Evan asked, ‘Will everyone who will confess Christ rise?’ When only forty responded, Evan professed to be astonished. ‘What! Is this the number?’ he cried. . . . So the people were challenged again. They realized that they had not come to be entertained but to ‘show their side.’”[194] Sometimes, however, getting up one time would not work, and one would need to stand up more than once to go to heaven; for example, one man stood up twice because a spirit being told him in a vision that he had lost his salvation. “I could stand up to confess since I had been faithful to all the chapel meetings and was morally upright . . . I did stand up to confess Christ . . . [but a few days later] I saw . . . I felt Jesus coming to me and I was going to him . . . and as He came towards me—He was on the cross—He moved His hand and pushed me away. ‘If God has deserted me,’ [I thought], ‘only a lost state awaits me.’” The man therefore “stood up” again and said, “Dear friends, God has departed from me; I have no hope; only total loss awaits me; pray for me.” People responded, “[I]f you are lost, where are we others?”[195] At another meeting, Roberts exercised his supernatural powers to predict that “everybody present in that meeting was going to ‘come to Christ’ that day,”[196] indicating that all present, including ministers and Roberts himself, were unconverted and were going to be saved that day by standing up, or that equating standing up with conversion produces incredible confusion and many false professions—unless the prophecy was to be taken allegorically. However, at the end of the day, “all . . . had stood up to declare themselves followers of Christ,”[197] so it appears that Roberts’ prophecy was not simply an allegory. A very sympathetic eyewitness described Roberts’ procedure of producing conversions by putting pressure on people to stand up:

Mr. Evan Roberts, toward the close of the meeting, asks all who from their hearts believe and confess their Saviour to rise. At the meetings at which I was present nearly everybody was standing. Then for the sitting remnant the storm of prayer rises to the mercy seat. When one after another rises to his feet, glad strains of jubilant song burst from the watching multitude.[198]

Since getting people to stand up, repeating such calls to stand when not enough do so, putting pressure on the unconverted to stand up by having everyone watch them, and getting people to think that all who do not stand at Mr. Roberts’s call are at that instant claiming to be openly and actively against Christ, is radically different from Biblical evangelistic methodology and a horrible recipe for producing spurious salvation decisions—and it was even immediately apparent that often people would stand and “confess Chris[t] to escape notice” that would come on them were they to stay seated[199]—one must be a firm believer in Evan Roberts’s supernatural powers to accept the validity of such a procedure. Only the authority of the marvels surrounding Roberts’s work could validate what would otherwise be a very clearly anti-supernatural, fleshly, and devilish rejection of truly supernatural regeneration for the natural work of arising from a chair. For unless Roberts could do what no other man could, and see into everyone else’s heart, the overwhelming majority of people whom he deceived into thinking that standing up is a sure sign of supernatural conversion and the new birth were in fearful danger of remaining unconverted, being deceived, and being eternally damned, while churches would end up filled with religious but unregenerate people, to the destruction of Christianity and the glory of the devil. Supernatural conversion by the miraculous power of the Spirit through the preached Word would be replaced with supernatural marvels performed by Evan Roberts and a merely natural outward response erroneously equated with regeneration.

Roberts, however, was able to use his supernatural powers to detect when people stood up but were not born again on that account.

[On] one occasion Roberts refused to leave the building, when the service had been declared closed by the ministers, because he said that one man in an indicated gallery, a Welshman, he was certain had not confessed Christ as he ought to have done. The minister in charge of that gallery “tested” the people and reported that every one had confessed Christ. Roberts was not satisfied: six times was the appeal made during the next 25 minutes and not until the sixth test did a man come forward and admit that he had not been sincere in professing as a convert with the rest. Roberts directed the minister to speak to the man, and after a short talk he too gave in.[200]

In such a manner, false professions apparently could be avoided. Furthermore, visions from the spirit world confirmed that people had indeed been truly saved through the ministry of Evan Roberts. A man who became an evangelist after professing conversion through Roberts’s ministry recounted that he had felt “petrified . . . tossed about . . . puzzled . . . crushed . . . disturbed . . . and . . . mobbed,” but then saw “a panoramic vision of Jesus moving through a crowd and a blind, beseeching beggar, whom he recognized as himself, pleading, ‘Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.’” The man related, “A sweet voice spoke within my spirit so clearly, unmistakably, [and] audibly, that the voices of all creation could never succeed in drowning its message: ‘Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.’ Heaven came into my heart that very moment.”[201] Ministers also claimed to be converted because of visions. For instance, an elder testified: “I was led up to the great white throne, where the Father was seated in his eternal glory. The Holy Spirit came to me and dressed me in the Son’s righteousness. When He had clothed me in white raiment He introduced me to the Father. ‘Here he is for you,’ said He to the Father, ‘what do you think of him in the Son’s righteousness?’ . . . Thanks be to Him!”[202] While in Scripture people are not converted because they see visions telling them they have been saved, and in previous works of genuine revival concluding one was converted because of visions of such a kind was plainly warned against as soul-damning error,[203] under Evan Roberts such work was set forth as evidence that the spirit world was accomplishing its ends and many were being truly born again. Indeed, even the widespread circulation of the idea that 100,000 people were converted in the Welsh holiness revival was a product of a “mystical experience” of Evan Roberts where he “receive[d] from God a piece of paper on which the figure 100,000 was written—giving rise later to the belief that 100,000 would be converted during the revival.”[204] “Evan Roberts had asked the Lord for 100,000 for Jesus Christ, and . . . he had actually seen Jesus presenting a cheque to His Father, and on it the figure ‘100,000.’”[205] One who accepts Roberts’ prophetic status would be quite correct in promulgating this figure, while those who believe that the Apostles and prophets were the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20), and, in consequence, their offices have ceased, would want far better evidence for 100,000 people being regenerated than a vision of Evan Roberts—evidence which is, however, lacking.[206] Roberts himself, because of the lack of evidence of the new birth in many, eventually “saw that [many] had been touched emotionally but not truly convicted and converted during [many of his] revival meetings.”[207] He “lived to see many of his converts, some of them the most striking among the records of the Revival, go back, tired of their new home,” to the world, the flesh, and the devil.[208] However, this recognition came too late and did not affect the fundamental errors in his methodology during the holiness revival, as throughout he continued to employ techniques that were certain to produce many false professions. Consequently, “Evan Roberts grew more and more discouraged as he saw some groups of converts following after cults in which they barked at the devil, danced and swooned, or followed healers and prophetesses,”[209] and critics of Roberts affirmed that he erred greatly in “assuming that remorse and confession were the same as true regeneration” as it “became sadly evident that the Spirit of God had been quenched.”[210] Roberts’ practices contributed to laxity in guarding the membership of Calvinistic Methodist assemblies and other denominations influenced by his ministry, thus filling them with unregenerate members[211] and ministers. Indeed, Roberts did not merely confuse regeneration and Spirit-produced repentance and faith in the crucified Christ with an outward response in his methodology, but his message itself was confusing enough that it could well be considered—by those who rejected his prophetic status and went by Scripture alone—a very unclear gospel. Evan Roberts did not regularly preach with any kind of careful clarity the gospel of salvation for totally depraved sinners based on the substitutionary death of the crucified and resurrected Christ and applied through regeneration to sinners who, in supernaturally produced repentant faith, looked away from themselves to Him for redemption (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 3:1-21). Instead, Roberts taught that the unregenerate must both sympathize with and love Christ before they can come to Him for salvation, thus denying the Biblical depravity of man (Romans 3:11) and affirming Pelagianism.[212] It is not at all surprising that Roberts “did not at any time emphasize the necessity for the creation of a new will in and by the power of Christ.”[213] On the contrary, he commanded: “[Y]ou need to turn that sympathy . . . I know you . . . listeners [already have] . . . into a flame of love before you can embrace Him as Saviour.”[214]   Furthermore, he taught: “Christ . . . has a rope of three strands. First ask him to take you as you are. Then ask Him to forgive your sins. Then ask Him for strength for the future. This three-stranded rope of salvation is enough for the present, the past, and the future salvation of every sinner.”[215] Along these lines, Roberts counseled his helpers to find people who needed to stand up to be saved, and act as follows: “Put one hand on their shoulder, and the other hand in their hand. Ask them to pray God to forgive their sins for Jesus Christ’s sake. Then ask them, do they believe in God; and if they will say they do, ask them to thank God for that.”[216] However, the Biblical response to the gospel is not “ask,” but “believe,”[217] and belief in “God” is not enough (James 2:19); one must be supernaturally enabled to rest upon the crucified Christ and His substitutionary atonement (cf. John 3:1-21). Worst of all, Roberts’s salvation message was summarized by those who heard him as: “He says that if we would have Jesus save us, we must save ourselves first. He says that we must do all that we know is right, first. He says that we must leave off the drink and all that is bad; he says that we must pray and we must work, we must work hard. He says if Jesus Christ is to save us we must work along with Him, side by side, or, he says, the saving will never be done.”[218] The Welsh revivalism under Evan Roberts “is of a social and altruistic nature, and . . . differs from those [revivals] which have preceded it whe[re] the doctrine was one almost exclusively of faith rather than works.”[219] Jessie Penn-Lewis recounted:

Mr. Roberts would “test” the meeting, and put to it the four definite steps necessary to salvation . . . (1.) The past must be made clear by sin being confessed to God, and every wrong to man put right. (2.) Every doubtful thing in the life must be put away. (3.) Prompt and implicit obedience to the Holy Ghost. (4.) Public confession of Christ. Forgiveness of others as an essential to receiving the forgiveness of God was often emphasized, as well as the distinction between the Holy Spirit’s work in conversion, and in baptizing the believer with the Holy Ghost . . . the full Gospel as preached at Pentecost.[220]

Nevertheless, despite radical discontinuity between Roberts’s message and the Biblical gospel of free grace in Christ, by equating with the new birth people abandoning a sitting position to assume a standing one, and changing the preaching of repentance and faith to the spiritually dead to calling on unsaved men who somehow allegedly love Christ to ask Him to help them have strength for the future, work hard, and then receive forgiveness, “hundreds of souls would rise”[221] to receive salvation by standing up and be counted as converts every night.[222] In a poor meeting, “only 760 decisions had been recorded”[223]—in better ones, many, many more. Furthermore, believers did not obtain assurance of salvation by looking to Christ and also by seeing in the reflex act of faith[224] the evidences of regeneration recorded in 1 John; rather, the doctrine of Roberts and his followers was, “Believe you are saved, and then confess it” to obtain “assurance of faith.”[225] Nobody who does not possess the ability to see people’s hearts can rightly conclude that people standing up is the same thing as the supernatural production of repentance and faith within a dead sinner’s heart by the Spirit of God, enabling a sinner to spiritually come to the Lord Jesus Christ and trust in His work on the cross for justification, a new heart, and eternal life. Furthermore, Biblical assurance is not obtained by simply convincing oneself that he is saved and then saying to others that he is. Consequently, the practice of equating people standing up with conversion will produce horrific numbers of false professions and spurious conversion decisions when practiced by anyone who does not have the kind of insight into the heart claimed by Evan Roberts.

Evan Roberts believed and taught many other ideas denied in or absent from the Bible. Following, Boardman, Murray, and many other Keswick leaders and exponents, Roberts taught that believers could escape physical death and become immune to disease by faith. The “missionary who is in a district where there is malarial fever . . . becomes immune by recognizing that he must not be a victim to the enemy—death. . . . He goes into the midst of it, but in faith it cannot touch him.”[226] While living with the Penn-Lewis household, Jessie and Evan practiced “binding Satan,”[227] while “Evan Roberts . . . spent about eighteen sleepless hours a day in prayer.”[228] Mr. Roberts’s “prayers,” out of which were birthed the book The War On The Saints, “were Divinely inspired.”[229] The doctrines in War on the Saints show how a believer who has experienced post-conversion Spirit baptism “can have the authority to bind Satan,” and even “co-work with God in the last defeat of Satan and all his hosts.”[230] Thus, after Evan Roberts and Jessie Penn-Lewis had, they affirmed, bound Satan, and while practicing Throne Life prayer and experiencing a great mystic Higher Life, as Evan Roberts allegedly “entered into the sufferings of the Saviour/High Priest” and thus obtained a “position” from “which he could intercede continually for Christ’s servants and witnesses who were exposed to deception,”[231] Roberts received in a vision “the Translation Message given in October, 1913,”[232] in which he predicted “The Coming of Christ . . . the descent of the Lord to meet His Bride . . . the great procession of the King Bridegroom, the Son of the Most High, the Lord of Hosts . . . in 1914,”[233] after hearing Penn-Lewis preach that Revelation 12:4 was about “Satan’s all-out attack on the ‘Man-Child Church,’ which would occur just before Christ’s coming to rapture His people away from this last warfare.”[234] Or, more accurately, according to Jessie Penn-Lewis, Evan Roberts, Otto Stockmeyer, and other Keswick leaders, the Rapture would be partial, taking away only those who have taken the third step of conquering death by faith—those who only believed in justification by faith, and then sanctification by a special post-conversion act of faith, would be left behind, the Rapture only taking the “‘man-child’ born of the church”:

By the simple expectation that the Lord may come any day to take away the Church, whether ready or unready, we shall never come to be translated. That is not the way. Justification is by faith, and is received by faith; sanctification is by faith, and is received by faith; and equally TRANSLATION CAN BE OBTAINED BY FAITH. Believe then . . . [that] Christ . . . is able, by the Spirit, to form a group of those to whom the Lord can manifest His salvation, full and entire, and whom He may take away before others, without dying, to His throne.[235]

After all, at the heart of the Keswick theology is the idea the blessings of Christ’s death are inactive until they are especially appropriated by a distinct act of faith—so since “all the fruits of the sufferings of Christ ought to be obtained by faith,” the believer who has entered into the Highest Life of the Higher Life rises up and is “CONQUERING DEATH BY FAITH,” guaranteed not to suffer physical death but to be Raptured by a specific act of faith to that end.[236] Only when, being already justified, one exercises a specific act of faith to activate sanctification does one receive this second blessing—to affirm otherwise is to return to the despised orthodox, non-Higher Life doctrine—and in exactly the same fashion, one will not partake of the Rapture without a specific, post-sanctification act of faith toward that end. God is so unable to Rapture those who do not specifically exercise faith to that end that even after the first group is taken away, subsequently other little groups will go up during the Tribulation period as they finally enter into the Translation plane of the Throne Life. That is, at the Rapture those with the Highest Life will rise “in the air just above our planet,” where they will be judged while the Tribulation proceeded on earth. Those believers who were left behind will “ascend to Him” in little “after companies” as they finally grasped, as the Tribulation period went on, the truths taught in the inspired writings of Mrs. Penn-Lewis, and were purified enough to ascend to join their brethren in the air above the planet. A group would go here, and a group there; the “Parousia of Christ means His Presence in the air just above our planet, where His saints will gather unto Him,” as “in successive Translations during the period of Tribulation on earth which will culminate in Armageddon.”[237] As people enter into the Throne Life, “[f]rom time to time various companies of saints who were not ready for the first Rapture [will] disappear from the earth and join their fellows.”[238] Since it was essential to have the Translation Faith truths taught by Mrs. Penn-Lewis to be Raptured, and nobody could discover these truths simply by reading the Bible, Mrs. Penn-Lewis wrote an article describing how one was to enter into the blessing of Translation faith: “How to get it, use it, and keep it,” so that people do not fall back to the lower plain of the Christians who miss the Rapture.[239] It was also essential to note that the Translation Message was for those “who understood that, like Enoch,” Evan Roberts “walked daily with God,”[240] and them only. People like Jessie Penn-Lewis and other followers of the Higher Life “find the witness in their own spirit” to Evan Roberts’s prophecy, so that “they believe his message.”[241] When “his family [did] not believe his present messages,” he “did not want to meet [them] anymore,” and so he “rejected every attempt by [his] family” at restoration, recognizing that his “special vision and . . . burden message”[242] required “the absolute isolation of his spirit from those who do not believe his testimony.”[243] He refused “to meet or correspond with his closest relatives,” and when “his father went up to see him . . . Evan . . . would not talk.”[244] His “family [was] shown the door” so that he could, every moment, give himself to prayer.[245] He persisted in this rejection of his family to the extent that he did not even attend his mother’s funeral.[246] Recognizing the truth of the end of the world in 1914, Roberts and Penn-Lewis ceased to publish the Overcomer magazine in that year—there would be no more need of it once the return of Christ took place;[247] as Roberts and Penn-Lewis knew from the spirit world, “the End-Age of the Son of Man was dawning,”[248] and The Overcomer would no longer be necessary, for as Evan Roberts prophesied, “Translation is at hand! We know in the spirit that our ministration to the Church is ended! . . . WE AWAIT TRANSLATION.”[249] However, a permanent literature trust was set up, as Mrs. Penn-Lewis’s writings would be “needed by others after the departure of the watching believers,” that is, those Christians who missed the partial Rapture would need her works to find out what went wrong.[250] Penn-Lewis, Roberts, and others “were all in high spirits . . . and decided to celebrate the end of the spiritual warfare[.] . . . All went out in raincoats and galoshes to the rocks where Mrs. Penn-Lewis dashed a bottle of eau-de-cologne on the rock, saying, ‘In the Name of the Triune God I dash this bottle against the rocks in honour of the finished warfare with the Prince of Death.’”[251] The groundwork for the Translation message had been prepared for some time; in 1902 Mrs. Penn-Lewis had written Studies in Job, which described “the mystery of the suffering which will be a message for the church in its final stages on the eve of the ‘Translation.’”[252] Evan Roberts then received “a revelation by the Holy Spirit of . . . our Lord[’s] coming . . . in our life-time . . . the ‘translation’ . . . is at hand.”[253] Furthermore, “the Revival which broke out in Wales in 1904 had a dispensational significance, and was actually, speaking in a general sense, the beginning of the period in which God set His Hand to close up the Christian dispensation,” as the “issue of War On The Saints had a [similar] dispensational significance [which] can be seen if it be considered in relation to the Welsh Revival . . . because of the ‘Time of the End,’ in which it appeared,” namely, the few years before the end of the world which was to take place in 1914.[254] The “latter rain” spoken of by Joel, both Penn-Lewis and Pentecostalism knew, was not actually a prophecy about rain, as the context of Joel 2:23 would indicate, but an allegory about the Holy Spirit being poured out;[255] “the Revival in Wales” was the “beginning of the ‘latter rain’ which [would] prepare the Church of God for the Lord’s appearing.”[256] War on the Saints was written so that the Church could make the second coming of Christ take place, as Christian overcomers learned to bind the devil and “drive the forces of Satan from their place in the heavenlies” by warfare prayer, “making way for the Church to ascend to her place of triumph with the Lord. . . . The . . . greatest, ultimate result of the operation of the truths concerning the deceptive workings of Satan and the way of victory [brought to light in War on the Saints], is in connection with the dispensational position of the Church, in view of the closing days of the age, and the Millennial Appearing of the Ascended Lord.”[257] “The dispensational significance of the Revival in 1904 meant . . . the beginning of the decade allotted by God for the awakening, maturing and preparation of those who belonged to the Body of Christ—all in view of ultimate Translation . . . [and] the Coming Reign of Christ” ten years[258] after the 1904 Welsh holiness revival.[259] The fact that the “Translation” of the overcomers in the church to heaven was coming was evident because of signs: “The week of the Advent Message witnessed such events in the world that it was called the ‘Black Week,’” for that week “the following were some of the notable disasters which occurred. In Wales the Senhenydd Colliery disaster; the collapse of a Zeppelin in the North Sea; the burning of a liner in mid-ocean; the wreck of an express in Liverpool; a railway accident in London; and in Russia so many railway disasters that a special commission of enquiry was appointed—all occurring within the one week.”[260] Such were evident signs that the period of “fiery tribulation” had come and of the end of the world in 1914.[261] The Overcomer magazine “picked up its readers in 1909, drawing out, as with a magnet, from the midst of others, those who knew in any degree the two-fold message of the Cross, as taught in Romans vi., and then led them on, line upon line, precept upon precept, through the earlier stages of the Baptism of the Spirit, the experimental pathway of death with Christ, the life joined in spirit with Christ in God, and the war in the heavenlies, depicted in Ephesians vi. The culmination was reached in 1913 in the Translation message, which in 1914 has been amplified more in detail concerning experimental preparation for the imminent Coming of the Lord. . . . [T]he paper has been a Testimony committed to certain members of the Body of Christ, to declare to other members of the Body, for the specific leading of them on in the deep things of God in preparation for their reigning with Christ,” so that those who “were among the most spiritual of the Church six years ago, and . . . were then able to recognize the truths set forth as of God” in the paper, were by 1914 fully equipped by it for the reign of Christ which was to come in that year.[262] Indeed, at times even an exact day was pointed out. On April 16, 1914, Evan Roberts “entered the breakfast room dressed in his going-out suit. When he came back he told [all those present], ‘The Translation is very near. Prepare!’” All present “got tickets to mark everything and . . . went to [their] rooms to put all straight.”[263] However, the world did not end, neither on that day, nor in that year. Such a false prophecy (cf. Deuteronomy 18:20-22), however, was not really a false prophecy, nor were Roberts and Penn-Lewis false prophets for making, endorsing, promulgating, and defending it—on the contrary, it was evident—at least ex post facto—that the sin was not in Roberts and Penn-Lewis, but in the universal church. While at first this explanation for failure was not clear, since in late 1915 Penn-Lewis was still “striving ‘to hold fast the ‘Translation Faith’ . . . thinking of how near . . . was the ‘heavenly call,’”[264] it finally became apparent that the abysmal failure of the prophecy—which had been widely proclaimed in the secular press[265]—was not because of the sins of those who had made and propagated it. “[T]he delay factor [was] caused by lack of full spiritual unity,” Roberts and Penn-Lewis taught—“Divisions must cease, disunity must be confessed, hasty judgments must be canceled, warnings against each other destroyed, certain books withdrawn, and tears of repentance shed”[266] by others—though not, it appears, by them for their false prediction. In fact, part of the reason for the failure of Christ to return in 1914 was criticism of Evan Roberts for making such a prophecy.[267] Had the false prophecy been received rather than rejected, it would have come to pass. While it was therefore evident that those who rejected the supernatural visitations of Roberts and Penn-Lewis were the real problem, around this time there arose “deep depression in Evan’s spirit and new forms of pain in Jessie’s body,” and not only did publication of The Overcomer cease, but “the prayer watch was . . . moved elsewhere, and the book production slowed down and suspended.”[268] The Overcomer magazine did not return until 1920,[269] by which time, it seems, the fallout from Roberts’s and Penn-Lewis’s blatantly false prophecy had been mitigated.

Roberts’s “claims to special insights and divine orders and supernatural visitations” led critics to say that his “overheated imagination . . . [was] a fatal blow to real . . . religious movements,”[270] but the critics surely were not correct, although after Roberts’ ministry had run its course, in the areas where he had preached “the revival disappeared, and [Roberts’ work] has made those valleys in Wales almost inaccessible to any further divine intervention.”[271] “Many . . . voiced criticism of the revival for its failure to achieve any long-lasting results,”[272] and Roberts himself, some time later, “explained [as] tragic errors” a variety of his supernatural declarations, affirming that they were “evidence of Satan’s power to exercise control . . . by entering into the heart, influencing the mind, and troubling the spirit,”[273] so Evan Roberts himself affirmed that Satan had entered his heart, and affected his mind and spirit, in the Welsh holiness revival.[274] “Roberts later became very critical of the revival for its emphasis on emotional excess and what he saw as the influence of demonic powers.”[275] He declared: “[D]uring the revival in Wales, I, in my ignorance, did not escape the wiles of the enemy.”[276] Indeed, Evan Roberts confessed that he had not “escaped the wiles . . . [of] the arch-fiend,” but had “deep, varied, and awful experiences of the invisible powers of darkness.”[277] “In “later years . . . he . . . would question whether it was the Holy Spirit who commanded these things,”[278] and “he confessed to a fear that he had been tricked by Satan.”[279] In fact, he came to see that many of the “visions and voices he had known and all the examples of his strange power to look into people’s thoughts and feelings” were “proof that he . . . had been deceived” during the Welsh holiness revival, and he recognized that in important aspects of his holiness revival message also “he had been deceived by the father of lies,”[280] although not all of his encounters with spirits were evil, to be sure—only some of them were, and the “antidote to deception” was not sola Scriptura and cessationism, but the doctrine of the Cross that Jessie Penn-Lewis had herself learned by a vision in accordance with her belief in the Quaker Inner Light.[281] However, Roberts acknowledged that “he began to find it hard to distinguish Satanic suggestions from the Spirit’s promptings, and even harder to discern which ‘voices’ were only echoes of desires within his own mind.” He “could not always see when his visions and voices were . . . spiritual” and when they were not, saw that he needed help so that he could get to the place where he could “differentiate [the] voice [of the] Lord . . . from the cunning of the Evil One,”[282] and even “told . . . [an assembly of] students that he was not even sure whether the Spirit suggested things or actually spoke,”[283] although another time he contradicted himself and said: “I am as certain that the Spirit has spoken to me as I am of my own existence,” as he was “[a]t the time . . . hearing this actualized voice” as he was “heading for a bout of nervous prostration and depression and perplexity.”[284] Sometimes a spirit would speak to Evan in Welsh, sometimes in English, and sometimes in both.[285] He had such close connections with the spirit world that “a voice” even told him things as small as to “draw a fourth line” underneath a word he had underlined three times or to command: “[R]ise from your bed.”[286] A “voice” led Evan on the “journey which ended in a full acceptance of the doctrine of identification with the Crucified One”[287] learned by vision and then preached by Jessie Penn-Lewis. In any case, although Satan had entered his heart, many of Roberts’ visions “were truly inspired,” and these marvels validated that the statements in Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:17-21 about visions were being fulfilled in Wales,[288] as, after all, Roman Catholic “monks” and “Welsh heroes” had experienced similar supernatural guidance.[289] Since only some of his supernatural encounters were Satanic, when Roberts emerged briefly from two decades of seclusion in the Penn-Lewis household in the “Little Revival” of 1928-1930, which was “short-lived” and restricted to “the faithful ones in and near Gorseinon and Loughor” rather than being “a national awakening,”[290] he again employed his powers of seeing people’s hearts, and also was involved in “healings, exorcisms, and . . . prophesyings,” since all such “gifts of the Spirit were scriptural” for the present day, a view he had held since at least the time of the 1904 Welsh holiness revival on.[291] “It was hardly surprising that some thought that Evan Roberts had become an Apostolic or Pentecosta[l].”[292] However, it was “an unpleasant shock for” Roberts to discover that already in “1931” there were “few signs of the [1928-1930] revival’s lasting influence.”[293] “One year later he went into final retirement and vanished into the shadows of history,”[294] becoming “almost a forgotten man.”[295] Many considered his lack of attendance at prayer meetings and other church events in favor of discussions among poets and attendance at “theatres” a “proof of serious backsliding.”[296] Roberts “abandoned his rigorist ethics, went to football matches and smoked a pipe.”[297] In 1942, advising David Shepherd in a letter, Roberts “said nothing at all about praying” and wrote: “The only word I would have you receive from me is, ‘Use your commonsense. Revelation tends to undermine it. Harness your intellectual powers and drive hard.’” This advice was very “unlike the man who saw visions . . . and even more unlike the great intercessor and valued adviser of The Overcomer period. Surely some kind of personal declension had overtaken him.”[298] He lived a reclusive life in his old age, living off from the gifts of “Welsh friends . . . which supplemented his pension and the quarterly allowance from the Aged and Infirm Fund.”[299] He “show[ed] little enthusiasm . . when people began to talk about a fortieth year anniversary meeting of the revival . . . [in] 1944 . . . and he finally sent his excuses.”[300] After leaving the home of Jessie Penn-Lewis, he “spent most of the rest of his life in lodges in Cardiff. Although initially dedicating himself to a ministry of intercessory prayer,” he evidenced growing “dissatisfaction as he grew older. Notebooks in which he wrote during the last decade of his life reveal him as a lonely and somewhat bitter figure and are . . . almost totally devoid of religious zeal. Witness the following verse, written in English and dated 1 December 1944:

I’ve changed, I doubt it not, I’ve changed a lot,

I know I feel a change as great as odd,

To think I have come home and am forgot

As much by kin as I have been by God.[301]

He died in a Cardiff nursing home on 29 January 1951.”[302] Roberts’ final testimony was, sadly, far more like that of Demas (2 Timothy 4:10),[303] and like those who confused standing up with conversion and regeneration in Roberts’ holiness revival meetings, than that of the Apostle Paul: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

[1]           Of course, other men were involved, such as “W. S. Jones,” who not long before 1904 “had a vision,” after which it “soon became evident that God had chosen him to be the first receiver and transmitter of Holy Spirit baptism. Around him there gathered a group of young pastors such as Keri Evans, W. W. Lewis and D. Saunders who sought the same experience” (pgs. xvi-xvii, An Instrument of Revival, Jones). Nevertheless, “Evan Roberts . . . must be placed at the center of events” (Pg. xviii, ibid.).

[2]           Pg. 65, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Brynmor P. Jones. It is worth noting that practically all the resources employed in this study of Roberts, Penn-Lewis, and the Welsh revival are written by men sympathetic or even adulatory of Evan Roberts and Jessie Penn-Lewis and hostile to their critics. For example, one of the least adulatory and most even-handed writers, J. Vyrnwy Morgan, stated that “he would rather burn . . . [his] manuscript . . . than be the cause of adversely affecting the work of God through Mr. Roberts . . . I have . . . profound regard for Mr. Evan Roberts” (pg. 268, The Welsh Religious Revival, 1904-5: A Retrospect and a Criticism. London: Chapman & Hall, 1909). Morgan notes: “The title of this volume should not be taken as implying any hostility to revivals. Criticism is the science of discrimination, and it is the science upon which this [book] is based” (pg. xi). Other works cited frequently do not hesitate to attack the character, impugn the motives, and employ other unjustifiable tactics to oppose critics of Roberts, Penn-Lewis, and their ministries. They certainly were by no means out to put Roberts or Penn-Lewis in a bad light.

[3]           Pg. 3, An Instrument of Revival: The Complete Life of Evan Roberts, 1878-1951, Brynmor Pierce Jones.

[4]           Pg. 5, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[5]           Roberts’ very sympathetic biographer B. P. Jones believes that Roberts was converted “[a]t some point” (pg. 5, An Instrument of Revival, Jones) but gives no specific or certain details or words of Roberts himself about this event which Jones affirms took place. Similarly, S. B. Shaw records Roberts’ birth, youth, and entrance into revivalistic work in the Welsh holiness revival with not a jot or tittle of reference to Roberts’ experience of personal conversion (pgs. 121-125, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905). Nor does W. T. Stead record a syllable that recounts a reasonable personal conversion testimony in his account of Evan Roberts’ life (pgs. 41ff., The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead)—Roberts passes from thinking he is not a Christian to being someone who has visions and encounters with supernatural forces and therefore concluding that he belongs to God.

[6]           Pg. 9, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[7]           Pg. 41, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead. “[A]ccording to his own account . . . he was not a Christian until little more than fifteen months” before Stead wrote his book in 1904 (ibid).

[8]           Pg. 24, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Note the discussion by the headmaster of the school where Roberts prepared for the ministry for a few weeks on pgs. 110-112, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[9]           Pgs. 23-24, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[10]         Pg. 19, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Brynmor P. Jones.

[11]         Pg. 234, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[12]         Pg. 42, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[13]         Pg. 108, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[14]         Pg. 111, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[15]         Pg. 178, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.

[16]         Pg. 180, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.

[17]         “Franz Gall (1758–1828) and Johann Spurzheim (1776–1832) developed an early physiological psychology known as phrenology, which held three fundamental positions: the exterior conformation of the skull corresponds to the interior (brain); mind is analyzable into a number of functions (e.g., combativeness, hope, acquisitiveness, cautiousness, and secretiveness); and the functions of mind are differentially localized in the brain, and an excess in any function is correlated with an enlargement of the corresponding place in the brain. . . . [T]he term phrenology mean[s] literally the science of the mind. The theory asserted that personality and character traits could be judged by the location and size of bumps on the skull. . . . Some 37 localized areas of the brain were specified to contain independent and inherited regions relating to such character traits as self-esteem, conscientiousness, and spirituality. Three general character types—mental, motive, and vital—facilitated grouping of personalities. Phrenology maps were drawn to indicate the locations of particular faculties and were then used to analyze the corresponding bumps on the skull of a client. . . . Phrenology had a certain popular appeal; people thought personality could be determined by feeling an individual’s skull. However, phrenology was never accepted by scientists because its methodology was largely anecdotal. . . . The charlantanlike activities of Gall and Spurzheim and the multiplicity of faculties made phrenology the last faculty psychology” (pgs. 427, 790, 872, Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology & Counseling (2nd ed.), D. G. Benner & P. C. Hill. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999). Interestingly, one of Evan Roberts’ “heavily involved” helpers was “Annie May Rees, the daughter of a phrenologist” (pg. 52, see 76ff., Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones).

[18]         Pg. 10, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Pg. 110 mentions Evan’s interaction with another phrenologist later.

[19]         Pg. 6, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. “Sheldon, a Congregational minister, followed the liberal teaching of his day that Christ was merely an example,” and thus the book “promotes a social gospel rather than the Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ,” one of “[w]alking in the steps of Jesus” rather than “trust[ing] in His saving merits and vicarious satisfaction to get to Heaven” (Calvary Contender, 10/15/1997; elec. acc. Fundamental Baptist CD-ROM Library, ed. David Cloud).

[20]         Pg. xiii, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[21]         Pg. 55, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[22]         Pg. 96, An Instrument of Revival, Jones; pg. 85, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[23]         Pgs. 253, 5, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[24]         Pg. 55, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[25]         Thus, Vyrnwy Morgan noted “an unmistakable change of character . . . [in] the general record of revivals” in the years that led up to and included the Welsh holiness revival; “the notion of a material hell is gone, never to return[.] . . . There has been a change of emphasis. It used to be on hell; it is now on character; it used to be on wrath; it is now on conduct” (xiv-xvi, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan).

[26]         Pg. 154, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905. For example, Roberts said, “there’s no need to preach against the drink [alcohol]”—rather, a solely positive message was sufficient (pg. 54, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).

[27]         Pg. 49, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[28]         Pg. 47, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead. Stead quotes the South Wales Daily News of November 14, 1904.

[29]         E. g., “Mrs. Smith went herself to a man in prison, who was condemned to death for murder. . . . She only told him how God loved him, and grieved over him, stayed with him, and told him again and again, till he was conquered” (pg. 163, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910).

[30]         Pgs. 520-521, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.

[31]         Pg. 171, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.

[32]         Pg. 137, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[33]         Pg. 7, The Awakening in Wales, Jessie Penn-Lewis.

[34]         In the words of the Quaker Jessie Penn-Lewis: “Pastors allowed the services to take any form that might arise from the movement of the Spirit. Anyone might rise to speak or lead in prayer without fear, and sermons were put aside when the need rose” (pg. 63, The Awakening in Wales), following the pattern of the Quaker meeting, and neglecting the fact that certain elements of worship, including preaching, were ordained by the sovereign authority of God the Holy Ghost for worship in the New Testament (cf. 2 Timothy 4:2).

[35]         Pgs. 30-31, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead. Stead gives as an exception the quantity of singing in the holiness revival meetings, a point—the sole significant point—of discontinuity, although at times even this discontinuity was eliminated and “effective reversion to the practice of the Society of Friends” appeared (pgs. 50-51, ibid).

[36]         Pg. 76, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan. This neglect of Evan Roberts “helped to kill what otherwise might have been an impetus to reverence, peace, and vital religion in the land for years to come.” Furthermore, even when preaching was not abandoned, it “deteriorated in its quality . . . becoming excessively . . . superficial” as well as not being “doctrinal” (pg. 134, ibid.).

[37]         Pg. 177, The Pentecostals, Walter J. Hollenweger. London: SCM Press, 1972.

[38]         Pg. 184, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan. Italics in original. Writing in 1909, Morgan continued: “During the Revival [ministers] were counted as nothing. Not a word of appreciation did they receive when emotionalism was at its height. They are still suffering. For ministers as a class Evan Roberts had not a single word of appreciation, though the harvest was the fruit of the seed that they and their predecessors had planted. . . . The same unsympathetic attitude was assumed by Evan Roberts towards aged Christians. . . . [T]aking a general view of the religious life of Wales today, the name ‘minister’ is not the call-word that it used to be. . . . It has been stripped of its former force, magnitude and richness. It means less in the home, the school, and the community at large. The average minister is now under toleration. . . . [A]t the time of the Revival [this downgrade in ministerial status] took a very acute form. Ministers were not in demand, their services were dispensed with and their claims to leadership denied. We are only beginning to realize its effect” (pgs. 188-189, 202-203, ibid). See also pg. 65, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905.

[39]         Pg. 61, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan; cf. pg. 45, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead. Compare the reproduction of Roberts’ principles, including that of unquestioned obedience to what one identifies as the Spirit, and the adulatory account of his work in the Welsh holiness revival along with an adulatory obituary in the articles “The Great Welsh Revival,” Ruth Russell and “Evan Roberts is Dead” (pgs. 11-12, The Pentecostal Evangel 1928 (April 1922, 1951).

[40]         Pg. 57, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[41]         Pg. 222, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[42]         Pg. 64, The Awakening in Wales, Jessie Penn-Lewis.

[43]         Pg. 55, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan. Italics in original. Also pg. 40, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905.

[44]         Pg. 49, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905. Scripture never commands men to sing the gospel to every creature, and never teaches that congregational singing is evangelistic or man-directed rather than being God-directed worship, affirming on the contrary that “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). Nevertheless, under Evan Roberts “the revival . . . has followed the line of song, not of preaching” (pg. 33-34, The Great Revival in Wales, Shaw).

[45]         Pgs. 9, 106, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905.

[46]         Pg. 190, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905. Shaw affirmed that the lack of order in the service is the most obvious similarity.

[47]         Pg. 224, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Cf. pg. 99.

[48]         Pg. 34, Azuza Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan.

[49]         Pg. 121, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Jones records part of one particular message Roberts received to give to his former tutor, John Phillips, on pg. 121.

[50]         Pg. 66, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan. “According to the teaching of the ‘New Theology’ . . . Evan Roberts was inspired . . . undoubtedly. But if we fall back upon the old theology for our interpretation of inspiration, Evan Roberts was not inspired” (ibid, pgs. 67-68).

[51]         Pg. 180, The Overcomer, December 1914.

[52]         Pg. 82, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan. “[T]here . . . is . . . precious little . . . teaching[.] . . . Do you think that teaching is what people want in a revival?” (pg. 35, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905). Also pgs. 24-25, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[53]         Pgs. 263-264, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[54]         Pg. 31, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead. Comparison was also made to the liturgy of Eastern Orthodoxy, where preaching is most certainly set to the side (pg. 38, ibid). The “Singing Sisters,” who included “a professional singer . . . are as conspicuous figures in the movement as Evan Roberts himself”—they are “as indispensable as Mr. Sankey was to Mr. Moody.” (pgs. 49, 32, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead) Roberts testified: “[T]he Singing Sisters . . . [are] [m]ost useful. They go with me wherever I go. I never part from them without feeling that something is absent if they are not there” (pg. 49, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).

[55]         Pg. 26, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[56]         Pg. 38, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[57]         Pg. 163, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[58]         Pg. 73, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[59]         Pg. 49, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[60]         Pg. 101, A Light in the Land: Christianity in Wales, 200-2000, Gwyn Davies.

[61]         “Roberts, Evan,” A Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Timothy Larsen.

[62]         Pg. 230, The Making of the Modern Church: Christianity in England since 1800 (New ed.), B. G. Worrall. London: SPCK, 1993.

[63]         Pg. 86, 112, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[64]        Pgs. 17-19, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. See also pgs. 21, 25, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones; pg. 45, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead, gives the account in Roberts’ own words, including Roberts’ asking a confidant if his vision was “of the devil.”

[65]         Pg. 85, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[66]         Pg. 18, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. It is noteworthy that, in his revival meetings, “[a]rriving late [was] usual” for Roberts (pg. 71, ibid.).

[67]         Pgs. 18-19, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[68]        Pg. 28, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[69]         Pg. 44, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[70]         Pgs. 44-45, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead. One recalls Hannah W. Smith’s satisfaction with the “bare God” who could be approached apart from Christ.

[71]         Pg. 43, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[72]         Pg. 181, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger; cf. Henri Bois, Le Reveil dans le pays de Galles, pgs. 460-461.

[73]         Pg. 86, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[74]         Pg. 165, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor P. Jones. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos, 1997.

[75]         Pg. 234, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[76]         Pg. 116, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[77]         Roberts also taught that it was acceptable to read only one verse of the Bible a day (pg. 52, Revival in the West, W. T. Stead), although reading more of the Bible was commendable.

[78]         Pg. 523, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.

[79]         Pg. 129, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.

[80]         Pgs. 159-160, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor P. Jones. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos, 1997.

[81]         Pg. 160, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor P. Jones. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos, 1997.

[82]         Pg. 170, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor P. Jones. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos, 1997.

[83]         Pg. 60, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. For further visions not listed below, see, e. g., pgs. 47ff., The Revival in the West, Stead.

[84]         Pg. 89, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[85]         As Roberts recounted to the local newspaper:

He [Roberts] said . . . It was . . . at Newcastle Emlyn. For days he had been brooding over the apparent failure of modern Christian agencies; and he felt wounded in the spirit that the Church of God should so often be attacked. It was about four p. m. Suddenly, in the hedge on his left, he saw a face full of scorn, hatred, and derision, and heard a laugh as of defiance. It was the Prince of this World, who exulted in his despondency. Then there suddenly appeared another figure, gloriously arrayed in white, bearing in hand a flaming sword borne aloft. The sword fell athwart the first figure, and it instantly disappeared. He could not see the face of the swordbearer. “Do you not see the moral?” queried [Roberts], with face beaming with delight. “Is it not that the Church of Christ is to be triumphant? . . . “I know what I saw. It was a distinct vision. There was no mistake. And, full of the promise which that vision conveyed, I went to Loughor, and from Loughor to Aberdare, and from Aberdare to Pontycymmer. And what do I see? The promise literally fulfilled. The sword descending on all hands, and Satan is put to flight. Amen.” (pgs. 47-48, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead, reproducing an article from the South Wales Daily News, November 19).

[86]         Roberts’ experience paralleled that of Madame Guyon, who testified: “It seemed to me that God came at the precise time and woke me from sleep in order that I might enjoy Him” (pg. 43, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).

[87]         Pg. 86, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905); cf. pgs. 14-15, An Instrument of Revival, Jones, pgs. 60-62, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905.

[88]         Pg. 104, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[89]         Pgs. 25-26, An Instrument of Revival, Jones;            Pgs. 79, 136, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[90]         Pg. 97, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. See pg. 138 for one example, where the figure that appeared to Roberts and was identified as “Jesus” was “looking smiling and pleasant,” and so Roberts was sure that the particular “mission” he was then on “would succeed.”

[91]         Pg. 521, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.

[92]         Pg. 104, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[93]         Pg. 104, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[94]         Pg. 79, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[95]         Pg. 136, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[96]         Pg. 18, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[97]         See pgs. 47-48, The Revival in the West, Stead.

[98]         Pg. 188, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905. Roberts said: “When I go out to the garden I see the devil grinning at me, but I am not afraid of him; I go into the house, and when I go out again to the back I see Jesus Christ smiling at me. Then I know all is well” (pg. 54, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).

[99]         Pg. 105, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[100]       Pg. 40, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[101]       Pgs. 48-49, An Instrument of Revival, Jones; cf. pg. 99.

[102]        Pg. 48, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones. Compare the account of women and young girls leading Andrew Murray’s congregation in prayer, and the entire congregation in confusion, on pgs. 194-198, The Life of Andrew Murray, DuPlessis, where, however, Murray did not actively encourage such confusion as Evan Roberts did—a commendable course of action by Mr. Murray—although he did allow women to lead the congregation in prayer.

[103]        Pg. 79, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones. In the particular congregation discussed on pg. 79, preaching was eliminated for two months.

[104]        Pg. 522, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.

[105]        Pg. 57, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Cf. pg. 125 for a description of some representative chaos.

[106]        Pg. 522, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.

[107]        Pg. 57, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[108]        Pgs. 72-73, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Cf. pg. 79, 86; pgs. 40-43, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[109]        Pg. 86, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Cf. pgs. 44-45, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[110]        Pg. 173, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones. Cf. pg. 14, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905.

[111]        Pgs. 87-88, “Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival,” A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905). In the particular instance mentioned, the crowd was repeating “Diolch iddo, diolch iddo, Byth am gofio llwch y llawr (Thanks to Him: always for remembering the dust of the earth)” the entire time. Compare pg. 31, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead. Contrast Matthew 6:7 and the type of worship found in the inspired songs of the Psalter.

[112]        Pg. 177, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[113]        Pg. 521, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope. Roberts instructed those who had been encouraged to stand up in his meetings, and were counted as converts for that reason, to “repeat th[e] [following] prayer in his or her turn:

Send the Spirit now, for Jesus Christ’s sake.

Send the Spirit powerfully now, for Jesus Christ’s sake.

Send the Spirit more powerfully now, for Jesus Christ’s sake.

Send the Spirit yet more powerfully now for Jesus Christ’s sake.

[Professed converts were to] [p]ray No. 1 over and over . . . Then No. 2 in the same way. Then No. 3. No. 4 after that” (pg. 521, ibid). Thus, the eight words that constituted the body of this prayer were to be repeated over and over and over, with the addition of the words “more,” “powerfully,” and “yet” at certain times, in direct contradiction to the command of Christ:   “when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7; note also the tremendous contrast between the model for prayer set forth by the Lord in the following verses with the model set forth by Roberts). Roberts would also have whole congregations repeat this prayer over and over again, and then “would-be convert[s] would suddenly rise and declare . . . ‘I have now received salvation.’ . . . [T]his occurred scores of times” (pg. 36, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones; cf. pgs. 31-33). The vain repetitions were consequently responsible for the production of many professions in Roberts’ meetings.

It is noteworthy that the rote prayer Roberts taught people to repeat fits in with the apparent confusion in his life between his alleged Spirit baptism and his alleged conversion.

[114]        Pg. 141, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Jones affirms that, in contrast, preaching did actually take place in various of Roberts’s meetings in northern Wales later on.

[115]        Pg. 50, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[116]        Pg. 88, “Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival,” A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[117]        Pg. 235, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[118]        Pg. 57, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[119]        Pg. 59, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[120]        Pg. 106, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[121]       Pg. 49, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[122]        Pg. 91, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[123]       Pg. 47, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[124]       Pg. 49, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[125]        Pg. 126, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[126]        Pg. 70, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[127]        Pg. 77, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[128]        Pg. 60, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[129]        Pgs. 82-83, An Instrument of Revival, Jones; the pages record substantial numbers of situations where Roberts exercised his powers to recognize true conversions in a great variety of settings.

[130]        Pg. 89, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[131]        Pgs. 90-91, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[132]        Pg. 88, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[133]        Pg. 91, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[134]        Pg. 98, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[135]        Pg. 41, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[136]        Pg. 41, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[137]       Pg. 51, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[138]        By September 1906 he had already had four. See pg. 161, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. His breakdowns were “a divine plan to equip [Roberts] to do battle against Satanic powers and to train others for battle,” resulting in the teachings of War on the Saints (pg. 174, ibid).

[139]        Pgs. 113-114, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[140]        Pgs. 165-167, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. It appears that Jessie Penn-Lewis’s doctrine that “on the basis of Romans Six you may put in your claim for the healing of any bodily disease” (pg. 134, Overcomer, 1914) failed to heal Evan Roberts.

[141]        Pg. 120, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[142]        Pg. 90, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[143]        Pg. 119, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[144]        Pg. 89, “Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival,” A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[145]        Pg. 91, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. cf.            pgs. 89-90, 114-115, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905). Roberts broke his silence on the seventh day.

[146]        Pgs. 110-112, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[147]        Pg. 100, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[148]        Pgs. 5-6, The Pentecostal Movement, Donald Gee.

[149]        Pgs. 77-78, The Awakening in Wales, Jessie Penn-Lewis.

[150]        Pgs. 22-23, 100, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905.

[151]        Pg. 87, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905. Capitalization reproduced from the original.

[152]        Pg. 249, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[153]        Pg. 73, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[154]        Pgs. 136-137, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[155]        Pg. 139, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[156]        Pg. 89, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[157]        Pgs. 55-56, Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[158]        Scripture teaches that no mortal is a Vicar; such a title demeans the glory of the Son of God.

[159]        Pgs. 93-94, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[160]        Pgs. 135-138, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905); cf. Deuteronomy 18:9-14 and the many other prohibitions in Scripture on contact with the dead.

[161]        Pg. 137, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[162]        Pg. 94-95, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[163]        Of course, hypocrisy is very wicked and should in no wise be condoned.

[164]        Pgs. 94-95, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[165]        Pg. 17, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Brynmor P. Jones. Another vision received by Jenkins was connected to the events that led to Evan Roberts beginning to see visions himself and commencing his revivalistic course (pgs. 58-60, Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).

[166]        While in Scripture the cherubim and seraphim have wings, no angel (JKDaVlAm/ a‡ggeloß) is said to be winged.

[167]        Pgs. 95-96, 123-124, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[168]        Pictures of Christ are idolatry and a violation of the second commandment, for “the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures” (2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, 22:1; Exodus 20:4-6).

[169]        While the children in her vision commanded this woman to crown Jesus Christ, the Bible never tells Christians to crown Him, since the one who crowns another has authority over the one who is crowned. As the eternal Son of God, Christ has reigned from eternity and will reign immutably to eternity (Hebrews 1:8-10), so nobody crowns Him, while as the God-Man, the Father exalted Christ as Mediator at the time of His ascension (cf. Psalm 110), so that, while the terminology of crowning Christ is not even used in connection with the ascension, the Father’s exaltation of the Son of Man is the closest thing to such an affirmation in Scripture. The dead children, therefore, tell the woman to do something that is contrary to the Bible.

[170]        Pgs. 93, 130-133, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[171]        Pg. 125, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[172]        Since the Lord Jesus Christ does not have wings, this man did not see the Jesus who is the Son of God, but another “Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4); and the fact that he felt certain emotions as a result of his supernatural experience is no reason whatsoever for thinking that his experiences came from the Holy Spirit of God.

[173]        Pgs. 95-96, 139-141, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905). Further details, unpleasant to repeat to those who rejoice to spiritually see Jesus by faith rather than seeking after His physical appearance, in accordance with the fact that even those who “have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth [must] know . . . him no more” (2 Corinthians 5:16), have been omitted. It is worth noting that the Apostle Paul testified that he was the “last of all” to see a bodily appearance of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:8).

[174]        Pg. 56, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905.

[175]        Pgs. 127-128, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[176]        Pgs. 129-130, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[177]        Further records of visions appear on pgs. 95, 100, etc., of Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[178]        Pg. 179, “The Revival in Wales.” The East and the West: A Quarterly Review for the Study of Missions. (1905) 174-188.

[179]        Similar lights were also testified to in the Pentecostal works in India and Los Angeles that arose under the influence of the Welsh holiness revival.

[180]        As already noted above, the Social Gospel advocate and heretic Sheldon influenced Evan Roberts very strongly as well.

[181]        Pg. 184, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[182]        Pg. 137, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[183]        Pgs. 97-107, 145-161, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905). Many other marvels are documented by Fryer that are not reproduced here. Of course, not every minister or revival proponent endorsed every one of these marvels as divine, or even investigated all of them carefully; however, Biblical cessationism was hardly in great evidence in the Welsh holiness revival. Fryer simply documents the marvels that appear to be well attested.

[184]        Pg. 159, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Bavinck. An illustration of the Higher Life theology moving into Pentecostalism is found on pgs. 178-179, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Dayton.

[185]        Sometimes those who stood up would also come to a “big seat” at the front of a church building. For example, one person who professed conversion “had a vision,” and consequently “went to the big seat to tell [the congregation] . . . [‘]Jesus Christ has forgiven my sin[.’]” (pg. 32, cf. 72-73, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones). Another example of the methodology of standing up to be born again is found on pg. 147, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

The practice of equating standing up with conversion was present in Keswick and Higher Life circles from the origin of the movement; for example, at the Brighton Convention a Quaker leader reported that “manifest converting power” was present, evidenced by “some hundreds [who] rose to witness that they were recipients of salvation” (pg. 399, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875; pg. 462, The Friends’ Quarterly Examiner, 9:23-26. London: Barrett, Sons & Co, 1875).

[186]        Pg. 34, An Instrument of Revival, Jones; cf. pg. 182, “The Revival in Wales,” A. T. Fryer.

[187]        Pg. 30, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[188]        Pg. 49, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[189]        E. g., pgs. 60-61, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[190]        Pg. 52, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Compare pg. 44, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[191]        Pg. 81, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[192]        Pgs. 70-71, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[193]        Pgs. 32-33, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[194]        Pg. 60, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[195]        Pgs. 29-30, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[196]        Pg. 121, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[197]        Pg. 122, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905).

[198]        Pg. 32, Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[199]        Pg. 60, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[200]        Pgs. 90, 120-121, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 19 (December 1905). “211 had already accepted Christ” by standing up or raising their hands that night, and the Welshman was number 212.

[201]        Pg. 185, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[202]        Pg. 189, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones. In the Apostle John’s vision, in Revelation 20:11-15, Jesus Christ is the One on the great white throne, not the Father, and only the damned are going to be judged at the great white throne. The Apostle’s vision contradicts the vision of this minister in the Welsh holiness revival.

[203]        The words of the great theologian of the First Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards, identify the confusion in such a “conversion” by means of a vision with painfully and frighteningly pinpoint accuracy:

Persons having religious affections of many kinds, accompanying one another, is not sufficient to determine whether they have any gracious affections or no. . . . It is evident that there are counterfeits of all kinds of gracious affections; as of love to God, and love to the brethren, as just now observed; so of godly sorrow for sin, as in Pharaoh, Saul, Ahab, and the children of Israel in the wilderness; [Exod 9:27; 1 Sam 24:16-17 and 1 Sam 26:21; 1 Kings 21:27; Num 14:39-40] and of the fear of God, as in the Samaritans, who feared the Lord, and served their own gods at the same time, (2 Kings 17:32-33) and those enemies of God we read of, Ps 66:3, who through the greatness of God’s power, submit themselves to him, or, as it is in the Hebrew, lie unto him, i.e. yield a counterfeit reverence and submission: so of gracious gratitude, as in the children of Israel, who sang God’s praise at the Red Sea, (Ps 106:12) and Naaman, the Syrian, after his miraculous cure of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:15, etc.). So of spiritual joy, as in the stony-ground hearers, (Matt 13:20) and particularly many of John the Baptist’s hearers, (John 5:35). So of zeal, as in Jehu, (2 Kings 10:6) and in Paul before his conversion, (Gal 1:14; Phil 3:6) and the unbelieving Jews, (Acts 22:3; Rom 10:2). So graceless persons may have earnest religious desires, which may be like Balaam’s desires, which he expresses under an extraordinary view of the happy state of God’s people, as distinguished from all the rest of the world, (Num 23:9-10). They may also have a strong hope of eternal life, as the Pharisees had.

And as men, while in a state of nature, are capable of a resemblance of all kinds of religious affection, so nothing hinders but that they may have many of them together. And what appears in fact, abundantly evinces that it is thus very often. Commonly, when false affections are raised high, many of them attend each other. The multitude that attended Christ into Jerusalem, after that great miracle of raising Lazarus, seem to be moved with many religious affections at once, and all in a high degree. They seem to be filled with admiration; and there was a show of high affection of love; also a great degree of reverence, in their laying their garments on the ground for Christ to tread upon. They express great gratitude to him, for the great and good works he had wrought, praising him with loud voices for his salvation; and earnest desires of the coming of God’s kingdom, which they supposed Jesus was now about to set up; and they showed great hopes and raised expectations of it, expecting it would immediately appear. Hence they were filled with joy, by which they were so animated in their acclamations, as to make the whole city ring again with the noise of them; and they appeared great in their zeal and forwardness to attend Jesus, and assist him without further delay, now in the time of the great feast of the passover, to set up his kingdom.

It is easy from the nature of the affections, to give an account why, when one affection is raised very high, that it should excite others; especially if the affection which is raised high, be that of counterfeit love, as it was in the multitude who cried Hosanna. This will naturally draw many other affections after it. For, as was observed before, love is the chief of the affections, and as it were, the fountain of them. Let us suppose a person, who has been for some time in great exercise and terror through fear of hell; his heart weakened with distress and dreadful apprehensions, upon the brink of despair; and who is all at once delivered, by being firmly made to believe, through some delusion of Satan, that God has pardoned him, and accepts him as the object of his dear love, and promises him eternal life. Suppose also, that this is done through some vision, or strong imagination suddenly excited in him, of a person with a beautiful countenance smiling on him—with arms open, and with blood dropping down—which the person conceives to be Christ, without any other enlightening of the understanding to give a view of the spiritual, divine excellency of Christ and his fulness, and of the way of salvation revealed in the gospel. Or, suppose some voice or words coming as if they were spoken to him, such as these, “Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee;” or, “Fear not, it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” which he takes to be immediately spoken by God to him, though there was no preceding acceptance of Christ, or closing of the heart with him: I say, if we should suppose such a case, what various passions would naturally crowd at once, or one after another, into such a person’s mind! It is easy to be accounted for, from the mere principles of nature, that a person’s heart, on such an occasion, should be raised up to the skies with transports of joy, and be filled with fervent affection to that imaginary God or Redeemer, who, he supposes, has thus rescued him from the jaws of such dreadful destruction, and received him with such endearment, as a peculiar favourite. Is it any wonder that now he should be filled with admiration and gratitude, his mouth should be opened, and be full of talk about what he has experienced? That, for a while, he should think and speak of scarce any thing else, should seem to magnify that God who has done so much for him, call upon others to rejoice with him, appear with a cheerful countenance, and talk with a loud voice? That however, before his deliverance, he was full of quarrellings against the justice of God, now it should be easy for him to submit to God, own his unworthiness, cry out against himself, appear to be very humble before God, and be at his feet as tame as a lamb; now confessing his unworthiness, and crying out, Why me? Why me? Thus Saul, who, when Samuel told him that God had appointed him to be king, makes answer, “Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Wherefore then speakest thou so to me?” [1 Sam 9:21]. Much in the language of David, the true saint, 2 Sam 7:18, “Who am I, and what is my father’s house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” Is it to be wondered at, that now he should delight to be with them who acknowledge and applaud his happy circumstances, and that he should love all such as esteem and admire him and what he has experienced? That he should have violent zeal against all who make nothing of such things, be disposed openly to separate, and as it were to proclaim war with all who are not of his party? That he should now glory in his sufferings, and be very much for condemning and censuring all who seem to doubt, or make any difficulty of these things? And, while the warmth of his affections last, that he should be mighty forward to take pains, and to deny himself, and to promote the interest of a party favouring such things? Or that he should seem earnestly desirous to increase the number of them, as the Pharisees compassed sea and land to make one proselyte? [Matthew 23:15]. I might mention many other things, which will naturally arise in such circumstances. He must have but slightly considered human nature, who thinks that such things as these cannot arise in this manner, without any supernatural interposition of divine power. (pgs. 250-251, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, Jonathan Edwards)

[204]        Pg. 523, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope. This figure is an instance of the “folk memory of the revival, much of it elaborated by the passage of time” so that the recollection of events “as time progressed, became increasingly divorced from the events themselves” (pgs. 516, 534, ibid.). Unfortunately, such inaccurate folk tales too often pass for real history and are propagated in many popular-level Christian biographies, histories, and other narratives, so that, far too often, the people of God accept as factual what is merely legendary. See also pg. 20, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Brynmor P. Jones; pg. 48, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[205]        Pg. 60, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan; cf. pg. 66.

[206]        Apart from the visions of Evan Roberts, evidence for the 100,000 figure is derived from people who have sought to keep track of the numbers of people who stood up in meetings (cf. pg. 153, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905); some have also tried to tally, at least generally, increases in membership rolls.

In the Bible, those who professed salvation through repentant faith in Christ alone, submitted to believer’s immersion, and then continued faithful to the Lord in His church and manifested evidence of a new heavenly nature were counted as converts (cf. Acts 2:41-47)—a standard not a little higher than that of standing up under extreme emotional pressure in a meeting, or than receiving a vision with the number 100,000 in it.

[207]        Pg. 147, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[208]        Pg. 80, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[209]        Pg. 158, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[210]        Pg. 175, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[211]        The rigors of early Calvinistic Methodist assembly membership are set forth on pgs. 103-122, Fire in the Thatch: The True Nature of Religious Revival, Eifion Evans.

[212]        Roberts carried his Pelagianism with him into his doctrine of the Christian life; e. g., while Philippians 2:13 affirms that God works in the believer both to will and to do, Roberts believed: “God . . . will work in you up to the point of willing; but He cannot ‘will’ for you! He works in you up to the point of your will, and then through your act of ‘will’—He will energize you for the ‘doing’ (Phil. ii. 13.)” (pg. 5, “Revival and Prayer,” Overcomer 1910). It is astonishing that Roberts would quote Philippians 2:13 and in the same sentence deny that God energizes the believer both to will and to do.

Jessie Penn-Lewis likewise, with the Keswick theology in general, denied that God works in believers to both will and do, affirming rather that the Almighty is helpless without our independent choice: “God must get the consent of our wills for everything He does” (pg. 181, The Overcomer, December 1913; she misinterpreted Philippians 2:13 in a manner similar to Evan Roberts, pg. 132, The Overcomer, 1914).

[213]        Pg. 88, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[214]        Pg. 53, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[215]        Pg. 143, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[216]        Pg. 49, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[217]        Much of modern fundamentalism and evangelicalism also replaces supernatural conversion by repentant faith in the Christ who died as a Substitute for sinners and rose again with the repetition of a “sinner’s prayer,” based upon a misinterpretation of Romans 10:9-14 and Revelation 3:20. Note the careful discussion of these passages, and defense of justification by repentant faith alone instead of justification by faith and prayer, in “An Exegesis and Application of Romans 10:9-14 for Soulwinning Churches and Christians,” by Thomas Ross, available at http://faithsaves.net. While Evan Roberts affirmed that to “confess Christ was . . . an initial act of faith” (pg. 145, An Instrument of Revival, Jones), the Bible teaches that one must believe and receive Christ’s righteousness before one can genuinely confess Christ (Romans 10:10-11).   However, at other times Roberts would, at least according to certain writers, correctly state that the gospel is to believe on Christ (cf. pg. 134, ibid.).

[218]        Between College Terms, Constance Louisa Maynard. (James Nisbet & Co.: 1910). Elec. acc. http://books.google.com & http://www.welshrevival.org/misc/maynard/01.htm. Maynard notes: “‘He says we must save ourselves first.’ Here is indeed a different Gospel from that of 1859.” Compare the salvation message taught by the Pentecostals of Azuza Street: “When we preach a sinless life, some people say we are too strict. They say we will not get many to heaven that way. But, beloved, God cannot save contrary to His Word. All salvation contrary to the Word is not saving salvation” (pg. 1, The Apostolic Faith I:9 (Los Angeles, June-September 1907), reprinted on pg. 37, Like As of Fire: Newspapers from the Azusa Street World Wide Revival: A Reprint of “The Apostolic Faith” (1906-1908), coll. Fred T. Corum & Rachel A. Sizelove).

[219]        Pg. 167, The Great Revival in Wales: Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw. Chicago, IL: S. B. Shaw, 1905.

[220]        Pgs. 48-49, The Awakening in Wales, Jessie Penn-Lewis. Note that Jessie Penn-Lewis found acceptable such a method of receiving salvation, although it is clearly a false gospel. These four conditions of receiving “salvation” were also the way that an “outpouring of the Holy Spirit” was received (pg. 51, Revival in the West, W. T. Stead), further evidence that Roberts confused post-conversion Spirit baptism with the gospel, even as in his own personal history a great confusion of conversion and Spirit baptism is evident. Indeed, the four conditions also were the way through which ecumenical unity among those holding false and true doctrine would come to pass, and the one-world Church—a desirable goal, in Roberts’ view—would be inaugurated (pg. 53, Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).

[221]        Pg. 49, The Awakening in Wales, Jessie Penn-Lewis.

[222]        Pg. 128, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[223]        Pg. 129, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[224]        “By the direct act of faith, we embrace Christ as our Savior; by the reflex act, arising out of the consciousness of believing, we believe that He loved us and died for us, and that nothing can ever separate us from his love. These two acts are inseparable, not only as cause and effect, [but as] antecedent and consequent; but they are not separated in time, or in the consciousness of the believer. They are only different elements of the complex act of accepting Christ as He is offered in the Gospel” (pg. 100, Systematic Theology, Charles Hodge, vol. 3). “[T]he direct act of faith is occupied with the object presented to it, the promises of the gospel in Christ, and the reflexive act, being of a different nature, is concerned with looking back on the direct act which assures the soul of personally being a partaker of Christ. This reflexive act of faith is the gift of the Holy Spirit also, and must be ratified by His inward testimony” (pg. 68, “Does Assurance Belong to the Essence of Faith? Calvin and the Calvinists,” Joel R. Beeke. Master’s Seminary Journal 5:1 (Spring 1994) 43-73).

[225]        Pg. 107, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones. Note that, since Roberts was a Methodist, it is not surprising that “Wesley and Fletcher” held to a related doctrinal error of an improper “immediate enjoyment of personal assurance” (pg. 180, The Doctrine of Justification, James Buchanan). Early in his ministry, “John Wesley summed up his thoughts on this subject in a letter written in January, 1740: ‘I never yet knew one soul thus saved without what you call the faith of assurance; I mean a sure confidence that by the merits of Christ he was reconciled to the favour of God’ [pg. 200, Wesley’s Standard Sermons]. Thus the cognition that saving grace had worked in a life was seen as the final means to ascertain if saving grace had indeed been present. The implications of this teaching, taken by itself, seem to lead to a condition in which superficial self-analysis (‘yes, I’ve got the witness’) results in spirituality while the kind of doubt which assailed such people as Luther and even at times John Wesley himself results in a loss of the hope of salvation” (pg. 171, “John Wesley and the Doctrine of Assurance,” Mark A. Noll. Bibliotheca Sacra 132:526 (April 1975). However, by 1755 Wesley had moderated his position slightly, so that one could be shaken in his assurance without losing his salvation, although a total lack of assurance was still only compatible with a lost estate: “I know that I am accepted: And yet that knowledge is sometimes shaken, though not destroyed, by doubt or fear. If that knowledge were destroyed, or wholly withdrawn, I could not then say I had Christian faith. To me it appears the same thing, to say, ‘I know God has accepted me’; or, ‘I have a sure trust that God has accepted me.’ . . . [Nonetheless,] justifying faith cannot be a conviction that I am justified. . . . But still I believe the proper Christian faith, which purifies the heart, implies such a conviction” (pgs. 452-453, Letter DXXXII, July 25, 1755, in The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, vol. 12, 3rd ed., with the last corrections of the author. London: John Mason, 1830). Furthermore, Wesley affirmed that objective marks cannot be elaborated to distinguish between the witness of the Spirit to one’s regenerated state and self-delusion; “this kind of defense based on intuition . . . raised the specter of enthusiasm for some of Wesley’s critics” (pg. 174, ibid.). In this doctrine of assurance Wesley’s view was similar to that of Jacob Arminius: “Arminius thought that no one would be a true Christian who did not have a present assurance of present salvation. He wrote: ‘Since God promises eternal life to all who believe in Christ, it is impossible for him who believes, and who knows that he believes, to doubt of his own salvation, unless he doubts of this willingness of God.’” (pgs. 164-165, “John Wesley and the Doctrine of Assurance,” Noll, citing pg. 348, Arminius: A Study in the Dutch Reformation, Carl Bangs. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1971. Compare The Doctrine of Assurance, with Special Reference to John Wesley, Arthur S. Yates. London: Epworth, 1952).

Wesleyan confusion about conversion and assurance appeared in various preachers influenced by his theology, not Evan Roberts alone; thus, for example, Seth Joshua wrote: “[People] are entering into full assurance of faith coupled with a baptism of the Holy Ghost. . . . I also think that those seeking assurance may be fairly counted as converts” (pg. 122, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan, citing Mr. Joshua’s diary. Of course, some people who think that they are in need of assurance truly are unconverted, but such clarity appears to be lacking in Mr. Joshua’s comments. Spirit baptism has nothing to do with obtaining assurance in the Bible.). Methodist confusion on assurance passed over into the Pentecostal movement, which taught that assurance was of the essence of saving faith: “If God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you your sins, you know it. And if you do not know it better than you know anything in this world, you are still in your sins. When you go down in the atonement, in the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, you are accepted. And if you are accepted, and He has given you a clean heart and sanctified your soul, you know it. And if you do not know it, the work is not done” (pg. 2, The Apostolic Faith I:2 (Los Angeles, October 1906), reprinted on pg. 6, Like As of Fire: Newspapers from the Azusa Street World Wide Revival: A Reprint of “The Apostolic Faith” (1906-1908), coll. Fred T. Corum & Rachel A. Sizelove).

Scripture teaches that all believers can have assurance of salvation, but that assurance that one has personally passed from death to life is not of the essence of saving faith (cf. London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, 18:1-4). However, Wesley’s acceptance of baptismal regeneration was an even more dangerous error than his confusion on assurance (see “John Wesley’s View on Baptism,” John Chongnahm Cho. Wesleyan Theological Journal 7 (Spring 1972) 60-73).

[226]        Pg. 10, Overcomer, 1914.

[227]        Pg. 166, Overcomer, 1914.

[228]        Pg. 167, Overcomer, 1914.

[229]        Pg. 189, “The Prayer Ministry of Evan Roberts,” The Overcomer magazine, December 1914, elec. acc. http://www.rewlach.org.uk/books/Overcomer1914/index.htm.

[230]        Pg. 174, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Commanding Satan was practiced in the Welsh Revival, as recorded by Jessie Penn-Lewis (pg. 66, The Awakening in Wales).

[231]        Pg. 191-193, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Roberts continued in his “gained position of intercession” in which he “entered into the sufferings of the . . . High Priest” for “nine years.” Happily, Jesus Christ, the real High Priest, ever lives to make intercession for His own, and He does not stop after nine years, nor does He sleep, have indwelling sin, or the vast number of other sins and imperfections of fallen men—nor does the real High Priest need anyone else to enter into His sufferings, as His sufferings on the cross were sufficient once and for all (Hebrews 10:14).

[232]        Pg. 190, “War on   the Saints: A brief review of its dispensational significance,” in The Overcomer magazine, December 1914. The Translation Message was specifically given on October 19, and its public proclamation was commanded by the same spirits that gave the message in the first place in November (pgs. 183-184, The Overcomer, December 1913).

[233]        The Overcomer, December 1914. At first Roberts was less specific, simply prophesying that Christ would return in his lifetime (pgs. 196-197, An Instrument of Revival, Jones), and then predicting that Christ would return in under a decade (pg. 177, The Overcomer, December 1913), until finally 1914 became the specific year in which the Translation would take place. Perhaps Roberts believed he had an “intimation of the summons” to heaven in the Rapture that G. A. Pember spoke of (pg. 195, Earth’s Earliest Ages), although such an intimation is Biblically impossible (Matthew 24:36).

Pentecostals were reprinting Evan Roberts’ prophecy—the earlier version that Christ would come in his lifetime—for decades (cf. the reprint of Roberts’ false prophecy on pg. 5, The Pentecostal Evangel, 1681 (July 27, 1946). The Pentecostal Evangel was the official periodical of the Assemblies of God denomination.). For obvious reasons, Roberts’ prophecy that Christ would return in his lifetime was more easily propagated after 1914 than his date-setting prophecies.

[234]        Pg. 195, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. See also pgs. 194-199. Revelation 12:4 speaks about Satan’s attempt to kill Christ when He was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18); the verse has nothing to do with events in early twentieth century Great Britain. Mrs. Penn-Lewis similarly allegorizes the “Man Child” as the church in Chapter 11 of War on the Saints. Compare Charles Parham’s allegorization of the “Man Child” described on pg. 85, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson.

[235]        “Prepare!” by Otto Stockmeyer, pg. 185 in The Overcomer, December 1913. Mrs. Penn-Lewis had Stockmeyer’s article printed immediately after her record of Evan Roberts’ Translation Message.

Penn-Lewis’s argument for the partial-Rapture of the “Man-Child,” so that to “have part in the rapture we must be sanctified and holy and live the life of a full overcomer,” was proclaimed in almost identical language by Pentecostalism (cf. the detailed exposition on pg. 2, The Apostolic Faith I:12 (Los Angeles, January 1908), reprinted on pg. 50, Like As of Fire: Newspapers from the Azusa Street World Wide Revival: A Reprint of “The Apostolic Faith” (1906-1908), coll. Fred T. Corum & Rachel A. Sizelove; see also pg. 4, The Apostolic Faith I:10 (September 1907), reprinted on pg. 44, Like As of Fire: Newspapers from the Azusa Street World Wide Revival: A Reprint of “The Apostolic Faith” (1906-1908), coll. Fred T. Corum & Rachel A. Sizelove & pg. 1, The Apostolic Faith I:11 (October-January 1908), reprinted on pg. 45, Like As of Fire: Newspapers from the Azusa Street World Wide Revival: A Reprint of “The Apostolic Faith” (1906-1908), coll. Fred T. Corum & Rachel A. Sizelove). The identification of full overcomers who are ready for the Rapture with those only who have spoken in tongues (pg. 2, The Apostolic Faith I:5 (January 1907), reprinted on pg. 18, Like As of Fire: Newspapers from the Azusa Street World Wide Revival: A Reprint of “The Apostolic Faith” (1906-1908), coll. Fred T. Corum & Rachel A. Sizelove), however, would not be followed by Penn-Lewis.

[236]        “Prepare!” by Otto Stockmeyer, pg. 185 in The Overcomer, December 1913. Italics and capitalization in original.

[237]        Pg. 203, “The Overcomer Literature Trust Fund,” The Overcomer, December 1914.

[238]        Pg. 193, “The Change of Dispensations,” The Overcomer, December 1914.

[239]        “The Spirit of Translation,” pgs. 201-202, The Overcomer, December 1914.

[240]        Pg. 196, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[241]        Pg. 184, The Overcomer, December 1913.

[242]        Pgs. 203-204, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor P. Jones.

[243]        Pgs. 182-183, The Overcomer, December 1913.

[244]        Pg. 170, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. His “nervous condition” was also the stated reason for why “when his mother went seriously ill, the news was not passed on to Evan” (pg. 170, ibid.).

[245]        Pg. 193, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[246]        Pg. 210, Review of “Glory Filled The Land, A Trilogy On The Welsh Revival Of 1904–1905. Richard Owen Roberts, ed.; H. Elvet Lewis, G. Campbell Morgan and I. Neprash. Wheaton, IL: International Awakening Press, 1989,” Jim Elliff, in Reformation and Revival 8:2 (Spring 1999) 206-213.

[247]        “An Accomplished Ministration,” by Evan Roberts, in The Overcomer magazine, December 1914, pgs. 178-181. As Jessie Penn-Lewis declared: “God Himself will speak to His watching saints to make ready for His Coming; for if the Holy Spirit is preparing to withdraw from the world, we may reasonably expect that He who so definitely led His servants in the past, has now as clearly led to the closure of their service in the Overcomer, as a work completed, ere the Church ascends” (pg. 186, The Overcomer, December 1914).

[248]        Pg. 201, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[249]        Pg. 179, “An Accomplished Ministration,” The Overcomer, December 1914. Capitalization retained from the original.

[250]        Pg. 176, The Overcomer, December 1914.

[251]        Pg. 247, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor P. Jones. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos, 1997.

[252]        Pg. 91, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor P. Jones. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos, 1997.

[253]        Pg. 177, The Overcomer, December 1913.

[254]        Pg. 190, “War on   the Saints: A brief review of its dispensational significance,” in The Overcomer magazine, December 1914.

[255]        This allegorization, of course, was central in the “latter rain” doctrine of Pentecostalism; the “latter rain” concept was believed and taught by even the earliest Pentecostals such as Charles Parham (cf. “The Strange Early History of Pentecostalism,” by David Cloud, and numerous other resources on the Fundamental Baptist CD-ROM Library; also pg. 81, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson; pgs. 26-28, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Dayton).

[256]        Pg. 17, The Awakening in Wales, Jessie Penn-Lewis.

[257]        Chapter 12, War on the Saints, Penn-Lewis.

[258]        Pg. 194, “The Change of the Dispensations,” in The Overcomer magazine, December 1914.

[259]        Pg. 190, “War on   the Saints: A brief review of its dispensational significance,” in The Overcomer magazine, December 1914.

[260]        Pg. 191, “War on   the Saints: A brief review of its dispensational significance,” in The Overcomer magazine, December 1914.

[261]        When the world did not end in 1914, Jessie Penn-Lewis retained much of the theology developed around her and Evan Roberts’ date-setting; thus, she preached in 1927, the “great tribulation” was almost upon the world, and “with prophetic words . . . she spoke of days of persecution which the Church w[ould] face in the near future” (pgs. 296, 301, Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis: A Memoir, Mary N. Garrard).

[262]        Pg. 174, “The Finished Testimony,” by Jessie Penn-Lewis, in The Overcomer, December 1914.

[263]        Pg. 248, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones.

[264]        Pg. 249, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones. The eschatological views of her later years are recorded on pgs. 281-290, ibid.

[265]        Pg. 178, The Overcomer, December 1913. The Overcomer magazine itself had a worldwide influence, reaching “the spiritual section of the Church in every land,” being distributed in “Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Soudan [sic], Egypt, North Africa, Japan, Korea, China, Thibet [sic], India, Burmah [sic], Northern and Southern Europe, North and South and Central America, and isle after isle on the seas” (pg. 186, The Overcomer, December 1914).

[266]        Pg. 214, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones. One notes that this requirement that spiritual unity and holiness increase as a prerequisite for the coming of Christ is exactly the opposite of what Scripture affirms the last days will be like (2 Timothy 3:1ff.)—but since setting dates for the return of Christ is also exactly the opposite of the teaching of Scripture (Matthew 24:36), perhaps one ought not to be surprised.

[267]        Pgs. 196-199, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[268]        Pg. 216, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones.

[269]        Pg. 218, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones.

[270]        Pg. 101, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[271]        Pg. 183, The Pentecostals, Walter Hollenweger.

[272]        Pg. 527, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope. The “social effects of the revival,” although significant, lasted “only for a short time” (pg. 528, ibid.).   “Concern was expressed in the denominational press as early as 1907 that the chapels were emptier than they had been” (pg. 529, ibid.).

[273]        Pg. 102, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[274]        Cf. also pg. 521, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.

[275]        Pg. 525, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.

[276]        Pg. 168, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[277]        Pg. 180, The Overcomer, December 1914.

[278]        Pg. 120, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[279]        Pg. 126, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[280]        Pg. 159, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[281]        Pg. 173, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[282]        Pg. 113, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[283]        Pg. 105, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[284]        Pg. 108, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[285]        Pgs. 110-112, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[286]        Pg. 114, 116, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[287]        Pg. 113, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[288]        Pg. 104, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. The historic Baptist view of Spirit baptism correctly notes that Acts 2:17-21 and Joel 2:28-32 do not refer to events taking place after the first century and before the seventieth week of Daniel 9; see “Spirit Baptism: A Completed Historical Event. An Exposition and Defense of the Historic Baptist View of Spirit Baptism,” by Thomas Ross. Elec. acc. http://sites.google.com/site/thross7.

[289]        Pg. 109, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Further instances of visions, voices, and similar manifestations, some of which Roberts affirmed were from God, and others from Satan, are recorded on pgs. 25, 26, 29, 31, 35, 40, 48, 77, 84, 104, 113, 135, 154, 267, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

Penn-Lewis argued: “Joel said in those days will I pour out my Spirit.’ The expression [i]s in the long Hebrew tense, expressing continuance of action, literally an incoming, unfinished, and continuous outpouring[.] It therefore appears that the words ‘in those days’ cover the whole dispensation of the Spirit, beginning with the Day of Pentecost” (pgs. 14-15, The Awakening in Wales). For this reason, although Joel is actually not speaking about the “dispensation of the Spirit” in the church age in context, since “those days” (Joel 2:29; 3:1, hD;mEhDh MyImÎ¥yA;b) refers to the Tribulation period (3:1ff.), Penn-Lewis nonetheless goes on to argue in later portions of The Awakening in Wales that the signs and wonders of Joel 2 should be expected in her time and in the remaining portion of this age. Her alleged proof from the fact that the Hebrew verb JKwôøÚpVvRa, “I will pour,” is in the imperfect tense, which is exactly what Joel would use to express a simple future, and which cannot possibly bear her “incoming, unfinished, and continuous” idea the overwhelming majority of the time the verb appears in the imperfect tense in the Bible (Genesis 37:22; Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 34; Deuteronomy 12:16, 24; 15:23; 2 Kings 19:32; Job 16:13; Psalm 42:4; 102:1; 142:2; Isaiah 37:33; Jeremiah 7:6; 22:3; Ezekiel 7:8; 33:25; Daniel 11:15; Hosea 5:10; Joel 2:28–29) is not a little curious, but since she knew no Hebrew, perhaps it is understandable.

[290]        Pg. 216, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[291]        Pg. 221-223, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[292]        Pg. 221, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[293]        Pg. 224, An Instrument of Revival, Jones. Indeed, in the 1930s there was “a serious decline . . . [in the] thousand nonconformist chapels of Welsh Wales . . . [a great] decline in spiritual vitality” (pg. 225, ibid.), a decline, indeed, that set in immediately after and as a result of Roberts’ ministry in the holiness revival of 1904. Roberts wrote about the decline in Welsh Christianity in the years after the holiness revival in 1904 through the 1930s: “Where are the multitudes which used to grow on the rich meadows of the precious Gospel?” (pg. 269, ibid).

[294]        Pg. 224, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[295]        Pg. 225, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[296]        Pgs. 228, 248, cf. 225-258, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[297]        Pg. 182, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.

[298]        Pgs. 239-240, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[299]        Pg. 247, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[300]        Pg. 249, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[301]        Calvinistic Methodist Archive, National Library of Wales, 25632, cited pg. 526, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.

[302]        Pg. 526, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.

[303]        Contrast the inaccurate statement that Roberts died “a man of rare charm and spirituality” on pg. 129 of The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck. Polluck would have done well to dig more deeply rather than simply reproducing the hagiography of Roberts’ obituary.

[304]        Pg. 254-256, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

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Thomas Ross