More Resources on Soteriology: The Biblical Doctrine of Salvation

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Excursus X: An Excerpt from “A Warning Exhortation Against Pietists, Quietists, and all Who in a Similar Manner have Deviated to a Natural and Spiritless Religion under the Guise of Spirituality,” by Wilhelmus à Brakel[1]

            Among those who espouse blind popery—whose religion does not differ much from paganism—there have always been those who have rejected creature-worship and who have written much about internal religion, elevating this as highly as their natural intellect would permit them. These persons are referred to as mystical writers (that is, hidden writers) since the general public did not achieve such a level of contemplation, such elevation of spirit having been concealed from them. Today many are very fond of the word mystical, as if it implies a high level of spirituality. . . . [Such]have little to say about the Lord Jesus as being the ransom and righteousness of sinners—about how He, by a true faith, must be used unto justification and in approaching unto God, beholding in His countenance the glory of God, and practicing true holiness as originating in Him and in union with Him. . . . Numerous imaginations originating in empty minds, natural speculations, deceptions of Satan, dreams, and zealotry go under the name of mysticism . . . [including] the Quakers[.] . . .

            [The Roman Catholic] Michael de Molinos . . . rejected all external exercises of religion and proposed that one need only be in a quiet and introverted frame God-ward in order to be irradiated by Him. . . . [He sought] the elimination of all external activity, including the activity of the intellect and any spiritual elation. This would consist in being totally divorced from self, being elevated above all things, being fully united with God, and in passive reflection to lose one’s self fully in God, thus worshiping Him in pure love. This is how far the illusions and vain speculations of the natural man—who is void of the Spirit and ignorant of God—can go. Since he excluded all external and spiritual motions and promoted quietness in both areas, his followers, many of whom are to be found among Papists and various sects, are called Quietists, that is, those who are quiet or at rest.

            Some years after Molinos, François de Salignac de Lamothe Fenelon, [Roman Catholic] Archbishop of Cambrai, published . . . The Exposition of the Fundamental Propositions of the Saints, or, Inner [Spiritual] Life). It is truly not a spiritual book. Fabricated spiritual matters—which are neither to be found in Holy Writ, nor in the practice of the saints—are elevated in a natural manner to as high a level as natural reflection can possibly bring them. He is of the same mold as Molinos and the previous mystical writers among the Papists. They teach a love (or lovelessness), a beholding of God and union with God to consist in some nonessential fancy contrary to the Word of God. This Word teaches us to behold God in the face of Christ as He reveals Himself in the work of redemption. As such God is known and believed by the truly regenerate and true believers. This renders them joy in, and love for, God, causing them to glorify God.

            The difference between the self-denial, love, beholding of God, etc., of the mystics and of the truly godly consists in this: The mystics comprehend, say, and do everything according to their natural intellect, fantasy, and imagination, doing so without the Spirit. They do not make use of the Lord Jesus (that is, as a ransom, and righteousness unto justification and peace), as being the only way of approach unto God, and unto true and genuine sanctification. Such exercises and this way are hidden from them. Those, however, who are truly godly, regenerate, and who truly believe, live by faith and not by sight. In all things they make use of the Lord Jesus. They come to the Father by Him, accustom themselves to behold God in the face of Jesus Christ, do everything as in the presence of God, and walk before God’s countenance in humility, fear, love, and obedience. These are the old paths. From this you can observe that the difference between the mystics and the truly godly is as the difference between imagination and truth; between being natural and without the Spirit and being led by the Spirit; between worldly and heavenly; between seeking an unknown God and serving the true God; and between being engaged without, and contrary to, the Holy Scriptures (dabbling with invisible things), and living according to the written Word of God. A truly godly person remains humble and serves God in Spirit and truth, and is thus kept from the temptation of entertaining high-minded and fabricated imaginations. . . .

            I shall state and defend some propositions whereby the errors will be evident and whereby a believer, holding fast to those truths, will be delivered from their temptations.

            PROPOSITION 1: A Christian must have a great love for the truth; all splendid pretense void of love for the truth is deceit. . . . [T]his truth is the seed of regeneration; that is, it is the means whereby man is drawn out of darkness into marvelous light. “Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth” (James 1:18); “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Pet 1:23). He who therefore neither knows nor has the truth cannot be regenerated. If he is not regenerated, however, all his speaking about spiritual things is but the work of nature and he is entirely devoid of the truth. . . . [T]he truth is the means, fountain, and rule from which holiness issues forth and according to which it must be regulated. Holiness is the loving observance of truth. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Eph 4:14-15). The Lord Jesus when praying for holiness for His own, beseeches that it may come about by the truth. “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). If the heart is to be purified, it must occur by means of the truth. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit” (1 Pet 1:22). He who lives in sin is a slave and servant of sin. He who is set free from sin is set free by the truth—a truth comprehended and known well. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). To live holily is to walk in the truth. “… even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 3-4). Someone who neither knows nor has the truth cannot be holy. Whatever he manifests is but the natural work of an unconverted person. Every step which deviates from the truth is impure and causes impurity in the way of holiness. . . . If we love the truth, we shall hate all that is opposed to the truth, however insignificant it may be[.] . . . One cannot trifle with the truth. It is too precious a gift from God[,] and God takes notice of how we deal with it. . . . [N]ot only is it contrary to God’s will to have fellowship with error, but also with those who espouse error. . . . Thus, every [church] member must be on guard against intermingling with those who espouse false doctrine. Hear what the command is: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor 6:14-15,17). If you stand in awe of God’s majesty, if you tremble at His Word, and if the truth is precious to you, be on guard against false doctrine, false teachers, and for men who are mired in error, however attractive they may appear to be. Let your heart be governed by the exhortation of the apostle: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed” (2 John 1:10); that is, have no fellowship with him and avoid him so that you will not be drawn away from the truth by him in the least. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom 16:17-18).

            How necessary it is to carefully heed this proposition! Compare yourself to this. Do you have such a tender love for the truth? Is it that precious to you? Do you joyfully give thanks to God for it? Do you live according to it? Do you engage in battle on its behalf? Do you indeed abhor all error and those who espouse it? Are you fearful and concerned about associating with such persons? If such is the case with you, then you are not in danger of being misled by the elevated language of [false teachers such as mystical quietists], for you will immediately perceive whether they have and promote either the truth or error, and whether they have love for the truth. . . .

            PROPOSITION 2: A Christian must have great love and esteem for the church. . . . He who . . . view[s] the church from every dimension with a spiritual eye and heart, will not only be ignited with love for the congregation and, with ecstasy, stand in awe of the glory of the church, but he will also be provoked to holy wrath against all those who would dare to undertake anything which is detrimental to the church. The [comments] above will give sufficient reasons to be on guard against the delusions of [mystical quietists]. They exert every effort to ruin the church—if this were possible. They reject the church, church order, the divine commission of ministers, the ministry of the Word . . . [t]hey thus make themselves guilty of the abominable sin of despising the congregation of God. “ . . . or despise ye the church of God” (1 Cor 11:22). He who despises the church of God despises God Himself and the riches of His goodness, and will not escape the judgment of God. Even though the one [Quietist] espouses this and another person again different heresies and errors, all of them holding to opinions of their own, they agree in this respect that their religion consists in stripping themselves as being nothing (in reference to God, that is), and in the contemplation upon an imaginary and fabricated God. They ascend in this as far as their natural perception will enable them, which to such darkened individuals appears as wondrous light and as being wondrously spiritual. Occasionally they come together to listen to someone speak of these matters. Their religion furthermore consists in manifesting an indiscriminate love for people of various sects—even as far as the wallet is concerned. He who has no love for the church has no love for God. He who is engaged in battling the church is battling God and will endure His judgment. . . . [T]hey make a great display of spirituality and thereby gain entrance with the upright. They thus lead them away from the church and from true religion. Therefore you must, first of all, keep in mind what their objective is, and from that perspective judge their fair speeches. However, do not permit yourself to be ensnared by these fair speeches, nor to be tempted to the commission of the dreadful sin of leaving the church and engaging in battle against her. “He that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matt 12:30).

            PROPOSITION 3: The Holy Scriptures are the only rule for doctrine and life. In the first proposition we have demonstrated how precious and lovely the truth is, and that he who loves the truth, hating all who deviate therefrom, will withdraw himself from all who depart from the truth—and thus also from the Pietists. In the second proposition we have discussed the esteem and love which all lovers of the church have for the people or congregation of God from which the [quietists] are separated. To this we shall now add the preciousness and loveliness of the Word of God, in which all saving truth is comprehended, upon which the church is built, and which God has given to the church for the purpose of preserving and spreading it. This the [quietists] either reject or minimize.

            God has caused the way of salvation (there being but one, which is hidden from the natural man) to be recorded so that His people would have a steadfast rule of doctrine and life, and be protected against the deceits of Satan. . . . God has furthermore given such a record in order that the church be protected against the deceits of men who make use of craftiness, causing people to err in a subtle manner. He has also done so in order that everyone would be protected against his own heart which carries within it the seed of all heresy and error. This way of salvation, having thus been recorded, has been entrusted to the church in order that she would preserve it in its purity, transmit it from generation to generation and from nation to nation, proclaiming it everywhere unto the conversion of men, to lead the converted to the church, and to govern the faith and life of the members of the church.

            The Word of God is the foundation upon which the church is built (Eph 2:19-20), the insignia of the true church, the nourishment of the church, the only rule of faith and life, and the sword against the enemies who err and battle against the truth—it is everything to the church. There is no church without the Word and there is no Word without the church. . . . The Spirit who has inspired the Word and causes believers to perceive, taste, and experience those matters contained in the Word, assures them of the divinity of that Word. He does this not only by means of its inherent evidences of divinity, but also by way of immediate operation in their hearts. . . . Even though a natural man reads and hears of the mysteries of the Word of God, he does not understand them unless God by His Spirit makes them known to his soul by immediate revelation. . . . [Quietists]lack this spiritual light. They have natural light concerning God’s majesty and the insignificance of the creature. They perceive that man’s felicity consists in the beholding of God; and by means of the Holy Scriptures their natural light becomes increasingly clear. Since these persons do not understand the spiritual mysteries, they occupy themselves with a natural beholding of God, imagining that their natural perceptions are wondrously spiritual, and far exceed the Word and that of those who are truly illuminated. Yet such perceptions are nothing but fabrications and illusions which deprive them of salvation.

            Not only do the Holy Scriptures contain mysteries, but they also contain all mysteries which God wills His children to know, and which are needful for their spiritual functioning here and the enjoyment of felicity hereafter. Therefore, to teach spiritual matters or spiritual exercises which have neither been revealed nor prescribed in God’s Word is deceit. . . .There is nothing lacking in the Word—neither small nor great, low nor high. “The law of the Lord is perfect” (Ps 19:7). He who either adds to or subtracts from it shall have no part in all the promises recorded in the Word. Rather, all the curses which are declared in the Word will come upon them (Deut 4:2; Rev 22:18-19). . . .The Word of God is “able to make thee wise unto salvation … and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim 3:15-17). One cannot desire anything beyond this; he who fabricates something else accuses God’s Word of being deficient. God demands nothing beyond this; he who demands, seeks, and does something apart from Scripture cannot please God with his will-worship. . . .

            The Holy Scriptures are the only rule for doctrine and life. He who wishes to live godly and desires to be saved must regulate his intellect, will, affections, words, deeds, and entire religion according to this Word. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa 8:20); “Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Thy commandments. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word” (Ps 119:6,9); “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet 4:11). Therefore—whoever you may be—if you love godliness and salvation, if you have esteem and reverence for God, you ought also to have respect and esteem for the revealed will of God which, by the goodness of God, has been given to us unto salvation. Let this Word be your only rule . . . and you will walk surely. . . .

            If the Word of God is so precious to you, if you love it so, and if you make it your rule for faith and life, you will be immune to the delusion of the [Quietists]. If you are taken in and shaken by their speech—having the appearance of spirituality—and you turn to the Word of God, you will immediately perceive that it is not according to the Word, that the Word of God does not speak in that fashion, and that God does not lead His children in such a manner; the Word of God will be a shield to you.

            When you encounter them, you must investigate first of all what knowledge of, esteem for, and study they make of the Word. You will then perceive that some reject it entirely, ignore it, and will not respond to your investigation. Others will perceive it as a primer, from which little ones and beginners derive benefit; they contend that one must ascend beyond the Word and engage in more elevated contemplations. However, they will either deny or be silent about the fact that the Word has been inspired by God and has been appointed to be the only and eternal rule—which you may interpret as a denial. Others, who do not perceive the spirituality of the Word with their natural eyes, will deem it to be of little value and will view it as a dead letter, having neither spirit nor life. They maintain that those who hold to the Word will never become spiritual. Others, in order not to give the appearance of casting aside the Word, and your being frightened by them, will make use of it in their conversation and will quote such Scripture passages which speak of light, beholding, and spirituality. Investigate them more carefully, however, as to whether they believe the Word of God to be inspired in its entirety, and whether they acknowledge it as the only rule for faith and life. You will then experience that things are not in order here. . . . You thus have sufficient reason to reject them, and to consider all their doings to be but natural (which they truly are), thinking of this passage: “Lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?” (Jer 8:9). . . .

            PROPOSITION 4: Regeneration is the originating cause of spiritual life, and of all spiritual thoughts and deeds. . . . However, the point in question is this: What is regeneration and what change does it bring about in man? . . . Many pagans have . . . excelled in conquering their corruptions and in practicing virtue . . . [h]e who reads Cicero, Seneca, Marcus Antonius, Epictus, and other pagan writers will stand amazed.

            Regeneration does also not consist in losing sight of yourself; it does not consist in abstaining from aiming at or seeking prosperity and salvation, or your joy and delight for yourself, and instead lose yourself in nothing else but the beholding of God alone. It does not consist in the reflection upon and beholding of God, in sinking away in God, and in continually bringing yourself in the presence of God. All of that can also be the work of nature; pagans, idolatrous Papists, and other proponents of error do likewise.

            It does not consist in the increase of natural light and virtuousness, as if man would be regenerated were light to exceed darkness or virtuousness sin. For,

            (1) growth is of the same nature as the principle from which it originates. The principle of light and virtuousness is natural, and thus also the increase in both—regardless of how far it may go.

            (2) The natural man, however illuminated, virtuous, humble, and exalted he may be in his beholding of God, is and remains a fool (Rom 1:22), without God and without hope (Eph 2:12), and blind (Eph 4:18; 1 Cor 2:14). Thus, regeneration does not consist in the increase of the matters [here] mentioned.

            (3) If this were so, man would not need to be regenerated; however, he does stand in need of this. Growth is the continuation of a principle which already exists, and not the receiving of a principle of life which did not exist previously. Regeneration is, however, the generation of a principle of a life which did not exist previously, and thus a translation from one state—death, into another state—life.

            (4) Regeneration proceeds from the Holy Spirit by means of the gospel; it causes a person to behold God in the face of Jesus Christ, generates spiritual life by union with Christ, and culminates in felicity. None of these things are true for natural light and virtuousness, and they thus differ in their essential nature.

            Regeneration is a complete change of man wrought by the Holy Spirit through the Word. This change is both internal and external. It is from death to life, from natural to spiritual, from an earthly disposition to a heavenly disposition, from self and all creatures to Christ, and through Him to God. Regeneration begins in the heart and in the innermost recesses of the soul. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Ezek 36:26). The heart encompasses the intellect, will, and affections.

            When someone comes under conviction and receives a desire toward God, he will then initially be in danger of striving for great things. Since natural religion is easier—having the cooperation of nature (true regeneration being contrary to man’s nature)—he will very readily be drawn away to [Quietism], which is nothing else but a natural religion. He will thus be in danger of remaining in a natural state and of perishing. . . . When you are in the company of these people (however, I counsel you to avoid them and to stay with the church and the godly in the church), do not be taken back by highly elevated matters which have a great appearance of spirituality and thus are very attractive to beginning Christians. If, however, you ask them to speak about regeneration, you will find them to be ignorant in that respect or to be entirely in error. This will be sufficient for you to see that all their activity is but natural and thus draws away from true holiness and communion with God, and consequently from salvation itself. And if there is someone among them who was truly a partaker of the principle of regeneration prior to joining with them, and thus is able to speak soundly about this, do not allow yourself to be deceived along with him who is deceived. The principle of his life is indeed true and he will be saved, but the hay, straw, and stubble which he has built upon it will be burned. Regeneration is imperfect and we must therefore not follow them in all that they do; they also still sin. They, possessing a spiritual principle, can nevertheless yield somewhat to their nature which is yet in them, and thus can practice self-denial and behold God in a natural sense. This will cause them to be a Christian of small stature where true growth is absent. Therefore, take heed.

            PROPOSITION 5: A Christian continually avails himself of faith. . . . In order for someone to be a partaker of [the] Savior, he must respond to [the] offer [in Scripture], go to Christ, receive Him, and entrust himself entirely to Him. This act of faith is not the cause of a person becoming a partaker of Jesus, but only the means. Therefore, whether faith is weak or strong, whether it is exercised with clarity or be it in darkness, whether it is exercised with much ease or much strife, is not of the essence, but rather, whether it is done in truth with the heart. . . .

            Faith is the beginning point of whatever believers undertake. Faith is the soul of their activity and permeates everything. By faith they take hold of His strength and thereby are active as though it were their strength. By faith they overcome the world, are united with the fullness of Christ, and become partakers of all His benefits. . . . If you are upon this way and exercise faith in the manner here delineated, see to it that you persevere in the same way. Do not ever depart from this way, for it will safely bring you to the end of your faith . . . [y]ou will be safeguarded against the errors of . . . all . . . who are in error as far as the practice of godliness is concerned. . . .

            There are also those who at one time have received Jesus as their Savior. This task having been accomplished, they might as well proceed to perfection and pursue more lofty things. Poor people—as if it were possible to grow, apart from Christ; as if we could live, except by faith and the continual, actual beholding of Christ and being in union with Him; and as if we could bear fruit without continually drawing sap and nourishment from Christ! He who conducts himself in such (or even stranger) fashion, let him be convinced of his error and turn to Christ, in order to make use of Him continually unto . . . sanctification[.] . . . If someone is upright in the exercise of faith, but yet small in grace, let that which has been said be as a beacon. Let him flee from all who do not enter upon this way of faith and who with a great show of spirituality fail to encounter Jesus.

            PROPOSITION 6: All of man’s felicity, here and hereafter, consists in communion with and the beholding of God. . . . This is the most excellent promise: “I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him” (John 14:23); “We will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). Their seeing of God agrees with the manner in which God reveals Himself from His side. “And hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true” (1 John 5:20); “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18); “For God . . . hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). Such is the activity and the exercise of the godly: “I have set the Lord always before me” (Ps 16:8); “ . . . they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance” (Ps 89:15); “My meditation of Him shall be sweet” (Ps 104:34); “How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! . . . when I awake, I am still with Thee” (Ps 139:17-18). This is sufficient to conclude that the beholding of God is reserved for God’s children only. . . . God does not reveal Himself to the world; that is, to the unconverted, to natural men, to those who do not have the Spirit. This is evident in John 14:22, 17, “Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world . . . the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him.” . . . Therefore, whatever the natural man writes or speaks concerning reflecting upon, beholding of, and being united to God in love, is nothing more than an illusion.

            Although a natural man cannot ascend to the right knowledge and beholding of God, and since God does not reveal Himself to such, he nevertheless knows from nature that God is, and that his felicity consists in communion with God. This is further reinforced by the natural knowledge of the Word of God. As a result, many have engaged themselves in beholding God, so that the beholding of God and the discussion thereof is no evidence of spirituality.

            I repeat, many unconverted do engage themselves in beholding God by means of their natural light, or by means of their knowledge of the Word of God.

            (1) This is very evident among the heathen, who speak concerning this in their writings, doing so with such lofty expressions that a Christian must be amazed and astonished about it.

            (2) This is also evident among the popish mystics and thinkers. They are obviously idolaters, for they worship a piece of bread as their God. They pray to angels and deceased persons and render religious honor to images. They destroy the atonement of the Lord Jesus by their abominable mass and in other ways. They wish to be justified by their own works, and thereby merit heaven. They acknowledge the antichrist to be their head and hate true believers. They are persecutors of the church of the Lord Jesus; and they, either by their contribution or by having pleasure in this, are guilty of the blood of the martyrs, and are thus much more abominable than the heathen and others who function only in the realm of the natural. They write and speak much about divine meditations, doing so with expressions which are as lofty as their imagination can devise—yes, their words even exceed imagination, and if they cannot understand them, others may understand them. If they cannot, they may be amazed about these incomprehensible expressions.

            (3) This is also evident among many others (not of the popish religion) who also engage themselves in meditation and reflection about divine things. It is evident that they neither have a knowledge of nor a love for the truth. They neither have a love for the Word of God nor do they establish it as their only rule for doctrine, thoughts, and life. There is no love for the church (from which they depart), and there is neither love for nor union with the truly godly. They can unite themselves with all manner of devoted people, but cannot tolerate the truly godly who rebuke them by means of their light. They are unacquainted with the nature of true conversion. This is also true for saving faith, they being total strangers of its exercise. . . . [T]hey speak about great things, about being drawn up, about ascending above themselves and above all creatures—yes, dreadful though it be, above God Himself. The language of Balaam is heard among them: “The man whose eyes are open . . . which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance” (Num 24:3-4).

            From that which has been said, it is very evident that unconverted persons also engage themselves in beholding God. You therefore ought not to be immediately inclined to think that those who speak thus—that is, who in a charming manner speak of extraordinary illumination—are true recipients of grace and are truly spiritual. The blind can also speak of light, the unspiritual of the spiritual, and those who are alienated from God about communion with God, and the loveless about love—doing so not feignedly, but from a heart that thinks to have and speak the truth. You must therefore investigate whether that which they say about beholding God is truly spiritual. Follow the advice of the apostle John: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

            In order not to be hastily inclined by word or spirit, attentively take note of what has been said thus far: There is a twofold beholding of God—a natural and a spiritual.

            (1) The natural beholding of God is practiced by the unconverted; the spiritual beholding of God by those who are true recipients of grace, have truly been regenerated, and truly believe.

            (2) The natural beholding of God occurs by the light of nature and the external illumination of the Word, by one’s own spirit, imagination, and mental powers, and by the drawing of rational conclusions; the spiritual beholding of God occurs by the illumination of the Holy Spirit who has drawn believers out of darkness into His marvelous light.

            (3) The natural beholding of God has God as its object as He reveals Himself in nature as the eternal, exalted, and glorious One, etc. In the spiritual beholding of God a person beholds Him in the face of Jesus Christ; that is, in the manifestation of all the perfections of God in the work of redemption. In such spiritual beholding He reveals Himself at times in an immediate sense as their reconciled God and Father, doing so occasionally with such light, glory, sweetness, and bliss that it cannot be expressed, and at other times with such expressions as: “I, God, am your God; I am your salvation; I have loved thee with an everlasting love; thou art Mine.”

            (4) The natural beholding of God leaves a man alienated from God; the separation remains. The illusion of being united with God is but a union according to their own imagination, for true union occurs only by way of faith—something they do not possess. The spiritual beholding of God brings the soul near to God—yes, unites her with God as belonging to Him. “. . . that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21). Oh, blessed unity! Oh, blessed appropriation!

            (5) The natural beholding of God leaves man unchanged, that is, in the state of nature—even though through the knowledge of God they may flee from the excessive pollutions of the world. The spiritual beholding of God causes the soul to become increasingly a partaker of the divine nature, and to become holy as He is holy. By the Spirit of the Lord, the soul is transformed through such beholding—in harmony with the object being beheld—from glory to glory. See to it that you do not immediately deem all beholding of God to be spiritual in nature.

            It is evident from the nature of their reflection, that the beholding by God of such persons—which in reality consists more in elevated words than in substance—is the result of natural illumination and imagination. Such beholding varies greatly according to everyone’s physical constitution, inclinations, and power of imagination. What follows represents the common manner in which this transpires; if someone is not exercised in the manner as we shall now delineate, he should know that we do not have him in view.

            (1) Some, as they undertake such reflection, meditate upon what they know about God in a natural sense, and have read or heard of God. They do not consider at that moment that they have read or heard this. While thus meditating, they ascend from one thing to the next, having conceptions about God in accordance with what their heart and imagination suggest. They then think about what they imagine, and all that is engendered by such thoughts. God must then be as such reflections project Him to be, and in this manner God has then revealed Himself to the soul. It is immaterial whether such thoughts of God are suitable and in harmony with the Holy Scriptures; this revelation is sufficient assurance for them that it is true and spiritual.

            (2) Some will mentally withdraw from all creatures, themselves, and God. They are occupied with nothing except with expelling those mental objects which present themselves time and again. They thus endeavor to be without thoughts, as if nothing existed, and they thus enter and sink away into thick darkness. If a ray of light then falls upon their mind in this thick darkness, without the discovery of anything objective, they consider this to be of the Spirit. They allow themselves to be illuminated and guided by this light, and as this light increases, God is unveiled to them as being such and such. This they observe passively—as being the recipient of it, allowing themselves to be illuminated thereby. The soul is thus ignited in love and receives such motions and stirrings, until they again come to themselves and desist for the time being.

            (3) Some, having a desire to approach unto God and to behold Him, divest themselves of all reason, memory, affections, and even of those thoughts which initially ignited the inclination to contemplate upon God as having served their purpose. Having thus been emptied of everything, the soul turns to God, considering Him to be her God, and continually thinks: “Oh God, Thou art my God, and I am Thine.” The soul then listens to what God will subsequently reveal of Himself, and thus, in an infatuated manner, focuses upon God as being present. Here she reposes, tastes more than she sees, worships, exults, is in subjection, and exercises love. The only things missing here are the Spirit, spiritual life, the exercises of faith, the going to God through Christ, and the beholding of God in the face of Christ. Since these things are absent, they are all the work and imaginations of a person’s own doing. They are but natural exercises and thus of no value.

            (4) Some remain quiet and in a disposition wherein which they are turned unto God, and do nothing but wait upon the Spirit. If nothing comes to mind, then they again proceed, being well satisfied. If something occurs to them, they deem this to be of the Spirit; then this is truth, and is more certain and infallible than the Word of God which they consider to be but a dead letter, a primer for beginners, and of no benefit whatsoever. If the thought which occurs to them gives direction to do or not to do something, it is considered to be the leading of the Spirit and they give heed to it. They do not pray, speak, or do anything unless they are motivated by such an idea coming to mind; they thus, quietly and with delight, live on. When they are stirred up by an idea which occurred to them, they depend on this, irrespective of whether it either agrees with or is contrary to God’s Word. This they do not investigate; it is a matter of indifference to them. They are thus carried away by their own spirit to abominable practices from which even the natural man recoils. This is borne out by the witness of those whom God in His goodness has converted from the error of their ways, and is also taught by daily experience. Some go further than that and play prophet. When thoughts about future events occur to their empty minds, they are deemed to be revelations which will either occur or not occur. Poor, misguided people! They desire to seek God and to do His pleasure, but completely miss the way itself. With all their ideas and the adamant passion of their own spirit they perish.

            It behooves all Christians to live in the presence of God, to examine themselves as to what is the good will of God in which He delights, to esteem the Word of God as the revealed will of God and as an infallible rule, and continually to give heed to the leading of the Spirit. It behooves them to give careful heed to their well-illuminated conscience and to be desirous not to act contrary to it. To follow one’s own spirit and ideas, however, as if they were from the Holy Spirit, is to run to one’s own destruction.

            In order to be safeguarded against such fanaticism, we must keep the following in mind:

            (1) Man has his own spirit; there are many seducing spirits, and the evil spirit can transform himself into an angel of light. He, with the intent to deceive, can give thoughts which are essentially good, but stir man up to use them in an erroneous manner. We must therefore give heed and know by which spirit we are being moved.

            (2) The Holy Spirit convinces man of sin and causes him to grieve, be perplexed, and in many ways be troubled about his sin.

            (3) The man who is conquered by the Holy Spirit will be regenerated and translated from darkness to light, from death to life, and from being earthly minded to being heavenly minded.

            (4) The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of faith who brings God’s children to Christ, causing them to receive Jesus by a true faith as their ransom and righteousness.

            (5) The Holy Spirit unites His children and keeps them united to the church, for by one Spirit are they all baptized into one body (1 Cor 12:13).

            (6) The Holy Spirit leads believers in all things according to the Word of God; He leads them into all truth. The Word of God is truth, however, and the only rule by which we shall not err. By that Word He regenerates, sanctifies, leads, and comforts them.

Know then with certainty that where these matters are not found, there God’s Spirit is not present. Be assured that whatever is deemed to be spiritual but which does not harmonize with the above, is nothing but illusionary and are seductions of a man’s own spirit. Regardless of how greatly one may boast of spirituality, be instructed and warned. Know that the Holy Spirit is given only to the children of God and that only those who are led by the Spirit do indeed have the Spirit of Christ. The natural man, however, does not have the Spirit (Jude 19); the world cannot receive the Spirit; it neither sees nor knows Him.

            It is evident to the truly godly, when considering these ways of beholding God, that they are all but a natural work. This can especially be concluded from the fact that such persons consider the greatest mark of spirituality to be the measure by which a person is stripped of himself and loses sight of himself so completely as if he did not exist. This is not due to a shameful view of their sins, but the result of comparing themselves to God, or it is without reason, or because of the opinion that thus it must be. This is foolish spirituality, which is nothing but the fruit of nature! Why do you delight yourself in such contemplation wherein you utterly lose sight of yourself and do not think about yourself? Is not self your focus in this and do you not deem this to be your salvation? Why then do you engage in this? You neither need to nor are able to do it by virtue of it being God’s will, as it is certainly of no benefit to Him. You thus do it for your own sake, since this reflection upon your nothingness is your delight. Therefore, while thinking that you do not have yourself in view at all, and to be rid of self completely, you are nevertheless seeking yourself. Only if such exclusion and deprecation of self were spiritual in nature (while in reality it is natural and sinful), it would not be a sinful seeking of self, but rather a holy seeking of self.

            There can be either a sinful or a holy seeking of self. A sinful seeking of self is when one seeks honor, esteem, love, respect, advantage, etc. in order that all men and everything would end in them. A holy seeking of self is to promote one’s own physical welfare for the purpose of being fit to serve God in whatever capacity that may be. In our seeking after God, it is not sinful to have the welfare of your soul, and thus light, life, love, joy, delight, and salvation in view. Rather, it is evidence of being engaged spiritually in the right way. This is a holy seeking of self, for:

            First, God has created this spiritual seeking of self within man. Did not Adam need to be careful to refrain from eating of the forbidden tree in view of the threat, “The day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”? Did he not have to be in fear of losing his blessed state? Was he not obligated to seek his felicity in communion with God?

            Secondly, God commands His children to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). This they must therefore strive for.

            Thirdly, God continually confronts man with threats in order to save him with fear (Jude 23). Observe this in Luke 13:3, “… except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

            Fourthly, God uses many inducements to persuade man to seek his own salvation. “Come unto Me … and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. . . . For My yoke is easy” (Matt 11:28-30).

            Fifthly, if man should not seek himself and his own well-being, it would be a matter of indifference to him how he fared according to body and soul; and being thus indifferent, all prayers would cease. Then there would be nothing for him to desire or request. God, however, wills that “in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil 4:6). Then all thanksgiving for received benefits would also cease; God, however, wills that we give thanks in everything (1 Thess 5:18). “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col 1:12).

            It is evident from all this that spirituality does not consist in disregarding our welfare, utterly deprecating ourself, utterly losing sight of ourself as far as salvation is concerned, and excluding ourself from everything. Rather, this is a fabricated religion which is contrary to God’s commandment, serving no other purpose but the satisfaction of the flesh and our own imagination.

            Objection #1: Ought not God be the focus of all things and ought not all things end in God? By seeking self, however, man makes himself the focus and ends in self.       Answer: When a godly person focuses upon himself in spiritual matters, he acts according to the command and will of God. It would be impossible for him to end in himself and to remain focused on his felicity only, for that is not the highest level of his felicity. Being a recipient of grace, however, and while enjoying the goodness of God, he will time and again turn to God as the cause of his salvation. He will thus end in Him, thank Him, give honor and glory to Him, and praise Him, because by reason of His essence, all praise must be unto Him, He being worthy thereof. The more pure the manner is in which a spiritual person ends in glorifying God, the more felicity he will enjoy; and the more felicity he enjoys, the more he will end in God. This is not to suggest that he contributes something to God, but rather, that the benefit is man’s. Thus, having his felicity in view and ending in God must go together; the godly person cannot seek the one without exercising the other. As all the godly end in God upon receiving and enjoying the benefits of God, they (especially the fathers in Christ) likewise have the glory of God in view when they begin to undertake something.

            Objection #2: A Christian must deny himself (Matt 16:24), not seek himself (1 Cor 10:24), is nothing (Gal 6:3), and must be lowly of heart (Matt 11:29). Therefore, man must remain outside of everything and neither seek nor have himself in mind in anything.

            Answer: There is a threefold self. First, there is a sinful self; that is, pride, maliciousness, vengefulness, envy, miserliness, immorality, and all the sinful lusts of the heart, along with the deeds which issue forth therefrom, whereby he seeks to satisfy his lusts and to attain to the fulfillment of his desire. These a Christian must not seek, but he must abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. He must mortify . . . them.

            Secondly, there is also a natural self; that is, to desire and seek all that pertains to the welfare of the body, such as food, drink, sleep, clothing, housing, goods, peaceful association with people, and whatever else pertains to human existence. One may and must seek these things, for no one has ever hated his flesh, but rather, cherishes it. However, a Christian does not set his heart upon them, and it is his objective to serve God in the use of these things. He is resigned to the divine dispensation, and he must be satisfied with either much or little, since these are not his portion. If, however, these matters run counter to the Lord Jesus, His cause, the truth, and godliness, and one is obligated to abstain from one or the other thing, then a Christian will readily deny himself, willingly let go of everything, view the disappearance of his goods with joy, and not even hold his life dear. This is the denial which Christ requires.

            Thirdly, there is a spiritual self; that is, the desire for the salvation and welfare of our soul, consisting in reconciliation with God through the blood of Christ, union with God, and a life in the enjoyment of His fellowship, love, light, and holiness—and thus eternal glory. A Christian may not deny himself these spiritual things. He must always seek them with all his might. It is the life of the soul, the will of God, the command of God, and it pleases God. To neither seek nor pursue this is sin. Man, in having fellowship with and beholding God, may not utterly put self aside and keep himself entirely outside of this. Rather, he must strive for and seek to find pleasure in spiritual delight, joy, love, and holiness.

            Matt 16:24 refers to the natural self; 1 Cor 10:24 refers to the sinful self; Gal 6:3 spreaks of such people who have great thoughts of themselves, despise others, and who in the meantime have no grace, or have but a very small measure.

            Let us consider Matt 11:29. Humility does not exclude self; instead, it does relate to self, for it acknowledges what a person is and what graces and benefits are his. He does not boast of this, since he acknowledges that he does not have them of himself, but that they have been granted to him of God by reason of His goodness alone. He sees his sinfulness and that he is therefore not worthy of anything. He sees virtues and capabilities in other persons which he does not have, and thus exalts them above himself. Having the Lord Jesus as his example, he knows that this lowly and yet noble disposition as a Christian, is pleasing to God. He therefore seeks to walk humbly with his God as a weaned child and in a becoming disposition-one of submission and being obliged toward man. It is hereby very evident that the exclusion of self in beholding God is a sign of something that purely proceeds from nature, is of one’s own choosing, and is a sinful act toward the majestic and holy God.

            There are three things which cause the godly to be troubled more than anything else. It first of all troubles them that [certain mystics and quietists] speak of these lofty contemplations also speak of their union with God, of belonging to God, and that in such contemplation they view God as their God. Secondly, such persons, in an exceptional manner, are able to speak of love for God and of sinking away in the love of God, and, so to speak, being consumed by it. Thirdly, there are some who speak of the beauty and glory of the Lord Jesus in a most extraordinary manner. These three matters, they think, are indeed spiritual and evidences of extraordinary grace. Who would not be enamored by these matters? Who would not desire always to hear this discussed? My response to this is that it cannot but be that truly gracious persons, when hearing others speak of beholding God, of belonging to God, of love to God, and of the beauty and glory of the Lord Jesus, will find love and desire stirring within to be in such a condition. This is due to their acquaintance with these matters in their spiritual nature, and they thus perceive them as such when they hear them being discussed. If those who speak thus would know and possess these matters in their true, spiritual nature, far be it from us to warn them in any way; rather, we would embrace them in love. Since we know, however, that these three matters can issue forth from natural illumination and can be expressed by persons who neither possess true grace nor derive these lofty views from a love for the truth, the Word, the church of the Lord Jesus, conversion, and the exercise of true saving faith, we must of necessity demonstrate how the unconverted can be occupied with these three matters.

            As far as the first matter is concerned, it is common knowledge that temporal believers, those who are externally religious in the state of nature-yes, even heathens-view God as their God and call Him their God. Everyone knows this. Why is it that those who occupy themselves in contemplating God would also not be able to do so? However, just because they imagine this to be so, does not therefore imply that this is indeed the case. God is only the God of true believers who, through Christ, having received His ransom and righteousness, come to God for reconciliation. Those who are therefore strangers of this way, and do not come in truth unto God in this way, do not have God as their portion. God is not their God, and their imaginations are vain and without foundation. . . . In this illusion they proceed to be amazed, to be delighted in, and to rejoice in God as He is, in the fact that this God is their God, and in all that this God is for them. These are great matters indeed. Many who thus contemplate upon God, however, endeavor to rid themselves of all spiritual motions which pertain to themselves, be divorced from self, and neither think of self nor reflect upon themselves. They only wish to contemplate God, be illuminated by Him, and be drawn up on high, into glory, and into eternity. Yes, though it be dreadful to say, they even endeavor to ascend to God in their reflections. Who would then be offened by the claim of such persons that God is their portion and that He is their God?

            Secondly, their love for God is consistent with the manner in which He is their portion. Man has a loving nature, and if he finds or imagines a desirable object, his love goes out toward it. The imagination can have a remarkable effect here, for vain man can imagine something or somebody which or whom he has never seen. He dwells upon this with his thoughts; he delights himself in imaginary conversation, and rejoices in love, as if it were in truth. When a natural man focuses his thoughts upon God, he can also have natural inclinations of love toward God. When in addition he reflects upon the perfections of God—be it through the light of nature or external illumination of the Word—a love issues forth which is not of a spiritual, but of a natural sort. This love is commensurate with their knowledge. It is thus that the heathen delight in God. It is in this manner that idolaters and those who have strayed from saving truth speak of the love of God, the wondrous motions of love, and the kiss of love upon awakening. And thus, by all the motions of natural love which one man can have toward another, they ascend unto God, so that the nature of love does not change, but only the object. They thus dishonor God with their so-called love for Him.

            Objection: Are not all natural men haters of God? “Let them also that hate Him flee before Him” (Ps 68:1); “ . . . haters of God” (Rom 1:30); “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Rom 8:7). Since many who meditate upon God delight in Him in doing so, is this not proof that they are spiritually illuminated and truly regenerate? “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19); “But if any man love God, the same is known of Him” (1 Cor 8:3).

            Answer: Not all that bears the name of love is love. There is a love which is natural and a love which is holy. Natural men—such as the heathen and all the unconverted—have natural love, this being of the same nature as he from whom it proceeds; however, “they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:8). From this natural love we can only conclude that such people are in the state of nature, and not at all that they are spiritual and regenerate. We completely agree that a natural man in beholding the perfections of God as He reveals Himself in nature in His majesty, glory, power, and goodness, etc., can with his natural heart love God in a natural manner. Pagans and other unconverted men have loved Him in this manner. Those who love God in such situations, can hate Him in other respects, demonstrating this by the rejection of His Word, by not receiving His Son, and in hating and persecuting His children. Those who thus meditate upon God in a natural sense are able to associate with all manner of men, but they detest God’s children who truly manifest the image of God. They hate the light because it exposes them, and because they are rebuked by the light in true believers. They show that they hate God by being unwilling to live according to His laws, instead desiring to live according to their own imaginations. They hate His rebukes, and their entire life demonstrates that they do not delight in God.

            If we compare this natural love with the purely spiritual love of God in Christ Jesus—which we shall briefly discuss further on—then we shall perceive that the smallest spark and the tiniest ray of this love is incomparably superior and more pure than all the pretended love of such who meditate upon God, regardless of how they adorn it with beautiful words. The difference is not only one of degree, but of very essence. Oh, how far does this divine spark—that heavenly fire—excel all those dead coals!

            The third matter pertains to the extraordinary manner in which they speak of the glory and beauty of the Lord Jesus. Should it come as a surprise that someone who has the Scriptures, who reads godly literature describing the Lord Jesus in His beauty and glory, and who furthermore has an eloquent tongue, can speak in a most excellent manner about Jesus? Does someone therefore know Jesus Himself? Is this proof that he himself experientially beholds and relishes the Lord Jesus? He who draws conclusions merely on the basis of such eloquent speech is naive, and too little skilled in the matters of Christianity. Take time to observe a person who speaks thus as far as his sentiments are concerned, the company he keeps, his love to the godly in the church, and in reference to the first five propositions of this chapter. You will readily perceive how you must judge such a person. Take particular note, however, of how he speaks concerning the manner in which the soul is led to Jesus as Surety, how the soul is exercised in receiving the Lord Jesus as his ransom and righteousness, as well as its engagement in spiritual wrestlings. You will then perceive that all this lofty speech only relates to the Lord Jesus as King, or as an example for imitation, but not as High Priest in order to find reconciliation and peace with God in His atonement, doing so by a continual and frequently repeated exercise of faith, which is the marrow and essence of true Christianity.

            Some little children in Christ, who are easily driven about by every wind of doctrine, hearing someone speak eloquently about lofty reflections and not being conscious of the thorn hidden in it, become enamored with such a condition as a result of the spiritual life and light which is within them. They may also engage in meditation upon God as the [quietists] do; that is, in a natural manner—however, with different results.

            (1) Some, when they begin, perceive inner strife and have an aversion for this way, although a heartfelt desire for the matter itself remains. They condemn themselves for such resistance and aversion, being of the opinion that this is engendered by their corrupt nature—thinking that it is but laziness and a lack of spirituality. They resume and strive all the more earnestly, but the resistance and aversion remain and increase. Having thus wrestled for some time, they begin to see that their objective—to behold God—is indeed good and spiritual, but that the method is but a natural one, so that this resistance and aversion were not sinful, but an activity of the regenerated nature. They perceive that there is a spiritual way to walk in the light of God’s countenance. They thus escape this snare and desist from pursuing this natural method.

            (2) Others, having the principle of spiritual life, are careless as far as preserving and strengthening it. They are inclined to err in seeking to be someone special. They, when perceiving the appearance of spirituality in such lofty reflections, pursue this method recklessly. When God gives them over to themselves, they err by pursuing their fantasy and natural imaginations—and thus, upon that good foundation which is within them they build wood, hay, and stubble, which will be burned. They will nevertheless be saved since the gifts of God’s grace are without repentance. In the meantime, they make themselves guilty of giving offense and are at times the cause of the damnation of other people who, not possessing grace, have followed them in this work of nature due to the esteem they have for them. It only occurs very rarely that such persons are exercised again in a unadulterated manner and come to the simplicity which is in Christ, since pride—which comes naturally to those who pretend to have such lofty reflections—has also overtaken their heart. Since those that are truly converted can fall and err greatly, we must therefore be careful in judging the deeds of the godly, as not all that they do is good. We may not imitate them just because they are godly, but only inasmuch as they are followers of Christ and walk according to the Word of God. “Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Thy commandments” (Ps 119:6). . . .

            Truly spiritual persons do not make a distinction between meditation and beholding: they are both considered to be human activities. He does make a distinction, however, between the activity of the soul in meditating upon divine things, and the extraordinary revelations of God to the soul engaged in such meditation upon divine things, which the soul—upon receiving them—acknowledges, feels and tastes.

            A believer, however much he may humble himself, will never arrive at beholding God as a result of the measure in which he waits, longs, exerts himself, and lifts up his heart. His duty is to meditate so that he may gain more and more insight into what he knows of God by means of the Word, faith, and experience—in order that he may delight himself in, rejoice in, and adore God, while bowing down before Him to worship Him reverently. He must endeavor to acquaint himself with God, become holier by virtue of having fellowship with Him, and serve God in a manner more pleasing to Him.

            Objection: All of this is self-love and therefore must be rejected.

            Answer: This sort of self-love is holy, commanded by God, pleasing to Him, and a proof of the spirituality of the meditation. Sinful self-love—which manifests itself in the seeking of esteem, honor, love, respect, to be served by others, and to cause all things to end in self—is hated, despised, and avoided by the person who meditates in a godly manner. In seeking his own spiritual welfare in spiritual meditation, he does not end in self, but rather acknowledges all things to be from God and through God. In love and joy he returns all this again to God, giving Him the honor and glory.

            Occasionally God, according to His promise (John 14:21,23), meets such who meditate spiritually with extraordinary and more immediate revelations of Himself, and causes them to behold God in more immediate proximity, and to taste who He is and what He is to them in Christ Jesus. . . . Since God does not reveal Himself to the world and the unconverted, and since they cannot attain to a seeing and beholding of God by their own activity, all their speaking of such beholding, and all their beholding of God is nothing but fantasy, is not in truth, and only a reflection of their thoughts upon the illusions of their own making. . . .

            A believer, who engages himself in meditation upon divine things and seeking fellowship with God, withdraws himself from all things and considers there to be no one but God and himself. He acknowledges himself as a creature of God, as having an immortal soul, and as having been created with a human nature in Adam, excelling in holiness and glory. He also acknowledges that in all things he is miserably distorted, deformed, and abominable—being sinful within and without. He occasionally will focus upon his condition in order to gain a deeper insight about himself and thus acknowledge himself to be unworthy that God would look upon him, or would bestow any grace or benefits upon him. He acknowledges himself to be entirely unfit and unworthy to approach unto this majestic and holy God, although he cannot enjoy light, life, peace, rest, satisfaction, and felicity except in communion with God.

            While thus maintaining this humble frame, he turns his eye to the Mediator, wholeheartedly approving of this holy way to come and to be permitted to approach unto God through Him. . . .

            The soul may also be in a sinful condition. The corruption of the heart may manifest itself; she cannot resist vain thoughts; the lusts of the flesh are exceptionally strong and hold her captive; besetting sins are lively—be it due to disposition, physical condition, or incidents which she either desires, cannot avoid, or may not avoid—and she has little strength against them. She is then perplexed by this; sin is a heavy burden and she is bowed down by it. There is no peace; communion with God has been disturbed, God hides Himself, and faith is assaulted. What now? Any personal initiative does not result in progress; to stay away from God causes more regression. The soul dares not approach unto God due to being too sinful; and to remain in this condition is equivalent to dying continually, whereas there is life and faith in the soul. She makes the resolution to approach unto God, being convinced of her sincerity—not only to be delivered from guilt and punishment, but also from corruption and all the sin which proceeds from this. Such a soul then presents herself to the Lord as sinful and as miserable as she is, together with her grief related to this and her desire to be delivered from it. She meditates upon the free grace of God, that God neither considers anyone’s virtue (which is not naturally present anyway), nor sin, but is gracious because He wills to be gracious to her, and is merciful to whomever He wills. While meditating, she will focus upon the depth of this free grace, approve of it with her whole heart, be enamored with it, and adore it. From this she proceeds to eternal and sovereign election, to eternal love, and while reflecting upon herself and the grace which the soul perceives to be in herself, she is astonished and sinks away in adoration. “I, I sinful man have been known! I have been loved by Thee! I have been eternally appointed to be a recipient of salvation! To Thee, to Thee alone, oh Lord, be the glory for Thy free grace and for Thy unsearchable love for humanity.” From this she proceeds to the Mediator Jesus Christ. In meditating upon Him she can find neither beginning nor end due to the manifestation of all the perfections of God, such as love, righteousness, wisdom, omnipotence, mercy, etc. She acknowledges this holy way as the way whereby the sinner is reconciled with God and which gives her liberty to approach unto God. This way she approves of. She becomes enamored with it and chooses it for herself. She observes in this way the fullness of the satisfaction and is absorbed by the unsearchableness of this way. She meditates upon the immutability of God, that God remains the same in His purpose and love toward the elect, even though they, time and again, spoil everything before Him. Christ’s satisfaction cannot be abolished; the covenant of grace is unbreakable; God remains faithful, and always restores His own. When the soul in a negative frame occupies herself with such meditations, she will experience a wondrous change. The conscience perceives peace with God through the blood of Jesus, the estrangement is transformed into intimacy, and the soul—being washed and cleansed—goes her way rejoicing.

            Occasionally the soul of a godly person has a desire for holiness which is more than ordinary. She is enamored with self-denial as far as honor, esteem, the love of men, comfort, earthly delight, and the riches or goods of this world are concerned. She does this neither for self nor for the rest and welfare of the soul, but for the Lord’s sake, doing so to the degree and in those circumstances in which the Lord requires such from her. She is enamored with being continually in the presence of God, as well as with obeying, fearing, loving, and walking humbly with God. She greatly desires humility and meekness of heart, as well as wisdom, love, forbearance, and friendly dignity. She furthermore yearns for the image of her Jesus, and to give expression to His life in her life. She does not desire this in an earthly, lifeless, and natural manner as the unconverted do. Rather, she desires that this be so in a living and truly spiritual manner in union with the Lord Jesus by faith—and through Him with God—and by the influence of the Lord’s Spirit to the glory of her God, the honor of the church, and the salvation and stirring up of other people. With this desire she comes before the Lord and continues to focus upon His holiness. While continually cleaving to Christ, however, a view of God’s holiness causes her to sink away in shame due to her insignificance and sinfulness, saying with Job, “Now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). With Isaiah she may cry out, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips” (Isa 6:5). She nevertheless, being in Christ, continues in her beholding of this pure holiness, and allows herself to be illuminated and enlivened by this holiness; in that respect she becomes holier and holier. This is according to the testimony of the apostle: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18). Thus, the soul who is enamored with holiness acquaints herself with the Lord, cleaves to Him as seeing the invisible, and continually focuses upon the exhortation: “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” . . .

            At times the soul beholds the Lord’s perfections in the work of creation and meditates upon them in an orderly and attentive fashion. Sometimes she occupies herself by meditating upon the providence of the Lord, and learns from this to rightly know God’s sovereignty, wisdom, righteousness, and goodness, so that all the power, evil, and goodness of the creature disappears. She views God as being the only one who is operative, executing all things irresistibly according to His purpose and good pleasure. Then again, the soul who attentively meditates selects other matter for reflection and thus acquaints herself with the Lord. The heart thus increases its steadfast confidence in the Lord, loves Him, fears Him, serves Him, and due to continual fellowship with God, the soul begins to shine forth as the countenance of Moses did when he had communed with God for forty days upon the mountain.

            The Lord can also lead a longing soul to a more immediate beholding of Himself, at which time she neither brings before the Lord her conditions, nor is occupied with the works of God—be it in nature or in grace. Instead, she immediately approaches unto God, be it in a general sense or as far as each individual perfection is concerned. This is not done in a barren and lifeless manner by merely beholding and acknowledging them. Rather, the Lord occasionally permits her to taste the efficacy and salvation to be found, and at times gives her a foretaste of the beholding of God in heaven. The soul who beholds God in a lively and spiritual manner always cleaves to Christ, and in that frame she beholds God’s all-sufficiency, goodness, love, holiness, sovereignty, majesty, glory, and omnipotence, doing all this while considering that this God is her God and that He is her all. This brings forth adoration, joy, love, and praise. In thus beholding God, the soul maintains a humble, quiet, and approving frame that is void of earthly concerns—and also is believing, meditating, going out in love, characterized by intimate communion, dependent, desirous for counsel, and making use of His strength and benefits as her own. . . .

            The conclusion of all that we have stated as a warning against the [Quietists] is as follows: There is natural and spiritual religion, a natural and spiritual denial of self, a natural belonging to God as Creator and Preserver and a spiritual and true belonging to God as a reconciled Father in Christ, a natural and spiritual love to God and to man, and a natural and spiritual reflection upon and beholding of God. This is the crux of the matter; everything depends upon this, and salvation or condemnation is contingent upon this. We have made as clear a distinction as possible between the natural and the spiritual, and wish that every one to whom salvation is dear would know this distinction, reject that which is natural, and practice what is spiritual, rather than embrace immediately whatever has the appearance of spirituality.

            Objection: Religion, self-denial, belonging to God, love for God and man, the beholding of God, etc., are indeed good things, and if a person is engaged in that which is good, we ought to love such a person. Is it necessary to be so careful in investigating the difference between the natural and the spiritual, and to weigh it upon the scale of a goldsmith? We ought not to judge each other in these matters, but tolerate one another. The one may do it in this manner and the other in that manner, but we must overlook the manner itself, considering it to be insignificant.

            Answer: However, must we not have a heartfelt love for our fellow man? Is it love if we, in order to maintain peace and unity, allow our neighbor to run to his destruction in hell? Is it not love if we wish to lead him by the hand unto salvation and warn him about the way which leads to hell? And even if he becomes difficult and views you as dealing lovelessly with him and as being desirous to lord over him, is it therefore not love if we nevertheless wish to pull him away from his destruction? What I did in this chapter I have done out of love, in order to deliver souls from destruction and to direct them in the holy way unto salvation. If you do not wish to hear me, it will grieve me that you are intent on running to your destruction.

            You are saying that the actions of all parties are one and the same; the manner in which they are done is a matter of insignificance, and therefore, we must allow everyone to proceed according to his own opinion. If, however, everything depends on the manner in which one proceeds, and if this determines whether something is either natural or spiritual, and leads either to damnation or salvation, then this is not a matter of insignificance. Love demands that we point this out to each other, and warn, protect, and correct each other. For example, in the realm of the natural, is it a matter of indifference to you whether you have a clear diamond in your ring or a piece of glass of the same size and appearance? It also glitters. Is it a matter of indifference to you if a coin has but the proper imprint, regardless of whether it is copper or gold—as long as it is red? You do search out the difference in the natural realm—either choosing or rejecting it—and will not allow yourself to be fooled by external appearance, and would you yet be careless in the spiritual realm upon which everything depends? If there are two rich persons, the one owning his goods righteously and the other unrighteously, will you consider them to be of equal status and say, “Rich is rich, and the matter of ‘how’ is not important; that should not be so strictly investigated or distinguished”? Should one not give consideration as to the “how” in spiritual matters, since everything depends on it? If there are two horses and the one is clean, vigorous, and fast, whereas the other is full of stinking abscesses, stiff, and halting miserably, would you then say, “A horse is a horse, life is life, and progress is progress”? Are there differences in the physical realm and must we yet approve of everything in the spiritual realm? Is it the same to you whether a dead horse teems with living worms, or whether it is alive? Is it the same to you whether you have your father, child, husband, or wife represented on a painting, or whether they are present in very person? Would you say, “It is all the same”? This is likewise true in the spiritual realm. Is it a matter of indifference as to whether a clock indicates the hour by her chime or whether this is indicated by a human voice? If some people wish to go to the same city and some travel upon the right way, whereas others enter upon a way which does not lead to the city, but to the land of the enemy, would you then say that they all have good intentions, and one must thus leave them alone in their choice of direction? Must we not warn those who have strayed?

            I have presented an abundance of examples to convince everyone forcefully that everything does depend upon the “how” or the manner, and that primary attention must be given to this. Scripture says that we must take heed how we hear, and we must speak and act accordingly. Natural men who behold spiritual matters in a natural sense remain natural and unregenerate in the flesh, and the light they have only changes them as far as the degree of virtuousness is concerned—with which they cannot please God (Rom 8:8). They remain without Christ, without true saving faith, and therefore without spiritual life; all their reflections, self-denial, and love for God and men are but dead works. With all their illusions, spirituality (as they call it), and delightful daydreaming they will perish if they do not repent. Be warned, and may the Lord convict such persons and bring them to the right place. Take note of the following texts: “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24), since they are not upon the right way and do not seek to enter in the right manner. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov 16:25). Since they are of the opinion that they are correct, believing that the hidden and spiritual way to heaven has been found by them, there is but little possibility that they can be convinced of their error. “Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you … but the publicans and the harlots believed Him” (Matt 21:31-32). Therefore, I warn you in love; do not stray any further, lest you perish. And you who are beginners in grace, and have been enticed by such natural beholding of God, self-denial, and love, I call out after you, “Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee” (Song 6:13). May the Lord hear my prayer on your behalf.bbb      I have indeed anticipated that some of the godly in reading this warning would become concerned and doubt their state, thinking as follows: “If the unconverted also can come this far—that is, live in the beholding of God, in the denial of self, loving God and man, are determined to have God as their portion, and to commune with God as their God—do I even resemble them? How can I think to possess grace if I do not, so to speak, resemble them at all—neither in their activity, nor in their ecstatic speaking about those matters and about the Lord Jesus? I truly ask myself: “Do I have grace indeed?”

            To this I answer that whatever they do in a natural manner, you do in a spiritual manner by the principle of spiritual knowledge and life which is within you. Even if they acted and spoke as you perceive they do (although they do not do so), you nevertheless have no reason to doubt your spiritual state, for a small, weak child is just as much a human being as the strongest man. In the church there are indeed men and fathers in Christ, and there are also weak children. Due to the faint resemblance to others, one may not draw the conclusion that one is neither gracious nor possessing grace. Rather, one must acknowledge that which he possesses and be desirous for growth.

            Furthermore, your understanding of God and Christ, your prayers, your desires after God, your seeking after the Lord Jesus, your focusing upon God, and your deeds and exercises—all proceeding from this principle of life—exceed all their beholding of God, reflections, sinking away in God, losing themselves in God, and similar expressions. The difference is as great as the difference between a dead and a living person; it is incomparable. The difference is not one of degree but of very essence. The one is natural and the other spiritual; the one is but an illusion, a fabrication. They are but self-made images which you can observe as frequently as you wish, whereas the other is truth, Spirit, and a life emanating from the Holy Spirit. If you were familiar with their activity and the manner in which they behold God—however, they do not come to God, but imagine a God who is according to their wishes—and the manner in which they deny themselves, love, and speak, you would not desire such spirituality, but would reject it. You are also able to create natural images of God and mentally ascend higher and higher. If you yield to such natural imagination, however, you will readily perceive that this cannot delight you; it makes you colder and you will reject it. However, the least ray of God in the face of Christ, the least fleeing to Jesus and leaning upon Him will be incomparably sweeter to you than all that lifeless meditation. Therefore, rejoice quietly in your portion—however small it may seem to you—since it consists in light, life, truth, union with Christ, and love, and allow all those who have such elevated natural notions to go their way. Out of love for communion with Jesus and for His children, continue to be exercised with that spiritual principle which is according to the Word of God, and thank the Lord for your portion, which incomparably exceeds all their natural motions. Your spiritual principle cannot coalesce with theirs, since they are the very opposite of each other. To be but acquainted with their activities is sufficient to reject their principle and to flee from it. Consider but this one example: You love the godly because they love the Lord Jesus and are loved by Him, whereas you love other people in an entirely different manner from the children of God. You cannot be in agreement with all manner of false doctrine. They love indiscriminately, regardless of which religion a person may belong to. It is only the truly godly who stand firm in the faith, who are established in the truth, and who have intimate fellowship with God in the Spirit, whom they do not love. Rather, they abhor them and flee from them since their works, which are not upright but only of a natural disposition, are made manifest by the light of such. By this you can discern the rest of their doings. Be on your guard against this, and let your dealings between God and your soul be in simplicity and in truth. Let your eye continually be focused upon the Word of God whereby you have received spiritual light and life, which is also your continual nourishment and the rule for your life. Then you will proceed safely.

            We have thus presented to you the fundamentals to which you must adhere in order to be safeguarded against the temptation of the [Quietists], which simultaneously serve as marks whereby they are discovered. We have therefore considered the following from two perspectives: love to God and man, the denial of self, belonging and being united to God, and the beholding of God. We have done so both from the side of the [Quietists] and the side of the godly, having demonstrated from the Word of God that their activity is but the natural activity of the unconverted by which they will perish; and that the activity in which the godly engage is rooted in God, is by the Holy Spirit, is according to the Word of God, and leads them to salvation.

            That which has been said is sufficient to convince those poor misguided people who, desiring to approach unto God and become partakers of salvation, instead depart from God and enter upon the broad way of destruction. Oh, that the Lord would open their eyes and change their hearts so that they would forsake their foolishness and walk in the way of understanding!

            That which has been said ought also to suffice as a warning for those who are inclined toward the ways of the [Quietists]. That is an easy way which agrees with man’s nature and in which Satan leaves them alone, being able to safely lead them to hell in this way—for the truly godly have both their nature and the devil against them. Therefore, withdraw your foot from them, depart from them, and remove yourself from their snares. If you desire pure light and true godliness, remain with the church, follow the Word, and walk in straight paths.

            It also ought to suffice to stir up the truly godly to walk in the way of the Lord with new courage and lifting up of the heart, and to let their light shine—to let it shine in demonstration of what truth is, what the efficacy of truth is, and what is the way of uprightness and holiness, so that the [Quietists] and their illusions may be put to shame. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18). May the Lord send out His light and truth; may they lead and bring you unto His holy hill, and to His tabernacles (Ps 43:3).

I. Excursus XI: Hannah Whitall Smith:

Higher Life Writer, Speaker on Sanctification, Developer of the Keswick Theology, Quaker Quietist and Universalist Heretic

Mrs. Hannah Whitall Smith, author of The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life and other devotional books, was in her day, and remains at this time, a very influential—indeed, probably the most influential—Higher Life writer on sanctification. Her views undergird and powerfully influence and mold the entire subsequent history of the Higher Life theology. She published The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life in 1875, a capstone of her and her husband’s preaching of the Higher Life as “lay evangelists of the National Assocation for the Promotion of Holiness”[2] at the Conventions at Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton that constituted the birth of the Keswick theology. The publication of her best-selling book coincided with the tremendous impact her preaching was having at that time in Britain.[3] Robert and Hannah were spreading the Higher Life not only “in London, but [also] in other cities such as Manchester, Nottingham, Leicester and Dublin, as well as various Continental European centers. Additionally, strategic doors were opening to them, such as being invited to meet dons and other senior members of Cambridge University to share their message.”[4] As thousands of ministers assembled from not the British Isles only, but also France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Spain, India, Russia, Persia, China, Australia, Israel, South Africa, and North America to learn the Higher Life from the Smiths at the Brighton Convention, Robert declared: “All Europe is at my feet!” There was much truth to his declaration,[5] although in leading venues such as the Oxford Convention[6] and “at Brighton . . . Hannah Smith[’s] . . . daily Bible Readings were the main focus of interest and she was widely recognised as the leading spirit at the conference. Never shy about publicity, she observed that . . . she had a congregation larger than that of C. H. Spurgeon.”[7] Her preaching brought many into the Higher Life.[8] Describing this period of time, Hannah wrote in her diary:

In January 1874 I went over with our four children and joined my husband in England. . . . [T]he Lord gave us . . . wonderful openings . . . for preaching the Higher Christian Life to rich and poor. My inward experience continues, through it all, to be one of perfect rest and peace. My husband’s health was mercifully restored, and the strain of my earthly sorrow was removed. The Lord saw that I had learned the lesson and He delivered me. And my earthly happiness has been unclouded since[.] . . . We returned last Sept. 1874 to America and this winter has been a time of busy work in Philadelphia for me. In March 1875, my husband went back to England, and in a week, I sail with the children to join him. A great work is opening before us there for this summer in large conventions calling for the promotion of Scriptural Holiness [the Keswick precursor Conventions], at which I have to take a prominent part, both in holding ladies meetings, and in giving “Bible readings,” as they are called to save the feelings of the dear brethren who are afraid to call it preaching.[9]

Her preaching and her person were very well received at these conferences, and her book The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, which was really “old Quaker doctrine,”[10] was likewise positively received by those who adopted the Keswick teaching, leading, throughout the rest of her life, to “numberless calls . . . for preaching or giving Bible readings” all over America[11] and abroad. Mrs. Smith was regularly “preach[ing] in Quaker and other churches in England” in high demand, while also publishing further influential books.[12] Indeed, “H. W. Smith[’s] The Christians Secret of a Happy Life . . . is regarded as the classic presentation of Keswick teaching and was instrumental in the spread of the ‘victorious life’ movement that began at the first annual Convention for the Deepening of the Spiritual Life held at Keswick, England, in 1875.”[13] “[I]t may be confidently said that . . . The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life . . . has never been superseded . . . [in] its teaching . . . by anything which has appeared since. This book has had a remarkable influence in connection with the Holiness Movement.”[14] Indeed, Hannah came to teach the Keswick doctrine of her Christian’s Secret as the “Superintendent of the Evangelistic and Bible Reading work” of the “Women’s Christian Temperance Union,” so that she had “direct influence over 60,000 Christian women, and indirect influence over all their congregations.” She testified: “[T]he Lord has given me my parish among them.”[15] Indeed, she wrote: “ever so many of [these women were] saying that they had learned the secret from my book “The Christian’s Secret.” It is perfectly wonderful how that book has gone over this whole country. Wherever I go I am met with stories of its value and blessing. So many people even here have told me that it is ‘next to their Bibles.’”[16] While it was reckoned by many as of great enough value to be always next to one’s Bible, Hannah’s book was most selective in its presentation of Biblical teaching, never citing verses such as Philippians 2:12,[17] for the Apostolic command to act with fear and trembling, and the mention of working, did not fit Mrs. Smith’s emphasis upon personal happiness, ease, and sanctification by faith alone. In any case, her book is properly recognized as foundational and paradigmatic for the Keswick doctrine of sanctification, so much so that her “book . . . for many years, was the most-read devotional book in the world.”[18] The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life “had not only a phenomenal sale all through [Mrs. Smith’s] lifetime . . . [and] was reissued again and again, and translated not only into all the major languages of the world, but even into obscure dialects of half-civilized tribes . . . [in] every part of the globe.”[19] Hannah W. Smith’s writings “have done [m]ore than any publications ever written to extend,” in the eyes of advocates of the Higher Life, “the knowledge of the truth of sanctification.”[20] Her preaching and writing have had an inestimably great impact on the ideas of many millions in worldwide Christendom.

Hannah wrote her book out of a conviction that Higher Life or Keswick doctrine was solid Quaker teaching. She was convinced that “the early leaders of her own society of Friends [Quakers] had been preaching the same” Higher Life theology “which she was hearing about from . . . Methodist writers such as John Wesley” and “the Holiness advocates of her day.”[21] Certainly the classic Quaker doctrine of sanctification is either extremely similar or entirely identical to the doctrine taught by the Keswick convention.[22] Hannah was confident that her Higher Life teaching was simply classic, unreformed Quakerism.

How, then, did Mrs. Smith come to write her bestselling and extremely influential Quaker and Keswick classic? She explained:

[M]y book, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life . . . was written simply and only to oblige my husband, who was editing a monthly religious paper at the time, and who begged me each month for an article. I had no feeling whatever of being “called” to write it, nor that I was being “guided” in any way. . . . I said . . . that I would only write one [article], and that he need not expect me to continue. For some reason, however, my article excited more interest than anything else in the paper, and he begged me so much to go on writing that I finally consented to give him an article every month. . . . [T]hese articles, collected in a book, made the Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life[.] . . . But these articles were dragged from me, so to speak, at the point of the bayonet, for I never wrote them in any month until the printers were clamoring for their copy. I could not be said, therefore, to have had any great feeling or sense of being called to write them, beyond the fact that I did it to oblige my husband[.] . . . [T]he book was not written under any special feeling of being called to write it, nor with any idea that it was in the least an especially religious service. I did it simply and only to oblige my husband, and that was all there was to it. I didn’t even pray much about it, nor had I any thought that I was doing a work for the Lord[.][23]

Indeed, Hannah was yet more candid in writing to her daughter:

[M]y most successful book [The Christian’s Secret] was written so to speak at the point of the bayonet, without one ray of enthusiasm, and hating to do it all the time. . . . I must repeat that I did write “The Christian’s Secret” at the point of the bayonet, as it were. I did not want to write it at all, and only did it at father’s earnest entreaties. . . . [H]e begged me so hard that at last I said I would write one article and no more, if he would give up drinking wine at dinner. Then when that article was published everyone clamoured for another, and father begged, and I was good-natured and went on, but under a continual protest. And the best chapter of all was written . . . when I was . . . as near cursing as a person who had experienced the “blessings of holiness” could dare to be! So . . . books can be successful even if they are ground out with groans and curses[.][24]

Thus, Hannah W. Smith did not pray much about her bestseller, nor think that she was doing a work for the Lord by writing it, but simply wanted her husband, at the pinnacle of his work as a Higher Life preacher, to stop drinking alcohol at dinner. She had not a ray of enthusiasm for the book, but emphatically hated writing it, and even ground out the best chapter with groans and curses. Nevertheless, with what appears to be assistance from the supernatural realm, her book, and its Higher Life theology, spread like wildfire and was received with overwhelming acclaim. So wonderful, she came to conclude, was the Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life that she wrote concerning it: “Every line I write is a pure favor to the world[.]”[25] The book was her doing—it was marvelous in her eyes.

            Nevertheless, even as she wrote her bestselling and paradigmatic Keswick book without much prayer and without thinking about doing any work for God by composing it, but filled with hatred, groans, and curses, Hannah recognized that the kind of religion she led others to adopt could be preached and promulgated by ungodly people who, without any blessing from God, simply were putting on a religious show. After the downfall of her husband Robert P. Smith on account of his promulgation of erotic bride mysticism during the Keswick precursor Conventions,[26] the Smiths returned to America. Upon their arrival, Dr. Charles Cullis, who “had stood by Robert more nobly and grandly than any other human being”[27] when Mr. Smith was exposed for his erotic mysticism, sought to restore Robert by having him and his wife preach some meetings. The “sole object [of the meetings] was to reinstate Robert in the eyes of the church and the world. . . . [I]t ought not to have been called a ‘Convention for the promotion of holiness,’ but a ‘Convention for the promotion of Pearsall Smith.’”[28] Hannah Smith wrote to a friend about these meetings:

I felt utterly indifferent to the meeting in every way . . . I f[ound] no pleasure in it whatever. So we made no preparations for the meeting, we neither studied, nor prayed, nor meditated, nor in fact thought about it at all. . . . We both of us hated it cordially, and felt we should be only too thankful when it was over.

        It was in no sense a religious or “pious” undertaking on our parts. We were neither fervent, nor prayerful, nor concerned, nor anything that we ought to have been. Thou sees[29] I am telling the honest truth. And I really cannot imagine a meeting begun in a worse frame of mind that [sic] ours was, according to all one’s preconceived notions of what is the right and suitable thing. And in precisely the same frame of mind we went through the meeting. It was all a wearisome performance to us. We did it as if we had crossed over an impassable gulf. The flood had come since the last time [when Higher Life meetings were held], and changed everything for us. There was no interest, no enthusiasm. The meetings were a bore; the work was like a treadmill. We counted the hours until we could get away, and hailed the moment of emancipation with unspeakable joy. . . . [We knew we had] indifference and want of every sort of proper qualification for Christian work, which I have described before[.] . . . I was utterly unmoved; and both Robert and I came away more confirmed than ever in our feeling of entire relief from everything of the kind. We are done! Somebody else may do it now.

However, despite the fact that neither Robert nor Hannah Smith could stand being at the meetings, the power from the spirit world that was evident in their earlier ministry was more abundant than ever:

I . . . am compelled to record that the meeting was a perfect success. There was just the same power and blessing as at Oxford or Brighton, only on a smaller scale because of the meeting being smaller. There was every sign of the continual presence of the Spirit. Souls were converted, backsliders restored, Christians sanctified, and all present seemed to receive definite blessings. Dr. Cullis and many others say that it was the best meeting ever held in this country. And it really was a good meeting, even I, uninterested as I was, could see that. There was just the same apparent wave of blessing that swept over our English meetings. And Robert and I never worked more effectually. He had all his old power in preaching and leading meetings, and the very self-same atmosphere of the Spirit was with him as used to be in England. As for me, thee knows I am not much given to tell of my own successes, but in this case, in order that thee may have all the facts, I have to tell thee that I was decidedly “favored” as Friends say. In fact I don’t believe I ever was as good. All who had heard me before said so.

The fuss that was made over me was a little more than even in England. The preachers fairly sat at my feet, figuratively speaking, and constantly there kept coming to me testimonies of definite blessings received while I spoke. The second time I spoke a Democratic Editor was converted and consecrated on the spot; and I could scarcely get a minute to myself for the enquirers who fairly overwhelmed me. . . . I had to write all this, and thee must tear it right up, but how could thee know it unless I told thee[.] . . . For who would have dreamed of such an outcome to the indifference and want of every sort of proper qualification for [Christian] work, which I have described beforehand? . . . They all talked to me most solemnly about how dreadful it was in me to think of giving up public work[.] . . . We had to refuse lots of urgent invitations to hold meetings in various places, but we did it without a longing thought, only too thankful to be released. . . .

The one satisfaction of the meeting to us was this, and it was a satisfaction, that Robert was treated with all the old deference and respect, and that no one even seemed to think of or remember the English scandals, and Robert felt that it was a complete reinstatement of himself in the eyes of the church and the world. Our object in going to the meeting was accomplished . . . it will wipe out all the wretched English blot, and put him right once more. And then henceforth home and home life for us.

Personal holiness and genuine blessing from the Holy Spirit were not required for the type of religion spread by Hannah and Robert Smith. Their Higher Life doctrine could be spread by both knowingly unconsecrated Christians who were just putting on a weary performance and by unconverted persons. Hannah continued:

And now, WHAT does thee think of it all? I think one of two things, but which one I think, I don’t know. Perhaps thee can tell me. Either I was awfully wicked in the whole matter, and God was not in it anywhere, and all the success was by force of natural gifts and talents. Or else I was awfully good, so good as to have lost sight of self to such a degree as to be only a straw wafted on the wind of the Spirit, and so consecrated as not to be able to form a desire even, except that the will of God might be fully done.

I waver about myself continually. Sometimes I feel sure I have progressed wonderfully, and that my present sphinx-like calm and indifference to everything whether inward or outward except the will of God, is very grand. . . . I really don’t much care what His will is. . . . And then again I think I am an utterly irreligious and lazy fatalist, with not a spark of the divine in me.[30] I do wish I could find out which I am. But at all events my orthodoxy has fled to the winds. I am Broad, Broader, Broadest! So broad that I believe everything is good, or has a germ of good in it, and “nothing to be refused,” if it be received with thankfulness.

I agree with everybody, and always think it likely everybody’s “view” is better than my own. I hold all sorts of heresies, and feel myself to have got out into a limitless ocean of the love of God that overflows all things. My theology is complete, if you but grant me an omnipotent and just Creator. I need nothing more.[31] All the tempests in the various religious teapots around me do seem so far off, so young, so green, so petty! I know I was there once, it must have been ages ago, and it seems impossible. “God is love,” comprises my whole system of ethics. And, as thou says, it seems to take in all. . . . I guess He means us to be good human beings in this world, and nothing more. . . . There is certainly a very grave defect in any doctrine that universally makes its holders narrow and uncharitable, and this is always the case with strict so-called orthodoxy. Whereas, as soon as Christian love comes in, the bounds widen infinitely. I find that everyone who has travelled this highway of holiness for any length of time, has invariably cut loose from its old moorings.[32] I bring out my heresies to such, expecting reproof, when lo! I find sympathy. We are “out on the ocean sailing,” that is certain. And if it is the ocean of God’s love, as I believe, it is grand.

But, enough! Now, what will thee do with it all?[33]

Hannah saw that her Higher Life doctrine did not require the blessing of the Spirit of God and that it led people to reject Christian orthodoxy for ever greater heresy. While she was not willing to commit to the truth because of her unwillingless to evaluate everything by Scripture alone, she was correct when she opined: “I was awfully wicked in the whole matter, and God was not in it anywhere and all the success was because of our natural gifts and talents.” Both Mrs. Smith and her husband possessed tremendous natural powers and salesmanship abilities which they used to great success.[34] Mrs. Smith was also correct that her sphinxlike indifference was pagan fatalism,[35] irreligious, and evidence that she had nothing of God in her. Describing the powers that brought her to be leading meetings and services continually, Hannah wrote: “There seems to be something occult about it.”[36] Nonetheless, she continued on her path without care or concern, feeling happy. Mr. Smith recognized the overwhelming evidence provided by his last “successful” meeting that the Holy Spirit was not in his work at all, but that his success was simply natural; his apostasy from the profession of Christianity to agnosticism following in due course.[37] Mrs. Smith, on the other hand, was not willing to recongize that all her Higher Life agitation had been done without any real blessing by God, and so she retained her belief in the Higher Life and in a deity, while her orthodoxy, such as it was, went to the winds. She could be satisfied without the incarnate Christ,[38] considering dotrines such as His Deity, crucifixion, and resurrection as mere tempests in a religious teapot. She could be satisfied also without the church.[39] She could even be satisfied with the piety of mystical Hindu syncretism or Buddhism,[40] as long as she had a simple Creator. When Mrs. Smith could dilute the whole counsel of God contained in the complete Bible to a simple and mushy “God is love”[41]—whoever and whatever God is—and when those who “travelled on this highway” of the Higher Life with her “for any length of time” ended up jettisoning orthodoxy also, it should have been glaringly and horribly obvious to her upon self-examination (2 Corinthians 13:5) that her religion was earthly, sensual, and devilish.

Hannah was able, in part, to continue to preach the Higher Life even after facing the evidence that all her work was unspiritual and devoid of the smiles of heaven because she flatly rejected self-examination. In direct contradiction to the command of 2 Corinthians 13:5[42] and other Biblical passages, Mrs. Smith proclaimed that “self-examination . . . seems to be spiritual” but in reality causes “injury and harm”—indeed, it is “about as disastrous as anything.”[43] Consequently, as she learned from “Fenelon,” she counselled others: “[G]ive up all future self-reflective acts,” for this was a key to spiritual “liberty.”[44] At the Brighton Convention, for example, she boldly preached against self-examination, distorting 2 Corithians 13:5 in a major way.[45]

After all, she had “suffered so much from” self-examination that she wrote: “I have at last given it up forever. Do the same, dear friend[.]”[46] Rather than practicing self-examination, one is to “lear[n] the precious lesso[n] . . . of knowing the inward Voice, and following it without reserve. . . . For myself, I find that the sweetness of a life of obedience to this inward Voice is greater than I can express,” as confirmed by her feelings of happiness and by the Quaker “Isaac Pennington.”[47] Hannah sought to come to a “more complete surrender to . . . the inward voice . . . than ever” as she plunged ever deeper into the Higher Life; her “great hunger” was for this “voice.”[48] Thus, by rejecting self-examination, she could remain deluded and happy despite in the devilish nature of her religion, as its terribly unsound character was only obvious to those who recognized human depravity, rejected the Inward Voice, cleaved to sola Scriptura, and carefully applied the Bible to their own spiritual experience, because of their own personal regeneration. Hannah W. Smith rejected such a careful and watchful attitude, since the conflict between the Bible and her experience hindered her feelings of happiness and made her feel like she was suffering; following the Inward Voice instead made her feel very happy, at least at the time—whether she was happy upon her death is another question.

As well as the paradigmatic Higher Life or Keswick writer, Mrs. Smith and her husband were Quakers, “birthright member[s] of the Society of Friends”[49] who sought to lead her children into the Quaker way.[50] The Smiths had Quaker ancestors reaching back to the days of William Penn.[51] Hannah’s “father . . . was . . . a very strict Quaker . . . Robert’s family were also of good Quaker stock.”[52] Indeed, Hannah, her “parents, and [even her] grandparents” were “birthright Friend[s],”[53] and Hannah was raised in “traditional Quaker mysticism.”[54] While, Mr. Smith was for a portion of his life a member of the Presbyterian denomination,[55] even in his most theologically orthodox years he was close enough to Quakerism that, for example, around the time of his leadership of the Keswick precursor Conventions he could send his “children and their nurse . . . to stay for the whole summer with the Barclays, a wealthy Quaker family, at Monkhams, their home in Essex . . . [where] the girls shared the Barclay children’s governess and tutors.”[56] Furthermore, Mrs. Smith “could not follow . . . Robert . . . [in joining] the Presbyterians . . . as she found their views against the preaching of women unacceptable.”[57] Indeed, Hannah was too heretical even for many Quakers: “In 1867 . . . Hannah . . . tried to start a little Quaker Meeting in Millville, which, not surprisingly, turned out too heretical to be approved, and she searched the Scriptures to support her strong feeling that she was called upon to preach.”[58] Nevertheless, by “the 1870s Hannah had no church affiliation and . . . had begun to attend Friend’s Meeting again,”[59] as she “had become more or less reconciled . . . [with] the Quakers.”[60] During some periods of their married life when, in the words of Hannah, “Robert [was] enthusiastic over [men such as a local] Baptist clergyman . . . because he preaches such a pure gospel,” Hannah nonetheless noted, “I cannot enjoy close contact with such people”;[61] Quaker ministers, who did not preach a pure gospel, were better.[62] The teachings of the Pearsall Smiths cannot be understood properly without a consideration of the Quakerism that permeated their religious background.

Hannah believed that the “Friends . . . were especially raised up by the Lord to teach this truth” of the Higher Life, and she “long[ed] to see Quakerism the formost in the great battlefield” for it. She wrote: “More and more I am convinced that Quakerism was in its first founding pure, unadulterated Christianity. Every advanced truth that the Lord teaches me, I find is only a return to pure Quakerism.”[63] Before her rise as a preacher of the Higher Life, at the pinnacle of her preaching work with Robert that led to the founding of the Keswick Convention, and throughout the rest of her life, she remained a devoted Quaker.[64]

Mrs. Smith . . . remained essentially a Quaker throughout life, or, as it would be more accurate to say, grew steadily more and more Quaker. There is scarcely a distinctively Quaker conception which does not find expression at some time or other in her writings. . . . [E]ven the fundamental mystical [Quaker heresy of] the “divine seed” is quite clearly enunciated and the characteristic Higher Life teaching developed out of it. . . . Mrs. Smith became perfectly well aware, then, that her teaching was in its essence genuinely Quaker teaching: and she delighted to present it in its organic relation with Quaker teaching.[65]

The Higher Life theology she founded was simply the theology of Quakerism.

Since she did not have to examine herself by the teaching of Scripture, Mrs. Smith could set Biblical doctrine and practice against each other, reject the former, exalt the latter, and feel happy in her deluded state. Hannah wrote:

How true the old Friends were when they used to tell us that it was not what we believed but how we lived that was the real test of salvation, and how little we understood them! . . . And as thee says, my opinions about God may all be wrong, but if my loyalty to Him is real it will not matter. It seems as if it would be enough just to say, “God is,” and, “Be good,” and then all would be said. [That is, even Deism combined with mere morality would be acceptable.] It is the practical things that interest me now[.][66]

She did not know whether what she taught people was sound, or whether it was true—but she knew that it made people feel comfortable, and this was enough.[67] Indeed, she wrote that her first duty in life was not to glorify God, but to be comfortable: “I consider it my first duty in life to make myself as comfortable as is possible[.]”[68] After all, as Hannah explained at the Brighton Convention, the Holy Spirit is not “one to make us unhappy”—thoughts that make one unhappy “always come from Satan.”[69] She did not seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), but sought first the secret of a happy life. Feeling happy—eudemonism—was what was truly important. Her son Logan narrated:

When in her later life [Mrs. Smith] came to be a sort of mother-confessor to the many people who used to come to her for advice in their perplexities, her advice was always, she told us, for them to do the thing they really and seriously wanted to do. . . . “But surely, Mother,” [her children] sometimes protested, “this is dangerous advice to give to people!” “Well,” she would answer, “our Heavenly Father knows the kind of advice I give, so if He sends people to me it must be because He wants them given this advice. Besides, children,” she would add, “people always in the end do what they want to do, and they might as well do it with a good conscience.”[70]

Based on this view that people should do whatever they wanted, Hannah taught: “[D]on’t be too unselfish.”[71] Logan Pearsall Smith explained what he learned from his parents about sanctification from the time he experienced his second blessing as an unregenerate seven year old:

Sanctification . . . renders us immune from sin. . . . [I] renounced . . . Pelagian attempts to conquer Sin and Satan by [my] own carnal struggles, and realized that only by Grace, and unmerited Grace alone, and by no “deadly doing,” could [I] attain the conquest that [I] sought. . . . [Those who receive the second blessing receive] [t]he glorious certainty that they are sanctified . . . they rejoice—as all my life I have rejoiced—in the consciousness that they can commit no wrong. I may do, I have undoubtedly done, things that were foolish, tactless, and dishonest, and what the world would consider wrong, but since I attained the state of Sanctification at the age of seven I have never felt the slightest twinge of conscience, never experienced for one second the sense of sin.[72]

Logan achieved the goal of his mother’s theology of sanctification—happiness in a perpetual freedom from a sense of sin and guilt—the secret of a happy life. To Hannah W. Smith, feeling happy, and having no pangs of conscience because of sin, were more important than the glory of God and obedience to the Bible.

In line with the Quaker background she shared with her husband, both Mrs. and Mr. Smith were believers in the continuation of miraculous gifts for the present day as opposed to being cessationists, advocates of the Biblical truth that the sign gifts ceased with the completion of the canon of the Scripture and the death of the Apostles in the first century. The Smiths were consequently involved in the Faith or Mind Cure movement which advocated miraculous and non-medical means for healing and laid the foundation for Keswick continuationism and Pentecostalism. Mrs. Smith knew Quakers who had received Faith Cures.[73] She was the instrument through which various people received such Cures herself,[74] healing several who were “close to hysteria,” although she “tried her powers, in vain, on a victim of cancer,”[75] since cancer is clearly a physical disease that is not removed when someone is no longer hysterical. She stated: “With Faith Healing I have had a great deal of experience.”[76] Hannah wrote concerning a sick friend: “I wish she could get hold of faith healing[.]”[77] She herself used a “Mind Cure for sea-sickness[.]”[78] She was acquainted with that prominent evangelist of the Faith Cure,[79] Dr. Charles Cullis, from at least 1871,[80] and ministered with Cullis on various occasions,[81] since “Dr. Cullis of Boston [was] a friend and fellow evangelist” of the Smiths.[82] After all, Cullis surely had miraculous powers; he healed Mrs. Smith’s daughter of indigestion through the techniques of the Faith Cure,[83] although he was unable to heal himself—ever—of a serious heart condition he endured for decades.[84] Indeed, Cullis was such a firm supporter of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their Higher Life preaching that he sought to restore Robert after Mr. Smith’s fall due to his preaching of erotic Spirit baptism.[85] As a Quaker, Hannah W. Smith was naturally an advocate for the continuationism of the Faith or Mind Cure.

Mrs. Smith was likewise a “friend” of the “New Thought teacher . . . Mrs. Caldwell,”[86] illustrating the close relationship between the nineteenth century New Thought or Mind Cure movements from which arose the Christian Science of Mary B. Eddy, with its spiritualism and laws of healing, and the Faith Cure.[87] Hannah noted:

I find that spiritualists have all the “baptisms” and “leadings” and “manifestations” that [non-spiritualistic but continuationist] Christians have, with precisely similar symptoms. The same “thrills,” the same “waves” or currents of life, the same spiritual uplifts, the same interior illuminations; they even see similar visions of Christ, and hear similar interior voices . . . taken in themselves, it is utterly impossible to distinguish between them.[88]

Mrs. Smith’s daughter also “visited . . . with the intention of studying her doctrine, the famous female prophet, Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy.”[89] Indeed, Hannah Smith’s description of the Faith Cure makes its identity with the Mind Cure of New Thought evident:

[O]ur faith lays hold of spiritual forces which are superior to natural forces and which therefore can overpower them. . . . [W]e become able to avail ourselves of powers that He has put at our disposal in the spiritual realm. I expect His real will for us is health always, but if we disobey natural laws His will is thwarted, and it is only by bringing in spiritual laws that we can overcome the evil tendencies caused by sin[.] . . . [J]ust as a wire does not create the electric current but only draws it down in certain directions so our faith does not create health but only draws the vitality of the spiritual realm down into our vessel. It is wonderful what faith will do.[90]

Thus, the Faith or Mind Cure works based on “law,” and prayer is not, as it is in the Bible, a means of healing through the petitioning of a personal, sovereign, and loving God in Christ for His gracious physical mercies—rather, prayer is the instrument of healing insofar as by it people are “brought into harmony with those laws” of healing.[91] Anticipating the Word of Faith doctrine of positive confession creating positive realities and negative confessions creating negative realities, Mrs. Smith consequently counselled: “[L]et me advise thee not to talk of thyself as being old. There is something in Mind Cure, after all, and, if thee continually talks of thyself as being old, thee may perhaps bring on some of the infirmities of age.”[92] She wrote: “[T]he mind cure . . . is only the science by which the faith cure works,”[93] a fact generally recognized by objective writers of her day.[94] No objective disjunction and sharp division between an allegedly Christian Faith Cure movement and a clearly pagan and evil Mind Cure movement can be established by objective historiography—Hannah W. Smith and other early continuationist Higher Life leaders certainly made no such division.

Indeed, the Mind or Faith Cure was simply the application to the body of the Higher Life or Keswick doctrine of sanctification by faith alone: “[T]he mind cure . . . [or] faith cure . . . is simply doing on the plane of physical health what we did on the plane of sin when we reckoned ourselves dead to it and alive only to God. If the atonement covers sickness as well as sin this [is] all . . . true.”[95] Hannah’s rejection of self-examination was helpful as a support for the Faith and Mind Cure, for not only should one refrain from spiritual self-examination, but from physical self-examination also, so symptoms that were “cured” by the Faith Cure but were still present could be ignored: “Self examination of one’s physical symptoms or spiritual symptoms is about as disastrous as anything.”[96] Unfortunately, the adoption of the Faith and Mind Cure in Hannah’s family led to unnecessary and tragic early death. Hannah Whitall Smith’s sister Mary Thomas died of breast cancer at the age of fifty-three in 1887, leaving behind her husband and eight children. Mary believed she was cured by the Faith Cure, consequently refused to go to a doctor to deal with her cancer, and consequently died. In the words of Hannah W. Smith:

The one great grief to all of us is that six months [earlier] she could have been cured [by conventional medicine], when she first began to think she had the trouble, but then she trusted the Lord for healing and fully believed it was done and went on believing this all summer so fully that she never said anything to anyone about it.[97] And all the while [her cancer] was growing as rapidly as it was possible for it to do . . . my sister is simply the victim of the faith cure teaching.[98]

Hannah’s preaching at a camp meeting exemplified the union of the Faith Cure and the Higher Life in her theology:

In our hotel I found one of the housekeepers who was a devoted adherent of mine and who told me of a Holiness Camp Meeting in progress in the country outside of the city. . . . Just as I neared the ground . . . I saw a Philadelphia lady whom I used to see at meetings there long ago coming to the pump for water! I spoke to her and she recognized me at once, gave me a hearty welcome, and then introduced me to the leaders of the meeting and to all the dear saints right and left. I received a perfect ovation! They had all apparently read my book “The Christian’s Secret,” and were full of it, and of the blessing it had been to them “next to their Bibles” [as] the “constant companion of their devotions,” the “greatest help of their lives” etc. etc. And they fairly overwhelmed me with their delight at seeing me, dear souls.

They would hear nothing but that I should stay and preach for them in their evening meeting, which I did, under a large tent. It was altogether quite a refreshing experience. . . . They had a meeting for faith healing, and insisted on my going to it to teach them! . . . I told them . . . I would give them Dr. Cullis’ teaching, and that seemed to satisfy them.[99]

Mrs. Smith was far from being alone in combining the Faith or Mind Cure and the Higher Life; rather, preparing the way for Pentecostalism, “belief in and the witness to miraculous divine healings attended the holiness movement at every turn.”[100] Her Quaker continuationism was by no means restricted to a belief in continued Apostolic healings; she noted that “speaking with tongues . . . is . . . apt to come to [Higher Life] Revivals, [and] I have known a great many instances.”[101] She likewise thought: “[It is] the privilege of Christians to receive the same Baptism now . . . [as was received] on the day of Pentecost. . . . There is nothing in the Bible which suggests that this gift [of Spirit baptism as experienced on Pentecost] should cease[.] . . . [T]he early Friends must have known and experienced it, and . . . this accounts for their wonderful success.”[102] After all, for Mrs. Smith, if not for Scripture, only elite believers—those only who have entered into the Higher Life—have the Holy Spirit,[103] so a post-conversion second blessing comparable to Pentecost was obviously of tremendous importance. Mrs. Smith was a committed continuationst because of her Higher Life Quakerism, and was consequently very important Pentecostal precursor.

Hannah, as a natural concommitant of her continuationism and Quakerism, believed in the Inner Light heresy and was consequently an opponent of the sole authority of Scripture. W. H. Griffith Thomas effectively summarizes the character of the Quaker Inner Light heresy:

In the Mysticism of the Quakers we find the tendency to emphasise the doctrine of the “inner light” as something either independent of, or superior to the written Word. This position is set forth by Barclay, the leading theologian of the Society of Friends. “We may not call them (the Scriptures) the principal fountain of all truth and knowledge, nor yet the first adequate rule of faith and manners, because the principal fountain of truth must be the truth itself; i.e. that whose authority and certainty depends not upon another.”[104] Again, “God hath committed and given unto every man a measure of light of His own Son—a measure of grace, or a measure of the Spirit. This, as it is received, and not resisted, works the salvation of all, even of those who are ignorant of the death and sufferings of Christ.”[105] . . . [Contrary to Quakerism,] it is not true to say that every man, as such, has the Spirit of God, nor can we call the same thing “light,” “reason,” “grace,” “the Spirit,” “the Word of God,” “Christ within,” and “God in us.” Such a procedure would create untold confusion and lead to almost endless trouble. . . . According to the early Quakers a man of their time might be as truly inspired of God as were the Prophets and Apostles of the Bible. Against the imposition of dogma by authority George Fox said that “though he read of Christ and God,” he knew them only through a [“]like spirit in his own soul.” And to refer to Barclay again, he taught that “God hath placed His Spirit in every man, to inform him of his duty and to enable him to do it.”[106]

The Inner Light was key to Quaker devotional writing and practice:

The most obvious theological distinction [in] Quakerism which makes an impact on devotional pratice is the doctrine of the ‘inner light.’ . . . [E]very individual was born with the light of Christ within. Though the light (which is often identified with the Holy Spirit) is darkened by sin, it can be rekindled through quietness and spiritual listening. Christ, therefore, shines anew on the heart apart from the normal means of grace such as preaching and reading the Scriptures.[107]

Rejection of the sole authority of Scripture was a necessary corollary to the Inner Light doctrine—consequently, Hannah W. Smith, along with Quakerism in general, opposed the truth of sola Scriptura. For the “Society of Friends . . . [the] ultimate and final authority for religious life and faith resides within each individual. Many . . . seek for this truth through the guidance of the inner light.”[108] Thus:

[George] Fox and others stressed [that] the contemporary believer has the same or clearer experience of God as the biblical prophets. . . . [T]he scripture is . . . like a record of ancient men who had their own ‘showings’ of the divine light, experiences recorded in order to prompt us to do the same. The Bible is a guidebook only in this way[.] . . . “Quakerism is better off emphasizing pantheistic and universalist perspectives. Our [Quaker] mode of worship is especially well-suited to this theology. Other denominations probably better serve people who are looking for strict adherence to doctrine . . . or Christ crucified as a personal Savior[.]”[109]

Hannah Smith, a universalist who came to rest satisfied in a mystical “bare God,”[110] rather than the Triune Father, Son, and Holy Spirit revealed in Scripture,[111] received many great revelations as a Quaker—unfortunately, they were far, far too often not illumination that came from the study of the Scripture, but additional revelations or Quaker “openings” that arose from other sources. For example, she wrote: “One of my greatest ‘openings’ into the mystery of religion came from something I heard . . . Oscar Wilde . . . say in Philadelphia, dressed in shorts with a big sunflower in his buttonhole.”[112] Statements of the serial pedophile Oscar Wilde, with the assistance of the Inner Light, were, for Hannah, a fine substitute for the sole authority of the infallible Word of God, the Bible.[113]

Naturally, Mrs. Smith opposed literal or grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture, and the truly authoritative character of Scripture in general. She affirmed: “I am afraid of too much literalness”[114] in interpreting the Bible, preferring rather “the spiritual meaning” that is “often so much deeper than appears on the surface, as even to seem almost in contrast”[115] to the literal meaning. After all, literal interpretation was the death-knell of Quaker continuationism and the destruction of the foundation of the Higher Life theology—it was, therefore, better when at meetings like the Broadlands Conferences Mrs. Smith, her husband, and others could minister in a “wonderfully inspired way,” testifying to notions validated not by literal exegesis of Scripture, but by “their personal experience,” as they “tarried . . . not . . . in the letter of the Word, but . . . discerned everywhere beneath it the living Word.”[116]

Mrs. Smith could likewise rejoice when a modernist like “Newman Smyth” wrote “a grand book on Christian evolution,”[117] or when the modernist “Canon Farrar . . . dealt forcibly with all timid holding on to old errors” and set forth the necessity for “revision of the Bible.”[118] Indeed, because of the preeminence of the Inner Light, the Bible was normally not used in the Friends meeting.[119] Mrs. Smith certainly had no patience for a dispensational and literal view of Biblical prophecy; indeed, while Biblical holiness leads saints to long for Christ’s second coming,[120] Hannah Smith testified: “[S]ince Christ has come to me in my heart I cannot care so much for His outward coming.”[121] What need did she have for the Bible and its literal meaning when she had mysticism and a Quaker inward divinity, a “Christ within,” to lead her and teach her?

Mrs. Smith, contrary to 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-37, spoke frequently to mixed audiences and taught adult men. Although Paul, under inspiration, stated: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak. . . it is a shame for women to speak in the church. . . . If any man think himself to be . . . spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord,” Mrs. Smith preached to men about how to be spiritual. At their meetings, both “Mr. and Mrs. Pearsall Smith . . . took a leading part in the speaking.”[122] She “supported the right of women to preach as Quakers always had done,”[123] defending “women’s preaching” after “an experience of revolt from the traditional views”[124] found in Scripture, a revolt in which she was followed by many, such as Mrs. Boardman, who was similarly “led” to address mixed audiences under Quaker influence,[125] and Hannah’s Quaker and Keswick successor Jessie Penn-Lewis. Mrs. Smith explained at the Brighton Convention, where vast crowds of men thronged to hear her preaching,[126] that she had asked the Lord to show her whether women should preach or not, and “He . . . gave me such a strong feeling that it was His mind, that now, whatever is said against it, it makes no difference.”[127] Experience validated woman preachers in a way that Scripture could not. However, the unscriptural experiental validation of women preachers was most comparable to the validation of the Mind and Faith Cures by experience—the marvels performed by women validated both their leadership ministries and the value of their Cures. After all, students of the early decades of the Mind and Faith Cure movements noted: “[N]inety-five percent of [the] adherents [of] . . . ‘Christian Science’ . . . are women . . . [and] ‘Faith Healing’ . . . too . . . has a largely feminine constituency.”[128] Thus, experience on her side, arguments from Scripture could by no means move Mrs. Smith from her position, although she was willing to assent to the views of other Quaker women preachers who justified their disobedience by proclaiming at the pre-Keswick Conventions a misinterpretation of Joel 2:28’s promise about the prophesying of daughters.[129] While the committee backing their Higher Life conventions allowed both Hannah and Robert to preach, she made “the members of the committee . . . uneasy[.] . . . It was bad enough for a woman to preach; many, in particular the Germans, found it extremely shocking; but for her to preach Restitution, or the denial of Hell, was dangerously heretical.”[130] Nonetheless, Hannah wrote to Robert: “I quite enjoy the thought of your pow-wow over me . . . and of . . . condolences . . . on the possession of such a dangerous article as a heretical, preaching wife. . . . I do not in the least mind being a heretic. In fact I think it rather suits my cast of mind.”[131] Indeed, it was precisely her denial of hell for the universalist heresy that brought her and her husband to fame, for her universalist confession lead to her receipt, “at a time when the universal hope was deemed a heresy . . . an invitation to hold [the] series of [Higher Life] meetings at Broadlands.”[132] Consequently, on the authority of her feelings and subjective impressions and backed by her heretical opinions, Mrs. Smith began her career as a woman preacher in Quaker meetings and continued preaching regularly to mixed audiences of men and women for the rest of her life.[133]

Mrs. Smith was also passionately opposed to the Biblical pattern of leadership by the huband in marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33), stating that it made women into slaves, and looking to woman’s sufferage as the key to the destruction of all the Biblical patriarchy (Isaiah 3:12) that existed in the society of her day.[134] Concerning the Biblical roles in marriage, she said: “‘No’ emphatically . . . a thousand times ‘No.’ . . . I know nothing more absolutely unjust in itself nor more productive of misery to the woman than the assumption of the place of authority on the part of men. It reduces women at once in principle to the position of slaves . . . [a]ny amount of anarchy and confusion would be better.”[135] Nothing, Hannah W. Smith knew, could be more unjust than what the Holy and Just One, the good and loving God, commanded about the roles of men and women in the marriage relationship.

Judging by her unhappy and un-Christian marriage[136] and the fact that none of her children who survived to adulthood were born again or honored the Lord,[137] Mrs. Smith neither had the true “secret” of a happy Christian life nor the spiritual power to affect others for Christ. Her son Logan Pearsall Smith rejected Christ and Christianity. He wrote:

The old doctrines of the corruption of man and his inevitable doom unless he finds salvation in the conviction of sin, the gift of grace, and a sudden catastrophic, miraculous conversion—this evangelical theology . . . has now become utterly alien and strange to me. . . . I rejoiced in . . . ridicule of the evangelical religion . . . I gave . . . serious attention to the literature of Theosophy, and was inclined to believe that the key to the problem of existence was to be found, if only I could grasp it, in a little book of Rosicrucian doctrine over which I used to pore for hours. . . . We are indeed leaves that perish . . . I do not find that a fate to be regretted . . . for any other form of being I feel no longing. All that I have read about what happens in a future existence makes the life beyond the grave seem an uncomfortable adventure. I have no desire for eternal bliss. . . . [I]f there is a struggle in the mind . . . between God and Mammon, I advise that the service of the god of money should be followed.[138]

One of Hannah’s two daughters abandoned her Roman Catholic husband and her children to pursue an adulterous relationship, while the other daughter married atheist Bertrand Russell; both daughters rejected Christianity.[139] Indeed, Hannah’s persistently adulterous daughter Mary wrote the following to her mother: “I have (I think) no orthodox standards of any kind. Thee, who is such a rebel against orthodoxy in religion, cannot be surprised or shocked if I am a rebel against orthodoxy in conduct. . . . [O]ne heresy leads to another, in the next generation at least.”[140] As Hannah’s children rejected Christianity, so her husband Robert evidenced his unregenerate state by his rejection of Christianity for agnosticism and Buddhism accompanied by his own persistent adultery. More importantly than her lack of the “secret” of happiness or spiritual power, Mrs. Smith did not have the “secret” of a God-honoring Christian life, or even, based on her heresies, a Christian life at all. Nonetheless, “[m]any today who know her only through her writings know very little about . . . Hannah’s heresies . . . or, if they do, like those who knew her best, they still accept her spiritual insights as valid . . . loyal to . . . [the] doctrine . . . that life not doctrine was the true test of pure Christianity.”[141] However, one wonders if many of those advocates of a doctrineless false pietism who embrace Mrs. Smith are aware that, while not living an outwardly profligate life, she nonetheless disliked united prayer,[142] went to casinos,[143] and hated her household servants.[144] She wrote a note to her daughter about her “belated birthday present—a telescope Cigarette holder. Thee need not advertise that it is a present from the author of the ‘Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life’!”[145] She also wrote her daughter concerning her grandchildren: “The girls decided to play Demon in my sitting-room, and asked if I would let them say ‘Da[-]n’ now and then, and what could a poor foolish grandmother say but, ‘Yes’! (But do not put this in my Memoirs, I beg of thee!).”[146] Along with allowing her grandchildren to play Demon and employ curse words, Mrs. Smith also fellowshiped with spiritualists[147] and received prophecies from occult palm readers.[148] Her life was not a little different from that of a consistent pietist, even one who cared little for Biblically orthodox doctrine. Neither Mrs. Smith’s beliefs nor her life indicated that she knew the alleged “secret” to a happy or holy Christian life.

            Mrs. Smith was a committed universalist.[149] She was passionately and zealously wedded to the heresy that everyone would go to heaven and nobody would suffer eternally in hell. After a period of time during which she blasphemously thought God was selfish for not saving everyone and that she was more loving than God, and consistent with her Quaker background, Mrs. Smith adopted universalism because of a grossly unscriptural “revelation” given to her while she was expressing her displeasure with God. While feeling justified in her “upbraiding” of the Holy One, she adopted universalism because of an “inward voice” that she “knew” gave her the truth because of the testimony of her “heart” before she even looked at the Bible.[150] She was open to such “revelations” because she rejected the total depravity of man in favor of the Inner Light: “Just as we inherit natural life from the first Adam, so do we inherit spiritual life from the second Adam. There is . . . in every man a seed of the divine life, a Christ-germ as it were. The old Quakers called it ‘the witness for God in the soul,’ ‘that which responds to the divine inspeaking. . . . There is a divine seed in every man[.]”[151] After all, for Mrs. Smith, the law is not the externally objective testimony of Scripture, but the Inner Light, the Divine Seed—“Our law of life is within; we must love to follow it.”[152] She would have done well to consider God’s testimony that “he that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26; cf. Jeremiah 17:9). Instead, Mrs. Smith taught that one should follow “God’s four especial voices, i. e. the voice of the Bible, the voice of circumstances, the voice of one’s highest reason, and the voice of one’s inward impressions.”[153] She had learned from the Quakers that personal “revelations” were superior to the Scriptures:

A Quaker “concern” [alleged revelation] was to my mind clothed with even more authority than the Bible, for the Bible was God’s voice of long ago, while the “concern” was His voice at the present moment and, as such, was of far greater present importance . . . the preaching I hear[d] was certainly calculated to exalt the “inward voice” and its communications above all other voices . . . since God spoke to us directly[.][154]

She received such revelations throughout her life, leading her to all kinds of conclusions that could not be found in the Bible.[155] Mrs. Smith persisted in believing in and preaching[156] the universalism she had learned from the spirit world through the Inner Voice until her death,[157] for the Inner Voice was the necessary corollary of the Quaker and Gnostic[158] rejection of human depravity for the doctrine of the Divine Seed in every man. Every man had a Divine Seed, so every man would be saved; thus Hannah had learned from the Inner Voice. Hannah came to teach religious pluralism as a corollary of her universalism, that “a good Creator can be got at through all sorts of religious beliefs and all sorts of religious ceremonies, and that it does not matter what they are.” Indeed people who are “fundamentally good . . . can be so content without any real link with God,” or even “without any certainty that there is a God to be linked to.”[159] Thus, not just the false gospel of High Church Anglicans[160] and Roman Catholic priests,[161] or the polytheism and blasphemy of Mormons[162] within the realm of what might in the very loosest sense be termed Christiandom, but also the worship of various gods, whether Allah, Baal, or Satan, is fine; indeed, even atheists and agnostics can be fundamentally good, and everyone is going to heaven at the end, in any case. One may trust in Jehovah and hate the devil, and another may trust in the devil and hate the living God, but although “on exactly opposite pathways . . . we all meet God at last.”[163] People who do not care in the least about the “saving of the soul,” and who are “unconsciou[s] . . . [of] the Christianity of Christ,” are still “serving, though it may be unconsciously . . . the Divine Master,”[164] regardless of whatever the Bible might say to the contrary (e. g., Ephesians 2:1-13). God receives the worship and brings to heaven those who worship in spirit and in truth and serve Him in a Bible-practicing church, and He also allegedly receives the worship and brings to heaven those who offer the gore of human sacrifices to Moloch. It thus becomes clear why it was necessary for Hannah to preach the Higher Life—all already have eternal life, but not all have the happiness and rest that comes from the Keswick theology.[165]

Hannah W. Smith wrote My Spiritual Autobiography: How I Discovered The Unselfishness of God[166] specifically because she loved being a heretic, and because she wanted to convince others to adopt heresies and become heretics:

[M]y autobiography . . . “How I discovered God” . . . is the story of my soul life from my early Quaker days, on through all the progressive steps of my experience . . . I am putting all my heresies into my story, and am trying to show the steps that have led to them; and I flatter myself that it is going to be very convincing! So if you feel afraid of becoming heretics, I advise you not to read it. For my part, I always did love being a heretic as some of you know. What fun it was[!][167]

The book documents Mrs. Smith’s universalist and Quaker heresies, as well as the fact that her universalism, which she spread in her writings, antedated her and her husband’s public proclamation of the “Higher Life” theology from which the Keswick movement originated. She explained her adoption of the universalist heresy as follows:

Neither could I see how a Creator could be just . . . in consigning some of the creatures He Himself, and no other, had created, to the eternal torment of hell, let them be as great sinners as they might be. I felt that if this doctrine were true, I should be woefully disappointed in the God whom I had . . . discovered. . . . As an escape from the doctrine of eternal torment, I at first embraced the doctrine of annihilation for the wicked, and for a little while tried to comfort myself with the belief that this life ended all for them. But the more I thought of it, the more it seemed to me that it would be a confession of serious failure on the part of the Creator, if He could find no way out of the problem of His creation, but to annihilate the creatures whom He had created. . . . I could not believe He would torment them forever; and neither could I rest in the thought of annihilation as His best remedy for sin. . . . I set myself to discover my mistakes. . . . [O]ne day a revelation came to me that vindicated Him, and that settled the whole question forever. . . . I seemed to have a revelation . . . not of His [Christ’s] sufferings because of sin, but of ours. . . . I had been used to hear a great deal about the awfulness of our sins against God, but now I asked myself, what about the awfulness of our fate in having been made sinners? Would I not infinitely rather that a sin should be committed against myself, than that I should commit a sin against any one else? Was it not a far more dreadful thing to be made a sinner than to be merely sinned against? . . . I saw that, when weighted in a balance of wrong done, we, who had been created sinners, had infinitely more to forgive than any one against whom we might have sinned.[168]

        The vividness with which all this came to me can never be expressed. . . . I saw it. It was a revelation . . . it could not be gainsaid. . . . How long it lasted I cannot remember, but, while it lasted, it almost crushed me. And as it always came afresh at the sight of a strange face, I found myself obliged to wear a thick veil whenever I went into the streets[.] . . . One day I was riding on a tram-car along Market Street, Philadelphia, when I saw two men . . . dimly through my veil . . . [but when the] conductor came for his fare . . . I was obliged to raise my veil in order to count it out. As I raised it, I got a sight of the faces of those two men, and with an overwhelming flood of anguish, I seemed to catch a fresh and clearer revelation of the depths of the misery that had been caused to human beings by sin. It was more than I could bear. . . . I upbraided God. And I felt I was justified in doing so. Then suddenly . . . [a]n inward voice said . . . “He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.” “Satisfied!” I cried in my heart . . . . [“]If I were Christ, nothing could satisfy me but that every human being should in the end be saved, and therefore I am sure that nothing less will satisfy Him.” And with this a veil seemed to be withdrawn from before the plans of the universe . . . I saw therefore that the remedy must necessarily be equal to the disease, the salvation must be as universal as the fall.

        I saw all this that day on the tram-car . . . not only thought it, or hoped it, or even believed it—but knew it. It was a Divine fact. And from that moment I have never had one questioning thought as to the final destiny of the human race. . . . However great the ignorance therefore, or however grievous the sin, the promise of salvation is positive and without limitations . . . somewhere and somehow God was going to make everything right for all the creatures He had created. My heart was at rest about it forever.

        I hurried home to get hold of my Bible, to see if the magnificent fact I had discovered could possibly have been all this time in the Bible . . . my Bible fairly shone with a new meaning. . . . the true [universalist] meaning, hidden behind the outward form of words . . . rightly interpreted, not by the letter, but by the spirit . . . the denunciations of God’s wrath, which had once seemed so cruel and so unjust, were transformed into declarations of His loving determination to make us good enough to live in Heaven with Himself forever.[169] . . . [A]t this time my real discovery of the unselfishness of God began. Up to then . . . I had been secretly beset from time to time with a torturing feeling that, after all, it was rather a selfish salvation, both for Him and for me. . . . always there had been at the bottom of my mind this secret feeling that His love could not stand the test of comparison with the ideal of love in my own heart. . . . I still had often felt as if after all the God I worshipped was a selfish God, who cared more for His own comfort and His own glory that He did for the poor suffering beings He had made. . . . [M]ost of my ideas of the love and goodness of God have come from my own experience as a mother . . . since this discovery of the mother-heart of God I have always been able to answer every doubt that may have arisen in my mind . . . by simply looking at my own feelings as a mother. . . . I had in short such an overwhelming revelation . . . that nothing since has been able to shake it. . . . [W]hen I had that revelation on the tram-car in Philadelphia that day, a light on the character of God began to shine. . . . The amazing thing is that I, in company with so many other Christians, had failed, with the open Bible before me, to see this [“truth” of universalism.] . . .

        [Opposition to my new belief in universal salvation] became at this time well-nigh intolerable. I could listen patiently, and even with interest, to any sort of strange or heretical ideas . . . but the one thing I could not endure, and could not sit still to listen to, was anything that contained, even under a show of great piety, the least hint of [opposition to universalism]. . . . [A] celebrated Preacher . . . was visiting us. . . . his object was to combat my views on Restitution [that is, universalism.] [A]lthough the speaker was my guest, I broke forth into a perfect passion of indignation, and declaring that I would not sit at the table with any one who held such libelous ideas of God, I burst into tears and left the room, and entirely declined to see my guest again. I do not say that this was right or courteous, or at all Christ-like, but it only illustrates how overwhelmingly I felt on the subject. . . . As was to be expected . . . my views on Restitution, which of course I had speedily announced, met with a great deal of disapproval from the Plymouth Brethren, and my other orthodox friends . . . I have always rather enjoyed being considered a heretic . . . the discovery I had made . . . was considered by many to be . . . a grave heresy . . . but the revelation I had had was too glorious for me to withhold it whenever I found an open door; and . . . I was never willing to sail under false colours, nor speak anywhere without it being perfectly well known beforehand what a heretic I was[.] . . . And, as a fact, these very views, and the frank confession of them . . . were the means of opening the way for some of our most important and successful work. . . . In 1873 my husband had come over to England to hold some meetings in the interests of the Higher Life, or, what I prefer to call it, the Life of Faith. I soon followed him, and upon my arrival in London I was invited to meet a company of leading Evangelical[170] ladies, who were to decide as to whether it would be safe for them to endorse me, and lend their influence to the work. . . . I [declared my belief in] the universal hope . . . the moment I ceased speaking . . . [I was invited to] come and have some meetings . . . not a word of disapproval was uttered, and . . . [the way] was thrown open to us for our first conference, which was a time of wonderful blessing, and proved to be the entering door for all the future conferences, and for our whole after work in England and elsewhere. . . . I believe in Restitution more and more. . . . When in 1874 there was to be one of these conferences . . . some of the committee who were helping to organize it, got frightened about my heresies . . . [but] as it was felt important to have me at the meetings, the committee . . . decided to take me as I was, with all my heresies. . . . I am a thousand times stronger in my view of restitution every day I live. . . . I . . . know that never for one single moment in all my work in England was I made to feel that my views on restitution in the slightest degree hindered the entrance of the message I had to give, or closed any door for my work. In fact I believe they made the way for me in many places that would otherwise not have been open. . . . [Concerning] my [universalist] . . . belief . . . without it I should have been shorn of half my power.”[171]

Mrs. Smith then proceeds to explain that she came to her position about “the life of faith”—although her view of faith was always extremely weak and unscriptural—only after she had adopted the universalist heresy. She called “the life of faith” the “fourth epoch in my religious life,”[172] while the universalist heresy was “the third epoch in my religious life.”[173] Her universalism, she affirmed, opened up avenues for her spread of the “Higher Life” doctrine, and without universalism, she stated, “I should have been shorn of half my power.” Universalism was essential for Mrs. Smith’s development and promulgation of the Higher Life or Keswick doctrine of sanctification.

            As already noted, Mrs. Smith declared that her universalist heresy and other heresies were key to her work as a Higher Life preacher and Keswick founder:

[T]hese very views, and the frank confession of them . . . were the means of opening the way for some of our most important and successful work. . . . [the] meetings in the interests of the Higher Life, or, what I prefer to call it, the Life of Faith. . . . [A] company of leading Evangelical[174] ladies . . . were to decide as to whether it would be safe for them to endorse me, and lend their influence to the work. . . . I [declared my belief in] the universal hope . . . the moment I ceased speaking . . . [I was invited to] come and have some meetings . . . not a word of disapproval was uttered, and . . . [the way] was thrown open to us for our first conference, which . . . proved to be the entering door for all the future conferences, and for our whole after work in England and elsewhere. . . . [M]y views on restitution . . . made the way for me in many places that would otherwise not have been open . . . without it I should have been shorn of half my power.”[175]

Hannah elsewhere explained her rise to Higher Life preacher in England in more detail, revealing that not universalism only, but spiritualism also—familiar intercourse with demons—was key to her exaltation as a famous Higher Life preacher and the founder of the Keswick theology. First, before beginning to preach the Higher Life, she sought Quaker approval for her teaching:

Robert [Smith] . . . seems to expect nothing else but that I will plunge into the work [of Higher Life agitation] with equal zeal, but I have not felt any guidance as yet in reference to it, except in the direction of the Friends [Quakers]. . . . I really could not consent to do it unless the Friends had first heard me, and were fully alive to the purport of my message. [A Quaker leader] therefore proposed, and we agreed, to invite a number of Friends to come to our house . . . to hear one of my lessons[.] . . . I burn to see this glorious life of faith becoming once more the realized experience of my dearly loved [Quaker] Society.[176]

At this meeting, the critical incident was Hannah’s declaration of her belief in universalism, which brought her the support of the famous noblewoman and spiritualist Mrs. Mount-Temple, also known as Mrs. Cowper-Temple,[177] who attended both Quaker meetings and spiritualist séances with her husband. Mrs. Mount-Temple narrated:

[T]he critical . . . incident at this meeting [took place while] Hannah was sitting in a little circle of excellent orthodox friends [Quakers], who had assembled to hear some of the good things that she had to impart, and she was there on examination.

        She happened to have seen a funeral in the street, and as she spoke of it, we all put on the conventional look of sadness. “Oh,” she said, “when I meet a funeral I always give thanks for the brother or sister delivered from the trials and pains of this mortal state.” “How wonderful,” I thought, and I could not help exclaiming, “Is that possible? Do you feel this about everybody?” . . . She stopped and looked around. . . . [It was] a time when the universal hope was deemed a heresy, and she was on her trial. She owns that she went through a few moments of conflict. But truth prevailed, and looking up, with her bright glance, she said, “Yes, about everybody, for I trust in the love of God.” I yielded my heart at once to this manifestation of trust and love and candour.[178]

Logan Pearsall Smith described his mother’s critical confession of universalism in more detail:

[S]he could not, she avowed to the assembled company, believe that the God she worshipped as a God of love was capable of such awful cruelty [as not to take every single person to heaven]; sinners, of course, He punished, but that He had decreed that their torments should be unending was to her a horrible belief. . . . [T]he company was on the point of breaking up in confusion when from the depths of the great drawing-room there floated forward, swathed in rich Victorian draperies and laces, a tall and stately lady, [Mrs. Cowper-Temple,] who kissed my mother, and said, “My dear, I don’t believe it either.”

        This dramatic moment was . . . a turning point . . . since, if it had not occurred, our family would no doubt have soon returned to America[.] . . . For this lady who thus intervened and took my mother under her protection was, as it were, the queen of evangelical Christians;[179] and her acceptance . . . [and] corroborat[ion] of [Mrs. Smith’s] view of Hell . . . afterwards confirmed by that of her husband, William Cowper Temple, silenced all opposition and no further objections were suggested . . . [since the] Cowper Temples, owing to their great wealth and high position, were by far the most important people in the world in which [Mr. and Mrs. Smith] were, so to speak, on trial.[180]

Mrs. Mount-Temple was delighted in Hannah W. Smith’s confession of universalism—she declared that it was “what strongly drew me to her that day”[181]—as was Mr. Mount-Temple, who “partly believe[d] in Mahomed, Vishna, Buddha, the Pope, the Patriarch . . . [and] love[d] high, low and Broad Church.”[182] The couple were of one mind in religious matters.[183] Thus, because of Hannah W. Smith’s frank confession of universalism, the Mount-Temples threw their powerful influence behind her and her husband. With such patronage, and the help of the demons conjured in the Cowper-Temples’s séances, the Pearsall Smiths were exalted to their position as leading Higher Life preachers, and the founding of the Keswick theology became possible.

The Mount-Temples were the owners of the Broadlands estate where the foundational precursor Conference to the Keswick Conventions was held, and the fundamental innovations of the Keswick theology on the older orthodoxy were set forth.[184] Broadlands was a receptacle for amalgamating many mystical heresies and spreading such newly minted concoctions onward; for instance, both the Catholic “Bernard of Clairvaux” and “profound saying[s] . . . of Druidic philosophy,” uttered, perhaps, between Druidic acts of human sacrifice,[185] were welcome at Broadlands.[186] As Hannah W. Smith saw her doctrine of the Higher Life in the ideas of Buddhism[187] and Hinduism,[188] so the Higher Life proclaimed at Broadlands and affirmed by the Mount-Temples was not that only of Roman Catholic mysticism, and other unregenerate mystics within the Judaeo-Christian tradition, but even that of overtly pagan Eastern mysticism:

From very early times, and especially in the countries of the East, there have been men and women who have sought . . . [to] ponder the nature and duties of true life, to be alone with God, and learn to know and worship Him.

        Buddha and his followers in India, the Essenes among the Jews, and the early Christians of the third and fourth centuries, who from Rome and many other cities fled to the deserts of Egpyt . . . [medieval] anchorite[s] . . . [dwellers in] monastic settlements . . . [h]ermits . . . perfect m[e]n . . . [possessed] spiritual power . . . [that] gave them force and initiative[.] . . . Men and women who lived thus were revered, trusted, and consulted during their lifetime, and honoured, and sometimes worshipped, after their death. . . . The Roman Catholics have their “Retreats” under a spiritual director, the . . . Anglicans of the English Church have their “quiet days,” the Quakers their Conferences[.] . . . Surely these practices, during so many ages and amongst such diverse peoples . . . point to a true instinct rooted deeply in human nature, one which is referred to and sanctioned in the Holy Scriptures . . . the felt need . . . [to] reach after the highest possibilities of life. . . . The Conferences at Broadlands came about this way.[189]

Indeed, for Mr. Mount Temple, a poem praising the Muslim Allah, including the confession “La Allah, illa Allah![190] . . . expressed better than anything he knew his own thoughts and feelings.”[191] Universalism and religious syncretism were the foundation of the close friendship of Hannah Smith with Mrs. Mount-Temple and her husband.

The Mount-Temples also found enchanting and attractive the Quaker rejection of a judicial justification solely by the imputed righteousness of Christ and the associated Quaker Higher Life doctrine of sanctification by faith alone preached by the Smiths. Mrs. Cowper-Temple narrated:

William [Cowper-Temple] was deeply interested in the experiences of which [Hannah W. Smith] and her husband had to tell us. We had been brought up to try to hold the forensic view of justification by faith; but of sanctification by faith we had never heard, and it seemed to us that, though the meaning of the two terms [justification and sanctification] might be identical, it enabled us to look at the doctrine in a new light . . . for who could really care about being merely accounted righteous? [W]hile to be made righteous . . . seemed something worth hearing about.[192]

Mr. and Mrs. Cowper-Temple’s support for Mrs. Smith and her husband, because of Hannah’s universalism and the Smiths’ Quaker repudiation of the gospel by confusing justification and sanctification, led to Hannah and Robert’s exaltation to the central position as Higher Life preachers—their “fame spread from Broadlands.”[193] The 1874 Conference at Broadlands that came about because of Hannah’s confession of universalism and repudation of justification and the gospel was the “initiatory [Higher Life] Conference . . . [and] the starting-point for those that followed . . . and which, but for this one at Broadlands, would never have been held.”[194] That is:

[B]ut for this spectacular intervention, [the Smiths] might never have taken to preaching in England . . . [I]t was the worldly greatness of [Hannah’s] new friend which saved H. W. S. . . . Lady Mount Temple . . . [was] a hospitable leader of the evangelicals[195] (Broadlands became almost a second home to the Pearsall Smiths)[.] . . . The religious conferences at Broadlands, where H. W. S. often preached, became famous. . . . [T]he house . . . was filled to the attics and many of the guests overflowed into the inns . . . [f]amous people attended, in the company of others less famous.[196]

Along with the weighty patronage of Mrs. Cowper-Temple, “the Friends . . . were unanimous in wishing [her] . . . to give them a series”[197] of Higher Life lessons, and Mrs. Smith’s fame as a Higher Life preacher had consequently begun, with the “Mount Temples [as] ardent supporters of the Smiths.”[198] As a result, “the good Cowper Temples . . . inaugurate[d] a series of such [Higher Life] meetings,” the first and following, Broadlands Conferences, those key initial precursors and supports of the Keswick Conventions. “Lady Mount-Temple . . . initiated the Broadlands Conferences in 1874 where one might find, at the same gathering, a preaching Negress, a Quaker, a Shaker, an atheist, a spiritualist, an East End Socialist, and a prophet of any sort at all.”[199] At these Broadlands meetings Mr. Smith “was an acceptable preacher . . . but [Mrs. Smith], beautiful in her Quaker dress, with her candid gaze and golden hair, was given the name of ‘the Angel of the Churches,’ and her expositions . . . attracted the largest audiences, and made these gatherings famous in the religious world.”[200] Hannah W. Smith, who was present at the first, the last, and most of the Broadlands Conferences in-between,[201] truly epitomized the Higher Life as presented at Broadlands and its successor Conventions at Oxford, Brighton, and Keswick.[202] From the first Conference in 1874, the root of all the subsequent Higher Life and Keswick movement[203] and a pinnacle of Higher Life teaching,[204] participants generally recognized that they “received the clearest and most definite teaching” from Mrs. Smith’s preaching there,[205] just as she set forth the Broadlands and Keswick doctrines in her “books, which are well known.”[206] Many at Broadlands could testify: “She was to me the most inspiring . . . figure . . . amongst those who addressed us.”[207] She led countless multitudes of unregenerate individuals at Broadlands to feel happy, “sunny, and joyful” as she pointed them to the ease and rest of the Higher Life.[208] The Cowper-Temples kept up the Broadlands Higher Life Conferences annually, spreading the Higher Life with Hannah W. Smith, as well as supporting the Oxford Convention[209] and other subsequent Higher Life gatherings, until “Lord Mount Temple’s death at Keswick.”[210] Truly, through the work of the Pearsall Smiths and Mount Temples in the birthing of the Higher Life theology proclaimed at Keswick and in other ways, “[t]he results that followed on the Broadlands Conferences were widespread and various”—indeed, “it is difficult to measure them,” for they are truly incalculable.[211]

            Mrs. Mount-Temple was not only Mrs. Smith’s patron in her Higher Life preaching, but the two became very close friends—so much so that Mrs. Mount-Temple mentions Mrs. Smith first in a list of “[f]riends whom we [the Mount-Temples] loved.”[212] During their time as Higher Life evangelists in Britain, the Smiths would often leave their children “at Broadlands in Hampshire, the home of [Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s] friends, the Cowper Temples . . . Broadlands became . . . almost [the family] home in England,”[213] where “innumerable guests . . . were gathered . . . to listen to the glad tidings” of the Higher Life.[214] Hannah called her rich patron “our sweet Lady Mount Temple,”[215] since their “friendship lasted till [Mrs. Mount Temple’s] death in extreme old age,”[216] when Mrs. Smith was one of a few very close friends granted entrance to Mrs. Mount Temple on her deathbed.[217] They spoke together at various functions to large crowds.[218]

            Lord Mount-Temple was not merely the owner of the Broadlands property but the active leader and director of the Higher Life Conferences on his estate; they were the highlight of their year.[219] He “was eminently fitted to preside over such an assembly . . . [and] occup[ied] the position of President at these Conferences,”[220] while “Lady Mount-Temple . . . was the sun and soul of all that . . . company.”[221] Mr. Mount-Temple’s spiritual guidance and leadership were crucial, unforgettable, and a model for Broadlands spirituality.[222] He opened and closed the meetings, presided over them, introduced and specified the topics Conference participants were to address, set and maintained the tone and direction of the speeches, and regularly spoke himself.[223] Broadlands spirituality and Higher Life theology are inextricably united to the spiritual system of the Mount-Temples—indeed, the spirituality of the Conferences and that of their hosts were indubitably one and the same.

Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple were unregenerate people who were drawn into spiritualism, the Higher Life theology, and many other grievous false teachings, and their devilish errors were blatent and obvious to any who had a modicrum of Biblical discernment. In Mr. Mount-Temple’s “childhood[,] religion was at a very low ebb . . . religious instruction did not come within the scope of recognized maternal duties,” and he received “no religious training,” so his ideas were very “vague.”[224] He never came to a point of conscious conviction of sin and of his lost estate, followed by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and to the new birth. Instead, as he thought, he felt “the first strivings within him of an unexpressed God-consciousness . . . in his cradle,” and from that time he was a “spotless youth” who was, apart from Biblical conversion, “growing spiritually”[225] (contrast Luke 5:31-32). Similarly, Lady Mount-Temple “as a child . . . had learned to pray but had never undergone a ‘conversion’” to Christ; instead, “search[ing] for . . . a higher life,” she turned to spiritualism in 1861.[226] She testified: “[C]onversion never came to me. Instead of it I was early beset by doubts of all kinds.”[227] However, at least each of the Mount-Temples could testify: “I am enrolled in [the] holy army [of] . . . the Lord Jesus. . . . I have been signed with the sign of the cross in Baptism.”[228] After all, the sacrament of “Christening . . . was the ingathering of [infant] lambs into [their] Master’s Fold.”[229] Surely a baptismal regeneration could substitute for a Biblical conversion.

While unconverted, the couple nevertheless desired spirituality. Seeking the Higher Life, Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple “learned to take a much wider view of the Church as a single body of all baptized Christians, including Nonconformists and members of the Roman and Greek Churches.”[230] For example, a picture of Christ bestowing the stigmata on the hands and feet of Francis of Assisi was a wonderful positive in the spirituality of Broadlands,[231] for such a receipt of stigmata was certainly not a devilish deceit, but a glorious and positive event. Mr. Mount-Temple testified:

I . . . always felt an interest in the opinions of different denominations . . . and have attended the worship of all which have been within my reach . . . I have been able to enjoy the privilege of prayer with them all.

I have prayed fervently in the . . . Romish churches, and have lifted up my heart in their solemn litanies and pealing music[.] . . . I have learnt much in the Unitarian services in Liverpool; I have profited by the sermons and prayers of the Independents, Wesleyans, and Baptists; I have joined with Quakers and Plymouth Brethren . . . worshipping the same God . . . [by] Unitarian [writings] . . . I am drawn nearer to my heavenly Father[.] . . . I found myself edified by . . . Papists and Greeks [Eastern Orthodox], as well as with Calvinists and Lutherans[.] . . . In [a] . . . Unitarian Chapel . . . [i]t is delightful to . . . join in prayer and praise, and to carry away some good thoughts. . . . I have never become acquainted with any religious body in which there were not to be found persons full of love to our Lord.[232]

Preachers of the Trinity and preachers of a non-Trinitarian deity,[233] advocates of justification by faith alone and of justification by works, worshippers of Jehovah and worshippers of Mary, and all religious bodies whatever, contained people who were full of love to the Lord, Mr. Mount-Temple knew. “From the first he combined the opinions of the Broad Church with . . . fervour and warmth.”[234] Similarly, Mrs. Mount-Temple did not view Roman Catholics or other advocates of false gospels as people to “proselytize, believing they had all they needed to make them good Christians.”[235] Naturally, medieval Romanist mystics such as “Fénelon . . . were . . . men of exalted and angelic nature.”[236] “Catholic[s] of the mystic school” were present and preaching at the Broadlands Conferences from the first.[237] The place of worship at the Mount-Temples’s Broadlands residence contained a special crucifix, kept low to the ground so that not adults only, but children also could reach its feet to kiss the graven image of the Catholic “Christ,” and poems about the crucifix and prayers to be like it were celebrated parts of Broadlands spirituality.[238] Radically different and contradictory beliefs were to be united around Higher Life mysticism: “High Church, Broad Church, Low Church were . . . submerged in the Deep Church.”[239] Hannah W. Smith likewise rejoiced in the ecumenical unity and the “absolute oneness” she felt with those who believed and preached false gospels at the Broadlands Conferences, a oneness she recognized as greatly facilitated by and manifested in Mr. Mount-Temple.[240] “All shades of religious opinion” were represented at Broadlands,[241] and Mr. Mount-Temple’s command was embraced: “[D]on’t be too critical.”[242] “None of those who took part . . . at Broadlands . . . could be spared”[243]—every single one of the false views and heresies represented there were necessary, and every single speaker and visitor was a positive influence and helped raise others to the Higher Life, no matter how abominable his false doctrines and practices were when compared to Scripture.

Having come to doubt the doctrine of the Fall,[244] the Mount-Temples came to adopt a “broader view of Christian truth and of the universal hope,” that is, the universalism that made Hannah Smith so appealing to them. Many universalists in addition to Mrs. Smith were among their religious teachers, facilitating both the ecumenicalism of both the Pearsall Smith and Cowper Temple families. “Dr. Baylee” was a dear “religious . . . . friend . . . for many years” who “helped indeed,” and he “was rejoicing in the universal hope” when he “visited [the Mount Temples] in later years at Broadlands.”[245] They testified: “[H]elp and enlargement through the great Christian prophet of our day, Frederick Maurice. We used to wander on Sunday afternoons to [his] . . . Chapel[,] [where we] heard the broader view of Christian truth and of the universal hope[.]”[246] They testified that their “best friends” included Maurice’s “disciple[s],”[247] and proclaimed that “the blessed George MacDonald,” that famous universalist, “has been one of our dearest friends and teachers,”[248] indeed, a “special teacher or prophet” at Broadlands. Despite the plain words of Jesus Christ (John 8:44), Broadlands affirmed that “all [are] children of God,” with the “actual, living, inspiring presence of the Holy Spirit in each heart.”[249] The rejection of Christ’s teaching about hell in favor of the universalist heresy was important to the great Higher Life lived by the Cowper-Temples and proclaimed at Broadlands, and the promotion of universalists such as Hannah W. Smith was consequently near to their heart.

Broadlands ecumenicalism was held together, not by universalism only, but by the Quaker doctrine of the Divine Seed also:

[Mr. Mount-Temple] discern[ed] far more quickly than most the Divine seed in every man. . . . He was in very truth, as George Fox was, the “friend” of all men. He believed, with George Fox, that every soul of man was a visited soul . . . therefore differences of creed . . . were no hinderances to his loving fellowship[.] . . . This deep sense of the solidarity of mankind [in the Divine seed] led Lord and Lady Mount Temple to seek to gather the leaders of wholly differing schools of thought together in their home at Broadlands, that they might all be drawn closer together[.] . . . All sects . . . were represented at these Conferences. High Church, Low Church, Broad Church, Dissenters, Quakers, Plymouth Brethren, Salvation Army officers, [and so on] . . . were all at [Broadlands] bound together into one common brotherhood[.] . . . Each [speaker] agreed immensely with the last speaker, and then proceeded to offer quite another Gospel.[250]

Since the Divine Seed was in every man, Lord Mount Temple prayed for a mystical Deification: “My Lord Jesus, as Thou didst take my humanity, I pray Thee impart to me Thy Divinity.”[251] Employing the language of the truth affirmed at the Council of Chalcedon of Jesus Christ’s character as one Person with two natures, a true Divine nature and a true human nature, Mr. Mount Temple affirmed the sickening idolatrous error that all men are, like Christ, likewise single Persons with a Divine and human nature: “I have to record my thanks . . . for deep Churchism at our Conferences . . . for the knowledge that we are all two in one—two natures in one person . . . the Divine and human.”[252] Likewise, as Christ had preexisted his incarnation, so all men had preexistent souls—“We were not created when we were born; that was not the beginning—‘Trailing clouds of glory do we come/From God, Who is our home’; we were put here for a term, for our education, enwrapped in a fleshly nature, that the inner nature might grow by overcoming it.”[253] Consequently, as one enters the Higher Life of mystical union with God, one comes to “nothing short of interpenetration, oneness with God,” patterned after Christ, for “[i]n Him the human is the Divine.”[254] Passing beyond a simple knowledge of Jesus leads to “the ideal life, the life of man as Son of God.”[255] The preexistent soul becomes the Divine Seed in man, so that he can enter into the Higher Life and be finally divinized. Speakers at Broadlands tied in deification and preexistent souls with universalism and the Divine Seed in every man, for the Biblical doctrine of total depravity was set aside: “Awake to the knowledge that every fellow-creature is a member of Christ. Gordon found it useful in dealing with men, whether heathen or others, to say to himself, ‘Here is one in whom God is, I will speak to the God in him.’ . . . We must be dead to the sin in others, alive to the God in them.”[256] Certainly if, in accordance with Satan’s primordial lie (Genesis 3:5) and consistent with Quaker doctrine, all people are God and man, the possibility that some men are “heretick[s]” to be “reject[ed]” after admonition (Titus 3:10), or that the true Christian was to have “no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11), would the farthest thing from Mr. Mount Temple’s supposedly Divine but actually depraved and idolatrous mind.

            The ecumenicalism and universalism derived from the Divine Seed doctrine were at the heart of the Broadlands Conferences, as they were exceedingly dear to Hannah W. Smith and the Mount Temples, and passed into the Higher Life and Keswick movement through them. Unregenerate false teachers were treated as the objects, not of evangelism, but of hearty fellowship as the children of God,[257] so that their ideas could be imbibed:

Almost every shade of Christian thought was represented there; there were those who belonged to the High Church, Low Church, Broad Church, Dissenters, Salvationists, Quakers, Swedenborgians, all able . . . to meet as one brotherhood . . . in the real union apparent at these Conferences . . . learn[ing] from one another . . . [as] His children.[258]

Indeed, ecumenicalism was one of the greatest and most marked results of the Broadlands Conferences:

But perhaps the most marked of the results of the Conferences, the one which has had the widest influence, even amongst those who were never at Broadlands, but have caught something of its spirit, was the breaking down of barriers between brethren; . . . between those of whatever creed . . . the increased desire for union, that seems everywhere to be leavening the churches. . . . People met together at Broadlands who certainly would not have met elsewhere . . . [and] found their differences were of less importance than they had thought, and that they were one in the deepest aspiratons of their souls. . . . Evangelicals saw that Ritualists were not necessarily slaves of the husks and the letter; more important still, the eyes of orthodox religionists were opened to the mysterious workings of the spirit of truth in regions far beyond the precincts of recognized Christianity . . . a sign of what is coming upon Christendom.[259] . . . Those hours were a prophecy and promise of . . . what is long[ed] for, “the corporate union[.]” . . . [T]he Broadlands Conferences were the starting-point of . . . [t]he great Conferences at Oxford in 1874, and at Brighton in 1875 . . . leading on to those held annually at Keswick[.] . . .

        Two men were heard talking together outside one of the great meetings at the first Oxford Conference. “What does it all mean?” said one. “Oh, don’t you know,” replied the other, “it’s all the Christian people in the world are going to be one sect.”[260]

Ecumenicalism, both through the direct position of the leaven at Broadlands and through the leaven of the ecumenical Conferences it birthed at Oxford, Brighton, and Keswick, was a central result of the meetings started by Lord and Lady Mount-Temple. Furthermore, the alleged workings of God in saving and blessing people outside of Christianity and among all the groups in Christendom, which formed the foundation of Broadlands ecumenicalism, arose from the Broadlands emphasis upon universalism. At Conference after Conference Hannah W. Smith, Andrew Jukes, George MacDonald, and many others passionately set forth the universalist heresy;[261] since all men have the Divine Seed within them, “the awakening touch will come, the life will be quickened and manifest itself,” so that all will come to salvation.[262] Not regenerate man only, but each and every “man is the child of God,”[263] without any qualification of any kind, so that “the ordinary work to be wrought by evangelical preaching . . . [s]udden and effectual conversion . . . is not in”[264] MacDonald’s writings or those of his fellow universalists. Evidence for universalism was culled, not from the Bible alone—for it was very difficult to find it there—but from many other sources, such as pagan religions and modern poets. After all, since “[a]ll the poets believe in a golden age,” so should we:[265]

[T]he restitution of all things . . . [is something] which mankind in almost every age and in many countries seem to have had some kind of dim intimation[.] . . . I still have an impression of the reverent, serious attitude, the bowed head and almost breathless awe, in which the subject was approached, and the contributions, not only from our own Scriptures, but from the sacred writings of the East, from old philosophies, and from modern poets, which were brought forward to show how deep-seated was this great hope in the hearts of mankind generally. . . . “There is no evil,” says the old Druidic philosophy, “that is not a greater good than it is an evil[.”] . . . Dante surely had something of the same idea . . . [as did] Browning . . . [and] Tennyso[n] . . . [and] Trench[.] . . . Quotations were of course made from the Scriptures [also]. . . . Much was spoken that might be summed up in Walt Whitman’s words[.] . . . [A] prayer from Lord Mount-Temple . . . would fitly close the meeting. . . . Referring to possibilities for individual souls after death, George MacDonald said one day: “The Roman Catholics believe in three stages after death. At the Reformation the Protestants gave up one, but they gave up the wrong one.”[266]

Consequently, the Broadlands Conferences stood for the position that “a desire to proselytize . . . has been the cause of all the religious tyranny and persecution that has been the disgrace of the Christian Church, and . . . is entirely opposed to the spirit and teaching of Jesus.”[267] Indeed:

[O]utside . . . the Christian temple . . . there are beautiful, preeminently beautiful souls adorned with all Christian graces. . . . These noble, beautiful souls . . . are the “other sheep, not of this fold,” are guided by the “true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” . . . Proselytising is wrong. There was, perhaps, nothing our Lord condemned more strongly. . . . The desire to proselytize is generally from selfishness or pride. . . . We should never take from any man, not even from a heathen, that [spiritual truth] which he has, without giving him something better. . . . The world is helping the churches. There is an island in the South Sea, where, it is said, the people are never dishonest and never untruthful. A missionary is going out there. It makes one almost tremble to think of it.[268]

Lord and Lady Mount-Temple were very successful in working at Broadlands with Hannah W. Smith and others in spreading their Higher Life ecumenicalism and universalism throughout Christendom.

The Inner Light, with its concomitant heresies of the Divine Seed and universalism, were exalted in the anti-cessationist Higher Life atmosphere of Broadlands. The “higher and deeper Christian life” was a development of “the inner light, which is variously manifested by human souls, each contributing in the measure it has received ‘of the fullness of Him that filleth all in all,’” that is, of the Divine Seed in every man,[269] the presence of which was intimately tied in with the affirmation of universalism and the rejection of an eternal hell.[270] Experience and many world religions validated such ideas—had not the Druids believed in the Inner Light?[271] A belief in the Biblical doctrine of human depravity, which denies that man has anything remotely close to a Divine Seed in him, was a tremendous roadblock to the Higher Life, for “only as . . . man . . . yields himself to this highest within him, can he know his true life, the spiritual life . . . self-surrender to the highest life within”[272] is what is necessary. People can obey without grace, Biblically defined, since virtues are “latent in all men.”[273] Broadlands testified: “Whenever I meet a man, I know the germ of the Christ-life is there. . . . Christ is the life of men, the Divine seed in every one.” Consequently, “[t]here is something to learn from every one,” for “revelation” comes to all men through the Inner Light based on the Divine Seed.[274] Monergistic regeneration of the spiritually dead sinner is the opposite of the Broadlands message; on the contrary, “[W]hat we call conversion [is] the potential spiritual life becoming the actual,”[275] the Divine Seed beginning to flourish as those who already have Divinity within enter into the Higher Life.

The advance of “Christian Socialism”[276] was also part of the Mount-Temples’s spirituality. They “loved heartily” their “dear friends” and fellow leaders in “Christian Socialism,” such as “Charles Kingsley” and “Tom Hughes,”[277] who first met Mr. Mount-Temple at the first Broadlands Conference in 1874. However, Mr. Mount-Temple outshone them all in the battle for socialism: “[I]n the early days of Christian Socialism, . . . [the] movement [was] so vehemently and widely denounced, [but Mr. Mount-Temple] was from the first an advocate and liberal supporter, and, from his social and public position, risked more than all the rest of [its leaders] put together.”[278] Attacks on freedom and the spread of socialism under the guise of Christianity were important parts of the Cowper-Temples’s religion.

When the Cowper-Temples declared that they received alleged truths from “all sects” and “schools of thought,”[279] their “all” was no exaggeration—as strong continuationists because of their belief in the Quaker doctrine of the Divine Seed, they happily received the allegedly inspired teachings of the most twisted cultists and vilest fanatics, as they exalted, listening to, and obeyed their heart’s voice (cf. Jeremiah 17:9).[280] They warmly held the “belief in the revival of the prophetic gifts which Christ had bestowed on his apostles for all men with a living faith.”[281] The couple consequently rejoiced in the demonically-manipulated perfectionist and cult leader Edward Irving and his Apostle, Henry Drummond. Irving founded of the Catholic Apostolic Church,[282] predicted the end of the world in 1868, affirmed that Christ had adopted man’s fallen nature, claimed that the gift of tongues and other first century miraculous gifts had been restored among his followers, and vigorously maintained other heresies, which Drummond faithfully supported and promulgated. Mrs. Mount-Temple narrated:

Mr. Henry Drummond . . . [was] a very special influence which affected [Mr. Mount-Temple’s] religious views[.] . . . At Albury, Mr. Drummond and Lady Harriet, the Duchess of Northumberland (then Lady Lovaine), and Lady Gage, the other daughter, were all very kind to us, and hoped perhaps that we should join the Apostolic Church, of which Mr. Drummond was an Apostle.

It was all very interesting and hope-giving, and opened a new region to us. All we heard of the birth and development of this Church was thrilling. . . . Haldane Stewart had instituted . . . a system of prayer . . . for a special outpouring of the Spirit. He and other devout friends assembled at Albury, and there was, they believed, such a miraculous answer, that it was to them as a second Pentecost. Some began to speak under spiritual influences, and through these persons, endued, they believed, with the prophetic gift, a most beautiful Church system was organized, not, they said, by their own will or wisdom, but by the Spirit of God.

They believed the Lord was soon to return [that is, in 1868], and that a new body of apostles and faithful disciples were called out to receive Him. They called this the Elias ministry. . . . They believed apostles were appointed supernaturally to rule the Church universal. Prophets were inspired to teach and evangelists sent forth with power [now that these offices had been restored in their religious organization; before that time] the prophetic gift was unknown, and the apostolic universal ministry had been lost. . . . [T]his [was a] really splendid ideal of a Church. . . . [It greatly influenced] my husband’s religious development.

The kindled hope of the Lord’s speedy approach, the calling out of Apostles, and of an elect body to meet Him, greatly quickened our spiritual life. We attended their beautiful services, we listenened to [their] eloquent and fervent appeals[.] . . .

We hung on Mr. Drummond’s words for hours, while he described to us this wonderful ideal[.] . . . He was indeed one of the last men . . . whom one could suspect of any fanaticism or spiritual aberration.[283] . . . Imagine such a man an Apostle . . . bringing in the Kingdom of God. . . . This was the new world in which we found ourselves, and very kindling and entrancing it was!

I was carried away by it[.] . . . It deeply moved William, but he did not feel called to leave the place and the duties to which he was attached. . . . [W]hat remained to us of the teaching and blessing of this time [was,] [f]irst of all, the revival of spiritual life [that is, the Higher Life]; then, a much wider view of the Church . . . includ[ing] all who have been baptized . . . comprising therefore the members of the Roman and Greek Churches, and all Nonconformists [as well as] Quakers [as] the descendants of those within the covenant of baptism. . . . [S]pecial truth [was] confided to . . . the Unitarians . . . [while] the Friends [received the] . . . special truth . . . [of] the Inner Light . . . the Wesleyans [of] . . . perfection, etc. All one body . . . [Drummond] taught us also the meaning of Symbols, and of Ritual . . . [t]he members of the Apostolic Church hold that the Lord is truly present in Holy Communion[.] . . . So it was, that without joining the Apostolic Church, William always felt much indebted to the teaching we received [from them] at Albury[.][284]

Thus, from Irving’s Catholic Apostolic cult, the Cowper-Temples were encouraged in ecumenicalism, continuationism, post-conversion Spirit baptism with miraculous results, the Inner Light, the Real Presence, perfectionism, and the Higher Life, all of which flourished at their Broadlands Conferences and at the Keswick Conventions which developed from them.

Spiritualism was at the root of the Higher Life beliefs of Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple.[285] Mrs. Cowper-Temple explained that, having first heard of spiritualism in 1857 and becoming fully initiated by 1861, she led her husband also to embrace the occult,[286] so that Mr. Mount-Temple “gathered all the good he could from spiritualism, and was helped . . . leading us to a higher life.”[287] The couple attended a vast number of séances,[288] seeing there great marvels performed by, as they thought, the dead who had been conjured up. They learned, contrary to 1 Corinthians 15, that the true resurrection is not that of the body, but the rising into the realm of the spirits—the Higher Life.[289] They not only were spiritualists themselves, but sought—successfully—to lead others into their fellowship with devils,[290] as they were “always ready to introduce” their friends, such as Hannah W. Smith, “to influential people among the spiritualists.”[291] They greatly advanced the careers of self-professed “Christian spiritualist” ministers such as H. R. Haweis.[292] They “studied the . . . writings of Swedenborg,”[293] “the great spiritualist of the eighteenth century,”[294] and Swedenborg’s writings and friends were continued influences at Broadlands and its Conferences.[295] Indeed, spiritualism was promoted at the Broadlands Conferences, where it fit well with the doctrine of the erotic spiritual Baptism: “Each meeting included discussions on the uses of Spiritualism, the role of entrancement, the role of prayer, and the mission of God in the world.”[296] The Mount Temples’s longing for restored miracles and a Higher Life was satisfied by the spirits with whom they became familiar through séances.[297] For example, they conversed with the spirit of Frederick Lamb, a Viscount, who told Mr. Mount-Temple where he could find assorted letters and speeches and commanded that they be published.[298] Lord Palmerston, who had been dead for 13 months, similarly told Mr. Mount-Temple where important memoranda could be found.[299] They worked with mediums who “engaged in extensive automatic writing . . . and . . . often left [their] body to traverse the spheres,” while also working wonderful cures [of sickness].”[300] At various séances, and in the company of other spiritualists, including those they had proselyted into spiritualism, the Mount-Temples experienced the supernatural signs and wonders that they had been seeking:

[Prophetic] message[s] . . . [were given through using] a ouija board[.] . . . [A] wonderous demonstration [took place] of a table dancing in tune with music played on a piano apparently by invisible hands [for a while until they] heard departing footsteps and the [spirit’s] farewell, “Dear earthly friends, good night.” . . . [T]able rapping and spiritual music . . . table tilting and levitation . . . psychical responses sent through clairvoyant visions or spirit writing moving [one’s] fingers when . . . in a state of trance [were experienced]. . . . [G]uests pressing their fingers lightly to the tops of two tables, [Mr. Temple recorded,] “the large table danced in time to a country dance & the little table rose & being suspended in the air the feet be[in]g about 1 foot from the ground & it rapped against the edge of a sofa . . . it also heaved as if at the top of a wave & tilted to the side.” . . . [Séances were discussed where] fresh eggs, fruit, and flowers would descend from the ceiling . . . [although some were] amazed with the triviality of the manifestations.[301] . . . [S]pirits moving about the room [caused] ferns [to] shake[.] . . . [A medium] elongating his body by some six to eight inches in a trance [was also] summoning luminous forms visible to guests. . . . [O]bjects materiali[zed] without the aid of a medium[.] . . . [Many] messages from the dead [were delivered.][302]

While the Mount-Temples led many to adopt spiritualism, some of their converts came to suspect the true source of the manifestations. For example, one who had been converted to spiritualism by the Mount-Temples and attended numerous séances with them wrote to Mrs. Mount-Temple in April 1868:

Could anything more perfectly answer the description of a “familiar or household spirit” [Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27, etc.]—than that thing—if a true thing—that came . . . and answered the question—“Have you any News?[”]—“I haven’t got any”? Think of it! [If the Testament is true,] I have no doubt that it is your duty at once to abstain from all these things . . . [and] to receive what you have seen of them [the spirits] as an awful sign of the now active presence of the Fiend among us.[303]

The manifestations, this more discerning convert recognized, were “beneath the dignity of an intelligent God”—therefore, “have done with ‘Mediums.’”[304] However, the Mount-Temples, despite being confronted with the plain warnings of Scripture, did not take heed to this advice. Mr. Mount-Temple continued to be so enchanted with spiritualism that he was even nursed by a medium in his last illness.[305] He never decided to reject them as Satanic, for they were among “the great cloud of witnesses encircling the world.”[306] Besides, “the presence of unseen heavenly ones added to the deep gladness that was felt”[307] at the Broadlands Conventions, so the spirits of the dead must have been good because they made people feel the happiness of the Higher Life. Likewise, Mrs. Mount-Temple, even to the end of her life, was never freed from the influence of mediums.[308] After all, as she had learned from them, “Spiritualism [was] . . . the handmaid of Christianity.”[309] Mrs. Mount-Temple even exercised supernatural powers herself; for example, one day when a man was suffering from a sickness, she threw a lady into a trance so that the cure for the disease could be obtained by prophecy, and then brought the lady out of the trace—“another bit of witchery.”[310] In the 1870s, when the Higher Life meetings at Broadlands were founded and Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple were promoting Robert and Hannah Pearsall Smith, as well as cultists like Laurence Oliphant, the “Cowper-Temples . . . met the best-known mediums of this decade,” bringing “the greatest of the English mediums, with whom they had been attending séances . . . to Broadlands . . . [b]y 1874,”[311] the very year Mr. Mount-Temple asked the spirits during a séance for permission to become a medium himself to further his spiritual growth.[312] Thus, in 1874 Mr. Mount-Temple, seeking the Higher Life, both asked for permission to become a medium and thrust the Pearsall Smiths into the limelight in that fateful Higher Life Conference on their property. Indeed, the Mount-Temples were “one of the earliest” to explore “spiritualism” in England.[313] Broadlands truly was a very spiritual place—mediums validated that “all manners of ghosts [were] about the house,”[314] since “[c]ontact with ghosts helped shape both Lady and Lord Mount Temple’s futures and day-to-day living.”[315] The day after the 1874 Broadlands Conference that germinated the Keswick theology, Mrs. Cowper-Temple had reached such a spiritual height in her Higher Life that she attended a séance to see if more of the spirit of a dead man, John King, would materialize than in the last attempt to contact him—previously, only his head had materialized, and Mrs. Cowper-Temple was hoping for more in her post-Conference séance.[316] Truly, Mr. and Mrs. Cowper-Temple lived a supernatural and spiritual life, and the spirits that gathered there contributed to the supernatural and spiritual Higher Life that so many led at Broadlands. Such was the place, and such were the promoters, of the Broadlands Conference for the promotion of the Higher Life that hatched the Keswick system.

            Scriptural cessationism, consequently, was rejected at the Broadlands Conferences for continuationism. Pentecost, with its signs and wonders, was not a completed dispensational event, but “a sample of that dispensation of the Spirit, which was the gift of God to the Church in all generations.”[317] Indeed, because of the Divine Seed in every man, “[a]ny hour may be a miracle hour”—such miraculous visions as “the young Isaiah” had of Jehovah on His throne (Isaiah 6), as “Moses” had on “Mount Horeb,” and as “Paul” had on the road to “Damascus,” “such hours of visio[n] come to all . . . [h]ow many, in all ages . . . have known these sacred experiences[.] . . . Such special, memorable hours, came to us, not seldom, at Broadlands.”[318] Many “hours of vision” and “dreams . . . came to the worshippers at Broadlands.”[319] In fact, even the poet Wordsworth[320] had received visions like those of Isaiah, Moses, Paul, and the participants at the Broadlands Conferences.[321] While Scripture testifies that “God . . . spake . . . at sundry times and in divers manners . . . in time past” before the coming of Christ (Hebrews 1:1-4), Broadlands testifies that “At sundry times and in divers manners God [still] speaks and manifests Himself.”[322] Sola Scriptura and cessationism were out, while spiritualism and continuationism were in.

Those at Broadlands desired the presence of the sign gifts and healing powers, practiced the Faith and Mind Cure, and received inspiration from those demons that directed the Mount-Temples and promulgated through them the corruptions of the Higher Life theology. Supernatural beings from the angelic realm gave commands, so that voices, with music accompanying them, were heard at Broadlands Conferences.[323] When Mr. Mount-Temple was, sick, through the Faith and Mind Cure he was restored again; both he and his wife “tried the ‘mind cure’” at times.[324] They were conversant with homeopaths.[325] Mr. Mount Temple’s “witness to others in the matter of healing by the prayer of faith was unceasing . . . [‘]I am anxious[,] [he said,] [‘that] . . . this form of Divine Healing . . . should be tried . . . it seems to me to be unfaithful not to have recourse to it . . . showers of healing are so plentifully falling around us . . . this valuable life should be [within] reach.[’]” During his sickness, in a manner consistent with his spiritualism, he was even able to join in prayer “with words of fervor and power as though his spirit were using his body whilst the mind remained dormant.”[326] Dormant minds allegedly disjoined from actions on the spirit were most helpful in affecting Faith Cures.

Contrary to the truth that inspiration was complete with the canon of Scripture, but in accordance with its embrace of the Quaker doctrine of the Inner Light, Broadlands was a place where allegedly post-canonical inspiration was as plentiful as fog in London. At Broadlands, “[n]ot only . . . pastors and teachers” were present, but “prophets” also.[327] Mrs. Mount-Temple stated that the “impulse” through which Mr. Mount-Temple offered his Broadlands estate to Hannah and Robert Smith for the foundational Conference “seemed . . . like . . . inspiration”; “thus our first Conference was initiated,”[328] Mrs. Mount Temple declared, by a revelation and by inspiration. The Conference was then “led by Mr. Pearsall Smith” in a “wonderfully inspired way,”[329] even as Mr. Mount Temple’s speeches were “so inspired in utterance”[330] both at that first Conference and at other times. Mrs. Pearsall Smith had reached such a height of spirituality that “inspiration” even “came from her shining face.”[331] Indeed, women preachers—“inspired wom[e]n”—gave “inspired addresses,”[332] and continuationism in general, and in particular a rejection of sola Scriptura for the Quaker doctrine of authoritative continuing revelations and inspiration because of the Divine Seed in every man, were insisted upon as of primary importance and as the core of Broadlands teaching:

It was insisted on first of all, that God does actually communicate with each one[333] of the spirits He had made: not only did He speak to human beings in the past, but does still, here and now. This fact is referred to in the Bible . . . as the light . . . as a voice . . . as a guide . . . [in] individual guidance . . . [and] also as inspiration. . . . [T]his Divine communion is not only . . . the light (that which reveals), not only . . . a voice (which lets us know from Whom the word comes), or . . . a guide (which indicates our course), but is even as the breath or life of God within our life, to inspire us[.] . . . The power to discern this Divine guidance is given to all in some measure . . . it is a gift, a faculty common to all . . . God’s voice is of the heart[.] . . . Surely this is . . . the Quaker doctrine of the Inner Light, which is the corner-stone of their belief. . . . Intuitions come at such times . . . [w]e feel within us “the breath of God, that warrenteth the utmost, inmost things of faith”[334] . . . The vision br[ings] supreme joy . . . visionary hours may be as the steps in a rocky path, by which we climb to the pure air of the mountain-top.

        Dream, vision, prophecy, spiritual imagination, call them what we will, are an essential element of human life. . . . [W]ithout the inspired spiritual element in life, man can never be truly man. . . . the highest powers of his being remain unused.[335] . . . Every age[336] has its seers, its dreamers of dreams, its men of [supernatural] insight . . . [such men] are needed. . . . The seer brings us new knowledge[337] . . . as vision opens beyond vision into the depths of being and of love. . . . The seer rejoices . . . and the worker is glad of the inspiration . . . [t]hey are not disobedient to the heavenly vision.[338]

After all, the Incarnation was not necessary so that Christ could satisfy the Law of God and shed His blood as a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of men,[339] but He came to lead people to listen to the Inner Light: “He came in the flesh, that He might get at us from the outside, because we do not listen to the inward voice.”[340] Despite multitudes of texts like Isaiah 53:4-6 and 1 John 2:2, Hannah Smith and the Mount Temples knew that “Christ” was “not in any sense . . . appeasing the wrath of God”[341] by His work on the cross, so having His redemptive blood personally applied through a new birth was, without a doubt, not necessary for salvation. Further revelations are necessary, because “Christianity has never yet been fully preached,” not even by the Apostles and the first century churches—the “chuches have to learn that.” Consequently, “what a power there is in vision”![342] Thus, at that first Broadlands Conference, as at subsequent ones, the universalist Andrew Jukes proclaimed his heresies with “inspired wisdom.”[343] Antoinette Sterling, consistent with “her Quaker upbringing . . . seemed as much inspired in the choice of her songs as in the rendering of them,”[344] for “she was one of the few to whom God . . . [w]hispers in the ear,” so she could “guid[e] . . . the assembly . . . to a higher, nobler plane” with her “spontaneous outpourings which seemed inspired.”[345] After all, “the highest music is itself a revelation, a manifestation of something divine” as it “prophesies of . . . predestined good . . . [and] salvation universal,” and “[t]here is no truer truth obtainable than comes of music,”[346] including the propositions of Scripture, which flatly deny that salvation is universal. By entering into the Higher Life “the soul . . . receives more inspiration than it can hold.”[347] The supernatural spirits that worked so greatly in Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple’s lives, as they did in the Quakers to give them Inner Light, and gave them and others present at Broadlands wonders and marvels, were the source of what Mrs. Mount-Temple called “the God-inspired . . . Conferences which [Mr. Mount-Temple] inaugurated and carried through for so many years . . . at Broadlands.”[348]

            The broadness of the Mount-Temples’s views embraced not only Irvingism, continuationism, and broader spiritualism, but even and especially the filthy religion of the occult perfectionists and free-love practicioners Thomas Harris and Laurence Oliphant,[349] since spiritualism and sexual immorality were the natural handmaids of each other.[350] As Hannah and Robert P. Smith adopted the doctrine that the baptism of the Spirit was associated with erotic thrills, so the only way to receive the true Spirit Baptism was through sexual immorality, taught Oliphant as Harris’s disciple. “Laurence Oliphant, together with his disciples, actually carried out, to the utmost possible extent, the practices of which Robert Pearsall Smith was suspected.”[351] However, only those initiated into the Higher Life were brought into these depths of Satan; publicly Harris and Oliphant were more vague, as were the Smiths. Nevertheless, Oliphant held that “sexual passion was the only real spiritual life.”[352] Oliphant explained to Mrs. Smith, and to many others, at the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Cowper-Temple, his unspeakable abominations. Hannah W. Smith explained:

[T]he Baptism of the Holy Ghost, [which we were to] seek the experience [of] for ourselves. . . . was to be the aim of our desires. . . . Mr. Oliphant . . . told me that he believed my husband was called to enter into and propogate the views he held, and he urged me to beg him not to stop short of the full consummation. . . . “Come and get into bed with me.” . . . I asked him if it were not possible to lead people into this glorious experience he spoke of without personal contact. He said no, it was not.[353]

Such was the Higher Life Harris and Oliphant spread with the patronage of Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple.

It was Mr. Mount-Temple’s seeking to “gathe[r] all the good he could from spiritualism” that led him to make the acquaintance, his wife explained, of Harris and Oliphant.[354] Mrs. Cowper-Temple, who was especially attracted to Oliphant[355] because of his turn from materialism to spiritualism after necromantic contact with his dead father,[356]narrated concerning the dirty duo:

[N]o one . . . ever attracted William [Mount-Temple] more . . . [than] Mr. Harris. . . . It was through him we became much allied with Laurence Oliphant, whom we first met at Broadlands . . . All there were interested in him. [Oliphant had] turned his back upon all and went off . . . to find God under the guidance of Mr. Harris. . . . [H]e always said he owed everything to Mr. Harris. . . . [Laurence] married [one from] our house [that is, one from the Cowper-Temple household], who was of one mind with himself . . . upheld by the hope of bringing others [by sexual contact] into the new and higher life . . . [They resided] with us at Broadlands [among other places].[357]

The Mount-Temples “considered joining . . . Harris [and] his cult in New York State,” but they decided instead to simply make their “home at Broadlands a haven for . . . Harris,”[358] from whence they “might help in [the] unfolding”[359] of the spiritual Kingdom of which Harris was the messenger. From Broadlands Harris and Oliphant could propogate their ideas and seduce others into the Higher Life of sexual immorality and the thrills of the erotic Spirit Baptism, for Mr. Mount-Temple was zealous to promote such spiritual growth in all those whom he could influence from Broadlands.[360] The Mount-Temples founded the Broadlands Conferences, the root of the Keswick Conventions and the capstone of their personal spiritual quest,[361] for the purpose of promoting such Higher Life theology as that of Harris and Oliphant, and the special spiritual Baptism that accompanied it:

These [Broadlands] Conferences were established . . . to seek the outpouring of the Spirit[.] . . . A meeting . . . of universal character, all speaking as the Spirit moved them, not of doctrines or of systems, but of the wonderful things of God. . . . In 1874 a few persons were led together on this new basis . . . their participation in the same desire to lead a higher and deeper Christian life.[362]

People sought “a tangible sign of the Spirit,” and received “ten times more [than they] expected” in his “felt presence.”[363] Mr. and Mrs. Smith were consequently invited by the Cowper-Temples to lead that first fateful conference at Broadlands in 1874, that others also might enter into that same Higher Life and Spirit baptism that they four had experienced with all its physical thrills.[364]

Hannah W. Smith was well aware of the spiritualism and the immoral abominations practiced and propounded by the Mount-Temples. She wrote: “Lady Mount Temple is about as sweet as a human being can be. But she is a spiritualist, and told me that nothing had saved her from absolute infidelity but the proofs she had seen in spiritualism of a life in another region . . . she . . . had so much Scripture on her side[.]”[365] Hannah Smith believed “so much Scripture” was on the side of Mrs. Mount-Temple’s spiritualism despite the clearest and direst warnings against this demonic practice in texts such as Deuteronomy 18:11 and Isaiah 8:19. Thus, Hannah Smith allowed Mrs. Mount-Temple to introduce her to numerous spiritualists and mediums, and they sat under their teaching together.[366] Was it not good that Mrs. Mount-Temple had been kept from agnosticism[367] and atheism through the close communion with Satan and his devils into which she was brought as she engaged in familiar intercourse with demons pretending to be dead people who had come back from the grave? However, notwithstanding her preservation from agnosticism and atheism at the time, at a later time “Lady Mount Temple” began to “rav[e] against God one minute, and d[id] not believe there is any God the next minute.”[368] Furthermore, “Lady Mount Temple could never grasp the difference between right and wrong; when no cruelty was involved she couldn’t see why people should not do what they like”[369]—why they could not, as Hannah advised, “always . . . do the thing they really and seriously wanted to do . . . and . . . with a good conscience.”[370] That such advice could lead to the most monstrous iniquities, and extreme lasciviousness, was apparent. Indeed, Mrs. Mount Temple’s “family, the Tollemaches, were a wild family, much given to misbehavior” that led many of them into “disgrace,” as a result of which they would be invited to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Mount Temple for a while.[371] Mrs. Mount-Temple’s “only answer” when confronted with the fact that a servant of hers named Sarah, “under the almost intolerable domination” of whom she had fallen, “was the mother of a large family of illegitimate children,” was: “‘I am so glad poor Sarah has had some fun.’ . . . [A] charge of misconduct made no impression.”[372] Indeed, Lady Mount Temple even “wrote . . . a friendly letter . . . [to] Oscar Wilde [while he] was out on bail between his two trials . . . inviting him to pay her a visit,”[373] although Wilde was a notorious and serial pedophile, and his two trials were connected to his despicable sodomizing of countless boys and men. Lady Mount Temple also thought—as her conection with Laurence Oliphant makes most unsurprising—that it was “incomprehensible and silly” that Mr. Smith was removed from his leadership of the Keswick Convention[374] after the Brighton meetings because of his espousal of erotic bridal mysticism: “If these good people wanted to kiss each other, what, she wondered, could be the harm in that?”[375]

Despite, or perhaps because of, Mrs. Mount-Temple’s spiritualism, damnable heresies, immorality, and rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Mrs. Smith could write to her: “I think of you as . . . sitting in a bower of heavenly love . . . our true and only [l]and is the beloved and beautiful will of God, which environs us all everywhere and in everything.”[376] Indeed, Mrs. Smith was happy to have fellowship with a variety of other spiritualists also,[377] as well as receiving prophecies from occult palm readers.[378] It is unsurprising that Hannah felt that there was “something occult about”[379] the powers that assisted her preaching ministry. She was certainly not an enemy of the Satanic spiritualism of her great Higher Life patrons.

With the Mount-Temples,[380] Mrs. Smith fellowshipped with Laurence Oliphant, that spiritualist, perfectionist cult leader, and free-love practicioner.[381] Oliphant taught the doctrine which had already been adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Smith some years earlier, and was publicly proclaimed at the Keswick precursor Convention at Oxford, that Spirit baptism brought erotic sexual sensations,[382] although Mr. Oliphant affirmed with greater clarity[383] that the actual entertainment of lustful and vile passions in acts of shameful immorality was the key and the only way to receive Spirit baptism. It was essential, Hannah knew, to receive a post-conversion Spirit baptism,[384] for only after the Baptism does one really become a temple of the Holy Spirit and have His indwelling.[385] And, in truth, it certainly would not be surprising if a supernatural spirit made the body of someone who received the erotic bridal Baptism his dwellingplace.[386] In any case, Mr. and Mrs. Smith were not alone in receiving patronage from the Mount-Temples; Oliphant also was received in the like manner and given a stage upon which to proclaim his filthy abominations.[387] Mrs. Smith wrote about their meeting:

I went to Dorking to join Lord and Lady Mount Temple at a friend’s house there to meet Laurence Oliphant. . . . He . . . has come over to England on a mission to propogate a sort of mystic spiritualism of a most peculiar kind. . . . After dinner Laurence Oliphant read us a long paper . . . [t]he next morning, however, he unfolded his ideas to me . . . similar teaching had [been adopted by] a great many good people[388] in America.[389]

Her letter dramatically understated matters; as other writings of hers, which she would not allow to be published until after her death, and the deaths of all those involved in the events, indicated: “Readers of her [Hannah Smith’s] Religious Fanaticism will recognize the moderation of this letter, for, as she there frankly reveals, Laurence Oliphant, together with his disciples, actually carried out, to the utmost possible extent, the practices of which Robert Pearsall Smith was suspected,”[390] speaking of the doctrine that Spirit baptism was associated with sexual thrills, and engaging in practices suitable to such a confession; for Oliphant held that “sexual passion was the only real spiritual life.”[391] In her more forthright and posthumous description of her visit with the Mount-Temples to sit at the feet of Oliphant, Mrs. Smith wrote:

On one occasion I was invited to go with two friends of mine . . . to meet Mr. Oliphant. In the evening, after dinner, Mr. Oliphant read us a paper about some mysterious experience that he declared was the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and was the birthright of everyone; urging us to seek the experience for ourselves. . . . I scented out what he meant;[392] but one of my friends did not, and she was profoundly impressed with the mysterious reference to some wonderful “it” that was to be the aim of our desires. When he closed the paper, she said in her sweet, childlike way, “What would’st thou have me to do in order to gain this?” Immediately he coloured up to the roots of his hair, and said, “I could not tell you in this company.” It flashed into my mind that if he had answered her what was really in his mind, he would have said, “Come and get into bed with me.” However, nothing more was said then, and we separated for the night, but I was convinced from the behaviour of our hostess and her daughters that they had been more or less initiated into the mystic rites of this new religion. The next morning Mr. Oliphant asked for a private interview with me, in which he told me that he believed my husband was called to enter into and propogate the views he held, and he urged me to beg him not to stop short of the full consummation. I asked what the full consummation was. He said, “You noticed the question that was asked me last night? Do you know what I would have answered? I did not tell him what I had thought, but asked him, “What would you have answered? His reply was, “If I dared to I would have said, ‘Come and get into bed with me.’” . . . I asked him if it were not possible to lead people into this glorious experience he spoke of without personal contact. He said no, it was not.[393]

In addition to contact with Oliphant through the Mount-Temples, Hannah Smith had contact with the sect of Oliphant’s father in his filthy faith, Thomas Harris,[394] although she professed, at least in public, that she did not adopt either of their views. However, it is clear that she sought out, learned, and “knew personally about” Oliphant’s sect and Harris’s sect,[395] while reading some of Harris’s writings and lending them to others.[396] On Mrs. Mount-Temple’s request, Hannah even visited Harris’s colony in California.[397] Since Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple made their “home at Broadlands a haven for all sorts of prophets of new religious and utopian experiements, including the American Thomas Lake Harris . . . [and] his cult in New York State” and they seem to have “considered joining [his] American group,”[398] Mrs. Smith’s exposure to and fellowship with Harris and Oliphant is not surprising in the least. Indeed, although he may be difficult for her to understand, “Harris” is definitely “in his senses,” as Hannah knew, a fact validated to her by her friend, the New Thought teacher Mrs. Caldwell, who considered his writings “very advanced truth”—and Hannah knew that Mrs. Caldwell was also certainly “in her senses,” with “plenty more people, too” who found Harris and his abominations attractive.[399] Filthy fanatics like Oliphant were some of the people[400] Mrs. Mount-Temple introduced to Mrs. Smith. Through Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple, Hannah W. Smith was both influenced by spiritualism and other forms of demonic activity, encouraged in the doctrine of erotic bride mysticism being promulgated by her husband and adopted, for a time, by herself also, and exalted to be the most important leader of the Higher Life movement, so as to become the founder of the Keswick theology.

            The Mount-Temples’s Broadlands Conference was the launching point for the Keswick movement; all the key Keswick theological distinctives were there in place.[401] The distinctive pattern of the later Keswick meetings of beginning with an explication of the evil of known sin, progressing through the provision made in the Higher Life for victory, and a call to the embrace of the Higher Life and its practical consequences, was pioneered at Broadlands.[402] The positive Keswick emphases, retained from the older classical orthodox doctrine of sanctification, on the necessity of surrender to Christ, a rejection of self-dependence, and the importance of faith, were set forth. What was truly new, the deviations from classical orthodoxy among Keswick speakers and writers, was also taught. For example, Broadlands taught the Keswick idea that Christ Himself lives the Christian life for the believer.[403] Broadlands rejected Christ’s Lordship and Biblical repentance in conversion, teaching that one receives Christ with the attitude of “some of self, and some of Thee” and only later comes to a real surrender.[404] Broadlands taught the standard Keswick Quietism and its associated continuationism.[405] The standard pattern of progressive daily topics at the Keswick Convention was that of Broadlands.[406] Broadlands taught the distinctive Keswick model of sanctification. Keswick theology was consequently molded by the corruption of the gospel, confusion of Biblical sanctification, spiritualism, continuationism, ecumenicalism, the Inner Light, New Thought, the Mind and Faith Cure, feminism, Quakerism, syncretism, quietism, antinomianism, universalism, erotic sensations as Spirit baptism, and the other heresies of the Smiths and their fellow teachers of the Higher Life as taught at Broadlands. It is difficult to underestimate the influence of the teaching of Hannah W. Smith and others at Broadlands on the subsequent history and development of the Keswick movement, as the Oxford and Brighton Conventions were simply Broadlands writ large,[407] and Keswick theology is the permanent establishment of the promulgations of these Conventions.

            Thus, Mr. Mount-Temple was by no means a passive host who simply lent his Broadlands property to others for their use—on the contrary, he was the mainspring and heart of the Broadlands Conference and consequently a prime initiator of Keswick. Those who knew Broadlands best testified:

Lord Mount Temple . . . was th[e] mainspring, th[e] very heart . . . of the Broadlands Conferences[.] . . . He was the preparer and the almost hidden ruler of the feast. . . . [T]he aim of his life express[ed] itself and t[ook] visible form in these Conferences . . . it was in these that the sap of his inner ideal life . . . found issue[.] . . . I attribute . . . the felt presence of the Spirit [at the Conferences] . . . not a little, I may say mainly, to the tone and spirit of him who [was] the lord of those broad lands[.] . . . I believe the main channel of all this blessing at Broadlands was dear Lord Mount Temple himself. . . . [I]t was his heart which . . . first conceived the possibility of such meetings . . . it was his personal influence, also, . . . which kept . . . opposite elements in peace[.] . . . Broadlands . . . [was under] the . . . leadership of Lord Mount Temple.[408]

Lord Mount Temple led the way in spiritual things, Hannah Smith testified, and called through the Broadlands message for others to follow him to his eternal dwelling place.[409] He received rhapsodic and hagiographical praise from key Keswick men such as Charles Fox,[410] the poet of Keswick and its closing preacher for two decades.[411] He developed the practice of “open[ing] every meeting”[412] at the Broadlands Conferences, where he “urged upon his hearers the need of a higher spiritual life” and promoted Quietism.[413] Furthermore, his influence was by no means limited to Broadlands, but “he often preached”[414] in various venues. By leading the Broadlands Conference, he was the source of the Oxford, Brighton, and Keswick Conventions that patterned themselves after and developed from it. As Hannah Whitall Smith explained out of her personal experience as a fixture and leader among the Broadlands preachers:[415]

Mr. and Mrs. Cowper Temple . . . were among the first to open their hearts and their home to the teaching concerning the life of faith that was at that time beginning to attract attention among English Christians. The great Conferences at Oxford, later, in 1874, and at Brighton in 1875, and the long series of similar, though somewhat smaller Conferences since held for the “deepening of the spiritual life,” were all the outcome of that first Conference gathered by Mr. and Mrs. Cowper Temple at Broadlands . . . in the summer of 1874; and probably without this brave initiatory Conference of theirs those which followed, filled as they have been and still are with [Higher Life] blessings to thousands, would never have been held. This fact is not generally known, but in the great day of accounts, when the secrets of all hears are revealed . . . thousands will [recognize] these . . . pioneers for having thus opened to Christians a wide door into . . . the life hid with Christ in God.[416]

Broadlands led directly to Keswick:

[O]n July 17, 1874, the first Broadlands Conference met. About 200 persons assembled[.] . . . After this a Conference was held at Broadlands nearly every summer till 1888, and soon after the last one, in August of that year, Lord Mount-Temple died.

        Many who attended the first Conference in 1874 felt it would be well if similar meetings, open to larger numbers, could be held elsewhere, and, at the suggestion of Stevenson Blackwood, Oxford was selected as a suitable spot[.] . . . Accordingly a Conference was held in September in the lovely old city, and about 1000 men and women of all ranks of society and of various religious denominations were present.

        A fortnight later a crowded meeting was held under the Dome of Brighton, to hear about the Oxford Conference, and as a result of the interest awakened, a Conference was held at Brighton in the following spring, which was largely attended. There were about 8000 strangers in Brighton, as many as 6000 attending services at the same time. . . .

        The same year as the Brighton Conference, 1875 . . . the Keswick Conventions . . . [were] inaugurated . . . which have drawn great numbers . . . year after year ever since[.][417]

Both persons who attended and written works about Broadlands and its teaching were key in the formation of the Higher Life movement encapsulated at Keswick.[418] Thus, “the Broadlands Conferences were the starting-point of many important movements. The great Conferences at Oxford in 1874, and at Brighton in 1875, for the deepening of the spiritual life, leading on to those held annually at Keswick and elsewhere . . . were the outcome of those at Broadlands[.]”[419] The 1874 Broadlands Conference, at which the Smiths were key speakers, was “the germ from which Keswick was to grow, and out of which the memorable gatherings at Oxford and Brighton sprang more immediately.”[420] The Keswick Conventions are indubitably the product of Broadlands. What is more, “the fruits of these . . . Broadlands Conferences . . . even now are seen, [even] among those who never were at Broadlands, but who have caught something of its spirit.”[421] The deviations from orthodox spirituality in the Keswick movement developed from the foundation of the movement in the federation between the Mount Temples, the Pearsall Smiths, and other false teachers at Broadlands.

Hannah Smith’s Higher Life theology, promulgated in the Keswick movement, that sanctification produces a sort of perfection of acts,[422] follows the teaching of the leading Quaker theologian Robert Barclay.[423] However, Mrs. Smith came to her view of “the life of faith” in association not only with the “Quaker examples and influences” that from her youth led her to seek for entire sanctification,[424] but also the Catholic heretics and mystical quietists “Fénelon and Madame Guyon.”[425] Hannah described her love for a collection of their writings and its influence upon her, and her father before her, in leading them towards the Higher Life, as follows:

I knew I was not what I ought to be. My life was full of failure and sin. . . . I was continually sinning and repenting, making good resolutions and breaking them . . . longing for victory . . . but more often failing. . . . From the peaceful, restful lives of the Quakers, among whom I had been brought up . . . I had supposed of course that becoming a Christian meant necessarily becoming peaceful and good, and I had as much expected to have victory over sin and over worries as I had expected the sun to shine. But I was forced to confess in the secret depths of my soul that I had been disappointed. . . . Nothing could have described my condition better than the Apostle’s account of his own condition in Romans 7:14-23.[426] I had entered into the salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, and yet I knew no such triumphant deliverance from the “body of death” within me[.] . . . This feeling became especially strong after my discovery of the unlimited love of God.[427] . . . The Quaker examples and influences around me seemed to say there must be a deliverance somewhere, for they declared that they had experienced it[.] . . . There was also another influence in my life that seemed to tell the same story. I possessed a book which distinctly taught that God’s children were not only commanded to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, but also that they could do so;[428] and which seemed to reveal the mystical pathway towards it. It was called “Spiritual Progress,” and was a collection of extracts from the writings of Fénelon and Madame Guyon. This book was very dear to me, for it had been a gift from my adored father, and always lay on my desk beside my Bible. . . . [Concerning it, my father also testified,] “This book proved to be of the greatest comfort to me. I carried it in my pocket, and at leisure moments read it to my everlasting profit, I trust. And I cannot but thank a kind Providence for giving me this blessed book.” . . . He valued the book so highly that, as fast as his children grew old enough, he presented each one of us with a copy, and asked us to read it carefully. Our father was so dear to us that we always wanted to please him, and I for one had made the book my special companion . . . its teachings had made a profound impression upon me[.] . . . After . . . the discovery I had made of the wideness of God’s love [universalism], I began to feel more and more uneasy. . . . And more and more I felt the inconsistency of having a salvation, which was in the end to be so magnificently complete [as every single person would be in heaven], but which failed now and here so conspiculously in giving that victory over sin and over worry . . . [until I discovered] the Methodist “blessing of holiness.”[429]

Thus, not only Quakerism, universalism, and a self-centered eudemonism that was focused upon being free from worry and having a life of ease and rest, but also Roman Catholic mysticism was key in Hannah’s discovery of the Higher Life. In her youth Hannah had wished to “get perfectly good, just like Mme. Guyon,”[430] and even to the limits of her old age she found various affirmations of Fénelon “everlastingly true.”[431] She further wrote: “Fenelon’s whole teaching is to show us how to let the lower life die, and the higher life take its place[,] [that is,] . . . the ‘Higher Life’ . . . [taught in my] ‘Christian’s Secret[.]’”[432] Likewise, Hannah Smith found “the true meaning of self abandonment” in Madame Guyon’s Commentary on the Song of Solomon,[433] found confirmation on “the subject of guidance” by the Inner “Voice” from “Madame Guyon,”[434] discovered her quietistic doctrine of resting on God in “naked faith” from “Madame Guyon” and “Fenelon,”[435] and developed her doctrine of being “one with God” from them also.[436] Indeed, she made many discoveries from this pair of Catholic mystics, who were central to her doctrine of sanctification,[437] although other Roman Catholics were also important.[438] Indeed, she found that not only Romanist mystics, but “[a]ll the writers on the advancing life say that a renunciation of all the activities of the soul must come before God can be all in all.”[439] That is, quietism is the necessary prerequisite for mystical union and deification. [440] The Higher Life “may make us lazy on the line of ‘creaturely activity,’ for all our restless strivings and agonizings will be over, and our souls will dwell in ‘peaceable habitations’ continually,”[441] but quietism is the truth, at least in the view of the writers on the advanced life, if not in the view of the Bible.

Both the Roman Catholic Archbishop Fénelon and the mystical Quietist and panentheist Madame Guyon, who in “all that concerns the distinction between Protestantism [and the Baptists] and Romanism . . . is wholly Romanist,”[442] were enemies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Madame Guyon began her last will as follows: “I protest that I die in the faith of the Catholic, apostolical, Roman Church; having no other doctrines than hers; believing all that she believes, and condemning, without restriction, all that she condemns.”[443] She was “an outstanding proponent” of “quietism,” that “manifestation of Roman Catholic mysticism in the seveneenth and eighteenth centuries,” having adopted it from “Miguel de Molinos, a Spanish priest”[444] who was “founder of the Quietists.”[445] Packer describes the error of Quietism:

Quietism . . . holds that all initiatives on our part, of any sort, are the energy of the flesh; that God will move us, if at all, by inner promptings and constraints that are recognizably not thoughts and impulses of our own; and that we should always be seeking the annihilation of our selfhood so that divine life may flow freely through our physical frames. . . . by biblical standards this passiv[e] frame of reference is altogether wrong, for the Holy Spirit’s ordinary way of working in us is through the working of our minds and wills. . . . Thus, our conscious, rational selfhood, so far from being annihilated, is strengthened . . . Philippians 2:13. This is holiness, and in the process of perfecting it there is, properly speaking, no passivity at all.[446]

David Cloud explained:

The school of mysticism that Guyon adhered to, sometimes called Quietism, was an extreme form of Roman Catholic mysticism that emphasized the cleansing of one’s inner life and included the belief that one could see Christ visibly. Before Guyon’s day, in the Middle Ages, this took strange forms in erotic “bride mysticism” with some visionaries believing they were married to Jesus. Guyon and the Quietists went further, into something called essence mysticism. They believed that their being was merged with God’s being and the two became one. This unbiblical idea survives today in the New Age and other non-Christian religions. . . . She taught that we can know of God by “passing forward into God,” going into a mindless, meditative state where we can get in touch with the Christ within the self, merge with that Christ and be lifted into ecstasy.[447]

Guyon “won many converts,” resulting in a “belief in a vague pantheism which is closer to the South Asian religions than to Christianity,” but, nevertheless, she “felt herself so close to God that she received visions and revelations,”[448] as did so many of her Higher Life successors who devoured her writings. Madame Guyon also, with other medieval Roman Catholic mystics, believed in the abominable heresy of deification, which was also transferred into the Higher Life and Keswick milieu.[449] Fenélon, who “admired and defended [Guyon’s] ideas,”[450] had many converts also—he became the Catholic “Superior of a house for recent converts from Protestantism and then led a mission to the Huguenots,”[451] seeking to bring those French Protestants back to the fold of that religious system, centered in Rome, that the Apostle John called the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth (Revelation 17). Concerning these Quietists, Hannah W. Smith wrote: “By my Quaker education, I was exceedingly inclined towards mysticism, and the books I had read—such as Madame Guyon, Fénelon, Isaac Pennington[452] and others, all of which lead to a life of introspection and self-abandonment—had greatly strengthened me in this, so that I honestly believed that wonderful spiritual light would come, and did come, to souls that gave themselves up to the control of their interior emotions and followed impressional guidance.”[453] She stated: “[B]ecause of my education in the Quaker Society . . . [m]y idea of guidance . . . was of having impressed upon my mind in some miraculous way the will of God; and the teaching I received was that instant, unquestioning obedience to these impressions was the only way[.]”[454] Quaker and Roman Catholic mysticism were at the heart of Hannah W. Smith’s Higher Life and Keswick theology.

Mrs. Smith also rejoiced in her “dear Quaker friend[s] and the Catholic Saints” who “exalted James with his justification by works.”[455] After the death of her daughter’s Roman Catholic husband, she “covenanted that” her grandchildren from that marriage would “be educated as Roman Catholics, and she kept . . . strictly to her promise.”[456] She wrote: “My two little grandchildren are . . . devout little Catholics, and seem to enjoy their religion, and I am glad of it. I daresay they will be saved a good many of the perplexities and difficulties that so often beset Protestant children.”[457] She led them to celebrate Lent,[458] to “la[y] up treasure in Heaven by giving candlesticks to a Roman Catholic High Altar” and by going to Mass[459] and the Confessional.[460] Hannah used the methods in “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life” to lead “a Roman Catholic lady, a convert who was vexed by doubts about some dogma of the Church” of Rome, to an unshaken confidence in the dogma of transubstantiation. “H. W. S. wrote out on a piece of paper, ‘I undertake never to have any more doubts about the Real Presence’ (or whatever it was), and brought it to her, and made her sign it. After that the troubled spirit was utterly at rest”[461] in the bosom of the Whore of Babylon. After all, nothing was wrong with Romanism, since because of a Quaker “opening,” one of the special revelations she received that supplemented or contradicted the Bible, Mrs. Smith came to realize that Roman Catholics were all one in God with other Christians.[462] In any case, a Christian does not need to be justified by Christ’s imputed righteousness, nor believe what the Bible says about Jesus Christ—rather, “to be a good human being is to be the best Christian that can be made.”[463] Mrs. Smith documents how she turned away from the doctrine she had learned from the Plymouth Brethren of judicial and forensic justification by faith alone (cf. Romans 3:28), “[a]fter . . . the discovery [she] had made of the wideness of God’s love [universalism],”[464] adopting instead the heresy and works-gospel that justification means that “the life of Christ in our souls is a righteous life.”[465] She thus denied the Biblical doctrine of justification, as well as holding to other corruptions of the gospel, both before and during the time when she began her influence as a Higher Life teacher and preacher, and she cleaved to a false gospel the rest of her life.

In addition to rejecting the core Biblical doctrine of justification, Mrs. Smith was very confused on the instrumental means for the receipt of the gospel. Denying that repentant faith alone was the instrumentality for the receipt of salvation, Hannah taught that “we cannot be saved until after we confess,” so that it was necessary to “make an apology” after doing wrong.[466] Her view of faith was dangerous and heretical. She wrote: “Faith, then, is not a grace . . . Neither are there different kinds of faith. Men talk about a . . . living faith, and a saving faith, and an intellectual faith, and an historical faith, and a dead faith; but God talks about believing what He says, and this is the only kind of faith the Bible mentions.”[467] Thus, to Mrs. Smith, saving faith was merely intellectual assent, believing facts. Furthermore, Mrs. Smith anticipated the Word-Faith heresy[468] that positive confessions create positive realities:

Put your will then over on to the believing side. Say, “Lord I will believe, I do believe,” and continue to say it. . . . I began to say, over and over, “The Lord does love me. He is my present and my perfect Saviour; Jesus saves me, Jesus saves me now!” . . . Those three little words, repeated over and over, — “Jesus saves me, Jesus saves me,” — will put to flight the greatest army of doubts that ever assaulted any soul. I have tried it times without number, and have never known it to fail. Do not stop to argue the matter out with your doubts, nor try to prove that they are wrong. Pay no attention to them whatever; treat them with the utmost contempt. Shut your door in their faces, and emphatically deny every word they say to you. . . . Cultivate the habit of expressing your faith in definite words . . . repeat often.[469]

Further anticipating Word of Faith error, she wrote elsewhere: “Faith, we are told, ‘calleth those things which be not as though they were.’ Calling them brings them into being,” so that exercising faith is “the law of creation[,]”[470] misinterpreting Romans 4:17, which states that the personal, omnipotent God, not faith, calls those things which are not as though they were. Thus, Hannah believed she could do what Romans 4:17 affirms God, not the Christian, does: “[I]t is like the pangs of creation to have ‘the faith of God’ and ‘call those things which be not as though they were.’ Is not that a grand definition of faith? It is in Romans 4:17.”[471] Nevertheless, Hannah admitted: “I see the difficulty you speak of, and I confess it does seem an odd sort of thing to do, to become satisfied by saying one is satisfied, when one is not. But is it not just what faith is described to be ‘calling those things which be not as though they were.’ And what else can we do?”[472] She recognized that it was, indeed, very odd to simply say that things were a certain way when they were not so, but such was her view of faith, and she did not know what else to do. Her view, applied to feelings, might have had some effect as a psychological gimmick, but when applied to physical healing in the nineteenth century Faith and Mind Cure movements, and the modern Word of Faith movement, it has caused vast numbers of early deaths, while when applied to conversion and assurance of salvation, it has led to vast numbers of eternal, spiritual deaths.

            As Mrs. Smith’s view of faith was heretical, so her view of conversion was terribly deficient and dangerous. Her counsel to the unconverted was:

If you are unconverted, take His message to sinners in 2 Corinthians 5:19, for instance, and make up your mind to believe it, irrespective of your feelings, or of your reasonings or of any other thing whatever. Say to yourself, “God says that He ‘was reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.’ I do not see how this can be. I do not feel as if it were so. But God says it, and I know He cannot lie; and I choose to believe Him. He is reconciled to me in Christ, and He does not impute my trespasses unto me; I was saved through the death of Christ.” Repeat it over and over, putting all the power of will you possess into it. “I will believe; I choose to believe; I do believe; I am saved.” “How do you know it?” says Satan; “do you feel it?” “No I do not feel it at all; but I know it, because God says so; and I would far rather trust His word than my own feelings, let them be ever so delightful.”[473]

Henry Boardman[474] rightly comments on this false view of faith by Mrs. Smith: “Can this grossly unscriptural advice be followed without deadly peril of self deception?”[475] Saving faith is a Spirit-worked trust in the Person and cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. It possesses intellectual, volitional, and emotional elements. Repeating to oneself over and over that since Christ died for the sins of the world, one has received spiritual life, is a fearful error and a false gospel. Describing, on another occasion, how she would bring someone to “conversion,” although conversion to “a different sort of God altogether” than that of Christian orthodoxy, that is, the god of universalism, Hannah explained that the sinner does not need to recognize that he is a child of the devil (John 8:44) who is dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-3) and then come to repentance (Luke 13:3); rather, he should simply mentally assent to the fact that he is, allegedly, already a child of God and already forgiven, just like all other sinners in the world, and then enter into the Higher Life and feel happy and free from trouble. Hannah and Robert Smith were happy to give assurance and the peace and comfort that comes with it to those without any testimony of real conversion or the life associated with it; for example, they publicly proclaimed that all their children were saved, although none of them were.[476] She wrote:

[C]onversion comes . . . at the moment of belief, only it is belief in a different sort of God altogether. I go to a sinner now and say, “Poor soul, God loves you; God is your Father; He is on your side. He came down to this world in a human body, just to take your lot upon Him and to bear your sins and sorrows. He met your enemy and conquered him, so that you need not fear him any more. He is not angry with you. He took your sins upon Him and made your cause His own. He is reconciled to you. He declared that He forgave you when He was on earth, and He declares it still in the Record He left behind Him. He says if you will only trust Him He will get you out of all your troubles. He will beget His own spiritual life in you, and make you a partaker of the Divine nature. You shall be born of the spirit, and be filled with the spirit[.][477]

In light of Mrs. Smith’s confusion on the nature of saving conversion—errors in which she was followed by her husband[478] and in which she stood with other Higher Life leaders[479]—it is not surprising that Mrs. Smith’s son Logan could remember little about his own alleged conversion at the age of four. He had to find out what happened at the time of his professed conversion by reading a tract his father Robert P. Smith had written about it. His alleged conversion did not change his life—for such a change needed to await the second blessing, sanctification, Logan related—and he was never truly born again and so was able to apostatize from, renounce, and come to hate evangelical Christianity and the Christ set forth by it,[480] just as his father and mother came to do, and all the other Smith children that lived to adulthood.

Mrs. Smith was able to adopt all her heresies because she was never truly born again. At the time of her alleged evangelical conversion Mrs. Smith noted that she thought that she simply “had found out something delightful about God” and the idea “that I personally was different in any way from what I had been before, never entered my head.”[481] A member of the Plymouth Brethren, however, hearing her change in doctrinal views, told her: “Thank God, Mrs. Smith, that you have at last become a Christian,” to which she “promptly replied, ‘Oh no, I am not a Christian at all.’”[482] However, Mrs. Smith allowed this member of the Plymouth Brethren to convice her that her doctrinal assent was equivalent to becoming a Christian, so that she came to conclude: “‘I must be born of God. Well, I am glad.’ From that moment the matter was settled, and not a doubt as to my being a child of God and the possessor of eternal life, has ever had the slightest power over me since.”[483] Unfortunately, since she had never through repentant faith come into saving union with the crucified Christ, but had simply assented to certain Biblical truths, she never was regenerated, and thus was able to apostatize from even the evangelical doctrinal beliefs that had, for a time, captivated her interest. She refers, in her later life, to her “very evangelical days” as a time in the past that had come to an end,[484] and she “had afterwards to discard” even the trappings of Christian orthodoxy that she held in her “extreme evangelical days.”[485] At the time of her evangelical influence, she stated that she had not embraced the Person of the crucified and risen Christ through a repentant faith, but “what I got at was the fact of God’s forgiveness,” and since all she “got” was a “fact,” not a Person, she stated that the evangelical gospel was “a hook [about God’s forgiveness] that I had afterwards to discard. . . . The various hooks upon which I hung this fact at the different stages of my progress were entirely immaterial after all.”[486] She could apostatize from even the evangelical truths she temporaily held to because they were simply facts assented to mentally—she had never embraced Jesus Christ as her own Lord and Savior on gospel terms. Consequently, as years passed, “[s]he found that, after all her searching and all her experimenting, she had come back very close to the position of the old Quakers from which she had started, and in her later days she was more mystical, more quietist, and at the same time less positive,” that is, more relativistic, than ever,[487] since the “time has not yet arrived in the history of the human race when in this world we can have any absolute standard of right and wrong.”[488] Mrs. Smith’s universalism led her to reject the necessity of the new birth and of conversion, truths to which she had intellectually assented for a short period:

[As Quakers,] [w]e were never told we had to be “converted” or “born again,” and my own impression was that these were things . . . [which] were entirely unnecessary for us, who were birthright members of the Society of Friends, and were already born into the kingdom of God, and only needed to be exhorted to live up to our high calling. I believe this was because of one of the fundamental principles of Quakerism, which was a belief in the universal fatherhood of God, and a recognition of the fact that Christ had linked Himself on to humanity, and had embraced the whole world in His divine brotherhood, so that every soul that was born belonged to Him, and could claim sonship with the same Father. . . . [T]he early Friends accepted this as true, and would have thought it misleading to urge us to become [converted or born again, since] we . . . already belonged . . . [to] the Good Shepherd. For a little time, in my Plymouth Brethren days, I looked upon this [Quaker doctrine] as a dreadful heresy; but later on I learned the blessed fact . . . that we are all, the heathen . . . heathen idolators . . . even included, “God’s offspring;” and I realized that, since He is our creator, He is of course our Father, and we equally of course are his children. And I learned to thank and bless the grand old Quakers who had made this discovery, since their teaching made it easy for me to throw aside the limiting, narrowing ideas I had first adopted [of the necessity of the new birth and conversion], and helped me to comprehend . . . that no one can shut another out [universalism].[489]

Mrs. Smith was an unregenerate woman who professed and preached a false gospel.

Having rejected justification by faith and the new birth and having become a universalist, in association with what she learned “among the Methodists . . . [of] the ‘Doctrine of Holiness’ . . . [Hannah Smith learned about] an experience called ‘sanctification’ or the ‘second blessing’ which brought you into a place of victory.”[490]

She explains what she learned by means of Methodist meetings on the second blessing:

[I] found . . . what Paul meant when he said, “Not I, but Christ,” and that the victory I sought, was to come by ceasing to live my own life[.] . . . I find there are some Christians who say that [we] receiv[e] Christ by faith for our sanctification, just as we received Him by faith for our justification . . . a Methodist doctrine . . . but it seems to be the only thing that can supply my needs . . . this is the Methodist “blessing of holiness.”[491]

She wrote:

This new life I had entered upon has been called by several different names. The Methodists called it “The Second Blessing,” or “The Blessing of Sanctification;” the Presbyterians[492] called it “The Higher Life,” or “The Life of Faith;” the Friends [Quakers] called it “The Life hid with Christ in God.” . . . I have most fully set it forth . . . [in my book] the “Secret of a Happy Life” . . . [where the teaching is expounded that] practical sanctification was to be obtained, like justification, by simple faith; and that, like justification, it was to be realized in any moment in which our faith should be able to grasp it.[493]

The Higher Life “is what the Quakers have always taught. Their preaching is almost altogether about it.”[494] Quaker men and women “receiv[ed] the blessing of full salvation or death to sin” in Quaker meetings and went on to become “very successful in holding Holiness meetings.”[495] Indeed, Mrs. Smith thus noted that the Quakers, Methodists, and Catholics all taught the Higher Life doctrine she also embraced:

[T]his discovery, which I have tried to set forth, was the beginning of a great revival in the spiritual life of the Church everywhere . . . the life of faith [was found] not only among the Methodists, but among the Quakers and among the Catholics as well, and in fact it is I believe at the bottom of the creeds of every Church . . . The Life of Faith [is] . . . what the Quakers had always taught. . . . They were in short “Higher Life” people[.][496]

Hannah W. Smith refined the Higher Life perfectionism that was her Quaker birthright, not only from Roman Catholic influences, but from Methodist perfectionism also.

            Mrs. Smith further developed her doctrine of sanctification by faith and the Higher Life through a discovery she stated was “more fundamental”[497] than any other. She received this Higher Life truth through the influence of a Methodist minister who experienced demonic revelations and was a sexual predator. She explained why she was open to his twisted ideas:

[I]n my search after the deep things of God . . . I think all the fanatics in the United States must have found their way to my presence to try and draw me into their especial net, and . . . I was always ready to listen sympathetically, hoping that among them all I might at last find the truth[.] . . . I [could] be completely taken in by anyone who professed to be “guided by the Lord.” This was owing, I expect, to my early Quaker teaching about Divine Guidance. People had only to say to me that the Lord had led them into such or such a course, for me to bow down before them in profound reverence. . . . I was made to believe that . . . I should be able to understand the Divine reasons for what seemed to me violations of good sense and even of simple morality.[498]

In contrast, concerning a local “Baptist clergyman . . . [who] preaches such a pure gospel,” Hannah affirmed, “I cannot enjoy close contact with such people,”[499] finding preachers of a pure gospel repulsive,[500] but fanatics of all sorts much more attractive, in keeping with her background, associations, and unrenewed nature. She stated: “My first introduction to fanaticism, if I leave out all that I got from the Quakers to start with, which was a good deal, came through the Methodist doctrine of entire sanctification. That doctrine has been one of the greatest blessings of my life[.]”[501] This blessing came in association with Dr. Henry Foster and his Clifton Springs sanitarium; the Pearsall Smith family had known Dr. Foster since at least 1871 when Robert had stayed at the sanitarium and learned from the spiritual doctor the doctrine of erotic Sprit baptism. Hannah described her association with this Methodist minister and his family, the insight into the Higher Life she received, and evidenced her incredible spiritual blindness,[502] as follows:

In the year 1879[503] we took a furnished house in Coulter Street, Germantown,[504] for the summer. A lady who lived next door to us had lent her house to some friends who had the reputation of being wonderful Christians, and of having great revelations and marvelous experiences. As I was at that time in search of remarkable experiences, I was exceedingly interested in these people, and very soon made their acquaintance. The head of the household was a Methodist minister named J. L., and I found him to be a most impressive and interesting man. He had a way of suddenly turning to you when conversation was going on and saying that he had a message for you from the Lord[.] . . . There were also in the house two sisters named W., whose father, Dr. W., was a man of position and authority in the Methodist Church, with a great reputation for piety. . . .

        From the first I was profoundly impressed by the apparent holiness and devotedness of this household, and felt that they must have been brought there on purpose to help me onward in my earnest search for a realised oneness with Christ, a oneness which they seemed to have attained in a very marvellous degree.

        The thing which interested me at first was the remarkable way in which they seemed to understand the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all the little daily affairs of life. . . . I must say here that their way of looking continually, moment by moment, to the Lord for His Guidance, and their perfect certainty that He did indeed, according to His promise, direct their every step, seemed to invest them with an atmosphere of holiness and to surround them with the conscious presence of the Lord. . . . They seemed literally to live and move and have their being in God . . . hungering . . . to know the utmost possibilities of the life hid with Christ in God, [so that] it seemed [to me] that it ought to be almost like entering the very gates of Heaven to be in their presence, and I threw myself with intense eagerness into their teaching and their influence.

        No one could associate with them and not believe that they thought themselves special Divine favourites. They professed to be so minutely guided in life that I was very anxious to attain the same experience, so finally I got Miss W. to give me a sample of the way in which she was guided. She said it was like this: that when she was awakened in the morning her first conscious thought was to consecrate the day to the Lord, and to ask Him to guide her every step of the way throughout the whole day. She would then ask Him whether she was to get up or not; and very often, although it was apparently very important that she should get up, the Lord told her to stay in bed. Then, perhaps, in a few minutes the voice would order her to get up. Then she would proceed to get up. As she put on each article she asked the Lord whether she was to put it on, and very often the Lord would tell her to put on the right shoe and leave off the other; sometimes she was to put on one stocking and leave off the other; sometimes she was to put on both stockings and no shoes; and sometimes both shoes and no stockings; it was the same with all articles of dress. She also said that often during the day, when she was seated at work, the Lord would tell her to get up and go out of the room, and when she got out would tell her to come back. And often she would be told to move from one chair to another, or to go and stand on the front doorstep, or to do all sorts of erratic things. She said that the object of this was to make her pliable so that she would be ready to follow the guidance of the Lord on the instant. I immediately thought that I would like to live this way, so the next morning after this conversation I began the process, and it was with the greatest difficulty that I got dressed or downstairs to my duties, as the voice kept telling me all sorts of things. Then when I did get downstairs I could hardly get through my breakfast, for the voice would suggest, just as I would get a mouthful nearly into my mouth, that I must not take it. I spent the morning running about from one chair to another, going out to the steps and coming back again, and running from one room to the other, and even going so far as to take off my shoes and stockings, and then to put them on again without any apparent cause.

        I kept this up until about twelve o’clock, and then . . . I said to myself . . . [“]I have just got the ideas from what Miss W. told me, and I am making it up all out of my own head,” and I was forced sorrowfully to conclude that I had not fathomed the secret of Divine guidance yet.[505] This did not, however, weaken my desire to know the inner depths of the experience of which I heard[.] . . .

        In spite of all their evident holiness, I had been conscious all the while of something mysterious about the whole household, an intangible atmosphere of something wrong which seemed to fill the house, and to look out of the eyes of its inmates, and to be heard in the tones of their voices. There was nothing I could lay my hands upon, or could even formulate in my thoughts, and whenever the feeling forced itself upon me I blamed myself as being as yet too unspiritual fully to enter into their heights of spirituality and set myself more determinedly than ever to attain to their divine level. Believing, as they taught, that human reason must be laid aside in spiritual matters, and only the interior voice of the Spirit obeyed,[506] I . . . tried to convice myself that I was in this way being uplifted more and more into the secret things of God’s immediate presence.

        I must confess it was all very fascinating. . . . in many respects their teaching was exceedingly valuable. And I did receive during the course of the summer a real revelation of God that has made my life to me a different thing ever since [that is, the Higher Life doctrine of sanctification in greater fulness]. . . . It was the continual habit of this strange household to refer everything to God. . . . Their one universal reply to everything was simple, the words, “Yes; but then there is God”; and no arguments or questionings could turn them from this by so much as a hair’s-breadth.

        As may be imagined, during my intercourse with them, because of all the unexplainable mystery accompanied by the apparent wonderful holiness that seemed to surround them, I often found myself in a good deal of spiritual perplexity, and, as I looked upon them as religious teachers deserving the highest confidence, I continually went to one or other of them with my difficulties, chiefly, however, to the oldest of the W. sisters, Miss Caroline W., who was a woman of great culture and intelligence and unusual spiritual power.[507] I would pour out to her all my interior perplexities and difficulties and temptations, to which I must say she always listened very patiently, but when I would pause for some comforting or helpful reply, there would always ensue a moment or two of silence, and then she would always say in a tone that seemed utterly to conclude the matter, “Yes, that may all be true, but then, there is God.” . . . [M]y most impassioned or despairing stories of my spiritual woes could never elicit anything more than this. “Yes, yes,” she would say; “I know it all. But then, there is God.” . . .

        Towards the end of their stay, one night, a friend who had come to sit at their feet and I had gone to be in great perplexity, full of questioning as to how it could be that God would permit people who wanted to follow Him, and were trying to walk in His paths, to wander into error. We went to sleep in this perplexity, unable to see any light; but somehow, in the morning when we met, we turned to each other and said, in the sense that we had never said it before, the single word, “God!” and with that word came to us a recognition of the all sufficiency of God in a way that has never left us. . . . It would be impossible to put into words just what seemed to come to us that morning, but it certainly was a satisfying revelation of the all-sufficiency of God, just the bare God[508] . . . for all our needs. . . . I shall never cease to feel real gratitude to this strange household for having brought me to this, although I very soon found out some dreadful things about them. . . .

        One day . . . I received a telegram from Mrs. C. in Boston, begging me to come and see her at once on a matter of vital importance. The message was so urgent that I took a night train, and arrived there the next morning. Immediately Mrs. C. told me that she thought I ought to know the state of things in this household, and she had sent for me to tell me about it. She brought in a highly respectable woman doctor, who told me the following facts.

        The doctor said that she had two very intimate friends in Boston, who were ladies of very good standing, and, in fact, one of them was at the head of a large school or college, and was considered an authority on education . . . and were, in fact, devoted Christians. They had become acquainted with Mr. L., the Methodist minister, who was the head of the mysterious household next door to me . . . and had seemed to find great spiritual uplifiting from his teachings. This doctor was at that time in charge of a hospital, and these ladies would often come to see her. She noticed that one of them seemed to be losing her spirits, and to be greatly depressed, with so far as she knew no apparent reason. She seemed to be on the verge all the time of saying something to the doctor which she appeared afraid to continue, and the doctor felt that her friend had a confidence to make to her which for some reason she was reluctant to make.

        One night this friend came to stay all night at the hospital and slept in the room with the doctor. As she was standing by the looking-glass arranging her hair, the doctor noticed something peculiar in her appearance, and it flashed across her mind that her friend was in the family way. She explained, “Oh, darling, what is the matter?” and her friend burst into tears. Nothing more was said; the doctor was too shocked to speak; she would as soon have expected to find the Angel Gabriel in such a plight as her friend; and they spent the night both weeping, but saying nothing till towards the morning. Then her friend opened her heart and confided in the doctor. She told her that she and her companion had been greatly impressed by the teaching of this Mr. L., to whom they had been introduced by Miss –—, a religious teacher of a great deal of spirituality, living in Boston.[509] They had both become greatly influenced by Mr. L’s teaching, and gradually he had unfolded to them that it had been revealed to him that he was to be the father of a race of children that were to be born into the world as Christ was, and that the Lord had shown him that they themselves were to be the favoured mothers of these children. . . . Mr. L. . . . not only believed that he was Christ, but thought that he was destined to be the father of “Christ’s children,” who were to found a race that was to revolutionize the world. These children, according to him, were to be begotten in a spiritual way, without bodily contact, but his practice did not bear out his assumption. . . . [H]e succeeded in completely deluding these ladies, and in carrying out his purposes, and this poor thing was now expecting to be the mother of one of those children. The agonies of mind that she had gone through could not be described. She dared not admit the idea that it was a delusion, for her whole spiritual life seemed to depend upon believing that she had been rightly guided; for if she could think that in the most solemn moments of consecration the Lord could allow her to be so deceived, she would feel that she could never trust Him again.[510] She clung with a deathlike grip to the belief that it was Divine guidance, and that she was greatly favoured to be allowed to be the mother of one of these wonderful children. How to get through the earthly part of it, however, was the great difficulty. But her doctor friend stepped in to the rescue; she took a house out of the city, brought her friend there, took care of her until the time came, carried her safely through her confinement and kept the facts hidden from everybody. The lady told her mother, who had been anxious about her health, that she was broken down by so much teaching, and was going to the country for a complete rest, and there was no exposure.

        Mr. L. was a constant visitor at the house, as the doctor had not the heart to plunge her friend into the abyss of despair which would have been her portion if she had lost faith in him. The doctor did not like his ways at all, and herself believed that it was pure human lust. However, the thing was carried through; the doctor adopted the baby, and her friend went back to her usual avocations. She never lost her [faith in Mr. L.] during my knowledge of her. Mr. L. married the other lady, the companion who had shared in her delusion, and, soon after the birth of the baby the mother went to live with him and his wife, and for many years they formed one household.

        The dear sister who had lent Mr. L. the house . . . a wealthy widow . . . came so much under his influence . . . [that] she was tempted to go away with him. . . . [He] had almost succeeded in persuading her to put all her private property into his hands, and go and live with him. We at once, in his presence, told her the whole story as we had heard it, and while he acknowledged the facts, he stuck to his position that he was commissioned of the Lord to bring forth these children, and that they were not begotten according to any natural process. We succeeded, however, in frightening him so much as to our revelations that might be made, that he himself told our friend he did not believe she was called to go with him[.] . . . How many poor souls were beguiled during that strange summer I do not know.

        Of course, from that time my intercourse with these dear misguided Christians[511] ceased, but about a year after I received a very impressive and solemn note from one of them saying that the way was still open for me to return to the Lord if I would give up my self-will and consent to be guided as the Lord led. . . . Since then, I have never seen nor heard about them.. . .

[Nonetheless, from Mr. L and his household] I did discover one truth, more important to Christians than any warnings about dangers in this world . . . and that truth was God. . . . [In] the summer . . . [of] 1879 . . . when the L. household lived next door to me[,] The Lord . . . t[aught] me very blessed lessons about the interior life[.] . . . He [had] sent some of His children to spend the summer in a house [next door].[512] One of them especially [was] helpful to me. She is what I call a “mystic”—one of those who know the Spirit’s voice, and who walk alone with God. . . . At last I begin to understand what this means, and I believe I am beginning to live it. . . . Definitely and forever I consent now to die as to any recognized self-life. It shall be henceforth no more I, but Christ. . . . [I]n spite of . . . [their] frightful fanaticism . . . [which made me question if I ought to be] content to know but little of the inward voice . . . [since] they have tried so faithfully to find it, and have been deluded . . . [yet] I know the truth about it must exist[,] . . . [and] I had gained from the summer’s experience a knowledge of God . . that . . . brought me into a peaceful resting in Him that has never been seriously disturbed since. . . . It may seem strange that such an acquaintance with God could have come to me out of such a hotbed of fanaticism, but there is the fact, and there is no getting around it. Whatever else these dear deluded fanatics may have been or have done they did live in the presence of God in a most unusual sense[.][513] . . . “Pure religion,” says Fénelon, “resides in the will alone.”[514] And again, “the will to love God is the whole of religion.” I . . . am thankful beyond words that . . . I was brought at last to see that a quiet stedfast holding of the human will to the will of God and a peaceful resting in His love and care is of . . . great[est] value[515] in the religious life.[516]

Thus, Hannah Whitall Smith learned what she considered her greatest spiritual discovery, not from the study of the Scriptures, which would have prevented her from adopting such a sort of pagan spirituality, but from the demonic revelations of a Methodist minister who was a sexual predator, to whose ideas she was open because of her background in Quaker and Romanist mysticism, Methodist fanaticism, and her expectation of Quaker revelations from the Inner Voice.

The Methodist predator from whom Mrs. Smith made her most fundamental discovery of the spiritual life also believed in the doctrine, developed out of medieval and counter-Reformation Roman Catholic mysticism, that Spirit baptism brought physical sexual thrills. Visiting “the lady who had been largely instrumental in starting people . . . on the career which led them to L. [the Methodist sexual predator mentioned above],” Hannah W. Smith narrated the following:

I found her to be a quiet refined lady rather past middle age, evidently very intelligent and a Christian worker who was highly esteemed by all who knew her. I told her what I knew about the L. household [the Methodist minister and sexual predator]. . . . She said . . . that the Lord’s dealings were often very mysterious and such as the natural man could not understand, but that what God had pronouced clean no one might dare to call unclean, and that these dear saints had been most manifestly led by Him. . . . [S]he had been led into these courses and . . . she could do nothing but obey[.] . . . During the course of my conversation with this lady she said: “You may think it strange, Mrs. Smith, but I speak from experience; there have been times when, in order to help my friends to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I have been distinctly led of the Lord to have them get into bed with me and lie back to back without any nightgown between. And,” she added, “it has always brought them to the conscious Baptism.” . . . [S]he has been the means of leading a great many young women into the same line of things.

        Another friend of mine . . . whom I had told about Dr. R., received while I was talking to her, what she believed was the Baptism, and began to experience right there thrills of rapture from head to foot, which completely carried her away. . . . [S]he [came] to spend most of her time lying on the sofa trying to induce [the thrills] to come. She also . . . felt it her duty to kiss several men, with the idea that through that means God would bestow either great blessings upon them or greater blessings upon herself. She had felt led to kiss Mr. L. [the Methodist sexual predator]. . . . [Indeed,] a great many saintly women . . . one after another . . . would in some mysterious way begin to “feel led” to give him a kiss . . . the called for kiss bestowed . . . floods of joy and peace would fill their souls.[517] . . . She was impressed with the idea that through this performance God would bestow the Baptism of the Spirit upon the receipient of her kisses. . . . [She] was so good and pure minded that we all called her “Saint Sarah[.]” . . . At one of our meetings at Brighton [when Mr. and Mrs. Smith were preaching the Higher Life] . . . there was a great deal of talk about the Baptism of the Spirit, and many souls were hungering for it[.] . . . My friend, “Saint Sarah”[518] . . . confided to me that she felt led to kiss . . . a refined and cultured gentleman . . . herself as a means of imparting to him the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. . . . She was in the greatest trouble about it . . . and she felt sure that she would be making herself ridiculous. . . . Days went on and she became really ill with the conflict; and at last, seeing that there was no way out of it[519] but for her to do it, I said, “It won’t hurt; I’ll explain it to him. So just go and kiss him and be done with it!” My taking of it in this way greatly relieved her mind. I told our host what she wanted to do, and he said he wouldn’t object in the least . . . she was able to perform what she thought was her religious duty. This kiss was given[.] . . . In two or three other instances the same process was repeated [with other men]. . . .

        This dear Saint was so enmoured of what she called “The Touch of God,” that she spent a large part of her time seeking for it and enjoying it, until it finally became a sort of possession . . . a very good Christian lady . . . said . . . [she] was possessed of the devil. . . . I made up my mind that she must be freed from this somehow, so I . . . went to the woman who had plunged her into the trouble [by stating “Saint Sarah” was demon possessed] and told her the dreadful effects of her former words, and said to her, “And now you must give me in writing the assurance that the devil has gone out of her,” and I bullied her into doing it. I then went back to my friend armed with this assurance, and said to her: “Now the devil has gone out of thee, and here is the proof.” She believed it, and from that moment began to recover, and has since lived a peaceful and normal Christian life.[520]

Mrs. Smith narrates other similar and awful instances of people who were seeking Spirit baptism and the Higher Life of entire sanctification:

[Another] young woman . . . had been seeking the Baptism of the Spirit as a result of the fervent preaching of a Methodist minister in the town where she lived, and had found great spiritual help from her conversations with him. They found, she said, that when they were together they seemed to feel an especial nearness to the Lord, and the closer they sat together the more they felt it. They constantly, when in one another’s company, had wonderful waves of divine thrills going through them, especially when there was any personal contact, which thrills the preacher told her were the conscious Baptism of the Holy Spirit for which she was seeking. Of course, if this was the case, the more of these waves of delicious thrills they had the more truly filled with the Spirit they were, and they had consequently sought every opportunity of being together, and had encouraged a closer and closer personal contact, never dreaming of evil, until at last she found herself in the midst of a criminal connection with the preacher who was already a married man. . . .

        [A] dear beloved saint . . . who had given up everything in life to follow the Lord, and who was considered by everybody who knew her to be one of the saints of the earth . . . had all the Quaker scruples with regard to dress, and looked as she walked about like the embodiement of ascetic piety. I greatly revered her and sat at her feet to be taught. . . . [A] friend [and I] . . . asked her to tell us her last experience. She said that . . . she had told the Lord that she wanted to make Him some New Year’s gift, and that as she had given Him everything that she possessed and everything she was, she could not think of anything new to give. Then, she said, the Lord told her that there was one thing, and that was her virginity, and that He would send a man whom she must be willing to receive in His name and surrender herself to Him. She told us that she had said, “Thy will be done,” and was now awaiting the ringing of the bell and the advent of the promised man . . . whether the man came or not, I do not know. I have heard, however, that at one of the camp meeting grounds, where she . . . held meetings, the authorities had been obliged to close her meetings on account of the dangerous tendency of her teaching.[521]

The heresy that Spirit baptism was associated with physical sexual thrills was thus widespread in the religious background of Hannah and Robert Smith, and it is thus not surprising that they both adopted it.[522]

Robert maintained and propogated the erotic Baptism heresy throughout his time as a preacher of the Higher Life—his promulgation of his beloved mystical abomination ended only with his fall because of scandal associated with it—while he influenced many others to adopt and practice it as a key aspect of the Higher Life theology.[523] For example, “Miss Bonnicastle sp[oke] on this subject . . . [of] conscious union of the believer and Christ as the Heavenly Bridegroom . . . at the Oxford Ladies meetings . . . [which] quite shocked a good many.”[524] In “the Christ-life,” another minister proclaimed, one is to “let the thrill . . . surge and thrill through all your being.”[525] Thus, the doctrine of the sexual Baptism as a key portion of the Higher Life experience was proclaimed publicly at the Oxford Convention, that key precursor to the Keswick Conventions. Indeed, many of Robert and Hannah W. Smith’s Higher Life “evangelical and especially their Quaker friends . . . condoned . . . [Robert’s] adventures with his feminine disciples.”[526] Nonetheless, after convincing many to adopt the heresy, Robert eventually rejected erotic bride mysticism, and “in rejecting what he himself had experienced, he could not help turning his back on all religion,”[527] so that he turned away from his profession of Christianity to agnosticism,[528] and then moved from agnosticism to Buddhism. Robert could not retain his profession of Christianity without his erotic bride mysticism. Robert testified at the Oxford Convention: “There has been no period since . . . [my] baptism of the Spirit . . . when God has not been more or less in my consciousness as the living Being unto Whom I looked.”[529] At the time of his Baptism a Power came to be present with him that always accompanied him afterwards, a Power that directed all his actions as a minister of the Higher Life and was at the heart of his spiritual experience. If his erotic Baptism was a delusion, so was all of his Christianity, and agnosticism appeared to him to be a necessary consequence. The possibility that he was possessed by demons through his erotic Baptism, demons that then directed him in his subsequent Higher Life ministry, does not seem to have been given serious consideration. Hannah also eventually came to reject erotic bride mysticism later in her life[530] after some time propogating it near the years of the zenith of her and her husband’s work as Higher Life agitators.

Describing the incident that led to Robert P. Smith’s withdrawal from public work shortly before the first Keswick convention, a headline in the Brighton Weekly stated: “Famous Evangelist Found in Bedroom of Adoring Female Follower.”[531] In the bedroom of his disciple, Miss Hattie Hamilton, Mr. Smith had explained to her the abhorrant doctrine he had learned in 1871 while institutionalized, on account of a total nervous breakdown he had suffered,[532] in a hydropathic and homeopathic sanatorium from the head of the facility, Dr. Henry Foster, that the baptism of the Holy Ghost was accompanied by physical sexual thrills because of the esoteric union of Christ with His people as Bridegroom and Bride, as described in the Song of Solomon.[533] Robert Smith’s explanation of the erotic Baptism doctrine in one bedroom too many brought about the rapid fall of his previously rising star in the Higher Life movement.

            Dr. Foster, while “a lifelong Methodist,” was “interdenominational” in his religious spirit.[534] Thus:

Dr. Foster insisted upon . . . [the] chapel [at his sanitarium] . . . be[ing] purely interdenominational spirit and life. . . . He established the custom that the Holy Sacrament should be administered every month, the form for one month being that used by Episcopalians and Methodists, and alternating the next time with the form observed by Presbyterians and others. [People] counted one Sabbath morning when . . . the kneeling form [was administered, and] twenty-six religious bodies [were] represented by those partaking. Following the public service the Chaplain always administered the rite privately in their rooms to those requesting it.[535]

Indeed, Foster’s sanatarium “ha[d] always been noted for its prevailing fairness and charity towards different types of religious belief, [so that] all grades from the highest ritualism to the simplicity of the society of Friends, have felt perfectly at home. . . . [F]requently . . . Roman Catholic Priests and Bishops . . . seemed to appreciate the place and enjoy it.”[536] Nobody was warned about his false religion, whether the Catholic sacramental and ritualistic false gospel or the rejection of justification by faith alone based on the imputed righteousness of Christ alone taught by the Quakers. Foster “was never happier than when sharing or promoting interdenominational fellowship.”[537] Indeed:

All the churches of the village received from [Mr. Foster] substantial help at various times. . . . When the Roman Catholics erected their new Church edifice in 1895, the Doctor made a substantial contribution, and rented a pew in it each year thereafter, which custom is continued to the present. Annual offerings were made by him to all the Protestant churches and that custom is continued to the present.[538]

Mr. Foster loved ecumenical fellowship with false teachers of all sorts.

Dr. Foster’s religious ecumenicalism extended to an ecumenicalism of healing praxis:

“Allopathy,” “Water Cure,” “Homeopathy,” “Mind Cure,” “Faith Cure,” were to him members of a group in the therapeutic family. He . . . look[ed] for the higher unity, treating each as a segment in the full circle . . . allopathy, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, mental therapy, and the prayer of faith . . . belong[ed] to one great healing family.[539]

Thus, Foster believed in homeopathy, although it was obviously demonic in its origin and practice,[540] in hydropathy, although it was intimately associated with spiritualism and demonism,[541] and in Mind Cure—which was, indeed, associated with Faith Cure—although it was likewise essentially a form of pagan and demonic medicine based upon untestable mystical energies.[542] The nineteenth century Mind and Faith Cure movements, which were part of the warp and woof of the Keswick theology and at the root of the Pentecostal and charismatic movement, developed out of a common background in mesmerism, vitalism, homeopathy, and other pagan and demonic ideas, and cannot be separated into distinct and unrelated phenomena.[543] Thus, despite its demonic origin, at Foster’s sanitarium “[t]he prevailing method of administering medicines was homeopathic.”[544] Dr. Foster “became a hydropathic practitioner, then he saw in homeopathy special adaptation to chronic cases, then he awoke to the large realm of mental therapy.” He “was profoundly impressed with the effect of mind over matter. The relation of the mind or the spirit to disease, he concluded, was a subject of prime importance. . . . [T]his led to his seeking for a new place where he could establish his practice and work out his ideas unmolested,” that is, his sanitarium, where “he came with a protest and also with a purpose. . . . his highest thought was in relation to the effect of the mind over the body in disease.[545] Discovery of the power of Mind Cure was “the greatest event in his life.”[546] Thus, Dr. Foster taught the doctrine of Mary Baker Eddy’s cult of “Christian Science,” which “aligns itself with . . . pantheistic idea[s] . . . [and teaches that] [s]in is like sickness and death, and these are errors of the mind and can therefore be completely overcome by ‘mind cure,’” so that “thoughts are things, thoughts are forces, and therefore as a man thinks, so is he.”[547] Dr. Foster, as an important part of the basis for the later Keswick healing theology, combined Mind and Faith Cure, saying:

Take this law and power of faith, and take the law of the influence of mind over the body, and put them together and see what you get. You get something that will work . . . It was the acceptance of this truth that decided me to try and establish a house where these truths . . . the power of the mind over the body, and the salutary effects of a constant religious faith upon the sick . . . should be enforced.[548]

Foster “was a firm believer in the effect of mind over matter—over disease. . . . [This belief] pervaded the whole institution. . . . Whatever good there is in Christian Science [the cult of Mary B. Eddy], in the Emmanuel Movement, and in modern faith healing he brought to bear in his therapeutics[.]”[549] Thus, “prayer to God was a force in nature, as real as the law of gravitation,”[550] rather than simply a petitioning of that God who was above nature and does, in accordance with His will, intervene in nature. In this way, practicing “[m]ental hygiene and mental therapy . . . as well as the great therapeutic value of religious faith . . . the ‘Emmanuel Movement’ at Boston, of which so much has been said with its slogan ‘Religion and Medicine,’ was anticipated by Henry Foster.”[551] Although the Bible taught that much of Dr. Foster’s practice was demonic in origin, his practices were confirmed to him by a vision. He stated:

I presented my whole life again to God; the entire interests of the Sanitarium, and my relations with it. While thus contemplating the work, the Holy Spirit came upon me, filling me with His presence, and I saw what seemed to be a rainbow. The base of it was there on [a] mountain inclosing me; it went up to the mercy seat; the other base came down and rested here in Clifton Springs, over the house [sanitarium]. . . . I looked at it, and I saw there were streams going up, and then there were streams going down, and resting upon me. I was re-energized, and so much so that I became astonished . . . that settled me, strengthened me, proved to me that the teaching was from God, and from God alone[.][552]

Surely such a vision was sufficient proof that his pagan and demonic philosophies and practices were acceptable to God.

As a result of Foster’s vision, received at the time of his “pentecostal baptism of the Holy Spirit”—physical sexual thrills because of erotic bride mysticism—he founded his Water Cure:

[He] saw that his pentecost was not for its own sake, but was given to prepare him for such a work. He prayed, and light came. He had a vision of the institution God would give him,—just as definite a vision as Moses had of the Tabernacle in the Mount; and as Moses was to make all things according to the pattern showed him in the Mount, so God had in vision outlined the work he was to do, and he must follow the pattern.[553]

When Mr. Foster experienced his “real baptism of the Holy Spirit and of power” he also gained “a vision like Paul’s when he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, a call and a commission like that of the prophet Jeremiah, or of Isaiah in the temple—an imperative call when his whole soul was filled and thrilled,” and in this manner the spirit world led him to “the beginnings of the Sanitarium and of this pentecostal baptism” that was both its its erotic origination and an element of its religious proclamation.[554] At his hydropathic and homeopathic healing house, he sought to bring especially “Christian workers, such as clergymen, teachers, and missionaries who are peculiarly liable to physical and nervous breakdown . . . [that they might] come to his institution and remain long enough for a cure.”[555] Consequently, “at least seventy or eighty thousand” patients came to the sanitarium, including “presidents of colleges, professors, lawyers, judges, ministers, bishops, all classes of men, literary men and literary women, some of the most renowned in the land. There have been [there] thousands of the foremost cultivated men and women of America, and some from other lands,” so that a vast “spiritual influence,” more, in the mind of some, than from “any institution” else, went out to influence the “intellectual and moral” climate of America,[556] and, indeed, the world, as the sanitarium “bec[a]me a center of missionary interest and activity. Dr. Foster’s invitation to foreign Missionaries of all Mission Boards to come to the Sanitarium for needed rest and treatment, and his concessions as to cost . . . brought hundreds of them.”[557] Note the Pearsall Smiths alone, but other Keswick leaders, such as A. T. Pierson, could praise “Dr. Henry Foster, of Clifton Springs, N. Y.[,]” for “all who came in contact with him bear testimony to the elevating effect of his spirituality of life” and his “benevolence . . . [to] the cause of missions.” After all, “for some years the International Missionary Union . . . held . . . [at] Clifton Springs . . . its annual sessions.”[558] Many came, and, like Robert and Hannah Smith, also left with both Dr. Foster’s love for Faith and Mind Cure and his vile doctrine of physical bridal-union in mystical Spirit baptism.

Hannah W. Smith chronicled Dr. Foster’s communication of his views to herself and another lady as follows:

Never shall I forget that interview. He began by telling us that “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit” was a physical thing, felt by deligthful thrills going through you from head to foot . . . and that this had been revealed to him in the following manner. He had been praying to the Lord to give him the Baptism . . . and he found that whenever he prayed especially earnestly he had physical thrills which he had thought belonged to earthly passions. He blamed himself exceedingly for this, and thought what a sensual man he must be, that in his most sacred moments such feelings should come. . . . One day . . . an inward voice seemed to say “These sensations you so much condemn are really the divine touch of the Holy Spirit in your body.” . . . Immediately, he said, he began to receive them with thankfulness and the result was that they had become so continuous that there was scarcely a moment in his life without them. . . . My friend and I had not dared to say a word while this revelation was being made to us, and when Dr. Foster left us we sat for a long while in dumbfounded silence.[559]

Hannah Whitall Smith described how their family adopted Mr. Foster’s abominable doctrine and communicated it to others:

I was seeking to know all that could be known of the “life hid with Christ in God,” and was hungering and thirsting after an expression of entire consecration and perfect trust. . . . I had also a very mystical side to my nature which longed for direct revelations from God . . . and for many years I sought in every direction to find a satisfaction for this craving. . . . The beginning of it was was in the year 1871 or ’72, when my husband needed a course of treatment for a nervous breakdown. We took our family to a Hydropathic Sanatorium in New York State, and we stayed there for three or four months. . . . A very dear friend of mine was staying in the Sanatorium at the same time; and as we were both hungering and thirsting to know the deep things of God, we very often had long conversations about it. One day she said to me, “Hannah, I believe that Dr. [Henry Foster] knows some secrets of the divine life that thee and I ought to know: he has hinted as much to me when he has been seeing me about my health. Wouldn’t thee like to have him tell us?” Of course I agreed to this with all my heart, and she decided to ask him. When I next saw her she said she had asked him, and he had told her that he would ask the Lord whether he was to reveal the secret to us or not. A few days later he told my friend that he had received permission from the Lord to tell us the secret, and he fixed a time when were were to meet to hear it. . . . Never shall I forget that interview. He began by telling us that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was a physical thing, felt by delightful thrills going through you from head to foot, and that no one could really know what the Baptism of the Spirit was who did not experience these thrills. He said that this had been revealed to him in the following manner. He had been praying the Lord to give him the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and he found that whenever he prayed especially earnestly he had physical thrills which he thought belonged to earthly passions. He blamed himself exceedingly for this, and thought what a sensual man he must be that in his most sacred moments such feelings should come. By fasting and prayer he would get deliverance, as he thought, and would then begin to pray again for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, but invariably, after a short time of prayer, the sensations would return, and the same process of fasting and prayer would have to be gone through. As this happened over and over he was at last almost in despair. One day, however, when, during an earnest season of prayer, these sensations were particularly strong, an inward voice seemed to say, “These sensations which you so much condemn are really the divine touch of the Holy Spirit in your body.” He said it was very hard for him to believe this, but it seemed to come with such divine authority that he dared not reject it. He asked specially for a sign that if it really were that Baptism of the Spirit for which he had been praying it might be made so plain to him that there could be no mistake. And this prayer, he said, had been unmistakably answered, and he had been convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that these very sensations, which he had condemned as being of the flesh, were actually the very Baptism of Spirit that he had longed for. Immediately, he said, he began to receive them with thankfulness, and the result was that they had become so continuous that there was hardly a moment in his life without them, and that he had found the greatest spiritual enlightenment and uplifting from the moment that he allowed himself to receive these sensations as being the touch of the Lord. This he told us was the divine secret which had been revealed to him, and which he was permitted to tell chosen souls. He urged us to take the subject before the Lord in prayer, and ask Him to enlighten us, and he warned us not to let carnal thoughts concerning this blessed experience come in to blind our eyes to the divine realities it embodied. My friend and I had not dared to say a word while this revelation was being made to us, and when Dr. [Foster] left we sat for a long while in dumbfounded silence. . . . [W]e had such absolute confidence in the holiness of this saint of God, as he seemed to us, that we were afraid our horror at what he had told us must be because we were too carnally minded, as he had said, to be able to see the deep spiritual purity of it all, and we felt that we dared not reject it without further prayer and consideration. We had several further talks with Dr. [Foster] about it, and he told us these “baptisms” were really the fulfilment of the union between Christ and His people as the Bridegroom and the bride, described in Ephesians v, 25-32, and typified in the Song of Solomon, and declared in many parts of Scripture, and that to reject it was to reject union with the Lord Himself. And he described this spiritual union as being so enrapturing and uplifting, and so full of the Lord’s actual presence, that at last we began to believe there must be something in it, and to long to know for ourselves the reality of this wonderful consecration. We could not accept all the details of the experience that Dr. [Foster] gave us,[560] but we did begin to believe that there was a physical “touch” of God, that manifested itself in a bewildering delicious sensation of a sort of magnetic thrill of divine life pouring through both soul and body, which lifted one up into an enrapturing realization of oneness with Christ and that this was the true ‘Baptism of the Holy Ghost.’ We came to the conclusion that it must be what all the old mystics had known, and that it was the true inner meaning of that Union with Christ for which saints of all ages had longed, and into the realization of which so many of them seemed to have entered. And we both began earnestly to seek to know it for ourselves. . . . I [thought] that now at last I had found the key that would open to me the door of this mystic region of divine union. As usual, when I was interested in anything, my friends had to become interested too, and to all with whom I dared to touch on such a sacred, yet delicate, subject, I tried to tell what Dr. [Foster] had told us. And in several instances, both in England and America, those I told of it receved the baptism I described, and in each case this very baptism was the opening up for them of a life of union and communion with God far beyond anything they had ever known before. . . . In many instances the receiving of it by preachers was the beginning of great revivals in their churches, and was, in fact, the initiation of a great deal of the “Holiness” movement of thirty years ago [that is, the time when the Keswick and Higher Life theology was originated and promulgated]. This movement took hold of the upper classes, and the meetings were largely composed of the aristocracy and the rich and influential people in English Society. There was nothing sectarian in the whole [Keswick] movement; no one was asked, or in any way influenced, to leave the Church to which they belonged . . . one of the marvellous features of it was the union of people of all forms of belief, and of all denominational relationships[.] . . . Dogmas and doctrines were of no account, and were never referred to, for they were not needed in the region in which this movement was carried on. It was the region of personal experience[.] . . . But while great spiritual blesings have seemed often to be the result of this experience of union with God, very disastrous outward falls from purity and righteousness have sometimes followed[.][561]

Hannah Smith, thus, both adopted and promulgated the erotic Baptism doctrine and explained that it was at the root of the Holiness, Higher Life, or Keswick movement.

Hannah Whitall Smith further explained, through a representative example, how she spread Dr. Foster’s filthy doctrine to others, and its effects upon them:

One day, not long after our [Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s] stay at the New York sanatarium, I [met] . . . a very strict Friend [Quaker] . . . a most successful Christian worker, but rather self-absorbed. She . . . dressed in the strictest fashion of sugar-scoop bonnets, crossed handkerchiefs, with a dainty three-cornered shawl over her shoulders. We became very intimate[.] . . . She was very religious, and we soon discovered that we were both seekers after the mystic life, and especially after the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and we embraced every opportunity we could find of seeking for it together.

        At that time some Methodists who believed in sanctification by faith were in the habit of holding in the summer what were called Holiness Camp Meetings . . . led by prominent religious preachers and teachers who believed in the doctrine of Holiness, or, in other words, of “sanctification by faith.” . . . [T]he friend of whom I speak and I myself, with a large company of congenial friends, attended one of these Camp Meetings, all of us hungering and thirsting . . . to know experimentally the conscious baptism of the Holy Spirit. The whole camp ground was exercised on this subject, and in almost every meeting wonderful testimonies would be given by those who had, as they believed, consciously received it.

        Our expectations and our longings were wrought up to the highest ptich of enthusiasim, and one evening, after the public meeting under the trees was over, a few of us gathered in one tent for a special prayer meeting on the subject, determined to wrestle and agonize until the answer came. We knelt in the dark, and poured out our prayers and supplications . . . for two or three hours. . . . As the company passed out of the tent, I noticed my friend did not pass out with them, and I wondered whether she had slipped out silently before the meeting closed and gone back to her own tent. I lighted a candle to go to bed, when, to my astonishment, I found her lying across the foot of my bed in what appeared to be a swoon. I spoke to her, and immediately she began to praise God in the most rapturous way: “Oh, how wonderful! Oh, how glorious! Oh, this is the Baptism! Oh, what a blessing; ’tis more than I can bear! Oh, Lord, stay Thy hand! Flesh and blood cannot bear this glory!”[562] And similar exclamations burst from her lips in tones of ecstasy. As may be imagined, I was overwhelmed with awe and delight, and I immediately rushed out to call in my friends to see the wonderful answer to our prayers, for I could not doubt that my friend had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit for which we were all longing. Why she had been picked out, I could not imagine, for she was not, as far as I knew, a bit better or a bit more earnest than any of the rest of us. However, there it was . . . [a] little awestruck company gathered round the bed, and eagerly drank in all her rapturous exclamations, afraid almost to breathe for fear that we should disturb the heavenly visitation. After a while she seemed to recover from her swoon sufficiently to go to her own tent, and, although very tottering and scarcely able to walk, we managed to take her there and get her undressed and into bed. . . . [E]arly in the morning I sent word to the early Prayer Meeting of the great blessing that had come to the camp ground. Immediately a deputation of the leaders of the meeting came to the tent to ask my friend whether she would not come to their large meeting and bear testimony to the blessing that had been bestowed upon her. . . . It was one of the foundation principles among believers in the definite baptism of the Holy Spirit that if you did not confess it when you had received it, it might be lost[.][563] . . . [The baptism] seemed to have been what the Swedenborgians[564] call “her opening into the spiritual world,” for from that time she began to have very strange and wonderous experiences . . . [which made] ordinary religious life very humdrum and uninteresting[.] . . . I told her of my experience at the water-cure [Henry Foster’s hydropathic sanitarium], and of the secret that had there been revealed to me[.] [S]he immediatley seized upon it . . . and went to this same water-cure, and put herself under the teaching of the doctor there[.] . . . She embraced all his views, and felt led, as she fully believed by the Holy Spirit, to great lengths in the lines he taught. Among other things, she felt her duty to ask him to stand naked before her, and also to do the same thing herself before him. To what other lengths she went I have never known, but she was fully imbued with the idea that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was physical as well as spiritual, and that the great aim of religious teachers should be to excite in themselves and in others those physical thrills which accompany passion, and which she had come to believe were the manifest token of union with Christ. She took the Song of Solomon to be the exposition of the relation between the soul and Christ as the Bride and Bridegroom, and she confessed to me with great awe that she really believed that Christ had often come to her at night when in bed as the real Bridegroom, and had actually had a bridegroom’s connextion with her. She taught this doctrine to a choice circle of friends, and even tried by personal contact to produce in them those physical thrills which she believed were the actual contact of the Holy Ghost. She overawed these friends by the tremendous force of her own convictions, and in many cases obtained . . . control over them, so that they were not surprised or shocked at anything she did or said, but accepted it all as from God, and as being the avenue through which the Holy Ghost was to be poured out upon them . . . [although] the person who was acknowledged by all to be the most full of self was my friend [herself], who had apparently received the Baptism. [565]

Hannah had written to her husband: “There does seem to be a truth in it [Dr. Foster’s doctrine], and I feel as if it would be a great means of restoration to health to thee if thee could get fully into it. Do try.”[566] With the leading of Dr. Foster and the encouragement of Hannah his wife, then, Robert P. Smith received such an erotic baptism, and having “received the baptism of the Spirit . . . he began to teach, preach, and propogate”[567] the Higher Life theology publicly and the mystic baptism privately, leading many[568] into a post-conversion Spirit baptism and the thrills of the marriage-bed that allegedly accompanied it. For example, one of Robert’s first English disciples, a woman called Lizzie Lumb, wrote Robert a series of letters between 1873 and 1875 describing the physical sensations of her “Betrothal with [a false] Christ”:

The thrill commences in the love nerves, with a great throbbing, as though a heart beat there, and rises to the regions of the chest, with a thrill and sweet confusion of union[.] . . . Most earnestly do I thank you for revealing such treasures to me, as you have in this mystery of the heavenly marriage.[569]

Hannah Smith recognized that adoption of the Bridal Baptism doctrine led to the free acceptance and practice of sexual debauchery, or at least something very close to it.[570] For instance, as a consequence of Robert’s preaching at one meeting, Hannah W. Smith narrated: “Boole got a great Baptism during the meeting, the unmentionable kind, and was so completely carried away by it . . . that he came near to making love to me, and actually did get into a deep and spiritual flirtation with a lady there who had left her husband because of his ill usage.”[571] Likewise, Hannah W. Smith recounts:

I knew one dear lady who began in the purest and simplest way to give herself up to these emotions, and gradually came to spending most of her time allowing these waves of thrills to flow through her from head to foot, believing that she was in this way realizing more and more the presence of the Lord, and coming more and more into actual union with Him. And the result was most disastrous in destroying her moral nature, and launching her into a course of impurity from which in the beginning she would have shrunk with horror.[572]

One must not be surprised that the infinitely holy and pure Holy Ghost would give over to their lusts (Romans 1:26) those who would defile His Holy Name by associating such things with His baptism. Certainly such supernatural manifestations as the erotic Baptism were manifestations of the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works in and energizes the children of disobedience, the infernal Power behind Robert and Hannah W. Smith’s theology of sanctification and “Christian” living. Robert believed in his erotic Baptism “as late as 1878,”[573] that is, until he gave up Christianity entirely, for he “thought that it was a very precious truth.”[574]

While Mr. Smith most clearly spread Foster’s filthy doctrine in private to a variety of his followers, usually women, he did publicly proclaim with clarity the necessity of a post-conversion Spirit baptism as the climax of the Higher Life, while pointing publicly to its sexual nature only in a guarded way. Unsurprisingly, he also warned that those who entered the Higher Life should “expect revelations of the world of darkness”[575] far greater than those experienced by those who were merely normal, uninitiated Christians. While many women, and some men, knew what Robert Smith meant when he spoke of the “phenomena of the coming of the Spirit upon individuals,”[576] not all understood the significance of his public proclamation at the Oxford Convention:

[H]as the Baptism of the Spirit been duly pressed upon the believer? . . . Beloved Christian, let me ask you, have you had this baptism[?] . . . [M]any Christians seem to forget that this happened again and again. It was not the characteristic of the beginning only, but of the continuance of the dispensation in which we live. . . . [There are] phenomena [accompanying] the coming of the Spirit upon individuals[577] . . . [We ought to] expect this baptism[,] [which has] been so long lost to the Church. . . . [It brings] a thrill, an intense emotion . . . [although] [y]ou may have special temptations of Satan after this time of baptism . . . [and] the highest elevations of experience involve the most fearful dangers.[578]

Those who already had experienced the physical thrills of Baptism by the spiritual Bridegroom understood what was involved in the Higher Life doctrine of the Smiths—others were only pointed towards it by their public proclamation:[579]

[T]here is a point in our spiritual life, in which all self-imposed barriers break down . . . [j]ust so . . . there is a certain point at which a true woman breaks through all the reserve of her nature, and lets her heart go . . . the time of the soul’s espousals, when it realises its union to the heavenly Lover. . . . [T]here will spring up a sweet soul-intercourse between your soul and Him such as you have never conceived the thought of. Often has my whole being thrilled . . . I could not understand this when I was contentious about doctrine[.] . . . Will you yield yourself to Him in this the day of your espousals? . . . [I]f earthly love be so sweet, shall not Divine love satisfy our whole being[?] . . . Earthly relationships are created but to reveal heavenly realities of union with our Lord. . . . Faith contradicts even our moral sense[.] . . . [B]reak down every barrier in your nature . . . and let your heart go[.] . . .[E]very need of a woman’s heart could be met and satisfied with the love of Christ . . . [when] the Lord reveal[s] Himself . . . as the heavenly Bridegroom, who would henceforth carry [her] in the arms of love[.] . . . [C]laim the Lord as [your] heavenly Bridegroom . . . a thrilling message [that] stirred the meeting so deeply that it seemed a necessity to give some expression to our feelings[.] . . . [Women] followed, testifiying to the same blessed experience [of the] . . . wonderous secrets of His love[.] . . . [A]s we had learned deeply the lessons of entire consecration and simple trust, we needed now to go on to consider more fully the blessed secret . . . only the soul that had entered into rest could understand . . . passages [such as] Eph v. 22-32; Isaiah lxii. 4, 5, liv. 5; Hosea ii. 16, 19, 20; Song of Sol. iv. 7-12[.] . . . The Song of Songs [contains a] blessed secret . . . that the soul is slow to understand . . . the actings of the love of espousals. . . . The believer does not fully know what Christ is until he comes to this . . . [and surrenders] throughout the whole range of our being [including the physical organism.] . . . For the consecration we have been pressing in these meetings, and the full and childlike trust, are only stepping-stones to this glorious consummation of soul-union with the Beloved[.] . . . [O]ur souls have not reached their highest destiny until it is known and rejoiced in . . . absolute abandonment . . . overmastering love. . . . Several [more] ladies followed, testifying to the joy and rest their souls had found in thus knowing Christ as the Heavenly Bridegroom . . . far more than earthly friend or husband[.] . . . Many hearts were melted . . . in view of such glorious privileges as were opened up before us. The feeling was so great, that at the close of the meeting several met more privately[580] . . . that to each one of them this wonderous soul-union . . . might become an experimental reality. . . . [As] Boaz . . . called the claim . . . that Ruth . . . had made “showing kindness,”[581] . . . [the] Lord delights in every claim we make upon Him for union with Himself, and calls it kindness—“the kindness of thine espousals.” . . . [Let us] make our claim for this realized union . . . [with Christ] more than any earthly friend or lover ever could be. . . . This is the consummation of all Christian experience . . . the wonderous secret . . . [to be] learned by each one experimentally for herself . . . thrilled with the sweetness of His love.[582]

While the Smiths were somewhat reserved in public, others were more open in their proclaimation of the Bridal Baptism teaching. For example, “Miss Bonnicastle sp[oke] on this subject . . . [of] conscious union of the believer and Christ as the Heavenly Bridegroom . . . at the Oxford Ladies meetings . . . [which] quite shocked a good many,”[583] but led many also into the knowledge of that Bridal Baptism. It was common knowledge that “the “object of the . . . Meeting at Oxford . . . was to lead Christians to . . . [be] baptised with the Holy Ghost,”[584] and as a result of that Convention “there was so much” of “the Baptism of the Holy Ghost”[585] that vast multitudes received physical thrills. Nevertheless, the full depths of Satan hidden in Robert Smith’s doctrine were not clearly revealed to all, but only to those fully initiated into the Higher Life. Thus, experience of erotic thrills in the Baptism was the culminating and highest point to which the Higher Life led, and many, through coming to “lie passive in His hands,” came to know “the baptism of the Spirit” as allegedly set forth in the Song of Solomon and as taught by Smith.[586]

While Mr. Smith successfully proclaimed and led others to the erotic Baptism at Oxford and Brighton, divulgence of this Higher Life secret to Miss Hamilton in her bedroom shortly before the first Higher Life Convention at Keswick proved his public downfall[587]—although even through this, the Smiths did not cut off contact with Mr. Foster or Clifton Springs.[588] “Hannah found [Robert] huddled in despair in a Paris hotel room where he had fled in his collapse.”[589] Concerning his father’s exposure, and the attempt—which was quite successful during Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s lifetime[590]—to cover up the true reason for Mr. Smith’s downfall in his promulgation of erotic bride mysticism, Logan Pearsall Smith wrote:

“All Europe is at my feet,” . . . my poor father . . . exclaim[ed] when he stood on the platform [at the Brighton Convention]. But almost immediately an announcement appeared in the papers that he had been compelled to cancel all his engagements and to return almost at once to America. It was suggested that a fall from a horse some years before had led to the return of certain distressing symptoms which rendered absolute rest necessary. I must say that in the family we didn’t believe in that horse; at least I am certain that my mother didn’t. I don’t think she ever referred to it at all, which made people suspicious, and so universal became the gossip that my father’s friends felt it necessary to issue a further explanation. It had come to their ears, they stated, that my father had inculcated doctrines that were most dangerous and unscriptural, and that there had been conduct on his part which, though it was free, they were convinced, from all evil intention,[591] had rendered it necessary to abstain from public work, and take the complete rest rendered necessary by the fall from his horse. That the doctrine of Sanctification and Deadness to Sin might lead to dangerous forms of Antinomianism was well known from the history of the past . . . [b]ut this was not the doctrinal quadreped from which my father slipped at Brighton. It was a much more mysterious beast which he had also brought from America, so mysterious that even the learned and profound Professor Warfield seems never to have guessed at its existence.[592] But my mother knew it well[.] . . . What exactly was the nature of this doctrine? I cannot find that it has a name, so for convenience I shall call it the doctrine of “Loving-kindness.” It is . . . based . . . on the fact . . . that nature, in one of her grossest economies, has placed the seats of spiritual and amorous rapture so close to each other that one of them is very likely to arouse the other . . . so exactly do these two forms of ecstasy feel alike [that] . . . sometimes . . . it [is] extremely difficult to distinguish between them.[593] From this fact it was only too easy to form the heretical belief that this heightening of religious experience, due to the mingling of the sexes, was God’s own way (and His ways were mysterious and not to be questioned by carnal reason) of bestowing His blessing upon them. When a holy preacher sat near a sanctified sister, or a female penitent close to her confessor, they became more conscious of the Baptism of the Spirit; and, as my mother sardonically expressed it, the nearer to each other they sat, the deeper and richer the consciousness became. . . . [I]t has taken . . . centuries to eliminate . . . this holy kiss—if indeed [Christianity] has succeeded in doing so completely. Certainly in my father’s time this exquisite, secret doctrine was extremely prevalent in America; and my father, in spite of my mother’s . . . warnings,[594] would expound it to select gatherings mostly composed of spinsters of a certain age.[595] Unluckily one of these grew jealous of another,[596] and let the great beautiful cat out of the bag, to the scandal of the righteous, and the extreme joy of the unholy, whose jokes about the “Higher Life,” as it was called, made my father feel that it would be wise for him to cease his ministrations. . . . As people grow old, it becomes very hard for them to keep clear in their minds the important distinction beteen Right and Wrong—outlines become dim and one thing fades into another. . . . At the time, however, my father found it wise, as I have said, to cease his ministrations; though to the Cowper Temples, I think—certainly to Mrs. Cowper Temple—all this fuss seemed incomprehensible and silly. If these good people wanted to kiss each other, what, she wondered, could be the harm in that?[597]

After the scandal in England, and the outward success of the Higher Life meetings conducted in America under the impulse of Dr. Cullis by Mr. and Mrs. Smith, despite utter lack of concern and consecration,[598] “Robert gave up preaching, [although] his wife continued.”[599] “Robert Pearsall Smith lost more than his occupation; he lost his faith as well. . . . [T]his disbelieving and disillusioned preacher [would have] believing disciples . . . still come for guidance . . . leav[ing] him to the awkward task of giving advice and encouragement of which he himself hardly believed a word.”[600] Robert “went back to America and to selling glass. His spiritual life degenerated. He never again had a heart for ministry or for God. He retreated to a world of Buddhist meditation and died in 1899 a broken man.”[601] He “began to lose his faith [more completely in] 1875-1876 . . . [by] . . . 1877 he was . . . in the process of losing his faith altogether,”[602] so that he become an agnostic by 1883[603] as his “religious beliefs [were] gradually dwinding into an interest in Psychical Research.”[604] Thus, “he gradually gave up all his Christian commitments and died alienated, but not separated, from his family. Plagued by a manic depressive nature for most of his life, he [came to be] happiest when engaged in his Buddhist meditations in his spacious tree house at the family’s home at Friday’s Hill, south of London.”[605] As with vast numbers of Higher Life advocates, Robert Smith’s ultimate recognition that his merely fleshly and natural emotion-driven religion had nothing in it that was truly from God led him to apostatize from Christianity.[606] A significant part of his familial alienation derived from his years of unrepentant adultery,[607] evidencing, like his doctrinal apostasy, his unregenerate state, until he finally died in 1898 and went to his own place, where his wife joined him some years later.

Mrs. Hannah Whitall Smith was a false teacher who was deluded by Satan and her own unrenewed heart. Robert P. Smith was an unconverted false teacher also. Their writings are filled to the brim with dangerous theological errors and heresies. Alongside of the Higher Life of Keswick theology, one finds within the compositions and proclamations of Mr. and Mrs. Smith a false gospel, the Inner Light, New Thought, the Mind and Faith Cure, feminism, Quakerism, syncretism, quietism, fatalism, eudemonism, allegorical hermeneutics, passivity in sanctification, continuationism, antinomianism, universalism, works salvation, erotic sensations as Spirit baptism, and extra-biblical revelations. Hannah rejected sola Scriptura, total depravity, substitutionary atonement, justification by imputed righteousness, saving faith, the new birth, supernatural conversion, and self-examination. Mrs. Smith plainly testified that she rejected the evangelical gospel, detested Christian orthodoxy, and delighted in both being a heretic and in making others into heretics. She thought that man’s chief end was not to glorify God, but to feel happy, doing whatever one wants without any pangs from the conscience. Her exaltation as the leading teacher of the Higher Life took place in connection with spiritists and the working of demons. She testified that she gained her chief spritual insight into the “Christian” life from a sexual predator who taught, practiced, and led others into unspeakable debauchery. She was an enemy of Christ, His Word, and of true holiness of life.

As an unregenerate false teacher, Hannah Whitall Smith is someone to mark, reject, and avoid (Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10). Her heresies and writings, and those of her husband Robert, should be abhorred and detested by the godly. She is by no means someone to embrace as a font of truth on Christian living, and adoption of her ideas by others evidences a tremendous lack of spiritual discernment and the certain presence of doctrinal error.

Applications from the Life and Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith and her Husband

            As believers can learn much from the life and teachings of the wicked recorded in Scripture, whether Ahab, Judas, or Diotrephes, so the negative example of the life and writings of Hannah W. Smith can teach the Lord’s people a number of important lessons.

            Mrs. Smith’s false teachings—all of them—must be discerned, rejected, guarded against, exposed, and warned about. Believers should not read her writings. Christian leaders should plainly preach and teach against her heresies and warn of her by name. Churches should separate from those who have been influenced to adopt her heresies and are unwilling to repent. Her confusion on the gospel has led precious souls into the fires of hell. Her confusion on sanctification has hindered countless Christians in their spiritual walk. There is no reason to try to pick out a little spiritual good from the veritable mass of errors in her works, but a clear Biblical basis for rejecting her, root and branch.

            Many lessons can be learned from the deluded career and miserable end of Robert Pearsall Smith. His life exemplifies the extreme spiritual danger of rejecting sola Scriptura in practice, even if one accepts it in theory. His abandonment of literal, grammatical-historical interpretation for experience-driven hermeneutics is also seen to be extremely dangerous. Had Mr. Smith studied Scripture more carefully and recognized it alone as the authority by which he needed to judge all experience, he could have been freed from the delusions of the devil and of his own sinful heart and come to a true saving conversion to Jesus Christ, instead of being an unconverted preacher who was both “deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). Furthermore, he illustrates the danger when religious experience is derived from a false fanaticism rather than genuine Christian and Trinitarian spirituality. When he finally saw through his fanaticism, instead of turning to the true Christ in true faith arising from Scripture alone, he rejected Christianity altogether. What dangers and proclivities to all evil are wrapped within the depraved human heart! No one will escape from that “desperately wicked” seat of corruption or escape delusion from that fountain of lies that is “deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9), without cleaving to the Scriptures and receiving the protection of the Holy Spirit as a consequence of the union with Christ brought about through true conversion. Reader, do you view your heart as God does? Do you meditate on its horrible and desperate depravity and, as a result, flee to the Christ revealed in the Scriptures as your only refuge? Learn your need so to do from the deluded life and everlasting damnation of the Higher Life preacher-turned-Buddhist, Robert Pearsall Smith.

            Learn also from the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Pearsall Smith life that unconverted false teachers can put on a great show of godliness and exert a tremendous influence on the spiritually unwary among the true people of God. The ideas Hanhah and Robert Smith propogated influence many millions today—millions who, in large part, have no idea that their confusion on and false doctrine of sanctification are derived from an unregenerate Quaker couple. Be sure that your beliefs and practices are truly “the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) and the product of Scripture alone. It does not matter whether or not men who are exalted by Christendom have taught them, for such are not your authority for faith and practice. Robert P. Smith was extremely popular in the Christendom of his day—all Europe was at his feet. There are many extremely popular false teachers in Christendom today. The Antichrist will be even more popular in the post-Rapture Christendom of the future than any of his anti-christian predecessors. Place no confidence in men because of their popularity, but, within the protection of a strong independent Baptist church, let all you believe and do arise only from the Spirit-illuminated teaching of the literally interpreted Word of God.

Furthermore, since Hannah W. Smith founded the Keswick theology with her husband, and Keswick has never dreamed of repudiating and repenting of their false teachings and pernicious influence, Keswick theology should be rejected. Keswick is saturated with the ideas of Hannah W. Smith. This is not a good, but a great and fearful evil.

            The tremendous influence Mrs. Smith has exerted on Christendom, so that very large numbers of true churches and Christians have been unintentionally infected with her errors, illustrates the dangers of failing to issue plain warnings, avoid ecumenicalism, and exercise a watchful and strict separatist position. Mrs. Smith has influenced millions. She created a new, and very influential, doctrine of sanctification—the Keswick theology. Through both her direct influence and her stamp upon the Keswick movement, she has precipitated the rise of the Pentecostal, charismatic, and Word of Faith heresies. How greatly the leaven of error has spread because so many preachers have refused to give plain warnings! How essential it is for pastors to be well informed about and very careful concerning what writings they recommend to the flocks over which the Holy Ghost has made them overseers! Reader, do not follow the bad example of those who blew an uncertain sound on their gospel trumpets—determine that you will, by God’s grace, for His glory, and out of love for Him, contend against all error, and for all the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). Do not fear man—you will be called “uncharitable,” “too negative,” “narrowminded,” and all sorts of other names (Luke 6:22, 26). Instead, consider that the Apostle Paul commanded the marking and avoidance of false teachers in the context of his love for large numbers of God’s dear people.[608] Think on the love for the Father, for His people, and for the truth that filled the soul of the Lord Jesus, and led Him to boldly and pointedly denounce error (Matthew 23). Be Christlike—go, and do likewise.

            Consider also what dangers there are that yet lie buried within your fallen heart. How Mrs. Smith was led astray by trusting in her own heart, in the Inner Light delusion, and in her continuationist Quakerism! While she was totally blind because of her unregenerate state, you, oh Christian, still have the serpent of indwelling sin lying within your own bosom. How essential it is that you reject all extra-Biblical revelation, and carefully study the Bible, cleave to its every precept, and prize it as your sole authority! The Sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon in your spiritual armor, and the only means through which you can stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17). How important it is for you to carefully and accurately exegete Scripture, put in practice all it says with holy fear and trembling, and walk humbly with your God, trusting in Jesus only!

            Consider how essential it is for you to be a functioning member of a strong, separated, independent Baptist church. Only in the Lord’s church is His special presence manifested, and the special protection Christ gives to His holy temple and beloved bride is lost to those who are not members of Biblical Baptist churches. Mrs. Smith, being without the protection afforded by a true church, and without a true pastor for spiritual protection (Hebrews 13:7, 17), was influenced by hordes of false teachers and fanatics in her spiritual journey on the broad road to destruction. Spiritual guides may be very popular in the eyes of the broad and undiscerning world of Christiandom, and may possess a great appearance of piety, and yet be vipers and wolves—but Christ’s true congregations have the spiritual equipment to discern and reject such. Had Mrs. Smith been aware of and adopted the historic Baptist doctrine of Spirit baptism, she would never have believed in the filthy perversion that led to her husband’s public disgrace and contributed to his continuing adultery and the unhappiness of her marriage. Had she accepted the clear Biblical teachings of sola Scriptura and the cessation of the sign gifts, she would not have accepted the “miraculous” validation that led her into false teaching and led her sister Mary Thomas to an early grave through the false wonders of the Faith Cure. Had she rejected feminism for the loving and God-ordained patriarchy of family and church practiced in Biblical assemblies, she would have recognized that she could, as a lady, be more easily deceived (1 Timothy 2:14), and that she needed godly, Bible-believing men at home and church to protect her from error. Had she treasured Baptist ministers who preached a pure gospel, instead of finding them repulsive because they would not allow her to feel happy in her delusion, so that she preferred as a consequence the company of heretics and fanatics, she could have been saved herself, and her family with her, from both the earthly vanity of their false religion and the inconceivably horrible eternal consequences of the unpropitiated wrath of God.

            Learn from Mrs. Smith’s failures the necessity for a genuine vital piety, one which arises out of a true conversion and issues in a close walk with God. Mrs. Smith’s false piety did not convince her family—her husband and all her surviving children rejected Christianity. People read her books and looked up to her, but those who knew Mrs. Smith best rejected godliness for rebellion against Jehovah, and received eternal retribution for their sins. Have you been led by Mrs. Smith’s confusing views of faith, conversion, and salvation to settle for anything less than the supernatural new birth without which no one will enter the kingdom of God? Do you only have assurance of salvation if you compare yourself to the standard set by Hannah W. Smith, but not if you compare yourself to the standard set forth by the Apostle John in his first inspired epistle? Do not follow into hell the demons who misled Hannah W. Smith. Be satisfied with nothing less than the Biblical gospel and true conversion.

Do you want a godly seed—do you want your family, for whatever generations may be left until the return of Christ, to know and serve your Redeemer in spirit and in truth? The sham spirituality of Hannah W. Smith will never suffice. But if you reject such pseudo-Christianity and sincerely and uprightly walk with God your Father, through Christ your Redeemer, as empowered by the Holy Spirit, you can claim the promise of Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Do not turn aside to the idol of Hannah W. Smith’s “bare God.” An unconverted person who does so will be eternally damned, and to whatever extent a regenerate person turns from the God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to Mrs. Smith’s deity he will find his spiritual life much darkened and his holy Father much displeased. Genuine Christian spirituality arises out of the love of the Father, the purchase of the Son, and the applicatory work of the Holy Spirit. How sweet and precious to the saint is his dear adopted Father! How glorious is the redemptive work of Christ! How heart-melting it is to behold Him in the glory of His essential Deity, to marvel at the preciousness of His sinless humanity, and to be moved by the infinite condescension and love shown in the cross! How ineffably wonderful it is to know experientially the communion of the Holy Ghost! Do not, oh saint of God, turn aside from your own Redeemer, your own personal God who has come to you in Jesus Christ, who has supernaturally revealed Himself to you through His Word by His Spirit. What are the dregs of Mrs. Smith’s idolatry to the overflowing cup of infinite blessing found in Jehovah, the living God?

            Furthermore, you should examine yourself to see if you find Mrs. Smith’s errors unbearable, horrible, and exceedingly grievous, or if you find her abominations titillating and exciting, as many ungodly people find gossip. Is it necessary to expose Hannah W. Smith’s lies and unmask her pernicious character? Yes—certainly. Should such an expose be examined as a mere intellectual exercise, a curiosity comparable to some strange gene-spliced monster that might be on display at a circus or a fair for people to gawk at? By no means.

            Indeed, how sweet—how precious, glorious, and soul-refreshing it is to turn with disgust from Hannah W. Smith to behold the Lord Jesus! Here is One who is spotless in purity. Here is one who mixes, not secret corruptions with false teachings, but perfect holiness with infallibly sure guidance. Here is a perfect Prophet, a spotless Priest, a matchless King, an all-sufficient Redeemer, one who is fairer than the children of men, whose lips are full of grace. How blessed it is to see Him in His holy Word, and find in Him a true Shepherd who properly and perfectly cares for, protects, and gives His life for His beloved sheep. Let the works of Hannah W. Smith, and all her fellow false-shepherds, be put in the trash where they belong, and listen instead to the voice of this true and unerring Pastor. Hearken to His voice as you read every line of His Word in your personal Bible study—hearken to His voice as He is preached by a true man of God in the church of the living God—meditate upon His law day and night. So shall you have a truly blessed life during your earthly pilgrimage, and a rich reward in the coming life of sight for all eternity.

J. Excursus XI: An Analysis and Critique of Keswick Theology as Set Forth Particularly In So Great Salvation: The History and Message of the Keswick Convention, by Steven Barabas[609]

1.) The Background and History of the Keswick Convention and Keswick Theology

Stephen Barabas’s So Great Salvation is widely considered the standard interpretation of Keswick theology. In a preface to the book by Fred Mitchell, “Chairman of the Keswick Convention Council, 1948-1951,” Mitchell states that Barabas’s book is “faithful and accurate; it is well annotated with sources of his information; it is saturated with an appreciative spirit, for he himself has been so much helped by Keswick. The book will form a text-book and a reference book on this unique movement.”[610] Thus, its contents accurately represent the theology of the original Keswick movement. Indeed, “Steven Barabas[’s] . . . book So Great Salvation is perhaps the single best interpretation of the message of Keswick.”[611] “The most objective account and appraisement of the . . . Keswick . . . movement is So Great Salvation: The History and Message of The Keswick Convention—an extraordinarily exact account . . . [written] after exhaustive research.”[612] Keswick’s “standard interpretation is Steven Barabas, So Great Salvation.”[613] Consequently, the analysis of the Keswick system below will engage Barabas’s book in detail while also evaluating other Keswick classics.

Barabas notes that in “the early 1870s . . . the Keswick movement had its rise in England.”[614] The “friends [Quakers] introduced the subject”[615] of the Higher Life, although there were also very significant background influences of Roman Catholic mystics and heretics such as the monks “Thomas á Kempis[616] [and] Brother Lawrence,”[617] and especially the Catholic mystical quietist “Madame Guyon.”[618] Catholics and Quakers were essential theological background for the rise for the rise of the Keswick movement.

The “Higher Life teaching . . . [in] the books of the American religious leaders, T. C. Upham and Asa Mahan. . . [and] W. E. Boardman’s The Higher Christian Life”[619] are also undisputed theological background for the development of the Keswick theology; Barabas thus recognizes Thomas C. Upham as a Keswick antecedent.[620] He notes without a hint of criticism that Upham wrote Life and Religious Experience of Madame Guyon, a book which Barabas affirms contributed to “the interest of the Church in the subject of sanctification and the Spirit-filled life,” as did other works of Upham.[621] What, then, was Upham’s theology? Upham “experienced [entire] sanctification under Phoebe Palmer’s influence and gave popular expression to the doctrine in a series of books drawing . . . explicitly on Catholic mysticism and Quietism.”[622] Upham taught, in addition to his Quietistic and Romanist Higher Life doctrine of sanctification associated with Wesleyan perfectionism and Pelagianism, that God was a duality of Father and Mother instead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, this Duality became a Trinity through the appearance of a Son, who is identified with the created order itself. Upham saught to prove this gross idolatry from sources ranging from ancient Gnostics such as Valentinus and Heracleon, to the Jewish Cabala, to assorted other later heretics and perfectionists. He blasphemously wrote:

God is both Fatherhood and Motherhood . . . from the eternal Fatherhood and Motherhood . . . all things proceed. [A] Maternal Principle . . . Sophia . . . [exists] in the Divine nature[.] . . . [T]he Jewish Cabala . . . [speaks of] a feminine deity . . . called Sophia. . . . John’s Gospel . . . identif[ies] the Logos and the Sophia. . . . Sophia . . . was God; not only with God, but was God. . . . [T]he somewhat mystic words of the Apostle John . . . [are] the announcement of the infinite Paternity and the infinite Motherhood. . . . Valentinus . . . speaks of the Aeon Sophia . . . [T]he mystics and Quietists . . . recognized . . . the divine Sophia[.] . . . [T]he Sophia . . . or Maternal Essentia or Personality of the Godhead . . . incarnated itself in Christ . . . caused him, in a mother’s Spirit though in a male form, to endure his great sufferings[.] . . . [T]he Familists . . . recognize the Maternal Principle as a true and distinct Personality in the Godhead. . . . [The] Shakers . . . [and] Bible Communists . . . [recognize] that the Divine Nature is dual in its personalities . . . and includes the fact of a divine maternity[.] . . . [T]he Catholic Church is often regarded . . . as embodying the idea of the Motherhood element which exists in the Infinite, in its recognition of the holy or deific nature of Mary . . . and in the high honors, and even worship, which it is understood to render to her. . . . [U]nder the influence of inward suggestions, which I will not stop to explain and define . . . [and to] the thoughtful mind . . . the duality of the Divine Existence, written everywhere in the book of nature, necessitates a Trinity. . . . we must supplement the eternal Fatherhood and Motherhood by the eternal Son . . . the great and unceasing out-birth of the Divine Duality. . . . Generically, or considered in the whole of its extent, the trinal out-birth, otherwise called the Son of God, without which the eternal Fatherhood and Motherhood could have neither name nor power nor meaning, is the whole of creation from its lowest to its highest form. . . . [N]ot an insect that floats in the air, nor a fish that swims in the sea, nor a bird that sings in the forests, nor a wild beast that roams on the mountains; not one is or by any possibility can be shut out and excluded from the meaning and the fact of the divine Sonship[.] . . . All living nature then . . . constitutes the Son of God.[623]

Upham continues to develop his stomach-turning idolatry in the subsequent pages of his book, but the quotation above is enough, if not far more than enough, of a sampling of his vile and devilish nonsense to give the sense of his doctrine. Despite being an unconverted idolator, he was very influential:

Upham . . . became a Methodist holiness leader after contact with Phoebe Palmer. He studied Fenelon and Guyon, writing a biography of the latter entitled Life, Religious Opinions, and Experience of Madame Guyon. His [works] . . . influenced much of nineteenth and early twentieth century thinking on faith, including A. B. Simpson . . . leade[r] of [the] CMA [Christian & Missionary Alliance].[624]

Like many other Higher Life writers, Upham also emphasized ecumenicalism and sought to prepare for the one-world religious system of Revelation 17. “On the basis of his experience of the baptism of the Spirit, T. C. Upham proposed the foundation of a League of Nations.”[625] Such a man was Keswick antecedent Thomas Upham.

Barabas also recognizes Asa Mahan, leader of the Oberlin perfectionism, as a Keswick antecedent.[626] The Oberlin perfectionism of Asa Mahan and his mentor Charles Finney were indeed important to the rise of the Keswick system,[627] and were recognized by Keswick as essential historical background for the genesis of their doctrine. “In 1872, [Mahan] moved to England and directly influenced the Keswick movement by his leadership in the Oxford and Brighton Conferences that immediately preceded the first Keswick Convention.”[628] Mahan’s books were widely propogated in Higher Life circles, so that “Keswick writers . . . often mention or quote Asa Mahan . . . and Charles G. Finney.”[629] Indeed, “none . . . of . . . the ‘conversational meetings’ at Oxford . . . . was of more interest than that . . . under the guidance of Asa Mahan,” who strongly taught orally the necessity of Christians receiving Spirit baptism, as he had already proclaimed in his book The Baptism of the Holy Ghost.[630] As a consequence of Mahan’s “pressing upon” people, “[d]ay after day,” the necessity of Christians receiving Spirit baptism, “a[n] . . . experience we should not and must not be without,” “many . . . realised in his conversational meetings the baptism” and entered into Mahan’s experience.[631] Likewise, at “the Brighton Convention (of which he was one of the conveners) Mahan directed a series of sectional meetings . . . crowded to overflowing . . . [e]ach afternoon,”[632] proclaiming post-conversion Spirit baptism. “Mahan carried the message” of the necessity of a post-conversion “Baptism of the Holy Ghost . . . to the Oxford (1874) and Brighton (1875) meetings from which the Keswick movements emerged . . . he spoke and led very popular seminars on the subject,”[633] leading many into his second blessing Baptism experience,[634] as Robert P. Smith and others led many to adopt the doctrine of the “physical thrills” of a post-conversion erotic Spirit baptism through the propogation of this doctrine at Oxford and elsewhere. Indeed, as Mahan and Robert P. Smith explained, the “object of the . . . Meeting at Oxford . . . was to lead Christians to . . . [be] baptised with the Holy Ghost.”[635] William “Boardman . . . link[ed] up with Mahan to conduct revivals in both America and Britain, and both were to have a direct influence on the spiritual and theological direction of the Keswick Conferences.”[636]

Mahan, as “the major architect . . . of the controversial ‘Oberlin Perfectionism,’”[637] in addition to teaching “the immediate attainment of entire sanctification by a special act of faith directed to this end,”[638] denied the doctrine of original sin[639] and promulgated other heresies along with the perfectionism of his mentor and colleague Charles Finney at Oberlin College.[640] Mahan’s development of the post-conversion crisis of sanctification and Spirit baptism contributed greatly to the “rise of modern Pentecostalism . . . [i]t is not surprising that modern Pentecostalism should sprout in th[e] well prepared ground” of the heterodox Oberlin holiness and pneumatological doctrines powerfully promulgated by Mahan, and, through his influence, “there seem to be several instances of this experience [of tongues] in holiness circles between 1870 and the outbreak of Pentecostalism in 1900.”[641]

Finney, whose theology helped to destroy the Second Great Awakening and hinder subsequent revival,[642] likewise taught at Oberlin a Pelagian view of sin while denying substitutionary atonement in favor of the governmental atonement heresy,[643] among other damnable heresies. For Finney, the “atonement . . . was not a commercial transaction . . . [not] the payment of a debt . . . [but] was intended as a satisfaction of public justice.”[644] He also wrote:

Moral depravity . . . cannot consist . . . in a sinful constitution . . . [or] an attribute of human nature . . . [m]oral depravity is not then to be accounted for by ascribing it to a nature or constitution sinful in itself. To talk of a sinful nature, or sinful constitution, in the sense of physical sinfulness, is to ascribe sinfulness to the Creator, who is the author of nature. . . . What ground is there for the assertion that Adam’s nature became in itself sinful by the fall? This is a groundless, not to say ridiculous, assumption, and an absurdity. . . . This doctrine is . . . an abomination alike to God and the human intellect.[645]

Furthermore, Finney’s denial of substitutionary atonement led him to reject justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ to teach salvation by personal obedience: “If [Christ] obeyed the law as our substitute, then why should our own return to personal obedience be insisted upon as a sine qua non of our salvation?”[646] Finney plainly stated that the truth of justification by faith alone based on the imputed righteousness of Christ (Romans 3:19-28) was a different gospel from the one he believed and taught. By rejecting the true gospel, Finney indicated that he was an accursed false teacher who suffered eternal damnation (Galatians 1:8-9). In his Systematic Theology, Finney accurately summarized the true gospel and then plainly rejected it:

Those who hold that justification by imputed righteousness is a forensic proceeding, take a view of final or ultimate justification, according with their view of the transaction. With them, faith receives an imputed righteousness, and a judicial justification. The first act of faith, according to them, introduces the sinner into this relation, and obtains for him a perpetual justification. They maintain that after this first act of faith it is impossible for the sinner to come into condemnation; that, being once justified, he is always thereafter justified, whatever he may do; indeed that he is never justified by grace, as to sins that are past, upon condition that he ceases to sin; that Christ’s righteousness is the ground, and that his own present obedience is not even a condition of his justification, so that, in fact, his own present or future obedience to the law of God is, in no case, and in no sense, a sine qua non[647] of his justification, present or ultimate. Now this is certainly another gospel from the one I am inculcating. It is not a difference merely upon some speculative or theoretic point. It is a point fundamental to the gospel and to salvation, if any one can be. Let us therefore see which of these is the true gospel. I object to this view of justification[.] . . . The doctrine of a literal imputation of Adam’s sin to all his posterity . . . [and] of the literal imputation of Christ’s righteousness or obedience to the elect, and the consequent perpetual justification of all that are converted from the first exercise of faith, whatever their subsequent life may be—I say I regard these dogmas as fabulous, and better befitting a romance than a system of theology.[648]

Finney called men to surrender to Christ because, as befit his doctrine of salvation by personal obedience and rejection of the eternal security of the believer, perfect consecration of life and his version of sinless perfection were an essential condition for entrance into heaven:

We shall see that perseverance in obedience to the end of life is also a condition of justification . . . present, full, and entire consecration of heart and life to God and His service, is an unalterable condition of present pardon of past sin, and of present acceptance with God. . . . [T]he penitent soul remains justified no longer than this full-hearted consecration continues.[649]

Mahan and Finney’s false gospel were intimately bound up with their perfectionism. The perfectionist doctrine of sanctification promulgated by Finney and Mahan was very influential in the development of the Keswick theology, both through Mahan’s personal preaching and through the books of both men:

The links between Keswick and New School revivalism [Oberlin perfectionism] were many. Both Mahan and Boardman’s involvement in the Oxford and Brighton conferences helped unify the higher life aspirations arising from the “Oberlizing of England.” Furthermore, the Reverend John Moore was close friends with Charles Finney, a relationship which no doubt had influence on his son, C. G. Moore, one of the early Keswick speakers.[650]

The rationale of Old School opposition to Finney and Mahan is noteworthy:

Old School advocates . . . opposed the “second blessing” heresy [of Finney and Mahan] because [they] believed it not only violated the . . . doctrine of depravity, but that it adopted the modernist reliance of human ability. The concern of Old School advocates was that New School proponents were being unduly influenced by German liberal theology, particularly in the elevation of humanist philosophy. . . . New School theology was not only influenced by the rational pragmatism of the nineteenth century, particularly in the new measure procedures, but . . . the emphasis upon human responsibility in [the] New School . . .was the direct result of modernist thought.[651]

Indeed, “[f]rom . . . the person and work of Charles Finney . . . the line is a straight one that leads through the holiness movement directly into Pentecostalism.”[652] Such were Asa Mahan and Charles Finney, architects of the Oberlin perfectionism and antecedents to the Keswick theology. Sadly, Stephen Barabas, with criminal neglect, suppresses, fails to warn of, and breaths not a whisper about the heresies of Keswick antecedents such as Thomas Upham and Asa Mahan, just as he entirely ignores the heresies, false gospel, and demonism associated with Hannah and Robert P. Smith.

While earlier perfectionist heretics were important, Barabas recognizes that “the Keswick movement had its [actual] genesis . . . [through] Mr. and Mrs. Robert Pearsall Smith [and the influence of three of their books, including Mrs. Smith’s] The Record of a Happy Life,”[653] after “Conferences . . . at Broadlands . . . Oxford . . . [and] Brighton. Robert and Hannah [Smith] were at the very center of it all.”[654] Barabas provides not a whisper of warning about Mrs. Smith’s universalism and other poisonous false doctrines, despite repeatedly citing her book My Spiritual Autobiography: How I Discovered The Unselfishness of God, which she wrote specifically to turn people from Christian orthodoxy to heresy, and where her universalist heresy is blatently and grossly set forth.[655] In any case, it is clear that “the first steps . . . [towards] [t]he Keswick Convention . . . owe . . . everything to a Quaker glass manufacturer from Philadelphia, Robert Pearsall Smith[.]”[656] Mr. Smith “was instrumental, not only in establishing Keswick as a perennial convention, but also in introducing the Keswick emphases back into the United States.”[657] Barabas indicates that “[b]oth [the Smiths] were born and bred Quakers,”[658] having “always held the Quaker teaching concerning the Inner Light and passivity.”[659] They brought their Quaker theology and other distinctive heresies into the Keswick movement which they founded.

The “new revelation [of the Keswick theology of sanctification] came to Mrs. Pearsall Smith about 1867. . . . At first her husband . . . was somewhat frightened . . . thinking she had gone off into heresy . . . [but then he] came into her experience when she called his attention to Romans vi. 6.”[660] Unfortunately, Mrs. Smith did not interpret Romans 6:6 correctly, and she led her husband into an erroneous view of the verse as well. The erroneous interpretation of Romans six adopted by Hannah and Robert P. Smith continued to dominate the Keswick convention for many decades:

In the history of the Keswick Convention, if one passage of Scripture is to be identified as playing a larger role than any other, it would have to be Romans chapter 6. Evan Hopkins said at the thirty-first Convention that no passage of Scripture was more frequently to the fore at Keswick than this one. Steven Barabas finds himself not only agreeing with this statement but adding: “it is doubtful whether a Keswick Convention has ever been held in which one or more speakers did not deal with Romans 6. . . . There is no understanding of Keswick without an appreciation of the place accorded by it to this chapter in its whole scheme of sanctification.” The key to this chapter, in the early Keswick teaching . . . [of] Robert Pearsall Smith and his wife Hannah . . . is verse 6.[661]

The misinterpretation of Mr. and Mrs. Pearsall Smith “was largely unchallenged from the Keswick platform until 1965 when John Stott gave Bible Readings on Romans 5-8.”[662] It was very easy for the Smiths to misinterpret Scripture because “[n]either of [the Smiths] had any training in theology,”[663] in keeping with their Quaker backgrounds; for example, Hannah Smith testified: “[A]s a Quaker, I had no doctrinal teaching . . . I knew literally nothing of theology, and had never heard any theological terms” since in her youth “no doctrines or dogmas were ever taught us . . . a creature more utterly ignorant of all so-called religious truth . . . could hardly be conceived of in these modern times [that is, in 1902]. The whole religious question for me was simply whether I was good enough to go to heaven, or so naughty as to deserve hell.”[664] Despite woeful ignorance of theology and an inability to accurately exegete Scripture, following Hannah’s lead, both Mr. and Mrs. Smith embraced and began to zealously propogate the doctrines of the Higher Life that were enshrined in the Keswick movement.

From its “beginning . . . some of the foremost leaders of the Church attacked [the Keswick doctrine] as being dangerously heretical.”[665] Indeed, “the opposition the work was subjected to at the beginning, even from Evangelical clergy,”[666] was extreme, so that, indeed, the Keswick theology was “looked upon with the gravest suspicion by those who were considered as the leaders of the Evangelical section of the Church.”[667] Consequently, “very few Evangelical leaders ever attended . . . the Keswick Convention . . . which was quite an independent movement,” since “the leading Evangelicals held aloof and viewed it with undisguised suspicion,” and evangelicals “openly denounced it as dangerous heresy.”[668] Evangelical opposition to Keswick was intense because the founders of Keswick seriously compromised and corrupted or even outright denied the evangel,[669] the gospel. For example, Hannah believed, among other damnable heresies, that every single person would be saved, denied justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ, the sole authority of Scripture, and the new birth. Robert, while formally adopting a weak and wobbly concept of justification by faith for a time, instead of simply rejecting that core gospel doctrine as he had before, continued to reject eternal security and tied his Higher Life theology into his opposition to the preservation of the saints. Warfield describes Robert Smith’s argument against progressive sanctification being incomplete until death, and its connection to Arminianism, as propounded by Smith at the Oxford Union Meeting of 1874, as follows:

Smith, in the very same spirit, exhorted his hearers not to put an arbitrary limitation on the power of God by postponing the completion of their salvation to the end of their “pilgrimage,” and so virtually attributing to death the sanctifying work which they ought to find rather in Christ. “Shall not Christ do more for you than death?” he demands, and then he develops a reductio ad absurdum. We expect a dying grace by which we shall be really made perfect. How long before death is the reception of such a grace possible? “An hour? A day? Peradventure a week? Possibly two or three weeks, if you are very ill? One good man granted this position until the period of six weeks was reached, but then said that more than six weeks of such living” — that is, of course, living in entire consecration and full trust, with its accompanying “victory”—“was utterly impossible!” “Are your views as to the limitations of dying grace,” he inquires, “only less absurd because less definite?” The absurdity lies, however, only in the assumption of this “dying grace” . . . Smith describes it as “a state of complete trust to be arrived at, but not until death.” The Scriptures know of no such thing; they demand complete trust from all alike, as the very first step of the conscious Christian life. It finds its real source in the Arminian notion that our salvation depends on our momentary state of mind and will at that particular moment. Whether we are ultimately saved or not will depend, then, on whether death catches us in a state of grace or fallen from grace. Our eternal future, thus, hangs quite absolutely on the state of mind we happen (happen is the right word here) to be in at the moment of death: nothing behind this momentary state of mind can come into direct consideration. This absurd over-estimate of the importance of the moment of dying is the direct consequence of the rejection of the Bible doctrine of Perseverance and the substitution for it of a doctrine of Perfection as the meaning of Christ being our Saviour to the uttermost. The real meaning of this great declaration is just that to trust in Jesus is to trust in One who is able and willing and sure to save to the uttermost — to the uttermost limit of the progress of salvation. Death in this conception of the saving Christ loses the factitious significance which has been given to it. Our momentary state of mind at the moment of death is of no more importance than our momentary state of mind at any other instant. We do not rest on our state of mind, but on Christ, and all that is important is that we are “in Christ Jesus.” He is able to save to the uttermost, and faithful is He that calls us, who also will do it. He does it in His own way, of course; and that way is by process—whom He calls He justifies, and whom He justifies He glorifies. He does it; and therefore we know that our glorification is as safe in His hands as is any other step of our salvation. To be progressively saved is, of course, to postpone the completion of our salvation to the end of the process. Expecting the end of the process only at the time appointed for it is no limitation upon the power of the Saviour; and looking upon death as the close of the process is a very different thing from looking upon death as a Saviour.[670]

Hannah W. Smith also believed, at least for a while, that Christ was the “redeemer . . . from past sins” who will only “redeem . . . from all future sins . . . if [one] will . . . submit . . . wholly to Him,”[671] a clear anti-eternal security position; however, since she had become a universalist before becoming a Keswick preacher, denying eternal security had became largely a moot point for her. Since Robert and Hannah Smith held extremely compromised views of the gospel, and Hannah even avowed, “I cannot enjoy close contact with [those who] . . . preac[h] . . . a pure gospel,”[672] it was not surprising that those who loved the true and pure gospel violently opposed the Keswick movement.

Furthermore, “Robert . . . did not try to convert unbelievers; his call was to [preach] a state of Holiness in those who already believed, whatever their creed.”[673] What is more, both Robert and Hannah Smith “belie[ved] in the inner light [doctrine of Quakerism,] to which they [were] . . . united in sentiment. . . . Mr. P. Smith [and his wife’s writings] embod[y] the mysticism of Madame Guyon and the medieval mystics, as well as the semi-Pelagianism of Professor Upham.”[674] Consequently, both Mr. and Mrs. Smith rejected sola Scriptura—Robert, for example, proclaimed: “I get one half of my theology from the Bible, and the other half by watching my children,” citing “Coleridge” as support for this astonishing affirmation.[675] Both the Smiths also anticipated Word of Faith heresies.[676] The demonism and spiritualism of the Mount-Temples and their influence on the Smiths and Keswick through the Broadlands Conferences also constituted a matter of grave concern. Evangelical rejection of Keswick theology was entirely natural. Nevertheless, despite vociferous and continuing evangelical opposition, both Mr. and Mrs. Smith began to preach to large audiences a “doctrine of sanctification by faith [alone that had been] allowed to lie dormant for centuries, unknown and unappreciated . . . it remained for Keswick to call the attention of the Church to it.”[677]

Specifically, the Keswick form of the Higher Life theology was formulated through the central influence of Hannah W. and Robert P. Smith at the Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton Conventions that immediately preceded the first Keswick Convention. The first and following Broadlands Conferences was held at the invitation of the dedicated spiritualists Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple, and all sorts of infernal spirits, doctrinal differences, and heresies were always present. Speakers included the universalist George MacDonald, who received his prominent speaking position at the direction of his good spiritualist[678] friends[679] the Mount-Temples.[680] He became good friends with fellow universalist Hannah W. Smith.[681] Nonetheless, while Christian orthodoxy was by no means held in common by the Broadlands speakers, “[t]he ‘Seed,’ of which George Fox spoke, was rooted in them all,”[682] and those in “the Society of Friends”[683] rejoiced at the messages brought, as did the spiritualist Mount-Temples, who continued their very influential patronage of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. At the first and flagship 1874 Broadlands Convention Robert “Pearsall Smith was chairman and principal speaker, though, before the week was done, it became evident that his wife, Hannah Whitall Smith, was a herald of the evangel they carried yet more effective than himself.”[684] She was the chief of the Broadlands preachers.[685] Further Conventions, along the same lines and led by Mr. and Mrs. Pearsall Smith, were held at Oxford and Brighton[686] with ever-larger attendance.[687] Mrs. Smith was an overwhelmingly captivating preacher, for at those “Conferences at Oxford and Brighton . . . no hall was large enough to accommodate the crowds that flocked to hear her.”[688] The meetings reminded Hannah W. Smith and others “of the days when George Fox,” the founder of the Quakers, saw countless numbers “convinced . . . during . . . his meetings,” or of the “wonderful Yearly Meetings” that took place in the days of the prominent Quakers “Elisabeth Fry and Joseph John Gurney.”[689] Following these Conventions, meetings specifically in the English town of Keswick, from which the new doctrine preached by the Smiths came to obtain its name, were proposed in 1875. An Anglican minister,[690] “Canon T. D. Harford Battersby . . . [who] . . . was part of an old and well-to-do west-country Quaker family that had moved into evangelical Anglicanism in the early 19th century,”[691] and “a friend of his, Mr. Robert Wilson, a Quaker who also was specially blessed [at the earlier Higher Life meetings led by the Smiths] . . . decided to hold a Convention at Keswick, where similar teaching should be given.” The “chief Brighton speakers,” of whom the most important were certainly “Mr. and Mrs. Pearsall Smith, [were] to take part in it.”[692]

Thus, Quakers were so far from being convicted of sin and of their need to turn from their false religion and false gospel to Christ for the new birth, and instead so happy with the Higher Life theology of Keswick, that one of them could become co-founder[693] of the meetings at Keswick, be the “the heart and soul” of the Keswick mission fund,[694] be lauded by many Keswick writers and speakers,[695] and even be termed “the father of the Convention.”[696] Since the Quakers Hannah and Robert Smith formulated and spread the Keswick theology at the preparatory Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton Conventions,[697] such acceptance of Quakerism was entirely expected. As one Quaker periodical noted, extolling the teaching of the Brington Convention:

[T]his wonderful gathering . . . [taught the] truth [of the Higher Life and] the renewed [post-conversion] baptism of the Holy Spirit . . . [which had been] revived in a time of darkness by the early Friends[.] . . . It has been often said that the Friends have always upheld this cardinal truth[.] . . . This is undoubtedly true, and many of the early Friends walked in the light of it, as testified by the writings of Fox, Penn, Barclay, Penington, and others[.] . . . Hannah W. Smith . . . felt that she had an especial message to the Friends in this country, and from [her] lucid setting forth of this truth many of us have derived deep and lasting benefit. . . . Perfection lies in this [Higher Life system]. . . . [T]housands . . . every day flocked to hear the Bible readings of Hannah W. Smith, eagerly accepting her clear and winning settings forth of the life of faith . . . [at] the Friends’ Meeting House . . . to a crowded assembly, those of our own body were proclaiming in triumphant strains the glory and richness of this full salvation[.][698]

Quakers were unequivocally welcomed at Keswick as true Christians.[699] Thus, “[a]t the outset the management of the Convention was entirely in the hands of the two conveners, Canon Harford-Battersby and Mr. Robert Wilson.”[700] The Quaker “Robert Wilson [was] one of the two founders of the Convention and its chairman from 1891 to 1900.”[701] Speakers were for some years only selected at “the personal invitation of the conveners,” Wilson and Battersby, although in later times the “the Trustees of the Convention” began to make the selections.[702] William Wilson, Robert Wilson’s son, continued his father’s work when Robert became Keswick chairman,[703] Robert being the “successor” of Harford-Battersby after the latter man’s retirement.[704] The succession was the more natural because Wilson was Harford-Battersby’s “principal parish worker,” regularly attending the Canon’s Anglican assembly Sunday evenings after attending the Friends’ Meeting in the morning.[705] Indeed, Robert Wilson was not only co-founder of Keswick and chairman of the Convention for nearly a decade but was also the author of the Keswick motto “All One in Christ Jesus.”[706] Truly, “without Mr. [Robert] Wilson’s support and brave backing, there would have been no . . . Keswick story . . . at all.”[707]

Consequently, the Anglican with a Quaker background, Harford-Battersby, and his chief parish worker, the unrepentant Quaker Robert Wilson, together founded the Keswick convention and “invited . . . leading speakers [such as] Mr. and Mrs. Pearsall Smith. Mr. Pearsall Smith promised to preside.”[708] “Robert . . . [was] invited . . . to preside and . . . Hannah Pearsall Smith . . . to give daily Bible Readings,” that is, to preach,[709] as well as to run the ladies’ meetings;[710] Keswick was to be “arranged around the Pearsall Smiths.”[711] However, the Keswick movement almost collapsed as a result of Mr. Smith’s hasty withdrawal because of a doctrine and practice that the Brighton Convention Committee[712] was hesitant to explain, namely, that the baptism of the Holy Ghost was accompanied by physical sexual thrills because of the esoteric union of Christ with His people as Bridegroom and Bride, as described in the Song of Solomon. Publicly admitting what Robert Smith had been teaching would certainly have cast a dark shadow over Keswick, as it was an indisputable fact that even without Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s presence “a continuity of teaching [was] maintained . . . the same as that given at the Oxford Conference,”[713] where the great spiritual secret of erotic Baptism was publicly proclaimed. Besides, in that day of Victorian propriety very few would want to propogate and preach a theology of sanctification invented by such persons. The Keswick leaders consequently deemed it best to conceal the reasons for the withdrawal of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and get along as best they could.

Nonetheless, despite the withdrawal of Robert and Hannah Smith and “other expected speakers,”[714] the first Keswick Convention took place, “acknowledging the debt [the speakers] owed to Mr. Pearsall Smith,”[715] and propogating the Higher Life theology of sanctification Mr. Smith had learned from his wife. Despite “violent criticism and opposition . . . [such that to] identify oneself with the . . . Keswick Convention . . . [and] Higher Life teaching meant to be willing to be separated from the leaders of the Evangelical Church,”[716] including opposition by men such as “Mr. Spurgeon,” “Dr. Horatius Bonar,”[717] and “Canon Ryle,”[718] Mr. Battersby “and Mr. Wilson decided to hold another convention. After that there was never any doubt that it should be held yearly.”[719] The fact that “the greatest Leaders and Teachers of Evangelical Truth thought it their duty to oppose to the utmost what they considered ‘very dangerous Heresy’” taught at Keswick and its antecedent Holiness Conventions, so that “the Evangelical Leaders of that day felt it their duty to oppose what they believed to be a false doctrine of ‘Perfection in man’” taught at Keswick, was not going to stop Wilson and Battersby.[720] Since that time “the Keswick message . . . [has been] carried . . . to almost every corner of the world”;[721] “its influence is seen to-day in every quarter of the globe.”[722] In modern times, Keswick Conventions are held in many cities throughout countries such as England, the United States, Australia, Canada, Romania, New Zealand, India, Jamaica, South Africa, Japan, Kenya, and “other parts of Africa, Asia, and South America”—there are “numerous conventions around the world on every continent which are modelled on Keswick.”[723] Keswick theology appears in devotional compositions by men such as Andrew Murray,[724] F. B. Meyer,[725] J. Oswald Sanders,[726] and Hudson Taylor,[727] and has “impact[ed] . . . the Welsh revival,[728] the German holiness movement, Foreign Missions, Conventions Abroad, the American holiness movement, the American Pentecostal movement . . . the Christian and Missionary Alliance . . . American fundamentalism . . . [and] English fundamentalism or conservative evangelicalism,”[729] as well as offshoots of Pentecostalism like the Health and Wealth or Word-Faith movement which “arose out of the classic Higher Life, Keswick, and Pentecostal movements.”[730] Keswick became extremely influential:

Keswick-like views of sanctification [were] promoted by A. B. Simpson, Moody Bible Institute[731] (D. L. Moody, R. A. Torrey, James M. Gray), Pentecostalism, and Dallas Theological Seminary (Lewis S. Chafer, John F. Walvoord, Charles C. Ryrie). Simpson founded the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Moody founded Moody Bible Institute, and Chafer cofounded Dallas Theological Seminary. Pentecostalism, which subsequently dwarfed Keswick in size and evangelical influence, is the product of Wesleyan perfectionism, the holiness movement, the early Keswick movement, Simpson, Moody, and Torrey. Dallas Theological Seminary, the bastion of the Chaferian view of sanctification, is probably the most influential factor for the [strong influence] of a Keswick-like view of sanctification in modern fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism.[732]

The tremendous influence of Hannah W. and Robert P. Smith continues to this day. Not only are their teachings being spread worldwide through the continuing widespread propogation of Keswick theology, but their message is the root of other forms of error and apostasy in Christiandom, such as, most notably, the Pentecostal, charismatic, and Word of Faith movements.

2.) The Scriptural Aspects of Keswick Theology

            Regenerate proponents of the Keswick theology[733] rightly exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, His power to sanctify sinners, and the necessity of faith in the Christian life. A high regard for these tremendous truths will indubitably strengthen the believer’s spiritual walk, and Keswick’s proclamation of these Biblical doctrines has unquestionably been a means of Divine blessing upon many. Furthermore, Keswick’s preaching that believers must immediately surrender to the Lord and confess sin that is yet unrepented of is eminently Biblical. If, because of Keswick’s calls to the surrender of the will, “no man can attend a Keswick Convention and be the same afterwords: he is either a better or a worse man for it,”[734] such a fact is highly commendable. Strong Biblical preaching does not leave hearers unmoved.[735] A call to the “renunciation of all known sin . . . and . . . surrender to Christ for the infilling of the Holy Spirit”[736] is an excellent and commendable message, at least if terms are defined properly. When Keswick emphasizes “the exceeding sinfulness of sin”[737] and seeks to have “laid bare . . . the cancer of sin eating at the vitals of the Christian . . . [so that] the Christian is urged to cut it out at once”[738] and come to “an unreserved surrender to Christ . . . in . . . heart and life,”[739] it does very well. Furthermore, Keswick deserves commendation when it seeks to have the “Holy Spirit exalted . . . [and] looked to as the divine Guide and Governor . . . [and] prayer is emphasized as the condition of all success and blessing.”[740] When some[741] modern Keswick writers teach that the Holy Spirit “dwells in every child of God . . . [but] not every Christian is filled with the Spirit . . . [and] to be filled with the Spirit is not presented in Scripture as an optional matter, but as a holy obligation that rests upon all Christians,”[742] they do well. The Holy Spirit, although He does not speak of Himself (John 16:13), is nonetheless God, equal in essence to the Father and the Son, and worthy of all reverence, trust, and worship. Keswick is correct that the “Christian is expected to live in communion with the Spirit[.]”[743]Furthermore, prayer is unquestionably key to a Biblical Christianity, to the extent that believers are characterized as those who call on the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:2). Keswick emphasis upon the impossibility of “mere moral processes to overcome sin”[744] and upon the error of self-dependence in sanctification (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:9) is important and correct, as is its affirmation that the believer’s “union with Christ in His death and resurrection . . . secures moral renovation as well as justifying grace.”[745] “Anyone who is sensitive to the high demands of the Christian vocation . . . must find himself in deep agreement with the earnest contrition which has characterized so many of the Keswick leaders and with their insistent plea for the appropriation and application of the resources of God’s cleansing and sanctifying grace.”[746] Furthermore, Keswick is correct in its affirmation “that in Scripture sanctification comes by faith.”[747] Modern Keswick emphasis upon evangelism and missions[748] is clearly Scriptural (Acts 1:8) and is a tremendous blessing. Believers who gain a greater understanding and practice of Biblical truths such as these through hearing Keswick preaching or reading Keswick literature will be able to grow closer to God and be more effective in serving Him as a result. Such Keswick teachings explain why many have received definite spiritual blessings at Keswick Conventions.

            However, while these aspects of the Keswick theology are Biblical, refreshing, and key to an increase in spiritual life, they are not unique to Keswick or to Higher Life doctrine. The historic Baptist doctrine of sanctification has taught all of these truths,[749] and many old-line evangelical Protestants have done so likewise. One can learn all of these great truths from the Bible alone or from Christian writings without any connection with the Keswick movement. For example, J. C. Ryle, the classic nineteenth century devotional writer and opponent of the Keswick theology, wrote:

As to entire “self-consecration” . . . of which so much is said in the new [Keswick] theology . . . I never in my life heard of any thorough evangelical minister who did not hold the doctrine and press it upon others. When a man brings it forward as a novelty I cannot help thinking that he can never have truly known what true conversion was. . . . [T]hat the duty and privilege of entire self-consecration is systematically ignored by Evangelicals, and has only been discovered, or brought into fresh light by the new [Keswick] theologians, I do not for a moment believe.[750]

Nor is the doctrine that sanctification is through faith by any means a Keswick distinctive. The body of non-Keswick Bible-believing Christians hold to this truth:

Sanctification is by faith . . . Whatever believers get from Christ, they must of necessity get by faith . . . faith is the one receptive grace, the sole apprehensive grace, that hand of the soul that lays hold upon Christ, and puts the believer in possession of the fulness that is in him[.] . . . [A]ll gifts of God come from grace, and all come to faith. Grace is the only fountain, faith the only channel. . . . That sanctification is by faith, then, is essentially a principle of Protestant theology, and is no distinctive feature of the new [Keswick] teaching. . . . [T]he doctrine of sanctification by Christ, through faith . . . had quite as prominent a place as is now assigned to it [in the Keswick theology] in the theology and preaching of the Reformers, of the Puritans, of the divines and preachers of the Second Reformation in Scotland . . . of the sturdy old Evangelicals of the English Church . . . and of the equally sturdy Evangelicals of the Nonconformists . . . [a]nd an equally prominent place does it hold in the dogmatic and homiletic and catechetic teaching of our evangelical contemporaries [in the late 19th century] in all sections of the Christian Church. It is not, then, in respect of these fundamental principles that we differ from the new [Keswick] school. On the contrary, we deny that they have any exclusive propriety in these principles[.] . . . [Rather, what is truly distinctive about Keswick is the idea] that there is a special act of faith . . . subsequent to . . . conversion . . . [which] Mr. Boardman calls “second conversion,” [and] Mrs. Smith calls “entire consecration.”[751]

Sanctification by faith is a Biblical teaching that is by no means a Keswick distinctive—only the unscriptural doctrine of the “second blessing,”[752] which is connected with a quietistic idea of sanctification by faith alone, is a Keswick distinctive.

The necessity of experiential communion with Jesus Christ through the Spirit by faith is also by no means a Keswick distinctive. John Owen,[753] who has led many away from Keswick theology to a more Biblical piety,[754] wrote:

[Christians ought to] make this observation of the lively actings of faith and love in and towards Jesus Christ their chiefest concern in all their retirements, yea, in their whole walk before God. . . . [T]he effects of his presence with us, and the manifestation of himself unto us[,] [are as follows:]

(1.) Now the first of these is the life, vigor, and effectual acting of all grace in us. This is an inseparable consequent and effect of a view of his glory. Whilst we enjoy it, we live; nevertheless not we, but Christ lives in us, exciting and acting all his graces in us. This is that which the apostle instructs us in; while “we behold his glory as in a glass, we are transformed into the same image, from glory to glory,” 2 Corinthians 3:18—that is, whilst by faith we contemplate on the glory of Christ as revealed in the gospel, all grace will thrive and flourish in us towards a perfect conformity unto him. For whilst we abide in this view and contemplation, our souls will be preserved in holy frames, and in a continual exercise of love and delight, with all other spiritual affections towards him. It is impossible, whilst Christ is in the eye of our faith as proposed in the Gospel, but that we shall labor to be like him, and greatly love him. Neither is there any way for us to attain unto either of these, which are the great concernments of our souls—namely, to be like unto Christ, and to love him—but by a constant view of him and his glory by faith; which powerfully and effectually works them in us. All the doctrinal knowledge which we have of him is useless, all the view we have of his glory is but fancy, imagination, or superstition, which are not accompanied with this transforming power. And that which is wrought by it, is the increase and vigor of all grace; for therein alone our conformity unto him does consist. Growth in grace, holiness, and obedience, is a growing like unto Christ; and nothing else is so. . . .

This transforming efficacy, from a spiritual view of Christ as proposed in the Gospel . . . [is] the life of religion . . . there must be a view of Christ and his glory, to cause us to love him, and thereby to make us conformable or like unto him . . . [which] is by our beholding his glory by faith, as revealed in the Gospel, and no otherwise. . . . [S]o, unto our stability in the profession of the truth, an experience of the efficacy of this spiritual view of Christ transforming our souls into his own likeness, is absolutely necessary. . . . [T]he beholding of Christ is the most blessed means of exciting all our graces, spiritualizing all our affections, and transforming our minds into his likeness. . . . [I]t is a real experience of the efficacy that there is in the spiritual beholding of the glory of Christ by faith, as proposed in the Gospel, to strengthen, increase, and excite all grace unto its proper exercise, so changing and transforming the soul gradually into his likeness, which must secure us against all [sinful] pretences[.] . . .

[I]f we grow weak in our graces, unspiritual in our frames, cold in our affections, or negligent in the exercise of them by holy meditation, it is evident that [Christ] is at a great distance from us, so as that we do not behold his glory as we ought. If the weather grow cold, herbs and plants do wither, and the frost begins to bind up the earth, all men grant that the sun is withdrawn, and makes not his wonted approach unto us. And if it be so with our hearts, that they grow cold, frozen, withering, lifeless, in and unto spiritual duties, it is certain that the Lord Christ is in some sense withdrawn, and that we do not behold his glory. We retain notions of truth concerning his person, office, and grace; but faith is not in constant exercise as to real views of him and his glory. For there is nothing more certain in Christian experience than this is, that while we do really by faith behold the glory of Christ, as proposed in the Gospel, the glory of his person and office, as before described, and so abide in holy thoughts and meditations thereof, especially in our private duties and retirements, all grace will live and thrive in us in some measure, especially love unto his person, and therein unto all that belongs unto him. Let us but put it to the trial, and we shall infallibly find the promised event. Do any of us find decays in grace prevailing in us—deadness, coldness, lukewarmness, a kind of spiritual stupidity and senselessness coming upon us? Do we find an unreadiness unto the exercise of grace in its proper season, and the vigorous acting of it in duties of communion with God, and would we have our souls recovered from these dangerous diseases? Let us assure ourselves there is no better way for our healing and deliverance, yea, no other way but this alone—namely, the obtaining a fresh view of the glory of Christ by faith, and a steady abiding therein. Constant contemplation of Christ and his glory, putting forth its transforming power unto the revival of all grace, is the only relief in this case[.]

Some will say, that this must be effected by fresh supplies and renewed communications of the Holy Spirit. Unless he fall as dew and showers on our dry and barren hearts—unless he cause our graces to spring, thrive, and bring forth fruit—unless he revive and increase faith, love, and holiness in our souls—our backsliding will not be healed, nor our spiritual state be recovered. . . . And so it is. The immediate efficiency of the revival of our souls is from and by the Holy Spirit. But the inquiry is, in what way, or by what means, we may obtain the supplies and communications of him unto this end. This the apostle declares in [2 Corinthians 3:18]: We, beholding the glory of Christ in a glass, “are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord.” It is in the exercise of faith on Christ . . . that the Holy Spirit puts forth his renewing, transforming power in and upon our souls. This, therefore, is that alone which will retrieve Christians from their present decays and deadness. . . . [The] remedy and relief [of a] . . . dead [and] dull . . . condition . . . is, to live in the exercise of faith in Christ Jesus. This himself assures us of, John 15:4, 5, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.”

There is a twofold coming unto Christ by believing. The first is that we may have life—that is, a spring and principle of spiritual life communicated unto us from him: for he is “our life,” Colossians 3:4, and “because he liveth, we live also,” John 14:19. Yea, it is not so much we that live, as he liveth in us, Galatians 2:19, 20. And unbelief is a not coming unto him, that we may have life, John 5:40. But, secondly, there is also a coming unto him by believers in the actual exercise of faith, that they may “have this life more abundantly,” John 10:10; that is, such supplies of grace as may keep their souls in a healthy, vigorous acting of all the powers of spiritual life. And as he reproacheth some that they would not come unto him that they might have life, so he may justly reprove us all, that we do not so come unto him in the actual exercise of faith, as that we might have this life more abundantly.

(2.) When the Lord Christ is near us, and we do behold his glory, he will frequently communicate spiritual refreshment in peace, consolation, and joy unto our souls. We shall not only hereby have our graces excited with respect unto him as their object, but be made sensible of his acting toward us in the communications of himself and his love unto us. When the Sun of Righteousness ariseth on any soul, or makes any near approach thereunto, it shall find “healing under his wings”—his beams of grace shall convey by his Spirit holy spiritual refreshment thereunto. For he is present with us by his Spirit, and these are his fruits and effects, as he is the Comforter, suited unto his office, as he is promised unto us.

Many love to walk in a very careless, unwise profession. So long as they can hold out in the performance of outward duties, they are very regardless of the greatest evangelical privileges—of those things which are the marrow of divine promises—all real endeavors of a vital communion with Christ. Such are spiritual peace, refreshing consolations, ineffable joys, and the blessed composure of assurance. Without some taste and experience of these things, profession is heartless, lifeless, useless; and religion itself a dead carcass without an animating soul. The peace which some enjoy is a mere stupidity. They judge not these things to be real which are the substance of Christ’s present reward; and a renunciation whereof would deprive the church of its principal supportments and encouragements in all its sufferings. It is a great evidence of the power of unbelief, when we can satisfy ourselves without an experience in our own hearts of the great things, in this kind of joy, peace, consolation, assurance, that are promised in the Gospels. For how can it be supposed that we do indeed believe the promises of things future—namely, of heaven, immortality, and glory, the faith whereof is the foundation of all religions—when we do not believe the promises of the present reward in these spiritual privileges? And how shall we be thought to believe them, when we do not endeavor after an experience of the things themselves in our own souls, but are even contented without them? But herein men deceive themselves. They would very desirously have evangelical joy, peace, and assurance, to countenance them in their evil frames and careless walking. And some have attempted to reconcile these things, unto the ruin of their souls. But it will not be. Without the diligent exercise of the grace of obedience, we shall never enjoy the grace of consolation. . . .

It is peculiarly in the view of the glory of Christ, in his approaches unto us, and abiding with us, that we are made partakers of evangelical peace, consolation, joy, and assurances. These are a part of the royal train of his graces, of the reward wherewith he is accompanied. “His reward is with him.” Wherever he is graciously present with any, these things are never wanting in a due measure and degree, unless it be by their own fault, or for their trial. In these things does he give the church of his loves, Song of Solomon 7:12. “For if any man,” saith he, “love me, I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him,” John 14:21—“yea, I and the Father will come unto him, and make our abode with him,” verse 23; and that so as to “sup with him,” Revelation 3:20—which, on his part, can be only by the communication of those spiritual refreshments. The only inquiry is, by what way and means we do receive them? Now, I say this is in and by our beholding of the glory of Christ by faith, 1 Peter 1:8, 9. Let that glory be rightly stated . . . the glory of his person, his office, his condescension, exaltation, love, and grace; let faith be fixed in a view and contemplation of it, mix itself with it, as represented in the glass of the gospel, meditate upon it, embrace it, and virtue will proceed from Christ, communicating spiritual, supernatural refreshment and joy unto our souls. Yea, in ordinary cases, it is impossible that believers should have a real prospect of this glory at any time, but that it will in some measure affect their hearts with a sense of his love; which is the spring of all consolation in them. In the exercise of faith on the discoveries of the glory of Christ made unto us in the Gospel, no man shall ever totally want such intimations of his love, yea, such effusion of it in his heart, as shall be a living spring of those spiritual refreshments, John 4:14; Romans 5:5.[755]

Such declarations were by no means an exception, centuries before the invention of the Keswick theology, in the Biblically-based piety of Owen and vast numbers of like-minded Christians. He wrote elsewhere:

The . . . daily exercise of faith on Christ as crucified . . . is the great fundamental means of the mortification of sin in general, and which we ought to apply unto every particular instance of it. This the apostle discourseth at large, Romans 6:6-13. “Our old man,” saith he, “is crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Our “old man,” or the body of sin, is the power and reign of sin in us. These are to be destroyed; that is, so mortified that “henceforth we should not serve sin,” that we should be delivered from the power and rule of it. This, saith the apostle, is done in Christ: “Crucified with him.” It is so meritoriously, in his actual dying or being crucified for us; it is so virtually, because of the certain provision that is made therein for the mortification of all sin; but it is so actually, by the exercise of faith on him as crucified, dead, and buried, which is the means of the actual communication of the virtue of his death unto us for that end. Herein are we said to be dead and buried with him; whereof baptism is the pledge. So by the cross of Christ the world is crucified unto us, and we are so to the world, Galatians 6:14; which is the substance of the mortification of all sin. There are several ways whereby the exercise of faith on Christ crucified is effectual unto this end: —

(1.) Looking unto him as such will beget holy mourning in us: Zechariah 12:10, “They shall look on me whom they have pierced, and mourn.” . . . A view of Christ as pierced will cause mourning in them that have received the promise of the Spirit of grace and supplication there mentioned. And this mourning is the foundation of mortification. It is that “godly sorrow which worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of,” 2 Corinthians 7:10. And mortification of sin is of the essence of repentance. The more believers are exercised in this view of Christ, the more humble they are, the more they are kept in that mourning frame which is universally opposite unto all the interests of sin, and which keeps the soul watchful against all its attempts. Sin never reigned in an humble, mourning soul.

(2.) It is effectual unto the same end by the way of a powerful motive, as that which calls and leads unto conformity to him. This is pressed by the apostle, Romans 6:8-11. Our conformity unto Christ as crucified and dead consists in our being dead unto sin, and thereby overthrowing the reign of it in our mortal bodies. This conformity, saith he, we ought to reckon on as our duty: “Reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin;” that is, that you ought so to be, in that conformity which you ought to aim at unto Christ crucified. Can any spiritual eye behold Christ dying for sin, and continue to live in sin? Shall we keep that alive in us which he died for, that it might not eternally destroy us? Can we behold him bleeding for our sins, and not endeavor to give them their death-wound? The efficacy of the exercise of faith herein unto the mortification of sin is known unto all believers by experience.

(3.) Faith herein gives us communion with him in his death, and unites the soul unto it in its efficacy. Hence we are said to be “buried with him into death,” and to be “planted together in the likeness of his death,” Romans 6:4, 5. Our “old man is crucified with him,” verse 6. We have by faith communion with him in his death, unto the death of sin. This, therefore, is the first grace and duty which we ought to attend unto for the mortification of sin.[756]

The precious Biblical truths set forth by Owen are by no means the peculiar perogative of the Keswick theology, as he wrote of them centuries before the Keswick movement came into existence. Just as Owen declares that “efficacy of the exercise of faith . . . unto the mortification of sin is known unto all believers by experience,” and so the necessity of faith for sanctification is by no means a Keswick distinctive.

            Perhaps the clearest way to indicate the positive truths affirmed by both Keswick and its critics is to examine the doctrine of sanctification confessed by that staunch advocate of the theology and revivalistic[757] piety of Old Princeton and inveterate opponent of Keswick, B. B. Warfield. Truths confessed by both Keswick and by Warfield can by no means be labeled Keswick distinctives, but would evidently be the common inheritance of classic evangelical spirituality.[758]

            Warfield, receiving the truth common to old evangelicalism, emphasized the need to depend on the Christ and the Holy Spirit for strength in sanctification, rather than being self-dependent. Indeed, he recognized such dependence was the very essence of religion: “[The] attitude of trust and dependence on God is just the very essence of religion. In proportion as any sense of self-sufficiency or any dependence on self enters the heart, in that proportion religion is driven from it.”[759] The “central truth of complete dependence upon the free mercy of a saving God,” Warfield affirmed, “is an absolutely essential element in evangelical religion” which “underl[ies] and g[ives] its form and power to the whole . . . movement” and is key to “a great revival of religion.”[760] Warfield recognizes that confusing Christian holiness with mere “righteous conduct and of self-sanctification or moral character-formation,” so that “the individual Christian sanctifies himself,”[761] is part of a view of God, sin, and salvation that is a “profoundly immoral doctrine.”[762] The believer must not rely upon his own works for either justification or sanctification; teaching this, Warfield approvingly cited the “the words of the revival hymn” calling men to “‘cast our deadly doing down’ and make our appeal on the sole score of sheer helplessness . . . [rejecting] . . . self-dependence and [the] power of self-help.”[763] He states that the “very cor cordis of the Gospel” is expressed in the words of the hymn:

Nothing either great or small,

Nothing, sinner, no;

Jesus did it, did it all,

Long, long, ago. . . .

Doing is a deadly thing,

Doing ends in death . . .

Cast your deadly doing down,

Down at Jesus’ feet,

Stand in Him, in Him alone,

Gloriously complete.[764]

Consequently, helpless dependence on the perfectly sufficient Christ is the attitude of the Christian:

[The] characteristic . . . [of] the children of the Kingdom . . . [is to] lay happy and thoughtless . . . in Jesus’ own arms. Their characteristic was just helpless dependence; complete dependence upon the care of those whose care for them was necessary. . . . [T]he Kingdom of heaven is made up of those who are helplessly dependent on the King of the Heavens . . . [like] infants who are to be done for, who can not do for themselves.[765]

Warfield stated:

[The] evangelical quality of all really evangelical faith [is found in] . . . whoever recognizes in the recesses of his soul his utter dependence on God; whoever in all his thought of salvation hears in his heart of hearts the echo of the soli Deo gloria of the evangelical profession . . . these fundamental principles—which underlie and give its body to all true religion—[ought] to work themselves freely and fully out in thought and feeling and action.[766]

Warfield explained elsewhere that this utter dependence on the Holy Spirit is characteristic of the Christian piety of all Bible-believing Protestant denominations:

The evangelical note is formally sounded by the entirety of organized Protestantism. That is to say, all the great Protestant bodies, in their formal official confessions, agree in confessing the utter dependence of sinful man upon the grace of God alone for salvation, and in conceiving this dependence as immediate and direct upon the Holy Spirit, acting as a person and operating directly on the heart of the sinner. It is this evangelical note which determines the peculiarity of the piety of the Protestant Churches. The characteristic feature of this piety is a profound consciousness of intimate personal communion with God the Saviour, on whom the soul rests with immediate love and trust.[767]

Every single spiritual good comes from the Holy Spirit, Warfield taught, and Biblical religion necessitates utter dependence on Him. Possession of the Spirit is the highest glory of the believer:

[T]he Spirit of God is the author of all right belief and of all good conduct,—to assure us that then, too, on Him depended all the exercises of piety, to Him was due all the holy aspirations and all the good accomplishments of every saint of God. And certainly the New Testament tells us in repeated instances that the Holy Spirit was active throughout the period of the Old Dispensation, in all the varieties of activities which characterize the New. The difference between the two lies not in any difference in the utter dependence of men on Him[.] . . . Paul . . . is full of joy . . . to have . . . God’s Holy Spirit . . . working faith in him[.] . . . He claims no superiority [to other believers] in the matter. If he has a like faith, it is because he is made by God’s grace to share in a like fountain of faith. The one Spirit who works faith is the common possession of them and of him; and therein he finds his highest privilege and his greatest glory. . . . [T]he operations of the Spirit . . . Paul represents as the height of Christian privilege to possess.[768]

Warfield unabashedly identified himself with those in the history of doctrine who were the champions of the grace of God. Self-dependent moralism was the very antithesis of Biblical Christianity:

The champion[s] of grace . . . entire system revolved around the assertion of grace as the sole source of all good in man as truly and as completely as did that of Pelagius around the assertion of the plenary ability of the unaided will to work all righteousness. . . . [W]e are aided by the grace of God, through Christ, not only to know but also to do what is right, in each single act, so that without grace we are unable to have, think, speak, or do anything pertaining to piety[.] The opposition between the two systems was thus absolute. In the one, everything was attributed to man; In the other, everything was ascribed to God. In them, two religions, the only two possible religions at bottom, met in mortal combat: the religion of faith and the religion of works; the religion which despairs of self and casts all its hope on God the Saviour, and the religion which puts complete trust in self; or since religion is in its very nature utter dependence on God, religion in the purity of its conception and a mere quasi-religious moralism.[769]

Rejection of self-dependence, a recognition of the need to trust in the Lord Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit for strength to live the Christian life, and a rejection of sanctification sourced in the believer’s works, is by no means a Keswick distinctive.

            Warfield taught that the essence of Christianity is that “all [is] of God and nothing of ourselves”—God’s unmerited love gives His people all. Since “the Christian life as a life” is one “of continuous dissatisfaction with self and of continuous looking afresh to Christ as the ground of all our hope,”[770] believers must always look to the Lord Jesus and depend on Him for grace:

We may rightly bewail our coldness: we may rightly blame ourselves that there is so little response in our hearts to the sight of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, or even to the manifestation of His unspeakable love in the death of His Son. Oh, wretched men that we are to see that bleeding love and not be set on fire with a flame of devotion! But we may be all the more thankful that it is not in our frames and feelings that we are to put our trust. Let us abase ourselves that we so little respond to these great spectacles of the everlasting and unspeakable love of God. But let us ever remember that it is on the love of God and not on our appreciation of it that we are to build our confidence. Jesus our Priest and our Sacrifice, let us keep our eyes set on Him! And though our poor sinful hearts so little know how to yield to that great spectacle the homage of a suitable response, His blood will yet avail even for us.

“Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to Thy cross I cling”—

here—and let us bless God for it—here is the essence of Christianity. It is all of God and nothing of ourselves.[771]

Through the “gospel the eye is withdrawn from self and the face turned upward in loving gratitude to God, the great giver [in a] . . . continual sense of humble dependence on God and of loving trust in Him.”[772] Warfield noted the teaching of Scripture that, in the workings of the Lord towards His people, “[a]t every step it is God, and God alone, to whom is ascribed the initiative; and the most extreme care is taken to preserve the recipients of the blessings consequent on His choice from fancying that these blessings come as their due, or as reward for aught done by themselves, or to be found in themselves.”[773] Nothing was the product of the believer’s own strength; thus, Warfield could encourage believers:

Faint not! It is not your own strength—or rather weakness—that is . . . in question; it is the power of Almighty God. . . . It was of His own purpose that He called you; the grace that has come to you was given you from all eternity. . . . It is this Almighty God who is using you as His instrument and organ. Nothing depends on your weakness; all hangs on His strength.[774]

Since every aspect of salvation was sourced in God alone, Warfield passionately warned of the dangers of self-sufficiency and called upon men to live by faith and to surrender themselves entirely to the Lord:

The very point of this passage [Habbakuk 2:4] is the sharp contrast which is drawn between arrogant self-sufficiency and faithful dependence on God . . . [I]t is by faith that the righteous man lives . . . the righteous appear . . . as men who look in faith to God and trustingly depend upon His arm. . . . Here we have, therefore, thrown into a clear light the contrasting characteristics of the wicked, typified by the Chaldæan, and of the righteous: of the one the fundamental trait is self-sufficiency; of the other, faith. This faith, which forms the distinctive feature of the righteous man, and by which he obtains life . . . is a profound and abiding disposition, an ingrained attitude of mind and heart towards God which affects and gives character to all the activities.[775]

Indeed, “[T]he very core of Old Testament religion . . . [is] entire self-commitment to God [and] humble dependence on Him for all blessings,” so “[s]elf-sufficiency is the characteristic mark of the wicked . . . while the mark of the righteous is that he lives by his faith (Hab. 2:4).”[776] Warfield wrote that trusting in God and rejecting self-dependence was not just the very core of Old Testament true religion, but of all true religion in any dispensation whatever: “Now this attitude of trust and dependence on God is just the very essence of religion. In proportion as any sense of self-sufficiency or any dependence on self enters the heart, in that proportion religion is driven from it.”[777] Consequently, Warfield extolled those in church history he understood as recognizing that the essence of true religion is dependence on God, despair of any confidence in themselves, and rejection of mere religious moralism. Such an understanding is key to being filled with love and joy in believing:

Self-despair, humble trust, grateful love, fullness of joy—these are the steps on which his own soul[778] climbed upward: and these steps gave their whole color and form both to his piety and to his teaching. In his doctrine we see his experience of God’s seeking and saving love toward a lost sinner expressing itself in propositional form; in his piety we see his conviction that the sole hope of the sinner lies in the free grace of a loving God expressing itself in the forms of feeling. In doctrine and life alike he sets before us in that effective way which belongs to the discoverer, the religion of faith as over against the religion of works—the religion which despairing of self casts all its hope on God as over against the religion that to a greater or less degree trusts in itself: in a word, since religion in its very nature is dependence on God, religion in the purity of its conception as over against a quasi-religious moralism. . . . [W]e are admitted into the very life of [the godly man] and are permitted to see his great heart cleansing itself of all trust in himself and laying hold with the grasp first of despair, then of discerning trust and then of grateful love upon the God who [is] his salvation . . . [such truths have] perennial attractiveness and [the] supreme position . . . [for] edification.[779]

Warfield believed that the advocates of system of doctrine he embraced were in a special way “called upon to defend the treasures of truth that had been committed to the[m] from the inroads of that perpetual foe of the grace of God which is entrenched in the self-sufficiency of the natural heart.”[780] Warfield believed that part of his calling as a defender of the faith was, in a special way, to fight against that awful foe, self-sufficiency. He wrote: “As over against all teaching that would tempt man to trust in himself for any, even the smallest part, of his salvation, Christianity casts him utterly on God. It is God and God alone who saves, and that in every element of the saving process.”[781] Justification, sanctification, glorification, and everything else in the doctrine of salvation was all sourced in God, not in man himself. Since every aspect of salvation comes from God, Christian life involves despairing of confidence in oneself and a humble and joyful trust in the Lord alone. B. B. Warfield, and the old evangelical piety of his theological tradition, emphasized these truths—they were by no means the peculiar possession of the Kewick theology.

            Warfield embraced and warmly advocated the life of faith as the distinctive mark of true piety, affirming the centrality of living by faith not only in the New Testament, but in the Old also:

[F]rom the very beginning the distinctive feature of the life of the pious is that it is a life of faith[.] . . . Thus the first recorded human acts after the Fall . . . are expressive of trust in God’s promise . . . in the great promise of the Seed (Gen. 3:15). Similarly, the whole story of the Flood is so ordered as to throw into relief, on the one hand, the free grace of God in His dealings with Noah (Gen. 6:8, 18, 8:1, 21, 9:8), and, on the other, the determination of Noah’s whole life by trust in God and His promises (Gen. 6:22, 7:5, 9:20). The open declaration of the faith-principle of Abraham’s life (Gen. 15:6) only puts into words, in the case of him who stands at the root of Israel’s whole national and religious existence, what not only might also be said of all the patriarchs, but what actually is most distinctly said both of Abraham and of them through the medium of their recorded history. The entire patriarchal narrative is set forth with the design and effect of exhibiting the life of the servants of God as a life of faith, and it is just by the fact of their implicit self-commitment to God that throughout the narrative the servants of God are differentiated from others. This does not mean, of course, that with them faith took the place of obedience: an entire self-commitment to God which did not show itself in obedience to Him would be self-contradictory, and the testing of faith by obedience is therefore a marked feature of the patriarchal narrative. But it does mean that faith was with them the precondition of all obedience. The patriarchal religion is essentially a religion, not of law but of promise, and therefore not primarily of obedience but of trust; the holy walk is characteristic of God’s servants (Gen. 5:22, 24, 6:9, 17:1, 24:40, 48:15), but it is characteristically described as a walk “with God”; its peculiarity consisted precisely in the ordering of life by entire trust in God, and it expressed itself in conduct growing out of this trust (Gen. 3:20, 4:1, 6:22, 7:5, 8:18, 12:4, 17:23, 21:12, 16, 22). The righteousness of the patriarchal age was thus but the manifestation in life of an entire self-commitment to God, in unwavering trust in His promises. . . . The piety of the Old Testament thus began with faith.[782]

Indeed, “faith . . . on the human side is the fundamental element of religion, as grace is on God’s side.”[783]Consequently, the Christian must continually trust and look to God through Christ in every area of his daily life, for not to do so is “practical atheism.” Believers are to commit all their cares, burdens, and needs to the Lord, trusting that He will take care of them:

There is a formal atheism of opinions and words and reasonings which declares that there is no God and seeks to sophisticate the understanding into believing that there is none. This the Bible describes as an open folly: the fool has said in his heart, There is no God. But even when the lip and the mind behind the lip are true to right reason and confess that there is a God who rules the world and to whom we are responsible in our every thought and word and deed, there is often a practical atheism that lives as if there were no God. Formal atheism denies God; practical atheism is guilty of the possibly even more astounding sin of forgetting the God it confesses. How many men who would not think of saying even in their hearts, There is no God, deny Him practically by ordering their lives as if He were not? And even among those who yield, in their lives, a practical as well as a formal acknowledgment of God, many yet manage, practically, to deny in their lives that this God, acknowledged and served, is the Lord of all the earth. How prone we are to limit and circumscribe the sphere in which we practically allow for God! We feel His presence and activity in some things but not in others; we seek His blessing in some matters but not in others; we look for His guidance in some affairs but not in others; we can trust Him in some crises and with some of our hopes but not in or with others. This too is a practical atheism. And it is against all such practical atheism that [Matthew 6:33] enters its protest. . . . It protests against men reckoning in anything without God.

How are we to order our lives? How are we to provide for our households—or, for our own bodily wants? Is it true that we can trust the eternal welfare of our souls to God and cannot trust to Him the temporal welfare of our bodies? Is it true that He has provided salvation for us at the tremendous cost of the death of His Son, and will not provide food for us to eat and clothes for us to wear at the cost of the directive word that speaks and it is done? Is it true that we can stand by the bedside of our dying friend and send him forth into eternity in good confidence in God, and cannot send that same friend forth into the world with any confidence that God will keep him there? O, the practical atheism of many of our earthly cares and earthly anxieties! Can we not read the lessons of the birds of heaven and the lilies of the field which our Father feeds and clothes? What a rebuke these lessons are to our practical atheism, which says, in effect, that we cannot trust God for our earthly prosperity but must bid Him wait until we make good our earthly fortunes before we can afford to turn to Him. How many men do actually think that it is unreasonable to serve God at the expense of their business activity? To give Him their first and most energetic service? How many think it would be unreasonable in God to put His service before their provision for themselves and family? How many of us who Have been able to “risk” ourselves, do not think that we can “risk” our families in God’s keeping? How subtle the temptations! But, here our Lord brushes them all away in the calm words, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; land all these things shall be added unto you.” Is this not a rebuke to our practical atheism?[784]

The need to daily—indeed, constantly—live by faith, looking always to the Lord in confident trust, is by no means a Keswick distinctive. It is a glorious truth held in common by classic Baptist and old evangelical piety, one fervently proclaimed for many centuries before the origin of the Higher Life theology.

            Warfield emphasized the need for surrender and consecration to Christ. He rejoiced that the Bible revealed to him “a Christ to love, to trust and to follow, a Christ without us the ground of our salvation, a Christ within us the hope of glory.”[785] Indeed, Warfield taught that “[s]urrender and consecration . . . are the twin key-notes of the Christian life.”[786]Divine blessing in Christian ministry depends upon surrender and consecration, and in proportion as they are emphasized may the Christian hope for success: “[O]ur life as ministers of the Gospel is nothing else but one side of our Christian life—the flower and fruit of our Christian life—[so] surrender and consecration must be made also its notes. It is in direct proportion as they are made its key-notes that we may hope for success in our ministry[.]”[787] Surrender and consecration can by no means be divorced from faith—they are inextricably bound together: “[T]he two essential elements of all religion [are] surrender and consecration—the passive and active aspects of that faith which on the human side is the fundamental element of religion, as grace is on God’s side, when dealing with sinful men.”[788] Warfield also recognized the absolute need for the strength of the Holy Spirit to enable surrender and consecration; God the Spirit’s work is always primary and initiatory, while the believer’s response is dependent upon Divine working. Therefore, on account of the believer’s weakness, constant dependence upon God, prayer to Him, and constant empowerment from the Holy Ghost is absolutely necessary:

Thus, then, the Spirit helps our weakness. By His hidden, inner influences He quickens us to the perception of our real need; He frames in us an infinite desire for this needed thing; He leads us to bring this desire in all its unutterable strength before God; who, seeing it within our hearts, cannot but grant it, as accordant with His will. Is not this a very present help in time of trouble? As prevalent a help as if we were miraculously rescued from any danger? And yet a help wrought through the means of God’s own appointment, that is, our attitude of constant dependence on Him and our prayer to Him for His aid? And could Paul here have devised a better encouragement to the saints to go on in their holy course and fight the battle bravely to the end?[789]

Indeed, as Warfield emphasized that believers are always weak and in need of the enablement of the Spirit, so he taught that Christians are always unworthy and always in continual need of God’s grace. Anything good in them whatsoever must be ascribed, not to themselves, but to grace alone, received from the Holy Spirit alone “[e]very grace of the godly life . . . [is] a fruit of His working.”[790] Warfield explained:

It belongs to the very essence of the type of Christianity propagated by the Reformation that the believer should feel himself continuously unworthy of the grace by which he lives. At the center of this type of Christianity lies the contrast of sin and grace; and about this center everything else revolves. This is in large part the meaning of the emphasis put in this type of Christianity on justification by faith. It is its conviction that there is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only “when we believe.” It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in Christian behavior may be. It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest. There is never anything that we are or have or do that can take His place, or that can take a place along with Him. We are always unworthy, and all that we have or do of good is always of pure grace. Though blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ, we are still in ourselves just “miserable sinners”: “miserable sinners” saved by grace to be sure, but “miserable sinners” still, deserving in ourselves nothing but everlasting wrath. That is the attitude which the Reformers took, and that is the attitude which the Protestant world has learned from the Reformers to take, toward the relation of believers to Christ.[791]

Since every aspect of salvation, whether justification, sanctification, or glorification, arises purely from the grace decreed by the Father, purchased by the Son, and applied by the Holy Ghost, the believer’s spiritual strengthening is not a self-dependent moralism, but is sourced in the Son and wrought by the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of faith:

[S]piritual strengthening is contingent on, or let us rather say, is dependent on the abiding presence of Christ in their hearts. The indwelling Christ is the source of the Christian’s spiritual strength. This is, of course, not to set aside the Holy Spirit. But he has read his New Testament to little purpose who would separate the Holy Spirit and Christ: Christ abides in the heart by the Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost is the means of the indwelling of Christ and the two are one and the same great fact. We are strengthened in the inner man with might by the Holy Spirit, because by the operation of the Spirit in our hearts, Christ abides there—thus and not otherwise. And here we learn then the source of the Christian’s strength. Christ is the ultimate source. His indwelling is the ground of all our strength. But it is only by the Spirit—the executive of the Godhead in this sphere too—that Christ dwells in the heart. It is the Spirit that strengthens us, and He so strengthens us that He gives us “might” in our inner man. The way He does this is by forming Christ within us.

The Apostle [Paul] is one of the most fecund writers extant, and thus it happens that he does not leave the matter even there. It is by the Spirit that Christ dwells in us—that is the objective fact. But there is a subjective fact too, and the Apostle does not fail to touch it—it is by our faith, too, that Christ dwells in us. “That Christ may abide in your hearts by your faith,” he says. He does not say “by faith” merely, though he might well have said that, and it would have covered the whole necessary idea. But, in his habitual fullness of expression, he puts in the article,[792] and thus implies that he recognizes their faith as already existent. They are Christians, they already believe, Christ is already dwelling in them by faith; he prays that He may abide in them by their faith. The stress is everywhere laid on continuance. May God strengthen your inner man, he says, by His Spirit. That is to say, he adds, may that Christ whom ye have received into your hearts by faith abide continuously in your hearts by that faith of yours. As much as to say, Christ is brought into your hearts by the Holy Ghost. He abides there by that Holy Ghost. May God thus continually strengthen your hearts by His Spirit, and that, even with might. I pray to Him for it, for it is He that gives it. But do not think, therefore, that you may lose hold on Christ. It is equally true that He abides in your hearts by your faith. When faith fails, so do the signs of His presence within: the strengthening of the Spirit and the steady burning of the flame of faith are correlative. As well expect the thermometer to stand still with the temperature varying as the height of your faith not to index the degree of your strength. Your strength is grounded in the indwelling Christ, wrought by the Spirit by means of faith.

Thus we have laid before us the sources of the Christian’s strength. It is rooted in Christ, the Christ within us, abiding there by virtue of the Spirit’s action quickening and upholding faith in us. And only as by the Spirit our faith is kept firm and clear, will Christ abide in us, and will we accordingly be strong in the inner man.[793]

Evangelical piety has long recognized the necessity of surrender and consecration to Christ, the believer’s continual weakness and need for grace, and the supernatural Divine source of all spiritual growth in the Triune God. Keswick theology did not contribute any new Scriptural teaching or new positive emphasis in relation to these blessed truths.

            Warfield also recognized, because of the absolute dependence of the Christian on God and His grace, the supreme importance of prayer. The believer is to live in perpetual communion with God and to seek Him earnestly in prayer:

The thing for us to do is to pray without ceasing; once having come into the presence of God, never to leave it; to abide in His presence and to live, steadily, unbrokenly, continuously, in the midst of whatever distractions or trials, with and in Him. God grant such a life to every one of us! . . .

We must not undervalue the purely subjective or reflex effects of prayer. They are of the highest benefit to us. Much less must we undervalue the objective effects of prayer. In them lies the specific meaning of that exercise of prayer which we call petition. But the heart of the matter lies in every case in the communion with God which the soul enjoys in prayer. This is prayer itself, and in it is summed up what is most blessed in prayer. If it be man’s chief end to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever, then man has attained his end, the sole purpose for which he was made, the entire object for which he exists, when he enters into communion with God, abides in His presence, streaming out to Him in all the emotions, I do not say appropriate to a creature in the presence of his Maker and Lord, apprehended by him as the Good Lord and Righteous Ruler of the souls of men, but appropriate to the sinner who has been redeemed by the blood of God’s own Son and is inhabited by His Spirit and apprehends his Maker as also his Saviour, his Governor as also his Lover, and knows the supreme joy of him that was lost and is found, was dead and is alive again,—and all, through the glory of God’s seeking and saving love. He who attains to this experience has attained all that is to be attained. He is absorbed in the beatific vision. He that sees God shall be like Him. . . .

If there is a God who sits aloft and hears and answers, do we not see that the attitude into which prayer brings the soul is the appropriate attitude which the soul should occupy to Him, and is the truest and best preparation of the soul for the reception of His grace? The soul in the attitude of prayer is like the flower turned upwards towards the sky and opening for the reception of the life-giving rain. What is prayer but an adoring appearing before God with a confession of our need and helplessness and a petition for His strength and blessing? What is prayer but a recognition of our dependence and a proclamation that all that we dependent creatures need is found abundantly and to spare in God, who gives to all men liberally and upbraids not? What is prayer but the very adjustment of the heart for the influx of grace? Therefore it is that we look upon the prayerful attitude as above all others the true Christian attitude—just because it is the attitude of devout and hopeful dependence on God.[794]

Warfield called believers to a passionate and intimate life of fellowship with their Triune Redeemer in prayer. Conscious, direct, and intimate fellowship with the Triune God through the Holy Spirit, and immediate dependence on Him, is the distinguishing mark that separates evangelical piety from false systems such as sacerdotalism and which gives true Christianity its joy and power:

[T]he sacerdotal system separates the soul from direct contact with and immediate dependence upon God the Holy Spirit as the source of all its gracious activities. . . . The Church, the means of grace, take the place of God the Holy Spirit in the thought of the Christian, and he thus loses all the joy and power which come from conscious direct communion with God. It makes every difference to the religious life, and every difference to the comfort and assurance of the religious hope, whether we are consciously dependent upon instrumentalities of grace, or upon God the Lord himself, experienced as personally present to our souls, working salvation in his loving grace. The two types of piety, fostered by dependence on instrumentalities of grace and by conscious communion with God the Holy Spirit as a personal Saviour, are utterly different, and the difference from the point of view of vital religion is not favorable to sacerdotalism. It is in the interests of vital religion, therefore, that the Protestant spirit repudiates sacerdotalism. And it is this repudiation which constitutes the very essence of evangelicalism. Precisely what evangelical religion means is immediate dependence of the soul on God and on God alone for salvation.[795]

Keswick teaching on prayer and fellowship with God added nothing to the store of Biblical truth already possessed and treasured by traditional evangelical piety.

            Warfield taught that the believer must be filled with and empowered by the Spirit—the Spirit-filled life was the goal of Apostolic piety, and it was the goal towards which the Princeton theologian likewise pointed men:

It is only in our Head that the victory is now complete: in us who are members, it appears as yet only in part: and it is only when we put off our flesh, according to which we are liable to infirmity, that we shall be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.[796]

On the basis of this great declaration the Apostle erects, then, his exhortation. Nor is he content to leave it in a negative, or merely inferential form. In the accomplishment of the Spirit-filled life he sees the goal, and he speaks it out in a final urgency of exhortation into which he compresses the whole matter: “Having, therefore, such promises as these (note the emphasis), beloved,” he says, “let us purify ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit and perfect holiness in the fear of God.” It is perfection, we perceive, that the Apostle is after for his followers; and he does not hesitate to raise this standard before the eyes of his readers as their greatest incitement to effort. They must not be content with a moderate attainment in the Christian life. They must not say to themselves, O, I guess I am Christian enough, although I’m not too good to do as other men do. They must, as they have begun in the Spirit, not finish in the flesh; but must go on unto perfection.[797]

The work of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential in every aspect of salvation:

Let us remind ourselves moreover that the matters which fall under discussion here are of the order of what the Bible calls “things of the Spirit,” things which are not to be had at all except as imparted by the Holy Ghost; and that it is therefore peculiarly infelicitous to speak of them as “attainable,” merely on the ground of “natural ability.” In so speaking of them, we seem gravely in danger of forgetting the dreadful evil of sin as the corruption of our whole nature, and the absolute need of the Spirit’s free action in recovering us from this corruption. The unregenerate man cannot believe; the regenerate man cannot be perfect; because these things are not the proper product of their efforts in any case but are conferred by the Spirit, and by the Spirit alone. . . . The Scriptures do not . . . subordinate the Spirit’s action to that of man; they do not think of the gifts of the Spirit as “attained,” but as “conferred.” . . . [We] rightly emphasiz[e] the supernatural nature of sanctification, as of regeneration, and of salvation at large. We do not sanctify ourselves by our own power; we do not even sanctify ourselves by using the Spirit as the instrument by which alone we can accomplish this great result. It is God who sanctifies us; and our activities are consequent at every step on His, not His on ours. . . . [We ought to] rise to the height of the Scriptural supernaturalness of sanctification . . . [and] recognize[e] the supernaturalness of the actual process of the sanctifying work[.][798]

The old evangelical piety represented by Warfield taught that believers must not rest satisfied with moderate Christian attainments, but press on towards the standard of the absolute perfection of Christ. In this goal, they must not trust in the flesh, but be filled with the Spirit, for sanctification is absolutely and utterly depedent upon His work. Keswick contributed no new truth to the old orthodox piety in these key doctrinal and practical areas.

            The following quotation summarizes the warm evangelical piety that Warfield, as a representative of old evangelical orthodoxy, embraced, preached, and defended:

[T]he systematic theologian is preëminently a preacher of the gospel; and the end of his work is obviously not merely the logical arrangement of the truths which come under his hand, but the moving of men, through their power, to love God with all their hearts and their neighbors as themselves; to choose their portion with the Saviour of their souls; to find and hold Him precious; and to recognize and yield to the sweet influences of the Holy Spirit whom He has sent. With such truth as this he will not dare to deal in a cold and merely scientific spirit, but will justly and necessarily permit its preciousness and its practical destination to determine the spirit in which he handles it, and to awaken the reverential love with which alone he should investigate its reciprocal relations. For this he needs to be suffused at all times with a sense of the unspeakable worth of the revelation which lies before him as the source of his material, and with the personal bearings of its separate truths on his own heart and life; he needs to have had and to be having a full, rich, and deep religious experience of the great doctrines with which he deals; he needs to be living close to his God, to be resting always on the bosom of his Redeemer, to be filled at all times with the manifest influences of the Holy Spirit. The student of systematic theology needs a very sensitive religious nature, a most thoroughly consecrated heart, and an outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon him, such as will fill him with that spiritual discernment, without which all native intellect is in vain. He needs to be not merely a student, not merely a thinker, not merely a systematizer, not merely a teacher—he needs to be like the beloved disciple himself in the highest, truest, and holiest sense, a divine.[799]

Non-Keswick Baptist and classical evangelical spirituality is a Christ-centered and Spirit-dependent piety found in the hearts and writings of Christians for many centuries before the origination of the Keswick theology. Both before and after the rise of the Keswick and Higher Life movements, old evangelical orthodox spirituality prominently preached and lived by the truths that were also proclaimed at Keswick.

Keswick’s advocates and its staunch Baptist and classical evangelical opponents stand in full agreement upon the need for Christians to seek for close and sweet communion with Christ by the Spirit. They agree upon the necessity of recognizing the terrible evil of sin, of living by faith in Christ, of relying on the power of the Spirit, of the futility of self-dependence, of the need for whole-hearted surrender and consecration to the Lord, and of the centrality of prayer. Thus, the Biblical truths affirmed at Keswick were not newly originated by the Convention but were taught and accepted by countless multitudes during the centuries before it arose and thus by those with no knowledge of the Keswick theology. What is more, all the truths affirmed at Keswick were warmly defended by multitudes who were passionately opposed to the Convention after its origin in the latter portion of the nineteenth century. Keswick set forth no new truth.

            While Keswick set forth no new truth, it did set forth many errors, both new and old. While one cannot but rejoice if a believer’s spiritual life is strengthened on account of the emphasis upon the tremendous truths set forth in Keswick literature and preaching, the unscriptural aspects of the Keswick theology are extremely dangerous and must be avoided. Although the Lord Jesus is gracious and, in His great love for His yet sinful people, He condescends to commune with them even when they adopt theological errors, nonetheless the false teaching mixed with truth at Keswick hinders, rather than furthers, experiential communion with Jesus Christ by faith. Keswick errors dishonor God the Father, confuse the work of Christ, and grieve the Holy Spirit, and so restrain His work of shedding abroad the love of God in the Christian’s heart. The believer can learn the fulness of truth on sanctification from the Bible and from sound Scripturally-based books that have no association with the Keswick theology. He would do well to do so, because Keswick promotes pernicious errors.

3.) The Unscriptural Aspects of Keswick Theology

            Keswick theology has severe problems. These problems are natural in light of Keswick’s corrupt roots. Keswick’s errors and heresies include its ecumenicalism, its theological shallowness or even incomprehensibility, its downplaying of the role of God’s Word in sanctification, its distaste for careful exegetical and systematic theology and the Biblical dogmatics arising from such theology, its allegorical hermeneutical methods and exegetical fallacies, its shallow views of sin, and its perfectionism. Furthermore, Keswick supports certain Pelagian or semi-Pelagian positions, improperly divorces justification and sanctification, is confused about the nature of saving repentance, denies that God’s sanctifying grace always frees Christians from bondage to sin and changes them, and fails to warn strongly about the possibility of those who are professedly Christians being unregenerate. Keswick likewise supports an unbiblical pneumatology, supports continuationism as opposed to cessationism, advances significant exegetical errors, distorts the positions and critiques of opponents of the errors of the Higher Life movement, misrepresents the role of faith in sanctification, supports Quietism, and denies that God actually renews the nature of believers to make them less sinful and more personally holy. Keswick’s grievous errors and heresies should have no place in any Christian’s life.

The Keswick Convention intentionally “stands for no particular brand of denominational theology. It could not, and have on its platform men of many different denominational affiliations.”[800] There is an (alleged) “ecumenical value of Keswick . . . gathering together as it has done men and women of . . . almost all Protestant denominations,”[801] for “denominational differences are put aside as of little importance in comparison with what all Christians hold in common. The motto of the Convention is, ‘ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS.’”[802] Following the great desire of Lord Mount-Temple and his associates to unite heresy, apostasy, and orthodoxy in a melting-pot of ecumenical spirituality,[803] the Broadlands, Oxford, Brighton, and Keswick Conventions fulfilled the wishes of their ecumenical founders.[804] Therefore, at Keswick, “men . . . forget their religious differences . . . [and the conflict] of creeds . . . [and] of sects,” so that “Keswick has . . . no[t] weakened any of the old . . . denomination[s.] . . . Its aim has been to send back Church members . . . to their old circles.”[805] Keswick united Anglicans with their sacramentalism, Quakers with their false gospel, Lutherans with their baptismal regeneration, and many other religious organizations and individuals of “almost every shade of religious opinion.”[806] Keswick accepted the Broadlands idea that “[i]t is not our creed, but our conduct, that proclaims what our life is.”[807] The Keswick Convention consequently brings together “ministers of all denominations,” uniting “High Churchmen and Low Churchmen,” despite the damnable sacramental heresies of High Church Anglicanism, and in this union spiritual wolves and sheep discover that “the things on which they honestly differ are as nothing[.]” Keswick wishes to “hasten that day” when the Anglican “Church and Dissent join hands” and “Reunion is an established fact.”[808] The piety of Keswick is such that “the dividing-lines between church and church are forgotten.”[809] Indeed, Keswick founder Canon Harford-Battersby’s goal was “the Re-union of the Churches . . . bringing together on a common basis members of all Christian churches,”[810] a goal which shall be fulfilled in the one-world religious system centered in Rome and described by the Apostle John as “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:5). Keswick follows the pattern of Robert and Hannah Smith’s “preaching[,] [which] was not sectarian; they led no exodus from any of the Churches, but taught only the need for the Higher Life.”[811] Robert Smith “presented himself as an unattached teacher, who would fain serve all denominations alike.”[812] He would not visit a city and proclaim the Higher Life without broad and ecumenical support.[813] He declared: “I am not aware of a single instance in which these [Higher Life] meetings have led Christian persons to change their denominational connection.”[814] On the contrary, he affirmed: “I have reason to believe that hundreds have been saved by . . . this line of teaching . . . from temptation to change . . . their ecclesiastical connections.”[815] After years of Keswick Conventions, its leaders could boast that their “movement, so far as is known, never resulted in a change of the Church connection of a single individual from that in which it found him.”[816] Keswick consciously and strongly embraced the teaching of the Broadlands Conference that “a desire to proselytize . . . is entirely opposed to the spirit and teaching of Jesus.”[817] Keswick maintained the passionate ecumenicalism of its founders and early leaders.

The doctrinal confusion that results from Keswick ecumenicalism has plagued the Convention from the time of its founding until modern times. As at Broadlands a “great variety of spheres of thought were admitted for consideration, and wide and progressive views were presented and listened to,”[818] so theological liberalism and apostasy was presented and listened to at Keswick. For example, following the steps of Hannah W. Smith in the rejection of eternal torment, George Grubb, a key Keswick leader from the 1880s onward, denied hell in favor of annihilationism or conditional immortality.[819] In 1899 Grubb was the first Keswsick leader sent out to bring the Higher Life message to the world. He was an effective speaker, contributing, everywhere he went, to the rise of both Keswick theology and annihilationism.[820] In response to the annihilationism of Grubb and other Keswick missioners such as Gelson Gregson, Keswick co-founder Robert Wilson declared: “If Keswick won’t own those whom the Lord does—Grubb, Moore, Gregson, etc., where are we? High and very dry I fear?” In response to a query by a lady Keswick missionary who held to annihilationism, “John Battersby Harford, as honorary secretary of the Keswick Missionary Council, insisted . . . that there was no official Keswick opinion about whether conditional immortality was true or false.”[821] Rejecting what Jesus Christ plainly taught about hell was acceptable at Keswick. Thus, Grubb “travelled extensively in . . . [spreading the] ministry [of] . . . the Keswick message,” being among a select number chosen by Keswick to spread the Higher Life “far afield” to countries such as “Australia, Canada, . . . India and the Far East . . . the United States . . . and other lands.”[822] Indeed, Grubb “was the first to be sent abroad as a ‘Keswick deputation’ speaker—a most fruitful aspect of the Convention’s ministry . . . Mr. Grubb traveled widely as an ‘ambassador at large’ of Keswick, and was greatly used . . . especially in India, Ceylon and Australia . . . his . . . ‘return home’ visits to Keswick . . . invariably had a stimulating effect,” his messages making a “profound impression,” so that he was among the “most renowned . . . [and] most distinguished exponents” of the Keswick theology.[823] At his worldwide Keswick venues Grubb promoted his heresies, from annihilationism to the the Broadlands Conference doctrine[824] that people could make Jesus Christ return more quickly,[825] while exemplifying Keswick ecumenicalism by “cross[ing] the oceans” specifically to “conduct a mission” for the “extreme high church Bishop of Cape Town.”[826] Grubb similarly spread the Higher Life doctrine of a post-conversion Spirit baptism at Keswick in England and worldwide,[827] being Keswick’s “important influence . . . [and] advocate in the 1890s of the baptism of the Spirit,”[828] as well as “drawing particular attention to th[e] subject [of] . . . [h]ealing . . . at Keswick . . . influences [that] were to find their way into Pentecostalism in Britain and North America.”[829]

Since the Broadlands Conference that led to the formation of Keswick promoted spiritualism with its free intercourse with devils, it is not surprising that Grubb was by no means the only heretic who used the ecumenicalism of Keswick to spread doctrines of demons.[830] “James Mountain, Keswick’s early song-leader,” who led the singing at “the Brighton Convention of 1875, and at the first Keswick” and many following meetings, “subscribed to British Israelism . . . for forty years.”[831] The “liberal evangelicalism” that denied the verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture and other key tenets of Christian orthodoxy found its place at Keswick among men such as John Battersby Harford, the “most prominent of the [Keswick] founder’s sons.”[832] Keswick council members had “no agreement about the appropriateness of [the] term . . . ‘inerrancy’” for the Holy Bible; Keswick President Graham Scroggie “stated that subscription to a particular theory of inspiration was not . . . a true test of doctrinal orthodoxy.”[833] In 1894, “John R. Mott, an American who became the foremost international and ecumenical misionary figure of his time, was at the Keswick camp.”[834] Sadhu Sundar Singh, who “was converted to Christianity by a vision on 18 Dec. 1904 . . . and donned the robe of a Sadhu (i.e. ‘holy man’) in an endeavour to present Christianity in a Hindu form,”[835] and who “claim[ed] to have received many visions and experienced many miracles”[836] validating his Hindu-Christian syncretism, spoke at Keswick despite “sympathy towards Hinduism and Spiritualism.”[837] Key Keswick leaders manifested a very spiritually dangerous willingness to share platforms at Holiness Conventions and other settings with false teachers and fanatical perfectionists—for example, shortly before speaking at Keswick in 1886, Handly Moule and other Keswick speakers preached at a Convention at Cambridge organized by Douglas Hamilton with the unabashed perfectionist Smyth-Piggott, as a result of which many Cambridge undergraduates, including Charles Harford, Canon Harford-Battersby’s youngest son, came to believe “themselves to be quite free from all internal evil.” A few months later, Hamilton joined the Agapemonites,[838] and “[w]hen Pigott joined him . . . the extremist wing of Holiness made shipwreck.”[839] As time passed, the Pentecostal movement found a home at Keswick, so that by the 1960s Keswick, along with its association with the wider ecumenical movement,[840] invited charismatics to speak at the Convention, while their ministers became part of the Keswick council itself.[841] Doctrinal confusion and apostasy has found a secure home in the ecumenical atmosphere of the Keswick Convention from the time of its founding. Keswick ecumenicalism has never been purged out. On the contrary, ecumenicalism has constantly been rejoiced in and fostered.

While Keswick rejects separatism for ecumenicalism, Scripture never commands individuals or true churches to ignore Biblical doctrine to come together in an ecumenical setting. Rather, God requires a strict separation of the faithful from false teachers and even disobedient brethren. They are to be separate from all false doctrine, false teachers, and error. So far from ignoring such, they must, to honor the Lord, specifically mark and reprove error and those who advocate it.[842] Keswick denigrates creed to exalt conduct in relation to spiritual life, while Scripture exalts both creed and conduct (1 John 3:7, 14; 2 John 9) in relation to spiritual life. Faithful Biblical preaching deals with all that is in the Word, whether it is “in season” or “out of season” (2 Timothy 3:16-4:2), but those who speak at Keswick “consider themselves pledged . . . not to teach during the course of any Keswick Convention any doctrines or opinions but those upon which there is general agreement [at the Convention]. . . . Speakers are not permitted to discuss controversial matters at the Convention.”[843] True churches are to tolerate “no other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3), not overlook doctrine to become ecumenical. The fact that Keswick fails to expose, but rather tolerates and supports[844] the heresies of Protestant denominations, such as the baptismal regeneration that plagues the large majority of the paedobaptist world,[845] is a great failure on its part. Keswick’s utter lack of strict association with the modern representatives of the congregations of the New Testament—historic Baptist churches—leaves the movement apart from the authority of the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15) and the work of spiritual edification that God has ordained take place within that context (Ephesians 4:11-16). The movement thus lacks the promise which the Baptist congregation possesses—that Christ would build up or edify His church (Matthew 16:18).[846] Error can take root firmly and easily as the movement is without the special protection that Christ provides as Head of His congregation. Keswick’s heavy Quaker influence, to the extent that one of the co-founders of Keswick was a Quaker and that from its inception the Keswick convention allowed those in soul-damning error, such as Hannah Whitall Smith, to mold its doctrinal position, illustrates the failure among its leadership to separate from even the most serious of errors and a lack of discernment about what is involved in even being a Christian at all.[847] Holiness, sanctification, and separation share the same word group in the Hebrew and Greek languages. The disobedience of the Keswick Convention to the Biblical commands to practice ecclesiastical separation hinders its intention of promoting holiness. Compromise on any area of the truth hinders growth in holiness, which takes place by means of the truth (John 17:17).[848] What the Keswick Convention boasts of as a strength, “that no man or woman has ever been known, through the influence or under its teaching, to leave one communion for another,” so that “those who accept the Keswick teaching and enter into the [Keswick] experience . . . incline to remain where they are . . . [even in] moribund or dead churches,”[849] is no strength at all, but a very serious weakness. Keswick unites those professing paedobaptism and believer’s baptism; those who think that sprinkled infants are Christians and those who believe that one must be converted to become a Christian; those who advocate hierarchical denominational structures and those who practice congregational church government; those who believe in liturgical ritualism and those who accept the regulative principle of worship; those who preach the inherent goodness of man inherent in the Quaker “Divine seed” heresy and those who accept the total depravity of man; those who embrace corrupt sacramental gospels and those who profess the true gospel of justification by faith alone through Christ alone apart from religious ceremonies. When all such, together with sundry sorts of other doctrinal deviants, get together for a “united communion service,”[850] one can be happy that the Lord’s Supper is not really being practiced, as only true Baptist churches can celebrate it, for the gross doctrinal and practical disharmony might lead to many people to suffer serious illness or early death (1 Corinthians 11:30) as Divine judgment. In sum, Keswick ecumenicalism is unscriptural and dangerous.

            A related error of Keswick, which developed out of the identical position at Broadlands[851] and which accorded well with the ecumenicalism of the movement,[852] is that it “is interested in the practical application of religious truth rather than in doctrinal or dogmatic theology.”[853] Biblically, no disjunction exists between doctrine and practice—on the contrary, sound doctrine and practice mutually reinforce each other (1 Timothy 4:16). Keswick has produced an ocean of books, “many volumes of devotional literature,”[854] so that “the literature of the Convention . . . ha[s] circulated far and wide . . . throughout the world.”[855] Myriads of “addresses [have been] given at the Convention year after year for over seventy-five years.” Nevertheless, “Keswick furnishes us with no formal treatise of its doctrine of sin, and no carefully prepared, weighty discourses of a theological nature”[856] of any kind. This lack was abetted by the total lack of formal theological training on the part of many early Keswick leaders.[857] Keswick’s neglect of carefully prepared theology is a definite weakness, although natural for those who accepted Robert P. Smith’s view that for “souls i[n] vital conscious union with Christ . . . the effects of any errors of judgment are neutralised.”[858]

What was important at Keswick, as in the teaching and ministry of Hannah and Robert P. Smith, and at the Broadlands Conferences,[859] was not the careful study of what Scripture said, but feeling happy—the secret of a happy life.[860] While Keswick’s neglect of the careful study of Scripture suited the Quaker exaltation of immediate extra-canonical revelation, for those who wanted to know what God’s Word said about sanctification, it was a great hinderance that at “the early Conventions . . . [a]ll the addresses were extemporaneous,”[861] so that none of the spiritual guides who were to lead others into the way of holiness could preach carefully exposited Scripture. All speakers had to teach unprepared:

Canon Harford-Battersby . . . . assigned . . . speaking roles each evening for the following day, after a time of prayer with the chairman [Robert Wilson] in his vicarage drawing room . . . informal planning of the speakers for each day, undertaken only during the week itself, characterized the Convention for more than fifty years. . . . Some may see in that a more noble leading of the Spirit, whilst others may call it flying by the seat of your pants[.][862]

Keswick maintained “a remarkable absence of planning and organizing of speakers.”[863] It is not surprising that a later Keswick president thought that “the reason that Convention blessings were short-lived” was the “lack of solid exposition” at the Conference.[864] Keswick’s oft recognized[865] lack of “carefully prepared” and theologically precise views of sin and the solution for it is evident in its inaccurate presentations and bungling refutations by Keswick advocates of alternative positions on sanctification, its failure to deal comprehesively and carefully with the scriptural data related to the believer’s growth in holiness, its invalid arguments, its allegorization of Scripture, and its faulty exegesis of key texts on sanctification.[866] In all these ways, while unfaithful to the Bible, Keswick continued faithful to its roots at Broadlands, where the misinterpretation of Scripture was tightly connected to the Quaker Divine Seed heresy.[867] From the Divine Seed doctrine many an allegorization of Scripture came forth—what need was there of careful exegesis of the Bible when one has the Divine Seed within, and from his allegedly sinless spirit receives new revelations? Keswick does not do well to set against each other “exegetical skill” and “present illumination and anointing of the Holy Spirit,” and claim to value the latter despite downplaying the former. Keswick’s theological sickness is evident when it affirms that the “distinctive vitality” of “Keswick meetings” is “lost” if “exegetical skill instead of . . . present illumination” is employed in preaching.[868] Keswick authors testify that the generality of those that accede to their theology do so not as a result of exegeting and searching the Scriptures (Acts 17:11), but because of feelings and experiences they have at Keswick conferences.[869] It is consequently not surprising that the key requirement for ascending the Keswick platform during its founding decades was not doctrinal orthodoxy, but, as at Broadlands, the experience of entering into the carefree happiness of the Higher Life.[870] Keswick’s inability to support itself exegetically, and its reliance upon testimonies and pleasant words and deeds to lead people into its system, is explained by Robert P. Smith:

Do not press this fulness of the Gospel [the Higher Life], in its doctrinal, dogmatic side. It is not so much a doctrine to be argued as a life to be lived. Confess Christ—do not profess to be anything. . . . Your life must be your argument to those who see you constantly. Do not worry them by doctrinal statements, but love them into the fulness of salvation. It is usual to hear persons say, “I was wrong. I could meet the arguments, but the life of my friend has convinced me that she was right.”[871]

Thus, careful statements of Biblical teaching only “worry” the generality of those who accede to the Higher Life. Although arguments for Keswick doctrine from the text of Scripture can be easily met, as the Bible does not teach the theology of the Pearsall Smiths, the appearance of a carefree and happy life full of rest and quiet leads many to adopt it. The theological imprecision that results by setting the Holy Ghost against painstaking exegesis of the Word He dictated is also a major explanatory factor for the other Biblical errors in the Keswick theology. Keswick statements on theological issues are often better when they are not taken seriously, but only their general intention is considered; taking Keswick too seriously leads to serious error.

            Keswick theology, following the practice of the Broadlands Conference[872] and the devaluation of doctrinal truth by Hannah W. Smith,[873] downplays the role of the Word of God in sanctification to exalt testimonials.[874] While Deuteronomy 17:19 indicates that by studying and growing in knowledge of God’s Word, one “may learn to fear the LORD his God,” Keswick is “not interested in . . . adding to the store of Bible knowledge of those who attend.”[875] Maintaining a pattern set by earlier Keswick classics, Barabas’s book, in the course of over two hundred pages, never once cites John 15:3; 17:17; Acts 20:32; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 2:20; 5:26; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:6; 1 Peter 2:2; Psalm 119:7; 119:50; 119:93, or any other text that teaches that sanctification takes place through the instrumentality of the Word of God.[876] Such neglect is a serious error. The Bible is the instrumentality the Father has ordained for the revelation of God’s glory through the Son by the Spirit, the view of which transforms and sanctifies the believer (2 Corinthians 3:18; John 17:17, 26). Keswick’s downplaying of the role of the Word of God in sanctification to exalt testimonials, a practice it inherited from the Broadlands Conference[877] and earlier Higher Life perfectionisms, is associated with its exaltation of the testimonial as the key instrumentality for spreading its teachings. In the Keswick system, oral or written testimonies of entering into and maintaining the Higher Life largely displaced the expository preaching of and exegetical study of God’s Word.[878] Legions of books about those who discovered the spiritual secret of Keswick theology, hundreds of testimonies of those who discovered the Keswick system, and swarms of revisionistic historical accounts of blessings received by individuals, churches, and communities who adopted the Higher Life system abound in Keswick settings. On the other hand, the “Convention is not interested in . . . adding to the store of Bible knowledge”[879] of those who come to their meetings, and “Keswick furnishes us with . . . no carefully prepared, weighty discourses of a theological nature . . . for over seventy five years[.]”[880] Not even one carefully prepared discourse or book expositing Scripture in a scholarly way has ever been written in favor of the Keswick theology, as Keswick authors themselves testify. By downplaying the study of and growth in knowledge of the Word of God and exalting uninspired testimonies instead, Keswick hinders the believer’s sanctification.

            D. Martin Lloyd-Jones comments on Keswick’s failure to deal comprehesively and carefully with the scriptural data related to the believer’s growth in holiness:

Instead of expounding the great New Testament texts, [Keswick promulgators] so often started with their theory and illustrated it by means of Old Testament characters and stories. You will find that so often their texts were Old Testament texts. Indeed their method of teaching was based on the use of illustrations rather than on exposition of Scripture. An inevitable result was that they virtually ignored everything that had been taught on the subject of sanctification during the previous eighteen centuries. . . . Many of them boasted of this.[881]

Indeed, even those who were passionately committed to the Higher Life theology, to the extent that they were willing to favor it in print in its official literature, admitted that sound Biblical interpretation was grievously lacking. Robert W. Dale testified:

I agree with every word . . . about the singularly uncritical manner in which those who are associated with this doctrine quote passages from both from the Old Testament and the New. . . . But then let us remember that the gentlemen who represent this particular movement are frankly and constantly acknowledging that they have no claims to the kind of scholarship that is necessary to treat theological questions scientifically. . . . I . . . [am] not hostile to this movement, [but] favorable to it.[882]

Similarly, another minister and friend of the Higher Life testified:

If there has been anything to which exception might be taken it has been the fanciful and even absurd interpretation occasionally given to passages of Scripture, particularly those of the Old Testament. But where the end is so great . . . one is little disposed to find fault[.][883]

Such admissions were regularly made by those who were contending, in print, for the Higher Life and Keswick theology. What, then, will those without partisan precommitments to Keswick conclude?

            The gross abuse, exegetical fallacies, and silly allegorization of Scripture by advocates of the Higher Life contributed to the Keswick consensus that discussion of doctrine and careful exegesis of Scripture were not the way to spread the Blessing;[884] by such means the Keswick theology was so far from being able to be propogated that it was certain to collapse. Examples of faulty Keswick exegesis are legion. For instance, consider the severe equivocation on the phrase “God’s people” in the following argument by Barabas:

Christians are too apt to think that only the unsaved are sinners. . . . This certainly is not Biblical. The truth is that God’s Word has a great deal more to say about the sin of God’s people than it does about the sin of those who do not know Him. It was the sin of God’s people that delayed the entrance of Israel into Canaan for forty years. It was the sin of God’s people that was responsible for the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. It was the sin of God’s people that caused the crucifixion of the Messiah. It was the sin of God’s people, more than the unbelief of the heathen, that caused Paul heartache and sorrow. And it is the sin of God’s people, more than anything else, that is hindering the manifestation of His saving power in the world today. . . Keswick is right in putting great stress on the fact that there must be a revival among Christians of a sense of sin in themselves.[885]

The beginning and end of the argument draw conclusions about those who are true believers, but the examples in Scripture that are to prove the conclusion deal in each instance either primarily or totally with the sin of those who merely professed to be God’s true people, that is, those who, in the Old Testament, were merely “of Israel” but not true spiritual Israel (Romans 9:6). As demonstrated above,[886] those who died in the wilderness wanderings pictured the professing but unconverted, not backslidden saints. The idolators who brought upon themselves the Deuteronomic curses, including the Assyrian and Babylonian exile (Deuteronomy 28:63-68), went to hell (cf. Revelation 21:8), as Paul indicates that those who are under the Deuteronomic curse are the unsaved (Galatians 3:10; Deuteronomy 27:26) while all the spiritual seed of Abraham are free from this curse and its penalty (Galatians 3:11-14). The passage concerning Paul’s sorrow for his fellow Israelites indicates his sadness on account of their coming damnation, not sorrow because they were on their way to heaven but without a Higher Life (Romans 9:1-6). And it was certainly not genuine believers, who were just a little backslidden, who conspired against and crucified Christ! The Keswick conclusion drawn from this argument—that Christians need to take sin in their lives very seriously—is excellent. The exegetical basis provided for the conclusion is a disaster.

            Another example of invalid exegesis is Barabas’s assertion: “Paul constantly urges Christians to make instantaneous decisions (as the aorist of his verbs shows) to yield their members unto God (Romans 6:13), to present themselves unto God (Romans 12:1), [and] to mortify the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13).”[887] Such an argument, while based on the teaching of Robert P. Smith that surrender is “a thing done once for all . . . just as we look on our marriage for life,”[888] misunderstands the nature of the aorist tense[889]—even apart from the fact that the command to mortify in Romans 8:13 is not in the aorist tense at all but is a present tense imperative.[890] Similarly, the classic The Keswick Convention: Its Message, its Method, and its Men, affirms that at Keswick “[t]he student becomes aware of the spiritual significance of the aorist tense in the programme of holiness”[891] and proceeds to misinterpret a variety of texts based on an inaccurate view of the nature of the Greek aorist.[892] Evan Hopkins follows the pattern of misinterpretation in his Keswick classic The Law of Liberty in the Spiritual Life.[893] Hopkins had a great “love [for] the Aorists of New Testament Greek,” but, as a standard Keswick writer, he evidently did not understand the tense very well.[894]

For “Keswick there was no passage of Scripture that was more frequently to the front” than Romans 6, so that “it is doubtful whether a Keswick Convention has ever been held in which one or more speakers did not deal with this chapter . . . [t]here is no understanding of Keswick without an appreciation of the place accorded by it to this chapter in its whole scheme of sanctification.”[895] Unfortunately, this chapter is also fundamentally misunderstood. As demonstrated above, Romans 6 is Paul’s proof that the justified will not continue in sin, while Keswick reduces the chapter to a merely potential freedom from sin.[896] For Keswick, “[i]t is possible to serve sin again, but not necessary,”[897] but for the Apostle Paul in Romans 6, all believers are no longer the servants of sin, but are now the servants of righteousness. Furthermore, the reckoning of Romans 6 is commanded because the believer is already dead to sin, alive to God, and a servant of righteousness, not, as in Keswick theology, in order to activate an inactive and merely potential sanctification. Both the Keswick idea that victory over sin is only possible and potential for believers, not certain, and the idea that the reckoning of Romans 6 activates a merely potential and inactive progressive sanctification, come from the preaching of Hannah W. Smith at the 1874 Broadlands Conference, supported by an experience she had and by the fact that she looked pretty, not by careful grammatical-historical exegesis of the chapter:

[A]t the first Conference . . . [s]everal speakers had contributed valuable thoughts, and then Mrs. Smith rose. . . . [S]he stood with the dark oak background, her tall figure, lifted head, and radiant countenance. It was good to look at her, to observe her dear, beautiful face, shining hair, serene, deep-blue eyes, and absolutely natural, easy attitude, a personification of purity, joyous health, and vitality[.] . . . [S]he . . . told how she had found that if we but surrender our wills to Him and trust Him absolutely, we can conquer through Him. [That is, victory over sin is merely potential; believers “can,” not “will,” conquer through Christ.] She said some one had done her an injury of a particularly mean kind, and quick resentment rose in her heart. At once, she looked to God, and the words, “Reckon ye yourselves to be dead unto sin,” came into her mind. She did reckon herself to be dead unto sin and alive to God, and what came to her, she said, was “like a spring morning.” [That is, reckoning activated an inactive and merely potential victory over sin.] . . . [“]Friends, it is true, I have found it! I have known it![”] . . . All listened with breathless attention, not least so the many clergymen who were present, and surely, each heart felt a longing to reach the place at which Mrs. Smith had arrived[.] . . . Lord Mount-Temple wisely called for a few minutes of silent prayer.[898]

Of course, meditating on the truths of Romans 6 can be of great aid in resisting temptation, but the chapter does not teach that reckoning activates an inactive and merely potential sanctification, no matter what Mrs. Smith claimed that she experienced, and no matter how many Keswick writers follow and reproduce her teaching. Keswick theology falls into serious error because of its misinterpretation of key passages of Scripture on sanctification.

            While preaching about the sinfulness of sin, Keswick theology, following the teaching of Broadlands and its successor Conventions,[899] the emphasis of Hannah W. Smith on attaining happiness and freedom from feelings of guilt, and in continuity with Pentecostalism,[900] leads to lower views of the sinfulness of man by promising those who still possess the sinful flesh “victory over all known sin.”[901] No believer short of glory loves God will all his heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37-38), is inwardly perfect, even as his heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48), or perfectly obeys other similar commandments. A believer’s obedience to some commands, such as: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16), or “sin not” (1 Corinthians 15:34), is imperfect but progressive. Believers can be commanded to do more of what they are already doing to some extent (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The only way a believer can affirm, with Keswick, that the “cleansing work [of] . . . the Spirit . . . to remove . . . sin . . . is as thorough as His revealing work . . . reveal[ing] sin,”[902] is either by suppressing the Spirit’s testimony that some sins are truly sin or by suppressing the Spirit’s testimony to the Christian’s failure to meet the Divine standard of absolute sinless perfection.[903] While the Christian has the joy and privilege of walking in uprightness before the Lord and in genuine, glorious, and progressively growing victory over sin, he is not assisted spiritually by denying that his real failure to entirely conform to commands such as Matthew 22:37-38 or 5:48 is indeed sin, and should be known,[904] consciously acknowledged, guarded against, and hated as sin.[905] The Keswick overemphasis upon the believer’s personal happiness, evident in Hannah W. Smith’s paradigmatic Keswick classic, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life and elsewhere, is connected with Keswick’s denial of the Biblical truth that the fact of sin should always remain in the believer’s consciousness. John Murray notes:

The representatives of Keswick have a passionate concern for deliverance from the oppressing consciousness of sin and the dissatisfaction arising from this consciousness. Every person who has his eye upon the goal of redemption must be aware of the oppression which sin involves and must long for deliverance from it. But we must beware of the tendency to complacency which is the snare of perfectionism. As long as sin remains we must have the consciousness of it and the ensuing dissatisfaction. The more sanctified the believer becomes the more acute becomes his conviction of the sinfulness that is his, the more he loathes it and reproaches himself for it. Here again one feels the passion for freedom from the oppressing consciousness of sin, so characteristic of Keswick leaders, betrays a lack of appreciation of what the presence of sin ought to mean in the consciousness of the believer.[906]

Christians should not aim for or be satisfied with anything less than the literal perfection set before them by the holy character of the triune God and the incarnate Son. When a saint sees his failure to conform to the standard set before him of God’s own holiness, he is able to more humbly and closely walk after the Spirit (Romans 7:14-8:4). Biblical sanctification has a deeper view of the sinfulness of sin than does the Keswick theology, leading Scriptural and non-Keswick piety to a deeper repentance for and hatred of sin, and a greater glorification of and glorying in Jesus Christ, than is possible for the adherent of Keswick (Luke 14:11). The believer should repent, not only of his known sins, but also of his unknown sins, for the corruption of his heart, for the imputation of Adam’s sin to himself, and for the corruption that adheres to even his holiest works,[907] committing himself to his infinitely precious High Priest who bears the inquity even of his holy things (Exodus 28:38). The related Keswick idea that, in this life, “sin . . . need not be a continued source of trouble,”[908] is also unbiblical. Such an idea lays the groundwork for either self-deception in the believer who thinks he has arrived at such a state of complete triumph over sin, or hopeless despair in the believer who knows his own heart too well to make such an affirmation. Keswick affirmations of this nature, in addition to unabashed affirmations of the truth of perfectionism by Keswick leaders,[909] explain why “from the first, opponents of Keswick have accused it of holding a shallow view of sin. . . . [and of being] perfectionist.”[910] Scripture does not present progressive sanctification as an instantaneous transition from a state of utter defeat to one of total victory, and the fact that sinless perfection is impossible in this life is Biblically a motive to continue striving for ever-greater progressive victory against sin, not, as is commonly argued by many groups of perfectionists, a reason to give up the fight in despair.[911] Barabas states: “The value of a system of thought or of a doctrine therefore depends upon the manner in which it proposes to deal with the problem of sin. Any failure here means failure all along the line.”[912] Unfortunately, the Keswick theology does not properly deal with sin. While some who have been helped spiritually because of Keswick preaching are blessedly inconsistent, consistent belief that sin no longer need trouble the believer is only possible by disregarding the true nature of sin or by adopting perfectionism. Furthermore, to the extent that Keswick lowers the standard of God’s requirement from literal and absolute sinlessness to a lower and subjective standard of “known sin” that downplays the evils of sins of ignorance,[913] it leads believers to be satisfied with less than what God requires and discourages them from striving after the actual standard of perfect conformity to the absolute holiness of the Most High.[914]

            Associated with the Keswick idea that sin need no longer trouble believers who have entered into the Higher Life is the Pelagianizing and perfectionist idea, adopted by Keswick from the Broadlands Conference,[915] that the obligation of the believer to obey God is coextensive with his ability to do so.[916] “A saying frequently heard at Keswick is this[:] ‘God’s commandment is his enablement,’ meaning that God never issues a command that He does not give us grace to fulfil.”[917] The Keswick theology asks, “Does God therefore make demands of human beings that they cannot fulfil? Does He expect of them conduct beyond their reach? . . . God’s requirements cannot be greater than His enablements. If they were, man would be mocked. . . . What He demands He makes possible.”[918] Barabas cites no texts from the Bible to prove his position, since none teach his equation of obligation and ability. His argument, however, stands squarely in the line of centuries of perfectionist argumentation and arises out of the denial of total depravity that accompanied the Divine Seed heresy of the Broadlands Conference and the Quakerism of the Pearsall Smiths. Consistency with the affirmation that man has the inherent ability to perform all that God demands of him requires sinless perfection, since God’s standard for man is nothing less than the perfect purity and holiness of His own nature. Affirming that, in this life, one can be entirely without sin is a dangerous heresy affirmed only by unregenerate individuals (1 John 1:8, 10).

Keswick, however, since it at times recognizes the dangerous and unscriptural character of a more consistent perfectionism,[919] does not usually take its perfectionist doctrine that obligation is limited to ability to its actual conclusion, but stops with the affirmation that believers can live without known sin, while at the same time affirming that all believers still are sinners and do sin, although unwittingly. It is certainly true that believers can have a clear conscience and not be deliberately refusing to forsake sin, and that genuine and ever-greater progressive victory over sin—although not the absolute victory coming in heaven—is given to the saints on earth (Romans 6:14). However, the restricted Keswick perfectionism is not compatible with its doctrine that obligation is limited to ability. God commands all men and angels to be perfect, just as He is perfect (Matthew 5:48), but the Holy One of Israel is not just free from certain areas of conscious sinning. God does not lower His standard to what is possible for either unregenerate fallen man or pre-glorified regenerate man who still has indwelling sin. Consistency with its affirmation that man’s obligation is limited to his ability would require Keswick to affirm either literal, absolute perfectionism for fallen men or to downgrade the character of God’s holy character and law, and the nature of sin, to something less than absolute conformity to the holiness of Jehovah.[920] Such conclusions cannot be avoided by Keswick’s affirming that grace enables ability to meet Divine obligation. Absolute perfection or a downgrade in the nature of sin must still follow—only the sinless perfection would now be allegedly enabled by grace.[921] God certainly will give all His people the grace to be sinlessly perfect, but He will only do so when they are forever with Him, not during this life. The necessary consequences of the Keswick doctrine of ability and obligation explain why “opponents of Keswick have accused it [of being] perfectionist.”[922] Happily, Keswick advocates do not usually believe what is truly involved in their affirmation that God’s standard for fallen man is limited by the sinner’s ability. But would it not be better to simply represent the teaching of the Bible on sanctification accurately than to affirm a Pelagian and perfectionistic view of obligation and ability, but inconsistently deny its consequences?

Keswick adopted the error of the Broadlands Conference[923] and its successors[924] that Christians can be justified but unsanctified[925] if they do not enter into the secret of the Higher Life. The related Keswick weakness, likewise adopted from Broadlands,[926] on saving repentance[927] and surrender to the Lordship of Christ at the point of the new birth and the necessity of a conscious and clear conversion[928] is another fearful error. Keswick’s related idea that Christians can be brought into bondage to sin in the same way that unsaved people are under the dominion of sin[929] is similarly erroneous and very dangerous. God swears in the New Covenant: “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:10). Scripture promises the saints: “[S]in shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Indeed, this blessed promise undergirds the command to the believer to yield to God (6:13). Thus, when Keswick affirms that “such sins as . . . falsehood, theft, corrupt speech, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, railing, [and] malice[,] may gain such dominion over [believers] that [they] forfeit [their] freedom, and . . . become like a second nature”[930] it is clearly in error. Indeed, based on Romans 6:13-14, such Keswick teaching hinders believers from yielding to God by taking away from them the precious promise that sin will not dominate them. Keswick follows Robert P. Smith and the Oxford Convention[931] to state that Christians “are to be freed from the dominion of sin,”[932] but Scripture states that Christians are freed from the dominion of sin (Romans 6:14). The Christian’s freedom from sin is actual, not merely potential.[933] It is a blessed fact that Keswick is in error when it declares that “a Christian . . . [can] become an entire worldling.”[934] The power of the Son is greater than what is stated in Keswick theology: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).[935] There are no exceptions—Hallelujah!

            Keswick, following the rejection of self-examination Hannah and Robert P. Smith adopted from Madame Guyon and other reprobates, and in keeping with the teaching of the Broadlands pre-Keswick Convention[936] and its Oxford and Brighton successors,[937] fails to warn strongly about the possibility of professing believers not truly being regenerate, although this is a clearly Biblical theme (Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Hebrews 12:15). Keswick also adopts a dangerous teaching when, following Robert and Hannah W. Smith,[938] it states, without any explanation or qualification,[939] that “some are regenerated without knowing when.”[940] What is more, its unbiblical concept that believers can be justified but not sanctified, coupled with its rejection of separatism and its stand with broad Protestantism, rather than with Biblical Baptist churches composed of visible saints, leads Keswick to make statements such as the following:

Christians . . . not advancing in holiness at all . . . [is] widely prevalent . . . [or] almost universal[.] . . . The vast majority of Christians . . . [are] apparently . . . making no advance or increase at all . . . [but live in] defeat and failure . . . full of futile wanderings, never enjoying peace and rest . . . their own spiritual condition absolutely unsatisfactory . . . stop[ping] short in their experience of the blessings of salvation with the . . . forgiveness of past sins and with the hope of Heaven.[941]

The idea that the “vast majority of Christians” never grow but live in an “absolutely unsatisfactory” spiritual condition is a very dangerous misdiagnosis of the spiritual need of the generality of Protestant church members, who are lost and who need to be truly converted and then to separate from their false religious denominations and be baptized into historic Baptist congregations.[942] Such people need spiritual life, not Higher Life preaching. Backslidden saints are certainly a serious problem which should not be minimized. However, neither should the Biblical fact that all believers will be different or the possibility of false profession be neglected. Keswick’s setting aside of Biblical self-examination, its teaching that the vast majority of Christians make no advance in spiritual life at all, and its many other weaknesses on the nature and power of the gospel, are extremely spiritually dangerous. Many are in hell today because of these toxic Keswick errors.

As already note, Keswick theology is right to call believers to the “renunciation of all known sin . . . and . . . surrender to Christ for the infilling of the Holy Spirit.”[943] Keswick does well to affirm that the Holy Spirit “dwells in every child of God . . . [but] not every Christian is filled with the Spirit . . . [and] to be filled with the Spirit is not presented in Scripture as an optional matter, but as a holy obligation that rests upon all Christians.”[944] Keswick is correct that the “Christian is expected to live in communion with the Spirit.”[945] Nonetheless, the Keswick pneumatology differs at important points from the pneumatology of Scripture.[946] Barabas is incorrect when he affirms that only some isolated “statements . . . from addresses and books by Keswick speakers . . . seem to . . . outrun Scripture.”[947] Some of the Keswick theology of the Spirit not only seems to, but does, in fact, outrun Scripture. The historic Baptist position that Spirit baptism was a first century corporate blessing authenticating the church, which was accompanied by miraculous signs and wonders, and which does not take place today, is the teaching of Scripture.[948] It is incorrect to hold either to a view that affirms that Spirit baptism is a post-conversion blessing for today that bestows special powers, or to the doctrine that “the Holy Spirit, on the condition of faith, baptizes a man into Christ and joins him permanently and eternally to Him, [so that Spirit baptism makes] a man ‘in Christ,’ in union with both the person and the work of Christ . . . [a teaching allegedly] clearly set forth in the sixth chapter of Romans.”[949] Scripture nowhere, and certainly not in the sixth chapter of Romans, teaches that “every Christian . . . has been baptized by the Spirit.”[950] Nor does God’s Word teach that the “full blessing of Pentecost is the inheritance of all the children of God,”[951] as all the children of God today are not wonder-working apostles with the miraculous ability to speak in foreign languages, the spiritual gift of healing, and other supernatural powers that ceased early in Christian history—a fact that is itself denied by the strongly dominant Keswick continuationism or anti-cessationism in the matter of spiritual gifts.[952] Furthermore, if Keswick “distinguishes between being ‘full’ and being ‘filled’” with the Spirit, so that the latter refers to a “filling, or momentary supply . . . as special difficulties arise,”[953] such a distinction is difficult to reconcile with the fact that the command in Ephesians 5:18 is to be filled, not to be full, of the Spirit.[954] Furthermore, when the Keswick theology employs Acts 5:32[955] to make a point about being “endue[d] with the divine power”[956] to serve the Lord, or as a proof-text for recommended means of believers becoming Spirit-filled, it misinterprets Scripture. In Acts 5:32, Peter teaches that God gives the Holy Spirit to believers,[957] while God does not give the Holy Spirit to those, such as the council of Pharisees and Sadducees that the Apostle was addressing, who reject Jesus Christ, disobeying the command of God to receive Him as the risen Lord and Savior (Acts 5:28-33, 38-42). Consequently, every Christian on earth has the Spirit in the sense mentioned in Acts 5:32. What is more, the obedience mentioned in Acts 5:32 is a result of the receipt of the Spirit at the moment of regeneration, not a means to obtain spiritual power.[958] The Christian should consequently recognize that the power of God the Holy Ghost is essential for his effective sanctification and service, but reject the unbiblical aspects of the Keswick pneumatology.

Stephen Barabas, cleaving closely to Keswick tradition, well illustrates Keswick’s inaccuracy and bungling attempts at refutation of alternative positions on sanctification. Dealing with “wrong ways of seeking sanctification,” inaccuracy of presentation and theological imprecision are apparent.[959] The erroneous views he examines are:

1.) [T]he sanctification of the believer is a matter of course, and that he need not trouble himself about it . . . sanctification will proceed automatically without our doing anything about it.[960] . . .

2.) [M]any people . . . regard sanctification as merely a matter of gradual growth, not to be stopped or hindered or accelerated by anything the Christian may do. . . . [D]eliverance from conscious sinning . . . is just a question of time. . . . it . . . is necessarily imperceptibly slow and . . . cannot be retarded or hastened by anything the believer may do.[961] . . .

3.) [The] theory . . . that it is possible in this life, either at regeneration or at some subsequent crisis of religious experience . . . to reach a point in spiritual development where the sin nature is eradicated and therefore no longer operative. . . . A theory of gradual eradication is held by others.[962] . . .

4.) Perhaps the most widely-held view of sanctification is that it is to be gained through our own personal efforts by trying to supress the flesh in us.[963] . . .

5.) Other Erroneous Methods.[964]

Very few people actually believe false theories #1 or 2. The perfectionist theory of sinlessness through instanteous eradication of the sin principle mentioned in #3 is indeed held by some and is erroneous. In relation to #4, the problem of self-dependence in sanctification is certainly serious and is a false idea. If someone actually believes that sanctification will proceed automatically without the believer doing anything about it, he will find the refutation of this view helpful. However, since views #1 and 2 are entirely absent from any standard confession by any evangelical group in church history, one wonders if positions #1-2 are really a caricature of Biblical truths about sanctification.

If Barabas’s position #1 is supposed to refute the Scriptural fact that believers will be different, it is a gross misrepresentation; God works in the believer to will and do (Philippians 2:13) and the fact of the certainty of the sanctification of the regenerate is a basis for Biblical exhortation to grow, not a hinderance to it or an encouragement to neglect growth (Romans 6:13-14). So far from #2 being held by “many” Christians, the idea that growth cannot be accelerated or hindered or stopped is a very unusual position. Among the alleged “many” that advocate view #2, Barabas provides not even one original source, perhaps because no such source exists. One wonders if it has ever been advocated in print in any work of evangelical Christian literature in history.[965]

Barabas very unfortunately combines the idea of a second blessing of instantaneous sinlessness in #3 with the position, represented by a quotation from Warfield, that the Holy Spirit weakens the remnants of sin in the believer and strengthens the new nature over time. The argument on the pages dealing with #3 make some valid points against the instantaneous perfectionist second blessing position, but Barabas’s examination of Warfield’s view sets up a straw man and is very weak. Similarly, while people can certainly deceive themselves into thinking that they can serve the Lord in their own strength, and the believer’s indwelling sin constantly seeks to lead him to live in an independent manner, self-dependence is not “the most widely-held view of sanctification.”[966] The Keswick presentation by Barabas in #4 contains severe confusion between an unbiblical self-dependent attempt to sanctify onself apart from the power of God and the Biblical truth that sanctification does indeed involve God-dependent, faith-filled personal effort, striving, and struggle. Finally, Barabas’s presentation of erroneous views of sanctification never deals with actual commonly held erroneous views of sanctification, from Wesleyan and Methodist to Oberlin perfectionism, to liturgical and Romanist ex opere operato sorts of sacramentarianism, to Quaker Quietism. Furthermore, if Barabas’s positions #1-5 are not intended to caricature and oppose important elements of the Biblical doctrine of sanctification, from the certainty that believers will be different to the fact that God actually does inwardly make the believer less sinful and more holy, then these truths are entirely passed over in utter neglect, and the Keswick position is set forth as if it were the only alternative to what is stated in #1-5. Either Barabas’s presentation of non-Keswick positions on sanctification is grossly deficient because it ignores its theologically conservative alternatives, or it severely misrepresents and mischaracterizes those alternative positions. Barabas effectively illustrates that Keswick presentations of sanctification are not “carefully prepared, weighty discourses”[967]—a truth both patently evident and most unfortunate.

            Barabas’s attempt to support Keswick by refuting the classical Biblical doctrine that in sanctification the believer through mortification and vivification actually becomes less sinful and more holy in his nature[968] misrepresents the Biblical view and fails miserably as a refutation.[969] In dealing with Warfield’s confession of the classical orthodox position that supernatural sanctification involves the Spirit’s working to “eradicate our sinfulness and not merely to counteract its effects,”[970] Barabas argues—without exegeting or citing a single passage of Scripture that could reasonably be taken as relevant as an argument against progressive eradication of the strength of the sin principle,[971] but following Hannah W. Smith,[972] that “Keswick is plainly right in rejecting the theory of eradication,[973] whether instantaneous or gradual, as the divine way of sanctification” in favor of the position that “holiness . . . is a maintained condition, never a state.”[974] That is, in Keswick theology, as in the teaching of the Keswick precursor Conventions,[975] the believer is not personally and actually the slightest bit more holy after decades of what may be improperly termed progressive sanctification, but is hardly sanctification that is progressing, than he was the moment he was regenerated. Barabas very regretably tries to deal at the same time with the false “second blessing” concept that at an instant during this life one can have his sin nature entirely eliminated and the Scriptural position of Warfield that only at the moment of a Christian’s death the sin nature is entirely eliminated, while the Holy Spirit’s mortifying and renewing work actually gradually weakens and eradicates the remnants of sin in the believer and strengthens his new nature. To combine these two views as if they were truly closely related leads Barabas to a serious misrepresentation of Warfield’s position and a very off-base attempt at a refutation of it on the assumption that it is somehow the close relative of the idea that one enters into sinless perfection through a second blessing.

            Barabas argues against Warfield: “The word of God does not teach us to expect, in this life, either the eradication or the improvement of the ‘flesh.’”[976] While he does not cite the verse, Romans 7:18 clearly teaches that the flesh does not improve in any way. Barabas’s statement, however, equivocates on the word eradication—if he means “absolute elimination of the flesh,” he is entirely correct. If, however, Barabas wishes to refute Warfield’s position, he must demonstrate that the influence and power of the flesh is absolutely unchanged, which he fails to demonstrate or even argue for effectively. Instead of refuting Warfield, Barabas sets up a false dichotomy, arguing that “the tendency to sin is not extinct, but is simply counteracted,”[977] as if those were the only two options. The classical orthodox position represented by Warfield is that while indwelling sin does not itself get any better (Romans 7:18), mortification weakens the power of the sin principle and vivification strengthens the power of the new nature. The ethically sinful flesh itself does not improve, but progressive sanctification weakens its influence as it is put to death or mortified, a process only completed when the believer reaches heaven. In this sense only did Warfield affirm gradual eradication, and in this sense Barabas does not touch his position.

            Barabas goes on to argue that Warfield’s position would require that “the longer a person lived the Christian life the less possible it should be for him to sin . . . [b]ut . . . spiritual growth is not determined by the length of time [one] has been a Christian.”[978] Since Warfield never taught that simply surviving for a longer time as a Christian resulted in one’s growing less able to sin, Barabas’s criticism again leaves Warfield’s doctrine untouched. Warfield would affirm that the more the Christian mortifies sin and his new nature is renewed by the Spirit, the more holy he is. He never taught that sanctification was in direct and sole proportion to the length of time since the believer’s regeneration.

            In association with the misrepresentation of Warfield’s position as one of sanctification by survival, by a Christian’s existing for a longer period, Barabas argues that the record of Demas in 2 Timothy 4:10 proves that living longer as a Christian does not necessarily involve greater sanctification. Furthermore, Barabas employs 1 Corinthians 9:27 to prove that “years after his conversion on the Damascus road, Paul himself declared that he dared not be careless[.]”[979] Unfortunately for Barabas’s arguments, in addition to the severe problem that he is refuting a position Dr. Warfield did not advocate, Demas is presented as an example of a professing but unconverted individual, one who has no true love for the Father and who will not abide forever with God but will go to hell (2 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:15-17), while Paul’s spiritual growth led him to ever-greater carefulness. To aver that Warfield’s position is in error because if Paul were more holy years after his conversion he would be more careless about sin, rather than more careful to avoid it, is an astonishingly poor argument.

            Barabas’s last and presumably crowning argument against Warfield’s position is:

[I]f Dr. Warfield were right . . . [then] [i]f we lived long enough . . . we must reach a stage of spiritual development where the old nature was completely eradicated [and] sin were no longer in us . . . such injunctions as “reckon,” “yield,” “put off,” . . . would no longer have any meaning for us. . . . And when we reached this state of purity we would no longer have to depend upon Christ and the Holy Spirit to enable us to live a holy life. . . . Keswick is plainly right in rejecting [Warfield’s view, because of] . . . 1 John 1:8 . . . [and] John 15:5 . . . [his theory] tempts the Christian to negligence . . . carelessness [is] . . . easily fostered by a belief that sin was eradicated from one’s nature.[980]

Barabas seems to have neglected the fact that a huge emphasis in Warfield’s two volume work against perfectionism is that sin never is “no longer in us” at any moment before the believer reaches heaven. Since Warfield confessed that “[t]he moment we think that we have no sin, we shall desert Christ,”[981] to argue against his position by making it into almost exactly its reverse is a terrible caricature. Those who affirm the Biblical fact that God actually makes the believer more holy—such as Warfield—do not say that the more Christlike a believer grows the more self-dependent, careless, and negligent he becomes,[982] and the less concerned he is about yielding to God, putting off sin, and the like.[983] To argue that God cannot make Christians more holy in this life because growing more holy makes one ever the more careless and negligent about spiritual things would mean that the saints in heaven would be the most careless and negligent of all. What is more, if carelessness and negligence are only avoided by eliminating real progressive sanctification and the supernatural eradication of indwelling sinfulness, replacing this blessed truth with a mere counteraction of sin, then, to keep them from carelessness and negligence, believers in heaven must also not have their sinfulness eradicated, but only counteracted. On the contrary, the more the victory over sin described in Romans 6-8 becomes manifest in the believer’s life, the greater is his abhorrence of his remaining indwelling sin—the more he loathes it, longs for perfect deliverance from it, and guards himself against it (Romans 7:14, 20-24). While Barabas may not recognize it, Scripture teaches that the Spirit actually makes believers more holy and less sinful, and a concomitant of that greater holiness is greater, not lesser, watchfulness, carefulness, and God-dependence.

            The following extensive quotation from Warfield, discussing the old evangelical piety of another of its staunch defenders, Thomas Adam,[984] both explains well the truly Scriptural and old evangelical orthodox position that Barabas opposes and shows just how radically Barabas misrepresents Warfield’s position:

[T]he eighteenth century . . . . English Evangelicals . . . [embraced] “miserable-sinner Christianity” . . . for themselves[.] We may take Thomas Adam as an example. His like-minded biographer, James Stillingfleet, tells us37 how, having been awakened to the fact that he was preaching essentially a work-religion, he was at last led to the truth . . . particularly by the prayerful study of the Epistle to the Romans. “He was,” writes his biographer, “rejoiced exceedingly; found peace and comfort spring up in his mind; his conscience was purged from guilt through the atoning blood of Christ, and his heart set at liberty to run the way of God’s commandments without fear, in a spirit of filial love and holy delight; and from that hour he began to preach salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone, to man by nature and practice lost, and condemned under the law, and, as his own expression is, Always a sinner.” In this italicized phrase, Adam had in mind of course our sinful nature, a very profound sense of the evil of which coloured all his thought. In one of those piercing declarations which his biographers gathered out of his diaries and published under the title of “Private Thoughts on Religion,”38 Adam tells us how he thought of indwelling sin. “Sin,” says he, “is still here, deep in the centre of my heart, and twisted about every fibre of it.”39 But he knew very well that sin could not be in the heart and not in the life. “When have I not sinned?” he asks,40 and answers, “The reason is evident, I carry myself about with me.” Accordingly he says:41 “When we have done all we ever shall do, the very best state we ever shall arrive at, will be so far from meriting a reward, that it will need a pardon.” Again, “If I was to live to the world’s end, and do all the good that man can do, I must still cry ‘mercy!’”42—which is very much what Zinzendorf said in his hymn. So far from balking at the confession of daily sins, he adds to that the confession of universal sinning. “I know, with infallible certainty,” he says,43 “that I have sinned ever since I could discern between good and evil; in thought, word, and deed; in every period, condition, and relation of life; every day against every commandment.” “God may say to every self-righteous man,” he says again,44 “as he did in the cause of Sodom, ‘show me ten, yea, one perfect good action, and for the sake of it I will not destroy.’”

There is no morbidity here and no easy acquiescence in this inevitable sinning. “Lord, forgive my sins, and suffer me to keep them—is this the meaning of my prayers?” he asks.45 And his answer is: “I had rather be cast into the burning fiery furnace, or the lion’s den, than suffer sin to lie quietly in my heart.”46 He knows that justification and sanctification belong together. “Christ never comes into the soul unattended,” he says;47 “he brings the Holy Spirit with him, and the Spirit his train of gifts and graces.” “Christ comes with a blessing in each hand,” he says again;48 “forgiveness in one, and holiness in the other, and never gives either to any who will not take both.” But he adds at once: “Christ’s forgiveness of all sins is complete at once, because less would not do us good; his holiness is dispensed by degrees, and to none wholly in this life, lest we should slight his forgiveness.” “Whenever I die,” he says therefore,49 “I die a sinner; but by the grace of God, penitent, and, I trust, accepted in the beloved.” “It is the joy of my heart that I am freed from guilt,” he says again,50 “and the desire of my heart to be freed from sin.” For both alike are from God. “Justification by sanctification,” he says,51 “is man’s way to heaven, and it is odds but he will make a little [sanctification] serve the turn. Sanctification by justification is God’s, and he fills the soul with his own fulness.” “The Spirit does not only confer and increase ability, and so leave us to ourselves in the use of it,” he explains,52 “but every single act of spiritual life is the Spirit’s own act in us.” And again, even more plainly:53 “Sanctification is a gift; and the business of man is to desire, receive, and use it. But he can by no act or effort of his own produce it in himself. Grace can do every thing; nature nothing.” “I am resolved,” he therefore declares,54 “to receive my virtue from God as a gift, instead of presenting him with a spurious kind of my own.” He accordingly is “the greatest saint upon earth who feels his poverty most in the want of perfect holiness, and longs with the greatest earnestness for the time when he shall be put in full possession of it.”55

Thus in complete dependence on grace, and in never ceasing need of grace (take “grace” in its full sense of goodness to the undeserving) the saint goes onward in his earthly work, neither imagining that he does not need to be without sin because he has Christ nor that because he has Christ he is already without sin. The repudiation of both the perfectionist and the antinomian inference is made by Adam most pungently. The former in these crisp words:56 “The moment we think that we have no sin, we shall desert Christ.” That, because Christ came to save just sinners. The latter more at length:57 “It would be a great abuse of the doctrine of salvation by faith, and a state of dangerous security, to say, if it pleases God to advance me to a higher or the highest degree of holiness, I should have great cause of thankfulness, and it would be the very joy of my heart; but nevertheless I can do without it, as being safe in Christ.” We cannot set safety in Christ and holiness of life over against each other as contradictions, of which the one may be taken and the other left. They go together. “Every other faith,” we read,58 “but that which apprehends Christ as a purifier, as well as our atonement and righteousness, is false and hypocritical.” We are not left in our sins by Him; we are in process of being cleansed from our sins by Him; and our part is to work out with fear and trembling the salvation which He is working in us, always keeping our eyes on both our sin from which we need deliverance and the Lord who is delivering us. To keep our eyes fixed on both at once is no doubt difficult. “On earth it is the great exercise of faith,” says Adam,59 “and one of the hardest things in the world, to see sin and Christ at the same time, or to be penetrated with a lively sense of our desert, and absolute freedom from condemnation; but the more we know of both, the nearer approach we shall make to the state of heaven.” Sin and Christ; ill desert and no condemnation; we are sinners and saints all at once! That is the paradox of evangelicalism. The Antinomian and the Perfectionist would abolish the paradox—the one drowning the saint in the sinner, the other concealing the sinner in the saint. We must, says Adam, out of his evangelical consciousness, ever see both members of the paradox clearly and see them whole. And—solvitur ambulando. “It is a great paradox, but glorious truth of Christianity,” says he,60 “that a good conscience may consist with a consciousness of evil.” Though we can have no satisfaction in ourselves, we may have perfect satisfaction in Christ.[985]

It is clear that “miserable-sinner Christianity” is a Christianity which thinks of pardon as holding the primary place in salvation. To it, sin is in the first instance offence against God, and salvation from sin is therefore in the first instance pardon, first not merely in time but in importance. In this Christianity, accordingly, the sinner turns to God first of all as the pardoning God; and that not as the God who pardons him once and then leaves him to himself, but as the God who steadily preserves the attitude toward him of a pardoning God. It is in this aspect that he thinks primarily of God and it is on the preservation on God’s part of this attitude towards him that all his hopes of salvation depend. This is because he looks to God and to God alone for his salvation; and that in every several step of salvation—since otherwise whatever else it might be, it would not be salvation. It is, of course, only from a God whose attitude to the sinner is that of a pardoning God, that saving operations can be hoped. No doubt, if those transactions which we class together as the processes of salvation are our own work, we may not have so extreme a need of a constantly pardoning God. But that is not the point of view of the “miserable-sinner Christian.” He understands that God alone can save, and he depends on God alone for salvation; for all of salvation in every step and stage of it. He is not merely the man then, who emphasizes justification as the fundamental saving operation; but also the man who emphasizes the supernaturalness of the whole saving process. It is all of God; and it is continuously from God throughout the whole process. The “miserable-sinner Christian” insists thus that salvation is accomplished not all at once, but in all the processes of a growth through an ever advancing forward movement. It occupies time; it has a beginning and middle and end. And just because it is thus progressive in its accomplishment, it is always incomplete—until the end. As Luther put it, Christians, here below, are not “made,” but “in the making.” Things in the making are in the hands of the Maker, are absolutely dependent on Him, and in their remanent imperfection require His continued pardon as well as need His continued forming. We cannot outgrow dependence on the pardoning grace of God, then, so long as the whole process of our forming is not completed; and we cannot feel satisfaction with ourselves of course until that process is fully accomplished. To speak of satisfaction in an incomplete work is a contradiction in terms. The “miserable-sinner Christian” accordingly, just as strongly emphasizes the progressiveness of the saving process and the consequent survival of sin and sinning throughout the whole of its as yet unfinished course, as he does justification as its foundation stone and its true supernaturalness throughout. These four articles go together and form the pillars on which the whole structure rests. It is a structure which is adapted to the needs of none but sinners, and which, perhaps, can have no very clear meaning to any but sinners. And this is in reality the sum of the whole matter: “miserable-sinner” Christianity is a Christianity distinctively for sinners. It is fitted to their apprehension as sinners, addressed to their acceptance as sinners, and meets their clamant needs as sinners. The very name which has been given it bears witness to it as such.[986]

Warfield—and old evangelical piety in general—emphasized both the Spirit’s work in progressively eradicating indwelling sin and making the believer more holy and the Spirit’s work in reminding the Christian that he is simil iustus et peccator—both righteous and a sinner. Such teaching—which is eminently Biblical—leads the Christian to recognize and hate his indwelling sin the more, and cling the more passionately to Christ alone, the more the Spirit makes him holy. Steven Barabas’s attempt to set aside old orthodox position represented by Warfield fails utterly as a refutation. Indeed, Barabas fails to even understand and represent accurately the position he so strongly opposes.

While one cannot rule out that Barabas’s bungled misrepresentation of Warfield is deliberate, charity hopes that it was merely accidental. Support for accidental misrepresentation of Warfield appears from the entire absence in Barabas’s presentation of the fact that Warfield believed that both eradication, control, and counteraction of indwelling sin were taught in Scripture. Barabas presents Warfield’s position simply as eradication. No acknowledgment of statements by Warfield such as the following, in his prominent critique of Lewis Sperry Chafer’s He That is Spiritual, are acknowledged:

Mr. Chafer conducts his discussion . . . on the presupposition that . . . “[w]e are either to be delivered by the abrupt removal of all tendency to sin, and so no longer need the enabling power of God to combat the power of sin, or we are to be delivered by the immediate and constant power of the indwelling Spirit.” This irreducible “either—or” is unjustified. In point of fact, both “eradication” and “control” are true. God delivers us from our sinful nature, not indeed by “abruptly” but by progressively eradicating it, and meanwhile controlling it. For the new nature which God gives us is not an absolutely new somewhat, alien to our personality, inserted into us, but our old nature itself remade—a veritable recreation, or making of all things new.[987]

Furthermore, in his bibliography Barabas cites no works by Warfield other than his Perfectionism,[988] supporting the possibility that Barabas’s astonishing misrepresentation of the Princeton theologian is a product of shallow understanding of his theology. However, to avoid the conclusion that Barabas has deliberately misrepresented Warfield, one must assume not only that he neglected to read Warfield’s critique of Chafer, but that Barabas has not even read carefully the pages he cites[989] where Warfield explains his position. On those very pages the Princetonian states: “Counteraction there is; and suppression there is; but most fundamentally of all there is eradication; and all these work one and the self-same Spirit.”[990] Barabas’s Keswick classic never states or even hints that Warfield taught counteraction,[991] suppression, and eradication—the reader of So Great Salvation who did not consult Warfield’s own writings would certainly never know what Warfield actually believed. Barabas, in a number of pages of confused critique, never summarizes Warfield’s position as clearly as does Paul Schaefer in a single sentence: “Warfield’s emphasis on divine sovereignty and on regeneration mean[t] that God both controls by the power of the Spirit the remnants of indwelling sin and progressively eradicates them in the one whom he has remade, as that person grows in faith.”[992] Whether a matter of deliberate misrepresentation of inexcusable sloppiness and carelessness, Barabas’s attempt to rebut Warfield in So Great Salvation falls so short of success that it does not even state the position of the great Princeton theologian accurately.

            Since Barabas so strikingly misrepresents Warfield’s position[993] as one that “tempts the Christian to negligence,” leads him to turn from “continued reliance upon the keeping power of God,” and teaches that “we must reach a stage of spiritual development where the old nature was completely eradicated . . . [and we] become ethically self-sufficient,”[994] it is appropriate to provide an extended quotation from Warfield’s locus classicus on progressive eradication. One can easily judge whether Warfield’s concern, in refuting the Higher Life model of mere counteraction, is to advocate ethical self-sufficiency, or whether Warfield actually meant what he said when he confessed a “supernatural sanctification” in which “the Spirit leads us in all our acts, as well as purifies our hearts . . . [so that] to grace always belongs the initiative.” One can also easily discern whether Barabas’s critique of Warfield’s classical orthodox model of progressive eradication, or Warfield’s critique of the Keswick model of mere counteraction, is the more accurate representation of the teaching of Scripture:

It is a fatally inadequate conception of salvation which so focuses attention on deliverance from the penalty of sin and from continued acts of sin, as to permit to fall out of sight deliverance from sin itself—that corruption of heart which makes us sinners. Laying one-sided stress on deliverance from acts of sin—especially when these acts of sin are confined by definition to “deliberate transgressions of known law”—is too poverty-stricken a conception of salvation to satisfy any Christian heart. Christians know that their Lord has come into the world to save them from sin in all its aspects, its penalty, its corruption and its power: they trust Him for this complete salvation: and they know that they receive it from Him in its fulness. [Victorious Life leader] Mr. Trumbull and his associates have no doubt been betrayed into neglect or denial of our deliverance from the central thing—“the corruption of man’s heart”—by a certain prudence. They are set upon the assertion of the possibility and duty for Christians of a life free from sinning. Grant them that, and they are willing to allow that their unsinning Christians remain sinners at heart. They do not appear to see that thus they yield the whole case. An astonishing misapprehension of the relation of action to motive underlies their point of view; and a still more astonishing misapprehension of the method of sanctification which is founded on this relation. To keep a sinner, remaining a sinner, free from actually sinning, would be but a poor salvation; and in point of fact that is not the way the Holy Spirit operates in saving the soul. He does not “take possession of our will and work it”—thus, despite our sinful hearts, producing a series of good acts as our life-manifestation and thereby falsifying our real nature in its manifestation. He cures our sinning precisely by curing our sinful nature; He makes the tree good that the fruit may be good. It is, in other words, precisely by eradicating our sinfulness—“the corruption of our hearts”—that He delivers us from sinning. The very element in salvation which Mr. Trumbull neglects, is therefore, in point of fact, the radical element of the saving process, and the indispensable precondition of that element in salvation which he elects to emphasize to its neglect. We cannot be saved from sinning except as we are saved from sin; and the degree in which we are saved from sinning is the index of the degree in which we have been saved from sin. Here too, as in every other sphere of activity, the operari follows and must follow the esse: a thing must be before it can act, and it can act only as it is. To imagine that we can be saved from the power of sin without the eradication of the corruption in which the power of sin has its seat, is to imagine that an evil tree can be compelled to bring forth good fruit—or that it would be worth while to compel it to do so—which is the precise thing that our Lord denies. What Mr. Trumbull in point of fact teaches is exactly what Hannah Whitall Smith ridicules in a vivid figure which she uses in a less felicitous connection: that what Christ does is just to tie good fruit to the branches of a bad tree and cry, Behold how great is my salvation!42

It is astonishing that nevertheless even Dr. W. H. Griffith Thomas falls in to some extent with this representation. Dr. Thomas does not forget, indeed, that we are to be delivered from the corruption of sin—ultimately. When he wishes to bring into view the whole deliverance which we have in Christ, he enumerates the elements of it thus: “Deliverance from the guilt of sin, deliverance from the penalty of sin, deliverance from the bondage of sin, and deliverance hereafter from the very presence of sin.”43 The insertion of the word “hereafter” into the last clause tells the story. We must wait for the “hereafter” to be delivered from the “presence of sin”—that is to say from the corruption of our hearts—but meanwhile we may very well live as if sin were not present: its presence in us need not in any way affect our life-manifestation. Dr. Thomas enters the formal discussion of the matter,44 apparently, as a mediator in “the old question, ‘suppression or eradication?’ ”45 on this side or the other of which perfectionists have been accustomed to array themselves as they faced the problem of the sin that dwells in us. He comes forward with a new formula, by which, supposedly, he hopes that he may conciliate the parties to the dispute. “Suppression,” he declares, says too little, “eradication” says too much; let us say, “counteraction,” he suggests, and then we shall have the right word. Does “counteraction,” however, come between “eradication” and “suppression,” saying less than the one and more than the other? Does it not say less than either? Whether the “sinful principle” in us be “eradicated” or “suppressed,” it is put out of action: if it be merely “counteracted,” it not only remains but remains active, and enters as a co-factor into all effects. The illustration which Dr. Thomas himself uses, to make his meaning clear, is what he speaks of as the counteraction of gravitation by volition. In the same way, he says, “the lower law of sin and death can be counteracted by the presence of the Holy Ghost in our hearts.” Of course volition does not directly counteract gravitation: we cannot by a mere volition rise at will upwards from the earth. What volition is able to do is to set another physical force in operation in the direction opposed to the pull or push of gravitation: and if this new physical force pulls or pushes more powerfully in a direction opposite to that in which gravitation pulls or pushes—why, the effect will be in the direction of the action of the new force, and will be determined by the amount of its superiority to the force of gravity. We throw a ball into the air. We have not suppressed gravity. It pulls the ball all the time. We only counteract its effect in the exact measure in which the force we apply exceeds the pull of gravity. If Dr. Thomas intends this illustration to be applied fully, it appears to imply that the “principle of sin” operates in all our acts with full power, and therefore conditions all our acts: only, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is stronger than indwelling sin, and therefore the effect produced is determined by Him. We do not sin, not because the principle of sin in us is suppressed or eradicated, but because it is counteracted. If this be Dr. Thomas’ meaning, one would think that he ought to declare not, as he does declare, that Christians need not sin, but that they cannot sin—not even to the least, tiny degree. If the Holy Spirit who is the infinite God dwells in them for the express purpose of counteracting the principle of sin in them; and if He operates invariably, in every action of the Christian; it would seem to be clearly impossible that the principle of sin should ever be traceable in the effect at all. The ball that we throw into the air will rise only a certain distance and ever more and more slowly until, its initial impulse being overcome by the deadly pull of gravity, it turns and falls back to earth. If, however, it was propelled by an infinite force, the pull of gravity, though always present, could have no determining effect on its movement. On this theory of counteraction Dr. Thomas should teach therefore not that Christians need not sin, but that they cannot sin—as indeed the passages in I John on which he immediately depends in his exposition of his view would also compel him, on his system of interpretation, to teach.

From the point of view of Scripture, however, this theory of counteraction is quite inadequate. It renders it impossible for the Christian to sin—and the Scriptures do not teach that: but it leaves the “principle of sin” in him unaltered and in full activity, and most emphatically the Scriptures do not teach that such is the condition of the Christian in this world. It surely would be better to be freed from the “principle of sin” in us than merely from its effects on our actions. And this is in fact what the Scriptures provide for. What they teach, indeed, is just “eradication.” They propose to free us from sinning by freeing us from the “principle of sin.” Of course, they teach that the Spirit dwells within us. But they teach that the Spirit dwells within us in order to affect us, not merely our acts; in order to eradicate our sinfulness and not merely to counteract its effects. The Scriptures’ way of cleansing the stream is to cleanse the fountain; they are not content to attack the stream of our activities, they attack directly the heart out of which the issues of life flow. But they give us no promise that the fountain will be completely cleansed all at once, and therefore no promise that the stream will flow perfectly purely from the beginning. We are not denying that the Spirit leads us in all our acts, as well as purifies our hearts. But we are denying that His whole work in us, or His whole immediate work in us, or His fundamental work in us, terminates on our activities and can be summed up in the word “counteraction.” Counteraction there is; and suppression there is; but most fundamentally of all there is eradication; and all these work one and the self-same Spirit. We are not forgetful that Dr. Thomas teaches an ultimate eradication; and we would not be unwilling to read his recognition of it “with a benevolent eye” and understand him as teaching, not that the eradication is not going on now, but only that the eradication which is going on now is not completed until “hereafter.” That would be Scriptural. But we fear Dr. Thomas will not permit us so to read him. And, if we mistake not, this difference in point of view between him and the Scriptures is in part, the source of his misconception and misprision of the seventh chapter of Romans. That chapter depicts for us the process of the eradication of the old nature. Dr. Thomas reads it statically and sees in it merely a “deadly warfare between the two natures”; which, he affirms,46 “does not represent the normal Christian life of sanctification.” He even permits himself to say, “There is no Divine grace in that chapter; only man’s nature struggling to be good and holy by law.” What is really in the chapter is Divine grace warring against, and not merely counteracting but eradicating, the natural evil of sin. To Paul the presence of the conflict there depicted is the guarantee of victory. The three things which we must insist on if we would share Paul’s view are: first, that to grace always belongs the initiative—it is grace that works the change: secondly, that to grace always belongs the victory—grace is infinite power: and thirdly, that the working of grace is by process, and therefore reveals itself at any given point of observation as conflict. In so far as Dr. Thomas’s representation obscures any one of these things it falls away from the teaching of the New Testament. Grace assuredly “means a new life, a Divine life, which lifts us above the natural, and is nothing else than the life of Christ Himself in His people.” It is, in substance, as sanctifying grace, the occupation of our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and the undertaking by Him, not only of their renewal, but of their control. It is they alone who are “led” by the Spirit who are sons of God. But the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts is not confined to the direction of our activities. Dr. Thomas says truly47 that grace does not merely “educate the natural heart.” But he errs when he says that “grace does not improve the old nature, it overcomes it.” He errs when he teaches only that “it promises hereafter to extirpate it,” but meanwhile, only “counteracts its tendencies.” It is progressively extirpating it now, and that is the fundamental fact in supernatural sanctification. The sanctifying action of the Spirit terminates on us, not merely on our activities; under it not only our actions but we are made holy. Only, this takes time; and therefore at no point short of its completion are either our acts or we “perfect.”[995]

A comparison of Barabas’s attempt to critique Warfield and Warfield’s own words brings to mind Barabas’s admission that Keswick theology, despite around a century in which it has produced book after book, has produced no “carefully prepared, weighty discourses of a theological nature.”[996] It is consequently not surprising that Barabas’s own book fits the Keswick pattern, so that rigorous analysis demonstrates that his presentation of Keswick arguments is neither weighty nor carefully prepared. In any case, whatever the reason, Barabas’s critique of Warfield’s classically orthodox position that sanctification includes the Spirit’s work in progressively eradicating indwelling sin is a disasterous failure.

            Barabas also argues against the position he terms “supression of the old nature.”[997] He writes: “Perhaps the most widely-held view of sanctification is that it is to be gained through our own personal efforts by trying to suppress the flesh in us. Justification, it is believed, is by faith, but sanctification is by works—at least to a large extent.”[998] Barabas argues against this position by setting forth the erroneous Keswick view of Romans 7:14-25,[999] by setting forth the teaching Keswick adopted from Hannah W. Smith and the Broadlands Conference[1000] that sanctification is by faith alone, not works,[1001] and by making arguments such as: “Neither a tree nor a man grows by effort.[1002] . . . It is a kind of sanctification of the flesh. . . . the [failed attempt at] the conquest of self by self . . . [the] legalism . . . to assume that justification is by faith, [but] sanctification is somehow by struggle.”[1003] To “fall back upon mere moral processes to overcome sin is not Christianity, but pagan philosophy, which offers nothing better than self-effort as the only way of improvement.”[1004] Barabas concludes, based on these arguments: “It is the teaching of Keswick that an important reason for the defeat and failure of so many Christians is that they try to supress the old nature. . . . Sanctification is therefore not by works but by faith. . . . That is the distinctive method of Keswick.”[1005]

            Barabas’s argument is based upon a key confusion of two entirely different ideas, combined with some faulty exegesis. If all he wished to prove was that anyone who attempted to be holy without depending upon the Triune God for strength was doomed to failure, and that believers need, consequently, to live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4), his exhortation would be correct, and its warning well taken. The necessity of living by faith and of experiential and personal communion with Jesus Christ by the Spirit is extremely important, and it has been regarded as such by Christians who lived centuries before the invention of the Keswick theology in association with the preaching of Hannah W. Smith. If self-dependence, seeking the ultimate ground for growth in holiness within one’s own person, and “mere moral processes to overcome sin” as in “pagan philosophy” were all Barabas wished to combat when he warned of the “man who is trying to be good and holy by his own efforts and is defeated every time,”[1006] he would be right on target, warning against a serious sin that the believer’s fleshliness naturally inclines him to commit.

However, the “most widely-held view of sanctification,” which Barabas seeks to argue is in error, is not an independent moralism, based on pagan philosophy, that does not depend upon Christ and the Spirit—although such errors are indeed taught in large portions of the apostate denominations Keswick ecumenicalism refuses to repudiate. Rather than restricting his argument to the real error of an independent moralism, Barabas argues that believers are not to try to suppress the old nature or struggle against sin in sanctification. If Barabas is against the “man who is trying to be good and holy by his own efforts,” and by this he means the Christian himself should not personally make effort and strive to mortify sin, depending upon Christ and the power of the Spirit, he is definitely wrong. Unfortunately, this latter sense of opposition to effort is in fact what Barabas decries. His view that “sanctification . . . by struggle” is an error ignores the many texts such as “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4). Indeed, Paul’s conclusion, after in a detailed chapter setting forth the necessity of living by faith (Hebrews 11), is “wherefore”[1007] (Hebrews 12:1)—in light of Hebrews 11 and those who lived by faith in that chapter—“lay aside every weight . . . run with patience . . . consider [Christ] . . . resis[t] unto blood, striving against sin . . . nor faint . . . endure chastening . . . be in subjection . . . [be] exercised . . . lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet . . . follow peace . . . and holiness. . . loo[k] diligently,” and so on (Hebrews 12:1-16). Living by faith, Biblically, is not only compatible with struggling and striving for holiness, but it necessarily produces it. Biblical sanctification does not state: “We cease from labor because we trust in God,” but “we . . . labour . . . because we trust in the living God” (1 Timothy 4:10). For Paul, living by faith means one will “run . . . striv[e] for the mastery . . . fight . . . keep under [the] body, and bring it into subjection” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). The Bible says to do exactly what Barabas says not to do. The Christian’s attitude must not be “let go and let God,”[1008] but “trust God and get going!”[1009] Faith in sanctification does not lead the believer to cease striving, but to strive ever the harder, trusting in the Lord for strength to fight. He does not labor independently and faithlessly, but “labour[s], striving according to [God’s] working, which worketh in [him] mightily” (Colossians 1:29). For Keswick to affirm a genuine dichotomy between independent moralism and ending all “trying to conquer the old nature . . . effort . . . [and] struggle,”[1010] so that one must choose the one or the other, is a serious misrepresentation, one that ignores the true position that sanctification involves a faith-based, God-dependent struggle.[1011] By discouraging believers from striving to mortify their indwelling sin, Keswick theology hinders the work of sanctification.

Barabas affirms that the Keswick theology recognizes other “other erroneous methods”[1012] of sanctification. Following Hannah W. Smith,[1013] Barabas warns that believers must not “trust for their sanctification to a diligent use of the means of grace, to watchfulness over their own heart and life, taking themselves to task ever and again for the coldness of their heart.”[1014] It is an amazing thing that Barabas’s book explaining the Keswick theology never once quotes any of the numerous verses in Scripture that connect sanctification with the Word of God, but attacks as an “unscriptural wa[y] of pursuing holiness”[1015] employing the means that God has given to increase and strengthen inward grace, such as, centrally, the Word.[1016] Rejecting watchfulness over one’s heart and life as a means of avoiding sin and growing holy is astonishing when the Son of God specifically states that watching and praying protect one from temptation (Matthew 26:41) and are essential for spiritual preparedness for His second coming (Mark 13:33-36). The Lord Jesus said, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy”[1017] (Luke 21:36), so watching helps the believer be more holy. Scripture is filled with commands to watch,[1018] and the Lord Jesus Himself commanded, “What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch” (Mark 13:37)—but Barabas rejects such watchfulness as an unscriptural means of growing in grace! As for it being “unscriptural” to take oneself to task over the coldness of one’s heart, it is evident that some of the psalms, which the Spirit-filled Christian is to sing (Ephesians 5:18-19), are not appropriate for the advocate of Keswick. God’s inspired songbook teaches the righteous man to pray: “For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God” (Psalm 38:15) and yet complain: “There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (Psalm 38:3-4).[1019] The saint who can say “I waited patiently for the LORD . . . thou art my help and my deliverer” (Psalm 40:1, 17) also prays, “mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me” (Psalm 40:12). The holy man in the Bible, who says “I put my trust in thee” (Psalm 25:20), can nonetheless pray: “Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins” (Psalm 25:15-18). Keswick is dead wrong when it condemns sanctification through the diligent use of the means God has appointed to grow in grace, when it deprecates watchfulness, and when it affirms that the saint should not take himself to task over the coldness of his heart. Following this unscriptural advice of Keswick will hinder the believer’s sanctification.

Barabas’s Keswick critique of the Biblical fact that believers grow inwardly more holy by sanctification, and indwelling sin is actually reduced in its strength through mortification, is a total failure. Barabas misrepresents the classical orthodox doctrine of sanctification held by his theological opponents, such as Warfield, refutes straw men of his own creation, and then concludes that actually untouched non-Keswick alternatives have been refuted. Scripture employed by Barabas is often misused, and Scripture that refutes the Keswick position is often ignored. One who was actually convinced by the Keswick position would despair of any hope that the Holy Spirit would make him a particle more holy, would cease striving to mortify indwelling sin, would stop seeking to diligently study the Word of God to grow in grace, would cease from watchfulness as a means to avoid sin and become more holy, and would no longer lament the remaining sinfulness of his heart. These positions of Keswick theology are blatently unscriptural and will hinder the sanctification of God’s people if adopted.

Having completed his exceedingly problematic attempt at a refutation of alternative positions on sanctification, Barabas goes on to positively set forth the Keswick method of becoming holy. Keswick considers “sanctification as a process, as a crisis, and as a gift.”[1020] The order places “process” first, because it “is the best understood, and not because it is the first in the order of time,”[1021] for in the Keswick theology any process in sanctification only takes place in a significant way[1022] after the experience of crisis and the receipt of the gift. Over the course of a chapter of twenty pages[1023] on the crisis of consecration, Barabas states that it is “very characteristic of Keswick” and “some of its basic teachin[g]” to affirm that “sanctification is a process beginning with a crisis,”[1024] following the teaching of Hannah and Robert P. Smith and the Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton Conventions.[1025] The “crisis must take place before we really know the process. . . . The process succeeds the crisis.”[1026] The crisis takes place when one makes a “complete personal consecration” to God, “also referred to as dedication and full surrender.”[1027] The crisis has a “positive side . . . surrender or the committal of oneself to Christ and the pledge to be eternally loyal to Him as Lord and Master . . . [and] a negative side[,] . . . [t]o deny self . . . [to] definitely and for ever cho[ose] the will of the Lord Jesus Christ as [one’s] Guide and Director through life, in place of [one’s] own will.”[1028] In fact, “God’s blessing of deliverance from the power of sin is not to be had” until a Christian makes this full surrender,[1029] for “the divine Potter . . . cannot shape the human vessel unless it is committed into His hands and remains unresistingly and quietly there.”[1030] In the Keswick theology, “Consecration is . . . the starting point of the sanctification process,” which is only continued as “the response made to God at consecration is continued.”[1031] The crisis “decision is the inescapable condition of progressive sanctification.”[1032]

            In terms of sanctification as a gift, explicated by Barabas for twenty-one pages,[1033] Keswick teaches that we are “asked . . . to accept holiness by faith in the same way that we accept justification by faith.”[1034] According to “Keswick, we are not sanctified by self-effort or by works, but by faith in what Christ has done for us at Calvary. Sanctification, like justification, is by grace alone.”[1035] Keswick affirms that “if we wish to make any progress in holiness, we have to give up belief in the value of self-effort in holiness. . . . sanctification . . . is not something for which we have to struggle or strive[.] . . . Sanctification is primarily and fundamentally ‘neither an achievement nor a process, but a gift, a divine bestowal of a position in Christ.’”[1036] It is “the heart and essence . . . of Keswick teaching . . . [that] [f]reedom from the dominion of sin is a blessing that we may claim by faith, just as we accept pardon.”[1037] Since believers are “identified with Christ in His death to sin . . . [they] need no longer serve sin,”[1038] although it is supposedly possible for “all Christians . . . [to] be in terrible bondage . . . under the power of sin.”[1039] They “have a legal right to be free,” however, and obtain “[d]eliverance . . . not . . . by struggle and painful effort, by earnest resolutions and self-denial, but . . . by simple faith.”[1040] The “special message . . at Keswick . . . [is that it] is possible to serve sin again, but not necessary, for Christ has freed us.”[1041] This “freedom is only potential . . . [and] Keswick leaders often say that God’s method of sanctification is not suppression or eradication, but counteraction.”[1042] Keswick reproduced the teaching of Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton[1043] to affirm that the sinfulness within the believer “is something fixed and permanent, and will remain in us as long as we live. . . . The principle of counteraction is . . . basic to Keswick teaching.”[1044] The “locus classicus on” the Keswick doctrine of sanctification as gift is “Romans vi.”[1045] As the Holy Spirit counteracts indwelling sin in the Christian, the believer “ceases from his own struggles to live a holy life, and enters the ‘rest of faith’ . . . the secret of perfect and constant victory over temptation.”[1046] Thus, “the heart and core of Keswick teaching is its doctrine of sanctification by faith. . . . The Keswick position,”[1047] which is derived from Hannah W. Smith,[1048] “is that in Scripture sanctification comes by faith, and not in any other way.”[1049] The believer, to be sanctified, must recognize the truth of the Keswick doctrine, “the scriptural method of progressive sanctification,” have “proper faith,” which involves “the believer’s consent to die to every fleshly desire in him,” and then “hand over the fleshly deeds of the body to the Spirit for mortification . . . Romans 8:13 . . . [and] stand in faith in the knowledge that he died to sin in Christ at Calvary. It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to do the rest. Sanctification is thus the result, not of attempts at suppression of the flesh, but of faith in the finished work of Calvary.”[1050]

Sanctification as a process, which is dependent in the Keswick theology upon experiencing the sanctification crisis and receiving of sanctification as a gift, is discussed by Barabas on half a page.[1051] Barabas discusses sanctification as a crisis for over twenty pages, and sanctification as gift for over twenty pages, while he has only a tiny discussion of sanctification as process for one-half of one page. This huge contrast exists because, for Keswick, “Sanctification is primarily and fundamentally ‘neither an achievement nor a process, but a gift[.’]”[1052] Little emphasis is placed upon sanctification as a process because Keswick believes that through the course of the Christian life the “indwelling tendency to sin . . . is as fixed and constant as any of the laws of nature,”[1053] so “purity can become a maintained condition, but never a state,”[1054] the “tendency to evil” being merely “counteracted”[1055] but left entirely unchanged, and “the tendency to sin [being] . . . simply counteracted.”[1056] Victory over sin “is not a question of progressive attainment.”[1057] Little emphasis is placed upon sanctification as a process because there is little or nothing that actually changes within the believer. Keswick believes that it “is astonishing that theologians have not seen this”[1058] theology of counteraction and rejection of actual inward renewal in the Bible.

            While Keswick is correct and commendable in calling believers to surrender themselves completely to God, in its emphasis upon the believer’s union with Christ, and in its affirmation that strength to grow spiritually is derived from the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit, there are serious problems with the Keswick doctrine of sanctification as crisis, gift, and process. First, it is certainly true that when a believer is deliberately allowing and tolerating sin in his life his growth in holiness will be greatly hindered or even reversed. However, it is not true that real steps in sanctification cannot take place before a post-conversion crisis because “God’s blessing of deliverance from the power of sin is not to be had” until such a crisis takes place.[1059] All Christians are delivered from the power of sin. It is not true, as Keswick affirms, that “all Christians . . . [can] be in terrible bondage . . . under the power of sin”[1060] or that, as Hannah W. Smith taught[1061] and Keswick proclaims, Christian “freedom [from sin] is only potential.”[1062] To state that, for Christians, “our individual self is entirely and completely under the power of sin”[1063] is flatly false. Since believers are “not under the law, but under grace,” God promises that “sin shall not have dominion” over them (Romans 6:14). Such freedom is not merely potential, but actual. Romans six does not establish the mere possibility of freedom from sin for the Christian, but establishes that all Christians are indeed free from the bondage of sin, and as a result, they will—not merely may—grow in holiness. The commands to the believer in Romans six to reckon and yield are not based upon a mere possibility of change, but upon the certain promise that grace guarantees that sin “shall not” dominate them. Keswick, adopting the emphasis and Broadlands teaching of Hannah W. Smith,[1064] affirms that death to sin and spiritual life are not in any sense a practical reality until, by an act of reckoning, the Higher Life is entered into—Scripture, on the contrary, commands a believer to reckon himself dead to sin and alive to God because he already is so and is already freed from the dominion of sin and under the reign of grace (Romans 6:11, 14). The power and promises God made in the New Covenant ratified in Christ’s blood secure the certainty of the believer’s sanctification. The Keswick doctrine of a merely potential deliverance from sin for the saint is far too weak.

The Keswick doctrine, adopted from the preaching of Hannah W. Smith at Broadlands,[1065] that “the divine Potter . . . cannot shape the human vessel unless it is committed into His hands and remains unresistingly and quietly there”[1066] is a Higher Life error associated with its crisis, gift, and process model of sanctification. It is also connected with other serious errors about the means of holiness.[1067] Such a view does not properly deal with the fact that God works in the believer both to will and to do (Philippians 2:13)—Biblically, sanctification is intimately tied in with God’s work upon the human will, but Keswick, following the ideas Hannah and Robert P. Smith obtained from medieval Quietism, downgrades the power of God for the sovereignty, libertarian freedom, and autonomy of the human will.[1068] Keswick, following Broadlands, undermines the power of God when it affirms that He “cannot” do a variety of things, including sanctifying His creatures, without their sovereign, uninfluenced and autonomous wills allowing Him to.[1069] Sanctification, and all the other blessings promised by God in the gospel, for the Keswick theology as for Hannah W. Smith and the Broadlands Conference,[1070] are totally inactive until they are switched on by the decision to enter the Higher Life, somewhat as electricity from a power plant is totally inactive in lighting up a room until one flips on the light switch.  Keswick, adopting the Broadlands doctrine of “full surrender,”[1071] affirms that the believer is in bondage to sin until he makes a “complete personal consecration” to God, “also referred to as dedication and full surrender,”[1072] so that he “commit[s] [himself] to Christ and . . . pledge[s] to be eternally loyal to Him as Lord and Master . . . den[ies] self . . . [and] definitely and for ever choos[es] the will of the Lord Jesus Christ as [his] Guide and Director through life, in place of [his] own will.”[1073] But how, if the believer is in bondage to sin until he makes this decision, could such a surrender ever take place? Is not the Christian’s pledge of eternal loyalty to Christ as Lord, denial of self, and a choice in the will of the Son of God as Guide and Director, rather a result of freedom from the bondage of sin than a prerequisite to obtain it? Must a will in bondage to sin free itself by its own power before God steps in to do anything, or, on the contrary, must not God free the will first before it is able to be consecrated to God? Ironically, while Keswick theology criticizes the idea that “sanctification is . . . to be gained through our own personal efforts,”[1074] it requires incredible personal effort—indeed, personal effort that is utterly impossible for a will in bondage to sin, as Keswick claims the believer’s will is until he enters the Higher Life—to make the surrender Keswick claims is the prerequisite to God beginning any good work within the saint at all.

The problem in the Keswick doctrine of full surrender as a prerequisite to sanctification is connected to the fact that the Keswick argument against literal perfectionism is untenable and contradictory given its own theological premises. Keswick affirms that one must absolutely surrender before sanctification can truly begin; that through an act of total surrender and of faith in Christ for deliverance, one enters into a state where one is free from all known sin; and that a Christian’s ability to obey (by grace) and his obligation are coextensive. However, Keswick’s majority deny literal sinless perfection because, although “from the side of God’s grace and gift, all is perfect, [yet] from the human side, because of the effects of the Fall, there will be imperfect receptivity, and therefore imperfect holiness, to the end of life.”[1075] The exact nature of this “imperfect receptivity” is not defined, but since the Keswick theology defines man’s role in sanctification as surrender and faith, the imperfect receptivity must signify either imperfect surrender or imperfect faith. If absolute surrender truly is required before God’s grace even begins to effectively work in sanctifying the believer, then a Keswick affirmation that the Fall precludes a truly absolute surrender would mean that sanctification can never really begin at all. If an imperfect faith and surrender allows the believer to move through progressive degrees of battle with sin to progressive degrees of spiritual victory, so that the more perfect the believer’s surrender is, the more victory over sin and spiritual strength the believer possesses, then the Keswick doctrine that believers instantly flip-flop from a state of spiritual defeat, carnality, and domination by sin to one of total victory by means of the sanctification crisis is replaced with something closer to the classic doctrine of sanctification, for victory over sin and surrender to the Lord become progressive.[1076] Furthermore, if the believer’s ability is truly equal to his obligation, then God’s “perfect . . . grace and gift” would give him truly perfect ability, and there would be no reason why literal sinless perfection would be impossible for the Christian. After all, “God’s requirements cannot be greater than his enablements”[1077]—so since God gives perfect grace, and the gift of “holiness [that He] requires of His creatures . . . He first provides,”[1078] the literal perfection of God’s grace necessarily requires that the Christian can be literally sinless. While one can be happy that most advocates of the Keswick theology do not believe in the literal perfectionism inherent in their theological position, nonetheless Keswick opposition to absolute perfectionism is contradictory and incoherent.[1079]

Furthermore, when Keswick affirms, following the Pearsall Smiths and the Broadlands Conference,[1080] that the believer’s sole responsibility in sanctification is to lie “quietly” in the Potter’s hands, to “give up belief in . . . struggl[ing] or striv[ing]”[1081] and cease from “struggle and painful effort . . . earnest resolutions and self-denial,”[1082] it teaches an unbiblical Quietism,[1083] exemplified in the Victorious Life motto, “Let go and let God.”[1084] Barabas alleges that “Keswick is very careful to point out that its doctrine of sanctification by faith is not Quietism,” quoting “Bishop Handley Moule”[1085] to support this alleged opposition to Quietism by Keswick. However, Barabas either overlooks or misrepresents[1086] the fact that Moule himself, who Barabas affirms was the greatest scholar to ever adopt the Keswick theology,[1087] wrote that the believer’s part in the Keswick model of sanctification is “a blessed and wakeful Quietism,” so that “Quietism . . . express[es] one side of [the] truth” in sanctification.[1088] The explicit endorsement of a form of Quietism by Keswick leaders was simply a continuation of the teaching of Lord Mount Temple,[1089] reproduced at the Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton conferences, where “Quietism . . . was taught . . . in the sense of [the poem], ‘Sweet to lie passive in His hands/And know no will but His.’”[1090] In sanctification, the believer is “simply to . . . lie passive.”[1091] Passivity is of the highest importance: “[I]n the disciple’s life, the . . . first quality of a true instrument is passivity. An active instrument would defeat its own purpose . . . and then it not only becomes useless, but it works damage and disaster. . . . [I]n the Word of God, we meet so frequently the symbols of passive service.”[1092] Hannah and Robert Smith sought to bring others into a life of carefree and quietistic happiness, since the Higher Life was “an easy life of rest and ease . . . without effort,” indeed, “the only easy life.”[1093] Unfortunately, when Moule and other Keswick writers followed the Smiths and warned of “letting the self-life intrude itself into the work of God,”[1094] they were not warning only of the danger of fallen, sinful volitions in man, or of making one’s own self rather than the glory of God one’s goal. Rather, they were teaching the quietistic doctrine that the human personality itself needed, in unbiblical ways, to be passive, as Hannah W. Smith taught when she opposed the “self-life” in favor of the Quietism of Quakerism and Roman Catholic mysticism, or when Lord Mount-Temple and others exhorted at Broadlands, “Let us give up the self-life” for the Higher Life flowing from the Divine Seed within.[1095] Not sin—including the sin of selfishness—but “self,” the active human personality, was the problem for Keswick. Thus, Bishop Moule, the man Keswick recognizes as its most scholarly advocate, consciously and deliberately labeled the Keswick theology he loved and defended a form of Quietism, a fact supported by other Keswick writers such as Andrew Murray and Jessie Penn-Lewis.[1096] The plain historical facts indicate, contrary to the revisionistic history set forth by Barabas, that “the Quietists and other Catholic mystics [were] widely accepted as part of the true holiness movement.”[1097] Thus, classic statements of the Keswick theology by its proponents affirm: “The Keswick message . . . [is] ‘quietism.’”[1098] According to Keswick, by a cessation from effort, the believer can pass from the state where the “Lord [is] unused” to one where he can “use the Lord”[1099] to become sanctified. The secret of victory and sanctification by faith alone was that “we had nothing to do but remain quiet, and the Lord would do everything for us.”[1100] Keswick, following Hannah W. and Robert P. Smith and the Broadlands Conferences,[1101] affirms that one is to “hand over the fleshly deeds of the body to the Spirit for mortification . . . Romans 8:13 . . . [and] stand in faith[.] . . . It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to do the rest. Sanctification is thus the result, not of attempts at suppression of the flesh, but of faith in the finished work of Calvary.”[1102] In contrast to Keswick, the Bible says that the believer is himself to actively “mortify the deeds of the body . . . through the Spirit” (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5), not refuse to mortify them but hand them over to the Spirit. Keswick teaches that the Christian is not to try to suppress the flesh, but Scripture commands him not merely to suppress his ethically sinful flesh, but to go far beyond that, and put it to death. The Biblical relationship between faith and effort in sanctification, which has already been explicated,[1103] is dramatically different from the Quietism inherent within the Keswick theology. Scripture denies passivity and Quietism in sanctification, and thus denies Keswick theology.[1104]

Keswick unbiblically depreciates the importance of sanctification as a process, as progressive growth. This fact is evident in direct statements such as that, for Keswick, “[s]anctification is primarily and fundamentally . . . no[t] a process”[1105] and that the “conventional threefold division” which considers sanctification as positional, progressive,[1106] and ultimate is not characteristic of Keswick in the way the crisis, gift, process division is.[1107] This neglect of progressive sanctification also evidences itself in that Barabas spends only half a page on this aspect of the doctrine, while he spends forty pages describing sanctification as a crisis and a gift—progressive sanctification gets 1.25% the treatment that the other aspects receive in Keswick. Indeed, considering the entire scope of Barabas’s discussion of “God’s Provision For Sin” and “Consecration,” where the Keswick doctrine of sanctification as crisis, gift, and process is explicated and contrasted with the views he deems erroneous, the discussion of progressive sanctification receives attention only 0.75% of the time.[1108] This vast underemphasis stands in stark contrast to the tremendous amount of Biblical material dealing with progress in sanctification.

What Barabas writes in his half-page on progressive sanctification is, however, sound; although it is not properly prominent, nonetheless Keswick is said to accept the classical doctrine that “experimental sanctification is the day-by-day transformation of the believer into the image of Christ, and is progressive in nature. Beginning at regeneration, it continues all through life, but is never complete.”[1109] Barabas indicates his dependence in his discussion of progressive sanctification upon the exposition of The Law of Liberty in the Spiritual Life by Evan Hopkins.[1110] Hopkins learned the Higher Life theology from William Boardman and Mr. and Mrs. Pearsall Smith[1111] and was brought to adopt Keswick theology after looking at the placid face of one who had received it,[1112] having sat at the feet of the Smiths and Mr. Boardman from the time of the first spiritualist-hosted Broadlands Conference onwards[1113] even to the last one.[1114] He “was for years the acknowledged leader of the Keswick teaching” and “the theologian of the movement. . . . He spoke at the first Keswick Convention, and appeared at Keswick as a leader for thirty-nine years without a break. No one was regarded with greater respect there than he.”[1115] While Hopkins was deeply influenced by the heretics surrounding him at Keswick and Broadlands, what he states in the section of his book on which Barabas depends[1116] is as Scriptural[1117] as what Barabas derives from him. Hopkins even admirably affirms, quoting another writer, that in sanctification “the whole aspect of human nature is transformed.”[1118] Barabas claims Keswick acknowledges that the process aspect of sanctification includes “a soul that is continually increasing in the knowledge of God, and abounding in fruits of righteousness . . . [and] continued progress in the development of Christ-like character.”[1119] Such an affirmation is certainly Biblical.

What is unusual about such affirmations by the Keswick advocate is that they sound remarkably like the statement by Warfield that the “Holy Spirit . . . cures our sinning precisely by curing our sinful nature; He makes the tree good that the fruit may be good,”[1120] yet Barabas inveighs against the doctrine of Warfield as an unscriptural position that Keswick opposes. If there is no real difference between the doctrine of Keswick and that of Warfield, Barabas’s attack on Warfield is, at this point, inexplicable and unjustifiable; if there is a difference, Barabas does not make its character clear at all. It would have been of great value to see Barabas attempt to reconcile the classical model of sanctification as positional, progressive, and ultimate and the “more characteristic” division of sanctification by Keswick as process, crisis, and gift. Had he successfully done so, one could not claim that such a reconciliation is impossible. Unfortunately, Barabas simply asserts that Keswick accepts, although it deemphasizes, the classic model alongside of its usual and characteristic process, crisis, and gift model, without the slightest explanation of how the two apparently strongly divergent positions can both be true. The palpable contradictions between the two models are ignored, probably because the “Convention is not interested in academic discussions of theology or ethics, or even adding to the store of Bible knowledge of those who attend”[1121] and “Keswick furnishes us with . . . no carefully prepared, weighty discourses of a theological nature.”[1122] Since the classic position that sanctification involves the progressive transformation of the believer into the image of Christ appears to directly contradict the Keswick position that God the Holy Ghost does not make the Christian himself more inwardly holy and less sinful, Keswick’s affirmations that “purity [is] never a state,”[1123] and that “holiness does not consist in a state of purity”[1124] seem utterly irreconcilable with the classic doctrine of progressive sanctification it claims to uphold.[1125] Keswick’s affirmation of both its characteristic crisis, gift, and process model and the classic doctrine of progressive sanctification appears unintelligible.

Illuminating further the tension between the Keswick attempt to affirm both its standard model of sanctification and classical orthodoxy, Barabas states: “Much is made by Keswick of sanctification as a crisis. It is true, Keswick says, that sanctification invariably begins at regeneration. There can be no question about this. On the other hand, many Christians do not make the progress in sanctification that they should. . . . For this reason real progress is often not made until they come to a spiritual crisis.”[1126] The affirmation that sanctification invariably begins at regeneration is certainly Scriptural—the affirmation that many Christians do not grow as much as they should could only be improved by affirming that no Christian grows as much as he really ought to. Keswick is to be applauded for affirming with the Scriptures and historic Baptist doctrine that sanctification begins with regeneration, but the nature of this pre-crisis sanctification is difficult to determine on characteristic Keswick theological presuppositions. Furthermore, if only “often” does “real progress” fail to take place without a crisis, then sometimes “real progress” does take place without a crisis. If Barabas means what he says, then Keswick concedes that sanctification always begins at justification and that believers can grow in a great way without ever having a post-conversion crisis experience of the sort that the Convention emphasizes. What, then, becomes of the Keswick criticism that those who affirm that sanctification is certain for all the regenerate, and no Keswick crisis is required, are teaching that growth is “automatic”?[1127] How can Keswick unite this concession to the clear teaching of the Bible with its typical doctrine that “sanctification is a process beginning with a crisis”?[1128] How can sanctification both begin at regeneration, and yet not begin until after regeneration one experiences a crisis? The tension between these positions is palpable in Barabas’s successive quotations from Hopkins and Andrew Murray. Hopkins affirmed: “No one . . . can be really trusting Christ to save him from the penalty of sin who is not as sincerely desiring to be saved from its power. . . . The essence of conversion is the turning away from sin unto God. The soul that truly receives forgiveness is set also upon holiness.” Murray stated: “[V]ery many Christians at conversion . . . never think of saying that they are no more going to have their own will . . . there is real need [therefore, after conversion], to put one’s whole life under the management of Jesus.”[1129] Barabas states later that “so many . . . Christians . . . have never faced a crisis in their lives—a crisis involving who will be the master of their lives: they themselves, or Christ,”[1130] and that “not many . . . Christians . . . know what is meant by [Christ’s] lordship over their lives.”[1131] How can someone turn from sin, sincerely desiring to be saved from its power, and become set upon holiness (Hopkins) without even thinking about not having his own will, without putting his life under the management of Christ, and without deciding who will be the master of his life (Murray)? Is this another instance where Keswick’s lack of “carefully prepared, weighty discourses of a theological nature”[1132] places its system in at least apparent contradiction, so that a demonstration of how such affirmations can be reconciled is required, but lacking?   Or is the fact of the matter rather that the Keswick theology is truly contradictory,[1133] caught between the teaching of Scripture that all who are justified are also changed and the development of its system from its historical roots in the Broadlands Conference and in Higher Life ideas that water down the power of regeneration to exalt a post-conversion crisis at which alone sanctification is initiated? The Keswick doctrine of sanctification as process is both greatly underemphasized and is unintelligible.[1134]

Keswick theology rightly exalts the Lord Jesus Christ, His power to sanctify sinners, and the necessity of faith in the Christian life. Its call to immediate surrender to God and the renunciation of sin are Scriptural, as are its emphasis upon union with Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and evangelism. However, while these aspects of the Keswick theology are Biblical, refreshing, and key to an increase in spiritual life, they are not unique to Keswick, as vast numbers of Christians who reject Keswick theology embrace them also. On the other hand, the problems in the Keswick theology are severe. Because of its corrupt roots, Keswick errs seriously in its ecumenical tendencies, theological shallowness or even incomprehensibility, neglect of the role of the Word of God in sanctification, shallow views of sin and perfectionism, support of some tenants of Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism, improper divorce of justification and sanctification, confusion about the nature of saving repentance, denial that God’s sanctifying grace always frees Christians from bondage to sin and changes them, failure to warn strongly about the possibility of those who are professedly Christians being unregenerate, support for an unbiblical pneumatology, belief in the continuation of the sign gifts, maintainance of significant exegetical errors, distortion of the positions and critiques of opponents of the errors of Keswick, misrepresention of the nature of faith in sanctification, support for a kind of Quietism, and denial that God actually renews the nature of the believer to make him more personally holy. Keswick theology differs in important ways from the Biblical doctrine of sanctification. It should be rejected.

Applications from the Analysis and Critique of Keswick Theology

            The believer who trembles at the Word of the Lord can learn much from the examination and critique of Keswick theology. First, since charity rejoiceth in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6), he can greatly delight in the blessed truths retained by the Keswick Convention from the older orthodoxy. Does Keswick seek to exalt Christ? Hallelujah! Does not the heart of the upright child of God cry, “Oh that the Lord Jesus would be exalted the more—in my own life, in my congregation, in my city, in my country, and in the world!” Does not such a one long for the day when every knee shall bow before Him, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father? Jesus Christ cannot be too highly exalted, and the feebleness the Christian recognizes in his own exaltation and glorying in Christ is exceedingly grievous to him. Does he not look with expectant joy for the time when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea, and his own heart will be free from indwelling sin forever? “Come, come Lord Jesus!” is the upright’s cry.

            Furthermore, the blessed fact that Jesus Christ is full of truth and grace—that He is an overflowing treasury of grace who fills His dear redeemed and upright ones with the communicable Divine attributes by His Spirit, based on His purchase of them at infinite cost, is an unspeakable consolation. The Lord’s purchased people marvel at their Father’s infinite power, exerted on their behalf to sanctify them. They rightly renounce all self-confidence, self-dependence, and self-righteousness, to wait in an active faith upon their God in Christ, and upon Him only. He alone must receive all the glory for their sanctification, for it is only His power that can affect that supernatural transformation from glory to glory into the image of their Head, Christ Jesus. To whatever extent the Keswick theology has led believers to such spiritual motions, to that extent they can thank God for the truth within its Higher Life system. If Keswick preaching has led them from backsliding to being right with God—if it has led them to the immediate renunciation of sin—if it has led them to renounce all self-dependence—if it has led them to greater communion with the Holy Spirit—if it has brought them to greater fervency in prayer—if it has led them to proclaim the sweet name of Jesus Christ with greater passion, so that the world is more filled with the savor of His name than it would have been otherwise—can any not rejoice at these things and praise the Lord?

            Indeed, those precious elements of truth emphasized at Keswick are what make the Convention’s system appealing to the Christian heart. Reader, do not by any means turn away from these blessed truths because your renewed mind cannot bear any longer the corruptions and errors mixed with them at Keswick. Some critique Keswick because of a fervent zeal for the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, rejoicing in the truths affirmed by Keswick but deploring its errors. Others critique Keswick because they have no zeal for the truth and use the corruptions of the Keswick theology as an excuse to live a life of carnal self-pleasing. Do you reject the errors of the Keswick theology? You do well—but the devil knows that Keswick errors are false also, and such knowledge does not make Satan a whit more holy. Are you, in your opposition to Keswick errors, yet carnal, worldy, selfish, self-dependent, faithless, non-evangelistic, false-worshipping, careless, cold, and unspiritual? Then you are a vile hypocrite, and you need to get right with God. Now. Do not use the mote in your Keswick brother’s eye as an excuse to smack people on the head with the two-by-four protruding from your own. Do not think you please the Lord if you yourself downplay God’s white-hot holiness, diminish the immense loathsomeness of sin—of all sin, even the least—shrink from making pointed and specific application of Scripture to your life and the lives of those you are responsible to guide, dabble with pelagian or humanistic ideas, live by sight instead of by faith, and are openly and rebelliously ecumenical or are merely softly separatistic, happy to coexist with the Amalekites instead of putting them all under the ban and hewing Agag in pieces. Indeed, consider the warning of the Lord Jesus to the doctrinally sound church at Ephesus:

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (Revelation 2:2-5)

You do well to labor and work for God, and you do well to expose false apostles, such as those who originated the Keswick theology—but have you left your first love? Woe to you! Without love for Christ, all your works profit you nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Or are you even worse, so that you do not even labor with patience, expose false apostles, and serve the Lord without fainting? Will you then presume to take the Lord’s statutes into your mouth, criticize Keswick, and speak about spiritual things, when you are a weak and worldly compromiser and a desperately backslidden and wicked sinner? It is not enough to reject pseudo-spirituality—you must have a genuine and living Christian piety. Do not think that the Lord will be pleased with you if you reject, or fail to live, the truths affirmed at the Keswick Convention because of the errors also propogated there. Embrace and passionately love the truth, all of it, for the sake of He who is Truth Himself, and despise and passionately hate error, all of it, for the sake of Him who is Truth Himself.

            Recognize that the ineffably precious gospel of Christ is a priceless jewel filled with beauties that the angels desire to look into (1 Peter 1:12). Consequently, all aspects of the gospel, in all its revealed fulness as the mind of Christ revealed to us in the Scripture, must be treasured and defended at all costs. You cannot be too precise with the gospel. Consequently, every one of the many errors and corruptions of the redeeming and sanctifying gospel propogated at Keswick must be absolutely and uncompromisingly rejected. Reject Keswick’s Pelagianism. Reject Keswick’s divorce of justification and sanctification. Reject Keswick’s confusion on saving repentance, saving faith, and true conversion. Reject Keswick’s practice of giving Christian assurance to the unregenerate and making them into two-fold children of hell. Reject Keswick’s ecumenical embrace of wolves who devour God’s flock. Reject Keswick’s weakness on the efficacy of sanctifying grace, its shallow and often incomprehensible or contradictory theology, its corruption of the revealed truths about the work of the glorious Holy Ghost, its perfectionism, its eudemonism, its Quietism, its neglect of the role of the Word in sanctification, its Spirit-grieving and Bible-twisting experiential hermeneutic, and its denial of the mortifying and vivifying work of God the Spirit in progressively eradicating indwelling sin. Purge all the unbiblical influence of Keswick from your mind, and cast out any affection for Keswick theology from your heart. Keswick’s false teachings are vile trash. Let them stink in the garbage bin and no longer corrupt the savor of Christ in the temple of the living God, whether the individual temple of the believer or the corporate temple of the congregation of Christ. We are not talking about the ideas of men, but the truths of God, the rejection of which constitutes sin for which the Lord Jesus had to shed His blood. Reject the Keswick theology for the Biblical and historic Baptist doctrine of sanctification.

            The sufficiency of Scripture, and the abundance of Christian literature presenting truth on sanctification that is free from Keswick influence and error, makes it entirely unnecessary for believers to read or recommend Keswick authors. Keswick ideas should be purged from the heads of Christian preachers. Keswick theology should be purged from the seminaries, Bible colleges, Bible institutes, and all other teaching institutions of the churches—and all such teaching institutions ought themselves to be ministries of particular churches (1 Timothy 3:15). Keswick books should be purged from Christian bookstores, as the massive and easy-to-read devotional literature of Keswick has been wildly successful in propogating Keswick spirituality. Hymns propogating Keswick theology should be recognized and dealt with appropriately. Keswick advocates of the past and present should be warned about, not set up as models of Biblical piety. Your soul, and the souls of those whom you influence spiritually, can be filled with a deep longing for revival, a zeal for evangelism and missions, a confidence in the power of the Holy Ghost, and, most of all, a love for Jesus Christ and His Father, with a resultant passion for holiness, without filling your head and the heads of others with Keswick theology. Pray and preach against the Keswick theology, that it may be abolished from the earth and be found only in the eternal dwelling place of the gospel-rejectors who hatched it.

            Learn, by the example of the unhappy worldwide spread of the Keswick theology, the unmistakable fact that “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9). Keswick theology has profoundly influenced world-wide Christiandom and corrupted the doctrine of sanctification confessed by countless churches of Christ, because of a failure to mark, reprove, and separate from unrepentant advocates of Keswick errors. Whether deliberately or in ignorance, Barabas’s sugar-coating of the deadly poison propagated by the wolves that originated the Keswick theology is inexcusable. Do not follow his example. Carelessness by God’s pastors in protecting their flocks, and preachers’ unthinking appropriation and propogation of unbiblical ideas wrapped in the tinsel of high-sounding testimonies, have contributed tremendously to the spread of Keswick. Many sincere preachers have unknowingly adopted, are proclaiming, and are imparting Keswick ideas to the next generation of church leaders, because such ideas were passed on to them by their ministrial forefathers. Now is the time to end this cycle of ignorance and error. Exercise great discernment as you hear the preaching of others. It is proper to exercise Biblical judgment when you hear the Word brought forth (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:29). Furthermore, if Biblical passages on separation would be violated by attendance at a meeting, fellowship with some person, or in any other way whatsoever, follow Scripture and remain separate. It does not matter if the speakers you will not hear are dynamic. It does not matter if it appears (in the short term, which is all that finite men can effectively gage) that great results arise from their work. The unscriptural work of Mr. and Mrs. Smith seemed to have glorious results in the short term; but in the long term the doctrine of sanctification in countless churches has been corrupted, hindering the holiness of vast numbers of God’s people. Furthermore, entirely new heresies have arisen in Christiandom, in large part because of the Smith family’s continuationism. Ecumenicalism—and all other disobedience to Scripture—is never the right course, and never, in truth and in the long term, the most effective or even pragmatically the best course. However, the world, the flesh, and the devil can make tremendous harm seem beneficial by pointing to the short-term benefits and pleasures of sin. Oh man of God, have you failed to protect the people over whom the Holy Ghost has made you an overseer from unscriptural Higher Life theology, either by its promotion, its toleration, or by communion with its unrepentant propagators? Today is the day to repent and to determine, by God’s grace, that you will no longer dishonor your Lord by such carelessness, but will allow only the uncorrupted truth on sanctification to be taught to the flock of God.

            Recognize that the simple fact that someone is non-Keswick in his theology of sanctification does not mean that his teaching is automatically reliable. In addition to the errors on sanctification of non-Keswick perfectionisms, whether Roman Catholic, Quaker, Wesleyan, or Pentecostal, be on guard against the errors of Reformed, non-Baptist theology propogated by Puritanism. Do not move from accepting everything that Hannah Whitall Smith believed to accepting everything that John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, B. B. Warfield, or J. I. Packer believed simply because their writings obliterate the errors of Keswick. Follow Scripture alone, and find refuge in the protection offered by the pastors and teachers of the sound, separated, historic Baptist church of which you are—or ought to be—a member. The church is the place of the corporate manifestation on earth of the wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10). How important it is to carefully exegete Scripture in the context of a true church, where the special presence and blessing of the Lord and the protection of church leadership is found!

            Rather than hoping that you will come to a point where you will be satisfied with your spiritual progress, recognize that the more Christ-like the Spirit makes you, the more dissatisfied with your indwelling sin and your remaining unlikeness to God you will become, and the more you will be dissatisfied with your spiritual progress. Satisfaction with your spiritual state is not a sign of superior holiness or of the entrance into a Higher Life but of severe spiritual myopia. God punishes those that are at ease and settled on their lees (Jeremiah 48:11; Zephaniah 1:12). Do not seek for satisfaction in your spiritual attainments but for speedier progress in mortification and vivification, while finding sweet consolation and refreshment in communion with Jesus Christ. Very frequently people turn to Keswick theology—and other errors and false teachings—because they have not themselves truly tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord in their Christian experience. He who genuinely walks with God will see the shallow and trite writings of a Hannah Whitall Smith for what they truly are.   Do not look within for happiness through ease and quietistic rest, but look to Jesus for blessedness and true joy and run the quicker and with the greater endurance the race that it set before you. Reject the Keswick siren-song and false promise of perfect, undisturbed, perpetual, and carefree happiness, peace, and rest before heaven. Yes, God calls you to “rejoice evermore” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) and wishes you to pray and cast your burdens on Him instead of being full of care, so that you can experientially know “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7; cf. Isaiah 26:3-4). Nonetheless, indwelling sin will always be lusting against the Spirit as long as you are in this body of death. Greater fellowship with the Triune God in Christ, greater degrees of His grace, greater experience of His transforming power, and deeper eyeing of His beauty and glory, are intimately conjoined with greater self-abhorrence and deeper repentance over sins of commission, omission, and of the pervasive corruption engendered by the sin of your nature itself. Embrace and seek for, rather than rejecting, the “negative” side of Christian spirituality, for it is the necessary adjunct of the positive side. The lower down you fall in humility before the Lord, the higher He will lift you up—and the higher He lifts you up, the more dissatisfied you will be with what you yet lack, and the deeper down you will abase yourself in shame.

            Finally, recognize that, while the battle will be prolonged, as a child of the living God, you are on the winning side. Glorious growth in Christlikeness is possible for you now, and perfect conformity to your Lord’s perfect standard is your coming and certain blessedness. Enabled by the Spirit’s grace, and trusting in Christ alone, strive mightily against and mortify your indwelling sin and all its manifestations. Diligently use the means God has appointed for your growth in grace. Read, study, meditate on, talk of, hear the exposition of, and practice the Word. Remember and hate the remaining coldness of your heart. Be watchful, pray, and eye Christ in faith and love, relying on His Spirit to transform you. Rejoice that your loving Father has decreed that your progressive sanctification, while not automatic, is certain, and fight the harder, recognizing that you are indeed judicially dead to sin, and that He who works in you both to will and do of His good pleasure will continue His good work in you until the day of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!

Excursus XII: Do Keswick Critics Routinely Misrepresent Keswick Theology?

The contradictory nature and unintelligibility of the Higher Life position[1135] explains why defenders of Keswick can complain that its critics employ “inaccuracy” and “major misrepresentation” when discussing the movement.[1136] Unlike Scripture, which is the non-contradictory and clear revelation from God about how to live a holy life for His glory, the contradictions, shallow understanding of theology, and ecumenical confusion evident at Keswick produced the following self-assessment by Keswick leaders:

Defining the fine points of Keswick teaching is not a simple exercise, for there has never been in its history an agreed system of the particular truths it has purported to proclaim. A supposed Keswick view on something may depend on who is speaking at the time. When it is stated fairly emphatically that “Keswick teaches such and such,” as has often been done, it is usually possible to find teaching from the Keswick platform that has given a different slant, an alternative interpretation, or a completely contradictory one altogether. . . . Critiquing “Keswick teaching” is a little like trying to hit a moving target, or getting hold of a piece of soap in the bath. . . . It is important to keep in mind the . . . sharply different views of different speakers. . . . [M]any phases of the doctrine of holiness have been presented by a wide variety of speakers, some of them contradictory. . . . Baptists, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Brethren, Reformed, charismatics, and those of other persuasions can stand shoulder to shoulder [at Keswick.] . . . Any attempt, therefore, to survey the preaching at Keswick and create a systematic picture . . . is bound to be unsatisfactory.[1137]

Rather than following the Biblical model and allowing no other doctrine than the truth (1 Timothy 1:3), separating from all error (Romans 16:17), and earnestly contending for all of the faith (Jude 3), Keswick will allow speakers to contradict each other and mislead their hearers with false teaching. Keswick critics are then accused of misrepresentation when they point out heresies and errors in Keswick writers and speakers. In a similar manner, separatists who point out that goddess worship goes on at the World Council of Churches can be accused of misrepresentation by ecumenists, since only some, but not all, those at the World Council worship goddesses. Thus, certain Keswick critics may represent Keswick inconsistently because Keswick is not itself consistent—inconsistency in representations of Keswick may, ironically, be the only consistent representation of the movement. Of course, a critic of Keswick certainly may fail to present its position fairly, just as critics of any position are not universally fair and accurate. However, a statement by a critic of the Higher Life such as Bruce Waltke that “the Keswick teaching [affirms] that from the inner passivity of looking to Christ to do everything will issue a perfection of performance”[1138] is an accurate statement of the dominant classical formulations of Keswick theology as taught by its founding leaders, not a misrepresentation. There is no evidence that critics of Keswick are more liable to engage in misrepresentation than others engaged in theological critique.

            J. Robertson McQuilkin, arguing for the Keswick doctrine of sanctification in Five Views of Sanctification, wrote: “Two authors who attack the [Keswick] movement and are universally held by Keswick speakers to have misunderstood the teaching [are] Packer [in his] Keep in Step With the Spirit [and] Warfield [in his] Studies in Perfectionism.”[1139] The only evidence McQuilkin advances that Warfield misunderstood the Keswick theology is an anecdote. McQuilkin recounts:

[M]y father, Robert C. McQuilkin, a leader in the movement known as the Victorious Life Testimony, told me that when [Warfield’s Studies in Perfectionsim] was published, he went to Warfield and discussed the matter of Keswick teaching and perfectionism at length. Afterward Warfield admitted, “If I had known these things, I would not have included the last chapter [“The Victorious Life”] in my work.”[1140]

J. R. McQuilkin provides no actual instances of misunderstanding of the Keswick theology, misquotations of Keswick writers, or any other kind of hard evidence of misrepresentation by Warfield. Such hard evidence is very difficult to come by since more objective historiography describes Warfield’s Studies in Perfectionism as “meticulous and precise . . . extensive and detailed analysis . . . [of] the higher life, victorious life, and Keswick movements. Warfield’s treatment of these teachings . . . serves as a vivid sample of his thoroughness as a historical theologian.”[1141] Recording in 1987 in his Five Views chapter what McQuilkin claims his father told him Warfield had said in the early 1930s, long after the parties who allegedly engaged in the conversation were dead, is hardly actual evidence of misrepresentation, especially since both McQuilkins have a clear and strong interest in undermining the credibility of Warfield. Furthermore, J. R. McQuilkin has overlooked the overwhelming historical problems that make it certain that his anecdote is inaccurate. David Turner notes: “Something is amiss here, since Warfield’s . . . will provided for the publication of his critical reviews in book form, which occurred in 1932. Thus Warfield . . . could not have referred to retracting this last chapter of his book—he had been dead eleven years when it was published.”[1142] Similarly, Warfield scholar Fred G. Zaspel indicates:

Interesting as this [quote by McQuilkin] may be, the quote cannot be accurate. First, Warfield never saw the publication of his book Studies in Perfectionism. This two-volume work is a collection of essays that were originally published in various theological journals from 1918 to 1921, the last of which was published posthumously (1921); the two-volume work to which McQuilkin refers was not published until 1931-1932, some ten or eleven years after Warfield’s death. Second, the “last chapter” of the book to which this McQuilkin quote refers is the chapter on the higher life, which was in fact not the last but the very first article of the series published (1918). As to the accuracy of the substance of the remark . . . [w]e only know that while Warfield continued to write on the broader subject of holiness-perfectionism, he made no retractions.[1143]

Unless a Keswick continuationist raised Warfield from the dead so that he could recant of his critique of the Higher Life, McQuilkin’s quote concerning Warfield is historically impossible mythmaking. McQuilkin does not even provide hearsay to support his statement about Packer’s alleged misrepresentation. Perhaps these severe problems with McQuilkin’s affirmation explain why he affirms that Packer and Warfield are “universally held by Keswick speakers to have misunderstood the teaching”—Keswick writers might have to provide actual evidence, while speakers can simply make undocumented and inaccurate statements. Then again, McQuilkin does not just speak his attempt to discredit Warfield and Packer—he does register his charge in writing. While McQuilkin did actually write down the alleged but mythological recantation by Warfield, the Keswick apologist did not put his quotation in the main body of his chapter in the Five Views book, but in a concluding section, with the result that the other non-Keswick contributors were unable to point out the problems with and the vacuity of his affirmation. If one wishes to prove that Keswick has been misunderstood and misrepresented, mythmaking about Warfield and a passive voice verb, that Warfield and Packer “are universally held” to have misunderstood the system, fall abysmally short of the standard of real evidence.

Keswick apologists Price & Randall, discussing J. C. Ryle and J. I. Packer’s critiques of Keswick, join McQuilkin in bringing the standard charge of misrepresentation of Keswick.[1144] Again, no actual documentation of misrepresentation is forthcoming. Packer, for instance, is criticized for “misunderstand[ing]”[1145] Stephen Barabas’s Keswick work, So Great Salvation, when Packer simply quoted Barabas’s own words without any distortion whatever. Keswick authors have had a century[1146] to put in print actual evidence of Warfield or other Keswick critics misquoting Keswick authors or otherwise engaging in misrepresentation, manipulation, or misunderstanding. They have provided no proof of this kind. The hard facts indicate that the prominent Keswick critics Warfield, Packer, and Ryle understood Keswick theology very well.

            Shortly after Warfield published his critique of the Higher Life, Keswick, and Victorious Life movements in the Princeton Review, W. H. Griffith Thomas wrote two articles in the Bibliotheca Sacra as a response to Warfield’s critique of the Victorious Life.[1147] Thomas affirmed that advocates of the Keswick theology “do not believe Dr. Warfield’s interpretation of their position is always and necessarily the true one,”[1148] possibly originating the common affirmation by later advocates of the Keswick theology that Warfield misrepresented the Higher Life doctrine. Thomas made “[n]o attempt . . . to deal with every contention, but only an effort to consider the more outstanding of [Warfield’s] criticisms.”[1149] Griffith Thomas makes some striking and eye-opening statements in his response to Warfield, such as: “I am convinced that Dr. Warfield has failed to recognize the element of truth, even in what he calls Pelagianism,”[1150] and: “‘Keswick’ stands for perfectionism. I have heard that scores of times, and so have you—and it does.”[1151] Modern Keswick apologists who charge critics with misrepresentation for associating Keswick with perfectionism need to similarly affirm that early defenders and promulgators of Keswick theology like Griffith Thomas also were guilty of misrepresentation. Not only early critics of Keswick, such as Warfield, but also early defenders, such as Griffith Thomas, must have failed to see Keswick’s opposition to perfectionism—only modern Keswick apologists have apparently discerned the truth invisible to those living far closer to the time the Higher Life system originated.

While making striking concessions to Warfield, Griffith Thomas also seeks to moderate Keswick errors, sometimes through a certain historical revisionism. For example, he wrote: “[H]ow free Mr. Pearsall Smith really was from the errors attributed by some people to him[!]”[1152] Griffith Thomas’s revisionism leads him, at times, to affirm positions directly contrary to those of central leaders of the Higher Life and Victorious Life movement whom Warfield critiques. Nonetheless, one can be thankful for whatever Scriptural affirmations Griffith Thomas makes, even if they contradict the actual affirmations of Keswick founders and promulgators.

Thomas makes a variety of criticisms of Warfield’s affirmations,[1153] a few of which are valid,[1154] but many of which are not themselves especially accurate. Thomas criticizes Warfield’s affirmation that the Keswick theology denies the possibility of actually becoming more sanctified or holy, but then strongly affirms that “there is no present . . . deliverance from corruption . . . . [no] essential difference between the youngest and the oldest Christian in regard to remaining corruption . . . no eradication . . . or even improvement . . . [only] counteraction,”[1155] demonstrating that Warfield has not misunderstood the Keswick position at all. Thomas attempts to separate the Keswick theology from its roots in Wesleyan, Oberlin, and other earlier perfectionisms. Nonetheless, he concedes that the first Keswick convention had Oberlin leader Asa Mahan as speaker and admits that Warfield can “quote [Keswick] writers”[1156] that support his affirmations. Griffith Thomas himself even stated elsewhere that “the roots of the distinctive teaching . . . [of the] Keswick Convention . . . can easily be traced in the writings of . . . John Wesley [and his proposed successor in the Methodist movement] Fletcher of Madeley.”[1157] Indeed, Thomas very rarely seeks to demonstrate that Warfield quoted any Higher Life writer out of context, and Thomas never quotes any Keswick writer warning about or reproving the errors Warfield exposes in those founders and writers of Keswick theology that the Princetonian examines. The best Thomas can do is to find, in certain situations, certain Keswick writers who are more sane and orthodox than Higher Life and Keswick founders such as H. W. and R. P. Smith or Mark Boardman, and then state that these authors—rather than the Keswick teachers, leaders, and founders upon which Warfield focuses his critique—truly represent the Higher Life position. However, while criticizing Warfield for exposing the errors of Keswick founders, Thomas freely admits:

[T]he modern Holiness Movement came to England very largely, if not almost entirely, through Mr. R. Pearsall Smith . . . Humanly speaking, but for him there would probably have been no Conventions, beginning with that at Oxford, extending to Brighton, and spreading all over the kingdom, of which the Conventions at Keswick are best known[.] . . . [M]any thousands who have been definitely helped [by Keswick theology] little know how much they owe to “R. P. S.” for the life more abundant that they enjoy.[1158]

Griffith Thomas avers that “Mr. Trumbull . . . H. W. Smith . . . Mr. Boardma[n] . . . [are] men and women . . .sincere and . . . earnest”[1159] and fails to whisper the slightest warning about the severe errors they held. Thomas’s critique of Warfield is largely unsuccessful.

Griffith Thomas’s response to Warfield, very regrettably but perhaps unsurprisingly, is not based solely on the results of grammatical-historical exegesis. In addition to making some very curious and unsustainable affirmations about the meaning of passages,[1160] Thomas argues for the Keswick theology based on what he has “observed,” on “experience,” and on “very many a Christian experience.”[1161] In Griffith Thomas’s mind, Warfield is wrong because “experience in general gives no suggestion” of his position and “there is no general evidence of” Warfield’s doctrine “in Christian lives.”[1162] While affirming, though not expositing passages to prove it, that Warfield contradicts Scripture in affirming progressive eradication and renewal, Thomas also argues that “Warfield . . . is disproved . . . by experience of everyday life.”[1163] Thomas’s second article, “The Victorious Life (II.),” is almost useless for someone who wishes to build doctrine from Scripture alone, as the great majority of it is essentially nothing but testimonials from various people about how wonderful the Keswick theology is and how it has helped them, a sort of compilation that the most extreme Word-Faith proponent, or a member of Mary Baker Eddy’s cult, or a Mormon, could compile to support their respective heresies. After telling stories about how people adopted Higher Life theology and felt better afterwards, Griffith Thomas concludes: “I submit, with all deference to Dr. Warfield, yet with perfect confidence, that the convinced acceptance of the Keswick movement by such [men] . . . is impressive enough to make people inquire whether, after all, it does not stand for essential Biblical truth.”[1164] Griffith Thomas would have done far better had he carefully exposited Scripture to develop his theology of sanctification, and to have placed “perfect confidence” in the Word of God, the true sole authority for faith and practice, rather than placing such confidence in men and their testimonials. Properly exegeted Scripture, not testimonial, is the touchstone for truth. Unfortunately, rather than arguing from Scripture alone, Thomas concludes that since “Evangelical clergymen . . . have found” the Keswick theology “to be their joy, comfort, and strength,” it must be true:

[We are] more and more certain that in holding [Keswick theology] and teaching it we are absolutely loyal to the “old, old story.” . . . [A]ble and clear-minded Christian men bear testimony to [Keswick] experience . . . [n]o experience which carries moral and ethical value can be without a basis of some truth . . . the rich experiences to which testimony is given . . . the possession of an experience which has evidently enriched their lives . . . [is] not to be set aside by any purely doctrinal and theoretical criticism.[1165]

The Keswick experience, Griffith Thomas avers, is not to be set aside by criticism of its doctrine from Scripture alone. Thomas illustrates, in the final paragraph of his critique, his paradigmatic response to Keswick critics. He tells a story about a time when he was in the presence of an “Evangelical clergyman in England who took a very strong line against Keswick and reflected on it for what he regarded as its errors, in the light of . . . old-fashioned Evangelicalism.”[1166] Thomas did not, in response, show from the Bible alone the truth of the Keswick theology; rather, he “told” the critic of his “experience in the spiritual life” and entrance into “a spiritual experience of light, liberty, joy, and power,” so that “the messages . . . of the Keswick Convention” provided “confirmation . . . of my personal experiences.”[1167] Thus, Scripture must be interpreted in light of Keswick experiences.[1168] While one who rejects sola Scriptura might find such argumentation of value, those who build their doctrine from the Bible alone and evaluate spiritual experience from the truth of its teaching alone will find Griffith Thomas’s case remarkably unconvincing. If the Apostle Peter’s incredible experience of seeing the transfiguration of Christ was subordinate to Scripture, a “more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:16-21), what place can the experiences of Keswick proponents have in comparison to Scripture? Thomas does, however, effectively illustrate the methods through which the Keswick theology spreads among the people of God. By means of personal narrations of having “received the blessing,” entered the Higher Life, and the like, by means of written testimonials and devotional works, and by means of special conventions and gatherings where careful exegesis and Bible study are not undertaken, the Keswick theology spreads among those who are not well-grounded in a Biblical doctrine of sanctification, despite its abysmal failure to effectively deal with devastating, unrefuted, and irrefutable exegetical and theological critiques of Keswick.[1169]

It is possible that Griffith Thomas’s failure to build his doctrine of sanctification from Scripture alone is related to his toleration of weakness on the inspiration of Scripture. Thomas “had a deep sympathy with . . . James Orr,”[1170] to whom, among a few other theologians, he dedicated his The Holy Spirit of God and of whom he spoke very highly in that book.[1171] Dr. Orr “was unconcerned to defend a literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis, and . . . took the view that an insistence on biblical inerrancy was actually ‘suicidal.’”[1172] Consequently, “as the fundamentalist–modernist controversy broke out in America[,] [Griffith Thomas] consistently refused to utter the shibboleths (which he blamed on ‘puritanism’) about historical criticism or biblical inerrancy or matters of science that were essentials for many.”[1173] However, to Griffith Thomas’s credit, even if he did refuse to take as strong a stand as he should have in some very important areas of Bibliology, what he does say about the doctrine when he exposits it[1174] is commendable and consistent with a regenerate state. Credit should, therefore, be given to him where it is due.

Unfortunately, as an Anglican, Griffith Thomas defended baptismal heresy in his comments on his denomination’s doctrinal creed, the Thirty Nine Articles:

Baptism . . . is an instrument of regeneration under five aspects; (a) Incorporation with the Church; (b) ratification of the promise of remission; (c) ratification of the promise of adoption; (d) strengthening of faith; (e) increase of grace. . . . Baptism introduces us into a new and special relation to Christ. It provides and guarantees a spiritual change in the condition of the recipient[.] . . . The words “new birth” suggest that Baptism introduced us into a new relation and new circumstances with the assurance of new power. . . . [T]he Reformers in their own books and also in the Formularies for which they are responsible, did not intend to condemn all doctrines of Baptismal Regeneration . . . in the theology of the Reformation the controversy did not turn on the question whether there was or was not a true doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, for the Reformers never hesitated to admit that Baptism is the Sacrament of Regeneration.[1175]

Thomas also defends the Anglican Baptismal Service, which declares: “Seeing now that this child is regenerate” after the administration of the “sacrament.” He likewise defends the Anglican Catechism, in which the catechumen speaks of: “My Baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ.” However, Griffith Thomas, as a low-church Anglican, seeks to minimize and explain away such terrible sacramental heresies in his denomination in a way that is, one hopes, consistent with his own genuine new birth, making arguments similar to the sort of minimalization and confusion of language that Bishop Handley Moule employed in his attempts to reconcile Anglican liturgy and the Pauline gospel of justification by faith alone.

Not surprisingly, Griffith Thomas was also a continuationist, although, just as his Keswick theology was more moderate and sane than that of many of his fellows, so his continuationism, although still a rejection of Scriptural cessationism, was of a more moderate form than that of the Keswick trajectory represented by the Christian and Missionary Alliance and Pentecostalism. Thomas wrote the introduction to R. V. Bingham’s book The Bible and the Body,[1176] and affirmed that Bingham’s position was “the true position” which Thomas was glad to “cal[l] attention to.”[1177] Bingham, the founder of “Canadian Keswick,”[1178] while making a great number of excellent points against more radical continuationism, taught in The Bible and the Body that the sign gifts have not ceased, but that on “most of the foreign fields”—Bingham was the founder of the Sudan Interior Mission—the “repetition of the signs” had appeared, so that “[m]issionaries could duplicate almost every scene in the Acts of the Apostles.” God “gives the signs” today.[1179] To describe the first century as “the age of miracles” which is now “past” is an error.[1180] In “this dispensation” God still gives “the gift of healing,”[1181] and in answering the question about whether the signs of the book of Acts are for today, Bingham answers that, in some “conditions, yes.”[1182] Griffith Thomas and Bingham are also far too generous to proponents of more radical continuationist error. Thomas “plead[s], as Mr. Bingham does, for liberty, and [is] . . . ready to give it to those who believe” in the exact errors on “Healing” that are very effectively refuted in his book—he will not separate from those who promulgate errors on healing, but will speak of those in “the healing cults” as “our friends” who have “honoured and saintly leaders.”[1183]

Thus, as Griffith Thomas defended the errors of Keswick sanctification, although in a more cool-headed way than many of his Keswick contemporaries, so he likewise defended Keswick continuationism or anti-cessationism, although likewise in a more cool-headed way than many. He also followed the traditional Keswick refusal to separate from the more radical ideas on sanctification and sign gifts of many of his fellow promulgators of the Keswick theology. His defense of Keswick against B. B. Warfield, while superior to McQuilkin’s promulgation of Warfield’s mythological posthumous recantation, still remains fundamentally a failure to those who hold consistently to sola Scriptura. Keswick’s apologists have both failed to provide solid exegetical answers to critics and failed to demonstrate that Keswick critics generally misunderstand or misrepresent the Higher Life system. While Keswick critics in the world of scholarship are far from infallible, no convincing evidence exists that they routinely misrepresent Higher Life theology.

[1]              The text comes from pgs. 639-699 of “A Warning Exhortation Against Pietsts, Quietists, and all Who in a Similar Manner have Deviated to a Natural and Spiritless Religion under the Guise of Spirituality,” chapter 43 in vol. 2 of The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Wilhelmus à Brakel, trans. Bartel Elshout. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 1993. While Brakel originally wrote his work in 1700 to combat the Satanic pseudo-spirituality and mysticism of his day, the Roman Catholic and Quaker mysticism he spoke against left such a stamp upon later pseudo-spirituality that will be discussed in the following excurses that his penetrating insight is amazing and extremely timely. Nevertheless, the fine discernment expresssed by Brakel in this excerpt does not constitute an endorsement of whatever runs contrary to Scripture and Biblical, historic Baptist doctrine and practice in the Dutch Nadere Reformatie or Dutch Puritan movement.

                Further, concerning Brakel’s assault upon “pietism,” Arie de Reuver notes:

Brakel . . . as a writer may without any hesitation be regarded as a representative of pietism when he is measured by contemporary standards. The content that the term “pietism” had for him was different from what it carries today. . . . By “pietism,” à Brakel means “fanaticism,” which he associates with quietists, Quakers, and followers of David Joris, and which is reflected in figures like Böhme, De Molinos, Fénelon and also De Labadie. . . . [T]heir piety gives the pretension of spirituality but rests entirely on the natural mind and is developed through fantasy and imagination. . . . [and the] mediatorship of Christ is disregarded by these “mystics.” . . . [T]he “pietists” . . . procee[d] apart from and even against the written word of God. . . . Brakel . . . regards contemplation as completely legitimate. However, he wants to distinguish sharply between natural and spiritual contemplation . . . [the latter of which] contemplates God-for-us as he makes himself known in Christ as a reconciling Father. . . . natural contemplation leaves man as he is naturally, [while] spiritual contemplation lets him share increasingly in the divine nature. . . . [Furthermore,] the Spirit always directs people to Christ as their ransom and righteousness, and . . . he leads the believer in everything according to the word. . . . God . . . satisfies one engaged in spiritual reflection with extraordinary and further . . . revelations of himself, acording to his promises in John 14:21 and 23, and he allows [the soul] to see God more closely and experiece who God is and what he is to h[im] in Jesus Christ . . . [yet] contemplation is not the result of one’s own activity and effort, but of divine illumination. It is entirely the Spirit who imparts this insight. But the Spirit does not work apart from Christ or from faith in the word. (pgs. 251-254, Sweet Communion: Trajectories of Spirituality from the Middle Ages through the Further Reformation, Arie de Reuver, trans. James A. De Jong)

[2]              Pg. 61, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Vinson Synan. Cf. pg. 66. The National Association was a prominent perfectionist and second-blessing advocacy organization.

[3]              Pg. 23, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.

[4]              Pg. 23, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall; cf. pg. 179, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874. Other predecessor Higher Life and perfectionist meetings are listed on pg. 328, ibid.

[5]              Pgs. 60-65, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith; cf. “Die Heiligungsbewegung,” Chapter 6 of Perfectionism, vol. 2, Warfield;                 pg. 28, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall; pgs. 271, 358, 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. 225, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[6]              At Oxford Mrs. Smith’s Bible readings were technically for ladies, but “Gentlemen who chose to attend were not excluded, and many were present at this and the [other] hours devoted to her Scripture lessons” (pg. 65, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874).

[7]              Pg. 149, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.

[8]              E. g., pg. 175, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[9]              Journal, May 6, 1875, reproduced in the entry for July 22 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[10]            Letter to a Friend, August 17, 1879, reproduced in the entry for September 21 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. In her autobiography, The Unselfishness of God, Hannah Smith devotes an entire chapter to proving that the Higher Life theology was Quakerism (pgs. 275-282, “The Life of Faith Quaker Doctrine.”)

[11]          Journal, May 6, 1875, reproduced in the entry for July 23 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Even after her husband’s downfall, she continued preaching widely; for example, she records that she held “some meetings in a Presbyterian Church . . . the Presbyterian synod object[s] so to women, but the minister says he will ‘whistle’ at the synod if only he can get me!” (Letter to Daughter Mary, January 8, 1878, reproduced in the entry for August 15 of ibid). On another occasion she preached at a Methodist Holiness Camp Meeting in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, where the Methodists “endorsed this meeting fully” and “called it a ‘Methodist class meeting led by a Quaker’” (Letter to Robert, August 9, 1879, reproduced in the entry for September 18 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

                In light of Mrs. Smith’s strong advocacy of women preachers, rejection of complementarian gender roles in the family, and deep-seated feminism in general, it is not surprising that in the Conference’s early years the majority of Keswick missionaries were single women (pg. 114, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall).

[12]            December 26-27, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[13]            Pg. 249, “B. B. Warfield and Lewis S. Chafer on Sanctification,” Randall Gleason. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 40:2 (June 1997) 241-256. “Hannah Whitall Smith’s The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life is characterized as ‘one of the most remarkable settings forth of the victorious life you can find anywhere.’” “Victory in Christ,” p. 94, Trumbull, cited in “The Victorious Life,” Chapter 5 of Perfectionism, vol. 2, Warfield.

[14]            Pg. 224, The Keswick Convention: Its Message, its Method, and its Men, ed. Harford.

[15]            Letter to Anna, November 5, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 28 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. One Woman’s Christian Temperance Union leader even wished for Hannah to lead a “W. C. T. U. School of the Prophetesses” (Letter to Pricilla, October 1884, reproduced in the entry for December 24 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[16]            Hannah testified thus while writing from the Christian Temperance Union (CTU) meeting on October 25, 1882. She explained:

Every day, from eleven to twelve, right in the midst of our business meeting we have an hour for a devotional meeting when we tell the story of the life of faith to the crowds who have come in to witness our proceedings. I spoke to them yesterday on “Knowing God” for ourselves and then showing Him to others. And I was followed by a great many short words of testimony as to the blessedness of it, ever so many of them saying that they had learned the secret from my book “The Christian’s Secret.”

It is perfectly wonderful how that book has gone over this whole country. Wherever I go I am met with stories of its value and blessing. So many people even here have told me that it is “next to their Bibles.” . . . The faces are shining with peace and they tell me that it has all come through that book.

Hannah further described that CTU setting in which her book molded the spirituality and had been so very influential:

Our platform is as broad as humanity; we take in everybody, no matter what their ‘views,’ or church relationships. . . . It is such a testimony to the reality of the religion which embraces all humanity. (Letter to Mary, October 25, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 25 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter)

A universalist, non-doctrinal religion that embraces all people, regenerate and unregenerate, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, and Hindu, despite the “C” of the CTU, in a simple desire to be happy, fit Hannah W. Smith and her Keswick classic very well.

[17]           “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

[18]            December 31, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[19]            Pg. 13, Religious Fanaticism: Extracts from the Papers of Hannah Whitall Smith, ed. Ray Strachey. New York, NY: AMS Press, 1976, repr. of 1928 London ed.

[20]            “The ‘Higher Life’ Movement,” Chapter 4 in Perfectionism, vol. 2, B. B. Warfield.

[21]            See January 19-20, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[22]            Cf. the article “Justification and Sanctification” in the Orthodox Quaker Declaration of Faith Issued by the Richmond Conference in 1887 (Elec. acc. http://www.quakerinfo.com/rdf.shtml), where both a Higher Life theology is affirmed and the Quaker heresy that justification is by the impartation of righteousness rather than imputed righteousness is confessed.

[23]            Pgs. 251-253, Religious Fanaticism: Extracts from the Papers of Hannah Whitall Smith, ed. & intr. Ray Strachey.

[24]            Pgs. 172-174, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letters to her daughter, Mary Berenson, January 1, 1905 & February 25, 1905. Italics retained from the original.

[25]            Pg. 23, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing a Letter to her Husband, Robert Pearsall Smith, April 27, 1875. Italics in original.

[26]            The erotic Spirit baptism doctrine promulgated by the Pearsall Smiths will be explicated in further detail below.

[27]            Pg. 32, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing Letter to Mrs. Anna Shipley, August 8, 1876.

[28]            Pg. 32, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing Letter to Mrs. Anna Shipley, August 8, 1876.

[29]            The use of the archaic English pronoun in this fashion was typical among the Quakers of Hannah Smith’s day.

[30]            That is, without the Divine Seed of Quakerism.

[31]            That is, Jesus Christ was not necessary, Mrs. Smith thought. Note that this satisfaction with a bare creative deity, a satisfication with a god other and less than the Triune Jehovah who has brought redemption through His incarnate Son, was Hannah W. Smith’s expressed doctrine immediately after the 1874-5 Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton Conventions. One cannot maintain that she was solidly orthodox at the time she founded the Keswick theology and merely became a heretic, say, some decades later.

[32]            That is, the adoption of the Higher Life leads to the disowning of Christian orthodoxy.

[33]            Pgs. 32-36, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to Mrs. Anna Shipley, August 8, 1876. Italics and capitalization in original. See also Letter to a Friend, August 8, 1876, reproduced in the entries for August 2-4 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. A portion of the letter not reproduced by Logan is found in Dieter. Hannah elsewhere wrote: “The truth is my ‘broadness’ embraces every soul that is reaching out after God and every instrumentality that helps any to find Him, no matter how different it may be from my own views and ways”—that is, as long as one is “reaching after God,” Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, animism, or any other system of belief was acceptable (Letter to a Friend, May 24, 1880, reproduced in the entry for October 10 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[34]            Logan Pearsall Smith described the natural powers of salesmanship possessed by his father Robert P. Smith as follows:

My father was a man of fine presence, and of a sanguine, enthusiastic temperament[.] . . . He was, above all, a magnificent salesman; and traveling all over the United States, and offering the firm’s wares [the glass manufacturing firm Robert worked with before he became a Higher Life preacher] to the chemists of the rapidly expanding Republic, he exercised upon those apothecaries the gifts of persuasion and blandishment, almost of hypnotization, which were destined later, in European and more exalted spheres, to produce some startling results [in his Higher Life work]. . . . My father . . . possessed the hypnotic power of swaying great audiences[.] (pgs. 32, 72 Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith)

[35]            The sphinxlike indifference of Hannah W. Smith was radically different from the attitude of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mrs. Smith declared: “I utterly refuse to let myself indulge in grief for my children who have left me [in death.] . . . It is really disobedience . . . to indulge in grief” (Letter to Priscilla, January 28, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 11 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter). “She had lost her elder son . . . her heart was untroubled” (pg. 49, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910). Contrast Mrs. Smith’s attitude with that of the Lord Jesus Christ: “When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled[.] . . . Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!” (John 11:33-36).

[36]            Pg. 133, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letter to her Daughter, Mary Costelloe, October 29, 1896.

[37]            Logan Pearsall Smith wrote: “After this ‘scamp meeting’ . . . as Dr. Cullis wittily called it . . . and the disillusion it brought, in spite of its success, my father became more sympathetic to my grandfather’s want of faith; and this feeling was much increased [as time continued to pass]” (pgs. 66-69, Unforgotten Years).

[38]            One is not surprised that Hannah was also sympathetic to and ready to reject the orthodox doctrine of the Council of Chalcedon on the Person of Christ and His two natures for the heretical and idolatrous kenotic theory as expressed by Godet, that “the Church doctrine of the two natures does not perfectly set forth the sense of the Scriptures . . . the Scriptures do not teach the presence of the divine nature with its divine attributes in Jesus on earth. The expression in John 1:14 conveys the idea of a divine subject reduced to a human state, but not of two states, divine and human, co-existing” (pg. 399, The Humiliation of Christ in its Physical, Ethical, and Official Aspects, A. B. Bruce. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1900). Hannah Smith explained how the Higher Life led her against Biblical and Chalcedonian Christology:

I must read Godet . . . [for] his views of Christ . . . I am not at all shocked at what you tell me about them; and it would be just like our God to take our place really and actually, and share our lot even in its limitations. I think I would have done it if I were in His place. . . . Anna, when once the soul has begun to know God, old prejudices must go! And before the two grand facts of His justice and His love, all the old creeds and notions vanish like clouds before sunshine. . . . I cannot express how thankful I am for the relentless pressure my dear Methodist friends put me under years ago on this matter of consecration. (Letter to Mrs. Shipley, 1878, reproduced in the entry for September 8 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

Hannah was sympathetic to the kenotic theory, for, even if it was not taught in the Bible, she would have followed it if she were God. In any case, at least she had a Divine seed in her, as Quakerism taught.

[39]            “Somehow my two summers out in the wilds of nature, with no meetings and no religious influences, only God and His works, have been more helpful in my interior life than any other thing I have ever known” (Letter to Anna, November 24, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 29 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter). Contrast the attitude of King David towards the instituted worship of the Lord: “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. . . . For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand” (Psalm 84:1-2, 10).

[40]            Her attitude toward a syncretistic blending of Hinduism and Christianity is evident in her view of Chunder Sen. “In 1857 the young Keshub Chunder Sen (1838–84) joined the society . . . Brahmo Samaj (Society of Brahma), which taught theism and rationality against the background of Indian mysticism[.] . . . Later he formed a new group, the Brahmo Samaj of India,” which combined Hindu mysticism with “social Christianity” and “adopted some Christian teachings” while remaining fundamentally Hindu (pg. 549, The Encyclopedia of Christianity, vol. 2, E. Fahlbusch & G. W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999-2003). Hannah Smith viewed this Hindu idolator and syncretist as a great spiritual teacher, and affirmed that, led by her Inner Light, she worshipped the same god, the god of mysticism, the god of this world (Ephesians 2:1-3), the god that spoke to the Quakers and gave them revelations that went beyond the Bible, as the Hindu mystic:

I have read Chunder Sen, and do feel just like sailing for India to see him. What a grand revelation that man has had! It stirred me to the very depths. Oh, beloved, how it shames us who have such a blaze of light all our lives long! Where did we take the fatal turning that has led us so far astray? . . . I thank God however that the light has come at last; and like Chunder Sen I say that the “residue of my independence has been swallowed up by the all-conquering all-absorbing grace of God, and I am sold forever!” How wonderful that word, “No independence” is! [That is, both Chunder Sen’s Hindu mysticism and Hannah Smith’s Higher Life mysticism practice Quietism.] It cuts down to the root of everything; and yet is so full of life, Divine life, that it seems to bring the soul out into the grandest place of liberty.

It seems just like one of God’s coincidences that I had been learning the very lessons in regard to this which Chunder Sen’s announces. I know the “I am” he knew [that is, the pagan Hindu “I am.”]. And God has said to me: “I am your church and doctrine; I am your creed and your immortality, your earth, your Heaven, your food, your raiment, your treasure here and in Heaven. Believe in Me.” To me it is a life, a free, independent, Divine life, back of all forms, an absolute, universal life, that can fit into any form, or can exist without form. [That is, any god, any worship, whether that of Jehovah or of the vilest idol, can fit into her mysticism.] It would be true then that circumcision availeth nothing, nor uncircumcision. That is, one might enter into the form or might remain without, just as led by the Spirit at the time. I cannot but think this is the deeper insight into the truth; and the more I look to the Lord about it, the clearer are my convictions. Well, I must follow the light, my light, that which is given to me, [that is, the Inner Light,] even though it separates me from all whom I love! And sometimes I think it may. . . . Am I to reckon on God and believe He has answered my prayer [for guidance apart from submission to sola Scriptura], or am I to think He has utterly disregarded it, and has left me a prey to delusions and errors? . . . [T]he Lord has had to put to death all my traditional views one after another . . . I am amazed sometimes to find out what a genuine “early Quaker” I am. (Letter to Anna, September 11, 1879, reproduced in the entries for September 22-24 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter)

Likewise, her spiritual “secret” was inquired about, she affirmed, by “Siddartha” (Letter to Anna, February 5, 1880, reproduced in the entry for October 2 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter), that is, “Siddartha Gautama” or Buddha, founder of Buddhism, which “teaches that enlightenment may be reached by elimination of earthly desires and of the idea of the self” (Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th ed., C. Soanes & A. Stevenson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Buddha also taught the sort of Quietism affirmed by Mrs. Smith.

[41]            The affirmation “God is love” in 1 John 4:8 is not an affirmation about an empty attribute of the generic deity with which Mrs. Smith could be satisfied. The verse speaks about the loving nature of the Father of Jesus Christ. God the Father is love, and He concretely demonstrated His character as love by giving His Son as a substitute for sinners on the cross, graciously applying the salvation purchased there to His people by the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:9-14; cf. 5:7). 1 John 4:8 is about the concretely manifested love of this particular God, the only true God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

[42]            “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5; cf. Psalm 26:2; 119:59; 139:23-24; Lamentations 3:40; Ezekiel 18:28; Haggai 1:5-7; Matthew 7:5; 1 Corinthians 11:28-31; Galatians 6:4; Hebrews 12:15; 1 John 3:20-21).

[43]            Letter to a Friend, 1863; April 10, 1878; Letter to Daughter Mary, May 12, 1878; Letter to Daughter, Atlantic City, May 25, 1878; reproduced in the entries for January 30, August 17, 24, 28, of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[44]            Pg. 65, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to Miss Priscilla Mounsey, January 22, 1882 & Letter To Priscilla, January 22, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 9 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Hannah Smith often warned others, “Don’t indulge in self-reflective acts” (Letter to Mary Beck, May 14, 1874, Letter, 1866, reproduced in the entry for July 12 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[45]            Pg. 318, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875.

[46]            Letter to a Friend, April 10, 1878, reproduced in the entry for August 17 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[47]            Letter to Miss Beck, December 5, 1878, reproduced in the entry for September 9 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[48]            Letter to Sisters, August 14, 1879, reproduced in the entry for September 19 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[49]            Pg. 11, Religious Fanaticism: Extracts from the Papers of Hannah Whitall Smith, ed. Ray Strachey. New York, NY: AMS Press, 1976, repr. of 1928 London ed; cf. also pg. 231 & Remarkable Relations, Barbara Strachey, pg. 19.

[50]            See, e. g., Letter to Daughter Mary, January 1, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 1 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter; pg. 79, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith, references Logan’s education in Quaker schools all the way through, and inclusive of, college.

[51]            See pgs. 4-35, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.

[52]            Pg. 20, Remarkable Relations, Strachey.

[53]            Pg. 36, The Secret Life of Hannah Whitall Smith, Henrie.

[54]            Introduction, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter; see also after January 7 for Robert P. Smith’s heritage among “prominent Philadelphia Quakers.”)

[55]            Pg. 17, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[56]            Pg. 45, Remarkable Relations, Barbara Strachey.

[57]            Pgs. 25-26, Remarkable Relations, Strachey. A German Reformed minister did, however, administer infant baptism to Mrs. Smith (pg. 35, The Secret Life of Hannah W. Smith, Marie Henry). Such an event by no means changes the plain historical fact that she was firmly entrenched in Quakerism for the entirety of her time as a public speaker, teacher of men, Higher Life crusader, and formative writer in the Keswick movement, although she was not always specifically a member of a Quaker assembly.

[58]            Pg. 30, Remarkable Relations, Barbara Strachey; cf. pg. 55 for Hannah’s continued public speaking.

[59]            Pg. 68, The Secret Life of Hannah Whitall Smith, Marie Henry.

[60]            Pg. 55, Remarkable Relations, Strachey.

[61]            Pg. 29, Remarkable Relations, Strachey; Italics in original. Compare 1 John 3:14.

[62]            Cf. Letter to Sarah, Marcy 12, 1885, reproduced in the entry for December 25 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[63]            Letter to a Friend, August 22, 1880, reproduced in the entries for October 14-15 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[64]            Thus, for example, a few days before the Brighton Convention, Robert having just concluded his continental preaching tour in 1875, when “it seem[ed] as if the whole German and Swiss Churches were moved to their very center by his message” of the Higher Life, Mr. and Mrs. Smith would still attend the Friends Meeting with Mr. Cowper-Temple, where Hannah would preach to people who had come to town to attend the Brighton Convention (pg. 26, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her parents, John and Mary Whitall, May 26, 1875; cf. also pg. 29). The idea that one would need to separate from and reject Quakerism as heresy to be part of the Higher Life or Keswick Conventions was absolutely unthinkable.

[65]           Pgs. 494-497, “The ‘Higher Life’ Movement,” Chapter 4 in Perfectionism, vol. 2, Benjamin B. Warfield. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003 (reprint of 1932 Oxford ed.). Warfield downplays Robert P. Smith’s Quaker background, but it is unreasonable to do so when, for instance, Mr. Smith did not renounce the Quakerism into which he was born as a false religion and he had his “steadily more and more Quaker” wife write Higher Life articles for him, such as those which became Mrs. Smith’s bestselling Secret of a Happy Life.

[66]            Letter to Anna, August 4, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 18 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Since any deity was acceptable to Mrs. Smith, it is not surprising that the pioneering psychologist, pragmatist, and finite god proponent William James was friends with the Pearsall Smiths, nor that, in the words of Logan Smith, James “was an admirer of my mother’s religious writings” (pg. 114, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith; Logan notes that James also “enlisted my father’s assistance in the formation of an American Society for Psychical Research.”).

[67]            “It is to be hoped I give . . . sound teaching! [For she did not know if she did or not.] At any rate it is comfortable teaching” (pg. 183, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her daughter, Mary Berenson, February 22, 1906. Italics in original.). Compare Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11.

[68]            Pg. 204, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing Letter to her Daughter, Mary Berenson, November 26, 1908. Italics in original.

[69]            pg. 376, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875. Contrast Zechariah 12:10-14; Matthew 5:4; 1 Corinthians 5:2; James 4:9-10.

[70]            Pgs. 155-156, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith. Mrs. Smith justified this utterly unbiblical advice by a wretched abuse of Philippians 2:13, which was said to prove that God leads people to do whatever they want.

[71]            Logan recounts the situation in which this advice was given:

I remember once when [Hannah Smith] was full of years, and famous for her religious teachings, that a party of schoolgirls from some pious school in Philadelphia visited Oxford, and the teacher who conducted the party wrote to my mother . . . to say that it would be a privilege for the little flock of maidens to have a sight of this venerable Quaker saint, and to hear from her lips a few pious words. The permission was granted; the schoolgirls assembled on the spacious lawn outside our house . . . [W]hen she opened her lips I was considerably surprised to her her say, “Girls, don’t be too unselfish.”

        “Surely, Mother,” I remonstrated with her afterwards, “when those girls go home their pious relations will be dreadfully shocked by what thee said.”

        “Yes,” she replied gayly, “yes, I dare say it will make them grind their teeth.” (pgs. 156-157, Unforgotten Years, Logan P. Smith)

[72]            Pgs. 38-40, Unforgotten Years, Logan P. Smith.

[73]            Letter to Priscilla, August 14, 1882, reproduced in the entry for August 12 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[74]            Mrs. Smith testified that she was the instrument of several healings, the character of which illustrate well many of the healings practiced in the Keswick and Pentecostal movements. Hannah recounts:

On one occasion I had a dear friend who was very nervous. She used to cry on the smallest provocation and about things which had no personal element in them, except that they upset her nerves. . . . She and I attended a little prayer meeting . . . she announced to us at the beginning of the meeting that we were to devote that meeting to her[.] . . . I confess that I had not much expectation that praying would do her any good, as I thought it was a physical condition which probably could never be alleviated. But when the time came we all knelt down to pray, and of course I knelt with them. I supposed that there would be fervent prayers offered for our friend by the others, and I did not really intend to pray myself at all, but to my astonishment the whole little company prayed all round in turns and never mentioned her case. It seemed to me that this was very impolite, and, in fact, unkind, when she had thrown herself so upon our sympathy, and so mainly, with the idea that she might not be disappointed, and simply out of an impulse of politeness and kindness, when the rest had finished I prayed for her; but, I confess, I had not the slightest idea that anything would come of it, except that her feelings would be smoothed by the recognition of her need. Imagine my astonishment when we rose from our knees and she turned to me and said, “Hannah, thy prayer is answered; I am cured.” And as a fact she was cured from that time.

        Another case was once when I was attending a meeting. After I had spoken, a woman rose from the middle of the meeting and said, “If that lady who has just spoken will come and lay hands on me and pray for my recovery I shall be healed of a throat trouble that has caused me great suffering for many years, and for which the doctors declare they can do nothing.” I thought to myself, “How little that woman knows how unbelieving I am with regard to faith healing. I am certain my prayers would do her no good.” And, in fact, I was rather amused at her ignorance, and had to cover my face to hide a smile. The meeting went on for a little longer, and by the time it closed I had entirely forgotten the incident, and began to talk to a friend beside me, when someone came hastily in and said, “Mrs. Smith, that woman is waiting for you to come and pray for her, and you must come at once, for she says her throat is very bad.” Out of kindness I went, but I said to the woman as I entered the room, “You have sent for me to pray for you, but I haven’t a particle of faith that it will do the least bit of good.” “Yes it will,” she replied; “it will cure me. Kneel right down here beside me, and lay your hand on my throat and ask God to heal me, and I know I shall be healed.” Out of kindness I did as she wished, although I confess it seemed to me something of a farce. However, when we rose from our knees, to my amazement her voice was changed, and she declared her throat was cured. I hear from her quite often afterwards, and the story was always the same, that the cure was complete.

        As I bade the woman farewell, she said, “Now, Mrs. Smith, you have the gift of healing, and you ought to exercise it.” . . . Another instance . . . was in the case of a friend who had become . . . a victim of the opium habit. One day when we were talking together, she said, “I believe if you would pray for me, I could be cured of this habit.” I myself had no idea that it could be done, but, of course, when a person wanted me to pray for them [sic], I should not think of refusing, so I keeled down beside her wheel-chair and prayed, and the result in her case also was a complete cure. (pgs. 253-256, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey)

Many other instances of the Faith Cure were, without a doubt, as supernatural as those Mrs. Smith experienced, and as a result of the employment of similar means.

Notwithstanding working several Faith Cures herself, elements of skepticism were engendered in Hannah concerning the Faith Cure as she saw that the Cure failed to cure disease. For example, having heard of Dr. Charles Cullis, whom she called “a most delightful Christian doctor,” she assembled a few dozen sick people at her house so that he could come and heal them. He failed to heal anybody at all (pgs. 262-263, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey). The fact that the Faith Cure led to the death of her sister Mary Thomas must also have brought doubts into Hannah’s mind. Nevertheless, she never renounced or opposed the Faith or Mind Cure but continued to believe and preach that there was truth in the practice, and she continued to recommend the Cure to others.

[75]            Pgs. xv-xvi, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith.

[76]            Pg. 262, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[77]            Letter to Anna, May 15, 1878, reproduced in the entry for August 22 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[78]          Pg. 89, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing Letter to her daughter, Mary Costelloe, September 2, 1886. Not surprisingly, the Mind Cure did not work, and Hannah W. Smith still suffered from a horrible sea-sickness.

[79]            Hannah describes the views of Cullis, and his working of a Faith Cure, in connection with a positive confession of healing, on her nephew Tom Whitall, who had suffered from overwork. The Cure did not completely cure him, and it did not work at all at first. In any case, the partially cured “overwork” of the Faith Cure is hardly the reattached limbs or raising of the dead performed by Christ and His Apostles. Mrs. Smith wrote:

We really have been stirred up on this faith healing question lately. You may have heard me speak about Saidee’s brother Tom as having broken down from overwork several years ago. For four years now he has been doing every thing possible to recover his health, but all in vain. His last venture was a voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, but he came back worse than he went.

When Dr. Cullis was here a week or two ago, Tom felt drawn to try the faith cure, as every thing else had failed, and Dr. Cullis prayed with him twice and told him to say he was healed. He began to say it, and, poor fellow, he had a hard battle, for a whole week there was no sign of any improvement. His mother and I were immersed in the deepest sympathy with him, and we all had to fight for our faith together. . . After a week, however, Tom began to improve, and there has been a most wonderful change in him in every way, and he is full of praise to the Lord. It has, of course, made a great stir among all our circle here, for Tom was always a great favorite. He has gone on to Boston now to spend a little time with Dr. Cullis to have his faith strengthened, and perhaps to help the Dr. a little in his faith work.

If he really does get entirely well I believe I will have to give up and adopt Dr. Cullis’ view of the subject. He says Matt. 8:17 teaches clearly that Christ bore our sicknesses just as much as He bore our sins, and that we may be delivered from the one by faith precisely as we are delivered from the other! If this is true, it would revolutionize the church! I am not convinced yet that it is true, but I confess that passage looks wonderfully like it. I will mail thee some little books about it. Ask thy sister Charlotte and thy cousin Mary Agnes to compare Matt. 8:17 with James 5:14, 15 and see whether they get any light on the subject for themselves.

It would be glorious, would it not, if Christians universally could dispense with all human doctors and be cured by the Great Physician alone, and could show the world a continual miracle of healing? Dr. Cullis thinks all disease is from the devil, and is a direct attack from him upon God’s children, just like temptation to sin is, and must therefore be met in the same way. There is a good deal of Scripture that seems to support his view. (Letter to Priscilla, May 7, 1882, reproduced in the entry for August 12 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter)

Nonetheless, surely Tom’s Faith Cure, while nothing like Apostolic healing, was very grand—at least until some days later, when it became apparent that he was not cured at all, causing Hannah doubts:

I went up to that invalid friend’s who has been trusting for faith healing for so long. We had a little Bible class in her sick room. She does not seem any better. And yet she sticks to the testimony that she is healed, since that is what Dr. Cullis told her she must do. It does not seem right to me somehow.

The fact is this faith healing matter grows more and more perplexing all the time. You remembers [sic] that funny friend of mine Elisabeth Nicholson, who went with us to the prayer meeting about President Garfield? She is not particularly consecrated, except in quite an ordinary fashion; she does not believe in the “Higher Life” at all, and she is very much afraid of fanaticism. And yet the other day she wrote me as follows[:] “The 31st. of May, sitting waiting for the dinner bell to ring, I talked to the Lord like this, “Lord, you know the muscles of my back are weak, and cause me much pain. You know I have inherited this through two generations; that I have been very indifferent about healing, making it an excuse for not visiting or doing anything I did not want to. But now, if it will honor you and if it will give me more strength to work for you, Lord Jesus, then I ask thee to heal me instantaneously.” It was done! From that moment I have not had a pain; nor even the soreness which often made me shift my position. It no longer seems like me, but somebody else! I have done my hardest work since then without pain. [Note: At least this is the testimony of this lady, unexamined medically, from the standpoint of two weeks later—a time frame in which Tom Whitall also thought he was cured.]

Now what are we to think when such saints as some I know can’t get healed with all their praying and all their trusting? There is a secret somewhere that we have not fathomed yet, I am convinced. Meanwhile, I would advise every sick person to try this way of prayer and faith anyhow. It cannot hurt, and it may be a grand success. My nephew Tom Whitall is not well yet. He thought he was for a few days, and was very jubilant over it, but his trouble all came back, and he has been having a hard conflict. Now he has gone to a water cure to fight it out. My heart just aches for him. I wish I understood! (Letter to Priscilla, June 16, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 14 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter)

Indeed, Mrs. Smith’s “invalid friend” was still not better many months later, despite “declaring . . . she was healed that day” so long ago, despite still “trusting for faith healing” many months later, despite having “Dr. Cullis pray for her,” and despite believing “teaching of all kinds on the subject of faith”—despite all this, her Faith Cure “fail[ed] . . . utterly” (Letter to Priscilla, August 14, 1882, reproduced in the entry for August 12 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter). However, despite its failures, and despite the lack of exegetical evidence for it, Hannah W. Smith was so far from being willing to denounce the Cure of Cullis as a delusion that she still concluded that she “would advise every sick person to try this way” of the Faith Cure anyway.

[80]            See her Letter to Frank, May 16, 1871, reproduced in the entry for June 5 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[81]            See, e. g., her narrative of her “Framingham, Massachusetts meeting sponsored by Dr. Charles Cullis,” or her description of her ministry with “Dr. Cullis at his conference” in 1879 and her commending the “little book issued by Dr. Cullis” there, in her Letter to a Friend of August 8, 1876 & Letter to a Friend, August 17, 1879, reproduced in the entries for August 2-3 & September 20 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[82]          Pg. 66, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith.

[83]            Pg. 39, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing Letter ot Mrs. Henry Ford Barclay, April 13, 1877.

[84]            Pg. 131, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Dayton.

[85]            Pg. 32, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing Letter to Mrs. Anna Shipley, August 8, 1876.

[86]            See Letter to Sarah, March 7, 1881 & Letter to Sister, July 28, 1881, reproduced in the entries for October 24 & 28 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[87]            Interestingly, Hannah noted: “I find that spiritualists have all the ‘baptisms’ and ‘leadings’ and ‘manifestations’ that [continuationist] Christians have, with precisely similar symptoms. The same ‘thrills,’ the same ‘waves’ or currents of life, the same spiritual uplifts, the same interior illuminations; they even see similar visions of Christ, and hear similar interior voices . . . taken in themselves, it is utterly impossible to distinguish between them” (Letter to Carrie, July 31, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 17 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[88]            Letter to Carrie, July 31, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 17 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[89]            Pg. 128, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.

[90]            Letter to Mary, November 1, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 27 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[91]            Letter to Mary, November 1, 1882 & December 8, 1882, reproduced in the entries for November 27 & December 1-2 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[92]            Pg. 187, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing Letter to her Daughter, Mary Berreneson, March 5, 1907. The date of the letter validates that Mrs. Smith continued to believe in the value of the Mind or Faith Cure for the course of her lifetime; her faith in the law of the Faith or Mind Cure was no passing fancy. Note also the connection between her affirmation of the Mind Cure and of the Word of Faith idea of positive and negative confession.

[93]            Letter to Anna, July 1, 1885, reproduced in the entry for December 28 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Hannah made these remarks concerning her sister Mary Thomas, who trusted in the Mind and Faith Cure, but saw “the mind cure . . . fai[l] . . . [a]nd . . . the faith cure . . . fai[l]” (Letter to Sister, March 15, 1885, reproduced in the entry for December 28 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter), so that she died of a breast cancer that the medical science the gracious God has allowed men to discover could have cured.

[94]            For example:

Christian Scientists and Faith Healers are closely affiliated. . . . [T]hey have a common foe—the scientist and the Christian; and a more or less common practice—reaching, in a somewhat similar way, about the same sort of results. . . . [T]he adherents of the two systems often meet together in conventions, and the laity are to some extent interchangeable. . . . The two systems . . . converge in practice. (pg. 249, “Christian Science and Faith Healing,” Clyde W. Votaw. New Englander and Yale Review. New Haven, CT: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1891. However, Votaw recognizes that there are ways in which the Christian Scientist and Faith Cure advocate “diverge” markedly in their “theory,” the manner in which they speak of their systems.)

[95]            Letter to Anna, July 1, 1885, reproduced in the entry for December 28 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. The “newer gospel” of the faith cure, Hannah’s letter affirms, teaches that “suffering and sorrow” are not part of God’s plan for the body, just as sorrow and suffering must be eliminated from the spiritual life for a perpetual state of happiness—the secret of a happy life. However, Hannah also notes that she entertains doubts about the validity of the Mind or Faith Cure, despite the fact that it is the necessary consequence of her Keswick or Higher Life theology of sanctification by faith alone, chiefly because the Faith Cure does not seem to work. It was not evident to her that her theology of sanctification by quietistic faith alone also was contrary to the truth of God.

[96]            Letter to Mary, May 12, 1878, reproduced in the entry for August 24 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[97]            Mary Thomas’s action, a result of her confidence in the Faith Cure, was an instance of misplaced faith and of sinful disobedience to use proper means to preserve her life.

[98]            Pgs. 97-98, Remarkable Relations, Barbara Strachey. Italics in original. Hannah likewise queried while her sister was still alive: “Why should you have all this to suffer when you already had so much? And why the mind cure has failed with you . . . why the faith cure has failed too? And why, if you are going to get well, you do not get well faster?” (Letter to Sister, March 15, 1885, reproduced in the entry for December 26 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[99]            Letter to Priscilla, August 14, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 19 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. While she publicly preached the Faith Cure at the camp meeting, in her private letter to Priscilla she voiced reservations that she did not make public:

I could not bear to upset their faith by telling them of the practical difficulties I see in the subject[.] . . . But I can tell you my heart ached to hear some poor invalids there declare they were healed, when it was perfectly plain to everyone else that they were not. I do not know what will be the outcome of all this agitation on the subject of faith healing. In all parts of the church it is being made prominent, and enough wonderful results follow it to excite a continually increasing interest. And yet there are far more failures than successes, and I dread the reaction. For these failures are nearly always with the most devout Christians, and it is an awful strain on their faith.

She noted later: “It’s no wonder that doctors are provoked at the way Christians ignore the very first laws of health, and because of it bring such misery and make so much trouble for others” (Letter to Priscilla, 1883, reproduced in the entry for December 16 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[100]           Pg. 68, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Vinson Synan.

[101]           Pgs. 260-261, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey. Hannah recounts:

[I]n one case it went so far that two apparently sensible people allowed their young daughter of thirteen years to go out to China . . . as a missionary, she not knowing a word of Chinese, but being led to speak gibberish in this way, and they all believed that when she got there the Chinese would understand. What really happened when she did get there, however, I have never heard, but I presume she had to come home again. (pgs. 260-261, ibid).

By the time Mrs. Smith composed those papers published posthumously by Ray Strachey, having increased in her skepticism with age, Mrs. Smith thought tongues were a “fanaticism.”

[102]           Journal, October 29, 1866, reproduced in the entry for February 11, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[103]           As Hannah preached at the Broadlands Conferences: “God wishes us [Christians] to have the Holy Spirit . . . [W]hy do we not? We do not accept [Him].” The Conferences taught: “The permanence of the presence of the Holy Spirit is a surer sign of a high degree of spiritual life than any other. . . . Let us pray for the Spirit of God Himself to come to us . . . [t]he highest life[,] [to be] one with God” (pgs. 190-195, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Italics in original.). While the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit is the sign of spiritual life, a life possessed by all believers (cf. Romans 8:9), for Mrs. Smith and the Broadlands Conferences such a permanent presence is emphatically restricted to those in the Higher Life alone.

[104]           Forsyth, The Principle of Authority, p. 181. See also p. 183.

[105]           Barclay, Apologia. Note Barclay’s universalism.

[106]           Pgs. 237-239, The Holy Spirit of God, Griffith-Thomas. Note the universal Quaker equation of obligation to God and ability to obey.

[107]           Pg. 46, Trinitarian Spirituality, Brian Kay.

[108]           Pg. 431, “Friends, Society of,” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Elwell.

[109]           Pg. 48, Trinitarian Spirituality, Brian Kay, quoting Ted Goertzel of Rutgers University.

[110]           It is consequently not surprising that at the Broadlands Conference Christ crucified, or the economic redemptive-historical redemption and revelation of the ontological Trinity, or justification by the shed blood of Christ, or other truly evangelical themes were not the “great topics round which our thoughts centered”—the “great topics” were ones that had nothing to do specifically with the Lord Jesus Christ and His redeeming work (pg. 122, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910).

[111]           Indeed, Quakerism has never been strongly trinitarian. Already in the sixteenth century, John Owen wrote:

God hath revealed or manifested himself as three in one, and, therefore, as such is to be worshipped and glorified by us; — that is, as three distinct persons, subsisting in the same infinitely holy, one, undivided essence. . . . I fear that the failing of some men’s profession begins with their relinquishment of this foundation. It is now evident unto all that here hath been the fatal miscarriage of those poor deluded souls amongst us whom they call Quakers; and it is altogether in vain to deal with them about other particulars, whilst they are carried away with infidelity from this foundation. Convince any of them of the doctrine of the Trinity, and all the rest of their imaginations vanish into smoke. (A Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit, John Owen, I:3)

William Penn (1644-1718), the Quaker founder of Pennsylvania and co-laborer of George Fox, blasphemed the Triune God and sought to bring others to adopt anti-trinitarian idolatry:

Before I shall conclude this head, it is requisite that I should inform thee, reader, concerning the origin of the Trinitarian doctrine: Thou mayest assure thyself, it is not from the Scriptures nor reason, since so expressly repugnant: although all broachers of their own inventions strongly endeavor to reconcile them with that holy record. Know then, my friend, it was born above three hundred years after the ancient Gospel was declared; it was conceived in ignorance, brought forth and maintained by cruelty. (pg. vi, A History of the Doctrine of the Trinity in the Early Church, Hugh H. Stannus. London: Christian Life Publishing, 1882.)

Even for that minority of Quakerism that did not boldly adopt anti-Trinitarian heresy, the Triune character of the true God had very little influence on Quaker piety or devotion, for practical error on the Trinity was tied to the practices associated with of the Inner Light:

The Quaker doctrine of the inner light was a misunderstanding of both the person and the work of the Holy Spirit. The constant emphasis on the Spirit within-the-soul was a subtle form of an exaltation of the Spirit by the Spirit, especially since the Spirit rarely was understood by Quakers to point the believer back to the objective work of Christ’s sacrifice. For [orthodox Christianity, by way of contrast,] the Spirit was instead to glorify the Son, as per the words of John 16:14: “[The Spirit] shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine and shall show it to you.” The message of the Quakers was thus an inversion of the order of the divine dispensations, for the Spirit’s mission is to make the Son glorious, honourable, and of high esteem in the hearts of the believers and to shed abroad the love of God in our hearts. The Spirit’s mission is therefore parallel to the Son’s being sent by the Father to suffer at Jerusalem . . . for us and to bring glory to the Father who sent him. At its heart, the failure of Quaker worship was that it got the Trinity’s work of redemption wrong. . . . [T]o the extent that . . . William Penn can be credited with articulating Quakerism’s theological foundations, one would conclude that early on the movement had become decidely anti-trinitarian. John Punshon’s history of the Quakers admits as much, saying that the movement never formally adopted the doctrine of the Trinity, but instead, the functioning theology proper is closer to pantheism [pgs. 158-167, Portrait in Grey: A Short History of the Quakers, John Punshon. London: Quaker Home Service, 1984]. . . . A nebulous doctrine of God leads naturally to a nebulous, unstructured form of worship. . . . Quakerism . . . tended to describe the spiritual life as if the Trinity did not exist or matter. . . . [Neither] an orthodox theology of God [nor] . . . the role of the Son as a historical mediator . . . filtered down into actual spiritual practice. The [Quaker] emphasis on the “Spirit of Christ” seems to therefore have no connection to the Jesus who lived in Palestine, and the “inner light” does not particularly illuminate the saving purposes of either Father or Son. . . . Quakerism, therefore, prayed, or listened [to the Inner Light], in a way that would be largely unaffected if the Trinity were proved untrue. (pgs. 46-50, Trinitarian Spirituality, Brian Kay. Quotation marks of sources cited by Kay have been removed.)

In contrast, for a born-again believer such as John Owen, the Trinity was at the heart of Christian piety, so that his devotional books and devotional “whole . . . discourse[s] doth presuppose and lean upon . . . the doctrine of the Trinity . . . [as their] foundation” (A Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit, John Owen, I:3). It is not surprising, then, that in contrast to orthodox Christianity, the piety of Hannah Whitall Smith, as a good Quaker, would be largely unaffected were the Trinity false, while the Triune God in Christ is at the heart of the piety of Christian orthodoxy. For a John Owen, Hannah W. Smith’s “bare God” would never do in resisting temptation—only the God and Father of Jesus Christ, who displayed His love through the cross, would suffice for a holy life:

[K]eep the heart full of a sense of the love of God in Christ. This is the greatest preservative against the power of temptation in the world. . . . “The love of Christ constraineth us,” saith the apostle, “to live to him,” 2 Corinthians 5:14; and so, consequently, to withstand temptation. A man may, nay, he ought to lay in provisions of the law also—fear of death . . . [and] punishment, with the terror of the Lord in them. But these are far more easily conquered than the other; nay, they will never stand alone against a vigorous assault. They are conquered in convinced persons every day; hearts stored with them will struggle for a while, but quickly give over. But store the heart with a sense of the love of God in Christ, and his love in the shedding of it; get a relish of the privileges we have thereby,—our adoption, justification, acceptation with God; fill the heart with thoughts of the beauty of his death;—and thou wilt, in an ordinary course of walking with God, have great peace and security as to the disturbance of temptations. When men can live and plod on in their profession, and not be able to say when they had any living sense of the love of God or of the privileges which we have in the blood of Christ, I know not what they can have to keep them from falling into snares. (Chapter 7, Of Temptation, Owen)

[112]           Pg. 170, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her Daughter, Mary Berenson, November 10, 1904).

[113]           As documented below, the Quaker rejection of sola Scriptura, by dominating the Higher Life theology through Quakers like Hannah W. Smith, Robert P. Smith, Robert Wilson, and Jessie Penn-Lewis, contributed to the continuationist or anti-cessationist trajectory of Keswick and wider Higher Life theology into Pentecostalism and the Word of Faith movements.

[114]           Letter to Anna, May 15, 1878, reproduced in the entry for August 23 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[115]           Letter to Anna, September 27, 1879, reproduced in the entry for September 25 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. At the time of her letter, her love for allegorical and “spiritual” meanings of the Bible and disregard of the literal meaning of the text led her to “not want to read anything but the Gospels.”

[116]           Pg. 122, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. Italics in the original.

[117]           Pg. 69, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Journal Letter to her Friends, August 8, 1883. Italics in original. Smyth made the Bible an authority subordinate to the “Christian consciousness” and made evolution his framework for interpreting Christian faith. (See pg. 233, The Encyclopedia of Christianity, vol. 2, Fahlbusch & Bromiley & “Review of The Christian Life: A Handbook of Christian Ethics, by Joseph Stump,” in Reviews by Cornelius Van Til, C. Van Til & E. H. Sigward. Labels Army Company: New York, NY 1997. Elec. ed. in The Works of Cornelius Van Til, Logos Bible Software.).

[118]           Letter to Family and Friends, July 4, 1885, reproduced in the entry for December 29 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Of course, Farrar approved of both the Higher and the Lower criticism.

[119]           Cf. Letter to Mary, September 4, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 24 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[120]           E. g., 1 John 3:2; Psalm 17:15; Hebrews 9:28; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Revelation 22:20.

[121]           Letter to Anna, July 8, 1879, reproduced in the entry for September 16 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Concerning a dispensational approach to the second coming, she wrote in the same letter:

The Second Coming . . . all seems very spectacular and after the flesh to me. And it does not tend to spirituality say what they may. What with their seven judgments, and their two resurrections, and their rebuilding of Babylon, and their two Witnesses, and their time and times and half a time, there is such a complicated arrangement of affairs altogether, that one’s best comprehension can hardly unravel it. And since Christ has come to me in my heart I cannot care so much for His outward coming.

        If this outward Coming were to usher in at once a reign of peace and joy I would long for it unspeakably; but according to the students it is to introduce first seven years of unparalleled tribulation and anguish, and I cannot long for that. Still He knows, and I shall be content; only somehow, I have the feeling that I will ask to be allowed to stay down on the earth during this tribulation to help the poor souls bear it. How can we enjoy ourselves up “in the air” when we know that our going has taken away the last restraint upon wickedness, and that we have left the poor world to an unbridled carnival of sin?

Thus, the literal interpretation of Biblical propehecy was “fleshly” to Mrs. Smith, as it did not lend itself to her sort of “spirituality,” and she hoped that she could miss the Rapture, as she did not, in any case, care so much for Christ’s return since she could experience the Higher Life now.

[122]           Pgs. 21, 24, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[123]           See January 29-30, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[124]           Letter to a Friend, May 18, 1879, reproduced in the entry for September 13 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[125]           Pgs. 146-147, Life and Labours of the Rev. W. E. Boardman, Mrs. Boardman.

[126]           Pg. 120, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875.

[127]           Pgs. 375-376, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875. Mrs. Smith continued: “Don’t ask the Lord and then try to find out by your own reasoning.” In line with Quaker doctrine, she taught that impressions and strong feelings were to supercede the reasoning faculty of the mind in determining the will of God.

[128]           Pg. 249, “Christian Science and Faith Healing,” Clyde W. Votaw. New Englander and Yale Review. New Haven, CT: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1891. 18:3:249-258. Votaw gives the 95% figure for 1891 and dates the origin of the Mind Cure to Mary Baker Eddy and the year 1866.

[129]           E. g., pg. 371, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875.

[130]           Pgs. 43-44, Remarkable Relations, Barbara Strachey.

[131]           Pg. 44, Remarkable Relations, Strachey.

[132]           Pgs. 41-42, Remarkable Relations, Strachey.

[133]           Pg. xv, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. For example, in a letter she wrote: “Sixty pulpits were filled by our women on Sunday, and I preached 3 times. Lady Henry’s sermon was a great success. The crowds were something fearful” (pgs. 118-119, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letter to her friends, November 10, 1891). Both before the fall of Robert and afterwards, she “often preached” (pgs. xvii, ibid). It was not unusual in those days for Quaker preachers to hold revival meetings, and Hannah and Robert Pearsall Smith were hardly the only Quakers to do so (cf. pg. 69, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Journal Letter to her friends, August 8, 1883).

[134]           Letter to Mary, January 29, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 10 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[135]           Letter to Frank Costelloe, 1883, reproduced in the entries for December 17-18 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[136]           Indeed, “for some years . . . [Robert] Pearsall and Mrs. Smith had no words—no relations—with each other,” and had at least seventeen years of unhappy married life, according to their son Logan (pg. 73, Remarkable Relations, Barbara Strachey). Mrs. Smith had such an antipathy towards husbands, and negative feelings about men in general, concommitants to her ardent feminism, that she wrote: “It is hard for me to believe that any husband and wife are really happy together” (pg. 218, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letter to her daugher, Mary Berenson, September 28, 1910).

[137]           Notwithstanding their truly unregenerate state, Robert P. Smith publicly proclaimed that all his children were saved (pg. 212, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875; cf. Hannah’s teaching on pg. 373). His doctrine that “consecration and conversion [are] two separate acts,” so that he had “never known one instance in which they were not distinct” (pg. 256, ibid) was almost surely a contributing factor in his children—and he himself—never truly coming to that surrender to Christ as Lord without which salvation is impossible (Mark 8:34-36). Countless multitudes who have adopted his doctrine have also been eternally damned, and misleading their children into false professions, have brought them to hell also.

[138]           Pgs. 35, 125-128, 275, 294, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.

[139]           Subsequent to Robert P. Smith’s “spiritual apostasy and eventual agnosticism, after his fall from grace in England . . . the children . . . follow[ed] the same loss of faith. . . . Mary finally deserted her first husband and her two children to live in Italy with Bernard Berenson . . . Hannah had to rear the young children, Ray and Karin. Alys became the first wife of Bertrand Russell and was soon swept into his agnosticism” (December 31, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[140]           Pg. 116, Remarkable Relations, Barbara Strachey.

[141]           August 3-4, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Note that the idea that life, not doctrine, is the true test of Christianity is itself a doctrine.

[142]           Pg. 57, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letter to Sarah Nicholson, August 13, 1881.

[143]           Pg. 142-144, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letter to her friends, August 26, 1899

[144]           “[M]y servants . . . I simply hate them, and if it would not inconvenience me too much, I would turn them out at once!” (pg. 220, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letter to her daughter, Mary Berenson, December 5, 1910. Italics in original).

[145]           Pg. 181, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letter to her daughter, Mary Berenson, February 15, 1906. See also pg. 182.

[146]           Pg. 198, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letter to her daughter, Mary Berenson, February 14, 1908. The curse word is spelled out in Mrs. Smith’s letter—the omitted letter was supplied instead here, instead of the “m,” to avoid the use of the curse word in this book.

                Note also that Mrs. Smith was perfectly willing to misrepresent or conveniently omit facts in documents concerning her and her life if such misrepresentation would place her in a better light. This willingness should be kept in mind as one evaluates her writings, where her minimalization of her role in accepting and propogating the erotic Spirit baptism heresy is of dubious historicity.

[147]           E. g., pgs. 155-156 of A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, record her letter to her daughter Alys Russell of January 24, 1903.

[148]           E. g., pg. 128 of A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith.

[149]           It is noteworthy that the universalism of Mrs. Smith’s day was very open to the Higher Life and to continuationism; for example, the holiness preacher Mrs. Mary B. Woordworth-Etter, who became a leading Pentecostal after the events at Azuza Street, preached in Universalist churches, claimed she had the gift of healing, and claimed that the gift of tongues was evident in her meetings (pgs. 34-35, 249, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson). A substantial portion of Pentecostalism, at least in part through Keswick influence under the flagship Keswick universalist Hannah W. Smith, adopted universalism. The doctrine was validated to them by supernatural revelations, just as Hannah Smith had her universalism validated by extra-Biblical revelation (cf. pg. 159, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson). Rejection of the Biblical doctrine of an eternal hell also goes through Keswick men such as George Grubb to Pentecostal founder Charles Parham, whos annihilationism also spread to many others in the Pentecostal movement.

[150]           Pgs. 196-228, The Unselfishness of God, Hannah W. Smith. Hannah’s description of her adoption of universalism is quoted extensively below.

[151]        pgs. 160-161, Every-Day Religion.

[152]           Pg. 181, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[153]           Pg. 159, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[154]           Pgs. 82-83, The Unselfishness of God, by Hannah W. Smith.

[155]           See pg. 148, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith, Letter to her daughter, Mary Berenson, October 26, 1901, for an example of such a revelation.

[156]           See, e. g., pg. 40, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith, Letter to her husband, Robert Pearsall Smith, April 19, 1878, for Mrs. Smith’s description of a meeting where she preached universalism, so that others sympathetic to the heresy were “delighted at the plainness with which [she] declared Restitution.”

[157]           She died and was cremated at the age of 79 on May 1, 1911. See pgs. 256-259, Remarkable Relations, by Barbara Strachey.

[158]           “[In] the Gnostic system . . . [t]he Divine element is hidden in man as a spark of the Father above, as a spark of the divine self consciousness” (pg. 82, Christ in Christian Tradition, vol. 1, Aloys Grillmeier, trans. John Bowden. Atlanta, GA: John Knox, 1975). Whatever human connections may or may not be traceable between Quakerism and ancient Gnosticism, Satan is without a doubt the author of the Divine seed heresy for both religious systems.

[159]           Letter to her daughter, Mary Berenson, February 16, 1902, on pgs. 148-150 of A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S.” (Mrs. Pearsall Smith), ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. London: Nisbet & Co. 1949. Italics in original.

[160]           Pg. 88, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith, Letter to her friends, August 13, 1886. All such “High Churchmen . . . seem very holy men, and I expect our Father in Heaven does not mind their little notions any more than He minds ours[.]”

[161]           Pg. 126, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith, Letter to her friends, March 16, 1894. Mrs. Smith is here describing a priest, who even while specifically promulgating the damnable heresy of baptismal regeneration, is none the less “most saintly.”

[162]           Pg. 52, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith, Letter to Mrs. Ford Barclay, July 23, 1880.

[163]           See pg. 118, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith, Letter to her daughter, Mary Costelloe, November 7, 1891. In all religions “there is a knowledge of God that must be and that is more or less the same everywhere.”

[164]           Pg. 125, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith, Letter to her friends, March 16, 1894.

[165]           Note that this view is extremely similar to that of F. B. Meyer, and explains Meyer’s preaching of the Higher Life, rather than the gospel, to Hindus in India and the heathen in other lands; see the chapter below on F. B. Meyer.

[166]        My Spiritual Autobiography: How I Discovered The Unselfishness of God, Hannah W. Smith. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1903. She wrote this book at the age of 71. It was singularly fitting that the founder of the Keswick theology, which spread overwhelmingly through the influence of testimonial and not through the exegesis of Scripture, should also seek to spread her other heresies through testimonial, namely, through the story of her life and how her heresies made her happy.

[167]           Pg. 146, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her friends, February 18, 1901. Italics in original.

Indeed, if one loves Jesus Christ, and consequently hates heresy and does not wish to become a heretic, he would do well to avoid reading and seeking for any spiritual guidance whatsoever in Mrs. Smith’s books, and he would do well to reject the Keswick theology that she originated.

[168]           Of course, Scripture teaches that God did not make man a sinner, but that the race freely rebelled against God and plunged itself into sin.

[169]           Hannah here displays her rejection of the true gospel, which is not that men are made good enough to live in heaven, but that they are justified by grace alone through faith alone based on the imputed righteousness of Christ alone. Rather than the true gospel, Hannah accepts the Quaker heresy of justification by imparted righteousness.

[170]           Mrs. Smith employs the word “evangelical” in an exceedingly loose fashion. This fact can be illustratated by the fact that although she was a Quaker who denied the gospel, accepted that Quaker revelations were on the same plane as Scripture, and believed in universalism, she considered herself to be an “evangelical” at this period of her life. The “evangelicals” she speaks of here include those spiritualists and Quakers she sought approval from, as described below.

[171]        Pgs. 196-228, The Unselfishness of God, Hannah W. Smith. Italics in original.

[172]        pg. 228, The Unselfishness of God.

[173]          pg. 199, The Unselfishness of God.

[174]           Again, Mrs. Smith has a very broad definition of “evangelical.”

[175]        Pgs. 196-228, The Unselfishness of God. While much of this excerpt was reproduced earlier, the specific connection between Mrs. Smith’s universalism and her rise as a Higher Life preacher is here more clearly brought out and noted.

[176]           Pgs. 21-22, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to Sarah Beck, January 22, 1874.

[177]           The “Mount Temples” were the “Cowper Temples” for the reasons, likely related to adultery and immorality, described on pgs. 45-46, Unforgotten Years, Logan P. Smith. William Cowper Temple inherited Broadlands in 1865, at which time he became Lord Mount Temple; he possessed the estate until his death in 1888. See pgs. 22-23, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. The designations “Cowper Temple” and “Mount Temple” are generally employed in this composition as synonyms rather than with reference to specific periods in the life of the husband and wife.

[178]           Pgs. 27-28, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith; see pgs. 116-117, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[179]           That such an unconverted heretic and spiritualist as Mrs. Cowper-Temple could be viewed as “the queen of evangelical Christians” illustrates the utter absence of spiritual discernment in these “evangelical” circles where the Keswick theology was born.

[180]           Pgs. 44-46, Unforgotten Years, Logan P. Smith; cf. pgs. 27-28, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith.

[181]           Pg. 116, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[182]          Pg. 6, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[183]           Pg. 27, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[184]           While the first Keswick Convention followed the first Broadland Conference as a continuation of Broadlands teaching, not the first Broadlands Conference only, but also the following yearly Broadlands Conferences profoundly impacted the Keswick Convention and its theology. The presence of many of the same Higher Life preachers at both events, and comparable themes and goals at the two meetings, contributed to a close symbiotic relationship.

[185]           For example:

[T]he Gauls . . . [w]ithout the Druids . . . never sacrifice. . . . [A]s to their modes of sacrifice and divination . . . [t]hey would strike a man devoted as an offering in his back with a sword, and divine from his convulsive throes. . . . It is said they have other modes of sacrificing their human victims; that they pierce some of them with arrows, and crucify others in their temples; and that they prepare a colossus of hay and wood, into which they put cattle, beasts of all kinds, and men, and then set fire to it. (pg. 295, The Geography of Strabo, Strabo, 4:4:5)

The nation of all the Gauls is extremely devoted to superstitious rites; and on that account they who are troubled with unusually severe diseases, and they who are engaged in battles and dangers, either sacrifice men as victims, or vow that they will sacrifice them, and employ the Druids as the performers of those sacrifices; because they think that unless the life of a man be offered for the life of a man, the mind of the immortal gods can not be rendered propitious, and they have sacrifices of that kind ordained for national purposes. Others have figures of vast size, the limbs of which formed of osiers they fill with living men, which being set on fire, the men perish enveloped in the flames. They consider that the oblation of such as have been taken in theft, or in robbery, or any other offense, is more acceptable to the immortal gods; but when a supply of that class is wanting, they have recourse to the oblation of even the innocent. (Gallic War, Julius Caesar, 6:16).

[186]           Pgs. 88-89, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. The particular profundity of the Druids discussed is both an affirmation of the Inner Light, that “God manifests Himself . . . [and] His word is uttered . . . [in the] human spirit,” and a rejection of the Biblical fact that the church, the congregation of saints, is the temple of God (Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Timothy 3:15). For the Druids, only nature and the human spirit are allegedly such temples.

                Perhaps since the word “Druid” appears to be derived from the Old English word for “tree,” and the Druidic philosophy had much alleged good in it at Broadlands that deserved to be accepted, apparently pantheistic affirmations (though not entirely clear because of their terseness) at Broadlands such as the following were less surprising: “Christ is everywhere. The blessing in everything reveals Him. Trees, one of the earliest symbols of God, worshipped” (pg. 213, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Italics in original. There certainly is no hint of condemnation of tree-worship in the context, and pgs. 211-212 suggest that it is considered acceptable in at least certain situations.).

[187]        Mrs. Smith stated that her spiritual “secret” was inquired about by “Siddartha” (Letter to Anna, February 5, 1880, reproduced in the entry for October 2 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter), that is, “Siddartha Gautama” or Buddha, founder of Buddhism.

[188]           E. g., concerning the Hindu mystic Chunder Sen, Mrs. Smith stated: “I have read Chunder Sen, and do feel just like sailing for India to see him. What a grand revelation that man has had! It stirred me to the very depths. . . . I know the ‘I am’ he knew [the pagan Hindu ‘I am.’]” (Letter to Anna, September 11, 1879, reproduced in the entries for September 22-24 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[189]           Pgs. 5-16, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. While Jackson’s description of the parties above is overwhelmingly positive, unspecified “false ideals of life and religion” are mentioned (pg. 11).

[190]           That is, the shahada, the most important article of faith for Muslims, the recitation of which is the means through which people convert to Islam. Modern transliteration of the shahada is usually slightly different than what was employed in Edwin Arnold’s poem and referenced by Mr. Mount-Temple. The second half of the shahadah was not specifically quoted.

[191]           Pg. 169, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. The poem Mr. Mount-Temple loved so well, as excerpted in his wife’s Memorials, was Edwin Arnold’s “After death in Arabia.”

[192]           Pgs. 116-117, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. Italics in original.

[193]           Pg. 57, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith; cf. pg. 120, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple, for Robert P. Smith’s impulse in the initiation of the Broadlands meetings. Note also that the 1874 Broadlands Conference, the one that initated the Oxford, Brighton, and Keswick Conventions, was, as Mrs. Mount-Temple testified, the pinnacle of the spirituality of Broadlands (pg. 118, ibid).

[194]           Pg. 135, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[195]           Again, “evangelical” is very, very loosely defined, so that a heretic such as Mrs. Smith was considered one. Mrs. Smith was an “evangelical” in that she was not a High Church Anglo-Catholic.

[196]           Pg. 28, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. At Broadlands Logan P. Smith notes that one of the speakers “taught that sin was a disease” (pg. 28, ibid), perhaps a reference to the Faith and Mind Cure.

[197]           Pg. 22, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to Sarah Beck, February 7, 1874.

[198]        The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, ed. Dieter, entry for December 30.

[199]           Pg. 7, The Letters of John Ruskin to Lord and Lady Mount-Temple, ed. John L. Bradley.

[200]           Pgs. 48ff., Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.

[201]           Pgs. 48, 160, etc., The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[202]           Pgs. 122ff., The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[203]           Pg. 135, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[204]           “‘Each Conference,’ said Lady Mount-Temple, ‘had its distinctive character and charm, so that it was often said, ‘Surely this is the best we have had.’ I think, however, that none brought out such intimate revelations of spiritual experience as the first, or seemed more to make each one present to understand the meaning of the communion of saints,[’”] (pg. 134, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910) including, of course, in Lady Mount-Temple’s view, the dead saints that still communicated with the living through spiritualistic séances.

[205]           E. g., pgs. 122-123, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Cf. pg. v.

[206]           Pg. 123, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[207]           Pg. 48, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[208]           Pg. 2, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910; cf. pgs. 134-135.

[209]           Thus, for example, Mr. Cowper-Temple’s endorsement and support of the Oxford Convention was gladly accepted and publicly printed and proclaimed; see, e. g., pg. 32, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[210]           Pg. 53, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck. The Broadlands Conferences ran yearly from 1874 to 1885 (cf. pg. 141, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890; pg. 1, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910). Lord Mount Temple died in the town of Keswick, not during a Keswick Convention meeting.

[211]           Pg. 245, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[212]           Pg. 95, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[213]           Pgs. 42-43, 50, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.

[214]           Pg. 50, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.

[215]           Pg. 119, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her friends, November 22, 1891.

[216]           Pg. 47, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith. For Logan’s connection with them also, see, e. g., pg. 166, ibid.

[217]           Pg. 147, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her daughter, Mary Berenson, October 26, 1901. See pgs. 27, 74, 111, 126-7, ibid, for other interactions of theirs.

[218]           E. g., to over 3000 at a “Women’s Jubilee Meeting at a large hall in Lambeth” (pg. 90, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her friends, May 10, 1887).

[219]           Pg. 28, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[220]           Pgs. 38-39, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[221]           Pg. 44, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[222]           E. g., note the description of his prayers on pgs. 135, 225, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910, as he “seemed to lift one into the very presence of God.”

[223]           Cf. pgs. 156, 164, 168, 171, 184, 186, 195, 198, 208, 215, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Lord Mount-Temple would preach elsewhere also—his public proclamations were not limited to the Broadlands Conferences (e. g., pg. 41, ibid.).

[224]           Pgs. 4-5, 101, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple, a biography by his wife, Georgina Cowper-Temple, Baroness Mount-Temple, followed by biographical notes by other authors], G. Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[225]           Pg. 182, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[226]          Pg. 8, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982; cf. pg. 11.

[227]           Pg. 101, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[228]           Pgs. 24-25, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[229]           Pg. 94, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[230]          Pgs. 8-9, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[231]           Pgs. 67-68, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[232]           Pgs. 17, 27-28, 34, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. Compare also pgs. 53, 84-85, 102, for their delight in Catholic priests and Cardinals, building of a Roman Catholic church edifice, and further endorsements of Mystery Babylon, as well as ecumenicalism and acceptance of many other false religions. Mr. Mount-Temple stated: “I have to record my thanks for the omission in my childhood of all narrow doctrines,” for that opened him up to the “teaching of Henry Drummond in intensely spiritual High Churchism . . . for [the universalist] Maurice’s broad instruction in unconventional real Christian facts . . . for the knowledge that we are all two in one—two natures in one person . . . the Divine and the human” (pg. 183, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890).

[233]           For example, it was acceptable to preach modalism at Broadlands: “Jesus Christ is. . . the Holy Spirit, Who will dwell in us” (pg. 170, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910). Other false teachings concerning the Triune God could be found at Broadlands (e. g., pg. 195, ibid), although at times because of the woeful ignorance of theology by its participants rather than because of a conscious and active hostility to Christian Trinitarianism.

[234]           Pg. 102, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[235]           Pg. 79, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[236]           Pg. 30, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[237]           Pgs. 79, 34-35, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[238]           Pgs. 157-160, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[239]           Pg. 134, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[240]           Pg. 174, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[241]           Pg. 139, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. Cf. pg. 174.

[242]           Pg. 133, Pgs. 108-109, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[243]           Pg. 83, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[244]          Pgs. 8-9, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[245]           Pg. 103, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[246]           Pg. 182, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[247]           Pg. 106, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[248]           Pgs. 106, 130, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[249]           Pgs. 131-132, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[250]           Pgs. 120, 173-174, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[251]           Pg. 183, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[252]           Pg. 183, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[253]           Pg. 157, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Of course, the doctrine of pre-conception human existence fits very well with the spiritualism preached and practiced at Broadlands.

[254]           Pgs. 158-159, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[255]           Pg. 192, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. “Son of God,” not “son of God,” is intentional by the Broadlands author.

[256]           Pg. 202, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[257]           E. g., pg. 78, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[258]           Pgs. 32-33, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Compare also pgs. 2, 260.

[259]           Indeed, Broadlands was part of the preparation for the one-world religion centered in Rome, the whore of Babylon, that will unite unregenerate pseudo-Christianity and all other fales religions in the future Tribulation period (Revelation 17); in truth, Broadlands is a sign of what is coming upon Christendom.

[260]           Pgs. 249-252, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[261]           E. g., pgs. 29, 50-52, 56ff., 165-166, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[262]           Pg. 140, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Because of the Divine Seed in every man, Broadlands proclaimed: “The deepest cry of the human heart”—not of the regenerate heart only, but of all men’s hearts, in flat contradiction to Romans 3:11—“is the cry for God” (pg. 230, ibid).

[263]           Pg. 263, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[264]           Pg. 21, Forward Movements of the Last Half Century, Pierson.

[265]           Pg. 183, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. That is, our attitude should be that of George MacDonald: “All the poets believe in a golden age. I believe it.”

[266]           Pgs. 140-143, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[267]           Pg. 150, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Of course, the Broadlands position is entirely false. Boldly preaching all the truth to everyone, as Christ commanded in the Great Commission, and reproving error and sin (Ephesians 5:11-13; 2 Timothy 4:2), is actually conforming to the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), loving one’s neighbor as oneself (Leviticus 19:17-18), and the exact opposite of using the sword to torture or murder those with other religious convictions. When Romanists or other advocates of religious persecution killed their enemies, they put an end to the opportunity to convert them.

                It is worth noting that the Broadlands attempt to convince the world that it is a great sin to prosyletize is itself an act of proselytism—it is an attempt to get those who believe John 14:6 to reject their view and adopt the religious sentiment of the Conference.

[268]           Pgs. 209-211, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Of course, John 10:16 & 1:9 are radically misinterpreted in this quotation. Universalist sentiments such as these doubtless contributed to the early opposition of Keswick to adding a missionary meeting: “For the first few years of its existence, Keswick had no direct connection with missions. When Mr. Reginald Radcliffe pleaded [after the years of the earliest Conventions] for their admission to the programme, all he could obtain was the loan of the tent on the Saturday” (pg. 74, The Key to the Missionary Problem, Andrew Murray. London: J. Nisbet & Co, 1902). However, early Keswick reluctance to embrace missions was eventually overcome, and men such as Keswick’s first world advocate, George Grubb, and Keswick’s world embassador, F. B. Meyer, could circle the globe on missions, telling people that the lost do not burn in an eternal hell and that the heathen can be saved without personal faith in Christ.

[269]           Pgs. 120-121, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[270]           E. g., pg. 140, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[271]           Pgs. 88-89, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Compare pgs. 140-141.

[272]           Pg. 137, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[273]           Pg. 86, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[274]           Pg. 178, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[275]           Pg. 184, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[276]          Pg. 9, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982. The Bible teaches an economic system that values private property (Exodus 20:15), free enterprise (Matthew 20:2), and economic freedom (Mt 20:15), rather than socialism or communism in any form. Scripture teaches that taxation on income should be below a flat 10% rate—any higher rate is a curse and a form of slavery (1 Samuel 8:6-8, 15, 17-18). “Redistributing” wealth—the government taking from one person by force through taxation to give to someone else it believes is more worthy—is ungodly (1 Samuel 8:14-15). Governments that redistribute wealth are stealing (Exodus 20:15), just like a robber who “redistributes” what a person owns. Such practices are considered in Scripture to be pagan (1 Samuel 8:19-20), tyrannical (1 Samuel 8:17-18), and oppressive (1 Samuel 12:3). Devaluing currency—as the government does by creating inflation—is also stealing (Isaiah 1:22, 25). National debt is a curse (Deuteronomy 28:12, 44). Bribery—including bribing certain classes of people to vote a certain way by promises of government handouts—is a sin and “perverted judgment” (1 Samuel 8:3), for the government is to be impartial and neither favor the rich or poor (Deuteronomy 16:19; Exodus 23:3; Proverbs 22:16). God commands individual believers and churches to generously and selflessly help the needy and poor (2 Thessalonians 3:10; Galatians 6:10; Luke 6:35), and not to do so is sinful, but for the government to employ force to extract money from people to give to either the rich or poor is the sin of stealing, not charity or generosity. Such Biblical teachings make the idea of a “Christian socialism” an oxymoron, similar to “Christian atheism” or “holy sinning.”

[277]           Pg. 106, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[278]           Pgs. 151, 171, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[279]           Pgs. 173-174, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[280]           Pg. 161, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[281]          Pgs. 8-9, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[282]           Compare the articles on Irving, Drummond, and the Catholic Apostolic Church in the Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, and the Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. The Catholic Apostolic Henry Drummond (1786-1860) should not be confused with the later Henry Drummond (1851-1897) who worked with Moody.

[283]           This affirmation of Mrs. Mount-Temple illustrates her utter inability to recognize fanaticism and spiritual aberration.

[284]           Pgs. 103-105, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[285]           The Mount-Temples’ interest in “somnambulism, believed to open a portal to the spiritual world” (pg. 752, The Encyclopedia of Christianity, vol. 4, Fahlbusch & Bromiley. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005), is also noteworthy (cf. pgs. 39-40, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890).

[286]           Pgs. 107-108, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.   Mrs. Mount-Temple recounts that Lord Palmerston “disapproved of my heretical views, and feared my influence over William” (pg. 48, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890).

[287]           Pg. 108, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[288]        For example, a book where Mr. Cowper-Temple records material concerning his séances indicates that he attended at least 31 between 1861 and February 23, 1864, sitting with numerous prominent mediums; see pgs. 9-10, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982. They continued for years to attend very many, and eventually gave up counting (pg. 18).

[289]           “The true resurrection day” is not the day with the Triune God raises the bodies of the dead, but “the day of that great promotion from the world of matter to the world of spirit and the unlocking of the senses of the soul” (pg. 188, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890).

[290]           See, e. g., Letter 9 10, 13, pgs. 30-32, 36-37, The Letters of John Ruskin to Lord and Lady Mount-Temple, ed. John L. Bradley, where one can find discussions of learning things from ghosts and casual and familiar references to seeing, asking questions of, and conversing with spirits of the dead that have been raised up. See also pgs. 7-8, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[291]          Pg. 18, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982. Compare Mrs. Smith’s description of her visit to a spiritualist medium on pgs. 155-156 of A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith.

[292]           Haweis believed and taught: “Spiritualism fitted very nicely on to Christianity; it seemed to be a legitimate development, not a contradiction, not an antagonist. . . . Spiritualism had rehabilitated the Bible. . . . They [spiritualistic phenomena] occur every day in London as well as in the Acts of the Apostles” (pgs. 176-177, “Modern Spiritualism Briefly Tested by Scripture,” The Fundamentals 4:12, A. J. Pollock). When the Mount-Temples heard Haweis preach, were impressed with his “ability and largeness of view,” and “thus Mr. Haweis became our friend,” they stated, so that Mr. Mount-Temple “asked him to revive” the “Church in Westminster” where Haweis was, by “William’s gift,” able to preach spiritualism and other damnable heresies to “crowded services in the restored Church” (pgs. 106, 182, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890) and was elevated to a place of prominence in England.

[293]           Pg. 108, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[294]           Pg. 161, An Elusive Victorian: The Evolution of Alfred Russel Wallace, Martin Fichman. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2004; cf. pg. 128, Emanuel Swedenborg: His Life and Writings, William White, 2nd. rev. ed. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., 1868.

[295]           At Broadlands the Mount Temples and their Conference guests “me[t] as one brotherhood” with the “Swedenborgians” and other heretics (pg. 32, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910; cf. pgs. 78, 82). Of course, these facts do not mean that everything taught by Swedenborg was followed to the least letter at Broadlands by everyone (e. g., pg. 78, ibid).

[296]           Pg. 51, Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism, Marlene Tromp. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2006.

[297]          Pg. 12, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[298]          Pg. 10, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[299]          Pg. 18, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[300]          Pg. 23, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[301]           The triviality of spiritualistic marvels was indeed a very notable contrast with Biblical miracles.

[302]          Pgs. 12-24, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[303]          Pgs. 19-20, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982. Italics in original.

[304]          Pg. 20, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[305]          Pg. 24, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982. Mr. Mount-Temple was born in 1811 and died in 1888 (pg. 179, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890).

[306]          Pg. 21, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[307]           Pg. 262, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[308]          Pgs. 22, 27, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[309]          Pg. 16, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[310]          Pgs. 23-24, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[311]          Pg. 22, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[312]           Pg. 53, Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism, Marlene Tromp. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2006.

[313]           Pg. 19, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.

[314]          Pgs. 25-26, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[315]           Pg. 53, Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism, Marlene Tromp. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2006.

[316]        Pg. 113, Christmas Story: John Ruskin’s Venetian Letters of 1876-1877, John Ruskin, ed. Van Alan Burd. Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1990.

[317]           Pg. 125, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[318]           Pgs. 218-220, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. A record of an alleged vision “from the first Conference” is recounted immediately following the quotation reproduced above—however, unlike the Scriptural and truly miraculous visions with which the marvels at Broadlands were compared, the Broadlands marvels “do not sound much in the telling” (pg. 226), while the miraculous visions of Scripture sound like very much, in the telling, because they truly were.

[319]           Pg. 266, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Italics in original.

[320]           In Wordsworthean fashion, Broadlands also testified: “Look up at these trees and sky . . . and God will speak to us through these . . . they . . . tell of much” (pgs. 223-224, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910). Personal messages, speech “to us” in particular, could come through nature, although, as pgs. 223-224 explain, there is more than just nature through which God speaks—the Inner Voice, for example.

[321]           Pg. 218-220, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. The fulsome exaltation of false visions, and the yet more fulsome downgrade of Biblical inspiration, is evident in the placing of what God gave the Apostles and prophets on a comparable level with what was allegedly given to those at Broadlands and to Wordsworth.

[322]           Pg. 233, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. That is, the past tense “spake” of Scripture is altered to the present tense “speaks” at Broadlands.

[323]           Pgs. 129-130, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[324]           Pg. 85, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. In the particular case mentioned on pg. 85, the Mind Cure was self-confessedly a failure.

[325]        Cf. Pg. 8, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[326]           Pgs. 108-109, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[327]           Pgs. 136-137, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[328]           Pgs. 117-118, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[329]           Pg. 186, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[330]           Pgs. 108-109, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[331]           Pg. 123, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[332]           Pgs. 71-73, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[333]           That is, post-canonical inspiration is not limited to the regenerate, but all men receive it, because all have the Divine Seed; in truth, there is no need to pass from darkness to light through a truly evangelical conversion and new birth, but all will ultimately be saved without one.

[334]           Note that Scripture does not warrant the utmost, inmost things of faith for those at Broadlands—on the contrary, the Inner Voice provides the warrant. In the words of Hannah W. Smith and other Broadlands preachers: “Within us is an intense life which nothing can touch”—the Divine Seed in every man. Consequently: “Our law of life is within; we must love to follow it” (pgs. 180-181, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910).

[335]           That is, men who do not experience inspiration from the Divine Seed in them are missing out on what is most important in life.

[336]           That is, inspiration is not limited to the production of Scripture or to the Apostolic era, and, as the sentence explains, such additional revelations are not even simply available but optional—they are “needed.”

[337]           That is, truths not found in Scripture are revealed by the Inner Light.

[338]           Pgs. 144-145, 226-228, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Italics in the original.

[339]           For, indeed, in the orthodox sense of the word, Broadlands affirmed that there was no propitiation for sin; on the contrary, “‘Propitiation’ . . . mean[s] [only that] . . . He was altogether merciful to sin” (pg. 188, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910).

[340]           Pgs. 214-215, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[341]           Letter to Anna, September 3, 1876, reproduced in the entry for August 8 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[342]           Pg. 192, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Italics in the original.

[343]           Pgs. 52, 129, 135-136, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Jukes adopted the universalist heresy in 1867.

[344]           Pgs 62, 113, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[345]           Pgs. 113, 266, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[346]           Pg. 115, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[347]           Pg. 170, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[348]           Pg. 184, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. As is frequently the case with those who accept extra-Biblical inspiration for post-canonical periods, the character of genuine inspiration is also downgraded in claims for the inspiration of persons, messages, and so on associated with the Broadlands Conferences. Thus, not all the claims that the Conferences, Mrs. Smith, and so on, were “inspired” were necessarily affirmations that the persons or things in question were vebally, plearily, and infallibly dictated by the Holy Ghost, as Scripture truly was.

[349]           Perhaps the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple “loved to prove that faults are but twisted virtues” (pg. 141, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple) contributed to the facility with which they adopted the ideas and practices of Harris and Oliphant.

[350]           The connection between sexual immorality and spiritualism is clearly evident historically, so that the Broadlands doctrines of an erotic Spirit Baptism and of familiar intercourse with demonic spirits are naturally connected. For example:

Mr. T. L. Harris, once a Spiritualistic medium, testifies that the marriage vow imposes no obligation on the Spiritualistic husband. They have been known to abandon their own wives, and prefer the company of those of whom the spirits told them that they had a closer spiritual affinity to them. Mrs. Woodhull, elected three years in succession as president of the Spiritist Societies in America, often lectured in favor of free love; and advocated the abolition of marriage (“forbidding to marry”), stigmatizing virtue and responsibility as the two thieves on the cross. She said: “It was the sublime mission of Spiritism to deliver humanity from the thraldom of matrimony, and to establish sexual emancipation.” (pg. 178, “Modern Spiritualism Briefly Tested by Scripture,” The Fundamentals, Pollock, 4:12).

[351]           Pg. 86, A Religious Rebel: the Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith.

[352]           Pg. 223, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[353]           Pgs. 225-226, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[354]           Pgs. 107ff., Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[355]           “Oliphant, Laurence (1829-1888). Author; born in Cape Town, Africa, in 1829. Lord Elgin made him his private secretary in 1853, and in 1865 he was elected to Parliament, but he resigned in 1868 in obedience to instructions from Thomas L. Harris, leader of the Brotherhood of the New Life, a spiritualistic society of which both Oliphant and his wife were members” (pg. 4316, Harper’s Encyclopedia of United States History, B. Lossing, Ed. Medford, MA: Perseus Digital Library, elec. acc. Logos Bible Software).

[356]           Pg. 108, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890; pg. 18, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982; cf. pg. 21.

[357]           Pgs. 108-109, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. Compare pg. 87.

[358]           Pgs. 6-7, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[359]           Pgs. 108, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[360]           Cf. pg. 109, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. What the Cowper-Temples termed spiritual growth might, by those who hold to Christian orthodoxy, perhaps be better termed cancerous growth.

[361]           Pg. 115, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[362]           Pgs. 115-116, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[363]           Pgs. 127, 148, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. Italics in original. Note the reference to bridal union with Christ a handful of lines after the quotation from pg. 127 on the top of pg. 128.

[364]           Pgs. 116ff., Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[365]           Pg. 67, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to Priscilla Mounsey, January 10, 1883.

[366]          E. g., pg. 27, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982; a goodly amount of the material in Mrs. Smith’s Religious Fanaticism came from the fellowship with spiritualists and mediums she partook of with Mrs. Mount-Temple.

[367]           Likewise, in a letter to Mrs. Mount-Temple, Ruskin indicates that the conversations with the spirits of the dead that have been raised up through spiritualistic necromancy have also convinced him “that there is a spiritual state” (Letter 13, pg. 36, The Letters of John Ruskin to Lord and Lady Mount-Temple, ed. John L. Bradley).

[368]           Pg. 132, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her daughter, Mary Costelloe, October 3, 1896.

[369]           Pg. 47, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.

[370]           Pgs. 155-156, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.

[371]           Pgs. 48-49, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith. Logan Smith illustrates the wild behavior of Mrs. Mount Temple’s family with one relative who had left her husband for an adulterous relationship, and who consequently “had been placed under Lady Mount Temple’s roof.” There, along with exhortations to some kind of morality, Mrs. Mount Temple composed a letter to send to the man the lady was committing adultery with, so that he could come and join her, as the adulteress was “feeling so lonely without” the man for whom she had betrayed her holy vows to God and her husband (pg. 48, ibid).

[372]           Pg. 49, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.

[373]           Pg. 47, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith. Compare Hannah W. Smith’s receipt of revelation from seeing Oscar Wilde on pg. 170, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her Daughter, Mary Berenson, November 10, 1904.

[374]           Robert Smith also thought that he would be able to continue to lead the Convention and expected “encouragement to continue his ministry” after his confession of teaching erotic bride mysticism (pg. 36, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck).

[375]           Pg. 65, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearasall Smith.

[376]           Pgs. 105-106, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to Lady Mount Temple and Mrs. Russell Gurney, October 3, 1889. Logan Smith comments: “Mrs. Russell Gurney, Lady Mount Temple, and H. W. S. formed themselves as a holy band” (pg. 105, ibid). “Emilia Gurney was among Mrs. Cowper-Temple’s best friends . . . [w]ith Hannah Smith these three ladies called themselves the “Trins,” a holy band comparable to the five mystic birds of ancient Philadelphia. Mrs. Gurney was at least sympathetic with Mrs. Cowper-Temple’s interests . . . [in] spiritualism . . . and acquainted with members of the spiritualist circle, including Mrs. Acworth” (pgs. 121-122, Christmas Story: John Ruskin’s Venetian Letters of 1876-1877, John Ruskin, ed. Van Alan Burd. Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1990.

[377]           E. g., pgs. 155-156 of A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, record her letter to her daughter Alys Russell of January 24, 1903, where Mrs. Smith discusses her time with a spiritualist named Podmore, who saw spirits materialize and talk with each other, and who believed that both Cardinal Newman and Napoleon appeared to him.

[378]           E. g., pg. 128 of A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, records her discussion of the prophecy of a “Palmist” in her letter to Mrs. Lawrence of May 12, 1895. She claimed that she was skeptical of his prophecy.

[379]           Pg. 133, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letter to her Daughter, Mary Costelloe, October 29, 1896.

[380]           Compare the references to the Mount Temples on pgs. 310 & 313 of The Memoir of the Life of Laurence Oliphant and of Alice Oliphant, His Wife, by Margaret Oliphant, William Blackwood & Sons: London, 1892.

[381]           For example, during Mr. Laurence and Mrs. Alice Oliphant’s “missionary” work in the Middle East, “Mrs. Oliphant felt compelled into high-minded but unreticent intimacy with Arabs, ‘no matter,’ as H. W. S. writes, ‘how degraded and dirty they were’” (pg. 86, A Religious Rebel: the Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith). Mrs. Smith enjoyed reading “some of Mrs. Oliphant’s books” (pg. 196, A Religious Rebel: the Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her Daughter, Mary Berenson, February 14, 1908.), referring to the works of Laurence Oliphant’s cousin, Mrs. Margarent Oliphant, who wrote the Life of Irving, a biography of that earlier continuationist fanatic and heretic, Edward Irving.

[382]           The author begs the pardon of the reader for reproducing such blasphemous trash as the following examination of Mrs. Smith’s confusion of the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit of God with sexual sensations. Although it is so unbelievably ridiculous and appalling, it constitutes a key part of the historical development of the nineteenth century Higher Life and Keswick doctrine of sanctification. It consequently seemed necessary to this writer to reproduce at length the evidence that Hannah W. Smith, her husband, and others adopted it, that the reader might not dismiss the facts as impossible because of their evidently Satanic, fanatical, and delusional character.

[383]           At least Oliphant was clearer, and the doctrine adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Smith somewhat more moderate and less crude and vile, if Mrs. Smith’s declarations are to be believed—that is, if she did not wish, in describing the erotic Spirit baptism espoused, experienced, and promulgated by both Robert and herself, to make her family and her own person look better than they actually were. Only if what she wrote about herself in this connection was nothing but unvarnished and brutal truth, to be conveyed without diminution to the public, was Oliphant’s teaching worse than the Pearsall Smiths’s views. However, the historical record provides clear evidence of Hannah “adjusting” and distorting the facts to cover up and mitigate her and her husband’s adoption and promulgation of the erotic Baptism doctrine. Oliphant himself publicly proclaimed only a vaguer version of his doctrine, concealing the real depths of Satan in his teachings from the masses—he reserved them for those he privately initiated into immorality.

[384]           Compare her explaining her own receipt of a post-conversion Spirit baptism and her call to the Ladies Meeting at Brighton to do so also on pgs. 376-377, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875.

[385]           Hannah wrote that through “the baptism of the Holy Ghost” one received “the full indwelling of the Spirit, whereby we become, not judicially, but really and actually the temples of the Holy Ghost, filled with the Spirit!” (Journal, April 29, 1868, reproduced in the entry for April 15 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[386]           It is noteworthy that leading Pentecostal historians connect their doctrine of gibberish-speech as the essential evidence of Spirit baptism with Hannah and Robert P. Smith’s doctrine of erotic thrills in Spirit baptism (cf. pg. 51, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Vinson Synan; pg. 64, “Wesleyan-Holiness Aspects of Pentecostal Origins: As Mediated through the Nineteenth-Century Holiness Revival,” Melvin E. Dieter, pgs. 55-80 in Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Synan; cf. pgs. 84-85, A Theology of the Holy Spirit: The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness, F. D. Bruner, for the Pentecostal “passion . . . to know even physically” that they have received the Baptism). Supernatural spirits can indeed possess many unconverted people who receive such Baptisms.

[387]           See, e. g., Letters 59, 96, 118, 121, pgs. 117, 181, 223-224, 228-229, The Letters of John Ruskin to Lord and Lady Mount-Temple, ed. John L. Bradley. Note also the discussion of Thomas Harris and his writings in Letter 112, 121, pgs. 212-214, 228-229.

[388]           Mrs. Smith does not specify who these “good people” are in her letter; they included her husband and herself, who both adopted the erotic Spirit baptism heresy from the “good” Dr. Foster in America, and also many others, some of whom are described in her book Religious Fanaticism, which she allowed to be published only after her death and the death of all parties mentioned in it. In her letter, on the contrary, she affirms that she told Oliphant: “I told Oliphant of the dangers which I saw in his teachings[.]”

[389]           Pgs. 85-86, A Religious Rebel: the Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her friends, Dorking, August 1, 1886.

[390]           Pg. 86, A Religious Rebel: the Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith.

[391]           Pg. 223, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[392]           Mrs. Smith knew of what Oliphant spoke for she had herself adopted, with her husband, the erotic Baptism doctrine years earlier.

[393]           Pgs. 225-226, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[394]           Pgs. 213-239, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[395]           Pg. 219, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[396]           Cf. Letter to Sister, July 28, 1881, reproduced in the entry for October 28 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[397]           Pg. 112, Christmas Story: John Ruskin’s Venetian Letters of 1876-1877, John Ruskin, ed. Van Alan Burd. Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1990.

[398]           Pgs. 6-7, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982.

[399]           Letter to Sister, July 28, 1881, reproduced in the entry for October 28 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[400]           Oliphant was by no means the only deluded fanatic Mrs. Mount-Temple introduced to Hannah W. Smith. For example, Mrs. Smith wrote:

As usual Lady Mount Temple is full of interesting things, and today she introduced me to a mysterious creature, a man he looked like, who is the leader of a strange sect called the “Temple,” and who declared to me that he had not slept a wink for 8 years, but had every night got out of his body and travelled around the world on errands of service for the Lord!! He declared that he sees angels as plainly as he sees men, and knows them all apart, and that Michael has light flaxen hair, and Gabriel dark eyes and hair, and they all live in the sun! (pg. 102, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to her friends, June 10, 1888)

[401]           Compare the references in “An Analysis and Critique of Keswick Theology as Set Forth Particularly in So Great Salvation: The History and Message of the Keswick Convention, by Stephen Barabas,” below.

[402]           Pgs. 21ff., Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874. The Broadlands and Keswick emphasis upon the renunciation of “known sin” to receive the second blessing carried over directly into Pentecostal theology (cf. pg. 95, A Theology of the Holy Spirit: The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness, F. D. Bruner).

[403]           Pg. 23, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[404]           Pgs. 25-26, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874; pg. 126, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890; pgs. 191-193, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. The confused Higher Life gospel became a very famous Keswick hymn written by Monod at Broadlands (cf. pgs. 53-54, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910).

[405]           E. g., Lord Mount Temple taught that in seeking the Higher Life one is to “respond to the impulses and impressions” allegedly from Christ outside of the Bible and “overcome all allurements to . . . independent action,” (pg. 184, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890) rejecting what is apparently a temptation to study the Bible think about it, and obey it instead of following passively received suggestions and impulses; for to the Mount Temples, the spirit can use the body while the mind remains dormant (pg. 186, ibid).

[406]           Pgs. 124-125, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[407]           Cf. e. g., the testimony that Oxford was but a larger scale of Broadlands on pgs. 27-28, 31, 146-147, 243, 321, 354, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874; Brighton was just Oxford intensified (cf. pgs. 321, 344-346, ibid.).

[408]           Pgs. 132-134, 148-150, 172-174, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. Italics in original.

[409]           Pg. 175, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[410]        For example, consider an excerpt of Charles Fox’s in memoriam poem addressed to and concerning Lord Mount Temple (pg. 135, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple):

The world is colder since thy sun went down,

     Went down in splendor noiseless as thy life,

     Thou noble-hearted banisher of strife,

Thou tender traveller betwixt Cross and crown.

Heaven’s own simplicity was thine,—a light,

                     The light of early dawn instinct with dew,

                     Healing all sundered souls, thou didst diffuse,

                Like summer twilight linking day and night.

                Thy name was fraught with human brotherhood,

                     Thy words down-lighting softly everywhere,

                Like snowflakes fell, but straight unveiled there stood

                     Truth’s dauntless snowpeaks, towering crystal-fair!

                Thy life soul-luminous, transparent, just,

                Seemed God’s own signature in human dust!

This was the praise of Keswick for the unconverted man who was both the founding impulse for their movement and among the most prominent of the promoters of familiar intercourse with demons in spiritualism.

                It is natural that Fox was an honored guest not at Keswick alone, but at the Broadlands Conferences also (pgs. 118-119, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890).

[411]           Andrew Naselli notes:

Charles Armstrong Fox (1836–1900)[,] Keswick’s Poet[,] an Anglican minister, spoke at the Brighton Convention in 1875, and Harford-Battersby and Wilson were so impressed with him that they invited him to speak at the first Keswick Convention just three weeks away. He was constantly ill, which inhibited him from speaking at the Keswick Convention until 1879, but he was then able to speak there every year through 1899 (except for 1897 because of illness). . . . After Fox’s first convention, he gave the closing address on the final evening of each convention he attended. . . . The Keswick Mission Council passed a resolution on 18 December 1900 noting the Keswick Convention’s “irreparable loss” in Fox’s death: “As its saintly poet, he lent distinction to the Convention from the first, and to him by general consent in the days of his prime was entrusted the address on the Friday evenings, in which the whole series of meetings culminated.” (pgs. 128-129, Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology, Naselli)

[412]           Pg. 184, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. Mrs. Cowper-Temple specifically speaks of her husband’s practice at the Conference of 1888—she does not specify how far back it goes, but pg. 124, ibid, provides evidence that Lord Mount-Temple’s practice was by no means limited to the 1888 Conference.

[413]           Pg. 124, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890. Lord Mount-Temple’s promotion of Quietism is evident in, e. g., his address’s declaration that, to experience the Higher Life, not only must “our carnal will . . . be subdued” but “our natural will must die,” not only must “carnal wishes” be removed but “emptying ourselves of human desires” must take place. While both the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, and unfallen Adam had sinless human desires and a sinless natural will, for Higher Life Quietists such as Lord Mount Temple and Hannah W. Smith not sin alone, but human nature itself is the enemy—it is not surprising, therefore, that for Lord Mount Temple, as for the Gnostics of old, “the true resurrection” is not that of the body, but “promotion from the world of matter to the world of spirit” (pg. 188, ibid).

[414]           Pg. 183, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[415]           E. g., she was not only leading at the first Conference, but testified: “As a Quaker, I have attended many of these Conferences,” and was present and preaching even at the last one (pgs. 132, 174, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890).

[416]           Pgs. 171-172, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[417]           Pgs. 16-18, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Cf. pg. 25, Forward Movements, Pierson.

[418]           Pg. 27, Forward Movements, Pierson.

[419]           Pg. 24, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[420]           Pgs. 61-62, Evan Harry Hopkins: A Memoir, Alexander Smellie); cf. the account on pgs. 57-60, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith. At Brighton it was indisputable and assumed that the teaching was that of Broadlands (e. g., pgs. 8, 23, 176, 343, 419 Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875) and Oxford (e. g., pgs. 6, 89, 94, 111, 143, 145, 200, 242, 259, 292, etc., ibid), for at Mrs. Cowper-Temple’s residence at “Broadlands the first such English gathering was held . . . Oxford and Brighton have been their successors” (pg. 19, ibid.). Keswick indisputably developed from these meetings (cf. pg. 123, The Keswick Convention: Its Message, its Method, and its Men, ed. Harford).

While Mrs. and Mr. Smith were the center of the Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton Conventions, men such as Asa Mahan and William Boardman were present and preached also; cf. pg. 73, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874, etc.

[421]           Pg. 147, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890.

[422]           That is, “the necessary consequence of consecration and faith . . . is a present and complete deliverance from sinning. If my soul is really entirely surrendered to the Lord Jesus and if I am really trusting Him to work all the good pleasure of His will in me, I must be delivered from sinning” (Journal, February 16, 1869, reproduced in the entry for May 12 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.).

[423]           Barclay wrote:

This most certain doctrine then being received, that there is an evangelical and saving light and grace in all . . . as many as resist not this light, but receive the same, in them is produced an holy, pure, and spiritual birth, bringing forth holiness, righteousness, purity, and all these other blessed fruits which are acceptable to God; by which holy birth (to-wit, Jesus Christ formed within us, and working his works in us) as we are sanctified, so are we justified in the sight of God. [Barclay thus teaches that sanctification and justification are received exactly the same way, and that justification is not by Christ’s imputed righteousness, but by becoming inwardly holy, a rejection of the gospel, in which Hannah W. Smith follows him; cf. pgs. 193-194, Every-Day Religion, or The Common-Sense Teaching of the Bible, Hannah W. Smith. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1893.] . . . In whom this holy and pure birth is fully brought forth, the body of death and sin comes to be crucified and removed, and their hearts united and subjected unto the truth, so as not to obey any suggestion or temptation of the evil one, but to be free from actual sinning, and transgressing of the law of God, and in that respect perfect. Yet doth this perfection still admit of a growth; and there remaineth a possibility of sinning, where the mind doth not most diligently and watchfully attend unto the Lord. (pgs. vii-viii, cf. pgs. 87ff., Proposition 7, “Concerning Justification,” and Proposition 8, “Concerning Perfection,” An Apology for the True Christian Divinity: being an Explanation and Vindication of the Principles and Doctrines of the People called Quakers, Robert Barclay)

Hannah Smith cites Barclay repeatedly and positively in her writings; see, e. g., her Journal from 1849, reproduced in the entry for January 3 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[424]           See, e. g., her Journal from 1849 & 1861, reproduced in the entry for January 2 & 29 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[425]        pg. 232, The Unselfishness of God. Methodist influences were also present, as explained below.

[426]           Hannah adopts the Higher Life view of the passage that considers it as a description of Paul in self-dependent defeat. She goes on to give the standard Keswick argument that Paul must pass out of defeat in Romans 7 into victory in Romans 8 because of Romans 7:25a, ignoring Romans 7:25b, Paul’s actual conclusion in Romans 7:14-25.

[427]           That is, after she rejected eternal torment and became a universalist.

[428]           That is, the Higher Life and Pelagian doctrine of the equation of obligation and ability, here taught to Hannah Smith by Guyon and Fénelon.

[429]           Pgs. 172-176, 185, The Unselfishness of God, Princeton, NJ: Littlebrook Press, 1987.

[430]           Pg. 2, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing Letter to her Cousin, Annie Whitall, 1850. Hannah was 18 at the time. Her writings contain other references to being “much helped” by Madame Guyon (cf. pg. 164, The Unselfishness of God, Hannah W. Smith, Princeton, NJ: Littlebrook Press, 1987).

[431]           Pg. 213, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing Letter to her Daughter, Mary Berenson, March 25, 1910. Hannah was 78 at the time.

[432]        Letter to Daughter Mary, October 9, 1881, reproduced in the entry for October 30 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[433]           Journal, Millville N. J., August 27, 1865; reproduced in the entry for February 3 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[434]           Letter to Abby, Millville N. J., September 6, 1865; reproduced in the entry for February 4 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[435]           Letter to Carrie, March 12, 1881; reproduced in the entry for October 25 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[436]           Letter to Carrie, March 12, 1881; reproduced in the entry for October 25 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Guyon and Fénelon also assisted Hannah move all the further away from literal interpretation of Scripture to the “inner sense” of allegorical, mystical, and non-literal interpretation that supported the doctrines she was imbibing from the Romanists.

[437]           Compare Letter to Sarah, March 7, 1881; Letter to Priscilla, 1883; Letter to a Friend, January 17, 1883, Providence, R.I., reproduced in the entries for October 24, November 16, & December 7 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[438]           For example, Hannah enjoyed the works of Frederick W. Faber, who journeyed with Cardinal Newman from the false gospel of Anglo-Catholicism into the arms of the Roman harlot itself (Revelation 17). She quoted him favorably in chapter 22 of her Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life. Commending him to another, she likewise wrote: “I wish you had Faber’s Growth in Holiness to read a little of it as a part of your devotions. I find him very helpful” (Letter to Carrie, February 2, 1881, reproduced in the entry for October 23 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter). See further representative examples of her positive view of Faber in Letter to Robert, July 20, 1873, Letter to a Friend, September 2, 1873, Letter to Anna, September 29, 1876, Letter to a Friend, August 17, 1879, reproduced in the entries for July 2, 5, August 9, September 20, of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter, etc.

[439]           Letter, 1880, reproduced in the entry for October 19 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Fenelon and Guyon were the most prominent of these “writers on the advancing life” or “spiritual writers”; cf. Letter to Carrie, March 12, 1881, reproduced in the entry for October 25 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[440]        Hannah W. Smith’s doctrine would have been in accord with her fellow preacher and founder of the Broadlands Conferences, Lord Mount Temple: “My Lord Jesus, as Thou didst take my humanity, I pray Thee impart to me Thy Divinity” (pg. 183, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890).

[441]           Letter to Priscilla, September 20, 1882, reproduced in the entry for October 25 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[442]        pg. 376, Perfectionism, vol. 2, Benjamin B. Warfield. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003; reprint of 1932 Oxford ed.

[443]        “Guyon, Jeanne-Marie Bouvier De La Mothe,” pg. 402 in the Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, vol. 3, James Strong & John McClintock. Elec. acc. Christian LibrarySeries vol. 2. Albany, OR: AGES Software, 2006.

[444]           Pg. 901, “Quietism,” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Elwell.

[445]           “Molinos, Miguel De,” Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, John McClintock & James Strong, vol. 6, elec. acc. AGES Digital Software Library.

[446]           Pg. 127, Keep In Step With The Spirit, Packer.

[447]        “The Delusions of Madame Guyon,” by David Cloud. Port Huron, MI: Fundamental Baptist Information Service, November 16, 2010. It is likely that the medieval Roman Catholic erotic bridal mysticism was ultimately at the root of the theological trajectory that led to Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s reception of the doctrine, although Henry Foster was the more immediate instrument of their adoption of the heresy.

[448]           Pg. 902, “Quietism,” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Elwell.

[449]          Madame Guyon wrote: “The essential union is the spiritual marriage where there is a communication of substance, when God takes the soul for His spouse, unites it to Himself, not personally, nor by any act or means, but immediately reducing all to a unity. The soul ought not, nor can, any more make any distinction between God and itself. God is the soul, the soul is God” (cited pgs. 82-83, The “Higher Life” Doctrine of Sanctification, Henry A. Boardman). “Communication of substance” is classical Trinitarian language for the possession of the undivided Divine essence by the Son through His being eternally begotten by the Father, and of the Spirit’s possession of the undivided Divine essence by eternal procession from the Father and the Son. To affirm that the Divine substance is communicated to a human being, so that the soul is God, is horrific blasphemy. Sundry Keswick advocates, such as Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, accepted the mystical heresy of deification, which was present in the Keswick movement from the time of its genesis in the Broadlands Conferences. Since the Higher Life and Keswick theology developed out of a historical trajectory involving Guyon, Fénelon, and mystical Quietism, this acceptance of deification is natural. However, more orthodox proponents of Keswick theology agree with Stephen Barabas and deny that sanctification involves “the merger of the personality with that of God . . . [or] the destruction of the personality” (pg. 121, So Great Salvation, Barabas); those Higher Life writers who agree with Barabas have allowed Scripture to remove this particular heresy from the historical stream of Keswick theology within which they swim.

                The Word of Faith movement likewise calls believers “god men” and preaches deification, as did the nineteenth century New Thought movement, which developed “the Divinity of Man” through “obedience to the Indwelling Presence which is our source of Inspiration, Power, Health, [and] Prosperity” (pgs. 106-107, A Different Gospel, McConnell). The metaphysical and Word of Faith doctrine that through “deification” men “are transformed into gods,” since “man was created with the divine nature, sinned, and was filled with satanic nature; but through the new birth, he is again infused with the divine nature,” so that “to be born again” is to receive “the nature and life of God in one’s spirit” (pg. 119-121, ibid.) is also very similar to the doctrine of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, and the Word of Faith system arose from the Higher Life antecedents that produced Pentecostalism.

[450]           Pg. 902, “Quietism,” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Elwell.

[451]           Pg. 89, “Fénelon, Francois de Salignac de Mothe,” Who’s Who in Christianity, ed. Lavinia Cohn-Sherbok.

[452]           Pennington was a Quaker mystic and heretic. Hannah W. Smith repeately refers to him (e. g., April 23, May 6, September 9, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith, ed. Melvin Dieter).

[453]           Pg. 206, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[454]           Pg. 240, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[455]        Pg. 234, My Spiritual Autobiography, Hannah W. Smith. James does not teach that one is justified in the sight of God by works, nor contradict in any way the Pauline doctrine of justification by faith alone (Romans 3:28).

[456]        Pgs. 158, 144, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. She would not have even “the narrowest Catholicism” taken away from her granddaughters (pg. 194, ibid). See also pg. xx.

[457]           Pg. 139, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letter to Miss Olive Seward, March 28, 1898.

[458]           Pg. 158, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith.

[459]           Pg. 158, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith.

[460]           Pg. 174-175, 184, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith.

[461]        Pg. 153, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith.

[462]           “I had one of my ‘openings’ in regard to all the Catholic ceremonies, that took away forever my prejudices, and made me feel that it was a fact that we are all one in God. Such openings are tremendously enlightening. I love to have them” (pg. 216, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith).

[463]           Pg. 256, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[464]        pg. 237, My Spiritual Autobiography, Hannah W. Smith.

[465]          Pg. 193-194, Every-Day Religion, Hannah W. Smith.

[466]           Hannah was writing, in 1870, to her son Frank, basing her false gospel upon a misinterpretation of Romans 10:9-10 (Letter to Frank, January 2, 1870, reproduced in the entry for May 22 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter). Romans 10:9-10 does not make confession of any kind a prerequisite to justification; rather it affirms that after one has believed in his heart and received Christ’s righteousness, he will confess Christ before men as a mark of his regenerate life, and so enter heaven, that is, receive ultimate salvation. See “An Exegesis and Application of Romans 10:9-14 for Soulwinning Churches and Christians,” by Thomas Ross.

[467]           Pg. 42, The “Higher Life” Doctrine of Sanctification Tried by the Word of God, Henry A. Boardman. Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle, 1996, citing Mrs. Smith’s tract “Faith,” published by the Willard Tract Repository. Pgs. 38-58 of Boardman’s book documents Smith’s unbiblical, Pelagian, and rationalistic view of faith.

[468]           Mr. Robert P. Smith also makes affirmations that sound like the Word-Faith positive confession heresy (cf. pgs. 100-101, “The Brighton Convention and Its Opponents.” London Quarterly Review, October 1875).

[469]           The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, Hannah W. Smith, Chapters 3, 6, 14, elec. acc. Accordance Bible Software; cf. Letter to Anna, September 6, 1871, reproduced in the entry for June 16 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

                It is noteworthy that Hannah Smith’s “Jesus saves me now” was also Robert P. Smith’s great refrain of immediate sanctification, the “watch word” of the Conventions that developed the Keswick theology (Letter to Father and Mother, June 9, 1875, reproduced in the entry for July 26 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter), and the way of entrance into a state of a perfection of acts, instantaneously obtained as a result of an act of faith directed to that end. Furthermore, “‘Jesus saves me now,’ is the refrain of more than one peculiarly ‘Keswick’ hymn,” which teach that by that immediate act of faith one obtains this second blessing (pg. 216, The Keswick Convention: Its Message, its Method, and its Men, ed. Harford); “Jesus saves me now” was enshrined in Keswick hymnody from at least the time of the Oxford Convention (pgs. 88-89, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall). Compare pgs. 140, 319, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875.

[470]           Pg. 235, The God of All Comfort, Smith.

[471]           Letter to Daughter, February 14, 1883, reproduced in the entry for December 11 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[472]           Letter to Priscilla, January 8, 1882, reproduced in the entry for November 3 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[473]           Faith, Hannah Whitall Smith, cited pg. 55, The “Higher Life” Doctrine of Sanctification Tried by the Word of God, Henry Boardman. Italics in original.

[474]           Henry Boardman must not be confused with the Higher Life leader William Boardman.

[475]           Pgs. 55-56, The “Higher Life” Doctrine of Sanctification Tried by the Word of God, Henry Boardman.

[476]           Pg. 212, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875; cf. Hannah’s teaching on pg. 373.

[477]           Letter to Anna, January 21, 1881, reproduced in the entry for October 20 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[478]           A brief testimony by Robert about his professed conversion appears on pgs. 168-169, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874; he came to see what Christ’s blood “had” already done for him, and recognising that fact, he testified: “I never for an hour doubted my pardon and adoption”; mention of repentance, or of actually trusting in what Christ did, is omitted; only assent to facts about Christ’s blood is stated. Furthermore, Robert believed that “consecration and conversion [were] two separate acts” and he had “never known one instance in which they were not distinct” (pg. 256, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875); that is, if his testimony is to be credited, he never knew a single instance in which a sinner repented and surrendered to Christ as Lord at the time of his professed conversion, and Mr. Smith did not surrender to Christ at the time of his own professed conversion; consequently, his salvation was spurious, as were all those of whom he testified truly.

Mr. Smith’s exceedingly weak view of conversion is also evident in that he testified: “I had asked the Lord not to send me out [in ministry] till the Divine seal had been set on my work at home—[but] when all my children, my servants, and many of my work-people had been converted, and brought to live the faith-life, it was easy to go ‘to the parts beyond’” (pg. 221, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874). Although his children, at least those who lived to adulthood, were all unconverted, he publicly proclaimed exactly the opposite—but it is not surprising that one who is unconverted himself should have great difficulty leading others to true conversion.

[479]           For example, Jacob Abbott, commenting on William Boardman’s definition of faith in his The Higher Christian Life, notes:

We had read with astonishment, in the early part of the work, what he quoted, with an apparent endorsement, from a monk, who was directing Luther how to be saved. Said the monk: “The commandment of God is, that we believe our own sins are forgiven” (p. 25). Where do we find a warrant for so believing, and calling it saving faith? What kind of faith would that be for impenitent men . . . [to] believ[e] that their own sins are forgiven, [that they have] an assured hope of heaven, [and] an assured knowledge of the saving presence of Jesus[?] . . . Would it not be, what a great many are doing, believing a lie, that they might be damned? . . . The amount of it is, that we are to believe something about ourselves . . . [n]ow we ask, is that evangelical faith at all? . . .

What is the object of Christian faith? Is it not the salvation of Christ, the “good tidings” revealed in his word? Can anything be a proper object of justifying or sanctifying faith, what what God as recorded in his word? . . . [Assurance] springs up amind the fruits of a renewed heart [and] must not be mistaken for the faith itself, that works by love, and purifies the heart, and overcomes the world. (pgs. 515-516, Review of William E. Boardman’s The Higher Christian Life, Jacob J. Abbott. Bibliotheca Sacra (July 1860) 508-535. Note that Boardman’s account of the monk and Luther is almost certainly mythological in any case. As Abbott notes later: “[S]o far as we have the means of verifying them, there is not one of [Boardman’s testimonials from history] that stands upon the ground of historical truth” (pg. 520).)

[480]           Pgs. 35-38, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.

[481]           Pg. 179, My Spiritual Autobiography, Hannah W. Smith.

[482]           Pgs. 179-180, My Spiritual Autobiography, Hannah W. Smith.

[483]           Pg. 180, My Spiritual Autobiography, Hannah W. Smith.

[484]          Pg. 278, The Unselfishness of God.

[485]           Pg. 149, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith, Letter to her daughter, Mary Berenson, October 26, 1901. The theological looseness and indulgence of various heresies that are consistent, in Mrs. Smith’s mind, with being an allegedly “extreme evangelical” should be recalled.

[486]           Pg. 149, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith, Letter to her daughter, Mary Berenson, October 26, 1901. Italics in original.

[487]           Pg. 15, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[488]           Pg. 159, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[489]           Pgs. 83-85, The Unselfishness of God.

[490]        pg. 240, The Unselfishness of God. The Methodist doctrine of the second blessing or perfectionism affirms:

[In] the entirely sanctified . . . “concupiscence” has lost its evil, and [has] reverted back to . . . mere desire incident to the flesh, without any complicity or affinity with sin . . . victory is perfectly gained through the overwhelming might of the Spirit in the inner man, so that [those who have been perfected] have only to keep themselves from the external enemy who seeks to “touch” them, and to preserve or maintain the victory over self which God has given them. . . . The natural will being dead, the agony of a divided life and purpose is gone; for now our glorious motive power, God’s own will, works in us, freed from internal opposition . . . released from the inward proneness to sin. . . . God is pleased to reckon as a fulfilment of the law . . . perfect love[,] [which is] possible to the faith of the Christian. . . . “Christian perfection” was indeed a favourite expression . . . [of] Mr. Wesley[.] . . . [T]his perfection is always wrought in the soul by a simple act of faith; consequently, in an instant. But [there is] a gradual work, both preceding and following that instant. (pgs. 118-124, “The Brighton Convention and Its Opponents.” London Quarterly Review, October 1875; comparison is made to the second blessing doctrine of Robert P. Smith, which is evidenced to be very similar to that of Wesleyan perfectionism.)

[491]          pgs. 242-243, 245, The Unselfishness of God. Italics in original.

[492]           That is, Presbyterians such as William Boardman; Presbyterian orthodoxy rejected the Higher Life movement.

[493]          pgs. 261, 264-265, The Unselfishness of God.

[494]          pgs. 269-270, The Unselfishness of God.

[495]           Letter to Priscie, reproduced in the entry for September 4 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Hannah Smith speaks of the Quaker woman preacher Helen Balkwell.

[496]          pgs. 272-274, 280, The Unselfishness of God.

[497]           Pg. 267, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey. Italics in original.

[498]           Pgs. 194-195, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[499]           Pg. 29, Remarkable Relations, Strachey. Italics in original.

[500]           Hannah preached and testified: “When I entered this [Higher] life . . . [t]he Lord delivered me from [judging]. . . . I feel it is not my place to judge anybody” (pg. 368, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875). Mrs. Smith was relatively consistent in her failure to judge and condemn heretics, universalists, and fanatics, despite Christ’s command to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24) and the Apostolic pattern of judging people for false doctrine and practice (1 Corinthians 5:3; Galatians 2:4-5). However, she seems to have made an exception for Baptists who preached a pure gospel—these, she judged, were repulsive and intolerable—a feeling reflective of her view of their Master (Matthew 10:40; John 13:20).

[501]           Pg. 203, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey. Hannah Smith went on to warn that the Methodist doctrine had “introduced [her] into an emotional region where common sense has no chance, and where everything goes by feelings and voices and impressions,” which she did not think was good, as, at the time she was writing, she did not think that very extreme fanaticism was commendable. However, she did not go on to reject the Quaker Inner Light heresy, or the Methodist errors of entire sanctification and extra-Scriptural revelations, for a consistent sola Scriptura stand and a truly Biblical doctrine of sanctification, such truths being aborrant to her because of her unregenerate state (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14). Thus, she remained a fanatic herself.

[502]           Compare the chapter “An Excerpt from ‘A Warning Exhortation Against Pietsts, Quietists, and all Who in a Similar Manner have Deviated to a Natural and Spiritless Religion under the Guise of Spirituality,’ by Wilhelmus á Brakel.” Wilhelmus á Brakel describes and penetratingly warns against the pseudo-spirituality of the sort espoused by this Methodist minister which Hannah W. Smith esteemed so highly and adopted.

[503]           Note that 1879 was by no means the first introduction of the Smiths to Clifton Springs or to the erotic Baptism doctrine; both Mr. and Mrs. Smith had learned and adopted the doctrine from Dr. Henry Foster years earlier. The fact that they still fellowshipped with him in 1879 shows that association with their mentor in spiritual eroticism was still acceptable to the family even after Mr. Smith’s downfall in England for preaching the erotic Baptism.

[504]           Germantown was in such close proximity to Clifton Springs that Hannah could state in a letter that she was staying in Clifton Springs in the summer of 1879 (see Letter to Anna, written from Clifton Springs on July 8, 1879, reproduced in the entry for September 16 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter). It is not possible from the historical record to determine if Mrs. Smith wrote “Germantown” in her published book and “Clifton Springs” in her unpublished letter to make it more difficult for readers to associate the Methodist sexual predator whom she does not name with Dr. Henry Foster’s Clifton Springs Sanitarium. It is also very possible that she simply frequented both the adjacent locations.

[505]           Neither, of course, had Miss W. discovered such a “secret,” and close attention to the real Divine guidance in the Word of God would have kept both women from such unhesitating submission to the suggestions of their own sinful hearts and the openness to Satanic influence that went along with it.

[506]           The truth is that neither fallen and corrupt human thinking nor the “interior voice” was the proper authority—the sole authority in spiritual matters, and all other matters it addresses, is the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).

[507]           Note that this is Mrs. Smith’s description of this women even after she knew about the fleshly abominations in which she participated.

[508]           That is, the generic god of natural and pagan religion, associated for Mrs. Smith with a merely natural and unregenerate intellectual assent to various facts about Jesus Christ, not the true God of the regenerate, the Father, who has reconciled His people to Himself through the substitutionary sacrifice of His eternal Son Jesus Christ, and regenerated and justified them through the sole instrumentality of Spirit-produced faith.

[509]           For, truly, Boston was a hotbed of fanaticism, Faith Cure, Mind Cure, New Thought, and other wretched abominations at the time.

[510]           Note that Robert Pearsall Smith came to exactly this conclusion—when he rejected the erotic Spirit baptism at the heart of his Higher Life ministry, he also rejected Christianity for agnosticism and Buddhism.

[511]           For, Hannah W. Smith believed, they were indeed Christians, despite such abominable heresies and evil works—since they were the human instruments through which she came into her most fundamental knowledge of spirituality and of the Higher Life, how could they be otherwise?

[512]           That is, Mrs. Smith believed that these deluded fanatics and filthy fornicators were sent by God to teach her spiritual truth.

[513]           Mrs. Smith affirmed that they lived in the presence of God in an unusual sense. However, the true God describes people like them in words such as: “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16). Passages such as the following provide Jehovah’s view of such persons:

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh . . . [and] speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. (Jude 4, 8-13)

Thus, the only god that these fanatics could be unusually in the presence of was the god of this world, Satan, the source of their deluded Higher Life spirituality.

[514]           Robert P. Smith also cited this maxim of Fénelon at the Brighton Convention (pg. 140, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875).

[515]           That is, Mrs. Smith learned, in the most fundamental way, the tremendous value of the natural and pagan “spirituality” of the Roman Catholic mysticism and quietism of Fénelon from these Methodist fornicators and fanatics; such was the spirituality of Mrs. Smith’s Higher Life.

[516]           Pgs. 182-193, 259, 267-270, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[517]           Hannah herself recounts:

One day when I was alone reading my Bible and praying for guidance . . . suddenly, in the moment of a most solemn act of consecration to God, a voice, that seemed to be entirely distinct from my own personality, said plainly, “If you want to be entirely consecrated to God, you must kiss Mr. L.” . . . There seemed nothing for me to do but to surrender my will in the matter and to say, “Yes, Lord, if it is Thy will, repulsive as it is, I will do even this!” Perfect peace at once filled my heart[.] (pgs. 247-248, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey. Italics in original).

However, she never ended up kissing him, because when “the voice spoke again, ‘Now you must do it,’” Mr. L. told her not to (pg. 248, ibid.). However, she narrates:

I went to my dressmaker . . . an inward Voice told me I . . . must kiss the dressmaker. . . . I dared not refuse, and said to the dressmaker, “The Lord tells me to kiss you,” and proceeded to bestow a kiss upon her cheek. I must say the whole thing fell very flat. The poor woman coloured crimson with embarrassment, and I shared her embarrassment. . . . She hurried to finish her fitting and I hurried to leave the house, thankful to get alone where I could endure my mortification in silence. (pgs. 249-250, ibid.)

[518]           Compare the commentary by this Quaker woman preacher on the book of Joshua, from which the typical Higher Life conclusions are drawn: The Fulness of Blessing; or, The Gospel of Christ, as Illustrated from the Book of Joshua, Sarah F. Smiley. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1876. In discussing the post-conversion Baptism of the Spirit, she condemned the “tendency to ignore the importance of the body, [which] proceeds from a general lack of insight into the Scriptural philosophy of nature and of spirit” (pg. 89).

[519]           Mrs. Smith at first tried to get her to not kiss the man.

[520]           Pgs. 194-202, 246-248, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[521]           Pgs. 196-197, 203-205, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[522]           Higher Life perfectionism, antinomianism, continuationism, and the rejection of sola Scriptura, are all related concepts which easily relate the one to the other. Lyman Atwater explains:

[M]en who esteem themselves perfect are apt to make themselves, their own subjective exercises, experiences, judgments, desires, and appetites, the measure and standard of perfection; to make these the rule and measure of rectitude, rather than God’s word; or rather to construe them as God’s voice and word, speaking in and through them. They have often maintained that as Christ was living within them, their desires, and words and deeds were Christ’s. This, of course, is the extreme of fanatical and blasphemous Antinomian pride and licentiousness. . . . [T]here are [grave dangers in] making our subjective feelings the standard of truth and holiness . . . [as] often develops in simple mysticism, in which the feeling of the subject, devout and elevated though it be, still becomes a law unto itself, and sets its own impulses and bewilderments above the law and the testimony. Against all this we cannot too sedulously guard. . . . [T]he Antinomian feature of [the Higher Life perfectionism] has strong logical and practical affinities for licentiousness[.] . . . Nor do we think it wrong or uncharitable in this connection to refer to the career of Mr. Pearsall Smith, who has been so conspicuous in Higher Life leadership. (pgs. 418-419, “The Higher Life and Christian Perfection,” Lyman H. Atwater. The Presbyterian Quarterly and Princeton Review (July 1877) 389-419)

[523]           Leading Pentecostal historians connect the theory of erotic Spirit baptism with the rise of their doctrine of speaking in tongues as the physical mark of Spirit baptism. For example, Donald W. Dayton, in his essay “From ‘Christian Perfection’ to the ‘Baptism of the Holy Ghost,’ which was recognized as the prizewinning submission in its category from the Society for Pentecostal Studies in 1973, references the description of Hannah and Robert P. Smith’s doctrine of physical sexual thrills in Spirit baptism in Religious Fanaticism: Extracts from the Papers of Hannah Whitall Smith, ed. Ray Strachey, and writes: “It is easy to see how the gift of tongues would fulfill this longing” (pg. 51, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Vinson Synan; Dayton’s essay covers pgs. 39-54). Melvin E. Dieter also notes the background to Pentecostal tongues in the erotic Spirit baptism of Robert and Hannah W. Smith, along with “the inherited . . . tendencies of a perfectionist movement and the influence of the spiritual raptures in the experiences of the Quietists and other Catholic mystics who had been widely accepted as part of the true holiness movement” (pg. 64, “Wesleyan-Holiness Aspects of Pentecostal Origins: As Mediated through the Nineteenth-Century Holiness Revival,” Melvin E. Dieter, pgs. 55-80 in Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Synan). The doctrine of thrills in Spirit baptism could easily be passed down by the Higher Life and Faith or Mind Cure movement into Pentecostalism through innumerable continuationists such as Dr. Henry Foster and Robert P. Smith.

[524]           Letter to a Friend, February 12, 1876, reproduced in the entry for July 30 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[525]        Pg. 158, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[526]           Pg. 132, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith. Logan speaks of the time when his sister was married in Oxford: “[T]o these festivities my parents invited their [Higher Life] evangelical and especially their Quaker friends, who most of them had condoned, if they had not forgotten, the scandal of my father’s adventures with his feminine disciples.”

[527]           Letter to Carrie, February 13, 1877, reproduced in the entry for August 12 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[528]           Hannah wrote to her daughter Mary: “I have watched the growth and development of agnosticism in your father[.] . . . Your father gave in to the doubt, and has lost at last all sense of any perception of God” (Letter to Mary, January 27, 1883, reproduced in the entries for December 8-9 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter), and noted: “His unbelief is most contagious. . . . He has been pouring floods of agnosticism upon me” (Letter to Daughter, February 7, 1883, reproduced in the entry for December 10 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[529]           Pg. 253, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[530]           Hannah eventually concluded that “it seems impossible that anything can be the truth of God which is not fit to be publicly proclaimed” (Letter to a Friend, February 12, 1876, reproduced in the entry for July 30 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter). Note, however, that promulgation of the physical thrills doctrine and association with its other advocates continued for the Pearsall Smiths far after the time of the composition of this letter, which was more a piece of revisionist history and apologetic defense of Robert P. Smith than actual fact. Hannah not only affirmed in this letter that “it seems impossible that anything can be the truth of God which is not fit to be publicly proclaimed,” but also that “I don’t have to tell you I am sure that my dear husband is entirely innocent of the vile charges against him,” a statement which was simply false, and which casts doubt upon her repudiation of the erotic Baptism doctrine.

[531]        pg. 82, The Secret Life of Hannah Whitall Smith, by Marie Henry. The woman, Miss Hattie Hamilton, stated that Robert P. Smith tried to commit adultery with her in her bedroom, but he denied that he had sought to do so.

[532]           Robert, recounting his and his family’s “fearful curse of our inheritance of NERVES” in a letter to his daughter Mary, concluded: “be very distrustful of our own intellectual and moral conclusions” (pgs. 159-160, Remarkable Relations, Barbara Strachey). His conclusion that his own intellect and morals were untrustworthy appears to be most sound.

[533]           Cf. pgs. 506-508, Warfield, Perfectionism, vol. 2. Meneghel, “Becoming a ‘Heretic,’” 227-30.

[534]           Pg. 26, Life of Henry Foster, M. D., Founder Clifton Springs Sanitarium, Samuel Adams Hawley. Clifton Springs, NY: Sanatarium Board of Trustees, 1921.

[535]           Pg. 98, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley. Administering the elements of the Lord’s Supper kneeling supports the Roman Catholic idea that the bread changes into God and is an error, as is giving it to people in private. The Biblical mandate for unity is that “all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Such unity is an essential aspect of the Scriptural celebration of the Supper (1 Corinthians 11:18-21; 10:17), but it is impossible among twenty-six denominations with different doctrines and practices—indeed, it is impossible outside the context of an individual true church.

[536]        Pgs. 146-147, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[537]           Pg. 157, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[538]        Pg. 75, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[539]           Pgs. 26, 157, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[540]           See pgs. 263-314, Can You Trust Your Doctor? The Complete Guide to New Age Medicine and Its Threat to Your Family, John Ankerberg & John Weldon. Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991; “The New Age in Health Care,” David Cloud (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, November 3, 2008); elec. acc. Fundamental Baptist CD-ROM Library.

[541]           Historians generally recognize the association between hydropathy or Water Cure and spiritualism:

In water cure, Spiritualists found a medical system in sympathy with their reform orientation. Also called hydropathy, water cure was a therapeutic approach imported from Europe in 1843 that relied on the internal consumption and external application of cold water for the prevention and cure of all diseases. Spiritualists . . . embraced water cure because of its appeal to the laws of nature embodied in each human being as the source of healing and because of the reform principles of its leaders. Hydropathy relied on the natural curative tendencies of the individual rather than on intervention by an authoritative medical expert. . . . Water cure establishments provided a fertile environment for the development of many of the ideas advocated by Spiritualist health reformers. (pg. 154, Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America, Ann Braude. 2nd ed.)

Thus, “[a]long with homeopathy and animal magnetism, hydropathy was a favorite cure among the Spiritualists” (pg. 116, Plato’s Ghost: Spiritualism in the American Renaissance, Cathy Gutierrez).

                Of course, water itself is something God made, and some people who went to Water Cures just liked to get wet, while others were were simply ignorant or dupes of quacks; not all were intentional devotees of Satan.

[542]           Dr. Foster noted: “Spiritualism had its birth just north of us” (pg. 33, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley).

[543]           As the Mind Cure and homeopathy, which developed from mesmerism and vitalism, undergirds the Faith Cure in men like the homeopathic doctors Dr. Foster and Dr. Cullis, who were themselves roots of the Higher Life and Faith Cure doctrines of people like William Boardman and Hannah and Robert Pearsall Smith, so Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science developed from the “mind-cure . . . homeopathy . . . mesmerism . . . and the magnetic doctor, Mr. P. P. Quimby,” from whom “she had learned her system.” “Quimby was . . . the founder of the whole school of Mental-Healers which . . . flourished in America through the . . . half-century [of the late 1900s]” (pgs. 272-274, Counterfeit Miracles, Warfield). The Mind Cure involved one convincing himself he was not really sick, but perfectly healthy, and believing it was so, because of a healing Power; the Faith Cure likewise involved one convincing himself that he was not really sick, but pefectly healthy, and believing it was so, because of a healing Power. The Faith and Mind Cures were by no means two separated and unrelated phenomena, but were the same fundamental error and two names or emphases of one and the same movement.

For more information see, e. g., James Monroe Buckley, Faith-Healing, Christian Science and Kindred Phenomena (New York: The Century Co., 1898); Paul G. Chappell, “The Divine Healing Movement in America” (Ph. D. diss., Drew University, 1983); Heather D. Curtis, “‘The Lord for the Body’: Pain, Suffering and the Practice of Divine Healing in Late-Nineteenth-Century American Protestantism.” (Th. D. diss., Harvard University, 2005).

[544]           Pg. 57, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley. Foster’s brother “Dr. Hubbard became an avowed and pronounced homeopathist,” and, naturally, Foster had “intimate association with his brother, Dr. Hubbard” (pgs. 17-18, ibid.).

[545]           Pgs. 169-170, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[546]           Pg. 169, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[547]           Pg. 161, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Herman Bavinck.

[548]           Pgs. 23-25, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[549]           Pgs. 174-175, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[550]           Pg. 90, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[551]           Pgs. 22-26, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[552]           Pgs. 54-56, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley. Foster stated that his vision “was a mental thing, of course, but it was a reality to me” (pg. 55, ibid.)

[553]           Pg. 27, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley; see pg. 33.

[554]           Pgs. 18-21, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[555]           Pg. 27, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[556]           Pgs. 140-141, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[557]           Pg. 81, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.

[558]           Pgs. 230-231, The Modern Mission Century Viewed as a Cycle of Divine Working, Arthur T. Pierson. New York, NY: Baker & Taylor Co., 1901. The closer the contact, the higher the elevation, no doubt.

[559]           Pgs. 34-35, Remarkable Relations, Barbara Strachey. Strachey’s book supplies ample difficult to obtain original source material.

[560]           Hannah Smith publicly claimed that, at least at this time, she did not accept Dr. Foster’s teaching in every detail; she admits only that others did. For example, Hannah wrote about what had happened when she had explained their experiences at Dr. Foster’s sanatorium to a friend, Quaker minister Sarah F. Smiley:

When I told her of my experiences at the water cure [Dr. Foster’s hydropathic sanatorium] . . . she seized upon it . . . putting herself under the teaching of the doctor there, hoping that she might learn his strange secrets. The result was that she went into the wildest extravagences. . . . Among other things she felt it her duty to ask him to stand naked before her, and also to do the same thing herself before him. To what other lengths she went I have never known. . . . She really believed that Christ had often come to her at night when in bed, as the real Bridegroom, and had actually had a bridegroom’s connection with her. She taught this doctrine to a choice circle of friends and even tried by personal contact to produce in them those physical thrills which she believed were the actual contact of the Holy Ghost. (pg. 39, Remarkable Relations, Strachey)

However, in her narrative above, in order to make herself look better, Hannah distances herself and understates her influence in leading Sarah Smiley into the erotic Baptism heresy. Elsewhere, in a writing which was only to be circulated posthumously and in which she attempted to conceal the identify of Dr. Foster, Hannah admitted that she was the immediate instrument of Sarah’s entering into the erotic experience:

Another friend of mine . . . whom I had told about Dr. R., received while I was talking to her, what she believed was the Baptism, and began to experience right there thrills of rapture from head to foot, which completely carried her away. . . . [S]he [came] to spend most of her time lying on the sofa trying to induce [the thrills] to come. She also . . . felt it her duty to kiss several men, with the idea that through that means God would bestow either great blessings upon them or greater blessings upon herself. She had felt led to kiss Mr. L. [the Methodist sexual predator discussed above]. . . . [Indeed,] a great many saintly women . . . one after another . . . would in some mysterious way begin to “feel led” to give him a kiss . . . the called for kiss bestowed . . . floods of joy and peace would fill their souls. . . . She was impressed with the idea that through this performance God would bestow the Baptism of the Spirit upon the receipient of her kisses. . . . [She] was so good and pure minded that we all called her “Saint Sarah[.]” . . . This dear Saint was so enmoured of what she called “The Touch of God,” that she spent a large part of her time seeking for it and enjoying it, until it finally became a sort of possession . . . a very good Christian lady . . . said . . . [she] was possessed of the devil. (pgs. 194-202, 246-248, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey)

Smiley became part of what was known as the “Boston Party,” following the “outgrowth of Dr. Foster’s idea.” Smiley testified that the Boston Party was “far ahead of all other Holiness meetings she has ever attended in spirituality, direct guidance, etc.” (Letter to Robert, December 4, 1873, reproduced in the entry for July 8 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter). Smiley also set forth the typical Higher Life and Keswick allegorization of the book of Joshua, including a doctrine of post-conversion Spirit baptism, in her The Fulness of Blessing; or, The Gospel of Christ, as Illustrated from the Book of Joshua (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1876). It is noteworthy, in light of Hannah’s revelations of Smiley’s activities with Dr. Foster, that Smiley’s discussion of post-conversion Spirit baptism allegorically eisegeted into Joshua includes an extensive note decrying the “tendency to ignore the importance of the body, [which] proceeds from a general lack of insight into the Scriptural philosophy of nature and of spirit” (pg. 89).

Of course, Boston was the place from which the Faith and Mind Cures of Dr. Cullis and Mary Baker Eddy spread in the background of Higher Life teaching, rejection of sola Scriptura, fanaticism, and demonism.

[561]           Pgs. 165-172, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[562]           Compare Hannah Smith’s description of her related experience near Clifton Springs through her surrender to the Inward Voice in her Letter to Sisters of August 14, 1879, reproduced in the entry for September 19 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, ed. Dieter.

[563]           This principle that blessings not confessed immediately were lost carried over to the foundational pre-Keswick Conventions, into the Keswick movement, and into the Pentecostal and Word of Faith movements; thus, e. g., the Oxford Convention proclaimed: “None retain the blessing of full faith [the Higher Life], and its consequent victory, who refuse to acknowledge, on suitable occasions, what God has done for them. The saintly John Fletcher four times fell back into the old level by fearing to witness for this grace of God” (pgs. 284-285, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874). Fletcher was the central theologian of Wesleyan Perfectionism (see, e. g, “How John Fletcher Became the Theologian of Wesleyan Perfectionism, 1770–1776,” T. L. Smith. Wesleyan Theological Journal 15:1 (Spring 1980): 68–87).

[564]           Swedenborgianism is another demonic and spiritualist cult that Hannah W. Smith viewed in a positive light, as did, among others, Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple.

[565]           Pgs. 173-181, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[566]           pg. 38, Remarkable Relations, Strachey, citing a letter from October 21, 1873. Hannah later became less enthusiastic about Dr. Foster’s doctrine and then rejected it, but her husband continued to believe and promulgate it secretly until it caused his public downfall.

[567]           Pg. 317, The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors, D. M. Lloyd-Jones. Robert had earlier received entire sanctification and a less erotic spiritual Baptism at a Methodist Holiness meeting, where he learned that “one can be sanctified by faith just as one was saved by faith” (February 5-6, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[568]           The doctrine was a regular theme of Robert P. Smith, and many adopted it as a result of his propogation of it; cf. pgs. 233-234, 238, 251, 255-260, 466-467, 470, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875.

[569]           Pg. 39, Remarkable Relations, Strachey.

[570]           Pg. 48, Remarkable Relations, Strachy; cf. pg. 104.

[571]           Pg. 50, Remarkable Relations, Strachey. This meeting took place in 1876 under Robert Smith’s preaching at a camp meeting in the United States after his downfall in England. Note that Robert was still, obviously, promulgating the doctrine of the erotic Baptism even after being forced to leave England after the Brighton Convention because of it.

Other manifestations of fanaticism ascribed to the Holy Spirit at another camp meeting the Smiths graced were similar to those experienced by early Quakerism: “The ladies . . . at our house this spring have that quaking under the power of the Spirit that gave the early Friends the name of Quakers. Mrs. Ashmead and Mrs. Bond both quake wonderfully at times. And yet neither of them are at all remarkable for any depth of natural character” (pgs. 51-52, ibid.).

[572]           Pg. 162, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[573]           Pg. 36, The Keswick Story, Polluck.

[574]        Letter to a Friend, February 12, 1876, reproduced in the entry for July 30 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[575]           Pg. 43, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874. Compare Jessie Penn-Lewis’s affirmations that Spirit baptism brings one to revelations of the world of darkness, discussed below in the chapter concerning her and Evan Roberts.

[576]        Pg. 251, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874. Mr. Smith affirms that he does not wish, at that time, “to point so much to the phenomena . . . as to the reality . . . of the coming of the Spirit” (pg. 251), for an open and explicit declaration of the erotic phenomena he thought accompanied the Baptism were not fit to be proclaimed publicly.

[577]           Robert explained that in his public discourse he did “not wish to point so much to the phenomena,” for he was not willing to explain plainly the eroticism of his doctrine to everyone present at the Oxford Convention.

[578]           Pgs. 244-259, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[579]           While this writer feels it is necessary to print the following quotation, it is exceedingly grievous to His soul to have the infinitely holy God, and the perfect purity of Jesus Christ, blasphemed in the manner that it is by those who understood and accepted the Bridal Baptism doctrine. The glorious, blessed, and truly spiritual union of the Redeemer with His espoused church is a wonderful and awesome truth which it is the depths of vileness to drag into the gutter as the Bridal Baptism heresy does. This writer perfectly understands, and has great sympathy with, those who would prefer to simply pass by without reading such quotations, with their double entendres for the initiated and the uninitiated, so that his mind does not need to think upon the despicable evil intended in such public proclamations for the initiated. Singing or reading Psalm 109 might be an appropriate response by those who truly love that One before whom the seraphim sing “Holy, Holy, Holy”—or even a good preparation for the reading of the following quotation, and the rest of the quotes exposing the filthy doctrine of the Smiths and other Higher Life promulgators elsewhere in this composition.

[580]           For, in private, the Bridal Baptism doctrine could be more openly set forth; more private explication was the practice of its advocates, whether Robert and Hannah W. Smith, Laurence Oliphant, or sexual predators who claimed that they were fathering an exalted new human race.

[581]           Compare Logan P. Smith’s description of the erotic Baptism doctrine as “the doctrine of ‘Loving-kindness’” (Pgs. 60-65, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith).

[582]           Pgs. 236-239, 270-271, 300-302, 306-314, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874. The Oxford Ladies’ Meetings were led by Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Boardman (pg. 289).

Once again, this writer begs the pardon of his reader for reproducing and calling to mind the trashy filth meant by the initiated into the Bridal Baptism secret. Reader, know that this writer sympathizes with you if you desire to vomit. Were such quotations introduced for an insignificant purpose, they would certainly be unjustifiable—they are reproduced only because they represent the thinking of those who have profoundly influenced the doctrine of sanctification of huge portions of Christiandom—a fact that would be almost absolutely unbelievable, apart from clear evidence such as that provided in this composition, and one which illustrates how deeply Satan has laid his deceptions.

[583]           Letter to a Friend, February 12, 1876, reproduced in the entry for July 30 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[584]           Pg. 19, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[585]        Pg. 215, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[586]           Pgs. 371-372, 384-385, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874. It should not be a surprise that those who pointedly affirmed, “I cannot remember . . . my conversion” were prominent among the people who “heard Mr. Smith’s address on the baptism of the Holy Spirit” and received the “conscious . . . blessing” he proclaimed (pgs. 384-385).

[587]           Hannah called Dr. Foster’s heresy “the subtle doctrine concerning the physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit which led my dear husband astray” (pg. 48, Remarkable Relations, Strachy; cf. pg. 104). Mrs. Smith, as usual, downplays her own adoption of the erotic Baptism teaching.

[588]           Thus, for example, Hannah Smith was staying at Clifton Springs in July 1879 (see Letter to Anna, written from Clifton Springs on July 8, 1879, reproduced in the entry for September 16 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[589]           July 27-28, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[590]           Victorian sensibilities and the fact that Hannah Smith’s writings on fanaticism and various other writings were intentionally left unpublished during her lifetime account, in part, for the fact that early critics of the Keswick theology did not strongly identify the connection between Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s Higher Life doctrine and mystical, erotic bridal union. However, the central factor is a deliberate decision to supress this portion of her and her husband’s history, both by the Higher Life men in England who forced Robert out when he was found in Miss Hattie Hamilton’s bedroom initially, and by the Smith family themselves. Concealement was sought, rather than open repentance of and renunciation of such filthiness. Hannah certainly sought to deliberately cover up her husband’s practices and spiritual shipwreck, both at the time and during his later decline into agnosticism: “I think the thing to say about Robert when anyone asks about him is just this, that he never recovered from the nervous shock of that time in England, and that he is suffering an eclipse of faith from actual nervous collapse” (Letter to Priscilla, November 22, 1883, reproduced in the entry for August 12 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter). She similarly sought to cover up her own adoption and propogation of the erotic doctrine.

[591]           Of course, both those who engaged in immoral debauchery, believing that such was the method through which Spirit baptism and the Higher Life were obtained, and those who taught and led others to adopt such perversions, were free from “all evil intention.” They were sincere in their indulgence of lustful passions, and their intentions were good, or so they claimed, while their actions were utterly shameful.

[592]           That is, the mysterious declaration of Robert Pearsall Smith’s friends about unnamed “doctrines” that were “dangerous” was as far as B. B. Warfield was able to penetrate in his day when he wrote the articles that came to constitute Studies in Perfectionism; it was as much as Stephen Barabas chose to divulge in the hagiographical and revisionist history in So Great Salvation, although in Barabas’ day the truth was much more easily accessible than it was in the days of Warfield (see pgs. 26-27, So Great Salvation, Barabas & Warfield, Perfectionism, vol. 2, pgs. 505ff.). Unfortunately, the coverup of Robert P. Smith by Keswick advocates such as Barabas, despite the now clearly accessible facts, continues in the work of many other modern advocates of Keswick theology. For example, one notes the fantastic understatement on pg. 30 of Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, by Price & Randall, that Robert P. Smith’s downfall was caused by nothing more than that he put his arm around Miss Hamilton; Price & Randall breathe not a whisper about erotic bridal mysticism. J. C. Polluck (pgs. 34-36, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention) says that he is revealing the truth, since the “facts have lain hidden for nearly ninety years inviting sensational speculation,” and then goes on to relate that “the truth is pathetic rather than shocking,” for Smith simply told a woman a false doctrine—the character of which Polluck leaves unnamed—“with his arm around her in his hotel room.” It is difficult to think that Polluck’s claim that he is finally making the truth clear, and there is nothing “shocking” about it, and then stating that Robert Smith put his arm around Miss Hamilton, while Polluck refuses to breathe a syllable about erotic bridal mysticism, is anything other than a deliberate coverup to make Mr. Smith look better. It is similar to Polluck’s refusal to mention that Smith turned agnostic and then Buddhist. Nevertheless, the preface to Polluck’s book by A. T. Houghton, Chairman of the Keswick Council, declares that Polluck “does not cover up the failings of those whom God has used in the leadership of the Convention, nor would the Council desire to hide anything” (pg. 10). Mr. Smith’s unconfirmed self-testimony that he had good intentions (Oliphant and the whole host of fanatics advocating erotic bridal mysticism and practicing immorality as a consequence had good intentions also) when he had his arm around Miss Hattie Hamilton alone in a hotel room is mentioned; the fact that he told her of erotic bridal mysticism is unmentioned, the fact that at the Brighton Convention Miss Hamilton threw her arms around Mr. Smith and kissed him in Mrs. Smith’s presence is unmentioned, and the fact that Miss Hamilton said Robert sought to commit adultery with her is not mentioned (cf. pgs. 78-82, The Secret Life of Hannah Whitall Smith, Marie Henry; pg. 111, Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology, Naselli). Keswick advocates who cover up the abominations of the founders and propogators of the Keswick theology are in plain violation of 1 Timothy 5:20: “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” However, while they violate the Apostle Paul’s command in 1 Timothy 5:20, they practice Robert P. Smith’s view that one is to do exactly the opposite of 1 Timothy 5:20—according to Mr. Smith, a Divine “curse” falls “on those who expose the sin of their brethren or their fathers in Christ” (pg. 42, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875).

[593]           This difficulty is felt if the people involved are unconverted heretics not indwelt by the Spirit of truth, so that all their religion is not spiritual, but natural or devilish. The confusion of fornication and spirituality consequently had much in it to attract Mr. and Mrs. Pearsall Smith, although it is utterly abominable to those truly born of God.

[594]           Mrs. Smith contributed to her husband’s adoption of erotic bridal mysticism, but she also turned away from it before he did.

[595]           That is, Mr. Smith would especially seek to share this teaching with unmarried women of an age relatively near to his own.

[596]           Did one of these ladies grow jealous of knowledge of this “truth,” or jealous when it was acted upon with another person with whom she wished to act upon it herself?

[597]           Pgs. 60-65, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith; cf. pgs. 61-62, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Indeed, in light of the association of the Cowper Temples with Laurence Oliphant and other practicioners and promulgators of the doctrine that one must engage in immorality to receive Spirit baptism, the noble family’s inability to see anything wrong with the doctrine of the preachers at whose feet they sat, and whom they promoted, is understandable.

[598]           See pgs. 65-69, Unforgotten Years, Logan P. Smith, and Hannah W. Smith’s mystified amazement with the Higher Life power both she and her husband still possessed although without all consecration (pgs. 251-253, Religious Fanaticism: Extracts from the Papers of Hannah Whitall Smith, ed. & intr. Ray Strachey; pgs. 172-174, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Smith. Letters to her daughter, Mary Berenson, January 1, 1905 & February 25, 1905; pgs. 32-36, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Letter to Mrs. Anna Shipley, August 8, 1876; Letter to a Friend, August 8, 1876, reproduced in the entries for August 2-4 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Mrs. Smith’s ruminations over her ability to generate Higher Life results in a state of utter unconsecration has been examined above.).

[599]           Pg. 14, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[600]           Pgs. 61-62, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith. Logan explains further:

My father . . . had begun to lose his faith in the whole scheme of Salvation which he had so fervently advocated[.] . . . His situation was thus an awkward one; he had still a reputation in the religious world, he still possessed the hypnotic power of swaying great audiences, and many calls were made upon him to address meetings and administer religious instruction to souls in trouble. Invitations to preach he could avoid on the grounds of health, but the religious inquirers who called at the house, coming sometimes from as far as from Russia, were the source of greater embarrassment; and I remember how desperately he would try to keep one or the other of his children in the room to avoid the necessity of a spiritual dialogue, and how quite heartlessly we would escape from it, leaving him to grapple alone with these spiritual inquirers. This we thought great fun. (pgs. 72-73, Unforgotten Years, Logan P. Smith)

[601]           July 27-28, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[602]           Pgs. 175, 85, The Secret Life of Hannah Whitall Smith, Marie Henry. As Logan P. Smith notes, Robert began to turn towards agnosticism when it became apparent that all the “blessing” that he had felt and experienced from the time of his consecration to preaching the Higher Life in conjunction with his erotic Baptism to his final Higher Life meeting under Dr. Cullis’s encouragement in America after his downfall following the Brighton Convention was a delusion—the presence of the identical spiritual “power” and “blessing” that characterized his best earlier Higher Life ministrations in his final meeting when in an evident state of unconsecration and ungodliness was the beginning of his final fall. Rather than recognizing that he was in need of true conversion by receiving the true gospel and coming into a true living union with the resurrected Christ so that he could have real spiritual power, Robert concluded that the marvelous effects wrought by his own natural abilities, while under the delusion that his Higher Life agitation was genuinely spiritual, were a demonstration that there could well be nothing to religion other than the psychical powers analyzable by a Psychical Research Society, and perhaps no God at all.

[603]           Pgs. 70-71, 320, 51, Remarkable Relations, Strachey, pg. 117, The Secret Life of Hannah Whitall Smith, Marie Henry.

[604]           Pg. 74, Remarkable Relations, Strachey.

[605]        “Smith, Hannah Whitall & Smith, Robert Pearsall,” Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Tim Larson, pg. 617. Cf. pg. 107, Strachey, Remarkable Relations, pg. 127, The Secret Life of Hanah Whitall Smith, Henry.

[606]           Consider the testimony in 1912 of onetime Holiness leader Harry Ironside on the evil fruits of the Higher Life and “second blessing” theology: “[T]housands are yearly being disheartened and discouraged by their teaching . . . hundreds yearly are ensnared into infidelity through the collapse of the vain effort to attain the unattainable . . . scores have actually lost their minds and are now inmates of asylums because of the mental resultant upon their bitter disappointment in the search for holiness” (pg. 6, Holiness: The False and the True).

[607]           In his earlier years, Robert P. Smith preached erotic baptism to unmarried women. “In his later years, Robert was unfaithful to his wife” (pg. 173, The Secret Life of Hannah Whitall Smith, Marie Henry; cf. pgs. 99-105 & Remarkable Relations, Strachey, pgs. 184-187). Robert fell under the doom pronounced in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21 & Revelation 21:8.

[608]           Compare Romans 16:17-18 with 16:1-16.

[609]        So Great Salvation: The History and Message of the Keswick Convention, Steven Barabas. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2005. Orig. pub. 1952.

                While Hebrews 2:3 is the most likely source, it is possible that Barabas took his title from a book by Keswick leader George MacGregor wrote of the same name in 1892 (pgs. 105-107, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck). While the Author of Hebrews would disagree, MacGregor believed that a man such as Robertson Smith was “a reverent and believing critic . . . of the Bible” (pg. 106-107, ibid), although Smith brought Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis to the English-speaking world and was expelled from the Free Church College at Aberdeen for heresy. “W. Robertson Smith, a cleric in Scotland, was subject to a heresy trial by the Scottish Presbyterian Church. He was accused of denying the deity of Christ. He responded, ‘How can they say that? I have never denied the divinity of any man, let alone that of Jesus Christ’” (pg. 59, The Speaker’s Quote Book, Roy B. Zuck. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregek Publications, 1997; cf. pg. 758, Christian Theology, Millard J. Erickson. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998).

[610]           Pgs. ix-x, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[611]           “Keswick and the Higher Life,” http://www.seeking4truth.com/keswick.htm.

[612]           Pg. 20, Keswick’s Authentic Voice, ed. Stevenson.

[613]           Pg. 112, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Dayton.

[614]           Pg. 15, So Great Salvation, Barabas. Barabas follows W. H. Griffith Thomas in claiming that Walter Marshall’s The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, written in 1692, is a Keswick antecedent. However, “the Keswick view is incompatible with Marshall’s because the Keswick view is influenced by a Wesleyan second work of the Spirit that is conditioned on the believer’s consecration. . . . Despite their claims to the contrary . . . Keswick theology is both historically and theologically novel” (pg. 72, 211 Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology, Andrew D. Naselli). A more accurate and less historically revisionistic view of Marshall’s work is that the book is a “Puritan classic on sanctification” (pg. 692, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, J. R. Beeke & M. Jones). Compare also “Sanctification by Faith: Walter Marshall’s Doctrine of Sanctification in Comparison with the Keswick View of Sanctification,” Cheul Hee Lee. Ph. D. diss., Westminster Theological Seminary, 2005.

                Barabas also claims that William Romaine’s books The Life of Faith, The Walk of Faith, and The Triumph of Faith were Keswick antecedents. However, J. C. Ryle’s assessment that the books taught the older evangelical doctrine of sanctification, not the Keswick doctrine, is more accurate (cf. pg. xxix, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots, J. C. Ryle. London: William Hunt and Company, 1889).

                Barabas may perhaps be cleared somewhat from historical revisionism in that he only implies that Walter Marshall and William Romaine taught Keswick theology, without actually stating it. In the midst of his discussion of the actual origination of Keswick theology by the Pearsall Smiths, he cites Romaine and also Griffith-Thomas’s claim that the essentials of Keswick are found in Marshall. The only specific claim Barabas himself makes for Marshall and Romaine is that the men taught “the possibility of fellowship with Christ closer than than enjoyed by the generality of Christians” (pg. 16, So Great Salvation). Of course, an affirmation that Christians can walk more closely with God could be made for just about every devotional book ever written in Christendom. The reader will naturally assume that Barabas is not just making an empty affirmation that Marshall and Romaine wrote books that explained how one could draw closer to God but that the two men actually taught Keswick theology. It is uncertain whether Barabas qualified his specific affirmations simply because he wrote carelessly or because he knew that neither Marshall nor Romaine actually taught Keswick doctrine.

                Contrast Barabas’s inaccurate and hagiographical explanation of the development of the Keswick movement with B. B. Warfield’s accurate one, where the widespread influence of both Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and their connection to earlier and later errors in sanctification, is carefully documented (“The ‘Higher Life’ Movement,” Chapter 4 in Perfectionism, vol. 2, Benjamin B. Warfield, pgs. 463-558. Note also Chapter 5, “The Victorious Life,” pgs. 559-611; and Chapter 1, pgs. 3-218, “Oberlin Perfectionism,” which examines the perfectionist errors of Mahan, Finney, and others.).

[615]           Pg. 224, The Keswick Convention: Its Message, Its Method, and Its Men, ed. Charles Harford.

[616]           Thomas á Kempis, out of his “monastic formation,” zealously practiced the anti-Christian piety that springs from the Roman Catholic false gospel. Thomas loved:

Marian devotion . . . [believed in] the sacrificial character of the Eucharist . . . “meritorious” works . . . [and] den[ied] the crucial importance of Christ’s mediatorship and sacrifice. . . . [In his writings, such as] The Imitation of Christ . . . the atoning significance of Christ’s work is overshadowed by the exemplary perspective . . . the Holy Spirit . . . remains unmentioned . . . throughout . . . [Thomas has] little to say . . . about the Lord Jesus as a ransom and as our righteousness . . . [he] cannot be considered a fore-runner of the Reformation . . . [but] brokers . . . ideas that are characteristically Roman Catholic” (pgs. 97-102, Sweet Communion: Trajectories of Spirituality from the Middle Ages through the Further Reformation, Arie de Reuver).

It is, therefore, not surprising that “Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order[,] . . . was accustomed to reading a chapter in the book [The Imitation of Christ] daily” (pgs. 74-75, ibid).

[617]           Pg. 223, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford; cf. pg. 482, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875, for testimony to discovery of the Higher Life through “Brother Lawrence” at Brighton.

[618]           Pg. 223, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford.

[619]        Pg. 16, So Great Salvation, Barabas. The wider background to the Keswick Convention included the “work of such figures as Charles Finney; Asa Mahan; W. E. Boardman; Hannah Whitall Smith and her husband, Robert Pearsall Smith; Charles Cullis; and others” from the Wesleyan, Oberlin, and Higher Life perfectionisms and continuationisms (pg. 104, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Dayton); thus, for example, as noted in more detail below, both the persons and books of Mahan and Boardman were promoted at the Oxford Convention (e. g., pg. 90, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874).

[620]           Pg. 16, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[621]           Pg. 16, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[622]           Pg. 81, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Dayton.

[623]           Pgs. 49-78, Absolute Religion, Thomas C. Upham. New York, NY: Putnam, 1873, pgs. 45-67; cf. also pgs. 337-459, Warfield, Perfectionism vol. 2. Italics in original. The “inward suggestions” Upham speaks of came from the devil, who worked through the Higher Life preacher’s corrupt and unregenerate nature.

[624]           Pg. 43, Only Believe: Examining the Origin and Development of Classic and Contemporary Word of Faith Theologies, Paul L. King. See also “The Mystical Perfectionism of Thomas Cogwell Upham,” Chapter 3 in Perfectionism, vol. 2, B. B. Warfield.

[625]           Pg. 21, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.

[626]           Pg. 16, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[627]           Compare A. T. Pierson’s recognition of Finney as a Higher Life antecedent and promulgator of the libertarian “liberty of the Human Will, in salvation and sanctification,” so that all effectual influences of the Holy Spirit on the human will, and compatiblist views of freedom, were rejected (pg. 10, Forward Movements of the Last Half Century, Pierson).

[628]           Pgs. 98-99, Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology, Andrew Naselli; pgs. 18-24, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[629]           Pg. 251, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson.

[630]           Compare pgs. 49, 81-83, 141-143, 192, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[631]           Pg. 143, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874; cf. pgs. 176, 192, 215, 241, 278, 333, 341, 356, 360, 369, 371-372, 376, 381.

[632]           Dayton, Donald W., “Asa Mahan and the Development of American Holiness Theology,” Donald Dayton. Wesleyan Theological Journal 9:1 (Spring 1974): 60-69; cf. pg. 141, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874 & pgs. 383-385, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875.

[633]           Pgs. 46-47, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Synan.

[634]           Pgs. 384-385, 457, 466-469, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton.

[635]           Pg. 19, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[636]           “Wesleyan and Reformed Impulses in the Keswick and Pentecostal Movements,” Peter Althouse. Pneuma Foundation. http://www.pneumafoundation.org.

[637]           “Asa Mahan and the Development of American Holiness Theology,” Donald W. Dayton. Wesleyan Theological Journal 9:1 (Spring 1974): 60-69.

[638]           Pg. 67, Perfectionism vol. 2, Warfield.

[639]           Pg. 126, Perfectionism vol. 2, Warfield.

[640]           Compare pgs. 1-218, Perfectionism, vol. 2, Warfield.

[641]           “Asa Mahan and the Development of American Holiness Theology,” Donald W. Dayton.

[642]           See “Considerations on Revival in American History,” by Thomas Ross. Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net.

[643]           Compare pg. 102, the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Walter Elwell, ed., Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1984, and pgs. 312-330, Lectures in Systematic Theology, Henry C. Thiessen, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1949, for a statement and a refutation of the governmental theory.

[644]           Pgs. 219-222, Finney’s Systematic Theology, Charles Finney.

[645]           Pgs. 249-250, 261-263, Finney’s Systematic Theology, Charles Finney.

[646]           Pg. 218, Finney’s Systematic Theology, Charles Finney.

[647]           Latin for “an essential condition.”

[648]           Pgs. 369-371, Finney’s Systematic Theology, Charles Finney.

[649]           Pgs. 367, 369, Finney’s Systematic Theology, Charles Finney.

[650]           “Wesleyan and Reformed Impulses in the Keswick and Pentecostal Movements,” Peter Althouse. Pneuma Foundation. http://www.pneumafoundation.org. Quotation marks from Althouse’s quote of Bundy have been removed.

[651]           “Wesleyan and Reformed Impulses in the Keswick and Pentecostal Movements,” Peter Althouse. Pneuma Foundation.

[652]           Pg. 42, A Theology of the Holy Spirit, Bruner.

[653]        Pgs. 15-16, So Great Salvation, Barabas; cf. pg. 193, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.

One must not confuse Mrs. Smith’s memoir of her son Frank, who died at eighteen years of age (cf. pgs. 33-37, Remarkable Relations, by Barbara Strachey), entitled The Record of a Happy Life (New York, 1873), with Mrs. Smith’s classic statement of Higher Life doctrine, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life (Boston, 1875; often reprinted); one hopes that Barabas has not done so, but has simply cited Mrs. Smith’s far less influential biography of her son for some reason instead of her far more influential Keswick classic. Both works do contain Higher Life theology.

[654]           Pg. 13, Religious Fanaticism, Strachey.

[655]           Pgs. 17-18, So Great Salvation, Barabas. Compare the discussion of Hannah W. Smith and her writings above.

[656]        Pg. 920, “A Hundred Years of Keswick,” John Pollock. Christianity Today 19:18 (20 June 1975): 6-8.

[657]           Pg. 86, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Vinson Synan.

[658]           Pg. 17, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[659]           Pg. 316, The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors, D. M. Lloyd-Jones.

[660]           Pg. 18, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[661]           pgs. 228-229, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall, citing pg. 94, The Keswick Week, 1906, & So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[662]           pg. 234, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall. “Increasingly, the teaching at Keswick in the later decades of the twentieth century would owe more to traditional Reformed thinking about sanctification as a process than to Keswick’s nineteenth-century and earlier twentieth-century views . . . [t]he change in emphasis can be traced by looking at the way in which expositions of the letter to the Romans were given” (pg. 80, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall).

[663]           Pg. 18, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[664]           Pgs. 163, 45, The Unselfishness of God, Hannah W. Smith. Princeton, NJ: Littlebrook, 1987. Note Hannah’s false gospel of salvation by works.

[665]           Pg. 5, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[666]        pg. 168, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[667]           Pg. 162, Memoir of T. D. Harford-Battersby, Harford. The specific reference in the quotation is to the leaders of evangelical Anglicanism, but what was true of them was so much the more true of English nonconformity.

[668]           Pgs. 193, 127, Handley Carr Glyn Moule, Bishop of Durham: A Biography, John B. Harford & Frederick C. Macdonald.

[669]           eujagge÷lion.

[670]           Chapter 4, “The Higher Life Movement,” in Perfectionism, vol. 2, B. B. Warfield; see pgs. 55-57, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874.

[671]           Journal, April 7, 1852, reproduced in the entry for January 12 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter.

[672]           Pg. 29, Remarkable Relations, Strachey; Italics in original.

[673]           Pg. 42, Remarkable Relations, Barbara Strachey. Robert Smith’s call was “communicating” the Higher Life “to Christians of all names and connections alike” (“Die Heiligungsbewegung,” Chapter 6, Perfectionism, B. B. Warfield, vol. 1).

[674]           Pg. 102, “The Brighton Convention and Its Opponents.” London Quarterly Review, October 1875.

[675]           Pg. 118, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874. Likewise, Hannah W. Smith preached at the Broadlands Conference: “I have learnt to know God in my nursery with my children on my lap” (pg. 222, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.).

[676]           For example, Robert preached at the Oxford Convention: “[B]e sure to say [Christian language] aloud—there is marvelous power reflected by thoughts put into spoken words. Keep on saying [such language], even when the heart rebels” (pg. 221, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874; cf. pg. 42). Hannah similarly advised: “[I]f thee continually talks of thyself as being old, thee may perhaps bring on some of the infirmities of age” (pg. 187, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reproducing Letter to her Daughter, Mary Berreneson, March 5, 1907).

[677]           Pg. 107, So Great Salvation, Barabas. Barabas qualifies his admission that the Keswick doctrine of sanctification was unknown for centuries with the statement “except by a few isolated Christians,” since to admit that the Keswick doctrine was unknown to the church of God for over 1800 years would lead to severe doubts about its character. None of these alleged “few isolated Christians” who believed in the Keswick doctrine before the latter portion of the nineteenth century are named, nor do they appear to have provided any written evidence that they ever existed, unless Barabas views idolators like Upham as Christians speaks of them.

                It should also be noted that it is more appropriate to denominate the distinctively Keswick position “sanctification by faith alone” rather than simply “sanctification by faith,” because the fact that without faith it is impossible to please God or be progressively sanctified is obvious and non-controversial on just about any position on sanctification that is adopted by those who recognize the authority of the Bible.

[678]           “Lord and Lady Mount Temple” determined that MacDonald should “have an hour all to himself” to address the Holiness Conference participants.(Circular letter, Broadlands, & December 30-31, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter); cf. pg. 33, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall. MacDonald was perfectly aware of the spirititualism of the Mount-Temples; he wrote, e. g., to his wife about how he witnessed a medium at Broadlands winning a convert to spiritualism by employing her supernatural powers (pg. 26, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists: An Episode in Broadlands History. Van Akin Burd. London: Brentham Press, 1982).

[679]           Cf. pg. 27, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[680]           E. g., Mrs. Smith recorded the events of another conference at Broadlands in 1887 where George MacDonald taught (pg. 98, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith, reprinting a Letter to Her Friends of August 1887).

[681]           The friendship between Mrs. Smith and Mr. MacDonald continued for many years; for example, in 1893 he was her guest at her home, and she wrote of him: “George MacDonald . . . is the dearest old man, so gentle and yet so strong, and with such a marvellous insight into spiritual things. . . . [H]e has done a beautiful work in the world” (pg. 120, A Religious Rebel: The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith; from Letter to Her Friends, September 11, 1893). Hannah recommended George MacDonald’s book Diary of an Old Soul to her daughter Mary, affirming that it “will help you” (Letter to Mary, January 27, 1883, reproduced in the entry for December 9 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter). Hannah wrote of her great “unity” with “George MacDonald,” that they “got very close,” and affirmed: “It has been a sort of dream of my life to . . . sit at the feet of [him],” as she was able to do at the Holiness Conferences at Broadlands.MacDonald was a welcome presence and speaker at English Holiness Conferences, for if Hannah W. Smith’s universalism was no barrier to her, neither was his universalism a barrier to him—indeed, to Mrs. Mount-Temple, universalism was a reason to receive promotion and influence (Circular letter, Broadlands, & December 30-31, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).

[682]           Pg. 62, Evan Harry Hopkins: A Memoir, Alexander Smellie.

[683]           Pg. 64, Evan Harry Hopkins: A Memoir, Alexander Smellie.

[684]           Pg. 64, Evan Harry Hopkins: A Memoir, Alexander Smellie.

[685]           Note, e. g., that a list of Broadlands Conference speakers and attendees places the Smiths first, following only the hosts, Lord and Lady Mount-Temple (pg. 34-35, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910. Cf. pgs. 186-187, where in the list of participants in the last Conference of 1888, she is prominent again, the first woman in the list after the Mount-Temples.). “Amongst the speakers [the Broadlands historian] think[s] first of Mrs. Pearsall Smith[.] . . . ‘The angel of the churches,’ Lady Mount-Temple used to call her” (pgs. 48-49, ibid).

[686]           “The most popular sessions of the Brighton Convention were those in which Hannah [W. Smith] preached her practical secrets of the happy Christian life to audiences of 5,000 or more, mostly clergymen who were theologically opposed [correctly, 1 Timothy 2:9-15; 1 Corinthians 14:34-37] to the preaching ministry of women” (“Smith, Hannah W. & Smith, Robert Pearsall,” Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Timothy Larsen).

[687]        Approximately eight thousand attended the Brighton Convention from around twenty-three countries (pg. 23, So Great Salvation, Barabas).

[688]           Pg. 124, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

[689]           Letter to Father and Mother, June 9, 1875, reproduced in the entry for July 26 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter. Compare the articles on Elisabeth Fry and Joseph John Gurney in The Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Larsen.

[690]           Barabas, who fails to mention that the Anglican minister in question, T. D. Harford-Battersby, had a Quaker background, does record that Harford-Battersby had made the theological rounds from apostate Anglo-Catholicism, to modernistic and evolutionary Anglican broad-churchism, to more evangelical Anglican low-churchism that was “strongly influenced by English Methodism” (pgs. 15, 24-25, So Great Salvation, Barabas). One hopes that Mr. Harford-Battersby did not just adopt better theology than the Anglo-Catholic and modernistic heresies that he had formerly followed but was himself personally born again after turning to Anglican low-churchism, although Barabas makes no mention of such an event. Indeed, Harford-Battersby’s two hundred and thirty page biography only states that he “he drew by degrees, but steadily, towards a calm and firm settlement in what are known as evangelical beliefs” (pg. x, Memoir of T. D. Harford-Battersby, Harford), “[b]eginning as a Tractarian, [but] little by little be[ing] led to Evangelical views” (pg. 75, Evan Harry Hopkins: A Memoir, Alexander Smellie). Not a single sentence of the biography of Battersby mentions a new birth experience associated with his rejection of high-Anglican or Tractarian heresies.

It is not at all a good sign that the only record of anything like a conversion to Christ in Harford-Battersby’s biography is his own testimony that he first began to repent and believe when he received confirmation. He wrote:

I had little of Christian principle. I was altogether a thoughtless, vile creature. I . . . was plunged . . . into idleness and dissipation . . . justly might I have been cut off in the midst of this course, but the Lord most graciously kept me[.] . . . [In] the care and goodness of God to me[,] He so ordained it that confirmation should come very soon[.] . . . Then I first learned to turn my thoughts really towards heaven, to repent, and believe in Jesus. (pg. 6, Memoir of T. D. Harford-Battersby, Harford)

Harford-Battersby thus indicates that he was a vile person, full of idleness and dissipation, but the Lord graciously kept him alive until he received the rite of confirmation, through which he came to repent and believe in Jesus. Belief in such a ritualistic false gospel in his allegedly more evangelical and non-Tractarian childhood would provide an easy explanation for his ability to adopt the Roman Catholic heresies taught by (the later Roman Catholic Cardinal) Newman and the other high-Anglican Tractarians at Oxford during Harford-Battersby’s college days, such as a “visible church with sacraments and rites, which are the channels of invisible grace, an episcopal dynasty descended from the apostles, [and] an obligatory body of doctrine, to be found in Scripture, but only recognised there by the aid of Church tradition” (pgs. 24-25, Memoir). “Mr. Battersby came under the spell. He missed no opportunity of hearing, not only Newman himself, but Manning and Pusey, and other leaders of the [Anglo-Catholic] movement. He discussed the sermons with his friends. He wrote about them in his letters home, and thus drew down upon himself grave warnings from his father as to the dangers of Romanising views” (pgs. 28-29, ibid). Thus, one can hope against hope that Harford-Battersby was indeed born again at some point, but there is certainly no mention of such an event at any point in his biography. Neither in his childhood before he adopted—which a true Christian will not do—an accursed sacramental false gospel (Galatians 1:8-9), nor after his entry into Anglican holy orders, when he “elected to begin ministerial work in a High Church parish” where baptismal regeneration and other sacramental heresies were taught because of his “admiration for Newman and the other leaders of the Oxford movement,” (pg. 52, cf. 43ff, ibid), is there any evidence at all of a genuine conversion. All that is recorded is that he gradually abandoned ritualism for rationalism and the broad-church Anglicanism of Frederick Myers, the curate of the town of Keswick under whom Harford-Battersby served after leaving his first ministry, and whom he regarded as “a guide and as a prophet” (pg. 288, Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals) although Myers was a spiritualist (pgs. 23-24, The Keswick Story, Polluck). Under him Harford-Battersby learned not to be concerned about “trying to find out the right theory of inspiration” (pg. 67, Memoir of T. D. Harford-Battersby, Harford). He finally replaced Myers as curate after his predecessor’s death and then gradually moved towards evangelical ideas—which meant assent to the “truth of Protestant principles” rather than “Anglo-Catholicism” (pg. 60, ibid), not personal conversion and the new birth. Finally, after being convinced by the doctrine of Hannah W. and Robert P. Smith, Harford-Battersby was “persuaded that the current teaching of the Evangelical school itself was defective and one-sided, and . . . of the general truth of the teaching upon which the holiness movement was based” (pgs. 175-176, ibid). He then abandoned mainstream Anglican evangelicalism for the Higher Life doctrine characteristic of the Keswick theology, destitute of a clear testimony to a new birth, but possessed of a clear testimony to the second blessing of the Higher Life. Such was the spiritual life of the Anglican Canon without whose entry into the Higher Life at the “Oxford Convention . . . the . . . Keswick Convention would never have had a beginning” (pg. 29, Forward Movements, Pierson).

[691]           pg. 340, Review by Ian S. Rennie of Keswick: A Bibliographic Introduction to the Higher Life Movements. by D. D. Bundy. Wilmore, Kentucky: Asbury Theological Seminary, 1975, in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 19:4 (Fall 1976) 340-343.

[692]           Pg. 170, Memoir of T. D. Harford-Battersby, Harford.

[693]           Pgs. 25, 168, So Great Salvation, Barabas. Canon Harford-Battersby, despite Wilson’s Quaker theology, considered him a “dear brother” (pg. 195, Memoir of T. D. Harford-Battersby, Harford), and at the Canon’s deathbed, Wilson was by his side (pg. 219, ibid).

[694]           Pg. 145, The Keswick Convention: Its Message, Method, and its Men, ed. Harford.

[695]           For example, the Keswick classic The Keswick Convention: Its Message, Method, and its Men, ed. Charles Harford, is dedicated “to the memory of Thomas Dundas Harford-Battersby and Robert Wilson, Founders of the Keswick Convention.” In a chapter on Keswick men, J. Elder Cumming breathes not the slightest warning about Quaker heresies but concludes his very laudatory description of Robert Wilson with the following affirmation, after recounting Mr. Wilson’s death: “Truly, the end of that man was peace! Who would not wish for such an end, if prepared for it, as he was?” (pg. 64, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford). Thus, although Quakers deny justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ and other essential aspects of the Biblical gospel, Keswick leaders wished to be in the same place as Quakers like Mr. Wilson at death. While one can hope that, somehow, Mr. Wilson did not actually believe in Quakerism and its false gospel but was truly converted, wishing to be associated in death with Quakers is not a little unwise.

[696]           Pg. 110, Evan Harry Hopkins: A Memoir, Alexander Smellie.

[697]           Pg. 118, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890; pgs. 335, 371, 407, 416-420, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875.

[698]           Pgs. 453-464, “Reflections on the Brighton Convention,” The Friends’ Quarterly Examiner, 9:23-26. London: Barrett, Sons & Co, 1875. Note that pages 416-420 of the Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875 consists of excerpts from this article in the Friends’ Quarterly Examiner extolling the teaching at Brighton.

[699]           Pg. 111, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.

[700]           Pg. 13, The Keswick Convention: Its Message, Method, and its Men, ed. Charles Harford.

[701]           Pg. 60, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford; cf. pg. 119, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.

[702]           Pg. 20, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford.

[703]           Pg. 14, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford.

[704]           Pg. 51, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford.

[705]           Pg. 30, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.

[706]           Pg. 60, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford.

[707]           Pg. 61, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford.

[708]        Pg. 25, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[709]           Pgs. 29, 149, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.

[710]           Pg. 197, The Keswick Convention: Its Message, its Method, and its Men, ed. Harford.

[711]           Pg. 11, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.

[712]           The Committee included Evan Hopkins, Stevenson Blackwood, the chairman of the Mildmay Conference, and Lord Radstock. All these were solid Broadlands men, and Blackwood’s suggestion led to the expansion of the 1874 Broadlands Conference at the Oxford Convention (pg. 17, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910).

[713]           Pg. 20, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford. Harford-Battersby testified to the profound influence of Robert P. Smith upon him and countless others: “Not that I would shrink from confessing the great debt which I, and thousands more with me, owe to that remarkable man whose name has become a by-word and a reproach in the estimation of many whom I greatly honour” (pg. 173, Memoir of T. D. Harford-Battersby, Harford). Thus, “Mr. Smith . . . was at this time an honoured instrument in the hands of God for reviving the spiritual life in the hearts of hundreds, and even thousands, of devoted servants of Christ, both in this country [England] and on the Continent” (pgs. 174-175, ibid). That the teaching of Keswick was that of the Smiths is historically indisputable.

[714]        Pg. 26, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[715]        Pg. 26, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[716]        Pg. 27, So Great Salvation, Barabas. “Indeed, it was within the ranks of the Evangelicals that the hostility was most pronounced” (pg. 81, Evan Harry Hopkins: A Memoir, Alexander Smellie), for “the whole holiness movement was subjected to violent criticism and opposition amongst evangelical Christians” (pgs. 31-32, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall).

[717]           Pg. 87, “The Brighton Convention and Its Opponents.” London Quarterly Review, October 1875. Dr. Bonar, for example, wrote:

One thing has struck me sadly in the authorized reports of the Brighton Conference—the number of perverted passages of Scripture; and this is really the root of the whole evil. The speakers first disclaim, I might say, derived theology, and then they proceed to distort the Word of God. . . . I was grieved beyond measure . . . these perversions are part of the system. It cannot stand without them. . . . One of my chief objections to the Perfectionst [Keswick] Doctrine is that it subverts the whole argument and scope of the epistles to the Romans and the Hebrews. . . . Have I written too strongly? I don’t think so. Years are now upon me, and I may claim to be entitled to speak; and . . . have this as my testimony before God and the Churches, that I know few errors more subversive of what the Bible really teaches, and of what our fathers of the Reformation died for, than this modern Perfectionism. The thing now called holiness is not that which we find in Scripture, and the method of reaching holiness, by an instantaneous leap, called an act of faith, is nowhere taught us by the Holy Ghost. (pgs. 88, 90, 93, “The Brighton Convention and Its Opponents.” London Quarterly Review, October 1875)

[718]           Pg. 87, “The Brighton Convention and Its Opponents.” London Quarterly Review, October 1875. Ryle had a blessed and credible testimony to a genuine new birth:

In 1837 Ryle experienced his own conversion. First, Algernon Coote, a friend from Eton, urged him to “think, repent and pray”; then he heard the epistle one Sunday afternoon in church: “By grace are ye saved (pause) through faith (pause) and that not of yourselves (pause) it is the gift of God.” The succession of phrases brought full conviction to Ryle. “Nothing,” he said, “to this day appeared to me so clear and distinct as my own sinfulness, Christ’s presence, the value of the Bible, the absolute necessity of coming out of the world, and the need of being born again, and the enormous folly of the whole doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration.” (pg. 573, Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Larsen)

Some Keswick apologists affirm that Ryle changed his mind about his criticisms of Keswick; however, all that actually happened is that Ryle, in 1892, led in prayer the Sunday after a Convention ended on the platform where the Keswick Convention had been in session the week before. Ryle prayed during a meeting in which D. L. Moody, whose work Ryle commended, was speaking. Ryle supported Moody, while he did not support the Keswick Convention. The fact that Bishop Ryle would lead in prayer in a service where Moody was preaching by no means proves that he had become amenable to the Keswick theology, any more than the fact that he had preached at St. John’s Anglican congregation in 1879 before the Keswick Convention proves his endorsement of Keswick, whose meetings in the Keswick Tent he never frequented. Consequently, affirmations such as that of Polluck that Ryle was a “foremost past critic” and his actions indicated that by “1892 . . . Keswick stood accepted by British evangelicals” is not supported by the evidence, at least in the case of Bishop Ryle (cf. pgs. 77-78, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck).

[719]        Pg. 27, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[720]           Pg. 38, The Keswick Convention, ed. Harford. Cf. pg. 40.

[721]        Pg. 28, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[722]           Pg. 30, Forward Movements, Pierson.

[723]           Pgs. 11-12, 37, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.

[724]        Murray gave “testimony to the . . . Lord, and what He has done for me at Keswick . . . [and] was in close fellowship with . . . the great Holiness movement . . . [and] what took place at Oxford and Brighton, and it all helped me” (pg. 177, 180, So Great Salvation, Barabas;               pg. 448, The Life of Andrew Murray, DuPlessis). Murray spoke “at Keswick . . . [in] 1895 . . . [and] for many years he led a similar Convention in South Africa,” where he was a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church (pgs. 177, 182, So Great Salvation, Barabas). Note the discussion of Murray’s theology in the chapter on him below.

[725]           Note the chapter on Meyer below.

[726]           Sanders acted as a “Keswick speaker” and “Chairman of the Upway ‘Keswick’ Convention, Australia” (pg. 143, So Great Salvation, Barabas), advocating the second-blessing doctrine of “Wesleyan Perfectionism” (pg. 110, Keep In Step With The Spirit, Packer), as “Chambers used the language of Wesleyan entire sanctification,” having adopted “Keswick teaching . . . through F. B. Meyer” (pg. 49, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall).

[727]        pgs. 150-152, So Great Salvation, Barabas. Hudson Taylor, who spoke at the Keswick Convention of 1883 (pg. 81, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck) after discovering “the Exchanged Life,” held a partial-Rapture view, following the lead of Edward Irving and Robert Govett, as did D. M. Panton, Evan Roberts, Jessie Penn-Lewis, Otto Stockmeyer, Watchman Nee, and many other advocates of Keswick theology and the Pentecostalism that developed from it.

[728]        Evan Roberts, co-laborer with Jessie Penn-Lewis and the center and leader of the Welsh holiness revival, was strongly impacted by the Keswick theology, as was Mrs. Penn-Lewis. Note the discussion of Roberts and Penn-Lewis in the respective chapter below.

[729]           pg. 341, Review by Ian S. Rennie of Keswick: A Bibliographic Introduction to the Higher Life Movements. by D. D. Bundy. Wilmore, Kentucky: Asbury Theological Seminary, 1975, in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 19:4 (Fall 1976) 340-343. Barabas even records that “Mrs. William Booth [cofounder, woman preacher, second blessing perfectionist, and coleader of the Salvation Army] . . . remarked that Keswick had been one of the principal means of establishing the Salvation Army” (pg. 151, So Great Salvation, Barabas; cf. pg. 151, The Keswick Convention: Its Message, its Method, and Its Men, ed. Charles Harford; pg. 20, Forward Movements, Pierson).

[730]           Pg. 64, Only Believe: Examining the Origin and Development of Classic and Contemporary Word of Faith Theologies, Paul L. King. Note also the trajectory from the Keswick movement to Pentecostalism and the Health and Wealth heresy in the discussion of A. B. Simpson and John A. MacMillan in the respective chapters below.

[731]           “From Northfield,” Moody’s annual conference, “Keswick speakers, with Moody’s backing, were able to penetrate further into American evangelicalism,” so that “in the 1890s Keswick was a significant force molding sections of the evangelical constituency in North America” (pgs. 56-59, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall). Moody’s “old friend F. B. Meyer” was key in bringing Moody’s ministry to the side of Keswick; “a Keswick speaker [was] . . . at every summer conference” at Northfield (pgs. 116-117, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck). Moody, with thousands before him, at the time Robert P. Smith was leading the Brighton Convention, asked the crowds to pray for a special blessing “on the great Convention that is now being held at Brighton, perhaps the most important meeting ever gathered together,” a public endorsement of Brighton that Moody pronounced on both the first and last day of the Convention (pgs. 47, 319, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875).

[732]           Pg. 255, Keswick Theology: A Historical and Theological Survey and Analysis of the Doctrine of Sanctification in the Early Keswick Movement, 1875-1920, by Andrew Naselli. Ph. D. Dissertation, Bob Jones University, 2006. Abbreviations employed in the source text for institutions have been expanded to give their full names. In addition to Dallas seminary, the influence of Moody and Scofield on the spread of Keswick theology in fundamentalism is very significant: “The return of the holiness teaching to America . . . i[n] [its] Keswick form, was . . . related to the work of D. L. Moody. . . . Moody . . . taught very similar views . . . [to] Keswick . . . and made them central in his work. . . . C. I. Scofield . . . eventually more or less canonized Keswick teachings in his Reference Bible” (pgs. 78-79, Fundamentalism and American Culture, Marsden). D. L. Moody not only prayed for blessing upon the Higher Life meetings at Brighton during his evangelistic campaign in Convent Garden in 1875 (pgs. 23-24, So Great Salvation, Barabas) but also brought many Keswick speakers in who propogated Keswick theology at Moody’s conferences at Northfield: “The visits of Rev. F. B. Meyer, and notably of Prebendary H. W. Webb-Peploe, of London, and Andrew Murray, of Wellington, S. Africa (who were at Northfield in 1895), and the late G. H. C. McGregor introduced into Northfield conferences the grand teaching of Keswick” (pg. 164, Forward Movements of the Last Half Century, A. T. Pierson. New York, NY: Funk & Wagnalls, 1900; cf. pg. 163, So Great Salvation, Barabas; pg. 6, Out of His Fulness: Addresses Delivered in America, Andrew Murray. London: J. Nisbet & Co, 1897). The Keswick theology of Moody, Scofield, and their associates were in turn very influential in Pentecostalism (cf. pgs. 111-113, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson).

[733]           The fact that the Keswick theology developed very largely from the writings and preaching of unregenerate individuals such as Hannah and Robert Smith certainly does not mean that all advocates of Keswick theology or those sympathetic to the Higher Life system either endorse or hold to the gross errors of those associated with the development of Keswick. Indeed, the generality of modern advocates of Keswick are ignorant of the corrupt fountain from which their system flows.

[734]           Pg. 32, So Great Salvation, Barabas. While it is very hard to prove that “no man” has ever been the same after attending a Keswick Convention, such a goal is, at least, unquestionably commendable.

[735]           Acts 2:37-41; 5:33; 7:54-58.

[736]           Pg. 35, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[737]           Pg. 39, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[738]           Pg. 52, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[739]           Pg. 58, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[740]           Pgs. 131-132, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[741]           Many classic Keswick and Higher Life founders and leaders, from William Boardman to Hannah and Robert P. Smith to Andrew Murray, denied that all believers have the Holy Spirit, affirming instead that only those who entered into the Higher Life possess the Spirit. Stephen Barabas does well to reject this false teaching of many early Keswick leaders, although he does not do well when he ignores the facts, revises history, and affirms that the Scriptural position that all believers have the Spirit is universal Keswick teaching.

[742]           Pgs. 131-132, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[743]           Pg. 137, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[744]           Pg. 75, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[745]        Pg. 104, So Great Salvation, Barabas. The quotation comes from R. W. Dale, who is supposed to support the contention that “only since Keswick first called attention to the vital significance of [Romans 6] to the whole question of sin and sanctification have theologians even begun to give it its proper place.” Barabas also quotes from “John Laidlaw,” whom he alleges “bec[ame] one of Keswick’s enthusiastic supporters.” However, the “biography . . . by his son . . . [of the] great Birmingham Congregationalist, R. W. Dale . . . expressly states . . . that his father did not associate himself with Keswick. It is also highly doubtful that John Laidlaw of New College, Edinburgh, had any significant involvement” (pg. 341, Review by Ian S. Rennie of Keswick: A Bibliographic Introduction to the Higher Life Movements. by D. D. Bundy. Wilmore, Kentucky: Asbury Theological Seminary, 1975, in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 19:4 (Fall 1976) 340-343. Barabas’s employment of source material is too often hagiographal, revisionistic, and historically inaccurate.

[746]           Pg. 282, Collected Writings of John Murray, vol. 4, a review by Murray of So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[747]           Pg. 97, So Great Salvation, Barabas.

[748]           The earliest Keswick Conventions, in keeping with the universalism of Hannah W. Smith and the denial of an eternal hell by many others, had no particular missions emphasis and rejected calls to have a missions meeting. When asked, the initial Keswick attitude was that appeals for missions were “quite out of the question; you surely misunderstand; these meetings are for edification!” (pg. 275, Forward Movements, Pierson. Italics in original). Thankfully, this unscriptural Keswick attitude was eventually challenged and reformed.

[749]           See, for example, the historic Baptist doctrinal material in the various chapters of this work. Doctrines such as being filled with the Spirit are found among Baptists far before the advent of the Keswick movement, as documented in the chapter in this book on Ephesians 5:18 and the doctrine of being filled with the Spirit. It is not a little presumptuous to assert: “One has to go back to the book of Acts for a parallel to the exaltation of the Holy Spirit found in the meetings at Keswick” (pg. 38, So Great Salvation, Barabas).

[750]           Pg. 111, “The Brighton Convention and Its Opponents.” London Quarterly Review, October 1875. Regretably, Stephen Barabas’s bibliography provides no evidence that he read this critique of the Higher Life movement.

[751]           Pgs. 257-259, “Means and Measure of Holiness,” Thomas Smith. The British and Foreign Evangelical Review (April 1876) 251-280. Similarly, Jacob Abbott, critiquing William Boardman’s The Higher Christian Life, notes:

Christians all believe that sanctification is the work of faith: that the victory which overcomes the world is our faith. They all hold that the renewal and purification of our sinful nature is, from first to last, the work of God; and that faith connects us with the source of life and power in God; that the ife which we now live in the flesh, we live by the faith of the Son of God. So that it may be as truly affirmed of sanctification, as of justification, that it is all of faith—by grace—and glorying is excluded . . . [for] self-righteousness . . . is such a foe to grace. (pg. 511, Review of William E. Boardman’s The Higher Christian Life, Jacob Abbott. Bibliotheca Sacra (July 1860) 508-535)

[752]           Compare, e. g., The Two Covenants and the Second Blessing, Andrew Murray. Chicago, IL: Fleming H. Revell, 1898.

[753]           Despite the profound impact John Owen’s works have made on the Christian world’s understanding of the doctrine of sanctification, and the importance non-Keswick evangelicals and historic Baptists place on his writings as a model of non-Keswick Biblical piety, Stephen Barabas’s extensive bibliography in So Great Salvation does not include even one work by John Owen. Not a single work by Jonathan Edwards, John Bunyan, John Flavel, or many other classic writers on sanctification are listed either.

[754]           E. g., “J.I. Packer’s . . . earliest personal Christian experience [was] marked by frustration with Keswick piety then liberation through the influence of John Owen” (pg. 181, The Theology of