Friday, February 27, 2015

Haanah W. Smith, occult spiritualism, and the Keswick precursor Conventions at Broadlands: part 10 of 21 in Hannah W. Smith: Keswick Founder, Higher Life Preacher, Quaker Quietist and Universalist Heretic

            
The advance of “Christian Socialism”[1] 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,”[2]  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.”[3]  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,”[4] 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).[5]  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.”[6]  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,[7] 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.[8] . . . 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[.][9]
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.[10]  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,[11] so that Mr. Mount-Temple “gathered all the good he could from spiritualism, and was helped . . . leading us to a higher life.”[12]  The couple attended a vast number of séances,[13] 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.[14]  They not only were spiritualists themselves, but sought—successfully—to lead others into their fellowship with devils,[15] as they were “always ready to introduce” their friends, such as Hannah W. Smith, “to influential people among the spiritualists.”[16]  They greatly advanced the careers of self-professed “Christian spiritualist” ministers such as H. R. Haweis.[17]  They “studied the . . . writings of Swedenborg,”[18] “the great spiritualist of the eighteenth century,”[19] and Swedenborg’s writings and friends were continued influences at Broadlands and its Conferences.[20]  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.”[21]  The Mount Temples’s longing for restored miracles and a Higher Life was satisfied by the spirits with whom they became familiar through séances.[22]  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.[23]  Lord Palmerston, who had been dead for 13 months, similarly told Mr. Mount-Temple where important memoranda could be found.[24]  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].”[25]  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.[26] . . . [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.][27]
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.[28]
The manifestations, this more discerning convert recognized, were “beneath the dignity of an intelligent God”—therefore, “have done with ‘Mediums.’”[29]  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.[30]  He never decided to reject them as Satanic, for they were among “the great cloud of witnesses encircling the world.”[31]  Besides, “the presence of unseen heavenly ones added to the deep gladness that was felt”[32] 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.[33]  After all, as she had learned from them, “Spiritualism [was] . . . the handmaid of Christianity.”[34]  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.”[35]  In the 1870s, when the Higher Life meetings at Broadlands were founded and Mr. and Mrs. Mount-Temple were promoting Robert and Hannah Whitall 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,”[36] the very year Mr. Mount-Temple asked the spirits during a séance for permission to become a medium himself to further his spiritual growth.[37]  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.[38]  Broadlands truly was a very spiritual place—mediums validated that “all manners of ghosts [were] about the house,”[39] since “[c]ontact with ghosts helped shape both Lady and Lord Mount Temple’s futures and day-to-day living.”[40]  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.[41]  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.



This entire study can be accessed here.




[1]             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.”
[2]              Pg. 106, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[3]              Pgs. 151, 171, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[4]              Pgs. 173-174, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[5]              Pg. 161, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[6]             Pgs. 8-9, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[7]              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.
[8]              This affirmation of Mrs. Mount-Temple illustrates her utter inability to recognize fanaticism and spiritual aberration.
[9]              Pgs. 103-105, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[10]            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).
[11]            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).
[12]            Pg. 108, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[13]          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).
[14]            “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).
[15]            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.
[16]            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.
[17]            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.
[18]            Pg. 108, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[19]            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.
[20]            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).
[21]            Pg. 51, Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism, Marlene Tromp.  Albany, NY:  State University of New York Press, 2006.
[22]            Pg. 12, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[23]            Pg. 10, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[24]            Pg. 18, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[25]            Pg. 23, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[26]            The triviality of spiritualistic marvels was indeed a very notable contrast with Biblical miracles.
[27]            Pgs. 12-24, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[28]            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.
[29]            Pg. 20, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[30]            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).
[31]            Pg. 21, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[32]            Pg. 262, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[33]            Pgs. 22, 27, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[34]            Pg. 16, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[35]            Pgs. 23-24, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[36]            Pg. 22, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[37]            Pg. 53, Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism, Marlene Tromp.  Albany, NY:  State University of New York Press, 2006.
[38]            Pg. 19, The Keswick Story:  The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.
[39]            Pgs. 25-26, Ruskin, Lady Mount-Temple and the Spiritualists:  An Episode in Broadlands History.  Van Akin Burd.  London:  Brentham Press, 1982.
[40]            Pg. 53, Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism, Marlene Tromp.  Albany, NY:  State University of New York Press, 2006.
[41]          Pg. 113, Christmas Story:  John Ruskin’s Venetian Letters of 1876-1877, John Ruskin, ed. Van Alan Burd.  Cranbury, NJ:  Associated University Presses, 1990.

1 comment:

KJB1611 said...

The influence of the demons has spread far and wide through the errors Mrs. Smith has introduced into Christianity.