Friday, January 30, 2015

Hannah W. Smith's Higher Life patrons, the Mount-Temples: part 8 of 21 in Hannah W. Smith: Keswick Founder, Higher Life Preacher, Quaker Quietist and Universalist Heretic

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.”[1]  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,”[2] where “innumerable guests . . . were gathered . . . to listen to the glad tidings” of the Higher Life.[3]  Hannah called her rich patron “our sweet Lady Mount Temple,”[4] since their “friendship lasted till [Mrs. Mount Temple’s] death in extreme old age,”[5] when Mrs. Smith was one of a few very close friends granted entrance to Mrs. Mount Temple on her deathbed.[6]  They spoke together at various functions to large crowds.[7]
            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.[8]  He “was eminently fitted to preside over such an assembly . . . [and] occup[ied] the position of President at these Conferences,”[9] while “Lady Mount-Temple . . . was the sun and soul of all that . . . company.”[10]  Mr. Mount-Temple’s spiritual guidance and leadership were crucial, unforgettable, and a model for Broadlands spirituality.[11]  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.[12]  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 modicum 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.”[13]  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”[14] (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.[15]  She testified:  “[C]onversion never came to me.  Instead of it I was early beset by doubts of all kinds.”[16]  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.”[17]  After all, the sacrament of “Christening . . . was the ingathering of [infant] lambs into [their] Master’s Fold.”[18]  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.”[19]  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,[20] 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.[21]
Preachers of the Trinity and preachers of a non-Trinitarian deity,[22] 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.”[23]  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.”[24]  Naturally, medieval Romanist mystics such as “Fénelon . . . were . . . men of exalted and angelic nature.”[25]  “Catholic[s] of the mystic school” were present and preaching at the Broadlands Conferences from the first.[26]  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.[27]  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.”[28]  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.[29]  “All shades of religious opinion” were represented at Broadlands,[30] and Mr. Mount-Temple’s command was embraced:  “[D]on’t be too critical.”[31]  “None of those who took part . . . at Broadlands . . . could be spared”[32]—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,[33] 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.”[34]  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[.]”[35]  They testified that their “best friends” included Maurice’s “disciple[s],”[36] and proclaimed that “the blessed George MacDonald,” that famous universalist, “has been one of our dearest friends and teachers,”[37] 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.”[38]  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.



This entire study can be accessed here.



[1]              Pg. 95, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[2]              Pgs. 42-43, 50, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.
[3]              Pg. 50, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.
[4]              Pg. 119, A Religious Rebel:  The Letters of “H. W. S,” ed. Logan Pearsall Smith.  Letter to her friends, November 22, 1891.
[5]              Pg. 47, Unforgotten Years, Logan Pearsall Smith.  For Logan’s connection with them also, see, e. g., pg. 166, ibid.
[6]              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.
[7]              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).
[8]              Pg. 28, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[9]              Pgs. 38-39, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[10]            Pg. 44, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[11]            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.”
[12]            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.).
[13]            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.
[14]            Pg. 182, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[15]            Pg. 8, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982; cf. pg. 11.
[16]            Pg. 101, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[17]            Pgs. 24-25, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[18]            Pg. 94, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[19]            Pgs. 8-9, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[20]            Pgs. 67-68, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[21]            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).
[22]            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.
[23]            Pg. 102, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[24]            Pg. 79, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[25]            Pg. 30, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[26]            Pgs. 79, 34-35, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[27]            Pgs. 157-160, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[28]            Pg. 134, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[29]            Pg. 174, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[30]            Pg. 139, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.  Cf. pg. 174.
[31]            Pg. 133, Pgs. 108-109, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[32]            Pg. 83, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[33]            Pgs. 8-9, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[34]            Pg. 103, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[35]            Pg. 182, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[36]            Pg. 106, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[37]            Pgs. 106, 130, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[38]            Pgs. 131-132, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.

No comments: