Friday, February 13, 2015

Hannah W. Smith and Keswick Precursor Conventions at Broadlands: part 9 of 21 in Hannah W. Smith: Keswick Founder, Higher Life Preacher, Quaker Quietist and Universalist Heretic

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.[1]
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.”[2]  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.”[3]  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.”[4]  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.”[5]  Passing beyond a simple knowledge of Jesus leads to “the ideal life, the life of man as Son of God.”[6]  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.”[7]  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,[8] 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.[9]
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.[10] . . . 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.”[11]
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;[12]  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.[13]  Not regenerate man only, but each and every “man is the child of God,”[14] 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”[15] 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:[16]
[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.”[17]
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.”[18]  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.[19]
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,[20] the presence of which was intimately tied in with the affirmation of universalism and the rejection of an eternal hell.[21]  Experience and many world religions validated such ideas—had not the Druids believed in the Inner Light?[22]  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”[23] is what is necessary.  People can obey without grace, Biblically defined, since virtues are “latent in all men.”[24]  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.[25]  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,”[26] the Divine Seed beginning to flourish as those who already have Divinity within enter into the Higher Life.



This entire study can be accessed here.




[1]              Pgs. 120, 173-174, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[2]              Pg. 183, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[3]              Pg. 183, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[4]              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.
[5]              Pgs. 158-159, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[6]              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.
[7]              Pg. 202, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[8]              E. g., pg. 78, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[9]              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.
[10]            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.
[11]            Pgs. 249-252, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[12]            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.
[13]            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).
[14]            Pg. 263, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[15]            Pg. 21, Forward Movements of the Last Half Century, Pierson.
[16]            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.”
[17]            Pgs. 140-143, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[18]            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.
[19]            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.
[20]            Pgs. 120-121, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[21]            E. g., pg. 140, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[22]            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.
[23]            Pg. 137, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[24]            Pg. 86, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[25]            Pg. 178, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[26]            Pg. 184, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.

2 comments:

KJB1611 said...

I wanted to point out that there is a myth in some Baptist circles sympathetic to Keswick theology that the early Keswick movement was almost the heart and soul of modern missions. On the contrary, in light of the universalism mentioned in this post and the facts mentioned in footnote 19, the first Keswick conventions actually refused to support missions. After all, if everyone will be saved anyway, why support missions? When finally came around, who did they support – fiery fundamentalist Baptists preaching a pure gospel? Absolutely not! The first person they sent out was George Grubb, who denied the existence of an eternal hell, and Keswick's international ambassador was the theological liberal F. B. Meyer, who went to India, for example, to teach the Hindus that they could be saved by faith in their own pagan gods, but they could only get power to live a happy life by Keswick theology, as well as teaching the heresy that Israel thought Jehovah was only the god of the hills but not of the valleys, the Holy Spirit was an impersonal force, etc. (See: http://faithsaves.net/f-b-meyer/ ).

KJB1611 said...

I wanted to point out that there is a myth in some Baptist circles sympathetic to Keswick theology that the early Keswick movement was almost the heart and soul of modern missions. On the contrary, in light of the universalism mentioned in this post and the facts mentioned in footnote 19, the first Keswick conventions actually refused to support missions. After all, if everyone will be saved anyway, why support missions? When finally came around, who did they support – fiery fundamentalist Baptists preaching a pure gospel? Absolutely not! The first person they sent out was George Grubb, who denied the existence of an eternal hell, and Keswick's international ambassador was the theological liberal F. B. Meyer, who went to India, for example, to teach the Hindus that they could be saved by faith in their own pagan gods, but they could only get power to live a happy life by Keswick theology, as well as teaching the heresy that Israel thought Jehovah was only the god of the hills but not of the valleys, the Holy Spirit was an impersonal force, etc. (See: http://faithsaves.net/f-b-meyer/ ).